Tag Archives: Jack Hernandez

It’s Valentine’s Day … Love is in the air

This long weekend, I am grateful to be able to take a short break and enjoy the quiet beauty of the world around us. In our hectic lives, it’s these peaceful moments that can help renew and restore us to continue the things we must do.

And as we head into Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I wanted to share this email W. Christian Flores-Castaneda in our Culinary Science department, full of Renegade love. It is notes like this from our campus community that also help renew and restore my spirit:

Thank you for supporting the Food and Nutrition Program here at Bakersfield College.

Hey, Y’all…

I had started this email a number of times, months ago, only to delete it over and over again, because it felt like I just couldn’t get the right words to flow together… I was trying to be funny, or quirky, or all wordsmith-y to keep you upbeat and interested.

And then I got to thinking, y’all just need some Love. Like, “Hey, we didn’t forget about you all, and how supportive and invested you are, and how much we rely on your gratitude and guinea pig-ness, and gosh darnnit, WE MISS YOU!” kinda love. The kind of love I tell our new students about. The RenRoom Fam. The “every Tuesday at 6 pm at THAT table” kinda love. We’ve been missin’ all the good times, and the not-so-perfect-but-let’s-chock-it-up-to-learning-experience times…

Well, the show must go on. People gotta eat. And we gotta make sure our students know what to do when they get out there. So, we are working on training them appropriately to today’s measures, ensuring theirs and others’ safety as they navigate the industry. COVID gave us an opportunity to build humane relationships with each other as we learn new techniques and skillsets under new guidelines and prevention measures. We’ve needed to adhere to the most practical methods of teaching our culinarians without compromising anyone’s health and safety. We’re connecting with each other in ways we had not completely relied upon in prior lesson exchanges. These moments are being seized.

“Are we open for business?” We are working on that, actually. We will provide our students opportunities to engage in real-time application as far as production expectation and sanitary distribution. That’s fancy talk for “how to cook and package things nicely.” Our advanced students are poised to begin processing orders this week. Because we are working with reduced class sizes, our production team can only offer a limited number of portions, so it’s gonna be a little “First Come, First Served”-fashioned at first.

Renegade Room Take-Out events are being coordinated for both Tuesday Night Fine Dining and Wednesday Lunch services, with tailored menus and pricing. As we begin to offer more service, I’ll be updating our webpage and send out communication regarding menus and payment methods.

You can visit the Renegade Room page of the Bakersfield College website for more information here: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/renegaderoom

Glad to be back, fam. We’ll see you soon.

W. Christian Flores-Castaneda

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 13, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.

BC Vaccine Clinic Updates

While preparations continue for our vaccination clinic on the Panorama Campus, more Renegades are getting access to the vaccine.

Yovani Jimenez, one of the newest Trustees to the Kern Community College District, is also a case worker for Clinica Sierra Vista, got his vaccine. Mary Jo Pasek also took her first treatment of the vaccine.

Jennifer Garrett also recently received her first dose of the vaccine:

If you have photos of yourself or loved ones getting vaccinated for COVID-19, please email them to earl.parsons@bakersfieldcollege.edu or president@bakersfieldcollege.edu

I also wanted to share another video from the February 2, 2021, Virtual Forum about the COVID-19 vaccine, with Dr. Michael Saag. You can see more videos from that session at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/covid19/resources.

In this 6:20-min video, he gives a brief description of the body’s immunization process and how the COVID-19 vaccine works. Thank you to BC Pre-Med student Ian Spark for taking part in the Q&A session:

For more information about Bakersfield College’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic, visit the COVID-19 page.

Poem: “Silencing Song”

Jack Hernandez shared a poignant poem with me this week:

Silencing Song

Abusive voices lash
the air and souls
of those
they despise.
Amid the endless rancor
words like peace
hide behind doors
of despair.
Yet ready to pounce
with love
forgiveness begins
her silencing song.

She does not avert
her eyes,
her lyrics tell those
whose tongues
are whips
she will not
strike back,
will stand strong
without hate,
waiting and singing
waiting and giving.

Putnam Exam Open to BC Students

From email from Jonathan P. Brown:

The William Lowell Putnam Competition is “the leading university-level mathematics examination in the world.”  The exam is fun, challenging, and if you score anything greater than a 0 on it, then that is something remarkable to put on your resume/CV or applications.  I am happy to announce that it will be available for the first time to any BC students who do not already hold a bachelor’s degree.  The exam will be Saturday, February 20th, and we will have two study sessions before then.

The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is “the leading university-level mathematics examination in the world.”  The competition consists of two 3-hour sessions.  During each session, participants work individually on six challenging mathematical problems. 

The 81st Putnam Competition will take place virtually on Feb 20, 2021

For more info: www.artofproblemsolving.com/contests/putnam
Register at https://artofproblemsolving.com/contests/putnam/student

Contact jonathan.brown@bakersfieldcollege.edu for more.

KHSD Opens Early College Pathway Applications for 2021-2022 School Year

KHSD announced this week that applications for their Early College pathways are now open for the 2021-2022 school year. In addition to the 4 pathways launched last Fall (Industrial Automation, Public Health, Psychology, and Administration of Justice), the district is also planning a new “Introduction to Health Careers” pathway with their CTEC facility that will align with our Title V objectives and expose high school students to the many Health Science pathways available here at BC. A cohort of 35 incoming 9th grade students will be selected for each of the 5 pathways, and students from other grades will be selected for courses that will get them a head start on pathways of their choice.

To learn more about these pathways, you can visit https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/earlycollege/khsd.

Tutoring Center Online and Open for BC Students

From email from Bradley Cramer:

Great news! The Bakersfield College Tutoring Center is now open and available online.

Services offered:

  • Weekly 50-minute appointments
  • 15-minute drop-in tutoring (for math and English)
  • Tutors available in many subjects

For more information and to sign up for tutoring, go to our website at: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/student/tutoring

The link to our website is also accessible by clicking the “BC Peer Tutoring” link in Canvas. Our online hours are:

  • Monday: 9 am – 7 pm
  • Tuesday: 9 am – 7 pm
  • Wednesday: 9 am – 8 pm
  • Thursday: 9 am – 7 pm

The BC Tutoring Center is a proven student success service that provides FREE online tutoring to all currently enrolled Bakersfield College Students. Our one-on-one Peer Tutors, who are trained and certified, can assist you with many Bakersfield College courses. Assistance with course content, assignments, required papers (at any stage of the writing process) and/or academic skills are available through drop-in and scheduled appointments for most BC courses. Please feel free to share this information with your students. Thank you so much.

Opening Day Spring 2021

On the first day of our Opening Day Spring 2021 production, CSEA President Tina Johnson shared an update:

We also featured a performance from the Renegade Chorus. Please enjoy “Resilience”:

For more videos from our Opening Day Spring 2021 production, visit https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/opening-week-spring-2021.

Community Voices

Philanthropy just may be the best tool we have for increasing social, economic mobility

Sheri Horn-Bunk, executive director of the Taft College Foundation, and Cheryl Scott, executive director of the Bakersfield College Foundation, co-wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the $100 million donation from the Jay Pritzker Foundation to fund the Finish Line Scholarships for 34 California community colleges.

“By providing students Finish Line scholarships, we’re able to remove barriers while supporting the overall community. When a student is able to feed their family, pay rent and complete their college degrees, they are putting the money back into the community. In fact, students earning a degree or certificate from a California community college nearly double their earnings within just three years!”

Get on track with Renegade Fitness

Nicky Damania wrote a piece for the Bakersfield Californian highlighting the virtual Renegade Fitness program, and shared how it has evolved over the course of the pandemic:

“Even though we are all virtually apart and not able to come physically together to workout, this avenue provides a small community for us to engage with each other. Also, as the workouts are shown on social media platforms, many community members have also started engaging with the workouts. We even have a couple of regulars who join in from the states of Indiana and Colorado.”

You can check out the Renegade Fitness program Monday through Friday from Noon to 1 p.m. Register on Zoom or tune in on Facebook LiveTwitterTwitch, or YouTube. Archived videos are available on the BCSGA YouTube channel.

Spotted on Social Media

The Padrinos de BC Instagram page shared this photo from the Latinx CCC Virtual Mixer:

Endee Grijalva had a family-style nachos night:

Shannon Musser shared this photo of her and her dog, Zoe:

Maria Wright shared this photo of her family:

And Abel Guzman shared this update about his work at BC:

Archives Throwback: Portrait of an Older Woman

In the Feb. 5, 1971 edition of the Renegade Rip, Mark W. Johnson breathes life into the casual and the mundane with his poem “Portrait of an Older Woman”. There aren’t many details available other than that, so enjoy the poem below:

Portrait of an Older Woman

she sits
in the shadow
of the window
noiselessly
she sits
the shadow
of the window

in a shadow-window
she sits
noiselessly
she sits
a wooden shadow
in the window
an etching
sunlight-shadow
carved

sunlight breaks
on bended knees
and sags upon
her feets
and slides
away across
the wooden floor
a river of bright
and dancing dust
splashing
noiselessly
as she sits
the shadow
of the window

Athletics

Throwback to 1979 Women’s Volleyball

It’s always fun to throwback to pictures of the past. Here’s some action pics from the 1979 women’s volleyball season – almost 40 years ago! That year the team placed fourth in the conference and had four players selected to the All-Conference team – Sharlene Carroll, Jill Turner, Terri McNamara and Rhonda Harrington. Do you know any of these ladies? What a blast from the past!


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That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

I heard the bells on Christmas Day – Christmas 2020

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are all staying safe and enjoying a wonderful holiday – even though it likely looks very different from other years. It is a holiday season of pain and suffering for many as our nation continues battling the Coronavirus pandemic. But it is also, I think, a season of hope and unity.

David French

On Christmas Eve, a friend sent me this article from David French in Time Magazine. In it, he describes how difficult it can be to get into the Christmas Spirit when there is so much going wrong around us.

“But times of great suffering are also times that can reveal deep truths, he wrote.

He then discussed the Christmas hymn “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” which is based on the poem “Christmas Bells” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

It ends with the line:

The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.

It shows us that even in the darkest moments, we must face the world together and find those glimmers of hope.

The bells of Christmas this year bring a reminder of the difficulties of this past year – but they also bring hope.

Jack Hernandez

Check out this piece by Jack Hernandez in the Bakersfield Californian, where he looked at John Donne’s poem “For whom the bell tolls.”

The poem begins:

No man is an island
Entire of itself.

Jack talked about how we are all connected – and we must recognize this connection both now, during the pandemic; and later, when we are past this difficult time.

“If this pandemic has taught us anything, it should be that we are all connected, all one with each other, our family, our friends, our neighbors, strangers and those of other nations. Yet, we too often stress our islands of individuality, forget that we are all linked as a community. In a philosophy class I taught years ago at Bakersfield College, a student from Africa, who later transferred to Stanford University, mentioned that when he first came to our country, he was struck by our emphasis on individuality in contrast to his home’s emphasis on community. The lesson for that day. The lesson for us now.”

After this year of pandemic and turmoil, I hope that we all come out with one positive idea – the idea of unity. I hope that everything we have experienced together over the past 12 months will in fact bring us together to face our new world and create a better tomorrow through unity.

The Christmas bells are tolling for each of us, to find our strength in unity and push through the end of a tumultuous year.

This week, we saw a sign how everyone and everything is connected on a cosmic level when we witnessed a truly once-in-a-lifetime event. In fact, it was once in many lifetimes. The Great Conjunction of Jupiter & Saturn is something that hasn’t been seen in our night sky for nearly 800 years. A conjunction occurs when planets appear very close to one another due to the way they line up with Earth in their orbits. Jupiter and Saturn align about once every 20 years, but haven’t appeared this close since 1623. And it hasn’t been viewable at night in nearly 800 years.

Our resident astronomer, Nick Strobel, shared these photos he took of the event:

Nick also wrote about the conjunction in his Bakersfield Night Sky column.

And check out this webcast of the winter solstice “Great Conjunction,” provided by the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California.  You can read more at space.com.

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 26, 2020…My last blog entry for 2020.
A great day to be a Renegade.

Becki Whitson — A Renegade Legend

Bakersfield College lost one of our greatest cheerleaders last week. Our hearts are heavy with the news that Becki Whitson passed away.

Becki Whitson

Becki was a BC alum, and she also was a faculty member in the Behavioral Sciences department for many years – and served as department chair for 7 years. She is perhaps best known as the former head cheerleading coach. I remember when she retired in 2017, KCCD Trustee Kyle Carter said, “Becki Whitson is Bakersfield College.”

Becki was always an ardent supporter of Bakersfield College, serving as president of the Bakersfield College Alumni Association for over 25 years. At Opening Day this year, she helped me announce the Renegade Alumni Council. Becki’s Renegade pride is evident in the way she speaks about Bakersfield College:

There will be a celebration of life on July 26, 2021, and I will share that information at a later date.

The obituary in the Bakersfield Californian starts with Both the choir and cheer team in heaven have gained a new member…. Read more at https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/bakersfield/obituary.aspx?n=becki-whitson&pid=197363311

Community Voices: Eileen Pierce

Eileen Pierce Program Manager, Academic Support

Eileen Pierce wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the importance of the tutoring program.

“BC’s tutoring program is vibrant, boasting nearly 100 thoroughly trained tutors to serve all BC students, even while running virtually. The tutors are all students themselves, so a student reaching out for help need not feel intimidated as might happen during a professor’s Zoom office hours. The staff is extremely involved in the entire appointment-making process and will carefully match a student with the best tutor. Drop-in and recurring appointments are available. Staff, several faculty and tutors are in the Zoom lobby over 40 hours a week, ready to greet potential tutees warmly and direct them to a breakout room with their tutor.”

Community Voices: Kayla Moore

Kayla Moore BC Alum

Critical care nurse & BC RN program graduate Kayla Moore also wrote in the Californian about the importance of education.

“We hear a lot of talk about “gifts” during the holidays. This seems like the perfect time for me to thank our generous community — and the BC nursing team — for their gift to me: the gift of education. Their kindness has made a lasting impact on my life, and without it I would not have had the opportunity to complete my education and begin my career as a critical care nurse. I will never forget the generosity that was extended to me and I plan to pay it forward by contributing to scholarships in the future.”

Umoja Community Celebrates Kwanzaa

Umoja Community held a pre-Kwanzaa Celebration and acknowledged both students and mentors.

Kwanzaa is celebrated December 26 through January 1. It is a non-religious celebration focused on African values. Created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1965, each day of the seven-day holiday has a theme.

Umoja students explained each of the Nguzo Saba (seven principles). Zariyah noted that “each principle is to reinforce a basic value of African culture that contributes to building the family, the community, and the culture.”

Then, all participants played a Kohoot game to test their knowledge of the seven-day celebration. It got competitive, with some faculty trying to win against some of the students, or a particular faculty member.

The winners were Hortense (first place), Mercedez (second place), and Umoja Librarian Ms. Faith (third place). While all three got all the questions right, it came down to speed in answering.

Mentors were also shown some love. In this virtual environment, the Umoja mentors were even more needed. Hortense appreciated the “uplifting emails every week to get me through the day to make sure that I stayed on track” from her mentor Ms. Kathleen Hicks.

The caring Umoja team that also includes Michael Little, Mychael Phillips, Gilbert Ayuk, Steve Agard, Melissa Gonzalez, and Coordinator Dr. Paula Parks is truly dedicated to students.

Steve Watkin, AAI lead, expressed appreciation from and offered the continued support of the administration. The administrative team, including the deans, are an invaluable support and much appreciated partner in the success of Umoja.

Dr. Parks added that the students are always part of the Umoja Community and should consider the whole amazing team part of their forever support system. She added, “I was so impressed last semester with how engaged, inquisitive, and kind the students were.” She gave a shout out to peer mentor Alexis, who went above and beyond to tutor and encourage students and to help them form a community.

Sha’ron said, “I would like to say a big thank to Dr. Parks. There have been times when I’ve been at my lowest. . . and I really appreciate you.” Dr. Parks is like “your second mom that you can just go to for anything. I want to say thank to her and Ms. Faith because I’ve cried in her office too.”

Kaleb’s ending comment reminds us of the importance of the program and its values. He said he remembered having a 1.3 gpa. “Now its almost a 3.0, and I only have one more semester until I graduate. I wouldn’t be where I am without the Umoja program.”

The Umoja Community program includes courses with an African-American focus, mentoring, counseling support to stay on track and graduate, and academic and cultural trips. Available classes for spring are the following: English b1b, Comm b1/Lib b1, Astron b2, Music b23, Math b22, and Psych b5.

Happy Kwanzaa!

Spotted on Social Media

Mary Jo Pasek shared this story & photo:

Months before the picture with Santa my only sibling died in a tragic accident. My Mother and Dad did the best they could to hold it together. This was taken in early December at Dayton’s in St Paul. I was NOT having any part of this man. Nothing my Aunt or Mother could say made me smile. He simply looked so suspicious and all I wanted was my brother back with me. Along with this cute hat and fur piece I had a muff. Always decked out for the cold weather. A precious keepsake for me!

Maria Wright shared this photo of her husband, Dr. Jamal Wright, receiving his degree on his birthday:

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness had a virtual holiday party:

Matt Jones continued his Daily Discern & Draw project with a measuring tape hockey player:

Craig Hayward shared this cozy Christmas scene:

Shannon Musser made holiday craft treats with her kids:

Bill Moseley and his wife Dominique celebrated their anniversary by taking their kids on a Christmas lights drive:

Athletics

Athletics Opts-In to Compete This Spring

In order to maximize options for Renegade Athletics, this last week we opted-in to compete in the abbreviated Spring I and Spring II sports seasons under the framework of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Contingency plan. We know our student athletes are eager to get back in action and we hope they will have the opportunity to do so. As the Spring I and Spring II seasons of competition approach, the decision to compete will also come in accordance with the state of California and Kern County Public Health COVID-19 guidelines. Ron Stapp from the Bakersfield Californian wrote and excellent article on the situation this week. To read the article click here: https://www.bakersfield.com/sports/college/if-health-restrictions-allow-bc-taft-choosing-to-play-this-season/article_9069cd1a-44c4-11eb-b829-df1466691494.html

Renegade Athletics Team Store

BC Athletics Nike Team Store

There is still time to order your Nike Renegade Athletics gear from their official team uniform supplier – Eastbay. Items available for purchase include T-shirts, Long-Sleeves, Polo’s, Hoodies, Sweatshirts and more in both men’s and women’s sizes.

Show your Renegade pride and get that piece of Nike BC Renegade team gear you’ve always wanted. The store is open from now until Jan. 1, 2021. Items will ship once the store closes. All proceeds from sales will directly benefit BC Athletics.

BC Athletics Nike Team Store: https://eastbaystore.com/OFTS8558

Signing off with more performances from our choir

==========

That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A week of roses speaks Hope

With the month of March having unseasonably high temperatures, some of us worried that the cooler wetter weather was left behind and we could be in for an early brutal summer with the potential for another CA drought. And then April surprisingly brought us rains with beautiful clouds and burst of flowers, with roses all around our neighborhood. Enjoy the sprinkling of roses throughout this blog post that I captured for you during my Neo-Bessie walks.

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, April 17, 2020…A great day to be a Renegade

A Birthday

Here is another great poem by Jack Hernandez

Photo by Earl Parsons

As I turn into a new year
I feel the cycle narrowing,
the road to the ocean shorter
where I will sit on a rock
and see the expanse before me,
I do not walk on water
only the earth behind me
with its soft snow fallen winters
and rising green springs,
I could spread tears on the rock,
instead I will enfold myself
in memories as the waves
embrace me.

Continuing to celebrate National Poetry month with youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman

Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s Words of Hope

I thought I’d awaken to a world in mourning.
Heavy clouds crowding, a society storming.
But there’s something different on this golden morning.
Something magical in the sunlight, wide and warming.

I see a dad with a stroller taking a jog.
Across the street, a bright-eyed girl chases her dog.
A grandma on a porch fingers her rosaries.
She grins as her young neighbor brings her groceries.

While we might feel small, separate, and all alone,
Our people have never been more closely tethered.
The question isn’t if we will weather this unknown,
But how we will weather this unknown together.

So on this meaningful morn, we mourn and we mend.
Like light, we can’t be broken, even when we bend.

As one, we will defeat both despair and disease.
We stand with healthcare heroes and all employees;
With families, libraries, schools, waiters, artists;
Businesses, restaurants, and hospitals hit hardest.

We ignite not in the light, but in lack thereof,
For it is in loss that we truly learn to love.
In this chaos, we will discover clarity.
In suffering, we must find solidarity.

For it’s our grief that gives us our gratitude,
Shows us how to find hope, if we ever lose it.
So ensure that this ache wasn’t endured in vain:
Do not ignore the pain. Give it purpose. Use it.

Read children’s books, dance alone to DJ music.
Know that this distance will make our hearts grow fonder.
From a wave of woes our world will emerge stronger.

We’ll observe how the burdens braved by humankind
Are also the moments that make us humans kind;
Let every dawn find us courageous, brought closer;
Heeding the light before the fight is over.


When this ends, we’ll smile sweetly, finally seeing
In testing times, we became the best of beings.

California History on Bakersfield’s CW 12

Tomorrow, April 19, Bakersfield College History Professor Oliver Rosales will be hosting a new series on Bakersfield’s CW at 12:00 noon about California history. The show, “Our California Story: Community Stories and Digital Preservation in the San Joaquin Valley,” is a community engagement forum connected to the California History course students will enroll in through Bakersfield College. 

Oliver will be interviewing experts on local history and archiving. This week, he interviews Javier Llamas and Olivia Garcia from our own history department.

This is an opportunity for viewers to learn more about Central Valley history and become a part of developing our California story. Many thanks to Manny De Los Santos and Shannon Musser for helping put together this television experience to our local community.

BC’s Distinguished Speaker Series Presents: Dr. Tony Iton

Our final Distinguished Speaker for the semester was our first to lead their discussion through a webinar presentation. Dr. Tony Iton, the Senior Vice President for Healthy Communities at the California Endowment, delivered a presentation via Zoom on Wednesday titled “Zip Code vs. Genetic Code: Which is a Better Predictor of Health?”

Dr. Iton’s presentation on health in rural communities was hosted by Public Health Professor Charles Daramola and Office of Student Life Director Nicky Damania.

If you want to keep engaged with BC’s health equity and rural health work, please follow the Health, Equity, and Learning (HEAL) page, events, and HEAL Twitter account. Thank you, Dr. Tony Iton, for presenting and engaging with BC students, faculty, and staff. And, thank you to Dr. Charles Daramola, Nicky Damania, Benny Balderrama, and the Office of Student Life for coordinating such an informative webinar.

Spring Fling

Our talented group of representatives in the Bakersfield College Student Government Association (BCSGA) have been very busy with moving our annual Spring Fling festival online. The BCSGA team brilliantly organized a fun group of activities through Discord, Zoom and other virtual platforms.

Thank you to our BCSGA representatives and their supporters in the Office of Student Life for keeping Spring Fling Week fun for our campus community. Read more about all of the activities below, and follow BCSGA on Discord.

Escape the Room: Report Back from Valerie

Let’s check out the text-based Escape the Room challenge through the virtual chat service Discord. Valerie Urso, a Web Content Editor in the Marketing Department, describes her experience of solving the elaborate puzzle:

“This Monday, I played the BCSGA’s Escape the Room challenge as part of the Spring Fling week slate of virtual events. Once I got through the hurdle of signing up for Discord and figuring out how it works (like Slack, but cooler-looking), I was ready to begin. 

The game was cleverly constructed using a Google form, a Powerpoint and finally, a website with a secret challenge. I had been expecting to click around on a single screen, in an environment that looked pulled straight out of Clue, looking under lamps and behind bookcases. Instead, I found myself on a quest to solve riddles with a unique story customized to being a student at Bakersfield College. I was impressed with the work and creativity that went into putting together a game from the ground up. 

As a bit of a puzzle nerd who in their youth racked up an unseemly number of hours playing Myst, I have to congratulate the BCSGA team for making something original that was both fun and challenging. Whenever I got stuck, there was a clue to help me along, but nothing that made the quest too easy. I’m pleased to report I did, in fact, “Escape the Room” and made it through the final stage to claim my prize.”

For more, check out: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/event/virtual-spring-fling-renegades-surf-the-web. Thank you to Benny Balderrama for leading this event and helping out with Spring Fling. I can’t wait to see what you have in store next.

All-Campus Virtual Forum Videos

I have been doing a virtual seminar series via zoom and you can find these videos by visiting the COVID-19 Response page . Here are a few videos.

April 6, 2020 line up — Fong, Fuller, Chapman, Agbalog

Vince Fong gave us an update on how the State Assembly is operating to serve Californians during the unprecedented times.

Retired California Senator Jean Fuller offered her perspective on the impact that COVID-19 is having on schools across the country. In her 48-year career as a public servant, only natural disasters compare to the level of response that this situation requires.

Richard Chapman, CEO of the Kern Economic Development Corporation, gave his prognosis for how COVID-19 will affect the Kern County’s business climate.

Romeo Agbalog spoke on behalf of Kern Citizens For Sustainable Government to talk about how Bakersfield College is establishing the model for other colleges to efficiently move their programs online.

April 7

Radiologic Technology student Sara Navidad shared the challenges she had with moving to an online environment.

Computer Science and Engineering major Krissy Coggshall talked about what she’s learned about learning and working as a Child Development tutor online.

Commercial Music student Izzy Foster misses the opportunity to perform live with her peers, but she’s still getting ready to transfer to the Berklee College of Music in Boston next year. She also performed a song at the end of the All-Campus Virtual Forum.

BC “Do Good, Feel Good” Campaign

The BC “Do Good, Feel Good” campaign is still in motion! This week, we’re reaching out to the Mission at Kern County, which is in dire need of supplies for babies and children, including hand sanitizer, wipes, diapers, and toiletries. These supplies would greatly benefit those in need, including BC’s very own Project HireUp students.

For questions or donations please reach out to Endee Grijalva directly at endee.grijalva@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

Thank you to all who have donated or supported the BC “Do Good, Feel Good” Series, and thank you to Endee Grijalva for leading this wonderful campaign!

Thank You to Our Essential Workers

Thank you Valerie for putting together this photo display to recognize our Essential Workers

Photos submitted by Bill Potter in M&O and Shelley Casteneda in Public Safety with messages from their staff. 

Thank you to all our essential workers who are going in every day to make sure our campus is kept safe and secure. I deeply appreciate your commitment to the health and safety of our BC community. 

Fun Photos: Everything Is Going to Be Okay

Veronica Hathaway, a Department Assistant with the Office of Instruction, shared this great photo of her dog Bella Marie. Thanks, Veronica!

And here is Bessie…growing up fast.

BC Nursing Students Join Battle Against COVID-19

Our third-semester students joined the battle last week and began working as COVID-19 screeners at Bakersfield Heart Hospital. Thank you to all our nursing students who are working on the front lines of the pandemic to protect us all. 

Another big thank you to our classified staff and their families, who have been making Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the form of cloth face masks and caps. Thank you to BC staff Venessa Reyes and Robin Patterson, and their mothers Corrine Reyes and Vivian Patterson, for working hard to meet the national shortage of PPE. Over 170 masks have been distributed to students and faculty to keep them safe as they provide patient care.

#BCGoesOnline

Thank you to everyone who is continuing to share their experiences on social media using the hashtag #BCGoesOnline. Here are some of the responses that came through this week: BC librarian Allison Burch and her pup Mr. Unicorn are eager to help and support students online!

Kalina Hill shared a message of encouragement following the “Lean On BC” video message.

She also took this photo of her screen during our All-Campus Forum with political and community leaders.

BC’s Career and Technical Education Department sent a creative message to BC’s student employees wishing them a Happy National Student Employee Appreciation Week!

Marbella Avalos shared a photo of Dr. Iton’s fantastic presentation for the BC Distinguished Speaker Series. 

Dolores Huerta’s 90th Birthday

Civil rights leader Dolores Huerta turned 90 this past weekend! I enjoyed watching community members celebrate her special day with a birthday car parade

Huerta was born on April 10, 1930, in Dawson, New Mexico, but at the age of three, she moved to Stockton, California.

In 1988, Huerta was a recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award, and in 2012, President Barack Obama awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the highest civilian honor in our nation.

See the coverage of this amazing woman in my March 17, 2018 blog post when she visited BC. https://sonyachristianblog.com/2018/03/17/bc-is-booming-with-activities/

Emails Worth Sharing: In Memoriam – Ron Dethlefson

Ron Dethlefson (Photo by Jill Wettersten)

Jerry Ludeke at the BC Archives sent this email commemorating Ron Dethlefson, who taught at BC for 27 years in the Communication Department. He was the advisor to our student radio station KBCC for 14 years and published expert work about early records and phonographs. Read the full email below:

Dear BC family:

The normal cycles of life go on even as Covid 19 surrounds and constricts us.  We’re grateful for the technology that still lets us keep in touch.

Easter morning Ron Dethlefson, 82, died peacefully in a nursing home after several years living with Alzheimer’s disease.  Ron retired in 1996 as a full professor after teaching for 27 years at BC. He started in 1969 teaching speech in the Communication Department.  Then in 1972 he became advisor/instructor for the fledgling radio broadcasting station KBCC which he guided until 1986, when he returned to teaching speech.  

Ron was always known for his outstanding radio voice and a good sense of wry humor.  Few people knew, however, of his outside interest. Ron was considered an expert consultant in the area of early records and phonographs which he began collecting and writing about in 1953.  His books and other writings on Edison Blue Amberol Recordings are highly regarded. In 2012 the ARSC (Association for Recorded Sound Collection) awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award. He also volunteered as a consultant while he did research at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.  

At Bakersfield College, Ron was active in the Academic Senate and his wife Barbara, who survives him, was active in Faculty Wives and served in the very first volunteer tutoring program offered to BC students.  The Dethlefson family is planning a celebration of Ron’s life in July at Wesley United Methodist Church where they have been active participants for many years.

If you go to the BC Archives website, you will see two changes.  First, it is my personal pleasure to call your attention to the listing which shows Mindy Wilmot as the new Director.  She is ready for the challenge, and we on the staff are all excited to have her. (I will continue as an archives assistant, so you will still hear from me once in a while.)  Our second change is that photos, which were once visible on the website, disappeared after January. They are only temporarily in hiding while arrangements are being made to let them move to a happy little cloud.  It may be summertime before that changeover is completed.

Meanwhile……Stay well….and let us hear from you.
Jerry Ludeke, for the Archives

Archives Throwback: Hispanic Culture – An Energetic Group in the BC Tradition

Let’s hear from Earl Parsons as he digs into our archives

For the third part in our series looking back at the Panorama Campus in the mid-60s, we turn to the 1966 Raconteur for a feature on the first Hispanic Culture Club in Renegade History. The club was founded by Spanish professor Ray Gonzales, who would go on to become the first Latino ever to represent Kern County in the State Assembly, as well as a diplomat for the US State Department in Central America.

Ray Gonzales passed away in 2018 at the age of 80, and many of our Renegade faculty regarded him as one of their greatest friends and mentors, including Dean Corny Rodriguez and History Professor Octavio Barajas, who organized a roundtable discussion about Gonzales during last year’s Jess Nieto Memorial Conference.

Artist Jorge Guillen and Oliver Rosales stand next to a painting of Ray Gonzales that Guillen created for the 2019 Jess Nieto Memorial Conference
Left to right: Dr. Mark Martinez, Steve Barber and Emily Gonzales speak on a panel about the life of Ray Gonzales, the first Chicano elected to state office in Kern County.

Read the article below, and stay tuned next week for more glimpses into Renegade life during the mid-60s.

Hispanic Culture: An Energetic Group in the BC Tradition

One of the newest clubs on campus, the Hispanic Culture Club, did not lag in getting organized or active. Under the advisorship of Ray Gonzales, a BC alumnus and Spanish instructor, the club had its constitution accepted early in the fall semester. 

At Christmas, the 26 members sponsored a canned food drive for needy Bakersfield families. In addition, they chipped in Christmas trees and much-needed clothing for the underprivileged. During the spring semester, they planned a dance and Spanish fiesta and also participated in the annual Spring Carnival with a taco booth.

Athletics: Resilience II Workouts Released This Week

Thank you Brandon Urry for the Athletics Roundup

As we continue our social distancing protocol in an effort to flatten the curve and protect our at-risk population and frontline workers, BC Athletics has your training covered! Our fantastic Renegade Kinesiology faculty including Zack Peters, Konrad Dahl and Matt Moon have put together the next phase of at-home workouts for our student athletes. Like the first phase, all exercises require nothing more than a chair, a towel, and your own bodyweight. Visit the GoGades website to get started with Resilience II.

Next Level Gades!

This week, we saw another group of Renegades commit to the next level while continuing their academic and athletic careers. First, from Renegade Baseball, Alejandro Murillo (pitcher) is headed to the University of Nevada, and Rich Garcia (infielder) is headed to the University of Antelope Valley. Both of these student athletes were key players for Coach Tim Painton and were great examples to their teammates of hard work and dedication.

Secondly, from Renegade Football, Paxton Winders announced he is headed to further his education and football career at Western Illinois University. We want to wish all three of these the very best in the future.

Renegade Student Athletes Will Receive “Make-Up” Year of Eligibility

23ABC sports reporter Matt Lively put together a story this week on the fact the California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) has granted another season of eligibility to spring sports student athletes due to their seasons being cut short this spring. He talked with our Men’s Golf Coach Wes Coble and men’s golf student athlete Blake Keesey on the topic. Blake is one of about 9,500 student athletes that will be affected state-wide by this new policy.

Jackie Robinson Day

Wednesday was National Jackie Robinson Day. The day is celebrated because Jackie Robinson (a four-sport star at both Pasadena City College and UCLA) first stepped on the field in the Major Leagues as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, effectively breaking the color barrier in professional sports. 

In 1997, Major League Baseball (MLB) officially retired his jersey number ‘42’ across all MLB teams. On April 15, 2005 MLB declared April 15th as Jackie Robinson Day and on this day every player wears the number 42 to honor his legacy. Although Jackie faced much persecution personally and to his family, he never wavered and stood fast in his resolve to be viewed not by his skin color but by his ability to compete on the field. The movie ‘42’ which came out in 2013 perfectly portrays the hardships he endured in his plight breaking the color barrier. As we are all at home staying safe, now is a great time to watch (or re-watch) this film.

===

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Lean on BC

BC Students, lean on BC.

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow.
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on (Bill Withers)

Good morning, Bakersfield. Happy Easter
It is Saturday, April 11, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

Bill Withers

I was saddened to hear that the legendary soul singer Bill Withers, passed away at the age of 81 last week. Withers is a three-time Grammy Award winner best known for the songs “Lean On Me” and “Ain’t No Sunshine”, which are both on Rolling Stone’s List of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, and John Legend perform “Lean on Me”.
Bill Withers performs “Ain’t No Sunshine”.

Jon Pareles wrote a moving piece in the New York Times about how Bill Withers used his music as a tool to express his compassion and selflessness. Withers was in his early 30s when his recording career started, and his real-life experiences serving in the Navy and working in factories brought an authenticity to his songs about people and their everyday lives. A 2009 documentary about Withers’ life titled “Still Bill” traces the influential singer’s life from his childhood in West Virginia to his retirement from the music industry in 1985.

Enjoying spring with national poetry month

Jack Hernandez emailed me about April being National Poetry Month. His email triggered me dusting off an old book of poems that was part of my high school curriculum. Here are a few verses from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Cloud

I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noonday dreams.

From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother’s breast,
As she dances about the sun.

I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under,
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.

Here is another lovely poem by Jack Hearnandez

Rain hits a budding flower on the Panorama Campus.
Photos by Earl Parsons

Waiting
By Jack Hernandez

When dawn brings
the darkness,
and light confounds
the day,
we are given
the gift of waiting,
which must be opened
to show the way
of breathing

Rain hits a blooming tree on the Panorama Campus

without a calendar
whose hours
are trained to run,
We must hold silence
like a bowl
receiving rain,
a leaf shining
in the sun,
We must feel
in stillness
the caress of hope.

Thank you Jack!

============================

Thank you Greg and Mary Bynum

Of Bakersfield College’s 40,000 students, 80% are First Generation, approximately 80% are low income, and many rely on campus WiFi and computer labs to access the internet in order to complete their assignments.  Students’ responses to a March 20 survey revealed that about one in 10 students do not have adequate off-campus internet access while nearly a quarter of students use their cell phones as their primary device to access their courses. In response to student high student need for technology as Bakersfield College moved instruction online, BC developed a laptop loan program with a generous donation from Greg and Mary Bynum.

Ema Sasic covered this story in the April 10th issue of The Bakersfield Californian. https://tinyurl.com/r4jskk8

Joseph Luiz covered it on KGET https://tinyurl.com/sqpcsx7

Back to College

Unemployment Rates during COVID-19.

In my virtual forums, I have been sharing an article from Politico on April 2 highlighting the 10 million workers nationwide who filed jobless claims over the previous 2 weeks. Yet another surge has brought the total of new jobless claims during this pandemic to over 17 million. I have also been sharing this chart showing how the current unemployment claims compare with unemployment data from the Great Recession. One key difference is how quickly the jobless claims have spiked.

I have previously mentioned the Back to College program our team has created to help combat rising unemployment in Kern County. It is my hope that our community can continue to Lean on BC in this time of need and difficulty.

Our team held four sessions last week and two additional sessions this week to answer student questions and get students registered for these courses. Thank you to Victor Diaz, Erineo Garcia, Jo Ann Acosta, Heather Skibinski, Ashlea Ward and Armando Trujillo for leading these sessions and getting our students registered.

Outreach and Financial Aid work together on Back to College.
The Back to College Team meets on Zoom.

I also want to thank Joseph Tipay, David Moton, Oliver Rosales, Isaias Hernandez, Sylvia Reyes, Beenne Anglin and Jonathan Ward for agreeing to take on this important work and teach these courses to our students. This 5-week program will help jumpstart students’ educational journeys and put them on a path that can lead to new associates degrees or transfer options. Online classes begin on Monday.

Levan Institute Moves Online

#NeverStopLearning
The Levan Institute is offering 7 classes to help our community #NeverStopLearning.

On Monday, the Levan Institute for Lifelong Learning announced seven online classes starting the week of April 20. Enroll in these fun classes as you shelter in place.

Visit the Levan Institute Registration page to apply now!  If you have any questions about the online classes hosted by the BC Levan Institute, please email Miriam Valenzuela at mvalenzu@bakersfieldcollege.edu.To follow the Levan Institute’s posts regarding online classes, please follow them on Facebook. A full list of classes includes:

  • What’s Streaming?: Find out everything you need to know about popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and more.
  • Self Massage for Stress and Tension Relief – Learn massage techniques that you can apply to your whole body and understand the benefits and precautions of massage.
  • Massage for Headache Relief – In this course, you will learn about the causes of headaches and practice massage, acupressure and Reflexology techniques for headache relief.
  • Tai Chi – Tai Chi is a form of martial arts in which slow, gentle movements are made in the air to improve balance, coordination, joint mobility, and blood circulation.
  • Gentle Mat Pilates – In this class, you will learn about Pilates, a blend of exercises to increase core strength, flexibility, breath control, and alignment correction to improve balance and posture.
  • Creative Writing: Creating Characters and Their Stories – In this course, you can expect to learn the elements of fictional writing, such as creating memorable characters, descriptive scenes, and realistic dialogue.
  • Gentle Yoga – This class is designed to promote increased mobility, flexibility, and balance. Yoga is practiced by people of all ages. Each class is an hour of relaxation and gentle movement.

Thank you to Norma Rojas-Mora, Susan Pinza, Miriam Valenzuela, and the BC Levan Institute staff for leading this online classes initiative.

Community Voices: Jeff Newby

Jeff Newby wrote a piece for the Community Voices section.
Jeff Newby

History Professor Jeff Newby wrote a great Community Voices piece for the Californian on Tuesday with tips to help our neighbors and ourselves in small ways.

Jeff’s tips include donating food or money to food banks, donating blood, writing letters to people in isolation, supporting local businesses, and daily neighborhood cleanups. Thank you, Jeff!

All-Campus Forum with Community Leaders

Our All-Campus Virtual Forum last Monday focused on community and political leaders sharing their passion for higher education, as well as their plans to improve the job market during the COVID-19 crisis. I will have their videos for you next week.

On Monday, April 13th, we have another great line up of speakers — Rudy Salas, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and David Bynum. Tune in at 3:00 p.m.

Thank you to Nicky Damania and Todd Coston for moderating the virtual forum, Shannon Musser and Lesley Bonds for facilitating the forum behind the scenes, and all of our participants for keeping the valley strong during these uncertain times.

Virtual Forums from the previous week

You can find the videos on the COVID-19 website at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/covid19

Here are a few short videos of some of our presenters

Abel Guzman on Rural BC.

Diane Allen — Faculty Counselor supporting DSPS

Jackie Lau — Assistant Director, Enrollment Services

Matt Jones — Faculty, Academic Technology

Fun Photos: IT Provides Laptops Before Physical Campus Closure

Before we shut down the physical campus, Manny De Los Santos got some great photos of the Technology Support Team getting laptops ready for Renegades to move online. Thank you to our whole Information Technology Department for helping us manage this transition.

Renegade Nurses Help Fight COVID-19

Graduating Registered Nursing speak at BC’s 100 th Nursing Ceremony in 2017.

Bakersfield College nursing students have stepped up to meet the need for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only eight weeks from graduation, our Level 4 nursing students were thrown into uncertainty as we shifted to a virtual learning environment. But our Associate Dean of Nursing, Carla Gard, playing to “where the puck was going to be,” coordinated externship opportunities with our community health partners: Kern Medical, Dignity Health Systems and Bakersfield Heart Hospital. 

Working in paid positions at these facilities, these 69 senior students will be paired with nurses so they can complete their education by providing hands-on patient care.

Nursing student Shantelle Rubio and Cindy Collier were interviewed by Valley Public Radio last week, and Fresno Univision affiliate KFTV-21 featured our nursing students in a piece for Spanish-language media.

Here’s a salute and prayer for all healthcare workers who are on the front lines of this epidemic.

Renegades on the Front Lines

Kaitlin and Bonnie Hulsy

English faculty member Kaitlin Hulsy wrote a beautiful piece about the importance of nursing and her late mother’s 35-year career in nursing, which started right here at Bakersfield College. Thank you, Kaitlin!

Before I existed in this world, my mother was a student in the nursing program at Bakersfield College. At the time, she was a single mother who was working multiple jobs to raise two young boys and pay her way through college. My mother was always glamorous, but during her days hitting the books, she had a little more grit as opposed to glitter.

Bonny Lou Hulsy walked across the stage at graduation with a smile on her face. She had done it! She went on to have a 35-year career in nursing. This started with cleaning bedpans, and eventually morphed into assisting doctors in diagnosing kiddos with autism at Kern Regional Center. She eventually co-founded one of the top schools in the nation for children with autism and autistic spectrum disorders. Her sons are now grown, one of them the CAO of Kern County.

Bonnie Hulsy’s photo from her Nursing graduation at BC.

We know that nurses can do anything. More importantly, we know how needed they are at this uncertain time. It is in the spirit that I have an ask for the sixty-nine nursing students who are about to be on the front lines in the time of COVID-19: What do you need? How may we help each and every one of you as you begin your journey?

It is my desire to put together a wish list of items for our 69 Renegade nurses to bring them comfort as they confront a still very much unknown dragon. Please email Endee Grijalva to request any items you need. We will do our best to accommodate you.

In the meantime, please know that my mother is looking down from Heaven on BC nursing and bubbling with pride. As a faculty number, I join countless others who are so incredibly proud of you. We Are BC!

Until next time,

Kaitlin Hulsy

Emails Worth Sharing: Castle In the Storm

Cover illustration for Castle in the Storm.

Kaitlin is also spearheading an important creative outlet for Renegades as they shelter in place. In Kaitlin’s most recent column on the website, she shares her thoughts about teaching being the best job in the world. Read her email below about Castle In the Storm.

Good Afternoon, Colleagues:

I wanted to humbly direct your attention to a project I’m working on, namely Castle In the Storm.

Castle in the Storm is a place for Renegade students who need a creative outlet in the time of Covid-19. The website functions both as a place to showcase student work, in addition to being a repository for professional advice and published pieces from established authors. Our logo was created by BC alumnus and local comedienne Margaret Haggard, and original student work is appearing daily. Submissions of flash fiction/poetry/nonfiction from any Bakersfield College students are always welcome. Students may email me directly, or submit to the website via the Contact page.

At this time, our featured author is acclaimed nonfiction writer Deanne Stillman. Her works include Mustang: the Saga of Wild Horses in the American West, among many others. Deanne has written for Rolling Stone Magazine, and her work Twenty Nine Palms: A True Story of Murder was referred to by the great Hunter S. Thompson as “a strange and brilliant story by an important American writer.” She is part of the core faculty at UC Riverside Palm-desert-MFA. Thank you very much for your time, and please enjoy your weekend.

Regards,
Kaitlin Hulsy

#BCGoesOnline

We got a ton of great content this week through the #BCGoesOnline hashtag on social media. Keep sharing your photos and posts with #BCGoesOnline on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and we’ll feature you in next week’s blog!

Carlos Medina tweeted about supporting CSUB with virtual career events, like the virtual career expo for Industrial Technology last week:

Tweet from Carlos Medina.

Kalina Hill shared about how inspired she felt after hearing our students speak at the All-Campus Virtual Forum on Tuesday:

Tweet from Kalina Hill.

Jaime Lopez shared a screenshot from Abel Guzman’s presentation at last week’s Virtual Forum:

Tweet from Jaime Lopez

Finally, Chris Glaser is staying engaged with all of our virtual forums on Twitter:

Virtual Vacations for Spring Break

decorative image.

Although Spring Break is happening at home this year, here are some tips from our marketing department….

Museums and Attractions

Art Collections

Architecture

Nature

Animals

Archives Throwback: Thomas Takes Over New Position

Thomas Takes Over New Position.
Bill Thomas from the 1967 Raconteur

Our look at Bakersfield College in the mid-60s continues with this article from the 1967 Raconteur yearbook about Bill Thomas accepting a position as the student government advisor. Bill Thomas would continue to be a champion for Bakersfield College over the next half-century as a BC professor, KCCD Trustee, and US Congressman representing the Southern San Joaquin Valley. Check the article out below, and stay tuned for more glimpses at Renegade life in the 1960s.

During the last meeting of the Board of Representatives, Fall Semester, a motion was made without proper parliamentary procedures; this mistake was corrected by a member of the Board with the supervision of an interested teacher who had come into the meeting for a few minutes. Noticing this teacher’s interest in student government, Mr. Ronald McMasters, Advisor, appointed him as the Spring Semester Advisor to student government, knowing there was a vacancy for that position.

“Mr. William Thomas has taught at Bakersfield College for the last two years. Previous to this he attended Santa Ana Junior College, where he received his A.A. degree, after which he transferred to San Francisco State College. After four years with a year of student teaching, he obtained his B.A. and M.A. degrees.

Bill Thomas is animated during a student government meeting.

“Besides being Advisor to Student Government, Mr. Thomas is a member of the Board of Publications. He teachers the Parliamentary Procedures Class, Political Science 1, and Social Science 53A and B. Previous to his new appointment, he was advisor to the Tutorial Project and the Young Republicans Club.

“Mr. Thomas enjoys many extra-curricular activities but is not interested in any special activity. He enjoys sports very much, such as handball and basketball, and he also rides a motorcycle occasionally. To pass the time, he reads and listens to music. Most of his weekends in the past two years have been spent chaperoning the college dances.

“Mr. Thomas is very active and is interested in helping the Bakersfield College students whenever he can through his active life in Student Government and campus life.”

More recent photos of Bill Thomas.

Athletics

Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Men’s Tennis Coach Noel Dalton and Head Football Coach R. Todd Littlejohn. Both Coaches talked to Kenny Calvin, the radio host of the Renegade Report, about leading young student-athletes through this unprecedented time. The three also talked about how student-athletes and coaches are facing the stoppage of sports. Click the link to listen to the conversation on Facebook:

National Student-Athlete Day

National Student Athlete Day

Monday, April 6th, was National Student-Athlete Day! With all of our sports teams at a standstill, it’s a unique time for athletic staff and coaches, and in particular, for student-athletes. On top of going to class and studying hard, they put in many hours in practice and competition every week. Even now, as we are all sheltering in place, our athletes are hard at work at home, pushing themselves to stay in shape so that they are ready to compete once again. Happy National Student-Athlete Day Renegades, you’re doing fantastic training at home!

Brett Clark Named BVarsity Coach of the Year

Brett Clark
Brett Clark.

Brett Clark, BC’s head wrestling coach and the head girls wrestling coach at Frontier High School, was named the BVarsity All-Area Girls Wrestling Coach of the Year this week. Congrats go out to Coach Clark for this accomplishment! We are lucky to have a coach who is so devoted to developing young talent within our community.

Special Edition: “I Miss Sports Because…”

I Miss Sports Because..
.

We asked our student-athletes on social media this week to finish this sentence, “I miss sports because…” Here are  a few of their responses

Blake Keesey, from Men’s Golf: “I miss the pressure of needing to hit the shot at the right moment. I miss the early morning drives with the team. I miss the nerves of the opening shot. I miss fighting for each other.”

Brooklyn Walsh, from Women’s Golf: “My team is my family.”

Caleb Jameson, from Men’s Golf: “I miss sports because I miss my team, I miss my brothers, and I miss the pressure and expectations that come with sports.”

Carlos Estrada, from the Football team: “The family environment.”

President Sonya Christian in front of a Bakersfield College wall.

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

It’s Still a Beautiful World

We do live in a beautiful world.

The weather in Bakersfield has been perfect. The sound of the birds and the smell of the flowers intoxicating. My morning starts with a Neo walk as dawn is breaking but still relatively dark and the neighborhood quiet. Every morning, a sentinel owl who is perched high up on the cypress that fills our neighborhood calls out … who goes there.

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, April 4, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

Beauty

Here is Jack Hernandez on Beauty

Jack Hernandez at church

Beauty

By Jack Hernandez 

From my window
azaleas blush,
a white cloud
lingers above,
rain has come
and gone,
the dawn begins
a week of waiting
for another kiss
of passing beauty.

Jack also had a beautiful essay in the April 1, 2020 Californian. Poetry is felt, not analyzed. A poem is not an argument; it is an experience, a revelation. check it out https://tinyurl.com/tzye3ja

#JonesGalleryGoesOnline

Ronnie Wrest and Jeffrey Huston from the Jones Gallery created a virtual exhibition of student art projects. The 2020 Bakersfield College Student Exhibition went live on the web on Thursday afternoon, and features art projects in a variety of mediums. The annual student art exhibition usually takes place at the Jones Gallery inside the Grace Van Dyke Byrd Library, but our art students and staff #LettheTimesGuidetheirCreativity to move this year’s exhibition online.

Invitation with an image of a wild horse running.

See the fabulous art at one or all of the following:

Talking about the art faculty and their creativity, I spotted this wonderful tweet from their dean bragging about them.

Career Education’s First Virtual Career Expo

The Career Education Department hosted their first ever virtual career expo for the Industrial Technology & Transportation pathway on Wednesday April 1st. This innovative platform successfully connected employers with students giving them virtual facetime through Zoom. Our Employer participants included; Berry Petroleum Company, LLC, Sierra School Equipment, Crown Lift Trucks, US Army, AppleOne, JTI Electrical & Instrumentation, LLC, and Westec. As in the many things we do BC is setting the trend as our regional partners have reached out to see how they can duplicate and adapt the event to their campuses. Check out our video recapping the event.

Thank you Carlos Medina and the staff in CTE for thinking outside the box and finding another modality to bring this important event to our students and the community. #BCGoesOnline

Leslie Aldridge Making the World Beautiful

Mrs. Bakersfield and 2 ladies.

Professor of Performing, Leslie Aldridge is still finding incredible ways to serve our community even though we currently find ourselves in challenging times. Leslie is Mrs. Bakersfield 2020 pageant queen, led a senior donation drive to bring food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and gift cards to needy seniors, and she hosted Donate Life to increase the number of vital organs and tissues to save lives. 

Donations for Seniors notice.

She has also used her creativity to bring joy to our community. Her art work at the “Chalk Your Walk” was breathtaking! 

Laying next to chalk drawing of flowers.

BC “Do Good, Feel Good” Campaign

Image of Do Good Feel Good poster.

Now, for some more positive initiatives at BC! Endee Grijalva, the Program Manager of Rural Initiatives, and the BC Office of Student Life staff members came together to assist BC students through the “BC Do Good, Feel Good” campaign. On April 1, 2020 (no April Fools on this one), began a campaign that provides opportunities and encourages BC employees to continue to “do good and feel good” in continuing to serve and provide much-needed resources to students, all while social distancing. We are keeping our spirits up by continuing to support our students in this difficult time and feeling good about it.

Thank you, BC staff and faculty, for your generosity during this time, and thank you, Endee Grijalva and the BC Office of Student Life staff members, for leading this fantastic campaign. 

Cesar Chavez Day 

Cesar Chavez Speaking

Did you know that Tuesday, March 31st, was César Chávez Day in the United States? In California, César Chávez Day is a state holiday that celebrates the birthday of César E. Chávez, paying tribute to his life as a labor leader and champion of civil rights.

Chávez’s life as a community organizer and activist began in 1952 when he joined the Community Service Organization (CSO), a Latino civil rights group. He coordinated voter registration drives and conducted campaigns against racial and ethnic discrimination. He eventually became CSO’s national director, but his dream was to create an organization that protected and served farmworkers. In the early 1960s, he co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers of America), along with Dolores Huerta (who spoke at BC just last year) and Philip Vera Cruz. Chávez remained president of the United Farm Workers of American until he passed away on April 23rd, 1993. 

Today, his life motto, “sí se puede” (it can be done),” encourages organizers around the nation to come together and advance civil rights and different causes. Additionally, many schools, parks, streets, libraries, and other public buildings named or renamed after César Chávez to commemorate his work and commitment to social justice. In 1994, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor the U.S. president can grant an American. In 2006, he was inducted into the California Hall of Fame by Gov. Schwarzenegger. Here at BC, we hope Chávez’s legacy continues to inspire us to serve others and the greater good.

David Villarino has organized a large community celebration each year but could not do so this year because of COVID-19 stay-at-home executive order from the Governor. Here are links to the three previous years.

Third annual Cesar Chavez Breakfast. April 24, 2019. Corny Rodriguez was honored. https://sonyachristianblog.com/2019/04/27/spring-is-heating-up-at-bc/

Second annual Cesar Chavez Breakfast in March 2018. Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg was honored. https://sonyachristianblog.com/2018/03/24/a-beautiful-rainy-week-at-bc/

Inaugural Cesar Chavez Breakfast in March 2017. Sandra Serrano was honored. https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/04/01/an-absolutely-uplifting-week-at-bc/

#BCGoesOnline 

Thank you to everyone who continues to share their experiences sheltering in place using the hashtag #BCGoesOnline on social media. Here are some highlights from this week:

Librarian Mindy Wilmot hosted her first ConferZoom meeting and had a furry friend joining her, as well.

Isabel Castaneda joins a Zoom meeting to move the Summer Bridge to BC program online.

Lesley Bonds’ dog Luna was listening intently to the All-Campus Virtual Forum on Tuesday.

Finally, Kalina Hill from Testing and Placement responds to a message of hope from Manuel Rosas.

Screen shot of Nobody is Alone in this, We are here to help!

This Week at BC: Nursing and Allied Health 

Marketing student workers Ramon Carreido and Juan Reyes made one last video before BC transitioned to a virtual environment, which happened to be about the important work of our Nursing and Allied Health Departments. Thank you, Juan and Ramon!

BC in the News: Back to College Program on KGET

Local station KGET covered BC’s five-week Back to College in a video piece last weekend, explaining to the community how our program will assist workers who are displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you, KGET

For more information about this program, visit the Back to College website.

Reflections From Inside 

Caption from Sara Wallace’s blog: “This is my mobile office. I have office supplies for the students (left) and my clear backpack (right) to bring in supplies (office supplies, graded work, handouts, dry erase markers, etc). It makes it easier for security if I have a clear backpack, and one of the facilities we work in requires it.”

Sara Wallace, an English faculty at Bakersfield College, has published her second blog entry titled “Reflections from Inside: Teaching in the Inmate Scholars Program”. She has been working as a full-time instructor at a total of five different prisons since the Fall. This blog is her reflection about doing this important work. This program is only a few years old, but it has expanded to include ten prisons and a thousand students. It is expected to grow more in the future. This was written before the recent CoronaVirus Outbreak, and some of the lessons and experiences with teaching inside have already changed dramatically.

Lessons Learned so far: I am teaching composition. There are some real differences between teaching on campus and teaching inside, so it has not been a seamless transition, which was not surprising. 

Pro-tip: Do not put anything in the supply cabinet. It will be gone when you get back. The inmates do not have access to this cabinet, so it is probably not them. It is probably another educator. We are all office supply thieves at heart. I am a hardened pen thief myself. There is a real run on office supplies inside.

Something that I take for granted like having a pen or paper to do homework with is really valuable. Bring it in with you and take it with you when you leave. That is a pain, but in some facilities the inmates do not have paper, or they have to buy the paper on their own, which is hard when they are using some of their available time to take my class. I am trying to teach writing. Paper and pens are pretty necessary. I just threw bundles of papers into the recycler the other day because the printer messed up a little bit. It really makes you think about the things we take for granted. 

In addition to supply issues, there are some differences in the way I run my class. For example, I have had to limit the amount of call and response kinds of questions I ask. The inmates are very excited to participate, so it can get a little loud. It requires a little bit more management partly because of their excitement for us to be there. It makes it harder to manage, but it also makes me feel more enthusiastic as well. I have only been working in this program for a month, so there is still plenty to learn and different techniques to try out.

A few months ago, the program had its first graduation. Since I am new, none of the new graduates were students of mine. I am looking forward to future graduations so that I get the chance to hear about what some of our students do with this opportunity as it will continue to inform my response to the question of why I am doing what I am doing.

Language of Power: One of my students asked me why I was making them write in this way. I have been asked this question on campus as well, though not as frequently. I had a more precise answer for my students on the inside. I am teaching you the language of power. People who have control over your lives write like this and speak like this. If you do not know how to communicate like them then you are at a disadvantage. Another student asked: like how the lawyers talk? Yes, and everyone else you talk with who has power. That seemed to motivate some of the students who were not as motivated before though I have less trouble with a lack of motivation inside than I do on the outside.

Lessons Learned: “It is all your fault” one of my students said as he stuck his head in the door during their break. They are not really supposed to come back into the classroom until the break is over. The private facility is more strict about this than the government facilities. I have a hard time saying no to students when they want or need help, so I end up spending our entire break answering questions most days. After all, they do not have the opportunity to come to my office hours. This time, my student did not have a question, but he did want to tell me something.

Me: “Oh? What is my fault?”

Student: “The conversation is still going on out there!”

Me: “Fantastic! That is so great!”

We had a discussion before break about the reading, and they were so engaged with the topic that they continued the discussion. We did have to move on to working on the research essay, so I am glad I gave them the break first. Sometimes they can get a little loud because everyone wants to say something. Last week one of the Correctional Officers came into the classroom to see what was going on because we were so loud. We do eventually have to get back to the writing, but it is nice to talk with students who have something to say, and lots of questions.

At first I was finding it hard to maintain control over the students with all of their questions and comments. It led to a conversation with the director of education, correctional officers, and with the class itself. The solution offered by employees of the prison was to just press the emergency button and have the guards come in and crack some heads.

Me: Because they were a little too loud and were a bit rude? That seems like an overreaction.

Them: They would not do it again.

True. If I pressed the emergency button, the students would not do it again, but they also would not say anything in class anymore, and it would hinder their learning. I am not an employee of the prison system, and my purpose in being there is not to control them or to punish them or even to rehabilitate them; it is to teach them. I have dealt with boisterous classes before, and I have never felt the need to call in a bruiser to deal with them. So I did what I usually do, I changed their seating arrangement every week. They could not form little groups of people chatting to themselves if they were not by their friends. Educators can find other ways to manage a class. We do not always have to drop the hammer.

The interactions with the students in the prison setting are really rewarding for the instructors and hopefully the students as well. The coronavirus outbreak has put a stop to all face-to-face teaching in the prison system. My next blog post will be about the effect it has had on our teaching. We are trying to make the best out of this situation, but all of us want to eventually go back inside. Having interactions with someone who is communicating with these students about something other than their behavior or the past mistakes they have made is really important and means a lot to them. I was evaluated by the students last semester as part of the normal evaluation process. I have not had a chance to read all my evaluations (which I cannot read until after the grades are submitted for the semester), but during my meeting with my committee, one of my committee members read a comment to me from one of my students. He said: she never looks at me like I am a level four criminal. She said there were a lot of comments like that and if I am ever feeling low, I should go and read through them. As soon as this is over, I will, and I hope we can go back in soon because besides teaching the Inmate Scholars the content of the course, personal interaction is important too.

Archives Throwback: Highlights from 1965-1967