Tag Archives: Imelda Valdez

Student Success is Wonderful News!

Good morning Bakersfield. Here is a Calla Lily for you.

Calla Lily June 9 2018

It is Saturday, June 9, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade.

It appears that I have been prolonging BC’s 104th commencement in every blog since the May 11th event.  Here I go again…..

Wonderful Graduates

Last week, I recognized all of BC’s 2018 Baccalaureate graduates and this weekend, I wanted to highlight our group of approximately 40 Wonderful Academy Dual Enrollment students who received their Associates degree from Bakersfield College on May 11th before graduating high school.

Orange County Event Photography

1st graduating class with Noemi Dinoso, Bill Thomas, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog

Before the 104th Commencement, this group of young college graduates were met by Kern Community College District Trustee Romeo Agbalog for congratulatory remarks and to be recognized for their ambition and hard work.

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Trustee Agbalog addressing the graduates

May 11th was a huge day for these graduates and their families. It started with the Delano Pre-Commencement Celebration where most of them were greeted and congratulated by Chancellor Tom Burke and their day concluded with the 104th Commencement which took place in a packed Memorial Stadium.

Tom Burke at Delano Pre commencement Celebration May 11 2018

Chancellor Tom Burke (center) surrounded by select Dual Enrollment and Delano graduates

Orange County Event Photography

Congratulations to these brilliant young people. Each of them is a trailblazer and they have incredibly bright futures. They have been supported each step of the way by their families, their professors, their friends, each other, the Wonderful Education leadership, and our entire community. Let’s continue to root for these young men and women – they can and will do “Wonderful” things!

Orange County Event Photography

Dual Enrollment at BC

Speaking of the wonderful success of dual enrollment, Anna Laven wrote an opinion piece published in the Bakersfield Californian on Sunday about BC’s entire dual enrollment program, which offers college credit courses at more than 25 high schools throughout Kern County that are transferrable to BC, a CSU or UC.

Anna Laven June 1 2017“Dual enrollment gives our community and our young people the opportunity to experience college level courses and gain confidence in their academic success,” Laven said. The article also describes our partnership with the Wonderful Prep Charter Academy, which offers students the opportunity to receive an Associate Degree in agriculture in four years while working on their high school diploma.

“Bakersfield College is grateful for the hard work and commitment of our partners, whose efforts have resulted in developing a college going culture among rural Kern County communities,” Laven said.

Student Success Stories

I received an email last Monday from Don Turney about very exciting news concerning one of our recent graduates. His email is as follows:

Hi Sonya,

You probably already know this but just in case you don’t…this is pretty cool.  For the last year-and-a-half I’ve been driving up to the Wonderful College Prep Academy in Delano to teach high school juniors and seniors Psyc B1.  I also taught them a Psyc B20 class, “Social Psych.”

I got the greatest phone call last week.  Xochitl Morales, a junior student at the time I taught her those two courses, called to let me know she got into…Harvard!  Not only that, she got a “full-ride” scholarship.  Not only THAT, she was named a Bill and Melinda Gates scholar and all of her expenses will be covered.  Finally, she’s chosen to major in psychology and thanked me for helping her find her “path.”   How about that?

And they pay me to do this job.  Most days, I’d do it for free. Hope you are well and happy.  See you in the fall.

XochitlMorales

Xochitl Morales (center) with her parents

I knew I had to share this extraordinary student’s success with all of you. Xochitl Morales is a poet and musician raised in Delano. She has an exceptional gift for communicating her experiences and her plight as a Latina struggling with her identity in modern day America through music and the written word. She also shows an extraordinary drive to be active in her own education.

When Paramount Bard School, which later became Wonderful College Preparatory Academy, cut back on funding for Art education, Xochitl was instrumental in raising a campaign to bring back the arts through video communication and working with teacher and administration advocates. Her initiative and success became a featured article on California Alliance for Arts Education. I encourage you to read about her Student Advocacy Success Story. Her creativity and advocacy have not stopped at the school. She has recorded her poetry with music about the central valley and struggles of the Latin community.  NBC News wrote this article on the viral video and includes the Latin-Americans: The Children with a Dark Past video. You can watch this video Xochitl Morales Interview which captures wonderful shots of the Delano area.

 

Xochitl says that she’s very thankful for the opportunity that she had from Bakersfield College through the Wonderful Academy. She advises other high school students to take advantage of the dual enrollment classes to explore different academic topics to study in higher education. Taking 55 units of college credits helped her decide to major psychology and expanded her “academic circle.”

She also recommends the classes for the extra challenge and to explore different skills. Taking dual enrollment classes can help students make themselves unique, and extinguish themselves from other applicants at universities with challenging admission criteria. In fact, it was interest in philosophy that helped in writing her essay for her Harvard application. She was also thankful for the opportunities BC gave her as she met all of her academic mentors through BC and our faculty assisted her in getting acceptance to Harvard through their letters of recommendation.

When asked if she would be a first-generation college grad, she said she would have been until last year. Her father went back to school and graduated college last year so that Xochitl and her siblings would have no excuse for not attending college. What an excellent way to teach by example and how a college education is connecting families.

It is such a pleasure and a joy to hear success stories such as these and I am so proud that Bakersfield College was a part of this remarkable young woman’s journey to Harvard. I am a lucky president to have such wonderful faculty that inspire greatness in our students. I expect great things from Xochitl and all our BC Renegades.

Strong Workforce Stars

Bakersfield College recently received Strong Workforce Stars Gold recognition for the Radiologic Technology program. Students who participate in this program boost their earnings by 329%; 100% of them attain the regional living wage, and 100% of students get a job in their field of study.

Radiologic Technology Class of 2018

BC’s most recent graduates of Radiologic Technology: Class of 2018

Program Professor and Director Nancy Perkins attributes students’ strong workforce outcomes to multiple characteristics. For example, the RT Program regularly collects feedback from its students with satisfaction ratings on the program, courses, clinical training, and we ask students what are the program’s strengths and areas for improvement. From employers, the program collects employer satisfaction based on the technical and job skills that BC RT students have demonstrated. According to Ms. Perkins, the data collected have been valuable in developing a strong program for students.

Nancy Perkins

Nancy Perkins

The RT program utilizes a student cohort model, where students enter and progress through the RT curriculum together. Ms. Perkins identified the cohort model as a strength as students bond, assist on another, and study together. The cohort model also provides RT faculty the opportunity to know their students very well. The RT program has an Education Advisor for their students, who regularly meets with students to discuss their academic progress and monitors the students’ education plans. Additionally, workshops on Habits of Mind, note-taking, and time management are integrated with RT curriculum. In order to prepare students for a competitive job market, the RT program provides resume writing and job interview training.

EOP&S Region V Professional Development Conference

BC’s Extended Opportunities Program and Services (EOP&S) department hosted a professional development conference for all of the schools in Region V of the California community college system to share their strategies for providing assistance to first-generation and other educationally and financially disadvantaged students.

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Imelda Simos-Valdez

Imelda Simos-Valdez, director of BC EOP&S, Care, CalWORKs and Cal-SOAP programs, kicked off the conference in the Fireside Room by thanking all of the college representatives for traveling to Bakersfield for such an important professional development opportunity. Each member of the EOP&S staff also walked to the front of the Fireside Room and introduced themselves to the audience.

Vice President of Student Affairs, Zav Dadabhoy gave a brief introduction expressing his gratitude for community college EOP&S programs, adding that the EOP&S process should be the model for student success for all student populations. He also spoke of the transformation happening on campus with the construction and renovation funded by Measure J. “Everyone who works in education is changing people’s lives every day,” Dadabhoy said.

Dr. Zav Dadabhoy

Dr. Zav Dadabhoy

After Dadabhoy’s speech, the audience passed a microphone around the tables in the Fireside Room introducing themselves and told everyone the job title at their college. Simos-Valdez then gave some demographics information about BC’s student population and the locations of all our satellite campuses.

EOP&S Counselor Patricia Ramirez, went over the review packet and shared our process for registering students and determining eligibility for EOP&S programs. For the rest of the afternoon, the group spread out across the campus to attend several workshop sessions about topics such as CARE and CalWORKs collaborations, strategies to support foster youth, and guided pathways momentum points for EOP&S students. The group also went on a tour of BC’s EOP&S office and had an opportunity to network with each other after lunch.

 

 

Thank you to everyone who organized and attended the Region V Professional Development Conference and a big thanks to everyone who works hard to provide educational opportunities for these students across California.

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Fireside Room at Bakersfield College was packed on Thursday, June 7

 

Beautiful Bakersfield Awards

The 2018 Beautiful Bakersfield Awards Gala recognizes the individuals, organizations, and businesses for their efforts that improved the community’s quality of life last year.   This annual event recognized 128 nominees across 15 categories. The banquet and awards gala was broadcast live on KGET-TV 17’s Facebook page on June 3, 2018, at 7 p.m.

MESA Presentation

Connie Gonzalez and Jonathan Kim

Connie Gonzalez and Jonathan Kim

The Beautiful Bakersfield Awards Gala is sometimes known in our community as the “Oscars of Bakersfield” and it was amazing that BC’s Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement program was nominated. The kudos was for the First Annual MESA Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Pre-Health Conference that happened in April 2017 which welcomed over 300 students onto campus to explore careers in the STEM and Pre-health guided pathways.  The conference was held in partnership with UCLA MEDPEP and undergraduate admissions, USDA Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program, BC’s Chemistry, Engineering and Math Faculty, Grimmway Farms, Kern Medical, Aera Energy employees, Infrastructure Engineering Corporation and other industry partners that donated time and money.  The Awards were attended by Dr. Stephen Waller, Consuelo Gonzalez, MESA Director on the left and Jonathan Kim, MESA student.

Shout out to Hodels

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Photo from hodels.com

Over the Summer break, while BC’s Food Services department has been closed, the amazing Hodel’s has provided meals for our retreats and Summer Bridge students.

Sonya Christian and Bob Hodel Fall 2015

Sonya Christian, Bob Hodel

The Hodel family and their connection to Bakersfield College goes back to the 1920s. Hodel’s Country Dining started in 1967, but Lydia Hodel Wiebe used to work with the Weill family, a local retailer who helped found the Kern Community College District’s Weill Institute in downtown Bakersfield. If you visit Hodel’s today, you’ll see plaques for Renegades football adorned on the walls of the waiting area, and when we requested something a little bit different than their regular catering service, current owner Bob Hodel was more than happy to oblige because as Kasey told us, it’s “because you are BC!”

Hodels staff at BC

Hodels staff at BC

Hodels (3)

Delicious Food from Hodels

Hodel’s classic country recipes, including its creamy mashed potatoes and gravy and juicy fried fish, were created by Lydia Bartel Hodel, known as “Mom” Hodel, who moved her family from the Dust Bowl in 1921 at the age of 16. “Mom” cooked for hay harvesting crews working with the Kern County Land Company before becoming the personal cook of Arthur S. Crites, a local property investor and chef who had political connections in the Calvin Coolidge administration. Crites recognized her natural predilection for culinary excellence, and he taught her several recipes that were being used by Coolidge’s personal chef in the White House.

Abel Guzman

Abel Guzman

“Mom” would become the manager of the Greeley School Cafeteria in the 1940s and started her second career as the head cook of Hodel’s after retiring in the spring of 1967. Hodel’s started in the Valley Plaza and opened several locations before renovating and centralizing to the Olive Drive location and adding two banquet rooms in the 90s and 2000s, according to the Hodel’s website.

I’d like to thank the Hodel family and Hodel’s Country Dining for their decades of supporting BC, and for their amazing hospitality to cater Summer Bridge and our retreats for President’s Cabinet and Finance and Administrative Services.

Spotlight on Student Employment and Internships

National Student Employee Appreciation week 2018

National Student Employee Appreciation week 2018

Did you know Bakersfield College employs close to 500 student employees each year? Each of them contributes significantly to the day-to-day operations of the on-campus departments while earning on the job experience that they will take with them once they graduate. In April, we recognized students for their outstanding performances during National Student Employee Appreciation Week and I covered this in my blog on April 14th. Special thank you to Stephanie Baltazar and all in CTE and Student Employment who facilitate some incredible employment opportunities for our students.

Remembering Renegades

Jerry Ludeke in the BC Archives has notified us that Bob Wickey passed away on June 5th. Jerry said,

Bob was well loved on campus for his happy smile and his easy way, almost a pixie sense of humor.  He and his wife Jean had friends who were a cross section of the faculty and staff.  He was originally listed in the college directories as teaching Engineering and Industrial Drawing and later Physical Science.  Bob came to BC in 1965 and stayed for around 27 years.  They retired in Bakersfield.

Bob was instrumental in building a strong chemistry program at our College, and our current chemistry faculty stand on the foundation of his efforts. In March, Dean of Instruction, Stephen Waller ran into a BC chemistry grad, and she was asking about Bob, who inspired her to become a chemist.

President’s Cabinet Retreat

President's Cabinet

On Monday, President’s Cabinet met to discuss goals and work plans for the 2018-2019 academic year. This group is comprised of direct reports to the president of Bakersfield College, as well as other members who serve at the discretion of the president. President’s Cabinet provides the president of Bakersfield College a forum for vetting decisions prior to implementation.​

President's Cabinet Summer Retreat June 3 2018

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Todd Coston, Lesley Bonds, Abel Guzman participating in a game a jeopardy organized by Manny at Cabinet June 4 2018

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Abel Guzman speaking at Cabinet June 4 2018

Todd Coston speaking Cabinet Retreat June 4 2018

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Manny Mourtzanos speaking at Cabinet.jpg

Corny snapped these two pictures of me enjoying time with the members of Cabinet.

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Accreditation Commission Meeting:

The following day I left for the accreditation commission meeting in San Francisco.  At these meetings I am always reminded of how committed the commissioners are in ensuring academic quality and integrity in Higher Education.   We also have a great staff at ACCJC led by CEO Richard Winn.  I forgot to snap photos.  But here are a few, starting with the view from my room and a second one with Ian Walton, the incoming chair of ACCJC who was toasting Richard Mahon who had completed a six-year term as commissioner.  The commission has a term limit of 6 years.

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Ian Walton toasting Richard Mahon June 6 2018

Fun Photos

Paul Beckworth, Angelica Perez, and Armando Trujillo at Porterville College

Paul Beckworth, Angelica Perez, and Armando Trujillo

Bakersfield College Veteran Services were on hand to support Porterville College as it unveiled its Veterans Monument this past Wednesday morning.

If this is not a face looking to create trouble then I am not sure what is….  and then there are the times that he is calm and relaxed.  My most relaxing evenings are when I am in the backyard reading or working and Neo is on the edge of the porch calm and surveying his kingdom–the backyard.

 

 

Finally got back to the gym after 8 weeks of hiatus.  Yes!

Sonya Christian on treadmill after 8 weeks of hiatus June 7 2018

It is a great time to be at BC!

Sonya Christian heading to commission meeting June 6 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

Week One of the Summer Semester!

Lily June 16 2017

Calla Lily. June 17 2017

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, June 17, 2017 and a wonderful day to be a Renegade.

Here’s this year’s garden Calla Lily for you.

You can see last year’s on my June 4, 2016 blog post: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/06/04/a-community-together/ .

A typical summer week at Bakersfield College — several department retreats where employees get to evaluate last year and then plan for 2017-2018, BC’s incredible Summer Bridge program, and then an underground line from our chiller tanks broke causing the air conditioning to go out.

We had several events planned on campus including Summer Bridge for High School students entering as freshman in Fall 2017 and a high school basketball camp that is hosted by Coach Rich Hughes.  Imaging 200 high school students playing basketball in our gym with no air conditioning and the  temperature forecast to spike to 100 degrees.  Our BC facilities and maintenance group went into action immediately, with alternate plans getting large coolers in the gym so that the event could continue without disruption.

Here is a picture Kimberly Bligh snapped of the Summer Bridge event as they dealt with changes in their plans with the air conditioning down and the high expected to be 96 degrees.

June 16 2017 Summer Bridge

And then our Athletics Director Sandi Taylor, who was worried about the heat in the gym sent me this photo

2017 Summer High School Showcase June 16 2017

This is the email I received from Bill Potter.  BC’s M&O staff rock!  Do you see why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever…

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Bill Potter

We have been able to isolate the broken water line to only 4 buildings on campus. We are still working to uncover the lines and see the extent of the damage before we can determine how long the repair will take.  Until the repairs can be made these buildings will not have Air Conditioning.

  1. Business Services/Bookstore
  2. LA Building
  3. Forums
  4. Gymnasium
  • Air Conditioning is being restored to the remainder of the campus and all scheduled activities will not be affected.
  • We rented 4 portable swamp coolers and paced them in the Gym for the Basketball Tournament. Coach Hughes has been informed throughout the entire process.
  • I will send another update when we have a timeline for repairs. Our plumbing contractor has assured us they can stay onsite until repairs can be made.  We will do our best to get it restored over the weekend so we can resume Monday morning as normal.

The following team members played an important role in keeping us going today:

Bill Garrett, Landon Webb, Tim Hernandez, Aaron Kidwell, Martin Ramirez, Dennis Spencer, Frank Tinoco, Gilbert Merjil, Jason Brown, David Branson, Dalia Garcia

The rest of the M&O team picked up the slack and kept the campus functioning and other project going.

It was a great team effort.

I love this picture with Charlie, Bill Potter’s son (see below).  This is how we roll at BC.  I remember for Measure J, employees brought out their families to 1675 Chester, our campaign headquarters, to help with phone banking, precinct walking and all other campaign chores. A whole family endeavor.  #WeAreBC!

Thank you to the plumbers from J Noble Binns to helping us fix this major issue that resulted in us shutting down the air conditioning system

So thank you for passing Measure J.  
BC absolutely needs to upgrade its 60-year-old facilities and infrastructure.

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Neo

Neo June 15 2017 at 8 30 pm

Sonya Christian and Neo June 10 2017

 

I continue to be distracted by Neo’s new mannerisms and pranks. He is sweet, smart and learning fast, but he can be fierce with toys and petunias… In three weeks, he has gone from 10 lbs to 24 lbs.  You see him here being sweet while he plays with me and then his stubborn streak sets in when I am attempting to get his attention at 8:30 p.m. to come in and he just sits by the pool and calmly looks at me without budging an inch.  But I must confess that the Golden Retriever sweetness emerges again and he relents and comes in.

The only reason friends now ping me is to discuss the latest and greatest with Neo.  Here is a sample.

Set 1:

Friend: Were you up at 5:00 a.m. to let Neo out for a potty break.

Me: Lol. That was at 3:20 a.m.

Friend: You need a doggy door.

Set 2:

Friend: Is it true that you have to chase Neo around in the wee hours of the morning in damp grass to get back inside the house after he goes potty outside?

Me: emoji of laughter with tears

Friend: And isn’t it true that he will sit and wait for you to get near him, and after  you give chase, just to get up and run away again….and he will do this repeatedly?

 

Enough about Neo.

BC produces leaders

What a powerful picture of leadership!

BCSGA Presidents with Nicky Damania June 16 2017

President Matthew Frazer, President Dezi Von Manos, President Alex Dominguez, President Clayton Fowler, Dr. Nicky Damania

Loved receiving this photo from Dr. Nicky Damania who hosts an annual dinner which he cooks at his house with all the previous presidents of the Bakersfield College Student Government Association (BCSGA).

 

The group met and reminisced about their years while giving advice to the incoming president.

President Alex Dominguez, 2014-15, is going to the University of Mississippi for law school.

President Clayton Fowler, 2015-2016, will finish his Political Science and Public Service degrees is at UC Davis.

President Matthew Frazer, 2016-17 will be starting at CSUB in Political Science.

President Dezi Von Manos, 2017-18, is working on a double degree in Criminal Justice and Communication.

And Dr. Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life, is starting his fourth year at Bakersfield College and is excited for the next year of student leaders

Start of Summer School

On Monday morning, campus felt alive with energy. Students filled the halls in preparation for the first day of summer class and the Welcome Center was full of student activities. The first day of class is always exciting because it marks another new step in the educational journey towards completion. The week, however, was just as exciting for faculty who welcomed new students into their classes and for BC’s Administration, who came together to plan, strategize, and work on the future of BC and student success.

It’s always great to see students on campus and I loved this photo on Instagram!

Instagram

Admin Council Retreat

The Admin Council at BC is BC’s entire management team. Administrative Council is a forum for communication on issues and trends affecting Bakersfield College, and communicates directly with the president. Each summer, we gather for retreats which help us recap our accomplishments so far, but more importantly work on our plans for moving the college forward.

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Earl Parsons and Manny De Los Santos took the group photos and luckily the weather on Tuesday was not too hot to be outside. Group photography always presents a unique set of challenges, but I think the photo turned out great. Earl later said in an email, “it’s an honor that I am trusted to capture all kinds of important moments for such a historic and life-changing institution as Bakersfield College.”  What a great team of people we have at BC! Can you see why I’m the happiest and luckiest college president ever?

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Sonya Christian addressing the management team

When I walked in the second day of the retreat, there was our new manager Zach Quiroz tapping the ivories on the piano.  Just beautiful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was great panel discussion that left the group with practical take-aways and tools they can use to manage their roles while also creating urgency to implement and improve strategies that work.

Lesley Bonds moderated a fantastic panel which included Tom Gelder on strategic thinking and clarity on priorities, Jennifer Aachan on action orientated communication, Shanell Tyus on clarity in decision making, and Alyse Braaten on starting on the right path and communication.

Team 2

Alyse Braaten, Shanell Tyus, Tom Gelder, Lesley Bonds

They shared “8 Things Really Efficient People Do” which is an article by @KevinJDaum. The author points out that focus is vital in his first point that suggests we should stop multitasking. The article goes on to discuss proper planning, appropriate communication, and delegating items that others can do better than we can, especially given our workload. It was a beneficial discussion as we all have the goal to be able to achieve our objectives in record time at BC.

Jennifer Marden, Liz Rozell, and Eric Sabella led a session on recognizing stressors in our lives in order to cope with them,  staying well.  Both Liz Rozell and Eric Sabella did a deep dive when they presented their personal stories, the stressors in their lives and how they cope.  They were open in their descriptions, smart in their thinking and sensitive in their delivery.  Have I told you recently that I am the luckiest and happiest college president…..I get to work with these amazing individuals every day.

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Here is an excerpt from Jennfier Marden’s opening comments:

As the spring semester came to a close, Sonya and I started talking about the various retreats.  Of course at that time there was a lot of energy at BC centered around the Leadership Matters Summit: Reimagining Leadership to Sustain Transformative Change to Advance Student Success & Equity.  The website describes the summit as “three sessions immersed in the theory and practice of change, how to navigate change, how to lead change, how to deal with the friction points, conflicts that arise due to change and above all how to sustain change.”

Sonya and I talked about the amount of change the college is undergoing—from Curriculum to Facilities.  In particular, those of us in this room, the 65 people that comprise the management team of BC, have experienced a substantial amount of change this past academic year.

This seems like a good time to pause and to celebrate the resiliency of the Bakersfield College management team in accomplishing so many things 2016-17!!

From this conversation, and true to form, Sonya asked me to get a team together to facilitate this discussion.  The Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory that we all completed will frame this session, “Wellness Strategies by Being Aware of Stressors in Our Lives”

Change is inevitable and change isn’t always negative.  Often change is a positive experience… buying a new house, welcoming a new baby to the family, a promotion—all examples of positive change.  But regardless of this, change causes stress… increased responsibility, sleepless nights, and unfamiliar territory.

It is how we manage the stress of change in our lives that is important as this has a direct impact to our overall well-being. If our wellness is compromised, will are not able to give our best to our work or our loved ones.

So in the next 28 minutes, Liz, Eric and I will each share thoughts about our personal results from the stress inventory, and Liz will give us a 50,000ft level look at our group scores.  Be thinking about…  How you navigate change, lead others through change, deal with the friction points and conflicts that arise due to change, and above all… how do you sustain change?  Eric will be asking five of you to share your personal reflections. (373 words)

Bill Moseley, Ramon Puga and Imelda Valdez led a session focused on how to stay organized in moving large quantities of work with quality. Ramon shared with the management team that in his line was work, his goal every morning is to come to work and expect the unexpected.  He also talked about how he has been attempting to delegate more.  Imelda, one of our new managers talked about the power of planning.  She is the Director of our EOP&S program and is right now planning the retreat with her team.  I was really impressed with her clarity and focus.  Bill discussed the tech tools he uses to maximize productivity and keep the work moving.  He reviewed his own strategy, which involves dividing his time into three areas; triage, light work, and deep work.  In triage, the work is focused on guiding input, responding to emails, and completing tasks that can be done in under two minutes.  Triage can be done almost anywhere, and isn’t vulnerable to distraction.  Light work consists of planning, reviewing, researching, and organizing.  This can be done in a mildly distracting environment and is perfect for “open door” times in the office.  Deep work takes uninterrupted time and deep concentration.  Bill described creating his environment for deep work as, “door closed, email turned off, and music with no words playing in the background.  By using these three phases of work, anyone can take control of their inputs and outputs, and increase their productivity.

Janet Fulks and Craig Hayward did a great presentation about BC’s students.  Through data, video and story telling the two of them grounded the discussions on the “why” our work matters…..Our students.  and how education transforms lives.

Here are a few highlights from the powerpoint that Janet and Craig used for their presentation.

Pie Chart Student Demographics June 14 2017

When you think about the “needs” of the BC students think about their background

  • Proportion on Financial Aid 69.6%   (that’s 19,228 students)
  • Proportion First Gen 53.9% (that’s 14,891 students)

This picture captures the need being right now!

Need circle

Here is a powerful bar graph that shows increase in wages with specific skill building cluster classes.  Check out Automotive Technology.

Wage Growth related to Skills Builder

Grace Commiso did brief presentations on both days about how BC is developing 18 completion coaching communities among faculty and staff to coach students through their 15-credits in their first semester and successfully completing their English and math requirements in the first year.  The 18 completion coaching communities are comprised of 10 metamajors and 8 affinity groups.

On Wednesday morning, the team was back at it and Dena Rhoades snapped photos of the beautiful breakfast that fueled us through the morning. Thank you chef Eric Sabella and BC Food Services.

AdminCouncil_Breakfast

I loved this tweet from Nicky Damania:

Executive Office Photo

Executive Office - Getting Set-1

The Executive Office is comprised of the President, the three Vice Presidents and the staff.  Here is the team.  and thank you John Farrand for this fun photo.  We retreated for half a day on Thursday.  Thank you Chris Glaser, Somaly Boles, June Charles, Tracy Hall and Jennifer Marden for organizing the different sessions for the retreat.

 

Saluting Keith Wolaridge

Keith WoolaridgeOn Monday, Tom Gelder met with Keith Wolaridge to present him his plaque from Sterling Silver at Uricchio’s Trattoria. Passing a bond initiative is like raising a child…it takes a village. Keith is one of those people who did whatever was needed to get the word out, to ask for the right endorsements, to write the opinion pieces, to make the phone calls, to bolster people’s spirits. Thank you Keith!

To check out all the recipients of awards at Sterling Silver, check out my blog post: Moments that make up Life.

IT’S POSSIBLE

The Outreach team at BC is gearing up for one of the best express enrollment events yet. Coming up on June 20th, anyone and everyone is invited to attend IT’S POSSIBLE – a one-day express event starting at 8:00AM that will help future and current students, no matter where they are in the enrollment or registration process so they can leave with their class schedule in hand, knowing exactly what classes they’ll be attending in Fall. Thank you to everyone on campus who is preparing for this fantastic day!

Check out the event on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1941376366135105  or RSVP on the website at: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/itspossible

Its Possible

Come out for the Air Force Band

Exciting things are coming to the campus on the hill. On June 28th, at 7:00PM, the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West will perform a free concert at the Simonsen Outdoor Theater at our beautiful campus. This is FREE to the public so I hope you’ll gather your friends and family and visit the campus to enjoy the music.

The United States Air Force Band of the Golden West is stationed in the San Francisco Bay area at Travis Air Force Base and their goal is to foster positive, long lasting impressions of the Air Force and the United States of America using the power of music. They are headed to the Hollywood Bowl and will perform the entire set for everyone at BC. Let’s show them the warmest Bakersfield welcome by packing the theater. See you there!

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Recycling Event at BC

Bakersfield College is partnering with Happy Recyclers to help our community dispose of any unwanted electronics the right way.

Last year, over 500 people participated, giving away over one million pounds of electronics to be efficiently recycled instead of ending up in a landfill. This year, our event will even accept those heavy outdated televisions, which many recyclers aren’t able to process.

BC cares for our surrounding neighborhoods and the ecological well-being of our planet, so come out for an opportunity to clear out your electronic clutter and help the environment on June 24th and 25th from 8:00AM to 5:00PM.

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Student Success During the Summer

Along with eager-to-learn students on campus, our student services have also reopened their doors for the summer! Staff and faculty at BC encourage all students to take advantage of the everything BC has to offer to ensure that all students will succeed with the tools and help they need!

 

This Summer, there is an array of services provided that can help all students achieve their academic goals. Located in the Student Services Center Building, there is an abundance of free academic help. I’d like to spotlight a few:

  • ItsPOSSIBLE_3Dec16-12There is the Math lab where students are able to work on online math classes, get math help for on-campus classes, and even the Extend The Classroom for Math B72.
  • The Writing Center is a gem, where students can make an appointment and speak to an extremely knowledgeable and supportive coach who will guide students through the entire process of writing a solid paper. Amber Smithson, a BC student, offered a great tip. She said, “make sure to take in your assignment sheet, so you can go through each step for you to obtain the best grade!”
  • The Tutoring center is also located upstairs overlooking the math and writing labs. That’s where students can obtain free peer tutoring in 50-minute sessions for most courses and 15-minute drop-in sessions for English and Math only. These peer tutors are amazing because they’re students who have taken these classes and they’re knowledgeable on the material, but they can also relate to the student needing help.  The tutors not only have a passion for learning, but also for teaching and sharing that knowledge with their fellow students. All of these services are offered throughout the Summer and start right away. During the Fall session, they start a week into the semester.

The staff and faculty care so much about student success…

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Superheroes behind the Scenes

David WhalenLike I mentioned earlier, the faculty at BC ALWAYS have student success in their heart and on their mind. When a physics class was left without a professor due to an emergency, Dr. David Whalen stepped in to save the semester. It’s incredible that he has volunteered to change his summer and vacation plans to put BC students first.  Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president?

Jonathan Schultz introduces us to Prof. Joe Saldivar

Sonya Christian Manhatten Beach day before CA Guided Pathways Advisory Committee

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever