Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, December 1, 2017 and a fabulous day to be a Renegade. Why would it not be, when I wake up and see Dr. Nick Strobel’s stargazing piece in the Californian. Here is the opener as a teaser for you to read more The Bakersfield Californian.
On Thursday night, the faculty cohort for our National Endowment of the Humanities grant including Andrew Bond, Oliver Rosales and Josh Ottum hosted local author Gerald Haslam to talk about how he is able to tap into the energy of the Central Valley in his work.
Andrew Bond was teaching in Arvin and he and his students were watching the live stream from their classroom. How cool is that!
Oliver Rosales read Andrew’s write up
When we first began writing this grant, we decided that we wanted to focus on programming that put the Central Valley, its cultures, and its people at the fore. Drawing on our respective backgrounds in literature, history, and music, Oliver Rosales, Josh Ottum, and I put together a roster of scholars and authors whose work represents and examines the diverse yet interconnected cultures of the southern San Joaquin Valley. We are honored to have Dr. Gerald Haslam as our first speaker because his life and his work best embody the diversity of the region and the interdisciplinary nature of our grant program. A native of Oildale, Gerald Haslam grew up in the Bakersfield area in a family that is “culturally braided,” rooted in a mix of Hispanic and European heritages that were taught to him through family stories. As an author, he has written biographies, autobiographies, short stories, novels, and essays that cover a wide range of topics, but the majority share the common thread of being based in, or somehow connected to, the home he knew in this region. His interdisciplinary curiosity has produced books like Workin’ Man’s Blues, a historical study of California country music that looks to the Bakersfield Sound for its inspiration while staying rooted in love of writing and storytelling. It is the connections that he makes between the importance of place, narrative, and history that, from our perspectives, made him an ideal candidate to inaugurate our grant programming. We are happy, then, to introduce to you Dr. Gerald Haslam.
During the evening, Haslam, who grew up in post-World War II Oildale, talked about his slow but steady evolution as a writer in the 50s and 60s. After briefly attending Bakersfield College, Haslam worked as a military journalist and roughneck before getting a teaching position at Sonoma State University, where he was able to hone his craft, using the Central Valley as the thread that would weave the tapestry of his award-winning novels, essays and biographies. While many of his contemporaries saw Central California as boring and uncultured, Haslam recognized the potential of the Valley as a literary setting.
“It seemed crazy to me that educated people in California or elsewhere should know so little about this remarkable place,” Haslam said. “This place had never been empty.”
In Haslam’s time, the literary, historical and cultural contributions of the Central Valley were not even being taught in Kern County schools, but through his work and the writing of Joan Didion, Maxine Hong Kingston and others, as well as the elusively complex songwriting of Merle Haggard and other members of the Bakersfield sound, that history started getting recognized.
Haslam had some very useful advice about the value of perseverance in order to become an established writer, using his own struggles as a reference. “I failed many, many, many times,” Haslam said. “I started communicating with other writers on the backs of rejection letters. Don’t quit, learn from the mistakes, and learn if the mistakes are really mistakes,” he added.
Haslam’s connection to Oildale and the Central Valley made him one of the first contributors that members of the “Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley” cohort looked to as an important voice for their project.
“It is the connections he makes between the importance of place, narrative and history, that from our perspective as faculty, make him an ideal candidate to inaugurate our programming,” Oliver Rosales said.
I’d like to thank Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, Josh Ottum, Jack Hernandez for organizing the event, and I’m looking forward to more developments on the Digital Delano project and all of the other work that the group has planned.
Thank you to Manny De Los Santos who also helped with the evening. Here is Manny in action.
Chicano/Latino Community Leader Breakfast
Kern County leaders from government representatives, philanthropists, industry, and education came together at the Fireside Room on Thursday morning to hear about what BC and the community is doing to support our Latino community.
Corny Rodriguez opened by welcoming everyone to the event, recounting his work over the last 20 years to support and expand our Latino student body. I have to share a photo straight from the presentation that shows Corny then and now.
We discussed BC’s focus on meeting students where they are through high school outreach, rural initiatives, outreach efforts in Arvin, Delano, McFarland, Shafter, and more. Our goal is to keep students on the path once they arrive through co-curricular activities, programs, and unique completion communities. We want long term sucess through industry advisory boards and through strengthening community partnerships.
Student representatives Dezi Von Manos and Emmanuel Limaco from BC’s M.E.Ch.A and Tania Bernal from Latinos Unidos por Educacion (LUPE) spoke briefly about their organizations
Victor Diaz moderated a panel about expanding education and job opportunities for Latinos in Kern County with Beatris Espericueta, Kern County Farm Bureau, Jorge Barrientos, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Russell Judd, Kern Medical Center.
We also had three elected official address the audience.
Thank you Lauren Skidmore, field representative for Vince Fong and Ariana Joven, field representative for David Valadao.
It was a treat walking into the Fireside Room in the morning prior to the event and hear Zach Quiroz playing on the piano. Just beautiful.
The BC Library and Student Health Center partnered to present their third biannual De-Stress Fest this week before finals. The goal of this pre-finals event is to provide students with a space to take a break from their academic stress through calming activities, and to give them access to the mental health resources they have available to them at BC and in the Bakersfield community.
De-Stress events started on Monday with a visit from the Miracle Mutts therapy dogs to the library lobby, and continued throughout the week with puzzles and yoga in the library.
The final event was a large De-Stress Fest at the Renegade Crossroads, put together by the Student Health Center. Here, different health and mental health resources at BC and the Bakersfield community came together with information such as suicide prevention and HIV testing, as well as free massages from the Milan Institute and coloring with librarians.
Thank you to Faith Bradham , Raymond Purcell, and Debra Strong at the Student Health Center for brainstorming and planning these events and SGA for creating the flyer and promotions.
Future Renegades Visit BC for Field Trip
We welcomed some special guests to campus this week. Second Graders from Centennial Elementary in the Rosedale Union School District were at “Harvard on the Hill” visiting our Planetarium for their class field trip. The group was too large to all fit in the planetarium at once, so they split up in two groups. While one group was experiencing the planetarium show, the other group was given a tour of the campus.
I heard a few of the kids even said that it was “The best field trip ever!!” Coach Carl Dean led one of the tours and I ran into the group right outside the Administration Building. Coach Dean explained that I was “like their Principal” for us here at BC. After the exciting day, Coach Dean also let me know that everyone on campus throughout the different buildings and departments were amazing and very enthusiastic about the 2nd graders being on campus!!! Thank you to everyone who welcomed them to our place of hope, dreams, and education. Here’s to our future generation of Renegades!!!!
Bryon Schaefer at North High Basketball Game
KHSD Superintendent, Bryon Schaefer took this picture and texted it to me when he was at the North High Basketball game. While at the game, he took a selfie with BC Softball Coach and North High alumni, Casey Goodman. She returns to cheer on her alma mater and join the festivities of the opening of Lloyd Williams Court. Coach Goodman was a stellar athlete at North High playing basketball and ultimately received a scholarship to University of Louisiana-Monroe to play softball. Coach Goodman’s roots are in Bakersfield and she is proud to return home.
Rudy Salas on Campus
On Monday, BCSGA hosted the Power Lunch with Assemblymember Rudy Salas where he encouraged students to get involved with their community and work toward a better brighter future. SGA President, Dezi Von Manos and SGA Director of Legislative Affairs, Jose Cortez opened the morning and posted a great photo on Instagram.
It was great to see the post on twitter as well from @Rudysalasjr.
The Renegade RIP also covered the morning at https://www.therip.com/news/2017/11/28/californian-assemblyman-rudy-salas-visits-bakersfield-college/
Our Professional Resource Team (PRT) arrived for their second visit on Wednesday, 11/29, full of enthusiasm, helpful advice, and praise for BC’s Institutional Effectiveness Improvement Plan. The plan focuses on integrating Canvas and eLumen in order to streamline faculty workload and increase the value of student learning outcomes assessment. After a two-hour meeting, the PRT approved BC’s plan and cleared the way for the release of $200,000 in funding from the Institutional Effective Partnership Initiative (IEPI).
From left to right in the photo above is:
Craig Hayward, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness
Di Hoffman, Co-Chair of the Assessment Committee/Allied Health
Bill Moseley, Dean of Academic Technology, Co-Chair of the Assessment Committee
Kevin Walthers PRT lead, President, Allan Hancock
President Sonya Christian
Rebecca Eikey, Academic Senate President/Chemistry, College of the Canyons
Rick Fillman, Director of Institutional Research (ret.), CCSF
Paul Hert, Program Review & Assessment Coordinator/Math, Mt. San Jacinto College
On December 1st, the Accreditation team held the fourth accreditation forum in the Fireside Room. The forum focused upon Standard IV, which focuses on leadership. The forum was sponsored by our own College Council, and the forum was also zoomed to our Delano campus.
Professor Jason Stratton, the faculty lead of the ISER team, welcomed the guests and discussed Standard IV.A. Professor Stratton emphasized the terminology of the “institution,” which includes the incorporation of voices from the college’s different constituent groups. Our history professor emphasized the democratic nature of our campus-wide dialogues, transparency, and openness, and our ongoing promotion of the inclusion of voices. Jason closed with a powerful idea: accreditation reflects the values of education.
Lesley Bonds and Krista Moreland presented their work on Standard VI B, which focuses on the Bakersfield College CEO! Standard IV.B. 3 requires the CEO to guide “institutional improvement of the teaching and learning environment’ and Professor Moreland emphasized the establishment of procedures to evaluate overall institutional planning and implementation efforts to achieve the mission of the institution.
Steven Holmes, our Academic Senate President, and Zav Dadabhoy, Vice President of Student Affairs, discussed their work on Standard IV.C, and Dr. Nick Strobel, professor of astronomy and editor of our ISER report, then joined Zav to discuss the draft of Standard IV.D, which deals with multi-college districts.
Jason Stratton closed with a paraphrase of Winston Churchill: “This isn’t the end, or the beginning, but this is the end of the beginning.” Accreditation is supposed to be a continuous process, and as we move into the Spring, we will shift our focus from the collection of evidence to the refinement of our story within the ISER.
Shafter Christmas Parade
Thank you Steve Watkin, Ashlea Ward, Debi Andreson and all the outreach staff for organizing the BC presence at the Shafter Christmas Parade. It was a lot of fun even though I did not have my walking shoes. The Shafter crowd was very responsive to BC as we walked along chanting “We are BC.”
It was a treat when we heard and then saw Danny Morrison of the NEW 103.9 The Beat – “The Beat of Bakersfield.” Danny is a big believer in education and a supporter of what we do at Bakersfield College. When we passed him he certainly was effusive in recognizing BC. Thank you Danny. And I love your email signature tagline “Don’t wait for opportunity… Create it.”
Thank you to all of the BC employees who showed up for this event on a Friday night.
Thank you Abel Guzman and the Delano and Rural Initiatives gang. Thank you Heather Pennela for bring there and representing the BC Foundation. Thank you to Financial Aid to coming out. Here I am with Kevin Ott and Victoria Koiyan.
Thank you students Emmanuel Limaco and Christian Bravo who were there in the Renegade Knight outfit. And the fabulous June Charles whom I love very much.
Thank you to our cheerleaders who were there.
Thank you all who took the time to come out.
We are BC!
CA Guided Pathways Institute 2 in Bakersfield
We hosted the statewide CA Guided Pathways Institute 2 at the Bakersfield Marriott. It was a treat seeing colleagues from all across the state converge in Bakersfield.
And thank you Shawn Whalen of the College Futures Foundation for advancing higher education attainment levels in California.
Our students were the opening speakers as they presented Guided Pathways from a student’s perspective. The audience jumped to their feet in a standing ovation when they were done. I’m so proud of our students!
We also had Manny Mourtzanos, dean of instruction, and Eleanora Hicks, faculty member and data coach, present right before the students.
In addition, Dr. Janet Fulks, Dr. Craig Hayward, and I did various presentations.
We Are BC!
From Social Media:
Loved this post from Nick Strobel.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever