Tag Archives: Earl Parsons

Women Who Create Ripples in Our Community

In light of celebrating International Women’s Day, I found myself browsing this post of 21 Powerful Quotes to Celebrate International Women’s Day and found myself pausing at this one by Mother Teresa.

"I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples."
Mother Teresa Quote. Graphic from boredpanda.com

Saint Mother Teresa demonstrated a life worth living; one of finding deep purpose by serving those in need, acting as a light in dark places, and inspiring others around the world to act in kindness. Saint Mother Teresa is an inspiration of generosity, persistence, resilience, compassion, and love – love with no boundaries.

Throughout my life, incredible women have taught me, mentored me, guided me, loved me, and inspired me and the best way I know how to thank them is to pay it forward. When women support each other, unbelievable things can happen.

A favorite song of our family growing up. Recognizing moms….. Let’s listen to Mother of Mine.

Women in Leadership Panel

Speaking of inspirational women, last Friday, March 1st, I hosted a panel in the Levan Center with some of Kern County’s most inspirational women leaders in politics, business and education to talk about their pathways to success. This panel was moderated by the inspiring Jean Fuller. It was great to see BC’s Levan Center filled with students, staff, and women from our community. Additionally, KCCD Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Romeo Agbalog came out to support the event.

Women in Leadership with Trustees
(L-R) Cynthia Giumarra, Rosalina Rivera, Blanca Cavazos, Sonya Christian, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Romeo Agbalog, Shannon Grove, and Jean Fuller
Liz Rozell and Jean Fuller

Jean Fuller – the first Republican woman ever elected to state office in California and a decades-long champion for BC – was the perfect moderator for our panel on Women in Leadership. Food Services provided a lovely selection of hors d’oeuvres and ornate plating and tea cups to create an elegant ambiance for the event, as well.

Attendees at Womens Panel

The panel consisted of some of the most successful women in Kern County. California Senator Shannon Grove represents the 16th State Senate district, taking Fuller’s place at the end of her second term. Shannon Grove — Senator, Entrepreneur, Veteran, Leader.

Blanca Cavazos has broken barriers throughout her career in education, becoming the first Latina principal of Arvin High School before being appointed as the first Latina Superintendent of the Taft Union High School District. Her family immigrated to the United States from Mexico when she was three years old. Blanca Cavazos — Superintendent, change maker, trailblazer, leader.

Cynthia Giumarra practiced law for more than 20 years, overcoming many barriers that women lawyers faced in the 1970s and ’80s, when it was still uncommon to see women on the other side of the courtroom bench. Since 2000, she has turned her life over to her faith, counseling women and leading Bible studies as a licensed minister for the Canyon Hills Assembly of God Church while raising awareness and fundraising for anti-human trafficking causes. Cynthia Giumarra — Minister, advocate, attorney, leader.

During Rosalina Rivera’s tenure as the Superintendent of the Delano Joint Union High School District, several schools in the district have been recognized with prestigious awards, including the California Distinguished Schools Award, the U.S. News and World Report Nation’s Best High School Awards, and the National Title I Distinguished School Award. In 2013, Rudy Salas recognized Rivera for her leadership and dedication, stating that she “is unwavering in her commitment to the children and the community of Delano.” Rosalina Rivera — Superintendent, innovator, collaborator, leader.

Even with all of their success, the panelists at the Women in Leadership event recognized the importance of balancing their personal lives and being committed to their families. While they have all had to remain strong to overcome barriers and accomplish their goals, finding time to quietly be with their families has helped them stay humble and keep things in perspective when dealing with coworkers and employees.

Standing ovation from the audience

Thank you to all of our panelists for taking time out of their busy schedules to speak to our students, and thank you to Prof. Olivia Garcia for organizing the programming for this event.

Olivia Garcia
Olivia Garcia
BCSGA President Ashley Harp and Sonya Christian
It was awesome to see BCSGA President Ashley Harp in attendance.
KCCD Trustees Nan Gomez Heitzeberg and Romeo Agbalog
KCCD Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Romeo Agbalog

Early College Parent & Student Workshop in Arvin

On March 6th, Members of the Early College Team which included Jesse Oropeza, Couselor and Maggie Rodriguez, Support Specialist, welcomed Arvin High Early College students and parents Wednesday night with smiles and tasty food! The
onsite support team facilitated a workshop, engaging students and parents together in learning about the education process.

Jesse Oropeza speaks to the parents in the room

More workshops like these are planned to keep future Early College students involved. Stay tuned!

Early College Flier

Celebrating our first Early College Graduates

Last May, thirty-eight Wonderful Ag Prep Renegades walked the stage at Memorial Stadium in recognition of earning a college degree from BC
through the Early College program a few weeks prior to receiving their high school diploma. Then later that August, the amazing team at Wonderful Education hosted a special celebration for their graduates and families and I was fortunate to share some remarks at this life-changing event. I first shared this in my blog on August 18th, 2018 and you can see the original post here.

Sonya Christian speaking at the Wonderful Ag Prep Graduation Celebration in August 2018

Lynda and Stewart Resnick, you had a vision for the Central Valley. You had a vision for this graduating class of 2018. You not only had the dream, you also created the infrastructure and the programming to make this dream come true. You invested significant resources because you believed in these communities, you believed in these young minds. With your work, you are transforming the Central Valley into a place of big dreams.

Sonya Christian, August 11, 2018

Take a moment to listen to these successful and inspirational young people who have completed the program and how it has impacted their futures.

Thank you Lynda and Stewart Resnick for your passionate investment in education, qualify of life and family, and the future of Kern County. We will be recognizing the Resnick’s at Sterling Silver on March 23rd.

Graduates stand to thank Lynda and Stewart Resnick
Thanking Lynda and Stewart Resnick

KCCD Trustee Jack Connell Visits BC

Students, Pepper and Trustee Connell
Industrial Automation students pose with Pepper, the robot and Trustee Connell

This week, BC faculty, staff, students, and administration welcomed one of our newest Trustees, Mr. Jack Connell to campus for a visit and tour. Trustee Connell represents the Area II service area and joined the KCCD Board in November 2018 with Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.

When Trustee Connell first arrived, he was welcomed by the VP Team, Liz Rozell, Zav Dadabhoy, and Mike Giacomini. Benny Balderrama, Program Manager for Campus Center Events and Services, and Samantha Pulido, SGA Vice President, provided an overview of Student Life, while Heather Penella welcomed Trustee Connell on behalf of the Bakersfield College Foundation. Deans of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez and Manny Mourtzanos, dropped by to highlight some of our outstanding institutional initiatives and instructional work.

Afterwards, Trustee Connell enjoyed a tour of the Nursing Skills Lab hosted by Ronnie Knabe, Automotive Engine Lab hosted by Justin Flint, and the Baccalaureate Robotics Lab hosted by Tom Rush. He met our BC humanoid robot, Pepper, and was instructed on how to maneuver robotic arms by INDA students, Yasmeen Reyes and Jose Manriquez. Student Carlos Medina discussed student employment using Jobspeaker.

Yasmeen Reyes and Trustee Connell
Yasmeen Reyes and Trustee Connell
Jose Marquez introduces Trustee Connell to a robotic machine
Jose Marquez introduces Trustee Connell to a robotics machine
Trustee Connell visits BC Nursing
Trustee Connell visits BC Nursing
Trustee Connell visits a BC workshop
Trustee Connell visits a BC workshop
Trustee Connell Visit
The tour ended with a lunch provided by BC’s Food Services.
(Back) Trustee Connell, Todd Coston, Jennifer Johnson Bernadette Martinez
(Front) Mike Giacomini, Liz Rozell, Nick Strobel, Jessica Wojtsjiak.

Industrial Automation hosts local HS students

Students learn about the Industrial Automation program

On March 1st 2019, Bakersfield College Industrial Automation hosted over 60 students from West High School, Regional Occupational Center, and Robert F. Kennedy High School to explore the Industrial Automation program.

HS Students see robotics in action
HS Students see robotics in action

Students were provided an overview of the Baccalaureate Degree, Career Education certificates and degrees, Campus Life, Student Government Association, Financial-Aid and a campus tour. At lunch, all guests were surprised by a special guest from a galaxy far far away.

Industrial Automation staff with R2D2
Industrial Automation staff with R2D2

Art on the Fly

BC’s Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio has been working with one of BC’s art students on the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and making a large-scale painting on the fly. He said in an email, “We are representing and concluding Black History Month on the Hip Hop & Poetry side. I teach Art and Hip Hop…

Professor Monterrubio says that his students talk about art, but also about music and other areas of the humanities, and how important it is to learn from these different realms. His student Keiolani inquired about African American female singers who showed empowerment with their music and life. Monterrubio shared that Lauryn Hill started in a group called The Refugees that was shortened to the Fugees in the 90s. He said, “I explained to my student that her music has transcended decades and is still as empowering today as it was in the nineties. So during that short conversation in regard to Black History Month and inquiry of my student, we decided to get some acrylic paint and use what we’ve learned in class regarding contrast/scale and create a huge portrait of Lauryn Hill.  As an educator of color, it’s important to teach identity and diversity when my students ask for it or need to hear it. We are educators. I am here for them. Together we make art.”

Passionate Professor: Bill Kelly

Thank you to Tabatha Mills at KGET for spotlighting a true Renegade and Ag champion and BC legend, Bill Kelly.

Uncommon Women

Graphic by Tish Gamez

UNCOMMON WOMEN AND OTHERS is a comedy/drama set in an East Coast women’s college during the 1970s and the second wave of feminism. Five former classmates compare notes on their activities since graduating and then, in a series of flashbacks, are seen back in their college days and we learn of the events, some funny, some touching, some awkward, some outrageous, that helped to shape them.

The play was presented in the Simonsen Performing Arts Center indoor theater and had its final showing last weekend. It was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein, and directed by theatre faculty member Bob Kempf.

(R-L): Emily Andrews, Jerusha Crystian, Emma Jordan-Scott, Jenna Joy Fernandez, Angela Caffee, Lorea Laverty, Lindsay Pearson, and Lucy Brown.
Photo by Michelle Guerrero
(R-L): Emily Andrews, Jerusha Crystian, Emma Jordan-Scott, Jenna Joy Fernandez, Angela Caffee, Lorea Laverty, Lindsay Pearson, and Lucy Brown.

Project Conexiones Estudantiles de BC

As a result of their leadership development, LUPE students are highly involved in Project Conexiones Estudantiles de BC, a new venture on campus to unite recognized student organizations on campus and community agencies who are advocates and raise the awareness of the  issues affecting undocumented students on campus.

BC LUPE Group Photo

In addition, engagement in the community and early outreach to our local high school students has been a major point of emphasis for the spring semester. LUPE has been intentional in advocating for post-secondary education for all Kern County residents, regardless of their immigration status.

BHS Parents Presentations
BHS Parents Presentations

Six LUPE student leaders visited the Parent Center at BHS and addressed over thirty Spanish speaking parents and their students ranging from 9th – 12th grade.  The information disseminated ranged from: Student Success Strategies, College Expectations, the Freshmen Experience, Resiliency/Perseverance Testimonies, EOPS Program, Dream Act/FAFSA, Scholarship Opportunities and how parents can better support and motivate the next generation.

Beyond #BringBackOurGirls: Women and Conflict in North East Nigeria

Hilary Matfess speaks at BC's Levan Center
Hilary Matfess speaks at BC’s Levan Center

Journalist, research analyst and Yale Ph.D. candidate Hilary Matfess came to campus on Wednesday to present her research on women’s roles in the Boko Haram insurgency group in North East Nigeria. Titled “Beyond #BringBackOurGirls: Women and Conflict in North East Nigeria”, Matfess’ visit was organized by the Women’s History and More Committee, who are focusing this year’s Women’s History Month programming on discussions of women in war.

Matfess originally came to Nigeria to interview men who had defected from Boko Haram, a jihadist insurgency that initially started as a religious volunteer group before evolving into one of the world’s most violent terrorist organizations. When she discovered that getting access to Boko Haram soldiers was pretty difficult, she decided to focus her research on women who were either abducted or volunteered to join Boko Haram.

“It became clear to me that these women’s experiences were not being highlighted,” Matfess said. “Understanding women’s experiences in their totality is crucial to understanding conflict.”

Over one million Nigerians have been displaced from their homes as a result of the Boko Haram conflict, and rampant corruption and human rights abuses in displacement camps by the Nigerian military gave women few safe options to turn to. International attention of Boko Haram peaked in 2014, when the group abducted 276 young girls from a school in the town of Chibok. A group of Nigerian activists started the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, which became rapidly shared across social media and led to several of the girls being released. However, Matfess said that the campaign oversimplified the complexities of the Boko Haram conflict and ignored the thousands of other people who had been abducted by the group, and negotiating for the release of several Chibok girls resulted in the group abducting even more women in the region due to their perceived increase in value.

Thank you to BC’s WHAM committee, BCSGA, and Hilary Matfess for the enriching and informative event.

Spotlight on Student Employment

The Student Employment department hosted their second hiring recruitment for local moving company Meathead Movers on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. During the recruitment, 28 students completed onsite applications and several others picked-up an application to return at a later time. We also had several students inquire about current on-campus employment and upcoming events at our jobspeaker tent.

Meathead Movers and Student Employment
Meathead Movers and Student Employment

Erin Norton, Operations Manager for Meathead Movers, will provide an update on number of hires within the next couple of weeks. He has also requested another hiring recruitment in April as he is impressed the caliber of students Bakersfield College produces. Thank you Domenica Trinidad, Job Developer for coordinating this event and a special thanks to Darrell Ballard, Athletics Program Manager, for his continual efforts in helping our students.

Kern County Career Expo

Speaking of gainful employment, the 2nd Annual Kern County Career Expo was held, Thursday February 28, 2019. In partnership with the Kern High School District, Bakersfield College Career Education supported this large scale event that drew in approximately 5,700 middle school, high school and early college students to explore career options within Kern County.

The 2019 Kern County Career Expo

There were over 140 companies in addition to, Regional Occupation Center, Bakersfield College, Taft College and Cal State Bakersfield to support students on the path to their future careers. Check out all the photos on BC’s Smugmug!

Connecting the Dots: Data-Informed Integrated Planning

BC Team at Connecting the Dots
BC Team at Connecting the Dots

A power team from BC attended the Connecting the Dots: Data-informed Integrated Planning conference in Fresno on March 1st. Nick Strobel, Dan Hall, Amber Hroch, Tony Cordova, Craig Hayward, Erica Menchaca, Billie Jo Rice, and Todd Coston spent the day looking through the student success dashboard, looking at data, identifying what we are doing now and then looking for opportunities to do things better.  All of this work then funneled down to how we can use this information to fill the gaps of our strategic plan so we can meet the goals set by the state for the Vision For Student Success.

Counseling Department Award

Renegade Student

Exciting news emerged from the BC Foundation this week that a self-funded Counseling Department award has been established. Fifteen members from the Counseling (Panorama & Delano), EOPS, DSPS, and BSIA departments came together and signed up for automatic, monthly payroll deduction. The contribution will total $285 per month generating $3,420 per year to support deserving BC students! The first $500 award will be given out this spring. What an amazing demonstration of care, teamwork and leadership!

CASE District VII Conference

 Susan Hubbell and Heather Pennella attend the conference
Susan Hubbell and Heather Pennella attend the conference

Susan Hubbell, Financial Information Manager and Heather Pennella, Alumni & Donor Relations Manager attended the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII Conference in Anaheim, representing Bakersfield College and the BC Foundation. CASE District VII represents institutions in the western region of the U.S., including Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah. The four-day conference was stacked with sessions focused on alumni relations, advancement services, philanthropy, leadership and communications. Susan and Heather took part in many educational sessions during the conference to bring back information and apply it to the Foundation’s growing efforts towards improved alumni outreach, donor stewardship and a robust scholarship program.

Go Red Luncheon

Mayor Karen Goh, Lynnette Zelezny, Sonya Christian, Beatris Espericueta-Sanders, Norma Rojas-Mora, and Lourdez Nilon
Mayor Karen Goh, Lynnette Zelezny, Sonya Christian, Beatris Espericueta-Sanders, Norma Rojas-Mora, and Lourdez Nilon

On March 1, 2019 the American Heart Association held its annual Go Red Luncheon. What a fantastic event with incredible turnout! Bakersfield College was well represented by the BC cheerleaders.

Adventist Health’s Beatris Espericueta-Sanders and Kiyoshi Tomono were gracious hosts as Norma Rojas-Mora and I joined Mayor Karen Goh, CSUB’s President Zelezny and Lourdes Nilon, from Bakersfield High, Tamara Clark, and from Adventist Health Dr. Anabiet Udofia, Heather Van Housen.   There was a sea of red as the community came out to understand the importance of heart health and to build awareness around knowing the symptoms of a heart attack. The American Heart Association cites that one in three women is living with some form of cardiovascular disease and it kills one woman every 80 seconds.  To prevent the disease, the organization recommends understanding family health history, knowing your numbers and making lifestyle changes like eating smart, managing blood pressure and being more active.

Mayor Karen Goh, President Lynnette Zelezny, President Sonya Christian
In true red style, BC Cheer was on hand for the event! Cheer coach Heather Foss expecting her first baby.

Seen on Facebook: BC at Shafter City Council

Last Tuesday, Dean of Academic Technology Bill Moseley joined Shafter Educational Liaison David Franz at the Shafter City Council meeting, to speak in support of the proposed Shafter Library and Learning Center expansion.  The Shafter Learning Center has partnered with BC to offer study space and support for BC students who live in Shafter, and may offer classroom space in the future for BC classes.

Bill Moseley FB post

Career Ladders Project Partnership

These Affinity Team rock stars, Pedro Ramirez and Armando Trujillo along with their stage manager Lisa Robles went on tour sharing the good news surrounding Guided Pathways from a Completion Coaching Community perspective. The group started their tour at the Building Diversity Conference  in L.A., moving on to their second gig in Long Beach at the Achieving the Dream Conference and ended their tour in NYC at the League for Innovation conference where former BC AAI champion and current Director at Career Ladders Project Julian West received the 2018 Innovation Award.

The partnership and collaboration between Bakersfield College and Career Ladders Project is an important one as we continue the work in making Guided Pathways a success.

Photos of Campus at Dawn

Earl Parsons of BC’s Marketing team shared these photos with me and they were too beautiful not to include! Enjoy!

Collage by Earl Parsons
Photos by Earl Parsons

Ordiz-Melby Architects

Jeannie Bertolaccini and Danny Ordiz

We have been so fortunate to work alongside local firm Ordiz-Melby Architects for our new Campus Center.  They have been wonderful partners and have been working diligently to make sure that our new Campus Center will benefit the campus, students, and our community!  The new campus center will have many exciting features, including a new food services area, student life offices, and a 500-person conference room! Thank you to Jeannie Bertolaccini, Danny Ordiz and Bob Varner for your partnership to build A Better BC!

The team hard at work! A Better BC in action!

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11am, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights included segments with BC Head Cheer Coach Heather Foss and BC Cheerleaders Jasmine Garcia and Karlee Nelson.

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (2/24-3/2) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.

Bailey Pike, Women’s Swimming – In the first Western State Conference meet she took first in the 1650m Freestyle (19:37.41), lowering her season best time by 23 seconds and finishing over a minute ahead of the second place swimmer, helping the women take first overall at the meet.

Zach Williams, Baseball –  He was 8 for 10 (.800) in three games last week. He had a total of 8 RBI, 2 stolen bases and 2 home runs (one grand slam and one three-run homerun).

Zach Williams named SoCal Player of the Week An big congrats to Zach on not only being Renegade of the Week, but also being named SoCal Player of the week by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association (CCCBCA) for his big week last week!

Seven Renegades Named to the 2018 SCFA Scholar Athlete Team

We are proud to have student athletes who not only take care of business on the field, but in the classroom as well. This year we have seven Renegade football student athletes named to the Southern California Football Association 2018 Scholar Athlete Team. The seven include: Jeremiah Johnson (DB, Soph, Garces HS), Nathan De Jager (PK, Soph, Bakersfield Christian HS), James Thomas (DE, Soph, Independence HS), Monolete Robinson (DB, Soph, Centennial HS), Andrew Magana (DL, Fresh, Bakersfield HS), Carson Olivas (P, Soph, Bakersfield HS) and Blake Brown (OL, Soph, Garces HS). Congrats and keep up the great work academically!

Fun Photo of Coach Dahl and Trustee Agbalog

Coach Paula Dahl and Trustee Agbalog at the McFarland Basketball game

Renegade Athletics Roundup

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever

A thing of beauty is a joy forever

Clouds on flight from PDX to BUR Jan 6 2018

Cloud formation from the turbulent flight from PDX to BUR Jan 7 2018

Good morning Bakersfield…It is Saturday, January 13, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade!

This week, it seemed that I was able to see beauty all around me.  I have noticed that there are times that my sensitivity to all things beautiful seem more heightened.  It is during these time that I pick up my poetry book from high school at Mount Carmel Convent ….. this week I found myself reading Keats.  So my friends, here are images of beauty for you as you soak in Keats

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:

Its loveliness increases; it will never

Pass into nothingness; but still will keep

A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Pacheco Pass Jan 12 2018

San Luis Reservoir, Pacheco Pass, Jan 12 2018

 

Before Magnolia and Brazilian Pepper

An extremely active week at BC with faculty arriving back on campus for inservice activities, workshops as we gear up to welcome over 31,000 students back to our campuses in Bakersfield, in Delano, in Arvin, in Shafter, online, …… I did a bit of travelling to San Jose to attend the accreditation commission (ACCJC) meeting.

With half of the school year in our rear view mirror, all of Bakersfield College’s faculty and staff came together once again in anticipation for the next semester during our Spring 2018 Opening Day celebration Thursday at the Indoor Theater.

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One of my favorite parts of the day kicks off with seeing familiar faces during the gathering in the plaza. I was so glad to have beautiful photos this year of the activity before the program.

Great group from our Child Care Center.

Child Care gang Opening Day Jan 11 2018

Dezi Von Manos opened the program with the traditional remarks from the BCSGA President.

Dezi Von Manos Opening day

Dezi Von Manos Opening day

Opening day spotlighted our accreditation work under the leadership of Liz Rozell, dean of Instrcution, and Jason Stratton, history faculty.

Liz Rozell and Jason Stratton

Liz Rozell and Jason Stratton

After showing a brief video interviewing students and staff about accreditation and Student Learning Outcomes, Liz and Jason thanked the faculty team leads who will be putting together the materials for our four accreditation standards and the writers, editors and communication team for the Quality Focus Essay that will wrap our self-evaluation report in a neat little bow and tell the world BC’s story.

Our primary editor for this project is Dr. Nick Strobel, and he’ll be responsible for putting all of the information together into a coherent narrative. Manny produced a silly comic relief video of Nick dressed up as a monk, walking around the library while carrying large scrolls as Gregorian chants echoed through the halls.

Following Accreditation, Andrea Thorson took the stage to emphasize the importance of maintaining a singular, coherent voice about BC’s institutional philosophy when we talk to students or people in the community.

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Andrea Thorson

 

Di Hoffman and new Dean Billie Jo Rice talked about assessment and Student Learning Outcomes, using the acronym PARR (Plan, Assess, Reflect, and Refine) as a pneumonic device to outline our assessment process.

Billi Jo Rice and Di Hoffman

Billi Jo Rice and Di Hoffman

Julian West addressed the audience about how he’s able to keep 600 students in our African-American affinity group engaged and striving for their highest level of excellence, using a combination of data analysis and “real talk” face-to-face mentorship to ensure that none of our African American students are falling through the cracks. See Julians full remarks here.

Janet Fulks and our new Web Content Editor, Nicole Griffin discussed our state-of-the-Renegade Scorecard 3.0, that continues to bring our institutional data to life on the web with an unprecedented level of interactivity displaying statistics about our student population and programs of study.

Nicole Griffin and Janet Fulks

Nicole Griffin and Janet Fulks

 

I was excited to announce the planned campus renovations that are going to be made possible via Measure J, which was initially going to take place over 25 years, has now been compacted planned for a shorter time line. This means that many of you will get to see our campus transform before your eyes during your tenure at BC, and the money will be used more efficiently to avoid cost increases due to inflation.

Todd Coston

Todd Coston 

Bill Potter presented the new Facilities Master Plan to the audience at our Opening Day presentation, with a special guest for the presentation, Todd Coston dressed as a janitor showing how accreditation is a whole campus endeavor. I heard Todd even threw a mop bucket full of silver confetti into the theater.

Toward the end of the Opening Day presentation, Tina Johnson introduced the new members of the CSEA board, Isabel Stierle encouraged faculty members to welcome our new faculty members into the CCA, and Steven Holmes urged faculty and staff to be active participants in all of our various committees including Guided Pathways.

 

Sue Vaughn gave an update sharing the constant and rapid movement in the Management Association.  At one point the audience gave a standing ovation for Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg. Love this photo taken by Earl Parsons.

Audience applauding Nan Spring 2018 Opening Day

Our SGA Senators, Ashley Harp and Mustapha Burraj led the entire audience in a stretch break.

Stretch Break for Opening Day

Stretch Break for Opening Day

Reggie Williams, the recipient of the 2017 Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award, gave his thank-you speech during this semester’s Opening Day since he was out of the country during the Fall 2017 festivities. He gave special recognition to Jack Hernandez for inspiring him to learn more about philosophy during his time in one of Jack’s classes as an 18-year-old freshman at BC.

Susan Pinza announced Oliver Rosales as the winner of the Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium Award. Oliver will be delivering a presentation about multicultural civil rights activism in post-World War II Bakersfield.

Oliver Rosales standing to be recognized

Dr. Oliver Rosales standing to be recognized

Opening and Closing Days are a huge undertaking, and I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who made it possible. I’d like to thank Manny de Los Santos for his work compiling all of the videos for this event, as well as running the livestream. And special thanks to Nate from Freestyle who was our sound technician and is a BC student studying Computer Science!

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Manny De Los Santos and Nate

Thank you also to our photographers from the Marketing and Public Relations team—Earl Parsons, Eric Carillo and Dylan Wang

Dylan Wang

Dylan Wang capturing the day through the lens.

 

Thank you Eric Carillo for texting me some of the selfies and bringing me vicariously to Opening Day.  I so loved them.  Here are a few.

 

 

All of their photos for the day can be found on the BC Smugmug.

Thank you to Monika Scott, Jennifer Serratt and Lesley Bonds for coordinating and planning, and Kristin Rabe for coordinating the theater.

Jennifer Serratt, Aricia Leighton, Kristin Rabe, Monika Scott

Jennifer Serratt, Aricia Leighton, Kristin Rabe, Monika Scott

Jennifer Serratt, Lesley Bonds Jan 11 2018

Jennifer Serratt, Lesley Bonds

And Opening Day wouldn’t be the same without Francis Mayer as our emcee.

Francis Mayer

Francis Mayer, the man behind the microphone

Thank you to our Food Services crew led by Chef Eric Sabella, who put together another great breakfast and lunch.

Food Services on Opening Day

Food Services Crew with BC’s awesome Breakfast Burritos

And our interpreters Jarris Wright and Carolyn Borso and our incredible ushers were Arisve Pimentel, Bernadette Martinez, Chris Glaser, Danyel Owens, Jordaun Bennett, Lori Ortiz, Tarina Perry, and Wendy Lawson.

Ushers

Flex Week

The week before the semester begins is always exciting because Faculty come back and re-engage with the campus through flex workshops which cover an array of topics. This year workshops covered everything from eLumen Curriculum led by Jennifer Johnson, Best Practices for Online Learning by Matt Jones, and Summer Bridge by Kimberly Bligh, Erica Menchaca, Isabel Castaneda, and Teresa Mcallister among many many others. Here are some photos from Flexweek!

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See all the photos at Bakersfield College’s Smugmug.

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Erica Menchaca, Isabel Castaneda, Kimberly Bligh

Corrections to College California

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Bryan Hirayama on the left with his Distinguished Teaching Award

Corrections to College California just released a new short documentary, The Sergeant and the Professor, featuring a CDCR-College partnership. The video tells the story of Sergeant Jeff Ervin and Professor Bryan Hirayama. Sergeant Ervin has worked for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for 12 years. Two years ago, Bakersfield College began offering classes in his housing unit. Sergeant Ervin was reluctant and skeptical. Professor Hirayama was the first Bakersfield College professor to teach inside Sergeant Ervin’s facility. The two didn’t always see eye to eye, but these unlikely colleagues learned to work together to support the college students. You can find out how this program transformed Sergeant Ervin and the prison by watching the video.

See the video on Facebook by clicking here.

Visitors from Korea

BC and KCCD representatives met January 8 with a representative from a Bakersfield’s Sister City, Bucheon City to talk about a possible exchange program for students and faculty. This is the second time that BC has hosted Bucheon City visitors. They were here this summer.

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John Means, Vice Chancellor, Shohreh Rahman, Counselor International Students So-Hyun Kim, Representative Bucheon City, Republic of Korea Eun-Ja Kim Park, retired professor CSUB Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Vice President Instruction

BC Point Guard, Johnathan Murray

cropped conf champions feb 17 2016 rich hughes

Coach Hughes after winning the Conf Championship Feb 17, 2016

There was a great piece by Jon Mettus of the Californian about our record setting player Johnathan Murray as the teams ‘unsung hero.’

Mettus wrote that “Murray is the facilitator for BC’s offense and the glue that holds the team together. On a squad that features players like Jamar Hammonds, Tucker Eenigenburg and Jaylunn English, who can all go off for more than 20 points on any given night…” He goes on to credit coach, Rich Hughes with naming Murray the “unsung hero.”

Bakersfield is so proud to have Coach Rich Hughes leading the Renegade Basketball team. Have you been a game recently?  There’s a few great games left this season. Check out http://www.gogades.com/sports/mbkb/2017-18/schedule  for the schedule and follow Coach Hughes on Twitter  @coachrichhughes

To see the article by Jon Mettus visit, http://www.bakersfield.com/sports/bc-point-guard-johnathan-murray-is-the-team-s-unsung/article_9195640c-f6fb-11e7-8c83-db2b4fe11733.html

EOP&S

Starting this semester, representatives from the Department of Human Services (DHS) are holding office hours in the second floor of the CSS building to help students to assist students with children who receive financial assistance through their department.

EOPS

DHS Social Service Workers from the Employment Services division are partnering with our Extended Opportunities Programs and Services Department (EOP&S) to help BC student parents attending school while receiving cash aid benefits via CalWORKS (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids). Their offices will be located in the EOP&S area of the CSS building, and they’ll be helping provide our students educational support services, employment training and work study opportunities.

This partnership will help our BC CalWORKS program that was already being run under EOP&S integrate more efficiently with the Department of Human Services, and I’m excited for all of the potential that this partnership holds.

Accreditation and ACCJC

I always feel a little reluctant to snap pictures at the Accreditation Commission Meeting.  But here are a few after we were done with the meeting.  In the first picture you see the Chair of the Commission Raul Rodriguez who is the Chancellor of the Rancho Santiago Community College District with Mary Okada who is the president of Guam Community College and is on the ACCJC Exec Committee.  Inn the second picture, I am with Richard Mahon, who is currently a dean at Alan Hancock College.  In the last picture I am with Jared Spring, a manager at ACCJC and one of my favorite people.

Sonya Christian and Jared Spring ACCJC Jan 12 2018

Let me end with John Keats again

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever

Neo Jan 12 2018

Sonya Christian Pacheco Pass heading back home from ACCJC Meeting Jan 12 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Leadership, Innovation, Music, Community – We are BC!

Sonya Christian and Neo Nov 5 2017 in Riverside

Sonya and Neo, Nov 5, 2017

Good morning Bakersfield from So. Cal.  Came in late on Friday night and have a busy weekend ahead.  Will try my best to chip away on my blog in between activities with the goal of publishing by the end of the day on Sunday.  But I can’t promise anything.

Brought Neo along, which of course does not help with my resolution to publish this weekend……his first trip away from home.  At 7 and 1/2 months, a friend said, “what a big boy”, which he certainly is.

It is cloudy in So. Cal. and everything appears to be beautiful…fresh air and bright colors.  Life is good.  Why would it not be when I am the president of the best higher education institution in the country.  One with the majority population being first generation college students and the faculty and staff are top notch.

Talking about faculty, let me start with BC’s amazing choir Director.  We have had a tradition of excellence with Joe Hustzi, Ron Kean and now the beautiful, brilliant and talented Jennifer Garrett.

Music of Living

 

music-of-living-1Last Friday the Bakersfield College Choir and Chamber Singers conducted their first concert of the academic year. The program, which included a full range of music history, was named “The Music Of Living” by Dr. Jennifer Garrett because “music is part of how we live.”

Matt Garrett and Jennifer Garrett Oct 27 2017In a Bakersfield Californian interview, she explained that, “[music] carries us through the challenging times in life and help us celebrate the good times,” and “music is how we truly express those emotions, opinions and memories that simply cannot be expressed through words alone.”  I so agree with her….it is music, poetry and the sheer beauty of nature that have helped me in difficult times.

music of Living stadium

Jonathan Garcia

On Friday, the theater was full and the audience there to help celebrate the life of a young Renegade taken too soon in a tragic traffic accident this fall. The BC Choir and Chamber Singers dedicated the concert to one of their own, Jonathan Garcia. “Tank” to his friends, according to the program, “was a football player, a singer, a guitar player, a volunteer, a decorated member of the Junior ROTC, and most importantly, a son, a brother, and a friend to all who knew him.” While he was taken from this life before he could perform for the Choir, “Applied students remember him for the passion he expressed about music and the joy in his eyes as he talked with other students about playing guitar for Mariachi ensembles.”

Chamber Music Festival

On Monday last week the Panorama campus was filled with the Chamber Music Festival. Each year local high school chamber choirs (smaller and often elite choirs) and guest conductor participate by invitation. This  year we brought in conductor and composer David Dickau (who went to Frontier High School & sang in the BC Choirs many years ago) from Minnesota.  He was absolutely wonderful with the choirs and everyone learned a great deal. There are sessions where the choirs sit in the audience and go up in turn to perform 2 selections.  Then the guest conductor works with each choir for approximately 12-15 minutes on stage as choir members in the audience watch and listen. Then Chamber Singers close each session by performing 2-3 pieces. This year the following schools participated:  Bakersfield HS, Frontier, Foothill, East, West, North, Stockdale (bringing 2 choirs), and Centennial.  Some of the schools decided to wait a year to come to the Festival as it is challenging to have repertoire ready so early in the year.  We had a great turnout and the whole evening went smoothly. Thanks to the College Choir members who donated their time to make it all happen, and thank you Dr. Jennifer Garrett for organizing this each year for our community and future Renegades.

 

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A Taste of BC

A Taste of BC Nov 4 2017

Last Saturday, our Performing Arts faculty and students partnered with our Culinary Arts faculty and students to create an unforgettable evening for 35 students from Standard Middle School. Starting with a tour of our Performing Arts Center, the middle school students got a ‘behind the scenes’ look at our Theatre and Music facilities.

A Taste of BC 4 Nov 4 2017

They also enjoyed an incredible performance by BC students from our recent production of Hamlet, followed by a skit from Brian’s Beard (BC’s Improv Troupe). Our Theatre majors also taught the middle school students how to do improv. Very impressive! To top off the evening, the students enjoyed a fantastic meal in the Renegade Room by our Culinary Arts majors, and were entertained with dinner music by many of our Music majors.

A Taste of BC 2 Nov 4 2017.JPG

Many thanks to Dr. Jen Garrett, Brian Sivesind, Chef Suzanne Tangeman, Kevin Ganger, Leslie Aldridge, and Kim Chin, along with our students from the Hamlet cast, 1984 cast, Brian’s Beard, Music majors, and Culinary Arts students for volunteering the time and talents to benefit our local middle school students (…and hopefully future Renegades!)  And thank you Dr. Manny Mourtzanos for supporting and advancing this work.

A Taste of BC 3 Nov 4 2017.JPG

Check out the amazing Mason!

Paul Meyer, District Superintendent of SMS sent this email.

To all involved-

On behalf of the students and staff at Standard Middle School, I wish to express my sincere thanks to the students and staff at Bakersfield College for volunteering their time to create a memorable night for my students. Manny, the experience was powerful for my students, and we appreciate the attention to the details that made everything come together so well Saturday night. Please share my gratitude with all who were involved at BC. Your staff was great to work with and the BC students seemed to enjoy it as much as my students did!

I also want to thank Morgan, Ira, and Jorge for your vision and leadership in helping to make this special night into a reality.

Last Saturday evening was a huge success, and I look forward to continuing this amazing partnership.

Sincerely,

Paul

Paul Meyers

District Superintendent

Standard School District

 

A Taste of BC 13 Nov 4 2017

 

More Amazing Faculty

BC Faculty Awarded $100,000 Grant Visit Washington D.C.

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, and Josh Ottum

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, Josh Ottum

Three BC Faculty members visited Washington D.C. this past week.  Andrew Bond (English), Josh Ottum (Music and Performing Arts), and Oliver Rosales (History) attended a Project Director’s meeting hosted by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) at the Constitution Center just off Capitol Hill.  Representing their project Energizing the Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the faculty spent an entire day meeting with NEH program officers, including NEH Acting Chairman Jon Parrish Peede, as well as with other current project directors from community colleges across the United States. Professors Ottum, Rosales, and Bond joined NEH’s Director of Congressional Affairs Tim Robison on Capitol Hill for several meetings with staffers from California Senators Kamala Harris and Diane Feinstein’s offices.

Oliver Rosales, Josh Ottum, Andrew Bond, and Trevor Smith in McCarthy's Office

Oliver Rosales. Josh Ottum, Andrew Bond, Trevor Smith

The trio also discussed Bakersfield College’s (KCCD) two current NEH grant projects (Energizing the Humanities and Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History) in person with Congressman David Valadao from the 21st District before spending time in House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office with staff member Trevor Smith.

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, Rep. David Valadao, Josh Ottum, Tim Robison (NEH)

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, David Valadao, Josh Ottum, Tim Robinson (NEH)

Everyone the BC faculty members met with showed interest in and voiced their support for BC’s grant projects, and were impressed to learn that Bakersfield College is the only California community college to receive federal funds through the National Endowment for the Humanities this year.

 

Project Directors Bond, Ottum, and Rosales returned from D.C. ready to kick off the programming for Energizing the Humanities on November 30th at 7:00 PM with noted author and Bakersfield native Gerald Haslam (Professor Emeritus, Sonoma State) giving a public lecture at the Levan Center for the Humanities. Dr. Haslam will also lead a closed workshop with the Energizing the Humanities inaugural cohort of faculty fellows the following morning.

More information about the NEH Projects Energizing the Humanities and Digital Delano can be found here:

Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley

Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History

Last Home Game of the Season

It was great to see BC Renegades come out in full force Saturday night, our last home game, against Santa Monica which was a blowout. It was exciting to watch six different BC students make it into the end zone while our defense blocked all attempts on ours. I’m so proud of our Renegades they are 3 and 0 in conference and 7 and 1 overall with two more games to go.

And I’m always happy to see Manny De Los Santos working on the sidelines.

 

Football - Manny in Action

Here I am with Carlos Barbara and a great photo of Kimberly Bligh and Jerry Ludeke, and photos below with Janet Tarjan and Zav Dadabhoy —

colleagues out to support Renegade Football

HACU’s 31st Annual Conference

We had a large team from BC attend HACU’s (Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities) 31st Annual Conference this week.  Thank you Corny Rodriguez, Dean of Instruction and MESA Director, Consuela (Connie) Gonzalez for sending me photos.

Corny Rodriguez, Connie Gonzales, Manuel Rosas HACU 2017The conference provided a unique forum for networking and learning best practices, understanding and meeting the education needs of Hispanics. The conference allowed for BC professionals to:

  • Hear about successful, effective programs and initiatives of HACU member institutions
  • Expand partnerships and collaboration between HACU member institutions, public-and private-sector organizations
  • Discuss policy issues affecting the education opportunities of Hispanics, including HACU’s legislative agenda
  • Learn about Hispanic participation in scholarships, fellowships, internships and other such programs funded by private and government organizations

This important conference allowed Connie and BC representatives to create important partnerships and strengthen collaboration with the USDA Hispanic-Serving Institutions National Program, UC Davis, USDA/NRCS, and USDA Forest Service. Connie was able to secure a whole day dedicated to BC transfer students with Dr. Blas Guerrero, Director of the Chicano/Latino Recruitment Center, in collaboration with UC Davis’s MESA program.  BC MESA students will be able to look at engineering labs and tour the campus. Connie is working with Manuel Rosas to include EOP&S students as well. Thank you Connie for your work and forging relationships to further our MESA students’ educational opportunities.

David Villarino and FIELD was represented at this national conference in a big way.  Villarino is doing very important work among adults in rural communities to get them the required language and work skills to make them employable.  Just great work.  Here are several photos of the FIELD students as well as the FIELD dinner meeting with many of the colleges including Cerro Coso and CSUB.

Corny Rodriguez, Susana FIELD, Yvonne Armandariz, Manuel Rosas, Javier FIELD

 

FIELD Dinner Oct 29 2017

This is definitely a picture of celebrities

HACU Official, Esais Morales, Cheech Marin, Rick Najera, David Villarino.JPG

HACU Official, Esais Morales (actor), Cheech Marin (actor), Rick Najera (Director), David Villarino

Dinner with collaborating college officials

Cropped Group at Field Dinner 2017

 

Adult Education

Sonya Christian with the Adult School students Oct 2017

Endee Grijalva, Sonya Christian with students

Our first Adult Education Sample a Course event was a tremendous success. The event was held on October 30th and we saw 30 attendees from Adult Education in collaboration with the Bakersfield Adult School and Migrant Education. The event, which will also occur November 16th, is designed to highlight our EMLS courses and connect Adult Learners to our Main Campus, giving them a direct insight into the college experience. Attendee experience included transportation to the BC campus from the Bakersfield Adult School Job Spot, lunch provided by the delicious Panorama Grill, BC and Program overview and campus tour. The highlight of this event was the classroom observation. Aimed to alleviate the fears and misconceptions of Adult Learners, potential students can sample an EMLS course.

Many thanks to all who helped make this event successful including Endee Grijalva, support from the Outreach team, Food Service, CTE, Bakersfield Adult School and Migrant Education. You all make BC great for our students and for our community. THANK YOU!

Audiophile Magazine

A beautiful magazine appeared on my desk on Tuesday afternoon sent to me by David Koeth. The November/December issue of Audiophile from KVPR/KPRX features artwork from our own BC student, Argenis Maciel. David said in an attached message that Development Director, Joe Garcia emailed him earlier this year and said that they wanted to feature artwork from a BC student so he had his Digital Illustration students work on ideas. The promotions director chose Argenis Maciel’s piece. Check out the photo of the beautiful cover.

audiophileCoverMd.jpg

BCSGA Leadership

Lawrence Salcido, Dezi Von Manos, Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy, Nan Gomez Heitzeberg

On the morning of Halloween, Senator Jose Cortez hosted a Leadership Panel comprised of the SGA president and vice presidents and BC’s president and two vice presidents.  It was a lot of fun and I am so proud of this series that Jose Cortez is leading.  He had Senator Jean Fuller as the first speaker and Assemblyman Vince Fong as the second speaker.

Jose Cortez

Students learned about their student governments’ and administration’s  roles in reducing hurdles in the path of student success, expanding our positive impact on the community, and the importance of the spirit of leadership,  while enjoying some eggs and bacon prepared, as always, by our great Food Services crew.

Panelists at Leadership Breakfast

It was a lot of fun being a panelist along with Zav Dadabhoy and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, as well as SGA President Dezi Von Manos and SGA Vice President Lawrence Salcido. Both Dezi and Lawrence were articulate about the Guided Pathways work.  Just incredible!

I was happy to see several faculty, staff and administrators also attend the event. Snapped this picture with Earl Parsons who is usually the man behind the camera and then here is Marcelyn Allen, one of our new faculty who teaches in the ESL department, also teaches Japanese and helps out with Summer Bridge.

And loved these two pictures of Nan and Zav

 

Advance Kern:

Liz Rozell and I had great fun having lunch with Richard Chapman and Wayne Kress to learn about the Advance Kern Initiative.  Imagine innovation thriving in our county where cultivating an entrepreneurial and creative mindsets is one of the products of our education.  That was the main topic of conversation in addition to Stig Larson’s Girl With the Dragon Tatoo series.  I am so proud of the work of KEDC and its leadership. I missed the company of the fabulous Cheryl Scott who is now leading the charge on promoting STEM education in Kern County.   Thank you Richard, Wayne, and Cheryl for advancing Kern County.

Liz Rozell, Sonya Christian, Wayne Kress, Richard Chapman Nov 3 2017

Liz Rozell, Sonya Christian, Wayne Kress, Richard Chapman

Public Health Sciences Program Partnership with UCLA

BC students got the chance to learn more about BC’s newly-formed Public Health Sciences program and our partnership with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in the SGA Executive Boardroom on Monday.

Public Health Info Session Fall 2017

Sarah Baron, Public Health Sciences faculty, got the opportunity to explain more about BC’s Public Health program, and several representatives from UCLA spoke in detail about the UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program [link to 2018 UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program Handout.pdf]. The UCLA training program is recruiting 50 students for a paid stipend to participate in an 8-week training program with structured workshops, field trips and leadership development in the public health field. UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program is held each summer. The application deadline for the summer 2018 program is January 31, 2018, and the application window opens in mid-November.

Sarah Baron Public Health Info SessionFor more information, you can contact Sarah Baron at sarah.baron@bakersfieldcollege.edu or Public Health Scholars Training Program Manager Lindsay Rice at phscholars@ph.ucla.edu.

Pathway to Law School Program

What a way to start November! On Wednesday, BC had the privilege of hosting Leslie Cunningham, Executive Director of California Law, Inc (Cal-Law), which is the sponsoring organization of the statewide Pathway to Law School program. Ms. Cunningham affirmed BC’s ongoing position as a statewide leader in implementing this innovative program to support students in attaining a law degree.

Law Pathway group memebers

Manny Mourtzanos, Dean of Instruction, Pearl Urena, BC Educational Advisor for Pre-Law, Jeff Green, General Counsel for Grimmway Farms, David Torres, Attorney and member of BC’S Pre-Law Advisory Council, Leslie Cunningham, Executive Director of Cal-Law, Stephen Katz, Kern County Superior Court Judge and member of BC’S, Pre-Law Advisory Council Bonnie Thompson, Executive Director of the Kern County Bar Association, Zach Sullivan, President of the BC Pre-Law Scholars Student Club

Careers in Criminal Justice

On Wednesday, October 11, the BC Delano Campus hosted “Jobs in Justice: A Panel on Careers in Criminal Justice.”  The guest employers were well-prepared and provided students with a wealth of information ranging from personal education, experiences, and their unique career paths to job specifics and seasoned career advice. The panel consisted of the following individuals:

CareersinCriminalJustice2

  • Mark DeRosia, Chief of Police – Delano Police Department
  • Eddie Aguil– Community Service Officer- Delano Police Department
  • Edwin Barahona, Assistant Court Supervisor – Kern County Superior Court
  • Kathy Garcia, Deputy Probation Officer II – Kern County Probation Department, Investigations Unit
  • Raquel Segura, Agent – Alcoholic Beverage Control
  • Ana Ovando, Investigator – Kern County Public Defender
  • Brittaney Pena, Office Technician – Kern Valley State Prison
  • Salvador Hernandez, Assistant Government Program Analyst – Kern Valley State Prison

It is interesting to note that although only 36% of students indicated that the guest speaker’s topics related to their chosen career paths, 81% noted that they would attend future employer panels and 100% stated that the forum met or exceeded their expectations. This is a testimony to the breadth of the panelists’ knowledge and wisdom which they freely shared. Not only did they give the audience a thorough understanding of their particular role within their respective organizations, but they also provided an overview of various levels of employment in their respective fields and each organization’s goals. Furthermore, they imparted invaluable career advice: the value of and how to secure internships, the need to protect one’s image (employers check social media sites), the importance of being an upstanding citizen (after all, these are careers in criminal justice), and accepting the reality that a career is built (often one has to start at the bottom).

CareersinCriminalJustice1

The panelists were exceptional but the event would never have gotten off the ground without the stellar work of Lupe Aguirre (CTE Job Development Specialist) and Kim Collins (BC Academic Liaison for Adult Education). Our special thanks to them, the panelists, and all who made this event possible. It’s exciting for us whose hearts are knit to BC Delano students that these types of events are becoming increasingly available on their campus. We are all about the students. We are BC!

In the News

Renegades were in the news again this week. Victoria Coffee was quoted by the Bakersfield Californian as an attendee at the Business Expo in Many at the Business Expo were looking for the reset button. She attended to get information to give to our BC students. She is quoted as saying “I wanted to get a better look into the business industry and see how we can strengthen our infrastructure for student success.” Thank you Victoria for going the extra mile for our students.

The Bakersfield Californian also did a nice piece about BC’s Men’s Basketball. In BC men’s basketball starts attempt at 3 conference titles in a row, Jon Mettus wrote about our 5 returners and their striving for the State Championship. Coach Hugh is optimistic for our chances of a “three-peat” for the WSC South Division title this season. Come out to the games this season and support our team all the way to the State Championship.

Emails Worth Sharing

Thank you Paul Beckworth for sharing this story with me! Paul’s email said, “PLEASE read this story that Matt Garrett found in the archives awhile back.  A BC student turned soldier captured 12 Nazis thanks to his BC German professor!  Can’t make this stuff up! It is a little hard to read but worth the effort.” Matt Garrett’s email “Capturing Nazis Like a Boss” included the following:

“We were holding a town cut off from our troops. The Eleventh Panzer Division attacked us and one of the tanks got a tread blown off about 15 yards from one position where we could not hit a man behind it or on the ground near it. It was giving us trouble so we got a ‘satchel charge’ (30 pounds of TNT in convenient carrying form). Being the demolition expert of the platoon, I was elected.

“To allow free use of my hands I laid my rifle down and went out to blow up the tank. When I got there I discovered nine Jerry infantrymen around the tank, concealed from my pals and with their rifles in position. They were as frightened as I was. I managed to stutter, ‘Weg werfen deine Waffen Komm hier mit Hande hoch’ oder sic warden tot gewesen.’ [Throw down your weapons. Come here with your hands raised or you will die] How they would die I didn’t know but they believed me. One said, ‘Nicht schessen,’ and I said, ‘Wir warden nicht schiessen.’ [We’ll not shoot] (Notice the we.) So they gave up.

“They’d have shot me if I hadn’t been quick with the lip—so maybe I learned something in school after all. But we’ll credit (BC German Professor) Miss Schafer for the capture.”

“Adelaide Schafer Credited with Capture of 12 Nazis,” Renegade Rip, April 26, 1945, p. 3.

Fun Pictures

Precious picture of Jennifer Marden now Jennifer Serratt at her 2008 graduation

Jennifer Graduation Photo

Our title V Director, Dr. Kimberly Bligh and Ed Advisor Isabel Cataneda in Washington DC for the Title V meeting.

Kimberly Bligh and Isabel Cataneda in Wahington DC Oct 2017

Sonya Christian and Neo Nov 5 2017 in Riverside

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Renegade Football TONIGHT (9/2) at Memorial Stadium

Milt Younger, Bakersfield College salutes you

Milt younger at 18 TBC Courtesy Maureen Buscher-Dang

Milt Younger at age 18. Picture from TBC website

Group Leadership and Equity Academy

Milt Younger with community leaders and BC faculty and staff

Check out the piece by Jason Kotowski and James Burger in The Bakersfield Californian

http://tinyurl.com/ydcsoo64

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is September 2, 2017, my brother Kevin’s birthday and a great day to be a Renegade.  And why not, we launch our Renegade Football season today with an 8:00 p.m. kickoff time.  Take a nap this afternoon and then bring your family and friends and head on out to Memorial Stadium at sundown, and spend the next three hours of your Saturday evening with your favorite people and your favorite team.  I hope to see you there.

Tonight’s Renegade Football Game Delayed to 8:00 p.m.

090117_-_football-its_hot

In light of this week’s record-breaking temperatures and the National Weather Service’s four-day “Extreme Heat Watch” warning beginning this Friday and running through the weekend, we conferred with team physicians, athletic trainers, and our coaching and administrative staff and decided to delay the start of Saturday’s home opener in Memorial Stadium to 8pm.

The evening start time will allow the bulk of game day activities to occur after projected peak temperatures have passed, thus reducing the risk of heat-related illness to our student athletes. In addition to altering the schedule, we have rented eight specialized misting fans in an effort to reduce the sideline temperature. We’ve also organized cooling areas on the each concourse on both sides of Memorial Stadium. This decision was made for the safety of all student athletes, and we regret any inconvenience this may cause in the short term, but we are confident that it is the best decision for the long term health of all involved.

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Again, I invite you, your family, and friends to join me at Memorial Stadium this evening. Memorial Stadium is an incredible place. The double-decked concrete and steel stadium has been home to many great accomplishments and celebrations such as the first ever junior college bowl and the Kern County Shrine Club Potato Bowl. And here, on the corner of University and Mount Vernon, Jim Ryun, at age 20 broke the world record for running a mile in 1967. For generations, incredible athletic talent like that has come to this stadium to hone their skills, compete, and perform. But one of my favorite things about Memorial Stadium is that games played here are a showcase of work ethic.

15042014_1206947982713073_8649719034856596618_o

Football has always been about more than wins and losses. The game teaches lessons that last a lifetime; lessons such as commitment, belief, doing what it takes in the moment, and brotherhood on and off the field. Football programs and college athletics around the country have consistently developed citizens of high character by instilling the true values of the game into the core of the student athlete. And Bakersfield College is no different. The determination and perseverance that our athletes will experience this season will stay with them their whole lives.

This season, I’m proud of our student athletes both on and off the field. And I’m proud to invite you to Memorial Stadium for a great game and great season of football! See you this evening for the kick off at 8PM.

3SC_7970.jpg

Renegade Volleyball

But why wait until 8:00 p.m…. come spend your afternoon with us at the Gil Bishop Center and watch Renegade Volleyball

Sep 2 2017 Volleyball

This is a “copy and paste” from gogades.com

The Bakersfield College women’s volleyball team started their 2017 season 2-0 in the Pierce College Tournament.

The Renegades def Mira Costa College 25-15, 25-17, 26-24, and then def Rio Hondo College 25-17, 25-9, 25-12.

Bakersfield displayed excellent offensive balance with five players notching at least 14 kills; Alex Paris led with 20 kills, Jourdan Muro had 19 kills, Brooke Horack had 17 kills, and both Rachel Hoover and Sarah Armendariz finished with 14 kills apiece.

Reece Stevenson and Sarah ran a 6-2 offense and registered 27 and 24 set assist each.

Haley Sanchez anchored the defense with 36 digs.

The Renegades play in the semi-finals Saturday at 1:30pm vs Santa Barbara City College.

 So proud of our coaches and student athletes

TimPainton

Tim Painton

Here is a copy and paste from gogades.com

Aug 25, 2017

Not everyone can say they are a Renegade; it’s a special title that is earned by doing things our way; The Renegade Way. Coach Painton showed a part of that code today when he led BC Baseball over to the adjacent soccer complex to root on Men’s Soccer for their home opener. Coach P isn’t one to shorten practice or pass on an opportunity to work at getting better for darn near anything; and that made his decision to bring his men over all the more special. It wasn’t lost on Coach Vayron.

I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

Job Spot Ribbon Cutting

John Means

John Means, KCCD Vice Chancellor, Educational Services

Last Tuesday morning, staff from BC were on hand at the grand opening for Bakersfield Adult School’s JOB SPOT.

Community leaders such as Dr. Bryon Schaefer, KHSD Superintendent and Dr. Dean McGee, KHSD Associate Superintendent of Educational Services and Innovative Programs greeted the community with a welcome and touched on the added value of the addition of the Job Spot.

Mark Wyatt, Bakersfield Adult School Principal shared the vision for the Job Spot and story behind what it took to make a dream a reality. Followed by John Means, KCCD Associate Vice Chancellor, Economic and Workforce Development, who touched on the Collaboration between the Bakersfield Adult School and Bakersfield College under the AEBG consortium.

Student Elizabeth Sanchez shared her story as a young mom who successfully navigated her way through the education system obtain her GED and just began her first semester at Bakersfield College. The Official Job Spot ribbon cutting was followed by Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh who spoke on the many aspects of this new site, providing employment and educational resource to the community. Attendees enjoyed refreshments and tours of the new facility. As always, our Mayor has some great photos on her Facebook and here is a photo of the BC crew!

Adult School Job StopJohn Means (KCCD) Elizabeth Sanchez (BC student who came over from Bakersfield Adult School) Abel Guzman (BC Delano) Debbi Anderson (BC Outreach) Jessica Flores (BC AEBG) Karen Goh (Mayor-Bakersfield) Richard McCrow (BC Dean) Endee Grijalva (BC AEBG) Raquel Lopez (BC Delano) Mary Jo Pasek (BC Community Relations) John Hart (BC Department Chair-EMLS) Kim Collins (BC AEBG).

KHSD is a great partner of the college.  Thank you Superintendent Bryon Schaefer for this great collaboration.

Bryon Schaefer Sonya Christian Horace Mitchell April 28 2017

Bryon Schaefer, Sonya Christian, Horace Mitchell

Student Involvement Festival

On Wednesday, almost 100 campus organizations and vendors showed up to the Renegade Crossroads in front of the Campus Center to get students engaged in BC and the community. Students were lined up in front of the SGA tent at the 2017 Student Involvement Festival, waiting for their opportunity to spin the wheel for some free BC merchandise.

F17StudentInvolvementFestival07

Representatives from Counseling, Financial Aid, Academic Support, Veterans’ Services, Career and Technical Development and countless other campus groups were on hand to show students all of the services we offer to make their educational experience as enlightening and successful as possible, as well as student organizations like Theater Club, BC Renegamers and the American Sign Language Club that help keep students engaged with their campus experience.

There were also representatives from local health care and law enforcement organizations, as well as non-profit groups and businesses to showcase all of the opportunities available to members of the BC family. Thank you to the following organizations and groups:

AA Central Office of Kern Co.

Advanced Center For Eyecare

American Heart and Stroke Association

AT&T

Bakersfield Condors

Bakersfield Police Department

Bakersfield Pregnancy Center-Mobile Unit

Bakersfield Vet Center

Bank of America

Bike Bakersfield

Biomat USA

Body Xchange Fitness

California Department of Rehabilitation

California Satsang Society-Eckankar

California Veterans Assistance Foundation

CAPK WIC

CASA of Kern County

Center for the Blind&Visually Impaired

Clinica Sierra Vista

Clinica Sierra Vista-WIC program

Community Connection for Child Care

Community Health Initiative of Kern County

Costco

Damsel in Defense

David Hall- State Farm Ins

Dignity Health

Dress for Success

Entrusted Legacy

Faith in Kern

GBLA Fair Housing Law Project

Golden Empire Transit

Independent Living Center of Kern County

Jamba Juice

Jim’s Supply Company Inc.

Kern Behavioral Health & Recovery Services

Kern County Homeless Collaborative

Kern County Library (Beale)

Kern County Narcotics Anonymous

Kern County Superintendent of Schools

Kern Federal Credit Union

Kern Health Systems

Liberty Tax Service

Lolis Gonzalez

Lupita’s Creations

New Life Residential and Training Center

Omni Family Health

Planned Parenthood Mar Monte

Roger Morrison/Morrison Creation

Rosi Rosas Mary Kay Inc.

T-Mobile

Wells Fargo

Kern County Dental Society

ADAKC, Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County, Inc.

WESTEC

Kern Behavioral Health Recovery Services – Mental

Bakersfield College Choirs

BC Cheer

BC Communication Department

BC Library

BC Transfer Center

BCASS

BC Counseling Center

CSUB Transfer Center

CTE Office

Disabled Students Programs & Services

EOPS

Financial Aid

MESA

Office of Student Success & Equity – AAMP and LUPE

Student Health Center

Veterans Services

American Sign Language Club

Bakersfield college math club

Bakersfield College Theater Club

BC Ag Club

BC Renegamers

Computer Science Club

Electrical Engineer Club

Engineers Club

FitMindBody

Free on the Outside

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship club

Japanese Culture Club

Korean Culture Club

Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan

Pre-Law Program

WISE Club

Office of Student Life

BCSGA

 

M&O Tour

Over the years, the M&O (Maintenance and Operations) team has served the BC campus by improving and maintaining our facilities and I’m proud to share that they’re now getting a brand new and improved facility. The new M&O facility houses our campus tradesmen, custodial staff, and grounds keepers. This new location is also home to our mail room, shipping and receiving, and print shop.

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The two-story structure is equipped with many features to accommodate a multitude of skilled employees on our campus. I was lucky enough to be one of the first to tour the building on Thursday morning. A grand opening and ribbon cutting is in the works and I’m excited to share those details with you as soon as the info is available. For now, here is a sneak peak and some photos from my tour with Bill Potter and our incredible M&O team!  I loved seeing Bill Potter’s excitement….he was like a kid in a candy store.

IMAG0652

Ian Mason, Support Systems Specialist I, Technology Support Services & Sonya Christian

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Sylvia Hinojosa, Department Assistant II, Bill Potter & Sonya Christian

Here is the fabulous Dennis Spencer and Dalia Garcia

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Dalia Garcia, Department Assistant III & Dennis Spencer, Electronic Technician & Sonya

Thanks Earl Parsons and Tarina Perry for snapping photos.

August 30 2017 Bill Potter Tarina Perry Sonya Christian new M&O Bldg

During the tour, I had to stop by the rose bushes outside.

MOTour02

Nick Hernandez, Tarina Perry, Sonya Christian, Bill Potter

Andy Wilcut in our M&O department cared for these rose bushes for over a year while the water was cut off during the construction of this new facility. Andy mentioned the he wasn’t sure exactly who Hank Pfister was, but “he must have been well liked to have such a memorial dedication” so he wanted to make sure the area was well cared for. This is why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

IMAG0693

Bill Potter, Andy Wilcut, and Sonya Christian

 

Side note, Hank Pfister, was one of our 100 stars for our centennial year celebration. Here are the details all about Hank:

Hank Pfister, Jr.

100-stars-hankpfisterHank Pfister (born October 9, 1953 in Bakersfield, California) is a former tennis player from the United States, who won two singles titles (1981, Maui and 1982, Newport) during his professional career. The right-hander reached his highest individual ranking on the ATP Tour on May 2, 1983, when he became World No. 19.

How he got started: Born into a family of tennis players, Pfister picked up his racket early and never looked back. “I really had no aspirations to be a professional tennis player,” Pfister said, laughing. “When you find you’re good at something, you tend to enjoy it—it was just something I had fun doing.” After undefeated seasons at BHS and BC, Pfister was given a scholarship to San Jose State and didn’t lose a match his entire first year. “I honestly still thought I was going to be a P.E. teacher.” That didn’t stop him from training with (and beating) John McEnroe during McEnroe’s early years.

Career highlights: Hank competed with tennis greats Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, and Arthur Ashe (and beating them), being a US Open Doubles finalist, reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon and the Australian Open three times, and was a two-time French Open Doubles Champion.

His heroes: Tennis pro Brian Gottfried, a friend, who happens to have been ranked #3 in the world in ‘77, makes the cut. But, for Pfister, tennis legend Stan Smith takes the cake. “I grew up watching Smith when I was in high school and college, when Smith was winning Wimbledon. To find myself playing him in front of 10,000 people later in life was surreal,” Pfister explained. Pfister would go on to beat Smith.

CCCApply Steering Committee Meeting

On Wednesday, BC’s Michelle Pena and Craig Hayward presented at the CCCApply Steering Committee. Since 2000, the CCCApply Steering Committee has governed the design and evolution of the online application for admission to the California Community Colleges. In collaboration with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO), the Committee and related workgroups represent stakeholders from large and small districts, rural and urban areas, Northern and Southern California, and different student information systems.

Craig Hayward and Michelle Pena CCCApply Steering Committee

Craig Hayward  (middle) and Michelle Pena (right)

Veterans Roll Call

Berna

Bernadette Martinez (in red) at our Veterans Commencement Celebration 2017

Bernadette Martinez sent an email that she creatively called “Veterans Roll Call.”  With all the new faces at BC for the upcoming year, she shared that each year we celebrate VetFest. This year, it will be a  week long celebration filled with activities and Bernadette said, “With that we also like to honor our own Renegades that are Veterans, by setting up a flag garden set up and would like to know who you are so you can be recognized. We will also allow family and friends of Veterans to purchase a flag for our loved ones closer to the week of.”

It’s going to be a fantastic week at BC. Have I told you recently that I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

BC Veterans

Did you know?

On Thursday, The Bakersfield Californian ran a correction from Jerry Ludeke about the original 13 students who attended Bakersfield College in 1913. She is quoted in the piece, saying

“Several years ago the BC Archives was given the original ‘Record of Junior College Students of Kern County High School, Bakersfield, Cal. Transcript from office record cards. May 1915 by PV.’ PV is Paul VanderEike, vice-principal of the high school who was in charge of the junior college classes. In his own handwriting, he lists the 13 original students along with the classes they took: Norman Buhn, Nora Burke, Alma Carter, Josephine Chase, Myrtle Dennen, Leland Ellis, George Gowan, Clyde Gregory, Lois Price, Ida Sybrandt, Viola White, Jessie Wiley, and Helen Warthorst. Ten of them had indeed graduated from KCHS.”

See the whole item in Things You Need to Know here!

BC Archives Picture

Photo from The Bakersfield Californian, provided by Jerry Ludeke

The Eclipse by Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel’s article about the solar eclipse was published in the Bakersfield Californian today. Nick went to Montana on August 21st to see the eclipse from inside of the path of totality that spanned from Oregon to South Carolina where the moon completely blanketed the sun. Here is how Nick described the spectacle of getting to see such a rare astronomical event:

“Experiencing the dark shadow of the moon approach you at supersonic speeds, seeing the sky grow dark enough for the stars to come out within just a few seconds, looking at the sun with a huge black hole punched in the middle of it, and seeing the mysterious wispy glowing light of the corona around that black hole is an experience that strikes you at an instinctual, emotional and intellectual level all at once.”

For those who were unable to experience the eclipse from the area of totality, Nick recommends checking out the Eclipse Megamovie Project, which is collecting images all along the totality path in the hopes of demonstrating how the corona changed during the approximately 90 minutes of totality in the United States. The project also aims to take advantage of the “diamond ring effect” at different locations along the path of totality to more precisely measure the size of the sun. If the eclipse has sparked your interest in astronomy, you can buy tickets to the Dawn of the Space Age show on Thursday, September 21st at the William M. Thomas Planetarium or go to the Planetarium home page to see all of our upcoming shows.

First College Council Meeting:

We had our first College Council meeting on Friday and I was impressed with the quality and quantity of work this group accomplishes.

I snapped a few pictures when the chairs (Jason Stratton and Liz Rozell) of our Accreditation Self Evaluation report were presenting.  Informative and engaging presentation.

We have a fabulous group of SGA officers leading the Renegades.  Here is Lawrence Salcido, one of the SGA officers for 2017-2018 with Dr. Nicky Damania

Lawrence Salcido and Nicky Damania at College Council Sep 1 2017

Let me introduce you to the 2017-2018 College Council.

2017 College Council Group Photo cropped

 

This was the 2016-2017 College Council

college-council-group-sep-2-2016

Walking the neighborhood

On friday a group of us walked the neighborhood close to BC and distributed a letter to our neighbbors from Tom Gelder, Executive Director of the Foundation with some BC goodies.  Although it was 110 degrees, it was a lot of fun.  Here are a few photos

sonya christian and team walking the neighborhood Seo 1 2017.JPG

Karen Snow (Research), Lori Ortiz (Research),  Jose Manuel Cortez (student), Zadden Mascorro (student), Dhruvi Patel (student), Janette Ramirez (student), Sonya Christian, Tarina Perry (Academic Senate, Delilah Castaneda (student), and Bre Parks (student), Chris Glaser (Office of the President).

Thank you Ashlea Ward (for gathering the students in a matter of moments) and Nicky Damania (for preparing neighborhood packets so quickly).

#WeAreBC

Loved this Facebook post from our librarians 

Sep 1 2017 BC Library on FAcebok

Wishing you all a happy and safe Labor Day

UberLaborDayAdTwo of our core values at Bakersfield College focus on wellness and community so this holiday weekend, BC has partnered with KGET to help stop drunk and drugged driving. Did you catch the piece on the news last night and did you snag your UBER credit? Please encourage your friends and family to always practice safe driving practices including designated drivers and utilizing safe driving options like UBER.

Sonya Oct 27 2007 pic 2

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Extraordinary stories: Our students, community, and faculty

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, August 6th….Kevin Charette of KGET happily told us on the morning news that we will not have triple digit high temperatures this week…and a fabulous day to be a Renegade.

Like all of you, Rio, is on my mind.  What a spectacular opening ceremony at the Olympic games in Rio.  If you are tweeting don’t forget #Rio2016.  Check it out at

https://www.olympic.org/news/brazil-takes-pride-in-spectacular-rio-2016-opening

 

 

Here are a few excerpts from the website:

Reflecting that beauty, a stunning Opening Ceremony depicted the rich and complex history and culture of Brazil. Fireworks and laser-lit dancers provided a suitably arresting start…..

The story of Brazil was then retold in a stunning showcase, beginning with the birth of life itself, depicted on a huge screen on the stadium floor, and continuing with a representation of the country’s rainforest and the forming of three huge “ocas” or huts to symbolise the indigenous people who call that amazing and precious habitat their home.

…..

The appearance of Gisele Bundchen, strutting out to the sound of “The Girl From Ipanema”, marked the start of “Bossa”, celebrating the curves and sensuality of Brazil. Pop then took centre stage, as the voice of the favelas, funk, samba, “passinho” and popular Brazilian music filled the air, while breakdance, capoeira and a host of the country’s regional variations of dance also put in appearances. Some 1,500 dancers then arrived on the scene for with a mass dance-off, as Brazilian singer Regina Casé urged everyone in the stadium to get on their feet.

Here is the English version of the song Girl from Ipanema that won the 1965 Grammy Song of the Year, sung up Astrud Gilberto the wife of Joao Gilberto who sang the original Portuguese version.

Here is the Portuguese version that I could find on Youtube with Tom Jobim and Joao Gilberto reuniting for this performance.  Beautiful.

 

If we are distracted from our work these next two weeks, we will just Blame it on Rio.

I love Saturday mornings.  Life seems spacious, uncomplicated, no immediate deadlines and I find myself moving out of “drive mode” which is constant and necessary in advancing the work of the college to a more “neutral mode”….I like it….i like it a lot.

Mondays on the other hand are a different story.  We often hear about the dreaded “case of the Mondays” or the “Monday Blues” and how we just can’t roll out of bed without that cherished cup of coffee– but I found some inspiration and perspective for Monday, which I hope just might spur some enthusiasm. Let’s show some love to Mondays!

Mondays

🙂

Motivation on Monday (8/1) Morning

TGIM – that’s what I’m saying! I started 8/1 the Monday after returning from Toronto, Canada, with a brief conversation with JP Lake who is exploring ways to support our community in Oildale by providing access to rehabilitation for those battling drug addiction.  That prompted me pinging Monika Scott and Earl Parsons, two bright minds who work with Shannon Musser, to quickly pull together some information for me.  And, as usual, they came through with flying colors.  Thank you Monika and Earl.

In addition to data here is a personal story that Earl shared with me.

Hello Ms. Christian, This is Earl Parsons. Monika asked me to look up some information about drug abuse in the unincorporated community of Oildale. There was a lot of data from Kern County in general and the Bakersfield area but we seem to be seriously lacking any comprehensive information via scholarly articles about drug use in Oildale and how that affects education rates and contributes to institutionalization and the school-to-prison pipeline. I did manage to find some information, however.

In the future, I think it would be worthwhile to commission our own research and canvass the community for some independent investigation, since there seem to be little to no secondary sources for the data you’re seeking. Speaking anecdotally, I grew up in different trailer parks around Beardsley Avenue and my mother was in and out of jail for meth use throughout my adolescence. A lot of the kids growing up in that area have no opportunities, teen pregnancy is astronomical and elementary school teachers have an uphill battle just getting their kids to come to school, let alone preparing them for being contributing members of a post-industrial economy.

Most of my friends from the neighborhood had dropped out of school and started using meth daily by 7th or 8th grade. I’m the only person I know of from that whole area to graduate from college, and I was fortunate enough to have the personal motivation (and stubbornness) to succeed, as well as the outside support from my family, or I would’ve never realized my full potential.

I still live in Oildale and I take the bus to work every day. A few weeks ago, my bus stopped off in front of a part of Oildale called The Pit, which is a really tough apartment complex on Roberts Lane. The bus picked up a woman I presumed was attending summer school here at BC, because she had a piece of white particle board with some kind of organizational structure outline for what I assumed was a Business class. I didn’t know her, but it made me very emotional seeing someone from that neighborhood who was trying to empower herself into a better lifestyle, and I wanted to walk over to her and tell her that I was proud of her and to keep working hard because I was in her position and I made it out.

Anyway, I’ve probably spent too much time writing about this but it’s something I feel very passionately about. I hope you have a great day, and I hope your research helps create the change that community needs.”

It’s stories like this and the message behind it that continue to fuel everything we do at Bakersfield College. The struggle is real… and the challenges are hard, but our students are strong and the people of this community care. When we work together and do our part to support our students, cycles can be broken. Hardships that are familiar today – don’t need to be a staple of tomorrow. Education is the key and its transformative power does change lives. This is why Mondays are important – Let’s tackle the work we were born to do. We can do something remarkable.

This is the day to be back at our passion. Breathing new life into our projects. We are conduits on innovation, imagination, and inspiration. It’s Monday, and we can’t wait to get started.”

We are BC!

A great Tuesday

I started my Tuesday morning watching Steve Watkin being interviewed by Jason Galvin on KGET promoting Renegade fest on August 12th.  Jason was so enthusiastic and was fully engaged in his interview with Steve.  Thank you Jason.

Dropped in and spent 30 minutes with the Summer Bridge group.  Thank you Kimberly Bligh for leading this effort.  Connected with some of our new faculty like Marcelyn Allen and incoming students.  Here is Marcelyn Allen, Michele Bresso’s daughter full of enthusiasm and passion for what she does.  The other faculty leading the session, Teresa McAllister, invited me to join an activity with chocolates that determines your personality type depending on the chocolate you like.  I was grouped with the Krackels and you can see us krackels here in all our glory.

Also thank you to the student peer mentors Kenneth Mireles, Melodee Medrano and Junior Menchaca.  Loved watching our counselor Mark Osea and Advisor Isabel Casteneda working with the students.

National Night Out

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The BC campus welcomed hundreds of visitors on campus during Tuesday evenings National Night Out. This annual event “promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live.” The weather was not only warm – it was blistering “Bakersfield” hot, but that didn’t stop hundreds of residents from coming out to meet and support our heroic emergency first responders and public service men and women.

National Night OutBPD’s specific and unique branches were on-site, including the CHP, the K9 Unit, Special Enforcement Unit, Bomb Squad, S.W.A.T. Team, and Rangers. Children of all ages eagerly interacted in a hands-on manner by taking a tour of the vehicles, trying on special equipment, and asking questions about daily duties and activities.

More than ever and in light of recent tragedies, this event has special significance – The event gave an exclusive chance for these branches to interact with and educate people of all ages and in response, attendees saw firsthand just how much these departments give back to the local community.

My wish going forward, inspired in part by this event, is that Bakersfield College continues to be a staple in this community; One which has the campus, buildings, and grounds to facilitate these types of important community and bond building experiences. As stated in BC’s core values

we have built and continue to build an environment in which all members participate as community through democratic engagement.

Thank you to all who came out to show support to our men and women working for public safety. And I can’t forget a special thank you to Mary Jo Pasek, who always works tirelessly in her efforts to utilize Bakersfield College in bringing our community together. For a video report of this event, check out the article at Bakersfieldnow.com.

Thank you Karen Goh for the photo gallery http://tinyurl.com/jok8cam

RENx Talks – Brief Talks, Big Ideas

RENx.jpg

Many of us on campus are familiar with TED talks… so much so, that we have our own RENEGADE talks (thank you Andrea Thorson and Todd Coston) as a mini campus-wide tribute, each year in April. Our staff, faculty, even some students come together to prepare a set of talks that are (1.) short (2.) concise and (3.) pack one powerful punch in a small amount of time. TED Talks are known for Ideas worth spreading and the library of 10-20 minute videos is nothing short of astounding. Topics range from almost anything you can think of and they’re educational, powerful, and motivational. One could even argue, if you watch one a day, it just might be… the best 13 minutes of your 24-hour day!

As a mini-series to these TED-like talks, Communications Faculty, Helen Acosta, hosted a spin off on Wednesday afternoon featuring her summer COMM B4 students. It was appropriately titled RENx – just as TEDx is a smaller scale of TED talks. I had the joy of sitting quietly in the back of the theater when lights dimmed and the first student took the stage. He was poised and enthusiastic as he conveyed a perfectly crafted message, not only with words. He artistically included body language as a reinforcement to the strong words spoken. His voice was a tool filled with passion and emotion and he swayed towards the audience, engaging us to not miss a single word. Interestingly, his topic was the transformative power of critical listening – and I don’t think this was a coincidence.

It’s hard to not listen intently to such passionate and charismatic students. One mentioned how far he has come in the past 4 weeks and delivered the message that life’s difficult moments can be a gift if one focuses on doing the right thing, and another student spoke of finding her passion through Taco Bell, leaving us with the message to “Live Más.”

Topics ranged from self-identity, faith, life, and passions… but, the very best part was witnessing our BC Renegades being honest and genuine about relevant issues, speaking on them with poise, elegance, and confidence. Our students are definitely bringing their A-game. Watch out world! These Renegades are coming for you!

Bakersfield, this is what our faculty do for our students at BC. Create the best learning environment for all of our students not just some of them.  Helen Acosta, you rock!

 

Wednesday (8/3) Evening – We Celebrate a Tribute to Jack

Jack2.jpgHe was described as “a teacher who was willing to learn from a student” and that’s just scratching the surface when it comes to describing his large and humble heart. Familiar faces gathered at the Indoor Theater on Wednesday evening to commemorate the life and impact of social studies professor, John “Jack” Edward Brigham, who passed away in July.

BrighamRetireesThe event had a great turnout, which was a wonderful testament to an outstanding man. I had the opportunity to see a few of our faculty retirees at the event – Margaret Lyman, Jack Hernandez and Sally Hill. 

 

 

Jack1A well-respected group of speakers took turns on the stage as they shared memories, pronouncing the love Jack had for BC, his students, and accomplishing the greatest common good. Brigham’s friend, Milt Younger, led the honors, praising his activism, philanthropy and passion for politics. Mayor Harvey Hall, Abdallah Ben Hamallah, Bob Severs, John Hefner, Cory Carter, Jorge Guillen, Dolores Huerta, Judy Sims-Barlow, Javier Valdez, Alex Dominguez, and Randal Beeman followed by describing how Brigham had changed their lives and motivated them to be better people. To ensure that Brigham’s legacy of inspiring young people in Kern County continues, a scholarship will be established in his name.

Brigham_JavierJavier Valdez is a former Bakersfield College student who is now at CSUB. During his time at Bakersfield College, 2 years ago, he was one of our student journalists involved with the Renegade Rip. The Renegade Rip is an amazing opportunity for our students. It has been in existence since 1929, and has grown to include a 24/7 online edition in addition to 7-8 biweekly publications a year. Our students have received internships and scholarships as they continue their studies after their time at Bakersfield College.

I would also like to recognize our BC staff who made this gathering possible – Earl Parsons, technical support. Kevin Ginger, lighting technician, Mary Jo Pasek for her support in many ways, Nicky Damania for organizing all the student volunteers, Dylan Wang and Dyann Serrato for taking photos, and Tarina Perry who managed this entire event.

I’d like to share the remarks from Randy Beeman, who represented BC faculty, admisnitrators and staff at the event:

I had the honor of being Jack’s office mate for almost 15 years. Jack was also my neighbor and a surrogate uncle to my children as we lived two blocks apart, and I had a key to his house from the first day I arrived at BC. My kids saw his condo as this mysterious place full of fascinating bric-a-brac and books, books, and more books.

Jack was actually on the hiring committee that brought me from Kansas to Bakersfield College via UNLV. Along with two Mexican Americans, an African American, and a slick looking hippie, there was this guy on the committee with cowboy boots, a bolo tie, and a pocket protector. I thought “this must be the department conservative…probably a right winger who listens to Rush Limbaugh and thinks Ronald Reagan was our greatest President.” I sure read that one wrong.

Over the years I heard a million stories, a million times, of our friend Jack’s most interesting life. My favorite stories were his battles as a junior high teacher in the most impoverished area of the city during the civil rights era. Once Jack took his basketball team to a tournament in a local city. He had to take the team in his car, which meant that he had to take half the team and return to Bakersfield for the other half.

When he got back to the tournament the kids he had left behind were downcast and some were in tears. They related to Jack that they had been called the n-word, and that the opposing coach encouraged his players to taunt Jack’s kids. It speaks volumes about the students respect for Jack that they didn’t lash out in anger. They didn’t want to disappoint him.

Jack was ordinarily a sportsman. Each kid got to play an equal amount, and no running up the score – but on this day, Jack unleashed his best player, an eventual college star, and his troops crushed the other team mercilessly. When Jack got home he began to write letters, as was his style, and within a week the racist coach was removed from his job.

That story is the essence of Jack – kind and composed, but underneath a furious revolutionary who never stopped fighting injustice and unfairness. When I would walk in the office at 7 am and the only music playing was the sound of Jack typing like a maniac, I knew that some administrator or politician was on the receiving end of one of Jack’s jeremiads. Suffice to say, in my time as his office mate and friend, he won most of his battles, and in the process students would be treated in a more ethical manner or a mismanaged system would be corrected.

Jack was a kind and serious man, but joy pervaded his personality. We would spend our free time talking (and sometimes fighting) about the American west, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, afrocubop, the mendacity of Richard Nixon, the end of nationalism and so on. Jack’s optimistic and giving spirit was infectious. I became a better teacher and a better person via my ongoing tutorial with this well-read, well-travelled, extraordinary individual. Just last month he wrote me about ‘inappropriate comments regarding Hillary Clinton” that I had reposted in haste on Facebook. I deleted the post, post haste.

Everyone knows that Jack was a font of generosity. Early on in my tenure at BC, I would be on the phone with my wife, talking about how we would pay for the kid’s braces and still manage the Catholic school tuition, or whatever bill or crisis was next…I would come out of class a few hours later and a check for $500 or $1000 would be on my desk. The only repayment expected is that I would do my best as a scholar and teacher.

Jack made people, like me, feel like they were special and capable of great deeds, but what Jack really taught me was that it is the small things that count – a compliment to someone feeling down or shy, giving away a material possession to someone who might enjoy it more, an encouraging word to an aspiring young artist. Jack was a complete gentleman, genteel, a lover of nature, animals, and even people as well.

If I were to channel Jack today, I would say that if he was a great man who could see farther than others it was because he was [audience ‘standing on the shoulders of giants.”] Milt Younger, Bob Severs, Corey Carter, the big guy Abdallah and Dolores of course above all….these giants of Jack’s life and other devoted friends all testify to a life well lived, a life worthy of emulation. Jack Brigham you are, in a phrase you loved so much, “presente!”

Jack’s life story and accomplishments are detailed in his obituary and I encourage you to take a few moments to read it. He was an accomplished, beloved, and outstanding leader who continually thought of others before himself.

Quoted from his obit, “Jack is in hopes his friends and role models will do something special for a person, group or organization in the spirit of integrity and civic unity.”

Let’s go out today and do something special – something extraordinary in honor of Jack.

enjoying gift from art department feb 14 2014

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya 

(The Art department certainly knows the way into my heart)