Tag Archives: Jackie Lau

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

Watching Dreams Blossom at BC!

Good morning Bakersfield.  The Renegade Red and White Roses have starting blooming in my front yard.  A lot of white and one solitary red.  Saturday, April 7, 2018…a great day to be a Renegade!

Spring flowers April 8 2018

 

Loved seeing Nick Strobel’s discussion on TESS the exoplanet satellite scheduled to be launched and its mind boggling complexity.

Bakersfield College Southwest

bcsw

Nick Strobel presenting at College Council

Nick Strobel presenting at College Council

The community has been clamoring for a BC presence in the Southwest.

On Friday, April 6th, College Council met at BC-SouthWest to explore the facility and continue building on our ideas to ramp up class availability and courses for students at this alternative location.

We had a great morning hearing updates from Nick Strobel about BC’s ISER in preparation for our accreditation visit later this year, hearing from Janet Fulks and Khushnur Dadabhoy regarding transfer pathways, and Liz Rozell and Manny Mourtzanos about the upcoming courses being offered at BC SouthWest.

Janet Fulks and Khushnur Dadabhoy presenting transfer pathways.jpg

Liz Rozell and Manny Mourtzanos presenting at BC SW.jpg

College Couoncil at BC Southwest.jpg

i-sn8nrlb-x3

Dr. Martin Luther King

This Wednesday, America commemorated the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination at a motel room in Memphis, Tennessee. Even though his life was taken at the age of 39, Dr. King’s short life spent fighting for equality in the United States was like a small candle that lit the wicks of millions, inspiring generations that came after him to continue his important work.

Events commemorating Dr. King’s assassination took place across the country on Wednesday, but the march in Memphis attracted thousands of people who marched a mile and a half in his honor. Details about all of the marches can be found in Jenny Jarvie’s article published in the Los Angeles Times.

Registration Rocks (HUGE THANK YOUS)

Registration Rocked once again, but this time at 28 of our local high schools on April 5, 2018. Roughly 3,300 fully matriculated high school seniors were invited to register in just one day.

HS board

Can you imagine the team effort it took to pull this one off?! Let me introduce you to some key people who made it happen. 

Tuesday’s training to prepare the various teams that went out to the high schools was led by Steve Watkin and Ashlea Ward. 

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On Thursday, the teams deployed to the 28 high schools charged and ready to go! Command Central was staffed with three key people to monitor all the activity and incoming needs. Thank you  Michelle Pena, Jennifer Achan, and Steve Watkin.

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Due to the high traffic, by 8:00AM the system glitched and crashed…. but our District Office IT heros, Stephen Kegley and Carl Bowman were on the ball and helped us out immediately.  Huge thank you to our partners in IT at KCCD. Zav even called this the Registration War Room. 

Stephen Kegley and Carl Bowman

Stephen Kegley and Carl Bowman show the server activity on Thursday morning.

At Stockdale High, we were led by our fearless leaders Jonathan Schultz and Josie Gullian. For me, it was a rewarding experience to sit with incoming students and help them firsthand, pick and register for their very first college classes. And while I was assisting students, almost every one of them registered for 15+ units in Fall!

RR at Stockdale HS

The two pictures above are with Scott Odlin principal of Stockdale High School.  He was so proud of his students.  Thank you Scott for letting us work with the Stockdale students.

All of this could not be possible without our superstars at BC, doing what they do each and every day to serve our students and help them on the path to success.

Thank you to our counseling department and the incredible counselors who worked very hard to pull this off.

Barbara Braid for leading group ASEP workshops and triage throughout the week

Jonathan Schultz for leading Stockdale high school outreach and then turning around the next day to meet with more high school students in group appointments

Marisa Marquez for mapping all of the transfer pathways at the institutional level while meeting with students individually

Keri Kennedy for accepting, reviewing, and supporting Kern Promise students in between individual student meetings.  Leading multiple measures 4.0 application

Laurel Mourtzanos for leading an analysis of high demand courses based on student ed plans to help us be strategic in course offerings

Jo Ann Acosta who returned from surgery to process paper problems for students

Julian West and Jonathan Ward for leading African American Mentor Program Open House and getting more high school seniors registered into Umoja and a full load of courses

Victor Diaz, our academic senate Vice President, who is full of life and always brings a positive energy to the center

Shohreh Rahman who leads the international student program, providing a safe home for our students who often travel to Bakersfield without a full support system

Fabiola Johnson who oversees our at-risk and probation work to ensure one bad semester doesn’t take a student off path entirely

Sarah Villasenor who works with our students of concern team and leads communication to keep students on their path

Mark Osea, the fearless department chair who has taken on tech projects, works on the curriculum committee, and collaborates with other departments across campus

New counselors experiencing their first big spring semester registration push and hanging with us like champs: Brynn Schock, Steve Agard, Aneesha Awrey, and Dinorah Castro.

Countless educational advisors for meeting with drop-in students back-to-back: Abe Castillo, Jeff LaForce, Pearl Urena, Josh Shackelford, and others

The outreach ed advisors for leading high school outreach: Manuel, Josie, Pedro, and Debi

EOPS, DSPS, CTE, Title V, Financial Aid, veterans, and athletics counselors and advisors embedded in the departments providing direction and guidance: Angelica, Cynthia, Manuel, Cathy, Jeff, Vanessa, Pam, Dominica, stig, Evette, Lucy, Venessa, Isabel, Diane, and Armando

Our CSUB Transfer counselors who have office hours on campus: Natasha and Alicia

Our Delano counselors and advisors who ensure rural students have the information they need: Jesus, Veronica, Jessica, Jesse, and Elvira

The front desk staff and students for quickly processing check-ins, answering calls: Bernadette Martinez, Luz Mendoza, and Jahnea Palfrey

Guided Pathways in action

Eryn Justice and Jackie Lau gave a well prepared and thoughtful presentation to the Delano Counselors on Concurrent and Dual enrollment as well.

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Jackie Lau and Eryn Justice

Jackie Lau, you are a rock star.  I remember being so inspired by your passion and tireless energy as you volunteered countless hours to Measure J.  Thank you!

THANK YOU TO ALL Bakersfield College experts, including staff, administrators, counselors, advisors, student workers, and everyone who was either assigned to be at a high school, or assisted students with registration this week.

High school staff and students showed a great amount of gratitude for our efforts in continuing to make their transition toward becoming a Renegade a smooth one.

What we do is support our students and what that means is life changing.  This is guided pathways in action.  Thank you!

We are BC!

BC Enrollment Banner (4)And the Registration Rocks started with a massive banner for enrollment hanging off the Center for Student Success! What an exciting time to be at BC!

Shout out to the Renegades who helped pull this massive endeavor off.

Thank you to Dylan Wang, our Graphic Designer and the M&O Team including Corey Garcia, Tim Hernandez, Mitchell Barter, Aaron Kidwell, and Landon Webb.

Open registration begins April 18th.

Photographed below is Dylan Wang and the M&O Staff with the banner!

BC Hackathon

Bakersfield College is gearing up for the second annual Hackathon.  The theme for this year’s Hackathon is Health and Social Justice. Kern County struggles with many public health challenges and health inequities. Community experts will present in various panel formats and workshops on the following topics: air quality, access to quality health care, food insecurity, human trafficking, and public health outreach. Eric Ruiz, a team member from Google who hails from Modesto, will participate and discuss technology and empowerment. Bakersfield Californian investigative reporter Harold Piece will be presenting on how to use research and infographics to educate the public.

Harold Pierce and Trustee Carter

Harold Pierce and Trustee Carter

Much thanks to Harold Pierce also for doing an overview of the event. Check it out here.  Also thanks to Channel 23 Alexa Reye who did a great preview piece click here to see overview.

The agenda and more information can be found at www.bcinnovates.com.  On this website, you can check out a short video, view the rules, FAQs and register.  The Hackathon is for everyone! All academic disciplines are welcome.  Make sure to register online! The first 50 registered participants will get a free T-shirt. Note that the event has a waiting list and plans to accommodate everyone by filling up the slots of those who do not show up. Needless to say, it is a popular event! Voted BCSGA Event of the Year in 2017.

Mataalofa Hubbard with Channel 23 News with Alexa Reye

Mataalofa Hubbard being interviewed by Alexa Reye

The event is being organized by a team of two BCSGA Student Clubs, Student Health Wellness Advisory Committee Club president Mataalofa Hubbard, and STEM Club, president Andrea Lopez with faculty members Sarah Baron, Public Health Science; Eddie Rangel, Computer Science and Oliver Rosales, History and Coordinator, Social Justice Institute Coordinator, as well as, support from Yadira Guerrero, Engineering Program Manager and Career Technology Education too. Thanks also to Elisabeth Sundby and Allison Burch, Librarians from Digital Delano, who created the digital resource, libguide, which is packed with resources by topic areas. A great tool for students, educators and community members. It takes a team effort with strong community support.  We truly appreciate our community partners, volunteers and sponsors who made this possible. See the full list of community sponsors and more at www.bcinnovates.com

Sponsors for Hackathon

Last years Hackathon tshirts

Delano Community Alliance Breakfast

On Tuesday, April 3rd, Bakersfield College-Delano Campus hosted the Delano Community Alliance monthly breakfast. Over 30 guests representing various school districts, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and private businesses were in attendance. Bakersfield College provided a delicious traditional Mexican breakfast for the guests. As the host organization, we had the opportunity to update the group on what is happening at the college.

2018 Delano Community Alliance Breakfast (4)

I began the presentation by thanking the various school partners in attendance for their support, including DJUHSD Superintendent Terri Nuckols and the entire room for supporting Measure J. In doing so, these people helped to ensure that the community of Delano would be better served by BC and I concluded by discussing new programs coming to Delano.

Romeo Agbalog

Romeo Agbalog

KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog also shared words of appreciation for the group. He noted that as a Delano native he is happy to see all of the great things happening in education for the community’s youth. He made sure to give longtime Delano Campus admissions and records technician, Helen Calip, a shout out. He stated that he was her biggest fan.

Abel Guzman proceeded to inform the group about the enrollment growth at BC Delano in recent years. Additionally, he provided data showing that BC Delano students are just as successful, if not more successful, than all students college wide.

Helen Calip and Trustee Agbalog

Helen Calip and Trustee Agbalog

Delano Enrollment Growth

Bill Potter concluded the presentation by unveiling the upcoming Measure J construction projects on the BC Delano Campus. The group was excited to learn about the upcoming Learning Resource Center.

The Delano Community Alliance group is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving needy families in Delano. Bakersfield College is always happy to host the breakfast.

2018 Delano Community Alliance Breakfast (7)

Thank you to the Delano Community Alliance, especially Steven Kinsey, Rosalina Rivera, Linda Hinojosa, Sheryl Alexander, Dorsey Driggs, Maribel Reyna, Matthew Cauthron, Abel Guzman, Dr. Terri Nuckols, and Dave Stebbins.

Terri Nuckol and Liz Rozell

Dr. Terri Nuckols and VP Liz Rozell

Liz Gustavo and Bill

Liz Rozell, Gustavo Enriquez, BIll Potter

endee-and-bill.jpg

Endee Grijalva and Bill Potter

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Abel Guzman and Scott Spielman, BC supporter

Was happy to see Scott Spielman at the meeting.  Scott is on BC’s Pre Law Advisory committee and has done numerous presentations at the college.

Special Recognition for BC Programs

Career Technical Education (CTE) Vision Board

Career Technical Education (CTE) Vision Board

BC received special recognition of career education programs with outstanding workforce outcomes. Thank you to Van Ton-Quinlivan, Executive Vice Chancellor, Workforce and Digital Futures.

Multiple programs at BC have been named as Strong Workforce Stars because they have outstanding post-college outcomes in employment, earnings gains, and regional living wages, based on Strong Workforce Program LaunchBoard data. Several programs have earned the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Stars recognition because graduates attained one or more of the following thresholds for economic mobility:

  • An increase in earnings by 50% or more
  • Attainment of the regional living wage by 70% or more
  • 90% or more are employed in a job similar to their field of study

Congratulations to all who contribute to student success in the following programs!

BRONZE STARS (attained threshold outcomes on one metric)

  • Automotive Technology: 113% increase in earnings
  • Animal Science: 111% increase in earnings
  • Plant Science: 90% increase in earnings
  • Agriculture Business, Sales and Service: 90% increase in earnings
  • Forestry: 101% increase in earnings
  • Architecture and Architectural Technology: 245% increase in earnings
  • Administration of Justice: 81% increase in earnings
  • Corrections: 73% of students attained the regional living wage
  • Fire Technology: 78% of students attained the regional living wage
  • Culinary Arts: 163% increase in earnings
  • Human Services: 404% increase in earnings

SILVER STARS (attained threshold outcomes on two metrics)

  • Vocational Nursing: 113% increase in earnings and 67% of students attained the regional living wage
  • Electrician Apprenticeship: 59% increase in earnings and 83% of students attained the regional living wage
  • Industrial Technology: Electronics: 76% of students attained the regional living wage and 100%of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study

GOLD STARS (attained threshold outcomes on all three metrics)

  • Radiologic Technology: 329% increase in earnings, 100% of students attained the regional livingwage and 100% of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study
  • Registered Nursing: 226% increase in earnings, 87% of students attained the regional living wage and 97% of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study

One of our data coaches Elisabeth Sundby created the following bar graph to compare the threshold to achieve this award and BC’s actual performance.

Goldstar Programs

Data Coaching

Data Coach's MeetingBC’s completion coaching teams serve students through “high touch” (emails, phone calls, texts, group meetings, faculty classroom announcements) within the Learning and Career Pathways, sometimes called meta-majors. This high touch, proactive coaching of students is dependent upon high tech information to determine WHICH students need WHAT information WHEN. Each completion coaching team has a specified data coach, that may be a faculty, classified or management volunteer, who is trained in getting the information to the completion coaching teams. Data coaches fulfill several functions within the completion coaching communities.  The Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) provides live, regularly updated data based upon a wide array of variables and demographics, heretofore unavailable simply because their weren’t enough researchers for all the reporting necessary. BC currently has 31 data coaches that receive data training, including FERPA certification, and have a certain knack with data but also have day jobs that intersect closely with students every day.

The data coaches job is actually three-fold. First, the data coach serves as a “data clarifier.”  It is the data coach’s responsibility to help their fellow team members understand the right questions to ask, interpret questions they’re not sure how to ask, and make meaning of data.  Second, the data coach serves as a liaison with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness. The data coach communicates and submits data requests to the OIE about the completion coaching community’s information needs, which are developed and fine-tuned in meetings with the rest of the completion team.  Third, the data coach may serve as a “reconnaissance unit.”  In other words, the data coach retrieves information about student populations, which activates the other completion coaches with targeted and individualized communication to students in need of particular messaging. Much of this work is aligned to the communication plan that helps keep students on track and on target to complete their educational goals with regards to expectations, deadlines and other important information.

Data Coaches

The picture shows a data coach meeting where data is being filtered, retrieved and delivered to the completion coaching communities so that we can reach out to students registering beginning April 4. The message reminds them to register, focusing on core classes, in a timely manner while classes are available. The data and the communication helps the institution get the right students, in the right classes, at the right time. High tech guiding and facilitating, high touch!

Bakersfield Life Celebrating BC Faculty

Josh Ottum and Omar March 10 2016

Professor Josh Ottum with a BC Student

Professor Josh Ottum was profiled by Jennifer Olague in Bakersfield Life Magazine last Saturday, talking about his career as a songwriter and creating the Commercial Music program at BC.

After years spent touring across the US and Europe as a musician and having his music featured on television programs such as “Mad Men”, Josh decided to become a music professor and bring out his students’ full musical potential with classes on recording techniques, live performance and songwriting at BC.

I’d like to thank the Californian for profiling Josh and the Commercial Music program, and I’d like to thank Josh for teaching valuable skills to our local musicians.

BC SGA event

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Cynthia Zimmer

Kern County prosecutor Cynthia Zimmer had lunch with BC students on Wednesday and discussed why she wants be the next person in charge of the District Attorney’s office.
BCSGA’s Office of Legislative Affairs hosted Zimmer as part of its Power Lunch series, which has featured prominent local politicians such as Jean Fuller, Vince Fong and KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog.

Zimmer grew up in Coalinga and was the first person in her family of four to graduate college. She credits her time at West Hills Community College as foundational to the rest of her career, which involved graduating from Cal State Bakersfield and Loyola Marymount Law School.

Students at the Power Lunch

Celebrating Renegade Athletics

CCCAA Spring Convention Awards

Last week was an exciting time in Renegade sports as two of our student athletes received awards from the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA). March 27-30th, the CCCAA held their Spring Convention in Concord, CA. They awarded Jasmit Thind with a position on the 2017 Men’s Honor Roll and awarded Aisha Maston with induction into the CCCAA Hall of Fame for Track & Field.

The CCCAA is authorized by State Legislature to establish rules and regulations to administer the athletic activities of CA community college athletics for nearly 25,000 men and women student athletes. Bakersfield College athletics are governed by CCCAA and is one of 18 members of the Western State Conference. You can learn all about Renegade Athletics at gogades.com.

image1I’d like to introduce you to Jasmit Thind. He was placed on the 2017 Men’s Scholar Athlete Honor Roll. CCCAA selects the winners and honor roll members from nominations made by CA Community Colleges. Candidates must have a minimum 3.5 GPA, participate in two seasons of sport at the college, and show outstanding leadership as an athlete, student or in college and/or community activities.

Jasmit, is a two year member of the BC football team with a cumulative 3.95 GPA. He is the Bakersfield College Men’s Athletic Scholar Athlete in 2017, as well as being selected to the California Community College Football Coaches Association All State team. Stig Jantz, Athletic Educational Advisor, accepted the award on his behalf. Congratulations Jasmit! I’m proud to call you a Renegade. See the CCCAA Scholar Athletes.

IMG_0181Now I’d like to introduce you to Aisha Maston, Bakersfield College Track & Field Alumna from ’96-97. Aisha was inducted into the CCCAA Hall of Fame Class of 2018. Aisha led the Renegades to the 1997 women’s track and field championship, holds four BC stadium records and still holds the CCCAA state championship record for most individual points. After Bakersfield College, Aisha earned a scholarship and transferred to the University of Nebraska where she studied and received her baccalaureate degree in psychology.

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Coach Pam Kelley was present for Aisha’s induction, along with her very proud family. Congratulations Aisha!You can read the announcement for the 2018 CCCAA Hall of Fame or see CCCAA Hall of Fame class of 2018.

Renegade Basketball Academy

Girls_BasketballBasketball coach, Paula Dahl enthusiastically shared that the Basketball Academy is starting this weekend for youth aged 10-18.

Various weekends have different areas of focus.

  • April 7- Footwork, agility, balance, creating a quick shot, increase your shooting percentage and post work
  • April 14 – Ball handling, passing, rebounding, seeing the floor and creating on offense
  • April 21 – Defense, defending one-on-one, taking charges, understanding help defense and dealing with screens
  • April 27  the complete game, mental, physical, goal setting, team defense and offense

To register, please email coach Paula at pdahl@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

Loved this video that Coach Dahl posted on Facebook

Parent Institute for Quality Education

The Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) invited Bakersfield College to come speak to their participants at Arvin High School on April 5th. PIQE is a program dedicated to providing families the knowledge and skills to partner with schools and communities to ensure their children achieve their full potential. The parents take part in a nine-week long course that covers topics ranging from four systems of higher education, financial aid, and engaging with high school staff and administrators.

PIQE

Gustavo Enriquez, Jesse Oropeza, and Abel Guzman had the opportunity to speak with the parents for over an hour about all things Bakersfield College related and more. Parents learned about dual and concurrent enrollment opportunities. More importantly they learned that their students can get a head start towards attaining a college education. All three BC representatives shared their own personal journeys as first-generation college students, which resonated with the parents whose children are also all first-generation students.

We’re always happy to connect with students and parents in the community of Arvin!

Renegades Keeping Busy this Summer!

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I love when I hear student success stories and when faculty share their excitement with me. Congratulations to Martha D. who was accepted to The University of Virginia to do freshwater research this summer. This program is through the National Science Foundation and will last 11 weeks.  We have a fabulous science faculty.  #WeAreBC

Jimmy Santiago Baca

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Vidal Herrera (left) and Jimmy Santiago Baca answer questions in the Levan Center.

The Levan Center kicked off April’s National Poetry Month with a presentation by Jimmy Santiago Baca, who told the story of how he overcame being abandoned by his parents at the age of two and teaching himself to read and write in prison on the path to becoming one of America’s most celebrated Chicano poets.

Baca, who grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, won the National Book Award for poetry in 1987 for his semi-autobiographical anthology “Martin & Meditations on the South Valley”. He also wrote the screenplay for the 1993 film “Blood In, Blood Out” starring Benjamin Bratt and featuring performances by Billy Bob Thornton and Danny Trejo.
Baca continues to be inspired by the struggles of other Chicanos and Mexican-Americans in his writing. Baca recited one of his poems about a hate crime he witnessed against a Mexican in his neighborhood, and he told the story of how he was able to keep a family from being deported on a train he was taking to Los Angeles for a film production by calling Michael Eisner, Disney’s CEO at the time, and putting him on the phone with immigration authorities.

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Baca also invited Vidal Herrera, the subject of an upcoming book he’s writing, to talk about being one of the first Chicano forensic crime scene investigators in America, getting famous from designing the iconic “Welcome to East Los Angeles” poster, and reconnecting with his father after 60 years to put together the missing puzzle pieces of his family’s history.

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Baca has 28 books in 31 languages, and he believes that all of them are still in print because he strives to portray the authentic experiences of real people through his writing. “My love for you is why I’m still here,” Baca said.

See all the photos at BC’s SmugMug.

“Lady Leaders” program by faculty of WHAM

Activist women from across the political spectrum came together at the Levan Center on Thursday night to talk about how they work every day to create the change they’d like to see in the world. This event was the last thing planned for BC’s Women’s History Month programming organized by Roza Garza, Olivia Garcia and the Women’s History and More (WHAM) committee. BC history professor Erin Miller moderated the event, which featured a short presentation by each of the three speakers and a question-and-answer portion from the audience.

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Cathy Abernathy

Cathy Abernathy has worked on Republican election campaigns for over 30 years, starting with the congressional office of Gerald Ford, who was the Speaker of the House before becoming president after Richard Nixon’s resignation. She was the Chief of Staff for Bill Thomas during his time in Congress, and she’s worked on several Republican political campaigns in the California legislature. Aberathy, who is now a frequent political commentator for several local news stations, found working on election campaigns to be the most rewarding part of her career.
“In politics, you really know whether or not you accomplished something by the end of the campaign,” she said.

i-r27jc9h-x2Jessica Flores started volunteering for non-profit causes at a young age, and as she learned more about the struggles that women, people of color and other marginalized groups face in the United States and around the world, she felt a calling to dedicate her life to raising awareness of those struggles. As a progressive political activist, Flores often feels daunted by the magnitude of work that needs to be done in order to enact change, she continues to organize and participate in marches, write letters to politicians and do anything in her power to raise awareness of the issues important to her. “Whatever small way you can contribute, do so, because the revolution needs you,” Flores said.

i-jr9zvtn-x2Kimberly Kirchmer grew up in a religious household and attended a Mennonite college in the Midwest, where she was inspired by the compassion of pacifist Christians to pursue a life of advocating for women’s rights causes. A survivor of sexual assault, Kirchmer organized several local productions of the Vagina Monologues in Bakersfield shortly after moving her 13 years ago. She is also President of the Democratic Women of Kern and organized the 2018 Kern County Women’s March, which brought together over 5,000 people and 50 speakers to march for equality.  Kirchmer offered a similar message to Flores, pleading for those who want to make an impact on the world around them to go ahead and do it.

Special thank you to the WHAM committee for organizing this event and all of the Women’s History Month programming and thank you to our guests for taking the time to inspire our students.

Andrew Kamiti

Andrew Kamiti shares his artistic processThanks to the generous support of the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities, anthropology professor Krista Moreland was able to bring renown Kenyan artist Andrew Kamiti to Bakersfield College’s Indoor Theater on April 5th.

She’s hoping to bring more guest speakers to campus in the future, making BC a local and global nexus. Andrew paints and draws Kenya’s flora and fauna, using art to bring awareness to these beautiful and endangered plants and animals. BC students and members of the community  came out to see this self-taught artist, and it was a wonderful night! Before the presentation, the Spanish club and their advisor Prof. Martiza  Salgueiro-Carlisle hosted a pizza party for Andrew.

Andrew and BC student Myshjuan Williams

Andrew Kamiti and Renegade, Myshjuan Williams

This cultural exchange was a great experiences for BC students,  who shared American and Mexican culture with Andrew, and asked him questions about the tribes and cultures of Kenya. There was a lot of laughing, lot of eating, and a lot of about family, school, food, and travel.  The BC students who wish to visit Africa had lots of questions for Andrew.  BC faculty were also at this multicultural event, including Sarah Palasch, David Neville, and Gilbert Ayuk. It’s great to see students and faculty together outside of the classroom!

Andrew Kamiti Spanish club

In his presentation Andrew transported the audience to Kenya through images, videos, and personal stories. His passion for Kenya’s wildlife could be seen in his art and heard in his voice as he shared stories about his homeland. He knows his art subjects so well, like Judy the Chimp and Imani the cheetah. His favorites is Scarface the lion, who he feels  represents the spirit of Kenya as he experienced many hardships before finding peace within the pride he shares with his brother Earless. One of Andrew’s favorites things about Kenya today is that it’s such a peaceful place to live, the hardships endured before Kenya’s independence are now a faded memory. He couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. He shared the beauty of Kenya through discussing the National Parks he regularly visits, and his current goal of drawing all the big cats at Maasai Mara National Park.

The audience learned about the natural wonders of Kenya, and by the end everyone was discussing which was their favorite animal. Andrew also discussed his artistic process, highlighted with slides that showed photographs of animals along with the stages of the drawings of those animals.  The audience was able to see how fragile Kenya’s beauty is when Andrew shared photos of Sudan, the last male Northern white rhino, whose recent passing marks the end of his species. It was an entertaining and enlightening presentation that ended with many interesting questions from the audience on the technical aspects of his work, including what media and paper he uses, how he photographs dangerous animals, how he chooses his subjects, and which animals are the most difficult to draw.

The best question of the night came from Prof. David Neville’s young daughter (and aspiring artist), who asked ‘How do you feel when you’re drawing?’ Andrew gave a big smile as he answered, ‘Happy. I feel happy when I draw’.

Here is a photo of them. Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

Andrew Kamiti and David Neville's daughter

David Neville’s daughter and Andrew Kamiti

Renegade Art Show

Art Professor, Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio and his students hold an art show each spring. This beautiful display is put on by the drawing and advanced drawing classes in front of the Fine Arts building. Enjoy these beautiful pictures.  

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Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

 

Fun Photos

On Thursday, Sue Vaughn was spotted in the Welcome Center assisting students with registering for classes. #WeareBC!

Sue Vaughn in the Welcome Center

Sue Vaughn in the Welcome Center

I also snapped this photo of the Executive Office Staff. These women are smart, hard working, and so beautiful.

BC's Executive Office Staff Somaly, Tarina, Jennifer, June and Wendy

BC’s Executive Office Staff Somaly, Tarina, Jennifer, June and Wendy

Attended the KCCD Leadership Academy graduation on Friday before I rushed off the Delano.  Here is the group picture of the graduates thanks to John Hart and then I snapped this picture of Genevieve Graber who makes all this happen.

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Genevieve Graber April 6 2018

Liz Rozell and I had a great time making plans for an Early College Program with DJUHSD Superintendent Terri Nuckols.  The energy on the room was great even though it was Friday afternoon after a long week.  I snapped this picture.

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Renegade Pantry

ABC23 spotlighted the Renegade Pantry this week, a student assistance program that exists to help maintain the health and welfare of students through organized college, community sponsorship, and donations of nonperishable food, clothing and hygiene items. Special thank you to Tori Cooper for visiting campus to see what we do firsthand.

View the clip here:  https://www.turnto23.com/news/local-news/kern-county-institutions-help-battle-food-insecurity 

Renegade Talks are back

See you at the Indoor Theater on March 10th.  Thank you Andrea Thorson and Todd Coston.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2142196916023725/

 

April 7 2018 Sonya Christian and Neo

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Busy Between Semesters at BC!

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

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

Congratulations to our 26th graduating class of Paramedics!

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

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

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Dean Rich McCrow, Director Tim Capehart with the graduating class

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

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

 

CTE Partnership with FIELD

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

Nora Dominguez, Sonya Christian, Stephen Schoonmaker, Jenny Zorn

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

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

Speaking at FIELD

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

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

Thank you David Villarino for your leadership in pulling together this consortium of colleges and universities. You have been always been committed to providing opportunity and family-wage jobs for the most underserved populations.

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

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

Clergy Breakfast

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

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Steve Watkin and Julian West

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

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Bre Parks

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

 

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

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Monthly Administrative Council

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

 

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Chelsea sharing the Inmate Scholars Program update

 

 

Stanford University Visit

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

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

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

Stanford School of Law

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

IMG_1333 (003)Industrial Automation Advisory Committee

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

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

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

Industrial Automation Dec 8 2017 Advisory Committee Meeting

 

Industrial Automation Advisory Committee Meeting

Advisory Committee meeting Industrial Automation Dec 8 2017

Office of Institutional Effectiveness

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

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

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

After the Escape Room

Em’s Sweet Treats

Em and Chef Suzanne

Em and Chef Suzanne

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

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

 

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Maintenance and Operations

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

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

Emails Worth Sharing

Olivia and Sonya

Olivia Garcia and Sonya Christian

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At the Basketball Game on Dec 9, 2017

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Denise Canning and Todd Hansen at the game

It was wonderful getting to meet our new custodian Felipe Carrillo

Felipe Carrillo Custodian Dec 9 2017

Our fabulous Cheer Team coach Heather Foss

Heather Foss Dec 9 2017

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

Stig Jantz with students Dec 9 2017

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

Sandi Taylor and Sonya Christian Dec 9 2017 Basketball

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

Suzanne Galindo

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

From Social Media

Memories on Facebook

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

Thank you Jackie Lau for flagging this for me!

Holiday Potlucks on Campus

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

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Chamber Singers strike again

Received this video from my friend Arlene Braganza with a note

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

Caley Mayhall, April Gregerson, and Markelle Taylor.

And then there is Neo, Dec 2017

Dec 13 2017 Neo.jpeg

Neo Dec 14 2017

Sonya Christian Dec 11 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; Faith is the courage to dance to it today.

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, Sep 24, 2016, my mom’s birthday and a fabulous day to be a Renegade.  

September is also the month of the Kern County Fair.  For more information check out http://www.kerncountyfair.com/.  Thank you David Torris for helping us secure a table for Measure J at the fair.

Here are some photos from Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 at the fair.

Day 1: Thank you Paul Beckworth for taking the lead to staff Day 1, September 21, 2016 with volunteers. I was so excited to see Mallory Moran at the fair with her dad Tom Moran and her brother Donovan Moran.  This family is beloved to Bakersfield College.  Friends, many of you along with me have been following Mallory’s precious life story.  Tom and Israel have set up with a Mallory Miracles page.  Check it out http://tinyurl.com/hb6dsgg

 

Thank you Paul Beckworth, Sandi Beckworth, Matt Garrett, and Zav Dadabhoy for being the first team to get this started.

Day 2, Sep 22, 2016: Zav Dadabhoy was the lead.

kc-fair-day-2-sep-22-2016-group

Here are the volunteers who staffed measure J on Day 2 — Steve Watkin and Kim Watkin, Michele Pena and her son, Jackie Lau and her son, Peggy Gonzales, Grace Commiso, Terri Goldstein, and of course Zav Dadabhoy.  Thank you all!

Day 3, Friday, Sep 23, 2016

Jerry Ludeke took the lead on the morning shift from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Jennifer Marden took the lead for the afternoon shift from 3:00 to 11:00.  Thank you Bob Allison, Liz Keranen, Heidi Allison.  Thank you Faith Counts (Chief Count’s daughter), Becky Dargatz, Cynthia Munoz, Steve Waller, and Jennifer Marden.

group-that-closed-at-11-pm-kc-fair-sep-23-2016

Steve Waller, Sonya Christian, Vickie Edden, Sandi Taylor, Tom Gelder

Here are the volunteers who staffed Measure J on Day 3 — Zav Dadabhoy, Jerry Ludeke, June Charles, Prince Charles, Steve Watkin, Kim Watkin, Tracy Hall, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Jim Heitzeberg, Jennifer Marden, Cynthis Munoz, Becky Dargatz, Chris Counts, Faith Counts, Reese Weltman and his wife, Steve Waller, Manny Mourtzanos, Sandi Taylor, Vickie Edden, and Tom Gelder.  Thank you all!  Thank you Jay Rosenlieb, who was staffing the Boy Scouts booth for coming over and helping the Measure J table.

One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern

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onebook-1This week, Bakersfield College and the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities presented an academic discussion panel entitled “Water Use, Challenges, and Solutions in Kern County” as part of the “One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern” program. The panel was composed of Dr. Joe Saldivar, Professor and Chair of the Biology Department at Bakersfield College, Laraine Rosema, BC’s Writing Center Department Liaison, and Jeffrey Eagan, a former BC student who is the current Writing Center & Tutor Coordinator at CSU-Bakersfield. The night was organized and moderated by Jessica Wojtysiak, Associate Professor of Academic Development at BC.

The seats inside the Levan Center were packed as Dr. Joe Saldivar presented first. He invited six year old daughter of BC Student Alma Cortez to join him in a colorful experiment. By blowing through a straw, they were able to send carbon dioxide into the beaker, changing the liquid from pink to clear. Dr. Saldivar then discussed the importance of innovation in solving our water crisis.

onebook-5

Laraine Rosema, the next speaker, discussed water regulation and use restrictions. She concluded her presentation by telling the audience members how they could learn about restrictions and how to apply them to their own homes. Next up, Jeffrey Eagan explored how literature serves to illuminate the challenging relationship between humanity and water. Following these fabulous speakers, guests participated in a lively Q&A session with the panel. And finally, three BC students won a free copy of The Big Thirst: Enrique, and Alma Cortez.

The One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern project encourages the entire community to share experiences related to a single book through discussions, educational programming, and entertainment. The read is meant to pull a community together, cross cultural divides, and enhance understanding of our diversity, all while supporting literacy. First organized as a grass roots effort by Jillian Stump-Fritch, an elementary school teacher, she was inspired to support a community reading program after reading about similar projects with large cities like Chicago and Seattle.

onebook-2This year’s One Book selection is The Big Thirst by Charles Fishman. Published in 2011, the book seeks to challenge our too often casual relationship with water.  For the past 100 years, the developed world has enjoyed a cheap, safe, and abundant water supply, but The Big Thirst warns that everything about water is going to change – how we use it, how we share it, and how we value it.

This is certainly a timely selection for Bakersfield – In 2014, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported “An average of nearly 90% of Bakersfield, California, has been in a state of exceptional drought over the first seven months of 2014, more than any other large city.” In 2016, Governor Brown relaxed water use restrictions, but water availability continues to be a significant concern, particularly for those working in agriculture. For those interested, the One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern program will end this year with a visit by Charles Fishman to CSU-Bakersfield on October 27th, 2016 for a visit and book signing.

Kern Ag Foundation

kern-ag-foundation-sep-21-2016

Chris McCraw, Sonya Christian, JP Lake, Greg Cluff, Bill Barnes

I cherish any opportunity to be involved with organizations that prioritize education and advancement within our region. This week, I presented about Measure J with JP Lake at the Kern Agriculture Foundation. The Kern Ag Foundation was founded in 1986 as a non-profit organization by leaders in agriculture centered business and education to serve as an industry advisory committee. The Foundation assists with agriculture curriculum development, as well as soliciting and distributing funds and specialized assets to promote agricultural education, training, student activities, and scholarships. For a list of scholarships, visit kernagfoundation.com/scholarships.htm.

Special thank you to the Board of Directors: Doug Starr, President; Peter Belluomini, VP; Jared Britschgi, Secretary; Joel Bock, Treasurer; Bianca Ramirez; Roger Riley; Dr. Aaron Hegde; Ralph Mendes; and Lindsey Ono.  We received the unanimous endorsement of the Kern Ag Foundation for Measure J.  THANK YOU!

BC’s Ag faculty are the best! Bill Kelly, Lindsey Ono, Billy Barnes, Greg Cluff, Chris McCraw.  Thank you.

And a very special thank you to my co-presenter, JP Lake. It is always a joy working with him – his undeniable enthusiasm for education, the community of Bakersfield, and BC continues to inspire and amaze me. JP is also one of the many who have given their support and endorsement of Measure J. To learn more about what JP is doing in the community or about his business, Rain for Rent, check out http://jplake.com/ and http://www.rainforrent.com/.

Chamber Singers and their fabulous Director

The BC Chamber Singers men performed for 800 high school and junior high boys at Real Men Sing this morning at Harvey Auditorium.

I found this on Jen Garrett’s Facebook page.  Just loved it.  Enjoy:

The district brings together the men and they work with a guest conductor each year. This year their guest conductor is Travis Rogers. We had the opportunity to start off their day. Some of our men also spoke about what singing in choir means to them and about people that have mentored them. I appreciated that our men donated their time to such a good cause.

chamber-singers-with-jen-garrett-sep-2016

chamber-singers-sep-2016

Gloria Urner

sonya-christian-gloria-urner-sep-22-2016I was at the Double Tree hotel heading in to do a presentation to the Hispanic Chamber and a woman stopped by to share with me that we, at BC are solving the world’s problems. We stuck up a lovely, but short conversation and it turns out that she is Gloria Urner, a retired PIO of KCCD who worked alongside Ed Simonsen when he was the Chancellor.

Thank you Gloria for the kind words, and THANK YOU Jay Tamsi and the Hispanic Chamber for your endorsement of Measure J! And thank you Jay Rosenlieb for co-presenting with me.  What an incredible afternoon!

Earlier in June, I made my first presentation to the Hispanic Chamber and this is included in my June 19th blog.  Check it out

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/06/19/we-are-bakersfield-and-we-are-bc/

Bakersfield Malayalee Association Onam Celebration

 

The Bakersfield Malayalee Association (BAMA) is a local Kerala based cultural association and a wonderful warm and friendly group that provides opportunities for our local Malayalees within the Bakersfield area to gather, communicate, interact, and celebrate with one another. It has grown incredibly over the past 20 years, as our city has flourished.

Onam was celebrated on September 13th and this special Harvest Festival is celebrated by the people of Kerala. The day, based on the Solar Calendar, is an ancient festival that still survives in modern times. It is one of the rarest festivals that is celebrated by a complete state, irrespective of religion, class, or creed. Wikipedia notes that

Kerala’s rice harvest festival and the Festival of Rain Flowers, which fall in the month of Chingam, celebrates the Asura King Mahabali’s annual visit from Patala (the underworld). Onam is unique since Mahabali (locally known as Maveli) has been revered by the people of Kerala. The King is so much attached to his kingdom that it is believed that he comes annually from the nether world to see his people living happily. It is in honour of King Mahabali that Onam is celebrated.

At our local celebration hosted by Bakersfield’s Malayalee Association, we shared traditional foods, dancing, and entertainment.  Bill Thomas was there to promote Measure J with this community.   Thank you to Congressman Bill Thomas, Zav Dadabhoy, and Kushnur Dadabhoy for attending this unique, special, and festive evening.  And thank you Shirley, President of BAMA for the invitation.

Prison University Project received the National Humanities Medal

On Thursday morning, President Obama awarded the 2015 National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal to distinguished recipients in the East Room of the White House. Jody Lewen, who is a strong advocate for the BC inmate education program, was on hand in person to accept the award presented to the Prison University Project by President Barack Obama. Jody previously sent an email recognizing this award includes everyone involved with this and similar efforts.

She said, “This award honors the extraordinary work of PUP faculty, students, friends, donors, staff, and everyone else who has worked tirelessly to make our work possible.  It also recognizes the entire community of people working throughout the country, to advance the cause of higher education in prison.  We are grateful for all of you.”

Check out these pictures, and for a video of President Obama’s comments, check out https://www.whitehouse.gov/live/president-obama-awards-2015-national-medals-arts-and-humanities

Congratulations to The Prison University Project! BC is proud to have such wonderful partners in education. We are grateful for you.

And thank you Rich McCrow, Brian Hirayama and others for your work on this!

Local Treasure: Coconut Joes

jemail-and-sonya-at-coconut-joes-sep-23-2016

Sonya Christian, Jermale Turner at Coconut Joes

So, on friday, I had lunch at Coconut Joes for the very first time.  Just a wonderful place.  Beach setting and great music.  I found myself humming to the various tunes.  I also enjoyed talked to the owner Joseph (Joe) Coughlin the owner of the restaurant who was having a great time doing what it takes to make his customers happy.  Greeting them on one hand and then wiping down tables on the other.  He is a community volunteer who works with Dr. Paula Parks on the ASTEP program at BC.  He spoke passionately about how they were trying to get bus passes for students who could not afford them.

I was so delighted when he took me to the office at the back and introduced me to a BC student Jermale Turner who works at Coconut Joes.  Here is a selfie with Jermale.

I love seeing the entrepreneurial spirit alive and well in Bakersfield.  And I love seeing how much our community cares about Bakersfield College.  Of course, Joe Coughlin promptly endorsed Measure J and the list of endorsees is above 400 and growing everyday.  #WeAreBC and #WeAreBakersfield.

For more on Coconut Joes check out: http://www.coconutjoes.com/home

BC Athletics this week:

Women’s soccer led by Coach Scott Dameron moves to 4-2-2 with a 3-1 road win over Glendale College.  Odalys Espinoza scored her 5th goal over the last three matches. Next match at home Tuesday Sept. 27th v. West LA.

Led by Alyssa Morales, BC women finished first at the BC invitational held at Kern County Soccer Park. You can catch more action on Friday September 30th when Coach Kelley and her teams compete in the Western State Conference prelims also held at the soccer park.

sep-2016Wrestling led by Coach Clark & Coach Austin had a good showing at the Mt. SAC Duals beating Santa Ana and Sierra College before dropping their last of match of the day to Palomar College.  Sophomore wrestler Andrew Binger from North High was the male athlete of the week on the Renegade Report this week for his strong performances this past week.

Coach Carl Ferreira with the road warrior Women’s Volleyball 7-7 are steadily making progress while competing with the best teams in Southern California. Let’s welcome them home on Friday September 30th when they take on Moorpark College.

September 30th will be a busy day in BC Athletics hosting Cross Country Prelims, Women’s Volleyball and Womens’ Soccer.  Come join us in supporting these tremendous student athletes.  Be sure to check out www.gogades.com for updates.

Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; Faith is the courage to dance to it today.

I came across a posting on Facebook by  BC Astronomy professor Nick Strobel, who said, “Sign in men’s restroom at a Thai food restaurant in Grants Pass, Oregon: ‘Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; Faith is the courage to dance to it today.’ The food was good too.”

The quote stood out to me and I was intrigued to check it out more and to find out its author. A few websites credited it to Peter Kuzmic, a Croatian pastor who tweeted the statement on his Twitter accountothers cited no author. Whoever the author may be has inspired me to be brave and seize the day. Today, let’s dance!

sonya-christian-ona-sep-17-2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — the luckiest and happiest College President ever.

(dressed for the Onam celebration with the Bakersfield Malayalee Association)