Tag Archives: JP Lake

Winter has arrived!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 8, 2018… A great day to be a Renegade.

Winter has arrived.  Photo of the grapevine from my Land Rover on December 6th.

Last week of classes at BC.  Great holiday spirit.  Students excited….students stressed….  Nicky Damania and team staffed the library with extra hours for students to study in groups…. faculty dropped by to help students…..  What can I say.  We are BC!

BC Food Services Comes Through in a Pinch

Earlier this week BC administrators and managers came together to assist students with enrolling in classes for the Spring semester.  I want to give a huge shout out to our Food Services team who stepped up and served a delicious lunch to those helping in the outreach efforts.  If you know of anyone wanting to register for BC courses in the Spring 2019 semester, have them sign up today!  Steven Watkin and Ashlea Ward have organized three days of registration (Dec 10th, 11th and 12th) with the help of Counselors and Ed Advisors.    You can check out the Class Schedule and registration information at this link: www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/academic/schedule

Penny Loos, Diana Murrell and Pam Miller: These ladies are on it!

Food Services had their last day in Campus Center yesterday before relocating to make room for the cafeteria remodel!  They are moving to the Huddle and Mount Vernon Commissary over Winter Recess.  Here are some photos of their last day before the remodel:

Also, be sure to check out the new Food Services social media accounts!  You can follow their journey to the new location at the Huddle, see the new food trailer, and see what delicious menu items they’re preparing!  Check out @BCFoodScene on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

BC Jazz presents: Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite

The Bakersfield College Jazz Ensemble held a holiday concert earlier this week, featuring Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite re-imagined with a big band twist. The concert was amazing!!  The big band rendition of this classic music provided holiday cheer with a fun spin. There were saxophones, trumpets, trombones, guitars, a double bass and of course drums. I loved the beautiful clarinet during the “Chinoiserie” song, or rather, the Chinese Dance.  Also, Professor Robbie Martinez surprised guests and joined in on “Arabesque Cookie (Arabian Dance)” with his beautiful piccolo playing.

I was so proud of our students and the beautiful music that they performed.  My personal favorite was the “Sugar Rum Cherry” song, a take on the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” Students learned how to integrate trumpet mutes and rubber plungers in order to hit the notes as Duke Ellington originally intended. A huge shout out to Kris Tiner for directing this amazing piece of music here at the BC campus.    

The Jazz Ensemble performing “Sugar Rum Cherry”
The Jazz Ensemble performing “Dance of the Floreadores”

Blue Ribbon Committee Reconvenes

The Blue Ribbon Committee reconvened earlier this week bringing together community leaders who were pivotal to the passage of Measure J in 2016.  Attendees were taken on a trip down memory lane with a great video created by our very own Chris Blakemore.  Thank you Chris!

Measure J: Memories

We also shared all of the recent developments here at the BC campus.  There are eleven projects in various phase stages over the next year!  Bill Potter and Tamara Baker definitely have their hands full, and can’t wait to share each of these projects as they progress along.

Emails Worth Sharing from Paul Beckworth

In light of the news of the passing of President George Bush, Paul Beckworth shared a memorable photo with me this week. He said, “with GW Bush in Somalia in December 92 or Jan 93. I asked him for a pic, he grabbed my camera out of my hand, and said , “Come here Beckworth,” (he read my name tag) and took a selfie of us. Pretty cool!”

Paul Beckworth and President Bush

2018 Bakersfield College Foundation Holiday Dinner

The Bakersfield College Foundation hosted a wonderful group of about 60 invited guests in the Renegade Room at the Holiday Dinner, following the Foundation Board’s annual strategic planning meeting. The dinner was expertly prepared and served by the students in the Culinary Arts program as their final exam for the semester. Many members of the BC Foundation Board were joined by their spouses to ring in the holidays, including founding Foundation Board member, Ken Byrum and his wife Pam; and Foundation Board Chair Jeff Bell and his wife Amy. Other special guests of the evening included KCCD Trustee-Elect, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and her husband Jim; Adam Alvidrez of Chevron and his wife Tiffani; and Gloria Williams of CRC and her sister Loretta. The guests were entertained by the talented BC Chamber Choir under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Garrett. The choir performed four Christmas songs and surprised the Foundation with a special video to express their gratitude to the Foundation members for the help in making their trip to Australia a reality this past summer. Major compliments to the Culinary Arts students, Chefs Alex Gomez, Suzanne Tangeman and Christian Flores-Castaneda for a beautiful and delicious evening! You all earned an A+ in our eyes!

Attendees at the Bakersfield College Foundation Holiday Dinner

SGA Discovers a Hidden Treasure

Our SGA president Ashley Harp came across a fun piece of BC nostalgia.  Check out the video below to see why BC has school spirit in spades!

Seen on Facebook: BC Chamber Singers Christmas Gathering

This week, I saw on Facebook that the BC Chamber Singers gathered at Choral Director Jennifer Garrett’s home for evening caroling in the neighborhood park, packing bags for the homeless, and spending time together for the holidays. She said in her post, “What a wonderful night with the BC Chamber Singers in my home! We ate lots of yummy food, put on a mini concert in the City in the Hills Park (thanks to so many for joining us), exchanged secret Santa gifts, made bags to hand out to the homeless, and many enjoyed the hot tub or talked to finish off the night. They are such an incredible group of people. We still have a lot of work to do in order to reach the excellence we are striving for and we will continue to work and love music to get there.”  Check out the fun photos.

KernTax 79th Annual Meeting

I was at Tom Burke’s table at the KernTax 79th Annual Meeting earlier this week at the Bakersfield Country Club, along with Cindy Collier, Bill Thomas, Tom Gelder, Romeo Agbalog, and Debbie Martin.  It is always great to get out and visit with our fellow community members! I feel so lucky to be a part of a city like Bakersfield!

Our dual enrollment program was highlighted at the event. Michael Turnipseed shared in his introductory remarks that over 3,000 dual enrolled students have benefited from the partnership between Bakersfield College and Kern High School District (KHSD), thanks to initial support from the Game Changer grant. Dr. Anna Laven, program manager for dual enrollment, and her husband, Commissioner Andrew Kendall, attended the event. The keynote speaker, James Gollub, highlighted the success of applying collaborative strategy to address our next generation economy.

Celebrating Dual Enrollment

On Thursday, December 6, the dual enrollment team held a convening of high school partners from McFarland, Wasco, Delano and KHSD and Bakersfield College student services areas to recognize the strong work that has taken place, expanding on success. Points of discussion included enrollment trends, guided pathways, pre- and post-enrollment activities, and the dual enrollment newsletter. Steve Watkin guided participants in discussion, with presentations provided by Dr. Anna Laven, Kylie Swanson, Sharon Bush, Liz Rozell, Jaqueline Lau, and Abel Guzman.

Fun Registration Time Photos from S&E

Veronica Hathaway shared with me the creativity of Dean Stephen Waller and everyone in the Science and Engineering area. We are BC!

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this past Thursday at 11a, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights include segments with BC Baseball Head Coach, Tim Painton and four of his players: Kamron Willman, Ryan Dickerson, Nate Ortiz, and Frank Villasenor.

Renegade Women’s Volleyball Team Goes to State

Our amazing Renegade Women’s Volleyball team went to the state championships last weekend, hosted by Solano College in Fairfield. This was the first time since 2009 that the team qualified for the state tournament. They were ranked #2 in the state with a 25-1 overall record and were riding a 19-match winning streak. The streak ended last weekend, but we could not be more proud of our Renegades!!! Not only did they make it to the championships, Coach Ferreira was recently honored as the SoCal Coach of the Year and WSC South Coach of the Year. Setter Sarah Armendariz was named an AVCA All-American and WSC Player of the Year – huge recognitions for both! 

Proudly wearing the Renegade Volleyball Conf Championship t-shirt. We are BC!

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (11/25-12/1) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

  • Brianna Mendez, Women’s Basketball – Scored 38 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in helping the team to a third place finish at the Santa Ana Tournament this last weekend.
  • Marcus Hutcherson, Wrestling – Qualified for the state tournament by placing 1st in his weight class (125 lb) at the Southern Regional Tournament and helping the team to a 4th place finish.

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Post-Season Awards Announced

The Renegade Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams recently finished their 2018 fall season at the CCCAA State Championships. The women’s team placed in a tie for 15th place, with Gabby Lugo placing 10th overall. For the men, Adrian Lopez was a state qualifier.

With the conclusion of the season, post season awards have been announced. Below is the list of awards by individual:

Gabby Lugo, So. (Bakersfield Christian HS) – 1st-Team All-American and Western State Conference (WSC) 1st-Team All-Conference

Jacquelyn Barrios, Fr. (Foothill HS) – WSC 2nd-Team All-Conference

Lourdes Cruz, So. (Wasco HS)- WSC 2nd-Team All-Conference

Angelo Benitez, Fr. (Independence HS) – WSC Honorable Mention

Justin Frando, Fr. (Highland HS) – WSC Honorable Mention

Cutberto Salgado, So. (Wasco HS) – WSC Honorable Mention

Roundup of Athletics Events This Week

As always, it was a full week of events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics by following us on social media. On Facebook find us under ‘Bakersfield College Athletics’, on Twitter – @GoGadesGo and on Instagram – @gogadesgo.

California College Guidance Initiative in McFarland

As we continue to expand Early College opportunities for high school students throughout Kern County, we are looking for innovative ways to align with our K-12 partners and provide the resources they need. The California College Guidance Initiative (CCGI) is a new partnership opportunity with K-12 school districts to support students, counselors, parents, and community-based organizations with technological tools that help guide the college and career planning and preparation process. Bakersfield College is currently working with all of our partner districts to engage with CCGI. On December 5th, CCGI staff met with McFarland Unified School District (MUSD) administrators and counselors to begin implementation of the program. MUSD is leading the way for all districts in Kern County on this project. This tool will help K-12 educators, parents, students, and Bakersfield College collaborate to build clear pathways to higher education. I cannot wait to see what develops out of this work!

MUSD, BC & CCGI in McFarland.

Bakersfield New Car Dealers Annual Luncheon

Earlier this week, BC attended the Bakersfield New Car Dealers Annual Luncheon where Bill Wright was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. BC’s Rony Recinos, Automotive Instructor Industrial Arts had the chance to meet with Sheriff Donny Youngblood and Senator Shannon Grove.

Sheriff Youngblood, BC’s Rony Recinos, and Senator Shannon Grove 

Winter at BC

Earl Parsons from the Marketing team sent over some beautiful photos that he took as winter weather blankets the BC campus.  Thanks Earl!

Jennifer Serratt took some photos of the gorgeous rain that we had earlier this week. The rainy weather made for a cozy atmosphere in the office! 

Jennifer also shared a photo with her and two of our favorite veterans, Paul Beckworth and Tommy Tunson.  They’re ready for the Army Navy game this weekend.  When Jennifer said she was rooting for the Air Force, they let her know that was the wrong choice! 🙂 

Tommy, Jennifer and Paul

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Welcoming the community to campus

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, October 15th, a great day to be a Renegade.

Let’s recap last week!

Liga MX


Photo credit: Nick Ellis, Bakersfield Californian

Charter buses were lined up outside as the fans packed the stands on Sunday for international soccer at Memorial Stadium. Josh Bennett described the event in his article, Fans flock to Liga MX friendly at BC by saying “Horns were honking and flags were waving as fans from as close as Bakersfield and as far as Mexico congregated at BC’s Memorial Stadium to see Monarcas Morelia defeat defending Clausura 2016 champion Pachuca 3-2 in the second annual International Soccer Challenge.”

It’s always a great day when our community and neighbors come to BC for a chance to make new memories and history at Memorial Stadium. In fact, the big BC Homecoming game of the year will take place in a few short days! Make sure to come out and support YOUR Renegades at YOUR community college.

Big Red Dinner


Homecoming and the Big Red Dinner take place next weekend, October 22nd, from 4:00 to 6:30 pm north of the stadium and outside the Gil Bishop Gym.  There’s the Homecoming parade, the Drumline, the BC cheerleaders, the BC Jazz Ensemble, a hot local DJ, nine different tailgate booths highlighting many of BC’s finest programs, and the most requested event of the year – The Big Red Dinner!

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students with ID and $5 for children 12 and under which includes a complete spaghetti dinner with salad, a roll, a drink and a “Flying Saucer Cookie”! You’ll also be able to purchase beer or wine.  A dinner ticket admits you to the football game with Cerritos College as well.  There will be interesting demonstrations at the tailgate booths and a number of goodies for everyone participating. Tickets are on sale through Vallitix and will be available at the dinner. Bring your friends, family, and neighbors to BC next weekend!  Support YOUR Renegades at YOUR community college!

Measure J

Sikh Radio

I started my Sunday morning, on October 9th, on Sikh Radio along with Nicole Parra and Raji Brar.  We were there promoting Measure J with Raji going back and forth between English and Punjabi.  The radio program is organized and funded by donations from the Punjabi community.  Nazar Kooner takes responsibility for operating it and Harjit Singh interviewed us.  Here are some pictures from Nicole.

Pieces in the Californian

The support BC has received in recent days and months has been astounding. It’s been incredible to read the community voices section in the local paper – seeing all the wonderful submissions from community members and even students. I can’t thank everyone enough for the outpouring of love and support for the Renegades and our campus.

October 9th. A student-veteran speaks on the bond.



Letter to the editor: A student-veteran speaks on the bond

Wesley Lyons is also BCSGA’s Director of Legislative Affairs. This young man speaks candidly with honesty and heart. I’m proud of our students and I’m proud of Wesley – thank you for sharing your voice. 

October 11th Community Voices. Measure J is of paramount importance.

JP Lake did a great community voices piece supporting #MeasureJ in the October 11th Californian.


Check out the weblink


Here is a 2 minute 30 second video of JP Lake presenting about Measure J to the Kern Ag Foundation.  He is a strong supporter of education done right and a strong supporter of Bakersfield College.

Community Support and Measure J


Students were also spotted at the Measure J headquarters this week. Gabriel Gonzales is currently taking History 17B with Dr. Matthew Garret. He’s an excellent media studies student and will be transferring to Berkeley soon. Here is Gabriel with Nicole Parra.



The Renegades are a family! And supporting BC is a true family affair. This week at the #Measure J headquarters, the Johnson family stopped by to show their support. Here is mom, Natesha with Katie and Robert. Don’t these future Renegades look awesome sporting their support for BC and Measure J?


Sondra Keckley and her mom, Stephanie Cox, have also been dedicated and loyal to BC through their tremendous support and outreach for Measure J! You’re never too young or old to love BC – Bakersfield College is a family! I had to take a selfie with Sondra’s mom:


Sonya Christian, Stephanie Cox


Connie Gonzales was also one of many giving her time and talents to support BC. She diligently made calls going back and forth fluently between Spanish and English.



Jean Laborde, one of Kern County’s finest commercial realtors, Bill Thomas, former Congressman and current KCCD Trustee, and Mary Kay Shell, Renegade, journalist, politician, and community leader also support BC in countless ways.



Phone Banking Volunteers

Saturday, October 8th: Gabriel Gonzales, Kathy Rosellini, Consuelo Gonzalez, Natesha Johnson, Katie Johnson, Robert Johnson, and Stephen Waller

Tuesday, October 11th: Mariela Gomez, Cynthia Munoz, Anna Gonzalez, Dena Rhoades, Stephen Waller, Nicky Damania, Karen Schuett. Debi Anderson, Steve Watkin, Josie Guillen, Stephanie Cox, Ashlea Ward, Julian West, Grace Commiso, Tom Gelder, and Jay Rosenlieb

Wednesday, October 12th: Kristin Rabe, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Tracy Lovelace, Stephen Waller, Eddie Ledbetter, Keith Ford, Heather Barajas, Nicky Damania, Chris Glaser, Jay Rosenlieb, and Stephanie Cox

Thursday, October 13th: Sam Moreno, Brenda Silva, Silvia Silva, Michelle Pena, Sandi Taylor, Steve Watkin, Ashlea Ward, Josh Shackelford, Chene Shoemaker, Linda Cordoba, Maria Wright, Pamela Gomez, Antonio Alfaro, Sergio Maldonado, Jackie Lau, Salvador Gomez-Pantoja, Peggy Gonzales, Tarina Perry, Jennifer Achan, Cindy Collier, and Chris Leithiser.



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Endorsements for Measure J continue to come in

Here are a few of the over 1400 endorsements that Measure J has received

Harvey Hall, Bakersfield Mayor
Bill Thomas, Former U.S. Congressman
Shannon Grove, California State Assembly Member
Rudy Salas, California State Assembly Member
David Couch, Kern County Supervisor
Mike Maggard, Kern County Supervisor
Leticia Perez, Kern County Supervisor
Terry Maxwell, Bakersfield City Council Member
Willie Rivera, Bakersfield City Council Member
Bob Smith, Bakersfield City Council Member
Karen Goh, Bakersfield Mayoral Candidate
Kyle Carter, Bakersfield Mayoral Candidate
Jose Flores, Arvin Mayor
Doug Greener, Bakersfield Fire Chief
Greg Williamson, Bakersfield Police Department Chief
Mary K. Shell
Milt Younger

CHAP in Delano


The BC Delano Campus Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (C.H.A.P.) kicked off its fall 2016 speaker series on Oct. 4th by highlighting award winning and local author, Patty Enrado. She spoke about her personal journey of discovering her family’s Filipino-American heritage while attending the University of California at Davis.

Born in Los Angeles, she knew very little about her parent’s formative years. However, as she continued to write and learn more about the role that Filipino-American farm workers played in the Delano Grape Strike of 1965, she also learned more about her personal heritage. Weaving truth with fiction, Ms. Enrado published her debut novel, A Village in the Fields, which chronicles the life of Fausto Empleo, an elderly Filipino farm worker who looks back on his long and costly struggle for civil rights.

The talk this week, organized by CHAP co-chairs Michelle Hart and Oliver Rosales, highlighted not only the importance of following your educational dreams and perseverance, but also the necessity of remembering our histories. She eloquently spoke of the importance of California Assembly Bill AB 123 (2013), which requires the State Board of Education to provide state curriculum on the significant role of Filipino Americans in the California farm labor movement.

Then, in September 2016, Gov. Brown signed AB 2016, which for the first time will establish a model ethnic studies curriculum for use in California’s public and charter high schools. In fact, LAUSD (by 2019) and Sacramento City USD (by 2020) students must take an ethnic studies class to graduate.

Following her talk in Delano, Ms. Enrado spoke to the Porterville College campus later in the week as part of its campus C.H.A.P. speaker series. To learn more about her book, A Village in the Fields, check out http://www.iexaminer.org/2016/10/what-carlos-bulosan-started-patty-enrado-finished/

Special thanks for this event go to the BC Student Government Association, who’s funding through the Collaborative Action Grant, along with our partners the BC Delano Foundation, allowing us to host this amazing local artist. Additional thanks go to the BC Delano WECOMM students and their advisor Gustavo Enriquez for greeting and directing the amazing crowd in attendance.

For more information on C.H.A.P., please visit https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/delano/chap and consider going to their next event on October 17th – a student-led informational session to discuss the importance of civic engagement, information on the upcoming election, and important issues that will impact our communities.

Listen In – Matthew Garrett on Utah Public Radio

BC Professor, Dr. Matthew Garrett was a guest this week on Access Utah, an original program focused on the things that matter within the state. The hour-long show airs daily on Utah Public Radio, but is also available online. It’s so cool to share the incredible things our BC family is up to. Check it out at http://upr.org/post/matthew-garrett-and-making-lamanites-wednesdays-access-utah

Student Success and Equity

BC is committed to serving former foster youth in our community and has a team of faculty and staff who serve on a task force to identify and address their needs. On Friday, this team hit the road for a summit CSU Fresno where they learned from other colleges about innovative ways to serve our students. Check them out with Fresno’s mascot, “Victor E.”

For weeks, the Office of Student Success & Equity has been working with Independent City and the Dream Center to organize a community wide event to help foster youth in Kern County get connected to resources that will help them be successful. BC was out in full force with information on Financial Aid, Summer Bridge, and our upcoming application workshops. Special thanks to Kelley Fullerton and Juanika Barnett at Independent City for your collaboration! And thanks to BC’s planning team: Lisa Kent, Karla Young, Shauna Turner, Manuel Rosas, Vanessa Bell, Angela Williams, Debi Anderson, and more!  And thank you Lesley Bonds for your leadership.


Community Outreach

BC Agriculture Raises Awareness of Dangerous Citrus Pest

ag_eventWednesday was an extraordinary day filled with learning and career information at BC! Agriculture officials from across California held an event at our Agriculture Lab to inform residents about a disease with the potential to eradicate the state’s citrus industry and on the other side of campus, we had 26 employers from local healthcare agencies on hand for all pre-healthcare majors.


Victoria Hornbaker from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) explained to a crowd of BC Ag students, local media and concerned citizens the dangers of Huanglongbing, a rapidly transmitted pathogen that turns citrus fruits green. HLB, for short, is primarily spread by a sap-sucking bug called the Asian citrus psyllid, which has devastated orchards across Southeast Asia and Florida and now threatens citrus plants in our local Southern California. She explained that, “We have to do everything we can to protect our citrus belt.”


There were booths explaining how to recognize Asian citrus psyllids and their larvae, what to do in the event of an HLB outbreak, and how to prevent the spread of the disease. Did you know that when a tree is found to have HLB, the CDFA kills any remaining psyllids in the area, removes infected fruits and cuts the entire tree out from the roots, then double-bags it and sends it to a landfill for deep burial? Hornbaker estimates that 99 percent of her organization’s time is spent treating HLB.


The event opened with BC Agriculture chair Lindsay Ono introducing Ruben Arroyo, the Agriculture Commissioner for the Kern County Board of Supervisors, who provided some statistics to illustrate the importance of the citrus industry to the state and county’s economy. The facts were astounding – such as, citrus plants were first brought to California in 1649 and California’s orchards have become a multibillion dollar business ranked second in the United States behind Florida. Also, six in 10 Californians have a citrus tree in their backyard, and citrus trees are the third-highest grossing crop in Kern County, with 3 million cartons of fruit shipped out of Kern County orchards every year!


HLB has significantly impacted citrus production in Florida and around the world, but with proper prevention efforts by state regulatory agencies and educational events like those at the BC on Wednesday, we still have time to save California’s citrus. Check out the article on KGET about the event here!


Health Careers Connection Fair

healthconnectionsSpecial thank you to the Career and Technical Education and Nursing and Allied Health departments for organizing the Health Careers Connection Fair. This special event filled the Huddle with over 26 potential employers with valuable information for CTE and students interested in the healthcare professions.

Events like these really give students an opportunity to ask questions, learn more, and students get to know people who presently work in their field of studies.

The employers on hand were: Accelerated Urgent Care, Bakersfield Family Medical Center, Bakersfield Heart Hospital, Bethesda, Brookdale Riverwalk, Cal State San Marcos, Chamberlain College of Nursing, Clinica Sierra Vista, CSUB, Delano Regional Medical Center, Dignity Health, Grand Canyon University, Healthsouth of Bakersfield, Kaweah Delta Health Care District, Kern County Breastfeeding Coalition, Maxim Staffing, Northwest Surgery Center, Optimal Health Services, Parkview Julian Convalescent, Partners in Care Foundation, Rosewood, San Joaquin Community Hospital, Taft Federal Correctional Institution, Truxtun Radiology, Bakersfield Community Home Health, and the University of Phoenix.

Coffee Conversations for Parents of Youth


Important issues are always up for discussion at Bakersfield College and students are continually encouraged to engage with the community regarding these topics. On Thursday evening, the Office of Student Life and the Kern County Homeless Collaborative joined together for an informal evening of information and discussion revolving around homelessness and its effects on today’s youth.

Unfortunately, many of Bakersfield’s young people including BC students are affected by this epidemic. According the CA Homeless Youth Library — only a few years ago, during the 2012-2013, nearly 270,000 students in California experienced homelessness. Now in 2016, there’s a total of 1,067 children, adults, unaccompanied minors and families are homeless just in Kern County alone and 8% of them are ages 18-24.

I’ve said it before – BC is a family… but, so is Kern County and Bakersfield. When we see something that affects our family we do our part to step up, bring awareness to the issues, and find a resolution. That’s why events like this are so important. Invisible Homeless Youth – The Silent Epidemic helps to shine light on the reasons why youth are turning to the streets and how young people are finding themselves stuck in such dire situations.

The evening highlighted multiple situations where minors found themselves in sex trafficking, unaware of the resources offered in Kern County.  Following the presentation, a panel was held where students were encouraged to ask any questions.

Did you know Kern County has multiple food banks, shelters, missions, and support groups to help anyone whom may find themselves in such a similar situation? Whether the cause is domestic violence, drug use, or an unstable home life, Kern County has resources to provide help.

Homelessness does not have to mean hopelessness. Some local organizations that can assist are:

  • Bakersfield Homeless Center for meals and housing. 661-322-9294
  • The Mission at Kern County for meals. 661-322-9294
  • Alliance Against Family Violence (Domestic Violence in Bakersfield) 661-322-0931
  • Woman’s Center High Desert (Domestic Violence in East Kern) 760-371-1969
  • Alpha House (Domestic Violence in Taft) 661-763-4357
  • Corporation for Better Housing 661-363-7077

Thank you to the experts on our Q&A panel from Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Garden Pathways, Sheriff Department, and the Gay Lesbian Center.

Boy Scouts Honoring Community Leaders

Last Thursday, I had the privilege of attending the Distinguished Citizens Award Banquet presented by the Boy Scouts of America Southern Sierra Council.

This inaugural event honored Dr. Tom and Mrs. Pauline Larwood for their lifelong contributions to the fields of medicine, public service, education, global missions, as well as their long-time support of Scouting. Though our hearts are saddened by Dr. Larwood’s recent passing in September, the joint legacy he and Pauline leave for us is clear and unmistakable. Our world is better and our future brighter because of them.

Here is a 36-second video that I captured with my new iphone 7 (yes!) of the song. The song is of a religious nature, though the words can be understood in terms of comforting and lifting up each other.  So beautiful….so important….. it is a little thing we can do for each other.

Here is the 4-minute version from youtube.

I would be remiss not to mention Pauline’s leadership and investment in KCCD as a long-time and beloved Trustee. The Distinguished Citizens Award Banquet included wonderful tributes by Council President Jay Rosenlieb, sons David & Don Larwood, Dr. Royce Johnson, and Scout Executive, Jesse Lopez. The evening was a heartfelt celebration of two lives well-lived and I was honored to be a part of it.

Manny Mourtzanos organized BC’s table at the event along with Tom Gelder.  Manny is a die-hard believer in the scouting movement.  And he has the same commitment for BC and our students.  Here’s to the fabulous Manny Mourtzanos.manny and sonya outside vons 2014-2


#2 of Top 5 Highest Earning Two-year Colleges!

To top off an exciting week, I received an email with a link where BC recently placed number 2 among the top five highest earning two year colleges! Our students and their success is the inspiration for all that we do. Check it out at http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/20/the-top-5-highest-earning-two-year-colleges.html?slide=5


Mark your calendars:

October 21, 2016: BC Choir’s Fall concert.

October 22, 2016: Join us for Homecoming.  This year we are going big!

December 17, 2016: BC Choir along with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra will perform a Holiday Concert at the Fox Theater.

March 29, 2017: Levan Lecture



That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Our BC Community is a Family

Good Morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, September 3rd….a good day to be a Renegade!

Growing up, I have always associated September as the birthday month…September 2nd is my brother Kevin’s birthday (Virgo) and Sep 24th (Libra) is my mom’s b’day.

Eisha Paul Pam Sonya maybe in 2000

Eisha Christian, Paul Christian, Pam Christian, Sonya Christian

The picture was probably taken 15/16 years ago.

So given mom’s birthday is right around the corner, here is a little song that I grew up with.  I think you will enjoy it.

“M” is for the million things she gave me,
“O” means only that she’s growing old,
“T” is for the tears she shed to save me,
“H” is for her heart of purest gold;
“E” is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
“R” means right, and right she’ll always be,
Put them all together, they spell “MOTHER,”
A word that means the world to me.

This last week, as all weeks at Bakersfield College, has been hectic yet fulfilling.  Some of the high points were:

Social Media Group Aug 29 2016

Nora Dominguez, Reyna Olaguez, Bill Moseley, MaTesha johnson, JP Lake


  • doing facebook webstream for the very first time with Mary Jo Pasek.  This was our assignment from the Social Media group led by JP Lake and Bill Moseley.  In the first hour, I heard, the video had over 200 views.  Pretty cool!  Am glad that JP Lake is on the campaign committee.  He believes in the transformative power of education, when done right!
  • the presentation to the Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary.  They are such a fun group and it was delightful to co-present with Karen Thompson and Jay Rosenlieb.
  • Receiving the endorsement from the VFW District 6.
  • Seeing our student leaders putting on a fun set of activities for the new students in the campus quad.
  • Watching our soccer teams on Tuesday.  Women’s soccer won 5-0 over West Hills Lemoore with Emilia Lopez finishing with a hat trick.  Men’s soccer tied 2-2 with BC goal keeper Frank Aerola having numerous saves.  We are BC!

It is a good time to be at BC!

On a sad note, John Boydstun a long time BC friend passed away this week.  Here he is with the BC Cheer team at the Kiwanis meeting.

John Boydstun and BC Cheer team Aug 2016.jpg

Dual Enrollment

DualEnrollment_Jesse Oropeza (Adjunct Counselor) Check In (Arvin HS)“It’s never too early to think about college and the credits that can help your student reach success post high school.”

These words kicked off a fabulous article on KGET highlighting the dual enrollment program at BC and our Renegade Signing events this week. Over the past several weeks, our BC Delano staff has gone out into the local high schools to help counselors and instructors encourage young students through the matriculation process for BC.


Thank you Christina Lopez of KGET for this great coverage!

Various hands-on workshops were held to get hundreds of students registered. A special thank you to Gustavo Enriquez, Richard McCrow, Abel Guzman, and the entire team in Delano who have been working diligently for some time now on getting dual enrollment courses up and going in the Delano Joint Union High School District. Their efforts have also been to get more dual enrollment courses offered in Arvin High School.

DualEnrollment_First student to sign up (CCHS)The future looks bright for these areas, its people, and our students! We are BC!

On Monday, we held an event at CCHS, Tuesday at Arvin HS, Wednesday at Delano HS, and Thursday at RFK HS to welcome both students and families to Bakersfield College. These “mini convocations” greeted students, answered parent questions, and most importantly made it clear that as of that evening, they were all now BC Renegades!

Each student received a BC planner, BC pencil, and “Get Focused, Stay Focused” wristbands as parents signed all the necessary dual enrollment authorization forms.

The school districts and school sites were amazing in setting these events up. Paul Chavez (Director of Career Technical Education for DJUHSD), the administrators at all Delano sites, and Mr. Watts at Arvin HS did a great job of promoting the event, and creating a welcoming environment. Several schools even provided their own snacks and drinks. Bakersfield College-WeCOMM students volunteered to help run the events.

DualEnrollment_WECOMM students help at check in (DHS)

Earning a college degree is an increasingly important step towards creating a better future. “It’s never too early to think about college and the credits that can help your student reach success post high school.”

BC is a Family!

Andrea ThorsonAndrea Thorson (btw, I love this picture of Andrea and her son) sent out an absolutely elegant email on Wednesday highlighting my blog to our campus community. In closing she wrote

Bakersfield College is not just a great college with a small town feel, it offers a high quality education from people who love what they do and care deeply about keeping this city strong and thriving.  So, don’t forget to get connected with students, staff, faculty, and even administrators on this campus.  We are a family.

And it’s true – I couldn’t have said it better.


Sonya Christian and Bill Potter

It brings me joy to hear the little stories throughout my week from various members of the BC family, and I was especially struck when Bill Potter, our Director of Facilities, stopped by to update me on a few projects. Bill was bragging about his department and mentioned that at a recent staff retreat, Patrick Harrison shared the story of how he became one of the BC crew.

After moving to Bakersfield from Santa Barbara on a whim in 1982, Patrick first came to the campus on the hill during a 4th of July celebration. That day, he saw the carts racing the track of memorial stadium and remembers thinking to himself, what it would be like to actually drive one of those things

Patrick Harrison

Patrick Harrison



A few years later, in 1996, he applied for a job at Bakersfield College and was called back within 3 days to start working. Today he takes care of the same stadium he once remembers thinking about.

He tells the story as if everything eventually fell into place and it was meant to be, but my favorite part of all is the day he remembers driving back to Bakersfield after a visit in Santa Barbara. He explained that after the long drive on the grapevine, he pulled into the streets of Bakersfield and remembered thinking “I’m home.”

We are BC! And I truly believe every individual involved on campus is meant to be here.

Talking about every individual at BC is meant to be here, I certainly feel that way.  Here is a photo taken at the public announcement of the 10th president of BC on October 15, 2012.

Sandra Serrano Sonya Christian John Corkins 2012

Sandra Serrano, Sonya Christian, John Corkins

Another shining example of our BC family is Chris Counts, our public safety director.


After a strange situation on Wednesday morning including an incident with a student, Chris was available for multiple interviews, sharing safety tips, explaining what we’re doing campus wide to increase safety and commending our excellent campus security team.

The student did the right thing by trusting her instinct, and seeking help on campus. It’s important to note that our campus security team encourages anyone to contact them at any time.

Chris CountsIn fact, Chris sent out an email just the Friday prior stating, “I want you to know and understand that reporting of suspicious activity, even when you don’t really understand why you think something is wrong or out of the ordinary, like a ‘gut feeling’ something just doesn’t seem right, is perfectly OK to go ahead and make that call to Public Safety. We will respond to all calls of suspicious activity to ensure the safety of our campus.”

Way to go Chief Counts, public safety team, and Shannon Musser. Due to your diligence and awesome communication, our students knew quickly what had happened on campus, and they’re prepared with the tips they need to seek help if any situation should arise.

The BC family truly knows the way to my heart, especially Ying Vang, who appeared on Thursday with a platter of homemade eggrolls for me to share.  And Kristin Rabe, who gave me a packet of Cheetos with a bow to pep me up before the State of the College address on Opening Day.


Ying is a Systems Support Specialist in the IT department, and I’m sure many of you have interacted with him and know his positive smile and attitude. He absolutely loves to help people and is an encouragement to the whole IT department and staff campus wide. The homemade eggrolls were packed with colorful veggies, rice noodles, had a spicy sauce, and lots of love.

He tells me, “Hmong eggrolls are different than Chinese eggrolls and I want to share them so they can try something different.  They are easy to eat because eggrolls are finger food and you don’t need a fork or chopsticks.”

He also admitted that he doesn’t actually make them himself – but his wife Chia makes them. Either way, they were incredibly delicious and I’m glad I was able to share them, but even more so that Ying is part of our BC family!

We are BC!

Our Student Activities


SGA Senator Fitzgerald Graves addresses students at the Campus Center


What an incredible first two weeks it has been! BC Student Government Association and the Office of Student Life have tackled the first two weeks of fall with passion and enthusiasm in getting students involved in campus activities!

The 2nd Annual Student Involvement Festival was a huge success, as was evident by the large turnout of BC students and businesses that were present. Many local businesses recruited for volunteering, displayed employment opportunities, gave out free prizes, and provided an opportunity for job networking. Many students found the information helpful, since many of the businesses were major specific.

Student_PancakesKicking off first thing Monday morning, students arrived to the Panorama and Delano campuses to Welcome Tents filled with student planners, information on campus departments, how to download the BC Renegade App, and most importantly, guidance to their first class! KVC/BCSGA Discount sticker holders got tons of freebies during the first two weeks as well. A BCSGA water bottle, tie-dyed t-shirt, tacos, and even free pancakes at the pep rally this past Thursday! Thanks to the Renegade Cheerleaders and Coach Heather Foss for a spirited time!

sonya and nan sep 1 2016

Sonya Christian, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Students engaged in campus activities throughout the week by making plush bears decked out in Renegade pride, filling candy straws, listening to DJ Platinum, The Mentalist, and live band Epic Proportions during their time at the Campus Center. The first two weeks were wrapped up with the Student Involvement Festival which brought in over 72 booths for students to visit between departments, student organizations, and outside vendors.

Walking through was a real joy to see all the different campus and community groups who came out to get involved and invite our students for opportunities to make a difference. When strolling through, I even stopped by the SGA table for a marvelous pancake breakfast served by our students.

Check out some of the great photos on BC’s Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/jejq4k5

and make sure to watch the video captured by 23 news! http://www.turnto23.com/news/local-news/bakersfield-college-hosts-student-involvement-festival

The final event was for the community at large, BC’s first Community Movie Night showing Captain America: Civil War. What a whirlwind of wonderful events for students to participate in! Truly, our student Renegades will be able to get involved in the various activities that are planned for the year.

For more information visit www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/studentlife or download the BC Mobile app at www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/mobile.

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Baccalaureate Program

A little over a week ago, we had our first Orientation and Welcome to the Lower Division and Upper Division Enrollment Cohorts. This event was organized and facilitated by our BDP Counselor, Cynthia Quintanilla.

She arranged for speakers from Student Life, Financial Aid, and CTE Job Development. It was informative and included a time for a facilities tour and socializing. Students received several informational handouts. It’s also great to see the communication our students receive, like the Industrial Automation Student Newsletter.

The first issue featured articles like, Courses in 2016-2017, Faculty & Staff, New Automation Lab, and Comparison to a 4yr University.  Thank you to Cynthia and all involved in our STEM programs at BC!


Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary

Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary is comprised of both CEOs and small business owners who find a breakfast meeting to be the best fit for their needs. The group includes large and small business owners who contribute to everything from roofing Habitat for Humanity homes (I’m told they’ve done 35+ roofs) to the wreath project at our National Cemetery.

Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary won the Beautiful Bakersfield Award in 2014 for Humanitarian large group!

Thank you Jerry Starr for publicly appreciating Bakersfield College particularly the nursing program.  Was great seeing Mike Stepanovich after such a long time. Pete Leveroni also knew my dad and worked with him on  Rotary International Project.  Was great seeing you Pete!


Downtown Business Association


Sarah Baron, Nicky Damania, Cathy Butler, Jeff Lemucchi

This week, I’m excited to share four upcoming events in collaboration with Cathy Butler from the Bakersfield Downtown Association and Jeff Lemucchi from the Arts Council of Kern. Thanks to these awesome people and two of our BC go-getters, Professor Sarah Baron and Dr. Nicky Damania, we’re developing more plans to engage the community and College.

  • Third Thursday event: Taste of Downtown Bakersfield
    Thursday, September 15, 2016  |  6-10pm
    Come join us for some fun while eating some of the delicious creatiions from our local businesses downtown.
    Learn more at  http://bakersfielddba.com/event/taste-of-downtown
  • DBAOctober First Friday (aka garage top party)
    Friday, October 7, 2016  |
    Contributing to the Arts in Bakersfield, BC will be support our own arts on campus. Also, there might be a humor of an exclusive parking garage roof top party for our beloved Bakersfield Community. Learn more at  http://kernarts.org/first-friday-art-walk/
  • Third Thursday Event
    Thursday, October 20, 2016  |  5:30 to 8:30 pm
    Come play with Bakersfield College as we honor our city leaders and enjoy good company at Central Park along Mill Creek.

We are Bakersfield. And we are BC!

College Council


On friday, as I was driving to campus, I was looking forward with anticipation to the first College Council meeting of the new academic year. It was wonderful to see bright familiar faces and new smiles among the mix as we welcomed new members for this year. We gather regularly to address college-wide issues through a collaborative, integrative approach, promoting greater communication throughout the college campus at large, and to facilitate effective decision-making efforts.

Members of the Council fill a unique place in the College’s structure. As members, they are the primary and most visible representative of their constituent groups. They set the standard for civility, candor, and accuracy in collegial discussion, within Council meetings and in their interactions with others in the college community. Members are conduits of information to and from the groups they represent. They should strive to understand and accept diverse points of view while attempting to reach a consensus to best serve the College as a whole. Members have a responsibility to engage and communicate regularly with the constituent group(s) they represent.  I’m so grateful to have such a superb group of people on this team.  Because of leaders, teams, and councils like this, it’s definitely a great time to be at BC!

James Schmitz Letter

In our digital world of Facebook, Twitter, emails, and quick, quick, quick communication, it was really meaningful to slow down and read a physical letter which was delivered to my desk. Mr. James Schmitz attended the memorial tribute to Jack Brigham a few weeks ago and shared his comments in note I’ve uploaded at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/download/17376.

You may want to re-read my August 6th blog on Jack Brigham at http://tinyurl.com/j9q6a23

In his note, James mentioned that Jack’s favorite song was Walk a Mile in My Shoes by Joe South and The Believers.  Jack was indeed, much larger than his physical self and his spirit will always be alive at BC!


S.Christian Oct 3 2012  from Renegade Rip as candidate for president



That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  


(picture from the Renegade Rip, oct 3, 2012, during the open forum for presidential candidates at BC)

BC and the community – relationship runs deep

On March 31, 2016, Thursday night, we celebrated our eighth Sterling Silver event.

Sterling Silver is a fundraiser for the Bakersfield College Foundation, which manages funds for campus organizations, individuals and endowments. The Foundation provides over $500,000 in scholarships and student aid to over 500 students annually.

This year, we wanted to evolve our signature event to highlight for the community what it means to be a philanthropist by honoring two of Bakersfield College’s biggest supporters: Mary Trichell and Chevron.

MaryPrezMrsMusser cropped.jpg

Mary Trichell, Sonya Christian, Carla Musser

These supporters epitomize the spirit of giving through their level of generosity, their consistency in giving, and the breadth of what they do.

Mary’s relationship with Bakersfield College goes back not just 10 years, or 20 years, or 30 years. Mary’s mother, Alice Heber Gordon, was born in Bakersfield in 1911.  And Bakersfield College was born in 1913.


In the 1920s, Alice took classes at Bakersfield College when it still shared a campus with Bakersfield High School (then Kern County Union High School).

Fast forward to 1963, when Mary Gordon took classes on the hill – after Bakersfield College made the move to the current Panorama campus — the Home of the Renegades. Mary especially enjoyed her math classes with Shirley Trembley and economics classes with Wylie Jones.

It is so wonderful to see a relationship with the college that goes back decades, and that goes back generations.

Bakersfield College Athletic Director Sandi Taylor and Head Football Coach Jeff Chudy had the honor of speaking about the importance of Mary’s contributions to Bakersfield College athletics.

“With the addition of Beach Volleyball, and then Men’s Soccer in the fall, we’ll have 20 teams and approximately 500 student athletes competing for Bakersfield College across the state. We are exceptional. We aren’t your average community college athletic program. Why? Because we have incredible support from folks like Mary. That’s what allows us to be exceptional. We couldn’t do it without our friends,” Taylor said.


Adam Alvidrez March 31 2016

Adam Alvidrez, Chevron

Liz Rozell, Dean of Instruction for Engineering and Industrial Technology (as well as our new Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial Automation) spoke about Chevron’s generous and long-standing relationship with Bakersfield College.


Chevron is a company that invests in the communities it serves. Everything they do is focused on preparing our students to succeed in school and in life. Chevron’s generosity with our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) has helped increase the number of our engineering majors from 163 in 2008 to 718 engineering majors today.

Carla Musser March 31 2016

Carla Musser (right), Chevron

Two of our great programs that have been recipients of Chevron’s generosity include our MESA Week Zero for incoming STEM majors, and our new Project Lead the Way Camp for middle school students. I previously blogged about MESA Week Zero here, and Project Lead the Way here.


Receiving the award on Chevron’s behalf was Carla Musser, Chevron manager of policy, government and public affairs.

Thank you Chevron!

The support BC has from this community is astounding.  Here are the list of sponsors for this event:

Sterling Sponsor:

Mary Trichell — Of course!

Silver Sponsor:

  • Chevron (thank you for supporting our STEM program)
  • Klein Denatale Goldner Cooper Rosenlieb and Kimball LLC (thank you for all you do for Bakersfield College and our students.  thank you for bringing Amgen to our campus)
  • Motor City Lexus (thank you for your consistent support of BC and our Auto Program.  Your generosity in providing equipment, funds, and time is invaluable)
  • KGET (thank you for Allisa Carlson, our emcee)
  • Kern Schools Federal Credit Union (thank you for supporting several of our programs including inservice and Athletics)

Bronze sponsor:

Phil and Debby Rosenthal

During my remarks, I pointed out that the KCCD Board of Trustees was considering a bond for the November 8, 2016 ballot by reminding our friends in the community that it was up to us to take care of this gem, Bakersfield College, for the next 50 years — 2016 to 2066.

In 1913, Bakersfield leadership & the community were visionaries. They knew that higher education was absolutely critical for Kern County, and so they created a community college to Bakersfield.

In the 1950s, leadership & the community again showed their commitment to the college when they supported Bakersfield College’s expansion and move to the hill.

60 years later, many things have changed – but one constant piece that remains is that the community realizes that the return on investment of Bakersfield College is huge. The community remains committed to supporting the work of the college, and lifting up the students that the college serves. The community recognizes and appreciates the special relationship between Bakersfield and Bakersfield College.

Here is the 2:38-minute video that Manny De Los Santos put together giving us Bakersfield College from the Millennium Falcon.

Talking about the Millennium Falcon and De Los Santos, you have got to check out the videos that he did for our Opening Day.  Here is my Jan 23, 2016 blog post.


There were many other wonderful donors and friends of Bakersfield College in attendance.

Sonya Lorraine Cook and Jerry Cook March 31 2016

Sonya Christian with Lauraine & Jerry Cook

Jerry and Lauraine Cook met at Bakersfield College in a music appreciation class. They are longtime supporters of Bakersfield College. Lauraine is a retired Vice Chancellor of Educational Services for the Kern Community College District.



It goes without saying that an important part of Bakersfield College’s ties to the community is our Athletics department, and there was no shortage of BC Athletics legends on hand at the event.

It was great to see Walt Johnson, former Men’s Athletic Director and Renegade baseball and football coach. Johnson was part of the legendary “Fab Five” quintet — Duane Damron, Harvell Pollard, Carl Bowser, and Gerry Collis — who made the Renegades a national force in athletics.

A big part of Mary’s giving to Bakersfield College positively impacts the Athletic Department, and fellow athletics benefactors were on hand to honor Mary. That included longtime football supporter Wes Bradford, President and Owner of Clifford-Bradford Insurance Agency.

Ed Davis, President of the Renegade Helmet Club, shared a table with Coach Chudy. Recently, Davis donated materials and labor for a more efficient irrigation system for the practice field and playing surface in Memorial Stadium.

Julie Bowser-Sanders, daughter of Coach Bowser and employee of Clifford-Bradford Insurance, was on hand as well.

“My father won two National Championships in his time with the Renegades, and I can say this with certainty: it wouldn’t have happened without community support from folks like Mary Trichell, her husband Ray Trichell, or Wes Bradford, or generous companies like Chevron,” she said.

PrezVinceFong March 31 2016

Sonya and Vince Fong

It was wonderful to have representation from our political leaders as well. Vince Fong, District Director for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy came out to show his support.

McCarthy is an alum of Bakersfield College, another great example of the important relationship between Bakersfield College and the community. He has returned to his alma mater to show his support on many occasions, including when he served as honorary Chair and keynote speaker for the Kern Ag Summit hosted on the BC campus in fall 2014 – check out my blog post about that great event. And during our Centennial Celebration, Bakersfield College honored Congressman McCarthy for his service to the community with a 100 Stars award.

Michael Bowers Sonya Christian March 31 2016

Michael Bowers, Sonya Christian

We were also so happy to have the support of Michael Bowers, a senior field representative for State Senator Andy Vidak.  The two of them are such great supporters of education in general and of BC in particular.


Thank you also to our KCCD Board Members in attendance, Romeo Agbalog and Kyle Carter.  We so enjoy seeing our Board members at college events.


Kyle Carter Kim Mcabee March 31 2016.jpg

Kyle Carter, Kim Mcabee

The Californian did a wonderful piece on the Bakersfield Hall of Fame, the “brain child” of Carter and Mcabee.  Check it out http://tinyurl.com/hq6ndw8.

Romeo Agbalog and Lily Perez March 31 2016.jpg

Romeo Agbalog, Lily Perez

Trustee Romeo Agbalog is a fierce advocate for education in Delano and rural Kern, for improving the lives of those living in rural communities, and for the less fortunate economically. He is tireless and selfless in his work for those he serves, and he and his wife Lily are regular supporters at college events.

It was a treat seeing Randy Beeman at the event.  Randy and I were faculty together at BC before I went off to Oregon — Randy in History and me in Math.  Randy and his wife came with their friends Martin and Lori Caratan of Columbine Vineyards.

Randy Beeman Sonya Christian Martin Caratan March 31 2016.jpg

Randy and Martin kept bragging about each other and it was clear that they had a deep longstanding friendship that is tried and true.  Check out Caratan’s website at http://www.columbinevineyards.com/.  Here is a neat excerpt, from the website, about generational farming in this valley

The Caratan heritage continues to thrive as the next generation provides leadership to Columbine Vineyards. Martin Caratan maintains his grandfather’s vision, Luis and Milan’s momentum and their own dedication to the propagation of new varietals, consistent quality and the superior products and customer service the industry has come to know and expect from Columbine Vineyards.


Ingrid and JP Lake

I shared a table that evening with a fun group of people:  Mike and Nancy Turnipseed, JP and Ingrid Lake, Romeo Agbalog and Lily Perez, and Karen Goh.  The conversations that I was able to join in on ranged from how Rain for Rent could help us secure the waters from the Willamette to address the drought in the central valley in California, to the necessity of having coffee with desert, which had a nice splash of sea salt with caramel!


Karen Goh has been a consistent and longstanding friend of Bakersfield.  She has always taken the time to help out whenever help was needed.  Thank you Karen!  Here she is with Mary Trichell and Billie Jo Medders.  I have never met Billie Jo Medders but she helped me out about 2 decades ago when I was a faculty at BC and she was working in Congressman Bill Thomas’ Office.  Congressman Thomas, you have single-handedly done so much for our community.

Trichell and Goh March 31 2016.jpg

Mary Trichell, Karen Goh, Billie Jo Medders

Mike and Nancy Turnipseed March 31 2016.jpg

Mike and Nancy Turnipseed

Mike Turnipseed is a great community leader who recognizes the importance of the relationship between the Bakersfield community and Bakersfield College.  “It’s wonderful to see the exceptional community support that Bakersfield College has, and how much the community supports and appreciates that value BC adds to the community,” said Mike Turnipseed, executive director of the Kern County Taxpayers Association.

Check out my August 4, 2015 blog post on the collaborative work that BC did with Turnipseed and others in the community. http://tinyurl.com/hkm2p6y.

As you can see, the relationship between Bakersfield College and Bakersfield runs deep – Bakersfield College truly is a community college!

The Force is with….BC!  We are….BC!

Thank you Marlene Heise, Tom Gelder, and Mary Jo Pasek for this great event.


Mary Jo and Tom Pasek March 31 2016

Mary Jo Pasek, Tom Pasek




Heise Gelder Christian March 31 2016

Marlene Heise, Tom Gelder, Sonya Christian

Musser Mayer Christian Rabe cropped.jpg

Shannon Musser, Francis Mayer, Sonya Christian, Kristin Rabe