Tag Archives: Grace Commiso

BC is Booming with Activities!

Good morning Bakersfield….. It is March 17th, St Patrick’s Day and Neo’s first birthday. 

 

Another week of booming activity at Bakersfield College and each activity so rich and profound in its impact on our students and our community.  Let me start this week’s blog with the Sydney Bound Concert to send our choir to Australia and as Bill Thomas said, get them back.

Sydney Bound Concert

Trustee Kyle Carter and Sonya ChristianI want to recognize Trustee Kyle Carter first and foremost for his support of BC’s choir.  When I approached him a few weeks ago and asked for his help to strategize how we could bridge the gap in funding to get our students to Australia to perform at the Sydney Opera House, he immediately went into action and the result was the March 10th concerts (one at 5:00 p.m. and the other at 7:30) with two amazing musicians Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger, who performed pro bono alongside the BC Chamber Singers to raise the funds.  Kyle opened up the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame venue for this event and along with his wife Kim McAbee-Carter pulled off an incredible concert.

Next I want to thank Monty Byrom who brought out his band to support our students. He also traveled from Fresno to attend the Sterling Silver dinner to promote the March 10th event and then turned around the next day and traveled back.   Just extraordinary.  And then there is the woman with the best voice ever…Lydia Ranger.  When Kyle Carter reached out to her, she unhesitatingly said yes.  And you have got to check out the video at the end of this section of Lydia belting out Bridge Over troubled Water…..  just amazing.

Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrum, Sonya Christian, Jen Garrett

I also want to thank our major sponsors for the evening.

  • Kern Schools Federal Credit Union
  • Deborah & Philip Rosenthal, MD
  • Klein, DeNatale, Goldner Attorneys At Law
  • Rick & Lorie Kreiser & Guitar Masters
  • Ken & Pam Byrum
  • An anonymous donor

These two pictures were taken at the Sterling Silver.  Steve Renock of Kern Schools and Ken and Pam Byrum.

Here are photos of Debby Rosenthal,  Jay Rosenlieb of Klein Denatale Goldner, and Rick Kreiser.

And to the anonymous donor…..

 

Bakersfield College itself was in full force at the concert. This incredible evening was full of great music, friends, BC family, and fun. Thank you to all who came out to support our talented BC Chamber Singers in their dream to perform at the Sydney Opera House. Bakersfield is a community that makes dreams a reality! What an incredible and fun way to make this happen for our students.

Debby Rosenthal, Steven Holmes and Meg Stidham; Grace Comisso, Maria Wright and Jamal Wright.

Thank you to the BC team who worked to make this happen: Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Manny Mourtzanos, Jennifer Garrett, Jerry Ludeke, Michelle Pena, and Tom Gelder.

Thank you Tonya Davis and her husband, Chris and Nancy Hine, John and Julie Means from the District Office for coming out to this BC event.

Thank you to the deans who should up in full force.

Steve Waller and Andrea Thorson; Sonya Christian and Steve Waller

Was happy to see my friends Arlene and Lauro Braganza who love music and support our BC Chamber Singers; Karen Thompson and Pat Thompson who are strong supporters of BC.

Steven and Lori Holmes, Khushnur and Zav Dadabhoy, Bob Allison and Manny Mourtzanos

Steve and Lori Holmes, Khushnur and Zav Dadabhoy, Bob Allison, Manny Mourtzanos

Michelle Pena helped with selling the tickets and here she is with her whole family

 

Some more pictures….

 

Love this picture of Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrom and Jennifer Garrett rehearsing.

Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrom, Jennifer Garrett

Endee Grijalva snapped this great pic of our Early College Program Students from Arvin High School. Equity paid for their attendance and transportation to the event. We also had a group of Adult Ed Students able to attend via equity as well. Abel Guzman, Director, Delano Campus and Rural Initiatives said “This was a huge team effort, including Arvin HS. Ed Watts, the Principal, has been extremely supportive of the early college program.”

Sydney Bound - Early College Program

Steven Daniels, professor at CSUB uploaded beautiful photos from the evening on his facebook. Check them out here!

Jill Burdick performing Ron Kean’s Carry me Home

Monty Byrom, Lydia Ranger and the BC Chamber Singers did a phenomenal job with Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah is one of my favorite songs.  Composed in the late 1980s when I first got to the United States as a foreign student the song was not an immediate hit but then gained popularity later.  Beautiful blend of rock, pop and gospel music….. I love it.  Let’s listen to Monty Byrom and Ken Burdick perform it.

 

Dolores: Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother.

s18huerta01-x2To celebrate the upcoming television premiere of the documentary “Dolores: Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother”, Dolores Huerta and her family came to the Levan Center on Monday night to answer questions about the work she’s done as a community organizer for over 50 years. BC’s Olivia Garcia and Tina Mendoza gave a brief introduction about the Huerta family before hosting a screening of “Dolores”, which premieres on PBS’ Independent Lens March 27th.  (Btw, doesn’t Olivia look absolutely gorgeous and happy in this picture?)

The Levan Center was so full that many audience members had to sit on the floor to enjoy the documentary, which is executive produced by Carlos Santana.

Dolores

“Dolores” tells the story of how Huerta co-founded the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez to advocate for the rights of immigrant laborers, rekindling a nationwide sense of pride and identity in the American Latino community in the process. The film goes on to discuss Huerta’s history with the feminist movement, being beaten and hospitalized by a police officer in 1988, repairing the fractured relationship with her 11 children, and eventually leaving the UFW to help found a non-profit foundation in her name.
After the film, Dolores and four of her children walked into the Levan Center to a standing ovation, answering audience questions about the film and the Foundation’s current work advocating for Latinos in rural Kern County. Some of the Foundation’s recent successes include winning a lawsuit to redraw Kern County’s voting districts to secure a second Latino-majority district on the Board of Supervisors, as well as using the Foundation’s youth programs to develop political leaders from the local Latino community, including Jose Gurrola, the 23-year-old mayor of Arvin.

left to right: Emilio Huerta, Juanita Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Camila Chavez and Lori de Leon

left to right: Emilio Huerta, Juanita Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Camila Chavez and Lori de Leon

Other participants on the panel included Emilio Huerta, a lawyer who ran for Congress against David Valadao in 2016; Camila Chavez, Executive Director of the Dolores Huerta Foundation; Lori De Leon, Business Manager for the Dolores Huerta Foundation; and Juanita Chavez, Communications and Media Coordinator for the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

Dolores Screening
Dolores’ children didn’t get to spend much time with their mother growing up since she was so busy traveling around the country as a political activist, but they all said that they now understand the value of the sacrifices they had to endure in order to provide opportunities on behalf of all Latinos, and they’re inspired by their mother’s determination every single day.

Dolores and Olivia Garcia
Several BC faculty and staff were in attendance at the documentary screening, including Dean Cornelio Rodriguez, who shook Dolores’ hand at the end of the event, as well as nursing professor Noelia Citialin, who is Dolores’ granddaughter. I loved seeing Jay Tamsi in the room as well.

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I’d like to thank PBS, the Levan Center, Olivia Garcia, Tina Mendoza and everyone who helped organize this event.  Happy to see Jay Tamsi in this picture.  Dolores Huerta needs to be well known even outside of the San Joaquin Valley, and hopefully this documentary spreads the word about one of the greatest labor organizers of the 20th and 21st centuries.

See all the photos at BC’s SmugMug.

 

Spring Serenade Concert Band/Orchestra

Dr. Kathryn Kuby and the BC Concert Band/Orchestra held their Spring Serenade concert last night. This amazing concert featured ensembles performing music of varying styles and five very talented student soloists performing solo works with orchestral accompaniment. The following student soloists performed:

Sebastian Lee & Cheyenne Toussaint, Double Cello Concerto in G minor, RV 531, I (Vivaldi) Jaison Miles, Clarinet Concerto No. 3 in B-flat, I (Stamitz) Aflredo Ramirez, Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E♭ Major, Op. 74, J. 118, I (Weber) Matthew Rose, Concerto in One Movement for Tuba and Orchestra (Alexey Konstantinovich Lebedev, Arranged by Allen Ostrander)

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Admin Council

The work of the college is continuous and inspirational. On Monday, Admin Council gathered to recap and update each other on important campus happenings such as Testing and Placement Program Review, led by Kalina Hill and upcoming Registration Days, led by Steve Watkin.  A wonderful presentation was given by  Dr. Maria Wright on BC’s Academic Support Services highlighting all that we’ve done in previous years and where these services are headed.

National Walkout Day

While high school students around the country took a stand on Wednesday to raise awareness of gun violence, several BC students also held a short march on campus in solidarity with them. The march was held for 17 minutes, each minute representing a life that was lost during the Parkland, Florida school shooting in February.

Emmanuel Limaco of BC’s M.E.Ch.A. organization gave some brief remarks before leading the group through a triangular march between the Campus Center, Center for Student Success and Science and Engineering building. Each point represented Bakersfield, Sacramento, and Washington, DC, respectively.

“Our parents did not raise us to be afraid of going to school,” Limaco said. “We should never have to live in a world where school shooting is a reality.”

Pi Day

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Computer Science professor Eddie Rangel hosts a booth about BC’s Computer Studies program during the Pi Day celebration in the Science and Engineering Courtyard.

The Bakersfield College STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) Completion Coaching Team and the BC Math Club partnered in the first STEM Celebrates Pi Day event on March 14, 2018 (National Pi Day). The event celebrated the number Pi, 3.14159…. with free pizza Pi and fruit Pi for more than 200 students who attended. Students visited tables with various STEM-related activities to earn tickets towards prize drawings for BC swag, graphing calculators, and (of course) pies!

Pi in the Face Group 2

At exactly Pi 3/14 1:59 pm, faculty devoted to Pi got a pie in the face: (from left to right) Dr. Scott Peat (Biology), Dr. Joe Saldivar (Biology), Mr. Arnie Andrasian (Math). Dr. Kenward Vaughan (Physical Sciences), and Dr. Jon Brown (Math Club Advisor). It was a fun event with lots of useful information for students about tutoring services, supplemental instruction, counseling, and financial aid. The team is now back to planning more STEM events for this year and next year!

Dr. Joe Saldivar even has a fantasatic video on his twitter @DrJoeBio! Check it out here.

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Global Connections

The International Student Organization (ISO) hosted several booths at the lawn in front of Counseling on Tuesday, educating students about all of the different cultures represented at BC.

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Booths at the ISO’s Global Connection event were hosted by students and featured information about each of their home countries. Students played acoustic guitar and electric drums in the lawn, and several women wore traditional Mexican dresses while handing out chips and salsa.

The ISO also held a special dinner on Tuesday evening in the Fireside Room honoring the faculty and staff who work every day to make BC an inclusive space for international students. And the fabulous Manuel DeLosSantos took a beautiful photo of the food provided by BC Food Services.

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Shafter Learning Center

David Franz, Shafter Education Partnership Director, gave a presentation to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday morning talking about the Shafter Learning Center’s classes at BC.

During a discussion about the success of the Shafter Learning Center as part of the Supervisors’ series of informational sessions about education and workforce development, Franz mentioned the addition of psychology and sociology courses at the Shafter Learning Center, which is located inside the Shafter library. KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog, representing the organization Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government, also gave a public comment at the meeting praising the intergovernmental approach Franz has adopted with the Shafter Learning Center, bridging partnerships between local government, school boards and BC to provide tutoring and education to Shafter residents. Agbalog was also excited about the reduced commute that classes in Shafter offer for people in Wasco, who otherwise might have to drive to the Delano Center for classes, as well as Northwest Bakersfield residents who live closer to Shafter than the Panorama campus or BC Southwest.

Dr. Fontes Presents

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Dr. Patrick Fontes presents in Delano

On Wednesday, March 14 the Bakersfield College Delano Campus hosted Dr. Patrick Fontes of CSU Fresno.  Dr. Fontes earned his PhD in History from Stanford University and visited the Delano Campus to offer a presentation on his oral history project, “Chicano Legacy of Fresno County,” funded by California Humanities. A fourth-generation Fresnan, Patrick’s presentation offered students and faculty an overview of Mexican American history in Fresno county, as well as highlighted oral history interviews with local Mexican Americans involved in the Chicano civil rights movement in Fresno since the 1960s—including Dr. Lea Ybarra of John Hopkins University and the Smithsonian Center for Latino Studies.  Other highlights from the presentation included the history of the Ku Klux Klan in Fresno County, as well as the process of doing archival research and oral history.  Delano Faculty member Dr. Chris Cruz-Boone attended with her Communication students and will be designing place-based pedagogy and assignments dealing with local history in Delano and the surrounding rural communities.  “The overall goal of Digital Delano,” remarked History Professor and NEH Project Director Oliver Rosales, “is for students and faculty to examine more closely the rich histories of the San Joaquin Valley.

Fontes Presentation 2

More information about Dr. Fontes’s project can be found at www.chicanolegacy.com.

This event was sponsored by Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (C.H.A.P.), and Social Justice Institute of Bakersfield College.

Fontes Presentation 1

Pictured above is Dr. Oliver Rosales, Professor of History, Coordinator, Social Justice Institute at Bakersfield College, and Project Director, Digital Delano, Dr. Patrick Fontes, Lecturer of History at Fresno City College and Fresno State, Elisabeth Sundby, MLIS, MBA Adjunct Librarian at BC Delano and Project Co-Director, Digital Delano, and Dr. Christine Cruz-Boone, Professor of Communications at Bakersfield College.

KCHCC Spotlighted in Renegade RIP

The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHCC) is looking for high school and BC students to apply for their annual Energy and Agriculture Academy. Student reporter Miranda Defoor of the Renegade Rip wrote about the Energy and Agriculture Academy in an article published last Sunday. BC is hosting all five sessions for the academy, which is a partnership between KCHCC, Aera and Chevron to prepare students for careers in STEM and Agriculture. Such great news about incredible partnerships in the community!

Renegade Softball

REnegade SoftballThe Renegade softball team is one of the ten best in the state, according to an article published Thursday by Jon Mettus in the Bakersfield Californian.
The team is 17-4 going into today’s double-header against LA Valley College, on the heels of a six-game winning streak. Three of their losses are against the top-ranked College of San Mateo and Cypress College, as well as seventh-ranked Santiago Canyon College.
The Renegades’ success is propelled by the arm of freshman pitcher Kylee Fahey, who leads all California community colleges in strikeouts, and McKenna Valencia, who leads the team with a .448 batting average and 21 RBI.

Check out “Bakersfield College softball ranked Top-10 in state” at the Bakersfield Californian.

Also check out “BC jumps out early, hangs on late in win over LA Mission” at the Bakersfield Californian. 

Save the Date – Air Force Band

We’re excited to announce that the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West will be performing at BC once again on June 26th. Stationed in Travis Air Force Base in the Bay Area, the USAF Band of the Golden West has performed for an estimated 1.5 million people, according to their website, playing an exciting brand of marching band music for air force bases, recruiting squadrons, Bay Area sporting events and NASCAR races.
We’ll be serving dinner in the Fireside Room that evening before the USAF Band of the Golden West performs in the Indoor Theater. Seeing this extremely talented band is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we’d love everyone in the community to be a part of it. Stay tuned for more information about this event as we get it finalized.

Last years event was a true hit!

Achieving the Dream Team

This week, we hosted Achieving the Dream in the BCSGA Boardroom on Wednesday to have a conversation with BC leadership about how we can improve educational access for our students and close the achievement gap. Achieving the Dream is dedicated to finding data-driven solutions to serving low-income students, students of color and other historically underrepresented student populations. BC has been a member of the program since 2013, and we’ve used their guidance and framework to initiate programs such as Summer Bridge, Multiple Measures and the Student Financial Empowerment Project.

Truth: Objective, Invented, Esteemed? – Gadfly Cafe

It was nice to see around 100 students, staff and faculty attend this month’s Gadfly Cafe. Everyone was invited to bring their lunch to Levan Center on Wednesday, March 14, for a lively round table discussion on timely issues.

Thank you Reggie Williams, Philosophy Faculty, for leading this lively discussion and raising the question of what is truth, and how we verify it. Seeing the students engage about their “true” beliefs and discovering that they may not be true, struggling to define the tangibility and verifiability of truth, and critically thinking about the impacts on religion, society and their own beliefs and morality is a testament to Reggie being the well deserved recipient of the 2017 Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award.

Gadfly1It was also nice to see Jerry Ludeke, Archives, Andrew Bond, English Faculty, Pete LeGrant and Anna Poetker, Philosophy Faculty, in attendance. We are truly fortunate to have such valuable learning experiences on our campus. The next Gadfly Cafe, Beauty: The Pursuit, Privileges, and Pressures will be held on Wednesday, April 11 at 12:30 in the Levan Center.

Greenfield School District

I shared photos in last weeks blog about the work some BC faculty and students have been involved in with Greenfield School District. You can read more about it in my post “Inspirational Speakers, Visitors, and Guests on Campus.”  Chris Benker gave a skateboard demo this week and next week, they’ll visit the Planetarium. Thank you to Chris Benker, Daniel Ahn, Steven Tavoni, Deborah Rosenthal, and Kenward Vaughan.

Economic Summit

The Kern County Economic Summit is an annual program featuring economists and business leaders who provide valuable information designed to educate and broaden perspectives on international, national, and regional economies. This week, BC was well represented. Photographed below is Mayor Karen Goh with BC’s Billie Jo Rice, Anthony Cordova, and Jason Dixon. 

Kern County Economic Summit

Patricia Flores

One of our BC graduates with an AA in Human Services sent a small write up detailing her experience interning with Human Services. Patricia Flores received the National award of “2017 Dementia Care Professional of the Year”  with ADAKC .  Her recognition is quite impressive and such an honor for our past student-intern and graduate.  In her note, she said

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Patricia Flores with DCPA Award

My name is Patricia Flores. I have been working in the human services field for 13 years. I currently work for Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County (ADAKC). I was honored to receive a national recognition of 2017 Dementia Care Professional of the year from Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

My journey started at Bakersfield College Human Services Internship Program. It was during the internship experience that I realized my strengths, weaknesses, and desire to find a passion in my career.

The Human Services internship helped me to narrow my career selection in Human Services field. At first I thought that I wanted to work with children. During one of the human services classes, a professor showed the class pictures of neglected children that gave me sad feelings and realized my weakness of being incapable to with neglected and abused children. I returned to class feeling that I needed to research other careers in the human services field. My first internship was in 2004 at ADAKC assisting with the daycare program with clients affected with Alzheimer’s Disease and related Dementias. First time working with Seniors and enjoyed it very much. My second internship was assisting in the payee program from Around The Clock. Being close to graduating and finishing up the internship, I was offered a job at the Payee program. After 4 years, applied in a case manager position at Around The Clock to get experience in Social Work while attending CSUB.

IMG_3405It was during my job as a Social Worker that I realized I had a passion to work with seniors. While working as a full time Social Worker, I completed my Bachelor’s in Science at University of Phoenix with a more flexible schedule. In 2011, I was hired at ADAKC as Director of Family Services Program assisting seniors, early on set clients, caregivers and family members in the journey of Alzheimer’s Disease and related Dementias. It was then that I also realized that I returned to my first internship and it has been 7 years working a ADAKC.  ADAKC continues to be a site for students from Bakersfield Human Services Internship Program to complete internship opportunities. Having the experience in completing the Human Services Program, I am able to give back to the program in assisting and training students in the skills they need for their Human Services Career.

I am very grateful to my professors from the Human Services Internship Department. I hope that my journey and experience may assist and encourage students in the field of human services career to find their passion in their jobs. Because working in the career of your desire with passion you will all find success and happiness.”

Loved reading her story and I’m so proud to share it with you. Thank you Patricia for your service to others. #WeareBC!

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Renee Hernandez. Past BC intern and now employed with ADAKC, Lynn Knaggs, BC Human Services Program Coordinator, Jacqueline Hernandez, Current BC Human Services Intern, Patty Flores, Director of Family Services at the Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County, Maria Silva, Current BC Human Services Intern

Jack Hernandez

It’s always a joy to see Jack Hernandez in the Community Voices section. You can also read it online here.

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ACCJC Commission Development Workshop (CDW)

I spent much of the week in San Diego at an ACCJC meeting.  The commission meets once a year in development and we bring in individuals from the field to work with us during some of the sessions.  This year we had President Kindred Murillo and Chancellor Constance Carroll join us for the opening session of the CDW.  You see them here is the picture along with Raul Rodriguez, Chair of ACCJC, Richard Winn, President of ACCJC, and Gohar Momjian, Vice President.

Sonya Christian, Kindred Murillo, Raul Rodriguez, Richard Winn, Constance Carroll, Gohar Momjian.png

Sonya Christian, Kindred Murillo, Raul Rodriguez, Richard Winn, Constance Carroll, Gohar Momjian

 

Then we had a “student achievement” data presentation and discussion with Darla Cooper and Craig Hayward.  It was very informative.

Loved this picture of Jared Spring, Jessica Dreier, and Cheri Sixbey.

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And this picture of Gohar Momjian and Stephanie Droker.

Gohar Momjian and Steph Droker March 16 2018.jpg

I am so glad that I managed to squeeze in time to walk the waterfront that is oh so beautiful.

San Diego

Sonya Christian Dec 11 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

 

Saying Hello to Fall 2017

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is August 19, 2017, the birthday of my grandmother, Hilda Sparrow.  And a great day to be a Renegade

I woke up to a flurry of emails early Saturday morning from BC employees supporting students.  How cool is that!  Here are two examples:

Email from Dr. Manny Mourtzanos at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning to the student

Manny Mourtzanos ConvocationGood morning, [name of student]. I was so inspired to read your message to President Christian, as well as her response this morning. I can’t think of a better way to start the day. We’re here to help. I’d love the chance to meet. Let’s make it happen early and often. I will be at the Welcome Tent by the Fine Arts building on Monday morning from 7:30 – 10:00 am. If you’re in the area during that time, please drop in. My office is located in FA-69 (Fine Arts Building). If I’m not there, someone will be able to help you schedule an appointment with me. I’d like for us to discuss your plans for law school, as well the many professional options our program can offer you. It is a unique program developed by the State Bar of California, and reserved for only a handful of colleges in California, including Bakersfield College. You’ve picked a great college to attend!
Be well,
manny

Then at 7:03 a.m. on saturday, this email from Maria Wright to the student popped into my inbox

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Maria Wright

Good morning [name of student],

Welcome to BC! As President Christian mentioned in her email, I am the Director of Academic  Support Services and I look forward to supporting you on your pathway to success! Please stop by to meet me next week, my office is in the Center for Student Success (CSS) building, second floor, room 184-A.

When we meet, I will give you a tour of our support services. In the meantime, I am attaching a document that will help you to identify some of the services available to you.
I look forward you to meeting you and please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns!
With Renegade pride,
Maria Wright

 I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

August 21st, first day of classes

On Monday, August 21st, the campus will be alive with students filling each hallway and classroom.  BC has been growing in enrollments over the last four years and this fall we are seeing another 6.5% growth.  So students, parking is going to be crazy the first two weeks.  I ask that you to have a friend or family member drop you off and pick you up, or car pool, or take public transportation, or bike to school.  Plan on being early.

Enrollments

Where did this summer go?  It flew by so quickly! But, here we are and fall is about to begin. It’s my favorite time of the year, gearing up to welcome students back on campus for a new academic year.

Fall 2017 Opening Day

Sonya Christian 2 Indoor Theater

Sonya Christian — 2017 State of the College

 

On Thursday, August 17th, we celebrated our Opening Day – a time where faculty and staff come together to review all we’ve accomplished and the things we look forward to accomplishing this year.  This year, the indoor theater was packed and Jennifer Marden needed to organize an overflow room.  And plz note that there are three reds in the planning team — Jennifer Marden, Monika Scott, and Kristin Rabe!

Dezi Von Manos

President Dezi Von Manos

Our morning began with a welcome by SGA President, Dezi Von Manos – a BC Communication major and a true student leader.  I will see if I can have her talk posted on my blog next week.  I promise you, you will be inspired by her and her story.

One of the highlights of the morning was Kay Meek, President of the KCCD Board of Trustees.  I heard so many positive comments from everyone on how much they appreciate Kay and how much they appreciated hearing from Kay.  Trustee Meek was very positive about the future of KCCD and talked about how much the college will benefit from Measure J. She pointedly looked at me and said she wants the Veterans Resource Center sooner than later to which the audience responded with an applause.  Thank you President Kay Meek for attending our Opening Day.  We are so fortunate to have you at the helm of KCCD.

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Kay Meek, President of the KCCD Board

Kay Meek with a BC hat

Kay Meek — A Renegade Fan

 

This was my fourth State of the College address as President of the college.  Here are snippets of the content of my remarks.

Let me start with our Core Valuers which permeate everything we do.  During the State of the College I had our new employees read the Core Values.  Here is Neeley Hatridge reading the core value of Diversity.

 

Neeley Hatridge reading the Diversity Core Value

Neeley Hatridge

 

Sonya Christian BC Core Values

Sonya Christian — BC Core Values

We have also been laser focused on the safety and security of our campus.  BC has a dedicated Public Safety department led by Chief Counts.  Since we are an open campus with no walls surrounding us, our Public Safety department makes sure that we go through professional development to be able to respond to all kinds of emergencies.  Our slogan is, if you see something, say something, do something.  Here is Chief Christopher Counts addressing the BC employees on Opening Day.

Chief Counts Opening Day Aug 17 2017

Chief Christopher Counts

I have been blogging about the Guided Pathways work at BC and the strategy of creating Completion Coaching Communities around the 10 metamajors.  Well, at Opening Day, we had a team from the Arts and Humanities metamajor model that their roles will be as completion coaches for the students in that group.  Each speaker was exceptionally good and I thank Grace Commiso, Manny Mourtzanos and especially Lesley Bonds in working with the group.

Grace Commiso Lesley Bonds June 23 2017

Grace Commiso, Lesley Bonds

Here are the completion coaches who spoke at Opening Day

Arts and Humanities Completion Coaching Team

Manny Mourtzanos (Dean and Administrative Lead):

Manny Mourtzanos

Dr. Manny Mourtzanos

1972….Not only the year I was born, but also the number of students in the Arts & Humanities pathway. 1,972. How can one person possibly know each of these students on a personal level enough to make a difference?

That’s why we have “Completion Coaching Communities.” By bringing together specialists and discipline experts, we can share the duty to ‘know’ our students. As the Pathway Lead, I can ‘know’ our 1,972 by reviewing data. I might not know their stories, but by working with our Data Coaches and colleagues in Institutional Effectiveness, we can identify which students could benefit from additional support, resources, information or intervention. As Pathway Lead, my ‘breadth’ of knowing students is wide, though shallow. However, discipline experts are uniquely positioned to have a shorter ‘breadth’ of students to know, but they can be known in a much ‘deeper’ and more meaningful way. For example, of our 1,972 students, 101 of them are Spanish majors. As the discipline expert for Spanish, Qiu Jimenez is poised to coordinate efforts with the other three full-time faculty in Spanish to know their students on personal level….that’s only 25 students each…a very doable mission. As the Pathway Lead, I’m committed to bringing our experts together, along with our Data Coaches, Faculty Chairs, Counselors and Ed Advisors, to identify students in need of additional support, and using our infrastructure to reach them.

You’ll hear today from my fellow Completion Coaches.  We each have different responsibilities to ensure that we know our students so that they:

  1. Complete college-level English and math in the first year,
  2. Complete 15 pathway-applicable units by the end of their first term,
  3. Complete 30 pathway-applicable units by the end of their first year, and
  4. Complete 60 pathway-applicable units in two years

With that, I invite my fellow Completion Coaches to share with you their experiences as Coaches responsible for these 1,972 students.

Eleonora Hicks (Data Coach):

Eleanora Hicks

Eleonora Hicks

My name is Eleonora Hicks.  I am a sociology professor in the Behavioral Sciences department and since I find quantitative analysis “super” exciting, I also function as a data coach and work closely with BC’s completion coaching communities within the framework of our guided pathways.

 

There are four main pillars in the guided pathways approach.  The first pillar involves not only achieving clarity but to quote President Christian, it involves achieving relentless clarity in the curricular pathways that students follow to complete their academic and career goals.

As a member of the Arts & Humanities Completion Coaching Community, I am the Data Clarifier. It’ is my responsibility to provide clarity, help my fellow coaches understand the right questions to ask, , interpret questions they’re not sure how to ask, and make meaning of the cohort reports I provide as a liaison with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

As a data coach and part of a completion community, I have specifically worked within the framework of Pillar #1 by collaborating with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness in several ways: I have helped my Completion Community see the classes in which our students are enrolled, provided feedback about the clarity with which we communicate program requirements, goals, and outcomes and am currently assessing the most common courses across programs within meta-majors, which could become an important tool in advising and course mapping.

Yvonne Armendariz (AccuSQL Lead)
Yvonne ArmendarizGood morning, my name is Yvonne Armendariz and I am the Basic Skills Program Manager. As a Completion Coach, I lead our campus efforts to utilize a tool called AccuSQL to track attendance for all student support services. So while Eleonora distributes to her Completion Coaching Community a report based on student cohort data in Banner, I can help provide you a report that shows our students’ behavior throughout the semester.

At the beginning of each semester, I will set up automated reports for each instructor to receive every Monday morning at 7 am. These reports will have detailed information regarding the students in your course that attended an academic support service the week prior. This report will include student name, ID, center where services attended, and time spent.  For weeks, 4, 8, and 12 each instructor will receive a cumulative report for all students that have attended a support service at that point. Any Completion Coach can use this information to track, in nearly live time, how engaged your students are in academic support services.

If you have any questions regarding your AccuSQL reports, please feel free to contact me or reach out anyone within the Academic Support Services Department and they will put you into contact with me. Thank you.

Jonathan Schultz (Counselor):

Jonathan Schultz

Jonathan Schultz

I am Jonathan Schultz, a Counselor and Completion Coach.  While there are many things I love about the pathway model, the group collaboration is my favorite. Having a group of people, working together is not only fun, but it really helps our students succeed and get on their path to completion. A perfect example of this is over the summer, I received an email from Helen Acosta, Department Chair of Communication, replying to a student who she met at Summer Bridge. This student had questions about what career path would be best for her. Helen, knowing the system we have in place on campus, referred her to me since I am the “Personal and Career Exploration” counselor, and we were able to help her set up an appointment to begin researching career options and begin her on a path.

 

As a Counselor focused on undecided students entering our campus, I review cohort progress data, take direct responsibility for reaching out to undecided students in groups, and work with them to move them toward a clear, attainable educational goal using various career exploration tools, working with job placement specialists, the transfer center, and my colleagues in academic support services.  I take responsibility for recognizing and intervening when I see our students are off-path to help them get back on-path by taking the right courses at the right time.  As a Completion Coach, I commit to ensuring each student I meet leaves our interaction with a clearer sense of purpose and the tools they need to navigate their pathway successfully.

Roberta Ayala (Financial Aid Tech):

Roberta Ayala

Roberta Ayala

My name is Roberta Ayala and I am a Financial Aid Technician. With nearly 80% of students being the first in their families to attend college and over 65% relying on financial aid to pursue their goals, we know that helping students start on the right path financially is critical in their success.

 

As a Completion Coach, I work to ensure our students’ success and remove any financial barriers along their path while shaping their behavior for their long-term success. I achieve this by assisting students throughout the financial aid process including completing their FAFSA, keeping open communication regarding status and requirements, and providing support throughout their journey.

More specifically, I track and provide financial aid information to my fellow coaches within the A&H pathway.  It is my personal goal to educate my fellow coaches and our students, and to provide them with the many financial resources available. With the list of the 1971 students Eleonora provides, I am able to quickly identify those students who have incomplete FAFSAs, are missing critical documents, or are in danger of losing their financial aid.  By identifying the students early, I can contact each student with a tailored message to ensure they set off on the right path financially toward their educational goals.

Paul Beckworth (Discipline Faculty, Starfish Implementation Lead):

Paul Beckworth

Paul Beckworth

My name is Paul Beckworth, and I was not born in 1972.  I’m a history faculty member and serve as BC’s lead for veterans.  While our Dean, Manny Mourtzanos, set the stage with a focus on the 1972 students in the Arts & Humanities Learning & Career Pathway, I am focused on specific, intrusive support to history majors. As a coach, I know I have a direct responsibility for knowing the 222 of History majors at BC.

Launching into a new year brings new possibilities, not just for us but for our students.   The possibility to finish strong can become a probability through vigorous course work and “intrusive caring.”  One of our primary roles as educators is to help students finish what they started.  But you might be wondering how do we, as teachers, get students to stay on the path that the awesome counselors and advisors put them on?  If a student isn’t in my class, how can I play a role in helping them finish what they started?

We know students see us more often than anyone else on campus.  They come to talk to us, sometimes about class, but often times about life.  Struggles often show up in classroom performance.  What an opportunity to keep them on their path to getting a whole team behind them, not letting them deviate from their goals!

So, beyond creating an environment in my classroom where students can learn and grow collectively as historians, I am committing to take responsibility for ensuring their success as BC Renegades.

As a member of a Completion Community, I work with my colleagues in the History department to ensure the data Eleonora provides remain a constant focus for each of us in our department meetings.  We will work together as a department to ensure our syllabi reflect our emphasis on academic support services and student engagement.

I get to say, I am a completion coaching community team member.  Listen, guided pathways is happening with us, not to us.  Our students are coming in with pre-entry attributes that we must work with.  We meet them where there are.  Where are they?  They are here!  And they are BC!

Regina Hukill (Department Chair, Math):

Regina Hukill

Regina Hukill

My name is Regina Hukill and I am the Math Department Chair and a member of the STEM Completion Coaching Community.  But today I am here as a department chair to ensure that math completion is a clear focus for everyone as we work to help students stay on path to complete college-level English and math.

 

In the past year, we have been engaged in an intensive strategy to engage every student in academic support.  Using Basic Skills funds, we developed an Extend the Classroom for Math as well as for English.  By using, Extend the Classroom to target those students taking basic skill math courses who need extra one-on-one tutoring in math and to help them complete the math they need to stay on their academic path.

We are happy to see that the Extend the Classroom for Math location has been moved from being tucked away in a corner of the Writing Center, to a more desirable location which will be in the Math Science Building.  A convenient location can really make a huge difference in the number of students we can get to participate in this program.

Our two professional math tutors, Christopher Anderson and Alana Austin will be there to help students from 7 am to 8:30 pm Monday through Thursday, and on Fridays from 8 am to noon.  Math faculty will continue to support the Extend the Classroom by providing help as well.  We have found that instructors like Josh Lewis and Donna Starr who are available in the Extend the Classroom get a good number of their students participating.  Some of my fellow math faculty coaches and I are committing to allocate points in the course that students can earn by getting tutoring outside of the classroom to emphasize our goal of math completion for all students.

 

Keri Wolf (Discipline faculty, Extend the Classroom):

Keri Wolf

Keri Wolf

My name is Keri Wolf, and I have been involved in Extend the Classroom as an English faculty member and Completion Coach to ensure college-level English completion is a clear focus for each of you.  BC has 253 English majors, but we know every single student who steps foot on campus with an AA in mind needs to complete English 1A. With our goal for students to complete college-level Math and English courses during their first year, this places English faculty in a unique position to foster a collaborative environment through classroom interactions and extending the classroom programs.

Extending the classroom provides a distraction free, collaborative learning environment. Supplemental Instruction study groups allow students to gain the support of not only an experienced peer who knows the instructor and that specific section’s material but also the support of classmates.

As a Completion Coach, I work with my colleagues in the English Department to expand our use of SI, specifically for English 53, an accelerated course to the transfer-level English 1A.  As a result, students who take English 53 their first semester and then follow it with English 1A their second semester are able to complete English in the first year.

Since English provides these foundational courses, extend the classroom exposes students early to the network of support services. And many students have credited SI as pivotal to their success.

Transfer and CTE are all pathways to a job:  The Community College Chancellor’s Office is focused on “jobs” at the email of a college degree whether it is an Associates degree or a Baccalaureate degree.  The whole Guided Pathways approach starts with the “end in mind”.  At BC, we have organized our 72 programs into 10 Metamajors and within each metamajor there are both CTE pathways and transfer pathways.  So, during the State of the College address, I invited both Janet Fulks and Cindy Collier to speak about Transfer and CTE respectively and our work for 2017-18.

After the State of the College, we heard from Chancellor Tom Burke who reviewed the Measure J plans, his goals for the next two years and his visit to the Kern Valley Prison to see students in the Japanese course do presentations.  He was clearly moved by the testimony of the students.  Thank you Chancellor for attending BC’s 2017 Opening Day!

Tom Burke 2017 Opening Day

I always look forward to hearing from the leadership of the employee groups. Bernadette Martinez with CCSEA, Isabel Stierle with CCA, Steve Holmes with Academic Senate, and Sue Vaughn on behalf of Management.

Bernadette Martinez

 

Isabel Stierle

 

Steven Holmes

 

Sue Vaughn

BC’s Academic Senate President Steven Holmes always has fun during campus wide gatherings.  He is known to be in flip flops for most of the year and at the last campus wide gathering, Debbie Rosenthal  challenged him to get a pedicure.  And here he is at the next campus wide gathering, confidently displaying his pedicured toes with dark red nail polish 🙂

Steven Holmes Nail Polish

And here he is in a video that Zav captured when Steven was removing the license plate from my Land Rover.

 

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

After we heard from the employee groups, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg introduced us to the new employees including the 55 new faculty.  Nan concluded her remarks with the quote: Only the educated are free. Powerful!

You can find all our new faculty here
https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/employees/new-academic-faculty

Stretch Breaks:

Thank you to Coach Matt Moon and Coach Zach Peters for leading us through a stretch break.  Also thank you to BC SGA leaders Dezi Von Manos and Jose Cortez.

Matt Moon and Zach Peters

 

Dezi Von Manos and Jose Cortez Lead Stretch Break

Accreditation:

We are working on our Institutional Self Evaluation report (ISER) and will have the accreditation evaluation team on campus in October 2018.  Jason Stratton, History Faculty, and Liz Rozell, Dean of Instruction, are leading this work.  They did a real nice job jeopardy-style to engage the audience.

Jason Stratton

Wondering about the two of them leading the work on BC’s Institutional Self Evaluation after I saw this photo.

Liz Rozell and Jason Stratton Chairs ISER Fall 2017

Liz Rozell, Jason Stratton — Chairs of ISER

 

The morning concluded with the Margaret Levinson Faculty Leadership Award being presented to Dr. Kimberly Bligh for all of her dedication to BC and our students. As you know, she was instrumental in the advancing and growth of Summer Bridge.

Kimberly NickellThis is how Prof. Kimberly Nickell introduced Dr. Kimberly Bligh.

I am always amazed by the leaders I get to work with on our BC campus. And as I work with these leaders, I experience their drive, vision and pursuit of excellence.  Dr. Kimberly Bligh is the epitome of this leader.

From the implementation of the CAS workshops, Summer Bridge, creating her math textbook, and directing Title V, as well as many other projects she is involved in, I have witnessed Kimberly leading the charge, and with each endeavor her drive, vision, and pursuit of excellence is apparent. Kimberly strives to elevate the BC campus, promoting student success while mentoring and inspiring others to be leaders. That is true leadership.

So please, let’s put our hands together for our 2017 Margaret Levinson Leadership award recipient, Dr. Kimberly Bligh.

Kimberly Bligh

Kim Nickell, Kimberly Bligh, Pam Boyles

Kimberly put together a tribute to those who supported her as a thank you during her acceptance speech of the Levinson award.  Here it is

The final award presented was the Norm Levan Faculty Colloquium Announcement awarded to Rafael Espericueta.

Susan Pinza

Here is the description of Rafael’s talk.

Every day you make use of software based on deep learning. You use it every time you do a Google search, or look for a movie to watch on Netflix. It’s used to enable computers (and phones) to recognize objects, understand spoken language, diagnose illness, and countless other applications.

Recently, deep learning has made profound breakthroughs that are making possible tasks that hitherto have been impossible for computers to accomplish. And the breakthroughs keep coming! Soon autonomous vehicles will be driving our roads, and human driven vehicles may well become a thing of the past. Many jobs will disappear, as machines become more capable of tasks once reserved exclusively for humans.

Deep learning will increasingly effect all of our lives, and it behooves us all to gain at least a basic understanding of this exciting new and disruptive technology.  It now seems likely that machines may soon actually attain sentience, or at least act as though they were as sentient as you or I.

The ethical ramifications of this technology are vast and will be increasingly pertinent. Our very species’ survival may well hang in the balance. But whether you are terrified at imagined dystopias this technology may engender, or excited by utopic visions of the future this technology can make possible, artificial intelligence is evolving at an exponential rate.  The day of the sentient machine is coming, whether we like it or not.  The more one knows about what’s coming, the more power one yields to help steer it in a more desirable direction.

Whatever your own field of study, deep learning will become increasingly relevant to your future. Come to Rafael’s talk to learn more about deep learning – what recent breakthroughs have been made, and what we may expect in the near (and distant) future.  Though it may sound like science fiction, this is an engineering reality right now.  Come learn what it has accomplished, as well as what it portends for our species’ future!

Friday, Nov. 3rd
Levan Center
11:30 AM (an hour later than usual)
Mathematics Department…Rafael Espericueta

Rafael Espericueta Levan Faculty Colloquim May 12 2017

 

There were three major initiatives for the year that I highlighted: (1) Completion Coaching Communities intended to create a case management approach and in this case a cohort management approach to ensure that no student goes unnoticed. (2) Measure J as we move to implementation and (3) accreditation.  The videos were produced by the very talented Manny de Los Santos using the Superhero theme.  Enjoy them!

Let me introduce you to our superheroes Todd Coston and Liz Rozell:

Let me introduce you to our Superhero Bill Potter, Director of Facilities

Let me introduce you to numerous superheros that form a completion coaching community around each student.

I can’t thank everyone involved enough for the incredible way the day turned out. It’s a group effort from various multiple departments.

The talented Manny de los Santos!

Manny extreme selfie using drone Nov 26 2015

Manny de Los Santos

ASL Interpreters

I’d like to thank Tom Moran and Brittany King, for their work interpreting during Opening Day.

Tom does so much on campus and it’s always a joy to see him. He was also a giant supporter during the Measure J campaign, and even has taught me how to sign both “Yes on J” and “We are BC!”   Thank you Tom!

Food Services at BC

MJFoodServices081817During Opening Day, Mary Jo took the time to thank our Food Services crew for all the work they do to provide food for students and catering at important events like we have on Thursday.

 

Eric Sabella and the crew worked hard to provide breakfast burritos and lunch wraps for the faculty and staff on Opening Day, then got straight to work on a beautiful barbecue chicken dinner for everybody at the New Student Convocation that evening. I’d like to thank them for their tireless work and for keeping us fueled with delicious food.

Mary Jo Pasek posted this photo on her Facebook! I can always count on MJ to have some of the best photos.

Thank Yous

I have to give special thanks also to our team of ushers:  Lori Ortiz, Savannah Andres, Roseanne Lewis, Trudi Blanco, Cecilia Lopez, Yolanda Aguilera, and Bernadette Martinez.  Thank you Chris Glaser for leading this effort.

Ushers

Video, media services, and photographers: Kristin Rabe, Kevin Ganger, Manny De Los Santos, Earl Parsons, Eric Carrillo, and John Farrand.

Content Contributors, Lesley Bonds, Grace Commiso,  Manny Mourtzanos, Eleonora Hicks, Yvonne Armendariz, Jonathan Schultz, Roberta Ayala, Paul Beckworth, Regina Hukilll, Keri Wolf, Janet Fulks, Cindy Collier, Jason Stratton, Liz Rozell, and Chris Counts.

Our fabulous emcee, Francis Mayer, and the planning team, Jennifer Serratt, Monika Scott, and Aricia Leighton.

 

New Faculty Seminar

2017-2018 New Faculty

matt JonesOn Monday, our 55 new faculty members met in the first seminar in a year-long series that will help them connect with BC resources and make the most of their time at Bakersfield College.  We are excited to welcome this new and very dynamic group of faculty to the college – the largest incoming class of new faculty in our history!

Topics ranged from how to get involved in pathways and completion communities to learning the ropes of human resources. We look forward to offering New Faculty Seminars every month for the rest of the semester.

Flex Week

BC’s fall 2017 Flex Week was a busy one, packed with almost 60 workshops, including four Opening Day breakout sessions focused on important campus initiatives. Workshops ranged from practical skills related to accessibility using Google and Grackle, to workshops designed to help faculty integrate new creative media, like PowToons—and everything in between. In addition to Flex workshops and Opening Day breakout sessions, the Pathways Institute drew a sizable crowd of completion coaches and other dedicated faculty and staff from all over BC. As of Thursday afternoon, Flex Week drew over 385 logins/sign-ins, including over 208 individual attendees. Thanks, BC!

Dr. Chike Akua

Dr cAs part of Flex Week on Wednesday, acclaimed public intellectual Dr. Chike Akua hosted workshop about how to keep students of color engaged in their academic pursuits and education as a key to fighting structural inequality.

BC was honored to host this important professional development workshop with Akua, a member of the Teacher Transformation Institute and author of books such as “Honoring our Ancestral Obligations: 7 Steps to Black Student Success”. Akua’s presentation, titled “Education for Transformation: Keys to Releasing the Genius of Black Students”, focused on concrete ways that instructors can supplement their curricula with the contributions of African-Americans and other marginalized groups that have been omitted from textbooks or otherwise edited out of the canon of human intellectual achievement.

“Who are the models of intellectual authority you’re putting before your students?” Akua asked. “Even though the population of our students has changed, in many ways, our curriculum has not.”

 

By drawing attention to marginalized innovators in math, science, art, architecture and countless other fields, it allows students within those marginalized groups to see themselves reflected in a given field of study, and Akua showed data that reflects how students that are able to relate to their study material grow more confident in their academics and matriculate more successfully through their educational pathway.

“This has become one of the critical mediating factors in my students’ success,” Akua said.

Akua also used the events in Charlottesville last weekend as a lens to guide his discussion on the role educators have in shifting the toxic perceptions about race relations in America today. When educators begin engaging students to critically examine the world around them while spreading awareness of structural inequality and social issues like the school-to-prison pipeline, Akua posits that we’ll begin seeing the national conversation about race change, and in many ways the shift has already started to happen with the work of organizations such as Black Lives Matter and the ongoing debate about law enforcement accountability in communities of color.

“Their innate sense of justice will cause students to speak out on issues,” Akua said. “Allow your students to bring their whole personality to class.”

Akua also stressed the importance of a diverse faculty in bridging the “engagement gap” in education, while showing data indicating that higher learning institutions need to do a lot better at hiring people of color. The national leader for hiring African-American faculty among major four-year state institutions is The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, whose faculty is only 6.8 percent black despite having an 11.1 percent black undergraduate population, according to the website College Factual. The state leader among four-year colleges in California is UCLA, whose black faculty only comprises 3 percent of the faculty population despite making up 4.8 percent of the student population.

“It’s important to have faculty who look like your students,” Akua said. “How can we say we’re a nation who values diversity with these numbers?”

Akua’s conversation gave our faculty a lot to think about how they might be unintentionally alienating a lot of their marginalized students while giving some good advice about how to keep those students engaged.

Welcome International Students

In addition to welcoming new faculty and staff, we have 90 students from around the world in our ISA program for Fall 2017, majoring in everything from Business Administration to Theatre Arts. There are 18 students from India, which represents 20 percent of the group. There are 15 students from Saudia Arabia and 10 from Vietnam, as well as representatives from Nigeria, China, Bangladesh, France, Ivory Coast, Australia and more for a total of 29 countries to be welcomed into the BC family.

international students

New Student Convocation

Bakersfield College welcomed its 104th class of incoming freshman to the family Thursday night at the Outdoor Theater during the New Student Convocation.

F17Convocation14

The annual event is a gathering before the start of the fall semester for new students and their families to learn about different programs on campus and what will be expected of them for the upcoming year. Todd Coston was in the audience as a parent of a young woman starting her freshman year at BC.  I snapped this picture.  See if you can spot Todd off in the distance.

Todd Coston and his daughter at convocation

Steven Holmes led BC faculty through a pledge to provide students with the support they’ll need to make it through a short but eventful school year, while SGA President Dezi von Manos led students through their pledge to rise to the occasion and perform the hard work it requires to achieve their dreams. Dr. Janet Fulks led the families, friends and supporters of the students through a pledge as well.

I grabbed these photos from Lawrence Salcido’s Facebook page.  Thank you Lawrence!

Dezi Van Manos

Sonya Christian 2 at Convocation

 

Steven Homles at Convocation

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was amazing entertainment throughout the event, with a DJ booth in front of the Outdoor Theater providing music while students visited booths for the Agriculture and Automotive programs, the Student Health Center and countless other student organizations. When students walked into the theater, they were greeted with a performance from a few students in last semester’s Commercial Music class. Jennifer Garrett led the BC choir through the national anthem, “When You Wish Upon a Star” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”,

The BC cheerleaders closed the convocation with an exciting performance.  Thank you Heather Foss for your dedication to the BC Cheer Team.  And thank you Becki Whitson for all of the years you spent with the team.  We miss you and hope to see you at the games.

 

Here is the BC Fight Song

 

Go out and Get Them

 

There’s an awesome video BC counselor Jonathan Schultz put together on YouTube speaking to student athletes about taking advantage of opportunities. Jonathan presents a very simple but true philosophy that successful people are able to do seemingly impossible things because they are willing to go lengths others aren’t to be the best.

“You have to do what others won’t if you want to have what others don’t,” Schultz said. “I never waited for an opportunity to come to me. I went out and found an opportunity.” When you’re willing to go the extra mile in your athletic, creative or cognitive development, people will recognize the work you’re putting in and opportunities to succeed will open up that you never thought possible. The greatest athletes were the ones who had the drive put in time and effort that their coworkers didn’t, transcending what people previously thought was humanly possible. “What are you doing that other people in your exact situation are not doing?” Schultz asks. “What pushes you outside of yourself? What’s your why?”

Football Practice Begins!

I loved seeing this post on Instagram. BC Football is gearing up!

Are you following BC on Instagram?! What about Facebook and Twitter?

IMG_6265

 

FCDC Summer Chair Academy

The Faculty Chairs/Directors Council met this week as well to wrap up the summer. This group of dedicated individuals discuss, review, and resolve operational issues and to provide collaborative interaction between student services and instruction in development of seamless process to meet student needs. Welcome to the new department chairs this year: Mark Osea, Counseling; Helen Acosta, Communication, and Kirk Russell, Library.

 

 

 

Eclipse Information

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel also sent an email out to various campus groups sharing some awesome details about the upcoming eclipse. He said,

“You’ve probably heard something about the upcoming eclipse of the Sun on Monday, August 21. The eclipse for us in Bakersfield will be just a partial eclipse. See the Planetarium’s homepage at www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/planetarium for the stats for Bakersfield and how to view the Sun safely.

What’s the big deal about this total solar eclipse? Here are some reasons:

  • Total solar eclipses (New Moon totally covers the Sun’s photosphere surface) are RARE and awesome!
  • First one in the lower 48 states since 1979.
  • First one to sweep across the entire country since 1918.
  • First one to be solely visible in the United States since 1776 (yes, 1776)
  • Approximately 391 million people in the U.S. will be able to see the eclipse (total or partial).
  • Literally millions of international tourists will be coming to places in the path of totality. The totality strip is just 68 miles wide.
  • The few minutes of totality are the only times we can view the Sun’s corona (outer atmosphere). The corona is about as bright as a full moon.

See https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/planetarium/bakersfield-night-sky/bakersfield-night-sky-august-19-2017 for more about this eclipse and future eclipses in the U.S.

 

 

A great story. Thank you Joe Coughlin of Coconut Joes

Joe Coughlin and Glen Campbell in 1971 form TBCWhen Joe Coughlin of Coconut Joes heard about the passing of the celebrity Glen Campbell, he picked up his guitar and strummed the Rhinestone Cowboy.

Does that get your attention…..Well, click on the link and read his August 12th Opinion piece in The Bakersfield Californian — Gentle on My Mind: My long unique connection to Glen Campbell.  http://tinyurl.com/y8bssflx.   A pretty cool story.

I never heard Gentle on my mind by Glen Campbell.  Thank you Joe for introducing me to this piece by Glen Campbell.  I enjoyed it.

 

Rosebowl Watch

Thought you would enjoy the Facebook exchange with community members about the Rosebowl watch.  I actually wore it for Opening Day.  Here is a screen capture.

Facebook post about Rosebowl Watch

So what about Neo?

At 5 1/2 months, he is 52 lbs, and teething.  Can you guess where he is in the picture below?

August 13, 2017 Neo in Sonya's Office

Neo

Being obnoxious and then sweet like an angel when he is asleep.

 

Sonya Christian 2017 Opening DayThat’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Another Great Week to be a Renegade

Good morning Bakersfield.  What a beautiful Saturday morning in July.  Sitting outside on the patio, it is 4:30 a.m., July 8, 2017…a great day to be a Renegade.

FlagDayIn fact, it was a great week to be a Renegade with a special day off on Tuesday to relax and celebrate a holiday with friends and family. On July 4th, the United States commemorates the start of a grand experiment in self-governance.

On that day 241 years ago, Thomas Jefferson gave words to the birthright of liberty and free expression that is not granted by kings or governments, and which we fight to preserve if our leaders attempt to deny. From that simple idea, forged by the philosophical works of John Locke, Voltaire, Rene Descartes and other contributors of the Enlightenment, a new society emerged, and blueprint for governance.

Over the last 241 years, the blueprint has proved to be difficult to realize, and society has had to change – and continues to change – to remain true to its ideals as inalienable rights once denied are progressively regained, by women, by immigrants, by people of color, and many more. The experiment continues, even today, as an intrinsic privilege of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – and intrinsic denial of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness – are gradually seen as such.

This dynamic defines our work as community college educators, as we struggle to educate everyone, anyone, faced with the systemic effects of poverty, lack of health care, lack of safety, physical disability, and mental disability, that we now recognize as a self-perpetuating status quo.

As educators, it is our responsibility to keep the public informed on what their rights are, the history of how those rights were earned, and what we’re able to do on both an individual and community-wide level to protect and recognize those rights. It is a profound responsibility, but it’s also an incredible opportunity to be the scientists on the front lines of the great American experiment. As an immigrant I have a unique understanding of what a great country this is!

How did you celebrate Independence Day? Leave a comment below. I’d love to know how you spent your holiday.

I had a relatively quiet fourth at home – the kind I like – and this year with a sense of anticipation to see how Neo would react to the fireworks.  He did surprisingly well especially considering how dramatically he reacted to the gardener’s demon leaf blower.

June 30 2017 Neo with a stick

Neo, chewing on a twig. His favorite pastime.

 

I’ve been congratulating myself on having the calmest, most enlightened puppy in town as I heard stories of puppy destruction from others… and then he turned three months old at 30 lbs and I began to understand…  I sent an SOS to several friends. Lesley shook her head wisely and said “You have got to tire him out.  I take Blue for runs, and then there is the formidable battle with the water sprinkler that is intentionally planned.”  Here is the evidence.

Blue chasing water

So, I took my instructions very seriously and this has now become part of Neo’s evening routine..

Neo has his last set of shots scheduled for July 19th.  After that the vet said we had permission to take him to the dog park.  Can’t wait to get him exercised and exhausted in the dog park.  I have been there several times when Ken visited me from Oregon with the one and only Woody, his chocolate-colored Lab.

I know you have seen this 27-sec video of Woody swimming many many times, but here it is again in my July 3, 2016 blog post.
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/07/03/daily-inspiration-from-all-things-bc/

Thomas Roads Improvement Project

In an op-ed from last week’s Bakersfield Californian, Bakersfield City Manager Alan Tandy laid out his case for Trustee Bill Thomas’ Thomas Road Improvement Program, or TRIP.

When Retired Congressman and Trustee Thomas brought in a $630 million federal earmark for road repair in Bakersfield shortly before retiring from the House of Representatives, he established a partnership between Cal Trans and local and county government to outline a plan to fix the city’s aging, insufficient road infrastructure. One of TRIP’s most successful and notable projects so far is the Westside Parkway, which linked the suburban communities of Northwest Bakersfield with our burgeoning and resurgent downtown area.

TRIP May 2017

Photo by Dorothy Mills-Greg from The Bakersfield Californian. Mayor Karen Goh and Retired Congressman Bill Thomas

TRIP has grown its initial $630 million federal budget into a $1.4 billion budget through grants and contributions, adding 24 bridges and nearly 100 lane miles of roadway to Bakersfield’s transportation network since 2007. Upcoming projects, including the Hageman flyover road, the 24th Street widening and the first phase of the Centennial Corridor project, will ease congestion further as Kern County continues to have some of the fastest population growth in the nation.

TRIP is essential to making our city functional, especially as our growth continues to outpace our infrastructure. Thank you Trustee Thomas! And thank you Alan Tandy for the great article.

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Grimmway

On Thursday, July 6th, Rich and I had the pleasure of meeting with the Dream Team from Grimmway Academy — Greg West, Director of School Support Services;  Paul Escala, Executive Director of the Grimmway Schools; and Casey Yeazel, Chief Academic Officer.  The Grimmway Academy just graduated their eigth grade class and most of them will be starting their ninth grade at Arvin High School.  There was great chemistry in the room and I can’t wait to see the results of our planning.

Group Photo

Sonya Christian, Greg West, Rich McCrow, Paul Escala, Casey Yeazel

The Grimmway Academy is a great example of #EducationDoneRight.  Barbara Grimm, a true visionary, made this happen.  I visited the Grimmway Academy in in 2014.  Check out my blog post on July 1, 2014
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2014/07/01/grimmway-academy-thrives-in-arvin/

Academic Support Services Retreat Day

Let me introduce you to BC’s Academic Support Team.

Left to right:  Kimberly Arbolante, Grace Commiso, Laraine Rosema, Susan Abbassi, Eric Weis, Maria Wright, Stephanie Vega, Barry Ramirez, Monica Huyck, Eileen Pierce, Christopher Anderson, Kim Collins, Sonia Avila, Yvonne Armendariz, Bradley Cramer, Alana Austin, Jessica Flores, and Miguel Cuate.

Academic Support Team July 6 2017.jpg

 

I am always happy to see Monica Huyck since she was one of the very first people I met when I arrived on campus in 2013.  Here is my blog post from March 6, 2013 that has a picture of me with Monica and the team from the tutoring center in Delano.  Gosh I look so young in that picture and Rich McCrow was still tall then 🙂  Check it out

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2013/03/16/our-delano-campus/

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Dr. Janet Fulks

The Retreat was very good and I felt hugely energized listening to the different presenters and the comments from the group.  Janet Fulks, of course, gave an inspiring talk when she shared data about our students.  And Rich and I were whispering to each other how fortunate we were to have the amazing Janet Fulks in our midst.

 

As BC continues to aggressively make changes to get more students to and through the college in an efficient and effective manner, we have realized the importance of being more intrusive with our students, over 80% of them are first generation college going, and get them to make use of our academic support services like tutoring, supplemental instruction, the writing center etc.  The team you see above have been redesigning their systems and practices to get more students to participate in these services as well as engage with faculty regularly to track student progress so that they minimize the risk of having these students fall between the cracks.

 

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Maria Wright addressing the group. Rich McCrow, Sonya Christian, Criag Hayward, Michael McClinnick

Here are some of the concluding thoughts shared by team members at the end of the retreat.

What was the most important piece of information gained from this retreat?

  • The accountability of faculty and staff to students via completion teams & “permission” to hammer team members to participate in success of our students.
  • The strengths quest workshop. It was a real joy and very informative.
  • A more clearly defined path for guided pathway.
  • Hearing about the programs and services being implemented as a result of the data
  • Clarification about the goals of the campus.
  • Points of connection and defining our identity through students.
  • I think the most important piece(s) of information I gained from this experience are the utilization of our talents as well as the massive amounts of support the Academic support team receives.
  • Clarification of our roles in Academic Support Services in the context of Pathways.
  • How collaboration will happen on each team.
  • Gaining insight on the “what” and “why”
  • Understanding the role of academic support services within the meta-majors and affinity groups
  • The enforcement of the effectiveness of support services

How will your role be affected as a result of the information shared today?

  • My role is more “global” now.
  • I understand the relationship between my role as a guided pathway leader and my everyday tasks
  • I will have to take a more holistic approach when working with students.
  • I like to think that my program will have so much support.
  • I will be able to contact the correct people with a support attitude.
  • I will reach out more to my colleagues in order to coordinate our efforts in serving students.
  • I have gained confidence that I can help students reach goals.

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Maria had invited several of the senior administrators and other key leaders of campus to the retreat for the first hour.  During this time, she asked me to address her team on Guided Pathways and the new direction for Academic Support.  She wanted to make sure that we had this larger group for this segment so that we could integrate the work and the key strategies as a whole rather than in isolation.  Maria Wright rocks!

Let me introduce you to those in the photo.

Back row: Pedro Ramirez, Julian West, Abel Guzman, Eric Weis, Richard McCrow, Christopher Anderson, Monica Huyck, Kim Collins, Sonia Avila, Bradley Cramer, Alana Austin, Michael Mcclenic, Miguel Cuate, Craig Hayward,  and Stig Jantz

Front row: Imelda Valdez, Lisa Kent, Alyse Braaten, Laraine Rosema, Susan Abbassi, Maria Wright, Stephanie Vega, Barry Ramirez, Eileen Pierce, Yvonne Armendariz, Shohreh Rahman, Jessica Flores, and Grace Commiso.

Academic Support Retreat Larger Group July 6 2017.jpg

I was sorry to miss being in the photos since I had a dignitary stop by my office at exactly the time the photo was being taken 😦

Here are a few more pictures.

 

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Agriculture Career Camps

TweetTwo weeks of Agriculture Career Camps were a success! Bakersfield College’s partnership with The Wonderful Company allowed 8th grade students to explore different career options in the agriculture industry.

Food production may start with a farmer, but the employment opportunities to get food to the end-consumer are endless. Each week 50 campers were exposed to different careers options.

Marko ZaninovichThe camp started with industry guest speakers and a tour of Sunview Vineyards. Thank you Marko Zaninovich for allowing us to visit Sunview Vineyards! They are leading the agriculture industry by using beneficial insects to control unwanted pests in lieu of spraying pesticides.

Scott, Sunview Vineyard’s Entomologist, was very passionate about his career and he had an amazing insect collection that the students got to view. Cristina monitors the beneficial and invasive insects and she was an inspiration for our young campers.

Bakersfield College’s new Agribusiness professors, Jim Selgrath and Leann Riley, along with Lindsay Ono, Katie Tune and Arian Hallum put together branding and marketing curriculum where students were able to create and brand a new flavor of pistachios, almonds and papayas.

Scott2Matt RileyScott1

Bakersfield College’s new Agriculture Mechanics professor Matt Riley, along with Ernesto Marcial and Scott Trimble had students building water pumps and filtration systems. Campers also got the chance to weld (a first for most!).

Rock wallIn the evenings, campers tackled rock walls, swam and went bowling! It was a dynamic week and with support from The Wonderful Company, students were exposed to various career option in agriculture. Thank you Rebecca Farley and Tony Alteparmakian for facilitating this amazing opportunity.

Campers were also introduced to the dual-enrollment programs in Agribusiness and Agriculture Mechanics between The Wonderful College Prep Academy and Bakersfield College.

Raquel Lopez did an amazing job at orchestrating the camp activities and Heather Baltis helped to run it. A big thank you to our camp mentors: Jessie McCraw, Vanessa Mendoza, Kaitlyn McCoy, Jisel Silva Cornejo, Cristal Diaz, Jessie Oropeza, Dylan Klawitter, Zac Ojeda, Mario Solorio. They spent 24 hours a day with our campers. Many were past Renegades and were an inspiration for our campers.  Thank you Youth 2 Leaders for your help in coordinating our mentors and keeping our campers hydrated. Thank you CSUB for housing our campers in your dorms and providing us with fun evening activities.  And thank you Heather Baltis, faculty member in the Ag department, for being the lead for this year’s Ag Academy.

Manny De Los Santos put together a great video, check it out here. Our next generation of agricultural leaders are bright, talented and full of new ideas!

Lynda Resnick Sonya Christian Jan 2015

I want to also take a moment to recognize Lynda Resnick the creator of the Wonderful Academy.  She has invested a lot in promoting education in rural communities.  The work in Los Hills had David Brooks of the NYTimes writing a piece on the incredible work that Resnick has been doing in Lost Hills.  Here is a quote:

“In Lost Hills there are new health centers, new pre-K facilities, new housing projects, new gardens, new sidewalks and lights, a new community center and a new soccer field. Through the day, people have more places to meet, play and cooperate with their neighbors.”

Lynda has also been a great friend of Bakersfield College.  Thank you Lynda Resnick for your commitment to the Central Valley

Check out my May 21, 2016 blog post that includes the Lost Hills article.
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/05/21/so-much-diversity-and-we-are-bc/

Culinary Arts Academy

With the support of BC Delano Auxiliary Foundation, Bakersfield College was able to partner with Delano Joint Union High School District and Delano Union Elementary School District to run a Culinary Arts Academy. Eleven incoming 8th-grade students from various Delano area middle schools took part in the pilot program. The program was designed to create a pathway in culinary arts starting in middle school. This is all part of KCCD’s K-14 Pathways initiative to develop and promote career pathways.

Cesar E. Chavez High School home economics instructor, Jill Pickett, developed a four-day curriculum to teach students the basics of safety, cooking, and etiquette. Mrs. Pickett had the support of three amazing student leaders, including two Bakersfield College-Delano students (Karla Gonzalez and Dalila Rodriguez).

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Each day the students learned how to prepare a hearty meal from scratch, which they would ultimately eat as their own lunch. One of the highlights of the program was when our very own Chef Eric Sabella and his wife, Chef Lupe Sabella (Executive Chef at Kern Medical), stopped by to speak to the students about their experiences in the culinary arts field. The students truly enjoyed learning about their journeys in the field. I’m so very thankful that Chefs Eric and Lupe took the time out of their busy day to meet with the students.

Culinary ARts (2)

The program concluded on Friday, June 30th. The students were treated to a nice lunch at Perko’s Café in Delano where they were given a tour of the kitchen facilities from the owner himself. He also shared his experience in the restaurant industry with the students. The academy was a great success, and showed a great pathway partnership between two secondary school districts and a community college. We hope to expand this enrichment opportunity in 2018.

 

BC Golden Empire Drum Corps

Congratulations to the Drum Corps!! This past weekend, the BC Golden Empire Drum Corps had back-to-back competitions at the Rose Bowl (Pasadena) and Riverside Community College. Under Tim Heasley’s leadership and instruction, I’m pleased to announce that our students won the Open Class division at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, and placed 2nd at their competition in Riverside (Sunday). The Drum Corps heads up the coast to Oregon and Washington this week for more competitions. Our music pageantry programs have flourished significantly in the last several years as a result of Tim’s investment of time and endless energy. The future for music pageantry at BC is bright and strong. You can view some recent pictures of our Corps on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/gedrumcorps/

Instagram

Then on Thursday, I received a photo from Maribeth Heasley with the following email:

“Thought you might like to see this beautiful shot of the Bakersfield College Golden Empire Drum&Bugle Corp as they caravan to the Northwest.  The corps (100 students plus instructors, and about 15 volunteers) spent the night, ate and practiced, all in the shadow of Mt Shasta at the College of the Siskiyous. Now they will continue North, performing in Portland, Seattle and Tri Cities WA, before heading home next week.  Having done volunteer work with these students, I know they are wonderful kids, and great ambassadors of BC!”

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What an incredible and beautiful photo!!

And I snapped this picture July 4th morning when Tim Heasley appeared on KGET with Jason Galvin.

July 4 2017 Tim Heasley on KGET.JPG

Jason Galvin, Tim Heasley

 

Into The Woods Opening Weekend

“Into the Woods” had its premier show last night and will have 3 more performances tonight, and July 14th and 15th. The Bakersfield Californian showcased an article highlighting the passion and dedication that goes into making these performances great.  The article says,

The Bakersfield College production has involved a large number of faculty: In addition to Jennifer Garrett and Sivesind, instrumental music professor Kathryn Kuby will conduct an 18-piece pit orchestra of students, community members and also music professors Robert Martinez and Marcia Maynard and staff accompanists Patrick Bender and Marla Hansen. Voice instructors Ken Burdick and Cayley Mayhall and BC English professor Andrew Bond are featured members of the cast. Theater staff Kevin Ganger and Leslie Aldridge are directing students in creating sets, lighting and costumes.

Thank you Susan Scaffidi for the great article.

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Turnipseed shaking things up

It really is wonderful living in a community of leaders who are on the move  Loved the Community Voices piece done by Michael Turnipseed recently in The Bakersfield Californian.  He talks about the importance of government agencies disrupting the status quo.  Here is the link to the full article.  http://tinyurl.com/y8sclc4a

Community Voices July 6 2017 County Government must disrupt status quo

 

Registration Rocks at Bakersfield College

College is an exciting and sometimes challenging time for new students – that’s why BC staff and faculty are dedicated to hosting events that support our students. Coming up this Tuesday, we’re hosting Registration Rocks from 8:00AM to 3:00PM. There will be an introduction to BC, campus tour, financial aid, assessment, counseling, help for enrollment, and assistance finding classes. Did I mention free food and prizes? Even though registration has already begun for Fall 2017, it’s possible to become a Renegade and leave this one-day express registration event as a student of Bakersfield College! You can be enrolled in classes after just one day! Want to attend? Sign up now!

Tweet of the Week

I loved this tweet from Science Faculty, Joe Saldivar and the short video he posted too. Check it out on Youtube.

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Wonder Woman

If you have not seen Wonder Woman yet, cancel all plans for this weekend and make time for the movie.  It has been out since June 2nd…..come now.  It is a must see.

Check out the trailer

I am an avid reader of reviews from the NYTimes.  Here is what A.O.Scott has to say.

Excerpt 1:

Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins from a script by Allan Heinberg, briskly shakes off blockbuster branding imperatives and allows itself to be something relatively rare in the modern superhero cosmos.  It feels like yet another installment in an endless sequence of apocalyptic merchandising opportunities than like ……what’s the word I’m looking for? A movie. A pretty good one, too.

Excerpt 2:

Wonder Woman, though, resists the reflexive power-worship that drags so many superhero movies – from the Marvel as well as the DC universe – into the mire of pseudo-Nietzschean adolescent posturing.  Unlike most of her male counterparts, its heroine is not trying to exorcise inner demons or work out messiah issues.  She wants to function freely in the world, to help out when needed and to be respected for her abilities.  No wonder she encounters so much resistance.

For the full review:

Music by the Fountain at the Market Place

I love summers and the month of July since the administrative team goes mostly dark in July.  That is, no regularly scheduled meetings.  Other than wishing temperatures would be lower than 102 degrees, life in Bakersfield in July is just perfect.  This includes relaxing at the fountain by the Market Place on Thursday evenings listening to music.

 

What I missed this week

I bought tickets to join my daughter to watch Blondie and Garbage perform in Santa Barbara.  But because of the new addition to the family, Neo, I did not go.

Here is one of my favorite Blondie songs — Call me.

And my favorite Garbage song Crush featured in the Caprio/Danes version of Romeo and Juliet.

 

From Facebook: 

Summer Bridge photo posts:

July 7 2017 photo 1 Summer Bridge.png

 

July 7 2017 photo 2 Summer Bridge.png

 

Thank you Kimberly Bligh.

Kate Pluta posted this poem on grief which I thought I would share with you

Grief

by Gwen Flowers

Calla Lily June 4 2016I had my own notion of grief.
I thought it was the sad time
That followed the death of someone you love.
And you had to push through it
To get to the other side.
But I’m learning there is no other side.
There is no pushing through.
But rather,
There is absorption.
Adjustment.
Acceptance.
And grief is not something you complete,
But rather, you endure.
Grief is not a task to finish
And move on,
But an element of yourself-
An alteration of your being.
A new way of seeing.
A new definition of self.

Sonya Christian July 6 2017 at the Market Place

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

The Summer Heat is Here! Stay Cool!

 

Good morning Bakersfield…. it is Sunday June 25, 2017 …I enjoyed waking up in my bed at home this morning, taking Neo out and feeling the 72 degree temperatures at 3:30 a.m., loving life.  This week has been exhausting with a lot of travel…time on the road and time in planes.  Bakersfield – LAX – Portland, OR – Eugene, OR – back to Portland – then a red-eye to Ft. Lauderdale, FL – back to LAX – finally home sweet home.   During all my travels, I wore my Renegade t-shirts and sweatshirts.  Proud to be a Renegade!

Weather_WidgetAre you keeping track of our weather this past week? It’s undeniably hot in Bakersfield and the LA Times posted an article on Wednesday, “California sees some of the highest temperatures ever recorded amid heat wave.”

Did you know you can beat the heat at the BC pool? It’s open for public swim, water aerobics, swimming lessons, and family swim. For hours, details, and lesson schedules, visit the BC website! What are your favorite ways to escape the heat or stay cool?

Firefighter Graduation

Speaking of the heat… it’s fire season, so I’m proud to celebrate the recent Firefighter graduates!!

On June 14th, we celebrated the Olive Drive Fire Training Facility Graduation inside our indoor theater. The Olive Drive Fire Training Facility and its staff are dedicated to train the men and women in the Bakersfield community who have chosen the fire service as a career or voluntary service. The people graduating this year have made a commitment to protect the citizens of Bakersfield and Kern County from the ravages of fire and other life or property threatening emergencies.

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Firefighting is both an art and a science; to be successful requires education, experience, and motivation. This graduation marks the end of a twenty-five week basic fire academy and the beginning of a challenging and rewarding career; one which will require many more days of training in the field and in the classroom. Congratulations to all the graduates.

I can always count on BC’s Mary Jo Pasek to have great photos on her Facebook. The theater was packed!

https://www.facebook.com/mary.pasek/posts/10209594653483294

 Chancellor’s Cabinet

On Monday and Tuesday the senior level administrators across the Kern Community College District met at the Padre in retreat, to come together as a team and plan for the next year.  There are many new faces in senior leadership including the Chancellor, Tom Burke.

Tom Burke, Arlitha , Rosa Carlson

Tom Burke, Arlitha Harmon, Rosa Carlson

Nan and Bill Henry

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Bill Henry

It was a great opportunity to connect with our counterparts and colleagues from across this huge district. It was clear from the first day that we have a lot in common. Regardless of the role, from Vice President to Vice Chancellor, General Counsel, President and Chancellor, everyone is committed to serving students and to supporting them reaching their educational goals.

Chris Hine and Gary Moser

Chris Hine and Gary Moser

John Means, Jill Board, Eric Middkested

John Means, Jill Board, Eric Middlestead

Kern Community College District (KCCD) serves communities over a region of 24,800 square miles in parts of Kern, Tulare, Inyo, Mono, and San Bernardino counties through the programs of Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso College and Porterville College. Governed by a locally elected Board of Trustees, the district’s colleges offer programs and services that develop student potential and create opportunities for our citizens.

Cory Marvin and Don Chrusciel

Cory Marvin and Don Chrusciel

Lisa Couch Heather Ostrach

Lisa Couch, Heather Ostrach

KCCD is geographically one of the largest community college districts in the United States. Our students represent a diversity of religions, economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, abilities, and ethnicities.

While the Kern Community College District was established as a separate entity in 1968 to respond to the changing needs of our communities, educational services have been provided to residents for many years: at Bakersfield College since 1913; at Porterville College since 1927; and in the Ridgecrest area since 1951 by what is now Cerro Coso College. All three colleges are proud members of the California Community College System and are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Val Garcia and Debbie Martin

Val Garcia and Debbie Martin

 

Tonya and Zav

Tonya Davis, Zav Dadabhoy

Today, education centers and sites in Delano, downtown Bakersfield, the Mammoth/ Bishop area, Edwards Air Force, and the Kern River Valley offer additional convenient, localized instruction for thousands of residents. KCCD’s commitment to distance learning and other technological advances is creating increasing opportunities for education through the internet, satellite, and cable television to individuals across our broad service area and beyond.

Annual BCSGA President Brunch

I blogged about the SGA leadership in my last blog.  Here it is again.  I just love the photos.

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And I saw on Instagram that the leaders of BCSGA are settling in to their offices. I love how Dezi says, “yes Renegades, BCSGA is in office, need something? Let us know!”

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It’s Possible!

The Office of Outreach & School Relations hosted its first summer It’s Possible registration event on Tuesday. This is a reoccurring event for students to come to our campus and complete all enrollment steps in just one day. From application to registration, BC’s incredible staff from various departments on campus collaborated in making this event happen for our community. The summer heat was no barrier for students pursuing their educational goals as 116 students participated in the event, with approximately 75% of those being new students.

Its Possible3A special thanks to the Events Scheduling team, Maintenance and Operations, Food Services, The Office Student Success & Equity, Counseling staff, Admissions & Records, EOPS/Cal SOAP, and Office of Student Life!

The week of travels

The most interesting part of my travels this week was the changing temperatures and the time of sunrise and sunset.  Check it out–

Portland at 45 degrees latitude North (sunrise 5:24 a.m.; sunset 9:04 p.m.; low temp 59 degrees; high temp 75 degrees)

Bakersfield at 35 degrees latitude North (sunrise 5:43 a.m.; sunset 8:43 p.m; low temp 72 degrees; high temp 105 degrees)

Fort Lauderdale at 26 degrees latitude North (sunrise 6:30 a.m.; sunset 8:16 p.m.; low temp 80 degrees; high temp 84 degrees)

Oregon

Given the temperatures in Oregon, you can see why I needed my sweatshirt for part of the day.

During my one day in Eugene, I connected with my buddy Ken Murdoff and his chocolate-colored Lab Woody.

Check out Woody swimming last year in my July 3, 2016 blog at
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/07/03/daily-inspiration-from-all-things-bc/

Woody is the best natured dog ever.  Talking about Woody — my inspiration for getting Neo — let me give you my weekly Neo update.

I felt like I left a puppy to start my travels and got back to find a dog.  At 10 weeks he was 19 lbs; now at about 13 weeks he weighs in at 30 lbs.

June 25 2017 Sonya and Neo

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Neo on June 25, 2017 at 30 lbs

Neo discovering stairs

 

Florida

The AACC Pathways Institute #5 was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Hard to imagine we have just one more institute to go and then we are done with the program.  BC was one of the 30 colleges selected to be part of the 3-year Guided Pathways cohort.  Great work with great colleagues.  We had a 6-member BC team attend: Lesley Bonds, Director of Student Success and Equity; Cindy Collier, Dean of CTE and Allied Health; Grace Commiso, Dean of Counseling and Student Success; Craig Hayward, Institutional Researcher; Mark Osea, Faculty Chair of Counseling; and Steve Watkin, Director of Outreach.  Here are some photos from Florida.

BC Team at Ft. Lauderdale June 23 2017.JPG

Mark Osea, Grace Commiso, Cindy Collier, Sonya Christian, Lesley Bonds, Craig Hayward, Steve Watkin

 

Team at dinner on June 22, 2017

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Grace Commiso and Lesley Bonds are two of the leads for our Guided Pathways work at Bakersfield College.  Talented, smart, dedicated, and beautiful.  I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

Grace Commiso Lesley Bonds June 23 2017

Grace Commiso, Lesley Bonds

Sonya Christian, Grace Commiso, Craig Hayward, Lesley Bonds at dinner right by the Ocean.  Fun conversation that ranged from work and data (what do you get when you have Craig Hayward at dinner with you) to dogs and movies.

BC Team at dinner June 23 2017

Sonya Christian, Grace Commiso, Craig Hayward, Lesley Bonds

Here is Bilbo the 5-lb yorkie who apparently makes the move shown in the picture when he wants Craig to scratch his belly.

Bilbo the Yorkie 5 lbs

Here is Rocky at 3 months with Joey Commiso

Rocky at 3 months with Joey Commiso

And here is Blue, the only Australian Shepherd that I know with an instagram account

Blue

 

 

We also talked about movies and so here is Misty Mountain Cold from the Hobbit.

Wish I had snapped a picture of the group with the Atlantic behind us.  Oh well….  Instead, here is a picture from Cindy Collier’s room on Facebook.

Sunrise from Cindy Collier's Facebook

 

An interesting tidbit:

When landing in LAX from Portland the captain announced that the largest passenger aircraft ever made was on the runway about to take off.  So the passengers were all peering out of their windows in awe as they watched.

Here is a youtube clip of this double-decker taking off

and landing

From wikipedia:

The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by European manufacturer AirbusIt is the world’s largest passenger airliner, and the airports at which it operates have upgraded facilities to accommodate it. It was initially named Airbus A3XX and designed to challenge Boeing‘s monopoly in the large-aircraft market. The A380 made its first flight on 27 April 2005 and entered commercial service on 25 October 2007 with Singapore Airlines. An improved version, the A380plus, is under development.

Ken Burdick

My friend Arlene Braganza texted me photos of Ken Burdick as Jesus Christ in Jesus Christ Superstar last night at Ovation Theatre. It looks like a brilliant show and I’m always proud to see the talent of BC’s chamber singers. For show photos and to see the cast, visit https://theovationtheatre.com/jesus-christ-superstar/

Griffith Field

Have you seen that Bakersfield High School’s historic Griffith Field is set to finish its renovations shortly? After seeing this news on Kern Radio, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the BC’s tradition of excellence at Griffith, where it all started and where we hosted all of our home football games from the stadium’s opening in 1923 until moving to our campus on the hill in the 1950s.

The Renegade football team had been dominant even before the campus moved to Panorama, winning a national championship in 1953 and selling out Griffith Field. Because of this, the development of Memorial Stadium and the Panorama campus was needed to meet the needs of the community. This story can be seen in an article in the April 2006 Bakersfield College Archives Newsletter.

District Superintendent Ralph Prator even appointed BHS Athletic Director J.B. “Cap” Haralson to coordinate the construction of Memorial Stadium, which hosted 16,500 people for the Renegades’ first home game against Pasadena City College, the largest crowd to ever watch a junior college game at that time. Griffith Field was part of the legacies of legends like NFL Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, who played for BC and BHS in the 1940s, and “Jack” Frost, BC head football coach from 1934 to 1952 whose name lives on in the Jack Frost Football League for young athletes in Kern County.

As this stadium remodeling turns the page to a new chapter in Drillers’ history, Griffith Field will always remain at the heart of Renegade history.

 BCFootball1949

Student Services at BC!

In last weeks blog, I highlighted various academic support services available during the summer semester and it was great to hear from

lawrence-salcido_-pic5Lawrence Salcido, Jr in the comments. Lawrence is an active member of BC’s Student Government, peer tutor, and he mentioned that in addition to the services I mentioned, the library is a great source of help for students with knowledgeable staff and workshops too! It’s true. BC is an incredible place of learning, support, hope, and education.

Speaking of support and hope, have you heard of BC’s EOP&S Department? The Extended Opportunity Programs and Services is a state-funded support program designed to provide academic support, financial assistance and encouragement for eligible, financially disadvantaged, and academically underprepared students. The goal is to help eligible students meet their educational objectives, whether they seek occupational certificates, associate degrees, or transfer to four-year institutions.

Students that participate in EOP&S receive the personalized support from registration to tutoring, and counseling and services, such as book vouchers, grants, and university campus tours. The EOP&S Office is located in the Student Services Building, Second Floor (Adjacent to the Financial Aid Office). To contact them by phone, call (661) 395-4351 or visit the website at www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/student/eops/eops It’s important that students are aware and take full advantage of all the services that BC has to offer.

And students, it’s vital that you allow BC’s team to work for you and enable you to put your mind towards the things that matter most, your education!

BC at the Online Teaching Conference with Eloy Oakley

I loved this picture of Chancellor Eloy Oakley with BC’s Bill Moseley and Matt Jones at the 2017 Online Teaching Conference in Anaheim, CA. The official website explains, “The Online Teaching Conference, which began over 15 years ago, is an event for faculty, staff and administrators who are engaged or interested in online education, including delivery of online services, emerging technologies, student success, library and technical support. In addition to learning, this conference is a great opportunity for educators to spend two or three days with colleagues, share knowledge, impart and receive best practices, and learn from other’s experiences.”

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Matt JOnes, Eloy Oakley, Bill Moseley

Summer Bridge video by Theresa McAllister

Sonya Christian 2 cropped June 21 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Week One of the Summer Semester!

Lily June 16 2017

Calla Lily. June 17 2017

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, June 17, 2017 and a wonderful day to be a Renegade.

Here’s this year’s garden Calla Lily for you.

You can see last year’s on my June 4, 2016 blog post: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/06/04/a-community-together/ .

A typical summer week at Bakersfield College — several department retreats where employees get to evaluate last year and then plan for 2017-2018, BC’s incredible Summer Bridge program, and then an underground line from our chiller tanks broke causing the air conditioning to go out.

We had several events planned on campus including Summer Bridge for High School students entering as freshman in Fall 2017 and a high school basketball camp that is hosted by Coach Rich Hughes.  Imaging 200 high school students playing basketball in our gym with no air conditioning and the  temperature forecast to spike to 100 degrees.  Our BC facilities and maintenance group went into action immediately, with alternate plans getting large coolers in the gym so that the event could continue without disruption.

Here is a picture Kimberly Bligh snapped of the Summer Bridge event as they dealt with changes in their plans with the air conditioning down and the high expected to be 96 degrees.

June 16 2017 Summer Bridge

And then our Athletics Director Sandi Taylor, who was worried about the heat in the gym sent me this photo

2017 Summer High School Showcase June 16 2017

This is the email I received from Bill Potter.  BC’s M&O staff rock!  Do you see why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever…

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Bill Potter

We have been able to isolate the broken water line to only 4 buildings on campus. We are still working to uncover the lines and see the extent of the damage before we can determine how long the repair will take.  Until the repairs can be made these buildings will not have Air Conditioning.

  1. Business Services/Bookstore
  2. LA Building
  3. Forums
  4. Gymnasium
  • Air Conditioning is being restored to the remainder of the campus and all scheduled activities will not be affected.
  • We rented 4 portable swamp coolers and paced them in the Gym for the Basketball Tournament. Coach Hughes has been informed throughout the entire process.
  • I will send another update when we have a timeline for repairs. Our plumbing contractor has assured us they can stay onsite until repairs can be made.  We will do our best to get it restored over the weekend so we can resume Monday morning as normal.

The following team members played an important role in keeping us going today:

Bill Garrett, Landon Webb, Tim Hernandez, Aaron Kidwell, Martin Ramirez, Dennis Spencer, Frank Tinoco, Gilbert Merjil, Jason Brown, David Branson, Dalia Garcia

The rest of the M&O team picked up the slack and kept the campus functioning and other project going.

It was a great team effort.

I love this picture with Charlie, Bill Potter’s son (see below).  This is how we roll at BC.  I remember for Measure J, employees brought out their families to 1675 Chester, our campaign headquarters, to help with phone banking, precinct walking and all other campaign chores. A whole family endeavor.  #WeAreBC!

Thank you to the plumbers from J Noble Binns to helping us fix this major issue that resulted in us shutting down the air conditioning system

So thank you for passing Measure J.  
BC absolutely needs to upgrade its 60-year-old facilities and infrastructure.

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Neo

Neo June 15 2017 at 8 30 pm

Sonya Christian and Neo June 10 2017

 

I continue to be distracted by Neo’s new mannerisms and pranks. He is sweet, smart and learning fast, but he can be fierce with toys and petunias… In three weeks, he has gone from 10 lbs to 24 lbs.  You see him here being sweet while he plays with me and then his stubborn streak sets in when I am attempting to get his attention at 8:30 p.m. to come in and he just sits by the pool and calmly looks at me without budging an inch.  But I must confess that the Golden Retriever sweetness emerges again and he relents and comes in.

The only reason friends now ping me is to discuss the latest and greatest with Neo.  Here is a sample.

Set 1:

Friend: Were you up at 5:00 a.m. to let Neo out for a potty break.

Me: Lol. That was at 3:20 a.m.

Friend: You need a doggy door.

Set 2:

Friend: Is it true that you have to chase Neo around in the wee hours of the morning in damp grass to get back inside the house after he goes potty outside?

Me: emoji of laughter with tears

Friend: And isn’t it true that he will sit and wait for you to get near him, and after  you give chase, just to get up and run away again….and he will do this repeatedly?

 

Enough about Neo.

BC produces leaders

What a powerful picture of leadership!

BCSGA Presidents with Nicky Damania June 16 2017

President Matthew Frazer, President Dezi Von Manos, President Alex Dominguez, President Clayton Fowler, Dr. Nicky Damania

Loved receiving this photo from Dr. Nicky Damania who hosts an annual dinner which he cooks at his house with all the previous presidents of the Bakersfield College Student Government Association (BCSGA).

 

The group met and reminisced about their years while giving advice to the incoming president.

President Alex Dominguez, 2014-15, is going to the University of Mississippi for law school.

President Clayton Fowler, 2015-2016, will finish his Political Science and Public Service degrees is at UC Davis.

President Matthew Frazer, 2016-17 will be starting at CSUB in Political Science.

President Dezi Von Manos, 2017-18, is working on a double degree in Criminal Justice and Communication.

And Dr. Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life, is starting his fourth year at Bakersfield College and is excited for the next year of student leaders

Start of Summer School

On Monday morning, campus felt alive with energy. Students filled the halls in preparation for the first day of summer class and the Welcome Center was full of student activities. The first day of class is always exciting because it marks another new step in the educational journey towards completion. The week, however, was just as exciting for faculty who welcomed new students into their classes and for BC’s Administration, who came together to plan, strategize, and work on the future of BC and student success.

It’s always great to see students on campus and I loved this photo on Instagram!

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Admin Council Retreat

The Admin Council at BC is BC’s entire management team. Administrative Council is a forum for communication on issues and trends affecting Bakersfield College, and communicates directly with the president. Each summer, we gather for retreats which help us recap our accomplishments so far, but more importantly work on our plans for moving the college forward.

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Earl Parsons and Manny De Los Santos took the group photos and luckily the weather on Tuesday was not too hot to be outside. Group photography always presents a unique set of challenges, but I think the photo turned out great. Earl later said in an email, “it’s an honor that I am trusted to capture all kinds of important moments for such a historic and life-changing institution as Bakersfield College.”  What a great team of people we have at BC! Can you see why I’m the happiest and luckiest college president ever?

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Sonya Christian addressing the management team

When I walked in the second day of the retreat, there was our new manager Zach Quiroz tapping the ivories on the piano.  Just beautiful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was great panel discussion that left the group with practical take-aways and tools they can use to manage their roles while also creating urgency to implement and improve strategies that work.

Lesley Bonds moderated a fantastic panel which included Tom Gelder on strategic thinking and clarity on priorities, Jennifer Aachan on action orientated communication, Shanell Tyus on clarity in decision making, and Alyse Braaten on starting on the right path and communication.

Team 2

Alyse Braaten, Shanell Tyus, Tom Gelder, Lesley Bonds

They shared “8 Things Really Efficient People Do” which is an article by @KevinJDaum. The author points out that focus is vital in his first point that suggests we should stop multitasking. The article goes on to discuss proper planning, appropriate communication, and delegating items that others can do better than we can, especially given our workload. It was a beneficial discussion as we all have the goal to be able to achieve our objectives in record time at BC.

Jennifer Marden, Liz Rozell, and Eric Sabella led a session on recognizing stressors in our lives in order to cope with them,  staying well.  Both Liz Rozell and Eric Sabella did a deep dive when they presented their personal stories, the stressors in their lives and how they cope.  They were open in their descriptions, smart in their thinking and sensitive in their delivery.  Have I told you recently that I am the luckiest and happiest college president…..I get to work with these amazing individuals every day.

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Here is an excerpt from Jennfier Marden’s opening comments:

As the spring semester came to a close, Sonya and I started talking about the various retreats.  Of course at that time there was a lot of energy at BC centered around the Leadership Matters Summit: Reimagining Leadership to Sustain Transformative Change to Advance Student Success & Equity.  The website describes the summit as “three sessions immersed in the theory and practice of change, how to navigate change, how to lead change, how to deal with the friction points, conflicts that arise due to change and above all how to sustain change.”

Sonya and I talked about the amount of change the college is undergoing—from Curriculum to Facilities.  In particular, those of us in this room, the 65 people that comprise the management team of BC, have experienced a substantial amount of change this past academic year.

This seems like a good time to pause and to celebrate the resiliency of the Bakersfield College management team in accomplishing so many things 2016-17!!

From this conversation, and true to form, Sonya asked me to get a team together to facilitate this discussion.  The Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory that we all completed will frame this session, “Wellness Strategies by Being Aware of Stressors in Our Lives”

Change is inevitable and change isn’t always negative.  Often change is a positive experience… buying a new house, welcoming a new baby to the family, a promotion—all examples of positive change.  But regardless of this, change causes stress… increased responsibility, sleepless nights, and unfamiliar territory.

It is how we manage the stress of change in our lives that is important as this has a direct impact to our overall well-being. If our wellness is compromised, will are not able to give our best to our work or our loved ones.

So in the next 28 minutes, Liz, Eric and I will each share thoughts about our personal results from the stress inventory, and Liz will give us a 50,000ft level look at our group scores.  Be thinking about…  How you navigate change, lead others through change, deal with the friction points and conflicts that arise due to change, and above all… how do you sustain change?  Eric will be asking five of you to share your personal reflections. (373 words)

Bill Moseley, Ramon Puga and Imelda Valdez led a session focused on how to stay organized in moving large quantities of work with quality. Ramon shared with the management team that in his line was work, his goal every morning is to come to work and expect the unexpected.  He also talked about how he has been attempting to delegate more.  Imelda, one of our new managers talked about the power of planning.  She is the Director of our EOP&S program and is right now planning the retreat with her team.  I was really impressed with her clarity and focus.  Bill discussed the tech tools he uses to maximize productivity and keep the work moving.  He reviewed his own strategy, which involves dividing his time into three areas; triage, light work, and deep work.  In triage, the work is focused on guiding input, responding to emails, and completing tasks that can be done in under two minutes.  Triage can be done almost anywhere, and isn’t vulnerable to distraction.  Light work consists of planning, reviewing, researching, and organizing.  This can be done in a mildly distracting environment and is perfect for “open door” times in the office.  Deep work takes uninterrupted time and deep concentration.  Bill described creating his environment for deep work as, “door closed, email turned off, and music with no words playing in the background.  By using these three phases of work, anyone can take control of their inputs and outputs, and increase their productivity.

Janet Fulks and Craig Hayward did a great presentation about BC’s students.  Through data, video and story telling the two of them grounded the discussions on the “why” our work matters…..Our students.  and how education transforms lives.

Here are a few highlights from the powerpoint that Janet and Craig used for their presentation.

Pie Chart Student Demographics June 14 2017

When you think about the “needs” of the BC students think about their background

  • Proportion on Financial Aid 69.6%   (that’s 19,228 students)
  • Proportion First Gen 53.9% (that’s 14,891 students)

This picture captures the need being right now!

Need circle

Here is a powerful bar graph that shows increase in wages with specific skill building cluster classes.  Check out Automotive Technology.

Wage Growth related to Skills Builder

Grace Commiso did brief presentations on both days about how BC is developing 18 completion coaching communities among faculty and staff to coach students through their 15-credits in their first semester and successfully completing their English and math requirements in the first year.  The 18 completion coaching communities are comprised of 10 metamajors and 8 affinity groups.

On Wednesday morning, the team was back at it and Dena Rhoades snapped photos of the beautiful breakfast that fueled us through the morning. Thank you chef Eric Sabella and BC Food Services.

AdminCouncil_Breakfast

I loved this tweet from Nicky Damania:

Executive Office Photo

Executive Office - Getting Set-1

The Executive Office is comprised of the President, the three Vice Presidents and the staff.  Here is the team.  and thank you John Farrand for this fun photo.  We retreated for half a day on Thursday.  Thank you Chris Glaser, Somaly Boles, June Charles, Tracy Hall and Jennifer Marden for organizing the different sessions for the retreat.

 

Saluting Keith Wolaridge

Keith WoolaridgeOn Monday, Tom Gelder met with Keith Wolaridge to present him his plaque from Sterling Silver at Uricchio’s Trattoria. Passing a bond initiative is like raising a child…it takes a village. Keith is one of those people who did whatever was needed to get the word out, to ask for the right endorsements, to write the opinion pieces, to make the phone calls, to bolster people’s spirits. Thank you Keith!

To check out all the recipients of awards at Sterling Silver, check out my blog post: Moments that make up Life.

IT’S POSSIBLE

The Outreach team at BC is gearing up for one of the best express enrollment events yet. Coming up on June 20th, anyone and everyone is invited to attend IT’S POSSIBLE – a one-day express event starting at 8:00AM that will help future and current students, no matter where they are in the enrollment or registration process so they can leave with their class schedule in hand, knowing exactly what classes they’ll be attending in Fall. Thank you to everyone on campus who is preparing for this fantastic day!

Check out the event on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1941376366135105  or RSVP on the website at: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/itspossible

Its Possible

Come out for the Air Force Band

Exciting things are coming to the campus on the hill. On June 28th, at 7:00PM, the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West will perform a free concert at the Simonsen Outdoor Theater at our beautiful campus. This is FREE to the public so I hope you’ll gather your friends and family and visit the campus to enjoy the music.

The United States Air Force Band of the Golden West is stationed in the San Francisco Bay area at Travis Air Force Base and their goal is to foster positive, long lasting impressions of the Air Force and the United States of America using the power of music. They are headed to the Hollywood Bowl and will perform the entire set for everyone at BC. Let’s show them the warmest Bakersfield welcome by packing the theater. See you there!

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Recycling Event at BC

Bakersfield College is partnering with Happy Recyclers to help our community dispose of any unwanted electronics the right way.

Last year, over 500 people participated, giving away over one million pounds of electronics to be efficiently recycled instead of ending up in a landfill. This year, our event will even accept those heavy outdated televisions, which many recyclers aren’t able to process.

BC cares for our surrounding neighborhoods and the ecological well-being of our planet, so come out for an opportunity to clear out your electronic clutter and help the environment on June 24th and 25th from 8:00AM to 5:00PM.

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Student Success During the Summer

Along with eager-to-learn students on campus, our student services have also reopened their doors for the summer! Staff and faculty at BC encourage all students to take advantage of the everything BC has to offer to ensure that all students will succeed with the tools and help they need!

 

This Summer, there is an array of services provided that can help all students achieve their academic goals. Located in the Student Services Center Building, there is an abundance of free academic help. I’d like to spotlight a few:

  • ItsPOSSIBLE_3Dec16-12There is the Math lab where students are able to work on online math classes, get math help for on-campus classes, and even the Extend The Classroom for Math B72.
  • The Writing Center is a gem, where students can make an appointment and speak to an extremely knowledgeable and supportive coach who will guide students through the entire process of writing a solid paper. Amber Smithson, a BC student, offered a great tip. She said, “make sure to take in your assignment sheet, so you can go through each step for you to obtain the best grade!”
  • The Tutoring center is also located upstairs overlooking the math and writing labs. That’s where students can obtain free peer tutoring in 50-minute sessions for most courses and 15-minute drop-in sessions for English and Math only. These peer tutors are amazing because they’re students who have taken these classes and they’re knowledgeable on the material, but they can also relate to the student needing help.  The tutors not only have a passion for learning, but also for teaching and sharing that knowledge with their fellow students. All of these services are offered throughout the Summer and start right away. During the Fall session, they start a week into the semester.

The staff and faculty care so much about student success…

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Superheroes behind the Scenes

David WhalenLike I mentioned earlier, the faculty at BC ALWAYS have student success in their heart and on their mind. When a physics class was left without a professor due to an emergency, Dr. David Whalen stepped in to save the semester. It’s incredible that he has volunteered to change his summer and vacation plans to put BC students first.  Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president?

Jonathan Schultz introduces us to Prof. Joe Saldivar

Sonya Christian Manhatten Beach day before CA Guided Pathways Advisory Committee

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever