Tag Archives: Jay Tamsi

KCCD spreading Umoja (Unity) across our communities

Congratulations Dr. Paula Parks

Norma Rojas-Mora snapped this picture of Paula at yesterday’s Hall of Fame event and I felt it was appropriate to start my blog with the person who taught me the word Umoja and the importance of unity.

Dr. Parks inducted into the
CSUB Alumni Hall of Fame

Also, KCCD was well-represented at last week’s Community College League of California Annual Legislative Conference in Sacramento. Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Yovani Jimenez met with colleagues from around the state to discuss the importance of our California Community Colleges and the road ahead to support students.

Nan also presented with Dr. Martha Garcia, president of College of the Desert.

One highlight of the conference was the legislative town hall featuring Assemblymember Jose Medina, whose work on AB 927 – which makes the Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Program permanent – will be transformational for so many of our students, and for the communities we serve.

Working together and building partnerships to improve our students’ lives – that’s what we do at the Kern Community College District!

Good morning, friends…
It is February 12, 2022.
The sun shines bright over KernCCD.

This week, the Pirates, the Coyotes, and the Renegades continue to 
#DareMightyThings


Porterville College

PC Returns to In Person Instruction on the 14th

PC President Dr. Claudia Habib informed the campus community on Feb 9 that PC will be returning to in person instruction starting Monday, Feb. 14th.

In a letter to the campus community, Habib stated, “I am optimistic that with everyone’s help, we will manage conditions on campus and continue to provide the safest environment for our students, faculty, and staff. Currently, Tulare County’s Positivity Rate is at 22.1%. This number reflects improvement on pandemic conditions over the past several weeks, and I hope it continues trending this way.”  She did add a bit of reality to that optimism, stating, “It is, however, essential to remember that COVID isn’t over, and there are still new cases in our community every day. For that reason, department staffing will continue to adapt with flexible schedules as needed.”

Students, faculty, and staff continue to use the KCCD App every day to support a successful return. Thank you to our students, faculty, and staff for continuing to take these essential steps to keep yourself and our community safe.

For more information on PC’s COVID-19 protocols at our website: https://www.portervillecollege.edu/healthy-return-campus.

PC Promotes Umoja Program at PC

PC is spreading the word about a fantastic program created to provide resources and support for African American and other students.

Umoja, which is a Kiswahili word meaning unity, is a community and critical resource dedicated to enhancing the cultural and educational experiences of African Americans and other students.

Students participating in UMOJA receive academic advising, culturally relevant professional and personal development resources, support for their academic success, access to a multi-college and university network, peer mentorship, and access to the PC UMOJA Village.

If you would like more information or are Interested in joining our Umoja Community, visit https://www.portervillecollege.edu/are-you-interested-joining-umoja

#ShowUsYourRedPIRATES

The Pirates face Fresno City College

The PC Men’s Basketball team grabbed a critical win against Fresno City College on Wednesday (74-65).  Join our Pirates as they head back home for the next step towards a winning season this Saturday, February 12, versus West Hills Coalinga at home!

The Pirates were ranked 28th going into this week in the California Community College Men’s Basketball Coaches Association Poll. Cheer on the Pirates as they fight to finish the season in the top 30 for the state.

Spectators are allowed in the gym for this game (thank you for wearing your mask and protecting our student-athletes), so SHOW US YOUR RED, Porterville!

Communications Instructor Dr. Jonathan Hernandez
shows his incredible school spirit at Wednesday’s Game!

Cerro Coso Community College

How About Them Coyotes

The Cerro Coso men’s basketball team entered their home court on Wednesday night with a season long goal of pursing the playoffs in focus. But in order to do so, they would need to go through conference rival, San Bernardino Valley College. SBVC came into the Cerro Coso Gym as the #1 team in the IEAC and ranked #8 in the CCCAA coaches poll with a record of 9-2/17-4.

From the very tipoff, Cerro Coso controlled the tempo and won in the “little parts” of the game. Josh Miller (21 pts) won the tip and from there the Coyotes would roll on to a big 96-87 win over the Wolverines. Cerro Coso’s high energy performance was led by the hardnosed play of Kyren Gardner (17 pts) who really stepped up for his teammates Wednesday night by fighting for rebounds, playing strong on defense, and attacking the basket to keep the Coyotes on pace. Nathaniel Jackson also proved to be a key to the victory as he helped to keep a stingy SBVC defense out of rhythm with some shifty ball movement and cashing in on 20 points. 

With the win, Cerro Coso moves to 17-5 overall and 8-3 in conference and will travel to Palo Verde this weekend and face the pesky Pirates.

Cerro Coso returns home next weekend for their final home series when they face College of Desert on February 19 and 20.

Valles says CC Guides You Toward Bigger Goals

Meet Cerro Coso Promise student Geraldine Valles.  Originally from Laredo, Texas, Valles followed her boyfriend to Ridgecrest when he was picked up to play Baseball for the Coyotes.  Vales, an athlete herself, has been playing on the Women’s Volleyball team for two years.  She plans to graduate this May with a transfer degree in Liberal Arts Math and Science.  Her goal is to transfer to the University of Texas at Austin next fall and major in exercise science and psychology.  Ultimately she would like to become a sports psychologist to help athletes reach their full potential not only on the court/field but also mentally.

Valles says the Cerro Coso Promise program has not only helped her focus on helping others at Cerro Coso and in the community of Ridgecrest, but has also helped her financially with books, transportation, and tuition.  She believes other students should apply for the promise program “because it gets you involved at Cerro Coso by meeting new people, helping out around the campus, and has a great financial impact on college expenses.”

Her favorite memory of Cerro Coso “has been forming relationships with not only her fellow students but also faculty and staff.  Especially, Ms. Connie…she has always motivated me and made me feel like Cerro Coso is my home, she always asks how I’m doing and it’s great to always see her around campus to catch up whenever we can.

Valles encourages others to consider Cerro Coso because, “they have the best faculty and staff to help you throughout your college journey.  They helped me tremendously.  Even though, when I got to Cerro Coso Covid-19 had just started, the college implemented great ways to connect to professors and offered new technological advances for many subjects.

For the first time since launching in 2017, the Cerro Coso Promise Program is opening up for new applications this spring offering students up to two full-years of tuition-free education.  The Cerro Coso Community College Foundation (CCCC Foundation) launched the program in 2017 to ensure that no deserving student is denied the opportunity to earn a college degree or certificate.  Besides covering two full years of tuition-free education, the program helps with textbooks, counseling, and the kind of hands-on support that is helping student within the Kern Community College District service area develop an education plan to meet their career and academic goals. 

What makes this program unique is that it is not based on personal income and is open to all full-time students…new, returning, continue students who meet the criteria. 

The Cerro Coso Promise program provides access to community college education for students who might otherwise have been excluded due to financial barriers. 

Information and application for the Cerro Coso Promise Program is available on the college website at www.cerrocoso.edu

The Cerro Coso Promise is funded through the support of generous donors and the statewide California College Promise.

Students attending Cerro Coso Bishop and Mammoth Lakes campuses are eligible to apply for the Inyo or Mono Promise. 

5th Graders Attend Cerro Coso College Day Virtually

As they approach middle school, now is an ideal time to get fifth graders thinking about higher education.  What does a day in the life of a Cerro Coso student look like?  That and many other college related questions were the focus of the 5th Grade I’m Going to College Day held virtually on Tuesday, February 8th, 2022.

Cerro Coso is no stranger to technology, and now our society is better equipped than ever before to connect with each other virtually and that includes fifth graders. Unable to hold the event for the last two years, CC Outreach Director Katie Bachman leveraged college and local school technology to hold the event virtually and helped elementary school students embrace the new normal.  Three area elementary schools participated in the three-hour event via Zoom with 146 5th graders in attendance.  Activities allowed the 5th graders to experience college in a playful, creative, and collaborative way that would inspires them to pursue a higher education. 

Instructors and staff offered engaging sessions to help those in attendance learn about the educational options available to them at Cerro Coso.  Dr. Sean Hancock opened by welcoming and encouraging the students to consider their future as a Coyote at Cerro Coso.  Paralegal Professor Dawn Ward held a fun “Who Did It” session, English Professor Melanie Jeffrey’s led classes in Mad Libs, Counselor Karee Hamilton shared how high school students can earn a degree before graduating high school through the college Dual/Concurrent Enrollment program, Ashley Nichols familiarized students with the Library with some fun activities, and Cerro Coso students talked about student life on campus and their experiences at the college. Not sure what they want to do after high school?  That’s okay, Jennifer Marshall showed students how the CC Career Center can help. 

Each child will receive an “I’m going to college” t-shirt, share the Kern Pledge with mom and dad, and will sign a Kern Pledge banner indicating they intend to be responsible citizens by going to college or directly into the workforce. 

The experience is one they will never forget and stresses the importance of going to college long before they are ready to go.  “You have BRAINS in your HEAD. You have FEET in your SHOES. You can STEER yourself any DIRECTION you CHOOSE.” – Dr. Seuss

Cerro Coso Holds Evacuation Drills

Knowing what to do and where to go in an emergency can save lives. The week of January 31 through February 4, Cerro Coso exercised a series of Emergency Evacuation drills at all campus locations. 

Everyone in a building that was being evacuated was instructed exit the building in the quickest and safest route and travel to the closest evacuation assembly area. 

These drills are held every semester so everyone in the buildings knows and understands the evacuation plan and knows what to do in the event of a real emergency.  They also provide an opportunity to identify areas of concern to be addressed, and alter plans accordingly.

Keeping everyone fully trained is the best way to ensure an evacuation drill is effective at fulfilling its purpose. 


Bakersfield College

Umoja Celebrates Black History Month

BC’s Umoja Community kicked off Black History Month with their 4th annual conference. CSULA professor/performer Funmilola Fagbamila engaged attendees in a conversation on building coalitions in the Black community. The chat was on fire with comments and questions from BC students, BC faculty, and community members. Please consider joining one of the remaining events this month, including:

Congratulations to Olivia Garcia, KCHCC’s Newest Chair

This past weekend, the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual awards dinner and welcomed in the new Chair of the Executive Board, BC’s Professor of History, Olivia Garcia.

With Corny Rodriguez and Paul Beckworth.

Bakersfield College was also recognized with an award, which was accepted by KCCD Trustee President, Romeo Agbalog.

Ralph Bailey congratulated Olivia and KCHCC President Jay Tamsi, who received a Humanitarian Award, on his show:

BC Art Professor Speaks to Liberty High School Students

Joseph Tipay, Professor of Art, presented to the Hispanics in STEM Club at Liberty High School just before the holidays. In addition to discussing his professional accomplishments, Joseph shared about being a first-generation college student, being system impacted, growing up facing adversity, and failing early in his college career.

After the presentation, students shared inspiring stories about their own journeys and dreams for the future. Joseph noted, “I’ve done panels and large Zoom conferences, but these intimate conversations are often the most impactful.” Tipay teaches Art classes in the Rising Scholars Program and at other BC locations. You can learn more about his work at Joseph Tipay Art.


Chancellor’s Seminar Series

Last week, the Chancellor’s Seminar Series focused on budgets with a session called “Dollars and Sense of Budgeting”.

Mike Giacomini shared insight into the process at Bakersfield College:

Lisa Couch spoke about Cerro Coso Community College:

And Arlitha also discussed Porterville College:

You can catch up on all the Chancellor’s Seminar Series at https://www.kccd.edu/chancellors-office/chancellors-communications/chancellors-seminar-series.

In the News

Meet Cerro Coso’s Dean

The Loop published this article about Cerro Coso Dean of Career-Technical Education Nicole Griffin, who spoked at the monthly Tehachapi Mountain Branch AAUW (American Association of University Women) of Tehachapi meeting.

Her talk described the transformative power of education for all, especially women and those in marginalized groups. 

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Check out these photos Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio shared from his figure drawing class:

We’re getting art show work ready! My Figure Drawing class was FIRE last night! I’m happy their enthusiasm and morale has them creative from beginning to end.

Porterville College shared this from the KCCD Leadership Academy:

What a wonderful and inspiring day sharing about PC projects and programs with the KCCD Leadership Academy!

The Cerro Coso Learning Assistance Center shared this beautiful snapshot from campus:

It’s a great day to close the textbooks and take a walk through campus.
Or, gather your things and find a spot to study.
Happy Friday!

Spotted John Means with Dolores Huerta on Facebook

I loved these beautiful flowers that BC Astronomy Professor Nick Strobel shared:

The first of our California Poppies are blooming along with our African Daisies.

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That’s a wrap for now.
See you next Saturday!

The future is bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

#KCCDDaringMightyThings

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!

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That’s all for now.
Until next time.

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

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!

adam-alvidrez-with-carlos-navarro-feb-15-2017

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

woman-of-the-year-group-feb-11-2017

 

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!

hbcu_fb

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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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 celebrat