My first full week as KCCD Chancellor has been a busy one.
On Wednesday, I was honored to speak at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office webinar in my role as ACCJC chair. Enjoyed hanging out with some of my faves — Chancellor Eloy Oakley, Deputy Chancellor Daisy Gonzales, Stephanie Droker, Anne Marie Gable, Willy Duncan, Lizette Navarette, John Hetts.
On Thursday, KCCD held its monthly Board of Trustees meeting – my first as Chancellor. Starting this month, our meetings are back to being in-person, and it was wonderful to be able to meet face to face again. I’m grateful to everyone who was able to attend, and to everyone who made the technology possible so those unable to attend in person could stay informed as well.
I have been loving seeing all our physical campuses come alive again, as we welcome back our faculty, staff, and students to our in-person spaces full time. While all three colleges will continue to offer flexible choices for those that cannot yet return to full-time in-person learning, I’m grateful to see the vibrant holistic student life on campus at the colleges coming back.
Good morning, friends… It is July 10, 2021. The sun shines bright over KCCD.
This week, the Coyotes, the Pirates and the Renegades continue to Dare Mighty Things:
Cerro Coso Community College
Cerro Coso Library to reopen this week
Two years ago, on July 4th and 5th, 2019, Ridgecrest was shaken by major 6.4 and 7.1 earthquakes. This caused some damage to the Cerro Coso LRC at the IWV campus, which remained under construction for nearly a year.
During that time, library services moved to the East Wing and we waited with anticipation for the LRC’s scheduled reopening in April 2020. Those plans were, of course, quickly derailed by the pandemic, and our services were moved once again – this time fully online. We have been primarily working from home for the past year, with the exception of our curbside pickup service.
Now that vaccinations are on the rise, we are looking forward to being able to reopen the library at long last. (Knock on wood!) To start with we will be open for limited hours during the summer: Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 3pm, starting on July 15th, 2021.
We’ve missed you, and we look forward to seeing you back in the physical library!
Meet Letia Bogan, a Cerro Coso graduate in both 2019 AND 2020. Letia received her Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and Humanities in 2019, and then went on to complete a certificate in Information Technology in 2020. After graduation plans last year got disrupted due to COVID restrictions, Letia was finally able to walk across the stage at Cerro Coso’s May 2021 graduation ceremony!
Letia has been a proud member of the UMOJA Club at Cerro Coso, a community dedicated to enhancing the cultural and educational experiences of African American and other students. She has met so many new people and learned a great deal about the significance of HBCU’s (historically black colleges & universities). These experiences have greatly enriched her academic journey. She is also grateful for Cerro Coso employees Penny Talley and Heather Ostash, both of whom have supported Letia in her endeavors over the past few years.
Remarking on her academic journey so far, Letia says, “It’s been a joy going to this college because I have learned so much. The counselors are great with helping me whenever I need it. UMOJA is such a good way to learn new things about HBCU’s. I got my first Degree in Liberal Arts and Humanities. I did get my certificate in IT and am about to get my degree as well!”
CC to host admissions workshop
On Wednesday, from 4-6 pm, Cerro Coso will hold a Zoom workshop on admissions with a step-by-step demonstration on how to apply to Cerro Coso Community College. An Admissions & Records Technician will be available to answer questions, provide guidance, and share best practices.
A Financial Aid Technician will review the Cerro Coso Promise scholarships, outside scholarships, and more! The Cerro Coso Promise is a scholarship intended for dedicated students focused on getting an education, regardless of financial or personal status. Students meeting basic criteria may qualify for up to $1,000 per semester for 2 years to help with tuition, books, and fees.
PC helps to “Grow Futures” in the farm community with new partnership program
In a new effort to reach out to the many farm communities within the Porterville College service area, PC is partnering with the California Farmworker Foundation to offer new services to farm workers throughout the Greater Porterville Area. The program offers free classes and multiple benefits to local farm workers in an effort to increase their access to educational attainment and advancement within their respective organizations. “PC Growing Futures”, as the program is called, offers free access to classes, laptops, free textbooks, and free access to Rosetta Stone Software to help them achieve student success.
Meet Jasmin Quiñones
Porterville College has hired its first Student Life & Leadership Program Manager with the goal of strengthening the student life experience.
Jasmin Quiñones grew up in Exeter, CA, and comes to PC from the University of the Pacific where she served as the Orientation Coordinator and Intercultural Student Success Coordinator. She holds both a Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Education from University of the Pacific.
Ms. Quiñones has a passion for “working with students and helping them reach for their highest dreams,” and is excited to be returning to the area to give back to her community.
We look forward to all she will do to strengthen the Porterville College student experience through activities, events and programs.
PC to Hold next “Pirate in a Day” Event on July 15th
On July 15th, PC will be hosting its next “Pirate in a Day” event, designed to improve student access and provide one-on-one help to students and potential students as they become a Pirate.
“Pirate in a Day” is held to increase access and ease of registration. During each event, new, returning and transfer students can complete the enrollment process in just one day.
PC staff will be on hand to help students complete a FAFSA, develop a student education plan, register for classes, and apply for other support services on campus.
The BC and BC Foundation team hosted representatives from Phillips 66 this week, and the college was the grateful recipient of two large donations. One contribution is funding this summer’s Early College Industrial Automation Academy for high school students. Our guests had the chance to watch an Academy class in action before answering students’ questions about working in the energy industry. The other donation is providing continued funding for BC’s scholarship program. Thank you, Phillips 66, for your constant support!
Earl Parsons marries Rachel Pori
I have worked with Earl Parsons for many years at BC and he is often the person behind the photos that you see or the mind behind the writing on Measure J and COVID briefings. I was delighted to receive an email from another one of my favorite people, Kim Arbolante, who is Earl’s friend. Enjoy a glimpse of his wedding day … a few excerpts from kim’s email.
By Kim Arbolante, Writing Center Lead, Bakersfield College Photos credit Anston Crane Photography
I am filled with joy for my dear friends who recently afforded me the privilege of being the maid of honor in their wedding, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Fourth of July weekend 2020, Earl Parsons along with his girlfriend Rachel Pori, myself, and another close friend, all headed to a cabin in the hills above San Bernardino to watch the cityscape erupt in a glow of fireworks—while maintaining social distance of course. Inspired by the moment, Earl popped the question to Rachel!
One year later, we came together at The Gardens at Mill Creek, surrounded by their loved ones and friends—maskless, vaccinated and smiling—to witness Earl and Rachel’s marriage. It was truly the most beautiful event! Their wedding colors were lilac and black. Rachel’s dress was custom made, and I have never seen Earl more excited than when he gazed upon her beauty as she walked down the aisle towards him.
Rachel Pori & Earl Parsons exchanging vows with guidance from officiant and friend Jay Varvel
It is no secret that Earl is a great writer, and there was not a dry eye to be found as he read his marriage vows to Rachel. Always a Renegade, I think I even caught a bit of our BC spirit in those vows as he proclaimed, “we’ve accomplished so much together, and I know that we have so much more to do. Tonight, we are planting the seeds of a tree whose fruits will be determined by our actions and the way we treat each other going forward.” To which part of Rachel’s vows replied, “your cup will never be empty for I will be your wine. I will spark the fire when it dulls. We will be abundantly blessed.” Having known these two friends for years, I have no doubts that they will keep the promises they made to each other that day.
Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:
A Fragile Spring Day
When anger threw him to the floor, shattered the window he held sacred, looked through for light and love, he wondered how to put its pieces together again in a pattern strong enough to remove anger’s pressing arms, so he could stand fragile as a spring day, storms pushed away, roses brightly waving at unimagined possibility.
Ten days before he passed, John Lewis posted on twitter.
And two years ago on June 27, 2018 he posted
Good morning Bakersfield It is Saturday, July 18, 2020 (Nelson Mandela’s birthday) … and a great day to be a Renegade
Spent this past week at my daughter’s place in Marina del Rey. Neo and Bessie were ecstatic to see each other and enjoy the southern cal beach together.
Here is another great poem by Jack Hernandez:
In its green nest the gardenia blooms pure white sweet scent stunning the air, not seeking applause for its beauty, content with beaming in the sun.
Remembering John Lewis
I was deeply saddened last night to hear of the passing of civil rights leader and Congressman John Lewis.
He was a great man whose contributions to this nation cannot be overstated. It has been especially poignant to recall his story, including how images of his beating at the Selma to Montgomery “Bloody Sunday” march, in light of recent events and subsequent protests.
I hope that each and every one of us can call upon his memory and courage as we navigate the uncertain times ahead. President Barack Obama awarded Lewis with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and said:
There’s a quote inscribed over a doorway in Nashville, where students first refused to leave lunch counters 51 years ago this February. And the quote said, “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” It’s a question John Lewis has been asking his entire life. It’s what led him back to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma after he had already been beaten within an inch of his life days before. It’s why, time and again, he faced down death so that all of us could share equally in the joys of life. It’s why all these years later, he is known as the Conscience of the United States Congress, still speaking his mind on issues of justice and equality. And generations from now, when parents teach their children what is meant by courage, the story of John Lewis will come to mind — an American who knew that change could not wait for some other person or some other time; whose life is a lesson in the fierce urgency of now.
And on the topic of courage – as I think about John Lewis’ legacy, I can’t help but go back to the #RealTalk conversation with Reggie Bolton and Danny Morrison about Dr. Martin Luther King during our #LightACandle program:
“You gotta have the courage to do what’s right when it’s not popular.”
Haley caught a great quote from panelist Amy Melton who is a BC agriculture student: “White privilege does not mean they haven’t gone through anything bad. It means that they have more opportunities because of the color of their skin.”
In my last post, I shared about the importance of international students and immigrants not only to our college community, but to our community beyond as well.
I was so pleased to learn about the decision to rescind the policy that would have prevented international students from staying in the US as their studies turn to online.
Our international students have always been and will always be an integral part of our Bakersfield College family. I am glad that our leaders are recognizing the key role the F1 Student Visa program plays in our education system and allow these students to remain in this country as they safely continue their studies.
Last week, I participated in the first ever California Community College Women’s Caucus.
This effort was organized by Linda Wah, Trustee from Pasadena City College, and Daisy Gonzales, Deputy Chancellor for the CA Community Colleges.
I look forward to sharing our progress and updates with all of you.
Last Saturday, we celebrated our fantastic Class of 2020 with a special televised event that was broadcast on KGET and Telemundo, as well as a Facebook livestream. I hope you all tuned in to share in the accomplishments of these graduates who overcame great adversity in their final semester at Bakersfield College.
We began with a video of Professor John Gerhold performing the National Anthem. This was from the 2019 graduation that we included in the televised 2020 commencement. We had to follow our tradition!
Here are my opening remarks from this year’s event:
Due to the nature of the broadcast, we grouped graduates into sections.
Here is the Part 1 of our graduates – please check my blog in the coming weeks to see the rest:
Early College Celebration
Last week, we also celebrated our Early College graduates. Students from Wonderful College Prep Academy and Wasco High School earned not only their high school diplomas, but an Associates degree at Bakersfield College as well.
Here are my opening remarks from that celebration on July 7:
And remarks from Senator Emeritus Jean Fuller. Senator Fuller’s support has been instrumental in the success of our early college program. Thank you Jean!
We honored these graduates in 4 sections; 2 from each school.
Here is the first set of graduates from Wasco High School – I will share the other sections in the coming weeks:
You can view all the videos from the Commencement Televised Event and our Early College Celebration on our 2020 Commencement website.
Celebration of Nelson Mandela and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Last Tuesday, July 14th, Krista Moreland, professor of Anthropology, hosted a virtual talk honoring the birthdays of two of the world’s great leaders and peacemakers: Nelson Mandela and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
This program, livestreamed on Facebook, had two speakers, Paballo Lengane, a University post-graduate student in Pretoria, South Africa; and Minyak Rinpoche, a Buddhist monk, currently at the Tashi Gomang Dharma Center in Kentucky. The presentations were inspiring and insightful, highlighting the importance of compassion, kindness, reconciliation and peaceful protests to enact positive change.
“Micro-credentialism: Bite-sized stories from the world of digital credentials” explores the digital badging landscape and celebrates individuals that create opportunities for achievement for their communities.
Closing Week Videos
I am still working through sharing all of our closing week videos with you all. Today, I am sharing one video from each of our four days of programming:
On Monday, Todd Coston wrapped up our day with a short message:
On Tuesday, Carlos Barbaran received a Presidential Leadership Award:
On Wednesday, VP of Instruction Billie Jo Rice shared the faculty that have reached tenure this year:
And we started Thursday’s program with another set of Year in Review photos:
Performing Arts Department Chair Jennifer Garrett shared this post about networking with her fellow Kern County choral directors:
Today I was able to look into the faces of so many incredible colleagues from middle school, high school and college choral directors in Kern County. We gathered via zoom to welcome new colleagues, talk with Dr Jessica Napoles from UNT about the ACDA response document, and start helping each other plan for the future. I know we are all desperately trying to figure out how to help our students experience music in the Fall and it is so wonderful to know we have each other and many more. Thank you everyone for gathering today. Can’t wait until next Friday to do it again! #KernCountyChoralThrives
I spotted some Renegade representation on the California Community Colleges Twitter:
I also wanted to share this great message from our Renegade Athletics Twitter:
Corny & Sandi Retirement videos
At our retirement celebration for Dean of Instruction Corny Rodriguez and Athletic Director Sandi Taylor, we enjoyed video testimonials from their friends and colleagues. Today, I’d like to share two of those videos.
Vince Damelio from Renegade Men’s Basketball announced this week that he is headed to play basketball and continue his academic career at Dean College located in Franklin, MA. Damelio, a product of Primero HS in Weston, CO, played just the 2019-20 season at BC for Head Coach Rich Hughes. He finished the year having played in all 28 games with an average of 6.4 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per game and 2.4 assists/game. Good luck to Vince and Go Gades!
CCCAA Board of Directors announces implementation of Contingency Plan for return to sports in 2020-21
The California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) Board of Directors overwhelmingly approved implementation of its Contingency Plan this last week, providing a return to intercollegiate athletics for the 2020-21 academic year that shifts all sports, including football, to the spring season. The Contingency Plan was among three potential scenarios approved by the Board in early June.
Each plan was wholly dependent on which phase of reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic the state of California was in on the CCCAA’s previously announced July 17 decision date. The return to athletics in January will only occur if it is safe to do so, a decision that will be guided primarily by state and local health guidelines. The Contingency Plan can be viewed here. The full release can be viewed here.
Renegades, let’s continue to transform lives by never shying away from good trouble…. necessary trouble.
That’s all for now. Until next time. With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
I wake up every morning to NPR’s Morning Edition….for many years now. A change is coming — after 40 years, the tune BJ Leiderman composed in 1979 is being replaced by a new jingle on Monday, May 6, 2019. Click on the youtube link below and cherish the soon-to-be-replaced 60-second theme song for NPR’s morning edition. It’s been with us for so long; this is all I knew since I started listening to morning edition in 1988 as a foreign student at USC.
It is good to be back home after two weeks of travel which started with the Non-Credit Conference in San Diego. We had a BC team present and engaged by doing our planning to create more opportunities for adults with low academic skills to onboard and complete a certificate which will give them the necessary skills for an entry-level job.
I had a lot of fun keynoting at the CACCRAO conference in San Diego. This is the statewide organization for Admissions and Records professionals, and our Director, Michelle Pena is the current Vice President. She is super smart and has a keen mind for system fixes. Michelle was there with Jackie Lau and Erineo Garcia.
2019 ACCJC Partners in Excellence Conference: What the Future Holds
ACCJC’s bi-annual conference was held in San Francisco this year. I was there primarily in my role as a commissioner and the current Vice Chair of the commission. However, we had a large team from BC doing two presentations at this conference and it gives me great joy and pride when I watch “my peeps” presenting.
At the opening session of the ACCJC conference, I had the pleasure of introducing the former Under Secretary of Education, Dr. Martha Kanter. Dr. Kanter now leads the College Promise Campaign nationally which focuses on higher education affordability and accessibility.
Dr. Kanter has made many contributions to higher education, most notably her work on equity, innovation, and accountability. Her work is grounded in the conviction that education is not only an economic imperative but more fundamentally a civic imperative; and that education is necessary to individual freedom and essential to a healthy society and a vibrant democracy.
Kristin Rabe, Kim Nickell, Amber Hroch, and Steve Waller presented on how BC is engaged with Program Review and Program Planning that drives institutional resource allocation. A data informed process, the Program Review process has not only brought transparency to our work, but has helped us determine priorities more effectively.
Jessica Wojtysiak and Lesley Bonds presented on BC’s work on Guided Pathways with a focus on “It takes Leadership” from all constituent groups to make this happen.
Here are some other pictures that I snapped. Enjoy!
BC partners with CSUB
On Tuesday, April 30, 2019, over 40 administrators, faculty, and staff from both CSUB and Bakersfield College met to discuss and plan for programmatic collaborations at the new BCSW Center co-located on the CSUB campus. The synergistic teamwork evident at this meeting is indicative of this exciting partnership between BC and CSUB, and of our shared commitment to our students and community. It’s a great time to be in Bakersfield!
BC represented at African-American Town Hall with State Chancellor Oakley
Last week BC’s Steve Watkin, Outreach Director; Dr. Paula Parks, Umoja faculty lead; Jonathan Ward, Umoja Counselor; and Daron Mackey, AAI Ed Advisor attended the Fresno Town Hall & College Fair. There, state Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley urged community members to support Central Valley leaders who are advocating for changes that result in higher success rates for African-American students. “We need you to push,” Oakley said “because what we’ve been doing hasn’t been working.”
“Friction has to happen around college completion,”Oakley advocated, adding that “we have to get to the point where we put the needs of the students above the needs of employees and staff.”
He cited the passage of AB 705 as a positive step in increasing equity for students of color. The law, which goes into effect this fall, will allow most community college students to start at college-level English and math.
The Fresno event was sponsored by the California Community College Black and African-American Advisory Panel and featured information on financial aid (Icanaffordcollege.com), attending a Central Valley community college, and transferring to a CSU or Historically Black College or University (adegreewithaguarantee.com). The Advisory Panel was created in 2017 to increase the graduation and transfer rates of African-American students in support of Oakley’s Vision for Success. They are planning other events around the state to share information and gather feedback. Oakley joked at the end that the Community Colleges will not have an admissions scandal because “we take the top 100% of all applicants.”
Celebrating Judge Tafoya at Kern Literacy
Judge Robert S. Tafoya was honored as a Read for Life Award Recipient at the 2019 Kern Literacy Council Celebration. Former KCCD Chancellor Sandra Serrano, Judge Tafoya’s spouse, was in attendance to celebrate her husband’s passion for reading and his service as a Kern Literacy Council tutor for the past four years. In addition, a group from Bakersfield College joined the festivities. Pictured in the photo below are Traco Mathews and Krista Herrera (KCSOS), Abel Guzman and Pearl Urena (BC), Sheri Horn-Bunk (Taft), Elaine McNearney (Dress for Success), Romeo Agbalog (KCCD Trustee) and Liz Rozell (BC). Liz Rozell was also able to connect with longtime friends, Fred and Cynthia Brakeman (KHSD Trustee).
Presidential Investiture at CSUB
A festive CSUB Presidential Investiture took place Friday morning, May 3rd, in recognition of Dr. Lynnette Zelezny, fifth President of California State University, Bakersfield and the first female president. She was recognized and honored by many, including Mayor Karen Goh, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and CSU Chancellor Timothy White. The processional included student leadership, delegates from educational partners, and CSUB faculty and staff.
63rd Annual Honors Celebration Rocks this Year’s Scholars!
On April 26th, the Outdoor Theater pulsed with the energetic beats of our BC Drumline as they drummed for our 2019 class of scholarship and award recipients at the 63rd Annual Honors Celebration.
This year, nearly 400 outstanding Renegades were named for over $494,000 in scholarships and awards, capping off a demanding academic year with some exciting financial awards.
Tom Gelder, the Executive Director of the BC Foundation and SGA President Ashley Harp, welcomed students and their guests to the festivities, expressing his gratitude for the many donors, faculty, and staff that made the evening possible.
Prior to the reading of names, BC Alumna and Foundation Board Member, Connie Perez-Andresen inspired students with an emotional keynote that demonstrated the power of self-belief and finding a career path that speaks to your heart.
The memorable evening ended with a sweet goodbye as hundreds of freshly baked cookies arrived, provided by our very own BC Food Services. Be sure to check out all of the photos of the event!
All current and future Bakersfield College students are encouraged to apply for scholarships again, later this year, on October 1st, coinciding with the opening of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Visit the website for details.
2019 Student Employees of the Year
On Thursday, April 25th, the Office of Student Life held its annual Student Leadership and Involvement Awards Ceremony. The awards included “Student Employee of the Year” that recognizes exceptional contributions to their office or department during the academic year. The award was jointly given to Jasmen Taylor and Rico Carrillo from the BC Tutoring Center. Congrats to Jasmen and Rico!
Thank you to Student Life for recognizing the importance and dedication of our student employees! Additionally, thank you Student Employment for facilitating the hiring of student employees!
McFarland Early College 8th Grade Application Workshop
This past week, our Early College team went out to McFarland Junior High School to prepare students for the Early College journey that they will embark on at McFarland high School next Fall. All 8th graders completed a BC application and now have their BC ID numbers, which will streamline the process for getting them enrolled in their first dual enrollment course STDV B3 Career and Life Planning. It’s official, we have 280 new Cougar-Renegades!
To learn more about the Early College program at McFarland High School, please visit The Early College website.
BC Jazz Spring Concert
The BC jazz program held its spring concert in the Indoor Theater on Monday, focusing on standards from the 1930s while giving the audience a masterful performance of more modern music.
Jazz professor Kris Tiner said that this year’s program was the culmination of extensive study on the history of jazz. The Jazz Studies program is growing fast since its expansion in 2016, and the amazing performances made for an exciting night.
I’d like to thank Professor Tiner and the Jazz Studies program for putting together a beautiful evening of music.
2019 Kern High School District Physics Olympics at Bakersfield College Campus
The annual Kern High School District Physics Olympics was held last Friday at BC main campus. Sponsored by the Kern High School District and hosted by Bakersfield College the competition features the work of student teams from over a dozen high schools in Kern County in activities requiring skills and knowledge in theoretical and experimental physics and engineering. Eighteen different activities were held from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm at various venues around the Bakersfield College campus, with over 1,000 high school students participating!
Dual Enrollment Symposium Connects High School Partners and Bakersfield College
On Friday, April 26, the Dual Enrollment team hosted a symposium for over 85 local high school teachers, counselors and administrators. The half-day event focused on helping high school partners understand responsibilities within a dual enrollment program, learn about resources available to support students, as well as opportunities to develop college and career pathways.
The Dual Enrollment Symposium opened with a welcome from Steve Watkin, Abel Guzman and Liz Rozell who emphasized the importance of partnerships in offering a successful dual enrollment program. Breakout sessions provided for discussions, including one for STDV B3 Instructors and Counselors provided by Mark Osea, Victor Diaz, Hilda Rodriguez and Alma Feathers, that addressed the unique opportunity this course affords students to clarify their path. High school administrators asked questions about infrastructure during a session hosted by Steve Watkin. Dr. Anna Laven, Raquel Lopez, Savannah Andrews and Kylie Swanson led subject-area instructor sessions with discussions facilitated by Chris McCraw, David Neville, Jennifer Johnson, Kris Stallworth, Jennifer Jett, Stephen Waller, Christian Zoller, Darren Willis, Robert Stewart, Creighton Magers, Michael Ivey, Jason Dixon, Jeremy Staat and Jason Stratton.
After working in small groups, attendees came together for presentations about student resources, academic resources, guided pathways, and a dual enrollment overview. Many thanks to Terri Goldstein, Bill Moseley, Kirk Russell, Lesley Bonds, Yvonne Armendariz, and Anna Laven for providing helpful information and resources. Attendees were impressed to learn that they are part of the largest dual enrollment program in the state! Following lunch, Kylie Swanson provided student highlights and several teachers shared stories about their hardworking students.
Attendees from across the Bakersfield College service area indicated they found the symposium to be helpful and beneficial. They came away with a better understanding of the value of dual enrollment and were excited to be a part of the program.
Food Historian Ken Albala Visits BC
Food historian Ken Albala visited BC on Monday to provide context to the rising popularity of the artisanal food movement over the last few years. Albala is a professor of history at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, and he’s authored 25 books about the culinary arts, including “Cooking in Europe: 1250-1650”, “Food and Faith”, and “Three World Cuisines”, winner of a 2012 Gourmand World Cookbook Award.
BC English professor Neal Stanifer first learned about Albala from “Food: A Cultural Culinary History Podcast,” which is a 36-episode series examining how food evolved throughout human history, from the Stone Age to the Digital Age. Stanifer listened to the whole series over the course of a weekend and was inspired to work with Levan Center Director Reggie Williams to bring Albala to campus. Several students from BC’s culinary arts and nutritional science programs showed up to hear Albala speak.
Albala opened his talk by asking the audience what they imagine what they see when they think of “bad” pizza, then to imagine what they see when they think of “artisanal” pizza. He then gave a history of the terms “artisanal” and “craft”, which used to mean different things but are now utilized the same way in contemporary marketing jargon – to convey food or beverages that are prepared by hand with fresh ingredients and a bare minimum of industrial processing.
After the Great Depression and World War II, the rise of canned goods, processed food and fast food was perceived positively as making life easier and preserving meat and produce longer. Increasingly, Americans have felt disconnected with their relationship to food, contributing to the increased popularity of farmers’ markets, organic produce, farm-to-table restaurants and independent breweries in the 21st Century. Major corporations have begun catching on to this trend, leading to the rise of “fast casual” restaurants such as Chipotle and Blaze Pizza which purport to be fresh or “artisanal” while maintaining the large-scale, industrialized philosophy of fast food. Beer companies such as Coors and Anheuser-Busch have also started buying out small breweries to distribute their products nationwide while marketing mass-produced brands such as Blue Moon and Shock Top as “craft” beer.
I’d like to thank Neal Stanifer and the Levan Center for organizing this informative event examining the culinary arts through the lens of the humanities. I’d also like to thank Ken Albala for driving down from Stockton to speak on our campus.
On Thursday, BC celebrated students that continue to pursue further education and transfer to a four-year university during the Transfer Celebration in the courtyard between Financial Aid and the Indoor Theater.
CSUB staff were also on hand to assist students transferring to CSUB, and BC Food Services provided catering and light refreshments for all who attended.
BC offers a great program to help student receive two degrees in four years called Finish In 4, which encourages completion of both an Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degree. Students in this program are guaranteed admission to CSUB after they finish 2 years at BC. Representatives from Finish In 4 were on hand to interact with students and provide more information about the program.
I would like to thank everyone who helped put on this event and congratulate all of the students who are continuing their academic career.
ENGL B24 Field Trip
This year’s ENGL B24 class had the opportunity to speak with Carol Jacques, a commissioner for the City of Los Angeles. She shared her story as a child of one of the many families displaced from her neighborhood by the city of LA for the construction of Dodger’s Stadium and her subsequent activism and organizing pre- and post-Civil Rights.
The field trip was supported by funding from a Campus Collaborative Action Grant which allowed students to visit the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument in the Olvera Street district of L.A., a point of cultural and historical significance in the development of Latino literary identity. That same day they went to the Ramona Pageant, California’s oldest running outdoor play, in Hemet, CA. Staging every spring since 1923, the play is based on the novel Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson and offers a theatrical interpretation of the novel’s literary glimpse into the Spanish days of California, its changing demography amidst westward expansion, and the mixing of indigenous and old-world cultures.
Emails Worth Sharing
Earlier this week Abel Guzman received an email from a student sharing her experience with one of Delano’s tutors in the reading and writing skills lab tutor Kim Collins.
When I began college it was suggested I attend school in Delano because I did not know how to write paragraphs and follow grammatical rules. I was at a 4th grade level.
However, I went on to become a journalist for our college newspaper. I also would become an editor for the paper. I would end up completing my AA in journalism last semester. This semester I completed my AA in communication. I was also awarded the Sigma Chi Eta distinction for being a honor roll student in communication.
The reason I shared this is to simply say how [Kim’s] faith in me when I was a returning student made a huge difference, along with a few other people who believed in me.
My tutor had said during a tutoring session that my desire to write a New York Best Seller was a ‘lofty goal.’ Well, my book is halfway finished. Although it may not reach that status, I won’t stop climbing. It’s desire, dreams and good tutors/educators that sure do keep them afloat!
I received an email from Manny Mourtzanos that at first had me panicking… and then laughing!
“Subject: Center for Disease Control Advisory! Measles hit Bakersfield
Good morning, Deans. Please be advised: The CDC stated that the measles outbreak in California has recently impacted Bakersfield and is so severe that it is even affecting vehicles! Just ask Liz!
Be ye all forewarned!!”
Shauna Turner graduates! Shauna is graduating with her bachelors degree this weekend. Her cap reads: Mom of 3 with a degree.
She has been diligently working on her BA since she started at BC 4 years ago. She uses her lunch breaks and late evenings after she puts her boys to bed to prepare for class, write her papers, and study for tests. Congratulations Shauna; you deserve it!!
Nestle Field Trip: Last week, students from the Delano HVAC program took a field trip to Nestle’s plant here in Bakersfield. There the students were able to observe the operation and system components of “The Largest, Most Complex Ammonia Refrigeration System In the World”!!
Chamber’s Leadership Bakersfield Program: BC’s Endee Grijalva is a member of this year’s Leadership Bakersfield class and unveiled her team project yesterday. Her team renovated the Dream Center Bakersfield Infant and Toddler room to a safer and warmer space for these children. Very cool!
CSEA Gold Tournament: Last Saturday a KCCD team supported CSEA at their annual golf tournament. It looks like a rough day at work, but someone’s gotta do it!
Ceramics Sale: Here are some fun photos of the amazing ceramics created by our very own BC students this year. They held a sale earlier this week where people could purchase the items created in the Spring 2019 semester.
It was great to see Bakersfield College featured in the Engine Professional magazine. Make sure to check out the Aera Tech Skills Conference hosted by BC on May 19th.
Memorial Stadium: I love this shot that Brandon Urry took this week of the Memorial Stadium construction!! WE ARE BC!
If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11:00 am, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights include segments from BC Men’s Golf program and Athletic Trainer Mike Medeiros.
Renegades of the Week
Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (4/21-4/27) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:
Penelope Zepeda/Morgan Townson, Beach Volleyball – The pairs team finished 4th in the WSC “Pairs” conference championships and qualified for the CCCAA SoCal Regional “Pairs” Championships this Friday May 3rd at Irvine Valley. They will be attempting to qualify for the CCCAA State “Pairs” Championships May 10th and 11th in Chula Vista at the Olympic Training Center.
Justin Frando, Men’s Track and Field – Justin ran a personal record time of 1:55.59 in the 800m at the WSC Finals at Santa Barbara City College which placed him in 2nd place and qualified him for the SoCal Finals. He currently ranks 5th in the state in the 800m.
Renegade Athletics End of the Year Awards
Each year we are very proud of how hard our Renegade student athletes work — both in the classroom and within their respective sports. At the end of each academic season, we like to award those student athletes who have been key parts to their teams and lifted those around them. Below are the winners of each category of award for the 2018-2019 season:
Athletes of the Year
Female – Gabby Lugo, Cross Country/Track & Field
Male – Carson Olivas, Football
Female – Kylee Fahy, Softball
Male – Jacob Whitby, Track & Field
Newcomer of the Year
Female – Daran Towns, Swimming
Male – Justin Harrington, Football
Female – Kayleen Sanchez, Women’s Tennis
Male – Zach Williams, Baseball
Female – Brooke McDonald, Women’s Soccer
Male – Justin Solario, Men’s Swimming
Weight Room Warrior
Female – Jessica Merante, Women’s Volleyball
Male – Zach Hartsfield, Football
Roundup of Athletics Events This Week
As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):