Tag Archives: Jay Tamsi

Bakersfield College – Bakersfield’s Disneyland

I woke up on Monday, March 22, to this headline in The Bakersfield Californian, written by its executive editor, Christine L. Peterson:

Christine L. Peterson

‘Today is a victory’: BC hosts first mass drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Kern

“They’re not celebrating at Disneyland quite yet, but you might have thought those at Bakersfield College on Sunday had already arrived at the happiest place on earth.

Cars and trucks lined up to make their way into the parking lot abutting University Avenue for a poke in the arm in the form of one of 1,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses.


The event was dubbed the first mass drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Kern County, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who wasn’t smiling.”

Beautiful writing….. beautiful words…..

We kicked off the clinic with a press conference with some wonderful speakers:

Norma Rojas-Mora, BC Director of Communication and Community Relations:

Assemblyman Rudy Salas:

KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog:

Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez:

David Torres, Centric Health Foundation Chairman:

Imelda Ceja-Butkiewicz, President of the Kern Inyo Mono Central Labor Council:

Jay Tamsi, Co-founder of Kern County Latino COVID-19 Task Force:

Joseph Lopez, on behalf of State Senator Melissa Hurtado:

The entire day had an air of celebration and collaboration as so many different people and groups worked together to get 1,000 vaccine shots-in-arms for the clinic. It is amazing what we can accomplish when we all work together toward a common goal.

Check out more photos from our first mass drive through clinic on BC’s SmugMug website.

And be sure to check the BC Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic web page for information about future clinics!

I also wanted to share a few of the vaccination photos I’ve received this week.

Our KCCD Chancellor, Tom Burke:

Chancellor Tom Burke

Trustee Kyle Carter, who was vaccinated by Miss Yen from the BC Nursing Program:

Astronomy Professor Nick Strobel:

History Professor Olivia Garcia:

Instructional Technology Instructor Alex Rockey & Biology Professor William Rockey:

If you have a photo of your COVID-19 vaccination, please send it to president@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

And be sure to check out our gallery of vaccinations.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 27, 2021, my dad’s b’day … a great day to be a Renegade.

Paul Christian, Sonya Christian

Photos & Poetry

This week, a friend sent me this amazing photo…the heavens have opened:

Arvin, CA

I thought of this photo – these gray skies broken up by a few rays of radiant sunshine – when I read this poem that Jack Hernandez sent to me:

Exit Road

The little yellow flowers
along the freeway exit road
smile as I wait for the light
to give me permission to go.

Some sunless days though,
eager winds sowing dust,
they stay tightly closed,
I drive on unsure and cold.

Another friend of mine, who lost her partner, shared this poem from Khalil Gibran:

Fear

It is said that before entering the sea
a river trembles with fear.

She looks back at the path she has traveled,
from the peaks of the mountains,
the long winding road crossing forests and villages.

And in front of her,
she sees an ocean so vast,
that to enter
there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.

But there is no other way.
The river can not go back.

Nobody can go back.
To go back is impossible in existence.

The river needs to take the risk
of entering the ocean
because only then will fear disappear,
because that’s where the river will know
it’s not about disappearing into the ocean,
but of becoming the ocean.

Magnificent sunset photos at BC taken by Janet Tarjan on March 25th

Morning walk celebration of dad’s birthday.

Jess Nieto Conference

The 3rd Annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference was held this past week. Professor Jess Nieto established the Chicano Studies program and Chicano Cultural Center at Bakersfield College. He was an entrepreneur, civil rights activist, educational leader and mentor to countless students. 

The conference this year included a wonderful mix of education, entertainment and celebration. Contributions from student organizations, professors, community leaders and partners make this a truly special event. Panels include “Unraveling Latina Stereotypes: Latinas Unidas in Conversation”, “Celebrating the Legacy of Cesar Chavez, the Farmworker Movement, and the Ongoing Work of the UFW and Cesar Chavez Foundation” and many more.

Check out this video from Abel Guzman, Executive Director of Rural Initiatives, which was part of the opening day programming:

You can see all the Opening Day programming in a YouTube playlist.

A Conversation with Dolores Huerta

On Thursday, the Jones Art Gallery exhibit Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields / Revolución en los Campos officially kicked off with a Conversation with Dolores Huerta.

Dolores Huerta spoke via Zoom with Dr. Taína Caragol, Curator of Latino Art & History at the Smithsonian Institution. The event was co-sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the Dolores Huerta Foundation, the Wylie and May Louise Jones Art Gallery at Bakersfield College, and the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities at Bakersfield College.

Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields / Revolución en los Campos is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. See the virtual tour and get more information at the Jones Art Gallery.

Measure J – Thank You Nicole!

I love this photo of Nicole Parra and her dog, Bailey, sitting in front of our first Measure J Project – the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center.

Thank you, Nicole, for managing our Measure J campaign. We could not have done it without you, and I’m so glad you were able to enjoy the fruits of your labor 5 years later!

Dual Enroll

Gone are the days of receiving thousands of paper application submissions! We are excited to announce the launch of our new online program, dualenroll.com, that has replaced the paper form submissions for Dual Enrollment and Concurrent Enrollment. Students from all high schools can now use Dual Enroll to register for Summer 2021 and Fall 2021. This transition will streamline services for students and will make these opportunities more accessible in distance and online learning environments.

Dual Enroll is a win-win! Check it out at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/earlycollege/how-to-enroll.

In the News

Community Voices: Building a peaceful future

Kara McDonald, program manager for Student Success & Equity, wrote this piece about the importance of embracing peace instead of conflict – and highlighting the new Peace Initiative that Bakersfield College will be embarking on over the next 18 months.

“This initiative includes the Peace Garden that will soon begin construction on BC’s campus, as well as a series of projects done in partnership with other community groups working toward peace. Finally, the Peace Initiative includes a seminar series designed to engage small groups of women, veterans, educators and police in conversations about what peace looks like here in Kern County and how we build it.”

On Tuesday, we will kick off the Peace Initiative with the first installment of the Peace Initiative Seminar Series, “Mothers for Peace.” For more information, or to register for the Zoom event, visit the Bakersfield College website.

Community Voices: Our lives, our stories

Jack Hernandez, retired director of the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities, wrote a piece about how our lives live on in the stories, minds and memories of those who know us.

“But we all have an afterlife on this earth. An afterlife of our stories remembered by those who have known us for many years. Many live on in my mind: the stories of dad working two jobs to send me to college, of mom sending me off every morning to school, filled with breakfast and secure in her love. My Bakersfield College students, friends and colleagues during my many years here after I drove to Bakersfield from Detroit, not knowing what to expect when I came down Edison Highway in my own “Grapes of Wrath.””

Bakersfield College Ranks 3rd in State

Check out this video & article on KGET – BC ranks 3rd in degrees awarded among California Hispanic serving institutions!

“Bakersfield College said in recent years they have worked on improving student outcomes, reducing achievement gaps and increasing access for students using a Guided Pathways approach. Since BC first started its Guided Pathways program in 2014, the college has seen growth and improvement across multiple student success metrics.”

Spotted on Social Media

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh shared this post about our vaccination clinic:

Bill Moseley shared his delicious weekend plans:

Jessica Wojtysiak also had a delicious night, courtesy of BC’s culinary arts students:

And Kristin Rabe shared the daisies outside her porch:

Athletics

Alyson Dees Named CCCWVCA State Player of the Week

Women’s Volleyball are undefeated thus far in the abbreviated Spring I season and to top it off, sophomore Alyson Dees was named the California Community College Women’s Volleyball Coaches Association (CCCWVCA) State Player of the Week for her performance against Cerro Coso the week prior. Alyson embodies the spirit of the team and as her coach Carl Ferreira said “one of the most amazing things about Aly is how much selfless energy she gives to her teammates. If that’s not enough, she’s an even better person.” Congrats Alyson!

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

That’s all for now.
Until next time.

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

Finding our path to peace

The west coast has endured another week of catastrophic wildfires, which have burned more than 3 million acres of land across California this year. For another week, we are waking to reports of loss of life, damages to businesses and family homes, and harmful air quality that continues to force us indoors.

I saw this satellite photo showing the extent of the smoke, which has even extended across the rest of the United States and extending into Europe:

During these times, I think of our firefighters who are in the depths of the inferno ….. let’s pause for a moment in prayer to keep them safe. Across the state, many of those firefighters learned the skills they needed to protect our communities here at BC, through our Fire Technology program.

At Bakersfield College, our Fire Technology faculty are dedicated to protecting life, property and the environment by providing our students the high qualify education in fire science. If you’re interested in saving California’s beautiful forests and parks out on the front lines, we have a Wildland Firefighting Associate of Science degree, which prepares Renegades for a career with a state or federal wildland firefighting agency. At BC, we’re also proud to train our Bakersfield City firefighters through our Fire Fighter I Academy and Chief Fire Officer and Company Officer program.

This year’s wildfire season has highlighted the need for more trained fire professionals in California, so please recommend our Fire Technology program to anyone you think might be a good fit. For more information, check out the BC Fire Technology website.

Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I was also heartbroken last night to read about the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at 87.

Justice Ginsburg has been a strong voice for women and equality since she was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993.

There will never be another Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But there will be many more women who will follow in her footsteps and continue the path she began, and change the world.

As we continue to navigate these difficult times, I wanted to share this beautiful poem from my dear friend Jack Hernandez, about the pain we all are facing and the opportunity we have to find and share our own empathy and compassion for one another:

A Time by Jack Hernandez

A time when
smoke mutes
the sun
fires blacken
the forest skin
political rage
burns compassion.

A time when
the heart opens
to refugees from pain
bears the scars
of those severed
from homes
of those struck
by love’s loss
of the stranger
waiting to enter.

A time of burning
A time of sowing
new seeds daring
all to care
as one.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, September 19, 2020…a great day to be a Renegade.

BC Offers Free COVID Testing

From an email from Cindy Collier:

In our continued efforts to help support the health and safety of our community, BC is proud to announce that we will be hosting a Free Mobile COVID-19 testing site on campus on September 22, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the parking lot on the corner of Haley and University.

Through our partnership with the Kern County Hispanic Chamber and Kern County Public Health, BC will be hosting the Federally provided Mobile Testing Site which will provide FREE COVID-19 testing for anyone wishing to be tested. Thank you Jay Tamsi!

Jay Tamsi and Sonya Christian

This walk-up clinic will be using the less invasive “Self-swab” test. Pre-registration is required, please register at https://doineedacovid19test.com, but the Mobile Testing unit can accept a limited amount of walk-up participants. Once registered, participants need to bring the appointment voucher with reference number to the appointment.

Thank you Norma Rojas-Mora. Thank you Cindy Collier.

Please help me share this information with students, staff, friends and family. See attached flyers for more information.

Rural HEAL webinar Sep 22nd 1:00 p.m.

You don’t want to miss this webinar on Tuesday, Sep 22nd from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Even if you have just 30 minutes during this time block, go ahead and register here https://cccconfer.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4bhHSE-OQiO_uvKOt1a0GA. You should be able to get at least one presentation.

International Peace Day

From Krista Moreland.

Now that we are actively working on the Peace Garden Project at BC, International Peace Day seems to hold greater significance.  Peace is something we need to work towards, it will not happen unless we make it happen. And we make peace happen by practicing compassion, kindness, and tolerance. In the spirit of our Peace Garden Project, I would like to share a little about Peace Day with everyone, and I hope it helps bring you a little peace during these tumultuous times.

Monday, September 21st the U.N. International Day of Peace will be observed around the world. This Peace Day was established unanimously by the U.N. in 1981 as a 24hr period for humanity to come together and commit to peace and compassion. Each year on this day, “The United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.”   This year is also the 20th anniversary the U.N. Resolution of the Program of Action on a Culture of Peace.

This year’s theme for the International Day of Peace is “Shaping Peace Together”, encouraging everyone to practice compassion and kindness and stand together in the face of hardship. The U.N. Secretary-General has “called on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and focus on the battle against this unprecedented global pandemic” as we come together for this global day of peace. The theme of Peace Day fits with the U.N.’s year of ‘listening and learning’, marked by the largest global conversation on fostering peace and prosperity.

Campus Visit

This week, I was able to visit the campus with Bill Potter and Jennifer Marden. I enjoyed being able to connect in person with my colleagues, while keeping our social distance.

The construction work is continuing on campus, and I can not wait until we are able to share the updates with our entire Renegade family, and our Bakersfield community.

KHSD Early College Pathways Program Kicks Off

Our BC Counselor, Jesus Oropeza, guides his 9th grade STDV B6 students through his syllabus on Canvas during their first virtual class meeting.

This week, 354 students from Kern High School District attended their first course from our new KHSD Early College Pathways program. About one third of these students are incoming 9th grade students who are beginning a pathway that will lead to the completion of one of the following associate degrees: Industrial Automation AS, Psychology AA-T, Administration of Justice AS-T, and Public Health AS-T. The rest of the students are 10th, 11th and 12th grade students who are getting a head start on their college education and will graduate from high school with between 9 and 45 college credits. 

The students in these pathways will follow strategically designed educational plans to complete two BC courses in the evenings each term at either KHSD’s new CTEC facility or at our BC Southwest Center.

Psychology adjunct, Tamarah Tallman, welcomes her 10th grade students taking PSYC B1A this Fall with great excitement that they have chosen the Psychology pathway.

Early College continues to be our strategy for getting our students on the correct pathway and for creating a pipeline that will increase and sustain baccalaureate degree attainment in Kern County.

I am so excited to welcome these new cohorts of KHSD Renegades, and I can’t wait to watch them cross our Commencement stage in 2024 with associate degrees. I want to thank KHSD leadership– Superintendent Bryon Schaefer, Assistant Superintendent Dean McGee and Director Carla Stallworth for partnering with BC to make this opportunity possible.

You can read more about these new pathway opportunities in a wonderful piece by Ema Sasic in the Bakersfield Californian:  https://www.bakersfield.com/news/bc-khsd-partner-to-offer-4-new-early-college-pathways-to-high-schoolers/article_8a1c8d06-cd2a-11ea-a6f2-3f9a8891a788.html

$3m to BC for Public Health Sciences

Bakersfield College has been awarded $3 million to boost and support graduates in Health Sciences!

The Hispanic Serving Institution Title V grant for Health Sciences was awarded to BC in recognition of their significant work to advance student completion and workforce readiness.

BC will leverage grant dollars to bolster existing efforts designed to address shortages in the health care workforce made more visible due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By expanding the college’s footprint of health sciences pathways through Early College, transfer pathway agreements, and strong partnerships with health care providers and community organizations, BC will systematically strengthen Kern’s education-to-workforce pipeline while improving health outcomes for local residents.

BC to Honor Spring 2020 Nursing Grads

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, BC’s Nursing graduates, family, friends, faculty, and administration will gather remotely on September 19, 2020 at 6:30pm to celebrate the 105th Renegade Nursing Pinning celebration by video on the college’s YouTube channel.

The pinning ceremony usually takes place at the conclusion of each semester and signifies the successful completion of the program for its graduates. This event will focus on the more than 60 Renegade Nursing graduates from spring 2020 of BC’s rigorous two year RN program.

The community is invited to celebrate this new cohort of nurses on our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/bakersfieldcollege. The program will begin promptly at 6:30pm on Saturday, September 19, 2020.

Renegade Alumni Council

The Renegade Alumni Council at Bakersfield College had a great week starting with 2015’s SGA President, Alex Dominguez sharing his voice in a piece submitted to The Bakersfield Californian.

In his piece, he said “Little did I know our “campus on the hill” would be the place where I find myself, my purpose and determine my future. It was all thanks to the exploration, learning, creativity and freedoms that I know my friends who went away to college did not receive. Not to mention, I also had some amazing faculty including professors Steven Holmes and Ed Borgens.”

On Tuesday, the RAC core team hosted the first Renegade Talk Live on FB. For the show, Alex chatted with 2016’s SGA President, Clayton Fowler. Check out the pic showing this dedicated team at work.

Are you a Renegade Alumni? Connect with this new initiative to come back to BC with RAC and check out the video at www.facebook.com/BCSGARAC/

And then today, there was another great piece in the Californian from an alum Jay Boydstun. https://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/community-voices-keep-the-bc-tradition-alive/article_71971bda-f6c8-11ea-baa9-a3ec3f34e393.html

Sonya Christian, John Boydstun, Jay Boydstun

“One of my earliest memories is from the 1960s, when my father gave me a BC football schedule coin pouch. I will never forget the smell and feel of those little things. Each year, without fail, my father would distribute the BC football schedule coin pouches as a business promotion, but also because he had a passion for Bakersfield College.”

The first issue of BC’s The Grapevine Journal

From an email from Naomi Rutuku:

I have some exciting news to share with you all. Today is the official launch of the first publication of The Grapevine Journal, a collection of Bakersfield College student work! We (co-editors Rae Ann Kumelos, Keri Wolf, and I) are thrilled to have our first edition published today, digitally, on our website. BC students have worked hard for this accomplishment and we couldn’t be prouder.

I hope that you take a look at our publication on our website (click here) and that you might find useful ways of using the published student work in your classes; examples of former BC student work are always interesting and helpful for our current students. In this first edition of The Grapevine, you will find a table of contents that organizes the work by discipline.

 We are always accepting submissions on a rolling basis, so keep your eye out for some more excellent student work this semester! Thank you for continuing to inspire our students.

BC Faculty Featured

Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio, an adjunct faculty in our Art Department, shared that he was featured on the cover of California English, the quarterly journal of the California Association of Teachers of English. 

I especially loved his quote from inside the journal:

“With life, each individual must find a sense of serenity. For me, to create, to paint and portrait the world, is my purpose, my path to peace.”

In trying times, we must all find our own path to peace.

First “Learning Together” Reading

From an email from Kirk Russell:

Kirk Russell, Library Director

Our first campus “Learning Together” discussion will take place on Tuesday, September 22nd at 4:00 p.m. as part of President Christian’s virtual seminar series.  The first community read is an essay from the June 22, 2020 issue of Time Magazine entitled “The Overdue Awakening” by Justin Worland.  It can be found in the EBSCOhost database at the link below.  You will be prompted for your BC email address and password to gain access.  If you’d like to view the digitized version as it appeared in the original issue of Time, click the PDF Full Text link on the left side of the screen after clicking the link below.

The librarians feel this essay is a timely and fitting introduction to the issues we will be discussing throughout this academic year.  Our discussion on the 22nd will provide time for us to learn, reflect and increase understanding.

Also, the newly-created libguide “Race and Cultural Competence” is now published and available for you to review at https://bakersfieldcollege.libguides.com/culturalcompetence 

Submissions from across campus allowed us to include a variety of perspectives on issues of race and equity.  As mentioned before, our hope is that with ongoing input from the campus community this guide will grow during the year.

Kirk also spoke at Opening Day about the Learning Together project:

Opening Day 2020

In addition to “Learning Together”, we have additional projects and initiatives this year at Bakersfield College to address equity and inclusion. We shared some of this at Opening Day, which was held virtually this year.

Below are videos outlining some of the work our colleagues are doing.

Bryan Hirayama, USC Program:

Jennifer Johnson, FCDC:

Rich McCrow, Governance:

Norma Rojas-Mora, Department Commitments:

All the Opening Day 2020 videos can be found on the Opening Day website.

Archives Throwback: An Encouraging Message to Graduates

An editorial in the 1931 edition of the Renegade Rip illustrates how our Core Value of Community is timeless. At the close of another semester, the staff of the Rip left a heartfelt goodbye to their fellow students and encouraged them to become the best version of themselves possible at the next step in their lives.

A few former BCSGA presidents started the Renegade Alumni Council (aka the RAC), to help graduates maintain the bonds of community they established during their time at BC and help them give back to the place that made them who they are today, because now, just like back in 1931, once you become a Renegade, you’re a Renegade for life. 

Check out the editorial from May 21, 1931 below.

Good Luck, Graduates
 
“As the year draws to a close, we find that many of our friends are leaving Bakersfield Junior College. Many will go on to even higher institutions of learning, but some will be through their school days forever.
 
“Wherever you go, Graduates, remember that Bakersfield Junior College is backing you to the greatest degree possible. We are proud of you, and we hope that the students will carry on the next years afterward to make this college one that you will be proud to say, ‘I went there for my first two years’.
 
“Some are not so fortunate. They will not leave for a more advanced college next year. To them, we say, “Come back and we will be glad to see you and help you so that you will be able to continue your advanced work later on.
 
“If you are to start in this great game called ‘Life’ and put school days behind you, remember that we wish you all the success possible and the best luck in the world!”

Thank you to Earl Parsons for sharing this piece.

#LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation

Today, I am sharing three videos from the June 18th production of Bakersfield College’s Juneteenth programming.

Steve Watkin musical performance:

LaMeka Ross:

Valerie Robinson:

For more, including all the videos, please visit the Bakersfield College Juneteenth website.

Spotted on Social Media

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh shared this photo of Heather Pennella, Alumni and Donor Relations Manager of the Bakersfield College Foundation. Heather is also a volunteer with the Keep Bakersfield Beautiful Committee, and she helped clean up the Truxtun Lake area:

Michael Lennemann shared this photo:

“This is a picture of some outstanding athletes from the 1972 Bakersfield College State Championship Team.

Included in this pictures are Charles Mackey (7 ft high jumper), Jerlynn Atlas Kendricks, McKinley Mosley, Gary Ray (RIP), Louis Wright (Former Denver Broncos Standout), Vernell Jackson (RIP), John Nichols (RIP) and Stanley Mackey.

The BCSGA has continued with their #ThrowbackThursday posts on Instagram. This week they shared a photo of students on campus in 1975:

Librarian Mindy Wilmot shared a photo of herself practicing the ukulele as part of a Levan Institute course:

Lesley Bonds, Director of Student Success and Equity, shared this photo from our recent Admin Council meeting.

“Today, we repurposed our 2 hour @BAKcollege Admin Council meeting to make time to check-in with students directly via phone and text, and then collectively process lessons learned. 50+ managers contacted hundreds of students!”

Athletics

Former Renegade Tyrone Crawford Set For Ninth NFL Season

Former Renegade football standout Tyrone Crawford took the field for his ninth NFL season as a member of the Dallas Cowboys this last Sunday. The Cowboys took on the Rams in the opening week of the NFL in the newly built Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles. Crawford started his career at BC in 2008 when he was named All-Conference as a freshman. In 2009 he was named a JC All-American as well as first team All-State and first team All-Conference. He then transferred to Boise State where he spent his final two seasons of collegiate eligibility. In 2011, his senior season, he was named First-Team All-Mountain West. In 2012 with the 81st pick of the NFL Draft, Dallas selected Crawford and he has remained a Cowboy ever since. Although the Cowboys didn’t win the game, we are excited to see our former Renegade competing at the highest level.

Be sure to stay connected to Renegade Athletics on social media:

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

BC: Creating Partnerships to Better Kern

Pre-dawn Saturday, Sep 28 2019

Taking sunrise and sunset photos while I walk Neo is one of mine…..As we move into the fall season with the sunrise getting later and later (today’s sunrise was at 6:49 a.m.) my photos are a lot darker. This morning’s walk was breathtaking with the ocean-like breeze softly washing over my face and hair. I am so grateful for all the blessings in my life. I am so grateful for all my friends and colleagues at Bakersfield College. I am so grateful for all of Bakersfield, a community that cares abundantly and gives abundantly.

Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take, But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away

Here are a few more sunrises and sunsets for you Bakersfield …. all of them taken last week while walking Neo.

Sunrise Sep 23, 2019
Happy dog
Sunset Sep 23, 2019

Unveiling the New Launchpad Program

Dave Teasedale, Tony Cordova, Sonya Christian, Janine Johnson

The Launchpad is Bakersfield College’s new entrepreneurship center developed to provide a system of connected resources and support for local entrepreneurs to help increase the number of new businesses in our community and to assist small businesses to grow.

Dave Teasdale, BC student Timothy Salvador, Sonya Christian and John Means

Speakers at the ribbon cutting included Morgan Clayton, JP Lake, David Teasdale, and our student innovator Timothy Salvador. It was great to see support from Trustee Romeo Agbalog and local leaders like Jay Tamsi, Mike Lukens, Nora Dominguez, Kelly Bearden, and Keith Brice. After the ribbon cutting, professor Rudy Menjivar gave a special demonstration of the StartItUP program. 

The Launchpad is centrally located in downtown Bakersfield, close to many small businesses downtown.

With local media

The idea for the Launchpad sprung from working with the passionate people partnering to create the Kern Initiative for Talent and Entrepreneurship (KITE). We are thankful to be supported by: 

  • Bank of America
  • Bitwise
  • Kern Economic Development Corporation
  • Kern Initiative for Talent and Entrepreneurship
  • Kern Economic Development Corporation
  • CSUB Small Business Development Center
  • CSUB Small Business and Entrepreneurship Program
  • MCSC Kern Women’s Business Center
  • Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce
  • Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce
  • North of the River Chamber of Commerce
  • StartItUP
  • 59 Days of Code

On Monday, John Cox wrote an article in The Bakersfield Californian explaining the BC LaunchPad project on how the center will provide an important component for Bakersfield’s small businesses and startups. Thank you to NV Catering for the amazing table of goodies and the custom carved BC Watermelon too!

Coverage by other local media outlets includes:

Nick Hill, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Jay Tamsi, Sonya Christian, Kelly Bearden, Manny Mourtzanos
Dave Teasdale, Mike Lukens, Kelly Bearden, Nora Dominguez, Jay Tamsi, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Manny Mourtzanos, Sonya Christian, J.P. Lake, Timothy Salvador, Morgan Clayton, Keith Brice and fellow community leaders

You can also visit the LaunchPad’s online through Bakersfield College’s website

Dave Teasdale speaking to community leaders about the new LaunchPad

Autumnal Equinox

Over the weekend, the Science faculty had a party at Nick Strobel’s house to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox.  Thanks for opening your home to us, Nick! 

The autumnal equinox occurs between September 21 and 24 every year, representing the moment when the sun appears to cross the celestial equator southwards toward the constellation Libra, causing the Northern and Southern hemispheres to receive the same amount of light.

Sonya Christian, Gilbert Ayuk and Chris Benker

Communities celebrate the equinox with harvest festivals, including the Mid-Autumn Festival recognized as an official holiday in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, as well as the Japanese Buddhist holiday Higan.

Bakersfield College AB 540 Program Team Attends Convening

The newly established AB 540 Program team and 2019-2020 student fellows attended the California Campus Catalyst Fund Grantee Convening from September 13-14 in Long Beach, CA.  

Marivel Servin, Rafael Centeno, Maria Jaimes, Imelda Valdez-Simos, Dr. Anna Laven

Focused on deepening the knowledge, skills and resources needed to expand support and institutionalize services for undocumented students and their families, teams of administrators and students from 32 campuses convened for two days of reflection and planning.  

The Bakersfield College team included Imelda Simos-Valdez (Director), Dr. Anna Laven (Program Manager), Rafael Centeno (Educational Advisor), and student fellows, Maria Jaimes and Marivel Servin.  

Attendees connected with other CSU and CCC partners and learned promising practices that support academic programming, entrepreneurship, mental health, and legal services. 

Rafael Centeno, Marivel Servin, Maria Jaimes, Imelda Valdez-Simos, Dr. Anna Laven

Thought to be the first of its kind, the work undertaken under the California Catalyst Community emphasizes both the power of data and storytelling.  The first day of the convening closed with a particularly powerful student panel of AB 540 youth leaders who shared their strategies for living and thriving. One panelist described the power of living life in the moment even while weighing the risks in leaving the house each day.  

Marivel Servin, Dr. Anna Laven & Maria Jaimes

The AB 540 Program has grown 25% in just two months, including 1,204 students, over 70% of whom are identified as undocumented.  AB 540 is state legislation that allows students who attended and graduated from a California high school to receive non-resident tuition exemption.  

Imelda Simos-Valdez

It is estimated that nearly 100,000 undocumented students graduate from high school every year, and almost a third of undocumented high school graduates live in California. Check out this article from the Migration Policy Institute for more detailed information this statistic.  

Thank you to our AB 540 Program team for representing Bakersfield College at this important event! 

BC’s Rural Initiatives team updates Kern County Board of Supervisors on Game Changer grant

In 2015, Bakersfield College received a grant from the County of Kern’s Employers Training Resource Center to facilitate Early College work at Arvin High School. Thanks to the support of Supervisor Leticia Perez and Kern County Taxpayers Association Executive Director Michael Turnipseed, Bakersfield College secured $400,000 to establish Early College pathways for Arvin High School students known as “Game Changer.” 

I just went back to my blog post of August 4, 2015…. was so happy to see it. check it out https://tinyurl.com/y2ndr8ry

Arvin High Project Team
2015 team who presented to the KC Supervisors. Rich McCrow, Gustavo Enrique, Jareth Regpala, Sonya Christian, Mike Turnipseed, Dave Teasedale, Al Noyola

On Sep 24th, our Rural Initiatives team provide the Board of Supervisors with an update on the Game Changer program. The Game Changer program was a catalyst for the Early College model of packaging Dual Enrollment and Concurrent Enrollment courses to put students on track to complete at least a year of college before high school graduation. With two cohorts in the pipeline at Arvin High, we now have over 100 students on track to complete at least 30 college units by high school graduation, and many more students earning a wide range of college credits.

Dean Corny Rodriguez, Exec Dir Abel Guzman, Mike Turnipseed and BC’s Rural Initiative Team
Abel Guzman presenting to the Board of Supervisors

I would like to thank the Rural Initiatives team, particularly Endee Grijalva, Jesse Oropeza, Maggie Rodriguez, and Tania Burgos who are moving the work of Game Changer along and in doing so moving the needle on degree attainment in South Kern. Thank you Ed Watts, Principal of Arvin High for your support.

California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) Visits BC

Bakersfield College hosted a campus visit for representatives from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO), including Board of Governor’s member Hildegarde (Hilde) Aguinaldo, the California Department of Finance, and the Legislative Analyst’s Office to learn about BC’s work.  We started the day with a campus tour to see the extensive construction underway, followed by a presentation on BC’s student completion and equity agenda. 

Seen in the News: BC’s Trainings

On Friday morning, The Bakersfield Californian’s Ema Sasic reported on BC’s recent Active Shooter Response Training in her piece “BC’s active shooter training teaches community how to be prepared for potential risk.”. BC’s Public Safety offers these informational sessions so that both our campus and community can be familiar with the best practices, drills, exercises, and preparation.

Sr. Officer Jason Mattheus leading one of the public training sessions. Photo courtesy of The Bakersfield Californian

These efforts have the ability to save lives.  Special thanks to Ema Sasic for the article.

BC Recognized in PayScale’s College Salary Report

I was so pleased to see the new PayScale College Salary Report come across my inbox!  BC is in the top 20% of schools with the highest-paid graduates surveyed. PayScale reported that early career pay for BC graduates averages $46,300 per year, while mid-career pay averages $70,900 per year.  Make sure to read the full  2019 College Salary Report at this link! 

One of our BC students!

BC’s Rural Initiatives on Telemundo

Telemundo recently invited Manual Muralles and Jaime López to speak on BC’s Rural Initiatives. The goal of BC’s Rural Initiatives is to bring college closer to home so students that live in rural communities have equal access to BC’s services. Muralles and Lopez also spoke about BC’s Early college program that offers students in high school the opportunity to start taking college courses and potentially complete an associates degree at the same time as they earn their high school diploma.

Special thanks to Manual Muralles, Jaime Lopez, and Telemundo for this special piece. Check it out at Telemundo.

Solving the Equation to a Successful STEM Transfer

The STEM Team (Laurel Mourtzanos and Josh Shackelford) partnered with Transfer Center Director, Mark Osea and took students on a journey into their transfer futures with topics such as academic preparation, determining the best university fit and financing their education. Score another Pathway victory!

Pathway to Success Conference

Dr. McClenic and Counseling Center Support Team (Bernadette Martinez, Peer Mentor Stephen and Peer Mentor Gino) hosted the first of three conferences in Fall 2019 for students on probation and/or dismissal. Topics such as Road to Redemption, Financial Aid & Budgeting, Starfish, and Academic Support Services equipped students with the necessary knowledge and tools to make a successful comeback to Bakersfield College!

Students attending the Pathway to Success Conference

Heather Pennella Keeps Bakersfield Beautiful

I love following our very own Heather Pennella (Alumni & Donor Relations Manager) on social media to see all of her community participation!  Heather is currently Mayor Karen Goh’s alternate appointee and is serving as the 2019 Chair of Keep Bakersfield Beautiful, a volunteer committee associated with the City of Bakersfield. The mission of Keep Bakersfield Beautiful (KBB) is “to engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community.” The City of Bakersfield Mayor and City Council Members each appoint one board member and one alternate board member to the KBB Committee. Committee members work to organize community cleanup and tree planting events, educate the public on proper solid waste disposal practices, and beautification projects throughout the city. 

Heather was the lead on the Truxtun Lake cleanup last Saturday in celebration of California Coastal Cleanup Day. Thank you Mayor Goh for capturing these great photos! 

Transfer Day Highlight Reel

Earlier this month, Bakersfield College celebrated Transfer Day with representatives from over 60 colleges and universities. Various CSU, UC, out of state, and private colleges were in attendance to give students the information they need to transfer to the 4-year school of their dreams. Check out the highlight reel created by our Marketing video intern, Thanh.

Fun Photos: Kern East – West Collaborative Leadership Convening

Earlier this week BC hosted the Kern East – West Collaborative Leadership Convening with local community leaders. Attendees discussed what the collaborative’s priorities are, why they’re doing the work that they are, and what are some resources to support naval air weapons china lake. Important work with smart, passionate and dedicated people.

Fun Photos:

BC Paints!

Fun to see our Renegades hanging out outside of work.  Nicky Damania, Michelle Pena, Kat Whitehead, Tonya Davis and Debbie Martin joined forces for painting at Blush and Brush last week, and I can say, I didn’t know we had so many artists on staff! 

Exec Office Birthday Celebration

Our Executive Office team, budget team, and Academic Services team celebrated birthdays for Billie Jo Rice and Jordaun Bennett.  Thank you to Edie Nelson from our Academic Services area for graciously organizing this quarterly gathering! 

Our Exec Office team enjoying some savory treats!
Found on Social Media

Loved this photo posted by Andrea Thorson on Facebook. Had to grab it for my blog.

Andrea Thorson and her son Monty

Women’s Basketball Serves at the Mission of Kern County

This last week our women’s basketball team had the incredible opportunity to give back to the community by serving in the Mission of Kern County. As a team they walked the local streets and handed out water bottles to those homeless people in need. Thanks for getting our Renegades out in the community Coach Paula Dahl!

Make sure to come to the Early College night at the 9/28 football game

Join us at the Inaugural Early College High School Football Night where you can learn more about the Early College resources and programs available at BC. Enjoy free food, games, and giveaways, and root for your Renegades as they take on Golden West College.

Check in on the lawn across from the North entrance of Memorial Stadium for free game tickets and free food. The first 200 high school students will receive free food, and all high school students will receive a free game ticket.

Students must bring their current High School ID card to get a game ticket and food. Be sure to show your school pride by wearing your High School colors!

Renegade Athletics scores from this past week

Football Gets First W of the Season

Wrestling places 7th at Sac City Tournament

Men’s Soccer Tops Allan Hancock, 2-1

Women’s Golf Competes at Morro Bay Invitational

Volleyball Conference Opener Over Canyons

Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Tues. 11/1 at 4pm Men’s Soccer vs. El Camino
  • Wed. 11/2 at 6pm Volleyball vs. Citrus
  • Fri. 10/4 at 2pm Men’s Soccer vs. Santa Monica
  • Fri. 10/4 at 4pm Women’s Soccer vs. Canyons

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

We are BC! & We are Bakersfield!

Good morning Bakersfield….It is Saturday, February 18th, Tracy Hall’s wedding day and as I told her, the gods are showering blessings on California and on the new couple.  The rains continue and the Kern River flows again.  What a wonderful time to be in Bakersfield and what a wonderful time to be at BC.

sonya-christian-woman-of-the-year-feb-11-2017A crazy busy and awesome week all at once.  Let me give you are quick sample:

Saturday, Feb 11th: KCHCC Installation and awards night
Sunday, Feb 12th: Conf calls and finished the day with the Grammys
Monday, Feb 13th: Board meeting in the morning then to Sacramento for a dinner meeting.  Here is the link to the article by Harold Pierce, Education Reporter for The Bakersfield Californian, about the Board meeting http://tinyurl.com/zdfmh9p
Tuesday, Feb 14th: Meeting of an Accreditation Committee that I chair.  Heading back on the train which was delayed by 5 hours and put me in Bakersfield late at night.  Not a very happy train ride on Valentine’s Day.
Wednesday, Feb 15th: 7:00 a.m. Community Leaders Breakfast at BC then meetings then the Bakersfield Chamber Board meeting, then meetings, then the Basket ball games happening the same time as the movie night on campus
Thursday, Feb 16th: Valley Poets, Moon over Malcolm

I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

Let me start my blog with a call from Jay Tamsi a few weeks ago to let me know that the Kern County Hispanic Chamber Board selected me as Woman of the Year.  How cool is that!  Now you know that the recognition is truly for Bakersfield College…our faculty and staff are everywhere.  Integrated and engaged with the community.

A group of us from BC attended the event that was sold out and it appeared that all of Bakersfield was there.  In addition to folks from BC, Trustee Romeo Agbalog and his wife Lily were there and also John Means from the District Office.  Three of BC’s very own (Corny Rodriguez, Lisa Kent, Olivia Garcia) were inducted to the Hispanic Chamber Board and the Foundation Board.

The Man of the Year was Stephen Schilling, CEO of Clinica Sierra Vista.  Steve gave a very powerful speech in Spanish and English.

Carlos Navarro, outgoing Chair of the Board did a nice job outlining all the accomplishments from the previous year. Adam Alvidrez as incoming Chair of the Board was extremely funny in his remarks…No seriously, the man could take on Jimmy Fallon and win hands down.  Both Adam and Carlos are friends of Bakersfield College.  Thank you!

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We snuck out during salad time to take this picture.  I loved the way Trustee Agbalog supported our new employees at BC!

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Alongside the KCHCC, everyone at BC works collaboratively to elevate student success to new heights and develop a new generation of leaders within our community. The whole evening was a true recognition of the great work undertaken by all staff and faculty involved with all Bakersfield Colleges efforts. Our campus is one without boundaries and our student give our future endless possibilities. We are BC! Todos Somos BC!

Here is a link to a news item http://tinyurl.com/zbruada

 

The Delano Alliance

The monthly Delano Alliance takes place every 1st Tuesday and the most recent gathering brought the Delano community together at BC’s Delano campus. The event features a briefing about current events in the community – everything from elementary and high schools, to local businesses.

delanoalliance

February’s meeting kicked off with an award presentation featuring two BC students, Alexa Rivera and Vicente Lopez who traveled to Washington, DC last month to celebrate BC’s participation in the White House Healthy Campus Challenge. We were proud to be chosen as one of 60 institutions nationwide, and one of four community colleges in California to formally receive White House Healthy Campus status.  The focus of the project on the BC campus was to target the most under-enrolled demographic in the county, college students and young people aged 14-18. In Kern County, enrollment in private health plans lag 50% behind the State of California in the same demographic and our region struggled with some of the highest incidences of STDs, obesity, obesity related health concerns, and respiratory illnesses. I featured this event in my blog, just a few weeks ago – make sure to check it out here.

 

Pictured here is Richard McCrow, Director of the Delano Campus; Dean Cindy Collier; Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Vice President Academic Affairs; Alexa Rivera, BC Student; Vicente Lopez, BC Student; Romeo Agbalog, KCCD Board Member; and Ray Purcell, Student Health and Wellness Center Director

After the event, Alexa Rivera, who visited the White House sent an email to Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg saying,

Vice President Gomez-Heitzeberg, Thank you for the kind words. I will make sure to always remember my home, Delano. Because of Bakersfield College, both in Delano and Bakersfield, I have been able to partake in several experiences that have helped me become a better student and most importantly young adult. I will always be grateful for the opportunities Bakersfield College has offered to me. Thank you for the email, and thank you for being an inspirational leader. Because of your hard work and presence at Bakersfield College, students, especially females aspiring to be leaders just like you, have the opportunity to learn from you and admire your leadership.

Delano is an inspirational place; it’s a community bursting with treasures, gems, and stories that can keep us all encouraged to reach new heights. I’m so excited for all the future has in store for our Delano Campus!

The Delano Recorder ran a story on this event.  Here it is

 

delano-recorder-feb-2017

Historically Black Colleges and Universities Caravan Visits BC

hbcu-6Representatives from 23 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) came to Bakersfield College on Monday to offer registration and scholarships to students.

During the event, 66 BC and high school students were admitted to four-year institutions such as Southern A&M University and Tuskegee College, and over $500,000 in scholarships were awarded for students looking to attend HBCUs. The event was hosted by a collaboration between BC Student Success and Equity, Outreach and School Relations, the Office of Student Life and the BC Transfer Center.

 

The HBCU Caravan was one of three transfer events held on Monday. The Transfer Center also hosted an onsite priority admissions drive for BC students who already submitted their paperwork to transfer to Cal State Bakersfield. Prospective transfers got the opportunity to meet one-on-one with an admissions evaluator to review their transcripts.

Over 200 students met with the admissions evaluator, and 181 were admitted to Cal State Bakersfield for Fall 2017.  UCLA Admissions Officer, Tremeal Bradford also hosted an information table on Monday to meet with BC students who might be interested in continuing their education at Westwood. Bradford will remain a permanent UCLA representative on campus. We are so excited to foster a partnership with UCLA! From Renegades to Bruins!

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Monday’s multiple transfer events were a product of BC’s collaborative efforts! Thank you to all who are involved and who helped promote this fantastic event. I loved seeing this Facebook post from NaTesha Kindred Johnson. “T” thank you for all your support of BC and the many many hours you put in for Measure J!

Thank you to KGET for the great event coverage at http://www.kerngoldenempire.com/news/bc-students-get-encouragement-for-further-education/655596029

 

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African American Community Leaders Breakfast

 

We hosted our annual African American Community Leaders Breakfast on February 15th in the Fireside Room.

This early morning meeting kept an upbeat and proud focus on the many mentors, sponsors, faulty, success stories from students and overall support African American students receive at BC from the ASTEP and AAMP programs.

 

The theme for the gathering was Uncommon Accomplishments require Uncommon Commitment a phrase introduced by Dr. Paula Parks when she presented to the Campaign for College opportunities team that visited BC last week.

Steve Watkin organized the event and opened up the program after everyone had some delicious breakfast and fellowship and then settled with a cup of coffee ready to engage with the program. My job was just to welcome everyone and then bring up Mayor Karen Goh.  The program continued with a data presentation by Dr. Janet Fulks, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness.  This is a standard part of our annual event ever since we made a commitment four years ago to put out our student success scorecard openly to the community.   Together we can accomplish the impossible. The data presentation was followed by an amazing panel presentation and ended with the voice of one of our students.  Before we adjourned Steven Watkin recognized Odella Johnson for her 20 years of service.  Now for some specifics and some photos.

Mayor Goh started her remarks with the BC Chant — We are BC! and then she continued with We are Bakersfield! the phrase she introduced at the Fall Opening Day.  Thank you Mayor Goh for adjusting your schedule to spend time with the community gathering at BC.

The ASTEP(African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence) Umoja program and the AAMP(African Amercian Mentor Program), led by Dr. Paula Parks are the main African Amercian programs dedicated to: assisting students through their efforts with coaching, study groups, encouraging students to show the ethic of love to each other, and embracing the culture in order to help them succeed.

Group Feb 15 2017.jpg

In addition, according to our Bakersfield College website, it’s “a program that incorporates drop-in mentoring, resiliency guidance, problem resolution, general (non-academic) assistance, and “real talk”. The students need this type of help and assistance, since many times coming from a complete opposite environment they need to have positive role models and direction in order to help them reach their goals.

 

Dr. Paula Parks started the day by talking about the goal of the ASTEP and AAMP programs. She stated that, “this semester students take development that’s focusing on careers and then along with English 1A, a library class that helps them with their research strategies. So it’s a yearlong curriculum. They hold each other accountable and also have a group chat, so I appreciated that … and everyone is in communication because they don’t want to let each other down or me down or the program down.”

lyle-martin-keith-wolaridge-fred-prince-brenda-lewis-feb-15-2017

Chief Lyle Martin, Keith Wolaridge, Fred Prince, Brenda Lewis

The panel members including: Fred Prince from the (KCBCC/Omega Insurance President), Brenda Lewis(Assistant Superintendent of Instruction), Keith Wolaridge(Agency Owner), and Lyle Martin(Bakersfield Police Chief) gave their real life experiences and education goals, as well as a presentation of the BEST program.

The BEST program is dedicated to helping black students with scholarships. According to Brenda Lewis, “the BEST program has been in existence for 25 years and was originally dedicated for graduation rate and college-going rate of African American males and through years have serviced an average of 550 students each year …and when we look at data we have offered over a thousand scholarships to our project BEST grads and have had a 90% graduation rate. “

How does the best program fund these scholarships? A huge part of the support is received from Kern County businesses, individual donations and community partners since “it is privately funded.”

chief-lyle-martin-fred-prince-sonya-christian-feb-15-2017

Chief Lyle Martin, Sonya Christian, Fred Prince

Chief Lyle Martin attended the Police Academy at BC and talked about how Larry Robinson and Jesse Bradford watched out for him and made a difference.  He called on Steve Watkin and Ishmael Kimbrough to be the Larry Robinson and Lesse Bradford for today’s students.

I believe in learning from your mistakes and issues. We are trying to build bridges between the Bakersfield College community and the Bakersfield Police Department. However, my goal is to remove those two words ‘and the’…Police Department and the community, that means we are not one. We need to be one.”

paula-parks-and-group-feb-15-2017

Fred Prince talked about being a small business owner, a speaker in our classes, and a mentor to our young people. He shared an absolutely inspirational story about Will Chandler, a student at BC who went on to be the student body president at Morehouse, a HBCU school.

Keith Wolaridge was absolutely inspiring in emphasizing the importance of mentoring programs.  Keith is a mentor to a young man who is in the ASTEP program.  He emphasized the importance of sharing the hardships and failures to young mentees as a way to inspire them to have the courage to work through difficult situations.  Keith has been a friend of the ASTEP program, a friend of Bakersfield College and spent numerous hours helping with Measure J!

Jullian West Emmanuel Limaco Lisa Kent Feb 15 2017.jpg

Julian West, Emmanuel limaco, Lisa Kent

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Karen Goh, Emmanuel Limaco, Sonya Christian

My dear friends, I wish you were there to watch the four panelist having fun, hazing each other while sharing the powerful work they are doing in this community.  It was truly a thing of beauty.  I came into the meeting tired after spending long hours on a train that was woefully delayed from Sacramento the previous night, but after the Breakfast gathering, I was inspired with a renewed commitment that together we can do the impossible.

 

 

At the end of the presentation Julian West introduced our student speaker Emmanuel Limaco. Wow…. what a story.  Emmanuel shared with us his story that was fraught with difficulties.  and here he is now at BC a pre-Engineering student.  Watching him brought me great joy — so articulate, so smart, so caring….. a true Renegade.  We are BC! We are Bakersfield!

We wrapped up the morning with Steve Watkin presenting an award from BC’s African American Initiative team  to Odella Johnson for over 20 plus years of loyal and distinguished service to BC and our students.  I love this picture of Odella and Steve.

Odella Johnson and Steve Watkin Feb 15 2017.jpg

Odella Johnson, Steve Watkin

 

The African American Community Leaders event was a success that brought away happy faces and proud accomplishments for many in attendance.  Thank you to Cara Jackson for the fantastic photos.  Thank you Chef Sabella and the food Services team for the amazing breakfast and plz keep doing the salsa with scrambled eggs.

 

BCSGA and BC Renegamers awarded for raising money for Lauren Small Children’s Hospital

If you have ever been involved in a charity, sometimes it’s hard to be aware of the results of your efforts. You have made a difference, and that difference has made a change but when you cannot see the change that you have impacted, it does not feel as real.

gamers3

Along with the CSUB student colleagues Our BCSGA got to see the passion, care, and the changes they helped to make. The Campus Gamers at CSUB, Bakersfield College Student Government Association, and the new BC Renegamers Student organization received their awards on Friday, February 10, for raising funds for the Lauren Small Children’s Hospital which is part of the Children’s Miracle Network. Together, they raised over $35,000 in 2016 of which BCSGA raised $2,121. The hours, commitment, and love shared between the student groups of the two institutions shows how student leadership, service, collaboration, and motivation can help our community for the better. Proud of you guys!

At the luncheon recognition ceremony, 40 Bakersfield businesses and programs come together for a singular cause, to save children’s life, is important in a world where we constantly feel like we are at a divide. “Sometimes all you really need is a, “Thank you” and today we got that in spades. To take the tour and see the hospital, where they tell you what your fundraising has done, reignites your passion to do it again and again, raising more every year. Everything to help save kid’s lives and give them a future.” Said BCSGA Senator Lawrence Salcido who accepted the recognition on half of BCSGA. Edward Webb, president of the Campus Gamers at CSUB, has marked the goal of $60,000 for 2017. To help these organizations meet their 2017 goal, contact the office of student life today.

BC Athletes and Coaches Shine

MensBasketball.jpgCoach Rich Hughes and the Men’s Basketball Team beat West LA college 70-66 last week and clinched their second-straight Western State Conference-South Championship, the first time BC has accomplished back-to-back titles since the WSC was formed in 1981.

And the win reinforces BC’s reputation as “The Kern County All-Stars” as Stockdale grad Tucker Eenigenburg led all scorers with 23 points, and Henry Galinato of Delano played like a much taller man in grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds while blocking five shots!

The two freshmen certainly made their mark on the game, but Coach Hughes was very pleased by his four sophomore holdovers from the last title team.

MensBasketball-(2).JPG

“They were one of those groups that wasn’t given a chance to win at the beginning of the season, and they used that as motivation to do something that has never been done before; and no one can say that to but those four guys; Trey Armstrong, Sean LeFlore, Shane Christie, and Arthur Tondin,” Hughes told SID Francis Mayer.

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, Sandi Taylor, Zav Dadabhoy

Have I mentioned how supportive the community is of our BC athletes? It’s always great to gather as friends and Renegade fans! Here is a photo from Wednesday’s game with Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sandi Taylor, and Zav Dadabhoy.

 Coach Paula Dahl sent an email earlier in the week encouraging everyone to come out. She said,

Every once in a while in our careers we have those amazing moments that you know you have to cherish and recognize you have truly been blessed.  That is this season for me.  I have been able to coach 11 of the most resilient women you will ever meet.  They have bought into team, hard work, sacrificing for each other and trust.  Please come and support them in their final game of the year tomorrow night at 7:00 pm.  I promise you will have fun watching our high tempo style and be inspired watching your BC Women’s Basketball Team.  “Let’s Go Renegades!

Campus Movie Night

The BC campus is always abuzz with activity and during Wednesdays game, there was also a free movie night taking place in Forum 102! Nearly 90 students gathered to watch “Loving” – a movie based on a true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, the couple involved in the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision which invalidated state laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Check out the Official Trailer on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33g-ZHBQdNU and don’t miss out on the next free movie night at the BC campus.

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Moon Over Malcolm

Darius Wallace, author and performer of “Moon Over Malcolm,” visited the ASTEP Umoja Community class on Thursday. Wallace performed in the evening theater production, but spent the day in various classrooms. He wondered what Malcolm X might have achieved had he not died at 39 years old. He also talked about how acting is what he is destined to do.

wallace

The evening presentation was a one-man show about Malcolm’s journey from early childhood as Malcolm Little, to his life as Detroit Red, a pimp and street hustler, to his life in prison where he transformed his life with education and Islam, to his life in the Nation of Islam as Malcolm X, to his final transformation after his trip to Mecca as El Hajj El Meek El Shabazz. This show was filled with monologues, song, dance, poetry as well as various characters in Malcolm’s life.

A crowd of over 250 packed the indoor theater and the evening was a great success. Thank you to the BC Commercial Music Ensemble and the BC Chamber Singers for their musical gifts. Prof. Josh Ottum and Prof. Jen Garrett thank you!

BC Food Services provided tasty grits and greens, fried okra, and chicken gumbo for all in attendance.

Darius Wallace stayed afterwards for additional time to engage the audience with questions. His responses were fully thought-provoking and stimulating for the students who asked very tough questions about African-American acceptance and history.  Thank you Darius. What a great experience for our students and the whole BC community.

Valley Poets at BC’s Levan Center

What an exciting night for the poets of Bakersfield too! On Thursday evening in the Levan Center, we celebrated the poets that came from the San Joaquin Valley and received national recognition. Poets of a wide range of notoriety were celebrated including Juan Felipe Herrera, Sherley Anne Williams, and Robert Duncan. They were all different poets from different circumstances and all from the valley.

Don Thompson, the first Poet Laureate of Kern County, hosted the event. Thompson along side other local poets or advocates for the arts performed poems from the nationally recognized poets. These advocates included Catherine Abbey Hodges, Matt Woodman, LisaAnn LoBasso, Annis Cassells, Marit MacArthur, Diana Ramirez, and Portia Choi. Each presented a poem from the acclaimed poets raised here in the valley and also gave brief life synopses as well. Each presenter stated how the poem they chose resonated with their own lives. You could feel the connection they made with their poem by the way they performed their poem and the energy they gave off.

While all performances were notable, Diana Ramirez’s performance of Juan Felipe Herrera’s poem “Half Mexican” stood out from the rest. Juan Felipe Herrera, who will be visiting the Bakersfield College campus to give a guest lecture on the power of poetry in the lives of people and the community, is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States. He is the first Latino to hold this position. If you would like to attend Juan Felipe Herrera’s lecture Surveillance, Violence, Creativity & Compassion, he will be lecturing in the Indoor Theater at the Simonsen Performing Arts Center on March 29th at 7pm.

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Counseling Department Holds Student Success Conference

The Counseling Department held a successful student success conference on Friday February 3 that was attended by approximately 60 students. The conference, “Pathways to Success: How to navigate detours and get back on track” was geared towards assisting students who have found their way onto first time Probation following the Fall semester.

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Students on first time probation are students who may not necessarily have meaningful contact with a counselor for the only requirement to clear their probation status, in order to register, is to complete an online probation workshop.  The online workshop provides students with tips on how to be successful and remedy their situation however it does not provide them the opportunity to ask questions and interact with BC faculty or staff.  We know that student engagement is linked to academic success therefore we created this half day conference to help engage and interact with these students to hopefully prevent them from moving on to second time probation.

The day began with motivational speaker BC Counselor, Jonathan Schultz, who spoke to the students about “Knowing their Why” and identifying their motivation for being at Bakersfield College. Then the students chose from a list of breakout sessions: “Probation does not have to be a permanent detour!” exploring how to get off probation, “Live long and prosper!” a BC Jeopardy game concerning whole health & mental health concepts, “Money Matters!” managing financial budgets to maximize success, and “The time for action is now!” identifying it’s never too late to be successful an interactive time management approach to student success. Student feedback was very positive therefore the Counseling Department plans to make this an annual event.

Campus Training on Title IX

Mandated reporters are required to make a report of suspected abuse when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a minor is a victim of abuse; but, what about if the victim is a student at Bakersfield College?

img_0712Earlier this month, over 60 faculty, administrators, and classified members met in the Leven Center to hear from Attorney Eileen O’Hare-Anderson, partner at Liebert Cassidy Whitmore to dialogue about Mandatory Reporting and what our Collective Responsibilities is to our students and the learning environment.

John Giertz, Faculty in Communication, summed up the presentation, “I think first and foremost we have an obligation to help our students every way possible and we need to be aware of what the laws allow us to do but most importantly that we should be working to help our students.  This is extremely important information and I encourage all employees to learn more.”

img_0717This workshop was geared to respond to the questions and comments presented by BC Faculty and Staff regarding mandated reporting and our responsibility of creating a safe and positive learning environment, while maintaining confidentiality for our students and victims. The conversations helped clarify what the role and responsibilities are for an employee at KCCD, when faced with a situation involving Title IX, OCR, Clery Act, Campus SaVE Act, other pressing laws, and the safety of our students.

 

For questions or additional interest, individuals should contact Dena Rhoades in Human Resources, Nicky Damania in Student Life, or Chief Counts in the Department of Public Safety.

 BC Hackathon

The Public Health Renegades Hackathon is a competition to innovate and design public health solutions for our community. Free food, prizes, networking opportunities! This weekend long innovation competition to design and build technology tools that respond to specific community needs related to public health. All majors and areas are welcome.  It is an interdisciplinary competition that will engage students and professionals from various backgrounds in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and non-STEM fields, local centers of higher education, community and industry partners, and the public. The goal is to increase awareness of public health and use technology tools and collective expertise to address public health issues. Have fun and make a difference locally for your community. To learn more and register for this free event go to www.bcinnovates.com

BC’s LVN Program ranks 7th in the State!

A non-profit organization that provides resources for prospective nurses has ranked Bakersfield College’s LVN program as the 7th best in the state of California.

top-ranked-vn-program-badge-smallThe website Practical Nursing analyzed 127 schools in California offering certification for Licensed Vocational Nurses and ranked the 50 best programs on their website. BC’s LVN program was selected 7th best in the state based on the percentage of students in the program who go on to obtain a vocational nursing license, as well as how well the program “supports students towards licensure and beyond,” according to an email by Practical Nursing president Bryce Hall.

Did you see The Grammy’s?

We are officially in awards season!  I love watching the Grammy’s.  I’m always entertained by the high-production value the show brings and seeing talent celebrated.  During this year’s show I was especially moved by the tributes to Prince, and George Michael.  Now I’m looking forward to the upcoming Oscar’s show!  Here I am watching the Grammy’s and trying to work at the same time 🙂

 

sonya-christian-3-feb-15-2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

The end of the first week…Fall 2016

Casey Sorrell, Krista Sorell, Baby Jack Aug 26 2016

Casey, Krista and Jack Sorell

Baby Jack “is going to be a Renegade football player like his dad,” said Krista Sorell, the young mom with her husband Casey at the Memorial Stadium watching the Renegade scrimmage against Antelope Valley.  The young family was there with their parents and this generational support for Renegades is not uncommon.  As you can see baby Jack is already in Renegade Red.  Thank you Sorell’s for your support of Bakersfield College.  We are BC!

 

Btw, I didn’t get their email address, so, if any of your reading the blog know the Sorells, could you forward the blog link to them?

Good Morning Bakersfield! It is Saturday, August 27, 2016 and a phenomenal day to be a Renegade!

Week One of Fall 2016

Last Saturday, I was filled with anticipation for the students to arrive on campus and boy, was I not disappointed! The students have filled the campus and BC is alive!

On Wednesday, Sue Vaughn, Director of Enrollment Services and who has served our students in Admissions and Records for over 20 years, stopped by my office to let me know our enrollment numbers have hit an all-time high. On Thursday, we hit a headcount of 20,268.  This is just for the fall term.  Wonder what the number is going to be for 2016-2017.  In 2015-2016 we had approximately 27,000 students.   Together, let’s build A Better BC for our growing student body and the future generations.  Check out our efforts to do so at http://www.abetterbc.com/.

Many of our departments volunteered to staff welcome tents, “ask me” carts, or extended hours to assist students with their needs. Food services rocked the house and fed a growing number of students wanting snacks and nutritional meals, campus safety was on top of things, answering every call and addressing the increased traffic and congestion around campus. Student Life prepared amazing activities and events every day of the week. Each department contributed in a unique way to this successful start to a new year. We are BC! And our entire community works together to make sure our students are prepared, and equipped with the tools they need to be successful. Here’s to a great Fall Semester and 2016-2017 academic year!

Carlos!

Carlos

Sonya Christian with Carlos Barbaran

In addition to new students, we also have new faculty and staff on campus. This week our office staff walked in to a beautiful memo on their desks written by Carlos Barbaran, our custodian. Carlos welcomed the 22 new staff with a letter explaining how to best reach him if help is needed and kind gestures like this remind me how people at BC always go out of their way to do that little extra something.

 

Carlos, along with many others, takes pride in his loyalty to BC. He has such a unique story and background which was detailed in an article titled “Immigrant from Peru comes to U.S., finds home at Bakersfield College.” This fantastic article, from a 2009 issue of The Renegade Rip explains how Carlos, born in Lima, Peru, found himself in Bakersfield accepting a job at BC and made a true home here. He took classes in real estate, communication, and English; volunteered for local and global initiatives; earned numerous awards including a Congressional award from Congressman McCarthy, an award from Mayor Hall, and from the Governor of Peru; and he’s spoken to state officials in Sacramento on behalf of Bakersfield College.

In his letter to staff this week, Carlos notes that “The key to success is great communication” and he’s taken the first step to opening the door of communication with all our new staff.

With over 20 years of dedication to Bakersfield College, thank you Carlos.

I encourage you to read the article on Carlos as it’s an incredible glimpse into one of the hundreds of people who make up this amazing and diverse college.

Kate and Sonya JAn 25 2015 in OaklandKate!

The second example of going above and beyond was brought to my attention via an email from Kate Pluta. She said…

We have had a wonderful team work through the process of adding additional English B1a sections (last week there were over 700 students on waitlists).

Dave Moton who wouldn’t give up on finding more and more adjunct faculty. Tina Johnson who worked closely with Tina Chamberlain to find classrooms–magic! Tina Johnson who emailed and called students to tell them they were moving from a waitlist to a new section (online or at the same time). Angela Craft who made sure they had office space and keys and sent them their class lists because they couldn’t yet access them until they were in the system. Tina Chamberlain–the eye in the middle of the storm, who calmly added the classes, ensured loads were correct, and kept track of newly-hired faculty as they were finalized by HR so the names could be changed from STAFF to theirs.  A & R staff who moved the waitlists. HR who verified that adjunct faculty could take on an additional section or sections and then made sure they were processed in time so they could step in the classrooms the first week.  Dave Moton who kept on top of the process and shepherded the new faculty or new-to-full-time faculty. Nan who responded so quickly so that we could move adjunct into temporary full-time status for the fall.  Her faculty led to two additional online 1a sections. 

What a wonderful team effort that most won’t know about, but many students who didn’t have a class have one now!  I am sure there are more people involved, but this list gives you an idea of the teamwork involved. –Kate Pluta, Dean of Instruction”

It’s a fantastic day when we can push ourselves to go above and beyond to accommodate our growing number of students.

Jahnea!

And a third example was brought to my attention through email but started on social media. Mary Jo Pasek received this Facebook message from the parent of one of our new students! It said…

Hey, MJ … sending a shout out to thank Jahnea Palfrey via you, for making my son’s day yesterday!! There was a glitch in the enrollment system and Jahnea took time to listen and help resolve the issue … school starts for my son on Monday and he cannot be any more thrilled to be part of the BC Renegade family!! ThankyouThankyouTHANKYOU”

People like Carlos, everyone mentioned in Kate’s email, and Jahnea are the hands and heart of BC. Every member of the BC community across buildings, departments, and even across campuses go above and beyond each day to make BC the best choice for our students. Days like these are one of the reasons I’m the luckiest college president in the world!

Winterfest

Winterfest.jpg

Cooler days are headed our way as we begin the countdown to Winterfest! Beginning December 21st, BC’s Memorial Stadium will come to life as a winter wonderland featuring not one, but two outdoor ice skating rinks, an obstacle course, zip line, and 18 days of seasonal family fun. I can’t wait to see our BC staff, faculty, administration, friends, and community enjoying this monumental event.

The Three-Way Chevrolet Condorstown Outdoor Classic presented by Mission Bank will be the ultimate signature event held on January 7th at 6:00 PM. On Tuesday, I joined the Condors Organization and community partners on the field for the press event and I’ll tell you – standing under the late August, mid-morning sun, it’s hard to imagine an ice cold environment for a wintry wonderland. But, I’m assured by the brilliant people putting this rink together, that this feat, including 600 tons of sand, will be a success! Check out the interview on CondorsTV to see what will go into creating this outdoor ice rink at https://twitter.com/Condors/status/768512055900905473.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0040.JPGMemorial stadium was built in 1955 with the grand vision of bringing the community together – creating extraordinary occasions through hometown favorites, such as Renegade Football. Throughout the years, it’s been a place of rich history, athletic achievement, world records, and dreams… and now the Condors playing ice hockey outdoors in this signature venue will bring our community together once more. Winterfest will truly make Memorial Stadium the “coolest” place in Bakersfield for two-and-a-half weeks of seasonal entertainment.

CondorsTV has a recap of Tuesday morning on their Youtube channel. I encourage you to check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABHlhNCZdjY.

And we have a great photo gallery from the press conference – check it out at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/Condors-at-BC-stadium-2016/! Thank you to Manny De Los Santos and Dylan Wang for sharing their photography skills.

Thank you to Matthew Riley, President of Bakersfield Condors; Mayor Harvey Hall; Ted Nicholas, President of Three-Way Chevrolet; A.J. Antongiovanni, President of Mission Bank; Chris Huot, Assistant City Manager of Bakersfield; Kelly Buchberger, Vice President of Player Development, Edmonton Oilers (NHL); Gerry Fleming, Head Coach, Bakersfield Condors; Barry Sherer, International Hockey Events; and Rich Cubin, Rink Specialists.

Winterfest announcement group August 23 2016

Chris Huot, A.J. Antongiovanni, Ted Nicholas, Sonya Christian, Harvey Hall

All information regarding Winterfest, tickets, and the Bakersfield Condors game versus The Ontario Reign can be found at http://www.bakersfieldcondors.com/classic/.

And extra thank you’s to Ramon Puga, Martin Ramirez, Sandi Taylor, Keith Ford, Roger Fessler, Erin Kidwell, Landon Webb, and Patrick Harrison, who came out to help set up the event, and helped break it down afterwards.

After the announcement of Winterfest, I started thinking about Ice Hockey and its history in the state of sunny California.

Did you know the first Calfornia hockey game was held in Los Angeles in 1917? Within a few short years, college hockey gained immense popularity with teams popping up at both USC and UCLA by the mid-1920s. The essential Zamboni was even invented in Paramount, California in 1949. In 1959, the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena opened giving the city a suitable venue for the NHL to visit, with exhibition games and visiting minor leagues.

After a short stint with the Western Hockey League, Los Angeles was learning to love hockey and by the late 60’s, the NHL was looking to expand. The Kings began an era of hockey growth that has just never really stopped. Their first game was in Long Beach, CA on October 14, 1967.

But they’re not the only team we have today. We now have 3 NHL teams, 5 AHL teams, and countless adult and youth teams across the state. And other ice sports have a connection with California – just look at Michelle Kwan, a two-time Olympic medalist, five-time world champion, nine-time U.S. figure skating champion, and southern California native.

Wayne Gretzky’s trade to LA may have led to a hockey boom, but it’s the true love and dedication of the hockey fans who keep that boom going strong. If you’ve never seen a game, you just have to experience it in person. I hope you’ll come and bring your friends and family to the “campus on the hill” for this memorable Winterfest event.

Voice of the Animal

I’m always excited to share something unique that our fine faculty are up to in their spare time, and last week, I mentioned Matthew Garrett’s book, Making Lamanites: Mormons, Native Americans, and the Indian Student Placement Program, 1947-2000. It’s now available online at http://content.lib.utah.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/upcat/id/2022/rec/1.

RaeandJoshProfessor Rae Ann Kumelos shared some awesome news with me this week that I’d couldn’t wait to highlight. First off, she and Professor Josh Ottum of the newly established Commercial Music Program at BC, have partnered together to record and score the Voice of the Animal show. As part of the Commercial Music program curriculum, students will have a guaranteed commercial venue to produce sound and musical content, and will gain valuable exposure and experience in creating material appropriate for a national audience on a variety of social media and broadcast platforms. In addition, she tells me, students will have national commercial experience to include in their portfolio, and BC and the Commercial Music program will receive acknowledgment at the end of each show.

Just last week, Rae Ann and Josh were in the studio recording our first programs – check out the selfie! It’s an incredible opportunity for our students and we’re so lucky to have Rae Ann and Josh at BC!  We are BC! We are all about developing talent and all about J for Jobs!

If you’re wondering about Voice of the Animal, it’s Rae Ann’s radio show with international exposure. It’s broadcast on the Animal Radio Network via XM Satellite Radio, I-Heart Radio podcasts,  and over 140 independent radio stations in the US and Canada, and it reaches almost 500,000 listeners.

In addition, Rae Ann also has a new book coming out titled Wild Wisdom: Animal Stories of the Southwest, published by Rio Nuevo. The book is available now on Amazon – and you can check out more on her website, www.voiceoftheanimal.com.

Hispanic Chamber Business Conference
and Familiar Faces

On Thursday, August 25th, the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held the 22nd Annual Hispanic Business Conference and Expo. Mary Jo Pasek and Tom Gelder were on hand to set up a beautiful display with BC themed goodies and represent Bakersfield College while I saw many familiar faces of BC supporters throughout the day.

First to catch my eye was Jay Tamsi, the CEO of the KCHCC.  Jay is a strong supporter of education and a great partner of the college.  Jay, the Business Conf. was a huge success. Thank you for all that you do for the community and for BC!

Next, BC alumna Lynne Grimes holds BC close to her heart with many fond memories of her time as a BC Renegade. She was an editor for the Rip and sang with our renowned BC Chamber Singers during her years as a student.

Three former students of BC have come together to create a small business, KIT Community, that supports tech and innovation in Kern County.  They were promoting their work at the Business Conference and stopped by the BC table.  We are going to collaborate with these youngsters and promote tech innovation and the entrepreneurial mindset.

Schilling Christian Aug 25 2016

Sonya Christian and Stephen Schilling

Stephen Schilling, CEO of Clinica Sierra Vista and a fantastic partner of BC also was in attendance and stopped by to say hello. He posted in his official message on the Clinica Sierra website that, “Clinica Sierra Vista is a testament to what can be accomplished when there is a sincere desire to serve. We have faced many challenges, not the least of which have been recent mandates to reduce health care costs. Yet we continue to forge ahead to meet those changes and prepare for a new era without compromising our mission. As we celebrate over forty years of success, we are still aware of the myriad of challenges facing us. There is still much to do as we try to reach those who are still not receiving adequate health care. We view the coming years with excitement as we continue our role in providing much-needed services in the ever-changing health care arena never forgetting who it is we truly serve.”

A truly inspirational message from a first-class leader in our community — Clinica Sierra Vista is build upon a foundation of caring for the community and “it is truly a program of local, state and federal resources meeting the needs of our very at-risk patient populations.” For more information about Clinica Sierra Vista, please check out https://clinicasierravista.org/.  Thank you to all BC staff and students who volunteered to staff the table — Lisa Kent, Mary Jo Pasek, Tom Gelder, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Nicky Damania, Sarah Baron, Asha Chandy, and Corny Rodriguez.  

DBA

At the Business Conference, I snagged a selfie with Cathy Butler, president of Bakersfield Downtown Business Association (DBA).

DBA

Selfie. Sonya Christian with Cathy Butler

Did you know the Bakersfield DBA was formed after the historical earthquake that devastated the Bakersfield area? It’s true! In 1954, two years after the historic earthquake wreaked havoc on over 100 buildings in Bakersfield, the DBA was established to bring business back to Bakersfield. Since then, it has worked diligently to improve the downtown area and keep Bakersfield safe, clean, and beautiful. And Cathy Butler is the heart and soul of the DBA!

A quick visit to their website reminded me that the Taste of Downtown event is back again this year. Did any of my blog readers attend last year? For information, check out http://bakersfielddba.com/taste-of-downtown-2016/

Student Leaders from BC, PC and CCCC Meet:

Last Saturday, August 20th, after publishing my blog, I headed out to Porterville College to join Tom Burke, CFO of KCCD, to present information about the bond and Measure J (remember J for Jobs) to student leaders from BC, PC, and CCCC.  It was delightful to see our students across KCCD be so enthusiastic, so curious, and so involved.  I was also really impressed with the advisors at the three colleges — Nicky Damania (Bakersfield), Carrin Blyth (Porterville) and Pam Campbell (Cerro Coso).  Porterville College President, Dr. Rosa Carlson, joined us and we had a wonderful and energetic conversation with the students.  And of course a shout out to the fabulous BC SGA Prez Mathew Frazer.

SGA Retreat Aug 20 2016

Arvin in the News:

 

The City of Arvin is definitely on the move. A groundbreaking ceremony was heldl on August 25th on the  Garden in the Sun Park on Bear Mountain Blvd.  Community Leaders were out in large numbers supporting the city.  Among them, Mayor Harvey Hall, who is also the honorary chair of the BC Bond Blue Ribbon Committee; Kern Community College Trustees Dennis Beebe and Kay Meek; as well as the Vice President of the Kern Economic Development Corporation Cheryl Scott.  Cheryl is also on the BC Foundation Board and is taking a leadership role on the Blue Ribbon Committee for the bond.  I also must do a shout out to Jim Young,  BC alum Jose Gurrola who is on the City Council, Mayor Jose Flores, City Manager Al Noyola, Jazmine Robles, and the entire Arvin City Council.

Ribbon Cutting Aug 25 2016

BC Athletics

Let’s now hear from Francis Mayer, BC’s Sports Director on the happenings with BC Athletics:

COACH CHUDY CALLS ANTELOPE VALLEY SCRIMMAGE PRODUCTIVE

“At this stage, you’ve got to look at it in bits and pieces; unfortunately we weren’t as consistent across the board as we needed to be. We had some missed tackles that led to more yards after the catch than you want to see, and then the mistakes…Our first two pays of the offensive series resulted in procedure penalties and those are momentum killers, and we repeated it. Those are killers…”

Chudy addressed the different looks BC trotted out against Antelope Valley.

“The game is evolving, and we are trying to get our best eleven players on the field every play whether that’s on offense or defense. Each play is it’s own unique play, and you take it one play at a time with your best eleven out there, that’s what we are trying to focus on…we are fortunate to have a lot of speed, and we have to utilize it. We won’t chuck n’ duck fifty times a game…we will try to be a balanced attack and make them cover the field; if they aren’t putting enough guys in the box, we’ve got to run downhill. When they gang up, we’ve got to throw to the edges and we are lucky enough to have guys who can take that five yard catch and turn it into a big gain,” Chudy explained.

No score was kept, but Chudy and his staff said they were more interested in finding hungry players. “We are finding out who can do what; that’s what this was about…it’s not about keeping score. It’s about correcting mistakes and pointing out things that were done correctly. And when we watch film tomorrow we’ll see who was doing the little things. Because the one thing they can control is their own effort. It doesn’t take talent; it just takes a lot of heart, guts, and mindset,” Chudy said.

THE BAKERSFIELD COLLEGE MEN’S SOCCER TEAM LOST THEIR REGULAR SEASON OPENER 2-1 AT SANTA MONICA COLLEGE

Coach Martinez Aug 2016

Coach Martinez

The Bakersfield College Men’s Soccer Team lost their regular season opener 2-1 on the road to Santa Monica College, their first regular season game in almost 30 years after being reinstated for play this year.

“We held our own for the first 45 minutes, we were a little bit disorganized and it took us some time to get into the flow of things. We held them off the score sheet in the first half, and we came out in the second half and committed a turnover around the 20 minute mark of the second half that led to their first score. And then with about eight minutes left in regulation, we got a throw-in deep in their half by Alberto Munoz, and Braulio Guiterrez collected the ball, shook off the defender, and placed a nice cross to Kevin Hernandez who calmy headed the ball in to the far post with about eight minutes to go.”

The excitement of having scored the very first goal in so many years at BC, and the blood might have boiled to hot from that adrenaline rush and one of their wingers beat our guy in the one-on-one and scored off of that cross to give them the last lead of the game.

Frank Arreola had eight saves while giving up two goals in the net for the Renegades.

“You can’t dwell on it, we’ve got another game in four days,” Martinez said.

The ‘Gades will host West Hills-Lemoore in their home debut in Memorial Stadium Tuesday at 7p in the second half of a double header that sees the women’s team play West Hills-Lemoore at 5p.

LADY ‘GADES WIN OPENER 4-1 AT LA VALLEY

After coming out of the half tied at 1s, Bakersfield ripped LA Valley for three goals to run away

“I’m really thrilled to say we had four different goal scorers,” Head Coach Scott Dameron said, “Because I think that’s the strength of this year’s team; we are pretty balanced.”

Ali Castro scored the first goal from about 40 yards out, and Dameron called it an “absolute bomb”.

Sabrina Sanchez set up the ‘Gades second goal just one minute after entering the game in the second half as a sub; she slipped a ball through to Amelia Lopez who drove the ball home from about 18 yards out.

But Sanchez wasn’t done being helpful, and about 15 minutes later she found Maria Carrillo with a similar ball that only required nimble collection and a steady shot to beat the keeper.

3-1 ‘Gades.

Odalys Espinoza scored BC’s final goal on a PK given after a handball on a corner kick.

VOLLEYBALL OPENS REGULAR SEASON 2-0 WITH WINS OVER CHAFFEY COLLEGE AND RIO HONDO @DAY ONE OF LA PIERCE TOURNEY 

The Bakersfield College Volleyball team opened their 2016 season with a 3-0 win over Chaffey College and a 3-1 win over Rio Hondo in day one of the LA Pierce Tournament Friday.

 

The Lady Gades will resume play Saturday at 1pm against Mira Costa, and 6:30p against either Pierce or Santa Barbara.

MEN’S AND WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY OPEN SEASONS AT OXNARD INVITATIONAL

Cross Country Aug 2016

The Bakersfield College Women’s Cross Country team finished eighth out of 10 teams competing in the 5k race, while the Men’s team placed eighth out of 11 teams in the four mile race.

Sydney Roman was the top individual finisher for the women with a time of 20 minutes and 56 seconds (25th place), while Patrick Alvardo finished first for the men with a time of 22 minutes and 23.9 seconds (22nd)

Rudyard Kipling

Out of the blue, one of my friends this week quoted Rudyard Kipling. “But to stand an’ be still to the Birken’ead drill is a damn tough bullet to chew” …a line from Soldier an’ Sailor too.  That got me digging out my poetry book, Panorama, from high school and spending nostalgic evenings reading some of my favorite poems.  I thought about the late and absolutely genius Robin Williams as his role in The Dead Poets Society saying “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry… beauty, romance, love, these… are what we stay alive for.”

Rudyard Kipling, known for notable works including “The Jungle Book” and “If-“ was born in Bombay, India and found his talent at a young age as the editor of his school paper. He is quoted as saying “If history were taught in form of story, it would never be forgotten.” So, it was no surprise when researching Soldier an’ Sailor too, that it has a true historical reference to the sinking of the HMS Birkenhead in 1852. The poem pays homage to the Royal Marines who went down with the ship and gave lifeboat priority to the women and children on board. “The synonymous ‘Birkenhead drill’ became an exemplar of courageous behavior in hopeless circumstances”

The themes in Rudyard Kipling’s works include valor, adventure, and bravery. I’ve often mentioned my affinity for The Jungle Book (Check out July 9th’s blog when I saw the new movie) and one of my favorite stories in the collection is the one of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the courageous mongoose who protects his family against the snakes. You can see a clip of the cartoon on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl7f2ytS7Vw.

While these two stories are thoughtfully different – one of perishing soldiers and one of a brave little creature – they both have the same unfailing message that heroes (who can come in any shape or form) strive to do the right thing by putting others first.

That’s a wrap – and I can’t wait to see what next week has in store.

sonya thoughtful fall 2016

 

 

Until next Saturday…..

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya  

The luckiest and happiest college president