Tag Archives: Deborah Rosenthal

Live, Love, Ohana, Aloha!

Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, July 29th and this week was a great week to be  Renegade.  

Hawaii July 25 2017.JPG


I traveled to Hawaii for a few days, experiencing the Aloha spirit and a sense of Ohana (family) that reminded me what a great place it is that we work and live. Bakersfield, a community that takes care of you.





Photos at the Oahu airport.  Arriving and then leaving.

Close your eyes and listen to Iz perform Somewhere Over the Rainbow and feel the cool ocean breeze on your face and in your hair.


As I walked the miles along the shores early each morning, I was thinking about all the people at Bakersfield College, the city of Bakersfield and the county of Kern and felt fortunate to be living my life among folks who have an adventurous spirit, boundless talent, a love for their place, and a caring heart for their neighbor.

Mick Gleason said it best in his State of the County address on January 27, 2016

Mick_GleasonWe are not defined by the price of a barrel of oil, or how much rain falls from the sky, but rather by the character of the people who live here. We have achieved great things in the past, and we are going to do amazing things in the future. As long as we continue to
embrace the pioneering spirit of those who made Kern County’s first 150 years so
successful, I am certain that our next 150 will shine even brighter…….
Kern County, be proud of who you are, but not boastful. Be bold in your dreams and your
decisions, but not rash. And whatever you do, be fearless in your resolve.

Kern County, this is for you.  Bakersfield, this is for you.  Bakersfield College, this is for you….today’s blog titled Live, Love, Ohana, Aloha.

Marina July 25 2017

The Marina at Waikiki July 25, 2017

Sunset July 25 2017

Sunset through the clouds, Waikiki Marina July 2017

Diamond Head


Diamond Head in Hawaii

Photo: Smartdestinations.com

Commonly known as Diamond Head, but officially named Mt. Leahi, this incredibly beautiful spot is one of Hawaii’s (and the world’s) most famous volcanic craters. Smartdestinations.com says, “At the top of the 760-foot summit, you’ll behold breath-taking panoramic views of Waikiki and the rest of the South Shore.” And travel guides always suggest that this early morning hike is always well worth it.  I started the hike at 6:45 a.m. and would recommend to you to start it at 6:00 a.m. right when they open.  And since Hawaii is three hours behind California, 6:00 a.m. is not all that early.

I have hiked Diamond Head several times, the first being with my dad Paul Christian who passed away in 2006.  An amazing human being with a big laugh.  Here is the picture from many moons ago on Diamond Head.

Sonya and Dad in Hawaii cropped rotated

Paul Christian, Sonya Christian

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

Hiking up Diamond Head July 27 2017

View hiking up Diamond Head.  July 27, 2017


View from Diamond Head July 27 2017

Top of Diamond Head.  July 27, 2017

Talking about volcanoes and Diamond Head made me think of the Geology and Earth Sciences faculty back home at Bakersfield College. Understanding the materials that make up the earth and the expansive world we live in, minerals, rock types, the earth’s surface and its unique regional qualities and features.


Kern River Formation from Mike Oldershaws Faculty Page

I remember when I was a faculty member, and Robert Schiffman was the lead faculty in geology. And this upcoming year, one of the new 55 faculty joining BC is in Geology. Our region is the ideal learning environment for students in geology. There are unique local geological features such as the Kern River formation on the way to Hart Park, Red Rock Canyon, and Soda Lake in southeastern San Luis Obispo County.



While mentioning the Kern River, have you seen the drone footage posted by The Bakersfield Californian? I mentioned it on Twitter and It’s an absolutely stunning video. Check it out here.

BC also has the Geology Club, a student organization aimed to create a community outside the classroom for STEM and non-STEM students who are passionate about Geological, Natural/Earth and Environmental Sciences, as well as Anthropology, Archeology, and Astronomy. Members participate in group discussions and hands-on experience through field trips and have great opportunities such as scholarships and internships. #WeAreBC

Manoa Falls

I had never hiked Manoa Falls in all my visits to Oahu.  What a gorgeous hike through rain forests.  Definitely a must when you visit Honolulu.

Manoa Falls 1

Manoa Falls 2

Manoa Falla 3

Here is a cute 14-second video of President Obama visiting Manoa Falls.

BC faculty are always proud of their students

Debbie Rosenthal

Deborah Rosenthal

Speaking of students gaining experience through opportunity… Chemistry Faculty, Deborah Rosenthal recently was bragging about one of her students “my joy is in my student’s success” and I loved the story about Baldeep Sandhu – a BC student who has had two internships this summer.  You see my dear students, BC faculty are so focused on your success.  They are always watching out for opportunities for you.  They watch with pride as you succeed.

The first, with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the other with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In both internships, Baldeep worked with professional engineers on projects that affect the community such as water well system, irrigation systems, reservoir liners, and maintenance assessment projects. With BLM, he said, “we went out on the field a lot and got to see many cool locations. One picture is me taking a lunch break on the edge of a cliff and the other is in a little oasis deep in public land.”

Baldeep will be back at BC for one more year to finish his engineering courses. He has applied for internships to gain experience and says because of this summer, he now has a stronger resume going forward. It’s so great to see BC students thriving in a great learning environment that our faculty and staff provide for them.  #WeAreBC





Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941 is burned into our history books in letters of fire. President Franklin D. Roosevelt addresses Congress on December 8, 1941

On Wednesday, July 26, 2017 I visited again the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, the site of one of the worst tragedies in American history.

Pearl Harbor was established as an American military port in 1899, shortly after its annexation as a US territory following the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Hawaii’s role as an important trade hub and military garrison would continue to grow, making Pearl Harbor a prime target for surprise attack by a Japanese air strike on December 7th, 1941, a date that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed would “live in infamy.”





The attack on Pearl Harbor propelled the US into World War II, changing the fate of the entire planet. The events of that day forced American society to the brink of its capabilities, inspiring a myriad of important scientific and industrial breakthroughs culminating in the creation of the first nuclear weapon.  Over 75 years later, the world we live in today was shaped by the bombs that dropped over Pearl Harbor.

If you have not visited the Pearl Harbor Memorial I would suggest that you do.  The 25-minute video prior to heading out to the actual Memorial over the sunken battleship Arizona that has entombed over a 1000 of the 1,177 sailors and marines killed during the bombing, is very powerful and is bound to get you teary eyed.   The names listed on the wall of the Memorial are those who rest below the water within the Arizona.





The announcer at the Memorial said that there are five living soldiers from the Arizona who are still alive and they have the right to be buried with their shipmates in the Arizona.  She pointed out last year (2016) that J.D. Anderson joined his twin brother D.J. Anderson who was killed in the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941.  In the photos below you can pick out J.D.Anderson who is listed on the short wall of the Memorial and then D.J. Anderson who is one of the first listed on the large back wall.






The attack took place on December 7, 1941, a quiet sunny Sunday morning. Being the weekend, many of the offices were closed and there was a minimal contingent of soldiers on duty.  The photo below is displayed at the Museum at Pearl Harbor.  it compares the military strength in the Pacific of Japan to the US in 1941.  Take a moment to study the picture.

Rotated Japan and the US Military Power





Sunday morning at approximately 7:00 a.m. the new long-range radar detector installed at Opana Point on the north shore of Oahu, detected approaching aircrafts.  The soldiers on duty messaged Fort Shafter in Honolulu about the approaching aircrafts.  Lt Kermit Tyler who who received the message indicated that there was nothing to worry about and that the radar was picking up the B-17 flying bombers that were dispatched from California.  While on practice maneuvers outside the harbor that morning, an American destroyer spotted a Japanese submarine attempting to sneak into the harbor. The submarine was fired upon, immediately reported — and ignored.

From wikipedia: The attack commenced about 45 minutes later in two waves by a total of 353 Japanese aircrafts launched by six aircraft carriers.  All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four sunk. All but the USS Arizona were later raised and six returned to service and went on to fight in the war.  188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded.  Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five submarines lost, and 64 servicemen killed. One Japanese sailor, Kazuo Sakamaki, was captured.

Memorial build above the Battleship Arizona:

Memorial Battleship Arizona source emaze

source: emaze.com

Visiting the Pearl Harbor Memorial reminded me of the importance of history. We need to understand where we came from in order to know where we’re going.  We have a talented group of faculty in our history department…great great scholars with a remarkable focus on our students.  Today let me spotlight three of the them.





Dr. Oliver Rosales who was recently awarded a National Endowment of the Arts grant for $100,000.  Then, Congressman Kevin McCarthy personally asked our own Prof. Paul Beckworth to review the House’s upcoming update on the GI Bill, while Prof. Matthew Garrett just published an award-winning book on Native American children who left their reservations to live with Mormon foster families during the latter half of the 20th Century.

Here is more on the #Forever GI Bill.  An excerpt from an email that Paul received.

After you and nearly 40 veteran, military, and higher education organizations signaled our strong support for #ForeverGIBill, Congress announced bipartisan legislation to improve the GI Bill. The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 includes everything we’ve advocated for and more. It will:

  • Expand GI Bill eligibility to Guard and Reserve Members
  • Provide full benefits to Purple Heart recipients and Yellow Ribbon benefits to survivors
  • Grant additional benefits to students pursuing a STEM degree
  • End the 15-year delimiting date

The Colmery Act of 2017 already enjoys 57 co-sponsors (26 Republicans and 31 Democrats) from the House and is supported by one of the largest coalition of veteran, military, and higher education organizations to date.

GI Bill Roundtable at VFW Headquarters Washington DC July 13 2017

GI Bill Roundtable at VFW Headquarters – Washington D.C. July 13, 2017


Summer Bridge

Summer Bridge Team

Summer Bridge Team

IMG_6027Can you believe Summer is almost over? Time flies when you’re at BC and having fun and especially if you’re involved with BC Summer Bridge. This dedicated team of faculty and staff has committed to making sure new students are equipped with the resources and tools they need to be successful in their first year at BC! I love all the updates and photos on social media from this incredible program… can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

On Instagram, the Summer Bridge team shared that they did Tower Building on Monday and by Wednesday, this fun video was posted on YouTube. Check out all the fun our new upcoming students are having at Summer Bridge!

BC’s Industrial Automation Advisory Committee

This fall, we are welcoming our first senior semester of the Industrial Automation Baccalaureate students and we are all excited to see them flourish. I can’t wait to see where they land after graduation.

BC’s Baccalaureate in Industrial Automation is proof of the forward thinking of leadership at BC and in the community. Over the past few years, the Industrial Automation Advisory Committee has been on a journey… one of friends and partners who have worked to develop a curriculum that meets current workforce need and these people have made a 4-year degree at Bakersfield College possible.

PruettThis degree path is truly for our students and it’s for our community because through high demand careers with local opportunities, Bakersfield will thrive.  Blair Pruett, who chairs the committee has rallied the troops to see this initiative grow. Blair has been supported by Liz Rozell and BC’s terrific faculty who work tirelessly to make things happen for our students and serve as a bridge between in the Industrial Automation program and the industry.

Committee membership includes alumni, associates and friends of the INDA disciplines and they are selected from among professional leaders of business, industry, government, and education. Thank you to the committee: Adam Alvidrez, Nathan Bender, Paul Blake, Melinda Brown, Edwin Camp, Morgan Clayton, Allen Cowart, Tim DeKorte, Tunde Deru, Patrick Free, Jonathan Geersen, Samuel Gomez, Shawn Hatton, Bill Little, Ron K’Miller, Dean McGee, Brian Miller, Ed Neilands, Paul Niemer, Fred Nilson, Brianne Pluta, Blair Pruett, Adam Stephens, Dick Taylor, Ancel Thompson, Beth Vaughn, Thomas Wilson, David Wolfer, Lisa Wong, and Walt Wiegel.

And thank you to our Industry Partners including, Aera, Stantec, Chevron, Target, Kern Steel, Dryers, Califa Farms, Bolthouse Farms, Frito-Lay, The Wonderful Company, JG Boswell, and more.

I know we’re all counting down the days to see our first graduates cross the stage on graduation night with their Baccalaureate Degrees in Industrial Automation from Bakersfield College!

Rainbow Field Day

On Wednesday July 12, all preschoolers attending the BC Child Development Center were invited to participate in a Rainbow Field Day.  Learning activities were planned by our CHDB B41 lab students and supervised by staff, student interns and parent volunteers from the center.  As you can see, a wonderful time was had by all. Thank you Sue Vaughn for the adorable photos!





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This Week on Facebook

So proud of Clayton Fowler, BC SGA President 2015-2016

UC Center Post of Clayton Fowler July 26 2017


Sally Sterns is already gearing up for the next Gardenfest so there’s guaranteed to be plenty of goodies and treats for all attendees.

Our previous Gardenfest was featured in my blog here last April and it was great that the event took place around Earth Day, as well.

As soon as the date for the next Gardenfest is announced, I will be one of the first to announce it right here on my blog so stay tuned.


Next, Welding professor, Jeremy Staat, posted what his Summer Camp students have been up too! How awesome is this?


And finally, I saw this post by Art faculty, Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio featuring Sandro Botticelli’s artwork. One of my favorite pieces from this great artist is Primavera, which means Spring. In the center, we see Venus in a sacred grove or garden where the treeline almost creates a halo around her. Wikipedia says that the painting was created in the late 1270s or early 1480s, but that datings vary. It also says this piece is “one of the most written about, and most controversial paintings in the world.”



Primavera Photo: Wikipedia.org

My favorite Botticelli is the Primavera which I saw at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.  Details of Botticelli’s life are sparse but he apprenticed at the young age of 14 and in 1481, Pope Sixtus IV had Botticelli and other prominent Florentine and Umbrian artists to fresco the walls of the Sistine Chapel. For more, check out

Distinguished Young Women of California

Distinguished Young Women is a national scholarship program and the official website states the goal is to inspire “high school girls to develop their full, individual potential through a fun, transformative experience that culminates in a celebratory showcase of their accomplishments. Distinguished young women strives to give every young woman the opportunity to further her education and prepare for a successful future.”

Congratulations to Kimberly Marquez of Bakersfield who was named “Distinguished Young Woman of California” for the Class of 2018. Kimberly will go on to represent California at Nationals! You can see the whole list of this year’s participants at http://ca.distinguishedyw.org/participants/.

20233104_10155487955809174_3688815557598721461_oCongratulations also to Cathy Abernathy who is California’s Distinguished Woman of the Year. Thank you to our Mayor, Karen Goh, another brilliant Bakersfield woman, for the photo which includes both Kimberly (back row, 4th from the left) and Cathy (front row, right side).

It’s great to see local women from Bakersfield being acknowledged for the incredible things they’re doing. At BC, I’m surrounded by smart, passionate, intelligent, creative, and inspiring women who do wonderful things each day. Women such as Liz Rozell and Connie Gonzales who are two women engineers, passionate about STEM and inspiring young women to get involved in STEM careers. There are women leaders all around us, both at BC and in Bakersfield.

Student Andrea Hernandez with Lauren Skidmore Connie and Lisa

Lauren Skidmore, Andrea Hernandez, Connie Gonzales, Lisa Kent


Liz Rozell 3

Liz Rozell


Lisa Green

Did you see the highlight piece on District Attorney, Lisa Green by ABC23? She is not only the first female D.A. in Kern County, but also a distinguished and inspirational female leader in our community. The article mentions of the 58 District Attorneys in California, only 18 are women. View the video clip here.

BC Renegade Clappers bringing smiles to India

A woman from Bakersfield named Sharon recently traveled to India to visit elementary school children and teach them about Bakersfield. When she contacted BC and requested anything we wanted to share with the kids, our team knew exactly what would make them smile. BCSGA Hand clappers, BC stickers, and a pendent for the classroom! These photos are sure to warm your heart. Thank you Sharon for sharing the spirit of BC.





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tybak2_origRenegade, Tyrone Crawford

Renegade Alumni and Dallas Cowboy, Tyrone Crawford was highlighted in an interview on KGET on Wednesday where he said, “i remember every single second in Bakersfield. It’s one of the best times in my life.” He went on to mention good years, great coaches, and great teammates. View the clip at KGET.com!

Article in the LA Times

July 25 2017On my flight to Honolulu, I grabbed the LA Times and saw this piece  about the struggles of California farmers to adjust to mechanization as its labor force continues to decline.  Some farmers are even converting their fields from labor-intensive crops such as grapes or vegetables to almonds, which can be easily shaken from the tree mechanically.

For some crops, even mechanization cannot replace the efficiency of human labor. Stockton’s asparagus industry, for instance, is harvesting only 21 percent of the asparagus spears it used to 15 years ago, as there have been no technological innovations to replace the efficiency of human judgment needed to sift through perennial asparagus beds to determine which are ripe.

As the world population continues to grow and create less arable space for growing crops, California will have to reform its agricultural processes to meet the demand and continue to feed the world. In the article, UC Davis economist Ed Taylor says that “California agriculture just isn’t going to look the same… you’re going to be hard-pressed to find crops grown as labor-intensively as they are now.”

What does this mean for our valley?  Read the whole article, “As California’s labor shortage grows, farmers race to replace workers with robots” at latimes.com.

What about Neo?

When I was in Hawaii I did several conference calls with folks back on campus.  One call was with Dylan Wang, Monika Scott, and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.  Dylan and I were on the phone prior to Monika and Nan getting on so I was telling him about Hawaii and asked him his thoughts on relocating the BC campus to Oahu.  To which Dylan responded “Yes” with enthusiasm….then paused “but what about Neo?” 🙂

Well, Neo is discovering high places much to my mom’s dismay and she laments “Sonya, when are you going to teach him some manners.”  To which I responded that her grand daughter was spoiling him.  Of course, in her eyes, my daughter can do no wrong.

And it was such a treat to have my daughter at home two weeks in a row.  She will be back again next week.  She was in Canada this past year and is now back in LA.  Just the wonderful aspects of life!





This is what Neo does when we put him outside to do his thing…..Instead he plops himself in front of the water cooler that is on the patio.

July 21 2017 Neo in front of water cooler

Neo in front of the water cooler.  One of his favorite spots.

In case you are wondering, he is 43 lbs now.

Live, Love, Ohana, Aloha

Cropped Sonya Christian walking on the beach July 25 2017

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Our BC family gives to the community!

Have you voted yet? And did you vote Yes on Measure J? #MeasureJ 🙂

I did vote on October 30th, a rainy Sunday morning and then dropped off my ballot at the Post Office.  Here is my proof!


Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, November 5, 2016…..A great day to be a Renegade.

This past week was busy on campus with many events including Vet Fest, the Levan Faculty Colloquim, a special FCDC meeting where faculty positions for next year were presented as well as a quick trip to Orange County to present the work on California Guided Pathways at the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges Fall Plenary.  In addition, the Campaign Head Quarters for Measure J was buzzing with activity as the volunteers were shifting gears to the last lap of this marathon.  Four more days to November 8th!

Here we have Prof. Harlan Hunter volunteering his time to lead a team of volunteers to promote Measure J.

Harlan Hunter and volunteers return after precinct walking Nov 5 2016.jpg


So proud of our faculty, staff and students:

Paula Parks and ASTEP:

BC’s ASTEP Program, under the leadership of Prof. Paula Parka, won first place in the Black365 Knowledge Bowl!  Just phenomenal.

Parks says on Facebook:

My students studied their Black history!!! #umojaconf All the ASTEP Umoja students in attendance cheered our team to victory! They all make me so proud!!


Anna Poetker and the Levan Faculty Colloquim:


Anna Poetker, Susan Pinza

Philosophy professor Dr. Anna Poetker presented her research findings on her work with undocumented students at Bakersfield College at the Norm Levan Faculty Colloquium (the longest running program of the Levan Center). Her talk The Struggles and Success of Undocumented Latino/a College Students on Friday, November 4th was a combination of the theoretical background of the philosophical and psychological foundations of the problems facing  undocumented students, personal stories told to her by her undocumented students, and practical ways we can support our undocumented students.


Nick Strobel emailed me:
She gave us the mental framework of the process undocumented college students go through in forming their own identity—“self authorship”. In some ways it is like the maturing process we all go through as we transition from learning values and identity from our family and society as children and then constructing our own identity as young adults in late high school and early college years. However, the consequences for undocumented students can be much more significant for our undocumented students because they are “sewn with two threads” (as one student put it).
They entered this country as very young children, so their values and background are primarily of the United States with a more distant familial connection to the country they came from, but they are not citizens of the U.S. with all the rights thereof. The undocumented students can face strong negative pressures against going to college from society and even from their own families. As young adults, the undocumented students that Anna shared stories about had gone through the phase of tearing down/blasting away the externally constructed identity  shaped by the society and family and then constructing their own identity internally from within.
There are practical ways we can support these students. It starts with acknowledging them and their special needs as undocumented students, being supportive with even something as simple as a smile and listening ear, and letting them know about the resources and rights given to them through the California Dream Act and DACA for attending college and remaining in the U.S.
Alex Gomez prepared a nice spread of Mexican food for attendees to enjoy after the talk.
For more about what BC is doing to support our undocumented students see https://bcdreamers.wordpress.com and https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/project-dream-act .
For more about the Faculty Colloquium series, see https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/levancenter/programs#colloquia. The Faculty Colloquium committee needs nominations from faculty for faculty who have done research on interesting topics and would
be good speakers. Contact Susan Pinza with your suggestions.

Flu Shots


According to the CDC, the “flu season” can begin as early as October and last until May. During these months, the flu viruses circulate at a higher rate and an annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce chances of catching the flu and spreading it to others. Students and faculty from BC’s Allied Health provided free flu shots to BC students and staff on Tuesday morning at the Collins Conference Center. Way to go BC!

Student Volunteers at Allensworth Park


allensworth_houseEvery year, the volunteer coordinator for the CA State Parks invites BC students to a one-day volunteer event at Allensworth State Historic Park. Not only is this a great way to give back, but students also learn about the amazing Colonel Allensworth State Park, tour of the park, and a chance to talk to park Rangers.

This year, they had two groups since so many students wanted to attend. One group dusted the insides of historic homes and the other painted a historic house. Pictured above are BC students Andrea Moreno, Salvador Murillo, Krista Nolan, Payton Brandon, and Mitchell Switalki with the park ranger.

Alongside these students, many others also volunteered. It’s great to know so many of our students are getting involved, helping out, volunteering, and learning about local history!

Thank you to Erin Miller and Krista Moreland for helping to facilitate these great experiences!

Vet Fest at BC!


Veterans Day is a reminder of the price paid for the liberties we enjoy, but it’s also time to reflect on the burden we all share in ensuring our future generations enjoy those same freedoms. We must never forget that it is the strength of our armed forces that has brought us to this point, and it is the strength that will continue to ensure peace.

leticia-perez-at-vet-fest-2016Between now and Veterans Day on November 11th, people throughout America will gather to remember and give thanks to those who have served in our armed forces. But at Bakersfield College, our veterans are our family… you are our friends, classmates, students, staff, and faculty.  Today we honor you and we thank you for your courage, strength, and soul.

Thank you to all of our speakers and guests, especially Supervisor Leticia Perez for her generosity and her commitment to Bakersfield College and to our student veterans.  Our keynote speaker JR Browning was fabulous. A copy of JR Browning’s speech is available here.

You can see more photos in our online gallery at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/Vet-fest.

Thank you to KGET for the coverage http://www.kerngoldenempire.com/news/vet-fest-returns-today-at-bakersfield-college

Check out my blog on last year’s Vet Fest.


The Kern Housing Authority

I attended the fundraising gala put on by the Kern Housing Authority and Norma Rojas-Mora.  This is a great organization that does great things for our community.  Here are a few pictures from the event.

Row 1: Here I am with friends of Measure J and friends of Bakersfield College.  NaTesha Johnson, Nicole Parra and Karen Goh.

Row 2: Selfies with Norma Rojas-Mora and Andrea Navarro a culinary graduate of Bakersfield College.  Andrea is currently working at the Padre and reminder me that she taught me the right way to cut vegetables.


A little something:

When this note from Professor Dave Neville found its way to my desk on Wednesday afternoon with its attached project, I just knew I had to share it with you. It says, “Could you find an appropriate time to return this project that Lesley did as a student for my Spanish 2 class at North High School. I was going through papers that I had saved as prime examples of student work and came across this.”

I should add that Lesley Bonds is our director of Student Success and Equity and she’s a graduate of North High, right here in Bakersfield.


The highly educational story that Lesley wrote as a high school student follows a girl named Rosa who accidentally cut herself while running with a knife. Rosa’s doctor could not save her and her friends and brother were very, very sad. Throughout the rest of the story, Juan decides to educate other children about knife safety and he even takes the steps necessary to make his own kitchen safer for his little boy.  You can see in the end, the child cries because the knife drawer is locked, but grows up to be a strong and healthy young man.

Our professors at BC are great people who go the extra mile to let our students, past and present, know that they care… and that’s only one reason why I love this story. BC is Bakersfield… our staff, faculty, and administration love this community. We are Bakersfield and… We are BC!

Also wanted to do a quick shout out to Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Tracy Hall, deans, and Faculty Chairs and Directors who do a phenomenal job every day making sure we have the classes available to our students and also making sure that our students are successful in those classes.  Here are two pictures from the FCDC meeting on Friday, Nov 4th, where the chairs were presenting their requests for faculty positions.  Thank you Corny Rodriguez for getting me these photos.  And thank you FCDC!

Measure J support continues:

As we continue with the campaign for Measure J (#MeasureJ), I want to thank our volunteers for this week:

October 30: Cynthia Munoz, Maria Wright, Jamal Wright, Steve Waller, Ramona Benavidez, Tom Gelder, Dana Heins-Gelder, Ivan Valdez, Marisa Marquez, and Kaylana Demmin.

October 31: Stephen Waller, Steve Watkin, Emmanuel Mourtzanos, Todd Coston, Michelle Pena, Jennifer Achan, Sandi Taylor, Liz Rozell, Corny Rodriguez, Janet Fulks, Shannon Musser, Nicky Damania, Lesley Bonds, Zav Dadabhoy, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Tom Gelder, Bill Potter, Shanell Tyus, Maria Wright, Sarah Baron, Ivan Valdez, Rob Parsons, David Koeth, Paul Beckworth, Nick Strobel, Loy Salarda, and Laura Longo.

November 1: Jackie Lau, Michelle Pena, Todd Coston, Isabel Stierle, Christine Saldivar, Joe Saldivar, Dena Rhoades, Terri Goldstein, Grace Commiso, Heather Skibinski, Ivan Valadez, Kathy Howarth, Manny Mourtzanos, Zav Dadabhoy, Steve Watkin and Stephen Waller.


November 2: Eileen Pierce, Kaitlyn Kirkland, Alexa Rivera, Chris Cruz, Felicia Scott, Maria Wright, Ivan Valadez, Savannah Andrews, Manuel Muralles, Claudio Felix, Brian Nava, Russel Tetzschner, Randi Tetzschner, Danny Verdugo, Debi Anderson, Raul Leon, Shanell Tyus, Marshall Compton, Loy Salarda, Alberto Munoz, Juan Cillarreal, Cain Perez, Connor Turner, Jorge Reyes, Juan Hernandez, Ashlea Ward, Edwin Bernal, Carlos Melendez, Lokai Borthel, Reese Weltman, Edgeir Morcio, Julia Crayton, Josie Guillen, Carlos Barbaran, Heidi Forsyth, Lori Williams, Jose Chavez, Tom Gelder, Kalina Hill, Jackie Brouillette, Steven Watkin, Chris McCraw, Greg Cluff, Heather Baltis, Araceli Navarro, Bill Kelly, Tracy Lovelace, Janet Thomas, Lindsay Ono, and Steve Waller.



November 3: Yadira Guerrero, Gabriel Torres, Brigid Mady, Josh Shackleford, Tom Gelder, Evette Lara, Jackie Lau, Salvador Gomez, John Means, Steve Waller, Paul Beckworth, Grace Commiso, Cristian Gutierrez, Valerie Robinson, Ivan Valadez, Rob Parsons, Chris Cruz, Shanell Tyus, Manuel Muralles, Kristina Whitmore, Todd Coston, Ashlea Ward, Steven Watkin, Terri Goldstein, Maria Wright, John Means, Matt Frazer, and Lawrence Salardo.



November 4: Todd Coston, Carlos Barbaran, Evette Lara, Matt Frazer, Pedro Ramirez, Keesha Collins, Danyel Owens, Paulette Rodriguez, Peter Rodriguez, Emmanuel Limaco, Nicky Damania, Chris Glaser, Lesley Bonds, Sam Moreno, Heidi Allison, Bob Allison, Shanice Watson, Dalton Jones, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Zav Dadabhoy, and Rob Parsons.



Community Voices in the Bakersfield Californian

The support we have received in recent months for Measure J (#MeasureJ) has been spectacular and we’re on a four day countdown to when our community decides whether to invest in the future of the Kern Community College District, including BC’s campus, infrastructure, our mission, vision, and values.

Here are two Community Voices pieces that were published this last week and one letter to the editor.

November 1, 2016. Measure J will help those working in the field by Professor Oliver Rosales. Check out his piece in the Bakersfield Californian.

Here are a few excerpts:

There are tremendous needs in this community and, conversely, tremendous opportunities for making a real impact on people’s lives. I have always enjoyed challenges. Delano is a challenge for Bakersfield College. That’s why the center was built in the first place: to educate the children of farm workers. It is a campus center in the middle of the fields, surrounded by high levels of poverty, poor health outcomes, and low educational attainment.

BC Delano is also surrounded, though, by fields of dreams. My Delano students are the reason I love going to work every day. They ground me and keep me content, “working in the fields” every day as I jokingly tell my wife…

Rosales concludes:

Measure J expands opportunities to teach students of the field. The Bakersfield College Delano campus has been around for more than four decades, first located on Randolph Street (now the Wonderful Academy) and now located west of Highway 99 next to Robert Kennedy High School. Measure J will expand the BC Delano campus by developing additional physical space for students to study, collaborate with faculty, and learn. It is not far-fetched to say that students at BC Delano literally study in the fields.

Let’s pass Measure J and continue to give them the opportunity to dream big and change their communities for the better for decades to come.


November 2, 2016: The Bakersfield Californian published Measure J supports a long-held community vision  (#Measure J) by Sonya Christian 🙂

Check out the web version at http://tinyurl.com/h2m3f8o.

Here is an excerpt

In the early 1900s, our people had a dream, a shared goal and a vision, to make the Central Valley a place of opportunity and unbelievable growth, and they did it. In 1913, a then-isolated and relatively small community decided to open a college campus that initially served only 13 students. …..

and another excerpt

Today, our generation is at a pivotal point. We are facing a challenge to prepare and provide for the next 50 years of growth and evolving education. In the 1950s, that generation of leaders had the courage and foresight to make the investments that have paved the way for strengthening our community. Now it is up to us; it’s our turn to look forward.

and I conclude with:

Let your name be listed alongside, for your children and grandchildren, who, when they look through the historic archives, will say, yes, my parent or grandparent was one of the leaders who look care of me and our community.

I ask you to vote yes on Measure J.




November 3, 2016. Letter to the Editor. Yes on J: Local Health Care needs Educated Workforce by Gitest Patel.

Gitesh Patel Nov 3 2016.png


david-torres-californian-nov-4-2016November 4, 2016. BC is community’s ears, ears; but what about bones? by David Torres

Check out the full article at  http://tinyurl.com/gsafm5r

Here are a few excerpts:

Every day, I see where our community struggles, but more often, I see where it comes together and succeeds. Often, the nexus of that success emanates from our area’s community college: Bakersfield College.

I am a father of five and four of my children have attended BC. Two of my daughters earned their AA degrees at BC. Another started college their before transferring to CSUB and one is currently attending BC in order to satisfy requirements for entrance into medical school. I am also a veteran, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. I have seen first-hand the innovative ways that BC interacts with its vets and supports their success. BC means a great deal to me and to our community…..

I see the students of Bakersfield College as the eyes and ears of the institution: they see and hear, they learn. The faculty is the heart of BC.

What about the body, the bones? The infrastructure of BC’s campus overlooking the bluffs is 60 years old and it’s starting to show. Put another way, 21st Century learning can’t happen in mid-century facilities. Just think of the advances in architecture, building construction, disability access, and learning technology that have been introduced in the last 50 years.

Our community’s college is in dire need of replenishment, and the time to provide that is now. Measure J, on the Nov. 8 ballot, is the best, most direct way to provide BC with the badly needed funds to carry this venerable, cherished community institution further into the 21st Century.

I urge you support the many needs of our community and the success of your children and neighbors. Join me in voting yes on Measure J.


Thank you to all who have shared your opinions and voices with the community!

List of endorsements for Measure J:

Over 2000 individuals have endorsed Measure J.

Here are a few

Cathy Abernathy, Cathy Abernathy Consultants
Romeo Agbalog, KCCD Trustee
Joe Aguirre, Former Delano Mayor
Dennis Beebe, KCCD Trustee
Sue Benham, Former Bakersfield City Council Member
Kevin Burton, President, SJCH Foundation
Kyle Carter, Bakersfield Mayoral Candidate/KCCD Trustee
Ricardo Chavez, Delano Mayor
John Corkins, KCCD Trustee
Stephanie Cortez, Porterville Chamber of Commerce CEO/President
David Couch, Kern County Supervisor
Ed Davis, S&E Farms
Robert de la Rosa, Ola Raza Director
Jose Flores, Arvin Mayor
Fran Florez, Shafter City Council Member
Mick Gleason, Kern County Supervisor
Karen Goh, Bakersfield Mayoral Candidate
Doug Greener, Bakersfield Fire Chief
Shannon Grove, California State Assembly Member
Jose Gurrola, Arvin City Council Member
Virginia Gurrola, Porterville Councilwoman
Harvey Hall, Bakersfield Mayor
Cam Hamilton, Porterville Vice Mayor
Harold Hanson, Bakersfield Vice Mayor
Chad Hathaway, Hathaway LLC
Ruben Hill, Delano City Council Member
JP Lake, Rain for Rent
Pauline Larwood, Former KCCD Trustee/
Kern County Supervisor

January Lau, January & Associates
Mike Maggard, Kern County Supervisor
Terry Maxwell, Bakersfield City Council Member
Michelle McLean, Arvin Union School District Superintendent
Kay Meek, KCCD Trustee
Liz Morris, 
Delano City Council Member
Arnold Morrison, DJUHS Board Member
Steve Murray, Murray Family Farms
Chris Parlier, Bakersfield City Council Member
Nicole Parra, Former California State Assembly Member
Ruben Pascual, Delano City Council Member
Leticia Perez, Kern County Supervisor
Christy Porter, Jasmine Cetner Inc.
Leticia Prado, Lamont Water District Member
Fred Prince, Omega Financial & Insurance Services
Janet Rabanal, Delano Chamber of Commerce Director
Rosalina Rivera, Delano Union Elementary School District Superintendent
Willie Rivera, Bakersfield City Council Member
Jazmine Robles, Arvin City Council Membre
Rudy Salas, California State Assembly Member
Mary K. ShellFormer Bakersfield Mayor & County Supervisor
Bob Smith, Bakersfield City Council Member
Mark Storch, KCCD Trustee
Milt Stowe, Porterville Mayor
Jay Tamsi, Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President
Rob Taylor, Stafford’s Chocolates
Bill Thomas, Retired U.S. Congressman, KCCD Trustee
Grace Vallejo, Delano City Council Member
Jon Van Boening, Dignity Health
Greg Williamson, Bakersfield Police Department Chief
Keith Wolaridge, Panama Buena Vista Union Trustee
Dr. James Young, Retired KCCD Chancellor
Donny Youngblood, Kern County Sheriff
Milt Younger, Attorney
Mark Zaninovich, Sunview Vineyards

Here are some organizations that have endorsed Measure J:

The Bakersfield Californian
Bakersfield City Firefighters Association
Bakersfield College Alumni Association
Bakersfield Downtown Business Association
Building4SUCCESS Inc
California City Chamber of Commerce
California Teachers Association
Delano Camber of Commerce
Democratic Women of Kern
Dolores Huerta Foundation
Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce
Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council
KCCD California School Employees Association
KCCD Community College Association
KCCD Management Association
Kern Agriculture Foundation
Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce
Kern County Democratic Party
Kern County Farm Bureau
Kern County Firefighters Union
Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Kern County Young Republicans (PAC)
Kern Economic Development Corporation
Kern Taxpayers Association
Latina Leaders of Kern County
Murray Family Farms
Ola Raza
Porterville Democratic Club
RA Johnsfam
Renegade Helmet Club
Sikh Women’s Association of Kern County
Veterans of Foreign Wars District #6
Veterans of Foreign Wars #97
Wendale Davis Foundation

4 more days Bakersfield!

November 8th is an important day – make sure your voice counts. To find your nearest polling location, visit http://elections.co.kern.ca.us/elections/Voterinfo/Address.asp


Here is a video that the Bakersfield College Student Government Association (BCSGA) under the leadership of President Matthew Frazer created to Get Out the Vote!  Check it out.

And let’s make sure we follow the advice of Mayor Harvey Hall and retired Congressman Bill Thomas.



There’s so much to celebrate and it’s a great time to be at BC!



That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever