Tag Archives: Karen Goh

KCCD gearing up for in-service week of activities

What a week! Colleagues across the Kern Community College District have been hard at work making the final adjustments as we return to in-person learning this fall. Of course we have plenty of options for students … besides face-to-face classes we have online, hybrid, zoom online etc. We’re just about a week away from the start of Fall 2021 semester – and welcoming many of our students, faculty, and staff back after nearly 18 months away.

As we approach the finish line for these preparations, I had to share this 1-min epic video my daughter made of Bessie at the beach set to the theme of Chariots of Fire. Loved it!

And of course, here’s my own Neo, who has a new mischievous streak including hiding in the bramble.

And here is a quick tribute to Cornell. Saw his gorgeous face on Jessica Wojtysiak’s FB post.

Good morning, friends…
It is August 14, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

This week, the Pirates, the Coyotes, and the Renegades continue to 
Dare Mighty Things


Porterville College

PC Promise Students return to campus early for In-Person Orientation

President Claudia Habib visits with new freshmen Promise Students in the cafeteria.

Porterville College welcomed its newest class of PC Promise Students to campus this week for a four-day in-person orientation event.  Dozens of students attended in-person, while many more attended the event virtually.  During the annual four-day orientation, students learned about campus and received tours, listened to motivational speakers, and attended panels that provided tips for success from our financial aid staff and several Porterville College student ambassadors. 

The Porterville College Promise Program serves first-time college students through their first year with a comprehensive plan of financial and academic support.  It is open to students who attend PC full-time, with on-time completion of 30 units per year, meeting the 15 to Finish campaign pledge.  To remain in the program, students must also declare a Pathway and establish an Education Plan.

Students get back to building their dreams of becoming firefighters

Porterville City Fire Chief Dave LaPere (right) talks with Fire Academy Students

This past weekend, President Claudia Habib Visited the Porterville College Fire Academy, which is conducted in partnership between Porterville College and the City of Porterville Fire Department, to welcome the new cohort of Firefighter-I Academy students.

The students began their semester with welcome messages from both Dr. Habib and Porterville Fire Chief Dave LaPere. Habib said of the day, “It was so inspiring to hear their stories. A common thread among them was chasing life-long dreams of becoming Fire Fighters.” 

Porterville College conducts the Academy in the Fall, along with an Interagency Basic Wildland Firefighter Academy that takes place in the Spring each year. The programs are designed to help students prepare for Entry-level firefighter job opportunities, both locally and on the state level.

The one-semester Firefighter-1 Academy runs from August through December and helps prepare graduates to apply for entry-level firefighter positions with most fire departments in the state. It is accredited by the Office of the California State Fire Marshal and provides the training students need for certification by the State Fire Marshal as a Firefighter-1.

Let’s say a small prayer for our brave California Firefighters as we move through this summer 2021 which is already a difficult fire season.

Porterville College is Growing Futures with Outreach


PC faculty and staff recently spent the day spreading the word about continuing education to local farm workers.

The “PC Growing Futures” program provides farm workers classes offered in their own communities, with access to laptops, textbooks, and access to Rosetta Stone Software to help them achieve student success.

Just this past week, several teams of Porterville College advisors, counselors and outreach staff traveled to fields and cold storage facilities in Porterville and the surrounding communities to provide direct outreach and information to hundreds of farm workers about PC Growing Futures and other PC programs.  During these very full days of outreach activities, they spent the mornings and evenings mingling with employees one-on-one and giving quick presentations to large groups.

With this program, PC continues to partner with the California Farmworker Association to offer new services to farm workers throughout the Greater Porterville Area.

PC Educational Advisor Connie Oropeza talks to warehouse workers about continuing their education.

Cerro Coso Community College

P.O.S.T. Academy recruits return to speak to incoming class

Student success! Two prior Cerro Coso P.O.S.T. Academy recruits, now officers, Sunny Hasnian (McFarland PD) and Zach Page (Tehachapi PD) joined the academy orientation for the upcoming fall in Tehachapi to give some guidance and answer questions to nervous potential recruits.  The Program’s graduation and placement rates are outstanding for the last class (97% success and 75% employed) even during the pandemic!

Cerro Coso campuses open for in-person instruction and services

All Cerro Coso campuses are now OPEN offering a full complement of student and instructional services. What the staffing looks like may be different for each department as we continue our phased-in approach to our return.  Dr. Hancock welcomed staff back with donuts and coffee the first two days.  He has long anticipated the day when the Cerro Coso family could gather again in-person. 

College facilities were closed and staff working from home when Dr. Hancock took over the Office of President in September.  #CoyoteSafe. #CoyoteStrong.  

Don’t forget – the Cerro Coso Rocks Welcome Back Celebration is this Thursday, August 19, from 3-7 pm. There will be in-person and virtual events. There will also be a COVID vaccine clinic.

Find out more at https://www.cerrocoso.edu/about/outreach/cc-rocks.

Thank you to M&O Staff for HVAC work!

In the past year, Cerro Coso has poured a lot of time and money into getting its HVAC units up and running.  For the first time in a couple of years, we are above 90% of our units operating at full capacity.  All of the M&O staff are to be commended for making this happen.


Bakersfield College

Local Officials Join BC For Get Out The Vaccine Neighborhood Canvas

Earlier this year, Bakersfield College students began participating in the statewide “Get Out The Vaccine” project, utilizing canvassers to share vaccine knowledge, information, and awareness with residents living throughout the zip codes of 93307 and 93301.

On Thursday, local officials including Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez and community partners such as Dignity Health and Kern Health Systems joined BC’s students and nursing program to offer both the Moderna or the Johnson and Johnson vaccines on the spot in neighborhoods.. 

Renegade Athletics Holds Media Day

Bakersfield College’s Athletics extended a warm welcome to join the Renegades in kicking off the 2021 fall sports season with the annual BC Athletics Media Day on Thursday, August 12th.

The event featured a full lineup of guest speakers, including:

  • Opening Remarks with Kenny Calvin
  • Remarks by Bakersfield Mayor, Karen Goh 
  • Men’s Coach, Vayron Martinez
  • Cross Country, Pam Kelley
  • Volleyball, Carl Ferreira
  • Golf Women’s coach, Wes Coble
  • Football, R.Todd Littlejohn
  • Athletic Director, Reggie Bolton

BC Student Convocation Going Virtual

From email from OSL:

In light of the newest Kern County COVID-19 updates, Bakersfield College is moving to a virtual setting for the upcoming New Student Convocation.

If you have already registered for the ceremony, you do not need to do anything. You will receive a separate email, one day before the event, with the virtual link.

If you have not yet registered to participate, please do so now at https://bcstudentlife.wufoo.com/forms/r6fynh3017yave/

Another Successful Express Enrollment Event at Bakersfield College!

Bakersfield College Outreach with support from Financial Aid, Counseling, and more, hosted a Virtual Express Enrollment Event on August 11th from 12pm to 8pm to help new and continuing students enroll and get the classes they need.

The enrollment team helped around 200 students enroll in courses for fall, while interacting with students meaningful and impactful during this fast paced event. One student shared the positive experience on the “Surviving Bakersfield College” page below.

The next virtual express enrollment event will be August 18th from 12pm to 5pm, and ongoing registration events are happening throughout August.

Visit the website for more details: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/registrationrocks

Or register for the next virtual express enrollment event here: https://forms.gle/og858uCosjSU6Cao9

Health Science team hosts Peak Performance event

On Wednesday, August 11th, the Title V Health Science team hosted their first on-campus event, “Peak Performance: Health for the Whole Person.” This was an in-depth seminar on self-care, peak performance and mental health treatment modalities as it relates to Health Science Careers. Dave Seymour was our speaker and got the semester off to a great start with his expertise, compassion and guidance as students start their journeys back on campus and into their prospective programs. This is the first in a series of seminars for the Fall semester in hopes to providing successful skills and support to students pursuing health science careers.

WE ARE BC! 


Seminar Series

This week, we held two seminars that are part of the Chancellor’s Seminar Series.

On Monday, we heard from Dena Rhoades, Roger Perez, Resa Hess, Nicky Damania, Joe Grubbs and Terri Higgins as we discussed the new KCCD Campus Pass App.

Representatives from each of our colleges shared details about how the App works at their locations.

Roger Perez, Porterville College:

Resa Hess, Cerro Coso Community College:

Nicky Damania, Bakersfield College

We also had a Q&A session with Joe Grubbs and Terri Higgins – Terri is from ReadyEd, the company that made the app:

On Tuesday, we had a chance to get a student perspective. Student trustee Gian Gayatao hosted a panel with Edith Mata (BC), Yvette Carranza (PC) and Mia Guzman (CC). The student panel asked a series of questions to nursing faculty and COVID Response team leaders for the three campuses. Thank you to our students and to our panelists: Alisha Loken, Kim Behrens, Matthew Wanta, Nicky Damania, Roger Perez, and Kevin King.

Here’s the Q&A Panel from that discussion:

You can see all the videos from the Chancellor’s Seminar Series at https://www.kccd.edu/chancellors-office/chancellors-seminar-series.

Poetry Corner

Photo of Rockport

Last week, I shared the second part of Jack Hernandez‘s poetry series “Rockport in June.”

Please enjoy Part 3:

The ocean cannot
be seen
through the morning fog,
the sun that lays
a lighted path
Is hidden
as are our days     
that sometimes begin
with only large rocks
before our eyes,
and we wonder
if we will see
the vast sea
that promises
a day of joyful
searching.

In the News

Cerro Coso to hold virtual admissions workshop

The Tehachapi News shared this information about the upcoming Virtual College Admissions Workshop at Cerro Coso, scheduled for this upcoming Wednesday. A financial aid technician will review the Cerro Coso Promise scholarship, Foundation scholarships, outside scholarships, and more!

BC partnering with auto industry to bring training center to Bakersfield

I saw that both the Bakersfield Californian and KGET shared the news that BC will partner with the Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealer Association and other auto industry experts to bring a new auto facility to Bakersfield.

“Through many ideas and conversations, we developed this partnership as a way for Bakersfield College students to train on the vehicles that otherwise might not be profitable due to normal technician labor costs, giving new access for the students to work on current and relevant technologies,” said Automotive Instructor Andrew Haney.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Porterville College shared their next Community Vaccination Clinic, which will be held on Thursday, August 19, from 11 am to 2 pm in the Porterville College Cafeteria. Anyone age 12 and older is welcome to receive their first Pfizer dose.

Thank you to Laurel Mourtzanos for the STEM Academy photos.

I’d also like to thank those that took part:

  • Kathleen Rush, Dept. Chair Math
  • Jon Brown, Math Faculty
  • Jesse Oropeza, STEM Counselor and Rural Initiatives
  • Laurel Mourtzanos, STEM Counselor
  • James McGarrah, Associate Dean, STEM
  • David Riess, Faculty Psychology (Presentation on Imposture Syndrome)
  • Karen Gomez, Faculty Psychology (Presentation on Imposture Syndrome)
  • Connie Gonzalez, Director MESA
  • Rebecca Bumpous, Financial Aid

And student interns:

  • Gabriel Diaz
  • Jose Lopez
  • Praise Oo
  • Brandon Mondragon
  • Brandon Peffer

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Here are some photos from the Bakersfield College EAC/SALT/OIE Enrollment Management Workday on Tuesday morning.

Snapped with photo after the Board meeting.

Zav Dadabhoy, Sonya Christian, Kay Meek, Claudia Habib, Dena Rhoades, Sean Hancock

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That’s a wrap for now.
See you next Saturday!

The future is bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

June – new graduates new beginnings

This week, I went out to eat at the New Vintage Grill, and was so pleased to run into two new Bakersfield College Students.

Erica Vitela is an incoming nursing student. Avery Edgmon just graduated from Liberty High School.

I was able to get a picture with them, along with Heidi Allison and Janet Tarjan:

I just love running into students…. and these two smart young women are amazing and totally made my day.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, June 5, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.

Memorial Day Tribute from Jenny Frank

I wanted to share this beautiful email that Veterans Services and Programs Manager Jenny Frank sent out in honor of Memorial Day:

Zav Dadabhoy, Armando Trujillo, Paul Beckworth, Sonya Christian and Jenny Frank at the VRC dedication

Each Memorial Day, I take time to quietly reflect on the blessings that have been afforded to us as Americans. I pause to give thanks to all those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may enjoy these blessings. Every year, I am driven to pay tribute to them in a way that would honor their sacrifice. 

This year, I am reminded of a story told by our center’s namesake, Vietnam veteran, the late Vernon Valenzuela. Over two decades ago Vernon learned of the tragic, violent death of a young football player here in Kern County. Angered and saddened by this travesty, Vernon reasoned that he did not fight in the jungles of Vietnam to have our youth die this way in our own country. He was moved to action and so began his journey to extend his efforts to create peace within our community.  

Whether they fell on the battlefield, as a result of an internal battle after they left the front lines, or due to physical ailments brought on by their time at war, the brave Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and women and Coast Guardsmen and women who gave their last full measure are deserving of our gratitude and honor.  

This Memorial Day 2021, I propose to you that we commit to peace in their honor. They fought and died so that we may know peace. For their sacrifice, let us do our part by continuing to seek peace, peace within ourselves, in our neighborhoods, within our country, so that one day we may be the example of peace. 

May the families, friends, and comrades of the fallen find peace in their loved one’s absence but most of all, may the souls of the brave men and women that answered our Nation’s call rest in peace.  

The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war” -Douglas MacArthur 

A message from Bakersfield College’s Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Manny Mourtzanos:

On this Memorial Day (and every day), we remember our fallen military personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of their duties to secure our freedom and liberty, and we remember their families who also sacrificed for our country. Words are insufficient to fully convey our appreciation. As we know, our military personnel serve voluntarily and willingly, not through conscription. In so doing, each and every member of our armed forces, including active duty, reservists and retired personnel, is prepared to make the same sacrifice made by our fallen heroes. Let us collectively express our gratitude for our fallen personnel, their families, our veterans, and current military personnel for their willingness to serve.

BC Students to serve as COVID Outreach Project Interns

This summer, the Kern Inyo Mono Central Labor Council in Partnership with the Central Valley Workers Center is engaging in direct community outreach to educate residents of Kern County on COVID-19 and the ongoing vaccination efforts. As part of this initiative, up to ten Bakersfield College students will receive an internship to participate in direct community engagement activities.  

Freddie Rodriguez, Job Development Specialist at BC, is an advocate for students getting involved in community wide efforts. He says, “We have a lot of passionate students at BC who want to serve their community, especially while we navigate this pandemic. Our nursing students are administering vaccines, students are volunteering at the pop-up clinics, and these ten interns will help bolster public health outreach efforts to keep our community safe and healthy while gaining work experience. It’s a win-win.”

Through this program, the interns will advance efforts of educating Kern residents on COVID-19 and vaccination efforts. Activities planned for the positions include reaching impacted communities through phone banking, texting, social media, participation at vaccine clinics, and community events.  

BC Vaccine Clinics

The BC Student Health and Wellness Center is open to all students and the community to be vaccinated. They are currently administering the Moderna COVID vaccine Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 9 am and 3 pm. The Moderna vaccine is available for people who are 18 and older.

Community clinics will also continue throughout the summer. You can see a list of upcoming Vaccine Clinics on the BC Student Health & Wellness Center website.

Walk-ins are accepted at all clinics or register at myturn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255 and schedule your appointment. Enter the zip code of 93305 to view the Bakersfield College Student Health and Wellness Center availability.

Closing Day

On Day 2 of our Closing Day Spring 2021 festivities, we heard from KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke:

I’d also like to share a few of the President’s Leadership Award winners for the 2020-2021 year.

Our fabulous Nursing Department:

And the Student Information Desk/SID Team, led by Dan Hall:

You can see all the videos from Closing Day at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/closing-day-spring-2021.

2021 Commencement

The 2021 Commencement Tribute aired on KGET on May 16, to honor our amazing Class of 2021. I’d like to share a few videos from that production:

Philosophy Professor Anna Collins was the Samuel W. McCall Outstanding Faculty Recipient:

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh shared remarks:

We also heard from Assemblymember Rudy Salas:

Our graduates were able to submit photos to be included in the program. We divided our graduates into 6 groups, and today I’m sharing Group 1:

You can see all the videos from the 2021 Commencement Tribute at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/admissions/2021-commencement-tribute.

Additionally, all 2021 BC graduates will be welcome to participate in the in-person commencement with the Class of 2022 when restrictions for large gatherings are lifted. Information regarding how to participate will be available on the Commencement page in March 2022.

CCC Women’s Caucus to welcome Lilly Ledbetter

On June 22, the CCC Women’s Caucus will welcome guest speaker Lilly Ledbetter. Lilly was the plaintiff in the US Supreme Court Case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., regarding employment discrimination. The court decided that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not allow employers to be sued for pay discrimination more than 180 days after an employee’s first paycheck. However, Congress passed a fair pay act in her name – the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 – to remedy this issue.

This event is free to members of the women’s caucus. Non-members may attend for $35.

For more information, or to register, please visit the CCC Women’s Caucus website at https://www.cccwomenscaucus.org/upcoming-events.html.

In the News

Bakersfield College Creates Innovative Partnerships to Expand Resources

Advanced Transportation and Logistics published a piece about a partnership that BC Automotive Instructor Andrew Haney initiated between Bakersfield College and the Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealers Association.

“We have an industry that depends on each other, and we can help create that fusion here,” Haney said. “Our students are eager, and the technician shortage is tremendous. We need the entire industry to come together to address it. The more we work together, the more we’re exposing students to the industry, giving them the opportunity for a stable career, living wage, and good future.”

Andrew Haney

CTEC students at KHSD graduate with a sense of purpose

Check out this article form the Bakersfield Californian about Career Technical Education Center graduation:

Jesse Espinoza, a senior at Foothill, said that he had contemplated other options for his future but he really wanted to be a firefighter. He enrolled in the fire technology program at CTEC, and that solidified it for him.

He’s planning to enroll to take firefighting courses at Bakersfield College, and ultimately become a firefighter. His parents were beaming and proud at Wednesday’s ceremony.

He wanted to be a firefighter and he’s accomplishing it,” said his dad Juan Espinoza. “He’s really going for it.”

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Thank you April for this great photo of Neo, enjoying a nice walk this week.

Bill Moseley shared this throwback picture with a note:

“June, 1998. It was a summer of disaster movie blockbusters, with Deep Impact and Armageddon in theaters. Stanzi, our oldest, was two weeks old. She and my wife accompanied me (as one of our first trips out of the house) to a job interview at Bakersfield College, and sat in the lobby while I met with my future boss. 23 years (and six kids) later, I’m still here. I have a bit more gray, and a lot of experiences that have shaped me. The two week old is all grown up and finishing a master’s degree, and my wife and I would still choose to spend every minute together, rather than be apart. I’m thankful for everything BC has done for me over the years, and hope the college and our students have benefitted from my work. As I look to the future, I hope that I can continue to serve California’s most impactful population of students, and that I can work to support equity for students and my colleagues.”

BCSGA shared this screenshot from Emma McNellis, who spoke at the 2-21 Celebration: Student Messages for their Community College Family webinar with the Student Senate for California Community Colleges:

Nick Strobel shared pictures of his saguaro cactus flowers:

And the BC Cheer team celebrated National Donut Day:

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That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC — Beat Covid

BC stands for Beat Covid — David Torres

David Torres, Centric Health Foundation Chairman, put it best “BC may stand for Bakersfield College, but to all of us here in this community, for us, BC stands for Beats Covid.”

I loved his energy and excitement at the clinic:

We also celebrated Community Relations Director Norma Rojas-Mora’s birthday with a drive-through singalong:

On Friday, March 26, Bakersfield College hosted our second big drive-through vaccination event – vaccinating 1,025 people!

I am grateful to everyone whose hard work and dedication helped make BC’s second drive-through Covid vaccination clinic an absolute success.

Check out more pictures from the March 26 clinic on BC’s SmugMug site.

I’m continuing to share pictures of our vaccinated Renegades. If you’d like to share your vaccination photo, please email it to president@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

BC supporter Nicole Parra got her vaccination at our first drive-thru clinic:

Nicole Parra getting vaccinated

Program Manager for Counseling & Student Success Isabel Castaneda tweeted about her Johnson&Johnson vaccination:

Food Services Manager Fidel Cabuena got his second Pfizer shot:

Department Assistant Cheryl Caswell-Fairbanks got the shot with her husband and Shawn Newsom from the History Department:

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, April 3, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.

This Easter weekend, I wanted to share a few photos of spring flowers:

And the rose season is getting started:

First Lady comes to Central Valley

This week, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden visited the Central Valley to meet with farmworkers at The Forty Acres. She was joined by Gov. Gavin Newsom in touring The Forty Acres, which was created by Cesar Chavez and became the headquarters for the United Farmworkers of America, and in thanking farmworkers for their hard work during the pandemic. Connie Perez-Andreeson from the BC Foundation Board introduced Dr. Jill Biden…. so cool!

And here is an Instagram post by FLOTUS; the picture is of Connie introducing her.

Sonya Christian, Dolores Huerta, Norma Rojas-Mora

Young Mothers for Peace

Mothers for Peace, the first in a series of seminars through the Bakersfield College Peace Initiative, kicked off on Tuesday this week with a Zoom webinar where panelists reflected on their experiences and concerns as they raise their children, as well as their visions for a peaceful future. Norma Rojas-Mora, served as emcee. Our panelists were Sandy Woo-Cater, Anti-Trafficking Expert; Lauren Skidmore, District Director for Assembly Member Vince Fong; Pawan Gill, Director of HR and Community Development for the City of Arvin; and Antrenette Carr, Human Resources Manager at Amazon.

Here are my opening remarks:

Then, our panelists each gave a short introduction of themselves and their families:

Norma then asked our panelists to reflect on a series of questions.

As a mother, what do you see as the threat?

Let’s fast forward to 2035, your child is now an adult. As you envision that world what do you want it look like? 

What do you want to do to reach that vision for a peaceful society  in 2035?  What is your call to action?

Norma wrapped up the seminar with a few closing comments:

Please stay tuned to the BC Peace Initiative website for information about upcoming seminars, events, and other projects.

Early College Info Night at Valley Oaks Charter

Last Thursday the Early College team hosted a virtual student & parent information night for Valley Oaks Charter School. The session was focused on incoming 9th graders and their parents, but was open for all Valley Oaks students. The student testimonials were the highlight of the event. Two graduating seniors shared their experiences with taking Early College classes through Valley Oaks. They also participated in a question and answer session for the parents and students.

Here are some quotes from our Early College students:


“It’s a really good experience… If you do start, I would start with 1-2 classes.” – Jaxon Young


“I was nervous too. It’s ok to be nervous. It puts a little bit of pressure on you but don’t be afraid to ask your professors for help.” – Elise Mayer

Inmate Scholars Update

Jennifer Craig, an assistant professor of English and the Inmate Scholars Program, sent out the latest edition of the Inmate Scholars Newsletter on March 26.

You can check it out below:

She also shared two links – Success Stories (Roberto Luca’s story), and Professor Sara Wallace’s Reflections from Outside blog.

Spotted on Social Media

BC Cheer shared a throwback photo from the 1994-1995 squad:

The Kern Exceptional Family Center shared some pictures from their vaccination clinic in partnership with the Kern Regional Center and Bakersfield College:

History Professor Olivia Garcia spotted some Easter cheer on a trail:

One of our Culinary Arts students was preparing pastry boxes for Nixtamal Cafe:

Job Development Specialist Carlos Medina’s family took a bike ride through the bluffs:

The Story of Kitty

Before I wrap up with the Athletics Corner that Brandon sends my way, I wanted you to enjoy this story written by one of my regular contributors to the blog, Dr. Jack Hernandez, aka “Grandpa Jack” who wrote a delightful short story for his seven year old granddaughter who is a terrific gymnast…she was cartwheeling and flipping when he was visiting in Williamstown.

        Kitty was a small, grey fluffy cat. Her older sister, Kiki, loved to musically meow and dance, waving her paws in the air like flags. Her big brother, Cosmic, was a superstar mouse chaser.

        But one morning as Kitty watched them from her high breakfast perch she wondered what she could do to be happy like them. She remembered all the things she had tried to do, but hadn’t worked.

        First she had tried swimming, but didn’t like her fur all wet, soggy, and heavy. So that didn’t work.

        Next she had played catball, but didn’t like waiting for her turn, plus she missed too many. So that didn’t work.

        Then she had gone outside on the grass to race snails, but that was too easy. Like even an ant can beat a snail. So that didn’t work.

        Finally she had tried tooting a horn, but didn’t like her lips all tired and worn. So that didn’t work.

        O me, o my, she thought, what can I do? And as she sat and wondered, she suddenly fell from her perch and without thinking landed upright on her paws! Wow, she said, I can do this, can do tricks in the air!

        So when her mama cat, Lipsi, brought her a pancake, she asked her how she could learn to leap and turn, leap and circle in the air.

        He mom answered, “I know a place, Kitty, that teaches kiddy cats to do catnastics, and after breakfast I’ll take you there.”

        “Thank you, mom,” Kitty purred as she put some syrup on her pancake.

        So that very afternoon Kitty began her catnastics lessons. And she practiced and practiced.

        Then one day, not too long after, she was cartwheeling her way! Here and there! Everywhere!

        O how she could flip and dip! Backward and forward! Up and down! Cat flips to the ceiling, to the floor. Tricks, tricks, and tricks galore!

        She was no longer just watching other cats in their jazzy fur. She was now cool, cool Kitty. Jumping. Pumping. Swinging and zinging. Every day.  Every way.

        And that is how she became Kitty–The Cartwheeling Cat.

Athletics

Volleyball End Spring I Season With Perfect Record

Even though they were not playing competitively for over a year, the Renegade Women’s Volleyball squad is playing like they haven’t skipped a beat. They recently wrapped up play in the abbreviated California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) Spring I sports season with a perfect 9-0 record. In the process they swept seven of the nine opponents and only gave up two sets in those nine games. While there will be no conference or state championship for them to play at the end of this season, we are proud of the what they accomplished and how they represented BC!

Coach Littlejohn on KGET Coaches Corner

Be sure to catch our very own Renegade Head Football Coach R. Todd Littlejohn as he joins KGET sports reporter Taylor Schaub to dissect the local high school football games each week. Watch last week’s segment of the first week of Kern High District games by clicking below:

https://www.kget.com/sports/ffx/ffx-week-one-coaches-corner/?fbclid=IwAR3svyQOQZXFYFbV76l5gO-6j12HgZw0fv4YtareC3PPx1ijyg3uiIdRueA

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That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Feb 29, 2020 Celebrating Leap Year & showcasing Sterling Silver 2020

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 29, 2020…A Leap Year… A great day to be a Renegade.

Sterling Silver

Liz Rozell, John Petre, Sonya Christian, Kay Meek
Liz Rozell, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian
left to right: Zav Dadabhoy, Sandi Taylor, Liz Rozell, Dr. William F. Baker, Jr., Sonya Christian, and Romeo Agbalog.
Liz Rozell, Rick Kreiser, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder

We had a beautiful reception at the Seven Oaks Country Club last weekend as part of our 12th-annual Sterling Silver Dinner, which the BC Foundation puts together to honor and recognize the exceptional support that members of our community provide to BC every day. Proceeds from the Sterling Silver Dinner help fund scholarships for students, providing vital opportunities to make higher education a reality for thousands of Renegades.

Kris Tiner

The evening brought together Renegade alumni and supporters, generous donors, and friends of the college to celebrate this year’s honorees. Under the direction of Kris Tiner, the BC Jazz Ensemble masterfully entertained the crowd as they entered the event. Seven Oaks chef Paul Burzlaff prepared a wonderful variety of culinary delights with help from BC Culinary Arts students.

Several notable Renegade supporters were on hand to celebrate our honorees, including Mayor Karen Goh, Assemblymember Vince Fong, State Senator Shannon Grove, County Supervisor Zack Scrivner, and City Councilmember Andrae Gonzales. Other notable community partners included S.C. Anderson, Diane Lake, and AECOM/Parsons.

Corporate Philanthropist of the Year – Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealers Association

We started off the reception by recognizing the Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealers Association for their long-standing support of BC. The Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealers Association was founded in 1945 and has held several golf tournaments to promote education in Kern County.

Individual Philanthropist of the Year – Mr. Bill Kelly

Bill Kelly receives the Individual Philanthropist of the Year Award
Bill Kelly receives the Individual Philanthropist of the Year Award

Bill Kelly taught agriculture at BC for 37 years. In addition to being selected Professor of the Year in 2014, he has won accolades across the state for his influence on agriculture education. Mr. Kelly retired in 2019, but he loves what he does so much he is back on campus as an adjunct instructor. However, we honored Bill because he and his family have provided substantial financial assistance to generations of BC students through the Verna L. Kelly Memorial and Kelly Family scholarships, set up to honor his family and strengthen ag education.

Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal – Dr. William F. “Bill” Baker, Jr.

Dr. William Baker receives the Foundation Service Medal.
Dr. William Baker receives the Foundation Service Medal.

Dr. William Baker has served as the Team Physician for Bakersfield College athletics since 1978 and has provided expert medical care to generations of athletes, witnessing milestones such as the 1988 State Championship and the 1990 Potato Bowl. Dr. Baker’s contributions continue in the scholarship that he and Dr. Michael Tivnon established and award annually through the Bakersfield College Foundation. Dr. Baker has a successful practice in town and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the International Academy of Thrombosis, Hemostasis and Vascular Medicine. The Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal recognizes extraordinary service to the Bakersfield College community for fifty-two years of commitment to Bakersfield College and Bakersfield College Athletics, and a lifetime of service to the good health of Bakersfield and Kern County.

Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal – Rick Kreiser

Rick Kreiser receives the Foundation Service Medal.
Rick Kreiser receives the Foundation Service Medal.

Rick Kreiser is a Bakersfield College alum who has served on the Bakersfield College Foundation since 2001, even serving a stint as chair of the Foundation from 2005 to 2007. Over the years, Rick and his company, Carney’s, have helped numerous local charities raise money, especially to fight cancer. There is a scholarship benefiting Bakersfield College students in the name of his late wife, Kris Kreiser.

Thank Yous

Heather Pennella and Norma Rojas-Mora
Heather Pennella and Norma Rojas-Mora

Thank you KGET for covering the event and for producing the honoree videos. I’d also like to thank Norma Rojas-Mora, Monika Scott, Dylan Wang, Manny De Los Santos and Brandon Urry from BC’s Marketing and Public Relations team for the promotion and social media coverage of this year’s Sterling Silver Dinner.

Sterling Silver is the signature event for the Bakersfield College Foundation, and it wouldn’t be possible without the tireless planning and work of Heather Pennella, our Alumni and Donor Relations Manager. Thank you Heather, as well as the rest of the Foundation team, for coordinating another successful night. A special thanks also goes out to Liz Rozell for stepping in as Executive Director of the Foundation after Tom Gelder’s retirement.

Check out more photos from the Sterling Silver Dinner below, captured with the brilliant photography of April Massirio.

Karen Gohn, Sonya Christian, Christina Scrivner, Shannon Grove
Sonya Christian sits with Sterling Silver dinner attendees.
Seated: Dr. Michael Tivnon, Gerry Collis
Standing: Lorenzo Alvarez, Duane Damron, Carl Bowser, Dr. Bill Baker, Dallas Grider, Carl Dean, R. Todd Littlejohn, Bob Covey, Harvel Pollard.
front row: John Turner, Joi Turner, Patrick Beck; back row: Vince Fong, Julia Turner, Kay Meek, Sonya Christian, Lauraine Cook, Jerry Cook.
Front row: John Turner, Joi Turner, Patrick Beck;
Back row: Vince Fong, Julia Turner, Kay Meek, Sonya Christian, Lauraine Cook, Jerry Cook.

African-American Community Leadership Breakfast

Mayor Karen Goh with the Buffalo Soldiers.
Mayor Karen Goh with the Buffalo Soldiers.

BC is recognized nationwide for the work of our African-American Initiatives team with the John W. Rice Award and other accolades, and their success has been aided by the support of leaders in the African-American community who believe in our vision for closing equity gaps in Kern County. We held a special breakfast for African-American leaders in the Levan Center on Wednesday to thank them and show how that support is transforming thousands of lives every day.

Steve Watkin receives a standing ovation.
Steve Watkin receives a standing ovation.

I always look forward to the African-American Community Leadership Breakfast every year, and I’m glad that we could bring it back for 2020. Our Food Services Department provided another lovely meal for all our attendees, and Steve Watkin organized and emceed the event.

Mayor Karen Goh was in attendance at the event, and she gave a beautiful speech about the power of unity to create systemic change.

Umoja Coordinator Paula Parks.
Paula Parks

The keynote speaker for the African-American Community Leadership Breakfast was BC’s own Paula Parks to talk about the success of our Umoja Community chapter. The audience erupted in applause when Paula announced an increase of 133 percent for African-American student completion of English at BC, which is a direct result of the leadership and community promoted through Umoja. Listening to Paula’s presentation, even I was surprised at how much the program had grown in the last few years, expanding to cohort courses in English, math, astronomy, biology and more. We now have a sister student organization called the Umoja Club, and the program will begin to offer students internships through Dignity Health.

After Paula’s presentation, representatives from several important community organizations spoke to promote their education initiatives, as well as partnerships with BC and other schools. I loved hearing from Dee Slade of the African-American Network of Kern County, Charles Everly from the Buffalo Soldiers, Dr. Bradford Anderson of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Essie Davis from The Links, Incorporated, Linda McKnight from Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and LaMeka Ross from the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

BC culinary arts student Edwin Peterson.
Edwin Peterson

We closed out the morning with a powerful student testimonial from Edwin Peterson, a young man who has turned his back on the mire of the streets to pursue a Culinary Arts degree right here at BC. He credits Steve Watkin and the African-American Initiatives team for motivating him to continue his education.

Thank you to the African-American Initiatives team, Food Services, the Levan Center, and everyone who attended this event to show their love and support for our African-American students.

Steve Watkin, Mayor Karen Goh, Sonya Christian and Charles Everly.
Steve Watkin, Mayor Karen Goh, Sonya Christian and Charles Everly.
Steve Watkin, Sonya Christian, Rev. Ralph Anthony, Doc Ervin, Dr. Oscar Anthony
Steve Watkin, Sonya Christian, Rev. Ralph Anthony, Doc Ervin, Dr. Oscar Anthony

Levan Center and Levan Institute on KGET

Reggie Williams and Susan Pinza visited the KGET studios early Thursday morning to talk about the Levan Center and the Levan Institute, two important institutions that provide community enrichment and lifelong learning to everyone in Kern County. Thanks, Reggie and Susan! Check out the video above or visit the KGET website.

Art, Architecture and Archetypes: Art as Ritual

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Ronnie Wrest, Rae Ann Kumelos, and Krista Moreland.
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Ronnie Wrest, Rae Ann Kumelos, and Krista Moreland.

A panel of current and former BC professors engaged in an informative discussion about how art is used in sacred rituals and ceremonies around the world. The Levan Center’s first Art, Architecture, and Archetypes panel of the Spring semester brought together Ronnie Wrest, Rae Ann Kumelos, Krista Moreland and KCCD Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg around the theme of ritual as art.

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Wrest talked about Navajo sand painting and German performance artist Joseph Beuys, whose interpretive piece “I Like America and America Likes Me” portrayed the story of being healed by an indigenous tribe in the Crimea after a plane crash. Kumelos shared Stephen King’s ritual of “intentional dreaming” before sitting down to write his novels, which helps his mind enter a higher level of imagination. Krista Moreland offered a deeper understanding behind the symbolism of the sand mandala, which uses symbolic colors, shapes, figures and object to represent the interconnectedness of life. Finally, Trustee Heitzeberg explained the influences of devotional art in the Catholic faith.

Thank you to the Levan Center, all of our panelists, and everyone who attended this interesting discussion.

Renegade Roundtable on Homelessness

A group of five brilliant BC faculty members shared their views on the homeless crisis at the Levan Center as part of the first Renegade Roundtable of the Spring 2020 semester last week.

Erin Miller.
Erin Miller

This edition of the Renegade Roundtable featured Michael Harvath, Jack Hernandez, Steve Holmes, Erin Miller and Neal Stanifer. Each of these educators brought their years of scholarship to the table to approach this important issue from different perspectives. Hernandez, the former director of the Levan Center, encouraged audience members to think of the homeless as individuals instead of statistics. Stanifer and Horvath proposed solutions to getting people off the streets and into homes, and Erin Miller took a closer look at how mental health affects the ways that homeless people tend to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs.

While the panelists had different ideas about how to deal with homelessness, all agreed that we can’t keep ignoring the problem any longer. Thank you to all of the panelists, as well as Reggie Williams and the Levan Center, for offering a space to encourage insight into this ongoing problem. Events like these are important for fulfilling BC’s core value of community, honoring our obligation to “build an environment in which all members participate as a community through democratic engagement”.

BC's Core Value of Community
BC’s Core Value of Community

Community Voices: Michele Bresso

Michele Bresso

In a Community Voices column earlier this week, Michele Bresso shared a story from one of her communication classes that brings home the impact of homelessness on the lives of our students and the power of education to change it.

When she assigned her small groups communication class to volunteer at the Bakersfield Homeless Shelter as part of a class project, she found out that one of her students used to be a resident of the shelter before she became a Renegade. The student vowed never to return to the shelter once she got back on her feet, but her experience as a volunteer for Michele’s class convinced her to have a change of heart:

She met a young woman living at the center who was much like herself years before. My student committed to a weekly volunteer schedule at the center so that she could mentor this young woman and model a way to achieve independence.”

Grounds for Dreaming

Lori Flores speaks in the Levan Center.
Lori Flores speaks in the Levan Center

Stony Brook University professor Lori Flores visited the Home of the Renegades to host an enlightening discussion on the agriculture labor rights movement in California during the early 20th Century.

Lori Flores
Lori Flores

As an historian of agricultural labor in the United States, Flores was excited to come to the Central Valley for the first time. After all, this is the place where so much of that history was and continues to be made. The Social Justice Institute invited Flores to the Levan Center last week to share from her book “Grounds for Dreaming: Mexican-Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the California Farmworker Movement”. “Grounds for Dreaming” is a deeply researched account of how immigrant laborers from the Bracero program and Mexican-Americans came together to organize for better working conditions in the 40s and 50s, decades before Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta founded the UFW.

Thank you to Lori Flores for sharing her years of scholarship with our students, and thank you to Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond for organizing the event.

This Week at BC: Financial Aid

For the newest edition of This Week at BC, marketing student workers Ramon Carreido and Juan Reyes take a closer look at the Financial Aid office ahead of the March 2 deadline for filling out the FAFSA.

I love seeing our student workers get more comfortable with their video skills while spreading the word about all of the awesome programs and initiatives here at BC. Great job, Juan and Ramon!

Renegade Athletics

Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Men’s Golf Team out at Stockdale Country Club. Head Coach Wes Coble and student athletes Blake Keesey, Caleb Jameson and Quinn Walker sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss their season so far. On Monday the team will host a conference match out at Stockdale Country Club and we know they will represent us well!

Coach Goodman Reaches 100 Career Victories

100 Career Victories! Casey Goodman, BC Head Softball Coach
Congrats, Coach Goodman!

A special congratulations go out to Renegade Softball Head Coach Casey Goodman, who just collected her 100th victory as a head coach. In her third season at BC she has collected 66 victories and the other 34 came from her time as the head softball coach at Louisiana State University, Alexandria. As a Renegade Casey has captured back-to-back Western State Conference Championships and the team looks to make that three in a row this spring. Congrats Casey – we are lucky to have you!

BC Football at the Mission

Coach Littlejohn at the Mission of Kern County

This last Saturday our new football coach R. Todd Littlejohn and a number of our Renegade football student athletes spent the morning serving our community at the Mission of Kern County. We are glad to have the relationship with the Mission that allows our students to give back!

Men’s and Women’s Basketball All-Conference Renegades

With basketball season coming to a close we had multiple men’s and women’s basketball student athletes who were awarded post-season conference awards. From Men’s Basketball Tyrell Coleman (1st-Team), Michael Guillory (Co-Defensive MVP and Honorable Mention) and Isayas Aris (Honorable Mention) all received recognition. From the Women’s team Dasia Wandick was named All-Conference for the second year in a row, along with teammate Alyssa Gonzalez.

Next Level Gades – Eamon Sullivan

Next Level Gades - Eamon Sullivan, Football
Eamon Sullivan signs to the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.

Eamon Sullivan from Renegade Football has signed to continue his academic and athletic career at University of Virginia’s College at Wise located in Wise, VA. Eeamon played the last two season at BC and is excited to continue his career at UVA Wise. We wish him the best and know he will always represent BC!

Valley Strong Credit Union Renegades of the Week: Feb. 16 – Feb. 22

BC Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (2/16-2/22) Valley Strong Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Dasia Wandick, Women’s Basketball – Dasia matched a career high and had a season-high total of 30 points in the women’s basketball season finale against Canyons. She also received WSC South All-Conference honors for the second straight year.

Esteban Robles, Men’s Swimming – Esteban was the only individual with an event win for BC (100 Free and 50 Fly) at the 2020 Ram Crush this last weekend at Clovis College. He was part of the 200 Free Relay team who took 1st  where he put up big anchor leg for the win. He was also part of 3 other relays all placing in the top 4 at the meet. For his efforts he was named the Sprint Master and Butterfly Master of the meet. To win the award one must have competed in the 50/100/200 of the strokes and score the highest cumulative points in the events. He swam in all 6 races and took the title in both strokes.

Athletics Photos From The Week

Renegade Athletics Updates From This Past Week

Renegade Track

Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Mon. 3/2 – Men’s Golf hosts WSC #4 at 9am, Stockdale CC
  • Tues. 3/3 – Women’s Tennis vs Bakersfield at 2pm
  • Tues. 3/3 – Baseball vs LA Mission at 2:30pm
  • Sat. 3/7 – Softball vs. Fullerton at 12pm
  • Sat. 3/7 – Softball vs. Pasadena City at 4pm
  • Sat. 3/7 – Baseball vs LA Mission at 1pm

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Football, New Faculty, it must be Fall

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, September 14, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Who doesn’t love looking at the moon. Always beautiful….always kindling emotions within our souls… Last night was a special full moon…A full moon on Friday the 13th! Enjoy the photo I snapped while walking Neo and then the other taken by Nick Strobel.

New Faculty Reception

Per tradition, we welcomed our new faculty before the first football game of the season last Saturday.

See all of them on the Bakersfield College New Faculty page.

We had lots of great food, prepared by our food services.

Our Deans were there to welcome everyone.

Among the dignitaries present, Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh energized the group with her usual upbeat message ending with the BC chant….We are BC!

Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg greeted the new faculty

Was happy to have Congressman Bill Thomas at the event. Was a real treat that he brought as his guest retired faculty member Gaylen Lewis.

Gaylen Lewis, Sonya Christian

Aren’t these Renegade tattoos great?

Catherine Rangel, Sonya and Jo Ellen Barnes

Football Season Begins 

A highlight for me was hearing the BC Men’s Choir for the first time. Jen Garrett you just keep raising the bar on our music program. Thank you!

Men’s choir with the National Anthem
Sonya Christian with Jen Garrett and the BC Men’s Choir

Thanks to Measure J funding, the Renegade football team opened up the 2019 football season running out onto the beautiful, newly installed field turf field of Memorial Stadium. The field, the first football field in Bakersfield to have field turf, was the focal point of the evening as more than 5,100 fans packed into the stadium for the home opener. The game was broadcast locally on KGET, and I was the halftime show guest with Nick James. The game was also streamed on GoGades.com where over 6,000 fans tuned in, and broadcast on the radio at KERN 1180.

While the team had a tough game against Mt. SAC, they look to bounce back tonight on the road at El Camino at 6pm. The game stream will be live through GoGades.com and on the radio at KERN 1180. The next home game is September 28th at 6pm against Golden West. Be sure to fire up your grill for tailgating at that game as a $500 prize will go to the winner of the ‘Mexican Fiesta’ tailgating theme. Judging will begin at 4:30pm and end by 5:30pm. The winner will be announced at the game.

Romeo Agbalog, Karen Goh, Lilly Agbalog, Yasmine, Sonya Christian

Thomas Blackwell visits BC

Thomas Blackwell, fresh off the plane from Japan, explained during his Distinguished Speaker presentation, “The Liberty of Our Language Revealed,” on Monday, “challenges are just opportunities for growth.”

Blackwell putting a hand on the shoulder of a volunteer.

During his presentation, Blackwell brought up a few volunteers to demonstrate the ways that words affect our body. The audience could see how positive words made the person’s body language stronger, while negative words made their body language weaker.

In the evening, Blackwell gave a community presentation in the Edward Simonsen Performing Arts Center (PAC) Indoor Theater. 

Blackwell was the first of nine Distinguished Speakers scheduled for the 2019-2020 semester. The events are organized by the Office of Student Life to offer thought-provoking discussions to the campus community. 

Thomas Blackwell speaking.

I would like to thank the Office of Student Life, Dr. Jennifer Garrett, and BC Performing Arts Department for bringing this speaker to campus. Don’t miss the next Distinguished Speaker, Arun Gandhi, grandson of civil rights leader Mohandas Gandhi, in Delano on September 30 at 11:00 a.m.

You will be found