Tag Archives: Jessica Wojtysiak

The Energy that’s BC!

Berkeley Waterfront

Good morning from Berkeley, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 26, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

The tune that has been in my head this week… Imagine Dragons Believer

2019 Homecoming!

Last week was BC’s Homecoming week, and our Renegades played a hard-fought game!  Thank you for coming out and showing your Renegade pride. Here are some photos and videos from last week’s game.

The Energy that’s BC!

The 16-sec ending to the Chamber singers doing the National Anthem at the game.

Jennifer Garrett and the BC Choir singing the National Anthem
Sonya Christian, Steve Watkin, Catherine Rangal, Tonya Cordova
Mayor Goh, President Christian, Catherine Rangel and Mary Jo Pasek
Bill Potter with 17 rowdy kids!
BC Fireworks!

BC SouthWest Has Officially Moved! 

The move has happened!  We officially moved our classes to the new BC SouthWest campus, which will be held in modulars while construction for the new building is underway.  It was a busy and exciting week, but we are ecstatic to begin our journey at our new home in Southwest Bakersfield! Make sure to check out this great video on the new BC SouthWest center!

Leo Campo and Brynn Shock

BCSGA Power Lunch with Rudy Salas

We had the pleasure of hosting Assemblymember Rudy Salas this past week, who spoke with BC students in the Levan Center for another great BCSGA Power Lunch. BCSGA believes that it is important for students and the community to hear from the people that are representing them, so they invite an important government leader in Kern County to participate in the Power Lunch every month.

Assemblymember Rudy Salas at the BCSGA Power Luncheon

Assemblymember Salas talked about his childhood in southeast Bakersfield, as well as his career in politics, which started with being a financial analyst for the White House in Washington, DC. Assemblymember Salas would eventually move back to Bakersfield to become the first Latino to sit on our City Council before becoming Kern County’s representative on the California Assembly for the last seven years.

OSL serving lunch to attendees

Salas has also been instrumental in funding for career and technical education programs at BC, awarding $1 million to our campus for two consecutive years. Check out my July 20, 2019 blog of the recognition event https://sonyachristianblog.com/2019/07/20/recognition-gratitude-one-proud-renegade-prez/

Salas inspired our students with…. “If you have it in your heart to make a difference, you can do it.”

Assemblymember Salas, Mike Giacomini and Zav Dadabhoy

I would like to give a huge thank you to Assemblymember Rudy Salas. I would also like to thank BCSGA for putting on yet another great event.

Assemblymember Salas and BCSGA’s Legislative Affairs director Johnny Maddon

Dr. Paula Green: Peacebuilding in Divided Communities

Nicky Damania, Reggie Williams, Paula Green, Nick Strobel

Our BC Student Government Association and the Office of Student Life had the pleasure of hosting the Distinguished Speaker Dr. Paula Green and her presentation Peacebuilding in Divided Communities earlier this week. Dr. Green, founder of The Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, presented her work on the significance of peacebuilding efforts in communities worldwide with the purpose of resolving conflicts and the valuable impact of understanding one another’s different views. Dr. Green discussed the importance of reconciliation through our mutual understanding to communicate on the issues that divide communities and give rise to conflicting views making it necessary to discuss and understand our differing perspectives. 

Dr. Paula Green presenting in the Distinguished Speaker Series

The humanitarian efforts of the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding advocate for the importance of bridging divides in order to develop a sustainable peace in communities worldwide affected by political, civil, religious, and war conflicts. Dr. Green has recognized that we must learn to be deep listeners and to understand the circumstances of others around us in order to accept the differences of others and to reach a point of unity and peace. Thank you to the BC Student Government Association and the Office of Student Life for hosting this presentation, and a very special thank you to Dr. Green for taking the time to visit our campus and share her insight.  And thank you Nick Strobel!

Dr. Paula Green, Dr. Ximena Da Silva

BC Hosts Distinguished Speaker Samuel Sternberg

Our second Distinguished Speaker for this week was biochemist Samuel H. Sternberg, who shared in-depth details about the revolutionary gene-editing tool CRISPR in a series of lectures at the Panorama Campus on Thursday.

Dr. Sternberg

Dr. Sternberg is an assistant professor in biochemistry at Columbia University and co-author of the book “A Crack in Creation: The New Power to Control Evolution”. His research in this field has been instrumental in the development of new technologies to edit the DNA of practically any living organism, raising thousands of bioethical questions in the process.

CRISPR, which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, is a phenomenon that was first observed in the bacteria E. coli as a way to fight off destructive bacterial viruses known as phages. A strand of RNA in the bacteria identifies where the phages are actively attempting to destroy its cellular structure and deploys an enzyme to “cut” the virus out of its DNA.

Benny Balderrama, Dr. Sternberg and Dr. Joe Saldivar

Thank you Dr. Sternberg for coming to BC, and thanks to everyone on the Office of Student Life team for making this happen. Our next Distinguished Speaker will be veteran Jason Beardsley, who will be giving three presentations in the Levan Center on November 7.

Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) Visits BC 

Earlier this week, BC hosted members of the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) to evaluate our Baccalaureate program.  The visit was to assess the progress of the Industrial Automation Baccalaureate Degree Program as one of the 15 pilot programs chosen by the State Chancellor’s Office in collaboration with the Academic Senate against the purposes articulated in the SB 850 legislation.

Legislative Analyst Edgar Cabral, from the State Chancellor’s Office, met with our team (Jason Dixon, Lora Larkin, Thomas Rush, Roy Allard, Aubrey Priest, Amber Hroch, Michelle Pena, Liz Rozell, Jennifer Achan, Cynthia Quintanilla, & Manny Fernandez), our students (Richard Van Horn, Edwin Marroquin, Aaron Thomas, & Armando Gutierrez), and industry partners Blair Pruett (Kern Steel), Jonathan Greersen (California Resources Co.), Carlos Media (BC Job Development Specialist), Sam Gomez (Tasteful Selections), Tim McCord (Carboline), Paisley Stidham and Anthony Gutierrez (GAF) yesterday to discuss our Baccalaureate in Science degree for Industrial Automation.  Thank you to our dedicated team of faculty, staff, students, and employers who helped showcase our program and our community it serves. 

State and National Visibility for Early College

Our Early College team has been busy spreading the word about the amazing work being done in association with our high school partners. Steve Watkin, Kylie Swanson, and Ashlea Ward have been sharing the scaling up of Early College across the county and the innovative ways that we have been increasing college accessibility in our rural areas. 

Ashlea Ward and Kylie Swanson

In September, the team, along with several of our high school partners, went to Riverside, CA to present at the 6th Annual California Dual Enrollment Summit, put on by the California Coalition of Early and Middle Colleges (CCEMC). Then, in October, the team went to Salt Lake City, Utah to share our work at the national level with the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP).

CCEMC Panel

As we build our relationships with other colleges across the state and across the nation, we are coming together to present Early College as a solution to the degree attainment crisis that is plaguing our nation. Early College is our chance to get students on path as early as the 9th grade, and to equip them with the skills and mindset necessary to follow that path all the way through baccalaureate completion, and beyond. 

Kylie Swanson, Steve Watkin and Ashlea Ward

Thank you for doing this crucial work, Early College team!

BC at the Kern County Education to Workforce Summit

Employers’ Training Resource, Kern Community College District and Kern High School District partnered with America’s Job Center to sponsor “Kern County Education to Workforce Summit”. The summit was held on October 24th, 2019 at the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton.

Teresa Hitchcock and Norma Rojas-Mora

BC was in full force at this Summit, with businesses, education staff, community leaders, human resource professionals, students, and the general public, providing information on hot topics in business and their impact on today’s economy. 

Norma Rojas, Mayor Goh, Nateasha Johnson and Steve Watkin

BC Ag Departments Hosts 3rd Annual Agriculture Career Expo

The Ag Expo was huge!

This past week, the Agriculture Department and the Kern County Farm Bureau hosted its 3nd Annual Agriculture Career Expo.  Over 300 FFA high school students visited campus to learn about different career opportunities in the agriculture industry. Ariana Joven, Executive Director of the Kern County Farm Bureau spoke to students about the importance of agriculture in Kern County and BC’s drumline arrived to get the students excited about the day – thank you Tim Heasley.

Students from Heather Baltis’ Agriculture Leadership Class along with the Agriculture Ambassadors helped plan and guide students around campus. High school students went to four rotations learning about different careers in the agriculture industry. A special thanks to all the industry professionals that took time to invest in these students.

Along with the different rotations, students went to the Agriculture Career Expo. Domenica Trinidad and the CTE team did an amazing job connecting students with agricultural companies around Kern County.

Domenica Trinidad and the CTE team

We would also like to thank our sponsors for making this day possible. This is a valuable experience for the next generation of agriculture employees. It was a great day to be a Renegade. WE ARE BC!

BC Presents before Sons in Retirement Group

The Sons In Retirement (SIR) Branch 163-Golden Empire, reached out and invited Heather Pennella and Tamara Baker to attend their October monthly meeting held at Hodel’s. SIRs began in 1958, and has thousands of members and branches in most areas of Central and Northern California. Tamara provided a Measure J construction update and offered information on the future projects slated to take place. Heather discussed an increased need for Alumni Engagement, and various opportunities available to support the mission of Bakersfield College. There were several Renegade alums in the crowd and all were impressed to hear that BC attendance has grown to 37,000 students. Thanks to SIR for their hospitality, and to David Fabrizius and Ron Harrington (and little Ron, see picture) for the invitation to share information about Bakersfield College with the group.

Tamara Baker, Heather Pennella, Ron Harrington and Little Ron

BC Holds New Student Orientation

Last week the BC Outreach & School Relations department held a Fall 2019 New Student Orientation session welcoming new incoming students to the BC campus. Our Outreach Advisors Angela Williams, Savannah Andrews, and Jo Ann Acosta led the New Student Orientation session guiding students on available academic resources that help students on their educational journey at BC.

2019 Mental Health Symposium

Earlier this week BC partnered with the Kern County Public Health Services Department and Kern County Behavioral Health & Services to host the first annual 2019 Mental Health Symposium.  The Symposium was held at our Indoor Theater, recognizing and raising awareness on the concerning mental health issues affecting first responders and others with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a growing mental health issue.

BC Public Safety EMT Instructor Jana Richardson, and Kern County Public Health EMS Program Manager Jeff Fariss highlighted the importance of gathering together as a Bakersfield community in order to support our first responders and everyday people affected with mental health issues and raising awareness on the symptoms of PTSD. Mental health symptoms of PTSD include stress, fear, anger, negative thoughts, recurring memories, and hyper-arousal which causes strong reactions to sounds and sights around an affected person. It is important that we work together as a community to understand the issues concerning mental health awareness and recognizing PTSD symptoms in order to help identify affected people in need of support. Thank you to the BC Public Safety, Kern Public Health, Kern Behavioral Health, and the Bakersfield community for their dedication and commitment to recognizing and raising mental health awareness in support of our first responders and community.

Bakersfield College Attends Prospanica Leadership Conference

BC Latinx students attended the Prospanica Leadership Conference this week.

Local high school students, including college students from CSUB and Bakersfield College, participated in a series of workshops which included: Dress For Success 101 (Jerry Gamez: Finos Menswear & Tux); Financial Literacy (Lorenzo Tafolla, Jesse Quintanilla, Manuel Muralles); Finding Your Purpose (Jason Hanash– Senior Pastor Discovery Church); and were inspired by the words of affirmation and wisdom imparted by the Conference Emcee (Robert Gonzales – Realtor)

Thank you Manuel Muralles (Program Manager- Rural Initiatives) who diligently served in the planning committee to develop an excellent conference and for extending the invitation to Latinx males from Bakersfield College. Also, thank you to Rene Deniz (EOPS Adjunct Counselor) for incorporating Lamont youth into the conference and for serving as a positive role model in the community.

STEM and Chemistry Day at BC

BC celebrated National Chemistry Week with a STEM fair in the courtyard of the Science and Engineering Building on Wednesday. All departments and student organizations that fall under the STEM pathway participated in this event

Some of the groups that participated in the event include MESA, the Physics Club and BC’s Artificial Intelligence club. Thank you to STEM Counselor Laurel Mourtzanos for working to help promote all of the STEM programs that we offer to inspire the science and engineering leaders of tomorrow.

National Chemistry Week is an annual event organized by the American Chemical Society (ACS), an organization founded in 1876 to improve people’s lives through the power of chemistry. The theme of this year’s National Chemistry Week is “Marvelous Metals”, and the ACS website has all kinds of resources for educators to share interesting experiments with metals.

Thank you to the STEM program for honoring National Chemistry Week on our campus, and thank you to all of the clubs who helped organize another great event for our students.

Emails Worth Sharing: Student Success Story

Tom Moran recently shared a link to a video he made that highlights a Renegade student success story. In his email, he describes Jasmine Rubio as a graduate from ITP who has also secured two jobs including one at BC! Check out this incredible Renegade spotlight:  

French Sister City Residents Attend BC Football Game 

Earlier this week, 17 students from Bakersfield’s French sister city, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, came to visit as part of the city’s exchange program.  One of their stops was none other than a BC Renegade Football game, where they were able to take in this great American pastime. We hope that had a great trip to this amazing place we call home! Check out this great piece by KGET on their visit.

Rick Kreiser Distinguished Honoree at American Cancer Society Gala

I received this photo from Michael O’Doherty showing local community leader Rick Kreiser being honored at last week’s American Cancer Society Gala. Rick is a strong supporter of Bakersfield College, and truly deserves this recognition.  Congratulations Rick! 

Rick Kreiser at American Cancer Society Gala
BC’s Cheer Team

NAPD, New Advancement for People with Disabilities, had some of their special needs clients at the home game a couple weeks ago.  BC Cheer is volunteering at their Halloween dance doing Halloween make up, serving food, and are actors in their haunted house.  Here is their thank you video to the cheer team and the college.

Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week 

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (10/13-10/19) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Penelope Zepeda, Volleyball – Penelope played a key roll in the three sweeps the volleyball team collected last week. She was  9-1-18 with a .444 hitting%, collecting 6 digs and 10.5 pts against West LA; she was 9-2-24 with a .292 hitting%, collecting 14 digs and 11.5 pts against Antelope Valley and was 15-2-33 with a .394 hitting% collecting 9 digs and 15.5 pts against Canyons. For her efforts she was also recognized as the CCCWVCA SoCal State Player of the Week. 

Brock Mather, Football – Brock anchored the Renegade defense against Ventura, the fourth ranked team in the state, during the homecoming game on 10/19. He totaled 11 tackles (2 for a loss) and one pass break-up in the game. He also leads the team in tackles so far this season with 41. 

Wrestling Coach Joe Espejo Honored at Alma Mater 

Joe Espejo, one of our assistant wrestling coaches was honored by his alma mater, Dickinson State University where he was inducted as a member in their athletics hall of fame as a member of the 2007-08 Blue Hawk wrestling team. Joe first wrestled for BC before transferring to Dickinson State and is now back at BC coaching the next generation of Renegade wrestlers. Well deserved, Joe!

Volleyball’s Penelope Zepeda Named CCCWVCA State Player of the Week 

The California Community College Women’s Volleyball Association (CCCWVCA) has named Penelope Zepeda as the SoCal State Player of the Week for week #8 of the season. 

Zepeda led the Renegade volleyball team to three straight sweeps last week over West LA, Antelope Valley and Canyons. Congrats, Penelope! Check out this release on the California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) website.

Former Renegade Wrestler To Be Inducted Into National Wrestling Hall of Fame 

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame announced this week that former Renegade State Champion wrestler Bruce Burnett will be inducted as a Distinguished Member at the 44th Annual Honors Weekend on June 5-6, 2020 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Burnett wrestled at Bakersfield College from 1969 to 1970 and was a two-time state champion at the 137/142 lb. weight class. In 1969 he played a key role in the Renegade wrestling team winning the state junior college championship under head coach Bruce Pfutzenreuter. He finished his Renegade career with a 55-3 career record and was named the state’s outstanding wrestler in 1970. Congrats Bruce!

Renegade Athletics Scores From This Past Week

Athletic Events ‘On the Hill’ This Coming Week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Tues. 10/29 – 4pm Men’s Soccer vs. Canyons
  • Wed. 10/30 – 6pm Volleyball vs. Santa Monica
  • Fri. 11/1 – 7pm Women’s Basketball vs. Riverside
  • Sat. 11/2 – 5pm Women’s Basketball vs. Pasadena City

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

The Sights and Sounds of BC

Good morning from Berkeley, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 26, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Look who came to visit….

Bessie and Neo are best buddies. When Bessie visits it’s like summer camp. Not pictured is when Bessie rushes Neo in a mock attack, like in an old Pink Panther movie when Inspector Clouseau is surprise attacked by his assistant Cato and chaos ensues…

This week, the weather cooled down a bit, and the arts were alive and well at Bakersfield College with the annual Panorama Creative Music Summit, the opening reception of the latest gallery in the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery, and a special faculty music recital.

Remembering Cokie Roberts

Pioneering broadcaster Cokie Roberts passed away at the age of 75 on Tuesday. A correspondent for NPR and ABC News since the late 1970s, Roberts paved the way for thousands of women to become broadcast journalists at a time when women weren’t fully integrated into the newsroom. 

Ms. Roberts in 1979. She was a radio correspondent for CBS before joining NPR in the late 1970s. Photo Credit: Stan Barouh/NPR

Roberts was the daughter of Louisiana Congressman Hale Boggs, and her mother Lindy Boggs served in his place when he died in a plane crash in 1972. After covering Washington politics for almost 40 years, she would put her encyclopedic knowledge of American history into the best-selling books “Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation” and “Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington”.

Roberts won three Emmys during her career as a broadcaster, and she was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.

Health, Education, and Learning – HEAL

Bakersfield College Delano Campus hosted educators and health community representatives to plan a course of action to improve the health, well being, and workforce opportunities for residents of rural Central Valley from Bakersfield to Merced.

Group Photo from the HEAL Collaborative gathering this week

The vehicle for this work is the formation of Rural HEAL—Health, Education, Equity, Economy and Learning—a collaboration of partners working to improve the lives of rural residents. Partners pictured here represent The Housing, Opportunity and Place (HOPe) Lab  at U.C. Merced, UC San Francisco at Fresno, ​Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State, Central Valley medical professionals and Bakersfield College health and workforce training programs.

Other HEAL partners are healthcare providers, elected officials, non-profit agencies and community leaders. Addressing poverty and health needs of our rural communities takes a big step forward on November 22 when Bakersfield College co-hosts the Rural Poverty and Health Equity Summit along with the National Academy of Sciences.

The inaugural meeting of the HEAL Collaborative included:

  • Dr. Kathy Murphy 
  • Dr. Irene Yen, UC Merced
  • Dr. Serena Yang, UCSF Fresno *
  • Sean Tan, UC Merced
  • Dr. Tania Pacheco-Werner, CVHPI
  • Mayra Lemus Rangel, CVHPI

and from Bakersfield College Norma Rojas-Mora, Dr. Michelle Bresso, Cindy Collier, Dr. Charles Daramola, Abel Guzman, and Janalynn Castillo.

Abel Guzman shares why this collaborative is so important

BC Welcomes CSUB to Campus!

On Friday morning BC welcomed a team of administrators and faculty from CSUB to the Panorama Campus for a tour and to gather the planning group. This group was formed last April to enable seamless communication and collaboration between the campuses as we work together and plan for the colocation for BC at CSUB.

CSUB visits BC. Check out my t-shirt

The planning group has seven individual workgroups that are co-chaired by both a CSUB faculty member and BC faculty member. These groups will identify various areas where we can collaborate to benefit and serve students.

Zav Dadabhoy, Vikash Lakhani, Vernon Harper, Billie Jo Rice, Sonya Christian

Special thanks to Vernon Harper of CSUB who led his team to BC, Todd Coston and Tamara Baker for the tour of the BC campus, the chefs at the Renegade Room for the delicious breakfast, and to Jessica Wojtysiak for coordinating the visit on behalf of BC.

I particularly enjoyed seeing Dr. David Gove after so many years. David is a math faculty at CSUB and seeing him brought back so many memories when I was a math faculty at BC and we did many joint projects with CSUB.

Panorama Music Summit

The Panorama Creative Music Summit made its way back to Bakersfield College with four days of music and workshops. Hosted by BC’s Jazz Studies and Commercial Music programs, the annual summit is where local performers and professional musicians can come together with BC students, faculty and alumni to perform their music.

This is a great opportunity for artists to perform and collaborate other musicians and composers such as BC alum Omar Murillo, Kris Tiner and guitarist Mike Baggetta.

Jeff Ardray performed on Monday

We are proud of our former student Omar Murillo, who led and composed a 13-piece ensemble with great original pieces including one piece he wrote for his mother. Also on Monday, talented local artist Jeff Ardray was one of the performers on stage.

On Tuesday, BC jazz students got to sit in on an improvisation workshop and guest lecture from guitarist Mike Baggetta. Baggetta, a well-established guitar player from Knoxville, Tenessee, performs with BC professor Kris Tiner as Tin/Bag, and he lit up the room whenever he picked up the guitar.

The performances on Wednesday night featured Commercial Music students performing original songs alongside songwriter Emily Sprague, whose music was featured in Beyonce’s “Homecoming” documentary. LA-based quartet Kidi Band closed out Wednesday night’s performance with their interpretations of West African pop music. You can listen to the Kidi Band on YouTube if you missed them on campus!

This event was a success with great performances. Thank you Lydia Jennings Finlinson and Burns L. Finlinson Endowment of the Bakersfield College Foundation, as well as our other generous sponsors and all the attendees.

An incredibly talented duo, Kris Tiner and Josh Ottum

Wylie and May Louise Jones Art Gallery

BC’s Art Department held the opening reception for the photography exhibition “Things That Will Make You a Man” on Thursday at the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery in the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library to welcome Santa Fe, New Mexico photographer and videographer, Sage Paisner. “Things That Will Make You A Man” is Paisner’s latest project on the personal and cultural stories of masculinity within the Latinx community.

Jeff Huston and Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Art faculty Jeffrey Huston and Ronnie Wrest hosted the exhibition and presented Paisner’s work to the BC community, which conveys Paisner’s interpretation of “What makes masculinity?”. Special thanks to these art faculty and BC’s Art Department for organizing the exhibition. It’s amazing to have artists like Sage Paisner present his work to our students and the community.

Faculty Music Recital

On Thursday evening, BC’s Performing Arts held the first Faculty Recital with the inaugural debut of BC’s new Steinway Concert Grand Piano! Also want to do a special THANK YOU to the talented and dedicated Patrick Bender who was everywhere. And thank you to Dr. Jen Garrett who brings music and positive energy to our community.

Dr. John Gerhold
Christina Parnell…. what a voice!
Scott Dirkse playing Rachmaninoff

CPR Training on Campus

Bakersfield College held CPR, AED & First Aid Certification Course for students that would like to be more prepared, equipping students with the tools to confidently react during emergencies. On Friday in Levinson Hall, students got hands-on training lead by professionals Matthew Rodriguez, the senior public safety officer at the Delano Campus, and Freddie Rodriguez, senior officer at the Weill Institute downtown.

Using a mannequin, Matthew Rodriguez demonstrated proper CPR hand placement and compression techniques. Those who attending earned certification in CPR, AED, First Aid. Here’s a great picture of Dr. Nicky Damania who took time out of his busy schedule to participate.

There are other opportunities, and I invite you to enroll in one of the next classes taking place on October 4, November 1, and December 6. Thank you BC’s Campus Safety department for hosting these important learning opportunities.

Seen on TV: Inmate Scholars Program

Last Saturday, Jim Scott‘s KGET Program Kern County In Depth featured Trustee Romeo Agbalog and BC Professors Bryan Hirayama and Pat Smith as they told the story of BC’s Inmate Scholars program. I shared recently in my blog that last month BC’s first cohort of 17 Inmate Scholars graduated with an Associates degree in Communication.

Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Pat Smith, Bryan Hirayama

Seen on TV: BC Professor Allen Bolar

It’s always a joy to see BC faculty participating in the local news broadcasts. This week, political science faculty, @allenbolar was featured on KBAK.

Fun Photos:

Celebrating New Faculty

BC’s newest faculty posed for a group photo with Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, former Congressman and Trustee Bill Thomas, Mayor Goh and myself. What a great time to be a Renegade!

DWK Event

BC was represented at the Women in Politics event last weekend — Dean Andrea Thorson, Kylie Swanson, Chris Cruz-Boone, Kristen Mercer, Steve Watkin and many others. From the community, Congressman TJ Cox and his wife Kathy Murphy, Leticia Perez, Katie Hall, Jan Graves, and Debra Thorson.

Mariachi Girl

Dean of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez shared fun photos from Mariachi Girl at CSUB’s Dore Theater last week. BC is proud to be a sponsor of the event which Corny tells me was “just outstanding.”

L.U.P.E. Cupcake Sale

On Tuesday the Latinos Unidos Por Educación (LUPE) were fundraising outside the Gym, selling cupcakes to help with the activities that this student organization puts on throughout the year.

BC’s IT Department visits BCSW

The IT team from Bakersfield College led by Todd Coston and Brett Redd visited the location of BC SouthWest this week.

VRC Signage

What a beautiful sight at BC this week!

New faculty seminar

Renegade of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (9/8-9/14) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

  • Kennedy Jimenez, Women’s Golf – Kennedy helped lead the Renegades to a fourth place finish in conference play at Santa Barbara Golf Club on 9/9. Kennedy’s efforts have placed her in 19th position overall and the team in fourth place in conference standings.
  • Daniel Schoene, Wrestling – Daniel collected three pins over the weekend in leading the team to a 3-1 finish at the BC Dual Tournament on (9/14) and a 42-3 win over Victor Valley on Friday (9/13).

Men’s Soccer at the Classic Car Show

Our Renegade Men’s Soccer team spent their Saturday morning helping out at the Classic Car Show put on by the Alzheimer’s Association at Brookdale Riverwalk. The entire team took turns with the wheel chair push, the wheel chair car wash and running the BBQ. Thank you coach Vayron Martinez and team for serving our community!

Early College Football Night

Join us at the Inaugural Early College High School Football Night where you can learn more about the Early College resources and programs available at BC. Enjoy free food, games, and giveaways, and root for your Renegades as they take on Golden West College on Sept. 28th.

Check-in on the lawn across from the North entrance of Memorial Stadium for free game tickets and free food. The first 200 high school students will receive free food, and all high school students will receive a free game ticket. Students must bring their current High School ID card to get a game ticket and food. Be sure to show your school pride by wearing your High School colors!

Renegade Report with Men’s Soccer

This week’s edition of the Renegade Report is on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Men’s Soccer team. Coach Vayron Martinez, Goalie Armando Alvarez and Midfielder Christian Gonzalez sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss the season and who they think would play them in the movie of their life.

Renegade Athletics News Roundup

Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Wed. 9/25 at 6pm – Volleyball vs. Canyons
  • Fri. 9/27 at 1pm – Cross Country, BC Invite
  • Fri. 9/27 at 1pm – Cross Country, BC Invite
  • Fri. 9/27 at 6pm – Volleyball vs. Glendale
  • Sat. 9/28 at 6pm – Football vs. Golden West

Purchase your tickets to the remaining football games in advance!

To avoid waiting in line on gameday, the athletic department strongly encourages fans to purchase football tickets in advance for the remaining home football games. Tickets can be purchased online through this link:  https://vallitix.com/bc-football/   or by calling 661-322-5200.

On gameday the ticket offices outside of Memorial Stadium will open at 4:30pm with gates opening at 5:00pm. Adult tickets range in price from $9.00 to $14.00. Children (3-12 years)/Student/Senior tickets are $6.00 per ticket. Our next home football game is this coming Saturday 9/28 vs. Golden West. We’ll see you out there!

 

That’s all for now.

Until next time

sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Remembering, Celebrating, and Planning

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, June 2, 2018 …a great day to be a Renegade.

On Monday, we spent the day reflecting on the men and women who gave their lives fighting to protect the ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that our nation was founded on. Every year on Memorial Day, we honor the US soldiers who died in military service with the greatest sacrifice an individual can make for their country. Originally known as Decoration Day, Americans started commemorating loved ones who died fighting the Civil War during the second half of the 18th Century, but it wasn’t recognized as an official holiday until a declaration by an act of Congress in 1971. It’s important to note that Memorial Day is intended to honor soldiers who have died in military service—Veterans’ Day in November honors the contributions of all current and former armed service members, while Armed Forces Day celebrated all currently-serving military personnel on May 19 this year.

dsc07395-x4

In honor of Memorial Day, Bakersfield College Veteran Services helped out this past Saturday making care packages for deployed service personnel with Good Samaritots, directed by Brooke Whitehead-Tolles.  This organization fosters compassion and social responsibility through tot-friendly community service projects.

Samaritots

Brooke reading from “H is for Honor”.

 

In this picture, we all stopped working while Brooke read to the children a book called H is for Honor.  This book explores the branches of the armed forces and speaks from the heart about the honor, privileges and sacrifices of military families everywhere.

Many of us were at the 1000 Flags event at Riverwalk.  Thank you Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary for hosting and sponsoring this event.

Sonya Christian Memorial Day May 28 2018

Sonya Christian at Thousand Flags

And here is Carlos Barbaran

 

 

And Paul Beckworth with his dogs, Toccoa and Clemson, at the very beautiful and poignant Thousand Flags at River Walk, on Memorial Day.

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Paul Beckworth at Thousand Flags

Paul Beckworth’s Message: Remember.

Paul Beckworth did some research in the archives with Jerry Ludeke and VA work-study Chris Yrena and found some incredible documents. I received an email this week where he shared them with me and included this message:

“I have put out rather intense Memorial Day messages the past few years but did not this year.  However, when I saw the World War II list of BC dead I realized I did have a rather intense Memorial Day message.

That message is:
Remember

Wow…  Let us take a moment and reflect on these handwritten lists of BC students killed or MIA in action from World War II. Paul mentioned one of them died in a POW camp after being captured and these lists may or may not be comprehensive. But regardless, these lists are very telling — they are our history.

 

SSSC31-KM-318053013280Celebrating Veterans on Campus

Paul also updated the list of faculty who have served in any branch of the military. If you are not listed here, but should be added, please contact Paul Beckworth or leave me a comment. 

United States Marine Corps

Armando Trujillo
Felix Ramirez (retired), 22 years of service
Jason Mattheus, 6 years of service
Jeremy Staat, 4 years of service
Juan Torres, 6 years of service
Luke Thomas

 

United States Navy

David Whalen, 5 years of service
Di Hoffman, 3 years of service
Diana Alcala, 6 years of service
Eddie Rangel, 3 years of service
Jahnea Palfrey, 4 years of service
Manuel Fernandez, 11 years of service
Paul Beckworth, 10 years of service
Richard McCrow, 30 years of service
Robert Torres, 4 years of service
Tony Cordova

United States Army

Charlie Fivecoat, 3 years of service
F. Javier Llamas, 8 years of service
Joe Escalante, 4 years of service
Pat Smith, 5 years of service
Patrick Coyle, 5 years of service
Patrick Fulks, 2 years of service
Rex Gonzales, 2 years of service
Richard Castallon, active

 

United States Air Force

Bernadette Martinez, 4 years of service
Christine Dunn, 3 years of service
Malissa Buggs, 21 years of service
Myron Patton, 4 years of service

United States Coast Guard

Glen Gustafson, 6 years of service
Thomas T. Rush, 4 years of service

 

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Continuing to highlight the 104th Commencement

I want to highlight each of the seven graduates who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Bakersfield College

 

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Back Row: Chancellor Tom Burke, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Trustee Kyle Carter, Trustee Bill Thomas, President Sandra Serrano, President Sonya Christian, President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, President Greg Chamberlain, President Bob Allison, Vice President Zav Dadabhoy, and Vice President Liz Rozell

Front Row: Richard Van Horne, Miguel Ceja, Kori Masilon, Griselda Flores, Dawn Mosley, Timonthy Carrillo, and Armando Gutierrez

This history setting group was part of many firsts on May 11th, you can read about in my in-depth commencement coverage in the blog piece  from Saturday, May 12th titled “A Commencement of Firsts.”

I wanted to take a time to recognize each of these incredible graduates.

Richard Van Horne

 

Miguel Ceja

 

Kori Masilon

 

Griselda Flores

 

Dawn Mosley

 

Timothy Carrillo

 

Armando Gutierrez

 

Our community will celebrate the accomplishments of these 7 graduates for many years to come as I know they will continue to give back to the communities in which they live, giving of their knowledge, skills, and talents. Congratulations to these men and women for their accomplishment. i-dssfs7p-x3

 

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Chamber Singers will perform on June 30th before heading to Australia

Let’s get together in the Indoor Theater on June 30th to bid farewell to our Chamber Singers as they start their Australian performance tour ending with the Sydney Opera House.  And I heard that both Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger will be joining the performance on June 30th.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters with Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger

BC’s Public Safety

I wanted to take a moment to recognize our Public Safety Department for all they do to keep this campus safe 24 hours a day.  Here is a comparison of Public Safety’s responsibilities in 2018 compared to 2013 given BC’s explosive growth in students across our service area.

2013 2018
Panorama Campus

 

Delano Timmons Campus

Panorama Campus
Delano Timmons Campus
Weill Institute Campus
SouthWest Campus
RFK High School Campus
Sites where BC has evening classes:
Shafter High School
Arvin High School
McFarland High School
Wasco High School
Delano High School
Olive Drive Training Facility (Bakersfield)
West Tec Campus (Shafter)

On top of patrolling the campus with a watchful eye, and escorting students, faculty and staff to their cars at night, Public Safety also hosts informational seminars about proper emergency response, rape aggression defense, and what to do in the event of an active shooter situation on campus. The next seminar is open to the public and free of charge. This 3-part RAD class (Rape Aggression Defense) will take place beginning June 1st at 8AM. If you plan to attend, please wear comfortable gym clothes and tennis shoes. This program is part of BCs Public Safety Department’s commitment to enhancing safety through education and prevention.

Our campus officers do an incredible job creating a safe and welcoming atmosphere for everyone who comes to our campus. They are visible, approachable, and helpful. If you see anything you wish to report, please do. As Chief Counts teaches us, “If you see something, say something, and let’s do something about it!”

Here is the newest group photo that shows 31 of the 50 employees within the department. Thank you – all of you, for what you do!

Public Safety Group Photo

First National Telecast of the CCCAA Track and Field Championship

A national telecast of the 2018 California Community College Athletic Association Track & Field Championships debuted on ELEVEN SPORTS USA on Wednesday evening. The 2-hour edited show from the 68th state meet at Bakersfield College is scheduled to re-air June 5th from 7:00AM – 9:00AM (P.T.).

trackThe show opens with a ceremony involving Jim Ryun that commemorates his world record 3:51.1 mile set on the Bakersfield Stadium track just over a half century ago. Featured in conjunction with that ceremony is a message from another mile world record breaker, Sebastian Coe, now the President of the International Association of Athletics Federations. He emphasized the importance of running and pointed to the twenty-four mile races which will be run in each time zone around the world on Global Running Day, June 6.

The telecast was sponsored by the California Community College Cross Country and Track Coaches Association, with underwriting by Wall2Wall Sport. It was produced by Fred Baer, College of San Mateo Sports Information Director. Host announcer was George Devine, Jr., with interviews by Gary Dilley (retired CSM athletic director) and commentary by Mark Covert (retired Antelope Valley Coach) and Baer. The edited program can be viewed, on demand, on that Silicon Valley network’s website.

This event was truly spectacular. Thank you Jim Coggins, Bill Potter, Antero and others who made it happen in beautiful Memorial Stadium! Special Thanks to Mary Jo Pasek for all her dedicated work facilitating the attendance of Jim Ryun and his wife Ann. Of course, it would not have been possible if not for the hard work from the Athletics staff and student workers! Thank you, Coach Kelley, Coach Courtney, Coach Sanchez, Keith Ford, Todd Hansen, Darrell Ballard, Fred Smith, Mike Medeiros & Tricia Gay.

Renegade Volleyball

Last Sunday, the Bakersfield Californian reported about the three student-athletes on our volleyball team who got scholarships to play at four-year universities.

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Alex Paris of BC gets the dig in the match against El Camino, photo from Felix Adamo of The Bakersfield Californian

Outside hitter Alexis Paris got accepted to play NCAA Division I volleyball for Niagara University in New York, while libero Haley Sanchez will be a Sooner for the University of Oklahoma in the NCAA’s Big 12 Conference. Middle blocker Brooke Horack also got accepted to Marymount California University in Ranchos Palos Verdes.

BC volleyball coach Carl Ferreira is quoted in the article expressing pride in his players’ accomplishments.

“These three kids are gonna walk into their schools mature, experienced and really ready to contribute because of the ability to know how to control their minds on a day-to-day basis,” Ferreira said.

The article includes two stunning photos by by Felix Adamo, one of our towns best photo journalists.

Fun Retreat Day Photos

EAC met for a special retreat day at BC SouthWest on Tuesday. The morning included many operational training activities and even time for a power walk at Riverwalk park, across the street, along with structured time for sharing and discussion. 

EODAC Retreat 2018

Academic Technology visited an Escape Room to develop team building and shared the following photo with me after their great escape! This amazing crew does so much for so many students who use academic technology for online courses.

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Tracy Lovelace, Bill Moseley, Pam Rivers, Anita Karr, and Matt Jones

Dual Enrollment Workshop

Campus came together on Thursday in Levan Center to celebrate successes so far, issues to tackle, and create a plan of action for 2018-2019.

 

Abel Guzman and Corny Rodriguez shared some data and I could not believe the growth we have had in dual and concurrent enrollment with students in High School.   We are BC!

Here is a graph that captures student enrollment divided by BC’s 10 meta major pathways.

Dual Enrollment by Metamajor Pathways May 2018.png

Check out the growth from one year to the next

Dual enrollment May 2018.jpg

And then this year we graduated the first cohort of students from Wonderful Academy with an Associates Degree at the same time they graduated from high school.  Here is the timeline:

Time line to first graduating class from Wonderful Academy.png

 

Calling all Homeschoolers!

Bakersfield College will be hosting our first ever Express Enrollment with a special homeschool/concurrent enrollment track. On June 19, starting at 8:00AM at the Panorama Campus, any high-school homeschool students who are ready to begin tackling college-level work can complete all the steps needed to become a Renegade in just one day.

Concurrent enrollment is free (not including books / materials), and allows students to complete classes for high school and college credit simultaneously, while getting a taste of what college classes are like. Interested students should bring their parents (this is required for concurrent enrollment paperwork), and plan on spending most of the day at BC. If you have any sort of transcript or record of the work you have completed, it wouldn’t hurt to bring that with you so counselors can help you choose the best classes.

The homeschool track also includes a special parent session, to help you find answers to your questions and provide you with some ways you can support your student as they begin college classes. If you would like to join us for this Homeschool Concurrent Enrollment Event, we would appreciate it if you can fill out the following form, so we know you are coming!

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Parking Lot Renovation Project is Moving Along

Bill Potter, BC’s Director of Maintenance and Operations, has told me in a recent update that the Parking Lot Renovation project is ahead of schedule. Check out this collage of photos as together, we build A Better BC!parking

Celebration at Nick Strobel’s on completing BC’s Institutional Self Evaluation for Accreditation

ISER Team at Nick Strobel's House June 2 2018.jpg

Sonya Christian, Jessica Wojtysiak (son John), Jason Stratton, Sarah Baron, Sondra Keckley, Liz Rozell, Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel and Sondra Keckley June 2 2018

The families who supported their loved ones who worked late nights to get the ISER completed.

ISER Team with their families.jpg

Loved seeing this opinion piece by Reggie Williams in Friday’s Bakersfield Californian

Reggie Williams Community Voices June 1 2018.png

Sonya Christian at 1000 Flags Riverwalk May 28 2018That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; Faith is the courage to dance to it today.

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, Sep 24, 2016, my mom’s birthday and a fabulous day to be a Renegade.  

September is also the month of the Kern County Fair.  For more information check out http://www.kerncountyfair.com/.  Thank you David Torris for helping us secure a table for Measure J at the fair.

Here are some photos from Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 at the fair.

Day 1: Thank you Paul Beckworth for taking the lead to staff Day 1, September 21, 2016 with volunteers. I was so excited to see Mallory Moran at the fair with her dad Tom Moran and her brother Donovan Moran.  This family is beloved to Bakersfield College.  Friends, many of you along with me have been following Mallory’s precious life story.  Tom and Israel have set up with a Mallory Miracles page.  Check it out http://tinyurl.com/hb6dsgg

 

Thank you Paul Beckworth, Sandi Beckworth, Matt Garrett, and Zav Dadabhoy for being the first team to get this started.

Day 2, Sep 22, 2016: Zav Dadabhoy was the lead.

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Here are the volunteers who staffed measure J on Day 2 — Steve Watkin and Kim Watkin, Michele Pena and her son, Jackie Lau and her son, Peggy Gonzales, Grace Commiso, Terri Goldstein, and of course Zav Dadabhoy.  Thank you all!

Day 3, Friday, Sep 23, 2016

Jerry Ludeke took the lead on the morning shift from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Jennifer Marden took the lead for the afternoon shift from 3:00 to 11:00.  Thank you Bob Allison, Liz Keranen, Heidi Allison.  Thank you Faith Counts (Chief Count’s daughter), Becky Dargatz, Cynthia Munoz, Steve Waller, and Jennifer Marden.

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Steve Waller, Sonya Christian, Vickie Edden, Sandi Taylor, Tom Gelder

Here are the volunteers who staffed Measure J on Day 3 — Zav Dadabhoy, Jerry Ludeke, June Charles, Prince Charles, Steve Watkin, Kim Watkin, Tracy Hall, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Jim Heitzeberg, Jennifer Marden, Cynthis Munoz, Becky Dargatz, Chris Counts, Faith Counts, Reese Weltman and his wife, Steve Waller, Manny Mourtzanos, Sandi Taylor, Vickie Edden, and Tom Gelder.  Thank you all!  Thank you Jay Rosenlieb, who was staffing the Boy Scouts booth for coming over and helping the Measure J table.

One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern

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onebook-1This week, Bakersfield College and the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities presented an academic discussion panel entitled “Water Use, Challenges, and Solutions in Kern County” as part of the “One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern” program. The panel was composed of Dr. Joe Saldivar, Professor and Chair of the Biology Department at Bakersfield College, Laraine Rosema, BC’s Writing Center Department Liaison, and Jeffrey Eagan, a former BC student who is the current Writing Center & Tutor Coordinator at CSU-Bakersfield. The night was organized and moderated by Jessica Wojtysiak, Associate Professor of Academic Development at BC.

The seats inside the Levan Center were packed as Dr. Joe Saldivar presented first. He invited six year old daughter of BC Student Alma Cortez to join him in a colorful experiment. By blowing through a straw, they were able to send carbon dioxide into the beaker, changing the liquid from pink to clear. Dr. Saldivar then discussed the importance of innovation in solving our water crisis.

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Laraine Rosema, the next speaker, discussed water regulation and use restrictions. She concluded her presentation by telling the audience members how they could learn about restrictions and how to apply them to their own homes. Next up, Jeffrey Eagan explored how literature serves to illuminate the challenging relationship between humanity and water. Following these fabulous speakers, guests participated in a lively Q&A session with the panel. And finally, three BC students won a free copy of The Big Thirst: Enrique, and Alma Cortez.

The One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern project encourages the entire community to share experiences related to a single book through discussions, educational programming, and entertainment. The read is meant to pull a community together, cross cultural divides, and enhance understanding of our diversity, all while supporting literacy. First organized as a grass roots effort by Jillian Stump-Fritch, an elementary school teacher, she was inspired to support a community reading program after reading about similar projects with large cities like Chicago and Seattle.

onebook-2This year’s One Book selection is The Big Thirst by Charles Fishman. Published in 2011, the book seeks to challenge our too often casual relationship with water.  For the past 100 years, the developed world has enjoyed a cheap, safe, and abundant water supply, but The Big Thirst warns that everything about water is going to change – how we use it, how we share it, and how we value it.

This is certainly a timely selection for Bakersfield – In 2014, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported “An average of nearly 90% of Bakersfield, California, has been in a state of exceptional drought over the first seven months of 2014, more than any other large city.” In 2016, Governor Brown relaxed water use restrictions, but water availability continues to be a significant concern, particularly for those working in agriculture. For those interested, the One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern program will end this year with a visit by Charles Fishman to CSU-Bakersfield on October 27th, 2016 for a visit and book signing.

Kern Ag Foundation

kern-ag-foundation-sep-21-2016

Chris McCraw, Sonya Christian, JP Lake, Greg Cluff, Bill Barnes

I cherish any opportunity to be involved with organizations that prioritize education and advancement within our region. This week, I presented about Measure J with JP Lake at the Kern Agriculture Foundation. The Kern Ag Foundation was founded in 1986 as a non-profit organization by leaders in agriculture centered business and education to serve as an industry advisory committee. The Foundation assists with agriculture curriculum development, as well as soliciting and distributing funds and specialized assets to promote agricultural education, training, student activities, and scholarships. For a list of scholarships, visit kernagfoundation.com/scholarships.htm.

Special thank you to the Board of Directors: Doug Starr, President; Peter Belluomini, VP; Jared Britschgi, Secretary; Joel Bock, Treasurer; Bianca Ramirez; Roger Riley; Dr. Aaron Hegde; Ralph Mendes; and Lindsey Ono.  We received the unanimous endorsement of the Kern Ag Foundation for Measure J.  THANK YOU!

BC’s Ag faculty are the best! Bill Kelly, Lindsey Ono, Billy Barnes, Greg Cluff, Chris McCraw.  Thank you.

And a very special thank you to my co-presenter, JP Lake. It is always a joy working with him – his undeniable enthusiasm for education, the community of Bakersfield, and BC continues to inspire and amaze me. JP is also one of the many who have given their support and endorsement of Measure J. To learn more about what JP is doing in the community or about his business, Rain for Rent, check out http://jplake.com/ and http://www.rainforrent.com/.

Chamber Singers and their fabulous Director

The BC Chamber Singers men performed for 800 high school and junior high boys at Real Men Sing this morning at Harvey Auditorium.

I found this on Jen Garrett’s Facebook page.  Just loved it.  Enjoy:

The district brings together the men and they work with a guest conductor each year. This year their guest conductor is Travis Rogers. We had the opportunity to start off their day. Some of our men also spoke about what singing in choir means to them and about people that have mentored them. I appreciated that our men donated their time to such a good cause.

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Gloria Urner

sonya-christian-gloria-urner-sep-22-2016I was at the Double Tree hotel heading in to do a presentation to the Hispanic Chamber and a woman stopped by to share with me that we, at BC are solving the world’s problems. We stuck up a lovely, but short conversation and it turns out that she is Gloria Urner, a retired PIO of KCCD who worked alongside Ed Simonsen when he was the Chancellor.

Thank you Gloria for the kind words, and THANK YOU Jay Tamsi and the Hispanic Chamber for your endorsement of Measure J! And thank you Jay Rosenlieb for co-presenting with me.  What an incredible afternoon!

Earlier in June, I made my first presentation to the Hispanic Chamber and this is included in my June 19th blog.  Check it out

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/06/19/we-are-bakersfield-and-we-are-bc/

Bakersfield Malayalee Association Onam Celebration

 

The Bakersfield Malayalee Association (BAMA) is a local Kerala based cultural association and a wonderful warm and friendly group that provides opportunities for our local Malayalees within the Bakersfield area to gather, communicate, interact, and celebrate with one another. It has grown incredibly over the past 20 years, as our city has flourished.

Onam was celebrated on September 13th and this special Harvest Festival is celebrated by the people of Kerala. The day, based on the Solar Calendar, is an ancient festival that still survives in modern times. It is one of the rarest festivals that is celebrated by a complete state, irrespective of religion, class, or creed. Wikipedia notes that

Kerala’s rice harvest festival and the Festival of Rain Flowers, which fall in the month of Chingam, celebrates the Asura King Mahabali’s annual visit from Patala (the underworld). Onam is unique since Mahabali (locally known as Maveli) has been revered by the people of Kerala. The King is so much attached to his kingdom that it is believed that he comes annually from the nether world to see his people living happily. It is in honour of King Mahabali that Onam is celebrated.

At our local celebration hosted by Bakersfield’s Malayalee Association, we shared traditional foods, dancing, and entertainment.  Bill Thomas was there to promote Measure J with this community.   Thank you to Congressman Bill Thomas, Zav Dadabhoy, and Kushnur Dadabhoy for attending this unique, special, and festive evening.  And thank you Shirley, President of BAMA for the invitation.

Prison University Project received the National Humanities Medal

On Thursday morning, President Obama awarded the 2015 National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal to distinguished recipients in the East Room of the White House. Jody Lewen, who is a strong advocate for the BC inmate education program, was on hand in person to accept the award presented to the Prison University Project by President Barack Obama. Jody previously sent an email recognizing this award includes everyone involved with this and similar efforts.

She said, “This award honors the extraordinary work of PUP faculty, students, friends, donors, staff, and everyone else who has worked tirelessly to make our work possible.  It also recognizes the entire community of people working throughout the country, to advance the cause of higher education in prison.  We are grateful for all of you.”

Check out these pictures, and for a video of President Obama’s comments, check out https://www.whitehouse.gov/live/president-obama-awards-2015-national-medals-arts-and-humanities

Congratulations to The Prison University Project! BC is proud to have such wonderful partners in education. We are grateful for you.

And thank you Rich McCrow, Brian Hirayama and others for your work on this!

Local Treasure: Coconut Joes

jemail-and-sonya-at-coconut-joes-sep-23-2016

Sonya Christian, Jermale Turner at Coconut Joes

So, on friday, I had lunch at Coconut Joes for the very first time.  Just a wonderful place.  Beach setting and great music.  I found myself humming to the various tunes.  I also enjoyed talked to the owner Joseph (Joe) Coughlin the owner of the restaurant who was having a great time doing what it takes to make his customers happy.  Greeting them on one hand and then wiping down tables on the other.  He is a community volunteer who works with Dr. Paula Parks on the ASTEP program at BC.  He spoke passionately about how they were trying to get bus passes for students who could not afford them.

I was so delighted when he took me to the office at the back and introduced me to a BC student Jermale Turner who works at Coconut Joes.  Here is a selfie with Jermale.

I love seeing the entrepreneurial spirit alive and well in Bakersfield.  And I love seeing how much our community cares about Bakersfield College.  Of course, Joe Coughlin promptly endorsed Measure J and the list of endorsees is above 400 and growing everyday.  #WeAreBC and #WeAreBakersfield.

For more on Coconut Joes check out: http://www.coconutjoes.com/home

BC Athletics this week:

Women’s soccer led by Coach Scott Dameron moves to 4-2-2 with a 3-1 road win over Glendale College.  Odalys Espinoza scored her 5th goal over the last three matches. Next match at home Tuesday Sept. 27th v. West LA.

Led by Alyssa Morales, BC women finished first at the BC invitational held at Kern County Soccer Park. You can catch more action on Friday September 30th when Coach Kelley and her teams compete in the Western State Conference prelims also held at the soccer park.

sep-2016Wrestling led by Coach Clark & Coach Austin had a good showing at the Mt. SAC Duals beating Santa Ana and Sierra College before dropping their last of match of the day to Palomar College.  Sophomore wrestler Andrew Binger from North High was the male athlete of the week on the Renegade Report this week for his strong performances this past week.

Coach Carl Ferreira with the road warrior Women’s Volleyball 7-7 are steadily making progress while competing with the best teams in Southern California. Let’s welcome them home on Friday September 30th when they take on Moorpark College.

September 30th will be a busy day in BC Athletics hosting Cross Country Prelims, Women’s Volleyball and Womens’ Soccer.  Come join us in supporting these tremendous student athletes.  Be sure to check out www.gogades.com for updates.

Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; Faith is the courage to dance to it today.

I came across a posting on Facebook by  BC Astronomy professor Nick Strobel, who said, “Sign in men’s restroom at a Thai food restaurant in Grants Pass, Oregon: ‘Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; Faith is the courage to dance to it today.’ The food was good too.”

The quote stood out to me and I was intrigued to check it out more and to find out its author. A few websites credited it to Peter Kuzmic, a Croatian pastor who tweeted the statement on his Twitter accountothers cited no author. Whoever the author may be has inspired me to be brave and seize the day. Today, let’s dance!

sonya-christian-ona-sep-17-2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — the luckiest and happiest College President ever.

(dressed for the Onam celebration with the Bakersfield Malayalee Association)

Daily Inspiration from all things BC!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Sunday, July 3rd and here I am blogging from Eugene, Oregon and thinking that it is truly a wonderful day to be a  Renegade.  

cropped sonya ken woody july 2 2016Apologies for the late blog post… I was travelling and taking care of work related activities and could not get to my Saturday morning ritual.  I did feel sorry missing my exercise class this weekend and instead made up with long walks by the Willamette with two of my favorites — Woody and Ken Murdoff.  Eugene at this time of the year is like a botanical garden with the trees a vibrant green and bursts of colors everywhere.  The daisies, in particular, were crowding the bike paths competing for space with lavenders.  A good friend told me about how spectacular the Willamette Valley is when the lavenders are in full bloom. The high temperature here is around 82 and the low 58.  Hence the sweatshirt for the morning walk.  Check out this 27-sec video of Woody fetching his tennis ball from the water.

Yesterday, July 2 2016, Elie Wiesel, A-7713 his number in Auschwitz, passed away at 87.  A survivor of the holocaust Wiesel was a prolific writer and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.  I was first introduced to him through his book Night.  A powerful story from a young boy who had it all and then lost it all.  Here is an excerpt.

Elie Wiesel with his mother and sisters

Elie Wiesel with his mother and sisters. Source: http://www.achievement.org

Men to the left! Women to the right!

Eight words spoken quietly, indifferently, without emotion. Eight short, simple words. … For a part of a second I glimpsed my mother and my sisters moving away to the right. Tzipora held Mother’s hand. I saw them disappear into the distance; my mother was stroking my sister’s fair hair …and I did not know that in that place, at that moment, I was parting from my mother and Tzipora forever.

So yesterday, carrying the words of Wiesel and the horrors we inflict on each other I was especially sensitive to all of the slightest movements and colors, subtle or bright, as I experienced the sheer beauty of nature in the Northwest part of this great country.  Talking about this great country, tomorrow is July 4th — Happy Independence Day all!

The NY Times has an in-depth article on Wiesel at http://tinyurl.com/jblvgf2

Now, back to BC…… I must say inspiration is all around us each and every day at the college. Often caught up in the business of life, the little things, can be missed and with that, sometimes we miss an opportunity for enormous inspiration, but this week was especially motivating. From the fantastic people who work with their minds and hearts at Bakersfield College, to the current and former students who are accomplishing things beyond their dreams, all the way to the nitty gritty of the hard work we’re doing at BC – It never ceases to motivate and inspire me to continue to do what I do.

PaulBeckworth

A Beckworth selfie

The first example of inspiration came to me on Monday afternoon. I received a fantastic text from Paul Beckworth.

I am in a Hawaiian shirt and jeans, in an air conditioned office, writing up veteran stuff, and getting ready to teach about the gold rush. And you pay me to do it! What a life! It’s a good time to be at BC!

This just reminds me that when you’re doing a job you love, it’s hardly feels like work at all. Our dedicated staff and faculty, bring so much passion to BC which inspires us all.

And then there was the email titled Out with the Old, In with the New that Tom Moran, long standing chair of the Foreign Language Department sent his staff as his farewell email.  Tom Moran, who has given his all to BC and our students and given his all to his family and loved ones.  Let’s toast Tom.

Here are excerpts from his July 1st email:

Dear Colleagues,

As has recently so often been the case, this email is a day late. Yesterday was my final day as chair of the Foreign Language Department. It has been my pleasure to serve in this capacity for the past seven years. It has been challenging, gratifying, fun, rewarding, often intense and always interesting. Each of you has been supportive of my efforts for which I will always be grateful, particularly this last year, which has been enormously challenging for my family. Together we have accomplished much: the Spanish ADT, uniform ASL curriculum, hiring more adjunct instructors, including five full- and part-time Deaf ASL instructors, several successful and on-time program reviews, numerous successful and on-time assessments, more, remodeled, and technology-enhanced classrooms, priority room scheduling, and a host of other projects and initiatives too numerous to list. The programs in our department have grown, improved, and expanded, and that is thanks to you.

I’m grateful to David Neville who threw his hat into the ring to serve as chair. I’m grateful to each of you for offering him your vote of confidence. I know that he will do a good job and I anticipate that you will support him in his new role. I intend to offer him the same support that he offered me, which was considerable.

I’m also immensely grateful to our dean, Manny, whose support of our department has been nothing short of steadfast. We’re so lucky to have him. I’m also grateful beyond words to Patt Davis for all her work—particularly with evaluations—and to my dear Camilla, who has always kept me on task and anticipated our needs, even when I was so frequently rolling off the rails. We’re tremendously fortunate to have our administrative support in FA-69: They’re the finest on campus. I want to thank Sonya for entrusting us with two new positions and to Nan and Manny for helping us to structure our new interpreter education program.

Had I sent this email yesterday, it would have been my final act as chair to offer you wonderful news: With the support of our president, we have been successful in hiring two, new full-time faculty members, bring our total FT pool to eight. What a great time to be in Foreign Language and what a great time to be at BC!

Both of our new hires will be familiar to you, as they have both served as adjunct instructors. Please allow me to formally introduce Jaclyn Krause, ASL, and Sara Palasch, Spanish. Jaclyn has been hired to spearhead our new sign language interpreting program. Sara has been hired to develop the infrastructure that will allow us to begin offering online courses in Spanish and our other disciplines.

This summer, I begin my fourteenth year at BC. It has been a busy one for me, teaching a summer course, participating in our writer’s bureau, serving on a hiring committee, revising curriculum, developing tests, and meeting with students. Although summer is a time for rest and rejuvenation, now is such an exciting time at BC that it’s a bit hard to stay away. Enjoy the remainder of your summers, and I look forward to seeing you all in the fall.

In Gratitude,

Tom Moran

And then on June 15th there was this wonderful piece written by Paula Parks published on the front page of the Bakersfield News Observer.  Here it is

Paula Parks in the News Observer.jpg

Then on Saturday, July 2nd, I get this excited message from Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg with a series of text messages that our year-long planning way-finding project is being implemented. See Photos below.

Nan’s txt:

Our new ‘way finding’ project. Finally ! Over a year in planning they are being installed. New maps also. Love the vintage Renegade Red. Let’s push this color this year. I am a happy Renegade 👍

There are several layers of excitement here. The first, gosh darn it, this project should have happened months ago.  Then there is the color.  Note that Nan does not say just Red, nor does she say just “Renegade Red” but rather “vintage Renegade Red.”  You have got to be in the room when Nan and David Koeth are together.  I swear they speak a different language altogether — the language of colors….the language of design.  And they can keep it up for a looooong time.  I must say that Kris Stallworth, Chair of the Art department, totally speaks this language as well.  He recently sent me this link to the Harvard Library of Color. Check it out.

http://www.fastcodesign.com/3058058/the-harvard-vault-that-protects-the-worlds-rarest-colors/8

You would think that things slow down at an academic institution in the summer.  This past week certainly did not reflect that.  Let me highlight just a few items.

Fire Technology Program

Last Saturday, June 25th, right after publishing my weekend blog and rushing to my exercise class I drove over to meet Tim Capehart, Director of BC’s Fire Tech Program, at the Kern County Fire Facility on Olive drive.  The whole field trip was a real treat and I so enjoyed getting to know Tim.

In light of the recent and tragic nearby fires, I couldn’t help by think about how many of these courageous men and women graduated from our Fire Technology Program. The program began in 1956 as a partnership between BC and the Bakersfield Fire Department. Students in the fire science program were hired as paid on-call firefighters by the city and earned $30 a month. They could sleep and study at the fire station south of the college on University, and performed routine station duties such as meal prep, mopping floors, making beds, fire prevention and suppression training.

Bakersfield FD and Kern County FD built a joint fire training center called “The Olive Drive Fire Training Facility” in 1984. Shortly after its completion, BC entered into an in-service agreement with both agencies. [Check out the logo in the picture above Tim Capehart and Mike Lencioni.  It embodies the collaboration between Bakersfield FD, Kern County FD and Bakersfield College].  In the years that followed, the program was run by some awesome coordinators including, Jacki Fisher, Ray Soto, Frank Ramos, and our current Director of Fire/EMS, Tim Capehart.

In 1993, the program produced 51,304 student contract hours and since our programs continue to expand and grow, over the past three years, our students have generated over 200,000 hours of training.

Training schedule June 25 2016 rotated

The students have a training schedule which is pretty intense. Here is a picture I quickly snapped as Mike Lencioni was reviewing the curriculum and training schedule with me.  We offer an AA Degree in Fire Technology, an AS Degree in Wildland Firefighting and an AS Degree in Paramedic studies. We also provide the accredited State Fire Marshal Firefighter 1 & 2 Academies. Both these academies run nine hours a day, forty hours a week, and include night and weekend academies. Both academies run for six months, and cover over 400 hours of training. The training is provided by city and county firefighters.

The academy is run in a para-military style very structured and requiring the students to be extremely disciplined. If students are not performing up to par, they may receive “gigs” and have to run up to the top of the six story tower and ring a bell.  Whew, I got exhausted just looking at the stairs in this tall tower [see picture with Tim and Mike] so can only imagine that this “gig” quickly disciplines these students.  My hats off to them!  The entire academy is intended to instill self-discipline and teamwork, which is essential when they are out working on real fire situations. The cadets are divided up into squads the first night of the academy. If one cadet messes up the whole squad gets the gig, so they learn quickly to help build up, or assist teach other in their squad. They always give 100%.

A program this large and successful could not happen without the support of our industry partners (Bakersfield Fire Chief, Doug Greener, and Kern County Fire Chief, Brian Marshal). Our fire technology advisory board is made up of two Chiefs from each department, they are Deputy Chief Tyler Hartley, Training Battalion Chief Trever Martinusen ‎ from the City, and Deputy Chief Benny Wofford, and Training Battalion Chief Derik Davis, from the Kern County Fire Department.  Vice President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Dean Cindy Collier, and Director of Fire/EMS Tim Capehart provide staffing support for the advisory committee.

PSmeeting

The picture above was taken when Tim, Nan and I presented to a group of stellar Public Safety individuals — Bakersfield Fire, Kern County Fire, Bakersfield Police Department, and Kern County Sheriff’s Office.  The conversation was about meeting future workforce needs and to see if we could collaborate to extend the dollar in meeting needs.  Specifically we were talking about facilities and how to leverage the resources to fund this vision for future generations.

With a heart full of gratitude, thanks to our local firefighters, especially with current fires so close to home, up near the mountains of Kernville. With more than 200 structures destroyed and 43,360 acres burned, our more than 1,700 firefighters work non-stop to keep us safe. Your courage, strength, and dedication is inspiring to everyone.

Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHHC)

The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHHC) Business Education Foundation is giving a “thumbs up” after one of our faculty, Sarah Baron presented “A Better BC,” which highlights our plans to improve our facilities for the future to address the growth in enrollment, the new expansion into baccalaureate programs as well as antiquated spaces. With several hundreds of members, the Chamber represents over 410,000 Hispanics, and is composed of a cross-section of professionals and business people, who in turn represent corporations as well as large and small businesses. The KCHHC is on a roll doing awesome things! BC can’t be more excited about the ongoing partnership and future opportunities that lie ahead.  Don’t forget to keep in touch with our plans to take care of our facilities by checking out the website at www.abetterbc.com

Business Ed Foundation June 2016

BC’s Blue Ribbon Committee:

BC’s Blue Ribbon Committee met this week on Tuesday, June 28th and members of the Blue Ribbon Committee attended and spoke at the Board of Trustees meeting on June 30th to discuss a potential 2016 bond measure.  The Board took the first of two steps to set the stage for the 2016 ballot.  July 14th will be the Board meeting when they will consider whether KCCD should go out for a measure. Mayor Harvey Hall is the Chair of the Blue Ribbon Committee and Congressman Bill Thomas the Senior Advisor.  Norma Rojas-Mora and Jay Rosenlieb co-chair the community connections group and Michael O’Doherty the Oversight and Accountability group.

California Guided Pathways Project

“As long as we keep asking, ‘Is it good for students?’ we will stay on the right track”
John Nixon, former Mt. SAC President

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, or keep up with Bakersfield College, you know we are among 3 community colleges in California participating in a national project designed to implement guided academic and career pathways at scale. The 3-year project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is led by the American Association of Community Colleges.

On June 29th, Bakersfield College hosted the first California Guided Pathways Project Planning Meeting funded by the College Futures Foundation at the LAX Marriott in Los Angeles. The convening connected national scholars, including Kay McClenney, Rob Johnstone, and Davis Jenkins, with California leaders including Brad Phillips in higher education in order to begin the crafting of a guided pathways initiative suited for California’s unique regulatory and social environment.

Representatives from Bakersfield College were joined by administrators and faculty from the two other participating California community colleges, Mt. San Antonio College and Irvine Valley College, as well as representatives from the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, Achieving the Dream, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), California Acceleration Project, California Community College Chancellor’s Office, Campaign for College Opportunity, Career Ladders Project, Community College Research Center, Educational Results Partnership, Foundation for California Community Colleges, Institute for Evidence Based Change, Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative, and the National Center for Inquiry & Improvement, Research & Planning (RP) Group.

The event was made possible through the generous support of the College Futures Foundation.  Thank you Shawn Whalen and College Futures.

IMG_3050

CSU Chancellor’s Office partners

We were so fortunate to have two CSU Chancellor’s Office representatives, Dawn Digrius and Ken O’Donnell, collaborate with us on this work.  It is partnerships like this that will be critical in ensuring success for our students across educational sectors and in alignment with industry needs.

Our website has more information on the dozens of partners committed to making this happen. In the days to follow, we will also add photos from the event, so be sure to check out:
https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/projects/ca-guided-pathways-planning

 Check out some of the quotes noted by Lesley Bonds:

  • In California, the barriers are common and known.  As we set the table for a project like this one, let’s go after them as a collective. –Irene Malmgren, VP of Instruction at Mt. San Antonio College
  • How do we ensure success for students through California’s current river delta of transfer pathways? –Craig Hayward, IVC
  • It is becoming more clear to me that we must create conditions so that students don’t have to be heroes in order to be successful –Rob Johnstone, Founder & Director of National Center for Inquiry & Improvement
  • As long as we keep asking, ‘Is it good for students?’ we will stay on the right track –John Nixon, former Mt. SAC president says he left behind a plaque with this question engraved for current president Bill Scroggins
  • It should be written on June 29, 2016 –in three years, California will be the model for transformation nationally – Sonya Christian
  • The manifestation of leadership is institutional organization.  In this work, we need organizational elegance –John Nixon, AACC and ATD Leadership Coach
  • This isn’t another project someone in an office on the south side of campus leads, this is an institutional transformation and will require broad and deep engagement from all –Bill Scroggins, Mt. SAC President

Thank you Lesley Bonds and Jessica Wojtysiak for working side-by-side with me to make this happen.

Lesley and Jessica June 29 2016

 

Jorge Santos

Kris4

This week, recent Bakersfield College graduate, Jorge Santos, led an 8-piece Latin Jazz ensemble at The Mark in downtown Bakersfield, paying tribute to the music of legendary Cuban saxophonist and composer, Paquito D’Rivera.

The band was composed of fellow BC alumni along with several local pros, and they played for a packed, enthusiastic crowd. Jorge, who is part of the first graduating class from our new Applied Music program, studied trumpet at BC with Kris Tiner and has played lead trumpet in the BC Jazz Ensemble for the past several years. He has quickly become one of the busiest musicians in town, working regularly with groups including La Marcha, the Mentorship Big Band, and his own combos. His concert was part of the ongoing Bakersfield Jazz Workshop series, which presents a different featured artist every Tuesday night at The Mark. Talk about inspiring!

sonya july 2 2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

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