Tag Archives: Jason Stratton

Remembering, Celebrating, and Planning

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, June 2, 2018 …a great day to be a Renegade.

On Monday, we spent the day reflecting on the men and women who gave their lives fighting to protect the ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that our nation was founded on. Every year on Memorial Day, we honor the US soldiers who died in military service with the greatest sacrifice an individual can make for their country. Originally known as Decoration Day, Americans started commemorating loved ones who died fighting the Civil War during the second half of the 18th Century, but it wasn’t recognized as an official holiday until a declaration by an act of Congress in 1971. It’s important to note that Memorial Day is intended to honor soldiers who have died in military service—Veterans’ Day in November honors the contributions of all current and former armed service members, while Armed Forces Day celebrated all currently-serving military personnel on May 19 this year.

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In honor of Memorial Day, Bakersfield College Veteran Services helped out this past Saturday making care packages for deployed service personnel with Good Samaritots, directed by Brooke Whitehead-Tolles.  This organization fosters compassion and social responsibility through tot-friendly community service projects.

Samaritots

Brooke reading from “H is for Honor”.

 

In this picture, we all stopped working while Brooke read to the children a book called H is for Honor.  This book explores the branches of the armed forces and speaks from the heart about the honor, privileges and sacrifices of military families everywhere.

Many of us were at the 1000 Flags event at Riverwalk.  Thank you Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary for hosting and sponsoring this event.

Sonya Christian Memorial Day May 28 2018

Sonya Christian at Thousand Flags

And here is Carlos Barbaran

 

 

And Paul Beckworth with his dogs, Toccoa and Clemson, at the very beautiful and poignant Thousand Flags at River Walk, on Memorial Day.

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Paul Beckworth at Thousand Flags

Paul Beckworth’s Message: Remember.

Paul Beckworth did some research in the archives with Jerry Ludeke and VA work-study Chris Yrena and found some incredible documents. I received an email this week where he shared them with me and included this message:

“I have put out rather intense Memorial Day messages the past few years but did not this year.  However, when I saw the World War II list of BC dead I realized I did have a rather intense Memorial Day message.

That message is:
Remember

Wow…  Let us take a moment and reflect on these handwritten lists of BC students killed or MIA in action from World War II. Paul mentioned one of them died in a POW camp after being captured and these lists may or may not be comprehensive. But regardless, these lists are very telling — they are our history.

 

SSSC31-KM-318053013280Celebrating Veterans on Campus

Paul also updated the list of faculty who have served in any branch of the military. If you are not listed here, but should be added, please contact Paul Beckworth or leave me a comment. 

United States Marine Corps

Armando Trujillo
Felix Ramirez (retired), 22 years of service
Jason Mattheus, 6 years of service
Jeremy Staat, 4 years of service
Juan Torres, 6 years of service
Luke Thomas

 

United States Navy

David Whalen, 5 years of service
Di Hoffman, 3 years of service
Diana Alcala, 6 years of service
Eddie Rangel, 3 years of service
Jahnea Palfrey, 4 years of service
Manuel Fernandez, 11 years of service
Paul Beckworth, 10 years of service
Richard McCrow, 30 years of service
Robert Torres, 4 years of service
Tony Cordova

United States Army

Charlie Fivecoat, 3 years of service
F. Javier Llamas, 8 years of service
Joe Escalante, 4 years of service
Pat Smith, 5 years of service
Patrick Coyle, 5 years of service
Patrick Fulks, 2 years of service
Rex Gonzales, 2 years of service
Richard Castallon, active

 

United States Air Force

Bernadette Martinez, 4 years of service
Christine Dunn, 3 years of service
Malissa Buggs, 21 years of service
Myron Patton, 4 years of service

United States Coast Guard

Glen Gustafson, 6 years of service
Thomas T. Rush, 4 years of service

 

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Continuing to highlight the 104th Commencement

I want to highlight each of the seven graduates who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Bakersfield College

 

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Back Row: Chancellor Tom Burke, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Trustee Kyle Carter, Trustee Bill Thomas, President Sandra Serrano, President Sonya Christian, President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, President Greg Chamberlain, President Bob Allison, Vice President Zav Dadabhoy, and Vice President Liz Rozell

Front Row: Richard Van Horne, Miguel Ceja, Kori Masilon, Griselda Flores, Dawn Mosley, Timonthy Carrillo, and Armando Gutierrez

This history setting group was part of many firsts on May 11th, you can read about in my in-depth commencement coverage in the blog piece  from Saturday, May 12th titled “A Commencement of Firsts.”

I wanted to take a time to recognize each of these incredible graduates.

Richard Van Horne

 

Miguel Ceja

 

Kori Masilon

 

Griselda Flores

 

Dawn Mosley

 

Timothy Carrillo

 

Armando Gutierrez

 

Our community will celebrate the accomplishments of these 7 graduates for many years to come as I know they will continue to give back to the communities in which they live, giving of their knowledge, skills, and talents. Congratulations to these men and women for their accomplishment. i-dssfs7p-x3

 

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Chamber Singers will perform on June 30th before heading to Australia

Let’s get together in the Indoor Theater on June 30th to bid farewell to our Chamber Singers as they start their Australian performance tour ending with the Sydney Opera House.  And I heard that both Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger will be joining the performance on June 30th.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters with Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger

BC’s Public Safety

I wanted to take a moment to recognize our Public Safety Department for all they do to keep this campus safe 24 hours a day.  Here is a comparison of Public Safety’s responsibilities in 2018 compared to 2013 given BC’s explosive growth in students across our service area.

2013 2018
Panorama Campus

 

Delano Timmons Campus

Panorama Campus
Delano Timmons Campus
Weill Institute Campus
SouthWest Campus
RFK High School Campus
Sites where BC has evening classes:
Shafter High School
Arvin High School
McFarland High School
Wasco High School
Delano High School
Olive Drive Training Facility (Bakersfield)
West Tec Campus (Shafter)

On top of patrolling the campus with a watchful eye, and escorting students, faculty and staff to their cars at night, Public Safety also hosts informational seminars about proper emergency response, rape aggression defense, and what to do in the event of an active shooter situation on campus. The next seminar is open to the public and free of charge. This 3-part RAD class (Rape Aggression Defense) will take place beginning June 1st at 8AM. If you plan to attend, please wear comfortable gym clothes and tennis shoes. This program is part of BCs Public Safety Department’s commitment to enhancing safety through education and prevention.

Our campus officers do an incredible job creating a safe and welcoming atmosphere for everyone who comes to our campus. They are visible, approachable, and helpful. If you see anything you wish to report, please do. As Chief Counts teaches us, “If you see something, say something, and let’s do something about it!”

Here is the newest group photo that shows 31 of the 50 employees within the department. Thank you – all of you, for what you do!

Public Safety Group Photo

First National Telecast of the CCCAA Track and Field Championship

A national telecast of the 2018 California Community College Athletic Association Track & Field Championships debuted on ELEVEN SPORTS USA on Wednesday evening. The 2-hour edited show from the 68th state meet at Bakersfield College is scheduled to re-air June 5th from 7:00AM – 9:00AM (P.T.).

trackThe show opens with a ceremony involving Jim Ryun that commemorates his world record 3:51.1 mile set on the Bakersfield Stadium track just over a half century ago. Featured in conjunction with that ceremony is a message from another mile world record breaker, Sebastian Coe, now the President of the International Association of Athletics Federations. He emphasized the importance of running and pointed to the twenty-four mile races which will be run in each time zone around the world on Global Running Day, June 6.

The telecast was sponsored by the California Community College Cross Country and Track Coaches Association, with underwriting by Wall2Wall Sport. It was produced by Fred Baer, College of San Mateo Sports Information Director. Host announcer was George Devine, Jr., with interviews by Gary Dilley (retired CSM athletic director) and commentary by Mark Covert (retired Antelope Valley Coach) and Baer. The edited program can be viewed, on demand, on that Silicon Valley network’s website.

This event was truly spectacular. Thank you Jim Coggins, Bill Potter, Antero and others who made it happen in beautiful Memorial Stadium! Special Thanks to Mary Jo Pasek for all her dedicated work facilitating the attendance of Jim Ryun and his wife Ann. Of course, it would not have been possible if not for the hard work from the Athletics staff and student workers! Thank you, Coach Kelley, Coach Courtney, Coach Sanchez, Keith Ford, Todd Hansen, Darrell Ballard, Fred Smith, Mike Medeiros & Tricia Gay.

Renegade Volleyball

Last Sunday, the Bakersfield Californian reported about the three student-athletes on our volleyball team who got scholarships to play at four-year universities.

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Alex Paris of BC gets the dig in the match against El Camino, photo from Felix Adamo of The Bakersfield Californian

Outside hitter Alexis Paris got accepted to play NCAA Division I volleyball for Niagara University in New York, while libero Haley Sanchez will be a Sooner for the University of Oklahoma in the NCAA’s Big 12 Conference. Middle blocker Brooke Horack also got accepted to Marymount California University in Ranchos Palos Verdes.

BC volleyball coach Carl Ferreira is quoted in the article expressing pride in his players’ accomplishments.

“These three kids are gonna walk into their schools mature, experienced and really ready to contribute because of the ability to know how to control their minds on a day-to-day basis,” Ferreira said.

The article includes two stunning photos by by Felix Adamo, one of our towns best photo journalists.

Fun Retreat Day Photos

EAC met for a special retreat day at BC SouthWest on Tuesday. The morning included many operational training activities and even time for a power walk at Riverwalk park, across the street, along with structured time for sharing and discussion. 

EODAC Retreat 2018

Academic Technology visited an Escape Room to develop team building and shared the following photo with me after their great escape! This amazing crew does so much for so many students who use academic technology for online courses.

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Tracy Lovelace, Bill Moseley, Pam Rivers, Anita Karr, and Matt Jones

Dual Enrollment Workshop

Campus came together on Thursday in Levan Center to celebrate successes so far, issues to tackle, and create a plan of action for 2018-2019.

 

Abel Guzman and Corny Rodriguez shared some data and I could not believe the growth we have had in dual and concurrent enrollment with students in High School.   We are BC!

Here is a graph that captures student enrollment divided by BC’s 10 meta major pathways.

Dual Enrollment by Metamajor Pathways May 2018.png

Check out the growth from one year to the next

Dual enrollment May 2018.jpg

And then this year we graduated the first cohort of students from Wonderful Academy with an Associates Degree at the same time they graduated from high school.  Here is the timeline:

Time line to first graduating class from Wonderful Academy.png

 

Calling all Homeschoolers!

Bakersfield College will be hosting our first ever Express Enrollment with a special homeschool/concurrent enrollment track. On June 19, starting at 8:00AM at the Panorama Campus, any high-school homeschool students who are ready to begin tackling college-level work can complete all the steps needed to become a Renegade in just one day.

Concurrent enrollment is free (not including books / materials), and allows students to complete classes for high school and college credit simultaneously, while getting a taste of what college classes are like. Interested students should bring their parents (this is required for concurrent enrollment paperwork), and plan on spending most of the day at BC. If you have any sort of transcript or record of the work you have completed, it wouldn’t hurt to bring that with you so counselors can help you choose the best classes.

The homeschool track also includes a special parent session, to help you find answers to your questions and provide you with some ways you can support your student as they begin college classes. If you would like to join us for this Homeschool Concurrent Enrollment Event, we would appreciate it if you can fill out the following form, so we know you are coming!

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Parking Lot Renovation Project is Moving Along

Bill Potter, BC’s Director of Maintenance and Operations, has told me in a recent update that the Parking Lot Renovation project is ahead of schedule. Check out this collage of photos as together, we build A Better BC!parking

Celebration at Nick Strobel’s on completing BC’s Institutional Self Evaluation for Accreditation

ISER Team at Nick Strobel's House June 2 2018.jpg

Sonya Christian, Jessica Wojtysiak (son John), Jason Stratton, Sarah Baron, Sondra Keckley, Liz Rozell, Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel and Sondra Keckley June 2 2018

The families who supported their loved ones who worked late nights to get the ISER completed.

ISER Team with their families.jpg

Loved seeing this opinion piece by Reggie Williams in Friday’s Bakersfield Californian

Reggie Williams Community Voices June 1 2018.png

Sonya Christian at 1000 Flags Riverwalk May 28 2018That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever

A thing of beauty is a joy forever

Clouds on flight from PDX to BUR Jan 6 2018

Cloud formation from the turbulent flight from PDX to BUR Jan 7 2018

Good morning Bakersfield…It is Saturday, January 13, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade!

This week, it seemed that I was able to see beauty all around me.  I have noticed that there are times that my sensitivity to all things beautiful seem more heightened.  It is during these time that I pick up my poetry book from high school at Mount Carmel Convent ….. this week I found myself reading Keats.  So my friends, here are images of beauty for you as you soak in Keats

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:

Its loveliness increases; it will never

Pass into nothingness; but still will keep

A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Pacheco Pass Jan 12 2018

San Luis Reservoir, Pacheco Pass, Jan 12 2018

 

Before Magnolia and Brazilian Pepper

An extremely active week at BC with faculty arriving back on campus for inservice activities, workshops as we gear up to welcome over 31,000 students back to our campuses in Bakersfield, in Delano, in Arvin, in Shafter, online, …… I did a bit of travelling to San Jose to attend the accreditation commission (ACCJC) meeting.

With half of the school year in our rear view mirror, all of Bakersfield College’s faculty and staff came together once again in anticipation for the next semester during our Spring 2018 Opening Day celebration Thursday at the Indoor Theater.

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One of my favorite parts of the day kicks off with seeing familiar faces during the gathering in the plaza. I was so glad to have beautiful photos this year of the activity before the program.

Great group from our Child Care Center.

Child Care gang Opening Day Jan 11 2018

Dezi Von Manos opened the program with the traditional remarks from the BCSGA President.

Dezi Von Manos Opening day

Dezi Von Manos Opening day

Opening day spotlighted our accreditation work under the leadership of Liz Rozell, dean of Instrcution, and Jason Stratton, history faculty.

Liz Rozell and Jason Stratton

Liz Rozell and Jason Stratton

After showing a brief video interviewing students and staff about accreditation and Student Learning Outcomes, Liz and Jason thanked the faculty team leads who will be putting together the materials for our four accreditation standards and the writers, editors and communication team for the Quality Focus Essay that will wrap our self-evaluation report in a neat little bow and tell the world BC’s story.

Our primary editor for this project is Dr. Nick Strobel, and he’ll be responsible for putting all of the information together into a coherent narrative. Manny produced a silly comic relief video of Nick dressed up as a monk, walking around the library while carrying large scrolls as Gregorian chants echoed through the halls.

Following Accreditation, Andrea Thorson took the stage to emphasize the importance of maintaining a singular, coherent voice about BC’s institutional philosophy when we talk to students or people in the community.

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Andrea Thorson

 

Di Hoffman and new Dean Billie Jo Rice talked about assessment and Student Learning Outcomes, using the acronym PARR (Plan, Assess, Reflect, and Refine) as a pneumonic device to outline our assessment process.

Billi Jo Rice and Di Hoffman

Billi Jo Rice and Di Hoffman

Julian West addressed the audience about how he’s able to keep 600 students in our African-American affinity group engaged and striving for their highest level of excellence, using a combination of data analysis and “real talk” face-to-face mentorship to ensure that none of our African American students are falling through the cracks. See Julians full remarks here.

Janet Fulks and our new Web Content Editor, Nicole Griffin discussed our state-of-the-Renegade Scorecard 3.0, that continues to bring our institutional data to life on the web with an unprecedented level of interactivity displaying statistics about our student population and programs of study.

Nicole Griffin and Janet Fulks

Nicole Griffin and Janet Fulks

 

I was excited to announce the planned campus renovations that are going to be made possible via Measure J, which was initially going to take place over 25 years, has now been compacted planned for a shorter time line. This means that many of you will get to see our campus transform before your eyes during your tenure at BC, and the money will be used more efficiently to avoid cost increases due to inflation.

Todd Coston

Todd Coston 

Bill Potter presented the new Facilities Master Plan to the audience at our Opening Day presentation, with a special guest for the presentation, Todd Coston dressed as a janitor showing how accreditation is a whole campus endeavor. I heard Todd even threw a mop bucket full of silver confetti into the theater.

Toward the end of the Opening Day presentation, Tina Johnson introduced the new members of the CSEA board, Isabel Stierle encouraged faculty members to welcome our new faculty members into the CCA, and Steven Holmes urged faculty and staff to be active participants in all of our various committees including Guided Pathways.

 

Sue Vaughn gave an update sharing the constant and rapid movement in the Management Association.  At one point the audience gave a standing ovation for Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg. Love this photo taken by Earl Parsons.

Audience applauding Nan Spring 2018 Opening Day

Our SGA Senators, Ashley Harp and Mustapha Burraj led the entire audience in a stretch break.

Stretch Break for Opening Day

Stretch Break for Opening Day

Reggie Williams, the recipient of the 2017 Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award, gave his thank-you speech during this semester’s Opening Day since he was out of the country during the Fall 2017 festivities. He gave special recognition to Jack Hernandez for inspiring him to learn more about philosophy during his time in one of Jack’s classes as an 18-year-old freshman at BC.

Susan Pinza announced Oliver Rosales as the winner of the Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium Award. Oliver will be delivering a presentation about multicultural civil rights activism in post-World War II Bakersfield.

Oliver Rosales standing to be recognized

Dr. Oliver Rosales standing to be recognized

Opening and Closing Days are a huge undertaking, and I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who made it possible. I’d like to thank Manny de Los Santos for his work compiling all of the videos for this event, as well as running the livestream. And special thanks to Nate from Freestyle who was our sound technician and is a BC student studying Computer Science!

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Manny De Los Santos and Nate

Thank you also to our photographers from the Marketing and Public Relations team—Earl Parsons, Eric Carillo and Dylan Wang

Dylan Wang

Dylan Wang capturing the day through the lens.

 

Thank you Eric Carillo for texting me some of the selfies and bringing me vicariously to Opening Day.  I so loved them.  Here are a few.

 

 

All of their photos for the day can be found on the BC Smugmug.

Thank you to Monika Scott, Jennifer Serratt and Lesley Bonds for coordinating and planning, and Kristin Rabe for coordinating the theater.

Jennifer Serratt, Aricia Leighton, Kristin Rabe, Monika Scott

Jennifer Serratt, Aricia Leighton, Kristin Rabe, Monika Scott

Jennifer Serratt, Lesley Bonds Jan 11 2018

Jennifer Serratt, Lesley Bonds

And Opening Day wouldn’t be the same without Francis Mayer as our emcee.

Francis Mayer

Francis Mayer, the man behind the microphone

Thank you to our Food Services crew led by Chef Eric Sabella, who put together another great breakfast and lunch.

Food Services on Opening Day

Food Services Crew with BC’s awesome Breakfast Burritos

And our interpreters Jarris Wright and Carolyn Borso and our incredible ushers were Arisve Pimentel, Bernadette Martinez, Chris Glaser, Danyel Owens, Jordaun Bennett, Lori Ortiz, Tarina Perry, and Wendy Lawson.

Ushers

Flex Week

The week before the semester begins is always exciting because Faculty come back and re-engage with the campus through flex workshops which cover an array of topics. This year workshops covered everything from eLumen Curriculum led by Jennifer Johnson, Best Practices for Online Learning by Matt Jones, and Summer Bridge by Kimberly Bligh, Erica Menchaca, Isabel Castaneda, and Teresa Mcallister among many many others. Here are some photos from Flexweek!

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See all the photos at Bakersfield College’s Smugmug.

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Erica Menchaca, Isabel Castaneda, Kimberly Bligh

Corrections to College California

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Bryan Hirayama on the left with his Distinguished Teaching Award

Corrections to College California just released a new short documentary, The Sergeant and the Professor, featuring a CDCR-College partnership. The video tells the story of Sergeant Jeff Ervin and Professor Bryan Hirayama. Sergeant Ervin has worked for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for 12 years. Two years ago, Bakersfield College began offering classes in his housing unit. Sergeant Ervin was reluctant and skeptical. Professor Hirayama was the first Bakersfield College professor to teach inside Sergeant Ervin’s facility. The two didn’t always see eye to eye, but these unlikely colleagues learned to work together to support the college students. You can find out how this program transformed Sergeant Ervin and the prison by watching the video.

See the video on Facebook by clicking here.

Visitors from Korea

BC and KCCD representatives met January 8 with a representative from a Bakersfield’s Sister City, Bucheon City to talk about a possible exchange program for students and faculty. This is the second time that BC has hosted Bucheon City visitors. They were here this summer.

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John Means, Vice Chancellor, Shohreh Rahman, Counselor International Students So-Hyun Kim, Representative Bucheon City, Republic of Korea Eun-Ja Kim Park, retired professor CSUB Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Vice President Instruction

BC Point Guard, Johnathan Murray

cropped conf champions feb 17 2016 rich hughes

Coach Hughes after winning the Conf Championship Feb 17, 2016

There was a great piece by Jon Mettus of the Californian about our record setting player Johnathan Murray as the teams ‘unsung hero.’

Mettus wrote that “Murray is the facilitator for BC’s offense and the glue that holds the team together. On a squad that features players like Jamar Hammonds, Tucker Eenigenburg and Jaylunn English, who can all go off for more than 20 points on any given night…” He goes on to credit coach, Rich Hughes with naming Murray the “unsung hero.”

Bakersfield is so proud to have Coach Rich Hughes leading the Renegade Basketball team. Have you been a game recently?  There’s a few great games left this season. Check out http://www.gogades.com/sports/mbkb/2017-18/schedule  for the schedule and follow Coach Hughes on Twitter  @coachrichhughes

To see the article by Jon Mettus visit, http://www.bakersfield.com/sports/bc-point-guard-johnathan-murray-is-the-team-s-unsung/article_9195640c-f6fb-11e7-8c83-db2b4fe11733.html

EOP&S

Starting this semester, representatives from the Department of Human Services (DHS) are holding office hours in the second floor of the CSS building to help students to assist students with children who receive financial assistance through their department.

EOPS

DHS Social Service Workers from the Employment Services division are partnering with our Extended Opportunities Programs and Services Department (EOP&S) to help BC student parents attending school while receiving cash aid benefits via CalWORKS (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids). Their offices will be located in the EOP&S area of the CSS building, and they’ll be helping provide our students educational support services, employment training and work study opportunities.

This partnership will help our BC CalWORKS program that was already being run under EOP&S integrate more efficiently with the Department of Human Services, and I’m excited for all of the potential that this partnership holds.

Accreditation and ACCJC

I always feel a little reluctant to snap pictures at the Accreditation Commission Meeting.  But here are a few after we were done with the meeting.  In the first picture you see the Chair of the Commission Raul Rodriguez who is the Chancellor of the Rancho Santiago Community College District with Mary Okada who is the president of Guam Community College and is on the ACCJC Exec Committee.  Inn the second picture, I am with Richard Mahon, who is currently a dean at Alan Hancock College.  In the last picture I am with Jared Spring, a manager at ACCJC and one of my favorite people.

Sonya Christian and Jared Spring ACCJC Jan 12 2018

Let me end with John Keats again

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever

Neo Jan 12 2018

Sonya Christian Pacheco Pass heading back home from ACCJC Meeting Jan 12 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Saying Hello to Fall 2017

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is August 19, 2017, the birthday of my grandmother, Hilda Sparrow.  And a great day to be a Renegade

I woke up to a flurry of emails early Saturday morning from BC employees supporting students.  How cool is that!  Here are two examples:

Email from Dr. Manny Mourtzanos at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning to the student

Manny Mourtzanos ConvocationGood morning, [name of student]. I was so inspired to read your message to President Christian, as well as her response this morning. I can’t think of a better way to start the day. We’re here to help. I’d love the chance to meet. Let’s make it happen early and often. I will be at the Welcome Tent by the Fine Arts building on Monday morning from 7:30 – 10:00 am. If you’re in the area during that time, please drop in. My office is located in FA-69 (Fine Arts Building). If I’m not there, someone will be able to help you schedule an appointment with me. I’d like for us to discuss your plans for law school, as well the many professional options our program can offer you. It is a unique program developed by the State Bar of California, and reserved for only a handful of colleges in California, including Bakersfield College. You’ve picked a great college to attend!
Be well,
manny

Then at 7:03 a.m. on saturday, this email from Maria Wright to the student popped into my inbox

guidedpath_mariawright

Maria Wright

Good morning [name of student],

Welcome to BC! As President Christian mentioned in her email, I am the Director of Academic  Support Services and I look forward to supporting you on your pathway to success! Please stop by to meet me next week, my office is in the Center for Student Success (CSS) building, second floor, room 184-A.

When we meet, I will give you a tour of our support services. In the meantime, I am attaching a document that will help you to identify some of the services available to you.
I look forward you to meeting you and please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns!
With Renegade pride,
Maria Wright

 I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

August 21st, first day of classes

On Monday, August 21st, the campus will be alive with students filling each hallway and classroom.  BC has been growing in enrollments over the last four years and this fall we are seeing another 6.5% growth.  So students, parking is going to be crazy the first two weeks.  I ask that you to have a friend or family member drop you off and pick you up, or car pool, or take public transportation, or bike to school.  Plan on being early.

Enrollments

Where did this summer go?  It flew by so quickly! But, here we are and fall is about to begin. It’s my favorite time of the year, gearing up to welcome students back on campus for a new academic year.

Fall 2017 Opening Day

Sonya Christian 2 Indoor Theater

Sonya Christian — 2017 State of the College

 

On Thursday, August 17th, we celebrated our Opening Day – a time where faculty and staff come together to review all we’ve accomplished and the things we look forward to accomplishing this year.  This year, the indoor theater was packed and Jennifer Marden needed to organize an overflow room.  And plz note that there are three reds in the planning team — Jennifer Marden, Monika Scott, and Kristin Rabe!

Dezi Von Manos

President Dezi Von Manos

Our morning began with a welcome by SGA President, Dezi Von Manos – a BC Communication major and a true student leader.  I will see if I can have her talk posted on my blog next week.  I promise you, you will be inspired by her and her story.

One of the highlights of the morning was Kay Meek, President of the KCCD Board of Trustees.  I heard so many positive comments from everyone on how much they appreciate Kay and how much they appreciated hearing from Kay.  Trustee Meek was very positive about the future of KCCD and talked about how much the college will benefit from Measure J. She pointedly looked at me and said she wants the Veterans Resource Center sooner than later to which the audience responded with an applause.  Thank you President Kay Meek for attending our Opening Day.  We are so fortunate to have you at the helm of KCCD.

Kay Meek on Opening Dayl

Kay Meek, President of the KCCD Board

Kay Meek with a BC hat

Kay Meek — A Renegade Fan

 

This was my fourth State of the College address as President of the college.  Here are snippets of the content of my remarks.

Let me start with our Core Valuers which permeate everything we do.  During the State of the College I had our new employees read the Core Values.  Here is Neeley Hatridge reading the core value of Diversity.

 

Neeley Hatridge reading the Diversity Core Value

Neeley Hatridge

 

Sonya Christian BC Core Values

Sonya Christian — BC Core Values

We have also been laser focused on the safety and security of our campus.  BC has a dedicated Public Safety department led by Chief Counts.  Since we are an open campus with no walls surrounding us, our Public Safety department makes sure that we go through professional development to be able to respond to all kinds of emergencies.  Our slogan is, if you see something, say something, do something.  Here is Chief Christopher Counts addressing the BC employees on Opening Day.

Chief Counts Opening Day Aug 17 2017

Chief Christopher Counts

I have been blogging about the Guided Pathways work at BC and the strategy of creating Completion Coaching Communities around the 10 metamajors.  Well, at Opening Day, we had a team from the Arts and Humanities metamajor model that their roles will be as completion coaches for the students in that group.  Each speaker was exceptionally good and I thank Grace Commiso, Manny Mourtzanos and especially Lesley Bonds in working with the group.

Grace Commiso Lesley Bonds June 23 2017

Grace Commiso, Lesley Bonds

Here are the completion coaches who spoke at Opening Day

Arts and Humanities Completion Coaching Team

Manny Mourtzanos (Dean and Administrative Lead):

Manny Mourtzanos

Dr. Manny Mourtzanos

1972….Not only the year I was born, but also the number of students in the Arts & Humanities pathway. 1,972. How can one person possibly know each of these students on a personal level enough to make a difference?

That’s why we have “Completion Coaching Communities.” By bringing together specialists and discipline experts, we can share the duty to ‘know’ our students. As the Pathway Lead, I can ‘know’ our 1,972 by reviewing data. I might not know their stories, but by working with our Data Coaches and colleagues in Institutional Effectiveness, we can identify which students could benefit from additional support, resources, information or intervention. As Pathway Lead, my ‘breadth’ of knowing students is wide, though shallow. However, discipline experts are uniquely positioned to have a shorter ‘breadth’ of students to know, but they can be known in a much ‘deeper’ and more meaningful way. For example, of our 1,972 students, 101 of them are Spanish majors. As the discipline expert for Spanish, Qiu Jimenez is poised to coordinate efforts with the other three full-time faculty in Spanish to know their students on personal level….that’s only 25 students each…a very doable mission. As the Pathway Lead, I’m committed to bringing our experts together, along with our Data Coaches, Faculty Chairs, Counselors and Ed Advisors, to identify students in need of additional support, and using our infrastructure to reach them.

You’ll hear today from my fellow Completion Coaches.  We each have different responsibilities to ensure that we know our students so that they:

  1. Complete college-level English and math in the first year,
  2. Complete 15 pathway-applicable units by the end of their first term,
  3. Complete 30 pathway-applicable units by the end of their first year, and
  4. Complete 60 pathway-applicable units in two years

With that, I invite my fellow Completion Coaches to share with you their experiences as Coaches responsible for these 1,972 students.

Eleonora Hicks (Data Coach):

Eleanora Hicks

Eleonora Hicks

My name is Eleonora Hicks.  I am a sociology professor in the Behavioral Sciences department and since I find quantitative analysis “super” exciting, I also function as a data coach and work closely with BC’s completion coaching communities within the framework of our guided pathways.

 

There are four main pillars in the guided pathways approach.  The first pillar involves not only achieving clarity but to quote President Christian, it involves achieving relentless clarity in the curricular pathways that students follow to complete their academic and career goals.

As a member of the Arts & Humanities Completion Coaching Community, I am the Data Clarifier. It’ is my responsibility to provide clarity, help my fellow coaches understand the right questions to ask, , interpret questions they’re not sure how to ask, and make meaning of the cohort reports I provide as a liaison with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

As a data coach and part of a completion community, I have specifically worked within the framework of Pillar #1 by collaborating with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness in several ways: I have helped my Completion Community see the classes in which our students are enrolled, provided feedback about the clarity with which we communicate program requirements, goals, and outcomes and am currently assessing the most common courses across programs within meta-majors, which could become an important tool in advising and course mapping.

Yvonne Armendariz (AccuSQL Lead)
Yvonne ArmendarizGood morning, my name is Yvonne Armendariz and I am the Basic Skills Program Manager. As a Completion Coach, I lead our campus efforts to utilize a tool called AccuSQL to track attendance for all student support services. So while Eleonora distributes to her Completion Coaching Community a report based on student cohort data in Banner, I can help provide you a report that shows our students’ behavior throughout the semester.

At the beginning of each semester, I will set up automated reports for each instructor to receive every Monday morning at 7 am. These reports will have detailed information regarding the students in your course that attended an academic support service the week prior. This report will include student name, ID, center where services attended, and time spent.  For weeks, 4, 8, and 12 each instructor will receive a cumulative report for all students that have attended a support service at that point. Any Completion Coach can use this information to track, in nearly live time, how engaged your students are in academic support services.

If you have any questions regarding your AccuSQL reports, please feel free to contact me or reach out anyone within the Academic Support Services Department and they will put you into contact with me. Thank you.

Jonathan Schultz (Counselor):

Jonathan Schultz

Jonathan Schultz

I am Jonathan Schultz, a Counselor and Completion Coach.  While there are many things I love about the pathway model, the group collaboration is my favorite. Having a group of people, working together is not only fun, but it really helps our students succeed and get on their path to completion. A perfect example of this is over the summer, I received an email from Helen Acosta, Department Chair of Communication, replying to a student who she met at Summer Bridge. This student had questions about what career path would be best for her. Helen, knowing the system we have in place on campus, referred her to me since I am the “Personal and Career Exploration” counselor, and we were able to help her set up an appointment to begin researching career options and begin her on a path.

 

As a Counselor focused on undecided students entering our campus, I review cohort progress data, take direct responsibility for reaching out to undecided students in groups, and work with them to move them toward a clear, attainable educational goal using various career exploration tools, working with job placement specialists, the transfer center, and my colleagues in academic support services.  I take responsibility for recognizing and intervening when I see our students are off-path to help them get back on-path by taking the right courses at the right time.  As a Completion Coach, I commit to ensuring each student I meet leaves our interaction with a clearer sense of purpose and the tools they need to navigate their pathway successfully.

Roberta Ayala (Financial Aid Tech):

Roberta Ayala

Roberta Ayala

My name is Roberta Ayala and I am a Financial Aid Technician. With nearly 80% of students being the first in their families to attend college and over 65% relying on financial aid to pursue their goals, we know that helping students start on the right path financially is critical in their success.

 

As a Completion Coach, I work to ensure our students’ success and remove any financial barriers along their path while shaping their behavior for their long-term success. I achieve this by assisting students throughout the financial aid process including completing their FAFSA, keeping open communication regarding status and requirements, and providing support throughout their journey.

More specifically, I track and provide financial aid information to my fellow coaches within the A&H pathway.  It is my personal goal to educate my fellow coaches and our students, and to provide them with the many financial resources available. With the list of the 1971 students Eleonora provides, I am able to quickly identify those students who have incomplete FAFSAs, are missing critical documents, or are in danger of losing their financial aid.  By identifying the students early, I can contact each student with a tailored message to ensure they set off on the right path financially toward their educational goals.

Paul Beckworth (Discipline Faculty, Starfish Implementation Lead):

Paul Beckworth

Paul Beckworth

My name is Paul Beckworth, and I was not born in 1972.  I’m a history faculty member and serve as BC’s lead for veterans.  While our Dean, Manny Mourtzanos, set the stage with a focus on the 1972 students in the Arts & Humanities Learning & Career Pathway, I am focused on specific, intrusive support to history majors. As a coach, I know I have a direct responsibility for knowing the 222 of History majors at BC.

Launching into a new year brings new possibilities, not just for us but for our students.   The possibility to finish strong can become a probability through vigorous course work and “intrusive caring.”  One of our primary roles as educators is to help students finish what they started.  But you might be wondering how do we, as teachers, get students to stay on the path that the awesome counselors and advisors put them on?  If a student isn’t in my class, how can I play a role in helping them finish what they started?

We know students see us more often than anyone else on campus.  They come to talk to us, sometimes about class, but often times about life.  Struggles often show up in classroom performance.  What an opportunity to keep them on their path to getting a whole team behind them, not letting them deviate from their goals!

So, beyond creating an environment in my classroom where students can learn and grow collectively as historians, I am committing to take responsibility for ensuring their success as BC Renegades.

As a member of a Completion Community, I work with my colleagues in the History department to ensure the data Eleonora provides remain a constant focus for each of us in our department meetings.  We will work together as a department to ensure our syllabi reflect our emphasis on academic support services and student engagement.

I get to say, I am a completion coaching community team member.  Listen, guided pathways is happening with us, not to us.  Our students are coming in with pre-entry attributes that we must work with.  We meet them where there are.  Where are they?  They are here!  And they are BC!

Regina Hukill (Department Chair, Math):

Regina Hukill

Regina Hukill

My name is Regina Hukill and I am the Math Department Chair and a member of the STEM Completion Coaching Community.  But today I am here as a department chair to ensure that math completion is a clear focus for everyone as we work to help students stay on path to complete college-level English and math.

 

In the past year, we have been engaged in an intensive strategy to engage every student in academic support.  Using Basic Skills funds, we developed an Extend the Classroom for Math as well as for English.  By using, Extend the Classroom to target those students taking basic skill math courses who need extra one-on-one tutoring in math and to help them complete the math they need to stay on their academic path.

We are happy to see that the Extend the Classroom for Math location has been moved from being tucked away in a corner of the Writing Center, to a more desirable location which will be in the Math Science Building.  A convenient location can really make a huge difference in the number of students we can get to participate in this program.

Our two professional math tutors, Christopher Anderson and Alana Austin will be there to help students from 7 am to 8:30 pm Monday through Thursday, and on Fridays from 8 am to noon.  Math faculty will continue to support the Extend the Classroom by providing help as well.  We have found that instructors like Josh Lewis and Donna Starr who are available in the Extend the Classroom get a good number of their students participating.  Some of my fellow math faculty coaches and I are committing to allocate points in the course that students can earn by getting tutoring outside of the classroom to emphasize our goal of math completion for all students.

 

Keri Wolf (Discipline faculty, Extend the Classroom):

Keri Wolf

Keri Wolf

My name is Keri Wolf, and I have been involved in Extend the Classroom as an English faculty member and Completion Coach to ensure college-level English completion is a clear focus for each of you.  BC has 253 English majors, but we know every single student who steps foot on campus with an AA in mind needs to complete English 1A. With our goal for students to complete college-level Math and English courses during their first year, this places English faculty in a unique position to foster a collaborative environment through classroom interactions and extending the classroom programs.

Extending the classroom provides a distraction free, collaborative learning environment. Supplemental Instruction study groups allow students to gain the support of not only an experienced peer who knows the instructor and that specific section’s material but also the support of classmates.

As a Completion Coach, I work with my colleagues in the English Department to expand our use of SI, specifically for English 53, an accelerated course to the transfer-level English 1A.  As a result, students who take English 53 their first semester and then follow it with English 1A their second semester are able to complete English in the first year.

Since English provides these foundational courses, extend the classroom exposes students early to the network of support services. And many students have credited SI as pivotal to their success.

Transfer and CTE are all pathways to a job:  The Community College Chancellor’s Office is focused on “jobs” at the email of a college degree whether it is an Associates degree or a Baccalaureate degree.  The whole Guided Pathways approach starts with the “end in mind”.  At BC, we have organized our 72 programs into 10 Metamajors and within each metamajor there are both CTE pathways and transfer pathways.  So, during the State of the College address, I invited both Janet Fulks and Cindy Collier to speak about Transfer and CTE respectively and our work for 2017-18.

After the State of the College, we heard from Chancellor Tom Burke who reviewed the Measure J plans, his goals for the next two years and his visit to the Kern Valley Prison to see students in the Japanese course do presentations.  He was clearly moved by the testimony of the students.  Thank you Chancellor for attending BC’s 2017 Opening Day!

Tom Burke 2017 Opening Day

I always look forward to hearing from the leadership of the employee groups. Bernadette Martinez with CCSEA, Isabel Stierle with CCA, Steve Holmes with Academic Senate, and Sue Vaughn on behalf of Management.

Bernadette Martinez

 

Isabel Stierle

 

Steven Holmes

 

Sue Vaughn

BC’s Academic Senate President Steven Holmes always has fun during campus wide gatherings.  He is known to be in flip flops for most of the year and at the last campus wide gathering, Debbie Rosenthal  challenged him to get a pedicure.  And here he is at the next campus wide gathering, confidently displaying his pedicured toes with dark red nail polish 🙂

Steven Holmes Nail Polish

And here he is in a video that Zav captured when Steven was removing the license plate from my Land Rover.

 

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

After we heard from the employee groups, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg introduced us to the new employees including the 55 new faculty.  Nan concluded her remarks with the quote: Only the educated are free. Powerful!

You can find all our new faculty here
https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/employees/new-academic-faculty

Stretch Breaks:

Thank you to Coach Matt Moon and Coach Zach Peters for leading us through a stretch break.  Also thank you to BC SGA leaders Dezi Von Manos and Jose Cortez.

Matt Moon and Zach Peters

 

Dezi Von Manos and Jose Cortez Lead Stretch Break

Accreditation:

We are working on our Institutional Self Evaluation report (ISER) and will have the accreditation evaluation team on campus in October 2018.  Jason Stratton, History Faculty, and Liz Rozell, Dean of Instruction, are leading this work.  They did a real nice job jeopardy-style to engage the audience.

Jason Stratton

Wondering about the two of them leading the work on BC’s Institutional Self Evaluation after I saw this photo.

Liz Rozell and Jason Stratton Chairs ISER Fall 2017

Liz Rozell, Jason Stratton — Chairs of ISER

 

The morning concluded with the Margaret Levinson Faculty Leadership Award being presented to Dr. Kimberly Bligh for all of her dedication to BC and our students. As you know, she was instrumental in the advancing and growth of Summer Bridge.

Kimberly NickellThis is how Prof. Kimberly Nickell introduced Dr. Kimberly Bligh.

I am always amazed by the leaders I get to work with on our BC campus. And as I work with these leaders, I experience their drive, vision and pursuit of excellence.  Dr. Kimberly Bligh is the epitome of this leader.

From the implementation of the CAS workshops, Summer Bridge, creating her math textbook, and directing Title V, as well as many other projects she is involved in, I have witnessed Kimberly leading the charge, and with each endeavor her drive, vision, and pursuit of excellence is apparent. Kimberly strives to elevate the BC campus, promoting student success while mentoring and inspiring others to be leaders. That is true leadership.

So please, let’s put our hands together for our 2017 Margaret Levinson Leadership award recipient, Dr. Kimberly Bligh.

Kimberly Bligh

Kim Nickell, Kimberly Bligh, Pam Boyles

Kimberly put together a tribute to those who supported her as a thank you during her acceptance speech of the Levinson award.  Here it is

The final award presented was the Norm Levan Faculty Colloquium Announcement awarded to Rafael Espericueta.

Susan Pinza

Here is the description of Rafael’s talk.

Every day you make use of software based on deep learning. You use it every time you do a Google search, or look for a movie to watch on Netflix. It’s used to enable computers (and phones) to recognize objects, understand spoken language, diagnose illness, and countless other applications.

Recently, deep learning has made profound breakthroughs that are making possible tasks that hitherto have been impossible for computers to accomplish. And the breakthroughs keep coming! Soon autonomous vehicles will be driving our roads, and human driven vehicles may well become a thing of the past. Many jobs will disappear, as machines become more capable of tasks once reserved exclusively for humans.

Deep learning will increasingly effect all of our lives, and it behooves us all to gain at least a basic understanding of this exciting new and disruptive technology.  It now seems likely that machines may soon actually attain sentience, or at least act as though they were as sentient as you or I.

The ethical ramifications of this technology are vast and will be increasingly pertinent. Our very species’ survival may well hang in the balance. But whether you are terrified at imagined dystopias this technology may engender, or excited by utopic visions of the future this technology can make possible, artificial intelligence is evolving at an exponential rate.  The day of the sentient machine is coming, whether we like it or not.  The more one knows about what’s coming, the more power one yields to help steer it in a more desirable direction.

Whatever your own field of study, deep learning will become increasingly relevant to your future. Come to Rafael’s talk to learn more about deep learning – what recent breakthroughs have been made, and what we may expect in the near (and distant) future.  Though it may sound like science fiction, this is an engineering reality right now.  Come learn what it has accomplished, as well as what it portends for our species’ future!

Friday, Nov. 3rd
Levan Center
11:30 AM (an hour later than usual)
Mathematics Department…Rafael Espericueta

Rafael Espericueta Levan Faculty Colloquim May 12 2017

 

There were three major initiatives for the year that I highlighted: (1) Completion Coaching Communities intended to create a case management approach and in this case a cohort management approach to ensure that no student goes unnoticed. (2) Measure J as we move to implementation and (3) accreditation.  The videos were produced by the very talented Manny de Los Santos using the Superhero theme.  Enjoy them!

Let me introduce you to our superheroes Todd Coston and Liz Rozell:

Let me introduce you to our Superhero Bill Potter, Director of Facilities

Let me introduce you to numerous superheros that form a completion coaching community around each student.

I can’t thank everyone involved enough for the incredible way the day turned out. It’s a group effort from various multiple departments.

The talented Manny de los Santos!

Manny extreme selfie using drone Nov 26 2015

Manny de Los Santos

ASL Interpreters

I’d like to thank Tom Moran and Brittany King, for their work interpreting during Opening Day.

Tom does so much on campus and it’s always a joy to see him. He was also a giant supporter during the Measure J campaign, and even has taught me how to sign both “Yes on J” and “We are BC!”   Thank you Tom!

Food Services at BC

MJFoodServices081817During Opening Day, Mary Jo took the time to thank our Food Services crew for all the work they do to provide food for students and catering at important events like we have on Thursday.

 

Eric Sabella and the crew worked hard to provide breakfast burritos and lunch wraps for the faculty and staff on Opening Day, then got straight to work on a beautiful barbecue chicken dinner for everybody at the New Student Convocation that evening. I’d like to thank them for their tireless work and for keeping us fueled with delicious food.

Mary Jo Pasek posted this photo on her Facebook! I can always count on MJ to have some of the best photos.

Thank Yous

I have to give special thanks also to our team of ushers:  Lori Ortiz, Savannah Andres, Roseanne Lewis, Trudi Blanco, Cecilia Lopez, Yolanda Aguilera, and Bernadette Martinez.  Thank you Chris Glaser for leading this effort.

Ushers

Video, media services, and photographers: Kristin Rabe, Kevin Ganger, Manny De Los Santos, Earl Parsons, Eric Carrillo, and John Farrand.

Content Contributors, Lesley Bonds, Grace Commiso,  Manny Mourtzanos, Eleonora Hicks, Yvonne Armendariz, Jonathan Schultz, Roberta Ayala, Paul Beckworth, Regina Hukilll, Keri Wolf, Janet Fulks, Cindy Collier, Jason Stratton, Liz Rozell, and Chris Counts.

Our fabulous emcee, Francis Mayer, and the planning team, Jennifer Serratt, Monika Scott, and Aricia Leighton.

 

New Faculty Seminar

2017-2018 New Faculty

matt JonesOn Monday, our 55 new faculty members met in the first seminar in a year-long series that will help them connect with BC resources and make the most of their time at Bakersfield College.  We are excited to welcome this new and very dynamic group of faculty to the college – the largest incoming class of new faculty in our history!

Topics ranged from how to get involved in pathways and completion communities to learning the ropes of human resources. We look forward to offering New Faculty Seminars every month for the rest of the semester.

Flex Week

BC’s fall 2017 Flex Week was a busy one, packed with almost 60 workshops, including four Opening Day breakout sessions focused on important campus initiatives. Workshops ranged from practical skills related to accessibility using Google and Grackle, to workshops designed to help faculty integrate new creative media, like PowToons—and everything in between. In addition to Flex workshops and Opening Day breakout sessions, the Pathways Institute drew a sizable crowd of completion coaches and other dedicated faculty and staff from all over BC. As of Thursday afternoon, Flex Week drew over 385 logins/sign-ins, including over 208 individual attendees. Thanks, BC!

Dr. Chike Akua

Dr cAs part of Flex Week on Wednesday, acclaimed public intellectual Dr. Chike Akua hosted workshop about how to keep students of color engaged in their academic pursuits and education as a key to fighting structural inequality.

BC was honored to host this important professional development workshop with Akua, a member of the Teacher Transformation Institute and author of books such as “Honoring our Ancestral Obligations: 7 Steps to Black Student Success”. Akua’s presentation, titled “Education for Transformation: Keys to Releasing the Genius of Black Students”, focused on concrete ways that instructors can supplement their curricula with the contributions of African-Americans and other marginalized groups that have been omitted from textbooks or otherwise edited out of the canon of human intellectual achievement.

“Who are the models of intellectual authority you’re putting before your students?” Akua asked. “Even though the population of our students has changed, in many ways, our curriculum has not.”

 

By drawing attention to marginalized innovators in math, science, art, architecture and countless other fields, it allows students within those marginalized groups to see themselves reflected in a given field of study, and Akua showed data that reflects how students that are able to relate to their study material grow more confident in their academics and matriculate more successfully through their educational pathway.

“This has become one of the critical mediating factors in my students’ success,” Akua said.

Akua also used the events in Charlottesville last weekend as a lens to guide his discussion on the role educators have in shifting the toxic perceptions about race relations in America today. When educators begin engaging students to critically examine the world around them while spreading awareness of structural inequality and social issues like the school-to-prison pipeline, Akua posits that we’ll begin seeing the national conversation about race change, and in many ways the shift has already started to happen with the work of organizations such as Black Lives Matter and the ongoing debate about law enforcement accountability in communities of color.

“Their innate sense of justice will cause students to speak out on issues,” Akua said. “Allow your students to bring their whole personality to class.”

Akua also stressed the importance of a diverse faculty in bridging the “engagement gap” in education, while showing data indicating that higher learning institutions need to do a lot better at hiring people of color. The national leader for hiring African-American faculty among major four-year state institutions is The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, whose faculty is only 6.8 percent black despite having an 11.1 percent black undergraduate population, according to the website College Factual. The state leader among four-year colleges in California is UCLA, whose black faculty only comprises 3 percent of the faculty population despite making up 4.8 percent of the student population.

“It’s important to have faculty who look like your students,” Akua said. “How can we say we’re a nation who values diversity with these numbers?”

Akua’s conversation gave our faculty a lot to think about how they might be unintentionally alienating a lot of their marginalized students while giving some good advice about how to keep those students engaged.

Welcome International Students

In addition to welcoming new faculty and staff, we have 90 students from around the world in our ISA program for Fall 2017, majoring in everything from Business Administration to Theatre Arts. There are 18 students from India, which represents 20 percent of the group. There are 15 students from Saudia Arabia and 10 from Vietnam, as well as representatives from Nigeria, China, Bangladesh, France, Ivory Coast, Australia and more for a total of 29 countries to be welcomed into the BC family.

international students

New Student Convocation

Bakersfield College welcomed its 104th class of incoming freshman to the family Thursday night at the Outdoor Theater during the New Student Convocation.

F17Convocation14

The annual event is a gathering before the start of the fall semester for new students and their families to learn about different programs on campus and what will be expected of them for the upcoming year. Todd Coston was in the audience as a parent of a young woman starting her freshman year at BC.  I snapped this picture.  See if you can spot Todd off in the distance.

Todd Coston and his daughter at convocation

Steven Holmes led BC faculty through a pledge to provide students with the support they’ll need to make it through a short but eventful school year, while SGA President Dezi von Manos led students through their pledge to rise to the occasion and perform the hard work it requires to achieve their dreams. Dr. Janet Fulks led the families, friends and supporters of the students through a pledge as well.

I grabbed these photos from Lawrence Salcido’s Facebook page.  Thank you Lawrence!

Dezi Van Manos

Sonya Christian 2 at Convocation

 

Steven Homles at Convocation

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was amazing entertainment throughout the event, with a DJ booth in front of the Outdoor Theater providing music while students visited booths for the Agriculture and Automotive programs, the Student Health Center and countless other student organizations. When students walked into the theater, they were greeted with a performance from a few students in last semester’s Commercial Music class. Jennifer Garrett led the BC choir through the national anthem, “When You Wish Upon a Star” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”,

The BC cheerleaders closed the convocation with an exciting performance.  Thank you Heather Foss for your dedication to the BC Cheer Team.  And thank you Becki Whitson for all of the years you spent with the team.  We miss you and hope to see you at the games.

 

Here is the BC Fight Song

 

Go out and Get Them

 

There’s an awesome video BC counselor Jonathan Schultz put together on YouTube speaking to student athletes about taking advantage of opportunities. Jonathan presents a very simple but true philosophy that successful people are able to do seemingly impossible things because they are willing to go lengths others aren’t to be the best.

“You have to do what others won’t if you want to have what others don’t,” Schultz said. “I never waited for an opportunity to come to me. I went out and found an opportunity.” When you’re willing to go the extra mile in your athletic, creative or cognitive development, people will recognize the work you’re putting in and opportunities to succeed will open up that you never thought possible. The greatest athletes were the ones who had the drive put in time and effort that their coworkers didn’t, transcending what people previously thought was humanly possible. “What are you doing that other people in your exact situation are not doing?” Schultz asks. “What pushes you outside of yourself? What’s your why?”

Football Practice Begins!

I loved seeing this post on Instagram. BC Football is gearing up!

Are you following BC on Instagram?! What about Facebook and Twitter?

IMG_6265

 

FCDC Summer Chair Academy

The Faculty Chairs/Directors Council met this week as well to wrap up the summer. This group of dedicated individuals discuss, review, and resolve operational issues and to provide collaborative interaction between student services and instruction in development of seamless process to meet student needs. Welcome to the new department chairs this year: Mark Osea, Counseling; Helen Acosta, Communication, and Kirk Russell, Library.

 

 

 

Eclipse Information

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel also sent an email out to various campus groups sharing some awesome details about the upcoming eclipse. He said,

“You’ve probably heard something about the upcoming eclipse of the Sun on Monday, August 21. The eclipse for us in Bakersfield will be just a partial eclipse. See the Planetarium’s homepage at www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/planetarium for the stats for Bakersfield and how to view the Sun safely.

What’s the big deal about this total solar eclipse? Here are some reasons:

  • Total solar eclipses (New Moon totally covers the Sun’s photosphere surface) are RARE and awesome!
  • First one in the lower 48 states since 1979.
  • First one to sweep across the entire country since 1918.
  • First one to be solely visible in the United States since 1776 (yes, 1776)
  • Approximately 391 million people in the U.S. will be able to see the eclipse (total or partial).
  • Literally millions of international tourists will be coming to places in the path of totality. The totality strip is just 68 miles wide.
  • The few minutes of totality are the only times we can view the Sun’s corona (outer atmosphere). The corona is about as bright as a full moon.

See https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/planetarium/bakersfield-night-sky/bakersfield-night-sky-august-19-2017 for more about this eclipse and future eclipses in the U.S.

 

 

A great story. Thank you Joe Coughlin of Coconut Joes

Joe Coughlin and Glen Campbell in 1971 form TBCWhen Joe Coughlin of Coconut Joes heard about the passing of the celebrity Glen Campbell, he picked up his guitar and strummed the Rhinestone Cowboy.

Does that get your attention…..Well, click on the link and read his August 12th Opinion piece in The Bakersfield Californian — Gentle on My Mind: My long unique connection to Glen Campbell.  http://tinyurl.com/y8bssflx.   A pretty cool story.

I never heard Gentle on my mind by Glen Campbell.  Thank you Joe for introducing me to this piece by Glen Campbell.  I enjoyed it.

 

Rosebowl Watch

Thought you would enjoy the Facebook exchange with community members about the Rosebowl watch.  I actually wore it for Opening Day.  Here is a screen capture.

Facebook post about Rosebowl Watch

So what about Neo?

At 5 1/2 months, he is 52 lbs, and teething.  Can you guess where he is in the picture below?

August 13, 2017 Neo in Sonya's Office

Neo

Being obnoxious and then sweet like an angel when he is asleep.

 

Sonya Christian 2017 Opening DayThat’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Celebrating our talented students. Commencement 2017

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, May 20, 2017…one week after graduation and a phenomenal week to be a Renegade.

Graduation 2017

BC 103 Commencement

The 2016-2017 Academic Year ended on a wonderfully high note.  There were so many important and inspiring events during the last few weeks of the semester, but everything culminated in Bakersfield Colleges 103rd Commencement Ceremony.  Here is the slideshow of images from the evening:

Bakersfield College Commencement 2017 - May 12, 2017
Bakersfield College Commencement 2017 - May 12, 2017
Bakersfield College Commencement 2017 - May 12, 2017

So proud of Somaly Boles who graduated with her associates degree.  Seriously smart, incredibly talented, a calm personality, no drama, and so beautiful.  The entire Executive Office was so excited.  Here are some photos with Somaly.

Somaly Boles and Tarina Perry May 12 2017

Somaly Boles and Tarina Perry May 12, 2017

Somaly Boles and Chris Counts May 12 2017

Somaly Boles and Chief Chris Counts

This year we thought we would try a new approach to all of the pre-commencement celebrations.  We have the Chicano-Latino, African American, Veterans, and Delano pre-commencement celebrations.  So let’s take a looks at two  of the four celebrations.  I will have the Veterans and the Delano celebrations in my next blog.

African American Pre-Commencement

Our African-American graduates were specially recognized in the Indoor Theater at the African-American Pre-Commencement Ceremony on Friday afternoon. This event started with beautiful music, as the audience sang along to James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” After the opening prayer by Pastor Prince Charles, Outreach Director Steve Watkin offered some words of encouragement, asking students to do their part to “help us continue to be proud of you.” Financial Aid Director Jennifer Achan introduced keynote speaker Brenda Lewis, assistant superintendent of instruction for the Kern High School District. Lewis told her story of growing up with 11 siblings in poverty to become one of Kern County’s first black high school administrators. She urged the students to carry themselves with honesty, integrity and ethics and to help others who struggle along the way.

“You must continue preparing to succeed,” she said. “Be the one who clears the way for others to succeed.”

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African American Pre-Commencement 2017

Graduating student speaker Sharita Knowles told a powerful story about how she went back to school after having children, worked full time at a hospital every night to support her family while she went to classes during the day, and how members of the BC family such as Janet Fulks, Steve Watkin and student peer mentors helped her get a job at the Welcome Center so that she could see her kids at night.  “I thought I had a plan,” Knowles said, “but if our plans don’t line up with God’s plan, then they’re not really plans at all.

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African American Pre-Commencement 2017

“At BC, a whole new world opened up—experiences that I’d never known I’d experience,” said Knowles, who the other students affectionately refer to as “Momma Bear”. “Coming to school here was a huge sacrifice…but it was all worth it.”

The Chicano and African-American Pre-Commencements are living demonstrations of the truism that education is the great equalizer in our society. Regardless of the racial, socioeconomic or other struggles that define your past, an education at BC offers the opportunity to overcome those obstacles and build a new legacy for yourself and your family.

Chicano Latino Pre-Commencement

The Chicano/Latino Pre-Commencement Celebration took place at the Outdoor Theater

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Chicano Latino Pre-Commencement 2017

on Friday and began with a traditional dance ceremony as family members gathered. Women dressed in ornate costumes moved in beautiful syncopation to the trance-inducing rhythm of two young boys drumming between ferns on the Outdoor Theater stage. One woman burned incense in a wooden bowl to accompany the ritual, spreading good intentions throughout the theater and invoking the spirits of the ancestors.

Victor Diaz served as master of ceremony, leading the crowd to a bilingual chant of “WE ARE BC” before introducing Dean of Instruction Cornelio Rodriguez, who’s been organizing the Chicano/Latino Pre-Commencement at BC since 1994.

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Victor Diaz, MC of the 2017 Chicano Latino Pre-Commencement

Rodriguez said how grateful he was for everyone who helped organize the event and was awestruck at how it has grown to become one of the most anticipated events of the year. As an expression of that gratitude, he presented Diaz with the sash used 24 years ago at the first Chicano/Latino celebration.

The keynote speaker for the Pre-Commencement was television journalist Christina Lopez, who spoke about her struggles as the child of farm workers who became a first-generation college graduate at the height of the economic recession, and how she overcame her obstacles to succeed a TV reporter in Bakersfield and a documentarian chronicling the life of civil rights leader Dolores Huerta. Lopez offered an important message for other first-generation graduates.

“Never lose sight of dreams that propel you to a future filled with purpose,” she said. “Don’t just dream, but dream bigger for yourself, your community and your family.”

After Lopez spoke, each student got the opportunity to take the stage and thank all of the parents, teachers, friends and family that encouraged them to get through college. On days like this, I’m so proud of all our faculty and campus leaders who change the lives of people in our community every day and create opportunities for upward mobility to our Latino community.

Remember… Somos BC!

Back to the 103rd Commencement

Here are some more photos of the incredible evening

The four readers: Prof. Jennifer Johnson, Dean Corny Rodriguez, Prof. Paul Beckworth, Prof. Cynthia Quntanilla

Thank you Trustee Kyle Carter and Trustee Romeo Agbalog for attending the 103rd commencement.  It is always a treat to have our trustees at college events.

Kyle Carter Sonya Christian Romeo Agbalog

Trustee Kyle Carter, President Sonya Christian, Trustee Romeo Agbalog

BC SGA President Matthew Frazer, thank you for a fabulous year.  I will miss you!

Matthew Frazer Sonya Christian May 12 2017

President Matthew Frazer, President Sonya Christian

The platform party for the 103rd commencement.

Standing: Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Vice President Zav Dadabhoy, SGA President Matthew Frazer, Academic Senate President Steve Holmes, Trustee Kyle Carter, Prof. Bernie Scanlon, Vice President Don Chrusciel, General Counsel Chris Hine, Prof. Paul Beckworth, Prof. Corny Rodriguez

Sitting: Vice President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, President Sonya Christian, Prof. Jennifer Johnson, Prof. Cynthia Quintanilla

Platform Party for Commencement 2017

Platform Party for the 103rd Commencement

Nicky Damania and Michelle Pena

Nicky Damania and Michelle Pena May 12 2017

Bernie Scanlon and Chris Hine

Matthew Frazer and Steven Holmes 

Full gallery of photos are available at
https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/2017-Commencement-Photos/

Commencement Day was incredible. I have a team of people to thank, especially Jennifer Marden, Tracy Hall, Kristin Rabe, Lesley Bonds, and Chris Glaser. So many roles, so many volunteers, so many names to mention. From our ushers, to Francis Mayer, our emcee to our name readers, and photographers. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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2017 Commencement BTS

The 2017 Commencement Committee included:

Karimeh Amin
Gayla Anderson
Paul Beckworth
Vanessa Bell
Ralph Burnette
Cheryl Caswell
Christopher Counts
Victor Diaz
John Farrand
Eric Garcia
Tracy Hall
Christy Haycock
Eryn Justice
Laura Lorigo
Jennifer Marden Serratt
Francis Mayer
John Menzies
Rachell Morehouse
Michelle Pena
Jack Pierce
Ramon Puga
Kristin Rabe
Corny Rodriguez
Monika Scott
Dennis Spencer
Pearl Urena
Sue Vaughn
Angelica Vasquez
Steve Watkin

More behind the scenes photos

The day before commencement with the Dream Team — Tracy Hall, Jennifer Marden, Kristin Rabe, Lesley Bonds, Chris Glaser

Commencement Prep May 11 2017

Tracy Hall, Jennifer Marden, Sonya Christian, Kristin Rabe, Lesley Bonds, Chris Glaser

On-Campus Mentorship

I received an email from Tarina Perry (and Administrative Secretary from my office), who told me about her amazing experience as a mentor to a group of students on campus:
Tarina Perry with Andres Abundis

In June 2015, I contacted Lesley [Bonds] inquiring if a classified member could be a mentor and she said she “would love to get me connected with a group of mentees”.  Well, she certainly “hooked me up”!  When she said “group”, I was not anticipating TEN (10) students!!  However, it turns out that most needed occasional directional information and only a select few fell under my wing.  Although one student is struggling, I am there to offer guidance and encouragement; another student changed her major and is moving right along.  I’m most excited to share that Andres Abundis (photo attached) was able to graduate with a major in Business Administration with his Associate in Science Degree for transfer to Cal State Long Beach with a 3.44; Dean’s list for Spring 2016/Fall 2016.

Along the way there were many times he wanted to drop a class or needed assistance with just a quick edit of an essay and I was there to lend a hand.  Together, we worked on his resume, attended BC football games, and he even went to the hockey game with my boys.  I am glad to say he is and always will be a longtime friend of the family.

Thank you Lesley for this amazing opportunity; both Andres and I have grown so much from this experience!”

Umoja End of the Year Gathering

Thank you Paula Parks for leading this work!

The event was definitely one of celebrating our students.  I was sitting next to a fabulous woman Sharon Randall, who is a community mentor for the ASTEP program.  A retired Biology teacher, Sharon was so enthusiastic about the program.

Umoja Celebration May 18 2017

The star mentor was none other than our June Charles.

This is what Kimberly Bligh tweeted

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Tyler Johnican from Umoja  is heading to China

After the Umoja program Zav, Nan and I were talking in the parking lot just telling stories about what a great year this was for BC.  And then Jackie Lau joined us and we were talking about Measure J.  Jackie was a constant at 1675 Chester Avenue the headquarters for the campaign.  Phone banking, precinct walking…..  Thank you Jackie!

Jackie Lau and Sonya Christian May 18 2017

Jackie Lau, Sonya Christian

That same evening, the evening of May 18th, there were three events happening on campus — Softball Hall of Fame dinner, the ASTEP-Umoja celebration, and the Landscape meeting.  I was rushing back to campus after briefly attending the pre-Stemposium dinner event at Luigis organized by Cheryl Scott of Kern Economic Development Corpporation (KEDC).  More on the Stemposium in next week’s blog.

Coach Christie Hill at the Softball Hall of FAme

I was so delighted to see Kanoe Bandy, Athletic Director at Taft College at the event with her husband Don Bandy who was being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Kanoe Bandy and Don Bandy May 18 2017

And in the Fireside Room Lindsay Ono was there with the Kern County California Landscape Contractors Association.  Here is a video posted on Prof. Ono’s Facbook page.  So proud of BC faculty and out curriculum.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Flindsay.ono%2Fvideos%2F1481211931918328%2F&show_text=0&width=560

Summer Institute

The last three years, BC has had a summer institute right after graduation.  The summer institute is a professional development event for faculty and staff and the focus has been on improving our student success rates as it relates to students completing a certificate or degree.

Here are some photos that Janet Fulks sent me.

Stem Metamajor

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Public Safety

Public Safety Metamajor May 17 2017

Health Sciences Metamajor

Health Science Metamajor May 17 2017.JPG

Catch all for students who are undecided

Exploratory Summer Institute May 17 2017

Education

Education Metamajor May 17 2017

Business

Business Summer Institute May 17 2017

Behavioral Science Metamajor

Behavioral Science Metamajor Summer Institute May 17 2017

Arts and Humanities

Arts and Humanities Metamajor May 17 2017.JPG

Odella Johnson’s Retirement

Hard to beleive that so many of the colleagues I started with at BC are retiring.  On Friday, May 19th, we recognized Odella Johnson at the Four Points Sheraton.  BC colleagues were there in full force in addition to the Alapha Kappa Alpha sorority group and the Links group.

BC Gang at Odella Johnson's Retirement Party

Here is Odella with her AKA sisters

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It was a treat hearing all the wonderful Odella Stories. I am here in this picture with two women who spoke at the retirement.  Rhonda Williams, President of The Links and Michelle Fambrough, President of Alpha Kappa Alpha.

Odella Johnson's Retirement Party May 19 2017

It was wonderful seeing Jackie Fisher there looking so well and so strong.

Sonya Christian and Jackie Fisher

And here I am with woman of the evening, Odella Johnson

Odella Johnson and Sonya Christian May 19 2017

Here is a 13-ish minute video of Odella on Equity TV

Celebrating Olivia Garcia

Celebrating History Professor Olivia Garcia‘s recognition as Garden Pathways’ “Women with a Heart for Bakersfield” award. Congratulations, Olivia!! Pictured here with Dean Mourtzanos and History Professors Jason Stratton, Paul Beckworth, and Matthew Garrett.

Olivia Gardia

Garden Pathways Honors History Professor Olivia Garcia with a “Women with a Heart for Bakersfield” Award

Our fabulous mayor, Karen Goh

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Garden Pathways Honors History Professor Olivia Garcia with a “Women with a Heart for Bakersfield” Award

Retired BC Professor gets Lifetime Achievement Award

Celebrating the heritage of BC is important and exciting.  I love hear about accolades given to our past teachers and staff.  This week I heard of Helen Gordon’s recognition, her are here words about her time during and after BC:

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I taught English and study skills at Bakersfield College for 21 years, retiring from the classroom in 1995.  While an English professor at BC, I also served the Bakersfield Californian editorial board as a citizen representative for one year.  Keeping in touch with BC, I received the Levan Faculty Colloquium award in 2011 for my research into Shakespeare, “Sleuthing the Shakespeare Mysteries.”

I also contributed a poem to the new journal begun by Jack Hernandez that year.

I had moved to Santa Barbara in 1995  to bring my husband (Rev. Clifton B. Gordon) for assisted living care.  To help supplement our retirement income, I took a job at UC Santa Barbara for 5 years as an editor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.  I really enjoyed helping graduate students polish their papers for publication in prestigious journals or conference proceedings.

After my husband’s death in 2004, I turned again to scholarly and creative writing. I also trademarked a word game, “Anagrabber” which I field-tested for 5 years and am now beginning to market with the help of two grownup grandsons.

I worked closely with Jerry Ludeke developing the Learning Center which now bears her name.

You can view the full press release here:
http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release-service/438151

Law Day

BC again hosted “Law Day” for pre-law students to get an idea of what they’re in for when they move on to Law School.  Most of the panelists are either judges or lawyers, but offer encouraging advice to BC students who want to explore the field.

Here is the article from The Rip about Law Day: http://www.therip.com/news/2017/05/02/bc-hosts-law-day-on-campus-for-students/

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I covered this event more in depth in my May 7th blog but when I saw the article in The Rip, I wanted to highlight it again.  Here is the link to my blog post

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/05/07/one-week-left-in-spring-2017/

How Do BC Staff Prep for Events?

On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Bakersfield College will host the second annual guided pathways summit, Leadership Matters: Reimagining Leadership to Sustain Transformative Change to Advance Student Success & Equity. When BC prepares for an event of this magnitude, we go all out.

Chris Glaser has gathered a group of ushers and event staff to help with our summit check-in and crowd control. But putting all of the pieces of an event together is an intense process!

BC Leadership Ushers

Thank you to our event ushers and event staff (from left to right) Tarina.Perry (holding a picture of Rosalee Pogue and Helen Harp), Tracy Hall (holding the event diagram breakdown), Yolanda Aguilera, Chris Glaser, Marissa Jeffers, Anita Karr, Bernadette Martinez, and Maria Diaz. All are holding out their phones showing Slack!

See that document Tracy Hall is holding? That’s a complete diagram breakdown of the crowd flow for the event check-in. Our ushers will know exactly where to be, what to say, and who to go to for help.

I was also introduced to Slack. Slack’s slogans are “where work happens” and “team communication for the 21st century” and that couldn’t be closer to the truth! It’s this neat collaboration software for your computer and mobile device and it’s been taking off with our teams!

And how is our team prepping the details for Leadership Matters? By sending ideas, comments of encouragement, files, photos, updated files, and more ideas, all within Slack. It’s very fast-paced and super engaging, but you know what? That is how BC rolls!

The Ralph Bailey Show

Mike Turnipseed asked me to sit in for him on his weekly spot on the Ralph Bailey show. We discussed the Kern Promise, Measure J, and the Industrial Automation Baccalaureate Program.  Ralph had me laughing and I had so much fun being on the show.

Thanks for the time Ralph!

Sonya Christian and Ralph Bailey Cropped May 18 2017

Sonya Christian and Ralph Bailey

From Facebook

Theresa McAllister post’s picture of Wasco High Students at Summer Bridge

Theresa McAllister's FAcebook post WAsco High Students at Summer Bridge.png

The Veeps

Thank you Vice Presidents for a fabulous 2016-2017.  I could not have done it without you!  Selfies by Zav!

Exec Team Part 2 May 16 2017

Don Chrusciel, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy

Exec Team May 16 2017

Don Chrusciel, Sonya Christian, Neo, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Zav Dadabhoy

Zav Dadabhoy Nan Gomez Sonya Christian Don Chrusciel 2017.jpg

Zav Dadabhoy, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, Don Chrusciel

Superhero behind the scenes

Blanca Blanco had the night shift on Thursday evening and we had three programs on campus.  Thank you Blanca for all that you do.