Tag Archives: Kimberly Bligh

Precious Lives and Developing Dreams at Bakersfield College

Good morning Bakersfield. 

It is Saturday, June 23, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade.

June 22 2018 Sonya Christian with Neo

Sonya Christian and Neo in Marina Del Rey

 

This last week, I found my mind drifting to the passing of two celebrities, Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade and the difficult and tragic circumstances that led to their passing.

 

The world has infinite beauty, but there are millions who struggle with darkness and unable to see the world around them. Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain that can block out life’s joys, both large and small. Those afflicted can believe they don’t deserve the things that make them happy, or believe that others cannot understand their struggles.

Anthony Bourdain brought an unpretentious, engaging and culturally respectful perspective on the world’s food and people to American television viewers. Kate Spade revolutionized New York fashion in the 1990s with her line of functional, yet sophisticated handbags. These individuals were two of the most admired professionals in their respective fields, yet each of them decided to take their own life after a lifetime battle with depression.

Plumeria Tree

Someone close who passed last January after a brief bout with flu and pneumonia had an email signature that says it well: “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”

It’s an important reminder to be kind and supportive, and even more so when we do recognize that someone might be suffering from depression. If you suffer from depression, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline has volunteers in Bakersfield working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help. Call 1-800-273-8255 to get confidential support today. If talking on the phone makes you uncomfortable, you can text HOME to 741741 to access the Crisis Text Line. Every life is precious, and there is someone who cares and is willing to help.

Today, Pope Francis tweeted

Pope Francis Tweet June 23 2018

And then there is music…..

William Congreve an English playwright and poet begins The Mourning Bride in 1967 with the quote

Music has charm to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or to bend a knotted oak

I invite you to three incredible music events at Bakersfield College.

June 26, 2018 (Tuesday) at 7:00 p.m. — The US Airforce Band of the Golden West will be performing at Bakersfield College once again.  Seeing this extremely talented band is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we’d love everyone in the community to be a part of it.  Tue, 06/26/2018 – 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.  Location: Edward Simonsen Performing Arts Center (Indoor Theater)

USAF Band-8

Bon Voyage Concert June 30 2018June 30, 2018 — Bon Voyage Concert with BC Chamber Singers, Dr. Jennifer Garrett, Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger.  Please come out to the Bon Voyage Concert on June 30 in the Indoor Theater. The concert begins at 4:00 p.m. and doors will open at 3:30 p.m. You do not need to get tickets in advance as this is a donation only show. The concert will feature the music they will perform in Cairns and will also have special guests, Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger.

 

July 20, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at the Memorial Stadium —  4th Annual Resound Drum Corps Competition

The Bakersfield College Golden Empire Drum & Bugle Corps presents the 4th Annual “Resound” Drum Corps International (DCI) contest! The competition will take place Friday, July 20th at 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium on the Bakersfield College campus.

Get your tickets now! Costs are $20 for premium seating, $15 for general admission, and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased at Vallitix.

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Child Development Center Outdoor Classroom

On Wednesday, the Child Development Center unveiled their brand-new playground to the public, and the children in the program got the chance to play in it for the first time.

The playground was funded by the Head Start program of the Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) for our two-year Early Head Start classrooms. The new facility will function as an outdoor classroom that allows the toddlers to directly engage with their learning. Six of our teachers and associate teachers have completed the first level of outdoor classroom training, with a second level of outdoor classroom workshops planned for the next few weeks.

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“Young children learn through direct first-hand experience using all of their five senses,” Child Development Center Director Sue Vaughn said in announcing the new playground.

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Liz Rozell, Vice President of Instruction thanked CAPK for funding the playground, and all of our staff who played a part in making outdoor learning a possibility for the children in our Early Head Start classrooms. Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg took a short break from retirement for a ribbon-cutting and to invite children to participate in their new space, which has books and toys, plants the children can water, and musical instruments.

“When people come together for the benefit of children, great things happen,” Nan said.

Yolanda Gonzales, the Director of Head Start and State Child Development for CAPK, thanked the child development staff at Bakersfield College for their dedication to getting children started on the right path to a successful education.

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“This would not be possible without the staff who have made a commitment,” Gonzales said. “It takes a team to achieve the outcomes that are so evident here.”

Thanks to Sue Vaughn and the staff at BC’s Child Development Center, as well as CAPK, for making children’s dreams come true with this new playground. During the celebration, Sue also gave recognition to BC’s Bill Potter and Jim Coggins for all that they contributed to making this project a reality.

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Tony Cordova

STEM Camps at BC with partners Chevron and Project Lead the Way

Joseph Luiz, Henry Barrios and Diana Olivares highlighted our Summer STEM Camps in the Bakersfield Californian on Wednesday, which is providing hands-on experience in STEM for over 100 middle and high school students.

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The Californian highlighted the guitar building and electrical engineering workshops with photos and video, in addition to workshops that have already taken place on 3D printing and mobile app development. Over the coming weeks, students will be attending workshops on architecture and design and automation technology. The classes are offered free of charge with funding from Chevron and Project Lead the Way.

Yadira Guerrero, the Program Manager of Engineering at Bakersfield College, organized the camps and is quoted in the article speaking about her passion for bringing hands-on STEM education to young people. “We’re hoping to inspire students and ignite a love for hands-on learning that maybe they don’t get the chance to do a lot of in school,” she said. “We’re hoping the academy will inspire them to want to go to college.”

I’d like to thank the Bakersfield Californian for featuring our Summer STEM Camps on their Wednesday front page, and I’d like to thank Yadira Guerrero, Chevron and Project Lead the Way for making the camps a reality.  Thank you Adam Alvidrez and Carla Musser of Chevron for supporting Stem education and Bakersfield College.

Don’t forget to check out the media piece created by Joseph and Diana. It’s a #MustSee!

2018 Guitar building STEM students

Wonderful Summer Camps Continue

Last week we shared with you some information and pictures from the first of two Summer Agriculture Camps coordinated by BC Staff and funded by Wonderful Company. These students are exposed to all the exciting things that Bakersfield College has to offer and have the opportunity to connect with industry professionals discovering the many opportunities that exist in our community.

If you remember back to our most recent graduation ceremony, one of the most special things we experienced was the graduation of over 30 Wonderful Prep students with their Associates Degree for Transfer.

Orange County Event Photography

The students for the second camp are recruited from Wonderful Prep Academy in Delano, and, like our recent Wonderful graduates will have the opportunity to enroll in Dual Enrollment courses, allowing them to graduate high school with an Associates degree even before receiving their high school diploma.

A highlight of this week’s activities was researching, designing, and creating the marketing for various products. It all begins with research!

Summer Ag Camp students researching career for final project

And then perfect product development. This part looks tasty. 🙂

Students working on developing a product during ag business session

Then for the creative design and implementation!

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There were also sessions to learn about water pumps and welding. Check out these hands on activities!

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This is a crucial moment for them as many will be starting high school in a year, and the exposure to agriculture and the careers within the industry can open their eyes to fields of study they may not have thought of otherwise. It’s also crucial for their families.

Here are some photos of Wonderful College Prep Academy students presenting to family and friends during the week’s culminating event.

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During the event, we take wellness seriously.  Here are some photos of the physical exercise activities!

Again a shout out to our dedicated staff in charge of making this opportunity happen, starting with Raquel Lopez, Program Manager, who oversees and coordinates the camp with the support of Jaime Lopez, Program Manager. Thanks also to our Lead Agriculture faculty Heather Baltis and Jim Selgrath, with support from, Jesse Oropeza as the lead mentor, Christopher McCraw and his leadership class, as well as the peer mentors. None of this could be possible without the support of our Delano Campus Support Staff and Director, Abel Guzman.

Summer Bridge

Isabel Castaneda and Kimberly Bligh at Bridge HQ June 23 2018

Isabel Castaneda and Kimberly Bligh

Summer Bridge to BC is a fun, intensive freshmen orientation day where students engage with faculty and staff, tour the BC campus with experienced and knowledgeable mentors, and participate in activities that orient them to the freshman experience. They also learn practical skills that enable college success such as effective communication, time management, GRIT, and more. By the end of the day, participants become knowledgeable in campus student/academic services and other resources available for FREE to ultimately clarify and facilitate their Career and Learning Pathway success.

Summer Bridge has educational advisors on call each day from Outreach, Career and Technical Education, Financial Aid, STEM, General Counseling, and more! The Bridge advising team is led by the Title V Grant lead advisor, Isabel Castaneda. Advisors not only carefully pre-screen schedules for each and every student who enrolls in Summer Bridge, they also pair up on the day of each Bridge and work side-by-side with every student along with our outstanding Bridge peer mentors to ensure students leave the same day with the correct courses, locations,  and units for their Learning and Career pathways success. Students also receive one -on-one time with our fabulous Financial Aid staff to make sure their financial aid forms are all in order.

Numerous engaging, hands-on activities and discussions make the day fun and memorable, and provide students opportunities to bond with fellow students, staff, and faculty before classes start for fall! It should be no surprise that our BC Summer Bridge students have higher success and retention rates, PLUS complete more units in their first year, AND are more likely to enroll in college level math and English than students who do not attend this one-of-a -kind Freshmen Orientation Day. There are sections still open in the Summer 2018 schedule. See Academic Development B55.

On August 14th, 5-8 PM, Summer Bridge is hosting a FAMILY Bridge to BC Night that will be a Career and Learning Pathways Open House Showcase and will close with our annual New Student Convocation. The Convocation is a spectacular family and BC Staff celebration that welcomes new students to BC! Watch the BC website for more information about how to sign up for this event soon!

Express Enrollment

The Outreach Department supported and registered 135 students for classes in one day during Tuesday’s express enrollment event. On Tuesday morning, Scott Sheahen of KERO Channel 23 highlighted the event, which handles application, placement and enrollment in one five-hour session. Tuesday’s enrollment also had a special component to get home-schooled students ready for classes at BC.

The next One-Day Express Enrollment event is on July 10th starting at 8 a.m. in the Welcome Center, so if you or someone you know needs help with the enrollment and registration process, then come by and we’ll make you a Renegade in one day!

BC Enrollment Banner (4)

Norma Rojas-Mora

BC welcomed Norma Rojas-Mora to campus as Director of Communications and Community Relations on Monday.

Telemundo invited Norma on air to share about her new role at BC. Norma emphasized her continued commitment to the community through her transition and in the importance of education both on a personal and community level. She spoke about how Bakersfield College is committed to opening its doors and access to the entire community, which can be seen in our rural outreach. Check it out at Telemundo online.

Norma Rojas-Mora

Norma Rojas-Mora

A Better BC Update

Pardon the pun, but we are trucking right along on the parking lot renovations! The parking lot on Mount Vernon and Panorama, and Parking Lot 4 on Mount Vernon and Church Avenue is scheduled to be opened on July 2. Following the opening, renovations will continue on other lots and roads throughout campus.

Starting July 2nd, closures include Red and White Way, Haley St. Entrance and staff/guest parking outside of the Administration building.

Parking-as-of-July-2

As always, please visit the A Better BC website for all construction updates.

 

 

Summer Soccer Camp at BC

 

It’s exciting to watch the World Cup action, and a good reminder of the upcoming Summer Soccer Camps at BC!

The BC Men’s and Women’s soccer programs are hosting a summer soccer camp for boys and girls ages 7-17.  Sessions will run from Monday July 16 through Thursday July 19, 9am-12pm.

The cost is only $145 per participant for the week, and even better, there are group discounts available. To learn more or sign up, contact Scott Dameron at sdameron@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

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Fun Renegade Photos — #Summer2018

BC Team at eLumen Conference

BC Team at eLumen Conference

Craig Hayward’s tweet

Craig Hayward tweet June 21 2018 of Sonya Christian

Tweet at the same conference from Wayne Skipper of Concentric Sky

Wayne Skipper tweets keynote Sonya Christian June 21 2018.png

Spotted on Facebook.  Coach Casey Goodman being inducted to the 2018 University of Louisiana at Monroe Hall of Fame Class. #GoGades #WeAreBC

Bc Softball Facebookpost June 2018 Coach Casey Goodman Hall of Fame.png

I want to remember to give special thanks to the BC Food Service team. Every day during our BC Summer Camps, and as always(!), they are on it! Thank you Chef Stephanie and crew for such attention to all who come to the Home of the Renegades.

Food Services

A great photo of Grace Commiso’s Rocky on Facebook: While studying looked over and saw Rocky sprawled out on the floor…..How’s your Friday?  Apparently his has been rough. #thelifeofpets.

Grace Commiso's Rocky June 22 2018

 

Neo on the beach in Marina Del Rey #Summer2018

Heather Penella in Utah

Heather Penella June 2018 Utah

Found on Facebook that Paul Beckworth and family are heading to the beach.

Paul Beckworth and family day trip to the beach June 23 2018

 

Tweet from Tamara Baker our new Manager for Community Relations

Tamara Baker Tweet June 23 2018

It is a great time to be at BC!

June 22 2018 Neo with Sonya Christian Marina Del Rey

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Bakersfield College in Arvin, Shafter, …..

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, November 18, 2017….a great day to be a Renegade.

I often say it’s an exciting time to be at BC and it’s true. I mentioned in last weekend’s blog that Bakersfield College is bringing higher education to Shafter and at our Express Enrollment event this week, it was great to see the excitement and activity in the Shafter area. Over the past three years, BC has remained focused on the strategic goal of bringing higher education into the communities of Delano, Shafter, Wasco, McFarland, Lamont, and Arvin. We look forward to expanding courses offered  in Shafter so that students can complete all or a significant part of their degree locally and I know this will directly benefit our students.

Shafter Enrollment (2)

Students registering for classes in Shafter

Some of the comments heard throughout the day included:

  • “I don’t also have access to a car to drive to school, so I sometimes miss class or miss office hours. I could be a better student in Shafter.”
  • “This would be great! I could save money and focus more on my school work so that I can start my career.”
  • “I have been taking classes online, but would rather take them in person. “
Shafter Enrollment (3)

BC Express Enrollment in Shafter, CA!

Thank you to all who have believed in this goal and have worked hard to make BC in Shafter a success. Thank you Steve Watkin, Abel Guzman, Rich McCrow, David Franz, Ashlea Ward, Victor Crosthwaite, Lovejot Chahal, Mark Osea, Dinorah Castro, Jesus Oropeza, Jessica Garcia, and Monika Scott.

BC in Shafter Nov 14 2017

Thank you to our KCCD Board of Trustees for supporting these goals and thank you to our media partners for highlighting our event on KGET and at The Bakersfield Californian.

Shafter Enrollment (1)

Mark Osea giving a presentation Tuesday morning in Shafter.

Abel Guzman enjoying Mark Osea's Presentation in Shafter

Abel Guzman, Director of Rural Initiatives watching Mark Osea present

Let’s listen to Jessica a young woman who came in toe register

From Shafter Learning Center Facebook post

Shafter Learning Center Facebook Nov 2017

Season of Giving

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is the spirit of giving; a spirit which is alive and true in our community. As I look forward to celebrating thanksgiving next week, I’m almost overwhelmed by the list of things to be thankful for… family, friends, opportunities, blessings, each and every day… I couldn’t list everything.

But, I’d like to spotlight one service on campus which gives all year long, thanks to the kind donations from our community, and this holiday season if you’d like to make a donation of some non-perishable goods, they will go to students in need.

two students delivering food to the pantry

Student Life delivering food to the pantry

The Renegade Pantry is a student assistance program which aims to help students in need, with nonperishable food, clothing, and hygiene items. Each year, they hold a Holiday Turkey Drawing, and over the past week, 93 turkeys have been distributed to students who signed up and were chosen through the drawing.

The pantry, however is always accepting non-perishable goods like instant noodles, spaghetti, rice, beans, canned chicken, mac and cheese, etc. If you’re considering a donation to a local food pantry over the holidays, consider donating dry nonperishable goods or hygiene items, such as soaps, toothpaste, and toothbrushes to the Renegade Pantry.

This heartfelt season of giving is truly something to be thankful for.

And thank you to BC’s Child Development Center for donating goods to our veterans on the heels of our weeklong Veterans celebration which I covered in last week’s blog, “Celebrating Veterans All Week Long!

Season of Giving

Donation from Child Development Center to our Veterans accepted by Paul Beckworth

Cafecito Time with Prez Dez

CafecitoI’m so proud of BC’s Student Government Association led by this year’s President, Dezi Von Manos. SGA is always looking for ways to support the student body and regularly hosts events where students can come together and speak to the administration of the school. Examples of these events are “Coffee with the Chief” or like this past Monday, “Cafecito Time with Prez Dez” where students could directly speak to the Dezi and the SGA team.

Dezi spoke of how the SGA is always available to lend support and help assist students through their academic studies but also in life itsself.

Pictured in the group photo below is Jose Manuel McIntyre Cortez, Rayven Acosta-Webb, Dezi Von Manos, Jose Eduardo Lopez, and Mustafa Barraj.

Randy Rutledge

Taft College Hall of Fame Randy Rutledge 1984

Randy Rutledge and Sonya Christian

I recently had the opportunity to meet Randy Rutledge, a Taft College graduate who played on the 1984 national championship winning football team before transferring to the University of Oregon and getting to be a Rose Bowl MVP. Randy relished the opportunity to tell me how they “smashed the Renegades” during their championship-winning season.

Taft College hasn’t had a football program for over 20 years, but their rivalry with BC was one of the best in junior college sports, serving as the inspiration for the 1986 film “The Best of Times” starring Robin Williams and Kurt Russell. In the film, Robin Williams is a former Taft College receiver obsessed with the worst moment of his life – dropping a pass in the 1972 game between Taft and BC. Thirteen years later, he convinces Kurt Russell, his Taft quarterback, to help him re-stage the game.

A must read is this article from The Bakersfield Californian from 2006 titled, “Film on Kern rivalry still hit XX years later.

And here is the movie trailer from 1986.

 

Dennis Mccall and Sonya Christian Taft College Nov 12 2017 cropped

Dennis McCall, Sonya Christian

I also got to visit with Dennis McCall who was a journalist with the Taft Midway Driller and later became a faculty member at Taft College. Dennis now volunteers at the Oil Museum at Taft that is open 3 days a week Thursday through Saturday and half a day in Sunday.  I promised him that I would go check out the museum.  In fact when I dropped by Senator Jean Fuller’s Thanksgiving Open House, her husband Russell was very complimentary about the Museum saying that it is a ” must visit” location.  I had a wonderful time visiting with both Dennis and his wife Jan.  I was Googling Dennis and came across this July 22, 2015 article in the Midway Driller. It is a fun read!
http://www.taftmidwaydriller.com/article/20150722/news/150729902

Athletics

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Renegade Football Players

As the football season comes to a close, the Renegades will take the field one last time in the Patriotic Bowl against Long Beach City College at 4 p.m. tonight. The Bakersfield Californian published two articles about the game this week, including a brief informational blurb when the game was announced last Sunday, and a preview article by Teddy Feinberg on Tuesday highlighting what Renegade fans can look forward to. I’m excited to watch our team close out the season strong. Is anyone else traveling to Long Beach for the game?

The BC Wrestling team won the SCWA Southeast Conference championship last weekend, with five champions and two runners up. Our coaching staff were also winners of the Head Coach of the Year and Assistant Coach of the Year awards.

Wrestling_Champioship_ad_hoc

Team Results:
1) Bakersfield College –   147 points
2) West Hills College –    137 points
3) Cuesta College –        107.5 points
4) Moorpark College-        49 points
5) East LA College –        39.5 points
6) Victor Valley College-  13 points
Individual Results:
Pedro Ramirez – 1st place @ 125
Marco Velasquez – 2nd place @ 133
Pedro Corona – 1st place @ 133
Emmett Kuntz – 1st place @ 149
Brayden Riley – 1st place @ 165
Adrian Godinez – 2nd place @ 184
Jeremy Maas – 1st place @ 184
Zavion Roberson – 2nd place @ 197

 

Coaches’ Awards:
Assistant Coach of the Year – Joe Espejo
Head Coach of the Year – Marcos Austin and Brett Clark

A complete list of team results and placers is available at GoGades.com.

Men’s Basketball

Mens Basketball Nov 15 2015

The Renegades used a strong second half to pull away from Santa Barbara and secure a 89-65 victory.  Four BC players scored in double-figures.  Tucker Eenigenburg (22 points and 7rebounds), Jaylunn English (15 points and 9 rebounds), Henry Galinato (13 points and 9 rebounds) and Johnathan Murray, who led the Renegades with 5 assists, added 12 points and 7 rebounds. (from gogades.com)

Women’s Soccer

Women's Soccer defeat Victor Valley Nov 13 2017.jpg

The BC women’s soccer team finishes the regular season, with a 1-0 victory over Victor Valley, on Friday.  Ashley Quintanilla scored for the Renegades, her fisrt goal of the season and Taylor Serrano earned her 5th shut out of the year.  The Renegades finished in second place in the conference (8-7-3, 3-3-2). (from gogades.com)

Geology Field Trip

Bakersfield College Geology Professor, Chris Benker and six BC Geology majors joined the annual CSU Bakersfield Geology three-day field trip to the Zzyzx Desert Studies Center in the Mojave Desert.  BC students planning to transfer to CSUB had an opportunity to network with CSUB Geology professors, as well as CSUB undergraduate and graduate Geology students. This partnership has been longstanding. Geology Instructor Cari Meyer has also taken groups on this great adventure in past years. BC and CSUB Geology work hard to create a seamless pipeline into the Geology pathway and have fun at the same time! Bakersfield College participation was sponsored by CSUB’s Claude Fiddler Endowment.

The fun trailer highlights just a few of the adventures on this three-day geology expedition!

 

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) Conference is the main event for SHPE the and the most massive technical and career conference for Hispanics in the country. Respectively, the SHPE Conference attracts over 6,000 engineering professionals, students, and corporate representatives. The meeting is an opportunity for engineering companies and corporations to recruit talented SHPE members and also to provide educational and career opportunities for professionals and engineering students.  This 2017 SHPE conference was held in Kansas City from November 1-5th. Six BC/MESA/ASME  students attended with Professor Lewis from the math department as the chaperon.  The students and faculty were sponsored by the engineering department and MESA.

Students at SHPE

Leah Altman, Ashely Anderson. Lizbeth Sanchez, Rodrigo Salazar, Christian Gutierrez, and Matt Abbot.

IMG_1963Arvin Christmas Parade

 

In Richard Beene’s column, Bakersfield Observed, he mentioned that Supervisor Leticia Perez donated to save the Arvin Christmas Parade from cancellation. I’m one of many who wish to publicly say thank you. This is a special parade for a special community.

Did you miss the news we announced in August regarding BC in Arvin?  Check out my blog post from August 8th, “Enriching Lives through Campus and Community.”

This week on Social Media

I loved seeing this tweet from Assemblymember Rudy Salas:

Rudy Salas Tweet Vetfest

Kimberly Bligh posts on Facebook about the wellness class

Wellness class Nov 15 2017.png

From Jen Garrett’s Facebook.

The future of BC Music

Josh Ottum, Jen Garrett, Kris Tiner Nov 2017

John Ottum, Jen Garrett, Kris Tiner

Tweet from Connie Gonzales

Connie Gonzales Tweet Nov 2017

Thank to you the KCHCC

With the technology of today and how much we utilize email, texting, social media, etc., it is a real treat to have time to sit and open up the mail. I was overjoyed to open a large envelope from BC friend and supporter, Jay Tamsi and the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Thank you for the beautiful award and recognition.

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The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce works to promote Hispanic and minority-owned businesses, and those that cater to, or employ Hispanics by being active and visible in the community and by raising the level of awareness of our member’s needs in the business community. Their vision of the KCHCC is to create innovative and influential business programs that will promote Hispanic Business and economic development at the local, state, national, and international level.

In February of this year, I was honored to be recognized as Woman of the Year by KCHCC and you can see my blog from February here.

Great College Council Meeting:

I really enjoy my work with various groups on campus.  These folks are smart and dedicated to students.  This week at College Council, a team of faculty and deans presented the work BC is doing with the money that we received for “Strong Workforce.”

Strong Workforce at College Council Nov 17 2017.jpg

This is money legislated to improve the workforce for high wage jobs.

Strong Workforce Funding.png

Here are the local and regional projects that are underway.  For example, BC’s baccalaureate program in Industrial Automation has made the regional list.  This work includes working with the community colleges close to us in the region to align the freshman and sophomore level curriculum for Industrial Technology so that students can transfer with junior standing into the baccalaureate program.

Strong Workforce Projects.png

The presenters did a fabulous job describing how they were using the funding to develop the various certificates within the degree programs.  In some cases the equipment is so expensive that BC would not have been able to purchase the equipment without this grant.

Let’s see what Dr. Josh Ottum and our Commercial Music program is doing related to Strong Workforce

 

Let’s hear from Sarah Baron about the Patient Navigator program within BC’s Health Sciences degree.

I’m so proud of this work!  We are BC.

Alex Epstein in Bakersfield

Chad Hathaway invited me to the Alex Epstein talk on Thursday, Nov 16th.

Alex Epstein Nov 16 2017

His book:

The Moral Case for Fossil Fuel

Jay Tamsi, Karen Goh, Chad Hathaway, Bill Thomas, Sonya Christian Nov 16 2017.jpg

Karen Goh, Jay Tamsi, Chad Hathaway, Bill Thomas, Sonya Christian

KAren Goh, Shannon Grove, Sonya Christian Nov 16 2017

Karen Goh, Shannon Grove, Sonya Christian

Loved seeing Jean Fuller, one of my favorite people at her Thanksgiving Open House on Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Karen Goh, Jean Fuller, Sonya Christian Nov 14 2017

Oliver and Samson

Lisa Kent's Oliver and Samson

Neo on November 14, 2017, 3 days before his 8-month birthday

Neo Nov 14 2017

Sonya ASUGSV San Diego April 18 2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Leadership, Innovation, Music, Community – We are BC!

Sonya Christian and Neo Nov 5 2017 in Riverside

Sonya and Neo, Nov 5, 2017

Good morning Bakersfield from So. Cal.  Came in late on Friday night and have a busy weekend ahead.  Will try my best to chip away on my blog in between activities with the goal of publishing by the end of the day on Sunday.  But I can’t promise anything.

Brought Neo along, which of course does not help with my resolution to publish this weekend……his first trip away from home.  At 7 and 1/2 months, a friend said, “what a big boy”, which he certainly is.

It is cloudy in So. Cal. and everything appears to be beautiful…fresh air and bright colors.  Life is good.  Why would it not be when I am the president of the best higher education institution in the country.  One with the majority population being first generation college students and the faculty and staff are top notch.

Talking about faculty, let me start with BC’s amazing choir Director.  We have had a tradition of excellence with Joe Hustzi, Ron Kean and now the beautiful, brilliant and talented Jennifer Garrett.

Music of Living

 

music-of-living-1Last Friday the Bakersfield College Choir and Chamber Singers conducted their first concert of the academic year. The program, which included a full range of music history, was named “The Music Of Living” by Dr. Jennifer Garrett because “music is part of how we live.”

Matt Garrett and Jennifer Garrett Oct 27 2017In a Bakersfield Californian interview, she explained that, “[music] carries us through the challenging times in life and help us celebrate the good times,” and “music is how we truly express those emotions, opinions and memories that simply cannot be expressed through words alone.”  I so agree with her….it is music, poetry and the sheer beauty of nature that have helped me in difficult times.

music of Living stadium

Jonathan Garcia

On Friday, the theater was full and the audience there to help celebrate the life of a young Renegade taken too soon in a tragic traffic accident this fall. The BC Choir and Chamber Singers dedicated the concert to one of their own, Jonathan Garcia. “Tank” to his friends, according to the program, “was a football player, a singer, a guitar player, a volunteer, a decorated member of the Junior ROTC, and most importantly, a son, a brother, and a friend to all who knew him.” While he was taken from this life before he could perform for the Choir, “Applied students remember him for the passion he expressed about music and the joy in his eyes as he talked with other students about playing guitar for Mariachi ensembles.”

Chamber Music Festival

On Monday last week the Panorama campus was filled with the Chamber Music Festival. Each year local high school chamber choirs (smaller and often elite choirs) and guest conductor participate by invitation. This  year we brought in conductor and composer David Dickau (who went to Frontier High School & sang in the BC Choirs many years ago) from Minnesota.  He was absolutely wonderful with the choirs and everyone learned a great deal. There are sessions where the choirs sit in the audience and go up in turn to perform 2 selections.  Then the guest conductor works with each choir for approximately 12-15 minutes on stage as choir members in the audience watch and listen. Then Chamber Singers close each session by performing 2-3 pieces. This year the following schools participated:  Bakersfield HS, Frontier, Foothill, East, West, North, Stockdale (bringing 2 choirs), and Centennial.  Some of the schools decided to wait a year to come to the Festival as it is challenging to have repertoire ready so early in the year.  We had a great turnout and the whole evening went smoothly. Thanks to the College Choir members who donated their time to make it all happen, and thank you Dr. Jennifer Garrett for organizing this each year for our community and future Renegades.

 

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A Taste of BC

A Taste of BC Nov 4 2017

Last Saturday, our Performing Arts faculty and students partnered with our Culinary Arts faculty and students to create an unforgettable evening for 35 students from Standard Middle School. Starting with a tour of our Performing Arts Center, the middle school students got a ‘behind the scenes’ look at our Theatre and Music facilities.

A Taste of BC 4 Nov 4 2017

They also enjoyed an incredible performance by BC students from our recent production of Hamlet, followed by a skit from Brian’s Beard (BC’s Improv Troupe). Our Theatre majors also taught the middle school students how to do improv. Very impressive! To top off the evening, the students enjoyed a fantastic meal in the Renegade Room by our Culinary Arts majors, and were entertained with dinner music by many of our Music majors.

A Taste of BC 2 Nov 4 2017.JPG

Many thanks to Dr. Jen Garrett, Brian Sivesind, Chef Suzanne Tangeman, Kevin Ganger, Leslie Aldridge, and Kim Chin, along with our students from the Hamlet cast, 1984 cast, Brian’s Beard, Music majors, and Culinary Arts students for volunteering the time and talents to benefit our local middle school students (…and hopefully future Renegades!)  And thank you Dr. Manny Mourtzanos for supporting and advancing this work.

A Taste of BC 3 Nov 4 2017.JPG

Check out the amazing Mason!

Paul Meyer, District Superintendent of SMS sent this email.

To all involved-

On behalf of the students and staff at Standard Middle School, I wish to express my sincere thanks to the students and staff at Bakersfield College for volunteering their time to create a memorable night for my students. Manny, the experience was powerful for my students, and we appreciate the attention to the details that made everything come together so well Saturday night. Please share my gratitude with all who were involved at BC. Your staff was great to work with and the BC students seemed to enjoy it as much as my students did!

I also want to thank Morgan, Ira, and Jorge for your vision and leadership in helping to make this special night into a reality.

Last Saturday evening was a huge success, and I look forward to continuing this amazing partnership.

Sincerely,

Paul

Paul Meyers

District Superintendent

Standard School District

 

A Taste of BC 13 Nov 4 2017

 

More Amazing Faculty

BC Faculty Awarded $100,000 Grant Visit Washington D.C.

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, and Josh Ottum

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, Josh Ottum

Three BC Faculty members visited Washington D.C. this past week.  Andrew Bond (English), Josh Ottum (Music and Performing Arts), and Oliver Rosales (History) attended a Project Director’s meeting hosted by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) at the Constitution Center just off Capitol Hill.  Representing their project Energizing the Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the faculty spent an entire day meeting with NEH program officers, including NEH Acting Chairman Jon Parrish Peede, as well as with other current project directors from community colleges across the United States. Professors Ottum, Rosales, and Bond joined NEH’s Director of Congressional Affairs Tim Robison on Capitol Hill for several meetings with staffers from California Senators Kamala Harris and Diane Feinstein’s offices.

Oliver Rosales, Josh Ottum, Andrew Bond, and Trevor Smith in McCarthy's Office

Oliver Rosales. Josh Ottum, Andrew Bond, Trevor Smith

The trio also discussed Bakersfield College’s (KCCD) two current NEH grant projects (Energizing the Humanities and Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History) in person with Congressman David Valadao from the 21st District before spending time in House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office with staff member Trevor Smith.

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, Rep. David Valadao, Josh Ottum, Tim Robison (NEH)

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, David Valadao, Josh Ottum, Tim Robinson (NEH)

Everyone the BC faculty members met with showed interest in and voiced their support for BC’s grant projects, and were impressed to learn that Bakersfield College is the only California community college to receive federal funds through the National Endowment for the Humanities this year.

 

Project Directors Bond, Ottum, and Rosales returned from D.C. ready to kick off the programming for Energizing the Humanities on November 30th at 7:00 PM with noted author and Bakersfield native Gerald Haslam (Professor Emeritus, Sonoma State) giving a public lecture at the Levan Center for the Humanities. Dr. Haslam will also lead a closed workshop with the Energizing the Humanities inaugural cohort of faculty fellows the following morning.

More information about the NEH Projects Energizing the Humanities and Digital Delano can be found here:

Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley

Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History

Last Home Game of the Season

It was great to see BC Renegades come out in full force Saturday night, our last home game, against Santa Monica which was a blowout. It was exciting to watch six different BC students make it into the end zone while our defense blocked all attempts on ours. I’m so proud of our Renegades they are 3 and 0 in conference and 7 and 1 overall with two more games to go.

And I’m always happy to see Manny De Los Santos working on the sidelines.

 

Football - Manny in Action

Here I am with Carlos Barbara and a great photo of Kimberly Bligh and Jerry Ludeke, and photos below with Janet Tarjan and Zav Dadabhoy —

colleagues out to support Renegade Football

HACU’s 31st Annual Conference

We had a large team from BC attend HACU’s (Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities) 31st Annual Conference this week.  Thank you Corny Rodriguez, Dean of Instruction and MESA Director, Consuela (Connie) Gonzalez for sending me photos.

Corny Rodriguez, Connie Gonzales, Manuel Rosas HACU 2017The conference provided a unique forum for networking and learning best practices, understanding and meeting the education needs of Hispanics. The conference allowed for BC professionals to:

  • Hear about successful, effective programs and initiatives of HACU member institutions
  • Expand partnerships and collaboration between HACU member institutions, public-and private-sector organizations
  • Discuss policy issues affecting the education opportunities of Hispanics, including HACU’s legislative agenda
  • Learn about Hispanic participation in scholarships, fellowships, internships and other such programs funded by private and government organizations

This important conference allowed Connie and BC representatives to create important partnerships and strengthen collaboration with the USDA Hispanic-Serving Institutions National Program, UC Davis, USDA/NRCS, and USDA Forest Service. Connie was able to secure a whole day dedicated to BC transfer students with Dr. Blas Guerrero, Director of the Chicano/Latino Recruitment Center, in collaboration with UC Davis’s MESA program.  BC MESA students will be able to look at engineering labs and tour the campus. Connie is working with Manuel Rosas to include EOP&S students as well. Thank you Connie for your work and forging relationships to further our MESA students’ educational opportunities.

David Villarino and FIELD was represented at this national conference in a big way.  Villarino is doing very important work among adults in rural communities to get them the required language and work skills to make them employable.  Just great work.  Here are several photos of the FIELD students as well as the FIELD dinner meeting with many of the colleges including Cerro Coso and CSUB.

Corny Rodriguez, Susana FIELD, Yvonne Armandariz, Manuel Rosas, Javier FIELD

 

FIELD Dinner Oct 29 2017

This is definitely a picture of celebrities

HACU Official, Esais Morales, Cheech Marin, Rick Najera, David Villarino.JPG

HACU Official, Esais Morales (actor), Cheech Marin (actor), Rick Najera (Director), David Villarino

Dinner with collaborating college officials

Cropped Group at Field Dinner 2017

 

Adult Education

Sonya Christian with the Adult School students Oct 2017

Endee Grijalva, Sonya Christian with students

Our first Adult Education Sample a Course event was a tremendous success. The event was held on October 30th and we saw 30 attendees from Adult Education in collaboration with the Bakersfield Adult School and Migrant Education. The event, which will also occur November 16th, is designed to highlight our EMLS courses and connect Adult Learners to our Main Campus, giving them a direct insight into the college experience. Attendee experience included transportation to the BC campus from the Bakersfield Adult School Job Spot, lunch provided by the delicious Panorama Grill, BC and Program overview and campus tour. The highlight of this event was the classroom observation. Aimed to alleviate the fears and misconceptions of Adult Learners, potential students can sample an EMLS course.

Many thanks to all who helped make this event successful including Endee Grijalva, support from the Outreach team, Food Service, CTE, Bakersfield Adult School and Migrant Education. You all make BC great for our students and for our community. THANK YOU!

Audiophile Magazine

A beautiful magazine appeared on my desk on Tuesday afternoon sent to me by David Koeth. The November/December issue of Audiophile from KVPR/KPRX features artwork from our own BC student, Argenis Maciel. David said in an attached message that Development Director, Joe Garcia emailed him earlier this year and said that they wanted to feature artwork from a BC student so he had his Digital Illustration students work on ideas. The promotions director chose Argenis Maciel’s piece. Check out the photo of the beautiful cover.

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BCSGA Leadership

Lawrence Salcido, Dezi Von Manos, Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy, Nan Gomez Heitzeberg

On the morning of Halloween, Senator Jose Cortez hosted a Leadership Panel comprised of the SGA president and vice presidents and BC’s president and two vice presidents.  It was a lot of fun and I am so proud of this series that Jose Cortez is leading.  He had Senator Jean Fuller as the first speaker and Assemblyman Vince Fong as the second speaker.

Jose Cortez

Students learned about their student governments’ and administration’s  roles in reducing hurdles in the path of student success, expanding our positive impact on the community, and the importance of the spirit of leadership,  while enjoying some eggs and bacon prepared, as always, by our great Food Services crew.

Panelists at Leadership Breakfast

It was a lot of fun being a panelist along with Zav Dadabhoy and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, as well as SGA President Dezi Von Manos and SGA Vice President Lawrence Salcido. Both Dezi and Lawrence were articulate about the Guided Pathways work.  Just incredible!

I was happy to see several faculty, staff and administrators also attend the event. Snapped this picture with Earl Parsons who is usually the man behind the camera and then here is Marcelyn Allen, one of our new faculty who teaches in the ESL department, also teaches Japanese and helps out with Summer Bridge.

And loved these two pictures of Nan and Zav

 

Advance Kern:

Liz Rozell and I had great fun having lunch with Richard Chapman and Wayne Kress to learn about the Advance Kern Initiative.  Imagine innovation thriving in our county where cultivating an entrepreneurial and creative mindsets is one of the products of our education.  That was the main topic of conversation in addition to Stig Larson’s Girl With the Dragon Tatoo series.  I am so proud of the work of KEDC and its leadership. I missed the company of the fabulous Cheryl Scott who is now leading the charge on promoting STEM education in Kern County.   Thank you Richard, Wayne, and Cheryl for advancing Kern County.

Liz Rozell, Sonya Christian, Wayne Kress, Richard Chapman Nov 3 2017

Liz Rozell, Sonya Christian, Wayne Kress, Richard Chapman

Public Health Sciences Program Partnership with UCLA

BC students got the chance to learn more about BC’s newly-formed Public Health Sciences program and our partnership with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in the SGA Executive Boardroom on Monday.

Public Health Info Session Fall 2017

Sarah Baron, Public Health Sciences faculty, got the opportunity to explain more about BC’s Public Health program, and several representatives from UCLA spoke in detail about the UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program [link to 2018 UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program Handout.pdf]. The UCLA training program is recruiting 50 students for a paid stipend to participate in an 8-week training program with structured workshops, field trips and leadership development in the public health field. UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program is held each summer. The application deadline for the summer 2018 program is January 31, 2018, and the application window opens in mid-November.

Sarah Baron Public Health Info SessionFor more information, you can contact Sarah Baron at sarah.baron@bakersfieldcollege.edu or Public Health Scholars Training Program Manager Lindsay Rice at phscholars@ph.ucla.edu.

Pathway to Law School Program

What a way to start November! On Wednesday, BC had the privilege of hosting Leslie Cunningham, Executive Director of California Law, Inc (Cal-Law), which is the sponsoring organization of the statewide Pathway to Law School program. Ms. Cunningham affirmed BC’s ongoing position as a statewide leader in implementing this innovative program to support students in attaining a law degree.

Law Pathway group memebers

Manny Mourtzanos, Dean of Instruction, Pearl Urena, BC Educational Advisor for Pre-Law, Jeff Green, General Counsel for Grimmway Farms, David Torres, Attorney and member of BC’S Pre-Law Advisory Council, Leslie Cunningham, Executive Director of Cal-Law, Stephen Katz, Kern County Superior Court Judge and member of BC’S, Pre-Law Advisory Council Bonnie Thompson, Executive Director of the Kern County Bar Association, Zach Sullivan, President of the BC Pre-Law Scholars Student Club

Careers in Criminal Justice

On Wednesday, October 11, the BC Delano Campus hosted “Jobs in Justice: A Panel on Careers in Criminal Justice.”  The guest employers were well-prepared and provided students with a wealth of information ranging from personal education, experiences, and their unique career paths to job specifics and seasoned career advice. The panel consisted of the following individuals:

CareersinCriminalJustice2

  • Mark DeRosia, Chief of Police – Delano Police Department
  • Eddie Aguil– Community Service Officer- Delano Police Department
  • Edwin Barahona, Assistant Court Supervisor – Kern County Superior Court
  • Kathy Garcia, Deputy Probation Officer II – Kern County Probation Department, Investigations Unit
  • Raquel Segura, Agent – Alcoholic Beverage Control
  • Ana Ovando, Investigator – Kern County Public Defender
  • Brittaney Pena, Office Technician – Kern Valley State Prison
  • Salvador Hernandez, Assistant Government Program Analyst – Kern Valley State Prison

It is interesting to note that although only 36% of students indicated that the guest speaker’s topics related to their chosen career paths, 81% noted that they would attend future employer panels and 100% stated that the forum met or exceeded their expectations. This is a testimony to the breadth of the panelists’ knowledge and wisdom which they freely shared. Not only did they give the audience a thorough understanding of their particular role within their respective organizations, but they also provided an overview of various levels of employment in their respective fields and each organization’s goals. Furthermore, they imparted invaluable career advice: the value of and how to secure internships, the need to protect one’s image (employers check social media sites), the importance of being an upstanding citizen (after all, these are careers in criminal justice), and accepting the reality that a career is built (often one has to start at the bottom).

CareersinCriminalJustice1

The panelists were exceptional but the event would never have gotten off the ground without the stellar work of Lupe Aguirre (CTE Job Development Specialist) and Kim Collins (BC Academic Liaison for Adult Education). Our special thanks to them, the panelists, and all who made this event possible. It’s exciting for us whose hearts are knit to BC Delano students that these types of events are becoming increasingly available on their campus. We are all about the students. We are BC!

In the News

Renegades were in the news again this week. Victoria Coffee was quoted by the Bakersfield Californian as an attendee at the Business Expo in Many at the Business Expo were looking for the reset button. She attended to get information to give to our BC students. She is quoted as saying “I wanted to get a better look into the business industry and see how we can strengthen our infrastructure for student success.” Thank you Victoria for going the extra mile for our students.

The Bakersfield Californian also did a nice piece about BC’s Men’s Basketball. In BC men’s basketball starts attempt at 3 conference titles in a row, Jon Mettus wrote about our 5 returners and their striving for the State Championship. Coach Hugh is optimistic for our chances of a “three-peat” for the WSC South Division title this season. Come out to the games this season and support our team all the way to the State Championship.

Emails Worth Sharing

Thank you Paul Beckworth for sharing this story with me! Paul’s email said, “PLEASE read this story that Matt Garrett found in the archives awhile back.  A BC student turned soldier captured 12 Nazis thanks to his BC German professor!  Can’t make this stuff up! It is a little hard to read but worth the effort.” Matt Garrett’s email “Capturing Nazis Like a Boss” included the following:

“We were holding a town cut off from our troops. The Eleventh Panzer Division attacked us and one of the tanks got a tread blown off about 15 yards from one position where we could not hit a man behind it or on the ground near it. It was giving us trouble so we got a ‘satchel charge’ (30 pounds of TNT in convenient carrying form). Being the demolition expert of the platoon, I was elected.

“To allow free use of my hands I laid my rifle down and went out to blow up the tank. When I got there I discovered nine Jerry infantrymen around the tank, concealed from my pals and with their rifles in position. They were as frightened as I was. I managed to stutter, ‘Weg werfen deine Waffen Komm hier mit Hande hoch’ oder sic warden tot gewesen.’ [Throw down your weapons. Come here with your hands raised or you will die] How they would die I didn’t know but they believed me. One said, ‘Nicht schessen,’ and I said, ‘Wir warden nicht schiessen.’ [We’ll not shoot] (Notice the we.) So they gave up.

“They’d have shot me if I hadn’t been quick with the lip—so maybe I learned something in school after all. But we’ll credit (BC German Professor) Miss Schafer for the capture.”

“Adelaide Schafer Credited with Capture of 12 Nazis,” Renegade Rip, April 26, 1945, p. 3.

Fun Pictures

Precious picture of Jennifer Marden now Jennifer Serratt at her 2008 graduation

Jennifer Graduation Photo

Our title V Director, Dr. Kimberly Bligh and Ed Advisor Isabel Cataneda in Washington DC for the Title V meeting.

Kimberly Bligh and Isabel Cataneda in Wahington DC Oct 2017

Sonya Christian and Neo Nov 5 2017 in Riverside

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Tradition of Renegade Red

Good morning Bakersfield, it is Saturday August 12, 2017……A great day to be a Renegade! A week of Renegade Red everywhere.

Welcoming Kern Promise Students to BC on August 9, 2017

Let me start with the 160 Kern Promise students we welcomed on campus and completed a one-day orientation.  If you remember, Bakersfield College and Cerro Coso Community College were recipients of a $1.5M grant from the Community College Chancellor’s Office for the Kern Promise.  Cerro Coso had a kick-off to the event at Ridgecrest and BC had our kick-off in a large event in the Outdoor Theater.  If was a fun event and I invite you to click on the link that will take you to the April 29th blog titled Strengthening Kern County, One Degree at a Time.
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/04/29/strengthening-kern-county-one-degree-at-a-time/

Here is one of the great pictures from the event.  So many community leaders out to support education in Kern County.  See of you can name them all 🙂

KernPromiseEven-042817s-37-X3

Community Leaders at the Kern Promise

So, what is the Kern Promise? The Kern Promise is a commitment in action at Bakersfield College to help students complete their Associate Degree for Transfer within two instructional years through a Guided Pathways approach, providing support, priority access to courses, and financial assistance to those who qualify. The Kern Promise focuses on a shared responsibility model where students will work with Completion Coaches and follow a clear path to success. In return, each promise student is required to maintain good academic standing and commit to their studies.

17promiseday12-x3

Wednesday was a beautiful day at BC,  as we welcomed the newly admitted Kern Promise students for Promise Day, their specialized extended orientation consisting of workshops and the signing of their Promise Agreement outlining their shared responsibilities and expectations!

The program began with photos and fun with some of our awesome orientation leaders – continuing students employed in various departments on campus including Student Success & Equity, Office of Student Life, and the Welcome Center! They guided students in icebreakers, discussions on majors and career goals, and stopped at the photo wall for fun group photos to get them warmed up and excited for the day.

Shannel Tyus and Keri Kennedy

Shannel Tyus, Keri Kennedy

Promise Counselor Keri Kennedy and Program Manager Shanell Tyus welcomed students and provided an overview of the day, followed by an inspiring welcome by BC SGA President Dezi Von Manos, and additional welcoming remarks from myself.

SGA Leadership

SGA Leadership

Students then rotated between workshops designed to help them focus on transitioning to college, developing academic behaviors necessary for success, and utilizing campus resources such as Academic Support Services, Student Government Association, and the Office of Student Life. Workshops were presented by Teresa McAllister and 2nd-year Promise students Avery Gibson, Magdalena Panteleon, and Tyler Ellis, Academic Development faculty, Counselors Keri Kennedy and Jonathan Shultz, Donor Relations Coordinator Alyse Braaten, BC SGA officers Mustafa Barraj, Dezi Von Manos, James Tompkins, Monica Alvarez, Diana Martinez, Daniel Ruezga and Evelyn Hernandez, and concluded with Dr. Christine Whelan, author and professor at University of Wisconsin – Madison, who addressed students to help them “Pack their Renegade Rucksack” and plan for their academic journey ahead.

fall2017-promise20signing20day-26-x3

The crux of the day, was the signing of the Promise Agreement. This carefully crafted document was developed to explicitly outline the terms and conditions of this shared responsibility model that we’ve created the Kern Promise to be. Students are expected to commit to maintaining good academic standing, completing 15 units per semester, correspond with their completion coaches regularly, and seek academic support through BC resources and those in their cohort. In exchange, BC commits to providing students with priority access to courses required for their pathway, financial assistance, and the strong support of their completion team and coaches, all in efforts to ensure their timely completion (degree for transfer) within two instructional years.

fall2017-promise20signing20day-11-x3

We expect big things from our Promise students and are proud of their persistence to this point! Coming to BC college ready for English and Math is proof that our students can complete their time at BC in just two years and continue their journey to family sustaining wages and degrees from our neighboring universities!

Check out the whole photo album of Promise Day at BC here.

Renegade Football — A community tradition

2017-footballmediaday-16-x3 Tuesday was another exciting time at BC when Athletics hosted the 2017 Football Media Day in front of Historic Memorial Stadium! I’m counting down the days till football season begins. The date is September 2nd – is it on your calendar?

Francis Mayer emceed the event with three speakers — Mayor Karen Goh, Athletic Director Sandi Taylor and Coach Jeff Chudy.

 

This season marks the 67th time our Renegades have taken the field in our signature red uniforms. And Athletic Director, Sandi Taylor promised big surprises at the event. It was fun watching the giant banner being unfurled from the very top of the stadium, with a larger than life Renegade player and text celebrating the start to the season and season ticket info!

John Farrand took this great picture of the crowd cheering as the banner unfurled.  Can you spot Kimberly Bligh, Sonya Christian, Jim Lawitz, Michelle Chantry, Jennifer Marden?

Group of spectators cropped

 

Do you have your tickets yet? You don’t want to miss the home opener.

Also, kicking off this year is “The Knight Club”, the second surprise announcement of the day. It’s a VIP-type fan experience with membership tiers that include access to private hospitality services during games, among other benefits. It’s a fantastic way to support your BC Renegade athletes. It’s also tax-deductible and 100 percent of the proceeds go to support all 20 BC Athletics teams and their 500+ student athletes.

Thank you to all the media who showed for this fantastic unveiling. 

Media at 2017 Renegade Football Season Unveiling

Media at the Renegade Football Season Unveiling

Group picture

Karen Goh, Mia Cifuentes, Sonya Christian, Sandi Taylor, Ed Davis

 

And Thank you to our dignitaries, Mayor Karen Goh, American General Media President Rogers Brandon, KGET Vice President Derek Jeffries and a delegation of Helmet Club members like Ed Davis and Chad Hathaway, who were there in full force to support Bakersfield College and Renegade Football. Was happy to see our friends from the Bakersfield Fire Department — Deputy Fire Chief Tyler Hartley, Deputy Fire Chief Ross Kelly.  Thank you Mia Cifuentes, representative of Assembly Member Vince Fong for coming out.  It’s a great day to be a Renegade!

 

Bakersfield Fire department Tyler Hartley and Ross Kelly

Deputy Fire Chief Tyler Hartley, Deputy Fire Chief Ross Kelly

 

Dignitaries with cheer team Aug 8 2017

Ed Davis, Chad Hathaway, Karen Goh, Jeff Chudy, Heather Foss, Sandi Taylor with BC Cheer Team

For all the details about The Knight Club, visit gogades.com.

Two great articles followed the event by Mike Griffith of The Bakersfield Californian. They are:

Bakersfield College goes big in quest to pump up Renegade football” and

BC coach Chudy says depth a plus as Renegades open football practice.”

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And speaking of our local media, it was great to see Michelle Chantry, CEO and Jim Lawitz, the VP and executive editor of TBC on our campus.

The Bakersfield Californian is a true community treasure and has remarkable history; one withstanding a revolutionized industry, new technologies, and an expanding community that continues to grow, yet at the same time, it has for me kept that traditional “hometown content” that we’ve come to love.

Was happy that Chancellor Burke joined us to celebrate Renegade Football.

Tom Burke, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Jeff Chudy Aug 8 2017

Tom Burke, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Jeff Chudy

For the full album of photos, visit our Smugmug page.

Registration Rocks

Over the summer, BC’s outreach team held three one-day express enrollment events. This week, we held the final last chance event which welcomed 609 returning students and 635 new students back on campus. Thank you to all involved with these events including Outreach, Admissions and Records, Counseling, Assessment, and Marketing. It was great to see photos from the jam packed event  in the paper on Thursday. Check it out!

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Kern County Farm Bureau

This week, I enjoyed reconnecting with community leaders from the Kern Farm Bureau.  I got to know them better during the Measure J time and am so appreciative that they supported Bakersfield College through Measure J.  Here are some photos from the October 5, 2016 presentation to the Kern Farm Bureau about Measure J.

ag-faculty-at-kern-county-farm-bureau-oct-5-2016

Jeff Rasmussen could not make the meeting so Mary Jo and I met with Ralph Mendes and Beatris Espericueta.  The Kern County Farm Bureau is a non-profit organization that advocates for our local farmers as part of the statewide California Farm Bureau Federation lobbying in Sacramento on behalf of all our state’s growers.

Kern Farm Bureau

Beatris Espericueta, Sonya Christian, Ralph Mendes, and Mary Jo Pasek

The Kern County Farm Bureau provides outreach, networking and scholarships to the community through their Young Farmers and Ranchers program, which provides men and women between the ages of 18 to 35 with the information, resources and business connections needed to start a fruitful career in agriculture.

Exciting things are in the works in order to find out how these partnerships can continue to prepare the future leaders of our community’s most important industry. As Van Ton Quinlivan spoke about in the video I highlighted in last week’s blog, it’s important for educators to establish close partnerships with employers to ensure that we’re providing our students with all the tools those employers need when they’re looking for applicants in the job market. With the constant advances in agricultural technology, that may even require retraining people who are already in the industry on the newest equipment and techniques.

Spotlight on Summer Bridge

This was the last week of summer bridge.  I was able to attend a small part of it.  This is just a phenomenal activity for incoming students and I got to experience how exhausting it is the the faculty and staff who work summer bridge.  It is fast paced and engaging.

Anna Laven and Mindy Wilmot

I have been covering images from Summer Bridge routinely over the last several weeks, but if you are still wondering what Summer Bridge is all about…..

Throughout the summer, students are mentored by multi- discipline faculty, peer mentors, and support services staff how to best access and utilize campus resources during engaging sessions and demystify questions that ALL new students have BEFORE their first semester begins. On a more practical level, the day focuses on introducing skills necessary for college success, including effective communication, time-management, library research and other critical skills! The topics covered at Summer Bridge to BC are designed, and proven, to ensure students are successful during their FIRST semester in college.

Summer Bridge

BC Summer Bridge Team

BC Summer Bridge Peer Mentors Ruben Chavez and Kenneth Mireles and Bridge Director Dr. Kimberly Bligh.

Summer Bridge Peer Mentors, Ruben Chavez and Kenneth Mireles with Bridge Director, Dr. Kimberly Bligh

Throughout the day, collaborative activities take place where students come up with a creative presentations to provide information to the rest of the participants about important “tools” to have in their life toolbox in order to achieve academic and lifelong success demonstrating the importance of GRIT, believing in a  growth mindset, understanding the importance of role models, and knowing how to manage their time, balance their life, stay organized, and utilize campus resources.

BC served over 400 students last year and more than doubled enrollments this year to serve 1000+ student during 25 sessions from April through August! The final four sessions take place August 7th through August 10th. Over 100 staff, faculty, and peer mentors participated in Bridge to BC in 2017. That’s how we roll at Bakersfield College.

Here is a photo of Summer Bridge in Delano

Delano Summer Bridge

Here is a 7-minute video put together by Teresa Mcallister

Cabinet Retreat

We closed out our admin summer retreats last monday, 8/7/2017. with President’s Cabinet meeting to finalize workplans for the the 2017-2018 academic year.

Let me introduce you to members of the President’s Cabinet

2017 President's Cabinet June 5 2017

Here are a few photos from the August 7th meeting

IMG_1937

Maria Wright, Steve Watkin, Lesley Bonds, Michele Pena, Nicky Damania

 

 

Delano Team Retreat

I enjoyed visiting the Delano campus team during their retreat Tuesday, August 8th.  The passion and dedication of the faculty and staff is so visible.  Love #BCatDelano.

Delano Team

Loved this Facebook post by Endee Grijalva

Endee Grijalva Aug 8 2017

Shout out to BC Food Services

And throughout the busy week, as always our Food Services staff have been even busier taking care of us…taking care of our students.  And what delicious food.  I snapped a picture of the smiling Chef Eric Sabella and Penny Loos as they were hard at work.  Long tiring and back breaking days.  Thank you Food Services!

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Here is Penny Loos and Eric Sabella from BC Food Services.

 

Chef Coyle came to visit!

IMG_2265And speaking of treats, I ran into Chef Coyle, former director of the culinary arts program, who deeply loves BC! Chef Coyle was on campus preparing for the class he is teaching this fall.

I’m definitely the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

Project Next Step

IMG_2260It’s always great to see familiar faces on the news sharing great info. This week, I caught Odella Johnson on KGET, along with Brenda Lewis, sharing information about Project Next Step. BC is honored to be one of the many local organizations participating in Project Next Step this weekend on Saturday, August 12th from 9:00AM to 2:30PM at CSUB’s Dore Theater.

ProjectnextstepProject Next Step is a conference and resource fair that aims to provide local junior high students and their parents with the tools they need to succeed in high school, college and beyond. Students will obtain resources on completion, college options, homework support, classroom etiquette, test-taking strategies, FAFSA and scholarships, peer pressure and leadership, and the importance of mentoring.

Presenters include Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin, Mayor Karen Goh, and Gloria Cannon, the first African-American female judge in Kern County. The keynote speaker for the conference is Arleana Waller, an ambassador for She Power.

Project Next Step is a collaboration between educational leaders and community organizations to prepare students for high school, college or a vocational career.

Bill Henry

vv-98-front-fixed-237x300There was a great article by Nancy Vigren about the new President of Porterville College, Bill Henry, formerly Porterville College’s Vice President of Academic Affairs. Bill, who has worked at Porterville College since 1998, takes over for outgoing president Dr. Rosa Carlson, finishing a term of service in education that has lasted over 40 years.

The photo of Bill on the right is from the website of the article by Vigran.

Check out the article published by Our Valley Voice.

porterville college

BC Superstar Mindy Wilmot

Mindy Wilmot Adventures in InformationBC reference librarian Mindy Wilmot presented a speech on information literacy at the 2017 International Association of School Librarianship (IASL) Conference in Long Beach last week. Along with Katie McNamara, the faculty librarian at North High School, Wilmot’s presentation focused on how to help find the research that students need through pre-search, print and online references and using booleans to narrow down the information more specifically. The IASL was founded in 1971 to provide a forum for school library professionals to network and discuss their practices together. While this year’s conference was held just a few hours away from Bakersfield at Cal State Long Beach, conferences are held around the world, and last year’s conference was hosted in Tokyo.

BC Students raise $5000 for Charities

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BC Faculty, Heidi Forsythe

This summer, BC students raised about $5000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities while learning small group communication and problem solving skills.

Two of Heidi Forsythe’s Small Group Communication classes brainstormed, planned and executed a two-day donation drive in the span of a week, developing a mission statement and guidelines for their groups while developing conflict management strategies to work together for their common goal. Ronald McDonald house director Scarlet Sabin, who reached out to the media for the event to get coverage on Channel 17, Channel 23, 94.1 FM and KNZR, said that the donation drive will help the organization get through the rest of the year. Check out the video on KGET!

Fun Photos

BC faculty, Joe Saldivar and two future renegades (his sons) visited Stonehenge on their way to Normandy. I’m always amazed and filled with wonder when I think or see photos of Stonehenge. The English Heritage website, says “Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument. It was built in several stages: the first monument was an early henge monument, built about 5,000 years ago, and the unique stone circle was erected in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC.”

Sebastian Saldivar, Christian Saldivar and Joe Saldivar Summer 2017

Sebastian, Christian, and Joe Saldivar at Stonehenge

Did you know it was also largely believed that the building process was so extensive that it could have lasted on and off for anywhere from 1500 to 7000 years? Check out this site for incredible facts about some of the world’s most famous places!

And Todd Coston on a cruise

Todd Coston family celebrating parent's 50th anniversary July 2017.jpg

Todd Coston and family took a 4-day cruise to Catalina and Mexico to celebrate his parents 50th wedding anniversary.  The picture is of the family in Catalina getting ready to board the ferry back to the cruise ship.

Great American Eclipse of 2017

NickStrobel

Nick Strobel

Have you run into Strobel recently…. well if you did what is the first thing he tells you….. it is all about the eclipse….that’s all I have heard for the last 6 months 🙂

Nick Strobel recently posted that the great American Eclipse of 2017 is coming up shortly. He says, “On August 21, the new moon will come exactly between Earth and the sun and its shadow will sweep across the United States from the Oregon coast to the South Carolina coast. The narrow strip of total solar eclipse will be just 68 miles wide. Those outside of that narrow strip will see the sun partially covered by the moon.”  Learn more at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/planetarium/bakersfield-night-sky/bakersfield-night-sky-august-5-2017

And Tarina Perry has been puppy sitting and hanging out with Japanese international students

Riley bad puppyMason Blair, an Officer in Public Safety has a new 4-month old black lab puppy named Riley. When Riley got out of the laundry room, which is his holding place when no one is home, he was trying to let everyone know how unhappy he was being cooped up.  He chewed up a “memory foam” pillow and then threw up all the stuffing onto the floor!

And here is an email she sent me about Coach Paula Dahl and Coach Nick Jacobs about the experience of the Japanese students.  It is an uplifting email and so beautifully written.  Now do you see why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever…

Somaly Boles and Tarina Perry May 12 2017

Tarina Perry with Somaly Boles

Hi Sonya,

My visit with our BC Athletics Department:

I recently had two students from Wakayama, Japan for a weeklong homestay through the Bakersfield Sister City Program.  Back in Japan, Nanaka plays basketball and Konomi plays tennis, so I set up a meet & greet with our BC coaches.  I envisioned a team working out and practicing basketball moves on the gym floor and maybe receiving directions from a really tough coach.  Instead, the entire team was sitting on the floor in a semi-circle facing three coaches.  Each teammate took turns offering up words of encouragement, acknowledgements of one another’s attributes, and sharing information on ways to better balance basketball with classes for a successful semester.  The more experienced teammates advised the newer ones to take advantage of study hall, office hours, tutoring… and simply to speak up and ask for help, because most teachers are understanding.  I didn’t expect to witness such an amazing and intimate experience! 

 This was not just a group of students or a basketball team, but this is a family!  I felt so much BC Pride!  Coach Dahl ended the experience with a team photo that our Japanese friends can take home and share with everyone.  Coach Dahl also taught them the fist-bump!

A similar experience took place when meeting our very enthusiastic Tennis Coach Jacobs.  He engaged with Nanaka and Konomi, we toured the facilities and he recommended best practices for them to focus on in order to better their playing skills.

I learned there is much more behind the title Athletic Coach.  I have just a little more understanding and a lot greater respect of our Athletics Department.

 

So what about Neo?

He is 48 lbs

 

 

August 10 2017 Neo

Neo

 

Sonya Christian cropped Aug 8 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Hello Summer and Summer Bridge Students!

Neo June 3 2017Good morning Bakersfield…. It is Saturday, June 10th and a great day to be a Renegade.

I spent a significant part of this week at the accreditation commission meeting in San Jose.  The accreditation peer review process for quality assurance is truly remarkable and I am so glad the United States still upholds this process.

I missed Neo who seemed much bigger when I got back home.  In the three weeks I’ve had him he went from being 10 lbs to 19 lbs.  Growing up fast and you can see it in his paws.

The drive back from San Jose was a bear with accidents on both 101 south as well as on the Pacheco pass….. It was quite the drive and my phone died and I did not have a charger handy, and I was tired….. It was a good thing that I got a book on tape, something I don’t usually do.  I got it from amazon.com, and no it was not a drone delivery three hours after I placed the order.

The book titled “The Life We Bury” was listed as a bestseller in the New York Times list.  I started listening to the book on my drive to and from Mammoth last week.  But the numerous conf calls resulted in me not making much progress.  But coming back from San Jose, without my phone, I got through much more, though not quite all yet.

Kimberly Bligh has been busy this summer, scaling up summer bridge for our incoming students and engaging faculty across campus to come spend a day with the incoming freshman during their orientation.

Dr. Matt Garrett’s post on Facebook and his response to Olivia Garcia says it all

Matt Garrett Summer Bridge June 2017.png

Summer Bridge is a one-day seminar for new students. It increases success and retention for all new freshmen by giving them the tools and resources they need to succeed. Each morning begins with faculty on hand to greet the eager students and share with them their wealth of knowledge to help acclimate them on their new academic path.

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The students break out into smaller groups joining faculty members sprinkled throughout the room for networking and chatting. It’s here where their first friendships on campus are formed… together, they are on this journey, and it’s a time to ask questions and get  information for their classes, their major’s and also their first day concerns.

Students share their dreams, goals, and aspirations for their future, encouraged and cheered on by those faculty members brought together by Dr. Kimberly Bligh.

The students are also given a guided tour by faculty and student leaders who show them first-hand all of the various buildings located throughout campus. This is an amazing way for students to feel even more comfortable when they arrive on the first day of class, it enables them to focus more on their academics rather than worrying and searching aimlessly for their needed classes. Students are able to obtain their schedules and throughout the tour faculty and staff able answer any questions they may have. Students also learn a little background on BC, when it was founded and when the campus was moved up on the hill.But one of the greatest benefits for students who participate is what they learn about all of the wonderful services that BC has to offer.

The students were shown where the Veteran’s Lounge, Renegade Pantry, Renegade RIP, Student Health Services, Counseling Center, Writing Center, Math Center, Tutoring Center, Financial Aid, and Supplementary instruction centers were all located on campus.

IMG_5832All of these services and much more are there to help the students be as successful as they can be – providing them the tools they need to achieve their goals.

 

Eileen Pierce, Manager of Academic Support — Supplemental Instruction, shared how SI works and how it  benefits all the students who attend at least five to six sessions per semester.

We are a family. We thrive and flourish together with the help of each other, because… We are BC!

Summer Bridge June 7 2017

 

 

See more photos and stay up to date with Summer Bridge on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/summerbridgeBC/

BC’s Inmate Scholars Program

The Inmate Scholars Program was nominated for the 2017 Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, Beautiful Bakersfield Awards.  Each year, the Chamber holds an annual gala to honor those connected to the community and to recognize the efforts to improve the quality of life in Bakersfield.

Aera won an award

Aera winning an award at Beautiful BAkersfield June 3 2017.png

Thank you Nick Ortiz and all at the Greater Bakersfield Chamber for bringing to us Beautiful Bakersfield

Nick Ortiz, Hillary Haenes Beautiful Bakersfield

Bakersfield College is honored to be recognized as a community leader.

Inmate Scholars, Bryan Hirayama, Chelsea Esquibias, Rich McCrow, Letty Garza, Doug Grimsley, Gerald Cantu, Kaitlin Hulsy, Isaias Hernandez

(from front, clockwise) Bryan Hirayama, Chelsea Esquibias, Rich McCrow, Letty Garza, Doug Grimsley, Gerald Cantu (behind placard), his wife,  Kaitlin Hulsy, Isaias Hernandez

The Central Valley has more than ten prisons and correctional facilities. Recidivism is high — of the incarcerated who are released, over 76% return to prison.  The Inmate Scholars Program provides college courses inside of the local prisons to educate those before release.  Associate Degrees earned in prison have been shown to reduce recidivism to below 5% thus saving taxpayers over $70,000 per year per inmate as well as creating a safer and more thriving community.

Inmate Scholars, Rich McCrow, Doug Grimsley, Gerald Cantu

Rich McCrow, Doug Grimsley, Gerald Cantu

Education is the key for our incarcerated population.  Thank you to all of those Bakersfield College employees that serve students in the program, and thank you to those who attended the dinner; Rich McCrow, Chelsea Esquibias, Bryan Hirayama, Doug Grimsley, Isaias Hernandez, Gerald Cantu, Kaitlin Hulsy, Isaias Hernandez and many more great Renegades!  We are BC!

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And then I saw this great post by Supervisor Leticia Perez on Facebook:

Leticia Perez June 7 2017.png

Retreats and reflections during the summer

President’s Cabinet had two retreats this summer, the first one at the Delano Campus on June 1st and the 2nd on the Panorama Campus here in Bakersfield on June 5th.

2017 President's Cabinet June 5 2017

 

President's Cabinet Retreat June 5 2017

 

 

At Delano the focus was on BC’s Rural Initiatives, Dual Enrollment, and Inmate Education.  After presentations and discussions, we headed for a tour of the Randolf Campus in Delano.

Cabinet Retreat in Delano June 1 2017.JPG

 

Bakersfield College originally offered courses in Delano at the Randolf campus.  This is where I was first involved as a faculty member — I taught math via interactive TV but would often drive up to the Randolf campus to meet with students.  During that time, a group of us in the math department wrote an Eisenhower grant to improve STEM education in Delano with a focus on parent education.  I then went away to work in Oregon for 10 years and when I returned as President, the Delano campus had moved to Timmons Ave, and the Randolf campus was leased to the Wonderful Academy.  Wonderful was and is a great partner of Bakersfield College.  Wonderful now has built their own campus for their Charter School and the Randolf campus has reverted back to BC.  I do want to thank Wonderful for donating all the classroom spaces they had built and improvements they made during their stay at the campus.  Lynda Resnick thank you.  Noemi, thank you.

Here are pictures of the Cabinet tour of Randolf campus.

Randolf Campus June 1 2017.JPG

Cabinet at Randolf Campus June 1 2017.JPG

Nicky Damania and Grace Commiso planning for Student Services

Nicky Damania and Grace Commiso Randolf Campus June 1 2017

Alex Dominguez

Alex Dominguez was the President of BC’s Student Government in 2014-2015, going on to be the Student Body President at CSUB.  Alex had a wonderful graduation and it seemed that everyone from Bakersfield was there to celebrate this young man’s future and presence in our lives!

Alex Dominguez

Alex Dominguez, Sonya Christian

Terri Goldstein Alex Dominguez Nicky Damania June 3 2017

Terri Goldstein, Alex Dominguez, Nicky Damania

 

Here are some links to blog posts that spotlighted Alex:

This one is a long blog but scroll until you see the picture with Alex Dominquez (2014-2015), Calyton Fowler (2015-2016), Matthew Frazer (2016-2017)

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/09/18/on-remembrance-and-making-memories/

Some fun photos:

Ramon Puga and his son

Ramon Puga at his son's graduation.png

So I was at the ACCJC commission meeting and this is what happens to my office when I was not there — Mission Occupy!

Lunchtime

Jennifer Marden, Tracy Hall, Tarina Perry, Somaly Boles

 

Sonya Christian at Randolph Campus June 1 2017That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

(at the Randolf campus in Delano)