Tag Archives: Guided Pathways

BC’s talented students….and amazing faculty

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, February 20th….A good day to be a Renegade!

This was a short four-day week given that Monday was Presidents’ Day.  But the week was intense.  So many activities on and off campus that last night I fell asleep while watching Shields and Brooks on PBS Newshour talking about the Presidential election.  Crazy….I don’t fall asleep on Mark Shields of the Washington Post and David Brooks of the New York Times.

It was a week where BC held the first statewide Guided Pathways Summit, and the statewide Black Student Caucus thanks to our Student Senator Fitzgerald Graves.  A group of us (Trustee Dennis Beebe, Trustee Kay Meek, Tom Burke, Rich McCrow, Zav Dadabhoy, Steve Watkin, Gustavo Enrique, Juan Torres, Raquel Lopez) attended  a Building Health Communities event in Arvin.  We also had a fabulous student, Sarah, from Arvin attend as well.

Talking about students….. BC students are at it again!

2016 conf champion feb 17 2016


Basketball:  Our Renegade Basketball team won the Western States Conference Championship on Wednesday, Feb 17th!  Do take a moment to enjoy these students and Coach Rich Hughes in my previous blog:


Also check out Francis Mayer’s piece at


and his photo gallery at



Some of our students are putting their abilities on display in a way that can occasionally seem like magic — and in two wildly disparate, but creatively linked disciplines. Two departments, BC’s Digital Illustration and Chemistry, have recently completed projects in which they were able to take purely theoretical ideas and apply their knowledge to producing physical products that are both beautiful and intriguing.




Chemistry: In the Chemistry department, Professor Kenward Vaughan’s students were given a variety of mysterious compounds and, as a group, students conducted experiments to either identify what the compound was or split the compound in order to identify its original components.


I did a June 2014 blog on last year’s OChem Letters.  Check it out:



Some students attempted to change their compounds from solid to liquid, or liquid to gas. While those students were working to identify the compound, others were working backward in an attempt to split the compound. By piecing together all the elements that make up the compound, they could try to uncover what individual components could have been combined in order to create it.

After all those assorted theories and experiments were finished, the students put their findings in writing. Throughout the OChem Letters, students offer up ample detail and the thought processes that ultimately led them to their conclusions.

david koeth

David Koeth

This captivating work of our chemistry students not only offers an engrossing look at the ways of the scientific process, but the ingenuity and creative thinking required of science professionals that may not be obvious to the uninitiated.

(I found this great picture of David Koeth on the website)



Illustration by Karina Hurtado

Digital Illustration: You may not see many clear parallels between organic chemistry and artists, but David Koeth’s Digital Illustration students were confronted with an intriguing challenge of their own — creating visualizations of a trip to Peru expressed only via written word.

Students were given a letter describing the trip, offering descriptive detail about the colored skies, exciting adventures, and even mishaps that took place during the journey.


Illustration by Miguel Fabian

Each student was assigned a “mood” and color pallette to portray and created spot illustrations for different situations found throughout the narrative.

Having only the letter and their own imaginations to rely on, the students were given just three hours to complete the project. Even under that restrictive time crunch, students were able to produce some beautiful art displaying vivid representations of the trip. Our talented students captured and recreated this trip with as much life and imagination as if they themselves had traveled to Peru. Being that no two people are the same, each picture told a unique side of the story.


Illustration by Jaqueline Carmona


The students’ depictions included parties, jewelry, hiking through the forest, laying on the beach and even the author’s wife getting airplane sick. The students allowed the trip to be portrayed in such a way that you could live out the trip as if it were your own.  You can see some of these gorgeous illustrations above.

The students here at BC never fail to impress, and never cease to bring great pride to our campus.  And our faculty…..they are the very best. They are scholars, artists, and athletes in their own right, as well as being dedicated teachers who spend hours with their students.  On Wednesday night, one of our Public Safety Officers, Mason,  who is also a student, gave me a ride from the admin parking lot to the gym for the Basketball game.  During this short ride, he excitedly shared with me stories about his amazing instructor, David Koeth, and how David inspires the best in him.

Friends, this is Bakersfield College.  A place of learning, a place of excellence filled with brilliant and committed faculty and staff. We are…BC!

Life at Bakersfield College Part 2

Quiet Saturday morning, 39 degrees.  Relaxing with coffee and Noah’s bagel and reflecting on the past week.  Crazy, yet hugely satisfying.  Lesley Bond’s tweet says it all.

Lesley Bonds Tweet Dec 4 2015

Check out my previous Life at BC post at


Last evening was the Culinary Christmas Carol event at BC. True to her November 29th email, Jen Garrett and her students transformed the Fireside Room into a winter wonderland.  table decor culinarychristmas carol dec 4 2015

The table decor had carefully hand written the names of those attending carefully hand written.  Here is an example of the beautiful work. The food was yummy with wonderful salads. Chef Eric Sabella and his Food Services team did an outstanding job.

It was a treat seeing Joe Huszti at the event. Jen Garrett at the end of the evening mentioned that she had been really nervous to perform because Huszti was going to be in the audience 🙂

One of my favorite Herb Benham pieces was on the BC 1965 choir.  You will really enjoy it; I promise.

They broke all the rules, they broke some of the rules, they broke enough of the rules to prove they were 18, human and in the midst of a grand adventure.

“They” were the 1965 Bakersfield College choir that spent six weeks, 50 years ago, in Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, Holland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France and shocked the choral world by winning first prize at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in North Wales.

For more check out….


or my July 22, 2015 blog on the 1965 choir at


or my October 23, 2015 Community Voices.  For some reason the Californian does not seem to have it online.  Thank you Amber for uploading the pdf of the newspaper version on the website under the tab “Outreach and Advocacy”


The music at the Culinary Christmas Carol event was magnificent.  The students and Jen got a standing ovation.

I loved all the pieces in this music-packed evening, non-stop from 5:30 to 8:00 pm. I really wished we captured it all on video.  There were so many that were so beautiful. One of my favorites was Mary Did You Know, a solo sung and played on the ukulele by Kelsey.

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Another that was completely different was Peter Schickele’s P.D.Q Bach piece Throw the Yule Log On, Uncle John.   It was a fun song and really well performed; my ear especially picked out the bass.  I so loved it.  Since I do not have the video to share, here is one that I found on Youtube by the UC Berkeley Choir.  I must say however, BC’s choir was much much better.

Then there was the one and only Patt Davis who did a captivating rendition of Santa Baby and threw in “needing a raise” to Dean Mourtzanos.

And there was so many more.  My heart was so full at the end of the evening and that sense has stayed with me through this morning as I listen to several of the songs as I blog.
Georgia on my mind
Lily’s Eyes (Ken and Brady)
He’s Got the Whole World (Regina)
– You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch (Mike)

Towards the end there was a sing-along with lyrics provided at each table.  What a magnificent way for Dr. Garrett to wrap up her fall semester.  One that has been fraught with difficulties; yet, she has stayed engaged giving of herself generously to the students she loves.

Our Choir has been invited by the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, thank you Bryan Burrow, to perform with them on December 19th.  I plan to be there.  How about you?

College Council and Co-chairs: Earlier in the day we had the last College Council meeting with the co-chairs of the 12 campus-wide committees and councils on campus.  The presentations and discussions had rigor and depth.  All of our committees are doing real serious work and it looks like they have a great deal of fun moving large quantities of work with quality. We also had our student panel on chapter 5 of Redesigning America’s Community Colleges put together by Nicky Damania.  Epifania Mendoza, Wesley Lyons, and Clayton Fowler (SGA President) had keen insights and engaged in an interactive discussion with faculty and staff.


And these were only the events I attended.  So much happens in a day – we are BC after all – from the seriously fun to the serious. For example, we had the Active Shooter training with BC’s Public Safety Officers partnering with the Bakersfield Police department.

On Thursday, December 3rd was the Bakersfield College Holiday Party.  Great fellowship after a long hard and productive semester.  Thank you to the team that made this happen– Susan Pinza, Anna Agenjo, Leah Carter, Alice Desilagua, Kristin Rabe and Pat Smith.  Chef Eric Sabella and team again did an outstanding job with hor d’oeuvres and sweet treats.  My favorite was the Cauliflower preparation. Chef, can we have it back again next year? And Vienna Battistoni thank you for your dedication to BC for over 30 years.

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Nov 2015 with Emily Pam Boyles' granddaughter

Sonya Christian with Emily

I don’t think I mentioned that our Men’s Basketball team is having a great season.  Went to their games over the Thanksgiving break.  Just phenomenal. Here I am at the Basketball game with Pam Boyles’ granddaughter, Emily takes after her grandma.  Smart, engaged, and with tons of energy.  Seriously, it is always wonderful see Pam and Robert out there, supporting our BC programs.

Oh, btw, before I wrap up and head out to my exercise class this morning, i must mention the wonderful work that our Outreach Office continues to do.  I walked in Monday morning and saw this banner in the the lobby area of the administration building.  It had the final exam schedule for next week.  The banner, done remarkably well, in BC colors, so helpful to have front and center for students.  We are BC!

Final Exam Schedule Dec 2015




Life at Bakersfield College


This past week has been crazy with a lot of time spent on the road, heading down to southern California for the Board of Governors (BOG) meeting and then back up to northern California for the CCLC Convention. I got back home late yesterday and am enjoying a quiet Sunday morning.  Weather.com says that the high is going to be 72 today. Yes! Time for a long relaxed walk.  Maybe to the Farmer’s market.

Thought I would share with you through pictures some of the highlights from last week.  And I am certain that this list does not even scratch the surface of the happenings at BC. As we get into the Thanksgiving week let me just thank you my dear colleagues for all that you do for BC and our students.  I am so thankful to have the best job in the world.  I come to work, just delighted to hang out and work hard with you. We are….BC!

Where do i begin……. Maybe Delano.

If you are on twitter just #BCDelano or @RichMcCrown and you will catch up with the activities on our campus in North Kern.  And btw, if you are not on twitter, go ahead and get an account.  This will give you an opportunity to participate in another community virtually and follow the back channel conversations through hashtags.


Liz Morris: “You are the future of Delano. You are the change.”

Ricardo Chavez: “You need to decide if Delano is worth it.”

Janet Rananal: “There is something happening in the community that I want to be a part of …..”


Jonathan Hernandez:

Jonathan Hernandez

Jonathan Hernandez



So proud to see one of our own make headlines.

Jonathan Hernandez, a communication professor from central California, recently gained national attention for being ranked fifth highest-rated university professor in the country during the 2014-2015 academic year on the instructor-ranking site RateMyProfessor.com. The site has collected over 16 million student ratings and the most recent installment of their “Annual Top Lists” report combined weighted professors’ scores from this year and previous years to create their ranking.

Check out the website at: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/what-ive-learned-top-rated-college-professor-jonathan-hernandez-n458021


Communication Department Showcase:


Mark Staller Communication Dept Showcase Nov 2015


I briefly attended the Communication Department Showcase and enjoyed seeing Forum East packed with students, faculty, and community members.  There was great energy in the room.

And the student speech I heard was phenomenal. Thank you communication faculty, and thank you Denise Norris for the fabulous reception.

Looks like I need to replace my old iphone to take better pictures.  Here is Prof. Mark Staller, department chair, introducing the program.


Redesigning America’s Community Colleges Book Discussion:

Student Panel on Redesigning America's CC Nov 19 2015

Our student panels have been just great.  If you did not have an opportunity to listen to our students, Manny De Los Santos has the videos posted on the website.  Check it out.


Thank you Kimberly Bligh, Odella Johnson, Nicky Damania, and Lesley Bonds for pulling together the 5 student panels.

Btw, as I was writing this blog, I got an email from both Kate Pluta and Janet Fulk with a link to this report by Rob Johnstone: Guided Pathways Demystified: Exploring Ten Commonly Asked Questions about Implementing Pathways. Check it out at http://www.inquiry2improvement.com/publications-resources

BC Political Science at Rotary, Nov 19, 2015:

BC’s Political Science professor emeritus and Congressman Bill Thomas was scheduled to speak at downtown Rotary on November 19th on the Presidential election.  I invited 5 members of the Political Science faculty and students to be my guests–Steven Holmes, Faculty, Political Science and Academic Senate President; Charles Kim, Faculty, Political Science, Advisor for the Pre-Law Club, and Advisor for Phi Theta Kappa; Clayton Fowler, President of SGA; Robbie Burke, Political Science Student; Bailey Bryson, Pre-Law Student.  As it turned out Bill Thomas had to attend a funeral service and Cathy Abernathy, former Chief of Staff for Bill Thomas and current Chief of Staff for Shannon Grove, stepped up and did an amazing job filling in for Bill Thomas.

Enjoy these pictures of the event taken by Karen Goh, CEO of Garden Pathways, a great organization that helps our community by reintegrating disenfranchised individuals back into our community.  You should check out what they do.  Just incredible transformative work.  http://www.gardenpathways.org/


Renegade Athletics:

Our Renegade Student Athletes were so inspiring. Enjoy these pictures. Particularly Alberto Perez who gives a thumbs up to Athletic Director Sandi Taylor after doing his personal best by shaving 1:50 off his best time for the 4.1-mile race.  I bet Coach Pam Kelley was proud.

Paramedic Accreditation Visit:

As I was heading back from my trip to Washington DC I had the opportunity to call in and listen to the exit remarks from the accreditation team for BC’s Paramedic Program.  They could not say enough good things and what I loved the most was when they said that our faculty, staff and students are happy.

A quick shout out to Hall ambulance for all their support.  And talking about Hall ambulance, Mayor Harvey Hall is the best mayor ever!

Now let’s hear from Cindy Collier, Dean of CTE and Allied Health.  This is an email she sent to the department after the site visit.

I just want to take a few moments to recognize our outstanding Paramedic Program! The Program just finished their 5-year national accreditation site visit today with flying colors. The reviewers commented that the strength of the Program was the faculty/staff and their ability to engage the community partners, as well as their support for our Program.

The reviewers also went on to say that they believe this is one of the best Program’s they’ve ever seen and more importantly they also said that we had the best students that they had seen in the state.

So congratulations to our Paramedic Faculty – you guys just rock!!! I am so proud of you!!!!



I agree with Cindy.  Our faculty and staff simply rock!

At CCLC. Nov 19-21, 2015

The conference was very good.  Got some ideas on the College Promise discussion to shape the Renegade Promise work that the college is doing.  Great opening speaker Josh Tickell on Gen Y–the Millenials.  He described the boomers as conservative, Gen X as frustrated and Gen Y as entitled 🙂 Actually, he was very good.  I’m thinking we should try to bring him to BC.  Also connected with Thomas Bailey author of Redesigning America’s Community Colleges.  He promoted the Guided Pathways Summit on February 18, 2016 at Bakersfield College. Yes! Davis Jenkins, one of the three authors, is our keynote for the summit.
I presented at the conference on a panel related to the Common Assessment Initiative (CAI).  My remarks were  from the standpoint of being a member of the Common Assessment Initiative Steering Committee member as well as a pilot college for both the CAI as well as the Multiple Measures Project.