Good morning Bakersfield from So. Cal. Came in late on Friday night and have a busy weekend ahead. Will try my best to chip away on my blog in between activities with the goal of publishing by the end of the day on Sunday. But I can’t promise anything.
Brought Neo along, which of course does not help with my resolution to publish this weekend……his first trip away from home. At 7 and 1/2 months, a friend said, “what a big boy”, which he certainly is.
It is cloudy in So. Cal. and everything appears to be beautiful…fresh air and bright colors. Life is good. Why would it not be when I am the president of the best higher education institution in the country. One with the majority population being first generation college students and the faculty and staff are top notch.
Talking about faculty, let me start with BC’s amazing choir Director. We have had a tradition of excellence with Joe Hustzi, Ron Kean and now the beautiful, brilliant and talented Jennifer Garrett.
Music of Living
Last Friday the Bakersfield College Choir and Chamber Singers conducted their first concert of the academic year. The program, which included a full range of music history, was named “The Music Of Living” by Dr. Jennifer Garrett because “music is part of how we live.”
In a Bakersfield Californian interview, she explained that, “[music] carries us through the challenging times in life and help us celebrate the good times,” and “music is how we truly express those emotions, opinions and memories that simply cannot be expressed through words alone.” I so agree with her….it is music, poetry and the sheer beauty of nature that have helped me in difficult times.
On Friday, the theater was full and the audience there to help celebrate the life of a young Renegade taken too soon in a tragic traffic accident this fall. The BC Choir and Chamber Singers dedicated the concert to one of their own, Jonathan Garcia. “Tank” to his friends, according to the program, “was a football player, a singer, a guitar player, a volunteer, a decorated member of the Junior ROTC, and most importantly, a son, a brother, and a friend to all who knew him.” While he was taken from this life before he could perform for the Choir, “Applied students remember him for the passion he expressed about music and the joy in his eyes as he talked with other students about playing guitar for Mariachi ensembles.”
Chamber Music Festival
On Monday last week the Panorama campus was filled with the Chamber Music Festival. Each year local high school chamber choirs (smaller and often elite choirs) and guest conductor participate by invitation. This year we brought in conductor and composer David Dickau (who went to Frontier High School & sang in the BC Choirs many years ago) from Minnesota. He was absolutely wonderful with the choirs and everyone learned a great deal. There are sessions where the choirs sit in the audience and go up in turn to perform 2 selections. Then the guest conductor works with each choir for approximately 12-15 minutes on stage as choir members in the audience watch and listen. Then Chamber Singers close each session by performing 2-3 pieces. This year the following schools participated: Bakersfield HS, Frontier, Foothill, East, West, North, Stockdale (bringing 2 choirs), and Centennial. Some of the schools decided to wait a year to come to the Festival as it is challenging to have repertoire ready so early in the year. We had a great turnout and the whole evening went smoothly. Thanks to the College Choir members who donated their time to make it all happen, and thank you Dr. Jennifer Garrett for organizing this each year for our community and future Renegades.
A Taste of BC
Last Saturday, our Performing Arts faculty and students partnered with our Culinary Arts faculty and students to create an unforgettable evening for 35 students from Standard Middle School. Starting with a tour of our Performing Arts Center, the middle school students got a ‘behind the scenes’ look at our Theatre and Music facilities.
They also enjoyed an incredible performance by BC students from our recent production of Hamlet, followed by a skit from Brian’s Beard (BC’s Improv Troupe). Our Theatre majors also taught the middle school students how to do improv. Very impressive! To top off the evening, the students enjoyed a fantastic meal in the Renegade Room by our Culinary Arts majors, and were entertained with dinner music by many of our Music majors.
Many thanks to Dr. Jen Garrett, Brian Sivesind, Chef Suzanne Tangeman, Kevin Ganger, Leslie Aldridge, and Kim Chin, along with our students from the Hamlet cast, 1984 cast, Brian’s Beard, Music majors, and Culinary Arts students for volunteering the time and talents to benefit our local middle school students (…and hopefully future Renegades!) And thank you Dr. Manny Mourtzanos for supporting and advancing this work.
Check out the amazing Mason!
Paul Meyer, District Superintendent of SMS sent this email.
To all involved-
On behalf of the students and staff at Standard Middle School, I wish to express my sincere thanks to the students and staff at Bakersfield College for volunteering their time to create a memorable night for my students. Manny, the experience was powerful for my students, and we appreciate the attention to the details that made everything come together so well Saturday night. Please share my gratitude with all who were involved at BC. Your staff was great to work with and the BC students seemed to enjoy it as much as my students did!
I also want to thank Morgan, Ira, and Jorge for your vision and leadership in helping to make this special night into a reality.
Last Saturday evening was a huge success, and I look forward to continuing this amazing partnership.
Standard School District
More Amazing Faculty
BC Faculty Awarded $100,000 Grant Visit Washington D.C.
Three BC Faculty members visited Washington D.C. this past week. Andrew Bond (English), Josh Ottum (Music and Performing Arts), and Oliver Rosales (History) attended a Project Director’s meeting hosted by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) at the Constitution Center just off Capitol Hill. Representing their project Energizing the Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the faculty spent an entire day meeting with NEH program officers, including NEH Acting Chairman Jon Parrish Peede, as well as with other current project directors from community colleges across the United States. Professors Ottum, Rosales, and Bond joined NEH’s Director of Congressional Affairs Tim Robison on Capitol Hill for several meetings with staffers from California Senators Kamala Harris and Diane Feinstein’s offices.
The trio also discussed Bakersfield College’s (KCCD) two current NEH grant projects (Energizing the Humanities and Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History) in person with Congressman David Valadao from the 21st District before spending time in House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office with staff member Trevor Smith.
Everyone the BC faculty members met with showed interest in and voiced their support for BC’s grant projects, and were impressed to learn that Bakersfield College is the only California community college to receive federal funds through the National Endowment for the Humanities this year.
Project Directors Bond, Ottum, and Rosales returned from D.C. ready to kick off the programming for Energizing the Humanities on November 30th at 7:00 PM with noted author and Bakersfield native Gerald Haslam (Professor Emeritus, Sonoma State) giving a public lecture at the Levan Center for the Humanities. Dr. Haslam will also lead a closed workshop with the Energizing the Humanities inaugural cohort of faculty fellows the following morning.
More information about the NEH Projects Energizing the Humanities and Digital Delano can be found here:
Last Home Game of the Season
It was great to see BC Renegades come out in full force Saturday night, our last home game, against Santa Monica which was a blowout. It was exciting to watch six different BC students make it into the end zone while our defense blocked all attempts on ours. I’m so proud of our Renegades they are 3 and 0 in conference and 7 and 1 overall with two more games to go.
And I’m always happy to see Manny De Los Santos working on the sidelines.
Here I am with Carlos Barbara and a great photo of Kimberly Bligh and Jerry Ludeke, and photos below with Janet Tarjan and Zav Dadabhoy —
colleagues out to support Renegade Football
HACU’s 31st Annual Conference
We had a large team from BC attend HACU’s (Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities) 31st Annual Conference this week. Thank you Corny Rodriguez, Dean of Instruction and MESA Director, Consuela (Connie) Gonzalez for sending me photos.
The conference provided a unique forum for networking and learning best practices, understanding and meeting the education needs of Hispanics. The conference allowed for BC professionals to:
- Hear about successful, effective programs and initiatives of HACU member institutions
- Expand partnerships and collaboration between HACU member institutions, public-and private-sector organizations
- Discuss policy issues affecting the education opportunities of Hispanics, including HACU’s legislative agenda
- Learn about Hispanic participation in scholarships, fellowships, internships and other such programs funded by private and government organizations
This important conference allowed Connie and BC representatives to create important partnerships and strengthen collaboration with the USDA Hispanic-Serving Institutions National Program, UC Davis, USDA/NRCS, and USDA Forest Service. Connie was able to secure a whole day dedicated to BC transfer students with Dr. Blas Guerrero, Director of the Chicano/Latino Recruitment Center, in collaboration with UC Davis’s MESA program. BC MESA students will be able to look at engineering labs and tour the campus. Connie is working with Manuel Rosas to include EOP&S students as well. Thank you Connie for your work and forging relationships to further our MESA students’ educational opportunities.
David Villarino and FIELD was represented at this national conference in a big way. Villarino is doing very important work among adults in rural communities to get them the required language and work skills to make them employable. Just great work. Here are several photos of the FIELD students as well as the FIELD dinner meeting with many of the colleges including Cerro Coso and CSUB.
This is definitely a picture of celebrities
Dinner with collaborating college officials
Our first Adult Education Sample a Course event was a tremendous success. The event was held on October 30th and we saw 30 attendees from Adult Education in collaboration with the Bakersfield Adult School and Migrant Education. The event, which will also occur November 16th, is designed to highlight our EMLS courses and connect Adult Learners to our Main Campus, giving them a direct insight into the college experience. Attendee experience included transportation to the BC campus from the Bakersfield Adult School Job Spot, lunch provided by the delicious Panorama Grill, BC and Program overview and campus tour. The highlight of this event was the classroom observation. Aimed to alleviate the fears and misconceptions of Adult Learners, potential students can sample an EMLS course.
Many thanks to all who helped make this event successful including Endee Grijalva, support from the Outreach team, Food Service, CTE, Bakersfield Adult School and Migrant Education. You all make BC great for our students and for our community. THANK YOU!
A beautiful magazine appeared on my desk on Tuesday afternoon sent to me by David Koeth. The November/December issue of Audiophile from KVPR/KPRX features artwork from our own BC student, Argenis Maciel. David said in an attached message that Development Director, Joe Garcia emailed him earlier this year and said that they wanted to feature artwork from a BC student so he had his Digital Illustration students work on ideas. The promotions director chose Argenis Maciel’s piece. Check out the photo of the beautiful cover.
On the morning of Halloween, Senator Jose Cortez hosted a Leadership Panel comprised of the SGA president and vice presidents and BC’s president and two vice presidents. It was a lot of fun and I am so proud of this series that Jose Cortez is leading. He had Senator Jean Fuller as the first speaker and Assemblyman Vince Fong as the second speaker.
Students learned about their student governments’ and administration’s roles in reducing hurdles in the path of student success, expanding our positive impact on the community, and the importance of the spirit of leadership, while enjoying some eggs and bacon prepared, as always, by our great Food Services crew.
It was a lot of fun being a panelist along with Zav Dadabhoy and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, as well as SGA President Dezi Von Manos and SGA Vice President Lawrence Salcido. Both Dezi and Lawrence were articulate about the Guided Pathways work. Just incredible!
I was happy to see several faculty, staff and administrators also attend the event. Snapped this picture with Earl Parsons who is usually the man behind the camera and then here is Marcelyn Allen, one of our new faculty who teaches in the ESL department, also teaches Japanese and helps out with Summer Bridge.
And loved these two pictures of Nan and Zav
Liz Rozell and I had great fun having lunch with Richard Chapman and Wayne Kress to learn about the Advance Kern Initiative. Imagine innovation thriving in our county where cultivating an entrepreneurial and creative mindsets is one of the products of our education. That was the main topic of conversation in addition to Stig Larson’s Girl With the Dragon Tatoo series. I am so proud of the work of KEDC and its leadership. I missed the company of the fabulous Cheryl Scott who is now leading the charge on promoting STEM education in Kern County. Thank you Richard, Wayne, and Cheryl for advancing Kern County.
Public Health Sciences Program Partnership with UCLA
BC students got the chance to learn more about BC’s newly-formed Public Health Sciences program and our partnership with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in the SGA Executive Boardroom on Monday.
Sarah Baron, Public Health Sciences faculty, got the opportunity to explain more about BC’s Public Health program, and several representatives from UCLA spoke in detail about the UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program [link to 2018 UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program Handout.pdf]. The UCLA training program is recruiting 50 students for a paid stipend to participate in an 8-week training program with structured workshops, field trips and leadership development in the public health field. UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program is held each summer. The application deadline for the summer 2018 program is January 31, 2018, and the application window opens in mid-November.
Pathway to Law School Program
What a way to start November! On Wednesday, BC had the privilege of hosting Leslie Cunningham, Executive Director of California Law, Inc (Cal-Law), which is the sponsoring organization of the statewide Pathway to Law School program. Ms. Cunningham affirmed BC’s ongoing position as a statewide leader in implementing this innovative program to support students in attaining a law degree.
Careers in Criminal Justice
On Wednesday, October 11, the BC Delano Campus hosted “Jobs in Justice: A Panel on Careers in Criminal Justice.” The guest employers were well-prepared and provided students with a wealth of information ranging from personal education, experiences, and their unique career paths to job specifics and seasoned career advice. The panel consisted of the following individuals:
- Mark DeRosia, Chief of Police – Delano Police Department
- Eddie Aguil– Community Service Officer- Delano Police Department
- Edwin Barahona, Assistant Court Supervisor – Kern County Superior Court
- Kathy Garcia, Deputy Probation Officer II – Kern County Probation Department, Investigations Unit
- Raquel Segura, Agent – Alcoholic Beverage Control
- Ana Ovando, Investigator – Kern County Public Defender
- Brittaney Pena, Office Technician – Kern Valley State Prison
- Salvador Hernandez, Assistant Government Program Analyst – Kern Valley State Prison
It is interesting to note that although only 36% of students indicated that the guest speaker’s topics related to their chosen career paths, 81% noted that they would attend future employer panels and 100% stated that the forum met or exceeded their expectations. This is a testimony to the breadth of the panelists’ knowledge and wisdom which they freely shared. Not only did they give the audience a thorough understanding of their particular role within their respective organizations, but they also provided an overview of various levels of employment in their respective fields and each organization’s goals. Furthermore, they imparted invaluable career advice: the value of and how to secure internships, the need to protect one’s image (employers check social media sites), the importance of being an upstanding citizen (after all, these are careers in criminal justice), and accepting the reality that a career is built (often one has to start at the bottom).
The panelists were exceptional but the event would never have gotten off the ground without the stellar work of Lupe Aguirre (CTE Job Development Specialist) and Kim Collins (BC Academic Liaison for Adult Education). Our special thanks to them, the panelists, and all who made this event possible. It’s exciting for us whose hearts are knit to BC Delano students that these types of events are becoming increasingly available on their campus. We are all about the students. We are BC!
In the News
Renegades were in the news again this week. Victoria Coffee was quoted by the Bakersfield Californian as an attendee at the Business Expo in Many at the Business Expo were looking for the reset button. She attended to get information to give to our BC students. She is quoted as saying “I wanted to get a better look into the business industry and see how we can strengthen our infrastructure for student success.” Thank you Victoria for going the extra mile for our students.
The Bakersfield Californian also did a nice piece about BC’s Men’s Basketball. In BC men’s basketball starts attempt at 3 conference titles in a row, Jon Mettus wrote about our 5 returners and their striving for the State Championship. Coach Hugh is optimistic for our chances of a “three-peat” for the WSC South Division title this season. Come out to the games this season and support our team all the way to the State Championship.
Emails Worth Sharing
Thank you Paul Beckworth for sharing this story with me! Paul’s email said, “PLEASE read this story that Matt Garrett found in the archives awhile back. A BC student turned soldier captured 12 Nazis thanks to his BC German professor! Can’t make this stuff up! It is a little hard to read but worth the effort.” Matt Garrett’s email “Capturing Nazis Like a Boss” included the following:
“We were holding a town cut off from our troops. The Eleventh Panzer Division attacked us and one of the tanks got a tread blown off about 15 yards from one position where we could not hit a man behind it or on the ground near it. It was giving us trouble so we got a ‘satchel charge’ (30 pounds of TNT in convenient carrying form). Being the demolition expert of the platoon, I was elected.
“To allow free use of my hands I laid my rifle down and went out to blow up the tank. When I got there I discovered nine Jerry infantrymen around the tank, concealed from my pals and with their rifles in position. They were as frightened as I was. I managed to stutter, ‘Weg werfen deine Waffen Komm hier mit Hande hoch’ oder sic warden tot gewesen.’ [Throw down your weapons. Come here with your hands raised or you will die] How they would die I didn’t know but they believed me. One said, ‘Nicht schessen,’ and I said, ‘Wir warden nicht schiessen.’ [We’ll not shoot] (Notice the we.) So they gave up.
“They’d have shot me if I hadn’t been quick with the lip—so maybe I learned something in school after all. But we’ll credit (BC German Professor) Miss Schafer for the capture.”
Precious picture of Jennifer Marden now Jennifer Serratt at her 2008 graduation
Our title V Director, Dr. Kimberly Bligh and Ed Advisor Isabel Cataneda in Washington DC for the Title V meeting.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever