Tag Archives: Jay Tamsi

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.

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

karen-goh-emmanuel-limaco-sonya-christian-feb-15-2017

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.

Movienight.jpg

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.

counseling_studentsuccessconference

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

Catching the Olympic Spirit

 

Sonya Jen Paula August 12 2016

Sonya Christian, Paula Dahl, Jen Garrett

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, August 13, 2016 following a week of Olympics and a week of great activity at BC….a great week to be a Renegade.  

 

On Friday, after my Land Rover was broken into (yes…..quite bummed about that) I spent a few brief moments with Jen Garrett and Paula Dahl at the Starbucks on 24th.  I just sat back watching these two incredible women talk about what they did this summer and all I can say dear community members, is that we are so fortunate to have such incredible faculty members at BC taking care of our students, taking care of our community.  No wonder I always repeat over and over and over again that I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.  These two women inspire me!

Let’s start with Rio or should I say #Rio2016…..

The Olympic spirit is contagious and it’s hard to not get caught up in the highlights of terrific athletic merit and examples of superb sportsmanship. It’s easy to sit back and enjoy the thrilling Olympics, but sitting back also makes me truly appreciate the hard work, dedication, training, resilience and sheer talent of these athletes and their preparation for these few weeks in Rio.  Anticipation and preparation are two ingredients to success….BC has done this over the last 100 years and now it is our turn to anticipate and prepare for future generations.  And that we are doing through our facilities planning as we build, together, A Better BC!

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Every unique story stemming from Rio has struck me as particularly moving, but one article caught my attention specifically. U.S. Women Jump, Spin, and Soar to Gymnastics Gold from the New York Times explains just how these girls earned gold. The author explains – It started with “A strong start on the vault” followed by Gabby Douglas getting “her moment.” These young women maneuvered the trials by “avoiding trouble on the balance beam” and closing the victory with “great performances.”

The charismatic U.S. women’s gymnastics team is a shining example of what makes America great –dedication, the opportunity to explore our talents and passions, the ability to freely pursue them, tough training, incredible grace, and banding together to accomplish great things. Our biggest advantage as a nation also stems from our diversity as displayed on the roster by these fantastic women. Laurie Hernandez is Latina, Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas are black, and Aly Raisman and Madison Kocian are white. Together, they offer a glimpse into the beautiful mosaic of American diversity.  A single “i” in the collective “we”.  i-BC….and yes, We are BC!

Our world is full of perils and challenges, but the camaraderie on display at Rio 2016 offers a view of our increasingly diverse future; one that we can all take pride in being a part of. Let us continue to be inspired as we witness the beauty in diversity of people working together and striving for excellence.

The track and field competitions have just begun on Rio’s schedule, which reminds me of Jim Ryun (yes, spelled “Ryun”) and his record setting accomplishment at our own Memorial Stadium. A side note: I recently learned that Jim Ryun went on to serve in Congress with our very own Bill Thomas.  On June 23rd of 1967, a world record time was set by Ryun of 3:51.1 running the mile during the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. A video, uploaded to Youtube, shows this unbelievable feat.  (Thank you Shannon Musser for finding this in the archives for us.  And thank you Jerry Ludeke for all that you do for the archives, a true treasure of Bakersfield College.)

That year was the first of five times Memorial Stadium would be home to the championship event. It is my hope that moving forward, BC can continue providing adequate spaces as more records are set at The Home of the Renegades.  Together, let’s build A Better BC for generations to come.

Talking about building A Better BC, Tom Burke and I were on the Jim Scott show on KGET this past Saturday, August 6th sharing information about the KCCD Bond that will be on the November ballot.  If you are interested in this 30-minute video segment check it out on the KGET website at http://tinyurl.com/z7eoxue.

Program for Energy Academy Graduation August 11 2016On Thursday evening, after the Board meeting, I attended the graduation ceremony of the Energy Academy which started on May 21st.  Check out my previous blog post at https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/05/21/so-much-diversity-and-we-are-bc/

 

It was such a great event.  Besides celebrating our BC students going through this intense Saturday program I enjoyed the friendship of different community groups coming together to make meaningful and transformative opportunities happen for this community. The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce puts this program together with funding from Chevron.

The student speaker Larry Dano was just phenomenal.  He shared his story in the oil industry going through the ups and down of the cyclical economic climate.  He is a BC student who is in the Fire Technology program while he is working towards a baccalaureate degree in Industrial Safety.  Larry is also a student veteran.  Armando Trullijo, BC’s Ed Adviser for student vets was present at the graduation beaming with pride as he introduced Larry to me.  Here is a selfie with Larry right after I gave him his certificate.  The second picture is with David Alanis, a KCHCC member who was at my table and a lot of fun to hang out with.

Lauren Skidmore did a fabulous job facilitating the entire academy and giving up her Saturday mornings to be with this cohort of students.  Thank you Adam Alvidrez and Jay Tamsi for your leadership.  It was great fun sitting at the same table with Norma Rojas-Mora, Michael Bowers and others.  The final word on the Energy Academy must be about Lisa Kent.  This beautiful and talented young woman is so committed to BC and our community.  Thank you Lisa for all that you do!

The BC Team came out in full force to support the Energy Academy graduates.  See below –Armando Trujillo, Connie Gonzales, myself, Jay Tamsi, Lisa Kent, Lesley Bond.  Also, a quick shout out to two more students, Andrea Hernandez and Jose Chavez, with Skidmore, Gonzales, and Kent.

Our Staff is a Great Team

All this focus on Rio and team work reminds me of the great staff and faculty I’m lucky to be working with at BC. Taking care of our current facilities and campus is a constant and growing challenge for a team of truly awesome people.

These efforts wouldn’t be possible without the leadership and dedication of our Facilities and Operations staff. I’d like to mention Ramon Puga and Andrea Watson, who have stepped up and taken on additional responsibilities without being asked. Their attitude is commendable because these two will do whatever it takes to get the job done.

These two, however, are part of a much larger team – everyone at BC plays a unique role in what we do. Thank you Ramon and Andrea for your example of leadership and dedication!  And thank you Bill Potter, Director of Facilities, for your commitment to BC.  Together we will modernize our buildings and infrastructure for future generations….together we will upgrade our learning spaces from the 1950s to accommodate new technologies….together we will build A Better BC!

Another example of quality at BC is the Peer Mentor program, led by Maria Wright. This last week, the PMLA (Peer Mentor Leadership Academy) trained 50 new student employees over a four-day period.

PMLA 2

These students will begin doing student success work in the tutoring center, counseling department, supplemental instruction, and outreach. The training they received focused on students helping students and enhancing their role as Peer Mentors as a means to increase students success campus wide. These great young people are going to make a great difference in the lives of their fellow students! Each student seen individually…. It is all about  customizing for the individual and scaling up for the collective.  i-BC! and We are BC!

This week was also MESA Week Zero. MESA workshops started off in helping students interested in STEM classes.

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This marks year nine for the program, where various workshops – including organic chemistry camp, biology, and engineering are taught. The main goal in providing workshops all week was to get students ready for STEM classes and give insider knowledge specified for each major. BC professors assisted in providing different curriculum projects, which showed students what they would be learning and how they could apply it on the job. Seeing each individual student within the whole group.  Yes, i-BC! and We are BC!

Consuelo Gonzalez, MESA director, said she believes that “in order to be successful in science and engineering you need to have life coaching and the right discipline.” These five-day workshops going on all week are sponsored by Chevron and MESA.

Introducing the new GoGades.com

Gogades.jpgA wave of updates has washed over our campus this past summer. Have you seen the new signs around campus, the newly poured walkways, and fresh coat of paint in the parking lot? In addition to those and many more, BC Athletics has a new website! You can’t miss the pop of Renegade Red, while checking out the accomplishments of our fantastic student athletes.

GoGades.com features a slideshow highlighting the most recent news and photos about Renegade sports. You’ll find news, photos, videos and a schedule for every BC sports department, as well as information about tickets, recruiting, athletic facilities, sponsorships, directions around campus and more. The redesign couldn’t have come at a better time, with the fall 2016 semester right around the corner.

Football is a proud staple at BC and I hope you’ll join me at our first home game against Chaffey College at BC’s Memorial Stadium on September 10th. This fall also marks the return of Men’s Soccer to BC after a 30-year absence. Along with head coach Vayron Martinez, I’m excited for the future as this program builds from the ground up into a legitimate competitor in the Western State Conference.

Thank you to our Sports Information Director, Francis Mayer, for his work on this site, everyone who works to cast a spotlight on our student athletes, and everyone at BC  and in the community  who supports them! Go Gades!

For more info about Renegade athletics, including former BC quarterback Logan Kilgore making his first professional start in the Canadian Football League, I hope you’ll be sure to visit Gogades.com.

Howard Swan Award

RonJen1Another staple at BC is our talented music faculty. Since 1985, every summer, at the CACDA (California American Choral Directors Association) conference near Yosemite, a director is awarded the Howard Swan Lifetime Achievement award. This award recognizes an outstanding retired choral director in our state and candidates are nominated by the California ACDA Board of Directors and voted upon by past Presidents.

This year it was awarded to our own Ron Kean! Many well respected choral directors in California spoke about Ron’s dedication to the choral art. The speakers focused on the way he brought multicultural music to the forefront of choral music and made it accessible and something choral directors did not have to be afraid to try. They talked about his quiet and humble dedication as he served as President of the ACDA Western Division, President of the Music Association of California Community Colleges (MACCC), 6 years as Repertoire and Standards Chair for Ethnic and Multicultural Perspectives, and more.

The “Lifetime” Achievement Award seemed insufficient as Ron’s dreams and support go well beyond his tenure at any institution or office. He continues to support ACDA through workshops and sharing of his years of experience. And he wholeheartedly supports Bakersfield College in his so called “retirement,” still teaching the World Music class he created. He also conducted the BC Choirs and BSO in an unforgettable opening of our Outdoor Theater, and supports the choral program in any way he can.

Jen Garrett and many others also talked about the way his compositions will live on beyond any of us. He has made a personal difference in so many lives–as a professor, choral conductor, leader, composer, and most importantly, as a friend and colleague. Many lives have been greatly enriched and blessed because of Ron. Congratulations!!

In an email last week, Ron told me “retirement can open the doors to creativity.”  “The White Birds” is one of 5 commissions he’s done in the past two years.  He has judged choral music festivals at Bakersfield High School, Fresno State, USC, Santa Rosa Community College, and this Fall at Cal State Long Beach and guest conducted in Hawaii, Bali, and for the Santa Monica/Malibu School District Honor Choirs.  The photo was taken at St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland just after the premiere of “The White Birds,” with poetry by William Butler Yeats.  It was co-commissioned by the two conductors in the photo, Lou De La Rosa from West Valley College in San Jose, and Dr. Jeffrey Benson from San Jose State University.  “The White Birds” was performed for the opening of the first ever Limerick Choral Music Festival, for the mayors of Limerick and Dublin, and at the end of each concert. I’m told each performance was followed by a standing ovation – I believe it too!RonIreland.jpg

Renegades in the Community

BC is connecting our community in both simple and meaningful ways.

Sometimes, all it takes is a 35 mile drive and the need for a diet coke to connect staff and students! Tracy Lovelace from our Educational Media department sent me this video – I hope it’ll make you smile, just like it did for me.

Janelly, we’re proud that you’re a Renegade! Thanks for sharing Tracy.

Cropped Aug 12 2015 Community Leaders Gathering

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya 

(This picture, posted by Karen Goh one year ago at the African American Leaders breakfast, popped up on Facebook after a year.)

Building A Better BC

At approximately 1:45 p.m. on July 14, 2016 the KCCD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to have a $503 M bond measure on the November ballot. A historic moment!

Board Meeting July 14 2016

The next day, Friday, July 15th, Bakersfield woke up to an amazing coverage of this decision on TV and in The Bakersfield Californian.

Enjoy the two pieces in the Californian — An article by Harold Pierce on page 2 and an endorsement opinion piece by Mayor Harvey Hall.

You can read Harold Pierce‘s article  here: http://tinyurl.com/zu6r7l6

 

I also want to  thank Mayor Harvey Hall, for his endorsement of the bond measure published here http://tinyurl.com/hdvx7b4

TBC_HarveyHall_7.15.2016

Mayor Hall also spoke in support of the bond at Thursday’s meeting. In his speech, he strongly encouraged the KCCD Board of Trustees to “Dream big for future students” and “be bold in our decisions.”  

One moment in his speech that stood out to me was when he requested that Board members pause to think about the number of lives that have been changed because of attending Bakersfield College… And again to think about the number of families who have been impacted because someone in that family earned a degree or certificate at BC. He said, “Bakersfield College IS a return on investment!”

Following Mayor Harvey Hall, BC Student Government Association President Matthew Frazer took the stand.

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Matthew Frazer addresses the Board of Trustees – and a packed crowd of BC supporters!

He opened by sharing memories and experiences he’s had “…growing up in a city where everyone can call Bakersfield College home.”

He made almost everyone in the room smile or chuckle when he spoke of our campus by saying…  “The 1950s look is simply not cutting it for me anymore.”

Wesley Lyons, one of our student veterans, also shared his thoughts.

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Wesley Lyons returns to his seat after his speech.

A statistic some of you may have heard, is that 22 veterans commit suicide per day. Their suicides are damaging to our community and opened my eyes that we need more direct services dedicated to these brothers and sisters. And while the campus community can help to Band-Aid it together, there are still lingering effects. The new Veteran Recourse Center will have a larger dedicated space for Veterans to come together to share, support, and most importantly to decompress. The space will also have dedicated tutors for soldiers who have not been dedicated learners in four plus years, and increased administrative support such as additional advisors to cope with an increasing demand for veteran specific knowledge. As a veteran I can tell you, that sometimes I need to know there is a space I can rely on that will help me calm my nerves and where like-minded support will be there for me to relate to.”

The room was packed and the message was clear: Dream Big – our future and the future of the students who attend BC depend on it. The support thus far has been overwhelming and the excitement bursts around us.

BC’s Bond Blue Ribbon Committee came out in full force to support the Board in taking this action.  I was sitting up front, so could not see everyone who was in the packed room.  So let me mention a few: Mayor Harvey Hall, Congressman Bill Thomas, Norma Rojas-Mora, Jay Rosenlieb, Karen Thompson, Michael Bowers, Jay Tamsi, Keith Wolaridge, Michael O’Doherty, Michael Turnipseed and others.

Arvin was present and attendees distributed shirts that said #BCinArvin and many supporters put them on instantly. City Manager Al Noyola addressed the Board along with Jennifer Wood the Director of Building Healthy Communities.  City Council Member Jose Gurrola, an alum of BC, was also present.

You can see more photos online at http://tinyurl.com/z2n6cj3

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Arvin

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Last weekend, I shared a bit about a recent visit to Shafter, but today I’d like to explore our neighbor to the southeast, Arvin – and the good things happening there with BC.

Arvin is a beautiful city with a long history of crops, cattle, and oil. Located about 15 miles to the southeast, this Garden in the Sun was named after a land owner’s son from Ohio named Arvin Richardson. The city is frammed by mountains along three sides and surrounded by fertile farmlands so it’s not surprising this small town boomed throughout the decades into a major center of agriculture.

Many families relocated to Arvin during the dust bowl period or “the dirty thirties,” including Dr. Jim Young’s family. Arvin has been his home ever since, even commuting daily to Bakersfield during his time at the KHSD AND KCCD. It was mentioned in an article on Bakersfield.com that he “loved making the drive each morning and afternoon” until his retirement in 1999.  (http://tinyurl.com/zb3coc3)

bc_pres_arvinLike cities across Kern County, Arvin is growing and so are the educational needs of the city. BC first offered 6-8 courses at Arvin High School in 2010-11 increasing the number of courses to 23 by 2014-15. We began implementing 1+1+2 Game Changer this year resulting in an even further increasing number of courses for fall 2016. (Take a moment to check out my August 5, 2015 blog about the Game Changer program http://tinyurl.com/hkm2p6y. A big thank you to Michael Turnipseed and Supervisor Leticia Perez for making this happen.)  With limited space at the current Arvin High School location, BC is investigating alternative facilities to offer classes and services for the rising Arvin student body.

This plan has great urgency as we discovered Arvin High School is preparing for a 16% increase in freshman this fall. This makes AHS the second largest school in the KCCD service area. Arvin and Lamont are among the most densely populated townships in Kern County ranging from 3,500 to 4000 citizens per square mile and have a thirty-percent poverty rate that challenges any in our nation. The education needs of this underprivileged community are an equity issue that has our immediate focus.

BC’s Drumline and Bugle Corps

Saturday, July 16th, night at the Memorial Stadium was magical.  The crescent moon was brilliant on this clear night as the seven Drum Corps teams from across California competed at Bakersfield College with over 2000 spectators in the stands.

Impulse – Buena Park, CA; Incognito – Garden Grove, CA; Watchmen – Riverside, CA; Blue Devils C – Concord, CA; Blue Devils B – Concord, CA; Vanguard Cadets – Santa Clara, CA; Golden Empire – Bakersfield, CA

Check out 16 seconds of the BC Drumline sound:

A group of us attended the event and it was so much fun.  With the hectic pace of work for everyone, I cannot remember the last time I did something social with a group.  Was wonderful seeing my good friend Karen Goh and catching up with her after such a long time.  It was an evening of great music, lots of laughter and tons of selfies. Thank you for coming out and celebrating BC — Kimberly Bligh, Bobby Bligh, Janet Tarjan, Nick Strobel, Lisa Strobel, Jay Rosenlieb, and Karen Goh.

 

For more pictures check out Karen Goh’s Facebook photos at http://tinyurl.com/zt33hqj

Tim Heasley has done an amazing job starting up Bakersfield College’s Gold Empire Drum and Bugle Corps. His passion and expertise has taken grown the group to 323 member, brass, percussion  and visual performers. Last night BC’s Corps competed in the DCI ‘Resound” and placed third. That is quite an accomplishment for a group in their third year.  Check out a video tribute to Tim Heasley from a high school classmate from West High who was sitting right behind us.

Mary Jo July 16 2016And what can I say about Mary Jo Pasek.  She works hard, she is everywhere, she is dedicated to BC and she is dedicated to this community.  Mary Jo tirelessly promotes the community and BC on social media.  She tirelessly works events even if it means giving our community members rides from their cars to the event in 102 degree temperatures.  She tirelessly volunteers her services for numerous good causes across the community.  Mary Jo, thank you for all that you do.  I am so glad you are at BC. #WeAreBC.

Also a special thanks to our stellar maintenance and public safety staff for making this event happen last night in our Memorial Stadium.  Chief Counts and Bill Potter please say a big thank you from me to your staff.

Chevron Retirees

On Friday, I really enjoyed presenting to the Chevron Retirees Association along with Karen Thompson.  It was a great great group with a lot of stories about Bakersfield College. I enjoyed visiting with both Betty Bean and Janice Meek.  Janice grew up in Lamont, attended Arvin High School and then came to BC where she was a Chamber singer. Janice retired this December as an Area Manager at Chevron and worked at Chevron for a total of 25 years.  

[Talking about Chamber Singers, did you see the July 6, 2016  article by Stefani Dias in the Californian about the play Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Stars Theater? http://www.bakersfield.com/entertainment/2016/07/06/technicolor-dreams-at-stars.html.  There was a shout out the BC’s Chamber Singers.  Here is the line:  “The show is a mix of seasoned performers and new faces, Forzetting said, including members of Bakersfield College’s chamber choir.”]

Chevron was the recipient of the Bakersfield College Foundation award for philanthropy.

Here are some previous blog posts about Chevron:

Feb 4, 2013: Thank you Chevron:
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2013/02/04/thank-you-chevron/

April 9, 2016: BC and the Community –Relationship Runs Deep:
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/04/09/bc-and-the-community-relationship-runs-deep/

May 28, 2016: It Is The Best of Times
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/05/28/it-is-the-best-of-times/

June 25, 2016: Celebrating Our People:
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/06/25/celebrating-our-people/

Rocky, the Raccoon

An unexpected guest made his way to the north side of the Admin building on Thursday morning. Officer Marco Sifuentes and Ramon Puga worked simultaneously to get our little Raccoon the help he needed and by that afternoon, a team from the Animal Capture Wildlife Control came to help our little friend.

Rocky.jpg

And good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday July 16, 2016 and a good day to be a Renegade.

sonya at Rotary April 30 2015

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya ….. the luckiest and happiest college president in the whole world