Tag Archives: Judge Robert Tafoya

Courage and Decency …. the American Way

Good morning Bakersfield. 
It is Saturday, September 1st …. a day of remembering a great American Hero.

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“John was above all a man with a code. He lived by a set of public virtues
that brought strength and purpose to his life and to his country. ”
President George W. Bush, Sep 1, 2018

This week was certainly a week of reflection for our nation as our country’s leaders paid homage to a great American hero — John McCain.  Like many of you, I read and listened to stories and messages about his life and the lives he touched.  The message that hit home the most to this immigrant about a country that I love so dearly was delivered by President George W. Bush at the funeral service for Senator John McCain in Washington DC on September 1, 2018.  I quote:

“….Whatever the cause, it was this combination of courage and decency that defined John’s calling, and closely paralleled the calling of his country.

This combination of courage and decency that makes the American military something new in history. Unrivaled power for good….”

To me, every word and every sentence of President Bush’s speech was powerful….full of meaning and spoke to the fundamental character and beliefs that America and Americans embody to the world.  Being constantly vigilant in not slipping into a thought or action that is “unworthy” of the ideals of this great nation.  And when we do, to hear the voice of John McCain reminding us …”we are better than this.”

I have read the transcript of President Bush’s speech many times.  You can find it here: https://tinyurl.com/y76yrymb

And you can listen to his 7:53-minute speech on youtube here.

 

Now back to BC……

Another great week at BC culminating with the visit from the chair of our Accreditation visiting team on a pre-site visit.

Accreditation Team Chair Visits Campus

Quality assurance of higher education in the United States occurs through the accreditation peer review process. Bakersfield College’s peer review is happening this fall, and our entire campus is eagerly awaiting the site visit the first week of October. In preparation for the visit, our evaluation team chair and the team assistant visited our campus to organize logistics, tour their team room for the visit, and meet with some of the team members involved in the development of the Institutional Self-Evaluation Report.

In typical Renegade fashion, BC faculty, staff, and students reported to work in BC red, prepared to greet our guests. Check out these photos:

Jessica Wojtysiak Nick Stroble Steven Holmes Bernadette Martinez James Thompkins

Thanks to Jessica Wojtysiak, Nick Stroble, Steven Holmes, Bernadette Martinez, and James Thompkins for their help today!

The Administration Building staff proudly showed off their BC red today

The Administration Building staff proudly showed off their BC red today

Special thanks to Tarina Perry, Chris Glaser, Nick Strobel, Steven Holmes, Bernadette Martinez, Jessica Wojtysiak, Carlos Barbaran, Jennfier Marden, June Charles, JoEllen Patterson, Liz Rozell, and Lesley Bonds for organizing the visit and meeting with our evaluators.

Lesley Bonds, Sonya Christian, Liz Rozell, Tarina Perry, Chris Glaser Aug 31 2018

BC Has Strong Presence at KCHCC Business Expo

Both Norma Rojas-Mora and Tamara Baker presented at this year’s Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, showing what a team we have here at BC!  Tamara presented on “Branding Yourself and Your Business,” while Norma was a part of a panel named “Women Empowerment: Climbing the Ladder to Success.” Our very own Professor of History Olivia Garcia was the Co-Chair for the event.  Great job ladies!

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Norma and Olivia on the panel for women’s success stories.

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Tamara Baker presenting on branding

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Norma Rojas-Mora, Olivia Garcia and Tamara Baker

norma panel

Norma and Olivia representing BC!

Olivia Garcia CSUB Pres Lynette Zelezny BC Histor Prof Javier LLamas

Olivia, CSU Bakersfield President Lynnette Zelezny, and Javier LLamas

Olivia Garcia and Dolores Huerta

Oliva with Dolores Huerta!

Jay Tamsi Norma Raji Brar of Countryside Market and Restaurants Gabriela Mello of Wells Fargo Olivia

Jay Tamsi, Norma, Raji Brar of Countryside Market and Restaurants, Gabriela Mello of Wells Fargo, and Olivia Garcia

Also present were Armando Trujillo of Veterans Services and Domenica Trinidad of CTE, who had a booth for the expo portion of the event.  Thanks Armando and Domenica!

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Armando Trujillo and Domenica Trinidad at the KCHCC Business and Conference Expo

BC Ag Department Connecting with Community

Chris McCraw has had a busy couple of weeks!  Last week he spent a couple of days with Kern County CA Ag Teachers Association (CATA) to talk about the opportunities available here at Bakersfield College.  CATA has been around since 1920, promoting and improving the teaching of agriculture here in our Golden State!  A special thank you to Chris for actively promoting the BC Ag department and what we offer here!

 

BC Professor David Koeth in LA Art Exhibit

I am so proud of Professor David Koeth!  He has three paintings in LAUNCH LA’S “Intersection,” a juried exhibit at the Korean Cultural Center.  LAUNCH LA explains the exhibit as follows: “An Intersection occurs when two or more paths cross- where cultures, histories, ambitions or chance converge, creating defining moments of decision, denial or opportunity. For some, the paths are riddled with obstacles or even blocked while for others the way is smoothed. For some the moment is fleeting, for others it lasts a lifetime. The artists of ‘Intersection’ respond to these diverging and converging moments that shape their identities, imbue their work and impact their daily lives.”  

 

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Delano Chamber Award

As I mentioned in the last blog, The Delano Chamber of Commerce recognized BC alongside Assemblyman Salas with Education Award. It is always great to share quality time with friends of Bakersfield College.  The Delano Chamber of Commerce Awards, Installation and Membership Appreciation Mixer was a great opportunity to reconnect with many longtime friends.

Bakersfield College getting the award -Taste of Delano group picture.jpg

 

Sonya Christian and Rudy Salas' rep

Joseph Lopez, Sonya Christian

Judge Robert Tafoya did the honors of swearing in the new Delano Chamber of Commerce Board Members.  He overhead my story about teaching a class in Delano and that Juan Torres was a student and then became my TA.  I said it was then that I fell in love with the people of Delano.  Judge Tafoya started his remarks by mentioning that story and said that my comments held true for him as well. When he began presiding over the Delano courts, he knew he would be there for a long time, because the people he met were the best. Delano is a true treasure in Kern County and Bakersfield College is proud to be part of the fabric of its community. Thank you Judge Robert Tafoya for your continued work in Delano and support for Bakersfield College!

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With Joseph Lopez of Assemblyman Salas’s office

 

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Rich McCrow, Norma Rojas-Mora, Abel Guzman, Michele Bresso, Jaime Lopez, Rachel Lopez, and Juan Torres

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Abel Guzman, Raquel Lopez, Sonya Christian, Jaime Lopez, and Juan Torres

Again, I’d like to thank the Delano Chamber of Commerce and the city of Delano for showing us so much support.  You can check out coverage on the award in this Delano Record article: https://bit.ly/2PUd1dK

Brandon & Norma Visit Telemundo

Norma Gaspar welcomed Brandon Urry as the new Sports Information Director for Renegade Athletics.  It was a pleasant surprise to hear Brandon share his experiences in Argentina where he learned Spanish over fifteen years ago and to see how he has retained the language.  Brandon was excited to share about the sports programs and the upcoming football season. Norma Rojas-Mora encouraged the community to get involved and support Renegade Athletics.  The rooter bus service was highlighted as an opportunity to travel to away games. The sports season has started at Bakersfield College so come on out and support your favorite including football, soccer and volleyball.  Todos Somos BC!

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Norma Rojas-Mora and Brandon Urry on Telemundo!

If you haven’t seen the interview, you can check it out HERE.

BC Has Arrived in Lost Hills!

Starting from conversations that began late last year, BC is finally in Lost Hills!  Here are some photos of when we visited Lost Hills and here is the link to the February 2018 blog post:

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2018/02/10/bc-celebrating-black-history-month-we-are-bc/

Wonderful Tour Group Photo

Admin Team, Lynda Resnick, and Children

The North Kern Adult Education Team who is a part of Rural Initiatives has launched supportive services out in Lost Hills to prepare future Renegades for the EMLS program and eventually CTE certificates as well as degree pathways. The Wonderful company is collaborating with the Adult Education team to bridge the Lost Hills residents’ education gap by encouraging employees to take advantage of BC services offered. Adult Education staff will be onsite at the Lost Hills Community Center every Monday evening to provide language development workshops, as well as transitional and matriculation support to the future renegades. Lost Hills residents will have the opportunity to continue their education in Wasco as we increase offerings in the upcoming semesters.

 

Delano Gets New Carpet.  Small investments make a difference 🙂

BC Delano Campus had new carpet put in three of their classrooms and two of their labs!  

 

Dual Enrollment

Bakersfield College Dual Enrollment team provided a full breadth of training to approximately 60 Kern High School District dual enrollment instructors in preparation for the fall term. Hosted at the KHSD District Board Room, Dr. Dean McGee and Dr. Ben Sherley provided an introduction outlining the many reasons to support dual enrollment and the benefits to students. Director of Outreach and Dual Enrollment, Steve Watkin, and Dean of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez, shared the strong effort and support from Bakersfield College for both instructors and students.

Coverage of topics ranging from enrollment and FERPA to syllabus construction and assessment were provided by Jacqueline Lau, Hilda Rodriguez, Dr. Anna Laven and Mark Osea. Additional information was provided by Abel Guzman, Fernando Lara, Dr. Emmanuel Mourtzanos, Raquel Lopez and Cindy Collier. Participants actively participated in thoughtful discussion about their instructional responsibilities and expressed appreciation for the BC efforts to bring college to students. The strength of our partnership, wealth of knowledge and commitment to support dual enrollment was truly impressive!

Alianza Recycling Presents Check to BC Drum Corp.

Alianza Recycling and Recovery LLC held a free electronics recycling event this past April.  On Thursday, Neil Agness of Alianza Recycling presented our very own Tim Heasley with a check, donating all of the proceeds to the BC Drum Corps!  Thank you to Alianza Recycle for your support!

Neil Agness of Alianza and Tim Heasley check

Neil Agness of Alianza presenting BC’s Tim Heasley with their donation.

Former Renegade and Current Dallas Cowboy Tyrone Crawford Subject of Documentary

Our very own head football coach, Jeff Chudy,  was interviewed by the Dallas Cowboys on campus this last month as part of a documentary on the life of former BC football star Tyrone Crawford and his journey to the Dallas Cowboys. Originally from Canada, Tyrone started his college football career here at BC before transferring to Boise State. He now makes a living as an NFL football player. Watch the documentary by clicking HERE.

Tyronne Crawford

Tyronne Crawford in his BC Renegade days!

Ride the Rooter Bus to Football Away Games this Season

Fans wishing to attend football away games and not have to drive themselves will be able to use the BC rooter bus once again this season. Fans wishing to reserve a spot on the bus need to call the athletics department at (661) 395-4269 by 11:00am the Friday before the game they wish to attend. The cost is $25/person (cash only) and is payable on Saturday before boarding the bus. The fare does not cover the price of admission into the game.

  • September 1st vs. Mt. SAC – bus will depart at 2:00pm
  • September 22nd vs. Golden West – bus will depart at 10:00am
  • October 13th vs. Ventura – bus will depart at 3:00pm
  • October 20th vs. Long Beach – bus will depart at 2:00pm
  • November 10th vs. Canyons – bus will depart at 3:30pm

Ride the Rooter Bus

Women’s Soccer opens the season with a Win

The Renegades women’s soccer team opened up the 2018 season with a home victory over West LA at Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night. Our Renegades scored first and never looked back, winning 6-1. This weekend our women’s team will travel north to the bay area to play against Los Medanos College and Napa Valley College. Best of luck and Go Gades!

Renegade Soccer Player on the Field with win 6 to 1

Women’s Golf Opens Season at South Coast Classic

The Renegade Women’s Golf team opened their 2018 season on the road in Ventura at the South Coast Classic hosted by Santa Barbara Community College. On Sunday they played at Olivas Links Golf Course and on Monday they played at Buenaventura Golf Course. Sophomore and second year player Allie Crawley led the charge for the Renegades, shooting a two-day score of 154.

Complete scores for the team are listed below:

  • Allie Crawley – 154
  • Sydney Crawley – 164
  • Elizabeth Nakagawa – 214
  • Breann Bonkosky – 229
  • Ramanda Lara – 260
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Allie Crawley, Sydney Crawley, Elizabeth Nakagawa, Breann Bonkosky and Ramanda Lara

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics on social media. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.  The Renegades will next be in action on Monday, September 10th against Santa Barbara at Santa Barbara Golf Club.

Stay connected with athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

This Week’s Renegade Report

This week’s Renegade Report highlighted our women’s volleyball team. Assistant Coach Lorraine Aguilar and players Jessica Merante and Shyanne Baez talked about their team goals and upcoming season. To watch all four segments from the 8/30 show click this link: http://gogades.com/video/index. To keep up with what’s happening around Renegade Athletics, visit Bakersfield.com (the Californian website) where the show streams live on their homepage each Thursday at 11:00am.

Renegade Report 2

BC Volleyball players Jessica Merante and Shyanne Baez

Renegade Report

Assistant Volleyball Coach Lorraine Aguilar

BC Partners with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra

BC is once again partnering with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra Next program to provide an enrichment opportunity for many high-school and middle-school students to spend time on our campus prior to attending a symphony concert. Last year, we supported over 100 students. For the 2018-19 season, we anticipate serving over 300 students across six BSO concerts from October to May. In fact, the symphony concert on May 11 will include our very own BC Chamber Singers as guest performers. You won’t want to miss it!

A special word of thanks to Kari Heilman (Executive Director of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra) and Ira Cohen (Founding Member of the BSO Next program) for their grand vision to create a cultural experience in the arts for many students who otherwise would not be able to attend. We are so lucky to have such wonderful community partners. Here’s a picture of the beautiful gift Ira and Kari gave me to recognize BC’s support of BSO Next. I love it!

Sonya - BSO Next

Enjoying my beautiful gift from BSO

Karaoke Knights

On Monday, BCSGA hosted a karaoke event in the Fireside Room to get the campus community prepared for Wednesday’s Student Involvement Festival. Billed as “Karaoke Knights”, students came together to sing karaoke version of popular songs such as “Waterfalls” by TLC and “Smooth” by Santana and Rob Thomas.

 

Student Involvement Festival

This last Thursday, Bakersfield College held it’s 2nd Annual Student Involvement Festival.  This festival is the largest event that takes place during the week-long campus welcome program, and provides the opportunity for students to learn about the Bakersfield College campus and how they can become involved on the campus and in the community.

Dozens of local businesses and community organizations will be in attendance with information booths throughout the campus. Volunteers at the booths will provide students with information about their organizations, sell items, and recruit workers and volunteers.  A huge thank you to Nicky Damania and his team at Student Life for organizing this great event!

 

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BC SouthWest Hosts Pint for a Pass

BC  SouthWest and Houchin Community Blood Bank partnered together and held the first-ever BC SouthWest/Houchin Blood Bank Blood Drive called “Pint for a Pass.”  By donating, students received a free shirt, food and admission to the Kern County Fair. Over 43 pints of blood were received on Thursday ALONE, far surpassing Houchin’s projects and expectations!  This event was a huge success as HCBB collected 48 units, which can potentially help 144 individuals.

Thank you to Stephanie Gibbons and the Houchin Community Blood Bank crew for your hard work, and thank you to BCSGA and KVC for the grant that sponsored the event’s food and drinks.  Also, special thanks to Stephanie Stuart and Theresa Rodriguez for the delicious food, and to Officers Linda Morgan and Ricardo Orozco, Jr. for securing the parking stalls for the buses.  Last but not least, thank you to SouthWest Director Fernando Lara for all of your hard work!  WE ARE BC!

fernando and hbcc crew

Stephanie Gibbons, Fernando Lara and the HCBB crew

I want to thank BC Southwest for stepping up to support our community. It especially warmed my heart to hear that Professor Don Turney provided an extra credit opportunity for students in his Psychology courses who donated blood. Many of Professor Turney’s students took the Renegade Shuttle from the Panorama Campus to the Southwest for this service opportunity. Thank you, Don, for exemplifying the collegial spirit we share at BC, but also for directly benefiting our students,  our Kern County community, and likely beyond!

 

Keep those cars away from campus and ride smart 🙂

Students, faculty and staff, plz carpool to work or join me and ride the express bus from the southwest to the main campus.  That’s what Mindy Wilmot and I do!

Sonya Christian and Mindy Wilmot August 27 2018

 

Float-In

You’ve heard of a drive-in, but have you experienced a “float-in?” Students brought their own floatation devices and watched the movie “The Shallows”… nothing like a good shark movie to make you want to have your feet dangling in water! Thanks to Student Life and Nicky Damania for planning such a wonderful past two weeks!  

 

As I wrap up this post on September 2, 2018, that day after John McCain was laid to rest, I am inspired to ensure that Bakersfield College continues to live up to the principles and virtues this man had for this great country and its people.

….. He was courageous, with a courage that frightened his captors, and inspired his countrymen. …..  He respected the dignity inherent in every life, a dignity that does not stop at borders and cannot be erased by dictators.

Perhaps above all John detested the abuse of power, could not abide bigots and swaggering. He spoke up for the little guy, forgotten people in forgotten places. …….

Where does such strength and conviction come from? Perhaps from a family where honor was in the atmosphere or from the firsthand experience of cruelty which left physical reminders that lasted his whole life. Or from some deep well of moral principle. Whatever the cause, it was this combination of courage and decency that defined John’s calling, and closely paralleled the calling of his country.

Bakersfield College is a place of courage and decency,
where no student is forgotten and the dignity of each is respected.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as the 10th president of Bakersfield College.

We are BC!

sonya christian at Rotary April 30 2015

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Time Flies When You’re at BC!

Can you believe it’s already July? Where does the time go?

Good morning, it is Saturday, July 1, 2017 and such a wonderful day to be a Renegade

Jury Duty

As we approach Independence Day, the right to a trial by jury is one of the primary factors contributing to America’s decision to fight for independence. Jury rights were written into Article III of the US Constitution and the Sixth Amendment, which guarantees all Americans “the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed”. In contrast to the magistrate process popular in 18th Century Europe, where the judges lead the prosecution, the US legal system forces each side to conduct its own investigation, present evidence and argue its side in open court.

As it happens, I spent much of my time last week on Jury Duty and was reminded daily of two things. First, how much I love the community of Delano and second, how thankful I am to live in a society that gives every citizen a voice and a way to serve and contribute.

McNamara and Horace MitchellThe Judge who did the orientation in Bakersfield was Judge McNamara, a previous faculty at CSUB. I found this CSUB blog post which shared photos and the story of when Judge McNamara was appointed. Both he and the Judge Tafoya in Delano had significant respect for veterans.

I enjoyed the short drive from Bakersfield to Delano daily. Dr. Oliver Rosales mentioned in an article last year that the 99 has been “dubbed the most dangerous road in America” but that he, too, enjoys his drives to Delano. In the article, he mentions the fields surrounding the city and cleverly says BC Delano is surrounded by “fields of dreams.”

After spending three days in Jury Duty, I wanted to learn more about the Delano Court. The California Courts website says,

The Superior Court of Kern County operates two facilities in northern Kern County: the Shafter/Wasco Branch in Shafter, and the Delano/McFarland Branch Courthouse, also known as the North Kern Regional Court, in Delano. The Delano facility serves the communities of Delano, Elmo, Famoso, McFarland, Pond, Richgrove, Vineland, and other outlying rural areas. This court also handles cases from two neighboring prisons: Kern Valley State Prison and North Kern State Prison.

It’s incredible to think of the large area that Delano services.

Robert Tafoya MArch 28 2015 from TBCMy week of service reframed my thinking on Jury Duty.   Jury duty is not only a good thing to do, but also one of the most important ways we can be responsible citizens. It is an opportunity to make use of our mind and voice… while making it count on matters that are life changing and profound. Jurors have a tremendous responsibility and what an honor it is to be trusted as a collective of regular citizens. A guilty or not guilty verdict will and can change a life forever.

Also, it was a real treat watching Judge Robert Tafoya in action.  He is one of the most authentic individuals I know.  Thank you Judge Tafoya for all that you do for our communities of Bakersfield and Delano. Check out this piece on Robert Tafoya, March 28, 2014, in the Bakersfield Life Magazine of The Bakersfield Californian titled What I am Reading.

Photo: Rod Thornburg of TBC

http://www.bakersfield.com/bakersfield_life/what-i-m-reading-judge-robert-tafoya/article_c218bd28-cdf2-5fe4-aa53-9ec272b3e8b6.html

Student Success Retreat

On Monday, we held a student success retreat which focused on understanding real student data, beginning the process of taking action through the Completion Coaching Communities Structure, identifying students who are off the path in some way, and helping them get back on path to completing their educational goals.

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Discipline faculty, counselors, educational advisors, and the entire management team gathered in groups organized by our ten Learning and Career Pathways.  Each team of Completion Coaches reviewed the schedules of the students in their Learning and Career Pathway.  Using the “Completion Coach Student Evaluation” (photo attached), Completion Coaches manually reviewed and discussed their individual students’ schedules to ensure they are on path toward their educational goals.  While this work is time intensive, it’s critical in ensuring each of our Renegades are equipped with the information and tools necessary for their success.

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Craig HaywardCraig Hayward, our Institutional Researcher, led the Completion Coaches in a discussion to identify the key themes present among the data.  The Coaches identified issues related to the first three pillars of the guided pathways model:

  1.      Goal Clarity: Lack of clarity in the pathways and educational maps
  2.      Enrollment Roadblocks: Onboarding to the wrong path through registration
  3.      Lane Assist: Need for tracking to ensure students stay on path toward their educational goals

Thank you Lesley Bonds for the photos.

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Summer Bridge Video and Registration Rocks

I received this video from Jordan Rude.  You can see why Summer Bridge is so important and successful.  Navigating the road of college isn’t easy, especially if you’re right out of high school. BC’s Summer Bridge is here to help!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FsummerbridgeBC%2Fvideos%2F1919455238277482%2F&width=450&show_text=false&height=252&appId

Check out the work of John Farrand and Francis Mayer for July 11th — Registration Rocks

I will cover this event more in next week’s blog.

The Air Force Concert Band is off to the Hollywood Bowl

Beautiful garrison flag welcoming our guests Wed night

Photo by MJ Pasek

What a lovely evening it was last Wednesday for a live concert!  We were so lucky to have the U.S. Air Force Concert Band give a free concert at the outdoor theatre.  The USAF Band of the Golden West, on their way to play at the Hollywood Bowl, played so many of the great songs that are familiar in a creative, inventive way.  They played selections from Aaron Copland, Pat Methany, a Medley of Gershwin classic, the lively jazz piece from 1955 called “Malaguena” (by Ernesto Lecuona).  Giving us a little bit of history from each of their selections, they told us the story of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Check out this brief video of Yankee Doodle from the Air Force Band

Most people don’t know about the history of the song, but it’s really quite humorous.  British soldiers of the revolutionary war made up the words (the melody itself had been around for a long time already) to make fun of the rough-around-the-edges [in appearance and organization] American Colonials.  British soldiers liked to laugh at the unkempt Americans who would think they were high-class if they were to stick a feather in their dirty hat.

USAF Band-8

Veteran's Center mobile unit did a brisk business all evening

Photo by MJ Pasek

Not ones to sit around and be mocked, American soldiers started singing the song as a sign of defiance.  Even changing a few verses to mock the Britons and hail George Washington.  So what was originally meant to mock the Americans had the tables turned on it to become something proudly sung throughout the army.

Mary Jo Pasek always has fantastic pictures of every event at BC! More photos to come next week!

https://twitter.com/BandGoldenWest/status/880243635823951872

I also loved seeing this picture at the concert posted later on Facebook with Art Professor, Diego Monterrubio and History Professor, Paul Beckworth.

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The concert started with a rendition of Hoedown

Check out Fascinating Rhythm.

Here is a short video of their last song honoring each branch of the Military to Caissons Go Rolling Along

 

It was a treat to see the community out enjoying incredible music, supporting our veterans and being a part of the Bakersfield College community.

Thank you Dick Taylor for bringing the Air Force Band of the Golden West to Bakersfield and to Bakersfield College.

Here is an excerpt describing the band from their website

The United States Air Force Band of the Golden West is stationed in the San Francisco Bay area at Travis Air Force Base, California. The only active duty Air Force band west of the Rockies, the Band of the Golden West is comprised of about 60 talented and versatile Airmen-musicians under the command of Captain Rafael F. Toro-Quiñones. In addition to performing for civilian communities throughout the states of California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, the band supports 13 Air Force Bases, 8 Air Force Reserve Wings, and 6 recruiting squadrons in over 250 annual performances for 1.5 million listeners.

And thank you Mary Jo Pasek, for all that you did to make this happen.  Here is a picture that SGA Vice President Lawrence Salcido snapped when the Band Conductor invited Mary Jo to come up and be recognized.  Mary Jo then invited me to come along.  She did all the work, and I get to share the credit with her.  You see why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

Mary jo receiving a recognition June 29 2017

Here is a screen capture of Dick Taylor’s Facebook post recognizing the amazing work done by Mary Jo.

Dick Taylor recognizing Mary Jo Pasek on Facebook

Most of the photos are from our own William Velasquez, from the BC IT department. Thank you William for the photos!

 

Celebrating our Fire Grads!

In last weeks blog, I mentioned our Firefighter Graduation, but this week Tim Capehart, our Fire Technology Director, sent me some great photos and information so I thought I’d revisit that incredible celebration. Tim said, “The F/F 1 Academy is over 524 hrs. long. It meets three times a week in the evenings and all day Sat. and Sun. so students can maintain a day job and still complete the academy. The Academy that just finished meets the new curriculum requirements for F/F 1 IFSAC and Pro Board accreditation. This means our students can apply for jobs anywhere in the United States. We graduated thirty two students who all passed the State skills and written exams.”

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Furthermore, Tim added that all thirty two students held full time jobs along with studying, training, and continuous testing throughout the six month journey. In this year’s graduating class, we had dedicated husbands, parents, marines, an airborne ranger, Cal State Berkeley football player, ferrier, Alabama volleyball player, CSUB swimmer, and a division one baseball athlete. The young men and women represent the many different and diverse groups of future firefighters. We are BC!

 

Chris McCraw and E. Kika De La Garza  Fellows Program

BC Ag Professor, Chris McCraw participated in the E. Kika De La Garza Fellows Program.

The official brochure says,

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO), Hispanic-Serving Institutions National Program (HSINP) E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship Program offers faculty and staff from Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) the opportunity to work collaboratively with USDA to gain insight and understanding of the Federal Government. Through the fellowship, participants learn about opportunities that are available with USDA and other Federal Agencies for their respective institutions and their students. Fellows share their experience with students at their respective HSIs, motivating them to pursue careers in agriculture, science, research, technology, and other related fields of study. Furthermore, the fellowship strengthens and expands USDA’s partnerships with HSIs and the communities they serve.

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The Chris McCraw and E. Kika De La Garza  Fellows

 

Working together across KCCD to implement better systems

Students across KCCD June 2017

Lisa Couch, Jason Andrews, Terri Goldstein

On Monday and Tuesday, the student conduct officers from all three KCCD institutions came together at Bakersfield College to learn the our new student conduct case management system, Maxient. Lead by Dr. Nicky Damania, the group spent two intense days learning the system while implementing processes that would not only increase positive experiences within student conduct process, but also bring efficiency to their workflow when processing case paperwork. The new process will convert the student conduct process completely online thus being able to effectively communicate with students in a timely manner.

 

Student Leaders across KCCD June 2017

Val Garcia, Jason Andrews

National Camera Day

Kris Stallworth from The Rip.jpg

The Bakersfield Californian featured our Art Department Chair, Kristopher Stallworth’s photos and a brief blurb on Thursday for National Camera Day. Check it out on Bakersfield.com.

Stallworth has been taking photos for 25 years. His first camera was a 110 film point and shoot camera, and his first serious camera was a Canon AE-1 that was his father’s.

Community Events

BC at Bakersfield Wing Festival June 25 2017.jpg

John Kelly, Tina Mendoza, Sandra Beckworth, Paul Beckworth, Terri Goldstein, Nicky Damania

 

natesha-sonya-karen-nov-4-2016-kern-housisng-authority-galaBC employees always support our local community organizations and partners. Sunday June 25 at the Kern County Fair Grounds was the second annual Bakersfield Wing Fest where several Renegades supported our community partner, NaTesha Kindred Johnson’s group, Upside Productions.  NaTesha is a great friend of BC and did a lot of work on Measure J.  Thank you NaTesha!  Here is a picture of NaTesha that I found in my blog library.  We were at an event organized by Norma Rojas Mora.  Here is NaTesha with Karen Goh and me.

Bakersfield Wing Festival June 25 2017

Paul Beckworth, John Kelly, Tina Mendoza, Sandra Beckworth, Terri Goldstein, Nicky Damania

The event brought the community together to not only enjoy delicious wings from around Bakersfield, but also raise awareness and funds for the Alzheimer’s Disease Association for Kern County and Grandma Whoople Enterprise (a non-profit anti bullying campaign). This year Happy Hour won the wing competition but we all won a great taste of community pride!

Superheroes Behind the Scenes

Have I told you lately that I’m the happiest and luckiest college president in the world? One reason is because of the fantastic faculty and staff at Bakersfield College, and one example is Kristina Whitmore in the department of Student Success and Equity. Above and beyond her work at BC, volunteering is an important part of her life. She said,

Helping others is an essential part of who am I, If I am not helping others I am not helping myself. I do not feel whole as a person when I am not advocating and doing for others. I find joy and hope in helping our students at BC, here I know each student will go on to accomplish great things. I find light in a dark place when I am in Prison helping. These men have made bad choice that have found them behind bars, but they are not to be forgotten!

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Kristina Whitmore

The specific program Kristina mentions is called Pawsitive Change Prison Program by Marley’s Mutts. The website says,

Pawsitive Change is a progressive and intensive rehabilitation program which matches Death Row dogs with inmates inside California State Prisons.  Our goal is to reduce inmate recidivism by providing them a viable skill, while at the same time saving dogs lives.  The program is guided by four of our experienced trainers over 14 weeks, during which the inmates work toward vocational accreditation and the dogs towards their Canine Good Citizen Certification.  Both man and mutt will use the skills gained in this program to better their lives and stay out of prisons and/or shelters, respectively.

Marleys Mutts Program (3)

On the homepage, there is a testimony that stood out to me and shows how lifechanging and “pawsitive” is.

“We live inside a place where we can’t show our emotion — it’s considered a weakness.  But with this program, we can feel, give, and receive affection.  We become cold in here, much more cold than when we entered.  But these dogs give us a chance to be human.” -Inmate Participant, Cyclell

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Thank you Kristina and thank you Marley’s Mutts for all that you do.  This is an inspirational program.

Marleys Mutts Program (4)

Neo

Speaking of puppies, on Wednesday Neo had his third visit to the vet (by the way, a great supporter of Marley’s Mutts…). Two vaccines — Bordetella Bronchiseptica and Canine Distemper.  The first picture was taken on June 2nd (his second visit to the Vet when he weighed 19 lbs) and the second picture on June 28th (this third visit to the Vet at 30 lbs)

I must say this time the drive to the vet was much more pleasant than three weeks ago, he was calm, self-assured, and not the distressed puppy in a car moving fast!

Here he is making a reckless uncontrolled dash for the ball.

Renegade Passings of Joyce Teague and Rich Wise

joyceteagueOn Tuesday morning, I received a notice from Jerry Ludeke that we’ve had another passing in the Renegade family. The email from BC Archives said, “We are very sad to report that Joyce Teague (Kite) passed away last evening. Joyce began working for Bakersfield College in 1983 and retired on August 17, 2013. She loved her job in the M&O Department, where she was the go-to woman! She was also known for her outgoing and fun personality. You could say that she was a “character!” Later in her career, she moved to the Fine Arts Department. She will be deeply missed.”  I remember Joyce very well from my time as faculty at BC.  She ran a tight operation and was fearless in telling folks, including new department chair, what to do 🙂

4419330Last week, news also spread that Richard Wise passed away. Dr. Wise was devoted to his students and Bakersfield College and always encouraged students reach their goals and gain knowledge to  be successful. His students and colleagues admired his diligence and tenacity while teaching and doing battle with his illness.  He will be missed dearly and Liz Rozell said in an email, “I can tell you that he always was friendly with his colleagues and pleasant to work alongside. When I was Rich’s supervisor, he participated in a committee and communicated good insight with critical issues. I always enjoyed passing him in the hall because I knew he would smile at me and give me a friendly greeting. That means a lot in a work environment.”  It’s special people like Rich Wise who make BC so special.

East Hills Mall

I shared with you back in January in my blog that big plans were announced for the East Hills Mall and this week, The Bakersfield Californian shared an update with all the various stores that have been requested for the space. Check it out at The Bakersfield Californian website. None are guaranteed yet, but they would make great additions to the neighborhood.

Fun Photos

Thank you Corny Rodriguez for sending me photos of our new M&O building going up.  Here is the latest from June 30, 2017

June 30 2017 M&O Building

Came across this photo of Nicole Parra in action with Norma Rojas Mora and Bill Thomas when we were in the middle of the Measure J campaign.  Thank you Nicole for saying yes to BC or was it yes to BT 🙂

Nicole Parra Norma Rojas Mora Bill Thomas

Nicole Parra, Norma Rojas Mora, Bill Thomas

A few summer bridge photos from Kimberly Bligh

And this one is from Francis Mayer.  He titled it “Mega phone Matt” 🙂

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Sonya Christian

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever