Tag Archives: Isabel CAstaneda

Precious Lives and Developing Dreams at Bakersfield College

Good morning Bakersfield. 

It is Saturday, June 23, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade.

June 22 2018 Sonya Christian with Neo

Sonya Christian and Neo in Marina Del Rey

 

This last week, I found my mind drifting to the passing of two celebrities, Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade and the difficult and tragic circumstances that led to their passing.

 

The world has infinite beauty, but there are millions who struggle with darkness and unable to see the world around them. Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain that can block out life’s joys, both large and small. Those afflicted can believe they don’t deserve the things that make them happy, or believe that others cannot understand their struggles.

Anthony Bourdain brought an unpretentious, engaging and culturally respectful perspective on the world’s food and people to American television viewers. Kate Spade revolutionized New York fashion in the 1990s with her line of functional, yet sophisticated handbags. These individuals were two of the most admired professionals in their respective fields, yet each of them decided to take their own life after a lifetime battle with depression.

Plumeria Tree

Someone close who passed last January after a brief bout with flu and pneumonia had an email signature that says it well: “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”

It’s an important reminder to be kind and supportive, and even more so when we do recognize that someone might be suffering from depression. If you suffer from depression, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline has volunteers in Bakersfield working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help. Call 1-800-273-8255 to get confidential support today. If talking on the phone makes you uncomfortable, you can text HOME to 741741 to access the Crisis Text Line. Every life is precious, and there is someone who cares and is willing to help.

Today, Pope Francis tweeted

Pope Francis Tweet June 23 2018

And then there is music…..

William Congreve an English playwright and poet begins The Mourning Bride in 1967 with the quote

Music has charm to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or to bend a knotted oak

I invite you to three incredible music events at Bakersfield College.

June 26, 2018 (Tuesday) at 7:00 p.m. — The US Airforce Band of the Golden West will be performing at Bakersfield College once again.  Seeing this extremely talented band is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we’d love everyone in the community to be a part of it.  Tue, 06/26/2018 – 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.  Location: Edward Simonsen Performing Arts Center (Indoor Theater)

USAF Band-8

Bon Voyage Concert June 30 2018June 30, 2018 — Bon Voyage Concert with BC Chamber Singers, Dr. Jennifer Garrett, Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger.  Please come out to the Bon Voyage Concert on June 30 in the Indoor Theater. The concert begins at 4:00 p.m. and doors will open at 3:30 p.m. You do not need to get tickets in advance as this is a donation only show. The concert will feature the music they will perform in Cairns and will also have special guests, Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger.

 

July 20, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at the Memorial Stadium —  4th Annual Resound Drum Corps Competition

The Bakersfield College Golden Empire Drum & Bugle Corps presents the 4th Annual “Resound” Drum Corps International (DCI) contest! The competition will take place Friday, July 20th at 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium on the Bakersfield College campus.

Get your tickets now! Costs are $20 for premium seating, $15 for general admission, and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased at Vallitix.

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Child Development Center Outdoor Classroom

On Wednesday, the Child Development Center unveiled their brand-new playground to the public, and the children in the program got the chance to play in it for the first time.

The playground was funded by the Head Start program of the Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) for our two-year Early Head Start classrooms. The new facility will function as an outdoor classroom that allows the toddlers to directly engage with their learning. Six of our teachers and associate teachers have completed the first level of outdoor classroom training, with a second level of outdoor classroom workshops planned for the next few weeks.

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“Young children learn through direct first-hand experience using all of their five senses,” Child Development Center Director Sue Vaughn said in announcing the new playground.

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Liz Rozell, Vice President of Instruction thanked CAPK for funding the playground, and all of our staff who played a part in making outdoor learning a possibility for the children in our Early Head Start classrooms. Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg took a short break from retirement for a ribbon-cutting and to invite children to participate in their new space, which has books and toys, plants the children can water, and musical instruments.

“When people come together for the benefit of children, great things happen,” Nan said.

Yolanda Gonzales, the Director of Head Start and State Child Development for CAPK, thanked the child development staff at Bakersfield College for their dedication to getting children started on the right path to a successful education.

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“This would not be possible without the staff who have made a commitment,” Gonzales said. “It takes a team to achieve the outcomes that are so evident here.”

Thanks to Sue Vaughn and the staff at BC’s Child Development Center, as well as CAPK, for making children’s dreams come true with this new playground. During the celebration, Sue also gave recognition to BC’s Bill Potter and Jim Coggins for all that they contributed to making this project a reality.

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Tony Cordova

STEM Camps at BC with partners Chevron and Project Lead the Way

Joseph Luiz, Henry Barrios and Diana Olivares highlighted our Summer STEM Camps in the Bakersfield Californian on Wednesday, which is providing hands-on experience in STEM for over 100 middle and high school students.

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The Californian highlighted the guitar building and electrical engineering workshops with photos and video, in addition to workshops that have already taken place on 3D printing and mobile app development. Over the coming weeks, students will be attending workshops on architecture and design and automation technology. The classes are offered free of charge with funding from Chevron and Project Lead the Way.

Yadira Guerrero, the Program Manager of Engineering at Bakersfield College, organized the camps and is quoted in the article speaking about her passion for bringing hands-on STEM education to young people. “We’re hoping to inspire students and ignite a love for hands-on learning that maybe they don’t get the chance to do a lot of in school,” she said. “We’re hoping the academy will inspire them to want to go to college.”

I’d like to thank the Bakersfield Californian for featuring our Summer STEM Camps on their Wednesday front page, and I’d like to thank Yadira Guerrero, Chevron and Project Lead the Way for making the camps a reality.  Thank you Adam Alvidrez and Carla Musser of Chevron for supporting Stem education and Bakersfield College.

Don’t forget to check out the media piece created by Joseph and Diana. It’s a #MustSee!

2018 Guitar building STEM students

Wonderful Summer Camps Continue

Last week we shared with you some information and pictures from the first of two Summer Agriculture Camps coordinated by BC Staff and funded by Wonderful Company. These students are exposed to all the exciting things that Bakersfield College has to offer and have the opportunity to connect with industry professionals discovering the many opportunities that exist in our community.

If you remember back to our most recent graduation ceremony, one of the most special things we experienced was the graduation of over 30 Wonderful Prep students with their Associates Degree for Transfer.

Orange County Event Photography

The students for the second camp are recruited from Wonderful Prep Academy in Delano, and, like our recent Wonderful graduates will have the opportunity to enroll in Dual Enrollment courses, allowing them to graduate high school with an Associates degree even before receiving their high school diploma.

A highlight of this week’s activities was researching, designing, and creating the marketing for various products. It all begins with research!

Summer Ag Camp students researching career for final project

And then perfect product development. This part looks tasty. 🙂

Students working on developing a product during ag business session

Then for the creative design and implementation!

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There were also sessions to learn about water pumps and welding. Check out these hands on activities!

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This is a crucial moment for them as many will be starting high school in a year, and the exposure to agriculture and the careers within the industry can open their eyes to fields of study they may not have thought of otherwise. It’s also crucial for their families.

Here are some photos of Wonderful College Prep Academy students presenting to family and friends during the week’s culminating event.

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During the event, we take wellness seriously.  Here are some photos of the physical exercise activities!

Again a shout out to our dedicated staff in charge of making this opportunity happen, starting with Raquel Lopez, Program Manager, who oversees and coordinates the camp with the support of Jaime Lopez, Program Manager. Thanks also to our Lead Agriculture faculty Heather Baltis and Jim Selgrath, with support from, Jesse Oropeza as the lead mentor, Christopher McCraw and his leadership class, as well as the peer mentors. None of this could be possible without the support of our Delano Campus Support Staff and Director, Abel Guzman.

Summer Bridge

Isabel Castaneda and Kimberly Bligh at Bridge HQ June 23 2018

Isabel Castaneda and Kimberly Bligh

Summer Bridge to BC is a fun, intensive freshmen orientation day where students engage with faculty and staff, tour the BC campus with experienced and knowledgeable mentors, and participate in activities that orient them to the freshman experience. They also learn practical skills that enable college success such as effective communication, time management, GRIT, and more. By the end of the day, participants become knowledgeable in campus student/academic services and other resources available for FREE to ultimately clarify and facilitate their Career and Learning Pathway success.

Summer Bridge has educational advisors on call each day from Outreach, Career and Technical Education, Financial Aid, STEM, General Counseling, and more! The Bridge advising team is led by the Title V Grant lead advisor, Isabel Castaneda. Advisors not only carefully pre-screen schedules for each and every student who enrolls in Summer Bridge, they also pair up on the day of each Bridge and work side-by-side with every student along with our outstanding Bridge peer mentors to ensure students leave the same day with the correct courses, locations,  and units for their Learning and Career pathways success. Students also receive one -on-one time with our fabulous Financial Aid staff to make sure their financial aid forms are all in order.

Numerous engaging, hands-on activities and discussions make the day fun and memorable, and provide students opportunities to bond with fellow students, staff, and faculty before classes start for fall! It should be no surprise that our BC Summer Bridge students have higher success and retention rates, PLUS complete more units in their first year, AND are more likely to enroll in college level math and English than students who do not attend this one-of-a -kind Freshmen Orientation Day. There are sections still open in the Summer 2018 schedule. See Academic Development B55.

On August 14th, 5-8 PM, Summer Bridge is hosting a FAMILY Bridge to BC Night that will be a Career and Learning Pathways Open House Showcase and will close with our annual New Student Convocation. The Convocation is a spectacular family and BC Staff celebration that welcomes new students to BC! Watch the BC website for more information about how to sign up for this event soon!

Express Enrollment

The Outreach Department supported and registered 135 students for classes in one day during Tuesday’s express enrollment event. On Tuesday morning, Scott Sheahen of KERO Channel 23 highlighted the event, which handles application, placement and enrollment in one five-hour session. Tuesday’s enrollment also had a special component to get home-schooled students ready for classes at BC.

The next One-Day Express Enrollment event is on July 10th starting at 8 a.m. in the Welcome Center, so if you or someone you know needs help with the enrollment and registration process, then come by and we’ll make you a Renegade in one day!

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Norma Rojas-Mora

BC welcomed Norma Rojas-Mora to campus as Director of Communications and Community Relations on Monday.

Telemundo invited Norma on air to share about her new role at BC. Norma emphasized her continued commitment to the community through her transition and in the importance of education both on a personal and community level. She spoke about how Bakersfield College is committed to opening its doors and access to the entire community, which can be seen in our rural outreach. Check it out at Telemundo online.

Norma Rojas-Mora

Norma Rojas-Mora

A Better BC Update

Pardon the pun, but we are trucking right along on the parking lot renovations! The parking lot on Mount Vernon and Panorama, and Parking Lot 4 on Mount Vernon and Church Avenue is scheduled to be opened on July 2. Following the opening, renovations will continue on other lots and roads throughout campus.

Starting July 2nd, closures include Red and White Way, Haley St. Entrance and staff/guest parking outside of the Administration building.

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As always, please visit the A Better BC website for all construction updates.

 

 

Summer Soccer Camp at BC

 

It’s exciting to watch the World Cup action, and a good reminder of the upcoming Summer Soccer Camps at BC!

The BC Men’s and Women’s soccer programs are hosting a summer soccer camp for boys and girls ages 7-17.  Sessions will run from Monday July 16 through Thursday July 19, 9am-12pm.

The cost is only $145 per participant for the week, and even better, there are group discounts available. To learn more or sign up, contact Scott Dameron at sdameron@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

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Fun Renegade Photos — #Summer2018

BC Team at eLumen Conference

BC Team at eLumen Conference

Craig Hayward’s tweet

Craig Hayward tweet June 21 2018 of Sonya Christian

Tweet at the same conference from Wayne Skipper of Concentric Sky

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Spotted on Facebook.  Coach Casey Goodman being inducted to the 2018 University of Louisiana at Monroe Hall of Fame Class. #GoGades #WeAreBC

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I want to remember to give special thanks to the BC Food Service team. Every day during our BC Summer Camps, and as always(!), they are on it! Thank you Chef Stephanie and crew for such attention to all who come to the Home of the Renegades.

Food Services

A great photo of Grace Commiso’s Rocky on Facebook: While studying looked over and saw Rocky sprawled out on the floor…..How’s your Friday?  Apparently his has been rough. #thelifeofpets.

Grace Commiso's Rocky June 22 2018

 

Neo on the beach in Marina Del Rey #Summer2018

Heather Penella in Utah

Heather Penella June 2018 Utah

Found on Facebook that Paul Beckworth and family are heading to the beach.

Paul Beckworth and family day trip to the beach June 23 2018

 

Tweet from Tamara Baker our new Manager for Community Relations

Tamara Baker Tweet June 23 2018

It is a great time to be at BC!

June 22 2018 Neo with Sonya Christian Marina Del Rey

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Providing pathways to the future and building a better BC

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, July 23rd and I woke up to a wonderful piece by Jeff Evans in The Bakersfield Californian above the fold.  Indeed, a wonderful day to be a Renegade.

Here is an fuzzy image of the article taken on my iphone.  For the entire web version check out http://tinyurl.com/h2f79wy.  There is also a 15-minute video segment of Louis Amestoy interviewing Jeff Evans on the gymnasium and other athletics facilities that are on the BC facilities needs list.  Note this is a “needs list” not a “wish list”.  I particularly appreciated the comment that these facilities serve all of our students and not just our student athletes.

Jeff Evans Californian July 23 2016

 

The “Athletics facilities” is only one project of the numerous facilities needs on this 60 year old campus on 153 acres with over 30 buildings.  80% of the projects are capital improvements focusing on buildings where we have instruction in Math, Science, Agriculture, Humanities, etc. For the entire project list check out www.abetterbc.com.

The college faculty and staff have been focused on student success for over a century, and in the last three years have particularly focused on connecting with students when they are still in high school and gearing them up for college and the workforce.  Approximately 80% of BC’s students are first in their families to go to college, so the faculty and staff take the time to be their guides and their coaches as these first-time students learn to navigate college and learn how to be learners and gain the skills to enter the workforce.  Nick Strobel describes it well in about 500 words in his Community Voices piece on Wednesday, July 20th in The Bakersfield Californian.

Nick compared our new pathways initiative to the GPS in a car. Just as a GPS will help you get back on track if you make a wrong turn, the pathways we are creating can help guide students through life events that may “knock them off the college path.”

Nick Strobel July 20 2016

This is such an exciting initiative, and I am so happy that BC was one of just 30 colleges chosen to be part of the AACC Pathways Project.

Nick’s piece is online at http://www.bakersfield.com/news/opinion/2016/07/20/a-road-for-community-college-students-bc-s-gps.html.

So you see dear community members, BC meets students where they are and provides incredible opportunities for them to find their calling, whether in athletics, the arts and humanities, social sciences or in math and science.  What our faculty do for our students is nothing short of incredible.

Eisenhower Fellowship

Here’s a note I received from a talented Bakersfield College student:

My name is Rey Fernandez, a mechanical engineering major. From Fall 2015 to early Spring 2016, I had the opportunity to be one of the Dwight Eisenhower recipients because of the MESA program. This research opportunity exposed me to the transportation field, and taught me the role of engineers in the Transportation Research Board. Attending this TRB Conference in Washington D.C. gave me a lot of professional experiences.

I just want to thank you for bringing this research opportunity to MESA students last year, and again, for this upcoming year.

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Former BC student featured on SiriusXM

Brandon McNaughton—who is from Bakersfield, attended BC, and received his BS in Physics from CSUB—was featured on SiriusXM in February.

He was interviewed for 30 minutes by Steve Blank on “Entrepreneurs Are Everywhere” about his biotech company, and the importance of understanding customer needs when developing a product or solution. The episode can be heard via SiriusXM on Demand.  Here is a link http://tinyurl.com/jyvzg9l

His company, Akadeum Life Sciences, is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has developed a new method to separate individual cells from biological samples, such as blood. He is also one of the 100 stars of Bakersfield College. A proud Renegade!

Here are some previous blog posts highlighting our faculty and staff and what they do to create a wonderful learning environment for our students.

April 3, 2015: Levan Center: St. John’s Lecture. Greg Schneider and The Brothers Karamazov

https://bcpresidentblog.com/2015/04/03/levan-center-st-johns-lecture-greg-schneider-and-the-brothers-karamazov/

September 1, 2014: Arts and Humanities:

https://bcpresidentblog.com/2014/09/01/arts-and-humanities/

June 22, 2015: BC faculty and staff are rock stars

https://bcpresidentblog.com/2015/06/22/middle-schoolers-lead-the-way/

Speaking of our amazing faculty and staff,  let me tell you about a project that has surfaced this summer among a small group.  The idea is to get students to do their homework at the college in a structured environment so that they develop the habits of learning.  Being disciplined, persevering with their school work etc.  Just amazing dedication and commitment from the faculty!  I got to hang out with some of them.  Here are photos to prove it 🙂

 

Thank you all for your work.  A special shout out to Eileen Pierce, Kim Arbolante, Maria Wright, Kate Pluta, Stephen Waller, and Isabel Castaneda as well as Kimberly Bligh and Erica Menchacha who piloted Ac Dev 72 in the spring.

Political Leaders and their connections to BC.

kevin-mccarthy-sonya-christian-art-gentry-may-6-2016Regardless of your political views and affiliation, it is truly inspirational to consider what leadership and strength blossoms from our own backyard – Bakersfield, Kern County, and of course, at Bakersfield College. House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, took the stand on Tuesday evening to address the convention attendees and the nation, but Mr. McCarthy’s road to becoming the successful and influential political figure he is today, is one that began in our hometown.

He enrolled at BC after high school, opened a little local sandwich shop named Kevin O’s Deli, and earned a degree from CSUB. As his interest in politics peaked, he volunteered to clip newspapers in the office of Rep. Bill Thomas, to gain insight and learn from a fantastic role model.

Congressman Bill Thomas also has roots at BC – from beginnings as a political science faculty at BC to chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, there is so much to say about Bill that’s inspirational. We are so fortunate to have him as the senior advisor to our Blue Ribbon Committee and as a friend and supporter of Bakersfield College.

Mayor Harvey Hall is not shy to share his love of BC and he details his relationship in an article published on Bakersfield.com regarding the recent bond measure announcement.

Senator Jean Fuller, another political leader, earned her AA degree at Bakersfield College in 1970. After more than 30 years as an educator and Superintendent of Bakersfield City School District, sh e was elected in 2006 and “immediately recognized as a leader by her colleagues and has used her administrative experience to make impactful decisions that focus on increased efficiency and accountability.” (Source)

Our first female mayor, Mary K. Shell, also attended BC and continues to support Bakersfield College today. During the time of her retirement, the Bakersfield Californian even referred to her as “the most popular politician in Kern County history.” We are so lucky to have insightful and influential political leaders likes these and many others, including Rudy Salas, Andy Vidak, and Shannon Grove.

The people of Bakersfield and BC students, past and present, continue to make a difference in our community, state, and nation. I can’t wait to see what our current students have in store for the future of our country.

Latina Leaders

Last Saturday, July 16th, BC was present in full force at the Latina Leaders banquet.

This is my second year attending the event and I am even more impressed by the work they do. For more information check out their website at http://kernlatinas.com/.  Congratulations to ISABEL BRAVO, LOURDES VARGAS NILON, and GABRIELA MELLO on their recognition.

 

Norma Rojas Mora the president of Latina Leaders is a remarkable woman who in on our Bakersfield College Foundation Board of Directors and she is also the co-chair of the Community Connections group and the Blue Ribbon Committee on the Bakersfield College bond measure.

Here are the Bakersfield College folks who attended: Isabel Casteneda, Evette Lara, Janet Tarjan, Maria Wright, Paul Beckworth.  Thank you Karen Goh for the photos.  You are a good friend of Bakersfield College.

Check out my post from last year’s Latina Leaders banquet when Lisa Kent and Camilla Chavez were among the recipients of the leadership award.
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2015/07/12/somos-el-colegio-de-bakersfield/ 

 

Staff Retreats

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Summers at Bakersfield College involve less instructional time, which gives the staff and administrators an opportunity to meet for one-day on-campus retreats. These provide a foundation for fostering positive connections, critical planning, and preparing our teams to better support the needs of the faculty and students.

Entertaining themes for these retreats keep everyone refreshed as group activities, informational talks, and fun competitions re-energize and re-focus everyone for a new academic year.

Check out more photos from our summer retreats at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/2016-Retreats/.

It’s hard to believe – we are beginning to count down the days until opening day of Fall 2016!

Here is a picture of my Cabinet during our retreat in June.

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Sonya and Maggie July 23 2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya ….. with Maggie who is visiting for two days.