Tag Archives: Heather Foss

Remembering Those We Lost This Memorial Day

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, June 15, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

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.

Locally, Bakersfield’s oldest traditional Memorial Day celebration takes place at Union Cemetery, this year featuring speeches by Kevin McCarthy and local veteran Bill Glaspie, who fought the Nazis on the beaches of Normandy 75 years ago on D-Day. The Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary held their sixth-annual Thousand Flags event, and Tehachapi celebrated with a parade and ceremony through downtown. KERO provided a list of local Memorial Day events on their website.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy with Paul Beckworth and guests at the Union Cemetery on Memorial Day.

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.

Rendering of the soon to be finished Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center.

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.  

Nicole Parra and panelists at the 25th Annual Latina Action Day.

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.

Evelyn Torres alongside panelists discussing education and workforce needs.

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.

Rural Initiatives Classified and Support Staff at the celebration
Carolina Madrigal and Rural Initiatives Classified and Support Staff at the celebration.
Public Safety Officers Matthew Rodriguez and Linda Morgan
Kim Collins, Academic Liaison (left) and Monica Huyck, Tutoring Services Team Leader
Group photo of the Rural Initiatives Classified and Support Staff
North Kern Adult Education team (From left to right) Jaime Lopez, Jesus Jimenez, Kim Collins, and Thalia Solorio
Manuel Muralles and Carolina Madrigal

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.

Attendees preparing for Day 1 of the Administrative Council Retreat.

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.  

Attendees preparing for Day 1 of the Administrative Council Retreat.
Attendees preparing for Day 1 of the Administrative Council Retreat.

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!

BC Umoja students and graduates
Austyn William, graduate and Umoja’s first SI leader
Graduate Jade Slack with Dr. Parks, Mr. Ward, and Mr. Rosas, Umoja’s first counselor.
Graduate Kim Evans with Dr. Park and Jonathan Ward.
TiYante Patterson, who is transferring to Morgan State in the fall.
Emcee Korrie Edwards, who is also the outgoing Umoja Club president.
Dr. Park and Mr. Ward preparing a ritual for the Umoja community.
Some of the 2018-2019 graduates with Joe Coughlin, who acknowledged the graduates with Coconut Joe’s gift card and cash. Thanks for your continued support, Joe!
Some of the Umoja students who graduated from BC. The tee-shirts show that as they become BC alum, they are always part of Umoja.
Some of the awesome, dedicated Umoja mentors
The audience sang the Black National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing”

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.

Conexiones Estudiantiles LUPE student panel sharing their stories with Conexiones Rurales students.
Rural Initiatives Executive Director Abel Guzman speaking to students.
From left, Octavio Barajas, Marivel Servin, Manuel Rosas
Conexiones Estudiantiles LUPE students and their advisors.
Conexiones Rurales and Conexiones Estudiantiles students with BC Faculty and Staff

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.”

The Bakersfield College Cheerleaders on stage with New Kids on the Block!

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 Exec team preparing delicious and healthy meals.
Sharon Bush, President Christian, Billie Jo Rice and Mike Giacomini
Chef Alex Gomez and Jennifer Serratt
Sharon Bush, President Christian, Billie Jo Rice diligently following the recipe.
Sonya Christian, Billie Jo Rice and Mike Giacomini preparing their healthy dishes.

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!

Chefs Suzanne Tangeman and Alex Gomez
With Billie Jo Rice and Liz Rozell
Chef Gomez teaching Liz and me secrets of the trade.
Chef Suzanne Tangeman, Chef Alex Gomez, Billie Jo Rice & Christian Flores-Castaneda

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.

Drone footage of Memorial Stadium construction
Drone footage of Memorial Stadium construction
Drone footage of Memorial Stadium construction
Drone footage of Memorial Stadium construction

Photos that make me happy

Monika Scott and Nicky Damania at Aladdin

Family weekend at Lake Arrowhead

Memorial Day weekend with family at a cabin in Lake Arrowhead.

Lake Arrowhead, May 26, 2019
President Christian and her dog Neo


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Women Who Create Ripples in Our Community

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, June 15, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

In light of celebrating International Women’s Day, I found myself browsing this post of 21 Powerful Quotes to Celebrate International Women’s Day and found myself pausing at this one by Mother Teresa.

"I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples."
Mother Teresa Quote. Graphic from boredpanda.com

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.

Women in Leadership with Trustees
(L-R) Cynthia Giumarra, Rosalina Rivera, Blanca Cavazos, Sonya Christian, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Romeo Agbalog, Shannon Grove, and Jean Fuller
Liz Rozell and Jean Fuller

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.

Attendees at Womens Panel

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.

Standing ovation from the audience

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.

Olivia Garcia
Olivia Garcia
BCSGA President Ashley Harp and Sonya Christian
It was awesome to see BCSGA President Ashley Harp in attendance.
KCCD Trustees Nan Gomez Heitzeberg and Romeo Agbalog
KCCD Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Romeo Agbalog

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.

Jesse Oropeza speaks to the parents in the room

More workshops like these are planned to keep future Early College students involved. Stay tuned!

Early College Flier

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.

Sonya Christian speaking at the Wonderful Ag Prep Graduation Celebration in August 2018

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.

Graduates stand to thank Lynda and Stewart Resnick
Thanking Lynda and Stewart Resnick

KCCD Trustee Jack Connell Visits BC

Students, Pepper and Trustee Connell
Industrial Automation students pose with Pepper, the robot and Trustee Connell

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.

Yasmeen Reyes and Trustee Connell
Yasmeen Reyes and Trustee Connell
Jose Marquez introduces Trustee Connell to a robotic machine
Jose Marquez introduces Trustee Connell to a robotics machine
Trustee Connell visits BC Nursing
Trustee Connell visits BC Nursing
Trustee Connell visits a BC workshop
Trustee Connell visits a BC workshop
Trustee Connell Visit
The tour ended with a lunch provided by BC’s Food Services.
(Back) Trustee Connell, Todd Coston, Jennifer Johnson Bernadette Martinez
(Front) Mike Giacomini, Liz Rozell, Nick Strobel, Jessica Wojtsjiak.

Industrial Automation hosts local HS students

Students learn about the Industrial Automation program

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.

HS Students see robotics in action
HS Students see robotics in action

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.

Industrial Automation staff with R2D2
Industrial Automation staff with R2D2

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

Graphic by Tish Gamez

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.

(R-L): Emily Andrews, Jerusha Crystian, Emma Jordan-Scott, Jenna Joy Fernandez, Angela Caffee, Lorea Laverty, Lindsay Pearson, and Lucy Brown.
Photo by Michelle Guerrero
(R-L): Emily Andrews, Jerusha Crystian, Emma Jordan-Scott, Jenna Joy Fernandez, Angela Caffee, Lorea Laverty, Lindsay Pearson, and Lucy Brown.

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.

BC LUPE Group Photo

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.

BHS Parents Presentations
BHS Parents Presentations

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

Hilary Matfess speaks at BC's Levan Center
Hilary Matfess speaks at BC’s Levan Center

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.

Meathead Movers and Student Employment
Meathead Movers and Student Employment

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.

The 2019 Kern County Career Expo

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

BC Team at Connecting the Dots
BC Team at Connecting the Dots

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

Renegade Student

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 and Heather Pennella attend the conference
Susan Hubbell and Heather Pennella attend the 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

Mayor Karen Goh, Lynnette Zelezny, Sonya Christian, Beatris Espericueta-Sanders, Norma Rojas-Mora, and Lourdez Nilon
Mayor Karen Goh, Lynnette Zelezny, Sonya Christian, Beatris Espericueta-Sanders, Norma Rojas-Mora, and Lourdez Nilon

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.

Mayor Karen Goh, President Lynnette Zelezny, President Sonya Christian
In true red style, BC Cheer was on hand for the event! Cheer coach Heather Foss expecting her first baby.

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.

Bill Moseley FB post

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!

Collage by Earl Parsons
Photos by Earl Parsons

Ordiz-Melby Architects

Jeannie Bertolaccini and Danny Ordiz

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!

The team hard at work! A Better BC in action!

Renegade Report

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!

Fun Photo of Coach Dahl and Trustee Agbalog

Coach Paula Dahl and Trustee Agbalog at the McFarland Basketball game

Renegade Athletics Roundup


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Celebrating Special Days, Friends, and BC Family!

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 with wand

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…

Nans CelebrationNan 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, and Danielle Hillard-Adams, Executive Assistant to Tom.

Tom Burke, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and Danielle Hillard-Adams

Trustee Bill Thomas stopped by to say hello

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Bill Thomas Feb 28 2018

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?

See more photos from the afternoon at BC’s Smugmug.

Passing the Torch

Liz passing the torch to Jason

Liz passing the torch to Jason

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

Liz and Nan

Sterling Silver

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.

Romeo Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Bill Thomas

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.

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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.

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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, Steve Renock

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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.

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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

BCSterlingSilver Sonya Christian and Jean Fuller

Thank you Mayor Karen Goh, Cathy Abernathy, Jay Rosenlieb, Mary Jo Pasek and Tom Pasek.

Jay Rosenlieb, Karen Goh, Sonya Christian, Cathy Abernathy, Mary Jo Pasek, 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.

BCSterlingSilver Sonya Christian and Monty Byrom

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.

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And thank you for our students who were helping out driving carts during this very cold evening.  #WeAreBC

BCSterlingSilver Sonya Christian and Student Workers

 

 

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Sterling Silver DesertThe 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.

See all the photos by April Massirio at BC’s Smugmug.

BC Choir in Sydney Opera House

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!

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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.

Black History Month Parade

Great to see BC’s Cheer Team with Heather Foss and the Drumline with Tim Heasley.

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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!!!!

See all the pictures at BC’s Smugmug.

Special Day of United Worship

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. 

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

Sonya Christian and Dee Slade

Sonya Christian at St Peters with Chief Lyle Martin

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 Team

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.

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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

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.

KernPromiseEven-042817s Karen Goh Sonya Christian Horace Mitchell

Thank you, Dr. Mitchell for sharing your time with BC’s students. More photos are available at BC’s Smugmug.

Women’s History Month

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.”

Womens History Month - Californian

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.

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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!

Reyna Harvey

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.

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Get Focused, Stay Focused

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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 and Marisa Marquez

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 who wrote 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.

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. Bakersfield College has documented a 34.4 percent growth rate in the last five years.
  3. The number of students successfully completing an associate’s degree has increased by 450 in the last six years.
  4. The number of students successfully completing a certificate has increased by 476 in the last six years.

BC Awards

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.

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Beat Goes On at BC!

BC’s Music department was highlighted by Susan Scaffidi in The Bakersfield Californian. See the online article here. 

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Twice a Year Budget Forum

Budget Forum 2018

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. 

Teresa McAllister

Teresa McAllister

 

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College Council

On Friday, College Council met to address college-wide issues through a collaborative, integrative approach, promoting greater communication that is accessible to the college campus at large, and to facilitate timely and effective decision-making efforts. The fantastic Lesley Bond presented on Guided Pathways and the Innovation Award Proposals.

Leadership Academy at BC

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Cindy Collier, Liz Rozell, John Means

Special guests on campus Friday were members of this years KCCD Leadership Academy. The day started with a welcome to our guests by KCCD Vice Chancellor, John Means. An overview of the BC campuses, centers, and our programs was given by Deans of Instruction, Rich McCrow and Corny Rodriguez. The next activity was an overview of the Program Mapper led by Jennifer Johnson and Mark Osea. Other activities included learning about BC’s Baccalaureate Program, Industrial Automation led by Manny Fernandez, Guided Pathways by Lesley Bonds, and Dual Enrollment by Anna Laven, Corny Rodriguez, and Cindy Collier, Strong Workforce by Anthony Cordova, and last but not least, a facilities update by Bill Potter. 

The Kern Community College District is committed to supporting professional development that informs employees’ leadership abilities. Hence, the Kern Community College District Leadership Academy works to develop classified, faculty and management employees to prepare for leadership roles at every level of the organization. Through experiential learning opportunities in day-long workshops from September through April each school year, the KCCD Leadership Academy offers employees the opportunity to interact with district executives, KCCD trustees, state-level education leaders and others. Participants generate a greater understanding of our geographically expansive district and build cross-district relationships with co-workers. The program includes workshops held at each of our college campuses, conference travel, and team projects that address goals identified in the KCCD Strategic Plan. .

Leadership Academy (3)

Corny Roriguez and Cindy Collier

A full campus tour by cart was offered, thanks to our drivers, Chris Glaser and Wendy Lawson. 

BC Ag Advisory

On Thursday, Eric Garcia spoke at BC’s Ag Advisory.  Eric is Advisory Chair, works at Discoll, and is a Bakersfield College Alum.

 

Ag Advisory (1)

 

Sonya Christian at Sterling Silver Feb 24 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Busy Between Semesters at BC!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, December 16th, 2017 and a great day to be a Renegade.

The fall academic semester was over the previous week, students have started their holiday break, but the activities on campus continue.  The only indication that we are during break are the parking lots.  There are a lot of spaces …..

Congratulations to our 26th graduating class of Paramedics!

Bakersfield College first began to explore the need for a paramedic program in the spring of 2003.  This discussion was based on a looming change in California law and the inability of the local paramedic school at that time to meet those requirements.

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After discussions with stakeholders in the summer of 2003 (County ambulance providers, Kern County EMS Agency, local hospitals, Emergency Room Medical Directors and college administrators), it was decided the college would explore the feasibility of offering a Paramedic Program.  In the summer of 2003, the Bakersfield College Director of Nursing/EMT programs conducted discussions with ambulance employees and administered a community of interest survey.  The results of the survey indicated approximately 90% of the respondents indicated they would be interested in enrolling in a Paramedic Program.  They also indicated they would be available to attend class full time if there was employer support.

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Dean Rich McCrow, Director Tim Capehart with the graduating class

With the assistance and continued assistance of Hall Ambulance Service (thank you Mayor Harvey Hall!), Bakersfield College developed the curriculum, program policies and procedures, recruited personnel and gathered the necessary resources and equipment to implement the Bakersfield College Paramedic Program in January of 2004, and completed the CoAEMSP/CAAHEP requirements in 2006.  In 2014 the paramedic program began an effort to move from a non-credit program to a credit/degree granting program.  That goal was accomplished and in the fall of 2017 the college enrolled their first credit/degree granting program cohort.

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This group of 13 graduates is the 26th class to graduate from the Bakersfield College Paramedic Program, and the first to complete the credit granting 3-semester program.  With the addition of these graduates the Bakersfield College Paramedic Program will have trained just over 300 paramedics.

 

CTE Partnership with FIELD

Nora Dominguez, Sonya Christian, Stephen Schoonmaker, Jenny Zorn Dec 14 2017

Nora Dominguez, Sonya Christian, Stephen Schoonmaker, Jenny Zorn

On Thursday morning I was honored to be a part of an event for the new CTE initiative announced by the FIELD Institute. California Community Colleges play a critical role in lifting the state’s economy, creating the workforce of the future, closing achievement gaps, and providing educational access to all. Jobs requiring only a high school education are becoming more rare, which drives an increasing need for postsecondary education and a degree as the passport to family sustaining wages, and steady employment.

For the past 104 years, Bakersfield College has provided a direct pipeline for the Bakersfield community to reach their goals through quality education and career-based training programs that provide the skills needed to be successful.

Speaking at FIELD

Programs such as FIELD Institute’s EPIC (Escuela Popular Instituto Campesino) promote college-bound thinking and behavior which ripple through the  community for generations – making a positive impact for years to come.

The FIELD grant work will empower our students, provide important opportunities, and increase educational access for many who are socioeconomically disadvantaged and underserved. Students will be placed into CTE pathways with the structure and support to be successful.

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 underserved populations.

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It was great reconnecting with Dr. Stephen Schoomaker, a colleague from Oregon who has now moved to California as President of College of Siskiyous.  And it is always fun seeing Nora Dominguez.  Thank you Nora for helping BC with Measure J.

Thank you to the BC team who came out to support the event.  Dean Corny Rodriguez, Dean Cindy Collier, Director of CTE Tony Cordova.  I wish we had snapped a picture.

Clergy Breakfast

Steve Watkin and members of our African-American faculty affinity group hosted a congregation of black church leaders to have breakfast and talk about Bakersfield College’s outreach and student success initiatives for African American students on Wednesday morning in the Fireside Room. Steve shared his progress with increasing African-American enrollment on campus, highlighting the work that the Outreach department and our counselors and educational advisors do to create a welcoming atmosphere for our African-American student body while keeping the standards and expectations for those students high.

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Steve Watkin and Julian West

Steve then introduced Julian West, who outlined the work he’s doing to keep students informed of financial aid and on-campus resources students have access to. Steve also introduced the audience to our African American Mentorship Program (AAMP), which hosts inspirational speakers to provide students with examples of black leadership and “real-talk” discussions that provide students with information to succeed, and to dispel toxic ideas about black identity and masculinity.

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Bre Parks

Student speaker Bre Parks concluded the presentation with her story about her experience in our ASTEP Umoja Community, and her pursuit of a degree in Communication on the way to becoming a Supplemental Instruction leader and one of our best and brightest student workers on campus. She credits Steve Watkin and the African-American leadership here at BC with helping her deal with her social anxiety, and become a more confident, empowered person ready to graduate next spring and accomplish her dreams after graduation.

 

Wednesday’s breakfast was an awesome opportunity to share BC’s educational programs with a group of important leaders in our community. I’d like to thank Steve and everyone who helped put the event together and our Food Services department for cooking another great breakfast, and I’m looking forward to establishing greater partnerships with our faith leaders in the future.

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Monthly Administrative Council

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December 2017 Admin CouncilThe Bakersfield College Administrative Council is a consultative group of administrators and managers. This week Admin Council met for its last time in 2017 to hear presentations from various campus groups and project leads. We heard from Manny Mourtzanos, Kim Nickell, and Kristin Rabe on the Program Review Committee about how the program review process has improved and grown over the past couple of years; Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services, Don Chrusciel shared the Closing the Loop, Mid-year report document; and there were smiles, laughter, and even tears in the room as Chelsea Esquibias, Director of the Bakersfield College Inmate Scholars Program, shared the transformational power of what this program does for inmates.

 

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Chelsea sharing the Inmate Scholars Program update

 

 

Stanford University Visit

Chelsea Esquibias was also invited by the The Opportunity Institute and Renewing Communities to present on Inmate Scholars Program, share student’s stories, and speak about the program’s future plans at the Stanford University School of Law.  Attendees were funders contributing to the initiative including the Ford Foundation and the Educational Credit Management Corporation.  They recognized that the program has grown in its first two years to be the largest face-to-face college program with over 2,400 enrollments.  The program operates in eight prisons (soon to be 10) and the local County Jail.  Students in the program have achieved some of the highest success rates at Bakersfield College as the students have achieved above-average grades and pass rates, with over 95% of the students taking transfer-level courses.

The initiative to provide for college in prison is supported by numerous funders. Achievement of an Associate Degree for Transfer while in prison allows students to exit the justice system ready for employment and creates opportunities for them achieve success in our community.  Recidivism (returning to prison) is dramatically reduced with an education and creates a college-going culture in the home.  Students in the program are highlighted throughout the prison system, and problematic issues in the prisons have also reduced since the implementation of college on-site.

Thank you to all of the funding partners and Stanford University, School of Law for providing us the opportunity to educate inmates returning to our community.

Stanford School of Law

Photographed from left to right: Debbie Mukamal, Executive Director of Stanford Criminal Justice Center; Danny Murillo, Co-founder of the Underground Scholars at UC Berkeley; Chelsea Esquibias, Program Director of the Inmate Scholars Program at BC; Rebecca Silbert, Director of Renewing Communities Initiative; Douglas Wood, Program Officer at Ford Foundation.

IMG_1333 (003)Industrial Automation Advisory Committee

On Friday, December 8th, BC’s Baccalaureate Degree, Industrial Automation Advisory Committee met to discuss the curriculum in detail and to get feedback on a proposed additional robotics course. Marketing and high school pathways were also highlighted.

Thank you to all who attended including, Nathan Bender, Jonahan Geersen, Samuel Gomez, Ron K’Miller, Steven Mears, Brian Miller, Blair Pruett, Dick Taylor, and Beth Vaughn. 

BC Faculty included, Roy Allard, Sean Caras, Guanghsu Chang, Tony Cordova, Jason Dixon, Manny Fernandez, Cathie Jones, Klint Rigby, Liz Rozell, Tom Rush, Mary Webb and Martin Perez.

Industrial Automation Dec 8 2017 Advisory Committee Meeting

 

Industrial Automation Advisory Committee Meeting

Advisory Committee meeting Industrial Automation Dec 8 2017

Office of Institutional Effectiveness

BC’s OIE (Office of Institutional Effectiveness) hosted a half-day retreat on Wednesday with goal setting, reviewing the core values of the college, and bringing the department closer together. We’ve recently added to the team and I was happy to join them for a session of the importance of institutional research.

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David Buitron, Lori Ortiz, Karen Snow, Alma Livingston, Nicole Griffin, Sonya Christian, and Craig Hayward

The group learned about some new data software, reviewed updates to existing programs, and closed out the afternoon with teambuilding at a local escape room. Karen Snow told me, “ It really did force us to work as a team and we learned everyone’s particular skills… Like Lori was our MVP because she found so many clues, Alma is quickest at deciphering patterns. I’m good at spinning combination locks and guessing them if it’s only three numbers, and Craig is really good at making us pick up all the pieces and rethink everything. David and Nicole were both awesome at inspiring us to keep inquisitive and motivated to continue.”

After the Escape Room

Em’s Sweet Treats

Em and Chef Suzanne

Em and Chef Suzanne

In 2011, Emily Aldritt began Em’s Treat’em Sweet. The goal was simple – to prepare, package and sell her family’s favorite holiday sweet treats (Muddy Buddies), and donate 100% of the proceeds to two local charities: The Bakersfield Homeless Center and the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault. Last weekend, Emily and The Bakersfield College Culinary Arts Department worked in The Renegade Room to prepare this year’s sweet treats. You can learn more about Em and her project at http://emstreatemsweet.com/

I’ve also covered this sweet partnership in my blog previously at “Welcoming our students and the community to BC.”

 

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Maintenance and Operations

While most of our faculty and students are away for the winter break, the Maintenance and Operations department is busy making important renovations to the campus. This break is a particularly busy one for M&O, as they’ve got a myriad of projects on their hands. The Gym and Memorial Stadium is currently closed until January 5th for installation of brand-new goalposts on the football field and removing the turf that covers the runways. All of the carpet in the library is also being replaced from December 18th until the 29th, which has resulted in closures and relocation for the IT offices and Archives. Other projects M&O is working on include replacement of all doors around campus to make them more accessible to people with disabilities, campus-wide storage room clean-up, installing new fencing at the Child Development Center, repairing emergency generators, replacing trees on campus, and landscaping renovations on Haley Street.

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Aside from all of the above for this year’s break, every January M&O also performs its usual detailed cleaning of all carpet and hard flooring around campus, replaces light bulbs in classrooms, deep cleans all buildings and certifies all fire extinguishers before the start of the Spring semester. The M&O department has their work cut out for them for 2018, and we’re so fortunate to have an incredible team that works year-round to keep BC beautiful.

Emails Worth Sharing

Olivia and Sonya

Olivia Garcia and Sonya Christian

I often say I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever, and you know that it’s because I’m fortunate to have the best colleagues, the best students, and the best community at BC. I received this note from one of our newest full-time faculty, Olivia Garcia, during Thanksgiving and I’m just now getting around to sharing it. She said,

I wanted to take a moment and personally thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the faculty at Bakersfield College. I have been given a meaningful purpose in life, and that is educating and positively shaping the minds of our students. This purpose has rewarded me many times this semester in the form of my interactions with students or simply seeing them take small steps toward their academic achievements and goals.

I was meeting with a student the other day in my office as she was trying to figure out her major and career options. We went over different ideas before I told her, “Find something you love, and it will never feel like work.” It helped clear a lot of things for her, and I was speaking from the heart, for what I do, I know it is truly a labor of love.

I had another student who told me that, after taking my class, he decided to major in history. He had been out of school for awhile; he spent it in the workforce before deciding it was time to return to school and earn his degree. He emailed me recently to tell me how he had conquered his fear of heavy reading in the research phase, and that it paid off for developing a stronger assignment for our class.

He wrote, “I can’t explain what a major weekend this was for me in that area as I spent the majority of my time reading for this class and loved it! Thank you for the assignments. They are really enriching my start in College.”

Then I had another student post on social media the happiness she felt being a part of the Levan Seminar Book discussion that I co-led with Professor Rosales recently. The goal was to meet and discuss the work of author Gabriel Thompson who wrote “Chasing the Harvest,” which is an oral history collection of those who have been a part of the migrant farm worker experience in central California. We put a call out to students via the BC website and announcements in our classes to be a part of this wonderful project, which was set for 10 students. Surprisingly, we got more than 60 students expressing interest! It was tough to select the final 10, but they turned out to be amazing. The selected students met with me and Prof. Oliver over a span of three sessions, including a day when they had the opportunity to visit and speak with the author.

Her social media post, which I am attaching here, is a selfie of her with the author. It touched my heart, and it reinforced my mission in doing the best I can to serve our students. I could go on and on, but I just wanted to show you how students have enriched my life this past semester, and I wanted to express my gratitude for this opportunity. I have spent two decades as a journalist telling other people’s stories and making a impact there. Now, as a faculty member in history, I get to be a small part of student’s lives — their stories by helping educate and guide them to their full potential. Now that’s a treasured gift to be thankful for this holiday season. 🙂

At the Basketball Game on Dec 9, 2017

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Denise Canning and Todd Hansen at the game

It was wonderful getting to meet our new custodian Felipe Carrillo

Felipe Carrillo Custodian Dec 9 2017

Our fabulous Cheer Team coach Heather Foss

Heather Foss Dec 9 2017

Stig Jantz is everywhere.  I know he has been secretly cloned.

Stig Jantz with students Dec 9 2017

With our no nonsense, no drama, tireless and hard working Athletic Director, Sandi Taylor

Sandi Taylor and Sonya Christian Dec 9 2017 Basketball

And Coach Paula Dahl is the best.  Did not get a picture of her this time.

Suzanne Galindo

Suzanne GalindoWhile at the District office this week, it was great to see Suzanne Galindo, KCCD’s Executive Assistant to General Counsel, Chris Hine. She shared with me the painting she did of the Renegade Knight and Shield at the Homecoming Paint Night hosted by SGA. I covered this and have a group photo in my blog titled, “Our 60th Homecoming at 1801 Panorama.”

From Social Media

Memories on Facebook

The 1948 Renegade Football Team Poster made an appearance on Facebook in a post on the Kern County of Old Facebook page. This post says this team poster was found by “Pepper” at an Estate Sale and donated to Noriega’s Restaurant in memory of Louie ElizaldeCheck it out here on Facebook!

Thank you Jackie Lau for flagging this for me!

Holiday Potlucks on Campus

Holiday potlucks have been taking place on campus all week long. Here are some fun photos!

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Chamber Singers strike again

Received this video from my friend Arlene Braganza with a note

Select threesome of the BC chamber singers performed at Msgr Craig’s Christmas party this evening

Caley Mayhall, April Gregerson, and Markelle Taylor.

And then there is Neo, Dec 2017

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Neo Dec 14 2017

Sonya Christian Dec 11 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

We are BC! Love, Peace, and Blessings

Love, Peace, and Blessings Bakersfield….I borrow this greeting from Prof. Bryan Hirayama’s student on the “inside.”

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

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

In the infamous introductory words of one of my students inside, “Love, Peace, and Blessings”. Everyday regardless of what is going on and before he addressed the class for anything, this student said very sincerely, “Love, Peace and Blessings”. It is clear to me that he shares more than just an obligatory salutation. There is a sense of affection, care, and encouragement embedded into the word “Love” when he says it. The idea of togetherness, shared responsibility to each other, and above all brotherhood is coded into the word “Peace”. Lastly, a touch of hope that all people’s wishes and dreams, goals and aspirations, and will to be free will be met one day is also baked into this seemingly mundane yet deep and meaningful message. I would like to thank this student for sharing this greeting with me and other students on a daily basis. It has kept me grounded. As I am wrapping up grades and looking back on the semester it is moments like this, shared with love, that will keep me motivated to make a difference and keep spreading the “Love, Peace, and Blessings”.

This is a “copy and paste from the May 15th blog of Professor Bryan Hirayama

 Love, Peace and Blessings Bakersfield.  
It is Saturday, October 21st and a fabulous day to be a Renegade

Homecoming 2017

Oct 14 2017BC Football fought off a second half push by Moorpark and continued with their season-long trend of finishing strong by beating the Raiders 34-10 in front of over 5,000 fans at Memorial Stadium to complete a festive homecoming celebration Saturday and open conference play with a win.

Thank you Trustee Bill Thomas, who came to the game with his grandson William and thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog.

Bill Thomas, grandson William, Romeo Agbalog

Trustee Bill Thomas, grandson William, Trustee Romeo Agbalog

Our fabulous cheer team with cheer coach Heather Foss.

Sonya and Cheer Squad

Photo by April Massirio of the BC Cheer team 

 

So happy to see Fran Florez and her husband Ray Florez.  Fran is on our Foundation Board of Directors and put in a lot of time helping us with Measure J.

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Here is another foundation board member Ken Byrum and his wife.  Ken is a big supporter of BC.

Ken Byrum and his wife at the homecoming game Oct 14 2017

Pam Byrum and Ken Byrum

And here is the fabulous Ed Davis with his family. Always supporting Bakersfield College!

Ed Davis and family Oct 14 2017

Glad to see Jim Darling at the Memorial Stadium supporting Renegade Football

Karen Goh and jim Darling

Karen Goh, Jim Darling

Marlene Heise, Karen Goh, Todd Hansen, Bill Thomas, grandson William, Jim Darling, Sonya Christian

Marlene Heise, Karen Goh, Todd Hansen, Bill Thomas, grandson William, Jim Darling, Sonya Christian

BC employees were out in full force with their families.  I snapped this picture of Wendy Lawson and her husband Ken and here is Dena Rhoades with her husband, daughter, and grandchildren.

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So enjoyed seeing Steve’s daughter out with her mom and dad at the game.

Steve and Kim Watkin and their daughter

Kendra Watkin, Steve Watkin, Kim Watkin

Love, Peace, and Blessings all

TailGade

Staff and Faculty at HomecomingBefore the homecoming game, I attended the BC Alumni Association’s first TailGade. It was a wonderful event and a lovely afternoon to welcome home our Alumni to their campus on the hill. The large tent provided plenty of shade for eating and fellowship. The food from Fred’s BBQ was a big hit. We had delicious large, juicy grilled steaks, beans, salad and rolls. The steaks were so gigantic, I couldn’t even finish mine and the dinner was well worth the price of admission. They even offered refreshing la Rosa Frozen Fruit Bars for dessert. Perfect for the weather!

Homecoming Bar

Friends and familiar faces were all around at TailGade and throughout the day it was incredible to catch up with Renegades and Renegade fans.

Renegade TailgadeR

Bakersfield’s famous ska, reggae, mambo band, Mento Buru, played great music from the stage. Some members of the band are BC Alumni and they performed a modern version of the BC Fight Song. You can see a video of Mento Buru practicing for homecoming: https://www.facebook.com/MentoBuru/videos/10159515917410296/. With such jazzy, upbeat music, alumni couldn’t resist getting up and dancing to the wonderful music.

Karen Goh at Homecoming

Karen Goh, photo by April Massirio.

To the side of the stage, a monitor played footage of games played in 1945. Kids were playing everywhere and there were games of corn hole going the entire time. The cheerleaders gave a great performance of their cheers for the crowd. The Homecoming parade with the BC Renegade Band and Homecoming float came right around the party so we got to see everyone up close. Honored guest Mayor Karen Goh joined us and led us in a “We are BC!” cheer. Thank you to Heather Pennella and the BC Alumni Association for putting on such a fabulous event. What a way to welcome our alumni home!

And not just alumni, I spotted BC faculty and staff celebrating too!  Here is Tom Gelder, Exec Director of the BC Foundation having fun.

Tom Gelfer in action at Tailgade Oct 14 2017

Tom Gelder

Rob Parsons Isabel Stierle Michael ODoherty Tom Gelder Oct 14 2017

Thank you Michael O’Doherty, past president of the Bakersfield College Foundation Board of Directors for coming out to support BC.

Great to see Peter Reyes and the fabulous Becki Whitson

Sonya Christian, Peter Reyes, Becki Whitson Oct 14 2017

Sonya Christian, Peter Reyes, Becki Whitson

Bob Martin, a Renegade, with his daugther Theresa McAllister and grand daughter.

Sonya Christian, Bob Martin, Theresa McAllister Oct 14 2017

Sonya Christian, Bob Martin, Theresa McAllister and her daughter

Heather Pennella, you did a great job organizing the 2017 Alumni BBQ

Sonya Christian, Eric Pennella and Heather Pennella Oct 14 2017

Sonya Christian, Eric Pennella, Heather Pennella

Check out “Bakersfield College celebrates homecoming with parade, tailgating” by Joseph Luiz at The Bakersfield Californian. It has some incredible photos of Renegade fans celebrating before the big game.

John Harte took some great shots – they are available here. 

Photo by John Harte

Photo by John Harte, original from http://www.bakersfield.com

April Massirio also provided some lovely photos from TailGade and the parade. Check them out at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/2017/TailGade

Homecoming Parade

Homecoming Parade, photo by April Massirio.

Homecoming Royalty Court

Homecoming Royalty is an honored and longstanding tradition of Bakersfield College that recognizes outstanding students at Bakersfield College. The Homecoming Royalty Court this year will be comprised of two students who shall represent the College and student body at various campus and community events throughout the year. The selection process for the Homecoming Royalty Court is based upon the candidate’s leadership activities, academic achievement, and campus involvement. Royalty are screened and ultimately selected based on the applicant’s’ ability to articulate and demonstrate academic performance, curricular and co-curricular involvement, contributions to the College as well as the Bakersfield Community, and BC Renegade Spirit. This year there were nine candidates selected.

Homecoming Court (1)

Elka Desjardins is a Journalism/Agriculture Business Management/Forestry major. She is also the Historian for the BC Agriculture Student Organization and she works as a hairstylist, photographer, and wedding officiant when not in a classroom or on campus.

Evelyn Hernandez is a sophomore here studying Admissions of Justice. She is also the amazing secretary for your student government. Her long-term goal is to work in probation while helping the youth community in Bakersfield.

Ganae Romo-Watson is a fun loving, outgoing person. She enjoys the company of her peers as well as her faculty. She strives for greatness and rises up the people around her as well. She believes that leadership is the key to opening doors of strong bonds and future prospects.

Running to renew his title, Lawrence Salcido is a long time Renegade pushing through his final year. His passion for this school is shown through his involvement on campus. He is involved in multiple student organizations such as the BC Renegamers, the American Sign Language Club, and the Student Learning Alliance. Besides his student organization involvement, he is also a student leader and advocate, involved in student government and activities that involve BC students.

Gisela Campos, a kinesiology major, is from Delano California and in her fourth and final year at BC. She is pursuing her dream of becoming a Physical Therapist when she finishes up at CSU Long Beach. She is currently the president of Korean Culture Club.

While all five candidates are extremely qualified and exhibit the BC Spirit and the Renegade Pride, this year’s recipient of the 2017 Homecoming Royalty Court are: Elka Desjardins and Ganae Romo-Watson.

BCSGA and the Office of Student Life would like to thank Enchanted Bridal Boutique for their donation of the homecoming gowns and Mr. Tuxedo for their donation of today homecoming tuxedos.

The evening ended with BC’s Drumline performing outside the stadium.  So fortunate to have Tim Heasley at BC.

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Thank you Mary Jo Pasek for being you!

Mary Jo Pasek and Sonya Christian Oct 14 2017

Gov. Jerry Brown signs AB 19 and AB 705

It’s been an active week for community colleges across California with Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of new legislation to make education more affordable and efficient for students across California’s Community Colleges.

Harold Pierce describes the new bills in an article on the cover of Wednesday’s Bakersfield Californian.

The California College Promise, also known as AB 19 essentially attempts to maximize student success by encouraging full-time enrollment, and we’ve already started on a similar path at our campus with the Kern Promise.  Please note that the Kern Promise is not about “free tuition.” It is a shared responsibility of the college with the student to complete their degree in a timely manner.  For example, with the Associates Degree for Transfer to complete their 60 credits at BC and then transfer to CSUB or another 4 year university.  For more on the Kern Promise see https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/sse/kernpromise

AB 705 legislates the use of multiple measures to determine students’ entry-level math and English placement at College.  BC piloted Multiple Measures three years ago and this year it is fully instituted thanks for the intense efforts on the part of Janet Fulks, Sue Vaughn and faculty in Academic Development, English and Math.  Also, thanks to the great collaboration with KHSD.  The standards for the courses at BC are still the same, the only change is that we are more connected with the high schools in order to provide a seamless transition from high school to college.  This saves the taxpayer money when public sector institutions are working to promote efficiency and effectiveness.

We’re equipping students with the tools they need to be successful, making sure that they’re enrolled full time and completing transfer-level math and English in their first year, which our guided pathways research has demonstrated is crucial for students to successfully make their way through college.

Korean Delegation Visits Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College was honored to host delegates from our sister city, Bucheon, South Korea.  A dozen delegates, including their Vice Mayor, Oh Byoung Kwon, retired KCCD Chancellor Sandra SerranoKCCD Chancellor Tom Burke, and John Heffner met with faculty and staff to tour our campus and learn about our incredible programs.

Btw, talking about our campus, let me take this opportunity to once again thank Kern County for passing Measure J.

Korean Delegates Visit BC

Korean Delegates Visits BC. With Sandra Serrano, Tom Burke, John Heffner, Kimberly Bligh, Lesley Bonds

During their first stop, the delegates spoke with our international student services Counselor, Shohreh Rahman to learn about the support we offer to nearly 100 students from all over the world.

Shohreh Rahman and Korean Delegate Oct 15 2017

Prof. Shohreh Rahman

After hearing about our, world-traveling choir and theatre arts programs, our guests insisted on seeing the theatre.  They quietly slipped into their seats to listen in to Dr. Jen Garrett’s students for a few moments.  They were thoroughly impressed by the theatre but, more importantly, loved seeing our faculty and students in action.

Jen Garret and Choir Koren delegation

The next stop was at the best restaurant in town: the Renegade Room. Chef Suzanne Tangeman invited our BC guests to the kitchen where her students were beginning a lesson, chopping vegetables to create a salad.  Chef Suzanne welcomed our guests and describe the program benefits.

Chez Suzanne and students Korean Delegation

Chef Suzanne Tangeman and Culinary Students

Culinary students Korean Delegation Oct 15 2017

Before heading to the Planetarium for a quick show led by Dr. Nick Stobel, the group swung by the Industrial Automation Robotics Lab to learn about our work to meet the demands the technology-driven business model of the 21st century.

Planetarium with Korean Delegation

Thank you to Manny Fernandez for leading the lab tour and talking with such enthusiasm about the way this program will help our students while meeting an industry demand.

John Heffner with Manny Fernandez and Korean Delegation

It is customary in Korean culture to exchange gifts upon when visiting someone’s home.

 

Tarina Perry getting gift from Korean Delegation

To thank our guests, our BCSGA students and Student Life staff created bags filled with BC goodies.

BC SGA

In exchange, Vice Mayor Oh Byoung Kwon presented gifts to BC faculty, staff, and students. The South Korean delegation from Bucheon’s visit to BC was part of a larger trip to Bakersfield.  Read more about an event earlier this week  to honor the sacrifices of Korean War veterans.

A special thank you to Paul Beckworth, Liz Rozell, Stephen Waller, Nicky Damania, Kimberly Bligh, Tarina Perry, for coordinating this visit and sharing BC’s story with our guests.  And thank you Lesley Bonds for being the lead on this. #WeAreBC

Kimberly Bligh and Lesley Bonds leading the tour

Love, Peace, and Blessings 

Washington, D.C.

On Monday, I was in Washington DC to present at the national Grantmakers for Education conference.  This was my first time at a conference of “grant makers.”  In this picture, you see me with the College Futures Foundation, Irvine Foundation, Gates Foundation and the Teagle Foundation.  These individuals are smart and at their core believe in the transformative power of education.  This combination of  passion and intellect along with a keen sense of scalability and return on investment allows them to use the private philanthropic dollars in a very smart way.  Needless to say it was a fabulous experience for an educator like me to hang out with large private philanthropic foundations at this conference.  #WeAreBC

 

Grantmakers for Ed Conf Oct 16 2017

Sonya Christian, Shawn Whalen, April Yee, Christie Hill, Loni Bordoloi Pazich

Last time I was in D.C., it was Spring 2016 and I can still remember the cherry blossoms. You can visit my blog about that trip here. During that trip, I had attended the AACC Pathways Institute, but also had time to visit some of my favorite places.

During this trip, I rushed over  to the national mall and walked the historical pathways between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.

One of my friends asked me if I ever visited the Jefferson Memorial and the answer is sadly “no.”  So for my next trip I look forward to visiting the Jefferson Memorial.

Jefferson Memorial from britannica

Prayer Luncheon

I attended the annual luncheon event, hosted by the Thursday Prayer group, for leadership in government. The keynote speaker was Rev. Oscar Anthony who gave a powerful talk on unity and prayer.  Pastor Anthony graduated from BC and still engaged with the work of the college.  Thank you for Jan Lockhard and the Thursday prayer group for all you support for our community.

Oscar Anthony

Love, Peace, and Blessings all

The 2017 Great ShakeOut

2017Shakeout-header

At 10:19 on Thursday, the 2017 Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill was held on all BC campuses. The day is a reminder that earthquakes are a part of life in our state and a major earthquake could be on the horizon at any time. When the alarms rang, our whole campus followed the procedure to (1) Drop, (2) Cover, and (3) Hold on! After the two-minute drill, our buildings evacuated and each building was thoroughly checked.

ShakeOut organizers note that many Californians have not experienced a damaging earthquake, such as young people or people who have recently moved to the state. They also warned that while the San Andreas fault could generate a large-scale earthquakes, up to magnitude-8, “there are over a hundred other active faults in the region that can produce smaller earthquakes.”

Our campus responded wonderfully and I reported to the Incident Command Center at exactly 10:23. The ICC immediately sprang into action receiving information from Building Marshalls, Runners, and Public Safety Personnel. Todd Coston, our Planning Chief reported all building clearings on a white board on one side of the room and Chief Counts, our Safety Officer cross checked these reports with our campus map. Each individual in the ICC has a specific role to support the Incident Commander with various responsibilities and key activities. By 10:43, we had all the information we needed to cut the alarms and give the “All Clear” signals.

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We take the annual ShakeOut and all emergency drills very seriously to ensure our students, staff, and faculty are as safe as possible and also to practice responding so that we are well trained and ready in case of an emergency situation. I invite you to share Earthquake Safety for College Students, which is available at https://www.shakeout.org/downloads/2014_College_Student_Preparedness.pdf

Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia and Karen Goh

Olivia Garcia and Mayor Karen Goh

While the rest of the media was busy covering the new Assembly bills, Olivia Garcia took the time to write an article about our Digital Delano project in Tuesday’s Bakersfield Californian.

Olivia’s story highlighted this new project, headed by Dr. Oliver Rosales, to document the oral histories of farm workers in Delano and other rural areas in Kern County, preserving all of their amazing stories for generations to come, while providing an archival resource for rural students in Kern County to research their own community’s history.

BC was blessed to be chosen for this funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to even begin work on this project, and it’s great to see it finally starting to take shape.

This Week on Social Media

On Instagram this week, Sequoia Sandwich Company featured Jack Hernandez as a regular and one of their favorite customers! His usual is posted as an oatmeal cookie and a cup of coffee.  That sounds like a winning combo to me!

Instagram_Jack
And then I saw these gorgeous cookies from Arisve & Bianca Pimentel and I couldn’t help but grab a screen capture to share with you all. Check them out at Pimentel Delights. We Are BC and I’m the luckiest and happiest college president, ever!

Instagram_Cookies

Corny Rodriguez on Facebook

Corny his daughter and grand daughter Alzeimer's walk Oct 2017

Pam Boyles with grandson on Facebook

Robert Boyles Facebook of Pam Boyles with grandson Oct 20 2017

Links Celebration Photos

I shared last week that BC was in full force at The Links, Incorporated’s 40 year celebration of providing important educational resources to the community. I wanted to share a few photos from the event. If you missed my piece last week, check it out here!

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Faculty busy supporting our students and community

Thank you Dr. Oliver Rosales for moderating this panel discussing issues of poverty.

Oliver Rosales OBOBOK Oct 19 2017

Prof. Olivia Garcia with her students

Olivia Garcia October 19 2017 about History Seminar

Pam Gomez tweeted from the CCPT Conf with the BC Team

CCPT Conf Oct 19 2017 Pam Gomez

Pam Gomez at CCPT Conf

Renegade Athletics

Women’s Basketball

This week, Coach Paula Dahl sent an email to our campus community and she said,

I am so incredibly excited about this year’s team. I have 19 completely dedicated student/athletes. They are completing a mandatory 5 hours in the tutoring center per week, taking a minimum of 15 units, many also have jobs, and one is even a parent of 2. We have future doctors, nurses, lawyers, police offers, ultra sound technicians, physical therapists and teachers in our midst. This will be a fun team to follow because they embrace hard work and a commitment to being great. Some of these incredible student-athletes do not have great support at home and are struggling to raise the $400.00 we require. This money goes towards travel gear, an exposure showcase where they are seen by 4 year coaches, Synergy a game editing software that helps them improve their game and also allows them to be seen by virtually every college coach across the country. Our program is committed to transferring our athletes.

If you would like to contact me separately I would be happy to tell you about those athletes that are struggling to meet our fundraising goal and you can adopt them for $60 dollars. This will get you a t-shirt and a team photo. Thank you for all you do to make this an incredible place to work. We hope to see you at our games. The Disneyland Drawing will be Friday November 3 not the 10th.

womenbeatlapierce

Paula is right and all our students are absolutely inspiring and incredible. To keep up with our Womens Basketball team, visit Gogades.com

And if you’re interested in any of the fundraisers the team currently has going on, feel free to reach out to coach Paula at pdahl@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

BC Volleyball

Jon Mettus at the Bakersfield Californian published an article featuring BC Volleyball and included this quote from Coach Carl Ferreira.

“Sometimes we get caught up placing so much emphasis on performance and results and all this kind of stuff,” Ferreira said. “It really kind of puts you back a little bit to understand that the most important success we should have is just as grateful people and seeing the human spirit at work. That volleyball match was a therapeutic match for those ladies and for our team.”  Don’t miss this great read located here.

Women’s golf

Women's gold Oct 19 2017 from gogades website

The Renegades finished third in the WSC match No. 7 at the Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena, on Monday.

Women’s Soccer

Women's Soccer Oct 17 2017 Photo by William Velasquez

The Renegades beat Citrus, 1-0, on October 17th to improve to (5-5-2, 1-1-1).  Odalys Espinoza scored the only goal of the game, her 8th of the season.

Jennifer Garrett and BC Chamber Singers

Bakersfield City School District held the 10th Annual Junior High/Middle School Choir Festival and BC’s Dr. Jen Garrett was the guest clinician and conductor. See the article and all the photos at bcsd.com.

Jen also sent out an email worth sharing this week. She said:

Ken Burdick and Jenn Garrett April 1 2017

Ken Burdick, Jen Garrett

Conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein is often quoted as saying, “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” Never before has this quote struck me more than it did Monday night as I rehearsed with the Chamber Singers. We discussed the happenings of Las Vegas with great sadness, especially as two of our students grieved for lost friends. Then we made some of the most beautiful music of the semester and I watched as the grieving students devoted themselves to the music and in some way began to heal from their loss. One of them approached me after rehearsal and said that singing did not change what happened, but it gave them the ability to think more clearly and deal with it on a personal level. Music truly can be a powerful tool for good in this world.

With that in mind I want to invite every one of our BC family to join the choirs to celebrate the power of music at our fall concert on October 27 in the Indoor Theater. It is called, “The Music of Living” and it encourages people to share in the beauty, peace, and joy that music brings to this world. I know that many today are weighed down with the happenings of all the recent tragedies, but I believe those who attend will leave inspired, and motivated to be part of the change for good. The concert also features 7 incredible local instrumentalists and one of the pieces that Dr. Ron Kean composed for the choir this past spring. I hope that you will join us for a night of celebrating how music helps us live to the fullest. The concert begins at 7:30 and tickets can be purchased from Vallitix or at the door. Faculty, staff, students, administration, seniors, and veterans are $7 and $10 general. We do tend to sell out so you might want to purchase tickets in advance or arrive early.

And, are you saving the date for the annual Culinary Caroling Dinner? I look forward to this festive event each holiday season. The date this year is December 2nd at 5:30PM. Tickets will be available from Jen, any of the Chamber Singers, or at the Fall Concert.

Community Voices by Catherine Jones

Catherine Jones from TBCBC Professor Catherine Jones had a Community Voices piece published this week where she shared the associate degree program in Occupational Safety and Risk Management. She says, “Kern County is blessed with many types of industry and now there will be an educational pathway for safety and risk management professionals which matches the diversity in industry.”  Read more here at bakersfield.com.

So what about Neo?

October 18, 2017 — 7 months old

 

 

Love, Peace, Blessings to my friends and colleagues

Sonya Christian at airport heading back home July 27 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever