Tag Archives: Kay Meek

Thank you for voting Yes on J!

The transformation of our campus for the next 50 years has begun! Major changes will be taking place over the next 10 years ranging from construction of new buildings, renovations of buildings, and major repairs to our campus infrastructure. The grand opening of our first building, the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, was on December 10, 2019

Thank you for voting Yes on J!

Sonya Christian voting Yes on J on Oct 30, 2016
Sonya Christian thanking Kern County for voting Yes on J. Nov 12, 2016

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, January 25, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

The Bakersfield College Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center

Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center. Dec 10, 2019

After years of preparation and development, our community gathered on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019 for a historic milestone in Renegade history. With college and district leaders, community members, students, supporters, family, and friends, BC officially opened the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, a space dedicated to student veterans and the first completed Measure J building.

Thank you KCCD Trustees
Sonya Christian, President of Board John Corkins, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Kyle Carter, Jack Connell, Tom Burke, Paul Beckworth

I could not be more proud of everyone who helped bring this grand vision into reality. Attendees who came from across the country were greeted with a massive American flag that billowed proudly, flying above the newly christened building from an extending ladder on a Kern County Fire Department truck. Dignitaries on the dais outside of the center included Chancellor Tom Burke, Mayor Karen Goh and Congressman Bill Thomas, as well as KCCD Trustees Jack Connell (a Navy veteran), Romeo Agbalog, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and President of the KCCD Board John Corkins. There were also representatives from about 40 student organizations on campus. Trustee Kay Meek was viewing the live stream, unable to attend the ceremony in-person. She was one of the most vocal supporters for the construction of the new center as the first Measure J project, and her presence was missed. 

Ricardo Del Hoyo, Joseph Lopez, Nick Ortiz, Tommy Tunson, Mayor Goh, Trustee Corkins, President Christian, Chancellor Burke, Perry Finzel & Monica Martin

This new 4,700 square foot facility is dedicated to student veterans and includes a tutoring room, conference room with whiteboards and television, a lounge area with two televisions, coffee bar, fridge, microwave, computer area and outdoor patio area.

Diego Ross from JTS Construction and Armando Trujillo

This space is dedicated to the education, wellness, and transformation of our students, therefore it’s only fitting that this place is named after Vernon Valenzuela. Vernon was a Vietnam combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient. He was a Bakersfield College student in the 1970s and later became a licensed counselor who spent the rest of his life working with veterans and their families; his legacy will live on forever in its walls.

Former student Wesley Barrientos cuts the ribbon with help from current SGA President Samantha Pullido and President of the Vets Club Ilene Garcia
The VRC Challenge Coin
Study area in the new VRC
Lise Valenzuela in the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center

This center would not be possible without the leadership of Paul Beckworth, who opened the ceremony by thanking Armando Trujillo and his team for all they do to help our Renegade veterans. Armando was a protégé of Vernon Valenzuela, the founder of the first veterans’ clubs at BC and CSUB, and I could think of no one else who is better suited to extend Vernon’s love and empathy to a new generation of Renegade vets. Armando also announced an annual scholarship that will be offered through the VRC for years to come.

Armando Trujillo addressing the audience

When our local veterans are returning home, this new center will be the place they can come to to find support, comfort, and comradery with fellow Renegades. For over 100 years Renegades have put on the uniform, and when they were ready to trade in their boots for books, BC knew its responsibility. BC’s mission continues to be to educate our veterans, mind body, and soul, and to celebrate the impact that veterans have had on BC.

I surprised Paul Beckworth by presenting him with the President’s Leadership Award during the ceremony. Over these last seven years, Paul has advocated on behalf of our student veterans here on campus, in the community, and in the state. He and a group of student veterans were fearless in “occupying” a vacant room adjacent to their existing cramped space, quietly doing the necessary remodeling work.  He has written public letters to our student veterans, to our faculty veterans, to our staff veterans.   He is brave, kind, funny, open, tender, with a passion to respect, honor and support his fellow brothers and sisters from the military.

Zav Dadabhoy, Armando Trujillo, Paul Beckworth, Sonya Christian
Zav Dadabhoy, Armando Trujillo, Paul Beckworth, President Christian & Jenny Frank

I also introduced incoming manager Jenny Frank, who comes to us from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This special facility is the first of many made possible by the tremendous community support of Measure J. There is a very, very long list of individuals to thank, but Trustee Kay Meek deserves special recognition for her constant focus and dedication.

Bill Thomas, Kay Meek, Tom Burke, Steven Holmes

The impact of Trustee Meek’s work was evident in the words of student veteran and Veteran Club President Ilene Garcia during the grand opening, who said, “As soon as I walked in, I felt that camradery and bond that I had been missing that you instantly obtain when you join the military. Finding that comfort zone in civilian life is essential for veterans returning home. We crave the structure and sense of belonging that the military instills in us. The Veterans Resource Center at BC provides this.”

Veterans Club President Ilene Garcia and fellow veterans

BC Veterans Club President Ilene Garcia took a moment to explain how the team at BC creates a structure and a sense of belonging that helps soldiers readjust to civilian life. She also thanked all of us at BC for making this center a priority with the funding from Measure J.

Vernon’s wife Lise Valenzuela offered some personal anecdotes about how BC changed her husband’s life. After serving a tour of duty in the Vietnam War, Vernon found his confidence and his calling as a student at BC, and he dedicated the rest of his life to helping other veterans like him find their calling through higher education.

Lise Valenzuela

Former Trustee Bill Thomas talked about how Vernon’s imposing physical presence, and his empathy and talent for listening, inspired respect from anyone who had a conversation with him. Bill highlighted Kay Meek’s work and her emphatic message to all that she wanted this to be the very first project of Measure J. He also previewed the ribbon cutting ceremonies to come as more Measure J projects finish construction.

Former Congressman & Trustee Bill Thomas
Tom Burke, Ilene Garcia, Paul Beckworth, Bill Thomas, Sonya Christian, Kyle Carter, Karen Goh

Attendees were treated to the beautiful music of BC’s Chamber Singers. led by the talented Dr. Jennifer Garrett. I’m happy that Brandon Urry captured these videos so that I can share then with you.

Award-winning photojournalist Max Becherer started his career right here at BC as a student of Kris Stallworth, and he took pictures of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for publications like the Washington Post and Time Magazine before becoming the Photo Editor of the New Orleans Advocate. He donated several of his most famous photographs from those conflicts to the VRC and attended the groundbreaking alongside his family.

Photographer Max Becherer sharing his photography.

As Paul described in his closing address, the VRC is more than just a place of learning. It is a place where our veteran students can heal from the physical and psychological wounds of combat, supporting each other through all of their struggles. Thank you Paul, Armando and our Veterans Affairs team for dreaming of this safe space for healing, and thank you to our Measure J team for making that dream a reality. I would also like to thank Tamara Baker for organizing the ribbon cutting and open house, as well as everyone who contributed to making this event such a success.

Here are some of the elected officials or their reps in the photo below. Left to right:
1.     Congressman Kevin McCarthy (Monica Martin, rep)
2.      Congressman T.J. Cox (Joseph Lopez, rep)
3.      Assemblyman Vince Fong (Lauren Skidmore, rep)
4.      Mayor Karen Goh
5.      Congressman Kevin McCarthy (Perry Finzel, rep)
6.      Senator Melissa Hurtado (Ricardo Del Hoyo, rep)
7.      City Councilman Willie Rivera, Ward 1
8.      Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, District 5 (Nicole Villaruz,
rep)
9.      Assemblyman Rudy Salas (Athena Skapinakis, rep)

I would like to recognize those who actually built the facility, taking it from plans to a reality: local companies IBI Group, Inc. and JTS Construction. Also, I would like to thank AECOM/Parsons for all of their hard work on this project (and the other 14 Measure J projects), for finishing the job ahead of time and under budget. AECOM/Parsons joined our team in 2017 to design the Measure J master plan, and have been managing all of the projects from the very first meeting until the last. All of the above groups not only met our expectations, but went well above. The bar has been set high!

2019 Sterling Silver with the AECOM-Parsons team

We had much love from our local media and press. Thank you to the Bakersfield Californians Robert Price and Ema Sasic, Reyna Harvey, Tyrah Majors, Jacueline Gutierrez of the Renegade RIP and more!

Reyna Harvey interviews Sonya Christian on Tuesday Morning

Most importantly, I’d like to thank the community of Kern County for supporting Renegades today and for the next 50 years through Measure J.

And in closing, I will quote the words of Paul Beckworth, BC’s Faculty Director of Veteran Services as he addressed BC’s students… “Thank you for your courage, for believing in yourself and for pursing an education. Thank you for choosing Bakersfield College. This place is for you.”

Love these “behind the scenes” pictures.

BSO-BC Home for the Holidays Concert

Here is my promised weekly Christmas music from our Chamber Singers during the month of December

Rick Kreiser narrating the Night Before Christmas
Hallelujah

Led by the amazing, Dr. Jennifer Garrett, the BC Chamber Singers are an absolutely stunning group who shares their voices with the world. They performed a fun version of Jingle Bells and the Renegade Mens Chorus- sang “The 12 Days of Christmas” mixed with various other Christmas carols.

The evening included sing-alongs with the audience and it was really fun to celebrate the holiday season with family and friends.

Adventist Health was a sponsor of the evening and I saw Sharlet Briggs, CEO of Adventist, who referred to Mary Poppins and a “spoon of sugar makes the medicine go down”. She went on to observe how a teaspoon of music can make the medicine go down too!

BCSGA Attends the Kern Tax Annual Meeting

BCSGA President Samantha Pulido, BCSGA Student Activities Manager Perla Villegas, KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke, KCCD Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzberg, KCCD Director Dave Teasdale, and BC Director of Student Life Dr. Nicky Damania attended the Kern Tax 80th Annual Meeting at the Bakersfield Country Club. Kern Tax is the county’s leader on reviewing and educating about taxpayer issues and dollars. The keynote speaker was founding chief executive and Senior Fellow, President Emeritus of California Forward, Jim Mayer who presented “Transforming California.” His presentation focused on performance-oriented government, society-oriented business, and entrepreneurial civic organizations working together to engage in community resolutions. 

Mike Turnipseed with Perla and Samantha

Before the speaker, there was a video montage of various Kern leaders thanking Kern Tax for their 80 years of service to Kern County, and especially highlighting the leadership and work of Mike Turnupseed for the association and our community. What a pleasure to have two of our strong student leaders in attendance at this engaging community event.

Human Rights Day Social Justice Student Conversation Event

Jose Bello speaks to fellow Renegades

Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on December 10th each year. At Bakersfield College, student organization YES (Youth Empowered Success) brought two NFL players to campus for a student centered event to bring awareness to various social justice topics. Student organization YES president, Jose Bello, was the emcee of the event and encouraged his fellow Renegades to pay close attention, listen, respect one another, and use their voice for the good of humankind. Jose also took the mic to say a few words in Spanish to thank his mom who was in attendance, for all her support.

Two special guests who took the stage were Joshua Norman and Demario Davis, two NFL players who take pride in their activist roles for human rights. They encouraged students to be sources of support for one another and to give words to the voiceless.

In the early morning before the speaker presentations began, students in attendance participated in a cultural dance outside in the courtyard. This collaborative dance was a symbol of cultivating community, peace, and social responsibility.

And once again, Reyna Harvey is everywhere! Spotted her interviewing Joshua Norman and Demario Davis outside the event.

Renegades Finish Finals!

This week was also finals week so the library began offering their Extended Study Hours last week, which will run through Wednesday.

The lobby portion of the library is the busiest and loudest section with check-in, food, tables, and chairs for group studying. BCSGA Officers and Office of Student Life help ensure everything runs smoothly with the help of volunteers.

As a result of the efforts this semester of Todd Coston and Kirk Russell, the entire first floor of the library is a place for students to spread out and study.  Students need to feel supported now more than ever as they attempt to cross the finish line this semester.

Campus Safety at Porterville College

Our colleagues at Porterville College planned a day of safety drills and invited BC’s Dr. Nicky Damania and Monika Scott to observe the activity. It was a great opportunity and a good experience. Both Nicky and Monika are involved with the planning of BC’s full-scale active shooter scenario and response drill taking place next year. This activity planned for April 8, 2020, will be a cross county, multi-agency drill to test our preparations and enhance our collaboration and response. Special thanks to Todd Dearmore, Safety and Security Manager at Porterville College for a successful drill and for the invitation to observe.

Dr. Nicky Damania & Monika Scott

Networking and Nursing

Bakersfield College’s Nursing Department held its 1st annual Entrée to Employment for the graduating Vocational Nursing Program students. A number of health care agencies within Kern County were present at BC to recruit our stellar vocational nursing students and to discuss future career opportunities.

Entree to Employment for Vocational Nursing grads, 2019

A gourmet dinner was provided by the Renegade Room as the students and staff networked with industry partners. Carla Gard, Director of Nursing Programs and Associate Dean of Instruction, highlighted the program objectives, rigor, and faculty’s dedication to developing skilled and competent nurses.The Vocational Nursing Entrée to Employment was such a success that students had several employment options by the end of the event! So proud!

Graduating Vocational Nursing Students

Crane Visit for OSRM Students

Students in OSRM B10 Occupational Safety had an opportunity to see safety in action when they viewed campus construction up close as part of a class module on crane safety. Bill Campe from SC Anderson, and Kurt Hettinger from SL Shaw Company hosted the students, providing an overview of crane operations. The crane was operated by Trent Gardner.

The large crane is just the right tool to hoist steel beams into place for the new building. Workers deftly navigate the structure, guide steel beams into position and rivet them into place. Following established safety procedures is essential to ensure that they are not injured on the job.

Lifting heavy loads safely takes more than a big crane. The operator relies on detailed lift charts that specify how much the crane can lift at a specific angle. Need more horizontal distance? That reduces capacity. Wind? Reduce capacity or stop work if gusts are too strong. Want to watch the crane work? Stand clear of the swing radius or risk being hit or crushed by the crane’s big back end. This quick visit provided a view of safety in action.

Students enjoyed the “field trip” and the opportunity to watch two world-class companies safely work to build the future of BC. Measure J — a learning lab for our construction students.

Fun Photos: College Council

I’m always proud of the work that College Council does. The presentations are rigorous and focus on our performance metrics.

Amber Hroch reviews the data.

The last College Council meeting for the semester was on Friday, December 6th. The council received updates on various institutional topics ranging from Early College to Meta Major Pathways and more. Just a reminder to the reader….This group is a collegial, consultative, and oversight body designed to serve the good of the entire College. The group facilitates timely, factual, and clear communication between constituents and the President. It provides recommendations to the President on college-wide matters.

Kylie Swanson and Craig Hayward
Education Pathway Team

Giving Thanks: CARE & CalWORKs Workshop

The Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) and California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) programs hosted a Thanksgiving Workshop, providing a bonding opportunity for parents and their children and to build a network of support at Bakersfield College.

The Thanksgiving Workshop provided the students a break from studying for finals while their children engaged in fun-filled arts and crafts activities. Additionally, students received a turkey donated by Costco to help them celebrate Thanksgiving with their families.

CARE and CalWORKS are programs under the EOPS Department, serving BC students who are also parents, with CARE parents being single head of household. Both programs are designed to promote student educational success by offering specialized services to parents receiving public assistance (CalWORKs/TANF/Tribal TANF) with a primary goal to increase wage earning power, leading to self-sufficiency.

Fun Photos: Executive Office Holiday Potluck

Fun Photos: Renegade Road

William Velasquez from BC’s IT department is a talented photographer and often will share the beautiful pictures he captures on campus. He shared an email earlier this week the following photo and said…

William relaxing after an event

“As I was driving away and looked at the banners on the fence, I ponder on the thousands of student athletes that walked this same road. They found the road to success. So I parked my car and took my phone out and took a few pics. This is one of them. The Renegades Road.”

William Velasquez, 2019

Renegade Athletics  Volleyball vs. Chaffey

Enjoy these highlights from Renegade Volleyball’s first round playoff win at home over Chaffey back on Nov. 26th. Renegade Volleyball enjoyed another terrific season this year. They captured a fourth consecutive conference championship and finished the season with a 21-3 overall record. Way to go Coach Carl Ferreira and team!

Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week

Alyssa Gonzalez, Women’s Basketball – Alyssa was a driving force in helping the Renegades to an 86-29 victory over Taft on Friday (12/6). She totaled 17 points going 5/9 from 3-point and adding 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 rebounds. Jonathan Hunter, Wrestling – Jonathan pinned all of his opponents at the Southern Regionals this last Saturday at Santa Ana College to place first in the 174 lb. weight class and qualify for the CCCAA State Finals this coming weekend.

Renegade Athletics News:

Renegade 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. Join us on 12/20 at 5pm – Men’s Basketball vs El Camino

Renegade Athletics Social Media
Renegade Athletics Social Media


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC celebrates our Veterans

A message from Paul Beckworth

Paul Beckworth at VRC

On behalf of all the student-veterans, Thank you.     While we veterans are honored every November 11th, I want to take this opportunity to honor you.

Lisa Kent, Paul Beckworth, Olivia Garcia, and Armando Trujillo
Lisa Kent, Paul Beckworth, Olivia Garcia, and Armando Trujillo

Faculty, I honor you.  Your emails and phone calls to me due to grave concerns about veterans in your class, fearful for their safety, show your humanity.  You have taken their PTSD, and/or TBI into account when you felt it necessary or appropriate.  Your patience with them, your listening ears, are lifesavers, figuratively and literally. 

Classified staff, I honor you.  Your willingness to jump in and help never wanes.  You are always so helpful, knowing that when we ask for something, it is to assist a veteran.  You are professional when veterans are upset and act out in Financial Aid, or A&R or you name it.  You cut through red tape like a hot knife through butter. As far as I am concerned there need not be any contract negotiation because you have earned all that you are asking for, and more, period.

Administration, I honor you.  Your concern for all students is fundamental to your leadership. Your passion for the success of our veterans is second to none.  Other veteran service departments are literally jealous over the support we get from our administration.  I can text Sonya and get a response rather quickly. Others schools cannot fathom that my president gave me her cell phone number in the first place.  It is all because our administrators care, not just through words but actions.

There could be no veteran student success, no veteran completion, without people like you all. So, on this Veterans Day, on behalf of our student-veterans, I thank you for your service to our veterans.

Happy Veterans Day!

https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/veterans/student-deployment-spotlight

https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/veterans-resource-center

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSMlIM9zLio (you’ll need tissues)

(Special thoughts and prayers to History Professor Olivia Garcia as her Marine son ships off to Okinawa today)

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 9, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

A garden of American flags in the grass.

Veterans Breakfast 

L-R: Zav Dadhaboy, Mike Giacomini, Karen Goh, Tom Burke, Kay Meek, Billie Jo Rice, Sonya Christian, Paul Beckworth, Cinthia Zimmer, Armando Trujillo

Bakersfield College kicked off Vet Month on Monday, November 4th, with an invitation-only delicious breakfast by the culinary arts students in the Renegade Room. Several local dignitaries attended the annual Veterans’ Breakfast event to learn more about BC’s comprehensive plan to meet the education needs of Kern County’s brave men and women who have served our country in the military. Assemblyman Vince Fong, Mayor Karen Goh, and District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer and others were joined by KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke and Trustees Kay Meek, Romeo Agbalog, and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.

Paul Beckworth and Tamara Baker shared the latest details about the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, a one-stop shop for our veterans and dependents as they strive to achieve their educational goals, which will be unveiled to the public at a ribbon cutting ceremony on December 10. This will be the first capital project of Measure J to be completed.  

Tamara Baker and Paul Beckworth
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Armando Trujillo, Bilie Jo Rice, Sonya Christian, Tom Burke

Keynote speaker Abel Guzman also explained how the Rural Initiatives and Adult Education teams are working to remove the barriers that can keep veterans from translating their military experience into successful civilian careers. See his presentation.

Abel Guzman
Zav Dadabhoy, Kay Meek, Vince Fong, Earl Parsons

Trustee Kay Meek, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, and Mayor Karen Goh addressed the group.

Thank you to Paul Beckworth, Armando Trujillo, Bernadette Martinez and everyone in the Veteran Services team for organizing this lunch, to BC Culinary Arts for providing a lovely meal, and to all of the dignitaries that took time out of their busy schedules to learn how BC is supporting veterans in the classroom. Thank you Mayor Karen Goh for some of the great photos.

Trustee Romeo Agbolog, Armando Trujillo and me.

Vet Fest 2019

4 uniformed men with the CA and US flags.
Kern County Sheriff Color Guard

The VetFest celebration is an annual tradition at BC to recognize the contributions of those who have bravely served our country. Wednesday’s event in the CSS lawn is part of a whole month of programming that we’ve developed to honor our local veterans, culminating with the unveiling of the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center next month.

Veteran and BC faculty member Tommy Tunson started the presentation by asking all of the veterans in the audience to come to the front and have their service celebrated. It was a great chance to see all of our faculty and student veterans in one place.

VetFest featured a resource fair, free food, vendors, and a DJ on the CSS lawn. The keynote speaker for Wednesday morning was Jenny Frank, a former marine who encouraged our student veterans to utilize all of the opportunities they’ve been given. Assemblyman Vince Fong also spoke about the history of Veterans’ Day.

And then there was Danny Morrison….one of my all time favorites…. Danny Morrison kept the celebration going all day.  I loved the videos of Danny leading the Cupid Shuffle! 

Although Danny Morrison was at the event as a DJ with 103.9 The BEAT where he focuses on elevating stories about local community programs that make Bakersfield a better place, BC’s partnership with Danny dates back long before his time with the radio station.  Danny has been a vocal advocate for our students – particularly those most vulnerable – and is always just a text away when we need him.  In my seven years as president, I have called on Danny many times and he has shown up without question.  From his tireless advocacy on Measure J to speaking out about the value of Inmate Education, Danny operates from an ethic of care for our students.

Danny understands that education transforms communities, and never misses an opportunity to highlight valuable programs on his show and on social media. Be sure to catch The Pulse with Danny Morrison Sundays from 8am-12pm, and The B-Town Mixdown on Saturdays from 6pm-midnight to catch information about Early College, student and academic supports, BC’s guided pathways work, and more.

I would like to thank all of our veterans for their bravery and sacrifice, as well as BC Veterans Services for putting together another great VetFest.

Vince holding a Veterans Club t-shirt.
Veterans club presented a club T to Assemblymember Fong

We started Vet Fest in 2013, the year I started as a new president. Here is a walk down memory lane.

2018 Vet Fest blog, BC Loves our Vets: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2018/11/10/bc-loves-our-vets/

2017 Vet Fest blog, Celebrating our Veterans all week long: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/11/11/celebrating-veterans-all-week-long/

2016 Vet Fest, Thank you Kern County: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/11/12/thank-you-kern-county/

2015 Vet Fest blog, Remembering America’s Best: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2015/11/11/veterans-day-vet-fest-and-remembering-americas-best/

2014 Vet Fest blog, 2nd annual vet fest: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2014/11/11/student-veterans-and-bcs-2nd-annual-vet-fest/

2013 Memorial Day blog, Our student veterans: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2013/06/05/out-student-veterans/

There are more photos in our Smugmug photo gallery:

When will you get a chance to hear from Lande Ajose, Senior Policy Advisor to Higher Ed for Governor Newsom; Eloy Oakley, Chancellor for CA Community Colleges; Tony Thurmond, State Superintended. Register today for the November 15th symposium here in Bakersfield.

https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/conference/intersegmental-pathways-symposium

Radiologic Technology Program 50 Years Celebration

Jaycee Hill, Carla Gard and Nancy Perkins

Jacelyn Hill, Director of Radiologic Technology here at BC, spoke eloquently at the Radiologic Technology Program Celebration of 50 years at BC on Thursday, November 7, 2019. She spoke of the National Rad Tech Week, discovery of the technology that changed health care, the history of the program at Bakersfield College, and the people who made it happen.

Holding the proclamation.
Vice Mayor Chris Parlier and Jaycee Hill

November 3-9 is National Radiologic Technology Week™ in which medical radiology technologists are celebrated for their role in health care.This week celebrates the detection or x-rays by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen on November 8 1895. Vice Mayor Chris Parlier was in attendance for Mayor Karen Goh to read the official proclamation declaring:

Proclamation from Karen Goh.

“November 3-9, 2019 as ‘Radiologic Technology Week’ in our city, and urge all citizens to recognize this event in our community, celebrating 50 years of educational excellence in Radiologic Technology at Bakersfield College.”

In addition, the BC Foundation and the BC Rad Tech program honored former Program Director Nancy Perkins with a bench for her great work of over 39 years of improving the program and the establishment of the Nancy Perkins Scholarship.

The history of the Rad Tech program at BC began in 1958 at Mercy Hospital under Ferris Boyce with a certificate program and on-the-job training. Mrs. Ferris worked with Bakersfield College administration and faculty, including John Ackland and George Lawrence, to move the program to BC so that students could earn an associate degree. In 1969 the classes were taught at Kern General. The X-Ray program moved to the Panorama campus in August 1979, when Nancy Perkins, at a mere 23 years old began at BC. She started in the very room where the ceremony was held and continued improving the program until her recent retirement. You can read all about this important history in the Fall 2018 Archives Newsletter.

Program students and faculty gathered around the bench.

Yessenia Diaz, a proud Rad Tech student told the attendees she was happy to be a part of this program as it will allow her to help people. She said “the program is worth the effort and very rewarding.” 

Speaking to room.
Yessenia Diaz

Our graduates work all over Kern County and beyond. Nancy estimates that at least 85% of Radiologic Technologists in our area are BC Graduates. Our Rad Tech Graduates have 100 percent job placement. They continually exceed Board expectations, and win awards even in competition with 4-year universities programs.

Thank you Vice Mayor Parlier for taking the time to participate, thank you Mayor Goh for the proclamation, and Jacelyn Hill, Carla Gard, and Nancy Perkins for all of your hard work on our Rad Tech program.

Distinguished Speaker Jason Beardsley

Beardsley at the podium.

On Thursday, November 7th, former Master Sergeant, Jason Beardsley, presented his “An Apotheosis of America” as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series in the Levan Center. He discussed the importance of recognizing the everyday challenges and influences that hinder our growth for success and overcoming them in order to achieve our goals. 

Beardsley used the challenges and issues in his life to demonstrate the importance of recognizing and overcoming obstacles in order to reach our goals. We decide whether we succumb to the pressures of society preventing us from achieving our goals, or whether we overcome the challenges to further our goals. He pointed out the importance of understanding yourself in order to identify your ideals and goals. What are the goals that will shape who you are and determine your achievements? 

Thank you Jason Beardsley, for your inspiring words. I would also like to thank Reggie Williams of the Levan Center, Paul Beckworth and Veterans Services, and Nicky Damania and the Office of Student Life for bringing this speaker as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series.

HBCU Caravan Comes to Bakersfield College

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Transfer Caravan stopped by BC on Monday, November 4th, during their tour of California.  There were 19 HBCUs on-hand working with our students and students from our local community to talk about the transfer opportunities outside the State and the guaranteed admission for California Community College students to the HBCUs.  Students who complete an AA-T or an AS-T with a 2.5 GPA are guaranteed admission to the HBCU partner colleges. Representatives also provided students with information about scholarships available to students showing that it is possible to afford a baccalaureate degree.  

This event was made possible by the joint collaboration between the Office of Outreach and School Relations, the Transfer Center, African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP), Umoja, and the Office of Student Success and Equity.

BC Umoja students gain motivation at the Umoja state-wide conference

 The Umoja Community state-wide conference in Oakland was motivating, eye-opening, and engaging for BC’s Umoja students. The annual event, held each fall, exposes students to ideas and people that they otherwise might never would have had the opportunity to. 

Student with Paula in front of the Umoja sign.

One of our students Zions stated: “My experience at the Umoja Conference was one of the greatest events I’ve been a part of. . . Before the conference, I felt mentally asleep, but now I feel woke and motivated to reach my full potential.”

BC’s Umoja Community African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence is in its fifth year.

Group of students and representatives at a table.

The conference was so effective in part due to powerful keynote speakers, such as activist Bree Newsome Bass and Professor/Author/Speaker Dr. Marc Lamont Hill. Workshops included topics such as Student Leadership, Learn Math Through Hip Hop, and Pursuing a Career in STEM. 

Students at a table in front of a large full room.

The speakers “really inspired me to do better and influence others to follow the same path,” said Tyler.

BC Students with Paula in front of the Umoja Conference sign.

Lauren echoed his thoughts: “I was moved to tears throughout both speeches. I feel pushed to strive for greatness.”

speaker at the conference.

The warm, loving environment was another aspect that students described as never having experienced on such a large scale.

Students holding lots of information pamphlets.

Said Tahnjanique: “I’ve never been around that much positive black energy. It made me feel comfortable, loved, and empowered.”

Students speaking to a rep from Bowie.

All of the 70 Umoja programs around the state have the same foundation – the Umoja practices.  Love is at the center of everything Umoja does at the state-wide level and on BC’s campus. Students respond to the love, high expectations, and culturally relevant curriculum — and succeed!

Students with rep holding a CSUB B.

BC Students Tour Measure J Construction

Earlier this week, Professor Kenneth Jones Intro to Construction class visited our Measure J construction site to experience it directly.  AECOM/Parsons project manager Jared Cascadden spoke to students about what goes into building a facility, as they were able to get a first-hand look at the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center. Thank you to AECOM/Parsons and S.C. Anderson for hosting our students and showing them how much work goes into these projects.

Child Development Center: A Phenomenal Evaluation

On November 5th, a team of consultants from the California Department of Education Early Learning and Care Division arrived at Bakersfield College to evaluate our Child Development Center. In KCCD, the child development centers at Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso College, and Porterville College are evaluated as a single agency. On the first day of the evaluation, the consultants were greeted by John Means, Vice Chancellor of Education Services, Jessica Krall, the Program Manager of the Cerro Coso Community College Child Development Centers, Karen Ball, the Program Manager of Porterville College Child Development Center, and Bakersfield College’s Vice President of Instruction Billie Jo Rice and Dean Jessica Wojtysiak

Panel members and BC administrators.

The state evaluates Child Development Centers every three years. During their visit, the evaluators reviewed enrollment and financial files from all three colleges and conducted classroom observations at the Bakersfield College and Porterville College Centers, scoring them in categories such as Space and Furnishings, Personal Care Routines, Language and Reasoning, Activities, Interactions, and Program Structures.

Administrators and visiting panel.

While the evaluators were originally scheduled to stay for four days, we were informed that they were ready to share their findings on Thursday, ahead of schedule. In the exit meeting, lead Child Development Consultant Roseanne Pitz, called the final report “phenomenal.” The report noted no negative findings, and the Child Development Centers received three perfect scores on the Infant-Toddler Environment Rating (ITERS) Scale in Listening and Talking, Interactions, and Program Structure and two perfect scores on the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-R) in Interactions and Program Structure.  The Bakersfield College Child Development Center provides quality childcare for the children of Bakersfield College students, and we are delighted that the hard work of our center’s employees was recognized by the state’s team.

Faculty Art Exhibition

The Bakersfield College Art Department is hosting the 2019 BC Art Faculty Exhibition from October 24 to November 27 at the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery, which showcases the artistic work of our incredibly talented BC Art Faculty. The Art Faculty Exhibition presents a variety of artistic mediums, including drawings, paintings, sculptures, photography, video, and digital media. 

BC Art Professor, Jamee Eaton, presents her works “Loss & Remembrance I, II, & III.”  These three pieces depict an overlap of layers signifying our journeys that intertwine and connect together as a whole in space and time.

Abstract painting of an artist.

BC Art Professor, Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio, presents his work “El Triste Pintor,” which translates to “The Sad Painter.”  This piece of art depicts the misunderstood realm of imagination and his dedication to the world of art as an artist.

BC Art Professor, Yvonne Cavanagh, presents her work “Perceptible,” depicting the expression of the moment one’s life changes from unforeseen circumstances to finding the hope and ability to embrace the unknown.

Perceptible by Cavanagh.

Here are a few more to entice you to the exhibit before the 27th.

If you can’t get to the Exhibit, you can view some pictures of the wonderful artwork.

Thank you to the BC Art Department for hosting the Art Faculty Exhibition. This awe-inspiring artwork will surely inspire our future BC artists and community.

Gandhi’s Legacy Speech

Large crowd behind the Bakersfield College Delano Campus sign.

The first weekend in November the BC Department of Communication coordinated with Gandhi Celebration Committee, CHAP, Rural Initiatives and Student Affairs to host a series of Speech and Debate events that discussed the legacy of Gandhi. The event organizers Chris Cruz-Boone and John Geirtz created these events to give all students an opportunity to practice and apply methods and skills studied in courses, such as public speaking, persuasion, small group, intercultural communication & argumentation. The department has aimed to embody the “We Are BC” mantra and it is notable that competitors for the two events included students from: Kern Valley State Prison, Early College Arvin, Early College Valley Oaks/Homeschool, Job Spot, BC Delano, BC Southwest and BC Panorama. 

Kern Valley Prison Lincoln Douglas Debate Tournament  
7 participants lined up in front of the crowd.

On Friday, the first day of November, men at Kern Valley State Prison took part in a Lincoln Douglas debate tournament.  The event was held in yard B, the same yard that in August of 2019 graduated 17 students with Associate of Arts in Communication.  The event was spearheaded by the student Debate Club at Kern Valley and supported by both yard staff and faculty advisor John Giertz. The tournament champion was honored with a first-place certificate to mark his achievement.

Gandhi Legacy Speech Tournament  

Walking through the applauding crowd.
Chris Cruz-Boone

The following day, the BC Gandhi Legacy Speech Tournament awarded cash prizes of $500 to top speakers in each event category. On Saturday November 2nd, more than one-hundred people including students, their families, faculty and volunteers participated in speech tournament held at the BC Delano campus. The event coordinators provided free transportation for 46 Bakersfield College students to the event. The winners for the Speech Tournament included:  

 Awards for Persuasive Research Speeches About Gandhi’s Legacy   
  • 1st Place – Karen Fuentes (BC Panorama) 
  • 2nd Place – Karolina Kuntz (BC Panorama) 
  • 3rd Place- Abi Kyles (Early College Homeschool) 
3 students accept their awards from Helen.
 Awards for Informative Research Speeches About Gandhi’s Legacy    
  • 1st Place- Cristian Ocampo (BC Panorama) 
  • 2nd Place- Mike Aldano (BC Panorama) 
  • 3rd Place- Marisabel Perez (Arvin High School Early College) 
4 participants applaud Helen.
Awards for Impromptu/ Spontaneous Speeches about Gandhi  
  • 1st Place – Julio Moreno (BC Panorama) 
  • 2nd Place- Eduarda Angeles (Arvin High School Early College) 
  • 3rd Place – Anastasia Bryand (Early College Homeschool) 

“People should take the opportunity to come to these events because it helps you get a broader view on how to speak.” – BC student

 PEN America

Courtesy of PEN America

The non-profit organization PEN America awarded BC adjunct professor Jerry Mathes with a Writing for Justice Fellowship to work on his novel In Strange Company. Mathes will be working with editor Kerri Arsenault of the National Book Critics Circle to develop In Strange Company, which tells the story of a young man who rises above incarceration, mental illness and addiction to find humanity through music.

PEN International is a worldwide organization that aims to defend and celebrate free expression through the advancement of literature and human rights. Some famous past and present members of PEN America include Maya Angelou, Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer, Phillip Roth, Salman Rushdie, John Steinbeck, and Toni Morrison. The organization also advocates for press freedom and the safety of journalists and campus free speech.

The Writing for Justice Fellowship is in its second year, and the fellows for 2019-20 were invited to New York City on November 1 to hear the 2018-19 winners read from their published works. It is a profound honor to have one of BC’s own adjunct faculty selected for this award.

In Memory of Peggy Haight

Margaret Haight as a young woman in BW photo.

Another memorial bench was placed on campus this week for Peggy Haight. Margaret “Peggy” Haight, one of Bakersfield College’s most generous donors, passed away a year ago on October 21, 2018.  On the anniversary of her passing, a bench in her memory was unveiled outside the Administration Building.  

The wording on the memorial plaque reads:

Close up of plaque.

In loving memory of

Margaret “Peggy” Haight

1924 to 2018

A nearby neighbor of modest demeanor, Peggy attended classes and campus events.  She donated more than $1.25 million to the Bakersfield College Foundation because she loved Bakersfield College and its students.

Peggy was smart, light-hearted and epitomized true generosity.

While Peggy always kept a low profile and never wanted recognition for her contributions, she is perhaps best known by a select group of faculty and staff as the elderly woman who walked across campus to the BC Foundation office from her near-by co-op, carrying over $100,000 in cash in a couple of grocery bags.  The world needs more Peggy Haights. 

Metal bench with pebbled sides and BC emblems.

Fun Photos

Construction

Corny Rodriguez snapped these of the construction on campus this week.

BC students in the workplace
Selfie.

Sheila Fuller sent this to me: I had an x-ray done at San Joaquin Hospital and had the pleasure of a BC RAD Tech Student learning how to take x-rays.  Then, on October 2, 2019 I was hanging out at Memorial hospital. My daughter had a baby girl who had some problems and had to stay in the NIC unit. My granddaughter is doing great and at home with her older brother, Mom and Dad.  While wandering around the hospital I ran into our Nursing students and they were all happy to take pictures with me. 

Students in red scrubs pose.

Athletics Updates

Renegade Volleyball Claims Fourth Consecutive Conference Championship

A huge congrats goes out to Coach Carl Ferreira and his 2019 squad for claiming their fourth consecutive outright Western State Conference championship after beating West LA at home this last Wednesday, 3-0. The team has a perfect home record of 10-0 this season with a total of 16 sweeps with one regular season game remaining on their schedule. This is a phenomenal accomplishment Coach Carl! 

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (10/27-11/2) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Bandon Dunn and Emily Clark.

Emily Clark, Volleyball – Emily totaled 18 kills, 0 errors and 37 attempts in helping the team to sweeps over Santa Monica, Glendale and Citrus last week.

Brandon Dunn, Football – Brandon grabbed two interceptions, his first as a Renegade in last week’s game at East LA.

Renegade Report: Women’s Soccer and Women’s Golf

Watch both of this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Women’s Soccer and Women’s Golf teams. Head Coaches Scott Dameron and Wes Coble sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss their seasons 

 Women’s Soccer Segment:

Women’s Golf Segment

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week:

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:

  • Tue. 11/12 – Men’s Soccer vs. Citrus, 3pm
  • Thur. 11/14 – Wrestling vs. Fresno City, 7pm
  • Sat. 11/16 Football vs. Canyons, 6pm


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Finals Week for Fall 2017 is a Wrap!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, December 9, 2017 and fall semester is a wrap.  A great day to be a Renegade and a great semester to be a Renegade.  BC students have been completing their finals all week long and the cool, chilly weather has us all in the holiday spirit.

And then Felix Adamo from The Bakersfield Californian dropped by during a lunch meeting at Don Perico.  I was so delighted to listen in on the banter between Felix and Nan.  Did you know that this fabulous photographer with the twitter handle @TBCpix is a veteran, was a student at BC, was the photographer for the Renegade Rip and the Raconteur….  Just wonderful.  Also, try a google image search with “Felix Adamo”…. you will find thousands of photos, but not one photo of him.  So I felt quite sneaky stealing this picture of Felix with Nan and then blasting it on social media — twitter and now my blog 🙂

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Felix Adamo

He was the student photographer for the 1975 Raconteur when BC won the Rosebowl championship.  James E. Meadows was the sports editor and started the article with

On December 11, 1975 a crowd of only 21,200 gathered in the sun-warmed Rosebowl in Pasadena for the Los Angeles Times sponsored Junior Rose Bowl — the 22nd of its kind …

Felix Adamo photographer in the BC Dec 1975 Raconteur.png

And as I scrolled through the Dec 1975 Raconteur I found this picture of Bill Thomas and Sharon Thomas by Lewis Wakeland.

Raconteur Dec 1975 Bill Thomas Photo by Wakeland.png

Thank you Felix Adamo.
I’m so proud that such a talented photographer is a Renegade!

100th Graduating Class of the BC Associate Degree Nursing Program

On Thursday evening, we celebrated the momentous occasion of the 100th Graduating Class of the BC Associate Degree Nursing Program.

Did you know the Nursing program at Bakersfield College is the 6th oldest RN program in the state? An article in one of the BC Archives newsletters says, “It all started in 1951 when a vocational nursing program was initiated in cooperation with Kern General Hospital (now Kern Medical Center). Its first group of nurses graduated in 1952.”

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GlennBultman, Ed Simonsen, and Pearl Wassen at Registered Nursing Graduation in 1960

It continued, “The original intention of the vocational nursing program was to train nurses to address the shortage brought on by World War II. It is thought that the program might end when the registered nursing program was initiated, but this did not occur.”  The registered nursing program began at BC in 1957 under the direction of Kathryn Cafferty. Accreditation was granted in June 1958 and the first graduating class was the following year.

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Thursdays Ceremony had 59 graduates and all grads have received and accepted job offers. The evening began with a performance by the BC Drumline and attendees were welcomed by the Master of Ceremonies, Jaime Mendiola and the Pledge of Allegiance by Gagan Jattana. Speakers for the evening included Carla Gard, Director of the Nursing Program, Lisa Harding, Faculty, Jeanette Harvey and Haley Wayts, Students, Ronnie KnabeDebbie Kennedy, and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.  

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

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Lisa Harding

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In recognition of the 100th Graduating class of the Bakersfield College Associate Degree Nursing Program, the department shared a few mementos that commemorate the amazing milestone. This is such an exciting time for the department and our college.

Special thanks to Cindy Collier, Carla Gard, Michelle Burton, Bryan Lainez, Treana Adams, and Vanessa Reyes.

See all the photos at the Bakersfield College Smugmug.

Culinary Caroling

I walked into the third annual Culinary and Caroling dinner event to find this distinguished gentleman playing the piano to greet the guests.

Mark Wilcox Dec 2 2017

Mark Wilcox, the proud father of the talented, passionate and beautiful Jen Garrett.

On December 2nd, the BC Chamber Singers and BC Culinary Arts partnered to create their third annual Culinary and Caroling dinner.  Last year’s event was on Dec 3, 2016.  Here is my blog post from last year https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/12/10/17775/

CulinaryCaroling_Choir

Sonya Christian, Jen Garrett with Chamber Singers Dec 2 2017

Chefs Alex Gomez, Suzanne Durst and the Renegade Room staff hosted a delicious holiday dinner, and host Christian Flores made sure all guests were taken care of. Decorations were by Christine Foth.  My guests this year included Mayor Karen Goh, Chancellor Tom Burke and his wife Tina, KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog and his wife Lily, and Ed Davis and his wife Shelley Davis.

Each table had a chamber singer assigned to take care of the guests.  Our chamber singer was the fabulous Mark who you see in the picture below.

CulinaryCaroling_Guests

Special Guests at the Culinary Caroling Dinner

The beautiful voices of the BC Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Garrett, always make this special annual event magical. One piece had a student signing to it and I love that they added this. Here is a short video:

 

CulinaryCaroling_PattDavisSingingSantaBabyPatt Davis sang Santa Baby and here is a picture when she visited the table with our Chancellor, Tom Burke. So fun!

It’s heartwarming to see multiple departments at BC come together, along with the support from local businesses that donated items and services. It’s a joy to see the amazingly generous attendees enjoy their visit to our campus and experience the true talent of our students and staff.

Here is Trustee Romeo Agbalog visiting with faculty and staff — in the pictures below you see him with Cindy Collier, Dean of Allied Health and Career and Technical Education and Talita Pruett, faculty member in Communication.

Chef Suzanne and Jen Garrett thank you for another great event.

 

Loved this picture that Lily Agbalog texted me with the photos of Santa captioned.

CulinaryCaroling_Santa

Santa!

Markelle (Mark) Taylor, one of our students and a music major was in charge of our table. Mark performs in a lot of musical theater in the community.

Markelle Taylor.jpg

 

 

Here is Matt Garrett with his mom Barbara Garrett who did the m&m counting for the jar of 1000 m&ms and his grandpa Roger Garrett.

Roger Garrett, Matt Garrett, Barbara Garrett.jpg

Roger Garrett, Matt Garrett, Barbara Garrett

Here is Chancellor Tom Burke with his lovely wife Tina, and the lovely Suzanne Durst.

Tom Burke, Suzanna Durst, Tine Burke Dec 1 2017.jpg

Tom Burke, Suzanne Durst, Tina Burke

Karen Goh, Lily Agbalog, Romeo Agbalog, Jen Garrett, Sonya Christian, Shelley Davis, Ed Davis

Front Row: Mayor Karen Goh, Lily Agbalog, Sonya Christian.  Back Row: Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Jen Garrett, Shelley Davis, Ed Davis

Special thanks to Dr. Jen Garrett and the BC Choirs, Chefs Suzanne Durst, Alez Gomez, Christian Flores, and our BC Culinary Arts students. And thank you to everyone who purchased tickets and visited “Harvard on the Hill” for this special annual holiday evening. I know we’re already looking forward to next year.

Mayor Karen Goh has some lovely photos on her Facebook

BSO & BC Choir

On Saturday, December 16th, the Bakersfield College Choir is partnering with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra for the winter concert, Home for the Holidays. The show begins at 7PM at Fox Theater and tickets are available now at www.thebakersfieldfox.com.

Choir_andBSO

LVN graduation

In addition to the RN nursing students graduating, this Friday, December 8, 2017, we had our LVN cohort graduating as well with the ceremony being held at the Indoor Theater.

LVN Program.jpg

After three semesters of hard work and perseverance, the students from our Vocational Nursing program got to walk across the stage and earn their pins at a special ceremony Friday night in the Indoor Theater.

Along with their certification as Licensed Vocational Nurses, the graduates were awarded a special pin commemorating all of their hard work and success. The pin is a traditional badge of achievement, and each nursing school’s pin is different.

Dec 8 2017 LVN cohort graduating.jpg

After a brief welcome from Jennifer Johnson and MC Kren Campbell, student speakers Krystal Shendo-Quidachay and Juana Aguilar spoke about all of the hard work that the group of 21 graduates had to endure in order to earn the licensure; the support they received from family, friends, BC faculty and their peers; and the relief that the effort resulted in a certification that enables them to achieve their career goals, or to continue their nursing education.

LVN Graduating class.jpg

Jennifer Johnson addressing the students.jpg

The holiday spirit was in the air as Aguilar lead the audience in singing “Feliz Navidad” while poinsettias decorated the theater.

The graduates and their family members in the audience were often moved to tears as the nursing staff recited the Nightingale Pledge and pinned the graduates. Faculty speaker Sandra Davis spoke highly of all her graduating students, and was ecstatic for all of the lives that she knew her students would go on to help save.

Faculty with candles.jpg

students.jpg

I’d like to congratulate all of our newly licensed vocational nurses and our nursing staff for all the work they do to transform the lives of our students and community through the education that they provide.

Community Christmas Parades

We are so fortunate to have a variety of local community based Christmas Parades. BC was so happy to walk in the Shafter Parade a few weeks ago. I shared photos in my blog last weekend here, and I loved the photos from Mayor Jose Gurrola from the Arvin Christmas Parade. It’s great to see our community leaders working together and supporting our various communities.

ArvinChristmasParade_SalasPerezGurrola

Rudy Salas, Leticia Perez, and Jose Gurrola

Leaders Leticia Perez and Former Mayor Harvey Hall both came together with a financial donation to support the Arvin Christmas Parade. The Bakersfield Californian covered this here.

ArvinChristmasParade_CommunityLeaders

A few nights ago, the community came out to see the Bakersfield Christmas Parade and The Bakersfield Californian has some incredible photos available here. I also loved the opening of this article, “Christmas Parade kicks the holiday season into high gear.” Author, Steven Mayer wrote,

There were toddlers wearing footed PJs dancing in the street. There was a man sporting a black sombrero riding a Brahma bull. There was a dude herding cats — although he claimed he was director of the Washington Middle School Marching Band. There were thousands of smiles, hundreds of princess parade waves, and enough good will toward men to make you feel like everything is going to be all right after all.

Don’t miss the article. It’s fantastic.