Good Morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, September 3rd….a good day to be a Renegade!
Growing up, I have always associated September as the birthday month…September 2nd is my brother Kevin’s birthday (Virgo) and Sep 24th (Libra) is my mom’s b’day.
The picture was probably taken 15/16 years ago.
So given mom’s birthday is right around the corner, here is a little song that I grew up with. I think you will enjoy it.
“M” is for the million things she gave me,
“O” means only that she’s growing old,
“T” is for the tears she shed to save me,
“H” is for her heart of purest gold;
“E” is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
“R” means right, and right she’ll always be,
Put them all together, they spell “MOTHER,”
A word that means the world to me.
This last week, as all weeks at Bakersfield College, has been hectic yet fulfilling. Some of the high points were:
- doing facebook webstream for the very first time with Mary Jo Pasek. This was our assignment from the Social Media group led by JP Lake and Bill Moseley. In the first hour, I heard, the video had over 200 views. Pretty cool! Am glad that JP Lake is on the campaign committee. He believes in the transformative power of education, when done right!
- the presentation to the Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary. They are such a fun group and it was delightful to co-present with Karen Thompson and Jay Rosenlieb.
- Receiving the endorsement from the VFW District 6.
- Seeing our student leaders putting on a fun set of activities for the new students in the campus quad.
- Watching our soccer teams on Tuesday. Women’s soccer won 5-0 over West Hills Lemoore with Emilia Lopez finishing with a hat trick. Men’s soccer tied 2-2 with BC goal keeper Frank Aerola having numerous saves. We are BC!
It is a good time to be at BC!
On a sad note, John Boydstun a long time BC friend passed away this week. Here he is with the BC Cheer team at the Kiwanis meeting.
“It’s never too early to think about college and the credits that can help your student reach success post high school.”
These words kicked off a fabulous article on KGET highlighting the dual enrollment program at BC and our Renegade Signing events this week. Over the past several weeks, our BC Delano staff has gone out into the local high schools to help counselors and instructors encourage young students through the matriculation process for BC.
Thank you Christina Lopez of KGET for this great coverage!
Various hands-on workshops were held to get hundreds of students registered. A special thank you to Gustavo Enriquez, Richard McCrow, Abel Guzman, and the entire team in Delano who have been working diligently for some time now on getting dual enrollment courses up and going in the Delano Joint Union High School District. Their efforts have also been to get more dual enrollment courses offered in Arvin High School.
The future looks bright for these areas, its people, and our students! We are BC!
On Monday, we held an event at CCHS, Tuesday at Arvin HS, Wednesday at Delano HS, and Thursday at RFK HS to welcome both students and families to Bakersfield College. These “mini convocations” greeted students, answered parent questions, and most importantly made it clear that as of that evening, they were all now BC Renegades!
Each student received a BC planner, BC pencil, and “Get Focused, Stay Focused” wristbands as parents signed all the necessary dual enrollment authorization forms.
The school districts and school sites were amazing in setting these events up. Paul Chavez (Director of Career Technical Education for DJUHSD), the administrators at all Delano sites, and Mr. Watts at Arvin HS did a great job of promoting the event, and creating a welcoming environment. Several schools even provided their own snacks and drinks. Bakersfield College-WeCOMM students volunteered to help run the events.
Earning a college degree is an increasingly important step towards creating a better future. “It’s never too early to think about college and the credits that can help your student reach success post high school.”
BC is a Family!
Andrea Thorson (btw, I love this picture of Andrea and her son) sent out an absolutely elegant email on Wednesday highlighting my blog to our campus community. In closing she wrote
Bakersfield College is not just a great college with a small town feel, it offers a high quality education from people who love what they do and care deeply about keeping this city strong and thriving. So, don’t forget to get connected with students, staff, faculty, and even administrators on this campus. We are a family.
And it’s true – I couldn’t have said it better.
It brings me joy to hear the little stories throughout my week from various members of the BC family, and I was especially struck when Bill Potter, our Director of Facilities, stopped by to update me on a few projects. Bill was bragging about his department and mentioned that at a recent staff retreat, Patrick Harrison shared the story of how he became one of the BC crew.
After moving to Bakersfield from Santa Barbara on a whim in 1982, Patrick first came to the campus on the hill during a 4th of July celebration. That day, he saw the carts racing the track of memorial stadium and remembers thinking to himself, what it would be like to actually drive one of those things…
A few years later, in 1996, he applied for a job at Bakersfield College and was called back within 3 days to start working. Today he takes care of the same stadium he once remembers thinking about.
He tells the story as if everything eventually fell into place and it was meant to be, but my favorite part of all is the day he remembers driving back to Bakersfield after a visit in Santa Barbara. He explained that after the long drive on the grapevine, he pulled into the streets of Bakersfield and remembered thinking “I’m home.”
We are BC! And I truly believe every individual involved on campus is meant to be here.
Talking about every individual at BC is meant to be here, I certainly feel that way. Here is a photo taken at the public announcement of the 10th president of BC on October 15, 2012.
Another shining example of our BC family is Chris Counts, our public safety director.
After a strange situation on Wednesday morning including an incident with a student, Chris was available for multiple interviews, sharing safety tips, explaining what we’re doing campus wide to increase safety and commending our excellent campus security team.
The student did the right thing by trusting her instinct, and seeking help on campus. It’s important to note that our campus security team encourages anyone to contact them at any time.
In fact, Chris sent out an email just the Friday prior stating, “I want you to know and understand that reporting of suspicious activity, even when you don’t really understand why you think something is wrong or out of the ordinary, like a ‘gut feeling’ something just doesn’t seem right, is perfectly OK to go ahead and make that call to Public Safety. We will respond to all calls of suspicious activity to ensure the safety of our campus.”
Way to go Chief Counts, public safety team, and Shannon Musser. Due to your diligence and awesome communication, our students knew quickly what had happened on campus, and they’re prepared with the tips they need to seek help if any situation should arise.
The BC family truly knows the way to my heart, especially Ying Vang, who appeared on Thursday with a platter of homemade eggrolls for me to share. And Kristin Rabe, who gave me a packet of Cheetos with a bow to pep me up before the State of the College address on Opening Day.
Ying is a Systems Support Specialist in the IT department, and I’m sure many of you have interacted with him and know his positive smile and attitude. He absolutely loves to help people and is an encouragement to the whole IT department and staff campus wide. The homemade eggrolls were packed with colorful veggies, rice noodles, had a spicy sauce, and lots of love.
He tells me, “Hmong eggrolls are different than Chinese eggrolls and I want to share them so they can try something different. They are easy to eat because eggrolls are finger food and you don’t need a fork or chopsticks.”
He also admitted that he doesn’t actually make them himself – but his wife Chia makes them. Either way, they were incredibly delicious and I’m glad I was able to share them, but even more so that Ying is part of our BC family!
We are BC!
Our Student Activities
What an incredible first two weeks it has been! BC Student Government Association and the Office of Student Life have tackled the first two weeks of fall with passion and enthusiasm in getting students involved in campus activities!
The 2nd Annual Student Involvement Festival was a huge success, as was evident by the large turnout of BC students and businesses that were present. Many local businesses recruited for volunteering, displayed employment opportunities, gave out free prizes, and provided an opportunity for job networking. Many students found the information helpful, since many of the businesses were major specific.
Kicking off first thing Monday morning, students arrived to the Panorama and Delano campuses to Welcome Tents filled with student planners, information on campus departments, how to download the BC Renegade App, and most importantly, guidance to their first class! KVC/BCSGA Discount sticker holders got tons of freebies during the first two weeks as well. A BCSGA water bottle, tie-dyed t-shirt, tacos, and even free pancakes at the pep rally this past Thursday! Thanks to the Renegade Cheerleaders and Coach Heather Foss for a spirited time!
Students engaged in campus activities throughout the week by making plush bears decked out in Renegade pride, filling candy straws, listening to DJ Platinum, The Mentalist, and live band Epic Proportions during their time at the Campus Center. The first two weeks were wrapped up with the Student Involvement Festival which brought in over 72 booths for students to visit between departments, student organizations, and outside vendors.
Walking through was a real joy to see all the different campus and community groups who came out to get involved and invite our students for opportunities to make a difference. When strolling through, I even stopped by the SGA table for a marvelous pancake breakfast served by our students.
Check out some of the great photos on BC’s Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/jejq4k5
and make sure to watch the video captured by 23 news! http://www.turnto23.com/news/local-news/bakersfield-college-hosts-student-involvement-festival
The final event was for the community at large, BC’s first Community Movie Night showing Captain America: Civil War. What a whirlwind of wonderful events for students to participate in! Truly, our student Renegades will be able to get involved in the various activities that are planned for the year.
A little over a week ago, we had our first Orientation and Welcome to the Lower Division and Upper Division Enrollment Cohorts. This event was organized and facilitated by our BDP Counselor, Cynthia Quintanilla.
She arranged for speakers from Student Life, Financial Aid, and CTE Job Development. It was informative and included a time for a facilities tour and socializing. Students received several informational handouts. It’s also great to see the communication our students receive, like the Industrial Automation Student Newsletter.
The first issue featured articles like, Courses in 2016-2017, Faculty & Staff, New Automation Lab, and Comparison to a 4yr University. Thank you to Cynthia and all involved in our STEM programs at BC!
Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary
Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary is comprised of both CEOs and small business owners who find a breakfast meeting to be the best fit for their needs. The group includes large and small business owners who contribute to everything from roofing Habitat for Humanity homes (I’m told they’ve done 35+ roofs) to the wreath project at our National Cemetery.
Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary won the Beautiful Bakersfield Award in 2014 for Humanitarian large group!
Thank you Jerry Starr for publicly appreciating Bakersfield College particularly the nursing program. Was great seeing Mike Stepanovich after such a long time. Pete Leveroni also knew my dad and worked with him on Rotary International Project. Was great seeing you Pete!
Downtown Business Association
This week, I’m excited to share four upcoming events in collaboration with Cathy Butler from the Bakersfield Downtown Association and Jeff Lemucchi from the Arts Council of Kern. Thanks to these awesome people and two of our BC go-getters, Professor Sarah Baron and Dr. Nicky Damania, we’re developing more plans to engage the community and College.
- Third Thursday event: Taste of Downtown Bakersfield
Thursday, September 15, 2016 | 6-10pm
Come join us for some fun while eating some of the delicious creatiions from our local businesses downtown.
Learn more at http://bakersfielddba.com/event/taste-of-downtown
- October First Friday (aka garage top party)
Friday, October 7, 2016 |
Contributing to the Arts in Bakersfield, BC will be support our own arts on campus. Also, there might be a humor of an exclusive parking garage roof top party for our beloved Bakersfield Community. Learn more at http://kernarts.org/first-friday-art-walk/
- Third Thursday Event
Thursday, October 20, 2016 | 5:30 to 8:30 pm
Come play with Bakersfield College as we honor our city leaders and enjoy good company at Central Park along Mill Creek.
- November First Friday
Friday, November 4, 2016 | 5-9pm
BC will support the arts on campus and in our community! Learn more at http://kernarts.org/first-friday-art-walk/
We are Bakersfield. And we are BC!
On friday, as I was driving to campus, I was looking forward with anticipation to the first College Council meeting of the new academic year. It was wonderful to see bright familiar faces and new smiles among the mix as we welcomed new members for this year. We gather regularly to address college-wide issues through a collaborative, integrative approach, promoting greater communication throughout the college campus at large, and to facilitate effective decision-making efforts.
Members of the Council fill a unique place in the College’s structure. As members, they are the primary and most visible representative of their constituent groups. They set the standard for civility, candor, and accuracy in collegial discussion, within Council meetings and in their interactions with others in the college community. Members are conduits of information to and from the groups they represent. They should strive to understand and accept diverse points of view while attempting to reach a consensus to best serve the College as a whole. Members have a responsibility to engage and communicate regularly with the constituent group(s) they represent. I’m so grateful to have such a superb group of people on this team. Because of leaders, teams, and councils like this, it’s definitely a great time to be at BC!
James Schmitz Letter
In our digital world of Facebook, Twitter, emails, and quick, quick, quick communication, it was really meaningful to slow down and read a physical letter which was delivered to my desk. Mr. James Schmitz attended the memorial tribute to Jack Brigham a few weeks ago and shared his comments in note I’ve uploaded at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/download/17376.
You may want to re-read my August 6th blog on Jack Brigham at http://tinyurl.com/j9q6a23
In his note, James mentioned that Jack’s favorite song was Walk a Mile in My Shoes by Joe South and The Believers. Jack was indeed, much larger than his physical self and his spirit will always be alive at BC!
That’s all for now.
Until next Saturday.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
(picture from the Renegade Rip, oct 3, 2012, during the open forum for presidential candidates at BC)