Tag Archives: Dolores Huerta

Spring is heating up at BC

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, April 27, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Thinking of Sri Lanka

While the rest of the world was celebrating Easter Sunday with their families, the people of Sri Lanka were fighting a senseless tragedy.

As of Tuesday, more than 300 Sri Lankans were reported dead and 500 more were injured in a series of eight coordinated attacks on churches and hotels, according to an article by Vox. Six of the eight attacks happened in the capital city of Colombo, and attacks also occurred during Easter Sunday church services in Negombo and Batticaloa. The Guardian published a timeline and visual guide to the bombings, which are being blamed on terrorist groups seeking retaliation for the attack on Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand in March.

Sri Lanka is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, located southeast of the Tamil Nadu province on the Indian subcontinent and close to Kerala, the area where I grew up. I last visited Sri Lanka in 2011, and my heart goes out to all the people who have lost loved ones in the attacks.

Moments like this remind me of Mahatma Gandhi, whose 150th anniversary is being celebrated around the world in 2019. He elevated human consciousness by recognizing our infinite capacity for kindness and dignity to counter our species’ infinite potential for violence and devastation.

At BC, wellness and community are part of our core values, and our faculty and staff inspire thousands of students every day to be beacons of light out in their families and communities, spreading love, knowledge and kindness.

In the wake of senseless tragedies such as these, it’s important to consider ways that we can come together to build bridges even in our differences. The battle against hostility and divisiveness starts in our hearts, with our family and friends, in the classroom, outside the classroom — and education is the tool that can help us understand our differences and yet unify us as a people.

My mom and I spent Christmas 2011 in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and split our time between Batticaloa and Columbo, Here is the 200-word piece featured in the 2018 Christmas Edition of The Bakersfield Californian.

Christmas 2011 with my mom Pam Christian in Sri Lanka (Ceylon)

Notre Dame Cathedral Catches Fire

Last week, the world mourned the partial destruction of a historical landmark, as Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral went up in flames.

Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral, most beautiful Cathedral in Paris.
The Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral is a French Gothic style church built to honor the Virgin Mary. Construction on the cathedral started in 1160 AD, and it’s considered one of the greatest architectural achievements in world history.

The roof of Notre Dame caught fire on the evening of April 15 and continued for 15 hours, causing significant damage. However, a lot of the core structure of the building was saved, and there were no deaths or injuries in the fire.

Thanks to approximately $1 billion in donations, the cathedral will be restored to most of its previous glory, but this historic building that has existed for more than eight centuries will never be the same.

Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

Bakersfield College was extremely proud to be a part of this year’s annual Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference, which was chaired by our very own Director of Communications Norma Rojas-Mora!  Norma put her heart and soul into this event, and it was easy to see her touch in so many different areas.

The Women’s Business Conference was celebrating its 30th anniversay and Norma asked me to introduce the video. Here it is.

The year was 1989. 

Imagine a group of women, twenty-something and thirty-something, coming together at the Home of the Renegades, talking about what it was like to be a women working in our community….. talking about work environments that may or may not have been supportive of women and mothers, talking about gaps in opportunities for women, about behaviors that were considered unacceptable only because you were a woman….talking about general societal issues of the time.

Imagine these women…exceptional professionals,  wanting to transform our community by  empowering all women, but particularly those who were young and just getting started in their professional career…..unleashing the power that is a woman –  helping women Believe in the Power of You.

Phyllis Hullett of Bakersfield College came up with the idea of a conference for women.   She was known to move with conviction, and once she started on a path no obstacle, however large, however daunting could deter her from reaching her destination. But Phyllis was certainly not alone.  She recruited co-conspirators, Lynn Hall, Kay Meek, Cindy Pollard, Sheryl Barbich, Cynthia Icardo, Judy Salamacha, and Mary Jo Pasek. These women became the co-leaders, the Mothers of the first Women’s Business Conference here in Bakersfield. 
The title – “Options Unlimited.”

To honor this 30-year anniversary and the founding mothers, we have a short video. Let’s quiet our minds, breathe in and out, and immerse ourselves in our history as told by some of the 7 visionary women leaders from our community, who first made it happen. 

Thank you Manny de Los Santos and Monika Scott for putting together this video.

I was also asked to introduce this year’s Keynote speaker, Shannen Doherty.  Here are excerpts…

I am here to introduce to you a woman who has grown up in the public eye….. no easy task.  A woman who has engaged with life fully, exuberantly, fearlessly, passionately, ….. and yet with a quintessential sense of openness and vulnerability.  

In 1991 young America fell in love with Brenda Walsh, the young woman who moved with her family from Minnesota to Beverly Hills where she tries to fit into the lifestyle of the rich and famous. 

In 1998 America was Charmed by Prudence “Prue” Halliwell, a powerful and responsible witch who protected the innocent and defeated the forces of evil.

In the past week, as the Shannen Doherty story unveiled itself to me through third party narratives, I discovered the sheer power and boldness in this “petite” 5 ft 4” person who appeared to mesmerize the world around her ….whatever world that might be at that time.

In the most recent chapter of her life, Shannen Doherty teaches us about overcoming severe adversity.   

Falling down is an inevitable part of life.  But getting up and engaging with life with a ferociousness when it appears that you don’t have a drop of life remaining in you….. now that is the story of our keynote speaker.

From becoming a child actress and financially supporting her family to building a booming television career, to receiving a devastating cancer diagnosis, and later slaying the disease and entering remission, Shannen Doherty is living proof that she is not defined by her lowest moments but by the absolute drive to lift up, take off and soar high.

I am also struck by her spirit of hope and gratitude…. Her propensity for creativity, her fearlessness in trying new things, and her bravery in sharing her journey. America fell in love with Brenda and Prue decades ago, but I find myself in awe of the woman Shannen Doherty is today: Survivor, animal rights activist….. inspirational and fearless.

And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire – and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears. [Post theshando, March 8, 2019..quote attributed to Mark Anthony]

Bakersfield, I give you the indomitable Shannen Doherty!

shannen doherty

In her honor, the conference focused on encouraging women to be proactive about their health and get mammogram screenings.  It is so easy for us to focus on others, our jobs, our families and forget about our own self-care.  I was extremely honored to be a part of an event with this message, and also very proud of all of the hard work Norma put in!  It was a wonderful event!

women's conference

Andrea Thorson was a rock star with her presentation. I had a young woman who rushed up to me and said that I had a great dean at BC and that she was just coming from Andrea’s presentation. We are BC!

Andrea Thorson

Early College Initiative Award Presented at SGA Student Leadership Dinner

For the first time, dual enrollment students were included in our annual SGA Student Leadership Awards Dinner. The Early College Initiative Award was created in a collaboration between our Dual Enrollment and Student Life departments to recognize high school students who have shown early initiative in taking college courses and starting on their college pathway. Out of many nominations that came in from across all high school districts, five finalists were selected to attend the awards dinner with their families, nominating instructor, and principal.

Osvaldo Casillas and Kathy Rowland
Kathy Rowland and Osvaldo Casillas

The first recipient of the award was Osvaldo Casillas from Mira Monte High School. He was nominated by dual enrollment instructor and BC English Adjunct instructor Kathy Rowland who wrote, “Osvaldo continuously demonstrates a keen dedication to attendance, thorough completion of assignments, and thoughtful contribution to class discussion/analysis.  For almost 4 years, he has strategized a plan for post-secondary education knowing that he will make strides in engineering to broaden opportunities both for himself, family, and his mother who has been detained in Mexico for an extensive timeframe. Nonetheless, he has found a method, a coping mechanism that harnesses all his personal struggles and heartaches into the surety of an academic pathway to success. He is one of the finest young men I have ever met in my 20 years of teaching.”

Mariano Balbueno with Mario Nunez and Susana Salazar (Counselor)
Left to right: Mariano Balbueno, Mario Nunez, and Susana Salazar (Counselor)

The second recipient was Mariano Balbueno from Delano High School. Mariano was nominated by his dual enrollment instructor Mario Nunez who wrote, “Mariano has completed a total of 10 dual/concurrent enrollment courses, and is currently working on four more during this second semester of his Senior year. He has earned a total of 32 general education credits towards an associate degree, all while he has been in high school.  At the end of his senior year, Mariano will have earned a total of 44 college units.”

Finalists with Early College Team
Early College Initiative Award finalists and the Early College team.

Both students received BCSGA student leadership medals that they will be able to wear with pride at their high school graduations this spring. As we continue to embrace our early college students into our campus culture, events such as this are such an amazing way to welcome our high school students into our Renegade family, and to show everyone on our campus just how much our students and our communities benefit from early college opportunities.

Second Annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference

The 2nd Annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference took over the Panorama campus this week to honor the history of Chicano Studies programs and the 50th anniversary of the founding of MEChA.

This year’s conference was expanded to three days, packed with panels, speakers, art, music, and film celebrating Chicano culture. Octavio Barajas brilliantly organized all of the programming that happened between Tuesday and Thursday.

Jess Nieto was an activist, philanthropist, and instructor who founded the Chicano Studies program at BC in the 1970s. He also founded Heritage for America, a non-profit organization that helps immigrants with achieving citizenship.

When Nieto passed away just before his 70th birthday in 2017, a team of educators who were inspired by his contributions to BC and the Chicano community founded this conference in his name. The theme for this year’s conference was based on the MEChA motto of “Self-Determination for the Liberation of Our People.”

Corny Rodriguez speaking
Corny Rodriguez speaks passionately about MEChA.
Four students sitting at table with hands folded
Project Conexiones students Edith Mata, Jovana Espinoza, Jennifer Lule, and Erick Plata give a presentation in the Levan Center.

Students from the newly-created BC organization Project Conexiones talked about the founding of their group, which seeks to create a bridge between MEChA, LUPE, and other campus organizations that support Chicano and undocumented students through their education.

Three people sitting at table
Left to right: Dr. Mark Martinez, Steve Barber and Emily Gonzales host a panel on the life of Ray Gonzales, the first Chicano elected to state office in Kern County.

CSUB political science professor Mark Martinez spoke of Gonzales’ gregarious personality and told stories from his time as a CSUB social studies teacher toward the end of his life. Steve Barber, Gonzales’ campaign manager from 1972, talked about Gonzales’ important work in petitioning to redrawing the district lines in Kern County to maximize Latino representation, as well as conducting demographic research that would lead to the creation of Cal State Monterey Bay. Gonzales’ daughter Emily ended the panel with a tearful discussion of his passion and discipline for learning.

Two men standing by painting
Artist Jorge Guillen and Oliver Rosales pose with Guillen’s painting of Ray Gonzales.

After the Ray Gonzales panel, local artists Jorge Guillen and Juan X shared their poetry about the Chicano struggle. Guillen made a portrait of Ray Gonzales in honor of the conference and shared some of his murals in Rexland Acres Park. He also talked the influence that BC professors such as Jack Brigham had on his development as an artist.

BC Jazz ensemble
The BC Jazz Ensemble performs in the Administration Courtyard.
Man blowing trumpet
Kris Tiner performs with BC jazz students.
Man playing bongos
Louie Cruz Beltran performs with the BC Jazz ensemble.
Male and female smiling
Louie Cruz Beltran and Dolores Huerta

The first day of the conference moved to the Administration Courtyard, where attendees ate a delicious spread of enchiladas and tacos provided by Food Services. During dinner, the BC Jazz Ensemble performed in the courtyard with Louie Cruz Beltran, a percussionist, singer and BC alum who has played alongside Tito Puente, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Macy Gray, and some of the most famous entertainers in the world. Paintings of historic Chicano figures by Guillen, BC students and professor Diego Monterrubio were also displayed in the courtyard.

Girl painting portrait of woman
Male painting aztec head
Hispanic Latin painting artwork
BC professor Diego Monterrubio’s painting is displayed in the Administration Courtyard on April 23.

Day one of the conference concluded with a keynote presentation by Sean Arce, a teacher who revolutionized Chicano Studies instruction at the elementary and high school levels. He also represented Tucson high school students in challenging Arizona’s ban on ethnic studies instruction, which was overturned by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Arce v. Douglas.

Man blowing conch
Sean Arce calls in the four directions in a Mesoamerican ceremony that uses a conch shell.
Man pointing at painting
Sean Arce talks about the importance of Chicano Studies.

Arce shared some demographic information about educational attainment rates broken down by race, and explained how Ethnic Studies programs can help to increase educational attainment rates by allowing students of color to see their experiences reflected in the curriculum.

On Wednesday night in the BC Forum, the Jess Nieto Memorial Conference screened the PBS documentary “The Rise of the Brown Buffalo,” about Chicano lawyer and activist Oscar Zeta Acosta.

“The Rise of the Brown Buffalo” was directed by veteran PBS filmmaker Philip Rodriguez, using actors to portray Acosta and the major figures in his life. The film juxtaposes talking head testimonials from the actors with actual photos and footage of Acosta. In the film, Acosta is portrayed by Bakersfield native Jesse Celedon.

Two men with fingers on chins
A screenshot from the PBS documentary “The Life of the Brown Buffalo” screened in the BC Forum.

Acosta was an influential part of the Chicano movement of the late ’60s and early ’70s as a bold and boisterous lawyer representing activists and Chicano militants in Los Angeles during a time of rioting and intense racial strife. He was known for his wild and unorthodox methods of practicing law, and he cross-examined 100 judges, an unprecedented act that demonstrated how the jury selection process for his cases was biased against Chicanos. He also ran for Sheriff of Los Angeles County in 1970.

Acosta’s books didn’t do well commercially despite critical acclaim, and in 1974, he hand-wrote a last will and testament and disappeared in the deserts of Mexico. He was never seen again and is presumed dead.

Two men standing at Jess Nieto Conference
Director Philip Rodriguez and local actor Jesse Celedon speak in the Forum.

The last day of the conference focused on student presentations. Current members of BC’s MEChA gave a current update on everything they’ve done this year and testimonials about how the club helped them connect with their Chicano heritage. Graduate students Randy Villegas from UC Santa Cruz and Francisco Beltran from UC Santa Barbara gave presentations of their research. BC students Jose Bello and Tania Bernal moderated a panel on immigration, and Levan Student Award recipients gave presentations as well. The conference ended with a special baile by Project Conexiones students.

I’d like to thank Octavio Barajas for organizing all of the programming, as well as all of the students, staff and panelists who came out to support such an amazing, legendary man.

Third Annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast

On Wednesday, April 24, BC attended the 3rd Annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast at Hodel’s Country Dining.  The Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast is one place where community champions who quietly work behind the scenes are illuminated for their phenomenal dedication.

nora dominguez, kimberly white-smith, sonya, lynette, dolores huerta, nan, norma

This year’s honoree and recipient of the Cesar Chavez Legacy Award was Dolores Huerta, who was born on April 10, 1930 in Dawson, New Mexico, but spent most of her childhood and early adult life in Stockton, California.  Dolores found her calling while serving in the leadership of the Stockton Community Service Organization (CSO), when she founded the Agricultural Workers Association (AWA).  In 1955, she met CSO Executive Director Cesar E. Chavez.  The two shared a common vision of organizing farm workers, which was an idea that did not necessarily follow the CSO’s mission.

abel-guzman-brenda-valdez
corny-rodriguez-olivia-garcia
Josefina Flores

In 1962, Cesar and Dolores launched the National Farm Workers Association, where Dolores’s skills were vital to the growth of this organization.  In addition, she was instrumental in the enactment of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, as well as working as a lobbyist to improve workers’ legislative representation.  Later, she fought to elect more Latinos and women to political office.

Dolores has received many honors and accolades over the years, including the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award in 1998 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.  As of 2015, she was a board member of the Feminist Majority Foundation, Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus of the United Farm Workers of America, and President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

danny-morrison
Danny Morrison did an amazing job as host.

The breakfast was hosted by Danny Morrison, who is a social and community activist, motivational speaker, and multimedia personality and host of The Danny Morrison Radio Show with the NEW 103.9 The Beat in Bakersfield and the NEW Forge 92.5 in Fresno.  Born and raised in Bakersfield, Danny spends his time mentoring children, performing motivational speeches, and giving back to the community.

nan and sonya
victor-diaz-lisa-robles
bc group

It was wonderful to see several members of our BC leadership come out to celebrate Huerta’s accomplishments, including Abel Guzman, Brenda Valdez, Corny Rodriguez, Olivia Garcia, Victor Diaz, and Lisa Robles.  We are BC!  Si, se puede!

Project Conexiones Students Participate in Leadership Conference

Participants attended various workshop topics ranging from career development, political consciousness, social and community activism, supporting undocumented students, systems of higher education, cultural resiliency, unity among students, and learned from many powerful keynote speakers, authors, and influential community organizers.

Students began their morning at MacArthur Park with an appreciation of their indigenous cultural roots as they were greeted by a traditional Aztec danza.

After the final day of the conference, Conexiones students enjoyed a relaxing and fun day at Malibu Beach.

Special thanks to the EOPS and CalSOAP staff who contributed greatly to the planning process. Big shout out to Octavio Barajas (History), Francisco Llamas (History), and Marcela Gamino (EOPS) for serving as advocates and mentors to the Conexiones students.

Business Pathway Career Expo

On Wednesday, Bakersfield College held its Business Pathway Career Expo in front of the library for students to interact with professionals regarding the careers they would like to pursue.

business pathway booth
business pathway booth
business pathway booths overview
business pathway booth

Students talked to people in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship, Computer Science, and Law Enforcement.  These days, employers are looking for more than an education. They are looking for skilled workers with job experience, so the Business Pathway Career Expo gave students a chance to learn about job prospects and internships before they finish college so they can get a head start on their career. The expo also allowed students to interact with several local business owners and industry partners.

business pathway booth
business pathway booth

Cool t-shirt. Thank you.

Pre-Law Student Celebration

The Bakersfield College Pre-Law Program is pleased to report that we have 11 students who completed the Pre-Law program this year. We have students transferring to CSU Bakersfield, CSU East Bay, UC Davis, and Washington State. Best of luck to our Pre-Law graduates!

Pre law students
Graduates present at the celebration (left to right): Leodegario Aguilar, Stephiny Winslow, Linda Eaves, Karla Alvarez, Kiley Thompson, David Arredondo, Robert Bankowski, and Denise Ruiz.
Pre law students
David Arredondo (with guest) and Advisory Council Member Yinka Glover.
Pre law students
David Arredondo, Leslie Cunningham (Director of Cal Law Inc.), Linda Eaves, Karla Alvarez, Robert Bankowski, Pearl Urena, and Leodegario Aguilar.

EOP&S Student Celebration

Last Tuesday, April 23, the EOP&S Student Celebration took place at Hodel’s Country Dining. Check out these great photos!

EOP&S graduates
EOP&S graduates
EOP&S graduates
EOP&S medals

Community Voices: Tom Burke

Check out this piece by Chancellor Tom Burke in The Bakersfield Californian about celebrating community colleges.  Like the chancellor, I’m very proud of the work we have done to serve our community college students.

community voices by tom burke

Read Tom’s entire article on www.bakersfield.com.

Community Voices: Jack Hernandez

Last month, Jack Hernandez wrote a touching piece in The Bakersfield Californian on the topic of suicide.  His words touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes as he wrote about his personal experience dealing with suicide.  As he states in the first paragraph, suicide is a “terrifying, endlessly sad word.”

community voices by jack hernandez

Read Jack’s entire article on www.bakersfield.com.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

William Harland Boyd Gets Plaque

This weekend, a plaque will be dedicated on campus in memory of Dr. William Harland Boyd, who was a history professor and department chair at Bakersfield College.

william harland boyd plaque
william harland boyd plaque

In addition to his BC duties, Dr. Boyd was a co-founder and editor of the local historical society in Kern County, being affiliated with this group for more than fifty years.  This wonderful plaque will be displayed inside our Humanities area, so be sure to stop by and take a look! We are BC proud!

Geology Club Rocks the Sequoias

Francis Benavente, who recently joined the Bakersfield College Geology Club, sent over these great photos of a wonderful field trip they took to see rocks in Sequoia National Park.  Under the direction of geology professor Chris Benker, they hiked up the river to Brush Creek, and got a lot of really awesome pictures.  I’d like to give a special thanks to Chris for providing these amazing opportunities for our students!

BC geology club
BC geology club

View more photos of the Geology Club’s visit to Sequoia National Park.

BC Drumline Beats the Competition at WGI World Championship

Last week, I wrote about our amazing BC Drumline winning the gold medal at the WGI World Championship Competition in Dayton, Ohio.  Director of Marching Arts Ensembles Tim Heasley and Drumline Media Manager Jimmie Taliaferro sent over these videos of the students warming up for the competition.  The actual performance couldn’t be recorded because of copyright reasons, but as Tim puts it, “You had to be there!”  Congrats, again!

Math and Science Retirement Luau

Retirees from the Math and Science Departments were celebrated with a retirement luau on Wednesday, April 24, and I was happy to participate in the festivities.  Patrick Fulks from the Biology Department is also retiring this semester, but was unavailable for the picture.

Group of people at makeshift luau
Left to right: Regina Hukill, Math Department; myself; Richard Darke, Physical Science Department; and Janet Fulks, Biology Department
Group of people at makeshift luau
Left to right: Richard Darke, Physical Science Department; Regina Hukill, Math Department; Janet Fulks, Biology Department; and Bernard Scanlon, Math Department

Thank you to Stephen Waller and Janet Thomas and the Office of Instruction Staff, as well as fellow faculty members of the math, biology, and physical science departments, for putting on the luau party.  Aloha!

Celebrating Earth Day with ‘Eating Animals’

Last Monday night in the Levan Center, Professor Beth Rodacker and Professor Emily Wilson hosted a viewing and discussion of the film Eating Animals to celebrate Earth Day 2019.

eating animals movie poster

The film, which was released in 2017, has received fine reviews and takes a close-up look at factory farming.  Based on the bestselling book by Jonathan Safran Foer, narrated by co-producer Natalie Portman, and directed by Christopher Quinn, Eating Animals takes an eye-opening look at the environmental, economic, and public health consequences of factory farming.

Spotlighting farmers who adopt more humane practices, Eating Animals offers attainable, commonsense solutions to a growing crisis.

Thanks to Beth and Emily for giving our students a chance to view this great film.

View the ‘Eating Animals’ trailer here!K

Spotlight: Office of Institutional Effectiveness

At Bakersfield College, we take pride in our high-touch, high-tech approach to working with our students, and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness has been instrumental in the development and evolution of that approach since its inception in 2016.

office of institutional effectiveness staff
karen, david, dan hall

Institutional Effectiveness conducts research, collects data, and provides reports on everything from accreditation, program review, and enrollment strategies to data coaching, grant funding, and student learning outcomes. This data is used by executive leadership and program managers to inform decisions, track outcomes and effectiveness of initiatives, and direct the daily activities of staff.

This year, the office has launched the Institutional Review Board and developed a process for faculty and staff to request research projects. The Institutional Review Board helps college personnel attain higher education credentials, facilitates applications for federal grants, and maintains ethical standards of research projects at BC. So far, the office has received 385 research requests through the Institutional Review Board during the 2018-19 academic year, Hayward said.

karen and david
Karen Snow and David Buitron

After compiling the information for this year’s Scorecard, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness has noticed an increasing proportion of younger students in the BC student body over the past five years due to the growth of the Dual Enrollment and Early College programs. The shift in curriculum via metamajors and the establishment of Completion Coaching communities has resulted in a significant increase of Hispanic/Latinx students receiving Associate Degrees for Transfer, as well as increases in the number of students attempting 15 or more units in their first term and completing transfer-level math and English in their first year. These are important momentum points in both the guided pathways model and new state funding formula for community colleges.

Institutional researchers have shared BC’s high-tech, high-touch strategies across the nation, including the state Chancellor’s Office, EMSI, the Center for Urban Education, and the RP Group conference this month. In May, researcher Amber Hroch will be presenting at ACCJC’s Partners in Excellence conference about program review.

office of institutional effectiveness staff

This year, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness developed Cognos reports that will help the EOP&S and Veterans’ Services departments streamline the work they do to support students.  They’ve also launched the first phase of a project that will create a centralized data warehouse for all of the information collected across Banner, Starfish, eLumen, and other programs utilized by BC faculty and staff.

I’d like to thank all of the brilliant minds in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness for providing concrete data analysis that continues to drive innovation at BC.

Fun Photos: BC Entrepreneurship Team

Manny Mourtzanos shared a fun photo of the team after the Entrepreneurship Workshop that was offered to BC students following the Business Pathway Career Expo on Wednesday. They enjoyed two very successful events–it’s a good time to be a Renegade!

Manny Mourtzanos, Heather Wight (Executive Assistant, Small Business Development Center), Goli Ameri (President and CEO, StartItUp), Prof. Rudy Menjivar (BC Entrepreneurship & Business Law Faculty), and JP Lake (Managing Partner, Kern Venture Group)
Left to right: Manny Mourtzanos, Heather Wight (Executive Assistant, Small Business Development Center), Goli Ameri (President and CEO, StartItUp), Professor Rudy Menjivar (BC Entrepreneurship & Business Law Faculty), and JP Lake (Managing Partner, Kern Venture Group)

Fun Photos: Power Luncheon

Check out these great photos from Wednesday’s Power Luncheon with Jean Fuller.

crowd listening at the Power luncheon with jean fuller
Power luncheon with jean fuller
people sitting at desks
Power luncheon with jean fuller
Power luncheon with jean fuller
Power luncheon with jean fuller

Fun Photos: College Budget Meeting

Our College Budget Meetings are always an exciting time, as you can see in these wonderful photos.

college budget meeting
college budget meeting
college budget meeting
college budget meeting
college budget meeting
Members of the budget committee being asked to stand and be recognized.

Renegade Athletics

The annual Army All-Star football game at Rabobank is a huge community event that we had the opportunity to sponsor this year. Athletics Program Manager Darrell Ballard and student worker Daniel Kraskey manned a table representing the college before the game and Associate AD Keith Ford presented the Offensive Player of the Game Award at the conclusion of the game. Over twenty of this year’s players are coming to BC this fall to play football for Coach Chudy. We look forward to seeing them on campus!

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11:00 a.m., check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights include segments from BC Baseball and Softball, who are both Western State Conference Champions!

Segment with BC Baseball Coach Tim Painton

Segment with BC Baseball’s Kamron Willman and Alejandro Murillo

Segment with BC Assistant Softball Coach Aryka Chavez

Segment with BC Softball’s Natilee Parrish and Ashley Hernandez

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (4/14-4/20) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

Daran Towns, Women’s Swimming

Was named WSC Co-Female Swimmer of the Year, winning all three of her individual races and breaking school records in all three. (500 Free, 200 Free, 100 Free) She was also on the winning 800 Free Relay along with 3 other top 4 relays.

Jacob Whitby, Men’s Track and Field

Placed first in the discus with a throw of 46.63m at the WSC Championships for back-to-back conference championships in that event.

Renegade Volleyball is Tearing it up on the Sand

lady gades beach volleyball
lady gades beach volleyball

The Renegade Women’s Beach Volleyball team hosted both Santa Barbara City College and Glendale College at the CSUB Beach Volleyball courts on Friday and came away with two dominant victories, 5-0 over SBCCC and 5-0 over GC. KCCD General Counsel Chris Hine was at the match to witness the dominating play by our student athletes. View a full album of the matches.

Women’s Soccer Student Athletes Moving On

Renegade Women’s Soccer student athletes Reagan King and Drew Hallum will be continuing their academic and athletic careers at the Division I level this coming season. King has signed with the University of Louisiana Monroe and Hallum, who originally committed to Emerson College, has signed with Appalachian State University. Congrats and good luck!

Jacob Whitby Grabs Back-to-Back WSC Discus Championships

Congrats to Renegade Student Athlete Jacob Whitby who won the Western State Conference Discuss Title that last weekend with a throw of 46.63m. This is now Jacob’s second title in as many years. Congrats, Jacob and good luck the rest of the season!

Roundup of Athletics Events This Week

As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include:

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics by following us on social media.

  • Facebook – ‘Bakersfield College Athletics’
  • Twitter – @GoGadesGo
  • Instagram – @gogadesgo
Sonya Christian


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC is Booming with Activities!

Good morning Bakersfield….. It is March 17th, St Patrick’s Day and Neo’s first birthday. 

 

Another week of booming activity at Bakersfield College and each activity so rich and profound in its impact on our students and our community.  Let me start this week’s blog with the Sydney Bound Concert to send our choir to Australia and as Bill Thomas said, get them back.

Sydney Bound Concert

Trustee Kyle Carter and Sonya ChristianI want to recognize Trustee Kyle Carter first and foremost for his support of BC’s choir.  When I approached him a few weeks ago and asked for his help to strategize how we could bridge the gap in funding to get our students to Australia to perform at the Sydney Opera House, he immediately went into action and the result was the March 10th concerts (one at 5:00 p.m. and the other at 7:30) with two amazing musicians Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger, who performed pro bono alongside the BC Chamber Singers to raise the funds.  Kyle opened up the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame venue for this event and along with his wife Kim McAbee-Carter pulled off an incredible concert.

Next I want to thank Monty Byrom who brought out his band to support our students. He also traveled from Fresno to attend the Sterling Silver dinner to promote the March 10th event and then turned around the next day and traveled back.   Just extraordinary.  And then there is the woman with the best voice ever…Lydia Ranger.  When Kyle Carter reached out to her, she unhesitatingly said yes.  And you have got to check out the video at the end of this section of Lydia belting out Bridge Over troubled Water…..  just amazing.

Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrum, Sonya Christian, Jen Garrett

I also want to thank our major sponsors for the evening.

  • Kern Schools Federal Credit Union
  • Deborah & Philip Rosenthal, MD
  • Klein, DeNatale, Goldner Attorneys At Law
  • Rick & Lorie Kreiser & Guitar Masters
  • Ken & Pam Byrum
  • An anonymous donor

These two pictures were taken at the Sterling Silver.  Steve Renock of Kern Schools and Ken and Pam Byrum.

Here are photos of Debby Rosenthal,  Jay Rosenlieb of Klein Denatale Goldner, and Rick Kreiser.

And to the anonymous donor…..

 

Bakersfield College itself was in full force at the concert. This incredible evening was full of great music, friends, BC family, and fun. Thank you to all who came out to support our talented BC Chamber Singers in their dream to perform at the Sydney Opera House. Bakersfield is a community that makes dreams a reality! What an incredible and fun way to make this happen for our students.

Debby Rosenthal, Steven Holmes and Meg Stidham; Grace Comisso, Maria Wright and Jamal Wright.

Thank you to the BC team who worked to make this happen: Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Manny Mourtzanos, Jennifer Garrett, Jerry Ludeke, Michelle Pena, and Tom Gelder.

Thank you Tonya Davis and her husband, Chris and Nancy Hine, John and Julie Means from the District Office for coming out to this BC event.

Thank you to the deans who should up in full force.

Steve Waller and Andrea Thorson; Sonya Christian and Steve Waller

Was happy to see my friends Arlene and Lauro Braganza who love music and support our BC Chamber Singers; Karen Thompson and Pat Thompson who are strong supporters of BC.

Steven and Lori Holmes, Khushnur and Zav Dadabhoy, Bob Allison and Manny Mourtzanos

Steve and Lori Holmes, Khushnur and Zav Dadabhoy, Bob Allison, Manny Mourtzanos

Michelle Pena helped with selling the tickets and here she is with her whole family

 

Some more pictures….

 

Love this picture of Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrom and Jennifer Garrett rehearsing.

Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrom, Jennifer Garrett

Endee Grijalva snapped this great pic of our Early College Program Students from Arvin High School. Equity paid for their attendance and transportation to the event. We also had a group of Adult Ed Students able to attend via equity as well. Abel Guzman, Director, Delano Campus and Rural Initiatives said “This was a huge team effort, including Arvin HS. Ed Watts, the Principal, has been extremely supportive of the early college program.”

Sydney Bound - Early College Program

Steven Daniels, professor at CSUB uploaded beautiful photos from the evening on his facebook. Check them out here!

Jill Burdick performing Ron Kean’s Carry me Home

Monty Byrom, Lydia Ranger and the BC Chamber Singers did a phenomenal job with Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah is one of my favorite songs.  Composed in the late 1980s when I first got to the United States as a foreign student the song was not an immediate hit but then gained popularity later.  Beautiful blend of rock, pop and gospel music….. I love it.  Let’s listen to Monty Byrom and Ken Burdick perform it.

 

Dolores: Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother.

s18huerta01-x2To celebrate the upcoming television premiere of the documentary “Dolores: Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother”, Dolores Huerta and her family came to the Levan Center on Monday night to answer questions about the work she’s done as a community organizer for over 50 years. BC’s Olivia Garcia and Tina Mendoza gave a brief introduction about the Huerta family before hosting a screening of “Dolores”, which premieres on PBS’ Independent Lens March 27th.  (Btw, doesn’t Olivia look absolutely gorgeous and happy in this picture?)

The Levan Center was so full that many audience members had to sit on the floor to enjoy the documentary, which is executive produced by Carlos Santana.

Dolores

“Dolores” tells the story of how Huerta co-founded the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez to advocate for the rights of immigrant laborers, rekindling a nationwide sense of pride and identity in the American Latino community in the process. The film goes on to discuss Huerta’s history with the feminist movement, being beaten and hospitalized by a police officer in 1988, repairing the fractured relationship with her 11 children, and eventually leaving the UFW to help found a non-profit foundation in her name.
After the film, Dolores and four of her children walked into the Levan Center to a standing ovation, answering audience questions about the film and the Foundation’s current work advocating for Latinos in rural Kern County. Some of the Foundation’s recent successes include winning a lawsuit to redraw Kern County’s voting districts to secure a second Latino-majority district on the Board of Supervisors, as well as using the Foundation’s youth programs to develop political leaders from the local Latino community, including Jose Gurrola, the 23-year-old mayor of Arvin.

left to right: Emilio Huerta, Juanita Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Camila Chavez and Lori de Leon

left to right: Emilio Huerta, Juanita Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Camila Chavez and Lori de Leon

Other participants on the panel included Emilio Huerta, a lawyer who ran for Congress against David Valadao in 2016; Camila Chavez, Executive Director of the Dolores Huerta Foundation; Lori De Leon, Business Manager for the Dolores Huerta Foundation; and Juanita Chavez, Communications and Media Coordinator for the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

Dolores Screening
Dolores’ children didn’t get to spend much time with their mother growing up since she was so busy traveling around the country as a political activist, but they all said that they now understand the value of the sacrifices they had to endure in order to provide opportunities on behalf of all Latinos, and they’re inspired by their mother’s determination every single day.

Dolores and Olivia Garcia
Several BC faculty and staff were in attendance at the documentary screening, including Dean Cornelio Rodriguez, who shook Dolores’ hand at the end of the event, as well as nursing professor Noelia Citialin, who is Dolores’ granddaughter. I loved seeing Jay Tamsi in the room as well.

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I’d like to thank PBS, the Levan Center, Olivia Garcia, Tina Mendoza and everyone who helped organize this event.  Happy to see Jay Tamsi in this picture.  Dolores Huerta needs to be well known even outside of the San Joaquin Valley, and hopefully this documentary spreads the word about one of the greatest labor organizers of the 20th and 21st centuries.

See all the photos at BC’s SmugMug.

 

Spring Serenade Concert Band/Orchestra

Dr. Kathryn Kuby and the BC Concert Band/Orchestra held their Spring Serenade concert last night. This amazing concert featured ensembles performing music of varying styles and five very talented student soloists performing solo works with orchestral accompaniment. The following student soloists performed:

Sebastian Lee & Cheyenne Toussaint, Double Cello Concerto in G minor, RV 531, I (Vivaldi) Jaison Miles, Clarinet Concerto No. 3 in B-flat, I (Stamitz) Aflredo Ramirez, Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E♭ Major, Op. 74, J. 118, I (Weber) Matthew Rose, Concerto in One Movement for Tuba and Orchestra (Alexey Konstantinovich Lebedev, Arranged by Allen Ostrander)

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Admin Council

The work of the college is continuous and inspirational. On Monday, Admin Council gathered to recap and update each other on important campus happenings such as Testing and Placement Program Review, led by Kalina Hill and upcoming Registration Days, led by Steve Watkin.  A wonderful presentation was given by  Dr. Maria Wright on BC’s Academic Support Services highlighting all that we’ve done in previous years and where these services are headed.

National Walkout Day

While high school students around the country took a stand on Wednesday to raise awareness of gun violence, several BC students also held a short march on campus in solidarity with them. The march was held for 17 minutes, each minute representing a life that was lost during the Parkland, Florida school shooting in February.

Emmanuel Limaco of BC’s M.E.Ch.A. organization gave some brief remarks before leading the group through a triangular march between the Campus Center, Center for Student Success and Science and Engineering building. Each point represented Bakersfield, Sacramento, and Washington, DC, respectively.

“Our parents did not raise us to be afraid of going to school,” Limaco said. “We should never have to live in a world where school shooting is a reality.”

Pi Day

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Computer Science professor Eddie Rangel hosts a booth about BC’s Computer Studies program during the Pi Day celebration in the Science and Engineering Courtyard.

The Bakersfield College STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) Completion Coaching Team and the BC Math Club partnered in the first STEM Celebrates Pi Day event on March 14, 2018 (National Pi Day). The event celebrated the number Pi, 3.14159…. with free pizza Pi and fruit Pi for more than 200 students who attended. Students visited tables with various STEM-related activities to earn tickets towards prize drawings for BC swag, graphing calculators, and (of course) pies!

Pi in the Face Group 2

At exactly Pi 3/14 1:59 pm, faculty devoted to Pi got a pie in the face: (from left to right) Dr. Scott Peat (Biology), Dr. Joe Saldivar (Biology), Mr. Arnie Andrasian (Math). Dr. Kenward Vaughan (Physical Sciences), and Dr. Jon Brown (Math Club Advisor). It was a fun event with lots of useful information for students about tutoring services, supplemental instruction, counseling, and financial aid. The team is now back to planning more STEM events for this year and next year!

Dr. Joe Saldivar even has a fantasatic video on his twitter @DrJoeBio! Check it out here.

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Global Connections

The International Student Organization (ISO) hosted several booths at the lawn in front of Counseling on Tuesday, educating students about all of the different cultures represented at BC.

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Booths at the ISO’s Global Connection event were hosted by students and featured information about each of their home countries. Students played acoustic guitar and electric drums in the lawn, and several women wore traditional Mexican dresses while handing out chips and salsa.

The ISO also held a special dinner on Tuesday evening in the Fireside Room honoring the faculty and staff who work every day to make BC an inclusive space for international students. And the fabulous Manuel DeLosSantos took a beautiful photo of the food provided by BC Food Services.

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Shafter Learning Center

David Franz, Shafter Education Partnership Director, gave a presentation to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday morning talking about the Shafter Learning Center’s classes at BC.

During a discussion about the success of the Shafter Learning Center as part of the Supervisors’ series of informational sessions about education and workforce development, Franz mentioned the addition of psychology and sociology courses at the Shafter Learning Center, which is located inside the Shafter library. KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog, representing the organization Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government, also gave a public comment at the meeting praising the intergovernmental approach Franz has adopted with the Shafter Learning Center, bridging partnerships between local government, school boards and BC to provide tutoring and education to Shafter residents. Agbalog was also excited about the reduced commute that classes in Shafter offer for people in Wasco, who otherwise might have to drive to the Delano Center for classes, as well as Northwest Bakersfield residents who live closer to Shafter than the Panorama campus or BC Southwest.

Dr. Fontes Presents

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Dr. Patrick Fontes presents in Delano

On Wednesday, March 14 the Bakersfield College Delano Campus hosted Dr. Patrick Fontes of CSU Fresno.  Dr. Fontes earned his PhD in History from Stanford University and visited the Delano Campus to offer a presentation on his oral history project, “Chicano Legacy of Fresno County,” funded by California Humanities. A fourth-generation Fresnan, Patrick’s presentation offered students and faculty an overview of Mexican American history in Fresno county, as well as highlighted oral history interviews with local Mexican Americans involved in the Chicano civil rights movement in Fresno since the 1960s—including Dr. Lea Ybarra of John Hopkins University and the Smithsonian Center for Latino Studies.  Other highlights from the presentation included the history of the Ku Klux Klan in Fresno County, as well as the process of doing archival research and oral history.  Delano Faculty member Dr. Chris Cruz-Boone attended with her Communication students and will be designing place-based pedagogy and assignments dealing with local history in Delano and the surrounding rural communities.  “The overall goal of Digital Delano,” remarked History Professor and NEH Project Director Oliver Rosales, “is for students and faculty to examine more closely the rich histories of the San Joaquin Valley.

Fontes Presentation 2

More information about Dr. Fontes’s project can be found at www.chicanolegacy.com.

This event was sponsored by Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (C.H.A.P.), and Social Justice Institute of Bakersfield College.

Fontes Presentation 1

Pictured above is Dr. Oliver Rosales, Professor of History, Coordinator, Social Justice Institute at Bakersfield College, and Project Director, Digital Delano, Dr. Patrick Fontes, Lecturer of History at Fresno City College and Fresno State, Elisabeth Sundby, MLIS, MBA Adjunct Librarian at BC Delano and Project Co-Director, Digital Delano, and Dr. Christine Cruz-Boone, Professor of Communications at Bakersfield College.

KCHCC Spotlighted in Renegade RIP

The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHCC) is looking for high school and BC students to apply for their annual Energy and Agriculture Academy. Student reporter Miranda Defoor of the Renegade Rip wrote about the Energy and Agriculture Academy in an article published last Sunday. BC is hosting all five sessions for the academy, which is a partnership between KCHCC, Aera and Chevron to prepare students for careers in STEM and Agriculture. Such great news about incredible partnerships in the community!

Renegade Softball

REnegade SoftballThe Renegade softball team is one of the ten best in the state, according to an article published Thursday by Jon Mettus in the Bakersfield Californian.
The team is 17-4 going into today’s double-header against LA Valley College, on the heels of a six-game winning streak. Three of their losses are against the top-ranked College of San Mateo and Cypress College, as well as seventh-ranked Santiago Canyon College.
The Renegades’ success is propelled by the arm of freshman pitcher Kylee Fahey, who leads all California community colleges in strikeouts, and McKenna Valencia, who leads the team with a .448 batting average and 21 RBI.

Check out “Bakersfield College softball ranked Top-10 in state” at the Bakersfield Californian.

Also check out “BC jumps out early, hangs on late in win over LA Mission” at the Bakersfield Californian. 

Save the Date – Air Force Band

We’re excited to announce that the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West will be performing at BC once again on June 26th. Stationed in Travis Air Force Base in the Bay Area, the USAF Band of the Golden West has performed for an estimated 1.5 million people, according to their website, playing an exciting brand of marching band music for air force bases, recruiting squadrons, Bay Area sporting events and NASCAR races.
We’ll be serving dinner in the Fireside Room that evening before the USAF Band of the Golden West performs in the Indoor Theater. Seeing this extremely talented band is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we’d love everyone in the community to be a part of it. Stay tuned for more information about this event as we get it finalized.

Last years event was a true hit!

Achieving the Dream Team

This week, we hosted Achieving the Dream in the BCSGA Boardroom on Wednesday to have a conversation with BC leadership about how we can improve educational access for our students and close the achievement gap. Achieving the Dream is dedicated to finding data-driven solutions to serving low-income students, students of color and other historically underrepresented student populations. BC has been a member of the program since 2013, and we’ve used their guidance and framework to initiate programs such as Summer Bridge, Multiple Measures and the Student Financial Empowerment Project.

Truth: Objective, Invented, Esteemed? – Gadfly Cafe

It was nice to see around 100 students, staff and faculty attend this month’s Gadfly Cafe. Everyone was invited to bring their lunch to Levan Center on Wednesday, March 14, for a lively round table discussion on timely issues.

Thank you Reggie Williams, Philosophy Faculty, for leading this lively discussion and raising the question of what is truth, and how we verify it. Seeing the students engage about their “true” beliefs and discovering that they may not be true, struggling to define the tangibility and verifiability of truth, and critically thinking about the impacts on religion, society and their own beliefs and morality is a testament to Reggie being the well deserved recipient of the 2017 Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award.

Gadfly1It was also nice to see Jerry Ludeke, Archives, Andrew Bond, English Faculty, Pete LeGrant and Anna Poetker, Philosophy Faculty, in attendance. We are truly fortunate to have such valuable learning experiences on our campus. The next Gadfly Cafe, Beauty: The Pursuit, Privileges, and Pressures will be held on Wednesday, April 11 at 12:30 in the Levan Center.

Greenfield School District

I shared photos in last weeks blog about the work some BC faculty and students have been involved in with Greenfield School District. You can read more about it in my post “Inspirational Speakers, Visitors, and Guests on Campus.”  Chris Benker gave a skateboard demo this week and next week, they’ll visit the Planetarium. Thank you to Chris Benker, Daniel Ahn, Steven Tavoni, Deborah Rosenthal, and Kenward Vaughan.

Economic Summit

The Kern County Economic Summit is an annual program featuring economists and business leaders who provide valuable information designed to educate and broaden perspectives on international, national, and regional economies. This week, BC was well represented. Photographed below is Mayor Karen Goh with BC’s Billie Jo Rice, Anthony Cordova, and Jason Dixon. 

Kern County Economic Summit

Patricia Flores

One of our BC graduates with an AA in Human Services sent a small write up detailing her experience interning with Human Services. Patricia Flores received the National award of “2017 Dementia Care Professional of the Year”  with ADAKC .  Her recognition is quite impressive and such an honor for our past student-intern and graduate.  In her note, she said

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Patricia Flores with DCPA Award

My name is Patricia Flores. I have been working in the human services field for 13 years. I currently work for Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County (ADAKC). I was honored to receive a national recognition of 2017 Dementia Care Professional of the year from Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

My journey started at Bakersfield College Human Services Internship Program. It was during the internship experience that I realized my strengths, weaknesses, and desire to find a passion in my career.

The Human Services internship helped me to narrow my career selection in Human Services field. At first I thought that I wanted to work with children. During one of the human services classes, a professor showed the class pictures of neglected children that gave me sad feelings and realized my weakness of being incapable to with neglected and abused children. I returned to class feeling that I needed to research other careers in the human services field. My first internship was in 2004 at ADAKC assisting with the daycare program with clients affected with Alzheimer’s Disease and related Dementias. First time working with Seniors and enjoyed it very much. My second internship was assisting in the payee program from Around The Clock. Being close to graduating and finishing up the internship, I was offered a job at the Payee program. After 4 years, applied in a case manager position at Around The Clock to get experience in Social Work while attending CSUB.

IMG_3405It was during my job as a Social Worker that I realized I had a passion to work with seniors. While working as a full time Social Worker, I completed my Bachelor’s in Science at University of Phoenix with a more flexible schedule. In 2011, I was hired at ADAKC as Director of Family Services Program assisting seniors, early on set clients, caregivers and family members in the journey of Alzheimer’s Disease and related Dementias. It was then that I also realized that I returned to my first internship and it has been 7 years working a ADAKC.  ADAKC continues to be a site for students from Bakersfield Human Services Internship Program to complete internship opportunities. Having the experience in completing the Human Services Program, I am able to give back to the program in assisting and training students in the skills they need for their Human Services Career.

I am very grateful to my professors from the Human Services Internship Department. I hope that my journey and experience may assist and encourage students in the field of human services career to find their passion in their jobs. Because working in the career of your desire with passion you will all find success and happiness.”

Loved reading her story and I’m so proud to share it with you. Thank you Patricia for your service to others. #WeareBC!

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Renee Hernandez. Past BC intern and now employed with ADAKC, Lynn Knaggs, BC Human Services Program Coordinator, Jacqueline Hernandez, Current BC Human Services Intern, Patty Flores, Director of Family Services at the Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County, Maria Silva, Current BC Human Services Intern

Jack Hernandez

It’s always a joy to see Jack Hernandez in the Community Voices section. You can also read it online here.

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ACCJC Commission Development Workshop (CDW)

I spent much of the week in San Diego at an ACCJC meeting.  The commission meets once a year in development and we bring in individuals from the field to work with us during some of the sessions.  This year we had President Kindred Murillo and Chancellor Constance Carroll join us for the opening session of the CDW.  You see them here is the picture along with Raul Rodriguez, Chair of ACCJC, Richard Winn, President of ACCJC, and Gohar Momjian, Vice President.

Sonya Christian, Kindred Murillo, Raul Rodriguez, Richard Winn, Constance Carroll, Gohar Momjian.png

Sonya Christian, Kindred Murillo, Raul Rodriguez, Richard Winn, Constance Carroll, Gohar Momjian

 

Then we had a “student achievement” data presentation and discussion with Darla Cooper and Craig Hayward.  It was very informative.

Loved this picture of Jared Spring, Jessica Dreier, and Cheri Sixbey.

Jared Spring, Jessica Dreier, Cheri Sixbey.jpg

And this picture of Gohar Momjian and Stephanie Droker.

Gohar Momjian and Steph Droker March 16 2018.jpg

I am so glad that I managed to squeeze in time to walk the waterfront that is oh so beautiful.

San Diego

Sonya Christian Dec 11 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

 

A community together

 

Calla Lily June 4 2016

A calla lily for you

Good evening Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, June 4, 2016…the day the community came together at St. Francis to celebrate the life of Tharrell Ming, a diehard driller and a Renegade.  The church was packed by the time I got there at 10:53 a.m. for the 11:00 a.m. mass and they had already run out off the stack of booklets.  I spotted Coach Jeff Chudy, Trustee Kay Meek at the service and noticed that Carl Bowser‘s name led the list of honorary pall bearers followed by  Don James, TH Lockard, Bob Millinich, Bob Morton, Richard Russell, Sid Thompson, Gene Toschi, Rick Twisselman.

 

Bakersfield is a great community and as I am writing this blog, unusually at the end of the day instead of the beginning, I see the burst of flowers in the backyard and the burst of yellow from the calla lily. So here is a calla lily for you, my community, for all that you do on a daily basis to support each other and support the students at BC.

Tharrell Dean Ming June 4 2016 Booklet

Now, back to Tharrell Ming…..Monsignor Craig Harrison was his usual remarkable self, funny, warm, comforting and efficient with the mass.  We are blessed to have  Father Craig (as he is warmly referred to) in our community.  The music was minimal and powerful and here are two songs that I listened to throughout the rest of the day.  And whatever your religious leanings or non-religious leanings for that matter, I am sure these two songs will move your spirit and soul as it did mine sitting with hundreds of community members this morning at St. Francis.

Shephard me O God with acoustic guitar on youtube.com

I googled the musical composition of Psalm 23 and learned from the United Methodist Church website that Marty Haugen had composed the haunting melody for the lyrics.  For more on Marty Haugen, check out:

http://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-shepherd-me-o-god

How Great Thou Art.  Maybe this is a non-traditional approach to have the Elvis version here in my blog.  But here I go…..

Here’s to a great Renegade, Tharrell Ming.

I started my day early today preparing for a morning meeting with the two Vice Presidents, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Zav Dadabhoy, of Bakersfield College at Starbucks.  There were a few things that came up that required this early morning meeting on a Saturday during summer.  I know…. crazy…. but that’s what faculty and staff do at BC!  The talent, commitment and dedication of faculty, staff and administrators at the college is just remarkable.  We are…BC! It is a good time to be at BC!

Nan Sonya Zav FM EDIT

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy

Here are a few highlights from the week:

 

Transfer Award from College Opp June 2 2016

Beebe, Koeth, Christian, Pluta, Siqueiros

BC wins an award for transfer degrees.
Earlier this month we received an email from the President of the Campaign for College Opportunity, Michele Siqueiros, that Bakersfield College was one of 13 community colleges in the state being recognized for the growth in the number of transfer degrees.  The event was held in Sacramento in June 2nd, Thursday, and the BC team that headed north to receive the award included: Trustee Dennis Beebe, Dean of Instruction Kate Pluta and Faculty member David Koeth.

 

 

The Bakersfield Group at College Opp awards June 2 2016

Beebe, Chavez, Koeth, Huerta, Christian, Pluta

The Campaign for College Opportunity is a group dedicated to advancing the educational attainment levels in California by impacting policy at the state level.  The staff are great.  A special thank you to Michele Siqueiros, President; Audrey Dow, Vice President, External Affairs and Operations; Linda Vasquez, Regional Affairs Director. For more check out their website at http://collegecampaign.org/.

 

Here is a picture with the group from Bakersfield that included Dolores Huerta who received a lifetime achievement award and her daughter Camilla Chavez. Congratulations Dolores!

We also connected with Connie Conway, a wonderful member of the Board of Governors for California Community Colleges and now a member of the Board of Directors of the Campaign for College Opportunity.  Also, the fabulous Dean Florez, who is an advocate for education and in particular Bakersfield College.

Dean Florez Connie Conway Dennis Beebe June 2 2016

Dean Florez, Connie Conway, Dennis Beebe

Thank you Trustee Beebe for making this long trip to support BC receiving the award.  It is always wonderful to have our Board members celebrating with us.

In the Bakersfield Californian:

The piece on Corny Rodriguez which was in the Bakersfield Magazine was published in the June 2nd issue of the Californian along with Odella Johnson’s piece on BC’s promising professionals.

I loved the opening by Laura Liera about Corny

On his 10th birthday, Cornelio Rodriguez was picking strawberries in Artesia during the early hours of the morning instead of making a birthday wish. He spent summers picking okra in Indio and Coachella and was even driving his dad’s gardening truck by the age of 12.

 

Here is another excerpt from the article:

But after a conversation with his dad, a visit to the career center led to the applications of Cerritos College, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach, UCLA and USC.

It was a Tuesday when the first college acceptance letter came in. Rodriguez was accepted to USC.

“I got scared because we were so poor and I couldn’t afford to go,” Rodriguez remembered. “I was panicking because I thought I had gotten my family into trouble.”

The next day, the UCLA acceptance letter arrived.

“I said, ‘Dear Lord, now I have to go to TWO colleges?’” Rodriguez said.

 

Check out the Californian: http://tinyurl.com/ztwbxva

Promising Professionals:

This is a must-read piece written by Odella Johnson.  Johnson writes about the Promising Professionals and highlights the story of two students — Tamika Narvaez and Linda Esquivel. She writes about Tamika

Students like Tamika Narvaez, a mother of eight who survived abuse and arrived on campus to complete the requirements to transfer, demonstrates how BC delivers student initiatives that allow them to take critical next steps, which result in positive academic outcomes.

and Linda:

Linda Esquivel, a local graduate of South High School and a first- generation college student, left the community to attend San Francisco State University in fall 2013 and, after a semester, left to attend Bakersfield College for financial reasons. Believing that she would not fit in, she felt frustrated and uncertain about the next steps in her journey; however, when she became a student ambassador/ Promising Professional, she admitted that “BC made my future possible,” so with a renewed spirit, Esquivel’s next steps include attending a predoctoral program at the University of Michigan and Penn State this summer.

Johnson ends the article with:

Narvaez and Esquivel’s diversity as students is our strength and we recognize their potential. They embody the spirit of Promising Professionals – students who have passion and purpose.

Kristen Barnes Philanthropy-MattersFor more: http://tinyurl.com/h74g7np

On June 2nd, Kristen Barnes, CEO of Kern Community Foundation and a great partner of BC wrote a wonderful Community Voices piece–Philanthropy Matters: Growing Scholarships, Growing Futures.  Here is an excerpt:

Scholarships close the funding gap students experience. They are one way to provide critical financial support for students – to help make higher education a reality. In many cases, the financial assistance provided by scholarships is a key factor. Gifts for scholarships help students to invest their energies more fully in their course work and pursue internships and leadership opportunities that enrich their personal development and career preparation.

For more, check out http://tinyurl.com/jg47rwq

 

Misono Christian FM EDIT

Misono and Christian

At Rotary West
On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to visit the Bakersfield West Rotary Club. The club went all out with BC colors for the table decorations and traditional “flying saucer” cookies that have been a staple on BC’s campus for  decades.

 

Local CPA and BC alum Fred Misono hosted the meeting in West Rotary President Roger Griess’ absence, keeping the event light and funny.

I was able to give a brief history of the College and recount some of our recent accomplishments. Jay Rosenlieb shared the podium as a member of BC’s Blue Ribbon Committee that is working on a facilities initiative for the college — A Better BC 2016…2066.  This initiative, if approved by the KCCD Board of Trustees in July, could becomes a bond measure on the November 2016 election.  Thank you Jay for taking the time to co-present with me. Check out the the website at http://www.abetterbc.com/

I must say that this is a fun club.  There is a lot of teasing back and forth and great camaraderie and fellowship.  At the end of the presentation, all about Bakersfield College, President Misono presents me with a Taft College T-shirt 🙂 I attempt to get away but he was too quick for me.

 

Acting President Misono made the day very special for Bakersfield College.  He then followed up with the photos and wonderfully warm and fun emails after the meeting. Thank you Russell Johnson, John Pryor, John Fallgatter and others at Bakersfield West for your support.  Rick Kreiser, thank you for that great introduction and your service to the Bakersfield College Foundation for so many years.  You are the best! and thank you Tom Gelder, for getting BC on the agenda.

Kreiser Christian Gelder FM edit JUN16.jpg

Rick Kreiser, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder

Honoring Our Veterans on Memorial Day:

1000Flags2Last weekend, I hope you had a chance to stop by and walk around Riverwalk Park or at least drive by to catch a glimpse of the incredible view. Memorial Day is regularly celebrated on the last Monday of May thanks to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, but did you know its roots go back to 1868 when the day was originally known as Decoration Day?  “On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery” (History.com).

It’s always humbling to reflect on the sacrifice that so many men and women have made and continue to make for the United States and her people. The Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary Club (BBRC) is a group of local community members who through their leadership and friendship, get things done in our community and for the past few years, they have lead a project of planting one thousand flags at Riverwalk Park over Memorial Day weekend.

Volunteers, sponsors, and the BBRC make this annual event, including activities and formal ceremonies at the park possible. What a great way to be reminded of our freedom, liberty, and justice thanks to our courageous service men and women.  Liz Rozell, Mary Jo Pasek, Marlene, Heise, Cheryl Scott and others at BBRC, you did a fantastic job!

I would also like to share an email I received from Paul Beckworth, our veterans faculty lead at Bakersfield College. He sent this last Monday – Memorial Day:

AdminPaulBeckworth

Paul Beckworth

Memorial Day Message 2016

The warrior-poet, King David, wrote, “Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.”  This quote may sound familiar to any fan of the Tom Hanks, World War II epic, Saving Private Ryan.  It is quoted in earnest by the in-residence sniper, Pvt. Jackson, during a pivotal scene in the film.  Inevitably, most of the cast is killed off, as was our popcorn.  However, we know life is not a movie and memories of comrades lost do not go away when the lights go on.

So, what of Memorial Day?  What of those men and women whose hands were taught to war and fingers to fight, who lie still in the ground on this warm May evening?  This is not about the history of Memorial Day.  You can go look that up on Wikipedia.  But, what of those who we remember and honor today?  Today, we see the aged World War II and Korean War veterans, canes in hand, gait a bit unsteady, but minds sharp when recalling battlefields of another time.  Today, they see the friends they lost on those battlefields.  Today, we see 28 year-old OIF/OEF veterans with physical and emotional scars of Iraq and Afghanistan.  Today, they see their lost friends buried at Arlington or the Bakersfield National Cemetery.  Today, we see tatted up, motorcycle riding, leather vest, patch wearing, Vietnam veterans who speak of Tet, and of Khe Sanh.  Today, they see lost buddies who did not get the due deserved them thanks to a divided nation and a callous youth population who called them baby killers.

Today is not about the bullet that barely missed its mark.  Today is about the person whose bullet that found its’ mark.  Today is about the forever young sailor who drowned on the USS Indianapolis, or was killed on the destroyer escort USS Samuel B. Roberts, while fighting toe to toe with Japanese battleships in what became known as the “Last stand of the tin can sailors.”  Today is about the Rangers killed taking Point du Hoc on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and the airborne paratrooper of the 101st or 82nd who never made it out of his chute alive.  Today is about the 1,170 corpsman killed during World War II, often cut down while responding to the blood curdling cry of “Corpsman up!”  Today is about the Marine who never left Guadalcanal, Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima, or Okinawa.  Today is about the pilots who never returned to the airfield, or the submariners who are now on “eternal patrol.”  Today is about the young Coastie who maneuvered his landing craft on to the battered shores of Sicily, Salerno, and Anzio only to stay ashore forever.

Today we remember.  We memorialize the “Frozen Chosin” dead who were carefully carried out by the living rather than being left behind in the rugged mountains of North Korea.  Today is about those killed on countless hills in Korea, so numerous to count they were simply numbered by height.  Today is about those who fell defending the Pusan Perimeter, and those who never left the beaches of Inchon.

Today is about those that this country dishonored in so many ways that it is a stain on the honor of this nation.  Today is about those nearly 60,000 Americans killed in Vietnam.  Today is about those who did not evade the draft, but answered to the nation’s call, despite often not understanding what that call was all about.  Today is about those were cut down in the hot, steamy, jungles and in the highlands, in Hueys and in huts.  Today is not about those who were cursed at when they returned home but about those who were cursed at, despite never making it home.

Today is about Cold War warriors who died doing special operations and of Gulf War warriors, whose deaths were few, yet nonetheless paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Today is about Fallujah Marines who are now at Arlington or other national cemeteries.  Today is about those who never left the Triangle of Death.  Today is about the Helmand Province men who are finally still.

The warrior-poet wrote King David wrote, “A thousand fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.”  Today is about the thousand who fell at the left side and the ten thousand who fell at the right hand.  So, today, let us, the living, be comforted and know that those whose hands were taught to fight are at rest.  Today, let us, the living, be comforted and know that today and for eternity, those who fingers were made to war are finally at peace.

Let us remember.   

Social Science Department Pioneers Wide-Ranging, Award-Worthy Work

Prof. J. Stratton

Jason Stratton, Department Chair

I was collecting blurbs to showcase leadership and engagement of our faculty and staff for opening day and I received a fabulous zip file from Jason Stratton via Paul Beckworth on the happenings in Social Science.

Let’s sit back and enjoy our faculty colleagues in the Social Science department.

The Social Science Department has been, is currently, and will continue to work diligently to make Bakersfield College and the community around it a place for student growth.  This growth is fostered through individual faculty members’ publication of academic works, by contribution in the shared governance process, by support of student activities as an advisor/mentor/or chaperone, through involvement in social outreach to the communities we serve, through developing cultural activities/experiences and either bringing them to campus or leading field trips that allow the students to participate in this type of growth.

Prof. Randal Beeman first walk

Randy Beeman

Faculty members take leadership roles and are engaged with work on committees to make the college a stronger institution, they work on committees to recruit the ‘right’ candidate to join our family, they work on committees to improve instruction on campus, and they participate in regional or statewide initiatives to improve education for all students in higher education. They work with the media to help explain current developments and their works serve as source materials in documentaries.

Here is a sample of our achievements and activities in Social Science.  It is not a comprehensive list:

Prof. Randy Beeman has spent considerable time in composing a series of articles and books within agricultural history, with such a strong focus on the Agricultural Labor Movement that Carlos Santana’s daughter (and himself) used some of the data in a film project they are working on that is centered on Dolores Huerta.

In addition, discussions have begun either to digitize his collected works for UC Merced, or to house them as the Beeman Agricultural Labor Collection within CSUB’s special collections area.

Prof. Oliver Rodriguez

Prof. Oliver Rosales has been similarly busy in his time here at Bakersfield College. At this October’s Western History Association Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon, he is participating as a panelist on Borderlands History. Earlier this month, he organized a panel presentation on the historical legacies of the Latino Civil Rights Movement, which was held at the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association’s Annual Meeting in Sacramento.

Bakersfield College was awarded a Cal Humanities: Community Stories grant for $10,000.00.  This grant will help record & distribute untold stories of Bakersfield multiracial civil rights past.  The grant  partners with CSU Bakersfield Public History Institute and Oral History program.

Bakersfield College was awarded a Latino Americans: 500 years of History!  grant for $10,000.00.  This grant is funded by the American Library Association & National Endowment for the Humanities.  The grant funds the screening of the new PBS Latino Americans documentary and a host of public programming events associated with film screenings.  Bakersfield College will host as a first event a “Delano Grape Strike symposium” event on Thursday, Sept. 24 in partnership with CSU Bakersfield.

Erin Miller

Erin Miller

Prof. Erin Miller has been very engaged on campus through her contributions in the Women’s History events and in bringing recipient of the AIBS Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award and Chico State University graduate student Ms. Taylor Herren to BC last March to serve as the final speaker in the Women’s History Month activities.  Ms. Herren was instrumental in the CSU system adopting a sustainability policy, and she gave a presentation that focused upon female leadership in academia and the sciences.

Prof. Miller’s contributions to our college via her participation in the Habits of the Mind program have had a significant impact in improving our students’ abilities. Prof. Miller has many other activities as well, and they tend to be similarly focused upon enhancing our students’ lives and opportunities.

Prof. Matthew Garrett (the FIRST Professor Garrett on campus!) has worked well with other constituents of our college to enhance our student’s lives, both intellectually and culturally.

Matthew Garrett

Matthew Garrett

Prof. Garrett represented and was point person for the History Department as he collaborated with SGA and the Performing Arts Department to help organize the Frederick Douglass event in the Spring 2015 semester, a cultural event that brought history to life for our students. Thank you to ALL parties involved!

He assisted (amongst many others) with Dept. Chair Kimberly Bligh’s Summer Bridge program. As if his commitment to enabling student growth was not enough, his book manuscript earned the Juanita Brooks Prize this summer.

In addition to his consistent work to enhance student understanding and abilities, Prof. Christian Parker took the time this summer to try to contextualize national events for a local television station. You can see the story, which includes clips from his interview, here.

Whether it be traveling the length of the state as part of their role as Academic Senate President like Prof. Steven Holmes, traveling to various conferences for the final stages of the ‘Give a Student a Compass’ program with the CSU system and the new 3CSN movement focused on Threshold Concepts and Wicked Problems, leading students on field trips to cultural sites such as the Getty Museum like Prof. Daymon Johnson, working with the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society on campus like Prof. Charles Kim, or other student organizations, the Bakersfield College Social Science Department has consistently demonstrated a willingness to go that extra step to make education better for our college.

Our Social Science faculty colleagues rock! We ARE… B.C.!