Got back late last night, transitioning from 64 degrees at Marina Del Rey to 90 degrees here in Bakersfield at 10:30 p.m. Neo immediately rushed to the backyard, something he misses by the beach, and I stood in the backyard with him, enjoying the warm night air …. it was good to be back home.
Good Morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, June 27…a great day to be a Renegade.
After my early walk today, here I am on the back porch, blogging before the morning temperatures soar into the nineties. I was struck by the NYTimes piece by Bob Henderson about Angelo Bassi, a theoretical physicist who is attempting to frame the workings of the universe in a more fundamental way than quantum mechanics. “The idea that the universe is simpler than it appears is supported by the way advances in physics, from Newton’s to Einstein’s and beyond, have accounted for more and more phenomena with fewer and fewer equations. ” Thought you might enjoy it too https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/25/magazine/angelo-bassi-quantum-mechanic.html?smid=tw-share
KBAK will be airing highlights from our Juneteenth programming in collaboration with Danny Morrison. The show will air Sunday at 4 pm – be sure to tune in!
Thank you Danny for partnering with BC. We say it all in this video…
Every week, I will feature some of the videos from the two-week long #LightACandle event. Let’s hear from three congressman.
BC Jazz Combos: The Quarantine Sessions
The BC Jazz Studies program recently released a digital album featuring eight tracks created by students collaborating online during the campus shutdown.
Kris Tiner, Director of Jazz Studies, described the process.
“In March of 2020, as the global pandemic became a reality and stay-at-home orders went into effect, we found ourselves unable to meet in person to rehearse or hold class as usual. All of our scheduled concerts, including our annual Jazz Day festival, were eventually cancelled. Classes continued to meet online using Zoom, but the limitations of that platform for playing together live were immediately obvious. Doing anything with the music we had been rehearsing for eight weeks was suddenly out of the question. Instead, we began working on these digital collaborations. We used Zoom to chat and share ideas, Google Drive to share charts and files, cell phones and any home recording technology we could get our hands on to capture music that reflected the ups and downs of these strange days we were going through together. Our goal was to let the times guide our creativity, and the result is this album. Please enjoy, and purchase a copy if you have the means. All proceeds benefit the BC Jazz Studies program.”
He said, “You have an individual responsibility to yourself. But you have a societal responsibility. Because if we want to end this outbreak … we’ve got to realize that we are part of the process.”
“A risk for you is not just isolated to you.”
As cases are again increasing through many parts of the country, California included, it is more important than ever that we each do our part to keep ourselves and each other safe. We must continue social distancing, we must continue to wear our masks, and we must continue to take care of one another.
Dr. Fauci’s urgent message made this post shared by Cindy Collier even more poignant:
Celebrating our Transfer Graduates
We are proud of the following graduates who have recently accepted admission offers from across the nation, and we have created a Transfer Celebration website to share their photos and future plans.
Students may submit their information to be included through August 1, 2020.
This week, I’d like to highlight two of our outstanding transfer students, Leonela Aguilar and Gabriel Diaz.
Spotted in the Community
Jay Tamsi and Mike Turnipseed get Back to Business
Michael Turnipseed, Kern Tax Executive Director, brought Jay Tamsi, CEO of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, on his Conversations that Matter video series to discuss discuss how the Chamber helps boost the local economy.
They also discussed the challenges facing local small business during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the Chamber is helping address those issues.
A Deeper Dive with Romeo Agbalog and Keith Wolaridge
Check out this podcast with Romeo Agbalog, from Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government, and KeithWolaridge, Trustee with the Panama Buena Vista Union School District.
Fun Social Media
Andrea Thorson, one of our Deans of Instruction, welcomed a new member to her family this week:
“This is Pepper Ann(a) – James is still deciding between Ann and Anna. We are so excited! She is a calm little labradoodle.
“Her name, based on a coin toss, was supposed to be Mimsy. However, upon getting her home, we realized the names “Mimsy” and “Macy” were too close and caused confusion. I’m glad because I like “Pepper” best, but James didn’t love it, so he picks the middle name.”
BC Reference Librarian Sondra Keckley celebrated her 20th wedding anniversary this week.
Her husband had put bouquets of flowers throughout their house as a thoughtful surprise.
“I came home from running errands to the sweetest surprise for our 20th anniversary! The roses and sign would be an awesome gift alone, but then I saw another bouquet of flowers in the family room, and before I knew it I was pleasantly surprised in just about every room!! It felt like a scavenger hunt looking to see where else they might be.”
Congratulations to Sondra and Kurt!
Gloria Dumler from our English department shared this post about an article fellow English professor Paula Parks sent out to the department:
On June 23, 1972, Title IX was passed into law stating: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
This June 23 marked 48 years since the beginning of Title IX. This played a huge role for women in many areas in allowing opportunities they previously did not have, and one of the more visible areas came in athletics participation.
While we observe this anniversary and recognize those original trailblazers, we also know that work of equity is a continual and never-ending process.
Memorial Stadium Construction Update
Progress continues this summer with ongoing renovation projects at our beautiful Memorial Stadium. Workers recently finished removing all of the old lights as they prepare to install the new light fixtures. Also happening is the construction of the new HD video scoreboard as well as renovation of restrooms and concessions areas. We can’t wait to see her when all the work is complete!
That’s all for now. Until next time. With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
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!
The Bakersfield College Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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…
“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 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
Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, September 7, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.
Standing Upon The Seashore.
I heard this poem by Henry Van Dyke read at an interment a few weeks ago. I found it and have read it every day since then. Thought I would share it with you in the hope it gives some comfort.
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side, spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone”
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast, hull and spar as she was when she left my side. And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me — not in her. And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,” there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”
– Henry Van Dyke
Mento Buru and the BC Fight Song
What better way to get ready for football season than by listening to Mento Buru’s rendition of the BC fight song! These tracks were recorded with our very own Commercial Music Department students. Take a listen!
Bakersfield College hosted a community college roundtable this past Tuesday, September 3 for Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s office. Representatives from the Kern Community College District, Bakersfield College, Porterville College, Cerro Coso College, Antelope Valley College, Taft College, and Senator Dr. Jean Fuller were all in attendance to participate in the discussion.
The goal of this roundtable was to bring together chancellors and presidents from Antelope Valley College, the Kern Community College District, and the West Kern Community College District for an open discussion on community college issues. The conversation revolved around updates and recent happenings on the respective campuses, as well as student loan reform issues and the Higher Education Reauthorization Act. This was a wonderful opportunity for community colleges in Congressman McCarthy’s district to share thoughts with him, and have a collegial discussion with each other.
guest list included:
Thomas Burke, Chancellor, Kern Community College District
John Means, Vice Chancellor, Kern Community College District
Dr. Sonya Christian, President, Bakersfield College
Jill Board, President, Cerro Coso College
Dr. Corey Marvin, VP of Instruction, Cerro Coso College
Dr. Claudia Habib, President, Porterville College
Roger Perez, Marketing and Communications Manager, Porterville College
Dr. Deb Daniels, President, Taft College
Susan Groveman, Executive Director of Marketing and Community Relations, Taft College
Ed Knudson, President, Antelope Valley College
Dr. Jean Fuller, Senator Emeritus
It was also a joy to see Renegade alum and previous BCSGA President, Clayton Fowler, who is now Field Representative for Congressman McCarthy’s office, and was instrumental in organizing and planning this event. Clayton is one of many Renegades who have gone on to do great things in life.
Holiday Hiring Series
BC’s Student Employment (BCSE) welcomed all students to our Holiday Hiring Series event, which was a perfect outreach opportunity for students to meet with representatives from major companies and apply for jobs for the upcoming winter holiday break. Recruiters from companies such as Nike, Levi Strauss & CO., Jobspeaker, and BCSE encouraged students to apply and helped them with their job applications. BCSE offers great employment resources for both on- and off-campus career opportunities that may interest students.
Thank you to BCSE for organizing this great event helping students to unlock new career opportunities.
BCSGA President Samantha Pulido wanted to get the student body more involved in meetings, so she held a “Burritos with Prez Pulido” event in Levinson Hall on Tuesday.
The event featured free burritos and a chance to meet with student government leaders to discuss Bakersfield College’s future.
Pulido introduced herself to those attending the meeting, and Legislative Affairs Director Johnny Maddon held a Q&A session on Measure J construction and several initiatives from last year.
I’d like to thank Samantha Pulido, the BCSGA team, and the Office of Student Life for keeping student government at BC transparent.
Student Involvement Festival
Welcome Week at BC culminated with Wednesday’s Student Involvement Festival, which featured booths from departments and student organizations throughout the campus to teach students about all of the resources available to them at BC.
Some of the campus organizations represented on the CSS Lawn this year included Finish in 4, Adult Education, BCSGA, and Child Development, as well as representatives from the Dolores Huerta Foundation, Golden Empire Transit, and Cricket Wireless.
I’d like to thank everyone who supported this year’s Student Involvement Festival to help our students feel like they’re a part of the Renegade family.
Karaoke Knights, hosted by BC’s Student Government Association (BCSGA), invited students to get together for a lot of fun, singing, and dancing. It was a great opportunity for students to let loose and belt out their favorite tunes.
Students showed off their singing skills and enjoyed some stand-up comedy in between songs. Many thanks to BCSGA for hosting the event.
Channel 17 Attends Class
Channel 17’s Olivia LaVoice visited Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Pat Smith’s Forensics Evidence class to discuss cold crime cases this week. The visit was covered on the news. Check out the YouTube video below for the story. Way to go, Pat!
Follow Rural HEAL on Twitter
Last week, the Rural HEAL Advisory Team launched our rural HEAL collaborative social media presence on Twitter.
I am excited about this eight-county collaboration addressing rural health in our community.
I’d like to give a special thanks to Janalynn Castillo for all her hard work on this initiative.
Fun Photos: Renegade’s Men’s Chorus
The new Renegades Men’s Chorus will be singing the national anthem at the football game on Saturday night. I know they will do an amazing job!
Cookie Dough Monsters
Web Content Editor Aricia Leighton enjoys some delicious Bliss Cookie Dough at the Student Involvement Festival. Looks yummy!
Kylie Swanson shared this great photo of Ashlea Wagner’s birthday party in the Outreach Department on Friday. Ashlea is sure loving her surprise falafel lunch!
Football Ranked #16 in Preseason Poll
It was announced this week that our Renegade Football team has been ranked #16 in the JC Athletic Bureau Poll. We are eager to see the team play on the new turf this season. Make plans to be at Memorial Stadium this Saturday at 6pm when the them faces off against Mt. SAC to open the season!
Free Community Swim Lessons
For the 5th consecutive year the BC Swim Team is offering a free community swim clinic taught by members of the BC Swim Team. Lessons are available to children of all ages — young children must be potty-trained. The clinic is Saturday, Sept. 7th from 8am – 12pm at the BC Pool.
Volleyball Opens Season Going 3-0
Renegade Volleyball is on a run to open up their fall season. They swept Mt. SAC and Fullerton last Saturday and then swept Sequoias this last Wednesday night to start the season on a three-game win streak. The team started the season ranked #2 in the state and are looking dominant so far.
Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week
Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (8/25-8/31) Kern School Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:
Alyson Dees, Volleyball
In her college debut, Alyson had 32 attack attempts, 17 kills and 0 attack errors helping the team go 2-0 in last Saturday’s Bakersfield Quad in the Gil Bishop Sports Center. The Renegades swept both Mt. SAC and Fullerton, 3-0.
Bryan Gaxiola, Men’s Cross Country
Took 3rd place in the men’s race on Friday at the Ventura Invitational with a time of 22:41 on the 4-mile course. He was the highest placing freshman out of all male runners.
Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 30, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.
Annual Foundation Sterling Silver Dinner
The 11th annual Sterling Silver Dinner, held last Saturday, recognized exceptional support and service to the BC Foundation and to the College. The beautiful event, at Seven Oaks Country Club, directly supports the Bakersfield College scholarship program providing educational opportunities for Renegades today and tomorrow.
The event brought together college supporters, donors, alumni, and friends for an evening of live entertainment featuring Kris Tiner and the BC Jazz Ensemble and culinary delights from Seven Oaks Executive Chef Paul Burzlaff and the BC Culinary Arts students.
It was great to see Renegade supporters like Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Mayor Karen Goh, Senator Shannon Grove, and Assembly Member Vince Fong.
This year, our 2019 recognition’s included:
Lynda and Stewart Resnick as Individual Philanthropists of the Year
Lynda and Stewart Resnick have championed education, health care and community development across the Central Valley. Together, they have transformed the lives of countless students by making college an achievable goal through generous scholarships and a robust education program. Their long-standing support for Bakersfield College has provided significant opportunities for youth throughout the region.
Aera Energy as Corporate Philanthropist of the Year
Aera Energy has supported Bakersfield College and students throughout Kern County with consistent and generous donations, creating opportunities and spaces such as the Aera STEM Success Center, inspiring young people to pursue STEM education and careers with their involvement in BC’s MESA program, ensuring Bakersfield’s success with participation in advisory boards, and offering internships as a vital part of a hands-on education.
Jerry Ludeke as BC Foundation Service Medal Winner
Jerry Ludeke has served the Renegade community for over 60 years, starting with her position teaching English and Art and eventually teaching in the Learning Center, receiving the Margaret Levinson Faculty Leadership Award, the Shirley Trembley Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Distinguished Service Award presented by the Kern Community College Board of Trustees. More recently, Ludeke spends her time giving back and preserving history with the BC Archives department.
Thank you KGET for covering our event, see the KGET Video.
Thank you Tom Gelder, Norma Rojas-Mora and team for the 2019 Sterling Silver. Thank you Heather Penella for leading this effort. Thank you Tamara Baker and Dylan Wang for the social media support for the evening. We are BC!
Check out all the pictures by the talented April Massirio Sterling Silver Dinner on BC’s Smugmug.
Back in 2014, I wrote about the dedication of Betty’s “Circle of Friends” sculpture. It’s a beautiful symbol of what higher education is all about – providing an environment where information and experiences are shared to make our community stronger and cultivating a better understanding of the world around us. “Circle of Friends” was created in honor of Jim Young, a KCCD Chancellor from 1978 to 1999 – you can visit the sculpture yourself on the hill between the Humanities building and the Child Development Center on Panorama Drive.
Betty’s history with the Renegades goes back as far as the 1940s and 50s, as her aunt Hattie Hoenshell was a chemistry teacher at BC when Betty was a young girl. Betty later attended classes at BC before embarking on a career as a painter and sculptor, as well as a patron and connoisseur of art in Kern County. Jerry Ludeke recalls that legendary BC administrator Grace Van Dyke Bird purchased one of her paintings.
I also wrote about Milt Younger at his passing in 2017 in the blog Bakersfield College – A Place of Dreams. The Renegade family misses Milt and Betty Younger, but their legacy lives on everywhere you look in Kern County, from BC, to CSUB, home of her sculpture “Owl of Knowledge”, to the Bakersfield Symphony and all of the wonderful programs and non-profit organizations that they supported.
Dual Enrollment: Helping all Students Gain Access to College
The first week of April is the first-ever Dual Enrollment Week across the state of California, and I want to observe the occasion by highlighting the amazing work our Dual Enrollment team is doing to make a college education more accessible for high school students.
BC offers UC/CSU transferable courses and Career Technical Education to more than 30 high schools, reaching approximately 10,000 students. BC’s Dual Enrollment program is estimated to be the largest in the state and within the California Community College system. The program started as a grant partnership with the Wonderful Company providing an Associate of Science in Ag Business to high school students in the Wonderful Academy. It has now expanded to four local high school districts, saving students and their families more than $2 million in education expenses.
Dual Enrollment Week was approved by the California state legislature last year to raise awareness of programs that give high school students the opportunity to earn transferable college credit at no cost. During Dual Enrollment Week, KCCD has invited the Get Focused…Stay Focused program to give an overview workshop at the Larry E. Reider Education Center at 2000 K Street on Friday, April 5. Get Focused…Stay Focused is a course for high school freshmen to learn more about college and make a ten-year plan for their education and career. Visit the Academic Innovations website to register and learn more information about the workshop.
Last year, 1,200 students participated in the Bridge to BC program, and we expect even more students this summer. Bridge to BC, which is offered as a one-day class titled Academic Development B55: First Year Student Success, has been instrumental in getting our students ready for college and, with an emphasis on reaching out to first-generation students of color, easing the anxiety many students feel about starting their college journey.
During Bridge to BC, students are given a tour of the campus and information about financial aid, counseling and other resources. They also form teams and create a poster representing the path they’ll take from high school graduation to BC Commencement and beyond. “We want [students] to understand how to be a successful person in college and also how to successfully navigate our resources,” says Kimberly Bligh, faculty director of the program.
Thursday night, the incoming Shafter High Class of 2023 flooded the Shafter High auditorium in a kick-off event for 9th-grade registration. When Shafter High School Principal Russel Shipley took the stage to tell incoming students and their families about the opportunities they would have in high school, he had an amazing new opportunity to share with them — Early College. Head Counselor Juan Leyva explained to the high school students that they would have the opportunity to earn college credits during and after the traditional school day right on their own high school campus. To assist with the program debut, Kern Community College District Trustee Romeo Agbalog was invited to share some remarks.
“We are committed to improving access and opportunities for Shafter High students to reach their academic and career goals, as well as supporting the college going culture in the community of Shafter. Through the Early College program, each student will be on a guided path to earn college credit while in high school,” said Agbalog. “These efforts translate directly into time and tuition savings for the student, savings for the taxpayers, and securing a brighter future through the power of education,” he added.
Following the presentations in the auditorium, students went into the quad to learn more about the opportunities they would have in high school. Staff from BC’s Rural Initiatives, Dual Enrollment, and Outreach teams (Jaime Lopez, Kylie Swanson, Steve Watkin, Debra Anderson, and Jessica Garcia) were present from BC to share with both incoming 8th graders and current high school students and their parents about the Early College program and the jump start that it provides students for their college education and career.
Adult students also learned about the many evening course options being offered in collaboration with Shafter High School on their campus. Working at the forefront of the partnership between BC and Shafter, Executive Director of Rural Initiatives Abel Guzman shared:
“The City of Shafter is an incredible partner of BC, committed to the success of students throughout the community. Together, as we incorporate more educational opportunities and offerings, like the Early College program, we will level the playing field. And by bringing college closer within grasp for these students, we are granting them a head start towards a college degree and successful career.”
Starting in the 2019-2020, Shafter High School’s incoming 9th-grade students will follow a plan to complete over 30 general education units prior to their high school graduation through a combination of dual and concurrent enrollment courses. Students will also have access to additional CTE dual enrollment opportunities in the areas of agriculture, welding, and woodworking. As the partnership between BC and Shafter High continues to grow, the goal is for students to be able to complete complete college-level certificates and degrees during their time at Shafter High School.
Filmmaker Laurie Coyle came to BC for a screening of her documentary about one of the forgotten heroes of the 20th-Century farm worker rights movement in the Indoor Theater on Thursday night. Coyle hosted a panel with five BC DREAMer students to talk about how they related to the story of Maria Moreno, a farm worker with 12 children and a second-grade education who became a spokesperson for a nationwide agricultural union.
The film, titled “Adios Amor: The Search for Maria Moreno”, documents the search for Maria’s family and details about her life through photographs, news articles reel-to-reel audio tapes and video footage recovered in attics, archives and museums across the United States and Mexico. Years before the grape boycott and before Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta led the work that would blossom into the United Farm Workers organization, Moreno was picked to be a spokesperson for the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) was funded by the AFL-CIO. Moreno would travel the nation telling stories about the extreme poverty her family faced in the fields of the Central Valley and how her oldest son once became blind from starvation when their family didn’t have enough to eat.
Moreno eventually disappeared from public records after the collapse of AWOC, and Coyle wasn’t able to find the rest of Moreno’s story until one of Moreno’s granddaughters reached out to her. After leaving the organization, Moreno became a Pentecostal preacher who travelled the desert between Mexico and the American Southwest feeding the poor and hungry in every town she stopped at. Some of the most powerful moments of the documentary are when Moreno’s family are reconnected with old photographs and footage of their mother and given the chance to visit their childhood home.
Production costs for “Adios Amor” were funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the film has been screened across the American Southwest. Coyle said she was surprised that the Endowment would fund the film since they usually only fund projects about well-known historical figures, but Moreno’s story as an immigrant Mexican woman organizing a labor union was an important one to document.
After the film, BC students Jovana Espinoza, Jesus Arias, Pedro Coata, Edith Mata and Maria Jaimes sat on a panel with Coyle to talk about how they related to Moreno’s story as the children of first-generation immigrants themselves. Many of the students saw glimpses of their own mothers in Moreno’s strength and resolve in the face of adversity, and the women on the panel felt empowered by the ways that Moreno challenged the norms of how women were expected to act in traditional Mexican culture and were inspired to speak up against injustice regardless of the consequences.
Coyle encouraged people in the audience to find stories about people in their community that aren’t being told in any medium available to them. “History is about how we get by, and the values that we take with us wherever we go,” Coyle said. “Does your family have a story that isn’t being represented?”
I’d like to thank the Social Justice Institute, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Director Laurie Coyle, moderator Jessica Martinez, and the five DREAMer students who spoke for making this event a huge success.