Tag Archives: Francis Mayer

BC has a Presence in every Corner of Kern County!

Good morning Bakersfield. 
It is Saturday, September 22, 2018…..a great day to be a Renegade.

Loved waking up Friday morning and seeing this piece by faculty emeritus Dr. Jack Hernandez.  Very inspiring.

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I was notified earlier this week via email that the Delanonow.com shared photos from the first Renegade home football game, along with the story of McFarland students attending in an article titled “Bakersfield College President hosts McFarland High School at BC Football Home Opener.” It was a lovely surprise! Thank you Delanonow.com! And thank you Aaron Resendez!

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33rd Annual Business & Industry Leaders Breakfast

On Thursday morning, the Golden Empire Gleaners hosted the annual breakfast with Master of Ceremonies, Kevin Charette of KGET and special guest speaker, Traco Matthews, Kern Co. Superintendent of Schools.

Treco Matthews at Gleaners Breakfast

The breakfast, with opening prayer, Pledge of Allegiance, and information from the Gleaners, was a moving event that highlighted the importance of pantry and food service organizations. Traco Matthews shared personal stories about how he grew up “food challenged,” where he and his family would sometimes go without a meal. He shared how when as a child, his mom told him that Thanksgiving might be cancelled because they could not afford the food, but that a woman came through with a donation that changed his life. He asked that, when it comes to people facing hunger, if we can give and if we can share, then we should, because no one should go hungry. His message — Open your hearts.  Open your minds.  Open your wallets (generosity).

TreccoMatthews at Gleaners Breakfast with head table

Traco Matthews speaking at the Gleaners Breakfast

Chancellor Tom Burke and his wife Tina Burke are very involved with the Gleaners, and had invited me to be a guest at his table. It was a powerful reminder that we are fortunate to have so many community leaders who give their support, share their own stories, and engage with life-changing issues.

I enjoyed running into Louis Amestoy.  He is with Aera now, though I got to know him when he was a reporter with The Bakersfield Californian.  He, along with Francis Mayer, was part of the original team that created the Renegade Report. Thank you Louis for your belief in community colleges and your belief in Bakersfield College.  We are BC!

Gleaners Breakfast with Louis Amestoy

Sonya Christian, Louis Amestoy

Our Bakersfield Mayor, Karen Goh was there beaming and as always supporting our community.  I grabbed some of the photos she posted in her album on Facebook.  🙂

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Karen Goh, Tom Burke, Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora

I met Jose Gonzales, who was recently appointed to coordinate and resolve issues related to homelessness.  Here is an article on when the Kern County Supervisors appointed Jose to this position https://tinyurl.com/y9qpgzyc.  Here is another photo of me and Heidi Scott, the woman with a voice of an angel who gave me courage to sing in public.

Heidi Scott and Sonya Christian April 19 2018

Heidi Scott, Sonya Christian

Organizations such as the Golden Empire Gleaners do truly make a difference in the lives of people throughout Kern County and our communities. According to their website,

“Throughout its 33 year history the Golden Empire Gleaners has fed millions of Kern County residents.  Last year alone, over 200,000 people were served by distributing 2 million pounds of food.  Currently the Gleaners averages 18,000 people per month served.”

Grimmway Foundation

I had the pleasure of attending my first Grimmway Foundation meeting on Thursday, where the organization partners with students, teachers, and parents to support initiatives that improve education and community wellness throughout Kern County. The mission of Grimm Family Education Foundation according to their website is:

“Helping make vibrant communities in Kern County with our charter schools and Edible Schoolyard programs by closing the achievement gap, improving the health of students and families, and creating economic growth in the communities that we serve. By being fiscally responsible and innovative, we will broaden community impact through our programs, partnerships, research, fund development, and community outreach.”

casey Yeazel presenting at the Grimmway Foundation meeting

Casey Yeazel presenting at the Grimmway Foundation

Casey Yeazel, Chief Academic Officer for Grimmway Schools spoke about how Grimmway Schools is a growing network of high-performing, college-prep public charter schools in Kern County. It was also great to see David Franz of Shafter, Morgan Clayton, President of Tel-Tec Security Systems, Tricia Bland of LEAN Consulting, and Barbara Grimm, Founder and CEO of Grimmway Education.

The Edible Schoolyard initiative provides hands-on learning, and sensory experience to students through garden and kitchen classrooms. Visit esykerncounty.org to learn more and check out this incredible Edible Schoolyard menu of delicious items that I enjoyed for lunch.

Grimmway Edible Schoolyard Menu

The conversations were passionate, engaging and practical all at once.  I am so glad to be part of such a dynamic group.

Army STEM Trailer

On Thursday, the Army STEM Trailer was on campus to offer a firsthand look at how the Army integrates evolving technology to improve the safety and effectiveness of soldiers. The Army STEM Trailer is a multi-million-dollar technology demonstrator, which has hands-on simulators illustrating the science and technology that goes into equipping modern soldiers, including robotic systems and night vision.The trailer was stocked with armor that students could  hold and try on, incredible displays of soldiers in full kit, and demonstrations of software used for simulating what might actually happen on the field.

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The purpose of the event is to provide students with an understanding of the practical implications of STEM research and illustrate how the Army integrates evolving technology to improve the safety and effectiveness of soldiers. The trailer also provides an opportunity for students to learn about possible careers after college.

Thank you to the crew on campus for sharing with our students and community the incredible technology that goes into supporting and protecting our troops.

STEM Speaker: Erica Vela-Toussaint

STEM Speaker Erica Vela-Toussaint

STEM Speaker Erica Vela-Toussaint

Erica Vela-Toussaint visited Bakersfield College for some coffee, cookies, and conversation with students. She shared her journey from picking grapes and packing fruit in the central valley to her current position as Pipeline Management Regional Manager (Africa/Latin America) for Chevron Pipe Line Company. She shared her incredible journey as a small-town Latina in a male-dominated profession, inspiring students to not only strive for a flourishing career, but a life’s purpose.

Women’s Golf

The Women’s Golf team hosted the Bakersfield Tourney on Monday 9/17 at Kern River Golf Course. Participating in the tournament along with Bakersfield College were Antelope Valley, Citrus, Moorpark, Canyons and Santa Barbara. As a team the Renegades finished 3rd, behind Santa Barbara (2nd) and Canyons (1st).

Renegade Womens Golf 2018

Renegade Womens Golf 2018

Individually, Sydney Crawley placed 3rd on the day, shooting a 75. Full team results are:

  • Sydney Crawley – 75
  • Allie Crawley – 77
  • Elizabeth Nakagawa – 91
  • Breann Bonkosky – 100
  • Ramanda Lara – 119

The Renegades will next take to the course in Morro Bay on Sunday (9/23) and Monday (9/24) starting at 8:30am on both days.

4th Annual Community Swimming Lessons

Our men’s and women’s swim programs put on the annual community swimming lessons this past Saturday 9/15 from 8am-2p. Over 70 community children, the best attendance yet for this event, participated and received a 30-minute free swim lesson. In addition, members of the both swim teams took part in a 6-hour swim relay throughout the entire event. We look forward to hosting the event again next year and helping even more youth become more water friendly.

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Renegades of the Week

This weeks Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week are Gabby Lugo from Women’s Cross Country and Jose Lara from Men’s Soccer. Gabby Lugo ran a 19:35 at the SoCal Preview to place 19th individually (out of 191 runners). It was a personal and season best. Jose Lara, Men’s Soccer – scored the game winner in 2-1 victory over East LA and added another goal in 2-1 win over West Hills Lemoore on Friday. We are proud of these two and all of our Renegade Athletes that represent our college so well.

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Football On a Two Game Winning Streak

BC Football Shane Jones

On Saturday, September 15th, our Renegade football team shut out the visiting Santa Monica Corsairs 56-0. It was a big win for our football team going into their 4th week of the season.

Elisha Ortiz led the Renegades with 12 rushes for 104 yards and two TD’s. Shane Jones carried the ball six times for 77 yards and three TD’s and Isaiah Martin ran eight times for 91 yards and a TD.

Our football team is currently ranked #15 in the state and looking forward to their next game at Golden West on Saturday 9/22 at 2pm.

Photos from Football game:

Last shot BC playing Santa Monica Sep 15 2018

Absolutely love seeing families and kids at the games.  It is truly a family event.

Kids at the football game Photo by Dominique Moseley Sep 15 2018.JPG

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Yasmine (daughter of Lily and Romeo Agbalog) and her friend Kelley 

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Bill Moseley and his family

Wrestling Takes 2nd Place

BC Wrestling Team PhotoOur wrestling team took home 2nd place as a team at the Sacramento City College wrestling tournament this weekend.

Both Marcus Hutcherson and Adrian Godinez placed 2nd in their weight divisions, and Jeremy Mass placed 3rd. Our wrestling team will next be in action traveling to West Hills on Saturday 9/22.

Volleyball sweeps Palomar

Women's VolleyballThe Women’s Volleyball team hosted Palomar Friday night at the Gil Bishop Sports Complex and swept the Comets, 3-0. Leading the way for BC was Penelope Zepeda with 12 kills, Lanie Camarillo with 9 kills and Bianca Logsdon with 7.

Our Renegade volleyball team is now 8-1 and ranked 12th in the state. They will next travel to Mt. SAC on Saturday 9/22 to play both Mt. SAC (10:30am) and Cypress (1:00pm).

BC Men’s and Women’s Soccer

Coach Vayron Martinez and his 2018 Men’s Soccer team are on a 4-game winning streak, most recently beating West Hills Lemoore (2-1) and College of the Sequoias (4-1). Coach Martinez recently commented on how much the team has developed a true team identity “They trust each other and they believe in each other and that’s the most important thing. You can feel the atmosphere on the bench”. Keep an eye on this team as they progress through the season.

Our women’s soccer team lost their first game of the season last week to Fresno City College, but remains highly ranked in the state at #12. Coach Scott Dameron is very confident in the team’s ability.

Upcoming Athletics Events

Athletics events coming up this coming week 9/22-9/28. Come out and support our Renegades as they represent our college! See all the details at Gogades.com!

Suicide Awareness Month – Lunch & Learn

Amber Smithson Presentation (1)

Stella Ponce in BC’s Student Health and Wellness Center emailed on Tuesday morning to remind our campus that September is Suicide Awareness Month. She shared that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among those 10 to 34 years old according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

The Student Health Center hosted a Brown Bag Lunch Series that included guest speaker Amber Smithson, Director of Business Development for Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, to the Fireside Room to speak on this topic. She shared some troubling statistics about suicide and mental health in the United States, where 18.1% of adults have experienced an anxiety disorder such as post traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.

Amber Smithson Presentation (2)

Amber shared the importance of educating ourselves about the signs of concern, and the tools of prevention. She emphasized the value of therapy and support and that it’s always okay to seek the help you deserve.

There are many resources to help, including:

Amber left her audience with a lasting message…

“Be there for someone else and be there for yourself. Everyone on this planet is worth another breath.”

Writing Center Grammar Jam

On Thursday, the Writing Center hosted a brand new workshop called “Grammar Jam.” In this workshop, Melissa Gonzales led students to learn the basics of parts of speech, sentence patterns, fragments, run-ons, and other common writing errors. Workshops like this are especially valuable because writing skills are helpful for any course.Thanks to the Writing Center team for all they do to support our Renegade students!

Delano Community Clean Up Day

FB_IMG_1537545253760The Rural Initiatives team along with BC Delano Campus students, represented BC proudly at the Delano Annual Community Clean-Up, Saturday, September 15th. Participants are recipients of the Rural Initiatives STEAM Scholarship awarded by the Delano Campus and sponsored by Southern California Edison. This opportunity made possible by the collaboration among several K-14 agencies and other community organizations. Its always great to have BC staff working together with the students we serve! Special thanks to Abel Guzman, Jaime Lopez, and the whole BC crew!

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Hispanic Heritage Month 2018

Nan and BC student and staff

On Saturday, September 15th the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce kicked off celebrations for Mexican Independence Day in style, starting with El Grito de Dolores (The Cry of Dolores), also known as El Grito de la Independencia. This celebration memorializes when Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest in the small town of Dolores, rang the church bells on September 16, 1810, sparking Mexico’s War of Independence. The event included live entertainment, mariachi music, folkloric dancers, a vendor street fair, and was celebrated in real time with Mexico City with a live, projected broadcast. BC was well represented at the event, including Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Paul Beckworth, Lisa Kent, Khushnur Dadabhoy, and Armando Trujillo.

 

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El Bracero

Hat and BC logoOn Friday, September 14th, BC students, faculty and staff spent an evening at CSUB, both on-stage and in the audience, for “El Bracero – A Mariachi Musical.”

BC Student Clubs were represented by Emmanuel Limaco, Valente Trujillo Padilla, and Gemma Trujillo Padilla (MECHa) and Diego Reynoso (Free on the Outside).

Set in the 1950s at the height of what was known as the Bracero Program, El Bracero is a dynamic one-act Mariachi Opera which fuses mariachi music, ballet folklorico, and powerful opera style set pieces. El Bracero highlights the challenges and injustices workers faced in the U.S.

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Ballet Folklorico Dancers

El Bracero was written by Rosalinda Verde from Visalia, CA and the story is based on Braceros who came to California’s Central Valley during World War II as part of the Bracero Program as legal farm laborers. For 2018, the Revival of El Bracero will bring new songs and a special tribute to Braceros still living in the U.S. The music in El Bracero is performed by Mariachi Águilas de J. Carlos Ozuna  one of the premiere mariachi groups in California.


BC was well represented by Abel and Lorena Guzman, Jason Stratton and Lillian Pimentel Stratton, Lisa Robles, Zav and Khushnur Dadabhoy, and Corny Rodriguez.

Lamont Dia De La Independencia Parade

BC Adult Education TeamThe Bakersfield College Adult Education team participated in the Lamont Dia De La Independencia Parade and Festival on Sunday, September 16th.

Congratulations to Professor Monterrubio

Volunteer BC Art Faculty Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio

Diego Monterrubio

Professor Diego Monterrubio has been invited to exhibit his incredible artwork in a solo show at his alma mater, Porterville College. His pieces will be showcased as an alumni, as an artist of the Central Valley, and as a young boy from Lindsay, California with big dreams who worked hard to earn an MFA and become a Professor of Art. The exhibit will run for one month in the Porterville College Art Gallery and opening night reception will be October 5th from 5pm – 7pm.

Alegres Sueños – Jones Gallery

img_9894-x3The directors of the Wiley and May Louise Jones Gallery are proud to present to work of Los Angeles and San Diego based artist Mrbbaby. The exhibition opened on September 6th but will be up through October 11th, 2018. The work displayed shows the artists reflection on her experiences as a Latina growing up in Southern California.

The Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery is located at the main campus on Panorama drive within the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library. The Fall 2018 hours of operation will be Monday-Thursday: 1:00-4 P.M.

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Student Employment Spotlight on Public Safety

BC’s Public Safety Department at Bakersfield College employs approximately 50 students at any given time during the school year for various positions including cart drivers, front office assistants, ticket writers, and Public Safety Cadets. The Cadets are uniformed student employees who assist officers with foot patrol around all areas of campus. Students in these positions provide officers first-hand alerts, extra eyes and ears.

Public Safety Group Photo

Public Safety Group Photo

Did you know that BC’s Director of Public Safety, Chris Counts, first joined Bakersfield College in 1988 as a Cadet himself? He brought this program back because he is passionate about providing not only safety to our campus but also career opportunities to students exploring law enforcement. Public safety shows their appreciation by recognizing four student employees each month with a photograph display in their office.

Public Safety Student Employment Wall

If students are interested in exploring career opportunities in Public Safety, they can apply for On Campus positions via bakersfield.jobspeaker.com or attend the Public Safety Career Expo on October 10th, 10:00 am—2:00 pm.

 

Spotlight on BC IT

Alliance Fundraiser October 11 2017 Gary Moser, Sonya ChristianKCCD’s Chief Information Officer in the IT department, Gary Moser sent the newest ITBytes newsletter this week which featured a spotlight on Wifi service updates across the district. He said,

Having completed the requisite planning and scoping work for expanding and refreshing Wi-Fi network services district wide, implementation is now underway. Over the next 12-18 months, cabling work and new equipment installation will be taking place to expand Wi-Fi services (most indoor areas at BC and Delano) and refreshing existing Wi-Fi equipment district-wide for improved performance and reliability. So be on the lookout for IT and vendor personnel working on this project in the coming months. It is also worth noting that the BC and Delano portions of this project has been made possible (funded) by Measure J.

Vital improvements, such as this, will continue to support our students with their education. Thank you Bakersfield and Kern County for supporting BC Renegades by voting yes on Measure J!

Emails Worth Sharing: Getting our “Geek On”

Matt Jones emailed this week to share a photo that a student of his took. Matt said,

“I just wanted to take a minute (also having been encouraged by several peers) and share with you an image that a student of mine took during our first class this semester. As you may or may not know, Professor Savanna Andrasian and I are team teaching an English B2 course. However, our approach to the course is reasonably unique, as our pursuit, of advanced composition and critical thinking, with our students, is all done through Harry Potter. In the course we spend time analyzing the story within the books, but also take it outside of the printed material and explore the phenomenon across multiple forms of media and technology.

Attached to this email is a picture that student, Regina Carver, took of the two of us as we delivered our opening lecture in our Wizarding robes. Enjoy this image of two of your faculty getting their “GEEK ON” during class!”

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Friends, have I told you yet that I’m the happiest and luckiest college president ever? 🙂

Emails Worth Sharing: Cadets!

I received an email which made me chuckle on Thursday evening from Professor Deborah Rosenthal. She said,

On my way to swimming this evening I stumbled upon our BC cadets protecting us.  Apparently they found a HUGE black widow in the bushes!

BC Cadets

Letters Worth Sharing

Rialto Middle SchoolThis week, BC received a heartwarming letter from a student at Rialto Middle School requesting a few college promotional items for a good cause. The letter was handwritten and said,

“My school is working very diligently on strengthening our college-going culture”

Our Community Relations team is sending the middle school a handful of BC popsockets, pendents, and mechanical pencils because, we too, are working diligently on strengthening our college-going culture! #WeAreBC!

College Council in Session

College Council was in session yesterday. BC’s College Council is a collegial, consultative, and oversight body designed to serve the good of the College. The group facilitates timely, factual, and clear communication between constituents and the President. It provides recommendations to the President on college-wide matters. The Council oversees implementation of the Strategic Directions Plan and ensures institutional quality using ongoing and systematic planning and evaluation to refine key policies and processes, and to improve student learning.

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The presentations were rigorous and data rich.  So proud of the work of BC.

Amber Hroch and Michele Bresso presented on the Education metamajor pathway followed by Corny Rodriguez and Pam Rivers on the Ag Pathway

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College Couoncil Group Sep 21 2018.jpg

Sarah Baron and Alicia Loken presented on Accreditation

Chris Glaser, Saran Baron, Alicia Loken at College Council

Chris Glaser, Sarah Baron, Alicia Loken

Web Content Training in Session

This week, Aricia Leighton and Chris Blakemore hosted web training for various faculty and staff

Aricia Leighton leading web training

Fun Photos

William Velazquez Sunset Photo Sept 17

Deborah Rosenthal with Renegade Knight

Deborah Rosenthal with Renegade Knight

Great photo of the BC Team at the Strategic Enrollment Management Conference

BC Team at SEM Sep 21 2018.jpg

Liz Rozell, Janet Fulks, Krista Moreland, Billie Jo Rice, Laura Larkin

Panorama Creative Music Summit

Manny Mourtzanos sent me this video of a piece written by our commercial music student Morgan.

 

 

Feb 10 2018 Sonya Christian Walking Neo 2

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Bakersfield College – a Place of Dreams

Good morning Bakersfield…It is Saturday, September 9th.  A great day to be a Renegade

The man who believed in love, music and magic passed away yesterday.  As a little girl, I remember my grandfather Arthur playing Don Williams on his little cassette player.  It is amazing how the young mind learns and is able to remember the lyrics and the music so clearly after all these decades.

From the New York Times:

“I Believe in You,” a gently cantering ballad in a similarly intimate vein written by Roger Cook and Sam Hogin, spent two weeks at the top of the country chart and crossed over to the pop Top 40 in 1980.

Here is I Believe in You…a song that I must have heard a million time growing up with the verse that is burned in my mind and heart.

But I believe in love
I believe in music
I believe in magic
And I believe in you.

How many of you line danced to Tulsa Time? Well, this is a Don Williams tune that hit top of the charts in 1978 and Eric Clapton got it on the top 40s in the 1980s.

Tulsa Time

 

Thank you Don Williams for your music and thank you grandpa Arthur for always having music float through the entire house from your room at the front of the house.

Milt Younger

 

Talking about music, many of us were at Greenlawn cemetery Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. to honor Milt Younger, the man who had a large positive impact on so many individuals and so many causes in our community.  Mayor Karen Goh’s remarks about Milt were organized on the theme of the “music of his life.” This was apropos given Milt’s love and knowledge of music.

Karen Goh:  “I heard the music of caring, the music of generosity, and the music of a mentor.” Karen gave examples of Milt’s caring, Milt’s generosity, and Milt being a mentor.  She concluded her comments with:

Milt, thank you for the music that you so beautifully played for us.
We, as your orchestra, will be honored to play the encore.

John Heffner Betty Younger Milt Younger from FB

John Heffner was the second of the three speakers to honor this great man.  John, a dear friend of Milt’s. was a great story teller, painting the picture of the brilliant lawyer, the talented lover of the arts and music, the great civic leader, mentor of bright young minds, and a fabulous friend.

Milt Younger and Horace Mitchell from FB

Milt Younger, Horace Mitchell

Speaking last, President Horace Mitchell powerfully described Milt’s long-term patronage of CSUB.  President Mitchell presented Betty Younger with a framed photo of the CSUB flag flying half mast in honor of Milt.

We had a large group from Bakersfield College attending the service.  To mention a few — Chancellor Tom Burke;  Dr. Manny Mourtzanos, Dean of Instruction;  Corny Rodriguez, Dean of Instruction; Tom Gelder, Executive Director of the Bakersfield College Foundation.

My introduction to  Milt Younger’s deep relationship with Bakersfield College was when I was in Oregon preparing to interview at Bakersfield College for the position of President.  I came across a 24-page newsletter, Kern IQ, published by the Kern Center for Political Action (KCPA) in Winter 2011.  The quality and deep treatment of issues was immediately visible.  And the KCPA was housed at Bakersfield College under the umbrella of the Bakersfield College Foundation.  How very cool!

Here are a few screen captures of the 24-page publication.  You can see why I fell in love with the team that pulled this together.

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 1:

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 1

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 2:

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 2

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 3:

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 3

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 6:

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 6

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 9:

Here is an article by Milt Younger, Answering the call for tomorrow’s leaders.  Love the picture with Milt Younger, Jack Brigham, Norm Levan, and John Collins

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 9

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 13:

My first introduction to Michael Turnipseed.

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 13.jpg

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 20:

My first introduction to the amazing We The People program at Arvin High School, Jose Gurrola who went on to become a BC Renegade, and Jim Young’s passion for Arvin and its youngsters.

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 20.jpg

Since then, most of my encounters with Milt have been early mornings on the weekends, when I would be in my office at BC and Milt would be walking his scotties.

Milt Younger was the co-chair with Mayor Harvey Hall of the inaugural Leadership and Equity faculty group at Bakersfield College.

Milt Younger planned the August 3, 2016 A Tribute to Jack, at Bakersfield College, on the passing of his dear friend Jack Brigham.

Jack2

 

Both Milt Younger and Betty Younger were recognized as among the 100 Stars during the centennial year celebrations of Bakersfield College.

 

Betty Younger completed a art piece, Circle of Friends, in honor of Jim Young, chancellor emeritus of the Kern Community College District.

Circle of Friends April 28 2014

Circle of Friends Spring 2014

Sandra Serrano, Jim Young, Milt Younger, Betty Younger, Sonya Christian

To read more, check out my September 12, 2014 blog at:

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2014/09/12/a-circle-of-friends-milt-and-betty-younger-and-jim-young/

Milt Younger, we will miss you.

The Bakersfield Californian had a nice piece by Susan Scaffidi: “Local arts community will miss champion Milt Younger” – check it out here.

Dreamers 

Of course, talking about Milt Younger immediately brings to mind the activities this week that surrounded the announcement from Washington DC on September 5th related to DACA.

Alexx Dominguez and Sonya Christian March 10 2016

Christian, Dominguez

BC’s former SGA President Alex Dominguez highlighted the successes of the DACA program in a Community Voices piece for the Bakersfield Californian.

Alex said,

“As student government president of Bakersfield College (2014-15), student trustee of the Kern Community College District (2014-15), and president of the Associated Students Inc. of CSU Bakersfield (2016-17), I have had the opportunity to learn about DACA in depth. I had the immense honor of representing these students on a local, state and federal level. Both Bakersfield College and CSUB have a significant number of DACA recipients. These students are actively working towards improving not their own lives, but also the lives of the communities they live and work in.”

Here is a message for our current SGA president Dezi Von Manos

 

 

immigrationpoliciespanelWe will be holding a campus forum about DACA and AB 540 in the Levan Center on September 21st from 5:30 -7 p.m. Panelists will include:

  • Win Eaton, Esq. – Immigration Attorney
  • H.A. Sala, Esq – Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Sarah Rich, Esq – Immigration & Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Vanessa Sanchez, Esq – Immigration Attorney

 

Welcoming New Faculty to BC!

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Last Saturday, I had the annual President’s New Faculty Reception prior to our first football home game.  And I was delighted with the dignitaries who were also able to join the event — Mayor Karen Goh, Trustee Bill Thomas, and Trustee Romeo Agbalog.  BC hired 55 new faculty which is one of the largest cohorts of new faculty.

The Food Services department put together another lovely dinner of garbanzo bean salad, a choice of tri-tip or chicken, wine, and a smorgasbord of desserts. Chef Sabella and his team always serve and prepare a lovely spread at our events, and I’d like to personally thank all of our Food Service workers for leaving a memorable first impression on all our new faculty.

 

F17newfacultyreception04Mayor Goh was exuberant in her welcome of new faculty, leading everyone in a chant of “We Are BC”. She encouraged our new BC family members, many coming from outside of Kern County, to become engaged with their new community and familiarize themselves with our culture, leadership and community outreach programs.

F17newfacultyreception12Academic Senate President Steven Holmes told the infamous story of how he applied to work at BC in March, not realizing the intensity of the Central Valley heat until when he moved to Bakersfield from the coast to take his first teaching position here. Over time, however, he’s grown to love Bakersfield and this campus like we all have, and he’s been privileged to see people he’s taught over the last 20 years go on to take important leadership position in the community. Holmes then got to introduce one of his former students, KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog.

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Agbalog shared the story of how BC and teachers like Holmes helped shape the person he is today, while urging the new faculty members in the audience to take pride in the hundreds of people they’ll get to directly influence during their time here.

Before the deans and department chairs got the opportunity to formally introduce the new members of their various departments, Bill Thomas, our former congressman, told stories about teaching political science at BC in the early 60s when Kern County was a much smaller place.

Bill Thomas New Faculty Sep 2 2017Through his experience as both a student and teacher at BC, Thomas got to meet his future wife, Sharon (who also joined us), influenced scores of students to take interest in civic discourse, which gave him the power to change the lives of millions nationwide while securing important funding for infrastructure here at home during his time on Capitol Hill.

Some of the new hires welcomed were adjunct faculty for a number of years who finally got their shot as full-time tenure track faculty, while several others come here from all over the country, with extensive knowledge and experience to help our students learn what they need to maximize their potential. We wrapped up the event that started at 6:45 p.m. at 7:45 and then headed over to the Memorial Stadium for the late-start football game with an 8:00 pm kickoff.

 

 

 

Loved this picture that Chris Glaser snapped of Jennifer trying to make sure that Earl Parsons would not fall back as he was trying to get a good group photo.

Jennifer Marden making sure Earl Parsons is safe.jpg

New faculty reception Sep 2 2017.jpg

I’d like to thank Jennifer Marden, Mary Jo Pasek, Tarina Perry and Christopher Glaser for helping organize and plan this year’s new faculty reception, and I’d like to thank our Web Content Editor Earl Parsons for taking pictures.  Our entire web content team, including Monika Scott, Aricia Leighton, and Earl Parsons, works throughout the year to keep our New Faculty website updated. Please visit the link for photos and departments of all the new faces of BC!

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Renegade Football

Nick Ellis. www.aNickPhoto.com.   661.706.7999

At the advice of Dr. Bill Baker, we had moved the game against Alan Hancock from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  And what a game — BC won 21-6, with KGET televising the game.  Thank you KGET. Thank you TBC.  Our cheer team was fabulous.  Heather Foss was great.  And here is a shout-out to Becki Whitson — missed you Becki!  The drumline as usual…superb!

Thank you to the Bakersfield College Foundation for hosting a VIP tent for the home games.  Dana Gelder snapped these pictures for me.

Love these two pictures!  Chris Glaser with Jennifer Marden and Francis Mayer

Judy Caras posted this comment on my blog last week about the Renegade Fight Song and BC’s Alma Mater

Sandi Taylor, Judy Caras and her husband Fall 2017

Sandi Taylor, Jevin and Judy Caras

Let’s pass those words out so we can learn them again. Also reinstate the singing of the Alma Mater with the football team present.

I went to the game, 9/2, for the first time in many, many years. All that day I kept humming the Alma Mater and was so disappointed it was not done! I plan to attend all home games this year and hope at least homecoming will have the Alma Mater sung!!!! Our family bleeds Renegade Red.
Judy, here is a 14-sec version of the Fight Song from convocation
Here is the Alma Mater
Bakersfield College Alma Mater

And here are comments from the fabulous Jerry Ludeke

Jerry Ludeke April 2017

Judy Caras is right.  The Fight Song was played and enthusiastically sung at the beginning of every game and after every touchdown.  At the end of every game, win or lose, the spectators and players all stood quietly and sang the Alma Mater.  Singing of a shared song is a powerful spirit builder.

Cross Country at BC!

The Running Renegades Men return to action this week after a bye week. On the schedule is the Fresno Invitational with the men’s race starting at 9:00 AM at Woodward Park. After a great start to the season with a second place finish at Oxnard, the team is hoping to improve on their 1-5 differential.  The Gades were led over the four mile course by freshmen Marcos Mulato, sixth overall (21:18), and Angelo Benetiz, 24th overall (22:32). Rounding out the top 5 with their experience were sophomore Ben Carlson, 30th overall (22:41); Nestor Vasquez, 32nd overall (22:45); and Joe Lopez, 36th overall (23:14).  Also, impacting the scoring was Sophomore Abran Ayon, 39th (23:18); and Jose Chavez 41st, (23:27).

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The Running Renegade Women opened the season at Oxnard with a fourth place finish.  The team over the 5K course was freshman Gabriella Lugo who finished first for the team and 12th overall (20:19).  She was followed by freshman Lourdes Cruz 17th overall (20:31); Natalie Estrada 28th overall (22:55); Tori Wiley 30th overall (23:18); and Esmeralda Nuno-Ascensio 38th overall (25:03). The team will be back in action on Saturday, September 9, at Woodward Park. Race time is scheduled for 8:00 AM

Women’s Soccer

Loved watching BC Women’s Soccer win 4-0 against COS yesterday, September 8th.  Our student athletes looked strong and quick and I was so proud to see them playing in the Memorial Stadium.

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I was hanging out with Nicole and looking at photos and snagged this adorable photo of the twins Adah Gay and Taylor Gay.

Adah Gay and Taylor Gay.JPG

 

Arts, Humanities, & Communication Pathway Fair

A beautiful flier passed through my inbox this week for the upcoming Arts, Humanities, and Communication Pathway Fair. It was created and designed by the talented David Koeth for the upcoming event on September 26th. Just wonderful to see our faculty and staff always watching out for what next to do to help support students.  This is an incredible opportunity for our students and I’m looking forward to it!  Students!! – see you there!

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Skills: The Gateway to Employment

Yesterday, BC was at the Bakersfield Marriott for the 2017 Counselor Conference titled Skills: The Gateway to Employment. The purpose for the event is to provide a focus for high school and community college counselors, but also it’s an opportunity to learn about high demand, high paying industry endorsed jobs in the Central Valley/Mother Lode Region.

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Thank you to the Central Valley/Mother Lode Region Deputy Sector Navigators in partnership with the Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy framework through the Division of Workforce and Economic Development at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office for hosting this event.  And thank you Dave Teasdale for inviting me to welcome the group to Bakersfield.

Here are some screen captures of tweets from Van Ton-Quinlivan, Gurminder Sangha, and Pam Gomez.

Sep 8 2017 Van Ton Quilivan

 

 

First Friday: Latination 9

DSC01920Bakersfield celebrated the work of our Latin artists on First Friday at the Metro Galleries as part of Latination 9.

Metro Galleries offers up its walls to Bakersfield’s Latin artists every year. Jesus Fidel won best in show for his piece “Gift of Roses,” while artist and local activist Jorge Guillen received the honorary Betty Leonor Award recognizing his career of achievements. Local ska/cumbia band Mento Buru provided the music, while the food at the event was catered by El Pueblo.

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nail art showing BC pride

Mayor Goh was on hand taking pictures and snapped a couple of shots with our BC delegation at Latination 9, lead by cheer coach Heather. Check out Heather’s BC nails – talk about Renegade pride!

For these pictures and more, visit Mayor Karen Goh’s Facebook page.

So what about Neo?

He is 58 lbs and growing.  Probably another 7 lbs or so according to websites that discuss Golden Retrievers.

Sonya Christian Fall 2012

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Tradition of Renegade Red

Good morning Bakersfield, it is Saturday August 12, 2017……A great day to be a Renegade! A week of Renegade Red everywhere.

Welcoming Kern Promise Students to BC on August 9, 2017

Let me start with the 160 Kern Promise students we welcomed on campus and completed a one-day orientation.  If you remember, Bakersfield College and Cerro Coso Community College were recipients of a $1.5M grant from the Community College Chancellor’s Office for the Kern Promise.  Cerro Coso had a kick-off to the event at Ridgecrest and BC had our kick-off in a large event in the Outdoor Theater.  If was a fun event and I invite you to click on the link that will take you to the April 29th blog titled Strengthening Kern County, One Degree at a Time.
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/04/29/strengthening-kern-county-one-degree-at-a-time/

Here is one of the great pictures from the event.  So many community leaders out to support education in Kern County.  See of you can name them all 🙂

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Community Leaders at the Kern Promise

So, what is the Kern Promise? The Kern Promise is a commitment in action at Bakersfield College to help students complete their Associate Degree for Transfer within two instructional years through a Guided Pathways approach, providing support, priority access to courses, and financial assistance to those who qualify. The Kern Promise focuses on a shared responsibility model where students will work with Completion Coaches and follow a clear path to success. In return, each promise student is required to maintain good academic standing and commit to their studies.

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Wednesday was a beautiful day at BC,  as we welcomed the newly admitted Kern Promise students for Promise Day, their specialized extended orientation consisting of workshops and the signing of their Promise Agreement outlining their shared responsibilities and expectations!

The program began with photos and fun with some of our awesome orientation leaders – continuing students employed in various departments on campus including Student Success & Equity, Office of Student Life, and the Welcome Center! They guided students in icebreakers, discussions on majors and career goals, and stopped at the photo wall for fun group photos to get them warmed up and excited for the day.

Shannel Tyus and Keri Kennedy

Shannel Tyus, Keri Kennedy

Promise Counselor Keri Kennedy and Program Manager Shanell Tyus welcomed students and provided an overview of the day, followed by an inspiring welcome by BC SGA President Dezi Von Manos, and additional welcoming remarks from myself.

SGA Leadership

SGA Leadership

Students then rotated between workshops designed to help them focus on transitioning to college, developing academic behaviors necessary for success, and utilizing campus resources such as Academic Support Services, Student Government Association, and the Office of Student Life. Workshops were presented by Teresa McAllister and 2nd-year Promise students Avery Gibson, Magdalena Panteleon, and Tyler Ellis, Academic Development faculty, Counselors Keri Kennedy and Jonathan Shultz, Donor Relations Coordinator Alyse Braaten, BC SGA officers Mustafa Barraj, Dezi Von Manos, James Tompkins, Monica Alvarez, Diana Martinez, Daniel Ruezga and Evelyn Hernandez, and concluded with Dr. Christine Whelan, author and professor at University of Wisconsin – Madison, who addressed students to help them “Pack their Renegade Rucksack” and plan for their academic journey ahead.

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The crux of the day, was the signing of the Promise Agreement. This carefully crafted document was developed to explicitly outline the terms and conditions of this shared responsibility model that we’ve created the Kern Promise to be. Students are expected to commit to maintaining good academic standing, completing 15 units per semester, correspond with their completion coaches regularly, and seek academic support through BC resources and those in their cohort. In exchange, BC commits to providing students with priority access to courses required for their pathway, financial assistance, and the strong support of their completion team and coaches, all in efforts to ensure their timely completion (degree for transfer) within two instructional years.

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We expect big things from our Promise students and are proud of their persistence to this point! Coming to BC college ready for English and Math is proof that our students can complete their time at BC in just two years and continue their journey to family sustaining wages and degrees from our neighboring universities!

Check out the whole photo album of Promise Day at BC here.

Renegade Football — A community tradition

2017-footballmediaday-16-x3 Tuesday was another exciting time at BC when Athletics hosted the 2017 Football Media Day in front of Historic Memorial Stadium! I’m counting down the days till football season begins. The date is September 2nd – is it on your calendar?

Francis Mayer emceed the event with three speakers — Mayor Karen Goh, Athletic Director Sandi Taylor and Coach Jeff Chudy.

 

This season marks the 67th time our Renegades have taken the field in our signature red uniforms. And Athletic Director, Sandi Taylor promised big surprises at the event. It was fun watching the giant banner being unfurled from the very top of the stadium, with a larger than life Renegade player and text celebrating the start to the season and season ticket info!

John Farrand took this great picture of the crowd cheering as the banner unfurled.  Can you spot Kimberly Bligh, Sonya Christian, Jim Lawitz, Michelle Chantry, Jennifer Marden?

Group of spectators cropped

 

Do you have your tickets yet? You don’t want to miss the home opener.

Also, kicking off this year is “The Knight Club”, the second surprise announcement of the day. It’s a VIP-type fan experience with membership tiers that include access to private hospitality services during games, among other benefits. It’s a fantastic way to support your BC Renegade athletes. It’s also tax-deductible and 100 percent of the proceeds go to support all 20 BC Athletics teams and their 500+ student athletes.

Thank you to all the media who showed for this fantastic unveiling. 

Media at 2017 Renegade Football Season Unveiling

Media at the Renegade Football Season Unveiling

Group picture

Karen Goh, Mia Cifuentes, Sonya Christian, Sandi Taylor, Ed Davis

 

And Thank you to our dignitaries, Mayor Karen Goh, American General Media President Rogers Brandon, KGET Vice President Derek Jeffries and a delegation of Helmet Club members like Ed Davis and Chad Hathaway, who were there in full force to support Bakersfield College and Renegade Football. Was happy to see our friends from the Bakersfield Fire Department — Deputy Fire Chief Tyler Hartley, Deputy Fire Chief Ross Kelly.  Thank you Mia Cifuentes, representative of Assembly Member Vince Fong for coming out.  It’s a great day to be a Renegade!

 

Bakersfield Fire department Tyler Hartley and Ross Kelly

Deputy Fire Chief Tyler Hartley, Deputy Fire Chief Ross Kelly

 

Dignitaries with cheer team Aug 8 2017

Ed Davis, Chad Hathaway, Karen Goh, Jeff Chudy, Heather Foss, Sandi Taylor with BC Cheer Team

For all the details about The Knight Club, visit gogades.com.

Two great articles followed the event by Mike Griffith of The Bakersfield Californian. They are:

Bakersfield College goes big in quest to pump up Renegade football” and

BC coach Chudy says depth a plus as Renegades open football practice.”

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And speaking of our local media, it was great to see Michelle Chantry, CEO and Jim Lawitz, the VP and executive editor of TBC on our campus.

The Bakersfield Californian is a true community treasure and has remarkable history; one withstanding a revolutionized industry, new technologies, and an expanding community that continues to grow, yet at the same time, it has for me kept that traditional “hometown content” that we’ve come to love.

Was happy that Chancellor Burke joined us to celebrate Renegade Football.

Tom Burke, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Jeff Chudy Aug 8 2017

Tom Burke, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Jeff Chudy

For the full album of photos, visit our Smugmug page.

Registration Rocks

Over the summer, BC’s outreach team held three one-day express enrollment events. This week, we held the final last chance event which welcomed 609 returning students and 635 new students back on campus. Thank you to all involved with these events including Outreach, Admissions and Records, Counseling, Assessment, and Marketing. It was great to see photos from the jam packed event  in the paper on Thursday. Check it out!

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Kern County Farm Bureau

This week, I enjoyed reconnecting with community leaders from the Kern Farm Bureau.  I got to know them better during the Measure J time and am so appreciative that they supported Bakersfield College through Measure J.  Here are some photos from the October 5, 2016 presentation to the Kern Farm Bureau about Measure J.

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Jeff Rasmussen could not make the meeting so Mary Jo and I met with Ralph Mendes and Beatris Espericueta.  The Kern County Farm Bureau is a non-profit organization that advocates for our local farmers as part of the statewide California Farm Bureau Federation lobbying in Sacramento on behalf of all our state’s growers.

Kern Farm Bureau

Beatris Espericueta, Sonya Christian, Ralph Mendes, and Mary Jo Pasek

The Kern County Farm Bureau provides outreach, networking and scholarships to the community through their Young Farmers and Ranchers program, which provides men and women between the ages of 18 to 35 with the information, resources and business connections needed to start a fruitful career in agriculture.

Exciting things are in the works in order to find out how these partnerships can continue to prepare the future leaders of our community’s most important industry. As Van Ton Quinlivan spoke about in the video I highlighted in last week’s blog, it’s important for educators to establish close partnerships with employers to ensure that we’re providing our students with all the tools those employers need when they’re looking for applicants in the job market. With the constant advances in agricultural technology, that may even require retraining people who are already in the industry on the newest equipment and techniques.

Spotlight on Summer Bridge

This was the last week of summer bridge.  I was able to attend a small part of it.  This is just a phenomenal activity for incoming students and I got to experience how exhausting it is the the faculty and staff who work summer bridge.  It is fast paced and engaging.

Anna Laven and Mindy Wilmot

I have been covering images from Summer Bridge routinely over the last several weeks, but if you are still wondering what Summer Bridge is all about…..

Throughout the summer, students are mentored by multi- discipline faculty, peer mentors, and support services staff how to best access and utilize campus resources during engaging sessions and demystify questions that ALL new students have BEFORE their first semester begins. On a more practical level, the day focuses on introducing skills necessary for college success, including effective communication, time-management, library research and other critical skills! The topics covered at Summer Bridge to BC are designed, and proven, to ensure students are successful during their FIRST semester in college.

Summer Bridge

BC Summer Bridge Team

BC Summer Bridge Peer Mentors Ruben Chavez and Kenneth Mireles and Bridge Director Dr. Kimberly Bligh.

Summer Bridge Peer Mentors, Ruben Chavez and Kenneth Mireles with Bridge Director, Dr. Kimberly Bligh

Throughout the day, collaborative activities take place where students come up with a creative presentations to provide information to the rest of the participants about important “tools” to have in their life toolbox in order to achieve academic and lifelong success demonstrating the importance of GRIT, believing in a  growth mindset, understanding the importance of role models, and knowing how to manage their time, balance their life, stay organized, and utilize campus resources.

BC served over 400 students last year and more than doubled enrollments this year to serve 1000+ student during 25 sessions from April through August! The final four sessions take place August 7th through August 10th. Over 100 staff, faculty, and peer mentors participated in Bridge to BC in 2017. That’s how we roll at Bakersfield College.

Here is a photo of Summer Bridge in Delano

Delano Summer Bridge

Here is a 7-minute video put together by Teresa Mcallister

Cabinet Retreat

We closed out our admin summer retreats last monday, 8/7/2017. with President’s Cabinet meeting to finalize workplans for the the 2017-2018 academic year.

Let me introduce you to members of the President’s Cabinet

2017 President's Cabinet June 5 2017

Here are a few photos from the August 7th meeting

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Maria Wright, Steve Watkin, Lesley Bonds, Michele Pena, Nicky Damania

 

 

Delano Team Retreat

I enjoyed visiting the Delano campus team during their retreat Tuesday, August 8th.  The passion and dedication of the faculty and staff is so visible.  Love #BCatDelano.

Delano Team

Loved this Facebook post by Endee Grijalva

Endee Grijalva Aug 8 2017

Shout out to BC Food Services

And throughout the busy week, as always our Food Services staff have been even busier taking care of us…taking care of our students.  And what delicious food.  I snapped a picture of the smiling Chef Eric Sabella and Penny Loos as they were hard at work.  Long tiring and back breaking days.  Thank you Food Services!

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Here is Penny Loos and Eric Sabella from BC Food Services.

 

Chef Coyle came to visit!

IMG_2265And speaking of treats, I ran into Chef Coyle, former director of the culinary arts program, who deeply loves BC! Chef Coyle was on campus preparing for the class he is teaching this fall.

I’m definitely the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

Project Next Step

IMG_2260It’s always great to see familiar faces on the news sharing great info. This week, I caught Odella Johnson on KGET, along with Brenda Lewis, sharing information about Project Next Step. BC is honored to be one of the many local organizations participating in Project Next Step this weekend on Saturday, August 12th from 9:00AM to 2:30PM at CSUB’s Dore Theater.

ProjectnextstepProject Next Step is a conference and resource fair that aims to provide local junior high students and their parents with the tools they need to succeed in high school, college and beyond. Students will obtain resources on completion, college options, homework support, classroom etiquette, test-taking strategies, FAFSA and scholarships, peer pressure and leadership, and the importance of mentoring.

Presenters include Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin, Mayor Karen Goh, and Gloria Cannon, the first African-American female judge in Kern County. The keynote speaker for the conference is Arleana Waller, an ambassador for She Power.

Project Next Step is a collaboration between educational leaders and community organizations to prepare students for high school, college or a vocational career.

Bill Henry

vv-98-front-fixed-237x300There was a great article by Nancy Vigren about the new President of Porterville College, Bill Henry, formerly Porterville College’s Vice President of Academic Affairs. Bill, who has worked at Porterville College since 1998, takes over for outgoing president Dr. Rosa Carlson, finishing a term of service in education that has lasted over 40 years.

The photo of Bill on the right is from the website of the article by Vigran.

Check out the article published by Our Valley Voice.

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BC Superstar Mindy Wilmot

Mindy Wilmot Adventures in InformationBC reference librarian Mindy Wilmot presented a speech on information literacy at the 2017 International Association of School Librarianship (IASL) Conference in Long Beach last week. Along with Katie McNamara, the faculty librarian at North High School, Wilmot’s presentation focused on how to help find the research that students need through pre-search, print and online references and using booleans to narrow down the information more specifically. The IASL was founded in 1971 to provide a forum for school library professionals to network and discuss their practices together. While this year’s conference was held just a few hours away from Bakersfield at Cal State Long Beach, conferences are held around the world, and last year’s conference was hosted in Tokyo.

BC Students raise $5000 for Charities

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BC Faculty, Heidi Forsythe

This summer, BC students raised about $5000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities while learning small group communication and problem solving skills.

Two of Heidi Forsythe’s Small Group Communication classes brainstormed, planned and executed a two-day donation drive in the span of a week, developing a mission statement and guidelines for their groups while developing conflict management strategies to work together for their common goal. Ronald McDonald house director Scarlet Sabin, who reached out to the media for the event to get coverage on Channel 17, Channel 23, 94.1 FM and KNZR, said that the donation drive will help the organization get through the rest of the year. Check out the video on KGET!

Fun Photos

BC faculty, Joe Saldivar and two future renegades (his sons) visited Stonehenge on their way to Normandy. I’m always amazed and filled with wonder when I think or see photos of Stonehenge. The English Heritage website, says “Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument. It was built in several stages: the first monument was an early henge monument, built about 5,000 years ago, and the unique stone circle was erected in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC.”

Sebastian Saldivar, Christian Saldivar and Joe Saldivar Summer 2017

Sebastian, Christian, and Joe Saldivar at Stonehenge

Did you know it was also largely believed that the building process was so extensive that it could have lasted on and off for anywhere from 1500 to 7000 years? Check out this site for incredible facts about some of the world’s most famous places!

And Todd Coston on a cruise

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Todd Coston and family took a 4-day cruise to Catalina and Mexico to celebrate his parents 50th wedding anniversary.  The picture is of the family in Catalina getting ready to board the ferry back to the cruise ship.

Great American Eclipse of 2017

NickStrobel

Nick Strobel

Have you run into Strobel recently…. well if you did what is the first thing he tells you….. it is all about the eclipse….that’s all I have heard for the last 6 months 🙂

Nick Strobel recently posted that the great American Eclipse of 2017 is coming up shortly. He says, “On August 21, the new moon will come exactly between Earth and the sun and its shadow will sweep across the United States from the Oregon coast to the South Carolina coast. The narrow strip of total solar eclipse will be just 68 miles wide. Those outside of that narrow strip will see the sun partially covered by the moon.”  Learn more at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/planetarium/bakersfield-night-sky/bakersfield-night-sky-august-5-2017

And Tarina Perry has been puppy sitting and hanging out with Japanese international students

Riley bad puppyMason Blair, an Officer in Public Safety has a new 4-month old black lab puppy named Riley. When Riley got out of the laundry room, which is his holding place when no one is home, he was trying to let everyone know how unhappy he was being cooped up.  He chewed up a “memory foam” pillow and then threw up all the stuffing onto the floor!

And here is an email she sent me about Coach Paula Dahl and Coach Nick Jacobs about the experience of the Japanese students.  It is an uplifting email and so beautifully written.  Now do you see why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever…

Somaly Boles and Tarina Perry May 12 2017

Tarina Perry with Somaly Boles

Hi Sonya,

My visit with our BC Athletics Department:

I recently had two students from Wakayama, Japan for a weeklong homestay through the Bakersfield Sister City Program.  Back in Japan, Nanaka plays basketball and Konomi plays tennis, so I set up a meet & greet with our BC coaches.  I envisioned a team working out and practicing basketball moves on the gym floor and maybe receiving directions from a really tough coach.  Instead, the entire team was sitting on the floor in a semi-circle facing three coaches.  Each teammate took turns offering up words of encouragement, acknowledgements of one another’s attributes, and sharing information on ways to better balance basketball with classes for a successful semester.  The more experienced teammates advised the newer ones to take advantage of study hall, office hours, tutoring… and simply to speak up and ask for help, because most teachers are understanding.  I didn’t expect to witness such an amazing and intimate experience! 

 This was not just a group of students or a basketball team, but this is a family!  I felt so much BC Pride!  Coach Dahl ended the experience with a team photo that our Japanese friends can take home and share with everyone.  Coach Dahl also taught them the fist-bump!

A similar experience took place when meeting our very enthusiastic Tennis Coach Jacobs.  He engaged with Nanaka and Konomi, we toured the facilities and he recommended best practices for them to focus on in order to better their playing skills.

I learned there is much more behind the title Athletic Coach.  I have just a little more understanding and a lot greater respect of our Athletics Department.

 

So what about Neo?

He is 48 lbs

 

 

August 10 2017 Neo

Neo

 

Sonya Christian cropped Aug 8 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Scholars, Artists, Sports and Summer Camps

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, July 21st and a great day to be a Renegade.

Magnolia

Source: Pixabay.com

Have you had your trees trimmed? This was my first…a beautiful Magnolia in the front yard right next to a Brazilian Pepper tree.  I have always loved the Magnolia tree as well as the flower.  Actually, who does not….. It is like riding a train.  Everyone likes a train ride.  The tree is magnificent and regal in shades of dark green that rises tall, dense, and vibrant.  The flower, which blooms once a year usually between February and June is just breathtakingly beautiful – the fragrance rich and intoxicating.

Here is what Kitty Bishop had to say about the Magnolia:

In art, specifically Chinese art, the magnolia is used as a symbol of feminine sweetness and beauty. In China, magnolia flowers are symbols of purity and nobility. In Japan, the magnolia is used as a medicinal and ornamental plant. The flower is called Hanakotoba in the Japanese system of flower symbolism. This means that the flower is sublime, natural and shows love for nature. Magnolias are associated with the life force and are often presented at births.

Both trees were encroaching on the neighbor’s yard.  Michael and his assistants worked diligently over the course of a day to shape these trees that had originally been planted too close to each other, too close to the property boundary, and had never been trimmed. Meticulous work, and good pruning makes good neighbors…

Before:

End of day 1 pictures

The final product.  Trees trimmed.  Michael, you did an outstanding job!

The Brazilian Pepper tree had developed a strange shape under the constraints of its competition with the magnolia and quest to seek the sun.  I am still making up my mind if I like this naturally formed “bonsai” of the pepper tree.

Coach Hughes stops by!

Rich Hughes, Sonya Christian, Aaron Chavez July 12 2017On Wednesday, July 12th, Coach Rich Hughes and Aaron Chavez stopped by to see me late in the afternoon after their class. The reason they stopped by was to present me with a Championship t-shirt and pendent. Wow! The pendent is such a valuable item and there were few made so I was surprised that Coach Hughes decided to present one to me. Wow!  So honored!  Check out the shirt that Aaron and I are holding and check out the pendant in the palm of my right hand.

I was impressed in my conversation with both Hughes and Chavez, the academic performance focus they had in developing of the whole person of each student athlete. They talked about supporting the students so that they can transfer and thrive beyond Bakersfield College.  And in addition, they had a competitive and winning team.  I am indeed the luckiest and happiest college president ever. #WeAreBC

Renegade Basketball was incredible last season. The coaches worked hard and the students worked hard. You could see it at every game. The passion, the focus, the talent, and everyone working as a team.

The 2016-2017 Basketball Roster

2016-2017 Basketball Roster

Here is the link to gogadesgo:

http://gogades.com/sports/mbkb/2016-17/releases/20170211wkct9m

Here is the link to the video by Francis Mayer

Last year our team won the conference championship as well.  See my blog at https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/02/20/bcs-talented-students-and-amazing-faculty/

2016 conf champion feb 17 2016

Aaron Chavez, Rich Hughes, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, and the winning team

 

cropped conf champions feb 17 2016 rich hughes

Coach Hughes after winning the Conf Championship Feb 17, 2016

 

Breakfast at Wimbledon

Last weekend I watched the Men’s Singles Finals of The Championships, Wimbledon, the world’s oldest tennis tournament and the only of the four Grand Slam major tournaments to still be played on grass. More than any other Grand Slam, Wimbledon strives to retain a lot of the pomp and circumstance that defined the tournament’s founding in 1877 at the height of the Victorian era, lending it an air of grandiosity similar to the Kentucky Derby in the United States.

The best part of watching the match was having a new addition to the family.  Since he fetches tennis balls in the backyard, the back and forth of the Wimbledon tennis ball on the TV screen held his attention.

At age 36, tennis legend Roger Federer won a record-breaking eighth consecutive Wimbledon singles title against Croatian Marin Cilic. Federer, a Swiss-born player considered one of the greatest in history, is now the oldest person to ever win the tournament in the Open Era and the first since Bjorn Borg in 1976 to survive all seven rounds against world-class competition without dropping a single set.

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Photo Credit: @rogerfederer on Twitter

Federer credits his success in older age to paying attention to his fitness from the beginning of his career and avoiding playing too many tournaments outside of Grand Slams. While many world-class players of Federer’s generation struggle to compete against the younger competition, including longtime rival Rafael Nadal, who was knocked out in the Round of 16 of this year’s Wimbledon tournament, Federer adds a world-record 19th Grand Slam trophy to his mantle. Check out the NY Times article, “Roger Federer Wins Record-Breaking Eighth Wimbledon Title.

BC Student STEM A-PLUS Scholars

In August 2012, Bakersfield College was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide scholarships of $3,000 per year to Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) students. This grant was called the STEM A-PLUS (Action + Persistence + Leadership + Understanding =  Success) Scholars grant. The scholarships were dedicated towards helping academically talented students who demonstrated a financial need complete their STEM degrees and transfer to Baccalaureate programs by July 2017.

The College has met and exceeded the goal with students completing and transferring with an average GPA of 3.45. Students from this program have transferred to CSUB and many University of California schools, to Cal Poly campuses, and to other prestigious universities such as Harvard University. Kudos to our STEM faculty and staff!

Over this next year, BC will be applying for another 5-year NSF grant to continue this good work, giving students the financial means to attend college while also contributing to the improvement of all students learning in STEM courses.

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Wayne Cooper, Sonya Christian at CALM. Dec 2016

I want to thank Dr. Wayne Cooper, Chemistry faculty, for leading this effort.  Here is an email from his department chair Dr. Kenward Vaughn.  Note that he signs off with the observation that “Wayne is a rare gem.”  I concur.  #WeAreBC

I want to be very, very clear that this is entirely Wayne’s fault (and those he gathered around him on this project).  I make no claims for the results generated, other than having encouraged further coffee consumption and providing an occasional ear for his version of ranting (which was like listening to large flakes of snow falling onto an already thick layer on the ground at 4 in the morning). Wayne is a rare gem.

STEM A plus scholars 2013

Initial group of A+ PLUS Scholars from 2012-2013

Latina Leaders of Kern County

Last weekend, the Latina Leaders of Kern County celebrated the 18th Annual Latinas Leading the Way Awards and Board Installation where three women in our community were honored as award recipients for making their mark in our community. The mission of the Latina Leaders of Kern County is “to foster leadership, to identify and develop opportunities for Latinas, and to influence key issues affecting our community.” The goal is beautifully stated – building a stronger community, one leader at a time.

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Congratulations to three incredible women who are making a better Bakersfield – Raquel Pina, Chief of Family Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Hospital; Gabriela Murgia, local business owner; and Xochitl Garcia, local attorney. To see the biographies for each of these women, please visit the Latinas Leading the Way webpage.

23ABC News featured a great article, “Three local Latinas will be honored this Saturday at Latinas Leading the Way Awards.” On the video clip, I loved Xochitl’s quote “Never let someone’s no, be your no… and surround yourself with people who encourage you and believe in your dreams even when you may not.

Outgoing Latina Leaders President, Norma Rojas-Mora continues to be an inspiration to all. She is a woman with a heart for her community and tirelessly supports young women, families, Bakersfield and BC. Norma is on the BC Foundation Board of Directors and spent countless hours volunteering for Measure J, even co-chairing the Steering Committee.

Mayor Karen Goh stopped by to take a picture with the BC Team.  Thank you Mayor Goh for your support of Bakersfield College.

BC Team

Dezi Von Manos, Heather Pennella, Chelsea Esquibias, Mayor Karen Goh, Olivia Garcia, Lisa Kent

Thank you Lisa Kent for these pictures:

Latina Leaders July 15 2017

Alexis Gonzales, Nereyda Lopez, Olivia Garcia, Victoria Hernandez, Dezi Von Manos

A special thank you to our Mayor, Karen Goh for the fabulous pictures.

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The Forgotten Power of Handwritten Notes

Personalized handwritten notes are growing rarer by the day because of instant communication, text messages, emails, etc… so it’s always an extra special treat to see one on my desk.

I loved seeing this one from Diana Marroquin who shared how much she enjoys “listening and seeing the wonderful young adults who perform in the BC Band, as well as the Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corp.” The small note reminded me that I really am the luckiest and happiest college president ever. It is a gift to be surrounded by so many talented and truly gifted students, faculty, staff, colleagues, friends, and the most incredible community – Bakersfield.

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If you haven’t heard the BC Band, the Golden Empire Drum & Bugle Corp, or seen a BC Performing Arts program, make plans this Fall to visit campus… you won’t regret it!

 

Basketball Fundamentals Skills Camp for Girls, aged 12-18

Girls_BasketballComing soon during July 31st to August 3rd, BC is hosting the Fundamentals Skills Camp for girls aged 12-18.  Last year’s camp was a great success and the BC team is looking forward to another great event! Coach Paula Dahl is in her 24th year at BC. She played basketball at Northern Arizona University, received her BC from BYU and her MA from SDSU in Sports Psychology. She is passionate about coaching and helping athletes see the “possibilities” both on and off the floor.

The skills camp brochure/registration form is available on GoGades.com.

Culinary Arts Academy in DelanoCulinary ARts (2)

Delanonow.com featured the Culinary Arts Academy that I mentioned in my blog two weeks ago on July 8th.

Bakersfield College has a wonderful partnership with Delano Joint Union High School District (DJUHSD).  Thank you Superintendent Terri Nuckols for all that you do and it is such a pleasure working with you to offer joint programming for our students in the Delano community.

Loved this quote in the article by April Gregerson.

“We are elated to partner with Bakersfield College and the DJUHSD to offer this unique summer academy to our middle school students,” said April Gregerson, Assistant Superintendent DUESD.

“They not only received an introduction to the world of culinary arts, but they learned valuable lifelong skills that will enable them to prepare healthy and delicious meals,” Gregerson said. “Partnerships like this make learning more meaningful by allowing students to develop a mindset that their efforts in the classroom will lead to fulfilling careers in the future.”

Extra photos are displayed alongside the wonderful ones submitted by Leticia Garza. Check it out now at Delanonow.com!

Photo Gallery for “Into the Woods”

Thank you to John Farrand for the incredible photos featuring BC performing arts in the first BC musical in about 20 years! And thank you to all who came out to support the talented BC Performing Arts department! I loved seeing this photo on Instagram. Are you following BC on Social Media?

Into The Woods on Instagram

Check out all the photos from “Into the Woods” by John at BC’s Smugmug page!

SHOUT at STARS!

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Image Credit: bmtstars.com

Did you know two of the five actresses in the STARS Theater’s local production of “SHOUT! The Mod Musical” are Bakersfield College students? Can you tell why I’m the happiest and luckiest college president in the world? I am continually overjoyed, amazed, and inspired by our Renegades.

In the program for the ’60s jukebox musical, which runs its last weekend of shows July 27-29th, Carly Mattern is listed as a BC student studying nursing, and Madeline Engel has been featured in this blog previously for her performances in the BC Choir. It’s awesome to see BC students out in the community being their best selves. Will you see the show? Or maybe you’ve already seen it? Check out the fun video clip here where both ladies can be seen. They are identifiable by their orange (Madeline) or red dress (Carly).

And thank you Jerry Ludeke for your email bragging about our students.

Fashion Art by Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio

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Diego Monterrubio, Corny Rodriguez

Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio, BC Adjunct was highlighted by The Bakersfield Californian this week  for his new apparel line with VIDA design collaborative out of San Francisco.

The article talks about how inspiration began with his mother, Rita Monterrubio, “who has been a dress designer for more than 50 years” and the article describes his line as “sporty and fun and appropriate for all ages.”  It’s a great read by author, Stefani Dias.

Thank you to The Bakersfield Californian for highlighting one of our talented BC faculty! And for more on Diego’s artwork, visit diegomonterrubio.weebly.com.

Fun Pictures:

From Andrea Thorson on Facebook.  A screencapture of a video of three super talented, smart and beautiful women from BC. #WeAreBC

Andrea Thorson Facebook post with Michelle Pena and Maria Wright July 2017 Star Fish Conf.jpg

Rick Kreiser visits Downtown Rotary, July 20, 2017.

Rick Kreiser visits Downtown Rotary July 20 2017.jpg

Meetings at Trader Joes:

Jennifer Marden snapped these two pictures at Trader Joes with Janet Tarjan and Vandana Kohli.  I was happy to see the picture of Vandana Kohli who is a Dean at CSUB.  Great collaborations and friendships between the two schools.

Jack Hernandez in Alaska

Alaska July 2017 from Jack Hernandez

CVHEC tweets about having a good friday

CVHEC Feel good Friday July 2017

The Bakersfield Californian has been doing great drone video footage.  check out this 5-minute video on the Kern River  http://tinyurl.com/y8v9uxa7

 

And I’ll close with my Neo Update …

Neo celebrated his 4-month birthday on July 17th getting ready for his last set of shots on July 19th — Distemper and Rabies.  He is now 40 lbs, and plenty of energy.  You can see him develop in these photos taken at the vet’s office – a picture at 19 lbs (2nd set of shots); at 30 lbs (3rd set of shots); and now at 40 lbs (4th set of shots). Any guesses on his weight when fully grown?

He also loves sitting half-inside-half-outside without concern for the air conditioning bill.

 

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

 

 

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That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

An Absolutely Uplifting Week at BC

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 1, 2017 and just a fabulous day to be a Renegade.

This past week the campus has been abuzz with activities…..an absolutely uplifting week.

Here is an email with a picture that I got from Francis Mayer.

This is an image I grabbed last week while running errands on campus.  For me, it captures the essence of BC. The father (or father type) is standing beneath the shade of a beautiful tree adjacent to the LA building, and he’s smiling and his posture is relaxed..on second viewing, we see that his two munchkins are scrambling up the arms of this generous tree…and all is well.

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Is Mom attending classes? Is he enjoying a break with his children before attending classes? While both are lovely notions, in the end it doesn’t matter. BC is a place that is perfect for everyone.

Indeed it is Francis…..BC is a place that is perfect for everyone. #WeAreBC

Here is another great picture I snapped as I rushed out of the Office of Student Success and Equity,  Shauna Turner and her two boys.

Shauner Turner and her two boys March 2017

Let me start with yesterday, when Bakersfield celebrated the inaugural Cesar Chavez Day with a breakfast organized by David Villarino.

1st Annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast

It was a beautiful morning celebrating the life of an absolutely inspirational and life changing man. We remember Cesar as a great labor organizer. He gave voice to the voiceless; he became a face for the invisible, and an advocate for social justice. He was a servant for his community and a champion of education as a means leading toward a better life.  Cesar once said, “The end of all education should surely be service to others.” It was fitting that the morning recognized Chancellor emeritus of the Kern Community College District and Bakersfield College’s 7th president, Sandra Serrano.

Sandra Serrano reciving the award from David Villarino March 31 2017

Sandra Serrano receiving the award

With a powerful combination of a strong legal mind, a compassionate heart, and passion for education, there was no one better suited to influence our higher educational community than Sandra Serrano. Her educational leadership is a gift; her work for the community at the local, regional, state and national levels is emblematic of education in service to others.

At the state and national level, she has lived a life of service:

  •    As a member of the Finance and Operations Committee for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
  •    On many boards and committees for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.
  •    As President of the oard for the Chief Executive Officers of California Community Colleges;
  •    As Chair of the Board for the Community College League of California;
  •    and as a member of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Consultation Council.

…  just to name a few.

At the regional level, she has served on:

  •    The Board of Directors for the Kern Economic Development Corporation and
  •    The Central Valley Higher Education Consortium and
  •    The California Council for the Humanities

… just to name a few.

Sandra has served this community over and over, in ways that are visible and in ways that have gone unrecognized. Her work has touched so many lives. Her life of service is part of the strength of our community. It would take more time than I have just speaking to all that she’s done for Bakersfield College – that she’s done for the Kern Community College District, and the thousands and thousands of lives that have been touched, whether they knew it or not, by her work.

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Sandra Serrano, Tom Burke, Sonya Christian

It was an honor to introduce this quiet, sincere, dedicated, fearless, and dynamic woman who has committed her life and her education in service to others.  Thank you David Villarino for putting together the first annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast, and thank you also for giving me the opportunity of introducing the first recipient of the Cesar Chavez Legacy award.

There were so many dignitaries in the room.  At the main table there was Supervisor Leticia Perez who is a great supporter of education in general and Bakersfield College in particular.  Then there was Assembly Member Rudy Salas who introduced the keynote speaker, Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa.  When it was my time to speak I shared the story of how Rudy Salas made BC feel so special when i went up to Sacramento to testify to the Senate Budget Committee.

 

It was a joy to see familiar faces at the event, including Chris Cruz, a BC student who works at St. Francis and dedicated his free time to supporting Measure J. It’s incredible to see our BC students contributing to their communities and giving back to the organizations important to them.

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Sonya Christian, Heidi Scott

I also had the opportunity to finally meet the “voice of an angel” Heidi Scott, the director of music and liturgy at the parish. I mentioned hearing Heidi sing in my blog a few weeks ago titled, “Every Day is Something to Celebrate” – Check it out here. She truly is gifted and talented and her voice can inspire and touch my soul.

We had a BC table… of course.

BC at Cesar Chavez Breakfast March 31 2017

Manuel Rosas, Chelsea Esquibias, Victor Diaz, Sonya Christian, Olivia Garcia, Lisa Kent,       Yvonne Almendaris, Maria Wright

Love this picture of Chelsea and Lisa….girls just wanna have fun…..

Chelsea Esquibias Lisa Kent March 31 2017

Chelsea Esquibias, Lisa Kent

The students from FIELD (Farm worker Institute for Education and Leadership Development) helped out with the event.  Lisa snapped this picture with Manuel and me with the Field Students in the background.

Field students March 31 2017

Inspiring post by Professor Bryan Hirayama

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Professor Hirayama with his Distinguished Teaching Award

Speaking of being inspired, Professor Bryan Hirayama wrote a powerful post in the blog detailing his experiences in Bakersfield College’s Inmate Education Program illustrating the depths of the prison industrial complex and how hard we’ll need to work to change the perceptions of incarcerated people in the United States. When people are released out of jail, they’re often told by correctional officers, “We’ll leave the light on for you.” It’s a cynical reference to an old marketing campaign that’s meant to imply that the person getting out of jail is almost certain to come back. Correctional officers know the realities of recidivism rates and the difficulties people on probation or parole face when they go back into society, and many have become numb to the fact that they’re part of an institution that houses more prisoners than any country in the world.

In Bryan’s blog, he describes how he was able to cut through this cynicism for a moment and create an opportunity for the staff to consider why saying “we’ll leave the light on for you” might be a cruel twist of the knife for those inmates who are genuinely striving to rehabilitate themselves.

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Talking about Inmate Education, Chelsea Esquibias partnered with the Opportunity Institute to host the first meeting to Serve Our Formerly Incarcerated Students.  The “Corrections to College California” forum was sponsored by Opportunity Institute/Renewing Communities and Stanford Law School/Stanford Criminal Justice Center. Community partners included Bakersfield College, CSU Bakersfield, Sheriff’s Office, Probation, Parole, Garden Pathways, MAOF.  Chelsea and BC students spoke on panels.

Mayor Karen Goh welcomed the numerous community partners and members of the justice system including CDCR, Lerdo Jail, and the Parole Dept.  Chelsea Esquibias of Bakersfield College, Dr. Jacqueline Mimms of CSUB, and Lisa Stephens of Cerro Coso presented on their school’s initiatives.  The meeting allowed the community to partner with the colleges to build student success for our formerly incarcerated students.  Thank you to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office for attending and the continuous support.

Thank you Chancellor Tom Burke for attending the event.

Celebrating the life of Danell Ward

The BC community lost one of our own this month, Child Development Center Director, Danell Ward. Danell’s time with us was too short but her impact was meaningful and lasting. Those who knew her, understand how much she loved Tinkerbell, from Disney’s Peter Pan. There is a saying, “’All you need is faith, trust and a little pixel dust” which Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg mentioned during the memorial. She said it best through her heartfelt words, “Danell was generous with her faith in others and her trust that there was a better tomorrow was boundless. I am sure that whenever you need a little pixie dust, she has left some behind for you…….. So in her memory, have a little more faith in others than you think is necessary, always trust that tomorrow will be better, and remember that a little pixie dust is always available to you.”

My closest interaction with Danell was in Summer 2015, when the administrative team decided to add in a little fun into our summer planning retreats.  Check out my October 15, 2015 blog for more http://tinyurl.com/mv6ovgd

The entire admin council was divided into groups and Danell was in the group along with Ramon Puga, Liz Rozell, Odella Johnson and myself.  We were supposed to pick and song and lipsync in a competition.  Before any of us could volunteer a song, Danell enthusiastically presented that we should do I wanna be like you from Jungle Book.  And although none of us were thrilled with the selection, who could dare go up against the enthusiastic Danell.  So here you see us performing on the day of our competition.  Danell got sick the previous day and could not join us, so we asked Manny Mourtzanos to join us in her stead.  Enjoy seeing us making complete fools of ourselves in all earnestness and remember Danell and her pixie dust.

Annual International Faculty Appreciation Dinner

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The Annual International Faculty Appreciation Dinner took place on Wednesday and is about building bridges of friendship among international students and their invited faculty guests. The international students plan cultural shows and a formal dinner, as they acknowledge BC faculty who work so diligently every day to ensure that the engine of progress never stops moving.

This event is a joint effort by ISA
(International Student Affairs program ) and  the ISO( International Student Organization). Last night’s event brought together approximately 80 students and faculty for an evening of storytelling, cultural immersion, and  international food; prepared by our own Chef Eric Sabella. You’ll have to check out the photos with the delicious looking international cuisine. This year our international students come from 20 different countries. The largest number of students are from India, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. More pictures are available here!

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Petro Stories at BC’s Levan Center

Thursday evening March 23rd in the Levan Center 20-25 students discussed the Oil Age, Symbolism of Oil. Guest speaker from UC Davis a young rising star in the growing field of ecocriticism, which examines the relationship between literature and the physical environment.

Petro StoriesKern County is one the most prolific oil-producing counties in the state of California. In fact, Kern County is the fourth largest oil-producing region in the entire country. Kern County produces 66% of the oil in California, about 10% of the U.S. oil supply, and approximately 1% of the world’s total oil production. That works out to about 560,000 barrels of oil per day, which at $12 to $15 per barrel is something similar to $2.4 billion to $3.0 billion worth of oil every year.

Petro culture studies Michael Ziser says Oil is everywhere. It’s in the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the roads we drive on and the buildings we live in. Its production employs us and its sale sustains our booming economy. Our lives, our cities, our world are shaped by oil, from the arrangement of streets to the arrangement of geopolitics. According to Ziser, our culture’s investment in oil is not just material, but symbolic as well. If we can recognize the power of oil as a symbol, we just might be able to separate myth from reality, and make more sensible decisions about a sustainable future.

JoshOttum,VanessaEmmett

Commercial Music Professor Josh Ottum also spoke at the event. I recently ran into him with his wife Vanessa and son Emmet at the Haggin Oaks Farmers Market where one of my favorite things to pick up is the fresh, local produce. If you’ve never been, it’s a real treat and you never know who you’ll bump into! You might even catch me at my favorite stand with the sweetest, most delicious oranges.

Speaking of Josh, he recently shared with me a promotional video created by his students highlighting the Commercial Music Program at BC! Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZH1d7ODRQA

Renegade Athletics

Bakersfield College Athletics is a valuable extension of our college that takes folks who want to improve themselves and gives them the tools to do so!

Baseball: Last week, I told you that we’d talk about a baseball player who has made a name for himself this season, and he has done so by taking advantage of resources like BC’s Baseball Coach Tim Painton.

Luke Andrews pitched for Bakersfield College last season, but this season he has been a revelation! According to Coach Painton, he has bought into our program 100 percent, and the results have been phenomenal. He’s walked just eight batters in 64 innings pitched! I am not a baseball expert, but friends who follow baseball tell me this is excellent! Coach Painton says Andrews did this by working hard in the offseason and having faith in hard work! Now he is drawing attention from top scouts, so we know his experience at BC is going to take him places, whether that’s to a professional baseball career or a four year degree. Way to go, Luke!!

Cross Country: Speaking of going places, Cross Country runner Emily Freeman was recently entered into the California Community College Athletic Association’s prestigous Scholar Honor Roll at the CCCAA Spring Convention in Concord, CA.

Athletic Director Sandi Taylor and her indispensable partner, Associate Athletic Director Keith Ford, were both in attendance to honor Emily as she was recognized for her achievement in both athletics and academics.

Emily Freeman, you know what’s coming…You rock!!

Emily Freeman with Sandi Taylor and Keith Ford MArch 2017

BC Swimming hosted The Bakersfield College Relays last weekend, and while Clovis came out on top as a team, Coach Matt Moon was happy with the day for more reasons than wins and losses. Wasco High School’s team came and watched the Relays today, and they got to watch alumni like Steve Santana turn in great performances. Santana is the first college attendee in his family, and he will attend University of California, Santa Barbara in the fall to study Chemistry.

“My family immigrated to this country, so they don’t understand the gravity of me getting in a UC,” Santana told Sports Information Director Francis Mayer, “But swimming really showed me how hard I can work. I wasn’t the best student in high school, and I wasn’t the fastest swimmer. But coming to BC showed me just how hard I need to work, and how it’s possible for me to keep up if I try and apply myself. This was life-changing.”

Harlan Hunter

The BC Track and Field team also competed last weekend, and I know high jumper Jacob Bookout is having another great season. It’ll be exciting to see what he can do at the next level! It was great to see Harlan Hunter, faculty member in Criminal Justice, volunteering his time to help out with track and field.  I snapped this picture of Cesar Patino, sophomore from Wasco High School in the relay where BC placed third.

Cesar Patino March 2017

Cesar Patino

Making Transfer Opportunities a Reality

National University was on Campus Wednesday March 29th to connect with as many Bakersfield Students as possible. Rita Jones and Oscar Hernandez were just a couple of the NU staff available to meet and greet the BC students and help answer all of their questions. Some of the most popular programs asked about was the Bachelor of Science in Nursing-RN completion as well as the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. They are also the only local university to offer a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Communication. The members of NU were on location from 10 am to 2 pm where they also gave students a chance to spin and win fun NU gear and were also passing out hotdogs and drinks to all those who stopped by. In all, more than 250 BC students stopped to obtain information and speak to the helpful NU associates. As students make it to the end of their time at BC and are considering their options to move to the next step in their academic year, it is opportunities such as these that allow students to have a full array of information and options.

You might remember, BC recently hosted a HBCU Caravan Tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. I covered it in my recent blog entry here. This week, I was informed by Lisa Kent that 60!!!  total number of acceptances were provided at this years HBCU event and scholarships amounted to $657,480.00! These opportunities are fantastic for our students

High School Students going to College

I was so excited to see the news that KHSD and CSUB have created a University Promise that codifies and clarifies student pathways from high school to university.  Here is a photo of Superintended Bryon Schaefer, KHSD) and President Horace Mitchell, CSUB, with the beautiful Brenda Lewis.

KHSD CSUB University Promise March 2017

Taft College has Taft College Promise.  BC’s sister campus, Cerro Coso Community College will be announcing the Kern Promise in the Ridgecrest area on April 4th.  And to round off the College Promises being made in our County, BC working in partnership with BCSD, KHSD, and CSUB will be making an announcement on April 28th.  Exciting times!  and great collaboration among the different education sectors.

Check out Harold Pierce’s article in The Bakersfield Californian at http://tinyurl.com/l7lwl72

Project MALES

On Thursday evening, Dr. Emmet Campos and Dr. Victor Saenz, two researchers from the University of Texas at Austin discussed their Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success, which is Texas’ boys & men of color) program at BC. Specifically, they highlighted how K-12, the community colleges, and Texas universities have been working together. They tailored their presentation around projects that our K-12 system, Bakersfield College, and the CSU system might work together on in the future.

Dr. Emmet Campos, Dean Rodriguez, Dr. Victor Saenz, Dr. Mark Martinez

Dr. Emmet Campos, Dean Rodriguez, Dr. Victor Saenz, Dr. Mark Martinez

The goal is to highlight how different education systems can create successful education pathways to graduation for boys and men of color. But it’s especially towards highlighting how Ed.D. / Ph.D. programs and institutes of higher education can do more than provide teachers, by also providing faculty mentors, assessment, and real time research of local education programs. You can check out UT Austin’s Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success program online at http://diversity.utexas.edu/projectmales/

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Dr. Victor Saenz, Dr. Mark Martinez, Dr. Sonya Christian, Mayor Jose Gurrola, Dr. Emmet Campos

It was great seeing so many friends of Bakersfield College.  Here is a picutre of attorney Win Eaton with Miguel Orozco a screenplay writer from Southern California

Win Eaton and Miguel Orozco

Win Eaton and Miguel Orozco

It was great seeing Jeff Flores and Camilla Chavez at the event.  And thank you Dr. Mark Martinez for your collaboration with BV.

Here is a photo of incredible program managers at BC who make things happen.

Lisa Kent, Shanell Tyus, Maria Wright

Lisa Kent, Shanell Tyus, Maria Wright

 

The Art of the Selfie

So many incredible speakers have made their way to BC this week, including Crystal Galindo who shared with a large group of students and faculty, “The Art of the Selfie”.  This exhibit highlighted the Chicana culture, in particular, selfies of the artist herself. In true form of celebrating Women’s Month, Crystal shared her ideas on the stereotypes that surround many women today and how her hope is that her art will show that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. As a Latina woman, she felt that it was important to showcase artwork that would reach a wider audience. As an art student at Sonoma State University, her art professors often were critical of her work telling her that she should, “make it less Mexican” so that she would appeal to a wider audience. Crystal knew passion and what started off as a tribute to herself later turned into a form of self-expression and celebration.

Crystal

Crystal Galindo, Photo by Amber Smithson

 

She hoped that her art would speak to those who are not typically portrayed in art and therefore after her show “The Art of the Selfie” her drive to connect with others pushed her to start painting others, those that maybe she had never met in person but had seen the beauty in them. Before she knew it, her artwork was being requested from all of the United States due to her marketing on social media. She soon moved to the bay area where her art shows have been on display and she has been welcomed with warm accolades for her work and portrayal of Latina’s. Regardless of the size jeans you where, the style of your hair, or the color of your skin, as women we must learn to appreciate every inch of ourselves. Take a selfie, strike a pose, but above all find your self-beauty and love yourself!

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Photo by Amber Smithson

On Thursday, March 30th, I dropped by another presentation in our WHAM series– The Evolution of the Selfie: Deconstruction of the Female from 1400 to the Present”

Panel WHAM March 30 2017

Bakersfield College faculty Andrea Thorson & Erin Miller joined Taft College’s Jessica Grimes, faculty of English, & Faheemah Salahud-Din, Executive Director of First and Always Melanin (FAAM), to address the historical & social constructions of femininity, as well as the power these stereotypes continue to exert through language, self-presentation, & individual interpretation.  Tina Mendoza moderated the event.

It was a treat to see the roomful of students and community members to hear from these powerful women speakers.

Here are photos from Olivia Garcia’s Facebook post

Fireside room packed March 30 2017

Group at WHAM event March 30 2017

Juan Felipe Herrera at The Levan Center

Writing about poetry can be one of the most demanding tasks that many students face in a literature class. Poetry by its very nature requires dedication and makes demands on writers who attempt to analyze it, in ways that other forms of literature do not. So it was no surprise on Wednesday March 29th that over a hundred students and faculty attended an evening to remember inside of the Indoor Theater.

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Juan Felipe Herrera. Photo: Lovie Johnson

American poet, author, and activist, Juan Felipe Herrera became the poet laureate of the United States in 2015. He was the first Hispanic to serve in that position and is best known for his autobiographical poems on immigration, Chicano (Mexican American) identity, and life in California. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth. Herrera spent his early years living in tents and trailers in farm communities around Southern California. He shares his life’s information eagerly, and wants his audience to relate to his struggle in life. Encouraging young poets to write poems on anything, even PG&E bills. He shows the audience a son of a migrant farmworkers whose writing fuses wide-ranging experimentalism with reflections on Mexican-American identity through poetry. Herrera, who recently retired as a professor at the University of California, Riverside, mentioned he would use his new position to encourage young poets, and non-poets, to find their voices.

I loved this Facebook post from Olivia Garcia

Juan Felipe Herrera and Olivia Garcia March 29 2017

What a priceless moment it was for me to see my former Chicano literature/poetry professor Juan Felipe Herrera deliver a powerful presentation this evening at Bakersfield College. I even got a chance to introduce my students to him. Here was a Central Valley boy who became the U.S. poet laureate. Like his wife Margarita said, he’s still influencing and inspiring minds, young and old. Thank you, Juan Felipe.

Community Town Hall

BC students, their families, and members of the neighboring Bakersfield community were invited to the Levan Center on Thursday, March 30th to engage in a town hall on issues of immigration law. The event was hosted by the Immigration Justice Collaborative (IJC) in collaboration with CSUB and Bakersfield College. The IJC is a network of twelve lawyers who volunteer their time to host these town halls in various locations in Kern County, to educate our community on their constitutional rights in the United States. Panel discussions were presented in both English and Spanish, and were followed by the opportunity for attendees to engage in one-on-one discussions with local lawyers. The event was organized by Dr. Mark Martinez, Department Chair of Political Science at CSUB, Jay Tamsi President/CEO of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Lisa Kent, Program Manager for Equity and Shanell Tyus, Program Manager for Student Support and Success Program.

Many of the attorney’s you see on this program are on the advisory committee for BC’s Pre-Law program.  Thank you!

Immigration Forum (1)

The Renegade Room, Fine Dining at the Campus on the Hill.

I’m constantly impressed by the level of elegance at BC’s Renegade Room, our public restaurant operated by the students enrolled in the Culinary Arts program. This past Wednesday, an exquisite lamb burger was on the menu and I can tell you now… it was juicy and tender, absolutely incredible.

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The goal for the Renegade Room is to have students learn professionalism and service industry standards in a fast-paced, realistic environment. The program entails classes in Nutrition, Cost Control, Supervision, Management, Baking, Food Production, Dining Room Services and Sanitation. Master Chef Suzanne Durst, Chef Alex Gomez, and Chef Anna Melby have over  fifty-years’ experience and  everyone is still  anxious, even the staff when it’s time to open up for the day. The Renegade Room is not even simply room at all, but an affordable upscale restaurant. It’s a great way to enjoy a fine dining experience and one of the best reasons to visit the campus on the hill.

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Next time you want to have a night out on the town, start with dinner reservations at The Renegade Room on Tuesdays or Thursdays… or plan your next business lunch for Wednesday afternoon. You won’t be disappointed, and the students appreciate your support.

Let Freedom Sing

Let Freedom ring….Let Freedom Sing! Last Friday, the Bakersfield College Choir and Chamber singers did just that, conducted by Dr. Jennifer Garrett and accompanied by Patrick Bender, performing a remarkable tribute to the various aspects of freedom.

 

The first half of the concert was dedicated to all those who helped each and every one of attain and maintain the freedoms we hold true today. The Choir and Chamber Singers came together in perfect harmony to sing the National Anthem, after which Dr. Garrett took a moment with the audience to show appreciation for all the Veterans in attendance. As each of the Veterans stood, scattered throughout the seats of the indoor theater, the audience erupted in applause of great gratitude. It’s moments like these that give me chills. I’m proud that #weareBC!

Guest artists accompanied the BC Choir and Chamber singers throughout the night such as, Audrey Boyle on flute, Marla Hansen on violin, and Kris Tiner playing the trumpet.

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Here is a solo piece by Ken Burdick that I posted last week but felt I should repeat.

The second half of the performance was a beautifully commissioned piece written for the BC Choir by Dr. Ron Kean entitled “The Journey of Harriet Tubman”.  This multipart multimedia piece written by Dr. Kean in collaboration with his daughter Hannah was magnificent.  Dr. Garrett and her students also contributed to its creation.  Here is an excerpt with Caley Mayhall that I posted last week and here it is again.

The Bakersfield College Choir has an immense amount of talent and they are in the process of making arrangements to travel to Sydney Australia in June 2018 where they hope to have the great privilege of performing at the famous Sydney Opera House.  So I have two asks of you community members: (1) plz help fund this trip for our students and (2) mark your calendars to take you summer 2018 vacation in Australia and let’s pack the Sydney Opera House with the Bakersfield Community supporting its college.

 

Tonight, they will host a fundraising dinner with choral entertainment themed around Spaghetti Dinner and Broadway. If you have other plans for tonight, change them 🙂  Stop by the BC Cafeteria. The show begins at 5:30 and limited tickets are still available. $15 per person at the door.

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 Levan Faculty Colloquium:

I stopped by the indoor theater on Friday, March 31st,  packing in as many events as I could to support our faculty, staff and students at BC.  Dr. Ron Kean, this year’s recipient of the award, discussed his composition process in three recent commissions including a live performance of the Bakersfield College choirs singing, “Follow the River/The Journey of Harriet Tubman.” This is a five-movement work that incorporates eight African American spirituals in a West African musical framework. “The White Birds,” by W. B. Yeats, is composed in a traditional Irish musical style. “The Rose That Bare Jesu” is a setting of a 14th century English poem using antique style features. These techniques will be discussed and demonstrated in a presentation that is dedicated to the artist in all of us.

Ron opened with the songs Wade in the Water and Sometimes I feel like a Motherless Child.  Check out this excerpt.  Just beautiful.  So happy for so much talent at BC….so much dedication….. I am the luckiest and happiest college president event.

Math Articulation Day

Math articulation day March 31 2017

Math Articulation Day was celebrated yesterday as a way to build strong relationships across the independent institutions that serve our communities students. BC math faculty, as well as faculty from local high schools, CSUB, Taft College, Cerro Coso and Porterville Colleges, and math specialists from BCSD gathered to exchange ideas, update each other on curriculum changes and discuss strategies to increase student success. Workshops throughout the day included, dual enrollment, acceleration and compressed courses, “laugh with math” programs, planetarium shows, and using the robotics lab and 3-D printers. Free t-shirts were given to all attendees.

Thank you to Regina Hukill and the entire Math Department for all your work in hosting this great day.

Was so happy to see all of Mary Jo Pasek’s post on Facebook about our Math Articulation Day.  Thank you Mary Jo for all that you do.

Here is a copy of the email Regina sent out after the event:

Hello All—

Math Articulation Day was a lot of fun!  We had around 60 people attend including math instructors from BC, Porterville, Cerro Coso, Berkeley (yes, Eddie Ham was here in the flesh!), UC Davis, CSUB, and KHSD.  We had about a dozen BC students who participated as well.

We appreciate the College Futures Grant which funded the event and paid for the food and t-shirts.  Claudia Sandoval, the representative for the College Futures Grant was also briefly in attendance.  The BC staff for Dual Enrollment helped in getting all the purchases completed through the grant, so we want to thank Cindy Collier, Marissa Jeffers, and Anna Laven.

Many thanks to all of you who worked on this event:  Math Faculty–Tom Greenwood, Kurt Klopstein, Kris Toler, Mike Fredenberg, Alba Romero, Jon Brown, and Donna Starr.  Other BC Faculty—Erica Menchaca, and Nick Strobel.   CSUB Faculty—Charles Lam.  KHSD Math Specialist—Kyle Atkin.  BC Students—Freddy Padilla, Isabelle Recinos, Kevin Starr, Tyler Starr, Devin Serna, Patrick Chao, Allyson Milburn, and Emily Davis.

We also want to thank our dean, Steve, who supported us in putting on this event, and his staff Janet Thomas and Heather Barajas.

And, a special thank you to Josh Lewis who worked diligently to set up the speakers, write the agenda, help with the planning, and who was the MC for the day.

We do have some t-shirts left, so if anyone who couldn’t attend Math Articulation Day wants a t-shirt, please come see me, or send me your shirt size and I’ll put one in your mail box.

Great Day!  Great Fun!

Regina Hukill

Some posts from twitter:

Kimberly Bligh tweet math articulation day Nick Strobel March 31 2017

Kimberly Bligh tweet Erica Menchaca

Kimberly Bligh Kris Toler Math Articulation Day

BC’s incredible Automotive Program:

BC’s automotive program is very much integrated with our business and industry partners in the community.  Here is a Facebook post from faculty member Andrew Haney

Starting in August I ventured into the process of writing a grant. I had no idea what I was doing but had some great help from faculty member that did. They guided and directed me with great experience. Today I was able to finalize all the purchases that the grant awarded to us. I ordered four (4) new factory level software subscriptions to use on the factory scan tools and one new factory scan tool for Chrysler.

I went to Three Way Chevrolet and signed the purchase agreement for the Brand new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt and will have it on Monday on campus, it will be used in training new technologies to student and for program promotion and business when needing to get around town. I then confirmed the order is placed and will be shipping soon for a brand new Generation 3 smog machine which if we did not get Bakersfield College would have lost our Smog and Emissions training certification program from the state. All said and done it totaled just over 80,000.

Thank you Sarah Futrell Baron Liz Morris Rozell Sonya Christian Nan Gomez Heitzeberg and everyone else who was involved in this for helping and guiding me through the process. WE ARE BC, and the automotive program is going to be so much stronger going forward with all the work that has been done by all the faculty that works in this program area.

 

Friday, March 31st at BC:

I started the day with the inaugural Cesar Chavez Celebration and then popped in to see our faculty and staff working away on BC’s accreditation self evaluation work.  And then attended part of Ron Kean’s presentation and finally the Math Articulation Day.  Here are some photos and Facebook posts.

BC’s accreditation Laboratory, Friday, March 31st:

Group at Accreditation Lab March 31 2017

Michele Pena, Sue Vaughn, Debi Rosenthal, Jennifer Johnson, Maria Wright

Accreditation Lab March 31 2017

Todd Coston presenting at the Accreditation Lab

Qiu Jimenez and Talita Pruitt Accreditation Lab March 31 2017

Qiu Jimenez, Talita Pruitt

 

 

 

I’d like to end with one more quote from the Cesar Chavez.

Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.” – Cesar Chavez,  Address to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Nov. 9, 1984

Thank you BC for an absolutely uplifting week!

Sonya Christian cropped March 17 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever