Tag Archives: Jack Hernandez

Make Learning a Lifelong Activity

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, August 4th and a great day to be a Renegade. 

I had a wonderful week which concluded with a tour of BC in North Kern with Senator Jean Fuller and Trustee Romeo Agbalog.  More on that next week.  But here is a photo, with the McFarland High School leadership team, just to peak your interest.

Romeo Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Jean Fuller, Abel Guzman, Raquel Lopez at McFarland High Aug 4 2018

Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Abel Guzman, Senator Jean Fuller, Raquel Lopez, with the McFarland High Principal Brian Bell and his team

 

Bob Allison

Bob Allison

I was inspired yesterday by Bob Allison‘s Community Voices “Make Learning a Lifelong Activity.” He shared how BC’s Levan Institute is beginning its 11th year in operation and thanks to an incredibly generous gift by the late Dr. Norman Levan, BC is able to provide learning and enrichment opportunities to the local 55 and over community.

The piece mentions, “…we have had classes as varied as wine tasting, the afterlife, Photoshop Elements, ukulele, weight training, golf and creative writing. We even had a class on the history, tasting and brewing of beer (with lab!). Field trips are popular, particularly our annual wine trip. The fall 2018 term includes new classes in ceramics, watercolor painting, religion, history, fitness, website construction, making your own videos, kitchen remodeling, a trip to the Peterson Automotive Museum, and others.”

So if you’re interested in returning back to BC or even coming to BC for the first time as an adult learner, there’s never a better time to make learning a lifelong activity.

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Remembering Gloria McLean

The Californian’s Robert Price wrote a piece celebrating the life of Gloria McLean. “Ceiling-shattering legislative aide was ground floor for CSUB’s creation” describes how McLean, who worked with Dorothy Donahoe “became the first woman to serve as an administrative assistant to a state senator and, later, the first woman to serve as a state senate district coordinator.”

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The article goes on to share that Gloria McLean was a Renegade. “McLean was born in Bakersfield to a Scottish-born oilman and his New Zealander wife. She attended Standard School, KCUHS and Bakersfield Junior College, which was then part of the high school campus.”

Gloria McLean cover Californian

Here is Gloria McLean on the cover of The Bakersfield Californian on Saturday, January 22, 1955. She is pictured at the California State Employees Association pre-convention rally. The paper identifies left to right as Earl Chesmore, regional director; Mrs. Patricia Smith, regional secretary; Howard Lake of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Bureau, Gloria McLean, president of the Bakersfield Chapter, and Dale Halverson. “Miss McLean is showing Lake the ‘rebel hat’ that is the official mascot for the Bakersfield chapter.”

You know, the “rebel hat” reminds me that Bakersfield truly is a Renegade community. #WeareBC!

Enjoyed Nick Strobel’s Stargazing piece in today’s paper.

He just wanted to be a Renegade

Romeo the Pup

Romeo the Pup

On Thursday in the late afternoon, this beautiful and happy dog was found on campus sporting his Renegade Red bandana.

With no family in sight, BC sprang into action by sharing on social media, giving him water and some food to keep him hydrated, healthy, and happy.

First thing Friday morning, we took this happy dog to the vet to have him scanned for a microchip and his family was found!

We’ve concluded that Romeo just wanted to be a Renegade for a day. Maybe he was late to Summer Bridge? Whatever the case, we’re happy to report that he’s back with his family because of his micro-chip!

Situations like this remind me just how important it is to be a responsible pet owner and microchip our animals. The American Humane Association estimates over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year and one in every 3 pets will get lost at some point during their life.  When you have your animal micro-chipped, it is also important to regularly keep your contact information updated.

BC’s Voices

In addition to Bob Allison’s inspiring piece, BC’s Jack Hernandez and Nicky Damania also shared their voices this week.

Jack Hernandez penned a piece titled “Nest of truth” which can be read online here.

Jack Hernandez Community Voices Aug 1 2018.png

 

Nicky Damania in Sydney

Nicky Damania in Sydney

And Nicky Damania shared his experiences in Australia with the BC Chamber Singers with “Sounds of Sydney.” 

He said, I love to sing and hear people sing. It is one of my passions, and it’s got mood and soul, power and magic. Music is both transformative and unifying.”

Make sure to check it out to read how this trip to Australia changed his life and the lives of these talented Renegades. See the piece at Bakersfield.com.

Nicky Damania Community Voices July 31 2018

Biennial Conference on Chemical Education

BCCE Trio

A team from BC attended this years Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE) hosted by University of Notre Dame on July 29th through August 2nd. The conference is designed to provide attendees with opportunities to interact with chemistry instructors of all levels in formal and informal settings. There is a mixture of plenary lectures, symposia, workshops, chemical demonstrations, poster sessions, exhibits and tours of chemistry research areas.

BCCE Group Photo

BC Students Internships in Action

Lora PorterAs a culinary student, Lora Porter participated in an summer job fair that resulted in an internship with Disneyland. She had been selected for placement at the Blue Bayou inside the theme park, working alongside some of the premier chefs at the private Club 33 restaurant.
Flash forward and Lora is now at Wasco High School as a culinary instructor doing what she loves with her skills and education, including her Disneyland internship opportunity, and right away met with our CTE office to start an articulation agreement that will help her students find their path.

Darren Willis Creates Special BC Gift Boxes

A few special gifts have been created this week by Industrial Drawing faculty, Darren Willis. “The project concept and layout was actually designed by a student as a small jewelry box,” he said.

These special boxes will be given to the Accreditation Team evaluating Bakersfield College later this year. Thank you Darren, Michele Bresso, and the ISER team.

 

Renegade Athletics Volleyball Camps

Our incredible women’s volleyball Head Coach Carl Ferreira hosted another great round of summer volleyball camps this year. Over 150 participants from the three camps received instruction from Coach Ferreira and his current BC volleyball players in teaching them  volleyball fundamental of serving, passing, defense and attacking. To read more about the volleyball camps and see more photos click here.

2018 Summer Volleyball Camp

2018 Summer Volleyball Camp

BC Summer Basketball Academies

Once again our amazing women’s head basketball coach put on a fantastic few weeks of her annual summer basketball academies. One session was focused on youth and teaching them fundamentals and the other focused on 7-12th grade students in emphasizing those fundamentals and giving them the opportunity to compete and challenge themselves to make themselves better. The event brought almost 100 youth and their families on-campus.

2018 Basketball Academy

2018 Basketball Academy

Read more about it and see the full photos here.

Another Athlete Signing

Octavia Croney and Paula Dahl

Octavia Croney and Paula Dahl

Renegade women’s basketball player Octavia Croney has signed to continue her academic and playing career for the Cal State LA Golden Eagles.

Croney, a sophomore guard this last season and local Highland HS product, appeared in 24 games for head coach Paula Dahl. She ended the season averaging 16.4 points/game and 6.0 rebounds/game. She notched more than 20 points in ten different contests with her highest scoring effort coming against Taft College when she scored 27.

“Octavia was a major impact player for us over the past two years”, said Coach Dahl. “Her fearless nature on the court her sophomore year was so fun to watch. At the sophomore showcase I remember Cheryl Miller looking at me and saying very excitedly – ‘You think I can get her?’ Cheryl is a basketball icon and an incredible person and Octavia is a BC icon and one of the finest human beings I’ve ever coached. I am so excited for them to work together and for Octavia to continue her education with one of, if not the most respected woman in the game.”

Cal State LA is an NCAA D-II program that competes in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). There have now been a total of 36 Renegade student-athletes from the 2017-18 year that will be playing at various four-year schools throughout the country this coming season.

Media Day is Next Week!

Please come out to join us this coming Thursday (8/9) at 11am on the south concourse level of Memorial Stadium for Renegade Football Media Day. Mayor Goh, Sandi Taylor and Coach Chudy will be speaking to the media about our upcoming 2018 football season. Go ‘Gades!

2018 Football Media Day

Here are some photos from last year’s Media Day.

 

Athletic Director Sandi Taylor 2017 Renegade Football

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Karen Goh Media Day August 8 2017.jpg

Football Practice

On Thursday morning before the heat of the day, I visited the practice field to watch the 2018 Renegade Football team prepare for the best season yet with Athletic Director, Sandi Taylor and Athletics Community Relations Manager, Brandon Urry.

It brings great joy to see a preview of the strength, talent, and teamwork of our Renegade Football team. I can’t wait to get the season started. Go ‘Gades Go!

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Visiting the BC Archives

BC’s web guru, Aricia Leighton and her student workers did a deep dive this week to dig for gems related to our mascot for use on the web. While there, they discovered that you can research the archives from the comfort of your computer. No gear required.

Jersey, Brian, and Aricia

Jersey, Brian, and Aricia

Fun Photos from EOP&S Freshman Day

EOP&S, BC’s Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, is a state funded program that serves educationally and financially disadvantaged students. EOP&S provides services that assist students who have the potential to succeed in college.

This week, special days were held for incoming Freshman to share all about the services and support they could find at Bakersfield College!

Fun Photos & Video from Summer Bridge

Students and faculty are enjoying the final days of Summer Bridge.  I dropped in and out of the August 2nd Summer Bridge and was blown away by the students and the faculty engagement with the students.  Here is the list who were working the August 2nd bridge.

Erica Menchaca, Stephen Tavoni, Teresa McAllister, Brent Wilson, John Harte,  Sara  Wallace, Jamal Wright, Marcelyn Allen, Denise Richards, Amanda Gonzales, Bonnie Hammond, Manuel Muralles, Jeff La Force, Josh Shackelford, Julian West, Dominica Rivera  … and the HQ team Kimberly Bligh, Isabel Castaneda and Christina Maldonado! Thank you!

Steve Tavoni and Erica Menchaca were the two lead faculty.  I dropped in for the segment that Steve was presenting on setting goals and he was so effective openly sharing his own story.  I am truly the luckiest and happiest college president to work with such great faculty and staff — smart, talented and with big hearts for students and their learning.

Sonya Christian at Summer Bridge August 2 2018

Summer Bridge Team

BC SGA President’s Breakfast

2018 SGA Presidents Breakfast

Matthew Frazer, Clayton Fowler, Nicky Damania, Dezi Van Manos

On Monday, July 30, 2018, Dr. Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life, hosted the annual BCSGA Presidents’ Breakfast at his house. The breakfast included homemade French-Mexican inspired Green Chili roasted pork, mango infused vinaigrette seasonal vegetables, and a cook to order waffle bar. Here is a bit of an update on our beloved student leaders.

Alex Dominguez (2014-2015) returned to Bakersfield over the summer as the Policy Intern for The Wonderful Company and will be returning back to Ole Miss for law school. Two more years left for him.

Clayton Fowler (2015-2016) graduated UC Davis this past June in political science and is putting his degrees to work as a Field Representative for Assemblyman Vince Fong right here in Bakersfield. And his BCSGA sweetheart Raquel Vega is now an associate producer for KGET’s Sunrise newscast.

MFrazier with TwinsMatthew Frazer (2016-2017) is finishing up his last year at California State University, Bakersfield with his bachelors in Political science. Congrats to him and his wife Stefanie Frazer on two adorable twin boys named Oliver and Jameson who will soon be attending Bakersfield College.

Joined by her two kids, Dezi Von Manos ((2017-2018) is finishing up her requirements at Bakersfield College while working in the Office of Student Life before heading on to theology school. What an amazing motherly role model as her kids will no doubt also be following in her footsteps to college just around the corner.

Dezi Von Manos and children

James Tompkins (2018-2019) is the current BCSGA President majoring in psychology. He plans on using his time left at BC strengthening the Prison-to-School pipeline and plans to graduate in May 2019. We’re looking forward to his commencement speech.

Student Employment Scoop

Trish and Savannah

BC’s Student Employment team has recognized Savannah Andrews for her outstanding services at an On-Campus Supervisor. Her student employees feel that they are able to talk to her about anything and that she is very understanding. Savannah has selected to recognize Student Ambassador Trishainah Vernado for her initiative and positive attitude. Savannah says that Trish is the ideal student employee because she is passionate about her education as well as helping others.

Thank you to FPU

Departing Fresno Pacific employees Samuel Frankhouser and Amanda Rodriguez were both recognized for the support they provided to Bakersfield College Faculty and Students during their time at BC SouthWest. Thank you to Fernando Lara, BC’s Southwest Manager for making sure they are recognized and to BC Foundation’s Heather Pennella for the beautiful house plants.

Thank you to FPU Employees

Norma Rojas Mora does another fabulous segment with Telemundo

This week’s Telemundo segment highlighted the Job Spot and the RIDE program expansion.  Lupe Aguirre, Educational Advisor at the Job Spot shared how the one-stop center is a partnership between the Bakersfield Adult School, America’s Job Center, and Bakersfield College.  The RIDE program expansion will benefit many of our rural communities opening the doors to dual enrollment for many of our high school students.  Not wanting to let an opportunity to provide information go by, Norma Rojas-Mora also helped promote the HVAC program in Delano encouraging interested students to enroll now and invited the community to the Express Enrollment scheduled for August 7 at Bakersfield College.

I love the way the segment ends with Todos Somos BC!

Telemundo Norma Rojas Mora, Lupe Aguirre August 3 2018.png

Todos Somos BC!

 

Sonya Christian cropped Aug 8 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Kern County Unites to Support Women

Good morning from Sacramento, sipping coffee in my hotel room that has a window seat, overlooking Sacramento that is just waking up.

With the primary office of the State Chancellor’s Office in Sacramento, I find myself often on the train between Bakersfield and Sacramento.  Yesterday I took the last train from Bakersfield which got into Sacramento Valley Station at 12:15 a.m. and got to my hotel close to 1:00 a.m.

In the afternoon I presented at the CCLC New Trustee Workshop along with two wonderful colleagues, Bill McGinnis (Trustee from Butte College) and Sandy Fried from the State Chancellor’s Office.  The talk was well received.

Bill McGinnis, Sandy Fried, Sonya Christian Jan 27 2018

I was not the only presenter from Bakersfield College.  BC’s Dean of Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Craig Hayward also presented at the conference with Linda Wah, Trustee from Pasadena City College.

Craig Hayward and Linda Wah presenting at Trustees Workshop at CCLC Jan 28 2018

This past week has been active for Bakersfield College with teaching and learning and activities within the campus and within the community.

Let me start with our NEH grant invited speaker Gabriel Thompson…..

Book Talk: Gabriel Thompson

Author Gabriel Thompson

Author Gabriel Thompson

On Thursday evening, the cohort for our National Endowment of the Humanities grant invited author Gabriel Thompson to the Levan Center to talk about Fred Ross, a community organizer whose direct action techniques would inspire Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.

Thompson’s book “America’s Social Arsonist” tells the story of how Fred Ross’ experience working at the Arvin/Weedpatch farm south of Bakersfield that inspired John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” led to a career organizing voter registration drives in Latino-American neighborhoods to help those communities fight for equal representation in local and state government. Through Ross’ work as the founder of the Community Service Organization, he trained Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in his techniques that emphasized face-to-face contact and empowering marginalized groups over fundraising and awareness.

Gabriel Thompson speaks to the packed room

Gabriel Thompson speaks to the packed room

Ross’ technique of house-meeting organizing would become the hallmark tactic of the United Farm Workers, who organized the Coachella grape strike in the 1970s. Many of Ross’ voter registration techniques, which included driving voters to the polls and educating them on how to read and vote on a ballot, would later be successfully utilized by Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008, Thompson said.

While Ross was inspired by popular leftists of the 1930s such as Woody Guthrie, Thompson emphasized that Ross favored tangible results that could hold power accountable over any particular ideology. Ross, who also fought to get Japanese-Americans out of internment camps during World War II, was a diligent organizer and a perfectionist who left no stone unturned while amplifying the voices of his women organizers, whom he found to be “diligent, natural, fearless leaders,” Thompson said.

Thompson became inspired to write about Ross while researching his book “Working in the Shadows”. He spent a year working alongside Latino immigrants in low-wage industries across the United States, and in his research he found that little was written about Ross despite the huge legacy that he left in American political activism.

Jack Hernandez

Jack Hernandez speaks in the packed Levan Center

It was an honor to have Thompson talk about his work documenting an important but largely unknown footnote in Kern County’s political history, and I’m excited to see all of the stories that Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond and Joshua Ottum are going to be surfacing during their work on this grant.  So proud of our faculty. #WeAreBC

Andrew Bond and Oliver Rosales at the event

Andrew Bond and Oliver Rosales at the event along with Jack Hernandez

Thank you Manny de Los Santos for live streaming this event.

Kern County Women’s March

Last weekend marked the first Women’s March of Kern County and the second Women’s March across the nation. It was great to see our community and country come together, standing united. Our diverse community of all genders, races, ethnicity, and faiths came together. 

Andrea Thorson, Nick Strobel and me

Joseph Luiz of The Bakersfield Californian covered the event in his article, “Equal treatment, rights focus of Kern County Women’s March

A special shout out to BC’s very own Dezi Von Manos, our Student Government President who was a speaker at the event.

I would like to give special thank you to the Bakersfield College Adult Education team who hosted a booth right in the middle of all the action to recruit and network with our community members.

Womens March Joining me was Lupe Aguirre, our new Adult Edu Education Advisor and Endee

There were many BC employees and students at the event….  Jennifer Achan, Lupe Aguirre, Debra Anderson, Christine Cruz-Boone, Danny Escobar, Terri Goldstein, Endee Grijalva, Lisa Robles-Kent, Anna Laven, Keston Lyman, Mia Ocean, Heather Pennella, Sally Sterns, Nick Strobel, and Andrea Thorson.

 

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Heather Pennella, Sonya Christian

It was great to see Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Jenny Zorn, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs from CSUB, chatting during the chilly morning.  Dr. Zorn was one of the speakers along with Evelyn Young from CSUB.  BC’s dean of instruction Andrea Thorson was the closing speaker.

Academic Leaders at both higher ed institutions are women. —Jenny Zorn and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Jenny Zorn and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Andrea with family

Student Government Leadership Conference

On Monday, January 8, 2018, the three Student Governments from the colleges within the Kern Community College District participated in a Student Leadership Conference at the Porterville College campus. This leadership training and development workshop facilitated a collaborative and inclusive educational environment, which inspired the campus communities, provided valuable peer-to-peer learning experiences, and engaged students as they share and develop their leadership skills effectively within KCCD.

KCCD Student Leaders

KCCD Student Leaders

Chief Finance Officer, Debbie Martin, and Chancellor Tom Burke both presented to the Student Governments regarding their financial planning and Chancellor’s vision for the District. Other workshops provided the student government officers the means to expand their individual and group leadership potential as well as avenues to apply those skills in a broader student advocacy within KCCD, local, and state-wide initiatives.

BC SGA 2018

 

Spring Student Involvement Festival

At the beginning of each semester, the Office of Student Life hosts a Student Involvement Festival where BC departments and services are invited to host a booth and share their services with new students. The event helps students learn about our campus, community initiatives, and become engaged and active members of the student body.

Cynthia Garbett and Denise Crawford

Cynthia Garbett, DSPS Scribe Coordinator  and Denise Crawford, WorkAbility III

More photos are available at BC’s Smugmug. 

Strategic Directions

It was great to have so many BC faculty and staff attend the Strategic Directions Initiative Session last Friday, January 19th. The Strategic Directions Core Team held the session to solicit initiatives for BC’s staff and faculty for the 2018-2021 Strategic Directions session.

The three-year cycle for developing, implementing and evaluating Bakersfield College’s goals and strategic plan began in 2012. With the sun setting on our Strategic Directions 2015-2018 this semester, the Strategic Direction Committee has evaluated the Directions and is looking to create new initiatives to continue for Bakersfield College’s future.

Our Strategic Directions dream team: Todd Coston (lead), Grace Commiso, Liz Rozell, Bill Moseley, Jessica Wojtysiak, Teresa Mcallister, Marcelyn Allen, Aricia Leighton, and Somaly Boles, prepared a presentation and led the participants through activities. Thank you for all of your hard work on analyzing the past initiatives and leading faculty and staff in creating new initiatives that will lead Bakersfield College in future directions.

Strategic Directions 2

Jessica and Teresa did an excellent job of gathering the participants into 4 groups, each group working on an initiative for one of the Strategic Directions: Student Learning, Student Progress and Completion, Facilities, and Leadership and Engagement. There were lively discussions and fabulous initiatives from the participants. There were also some  camaraderie for a group of BC faculty and staff working to move Bakersfield College toward an effective direction.

The plans for our collective direction depend on the talent and expertise of our BC faculty, staff and administrators. Please take the time to suggest an initiative if you haven’t already.

Strategic Directions 1

Jack Hernandez

Last Sunday, Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez wrote an op-ed in the Community Voices section of the Bakersfield Californian clarifying how so-called “political correctness” is not about stifling the truth but simply offering a more sensitive interpretation of the truth through language.

While political correctness “has been criticized as forcing people to speak in ways acceptable to those on the political left,” writes Hernandez in his column, it actually helps to incorporate the feelings and experiences of marginalized groups that have historically been overlooked, who “are too often ignored, looked down upon, and described in hurtful, even hateful, terms,” said Hernandez, a professor emeritus of philosophy at BC.

“To be ‘politically correct’ is not meant to evade seeing reality as it is or not to accurately describes,” Hernandez writes. “It is not a political ideology or dictatorial censoring of language. Rather, it is an expression of our highest moral values, of our best selves.”

Jack Hernandez

Ron Saylor’s Magic Show at BC

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Ron Saylor, photo from ronsaylor.com

Local magician Ron Saylor has kindly donated his time to help raise money for the BC Chambers Singers’ tour to Australia this summer, with a night of magic, mentalism and illusion on Friday Feb 2nd at 7 p.m. in the Indoor Theater.

Saylor, who performs at the famed Magic Castle in Los Angeles, performed a card trick live on KGET 17 Wednesday morning to promote the fundraiser, which will help with travel expenses for the Chamber Singers’ tour, which will include a performance at the Sydney Opera House.

We’re so thankful that Ron is helping us out, and we hope to have a full house for the event. Tickets are available online now via Vallitix for $20 general admission seating and $30 for seating in the orchestra pit.

Helping our choir students sing at the Sydney Opera House

Dr. Jen Garrett approached me to help her close the final gap in the fundraising to help our BC students go to Australia to perform at the Sydney Opera House.  BC’s Choral program does this once every three years.  In 2015 it was at the Vatican in Rome.  Then our students have spent three years fundraising for this trip in July 2018.

I approached trustee Kyle Carter to see if he could help us.  He unhesitatingly said yes and opened up the Hall of Fame venue for this benefit concert.  Hold on to you seats…. Lydia Ranger and Monty Byrom both generously volunteered to perform with the Chamber singers to help with this benefit concert. See flier.

Great Barrier Benefit Concert March 10 2018.png

I have taken responsibility for the success of the evening concert.  Tickets $100 each.  If you cannot make the concert, for our students’ sake, buy a few tickets anyway 🙂

What a wonderful evening it’s going to be with the combination of Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrom and our fabulous BC Choir.

Renegade Basketball and Coach Hughes

Gogades.com reports that the Bakersfield College Men’s Basketball team (9-8) finished the first half strong but El Camino College (5-11) made half time adjustments and pounded away with a relentless five man rotation to issue BC a 104-87 loss Friday night in the Gil Bishop Sports Center.

“They just continually come at us, and we couldn’t get over the hump. We had a good run in the first half, and then we’d make a mistake or turn it over and they’d capitalize,” Coach Rich Hughes said.

Henry Galinato chipped in his second straight double-double in as many games with a 14 point 14 rebound night, on seven of 10 shooting from the field.

Jamar Hammonds led all scorers with 34 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome team-wide ball control issues as the ‘Gades coughed up 30 turnovers to El Camino’s 27 (23, plus four team TOs)

“We’re kind of stumbling in (to league play), we’ve struggled a little bit, especially with the turnovers. That’s been a real problem, but I know our guys, and I think we were ready to play tonight, but stylewise, I don’t think we play well against teams like that. Some people call that an excuse, but it is one of those things; we play better with teams that are more half-court oriented, and most of the teams in league play are like that,” Hughes said.

Bakersfield plays Cerritos College (14-4) at LA Southwest College Saturday night in the Renegades’ final non-conference tilt before league play begins at home, Wednesday, January 17th at 7 pm against LA Pierce College (5-13).

Coach Hughes

Coach Aaron Chavez and Coach Rich Hughes

Grand Opening of the Kern County Justice Center

IMG_7869On Tuesday, January 16, 2018, Dena Rhodes, BC Human Resource Manager and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, and Dr. Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life, went to the Grand Opening of the Kern County Justice Center. The opening was attended by many individuals across the Bakersfield Community and held a tour through the newly renovated building.

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A small reception was held with delicious food samples which as you can see from the pictures. The concept for the center began in San Diego in 2002. It was envisioned that a family justice center would be a one-stop shop for victims of domestic violence. It seeks to be a place where representatives from various agencies are housed under one roof in order to provide services for victims of domestic violence and their children. There are more than 130 family justice centers across the nation. The KCFJC will house representatives from agencies including The Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, Great-er Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Kern County D.A.’s Office, Behavioral Health, Department of Human Services, Bakersfield Police, Kern County Sheriff’s Office, Dress for Success and Aging and Adult Services.

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District Attorney Lisa Green, Dena Rhoades, Nicky Damania

The BC family

One of our Chemistry faculty Dr. Deborah Rosenthal organized a Baby Shower for another faculty member Dr. Ximena Da Silva Tavares on Friday.

Group at Ximena's Baby Shower Jan 26 2018.jpg

I am so happy that Debby pinged me so I could stop by for a few minutes.  In addition to Ximena’s joy, I loved seeing all the faculty and staff hovering around her like proud family members showering her with love.  Debby organized a fun game where she took time to college photos of faculty members as babies and then had us map which baby picture match which faculty member.  Thank you Debby for the care in planning this event.

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Liz Rozell made this quilt for Ximena

Liz Rozell Ximena Da Silva Tavares

Ximena noted that being an immigrant is hard when all of your family and friend support network from home is so far away so her BC family has been so much appreciated. Having something like the baby shower shows we care about her as a person. Again it is much appreciated and then she said she couldn’t say anything more without crying.

You see why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever…. #WeAreBC

Seen on Social Media

I loved this photo of Kirk Russell, BC’s Library Chair from their instagram bc_library.

KirkRussel

Jim Selgrath

Jim Selgrath tweet Jan 2018

Chris McCraw

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Cindy Collier camping and stated on Facebook “This the culprit that got me up this morning at 5:20 😩 — at Wine Country RV Resort.”

Cindy Collier with her dog Jan 27 2018

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We are BC!

Ximena Da Silva Tavares and Sonya Christian Jan 26 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

(with Prof. Ximena Da Silva Tavares)

Holiday Gift List: A College Education

Sonya and Cheer Squad

Photo by April Massirio

Wishing you a Merry Christmas

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 23 2017 and a great day to be a Renegade!

It’s the peak of December and the season’s hustle and bustle is leaving us more festive-minded. We clutch our peppermint lattes a little tighter (and for me always a soy latte) and we let Judy Garland remind us a few more times that we should have a merry little Christmas. And gifts are everywhere! Knickknacks, treats, toys; one right after another. There are a few gifts that we hold a little closer: the gift of family, the gift of friendship, the gift of peace…

Students in the welcome center

Student Employee April Whitfield assists
student Zadden Pimentel register for Spring 2018 classes.

Our recently restructured Administration Building lobby is now the Bakersfield College Welcome Center and it’s the perfect place to unwrap BC’s gift to our community: the gift of education.

The Welcome Center is a one-stop location for all new and current students. Want to enroll at BC? There’s a team of student ambassadors who have got you covered. Need to clear a hold? They’ll help you out. Having trouble using the online student portal to register for classes? They can guide you through.

Education is a gift that you can help give someone else or that you can give yourself. This holiday season, consider the gift of education. It is truly one of the great equalizers. Our students know that education opens the doors of all opportunity. BC’s faculty, staff, and administration are here to help you open those doors!

Monday Morning

Speaking of opening those doors… what a treat it was to walk in on Monday morning to see two hard working individuals who have a great heart for BC and our students.

Mary Jo Pasek and Ramon Puga

Mary Jo Pasek and Ramon Puga

Superheroes in IT

In today’s educational landscape, it’s important for our campus to be as technologically robust as possible to accommodate our 30,000 students and over 1,000 faculty and staff members with assignments, grading, vocational training, distance education and more.

Todd Coston

Todd Coston, IT Director

Our IT Department, led by Todd Coston,  works year-round to keep up with all of BC’s technological needs. Currently, we have seven system support specialists that maintain over 3,000 computers at the various BC campuses, as well as all non-computer devices such as printers, phones or cameras. The IT Department is also in charge of managing complex instructional software systems for our 3D printers, nursing simulation mannequins, automotive equipment, AutoCAD, industrial automation equipment and more.

This year alone, IT replaced several hundred computers in offices and labs across all campus sites. Our IT team is an incredible group of people and two of the staff at BC, relocated from our sister colleges at Porterville and Cerro Coso, and they commute over 2 hours to and from work every day. One comes from Palmdale and one from Fresno. Another tech has been at BC for over 25 years! What an incredible love for BC, our students, and our community. We’re lucky to have them.

For 2018, the IT department is planning on replacing more of the older computers on campus and figuring out their big projects for the summer, including adding over 250 additional wireless access points across the Panorama campus so that all of our internal buildings have full wi-fi coverage.

Home for the Holidays

Jen Garrett and Carl Topilow Dec 16 2017

Jennifer Garrett, Carl Topilow

The magic of Christmas came alive with the third annual performance by The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra on December 16 at the Fox Theatre. I excitedly shared that the performance would also feature the Bakersfield College Choir with Dr. Jennifer Garrett and it was a complete hit. Featured in the show was Ron Keans’ “The Rose That Bare Jesu,” a beautiful work based on a 14th-century carol, commissioned by the Jean Sebastian Vallee who is the conductor of the Mountainside Master Chorale. The Mountainside Master Chorale is located in Claremont, CA and you can learn more about them on their website.

Dr. Garrett tells me she wanted to perform the piece during the Home for the Holidays concert, but it was only written for piano. Jack Bertrand, one of our Chamber Singers who is also the choral director at North High School, did and incredible job with the orchestration. Jen tells me she feels so fortunate to have been able to conduct the piece in concert, and she considers it a huge honor. It was lovely that Ron would come to rehearsal as well and share about the piece.

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Susan Scaffidi wrote a lovely teaser article for this event on Bakersfield.com. Check it out here.

I was sitting next to Michael Turnipseed and his wife Nancy.  I unfortunately missed the opportunity to get a picture of them, but here are a few photos from that evening.

Lisa Kent with her mom, Emma Robles, and her son Gabriel Adame.

With Heidi Allison and Janet Tarjan, and with Mike Stepanivich.

 

 

Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra Home for the Holidays

Photo from Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra on Facebook

I captured a few videos for my blog

Allelujiah and When the Saints go Marching in

Its Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

We need a little Christmas

Sleigh Ride

Last year for the BSO-BC Home for the Holidays concert I captured this piece with Ken Burdick and Monty Byrom performing the David Bowie-Bing Crosby rendition of Drummer Boy — check it out.

 

Cal-SOAP Winter Staff Development

CalSOAP Staff

The California Student Opportunities and Access Program (Cal-SOAP) is designed to increase the number of students attending college.  The program serves students who are from low-income families, will be the first in their family to attend college, or are from areas or schools with low-eligibility or college-going rates.

Team Building Activity

Cal-SOAP was established by the state legislature in 1978 and today operates projects in 14 locations throughout the state.  The Southern San Joaquin Valley Cal-SOAP Consortium officially became a part of Bakersfield College on March 2017.  Cal-SOAP hires professional experts to serve as College Peer Advisors for 21 high schools within the Southern San Joaquin Valley.  Cal-SOAP held their Winter Staff Development Series from December 18-20, 2017.

Group Break Out Session

The staff development series included team-building activities around trust, communication, and leadership; CCC Apply, along with Bakersfield College’s matriculation steps, onsite assessment, and the BC enrollment registration process.  The spring semester focus for Cal-SOAP at high schools will be on BC matriculation, onsite registration, recruitment for the Kern Promise, and financial aid applications, which were among the training topics covered.

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CARE & CalWORKs Holiday Celebration

Holiday Celebration15The EOPS department celebrated Christmas early on December 15th to ensure that their students who are also parents were provided the opportunity to enjoy a day of love, laughter, and family.  The Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) program promotes student success by offering specialized services to single parents receiving public assistance (CalWORKs/TANF/Tribal TANF).  The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) is a parent program that provides education, employment training, support services, and work study opportunities to increase wage earning power, leading to self-sufficiency.  Many of the students on the program do not have the available resources necessary to celebrate the holiday season.  The holiday celebration is one of many ways that the CARE and CalWORKs programs show their support and appreciation for the students’ hard work and dedication throughout the year.

Holiday Celebration19The “Adopt a Family” program is a holiday treat for these parents and their children.  Families were adopted by BC faculty, staff, and community members, ensuring that every child is granted a special holiday gift from their wish list.  The program raises funds throughout the year to support the Holiday Celebration held at the Rollerama with food and gifts for all the students and their children.

Bakersfield College has continued to grow the EOPS program in the last few years. There were 1,430 EOPS participants at Bakersfield College last year, which was an increase of 43% from the previous academic year. The percentage of the student population participating in EOPS was 4.5% in 2016-2017, which was higher than the Statewide average of 3.8 percent.

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At KCCD

Here is a photo I snapped with Tom Burke, Chancellor KCCD, and Jill Board, President of Cerro Coso at our recent meeting.

Sonya Christian, Tom Burke, Jill Board Dec 19 2017

Here is Tom Burke with Debbie Martin, Vice Chancellor of Finance; Tonya Davis, Vice Chancelor of Human Resources, and Gary Moser, Vice Chancellor of Information Technology.

Debbie Martin, Tom Burke, Tonya Davis, Gary Moser Dec 19 2017.jpg

Debbie Martin, Tom Burke, Tonya Davis, Gary Moser

Success and Equity TV

A great 13-minute show of Jack Hernandez and Nicolas David Meise with the fabulous Francis Mayer on BC’s Success and Equity TV.  The two authors discuss their pieces “Bridges” and “Nobody till Somebody Loves You”.

Speaking of Nobody till Somebody loves you, let’s hear the namesake Dean Martin song.

Dual Enrollment Holiday Party

The Dual Enrollment Program helps high school students to get a jump start on college by earning college and high school credit at the same time. Students can take Dual Enrollment courses in a variety of disciplines and fields including general education and career pathway courses that align with local industry needs. In addition to saving time and money, dual enrollment courses help prepare students for the rigors of college level studies.

It was great to see this hardworking and dedicated team get festive and enjoy some fun together. Here are some photos from Anna Laven‘s Facebook.

CTE Holiday Group Shot

CTE Holiday Group Photo

I snapped this picture of Andrea Thorson and her three sons yesterday, Dec 22, 2017 when they were on campus

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Happy Holidays

2017 Christmas Tree in the Lobby

 Happy Holidays from the staff, faculty, and administration at BC!

The philosopher Neo

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December 10 2017 Neo 2.jpg

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Neo and Sonya Christian Dec 18 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya
— the luckiest and happiest college president ever

On remembrance, and making memories

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Sharon Baker, Sandi Taylor, Vickie Edden, Leonard Cravens, Sonya Christian, Peter Reyes

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Sunday, September 18th…I started this blog yesterday, but since the day was packed with events that ended with driving to Riverside to watch Renegade football on the road I could not finish my blog.  It was great to see the Bakersfield Community come out to support an away game.

Here is a gang of regulars at the games.  Sharon Baker and Bill Baker (The Renegade Football doc) come to all the games.  It always warms my heart to see both Dr. Baker and Dr. Tivnon out there with our student athletes.  Here is a picture of Dr. Baker with Terence Young, one of our star football players last year who got seriously injured.

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Terence is now a student at BC although he does not play football.  I want to recognize the kindness and generosity of the Bakers.  Both Sharon and Bill have given their time, money, and unwavering commitment to BC. This is what makes the community of Bakersfield unique.  And this is what makes Bakersfield College so successful.
We are BC!

the-moon-sep-18-2016The entire week was just like Saturday, a lot of travel — Wisconsin (Tuesday-Wednesday), Sacramento (Friday), and then Riverside (Saturday).  Quite tired this Sunday morning and enjoying the calm and quiet with a cup of coffee and the beautiful early morning moon through the window in my bedroom.  Life is good!

The many highlights from the week started with our first football home game on September 10th at BC against Chaffey! Even ESPN was buzzing with excitement! Really, check out the video on the GoGades Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/p/BKMmC1hAgP6/

Saturday, Sep 10th: New Faculty Reception

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Photo by Cara Jackson

Before the first home game of the season, we celebrated with the new members of the BC family in the Fireside Room at the New Faulty Reception on September 10, 2016. BC hired a total of 39 new faculty for the 2016-2017 academic year.  The college has been growing in the number of students we serve over the last three years.

Thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Trustee Dennis Beebe for attending.  We really appreciate our trustees coming out the college campuses.  If you check out the picture carefully you will be able to spot both trustees.

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Photo by Cara Jackson

A special thank you and shout out to our new cook Nicole Sizemore who prepared an elegant dinner and dessert menu for faulty and guests! My favorite was the watermelon salad with flavorful ingredients including feta cheese. Come to think of it, I loved the tri-tip, the couscous salad and everything on the menu.

After dinner, we headed to the first football game of the year!  And what a game it was.

Join me in welcoming… Teresa McAllister, ACDV; Heather Baltis, Agriculture; Jaclyn Krause, ASL; Ronnie Wrest and Jeff Huston, Art; Katie Ganster, Biology; Ximena Da Silva, Chemistry; Melissa Ysais, Child Development; Talita Pruett and Neeley Hatridge, Communication; Maximo Pena, Construction Management; Catherine Ryan and Elvira Martinez, DSPS; Cynthia Quintanilla, Counseling; Vanessa Bell, EOP&S; Keri Kennedy and Mark Osea, SSSP; Thomas Rush and Kelvin Albaa, Engineering; Isaac Sanchez and Savanna Andrasian, English; Don Brady, Fire Tech; Ayan Hill, Allied Health; Catherine Jones, Industrial Safety; Eddie Rangel, Information Technology; Timothy Heasley, Performing Arts; Dillon Giblin and Jonathan Brown, Math; Nichole Hernandez and Shae Johnson, Medical Surgical; Noelia Citialin, Mental Health; Kathryn Kuby, Music; Christine Harker, Allied Health; Jacelyn Hill, Rad Tech; David Riess and Eleanora Hicks, Sociology; Sara Palasch, Spanish; Brian Sivesind, Theatre; Ronnie Knabe, Sim Lab; Milena Lilles, Biology; John Kelleher, History; Alba Romero, Math; Cari Meyer, Geology; Mark Kay and Yuki Takeuchi, Foreign Language; Jeanne Young, Nursing; Heidi Forsythe, Communication; Kristin Mercer, Denise Canning, Tanna Rozar, Sara Wallace, and Justin Bell, English.

If you get the chance, visit https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/employees/new-faculty-staff to see the new faculty photos!

Running of the Renegades & BC Football

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Photo by Cara Jackson

The evening started off with the annual Running of the Renegades event that welcomes the Football team back to the Stadium for their first home game. This event offers the BC Community the chance to run across Memorial Stadium behind the Renegade Mascots and alongside the BC Cheerleaders before the BC Renegade Football players take the field. This year, 30 students, staff, and faculty members dashed onto the field at 5:55pm sporting their Red and White Spirit. Starting with Renegade pride is always a fantastic way to kick-off a great game and a great week!

BC beat Chaffey College by 45-35 in their home opener at Memorial Stadium on the strength of an offensive explosion led by Derrick Vickers’ three touchdowns and 289 multi-purpose yards. Check out the game summary by Francis Mayor at GoGades.com.

It was wonderful having so many from the community come out to support Renegade Football.

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Sonya Christian, Karen Goh, Romeo Agbalog, JP Lake

A huge thank you to JP Lake for not only attending but also being involved as the halftime guest on Vince Palms show. Francis has made the video available on YouTube – definitely check it out to see JP Lake and your BC Renegades!

JP is the co-chair of the Measure J campaign committee along with Sue Benham, Michael Bowers, Norma Rojas Mora, Jay Rosenlieb, and Karen Thompson. Mayor Harvey Hall is the chair.  Here are a some of the many community leaders on the committee: Michael O’Doherty, Mayor Milt Stowe from Porterville, Justin O’Neill (from Cerro Coso), Jay Tamsi, David Torres, Ed Davis, Fran Flores, Ken Byrum, Rick Kreiser, Cheryl Scott, Chad Hathaway, Janet Rabanal, Reyna Olaguez.

And huge thanks also to Karen Goh for regularly attending our football games and showing your Renegade spirit in the stands! Karen has posted the most fantastic photos on her Facebook – check them out here!  Also much appreciate the connection with other parts of the campus like our Student Government Association.

Karen with SGA Fall 2016.jpg

 

And special thank you to Cara Jackson for these great photos from the game:

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Cara also sent an email to share a story of how she was able to capture these great images:

“A moment before I walked onto the football field to capture the Running of the Renegades, I saw another photographer heading that way for the game. I casually asked, “Sir you wouldn’t happen to have an extra lens I could borrow?”

Nick contemplated respectively for a short moment and replied, ” Yes, I might just have one for you.”  I was surprised and excited, and when he pulled out his extra Canon 70-200 mm f2.8L telephoto lens, I was jumping for joy!

It turned out my wish came true and he loaned it to me for the entire game! Not only did he do this, but helped me improve my settings on my camera so I could get these great shots!

It’s wonderful that there are still positive and amazing people out there wishing the best for you and helping you succeed in life, even if you meet them for the first time!

A huge shout out to Nick Ellis from the Bakersfield Californian. Thanks Nick!”

We truly are the community’s college.

Sunday, Sep 11th: World Trade Center Memorial on 9/11

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I had the honor of attending the World Trade Center Memorial in Southwest Bakersfield. The sun was shining bright when the breathtaking memorial featuring a structural girder from the North Tower of the World Trade Center was unveiled. This national artifact is one of many sent throughout the nation for 9/11 memorials. Thank you to Fire Chief, Doug Greener, who petitioned for Bakersfield to get one of the last remaining pieces. Our community was approved to receive the piece because of where the memorial is situated – on Buena Vista in the southwest directly between a fire station and police station. I encourage you to stop by and pay respects and remember the brave men and women in New York that day.

I was so proud to see one of our BC music students Linda Snoddy lead the color guard with her bagpipe. BC has the best music program!  And then hear from Mayor Harvey Hall who was the first speaker of the morning.

 

I asked Jennifer to email Heather Pruitt and get the mayor’s written remarks.  Here they are.  I love the way he wrapped up his speech by saying “thank you for your hearts.”

As we gather today let us not forget the 4,377 souls who perished as a result of the deadliest terrorist attack in our history. Let us not forget the husbands, wives, sons and daughters who lost their lives. Let us not forget the devastation felt by many Americans on this dreadful day.

For fifteen years now we have given our heartfelt condolences, sympathy and caring contributions to the survivor’s families, first responders, police officers and rescue workers. Today is a day of honor and recognition for the Bakersfield City Fire Department and the many volunteers and sponsors who have made this 911 World Trade Center Memorial possible.

What an everlasting tribute our city will have for reflections on each September 11th in our future.

Let us not forget to give prayer and thanks to our wonderful country, fireman, police officers and first responder ambulance paramedics for the daily contributions they make to keep us safe and healthy.

Your presence here today is another example of how Bakersfield cares, a thought I have carried with me for the past sixteen years as our city’s Mayor.

Let us remember and never forget September 11, 2001. Thank you for your hearts today.

I also texted Tim Capehart, Director of BC’s Fire Tech program and asked him if Tyler Hartley, Deputy Fire Chief, could be willing to share his brief comments.  Here are the powerful words by our Deputy Fire Chief:

The attacks on September 11th have been documented as the most destructive acts of terrorism on American soil.  On that unforgettable morning, 19 terrorist associated with the extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners enroute to San Francisco and Los Angeles from Boston, Newark, and Washington D.C. Two of the planes were flown into the towers of the World Trade Center, a third plane hit the Pentagon, and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania – this series of events changed our lives forever.

Although fifteen years have passed since that fateful day, it is important that we do not allow time and distance to cloud our memory of that tragic event. The Bakersfield Fire Department World Trade Center Memorial shall serve a reminder to future generations of what September 11th means to our Nation.

We Shall Never Forget

 

 

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Following the event, I was inspired to take some quiet time for reflection and to read poetry written after 9/11. I truly believe that words hold immense power to comfort, express, console, and heal. A collection of poems can be found here and one really caught my attention titled, Firefighter’s Prayer. It reminded me of how courageous and brave each of our men and women in all first responder roles prove themselves to be each and every day. The immense physical and mental training requires strength and dedication, but the role these individuals fulfill requires a bravery that can’t be taught.  And I am proud of the BC fire tech program.

This year’s fire season, including the recent Erskine fire, serves as a true testament of the challenges faced by our Kern County and Bakersfield fire departments. A post on BFD’s Facebook page this past Tuesday, announced that over the past 48-hour period, BFD responded to 13 fire related incidents; 145 medical/rescue emergencies, and 79 public service related calls. We are lucky to have both Fire Chief, Brian Marshall of Kern County FD and Fire Chief Doug Greener of Bakersfield FD leading our local firefighters. A shout out to both of these incredible departments for all you do!

Follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BakersfieldFire/ and https://www.facebook.com/kerncountyfire/

September 12th: College Night

Any opportunity to expose young people to the endless opportunities of higher education is one to celebrate. On Monday evening over 80 BC staff, faculty, administrators, and students represented the college at the 17th Annual Kern County College Night at the Rabobank Convention Center.  Representatives from more than 100 colleges and universities were in attendance answering questions about their campuses and providing information about admissions requirements and financial aid to high school students and parents. Approximately 1,200 students submitted an interest card requesting further information about Bakersfield College.

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Fellow KCCD Campus, Cerro Coso was also in attendance and it was fanatic to see Pam Campbell, CC’s Director, Outreach and Student Life and Lisa Stephens, CC’s Director of East Kern and Kern River Valley.

pamcampbell_lisastephensBC even had multiple groups and tables at the event. Tom Gelder and Kathy Rosellini hosted the BC Alumni table and Sue Vaughn, Gustavo Enriquez, and Mary Jo Pasek hosted the BC facilities needs booth.

Events like this reinforce what we do at Bakersfield College! Our student body continues to grow and grow each year and the need for higher education in Kern County is expanding.

Thank you Steven Watkin, Director of Outreach, and the Outreach Team (Josie, Debi, Ashlea, Chris, Manuel, Claudio) for making it happen. And a special thank you to Matt Boone of Bakersfieldnow.com for the great media coverage and video. Check out the article here! And various pictures are on our photo gallery located here! We Are BC!

Remembering Dr. Thomas Larwood

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Sonya Christian, Pauline Larwood, Tom Larwood

On Sunday, Sep 11th, afternoon, I had the opportunity to attend Dr. Thomas Larwood’s memorial. Dr. Larwood was dedicated man who led groundbreaking research to find a cure for Valley Fever and together with his wife Pauline –one of Bakersfield’s power couples – always willing to get involved, put in the work, and find solutions.

In his obituary, he was described as a devoted physician, caring deeply for a wide range of patients. It goes on to describe how as a missionary, Tom contracted polio and was inspired by his friend and partner, Dr. Hans Einstein to study Valley Fever. He was an active member in the community alongside his wife, and an active member of the East Bakersfield Rotary.

“Affectionately known as “Doctor Tom” or just plain Tom, he was a man of the people. He chose a life of service very early, active in church leadership in his teens. At 18, talking with his father, Tom worked out that he liked “science and people.” He explored pre-med. After two years, he was drafted in 1944 and became a Navy Pharmacist’s Mate. Shortly before Navy discharge, he was deeply inspired by a talk by Dr. Day at a Methodist Youth Conference meeting. Dr. Day asked “Are you going to invest your life or just spend it?” That very night he felt he had been called to develop and share this gift, and he indeed gave and gave his entire life.” Check out the full obituary by clicking here.

Choir at Tom Larwood Funeral Sep 11 2016.jpg

It was great to see fellow BC friends and family at the memorial, including Nick Strobel and Jerry Ludeke singing in the choir. I particularly liked the rendition of Amazing Grace and the Nick and Jerry section of the piece. It also spotted Trustee Kay Meek, Karen Goh and Bob Allison, and briefly connected with Steve Schilling, and John Fallgatter.  We do have a great community in Bakersfield.

The picture with Tom and Pauline was from March 31, 2016 at the Sterling Silver Dinner.

john-boydstun-sep-15-2016Remembering John Boydstun:

 

Just like on September 11th the community came out to support Tom Larwood, on September 15th, they came out to support John Boydstun.  At the football game against Riverside at Riverside, Leonard Cravens, an avid BC football fan, mentioned that he had traveled from his home in Indigo to Bakersfield just to attend Boydstun’s funeral. Becki Whitson and the BC Cheer Team were to show their respect to a longtime Renegade fan.

 

I searched my blog site for previous blogs where I mention John Boydstun and found the following:

April 23, 2016 blog: http://tinyurl.com/hfcpe8g

December 19th blog:  http://tinyurl.com/hozrypd

 

John Boydstun and BC Cheer team Aug 2016

September 15th: Renegade Football at Rotary

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Jeff Chudy, Sonya Christian, Garro Ellis at Rotary. Sep 15, 2016

It was wonderful having Coach Jeff Chudy at Rotary this Thursday, Sep 15th.  This is an annual event where coach shares the “state of Renegade Football” with the club.  He talked about a new approach he took with his student athletes by having them read together “The Training Camp” by Jon Gordon and do a book report.

 

The book is about an un-drafted rookie trying to make it in the NFL, trying to prove that a small guy with a big heart can make it.  “The life lessons in this book are invaluable in teaching our students how to become better students, better teammates and better men.”

Stig Jantz, BC’s advisor to our student athletes led a team discussion with  coaches and players and asked the hard questions of each. Relationship are being built to make us better.

Just wonderful!

The meeting as a whole was great.  Jay Rosenlieb led the song and at the cost of being fined $30 promoted Measure J among club members.

We are BC!

Follow BC Wrestling

BC Wrestling is off to a strong start. The newest blog post by Brett Clark says,

Well it was a good weekend for the guys on the mat. Bakersfield College went 3-1 this weekend with strong performances against East Los Angeles College, Victor Valley College, and Santa Ana College, the lone loss came against a very good Cerritos College Team. Top performers this weekend were Pedro Sarabia going 3-1, and Julio Fuentes who went 2-1 along with Andrew Binger going 2-1. Overall this young group has a lot of work but the future is bright for them as a team. Next home match is October 26, 2016 Wednesday night at 7pm we will be wrestling Cuesta College in a conference dual come out and support.

To stay up-to-date on BC Wrestling, follow the BC Wrestling Blog at https://bakersfieldcollegewrestling.wordpress.com/.  Well done Brett!

Generations of Leaders at BC!

Don’t you love this picture?  I do!

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SGA Prez Clayton Fowler, Dr. Nicky Damania, SGA Prez Matthew Frazer, SGA Prez Alex Dominguez

Last week, the current Bakersfield College Students Government Association (BCGSA) president, Matthew Frazer, rallied together with two former BCSGA presidents to chat over some delicious breakfast at Pappy’s Cafe down on Rosedale along with the BCSGA Advisor, Dr. Nicky Damania.

During the meal, they wished Clayton Fowler, president FY16, happy journeys as he begins a new journey at UC Davis to start this Bachelor’s degree in Political Science next week. Clayton started as an EMT student at BC, but found his passion for civic leadership through this career with BCSGA. You can follow Clayton’s blog at https://claytonjfowler.wordpress.com/

Alex Dominguez, BCSGA President FY15, is now the President of the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) at CSUB and this guy is one to watch out for as he’s already a great community leader within the city of Bakersfield.

Matthew Frazer, our current SGA prez, is putting BC on the map with all of his efforts.  I suspect 2016-2017 will be a historic year for SGA under his leadership.

Of course, these four men couldn’t help but talk about their love for Bakersfield College. Dr. Damania shared with me they were discussing and developing strategies on how to engage their peers on the need of better facilities and technologies at Bakersfield College for the years to come. Alex invited current officers to CSUB this week to chat with their ASI Officers on how the two groups would be able to educate their peers at CSUB regarding Measure J.

If you haven’t already seen, Matthew Frazer, current BCSGA Present, stars in this week’s Renegade Reveal. The Renegade Reveal is a weekly webisode published by the Office of Student Life every Monday at Noon in efforts to increase and encapsulate student life at Bakersfield College. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZXJUQqb9hk

September 14th: AACU Event

 

I was invited to speak at the AAC&U Leap State Summit this week at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I enjoy opportunities to engage in conversations about learning, quality, and equity.  And this was definitely one of those.

The AACU is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,350 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

It was a lot of fun presenting with Michael Crafton from the University System of Georgia and Joe DeFilippo from Higher Education for Virginia.  Debra Humphrey moderated the panel.  Here is an excerpt from my remarks from the section on “Learning.”  I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it the night before the presentation.

Biologically speaking, learning is making new neural pathways, physically creating new networks that make meaning, and pruning the pathways and networks that are not meaningful. As they say, neurons that “fire together wire together”. Thinking reinforces thinking. I was thinking how the academy can become distracted by the profusion of information, but not enough thinking. This is a fundamental shift in education. Our brains evolved to nurture, gather, mine, imagine, and make meaning, based on environmental clues and scant information – now we must learn to cope with and prune a flood of “information”.

That shift is visible in the transition of learning from oral tradition, to literacy, to digital literacy, to the re-merging oral digital literacy of Siri and Watson, to the promise of Kurzweil’s artificial intelligence singularity. The wonder of it all is that our brains are able to adapt to this changing landscape, that our ancient evolutionary skills to learn are up to the task.

In fact, Randy Bass and Bret Eynon in “Open and Integrative, discuss how can and must use this new digital ecosystem as a tremendous opportunity to recast, they call it “design” Liberal Education.  I was inspired by Carol Geary Snider’s comment in her Foreword to Open and Integrative: Designing Liberal Education for the new Digital Ecosystem.

“Within the digital learning ecosystem, higher education is ideally a site focused around engagement, community and mentorship, and integration, in which the disparate and “unbundled” learning opportunities endemic to our constantly networked modern life can be “rebundled” to support an integrative vision of learning.”

Thank you to Ken O’Donnell and Debra Humphrey for inviting and welcoming me.

Check out my selfie with Lynn Pascarella, President of AAC&U.

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Sonya Christian, Lynn Pascarella

Movie Night in the AM!

img_7036-x2If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’m a great fan of movies – so when I heard the film “McFarland, USA” would be shown on campus, I was immediately excited. What made this event even better was that we’d have the chance to welcome young people from rural migrant program high schools on the BC campus and into our beautiful Indoor Theater.

On Friday, September 16, approximately 300 students from the Kern High School District’s Migrant Education program gathered at Bakersfield College’s Indoor Performing Arts Theater to watch a screening of the movie McFarland, USA. Participating high schools included Arvin, Golden Valley, McFarland, Taft, Wasco, South, East, Shafter, Foothill, Mira Monte, Ridgeview, and Highland.

img_7028The film chronicles the achievements of the McFarland cross-country team in the 1980s. Led by coach Jim White, McFarland’s runners overcame tremendous obstacles in order to succeed in athletics, education, and ultimately life. The story is significant because it symbolizes the challenges faced by our rural migrant student population in Kern County and how hard work and discipline, both within and beyond the classroom, so clearly evident in the lives of the runners, can uplift entire communities.

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Kate Pluta

Bakersfield College alumni Vanessa Renteria, currently Assistant Vice Principal at McFarland High School and former employee of the BC Delano Campus, moderated the event. Following the film, a panel discussion with some of the main characters portrayed in the film, including Coach Jim White, as well as former runners Danny Diaz, David Diaz, Johnny Samaniego, Thomas Valles, and Victor Puentes addressed a variety of important issues raised in the film including the importance of perseverance and education.

Dean of Instruction Kate Pluta also honored Danny Diaz as a BC alumni and for his longtime service at the McFarland campus. Here’s an excerpt of Kate’s comments:

“Danny Diaz has been a pillar of the McFarland community for two decades. Following his achievements as a McFarland runner Danny went on to graduate Bakersfield College and work as a counselor at McFarland high school, guiding and impacting the lives of countless students.

He is incredibly humble, modest, and is committed to advancing opportunities for our rural youth, particularly those most at risk and vulnerable. Bakersfield College is proud to recognize him for his accomplishments, not only for his life story being highlighted in the movie McFarland, USA, but for his continued work for our students. Bakersfield College is proud to donate $1,000.00 to McFarland high school’s cross-country team in honor of Danny Diaz. Thank you Danny for your service in making Kern County a better place for us all.”

Following the panel discussion, the students took a brief campus tour with SGA officers, student volunteers from the Office of Student Life and the Delano Campus WECOMM club. From there, a special lunch was served by the wonderful Eric Sabella and BC Campus Food Services.

img_7057Thank you so much to Oliver Rosales, Steve Watkin, Nicky Damania, Kristen Rabe, Mary Jo Pasek, Ramon Puga, Shannon Musser, Jennifer Marden, Arisve Pimentel, Anhelica Perez, Alexa Rivera, and the many volunteers from BCSGA, Office of Student Life, and the WECOMM club who volunteered their Friday morning to spend time with these wonderful students and make them feel welcomed. A huge thank you also to the good folks over at PacWest for running our lighting and soundboard. Finally, a very special thanks to Sal Avalos and Jose Morales from the Kern High School District Migrant Education Office for co-sponsoring this event.

Thank you Oliver Rosales for leading this effort.  Thank you Kate Pluta for recognizing Danny Diaz.  And thank you Arnoldo Avalos, member of the Board of Governors, for giving me the idea.  Sorry you were not able to make it.

THANK YOU!!

You can catch more photos from this event at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/McFarland-Movie-Panel.

Fall’s First Gadfly Cafe

gadfly01.jpgBakersfield College students debated the importance and root causes of terrorism at the first Gadfly Café of the fall semester.

A discussion forum hosted three times per semester at the Levan Center for the Humanities, the Gadfly Café encourages anyone in the community to come in and offer their opinions on a different controversial social issue every month. With the presidential election around the corner in November, moderator Reggie Williams tailored this semester’s topics toward hot-button issues on the campaign trail.

gadfly03Wednesday’s topic was titled “Terrorism, Cars and Other Threats to Americans”, and Williams opened the discussion with a few statistics for context. While there are approximately 30,000 car-related deaths every year and 20 veteran suicides every day, only 58 people have been killed by terrorism in the United States since 2002, said Williams, a philosophy professor at Bakersfield College. In light of those numbers, Williams asked the group why they believe terrorism is such a crucial issue in our political discourse.

After some spirited discussion, Gadfly participants concluded that the threat of terrorism is omnipresent enough to justify spending significant time legislating to prevent it, regardless of the amount of people it actually affects. The debate then turned to distinguishing what separates terrorist attacks like September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing from hate crimes or other acts of violence. Some argued that it was religious zealotry, but a consensus formed that the defining element of terrorism is any attempt at using violence as a tool of political coercion.

While the debate might get confrontational, Gadfly Café participants are expected to be respectful, kind and avoid personal attacks. Next month’s forum on Oct. 12 is titled “Undocumented Immigrants: Boon, Bane or Political Ruse?” and the last Gadfly Café of the semester on Nov. 9 will be about “Healthcare: A Right, Privilege or Practical Necessity?”

Celebrating Dia de la Indepencia

14322243_10153973754444352_4757304245717391097_n.jpgThe Bakersfield College chapter of M.E.Ch.A celebrated Mexican Independence Day Thursday with a fleet of classic hydraulic cars parked in front of the gym.

M.E.Ch.A, a Chicano student organization founded in the 1960s, honored the Dia de Independencia by inviting the owners of a few “lowriders”, antique muscle cars modified with hydraulics that can lower the chassis all the way down to the floor or make the front end of the car bounce. BC’s M.E.Ch.A chapter also sold horchata and pan dulce at a table in front of the gym.

On September 16th, 1810, Catholic priest and revolutionary Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla uttered the famous Cry of Dolores, symbolizing the start of the Mexican War of Independence. Many Americans falsely believe that Mexican Independence Day takes place on Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

University Transfer Day

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Photo by Cara Jackson

On September  12, over 32 colleges were in attendance to meet with prospective BC transfer students.

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Photo by Cara Jackson

This gave all in attendance a chance to inform and be informed on transcripts, advice on what each college offers and other information. The event was carefully organized by the Transfer Days College Night Intersegment Coordinating Committee. The committee has created a Northern and Southern Region California Community College circuit for Universities and Colleges throughout the country, led by Mr. Michael Burton.

 

Mr. Burton then connects with all California Community College Transfer Directors in this assigned region such as Marisa Marquez, Transfer Counselor and the Center for Student Success Office Supervisor, Bernadette Martinez to further organize the event. Mary Jo Pasek, Office of Student Life Director Dr. Nicky Damania and his energetic and always professional Student Life staff are also part of this event.

The promotions are made by team effort such as creating posters, made by Dylan Wang and Mr. Steve Watkin and his hard-working office of Outreach and School Relations also contribute. Food is catered by the sensational Chef Eric Sabella and his team , and at the end of the day students have knowledge to make a great decision about transferring.

For more information see: http://www.certicc.org/transferDayscollegeNights.aspx

BC featured on CSPAN’s “Lectures in History” Program

Bakersfield College got some national attention when Dr. Oliver Rosales, Professor of History at our Delano Campus, was featured on CSPAN’s Lectures in History series on September 3.  The program visits college and university classrooms to highlight professors lecturing on topics related to their research expertise.  Oliver’s lecture focused on “Latinos and the Civil Rights Movement.”  Here’s a synopsis of his lecture from the CSPAN website:

Latinos and the Civil Rights Movement: Professor Oliver Rosales talked about Latinos, the Delano grape strike of the mid-1960s, and their place in the larger Civil Rights movement of the period. Professor Rosales shared his personal family history and other oral histories about the National Farm Workers Association, the labor union led by Ceasar Chavez and Delores Huerta which eventually became the United Farm Workers. He also described the connection between the local history of Bakersfield, California, and the national Civil Rights movement.

You can watch the program on CSPAN’s website here: https://www.c-span.org/video/?407964-1/latinos-civil-rights-movement

Congratulations to Jack Hernandez

zolbrod_4.jpgI often sign off by saying I’m the luckiest college president in the world, and a huge part of that is all due to the fantastic faculty and staff who work with me at BC. I’m proud every time I’m able to announce something and congratulate someone, but I’m even proud silently walking the halls of our facilities because our classrooms and offices are filled with faculty and staff who take their work to heart. Jack Hernandez is one of our star faculty, now retired and still contributing, who I’m proud to spotlight today.

On Friday, I was filled in via email that Jack’s paper, “Suicide: A Personal and Philosophical Reflection” has been selected for presentation at the Central Valley Philosophy Associations annual conference. I look forward to sharing the pictures and recap from the event to come in November!

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That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya 

(in my airplane travel attire heading to the AACU conference)

Welcoming our students and the community to BC

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Sonya Christian April 16, 2016

Hello from our nation’s capital.  Washington DC in the spring is the best.  The glittering Potomac, the cherry blossoms…. it appears that folks in DC are out and about and the whole world has come to visit DC all at the same time.

I was at the AACC Pathways Institute with a team from Bakersfield College.  BC was one of 30 colleges selected nationwide through a competitive process to participate in a 3-year Guided Pathways initiative.  The work is focused on getting students to, and through, college quickly while enhancing their learning through coherent and structured pathways.  The three days in DC were intense, attending institute sessions and then coming together as a team to work on our homework.  I was happy to spend an hour in the national mall and walk the pathway between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument on my way to the airport.  Just perfect.  I did read, yet again, Lincoln’s Gettysberg address inscribed on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial.  Read it in my January 30, 2016 blog at http://tinyurl.com/zhnw9fb.

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Cindy Collier, Diane Troyer, Sonya Christian, Lesley Bonds, Jennifer Johnson, Paula Parks, Eileen Pierce, Marisa Marquez

Here are some highlights from BC in the last two weeks.

Jared Diamond speaks at Bakersfield College

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Jared Diamond, Mary Jo Pasek, Jack Hernandez

On April 6th,  BC’s Indoor Theater was packed with students, faculty, staff, and community members to hear Jared Diamond give the first annual Levan Lecture, in honor of Dr. Norman Levan whose great generosity provided many scholarships for BC students, established the Levan Institute for Lifelong Learning, and created the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities, which sponsored Dr. Diamond’s talk.

The audience was enthusiastic and enthralled as Dr. Diamond’s presentation, “The World Until Yesterday: What We Can Learn from Traditional Societies”. Dr. Diamond compared modern society with traditional societies in the areas of recognizing danger, health, raising children, and solving conflict. His thoughtful and engaging talk was filled with vivid examples from his personal life and field work in New Guinea. After his talk, he answered questions from audience members and was given a standing ovation. He then signed books for the many who had brought them.

BC was fortunate to have Jared Diamond, UCLA Professor of Geography, Pulitzer Prize winner, and recipient of many awards, give the first annual Levan Lecture.  The Norman Levan Center for the Humanities intends to sponsor such outstanding speakers in this continuing series of lectures at Bakersfield College.

Thank you to Jack Hernandez and Mary Jo Pasek for helping bring this fabulous speaker to BC!

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Grand Opening In Delano

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Trustee Agbalog with the Delano group

On April 7th, the brand new Delano Center Library, Writing Center, and Tutoring Center held a grand opening on the Delano campus.  Thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Michele Bresso for attending this event.

The project began as a joint venture two years ago between the library and academic support services who shared the vision of bringing the same services available at Bakersfield College’s main campus to the Delano Center. Through careful collaboration and planning that vision has come to fruition in the form of two, redesigned and newly furnished buildings on the Delano campus.

DelanoWritingCenter2The room formerly used for tutoring has become the new Delano Library, complete with computer lab, a variety of books and materials for check out, and enough space to offer a study area for students. Elisabeth Sundby will serve as Delano’s resident 25-hours-per-week librarian, and she will be joined once a week by other visiting librarians from BC in order to extend the hours.

The spacious, 50-unit computer lab adjacent to the new Library has been transformed into a shared area that now holds the Tutoring Center and the brand new Delano Writing Center.

Located right next door to each other in rooms 1101 and 1102, the Library, Tutoring Center, and Writing Center are a welcome addition to the Delano Center, which will certainly have a positive impact on the success of rural students in northern Kern County!

Tutoring services began at the Delano Campus in September of 2006, and have been available to students since that time. In fall of 2006, Tutoring had 7 tutors who saw 18 tutees for a total of 91 hours. Currently, tutoring has grown to include as many as 35 tutors; and these tutors see, on average, 250 tutees for more than 450 hours each semester during fall and spring. Summer statistics vary depending on classes. These statistics have Delano Campus Tutoring seeing close to 15% of the campus student body.

Monica Huyck was brought on in February 2011 as the then-part-time Tutorial Coordinator. then in August of 2011 as the Tutor Trainer and full time Assistant Professor of ACDV. Monica and Michelle have worked very hard to expand tutoring while maintaining the high standards and services of the center.  Tutoring is now available for Bakersfield College courses in rural areas.

A Sweet Partnership

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Emily Aldritt and Jeff Green

In 2011, 11 year old Emily Aldritt started Em’s Treat’em Sweet. The goal was simple – to prepare, package and sell her family’s favorite holiday sweet treats (Muddy Buddies), and donate 100% of the proceeds to two local charities: The Bakersfield Homeless Center and the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault.

Jeff Green, president of the board of the Homeless Center, reached out to the Bakersfield Culinary Arts department to help Emily increase production to raise more money.

The Bakersfield College Culinary Arts department has helped Emily to extend her reach. Leah Carter and Suzanne Durst helped Emily’s team all get their California Food Handlers cards.

BC also opened up the Renegade Room kitchen to Emily & her team over 2 days in December, helping them bake and package the final product. Chef Suzanne’s culinary arts students chipped in and volunteered to help for an entire Saturday of producing and packaging the treats.

Today, the project’s outcome has grown to more than $10,500 donated for 2015, and Bakersfield College is proud of the partnership between the college and this young entrepreneur.

On April 2, Emily received a Youth Hero Award at the American Red Cross Real Heroes Award ceremony. I am so proud of this young lady, and excited that Bakersfield College has been able to assist her!  And Jeff Green, you are amazing and a great friend of Bakersfield College.

Thankyou

 

Women’s History and More

As Spring Fling Week ends here at BC, we address a very serious issue: rape on school campuses. On April 7 and 8, Professor Kimberly Chin and her students held a Dramatic Reading entitled: Violence in The Lives of Women. This black box theater presentation portrayed the heart wrenching facts about on-campus rape through numerous readings performed by Monique Hansen-Garcia, Jason Glenn, Ashley Neufeld, and Carlos Noriega; songs performed by Victoria Colley; dances by Evan Alvarado, Liz Bolton, Jason Glenn, and Daniel Ochoa; and dark comedy portrayed by Lily Phillips.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1 in 4 women experience sexual assault in college, and many do not report the assault due to fear of judgement, embarrassment, and blame. One scene performed by Carlos Noriega and Sara Alaniz, The Inner Monologue of a Rape, portrayed the mind of a female during her assault. These performances were the finale to Women’s History and More. Since the 1980s, Bakersfield College has participated in National Women’s History Month with a month-long series of programs presented by local and regional leaders among women.

I wrote about some of this year’s other Women’s History and More activities in a previous blog: https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/03/19/a-whirlwind-week-at-bakersfield-college/. For more about Women’s History and More at Bakersfield College, check out their website at http://womenshistorymonthatbc.weebly.com/

Future Renegades at BC

On April 8th, Bakersfield College welcomed over 700 prospective students to our beautiful outdoor theater on campus as we hosted an open house for the Kern High School District.

After a classic Renegade Welcome in the Outdoor Theater at 09:00 AM, these prospective BC bright minds had the opportunity to participate in engaging, extended orientation style workshops.

Financial Aid 101 teaches the basics of navigating the intense world of paying for college. Student Services Campus Tours places these students directly in the invaluable departments that will guide them to academic success. College 101 encourages these students to discover life at BC through an exciting, Jeopardy-style game show setting.

Thank you to Steve Watkin and our fabulous outreach department for putting on such a great event – and showing prospective students how wonderful it is to be a Bakersfield College Renegade!OpenHouse_3

Kern High School District Open House

This event on April 8th was followed by another event on Saturday with high school students and their parents as we selected our first cohort of students for the Renegade Promise.  It was wonderful interacting with the students and their excited families.

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Steve Watkin bragging about the 2,045 ASEPs

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Sonya Christian with Alyssa Ramos and her parents

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Sonya Christian with Janae Franklin from Independence High

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Sonya Christian with Alexandra and Andrew Apatiga 

Delano Relay for Life:

After welcoming the high school students and their parents Saturday morning, I rushed over to Delano to say hello to the Relay for Life team.  Our BCDelano Team just does an awesome job with Relay for Life.  It was great connect with Loy Salarda, Helen Calip, Jason Stratton etc.  And BC took the first place in the auto race event.

Delano Relay for Life April 9 2016.jpg

 

My dear friends and colleagues in Bakersfield and Delano, do you see why you and I love Bakersfield College? We are….BC!