Tag Archives: Lisa Kent

We are Bakersfield!

Good Morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 21, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade.

The Renegade Red and White Roses are bursting out creating a joyous walkway into my home.

Great week at BC and in our community.  Let me start with the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

Thursday was the 28th annual Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference and Bakersfield College staff and faculty were in full force attending the workshops and tuning into the messages from keynote speakers. The conference allows women in business to network, find mentors, and develop friendships with to advance their careers and or businesses. Many of the workshops focus on topics from a feminine perspective and included topics on health and wellness addressing healthy lifestyles, nutrition and breast cancer. Communication workshops addressed techniques for overcoming lessons learned as girls to be more effective in the business world. There were several on maintaining the balance of work and family.

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Josie Gullian and Endee Grijalva

The Conference also held many empowering workshops on leadership such as “Secure Your Place at the Table – Women Leading in Male Dominant Territory” by District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, Assembly Member Shannon Grove, and Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez.

While the name and focus of the conference is women, men are also welcome and there were many workshops that were gender neutral on many business topics including business strategies, leadership and finance. Richard Chapman, head of Kern EDC, presented on “Kern County’s Economic and Workforce Development Opportunities and Possibilities.” The keynote speakers and many of the workshop speakers were motivational for everyone.

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The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference is a major supporter of the R.O.S.E. (Realizing Options for Student Excellence) mentor program. The program matches high school students with mentors and has several seminars, to aid student mentees in recognizing their value and self-worth. Topics for the seminars focus on careers, communication, balancing life, money, safety and building self-confidence. The mentees receive a scholarship to cover the cost of attending the BWBC. Conference attendees were impressed by one of the mentees that spoke about the benefits of being in the program and to encourage all the women present to become a mentor. This is a wonderful program and I encourage all of you to consider becoming a mentor.

Like the R.O.S.E. program, BC encourages and mentors students to better themselves through education and gave some BC students the opportunity to attend the BWBC. EOPS/CARE/CalWORKS purchased two tables, and sponsored fourteen women from all three programs to attend the 2018 Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference. These ladies are all single parents who are striving to achieve a better life for their families through education. The importance of exposing our students to different events such as the BWBC is vital to their growth, and development as students, professionals, and individuals. They were able to develop networking skills, meeting highly successful women, and gaining valuable business knowledge that will empower them to become strong leaders.

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Debi Anderson, Steve Watkin, and Sandi Taylor at BC’s Booth

The 2018 luncheon keynote speak was Laila Ali, undefeated boxing champion, television host and entrepreneur. She is also well known for her famous father Mohamed Ali and treated BWBC attendees to several picture of her young self with her famous and doting father. She told us of many of the trials in her life that she overcame to be a successful and very driven business woman. Her stories were relatable to what many women and girls face in this time and she is a great example of encouragement for all women.

Joseph Luiz has a Bakersfield Californian Article mentioning highlights from the day.

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Kimberly Bligh and Mary Jo Pasek

i-gmdtwhz-x3It was great to be invited to be the closing keynote at the Women’s Business Conference.  BC women leaders gave birth to this event. Phyllis Hullett – In 1989, BC professor started the Bakersfield Business Womens Conf. as an idea during the International Year of the Woman. She gathered friends and coworkers, and out of one meeting of 12 women and 1 lone man, Pat Shaffer, Dean of Development at Bakersfield College, agreed to serve on the executive board. The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference was born.

I focused on the important guiding tools of Choice, Commitment, Compassion, and Community while interweaving music from the song “We are the World.”  The session concluded by having about 25 women leaders on the stage in red We are Bakersfield t-shirts singing We are the World with the BC Chamber Singers.

I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever and by the end of my talk, I was surrounded on stage by talented musicians, community leaders, fellow educators, friends, and family. We are Bakersfield! 

Loved Robin Mangarin Scott’s introduction of me in that beautiful voice.  Robin was representing the sponsors of the keynote — Dignity health and CBCC.

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I want to start by thanking Heidi Scott.  If it wasn’t for Heidi, I would not have had the courage to do the music.

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Heidi Scott, Sonya Christian

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We invited the whole audience to stand and join us in song.

 

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Kaya Leyendecker and Heidi Scott

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The Chamber Singers had their Spring Concert at the BC Indoor Theater the same evening.  Yet they decided to come our and support me and do We are the World..  Thank you Jen Garrett.  Your energy is astounding and you are out there constantly giving to others.

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BC Chamber Singers

Was so happy to have women leaders from Delano join us.  Thank you April Gregerson for organizing this.  and thank you Rosalina Rivera and Sandra Rivera.

Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Sonya Christian, April Gregerson

Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Sonya Christian, April Gregerson

Thank you to all these fabulous busy women who showed up support the event.

Community Leaders

Liz Rozell, April Gregerson, Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Ingrid Lake, Cathy Abernathy, Raji Brar, Immani Brar

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Pam Rose, Mia Cifuentes, Victoria, Lilly Agbalog, Cheryl Scott, Lauren Skidmore

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Trustee Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Michael Bowers

 

Cathy Abernathy and Sonya Christian

Cathy Abernathy, Sonya Christian

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Cheryl Scott, Sonya Christian

Thank you Norma Rojas-Mora for helping me recruit the women leaders in our community.

Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas Mora, Lisa Kent

Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora, Lisa Kent

Was happy to meet Bethany Rice, Billie Jo Rice’s daughter.  Beautiful, smart young woman.  And then the lighting and sound guys, Manny Gomez and Ryan McCallah, who let me know they were also the ones who did the work in setting up the lighting and sound systems in BC’s newly remodeled Indoor Theater!

 

 

Thank you to the 2018 Executive Board, Diane Williams, Norma Rojas-Mora, Marisol ONeil, Susan Spears, Arleana Waller, Diane Williams, Christina Springstaad, Irma Cervantes, Tayna Nichols, Deanna Blaise, Marelle Williams, LaMeka Ross, Leigh Pozas, and Colleen Bauer. bwbc-group-768x513

Thank you for being great sports and wearing the We are Bakersfield t-shirt and joining us on stage

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Thank you to Manny De Los Santos, William Velasquez, Monika Scott, Jennifer Serratt, and Asha Chandy.  Here are some photos of the folks behind the scenes.

Loved this photo of William Velasquez relaxing after the session.

William Velasquez

 

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BC Crew in Attendance

Kern County Black Chamber Honors Bakersfield College

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Bakersfield College were honored by the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce with the Outstanding Corporate Member Award. In accepting the award, I acknowledged the efforts of all those who have worked hard on the African American Initiative and Dr. Zav Dadabhoy for being an “equity” champion and finding the necessary resources to support the equity agenda.

I specifically recognized the efforts of Dr. Paula Parks, Umoja Community lead, in increasing the success of Black students on campus, and Mr. Steve Watkin, Director of Outreach, in increasing their access and contributing to BC’s equity agenda. I then handed the award to Steve who has been leading the AAI effort on campus.

Steve Watkin

 

BC had two tables that included administrators, faculty, staff, and Umoja students.

Sonya Christian, Steve Watkin and BC receiving award at KCBCC

Also honored at 15th Annual Gala was CSUB President Dr. Horace Mitchell with the Lifetime Achievement Award. I will miss you Horace when you retire.  Loved seeing Cindy Pollard being recognized as the Business Woman of the Year.  Enjoyed catching up with Jim Baldwin (who won the award for Outstanding Community Organization) and Rudy Salas. Spotted Danielle Hillard, Michelle Miller-Galaz and Nick Hill and snapped a picture.

Jim Baldwin, Sonya Christian, Rudy Salas April 20 2018

Enjoyed catching up with Mayor Karen Goh who is a big supporter of education.

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Sonya Christian April 20 2018 croppedThe keynote speaker for the event was Mathew Knowles, Beyonce’s father… what a treat!  Have a picture of him with Shannon Grove and Karen Goh.

Congratulations to all other award recipients:
Cindy Pollard, the Distinguished Businesswoman Award,
James Luckey, Jr. of the News Observer, Distinguished Businessman Award,
Judge Gloria Cannon with the Business Pioneer Award,
CSUB President Horace Mitchell, the Lifetime Achievement Award
Barrington Lewis, the Outstanding New Business Award,
Sharron Lehrer, the Outstanding Young Achievers Award, and Jim Baldwin of BARC, Outstanding Community Based Organization Award.

Thank you Kern County Black Chamber (KCBCC) for recognizing Bakersfield College. Thank you Richard Soberanis, CEO of the Chamber.  And congratulations Nathan Banks…looking forward to great things under your chairmanship of the Chamber Board.

KCBCC has been a great partner of Bakersfield College and supported us in 2016 with Measure J.  I am sure we will continue to work closely together for many years to come.

Social Justice and Health Hackathon at BC

30653393_10215531998558279_9031222892318162944_nThe preliminary panel kicked off this years Hackathon and really set the stage for a fantastic and meaningful event.  Each of the panel members discussed what were the pressing issues and the solutions they wanted to explore. This helped the teams form around the issues and begin developing ideas.  Over the next three days, teams worked hard to develop these concepts and then competed in a 3 minute pitch, one page community impact report, and technology competition.

Thank you to Mayor Karen Goh for attending the kick off and inspiring the student teams.

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Mayor Karen Goh inspires at the Hackathon Kick Off

Thank you to the Preliminary Session on Health Inequality Challenges and Solution panelists including, moderator Kiyoshi Tomono, Genevieve Gale, Sandy Woo, Brynn Carrigan, Michelle Corson, Christy Leyvas,and Jack Becker.

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Eddie Rangel, Sandy Woo, Karen Goh, Kiyoshi Tomono, Jennifer Self, Sarah Baron

By the end of the competition, 11 projects had been submitted and community partners have expressed interest in funding their ideas! All the student groups submitted great projects and please do stay in touch with us for years to come. Now for the finalists and winning team!

Project Kern Air- 1st Place

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Created an app concept to raise awareness on air quality in Kern

Congratulations to: Noe Ramirez, Victoria Corrales, Troy Scott, Justin Morales, and
Krystal Reynes

 

R.A.H.T ( Renegade Against Human Trafficking)- 2nd Place

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Created a tech tool to help connect those who are victims of human trafficking with help.

Congratulations to: Janneth Guarcas Garcia, Alexander Glascock,  Carlos Hernandez, Maria Cabrera, and Stefanie Medina

Sex shouldn’t make you next- 3rd Place

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Created a website for youth to raise awareness sexual transmitted diseases and also help connect resources to those who are risk of a STD.

Congratulations to: Yajaira Hernandez, Elizabeth Martinez, Jessica Macias, Jessica Jaime, and Crystal Quintevo.

Beyond the winners, it was about the team work, the sharing of ideas and networking with partners.  Special thanks to the sponsors and the great support from BCSGA clubs.

Can’t wait for next years event! This one keeps getting bigger and better! Check out my blog titled “The Renegade Experience is Incredible” from last years equally awesome event.

Jess Nieto Memorial Conference: Exploring Chicano Studies at BC

The conference really hit home…It felt like a family reunion.” Francisco Barroso, Bakersfield College student.

Jess Nieto Memorial Conference

On Tuesday, April 17 the Levan Center for the Humanities hosted the first annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference: Exploring Chicano Studies at Bakersfield College.  Named after the late Dr. Jesus “Jess” Nieto, a former faculty member and Dean of the BC Delano Center in the 1970s, the conference honored Dr. Nieto’s legacy in creating the first Chicano Studies curriculum implemented at Bakersfield College.  A Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), this conference celebrated the cultural contributions of Bakersfield’s Chicano/Latino community to the history of Bakersfield and beyond.

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Corny Rodriguez speaking in the Levan Center

The conference featured two panel presentations and a keynote address.  Prior to the panels, Corny Rodriguez welcomed guests, as well as presenting, along with moderator Octavio Barajas a certificate of recognition on my behalf to Professor Rosa Garza in acknowledgement for her more than twenty years of teaching at Bakersfield College, as well as serving as faculty advisor to MEChA.  The first panel consisted of former and current student members of the Bakersfield College student organization MEChA, or Movimieno Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán.

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The second panel consisted of an academic showcase by Bakersfield College faculty members Professors Olivia Garcia and Javier Llamas, who discussed the history of women in farm labor activism and the historic Benito Juarez Hall in East Bakersfield as a site of community activism among local Mexican Americans for the past century.  Professor Garcia’s talk on the late Esther Uranday, one of the longest serving staff members of the United Farm Workers, was particularly meaningful given that Esther’s daughter and family members were in attendance.

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Professor Gonzalo Santos of CSU Bakersfield rounded out the faculty panel by discussing the personal of history of Jess Nieto as an international activist, through his various educational and social justice ties with Cuba, Central America, and China, including a number of educational exchange programs Dr. Nieto organized with education groups since the 1970s.  The final presentation included a book talk by Professor Ralph Ambruster-Sandoval of UC Santa Barbara who spoke about his latest book Starving For Justice: Hunger Strikes, Spectacular Speech, and the Struggle for Dignity (University of Arizona Press 2016).  Guests were also treated to a special performance by Bakersfield College alumnus and world-renown percussionist Louie Cruz Beltran who regaled the audience with a lesson on the history of Afro-Latino rhythms and Chicano music.

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Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia speaking in the Levan Center

See all the photos at Smugmug.

A very special thank you to Adjunct Professor of History Octavio Barajas for helping organize and moderate this event, as well as Dr. Oliver Rosales, Professor of History and Faculty Coordinator for the Social Justice Institute of Bakersfield College for sponsoring this event through the National Endowment for the Humanities grant “Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley,” as well as the Bakersfield College Student Government Association’s CCA Grant.

I also enjoyed seeing Octavio on KGET early Tuesday morning.  You can see the clip here.

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And did you miss his community voices piece?  It is available here.

It’s a joy to work with faculty and staff who love what they do and are so passionate about our students and community. Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

Renegade Athletics

Softball: We won the Conference Championship

Softball conference champions April 19 2018

Nathan Ortiz4Baseball: The baseball team sits in first place in the Western State-South Conference with three games remaining in the regular season.

The Renegades record is 19-18 overall and 13-4 in conference.  BC has won 7 out of their last ten games and are one game ahead of LA Pierce in the standings.  The Renegades have to win two of their last three games to guarantee themselves at least a tie for the conference title.

Team Photo

With Sandi Taylor on Saturday, April 14th after another win.

Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian April 14 2018

Men’s and Women’s Swimming: The men’s swimming team is in fourth place and the women’s swimming team is in second place after day one of the Western State Conference Championships.  The Championships, which are being held at the William A. Wheeler Aquatic Center, on BC’s Panorama campus will continue through Saturday afternoon.

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The Bakersfield College men’s swimming team is in fourth place after day one of the Western State Conference Championships.  Cael Osborn and Mark Glossbrenner were on two relay team that finished in the top four and also finished in the top three in an individual event.  The complete list of BC’s top finishers is below.

The BC women’s swim team sits in second place after day one of the Western State Conference Championship.  Niquelette Rimer had third place finish in 50 free and was part of two relay teams that finished in the top three and Jennifer Quan was part of two relay teams that finished in the top three.  The top BC finishers from day one are listed below.

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Jennifer Quan

Renegade Pulse Health Fair

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Bakersfield College is distinctive in so many ways, and one important way is in how we live our core value of health and wellness. The health of a community is directly related to literacy and education in general, and BC has many activities that promote healthy living, including the 18th Annual Renegade Pulse Health Fair.

The event is part resource fair and part celebration of the programs, agencies and services that support the health and success of students and  the community at large. With over 31,000 students, we are a community nested in a community. So, thank you to all who support healthy higher education, from green transportation to our campus facilities, Golden Empire Transit, to quality licensed Community Connection for Child Care.

Teena Bensusen (left) and Amber Smithson from the Behavioral Health Hospital host a booth at the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Teena Bensusen (left) and Amber Smithson from the Behavioral Health Hospital host a booth at the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

The Renegade Pulse Health Fair brought together healthcare organizations, substance abuse support groups, law enforcement agencies and businesses from across the community to educate students on how to live a safer, healthier life.

BC’s Public Safety Department booth had equipment used during Public Safety’s Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Trainings, which are offered for free to students and staff throughout the semester. Student Cadets also answered questions about Public Safety’s cadet program, in which BC students have the opportunity to work part-time helping ensure safety on campus. Public Safety is looking for cadets for the Fall 2018 semester, so if you’re a BC student who is interested in joining the program, contact the office at 395-4554 for more information.

Members of the Student Health and Wellness Advisory Commitee pose inside the Health Hut during the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Members of the Student Health and Wellness Advisory Committee pose inside the Health Hut during the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Thank you to the Student Health and Wellness Center including Dr. Ray Purcell and Stella Ponce for putting together the Renegade Pulse Health Fair, as well as all of the organizations who came out to support a healthier Kern County. See more photos at BC’s Smugmug.

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Revisiting Two Cultures

The disciplines of the humanities and the sciences can feel as if they’re worlds apart, but UC Santa Barbara professor Alendra Chang spoke at the Levan Center on Thursday to explain how she brings those two worlds together through the study of environmental humanities, which examines themes of ecology in art and mass media.

Alenda Chang

BC’s Energizing Humanities Grant funded the discussion from Dr. Chang, which was titled “Revisiting the Two Cultures.” Many artists, writers and others have begun to explore ways that art and popular culture can raise awareness of the importance of environmental causes, using data from scientific research to inform their work. Essays in scientific academic journals, and several new academic journals have signaled the emergence of Ecomedia as a field of study that examines cultural representations of the environment in media.

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Alendra Chang presents at the Levan Center

Environmental engagement in the humanities combines social and scientific engagement. Journalists, artists and others may feel uncomfortable with scientific approaches, just as many scientists may have trouble engaging in the humanities, but there is emerging awareness of the need to work together to find solutions to environmental problems.

Within the field of environmental humanities, Chang studies the ecology and ecomedia of video games. As editor of the Growing Games blog and a professor of media studies, Chang examines the carbon footprint created by e-waste and the excessive power used by gaming PCs, which can consume the equivalent power of three energy-efficient refrigerators, Chang said. Chang also attempts to dispel the notion that excessive video game use makes people feel detached from nature, citing multiple studies indicating that virtual reality can make people more conscious of their external environment and motivate them to take action on climate change.

During her time as a graduate student at UC Berkeley, Chang worked on an unpublished game about air quality based in the Central Valley that used actual wind speed and air quality data from the area. In the game, you play as a character from Fresno with asthma who must navigate how to keep their lungs clean in one of the worst places for respiratory health in America. In the game, the player’s asthma functions as a superpower that helps them perceive the environment in a different way.

Within the indie and academic games spaces, there have been a number of works that explore environmental humanist themes, Chang said. Some examples she listed included ThatGameCompany’s “Flower”, in which you play as the wind to bring life back to plants; Campo Santo’s “Firewatch”, which is about a man who takes a job as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness; and “Walden, a game”, a project funded by the National Endowment of the Humanities that is essentially a digital recreation of Henry David Thoreau’s book “Walden”, one of the seminal works of the American transcendentalism movement in the 19th Century.

delano-grant-logo-neh_logo_horizontal_rgbWarm thank you to Alendra Chang for coming to BC, as well as Josh Ottum, Oliver Rosales and Andrew Bond from the Energizing Humanities cohort for providing a great learning opportunity for those who have never heard of environmental humanities or didn’t realize that computer games were capable of helping tackle important social issues.

Seen on Facebook

It was fabulous to see Jazz Day at BC gain some attention from the National Association for Music Education. Our local KCMEA, Kern County Music Educators Association, is a chapter of CMEA, which is an affiliate of NAfME. Congratulations to Kris Tiner and all our performing arts and music faculty, staff, and students.

Give them a Like and share by visiting this link on Facebook!

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College Council

Jason Stratton

Jason Stratton Presenting at College Council

It’s an exciting time to be at BC. As we gear up for Accreditation this year, our editing team revealed BC’s ISER (Institutional Self Evaluation Report) at College Council on Friday. College Council is a collegial, consultative, and oversight body designed to serve the good of the College.

Since the group met in Delano, we also broadcast the ISER reveal to the Panorama campus.

ISER reveal Broadcast

Sharon Bush, Kimberly Nickell, and Kristin Rabe tune in to the ISER Reveal from Panorama

Special thank you to the Editing Team including Nicole Griffin, Sarah Baron, Lesley Bonds, Sondra Keckley, the incredible Nick Strobel and EVERYONE who has contributed to BC’s Self Evaluation Report.  As Jason Stratton reminds us – It is OUR story!

ISER Team

Nicole Griffin, Sarah Baron, Lesley Bonds, Sondra Keckley, and Nick Strobel

Entree to Employment

On April 17, 2018, Bakersfield College and Kern High School District ROC teamed up to host the Biannual Entrée to Employment event. This career event brings together students and industry professionals over a fine dining experience to highlight social etiquette, conversations about personal and professional experiences, necessary soft skills, workforce expectations, education requirements, diversity of employment and career ladder opportunities.

The evening featured four different programs: Electronics/Robotics, Mechanized Ag, Child Development and Criminal Justice. While the industry professionals and students were busy networking, the Bakersfield College and ROC faculty dined separately to discuss articulation partnerships and dual enrollment opportunities. Thank you to the Career and Technical Education Department for making this night happen and a special thank you to the Renegade Room, Chef Suzanne and her Culinary Arts students for delivering a 5-star cuisine meal that delighted participants. Overall the event was a huge success and a true demonstration of our expanding partnerships with the community.

CTE: Business and Computer Science Employer Panel

Thursday April 19, 2018 the Career and Technical Education Department hosted a Business and Computer Science Employer Panel for students in the program. Professionals in attendance included: Leo Bautista, Senior Recruiter – Talent Acquisition, The Wonderful Company; Steven Alexander, Director of IT Security –  Kern Community College District; Keith Wolaridge, Owner – Professional Development Firm; Scott Burton, CEO – On-Stack; Clayton Montgomery, Certified Information Systems Security – Area Energy; Trulaine Woken, Owner – Cones Health Food; and Debbie Butler, Secretary Treasurer & Project Manager – On Stack. What started as an information only session blossomed into a networking event that allowed our students to exchange information with employers, submit their resumes for consideration, and engage in preliminary interviews. Thank you to all of the employers who stayed almost 2 hours longer to provide these exciting opportunities for our students. Special thank you to Beth Harrison, Job Development Specialist and Vikki Coffee, Job Development Specialist, for coordinating the event and Martin Perez, CCPT2 Manager, Master of Ceremonies for the event whose humor, grasp of the subject matter, and navigation of the dialog, cultivated an organic and insightful exchange between community professionals and students.

CTE Panel (2)

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Noche de Cultura

Thank you to the BC MEChA Club and the Office of Student Life for putting on a wonderful program with its annual Noche de Cultura, a colorful evening filled with an array of singers, musicians and other performers. Noche de Cultura was held April 13 at the Outdoor Theater.

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The night opened with Aztecan Blessing, followed by Jammin Island Hula, Group Folklorico Escuelas Unidas, Spoken Word by Tezozomoc, Carbajal’s Martial ArtsAcademy, and Banshee in the Kitchen. One big highlight was seeing the performance by SGA President and MECHA President Dezi Von Manos who gave a tribute to the late Tejana superstar Selena.

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Dezi Von Manos, BCSGA President

Ballet Folklorico Huaztecalli closed the evening with an awestruck series of performances. A special thanks to the program committee, Dezi Von Manos, president; Emmanuel Limaco, ICC Rep; Belinda Lopez Rickett, treasurer; Francis Benavente, member; and faculty adviser, Prof. Olivia Garcia.

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BC Drum Corps

BC’s Drum Corps is competing in Dayton, Ohio at the Winter Guard International Championships! Go Gades! The competition can be watched online at www.flomarching.com/ 

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Accessibility for All

This week, Bakersfield College had the pleasure of hosting an expert in accessibility, Gaeir Dietrich Director of the High Tech Center Training Unit (HTCTU) of the California Community Colleges, for two training sessions and a presentation over two days on Accessibility for All. You can read a short bio about Gaeir on the Accessibility for All Flyer.

On Tuesday, Gaier trained over 20 Bakersfield College faculty, staff and community guests from the Department of Rehabilitation and Kern Regional Center. She taught the difficult and intricate skills of making PDF forms accessible to everyone whether they use assistive technology or not.

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Twenty-four BC faculty, staff and community guests attended Wednesday’s Accessible Documents trainings. We were pleased to have employees of Kern Regional Center, Taft College, College of the Sequoias and Department of Rehabilitation join us to learn about making Word documents accessible. We all think we know how to use Word, though most of us are self-taught. Gaeir teaches how to make documents accessible, and in so doing, teaches how to use Word to our advantage.

Many of her lessons, just as with the forms, teach a better understanding of using the software that allows us to work smarter not harder. She teaches the helpful acronym: LIST for access! The lessons teach about Links, Images, Structure and Tables. Many of the attendees, just like the attendees for Forms, were heard to exclaim, “that’s how you do it” and “I always wanted to be able to do that, but I didn’t know how.”

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The Accessibility for All presentation followed where Gaeir explained the difference between access and accommodation when it comes to satisfying the legal requirements established by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires public entities to make its resources accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act concerns access for everyone, ensuring that all content posted electronically, as well as any software procured, can be used by anyone. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act concerns the provision of “auxiliary aids and services” to accommodate individuals with a particular impairment.

Everyone deserves the right to an education, and educational institutions have an obligation to ensure that we are not depriving anyone of the ability to achieve upward mobility and accomplish their dreams. Community colleges in particular must be sensitive to this issue due to the marginalized populations we serve.

“[Accessibility] is about allowing people the opportunity to step forward, which is what community colleges are all about,” Dietrich said. “By learning to make things accessible, you can make an important impact on someone’s life.”

Dietrich also offered advice for how to test accessibility in a new piece of software that schools are attempting to procure, as well as a few implementation models for how to enforce accessibility standards. Throughout the presentation, Dietrich emphasized the importance of finding the financial and personnel support to tackle accessibility issues from the top of the organizational structure on down. Remember if it is “DUMP’ed (Developed, Used, Maintained or Procured) on campus it must be accessible!”

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Terri Goldstein and Gaeir Dietrich

I would like to thank Gaeir Dietrich for coming to our campus to provide this important information and training for the BC faculty, staff and our community. We hope to have you return soon. A special thank you to Terri Goldstein, for arranging Gaier’s presence on campus, and inviting those interested both at BC and from others in the community. Thank you Kristin Rabe, Tracy Lovelace, Pam Rivers, Aricia Leighton and the BC Accessibility Task Force for supporting Terri. Thank you Tarina Perry for making arrangements and organizing all the events on campus. Thank you Eric Sabella and the Food Services staff for the delicious food and Jack Hernandez and the Levan Center for use of the Levan Center for the presentation. I would also like to thank all of the faculty and staff who took time at the end of the semester to learn more about accessibility.

According to the US Census Bureau approximately  19% of the US population has some form of disability, but whatever the number, BC strives to make sure there are no barriers to accessibility for anyone in the community.

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Student Success Stories

This is the time of year I am especially excited to hear student success stories and what our Renegades are planning to do after graduation. Ensuring that students can transfer to continue their studies and/or get jobs in their career of choice is our number one goal. Here are two wonderful examples I heard of this week. Congratulations!

Fredrico Navarro has been acccepted to UC Irvine Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Valeria Tapia has been accepted to UC Santa Barbara in Biology.

Special Delivery from Edwards Air Force Base

i-kwrmksh-x2The Edwards Air Force Base Civilian-Military Support Group is a non-profit organization that helps provide services to soldiers living at Edwards Air Force Base. The organization recently sent BC a book documenting its over 25-year history of making life a little better for those who dedicate their lives to serving our country.

The group hosts fundraising events that have helped provide an Internet Café for the officers’ dormitory complex, the Flags of Honor Memorial Park, and other resources for residents at the base. The book titled “25 Years Support Warriors” honors all of the organization’s contributions to the base over the years, and copies are being sent to US Air Force installations around the world as an example of how military bases can form important partnerships with their surrounding communities.  Thank you to Allen Hoffman for sending the book, which is now housed in our Veterans Resource Center.

Bakersfield Homeless Center Fundraiser

On Wednesday, the Bakersfield Homeless Center had a great turnout at their Annual Drive Thru Lunch Fundraiser. The lunch pickup took place at Compassion Corner at 22nd and L behind the KGET studios . All the proceeds went to helping families experiencing homelessness.

Fundraiser lunch

Here’s a picture of Edie Nelson’s husband John Nelson, who picked up the special lunch for staff in the President’s Office who wanted to support this great cause. Thank you John, and thanks to all who contributed to this annual fundraiser!

John Nelson

CCCCO in Bakersfield.

Loved having lunch with Van Ton-Quinlivan, Executive Vice Chancellor of Technology and Workforce Development, when she was in Bakersfield.

Von Ton Quinllivan visits Bakersfield April 16 2018

Ed Coghlan, John Means, Van Ton-Quinlivan, Sonya Christian, Cindy Collier, Craig Hayward

Fun photos from Garden Fest:

Love this picture of “Uncle Paul” as Abby, Lily and Lexy Garrett call Paul Beckworth in this picture with Sandra Beckworth.

Paul Beckworth, Sandra Beckworth, Abby Garrett, Lily Garrett, Lexy Garrett April 21 2018

The Vice Presidents enjoying their saturday with their families.  Including little Miss Mae.

 

Fun photo of Tom Gelder

Very happy to see Chancellor Tom Burke at Garden Fest

Tom Burke with Corny Rodriguez

 

 

We are the World!
We are Bakersfield!
We are BC!

 

 

Sonya Christian April 20 2018 cropped

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Holiday Gift List: A College Education

Sonya and Cheer Squad

Photo by April Massirio

Wishing you a Merry Christmas

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 23 2017 and a great day to be a Renegade!

It’s the peak of December and the season’s hustle and bustle is leaving us more festive-minded. We clutch our peppermint lattes a little tighter (and for me always a soy latte) and we let Judy Garland remind us a few more times that we should have a merry little Christmas. And gifts are everywhere! Knickknacks, treats, toys; one right after another. There are a few gifts that we hold a little closer: the gift of family, the gift of friendship, the gift of peace…

Students in the welcome center

Student Employee April Whitfield assists
student Zadden Pimentel register for Spring 2018 classes.

Our recently restructured Administration Building lobby is now the Bakersfield College Welcome Center and it’s the perfect place to unwrap BC’s gift to our community: the gift of education.

The Welcome Center is a one-stop location for all new and current students. Want to enroll at BC? There’s a team of student ambassadors who have got you covered. Need to clear a hold? They’ll help you out. Having trouble using the online student portal to register for classes? They can guide you through.

Education is a gift that you can help give someone else or that you can give yourself. This holiday season, consider the gift of education. It is truly one of the great equalizers. Our students know that education opens the doors of all opportunity. BC’s faculty, staff, and administration are here to help you open those doors!

Monday Morning

Speaking of opening those doors… what a treat it was to walk in on Monday morning to see two hard working individuals who have a great heart for BC and our students.

Mary Jo Pasek and Ramon Puga

Mary Jo Pasek and Ramon Puga

Superheroes in IT

In today’s educational landscape, it’s important for our campus to be as technologically robust as possible to accommodate our 30,000 students and over 1,000 faculty and staff members with assignments, grading, vocational training, distance education and more.

Todd Coston

Todd Coston, IT Director

Our IT Department, led by Todd Coston,  works year-round to keep up with all of BC’s technological needs. Currently, we have seven system support specialists that maintain over 3,000 computers at the various BC campuses, as well as all non-computer devices such as printers, phones or cameras. The IT Department is also in charge of managing complex instructional software systems for our 3D printers, nursing simulation mannequins, automotive equipment, AutoCAD, industrial automation equipment and more.

This year alone, IT replaced several hundred computers in offices and labs across all campus sites. Our IT team is an incredible group of people and two of the staff at BC, relocated from our sister colleges at Porterville and Cerro Coso, and they commute over 2 hours to and from work every day. One comes from Palmdale and one from Fresno. Another tech has been at BC for over 25 years! What an incredible love for BC, our students, and our community. We’re lucky to have them.

For 2018, the IT department is planning on replacing more of the older computers on campus and figuring out their big projects for the summer, including adding over 250 additional wireless access points across the Panorama campus so that all of our internal buildings have full wi-fi coverage.

Home for the Holidays

Jen Garrett and Carl Topilow Dec 16 2017

Jennifer Garrett, Carl Topilow

The magic of Christmas came alive with the third annual performance by The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra on December 16 at the Fox Theatre. I excitedly shared that the performance would also feature the Bakersfield College Choir with Dr. Jennifer Garrett and it was a complete hit. Featured in the show was Ron Keans’ “The Rose That Bare Jesu,” a beautiful work based on a 14th-century carol, commissioned by the Jean Sebastian Vallee who is the conductor of the Mountainside Master Chorale. The Mountainside Master Chorale is located in Claremont, CA and you can learn more about them on their website.

Dr. Garrett tells me she wanted to perform the piece during the Home for the Holidays concert, but it was only written for piano. Jack Bertrand, one of our Chamber Singers who is also the choral director at North High School, did and incredible job with the orchestration. Jen tells me she feels so fortunate to have been able to conduct the piece in concert, and she considers it a huge honor. It was lovely that Ron would come to rehearsal as well and share about the piece.

Jennifer Garrett.jpg

Susan Scaffidi wrote a lovely teaser article for this event on Bakersfield.com. Check it out here.

I was sitting next to Michael Turnipseed and his wife Nancy.  I unfortunately missed the opportunity to get a picture of them, but here are a few photos from that evening.

Lisa Kent with her mom, Emma Robles, and her son Gabriel Adame.

With Heidi Allison and Janet Tarjan, and with Mike Stepanivich.

 

 

Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra Home for the Holidays

Photo from Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra on Facebook

I captured a few videos for my blog

Allelujiah and When the Saints go Marching in

Its Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

We need a little Christmas

Sleigh Ride

Last year for the BSO-BC Home for the Holidays concert I captured this piece with Ken Burdick and Monty Byrom performing the David Bowie-Bing Crosby rendition of Drummer Boy — check it out.

 

Cal-SOAP Winter Staff Development

CalSOAP Staff

The California Student Opportunities and Access Program (Cal-SOAP) is designed to increase the number of students attending college.  The program serves students who are from low-income families, will be the first in their family to attend college, or are from areas or schools with low-eligibility or college-going rates.

Team Building Activity

Cal-SOAP was established by the state legislature in 1978 and today operates projects in 14 locations throughout the state.  The Southern San Joaquin Valley Cal-SOAP Consortium officially became a part of Bakersfield College on March 2017.  Cal-SOAP hires professional experts to serve as College Peer Advisors for 21 high schools within the Southern San Joaquin Valley.  Cal-SOAP held their Winter Staff Development Series from December 18-20, 2017.

Group Break Out Session

The staff development series included team-building activities around trust, communication, and leadership; CCC Apply, along with Bakersfield College’s matriculation steps, onsite assessment, and the BC enrollment registration process.  The spring semester focus for Cal-SOAP at high schools will be on BC matriculation, onsite registration, recruitment for the Kern Promise, and financial aid applications, which were among the training topics covered.

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CARE & CalWORKs Holiday Celebration

Holiday Celebration15The EOPS department celebrated Christmas early on December 15th to ensure that their students who are also parents were provided the opportunity to enjoy a day of love, laughter, and family.  The Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) program promotes student success by offering specialized services to single parents receiving public assistance (CalWORKs/TANF/Tribal TANF).  The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) is a parent program that provides education, employment training, support services, and work study opportunities to increase wage earning power, leading to self-sufficiency.  Many of the students on the program do not have the available resources necessary to celebrate the holiday season.  The holiday celebration is one of many ways that the CARE and CalWORKs programs show their support and appreciation for the students’ hard work and dedication throughout the year.

Holiday Celebration19The “Adopt a Family” program is a holiday treat for these parents and their children.  Families were adopted by BC faculty, staff, and community members, ensuring that every child is granted a special holiday gift from their wish list.  The program raises funds throughout the year to support the Holiday Celebration held at the Rollerama with food and gifts for all the students and their children.

Bakersfield College has continued to grow the EOPS program in the last few years. There were 1,430 EOPS participants at Bakersfield College last year, which was an increase of 43% from the previous academic year. The percentage of the student population participating in EOPS was 4.5% in 2016-2017, which was higher than the Statewide average of 3.8 percent.

eops

At KCCD

Here is a photo I snapped with Tom Burke, Chancellor KCCD, and Jill Board, President of Cerro Coso at our recent meeting.

Sonya Christian, Tom Burke, Jill Board Dec 19 2017

Here is Tom Burke with Debbie Martin, Vice Chancellor of Finance; Tonya Davis, Vice Chancelor of Human Resources, and Gary Moser, Vice Chancellor of Information Technology.

Debbie Martin, Tom Burke, Tonya Davis, Gary Moser Dec 19 2017.jpg

Debbie Martin, Tom Burke, Tonya Davis, Gary Moser

Success and Equity TV

A great 13-minute show of Jack Hernandez and Nicolas David Meise with the fabulous Francis Mayer on BC’s Success and Equity TV.  The two authors discuss their pieces “Bridges” and “Nobody till Somebody Loves You”.

Speaking of Nobody till Somebody loves you, let’s hear the namesake Dean Martin song.

Dual Enrollment Holiday Party

The Dual Enrollment Program helps high school students to get a jump start on college by earning college and high school credit at the same time. Students can take Dual Enrollment courses in a variety of disciplines and fields including general education and career pathway courses that align with local industry needs. In addition to saving time and money, dual enrollment courses help prepare students for the rigors of college level studies.

It was great to see this hardworking and dedicated team get festive and enjoy some fun together. Here are some photos from Anna Laven‘s Facebook.

CTE Holiday Group Shot

CTE Holiday Group Photo

I snapped this picture of Andrea Thorson and her three sons yesterday, Dec 22, 2017 when they were on campus

Andrea Thorson with her three sons Dec 19 2017.jpg

Happy Holidays

2017 Christmas Tree in the Lobby

 Happy Holidays from the staff, faculty, and administration at BC!

The philosopher Neo

December 10 Neo 1.jpg

December 10 2017 Neo 2.jpg

December 10 2017 Neo 3.jpg

 

Neo and Sonya Christian Dec 18 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya
— the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Scholars, Artists, Sports and Summer Camps

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, July 21st and a great day to be a Renegade.

Magnolia

Source: Pixabay.com

Have you had your trees trimmed? This was my first…a beautiful Magnolia in the front yard right next to a Brazilian Pepper tree.  I have always loved the Magnolia tree as well as the flower.  Actually, who does not….. It is like riding a train.  Everyone likes a train ride.  The tree is magnificent and regal in shades of dark green that rises tall, dense, and vibrant.  The flower, which blooms once a year usually between February and June is just breathtakingly beautiful – the fragrance rich and intoxicating.

Here is what Kitty Bishop had to say about the Magnolia:

In art, specifically Chinese art, the magnolia is used as a symbol of feminine sweetness and beauty. In China, magnolia flowers are symbols of purity and nobility. In Japan, the magnolia is used as a medicinal and ornamental plant. The flower is called Hanakotoba in the Japanese system of flower symbolism. This means that the flower is sublime, natural and shows love for nature. Magnolias are associated with the life force and are often presented at births.

Both trees were encroaching on the neighbor’s yard.  Michael and his assistants worked diligently over the course of a day to shape these trees that had originally been planted too close to each other, too close to the property boundary, and had never been trimmed. Meticulous work, and good pruning makes good neighbors…

Before:

End of day 1 pictures

The final product.  Trees trimmed.  Michael, you did an outstanding job!

The Brazilian Pepper tree had developed a strange shape under the constraints of its competition with the magnolia and quest to seek the sun.  I am still making up my mind if I like this naturally formed “bonsai” of the pepper tree.

Coach Hughes stops by!

Rich Hughes, Sonya Christian, Aaron Chavez July 12 2017On Wednesday, July 12th, Coach Rich Hughes and Aaron Chavez stopped by to see me late in the afternoon after their class. The reason they stopped by was to present me with a Championship t-shirt and pendent. Wow! The pendent is such a valuable item and there were few made so I was surprised that Coach Hughes decided to present one to me. Wow!  So honored!  Check out the shirt that Aaron and I are holding and check out the pendant in the palm of my right hand.

I was impressed in my conversation with both Hughes and Chavez, the academic performance focus they had in developing of the whole person of each student athlete. They talked about supporting the students so that they can transfer and thrive beyond Bakersfield College.  And in addition, they had a competitive and winning team.  I am indeed the luckiest and happiest college president ever. #WeAreBC

Renegade Basketball was incredible last season. The coaches worked hard and the students worked hard. You could see it at every game. The passion, the focus, the talent, and everyone working as a team.

The 2016-2017 Basketball Roster

2016-2017 Basketball Roster

Here is the link to gogadesgo:

http://gogades.com/sports/mbkb/2016-17/releases/20170211wkct9m

Here is the link to the video by Francis Mayer

Last year our team won the conference championship as well.  See my blog at https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/02/20/bcs-talented-students-and-amazing-faculty/

2016 conf champion feb 17 2016

Aaron Chavez, Rich Hughes, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, and the winning team

 

cropped conf champions feb 17 2016 rich hughes

Coach Hughes after winning the Conf Championship Feb 17, 2016

 

Breakfast at Wimbledon

Last weekend I watched the Men’s Singles Finals of The Championships, Wimbledon, the world’s oldest tennis tournament and the only of the four Grand Slam major tournaments to still be played on grass. More than any other Grand Slam, Wimbledon strives to retain a lot of the pomp and circumstance that defined the tournament’s founding in 1877 at the height of the Victorian era, lending it an air of grandiosity similar to the Kentucky Derby in the United States.

The best part of watching the match was having a new addition to the family.  Since he fetches tennis balls in the backyard, the back and forth of the Wimbledon tennis ball on the TV screen held his attention.

At age 36, tennis legend Roger Federer won a record-breaking eighth consecutive Wimbledon singles title against Croatian Marin Cilic. Federer, a Swiss-born player considered one of the greatest in history, is now the oldest person to ever win the tournament in the Open Era and the first since Bjorn Borg in 1976 to survive all seven rounds against world-class competition without dropping a single set.

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Photo Credit: @rogerfederer on Twitter

Federer credits his success in older age to paying attention to his fitness from the beginning of his career and avoiding playing too many tournaments outside of Grand Slams. While many world-class players of Federer’s generation struggle to compete against the younger competition, including longtime rival Rafael Nadal, who was knocked out in the Round of 16 of this year’s Wimbledon tournament, Federer adds a world-record 19th Grand Slam trophy to his mantle. Check out the NY Times article, “Roger Federer Wins Record-Breaking Eighth Wimbledon Title.

BC Student STEM A-PLUS Scholars

In August 2012, Bakersfield College was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide scholarships of $3,000 per year to Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) students. This grant was called the STEM A-PLUS (Action + Persistence + Leadership + Understanding =  Success) Scholars grant. The scholarships were dedicated towards helping academically talented students who demonstrated a financial need complete their STEM degrees and transfer to Baccalaureate programs by July 2017.

The College has met and exceeded the goal with students completing and transferring with an average GPA of 3.45. Students from this program have transferred to CSUB and many University of California schools, to Cal Poly campuses, and to other prestigious universities such as Harvard University. Kudos to our STEM faculty and staff!

Over this next year, BC will be applying for another 5-year NSF grant to continue this good work, giving students the financial means to attend college while also contributing to the improvement of all students learning in STEM courses.

wayne-cooper-and-sonya-christian-at-calm-lights-dec-28-2016

Wayne Cooper, Sonya Christian at CALM. Dec 2016

I want to thank Dr. Wayne Cooper, Chemistry faculty, for leading this effort.  Here is an email from his department chair Dr. Kenward Vaughn.  Note that he signs off with the observation that “Wayne is a rare gem.”  I concur.  #WeAreBC

I want to be very, very clear that this is entirely Wayne’s fault (and those he gathered around him on this project).  I make no claims for the results generated, other than having encouraged further coffee consumption and providing an occasional ear for his version of ranting (which was like listening to large flakes of snow falling onto an already thick layer on the ground at 4 in the morning). Wayne is a rare gem.

STEM A plus scholars 2013

Initial group of A+ PLUS Scholars from 2012-2013

Latina Leaders of Kern County

Last weekend, the Latina Leaders of Kern County celebrated the 18th Annual Latinas Leading the Way Awards and Board Installation where three women in our community were honored as award recipients for making their mark in our community. The mission of the Latina Leaders of Kern County is “to foster leadership, to identify and develop opportunities for Latinas, and to influence key issues affecting our community.” The goal is beautifully stated – building a stronger community, one leader at a time.

Latina_Leaders_Facebook

Congratulations to three incredible women who are making a better Bakersfield – Raquel Pina, Chief of Family Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Hospital; Gabriela Murgia, local business owner; and Xochitl Garcia, local attorney. To see the biographies for each of these women, please visit the Latinas Leading the Way webpage.

23ABC News featured a great article, “Three local Latinas will be honored this Saturday at Latinas Leading the Way Awards.” On the video clip, I loved Xochitl’s quote “Never let someone’s no, be your no… and surround yourself with people who encourage you and believe in your dreams even when you may not.

Outgoing Latina Leaders President, Norma Rojas-Mora continues to be an inspiration to all. She is a woman with a heart for her community and tirelessly supports young women, families, Bakersfield and BC. Norma is on the BC Foundation Board of Directors and spent countless hours volunteering for Measure J, even co-chairing the Steering Committee.

Mayor Karen Goh stopped by to take a picture with the BC Team.  Thank you Mayor Goh for your support of Bakersfield College.

BC Team

Dezi Von Manos, Heather Pennella, Chelsea Esquibias, Mayor Karen Goh, Olivia Garcia, Lisa Kent

Thank you Lisa Kent for these pictures:

Latina Leaders July 15 2017

Alexis Gonzales, Nereyda Lopez, Olivia Garcia, Victoria Hernandez, Dezi Von Manos

A special thank you to our Mayor, Karen Goh for the fabulous pictures.

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The Forgotten Power of Handwritten Notes

Personalized handwritten notes are growing rarer by the day because of instant communication, text messages, emails, etc… so it’s always an extra special treat to see one on my desk.

I loved seeing this one from Diana Marroquin who shared how much she enjoys “listening and seeing the wonderful young adults who perform in the BC Band, as well as the Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corp.” The small note reminded me that I really am the luckiest and happiest college president ever. It is a gift to be surrounded by so many talented and truly gifted students, faculty, staff, colleagues, friends, and the most incredible community – Bakersfield.

IMG_5984

If you haven’t heard the BC Band, the Golden Empire Drum & Bugle Corp, or seen a BC Performing Arts program, make plans this Fall to visit campus… you won’t regret it!

 

Basketball Fundamentals Skills Camp for Girls, aged 12-18

Girls_BasketballComing soon during July 31st to August 3rd, BC is hosting the Fundamentals Skills Camp for girls aged 12-18.  Last year’s camp was a great success and the BC team is looking forward to another great event! Coach Paula Dahl is in her 24th year at BC. She played basketball at Northern Arizona University, received her BC from BYU and her MA from SDSU in Sports Psychology. She is passionate about coaching and helping athletes see the “possibilities” both on and off the floor.

The skills camp brochure/registration form is available on GoGades.com.

Culinary Arts Academy in DelanoCulinary ARts (2)

Delanonow.com featured the Culinary Arts Academy that I mentioned in my blog two weeks ago on July 8th.

Bakersfield College has a wonderful partnership with Delano Joint Union High School District (DJUHSD).  Thank you Superintendent Terri Nuckols for all that you do and it is such a pleasure working with you to offer joint programming for our students in the Delano community.

Loved this quote in the article by April Gregerson.

“We are elated to partner with Bakersfield College and the DJUHSD to offer this unique summer academy to our middle school students,” said April Gregerson, Assistant Superintendent DUESD.

“They not only received an introduction to the world of culinary arts, but they learned valuable lifelong skills that will enable them to prepare healthy and delicious meals,” Gregerson said. “Partnerships like this make learning more meaningful by allowing students to develop a mindset that their efforts in the classroom will lead to fulfilling careers in the future.”

Extra photos are displayed alongside the wonderful ones submitted by Leticia Garza. Check it out now at Delanonow.com!

Photo Gallery for “Into the Woods”

Thank you to John Farrand for the incredible photos featuring BC performing arts in the first BC musical in about 20 years! And thank you to all who came out to support the talented BC Performing Arts department! I loved seeing this photo on Instagram. Are you following BC on Social Media?

Into The Woods on Instagram

Check out all the photos from “Into the Woods” by John at BC’s Smugmug page!

SHOUT at STARS!

untitled-design4

Image Credit: bmtstars.com

Did you know two of the five actresses in the STARS Theater’s local production of “SHOUT! The Mod Musical” are Bakersfield College students? Can you tell why I’m the happiest and luckiest college president in the world? I am continually overjoyed, amazed, and inspired by our Renegades.

In the program for the ’60s jukebox musical, which runs its last weekend of shows July 27-29th, Carly Mattern is listed as a BC student studying nursing, and Madeline Engel has been featured in this blog previously for her performances in the BC Choir. It’s awesome to see BC students out in the community being their best selves. Will you see the show? Or maybe you’ve already seen it? Check out the fun video clip here where both ladies can be seen. They are identifiable by their orange (Madeline) or red dress (Carly).

And thank you Jerry Ludeke for your email bragging about our students.

Fashion Art by Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio

diego-monterrubio-with-corny-rodriguez-feb-3-2017-jpg

Diego Monterrubio, Corny Rodriguez

Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio, BC Adjunct was highlighted by The Bakersfield Californian this week  for his new apparel line with VIDA design collaborative out of San Francisco.

The article talks about how inspiration began with his mother, Rita Monterrubio, “who has been a dress designer for more than 50 years” and the article describes his line as “sporty and fun and appropriate for all ages.”  It’s a great read by author, Stefani Dias.

Thank you to The Bakersfield Californian for highlighting one of our talented BC faculty! And for more on Diego’s artwork, visit diegomonterrubio.weebly.com.

Fun Pictures:

From Andrea Thorson on Facebook.  A screencapture of a video of three super talented, smart and beautiful women from BC. #WeAreBC

Andrea Thorson Facebook post with Michelle Pena and Maria Wright July 2017 Star Fish Conf.jpg

Rick Kreiser visits Downtown Rotary, July 20, 2017.

Rick Kreiser visits Downtown Rotary July 20 2017.jpg

Meetings at Trader Joes:

Jennifer Marden snapped these two pictures at Trader Joes with Janet Tarjan and Vandana Kohli.  I was happy to see the picture of Vandana Kohli who is a Dean at CSUB.  Great collaborations and friendships between the two schools.

Jack Hernandez in Alaska

Alaska July 2017 from Jack Hernandez

CVHEC tweets about having a good friday

CVHEC Feel good Friday July 2017

The Bakersfield Californian has been doing great drone video footage.  check out this 5-minute video on the Kern River  http://tinyurl.com/y8v9uxa7

 

And I’ll close with my Neo Update …

Neo celebrated his 4-month birthday on July 17th getting ready for his last set of shots on July 19th — Distemper and Rabies.  He is now 40 lbs, and plenty of energy.  You can see him develop in these photos taken at the vet’s office – a picture at 19 lbs (2nd set of shots); at 30 lbs (3rd set of shots); and now at 40 lbs (4th set of shots). Any guesses on his weight when fully grown?

He also loves sitting half-inside-half-outside without concern for the air conditioning bill.

 

Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take,
But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away

 

 

sonya virginia 2015 cropped

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

We are BC! & We are Bakersfield!

Good morning Bakersfield….It is Saturday, February 18th, Tracy Hall’s wedding day and as I told her, the gods are showering blessings on California and on the new couple.  The rains continue and the Kern River flows again.  What a wonderful time to be in Bakersfield and what a wonderful time to be at BC.

sonya-christian-woman-of-the-year-feb-11-2017A crazy busy and awesome week all at once.  Let me give you are quick sample:

Saturday, Feb 11th: KCHCC Installation and awards night
Sunday, Feb 12th: Conf calls and finished the day with the Grammys
Monday, Feb 13th: Board meeting in the morning then to Sacramento for a dinner meeting.  Here is the link to the article by Harold Pierce, Education Reporter for The Bakersfield Californian, about the Board meeting http://tinyurl.com/zdfmh9p
Tuesday, Feb 14th: Meeting of an Accreditation Committee that I chair.  Heading back on the train which was delayed by 5 hours and put me in Bakersfield late at night.  Not a very happy train ride on Valentine’s Day.
Wednesday, Feb 15th: 7:00 a.m. Community Leaders Breakfast at BC then meetings then the Bakersfield Chamber Board meeting, then meetings, then the Basket ball games happening the same time as the movie night on campus
Thursday, Feb 16th: Valley Poets, Moon over Malcolm

I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

Let me start my blog with a call from Jay Tamsi a few weeks ago to let me know that the Kern County Hispanic Chamber Board selected me as Woman of the Year.  How cool is that!  Now you know that the recognition is truly for Bakersfield College…our faculty and staff are everywhere.  Integrated and engaged with the community.

A group of us from BC attended the event that was sold out and it appeared that all of Bakersfield was there.  In addition to folks from BC, Trustee Romeo Agbalog and his wife Lily were there and also John Means from the District Office.  Three of BC’s very own (Corny Rodriguez, Lisa Kent, Olivia Garcia) were inducted to the Hispanic Chamber Board and the Foundation Board.

The Man of the Year was Stephen Schilling, CEO of Clinica Sierra Vista.  Steve gave a very powerful speech in Spanish and English.

Carlos Navarro, outgoing Chair of the Board did a nice job outlining all the accomplishments from the previous year. Adam Alvidrez as incoming Chair of the Board was extremely funny in his remarks…No seriously, the man could take on Jimmy Fallon and win hands down.  Both Adam and Carlos are friends of Bakersfield College.  Thank you!

adam-alvidrez-with-carlos-navarro-feb-15-2017

We snuck out during salad time to take this picture.  I loved the way Trustee Agbalog supported our new employees at BC!

woman-of-the-year-group-feb-11-2017

 

Alongside the KCHCC, everyone at BC works collaboratively to elevate student success to new heights and develop a new generation of leaders within our community. The whole evening was a true recognition of the great work undertaken by all staff and faculty involved with all Bakersfield Colleges efforts. Our campus is one without boundaries and our student give our future endless possibilities. We are BC! Todos Somos BC!

Here is a link to a news item http://tinyurl.com/zbruada

 

The Delano Alliance

The monthly Delano Alliance takes place every 1st Tuesday and the most recent gathering brought the Delano community together at BC’s Delano campus. The event features a briefing about current events in the community – everything from elementary and high schools, to local businesses.

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February’s meeting kicked off with an award presentation featuring two BC students, Alexa Rivera and Vicente Lopez who traveled to Washington, DC last month to celebrate BC’s participation in the White House Healthy Campus Challenge. We were proud to be chosen as one of 60 institutions nationwide, and one of four community colleges in California to formally receive White House Healthy Campus status.  The focus of the project on the BC campus was to target the most under-enrolled demographic in the county, college students and young people aged 14-18. In Kern County, enrollment in private health plans lag 50% behind the State of California in the same demographic and our region struggled with some of the highest incidences of STDs, obesity, obesity related health concerns, and respiratory illnesses. I featured this event in my blog, just a few weeks ago – make sure to check it out here.

 

Pictured here is Richard McCrow, Director of the Delano Campus; Dean Cindy Collier; Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Vice President Academic Affairs; Alexa Rivera, BC Student; Vicente Lopez, BC Student; Romeo Agbalog, KCCD Board Member; and Ray Purcell, Student Health and Wellness Center Director

After the event, Alexa Rivera, who visited the White House sent an email to Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg saying,

Vice President Gomez-Heitzeberg, Thank you for the kind words. I will make sure to always remember my home, Delano. Because of Bakersfield College, both in Delano and Bakersfield, I have been able to partake in several experiences that have helped me become a better student and most importantly young adult. I will always be grateful for the opportunities Bakersfield College has offered to me. Thank you for the email, and thank you for being an inspirational leader. Because of your hard work and presence at Bakersfield College, students, especially females aspiring to be leaders just like you, have the opportunity to learn from you and admire your leadership.

Delano is an inspirational place; it’s a community bursting with treasures, gems, and stories that can keep us all encouraged to reach new heights. I’m so excited for all the future has in store for our Delano Campus!

The Delano Recorder ran a story on this event.  Here it is

 

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Historically Black Colleges and Universities Caravan Visits BC

hbcu-6Representatives from 23 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) came to Bakersfield College on Monday to offer registration and scholarships to students.

During the event, 66 BC and high school students were admitted to four-year institutions such as Southern A&M University and Tuskegee College, and over $500,000 in scholarships were awarded for students looking to attend HBCUs. The event was hosted by a collaboration between BC Student Success and Equity, Outreach and School Relations, the Office of Student Life and the BC Transfer Center.

 

The HBCU Caravan was one of three transfer events held on Monday. The Transfer Center also hosted an onsite priority admissions drive for BC students who already submitted their paperwork to transfer to Cal State Bakersfield. Prospective transfers got the opportunity to meet one-on-one with an admissions evaluator to review their transcripts.

Over 200 students met with the admissions evaluator, and 181 were admitted to Cal State Bakersfield for Fall 2017.  UCLA Admissions Officer, Tremeal Bradford also hosted an information table on Monday to meet with BC students who might be interested in continuing their education at Westwood. Bradford will remain a permanent UCLA representative on campus. We are so excited to foster a partnership with UCLA! From Renegades to Bruins!

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Monday’s multiple transfer events were a product of BC’s collaborative efforts! Thank you to all who are involved and who helped promote this fantastic event. I loved seeing this Facebook post from NaTesha Kindred Johnson. “T” thank you for all your support of BC and the many many hours you put in for Measure J!

Thank you to KGET for the great event coverage at http://www.kerngoldenempire.com/news/bc-students-get-encouragement-for-further-education/655596029

 

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African American Community Leaders Breakfast

 

We hosted our annual African American Community Leaders Breakfast on February 15th in the Fireside Room.

This early morning meeting kept an upbeat and proud focus on the many mentors, sponsors, faulty, success stories from students and overall support African American students receive at BC from the ASTEP and AAMP programs.

 

The theme for the gathering was Uncommon Accomplishments require Uncommon Commitment a phrase introduced by Dr. Paula Parks when she presented to the Campaign for College opportunities team that visited BC last week.

Steve Watkin organized the event and opened up the program after everyone had some delicious breakfast and fellowship and then settled with a cup of coffee ready to engage with the program. My job was just to welcome everyone and then bring up Mayor Karen Goh.  The program continued with a data presentation by Dr. Janet Fulks, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness.  This is a standard part of our annual event ever since we made a commitment four years ago to put out our student success scorecard openly to the community.   Together we can accomplish the impossible. The data presentation was followed by an amazing panel presentation and ended with the voice of one of our students.  Before we adjourned Steven Watkin recognized Odella Johnson for her 20 years of service.  Now for some specifics and some photos.

Mayor Goh started her remarks with the BC Chant — We are BC! and then she continued with We are Bakersfield! the phrase she introduced at the Fall Opening Day.  Thank you Mayor Goh for adjusting your schedule to spend time with the community gathering at BC.

The ASTEP(African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence) Umoja program and the AAMP(African Amercian Mentor Program), led by Dr. Paula Parks are the main African Amercian programs dedicated to: assisting students through their efforts with coaching, study groups, encouraging students to show the ethic of love to each other, and embracing the culture in order to help them succeed.

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In addition, according to our Bakersfield College website, it’s “a program that incorporates drop-in mentoring, resiliency guidance, problem resolution, general (non-academic) assistance, and “real talk”. The students need this type of help and assistance, since many times coming from a complete opposite environment they need to have positive role models and direction in order to help them reach their goals.

 

Dr. Paula Parks started the day by talking about the goal of the ASTEP and AAMP programs. She stated that, “this semester students take development that’s focusing on careers and then along with English 1A, a library class that helps them with their research strategies. So it’s a yearlong curriculum. They hold each other accountable and also have a group chat, so I appreciated that … and everyone is in communication because they don’t want to let each other down or me down or the program down.”

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Chief Lyle Martin, Keith Wolaridge, Fred Prince, Brenda Lewis

The panel members including: Fred Prince from the (KCBCC/Omega Insurance President), Brenda Lewis(Assistant Superintendent of Instruction), Keith Wolaridge(Agency Owner), and Lyle Martin(Bakersfield Police Chief) gave their real life experiences and education goals, as well as a presentation of the BEST program.

The BEST program is dedicated to helping black students with scholarships. According to Brenda Lewis, “the BEST program has been in existence for 25 years and was originally dedicated for graduation rate and college-going rate of African American males and through years have serviced an average of 550 students each year …and when we look at data we have offered over a thousand scholarships to our project BEST grads and have had a 90% graduation rate. “

How does the best program fund these scholarships? A huge part of the support is received from Kern County businesses, individual donations and community partners since “it is privately funded.”

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Chief Lyle Martin, Sonya Christian, Fred Prince

Chief Lyle Martin attended the Police Academy at BC and talked about how Larry Robinson and Jesse Bradford watched out for him and made a difference.  He called on Steve Watkin and Ishmael Kimbrough to be the Larry Robinson and Lesse Bradford for today’s students.

I believe in learning from your mistakes and issues. We are trying to build bridges between the Bakersfield College community and the Bakersfield Police Department. However, my goal is to remove those two words ‘and the’…Police Department and the community, that means we are not one. We need to be one.”

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Fred Prince talked about being a small business owner, a speaker in our classes, and a mentor to our young people. He shared an absolutely inspirational story about Will Chandler, a student at BC who went on to be the student body president at Morehouse, a HBCU school.

Keith Wolaridge was absolutely inspiring in emphasizing the importance of mentoring programs.  Keith is a mentor to a young man who is in the ASTEP program.  He emphasized the importance of sharing the hardships and failures to young mentees as a way to inspire them to have the courage to work through difficult situations.  Keith has been a friend of the ASTEP program, a friend of Bakersfield College and spent numerous hours helping with Measure J!

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Julian West, Emmanuel limaco, Lisa Kent

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Karen Goh, Emmanuel Limaco, Sonya Christian

My dear friends, I wish you were there to watch the four panelist having fun, hazing each other while sharing the powerful work they are doing in this community.  It was truly a thing of beauty.  I came into the meeting tired after spending long hours on a train that was woefully delayed from Sacramento the previous night, but after the Breakfast gathering, I was inspired with a renewed commitment that together we can do the impossible.

 

 

At the end of the presentation Julian West introduced our student speaker Emmanuel Limaco. Wow…. what a story.  Emmanuel shared with us his story that was fraught with difficulties.  and here he is now at BC a pre-Engineering student.  Watching him brought me great joy — so articulate, so smart, so caring….. a true Renegade.  We are BC! We are Bakersfield!

We wrapped up the morning with Steve Watkin presenting an award from BC’s African American Initiative team  to Odella Johnson for over 20 plus years of loyal and distinguished service to BC and our students.  I love this picture of Odella and Steve.

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Odella Johnson, Steve Watkin

 

The African American Community Leaders event was a success that brought away happy faces and proud accomplishments for many in attendance.  Thank you to Cara Jackson for the fantastic photos.  Thank you Chef Sabella and the food Services team for the amazing breakfast and plz keep doing the salsa with scrambled eggs.

 

BCSGA and BC Renegamers awarded for raising money for Lauren Small Children’s Hospital

If you have ever been involved in a charity, sometimes it’s hard to be aware of the results of your efforts. You have made a difference, and that difference has made a change but when you cannot see the change that you have impacted, it does not feel as real.

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Along with the CSUB student colleagues Our BCSGA got to see the passion, care, and the changes they helped to make. The Campus Gamers at CSUB, Bakersfield College Student Government Association, and the new BC Renegamers Student organization received their awards on Friday, February 10, for raising funds for the Lauren Small Children’s Hospital which is part of the Children’s Miracle Network. Together, they raised over $35,000 in 2016 of which BCSGA raised $2,121. The hours, commitment, and love shared between the student groups of the two institutions shows how student leadership, service, collaboration, and motivation can help our community for the better. Proud of you guys!

At the luncheon recognition ceremony, 40 Bakersfield businesses and programs come together for a singular cause, to save children’s life, is important in a world where we constantly feel like we are at a divide. “Sometimes all you really need is a, “Thank you” and today we got that in spades. To take the tour and see the hospital, where they tell you what your fundraising has done, reignites your passion to do it again and again, raising more every year. Everything to help save kid’s lives and give them a future.” Said BCSGA Senator Lawrence Salcido who accepted the recognition on half of BCSGA. Edward Webb, president of the Campus Gamers at CSUB, has marked the goal of $60,000 for 2017. To help these organizations meet their 2017 goal, contact the office of student life today.

BC Athletes and Coaches Shine

MensBasketball.jpgCoach Rich Hughes and the Men’s Basketball Team beat West LA college 70-66 last week and clinched their second-straight Western State Conference-South Championship, the first time BC has accomplished back-to-back titles since the WSC was formed in 1981.

And the win reinforces BC’s reputation as “The Kern County All-Stars” as Stockdale grad Tucker Eenigenburg led all scorers with 23 points, and Henry Galinato of Delano played like a much taller man in grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds while blocking five shots!

The two freshmen certainly made their mark on the game, but Coach Hughes was very pleased by his four sophomore holdovers from the last title team.

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“They were one of those groups that wasn’t given a chance to win at the beginning of the season, and they used that as motivation to do something that has never been done before; and no one can say that to but those four guys; Trey Armstrong, Sean LeFlore, Shane Christie, and Arthur Tondin,” Hughes told SID Francis Mayer.

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, Sandi Taylor, Zav Dadabhoy

Have I mentioned how supportive the community is of our BC athletes? It’s always great to gather as friends and Renegade fans! Here is a photo from Wednesday’s game with Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sandi Taylor, and Zav Dadabhoy.

 Coach Paula Dahl sent an email earlier in the week encouraging everyone to come out. She said,

Every once in a while in our careers we have those amazing moments that you know you have to cherish and recognize you have truly been blessed.  That is this season for me.  I have been able to coach 11 of the most resilient women you will ever meet.  They have bought into team, hard work, sacrificing for each other and trust.  Please come and support them in their final game of the year tomorrow night at 7:00 pm.  I promise you will have fun watching our high tempo style and be inspired watching your BC Women’s Basketball Team.  “Let’s Go Renegades!

Campus Movie Night

The BC campus is always abuzz with activity and during Wednesdays game, there was also a free movie night taking place in Forum 102! Nearly 90 students gathered to watch “Loving” – a movie based on a true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, the couple involved in the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision which invalidated state laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Check out the Official Trailer on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33g-ZHBQdNU and don’t miss out on the next free movie night at the BC campus.

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Moon Over Malcolm

Darius Wallace, author and performer of “Moon Over Malcolm,” visited the ASTEP Umoja Community class on Thursday. Wallace performed in the evening theater production, but spent the day in various classrooms. He wondered what Malcolm X might have achieved had he not died at 39 years old. He also talked about how acting is what he is destined to do.

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The evening presentation was a one-man show about Malcolm’s journey from early childhood as Malcolm Little, to his life as Detroit Red, a pimp and street hustler, to his life in prison where he transformed his life with education and Islam, to his life in the Nation of Islam as Malcolm X, to his final transformation after his trip to Mecca as El Hajj El Meek El Shabazz. This show was filled with monologues, song, dance, poetry as well as various characters in Malcolm’s life.

A crowd of over 250 packed the indoor theater and the evening was a great success. Thank you to the BC Commercial Music Ensemble and the BC Chamber Singers for their musical gifts. Prof. Josh Ottum and Prof. Jen Garrett thank you!

BC Food Services provided tasty grits and greens, fried okra, and chicken gumbo for all in attendance.

Darius Wallace stayed afterwards for additional time to engage the audience with questions. His responses were fully thought-provoking and stimulating for the students who asked very tough questions about African-American acceptance and history.  Thank you Darius. What a great experience for our students and the whole BC community.

Valley Poets at BC’s Levan Center

What an exciting night for the poets of Bakersfield too! On Thursday evening in the Levan Center, we celebrated the poets that came from the San Joaquin Valley and received national recognition. Poets of a wide range of notoriety were celebrated including Juan Felipe Herrera, Sherley Anne Williams, and Robert Duncan. They were all different poets from different circumstances and all from the valley.

Don Thompson, the first Poet Laureate of Kern County, hosted the event. Thompson along side other local poets or advocates for the arts performed poems from the nationally recognized poets. These advocates included Catherine Abbey Hodges, Matt Woodman, LisaAnn LoBasso, Annis Cassells, Marit MacArthur, Diana Ramirez, and Portia Choi. Each presented a poem from the acclaimed poets raised here in the valley and also gave brief life synopses as well. Each presenter stated how the poem they chose resonated with their own lives. You could feel the connection they made with their poem by the way they performed their poem and the energy they gave off.

While all performances were notable, Diana Ramirez’s performance of Juan Felipe Herrera’s poem “Half Mexican” stood out from the rest. Juan Felipe Herrera, who will be visiting the Bakersfield College campus to give a guest lecture on the power of poetry in the lives of people and the community, is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States. He is the first Latino to hold this position. If you would like to attend Juan Felipe Herrera’s lecture Surveillance, Violence, Creativity & Compassion, he will be lecturing in the Indoor Theater at the Simonsen Performing Arts Center on March 29th at 7pm.

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Counseling Department Holds Student Success Conference

The Counseling Department held a successful student success conference on Friday February 3 that was attended by approximately 60 students. The conference, “Pathways to Success: How to navigate detours and get back on track” was geared towards assisting students who have found their way onto first time Probation following the Fall semester.

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Students on first time probation are students who may not necessarily have meaningful contact with a counselor for the only requirement to clear their probation status, in order to register, is to complete an online probation workshop.  The online workshop provides students with tips on how to be successful and remedy their situation however it does not provide them the opportunity to ask questions and interact with BC faculty or staff.  We know that student engagement is linked to academic success therefore we created this half day conference to help engage and interact with these students to hopefully prevent them from moving on to second time probation.

The day began with motivational speaker BC Counselor, Jonathan Schultz, who spoke to the students about “Knowing their Why” and identifying their motivation for being at Bakersfield College. Then the students chose from a list of breakout sessions: “Probation does not have to be a permanent detour!” exploring how to get off probation, “Live long and prosper!” a BC Jeopardy game concerning whole health & mental health concepts, “Money Matters!” managing financial budgets to maximize success, and “The time for action is now!” identifying it’s never too late to be successful an interactive time management approach to student success. Student feedback was very positive therefore the Counseling Department plans to make this an annual event.

Campus Training on Title IX

Mandated reporters are required to make a report of suspected abuse when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a minor is a victim of abuse; but, what about if the victim is a student at Bakersfield College?

img_0712Earlier this month, over 60 faculty, administrators, and classified members met in the Leven Center to hear from Attorney Eileen O’Hare-Anderson, partner at Liebert Cassidy Whitmore to dialogue about Mandatory Reporting and what our Collective Responsibilities is to our students and the learning environment.

John Giertz, Faculty in Communication, summed up the presentation, “I think first and foremost we have an obligation to help our students every way possible and we need to be aware of what the laws allow us to do but most importantly that we should be working to help our students.  This is extremely important information and I encourage all employees to learn more.”

img_0717This workshop was geared to respond to the questions and comments presented by BC Faculty and Staff regarding mandated reporting and our responsibility of creating a safe and positive learning environment, while maintaining confidentiality for our students and victims. The conversations helped clarify what the role and responsibilities are for an employee at KCCD, when faced with a situation involving Title IX, OCR, Clery Act, Campus SaVE Act, other pressing laws, and the safety of our students.

 

For questions or additional interest, individuals should contact Dena Rhoades in Human Resources, Nicky Damania in Student Life, or Chief Counts in the Department of Public Safety.

 BC Hackathon

The Public Health Renegades Hackathon is a competition to innovate and design public health solutions for our community. Free food, prizes, networking opportunities! This weekend long innovation competition to design and build technology tools that respond to specific community needs related to public health. All majors and areas are welcome.  It is an interdisciplinary competition that will engage students and professionals from various backgrounds in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and non-STEM fields, local centers of higher education, community and industry partners, and the public. The goal is to increase awareness of public health and use technology tools and collective expertise to address public health issues. Have fun and make a difference locally for your community. To learn more and register for this free event go to www.bcinnovates.com

BC’s LVN Program ranks 7th in the State!

A non-profit organization that provides resources for prospective nurses has ranked Bakersfield College’s LVN program as the 7th best in the state of California.

top-ranked-vn-program-badge-smallThe website Practical Nursing analyzed 127 schools in California offering certification for Licensed Vocational Nurses and ranked the 50 best programs on their website. BC’s LVN program was selected 7th best in the state based on the percentage of students in the program who go on to obtain a vocational nursing license, as well as how well the program “supports students towards licensure and beyond,” according to an email by Practical Nursing president Bryce Hall.

Did you see The Grammy’s?

We are officially in awards season!  I love watching the Grammy’s.  I’m always entertained by the high-production value the show brings and seeing talent celebrated.  During this year’s show I was especially moved by the tributes to Prince, and George Michael.  Now I’m looking forward to the upcoming Oscar’s show!  Here I am watching the Grammy’s and trying to work at the same time 🙂

 

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That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Providing pathways to the future and building a better BC

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, July 23rd and I woke up to a wonderful piece by Jeff Evans in The Bakersfield Californian above the fold.  Indeed, a wonderful day to be a Renegade.

Here is an fuzzy image of the article taken on my iphone.  For the entire web version check out http://tinyurl.com/h2f79wy.  There is also a 15-minute video segment of Louis Amestoy interviewing Jeff Evans on the gymnasium and other athletics facilities that are on the BC facilities needs list.  Note this is a “needs list” not a “wish list”.  I particularly appreciated the comment that these facilities serve all of our students and not just our student athletes.

Jeff Evans Californian July 23 2016

 

The “Athletics facilities” is only one project of the numerous facilities needs on this 60 year old campus on 153 acres with over 30 buildings.  80% of the projects are capital improvements focusing on buildings where we have instruction in Math, Science, Agriculture, Humanities, etc. For the entire project list check out www.abetterbc.com.

The college faculty and staff have been focused on student success for over a century, and in the last three years have particularly focused on connecting with students when they are still in high school and gearing them up for college and the workforce.  Approximately 80% of BC’s students are first in their families to go to college, so the faculty and staff take the time to be their guides and their coaches as these first-time students learn to navigate college and learn how to be learners and gain the skills to enter the workforce.  Nick Strobel describes it well in about 500 words in his Community Voices piece on Wednesday, July 20th in The Bakersfield Californian.

Nick compared our new pathways initiative to the GPS in a car. Just as a GPS will help you get back on track if you make a wrong turn, the pathways we are creating can help guide students through life events that may “knock them off the college path.”

Nick Strobel July 20 2016

This is such an exciting initiative, and I am so happy that BC was one of just 30 colleges chosen to be part of the AACC Pathways Project.

Nick’s piece is online at http://www.bakersfield.com/news/opinion/2016/07/20/a-road-for-community-college-students-bc-s-gps.html.

So you see dear community members, BC meets students where they are and provides incredible opportunities for them to find their calling, whether in athletics, the arts and humanities, social sciences or in math and science.  What our faculty do for our students is nothing short of incredible.

Eisenhower Fellowship

Here’s a note I received from a talented Bakersfield College student:

My name is Rey Fernandez, a mechanical engineering major. From Fall 2015 to early Spring 2016, I had the opportunity to be one of the Dwight Eisenhower recipients because of the MESA program. This research opportunity exposed me to the transportation field, and taught me the role of engineers in the Transportation Research Board. Attending this TRB Conference in Washington D.C. gave me a lot of professional experiences.

I just want to thank you for bringing this research opportunity to MESA students last year, and again, for this upcoming year.

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Former BC student featured on SiriusXM

Brandon McNaughton—who is from Bakersfield, attended BC, and received his BS in Physics from CSUB—was featured on SiriusXM in February.

He was interviewed for 30 minutes by Steve Blank on “Entrepreneurs Are Everywhere” about his biotech company, and the importance of understanding customer needs when developing a product or solution. The episode can be heard via SiriusXM on Demand.  Here is a link http://tinyurl.com/jyvzg9l

His company, Akadeum Life Sciences, is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has developed a new method to separate individual cells from biological samples, such as blood. He is also one of the 100 stars of Bakersfield College. A proud Renegade!

Here are some previous blog posts highlighting our faculty and staff and what they do to create a wonderful learning environment for our students.

April 3, 2015: Levan Center: St. John’s Lecture. Greg Schneider and The Brothers Karamazov

https://bcpresidentblog.com/2015/04/03/levan-center-st-johns-lecture-greg-schneider-and-the-brothers-karamazov/

September 1, 2014: Arts and Humanities:

https://bcpresidentblog.com/2014/09/01/arts-and-humanities/

June 22, 2015: BC faculty and staff are rock stars

https://bcpresidentblog.com/2015/06/22/middle-schoolers-lead-the-way/

Speaking of our amazing faculty and staff,  let me tell you about a project that has surfaced this summer among a small group.  The idea is to get students to do their homework at the college in a structured environment so that they develop the habits of learning.  Being disciplined, persevering with their school work etc.  Just amazing dedication and commitment from the faculty!  I got to hang out with some of them.  Here are photos to prove it 🙂

 

Thank you all for your work.  A special shout out to Eileen Pierce, Kim Arbolante, Maria Wright, Kate Pluta, Stephen Waller, and Isabel Castaneda as well as Kimberly Bligh and Erica Menchacha who piloted Ac Dev 72 in the spring.

Political Leaders and their connections to BC.

kevin-mccarthy-sonya-christian-art-gentry-may-6-2016Regardless of your political views and affiliation, it is truly inspirational to consider what leadership and strength blossoms from our own backyard – Bakersfield, Kern County, and of course, at Bakersfield College. House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, took the stand on Tuesday evening to address the convention attendees and the nation, but Mr. McCarthy’s road to becoming the successful and influential political figure he is today, is one that began in our hometown.

He enrolled at BC after high school, opened a little local sandwich shop named Kevin O’s Deli, and earned a degree from CSUB. As his interest in politics peaked, he volunteered to clip newspapers in the office of Rep. Bill Thomas, to gain insight and learn from a fantastic role model.

Congressman Bill Thomas also has roots at BC – from beginnings as a political science faculty at BC to chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, there is so much to say about Bill that’s inspirational. We are so fortunate to have him as the senior advisor to our Blue Ribbon Committee and as a friend and supporter of Bakersfield College.

Mayor Harvey Hall is not shy to share his love of BC and he details his relationship in an article published on Bakersfield.com regarding the recent bond measure announcement.

Senator Jean Fuller, another political leader, earned her AA degree at Bakersfield College in 1970. After more than 30 years as an educator and Superintendent of Bakersfield City School District, sh e was elected in 2006 and “immediately recognized as a leader by her colleagues and has used her administrative experience to make impactful decisions that focus on increased efficiency and accountability.” (Source)

Our first female mayor, Mary K. Shell, also attended BC and continues to support Bakersfield College today. During the time of her retirement, the Bakersfield Californian even referred to her as “the most popular politician in Kern County history.” We are so lucky to have insightful and influential political leaders likes these and many others, including Rudy Salas, Andy Vidak, and Shannon Grove.

The people of Bakersfield and BC students, past and present, continue to make a difference in our community, state, and nation. I can’t wait to see what our current students have in store for the future of our country.

Latina Leaders

Last Saturday, July 16th, BC was present in full force at the Latina Leaders banquet.

This is my second year attending the event and I am even more impressed by the work they do. For more information check out their website at http://kernlatinas.com/.  Congratulations to ISABEL BRAVO, LOURDES VARGAS NILON, and GABRIELA MELLO on their recognition.

 

Norma Rojas Mora the president of Latina Leaders is a remarkable woman who in on our Bakersfield College Foundation Board of Directors and she is also the co-chair of the Community Connections group and the Blue Ribbon Committee on the Bakersfield College bond measure.

Here are the Bakersfield College folks who attended: Isabel Casteneda, Evette Lara, Janet Tarjan, Maria Wright, Paul Beckworth.  Thank you Karen Goh for the photos.  You are a good friend of Bakersfield College.

Check out my post from last year’s Latina Leaders banquet when Lisa Kent and Camilla Chavez were among the recipients of the leadership award.
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2015/07/12/somos-el-colegio-de-bakersfield/ 

 

Staff Retreats

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Summers at Bakersfield College involve less instructional time, which gives the staff and administrators an opportunity to meet for one-day on-campus retreats. These provide a foundation for fostering positive connections, critical planning, and preparing our teams to better support the needs of the faculty and students.

Entertaining themes for these retreats keep everyone refreshed as group activities, informational talks, and fun competitions re-energize and re-focus everyone for a new academic year.

Check out more photos from our summer retreats at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/2016-Retreats/.

It’s hard to believe – we are beginning to count down the days until opening day of Fall 2016!

Here is a picture of my Cabinet during our retreat in June.

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Sonya and Maggie July 23 2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya ….. with Maggie who is visiting for two days.