Tag Archives: Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce

Beautiful Bakersfield. Beautiful BC.

Halloween morning at 6:00 a.m. check out the Blue Moon

Happy Halloween, Renegades!

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 31, 2020, a Blue Moon Halloween … and a great day to be a Renegade.

Chancellor Oakley & CCC Board of Governors Visit Bakersfield College

On Monday, Chancellor Eloy Oakley, senior administrators from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, and members of the Board of Governors made a virtual visit to BC to meet with students, faculty, staff, and members of the community.

Chancellor Oakley, Chancellor Burke, President Christian

The event started with an internal meeting highlighting BC students in Umoja, MESA, Early College, and more. Visit the CCCCO Virtual Listening Tour page for more details about the Chancellor’s Office meeting.

The Chancellor’s Office concluded their visit with a virtual town hall. Chancellor Oakley shared about his office’s Vision for Success, outlining goals to help us hold ourselves accountable for student performance. Chancellor Oakley answered questions about adult education, his personal history as an administrator at Long Beach City College, technology infrastructure at community colleges, and more.

He then presented BC with a Certificate of Recognition and a $5000 donation to the food pantry.

I enjoyed seeing Eloy’s tweet after this event:

Finish Line Scholars

Before Chancellor Oakley’s visit, the Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges announced that BC was one of the recipients of the Finish Line Scholars fund, a $100 million pledge distributed to 34 community colleges over 20 years. The Finish Line Scholars program provides scholarships to students who are halfway through their education plan of completing a degree or transferring to a 4-year university. Funding for the program was provided through a gift from the Jay Pritzker Foundation.

Beautiful Bakersfield Awards

Last Saturday night, the Greater Bakersfield Chamber announced the winners of the 3oth Annual Beautiful Bakersfield Awards.

Congressman William M. Thomas received the Harvey L. Hall Lifetime Achievement award.

William M. Thoams

While William M. Thomas is known nationally for having spent 14 terms in D.C. from 1979 to 2007, and as Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee in his final 6 years before retirement. Those of us in Bakersfield know Bill for the ways he has fundamentally changed the landscape of the city we call home.

His life’s work – tending to the daily details of navigating the intricacies of sometimes very obscure legislative matters – has been regularly punctuated by major wins in service to the community. Consistently ranked among the brainiest in Washington, Thomas strategically used his influence to improve the lives of the residents of Bakersfield.  As one drives the streets of Bakersfield, walks the Bakersfield College campus, or flies into Bakersfield Airport, it is impossible to miss his contributions.

Bill Thomas, Sharon Thomas

Through his coalition-building skills Congressman Thomas secured nearly a billion dollars in congressional funds for Bakersfield:

  • Successfully earmarking $722 million in federal transportation funding for Kern County roads, single-handedly connecting the I5 to the Sierras, and opening access to education and employment for some of the region’s most isolated communities
  • Garnering $40 million in congressional funding for the Valley Fever Vaccine Project
  • Obtaining $14.7 million for improvements to Bakersfield’s Meadows Field Airport

Yet, his service to the community didn’t end upon retirement.  In 2016, he joined the Kern Community College District Board of Trustees. During his tenure, the district secured half a billion-dollar bond measure to support facilities and infrastructure improvements for the next fifty years.  During his time as chair of the district’s Board Accreditation Committee, each of KCCD’s three colleges’ fully accredited status was reaffirmed.

Bill Thomas speaking

With these contributions, it is no surprise that as we fly into the William M. Thomas Terminal, we are greeted by a bust of a man who has done so much for this community. And while Bakersfield will forever associate “The Congressman” with Bill Thomas, we remember Bill first as a young Bakersfield College professor.  The first in his family to go to college, Bill paved the way for thousands of community college students, residents in our rural communities, and local leaders.

Congressman Thomas remains committed to Bakersfield’s residents, and only recently retired from public service as a KCCD Trustee. 

Other winners included:

CityServe, which won the Chairman’s Award. CityServe distributed goods through 109 chuches of all denominations to help 20,000 households, as well as distributing backpacks, sleeping bags and other goods to area homeless. CityServe is also partnering with Bakersfield College and County of Kern to provide job skills training to those who are living in our local shelters.

John P. Lake, who was named Business Person of the Year. JP created the Kern Venture Group, the first angel investor fund for local entrepreneurs. He is also one of the founders of the Kern Initiative for Talent and Entrepreneurship (KITE).

Give Big Kern – One Day to Celebrate the Giving Spirit of Kern County, which received the A Better Bakersfield award. In 2019, this event raised nearly $430,000 from 2,800 donors and secured more than 88,000 volunteer pledged hours for 114 participating charities.

You can view a list of all winners online.

Thank you Nick Ortiz and the Chamber for this fabulous event. A special shout out to Hillary Hanes – the lead staff for this event.

Padrinos de Bakersfield College

Abel Guzman shared an email this week announcing the relaunch of Padrinos de Bakersfield College:

“Padrinos was an initiative led by our now retired dean, Cornelio “Corny” Rodriguez for many years. Our hope is to honor his years of service by relaunching and continuing the group’s work.

This week, the group celebrated their relaunch by hosting a Dia de Los Muertos curbside pan dulce pick-up event on Friday.

Check out these photos from the event:

Corny Rodriguez
Olivia Garcia dressed up for the event

At the end of the last academic year, Corny won a lifetime achievement award. Check out these two videos.

Video Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I asked the Women’s History Month Faculty Leads and the BC Pre-Law Club to put together a tribute to the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that premiered on Thursday, October 29, live at 5:30 p.m on BC’s YouTube channel and Facebook live. The video features Kern County Superior Court Judges Robert Tafoya and Susan Gill, Commissioner Cynthia Loo,  and District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer.

Today, I am sharing my introduction from the tribute.

You can view the full 36 minute tribute video at https://youtu.be/yHWGakqaLZc. I will continue sharing pieces from this production in the coming weeks.

Thank you to Olivia Garcia, Maria Wright, Pearl Urena, Norma Rojas-Mora for their work in coordinating this tribute, and thank you to Valerie Urso and Manny de Los Santos for the video production and content editing.

The Effects of Colorism on Latina and Black Youth Panel

Bakersfield College’s Latinas Unidas and Latina Leaders of Kern County bring another discussion panel to discuss the sensitive topic of discrimination. According to the Pew Research Center, Latino and Black youth with darker skin tones are six times more likely to face discrimination due to the color of their skin. Panelists will speak about colorism in the Latinx and Black community. Register now for the panel taking place on Wednesday, 11/4/2020 – 5:30PM.

This is the third in the webinar series; webinars were also held on October 22 and October 29.

During the October 22 webinar, Sandy Woo-Cater, Co-director for the Kern Coalition Against Human Trafficking, shared some of her experiences with racism – particularly in a bi-racial relationship:

Registration for Spring 2021

Early Registration begins Wednesday November 4, 2020 for Spring 2021 classes! This semester has flown by, midterms are over, and it is time to start planning your Spring classes. Remember to complete your update form in order to get your Registration Date. If you have any questions or problems, visit the Student Information Desk Monday – Thursday 9AM – 6PM. Looking forward to the Spring!

November is Veterans Month

November 11 is the Veterans Day holiday to honor those who have served our country both in war and peace. At BC, we celebrate and honor our veteran students for the whole month. This year, celebrations include the Distinguished Speaker David French, the invitation-only 30 Unit Coining Ceremony & Touch Point and the Success Pack distribution. Get details on the BC website at Veterans Month.

Last year in November we celebrated the month with the opening of the VRC. See other highlights of our celebration in my November 10, 2019 blog. Here are a few pictures from previous events:

  • A garden of American flags in the grass.

Art on PBS

BC Art Adjunct Faculty Diego Gutierrez Monterubio was featured on Valley PBS this week with a 5-minute film “Pintor Diego.” The film, along with 9 other local films, was part of this year’s #TheBigTell.

Thank you Diego Gutiérrez Monterrubio for sharing your story with the Central Valley.

You can check out the film online.

#ABetterBC Update

Chemistry professor Deb Rosenthal sent me this photo of construction of sthe new Science building. Even while we are not able to be on campus, work continues to create #ABetterBC.

Archives Throwback

“Dasein”, a poem by Jim Lynn (1971)

The following poem by Jim Lynn was published in the May 26, 1971 edition of the Renegade Rip. Loosely translated from German, the word “dasein” equates to the English word “existence” and was a frequent expression used by the philosopher Martin Heidegger.

Dasein

Yonder, in the Panhandle,
My thoughts are hiding
Until after the sun
Has paled the horizon
Then shall we meet
In mortal union
Within corpse of lilac corpse
And pass the image of a friend.
The basking tombstone.
We shall nurse the choking
Of a Sophist pond
But we know she cannot smile,
For the clandestine curse
Of time, in stealthy stalking,
Muses our isolation.
And after the variegate cliffs
Are clothed in peignoir
Of twilight shadow
We shall wait for
Soliloquies of crickets
To die in solitude,
Leaving us alone
With the pond,
Wherein we weep
For the passing
Of Spring

– Jim Lynn

Spotted on Social Media

Anthropology Professor Krista Moreland shared these photos of her cat, Pepper:

Maria Wright, Director of Student Support Services, shared a picture of her son getting into the Halloween spirit:

Athletics

New Renegade Themed Zoom Backdrops Are Here

Step-up your Zoom game on your next video conference call with these official Renegade themed backgrounds! Right-click each image to save the background.

Click Here to learn how to use custom backgrounds on Zoom.

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

Hello Summer and Summer Bridge Students!

Neo June 3 2017Good morning Bakersfield…. It is Saturday, June 10th and a great day to be a Renegade.

I spent a significant part of this week at the accreditation commission meeting in San Jose.  The accreditation peer review process for quality assurance is truly remarkable and I am so glad the United States still upholds this process.

I missed Neo who seemed much bigger when I got back home.  In the three weeks I’ve had him he went from being 10 lbs to 19 lbs.  Growing up fast and you can see it in his paws.

The drive back from San Jose was a bear with accidents on both 101 south as well as on the Pacheco pass….. It was quite the drive and my phone died and I did not have a charger handy, and I was tired….. It was a good thing that I got a book on tape, something I don’t usually do.  I got it from amazon.com, and no it was not a drone delivery three hours after I placed the order.

The book titled “The Life We Bury” was listed as a bestseller in the New York Times list.  I started listening to the book on my drive to and from Mammoth last week.  But the numerous conf calls resulted in me not making much progress.  But coming back from San Jose, without my phone, I got through much more, though not quite all yet.

Kimberly Bligh has been busy this summer, scaling up summer bridge for our incoming students and engaging faculty across campus to come spend a day with the incoming freshman during their orientation.

Dr. Matt Garrett’s post on Facebook and his response to Olivia Garcia says it all

Matt Garrett Summer Bridge June 2017.png

Summer Bridge is a one-day seminar for new students. It increases success and retention for all new freshmen by giving them the tools and resources they need to succeed. Each morning begins with faculty on hand to greet the eager students and share with them their wealth of knowledge to help acclimate them on their new academic path.

18893471_1910811899141816_8985126000175844315_n

The students break out into smaller groups joining faculty members sprinkled throughout the room for networking and chatting. It’s here where their first friendships on campus are formed… together, they are on this journey, and it’s a time to ask questions and get  information for their classes, their major’s and also their first day concerns.

Students share their dreams, goals, and aspirations for their future, encouraged and cheered on by those faculty members brought together by Dr. Kimberly Bligh.

The students are also given a guided tour by faculty and student leaders who show them first-hand all of the various buildings located throughout campus. This is an amazing way for students to feel even more comfortable when they arrive on the first day of class, it enables them to focus more on their academics rather than worrying and searching aimlessly for their needed classes. Students are able to obtain their schedules and throughout the tour faculty and staff able answer any questions they may have. Students also learn a little background on BC, when it was founded and when the campus was moved up on the hill.But one of the greatest benefits for students who participate is what they learn about all of the wonderful services that BC has to offer.

The students were shown where the Veteran’s Lounge, Renegade Pantry, Renegade RIP, Student Health Services, Counseling Center, Writing Center, Math Center, Tutoring Center, Financial Aid, and Supplementary instruction centers were all located on campus.

IMG_5832All of these services and much more are there to help the students be as successful as they can be – providing them the tools they need to achieve their goals.

 

Eileen Pierce, Manager of Academic Support — Supplemental Instruction, shared how SI works and how it  benefits all the students who attend at least five to six sessions per semester.

We are a family. We thrive and flourish together with the help of each other, because… We are BC!

Summer Bridge June 7 2017

 

 

See more photos and stay up to date with Summer Bridge on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/summerbridgeBC/

BC’s Inmate Scholars Program

The Inmate Scholars Program was nominated for the 2017 Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, Beautiful Bakersfield Awards.  Each year, the Chamber holds an annual gala to honor those connected to the community and to recognize the efforts to improve the quality of life in Bakersfield.

Aera won an award

Aera winning an award at Beautiful BAkersfield June 3 2017.png

Thank you Nick Ortiz and all at the Greater Bakersfield Chamber for bringing to us Beautiful Bakersfield

Nick Ortiz, Hillary Haenes Beautiful Bakersfield

Bakersfield College is honored to be recognized as a community leader.

Inmate Scholars, Bryan Hirayama, Chelsea Esquibias, Rich McCrow, Letty Garza, Doug Grimsley, Gerald Cantu, Kaitlin Hulsy, Isaias Hernandez

(from front, clockwise) Bryan Hirayama, Chelsea Esquibias, Rich McCrow, Letty Garza, Doug Grimsley, Gerald Cantu (behind placard), his wife,  Kaitlin Hulsy, Isaias Hernandez

The Central Valley has more than ten prisons and correctional facilities. Recidivism is high — of the incarcerated who are released, over 76% return to prison.  The Inmate Scholars Program provides college courses inside of the local prisons to educate those before release.  Associate Degrees earned in prison have been shown to reduce recidivism to below 5% thus saving taxpayers over $70,000 per year per inmate as well as creating a safer and more thriving community.

Inmate Scholars, Rich McCrow, Doug Grimsley, Gerald Cantu

Rich McCrow, Doug Grimsley, Gerald Cantu

Education is the key for our incarcerated population.  Thank you to all of those Bakersfield College employees that serve students in the program, and thank you to those who attended the dinner; Rich McCrow, Chelsea Esquibias, Bryan Hirayama, Doug Grimsley, Isaias Hernandez, Gerald Cantu, Kaitlin Hulsy, Isaias Hernandez and many more great Renegades!  We are BC!

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And then I saw this great post by Supervisor Leticia Perez on Facebook:

Leticia Perez June 7 2017.png

Retreats and reflections during the summer

President’s Cabinet had two retreats this summer, the first one at the Delano Campus on June 1st and the 2nd on the Panorama Campus here in Bakersfield on June 5th.

2017 President's Cabinet June 5 2017

 

President's Cabinet Retreat June 5 2017

 

 

At Delano the focus was on BC’s Rural Initiatives, Dual Enrollment, and Inmate Education.  After presentations and discussions, we headed for a tour of the Randolf Campus in Delano.

Cabinet Retreat in Delano June 1 2017.JPG

 

Bakersfield College originally offered courses in Delano at the Randolf campus.  This is where I was first involved as a faculty member — I taught math via interactive TV but would often drive up to the Randolf campus to meet with students.  During that time, a group of us in the math department wrote an Eisenhower grant to improve STEM education in Delano with a focus on parent education.  I then went away to work in Oregon for 10 years and when I returned as President, the Delano campus had moved to Timmons Ave, and the Randolf campus was leased to the Wonderful Academy.  Wonderful was and is a great partner of Bakersfield College.  Wonderful now has built their own campus for their Charter School and the Randolf campus has reverted back to BC.  I do want to thank Wonderful for donating all the classroom spaces they had built and improvements they made during their stay at the campus.  Lynda Resnick thank you.  Noemi, thank you.

Here are pictures of the Cabinet tour of Randolf campus.

Randolf Campus June 1 2017.JPG

Cabinet at Randolf Campus June 1 2017.JPG

Nicky Damania and Grace Commiso planning for Student Services

Nicky Damania and Grace Commiso Randolf Campus June 1 2017

Alex Dominguez

Alex Dominguez was the President of BC’s Student Government in 2014-2015, going on to be the Student Body President at CSUB.  Alex had a wonderful graduation and it seemed that everyone from Bakersfield was there to celebrate this young man’s future and presence in our lives!

Alex Dominguez

Alex Dominguez, Sonya Christian

Terri Goldstein Alex Dominguez Nicky Damania June 3 2017

Terri Goldstein, Alex Dominguez, Nicky Damania

 

Here are some links to blog posts that spotlighted Alex:

This one is a long blog but scroll until you see the picture with Alex Dominquez (2014-2015), Calyton Fowler (2015-2016), Matthew Frazer (2016-2017)

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/09/18/on-remembrance-and-making-memories/

Some fun photos:

Ramon Puga and his son

Ramon Puga at his son's graduation.png

So I was at the ACCJC commission meeting and this is what happens to my office when I was not there — Mission Occupy!

Lunchtime

Jennifer Marden, Tracy Hall, Tarina Perry, Somaly Boles

 

Sonya Christian at Randolph Campus June 1 2017That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

(at the Randolf campus in Delano)