Tag Archives: Eloy Oakley

BC: Advancing Education in our community and state

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 23, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium

By the end of the next decade, California will need 1.1 million more people with bachelor’s degrees to meet the changing demands of industry in the golden state. Closing this gap requires a reimagining of our educational pathways and the ability to track a student’s journey from K-12 to the start of their post-baccalaureate career.

The symposium content was anchored in a 2015 Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) paper that outlines 4 policy strategies to meet this goal. Working with Craig Hayward & Lesley Bonds, I outlined an expanded set of strategies at this symposium.

#1. For rural communities and other areas in California where educational attainment levels are low, incorporate Early College Pathways to Baccalaureate Completion using the Program Pathways Mapper by the 9th grade. #2. Promote innovative approaches to scale up baccalaureate attainment, e.g., Brandman University’s competency-based education, Arizona State University’s online programs. #3. Among students that are new to the CSU, increase the proportion of California community college transfer students, with a goal of reaching 75%. #4. Strengthen transfer pathways from community colleges to UCs as well as to independent colleges and universities. #5. Expand the community college Bachelor degree program.

Educational leaders and policymakers from across the state came together to share their success stories during the Intersegmental Pathways Symposium organized and hosted by Bakersfield College on Friday, November 15. Colleges and universities from as far north as Shasta and as far south as the Imperial Valley converged on the Bakersfield Marriott for a sold-out event sharing practices that are transforming California’s educational landscape while calling for policy reform to increase baccalaureate attainment with equity.

Several representatives from non-profit organizations and research groups also attended the event, which was sponsored by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, College Futures Foundation, the Univeristy of California Office of the President, and the Wonderful Company.

The event received local coverage on KBAK.

KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke opened the event by commending the attendees for working together and uniting around the common goal of creating an educated workforce. Burke also highlighted the importance of investing resources to ensure equity in completion.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendee
Linda Collins

The first panel of the morning revolved around clarifying the pathways from high school to community college. Moderator Linda Collins from the Career Ladders Project shared that 68 percent of new jobs in California will require some education beyond high school. She then introduced KCCD Student Trustee Christian Chavez from Porterville College, who described how the support of her counselors and educational advisors helped her overcome some early hurdles along her educational journey.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendees
Left to right: Kevin Tallon, Dr. Kristin Clark, Christian Chavez, and Dr. Lori Bennett

West Hills College Lemoore President Kristin Clark discussed how dual enrollment and a high-touch approach to case management is closing racial and gender gaps for transfer English completion across the campus. Wasco High Principal Kevin Tallon is working together with BC and the Wonderful Company to get first-generation students through intentionally designed pathways that lead to jobs within their community. Clovis Community College has won the Champion of Higher Education Award for two years in a row, and President Lori Bennett shared how their dual enrollment and placement initiatives have established one of the newest schools in the state community college system as a leader in academic excellence.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendee
Steven Holmes

BC’s Academic Senate President Steven Holmes moderated the second panel, which focused on pathways from community college to the university. Before introducing the panel, he spoke briefly about how BC’s transfer initiatives have led to 637 percent growth in Associate Degree for Transfer completion within the last five years. Shasta College President Joe Wyse opened with an overview of his college’s Degrees When Due Initiative, which identifies students who are eligible for degree completion but who never applied. The initiative also identifies students who are near completion and invites them back to take the last few classes that they need to graduate.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendees
Dr. Joe Wyse, Jackie Cruz, and Noemi Donoso

Hartnell College’s computer science department has an innovative partnership with CSU Monterey Bay titled CS in 3, and Vice President of Advancement and Development Jackie Cruz described their internship collaborations with Salesforce, Amazon, Facebook, and other major players in the nearby Silicon Valley tech industry. Industry partnerships are key to the Central Valley’s educational reforms as well, and Wonderful Company Senior Vice President Noemi Donoso talked about the powerful collaborations they’ve developed with BC and high schools throughout Kern County.

The third panel focused on tools for sharing data across institutions. Moderator Craig Hayward introduced symposium attendees to our Program Pathways Mapper, an important tool for sharing curricular and career data with our students.

Cypress College was one of the early implementers of the pathways mapper, and President Joanna Schilling demonstrated how it’s an important tool not just for our students, but for faculty and staff who may need the pathways clarified for them as well. BC’s student government president Samantha Pulido attested to the ease and simplicity of pathway mappers, and said she wishes she had access to these resources earlier in her educational career to reduce confusion about what classes she needed to take.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendees
Kris Grappendorf and Dr. Joanna Schilling
Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendees
Justin Derrick and Samantha Pulido

McFarland High School Principal Justin Derrick is clarifying the path for the 9th graders in McFarland’s Early College program, giving students the tools they need to navigate their future before they even walk across the stage for their high school diplomas. CSUB professor Kris Grappendorf uses the program mapper to show how a degree in kinesiology is a gateway into both STEM and health careers.

Dr Joseph Jones
Dr. Joseph Jones

The last panel before lunch focused on effective partnerships. Dr. Joseph Jones, the President of Fresno Pacific University, moderated this discussion between leaders across the spectrum of California higher education. As a representative of an independent university, Jones urged attendees not to forget how schools like Fresno Pacific are uniquely positioned to quickly adapt to educational demands and build partnerships. He then introduced Gregg Camfield, the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of UC Merced. UC Merced is dedicated to serving its primarily first-generation student body, and its commitment to engaging with the community has made it the top school in the country for students performing above expectations. Camfield shared the partnerships UC Merced is developming with BC in the STEM areas and called on attendees to participate in the Health Equity and Poverty Summit on November 22nd organized by BC and UC Merced.

Lynette Zelezny has felt a call to serve the Central Valley throughout her career as an administrator, and one year into her term as the first woman president of Cal State Bakersfield, is engaged in an innovative partnership with BC with the co-location of BC SouthWest adjacent to the CSUB campus. Wolde-Ab Isaac rose from extreme poverty in the African country of Eritrea to become chancellor of the Riverside Community College District, and he spoke proudly of the partnerships he’s established throughout the Inland Empire to fulfill the district’s mission of social justice.

After a beautiful plated lunch provided by the Bakersfield Marriott, Kern County Superintendent of Schools Mary Barlow spoke about how the “cradle-to-career” vision promised by intersegmental pathways requires buy-in from all educational partners. Assemblyman Rudy Salas was the moderator for the afternoon’s keynote panel with higher ed policymakers in California. He expressed how this intersegmental pathways work makes it easier for lawmakers like him to support funding for higher education because it gives schools the ability to communicate outcomes.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendee
Assemblyman Rudy Salas

As the Chancellor of California Community Colleges and a community college graduate himself, Eloy Oakley is passionate about the moral responsibility that our 115 colleges have to help Californians elevate themselves out of poverty. He called on all sectors of education to work together and not remain in the silos of the past. Gavin Newsom has outlined an ambitious agenda called California For All to help our colleges live up to that responsibility, and senior policy advisor Lande Ajose shared the governor’s educational vision with symposium attendees. It was a real treat having Lande Ajose in Bakersfield. Check out her tweet the next day after the symposium.

Finally, California Education Department chief deputy Lupita Alcala talked about how school funding reform and mental health resources are crucial to closing equity gaps in baccalaureate attainment.

Left to right: Rudy Salas, Eloy Oakley, Lupita Alcala, and Lande Ajose
Left to right: Eloy Oakley, Lupita Alcala, and Lande Ajose

On the digital side, Twitter was a very prominent part of the day. Check out these tweets that were posted by attendees using the hashtag #BCIPS.

We even had a wonderful (and useful) stretch break that was led by our own Manny Mourtzanos and Todd Coston.

At the end of the symposium, attendees who contributed to the conversation on Twitter were entered into a raffle for an Apple Watch, iPad, and other prizes.

I would like to thank everyone who attended the Intersegmental Pathways Symposium, as well as all of our sponsors who made it possible. A big thank you to Naomi Castro and the Career Ladders Project (CLP) team who worked side by side with BC. Check out Naomi in this video.

Behind the Scenes of the Symposium

There were so many wonderful people behind the scenes of the symposium that made our event work smoothly. These include Lesley Bonds for her contributions of content and coordination of the program and panels; Craig Hayward with the content; Norma Rojas-Mora for assisting with the panels; Catherine Rangel for organizing registration; Tarina Perry for the venue logistics and food; Manny De Los Santos for the Livestream; Kristin Rabe for audio and visual support; Dylan Wang and Earl Parsons for photography; Monika Scott for technology logistics, chat and social media support; Aricia Leighton for web and social media support; and our MPR students, Juan Reyes and Ramon Carriedo for supporting us with anything that was needed.

Thank you also to the many other members of the BC family who were there supporting us with the many little details. We couldn’t have done this without all of you.

Care Package Drop Zone

BC’s Veteran Services Department partnered up with Kern River Blue Star Moms to collect care packages for our troops on Tuesday. Faculty and staff organized a booth in front of the Administration building where members of the community could donate non-perishable food and hygiene items.

Christine Heard (Kern River Blue Star Moms) with me at the Care Package Drop Zone

The goods will be distributed to troops on the ground through Operation: Not Forgotten, a volunteer non-profit organization that helps improve the quality of life for veterans and their families.

Armando Trujillo, the advisor for BC student veterans and a veteran himself, said that events like these help our troops understand that their sacrifices are appreciated. We’ve expanded our programming for veterans throughout the month of November until the grand opening of our Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center on December 10.

Thank you to Kern River Blue Star Moms, Operation: Not Forgotten, and everyone at BC who made our care package drive a huge success.

Save the Date: VRC Groundbreaking on December 10, 2019

In just a few weeks, our community will celebrate the grand opening of BC’s first facility designed and built with the funding provided out of Measure J. Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for more details!

BC at the Office of Emergency Services

On Tuesday morning, a team of BC administrators who serve on the Incident Command Center reported to the Kern County Office of Emergency Services to participate in a tabletop exercise. The purpose of this activity was to talk through the procedures of what could and should be done in the case of an emergency.

In the room, we had evaluators from local organizations such as Kern County Fire, Kern County Office of Emergency Services, Red Cross, and more. After our activity, local partners contributed with feedback and short overviews about the services their organization can provide. 

Special thank you to Dr. Nicky Damania for his detailed work to run the group through the exercise and our partners for the valuable contributions to the morning discussion.

BCSGA Power Lunch with Jeremy Staat

The BCSGA Power Lunch on Monday featured Jeremy Staat, a former Renegade football star, veteran, and candidate for California’s 8th Congressional District. Staat is also an assistant professor of welding here at BC.

Jeremy Staat

Staat played defensive end for the Renegades, Pittsburgh Steelers, and other NFL teams before deciding to serve his country as a Marine Corps veteran in Iraq. Staat comes from three generations of veterans and believes their voice deserves to be heard and recognized in society, which is the motivation for his congressional campaign.

Thank you to Jeremy Staat for taking the time out of his day to speak with our community, and thank you to BCSGA for organizing another great power lunch.

BC goes to College Night at the Getty Villa

Last week, 10 BC students headed to College Night at the Getty Villa. This free event was organized by Dr. Nicky Damania and Benny Balderrama, who reserved tickets and provided transportation. The evening lasted from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and offered activities, food, a

59DaysofCode Entrepreneurship Competition

With 25+ teams, more than 70 entrepreneurs, and $36,000 in cash prizes, 59DaysofCode was an enormous event for entrepreneurship and technology in Kern County.

The teams had 59 days to prepare and build their ideas, and at the end of the 59 days, each team had to present their idea to a panel of judges. The judges included Dusting McCraw (Software Engineer), Trevor Thomas-Uribe (Financial Investor), and our very own professor Rudy A. Menjivar (Business Law and Accounting Professor). After the initial pitches, each team presented their products at their booths during The Arena, and each finalist chosen by the judges pitched from the stage to the crowd. 

Women in Trades Workshop

The 4th annual Women in Trades workshop, which aimed to teach high school and college-aged students more about careers in the building trades, was held earlier this month to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week. The event was put on by the Kern Community College District, Bakersfield College, local union building trade apprenticeship coordinators, and the State Division of Apprenticeship Standards.

Building Trades Executive Councilman John Spaulding addressing the filled auditorium of interested women at the Kern County Electrical Training Facility

The workshop introduced local apprenticeship programs and offered hands-on workshops, which were assisted by apprentices and journeyman currently working in the trades.

Building Trades Executive Councilman John Spaulding addressing the audience

Trades represented in the workshop included electricians, plumbers, pipefitters, sheet metal workers, carpenters, operating engineers, and cement masons.

KGET had local news coverage of the workshop. A special thanks to Dave Teasdale from Economic and Workforce Development for organizing this event, and Greg Rogers from the Kern County Electrical Apprenticeship for hosting this event at their facility.

Dr. Brian Harnetty Shares His Music

Commercial music professor Joshua Ottum invited composer Dr. Brian Harnetty to the Performing Arts Center on Wednesday night to share his music with students. Harnetty’s compositions incorporated archived sound and music for a technique he called “backward karaoke.”

Harnetty was most proud to show students a project he’s been working on called “Shawnee, Ohio,” which is a collection of music composed entirely of audio from the city’s archives. Thank you to Joshua Ottum for inviting Brian Harnetty to share his creativity with our Renegades.

On Wednesday, November 20, BC hosted Deep Cuts and Conversations at the Levan Center, with Dr. Brian Harnetty, who discussed his artistic methods of recording authentic sounds to create music. Dr. Harnetty explained how improvisation and live recordings, such sounds of people, nature, and instruments, can create genuine music.

BC faculty Kris Tiner, Director of Jazz Studies, Joshua Ottum, Professor of Commercial Music, and Reggie Williams, Professor of Philosophy, discussed with Dr. Harnetty about their experiences with improvisation to create music and the authentic sounds heard during a live performance. Professor Tiner talked about the improvisation of influential jazz artist Miles Davis in his song “Nefertiti,” where the melody repeats by improvising and playing it in different ways.

Professor Ottum described his experience listening to indie rock band Granddaddy and their song “He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot,” where they improvised by using simple music equipment, such as playing into pipes to get an echo for their sounds and create genuine music.

Professor Williams talked about the rock band Alice in Chains’s song “Nutshell,” comparing the emotion between their recorded song and the live MTV Unplugged performance that conveyed a strong sense of human pain.

Thank you to Professors Kris Tiner, Joshua Ottum, Reggie Williams, and guest speaker Dr. Brian Harnetty for hosting Deep Cuts and Conversations and inspiring our future BC artists!

BC Construction Class Tours Measure J Construction

One of the BC Construction classes visited the Measure J construction site a couple of weeks ago, but this week they were able to get a one-on-one tour with S.C. Anderson Project Superintendent Bill Campe. Bill showed the students all of the work currently underway at the Campus Center. The students were able to see first-hand the phases that happen in construction, and I think will be able to take away some of that information to assist them as they progress in the construction field. 

I’d like to thank Bill and those at AECOM/Parsons for taking the time to show our students the processes needed to construct something as in depth as the new Campus Center, and what the Measure J funds are building. Together we’re building a better BC!

Men’s Soccer Claims Conference Championship for First Time in School History!

A huge congratulations goes out to Men’s Soccer Coach Vayron Martinez and his soccer team as they won the school’s first men’s soccer conference championship when they defeated College of the Canyons 2-1 last Friday. We are proud of the program and their success. They are now focused on the playoffs as they will travel to play at Fullerton College this Saturday (11/23) at 2 p.m. in the first round of the CCCAA Men’s Soccer SoCal Regional. Once again – Congrats Coach Vayron and team!

Women’s Volleyball will host Chaffey in CCCAA SoCal Playoff

Our 4-peat conference championship volleyball team will be hosting Chaffey College in the first round of the CCCCAA SoCal Regional Playoffs this coming Tuesday (11/26) at 6 p.m. We need everyone’s support in the Gil Bishop Sports Center to cheer on our Renegade Volleyball team as they look to advance further into the playoffs!

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (11/10-11/16) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week

Emma Gross, Women’s Soccer

Emma anchored the Renegade defense in games last week against Santa Monica and Antelope Valley as the team closed out the 2019 regular season. Emma was also honored this week as a member of the 2019 CCCAA All-State Team, an honor given to only four defenders in the state.

Edgar Gonzalez, Men’s Soccer

Edgar assisted on three of the four goals scored by the Renegades last week as the team clinched its first conference championship in school history. This week Edgar was also named to the CCCAA All-Region team, the WSC South 1st Team and as WSC South Offensive Player of the Year. 

Renegade Athletics Updates From This Past Week

Athletic Events ‘On the Hill’ This Coming Week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • 11/26 at 6 p.m. – Volleyball vs. Chaffey, CCCAA
  • 11/27 at 5 p.m. – Men’s Basketball vs. West Hills Coalinga
Sonya in BC shirt smiling.


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Celebrating people — talent and dedication

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 14, 2018 …a quiet cool morning …a great week to be a Renegade!

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Renegade Talks

Renegade Talks Lineup

Renegade Talks 2018 Lineup

Based on the popular TED Talks of “Ideas Worth Sharing”, Renegade Talks bring together BC faculty and students to deliver short, innovative, subject-based presentations. This year, the lineup was fabulous including:

  • “Rolling the Dice” by Chris Cruz-Boone, Professor of Communication
  • “Black Masculine Identity” by Julian James West
  • “Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum: A Fork in the Academic Road” by Joe Saldivar, Professor of Biology
  • “Twelve Seconds” by Amber Smithson, BC Student
  • “Manners and Today’s Society” by Teena Bensusen, BC Student
  • “The Burden of Freedom” by Daniel Mechem, Veteran and BC Student

Indoor Theater

Indoor Theater filling up before the show

If you were not able to attend, videos are being edited. Keep your eye out for them in my blog next week and on BC’s YouTube! For now, here are two teasers from Joe Saldivar and Julian West.

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Todd Coston and Andrea Thorson

Special thank you to two leaders at BC who chair and coordinate this event, Andrea Thorson and Todd Coston. See the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

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Welcoming the KCCD Trustees to Campus

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On Thursday, BC leadership welcomed the KCCD Board of Trustees to campus for their monthly Board Meeting and we started the afternoon with a luncheon provided by BC Food Services and Chef Eric Sabella.

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Liz Rozell gave an informative presentation regarding the Industrial Automation Program and introduced one of our upcoming graduates of the first Baccalaureate Class in 2018 – Richard Van Horne. He spoke highly of the program and how he earned a Political Science degree from BC and was inspired to return upon the news of the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation. Richard shared that he receives offers for internships, being approached by local industries and said he’s getting his degree at a fraction of the cost of friends who attend other 4-year institutions.

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Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation Student, Richard Van Horne

The Board Meeting then took place in The Norman Levan Center with one highlight being our Emeritus and Retiree Recognition. I had the honor of introducing them, so I’d like to share each of them one more time, highlighting their service.

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg , Vice-President, Instruction – 35 years, 6 months
Nan is the best coach that I know, the best arbitrator of disputes, the best diplomat, the best cheerleader for students, the most articulate person for issues of equity…… and always kind and generous with her time. Today, we have the opportunity to give our voice of thanks to her years of humble service; we have the opportunity to make visible her focused work behind the scenes that has greatly shaped our community, and so many lives; and we have the opportunity to recognize this tireless and true champion of education.

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Katherine Pluta, Dean of Instruction – 32 years, 5 months
Kate provided 32 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College.  She has served many leadership roles including, Division Chair, President of the Senate, President of CCA and recently, Dean of Instruction. And if you look at major initiatives over the years, Assessment and Student Learning Outcomes, Strategic Planning, the Integration of Accreditation into the work of the college, you will see that Kate has been in the forefront. She has been a loyal friend to BC and a friend to me. Kate, you will be missed.

img_5285-x4Gilbert Merjil, Groundsworker II – 31 years, 2 months
Gilbert Merjil was a groundskeeper and irrigation specialist for the campus.  Although a quiet worker, behind the scenes he took care to ensure we could be proud of our campus grounds.  In particular, Gilbert kept the campus green and looking good thorough one of our states worst droughts all while reducing campus water usage. Gilbert resolutely guarded BC’s lawns and sprinklers and was known to chase down vendors who may have driven over the lawn.

img_5291-x4Andrea Garrison Professor, Biology 28 years, 8 months May 11, 2018

Professor Garrison has been a cornerstone to motivating the faculty of the College to being excellent teachers. She is respected for her leading the faculty through challenging times. As a true Biologist, she created awareness of important issues in respecting our environment as we function as a College, and she created and organized the club for students to incorporate their faith into their education. When the College started Guided Pathways, she was one of the first faculty to embrace this effort and used that to encourage her students in class to know their pathways and be prepared in all ways for the expectations of learning after transfer. Andrea has been the President of CCA and a winner of the Levinson Leadership Award.

dsc08078-x4Odella Johnson Professor, Academic Development 24 years, 10 months
Odella Johnson will be remembered for her passion for students, her passion for equity and her leadership both on campus and in the community.  Odella participated as a member of the Black faculty, served as faculty advisor to the BSU, served as Director of the Educational Advancement Program (EAP), Director of the Assessment Center, served as ACDV Department Chair, Director Equity and Inclusion and on many college wide and district committees. Prof Odella Johnson thank you for 24 years of service to Bakersfield College.

dsc08084-x4Susan McQuerrey Professor, ELS 25 years, 10 months
Susan McQuerrey has been a valued member of the EMLS Department and the Bakersfield College community since 1988, when she started as an adjunct.  She was hire full-time in 1992.  She has served on many committees including as co-chair of the Curriculum Committee and president of the Academic Senate. She also served as the department chair for the English/ESL Department before the two departments split. Her students love and respect her with comments like, “Very respectful; highly recommended,” and “She is a good professor. Very strict, but for our own good. Love her.” Certainly, Susan’s professionalism, experience, and love for teaching will be sorely missed at Bakersfield College.

dsc08091-x4Jimmy (Smitty) Smith, Skilled Craftsworker, M&O Technician 17 years, 3 months
Smitty as we called him served BC for nearly 20 years as the skilled craftsman and locksmith.  He was always eager to assist and made sure it was done the “right way”.  His myriad skill sets and care will be hard to replace!. In his role as locksmith, Smitty had a big job to ensure faculty and staff had access to all of the buildings as needed.   Smitty was instrumental in helping transition our campus to the new key card system.

dsc08096-x4Dennis Spencer, Electronics Technician – 10 years, 2 months
Dennis was originally hired as the phone technician.  As technology changed and phone systems moved towards voice-over IP technology, Dennis was able to transition and oversee maintenance of campus elevators, fire alarms, and small electronic equipment.  He personally oversaw the audio equipment set-up for all administrative events.   Dennis always has a great story to share and was the eyes and ears of the campus.  Dennis provided personal attention to ensure we had what was needed and ensured every detail was covered when helping out regardless of the projects – from the phones, to computers to the fire alarm system, to large events.

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BC’s esteemed retirees

Student Employee Appreciation Week

National Student Employee Appreciation week 2018

Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Workforce. This week is National Student Employee Appreciation week, and with close to 500 students employed each year at Bakersfield College there is much to celebrate. The Office of Student Employment in FACE 16 coordinated this fabulous event, that recognized our Student Employees hard work throughout the year. Students were provided a token of appreciation in addition to resources that will help tie their experience on campus to their future careers. For students seeking on-campus opportunities please send them to the Student Employment Lab (FACE 9) where they can schedule an appointment with a job development specialist, apply for on-campus employment through Jobspeaker, search off-campus jobs, create a resume or print career related materials for free. Special thanks to Stephanie Baltazar for spearheading this incredible program for our students.

Inaugural English Student Colloquium

Rae Ann KumelosThe English Department hosted its first English Department Student Colloquium in the Levan Center on Friday, April 13, 2018. The Colloquium held an essay contest from which three finalists were selected to present at the Colloquium and compete for awards generously donated by the Levan Center. The English Colloquium Committee was pleased with the many well-written submissions they received from Bakersfield College students.

The three finalists, Steven Ledesma, Sarai James, and Brian Melgar, presented their essays vying for the first prize of $1500, with second and third place receiving $500. All three finalists also received an invitation to the BC Donor Dinner.

The English Colloquium, an educational seminar where participants come together to discuss their work, was given an “American Idol” twist. The three finalists each had a chance to perform on stage by presenting their essay, and the judges (a.k.a. committee members) sat on the edges of their seats critiquing the would-be stars. After the presentations, the judges adjourned for discussion and subsequently announced first place winner of the $1500 prize – Brian Melgar. Second place – $500 – Steven Ledesma and third place – Sarai Jaime.

Brian Melgar, Sarai Jaime, Steven Ledesma.

Brian Melgar, Sarai Jaime, Steven Ledesma.

Special thank you Rae Ann Kumelos for leading this Inaugural English Colloquium and to the committee members: Keri Wolf, Richard Marquez, Cynthia Powell, Jennifer Jett, Denise Mitchell, Alicia Skipper, Jason Spitzer, Justin Bell, Jeremy Casabella, Tiffany Wong, and Kaitlin Hulsey. I would also like to thank Anna Poetker and Reggie Williams for lending their colloquium organization knowledge, experience and advice to the English Colloquium Committee. Thank you Eric Sabella for the delicious refreshments and Kristen Rabe for technical support. Thank you Eric Carillo for creating such a beautiful green event poster that Rae Ann believes brought the rain to turn the hills of Bakersfield green. A large thank you Jack Hernandez and the Levan Center for the support and making the English Colloquium possible.

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Eric Carrillo’s Poster

A very special guest showed up to the Colloquium — Rae Ann’s father, Laddie Kumelos. She was very proud to tell us that he began teaching English 70 years ago. She certainly did not fall far from the tree as she continues to teach English at BC. She joked that when she wrote him letters while away at school, he would return them, marked up with red ink.

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Rae Ann’s dad (tan shirt on the right) in the audience awaiting the start of presentations. And looks like he is texting!

We joke about the red ink of an English teacher, but writing is extremely important for a better workforce and for a better community. Communicating through the written word, understanding it, interpreting what those before us have written enriches our lives, educates us on the past, helps us educate others, and allows us to share our ideas. Events like the English Student Colloquium encourage students to further engage in communicating ideas and strengthening their writing skills. It also gives us an opportunity to see what our students have learned and how they have grown from their education at BC. The three finalists certainly shine as examples of this. I look forward to next year’s English Colloquium. See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

The finalists drawing the presentation order from the “golden chalice”

The finalists drawing the presentation order from the “golden chalice”

 

Korean Culture Day

The students in BC’s Korean Culture Club organized an all-day event on Monday in the Fireside Room and cafeteria celebrating the richness of Korean culture. English professor Andrew Bond helped organize the 2nd Annual Korean Culture Festival, which featured Korean music, food, and a performance by the Long Beach-based K-pop dance troupe, The Last Bite.

 

Sonia Silva, a representative from CSUB’s International Students and Programs office, was on hand to provide future Cal State transfers with information about study abroad opportunities at the university. See more photos on BC’s Smugmug!

Korean Dancers at BC

Korean Dancers at BC

Faculty working on assessment of Student Learning

On Monday, I stopped by L160 to talk to Nick Strobel and found faculty hanging out and working on assessment of student learning long after the workshop had ended.  Just wonderful!  In the picture you see Di Hoffman, the outgoing faculty chair, and Brent Wilson, the incoming chair.  David Neville on the far right was Assessment Chair before Di, so in one photo we have three generations of Assessment Committee chairs.  Here the beautiful woman in the Renegade Red shirt if Sandy Davis, faculty in nursing.

Assessment Committee 2018

Di Hoffman, Sandy Davis, Brent Wilson, David Neville

BC team at Banner Ellucian Conference

The BC team was at the Ellucian annual conference in San Diego, examining configuration options and models for the upcoming Banner 9 upgrade. I am told that one of the more significant Banner upgrades will go into effect this summer.

Banner Conference

Dena Rhoades, Jennifer Achan, Morgan Bohnsack, Michelle Pena, Zav Dadabhoy, Mark Osea, DJ Vanderwerff, Somaly Boles, Ashlea Ward

Watch for workshops and information from the BC Banner team leads: Jennifer Achan and Michelle Pena.

Also caught this photo posted by Tonya Davis, Vice Chancellor of HR on twitter,

KCCD HR Team at Ellucian Conf in San Diego April 9 2018

AAMP Open House

On April 6, 2018, the Bakersfield College African American Mentor Program (A.A.M.P.) had a packed house for its second annual AAMP Open House.  With nearly 200 African American high school students, BC was able to make a significant contribution to preparing African-American students for college before they even arrive on a college campus.

AAMP Open House 2018 attendees

AAMP Open House 2018 attendees

We kicked off the event with an address from our most distinguished keynote, LaMeka Ross.  LaMeka faced trials and tribulations early on in her life, with the loss of her father at a young age. Despite the adversity she overcame her obstacles and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master’s in Business Administration.  LaMeka is now working in Human Resources Business Partner Role for Aera Energy.  She serves as a living testament to the possibility of enduring and overcoming adversity and to reach success.

The overall theme of the event was to encourage students to exceed academic expectations.  Students were split into 2 groups; one group consisted of all seniors while the other was all non-seniors.  The senior high school students went to learn about the Umoja ASTEP Program here at Bakersfield College; they got to hear the experiences of prior Umoja students and meet the esteemed faculty that make it all possible.  Afterwards, students were able to apply to the program, be accepted, and actually register for the program at the event.

The non-seniors were learning from three amazing workshops that exposed them to their options of dual enrollment, the importance of math, and STEM careers.  The entire event was inspirational as students prepared for the transition to college, we planted seeds of encouragement and hope, and we educated students on the opportunities that college can offer.

Thank you to Julian West, Paula Parks, and the whole AAMP team.

Open House 2018 Julian West

Open House 2018 Julian West

AAMP Paula Parks Presenting

AAMP Paula Parks Presenting

 

Congratulations 2018 KCCD Leadership Academy

The Kern Community College District is committed to supporting professional development that informs employees’ leadership abilities. Each year, the Leadership Academy works to develop classified, faculty and management employees to prepare for leadership roles at every level of the organization.

Through experiential learning opportunities from September through April, the KCCD Leadership Academy offers employees the opportunity to interact with district executives, KCCD trustees, state-level education leaders and others. Participants generate a greater understanding of our geographically expansive district and build cross-district relationships with coworkers.

LA Group

On behalf of the entire BC community, congratulations to this year’s Leadership Academy participants!  And for those of you who have not participated, applications are out for the 2018-2019 cohort.  Apply now.

Heather Barajas

Heather Barajas is currently a Department Assistant III in Human Resources at the Bakersfield College Campus. She has worked at BC for four years and loves being able to see her work/committee participation in action by just simply taking a walk around the campus. As a participant of the KCCD Leadership Academy she enjoyed it because it pushed her out of her comfort zone and gave her more insight of how the district and colleges operate together, in addition to getting to know other people from her campus and the other colleges.

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Keith Ford is the Associate Athletic Director at Bakersfield College who has been with BC for almost 3 years. He is involved with campus-wide initiatives and serves on committees including facilities and safety committees. His goal is to one day serve as the Bakersfield College Athletic Director to be able to provide the best opportunities to the student-athletes to achieve their goals, whether it is in athletics, academics or life in general.

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Michael McClenic is a program manager at Bakersfield College where he serves students on probation. He started his career at BC in 2015 as an adjunct instructor and seven months later took on the role of Program Manager, Probation and Early Alert. As a participant of the KCCD Leadership Academy he enjoyed the opportunity to meet, interact with and learn from people from other colleges in the district. His takeaway are the words of our esteemed Chancellor – -”What happened in Sacramento, stays in Sacramento”.

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Mindy Wilmot is faculty/reference librarian for Bakersfield College. She is finishing up her fourth year (and just received tenure). As a Leadership Academy participant she enjoyed her time learning more about her school and district, as well as getting to work with colleagues from the three campuses. She considered the Legislative Conference to Sacramento the highlight of the academy.

Mike Barrett

Mike Barrett is a System Support Specialist working at the Bishop and Mammoth Lakes campuses of Cerro Coso Community College. He lives in Bishop California and work at the Bishop and Mammoth Lakes campuses – that’s like a win-win-win-win! He really enjoyed the opportunity to take part in the KCCD Leadership Academy. Having had a chance to tour all of our campuses and see first-hand some of the different challenges each college has in providing educational opportunities for their service areas. He believes our colleges and the district office work well together and is really happy to be a part of such a great team.

Nikki Gardepe

Nikki Gardepe is an Assessment Assistant at Cerro Coso Community College. She has been at Cerre Coso for four years. She coordinates student assessment testing activities critical to student academic performance and placement. She knows what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes trying to deal with the sometime complex education system and finds it rewarding when she can truly help others.

Stephanie Olmedo-Hinde

Stephanie Olmedo-Hinde is the current Counselor and Coordinator for Porterville College’s Disability Resource Center. She has worked for the KCCD for 16 years. She comes from a family of KCCD employees, her father Robert Olmedo worked for Porterville College for 12 years and her mother, Perla Olmedo, worked for Porterville College for 35 years. “What I loved most about the leadership academy was the lifelong connections I made with my colleagues from BC, CC, and District Office. My team was full of the best people I’ve ever met and we worked together so well, I love knowing they have my back and I absolutely have theirs”

Steven Alexander

Steven Alexander is the Director of IT Security and has been with KCCD for almost two years. He lives in Bakersfield with his wife and three children. His favorite experience in the leadership academy was traveling to Sacramento to meet with our state legislators and advocate for our district.

Cammie Ehret-Stevens

Cammie Ehret-Stevens is a native of Bakersfield and joined the Kern Community College District in July 2011 as the Purchasing Coordinator/Analyst. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from California Coast University and a Public Procurement Certification from NLPA. In her free time she enjoys camping and traveling abroad. Cammie recently completed the KCCD Leadership Academy in April 2018, where she gained insight to the district and established multiple networking connections.

KCCD in Oregon

A team from Porterville College, Cerro Coso Communty College, Bakersfield College and the District Officer were in Oregon along with staff from Kern High School District and Delano.  We have been scaling up rapidly in KCCD with Dual Enrollment and this trip will help systematize some of our processes.  Don’t you see Cindy Collier leading this systems development?  This is what Cindy does!

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Gearing up for Summer Bridge

I’ve been told that 30 out of the 34 scheduled summer bridge sessions are FULL! That is  over 1,350 enrollments! I was overjoyed to see the number of faculty and staff who signed up for some dates to mentor at this year’s Summer Bridge, but we have lots of room left!

Summer Bridge Main Image

Thank you to the advisors and counselors that will be helping us throughout the summer! And Allison Burch, Angela Bono, Bill Chapman, Bonnie Hammond, Brent Wilson, Brian Sivesind, Bryan Hirayama, Bryan Russell, Catherine Starling, Cherilyn Haworth, Chris Cruz-Boone, Christian Zoller, Christina Touchstone, Daniel Gomes, Debra B. Strong, Diana Cason, Dinorah Castro, Don Brady, Eddie Rangle, Eleonora Hicks, Elvira Martinez, Emily Poole, Erica Menchaca, Erineo Garcia, Faith Bradham, Gilbert Ayuk, Glenn Samples, Gurpreet Grewal, Heather Pennella, Helen Medrano, Isaac K. Vannasone, James McGarrah, Jeannie Parent, Jessica Wojtysiak, Kaureen Brady, Keri Wolf, Kim Arbolante, Lisa Harding, Lisa Rogers, Marcelyn Allen, Mathew Garrett, Michael Fragoso, Michelle Hart, Mindy Wilmot, Neeley Hatridge, Olivia Garcia, Sara Wallace, Silvet Holcomb, Stephanie Vega, Stephen Tavoni, Sue Vaughn, Talita Pruett, Teresa McAllister, Tina Posey, Tina Zito, Tracie Grimes, Travis Steele, Vayron Martinez, Veronica Lucas, Wade Ellis, and Yvonne Armendariz. #WeareBC!

Transfer Pathway Advising

Khushnur Dadabhoy, Director of Transfer Pathways, and Grace Commiso, Dean of Counseling, leading the ed advisors and other key team members in a strategy session on transfer pathway advising.

Khushbur Dadabhoy and Grace Commiso

Khushbur Dadabhoy and Grace Commiso lead the presentation

We are BC Treats

Dean Manny Mourtzanos sent 3 boxes of We Are BC donuts to counseling to lift spirits in our big sprint for registration.

 

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Bernadette Martinez with a box of treats

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Sarah and John from Dunkin Donuts

John Lyon is the Manager/Owner of the Dunkin Donuts location who made these. Sarah is the young woman who created them.  Thank you John and Sarah!

Loved these photos of Manny De Los Santos indulging in the treat. We are BC!

Levan Humanities Review

i-br56v4x-x4The 2018 issue of the Levan Humanities Review is published! This years issue has thoughtful, engaging pieces, including the Sufi concept of divine love, the meaning of public, including Confederate, statues, Father Garces, and Gerald Haslam’s essay on the valley and his life as a writer. The editors invite you to enjoy this issue, which will contribute to our daily search for wisdom and our understanding of how the humanities help us in that search.

I loved browsing the copy which was delivered to me this week and seeing contributions from Faith Bradham, Olivia Garcia, Matthew Garrett, and Catherine Abbey Hodges, a professor from Porterville College.

Thank you to the Editorial Board including Dr. Portia Choi, Lily Hirsch, Dr. Rae Ann Kumelos, Erin Miller, Nick Strobel, and Reggie Williams.

If you’d like to purchase your own copy, it’s available on Amazon or online at the Levan Humanities Review website.

RP Conference

On April 11-12th, our Office of Institutional Effectiveness team including Craig Hayward, Karen Snow, David Buitron, Alma Livingston, and Nicole Griffin attended the 2018 RP Conference, the largest gathering of institutional researchers and planners in the California Community College System.

Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Craig Hayward at the RP Conference

Craig Hayward at the RP Conference

Craig Hayward, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, presented during multiple sessions on a range of topics such as student outcomes and policy changes with AB 705, tips and tools for identifying disproportionate impact, and shared how BC’s new program mapper can help clarify the path. Alma Livingston, Research Analyst, also presented with Craig Hayward on how academic advising and CCSSE data benchmarks can guide student engagement and success outcomes, while Karen Snow, Research Analyst, gave a poster presentation on how CATEMA is an integrative tool that will advance student equity.  So proud of the OIE team.  #WeAreBC

Karen Snow at the RP Conference

Karen Snow at the RP Conference

It’s a great day any time we get to share and learn ideas for best practices among a group of amazing CA Community Colleges! The tools and information learned at the event will positively impact how institutional research, planning, and effectiveness can positively transform our institution for student success.

Alma, Nicole, and David from BC's OIE

Alma, Nicole, and David from BC’s OIE

UC and CCC sign agreement to boost transfers

Eloy Oakley keynoting at the Leadership Summit

Chancellor Eloy Oakley at BC, May 2017

Exciting news from the University of California and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office this week. The UC President Janet Napolitano and CA Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley signed a memorandum of understanding that outlines goals and details of how the community colleges and the UC’s will work together in “Enhancing Student Transfer.” The goals are to guarantee admission for all California Community College Transfer students to the University of California campuses. For details on how our ADT’s could work to our students’ advantage in guarantying acceptance at a UC and how TAGs will be effected, I encourage you to read the University of California’s Article.

KCMEA Jazz Day

Speaking of why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever! BC had the privilege of hosting the third annual KCMEA Jazz Day on Thursday. Our very own Kris Tiner, Director of the Jazz Studies Program, and member of Kern County Music Educators’ Association has been working hard over the last four months to organize and produce this annual event in between his regular faculty duties.

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The Highland High Jazz Band performs in the Indoor Theater on April 12th.

With 10 high school ensembles, 3 junior high groups, and a showcase performance by the BC Jazz Ensemble, it was a festival of music and peer sharing in the Simonsen Performing Arts Center, but as Kris said “the focus of Jazz Day is education.”

Taft High School Jazz Ensemble performs in the Indoor Theater

Taft High School Jazz Ensemble performs in the Indoor Theater

Unlike many competitive festivals, students who participate in Jazz Day have the opportunity to interact directly with expert clinicians and Bakersfield College music faculty. Each group receives a private half-hour clinic in the band room where they polish and refine their performance, and then they play their set on the Indoor Theater stage. Their performances are professionally recorded and additional clinicians give written feedback. Students are immersed in great music throughout the day – sharing, listening, and learning together!

Head clinician Adam Benjamin works with students from Mira Monte High School

Head clinician Adam Benjamin works with students from Mira Monte High School

You can see why I am so lucky and happy to be the president of a college with such great faculty so involved in the community and furthering education throughout the county.

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This year’s head clinician was Adam Benjamin, a Grammy-nominated pianist with the band Kneebody, and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. Benjamin performed with the BC Faculty Jazz Ensemble and gave a masterclass where he treated the audience to an incredible solo piano performance.

BC Faculty Jazz Ensemble with pianist Adam Benjamin (photo by Pete LeGrant)

BC Faculty Jazz Ensemble with pianist Adam Benjamin (photo by Pete LeGrant)

Afterward, the BC Jazz Ensemble took the stage to perform a selection of tunes from their “BC Jazz plays The Beatles” concert coming up on April 23. Read this great article about the KMCEA Jazz Day, Kris’ observations on the state music education, and all of the support from Bakersfield College faculty and administration in Matt Munoz’ Bakersfield Californian Article MATT MUNOZ: KCMEA helps touts music education and all that jazz.

Basketball Academy at BC!

I was extremely excited to hear our first session of the BC Basketball Academy had 46 participants. We had past and present Renegades coaching, high school coaches who played or had children play for me and Several BC alumni who brought their children, which is what the RENEGADE SPIRIT is all about.

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Coach Dahl’s opening message was that we celebrate mistakes because that means you are learning and you have to be uncomfortable to truly become great. The camp ended with a great message from Stig Jantz about the importance of hard work, doing your job and serving others.

Joint EOPS and MESA Student Educational Excursion

EOPS and MESA students kicked off their spring break by visiting UC Davis, UC Berkeley and San Jose State. EOPS and MESA collaborated to identify students interested in STEM majors who are participating in both programs to provide them with a 3-day Educational Excursion. The purpose of this collaboration is to encourage students from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue STEM majors. BC alumni currently attending each of the respective campuses greeted the EOPS and MESA students. They provided personal tours and highlighted STEM facilities, majors, support services such as EOP and MESA, and shared their respective experience as transfer students.

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At UC Davis, BC alumni, Emily Schoenborn shared her experience as a transfer student and provided helpful tips to help prepare students for the UC application process as well as the transition. During the visit to UC Berkeley, BC Alumni, Colton Nichelson and Janell Orazco welcomed our EOPS/MESA students and provided a personalized campus tour, shared the benefits of being a student at UC Berkeley, and challenged their peers to go beyond their comfort zone. The final excursion stop was at San Jose State University where BC Alumni, Jose Sanchez, dedicated his Sunday morning to highlight his campus and provided insight on the transfer process as well as the importance of internships. As the students made their way back to the parking lot, BC Alumni, Vu Nguyen and Andrea Hernandez, spotted our BC students. They also briefly, shared their experience in relocating and preparing for transfer. Students who attended the trip were appreciative of the experience and returned highly motivated and encouraged. Special thanks to EOPS and MESA staff for coordinating this successful educational trip.

EOPS Priority Registration Festival

 

The EOPS department conducted their Registration Festival during first day priority registration on April 4th from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Prior to this day, pre-registration workshops were conducted to provide additional assistance on course registration planning to students. The majority of the students served under the EOPS, CARE, and CalWORKs programs were prepared to register since they already had their courses mapped out on their Comprehensive Student Educational Plan, which is closely monitored and updated by the EOPS Faculty Counselors during each of their three counseling contacts requirement.

There was a constant flow of students from the beginning through the end of the Registration Festival. Although many of their students were prepared to register on their own, the Registration Festival was offered to EOPS students wanting help with registration from counselors and peer mentors.

Seen on Media both social and traditional

Our Chamber Singers received an extra special surprise when the 1965 BC Choir came out to surprise them with a donation to their Australia Tour.

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Our faculty are the best — check out the video snippet of Olivia Garcia being interviewd

I saw Olivia Garcia, History Faculty quoted in a news coverage on KERO. Always great to see our faculty contributing to the community.

Gadfly Cafe

Professor of Philosophy, Reggie Williams hosted the Gadfly Café with the topic, “What is beauty?”

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The hour long, round table discussion was packed with students, faculty and staff from all ages and backgrounds with most not afraid to voice their opinions when called on.

Reggie opened of the conversation with a question: “What is beauty and what does it mean to you?”  Thank you Reggie for providing these enriching opportunities for discussion and exploration.

Spring Fling

The postponed Spring fling Carnival was well worth the wait. You may remember it was postponed because of the beautiful rain we had a few weeks ago. It was great to see Renegades and their families come out for the carnival fun.

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Central California World Language Project

Last Saturday, April 11 was the last CCWLP workshop for this academic year.  Central California World Language Project offers this program to the foreign language teachers of Kern County to assist them in keeping current in their field.  This academic year, we had 58 participants. Bakersfield College is proud to be the host institution for this project.

CCWLP Group Photo

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Celebrating Pam Boyles

Professor Pam Boyles was inducted into the North High Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 7, 2018.  It was a great event and I wish I got the video of Pam’s speech from Andrea to publish it on my blog.  Pam’s remarks were from the heart and recognized various coaches who had shaped her life include Coach Pam Kelley.

There was a “Pam Fan Club” group from BC that sat together at the event to celebrate this amazing woman…a great athlete, a great teacher, a great leader,….and an amazing grandma 🙂

Let’s read about Pam (Ash) Boyles, North High class of 1983.  Love the pitcture!

Pam Ash Boyles Class of 1983

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Sandi, Andrea, Keith

Sandi Taylor, Andrea Thorson, Keith Ford

Ann Tatum, Sonya Christian, Pam Boyles, Kate Pluta April 7 2018

Ann Tatum, Sonya Christian, Pam Boyles, Kate Pluta

Coach Casey Goodman putting BC Softball on the map

BC Softball April 12 2018

It was a treat heading to our softball game against Alan Hancock. BC won 5-1 and it was a delight waking up in the morning and seeing Jon Mettus’ article header BC Softball cements dominance at top of Conference. Yes!  Check out the article here https://tinyurl.com/y7f572yu

The BC College community came out in full force to support the team including Trustee Romeo Agbalog whom you see in the picture below.  We had the KCCD Board of Trustees meeting on campus earlier in the day and President of the Board, Trustee Kay Meek, congratulated the Softball Team.

I stayed for two innings and then headed out and ran into Pam Boyles and Robert Boyles heading in to support our students.  And then ran into Coach Scott Damron (Womens Soccer) and Coach Vayron Martinez (Mens Soccer) heading in.  I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

Trustee Romeo Agbalog watching BC softball

Saidee Banuelos slides into home safety Photo by Rod Thornburg TBC

Coach Paula Dahl, Sandi Taylor, Keith Ford, Sonya Christian April 28 2018

Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference is this Thursday, April 19th at the Rabobank Arena.  Buy your tickets today http://bakersfieldwomen.org/

The Bakersfield Women's Business Conference April 19 2018

Norma Rojas Mora and I were on Univision promoting the conference.  Here is a photo of us with Ofelia Aguirre.

Ofelia Aguirre, Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas Mora April 14 2018

The Powers of our Pets

Neo Jan 12 2018My life changed forever in an amazing way the day I adopted Neo. You can check out my first photo posted with him in my blog from November, 2016.

While I was browsing my news feed this week, an article caught my eye titled “Three stories that exemplify the healing power of a pet” on USA Today. I was surprised to see it features BC student, Alex Knaak and his adopted Chihuahua, Loki.

Please comment and share with me any stories you have of your loved pets. I/We would love to read them!

Btw, what did you get your pet on Pets Day, April 11 2018?

 

Sonya Christian April 12 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

Moments that make up Life

Neo from Eisha's Facebook May 14 2017Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, May 27th….always a good day to be a Renegade.

A lot happened this week…A lot has happened to people around me.  Gains and losses. All interwoven in the fabric of life.  It gives us pause and the realization that it is the little moments that make up life.

Let me start by revisiting the 103rd commencement.

Commencement

I’m happy to still be covering parts of our incredible Commencement Day on May 12th.

Thank you Manny De Los Santos for this great video!

Last week I did not have the potos for the Delano pre-commencement celebration and the Veterans pre-commencement celebration.  So I decided to hold off and post it this week.  I did receive an email expressing disappointment that I did not have them last week.  My apologies.  Sit back and enjoy our students in Delano and our student Veterans.

Delano Pre-Commencement Celebration:

Students at the Bakersfield College-Delano Campus are part of a close-knit community — one really gets to know the faces around the center. This couldn’t have been made much clearer than by the remarks that followed.

 

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Trustee Romeo Agbalog

Trustee Romeo Agbalog gave words of encouragement to the graduates in attendance. He talked about his experience as a student at Bakersfield College. Mr. Agbalog specifically talked about the role that our longtime Admissions and Records Technician, Helen Calip, played in enrolling him in his first class at Bakersfield College-Delano. In recounting the experience, Mr. Agbalog, full of heart, looked at Helen sitting in the audience and thanked her for what she did for him. We feel very fortunate to have such a passionate representative on our Board of Trustees.  Thank you Trustee Agbalog for taking the time to be present at important events.  Our students really appreciate it.

 

DelanoCommencement (2)Our keynote speaker for the event was adjunct faculty member, Victor Krumdick. Mr. Krumdick is retiring after 26 years of service to the college. Raquel Lopez and Carolina Madrigal introduced him and shared stories about the amazing work he has done in Delano, in and out of the classroom. Mr. Krumdick is one of the friendliest people around campus. He brings a positive energy to the Delano Campus that not many can match. He shared some wise and poetic words with the students, in hopes that they live life to their fullest potential.

Then came the moment everybody was waiting for. Each student had the opportunity to stand in front of the group and share words of appreciation for their guests, as well as for the staff and faculty. The majority of the students made it a point to thank the faculty members who believed in them and supported them along the way. Each student received a medal to recognize their accomplishment.

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BC Delano Pre-Commencement Reception

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BC Delano Pre-Commencement Reception

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BC Delano Pre-Commencement Reception

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BC Delano Pre-Commencement Reception

The ceremony was followed by a reception at which students, staff, faculty, and guests enjoyed light refreshments. The joy and pride that the families had that day was very contagious. After some socializing, many of the students headed to main campus to participate in the 103rd commencement. 

Veterans Pre-Commencement

“Aim High …. Fly, Fight, Win!” , “Non sibi sed patriae, (Not for self but for country)”, “Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)”and “This we’ll defend” all typically followed by a Hooray!

Veterans pre-commencement May 12 2017

These are the official mottoes for the four branches of military, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and the Army. A week ago Friday, six Bakersfield College students gathered for their pre-commencement ceremony and all of these branches were represented with pride and honor. These six students worked hard, diligently at their studies, juggled families, work, and outside responsibilities while still making time to study, write those papers and pass those exams. When Paul Beckworth addressed these BC Veterans, he recognized their service to this country and the service to this school, “Stay up late and write a paper, I’ve served 2 tours in Iraq, piece of cake.”

After Paul and Armando Trujillo  spoke to the Veteran students and their honored guests, they then invited the students to come up one at a time and be stolled by a member of their family and then speak of their appreciation for those who helped them on this journey.

The resonating theme throughout everyone’s comments was that of the genuine camaraderie that can be found within the walls of the Veteran’s lounge. When soldiers get together, there is an instant bond that is irrefutable and instantaneous, they all share a trait that will connect them forever, a love and duty to this country… and now, alumni of BC.  #WeAreBC

The graduates all thanked their loved ones present for their patience, love and support, first while they were enlisted, then now with them completing their education at Bakersfield College. It is absolutely amazing to know that by 2018 there will be a new Veterans lounge thanks to the passing of Measure J. The new veterans facility will provide these soldiers with a place to meet together, work on their studies, get tutoring help, speak with counselors, and just find solace within the confines of a place where like-minded individuals can meet and empower one another to keep working hard to achieve their academic dreams. I hope all of our alumni Vets will come back to see, share, and visit this upcoming wonderful advancement for the Veteran’s at BC.

veterans

From Left: Jeff Patterson, Fernando Bocanegra (standing), David Dullum Jr. (squatting), Robert Lira, Professor Paul Beckworth, Stephanie Short, Armando Trujillo, Bernadette Martinez and Reigine Tovar


For more photos check out
https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/Veterans-Pre-Commencement-2017/

 

KEDC and the STEMposium

On May 19, 2017 was the ‘STEMposium’ event organized by the Kern Economic Development Corporation (KEDC), and held on the Bakersfield College campus. This event raises awareness of the amazing technology-related fields in and around Kern County. The KEDC works with high schools to foster awareness and excitement for the Stem disciplines so that young students can move on to become leaders in tech-driven fields.

Here is a list of some of the organizations represented:
Chevron, PG&E, Wells Fargo, S Power, California Resources Corporation, Bakersfield College, Taft College, BHE Renewables, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, Ikea, GTEDC, Ordiz Melby, and Texas Instruments. (Click here for the full gallery of images)

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2017 STEMposium at Bakersfield College

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Vince Fong at the 2017 STEMposium

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2017 STEMposium at Bakersfield College

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2017 STEMposium at Bakersfield College

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2017 STEMposium at Bakersfield College

I enjoyed Christina Sistrunk’s talk at the Stemposium about women in the Stem area.  We are fortunate to have such a great CEO for Aera.  I have blogged about Aera being a great patron of education in general and Bakersfield College in particular.  Aera gave a large donation to BC to the development of a Stem Success Center.

Check out my Sep 10, 2016 blog about the Aera Stem Success Center
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/09/10/transforming-environments-transforming-lives/

Also enjoyed seeing Michael Kane from Cerro Coso giving a ted-like talk.  He was fabulous.  Michael is an Aquatic Ecologist who has spent time teaching around the world including Brazil and Costa Rica.

Michael Kane from Cerro Coso May 19 2017

Michael Kane

Amber Smithson, the student blogger was out and about covering the Stemposium.  Here is a shot of her in action and one with me.  Amber, you are amazing!

Bob Meadows emceed the ted talks event.  I wish I had snapped a picture with him.  Bob Meadows, you are the best!

On Thursday evening, KEDC hosted a Pre-STEMposium event at Luigi’s.  It was a fun event and I enjoyed visiting with Mindy Wilmot and her husband who teaches Project Lead the Way at Bakersfield High School.  I ran into Lauren Skidmore and Chancellor Tom Burke attending and snapped this photo.

 

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Lauren Skidmore and Chancellor Tom Burke

Here I am with Director of MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) Connie Gonzales:

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Sonya Christian with Connie Gonzales


The visionary and the one who did the detailed work to pull all this together is Cheryl Scott.  Just an amazing person!

Cheryl Scott with Sandi and Scruffy Facebook picture

Cheryl Scott

Sterling Silver

I want so start my writing on this year’s Sterling Silver with Josh Ottum.  Josh was there with his students and they played Linda Ronstadt’s Blue Bayou.

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Josh Ottum and his family

I wish I had jumped up and rushed over and gotten a video for you to enjoy.  It was sooooo good.  But I was dressed in fancy clothes and high heels and thought I would embarrass BC in front of dignitaries if I made a mad dash to get a video clip.  Instead I waited patiently and completely immersed in the music.  Later when they were done, I calmly walked over and expressed how I loved the song and how Ronstadt’s Blue Bayou was my favorite.  To which Josh responded “yes of course” that they knew it was my favorite  because they had read my blog and that is precisely why they played it.   Now do you know why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

 

Sterling Silver is the annual fundraising event for the Bakersfield College Foundation.  This year, Tom Gelder and I decided to convert the event from a fundraiser to a thank you to the community for passing Measure J on the November 8th ballot and to recognize individuals who put in a lot of effort to make all of this happen.

The main honorees of the evening were Mayor Harvey Hall who was the chair of the Blue Ribbon Committee and Congressman Bill Thomas who was the senior advisor to the campaign.

Mayor Harvey Hall:

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Tom Gelder, Harvey Hall, Sonya Christian

You don’t get to be Bakersfield’s longest serving mayor without doing things well, and Harvey Hall does a lot of things well.   Political campaign committees need strong leadership and Harvey provided that throughout the process.  From space at Hall Ambulance for committee meetings, running the meetings on a tight schedule, making financial contributions to the campaign, to inspirational speeches when we needed them, Harvey was always there for us.  I remember when I went to meet with Mayor Hall to ask him if he would chair the Bond effort.  I had documents and a file to talk him through the details and make a compelling case for why he should say yes to chairing the committee.  Harvey looked at me and only 10 seconds into my pitch, which I had rehearsed at length, he just said “yes”.

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President Sonya Christian, Mayor Harvey Hall

When it comes to Bakersfield and Bakersfield College I know Harvey is there for us.  And apparently Harvey had a clone which made it possible to be there for so many of us, often it felt like, at the same time.  On behalf of all at Bakersfield College I can say that we could not have asked for a better person to chair this effort and be the face for the Bond Measure. A true friend of Bakersfield College, Mayor Harvey Hall.

Congressman Bill Thomas:

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As I’ve gotten to know Bill Thomas, I now realize that his middle initial “M” stands for “Make it Happen”…. Make it happen now…. Actually why did you not make it happen….

You don’t get to be chair of the House Ways and Means Committee without getting to the crux of every problem and forging brilliant solutions on a daily basis.  We’d like to think that he gained these skills as a professor at BC but I imagine he was a force of nature from an early age.

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Bill Thomas, Sharon Thomas, Peggy Goodwin, Greg Goodwin

In the realm of major capital campaigns, you won’t find many, if any, that raise $503 million in such a short time.   Bill Thomas played a major role in making it so.  Strategist, advocate, negotiator, mentor, inspiring leader all come to mind.  On a personal level, I could not have had a better mentor as I navigated this unknown territory of a bond campaign.  I remember the day when the congressman let the finance committee know in no uncertain terms when we failed to file a document in a timely way.  But it is that level of focus on detail and moving easily between vision, strategy and operational particulars that makes Bill Thomas the leader that he is.  And although he tries to hide it, he has a big teddy bear heart for this community and for Bakersfield College.  The combination of brilliant intellect and huge love for his community is what made the entire Measure J team fall in love with the congressman.  He was at 1675 Chester Avenue every day, multiple times a day.

BC and the BC Foundation tonight salute Bill Thomas.

Michael Turnipseed:

Mike was not able to attend Sterling Siver, so here is the picture Tom Gelder snapped when he came to his office to pick up with award.

Michael Turnipseed May 24 2017

JP Lake:

Here is JP picking up his award.

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Karen Thompson

Did not get the photo of Karen receiving the award yet.  Will update the blog when I get it. So tune back in.

Karen Thompson and Pat Thompson May 17 2017

When it became clear that we were going to go for the passage of Measure J, we felt the Foundation was in good hands with Karen Thompson as the Chair of the Board of Directors.  We were so right.  The Foundation stepped up to provide the majority of the monies needed to finance the campaign and Karen stepped up to steer the work of the Measure J Committee.  That’s leadership!  Her efforts are truly remarkable by the fact that Karen was changing jobs at the time.  I don’t think any of us realized how much work would be involved in getting Measure J passed, but Karen did whatever it took to get us through successfully.  Thank you, Karen!

Norma Rojas Mora:

Tom Gelder Norma Rojas Sonya Christian

Having someone on your committee who has their hand on the pulse of the community is vital to communicating the needs of the college in a way that resonates with voters.  Norma Rojas-Mora served that role and many other roles on the Committee as she has on behalf of the BC Foundation’s board.  Smart, strategic, trusted and hard-working are just a few of Norma’s attributes which she displayed early and often throughout the planning and implementation process of the Measure J campaign.  Friend and advocate for Bakersfield College is another title that fits.  Thank you, Norma!

Michael O’Doherty:

I got this picture from Karen Goh’s Facebook.

Tom Gelder Michael ODoherty Sonya Christian from Karen Goh's Facebook

Marines are famous for doing whatever it takes to make their mission a success.  Michael O’Doherty, past chair of the BC Foundation, demonstrated his Marine Corps roots as the Measure J Campaign Treasurer.  There were maybe three people in the room (e.g. Bill Thomas, Harvey Hall, and Karen Goh) who knew how complicated campaign committee reporting is.  After the Measure J Campaign, now there is a fourth — Michael!  And who volunteers for such a thankless task?  When the going gets tough, the tough get going!  Thanks, Michael, for another job well done!

Jay Rosenlieb

Nick Ellis.   www.aNickPhoto.com.   661.706.7999

 

What can I say.  Jay was there from the very beginning.  Since Jan 2016.  You co-chaired the community connections group with Norma Rojas during the educational campaign phase.  You co-presented to so many organizations.  You were our spokesperson to the Board of Trustees as you updated them on the work of the Blue Ribbon Committee.  You phone banked, you put up signs, you opened Klein Denatale for us to work.  Plz tell Kimmie that she was absolutely instrumental in the work.  When we ran out of food, you hopped in the car with Corny and came back laden with goodies.  You spent your evenings at 1675 Chester and helped carry trash out and shut down the campaign headquarters for the night.  We spent countless hours in Starbucks strategizing.  You partnered with Michael O’Doherty to submit the public disclosure forms.  On behalf of the present and future students of Bakersfield College; on behalf of the present and future faculty and staff of Bakersfield College, I thank you.

Sue Benham:

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Sue Benham, Sonya Christian. From Karen Goh’s Facebook

Most of us don’t face the risk of waking up in the morning and having the details of your wedding appear in the local paper, but I suspect Sue is used to that.  Besides, it was a great picture.  She also is used to advocating for things that matter..things that benefit the community.  Like the old E.F. Hutton commercial, when Sue Benham talks, people listen.  She is eloquent. She is honest. She is direct. And she is beautiful. Sue speaking out on behalf of Measure J made a difference.  When Bill Thomas asked you to play a leadership role you unhesitatingly said yes.  You opened the doors for us at the Bakersfield Californian and you were consistently there willing to help out. Your email address always warmed my heart when I started typing your name and it popped up – sbenham4kids@aol.com

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Sue Benham (second from left), played a key leadership role in Measure J.

Mostly it was through Measure J that I got to know you and realize how fortunate our community is to have Sue Benham. There is a recurring theme this evening that cannot be overemphasized.  Measure J passed because many people care about Bakersfield College and what its future means to Bakersfield and Kern County.  Sue Benham is one of those people.  And when Sue Benham spoke about Measure J, people listened.

Thank you, Sue!

Remaining Honorees:

Passing a bond initiative is like raising a child…it takes a village.  Bakersfield College has benefited from those many members of the “village” that we recognized.  The previous honorees are those who played an especially pivotal roles in the workings of the actual Measure J Committee. It’s equally important to recognize those who did whatever was needed to get the word out, to secure the right endorsements, to write the opinion pieces, to make the phone calls, to bolster people’s spirits.  Probably my favorite vision is Rick Kreiser coming down to Campaign headquarters on a Sunday afternoon to fix a copy machine because we needed lists run off for phone banking that evening and didn’t have a back-up copier. When there was the need Rick answered the phone … as did so many others that we recognized. Thank You!

Group recognition

Michael Bowers – Senior District Representative for Senator Andy Vidak

Ken Byrum – BC Foundation Board member

Fran Florez – BC Foundation Board member

Rick Kreiser – BC Foundation Board member –

Fred Prince – Bakersfield Black Chamber of Commerce President

Cheryl Scott – BC Foundation Board member and KEDC VP

Jay Tamsi – Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President

Keith Wolaridge – Panama Lane/Buena Vista School Board President

Here I am recognizing Tom Gelder at the Foundation Board of Directors meeting.  We make a powerful team.  Gelder (Exec Director of BC Foundation) and Christian (President of BC)  🙂

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Gelder and Christian

Thank you Trustees for attending:

A few more photos:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2017 Sterling Silver

See more of the images from “Sterling Silver” here! (https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/2017-Sterling-Silver/)

Here are some more images from Mayor Karen Gohhttps://tinyurl.com/yahu6j58

 

On May 22nd, after the May 17th event, this is what Herb Benham had to say about Congressman Bill Thomas and secondarily about BC.

`We should do half as much in our lifetimes: Saw Bill Thomas at a dinner at Bakersfield College last week honoring people who helped raise half a billion through the Measure J campaign.”

“Every time I see the man, he’s thinner, Sharon, his wife was there and she is a sweetheart, and I am reminded how much good Bill has done he’s done for Kern County. Almost a billion for the Thomas Road Improvement Program and then helping with the bond measure that will help modernize BC over the next 30 years.”

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2017 Sterling Silver

The dinner also made me feel good about BC all over again. Talk a force for good.

Here is the link to the piece in the paper: https://tinyurl.com/kr4t7w8

Manny de Los Santos put together this video with some of the Measure J faces.  We had the video playing during dinner at Sterling Silver.


Valley Public Radio

KVPR-ValleyEditionOn May 16th, I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Joe Moore on Valley Public Radio. Together, we packed a lot of conversation into such a short time. We kicked off with The Kern Promise, covered Guided Pathways, and even Measure J. Valley Edition is dedicated to covering issues important to Central Valley residents, so I was very excited to cover things we’re working on in education and at BC!

Joe Moore is the Director of the Program Content for Valley Public Radio and he’s the host of Valley Edition. Joe’s bio on the website says in 2008 that he was named one of Fresno’s “40 under 40” by the publication Business Street.

Thank you Joe Moore and Ezra Romero

I really enjoyed my time talking with Joe.
http://kvpr.org/post/interview-bakersfield-college-president-sonya-christian-kern-promise#stream/0

Follow Valley Edition on Twitter @ValleyEdition.


Congratulations Lindsay Ono

Lindsay Ono PicI am so glad to announce that Environmental Horticulture Professor, Lindsay Ono has been awarded a grant through the ECMC Foundation and the Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD). He has been working with other community colleges and CORD with the Mapping Upward Initiative on the state stackable Horticulture Certificates.  This 3-year grant will allow Professor Ono and other college professors to continue their work and complete the curriculum updates for the Horticulture program. Shasta College and Reedley College are also receiving this grant. Congratulations Lindsay!!


Remembering Earl Wallace Cory, Jr.

Earl Wallace Cory, Jr was known on campus as Wally Cory. Jerry Ludeke reminded me that in print, his name was shown as E. Wallace and in person it was Wally. He was a retired History Professor with 34 years of service and who passed away on May 18th. Wally had been in Payson, Utah Veteran’s Home for the past three and a half years and in the hospice program there since last fall.


Leadership Matters Summit at BC

It’s a great week to be a Renegade and a great time to be at BC. This past week Bakersfield College had the privilege of hosting the Leadership Matters: Re-Imagining Leadership to Sustain Transformative Change to Advance Student Success & Equity conference for various community college’s throughout California. We were so pleased to hear from the California Community College Chancellor, Eloy Oakley who discussed, “Advancing Educational Attainment & Equity in California. Leadership Matters.” It was a day of great knowledge and it set the stage for us to build urgency in the way we look and approach at the “Guided Pathways” initiative. I look forward to sharing with you all more about this day of encouragement, change, unity, and leadership within California’s 113 community colleges in next week’s blog. But for now enjoy this picture that I snapped the night before the big event.

Shawn Whalen Sonya Christian Eloy Oakley May 24 2017

Shawn Whalen, Sonya Christian, Eloy Oakley

 

 

Superheroes:

Jonathan Schultz, faculty at BC, has been doing brief videos of BC staff for his students and all students at the college.  Check out his interview with Dr. Oliver Rosales, History faculty.

Archiving the Past & Future of California’s Central Valley: Humanities Collaboration in the San Joaquin Valley

Oliver Rosales

Oliver Rosales speaking

On May 23 the Levan Center for the Humanities hosted a one-day symposium event for about 30 area educators, writers, and artists.  Faculty from both Bakersfield College, CSU Bakersfield, and the Kern High School District were also in attendance.  Entitled “Archiving the Past and Future of California’s Central Valley: Humanities Collaboration in the Southern San Joaquin Valley,” the event was a culminating part of a California Humanities “Community Stories” grant in hold with Bakersfield College.  The program included two panels and a keynote address.  The morning panel focused on local archives and cultural preservation efforts at CSU Bakersfield, Bakersfield High School, and the Kern County Museum.  The afternoon panel featured recent state and federal recipients of grants focused on the cultural diversity of the San Joaquin Valley.

Kristine Diekman

Kristine Diekman

Kristine Diekman, Professor of Media at CSU San Marcos, delivered a keynote address.  Her talk, based on her project “Run Dry,” focused on Tulare’s recent water crisis and how ordinary residents in rural Tulare County experienced lack of access to clean water.  Here’s a quote about her project from the Los Angeles Times: “The project is designed to record the stories of people living in California’s Central Valley without water or clean water, and contextualize these stories within the themes of human migration, equity and poverty, and California water policy.”

Lori Wear

Lori Wear Presenting at the event

The event was recorded by Bakersfield College’s media services and will be transcribed and made available through Bakersfield College’s Social Justice Institute website.  College faculty and area educators, as well as potential grant writers, will be interested in reviewing the panel discussions and keynote addresses to discover more about funded projects focusing on the San Joaquin Valley.

A few fun photos from this week:

From twitter Jose Cortez leading Region 5 in California for Student Government Associations.  Congratulations Jose! #WeAreBC!

Jose Cortez May 27 2017 Chair of Regon 5

Our Chief of Public Safety at an event with Grace Commiso’s baby

Chris Counts May 21 2017

 

Risky moves right after…..here is Bill Moseley

Bill Moseley May 25 2017

Two of my favorites people.  I remember them when they were little girls.

Erin and Kristin Tarjan May 28 2017

Erin Tarjan and Kristin Tarjan

Check out our faculty Prof. Jason Stratton, Prof. Bernadette Towns, and Prof. Lily Pimental-Stratton on the Great Wall of China. #WeAreBC