Last Saturday, I saw Oppenheimer … an excellent movie… I believe one of Christopher Nolan’s very best. I have a low tolerance for long movies. This one is 3 hours… and I was immersed in each and every moment.
Christopher Nolan is a highly acclaimed filmmaker known for his unique storytelling style, intricate narratives, and visually stunning films. The phrase “non-linear storytelling” is ofter used by film critics to describe his work. Nolan’s films often delve into complex philosophical themes and human psychology. Existential questions, the nature of reality, time, and identity are recurring motifs in his work.
He was born on July 30, 1970, in London, England. Nolan’s work has left a significant impact on the film industry, and his films have achieved both critical and commercial success.
Watch the trailer… very powerful. The movie, even more so. Definitely a must see.
Btw, did you recognize the high profile star cast? Were you able to pick out Robert Downey Jr?
On Sunday, I caught Bakersfield College’s performance of The Addams Family Musical. It was spectacular. Brian Sivesind, this was truly a remarkable feat. Thank you!
I loved these photos that Brian shared on Facebook:
The orchestra was fantastic. Thank you Scott Dirkse! We have a remarkable lineup of talent in our Performing Arts program at Bakersfield College
And check out this photo from Yovani Jimenez of some of the KCCD trustees and supporters attending the show:
This week I spent time in Sacramento, with an apprenticeship meeting co-hosted by the Labor Agency and the Chancellor’s Office. Together we are hoping to convert our California Community College apprenticeship experiences into Apprenticeship Pathways. And thank you Secretary Stewart Knox for your partnership. Stay tuned for more to come.
On Wednesday, we had a well-attended – 1200 attendees! – webinar to roll out Vision 2030. I was joined by some amazing presenters:
Cassandra Flandre-Nguyen, President SSCCC. Our student was absolutely fantastic. After her presentation, and when I came back on, the only word that I kept repeating was “wow.”
Andra Hoffman, President, CCCT
Julianna Barnes, President, CEO Boardand Chair, League Board
Manuel Payan, CSEA
Manuel Velez, Vice President, ASCCC
Lizette Navarette, Executive Vice Chancellor
Good morning California. It is August 5, 2023. A good day to be a Community College Champion
From California Community Colleges. Our Time is Now!
Calbright College Granted Accreditation Through Distance Education Accrediting Commission
On Friday, July 28, Calbright College was granted initial accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), more than a year ahead of the April 1, 2025 deadline outlined in the College’s founding legislation.
RCCD Celebrates Closing Celebration for Inaugural Cohort 1 of Californians for All, College Corps Program
The Riverside Community College District (RCCD) marked a momentous occasion as it celebrated the closing celebration for the inaugural Cohort 1 of the Californians For All, College Corps Program. The program was initiated with an inspiring introduction from Director Darci Manzo Piron, who highlighted the significance of College Corps as a pioneering state-sponsored service and career development program.
Santa Barbara Summer Bridge Programs Offer Jumpstart to College
This summer two of Santa Barbara City College’s innovative programs welcomed local students to experience college-level coursework and gain confidence and motivation to seek higher education in their lives.
10,000 Degrees, a San Rafael-based organization dedicated to empowering students to enter and graduate college in Marin and seven other Bay Area counties, held its annual ‘College Opportunities Summit’ on August 1, and the ‘High School Readiness Summit’ on August 3 at College of Marin, Kentfield Campus.
EdSource: What to know about bachelor’s degrees at California Community Colleges | Quick Guide
EdSource’s Michael Burke wrote this quick guide to bachelor’s degrees at California Community Colleges.
The relatively low price tag of a community college baccalaureate degree is also attractive to many students. (Specific details about the costs can be found later in this guide.) When the Legislative Analyst’s Office conducted an analysis of existing community college baccalaureate programs, “the most common benefit” they heard from students was the low cost of the programs. “Many had considered enrolling in private programs offering the same degree, but were hesitant to do so because of the cost,” the LAO wrote.
Rowena Tomaneng posted this from the AACC Board Retreat in Washington, DC:
Day 2 #AACC Board Retreat, DC– great dialogue w/#NasserPaydar, Asst. Secretary for Postsecondary Education @usedgov, on Impact of SCOTUS decision on Affirmative Action on #CommunityColleges! Honored to rep @CalCommColleges at the national level w/#SunnyCooke #MichaelGuitterez
From Dr. Julius Sokenu at Moorkpark College:
“We are incredibly grateful for Assemblywoman @jacquiirwin for a $500,000 donation to the construction of The @Moorpark College Amphitheater. Thank you for supporting our shared vision to bring greater opportunities for culture and the arts to our community.”
From Evergreen College:
Did you catch us on @liveinthebaytv this week?? Thank you @kron4news for the feature and for spotlighting our amazing school and staff, Professor Dr. Peter Miskin!
Exciting things await at BC this fall; celebrating 110 years of excellence
Bakersfield College is buzzing with excitement for the start of a new academic year. This year, however, is extra special as we celebrate a momentous milestone — BC’s 110th anniversary of serving the community since our founding in 1913.
While clear blue sunny skies are lovely, it’s always nice to take the time to appreciate the beauty when the clouds roll in as well:
On Tuesday, I was so excited to announce at our 6th AWE Webinar that our community was selected for two US Department of Energy grants through the Communities Local Energy Action Program (LEAP) — on Carbon Capture and Sequestration and Microgrids. Kern CCD partnered with the county for one and with the city for the other along with numerous other partners.
Here is my announcement from Tuesday:
Once again, the Kern Community College District is at the forefront of innovation as we work toward sustainability and securing a better economic future for all in our region.
Check out this article from John Cox in The Bakersfield Californian about the grant.
This week I was invited to meet US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.
It was wonderful hanging out with Chancellor Eloy Oakley and other CA higher ed leaders – UC Merced Chancellor Juan Sanchez Munoz, Compton College President Keith Curry, Cerritos College President Jose Fierro, University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman, and Long Beach City College President Mike Munoz, as we discussed ways the US Department of Education can support our most disadvantaged students.
Women in Leadership Panel
On Tuesday, the Kern Community College District hosted the 3rd Annual Women in Leadership Panel. Moderator Jean Fuller led a discussion featuring Martha Flores, Porterville Mayor; Wendy Avila, Kern County Superior Court Judge; and Brenda Lewis, CA Board of Education Member and former Kern High School District Superintendent.
It was so inspiring to hear these accomplished women speak about their roles and how their histories led them to where they are now.
And the panel discussion:
Here are some fun photos.
Good morning, friends… It is April 2, 2022. The sun shines bright over KernCCD.
This week, the Pirates, the Coyotes, and the Renegades continue to #DareMightyThings
PC Hires New Gear Up Manager, Begins to move program to the community
PC welcomes the new Gear Up Program Manager, Gloriann Garza.
Gloriann migrated with her family to the central valley from the island of Puerto Rico when she was just 7 years old and has lived in the area ever since.
She is a first-generation student who earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Master’s in Educational Counseling from CSU Bakersfield.
For the past 10 years, she has worked for her Alma mater as a Financial Aid Counselor, and most recently as a University Outreach Counselor.
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federally funded program designed to elevate the academic achievement, college attendance, and graduation rates of first-generation, low-income, underrepresented, and underserved students.
GEAR UP works in partnership with educational and community institutions to provide students and families with individual and group advising, academic and tutoring support, college and career exploration opportunities, skill building workshops, enrichment programs, college visits, and educational field trips. Porterville College was awarded the GEAR UP Grant in the Fall of 2021.
The Porterville College GEAR UP program is partnered with Porterville Unified School District and Earlimart School District to provide exclusive services to the Class of 2028.
Two PC students Qualify for Phi Theta Kappa All-California Community College Academic Team
Porterville College Students, Erica Coon and Javier Corona-Rosas have all been selected to be a part of the 2022 Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) All-California Academic Team. This year, 114 students were selected out of the millions of community college students enrolled in California schools.
Ms. Coon was ranked among the top 75 community college students in California which put her onto the All-California 2nd Academic Team. Mr. Corona-Rosas was ranked among the top 100 students, placing him on the 3rd team. They join two students from Bakersfield College, to represent the Kern Community College District in the All-California Teams this year.
The purpose of the Phi Theta Kappa All-State Academic Team Program is to provide recognition at the state level for our top community college students.
Grades, leadership, and community service determine selection to the All-California First, Second and Third Teams. The students selected represent some of the best of over two million students enrolled in California’s 116 community colleges. Students have undoubtedly faced many additional and unprecedented challenges over the last two years. The 2022 winners should be exceptionally proud of their achievements during these difficult times.
To view the team selections and rankings, click here. Please join us in congratulating these fine students for this outstanding collegiate achievement.
Sandra Cisneros will discuss recent works for PC Writer & Poet Speaker Series
Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist, and essayist whose work explores the lives of the working-class. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, the PEN/Nabokov Award for International Literature and the National Medal of the Arts, awarded to her by President Obama in 2016.
Ms. Cisneros will discuss her work with the Porterville College community as the next guest speaker in our PC Writer and Poet Speaker Series on April 21st from 12pm to 1pm.
Her novel, The House on Mango Street has sold over seven million copies, has been translated into over twenty-five languages, and is required reading in elementary, high school, and universities across the nation.
She will be discussing her new book, Martita, I Remember You/Martita, te recuerdo, a story in English and in Spanish, that was published in 2021. In the fall of 2022, a new collection of her poetry, Woman Without Shame, her first in 28 years, will be published by Knopf Publishing.
Cisneros is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico who earns her living by her pen. You can register for this upcoming event at via zoom at https://tinyurl.com/3v8m6xnr. It is open to everyone.
Cerro Coso Community College
CC Garden Club – Seed Planting Success
Many students participate in college clubs to extend their learning opportunities and make new friendships. The Cerro Coso Garden Club provides a great way for students to learn about gardening and gain hands-on experience growing their own food, and tasting the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor.
A successful garden club experience requires planning and patience, and most of all, a spirit of adventure.
Novice and experienced gardeners know that no matter how well you plan, Mother Nature will add her own variables like scorching hot days, cabbage worms, and even freezing rain.
The Cerro Coso Garden Club is experiencing great success with their garden. Promise student Alan Esparza and PTK President Elajae Lee are actively involved in the garden club project. Professors Guck Ooi, Claudia Sellers, and Sarah King, all have been working very hard to bring the club to life and produce food items like carrots, onions, arugula, and so much more. The idea is to provide fresh produce for students, faculty and staff on a regular basis and continue to work closely with the Coyote Cupboard. Fresh produce days are coming and will be available campus wide very soon. Donations will be helpful when anyone takes an item — all donations will go back to support the Garden Club and Coyote Cupboard.
Gardening is a wonderful learning experience. It is also an exercise in patience, trial and error, and working with uncontrollable variables like the weather. Whatever they cultivate will be a worthwhile learning experience for CC students.
Take Control of Your Future – Register for Summer and Fall Classes at Cerro Coso
No matter where you are on your educational journey, Cerro Coso Community College has a program designed to meet you where you are.
This is the time to focus on your future and take steps toward achieving your goals.
Open registration for summer and fall classes will begin April 13, 2022. The new student registration process delivers a fresh user experience with a modern look and feel. Features include: increased efficiencies, new tools, and improved capabilities. The upgrade launched March 1, 2022 and those registering for classes will notice changes to the registration process, and there are lots of resources available to help understand how to use the system.
On campus offerings this summer include Kinesiology and Welding. Online classes include Administration of Justice, Paralegal, Web Management, Art, Spanish, Sociology, and a lot more. A complete listing of summer and fall classes is available online at www.cerrocoso.edu . Plan today to secure a class schedule that works best for you.
Summer is a great time to get a head start on your college journey. For more information contact the Cerro Coso Counseling Department at 760-384-6219 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need help paying for college? Cerro Coso has lots of resources to help pay for college. Contact the college Financial Aid Office for assistance with FASFA, State Financial Aid, Scholarships, Finish Line Scholars, Promise and more at 760-384-6221 or email at email@example.com. Summer classes begin June 6, 2022 and Fall classes begin August 22, 2022. There is something for everyone at Cerro Coso Community College. Your hometown college.
Find Out How Your Student Can Earn College Credit While In High School
Getting a head start on college credits during high school will save money, impress college admissions departments, and offer greater degree flexibility. Earning college credits in high school is a great way for students to take initiative, strengthen their chances of admissions, explore their interests, or try something new. By gaining credits towards a degree while still in high school, students can graduate faster, spend less money, and position themselves for success.
Cerro Coso Community College is hosting a virtual Dual and Concurrent Enrollment Programs Workshop for parents of high school students on Tuesday, April 12 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
If you are the parent of a junior or senior in high school, find out how your student can get a head start in earning college credits before they leave high school, ultimately making their college experience more affordable, efficient, and enriching.
Cerro Coso Community College offers dual and concurrent enrollment classes for high school students throughout its service area.
Registration for summer and fall 2022 classes begins April 13.
Bakersfield College Honored with Shafter Education Award
Bakersfield College was honored with the education award at the annual Shafter Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet last week for our work with the City of Shafter to reopen the community library in January. The library was closed at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, when it was part of the Kern County Library system.
The City of Shafter has since taken over the operation of the library and has partnered with Bakersfield College to staff and operate the facility. In preparation for the re-opening, a significant investment has been made in new books, with a focus on children. The city also provides classes, tutoring and access to computers at Shafter Learning Center, co-located at library, and Bakersfield College also offers classes, registration events and counselor support at the center through our Rural Initiatives program. Bakersfield College is proud to help provide our rural communities with the same access to educational resources as their big city counterparts.
Thank you to Kern CCD Trustee President Romeo Agbalog, who accepted the award.
Industrial Automation’s Robotic Dog SPOT Continues Tour of Kern County
It has been a busy couple of weeks for Industrial Automation’s robotic dog SPOT as he continued his tour of Kern County.
On March 9th, SPOT along with Industrial Automation program manager Carlos Medina and faculty Dr. Paul Murray, were interviewed on a local TV show “Do The Math.” On the show, they discussed how SPOT ended up at BC, other robots in the program, how SPOT enhances the programming learning experience in BC classrooms, and more. It was a wonderful time showcasing SPOT’s features and functions.
On March 22nd, SPOT joined the Agriculture Department at Farm Day in the City at the Kern County Fair where he was able to interact with elementary students and challenge them in a push up competition.
It is amazing to see young students in Kern County having the opportunity to interact with BC faculty and staff, and to see first hand how education and creativity can produce amazing designs like SPOT.
BC Alumni Association to Host Fundraising Event
The BC Alumni Association will be hosting the “Kern County Premium (KCP)” Fest at the Temblor Brewing Company on Saturday, April 23rd, 6:00PM – 10:30PM. The event will feature live performances by Mento Buru and DJ Mikey, and will feature drink specials for attendees. The event is open to all ages and is 5 dollars to attend.
The KCP Fest will benefit the Bakersfield College Alumni Association. It will be a great opportunity to reconnect with BC friends and family, while raising funds that will benefit future Renegade students and alumni. We hope to see you there. For more information visit the BC Alumni Association Facebook page.
BC Hosts Grad Fair
Bakersfield College’s 108th Commencement is quickly approaching. To help eligible students prepare for the ceremony, BC hosted a Grad Fair on the main campus this week. Students had the opportunity to get all of their graduation materials including regalia, invitations, mementos, rings, portraits, and more.
It truly is an exciting time for our students as they have the opportunity to participate in the first in-person commencement celebration in several years.
In the News
PC orchestra director to perform at Grammys
The Porterville Recorder published this piece about Dr. Tianna Heppner Smith, the Director of Band and Orchestra at Porterville College, who will perform at this weekend’s Grammys, taking place on Sunday at 5pm.
“Music has been a passion of mine since I began in my local program in sixth grade and I can’t imagine doing anything else,” she said. “I love performing, I love being a pedagogue and helping students and novice string instrumentalists improve on their instruments.”
New 150-tree arboretum beginning to take root at Bakersfield College campus
“One of the concepts behind the Bakersfield College Arboretum is to create an outdoor living laboratory for the students of horticulture, forestry and plant science to have an eyes- and hands-on learning experience,” said Melissa Iger, a certified arborist who heads the Tree Foundation of Kern.
Fun Photo and Spotted on Social Media
PC President Claudia Habib shared this from the Porterville College Plant Sale:
Cerro Coso President Sean Hancock was also spending time with his college’s garden:
Vice Chancellor of Educational Services John Means was recognized at the Kern Education Pledge Convening. This was his last KEP meeting and he was honored with a very nice resolution on a plaque presented by Mary Barlow.
Cheryl Scott shared these photos from the KernCounty STEMposium & Career Expo:
This week, Michael O’Doherty, one of our Foundation Board members, sent me this picture:
“Live in Black and White on the wall of Vons in the Marketplace is this action shot of Renegade Basketball.”
One of the things I love best about Bakersfield College is how connected it is throughout the community. I love the interaction between the campus and Bakersfield – BC truly is a community college. That sense of community pride strengthens our students, faculty, staff and administration as we all work toward our common goal of helping our students achieve their educational goals.
And I love the notes and emails that people share with me when they see BC being represented throughout the community. Keep those notes coming.
Btw, Have you seen this picture at Vons?
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, February 20, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.
KHSD Expanding Early College Partnership with BC
The Kern High School District is offering a select number of students the opportunity to earn an Associate’s degree. With BC’s Early College program expanding into the Kern High School District, students can get a 2-year head start on their baccalaureate degree, and all books and transportation will be provided to them free of charge.
Thank you Dr. Jean Fuller and Trustee Romeo Agbalog for your leadership in the #EarlyCollege movement.
Learning Together with the Library
The BC Library continued its series of conversations around cultural competency during the All-Campus Virtual Seminar on Thursday. English professor Pam Boyles and history professor Erin Miller discussed their thoughts about the video titled “Fighting Racism Without Shaming”, featuring Moral Courage Project founder Dr. Irshad Manji.
Thank you to Mindy Wilmot for moderating the discussion, Todd Coston for serving as our emcee, and Earl Parsons for providing the programming support for the Virtual Seminar Series.
Check out the video below:
You can find videos from previous Learning Together seminars, as well as other virtual forums, on the President’s Events page. (Check the Virtual Forums tab!)
Recognizing Robert Tafoya
This week I saw a wonderful article from Jose Gaspar in the Bakersfield Californian honoring Judge Robert Tafoya, who retired February 5 after being appointed to the bench by Governor Gray Davis in 2002.
I’m not sure if you are all aware, but Judge Tafoya was the person behind creating Bakersfield College’s inmate education program. I remember when Chancellor Emeritus Sandra Serrano called me about working with Kern Valley State Prison to create an educational opportunity for inmates, with a goal of providing opportunities for these individuals while reducing recidivism rates.
After this phone call, I pinged Rich McCrow, then director of the Delano campus. Rich put his head and heart into building this program — and Bryan Hirayama was the first faculty member to teach at KVSP.
The program began at Kern Valley State Prison in Spring 2015. The pilot course, COMM B1 – Public Speaking, had 27 students enrolled.
I am grateful for Judge Tafoya and Chancellor Serrano for seeding this work that has made such a profound change in these inmates’ lives.
On Friday, Kern County Public Health announced that more sectors will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines beginning next week. It’s been reassuring seeing members of our Bakersfield College community being able to get their vaccines as well.
Di Hoffman, one of our nursing faculty, shared that she got her vaccine this week:
I’d also like to share another video from our February 2 Virtual Forum with Dr. Michael Saag. In this clip, he talks more about the vaccine rollout process and our ability to scale up our supply and distribution:
Mars Rover Perseverance Watch Party
On Thursday, NASA successfully landed a new rover, Perseverance, on Mars. Astronomy professor Nick Strobel hosted a Zoom watch party for our Renegade community. Before the landing, he shared lots of great information about Perseverance’s mission and about Mars.
The Perseverance mission is looking for signs of possible past life on Mars, as well as collecting rock and soil samples and testing oxygen production in the atmosphere to prepare for potential future human travel to the Red Planet.
BCSGA shared this picture of Maya Angelou’s visit to Bakersfield College in the 1970s:
Librarian Mindy Wilmot shared this throwback photo:
Professor Buggs’ Level 2 RN students celebrated completing their first round of clinical:
Shannon Musser tuned into BC’s Perseverance watch party with her kids:
The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce had this positive message to share:
Head Coach Spotlight – Casey Goodman, Renegade Softball
Our Renegade Coaches are the glue that keep their teams together. All of our coaches spend countless hours behind the scenes preparing their teams for competition and life. This week we’re shining the spotlight on Casey Goodman, who leads our softball team.
Coach Goodman has been at BC since 2017 and has already won two Western State Conference (WSC) Championships and been named the 2019 WSC Coach of the Year. Coach Goodman played college softball at the University of Louisiana at Monroe where as a player she earned multiple post-season awards and has since been inducted into the ULM Athletics Hall of Fame in 2018.
We are proud to call Coach Goodman a Renegade and know she’s still yet to accomplish many great things in her coaching career!
That’s all for now. Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
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
Here is another great poem by Jack Hernandez
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
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Emails Worth Sharing: In Memoriam – Ron Dethlefson
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.
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 Livelyput 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 RobinsonDay. 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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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,
Emails Worth Sharing: Castle In the Storm
Kaitlinis 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, namelyCastle 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
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:
Archives Throwback: Thomas Takes Over New Position
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.
“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.
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
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, 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…”
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.”
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya- the luckiest and happiest college president ever
The Workforce & Economic Mobility Blog blog shares approaches to workforce and economic development, with a goal of supporting economic mobility for our community while staying committed to the health of our people and the health of our environment.