Tag Archives: Jennifer Johnson

Closing week — Spring 2020 pandemic semester

Bakersfield College closed out what will go down in the history books as an unusual semester… Spring 2020-the semester of the pandemic. There was much to celebrate this last week… the resilience of our students, the caring nature of our faculty and staff, and much much more. It seemed as it the skies were celebrating the Renegades when the jets flew over the Memorial Stadium this week. Check out the photos capture by 23ABC

Thank you 23ABC photographers Grant Simpson and Javier Posadas. Aircrafts from the 144th Fighter Wing in Fresno flew over the city of Bakersfield in a show of support for nurses and other professionals working to help fight the coronavirus.

Good morning Bakersfield
It is Saturday, May 16, 2020…A great day to be a Renegade

Check out the opening photo roll for Closing Week, Day 1, put together by Dylan Wang

Every spring, we hold a Closing Day celebration on campus to reflect on the academic year and honor the accomplishments of our BC faculty and staff.

This year, we took our celebration online and shifted to a shorter format over 4 days. You can visit the Closing Week 2020 website to see videos from each day’s celebration. As part of the BC tradition, I recognize individuals, departments, and teams for leadership from the previous years.

This year, I honored the Academic Technology Department, College and District Information Technology Department, the Public Safety Program Pathway, the Nursing Department, Carlos Barbaran, Student Affairs, the Budget Committee, COVID-19 Response Team, Jennifer Johnson, Todd Coston, and Paul Beckworth (announced in Fall 2019) as recipients of the President’s Leadership Awards.

I also honored retiring Athletic Director Sandi Taylor and retiring Dean Corny Rodriguez with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Bakersfield College will truly miss both of you, and I am grateful for the years of service you both have given to the college.

Sandi Taylor — Lifetime Achievement Award

Corny Rodriguez — Lifetime Achievement Award

Paula Parks and Faith Bradham were announced as the Norm Levan Faculty Colloquium speakers for 2020-2021.


Gayle Richardson and Phil Feldman received the Margaret Levinson Faculty Leadership Award.

Arnie Andrasian was named the Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teacher Award winner.

And of course, the week would not have been possible without the Closing Week planning team. Thank you to Todd Coston, Nicky Damania, Jennifer Serratt, Tarina Perry, Manny De Los Santos, Shannon Musser, Dylan Wang, and Earl Parsons for the hard work you put into our weeklong celebration.

Additionally this week, Chris Doyen (English), Gina Herera (Art), Javier Llamas (History), Josh Ottum (Music) and Kris Tiner (Music) were announced as winners for the Norman Levan Summer Grants.

Check out last year’s closing day at https://sonyachristianblog.com/2018/05/12/a-commencement-of-firsts/

Early College Virtual Support Events

Early College graduating class of 2019

Early College is holding multiple virtual support events to help onboard students. There are recommended courses lists and information on how to apply/update student applications.

High school students can enroll in tuition-free courses that can be transferred to a 2- or 4-year degree. You can learn more about the Virtual Support Events, or register for the sessions on May 20, May 27, June 3, or June 10, on our website.

You can also visit the Early College website for more information about the program.

Check out last year’s commencement at https://sonyachristianblog.com/2019/05/19/bcs-105th-commencement/

BC Nurse inducted into Nurses Honor Society

Debra Strong, RN, our college nurse at the Student Health and Wellness Center, was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurses Honor Society on May 2. ‘You can check out the induction video below:

Nu Upsilon Virtual Induction from Nu Upsilon on Vimeo.

M&O taking care of campus

This week, I received an email from Caroline Walth commending members of our M&O staff, Martha Gonzalez and Ofelia Hernandez, who have been taking great care of our administration building plants while campus is closed.

Thank you Martha Gonzalez and Ofelia Hernandez!

And here is a photo of Caroline Walth from my wordpress photo album. Thank you Caroline for sharing your excitement about your department and staff.

Catherine Rangel, Caroline Walth and Jo Ellen Barnes

Celebrating our students

This semester, our students have risen to the challenges they faced, and they adapted quickly to unexpected changes. I could not be more proud of our student Renegades and all they have accomplished this year. And while we were not able to have our traditional commencement last night, we are finding ways to celebrate our students’ achievements – and we will continue to find more ways. I wanted to share a few of the things we have done so far:

You can visit our BC website to see a page that celebrates our graduates who will be transferring to other institutions.

We have also created a virtual flipbook to celebrate our Honors Students.

Through donor support, 436 students were named for the 545 award opportunities available, and over $500,000 will be awarded for the 2020/2021 academic year.

The Bakersfield College Scholarship program could not be possible without the generous donors that contribute to the Bakersfield College Foundation.

Community Voices

Chris Cruz-Boone from our Communication Department wrote a wonderful piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the shift to online teaching at Bakersfield College, and how how we at BC are continuing to move forward and find innovative ways to serve our students during this pandemic.

“It is a strange moment in history, and I will proudly remember that I was working at Bakersfield College where we are training people for the workforce, to learn a new skill or get credits until they can move on to a university.”

BC Chamber Singers

Performing Arts Department Chair Jennifer Garrett shared this video she put together about the BC Chamber Singers‘ experiences before the pandemic and shelter in place orders.

Amazon presents to Industrial Automation

On May 6th, Career Education welcomed Amazon Representatives to present on their current positions available within their Robotics, Maintenance and Engineering Department. Industrial Automation Students learned about the position qualifications, application process, examination and training opportunities.

Fun Photos

I love this throwback trivia from our Athletics Twitter:

Educational Advisor Isabel Castaneda shared a glimpse into how she spent her last day of the semester:

The library shared their well wishes for our graduates:

And librarian Mindy Wilmot posted this image encouraging us all to keep going:

Nice Facebook post by Matt Garrett about emailing his students.

Athletics

Our talented media intern in the athletics department, Jacob Amado, put together highlight videos for both our men’s and women’s basketball season this last year. Click below to see his excellent work. Great work, Jacob!

2019-20 Renegade Men’s and Women’s Basketball Highlights

2019-20 Men’s Basketball Highlights: 

2019-20 Women’s Basketball Highlights: 

Dasia Wandick is Headed to Webber International University

Fresh off winning the Renegade Athletics Career Achievement Award this year, Dasia Wandick of Renegade Women’s Basketball has signed and committed to continue her academic and basketball career at Webber International University in Florida. Dasia has been an extremely hard worker and leader for Coach Paula Dahl the last two years and we are excited for the next step in her journey!

That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

We are BC! and We are Valley Strong!

Woke up this morning to Bakersfield College making the front page of The Bakersfield Californian, above the fold.  A good day to be a Renegade!

Joseph Luiz of The Bakersfield Californian covered the launch of the implementation of Measure J with some level of detail.

Reconstruction of BC July 14 2018 TBC Front Page above the fold

Loved this statement from Trustee Bill Thomas

“This is the official getting-underway,” trustee Bill Thomas said of the two approved motions. “We’re beginning the reconstruction of Bakersfield College. If (the college) was a ship, I would have broken a bottle of champagne on it.”

Here is the map of the new BC after Measure J.

Map of new BC July 14 2018 TBC.png

You can find the entire article here: https://tinyurl.com/ycnnevcx

 

State of the City Luncheon

The Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce did a phenomenal job with the State of the City event.  Thank you Chamber staff.  You rock!

Nick Ortiz and Karen Goh with Chamber Staff

 

Bakersfield College attended in full force  — Trustee Bill Thomas, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Chancellor Tom Burke, Vice Chancellor John Means, Karen Thompson — Chair of the BC Foundation, Tom Gelder — Exec Director of the Foundation, Heather Penella — Foundation Manager, Norma Rojas-Mora — Director of Community Relations, Tamara Baker — Manager Community Relations, Endee Grijalva — Manager, Jaime Lopez — Manager.

Romeo Agbalog, Jaime lopez, Endee Grijalva

Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Jaime Lopez, Endee Grijalva

Karen Goh, Tamara Baker, Norma Rojas Mora

Karen GohThe luncheon was extremely informative, as Mayor Goh discussed branding efforts taking place in Bakersfield to promote our city to outsiders as a great place to live, work and play.  I was struck, yet again, by the homelessness issues in our community and am proud of the work being done by Louis Gill and the Homeless Shelter.  Karen Goh also highlighted education, workforce development and economic development in the State of the City.

Thank you Mayor Karen Goh for also highlighting our recent history making graduation of firsts of 2018 in BC’s Baccalaureate Class of  Industrial Automation, Wonderful Early College, and the first graduate to receive a degree in Public Health.

Alan TandyCity Manager Alan Tandy updated us on the Thomas Road Improvement Project and recognized Congressman Bill Thomas for bringing in the resources to us from Washington DC.  Tandy then  spoke about a proposed Public Safety & Vital Services Measure that will appear on the November 6 ballot.

The measure would increase sales tax by one percent, which would LOCALLY fund community priorities, such as increasing a public safety presence in our community. 

Todos Somos BC!

So happy to have Norma Rojas Mora as part of the BC Team.  Check out this 5-minute video.  Todos Somos BC!

Norma Rojas Mora on Telemundo June 2018.png

https://tinyurl.com/yaz5576x

RESOUND!

Next Friday, the BC Golden Empire Drum Corps will perform at RESOUND! This competition brings international talent to our Memorial Stadium and you don’t want to miss it. Tickets are available now at Vallitix.

And if you weren’t convinced already that you have to see these talented men and women on the field, take a moment to watch the video below about BC’s team attending the DCI World Championships this year.  Read the full article at www.DCI.org.

$1 Million investment by Assembly Member Rudy Salas

The excitement continues from last week’s announcement by Assembly Member Rudy Salas.   Watch this short video that I did not post last week.

 

It was incredible to see this on the front page of The Delano Record with photography from the fabulous Felix Adamo. Did you know Felix is a Renegade? Last December I had an opportunity to share lunch with Felix and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and I shared it in my blog back then. While at BC, Felix had an early love for photography and was involved with both the Renegade RIP and the BC Raconteur.

 

 

Special thanks to Tamara Baker for the article. If you haven’t picked up a copy of The Record, you can see the article online.

You also don’t want to miss Tamara’s Community Voices Piece titled “We are valley strong.”

Community Voices Tamara Baker July 12 2018

 

BC-MESA Interns

On Monday, BC Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) students and staff were treated to presentations from 3 BC-NRCS intern presentations. Juan Alvarez, Regional Director for the Office of Advocacy and Outreach for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Javier Flores, from the National Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) and BC alumnus, introduced the interns. Javier and Juan are also on the BC-MESA Board and serve as mentors for the BC-MESA Students.

i-qwspv6w-x2The BC-NRCS internship is a 6 week program generously sponsored by BC-MESA supporters such as AERA Energy and Chevron. There is a rigorous competitive process for selecting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) students through essays, and interviews that intern Jose Mercado-Solis said “was totally worth it.” Four students were selected this year and three attended the first session which ended July 6th. Those three students, Julius Ntui, Dung Vo and Jose Mercado-Solis presented to the group their experiences and projects during the 6 weeks.

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While the students had different favorite projects and different least favorite aspects of the experience, like poor Dung was “attacked by foxtails” and had to throw away her socks, they were all thankful for the experience as a recurring theme in each of the presentations. They were able to apply knowledge from classes at BC to real situations with local farmers, helping them use resources for the betterment of the farmer and the environment. They got to experience what their chosen career will really be like. They were thrilled to be treated like employees and enjoyed the camaraderie they experienced with the knowledgeable employees at NRCS and the physical exertion of being in the field. They all had a lot of fun and were very thankful to the MESA staff and their mentors.

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MESA provides academic support to educationally disadvantaged students so they can excel in math and sciences and graduate with degrees in engineering, science and technology. The MESA program goal is to increase the number of educationally disadvantaged community college students who transfer to four-year institutions and earn degree in math science, engineering or computer science fields.

These experiences are so important for our students and I enjoy hearing the wonderful things our students are doing. Each of the interns plans to go on to a 4-year college. Julius, a recent graduate in Civil Engineering, will be attending Howard University in the fall; Dung, plans to extend her studies to other areas of Engineering and hopes to transfer to University of California, Berkeley in the future; and Jose is transferring to CSU Long Beach for Chemical Engineering. I am so thankful to our STEM sponsors like AERA and Chevron for giving these opportunities to our students.

i-cpqj5dt-x2

2018 CCCSAA Professional Development Conference

Our Director of Student Life, Dr. Nicky Damania, hosted the 2018 CCCSAA Professional Development Conference from Wednesday, June 20th to Friday, June 22nd at Riverside City College. This is the third year that he was the professional development conference chair for the California Community College Student Affairs Association (CCCSAA), which has been a California professional association that focuses on networking, student and professional development, and advocating for the field of Student Affairs and Student Leadership within the California Community College system. CCCSAA also promotes and advances public two-year post-secondary education and stimulates effective working relationships in the field.

Prof Dev Conference (1)

This year’s conference was in partnership with American Student Association of Community Colleges (ASACC), a national association for student government advisors. Attendees at the conference underwent a rigorous Advisor Training Certification Program that built on their current set of skills and developed other skills as well. At this conference, there were advisors and administrators from 52 California Community Colleges and six colleagues from other states. With the funding assistance of BCSGA, Dr. Damania was able to bring along five student organization’s advisors to participate in the program: Jordan Rude, Assistant Professor of Psychology, David Riess, Professor of Psychology, Andrew Bond, Associate Professor of English, Heidi Forsythe, Adjunct Faculty in Communication, and Pearl Urena, Educational Advisor in Counseling for Pre-Law. Each of the advisors will be presenting throughout the year to educate other student organization advisors. At the end of the program, each of them received an advisor completion certificate from ASACC.

Jobspeaker Workshop at BCSW

On Wednesday, a Jobspeaker workshop was held at BC SouthWest. Rosa Perez and Jessica McGrath are shown in the photo below with checkout prizes for the students and attendees.

Jobspeaker_table

Studies show that students who work on campus are more likely to persist with their studies and through their hands-on work experience, students become better acquainted with faculty, staff, and their ultimate career goals.

Bon Voyage Concert

Before the BC Chamber Singers took their seats on the plane to jet off to their once-in-a-lifetime experience, we gathered for some music and celebration of talent at the Bon Voyage concert last weekend. Friends and families packed the indoor theater alongside supporters like Cindy Collier, Kate Pluta, Trustee Kyle Carter, Kim McAbee, Deborah Rosenthal and more.

 

Love Monty Byrom supporting our music program at BC.  Really very special!

Check out Imagine

Love Monty Byrom doing Hallelujah

The last song for the evening, BC Chamber singers’ signature piece, Bridge Over Troubled Waters.  Featured guests, Monty  Byrom and Lydia Ranger.

Chamber Singers take Australia

After multiple buses and planes, the BC Chamber Singers have landed in Australia. #BCtakesAustralia is the hashtag on social media

Chambersingers_Aus

In the words of the talented Dr. Jennifer Garrett,

“Today has been unbelievably amazing. I don’t think I can explain it! We began with singing on the radio and then traveled to Rainforest Station. We first went on an army duck through the rainforest which I could have done 4 more times! Our guide pointed out plants, water dragons, a tree called a stinging tree that literally stings you, and the best part was actually going into the water and the vehicle turning into a boat! Unbelievable! I have more video to show them my WiFi can post!

Chambersingers_Aus_GroupatRainforest

Chambersingers_Aus_JGarrettThen we had an aboriginal experience where a man demonstrated how to throw Spears. Next everyone learned actually tried to throw a boomerang! Some were incredible at it. Then we learned how to play the didgeridoo which was amazing! And we saw some aboriginal dancing and again heard the didgeridoo. If all that wasn’t amazing enough we also experienced kangaroos right next to us and were able to pet them!!! We also saw other Australian animals including wallaby, Tasmanian devil, cassowary, and more. But the best part was holding and taking a picture with a koala!!!! It was on my list. “Must do’s” in Australia. I only wish I could have held it a little longer.

Then we went to Kuranda for lunch and were able to go into shops. It truly has been an unforgettable day and it’s only 3 pm. Now we have the opportunity to do an exchange concert with a local choir, “Soul Song” and as we boarded the bus the Chamber Singers were saying. “I’m ready to sing now!” What a day!!!” #bctakesaustralia

The next stop on their tour was to perform with the Sydney University Madrigal Society at a local church. #WeareBC

Jen Garrett FB Sydney Univeristy Madrigal Society

Express Enrollment at BC!

Maddie Janssen at KGET interviewed BC’s Manuel Muralles, Educational Advisor early in the morning on Tuesday to share details about BC’s Express Enrollment event. Watch the clip on the KGET website. I’ve heard the event was another success and Ashlea Ward from BC’s Outreach team shared with me that it was great to see students leave fully enrolled with a personalized set of classes for fall. If you or someone you know is interested in enrolling at BC, there is no better time than now.  The next Express Enrollment event is scheduled to take place on August 7th at the Panorama campus. Learn more here!

KGETExpressEnrollment

Bachelors Degree Conference

Craig Hayward, Michele Bresso, Michelle Pena, and Manny Fernandez attended the Bachelor’s Degree Conference at Cypress College this past week. While there, they discussed the Interim Evaluation of Baccalaureate Degree Pilot programs and the Legislative Analyst Report.

Bachelors Degree Conference

2018 Curriculum Institute

Bakersfield College was at the annual Curriculum Institute at Riverside this week.  Here is the team at dinner.

BC Team at Curriculum Institute July 2018.jpg

BC at the Curriculum Institute July 2018.jpg

BC’s Curriculum Chair, Jennifer Johnson presented at this year’s Curriculum Institute. Michelle Pena shared with me that Jennifer covered important issues such as creating Guided Pathways, e-catalogs, Ed planning, and assessment. Thank you Michelle Pena for the picture!

Richard Goode, Porterville; Carrie Edwards, Cerritos College; Jennifer Johnson, Bakersfield College; and Patrick Backes, College of the Canyons.

Richard Goode, Porterville; Carrie Edwards, Cerritos College; Jennifer Johnson, Bakersfield College; and Patrick Backes, College of the Canyons.

Janet Fulks presenting at the Curriculum Institute with Ginni May

Janet Fulks and Virginia May July 2018

And then there is the group that really does the curriculum work at the colleges — the Curriculum Specialists.   They are so into protecting every detail of the curriculum that they christened Friday of the Institute “Curriculum is my happy place” and wore t-shirts to prove it.  At BC we have the amazing Sharon Bush.

Curriculum Institute Sharon Bush and gang

(Left to right) Amy Nelson (college of the desert), Nancy Dayton (Berkley), Herbert Cortex (Hartnell), Dixie Krimm (imperial), Jojie  Magbuhat (college of desert), Kristina Heilgeist (San Bernardino), Liz Locke (Barstow), Sharon Bush (Bakersfield College), Kaylene Thomas (Santa Barbara), Marwin Luminaries (Fullerton).

Today I salute all curriculum specialists in the 114 California Community College.  We could not do it without you.

Public Health Rocks at BC and in Kern County!

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Public Health professor, Sarah Baron recently visited the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and said on her blog, “I kept envisioning public health in Kern County and the powerful ideas we have discussed at our Hackathons and in our Bakersfield College Public Health Science classes in the Southern Central Valley.”

I covered the latest Hackathon during the Spring semester in my blog. This fascinating event takes place each year at Bakersfield College with the concept that powerful ideas can come to life when a group of students come together with passion, support, and initiative.

The weekend long event focuses on students identifying public health challenges and creating solutions for a healthier community. This past year, by the end of the competition, the teams had 11 projects submitted and community partners expressed interest in funding the student’s ideas!

Mayor Karen Goh at Public Health Hackathon March 2017

Sarah Baron and Public Health Graduate

The Public Health program at BC is thriving because of events like the Hackathon, creative and invested students, and inspirational faculty. This past graduation, we celebrated history-in-the-making with many programs including the Baccalaureate degree, Wonderful Ag graduates, and Public Health too!

Public Health professionals are the leaders and ambassadors to healthy futures. It’s a science and an art, but most of all – it’s a necessity to the future of Kern County.

Just this week, the Kern County Health Department released an app called Safe Diner which helps the public locate and navigate to healthy restaurants. The Bakersfield.com article mentions Kern County Public Health Director, Matt Constantine who taught last semester at BC and works alongside Professor Baron to support the future Public Health professionals. Matt also had a Community Voices piece on Thursday where he highlights the Certified Healthy program and said, “Unfortunately, in Kern County we suffer from some of the highest rates of chronic disease in the state. Kern County residents have the highest rates of death due to diabetes than any other of the 57 counties in California. One-third of Kern County children and more than 67 percent of Kern County adults are overweight or obese and obesity is one of the greatest risk factors for developing chronic diseases. With wide open spaces that provide plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation and the rich variety of locally grown produce, we can change those numbers.”

BC professors, like Sarah Baron know our current Renegades pursuing a Public Health degree will play a key part in changing those statistics.

She closes her most recent blog post by encouraging her students to “…dream big and know that everything is in your reach.  Where you have a passion and commitment the world will open it’s doors. Here are a couple of photos for you to begin planting that seed. My path never has been a straight arrow, look….you never know the places you will go!”

 

Congratulations from BC, ASACC, and CCCSAA

The American Student Association of Community Colleges (ASACC) in collaboration with the California Community College Student Affairs Association (CCCSAA) recently offered its Certified Advisors Training program at Riverside Community College.

ASACC_Logo

BC Professors David Riess and Jordan Rude participated in the three day training program and achieved the Advisor I Certification. The training provides in depth coverage of topics critical to those advising student leadership groups including conflict resolution, managing liability, and building strong teams.

The American Student Association of Community Colleges is a national organization founded in 1984 that promotes development of student leaders in three areas: leadership, citizenship and advocacy. The summer conference focuses on the professionals that serve students this year, there were over 80 participants. To learn more about ASACC, visit www.asacc.org.

Renegade Athletics

During the 2017-18 academic year Renegade athletics had 34 student-athletes sign letters of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at various schools across the country. BC faculty, staff, and administration are extremely proud of these student-athletes as they have put in a tremendous amount of work, both in the classroom and in their sport, to better themselves. They have been  representatives of Bakersfield College and good ambassadors in our community, throughout the state and now to the country. Below is a list by sport of the student-athletes and the school they signed with.

Baseball Team April 27 2018

Baseball: Taylor Burns, University of Hawaii; Chris Diaz, Hawaii Pacific; Brycin Hernandez, Cal State Bakersfield; Josh Hernandez, Briar Cliff University; Kyle Willem, Campbell University; Hudson Hartley, San Francisco State; Konner Dodge, Hope International; and Walker Frayne, Simpson College

REnegade Softball

SoftballAlexis Solis, University of St. Mary

football

FootballTyrell Eddington, Eastern Michigan University; Jeffrey Jones, University of New Mexico; Brandon Jones, University of Texas El Paso; Ernest Harris, Sam Houston State; Justin Holmes, Dakota State; Matt Hubble, Kansas Weslyan;  Stevan Thornton, New Mexico Highlands; Cesar DeLeon- Northwest Oklahoma; Malik Barkley, University of Cumberland; Mason Grantz, Humbodt State; and Brock Holloway, Dordt College

Soccer

Women’s SoccerSabrina Murillo, Texas A&M Texarcana; Jackie Padilla, Texas A&M Texarcana; and Odalys Espinoza,West Virginia Tech

BasketballTucker Eeinegenburg, Western Washington; and Henry Galinato, Benedictine College

Men’s GolfTitus Goodman, Vanguard University

Women’s GolfBrandi Borjon, Cal State Bakersfield

Volleyball Athletes

VolleyballHaley Sanchez, University of Oklahoma; Alex Paris, Niagara University; and Brooke Horack, Maramount University.

Mens Wrestling

Wrestling: Esteban Corona, Jamestown College; Pedro Corona, Jamestown College; Zavion Roberson, Jamestown College; and Ramiro Macias, Jamestown College.

Also, save the date for Renegade Football Media day on Thursday, August 9th at 11am outside Memorial Stadium. The event will provide a preview of the upcoming football season and is free to the public.

Football season tickets are on sale.  Prices range from $25 to $60 and can be purchased on-line at Vallitix.com, by calling 1 (888) 825-5484 or in-person at the Bakersfield College business office.  The Renegades will scrimmage Antelope Valley on Wednesday, August 22nd at 6 PM in Memorial Stadium. The scrimmage is free and open to the public.  This will be your first chance to get a look at your 2018 BC football team!

Together we are building …A Better BC!

37019810_10155674049839352_2725489282859925504_nThings are heating up at the BC Panorama Campus with Measure J construction projects!

We will be hosting a Local Contractor Outreach Seminar here at the Bakersfield College campus on July 24.   This will be an informative outreach seminar for local contractors on the Panorama campus, and is directed towards local contractors who are interested in potentially working on upcoming Measure J projects at Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso Community College, and Porterville College. More information and details can be found on the BC website.

Please help us spread the word that P16 parking lot on the corner of Haley and University will provide FREE parking to students for the entire 2018-2019 Academic Year in an effort to accommodate more students during the Measure J construction period.

Updated Mission Statement Poster on Campus

Aaron Kidwell from BC’s M&O team and Dylan Wang, from the Graphic Design crew visited most of the campus this week posting fresh new copies of the BC Mission Statement, Vision, and Core Values in each building and facility.

Aaron Kidwell

Aaron Kidwell

Get to know Gina Herrera, Art Faculty

Photo from VoyageLA

Photo from VoyageLA

Adjunct Art Faculty, Gina Herrera was highlighted in a recent article by VoyageLA. The piece gives some incredible insight into Professor Herrera, her background, and that her military service made higher education possible for her. She talked about her recent projects, interests, and pursuits.

“I am interested in developing proposals to engage the local community to use the things that we all throw away to raise our collective conscience, to bring awareness and healing to the way we choose to engage with the Earth,” she said.

And added, “I also think there are interesting ways to look at the way culture can inform the creative process. My Tesuque and Latina heritage and my experiences as a Veteran echo through my work … and offer a contemporary, rather than historical opportunity to consider the perspective of First Peoples.” Read the full piece today at VoyageLA.com.

BC SouthWest Bike Racks

Fernando Lara has shared that the new bike racks have gone up at Bakersfield College SouthWest! He said, “Now our faculty and students have a spot to secure their rigs!”

And while I wasn’t quite sure if anyone was biking to college during the summer weather, Fernando was quick to share that Adjunct Faculty Esmeralda Chapa cycled 9.7 miles one-way daily to teach her COMM B1 course at BC SouthWest location. Talk about dedication!

Esmeralda Chapa

Esmeralda Chapa

FIELD Graduation at EPIC de Cesar Chavez High School

The Farmworker Institute of Education and Leadership Development (FIELD) was founded in 1978 by Farmworker Leader Cesar E. Chavez and is dedicated to strengthening America’s agricultural and rural communities through the Core Values of Opportunity, Excellence, Integrity, Innovation and Si Se Puede.

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Corny Rodriguez shared some front row photos from the event with me and it was great to see some familiar faces on stage including David Villarino, Nora Dominguez, Mark Martinez, and Delano Mayor Grace Vallejo.

 

We are BC!

 

Sonya Christian July 3 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Finals Week for Fall 2017 is a Wrap!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, December 9, 2017 and fall semester is a wrap.  A great day to be a Renegade and a great semester to be a Renegade.  BC students have been completing their finals all week long and the cool, chilly weather has us all in the holiday spirit.

And then Felix Adamo from The Bakersfield Californian dropped by during a lunch meeting at Don Perico.  I was so delighted to listen in on the banter between Felix and Nan.  Did you know that this fabulous photographer with the twitter handle @TBCpix is a veteran, was a student at BC, was the photographer for the Renegade Rip and the Raconteur….  Just wonderful.  Also, try a google image search with “Felix Adamo”…. you will find thousands of photos, but not one photo of him.  So I felt quite sneaky stealing this picture of Felix with Nan and then blasting it on social media — twitter and now my blog 🙂

Felix Adamo and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg Dec 8 2017.jpg

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Felix Adamo

He was the student photographer for the 1975 Raconteur when BC won the Rosebowl championship.  James E. Meadows was the sports editor and started the article with

On December 11, 1975 a crowd of only 21,200 gathered in the sun-warmed Rosebowl in Pasadena for the Los Angeles Times sponsored Junior Rose Bowl — the 22nd of its kind …

Felix Adamo photographer in the BC Dec 1975 Raconteur.png

And as I scrolled through the Dec 1975 Raconteur I found this picture of Bill Thomas and Sharon Thomas by Lewis Wakeland.

Raconteur Dec 1975 Bill Thomas Photo by Wakeland.png

Thank you Felix Adamo.
I’m so proud that such a talented photographer is a Renegade!

100th Graduating Class of the BC Associate Degree Nursing Program

On Thursday evening, we celebrated the momentous occasion of the 100th Graduating Class of the BC Associate Degree Nursing Program.

Did you know the Nursing program at Bakersfield College is the 6th oldest RN program in the state? An article in one of the BC Archives newsletters says, “It all started in 1951 when a vocational nursing program was initiated in cooperation with Kern General Hospital (now Kern Medical Center). Its first group of nurses graduated in 1952.”

Nursing_RegisteredNurseGradSpring1960_GlennBultman, Ed Simonsen, Pearl Wassen

GlennBultman, Ed Simonsen, and Pearl Wassen at Registered Nursing Graduation in 1960

It continued, “The original intention of the vocational nursing program was to train nurses to address the shortage brought on by World War II. It is thought that the program might end when the registered nursing program was initiated, but this did not occur.”  The registered nursing program began at BC in 1957 under the direction of Kathryn Cafferty. Accreditation was granted in June 1958 and the first graduating class was the following year.

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Thursdays Ceremony had 59 graduates and all grads have received and accepted job offers. The evening began with a performance by the BC Drumline and attendees were welcomed by the Master of Ceremonies, Jaime Mendiola and the Pledge of Allegiance by Gagan Jattana. Speakers for the evening included Carla Gard, Director of the Nursing Program, Lisa Harding, Faculty, Jeanette Harvey and Haley Wayts, Students, Ronnie KnabeDebbie Kennedy, and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.  

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

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Lisa Harding

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In recognition of the 100th Graduating class of the Bakersfield College Associate Degree Nursing Program, the department shared a few mementos that commemorate the amazing milestone. This is such an exciting time for the department and our college.

Special thanks to Cindy Collier, Carla Gard, Michelle Burton, Bryan Lainez, Treana Adams, and Vanessa Reyes.

See all the photos at the Bakersfield College Smugmug.

Culinary Caroling

I walked into the third annual Culinary and Caroling dinner event to find this distinguished gentleman playing the piano to greet the guests.

Mark Wilcox Dec 2 2017

Mark Wilcox, the proud father of the talented, passionate and beautiful Jen Garrett.

On December 2nd, the BC Chamber Singers and BC Culinary Arts partnered to create their third annual Culinary and Caroling dinner.  Last year’s event was on Dec 3, 2016.  Here is my blog post from last year https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/12/10/17775/

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Sonya Christian, Jen Garrett with Chamber Singers Dec 2 2017

Chefs Alex Gomez, Suzanne Durst and the Renegade Room staff hosted a delicious holiday dinner, and host Christian Flores made sure all guests were taken care of. Decorations were by Christine Foth.  My guests this year included Mayor Karen Goh, Chancellor Tom Burke and his wife Tina, KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog and his wife Lily, and Ed Davis and his wife Shelley Davis.

Each table had a chamber singer assigned to take care of the guests.  Our chamber singer was the fabulous Mark who you see in the picture below.

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Special Guests at the Culinary Caroling Dinner

The beautiful voices of the BC Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Garrett, always make this special annual event magical. One piece had a student signing to it and I love that they added this. Here is a short video:

 

CulinaryCaroling_PattDavisSingingSantaBabyPatt Davis sang Santa Baby and here is a picture when she visited the table with our Chancellor, Tom Burke. So fun!

It’s heartwarming to see multiple departments at BC come together, along with the support from local businesses that donated items and services. It’s a joy to see the amazingly generous attendees enjoy their visit to our campus and experience the true talent of our students and staff.

Here is Trustee Romeo Agbalog visiting with faculty and staff — in the pictures below you see him with Cindy Collier, Dean of Allied Health and Career and Technical Education and Talita Pruett, faculty member in Communication.

Chef Suzanne and Jen Garrett thank you for another great event.

 

Loved this picture that Lily Agbalog texted me with the photos of Santa captioned.

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Santa!

Markelle (Mark) Taylor, one of our students and a music major was in charge of our table. Mark performs in a lot of musical theater in the community.

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Here is Matt Garrett with his mom Barbara Garrett who did the m&m counting for the jar of 1000 m&ms and his grandpa Roger Garrett.

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Roger Garrett, Matt Garrett, Barbara Garrett

Here is Chancellor Tom Burke with his lovely wife Tina, and the lovely Suzanne Durst.

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Tom Burke, Suzanne Durst, Tina Burke

Karen Goh, Lily Agbalog, Romeo Agbalog, Jen Garrett, Sonya Christian, Shelley Davis, Ed Davis

Front Row: Mayor Karen Goh, Lily Agbalog, Sonya Christian.  Back Row: Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Jen Garrett, Shelley Davis, Ed Davis

Special thanks to Dr. Jen Garrett and the BC Choirs, Chefs Suzanne Durst, Alez Gomez, Christian Flores, and our BC Culinary Arts students. And thank you to everyone who purchased tickets and visited “Harvard on the Hill” for this special annual holiday evening. I know we’re already looking forward to next year.

Mayor Karen Goh has some lovely photos on her Facebook

BSO & BC Choir

On Saturday, December 16th, the Bakersfield College Choir is partnering with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra for the winter concert, Home for the Holidays. The show begins at 7PM at Fox Theater and tickets are available now at www.thebakersfieldfox.com.

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LVN graduation

In addition to the RN nursing students graduating, this Friday, December 8, 2017, we had our LVN cohort graduating as well with the ceremony being held at the Indoor Theater.

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After three semesters of hard work and perseverance, the students from our Vocational Nursing program got to walk across the stage and earn their pins at a special ceremony Friday night in the Indoor Theater.

Along with their certification as Licensed Vocational Nurses, the graduates were awarded a special pin commemorating all of their hard work and success. The pin is a traditional badge of achievement, and each nursing school’s pin is different.

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After a brief welcome from Jennifer Johnson and MC Kren Campbell, student speakers Krystal Shendo-Quidachay and Juana Aguilar spoke about all of the hard work that the group of 21 graduates had to endure in order to earn the licensure; the support they received from family, friends, BC faculty and their peers; and the relief that the effort resulted in a certification that enables them to achieve their career goals, or to continue their nursing education.

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The holiday spirit was in the air as Aguilar lead the audience in singing “Feliz Navidad” while poinsettias decorated the theater.

The graduates and their family members in the audience were often moved to tears as the nursing staff recited the Nightingale Pledge and pinned the graduates. Faculty speaker Sandra Davis spoke highly of all her graduating students, and was ecstatic for all of the lives that she knew her students would go on to help save.

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I’d like to congratulate all of our newly licensed vocational nurses and our nursing staff for all the work they do to transform the lives of our students and community through the education that they provide.

Community Christmas Parades

We are so fortunate to have a variety of local community based Christmas Parades. BC was so happy to walk in the Shafter Parade a few weeks ago. I shared photos in my blog last weekend here, and I loved the photos from Mayor Jose Gurrola from the Arvin Christmas Parade. It’s great to see our community leaders working together and supporting our various communities.

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Rudy Salas, Leticia Perez, and Jose Gurrola

Leaders Leticia Perez and Former Mayor Harvey Hall both came together with a financial donation to support the Arvin Christmas Parade. The Bakersfield Californian covered this here.

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A few nights ago, the community came out to see the Bakersfield Christmas Parade and The Bakersfield Californian has some incredible photos available here. I also loved the opening of this article, “Christmas Parade kicks the holiday season into high gear.” Author, Steven Mayer wrote,

There were toddlers wearing footed PJs dancing in the street. There was a man sporting a black sombrero riding a Brahma bull. There was a dude herding cats — although he claimed he was director of the Washington Middle School Marching Band. There were thousands of smiles, hundreds of princess parade waves, and enough good will toward men to make you feel like everything is going to be all right after all.

Don’t miss the article. It’s fantastic.

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BC Holiday Party

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BC Rural Initiatives Team

On November 30th, right before the busy week of finals, our campus faculty, staff, and administrators came together for a little holiday party in the Fireside Room. An assortment of treats and hors d’oeuvres were available including the famous bread pudding with caramel sauce from BC Food Services. There was a raffle for dinner for four at the Renegade Room, various BC shirts and sweatshirts, and mini desktop christmas trees. Kris Tiner and our BC musicians provided festive music.

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Kris Tiner and BC Musicians

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Renegade Wrestling

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Adrian Godinez

Jon Mettus of The Bakersfield Californian reported on BC Wrestling this week in his article, “BC wrestlers on potential state championship collision course.” BC’s Adrian Godinez is the number one ranked 184-pound wrestler in the state and BC’s Jeremy Maas is the second ranked. The article describes the two, “Godinez is dynamic upright while Maas works well down on the mat. Godinez excels with his footwork and Maas has heavy hands.”

Renegade Basketball

The BC women’s basketball team got a huge effort from Octavia Croney this week, in a 83-67 victory over Taft College. Croney poured in 27 points, had 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals to lead the Renegades.  Brianna Mendez and Jasmyn Rodriguez also scored in double figures with 19 and 15 points respectively.  Aubrey Stone led BC in rebounds with 13.

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And the Men’s Basketball Tournament scheduled for this weekend has been canceled due to the ongoing fires in California. The Bakersfield College Men’s Basketball team has added two games to their schedule to make up for the games lost this weekend. The added games are January 3rd at LA Valley and January 9th at Oxnard.

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To stay up-to-date on all things Renegade Athletics, visit www.gogades.com. Go ‘Gades!

Kerntax

This week was the annual Kern Tax Annual Installation Luncheon.  Tom Burke is a member of the board and invites me and several others to sit at his table.  Mike Turnipseed, CEO of Kerntax has done a remarkable job connecting various entities and aggressively educating our community on due diligence with tax dollars.  It seemed as it the all of the community leaders were there at the end.  I quickly snapped this picture of Chancellor Tom Burke with the President of the KCCD Board, Kay Meek.  Trustee Romeo Agbalog was present as well.  He was sitting at Mike Turnipseed’s table.   I was sitting right next to Vice Chancellor John Means and had a great time listening to the speakers and catching up with John.  Life is good.

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Tom Burke, Kay Meek

BC OChem Letters

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A copy of the newest BC OChem Letters, Volume 5, Number 1, crossed my desk this week. It’s incredible to see the work of Professor Kenward Vaughan and our students. In the editor’s notes, Professor Vaughn mentions the challenges of the separation and identification of components of binary liquid mixtures using various research techniques spanning distillations, physical and chemical characterizations, and spectroscopic work.

The intro states “People in general tend to categorize things that they encounter as a way to organize information. Observations of similarities and/or differences are used to make correlations between things, which in turn, people can make predictions of other characteristics an unknown may show. This is especially important in the field of chemistry, where matter is studied all the way down to its microscopic level. Observations of various atomic structures have been made throughout the years, which paved ways to methods of separations of mixtures using the differences of physical and chemical properties between substances.”

Fun photos

On Friday, I received this fun text from Zav Dadabhoy. It said

“Engaging in a deep discussion about copyright law, and debating which “G” is better (they are identical, except for the colors.) Georgia State or the Green Bay Packers!”

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Zav Dadabhoy and Chris Hine

 

Loved seeing Dennis Spencer and his grandson Andrew visiting BC and our office — Andrew, a future Renegade

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Snapped these pictures of Liz Rozell with granddaughter May at Don Perico on Oswell where we were having a meeting while enjoying the fabulous lunch buffet. Liz and May joined Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Jennifer Johnson, and myself.

And then I ran into Joshua Gonzales having lunch with his family.  Josh is a Rad tech student who is graduating in May 2018.  He was very complimentary about the program Nancy 🙂

Joshua Gonzales Rad Tech Student Dec 8 2017

 

 

BC Foundation Holiday Dinner

I was at an accreditation meeting in LA and could not attend the Foundation Holiday Party.  I want to thank the Bakersfield College foundation for all their support in passing Measure J.  And thank you Karen Thompson for your leadership through the entire process.

We had our choir perform at this event as well.  Here are a few photos.

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Jen Garrett at the Foundation Holiday Dinner Dec 7 2017

We are BC!

December 5 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Celebrating our talented students. Commencement 2017

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, May 20, 2017…one week after graduation and a phenomenal week to be a Renegade.

Graduation 2017

BC 103 Commencement

The 2016-2017 Academic Year ended on a wonderfully high note.  There were so many important and inspiring events during the last few weeks of the semester, but everything culminated in Bakersfield Colleges 103rd Commencement Ceremony.  Here is the slideshow of images from the evening:

Bakersfield College Commencement 2017 - May 12, 2017
Bakersfield College Commencement 2017 - May 12, 2017
Bakersfield College Commencement 2017 - May 12, 2017

So proud of Somaly Boles who graduated with her associates degree.  Seriously smart, incredibly talented, a calm personality, no drama, and so beautiful.  The entire Executive Office was so excited.  Here are some photos with Somaly.

Somaly Boles and Tarina Perry May 12 2017

Somaly Boles and Tarina Perry May 12, 2017

 

Somaly Boles and Chris Counts May 12 2017

Somaly Boles and Chief Chris Counts

This year we thought we would try a new approach to all of the pre-commencement celebrations.  We have the Chicano-Latino, African American, Veterans, and Delano pre-commencement celebrations.  So let’s take a looks at two  of the four celebrations.  I will have the Veterans and the Delano celebrations in my next blog.

African American Pre-Commencement

Our African-American graduates were specially recognized in the Indoor Theater at the African-American Pre-Commencement Ceremony on Friday afternoon. This event started with beautiful music, as the audience sang along to James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” After the opening prayer by Pastor Prince Charles, Outreach Director Steve Watkin offered some words of encouragement, asking students to do their part to “help us continue to be proud of you.” Financial Aid Director Jennifer Achan introduced keynote speaker Brenda Lewis, assistant superintendent of instruction for the Kern High School District. Lewis told her story of growing up with 11 siblings in poverty to become one of Kern County’s first black high school administrators. She urged the students to carry themselves with honesty, integrity and ethics and to help others who struggle along the way.

“You must continue preparing to succeed,” she said. “Be the one who clears the way for others to succeed.”

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African American Pre-Commencement 2017

Graduating student speaker Sharita Knowles told a powerful story about how she went back to school after having children, worked full time at a hospital every night to support her family while she went to classes during the day, and how members of the BC family such as Janet Fulks, Steve Watkin and student peer mentors helped her get a job at the Welcome Center so that she could see her kids at night.  “I thought I had a plan,” Knowles said, “but if our plans don’t line up with God’s plan, then they’re not really plans at all.

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African American Pre-Commencement 2017

“At BC, a whole new world opened up—experiences that I’d never known I’d experience,” said Knowles, who the other students affectionately refer to as “Momma Bear”. “Coming to school here was a huge sacrifice…but it was all worth it.”

The Chicano and African-American Pre-Commencements are living demonstrations of the truism that education is the great equalizer in our society. Regardless of the racial, socioeconomic or other struggles that define your past, an education at BC offers the opportunity to overcome those obstacles and build a new legacy for yourself and your family.

Chicano Latino Pre-Commencement

The Chicano/Latino Pre-Commencement Celebration took place at the Outdoor Theater

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Chicano Latino Pre-Commencement 2017

on Friday and began with a traditional dance ceremony as family members gathered. Women dressed in ornate costumes moved in beautiful syncopation to the trance-inducing rhythm of two young boys drumming between ferns on the Outdoor Theater stage. One woman burned incense in a wooden bowl to accompany the ritual, spreading good intentions throughout the theater and invoking the spirits of the ancestors.

Victor Diaz served as master of ceremony, leading the crowd to a bilingual chant of “WE ARE BC” before introducing Dean of Instruction Cornelio Rodriguez, who’s been organizing the Chicano/Latino Pre-Commencement at BC since 1994.

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Victor Diaz, MC of the 2017 Chicano Latino Pre-Commencement

Rodriguez said how grateful he was for everyone who helped organize the event and was awestruck at how it has grown to become one of the most anticipated events of the year. As an expression of that gratitude, he presented Diaz with the sash used 24 years ago at the first Chicano/Latino celebration.

The keynote speaker for the Pre-Commencement was television journalist Christina Lopez, who spoke about her struggles as the child of farm workers who became a first-generation college graduate at the height of the economic recession, and how she overcame her obstacles to succeed a TV reporter in Bakersfield and a documentarian chronicling the life of civil rights leader Dolores Huerta. Lopez offered an important message for other first-generation graduates.

“Never lose sight of dreams that propel you to a future filled with purpose,” she said. “Don’t just dream, but dream bigger for yourself, your community and your family.”

After Lopez spoke, each student got the opportunity to take the stage and thank all of the parents, teachers, friends and family that encouraged them to get through college. On days like this, I’m so proud of all our faculty and campus leaders who change the lives of people in our community every day and create opportunities for upward mobility to our Latino community.

Remember… Somos BC!

Back to the 103rd Commencement

Here are some more photos of the incredible evening

The four readers: Prof. Jennifer Johnson, Dean Corny Rodriguez, Prof. Paul Beckworth, Prof. Cynthia Quntanilla

Thank you Trustee Kyle Carter and Trustee Romeo Agbalog for attending the 103rd commencement.  It is always a treat to have our trustees at college events.

Kyle Carter Sonya Christian Romeo Agbalog

Trustee Kyle Carter, President Sonya Christian, Trustee Romeo Agbalog

BC SGA President Matthew Frazer, thank you for a fabulous year.  I will miss you!

Matthew Frazer Sonya Christian May 12 2017

President Matthew Frazer, President Sonya Christian

The platform party for the 103rd commencement.

Standing: Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Vice President Zav Dadabhoy, SGA President Matthew Frazer, Academic Senate President Steve Holmes, Trustee Kyle Carter, Prof. Bernie Scanlon, Vice President Don Chrusciel, General Counsel Chris Hine, Prof. Paul Beckworth, Prof. Corny Rodriguez

Sitting: Vice President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, President Sonya Christian, Prof. Jennifer Johnson, Prof. Cynthia Quintanilla

Platform Party for Commencement 2017

Platform Party for the 103rd Commencement

Nicky Damania and Michelle Pena

Nicky Damania and Michelle Pena May 12 2017

Bernie Scanlon and Chris Hine

Matthew Frazer and Steven Holmes 

Full gallery of photos are available at
https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/2017-Commencement-Photos/

Commencement Day was incredible. I have a team of people to thank, especially Jennifer Marden, Tracy Hall, Kristin Rabe, Lesley Bonds, and Chris Glaser. So many roles, so many volunteers, so many names to mention. From our ushers, to Francis Mayer, our emcee to our name readers, and photographers. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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2017 Commencement BTS

The 2017 Commencement Committee included:

Karimeh Amin
Gayla Anderson
Paul Beckworth
Vanessa Bell
Ralph Burnette
Cheryl Caswell
Christopher Counts
Victor Diaz
John Farrand
Eric Garcia
Tracy Hall
Christy Haycock
Eryn Justice
Laura Lorigo
Jennifer Marden Serratt
Francis Mayer
John Menzies
Rachell Morehouse
Michelle Pena
Jack Pierce
Ramon Puga
Kristin Rabe
Corny Rodriguez
Monika Scott
Dennis Spencer
Pearl Urena
Sue Vaughn
Angelica Vasquez
Steve Watkin

More behind the scenes photos

The day before commencement with the Dream Team — Tracy Hall, Jennifer Marden, Kristin Rabe, Lesley Bonds, Chris Glaser

Commencement Prep May 11 2017

Tracy Hall, Jennifer Marden, Sonya Christian, Kristin Rabe, Lesley Bonds, Chris Glaser

On-Campus Mentorship

I received an email from Tarina Perry (and Administrative Secretary from my office), who told me about her amazing experience as a mentor to a group of students on campus:
Tarina Perry with Andres Abundis

In June 2015, I contacted Lesley [Bonds] inquiring if a classified member could be a mentor and she said she “would love to get me connected with a group of mentees”.  Well, she certainly “hooked me up”!  When she said “group”, I was not anticipating TEN (10) students!!  However, it turns out that most needed occasional directional information and only a select few fell under my wing.  Although one student is struggling, I am there to offer guidance and encouragement; another student changed her major and is moving right along.  I’m most excited to share that Andres Abundis (photo attached) was able to graduate with a major in Business Administration with his Associate in Science Degree for transfer to Cal State Long Beach with a 3.44; Dean’s list for Spring 2016/Fall 2016.

Along the way there were many times he wanted to drop a class or needed assistance with just a quick edit of an essay and I was there to lend a hand.  Together, we worked on his resume, attended BC football games, and he even went to the hockey game with my boys.  I am glad to say he is and always will be a longtime friend of the family.

Thank you Lesley for this amazing opportunity; both Andres and I have grown so much from this experience!”

Umoja End of the Year Gathering

Thank you Paula Parks for leading this work!

The event was definitely one of celebrating our students.  I was sitting next to a fabulous woman Sharon Randall, who is a community mentor for the ASTEP program.  A retired Biology teacher, Sharon was so enthusiastic about the program.

Umoja Celebration May 18 2017

The star mentor was none other than our June Charles.

This is what Kimberly Bligh tweeted

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Tyler Johnican from Umoja  is heading to China

After the Umoja program Zav, Nan and I were talking in the parking lot just telling stories about what a great year this was for BC.  And then Jackie Lau joined us and we were talking about Measure J.  Jackie was a constant at 1675 Chester Avenue the headquarters for the campaign.  Phone banking, precinct walking…..  Thank you Jackie!

Jackie Lau and Sonya Christian May 18 2017

Jackie Lau, Sonya Christian

That same evening, the evening of May 18th, there were three events happening on campus — Softball Hall of Fame dinner, the ASTEP-Umoja celebration, and the Landscape meeting.  I was rushing back to campus after briefly attending the pre-Stemposium dinner event at Luigis organized by Cheryl Scott of Kern Economic Development Corpporation (KEDC).  More on the Stemposium in next week’s blog.

Coach Christie Hill at the Softball Hall of FAme

I was so delighted to see Kanoe Bandy, Athletic Director at Taft College at the event with her husband Don Bandy who was being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Kanoe Bandy and Don Bandy May 18 2017

And in the Fireside Room Lindsay Ono was there with the Kern County California Landscape Contractors Association.  Here is a video posted on Prof. Ono’s Facbook page.  So proud of BC faculty and out curriculum.

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Summer Institute

The last three years, BC has had a summer institute right after graduation.  The summer institute is a professional development event for faculty and staff and the focus has been on improving our student success rates as it relates to students completing a certificate or degree.

Here are some photos that Janet Fulks sent me.

Stem Metamajor

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Public Safety

Public Safety Metamajor May 17 2017

Health Sciences Metamajor

Health Science Metamajor May 17 2017.JPG

Catch all for students who are undecided

Exploratory Summer Institute May 17 2017

Education

Education Metamajor May 17 2017

Business

Business Summer Institute May 17 2017

Behavioral Science Metamajor

Behavioral Science Metamajor Summer Institute May 17 2017

Arts and Humanities

Arts and Humanities Metamajor May 17 2017.JPG

Odella Johnson’s Retirement

Hard to beleive that so many of the colleagues I started with at BC are retiring.  On Friday, May 19th, we recognized Odella Johnson at the Four Points Sheraton.  BC colleagues were there in full force in addition to the Alapha Kappa Alpha sorority group and the Links group.

BC Gang at Odella Johnson's Retirement Party

Here is Odella with her AKA sisters

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It was a treat hearing all the wonderful Odella Stories. I am here in this picture with two women who spoke at the retirement.  Rhonda Williams, President of The Links and Michelle Fambrough, President of Alpha Kappa Alpha.

Odella Johnson's Retirement Party May 19 2017

It was wonderful seeing Jackie Fisher there looking so well and so strong.

Sonya Christian and Jackie Fisher

And here I am with woman of the evening, Odella Johnson

Odella Johnson and Sonya Christian May 19 2017

Here is a 13-ish minute video of Odella on Equity TV

Celebrating Olivia Garcia

Celebrating History Professor Olivia Garcia‘s recognition as Garden Pathways’ “Women with a Heart for Bakersfield” award. Congratulations, Olivia!! Pictured here with Dean Mourtzanos and History Professors Jason Stratton, Paul Beckworth, and Matthew Garrett.

Olivia Gardia

Garden Pathways Honors History Professor Olivia Garcia with a “Women with a Heart for Bakersfield” Award

Our fabulous mayor, Karen Goh

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Garden Pathways Honors History Professor Olivia Garcia with a “Women with a Heart for Bakersfield” Award

‘Labor of Love’ from inmate education

Chelsea Esquibias from the Inmate Education Program in Delano sent me another uplifting story from the program:

Jesse Perez, 38 years old, is housed at Kern Valley State Prison, B Yard, Level 4 Main Line.  He has been incarcerated since he was 12 years old and was convicted as an adult at 16.  He has sued CDCR twice and won due to his 20 years in solitary. Today in speech class, he gave a speech about dreams and creating an unofficial partnership with prison officials for social change and continued rehabilitative programs.

After his speech, he passed out a sample form letter (click here to see the letter) to students to send to elected officials and others.  He wants everyone to know how thankful they are for the college program and the rehabilitative steps being taken.

Here is a snippet:

“So, as prisoners in an active general population setting, and in proactive acknowledgement of the tentative nature of the current favorable reality, we’d be of service to ourselves if we embrace fully the idea of an unofficial partnership with prison officials.  A partnership geared towards making the current rehabilitative trends a permanent fixture in prison life.”

Adding to this, Jesse’s letter was forwarded directly to Governor Brown!

Thank you for your continued support to Bakersfield College.  I am honored to serve these students and assist them as they achieve their goals.  Thank you for your belief in us.

Retired BC Professor gets Lifetime Achievement Award

Celebrating the heritage of BC is important and exciting.  I love hear about accolades given to our past teachers and staff.  This week I heard of Helen Gordon’s recognition, her are here words about her time during and after BC:

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I taught English and study skills at Bakersfield College for 21 years, retiring from the classroom in 1995.  While an English professor at BC, I also served the Bakersfield Californian editorial board as a citizen representative for one year.  Keeping in touch with BC, I received the Levan Faculty Colloquium award in 2011 for my research into Shakespeare, “Sleuthing the Shakespeare Mysteries.”

I also contributed a poem to the new journal begun by Jack Hernandez that year.

I had moved to Santa Barbara in 1995  to bring my husband (Rev. Clifton B. Gordon) for assisted living care.  To help supplement our retirement income, I took a job at UC Santa Barbara for 5 years as an editor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.  I really enjoyed helping graduate students polish their papers for publication in prestigious journals or conference proceedings.

After my husband’s death in 2004, I turned again to scholarly and creative writing. I also trademarked a word game, “Anagrabber” which I field-tested for 5 years and am now beginning to market with the help of two grownup grandsons.

I worked closely with Jerry Ludeke developing the Learning Center which now bears her name.

You can view the full press release here:
http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release-service/438151

Law Day

BC again hosted “Law Day” for pre-law students to get an idea of what they’re in for when they move on to Law School.  Most of the panelists are either judges or lawyers, but offer encouraging advice to BC students who want to explore the field.

Here is the article from The Rip about Law Day: http://www.therip.com/news/2017/05/02/bc-hosts-law-day-on-campus-for-students/

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I covered this event more in depth in my May 7th blog but when I saw the article in The Rip, I wanted to highlight it again.  Here is the link to my blog post

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/05/07/one-week-left-in-spring-2017/

How Do BC Staff Prep for Events?

On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Bakersfield College will host the second annual guided pathways summit, Leadership Matters: Reimagining Leadership to Sustain Transformative Change to Advance Student Success & Equity. When BC prepares for an event of this magnitude, we go all out.

Chris Glaser has gathered a group of ushers and event staff to help with our summit check-in and crowd control. But putting all of the pieces of an event together is an intense process!

BC Leadership Ushers

Thank you to our event ushers and event staff (from left to right) Tarina.Perry (holding a picture of Rosalee Pogue and Helen Harp), Tracy Hall (holding the event diagram breakdown), Yolanda Aguilera, Chris Glaser, Marissa Jeffers, Anita Karr, Bernadette Martinez, and Maria Diaz. All are holding out their phones showing Slack!

See that document Tracy Hall is holding? That’s a complete diagram breakdown of the crowd flow for the event check-in. Our ushers will know exactly where to be, what to say, and who to go to for help.

I was also introduced to Slack. Slack’s slogans are “where work happens” and “team communication for the 21st century” and that couldn’t be closer to the truth! It’s this neat collaboration software for your computer and mobile device and it’s been taking off with our teams!

And how is our team prepping the details for Leadership Matters? By sending ideas, comments of encouragement, files, photos, updated files, and more ideas, all within Slack. It’s very fast-paced and super engaging, but you know what? That is how BC rolls!

The Ralph Bailey Show

Mike Turnipseed asked me to sit in for him on his weekly spot on the Ralph Bailey show. We discussed the Kern Promise, Measure J, and the Industrial Automation Baccalaureate Program.  Ralph had me laughing and I had so much fun being on the show.

Thanks for the time Ralph!

Sonya Christian and Ralph Bailey Cropped May 18 2017

Sonya Christian and Ralph Bailey

From Facebook

Theresa McAllister post’s picture of Wasco High Students at Summer Bridge

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The Veeps

Thank you Vice Presidents for a fabulous 2016-2017.  I could not have done it without you!  Selfies by Zav!

Exec Team Part 2 May 16 2017

Don Chrusciel, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy

Exec Team May 16 2017

Don Chrusciel, Sonya Christian, Neo, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Zav Dadabhoy

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Zav Dadabhoy, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, Don Chrusciel

Superhero behind the scenes

Blanca Blanco had the night shift on Thursday evening and we had three programs on campus.  Thank you Blanca for all that you do.

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Here is Blanca! She can always be seen with a smile on campus.

What a week!

And then there is Neo who has turned my life upside down.  Last night he ripped a strip of carpet.

And here he is sleeping peacefully like a little angel

Neo in bed May 20 2017

And then there is the ball

Sonya Christian MAy 12 2017

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Welcoming our students and the community to BC

sonya washington monument april 16 2016

Sonya Christian April 16, 2016

Hello from our nation’s capital.  Washington DC in the spring is the best.  The glittering Potomac, the cherry blossoms…. it appears that folks in DC are out and about and the whole world has come to visit DC all at the same time.

I was at the AACC Pathways Institute with a team from Bakersfield College.  BC was one of 30 colleges selected nationwide through a competitive process to participate in a 3-year Guided Pathways initiative.  The work is focused on getting students to, and through, college quickly while enhancing their learning through coherent and structured pathways.  The three days in DC were intense, attending institute sessions and then coming together as a team to work on our homework.  I was happy to spend an hour in the national mall and walk the pathway between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument on my way to the airport.  Just perfect.  I did read, yet again, Lincoln’s Gettysberg address inscribed on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial.  Read it in my January 30, 2016 blog at http://tinyurl.com/zhnw9fb.

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Cindy Collier, Diane Troyer, Sonya Christian, Lesley Bonds, Jennifer Johnson, Paula Parks, Eileen Pierce, Marisa Marquez

Here are some highlights from BC in the last two weeks.

Jared Diamond speaks at Bakersfield College

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Jared Diamond, Mary Jo Pasek, Jack Hernandez

On April 6th,  BC’s Indoor Theater was packed with students, faculty, staff, and community members to hear Jared Diamond give the first annual Levan Lecture, in honor of Dr. Norman Levan whose great generosity provided many scholarships for BC students, established the Levan Institute for Lifelong Learning, and created the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities, which sponsored Dr. Diamond’s talk.

The audience was enthusiastic and enthralled as Dr. Diamond’s presentation, “The World Until Yesterday: What We Can Learn from Traditional Societies”. Dr. Diamond compared modern society with traditional societies in the areas of recognizing danger, health, raising children, and solving conflict. His thoughtful and engaging talk was filled with vivid examples from his personal life and field work in New Guinea. After his talk, he answered questions from audience members and was given a standing ovation. He then signed books for the many who had brought them.

BC was fortunate to have Jared Diamond, UCLA Professor of Geography, Pulitzer Prize winner, and recipient of many awards, give the first annual Levan Lecture.  The Norman Levan Center for the Humanities intends to sponsor such outstanding speakers in this continuing series of lectures at Bakersfield College.

Thank you to Jack Hernandez and Mary Jo Pasek for helping bring this fabulous speaker to BC!

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Grand Opening In Delano

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Trustee Agbalog with the Delano group

On April 7th, the brand new Delano Center Library, Writing Center, and Tutoring Center held a grand opening on the Delano campus.  Thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Michele Bresso for attending this event.

The project began as a joint venture two years ago between the library and academic support services who shared the vision of bringing the same services available at Bakersfield College’s main campus to the Delano Center. Through careful collaboration and planning that vision has come to fruition in the form of two, redesigned and newly furnished buildings on the Delano campus.

DelanoWritingCenter2The room formerly used for tutoring has become the new Delano Library, complete with computer lab, a variety of books and materials for check out, and enough space to offer a study area for students. Elisabeth Sundby will serve as Delano’s resident 25-hours-per-week librarian, and she will be joined once a week by other visiting librarians from BC in order to extend the hours.

The spacious, 50-unit computer lab adjacent to the new Library has been transformed into a shared area that now holds the Tutoring Center and the brand new Delano Writing Center.

Located right next door to each other in rooms 1101 and 1102, the Library, Tutoring Center, and Writing Center are a welcome addition to the Delano Center, which will certainly have a positive impact on the success of rural students in northern Kern County!

Tutoring services began at the Delano Campus in September of 2006, and have been available to students since that time. In fall of 2006, Tutoring had 7 tutors who saw 18 tutees for a total of 91 hours. Currently, tutoring has grown to include as many as 35 tutors; and these tutors see, on average, 250 tutees for more than 450 hours each semester during fall and spring. Summer statistics vary depending on classes. These statistics have Delano Campus Tutoring seeing close to 15% of the campus student body.

Monica Huyck was brought on in February 2011 as the then-part-time Tutorial Coordinator. then in August of 2011 as the Tutor Trainer and full time Assistant Professor of ACDV. Monica and Michelle have worked very hard to expand tutoring while maintaining the high standards and services of the center.  Tutoring is now available for Bakersfield College courses in rural areas.

A Sweet Partnership

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Emily Aldritt and Jeff Green

In 2011, 11 year old Emily Aldritt started Em’s Treat’em Sweet. The goal was simple – to prepare, package and sell her family’s favorite holiday sweet treats (Muddy Buddies), and donate 100% of the proceeds to two local charities: The Bakersfield Homeless Center and the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault.

Jeff Green, president of the board of the Homeless Center, reached out to the Bakersfield Culinary Arts department to help Emily increase production to raise more money.

The Bakersfield College Culinary Arts department has helped Emily to extend her reach. Leah Carter and Suzanne Durst helped Emily’s team all get their California Food Handlers cards.

BC also opened up the Renegade Room kitchen to Emily & her team over 2 days in December, helping them bake and package the final product. Chef Suzanne’s culinary arts students chipped in and volunteered to help for an entire Saturday of producing and packaging the treats.

Today, the project’s outcome has grown to more than $10,500 donated for 2015, and Bakersfield College is proud of the partnership between the college and this young entrepreneur.

On April 2, Emily received a Youth Hero Award at the American Red Cross Real Heroes Award ceremony. I am so proud of this young lady, and excited that Bakersfield College has been able to assist her!  And Jeff Green, you are amazing and a great friend of Bakersfield College.

Thankyou

 

Women’s History and More

As Spring Fling Week ends here at BC, we address a very serious issue: rape on school campuses. On April 7 and 8, Professor Kimberly Chin and her students held a Dramatic Reading entitled: Violence in The Lives of Women. This black box theater presentation portrayed the heart wrenching facts about on-campus rape through numerous readings performed by Monique Hansen-Garcia, Jason Glenn, Ashley Neufeld, and Carlos Noriega; songs performed by Victoria Colley; dances by Evan Alvarado, Liz Bolton, Jason Glenn, and Daniel Ochoa; and dark comedy portrayed by Lily Phillips.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1 in 4 women experience sexual assault in college, and many do not report the assault due to fear of judgement, embarrassment, and blame. One scene performed by Carlos Noriega and Sara Alaniz, The Inner Monologue of a Rape, portrayed the mind of a female during her assault. These performances were the finale to Women’s History and More. Since the 1980s, Bakersfield College has participated in National Women’s History Month with a month-long series of programs presented by local and regional leaders among women.

I wrote about some of this year’s other Women’s History and More activities in a previous blog: https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/03/19/a-whirlwind-week-at-bakersfield-college/. For more about Women’s History and More at Bakersfield College, check out their website at http://womenshistorymonthatbc.weebly.com/

Future Renegades at BC

On April 8th, Bakersfield College welcomed over 700 prospective students to our beautiful outdoor theater on campus as we hosted an open house for the Kern High School District.

After a classic Renegade Welcome in the Outdoor Theater at 09:00 AM, these prospective BC bright minds had the opportunity to participate in engaging, extended orientation style workshops.

Financial Aid 101 teaches the basics of navigating the intense world of paying for college. Student Services Campus Tours places these students directly in the invaluable departments that will guide them to academic success. College 101 encourages these students to discover life at BC through an exciting, Jeopardy-style game show setting.

Thank you to Steve Watkin and our fabulous outreach department for putting on such a great event – and showing prospective students how wonderful it is to be a Bakersfield College Renegade!OpenHouse_3

Kern High School District Open House

This event on April 8th was followed by another event on Saturday with high school students and their parents as we selected our first cohort of students for the Renegade Promise.  It was wonderful interacting with the students and their excited families.

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Steve Watkin bragging about the 2,045 ASEPs

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Sonya Christian with Alyssa Ramos and her parents

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Sonya Christian with Janae Franklin from Independence High

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Sonya Christian with Alexandra and Andrew Apatiga 

Delano Relay for Life:

After welcoming the high school students and their parents Saturday morning, I rushed over to Delano to say hello to the Relay for Life team.  Our BCDelano Team just does an awesome job with Relay for Life.  It was great connect with Loy Salarda, Helen Calip, Jason Stratton etc.  And BC took the first place in the auto race event.

Delano Relay for Life April 9 2016.jpg

 

My dear friends and colleagues in Bakersfield and Delano, do you see why you and I love Bakersfield College? We are….BC!