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 quick jaunty 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:
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.
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:
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!
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. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 2, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.
Women in Leadership
To celebrate the kickoff of Women’s History Month at Bakersfield College, yesterday I hosted a panel discussion on Women in Leadership. California Senator Emeritus and Early College champion, Jean Fuller served as the guest moderator while four esteemed panelists shared their stories, accomplishments, challenges, and more. Thank you to guests Shannon Grove, Republican State Senator, 16th Senate District; Blanca Cavazos, Taft Union High School District Superintendent; Cynthia Giumarra, Local Attorney and minister; and Rosalina Rivera, Delano Union Elementary School District Superintendent for participating on the panel.
The fabulous Manny De Los Santos recorded the event and I hope to have many photos and videos for you in next week’s blog. Stay tuned!
One on One with Robert Price
On Wednesday afternoon, I enjoyed being a guest on One on One with Robert Price, @stubblebuzz . The Bakersfield Californian is a great resource for this community with engaged reporters, like Joseph Luiz who visits BC often and always ensures he has the right info to create the best report possible for the people in our community.
Thank you, Robert, for having me on the show to share with our community the latest on Measure J, BC Southwest, Early College, and education transforming the Central Valley.
Bakersfield College received the 2019 Diversity Champion Award from the California LAW Pathway for its excellence in building the Community College Pathway Program. The awardees were chosen at the California LAW Board of Directors meeting in November and winners were announced to the to the California State Bar and the CPA Advisory Council. Deans Corny Rodriguez and Manny Mourtzanos, and Pre-Law Advisory Council Member Yinka Glover accepted the award on behalf of BC at the Omni Hotel on February 22, 2019.
Bakersfield College is honored to receive the award. I would like to thank the California LAW Pathway for the recognition, as the Pathway to Law Program at BC was designed with innovation and creativity in mind in order to keep Bakersfield College Pathway Students engaged and inspired to achieve success in the law. Congrats to our Pathway to Law program and to our amazing prelaw team including Corny Rodriguez, Christian Zoller, Edward Borgens, Charles Kim, Marilynn Sanchez Avila, and Pearl Urena! I would like to recognize Foothill College President Thuy Nguyen for her statewide leadership in establishing this program.
Finally thank you to the Pathways to Law advisory committee chaired by David Torres. Thank you David for your unwavering commitment to Bakersfield College and our students. Here is the list of the committee members — Adeyinka Glover, Steven Katz, Jeannie Kraybill, Courtney Lewis, Cynthia Loo, James Maddox, Rebecca Murillo, Bathany Peak, Brett Price, H.A.Sala, Robert Tafoya, David Torres (Chair), Alekxia Torres-Stallings.
Celebrating Black History Month
In conjunction with the community organization Harlem and Beyond, Bakersfield College was honored to have Dr. James Chaffers, Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Michigan. Dr. chaffers was the Senior Design Juror for the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial statue in Washington, D.C. See the Bakersfield Californian Article: Bakersfield College celebrates Black History Month.
Gades Grub Grand Opening
Food Services celebrated the launch of the Gades Grub food trailer with a grand opening event in the Gym Huddle on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. The event featured a live DJ, free samples of some of the delicious food that Gades Grub has to offer, and other giveaway prizes. Students were eager to try some of the delectable options that will now be available to them from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Thursday.
BC at Startup Grind Global Conference
BC was represented by Professors Rudy Menjivar and Valerie Robinson at the Startup Grind’s Global Conference in Silicon Valley. This is for startups everywhere, especially the who’s who of the Silicon Valley startup scene. With more than 8,000 individuals, mostly entrepreneurs, venture capital investors, and professional service providers attending the two-day event, the conference provided an environment unlike anything else – a community coming together for invaluable education, connection, and inspiration. The event had a roster of world-class speakers and thousands of entrepreneurs looking to build relationships, and it was great to see that BC was well represented.
Culture of Power
On Valentine’s Day, Daniel Rios, a Ph.D. student in Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego and a BC graduate, shared his passion for researching communities of color in East Bakersfield with BC students and staff. Rios presented research at A Culture of Power: Race, Youth, Labor and Sound in East Bakersfield, 1966-1974, in the Levan Center. The event was organized by commercial music professor Joshua Ottum as part of the Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley grant.
Rios’ presentation began with an overview of race and labor relations in Bakersfield in the early-to-mid 20th Century. Communities of color in Bakersfield were locked into low socioeconomic status via discriminatory housing practices that persisted until the 1970s and forced into low-level employment as farm, sanitation and domestic workers. In 1966 and 1972, black, Chicano and Latino sanitation workers in Bakersfield went on strike to fight for unionization and protest unhealthy working conditions and the dehumanizing way they were treated by white property owners. Protesters were met with heavy resistance by police and organizations such as the White Citizens Council.
At this same time, an often-overlooked music scene was booming around dance halls frequented by communities of color across East Bakersfield. While many music historians have documented the local country music scene known as the Bakersfield Sound, the contributions of doo-wop, soul and R&B groups are rarely discussed in academic circles. Groups from Kern County such as the Paradons, the Montereys, and Little Ray Jimenez were recording Billboard Top 40 hits while performing in local venues such as Salon Juarez and Fraternity Hall.
The majority of the groups, such as The Original Souls, were multicultural, composed of a mixture of Filipinos, Latinos and blacks. In 1969, the Original Souls beat out country and psychedelic rock bands to win a Battle of the Bands competition at Lake Ming attended by approximately 4,000 people.
After Rios’ presentation, Johnny Gomez of the Paradons and Original Souls bassist Billy Haynes, who went on to perform with Tina Turner and Lou Rawls, performed a few songs in the Levan Center and talked about their history in what is commonly referred to as the East Bakersfield Sound. “There was a lot of oppression in our town back then,” Haynes said. “We made people feel proud of our community.”
Thank you Daniel Rios for sharing his important research on the intersection of labor relations and music in Kern County, as well as Joshua Ottum and the Energizing Humanities cohort for organizing this event and Reggie Williams for the use of the Levan Center.
The Girl who Smiled Beads: Clementine Wamariya
On Thursday, Distinguished Speaker Clementine Wamariya gave several speeches in the Levan Center, sharing the powerful story of traveling through 9 different countries as a refugee to escape the Rwandan genocide.
Wamariya read from her memoir The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After, which was written during a major crossroads in her life. She was several years removed from the traumatic experience of fleeing the genocide with her sister at the age of 6, living in refugee camps and illegally crossing borders to seek freedom in the United States before being reunited with her parents on an episode of “Oprah”. In 2014, she had returned to Rwanda to attend an event in a soccer stadium where the history of Rwanda and the genocide was being re-enacted and memorialized, and she was so triggered by the memories that the re-enactment brought out that she had to immediately leave and fly back to the United States. She listened to Nina Simone’s cover of “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles on repeat and cried the whole way home, and the message of that song inspired her to write her memoir.
“I had lived opposite lives,” Wamariya said. “I had everything and nothing. I could stay anywhere in the world, but I didn’t have a home.” She continued, “I felt like that song was burning me, but I realized that if I could bear the sun, and my people could bear working in the sun, that it could be a source of strength.”
Wamariya spent five years researching her life and past with an investigative journalist to write “The Girl Who Smiled Beads,” which became a New York Times bestseller upon its release in 2018. The book talks about the lessons that she learned as a young child from her mother, a devout Catholic who imparted the value of sharing everything, never taking more than what you need, and having reverence for fruits, plants and the Earth. To this day, Wamariya likes to ask the question, “What fruit are you?” The answer reveals a lot about where someone comes from and how they view themselves, and driving through the farms of the Central Valley helped her relate to this area as a place of sharing, where fruits and vegetables are spread across the world.
When the genocide happened, Wamariya went to live with her grandparents and eventually ended up in a refugee camp, where people had to wait in line to eat corn and walk six hours for water. When she eventually decided to flee and cross the first of 8 borders to escape the horrors of war, she thought that she would have to jump over a chasm in the ground to get from one country to the other. Instead, time and distance passed and she didn’t even realize that she was in another country. Borders aren’t even real,” Wamariya said with tears in her eyes. “The Earth is the only thing that’s real, and everything else is made up.”
Wamariya pleaded for attendees of her presentations to be motivated by joy and not by fear, for when someone is motivated by joy, they realize that they don’t have to take someone else’s joy to experience it for themselves, and they’ll never believe that they have to take someone’s life to maintain their joy.
Since her appearance on “Oprah” in 2006, Wamariya has gone on to receive a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Comparative Literature from Yale University and serves on the boards of Women for Women International and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Thank you Olivia Garcia, History Professor, for coordinating Clementine Wamariya’s visit as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series, and to the Office of Student Life, the BC African-American Initiative Committee and the BC Women’s History and Awareness Month (WHAM) Committee. See more events for Women’s History Month.
Faculty Diversification Meeting
The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges held the Spring 2019 Hiring Regionals at Bakersfield College on Thursday, February 21, 2019. Faculty diversity is a critical component in the support of student success, and each California community college has a responsibility to develop a workforce that reflects the diversity of its community and is best prepared to serve the college’s specific student populations. The event presented important considerations for faculty hiring, including ways to diversify and expand hiring pools and reshape search processes to focus on candidates who understand and are committed to our students.
Thank you Dr. Janet Fulks and Prof. Steven Holmes for bringing this statewide event to BC. Thank you Tarina Perry for coordinating the event with the graceful touch that is so you!
Eric Lord, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, therapist and adjunct instructor at CSUB, taught a program known as “Question, Persuade, Refer,” or QPR, which demonstrates how to recognize when someone may be suicidal, persuade them to seek help, and refer them to the proper authority that can save their life. Lord was invited to give the QPR presentation by the mental health interns at the Office of Student Life, who work closely with the Student Health and Wellness Center to assist students dealing with serious mental health issues.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death on college campuses, and 31 percent of college students have considered committing suicide, Lord said. These are preventable deaths, and all it takes is the courage and empathy to ask the right questions when students are suffering, help them realize that there are people who love them and want them to succeed, and help them find the resources they need to get their lives back, whether it’s a mental health professional, or in more extreme cases of suicidal ideation, law enforcement.
Lord compared being suicidal to being locked in a house that is on fire, and suicide appears to be the only doorway to escape. “When somebody wants to die and not be around anymore, there’s a lot that leads them to that moment,” Lord said. “If we can use the power of our words and our relationship to folks, we can open up another door.” Suicidal ideation is related to a number of systemic issues, such as the loss of a job, the ending of a relationship or the death of a loved one, and some ways to recognize that someone may want to commit suicide include recently acquiring a gun, putting personal affairs in order, chronic drug and alcohol abuse, or saying things like “I just can’t go on” or “I won’t be around much longer”.
It’s important that when you recognize some of these symptoms, you talk to the person in a blunt and direct, yet caring way. Don’t be afraid to use words like “death”, “kill”, and “suicide.” In the moment that you ask the question, make eye contact with them and say, “Have you thought about killing yourself?” or “Are you going to commit suicide?” Never phrase the question as, “You’re not going to commit suicide, are you?” because it makes the other person feel like you don’t actually care and they shouldn’t be honest with you.
When you find out that the person in question may want to end their life, persuade them that it’s not the answer and show them that you and others care and want them to live. Get other people in the individual’s life involved, such as family, friends, doctors, or clergy members. Then, refer them to a group such as BC’s Students of Concern Team or a mental health professional and follow up with them via a personal visit or phone call to establish a connection and ensure that they won’t be punished for seeking help. If you think that they won’t receive help and they’re going to follow through, contact Public Safety or law enforcement. You can find more information about suicide prevention from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and share their number 1-800-273-8255.
Thank you to the Office of Student Life’s mental health team for inviting Eric Lord to campus for this important professional development opportunity. Thank you Dr. Nicky Damania.
BCSGA Power Lunch with Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg
When Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg enrolled in college as a sociology major, she had no idea that she would embark upon a journey that would lead to being elected on the Board of Trustees for the Kern Community College District. But at every stop along the way of her 35-year career in education – whether it was as an art professor, a preschool teacher, or one of BC’s longest-serving administrators – Nan’s faith in her ability to prioritize and solve problems propelled her to success in every new endeavor to which she applied herself.
Nan spoke to BC students and staff in the Levan Center about her journey in education and her plans for the Board of Trustees during Monday’s Power Lunch organized by the Legislative Affairs Department of BCSGA. All three Vice Presidents and I were in attendance to hear from a woman that inspired all of us so immensely and continues to inspire us today.
While she has accomplished many things during her career, Nan says that her students have kept her humble and put things into perspective. The first accomplishment Nan has been able to celebrate during her short stint on the Board of Trustees was the approval of BC’s new Southwest Center to be constructed on the CSUB campus. “The part that made it so sweet was that I knew how much work that was done to make it happen,” Nan said.
While she has attended many Board of Trustee meetings as a BC administrator, it is surreal for her to be sitting at the other side of table and balancing the concerns of students, constituents and instructors, as well as her fellow board members, she said. However, she feels up to the task of continuing to be aware of everything happening in Kern County education in order to position the District to best serve Area 1 of the KCCD. “It’s not the paperwork that makes you get up every day,” Nan said. “It’s knowing that you’re going to do something that helps someone out.” She said, “That feels like a big deal to me most days.”
I’d like to thank Mustapha Barraj and BCSGA for organizing Monday’s Power Lunch. I know we’ll be hearing a lot more from Nan in the future.
Congratulations to Laura Luiz
The American Library Association (ALA) is recognizing BC reference librarian Laura Luiz for her outstanding contributions to student learning and community engagement with the BC Get Out The Vote program.
In a press release on Wednesday, ALA, in conjunction with the Association of College and Research Libraries, announced Luiz as the winner of the 2019 Community and Junior College Libraries Section EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Program Award, which includes a $750 award and a plaque that will be presented to Luiz at the ALA’s annual conference in Washington, DC.
Get Out the BC Vote was a campaign that helped BC students on the Panorama and Delano campus get registered to vote in the 2018 midterm elections. There were also workshops and online resources breaking down every candidate and initiative on the midterm ballot and helping students to properly discern fake news and disinformation.
ALA award chair Laura Mondt of Northern Essex Community College had effusive praise for Luiz and the Get Out the BC Vote campaign. “Laura Luiz’s efforts with Get Out The BC Vote allowed the library to connect with the Student Government Association to help students become informed voters and promote news literacy,” Mondt said.
Luiz and the library have plans to expand the Get Out the BC Vote program for the 2020 midterm and presidential elections.
I was fortunate to attend the Kern County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner on February 22, 2019, as the guest of Senator Jean Fuller. The featured keynote speaker was newly elected Congressman Dan Crenshaw who has an incredible story as a former Navy SEAL who lost his eye in an IED blast.
Last November, Dan also appeared on Saturday Night Live and bits of this skit were referenced last Friday evening. This is a “Must watch.”
It was great to see CSUB President, Lynnette Zelezny at the event, as well as KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog and his wife, Lilly. I unfortunately did not snap a picture of many of the community leaders who support education who were there — JP Lake, David Bynum, …..
On Tuesday, February 19, 2019, representatives from the US Army visited the BC campus to show off various military robotics technologies to students in the Renegade Food Court area.
Both KGET and KERO featured the US Army STEM Truck in its afternoon broadcasts, and soldiers demonstrated all of the innovative technology the Army uses to save lives every day.
Inside the truck, students could participate in a simulation of the Army’s Search and Rescue Automation Hardware, also known as SARAH, which uses aerial and ground drones to locate missing persons. Students also had the opportunity to check a drone created by the iRobot company for remotely disarming explosives. Above the iRobot drone, there were videos demonstrating various robotic prototypes developed in conjunction with Boston Dynamics, including the infamous “Big Dog” robot and another robot that can jump up stairs and run 28.3 miles per hour, which is slightly faster than Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man.
Thank you to the Army for inspiring our students to pursue careers in STEM, as well as everyone who worked to make their visit possible.
Wendale Davis Foundation 11th Annual Leadership Conference
The Wendale Davis Foundation is an intervention, prevention, mentoring foundation with a mission to educate, motivate, and rehabilitate at-risk youth. On Friday, February 22, 2019, a series of workshops were held at BC with topics such as HIV/AIDS Awareness, Gang Intervention, Life/Coping Skills, and more. It’s a great day any time BC invites young people to campus to learn and embrace a healthy and successful future.
Juvenile Justice Employers
The Criminal Justice, Public Health and the Career Education Department collaborated to host the first Juvenile Justice Employer Panel on February 27, 2019. The primary focus of this event was to inform students in the Public Safety Pathway, Public Health Science, Psychology and/or Sociology majors about the different career paths they can follow after completing their education. Each panelist discussed their role working on prevention and intervention with troubled youth and tools they use to reduce criminal behavior. With over 100 students and special guest, Ricardo De Hoyo a District Representative of Senator Melissa Hurtado, in attendance, employers answered questions related to educational background, past and current work experience and employer expectations.
Dean and Adah Gay Reading Room Refurbishment
If you haven’t been in the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library recently, check out the refurbished Dean and Adah Gay Reading Room. The Gay family created an endowment back in 2007 to help maintain the room but until recently the goals of this endowment were not fully realized. New chairs, lamps and plants have been added, plus additional electrical outlets to assist students in recharging their electronic devices.
David and Catherine Gay, Andreas, Emily (Gay) and Eva Dauner joined Kirk and Stacey Russell (Library), and Heather Pennella, Tom Gelder and Dana Heins-Gelder (Foundation) to rededicate the space last Saturday evening, February 23, 2019. The new furniture arrived last Friday just before noon and the students began enjoying it immediately.
From Earth to the Universe Planetarium Show
Last week Dr. Nick Strobel held one of his amazing planetarium presentations called From Earth to the Universe. Community Relations Manager Tamara Baker brought her parents to the event, excited to show off the beautiful William M Thomas Planetarium, which boasts the largest dome in all of the Central Valley! Tamara said that Dr. Strobel delved into the evening stars, and showed attendees how to identify different constellations and how to find true north. Tamara said that she and her family cannot wait to go star gazing up at their cabin. Thanks Dr. Strobel for always putting on such great and informational presentations for our local community!
Degree With a Guarantee
Near the end of last year, I participated in an interview with Gary Stern for an article focused on Degrees with a Guarantee at California Community Colleges. Check it out the Hispanic Outlook Article: Degree Guarantee.
Public Health Program in Case Study
Sarah Baron and BC’s Public Health Sciences program were featured in a case study published by the Community College Journal of Research and Practices. The report published on February 19, titled “Practical Lessons in Public Health Program Implementation: Perspectives from the Field,” was co-written by Baron and discusses the way BC’s program offers a health navigator certificate and a general transfer degree developed with support from the Society for Public Health Education. Our Public Health Sciences program is creating the next generation of advocates for healthy communities, and I’m confident that their work will make the San Joaquin Valley a happier, healthier places for thousands of people.
What has everyone a-twitter?
Trustee Romeo Agbalog appeared on the radio show Money Wise.
Speech Intramural Competition in Delano
Last Saturday, the BC Delano Campus hosted a speech intramural competition featuring Panorama and Delano students, as well as Arvin High and homeschooled Early College students.
There were close to 80 people in attendance for the speech intramural, which featured BC communication faculty and student judges evaluating students in a number of different speech competitions, including informative speech, persuasion, special topics, and impromptu speaking. Christine Cruz-Boone, a communication professor at BC and one of the judges for the event, said that Arvin High freshmen swept all top three places in the informative speech category, and homeschool student Samantha Craig earned second overall in impromptu speaking. Delano Campus student Itzel Hernandez won first place in the persuasion competition, and Panorama students Gloria Sanchez, Mandy Canada, and Lindsey Brackett also placed in various categories. The diverse group of BC participants got the opportunity to test out communication skills that they learned from BC instructors in a practical environment.
Abel Guzman, who attended the final round and awards ceremony of the competition, was impressed by the students who participated and compiled a series of emails about the intramural for entry in this week’s blog. As our Early College program continues to grow, I’m excited to see the ways that our Early College kids interact with the more traditional student population.
If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11a, check out the segments from this week’s show. This week’s highlights included segments with BC Men’s Tennis Head Coach, Noel Dalton and BC student athletes Conrad Dalton, Luis Aceves and Moses Jimenez.
Renegades of the Week
This week’s (2/17-2/23) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:
Kylee Fahy, Softball – Pitched 26 innings (1 no-hitter) with a .269 era, 41 strikeouts, six hits, one run, one earned run in helping softball go 4-0 for the week.
Tanner Lopes, Men’s Swimming – The only Renegade individual event winner at the Mt. SAC Invite last weekend, taking the 50 breaststroke and also getting two other top-ten finishes. He was part of two top six relays and was the highest scoring male swimmer from BC helping the men finish 6th overall.
Men’s and Women’s Basketball Post-Season Awards
Huge congratulations to our men’s and women’s basketball student athletes who received recognition from the Western State Conference. Renegade Men’s Basketball student athletes Anieus Medrano and Shahadah Camp were been named to the 2018-2019 Western State Conference All-Conference team. Marcus Jones was also recognized as the Co-Defensive MOP for the conference. Renegade Women’s Basketball student athletes Jasmyn Rodriguez, Dasia Wandick and Brianna Mendez were named to the 2018-2019 Western State Conference (WSC) All-Conference team. Congrats! And way to represent BC!
Roundup of Athletics Events this week
As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):
Good morning from Portland, OR ….yes, two months in a row.
Walking in downtown Portland, to get a bagel and coffee, with dawn breaking the air cool, crisp, and clean.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take,
but by the moments that take your breath away.
Another hectic week at the best community college in the nation. Let me start with the activity at our more recent outreach location, the BC campus int he southwest part of Bakersfield. BC has always offered general education courses in the southwest. However there is still significant unmet need. So due to persistent requests from the community, we have increased the number of courses we are offering in this location…the corner of Stockdale Highway and Buena Vista.
Yesterday, the BC team held an Express Enrollment event for students and residents in the southwest. Did you know Bakersfield College has morning, afternoon, evening, and weekend classes in 93311? Located across from Target on Stockdale Hwy in the Fresno Pacific building, BC has classrooms on the second floor which are able to hold up to 60 and 35 students.
Dezi Von Manos, BCSGA President said, “This is an awesome opportunity for my peers who still need to enroll in courses for this spring, especially if they are living or working in the south and northwest area, or if they need that one night or weekend course to catch up.”
It was exciting to see the photo of the BC balloon flying in the sky. Here is the view from the Target parking lot.
Back inside the building, students were assisted by staff and faculty from Outreach, Counseling, and Financial Aid to get enrolled into the classes they need. It was great to see Manny Mourtzanos on air sharing all the fantastic news surrounding BC SouthWest.
I am so proud that January has been the month of awards for BC’s Performing Arts. Both a Commercial Music student and two of our Music faculty received awards last month.
Sandy Feldstein and Eddie Garcia
Commercial Music student Heriberto (Eddie) Garcia was awarded the President’s Innovation Award from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). The award covered travel and attendance costs for Eddie to attend the NAMM annual convention in Anaheim, January 25-28. Having recently received his Certificate in Commercial Music from BC, Eddie was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet fellow students and potential employers in the music products industry. To the side is a photo of Eddie with Sandy Feldstein, legendary music publisher and music technologist.
Eddie was one of four students from California to receive the award. He was chosen from a pool of over 100 applicants, and was joined by students from national institutions such as Manhattan School of Music, University of Texas, and Berklee College of Music. Read about the event on the NAMM Foundation site.
On the heels of Eddie’s award, Dr. Josh Ottum and Dr. Jennifer Garrett received awards at the Kern County Music Educators Association’s annual “Grand Night for Music” on January 30, 2018, at the Rabobank Theater. Jennifer was awarded the honor as Choral Educator of the Year and Josh was awarded the honor as 2018 College/University Educator of the Year. Josh says he is “thrilled to have received this award and I take great pride in the development of the Commercial Music program at BC.”
The Kern County Music Educators Association (KCMEA) is an organization of music advocates and music educators from the local area that provide services to music educators and music students in Kern County. KCMEA offers workshops and professional development clinics to its members and holds various musical events. It is a true honor bestowed on our faculty from such an influential musical organization.
Congratulations to our talented faculty and student for their awards. This is recognition of the high caliber faculty and the rigorous supportive learning environment that we provide at BC.
My phone was burning up with text messages from friends with photos of John and Jen. Thank you Lauro and Arlene Braganza for supporting our music programs at Bakersfield College.
Do you have your tickets?
BC’s Chamber Singers are headed to perform in the Sydney Opera House with your support. Our choral music programs continue to amaze audiences right here at home and around the globe. From touring Europe in 1965 to Carnegie Hall in New York and again to Rome in 2015, we never quite know where our BC Chamber Singers are headed next – except for now! They’re headed to Sydney but still need your support to make it happen.
When the lights dim and the curtains open on this concert on March 10th, we are in for an experience of true local talent. Performances by Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger are not to be missed. Email me today to purchase your $100 ticket or two. Even if you are out of town, make that donation to help our students with the Sydney trip and an experience of a lifetime 🙂
Thank you to everyone who attended the Ron Saylor event. Thank you Tom Moran for sending me these great photos.
Here is the Facebook post from Jen Garrett
Thank you to magician Ron Saylor and his assistant Katie and all who came out tonight to support our “A Night of Magic” fundraiser. Everyone that came tonight had a great time and we appreciate all of the support to help us raise the last of our money for our Australia Tour to sing in the Sydney Opera House. We couldn’t do it without you. Our Broadway Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser is one month from tomorrow on March 3. You do NOT want to miss this! Tickets went on sale and are already going fast. Get your tickets by Valentine’s Day for a discount price of $15 and $20 after the 14th. No rest for the weary!
On January 28-29, members of the KCCD Leadership Academy, including four members from Bakersfield College, joined Chancellor Tom Burke, Vice Chancellor of Educational Services John Means, Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Tonya Davis, Cerro Coso President Jill Board, and BCSGA Senator James Tompkins in Sacramento for the Annual Legislative Conference sponsored by the Community College League of California.
BC contingent of the Leadership Academy. Pictured left to right: Mindy Wilmot, Michael McClenic, Heather Barajas, and Keith Ford.
The team attended breakout and general sessions that discussed the latest trends in higher education and how the current legislative proposals could affect our colleges. Presenters included chancellors, presidents, trustees, and other advocates for the community college system (including BC’s own Craig Hayward), while the Closing Keynote was delivered by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.
Back row (l-r): James Tompkins (BCSGA); Steven Alexander (DO); Chancellor Tom Burke; Keith Ford (BC); Stephanie Olmedo-Hinde (PC); Michael McClenic (BC); Mike Barrett (CC) Front row (l-r): President Jill Board (CC); Heather Barajas (BC); Cammie Ehret-Stevens (DO); Nikki Gardepe (CC); Mindy Wilmot (BC); Vice Chancellor, Human Resources Tonya Davis
The KCCD contingent was split into various teams on January 29 to conduct brief meetings advocating for our district with Assemblymen and Senators, or with members of their staffs, who represent the constituents in the district’s vast service area: Assemblymen Jay Obernolte – District 33, Frank Bigelow – District 5, Vince Fong – District 34, Devon Mathis – District 26, Tom Lackey – District 36, Rudy Salas – District 32, and Senators Andy Vidak – District 14, Tom Berryhill – District 8, Jean Fuller – District 16. Topics discussed included the proposed state budget, the Community College Promise, DACA Work Study, and the Baccalaureate Pilot Program. See more photos at BC’s Smugmug page.
On Friday, Debbie Martin, CFO of KCCD invited me to present to the Leadership Academy on a President’s approach to budgeting. This group of KCCD employees were engaged and had a lot of fun. Here is a group picture of the cohort with Debbie Martin.
State of the County
On Wednesday, January, 31, 2018 the County of Kern and the Kern Economic Development Corporation partnered to present the 20th Annual State of the County Dinner & Address at the DoubleTree Hotel to a sold-out crowd. County Supervisor, Mike Maggard, gave the keynote address and touched upon the various industries that make up Kern County’s economy and focused on the positive efforts being made county wide. Maggard noted that Bakersfield College is a driving force in helping students afford and realize their dreams of higher education.
Mike Maggard, Incoming Chair of the Kern County Board of Supervisors
James Burger of The Bakersfield Californian said BC was highlighted for its “record for helping offer a middle class life to disadvantaged students.” See the article here.
One highlight of the evening was the showing of a video covering the Inaugural Kern County STEMposium. The day-long STEMposium was the product of the Kern Economic Development Foundation and was held at Bakersfield College in May and was an opportunity for students to showcase their STEM related projects and connect them with local business representatives. Check out the video.
I loved seeing the BC Cheer Team on KGET promoting people to “Wear Red Tomorrow.” National Wear Red Day is a day in February when we wear red to show support for the awareness of heart disease. Thank you to Heather Foss and the BC Cheerleaders for sharing their BC spirit and love for Renegade Red with the community.
Black History Month Kick-Off
Black History month is here! To kick off the events and activities the Community Empowerment Organization Choir came to Bakersfield College to perform. The group performed a mixture of jazz and blues with incorporated gospel music. The band consisted of two singers, Marshelle Taylor and Savannah Andrews, pianist James Tyson, saxophonist Eugene Lothridge, and drummer Lamar Brooks.
The music from the band captivated BC students, staff, and faculty. The college Campus Center was filled with individuals enjoying the free music and learning about the upcoming events planned for Black History Month. It was also a great surprise to see the fabulous Steve Watkin on the news. Check it out here. And see the article at The Bakersfield Californian.
We gathered on Thursday to see the incredible Cindy Collier off with best wishes as she moves to the District Office as Vice Chancellor for Workforce and Economic Development. This is an exciting time for Cindy and for Kern Community College District.
When planning the event, the fantastic Stephanie Baltazar reached out to our own Chef Suzanne and Chef Alex who didn’t hesitate to jump on board. They coordinated the food, and students prepared the appetizers and desserts which were so fresh and beautiful. What an incredible contribution by the Culinary Program at BC.
Anita Karr, Executive Secretary, brought a personal touch to the display table with a custom cake to highlight the legacy Cindy leaves behind. Of course, we cannot forget Manny and the wonderful video he put together, after being tasked with capturing the live shots.
And a final thanks to Jennifer Johnson, the staff and student employees of the CTE department, Tony Cordova and Liz Rozell for contributing to make the event a memorable one.
Panorama Invitational 2018
Nan and I walked over to the Wylie and Louise May Jones Gallery after the Foundation Board of Directors meeting on Thursday. As we walked into the galley we were greeted in a warm professional manner by a student Crystal who was graceful and attentive to every detail in the gallery. It was wonderful seeing the proud faculty who put in hours to get a show ready for the public. Here you see photos I snapped of Nan with Jeff Huston, Ronnie Wrest, and Jamee Eaton.
The Panorama Invitational has been an annual event for over 15 years, here at Bakersfield College. It showcases the artwork of Kern County high school students. The art show has a variety of artfrom students in grades 9-12 showcasing a wonderful range of 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional and multimedia pieces.
Before the show, BC Faculty Jeff Huston and Ronnie West were super excited to be a part of this annual event and shared how proud they are of these students who were selected to be in the show. They both mentioned that they remembered their own first shows, when their art was selected to be displayed at an event, and how excited they were. They were delighted to pay it forward and possibly give these students a pathway to a career in Art.
Luis Ramirez and his daughter, Vanessa Ramirez
On Thursday February 1st 2018, we had an amazing turn out with family and friends, admiring the exhibition with marvelous works of art from our local community high school students. We also had the pleasure of meeting the proud father of a local art student from Centennial High School, Vanessa Ramirez. She painted a portrait of her father, Luis Ramirez,Vietnam veteran from the 1969 infantry division — he was so proud of his daughter. Also present was Arlene Leyva from South High School whose art was shown at the exhibition. I was so thrilled to see all these talented students from our great community and sharing their work with us.
BC Student Brayden M.
I would like to say thank you to all the students for their works of art that they shared with us, with a special thank you to our BC Faculty Jeff Huston and Ronnie West for putting on such a wonderful exhibition. The Annual Panorama Invitational at Bakersfield College is a treat for the community and inspires these young artists.
Nick Strobel tracking “totality” on the Parnorama bluffs. His post on Facebook
Total lunar eclipse this morning. Pics start at 4:11 am before totality and end at 6:17 am after totality. The previous “super blue blood moon” triple header like this happened in 1866.
I loved this photo that Manny de Los Santos snapped of the current Vice President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and the incoming Vice President Liz Rozell.
And I was happy to see Monica Hyuck on campus as Nan and I were walking to our cars from the Art Show. So I snapped this picture of Nan with Monica and Bradley Cramer.
Earlier this week I had breakfast with my daughter and she made me a bitmoji. I tried to find one with bangs and a braid, but could not. So for you youngsters, Nicky Damania and Lesley Bonds, here I come…
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, December 1, 2017 and a fabulous day to be a Renegade. Why would it not be, when I wake up and see Dr. Nick Strobel’s stargazing piece in the Californian. Here is the opener as a teaser for you to read more The Bakersfield Californian.
On Thursday night, the faculty cohort for our National Endowment of the Humanities grant including Andrew Bond, Oliver Rosales and Josh Ottum hosted local author Gerald Haslam to talk about how he is able to tap into the energy of the Central Valley in his work.
Andrew Bond was teaching in Arvin and he and his students were watching the live stream from their classroom. How cool is that!
Oliver Rosales read Andrew’s write up
When we first began writing this grant, we decided that we wanted to focus on programming that put the Central Valley, its cultures, and its people at the fore. Drawing on our respective backgrounds in literature, history, and music, Oliver Rosales, Josh Ottum, and I put together a roster of scholars and authors whose work represents and examines the diverse yet interconnected cultures of the southern San Joaquin Valley. We are honored to have Dr. Gerald Haslam as our first speaker because his life and his work best embody the diversity of the region and the interdisciplinary nature of our grant program. A native of Oildale, Gerald Haslam grew up in the Bakersfield area in a family that is “culturally braided,” rooted in a mix of Hispanic and European heritages that were taught to him through family stories. As an author, he has written biographies, autobiographies, short stories, novels, and essays that cover a wide range of topics, but the majority share the common thread of being based in, or somehow connected to, the home he knew in this region. His interdisciplinary curiosity has produced books like Workin’ Man’s Blues, a historical study of California country music that looks to the Bakersfield Sound for its inspiration while staying rooted in love of writing and storytelling. It is the connections that he makes between the importance of place, narrative, and history that, from our perspectives, made him an ideal candidate to inaugurate our grant programming. We are happy, then, to introduce to you Dr. Gerald Haslam.
During the evening, Haslam, who grew up in post-World War II Oildale, talked about his slow but steady evolution as a writer in the 50s and 60s. After briefly attending Bakersfield College, Haslam worked as a military journalist and roughneck before getting a teaching position at Sonoma State University, where he was able to hone his craft, using the Central Valley as the thread that would weave the tapestry of his award-winning novels, essays and biographies. While many of his contemporaries saw Central California as boring and uncultured, Haslam recognized the potential of the Valley as a literary setting.
“It seemed crazy to me that educated people in California or elsewhere should know so little about this remarkable place,” Haslam said. “This place had never been empty.”
In Haslam’s time, the literary, historical and cultural contributions of the Central Valley were not even being taught in Kern County schools, but through his work and the writing of Joan Didion, Maxine Hong Kingston and others, as well as the elusively complex songwriting of Merle Haggard and other members of the Bakersfield sound, that history started getting recognized.
Haslam had some very useful advice about the value of perseverance in order to become an established writer, using his own struggles as a reference. “I failed many, many, many times,” Haslam said. “I started communicating with other writers on the backs of rejection letters. Don’t quit, learn from the mistakes, and learn if the mistakes are really mistakes,” he added.
Haslam’s connection to Oildale and the Central Valley made him one of the first contributors that members of the “Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley” cohort looked to as an important voice for their project.
“It is the connections he makes between the importance of place, narrative and history, that from our perspective as faculty, make him an ideal candidate to inaugurate our programming,” Oliver Rosales said.
I’d like to thank Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, Josh Ottum, Jack Hernandez for organizing the event, and I’m looking forward to more developments on the Digital Delano project and all of the other work that the group has planned.
Thank you to Manny De Los Santos who also helped with the evening. Here is Manny in action.
Gerald Haslam, Manny de Los Santos
Chicano/Latino Community Leader Breakfast
Kern County leaders from government representatives, philanthropists, industry, and education came together at the Fireside Room on Thursday morning to hear about what BC and the community is doing to support our Latino community.
Corny Rodriguez opened by welcoming everyone to the event, recounting his work over the last 20 years to support and expand our Latino student body. I have to share a photo straight from the presentation that shows Corny then and now.
We discussed BC’s focus on meeting students where they are through high school outreach, rural initiatives, outreach efforts in Arvin, Delano, McFarland, Shafter, and more. Our goal is to keep students on the path once they arrive through co-curricular activities, programs, and unique completion communities. We want long term sucess through industry advisory boards and through strengthening community partnerships.
Student representatives Dezi Von Manos and Emmanuel Limaco from BC’s M.E.Ch.A and Tania Bernal from Latinos Unidos por Educacion (LUPE) spoke briefly about their organizations
Dezi Von Manos, Emmanuel Limaco
Victor Diaz moderated a panel about expanding education and job opportunities for Latinos in Kern County with Beatris Espericueta, Kern County Farm Bureau, Jorge Barrientos, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Russell Judd, Kern Medical Center.
We also had three elected official address the audience.
Mayor Jose Gurrola
Mayor Kathy Prout
Thank you Lauren Skidmore, field representative for Vince Fong and Ariana Joven, field representative for David Valadao.
It was a treat walking into the Fireside Room in the morning prior to the event and hear Zach Quiroz playing on the piano. Just beautiful.
The BC Library and Student Health Center partnered to present their third biannual De-Stress Fest this week before finals. The goal of this pre-finals event is to provide students with a space to take a break from their academic stress through calming activities, and to give them access to the mental health resources they have available to them at BC and in the Bakersfield community.
De-Stress events started on Monday with a visit from the Miracle Mutts therapy dogs to the library lobby, and continued throughout the week with puzzles and yoga in the library.
The final event was a large De-Stress Fest at the Renegade Crossroads, put together by the Student Health Center. Here, different health and mental health resources at BC and the Bakersfield community came together with information such as suicide prevention and HIV testing, as well as free massages from the Milan Institute and coloring with librarians.
Thank you to Faith Bradham , Raymond Purcell, and Debra Strong at the Student Health Center for brainstorming and planning these events and SGA for creating the flyer and promotions.
Future Renegades Visit BC for Field Trip
We welcomed some special guests to campus this week. Second Graders from Centennial Elementary in the Rosedale Union School District were at “Harvard on the Hill” visiting our Planetarium for their class field trip. The group was too large to all fit in the planetarium at once, so they split up in two groups. While one group was experiencing the planetarium show, the other group was given a tour of the campus.
I heard a few of the kids even said that it was “The best field trip ever!!” Coach Carl Dean led one of the tours and I ran into the group right outside the Administration Building. Coach Dean explained that I was “like their Principal” for us here at BC. After the exciting day, Coach Dean also let me know that everyone on campus throughout the different buildings and departments were amazing and very enthusiastic about the 2nd graders being on campus!!! Thank you to everyone who welcomed them to our place of hope, dreams, and education. Here’s to our future generation of Renegades!!!!
Bryon Schaefer at North High Basketball Game
KHSD Superintendent, Bryon Schaefer took this picture and texted it to me when he was at the North High Basketball game. While at the game, he took a selfie with BC Softball Coach and North High alumni, Casey Goodman. She returns to cheer on her alma mater and join the festivities of the opening of Lloyd Williams Court. Coach Goodman was a stellar athlete at North High playing basketball and ultimately received a scholarship to University of Louisiana-Monroe to play softball. Coach Goodman’s roots are in Bakersfield and she is proud to return home.
Rudy Salas on Campus
On Monday, BCSGA hosted the Power Lunch with Assemblymember Rudy Salas where he encouraged students to get involved with their community and work toward a better brighter future. SGA President, Dezi Von Manos and SGA Director of Legislative Affairs, Jose Cortez opened the morning and posted a great photo on Instagram.
It was great to see the post on twitter as well from @Rudysalasjr.
Our Professional Resource Team (PRT) arrived for their second visit on Wednesday, 11/29, full of enthusiasm, helpful advice, and praise for BC’s Institutional Effectiveness Improvement Plan. The plan focuses on integrating Canvas and eLumen in order to streamline faculty workload and increase the value of student learning outcomes assessment. After a two-hour meeting, the PRT approved BC’s plan and cleared the way for the release of $200,000 in funding from the Institutional Effective Partnership Initiative (IEPI).
From left to right in the photo above is:
Craig Hayward, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness
Di Hoffman, Co-Chair of the Assessment Committee/Allied Health
Bill Moseley, Dean of Academic Technology, Co-Chair of the Assessment Committee
Kevin Walthers PRT lead, President, Allan Hancock
President Sonya Christian
Rebecca Eikey, Academic Senate President/Chemistry, College of the Canyons
Rick Fillman, Director of Institutional Research (ret.), CCSF
Paul Hert, Program Review & Assessment Coordinator/Math, Mt. San Jacinto College
On December 1st, the Accreditation team held the fourth accreditation forum in the Fireside Room. The forum focused upon Standard IV, which focuses on leadership. The forum was sponsored by our own College Council, and the forum was also zoomed to our Delano campus.
Professor Jason Stratton, the faculty lead of the ISER team, welcomed the guests and discussed Standard IV.A. Professor Stratton emphasized the terminology of the “institution,” which includes the incorporation of voices from the college’s different constituent groups. Our history professor emphasized the democratic nature of our campus-wide dialogues, transparency, and openness, and our ongoing promotion of the inclusion of voices. Jason closed with a powerful idea: accreditation reflects the values of education.
Lesley Bonds and Krista Moreland presented their work on Standard VI B, which focuses on the Bakersfield College CEO! Standard IV.B. 3 requires the CEO to guide “institutional improvement of the teaching and learning environment’ and Professor Moreland emphasized the establishment of procedures to evaluate overall institutional planning and implementation efforts to achieve the mission of the institution.
Steven Holmes, our Academic Senate President, and Zav Dadabhoy, Vice President of Student Affairs, discussed their work on Standard IV.C, and Dr. Nick Strobel, professor of astronomy and editor of our ISER report, then joined Zav to discuss the draft of Standard IV.D, which deals with multi-college districts.
Jason Stratton closed with a paraphrase of Winston Churchill: “This isn’t the end, or the beginning, but this is the end of the beginning.” Accreditation is supposed to be a continuous process, and as we move into the Spring, we will shift our focus from the collection of evidence to the refinement of our story within the ISER.
Shafter Christmas Parade
Thank you Steve Watkin, Ashlea Ward, Debi Andreson and all the outreach staff for organizing the BC presence at the Shafter Christmas Parade. It was a lot of fun even though I did not have my walking shoes. The Shafter crowd was very responsive to BC as we walked along chanting “We are BC.”
It was a treat when we heard and then saw Danny Morrison of the NEW 103.9 The Beat – “The Beat of Bakersfield.” Danny is a big believer in education and a supporter of what we do at Bakersfield College. When we passed him he certainly was effusive in recognizing BC. Thank you Danny. And I love your email signature tagline “Don’t wait for opportunity… Create it.”
Thank you to all of the BC employees who showed up for this event on a Friday night.
Thank you Abel Guzman and the Delano and Rural Initiatives gang. Thank you Heather Pennela for bring there and representing the BC Foundation. Thank you to Financial Aid to coming out. Here I am with Kevin Ott and Victoria Koiyan.
Sonya Christian, Kevin Ott
Sonya Christian, Victoria
Thank you students Emmanuel Limaco and Christian Bravo who were there in the Renegade Knight outfit. And the fabulous June Charles whom I love very much.
Emmanuel Limaco, June Charles, Christian Bravo
Thank you to our cheerleaders who were there.
Thank you all who took the time to come out. We are BC!
CA Guided Pathways Institute 2 in Bakersfield
We hosted the statewide CA Guided Pathways Institute 2 at the Bakersfield Marriott. It was a treat seeing colleagues from all across the state converge in Bakersfield.
Kay McClenney, Sonya Christian, Laura Hope, Janet Fulks
And thank you Shawn Whalen of the College Futures Foundation for advancing higher education attainment levels in California.
Our students were the opening speakers as they presented Guided Pathways from a student’s perspective. The audience jumped to their feet in a standing ovation when they were done. I’m so proud of our students!
We also had Manny Mourtzanos, dean of instruction, and Eleanora Hicks, faculty member and data coach, present right before the students.
Dr. Manny Mourtzanos
In addition, Dr. Janet Fulks, Dr. Craig Hayward, and I did various presentations.
We Are BC!
From Social Media:
Loved this post from Nick Strobel.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, November 18, 2017….a great day to be a Renegade.
I often say it’s an exciting time to be at BC and it’s true. I mentioned in last weekend’s blog that Bakersfield College is bringing higher education to Shafter and at our Express Enrollment event this week, it was great to see the excitement and activity in the Shafter area. Over the past three years, BC has remained focused on the strategic goal of bringing higher education into the communities of Delano, Shafter, Wasco, McFarland, Lamont, and Arvin. We look forward to expanding courses offered in Shafter so that students can complete all or a significant part of their degree locally and I know this will directly benefit our students.
Students registering for classes in Shafter
Some of the comments heard throughout the day included:
“I don’t also have access to a car to drive to school, so I sometimes miss class or miss office hours. I could be a better student in Shafter.”
“This would be great! I could save money and focus more on my school work so that I can start my career.”
“I have been taking classes online, but would rather take them in person. “
BC Express Enrollment in Shafter, CA!
Thank you to all who have believed in this goal and have worked hard to make BC in Shafter a success. Thank you Steve Watkin, Abel Guzman, Rich McCrow, David Franz, Ashlea Ward, Victor Crosthwaite, Lovejot Chahal, Mark Osea, Dinorah Castro, Jesus Oropeza, Jessica Garcia, and Monika Scott.
Thank you to our KCCD Board of Trustees for supporting these goals and thank you to our media partners for highlighting our event on KGET and at The Bakersfield Californian.
Mark Osea giving a presentation Tuesday morning in Shafter.
Abel Guzman, Director of Rural Initiatives watching Mark Osea present
Let’s listen to Jessica a young woman who came in toe register
From Shafter Learning Center Facebook post
Season of Giving
One of my favorite things about the holiday season is the spirit of giving; a spirit which is alive and true in our community. As I look forward to celebrating thanksgiving next week, I’m almost overwhelmed by the list of things to be thankful for… family, friends, opportunities, blessings, each and every day… I couldn’t list everything.
But, I’d like to spotlight one service on campus which gives all year long, thanks to the kind donations from our community, and this holiday season if you’d like to make a donation of some non-perishable goods, they will go to students in need.
Student Life delivering food to the pantry
The Renegade Pantry is a student assistance program which aims to help students in need, with nonperishable food, clothing, and hygiene items. Each year, they hold a Holiday Turkey Drawing, and over the past week, 93 turkeys have been distributed to students who signed up and were chosen through the drawing.
The pantry, however is always accepting non-perishable goods like instant noodles, spaghetti, rice, beans, canned chicken, mac and cheese, etc. If you’re considering a donation to a local food pantry over the holidays, consider donating dry nonperishable goods or hygiene items, such as soaps, toothpaste, and toothbrushes to the Renegade Pantry.
This heartfelt season of giving is truly something to be thankful for.
And thank you to BC’s Child Development Center for donating goods to our veterans on the heels of our weeklong Veterans celebration which I covered in last week’s blog, “Celebrating Veterans All Week Long!”
Donation from Child Development Center to our Veterans accepted by Paul Beckworth
Cafecito Time with Prez Dez
I’m so proud of BC’s Student Government Association led by this year’s President, Dezi Von Manos. SGA is always looking for ways to support the student body and regularly hosts events where students can come together and speak to the administration of the school. Examples of these events are “Coffee with the Chief” or like this past Monday, “Cafecito Time with Prez Dez” where students could directly speak to the Dezi and the SGA team.
Dezi spoke of how the SGA is always available to lend support and help assist students through their academic studies but also in life itsself.
Pictured in the group photo below is Jose Manuel McIntyre Cortez, Rayven Acosta-Webb, Dezi Von Manos, Jose Eduardo Lopez, and Mustafa Barraj.
Randy Rutledge and Sonya Christian
I recently had the opportunity to meet Randy Rutledge, a Taft College graduate who played on the 1984 national championship winning football team before transferring to the University of Oregon and getting to be a Rose Bowl MVP. Randy relished the opportunity to tell me how they “smashed the Renegades” during their championship-winning season.
Taft College hasn’t had a football program for over 20 years, but their rivalry with BC was one of the best in junior college sports, serving as the inspiration for the 1986 film “The Best of Times” starring Robin Williams and Kurt Russell. In the film, Robin Williams is a former Taft College receiver obsessed with the worst moment of his life – dropping a pass in the 1972 game between Taft and BC. Thirteen years later, he convinces Kurt Russell, his Taft quarterback, to help him re-stage the game.
I also got to visit with Dennis McCall who was a journalist with the Taft Midway Driller and later became a faculty member at Taft College. Dennis now volunteers at the Oil Museum at Taft that is open 3 days a week Thursday through Saturday and half a day in Sunday. I promised him that I would go check out the museum. In fact when I dropped by Senator Jean Fuller’s Thanksgiving Open House, her husband Russell was very complimentary about the Museum saying that it is a ” must visit” location. I had a wonderful time visiting with both Dennis and his wife Jan. I was Googling Dennis and came across this July 22, 2015 article in the Midway Driller. It is a fun read! http://www.taftmidwaydriller.com/article/20150722/news/150729902
The BC Wrestling team won the SCWA Southeast Conference championship last weekend, with five champions and two runners up. Our coaching staff were also winners of the Head Coach of the Year and Assistant Coach of the Year awards.
Team Results: 1) Bakersfield College – 147 points
2) West Hills College – 137 points
3) Cuesta College – 107.5 points
4) Moorpark College- 49 points
5) East LA College – 39.5 points
6) Victor Valley College- 13 points
The Renegades used a strong second half to pull away from Santa Barbara and secure a 89-65 victory. Four BC players scored in double-figures. Tucker Eenigenburg (22 points and 7rebounds), Jaylunn English (15 points and 9 rebounds), Henry Galinato (13 points and 9 rebounds) and Johnathan Murray, who led the Renegades with 5 assists, added 12 points and 7 rebounds. (from gogades.com)
The BC women’s soccer team finishes the regular season, with a 1-0 victory over Victor Valley, on Friday. Ashley Quintanilla scored for the Renegades, her fisrt goal of the season and Taylor Serrano earned her 5th shut out of the year. The Renegades finished in second place in the conference (8-7-3, 3-3-2). (from gogades.com)
Geology Field Trip
Bakersfield College Geology Professor, Chris Benker and six BC Geology majors joined the annual CSU Bakersfield Geology three-day field trip to the Zzyzx Desert Studies Center in the Mojave Desert. BC students planning to transfer to CSUB had an opportunity to network with CSUB Geology professors, as well as CSUB undergraduate and graduate Geology students. This partnership has been longstanding. Geology Instructor Cari Meyer has also taken groups on this great adventure in past years. BC and CSUB Geology work hard to create a seamless pipeline into the Geology pathway and have fun at the same time! Bakersfield College participation was sponsored by CSUB’s Claude Fiddler Endowment.
The fun trailer highlights just a few of the adventures on this three-day geology expedition!
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) Conference is the main event for SHPE the and the most massive technical and career conference for Hispanics in the country. Respectively, the SHPE Conference attracts over 6,000 engineering professionals, students, and corporate representatives. The meeting is an opportunity for engineering companies and corporations to recruit talented SHPE members and also to provide educational and career opportunities for professionals and engineering students. This 2017 SHPE conference was held in Kansas City from November 1-5th. Six BC/MESA/ASME students attended with Professor Lewis from the math department as the chaperon. The students and faculty were sponsored by the engineering department and MESA.
Leah Altman, Ashely Anderson. Lizbeth Sanchez, Rodrigo Salazar, Christian Gutierrez, and Matt Abbot.
Arvin Christmas Parade
In Richard Beene’s column, Bakersfield Observed, he mentioned that Supervisor Leticia Perez donated to save the Arvin Christmas Parade from cancellation. I’m one of many who wish to publicly say thank you. This is a special parade for a special community.
I loved seeing this tweet from Assemblymember Rudy Salas:
Kimberly Bligh posts on Facebook about the wellness class
From Jen Garrett’s Facebook.
The future of BC Music
John Ottum, Jen Garrett, Kris Tiner
Tweet from Connie Gonzales
Thank to you the KCHCC
With the technology of today and how much we utilize email, texting, social media, etc., it is a real treat to have time to sit and open up the mail. I was overjoyed to open a large envelope from BC friend and supporter, Jay Tamsi and the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Thank you for the beautiful award and recognition.
The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce works to promote Hispanic and minority-owned businesses, and those that cater to, or employ Hispanics by being active and visible in the community and by raising the level of awareness of our member’s needs in the business community. Their vision of the KCHCC is to create innovative and influential business programs that will promote Hispanic Business and economic development at the local, state, national, and international level.
I really enjoy my work with various groups on campus. These folks are smart and dedicated to students. This week at College Council, a team of faculty and deans presented the work BC is doing with the money that we received for “Strong Workforce.”
This is money legislated to improve the workforce for high wage jobs.
Here are the local and regional projects that are underway. For example, BC’s baccalaureate program in Industrial Automation has made the regional list. This work includes working with the community colleges close to us in the region to align the freshman and sophomore level curriculum for Industrial Technology so that students can transfer with junior standing into the baccalaureate program.
The presenters did a fabulous job describing how they were using the funding to develop the various certificates within the degree programs. In some cases the equipment is so expensive that BC would not have been able to purchase the equipment without this grant.
Let’s see what Dr. Josh Ottum and our Commercial Music program is doing related to Strong Workforce
Let’s hear from Sarah Baron about the Patient Navigator program within BC’s Health Sciences degree.
I’m so proud of this work! We are BC.
Alex Epstein in Bakersfield
Chad Hathaway invited me to the Alex Epstein talk on Thursday, Nov 16th.
Karen Goh, Jay Tamsi, Chad Hathaway, Bill Thomas, Sonya Christian
Karen Goh, Shannon Grove, Sonya Christian
Loved seeing Jean Fuller, one of my favorite people at her Thanksgiving Open House on Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Oliver and Samson
Neo on November 14, 2017, 3 days before his 8-month birthday
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
The Jobs Demand Education blog shares approaches to workforce and economic development, with a goal of supporting economic mobility for our community while staying committed to the health of our people and the health of our environment.