Tag Archives: Grace Bird

On Eagle’s Wings

Has this hymn been on your mind recently?

And then Earl found me this great piece from BC’s first president, a woman.

“One thinks of a college year book as a record of things past, things done together that are worth remembering. And this is surely its evident purpose. However, one might also think of it as a promise of things to come, a rehearsal for the larger drama of community life. As you turn over the pages of this 1948 Raconteur, let each one tell its story of personal and group achievement, of cooperation toward a common goal, of happiness shared with one another. And, in doing so, let each page also prophecy the kind of community you can help create by the same willing and selfless working together.”

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 14, 2020 … a great day to be a Renegade.

Happy Veterans Day!

I hope everyone in the Renegade family, particularly those who have served in our nation’s armed services or have family members in the military, had a pleasant and reflective mid-week break for Veterans Day. I’m so thankful for all of your contributions to keeping our democracy safe.

I am saddened we were not able to hold our traditional annual Vet Fest this year, but I enjoyed reflecting on how Bakersfield College has honored our student veterans in years past. (And I am grateful that our fantastic Veterans Services team was able to put together ways to celebrate our veterans in different ways during this year’s Veterans Month.)

I also wanted to share this message from Jenny Frank, manager of Veterans programs & services:

“Dear Veterans, Friends, Colleagues, and Fellow Renegades,

Jenny Frank

Veterans Day is upon us, my first at Bakersfield College. Before coming to BC, I marveled to see how Bakersfield College celebrated veterans, not just in November, but all year round. Becoming a part of the BC family allows me the great pleasure of wishing all of our Renegade veterans a very happy Veterans Day.

Veterans, on this day, we pay tribute to you for your selfless service to our nation. While this is the day set aside in celebration of your service, know that each and every day we are eternally grateful for the sacrifices you have made. While some of you may have seen war in foreign lands, others might have stayed closer to home. Each of you raised your right hand and took the oath of enlistment. For that, there are no words that would be sufficient to express our profound gratitude.

Today we thank and celebrate our veterans, but I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to also thank the families of our servicemen and women for all that they do and have done to ensure their loved ones could fulfill their sacred duties. The sleepless nights, long deployments, and precious moments missed have not gone unnoticed, and you have our respect, admiration, and appreciation for all that you have endured.

To all Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and women, and Coastguardsmen and women, wherever you are, we salute you!

WE ARE BC!

Jenny Frank” 

Friday the 13th

Yesterday was Friday the 13th…. I don’t know if you experience folks turning down important meetings when the 13th falls on a Friday. 

I thought I’d share a little bit about the history of Friday the 13th, and how it became such a force in our culture https://www.history.com/topics/folklore/friday-the-13th

Thank you to Macy’s Department Store!

This week, the Renegade Pantry received a generous gift from our local Macy’s Department store. Thanks to many store employees who are Renegade alumni and current Renegades, the store took donations from the community and generated over $12,000 for the Renegade Pantry to stock the shelves for the holiday season.

Increasing Opportunities Through Collaborations

BC is creating more Early College opportunities for high school students through a new online collaborative teaching model. Last year the English, Education and Public Health departments partnered with Early College to bring their courses and pathways into more high schools. In this model the courses were taught fully online by BC faculty and the high school students received support navigating the college course from a high school instructor whom they met with daily within their high school schedule. After the completion of a successful pilot year, and the unexpected shift of all college and high school courses to online modalities, this model has expanded to 25 sections that are scheduled for next Spring.

Last week, Kylie Campbell provided a training and networking opportunity for the BC and high school instructors who will be teaching these courses in the Spring. It is amazing to see our educators from throughout Kern County coming together to ensure access and success for our Early College students. I am excited to see even more departments embracing this model and expanding their course offerings into the high schools this year, and look forward to the positive impact it will have on students entering and staying on their college pathways here at BC.

For more information on how your department can explore offering entrances to your pathways for Early College students, please contact Kylie Campbell at kylie.campbell@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

A Better BC: S&E Topping Ceremony

On November 12, the construction crew on the new Science and Engineering building held their topping ceremony to symbolize that the steel beams that will form the skeleton of the building are near completion. The practice of “topping out” originated as a Scandinavian tradition of placing a tree to appease the spirits of the trees that had been displaced by construction. The practice spread across Europe and eventually the United States, where steel workers place a Christmas tree and an American flag on one of the last beams used in creating the structure of the building.

BC Director of Facilities Bill Potter and AECOM Project Manager John Smith were on hand to witness the Science and Engineering topping ceremony. This is our second topping ceremony of 2020 after the Campus Center in February, which is nearing completion of the main building by the end of this year.

Thank you to everyone who helped build A Better BC, and check out the photos from the Topping Ceremony taken by Earl Parsons.

Virtual Forum on Student Learning

We’re gearing up to renew our 3-year Strategic Plan, so on Thursday, we launched the first in a four-part series of virtual seminars around our Strategic Directions. For the Strategic Direction of Student Learning, Alex Rockey from Academic Technology talked about microbadging, Assessment Committee co-chair Brent Wilson shared their approach to measuring learning, Nick Strobel spoke on social construction of learning, and Erica Menchaca explained the nuances of competency-based education.

Alex Rockey:

Brent Wilson:

Nick Strobel:

Erica Menchaca:

Love and Information

BC’s Performing Arts will present Love and Information by Caryl Churchill through a Live Zoom Webinar next week November 19, 20, and 21, 2020. Our students will perform live from their homes!

The Virtual Lobby opens at 7:15 P.M. each of the nights and the show starts at 7:30 P.M. Admission is free, but advanced registration is required. For more information about the play and to register, visit Love and Information.

Women’s Caucus

Women leaders in the California community college system have launched a new caucus to celebrate their contributions and advocate for women in higher education. The California Community College Women’s Caucus is holding its inaugural meeting on Tuesday, November 17 with Deputy Chancellor Daisy Gonzales and Pasadena City College Trustee Linda Wah. Our very own Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg is one of the leads for this newly formed group

Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Visit the Women’s Caucus website for more information about how to join this collaborative.

Archives Throwback: Grace Van Dyke Bird’s Introduction to 1948 Raconteur

And speaking of women breaking barriers in higher education, check out this throwback to BC’s first president, Grace Van Dyke Bird.

Grace Van Dyke Bird is the reason why we call institutions of higher learning like BC “community colleges”. In the introduction to the 1948 Raconteur yearbook, she kept that same focus on community and forward-thinking when she asked Renegades to imagine the kind of world they could help build after their time at BC. Here are her eloquent words again — a double touch in today’s blog.

“One thinks of a college year book as a record of things past, things done together that are worth remembering. And this is surely its evident purpose. However, one might also think of it as a promise of things to come, a rehearsal for the larger drama of community life. As you turn over the pages of this 1948 Raconteur, let each one tell its story of personal and group achievement, of cooperation toward a common goal, of happiness shared with one another. And, in doing so, let each page also prophecy the kind of community you can help create by the same willing and selfless working together.”

In The News

BC In the Vineyards

Friday the 13th can bring bad luck – but this Friday the 13th I woke to find a wonderful article from Emma Gallegos on the front page above the fold of the Bakersfield Californian.

Emma Gallegos wrote about “BC In the Vineyards,” which brings counselors and advisers into the vineyards to help farmworkers navigate higher education.

Last year, I wrote about BC in the Vineyards in my November 3 blog post. I also wanted to share my posts from October 29, 2018, and November 4, 2018, which also featured this amazing program.

Thank you to Jaime Lopez and our entire Rural Initiatives team for their work on helping expand access to education throughout the county.

Kern Venture Group
JP Lake

I was also excited to see this story in the Californian. JP Lake’s Kern Venture Group has passed the $1 million mark in investing to promote and support local startup businesses.

KVG is Kern County’s first “angel investor group,” and has raised over $2.15 million to invest in local entrepreneurs through December 2021.

JP Lake is truly an asset to the Kern County community, and I am excited to see what further good he and the KVG will do in the coming year.

Community Voices

Benny Balderrama, a program manager in the Office of Student Life, wrote a Community Voices piece in this week’s Bakersfield Californian: “Renegades creating a digital community“.

Benny Balderrama

He wrote of the challenges and creativity in maintaining community in our online, socially-distanced reality.

“BC’s innovative spirit has opened a lot of creative windows over the past eight months as we’ve navigated this new virtual and sometimes “stifling” environment. I commend our students for their flexibility and I’ve never been more proud to meet students where they’re at, creating a space that allows them to succeed and thrive.”

Spotted on Social Media

Brian Sivesind from the Theatre Department shared an addition to his family. Congratulations!!

I loved this tweet from journalist Poornima Murali, showing the celebration in Kamala Harris’ ancestral village. I grew up in a similar area in south India.

BC Nursing shared a pic of Level 1 RN students:

Athletics

Memorial Stadium Always Looking Beautiful

Enjoy these wonderful shots of our gorgeous Memorial Stadium from this last week taken by the Instagram account @epicflightz. This account is a great follow for amazing shots of Bakersfield and Kern County. We anxiously await the opportunity to be back in our athletics facilities and cheer on our Renegades. Until then, we have shots like this to remind us of the beauty of Memorial Stadium and memories of great times. 

That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever