Tag Archives: Jean Fuller

A week of roses speaks Hope

With the month of March having unseasonably high temperatures, some of us worried that the cooler wetter weather was left behind and we could be in for an early brutal summer with the potential for another CA drought. And then April surprisingly brought us rains with beautiful clouds and burst of flowers, with roses all around our neighborhood. Enjoy the sprinkling of roses throughout this blog post that I captured for you during my Neo-Bessie walks.

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, April 17, 2020…A great day to be a Renegade

A Birthday

Here is another great poem by Jack Hernandez

Photo by Earl Parsons

As I turn into a new year
I feel the cycle narrowing,
the road to the ocean shorter
where I will sit on a rock
and see the expanse before me,
I do not walk on water
only the earth behind me
with its soft snow fallen winters
and rising green springs,
I could spread tears on the rock,
instead I will enfold myself
in memories as the waves
embrace me.

Continuing to celebrate National Poetry month with youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman

Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s Words of Hope

I thought I’d awaken to a world in mourning.
Heavy clouds crowding, a society storming.
But there’s something different on this golden morning.
Something magical in the sunlight, wide and warming.

I see a dad with a stroller taking a jog.
Across the street, a bright-eyed girl chases her dog.
A grandma on a porch fingers her rosaries.
She grins as her young neighbor brings her groceries.

While we might feel small, separate, and all alone,
Our people have never been more closely tethered.
The question isn’t if we will weather this unknown,
But how we will weather this unknown together.

So on this meaningful morn, we mourn and we mend.
Like light, we can’t be broken, even when we bend.

As one, we will defeat both despair and disease.
We stand with healthcare heroes and all employees;
With families, libraries, schools, waiters, artists;
Businesses, restaurants, and hospitals hit hardest.

We ignite not in the light, but in lack thereof,
For it is in loss that we truly learn to love.
In this chaos, we will discover clarity.
In suffering, we must find solidarity.

For it’s our grief that gives us our gratitude,
Shows us how to find hope, if we ever lose it.
So ensure that this ache wasn’t endured in vain:
Do not ignore the pain. Give it purpose. Use it.

Read children’s books, dance alone to DJ music.
Know that this distance will make our hearts grow fonder.
From a wave of woes our world will emerge stronger.

We’ll observe how the burdens braved by humankind
Are also the moments that make us humans kind;
Let every dawn find us courageous, brought closer;
Heeding the light before the fight is over.


When this ends, we’ll smile sweetly, finally seeing
In testing times, we became the best of beings.

California History on Bakersfield’s CW 12

Tomorrow, April 19, Bakersfield College History Professor Oliver Rosales will be hosting a new series on Bakersfield’s CW at 12:00 noon about California history. The show, “Our California Story: Community Stories and Digital Preservation in the San Joaquin Valley,” is a community engagement forum connected to the California History course students will enroll in through Bakersfield College. 

Oliver will be interviewing experts on local history and archiving. This week, he interviews Javier Llamas and Olivia Garcia from our own history department.

This is an opportunity for viewers to learn more about Central Valley history and become a part of developing our California story. Many thanks to Manny De Los Santos and Shannon Musser for helping put together this television experience to our local community.

BC’s Distinguished Speaker Series Presents: Dr. Tony Iton

Our final Distinguished Speaker for the semester was our first to lead their discussion through a webinar presentation. Dr. Tony Iton, the Senior Vice President for Healthy Communities at the California Endowment, delivered a presentation via Zoom on Wednesday titled “Zip Code vs. Genetic Code: Which is a Better Predictor of Health?”

Dr. Iton’s presentation on health in rural communities was hosted by Public Health Professor Charles Daramola and Office of Student Life Director Nicky Damania.

If you want to keep engaged with BC’s health equity and rural health work, please follow the Health, Equity, and Learning (HEAL) page, events, and HEAL Twitter account. Thank you, Dr. Tony Iton, for presenting and engaging with BC students, faculty, and staff. And, thank you to Dr. Charles Daramola, Nicky Damania, Benny Balderrama, and the Office of Student Life for coordinating such an informative webinar.

Spring Fling

Our talented group of representatives in the Bakersfield College Student Government Association (BCSGA) have been very busy with moving our annual Spring Fling festival online. The BCSGA team brilliantly organized a fun group of activities through Discord, Zoom and other virtual platforms.

Thank you to our BCSGA representatives and their supporters in the Office of Student Life for keeping Spring Fling Week fun for our campus community. Read more about all of the activities below, and follow BCSGA on Discord.

Escape the Room: Report Back from Valerie

Let’s check out the text-based Escape the Room challenge through the virtual chat service Discord. Valerie Urso, a Web Content Editor in the Marketing Department, describes her experience of solving the elaborate puzzle:

“This Monday, I played the BCSGA’s Escape the Room challenge as part of the Spring Fling week slate of virtual events. Once I got through the hurdle of signing up for Discord and figuring out how it works (like Slack, but cooler-looking), I was ready to begin. 

The game was cleverly constructed using a Google form, a Powerpoint and finally, a website with a secret challenge. I had been expecting to click around on a single screen, in an environment that looked pulled straight out of Clue, looking under lamps and behind bookcases. Instead, I found myself on a quest to solve riddles with a unique story customized to being a student at Bakersfield College. I was impressed with the work and creativity that went into putting together a game from the ground up. 

As a bit of a puzzle nerd who in their youth racked up an unseemly number of hours playing Myst, I have to congratulate the BCSGA team for making something original that was both fun and challenging. Whenever I got stuck, there was a clue to help me along, but nothing that made the quest too easy. I’m pleased to report I did, in fact, “Escape the Room” and made it through the final stage to claim my prize.”

For more, check out: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/event/virtual-spring-fling-renegades-surf-the-web. Thank you to Benny Balderrama for leading this event and helping out with Spring Fling. I can’t wait to see what you have in store next.

All-Campus Virtual Forum Videos

I have been doing a virtual seminar series via zoom and you can find these videos by visiting the COVID-19 Response page . Here are a few videos.

April 6, 2020 line up — Fong, Fuller, Chapman, Agbalog

Vince Fong gave us an update on how the State Assembly is operating to serve Californians during the unprecedented times.

Retired California Senator Jean Fuller offered her perspective on the impact that COVID-19 is having on schools across the country. In her 48-year career as a public servant, only natural disasters compare to the level of response that this situation requires.

Richard Chapman, CEO of the Kern Economic Development Corporation, gave his prognosis for how COVID-19 will affect the Kern County’s business climate.

Romeo Agbalog spoke on behalf of Kern Citizens For Sustainable Government to talk about how Bakersfield College is establishing the model for other colleges to efficiently move their programs online.

April 7

Radiologic Technology student Sara Navidad shared the challenges she had with moving to an online environment.

Computer Science and Engineering major Krissy Coggshall talked about what she’s learned about learning and working as a Child Development tutor online.

Commercial Music student Izzy Foster misses the opportunity to perform live with her peers, but she’s still getting ready to transfer to the Berklee College of Music in Boston next year. She also performed a song at the end of the All-Campus Virtual Forum.

BC “Do Good, Feel Good” Campaign

The BC “Do Good, Feel Good” campaign is still in motion! This week, we’re reaching out to the Mission at Kern County, which is in dire need of supplies for babies and children, including hand sanitizer, wipes, diapers, and toiletries. These supplies would greatly benefit those in need, including BC’s very own Project HireUp students.

For questions or donations please reach out to Endee Grijalva directly at endee.grijalva@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

Thank you to all who have donated or supported the BC “Do Good, Feel Good” Series, and thank you to Endee Grijalva for leading this wonderful campaign!

Thank You to Our Essential Workers

Thank you Valerie for putting together this photo display to recognize our Essential Workers

Photos submitted by Bill Potter in M&O and Shelley Casteneda in Public Safety with messages from their staff. 

Thank you to all our essential workers who are going in every day to make sure our campus is kept safe and secure. I deeply appreciate your commitment to the health and safety of our BC community. 

Fun Photos: Everything Is Going to Be Okay

Veronica Hathaway, a Department Assistant with the Office of Instruction, shared this great photo of her dog Bella Marie. Thanks, Veronica!

And here is Bessie…growing up fast.

BC Nursing Students Join Battle Against COVID-19

Our third-semester students joined the battle last week and began working as COVID-19 screeners at Bakersfield Heart Hospital. Thank you to all our nursing students who are working on the front lines of the pandemic to protect us all. 

Another big thank you to our classified staff and their families, who have been making Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the form of cloth face masks and caps. Thank you to BC staff Venessa Reyes and Robin Patterson, and their mothers Corrine Reyes and Vivian Patterson, for working hard to meet the national shortage of PPE. Over 170 masks have been distributed to students and faculty to keep them safe as they provide patient care.

#BCGoesOnline

Thank you to everyone who is continuing to share their experiences on social media using the hashtag #BCGoesOnline. Here are some of the responses that came through this week: BC librarian Allison Burch and her pup Mr. Unicorn are eager to help and support students online!

Kalina Hill shared a message of encouragement following the “Lean On BC” video message.

She also took this photo of her screen during our All-Campus Forum with political and community leaders.

BC’s Career and Technical Education Department sent a creative message to BC’s student employees wishing them a Happy National Student Employee Appreciation Week!

Marbella Avalos shared a photo of Dr. Iton’s fantastic presentation for the BC Distinguished Speaker Series. 

Dolores Huerta’s 90th Birthday

Civil rights leader Dolores Huerta turned 90 this past weekend! I enjoyed watching community members celebrate her special day with a birthday car parade

Huerta was born on April 10, 1930, in Dawson, New Mexico, but at the age of three, she moved to Stockton, California.

In 1988, Huerta was a recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award, and in 2012, President Barack Obama awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the highest civilian honor in our nation.

See the coverage of this amazing woman in my March 17, 2018 blog post when she visited BC. https://sonyachristianblog.com/2018/03/17/bc-is-booming-with-activities/

Emails Worth Sharing: In Memoriam – Ron Dethlefson

Ron Dethlefson (Photo by Jill Wettersten)

Jerry Ludeke at the BC Archives sent this email commemorating Ron Dethlefson, who taught at BC for 27 years in the Communication Department. He was the advisor to our student radio station KBCC for 14 years and published expert work about early records and phonographs. Read the full email below:

Dear BC family:

The normal cycles of life go on even as Covid 19 surrounds and constricts us.  We’re grateful for the technology that still lets us keep in touch.

Easter morning Ron Dethlefson, 82, died peacefully in a nursing home after several years living with Alzheimer’s disease.  Ron retired in 1996 as a full professor after teaching for 27 years at BC. He started in 1969 teaching speech in the Communication Department.  Then in 1972 he became advisor/instructor for the fledgling radio broadcasting station KBCC which he guided until 1986, when he returned to teaching speech.  

Ron was always known for his outstanding radio voice and a good sense of wry humor.  Few people knew, however, of his outside interest. Ron was considered an expert consultant in the area of early records and phonographs which he began collecting and writing about in 1953.  His books and other writings on Edison Blue Amberol Recordings are highly regarded. In 2012 the ARSC (Association for Recorded Sound Collection) awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award. He also volunteered as a consultant while he did research at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.  

At Bakersfield College, Ron was active in the Academic Senate and his wife Barbara, who survives him, was active in Faculty Wives and served in the very first volunteer tutoring program offered to BC students.  The Dethlefson family is planning a celebration of Ron’s life in July at Wesley United Methodist Church where they have been active participants for many years.

If you go to the BC Archives website, you will see two changes.  First, it is my personal pleasure to call your attention to the listing which shows Mindy Wilmot as the new Director.  She is ready for the challenge, and we on the staff are all excited to have her. (I will continue as an archives assistant, so you will still hear from me once in a while.)  Our second change is that photos, which were once visible on the website, disappeared after January. They are only temporarily in hiding while arrangements are being made to let them move to a happy little cloud.  It may be summertime before that changeover is completed.

Meanwhile……Stay well….and let us hear from you.
Jerry Ludeke, for the Archives

Archives Throwback: Hispanic Culture – An Energetic Group in the BC Tradition

Let’s hear from Earl Parsons as he digs into our archives

For the third part in our series looking back at the Panorama Campus in the mid-60s, we turn to the 1966 Raconteur for a feature on the first Hispanic Culture Club in Renegade History. The club was founded by Spanish professor Ray Gonzales, who would go on to become the first Latino ever to represent Kern County in the State Assembly, as well as a diplomat for the US State Department in Central America.

Ray Gonzales passed away in 2018 at the age of 80, and many of our Renegade faculty regarded him as one of their greatest friends and mentors, including Dean Corny Rodriguez and History Professor Octavio Barajas, who organized a roundtable discussion about Gonzales during last year’s Jess Nieto Memorial Conference.

Artist Jorge Guillen and Oliver Rosales stand next to a painting of Ray Gonzales that Guillen created for the 2019 Jess Nieto Memorial Conference
Left to right: Dr. Mark Martinez, Steve Barber and Emily Gonzales speak on a panel about the life of Ray Gonzales, the first Chicano elected to state office in Kern County.

Read the article below, and stay tuned next week for more glimpses into Renegade life during the mid-60s.

Hispanic Culture: An Energetic Group in the BC Tradition

One of the newest clubs on campus, the Hispanic Culture Club, did not lag in getting organized or active. Under the advisorship of Ray Gonzales, a BC alumnus and Spanish instructor, the club had its constitution accepted early in the fall semester. 

At Christmas, the 26 members sponsored a canned food drive for needy Bakersfield families. In addition, they chipped in Christmas trees and much-needed clothing for the underprivileged. During the spring semester, they planned a dance and Spanish fiesta and also participated in the annual Spring Carnival with a taco booth.

Athletics: Resilience II Workouts Released This Week

Thank you Brandon Urry for the Athletics Roundup

As we continue our social distancing protocol in an effort to flatten the curve and protect our at-risk population and frontline workers, BC Athletics has your training covered! Our fantastic Renegade Kinesiology faculty including Zack Peters, Konrad Dahl and Matt Moon have put together the next phase of at-home workouts for our student athletes. Like the first phase, all exercises require nothing more than a chair, a towel, and your own bodyweight. Visit the GoGades website to get started with Resilience II.

Next Level Gades!

This week, we saw another group of Renegades commit to the next level while continuing their academic and athletic careers. First, from Renegade Baseball, Alejandro Murillo (pitcher) is headed to the University of Nevada, and Rich Garcia (infielder) is headed to the University of Antelope Valley. Both of these student athletes were key players for Coach Tim Painton and were great examples to their teammates of hard work and dedication.

Secondly, from Renegade Football, Paxton Winders announced he is headed to further his education and football career at Western Illinois University. We want to wish all three of these the very best in the future.

Renegade Student Athletes Will Receive “Make-Up” Year of Eligibility

23ABC sports reporter Matt Lively put together a story this week on the fact the California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) has granted another season of eligibility to spring sports student athletes due to their seasons being cut short this spring. He talked with our Men’s Golf Coach Wes Coble and men’s golf student athlete Blake Keesey on the topic. Blake is one of about 9,500 student athletes that will be affected state-wide by this new policy.

Jackie Robinson Day

Wednesday was National Jackie Robinson Day. The day is celebrated because Jackie Robinson (a four-sport star at both Pasadena City College and UCLA) first stepped on the field in the Major Leagues as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, effectively breaking the color barrier in professional sports. 

In 1997, Major League Baseball (MLB) officially retired his jersey number ‘42’ across all MLB teams. On April 15, 2005 MLB declared April 15th as Jackie Robinson Day and on this day every player wears the number 42 to honor his legacy. Although Jackie faced much persecution personally and to his family, he never wavered and stood fast in his resolve to be viewed not by his skin color but by his ability to compete on the field. The movie ‘42’ which came out in 2013 perfectly portrays the hardships he endured in his plight breaking the color barrier. As we are all at home staying safe, now is a great time to watch (or re-watch) this film.

===

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Lean on BC

BC Students, lean on BC.

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow.
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on (Bill Withers)

Good morning, Bakersfield. Happy Easter
It is Saturday, April 11, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

Bill Withers

I was saddened to hear that the legendary soul singer Bill Withers, passed away at the age of 81 last week. Withers is a three-time Grammy Award winner best known for the songs “Lean On Me” and “Ain’t No Sunshine”, which are both on Rolling Stone’s List of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, and John Legend perform “Lean on Me”.
Bill Withers performs “Ain’t No Sunshine”.

Jon Pareles wrote a moving piece in the New York Times about how Bill Withers used his music as a tool to express his compassion and selflessness. Withers was in his early 30s when his recording career started, and his real-life experiences serving in the Navy and working in factories brought an authenticity to his songs about people and their everyday lives. A 2009 documentary about Withers’ life titled “Still Bill” traces the influential singer’s life from his childhood in West Virginia to his retirement from the music industry in 1985.

Enjoying spring with national poetry month

Jack Hernandez emailed me about April being National Poetry Month. His email triggered me dusting off an old book of poems that was part of my high school curriculum. Here are a few verses from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Cloud

I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noonday dreams.

From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother’s breast,
As she dances about the sun.

I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under,
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.

Here is another lovely poem by Jack Hearnandez

Rain hits a budding flower on the Panorama Campus.
Photos by Earl Parsons

Waiting
By Jack Hernandez

When dawn brings
the darkness,
and light confounds
the day,
we are given
the gift of waiting,
which must be opened
to show the way
of breathing

Rain hits a blooming tree on the Panorama Campus

without a calendar
whose hours
are trained to run,
We must hold silence
like a bowl
receiving rain,
a leaf shining
in the sun,
We must feel
in stillness
the caress of hope.

Thank you Jack!

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

Thank you Greg and Mary Bynum

Of Bakersfield College’s 40,000 students, 80% are First Generation, approximately 80% are low income, and many rely on campus WiFi and computer labs to access the internet in order to complete their assignments.  Students’ responses to a March 20 survey revealed that about one in 10 students do not have adequate off-campus internet access while nearly a quarter of students use their cell phones as their primary device to access their courses. In response to student high student need for technology as Bakersfield College moved instruction online, BC developed a laptop loan program with a generous donation from Greg and Mary Bynum.

Ema Sasic covered this story in the April 10th issue of The Bakersfield Californian. https://tinyurl.com/r4jskk8

Joseph Luiz covered it on KGET https://tinyurl.com/sqpcsx7

Back to College

Unemployment Rates during COVID-19.

In my virtual forums, I have been sharing an article from Politico on April 2 highlighting the 10 million workers nationwide who filed jobless claims over the previous 2 weeks. Yet another surge has brought the total of new jobless claims during this pandemic to over 17 million. I have also been sharing this chart showing how the current unemployment claims compare with unemployment data from the Great Recession. One key difference is how quickly the jobless claims have spiked.

I have previously mentioned the Back to College program our team has created to help combat rising unemployment in Kern County. It is my hope that our community can continue to Lean on BC in this time of need and difficulty.

Our team held four sessions last week and two additional sessions this week to answer student questions and get students registered for these courses. Thank you to Victor Diaz, Erineo Garcia, Jo Ann Acosta, Heather Skibinski, Ashlea Ward and Armando Trujillo for leading these sessions and getting our students registered.

Outreach and Financial Aid work together on Back to College.
The Back to College Team meets on Zoom.

I also want to thank Joseph Tipay, David Moton, Oliver Rosales, Isaias Hernandez, Sylvia Reyes, Beenne Anglin and Jonathan Ward for agreeing to take on this important work and teach these courses to our students. This 5-week program will help jumpstart students’ educational journeys and put them on a path that can lead to new associates degrees or transfer options. Online classes begin on Monday.

Levan Institute Moves Online

#NeverStopLearning
The Levan Institute is offering 7 classes to help our community #NeverStopLearning.

On Monday, the Levan Institute for Lifelong Learning announced seven online classes starting the week of April 20. Enroll in these fun classes as you shelter in place.

Visit the Levan Institute Registration page to apply now!  If you have any questions about the online classes hosted by the BC Levan Institute, please email Miriam Valenzuela at mvalenzu@bakersfieldcollege.edu.To follow the Levan Institute’s posts regarding online classes, please follow them on Facebook. A full list of classes includes:

  • What’s Streaming?: Find out everything you need to know about popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and more.
  • Self Massage for Stress and Tension Relief – Learn massage techniques that you can apply to your whole body and understand the benefits and precautions of massage.
  • Massage for Headache Relief – In this course, you will learn about the causes of headaches and practice massage, acupressure and Reflexology techniques for headache relief.
  • Tai Chi – Tai Chi is a form of martial arts in which slow, gentle movements are made in the air to improve balance, coordination, joint mobility, and blood circulation.
  • Gentle Mat Pilates – In this class, you will learn about Pilates, a blend of exercises to increase core strength, flexibility, breath control, and alignment correction to improve balance and posture.
  • Creative Writing: Creating Characters and Their Stories – In this course, you can expect to learn the elements of fictional writing, such as creating memorable characters, descriptive scenes, and realistic dialogue.
  • Gentle Yoga – This class is designed to promote increased mobility, flexibility, and balance. Yoga is practiced by people of all ages. Each class is an hour of relaxation and gentle movement.

Thank you to Norma Rojas-Mora, Susan Pinza, Miriam Valenzuela, and the BC Levan Institute staff for leading this online classes initiative.

Community Voices: Jeff Newby

Jeff Newby wrote a piece for the Community Voices section.
Jeff Newby

History Professor Jeff Newby wrote a great Community Voices piece for the Californian on Tuesday with tips to help our neighbors and ourselves in small ways.

Jeff’s tips include donating food or money to food banks, donating blood, writing letters to people in isolation, supporting local businesses, and daily neighborhood cleanups. Thank you, Jeff!

All-Campus Forum with Community Leaders

Our All-Campus Virtual Forum last Monday focused on community and political leaders sharing their passion for higher education, as well as their plans to improve the job market during the COVID-19 crisis. I will have their videos for you next week.

On Monday, April 13th, we have another great line up of speakers — Rudy Salas, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and David Bynum. Tune in at 3:00 p.m.

Thank you to Nicky Damania and Todd Coston for moderating the virtual forum, Shannon Musser and Lesley Bonds for facilitating the forum behind the scenes, and all of our participants for keeping the valley strong during these uncertain times.

Virtual Forums from the previous week

You can find the videos on the COVID-19 website at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/covid19

Here are a few short videos of some of our presenters

Abel Guzman on Rural BC.

Diane Allen — Faculty Counselor supporting DSPS

Jackie Lau — Assistant Director, Enrollment Services

Matt Jones — Faculty, Academic Technology

Fun Photos: IT Provides Laptops Before Physical Campus Closure

Before we shut down the physical campus, Manny De Los Santos got some great photos of the Technology Support Team getting laptops ready for Renegades to move online. Thank you to our whole Information Technology Department for helping us manage this transition.

Renegade Nurses Help Fight COVID-19

Graduating Registered Nursing speak at BC’s 100 th Nursing Ceremony in 2017.

Bakersfield College nursing students have stepped up to meet the need for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only eight weeks from graduation, our Level 4 nursing students were thrown into uncertainty as we shifted to a virtual learning environment. But our Associate Dean of Nursing, Carla Gard, playing to “where the puck was going to be,” coordinated externship opportunities with our community health partners: Kern Medical, Dignity Health Systems and Bakersfield Heart Hospital. 

Working in paid positions at these facilities, these 69 senior students will be paired with nurses so they can complete their education by providing hands-on patient care.

Nursing student Shantelle Rubio and Cindy Collier were interviewed by Valley Public Radio last week, and Fresno Univision affiliate KFTV-21 featured our nursing students in a piece for Spanish-language media.

Here’s a salute and prayer for all healthcare workers who are on the front lines of this epidemic.

Renegades on the Front Lines

Kaitlin and Bonnie Hulsy

English faculty member Kaitlin Hulsy wrote a beautiful piece about the importance of nursing and her late mother’s 35-year career in nursing, which started right here at Bakersfield College. Thank you, Kaitlin!

Before I existed in this world, my mother was a student in the nursing program at Bakersfield College. At the time, she was a single mother who was working multiple jobs to raise two young boys and pay her way through college. My mother was always glamorous, but during her days hitting the books, she had a little more grit as opposed to glitter.

Bonny Lou Hulsy walked across the stage at graduation with a smile on her face. She had done it! She went on to have a 35-year career in nursing. This started with cleaning bedpans, and eventually morphed into assisting doctors in diagnosing kiddos with autism at Kern Regional Center. She eventually co-founded one of the top schools in the nation for children with autism and autistic spectrum disorders. Her sons are now grown, one of them the CAO of Kern County.

Bonnie Hulsy’s photo from her Nursing graduation at BC.

We know that nurses can do anything. More importantly, we know how needed they are at this uncertain time. It is in the spirit that I have an ask for the sixty-nine nursing students who are about to be on the front lines in the time of COVID-19: What do you need? How may we help each and every one of you as you begin your journey?

It is my desire to put together a wish list of items for our 69 Renegade nurses to bring them comfort as they confront a still very much unknown dragon. Please email Endee Grijalva to request any items you need. We will do our best to accommodate you.

In the meantime, please know that my mother is looking down from Heaven on BC nursing and bubbling with pride. As a faculty number, I join countless others who are so incredibly proud of you. We Are BC!

Until next time,

Kaitlin Hulsy

Emails Worth Sharing: Castle In the Storm

Cover illustration for Castle in the Storm.

Kaitlin is also spearheading an important creative outlet for Renegades as they shelter in place. In Kaitlin’s most recent column on the website, she shares her thoughts about teaching being the best job in the world. Read her email below about Castle In the Storm.

Good Afternoon, Colleagues:

I wanted to humbly direct your attention to a project I’m working on, namely Castle In the Storm.

Castle in the Storm is a place for Renegade students who need a creative outlet in the time of Covid-19. The website functions both as a place to showcase student work, in addition to being a repository for professional advice and published pieces from established authors. Our logo was created by BC alumnus and local comedienne Margaret Haggard, and original student work is appearing daily. Submissions of flash fiction/poetry/nonfiction from any Bakersfield College students are always welcome. Students may email me directly, or submit to the website via the Contact page.

At this time, our featured author is acclaimed nonfiction writer Deanne Stillman. Her works include Mustang: the Saga of Wild Horses in the American West, among many others. Deanne has written for Rolling Stone Magazine, and her work Twenty Nine Palms: A True Story of Murder was referred to by the great Hunter S. Thompson as “a strange and brilliant story by an important American writer.” She is part of the core faculty at UC Riverside Palm-desert-MFA. Thank you very much for your time, and please enjoy your weekend.

Regards,
Kaitlin Hulsy

#BCGoesOnline

We got a ton of great content this week through the #BCGoesOnline hashtag on social media. Keep sharing your photos and posts with #BCGoesOnline on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and we’ll feature you in next week’s blog!

Carlos Medina tweeted about supporting CSUB with virtual career events, like the virtual career expo for Industrial Technology last week:

Tweet from Carlos Medina.

Kalina Hill shared about how inspired she felt after hearing our students speak at the All-Campus Virtual Forum on Tuesday:

Tweet from Kalina Hill.

Jaime Lopez shared a screenshot from Abel Guzman’s presentation at last week’s Virtual Forum:

Tweet from Jaime Lopez

Finally, Chris Glaser is staying engaged with all of our virtual forums on Twitter:

Virtual Vacations for Spring Break

decorative image.

Although Spring Break is happening at home this year, here are some tips from our marketing department….

Museums and Attractions

Art Collections

Architecture

Nature

Animals

Archives Throwback: Thomas Takes Over New Position

Thomas Takes Over New Position.
Bill Thomas from the 1967 Raconteur

Our look at Bakersfield College in the mid-60s continues with this article from the 1967 Raconteur yearbook about Bill Thomas accepting a position as the student government advisor. Bill Thomas would continue to be a champion for Bakersfield College over the next half-century as a BC professor, KCCD Trustee, and US Congressman representing the Southern San Joaquin Valley. Check the article out below, and stay tuned for more glimpses at Renegade life in the 1960s.

During the last meeting of the Board of Representatives, Fall Semester, a motion was made without proper parliamentary procedures; this mistake was corrected by a member of the Board with the supervision of an interested teacher who had come into the meeting for a few minutes. Noticing this teacher’s interest in student government, Mr. Ronald McMasters, Advisor, appointed him as the Spring Semester Advisor to student government, knowing there was a vacancy for that position.

“Mr. William Thomas has taught at Bakersfield College for the last two years. Previous to this he attended Santa Ana Junior College, where he received his A.A. degree, after which he transferred to San Francisco State College. After four years with a year of student teaching, he obtained his B.A. and M.A. degrees.

Bill Thomas is animated during a student government meeting.

“Besides being Advisor to Student Government, Mr. Thomas is a member of the Board of Publications. He teachers the Parliamentary Procedures Class, Political Science 1, and Social Science 53A and B. Previous to his new appointment, he was advisor to the Tutorial Project and the Young Republicans Club.

“Mr. Thomas enjoys many extra-curricular activities but is not interested in any special activity. He enjoys sports very much, such as handball and basketball, and he also rides a motorcycle occasionally. To pass the time, he reads and listens to music. Most of his weekends in the past two years have been spent chaperoning the college dances.

“Mr. Thomas is very active and is interested in helping the Bakersfield College students whenever he can through his active life in Student Government and campus life.”

More recent photos of Bill Thomas.

Athletics

Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Men’s Tennis Coach Noel Dalton and Head Football Coach R. Todd Littlejohn. Both Coaches talked to Kenny Calvin, the radio host of the Renegade Report, about leading young student-athletes through this unprecedented time. The three also talked about how student-athletes and coaches are facing the stoppage of sports. Click the link to listen to the conversation on Facebook:

National Student-Athlete Day

National Student Athlete Day

Monday, April 6th, was National Student-Athlete Day! With all of our sports teams at a standstill, it’s a unique time for athletic staff and coaches, and in particular, for student-athletes. On top of going to class and studying hard, they put in many hours in practice and competition every week. Even now, as we are all sheltering in place, our athletes are hard at work at home, pushing themselves to stay in shape so that they are ready to compete once again. Happy National Student-Athlete Day Renegades, you’re doing fantastic training at home!

Brett Clark Named BVarsity Coach of the Year

Brett Clark
Brett Clark.

Brett Clark, BC’s head wrestling coach and the head girls wrestling coach at Frontier High School, was named the BVarsity All-Area Girls Wrestling Coach of the Year this week. Congrats go out to Coach Clark for this accomplishment! We are lucky to have a coach who is so devoted to developing young talent within our community.

Special Edition: “I Miss Sports Because…”

I Miss Sports Because..
.

We asked our student-athletes on social media this week to finish this sentence, “I miss sports because…” Here are  a few of their responses

Blake Keesey, from Men’s Golf: “I miss the pressure of needing to hit the shot at the right moment. I miss the early morning drives with the team. I miss the nerves of the opening shot. I miss fighting for each other.”

Brooklyn Walsh, from Women’s Golf: “My team is my family.”

Caleb Jameson, from Men’s Golf: “I miss sports because I miss my team, I miss my brothers, and I miss the pressure and expectations that come with sports.”

Carlos Estrada, from the Football team: “The family environment.”

President Sonya Christian in front of a Bakersfield College wall.

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC faculty & staff — always ahead of the curve

These past two weeks, I have been awestruck at the caliber of our faculty and staff. I have always been impressed by the talent, dedication, tireless work ethic, and commitment to students that BC employees exhibit every day. Even so, I have been overwhelmed with the swiftness with which our faculty, classified staff, and administrators, have responded to the coronavirus epidemic doing deep work to redesign instructional practices, counseling practices, writing center practices, ….. so that students feel nurtured, respected and loved with this dramatic shift in their learning environment. The camaraderie, the kindness, the humor, and the grace in the face of what are very anxious times for our community, our nation and the world. Thank you faculty, staff, and students for having me as your president. Here is taste of the BC community on a saturday.

A whole campus effort. We are BC!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 14, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

Emeriti and Retirees at Board of Trustees Meeting

Trustee hands the box to Bill.
Bill Thomas with Trustee Agbalog

At this week’s Board of Trustees meeting on the Panorama Campus, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Chancellor Tom Burke and BC Vice President of Instruction Billie Jo Rice took a moment to honor our retiring and Emeritus faculty and staff. In total, these retirees represent several centuries of experience in making an important impact for the lives of our students.

Tom Burke began with a brief history of the word “emeritus”, a Latin term that referred to veteran soldiers who had finished their tour of duty. By the end of the 18th Century, American academics were using “emeritus” to commemorate professors who served their institutions with distinction. BC faculty and administration who came forward to accept their emeritus recognition included Corny Rodriguez, Gayle Richardson, Jeannie Parent, Phil Feldman, Bill Kelly, and Bill Thomas.

Angela Craft

Angela Craft with Trustee Agbalog

Angela Craft started as a Department Assistant for Athletics in 1998 and retired as the Executive Secretary over Humanities. She served 13 Deans during her tenure at the Home of the Renegades and will be remembered for her remarkable problem-solving skills and calming demeanor.

Cornelio Rodriguez

Corny smiles with box
Corny Rodriguez with Trustee Agbalog

Corny Rodriguez is an icon at BC, serving as the first director of the BC Chicano Cultural Center and starting the first Chicano/Latino Pre-Commencement Ceremony more than 20 years ago. He was a champion for equity who masterfully kept our community invested in the college throughout his tenure, culminating in his work as Dean of Instruction.

Gayle Richardson

Standing by a lecturne.
Gayle Richardson with Trustee Agbalog

Gayle taught business management for decades and graciously served on a number of committees, including the Academic Senate and the Archives Committee. She was also renowned for being the “dining diva” for the BC bowling league, planning dinners and events for the group every semester.

Jeannie Parent

Jeannie holds a box.
Jeannie Parent with Trustee Agbalog

The EMLS Department would not exist in the form it does today without the work of Jeannie Parent, who spearheaded the move to create a separate academic department. She was a dedicated servant and passionate supporter of our students, and in 2010, she organized a Study Abroad program in Vietnam.

Mitchell Barter

Mitchel holds box.
Mitchel Barter with Trustee Agbalog

For almost 30 years, Mitchell beautifully painted our athletics fields, making sure our student athletes had a clean, welcoming space to express themselves. He is remembered for his meticulous precision and thoroughness, as well as a wealth of amazing stories about the history of BC. 

Phil Feldman

Phil holds box.
Phil Feldman with Trustee Agbalog

Phil served a number of roles during his BC career, starting as a resident advisor before becoming the first department chair of Academic Development and a former Director of the Delano Campus. He ended his time at BC as a professor in the Education Department, and he will be sorely missed by many.

Valerie Robinson

Valerie holding a box.
Valerie Robinson with Trustee Agbalog

Valerie taught human resources management courses in the Business Department and was a valuable mentor to many of our students through African-American Initiatives, Umoja, Bridge to BC, and the Academic Senate. She also worked closely with the Entrepreneurship Black Chamber of Commerce. She’ll be remembered for her humility, integrity, work ethic, and altruism.

Congratulations to all of the retirees and thank you for your service to our community and students at Bakersfield College.

Daily Zoom Updates on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

3 people sit behind a table with computer monitor and speakers.

This week, Nicky Damania, Director of Office of Student Life, Cindy Collier, Acting Health Center Director, and Shelly Castaneda, Executive Director of Campus Safety,  hosted Zoom sessions to update students and our community on the latest developments of the COVID-19.

The three smiling toward the camera to the side.

Our BC community is actively engaged in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, advising students, faculty, and the community members to remain safe and informed; arranging and using the hand sanitizer stations around our campus; and, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces. Students and staff are urged to follow these COVID-19 updates as we continue to monitor the situation and take precautions.

Thank you, Nicky Damania, Cindy Collier, and Shelly Castaneda for your commitment to keep our students and community members informed on the latest COVID-19 updates.

BC Blood Drive

One of the buses where they take the blood.

While we postponed college events out of an abundance of caution, we decided to continue with the BCSGA blood drive for Houchin Blood Bank. In a conversation with Houchin’s CEO, Brad Bryan, and realizing that while the Coronavirus (COVID-19) does affect our community, cancer patients, mothers with delivery complications, surgery patients, and trauma victims still need blood. Houchin provides approximately 1500-2000 blood products to hospitals in Kern County monthly. Bakersfield College blood drives provide a much needed resource, especially with concerns of some donors at this time. Brad shared that:

Inside of bus with chairs for donors.

Houchin Community Blood Bank is in continuous communication with the FDA and the AABB Inter-organizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism.  Together we are monitoring this evolving public health situation and have enacted recommended measures to ensure the continued safety and availability of the blood supply as well as the safety of our donors.

These precautions defined by the AABB Task Force and implemented at Houchin include:

Enhanced blood donor screening measures which include travel deferrals for countries listed by the World Health Organization as sources of Corona Virus.  The deferral is a 28 day deferral which allows for the 2 week incubation period for Corona Virus.

Enhanced measures to prevent individuals with clinical respiratory infections from donating blood.  Immediate deferral of any donor who exhibits signs of sickness will occur.

We additionally are measuring vital signs to ensure that any patient exhibiting signs of sickness is deferred.

We have had these precautions implemented since the first news of Corona Virus entering the US in order to protect both the donors and the blood supply.  I ask that you please continue to allow us to hold this drive so that we can maintain the current blood supply for our county and the patients that so desperately need this blood to survive.

Rusty's pizza coupon and t-shirts.

With these assurances and with a desire to help our community, we continued with the blood drive. Did you know when an individual donates one pint of blood, they are able to save up to three lives with that one pint?

Student smiling after giving blood.

Aricia, one of our Web Content Editors in Marketing, told me that as she was donating blood she asked the nurse how the donations were going. The nurse responded that it has been a very successful event and they are very thankful for the high turnout. I am proud of our students, staff and faculty that came out to donate to help our community when we may most need this important resource. Thank you Nicky Damania and the BCSGA for organizing this blood drive for our community.

Women and the Vote 2020 Library Display

This month the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library is celebrating Women’s History Month and honoring women’s often-overlooked contributions to history, culture, and society with a book display by Librarian Faith Bradham. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared the week of March 8th as National Women’s history week, and in 1986, the National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned Congress to expand this recognition to be the entire month of March. This year’s Women’s History Month is special because 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women in the United States the right to vote — women’s suffrage. Books featured in the library’s display include:

March 2020 Women's History Month sign.
  1. The Women’s Rights Movement in the U.S. by Eleanor Flexner and Ellen Fitzpatrick; 
  2. Women and the Vote: A World History by Jad Adams; 
  3. Fighting Chance: the struggle over woman suffrage and Black suffrage in Reconstruction America by Faye E. Dudden
  4. Women’s Suffrage by Jeff Hill
  5. The Suffragents: How women used men to get the vote by Brooke Kroeger
  6. Splintered Sisterhood: Gender and class in the campaign against woman suffrage by Susan E. Marshall
  7. One Woman, One Vote by Marjorie Spruill Wheeler (Editor)
  8. A History of the American Suffragist Movement by Doris L. Weatherford
  9. Women and the U. S. Constitution by Sibyl A. Schwarzenbach (Editor) and Patricia Smith (Editor)
  10. The Susan B. Anthony Women’s Voting Rights Trial by Judy Monroe
  11. Women Will Vote by Susan Goodier and Karen Pastorello
  12. The Weight of Their Votes: Southern women and political leverage in the 1920s by Lorraine Gates Schuyler
  13. The Women’s Rights Movement by Shane Mountjoy and Tim McNeese
  14. African American Women and the Vote, 1837-1965 by Ann D. Gordon and Bettye Collier-Thomas; 
  15. A Reform Against Nature by Carolyn S. Vacca.

For more information on the display and books for Women’s History Month visit: Resources for WHAM 2020. Thank you Faith and the Library staff for offering supplemental educational materials that broaden our students’ education.

Sara Wallace’s New Blog: “Reflections from Inside: Teaching in the Inmate Scholars Program”

Sara Wallace, English Professor at Bakersfield College, has published her first entry on her blog titled: “Reflections from Inside: Teaching in the Inmate Scholars Program” on Medium. She has been working as a full-time instructor at a total of five different prisons since the Fall. This blog is her reflection about doing this important work. This program is only a few years old, but it has expanded to include ten prisons and a thousand students. It is expected to grow more in the future. Check out her blog:

Central Valley Higher Ed Consortium: Dual Enrollment in the Central Valley Conference

Nacian Munoz, Nicole Alvarez, Nerin Delgado, Raul Espinoza, and Brian Bell 

Our Cougar Renegades were out showing their BC pride and sharing their experiences being part of the Early College program at the Dual Enrollment in the Central Valley conference! McFarland High School seniors and dual enrollment students Nerin Delgado and Raul Espinoza were part of a student panel. On the panel of 6, Nerin and Raul were the only first generation college students.

Sitting at a table, Nicole gives a thumbs up.
Nein Delgado, Raul Espinoza, and Nicole Alvarez

Both Raul and Nerin said that the best parts of their dual enrollment experience were being introduced to a syllabus and all the support they received from BC staff and their high school counselors. Nicole Alvarez, Program Manager for Early College; Nancian Munoz, Assistant Principal McFarland High School; and Brian Bell Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services McFarland Unified School District were all on hand to cheer on our Cougar Renegades. We made such an impact that we were asked to present at the next conference!

Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: The Success of Latino Completion and Early College at Bakersfield College

Jean speaking to the audience.
Senator Fuller discussing Early College Opportunities with the Chamber members
Nicole introducing Jean.
Nicole Alvarez answering questions from the Chamber Members

Senator Emeritus Jean Fuller presented to the chamber on the Early College success stories and strides we have made in assisting, among others, our Latinx population in obtaining a college education. Senator Fuller and Nicole Alvarez, Program Manager Early College, also discussed our revamped Early College website and encouraged all chamber members to check it out for offerings at the high schools within their districts. One member even looked at his child’s high school right there on the spot and made plans to get them enrolled for fall 2020 dual enrollment classes!

Jean Fuller next to a Hispanic sign and powerpoint.
Senator Fuller presenting

The presentation ended with a very productive Q&A session and many of the members vowing to help spread the word around Kern County about the early college program.

Archives Throwback: The Atomic Age

In 1946, an air of optimism swept the nation as Americans celebrated the end of World War II. Students at what was then called Bakersfield Junior College were coming back home, starting the next chapter of their lives as Renegades. In this spirit of optimism and excitement about the future, the editors of BC’s yearbook The Raconteur made an entire issue themed around “The Atomic Age.” There were beautiful poems, quotes and illustrations about the infinite potential of science and atomic energy to transform humanity. The dedication at the beginning, in particular, struck me as profound:

 “To the scientist, who holds within his powers the future of the world, the 1946 issue of the Bakersfield Junior College Raconteur is dedicated. It is left to science to determine the right road. Such challenges have been met before. Today we turn again to the scientist; in his unimpassioned search for truth he is the potential source of wisdom to build the age of the atom.”

There was also this lovely quote from Grace Bird:

“What is life made of? Earth, air, water? ‘Hammers and nails and puppy dog tails’? Electrons, neutrons, protons? Hearts, brains, digestion?

“One of our men, writing from Okinawa during the bitterest days there, gave HIS answer: ‘Memories. Experiences. Dreams.’ It is this kind of answer which the Raconteur accepts and honors so admirably as it tells the story of your college life together during the year which is closing. And it is this kind of answer by which we ask you to appraise the days you spent here. Save the memories, use the experiences, aspire to the dreams.”

Finally, I had to include this poem from students Tam and Ivah Deering, which resonates especially now as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve every day:

“Confused, perplexed, and baffled,
Men face ‘peace’ with fear;
Yet man, if he equip himself
With this day’s information,
Fails only because he fears;
His bad becomes impossible
When he accepts discouragement.

“What man has dreamed, that he can do;
What man has mined, discovered, or produced,
That he can use to make man adequate,
Displace his outworn concepts,
Enlarge his vision
In this small world
For this atomic age.
Will he, then, meet the challenge?”

A wealth of amazing content from Renegades in the past can be found on the Bakersfield College website at the Raconteur archive.

Welcome two new Institutional Research Analysts to BC

Patsy head shot.

Patsy Garcia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and comes to us from KBA Engineering where she worked as a Project Controller, using her SQL skills to pull data and optimize maintenance schedules for oil rigs. She started at BC on February 3rd.

Maricela headshot.

Maricela Orozco holds an Education Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership and comes to us from CSUB where she worked as a Research Technician in the Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment. Maricela started at BC on March 2nd. 

Patsy and Maricela fill in positions that opened when Alma Livingston left to go work for YouTube last May and when David Buitron went to work for Riverside Community College District in November so he could spend more time with his wife and new baby boy. 

Athletics

Renegade Report

Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Swimming Team out at the BC Pool Deck. Head Coach Matt Moon and student athletes Daran Towns, Reily Pike, Esteban Robles and Harrison Sherill sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss how the season is going. This weekend the team head to compete at the Cuesta Sprint and the Cuesta Invite. We wish them all the best!

Next Level Gades

Gilberto Guevara and Israel Jimenez from Renegade Men’s Soccer have committed to continue their academic and soccer careers at Mount Marty College. Guevara, from Golden Valley High School, played the last two seasons as a forward for the Renegades. In the 2018, season he collected one goal with one assist. In 2019, he had three goals with three assists, and he was named to the WSC South 1st-Team All-Conference. Jimenez, from Arvin High School, also played the last two seasons, but as a defender for the Renegades. In the 2018 season, he collected one goal with one assist. In 2019, he had two assists.

Damaris Herron from Renegade Football has committed to continue his academic and football career at Southwestern Assemblies of God University. Herron, a defensive back from Independence High School, played the last two seasons at BC. He finished the 2019 season with 34 total solo tackles, including 3 tackles for a loss. Southwestern Assemblies of God University is an NAIA level school that competes in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). 

Brianna Mendez and Victoria Trevino Named to Academic All-State Team

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce that Brianna Mendez and Victoria Trevino, from Renegade Women’s Basketball, were named to the 2019-20 California Community College Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (CCCWBCA) Academic All-State Team. To qualify for Academic All-State recognition, student-athletes had to complete a year of play on their teams, earn at least 24 units of credit, and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5. This last spring, Mendez graduated with a GPA of 3.91, and Trevino graduated with a GPA of 3.76. Congrats, Ladies!

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week:

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:

  • Tue. 3/17 Softball vs. Antelope Valley, 2:30 p.m.
  • Thu. 3/19 Baseball vs LA Valley, 2:30 p.m.
  • Thu. 3/19 Softball vs. LA Valley, 2:30 p.m.
  • Fri. 3/20 Beach Volleyball vs. Ventura & Santa Monica, 9 a.m.
  • Fri. 3/20 Men’s Tennis vs Fresno, 1 p.m.


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC — Commitment to Quality Education

US Capitol Photo snapped Jan 28, 2020

When our founding fathers settled on this stretch of land along the Potomac River, it was the result of a compromise in 1790 between Hamilton and the duo of Madison and Jefferson. My trip to DC this time was especially stirring because I am on chapter 18 of Ron Chernow’s book Alexander Hamilton. This book is so engaging that I find myself ignoring work and other pressing matters to steal away a few hours to read…. reminding me of my growing up years when I curled up with a mystery novel, sacrificing the completion of my homework for school the next day.

Alexander Hamilton was appointed as the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury in 1789, and he sought to create a stable foundation for the newly-established federal government. He pushed for passage of the Residence Act in 1790 and negotiated the selection of the capital of the United States in a spot we now know as Washington, DC, near the colonial port cities of Georgetown and Alexandria, and the navigation head of the Potomac River.

Since I have been reflecting on the history of this great country, let me also reflect on the history of this great college founded in 1913. Here is a piece from the 1964 Raconteur that I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did.

Print from 1964.

This is your book, your story-
It covers a span of time in your life
Which is small but a scope which is large.
It is the story of Bakersfield College

A Raconteur is a French storyteller,
And indeed your Raconteur is telling a very important story.
A story about an important part of your life.
Within its covers lie your hopes and dreams,
Your successes and failures.

Your life is but in the molding here,
You are being prepared for the complicated world
Which you will enter when you leave Bakersfield College.
A life which will be complex,
A world of science and technology which will make your hectic
Days here seem like a moment of brief rest.
You will look back upon your years here and see
The preparation that took place,
How your classes and teachers used science for your enrichment

Whether you majored in Humanities or Physics
Art or mechanics, your preparation has been scientific,
As our world is scientific.
This then is a capsule summary of that preparation.

A montague look at your life here.
Your preparation has been fast and efficient
Brief and complete.
Whether you transfer to another institution of preparation
Or go into the world directly,
You will fall back on your education here.

The life of science,
And the science of life –
This is the story of Bakersfield College,
And this is what story. 

-Published by Associated Students, Bakersfield College, 1964 Raconteur

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 1, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

I spent the week in Washington, DC attending the CHEA (Council on Higher Education Accreditation conference during which I accepted the CHEA-CIQG Award on behalf of BC.

CIQG Quality Award

with framed award from CHEA.
Sonya Christian & Jean Fuller

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) International Quality Group (CIQG) awarded Bakersfield College the CIQG Quality Award at the annual plenary CIQG meeting in Washington, DC.

The Council annually awards colleges and universities for outstanding performance based on the rigorous standards set forth by CHEA/CIQG.  The criteria calls for high-quality performance across seven categories ranging from the institution’s impact on student outcomes to its impact on community and society.

Posing on stage with the award.
Stephanie Droker (President Elect ACCJC), Jean Fuller (Senator Emeritus), Sonya Christian, Judith Eaton (President CHEA)

It is beyond awesome that Bakersfield College is being recognized in an international arena for the transformational work that we embarked upon seven years ago. BC’s faculty and staff have courageously redesigned what we do and how we do it, to ensure at every step that the sole focus of our work is the success of our students.  To be evaluated against CIQG’s rigorous, high-performance standards and win this award is a validation of the quality and efficiency of our whole-college redesign effort. This recognition especially calls out the high quality, impactful work of our faculty and staff in specific programs such as Early College, Kern Promise, and the Program Mapper, as well as in the daily functions of the college.

Sonya speaking at the CHEA.
Sonya Christian addressing the conference after receiving BC’s award

Both presidents of CHEA, Judith Eaton, and CIQG, Chita Pijano, expressed appreciation for the significant work accomplished by Bakersfield College.

To read more about the CIQG Quality Award, visit BC’s website.  

Special thanks to The Bakersfield Californian for mentioning this prestigious recognition as well. 

The Welcome Continues

BCSGA’s welcoming festivities continued into the second week of the Spring 2020 semester with a full slate of events to keep students in the Renegade spirit. We wrote about the first Welcome Week in last week’s blog, along with a preview of what to expect from BCSGA and the Office of Student Life in 2020, so please do check it out if you haven’t already. Next week, BCSGA’s Department of Legislative Affairs has invited South Kern Sol Executive Director Reyna Olaguez to speak in the Levan Center at 1 p.m. on February 4 during the first BCSGA Power Lunch of the semester.

Super Smash Bros. Tournament

Many of our student Renegades love to play video games, so BCSGA set up a Super Smash Bros. tournament to kick off the second week of Welcome Week festivities on Monday. Students converged on Levinson Hall, where BCSGA holds their meetings, to sit down and compete against each other in “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” for the Nintendo Switch. 

BCSGA Super Smash Bro's Tournament plaque in front of computer.

After signing up, each student was placed in an elimination bracket and played against each other until one champion was left standing. The event got pretty intense, with students bringing their own controllers and consoles to practice before the start of the tournament. Jesus C. Rodriguez was the winner of this year’s competition, beating everyone in the tournament with the characters Ganon and Kirby. As a reward for winning the tournament, his name is displayed on a trophy that hangs proudly in Levinson Hall.

Thank you to Benny Balderrama and BCSGA for getting our students who love to game invested in the campus.

Churros with Prez Pulido

Samantha with thumbs up behind a tray of churros.

BCSGA President Samantha Pulido shared churros with students and listened to their concerns in the Gym Huddle as part of a Welcome Week outreach event on Monday afternoon. Pulido wants the BC student body to get to know her a little better, so she made herself available to answer any questions that students wanted to ask.

Renegades lined up to get their free churros and share a moment with their student body president. Thank you to Prez Pulido for making all of our students feel welcome and accepted.

Renegade Rage

Students geared up in jumbo-sized boxing gloves and faced off for a friendly showdown in the Gym Huddle on Tuesday. A team of organizers got together to host the “Renegade Rage: Jumbo Boxing” event, including Student Life Assistant Sarah Aguirre, BCSGA Vice President Daniel Escobar, Director of Student Activities Christopher Hernandez, Senator Gian Gayatao, and student volunteer Alex Bridges.

Students were encouraged to put their dukes up and get in the ring, and all participants received free Renegade Student Planners. Thank you to all of the organizers and participants in this year’s “Renegade Rage”.

#SelfiesAtBC: Renegade Scavenger Hunt

Ready! Set! Go! BC students had 24 hours to share their #SelfiesAtBC and win prizes from BCSGA as part of this year’s Renegade Scavenger Hunt during Welcome Week.

BC Got Talent

Welcome Week concluded with the “BC’s Got Talent: Entertainment Gauntlet” showcase in the Gym Huddle on Thursday. BCSGA students set the stage for our talented Renegades to show off their creative abilities.

The panel of judges for the performance showcase included BCSGA members Jackie Gutierrez, Samantha Pulido, Daniel Escobar, Perla Villegas, Christopher Hernandez and Gian Gayatao. A group of singers and performers took the spotlight, including Forestry student Andrew Ramos, who sang Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” for an excited audience. Andrew said that music and singing are some of his favorite hobbies, and he enjoys all genres of music.

The panel graciously congratulated all of the participants for having the courage to share their talents with the world. Thank you to BCSGA and all of the performers for coming together at “BC’s Got Talent”.

Last Sunday’s Tragedy

Like so many basketball fans around the world, I was saddened at the passing of five-time NBA champion and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. The terrible helicopter crash on the hills of Calabasas last weekend was a shock to us all.

If you go to the intersection of Rosedale Highway and Mohawk Street in Bakersfield, you can see a billboard paying tribute to Bryant with the words “Legend: 1978-2020”. On Friday, the Dignity Health Memorial Sports Complex held a candlelight vigil for Bryant, who was nicknamed “The Black Mamba” for his lethal shooting ability. Local Lakers fans wore their jerseys and other memorabilia to pay respects to one of the best players in the history of the NBA.

The world of community college athletics is also in mourning after the death of John Altobelli, the baseball coach of Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, who was among the nine people involved in the crash. Altobelli coached the Orange Coast Pirates for 27 seasons, winning four CCCAA titles during his tenure. In 2019, the American Baseball Coaches Association named him the National Coach of the Year. Renegade baseball coach Tim Painton knew Altobelli for 30 years and reflected on his legacy in a video posted by KERO on Tuesday.

The Pirates held an emotional tribute to Altobelli at their home game on Tuesday, with several hundred of his former players coming out to reminisce about their coach, including New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole. You can read more about the John Altobelli tribute  in the LA Times.

Heartfelt condolences from the BC Athletics Department and the whole college to all the students, faculty and administration at Orange Coast College, and all of the friends and family that lost loved ones in the tragic accident. 

Anna Laven Picked to Lead Homeless Collaborative 

Anna Lavan.

Anna Laven, manager for BC’s Dual Enrollment and AB 540 programs, has been appointed as the first executive director of the Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative (BKRHC). The newly-reorganized collaborative will guide the city and county’s efforts to curtail homelessness and provide resources for people in our community dealing with housing insecurity.

Laven has extensive experience in public affairs in addition to her experience as a college administrator, serving as a Field Representative for the Kern County Board of Supervisors and a member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Kern County Behavioral Health boards. Over the last three years at BC, she has managed grant funding and developed programs focused on the recruitment and success of disadvantaged students.

The Bakersfield Californian and KGET covered the announcement on Wednesday. The BKRHC is currently working on developing a point-in-time homeless count, which would help the collaborative determine the type of services needed for homeless programs while securing additional funding and support.

BC is proud to be one of the community partners in this collaborative, which includes membership from the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, Garden Pathways, the Kern Housing Authority, CityServ and The Mission at Kern County. For more information,  visit the BKRHC website.

Agriculture Ambassadors

Bakersfield College’s Agriculture Ambassadors are a group of students that were hand-selected by faculty members in the Agriculture Department. These students have become knowledgeable in what it takes to get one of our agriculture degrees at Bakersfield College. With this knowledge, they participate in all of our outreach events, whether it is a career expo, a booth at the World Ag Expo or visiting high schools.

Group of agriculture ambassadors.

This past weekend, they had the unique opportunity to go to the Agriculture Ambassador conference at Cal Poly, SLO.

Ag ambassadors speaking to students.