Tag Archives: Danny Morrison

The universe is simpler than it appears

Got back late last night, transitioning from 64 degrees at Marina Del Rey to 90 degrees here in Bakersfield at 10:30 p.m. Neo immediately rushed to the backyard, something he misses by the beach, and I stood in the backyard with him, enjoying the warm night air …. it was good to be back home.

Good Morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, June 27…a great day to be a Renegade.

After my early walk today, here I am on the back porch, blogging before the morning temperatures soar into the nineties. I was struck by the NYTimes piece by Bob Henderson about Angelo Bassi, a theoretical physicist who is attempting to frame the workings of the universe in a more fundamental way than quantum mechanics. “The idea that the universe is simpler than it appears is supported by the way advances in physics, from Newton’s to Einstein’s and beyond, have accounted for more and more phenomena with fewer and fewer equations. ” Thought you might enjoy it too https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/25/magazine/angelo-bassi-quantum-mechanic.html?smid=tw-share

Juneteenth

KBAK will be airing highlights from our Juneteenth programming in collaboration with Danny Morrison. The show will air Sunday at 4 pm – be sure to tune in!

Thank you Danny for partnering with BC. We say it all in this video…

Every week, I will feature some of the videos from the two-week long #LightACandle event. Let’s hear from three congressman.

BC Jazz Combos: The Quarantine Sessions

The BC Jazz Studies program recently released a digital album featuring eight tracks created by students collaborating online during the campus shutdown.

Kris Tiner, Director of Jazz Studies, described the process.

“In March of 2020, as the global pandemic became a reality and stay-at-home orders went into effect, we found ourselves unable to meet in person to rehearse or hold class as usual. All of our scheduled concerts, including our annual Jazz Day festival, were eventually cancelled. Classes continued to meet online using Zoom, but the limitations of that platform for playing together live were immediately obvious. Doing anything with the music we had been rehearsing for eight weeks was suddenly out of the question. Instead, we began working on these digital collaborations. We used Zoom to chat and share ideas, Google Drive to share charts and files, cell phones and any home recording technology we could get our hands on to capture music that reflected the ups and downs of these strange days we were going through together. Our goal was to let the times guide our creativity, and the result is this album. Please enjoy, and purchase a copy if you have the means. All proceeds benefit the BC Jazz Studies program.”

Listen and download at https://bcjazzstudies.bandcamp.com.

Dr. Fauci addresses COVID-19 spike

On Friday, the nation once again heard from Dr. Anthony Fauci, who provided an important update on the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said, “You have an individual responsibility to yourself. But you have a societal responsibility. Because if we want to end this outbreak … we’ve got to realize that we are part of the process.”

“A risk for you is not just isolated to you.”

As cases are again increasing through many parts of the country, California included, it is more important than ever that we each do our part to keep ourselves and each other safe. We must continue social distancing, we must continue to wear our masks, and we must continue to take care of one another.

Dr. Fauci’s urgent message made this post shared by Cindy Collier even more poignant:

Celebrating our Transfer Graduates

We are proud of the following graduates who have recently accepted admission offers from across the nation, and we have created a Transfer Celebration website to share their photos and future plans.

Students may submit their information to be included through August 1, 2020.

This week, I’d like to highlight two of our outstanding transfer students, Leonela Aguilar and Gabriel Diaz.

Spotted in the Community

Jay Tamsi and Mike Turnipseed get Back to Business

Michael Turnipseed, Kern Tax Executive Director, brought Jay Tamsi, CEO of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, on his Conversations that Matter video series to discuss discuss how the Chamber helps boost the local economy.

They also discussed the challenges facing local small business during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the Chamber is helping address those issues.

You can check out the video online.

A Deeper Dive with Romeo Agbalog and Keith Wolaridge

Check out this podcast with Romeo Agbalog, from Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government, and Keith Wolaridge, Trustee with the Panama Buena Vista Union School District.

Fun Social Media

Andrea Thorson, one of our Deans of Instruction, welcomed a new member to her family this week:

“This is Pepper Ann(a) – James is still deciding between Ann and Anna. We are so excited! She is a calm little labradoodle.

“Her name, based on a coin toss, was supposed to be Mimsy. However, upon getting her home, we realized the names “Mimsy” and “Macy” were too close and caused confusion. I’m glad because I like “Pepper” best, but James didn’t love it, so he picks the middle name.”

BC Reference Librarian Sondra Keckley celebrated her 20th wedding anniversary this week.

Her husband had put bouquets of flowers throughout their house as a thoughtful surprise.

“I came home from running errands to the sweetest surprise for our 20th anniversary! The roses and sign would be an awesome gift alone, but then I saw another bouquet of flowers in the family room, and before I knew it I was pleasantly surprised in just about every room!! It felt like a scavenger hunt looking to see where else they might be.”

Congratulations to Sondra and Kurt!

Gloria Dumler from our English department shared this post about an article fellow English professor Paula Parks sent out to the department:

You can check out the article, “Turns Out You Can Build Community in a Zoom Classroom” from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

KCCD leadership — #staysafe #wearmasks

Tom Burke, Sonya Christian, Claudia Habib, Jill Board
Some photos from my trip to the marina
Neo heading to the Marina

Closing Week Videos

On Tuesday of Closing Week, Todd Coston continued his Ringmaster role in his backyard with his tiger:

Our Public Safety Meta major Pathway team earned a President’s Leadership Award:

On Thursday, we shared a message about the BC Emergency Student Fund:

Athletics

Celebrating 48 Years of Title IX

On June 23, 1972, Title IX was passed into law stating: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

This June 23 marked 48 years since the beginning of Title IX. This played a huge role for women in many areas in allowing opportunities they previously did not have, and one of the more visible areas came in athletics participation.

While we observe this anniversary and recognize those original trailblazers, we also know that work of equity is a continual and never-ending process.

Memorial Stadium Construction Update

Progress continues this summer with ongoing renovation projects at our beautiful Memorial Stadium. Workers recently finished removing all of the old lights as they prepare to install the new light fixtures. Also happening is the construction of the new HD video scoreboard as well as renovation of restrooms and concessions areas. We can’t wait to see her when all the work is complete!

That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

#LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation

What a difficult, active week at the virtual Home of the Renegades as we continue to Shelter in Place and engage with a world coping with COVID-19, the recession, and the horrific public death of George Floyd.

The picture above is from a friend’s garden. These are the Mexican bird of paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima). They bloom when the temperature gets above 90.

Renegade Baseball Pitcher Sends Caring Note To Bakersfield PD

Through social media and television we have seen many protests around the country, and our community has been no different. After one of this week’s protests in downtown Bakersfield, the Bakersfield Police Department shared a photo of a card that a ‘black teen’ had given one of the BPD officers earlier that evening.

We soon found out that ‘black teen’ was none other than one of our Renegade Baseball student athletes, PJ Roberts. PJ is a pitcher and has been on the team the last two years. While PJ did not share this card with the officer to be recognized publicly, we are beyond proud of his actions to bridge the gap at this critical point in time. Way to be the change you wish to see in the world, PJ! #StudentTeacher

Good morning Bakersfield
It is Saturday, June 6, 2020 – a great day to be a Renegade.

I’d like to start off this week with a video I saw from Trevor Noah, who hosts The Daily Show. In it, he talks about how different events are connected and knock into each other like dominoes, causing a great wave.

#LightACandle: A Juneteenth Celebration

On the heels of the recent death of George Floyd and mass unrest across the country, Bakersfield College will host a two week conversation and virtual celebration leading up to June 19 or “Juneteenth,” a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

Six days after Floyd’s murder, I penned a letter to the campus and community.  In part, I wrote: 

I believe that in the 50 years since King asked this question – What is it that America has failed to hear? We have made enormous progress that we can and should be proud of. But we need to hear what George Floyd’s Memorial Day death – and our national reactions to it – are saying. It is a long and painful history, which makes it harder to hear. It is a dark and confusing time, which makes it harder to see how to move forward. But as Bakersfield College Renegades, we owe it to our community, to our veterans, and we each owe it to George Floyd, to join together, listen with humility, and to bring light that can illuminate the way ahead.

In this spirit, I invite you to join Bakersfield College for a two-week series of Juneteenth conversations across multiple platforms to #LightACandle and #ShineALight on the gut wrenching and horrific experiences of our Black brothers and sisters as they go about their business contributing to the economic wellbeing of our community, volunteering to help the neediest in our society, enjoying a family stroll in the neighborhood park with their children. We invite you to listen, learn, engage, and make an action-oriented commitment to speak up, lean in and create an environment that values every human.  

Thank you to the leadership of the #LightACandle Juneteenth Planning Team: Steven Watkin, Paula Parks, Tommy Tunson, and Jennifer Achan.

BC Joins Prayer Walk

At Steven Watkin’s invitation, dozens of BC faculty and staff joined a peaceful community walk and prayer on Wednesday. 

Led by Pastor Oscar Anthony of St. Peter Restoration Community Christian Ministries, and Pastor Ignacio Valdez of New Hope Family Worship Center, with the support of networks such as Kern County Ministers Conference, Kern Leadership Alliance and CityServe, hundreds assembled to acknowledge the pain our community is in, while promoting promote reconciliation healing.

I was grateful to walk alongside Steve Watkin and our BC team in solidarity for #BlackLivesMatter.

#RealTalk on Race with Danny, Reggie, and Julian

On Thursday, June 4, BC launched the first of a series of #RealTalk on Race discussions, hosted by Danny Morrison Media.  Over 7000 views in just 3 days!

Danny, always a friend to BC and an ardent supporter of our African American Initiatives and Inmate Scholars program, kicked off the discussion with a reflection on the recent high-profile deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmed Arbery. I was struck by the weight of the dialogue as he recalled a long history of murders of Black men at the hands of those in power… the stories of Philando Castile, Eric Garner, and Emmett Till.

Reggie Bolton, BC professor of kinesiology, and Julian West, director of the Career Ladders Project, described their personal experiences coming to terms with race and racism as Black men. As I listened to Reggie, Julian, and Danny, I felt the enormity of the moment we are in as a nation and the responsibility we have as educators to shine light on these stories.  The words of these men – brilliant, courageous, kind hearted, and committed to our students – should strengthen our resolve to work for racial equity at BC and beyond.

The livestream also featured a video from Steve Watkin.

BC in the News: The Bakersfield Californian

The Bakersfield Californian published a great article on BC’s plans to shine light on the ways education can advance justice.  Thank you, Ema Sasic, for capturing not only our plans for the weeks ahead, but also the ways BC has been advancing educational equity for Black students through the remarkable work of our African American Initiatives team.  I enjoyed reading the highlights of our progress on increasing access and success for our students over the past five years:

  • Increased overall enrollment of Black students by 45% to more than 1,000 students
  • Increased first-time Black student enrollment by 72%
  • Increased Black student enrollment in Early College opportunities by 1,017%
  • Increased Black student completion of associate degrees by 223%

Umoja students share feelings on recent killings by police

Umoja Community students and faculty gathered virtually to discuss recent killings of African Americans by police. Over the past few weeks, the murders of Ahmad Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have dominated the news. Repeated exposure to lynching is traumatizing.

Floyd’s murder, captured on video and widely circulated, has ignited pain and anger in the Black community and resulted in protests nationwide. The Umoja Community – a program designed for African-American students that includes coursework, mentoring, academic and cultural trips, and counseling support to keep students on track to graduate – routinely provides space for students to share and process their lived experiences.

Students said this latest incident feels different from other police murders captured on camera because of what the video shows: Floyd was handcuffed when he was pushed onto the pavement. You observe the officer rather nonchalantly with his hands in his pocket and with his knee on Floyd’s neck. Over 8 minutes and 46 seconds, you see Floyd plead for his life and call out “Mama,” then slowly lose consciousness and die. Three officers watch and the crowd shouts out that “he ain’t moving.” It seemed to students the most extreme example of police abuse and of an undeserved, agonizing death.

In addition, Floyd evokes Eric Garner’s words, “I can’t breathe” sixteen times. This painful revisit of the 2014 New York case is a reminder as one student put it that “the deaths keep increasing.” The police aren’t charged or convicted even with video evidence, which emboldens police, students explained, to continue to abuse their power. Black people are re-traumatized with each death, understanding that they are similarly at risk. One student said she felt “numb.” Another reported that she was at “the breaking point.”

Being in the middle of a pandemic and somewhat isolated, they noted, adds to their anxiety because they have fewer outlets while being constantly bombarded with videos of Floyd’s death and mass protests. Students are suffering from a double injury: fears for their basic physical safety from police as well as threats to their physical and mental health from COVID.

Said one student, “racism is our (constant) virus.”

Community Voices

I was happy to see in The Bakersfield Californian this week two pieces from BC faculty and staff lending perspective on how we move forward.

Lesley Bonds, BC’s Director of Student Success & Equity reflected on the significance of Juneteenth in the midst of mass unrest. She calls upon white people to learn to practice anti-racism. Read her suggestions for how people can practice anti-racism HERE.

An excerpt:

“Anti-racism is more than simply not acting racist. Anti-racism requires constant vigilance — an unlearning of our conditioned behaviors, beliefs and biases, and constant, intentional, new learning of the ways we can recognize and dismantle racism in ourselves, our community, our institutions, and the systems we navigate daily.”

Nick Strobel, Astronomy professor and Director of BC’s planetarium called upon us to reconcile the “story of American society” with the stories we are reading today in order to give meaning to the popular hashtag #WeAreAllInThisTogether. Read Nick’s piece HERE.

An excerpt:

“If American society is to survive, we all need to recognize that an alternate story, that has been told in word and deed for many, many decades at least, has grown more powerful than the shared story of opportunity and equal application of the law… Do we want that? Do we really believe that the shared story on which this nation was founded is not real and can never be real?”

BC launches free immigration clinics

Bakersfield College is partnering with the UFW Foundation to offer Immigration Clinics for BC students, faculty and staff. The next two Clinics are on Tuesday, June 9th, and Thursday, June 25th, from 9 AM to 6 PM. DACA renewals are being prioritized and Fee Assistance is available at this time.

You may email ab540@bakersfieldcollege.edu for instructions on setting appointments. The Immigration Clinics are held virtually on Zoom.

BC receives Job Corps Scholars Program funding

Bakersfield College has been named as one of twenty recipients to receive part of the $24 million Job Corps Scholars Program funding, provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.

This national program serves Job Corps eligible youth by providing free tuition for their first year in the Job Corps Scholars program, career technical training, and intensive personal and career counseling services towards program completion.

Back to College

I wanted to share with you all a story from one of our student Renegades, Martha Lopez. She was left jobless when the Coronavirus pandemic hit, and decided to try out our Back to College program.

“I had just started a new job working at a Distribution Center when the Coronavirus hit. The entire center was shut down and everybody was left without a job, and we didn’t know for how long it was going to last. I started looking for a new job, but then I heard about the Back to College program on TV. I had been going to BC on and off for over several years and always struggled and felt like it was not for me, but I decided to give it one more try. From the start, the counselors helped me with Financial Aid and helped me find classes that were required for my major, and that were also interesting to me. The professors were all very clear from the beginning by telling us exactly what was required, and they were always there when we had questions. I had taken online classes before, but this time was a huge difference. Not only did I get As and Bs in all my classes, but I actually enjoyed them, especially Art which I was not expecting, and I’m excited to keep going in the summer and fall. At first I was only planning on getting my degree in Sociology at BC, but after talking to my counselors and professors, I’ve decided I want to actually transfer to CSUB and go on to become a Substance Abuse Counselor.”

Our Back to College program is still going strong with courses for this summer. Please check it out!

Fun Social Media

Our Admission & Records director, Jackie Lau, earned her Masters degree this year. The Admission & Records department shared a wonderful tribute on Facebook to celebrate her achievement.

The BC Library is sharing resources on racism. Check it out at https://bakersfieldcollege.libguides.com/blacklivesmatter.

Closing Week Videos

Before each day’s celebration, we shared a few videos from throughout the year – including this performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” performed by our BC choir, faculty, staff, and administration:

Student Affairs earned a President’s Leadership Award:

And incoming BCSGA Vice-President Emma McNellis shared her remarks:

Athletics

Coach Littlejohn Leading The Way Staying Fit During The Pandemic

Our newest Renegade Coach, Coach R. Todd Littlejohn of BC Football is leading the way in showing our campus how to stay fit during the pandemic. Here’s a picture of him doing hang cleans during his CrossFit workout this last week. Details for how the 2020 fall sports season is going to look are still being determined by the CCCAA, but one things for sure – Coach LJ will not be out of breath running up and down those sidelines coaching his team this fall!

Q&A With Sandi Taylor

The Renegade Rip ran an article where Editor-in-Chief Haley Duval interviewed retiring athletic director and softball coach Sandi Taylor.
Sandi talked about her greatest memories, proudest accomplishments, what she’ll miss, and what changes she saw during her time at BC. Thank you for the well-written article, Haley, and thank you for your years of service Sandi!

That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC — the heart of the community

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 15, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

Financial Aid Fest

Danny Morrison and DJ Ace hold play music for Financial Aid Fest.
Danny Morrison and DJ Ace perform at Financial Aid Fest.

The Financial Aid Department encouraged our students to “Beat the Clock” and “Get the Money” before the March 2 FAFSA and Dream Act deadline as part of the weeklong Financial Aid Fest held at our three core campuses.

The BC Foundation tables at Financial Aid Fest.

For Wednesday’s Financial Aid Fest on the CSS Lawn of the Panorama Campus, Renegades got the chance to play games, enjoy some tacos catered by BC Food Services, and listen to some great music from Danny Morrison and DJ Ace on the turntables. There were also Financial Aid Fests held at BC SouthWest on Tuesday and the Delano Campus on Thursday. This was the first year that the Financial Aid Department planned a circus theme for Financial Aid fest, and it was a beautiful setup that caught the eyes of everyone who passed through on their way to their classes.

Events like Financial Aid Fest and the FAFSA workshops equip our Renegades with the resources they need to be successful. This year’s Financial Aid Fest also featured booths from several other BC programs such as EOP&S, who came out to inform students about book vouchers, counseling and other resources that may be available to them.

Thank you to the talented folks at Financial Aid for working so hard to put together this event. There are Financial Aid Application Assistance workshops planned throughout the weeks leading up to the March 2 deadline, so check the Bakersfield College calendar for dates and remember to get your applications in for next year!

Rudy Salas Roundtable on Homelessness

Anna Laven with Rudy Salas, Leticia Perez and other participants in the homelessness roundtable.
Left to right: Anna Laven; Alex Garcia, Wasco City Councilmember; Alicia Sutton, Deputy Secretary of Homelessness at California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council; Rudy Salas, California Assemblymember; Leticia Perez, Kern County Supervisor; and Grace Vallejo, Delano City Councilmember.

Fun Photos: Mayor’s Ball

BC faculty, staff and dignitaries at the first annual Mayor's Ball.
left to right: Anthony Cordova, Anna Laven, Norma Rojas-Mora, Shannon Grove, Liz Rozell, Jay Rosenlieb, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog, Michael O’Doherty, Heather Pennella, and Endee Grijalva.

BC was present in full force at Karen Goh’s inaugural Mayor’s Ball at the City Center in downtown Bakersfield which raised money for Pastor Robin Robinson and CityServe, a local non-profit organization that provides churches with food, hygiene items and more to help the homeless and other members of our community in need.

Gadfly Cafe

Students and faculty engaged in spirited and insightful debates at the Levan Center as part of the first Gadfly Café of the Spring 2020 semester on Wednesday.

Students debate about aging and death at the Gadfly Cafe.
Students debate the topic “Aging, Disease, and a Timely Death” during the Gadfly Café.

Philosophy professor and Levan Center Director Reggie Williams served as moderator for this month’s topic “Aging, Disease, and A Timely Death”. Students were really engaged, sharing their thoughts on the health complications that come with aging, as well as the feelings of grief that suicide and death can elicit in our loved ones. The group started recognizing that matters of aging and death are very personal and each person has a different answer to finding their purpose in life, and it is our experiences that determine whether or not we’ve lived up to that purpose.  I lost my dad in 2006 and my mom just last year…  I am really grateful for Norm Levan who through his generous gift has allowed BC the ability to host the Levan Center and its remarkable programming.  Also thankful for the Levan Director Reggie Williams.

College is supposed to be a place where people can have deep, important conversations with their peers to determine their beliefs and priorities. Events like the Gadfly Café are important for developing BC’s core values of Community, Diversity and Wellness, so I would like to thank Professor Williams for providing our students with a space for Socratic discourse.

Rad Tech Students Compete at National Conference

I was delighted to hear that the second-year students in BC’s Radiologic Technology Program got to attend a nationwide conference in Las Vegas last week. The Association of Collegiate Radiologic Technology (ACERT) Conference held on February 5-7 featured Rad Tech students and educators from across the country.

BC Radiologic Technology students attend a nationwide conference in Los Angeles.
BC Radiologic Technology students at the 2020 ACERT Conference.

BC Rad Tech Director Jacelyn Hill and the BC students participated in the annual Rad Tech Student Bowl, a 2-hour academic competition against 600 other students. BC stood proudly against other community colleges and universities, with the majority of our 21 students finishing in the top 60, and Renegade student Yolanda Puente finishing in 29th place!

Thank you to all of our Rad Tech students for representing BC at this nationwide conference, and thank you to Jacelyn Hill and our Rad Tech and Allied Health staff for training the radiology professionals of tomorrow.

BC Rad Tech Students at the ACERT Conference.
BC Rad Tech Students Kristi Gifford, Yolanda Puente, Emily Byers and Deanna Munoz pose with Stewart Bushong, the author of their textbook.

SLO Symposium

Bill Moseley speaks at a panel during the SLO Symposium 2020.
Bill Moseley presents during a panel at the SLO Symposium.

Last week, BC’s assessment team participated in the Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) Symposium at Monterey Peninsula College. The 7th-annual event is organized by Jarek Janio and the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, a research and resource-development organization that advocates for the systematic use of student learning outcomes in colleges and universities.

I keynoted the event, and called on the group to #OccupyLearning using the framework established in the books “Redesigning America’s Community Colleges” and “Degrees that Matter”. For more information, you can check out the slides from my keynote presentation on the Bakersfield College website.

There was quite the back channel chatter on twitter. Here are some screen captures.

Dean of Academic Technology Bill Moseley also presented during a panel discussion with representatives from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, and the American Institute for Research. Two videos from his presentation can be viewed below. Thank you Teresa McAllister for capturing the video.

Jarek Janio from Santa Ana College, organized this event. He is a missionary to improve student learning. Jarek, let’s plan a statewide gathering sometime in the fall to advance this conversation!

Reconnecting with Teens Conference

Did you know that Bakersfield College provides support and training to over 1,800 foster families in Kern County each year?  As part of the efforts to improve the outcomes of foster children, the BC Foster & Kinship Care Education (FKCE) program hosted the Reconnecting with Teens Conference on Friday, January 31 at the Marriott in downtown Bakersfield with State Ombudsperson, Rochelle Trochtenberg.  

Imelda Simos-Valdez speaks at the FKCE Conference
FKCE Director Imelda Simos-Valdez speaks at the Connecting with Teens Conference.

Among the 250+ events and 1,140+ training hours offered throughout the year by FKCE, “Reconnecting with Teens” was a special event. Caregivers who care for foster youth attended the event to learn strategies on how to better support teenagers as they launch into adulthood. FKCE Director Imelda Simos-Valdez provided a gracious welcome presentation guests were treated to a very special guest speaker and breakout sessions.

Rochelle Trochtenberg, our guest speaker at the FKCE Conference, is currently the California Foster Care Ombudsperson and a former foster youth. Originally labeled “severely emotionally disturbed”, Rochelle gained her own voice when she shared criticism of Humboldt County Dept. of Health and Human Services approach to group homes at a 2008 conference.  She was eventually hired by the department, earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Social Work, and has become nationally recognized for her work as a lead organizer for the Humboldt County Transition Age Youth Collaborative. She is the first former foster youth appointed to the Office of Foster Care Ombudsman.  

Keynote speaker Rochelle Trochtenburg
Keynote speaker Rochelle Trochtenburg

More information can be found at the FKCE website.

Thank you to Araceli Navarro, the FKCE Program Manager at Bakersfield College, as well as Imelda Simos-Valdez and the rest of the FKCE staff for putting together this important conference for foster families, and for everything you do to provide for foster families throughout the year.

The BC FKCE Team at the Connecting with Teens Conference.
BC’s FKCE Team signs people in at the Connecting with Teens Conference.

This Week at BC: Agriculture

A BC student picks oranges in the Ag Laboratory.
A BC student picks oranges in the Agriculture Laboratory.

People came to the Panorama Campus from across Kern County last week to pick fresh oranges and grapefruits at the BC Ag Farm. Members of the community were able to pick their own fresh fruit straight from the citrus trees in our ag laboratory off Haley Street, beautifully maintained by our Renegade students and faculty.

The Agriculture Laboratory and the BC Ag Ambassadors are the focus for the newest edition of This Week at BC, a video series put together by Marketing and Public Relations student interns Ramon Carreido and Juan Reyes.

Fun Photos: Journalism Day

BC Photojournalism teacher John Harte speaks to students.
BC photojournalism professor John Harte speaks to students at Journalism Day.

We talked about Journalism Day in last week’s blog, but I wanted to share some more great photos from the on-site competition featuring the Bakersfield Police Department’s “A Life Interrupted” trailer about the dangers of drunk driving. Students also got to ask questions of current and former local journalists during a Q&A session that featured the talents of BC professors Erin Auerbach, John Harte, and Olivia Garcia, CSUB communications professor Jennifer Burger, Chain-Cohn-Stiles Marketing Director Jorge Barrientos, KBAK anchor Sara Shouhayib, and Bakersfield Californian editor Mark Nessia.

left to right: Erin Auerbach, John Harte, Jennifer Burger, Sara Shouhayib, Jorge Barrientos, Mark Nessia, and Olivia Garcia.
Left to right: Erin Auerbach, John Harte, Jennifer Burger, Sara Shouhayib, Jorge Barrientos, Mark Nessia, and Olivia Garcia.

State of the Downtown Breakfast

BCSGA President Samantha Pulido with Tony Cordova, Jaime Lopez, and Benny Balderama attended the State of the Downtown Breakfast on Thursday morning.

left to right: Jaime Lopez, Anthony Cordova, Samantha Pulido, and Benjamin Balderrama
Jaime Lopez, Anthony Cordova, Samantha Pulido, and Benjamin Balderrama.

The Downtown Business Association (DBA) celebrated 65 years of service to the community, and the program focused heavily on their Block-to-Block program, which gives 300 square blocks in the heart of the city a platform to voice their concerns with DBA.

Fun Photos:

BC hard at work!

Zav Dadabhoy, Mike Giacomini, Sonya Christian, Billie Jo Rice, and Lesley Bonds.
Lesley Bonds takes a selfie with Zav Dadbhoy, Mike Giacomini, Sonya Christian, and Billie Jo Rice.

Enjoying Renegade Softball!

Brandon Urry takes a selfie of Sandi Taylor and Sonya Christian

Emails worth Sharing: David Koeth

Screenshot from David Koeth's HelveticaBakersfield blog.
A screenshot from HelveticaBakersfield-a blog curated by BC typography students.

Check out HelveticaBakersfield, a blog created by BC students enrolled in his Art B25 Typography class for the last 11 years.

Since February 2009, my Typography students and I have been collecting samples of the typeface Helvetica, and posting them to a blog. 

It’s an assignment I use to encourage them to look closely and critically at type. 

In the early years, when blogs were a new trend, the blog was featured in the Bakersfield Californian. 

https://helveticabakersfield.tumblr.com

Seen on Twitter: Renegades at Bakersfield Heart Hospital

The Bakersfield Heart Hospital highlighted our amazing Renegades in a tweet from their “meet-and-greet” event at the BLVD on Wednesday. Check out the screenshot below:

Renegade Athletics Report

Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Softball team at the Dean & Adah Gay Sports Complex. Head Coach Casey Goodman and student athletes Alantis Rede and Alex Venegas sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss the 2020 season.

Renegade Recruiting Round-Up

Darrel Ballard
Darrel Ballard

Big thanks to Darrel Ballard, the Athletics Program Manager for Student Success who successfully planned and coordinated the Renegade Recruiting Round-Up this last Monday.

This event was for prospective Renegade student athletes to learn more about attending BC. Darrell pulled the offices of financial aid, student outreach, student life, career education, athletic counseling and the housing service Sharing Spaces together to provide information and educate these future Renegades! Great event Darrell!

Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week: Feb. 2-8

BC Renegades of the Week Alejandro Murillo, baseball, and Alantis Rede, softball.

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (2/2-2/8) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week.

Alantis Rede, Softball – Alantis hit two grand slams – one against Porterville and one to tie the game in the bottom of the 12th against Riverside last week. She was 7 for 14 at the plate (.500 avg.), with 6 walks and 17 RBI’s in four games.

Alejandro Murillo, Baseball – Against El Camino on 2/6 he pitched nine innings, giving up one unearned run, three hits and 15 strikeouts. He earned a no-decision as the game was tied 1-1 after nine innings. The Gades eventually lost 3-1 in 15 innings.

Renegade Athletics Updates from This Past Week:

A Renegade track and field athletes competes in a relay race.

Athletics ‘Action’ Photos from This Week

Renegade Events ‘On The Hill’ Next Week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Tue. 2/18 – Women’s Tennis vs. Santa Monica at 2 p.m.
  • Wed. 2/19 – Women’s Basketball vs. LA Valley at 5 p.m.
  • Wed., 2/19 – Men’s Basketball vs. LA Valley at 7 p.m.
  • Fri., 2/21 – Track and Field hosts WSC North Meet at 12 p.m.
  • Fri., 2/21 – Women’s Basketball vs. Canyons at 5 p.m. (Sophomore Night)
  • Fri., 2/21 – Men’s Basketball vs. Canyons at 7 p.m. (Sophomore Night)
  • Sat., 2/22 – Baseball vs. LA Pierce at 1 p.m.
BC President Sonya Christian.

BC celebrates our Veterans

A message from Paul Beckworth

Paul Beckworth at VRC

On behalf of all the student-veterans, Thank you.     While we veterans are honored every November 11th, I want to take this opportunity to honor you.

Lisa Kent, Paul Beckworth, Olivia Garcia, and Armando Trujillo
Lisa Kent, Paul Beckworth, Olivia Garcia, and Armando Trujillo

Faculty, I honor you.  Your emails and phone calls to me due to grave concerns about veterans in your class, fearful for their safety, show your humanity.  You have taken their PTSD, and/or TBI into account when you felt it necessary or appropriate.  Your patience with them, your listening ears, are lifesavers, figuratively and literally. 

Classified staff, I honor you.  Your willingness to jump in and help never wanes.  You are always so helpful, knowing that when we ask for something, it is to assist a veteran.  You are professional when veterans are upset and act out in Financial Aid, or A&R or you name it.  You cut through red tape like a hot knife through butter. As far as I am concerned there need not be any contract negotiation because you have earned all that you are asking for, and more, period.

Administration, I honor you.  Your concern for all students is fundamental to your leadership. Your passion for the success of our veterans is second to none.  Other veteran service departments are literally jealous over the support we get from our administration.  I can text Sonya and get a response rather quickly. Others schools cannot fathom that my president gave me her cell phone number in the first place.  It is all because our administrators care, not just through words but actions.

There could be no veteran student success, no veteran completion, without people like you all. So, on this Veterans Day, on behalf of our student-veterans, I thank you for your service to our veterans.

Happy Veterans Day!

https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/veterans/student-deployment-spotlight

https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/veterans-resource-center

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSMlIM9zLio (you’ll need tissues)

(Special thoughts and prayers to History Professor Olivia Garcia as her Marine son ships off to Okinawa today)

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 9, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

A garden of American flags in the grass.

Veterans Breakfast 

L-R: Zav Dadhaboy, Mike Giacomini, Karen Goh, Tom Burke, Kay Meek, Billie Jo Rice, Sonya Christian, Paul Beckworth, Cinthia Zimmer, Armando Trujillo

Bakersfield College kicked off Vet Month on Monday, November 4th, with an invitation-only delicious breakfast by the culinary arts students in the Renegade Room. Several local dignitaries attended the annual Veterans’ Breakfast event to learn more about BC’s comprehensive plan to meet the education needs of Kern County’s brave men and women who have served our country in the military. Assemblyman Vince Fong, Mayor Karen Goh, and District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer and others were joined by KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke and Trustees Kay Meek, Romeo Agbalog, and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.

Paul Beckworth and Tamara Baker shared the latest details about the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, a one-stop shop for our veterans and dependents as they strive to achieve their educational goals, which will be unveiled to the public at a ribbon cutting ceremony on December 10. This will be the first capital project of Measure J to be completed.  

Tamara Baker and Paul Beckworth
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Armando Trujillo, Bilie Jo Rice, Sonya Christian, Tom Burke

Keynote speaker Abel Guzman also explained how the Rural Initiatives and Adult Education teams are working to remove the barriers that can keep veterans from translating their military experience into successful civilian careers. See his presentation.

Abel Guzman
Zav Dadabhoy, Kay Meek, Vince Fong, Earl Parsons

Trustee Kay Meek, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, and Mayor Karen Goh addressed the group.

Thank you to Paul Beckworth, Armando Trujillo, Bernadette Martinez and everyone in the Veteran Services team for organizing this lunch, to BC Culinary Arts for providing a lovely meal, and to all of the dignitaries that took time out of their busy schedules to learn how BC is supporting veterans in the classroom. Thank you Mayor Karen Goh for some of the great photos.

Trustee Romeo Agbolog, Armando Trujillo and me.

Vet Fest 2019

4 uniformed men with the CA and US flags.
Kern County Sheriff Color Guard

The VetFest celebration is an annual tradition at BC to recognize the contributions of those who have bravely served our country. Wednesday’s event in the CSS lawn is part of a whole month of programming that we’ve developed to honor our local veterans, culminating with the unveiling of the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center next month.

Veteran and BC faculty member Tommy Tunson started the presentation by asking all of the veterans in the audience to come to the front and have their service celebrated. It was a great chance to see all of our faculty and student veterans in one place.

VetFest featured a resource fair, free food, vendors, and a DJ on the CSS lawn. The keynote speaker for Wednesday morning was Jenny Frank, a former marine who encouraged our student veterans to utilize all of the opportunities they’ve been given. Assemblyman Vince Fong also spoke about the history of Veterans’ Day.

And then there was Danny Morrison….one of my all time favorites…. Danny Morrison kept the celebration going all day.  I loved the videos of Danny leading the Cupid Shuffle! 

Although Danny Morrison was at the event as a DJ with 103.9 The BEAT where he focuses on elevating stories about local community programs that make Bakersfield a better place, BC’s partnership with Danny dates back long before his time with the radio station.  Danny has been a vocal advocate for our students – particularly those most vulnerable – and is always just a text away when we need him.  In my seven years as president, I have called on Danny many times and he has shown up without question.  From his tireless advocacy on Measure J to speaking out about the value of Inmate Education, Danny operates from an ethic of care for our students.

Danny understands that education transforms communities, and never misses an opportunity to highlight valuable programs on his show and on social media. Be sure to catch The Pulse with Danny Morrison Sundays from 8am-12pm, and The B-Town Mixdown on Saturdays from 6pm-midnight to catch information about Early College, student and academic supports, BC’s guided pathways work, and more.

I would like to thank all of our veterans for their bravery and sacrifice, as well as BC Veterans Services for putting together another great VetFest.

Vince holding a Veterans Club t-shirt.
Veterans club presented a club T to Assemblymember Fong

We started Vet Fest in 2013, the year I started as a new president. Here is a walk down memory lane.

2018 Vet Fest blog, BC Loves our Vets: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2018/11/10/bc-loves-our-vets/

2017 Vet Fest blog, Celebrating our Veterans all week long: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/11/11/celebrating-veterans-all-week-long/

2016 Vet Fest, Thank you Kern County: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/11/12/thank-you-kern-county/

2015 Vet Fest blog, Remembering America’s Best: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2015/11/11/veterans-day-vet-fest-and-remembering-americas-best/

2014 Vet Fest blog, 2nd annual vet fest: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2014/11/11/student-veterans-and-bcs-2nd-annual-vet-fest/

2013 Memorial Day blog, Our student veterans: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2013/06/05/out-student-veterans/

There are more photos in our Smugmug photo gallery:

When will you get a chance to hear from Lande Ajose, Senior Policy Advisor to Higher Ed for Governor Newsom; Eloy Oakley, Chancellor for CA Community Colleges; Tony Thurmond, State Superintended. Register today for the November 15th symposium here in Bakersfield.

https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/conference/intersegmental-pathways-symposium

Radiologic Technology Program 50 Years Celebration

Jaycee Hill, Carla Gard and Nancy Perkins

Jacelyn Hill, Director of Radiologic Technology here at BC, spoke eloquently at the Radiologic Technology Program Celebration of 50 years at BC on Thursday, November 7, 2019. She spoke of the National Rad Tech Week, discovery of the technology that changed health care, the history of the program at Bakersfield College, and the people who made it happen.

Holding the proclamation.
Vice Mayor Chris Parlier and Jaycee Hill

November 3-9 is National Radiologic Technology Week™ in which medical radiology technologists are celebrated for their role in health care.This week celebrates the detection or x-rays by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen on November 8 1895. Vice Mayor Chris Parlier was in attendance for Mayor Karen Goh to read the official proclamation declaring:

Proclamation from Karen Goh.

“November 3-9, 2019 as ‘Radiologic Technology Week’ in our city, and urge all citizens to recognize this event in our community, celebrating 50 years of educational excellence in Radiologic Technology at Bakersfield College.”

In addition, the BC Foundation and the BC Rad Tech program honored former Program Director Nancy Perkins with a bench for her great work of over 39 years of improving the program and the establishment of the Nancy Perkins Scholarship.

The history of the Rad Tech program at BC began in 1958 at Mercy Hospital under Ferris Boyce with a certificate program and on-the-job training. Mrs. Ferris worked with Bakersfield College administration and faculty, including John Ackland and George Lawrence, to move the program to BC so that students could earn an associate degree. In 1969 the classes were taught at Kern General. The X-Ray program moved to the Panorama campus in August 1979, when Nancy Perkins, at a mere 23 years old began at BC. She started in the very room where the ceremony was held and continued improving the program until her recent retirement. You can read all about this important history in the Fall 2018 Archives Newsletter.

Program students and faculty gathered around the bench.

Yessenia Diaz, a proud Rad Tech student told the attendees she was happy to be a part of this program as it will allow her to help people. She said “the program is worth the effort and very rewarding.” 

Speaking to room.
Yessenia Diaz

Our graduates work all over Kern County and beyond. Nancy estimates that at least 85% of Radiologic Technologists in our area are BC Graduates. Our Rad Tech Graduates have 100 percent job placement. They continually exceed Board expectations, and win awards even in competition with 4-year universities programs.

Thank you Vice Mayor Parlier for taking the time to participate, thank you Mayor Goh for the proclamation, and Jacelyn Hill, Carla Gard, and Nancy Perkins for all of your hard work on our Rad Tech program.

Distinguished Speaker Jason Beardsley

Beardsley at the podium.

On Thursday, November 7th, former Master Sergeant, Jason Beardsley, presented his “An Apotheosis of America” as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series in the Levan Center. He discussed the importance of recognizing the everyday challenges and influences that hinder our growth for success and overcoming them in order to achieve our goals. 

Beardsley used the challenges and issues in his life to demonstrate the importance of recognizing and overcoming obstacles in order to reach our goals. We decide whether we succumb to the pressures of society preventing us from achieving our goals, or whether we overcome the challenges to further our goals. He pointed out the importance of understanding yourself in order to identify your ideals and goals. What are the goals that will shape who you are and determine your achievements? 

Thank you Jason Beardsley, for your inspiring words. I would also like to thank Reggie Williams of the Levan Center, Paul Beckworth and Veterans Services, and Nicky Damania and the Office of Student Life for bringing this speaker as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series.

HBCU Caravan Comes to Bakersfield College

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Transfer Caravan stopped by BC on Monday, November 4th, during their tour of California.  There were 19 HBCUs on-hand working with our students and students from our local community to talk about the transfer opportunities outside the State and the guaranteed admission for California Community College students to the HBCUs.  Students who complete an AA-T or an AS-T with a 2.5 GPA are guaranteed admission to the HBCU partner colleges. Representatives also provided students with information about scholarships available to students showing that it is possible to afford a baccalaureate degree.  

This event was made possible by the joint collaboration between the Office of Outreach and School Relations, the Transfer Center, African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP), Umoja, and the Office of Student Success and Equity.

BC Umoja students gain motivation at the Umoja state-wide conference

 The Umoja Community state-wide conference in Oakland was motivating, eye-opening, and engaging for BC’s Umoja students. The annual event, held each fall, exposes students to ideas and people that they otherwise might never would have had the opportunity to. 

Student with Paula in front of the Umoja sign.

One of our students Zions stated: “My experience at the Umoja Conference was one of the greatest events I’ve been a part of. . . Before the conference, I felt mentally asleep, but now I feel woke and motivated to reach my full potential.”

BC’s Umoja Community African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence is in its fifth year.

Group of students and representatives at a table.

The conference was so effective in part due to powerful keynote speakers, such as activist Bree Newsome Bass and Professor/Author/Speaker Dr. Marc Lamont Hill. Workshops included topics such as Student Leadership, Learn Math Through Hip Hop, and Pursuing a Career in STEM. 

Students at a table in front of a large full room.

The speakers “really inspired me to do better and influence others to follow the same path,” said Tyler.

BC Students with Paula in front of the Umoja Conference sign.

Lauren echoed his thoughts: “I was moved to tears throughout both speeches. I feel pushed to strive for greatness.”

speaker at the conference.

The warm, loving environment was another aspect that students described as never having experienced on such a large scale.

Students holding lots of information pamphlets.

Said Tahnjanique: “I’ve never been around that much positive black energy. It made me feel comfortable, loved, and empowered.”

Students speaking to a rep from Bowie.

All of the 70 Umoja programs around the state have the same foundation – the Umoja practices.  Love is at the center of everything Umoja does at the state-wide level and on BC’s campus. Students respond to the love, high expectations, and culturally relevant curriculum — and succeed!

Students with rep holding a CSUB B.

BC Students Tour Measure J Construction

Earlier this week, Professor Kenneth Jones Intro to Construction class visited our Measure J construction site to experience it directly.  AECOM/Parsons project manager Jared Cascadden spoke to students about what goes into building a facility, as they were able to get a first-hand look at the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center. Thank you to AECOM/Parsons and S.C. Anderson for hosting our students and showing them how much work goes into these projects.

Child Development Center: A Phenomenal Evaluation

On November 5th, a team of consultants from the California Department of Education Early Learning and Care Division arrived at Bakersfield College to evaluate our Child Development Center. In KCCD, the child development centers at Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso College, and Porterville College are evaluated as a single agency. On the first day of the evaluation, the consultants were greeted by John Means, Vice Chancellor of Education Services, Jessica Krall, the Program Manager of the Cerro Coso Community College Child Development Centers, Karen Ball, the Program Manager of Porterville College Child Development Center, and Bakersfield College’s Vice President of Instruction Billie Jo Rice and Dean Jessica Wojtysiak

Panel members and BC administrators.

The state evaluates Child Development Centers every three years. During their visit, the evaluators reviewed enrollment and financial files from all three colleges and conducted classroom observations at the Bakersfield College and Porterville College Centers, scoring them in categories such as Space and Furnishings, Personal Care Routines, Language and Reasoning, Activities, Interactions, and Program Structures.

Administrators and visiting panel.

While the evaluators were originally scheduled to stay for four days, we were informed that they were ready to share their findings on Thursday, ahead of schedule. In the exit meeting, lead Child Development Consultant Roseanne Pitz, called the final report “phenomenal.” The report noted no negative findings, and the Child Development Centers received three perfect scores on the Infant-Toddler Environment Rating (ITERS) Scale in Listening and Talking, Interactions, and Program Structure and two perfect scores on the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-R) in Interactions and Program Structure.  The Bakersfield College Child Development Center provides quality childcare for the children of Bakersfield College students, and we are delighted that the hard work of our center’s employees was recognized by the state’s team.

Faculty Art Exhibition

The Bakersfield College Art Department is hosting the 2019 BC Art Faculty Exhibition from October 24 to November 27 at the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery, which showcases the artistic work of our incredibly talented BC Art Faculty. The Art Faculty Exhibition presents a variety of artistic mediums, including drawings, paintings, sculptures, photography, video, and digital media. 

BC Art Professor, Jamee Eaton, presents her works “Loss & Remembrance I, II, & III.”  These three pieces depict an overlap of layers signifying our journeys that intertwine and connect together as a whole in space and time.

Abstract painting of an artist.

BC Art Professor, Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio, presents his work “El Triste Pintor,” which translates to “The Sad Painter.”  This piece of art depicts the misunderstood realm of imagination and his dedication to the world of art as an artist.

BC Art Professor, Yvonne Cavanagh, presents her work “Perceptible,” depicting the expression of the moment one’s life changes from unforeseen circumstances to finding the hope and ability to embrace the unknown.

Perceptible by Cavanagh.

Here are a few more to entice you to the exhibit before the 27th.

If you can’t get to the Exhibit, you can view some pictures of the wonderful artwork.

Thank you to the BC Art Department for hosting the Art Faculty Exhibition. This awe-inspiring artwork will surely inspire our future BC artists and community.

Gandhi’s Legacy Speech

Large crowd behind the Bakersfield College Delano Campus sign.

The first weekend in November the BC Department of Communication coordinated with Gandhi Celebration Committee, CHAP, Rural Initiatives and Student Affairs to host a series of Speech and Debate events that discussed the legacy of Gandhi. The event organizers Chris Cruz-Boone and John Geirtz created these events to give all students an opportunity to practice and apply methods and skills studied in courses, such as public speaking, persuasion, small group, intercultural communication & argumentation. The department has aimed to embody the “We Are BC” mantra and it is notable that competitors for the two events included students from: Kern Valley State Prison, Early College Arvin, Early College Valley Oaks/Homeschool, Job Spot, BC Delano, BC Southwest and BC Panorama. 

Kern Valley Prison Lincoln Douglas Debate Tournament  
7 participants lined up in front of the crowd.

On Friday, the first day of November, men at Kern Valley State Prison took part in a Lincoln Douglas debate tournament.  The event was held in yard B, the same yard that in August of 2019 graduated 17 students with Associate of Arts in Communication.  The event was spearheaded by the student Debate Club at Kern Valley and supported by both yard staff and faculty advisor John Giertz. The tournament champion was honored with a first-place certificate to mark his achievement.

Gandhi Legacy Speech Tournament  

Walking through the applauding crowd.
Chris Cruz-Boone

The following day, the BC Gandhi Legacy Speech Tournament awarded cash prizes of $500 to top speakers in each event category. On Saturday November 2nd, more than one-hundred people including students, their families, faculty and volunteers participated in speech tournament held at the BC Delano campus. The event coordinators provided free transportation for 46 Bakersfield College students to the event. The winners for the Speech Tournament included:  

 Awards for Persuasive Research Speeches About Gandhi’s Legacy   
  • 1st Place – Karen Fuentes (BC Panorama) 
  • 2nd Place – Karolina Kuntz (BC Panorama) 
  • 3rd Place- Abi Kyles (Early College Homeschool) 
3 students accept their awards from Helen.
 Awards for Informative Research Speeches About Gandhi’s Legacy    
  • 1st Place- Cristian Ocampo (BC Panorama) 
  • 2nd Place- Mike Aldano (BC Panorama) 
  • 3rd Place- Marisabel Perez (Arvin High School Early College) 
4 participants applaud Helen.
Awards for Impromptu/ Spontaneous Speeches about Gandhi  
  • 1st Place – Julio Moreno (BC Panorama) 
  • 2nd Place- Eduarda Angeles (Arvin High School Early College) 
  • 3rd Place – Anastasia Bryand (Early College Homeschool) 

“People should take the opportunity to come to these events because it helps you get a broader view on how to speak.” – BC student

 PEN America

Courtesy of PEN America

The non-profit organization PEN America awarded BC adjunct professor Jerry Mathes with a Writing for Justice Fellowship to work on his novel In Strange Company. Mathes will be working with editor Kerri Arsenault of the National Book Critics Circle to develop In Strange Company, which tells the story of a young man who rises above incarceration, mental illness and addiction to find humanity through music.

PEN International is a worldwide organization that aims to defend and celebrate free expression through the advancement of literature and human rights. Some famous past and present members of PEN America include Maya Angelou, Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer, Phillip Roth, Salman Rushdie, John Steinbeck, and Toni Morrison. The organization also advocates for press freedom and the safety of journalists and campus free speech.

The Writing for Justice Fellowship is in its second year, and the fellows for 2019-20 were invited to New York City on November 1 to hear the 2018-19 winners read from their published works. It is a profound honor to have one of BC’s own adjunct faculty selected for this award.

In Memory of Peggy Haight

Margaret Haight as a young woman in BW photo.

Another memorial bench was placed on campus this week for Peggy Haight. Margaret “Peggy” Haight, one of Bakersfield College’s most generous donors, passed away a year ago on October 21, 2018.  On the anniversary of her passing, a bench in her memory was unveiled outside the Administration Building.  

The wording on the memorial plaque reads:

Close up of plaque.

In loving memory of

Margaret “Peggy” Haight

1924 to 2018

A nearby neighbor of modest demeanor, Peggy attended classes and campus events.  She donated more than $1.25 million to the Bakersfield College Foundation because she loved Bakersfield College and its students.

Peggy was smart, light-hearted and epitomized true generosity.

While Peggy always kept a low profile and never wanted recognition for her contributions, she is perhaps best known by a select group of faculty and staff as the elderly woman who walked across campus to the BC Foundation office from her near-by co-op, carrying over $100,000 in cash in a couple of grocery bags.  The world needs more Peggy Haights. 

Metal bench with pebbled sides and BC emblems.

Fun Photos

Construction

Corny Rodriguez snapped these of the construction on campus this week.

BC students in the workplace
Selfie.

Sheila Fuller sent this to me: I had an x-ray done at San Joaquin Hospital and had the pleasure of a BC RAD Tech Student learning how to take x-rays.  Then, on October 2, 2019 I was hanging out at Memorial hospital. My daughter had a baby girl who had some problems and had to stay in the NIC unit. My granddaughter is doing great and at home with her older brother, Mom and Dad.  While wandering around the hospital I ran into our Nursing students and they were all happy to take pictures with me. 

Students in red scrubs pose.

Athletics Updates

Renegade Volleyball Claims Fourth Consecutive Conference Championship

A huge congrats goes out to Coach Carl Ferreira and his 2019 squad for claiming their fourth consecutive outright Western State Conference championship after beating West LA at home this last Wednesday, 3-0. The team has a perfect home record of 10-0 this season with a total of 16 sweeps with one regular season game remaining on their schedule. This is a phenomenal accomplishment Coach Carl! 

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (10/27-11/2) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Bandon Dunn and Emily Clark.

Emily Clark, Volleyball – Emily totaled 18 kills, 0 errors and 37 attempts in helping the team to sweeps over Santa Monica, Glendale and Citrus last week.

Brandon Dunn, Football – Brandon grabbed two interceptions, his first as a Renegade in last week’s game at East LA.

Renegade Report: Women’s Soccer and Women’s Golf

Watch both of this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Women’s Soccer and Women’s Golf teams. Head Coaches Scott Dameron and Wes Coble sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss their seasons 

 Women’s Soccer Segment:

Women’s Golf Segment

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week:

Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Tue. 11/12 – Men’s Soccer vs. Citrus, 3pm
  • Thur. 11/14 – Wrestling vs. Fresno City, 7pm
  • Sat. 11/16 Football vs. Canyons, 6pm


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Another Inspiring and Packed Week at BC

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, December 1, 2017 and a fabulous day to be a Renegade.  Why would it not be, when I wake up and see Dr. Nick Strobel’s stargazing piece in the Californian.  Here is the opener as a teaser for you to read more The Bakersfield Californian.

Stargazing TBC Dec 1 2017

 

On Thursday night, the faculty cohort for our National Endowment of the Humanities grant including Andrew Bond, Oliver Rosales and Josh Ottum hosted local author Gerald Haslam to talk about how he is able to tap into the energy of the Central Valley in his work.

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, Josh Ottum

f17geraldhaslam_slider

Andrew Bond was teaching in Arvin and he and his students were watching the live stream from their classroom.  How cool is that!

Oliver RosalesOliver Rosales read Andrew’s write up

When we first began writing this grant, we decided that we wanted to focus on programming that put the Central Valley, its cultures, and its people at the fore. Drawing on our respective backgrounds in literature, history, and music, Oliver Rosales, Josh Ottum, and I put together a roster of scholars and authors whose work represents and examines the diverse yet interconnected cultures of the southern San Joaquin Valley. We are honored to have Dr. Gerald Haslam as our first speaker because his life and his work best embody the diversity of the region and the interdisciplinary nature of our grant program. A native of Oildale, Gerald Haslam grew up in the Bakersfield area in a family that is “culturally braided,” rooted in a mix of Hispanic and European heritages that were taught to him through family stories. As an author, he has written  biographies, autobiographies, short stories, novels, and essays that cover a wide range of topics, but the majority share the common thread of being based in, or somehow connected to, the home he knew in this region. His interdisciplinary curiosity has produced books like Workin’ Man’s Blues, a historical study of California country music that looks to the Bakersfield Sound for its inspiration while staying rooted in love of writing and storytelling. It is the connections that he makes between the importance of place, narrative, and history that, from our perspectives, made him an ideal candidate to inaugurate our grant programming. We are happy, then, to introduce to you Dr. Gerald Haslam.

Gerald Haslam and Jack Hernandez Nov 30 2017During the evening, Haslam, who grew up in post-World War II Oildale, talked about his slow but steady evolution as a writer in the 50s and 60s. After briefly attending Bakersfield College, Haslam worked as a military journalist and roughneck before getting a teaching position at Sonoma State University, where he was able to hone his craft, using the Central Valley as the thread that would weave the tapestry of his award-winning novels, essays and biographies. While many of his contemporaries saw Central California as boring and uncultured, Haslam recognized the potential of the Valley as a literary setting.

“It seemed crazy to me that educated people in California or elsewhere should know so little about this remarkable place,” Haslam said. “This place had never been empty.”

Gerald HaslamIn Haslam’s time, the literary, historical and cultural contributions of the Central Valley were not even being taught in Kern County schools, but through his work and the writing of Joan Didion, Maxine Hong Kingston and others, as well as the elusively complex songwriting of Merle Haggard and other members of the Bakersfield sound, that history started getting recognized.

Haslam had some very useful advice about the value of perseverance in order to become an established writer, using his own struggles as a reference. “I failed many, many, many times,” Haslam said. “I started communicating with other writers on the backs of rejection letters. Don’t quit, learn from the mistakes, and learn if the mistakes are really mistakes,” he added.

Haslam’s connection to Oildale and the Central Valley made him one of the first contributors that members of the “Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley” cohort looked to as an important voice for their project.

Photo by Oliver Rosales of the Gerald Haslam event

“It is the connections he makes between the importance of place, narrative and history, that from our perspective as faculty, make him an ideal candidate to inaugurate our programming,” Oliver Rosales said.

I’d like to thank Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, Josh Ottum, Jack Hernandez for organizing the event, and I’m looking forward to more developments on the Digital Delano project and all of the other work that the group has planned.

The Other California: The Great Central Valley in Life and Letters by Gerald Haslam is available on Amazon.com here.

Thank you to Manny De Los Santos who also helped with the evening. Here is Manny in action.

i-nsqcgxs-x2

Gerald Haslam, Manny de Los Santos

Chicano/Latino Community Leader Breakfast

Kern County leaders from government representatives, philanthropists, industry, and education came together at the Fireside Room on Thursday morning to hear about what BC and the community is doing to support our Latino community.

Rudy Salas, Olivia Garcia, Sonya Christian, Lisa Kent, Jay Tamsi, Corny Rodriguez

Sonya Christian Latino Leaders Breakfast Nov 30 2017.jpg

Corny Rodriguez opened by welcoming everyone to the event, recounting his work over the last 20 years to support and expand our Latino student body. I have to share a photo straight from the presentation that shows Corny then and now.

f17latinobreakfast02-x2

We discussed BC’s focus on meeting students where they are through high school outreach, rural initiatives, outreach efforts in Arvin, Delano, McFarland, Shafter, and more. Our goal is to keep students on the path once they arrive through co-curricular activities, programs, and unique completion communities. We want long term sucess through industry advisory boards and through strengthening community partnerships.

Student representatives Dezi Von Manos and Emmanuel Limaco from BC’s M.E.Ch.A and Tania Bernal from Latinos Unidos por Educacion (LUPE) spoke briefly about their organizations

Dezi Von Manos

Dezi Von Manos, Emmanuel Limaco

Victor Diaz moderated a panel about expanding education and job opportunities for Latinos in Kern County with Beatris Espericueta, Kern County Farm Bureau, Jorge Barrientos, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Russell Judd, Kern Medical Center.

Beatris Espericueta

We also had three elected official address the audience.