What a difficult, active week at the virtual Home of the Renegades as we continue to Shelter in Place and engage with a world coping with COVID-19, the recession, and the horrific public death of George Floyd.
The picture above is from a friend’s garden. These are the Mexican bird of paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima). They bloom when the temperature gets above 90.
Renegade Baseball Pitcher Sends Caring Note To Bakersfield PD
Through social media and television we have seen many protests around the country, and our community has been no different. After one of this week’s protests in downtown Bakersfield, the Bakersfield Police Department shared a photo of a card that a ‘black teen’ had given one of the BPD officers earlier that evening.
We soon found out that ‘black teen’ was none other than one of our Renegade Baseball student athletes, PJ Roberts. PJ is a pitcher and has been on the team the last two years. While PJ did not share this card with the officer to be recognized publicly, we are beyond proud of his actions to bridge the gap at this critical point in time. Way to be the change you wish to see in the world, PJ! #StudentTeacher
Good morning Bakersfield It is Saturday, June 6, 2020 – a great day to be a Renegade.
I’d like to start off this week with a video I saw from Trevor Noah, who hosts The Daily Show. In it, he talks about how different events are connected and knock into each other like dominoes, causing a great wave.
#LightACandle: A Juneteenth Celebration
On the heels of the recent death of George Floyd and mass unrest across the country, Bakersfield College will host a two week conversation and virtual celebration leading up to June 19 or “Juneteenth,” a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
I believe that in the 50 years since King asked this question – What is it that America has failed to hear? We have made enormous progress that we can and should be proud of. But we need to hear what George Floyd’s Memorial Day death – and our national reactions to it – are saying. It is a long and painful history, which makes it harder to hear. It is a dark and confusing time, which makes it harder to see how to move forward. But as Bakersfield College Renegades, we owe it to our community, to our veterans, and we each owe it to George Floyd, to join together, listen with humility, and to bring light that can illuminate the way ahead.
In this spirit, I invite you to join Bakersfield College for a two-week series of Juneteenth conversations across multiple platforms to #LightACandle and #ShineALight on the gut wrenching and horrific experiences of our Black brothers and sisters as they go about their business contributing to the economic wellbeing of our community, volunteering to help the neediest in our society, enjoying a family stroll in the neighborhood park with their children. We invite you to listen, learn, engage, and make an action-oriented commitment to speak up, lean in and create an environment that values every human.
Thank you to the leadership of the #LightACandle Juneteenth Planning Team: Steven Watkin, Paula Parks, Tommy Tunson, and Jennifer Achan.
Led by Pastor Oscar Anthony of St. Peter Restoration Community Christian Ministries, and Pastor Ignacio Valdez of New Hope Family Worship Center, with the support of networks such as Kern County Ministers Conference, Kern Leadership Alliance and CityServe, hundreds assembled to acknowledge the pain our community is in, while promoting promote reconciliation healing.
I was grateful to walk alongside Steve Watkin and our BC team in solidarity for #BlackLivesMatter.
#RealTalk on Race with Danny, Reggie, and Julian
On Thursday, June 4, BC launched the first of a series of #RealTalk on Race discussions, hosted by Danny Morrison Media. Over 7000 views in just 3 days!
Danny, always a friend to BC and an ardent supporter of our African American Initiatives and Inmate Scholars program, kicked off the discussion with a reflection on the recent high-profile deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmed Arbery. I was struck by the weight of the dialogue as he recalled a long history of murders of Black men at the hands of those in power… the stories of Philando Castile, Eric Garner, and Emmett Till.
Reggie Bolton, BC professor of kinesiology, and Julian West, director of the Career Ladders Project, described their personal experiences coming to terms with race and racism as Black men. As I listened to Reggie, Julian, and Danny, I felt the enormity of the moment we are in as a nation and the responsibility we have as educators to shine light on these stories. The words of these men – brilliant, courageous, kind hearted, and committed to our students – should strengthen our resolve to work for racial equity at BC and beyond.
The livestream also featured a video from Steve Watkin.
BC in the News: The Bakersfield Californian
The Bakersfield Californian published a great article on BC’s plans to shine light on the ways education can advance justice. Thank you, Ema Sasic, for capturing not only our plans for the weeks ahead, but also the ways BC has been advancing educational equity for Black students through the remarkable work of our African American Initiatives team. I enjoyed reading the highlights of our progress on increasing access and success for our students over the past five years:
Increased overall enrollment of Black students by 45% to more than 1,000 students
Increased first-time Black student enrollment by 72%
Increased Black student enrollment in Early College opportunities by 1,017%
Increased Black student completion of associate degrees by 223%
Umoja students share feelings on recent killings by police
Umoja Community students and faculty gathered virtually to discuss recent killings of African Americans by police. Over the past few weeks, the murders of Ahmad Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have dominated the news. Repeated exposure to lynching is traumatizing.
Floyd’s murder, captured on video and widely circulated, has ignited pain and anger in the Black community and resulted in protests nationwide. The Umoja Community – a program designed for African-American students that includes coursework, mentoring, academic and cultural trips, and counseling support to keep students on track to graduate – routinely provides space for students to share and process their lived experiences.
Students said this latest incident feels different from other police murders captured on camera because of what the video shows: Floyd was handcuffed when he was pushed onto the pavement. You observe the officer rather nonchalantly with his hands in his pocket and with his knee on Floyd’s neck. Over 8 minutes and 46 seconds, you see Floyd plead for his life and call out “Mama,” then slowly lose consciousness and die. Three officers watch and the crowd shouts out that “he ain’t moving.” It seemed to students the most extreme example of police abuse and of an undeserved, agonizing death.
In addition, Floyd evokes Eric Garner’s words, “I can’t breathe” sixteen times. This painful revisit of the 2014 New York case is a reminder as one student put it that “the deaths keep increasing.” The police aren’t charged or convicted even with video evidence, which emboldens police, students explained, to continue to abuse their power. Black people are re-traumatized with each death, understanding that they are similarly at risk. One student said she felt “numb.” Another reported that she was at “the breaking point.”
Being in the middle of a pandemic and somewhat isolated, they noted, adds to their anxiety because they have fewer outlets while being constantly bombarded with videos of Floyd’s death and mass protests. Students are suffering from a double injury: fears for their basic physical safety from police as well as threats to their physical and mental health from COVID.
Said one student, “racism is our (constant) virus.”
I was happy to see in The Bakersfield Californian this week two pieces from BC faculty and staff lending perspective on how we move forward.
Lesley Bonds, BC’s Director of Student Success & Equity reflected on the significance of Juneteenth in the midst of mass unrest. She calls upon white people to learn to practice anti-racism. Read her suggestions for how people can practice anti-racism HERE.
“Anti-racism is more than simply not acting racist. Anti-racism requires constant vigilance — an unlearning of our conditioned behaviors, beliefs and biases, and constant, intentional, new learning of the ways we can recognize and dismantle racism in ourselves, our community, our institutions, and the systems we navigate daily.”
Nick Strobel, Astronomy professor and Director of BC’s planetarium called upon us to reconcile the “story of American society” with the stories we are reading today in order to give meaning to the popular hashtag #WeAreAllInThisTogether. Read Nick’s piece HERE.
“If American society is to survive, we all need to recognize that an alternate story, that has been told in word and deed for many, many decades at least, has grown more powerful than the shared story of opportunity and equal application of the law… Do we want that? Do we really believe that the shared story on which this nation was founded is not real and can never be real?”
BC launches free immigration clinics
Bakersfield College is partnering with the UFW Foundation to offer Immigration Clinics for BC students, faculty and staff. The next two Clinics are on Tuesday, June 9th, and Thursday, June 25th, from 9 AM to 6 PM. DACA renewals are being prioritized and Fee Assistance is available at this time.
Bakersfield College has been named as one of twenty recipients to receive part of the $24 million Job Corps Scholars Program funding, provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.
This national program serves Job Corps eligible youth by providing free tuition for their first year in the Job Corps Scholars program, career technical training, and intensive personal and career counseling services towards program completion.
Back to College
I wanted to share with you all a story from one of our student Renegades, Martha Lopez. She was left jobless when the Coronavirus pandemic hit, and decided to try out our Back to College program.
“I had just started a new job working at a Distribution Center when the Coronavirus hit. The entire center was shut down and everybody was left without a job, and we didn’t know for how long it was going to last. I started looking for a new job, but then I heard about the Back to College program on TV. I had been going to BC on and off for over several years and always struggled and felt like it was not for me, but I decided to give it one more try. From the start, the counselors helped me with Financial Aid and helped me find classes that were required for my major, and that were also interesting to me. The professors were all very clear from the beginning by telling us exactly what was required, and they were always there when we had questions. I had taken online classes before, but this time was a huge difference. Not only did I get As and Bs in all my classes, but I actually enjoyed them, especially Art which I was not expecting, and I’m excited to keep going in the summer and fall. At first I was only planning on getting my degree in Sociology at BC, but after talking to my counselors and professors, I’ve decided I want to actually transfer to CSUB and go on to become a Substance Abuse Counselor.”
Our Back to College program is still going strong with courses for this summer. Please check it out!
Fun Social Media
Our Admission & Records director, Jackie Lau, earned her Masters degree this year. The Admission & Records department shared a wonderful tribute on Facebook to celebrate her achievement.
Before each day’s celebration, we shared a few videos from throughout the year – including this performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” performed by our BC choir, faculty, staff, and administration:
Student Affairs earned a President’s Leadership Award:
And incoming BCSGA Vice-President Emma McNellis shared her remarks:
Coach Littlejohn Leading The Way Staying Fit During The Pandemic
Our newest Renegade Coach, Coach R. Todd Littlejohn of BC Football is leading the way in showing our campus how to stay fit during the pandemic. Here’s a picture of him doing hang cleans during his CrossFit workout this last week. Details for how the 2020 fall sports season is going to look are still being determined by the CCCAA, but one things for sure – Coach LJ will not be out of breath running up and down those sidelines coaching his team this fall!
Q&A With Sandi Taylor
The Renegade Rip ran an article where Editor-in-Chief Haley Duval interviewed retiring athletic director and softball coach Sandi Taylor. Sandi talked about her greatest memories, proudest accomplishments, what she’ll miss, and what changes she saw during her time at BC. Thank you for the well-written article, Haley, and thank you for your years of service Sandi!
That’s all for now. Until next time. With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Cloud formation from the turbulent flight from PDX to BUR Jan 7 2018
Good morning Bakersfield…It is Saturday, January 13, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade!
This week, it seemed that I was able to see beauty all around me. I have noticed that there are times that my sensitivity to all things beautiful seem more heightened. It is during these time that I pick up my poetry book from high school at Mount Carmel Convent ….. this week I found myself reading Keats. So my friends, here are images of beauty for you as you soak in Keats
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
San Luis Reservoir, Pacheco Pass, Jan 12 2018
An extremely active week at BC with faculty arriving back on campus for inservice activities, workshops as we gear up to welcome over 31,000 students back to our campuses in Bakersfield, in Delano, in Arvin, in Shafter, online, …… I did a bit of travelling to San Jose to attend the accreditation commission (ACCJC) meeting.
With half of the school year in our rear view mirror, all of Bakersfield College’s faculty and staff came together once again in anticipation for the next semester during our Spring 2018 Opening Day celebration Thursday at the Indoor Theater.
One of my favorite parts of the day kicks off with seeing familiar faces during the gathering in the plaza. I was so glad to have beautiful photos this year of the activity before the program.
Great group from our Child Care Center.
Dezi Von Manos opened the program with the traditional remarks from the BCSGA President.
Dezi Von Manos Opening day
Opening day spotlighted our accreditation work under the leadership of Liz Rozell, dean of Instrcution, and Jason Stratton, history faculty.
Liz Rozell and Jason Stratton
After showing a brief video interviewing students and staff about accreditation and Student Learning Outcomes, Liz and Jason thanked the faculty team leads who will be putting together the materials for our four accreditation standards and the writers, editors and communication team for the Quality Focus Essay that will wrap our self-evaluation report in a neat little bow and tell the world BC’s story.
Our primary editor for this project is Dr. Nick Strobel, and he’ll be responsible for putting all of the information together into a coherent narrative. Manny produced a silly comic relief video of Nick dressed up as a monk, walking around the library while carrying large scrolls as Gregorian chants echoed through the halls.
Following Accreditation, Andrea Thorson took the stage to emphasize the importance of maintaining a singular, coherent voice about BC’s institutional philosophy when we talk to students or people in the community.
Di Hoffman and new Dean Billie Jo Rice talked about assessment and Student Learning Outcomes, using the acronym PARR (Plan, Assess, Reflect, and Refine) as a pneumonic device to outline our assessment process.
Billi Jo Rice and Di Hoffman
Julian West addressed the audience about how he’s able to keep 600 students in our African-American affinity group engaged and striving for their highest level of excellence, using a combination of data analysis and “real talk” face-to-face mentorship to ensure that none of our African American students are falling through the cracks. See Julians full remarks here.
Janet Fulks and our new Web Content Editor, Nicole Griffin discussed our state-of-the-Renegade Scorecard 3.0, that continues to bring our institutional data to life on the web with an unprecedented level of interactivity displaying statistics about our student population and programs of study.
Nicole Griffin and Janet Fulks
I was excited to announce the planned campus renovations that are going to be made possible via Measure J, which was initially going to take place over 25 years, has now been compacted planned for a shorter time line. This means that many of you will get to see our campus transform before your eyes during your tenure at BC, and the money will be used more efficiently to avoid cost increases due to inflation.
Bill Potter presented the new Facilities Master Plan to the audience at our Opening Day presentation, with a special guest for the presentation, Todd Coston dressed as a janitor showing how accreditation is a whole campus endeavor. I heard Todd even threw a mop bucket full of silver confetti into the theater.
Toward the end of the Opening Day presentation, Tina Johnson introduced the new members of the CSEA board, Isabel Stierle encouraged faculty members to welcome our new faculty members into the CCA, and Steven Holmes urged faculty and staff to be active participants in all of our various committees including Guided Pathways.
Sue Vaughn gave an update sharing the constant and rapid movement in the Management Association. At one point the audience gave a standing ovation for Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg. Love this photo taken by Earl Parsons.
Our SGA Senators, Ashley Harp and Mustapha Burraj led the entire audience in a stretch break.
Stretch Break for Opening Day
Reggie Williams, the recipient of the 2017 Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award, gave his thank-you speech during this semester’s Opening Day since he was out of the country during the Fall 2017 festivities. He gave special recognition to Jack Hernandez for inspiring him to learn more about philosophy during his time in one of Jack’s classes as an 18-year-old freshman at BC.
Tom Greenwood, Reggie Williams, and Anna Poetker
Susan Pinza announced Oliver Rosales as the winner of the Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium Award. Oliver will be delivering a presentation about multicultural civil rights activism in post-World War II Bakersfield.
Dr. Oliver Rosales standing to be recognized
Opening and Closing Days are a huge undertaking, and I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who made it possible. I’d like to thank Manny de Los Santos for his work compiling all of the videos for this event, as well as running the livestream. And special thanks to Nate from Freestyle who was our sound technician and is a BC student studying Computer Science!
Manny De Los Santos and Nate
Thank you also to our photographers from the Marketing and Public Relations team—Earl Parsons, Eric Carillo and Dylan Wang
Dylan Wang capturing the day through the lens.
Thank you Eric Carillo for texting me some of the selfies and bringing me vicariously to Opening Day. I so loved them. Here are a few.
All of their photos for the day can be found on the BC Smugmug.
Thank you to Monika Scott, Jennifer Serratt and Lesley Bonds for coordinating and planning, and Kristin Rabe for coordinating the theater.
Jennifer Serratt, Aricia Leighton, Kristin Rabe, Monika Scott
Jennifer Serratt, Lesley Bonds
And Opening Day wouldn’t be the same without Francis Mayer as our emcee.
Francis Mayer, the man behind the microphone
Thank you to our Food Services crew led by Chef Eric Sabella, who put together another great breakfast and lunch.
Food Services Crew with BC’s awesome Breakfast Burritos
And our interpreters Jarris Wright and Carolyn Borso and our incredible ushers were Arisve Pimentel, Bernadette Martinez, Chris Glaser, Danyel Owens, Jordaun Bennett, Lori Ortiz, Tarina Perry, and Wendy Lawson.
The week before the semester begins is always exciting because Faculty come back and re-engage with the campus through flex workshops which cover an array of topics. This year workshops covered everything from eLumen Curriculum led by Jennifer Johnson, Best Practices for Online Learning by Matt Jones, and Summer Bridge by Kimberly Bligh, Erica Menchaca, Isabel Castaneda, and Teresa Mcallister among many many others. Here are some photos from Flexweek!
Bryan Hirayama on the left with his Distinguished Teaching Award
Corrections to College California just released a new short documentary, The Sergeant and the Professor, featuring a CDCR-College partnership. The video tells the story of Sergeant Jeff Ervin and Professor Bryan Hirayama. Sergeant Ervin has worked for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for 12 years. Two years ago, Bakersfield College began offering classes in his housing unit. Sergeant Ervin was reluctant and skeptical. Professor Hirayama was the first Bakersfield College professor to teach inside Sergeant Ervin’s facility. The two didn’t always see eye to eye, but these unlikely colleagues learned to work together to support the college students. You can find out how this program transformed Sergeant Ervin and the prison by watching the video.
BC and KCCD representatives met January 8 with a representative from a Bakersfield’s Sister City, Bucheon City to talk about a possible exchange program for students and faculty. This is the second time that BC has hosted Bucheon City visitors. They were here this summer.
John Means, Vice Chancellor, Shohreh Rahman, Counselor International Students So-Hyun Kim, Representative Bucheon City, Republic of Korea Eun-Ja Kim Park, retired professor CSUB Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Vice President Instruction
BC Point Guard, Johnathan Murray
Coach Hughes after winning the Conf Championship Feb 17, 2016
There was a great piece by Jon Mettus of the Californian about our record setting player Johnathan Murray as the teams ‘unsung hero.’
Mettus wrote that “Murray is the facilitator for BC’s offense and the glue that holds the team together. On a squad that features players like Jamar Hammonds, Tucker Eenigenburg and Jaylunn English, who can all go off for more than 20 points on any given night…” He goes on to credit coach, Rich Hughes with naming Murray the “unsung hero.”
Starting this semester, representatives from the Department of Human Services (DHS) are holding office hours in the second floor of the CSS building to help students to assist students with children who receive financial assistance through their department.
DHS Social Service Workers from the Employment Services division are partnering with our Extended Opportunities Programs and Services Department (EOP&S) to help BC student parents attending school while receiving cash aid benefits via CalWORKS (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids). Their offices will be located in the EOP&S area of the CSS building, and they’ll be helping provide our students educational support services, employment training and work study opportunities.
This partnership will help our BC CalWORKS program that was already being run under EOP&S integrate more efficiently with the Department of Human Services, and I’m excited for all of the potential that this partnership holds.
Accreditation and ACCJC
I always feel a little reluctant to snap pictures at the Accreditation Commission Meeting. But here are a few after we were done with the meeting. In the first picture you see the Chair of the Commission Raul Rodriguez who is the Chancellor of the Rancho Santiago Community College District with Mary Okada who is the president of Guam Community College and is on the ACCJC Exec Committee. Inn the second picture, I am with Richard Mahon, who is currently a dean at Alan Hancock College. In the last picture I am with Jared Spring, a manager at ACCJC and one of my favorite people.
Let me end with John Keats again
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning Bakersfield. It is August 19, 2017, the birthday of my grandmother, Hilda Sparrow. And a great day to be a Renegade
I woke up to a flurry of emails early Saturday morning from BC employees supporting students. How cool is that! Here are two examples:
Email from Dr. Manny Mourtzanos at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning to the student
Good morning, [name of student]. I was so inspired to read your message to President Christian, as well as her response this morning. I can’t think of a better way to start the day. We’re here to help. I’d love the chance to meet. Let’s make it happen early and often. I will be at the Welcome Tent by the Fine Arts building on Monday morning from 7:30 – 10:00 am. If you’re in the area during that time, please drop in. My office is located in FA-69 (Fine Arts Building). If I’m not there, someone will be able to help you schedule an appointment with me. I’d like for us to discuss your plans for law school, as well the many professional options our program can offer you. It is a unique program developed by the State Bar of California, and reserved for only a handful of colleges in California, including Bakersfield College. You’ve picked a great college to attend!
Then at 7:03 a.m. on saturday, this email from Maria Wright to the student popped into my inbox
Good morning [name of student],
Welcome to BC! As President Christian mentioned in her email, I am the Director of Academic Support Services and I look forward to supporting you on your pathway to success! Please stop by to meet me next week, my office is in the Center for Student Success (CSS) building, second floor, room 184-A.
When we meet, I will give you a tour of our support services. In the meantime, I am attaching a document that will help you to identify some of the services available to you.
I look forward you to meeting you and please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns!
With Renegade pride,
I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever!
August 21st, first day of classes
On Monday, August 21st, the campus will be alive with students filling each hallway and classroom. BC has been growing in enrollments over the last four years and this fall we are seeing another 6.5% growth. So students, parking is going to be crazy the first two weeks. I ask that you to have a friend or family member drop you off and pick you up, or car pool, or take public transportation, or bike to school. Plan on being early.
Where did this summer go? It flew by so quickly! But, here we are and fall is about to begin. It’s my favorite time of the year, gearing up to welcome students back on campus for a new academic year.
Fall 2017 Opening Day
Sonya Christian — 2017 State of the College
On Thursday, August 17th, we celebrated our Opening Day – a time where faculty and staff come together to review all we’ve accomplished and the things we look forward to accomplishing this year. This year, the indoor theater was packed and Jennifer Marden needed to organize an overflow room. And plz note that there are three reds in the planning team — Jennifer Marden, Monika Scott, and Kristin Rabe!
President Dezi Von Manos
Our morning began with a welcome by SGA President, Dezi Von Manos – a BC Communication major and a true student leader. I will see if I can have her talk posted on my blog next week. I promise you, you will be inspired by her and her story.
One of the highlights of the morning was Kay Meek, President of the KCCD Board of Trustees. I heard so many positive comments from everyone on how much they appreciate Kay and how much they appreciated hearing from Kay. Trustee Meek was very positive about the future of KCCD and talked about how much the college will benefit from Measure J. She pointedly looked at me and said she wants the Veterans Resource Center sooner than later to which the audience responded with an applause. Thank you President Kay Meek for attending our Opening Day. We are so fortunate to have you at the helm of KCCD.
Kay Meek, President of the KCCD Board
Kay Meek — A Renegade Fan
This was my fourth State of the College address as President of the college. Here are snippets of the content of my remarks.
Let me start with our Core Valuers which permeate everything we do. During the State of the College I had our new employees read the Core Values. Here is Neeley Hatridge reading the core value of Diversity.
Sonya Christian — BC Core Values
We have also been laser focused on the safety and security of our campus. BC has a dedicated Public Safety department led by Chief Counts. Since we are an open campus with no walls surrounding us, our Public Safety department makes sure that we go through professional development to be able to respond to all kinds of emergencies. Our slogan is, if you see something, say something, do something. Here is Chief Christopher Counts addressing the BC employees on Opening Day.
Chief Christopher Counts
I have been blogging about the Guided Pathways work at BC and the strategy of creating Completion Coaching Communities around the 10 metamajors. Well, at Opening Day, we had a team from the Arts and Humanities metamajor model that their roles will be as completion coaches for the students in that group. Each speaker was exceptionally good and I thank Grace Commiso, Manny Mourtzanos and especially Lesley Bonds in working with the group.
Grace Commiso, Lesley Bonds
Here are the completion coaches who spoke at Opening Day
Manny Mourtzanos (Dean and Administrative Lead):
Dr. Manny Mourtzanos
1972….Not only the year I was born, but also the number of students in the Arts & Humanities pathway. 1,972. How can one person possibly know each of these students on a personal level enough to make a difference?
That’s why we have “Completion Coaching Communities.” By bringing together specialists and discipline experts, we can share the duty to ‘know’ our students. As the Pathway Lead, I can ‘know’ our 1,972 by reviewing data. I might not know their stories, but by working with our Data Coaches and colleagues in Institutional Effectiveness, we can identify which students could benefit from additional support, resources, information or intervention. As Pathway Lead, my ‘breadth’ of knowing students is wide, though shallow. However, discipline experts are uniquely positioned to have a shorter ‘breadth’ of students to know, but they can be known in a much ‘deeper’ and more meaningful way. For example, of our 1,972 students, 101 of them are Spanish majors. As the discipline expert for Spanish, Qiu Jimenez is poised to coordinate efforts with the other three full-time faculty in Spanish to know their students on personal level….that’s only 25 students each…a very doable mission. As the Pathway Lead, I’m committed to bringing our experts together, along with our Data Coaches, Faculty Chairs, Counselors and Ed Advisors, to identify students in need of additional support, and using our infrastructure to reach them.
You’ll hear today from my fellow Completion Coaches. We each have different responsibilities to ensure that we know our students so that they:
Complete college-level English and math in the first year,
Complete 15 pathway-applicable units by the end of their first term,
Complete 30 pathway-applicable units by the end of their first year, and
Complete 60 pathway-applicable units in two years
With that, I invite my fellow Completion Coaches to share with you their experiences as Coaches responsible for these 1,972 students.
Eleonora Hicks (Data Coach):
My name is Eleonora Hicks. I am a sociology professor in the Behavioral Sciences department and since I find quantitative analysis “super” exciting, I also function as a data coach and work closely with BC’s completion coaching communities within the framework of our guided pathways.
There are four main pillars in the guided pathways approach. The first pillar involves not only achieving clarity but to quote President Christian, it involves achieving relentless clarity in the curricular pathways that students follow to complete their academic and career goals.
As a member of the Arts & Humanities Completion Coaching Community, I am the Data Clarifier. It’ is my responsibility to provide clarity, help my fellow coaches understand the right questions to ask, , interpret questions they’re not sure how to ask, and make meaning of the cohort reports I provide as a liaison with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
As a data coach and part of a completion community, I have specifically worked within the framework of Pillar #1 by collaborating with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness in several ways: I have helped my Completion Community see the classes in which our students are enrolled, provided feedback about the clarity with which we communicate program requirements, goals, and outcomes and am currently assessing the most common courses across programs within meta-majors, which could become an important tool in advising and course mapping.
Yvonne Armendariz (AccuSQL Lead)
Good morning, my name is Yvonne Armendariz and I am the Basic Skills Program Manager. As a Completion Coach, I lead our campus efforts to utilize a tool called AccuSQL to track attendance for all student support services. So while Eleonora distributes to her Completion Coaching Community a report based on student cohort data in Banner, I can help provide you a report that shows our students’ behavior throughout the semester.
At the beginning of each semester, I will set up automated reports for each instructor to receive every Monday morning at 7 am. These reports will have detailed information regarding the students in your course that attended an academic support service the week prior. This report will include student name, ID, center where services attended, and time spent. For weeks, 4, 8, and 12 each instructor will receive a cumulative report for all students that have attended a support service at that point. Any Completion Coach can use this information to track, in nearly live time, how engaged your students are in academic support services.
If you have any questions regarding your AccuSQL reports, please feel free to contact me or reach out anyone within the Academic Support Services Department and they will put you into contact with me. Thank you.
Jonathan Schultz (Counselor):
I am Jonathan Schultz, a Counselor and Completion Coach. While there are many things I love about the pathway model, the group collaboration is my favorite. Having a group of people, working together is not only fun, but it really helps our students succeed and get on their path to completion. A perfect example of this is over the summer, I received an email from Helen Acosta, Department Chair of Communication, replying to a student who she met at Summer Bridge. This student had questions about what career path would be best for her. Helen, knowing the system we have in place on campus, referred her to me since I am the “Personal and Career Exploration” counselor, and we were able to help her set up an appointment to begin researching career options and begin her on a path.
As a Counselor focused on undecided students entering our campus, I review cohort progress data, take direct responsibility for reaching out to undecided students in groups, and work with them to move them toward a clear, attainable educational goal using various career exploration tools, working with job placement specialists, the transfer center, and my colleagues in academic support services. I take responsibility for recognizing and intervening when I see our students are off-path to help them get back on-path by taking the right courses at the right time. As a Completion Coach, I commit to ensuring each student I meet leaves our interaction with a clearer sense of purpose and the tools they need to navigate their pathway successfully.
Roberta Ayala (Financial Aid Tech):
My name is Roberta Ayala and I am a Financial Aid Technician. With nearly 80% of students being the first in their families to attend college and over 65% relying on financial aid to pursue their goals, we know that helping students start on the right path financially is critical in their success.
As a Completion Coach, I work to ensure our students’ success and remove any financial barriers along their path while shaping their behavior for their long-term success. I achieve this by assisting students throughout the financial aid process including completing their FAFSA, keeping open communication regarding status and requirements, and providing support throughout their journey.
More specifically, I track and provide financial aid information to my fellow coaches within the A&H pathway. It is my personal goal to educate my fellow coaches and our students, and to provide them with the many financial resources available. With the list of the 1971 students Eleonora provides, I am able to quickly identify those students who have incomplete FAFSAs, are missing critical documents, or are in danger of losing their financial aid. By identifying the students early, I can contact each student with a tailored message to ensure they set off on the right path financially toward their educational goals.
Paul Beckworth (Discipline Faculty, Starfish Implementation Lead):
My name is Paul Beckworth, and I was not born in 1972. I’m a history faculty member and serve as BC’s lead for veterans. While our Dean, Manny Mourtzanos, set the stage with a focus on the 1972 students in the Arts & Humanities Learning & Career Pathway, I am focused on specific, intrusive support to history majors. As a coach, I know I have a direct responsibility for knowing the 222 of History majors at BC.
Launching into a new year brings new possibilities, not just for us but for our students. The possibility to finish strong can become a probability through vigorous course work and “intrusive caring.” One of our primary roles as educators is to help students finish what they started. But you might be wondering how do we, as teachers, get students to stay on the path that the awesome counselors and advisors put them on? If a student isn’t in my class, how can I play a role in helping them finish what they started?
We know students see us more often than anyone else on campus. They come to talk to us, sometimes about class, but often times about life. Struggles often show up in classroom performance. What an opportunity to keep them on their path to getting a whole team behind them, not letting them deviate from their goals!
So, beyond creating an environment in my classroom where students can learn and grow collectively as historians, I am committing to take responsibility for ensuring their success as BC Renegades.
As a member of a Completion Community, I work with my colleagues in the History department to ensure the data Eleonora provides remain a constant focus for each of us in our department meetings. We will work together as a department to ensure our syllabi reflect our emphasis on academic support services and student engagement.
I get to say, I am a completion coaching community team member. Listen, guided pathways is happening with us, not to us. Our students are coming in with pre-entry attributes that we must work with. We meet them where there are. Where are they? They are here! And they are BC!
Regina Hukill (Department Chair, Math):
My name is Regina Hukill and I am the Math Department Chair and a member of the STEM Completion Coaching Community. But today I am here as a department chair to ensure that math completion is a clear focus for everyone as we work to help students stay on path to complete college-level English and math.
In the past year, we have been engaged in an intensive strategy to engage every student in academic support. Using Basic Skills funds, we developed an Extend the Classroom for Math as well as for English. By using, Extend the Classroom to target those students taking basic skill math courses who need extra one-on-one tutoring in math and to help them complete the math they need to stay on their academic path.
We are happy to see that the Extend the Classroom for Math location has been moved from being tucked away in a corner of the Writing Center, to a more desirable location which will be in the Math Science Building. A convenient location can really make a huge difference in the number of students we can get to participate in this program.
Our two professional math tutors, Christopher Anderson and Alana Austin will be there to help students from 7 am to 8:30 pm Monday through Thursday, and on Fridays from 8 am to noon. Math faculty will continue to support the Extend the Classroom by providing help as well. We have found that instructors like Josh Lewis and Donna Starr who are available in the Extend the Classroom get a good number of their students participating. Some of my fellow math faculty coaches and I are committing to allocate points in the course that students can earn by getting tutoring outside of the classroom to emphasize our goal of math completion for all students.
Keri Wolf (Discipline faculty, Extend the Classroom):
My name is Keri Wolf, and I have been involved in Extend the Classroom as an English faculty member and Completion Coach to ensure college-level English completion is a clear focus for each of you. BC has 253 English majors, but we know every single student who steps foot on campus with an AA in mind needs to complete English 1A. With our goal for students to complete college-level Math and English courses during their first year, this places English faculty in a unique position to foster a collaborative environment through classroom interactions and extending the classroom programs.
Extending the classroom provides a distraction free, collaborative learning environment. Supplemental Instruction study groups allow students to gain the support of not only an experienced peer who knows the instructor and that specific section’s material but also the support of classmates.
As a Completion Coach, I work with my colleagues in the English Department to expand our use of SI, specifically for English 53, an accelerated course to the transfer-level English 1A. As a result, students who take English 53 their first semester and then follow it with English 1A their second semester are able to complete English in the first year.
Since English provides these foundational courses, extend the classroom exposes students early to the network of support services. And many students have credited SI as pivotal to their success.
Transfer and CTE are all pathways to a job: The Community College Chancellor’s Office is focused on “jobs” at the email of a college degree whether it is an Associates degree or a Baccalaureate degree. The whole Guided Pathways approach starts with the “end in mind”. At BC, we have organized our 72 programs into 10 Metamajors and within each metamajor there are both CTE pathways and transfer pathways. So, during the State of the College address, I invited both Janet Fulks and Cindy Collier to speak about Transfer and CTE respectively and our work for 2017-18.
After the State of the College, we heard from Chancellor Tom Burke who reviewed the Measure J plans, his goals for the next two years and his visit to the Kern Valley Prison to see students in the Japanese course do presentations. He was clearly moved by the testimony of the students. Thank you Chancellor for attending BC’s 2017 Opening Day!
I always look forward to hearing from the leadership of the employee groups. Bernadette Martinez with CCSEA, Isabel Stierle with CCA, Steve Holmes with Academic Senate, and Sue Vaughn on behalf of Management.
BC’s Academic Senate President Steven Holmes always has fun during campus wide gatherings. He is known to be in flip flops for most of the year and at the last campus wide gathering, Debbie Rosenthal challenged him to get a pedicure. And here he is at the next campus wide gathering, confidently displaying his pedicured toes with dark red nail polish 🙂
And here he is in a video that Zav captured when Steven was removing the license plate from my Land Rover.
After we heard from the employee groups, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg introduced us to the new employees including the 55 new faculty. Nan concluded her remarks with the quote: Only the educated are free. Powerful!
Thank you to Coach Matt Moon and Coach Zach Peters for leading us through a stretch break. Also thank you to BC SGA leaders Dezi Von Manos and Jose Cortez.
We are working on our Institutional Self Evaluation report (ISER) and will have the accreditation evaluation team on campus in October 2018. Jason Stratton, History Faculty, and Liz Rozell, Dean of Instruction, are leading this work. They did a real nice job jeopardy-style to engage the audience.
Wondering about the two of them leading the work on BC’s Institutional Self Evaluation after I saw this photo.
Liz Rozell, Jason Stratton — Chairs of ISER
The morning concluded with the Margaret Levinson Faculty Leadership Award being presented to Dr. Kimberly Bligh for all of her dedication to BC and our students. As you know, she was instrumental in the advancing and growth of Summer Bridge.
This is how Prof. Kimberly Nickell introduced Dr. Kimberly Bligh.
I am always amazed by the leaders I get to work with on our BC campus. And as I work with these leaders, I experience their drive, vision and pursuit of excellence. Dr. Kimberly Bligh is the epitome of this leader.
From the implementation of the CAS workshops, Summer Bridge, creating her math textbook, and directing Title V, as well as many other projects she is involved in, I have witnessed Kimberly leading the charge, and with each endeavor her drive, vision, and pursuit of excellence is apparent. Kimberly strives to elevate the BC campus, promoting student success while mentoring and inspiring others to be leaders. That is true leadership.
So please, let’s put our hands together for our 2017 Margaret Levinson Leadership award recipient, Dr. Kimberly Bligh.
Kimberly put together a tribute to those who supported her as a thank you during her acceptance speech of the Levinson award. Here it is
The final award presented was the Norm Levan Faculty Colloquium Announcement awarded to Rafael Espericueta.
Here is the description of Rafael’s talk.
Every day you make use of software based on deep learning. You use it every time you do a Google search, or look for a movie to watch on Netflix. It’s used to enable computers (and phones) to recognize objects, understand spoken language, diagnose illness, and countless other applications.
Recently, deep learning has made profound breakthroughs that are making possible tasks that hitherto have been impossible for computers to accomplish. And the breakthroughs keep coming! Soon autonomous vehicles will be driving our roads, and human driven vehicles may well become a thing of the past. Many jobs will disappear, as machines become more capable of tasks once reserved exclusively for humans.
Deep learning will increasingly effect all of our lives, and it behooves us all to gain at least a basic understanding of this exciting new and disruptive technology. It now seems likely that machines may soon actually attain sentience, or at least act as though they were as sentient as you or I.
The ethical ramifications of this technology are vast and will be increasingly pertinent. Our very species’ survival may well hang in the balance. But whether you are terrified at imagined dystopias this technology may engender, or excited by utopic visions of the future this technology can make possible, artificial intelligence is evolving at an exponential rate. The day of the sentient machine is coming, whether we like it or not. The more one knows about what’s coming, the more power one yields to help steer it in a more desirable direction.
Whatever your own field of study, deep learning will become increasingly relevant to your future. Come to Rafael’s talk to learn more about deep learning – what recent breakthroughs have been made, and what we may expect in the near (and distant) future. Though it may sound like science fiction, this is an engineering reality right now. Come learn what it has accomplished, as well as what it portends for our species’ future!
Friday, Nov. 3rd Levan Center
11:30 AM (an hour later than usual)
Mathematics Department…Rafael Espericueta
There were three major initiatives for the year that I highlighted: (1) Completion Coaching Communities intended to create a case management approach and in this case a cohort management approach to ensure that no student goes unnoticed. (2) Measure J as we move to implementation and (3) accreditation. The videos were produced by the very talented Manny de Los Santos using the Superhero theme. Enjoy them!
Let me introduce you to our superheroes Todd Coston and Liz Rozell:
Let me introduce you to our Superhero Bill Potter, Director of Facilities
Let me introduce you to numerous superheros that form a completion coaching community around each student.
I can’t thank everyone involved enough for the incredible way the day turned out. It’s a group effort from various multiple departments.
The talented Manny de los Santos!
Manny de Los Santos
I’d like to thank Tom Moran and Brittany King, for their work interpreting during Opening Day.
Tom does so much on campus and it’s always a joy to see him. He was also a giant supporter during the Measure J campaign, and even has taught me how to sign both “Yes on J” and “We are BC!” Thank you Tom!
Food Services at BC
During Opening Day, Mary Jo took the time to thank our Food Services crew for all the work they do to provide food for students and catering at important events like we have on Thursday.
Eric Sabella and the crew worked hard to provide breakfast burritos and lunch wraps for the faculty and staff on Opening Day, then got straight to work on a beautiful barbecue chicken dinner for everybody at the New Student Convocation that evening. I’d like to thank them for their tireless work and for keeping us fueled with delicious food.
Mary Jo Pasek posted this photo on her Facebook! I can always count on MJ to have some of the best photos.
I have to give special thanks also to our team of ushers: Lori Ortiz, Savannah Andres, Roseanne Lewis, Trudi Blanco, Cecilia Lopez, Yolanda Aguilera, and Bernadette Martinez. Thank you Chris Glaser for leading this effort.
Video, media services, and photographers: Kristin Rabe, Kevin Ganger, Manny De Los Santos, Earl Parsons, Eric Carrillo, and John Farrand.
Content Contributors, Lesley Bonds, Grace Commiso, Manny Mourtzanos, Eleonora Hicks, Yvonne Armendariz, Jonathan Schultz, Roberta Ayala, Paul Beckworth, Regina Hukilll, Keri Wolf, Janet Fulks, Cindy Collier, Jason Stratton, Liz Rozell, and Chris Counts.
Our fabulous emcee, Francis Mayer, and the planning team, Jennifer Serratt, Monika Scott, and Aricia Leighton.
New Faculty Seminar
On Monday, our 55 new faculty members met in the first seminar in a year-long series that will help them connect with BC resources and make the most of their time at Bakersfield College. We are excited to welcome this new and very dynamic group of faculty to the college – the largest incoming class of new faculty in our history!
Topics ranged from how to get involved in pathways and completion communities to learning the ropes of human resources. We look forward to offering New Faculty Seminars every month for the rest of the semester.
BC’s fall 2017 Flex Week was a busy one, packed with almost 60 workshops, including four Opening Day breakout sessions focused on important campus initiatives. Workshops ranged from practical skills related to accessibility using Google and Grackle, to workshops designed to help faculty integrate new creative media, like PowToons—and everything in between. In addition to Flex workshops and Opening Day breakout sessions, the Pathways Institute drew a sizable crowd of completion coaches and other dedicated faculty and staff from all over BC. As of Thursday afternoon, Flex Week drew over 385 logins/sign-ins, including over 208 individual attendees. Thanks, BC!
Dr. Chike Akua
As part of Flex Week on Wednesday, acclaimed public intellectual Dr. Chike Akua hosted workshop about how to keep students of color engaged in their academic pursuits and education as a key to fighting structural inequality.
BC was honored to host this important professional development workshop with Akua, a member of the Teacher Transformation Institute and author of books such as “Honoring our Ancestral Obligations: 7 Steps to Black Student Success”. Akua’s presentation, titled “Education for Transformation: Keys to Releasing the Genius of Black Students”, focused on concrete ways that instructors can supplement their curricula with the contributions of African-Americans and other marginalized groups that have been omitted from textbooks or otherwise edited out of the canon of human intellectual achievement.
“Who are the models of intellectual authority you’re putting before your students?” Akua asked. “Even though the population of our students has changed, in many ways, our curriculum has not.”
By drawing attention to marginalized innovators in math, science, art, architecture and countless other fields, it allows students within those marginalized groups to see themselves reflected in a given field of study, and Akua showed data that reflects how students that are able to relate to their study material grow more confident in their academics and matriculate more successfully through their educational pathway.
“This has become one of the critical mediating factors in my students’ success,” Akua said.
Akua also used the events in Charlottesville last weekend as a lens to guide his discussion on the role educators have in shifting the toxic perceptions about race relations in America today. When educators begin engaging students to critically examine the world around them while spreading awareness of structural inequality and social issues like the school-to-prison pipeline, Akua posits that we’ll begin seeing the national conversation about race change, and in many ways the shift has already started to happen with the work of organizations such as Black Lives Matter and the ongoing debate about law enforcement accountability in communities of color.
“Their innate sense of justice will cause students to speak out on issues,” Akua said. “Allow your students to bring their whole personality to class.”
Akua also stressed the importance of a diverse faculty in bridging the “engagement gap” in education, while showing data indicating that higher learning institutions need to do a lot better at hiring people of color. The national leader for hiring African-American faculty among major four-year state institutions is The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, whose faculty is only 6.8 percent black despite having an 11.1 percent black undergraduate population, according to the website College Factual. The state leader among four-year colleges in California is UCLA, whose black faculty only comprises 3 percent of the faculty population despite making up 4.8 percent of the student population.
“It’s important to have faculty who look like your students,” Akua said. “How can we say we’re a nation who values diversity with these numbers?”
Akua’s conversation gave our faculty a lot to think about how they might be unintentionally alienating a lot of their marginalized students while giving some good advice about how to keep those students engaged.
Welcome International Students
In addition to welcoming new faculty and staff, we have 90 students from around the world in our ISA program for Fall 2017, majoring in everything from Business Administration to Theatre Arts. There are 18 students from India, which represents 20 percent of the group. There are 15 students from Saudia Arabia and 10 from Vietnam, as well as representatives from Nigeria, China, Bangladesh, France, Ivory Coast, Australia and more for a total of 29 countries to be welcomed into the BC family.
New Student Convocation
Bakersfield College welcomed its 104th class of incoming freshman to the family Thursday night at the Outdoor Theater during the New Student Convocation.
The annual event is a gathering before the start of the fall semester for new students and their families to learn about different programs on campus and what will be expected of them for the upcoming year. Todd Coston was in the audience as a parent of a young woman starting her freshman year at BC. I snapped this picture. See if you can spot Todd off in the distance.
Steven Holmes led BC faculty through a pledge to provide students with the support they’ll need to make it through a short but eventful school year, while SGA President Dezi von Manos led students through their pledge to rise to the occasion and perform the hard work it requires to achieve their dreams. Dr. Janet Fulks led the families, friends and supporters of the students through a pledge as well.
I grabbed these photos from Lawrence Salcido’s Facebook page. Thank you Lawrence!
There was amazing entertainment throughout the event, with a DJ booth in front of the Outdoor Theater providing music while students visited booths for the Agriculture and Automotive programs, the Student Health Center and countless other student organizations. When students walked into the theater, they were greeted with a performance from a few students in last semester’s Commercial Music class. Jennifer Garrett led the BC choir through the national anthem, “When You Wish Upon a Star” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”,
The BC cheerleaders closed the convocation with an exciting performance. Thank you Heather Foss for your dedication to the BC Cheer Team. And thank you Becki Whitson for all of the years you spent with the team. We miss you and hope to see you at the games.
Here is the BC Fight Song
Go out and Get Them
There’s an awesome video BC counselor Jonathan Schultz put together on YouTube speaking to student athletes about taking advantage of opportunities. Jonathan presents a very simple but true philosophy that successful people are able to do seemingly impossible things because they are willing to go lengths others aren’t to be the best.
“You have to do what others won’t if you want to have what others don’t,” Schultz said. “I never waited for an opportunity to come to me. I went out and found an opportunity.” When you’re willing to go the extra mile in your athletic, creative or cognitive development, people will recognize the work you’re putting in and opportunities to succeed will open up that you never thought possible. The greatest athletes were the ones who had the drive put in time and effort that their coworkers didn’t, transcending what people previously thought was humanly possible. “What are you doing that other people in your exact situation are not doing?” Schultz asks. “What pushes you outside of yourself? What’s your why?”
Football Practice Begins!
I loved seeing this post on Instagram. BC Football is gearing up!
Are you following BC on Instagram?! What about Facebook and Twitter?
FCDC Summer Chair Academy
The Faculty Chairs/Directors Council met this week as well to wrap up the summer. This group of dedicated individuals discuss, review, and resolve operational issues and to provide collaborative interaction between student services and instruction in development of seamless process to meet student needs. Welcome to the new department chairs this year: Mark Osea, Counseling; Helen Acosta, Communication, and Kirk Russell, Library.
Nick Strobel also sent an email out to various campus groups sharing some awesome details about the upcoming eclipse. He said,
“You’ve probably heard something about the upcoming eclipse of the Sun on Monday, August 21. The eclipse for us in Bakersfield will be just a partial eclipse. See the Planetarium’s homepage at www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/planetarium for the stats for Bakersfield and how to view the Sun safely.
What’s the big deal about this total solar eclipse? Here are some reasons:
Total solar eclipses (New Moon totally covers the Sun’s photosphere surface) are RARE and awesome!
First one in the lower 48 states since 1979.
First one to sweep across the entire country since 1918.
First one to be solely visible in the United States since 1776 (yes, 1776)
Approximately 391 million people in the U.S. will be able to see the eclipse (total or partial).
Literally millions of international tourists will be coming to places in the path of totality. The totality strip is just 68 miles wide.
The few minutes of totality are the only times we can view the Sun’s corona (outer atmosphere). The corona is about as bright as a full moon.
A great story. Thank you Joe Coughlin of Coconut Joes
When Joe Coughlin of Coconut Joes heard about the passing of the celebrity Glen Campbell, he picked up his guitar and strummed the Rhinestone Cowboy.
Does that get your attention…..Well, click on the link and read his August 12th Opinion piece in The Bakersfield Californian — Gentle on My Mind: My long unique connection to Glen Campbell. http://tinyurl.com/y8bssflx. A pretty cool story.
I never heard Gentle on my mind by Glen Campbell. Thank you Joe for introducing me to this piece by Glen Campbell. I enjoyed it.
Thought you would enjoy the Facebook exchange with community members about the Rosebowl watch. I actually wore it for Opening Day. Here is a screen capture.
So what about Neo?
At 5 1/2 months, he is 52 lbs, and teething. Can you guess where he is in the picture below?
Being obnoxious and then sweet like an angel when he is asleep.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning Bakersfield…. it is Sunday June 25, 2017 …I enjoyed waking up in my bed at home this morning, taking Neo out and feeling the 72 degree temperatures at 3:30 a.m., loving life. This week has been exhausting with a lot of travel…time on the road and time in planes. Bakersfield – LAX – Portland, OR – Eugene, OR – back to Portland – then a red-eye to Ft. Lauderdale, FL – back to LAX – finally home sweet home. During all my travels, I wore my Renegade t-shirts and sweatshirts. Proud to be a Renegade!
Did you know you can beat the heat at the BC pool? It’s open for public swim, water aerobics, swimming lessons, and family swim. For hours, details, and lesson schedules, visit the BC website! What are your favorite ways to escape the heat or stay cool?
Speaking of the heat… it’s fire season, so I’m proud to celebrate the recent Firefighter graduates!!
On June 14th, we celebrated the Olive Drive Fire Training Facility Graduation inside our indoor theater. The Olive Drive Fire Training Facility and its staff are dedicated to train the men and women in the Bakersfield community who have chosen the fire service as a career or voluntary service. The people graduating this year have made a commitment to protect the citizens of Bakersfield and Kern County from the ravages of fire and other life or property threatening emergencies.
Firefighting is both an art and a science; to be successful requires education, experience, and motivation. This graduation marks the end of a twenty-five week basic fire academy and the beginning of a challenging and rewarding career; one which will require many more days of training in the field and in the classroom. Congratulations to all the graduates.
I can always count on BC’s Mary Jo Pasek to have great photos on her Facebook. The theater was packed!
On Monday and Tuesday the senior level administrators across the Kern Community College District met at the Padre in retreat, to come together as a team and plan for the next year. There are many new faces in senior leadership including the Chancellor, Tom Burke.
Tom Burke, Arlitha Harmon, Rosa Carlson
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Bill Henry
It was a great opportunity to connect with our counterparts and colleagues from across this huge district. It was clear from the first day that we have a lot in common. Regardless of the role, from Vice President to Vice Chancellor, General Counsel, President and Chancellor, everyone is committed to serving students and to supporting them reaching their educational goals.
Chris Hine and Gary Moser
John Means, Jill Board, Eric Middlestead
Kern Community College District (KCCD) serves communities over a region of 24,800 square miles in parts of Kern, Tulare, Inyo, Mono, and San Bernardino counties through the programs of Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso College and Porterville College. Governed by a locally elected Board of Trustees, the district’s colleges offer programs and services that develop student potential and create opportunities for our citizens.
Cory Marvin and Don Chrusciel
Lisa Couch, Heather Ostrach
KCCD is geographically one of the largest community college districts in the United States. Our students represent a diversity of religions, economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, abilities, and ethnicities.
While the Kern Community College District was established as a separate entity in 1968 to respond to the changing needs of our communities, educational services have been provided to residents for many years: at Bakersfield College since 1913; at Porterville College since 1927; and in the Ridgecrest area since 1951 by what is now Cerro Coso College. All three colleges are proud members of the California Community College System and are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Val Garcia and Debbie Martin
Tonya Davis, Zav Dadabhoy
Today, education centers and sites in Delano, downtown Bakersfield, the Mammoth/ Bishop area, Edwards Air Force, and the Kern River Valley offer additional convenient, localized instruction for thousands of residents. KCCD’s commitment to distance learning and other technological advances is creating increasing opportunities for education through the internet, satellite, and cable television to individuals across our broad service area and beyond.
Annual BCSGA President Brunch
I blogged about the SGA leadership in my last blog. Here it is again. I just love the photos.
And I saw on Instagram that the leaders of BCSGA are settling in to their offices. I love how Dezi says, “yes Renegades, BCSGA is in office, need something? Let us know!”
The Office of Outreach & School Relations hosted its first summer It’s Possible registration event on Tuesday. This is a reoccurring event for students to come to our campus and complete all enrollment steps in just one day. From application to registration, BC’s incredible staff from various departments on campus collaborated in making this event happen for our community. The summer heat was no barrier for students pursuing their educational goals as 116 students participated in the event, with approximately 75% of those being new students.
A special thanks to the Events Scheduling team, Maintenance and Operations, Food Services, The Office Student Success & Equity, Counseling staff, Admissions & Records, EOPS/Cal SOAP, and Office of Student Life!
The week of travels
The most interesting part of my travels this week was the changing temperatures and the time of sunrise and sunset. Check it out–
Portland at 45 degrees latitude North (sunrise 5:24 a.m.; sunset 9:04 p.m.; low temp 59 degrees; high temp 75 degrees)
Bakersfield at 35 degrees latitude North (sunrise 5:43 a.m.; sunset 8:43 p.m; low temp 72 degrees; high temp 105 degrees)
Fort Lauderdale at 26 degrees latitude North (sunrise 6:30 a.m.; sunset 8:16 p.m.; low temp 80 degrees; high temp 84 degrees)
Given the temperatures in Oregon, you can see why I needed my sweatshirt for part of the day.
During my one day in Eugene, I connected with my buddy Ken Murdoff and his chocolate-colored Lab Woody.
Woody is the best natured dog ever. Talking about Woody — my inspiration for getting Neo — let me give you my weekly Neo update.
I felt like I left a puppy to start my travels and got back to find a dog. At 10 weeks he was 19 lbs; now at about 13 weeks he weighs in at 30 lbs.
Neo on June 25, 2017 at 30 lbs
Neo discovering stairs
The AACC Pathways Institute #5 was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Hard to imagine we have just one more institute to go and then we are done with the program. BC was one of the 30 colleges selected to be part of the 3-year Guided Pathways cohort. Great work with great colleagues. We had a 6-member BC team attend: Lesley Bonds, Director of Student Success and Equity; Cindy Collier, Dean of CTE and Allied Health; Grace Commiso, Dean of Counseling and Student Success; Craig Hayward, Institutional Researcher; Mark Osea, Faculty Chair of Counseling; and Steve Watkin, Director of Outreach. Here are some photos from Florida.
Mark Osea, Grace Commiso, Cindy Collier, Sonya Christian, Lesley Bonds, Craig Hayward, Steve Watkin
Team at dinner on June 22, 2017
Grace Commiso and Lesley Bonds are two of the leads for our Guided Pathways work at Bakersfield College. Talented, smart, dedicated, and beautiful. I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.
Grace Commiso, Lesley Bonds
Sonya Christian, Grace Commiso, Craig Hayward, Lesley Bonds at dinner right by the Ocean. Fun conversation that ranged from work and data (what do you get when you have Craig Hayward at dinner with you) to dogs and movies.
Here is Bilbo the 5-lb yorkie who apparently makes the move shown in the picture when he wants Craig to scratch his belly.
Here is Rocky at 3 months with Joey Commiso
And here is Blue, the only Australian Shepherd that I know with an instagram account
We also talked about movies and so here is Misty Mountain Cold from the Hobbit.
Wish I had snapped a picture of the group with the Atlantic behind us. Oh well…. Instead, here is a picture from Cindy Collier’s room on Facebook.
An interesting tidbit:
When landing in LAX from Portland the captain announced that the largest passenger aircraft ever made was on the runway about to take off. So the passengers were all peering out of their windows in awe as they watched.
Here is a youtube clip of this double-decker taking off
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by European manufacturer Airbus. It is the world’s largest passenger airliner, and the airports at which it operates have upgraded facilities to accommodate it. It was initially named Airbus A3XX and designed to challenge Boeing‘s monopoly in the large-aircraft market. The A380 made its first flight on 27 April 2005 and entered commercial service on 25 October 2007 with Singapore Airlines. An improved version, the A380plus, is under development.
My friend Arlene Braganza texted me photos of Ken Burdick as Jesus Christ in Jesus Christ Superstar last night at Ovation Theatre. It looks like a brilliant show and I’m always proud to see the talent of BC’s chamber singers. For show photos and to see the cast, visit https://theovationtheatre.com/jesus-christ-superstar/
Have you seen that Bakersfield High School’s historic Griffith Field is set to finish its renovations shortly? After seeing this news on Kern Radio, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the BC’s tradition of excellence at Griffith, where it all started and where we hosted all of our home football games from the stadium’s opening in 1923 until moving to our campus on the hill in the 1950s.
The Renegade football team had been dominant even before the campus moved to Panorama, winning a national championship in 1953 and selling out Griffith Field. Because of this, the development of Memorial Stadium and the Panorama campus was needed to meet the needs of the community. This story can be seen in an article in the April 2006 Bakersfield College Archives Newsletter.
District Superintendent Ralph Prator even appointed BHS Athletic Director J.B. “Cap” Haralson to coordinate the construction of Memorial Stadium, which hosted 16,500 people for the Renegades’ first home game against Pasadena City College, the largest crowd to ever watch a junior college game at that time. Griffith Field was part of the legacies of legends like NFL Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, who played for BC and BHS in the 1940s, and “Jack” Frost, BC head football coach from 1934 to 1952 whose name lives on in the Jack Frost Football League for young athletes in Kern County.
As this stadium remodeling turns the page to a new chapter in Drillers’ history, Griffith Field will always remain at the heart of Renegade history.
Student Services at BC!
In last weeks blog, I highlighted various academic support services available during the summer semester and it was great to hear from
Lawrence Salcido, Jr in the comments. Lawrence is an active member of BC’s Student Government, peer tutor, and he mentioned that in addition to the services I mentioned, the library is a great source of help for students with knowledgeable staff and workshops too! It’s true. BC is an incredible place of learning, support, hope, and education.
Speaking of support and hope, have you heard of BC’s EOP&S Department? The Extended Opportunity Programs and Services is a state-funded support program designed to provide academic support, financial assistance and encouragement for eligible, financially disadvantaged, and academically underprepared students. The goal is to help eligible students meet their educational objectives, whether they seek occupational certificates, associate degrees, or transfer to four-year institutions.
Students that participate in EOP&S receive the personalized support from registration to tutoring, and counseling and services, such as book vouchers, grants, and university campus tours. The EOP&S Office is located in the Student Services Building, Second Floor (Adjacent to the Financial Aid Office). To contact them by phone, call (661) 395-4351 or visit the website at www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/student/eops/eops It’s important that students are aware and take full advantage of all the services that BC has to offer.
And students, it’s vital that you allow BC’s team to work for you and enable you to put your mind towards the things that matter most, your education!
BC at the Online Teaching Conference with Eloy Oakley
I loved this picture of Chancellor Eloy Oakley with BC’s Bill Moseley and Matt Jones at the 2017 Online Teaching Conference in Anaheim, CA. The official website explains, “The Online Teaching Conference, which began over 15 years ago, is an event for faculty, staff and administrators who are engaged or interested in online education, including delivery of online services, emerging technologies, student success, library and technical support. In addition to learning, this conference is a great opportunity for educators to spend two or three days with colleagues, share knowledge, impart and receive best practices, and learn from other’s experiences.”
Matt JOnes, Eloy Oakley, Bill Moseley
Summer Bridge video by Theresa McAllister
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning Bakersfield….it is Saturday, June 3, 2017. A great day to be a Renegade.
With Monday, May 29th, being Memorial Day, the college was closed. Facebook was active with messages honoring those who gave up their lives for the country. And later in the evening, BC’s faculty lead for student veterans sent a Memorial Day message that reverberated across the CA Community Colleges.
Chancellor Dr. Eloy Oakley, California Community College Veteran Counselors and Veteran Services Personnel,
Today is Memorial Day.
Today is the day we honor our fallen brothers and sisters.
What we do everyday is not a sacrifice. What we do is a honor. We are honored to help those who survived the fight. We get to go help those who are here with us, now. As we go back to work tomorrow, let us remember TODAY, those who gave all. Those who gave all will never be California Community College students. They will never study MLA format or do a CSEP. They will never fill out Post 9/11 GI Bill paperwork. They will not stroll into your veteran center and ask about voc rehab. They will not ask for hot coffee, or why they cant take more than 7 credits in summer school. Although we cannot help them, we can help their brothers and sisters who survived the fight.
Our bbqs are done for the day. It is late Monday night. Tomorrow is a new day. As we go back to work, let us strive to honor those who will never enter our hallowed halls by honoring the student-veterans who do. Honor them and their dependents. Our task is not easy. Some of us suffer from “Compassion fatigue.” What is demanded of us is not expected of anyone else on our campuses. Veterans suffer 22 suicides a day and we feel each one. I am proud of all of you and the work you do for our student-veterans. Let’s face it, we love all our students, but, there is something about those veterans with big bushy beards, tattoos and bad language. They tug at our hearts and they make us want to try a little bit harder. Considering what they did for us, what we do is a small price to pay.
To those of you on this list serv who lost friends or family, please know our hearts and prayers are with you tonight. From Bunker Hill to Fallujah, from Iwo Jima to the Triangle of Death, let us remember Abraham Lincoln’s words at Gettysburg, “We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place to those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. IT IS ALTOGETHER FITTING AND PROPER THAT WE SHOULD DO THIS.”
Tonight we remember. Tomorrow we do the work: It is all together fitting and proper that we should do this.
Let us remember.
Veterans Faculty Lead
Leadership Matters Summit
It’s another great week to be a Renegade, especially in light of our recent “Leadership Matters: Re-Imagining Leadership to Sustain Transformative Change to Advance Student Success & Equity” summit that took place on campus last week on Wednesday May 24th. It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to be able to host this remarkable and motivating day focused on leadership. Colleges from all over California met to discuss theGuided Pathways Initiativeand how we can better accommodate and serve our community and our 2.1 million students across California.
Before I go any further, I must recognize Shawn Whalen of College Futures who has been committed to the equity and transfer agenda to community college students.
I’m so thankful that Chancellor Eloy Oakleyagreed to come to Bakersfield and launch the summit. With great passion he made it very clear why Guided Pathways is critical to the future of California Community College System in the eyes of the state legislature and how there is no other institution better positioned to help California move forward than our 113 colleges.
Here is my introduction of Chancellor Eloy Oakley
I have good news. At the head of the California Community College system, the largest higher educational system in the nation, that serves populations that are most in-need, we have a leader.
We have someone who is moving the dial on student success; someone who builds coalitions to make the impossible possible; someone who sets agendas that have national and statewide impact.
Back when it was first announced that Eloy Ortiz Oakley was our new Chancellor, I heard excitement and anticipation; that community colleges are in good hands, and to expect a lot to happen, – a lot to happen quickly, well, and sustainably, as it did at Long Beach City College under President Eloy Oakley.
We have a leader – I remember being in the audience at the senate budget committee, with the senators asking tough questions, of the $850M that has been invested in community colleges, and why we were back asking for an additional $150M for Guided Pathways. And he explained calmly, clearly and confidently that that the prior investments had laid the foundation, and that the $150M was what was needed to bring it together, to bring it to its tipping point and that the results would be exponentially better.
When he was done speaking, those legislators who were only able to see a block of marble, were able to see that angel in the marble that Eloy Oakley was attempting to free.
We have a leader – Chancellor Oakley brings incredible clarity on how to make local empowerment and systems development work together to maximize talent…to maximize resources. His college promise initiative is all about empowering colleges to create local coalitions with their high school, industry and university partners to clear pathways for students. And then with the Guided Pathways investment to develop technical assistance and systems to meet each community college where they are and to move them to greater levels of performance. Because remember, over 2 million students are counting on us.
This clarity in bringing together many worlds is exciting and promising. I will tell you dear friends that there has never, ever been a better time to be in the community college system, in California. There has never been a better time for vision, and hope, while keeping a steady eye on the realities and challenges we face.
We have a leader who with us will say with confidence, “Si se puede”.
Friends, I give you that leader, our Chancellor, Eloy Oakley.
I was thrilled that Chancellor Tom Burke stopped by to welcome the participants to the Kern Community College District and to Bakersfield College. Gregory Stoup who currently chairs the RP Group gave a fabulous, quick paced, MTV style presentation on Guided Pathways.
Glenn Roquemore, Ann Ransford, and Jennifer Johnson
Laura Hope, co-director of the RP Group’s “Leading from the Middle”, gave us the wrap-up by having us share with the person next to us and then the whole gathering, the why—why guided pathways right now, why are we going on this difficult journey to move this framework forward?
Three hundred twenty attendees registered in person from over 60 different colleges and organizations, as well as a livestream audience of almost 500. BC staff and students helped ensure the summit ran smoothly.
There were many hands that worked together to make this happen. Here are a few who look care of the logistics: Tarina Perry, Christopher Glaser, John Farrand, Monika Scott, Dylan Wang, Kristin Rabe, Reese Weltman, Earl Parsons, Kristina Whitmore, Somaly Boles, Kevin Ganger, June Charles, Jennifer Marden, Tracy Hall, Mary Jo Pasek, Maria Diaz, Anita Karr, Bernadette Martinez, Arisve Pimentel, Danyel Owens, Yolanda Aguilera, Eric Sabella, Ramon Puga, Marissa Jeffers.
A special thank you to Tarina Perry for being the lead on the summit.
Thank you Laura Hope and Keren Stashower for emceeing the event.
Also a special thank you to Janet Fulks and Lesley Bonds who worked closely with me on the programming of the summit and the work with shaping the content with the speakers.
Additional photos related to the Leadership Summit
Marie Vicario-Fisher, Sonya Christian, Angelica Suarez
Keren Stashower at Leadership Matters
The night before:
Shawn Whalen, Sonya Christian, Eloy Oakley
Criag Hayward, Josh Wyner
Gang from Cabrillo
Tarina Perry did a “thank you” pizza party at her house to all those who helped with the logistics. I popped in for a few minutes at the front end of the party.
Tarina sent me this cool picture of Marissa Jeffries at the Leadership Summit. Marissa was in charge of food.
All things Cerro Coso
This last week the Student Success and Equity Office organized their retreat at the Mammoth Center of Cerro Coso Community College. The idea to hold one of our critical summer retreats at one of KCCD’s sister campuses came up when we heard the Director of Mammoth and Bishop campuses, Deanna Campbell, of Cerro Coso present at the KCCD Leadership Academy. I covered this in my March 4, 2017 blog.
When I asked Lesley Bonds if she would like to take her team to Mammoth she promptly said yes. This office of eight touches the entire campus — both the instructional side of the house as well as the Student Affairs side.
Kristina Whitmore, Sonya Christian, Julian West, Lisa Kent, Shauna Turner, Pedro Ramirez, Keri Kennedy, Lesley Bonds, Shanell Tyus
BC’s Student Success and Equity team is remarkable. This small office is tasked with “moving the dial” on student completion. At BC we measure student completion through 4 momentum points — (1) completing college level English and Math in the first year (2) completing 12-15 credits in their program pathways in the first semester (3) completing 30 credits in their program pathway in the first year (summer-fall-spring) (4) completing an associates degree or transfer in two-years. With over 30,000 students and few staff, the challenge is always about the ratio of students to staff. The task at hand requires each individual to move large quantities in a quality way. But given that the majority of our students fall in the “at risk” category the only way to get them to be successful is through case management. Normally when we think case-management we think managing individual student cases. However, with BC does not have that luxury. So we need to “case manage” through “groups”. This require both a high touch and high tech approach.
Shauna Turner, Kristina Whitmore, Lesley Bonds, Sonya Christian, Pedro Ramirez (hidden), Julian West, Lisa Kent, Keri Kennedy, Shanell Tyus
I was so proud of this team when I hung out with them during their discussions. Talented, smart and so committed to student success. Do you understand now why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever…
I learned that BC has a dual enrollment program in Culinary at Mammoth High School. Thanks to Deanna and Trish for connecting with Chef Pat Coyle and making this happen. The students at the high school prepared lunch for the BC team.
Deanna asked Trish what she would like her to tell the BC team and this is what Trish wrote back:
My culinary students are taking their state test this week and I expect a high passing rate. There are many restaurants in Mammoth that appreciate my students having their Food Handlers certificate. They hire my graduates before others, partly because of the hands-on training they receive and also the certificate in itself. Many of the students plan to continue in the trade by furthering their education in addition to the units they receive at MHS.
I attached a note from one of my recent graduates that I felt expressed the importance of the certificate and how it helped him.