Have you met Dr. Naina Patel? Well, she is a quiet force in our community promoting peace and wellbeing. I got to work alongside Naina last year as she she was coordinating the Gandhi celebrations here in Bakersfield. During these celebrations, we had the fortune of having Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Arun Gandhi speak to the students in our Early College Program in Delano. What a treat! Check this out in my October 5, 2019 blog titled – Live simply so others can simply live https://sonyachristianblog.com/2019/10/05/live-simply-so-others-can-simply-live/
Here is a 9:31-minute video from Opening Week where we unveiled the Peace Garden project. If you don’t have time to watch the whole video, then start at the 6:56 timestamp and hear the message from Dr. Naina Patel and the Gandhi committee.
Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, August 29, 2020…a great day to be a Renegade
Friends, let me introduce you to Abel Guzman, BC’s Exec Director of Rural Initiatives. You will see why he is a “20 under 40 to watch”.
Romeo Agbalog, Trustee for the Kern Community College District, wrote a great piece in the Bakersfield Californian highlighting the work the college has done to continue providing quality education to our students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the midst of widespread unemployment and economic austerity, now has never been a better time to enroll at Bakersfield College. While most of us are sheltered in place, we can take advantage of this time to upskill or chart a new career path to compete in tomorrow’s job market, or post-COVID-19 economy, and be able to do this all from the comfort and safety of your own home.”
Here is another poem from the fabulous Jack Hernandez:
He did not notice
his steps were less
a past tense,
then he heard
he was slowing
down to that pace
reserved for snails
and wobbling legs.
He rejected those words
even as young walkers
passed him as though
a sign stuck in place,
“slow” is a relative
term he thought,
philosophy giving him
the nudge he needed.
Panorama Creative Music Summit Goes Virtual
Presented by the Jazz Studies and Commercial Music programs at Bakersfield College, the Panorama Creative Music Summit is an annual showcase for acclaimed musicians, local performers, and BC faculty, students, and alumni performing original music and exploring a range of styles and creative approaches across the jazz-pop continuum.
Ordinarily the summit takes over our beloved Simonsen Performing Arts Center for a weeklong series of workshops and live concerts. This year, thanks to support from the Lydia Jennings Finlinson and Burns L. Finlinson Endowment of the Bakersfield College Foundation, the music summit is transitioning to an online format that will feature weekly live sessions with guest artists.
Each artist will give a 20-30 minute solo performance followed by an artist talk and Q&A with students. These sessions will be held on Zoom and broadcast free to the public via Facebook Live on the Bakersfield College Jazz Studies page.
Check out Blue Bayou performed by Josh Ottum and Kris Tiner for Opening Week.
#LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation
I am continuing to share videos from Bakersfield College’s #LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation productions from June. Today, I am wrapping up with the videos from the June 17th program.
Daron Mackey, Educational Advisor with Outreach & School Relations:
Traco Matthews, Social Pastor and Adjunct Professor:
Please visit the Bakersfield College website to see more videos, testimonials and resources from the #LightACandle project.
BC Foundation presents online newsletter
Did you catch the premiere issue of the Bakersfield College Foundation‘s new newsletter, Panorama?
This first issue includes a welcome from the Foundation’s new executive director, Cheryl Scott. Previously Cheryl served on the foundation’s board of directors for 7 years, and was also active in the Measure J campaign.
I also loved seeing the “Your BC Story” section of the Panorama newsletter. This issue featured Bob Meadows, Class of 1975. Bob wrote about his time writing for the Renegade Rip and how he met his wife Vicki at BC:
“I grew up at BC, I discovered my abilities at BC, I overcame challenged at BC, and I found love at BC. My life’s foundation was built at BC and has supported me ever since. Thank you Bakersfield College.”
“Your BC Story” will be a regular feature in the Panorama newsletter, and I am excited to hear from more of our proud alums. Those interested in sharing their stories can fill out the form on the Foundation website.
You can read the newsletter on the Bakersfield College Foundation’s website. Thank you Cheryl Scott and Heather Penella.
BC’s MESA Program in the news
Bakersfield College faculty and students recap the first week of virtual learning by Tyra Majors
#GoodTrouble: Celebrating the Life of John Lewis
This week, I am sharing two videos from Bakersfield College’s #GoodTrouble: Celebrating the Life of John Lewis production. These videos focus on Congressman Lewis’ political contributions.
R. Allen Bolar, BC Political Science Professor:
Michael Bowers, Vice President of Public Affairs & Government Relations at Centric Health California:
You can see all the videos from the #GoodTrouble production on the Bakersfield College website.
Opening Week 2020
This Thursday, we wrapped up our Opening Day celebration. This year’s celebration was virtual, and ended up spanning two weeks, with five days of productions.
I’d like to share my introductory remarks from Day 1 of the Opening Week festivities:
As you may know, this year the Bakersfield College Commencement celebration went virtual with a Special Televised Commencement Tribute broadcast on July 11, 2020 on KGET, Telemundo and steaming on Facebook.
Today, I’d like to share a few videos from that production.
There’s a Pathway for Everyone at Bakersfield College:
Health Sciences Program Spotlight:
Graduates Part 5:
Videos and photos from this year’s Commencement festivities, including the Early College celebration, can be found on the Bakersfield College website.
Spotted on Social Media
I wanted to share this heartwarming post from Jessie Ryan, executive vice president at The Campaign for College Opportunity:
Heart bursting: My daughter asked me to take her to Target tonight to use the allowance she had saved to buy some special school supplies – our first outing in weeks. Unfortunately, Target was closed due to a COVID case. Brooklyn was disappointed but as we drove home she saw an elderly homeless woman. Without thinking twice she produced her $20 bill and said, “Mother pull over and give it to her.” “Are you sure honey, that’s all your savings”. She didn’t hesitate, “Yes, she needs it more than me”
Endee Grijalva, Adult Education Program Manager for South Kern, modeled her new Bakersfield College mask (and fantastic Renegade Red hair!):
And in honor of National Dog Day this week, I’d like to share a few of the posts I caught from our Renegade family. Carlos Medina, Lesley Bonds, and Mindy Wilmot all shared pictures of their pets:
Throwing it back to the beginning of Renegade Athletics
We are just a few years short of the 100th anniversary of Renegade Athletics in the year 2022. Originally with just a football team founded in 1922, the department has grown to its current total of 20 men’s and women’s sports over the last century. In the process our Renegade athletic teams have captured a total of 184 team conference championships, 15 state championships and 10 national championships. In addition they have won countless individual conference and state championships in a variety of sports. Pictured above is the original 1922 Renegade football team (thanks to our fabulous BC Archives team). This makes our football program one of the oldest in the state!
Jon Baker finds success as an agent
I wanted to share this article from the Bakersfield Californian about Bakersfield native Jon Baker, who is a successful sports agent. Jon was a star athlete at both Foothill High School and Bakersfield College.
Renegade football runs deep in the Baker family – Jon’s father, William Baker was hired as the team’s official doctor in 1979.
And Jon has continued to assist the BC football team. R. Todd Littlejohn, who was hired as BC head football coach in January, is represented by Jon and said that Jon’s connections have been helpful to him in his new role.
“He can point out people to me that I need to get involved with. When you’re gone and you’ve been away for so long, your pool of people might get smaller.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever