Tag Archives: Darlene Mohlke

Welcome to Spring ’19

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, January 19, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Early College Program Announced!

Bakersfield Californian's Announcement "Jean Fuller to lead BC's Early College student program"

I am so excited and proud to announce that Senator Jean Fuller will be at the helm of the Early College Program at Bakersfield College. A true blessing for BC! She will lead the necessary intersegmental collaboration, relationships with business and industry, and connections with national policy organizations to scale up Early College regionally and nationally.

Sonya and Jean Fuller

Having served in public office from 2006-2018, Jean Fuller brings over 30 years of experience in education to Bakersfield College. Her desire to continue working in education at BC is a direct result of her commitment to working with young people and encouraging them to have the confidence and support to achieve their dreams.

Jean Fuller Speaking to an audience about her experiences and Early College
Jean with hand over heart

What is the Early College Program? It is a proven model for quality and cost-effective college degree completion, particularly in rural communities with high poverty rates and low educational attainment rates.

Romeo Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Jean Fuller, Abel Guzman, Raquel Lopez at McFarland High Aug 4 2018

Like other states, California is grappling with the increased need for access, efficiency, and excellence in education. By 2030 there will be a projected shortage of 1.1 million workers holding a bachelor’s degree. Kern County continues to rank among the lowest percentages in educational attainment in the nation. The Early College Program implements complementary strategies to expand access to college, increase graduation rates, and reduce time-to-completion. This work is vital for success in Kern county, California, and the nation.

Wonderful Academy Graduates 2018

The Early College model launched in partnership with local charter schools, including Wonderful Ag Career Prep, which introduces students — many who will be first-generation college students — to higher education course material during the summer prior to 9th grade. I was so proud to confer Associate degrees in Agriculture Business for 38 Wonderful Academy students last May 2018. Dual Enrollment, a strategy of early college, has been implemented in 24 Kern County high schools.

By aligning curriculum and adding college-level coursework into the high school schedule, Early College students have the opportunity to earn a certificate or associate degree by their high school graduation. A 2013 study by the American Institutes for Research found that students enrolled in Early College Programs were significantly more likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college than students who were not. They are also more likely than their peers to graduate from college and with maximum efficiency in regard to time and resources. The Early College students are performing at or near the same level, and in some cases, at a higher level than their traditional college student peers.

Wonderful Academy Graduates 2018 around the BC circle

Read more about the Early College Program at Bakersfield College and press release.

Trustee Romeo Agbalog Imagines a Bright Future for Kern County

Kern Community College District Trustee Romeo Agbalog was also in the Bakersfield Californian this week talking about Early College from the perspective of employment in Kern County, opportunity for students, and cutting the cost of college.

Trustee Agbalog is a major supporter of Early College and has been instrumental in bringing this program to fruition. Read the full Bakersfield Californian Community Voice.

A Brighter future and Kern County Only if we dare to imagine it and act.

First Week of Spring ‘19

We welcomed faculty and students back on a blustery Monday. I’m always excited to see the campus come alive after the empty hallways of winter break. The spring semester is a vibrant time as the weather begins cold but turns sunny and warm as we begin looking forward to commencement and celebrating successes of our graduating students. Thank you Manny De Los Santos for capturing photos of our students and faculty returning to campus.

Campus Center Breaks Ground

We were blessed with a sunny break in the rainy weather on Wednesday morning to hold the groundbreaking ceremony for Bakersfield College’s new Campus Center, the second building to be built using Measure J funds.

Students in Bakersfield College’s Commercial Music program opened the festivities, the BC Drumline marched in to start of the ceremony, followed by a rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” by the BC Chamber Singers. On the dais, we were fortunate to have representatives from the offices of Congressman TJ Cox, Senator Shannon Grove, Assemblymember Rudy Salas, and Assemblymember Vince Fong.  Representing the Kern Community College District were KCCD Trustees Kay Meek, Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, as well as, retired Trustee and former Congressman Bill Thomas.

Director of Student Life Dr. Nicky Damania, BCSGA President Ashley Harp, Trustee Kay Meeks, Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Trustee Romeo Agbalog

Office of Student Life Director Dr. Nicky Damania was thrilled to lead the the groundbreaking ceremony for a building that will be at the center of student life at BC. Introducing the BCSGA presidents who were on the frontlines to help make the new Campus Center possible, Nicky said, “when we’re working, it’s for these students who are going to be the leaders of the future.”

former BCSGA president Alex Dominguez speaks at the podium

A succession of BCSGA leaders from previous years addressed the group, each in turn speaking from their personal experience what this new center will mean for students: Alex Dominguez, 2014-15 BCSGA President; Clayton Fowler, 2015-16 BCSGA president; former KCCD Student Trustee Rayven Acosta-Webb, speaking for Matthew Frazer, 2016-17 BCSGA; and Dezi Von Manos, 2017-18 BCSGA President. Then current BCSGA president, Ashley Harp, shared her vision of how the Campus Center will encourage student engagement.

Commemorative Shovel for the Campus Center Ground Breaking

After the Renegade Cheerleaders led the audience in a chant of “We Are BC”, Dr. Damania announced the opening of a time capsule left in the walls of the Administration building upon the Panorama Campus’ completion in 1955.

campus center rendering
Dignitaries on the dais

I’d like to thank Tamara Baker for all her work related to the implementation of Measure J, and I’d like to thank the taxpayers of Kern County once again for investing in community college education. Without your support, neither the Campus Center nor all of our other major construction projects funded through Measure J would be possible. Thank you for voting Yes on J in 2016.

See the entire photo gallery of the Campus Center Ground-breaking on A Better BC Facebook.

Old Campus Center Demolition

Panoramic view of the demolition of Campus Center

Food Services Moves to Huddle

Where do we eat with the cafeteria being demolished? Don’t worry, BC’s Food Services is finding ways to continue to serve our Panorama Campus community. The Panorama Grill has temporarily taken residency in the Gym Huddle. Food Services has also created a “food court”” of food trucks in front of Memorial Stadium and the Gym Huddle. Among the trucks is Pa’L Norte, Banderas Burger Grill, and The Rollin’ Bean. And coming soon, Panorama Grill will add their own food truck: Gades Grub!

As we build A Better BC there will be many department, staff and faculty moves. I would like to thank staff, faculty and students for graciously adjusting to the many changes happening around campus. Keep up on the changes happening on campus at A Better BC.

BC Time Capsule

On Tuesday afternoon, BC’s Student Government gathered students and staff together to open the BC time capsule from 1955. Jerry Ludeke was on hand with information about the cornerstone. Did you know the Masons conducted the cornerstone laying ceremony inside the Administration Building on April 30, 1955, exactly two years after the groundbreaking of the Panorama campus? This gem was filled with newspapers, a student handbook, student directory, and more.

“Only the Educated are Free”

You may view the contents of the capsule in BC Archives located on the second floor of the Grace Van Dyke Library.

Wow, notice the contrast between the past and current technology.

Dr. Nicky Damania will be coordinating the creation a new time capsule to be built into the new Campus Center. Submissions may be suggested to the BCSGA president or sent to Dr. Damania.

I wonder if they realized that Einstein would remain so influential in the future.

Thank you Manny De Los Santos for this short video to commemorate the event.

ITV Classroom Pilot for Dual and Concurrent Enrollment

An overflowing classroom with high school sophomores are participating in the pilot Interactive Television (ITV) Bakersfield College Music B2 class!

To bring dual enrollment course offerings to North High School students, ITV equipment was installed to bring Bakersfield College instruction to the campus. Funded by the College Futures grant, A Bakersfield College team led by Kristen Rabe and Dr. Anna Laven spent the last six months developing the equipment installation plan, which included two 80” TVs and one 65” plus lots of other high tech goodies to exactly mirror the ITV classrooms at BC.

Classroom with large screen tv's in the front
An overflowing classroom with high school sophomores taking the pilot ITV Bakersfield College course.

Developed in collaboration with North high school administration and counselors, the technology brings opportunities to many students for whom transportation to main campus is a significant barrier. As Mark Balch, principal of North describes, “seven miles might as well be 70 for these students”. Showing the strength of the program, over 60 students arrived at the orientation which could take only 30 students. One student indicated she was interested in participating after hearing a dual enrollment presentation during an African-American Mentor Program (AAMP) field trip to campus.

Kyle Burnham, instructor

With incredible support from Dean Manny Mourtzanos and Chair Dr. John Gerhold, the first pilot class begins next week, taught by Kyle Burnham. The department is working diligently to supply additional classes in the future due to demand.

Before picture with KHSD facilities collaborating on the install.

Dual Enrollment Featured in Bakersfield Life

Did you see the article about Dual Enrolment in Bakersfield Life Magazine? Mark Nessia wrote about the partnership with the Kern High school District and BC to “encourage a college-going culture in Kern County.” He quoted our own Anna Laven, Dual Enrollment Program Manager and highlighted the start of dual enrollment at the Wonderful College Prep Academy in Delano in partnership with BC. Read the Bakersfield Life Magazine Dual Enrollment Article.

Screen shot of Dual Enrollment feature page

17 News features Norma Rojas Mora

Tabatha Mills, 17 KGET News, featured a beautiful video of BC’s Director of Community and Public Relations, Norma Rojas-Mora, in her Women in Kern County segment. In the video, Norma speaks about her dedication to students, education and insuring students realize the opportunities that are available to them. I’m so honored to have Norma at BC. Read the article and watch the video of Norma on KGET.

BC students continue to ride free with Kern Transit

Kern Transit is continuing a program for all currently enrolled Bakersfield College students to ride free on Kern Transit routes with a valid student ID. Free rides began January 14th and continue through the end of finals week on May 10, 2019.

BC Students Ride Free

Students who choose to ride with Kern Transit will not have to struggle with traffic or find parking, and they can focus on their studies as they commute to school. Using public transit helps improve air quality. And students may ride free on all 100-numbered routes, not just on routes to and from the school, so they save money commuting all around Kern County. Thank you Kern Transit!

Chamber of Commerce Luncheon

(L to R) Gabriella Mello, VP Wells Fargo Bank, KCCD Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Norma Rojas-Mora and Tony Cordova, Bakersfield College, Michael Bowers, Centric Health, Sharlet Briggs, Adventist Health, Heather Pennella, Bakersfield College

It was a pleasure to see so many smiling faces at the 2019 Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Board Installation and Awards Luncheon.  We were honored to have friends, partners and KCCD Trustee representatives joining us for this event.  Congratulations to the honorees: Josie Martin, named Volunteer of the Year, Kern Economic Development Corporation named association partner of the year, and Young Wooldridge honored as the chamber champion.  The Chamber’s executive committee will be chaired by Darlene Mohlke of Castle & Cooke with Derek Jeffery from KGET-TV 17 serving as incoming chairman.  They will be joined by Sue Benham, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, Rob Duchow, Southern California Gas Co.,  Denise Newton of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. , Tasha Clayton of Tel-Tec Security, Andy Paulden of Brown Armstrong, Mark Bateman of Young Wooldridge LLP, and Pritesh Patel of Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center.

From the Chamber Website

I look forward to continuing to serve on the Chamber’s Board of Directors alongside Andy Anderson of Aera Energy LLC, Kristen Beall of Kern Community Foundation, Mary Barlow of Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Sharlet Briggs of Adventist Health Bakersfield, Don Bynum of Temblor Brewing and Bynum & Associates, Leslie Golich of Kaiser Permanente, Rick Jhaj of Countryside Market & Restaurants, Ken Keller of Bakersfield Memorial, Jacob Panera of Varner Brothers and G. Riar of Deprigo.

Darlene Molhke and Jeff Green at the BC Culinary Kitchen working on Em’s treats

It is going to be a great year for the Chamber under the leadership of the fabulous Darlene Mohlke who has a great heart for our community, and who volunteers countless hours serving on boards of various organizations making a significant difference.

Chamber of Commerce Leadership Cohort

Endee and Brandon at the KGET news desk

Endee Grijalva, Program Manager in Adult Education, and Brandon Urry, Manager of Communications/Community Relations, Athletics, were at the KGET news desk representing BC as members of this year’s Chamber of Commerce Leadership Bakersfield cohort. One Friday of each month the participants learn about a different industry within Kern County. Friday was Communications Day, with KGET welcominig Endee and Brandon.

SGA Power Lunch

Also on Wednesday, BCSGA hosted its first Power Lunch of the semester in the Levan Center, inviting Bakersfield College’s three Vice Presidents to talk about their job duties and how they facilitate all of the work that needs to be done to keep the campus running smoothly.

Left to right: Mike Giacomini, Liz Rozell, Zav Dadabhoy

Mike Giacomini, Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services, who started at BC about three months ago, described the areas that he oversees, which include budgeting, Maintenance and Operations, Food Services, and Public Safety. Liz Rozell described the Office of Instruction, including all academic programs, enrollment management, and scheduling for BC’s instructional facilities. Zav Dadabhoy described starting in student government at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, which led him to a career in student involvement culminating in his position as Vice President of Student Affairs, the department in charge of financial aid, counseling, tutoring, outreach, athletics and student services in general.

BCSGA student introducing the panel

The Vice Presidents answered questions about challenges that arise when managing a campus of over 33,000 students and 1,000 employees, and spoke to the the importance of working together across all of the different departments to solve problems and provide the highest quality of education possible. They also talked about how the KCCD Board of Trustees provides leadership and support for the College.

Zav speaking, Mike and Liz sitting at the table
The three Vice Presidents at Bakersfield College

Many thanks to BCSGA for organizing this educational event for students wanting to learn more about the inner workings of the college. Thanks to Mike, Liz and Zav for this time meeting with students!. And thanks to Food Services for providing lunch!

Renegade Athletics Roundup

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11:00 AM, check out features from this week’s show.

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (1/6-1/12) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

Athlete portraits
  • Dasia Wandick, Women’s Basketball – Scored a total of 33 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in helping the team to a 64-50 win over Cuesta and a close, 50-48 loss to Allan Hancock.
  • Marcus Jones, Men’s Basketball – Scored 12 total points and grabbed 10 rebounds in wins over Santa Barbara (94-68) and Cuesta (88-80). Also, was involved in a few crucial plays down the stretch to seal the win against Cuesta.

Renegades moving on to the next level

We are extremely proud of four of our Renegade student athletes who are transferring on to Division I academic and athletic competition this spring after wrapping up their BC careers. From the football team – Carson Olivas is at UCLA, Nathan De Jager is at UNLV and Cam Roberson is at UMass. From our volleyball team – Sarah Armendariz is now with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Roundup of Athletics Events this week

Around the ‘net

Renegades on Instagram

BC Alumnus, former Gades football player and current NY Jets player, Rishard Matthew’s posted a shout out to Coach Chudy, gave encouragement to students and showed some Renegade pride this week on Instagram.

Instagram post from Rishard Matthews

Facebook Fun

And I loved this post from Matt Garrett

Matt Garret's post about having Vanilla Ice hair in high school

Fun Photos: Veterans’ Bridge

Kimberly Bligh sent photos from our Veterans’ Bridge to BC. If you missed last week’s article about Veterans’ Bridge to BC, read it now.

Photos

Bridge Staff

Fun Photos: Urbane Cafe Sharing the Love for BC

On Tuesday, our near neighbor, Urbane Cafe, offered free sandwiches to BC Students and Staff.

Nicky's selfie in front of Urbane Cafe
Nicky Damania took advantage of the Shared Love.

Fun Photos: DKG 80th Anniversary

Last Saturday, January 12th, I was honored to join other women educators at the Delta Kapa Gamma (DKG) 80th Anniversary Lunch. DKG, Leading Women Educators, Impacting Education Worldwide, is an organization with a mission to promote professional and personal growth of all women educators.

We are a community of Renegades

Bailey (current Renegade), Charlie (future Renegade), Laura Wallace (alum Renegade)

Received this message from Billie Jo………#WeAreBC.

We are a community of Renegades! 😊 I snapped this picture today at Olive Drive Elementary School of my granddaughter Charlie practicing her sounds at speech therapy. During the visit, I discovered that her speech therapist, Laura Wallace, is a Renegade as well. She graduated with her degree in Child Development in 1982 and had nothing but great things to say about BC. Currently, her two sons are finishing up their coursework here at BC and are transferring to Humboldt State in the fall. From left to right my daughter Bailey (current Renegade), Charlie (future Renegade), and Laura Wallace (alum Renegade).

Fun Photos: Preparing for Spring Term

Last Sunday, a great group gathered at BC SouthWest to help students prepare for the beginning of the Spring term.
Fernando Lara on Sunday at 1:00 giving our new Renegade Taylor a tour of BC-SW.

Talk about fabulous folks at BC!!!!

Fun Photos: Cultivating a College-Going Culture

Love working with this dedicated and passionate group of people who care about the youth and Kern County and work hard to cultivate a college-going culture.

Ben Sherley- KHSD, Steve Watkins-BC, Ana Leyva- Arvin HS, Margarita Rodriguez- BC, Stephen Granucci- Arvin HS, Savannah Andrews- BC, Lesley Bonds-BC, Kylie Swanson- BC, Ed Watts- Arvin HS, Jesse Oropeza-BC, Abel Guzman-BC, Cynthia Zamora-Arvin HS

Fun Photo: Faculty

I love this photo of Deborah Rosenthal, Chemistry Faculty!

Deborah Rosenthal holding 2 Geese
Khushnur and Zav Dadhaboy with Nick Strobel at Fox Theater for the viewing of the movie Gandhi

A New Addition to the BC Family

Congratulations to Jeff (art faculty) and Janice Huston on the birth of Jonah David Huston yesterday morning at 3:26 AM!

Unity in Our Community

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, May 18th and woke up this morning to the very sad news of the passing of a legend in our community, Mayor Harvey Hall.

Unity in Our Community

harvey-hall-open-house-oct-4-2016

Harvey Hall speaking on behalf of Measure J

When we hear the phrase Unity in Our Community the face that comes to mind is that of Mayor Harvey Hall.

Joseph Luiz says in his article in The Bakersfield Californian:

One of the main phrases he used during that time was “Unity in Our Community,” reflecting his desire to recognize accomplishments, the city’s diverse population, celebrations and more.

Harvey Hall was a die hard Renegade. Most recently, Mayor Hall was the chair of the Measure J bond for Bakersfield College, KCCD.  He did a great Community Voices piece for The Bakersfield Californian.

TBC_HarveyHall_7.15.2016

The picture below was taken at the opening event of BC’s Social Justice Institute which Harvey Hall was the founding co-chair, along with Milt Younger.

Harvey Hall and Milt Younger LEA

Mayor Hall, RIP, I thank you for your steadfast and unwavering support of Bakersfield College.

Now, onto other topics….

Woke up this morning to two pieces in the Californian authored by BC faculty.  BC’s Japanese faculty member Yuki Takeuchi wrote a community voices piece on teaching in the prison.  (https://tinyurl.com/ycfwozjb)

Yuki Takeuchi Community Voices May 18 2018.png

The second piece was Nick Strobel’s Stargazing article.  Nick Strobel took a moment to recognize the historic significance of last week’s Commencement before promoting the Kern Astronomical Society’s free public star party tonight at Barnes and Noble on California Avenue.

Nick Strobel Stargazing 1

Tonight, star gazers will be able to view Venus and Jupiter, the two brightest planets in the solar system, at about the same altitude above the horizon but at opposite sides of the sky. Nick’s column also talks about the Mars InSight lander currently flying toward the Red Planet with the hope of being able to relay information back to Earth by utilizing the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter already on the planet.

In June, the Kern Astronomical Society will be meeting for another stargazing at Panorama Park, then the group will be at the Park at River Walk for July’s event.

Find the article at: https://tinyurl.com/y94st4xp

Em and Chef Suzanne

Chef Suzanne and Emily Dec 2017

And then I received this email from Darlene Mohlke of Castle and Cook who also serves with me on the Homeless Shelter Board and the Chamber of Commerce Board.  Her granddaughter Emily Aldritt was recognized as the California Student Volunteer of the Year.

Here is the interview we discussed today. https://tinyurl.com/y82v4xz4.   If it were not for the two wonderful mentors Emily has in Leah Carter and Suzanne Tangeman there would not be a story or a Governor’s Award.  The BC Kitchen, and her BC chef’s uniform are proudly on display!

Emily Aldritt, you inspire us!

Governor's website May 2018.png

More on the 104th Commencement

I am still reminiscing about BC’s 104th Commencement last weekend. The evening was surely one to remember. We celebrated student accomplishments, transformation, and life changing moments with graduates and their families. It is ceremonies like May 11th that make visible the way that lives are changing in this community one degree at at time.

Check out this video created by Manny De Los Santos covering five of the 104th commencement speakers.  You can definitely see Manny’s creative touch.  Love the music in the background.

i-bqstz6t-xl

CommencementDr. Robert Allison served as President of Bakersfield College from 1997-1998, but he has a long history of heart and contribution to the college in a multitude of roles. In an email earlier this week, he was also reminiscing about the incredible evening of May 11, 2018.

He said,

I want to thank you for including me in the magnificent graduation ceremonies last Friday evening. You should know that the experience was very special to me. As I sat on the podium and gazed at the massive crowd, which must have been at least 10,000, I reflected on the 55 years that I have been a part of Bakersfield College. I thought about the record number of graduates as compared with the number in 1964 and other graduations and, of course, the significance of our first bachelor’s degrees awarded – and that I was there to be a part of that.

I thought about the many changes we have seen but that essentially BC is, as it always was, about bringing educational excellence to our communities. Margaret Levinson, whose job I later filled, was the dean of instruction in 1963. She made it clear to us neophyte instructors that BC’s academic standards were as high as any university and we should not forget it. Our curriculum was not based on Berkeley’s for nothing!

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Chancellor, Trustees, Past Presidents, Vice Presidents, and graduates of the 2018 Baccalaureate Class in Industrial Automation.

Congratulations to BC Firefighters!

Firefighter Grad - Program

On May 15, we celebrated the graduating class of 2018 Firefighter I graduates. The Bakersfield College Fire Science program was first set up by joint efforts of Chief Phil Pifer of the Bakersfield Fire Department and Norman Harris, coordinator of technical vocational education at Bakersfield college in 1956.

A special curriculum was designed for Bakersfield city firefighters which included academic courses required for an associates of arts degree, the on-the-job training included the use of all types of fire fighting equipment, and the use of motorized fire equipment under emergency conditions.

This fire science program developed into an in-service program for all fire agencies in Kern county. The main agencies involved were Bakersfield fire department and Kern County Fire Department.

 

Welcoming Jim Ryun to Memorial Stadium

Jim RyunBakersfield College is honored to host the 2018 CCCAA Track and Field Championships this weekend and we are privileged to welcome Jim Ryun back to Memorial Stadium where he shattered the world record for fastest mile with a blazing fast 3:51.1 mark on June 23, 1967. A crowd of 10,000 cheered him on that evening.

 The Bakersfield Californian highlighted this week’s festivities with track-and-field legend Jim Ryun. Ryun who also served as a member of the House of Representatives from 1996 to 2007, hosted a meet-and-greet at the Sheraton Hotel on Thursday and signed autographs.

See the video of Jim Ryun at Memorial Stadium on youtube!

 

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Bob Covey and Ron Jones, photo from http://theleanberets.com

Bob Covey brought some historical details about the event in 1967 to campus and shared them with Athletic Director, Sandi Taylor and Sandi, in turn shared them with me! Bob Covey coached over 40 years for Bakersfield College, Oregon State, and USA olympic development. It’s amazing to learn about the rich history that has taken place at the Home of the Renegades. Bob has shared more about the history of Track at Bakersfield College in a Podcast at theleanberets.com! Listen here.

79th Track and Field Championships by Bob Covey

Mary Jo Pasek organized a meet and greet on Thursday evening and it was a great evening of story telling.  Thank you Joseph Bergman for the photos.

BC welcoming Jim Ryun May 16 2018.jpg

Stig Jantz, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Ann Ryunm Jim Ryin, Mary Jo pasek

BC Selected as Recipient of Innovation Award

Jessica Wojtysiak and Lesley Bonds riding the train May 14 2018

Jessica Wojtysiak, Lesley Bonds

It’s an exciting time to be at BC and it’s an exciting time for California Community Colleges. BC was selected by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office as one of 11 community colleges to be awarded a share of $20 million to further development and implementation of programs that strengthen student success.

For the innovative design and mapping of transfer pathways through technology and systems integration, Bakersfield College was named the recipient of $2,300,000. The funding aims to advance implementation of high-tech, high-touch guided pathways strategies that ensure all students have access to fully mapped and well-designed transfer pathways no matter at what point from which they are accessing the institution.  Nick Strobel, Jessica Wojtysiak, Lesley Bonds and I rode the train to Sacramento to accept the award.

Nick Strobel and Sonya Christian on train

Nick Strobel and Sonya Christian on train

BC continues a strong commitment to not only opening our doors to students from all backgrounds, but also to intentionally and systematically support them through a Guided Pathway to degree and certificate completion once they’re here. This award will provide a continuation of efficiently and effectively clarifying the path towards degree and certificate completion which in turn, leads to sustainable jobs regardless of background.  The health of our community depends on an educated and well-prepared workforce.

It’s an exciting time at the home of the Renegades!!

 

Cecilia V. Estolano

As the four of us were waiting for the announcement at the Board of Governors (BOG) meeting in Sacramento, we followed the deliberations and discussions on the various items.  I was struck by the level of engagement and rigor in the discussions among the members of the BOG. Topics ranged from equity, to student completion, accountability of budgets, technology innovation and integration, transfers – both to CSUs and UCs, and preparing a strong workforce for our state. At this meeting Executive Vice Chancellor Van Ton-Quinlivan and Visiting Vice Chancellor Omid Pourzanjani presented the heavy lift from CCCCO to integrate technologies at the systems level but with the necessary flexibility at the local college level to customize functionality. During the presentation, Dr. Pourzanjani specifically called out the Pathways Program Mapper to make his point.  Cecilia V. Estolano is the President of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and I was really impressed with how she ran a tight and engaging meeting. The full list of the Board of Governors is available on the website along with short biographies if you’re looking to read more.

So proud of our faculty and staff:

Armando Trujillo: On Friday, May 11th, our very own  Veterans Educational Advisor Armando Trujillo, graduated from the University of Southern California, earning a Masters of Social Work Degree with a Military Social Work and Veterans Services sub-concentration.

Armando Trujillo USC MSW Graduation1

Armando Trujillo with daughter Alina (who will attend CSU Monterey Bay) and son Adam

Armando is an inspiration to the student-veterans and military-connected students he serves.  He is a prime of example of what a student-veteran can accomplish.  Armando enlisted in the Marine Corps while still in high school.  In 2003 he fought in Iraq with 3rd ANGLICO (Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company) as a forward observer.  After his service he became a correctional officer.  Several years later he began attend college, culminating in his masters degree.

Armando Trujillo USC MSW

Armando’s work with veterans at Bakersfield College has paid dividends for his students, with well over 40% of BC veterans completing/transferring within three years.  His holistic, intrusive, guided pathways model approach has made Armando an invaluable member of BC, getting student-veterans on the right path and keeping them on it.  Those students he works with know they have a compassionate, and professional advisor who understands their struggles as both veterans and students.

Armando Trujillo USC

The picture above was snapped when Armando was presented with a USC cake in the Veterans Lounge upon completion of his MSW work a few weeks before graduation

Bakersfield College says to Armando Trujillo, MSW, “Well done Devil Dog!  Semper Fi.”

And thank you Paul Beckworth and Armando Trujillo for all that you do for our student veterans.

Oliver Rosales was at the capitol to advocate for the importance of humanities education and collaborative partnerships in California and especially in the Central Valley.

 

Oliver Rosales presenting at the capitol May 16 2018

Summer Bridge

We are off and running again with our Summer Bridge.  Kimberly Bligh who leads this effort is scaling up this program every summer.  Here is a great picture of three faculty at the Wasco Summer Bridge.

Erica Menchaca, Teresa McAllister, Jessica Wojtysiak May 18 2018.jpg

Erica Menchaca, Teresa McAllister, Jessica Wojtysiak

Express Enrollment at BC SouthWest

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With our 2018 Commencement in the rearview mirror, it’s incredible to think that Summer courses at BC SouthWest begin next week! Hosted by Outreach with support from Financial Aid, Counseling, and more, the May 15th Express Enrollment at BC SouthWest helped new students enroll and get classes they need. The crew helped 80 new, continuing and returning students register for classes at our BC Southwest campus, and there are three more express enrollment events planned for this summer at the BC main campus on June 19th, July 10th and August 7th from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Students will also be assisted with enrollment during our on-campus Summer Orientation events at the main campus from 1-5 p.m. on June 5th, July 24th, and August 14th.

Outreach spreads the good word about BC’s  academic programs and student support services as they reach out at local high schools and various community events, supporting future students, assisting them through the application and matriculation process through orientations and enrollment events.

During the orientation and enrollment events, prospective students learn about our supportive faculty and caring staff, our Student Life and athletic programs, about the affordability of BC compared to 4-year and private institutions, and all of the campuses we have available throughout Kern County, including at BC Southwest, the Weill Institute downtown, Delano, Shafter, Wasco and online.

S18Outreach

The Outreach Team at Bakersfield College

Starfish Training

Dean of Instruction, Andrea Thorson worked with Pam Rivers to get the presentation ready for Monday morning. Over 45 faculty attended the afternoon training and I heard they left wanting more!  There are more trainings to be added for staff and faculty throughout the summer as we unveil this powerful high-tech, high-touch tool.

 

BC Students on a Sacramento Legislative Trip

Last Thursday, May 17, 58 students (including students from Delano campus) left at 4 a.m. to head up to the state capitol for the Annual Sacramento Legislative Trip, returning to campus the same day only after 11:30 p.m. They were accompanied by Biology Department Chair, Dr. Joe Saldivar, classified staff members Theresa Rodriguez, Rosa Castro, and Public Safety Officer Jason Mattheus, ASL interpreter Natasha Bailey, and administrators Dean Grace Commiso and Dr. Nicky Damania.

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BC Group in front of capitol

This one-day event takes students and staff to our state capitol to tour the Capitol Building, meet our local legislators in their work environment, and also to explore downtown Sacramento and Old Sacramento. This year, the attendees started their exploration of legislative processes by viewing the State Senate in session. They were greeted by Senator Andy Vidak who graciously introduced them to the State Senate, and by Senator Jean Fuller recognizing the leads Ms. Ashley Harp, Bakersfield College Student Government Association Vice President, Ms. Grace Commiso, Dean of Student Success and Counseling, and Dr. Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life and Advisor to the Bakersfield College Student Government Association.

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Ryan and Annette

They then met with Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin and her Chief of Staff, Ryan VanZuylen, regarding Assembly Bill 705. They discussed many aspects of the bill from conception, to planning, implementation, and the hopes of the bill serving to support community college students. As they shared the value of the bill, many students expressed their struggles as an entering community college student and how if this bill had been implemented before, they would have been able to progress further/sooner in their educational goals. As shared by Annette Brasher a communication and human services major “If you wanna start at the beginning basics, for instance math, then you can, but in my instance I was placed there but I should have been placed in College Level Statistics which I feel I was ready for, but was not given the chance.” Annette has been attending BC part-time for the past eight years, during which time it has taken her four semesters to get to transfer level math. Before closing, Ryan shared his personal career path to working for Assemblywomen Irwin’s office and giving advice to our students who are interested in the field of legislative policy.

Leaving Irwin’s Office, the attendees went to the Assembly Floor to meet with Assembly Members Mr. Rudy Salas and Mr. Vince Fong. The Assemblymen shared what their passions are and what big policy reforms they are leading. Assemblyman Salas discussed his passion for the awareness of valley fever and Assemblyman Fong responded to a student question regarding community healthcare. Once again, Assemblyman Salas took an extra moment and pointed out to the students some unique characteristics of the Capitol building that only the insiders know about. He does this annually for our students. After that everyone went to lunch and upon return participated in a private extensive tour of the Capitol building which also included historical facts not only about the building but the legacy of the Office of the Governor. The day concluded with everyone traveling from the capitol building to Old Sacramento while enjoying the downtown area and grabbing a bite to eat before heading back home.

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Group with Assemblymen

Historically, this annual trip has been funded and hosted by the Center for Kern Political Education under the purview of the late Jack Brigham, who was a faculty member in Political Science. In 2016, the Office of Student Life started hosting the annual event. Since then the Bakersfield College Student Government Association has funded this trip on behalf of the Center for Kern Political Education knowing its value and keeping the legacy of Professor Brigham alive.

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THANK YOU BAKERSFIELD

IMG_1097It’s a great honor to be selected by our community as the Favorite of 2018 in the “Best College/Higher Learning Source” category of the Bakersfield Californian’s annual Readers’ Choice Poll. While BC did not win the Best of 2018 title, which went to Cal State Bakersfield, it’s still amazing to have the hard work being done by our educational system recognized for the impact to our community.

Congratulations CSUB! I’m so thankful for our collaboration with The Kern Promise Finish in 4 and all the student success and completion initiatives we accomplish together.

Talking about CSUB,  Steve Mayer of The Bakersfield Californian did a great piece on Horace Mitchell  who is retiring this year.  Check it out: https://tinyurl.com/ydxhr2cs.  

The article ends with comments from me.  Here is an excerpt:

Sonya Christian, Horace MitchellSonya Christian, president of Bakersfield College, said Mitchell’s impact has indeed been felt in the larger educational community.

“Generations of Kern County and Bakersfield students will benefit from the seeds of vision, hard work, and dedication planted by … Mitchell,” she said.

 

“The Kern County educational system has never been more connected, more efficient, or more collaborative than now. College transfer rates from Bakersfield College to CSU Bakersfield have bloomed significantly and collaboration between our institutions has strengthened and grown.”

During the 2016-2017 academic year, transfers from BC to CSUB increased nearly 22 percent from the year prior, Christian said, and efforts made in collaboration with Bryon Schaefer and the Kern High School District to increase college attendance directly from high school have been highly effective.

 

Finish in 4“The Kern Promise and the newly adopted Finish in 4 program is substantial evidence of Dr. Mitchell’s footprint which will benefit this community and its students for generations to come,” she said.

Mitchell is proud that the university’s relationship with local industry has grown under his leadership, and not just in financial support. The university’s very curriculum and structure has changed to support new majors, new degrees and even new directions in the areas of agribusiness, petroleum and associated engineering.

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The university even has an office at BC to help make the path between the two institutions easier and more successful for students.

“It has truly been a privilege to partner with Horace during his presidency at CSUB,” Christian said. “He has been a true champion for excellence and student success outcomes. His commitment and dedication to diversity and equity has made an indelible impact on our Kern County educational system and is the legacy of his presidency. His transition into a well-deserved and hard earned retirement is one to be celebrated.”

 

Another Great Partnership Between BC & CSUB

On Tuesday, a group of community leaders from Bakersfield College and CSU Bakersfield got together to have a collegial conversation at a community favorite coffee shop, Dagny’s Coffee Company. The group included Octavio Barajas, a BC History Adjunct Faculty, Dr. Michael Burroughs, the Executive Director of the CSUB Kegley Institute of Ethics and Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Ian Anderson, Education/Development Consultant and a BC adjunct faculty in Political Science, Dr. Nate Olson, Associate Director for Campus Programs, Kegley Institute of Ethics, Heidi Forsythe, a BC and CSUB Adjunct Faculty in Communication, and Dr. Nicky Damania, BC Director of Student Life.

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The group discussed various topics and initiatives that revolved around methods of creating community awareness and education regarding previously incarcerated students. All members of the group are hosting various events next year to shine a light on the needs of previously incarcerated students. The Kegley Institute of Ethics will be hosting Father Gregory Boyle for their 2018 Fall Lecture on November 13 at the CSUB Dore Theater. The Office of Student Life hopes to host a speaker on September 13th in conjunction with their Distinguished Speaker Series which is also in collaboration with the Kern County Library One Book Project.  Also included in the events as a keynote speaker is author Baz Dreisinger who wrote this year’s One Book Project book, Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World.

What great partnerships BC and CSUB build upon.

 

Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government

On Thursday, May 17th, I was delighted to spend the afternoon with Chancellor Tom Burke, President of the KCCD Board of Trustees, Kay Meek, and Trustee Bill Thomas at the Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government (KCFSG) luncheon speaker series.

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Executive Director of KCFSG Romeo Agbalog introduced the two speakers.

 

Matt Patterson talked about the Janus v. AFSCME case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.  Patterson is a graduate of Columbia University and coaches California’s local elected officials on financial sustainability, government transparency and economic prosperity. He is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Washington Times and FoxNews.com among many others. He has served as researcher for Charles Krauthammer, was senior fellow in labor policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and was executive director of the Center for Worker Freedom at Americans for Tax Reform.

Mayor Chuck Reed talked about the pension reform efforts in San Jose that he led.  Mayor Reed has been recognized for this effort nationally and by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, other national media, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities. The story of his work in San Jose has been noted in Michael Lewis’s Boomerang and Fate of the States by Meredith Whitney.

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That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever