Beautiful sunrise photo from the my morning walking partner in Bakersfield Northeast while I walk Bakersfield Southwest.
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, September 5, 2020…a great day to be a Renegade
Early College Recruits a New Class of Cougar Renegades
The Early College team has been hard at work hosting virtual application workshops for our new and existing Cougar Renegades.
In partnership with the McFarland High School counseling team, the BC Early College staff held 13 virtual workshops for the upper classmen and 9 workshops for incoming freshman students. After these workshops, BC welcomed over 200 new Cougar Renegade students who will be on the path to complete 60 college units by the time they graduate from high school.
McFarland High School Early College staff, Jill Jimenez and BC Early College staff, Nicole Alvarez and Kelly Moa worked together to assist the McFarland incoming Freshmen students in taking the first step toward college degree completion.
Good luck to our McFarland High School class of 2024 #cougarrenegades! Early College staff will be there every step of the way to help build your success stories.
Levan Institute for Lifelong Learning Classes–Fall 2020
The Levan Institute for Lifelong Learning makes interesting and useful learning experiences available primarily to those 55 and over (although any adult is eligible) who are interested in continuing to gain knowledge throughout their lives. Offerings include both practical and fun topics such as Art: Watercolor Painting, Cooking for the Holidays, and Introduction to Wine Tasting.
This semester’s classes are being offered remotely via Zoom, so students can learn in the comfort of their own homes. Courses vary in length and price. The full list of courses and registration information is available on the Bakersfield College webpage at www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/levaninstitute.
Interested individuals are encouraged to sign up today and never stop learning!
Portraits in Their Own Words
English Professor Andrew Bond is seeking students to participate in the Portraits in Their Own Words project, which will uplift the voices of previously incarcerated BC students.
Andrew, along with professors Shawn Newsom and Kristopher Stallworth, were awarded $15,000 from California Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts to fund the project.
Here is an excerpt from my campus-wide email
The goal of this program is to engage with formerly incarcerated students at BC, working with them to create autobiographical narratives that will be paired with their portraits (created by BC student artists) in an exhibit that will have an online presence via an archive connected to the BC Social Justice Institute’s webpage. We are also working on airing recordings of the narratives on local TV for presentation to the general public (this is in lieu of public speaking events by the students that would have been held on campus and in local and out of town venues prior to COVID-19).
Measure J Construction Photos
Check out these amazing drone photos of the slab pour for our new Science and Engineering building. Thank you to Bernards and AECOM/Parsons for sharing these so we can keep everyone updated on how we are building #ABetterBC!
Opening Day 2020
Bakersfield College’s traditional opening day celebration was transformed this year. Instead of a one-day gathering in our beautiful Indoor Theatre, we had 5 days of virtual productions.
Today, I’m sharing three videos from Day 1. These videos highlight Bakersfield College’s commitment to Racial Equity – a theme highlighted throughout all 5 days of presentations.
Abel Guzman, Bryan Hirayama and Vikki Coffee spoke about the work of EODAC – Equal Opportunity & Diversity Action Committee.
Abel Guzman, Executive Director of Rural Initiatives:
Bryan Hirayama, EODAC Faculty Chair:
Vikki Coffee, EODAC Classified Chair:
New BSAD Warehouse Management Course
For the first time ever, Renegades now have the chance to learn about operations, efficiency, and distribution center leadership in the Warehouse Management (BSAD B89a) Business Administration course. BC’s Gary Blackburn shared with The Bakersfield Californian his excitement in an article published Thursday.
She also shared that there will be a virtual concert on November 6 titled “Becoming Us,” which will be a collaboration between the BC Chamber Singers and BC photography and videography students.
“Music is what drives me and it’s been the source of comfort and motivation during quarantine. Together, it has to be our mission to keep moving forward and to work as hard as we can until one day we can meet with each other and sing side by side.”
Kalina Hill, Program Manager, Testing and Placement Center, shared this photo from a recent Zoom training session for the BC Student Information Desk which provides virtual support to our students via zoom:
And Reference Librarian Sondra Keckley showed this mouth-watering bounty from her garden:
Five Renegades Named to the 2019 All-State Academic Team
We are proud to announce that 2019 track and field student athletes Gabriella Lugo, Noemi Esparza, Adolfo Escudero, Jacoby Whitby and Fabian Valenzuela have been named to the 2019 Academic All-State Track and Field team by the CCCCCTCA (California Community College Cross Country & Track Coaches Association). To make the team, cross-country student athletes must complete a minimum of 24 academic units with a 3.5 GPA or higher. These student athletes have certainly taken advantage of their time as Renegades and we know they will represent BC well into the future!
That’s all for now. Until next time. With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, February 11, 2017 and a good day to be a Renegade.
It seemed as it all of Bakersfield packed St. Francis on Thursday, 2/9, at 12:00 noon to honor Trice Harvey.
It was a very nice service with beautiful music. And Heidi Scott…..Have you heard her sing? What emotion…what a voice! She moved me to tears.
I so wanted to capture her version of Here I am Lord and Precious Lord Take my Hand on my iphone, but felt it was not appropriate.
So you get youtube instead
Precious Lord Take My Hand
There were many wonderful Trice Harvey stories. The first speaker told one about beating Bakersfield College when he was the Quarterback at Taft College. (I thought “What! ….. I’m sorry that I never got the opportunity to speak with Trice about that to set the record straight.”)
KCCD was well represented. I spotted Trustee Kay Meek, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Trustee Bill Thomas, and Chancellor Tom Burke.
BC Athletics home games will always energize you before a busy week. Last weekend’s Basketball game did not disappoint! BC had come out to support our students, Coach Hughes and Coach Dahl. It’s a great time to be at BC and it’s a great time to support our Renegades! Miss coming to the game? Check out the recap written by Francis Mayer at http://gogades.com/sports/wbkb/2016-17/releases/20170207l29t01.
Napa Valley IEPI PRT Visit
By Monday, I was in Napa chairing a Tuesday event on strengthening program and institutional planning processes. It was raining hard, but boy… Napa is beautiful and the work we accomplished was great. IEPI(Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative) is a statewide collaborative effort to help advance the practices of the California Community Colleges. This is a great team: Kristina Whalen (City College of San Francisco), Randy Beach (Southwestern College), Mandy Lang (City College of San Francisco), Stephen Eaton (Barstow College)
Sonya Christian, Kristina Whalen, Randy Beach, Mandy Liang, Stephen Eaton
Campaign for College Opportunity Visits BC
On February 8th, Audrey Dow, Senior Vice President for the Campaign for College Opportunity, brought a group to campus to learn about Bakersfield College’s guided pathways efforts. The group met with faculty, administrators, staff, and students in the Fireside Room. The Campaign for College Opportunity is an organization that works tirelessly on issues of equity. They were a powerful voice behind SB 1440 the legislation that provided the 60-credit Associate Degree Transfer (ADT) pathways to the CSU system. This single legislation has tremendously improved the transfer rates of students from BC to CSUB. The Campaign for College Opportunity CEO, Michele Siqueiros, is wonderful and committed to making things happen. For more http://collegecampaign.org/
Kimberley Bligh, Kenneth Mireles
We offered a short presentation: Janet Fulks, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, provided background information, preliminary data describing the college’s initial results after the implementation of multiple measures, and a discussion of the learning and career pathways. Dr. Paula Parks discussed the success of the ASTEP-Umoja program, and Kimberly Bligh introduced the group to our Summer Bridge Program. Kimberly invited one of our students Kenneth Mireles to talk about the student experience. Maria Wright, our new Director of Academic Support Services, discussed peer support, and Jessica Wojtysiak, who organized the event, closed our presentation with a discussion of Extend the Classroom and Completion Coaching Communities.
The presentations provided a great opportunity to consider some of the excellent progress being made at BC, and we all enjoyed a wonderful lunch prepared by Chef Eric. I Must say that BC has the very best Culinary Program and our Food Services rocks!
Thank you to all who participated and attended, including Congressman and Trustee Bill Thomas! Here are some photos!
I was so proud to hear about the work the college has been doing to advance student success and student learning. What a talented group of faculty and staff at BC….Now do you know why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever?
The Guided Pathways conversation continues in high gear across the state. Here is a recent email from our statewide Chancellor for the 114 community colleges, Eloy Oakley
CA Guided Pathways Project: I am pleased to report that on December 6, the College Futures Foundation approved funding for the CA Guided Pathways Project. The CA Guided Pathways Project will create a framework for colleges to integrate their planning and resources in order to focus on improving student outcomes and reimagining the student experience. This is an important initiative for the system, as it will create a foundation for comprehensive professional learning and tools for colleges to better use data to improve student outcomes. The model helps colleges clarify paths to student end goals, helps students select a program and stay on path, and ensure quality learning. By creating structured educational experiences that support each student from point of entry to attainment of high-quality postsecondary credentials and employment in a chosen field, the project is intended to increase the number of students earning community college credentials, while closing equity gaps. In early 2017, 15 to 20 community colleges will be selected to implement the California Guided Pathways Model from a competitive application and interview process. Colleges will participate in six two-day institutes, which will focus on key elements required to implement a fully-scaled pathway model which serves all students at a community college, plus receive support on the change process from expert coaches. Each college will commit to have implemented guided pathways for all incoming students by 2019. You can find the press release on the website of the Foundation for California Community Colleges.
Celebrating at the Kern Co. Bar Association Dinner
Bakersfield College has the incredible honor of being involved with partnerships and initiatives which bring our young people closer to their dreams and enhance opportunities for our community to grow. The Kern County Superintendent of Schools do amazing work with local high school students in conjunction with the Kern County Bar Association. Among this work, events such as the Mock Trial, We the People programs, and Constitution Day are making an impact on our young people.
Steve Sanders from KCSOS was at the February 9th event which was organized by Judge Robert Tafoya to
1) recognize and celebrate past collaborations between the legal community, the educational community and the community at large and
2) To present two new student oriented legal programs. The Bakersfield College Pathway to Law Initiative (Two years in a community college, two years in a four-year institution to earn a BA or BS and three years in law school). The other program is the Young Writers of Kern Essay Contest, a collaborative effort of the Writers of Kern, many school districts, the Kern County Bar Association and the Bakersfield College Pre-Law Program and BC’s ASTEP Program founded by Professor Paula Parks. This year’s essay contest is on social media and whether it is a relevant news source. Our advisory council members are mentoring pre-law students and internships are in place with David Wolf and Steven Katz.
Moving forward, I can’t wait for our next Law Day event on Friday, April 28th.
I was disappointed that Thuy Thi Nguyen, President of Foothill College was not there to receive her award. Cynthia Loo described Thuy’s work in starting the pre-law program. Let’s toast President Thuy Thi Nguyen for her leadership and dedication to student success!
Judge Robert Tafoya was incredibly inspirational and I asked him to send me his remarks for my weekly blog. Here they are – please sit back and enjoy Judge Tafoya.
David Brooks in his book “The Social Animal” reminds us that
We humans are social animals. When trying to figure who we are or the essence of any person we start from the supposition that we are born in to relationships-with parents and ancestors-and that those relationships possess certain qualities, good and bad. We surmise that a person grows through interaction within his or her relationships. Our habits, beliefs, attitudes, values, goals, assumptions, personalities emerge from relationships. First with mothers, fathers, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins and as one matures with folks outside the immediate family like neighbors, teachers, classmates, roommates, co-workers, employers and spouses and friends we make throughout a lifetime. Through the interaction of these relationships we learn about our world and how to navigate its trials and tribulations.
I prop0se that these truisms about humans and relationships also apply to the development of communities and nations in that a community is established, develops and evolves within the context of individual and institutional relationships. A community through a networking process among individuals and groups creates systems of governance that allows for cohesion and stability. For example, one can assess the essence or the lifeblood of the health of a community by examining the quality of its educational systems, its healthcare systems, its police-citizen relationships, its legal and judicial systems, its economic systems and the the governing institutions that respond to the needs of its poor, its children, it’s disabled.
The purpose of today’s reception is to honor the significance of relationships, or partnerships or collaborations that have been established and maintained over the years by and between Kern county students, parents, educators, lawyers, judges and business folk. Specifically the kcba and the kcsc want to acknowledge all of those persons and institutions responsible for the establishment and development of the mock trial program, the we the people program, the constitution day program and now the creation of three new education/legal collaborations: namely, the bakersfield college’s pathway to law initiative, the bc and csub’s prelaw programs and the young writers of kern essay competition.
Why is this important one may ask. Consider the common themes promoted through these student, teacher, lawyer, judicial and business collaborations. 1) pursuing a legal career is a worthwhile goal, 2) learning understanding the particulars of a liberal democracy like the bill of rights is essential to its survival 3) that the work of responsible citizenship requires commitment and the development of critical thinking and learning skills and 4) that the overriding goal of our government is to promote the rights and welfare of the individual as defined in our constitution . A free and open democratic election does not guarantee the enjoyment of our basic liberties like freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of association. Our constitutional rights are secured by creating a culture that includes norms, practices, and traditions that honor and promote the rule of law, respect for an independent judiciary, reverence for the separation of church and state and deference to the dynamic relationship between the three branches of our government that forms the basis of our system of checks and balances that in turn prevents the abuse of our constitutional rights.
By continuing to support the collaboration of the programs i mention here today, for example by acting as a mentor, a mock trial judge, an advisor, a student coach, a role model or financial donor we recognize the elementary notion that our basic liberties as Americans are not birthrights are not entitlements but are fragile freedoms gifted to us by prior generations going back to september 17, 1787 with the expectation that we, as stewards of these liberties, remain vigilant to their sustainability by defending them when challenged and by teaching them to younger generations. To remain true to the oaths we took as lawyers, judges and elected officials to support and defend the constitution we must assume responsibility for teaching, guiding, inspiring, and encouraging that irrepressible life force we call our children to truly appreciate the necessity of being good citizens. Participating in mock trial or we the people or constitution day, or being mentors to college students or promoting the development of critical thinking, writing and research skills we are engaged in the hard work of democracy. We are collaborating in the difficult task of promoting responsible citizenship. Today we are here to honor this collaborative process and by acknowledging its importance and the relationships that buttress this process we keep our country strong.
It was great to also see H.A. Sala at the event – a great supporter of BC and our students! What an inspiration to our young people. And thank you David Torres for your support with Measure J.
It was wonderful running into Mary Copeland who encouraged me to restart BC’s debate program.
Thank you to our Advisory Commmittee, Judge Tafoya, Bethany Peak, David Torres, Yinka Glover, Steven Katz, James Maddox, Alexia Torres Stallings, and Cynthia Loo.
And thank you Dr. Manny Mourtzanos and Pearl Urena for your commitment to the program. BC has so many amazing faculty and staff so committed to our students. Now do you know why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever?
Garden Pathways Garden Party
Thursday night was packed with events…after the KC bar Association event, I rushed over to the the 8th annual Garden Pathways Garden Party on Thursday evening. Garden Pathways motto is “Building community from the inside out” and what a wonderful message that is! Karen Goh, our new mayor and CEO of Garden Pathways, has done a nice job in raising the profile of this important community organization.
Garden Pathways is a community based nonprofit mentoring children, youth, and adults to build productive lives. The official website says, “Diverse mentoring and education programs lead families to educational advancement, employment, family stability, self-sufficiency, healthy living, and improved quality of life. The programs of Garden Pathways provide a wide range of life-building services to the Kern County community.”
Sonya Christian with Board Member Darlene Mohlke and Executive Director Louis Gill from the Bakersfield Homeless Center
I saw Louis Gill, the CEO of the homeless center and snapped a photo. Seeing him reminds me that we may not always know the struggles or life stumbles people may have been through [or are going through] to get to where they are, but there are such tremendous resources in our community for people to take advantage of.
The work in particular that the Kern Homeless Center is doing for individuals and families in crisis is truly inspiring. We should all remember organizations like this when we think about how we may give of our time. Thank you Louis Gill for the amazing job you’ve done for women and families in Kern County.
The evening was full of familiar faces, laughter, wonderful food, and support for our community. The evening’s co-hosts were Brad and Brooke Antonioni, Joan Dezember, Robert and Beckie Diltz, Rick and Shannon Grove, Darcy Marshall and Barbara Grimm-Marshall, Maureen Napier, Kevin and Tuesdy Small, and Rayand Marlene Watson.
If you missed attending this year’s event, don’t miss the chance to learn more about Garden Pathways. Check out their website at http://www.gardenpathways.org/
I really enjoyed hanging out with the BC folks who were there. Nicky Damania and Jennifer Achan are two relatively new administrators at BC, extremely smart, dedicated, work long hours and real fun to be with. And of course, Mary Jo Pasek who tirelessly works to get the information about BC out there in the community. Now do you know why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever?
Jennifer Achan, Nicky Damania, Sonya Christian, Mary Jo Pasek
Throughout the Week in the World of Athletics
It was an eventful Thursday with women’s Tennis, softball and baseball playing at BC.
Coach Nick Loudermilk and the tennis team have really done a great job this season. On a recent road trip to San Diego, the team had some time on their hands to take advantage of the ‘Escape Room’ an attraction that forces groups to use teamwork to solve smaller challenges on the way to unfolding a larger mystery that will allow them to escape the locked room they are in. They were successful and their team’s creative drive and focus also showed on Thursday when the Renegades had a big win over Glendale College to move to 7-0 on the season. Paige Darstein and Chloe Moreno clinched the victory with a win at #1 doubles.
Softball, 2-3 on the season had a successful home opener with a 7-0 win over Taft College. Coach Hill “we hit the ball well, and we played solid in the field. It was nice to have it come together.”
Alexis Solis and Naizemare Ubay led the Renegades with two hits apiece. Starting pitcher McKenna Valencia picked up the win.
Coach Painton’s baseball team had a great outing by starting pitcher Taylor Burns against El Camino, unfortunately the offense got blocked by their opposing pitcher and the team moved to 4-4 on the season. The good news is this was the first of a three game series so they have two more chances at El Camino Friday at 6pm (weather permitting) or Saturday at noon.
Coach Paula Dahl posted on Facebook, “Great time with the team after beating Santa Monica. Only two more chances to watch this amazing team play. Saturday at 5:00 and Wednesday the 15th at 7:00 pm. Come and join the fun!”
Doug Grimsley and BC’s Inmate Education Program
One of our adjunct professors, Doug Grimsley, is teaching Political Science in the North Kern State Prison as part of an ongoing Inmate Education program. Doug has received high praise for his passion and “captivating” teaching style.
Here are a couple of hand-written responses from students in the program.
I am compelled to share with the administration that Mr. Grimsley is an asset to your staff. He came to North Kern State Prison and completely captured our attention as he subjected us to a lecture only course. Not only was it very informative and inspiring, but he engaged the class throughout the Fall 2016 semester. I personally think he deserves recognition for his determined success in educating men unacquainted with the political arena. We have definitely obtained higher educational status.
“Best part of the program: The acquisition of knowledge has always been a big draw for me. It is the people, however, that I believe can be accurately be described as “The best part of the program.” Hands down, Mr. Grimsley, Chelsea, Alma and the other BC volunteers will forever be seared in my memory bank as incredible human beings. They are, once more, “The best part of the program.”
As Chelsea Esquibias has told me, every time she brings Doug’s courses into the prisons, the students “rave about his teaching style and commitment to their learning.”
I couldn’t be more proud to know such dedicated teachers who are truly passionate about learning and the importance of character-building through education. Great work Doug Grimsley! And great work Chelsea Esquibias. Now do you know why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever?
Celebrating Black History Month
In celebration of Black History Month, Patrick Jackson, Bakersfield NAACP President, presented at the February 10th African American Mentoring Program. He spoke on racism and encouraged AAMP students to understand how to overcome racism and be successful in their lives. Over twenty BC students were in attendance. Thank you to Julian West, Reggie Bolton, and Mandelyn Hobbs.
The Simple Joys
By Friday morning, I needed a tiny pick-me-up and stopped by Starbucks for my morning coffee. Kasey, my barista, knew my name and my order. A tall soy latte. How cool is that?
It felt like Cheers where everyone knows your name! Thank you Kasey!
And I have a message worth sharing that came in via our Bakersfield College Facebook.
John Cohrs said, “My wife, son and I enjoy walking on campus on the BC weekends. Our son, Jack, who will soon be 12 and has autism, decided today that he wanted to help keep the campus clean. So he took a trash bag along and was happy to pick up as much as he could. We love BC; my wife is a student there and I have been an adjunct faculty in the past (along with being a student a LONG time ago).”
Thank you sharing, John. I absolutely love the photo of your wife, Kelley and son, Jack.
Happy Birthday June!
June Charles, Administrative Assistant for the Vice President of Student Services started as a temp and has been at BC now for 18 years! Happy Birthday June! We love you!
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning Bakersfield! It is October 1st and a great day to be a Renegade.
This last week was a huge professional development week for me as I made time to volunteer at the Measure J campaign Headquarters (HQ) on 1675 Chester Avenue. This campaign week we started phone banking and it was wonderful hearing the positive responses about Bakersfield College as people responded to out phone calls.
Check out photos of our volunteer phone bankers — Yadira Gurrero, Maria Wright, Michael McClinnick, Ashley Ward.
One of my phone calls at 7:00 p.m. was answered by a young woman who was in Prof. Josh Ottum’s class. She of course, supports Measure J, and more than that kept praising Bakersfield College and Prof Ottum. You see my friends, this is Bakersfield College! A dedicated faculty and staff!
Prof. Josh Ottum is working on a grant right now and stopped by my office to pick up the signed approval to apply for a grant. I loved hearing his enthusiasm for both his work and his little baby as he talked to Jennifer Marden. As I watched the warm and engaged interaction between two of them, my heart was filled with great delight and great pride…a wonderful work environment….a wonderful learning environment….I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever!
Let me introduce you to Professor Josh Ottum who, as you can see, is a scholar and artist and he is completely committed to our community; completely committed to our students. For more on Josh check out his faculty profile page at: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/performingarts/faculty-staff. Josh represents the talent and dedication of the faculty and staff of Bakersfield College. We are BC!
Talking about music, our women chamber singers under the tutelage of the fabulous Dr. Jen Garrett performed yesterday morning for 900 high school students. They opened with “Real Women Sing” event at Harvey Auditorium. Music is alive and well in Bakersfield and making such a difference in many lives. I couldn’t be prouder of our BC Choir!
Back to phone banking.… Before I started making my calls I wandered around watching the volunteers hard at work. Here is Abel Guzman fluently switching between Spanish and English. Also, Chris Glaser who has clocked in the most number of hours and Chelsea Esquibias who is a total rock star. Nicole told me that June Charles has the perfect way of talking to people while she is phone banking. She has been there many evenings with her daughter. A total family affair. Also, Tracy Hall, Somaly Boles, and Jennifer Marden.
I enjoyed sharing a table with Ronnie Wrest, faculty in the Arts department and volunteering after-hours to do phone banking. We also had Xavier Castellanos, a delightful high school student who volunteered some hours to phone bank.
Sonya Christian and Ronnie Wrest
Xavier Castellanos and Sonya Christian
It was wonderful Friday evening walking in and seeing Isabel Castaneda and her two children volunteering at the HQ. This is a total family event. We are BC!
Volunteer teams at work at the Campaign HQ:
In the photos below you’ll see a valiant leader, the campaign manager for Measure J — Nicole Parra, assisted by the talented Asha Chady.
And here are more pictures of volunteers at the campaign HQ. Chris Counts and his daughter Faith Counts were making phone banking packets with Christie Hill. Tim Capehart and Jennifer Achan were entering the information from the endorsement cards into the database. Kathy Rosellini and Asha Chandy were also hard at work.
Kathy Rosellini, Asha Chandy
Christie Hill, Jennifer Achan
Chris Counts, Faith Counts, Christie Hill
And I almost forgot to mention the Kern County Fair. Measure J was there in full force! And if you need proof, check out these pictures from this week.
Thank you Isabel Cataneda for sending me this video.
With my favorite cup of coffee sitting nearby on the table and its warm aroma filling the air, there’s something simply personal about reading the local newspaper. It’s relevant, informative, interesting, and while professional, it also feels close to home… Maybe that’s because it is. It really is news about our home, the spotlight on our neighborhoods, highlights of our community, reports on our city and updates about our organizations.
Two local newspapers are on my mind as I’m writing this blog – The Renegade RIP and The Bakersfield Californian.
A few days ago, I wrote about how meaningful I feel the BC Archives Association is to the success of Bakersfield College. To put it simply, we rely on our archives for a more comprehensive and vital understanding of our identity and past, as we work towards building a better future.
This inspired my thoughts about the quality and abundance of local journalism and the archives of our city. What an incredible and priceless blessing these local journalists give us in their gift of capturing the local news.
At BC, our student journalists have contributed to the student newspaper, The Renegade RIP for over 85 years. The students do it all – from creating and writing seven or eight biweekly publications to regularly adding articles totherip.com. Above all else, they are active members of the student body, seeking out the newsworthy stories from their community and contributing back by honestly and genuinely covering today’s topics.
Over fifty years ago, in March of 1956, The RIP had a special edition issue focused around the new Panorama campus. Volume XXVIII, the special edition, featured large text on the cover saying “the new campus, the new spirit” and had equally incredible articles and headers within the pages following:
I especially loved looking back to see the outpouring of community support from local businesses congratulating the students on their new campus. Browse through the ads – how many can you spot that are still local businesses today?
The Bakersfield Californian is also our local, close to home and close to heart news source. The Californians history has deep rooted beginnings as both the Kern County Weekly Courier and The Southern Californian merged to create The Kern County Californian. It received one more name makeover as The Daily Californian before Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Alfred E. Harrell purchased the paper in 1897. Afterwards, Harrell renamed it The Bakersfield Californian and the name has stuck since 1907.
Under Harrell’s leadership as an editor and publisher, The Bakersfield Californian was recognized as one of California’s finest papers, winning over 40 state and national awards for journalistic excellence. During his almost 50 years in the newspaper business, he came to be respected as one of the best newspapermen in the country. In 1969, Harrell became the 24th person to be named to the Newspaper Hall of Fame.(KernCountyGenerations.com)
Like many of our communities treasures, The Bakersfield Californian has a remarkable history; one withstanding a revolutionized industry, new technologies, and an expanding community that continues to grow, yet at the same time, it has for me kept that traditional “hometown content” that we’ve come to love.
Have you ever had the chance to visit The Bakersfield Californian’s building on the corner of Eye and 17th? It’s a showstopper on the outside, but stepping inside gave me the same feeling I get walking the halls of BC. It’s like walking into a place that you know has made a difference for the community and its people… with whispers of those who have created the stories of the past waiting in anticipation for the new whispers to be added from the present….
The historic building was originally built in 1926 for The Bakersfield Californian so it has always been occupied continuously by our local paper. It was also placed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 10, 1983 because, “the building itself is considered an architectural landmark and a reminder of the golden years of the newspaper.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakersfield_Californian_Building).
Here’s a toast to the Bakersfield Californian!
The Voices of our Community
The Bakersfield Californian’s opinion and community voices section gives everyone an opportunity to share their thoughts. BC has incredible faculty, students, and over the past few weeks, multiple voices have been highlighted in the community voices and opinion sections. Today, I woke up to Nick Strobel describing the Rosetta spacecraft ending its mission in a controlled impact on the comet 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which it has been studying for the past 12 years.
Families, friends, and community supporters have volunteered their time to staff the Measure J booth at the Kern County Fair this past week. In fact, at one time three generations including Tina Johnson, daughter Clarissa, and granddaughter Nevaeh showed their love for Measure J.
And thank you to the leaders of Arvin, Dr. Jim Young, Salvador Partida, Karen Davis, Dr. Michelle McLean, Jasmine Santoyo, Richard McCrow, Jose Gurrola, Jose Pinto, Reyna Olaguez, and Cheryl Scott – who gathered to celebrate how Measure J has the potential to make a college education more accessible for Arvin residents!
Arvin community leaders gathered for a kick-off to support Measure J on September 15.
The current issue of Bakersfield Life features fabulous women in our community who have worked to make a difference. Pictured on the cover is Leticia Perez, our 5th District supervisor who mentions in the article that her college political science class was one that changed her life. She explained how each step of the way, she was on a mission to defeat being “powerless.”
After college, and defining where she needed to be, the things she saw throughout her community reinforced her goals to be active in local government. She said, “This local level of government is really the best place to bring people together to craft solutions that are going to change people’s lives.” The picture with Baby Noah Perez was taken when Leticia stopped by the campaign HQ earlier this week.
Vickie Spanos is also changing lives by creating opportunities and quality learning environments that foster student success for local Bakersfield high school students. After years of teaching and administrative work, today Vickie oversees professional development for the district. Her goals are multifaceted with one solid intention.
She said in the article, “We want our students to reach that next level to feel confident so that if they choose to attend college, they are equipped.” BC is lucky to partner with such fantastic leaders throughout our local high schools and just as Vickie mentioned, “We need to communicate and work as a single entity of education to help students. Their success is our goal.”
People from all different diverse backgrounds can make a difference to better their community. I was really inspired to flip through the issue of Bakersfield Life and I hope you’ll have to chance to read through it yourself.
I am really proud of our Child Development Center. A special thank you to Cara Jackson, our student who was able to spend some time in the center to share more about this fabulous resource.
Danell Ward, the director for the Child Development Center is really excited to have come on board 3 years ago from Sacramento
The Child Development Center wants to spread the word that parents can feel safe and confident in enrolling their child in care while going to school or preparing for school. The department is constantly looking for ways to improve and develop better teaching instruction for both children and educators.
“Going to school and being a parent is hard and some don’t realize how hard. This is the place where parents can know that their child is safe and take care of their school,” Danell said.
Danell mentioned that they have participated in the Kern Early Stars program that aims to help parents become more aware of what constitutes high quality, allowing parents to see what areas their child excels in and what areas their child needs help strengthening. This also focuses on ratings. Currently, the center holds four stars.
EHS or Early Headstart Partnership program also has joined the Child Development Center by providing free diapers and help from service workers, materials such as outdoor play equipment, and iPads for quicker documentation for teachers. Danell Ward also commented that, “it gave us a stepping stone to participate and see what we need to work on.”
The center also has 2 site supervisors along with various teachers and helpers to share knowledge.
There are also two programs that are state funded that Ward wants to make sure parents know about. They cover child care Monday thru Friday for a full day 7:30-4:00, or hours based on what parents need. This allows parents to be successful at school and achieve a balance for home.
I also wanted to share information about a celebration of life for one of our Child Development faculty members, Vienna Battistoni. Vienna passed away on September 12th, and her family is holding a celebration for Vienna at Luigi’s on October 6th at 6:30 pm. All who knew Vienna are welcome to attend and share in her memory.
BC Athletics: We bounce back even stronger!
The football team scored a dominant victory at home in Memorial Stadium over LA Harbor College after a tough loss at Riverside the week prior. It was truly a team effort with two quarterbacks passing for touchdowns (Cesar De Leon passed for his first college touchdown and Dalton Gallis tacked on two more), while La Meshio Hill, Ferguson Ayers, Carlton Bowman, and Derrick Vickers all chipped in touchdowns to help the Renegades improve to 3-1. They’ll play on the road against El Camino College today.
At the football game, I visited with Jim and Dianne Norsworthy who came to the game with Bob and Heidi Allison. Jim graduated from Bakersfield in 1965 and I took a short video of him talking about his time at BC. But alas I am not able to get the video downloaded. Will need to get Bill Moseley to help me here.
Sonya Christian, Heidi and Bob Allison, Jim and Dianne Norsworthy, Zav and Kushnur Dadabhoy
Also caught up with Stig Janz, BC’s advisor to our student athletes who was describing that the athletic study hall that he has developed is very active with student attending and getting help for their academic work. This concept of having students do their work in study halls at BC is being scaled up for all students. This is a key component of increasing the success of our students.
Stig Janz and Sonya Christian
Athletics Study Hall
Volleyballlost to Moorpark last weekend at the Pierce Tournament, but Coach Carl said the only reason the loss bothered him was because the women weren’t “mentally in the game for the first time this season.” But they bounced back last night in the Gil Bishop Sports Center to beat Moorpark in an intense five-set match! What a win for Coach Carl and Renegade Volleyball!
Women’s Soccer played five games in a row on the road between September 7th to the 23rd where they won two games, lost two games, and had one end in a tie. But Tuesday night they beat West LA 2-0, and last night they blanked Cuesta College 3-0. Coach Scott Dameron says “This team is really balanced; every night it’s different women scoring goals.”
Coach Pam Kelley and The Bakersfield College Cross Country Team hosted the Western State Conference Preview at the Kern County Soccer Park Friday, and Patrick Alvarado finished in the top 20 for the BC Men. Coach Tony from Ventura College-who held the 800 meter record at UCLA- was pleased with the course and the event saying, “This was a first-class meet. Great job by Coach Pam and the Bakersfield College staff. The course was well-marked and the results were right on time. Great job all around.”
I actually drove over to the soccer park early in the morning hoping to catch Pam before she started her hectic day. When I arrived at the park, I met John Trino the CEO of the Kern County Soccer Park. It was a real treat talking to him. He graduated from BC in 1960 and was there when the Memorial Stadium was being built. I wish I had captured a video of him talking about BC when the campus was built. But I was juggling a lot of work related responsibilities and lost this great opportunity. John, I am going to come find you soon….. 🙂
The women’s golf team has made strides and sits right in the middle of the conference, in good position to move up under Coach Brittney Goehring’s leadership. Janette Chan finished second overall at Antelope Valley on Wednesday with an impressive 75 (one over par), while teammate Brandi Borjon wasn’t far behind with a 79. Keep up the good work, ladies!
BC Wrestling’s season is underway, and they are already making waves…Pedro Sarabia (125lbs) and Zack Mitchell (197lbs) both took third place at the West Hills Tournament last weekend, and they both won matches at last nights 38-9 Dual Match Victory over East Los Angeles. Andrew Binger (165 lbs) is also winning matches, but he’s gaining attention for other reasons as well according to Coach Brett Clark: “Andrew not only has a GPA of about 3.70, but he’s doing the extra things like running five miles after practices and on off-days. Andrew is a great kid, and he’s leading by example.” The men wrestle today at the tough Santa Ana Tournament. Good luck!
October 1st marks the first official day of practice for our basketball teams, and Coach Rich Hughes is surely working hard to follow last year’s impressive conference championship, and Coach Paula Dahl seems to be hiding a smile when talking about her team, so it’ll be very exciting to see what they both unveil as Fall progresses and both basketballs and pumpkins become more familiar sights!
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, April 24th. A good day to be a Renegade.
Feels great to be back home after being on the road for two weeks – Berkeley, Washington DC, San Diego. Looking forward to my exercise class at 9:30 a.m. which I have missed for several weeks. Besides my class in the morning, I plan on catching up on emails etc at home, two faculty interviews on skype and an event this evening. Talking about faculty interviews, I am excited that BC will be hiring a total of 39 faculty to start in August 2016. What an amazing opportunity. It is indeed a good time to be at BC!
In my blog last week, I shared with you about the Guided Pathways work that a team from BC was doing in Washington DC. You can find it at http://tinyurl.com/zq24br5
Jubilant in San Diego after my presentation
Earlier this week, I was in San Diego presenting at the ASU GSV summit. This was my very first non-education conference in a long time, and I learned a lot from the different sessions. The conference focused on the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship and education. I found myself walking the waterfront wrestling with the ideas presented at the conference. Just wonderful. Mostly what became clear to me is that Bakersfield College has the right ingredients to accomplish the goal for all students to have equal opportunities to advance their learning and engagement. Talented faculty and staff, who are hard working, passionate and dedicated to the students and the college.
The keynotes (excerpted from the conference website):
Bill Gates: He revolutionized global computing as we know it and is now a philanthropist investing in health globally and education in the United States.
Condoleezza Rice: Former Secretary of State and currently the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business
Common: Common is one of Hollywood’s most sought after leading men and is a world-renowned lyricist, actor and entertainment icon.
Jim Collins: Legendary author of the book from “Good to Great”. An influential expert on leadership and how to build great, enduring businesses.
Anant Agarwal is the CEO of edX, an online learning destination founded by Harvard and MIT. Anant taught the first edX course on circuits and electronics from MIT, which drew 155,000 students from 162 countries. He has served as the director of CSAIL, MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT.
Rick Levin is the Chief Executive Officer of Coursera. In 2013, he completed a twenty-year term as President of Yale University, during which time he played an integral role in growing the University’s programs, resources and reputation internationally.
Sal khan: Salman Khan is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Khan Academy, a not-for-profit with the mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy is a learning platform which is comprised of instructional videos, practice exercises, dashboard analytics and teacher tools which empower learners in and outside of the classroom to study at their own pace.
Stanley McChrystal: Described by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates as “perhaps the finest leader in combat” he has ever seen, four-star general (retired) Stanley McChrystal is the former commander of U.S. and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) in Afghanistan and the former commander of the premier military counter-terrorism force, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).
Michael M. Crow is an academic leader and educator, designer of knowledge enterprises, and science and technology policy scholar. He has been the sixteenth president of Arizona State University since July, 2002. He is guiding the transformation of ASU into one of the nation’s leading public metropolitan research universities, an institution that combines the highest levels of academic excellence, inclusiveness to a broad demographic, and maximum societal impact—a model he designed known as the “New American University.”
Ted Mitchell is the Undersecretary of Education. He has served in this post since his confirmation by the U.S. Senate on May 8, 2014, following his nomination by President Barack Obama on Oct. 31, 2013. Mitchell reports to Acting Secretary of Education John King and oversees policies, programs, and activities related to postsecondary education, adult, career and technical education, federal student aid, five White House Initiatives — Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Educational Excellence for Hispanics, Educational Excellence for African Americans, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and American Indian and Alaska Native Education— and the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
I was part of a panel (Jim Shelton-President of 2U; Susan Cates-COO of 2U; Bror Saxberg-Chief Learning Officer of Kaplan) that presented on the Value of Higher Edcuation: Outcomes that Matter. Here is the program blurb.
Free higher education via MOOCs or government programs are dominating higher education conversations. Meanwhile, emerging transparency and accountability regimes and the rapidly evolving expectations of students, faculty, institutions and employers are forcing post secondary institutions to demonstrate and in cases defend their value. How will the value of education be measured? How will providers prove their worth and to whom? If it is still the responsibility of universities to deliver the fundamentals that enable students to succeed and society to advance, which outcomes matter most?
I had the opportunity to brag about our faculty, staff and administrators at BC. An easy task since there is so much that is being accomplished across the 153-acre stretch of the campus on Panorama Drive as well as at our Delano Campus, locations at the Weill downtown, Fresno Pacific in the southwest, at Arvin High as well as across our online course and program offerings. There are so many accomplishments by our approximately 26,000 students and approximately 1000 employees. Did I already tell you that it is a good time to be at BC?
Remembering Caren Floyd
Caren Floyd on Bakersfield College Equity TV
Bakersfield College lost a truly inspirational alum on April 2nd when Caren Floyd died of Ovarian Cancer at 71.
But she packed a lot of life into her years, and made the most of her time on Earth.
On the April 4 episode of “Success and Equity on BCTV”, host Francis Mayer remembered Floyd’s visit to the show a little over a year ago, and shared memories of Caren with guest Karen Goh.
Karen Goh on Bakersfield College Success and Equity TV
In 1980, Caren was working as an attendance clerk at Highland High School, when she decided to pursue a teaching career. But first she met with a guidance counselor at BC who was stunned by the transferable credits she’d piled up while raising her family.
She was quick to praise the mentors and folks who invested energy in her, like the guidance counselor at BC who urged her to transfer to CSUB, and Dr. Carl Miller who guided her through to the next level and wouldn’t give up until she got her Doctorate of Philosophy in Education from Claremont McKenna!
Floyd started her educational journey at BC in 1967, and got her P.h.D in 1995. She did it one class per semester for many years, and important to her success, she allowed others to help her along the way.
Karen Goh pointed out that Floyd was honored more than once for giving back to the community that educated and invested in her, and that those investments we make in others are what change lives and improve our society.
Goh worked with community-based non-profit Garden Pathways before being appointed to serve as Fifth District Supervisor by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. After completing that term of service, she returned to Garden Pathways where she currently serves as President and CEO. Karen Goh is a great friend of education and Bakersfield College.
This week, Achieving the Dream and Bakersfield College announced that BC will receive $25,000 over a two-year period to expand and strengthen financial empowerment activities designed to strengthen students’ money management skills and knowledge. Bakersfield College is one of the five community colleges in the ATD network that are receiving grants to expand student financial empowerment efforts.
Thank you so much to Jennifer Achan, Connie Garza, Claudio Felix, and the rest of our amazing Financial Aid team for bringing this fabulous opportunity to our students!
Connie Garza, Claudio Felix, Jennifer Achan
Alpha Phi Alpha Black honors Paula Parks
BC Colleagues supporting Paula Parks
Earlier this month, BC English Professor Paula Parks was honored at the Alpha Phi Alpha Black and Gold Scholarship Banquet. She received the fraternity’s Community Service Award in part for her work with ASTEP (African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence).
ASTEP is a program that integrates academics, support services and African-American culture. The program aims to develop students into leaders and role models in their college and larger community.
Kate Pluta, Harvey Warren, Josie Triplett, Sonya Christian, Jackie Fisher
Many from BC turned out to support Paula as she received her award. It was a pleasure to see retired colleagues Harvey Warren (Counseling), Jackie Fisher (BC Fire Tech & Dean and AVC President), and Josie Triplett (Child Development). Harvey Warren was on the hiring committee in 1991 that hired me as a math faculty right out of graduate school. What a memory. I love BC!
On April 7th I was invited by Chad Manning to be one of the judges at the Dream Builder’s program by the Ford Foundation. What a treat! Everything about the program is inspiring — the quality of the students, the program design by Mickie Hay, the efficiency with with the event on April 7th was conducted….all top notch. In the end there was a surprise check of $32,000 presented, $1000 going to every student in this year-long program. Jennifer Marden, one of my colleagues at Bakersfield College, told me that her son Connor was was in the program last year said that it was the best thing that happened to him. Mickie Hay, you totally rock!
Enjoyed hanging out with the judges for the program — Bryon Schaefer, Superintendent of Kern High; Kevin Charette of KGET, and Chris Frazier, Superintendent of KCSOS. I learned that Kevin is the co-founder of the “Thumbs-Up, Cancer-Down” non-profit that was established in 2014. Pretty cool.
Judges–Bryon Schaefer, Sonya Christian, Kevin Charette, Chris Frazier
Check out these two pieces in The Bakersfield Californian about the Dream Builders Program and about Mickie Hay:
Earlier that afternoon on April 7th, I spoke to the Kern Kiwanis Club about What’s New at BC. I really enjoyed the camaraderie in the club and was thrilled to connect with the Boydstuns — Jay, Midge and John. Here I am with John Boydstun one of the biggest supporters of BC.
I wanted to share a photo that Jay Rosenlieb sent me this week. Our BC students joined the Boy Scouts to support Hoffmann Hospice at their Voices of Inspiration event held on April 20 at Rabobank Civic Center. Voice of Inspiration is an annual event to raise awareness about hospice services, and to raise funds for Hoffman’s patients & programs.
It’s so wonderful when we are able to go out and give support back to the community. Hopefully many of these Boy Scouts will be Renegades someday!
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