Tag Archives: Kay Meek

Love Endures… Happy Easter

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 15, 2017 the day before Easter and such a great day to be a Renegade.

Sean Murray April 2017 Picture TBC website

Sean Murray. Picture from TBC website

I want to start this weekend’s blog with Herb Benham’s piece titled In Times of Grief Love Endures in The Bakersfield Californian on Good Friday, April 14, 2017.  Our community lost a wonderful young man Sean Murray, a Renegade, son of Steve Murray of Murray Farms. Benham says:

 

Love is the good that comes from this and, if we are made from the same cloth as Sean, it courses through the next generation. Love is both message and mantra; as the Bible says, “It bears, believes, hopes, endures and does not end,” even as we falter.

Yes….Love bears, believes, hopes, endures and does not end…

for more see http://tinyurl.com/lllw7er

 

BC Main Campus Hosts KCCD Board of Trustees

Students

BC Students Welcoming KCCD Trustees!

On Thursday afternoon, the main BC Campus hosted the monthly Board of Trustees meeting. These meetings are normally conducted at the District location, so it was special to have the Trustees and dignitaries, as well as faculty and staff from Porterville College and Cerro Coso Community College.

The afternoon began with lunch at the Renegade Room where SGA President Matthew Frazier and SGA Officers, Dezi Von Manos, Alex Apatiga, Jose Cortez, Rayven Acosta Webb, Lawrence Salcido, and Emmanuel Limaco introduced the four pillars of the Guided Pathways project. One of my favorite quotes came from Rayven, who said “The ASL program has taught me that I have not suffered from hearing loss but blessed with Deaf Gain…Deaf can do anything; I can do engineering.” I invite you to read the script from the students which has been made available on our website here.

Pillars

 

April 13 BCSGA presenting the GPS at Board luncheonHere is a picture tweeted by Kimberly Bligh.  I love it.  The students are here with Nicky Damania, Lesley Bonds and me.  Nicky and Lesley worked with the students to get ready for the Board presentation.  Zav Dadabhoy and I were chuckling that both Nicky and Lesley were looking at the group as though they were very proud parents.  I love these students and the fabulous team of Damania and Bonds.

Sonya Christian Lesley Bonds Nicky Damania with students April 13 2017.png

Emeriti at Lunch April 13 2017

Following an informative lunch, the group moved to the Levan Center to recognize emeritus faculty and instructional administrators, and retirees. There are 27 emeriti from 2010-2016 among them with a total of 802 years of service. Of the 23 retirees of 2016-2017, they have a total of 570 years of service.  Photos are available on Smugmug.

I’d like to highlight a few of them now.

Chancellor Burke April 13 2017

Chancellor Tom Burke

Hillary Neumeister

Prof Emeritus Hillary Neumeister with KAy Meek April 13 2017

Kay Meek, Hillary Neumeister

23 years (Retired 2013)

Hillary Neumeister grew the Developmental Writing courses into thriving offerings in many locations to meet Kern County’s basic writing needs.  Under Hillary’s oversight, the BC Tutoring Center, now serving over 1000 individuals per semester on the Panorama Campus and additional individuals at the Delano Center, has had its tutor training program certified by the International College Reading and Learning Association.  Thank you Professor Emeritus Hillary Neumister for your 23 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College. (Note: Hillay and I were in the same new faculty cohort)

Prof Emeritus Vera Diaz with Kay Meek April 13 2017

Kay Meek, Vera Diaz

Vera Diaz, Counselor       
27 years (Retired September 2014)

Vera Diaz served as an EOPS Counselor and has built very close bonds with her students and assisted in many ways to help with their education. She was truly dedicated, in particular to our first generation students.  Throughout her employment she served her BC family and community in various ways. She was a member of the Latina Leadership Network of the California Community Colleges also served on their Executive Board; she was a member of the Kern County Hispanic Educators also serving on their Executive Board. She was the Staff Diversity member on various Hiring Committees on campus. She has also received President’s Certificate of Merit under the presidency of Greg Chamberlain.

Prof Emeritus Phil Mesel with Kay Meek April 13 2017

Kay Meek, Phil Mesel

Thank you Professor Emeritus Vera Diaz for 27 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College.

Phil Mesel, Professor, Computer Studies
30 years (Retired May 2014)

Phil Mesel has been a part of computing at Bakersfield College for a large part of our history.  His BC career started in our IT department, and even after he moved to a full time faculty position, Phil continued to assist in making sure that our labs were up to date and fully functional.  Phil served as department chair and was instrumental in the development of many of our programs, but he will be remembered by his students for his willingness to spend extra time helping them succeed.  Phil also is known for his deep work with Martial Arts.  Thank you Professor Emeritus Phil Mesel for 30 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College.

Prof Emeritus Randy Messick April 13 2017

Kay Meek, Randy Mesek

Randy Messick, Professor, Performing Arts
30 years 10 months (Retired December 2015)

When you think of the Kern Shakespeare festival the name that comes to mind is Randy Messick.

Randy taught acting, technical theatre, Introduction to Shakespeare, Introduction to Theatre, and directed plays.  Randy’s passion was Shakespeare. For more than two decades he served as the founding director of the Kern Shakespeare Festival, bringing the Bard to thousands of Bakersfield residents every fall, directing and often performing in dozens of Shakespeare plays.  Randy has created beautiful memories for the Bakersfield Community, families who have watched Shakespeare under the stars on warm summer nights. Thank you Professor Emeritus Randy Messick for over 30 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College.

Prof Emeritus Dale Gradek with Kay Meek April 13 2017

Kay Meek, Dale Gradek

Dale Gradek
33 years (Retired 2010)

Dale Gradek was an integral part of the welding program for three decades. He was focused on preparing students to move directly into a job or advance in a career.

He modeled the same high level of professionalism that employers look from the programs graduates. Dale also participated in the work of the college community, he served on accreditation standard teams and many other campus committees. You can still find Dale volunteering for campus events.   Thank you Professor Emeritus Dale Gradek for your 33 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College

Arlen Mark Dommer, Engineering & Industrial Technology
(Retired May 2016)

Prof Emeritus Mark Dommer with Kay Meek April 13 2017

Kay Meek, Mark Dommer

Mark began his career at Bakersfield College teaching welding courses in the early 1980’s.

In 2003, he transitioned into a new role of leading the Construction Technology program.  For the past 22 years he has served as the only instructor providing for this program that transitioned students directly into a job or a career.  Mark also worked with students from community-based organizations to help people learn the building trade.

Thank you Professor Emeritus Mark Dommer for 35 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College.

Pat Coyle, Professor, Family & Consumer Education
35 years (Retired June 2014)

Prof Emeritus Pat Coyle with Kay Meek April 13 2017

Kay Meek, Pat Coyle

If you have ever eaten in the BC cafeteria.
If you have ever eaten in The Renegade Room.
If you have ever attended a BC Event.
If you’ve ever eaten food at the BC Stadium or the Huddle.

If you have ever attended graduation, the Honor Brunch, Twilight in Tuscany, A Taste of the Town, Independent City, The Amgen Tour, The Ag Awards, the Forestry meetings, The Chemistry Department awards, Fireworks Show, the Sterling Silver Event, the Red & White Festival, the 100 year celebration, the Garden Festival, The BC BBQ,…

Then you know what Chef William Patrick Coyle has been doing for the last 3 decades. Keeping you from going hungry while on campus.  Chef Coyle, Professor Emeritus, thank you for 35 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College.

Prof Emeritus Robert Reader with KAy Meek April 13 2017

Kay Meek, Robert Reader

Robert Reader, Counselor.
38 years (Retired 2010)

Robert Reader made a lasting impression on many students because he would go the extra mile. Recently, a community member shared that Robert and Larry Robinson approached him while he was in the Police Academy about continuing his education. The story goes that Robert and Larry later came to the police station to continue ‘encouraging’ him to further his education. Police Chief Lyle Martin says that if it was not for Reader and Robinson that he would not be where he is today.  What we need today are more people like Robert and Larry, counselors who made it their business to make a difference.  Thank you Professor Emeritus Robert Reader for your 38 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College.

See a small snippet on Robert Reader in My December 24, 2016 blog at https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/12/24/happy-holidays-from-bc/

Bill Thomas Sonya Christian Robert Reader April 13 2017

Bill Thomas, Sonya Christian, Robert Reader

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Land in Arvin

Harold Pierce reported earlier this week that the City of Arvin is donating more than 32 acres of land to KCCD for a satellite campus in the city. The piece quotes KCCD Trustee, Bill Thomas, saying “This is the most ideal situation you could ask for the higher educational needs of those communities now and for the foreseeable future.”

Check out the article at, http://tinyurl.com/luk2vfo

And on friday, April 14th, the editorial in the Bakersfield Californian was about the potential Bakersfield College Outreach Center in Arin,  Bringing Education to those who crave it.  Here is an excerpt:

It’s not just time for Arvin, though. Kern County’s binary economy, driven by oil and agriculture, needs an educational jolt, and not just so its two core industries can find reinforcements. The Kern County economy must diversify, and educating our homegrown talent is an important way to do it.

For more, read http://tinyurl.com/mq6de3r.

Joe Gurrola, a Renegade and now Mayor of Arvin, tweeted

Mayor Jose Gurrola tweets April 14 2017

Trustee and Retired Congressman Bill Thomas read out the resolution related to this item on the Board agenda.

Board of Trustees April 13 2017

CIO Conference in San Francisco

CraigHaywardDeborah Wuff

Craig Hayward, Dehorah Wuff, Sonya Christian

On Wednesday, April 12th, I presented  with Craig Hayward at the Chief Instructional Officers (CIO) conference in San Francisco on Guided Pathways.  Deborah Wuff is the CIO from Cuesta College who introduced us.  She told a story about Greg and Lara Baxley who were at BC as chemistry faculty when I was at BC as a dean.  The Baxley’s were great and it was so nice to listen to Deborah talk about them during her introduction.  The CIO is a great group of hardworking individuals.  As Chief Instructional officers at their respective colleges they have, in some ways, the toughest jobs on campus.

Ed Buckely, retired CIO, took this picture.  Ed does a newsletter, News and Views, for the CIO group.  Here is a link to the most recent edition of the nesletter.  Enjoy Ed Buckley and out fabulous CIOs http://www.ccccio.org/documents/NewsViews123s.pdf. You will notice that Dr. Michele Bresso is named the new CIO of Gavilan College.  Here is a tweet from Michele:

Michele Bresso CIO April 12 2017 about Sonya Christian

I took time to walk to walk to Embarcedero the evening I arrived in San Francisco.  What an incredible city.  Passed a little Urban Redwood Park that was wonderful.

Urban Redwood Park San Francisco April 11 2017

Urban Redwood Park in the heart of San Francisco

On a walk San Francisco April 11 2017.JPG

Embarcedero.  Just glorious

On the train back from Emeryville.  A long ride back home and the train got in late, after midnight.

Riding train from Emeryville April 12 2017.JPG

Just left Emeryville on Amtrak heading back home. Exhausted.

Love Endures

Love bears, believes, hopes, endures and does not end.

Nick Strobel in today’s Californian

nick-strobel-returning-from-precinct-oct-29-2016

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel’s Stargazing feature was, as usual, very good.  He ends with a commentary on the Peer Review Process that we use in Higher Education in the United States for Quality Assurance.  Here is a copy and paste

 

The week before Spring Break I was at a conference about the accreditation commission that accredits the 113 community colleges in California, including Bakersfield College, plus the ones in Hawaii and the Pacific islands, such as Guam, American Samoa, Palau, and Micronesia. Accreditation is a voluntary, peer review process that is unique to American educational institutions. The peer review of accreditation reminded me of the importance of peer review in the process of scientific discovery.

Unlike the echo chambers of our social media and politics today, peer review in the science research arena is a rigorous, critical process where claims are tested and either validated or thrown out. Peer review works best if the ones who critically analyze an explanation have an alternate explanation and try to poke holes in the other person’s explanation. (Sometimes that “poking” is pretty brutal!)

In his book “The Demon-Haunted World”, Carl Sagan noted, “Perhaps the sharpest distinction between science and pseudoscience is that science has a far keener appreciation of human imperfections and fallibility than does pseudoscience.” It is possible to arrive at various interpretations of the same data or facts and to develop various explanations of the underlying causes at work. Our culture, egos, and personal beliefs provide a filter through which we interpret the data and develop explanations.

Decades of psychology and social science research have shown that our perceptions, intuitions, and even the reasoning about our intuition can lead even the best of us astray. That is why scientists lay their results open to the very critical scrutiny of others. And they agree to accept the criticism and re-submit their work when they have improved their argument through better data or give it up when the observations show that their idea does not have merit. They don’t blame the “establishment” or make personal attacks.

Finally, the peer review process gives the discovery or explanation credibility and fosters innovation as thoughts are shared and debated in an open competition of ideas. Innovation from a competition of ideas is the key to the past success of the United States.  Innovation can’t happen if government bureaucrats and politicians control the review process—that would only solidify the status quo.

Jazz Day

BC’s second annual Jazz Day was a great success. Over 10 local high schools and 3 junior highs were welcomed at the campus on the hill for the daylong event. The program included special guests, noted clinicians, a lunchtime jam session hosted by the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop, a showcase performance by the BC Jazz Ensemble directed by Kris Tiner, and a presentation of “Billie Holiday at 100” by jazz vocalist Susan Scaffidi and her Quartet.


Each student group that participated received a half-hour clinic with our panel of jazz educators before their public performance in the Indoor Theater. Altogether, nearly 400 local music students enjoyed a full day of immersion in great music – sharing, listening, and learning!

Renegade Athletics

Jeff Evans of The Bakersfield Californian published a great piece highlighting the incredible young women on the BC Tennis team. In the title he mentioned how they struggled in 2015 but now are competing as “a state power” Don’t miss his piece highlighting the fantastic turnaround of this team! http://tinyurl.com/mg8dsl3

And speaking of incredible Renegades, have you seen the piece on Jacob Bookout at Gogades.com? The article mentions, “Bookout, at the Glendale Vaquero Invitational last weekend, smashed his previous personal record jump of 6’8-set just over a month ago on March 4th at the Stanisalus Kim Duyst Invitational-by nailing a 6’11 leap that is not only a new PR for Bookout, but the best mark in California this season.” Way to go Jacob!

Culinary Arts Open House

The Food and Nutrition Program held an open house on March 29, 2017. We hosted 30 high school students from Monache High School’s Hospitality Academy. Students received information on the various Food and Nutrition programs at BC highlighting Culinary Arts and they even toured the Renegade Room and kitchen. During the tour, the kitchen was preparing Wednesdays lunch menu, so students were able to see the true culinary operations in action.

Culinary-Arts-Tour-Summary

The response from students was truly positive and they were able to see what a career in Culinary Arts would involve. One student spoke about how interesting it was to see the chefs preparing lamb.  Before coming to the Renegade Room, BC’s Outreach Department gave a tour of the entire main campus and afterwards, there was a scavenger hunt and time set aside for Q&A. Winners of the student scavenger hunt received CTE (Career and Technical Education) merchandise branded with the BC logo! How cool is that?

Culinary-Arts-Tour-Summary1

Thank you to all involved, especially the speakers: Chef Suzanne Durst, Pamela Gomez, and Lupe Aguirre.  Also to Chef Alex Gomez, Outreach tour guides Dhruvi and Veronica, and Outreach Advisor, Debbie Anderson.

Anthropology and Archaeology at BC

Anthropology and Archeology are global disciplines that we can find right here at Bakersfield College. We have Physical, Cultural, North American Indians, and Biological anthropology, and also Anthropology of Religion and Ritual. Through these courses, students can explore the world of archaeology, and it was in one of those classes that our Renegades studied the habits of their fellow cohorts. In their project, named, “Garbology”, groups had to examine two trash cans found on campus. One trashcan was found in the entryway of the administration building and the other was located by the large rock nestled in the heart of the BC campus.

garbage01

The project, supervised by Ramon Puga, was a great hands-on project as it allowed the students to categorize all of the content found to be later analyzed and used to create their reports. Throughout the experience however, it enabled the students to have a remarkable discussion on several different topics but some of those consisted of what is considered “trash” and what is considered “recycling” ? It’s not just the simple matter of what they found, but it also about looking deeper into the meaning of what they found. What does someone’s trash say about them? Can you really tell a lot about a person by what they discard? What does your trash say about you?

Last month, these same students recorded a mock archaeology site. Thank you to Behavioral Science Faculty, Krista Moreland, for sharing the awesome photos.

site1

 

The Kern County Business Academy

Jay Tamsi has been doing some amazing things over the last 3 years as the CEO of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  One annual event that he and his team started is making positive changes in small businesses all around our county. This year, our own Richard McCrow, director of our Delano campus, has been working with Tamsi and the Delano Chamber of commerce to expand this wonderful business education opportunity into Delano.

The program’s 10-week course has graduated over 320 students from Bakersfield, Lamont, Arvin, Shafter and Taft.  Keep up the great work Jay!

 

Kern County Business Academy by the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Kern County Business Academy by the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

 

Jay Tamsi is a great friend of Bakersfield College.

Bakersfield College was closed yesterday in observance of the Easter weekend.  Today I think is a movie day…Perhaps Beauty and the Beast.  Two weeks ago, it was Logan, a terrific x-men movie where Hugh Jackman plays Wolverine for the ninth time.  Check out the New York Times review of the movie

Talking about movies, the first trailer of the next Start Wars movie was released last friday.  Check out what the New York Times had to say

I would like to close my Easter blog with the spirit of Sean Murray, …..

Love Endures

Love bears, believes, hopes, endures and does not end.

Happy Easter Bakersfield

 

Sonya Christian April 12 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Looking Forward to Spring 2017

We make history at Bakersfield College. It’s what we do – it’s what our students do – it’s what our community does!

Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, January 14th, my grandfather Arthur’s birthday and an absolutely fabulous day to be a Renegade.

This week was so crazy and sooo good… ups and down, a roller coaster.  A definite downer was when I got on the 6am direct train to Sacramento, having forgotten to take my power cord for my laptop, had to get off at Wasco, get back to Bakersfield, and catch the next train/bus back up to Sacramento for the Accreditation Commission meeting. To make matters worse, I got soaking wet as I transitioned to the bus in Stockton and to the cab in Sacramento.

Don’t get me wrong… I do love the rain – just not getting soaked in cold rain.  After all I grew up in Quilon, Kerala, India where the monsoons are dense and spectacular.  Here is a 1:11-video to introduce you to where I grew up

But then there were so many ups this week…. The Governor’s Budget with $150M for Guided Pathways, the Winter Institute at BC, the Condors playing at Memorial Stadium (thank you Matt Riley), and Opening Day.

So let me start with Spring 2017 Opening Day on Friday the 13th.

Spring 2017 Opening Day

bill-thomas-kay-meek-tom-burke-steven-holmes-jan-13-2017

Bill Thomas, Kay Meek, Tom Burke, Steven Holmes

Yesterday, we celebrated a dynamic Opening Day for the upcoming Spring 2017 semester! It’s fantastic to see faculty and staff brighten with excitement for the incoming students and a brand new semester. But also, for moving our work forward, continually improving and changing standards to always build a better BC!

Thank you Janet Fulks, Lesley Bonds, and Steve Waller for all that you do to improve student success.  And thank you Maribel Montelongo for saying hello and taking this selfie with me.

It was wonderful to have the President of the KCCD Board of Trustees, Kay Meek join us for Opening Day.   Kay was welcomed to the podium with a standing ovation and she thanked the college on behalf of the Board especially for the phenomenal work on the passage of Measure J.  We also had Congressman and Trustee Bill Thomas join us and briefly address the group.  Here is a tweet from Lesley Bonds

lesley-bonds-tweet-jan-13-2017

It was also wonderful having our Chancellor Tom Burke join us with his new beard and all. He was warmly welcomed by the Renegades.  Here are pictures of 3 of the many speakers at Opening Day

I find it endlessly exciting to be able to wrap up one part of Measure J, while looking forward to the work we will put into utilizing a $500 million investment from our community. BC is about to change in a way it hasn’t seen since it broke ground on the hill in 1956. Amazing! #WeAreBC

Thank you Bill Potter and Eric Middlested for starting to work on the details of implementation of Measure J.

We also heard from the constituent group leaders.  Classified Union — Bernadette Martinez and here she is with Helen Calip who won Woman of the Year in Delano.

bernadette-martinez-and-helen-calip-jan-13-2017

Bernadette Martinez, Helen Calip

We also heard from Isabel Stierle, Faculty Union President; Sue Vaugn, Management Association President; Steven Holmes, Academic Senate President; Matthew Frazer, Student Government Association President; Susan Pinza on the Levan Faculty Colloquium; Todd Coston who led us in a stretch break; and myself.  It was wonderful seeing Tom Moran who was signing from the stage; and usually Tom Moran is behind the camera and it is a treat getting him in front of a camera.  Thank you Cara Jackson and Earl Parsons for the great photos.

Talking about our Academic Senate President Steven Holmes…. well, he is smart and extremely engaged in making sure that the interests of the Bakersfield College students are met….but he is also a trickster 🙂  On Opening Day Steve hazed the senior level administrators — myself, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Zav Dadabhoy.  Zav captured this video of Steve removing the license plate from my car as a prop for his presentation.  This video is really funny.  Here it is

Here are some additional photos:

Loved the jacket Robby Martinez was wearing.  Prof. Martinez is a faculty in music, a Grammy award winner and got the Bakersfield College jacket you see in the picture at a vintage store in Hollywood.  What a story!

Thank you to all who came to Opening Day

Just three years ago, we waited for students to arrive at our campus where they would be met with one of the most life-changing experiences – attending college for the very first time.

But today, times have changed. Local students all throughout high school are starting to see possible pathways that extend above and beyond their 12th grade year. These options include higher education, unlimited student support, clarity of goals, and mastery of skills.  The Guided Pathways program is not about limits, it’s about clarity – a relentless clarity – so that students can navigate change and do what they need to do.

You see friends, Guided Pathways is not a new concept for us at BC.  It is an integration of what we do best…. It is connecting what was not connected before…. It is amplifying certain aspects of what we have done.

We engaged, on Opening Day with Guide Pathways through our stories.  Stories that were told by 14 talented faculty and staff who spoke to the four pillars of Guided Pathways. I asked the room of attendees to fully listen to these 14 colleagues with an open mind and an open heart and see themselves and to see BC through these stories.

Here are the four pillars and the 14 speakers:

Pillar 1: Clarify the Path with Jennifer Johnson, Faculty co-chair of the curriculum committee; Michele Pena, Director of Admissions and Records; Reggie Bolton, Department Chair of Health, Physical Education and Athletics

Jennifer Johnson Michelle Pena Reggie Bolton Jan 13 2017.jpg

Pillar 2: Getting Students on the path with Steve Watkin, Director of Outreach;
Dr. Matthew Garrett, History Faculty; Maria Wright, Director of Academic Support

Steven Watkin Matthew Garrett Maria Wright Jan 13 2017.jpg

Pillar 3: Keeping Students on the Path with David Moton, English Department Chair; Mark Staller, Communication Department Chair; Dr. Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life; Dr. Paula Parks, English Faculty.

David Moton Mark Staller Nicky Damania Paula Parks Jan 13 2017.jpg

Pillar 4: Meaningful Learning with David Neville, Spanish Faculty; Anna Agenjo, Department Chair, Library; Lisa Harding, Nursing Faculty; Dr. Joe Saldivar, Biology Department Chair.

david-neville-anna-agenjo-lisa-harding-joe-saldivar-jan-13-2017

It is equally inspiring that BC has begun our Accreditation process, hand-in-hand with Guided Pathways. Governor Jerry Brown recently announced $150 million to support California Guided Pathways and Bakersfield College has been at the forefront, advocating for this promising transformation. Talk about innovating the community college education system! Accreditation will be our measure of Guided Pathway’s success. I’m ready for an incredible journey!

Kate Pluta planned the accreditation self evaluation launch in the Fireside Room after the early morning session of Opening Day in the Indoor Theater.  So proud of our faculty and staff who presented and also those who attended.  The presenters included: Bill Moseley, Mark Staller, Janet Fulks, Jason Stratton, Liz Rozell, and Kate Pluta.  Jason Stratton and Liz Rozell will be leading the self evaluation work and Mark Staller and Janet Fulks will lead the Quality Focus Essay (QFE) work.  Here are some photos I took with my iphone

The leaders for our 18-month work on the Self Evaluation and the Quality Focus Essay–Jason Stratton, History Faculty; Liz Rozell, Dean of Engineering and Industrial Technology; Mark Staller, Department Chair of Communication; Janet Fulks, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness

The person behind the accreditation work…the fabulous Kate Pluta in action.

 Thank you to all who came out to support YOUR Bakersfield College.

Winterfest & The Condors

The incredible hockey game last weekend made ESPN! How cool was it to see our Memorial Stadium, our Bakersfield Condors, and our incredible fans and community on ESPN?!  You have to check out the video at

http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=18429665&sf49966194=1

selenaIt was a rainy, blustery and cold evening, but nothing could stop us. I saw a text from Selena Gasca, a student employee in our student life department who sent over a selfie and said “The outdoor Condor’s game was a fun experience for both my brother and I – a night to remember!”

Trustees, faculty, staff, fans, and people from around the state brought together for such a memorable evening. Reagan Fletcher  and little Tyler came all the way from San Francisco to see the event and I loved seeing dignitaries, Bill Thomas, Romeo Agbalog, Lily Agbalog, JPLake, Ingrid Lake sitting rinkside.

condorsgame02

Lily Agbalog, Ingrid Lake, JP Lake, Sonya Christian, Bill Thomas, Romeo Agbalog

Thank you to all of you who came out and showed support for OUR HOMETEAM -The Bakersfield Condors!!!

Was great to see Lynette Smith, faculty in Rad Tech and Janet Tarjan, faculty in math.  Here is the picture of Reagen Fletcher and little Tyler, all the way from San Francisco.  Tyler’s grandfather got him the rinkside VIP tickets for his birthday.

condorsgame03

Here are some more fun pictures:

michael-bowers-and-gang-jan-7-2017-condors-at-the-memorial-stadium

face off Condors Reign Jan 7 2017 at the Memorial Stadium.jpg

KGET Spotlight

Early this week, KGET cast the spotlight on financial aid benefits for our youth and the underserved of Kern County. It’s no surprise that financial aid systems are often complex and hard to navigate, but at BC our dedicated staff is always willing to help. Stop by sometime or give them a call. We’re always here to help our students! Pictured here are Alyse Braaten, Kern Community Foundation and Frank Ramirez, Youth 2 Leaders with KGET’s Jason Galvin.

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Jason Galvin, Alyse Braaten, Frank Ramirez

Greater Bakersfield Chamber Installation Luncheon

On Thursday, January 12, the Greater Bakersfield Chchamber-installationamber of Commerce, of which I am a proud Board Member, hosted its annual Board Installation & Awards Luncheon. It was a wonderful time of honoring the hard work and dedication of our immediate past Chairman, Steve Murray (Murray Family Farms), as well as the inauguration of our incoming Chairman of the Board, Derek Abbott  (Tejon Ranch Company). Our very own Dr. Greg Chamberlain was also recognized for his service and dedication as an outgoing Board Member.

Here featured in the picture: Corny Rodriguez, Lisa Kent, Mayor Karen Goh, Yadira Guerrero, Greg Chamberlain, Manny Mourtzanos, Chris McCraw, Steven Watkin, Ashley Ward, Bill Moseley.

BC is fortunate to have countless community partners and friends in the Chamber, such as Mayor Karen Goh (pictured with our BC representatives), J.P. Lake (Rain for Rent), Carla Musser (Chevron), Aera Energy, The Wonderful Company, Hall Ambulance Service, The Bakersfield Californian, KGET, and so many others.

And btw, Nick Ortiz the CEO of the Chamber is just wonderful!

Emails worth sharing – Huge Antarctic Iceburg poised to break away

 I received an email from Kenward Vaughan that I wanted to share. Kenward said “Who knows… we may yet be owners of shorefront properties!”

I invite you to check out the article and learn more about this massive iceberg hanging by a thread at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38522954

Winter Institute

In fall 2015, BC was selected as one of just 30 colleges nationwide to participate in the AACC Guided Pathways Project.  The project is designed to help us implement the #GuidedPathways model that integrates our student success work campus wide.  Since then, small leadership teams have traveled to various institutes where we learn from experts in the field and share the incredible work happening right here in Bakersfield.  We hosted over 400 people for a statewide summit on Guided Pathways in February 2016, and have been working as a college to engage faculty and staff through professional development institutes, book panel discussions, and focus groups.

winterinst-2

We had long planned this winter institute. We built towards it with an amalgamation of our smaller teams from AACC and then a larger college-wide implementation team.  150 faculty and staff representing 20 discipline areas and virtually every office on campus poured into our Fireside Room for two days (1/11 and 1/12) of robust dialogue, debate, research review, pathway development, and a commitment to support our students in innovative ways.

It was just icing on the cake to hear that over parallel efforts on the statewide front aligned a large investment in CA Guided Pathways in Governor Jerry Borwn’s budget which was unviled on January 10th.  I was on the train to Sacramento when the Governor released his budget.  Here is my tweet from the train

sonya-christian-tweet-governors-budget-jan-10-2017

I do want to recognize Chancellor Eloy Oakley of the CA Community College system as well as Mario Rodriguez, Vice Chancellor of Finance.  They are just super cool!  Taking CA Community Colleges to the next level. #CACommColRock!

Back to BC’s Winter Institute……on the second day of the Institute, faculty and staff had lunch with BC students, asking questions about their experiences and learning the things they feel they most need to navigate college successfully.

I enjoyed reading the attendees’ remarks on the institute evaluation.  Here are some standout reflections on guided pathways:

 “Every student needs to be seen and know who to see”

“It’s our job to open windows, doors, and walls for students to pass through”

“Students shouldn’t have to be extraordinary to get a college degree”

Attendees bravely wrestled with the difficult questions and tough decisions – the whats, the hows, the whens.  What kinds of curricular changes need to happen?  How do we ensure every student has access to the right course in his or her pathway and at the right time?  When can we make this happen?  Why should we do this?

All I can say is that students come to BC with a great hope..hope for getting a good job that can sustain their family hope for a great future.  The work we do results in greater social mobility for our community and greater economic health.

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I especially loved seeing this wordle  on attendees’ responses to why they chose to pursue a career in education. As the amazing Nick Strobel stated, we have the right people here for the right reasons: students and learning.

Now dear friends, you can see why I love BC! #WeAreBC!

A special thank you to Janet Fulks for her leadership of the BC Guided Pathways Implementation Team and for making this happen.  And thank you to all on the pathways implementation team members for committing to this important work of the college: Stephen Waller, Matthew Garrett, Krista Moreland, Andrea Thorson, Abraham Castillo, Nick Strobel, Matt Jones, Reese Weltman, Maria Wright, Tim Burke, Heidi Forsythe, Mindy Wilmot, Lisa Kent, Shannon Musser, Jessica Wojtysiak, Shauna Turner, Cindy Collier, Jennifer Johnson, Sarah Baron, Mark Staller, Grace Commiso, Klint Rigby, Andrew Haney, Bill Moseley, and Lesley Bonds.

Also, loved that our Counseling and Advising Department did a pre Institute on January 9, 2017.  Thank you Grace Commiso, Zav Dadabhoy, Steve Watkin, and Kathy Rosellini for making this happen

Counseling and Advising PreInstitue Jan 9 2017.jpg

Retiree Passings

This is a sad message about two of our family.
First, DAN NYSTROM, 88, died on December 12.  He was a BC zoology teacher from 1958 until 1984.  He and Arleen were married for 47 years and raised three children.  After Arleen died in 1998, Dan married  Mary Horst in 2000 and they had 16 years together before she passed away earlier in 2016

Second, DALENE OSTERKAMP, 84, passed away on December 27th.  Dalene was a distinguished BC art teacher (listed in Who’s Who of American Women and, in 1989, given the First Annual Service to Women Award from the American Association of Women in Community and Junior Colleges.)  Primarily a print maker, she retired to Glennville and worked in prints, stained glass, mosaics, etching, pottery, and jewelry making.  At BC she was also a counselor and worked with the Women’s Studies Department.

The entire BC family holds each other in deep respect and affection as some leave us and new ones join.  I know I’m not the only one who is grateful for our common bond in the Bakersfield College family.

Thank you Jerry Ludeke for keeping us informed.  Jerry Ludeke and the Archives…true BC gems!

Here is a picture from my January 7th exercise class.  Here is Donna Plater the English Department Chair at Foothill High School.  We have such a great relationship with Kern High School District.  Bryon Schaefer is doing good work!

sonya-and-donna-exercise-class-jan-7-2017

Sonya Christian, Donna Plater

And here is a dedicated group on January 9th preparing for the accreditation site visit of our Baccalaureate program.  Thank you Liz Rozell and Jason Dixon and all the faculty and staff for your leadership.  Particularly Blaire Pruett a great industry partner and chairs the advisory committee to the baccalaureate program.

preparing-for-site-visit-jan-9-2017

And, throughout the jam-packed week, I still managed to find time to take a selfie, super tired, while waiting for the train to Bakersfield, in Stockton.

sonya-july-2-2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A community together

 

Calla Lily June 4 2016

A calla lily for you

Good evening Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, June 4, 2016…the day the community came together at St. Francis to celebrate the life of Tharrell Ming, a diehard driller and a Renegade.  The church was packed by the time I got there at 10:53 a.m. for the 11:00 a.m. mass and they had already run out off the stack of booklets.  I spotted Coach Jeff Chudy, Trustee Kay Meek at the service and noticed that Carl Bowser‘s name led the list of honorary pall bearers followed by  Don James, TH Lockard, Bob Millinich, Bob Morton, Richard Russell, Sid Thompson, Gene Toschi, Rick Twisselman.

 

Bakersfield is a great community and as I am writing this blog, unusually at the end of the day instead of the beginning, I see the burst of flowers in the backyard and the burst of yellow from the calla lily. So here is a calla lily for you, my community, for all that you do on a daily basis to support each other and support the students at BC.

Tharrell Dean Ming June 4 2016 Booklet

Now, back to Tharrell Ming…..Monsignor Craig Harrison was his usual remarkable self, funny, warm, comforting and efficient with the mass.  We are blessed to have  Father Craig (as he is warmly referred to) in our community.  The music was minimal and powerful and here are two songs that I listened to throughout the rest of the day.  And whatever your religious leanings or non-religious leanings for that matter, I am sure these two songs will move your spirit and soul as it did mine sitting with hundreds of community members this morning at St. Francis.

Shephard me O God with acoustic guitar on youtube.com

I googled the musical composition of Psalm 23 and learned from the United Methodist Church website that Marty Haugen had composed the haunting melody for the lyrics.  For more on Marty Haugen, check out:

http://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-shepherd-me-o-god

How Great Thou Art.  Maybe this is a non-traditional approach to have the Elvis version here in my blog.  But here I go…..

Here’s to a great Renegade, Tharrell Ming.

I started my day early today preparing for a morning meeting with the two Vice Presidents, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Zav Dadabhoy, of Bakersfield College at Starbucks.  There were a few things that came up that required this early morning meeting on a Saturday during summer.  I know…. crazy…. but that’s what faculty and staff do at BC!  The talent, commitment and dedication of faculty, staff and administrators at the college is just remarkable.  We are…BC! It is a good time to be at BC!

Nan Sonya Zav FM EDIT

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy

Here are a few highlights from the week:

 

Transfer Award from College Opp June 2 2016

Beebe, Koeth, Christian, Pluta, Siqueiros

BC wins an award for transfer degrees.
Earlier this month we received an email from the President of the Campaign for College Opportunity, Michele Siqueiros, that Bakersfield College was one of 13 community colleges in the state being recognized for the growth in the number of transfer degrees.  The event was held in Sacramento in June 2nd, Thursday, and the BC team that headed north to receive the award included: Trustee Dennis Beebe, Dean of Instruction Kate Pluta and Faculty member David Koeth.

 

 

The Bakersfield Group at College Opp awards June 2 2016

Beebe, Chavez, Koeth, Huerta, Christian, Pluta

The Campaign for College Opportunity is a group dedicated to advancing the educational attainment levels in California by impacting policy at the state level.  The staff are great.  A special thank you to Michele Siqueiros, President; Audrey Dow, Vice President, External Affairs and Operations; Linda Vasquez, Regional Affairs Director. For more check out their website at http://collegecampaign.org/.

 

Here is a picture with the group from Bakersfield that included Dolores Huerta who received a lifetime achievement award and her daughter Camilla Chavez. Congratulations Dolores!

We also connected with Connie Conway, a wonderful member of the Board of Governors for California Community Colleges and now a member of the Board of Directors of the Campaign for College Opportunity.  Also, the fabulous Dean Florez, who is an advocate for education and in particular Bakersfield College.

Dean Florez Connie Conway Dennis Beebe June 2 2016

Dean Florez, Connie Conway, Dennis Beebe

Thank you Trustee Beebe for making this long trip to support BC receiving the award.  It is always wonderful to have our Board members celebrating with us.

In the Bakersfield Californian:

The piece on Corny Rodriguez which was in the Bakersfield Magazine was published in the June 2nd issue of the Californian along with Odella Johnson’s piece on BC’s promising professionals.

I loved the opening by Laura Liera about Corny

On his 10th birthday, Cornelio Rodriguez was picking strawberries in Artesia during the early hours of the morning instead of making a birthday wish. He spent summers picking okra in Indio and Coachella and was even driving his dad’s gardening truck by the age of 12.

 

Here is another excerpt from the article:

But after a conversation with his dad, a visit to the career center led to the applications of Cerritos College, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach, UCLA and USC.

It was a Tuesday when the first college acceptance letter came in. Rodriguez was accepted to USC.

“I got scared because we were so poor and I couldn’t afford to go,” Rodriguez remembered. “I was panicking because I thought I had gotten my family into trouble.”

The next day, the UCLA acceptance letter arrived.

“I said, ‘Dear Lord, now I have to go to TWO colleges?’” Rodriguez said.

 

Check out the Californian: http://tinyurl.com/ztwbxva

Promising Professionals:

This is a must-read piece written by Odella Johnson.  Johnson writes about the Promising Professionals and highlights the story of two students — Tamika Narvaez and Linda Esquivel. She writes about Tamika

Students like Tamika Narvaez, a mother of eight who survived abuse and arrived on campus to complete the requirements to transfer, demonstrates how BC delivers student initiatives that allow them to take critical next steps, which result in positive academic outcomes.

and Linda:

Linda Esquivel, a local graduate of South High School and a first- generation college student, left the community to attend San Francisco State University in fall 2013 and, after a semester, left to attend Bakersfield College for financial reasons. Believing that she would not fit in, she felt frustrated and uncertain about the next steps in her journey; however, when she became a student ambassador/ Promising Professional, she admitted that “BC made my future possible,” so with a renewed spirit, Esquivel’s next steps include attending a predoctoral program at the University of Michigan and Penn State this summer.

Johnson ends the article with:

Narvaez and Esquivel’s diversity as students is our strength and we recognize their potential. They embody the spirit of Promising Professionals – students who have passion and purpose.

Kristen Barnes Philanthropy-MattersFor more: http://tinyurl.com/h74g7np

On June 2nd, Kristen Barnes, CEO of Kern Community Foundation and a great partner of BC wrote a wonderful Community Voices piece–Philanthropy Matters: Growing Scholarships, Growing Futures.  Here is an excerpt:

Scholarships close the funding gap students experience. They are one way to provide critical financial support for students – to help make higher education a reality. In many cases, the financial assistance provided by scholarships is a key factor. Gifts for scholarships help students to invest their energies more fully in their course work and pursue internships and leadership opportunities that enrich their personal development and career preparation.

For more, check out http://tinyurl.com/jg47rwq

 

Misono Christian FM EDIT

Misono and Christian

At Rotary West
On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to visit the Bakersfield West Rotary Club. The club went all out with BC colors for the table decorations and traditional “flying saucer” cookies that have been a staple on BC’s campus for  decades.

 

Local CPA and BC alum Fred Misono hosted the meeting in West Rotary President Roger Griess’ absence, keeping the event light and funny.

I was able to give a brief history of the College and recount some of our recent accomplishments. Jay Rosenlieb shared the podium as a member of BC’s Blue Ribbon Committee that is working on a facilities initiative for the college — A Better BC 2016…2066.  This initiative, if approved by the KCCD Board of Trustees in July, could becomes a bond measure on the November 2016 election.  Thank you Jay for taking the time to co-present with me. Check out the the website at http://www.abetterbc.com/

I must say that this is a fun club.  There is a lot of teasing back and forth and great camaraderie and fellowship.  At the end of the presentation, all about Bakersfield College, President Misono presents me with a Taft College T-shirt 🙂 I attempt to get away but he was too quick for me.

 

Acting President Misono made the day very special for Bakersfield College.  He then followed up with the photos and wonderfully warm and fun emails after the meeting. Thank you Russell Johnson, John Pryor, John Fallgatter and others at Bakersfield West for your support.  Rick Kreiser, thank you for that great introduction and your service to the Bakersfield College Foundation for so many years.  You are the best! and thank you Tom Gelder, for getting BC on the agenda.

Kreiser Christian Gelder FM edit JUN16.jpg

Rick Kreiser, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder

Honoring Our Veterans on Memorial Day:

1000Flags2Last weekend, I hope you had a chance to stop by and walk around Riverwalk Park or at least drive by to catch a glimpse of the incredible view. Memorial Day is regularly celebrated on the last Monday of May thanks to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, but did you know its roots go back to 1868 when the day was originally known as Decoration Day?  “On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery” (History.com).

It’s always humbling to reflect on the sacrifice that so many men and women have made and continue to make for the United States and her people. The Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary Club (BBRC) is a group of local community members who through their leadership and friendship, get things done in our community and for the past few years, they have lead a project of planting one thousand flags at Riverwalk Park over Memorial Day weekend.

Volunteers, sponsors, and the BBRC make this annual event, including activities and formal ceremonies at the park possible. What a great way to be reminded of our freedom, liberty, and justice thanks to our courageous service men and women.  Liz Rozell, Mary Jo Pasek, Marlene, Heise, Cheryl Scott and others at BBRC, you did a fantastic job!

I would also like to share an email I received from Paul Beckworth, our veterans faculty lead at Bakersfield College. He sent this last Monday – Memorial Day:

AdminPaulBeckworth

Paul Beckworth

Memorial Day Message 2016

The warrior-poet, King David, wrote, “Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.”  This quote may sound familiar to any fan of the Tom Hanks, World War II epic, Saving Private Ryan.  It is quoted in earnest by the in-residence sniper, Pvt. Jackson, during a pivotal scene in the film.  Inevitably, most of the cast is killed off, as was our popcorn.  However, we know life is not a movie and memories of comrades lost do not go away when the lights go on.

So, what of Memorial Day?  What of those men and women whose hands were taught to war and fingers to fight, who lie still in the ground on this warm May evening?  This is not about the history of Memorial Day.  You can go look that up on Wikipedia.  But, what of those who we remember and honor today?  Today, we see the aged World War II and Korean War veterans, canes in hand, gait a bit unsteady, but minds sharp when recalling battlefields of another time.  Today, they see the friends they lost on those battlefields.  Today, we see 28 year-old OIF/OEF veterans with physical and emotional scars of Iraq and Afghanistan.  Today, they see their lost friends buried at Arlington or the Bakersfield National Cemetery.  Today, we see tatted up, motorcycle riding, leather vest, patch wearing, Vietnam veterans who speak of Tet, and of Khe Sanh.  Today, they see lost buddies who did not get the due deserved them thanks to a divided nation and a callous youth population who called them baby killers.

Today is not about the bullet that barely missed its mark.  Today is about the person whose bullet that found its’ mark.  Today is about the forever young sailor who drowned on the USS Indianapolis, or was killed on the destroyer escort USS Samuel B. Roberts, while fighting toe to toe with Japanese battleships in what became known as the “Last stand of the tin can sailors.”  Today is about the Rangers killed taking Point du Hoc on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and the airborne paratrooper of the 101st or 82nd who never made it out of his chute alive.  Today is about the 1,170 corpsman killed during World War II, often cut down while responding to the blood curdling cry of “Corpsman up!”  Today is about the Marine who never left Guadalcanal, Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima, or Okinawa.  Today is about the pilots who never returned to the airfield, or the submariners who are now on “eternal patrol.”  Today is about the young Coastie who maneuvered his landing craft on to the battered shores of Sicily, Salerno, and Anzio only to stay ashore forever.

Today we remember.  We memorialize the “Frozen Chosin” dead who were carefully carried out by the living rather than being left behind in the rugged mountains of North Korea.  Today is about those killed on countless hills in Korea, so numerous to count they were simply numbered by height.  Today is about those who fell defending the Pusan Perimeter, and those who never left the beaches of Inchon.

Today is about those that this country dishonored in so many ways that it is a stain on the honor of this nation.  Today is about those nearly 60,000 Americans killed in Vietnam.  Today is about those who did not evade the draft, but answered to the nation’s call, despite often not understanding what that call was all about.  Today is about those were cut down in the hot, steamy, jungles and in the highlands, in Hueys and in huts.  Today is not about those who were cursed at when they returned home but about those who were cursed at, despite never making it home.

Today is about Cold War warriors who died doing special operations and of Gulf War warriors, whose deaths were few, yet nonetheless paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Today is about Fallujah Marines who are now at Arlington or other national cemeteries.  Today is about those who never left the Triangle of Death.  Today is about the Helmand Province men who are finally still.

The warrior-poet wrote King David wrote, “A thousand fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.”  Today is about the thousand who fell at the left side and the ten thousand who fell at the right hand.  So, today, let us, the living, be comforted and know that those whose hands were taught to fight are at rest.  Today, let us, the living, be comforted and know that today and for eternity, those who fingers were made to war are finally at peace.

Let us remember.   

BC Athletics: Basketball, Spring Sports Heat Up the Valley

LawrenceMoore

Lawrence Moore

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Friday, February 12, 2016.  The start of the long weekend to honor Presidents’ Day.  It is a good time to be a Renegade.

Greg Gallion and Kay Meek Feb 11 2016

Kay Meek, Greg Gallio. Feb 11, 2016

Yesterday, Feb 11th, at our Board meeting, BC received an award from Greg Gallion, CEO of the Houchin Community Blood Bank (HCBC).  Trustee Kay Meek received the award on behalf of the college and clearly she was delighted at the great work being done at BC and the strong partnership with HCBC.  Meek greeted Greg Gallion with warmth and appreciation. BC received the award due to the remarkable work done by our Student Government Association (SGA) and BC staff during the National Caesar Chavez Blood Drive.  This has been an ongoing effort at the college, and the partnership with Houchin.  

I remember having done two blogs on the blood drive at BC since I got here as president.  One in 2013 and another in 2014.  Check it out.

2014 blog at: http://bcpresidentblog.com/2014/04/20/sga-fills-the-bank-at-blood-drive/

2013 blog at: http://bcpresidentblog.com/2013/06/13/bc-in-the-top-10-for-blood-drive/

HCBC is a wonderful organization with the motto People Live when People Give and their CEO Greg Gallion, a fellow Rotarian, is just wonderful.  For more on the work that HCBC does check out http://hcbb.com/.

Clayton Fowler Feb 11 2015

Clayton Fowler. Board Meeting. Feb 11, 2016

I also enjoyed SGA President Cayton Fowler addressing the Board about the Renegade Promise work that SGA has undertaken along with College Council.  (Thank you Clayton, Nicky Damania, and Lesley Bonds for all your work on this project.)

I obtained Clayton’s written remarks to share with you this morning:

According to the College Promise Campaign, in the 21st century, a high school diploma is no longer enough to lead Americans to a good job and decent quality of life. In the next ten years, more than six out of ten jobs will require employees to have more than a high school diploma, while today only 40% of US adults ages 25–64 are adequately prepared for the workforce. Community colleges already reduce inequality in education and income by serving more than 40% of all undergraduates in the U.S. at more than 1,100 community colleges throughout the nation. Therefore, students, staff, and faculty of the Bakersfield College community have called to question, is there something more Bakersfield College can do to help educate our community.

Good Afternoon, I am Clayton Fowler the President of the Bakersfield College Student Government Association. I wanted to present to the Board the ambitious project Bakersfield College will been undergoing to increase student access and success. This venture, modeled after other programs, is entitled the Renegade Promise, which is a mutually agreed commitment that Bakersfield College will promise entering first-year students starting fall 2016.

While still in the development stages, the Renegade Promise will soon offer two pathways designed to give motivated first-time entering students a head start on a college degree. The purpose of the Renegade Promise is to offer structured opportunities for qualified students to enroll in community college courses that provide pathways that lead to a certificate, diploma, or transfer pathways or degrees.

Academic credits earned shall empower students who continue into postsecondary education after graduating from high school to complete a postsecondary degree or certificate in less time than would normally be required. BC would like to offer two pathways starting fall of 2016 with Plan A for Students who are College Ready and then in fall 2017, Plan B for Students who are not College Ready.

The public announcement and details for the Renegade Promise will be presented the 2016 Bakersfield College Student Leadership and Awards Ceremony on Friday, April 29, from 9:30 a.m. to Noon. I am here to invite you all to attend this ceremony to highlight not only our current student leaders, but also for the unveiling the Renegade Promise for student leaders of tomorrow.

Aaron Kidwell with Sonya Christian Feb 10 2016

Sonya Christian, Aaron Kidwell enjoying Renegade Basketball

On Wednesday, Feb 10th, after a long day of meetings, Vice President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Vice President Zav Dadabhoy and I headed over to watch our basketball teams take on Glendale. It made for a great evening and I’m happy to report that we won both games!  Coach Dahl and Coach Hughes rock!

It was wonderful to see BC faculty and staff out there at 8:00 p.m. supporting our student athletes.  Right from Aaron Kidwell who was up since 4:00 a.m. that day and taking care of stuff at BC to Pam Boyles, Ann Tatum and Robert Boyles, to department staff AD Sandi Taylor and gang, Educational Advisor Stig Jantz….A true labor of love!

I also learned an interesting tidbit at the game.  In High School and College, the Jersey numbers of the basketball players each digit cannot be higher than 5. Here are acceptable numbers  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21…… Apparently, this rule was adopted to help referees hand sign numbers to the scoring table. When a referee reports the number of the player to the scorer’s table. he does so with one hand signaling the number in the tens place and the other hand signaling the number in the ones place. Makes sense?  So, if he signals two fingers on his right hand and 4 on the left, he is designating the player with the jersey number 24.

If you haven’t made it out to the Gil Bishop Sports Center to watch our BC Renegades men’s and women’s basketball teams, you really should.

The men’s basketball team had a record of 21-4 after clinching a shot at the league title by beating Glendale on Feb. 10. If the team wins two of their next three games, they will win the Western State Conference South division title outright for the first time in more than 10 years!

 

The team is led by dynamic 5’7″ point guard Jameik Riviere, who currently leads the state in assists. Nothing stops Riviere from quickly weaving through two or three towering defenders, defying gravity as he hangs in the air a second longer than his opponents as his layup glides through the basket.

At the other end of the height chart, 6’9″ Deandre Dickson throws down amazing dunks several times a game, fielding impressive alley-oop style passes from Riviere.

While those two have emerged as stars, the men’s team routinely has depth in players scoring in double digits, including James Pendleton, Lawrence Moore, Shane Christie and Nick Velasquez, making it hard for opposing teams to keep the ‘Gades from scoring.

BC Basketball vs Barstow(M)-348-JPB

Coach Rich Hughes with his team

The men play their last home game on Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Gil Bishop Sports Center against Santa Monica, and we have a good chance of seeing Head Coach Rich Hughes  cut the net down after the game like Head Coach Paula Dahl did last season when the women’s team won their conference title!

Even though the women’s basketball team has had a season this year where they’ve struggled to put up wins like they did last season, they have played with a lot of heart, and Coach Dahl couldn’t be prouder of her team.

“I’m proud of my kids because they are learning that you can do hard things. I get compliments about their character, that they are polite and continue to work hard even though things have been tough. They are learning that life can be hard, and they are working through it and continuing to fight and get better even when the chips are down, and there’s nothing more I could ask for as a coach,” Dahl said.

Here is a quick update on BC’s other sports:

Baseball:  Coach Tim Painton has a solid bunch of players, and they have gotten off to a great start this season.  His pitching staff is composed almost entirely of freshmen, but on the offensive side, Harrison Smith and Hanz Harker (who have both already signed letters of intent to play at Division 1 schools) are now sophomores, picking up where they left off last season.  Smith already has a grand slam to his credit this year.

Sonya firing the gun spring 2015

Sonya Christian. Starter in Feb 12, 2015

Softball:  The BC Softball team is in its second year under coach Christie Hill, and she’s brought back key sophomores like Trinidad Lee.  Last season, Lee pitched the majority of the team’s innings, and helped them score runs with her bat.  This season, she’ll have help from sophomore Maddie Arambula and a host of freshmen from across Kern County.

 

Track & Field:  The Bakersfield College Track and Field team will have their first home meet of the year Friday, Feb. 12 at 10 a.m. at the “Battle of the Regions.”  Marylin Quintero and Sha’nya Terry have dominated the throwing events this season, while Deonte Henderson and Daniel Aguirre have been strong in the running events.  Tristan McGee won the long jump at an event last weekend, so there will be a great assortment of Renegades to cheer on in Memorial Stadium this season.  Thank you Coach Pam Kelley for inviting me to be the starter last year as well as this year.

 

JeremyPrice

Jeremy Price

Swimming:  The Swim Team opens competition Fri., Feb. 12 at the Pentathlon Event in Ventura. Last season, BC men’s swimmer Erik Wood won the event, while women’s swimmer Sara Klang had a great day in the pool as well.

KlangTime

Sara Klang

This year, coach Matt Moon is looking to freshmen swimmers Brian Bender and Christian Chou to lead the pack in Ventura, and he feels that Klang can build on her performance last season, and possibly claim the title at the five-event swim meet.

But one of the more interesting stories on the team is that of Jeremy Price. Coach Moon says that three years ago, Jeremy wasn’t even “water safe.”

But he took Tina Cummings’ Beginning Swimming course, did the hard work, and now Moon feels he can contend in some of the freestyle events.  Just amazing!

Men’s Golf:  Coach Brittney Goehring is now running both the men’s and women’s golf teams, and she’s in her second season with the men.  The 2016 men’s team has an interesting mix of athletes, from United States Marine Corps veteran Francisco Tomayo to former BC football punter Brady Wylie to freshmen like Brad Chamberlain (who currently leads the team) and North High grad Hunter Hopkins, they prove that you can get a lot of variety — even on a small squad like a golf team!  Fun bunch!

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These are just some of the awesome things that are happening in the Athletics Department! Francis Mayer does a great job with with the gogades.com website — check it out for interesting stories about our student athletes.  Also, when you are at the website, check out the schedule and make it a point to get out and enjoy the great weather nature is providing, and the great performances our student athletes are providing!
We are…BC!

Veterans Day, Vet Fest and Remembering America’s Best

KCCD Board of Trustees member Kay Meek presents a ceremonial American flag to BC Veterans advisor Armando Trujillo.

KCCD Board of Trustees member Kay Meek presents a ceremonial American flag to BC Veterans advisor Armando Trujillo.

U.S. armed forces veterans made the conscious decision to step up and serve their nation. And as the nation pauses today to honor Veterans Day, I think it’s important to not only thank veterans for their service, but to thank them for making the decision to do so in the first place. Since we did away with the draft more than 40 years ago, the decision to join the military has been a complex one and a responsibility that no one takes lightly.  It’s a choice born of courage that so many of us couldn’t or wouldn’t make.

Vet_Fest_04Soldiers of all branches obliged to honor our country with their service.  At BC, we feel a strong sense of obligation and responsibility to serve them with equal vigor when they transition into higher education.  We know they’re entering into a new stage in their lives, one that, in its own way, can occasionally seem as confusing and frightening as military service.

To show our ongoing support to military veterans and their families, BC hosted our 3rd annual — and best yet! — BC Vet Fest last week on the Student Services lawn.

The event, put on by the BC Veterans Club, seeks to help our student veterans in the best way we know how – with valuable resources, aid services and sage counsel to make their post-military and Bakersfield College experiences as rewarding as possible.

20151105_114958Organizations were on hand in force to make vets aware of how they could help, everyone from the Employment Development Department, CalVet, the Bakersfield Veterans Center, the Wounded Heroes Fund and BC’s own financial aid and EOP&S personnel.

As Dean of Student Success & Development Paul Beckworth put it, it’s all about respect for a veteran’s time in our nation’s service.

“You’ve earned that…this is hard-earned,” Paul told the 200+ attendees at Vet Fest’s opening ceremony.

Kay Meek

Kay Meek

We were so pleased to have KCCD Board of Trustees member Kay Meek address the crowd, not only because she’s a friend of BC, but because her family has an amazing history of U.S. military service that frankly deserves special recognition of its own.

Kay’s dad served in the Navy during World War II, while her uncle was one of the U.S. soldiers who helped liberate Iwo Jima ahead of that immortal flag-raising in February 1945.  Her brother was an Army vet from the Vietnam era.  Her 22-year-old nephew is currently in the Navy.  And her grandson and former Renegade Jordan Turner is now a Marine stationed in Norfolk, Va.

Dignitaries Nov 2015

Armando Trujillo, Dr. Zav Dadabhoy, Trustee Kay Meek, Paul Beckworth, Steve Watkin

Despite all her family’s already given, Kay was here to give a little bit more, presenting the Veterans Club with an American flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol building. The flag, which was originally  given to her father, will soon be displayed in the BC Veterans Lounge, serving as inspiration and a lasting tribute to her dad, who passed away five years ago.

“I’m so proud of all the veterans here today.  You’re the people who make our world strong.  You’re the people who keep our world safe,” Kay said.  “Thank you for everything you’ve done for this country.”

Armando Trujillo

Armando Trujillo

BC’s new Veterans Education Advisor Armando Trujillo spoke from the heart, recounted his own difficult story of readjustment to civilian life following his time serving in Iraq in 2003.

Eyes welling with tears, an emotional Armando described how a Bakersfield Veterans Center counselor guided him toward a future after the military, eventually leading Armando to graduate from CSUB, get a Masters at USC and begin a life reaching out to former soldiers to help make the kind of impact in their lives that his counselor had in his.

“I stand as testament to all you veterans assembled here…don’t stop striving.  BC is one step on the route,” Armando said.

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Fireworks at the football game on Nov 7, 2015

It was a beautiful ceremony…and with only three years under our belts, Vet Fest as well as BC’s veterans outreach efforts are only destined to grow, as BC’s VP of Student Affairs Zav Dadabhoy so eloquently put it.

“You’ve just seen the tip of the iceberg.  We’re just getting started.”

BC’s Veteran’s Day ceremonies continued during last Saturday’s BC Renegade football game.  Obviously, honoring America’s heroes helped spur Coach Chudy’s squad as the Renegades put on a spirited display in a rousing 51-7 trouncing of Pasadena.

Today, cap this amazing week with a moment of reflection on what the men and women of America’s armed services have meant and continue to mean to this country. And if you can, maybe give a veteran you know a thank you for their service.  It’s the least any of us can do for  those who chose to stand up for all of us.

AdminPaulBeckworth

Paul Beckworth

I thought you would like to see Paul Beckworth’s 2015 Veterans Day message.

“We don’t fight to hold ground.  We fight to win.”  This was said by a Navy SEAL as he reflected on his numerous combat engagements in the current conflicts overseas.  As I look back on another Veterans Day at BC, I think about what we have come from.  I look back with pride at 102 years of Bakersfield College history and how BC alumni have fought in every conflict since World War I.  I laugh when I read about World War II veterans coming to BC in the late 1940s when it still on the BHS campus, and the high school administrators’ anxiety about the smoking, and bad language the student-veterans used on campus. I am proud that those vets were called “DARS,” by administrators, which stood for Damned Average Raisers, because they did so well in class that they skewered all the grading curves.  The tide of student-veteran involvement has ebbed and flowed over the decades.  It was very active in the years after the Vietnam War, with the Veterans Club“running the campus,” as the late Vernon Valenzuela remembered.  I saw it resurrect in 2010 thanks to the OIF/OEF veterans agitating for a veteran space.  Not only has the club resurrected, it has thrived.  Now, BC has a new Veterans Education Advisor, a new veterans’ student development class, plans for a larger space for the veterans lounge, and a college president who values what you bring to the table.

After your years of service it is now your time, as Bakersfield College student-veterans, to move forward.  You have a great responsibility.   You have a great responsibility to you; A responsibility to use your military experience to better yourself, your family and your community.  You have a responsibility to get educated, and pursue your goals in a timely, productive manner.  It is indeed frustrating at times.  It isn’t easy.  If it was easy, everyone would do it.  But, you aren’t everyone.  You are the real 1%.  Only 1% ever served in the military.  If you are part of that elite percentage, then college is simply another challenge to overcome before the next challenge.  The fact that you are at Bakersfield College says this about you: You don’t fight to hold ground.  You fight to win.

From the bottom of my heart, I am proud of all of you winners.

Thank you for your service.  Happy Veterans Day.  Job Well Done!

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