Let’s start with this photo a friend sent me of Monday morning’s sunrise at the Panorama Campus. A beautiful sky for a beautiful college.
Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take, But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, November 7, 2020, a beautiful day … and a great day to be a Renegade.
Enrollment Begins for Spring
Registration began this week for “Special Populations” and Continuing Students who have completed all enrollment steps. Students can see how to qualify for Early (Priority) Registration on the BC website.
Outreach & Early College
The Outreach & Early College Department had a Disney-themed team call this past week. The team call also turned into an impromptu Dodgers celebration following their World Series Win!
It’s always fun when I’m able to see how our BC teams stay connected and have fun virtually. Thank you for sharing!
Upcoming: David French Visits BC Virtually Next Week
Please join us for the next Distinguished Speaker Series event, sponsored by BCSGA and the Office of Student Life at Bakersfield College.
The events are free and open to the public. All events this year are scheduled to be via Zoom on a virtual platform. Closed captioning will be available at each event.
David French will be speaking on the Bakersfield Student Government Association Facebook page at two times:
David French is a senior editor at The Dispatch and a columnist for Time.
A graduate of Harvard Law School and a constitutional lawyer, David most recently worked as a senior writer for National Review and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute. His most recent book — Divided we fall.
David is a former major in the United States Army Reserve. In 2007 he deployed to Iraq with the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment and was awarded the Bronze Star.
Thank you to History Professor Paul Beckworth for his work in putting this event together.
The Effects of Colorism on Latina and Black Youth Panel
This week, Bakersfied College’s Latinas Unidas Student Organization and Latina Leaders of Kern County held their third discussion on race & diversity relations in Kern County.
In the first panel, local leaders presented their experiences and perspectives on race and diversity relations in Kern County, as women in biracial marriages and women raising biracial children. The second panel featured Kern County women who are leading conversations around diversity to make our community and coalitions stronger.
Thank you to Brenda Valadez for her work in coordinating these discussions, and to Norma Rojas-Mora for facilitating the discussions.
Today, I’d like to share a short, 45-second clip from one of our students, Aris Trujillo, who spoke on her experience with light-skin privilege:
Get Out The Vote Caravan
Last weekend, the BC Cheer team and Drumline showed up to celebrate early voters on campus.
Thank you to Heather Foss and Tim Heasley for bringing the students out safely to engage them in one of the most critical exercises of citizenship in the United States.
Spotted on Social Media
Kalina Hill’s dog Thunder turned 11 this week!
Vice President of Instruction Billie Jo Rice shared this photo of her enjoying a beautiful day with her granddaughters:
I loved this note and these photos from the Rural Initiatives Facebook page:
Today our RI Team concluded day 3 of Bakersfield College in the Vineyards. In order to eliminate barriers for our rural students, innovative approaches are crucial to their success especially during a pandemic. We had the privilege of taking out BC face masks to those who feed the nation and through technology, info sent out in real time of their interest in pursuing their education…. bettering their lives and the lives of their families.
History professor Olivia Garcia shared her Halloween costume – she dressed as the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Olivia was instrumental in helping put together Bakersfield College’s tribute to Justice Ginsburg. Here is her introduction to that program:
“Last fall, the academic technology team at Bakersfield College, partnering with our Career and Technical Education leadership and several academic departments, launched an innovative effort to provide students and their future employers with a much sharper picture of student learning. Called badges or microcredentials, these digital representations of learning allow employers and students to see a much more detailed view of what happens inside a college course, down to the level of the critical skills and knowledge students will master. In addition to the more detailed view of learning, badges store information, such as when and how the skill was measured.”
Retired Bakersfield College Professor Susan McQuerrey has a collection of watercolors, “Nature’s Colors”, on display at Dagny’s Coffee, and on the BAA Facebook page.
‘Gades Club’ Launched to Support Renegade Student Athlete Success
This last week our athletics department announced the launch of the ‘Gades Club’ to help support the success of Renegade student athletes both on the field and in the classroom.
Since 1922 Renegade Athletics has served as a launching pad for thousands upon thousands of student athletes who have gone on to professional careers both in their respective sports and off the playing field. The newly announced ‘Gades Club’ is a way for community donors to support Bakersfield College student athletes as they continue their academic and athletic careers at one of the most well-respected community colleges in the country.
“Participation in college athletics had long been a training ground for life lessons that transcend sports,” said current Renegade Interim Dean/Athletic Director Reggie Bolton.
“What our student athlete learn in their time here will stick with them through their entire lives. We appreciate the long-standing relationships and support the Bakersfield community has provided throughout the years. With the introduction of the ‘Gades Club’ we are looking to maintain a strong connection with that community and our Renegade alumni well into the future”
The ‘Gades Club’ will provide financial support to all 20 Renegade athletic male/female teams and will assist with the annual Hall of Fame and Renegade student athlete awards ceremonies. Click here to visit the ‘Gades Club’ webpage and make a donation to support the future of Renegade Athletics. The donation is tax deductible, but it is advised to speak with a tax professional for details.
That’s all for now. Until next time. With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
If you have not heard the name Steve Flores, well…. let me introduce you to him. He is the energy, vision and spirit of the Media Music Jam, and he did the impossible….. he got me to say “yes” to being a participant in this year’s Media Music Jam.
Thank you Manny De Los Santos for putting together this 1-minute video.
This year’s SOLD OUT event raised $71,320 and still counting for the Kern County Cancer Fund. Over the past six years, they’ve raised $442,447 to help families pay medical expenses related to their cancer treatment.
Thanks to Heather Foss and Manny De Los Santos, who supported me as I partnered with Robert Price on his rendition of “Let’s Work Together,” and line danced with Lyle Martin and Robert Rodriguez to Rachelle Murcia performing “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” while the talented Cindy Zimmer did a fabulous job on the violin
Welcoming Our first Cougar-Renegade Class of 2023!
This last Wednesday, Bakersfield College hosted thirty of our incoming McFarland Early College students. These students are a small group of the 280 freshmen that will begin their college pathway at McFarland High School this Fall.
The group started their day with a welcome breakfast hosted by Outreach and Dual Enrollment Director Steve Watkin. Our Early College Program Manager Kylie Swanson then introduced them to becoming a Renegade, dual enrollment, and what their next four years would look like as they pursued an associate degree for transfer while they were in high school.
Students were given a choice of four different summer courses to visit—and these 14-year-old students fit right in! While they were a little shy at first, the Early College students loved the opportunity to see what a college class is like and to participate in the course discussions. After their course visits, the team gathered again for a tour of our beautiful campus.
Following their tour, I had the pleasure of hosting this amazing group of students for lunch. I invited some very special guests to join me in welcoming our newest Renegades to the family — Senator Jean Fuller, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Superintendent Aaron Resendez, and Principal Justin Derrick all gave the students advice and encouragement as they embark as trailblazers for secondary and higher education in the United States.
Each student was then interviewed by one of our distinguished guests. When asked what three words describe how he felt when he thought about starting college this Fall as a high school freshman, young Isaiah said he felt “nervous, but excited and READY!” Fellow student Melina stated, “I am excited to be a Renegade. I am starting college at 14-years-old, and I am going to keep going until I get a master’s degree.” Our video team captured these interviews, and I can’t wait to share the final project with you! It will be amazing to track these students along their journey to Associate Degree completion four years from now.
The students then had another opportunity to sit in on college courses, including a special tour of our photography studios where Kris Stallworth gave the students a hands-on lesson in creating photo-grams.
As we closed out the day there was a growing sense of excitement for their future at BC, and I can’t wait to welcome these students back to BC each year leading up to Spring 2023 when I will proudly be able to hand them their degrees on our commencement stage.
They are McFarland Cougars. They are Bakersfield College Renegades. They are our Cougar Renegades, Class of 2023.
Lesley Bonds recognized as a 20 Under 40 person to watch in Bakersfield
The Bakersfield Life’s magazine’s Mark Nessia hosted the event recognizing the 20 young individuals under 40 recognized for their leadership and service to our community. Our amazing Lesley Bonds was selected to be in this group.
BC Hosts Kern EDC Board Meeting
BC hosted Kern Economic Development Corporation’s last board meeting of the year here at the BC campus. BC strongly supports Kern EDC’s mission to stimulate and diversify Kern County’s economy. When Measure J was on the ballot in 2016, Kern EDC endorsed the measure for its economic development benefits, which was unusual for an organization that doesn’t usually adopt a position on ballot measures.
Mike Giacomini gave attendees a quick update on the Measure J projects, and Dr. Jean Fuller presented on the new Early College program. It was great to provide our prominent community members with updates and information on all of the great things happening at BC. I can’t wait to host them again in the future!
Jack Scott Fundraising Institute
A team from Bakersfield College had the opportunity to attend the Jack Scott Fundraising Institute this week, held at the beautiful Claremont Graduate University. The two-and-a-half day conference kicked off with remarks from the California Community College District Chancellor, Dr. Eloy Oakley, on Wednesday evening. Dr. Oakley discussed the future of community college funding in California, large employer partnerships with community colleges, and the need to help students with cost-of-living expenses, including housing and medical costs. Wednesday evening concluded with a reception for the 40 attendees at the home of Claremont President, Dr. Len Jessup.
Thursday had a full day of interactive presentations covering topics ranging from visionary leadership, fundraising trends and strengthening business and corporate partnerships. Friday concluded with sessions highlighting the importance of strategic planning and skills on bringing plans to reality. Tom Gelder, Norma Rojas-Mora and Heather Pennella had the opportunity to make impactful connections with conference faculty and attendees alike.
Community Voices: BC’s Core Values Help Us Be better
BC’s Nick Strobel had a published piece in the Community Voices section of The Bakersfield Californian on Saturday, discussing BC’s core values and strategic directions and how they can transform lives for the better. Be sure to check it out!
Summer Bridge continues to orient incoming freshmen with its awesome Summer Bridge program, a first-year student success course. Chancellor Burke even dropped by to see the program, and meet the newest Renegades. If you know of a student who would benefit from this program, please visit the website to sign up for a session!
BC Scholarship in Memory of Stephanie Marie Gonzalez
Rich McCrow reached out to me this week about a scholarship opportunity in memory of the amazing Stephanie Marie Gonzalez. The Criminology/Criminal Justice team created a scholarship through the BC Foundation in her memory to assist Bakersfield College Criminal Justice & Corrections students with their education.
Stephanie was a BC alumni and a Kern County juvenile correctional officer at Juvenile Hall for 15 years until she passed away from a brain aneurysm at the age of 35. Stephanie passed away in 2017, but her spirit lives on here at BC. She was an exceptional student and beloved by all Criminology faculty.
If you would like to contribute to this scholarship in Stephanie’s memory, please go to SupportBC.org or call the Bakersfield College Foundation at 661-395-4800.
Olivia Garcia recognized
Mark Nessia recognized Olivia Garcia in his article in the Bakersfield Life Magazine.
2019 Bakersfield Young Professionals (BYP) Summit: Chesi Womack sent over a photos from last week’s 2019 BYP Summit, a great event for young professionals in our community. The speakers focused on emotional intelligence, decision making, stress management and leadership. Chelsi said, “It was a very informative and inspiring event to be a part of!” I love seeing our Renegades in the community!
Photo from Facebook. Pam Boyles, the runner on the beach 2011
Manny Mourtzanos: The Artist
Manny Mourtzanos sent over to me his latest artistic creations featuring Billie Jo Rice, Bill Moseley and myself at the new BC SouthWest construction site at CSU Bakersfield, along with the infamous Kit Foxes. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? 🙂
Athletics on the Radio
Brandon Urry, our athletics communications manager, was on the radio this week with Danny Morrison of 103.9 The Beat and Fernando Ambriz of 92.5 La Campesina to talk about our athletics departments recent #19 CCCAA NATYCAA ranking (up from #31 the year before!), Memorial Stadium construction and the many summer sports camps/clinics happening at BC over the summer. We are excited for another big year of Renegade Athletics!
President’s Cabinet Retreat
On Tuesday, President’s Cabinet met to discuss goals and work plans for the 2019-2020 academic year. This group is composed of direct reports to the President of Bakersfield College, as well as other members who serve at the discretion of the president. President’s Cabinet provides a forum for vetting decisions prior to implementation.
Exec Office Retreat
The Executive Office held its retreat earlier this week, with myself, the three Vice Presidents and our Exec Office staff. It’s always a fun time with this group!
Early College Retreat
We held our very first Early College retreat this week and I’m excited to see what the future holds for this amazing team!
Exec Office Birthday Celebration
The Exec Office celebrated birthdays this week, namely Chris Glaser, Somaly Boles, Jennifer Serratt, Brenda Gamlowski and Mike Giacomini. Happy birthday everyone!!!
Memorial Day started in 1868 as Decoration Day, a remembrance of those who died during the Civil War. Over the years, cities and states designated it as a legal holiday, and in 1971, Congress established Memorial Day as a national holiday to take place on the last Monday of May every year.
Every Memorial Day, a special ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery, where the President or Vice President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
At BC, we are proud of our veteran students and have a particular duty to support them through their education. We’re reaffirming that commitment to our local veterans with the construction of the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, the first Measure J project, slated for completion this fall.
We remember the sacrifices made and lives lost defending the freedom and sovereignty of the United States. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten.
I’d like to share this quote from James A. Garfield at that first Memorial Day commemoration at Arlington National Cemetery in 1868.
“We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and virtue.”
Emails Worth Sharing
I’d also like to share this email that our Director of Veterans Services Paul Beckworth sent on Monday. Our duty to support veterans goes much deeper than academic support, as Paul’s words of encouragement for our veterans make clear. Thank you for all that you do Paul, and thank you to those who have served our country.
“Hello Region V Veteran Services colleagues,
Today, May 27, 2019, is Memorial Day.
The vast majority celebrate it as the unofficial start of summer. Many Americans honor the day and the dead, in a variety of heartfelt ways. However, there is a much smaller group whose acknowledgement of the day goes deeper than most. It is personal, it is emotional, and it is visceral. While today we remember the fallen, we must keep in the mind the ones who were left behind; their families and fellow warriors. There are people I know who wish to be left alone today and others who do not want to left alone for fear of what their emotions might lead them to. Sometimes, people remember with laughter and tears, while others do so with the bottle and with tears.
For those who lost comrades, or family or best friends, please do not go to those dark places inside you. If you do go there do not stay there. We need you, here, with us. We know the 22 a day suicide rate among veterans. It is terrible. Do not be a part of the 22. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Depression is serious. It is a weight the likes of which cannot be described, only experienced. If your arm is hurt, you go the doctor. If your head/heart hurts, go to a doctor. There is no shame in it. It is often said that the soldier is not the only one who goes to war. The family does, too, in its’ own way.
Those of you who work closely with veterans may not have lost a loved one, but assisting veterans for years can take a toll, especially for counselors and advisors. Who counsels the counselors? Seriously. There are several of you who have worked with veterans for many years now. Make sure to take care of yourselves. Go to veteran-specific conferences, sit in the hotel lobbies and have venting sessions with your colleagues from across the state. Let iron sharpen iron. Get help just like we tells our veterans to do. I am pretty sure most of you have walked a veteran to your on-campus mental health professional at least once. If you need to take a walk to one yourself, please take it. We need you, here. Your military-affiliated students need you, here.
While today can be very emotional, one of the best ways we can honor the fallen is to take care of our minds, bodies, and spirits. In this way we can continue the work ahead of us, making them proud.”
Paul Beckworth, May 27, 2019 Memorial Day
BC Friends in Sacramento
Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) hosted its 2019 Latina Action Day in Sacramento on Wednesday, May 22. Our own Nicole Parra facilitated a panel discussion, and I was thrilled to see BC students impromptu participation. Evelyn Torres, a Studio Arts, Graphic Design & Communications major volunteered to be the voice of millennials on the panel.
The panel on California’s Present and Future Workforce examined the challenges and opportunities the state is facing as we look to filling workforce needs. The conversation regarding career education included an informative discussion of the value of apprenticeship programs, and the role community colleges in meeting workforce needs. Evelyn shared a student perspective on the importance of providing opportunities for all students, including those who need short term training leading to employment.
Thank you Norma Rojas Mora for your work in Sacramento.
Rural Initiatives Classified and Support Staff Appreciation Celebration
Last week, the Rural Initiatives classified and support staff were recognized by the management team in a surprise celebration of Classified Appreciation week. This celebration brought together members of the RI team that serve a region that extends from Arvin to Delano. I’m grateful for the focused dedication and passion for serving our rural students. Thank you Rural Initiatives Classified and Support Staff for everything you do for our Bakersfield College Rural Renegades. Also thanks to our RI Management team, especially Jaime Lopez for coordinating such a special celebration.
Administrative Council Retreat: Day 1
This last Thursday we had the first day of our annual summer retreat with our college-wide administrative council. BC Food Services provided a fantastic breakfast spread and a delicious salad bar later in the day for the lunch. I opened the session with an overview of our college strategic plan and highlighting the fact that we now have 37,000 students! Our administrative council fanned out across campus in teams as they completed in a scavenger hunt.
Members of our college Program Review Committee briefed the council on best practices for conducting their program reviews for this coming year and Manny Mourtzanos provided a training on aligning work plans to direct us as embark on a new year. It was a great retreat and great work that we will regroup on to finish up on a second day in early June.
Umoja’s End of the Year Celebration
This week, Umoja held its end of the year celebration to acknowledge its graduates and mentors. Students joined together to celebrate their academic success and celebrate their mentors who dedicated time and energy to support their scholarly journey at BC. Thank you to Dr. Paula Parks for sending over these photos, and for your dedication to our students. If you’d like to learn more about Umoja, make sure to check out their website!
Conexiones Rurales Dreamers Conference
The Conexiones Rurales Dreamers Conference on Friday, May 17th at the Delano Campus allowed our Rural Renegades to learn about several topics including programs and services offered by our college and other local institutions. This opportunity was funded by the Catalyst grant received by Bakersfield College. Thank you to our Conexiones Estudiantiles/LUPE student organization, their advisors and the Rural Initiatives team, especially Jesus Oropeza, Jessica Garcia, and Jaime Lopez for bringing these fantastic opportunities to our rural communities.
BC Cheerleaders at the New Kids On the Block Remix Tape Concert
Wow! Does BC know how to pump up the crowd, or what?! Also, what an amazing throwback to have the New Kids On the Block perform here in Bakersfield! They definitely have “the right stuff.”
I want to thank Cheer Coach Heather Foss for making possible this phenomenal experience for our students. It’s hard to describe the energy of the packed Rabobank and and the pride I felt in seeing our students on stage.
Thank you Manny de Los Santos for capturing this video. You are the very best!!!!!!
Cooking a Healthy Meal with Chef Alex Gomez
This week our Executive office team demonstrated their culinary skills at our Wellness & Professional Development Session: Cooking a Healthy Meal with Chef Alex Gomez. The team learned cooking and cutting techniques, and were given recipes to prepare — then eat! We enjoyed Cauliflower Tacos, Cilantro Rice, and Grilled Zucchini.
The Executive Office has a standing Wellness Initiative that began a couple years ago, as well as a new Training/Professional Development Initiative that began last year. Chris Glaser and Tarina Perry worked with Chef Alex for help in meeting goals for both initiatives and did he ever deliver! The training was clear and engaging, the menu healthy, and the food delicious. We worked in teams to prepare the meal, and then enjoyed our meal together as we discussed our takeaways from the day. Thank you to Chef Alex and Chef Suzanne Tangeman for working with our team on this, and thank you to Chris and Tarina for organizing the activities!
Progress on Memorial Stadium
The renovation of the Memorial Stadium track and football field is moving along nicely. The work will be completed in time for this fall’s football season. We are all excited to see the finished product! Also, thank you to Brandon Urry for capturing these photos.
Photos that make me happy
Family weekend at Lake Arrowhead
Memorial Day weekend with family at a cabin in Lake Arrowhead.
Saint Mother Teresa demonstrated a life worth living; one of finding deep purpose by serving those in need, acting as a light in dark places, and inspiring others around the world to act in kindness. Saint Mother Teresa is an inspiration of generosity, persistence, resilience, compassion, and love – love with no boundaries.
Throughout my life, incredible women have taught me, mentored me, guided me, loved me, and inspired me and the best way I know how to thank them is to pay it forward. When women support each other, unbelievable things can happen.
A favorite song of our family growing up. Recognizing moms….. Let’s listen to Mother of Mine.
Women in Leadership Panel
Speaking of inspirational women, last Friday, March 1st, I hosted a panel in the Levan Center with some of Kern County’s most inspirational women leaders in politics, business and education to talk about their pathways to success. This panel was moderated by the inspiring Jean Fuller. It was great to see BC’s Levan Center filled with students, staff, and women from our community. Additionally, KCCD Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Romeo Agbalog came out to support the event.
Jean Fuller – the first Republican woman ever elected to state office in California and a decades-long champion for BC – was the perfect moderator for our panel on Women in Leadership. Food Services provided a lovely selection of hors d’oeuvres and ornate plating and tea cups to create an elegant ambiance for the event, as well.
The panel consisted of some of the most successful women in Kern County. California Senator Shannon Grove represents the 16th State Senate district, taking Fuller’s place at the end of her second term. Shannon Grove — Senator, Entrepreneur, Veteran, Leader.
Blanca Cavazos has broken barriers throughout her career in education, becoming the first Latina principal of Arvin High School before being appointed as the first Latina Superintendent of the Taft Union High School District. Her family immigrated to the United States from Mexico when she was three years old. Blanca Cavazos — Superintendent, change maker, trailblazer, leader.
Cynthia Giumarra practiced law for more than 20 years, overcoming many barriers that women lawyers faced in the 1970s and ’80s, when it was still uncommon to see women on the other side of the courtroom bench. Since 2000, she has turned her life over to her faith, counseling women and leading Bible studies as a licensed minister for the Canyon Hills Assembly of God Church while raising awareness and fundraising for anti-human trafficking causes. Cynthia Giumarra — Minister, advocate, attorney, leader.
During Rosalina Rivera’s tenure as the Superintendent of the Delano Joint Union High School District, several schools in the district have been recognized with prestigious awards, including the California Distinguished Schools Award, the U.S. News and World Report Nation’s Best High School Awards, and the National Title I Distinguished School Award. In 2013, Rudy Salas recognized Rivera for her leadership and dedication, stating that she “is unwavering in her commitment to the children and the community of Delano.” Rosalina Rivera — Superintendent, innovator, collaborator, leader.
Even with all of their success, the panelists at the Women in Leadership event recognized the importance of balancing their personal lives and being committed to their families. While they have all had to remain strong to overcome barriers and accomplish their goals, finding time to quietly be with their families has helped them stay humble and keep things in perspective when dealing with coworkers and employees.
Thank you to all of our panelists for taking time out of their busy schedules to speak to our students, and thank you to Prof. Olivia Garcia for organizing the programming for this event.
Early College Parent & Student Workshop in Arvin
On March 6th, Members of the Early College Team which included Jesse Oropeza, Couselor and Maggie Rodriguez, Support Specialist, welcomed Arvin High Early College students and parents Wednesday night with smiles and tasty food! The onsite support team facilitated a workshop, engaging students and parents together in learning about the education process.
More workshops like these are planned to keep future Early College students involved. Stay tuned!
Celebrating our first Early College Graduates
Last May, thirty-eight Wonderful Ag Prep Renegades walked the stage at Memorial Stadium in recognition of earning a college degree from BC through the Early College program a few weeks prior to receiving their high school diploma. Then later that August, the amazing team at Wonderful Education hosted a special celebration for their graduates and families and I was fortunate to share some remarks at this life-changing event. I first shared this in my blog on August 18th, 2018 and you can see the original post here.
Lynda and Stewart Resnick, you had a vision for the Central Valley. You had a vision for this graduating class of 2018. You not only had the dream, you also created the infrastructure and the programming to make this dream come true. You invested significant resources because you believed in these communities, you believed in these young minds. With your work, you are transforming the Central Valley into a place of big dreams.
Sonya Christian, August 11, 2018
Take a moment to listen to these successful and inspirational young people who have completed the program and how it has impacted their futures.
Thank you Lynda and Stewart Resnick for your passionate investment in education, qualify of life and family, and the future of Kern County. We will be recognizing the Resnick’s at Sterling Silver on March 23rd.
KCCD Trustee Jack Connell Visits BC
This week, BC faculty, staff, students, and administration welcomed one of our newest Trustees, Mr. Jack Connell to campus for a visit and tour. Trustee Connell represents the Area II service area and joined the KCCD Board in November 2018 with Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.
When Trustee Connell first arrived, he was welcomed by the VP Team, Liz Rozell, Zav Dadabhoy, and Mike Giacomini. Benny Balderrama, Program Manager for Campus Center Events and Services, and Samantha Pulido, SGA Vice President, provided an overview of Student Life, while Heather Penella welcomed Trustee Connell on behalf of the Bakersfield College Foundation. Deans of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez and Manny Mourtzanos, dropped by to highlight some of our outstanding institutional initiatives and instructional work.
Afterwards, Trustee Connell enjoyed a tour of the Nursing Skills Lab hosted by Ronnie Knabe, Automotive Engine Lab hosted by Justin Flint, and the Baccalaureate Robotics Lab hosted by Tom Rush. He met our BC humanoid robot, Pepper, and was instructed on how to maneuver robotic arms by INDA students, Yasmeen Reyes and Jose Manriquez. Student Carlos Medina discussed student employment using Jobspeaker.
Industrial Automation hosts local HS students
On March 1st 2019, Bakersfield College Industrial Automation hosted over 60 students from West High School, Regional Occupational Center, and Robert F. Kennedy High School to explore the Industrial Automation program.
Students were provided an overview of the Baccalaureate Degree, Career Education certificates and degrees, Campus Life, Student Government Association, Financial-Aid and a campus tour. At lunch, all guests were surprised by a special guest from a galaxy far far away.
Art on the Fly
BC’s Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio has been working with one of BC’s art students on the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and making a large-scale painting on the fly. He said in an email, “We are representing and concluding Black History Month on the Hip Hop & Poetry side. I teach Art and Hip Hop…”
Professor Monterrubio says that his students talk about art, but also about music and other areas of the humanities, and how important it is to learn from these different realms. His student Keiolani inquired about African American female singers who showed empowerment with their music and life. Monterrubio shared that Lauryn Hill started in a group called The Refugees that was shortened to the Fugees in the 90s. He said, “I explained to my student that her music has transcended decades and is still as empowering today as it was in the nineties. So during that short conversation in regard to Black History Month and inquiry of my student, we decided to get some acrylic paint and use what we’ve learned in class regarding contrast/scale and create a huge portrait of Lauryn Hill. As an educator of color, it’s important to teach identity and diversity when my students ask for it or need to hear it. We are educators. I am here for them. Together we make art.”
Passionate Professor: Bill Kelly
Thank you to Tabatha Mills at KGET for spotlighting a true Renegade and Ag champion and BC legend, Bill Kelly.
UNCOMMON WOMEN AND OTHERS is a comedy/drama set in an East Coast women’s college during the 1970s and the second wave of feminism. Five former classmates compare notes on their activities since graduating and then, in a series of flashbacks, are seen back in their college days and we learn of the events, some funny, some touching, some awkward, some outrageous, that helped to shape them.
The play was presented in the Simonsen Performing Arts Center indoor theater and had its final showing last weekend. It was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein, and directed by theatre faculty member Bob Kempf.
Project Conexiones Estudantiles de BC
As a result of their leadership development, LUPE students are highly involved in Project Conexiones Estudantiles de BC, a new venture on campus to unite recognized student organizations on campus and community agencies who are advocates and raise the awareness of the issues affecting undocumented students on campus.
In addition, engagement in the community and early outreach to our local high school students has been a major point of emphasis for the spring semester. LUPE has been intentional in advocating for post-secondary education for all Kern County residents, regardless of their immigration status.
Six LUPE student leaders visited the Parent Center at BHS and addressed over thirty Spanish speaking parents and their students ranging from 9th – 12th grade. The information disseminated ranged from: Student Success Strategies, College Expectations, the Freshmen Experience, Resiliency/Perseverance Testimonies, EOPS Program, Dream Act/FAFSA, Scholarship Opportunities and how parents can better support and motivate the next generation.
Beyond #BringBackOurGirls: Women and Conflict in North East Nigeria
Journalist, research analyst and Yale Ph.D. candidate Hilary Matfess came to campus on Wednesday to present her research on women’s roles in the Boko Haram insurgency group in North East Nigeria. Titled “Beyond #BringBackOurGirls: Women and Conflict in North East Nigeria”, Matfess’ visit was organized by the Women’s History and More Committee, who are focusing this year’s Women’s History Month programming on discussions of women in war.
Matfess originally came to Nigeria to interview men who had defected from Boko Haram, a jihadist insurgency that initially started as a religious volunteer group before evolving into one of the world’s most violent terrorist organizations. When she discovered that getting access to Boko Haram soldiers was pretty difficult, she decided to focus her research on women who were either abducted or volunteered to join Boko Haram.
“It became clear to me that these women’s experiences were not being highlighted,” Matfess said. “Understanding women’s experiences in their totality is crucial to understanding conflict.”
Over one million Nigerians have been displaced from their homes as a result of the Boko Haram conflict, and rampant corruption and human rights abuses in displacement camps by the Nigerian military gave women few safe options to turn to. International attention of Boko Haram peaked in 2014, when the group abducted 276 young girls from a school in the town of Chibok. A group of Nigerian activists started the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, which became rapidly shared across social media and led to several of the girls being released. However, Matfess said that the campaign oversimplified the complexities of the Boko Haram conflict and ignored the thousands of other people who had been abducted by the group, and negotiating for the release of several Chibok girls resulted in the group abducting even more women in the region due to their perceived increase in value.
Thank you to BC’s WHAM committee, BCSGA, and Hilary Matfess for the enriching and informative event.
Spotlight on Student Employment
The Student Employment department hosted their second hiring recruitment for local moving company Meathead Movers on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. During the recruitment, 28 students completed onsite applications and several others picked-up an application to return at a later time. We also had several students inquire about current on-campus employment and upcoming events at our jobspeaker tent.
Erin Norton, Operations Manager for Meathead Movers, will provide an update on number of hires within the next couple of weeks. He has also requested another hiring recruitment in April as he is impressed the caliber of students Bakersfield College produces. Thank you Domenica Trinidad, Job Developer for coordinating this event and a special thanks to Darrell Ballard, Athletics Program Manager, for his continual efforts in helping our students.
Kern County Career Expo
Speaking of gainful employment, the 2nd Annual Kern County Career Expo was held, Thursday February 28, 2019. In partnership with the Kern High School District, Bakersfield College Career Education supported this large scale event that drew in approximately 5,700 middle school, high school and early college students to explore career options within Kern County.
There were over 140 companies in addition to, Regional Occupation Center, Bakersfield College, Taft College and Cal State Bakersfield to support students on the path to their future careers. Check out all the photos on BC’s Smugmug!
Connecting the Dots: Data-Informed Integrated Planning
A power team from BC attended the Connecting the Dots: Data-informed Integrated Planning conference in Fresno on March 1st. Nick Strobel, Dan Hall, Amber Hroch, Tony Cordova, Craig Hayward, Erica Menchaca, Billie Jo Rice, and Todd Coston spent the day looking through the student success dashboard, looking at data, identifying what we are doing now and then looking for opportunities to do things better. All of this work then funneled down to how we can use this information to fill the gaps of our strategic plan so we can meet the goals set by the state for the Vision For Student Success.
Counseling Department Award
Exciting news emerged from the BC Foundation this week that a self-funded Counseling Department award has been established. Fifteen members from the Counseling (Panorama & Delano), EOPS, DSPS, and BSIA departments came together and signed up for automatic, monthly payroll deduction. The contribution will total $285 per month generating $3,420 per year to support deserving BC students! The first $500 award will be given out this spring. What an amazing demonstration of care, teamwork and leadership!
CASE District VII Conference
Susan Hubbell, Financial Information Manager and Heather Pennella, Alumni & Donor Relations Manager attended the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII Conference in Anaheim, representing Bakersfield College and the BC Foundation. CASE District VII represents institutions in the western region of the U.S., including Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah. The four-day conference was stacked with sessions focused on alumni relations, advancement services, philanthropy, leadership and communications. Susan and Heather took part in many educational sessions during the conference to bring back information and apply it to the Foundation’s growing efforts towards improved alumni outreach, donor stewardship and a robust scholarship program.
Go Red Luncheon
On March 1, 2019 the American Heart Association held its annual Go Red Luncheon. What a fantastic event with incredible turnout! Bakersfield College was well represented by the BC cheerleaders.
Adventist Health’s Beatris Espericueta-Sanders and Kiyoshi Tomono were gracious hosts as Norma Rojas-Mora and I joined Mayor Karen Goh, CSUB’s President Zelezny and Lourdes Nilon, from Bakersfield High, Tamara Clark, and from Adventist Health Dr. Anabiet Udofia, Heather Van Housen. There was a sea of red as the community came out to understand the importance of heart health and to build awareness around knowing the symptoms of a heart attack. The American Heart Association cites that one in three women is living with some form of cardiovascular disease and it kills one woman every 80 seconds. To prevent the disease, the organization recommends understanding family health history, knowing your numbers and making lifestyle changes like eating smart, managing blood pressure and being more active.
Seen on Facebook: BC at Shafter City Council
Last Tuesday, Dean of Academic Technology Bill Moseley joined Shafter Educational Liaison David Franz at the Shafter City Council meeting, to speak in support of the proposed Shafter Library and Learning Center expansion. The Shafter Learning Center has partnered with BC to offer study space and support for BC students who live in Shafter, and may offer classroom space in the future for BC classes.
Career Ladders Project Partnership
These Affinity Team rock stars, Pedro Ramirez and Armando Trujillo along with their stage manager Lisa Robles went on tour sharing the good news surrounding Guided Pathways from a Completion Coaching Community perspective. The group started their tour at the Building Diversity Conference in L.A., moving on to their second gig in Long Beach at the Achieving the Dream Conference and ended their tour in NYC at the League for Innovation conference where former BC AAI champion and current Director at Career Ladders Project Julian West received the 2018 Innovation Award.
The partnership and collaboration between Bakersfield College and Career Ladders Project is an important one as we continue the work in making Guided Pathways a success.
Photos of Campus at Dawn
Earl Parsons of BC’s Marketing team shared these photos with me and they were too beautiful not to include! Enjoy!
We have been so fortunate to work alongside local firm Ordiz-Melby Architects for our new Campus Center. They have been wonderful partners and have been working diligently to make sure that our new Campus Center will benefit the campus, students, and our community! The new campus center will have many exciting features, including a new food services area, student life offices, and a 500-person conference room! Thank you to Jeannie Bertolaccini, Danny Ordiz and Bob Varner for your partnership to build A Better BC!
If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11am, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights included segments with BC Head Cheer Coach Heather Foss and BC Cheerleaders Jasmine Garcia and Karlee Nelson.
Renegades of the Week
Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (2/24-3/2) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.
Bailey Pike, Women’s Swimming – In the first Western State Conference meet she took first in the 1650m Freestyle (19:37.41), lowering her season best time by 23 seconds and finishing over a minute ahead of the second place swimmer, helping the women take first overall at the meet.
Zach Williams, Baseball – He was 8 for 10 (.800) in three games last week. He had a total of 8 RBI, 2 stolen bases and 2 home runs (one grand slam and one three-run homerun).
Zach Williams named SoCal Player of the Week An big congrats
to Zach on not only being Renegade of the Week, but also being named SoCal
Player of the week by the California Community College Baseball Coaches
Association (CCCBCA) for his big week last week!
Seven Renegades Named to the 2018 SCFA Scholar Athlete Team
We are proud to have student athletes who not only take care of business on the field, but in the classroom as well. This year we have seven Renegade football student athletes named to the Southern California Football Association 2018 Scholar Athlete Team. The seven include: Jeremiah Johnson (DB, Soph, Garces HS), Nathan De Jager (PK, Soph, Bakersfield Christian HS), James Thomas (DE, Soph, Independence HS), Monolete Robinson (DB, Soph, Centennial HS), Andrew Magana (DL, Fresh, Bakersfield HS), Carson Olivas (P, Soph, Bakersfield HS) and Blake Brown (OL, Soph, Garces HS). Congrats and keep up the great work academically!
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, March 3rd…. on a long flight this morning to chair an accreditation site visit ….
Where do I begin? With Nan of course!
Celebrating her retirement with Nan …. not really retiring, or at least not completely – I see her continuing her service to BC and KCCD… just wondering what that next role will be?
Nan says “Make it so!”
“Be the first one to arrive and the last one to leave. I never did figure out that first one, but I’ve got that last one down pat.” Anyone that’s been at BC for any length of time will tell you that, evening after evening, a few vehicles would remain in those expansive (and soon to be resurfaced) parking lots. Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg’s was always one.
The Bakersfield College that you see, read about, and experience today, would not be the same Bakersfield College without her graceful touch and bold leadership. Many of the changes and things you see around you, from the colors of countless BC publications to securing Measure J funds, were expertly transformed by what must have been her magic wand or sparkling fairy dust. Or maybe it was just years of wisdom, a knack for instinctual transcendence, and many, many evenings of a lone vehicle in that parking lot while work was being perfected here on campus.
So this past Wednesday, our Executive Offices prepared a celebration day for Nan, and what an adventure! Picture it: Zav, Don, Jennifer, Wendy, June, Somaly, Tarina, Chris, Zach, and myself huddled in Nan’s office minutes before she arrived. The floor, lush with multicolored roses, we covered our faces with the photos of various Nans (yes, even the “bob cut years”), lined the decorative “The Legend has Retired” balloons, and waited. Until…
Nan said, “You guys!” And I think her face says it all!
From there we, we prepared a (nearly) all vegetarian lunch in A5, just how Nan likes it. There was falafel, Liz Rozell’s fruit salad, Flame-N-Skewers’ hummus, and this delicious treat Chef Sabella calls a Vegetarian Napoleon.
Tom Burke, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and Danielle Hillard-Adams
Trustee Bill Thomas stopped by to say hello
Being surrounded by friends and her work family really brought a unique radiance, even for Nan.
But with that the afternoon was far from over. Nan requested a flash mob… so you remember her wand?
We also celebrated the promotions of Liz Rozell, new Interim Vice President of Instruction, and Jason Dixon, who will be taking Liz’s place as the dean in charge of the Engineering and Industrial Technology and Business Management and Information Technology departments.
Liz has been an ambitious leader for her department, which oversaw the implementation of our Baccalaureate Degree in Industrial Automation during her tenure. Her effervescent personality and inspirational words of guidance brought the best out of everyone on her team, and BC has been lucky to have her, but I’m confident that Jason will be able to fill her shoes and continue the tradition of excellence that Liz has created over at Engineering and Industrial Technology.
Mary Webb and the Industrial Tech department hosted a dinner for Liz and Jason’s respective promotions, and Liz passed a literal torch to Jason after Mary said a few words congratulating them both. Moments like this reminds me why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever.
Liz and Nan
The 10th Annual Sterling Silver Dinner was held on campus on February 24th. The library was a beautiful setting for the 200 guests that attended to mix and mingle during the reception, while enjoying hors d’oeuvres. The Jones Art Gallery was open for the evening with a collection of student art on display for guests to view. The Archives Department expertly curated a variety of artifacts from BC’s past for attendees to enjoy.
It was great to see friends, supporters of BC, and our Trustees Romeo Agbalog and Bill Thomas at the event.
The Bakersfield College Drumline did a fabulous job of calling guests to make their way to the gorgeous tented dining area. The focus of the evening was to celebrate three benefactors of Bakersfield College and Nick James – KGET Sports Reporter, served as emcee for the evening.
Marko B. and Theo Zaninovich were honored as the Outstanding Individual Philanthropists of the year and they shared the importance of education and the reasons they support BC.
Kern Schools Federal Credit Union received recognition as the Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist, and Steve Renock – President/CEO of KSFCU, spoke to the long history of partnership between Kern Schools and BC.
Tom Gelder, Sonya Christian, Steve Renock
Tom Gelder, Sonya Christian, Kenneth Byrom
The BC Foundation honored Kenneth M. Byrum with the inaugural Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal. Ken has been on the Foundation board since its inception in 1975 and continues to serve and support Bakersfield College. The Byrum family came in full support for the evening with members coming to town from coast to coast.
Thank you all who were generous in sponsoring the 2018 Sterling Silver which was a sold out event.
Thank you Senator Jean Fuller for squeezing the Sterling Silver event into your busy calendar
Thank you Mayor Karen Goh, Cathy Abernathy, Jay Rosenlieb, Mary Jo Pasek and Tom Pasek.
Jen Garrett and Matt Garrett. Lily Agbalog and Trustee Romeo Agbalog
The fabulous John Gerhold with the beautiful Wendy Gerhold
Two academic senate presidents — Corny Rodriguez (now dean) and Steven Holmes (current academic senate president)
Jerry Cook and Lauraine Cook. Olivia Garcia and Heather Penella
With the fabulous Monty Byrom who traveled back from Fresno just to support Dr. Jen Garrett and our BC choir for their trip to Australia. So happy to be standing by this talented man.
Love having Mayor Goh at these events. Here we are with three of the awardees for the evening – Ken Byrum and Marco and Theo Zaninovich.
And thank you for our students who were helping out driving carts during this very cold evening. #WeAreBC
The expertly prepared four=course meal and wine pairings were a highlight of the evening. I must say that I tend to avoid desert most evenings, but the desert at Sterling Silver was to die for. Stars of local cuisine such as Chef Thomas Chairez of Bakersfield Country Club, Chef Eric Sabella of Bakersfield College, Chef John Pilling of Trilogy Resort, and Chef Stephanie Caughell-Fisher of Gimmee Some Sugar worked together to plan the evening’s menu, and guests were treated to a delicious feast.
If you have not bought your tickets yet for this event, do so now. Monty Byrom, Lydia Ranger, BC Chamber singers all in one evening — March 10th at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 each. Email me now please or call the BC Foundation or purchase tickets directly from the Music Hall of Fame.
Tarina Perry was out this Sunday helping Kyle Carter and Lydia Ranger sell tickets to the March 10th concert at churches.
Thank you Trustee Kyle Carter for all your support of this event!
Black History Month Parade
“Staying Connected to Preserve Our Heritage” was the theme of this year’s Black History Parade in downtown Bakersfield. Bakersfield College was proud to participate and march in the parade last weekend.
Great to see BC’s Cheer Team with Heather Foss and the Drumline with Tim Heasley.
Staff brought out their children and students. Here is Endee Grijalva with her daughter Ava and Prof. Ish Kimbrough with his daughter. Love this selfie with Kimbrough’s two students Destiny and Michael.
BC’s Drumline performed at the parade and even took home first place trophy! Congratulations!!!!
Last Sunday, familiar faces gathered at St. Peter Restoration Community Christian Ministries for a morning of prayer, worship, connecting, and honoring one another. Part of the day was to Honor Dr. Horace Mitchell for all that he’s done for our community. The Master and Mistress of Ceremony were Steve and Kimberly Watkin.
It was a beautiful celebration, with so many friends and supporters of education and BC in our community. Among the friendly faces, I saw Chief Lyle Martin, Brenda Lewis, Ramon Hendrix, Ronda Williams, Dee Slade, and more. Dee shared with me information about icanaffordcollege.com which is a campaign by California Community Colleges to make sure Californians know how affordable community colleges can be. Dee was a true supporter of Measure J and she is a true supporter of local community colleges. What a gem for our community.
Sonya Christian and Dee Slade
Dr. Horace Mitchell Shares his Story
BC students and faculty got the opportunity to hear CSUB President Dr. Horace Mitchell reflect on his 50-year career in higher education in the Fireside Room on Tuesday, and to ask him a few questions before he retires in June.
The African-American Initiatives group invited Dr. Mitchell as the last speaker for our Black History Month programming in February, and he talked extensively about how he worked to create safe spaces and a welcoming atmosphere for minority students throughout his career as a university administrator, which included stints at UC Irvine and UC Berkeley before he became the first black president of CSUB, a position which he’s held for the last 14 years.
Dr. Horace Mitchell and BC’s Leadership
Dr. Mitchell has had the opportunity to shatter many barriers in academia. While studying his Ph.D. In Counseling Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, Mitchell got his first job in college administration when he was selected to be the associate dean of arts and sciences. During that time, Dr. Mitchell recognized the advantage he had over his peers in understanding the needs that are specific to students of color, and in academia, he saw the ways that traditional psychological studies of the time were blind to structural biases facing people of color. He was persistent in his advocacy for university policies that reduce the difficulties students of color face while promoting more diverse hiring of faculty to reflect the diversity of the student body.
Attendees listened to Dr. Mitchell
“Throughout my career, it has been about increasing student potential,” Dr. Mitchell said. “We push our students to define what is important to them, then work to see how we can make it a reality.”
Dr. Mitchell went on to become the first African-American vice chancellor and the first non-physician to become a dean of medicine at UC Irvine on his path to becoming the Vice Chancellor of Business and Administrative Services at UC Berkeley. Despite working in the administration at one of the most prestigious universities in the country, Dr. Mitchell was excited to take the president’s job at CSUB because he recognized the opportunity he had to transform the community here and expand CSUB’s diversity outreach.
During Dr. Mitchell’s tenure, CSUB has reformed general education requirements, expanded to Division I athletics, added programs in engineering and agriculture business and a doctoral degree in educational leadership in response to the community’s needs. He’s also expanded partnerships with industry leaders, the Kern High School District, and with BC, helping us add CSUB counselors at the Panorama campus to assist our Renegades in smoothly transferring to become Roadrunners.
Dr. Horace Mitchell and BC Students
During the Q&A session with students, Dr. Mitchell stressed the importance of following the Associate Degree for Transfer programs closely in order to successfully transfer and graduate with a baccalaureate degree in four years.
“Look at what you need, be clear about what you need to do, and stay focused,” Dr. Mitchell said.
March is Women’s History Month and Bakersfield College Women’s History and More (WHAM) committee is hosting numerous events. Anita Hill will be lecturing on Reimagining Equality: Inclusive Communities in Post-Obama America on Thursday next week. We will also be showing the film Dolores: Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother. followed by discussion with Delores Huerta and some of her adult children on Monday, 3/12. Later in March, there will be a Frida Kahlo painting event and Dr. Lydia Otero will discuss her work as part of our Distinguished Speakers Series. During all of March, Grace Van Dyke Bird Library will feature the display Local & Widespread Female Activism on the main floor with various titles from the library that focus on female actives in California and specifically in Kern County, prepared by Faith Bradham, Reference Librarian. You can see all of the details for the events on BC’s Women’s History Month.
I would like to thank all of the faculty and staff involved in organizing and holding these events on campus including: Erin Miller, Olivia Garcia, Tina Mendoza, Jessica Flores, Faith Gradham, all of the members of WHAM, Nicky Damania, and Jack Hernandez.
Our own Olivia Garcia, History and Journalism faculty, wrote an article published in Wednesday’s Bakersfield Californian. She details what to expect from a few of the events including why we are so fortunate to have activists Anita Hill, Dolores Huerta and Dr. Lydia Otero at BC. Read “BC celebrates Women’s History Month with series of events.”
Cindy’s New Digs
I was at the District for the accreditation subcommittee meeting and popped in to check out Cindy’s new digs. Though we miss her, she’s not far away.
Cindy Collier in her new space at the District Office.
Bakersfield Lifestyle Magazine
What a treat to see artwork by Duane Anderson, Architecture faculty on the front cover of Bakersfield Lifestyle Magazine. On his website, www.duaneandersonart.com, he says:
“Twenty-five years ago my love of painting led me to leave architecture, my chosen profession, to focus on architectural illustration. That proved to be a rewarding decision as I was able to blend my love of painting with my interest in architecture.
Thirteen years ago I had the opportunity to pursue another dream – to teach at my Alma Mater, Bakersfield College. I am presently a tenured Professor of architecture. I teach perspective drawing and presentation graphics. When not in class, I enjoy teaching drawing and watercolor workshops whenever the opportunity presents itself.”
Seen on Twitter
Thank you to Reyna Harvey@ReynaHarveyB, weekend anchor at KBAK for this tweet!
An Evening with Laura Bush
Laura Bush was at the Kern County Fairgrounds last Tuesday in support of the Boys and Girls Club of Kern County. She discussed the importance of literacy and education in advancing opportunities for America’s youth, and in fostering healthy families and communities. I was fortunate to be Jean Fuller‘s guest for this lovely dinner event. See the article “Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County welcome Laura Bush to Bakersfield” on 23ABC.
Get Focused, Stay Focused
Dr. Lauren Wintermeyer
On Monday morning, some of our counselors got the opportunity to learn about a program that teaches students how to prepare for the career of their dreams.
Dr. Lauren A. Wintermeyer Ramirez, a counselor at Ventura College, broke down the components of “Get Focused…Stay Focused!”, an initiative she co-founded to teach high school students and college freshman about how to choose the right career based on their interests, and how to develop the financial literacy, education and job skills necessary to reach that career.
After working closely with English language learners as a high school teacher, Wintermeyer Ramirez was inspired to create “Get Focused…Stay Focused!” when she realized that many of her students were picking their college of choice without thinking about the career opportunities that college could provide. Using guided pathways as a framework, Wintermeyer Ramirez helped develop a course dedicated to career and financial literacy that could be offered during each year of high school for college credit, or as a 3-unit course for college freshmen that would be transferrable to a CSU or UC.
The first part of “Get Focused…Stay Focused!” involves pinpointing three potential careers that each student would be interested in, which involves a series of budget and financial planning exercises to help students identify a career that could support their lifestyle, as well as psychoanalytic frameworks such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs or Myers-Briggs Personality Types to clarify students’ strengths.
The financial planning portion of “Get Focused…Stay Focused!” is the largest and most eye-opening part of the curriculum, Wintermeyer Ramirez explained, since many young people have never lived on their own and often aren’t familiar with the basic costs of living.
Once students have the three careers that they’re interested in, Wintermeyer Ramirez has each student visit the Career Center at her college. She then assigns students with contacting someone in the community with one of those careers for job shadowing, in which the student follows that person around for a day to learn the ins and outs of their career. These job shadow assignments have led to internships and job opportunities for several of Wintermeyer Ramirez’s students, she said.
Letty Garza (left), the Curriculum and Technical Support Advisor for Academic Innovations, LLC, goes over the workbook for the course created by the “Get Focused…Stay Focused!” initiative with BC counselor Marisa Marquez.
By the end of the course, each student in “Get Focused…Stay Focused!” picks one career and creates a ten-year plan outlining how they’ll reach and sustain their goals. They’re able to plan out what classes they’ll need to take in each semester of college, and other skills they’ll need to develop to impress their future employers.
Students can give their ten-year plans to counselors and educational advisors at the end of the course, and examining the aggregate data gathered by students’ ten-year plans can help institutions make decisions about developing new programs of study that match up with their student population’s interests and community needs.
“Get Focused…Stay Focused!” is primarily integral for the first two pillars of guided pathways—helping to clarify the best educational pathway for each student and giving them the information they need to enter that path with the right college courses—but the ten-year plans also give students the motivation they need to stay on the path and do the work required of them to ensure learning. Dr. Davis Jenkins, a senior scholar with the Community College Research Center whowrote the book on guided pathways, is currently looking at “Get Focused…Stay Focused!” as a case study, Wintermeyer Ramirez said.
I’d like to thank Dr. Wintermeyer Ramirez—as well as Curriculum and Technical Support Advisor Letty Garza from Academic Innovations, LLC—for taking the time to teach our counselors about this important program. We’re looking into how we can incorporate elements of this program into our curriculum, and we hope that something similar can be enacted at the high-school level along with our multiple measures and dual enrollment partnerships.
FIELD Institute at BC
The FIELD Institute held a meeting at Bakersfield College in the Levan Center this week to move forward work related to The Career and Technical Education Initiative. I attended the announcement event back in December and shared it in my blog post, “Busy Between Semesters at BC.”
Thank you David Villarino for your leadership in pulling together this consortium of colleges and universities. You have been always been committed to providing opportunity and family-wage jobs for the most under-served populations.
Pictured below are leaders and supporters of this initiative including, David Villarino, FIELD; Dr. Stephen Schoonmaker, President Siskiyous College District Dr. Horace Mitchell, President CSUB, Liz Rozell, VP Instruction BC, and Dr. Sean Hancock, President of Palo Verde.
Guided Pathways Workshops
In last week’s blog, I highlighted Julian West’s participation in the Guided Pathways workshops hosted by the CCCCO. This week, both Grace Commiso and Maria Wright presented in the Fresno and Oakland workshops. Grace and Maria highlighted the success that Bakersfield College has experienced through the Guided Pathways efforts. A larger group including Billie Jo Rice, Brent Burton, Erica Menchaca, Janet Fulks, and Eleonora Hicks participated in the Fresno workshop. The presentation included some of the following highlights:
The number of students successfully completing the matriculation steps has increased over the past couple of years. Specifically, the follow-up services have doubled from 30 to 60 percent since the 2014-2015 Academic Year.
Bakersfield College has documented a 34.4 percent growth rate in the last five years.
The number of students successfully completing an associate’s degree has increased by 450 in the last six years.
The number of students successfully completing a certificate has increased by 476 in the last six years.
In addition, Grace and Maria hosted plenary sessions on the development of early steps and the importance of incorporating the student voice through Guided Pathway efforts.
On Monday, we had our first of two all campus budget forums for 2018. Teresa McAllister, Budget Committee Faculty Co-Chair kicked off the informative session. Other speakers included myself, Don Chrusciel, VP of Finance and Administrative Services, and Steven Holmes, President of Academic Senate.
The purpose of these biannual all campus forums is to give a high-level status report. This second forum is coming up within the following months. Thank you to Somaly Boles for coordinating the event.