Tag Archives: Lynda Resnick

2019 Sterling Silver

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 30, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Annual Foundation Sterling Silver Dinner

Chancellor Tom Burke, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Sonya Christian, and Stewart and Lynda Resnick

The 11th annual Sterling Silver Dinner, held last Saturday, recognized exceptional support and service to the BC Foundation and to the College. The beautiful event, at Seven Oaks Country Club, directly supports the Bakersfield College scholarship program providing educational opportunities for Renegades today and tomorrow.

The event brought together college supporters, donors, alumni, and friends for an evening of live entertainment featuring Kris Tiner and the BC Jazz Ensemble and culinary delights from Seven Oaks Executive Chef Paul Burzlaff and the BC Culinary Arts students.

Sonya Christian, Kris Tiner, and Trumpet Player in the Renegade Jazz Band
Sonya Christian, Kris Tiner, and Trombone Player in the Renegade Jazz Band
Five BC Culinary Arts students pose at Sterling Silver
BC Culinary Arts students pose at Sterling Silver
Sonya Christian, Lynda Resnick

It was great to see Renegade supporters like Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Mayor Karen Goh, Senator Shannon Grove, and Assembly Member Vince Fong.

Karen Goh, Shannon Grove, Vince Fong
Karen Goh, Shannon Grove, Vince Fong
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, and Kiyoshi Timono
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, and Kiyoshi Timono

This year, our 2019 recognition’s included:

Lynda and Stewart Resnick as Individual Philanthropists of the Year

Sonya Christian, Stewart and Lynda Resnick, and Tom Gelder
Sonya Christian, Stewart and Lynda Resnick, and Tom Gelder

Lynda and Stewart Resnick have championed education, health care and community development across the Central Valley. Together, they have transformed the lives of countless students by making college an achievable goal through generous scholarships and a robust education program. Their long-standing support for Bakersfield College has provided significant opportunities for youth throughout the region.

Aera Energy as Corporate Philanthropist of the Year

Tom Gelder, Christina Sistrunk of Aera Energy, and Sonya Christian
Tom Gelder, Christina Sistrunk of Aera Energy, and Sonya Christian

Aera Energy has supported Bakersfield College and students throughout Kern County with consistent and generous donations, creating opportunities and spaces such as the Aera STEM Success Center, inspiring young people to pursue STEM education and careers with their involvement in BC’s MESA program, ensuring Bakersfield’s success with participation in advisory boards, and offering internships as a vital part of a hands-on education.

featuring Christina Sistrunk of Aera Energy
Tom Burke, Kevin McCarthy, Christina Sistrunk, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder
Tom Burke, Kevin McCarthy, Christina Sistrunk, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder with the recognition for Aera Energy.

Jerry Ludeke as BC Foundation Service Medal Winner

Jerry Ludeke has served the Renegade community for over 60 years, starting with her position teaching English and Art and eventually teaching in the Learning Center, receiving the Margaret Levinson Faculty Leadership Award, the Shirley Trembley Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Distinguished Service Award presented by the Kern Community College Board of Trustees. More recently, Ludeke spends her time giving back and preserving history with the BC Archives department.

Tom Burke, Kevin McCarthy, Jerry Ludeke, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder
Tom Burke, Kevin McCarthy, Jerry Ludeke, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder
Kimberly Bligh, Sonya Christian, Nicky Damania, Janet Tarjan
Lynnette Zelezny, Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora
Lynnette Zelezny, Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora
Kevin McCarthy speaks at Sterling Silver
Congressman and Renegade Kevin McCarthy
The BC Team with Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Assemblymember Vince Fong
(L-R) Janet Tarjan, Norma Rojas-Mora, Sonya Christian, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Vince Fong, Tom Gelder, and Nicky Damania
Norma Rojas Mora, Lynnette Zelezny, Karen Goh, Sonya Christian, Lynda Resnick, Heather Pennella, Noemi Donoso
Norma Rojas Mora, Lynnette Zelezny, Karen Goh, Sonya Christian, Lynda Resnick, Heather Pennella, Noemi Donoso
Meagan Bynum, Sonya Christian, David Bynum
Sonya Christian, Jay Rosenlieb, Cindy Pollard
Sonya Christian, Stephen Waller, Adele Waller and the AECOM Parsons team

Thank you KGET for covering our event, see the KGET Video.

Thank you Tom Gelder, Norma Rojas-Mora and team for the 2019 Sterling Silver. Thank you Heather Penella for leading this effort. Thank you Tamara Baker and Dylan Wang for the social media support for the evening. We are BC!

Check out all the pictures by the talented April Massirio Sterling Silver Dinner on BC’s Smugmug.

Betty Younger

Sonya and Betty.
Sonya Christian, Betty Younger

Local sculptor and community arts supporter Betty Younger passed away at the age of 88 — see the article by Steven Mayer in the Bakersfield Californian on Thursday. Betty was a champion for Bakersfield College along with her husband Milt, and dedicated her sculpture “Circle of Friends” in honor of Dr. Jim Young to the Panorama campus in 2014.

Circle of Friends sculpture is 4 abstract figures symbolizing people on a circle base.

Back in 2014, I wrote about the dedication of Betty’s “Circle of Friends” sculpture. It’s a beautiful symbol of what higher education is all about – providing an environment where information and experiences are shared to make our community stronger and cultivating a better understanding of the world around us. “Circle of Friends” was created in honor of Jim Young, a KCCD Chancellor from 1978 to 1999 – you can visit the sculpture yourself on the hill between the Humanities building and the Child Development Center on Panorama Drive.

The Circle of Friends by Betty Younger - sculptor.to Honor James C. Young, Ed.D. Chancellor of Ker Community College District 1978-1999 A gift from Milt and Betty Younger March 2014 plaque in front of sculpture.

Betty’s history with the Renegades goes back as far as the 1940s and 50s, as her aunt Hattie Hoenshell was a chemistry teacher at BC when Betty was a young girl. Betty later attended classes at BC before embarking on a career as a painter and sculptor, as well as a patron and connoisseur of art in Kern County. Jerry Ludeke recalls that legendary BC administrator Grace Van Dyke Bird purchased one of her paintings.

I also wrote about Milt Younger at his passing in 2017 in the blog Bakersfield College – A Place of Dreams. The Renegade family misses Milt and Betty Younger, but their legacy lives on everywhere you look in Kern County, from BC, to CSUB, home of her sculpture “Owl of Knowledge”, to the Bakersfield Symphony and all of the wonderful programs and non-profit organizations that they supported.

Dual Enrollment: Helping all Students Gain Access to College

The first week of April is the first-ever Dual Enrollment Week across the state of California, and I want to observe the occasion by highlighting the amazing work our Dual Enrollment team is doing to make a college education more accessible for high school students.

Dual Enrollment First student to sign up in 2016

BC offers UC/CSU transferable courses and Career Technical Education to more than 30 high schools, reaching approximately 10,000 students. BC’s Dual Enrollment program is estimated to be the largest in the state and within the California Community College system. The program started as a grant partnership with the Wonderful Company providing an Associate of Science in Ag Business to high school students in the Wonderful Academy. It has now expanded to four local high school districts, saving students and their families more than $2 million in education expenses.

Dual Enrollment Week was approved by the California state legislature last year to raise awareness of programs that give high school students the opportunity to earn transferable college credit at no cost. During Dual Enrollment Week, KCCD has invited the Get Focused…Stay Focused program to give an overview workshop at the Larry E. Reider Education Center at 2000 K Street on Friday, April 5. Get Focused…Stay Focused is a course for high school freshmen to learn more about college and make a ten-year plan for their education and career. Visit the Academic Innovations website to register and learn more information about the workshop.

Summer Bridge

As the Bridge to BC sessions for Summer 2019 are rapidly approaching, I thought it would be a great time to highlight Joseph Luiz’s article in the Bakersfield Californian from last year about the phenomenal growth in our orientation program for incoming freshmen and their families.

Last year, 1,200 students participated in the Bridge to BC program, and we expect even more students this summer. Bridge to BC, which is offered as a one-day class titled Academic Development B55: First Year Student Success, has been instrumental in getting our students ready for college and, with an emphasis on reaching out to first-generation students of color, easing the anxiety many students feel about starting their college journey.

Staff gather a Summer Bridge tent holding a sign.

During Bridge to BC, students are given a tour of the campus and information about financial aid, counseling and other resources. They also form teams and create a poster representing the path they’ll take from high school graduation to BC Commencement and beyond. “We want [students] to understand how to be a successful person in college and also how to successfully navigate our resources,” says Kimberly Bligh, faculty director of the program.

Registration for Bridge to BC sessions in Summer 2019 are available now. Visit the Bridge to BC website for more information.

Early College Launch in Shafter

Abel Guzman and Trustee Romeo Agbalog at Early College Info Event in Shafter
Abel Guzman and Trustee Romeo Agbalog at Early College Info Event in Shafter

Thursday night, the incoming Shafter High Class of 2023 flooded the Shafter High auditorium in a kick-off event for 9th-grade registration. When Shafter High School Principal Russel Shipley took the stage to tell incoming students and their families about the opportunities they would have in high school, he had an amazing new opportunity to share with them — Early College. Head Counselor Juan Leyva explained to the high school students that they would have the opportunity to earn college credits during and after the traditional school day right on their own high school campus. To assist with the program debut, Kern Community College District Trustee Romeo Agbalog was invited to share some remarks.

“We are committed to improving access and opportunities for Shafter High students to reach their academic and career goals, as well as supporting the college going culture in the community of Shafter. Through the Early College program, each student will be on a guided path to earn college credit while in high school,” said Agbalog. “These efforts translate directly into time and tuition savings for the student, savings for the taxpayers, and securing a brighter future through the power of education,” he added.

BC Staff at Bakersfield College Early College tables of bags, laniards, folders and giveaways at Shafter High.

Following the presentations in the auditorium, students went into the quad to learn more about the opportunities they would have in high school. Staff from BC’s Rural Initiatives, Dual Enrollment, and Outreach teams (Jaime Lopez, Kylie Swanson, Steve Watkin, Debra Anderson, and Jessica Garcia) were present from BC to share with both incoming 8th graders and current high school students and their parents about the Early College program and the jump start that it provides students for their college education and career.

Adult students also learned about the many evening course options being offered in collaboration with Shafter High School on their campus. Working at the forefront of the partnership between BC and Shafter, Executive Director of Rural Initiatives Abel Guzman shared:

“The City of Shafter is an incredible partner of BC, committed to the success of students throughout the community. Together, as we incorporate more educational opportunities and offerings, like the Early College program, we will level the playing field. And by bringing college closer within grasp for these students, we are granting them a head start towards a college degree and successful career.”

Starting in the 2019-2020, Shafter High School’s incoming 9th-grade students will follow a plan to complete over 30 general education units prior to their high school graduation through a combination of dual and concurrent enrollment courses. Students will also have access to additional CTE dual enrollment opportunities in the areas of agriculture, welding, and woodworking. As the partnership between BC and Shafter High continues to grow, the goal is for students to be able to complete complete college-level certificates and degrees during their time at Shafter High School.

For more information on the Early College work being done at Shafter High, visit BC’s Early College at Shafter

Adios Amore Screening

Filmmaker Laurie Coyle came to BC for a screening of her documentary about one of the forgotten heroes of the 20th-Century farm worker rights movement in the Indoor Theater on Thursday night. Coyle hosted a panel with five BC DREAMer students to talk about how they related to the story of Maria Moreno, a farm worker with 12 children and a second-grade education who became a spokesperson for a nationwide agricultural union.

Woman on microphone.
Professor Jessica Martinez moderating the screening and panel.

The film, titled “Adios Amor: The Search for Maria Moreno”, documents the search for Maria’s family and details about her life through photographs, news articles reel-to-reel audio tapes and video footage recovered in attics, archives and museums across the United States and Mexico. Years before the grape boycott and before Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta led the work that would blossom into the United Farm Workers organization, Moreno was picked to be a spokesperson for the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) was funded by the AFL-CIO. Moreno would travel the nation telling stories about the extreme poverty her family faced in the fields of the Central Valley and how her oldest son once became blind from starvation when their family didn’t have enough to eat.

Moreno standing in a dirt lane between bunk houses, black & white picture.
“Adios Amor” screenshot

Moreno eventually disappeared from public records after the collapse of AWOC, and Coyle wasn’t able to find the rest of Moreno’s story until one of Moreno’s granddaughters reached out to her. After leaving the organization, Moreno became a Pentecostal preacher who travelled the desert between Mexico and the American Southwest feeding the poor and hungry in every town she stopped at. Some of the most powerful moments of the documentary are when Moreno’s family are reconnected with old photographs and footage of their mother and given the chance to visit their childhood home.

Audience in the indoor theater.

Production costs for “Adios Amor” were funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the film has been screened across the American Southwest. Coyle said she was surprised that the Endowment would fund the film since they usually only fund projects about well-known historical figures, but Moreno’s story as an immigrant Mexican woman organizing a labor union was an important one to document.

BC Dreamer student speaks with microphone, 2 panelists looking at him.
left to right: Jovana Espinoza, Jesus Arias, Pedro Coata

After the film, BC students Jovana Espinoza, Jesus Arias, Pedro Coata, Edith Mata and Maria Jaimes sat on a panel with Coyle to talk about how they related to Moreno’s story as the children of first-generation immigrants themselves. Many of the students saw glimpses of their own mothers in Moreno’s strength and resolve in the face of adversity, and the women on the panel felt empowered by the ways that Moreno challenged the norms of how women were expected to act in traditional Mexican culture and were inspired to speak up against injustice regardless of the consequences.

The Dreamer panelists and director sit at an onstage table with Bakersfield College cloth.
left to right: Maria Jaimes, Edith Mata Jovana Espinoza, Jesus Arias, Pedro Coata, Laurie Coyle

Coyle encouraged people in the audience to find stories about people in their community that aren’t being told in any medium available to them. “History is about how we get by, and the values that we take with us wherever we go,” Coyle said. “Does your family have a story that isn’t being represented?”

Woman speaking into microphone.
Director Laurie Coyle

I’d like to thank the Social Justice Institute, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Director Laurie Coyle, moderator Jessica Martinez, and the five DREAMer students who spoke for making this event a huge success.

Jovana speaks in microphone as the others smile at her.
left to right: Edith Mata, Jovana Espinoza, Jesus Arias and Pedro Coata.
Retired broadcaster Jose Gaspar asks a question during the Adios Amor panel.

Adios Amore in Community Voices

Oliver Rosales’ latest op-ed for the Community Voices section of the Bakersfield Californian helped spread the word about Thursday’s screening of “Adios Amor: The Search for Maria Moreno” in the Indoor Theater.

Dr. Oliver Rosales

Rosales wrote that the film sheds light on one of the forgotten heroines of the agricultural farm labor movement of the mid-20th Century.
Rosales describes “Adios Amor” as “a beautiful mosaic of borderlands history” that provides an important resource of representation for first-generation college students and immigrant families to connect with the story of the California farmworkers’ movement. Rosales wrote, “these stories offer a vital link to past struggles for civil rights and inclusion.”

Blue and Gold Day

It’s never been easier for BC Renegades to transition into CSUB Roadrunners, and CSUB hosted Blue and Gold Day in the CSS Lawn Area on Thursday to inform BC students about all of the transfer services and educational opportunities that are available to them.

A CSUB staff member at the Financial Aid table talks to students.

The CSUB Student Transfer Center hosted a tent in the middle of the lawn with information about Finish-in-Four and the California Promise, and representatives from CSUB’s social science, STEM and graduate studies departments lined the perimeter with booths about all of their degrees and programs. There were also representatives from CSUB Financial Aid, the Veterans Center and various student organizations to get the word out about all of the support that our students can receive when they decide to join the Roadrunner family.

7 students and staff in CSUB t-shirts hold up flags about CSUB.

I’d like to thank everyone at CSUB who made this event possible, as well as BC’s Transfer Initiatives team for facilitating the creation of Blue and Gold Day. As we continue to develop our partnership with CSUB and begin construction of the new BC SouthWest Center on the edge of the CSUB campus, informational events like these will only become more important.

BC Art Student Exhibition

Collage of colorful images as a backdrop to a skeleton framed in bright pink with a rose vine hanger.
“Go to Sleep” by Jessica Campos

BC students are showing off their talents in a variety of media during the 2019 BC Art Student Exhibition in the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery inside the library. The annual gallery event celebrating the best work created in BC art classes is running from now until May 2 during the Jones Gallery from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. An opening reception was held on March 14.

Black and white image of two black birds flying over a church-like building against a cloudy sky.
“The Apostle” by Nicolas Zuniga

Everything from paintings, illustrations, photographs and sculptures to mixed media, collage, digital art and video projects are on display in the exhibition, and everyone is encouraged to take time to celebrate our students’ creativity .

Black and white water color of woman with bloodshot eyes, whole in forehead and eyeballs in background.
“Uzamaki” by Scott Johnston
Painting of child standing under flowery sheet next to a window on canvas.
“Good Morning Clem” by Keiolani Mahinan-Brockenbrough
Aztec style clay sculpture of a dragon head hung on a wall.
“Quetzalcoatl Head” by Jovani Rodriguez
Tea pot and 2 vases.
A variety of vases from David Ekern’s Ceramics class are displayed in the Jones Gallery.

Former SGA President Encourages East-High LUPE Students

This week BC’s LUPE students were inspired by the success story of Ms. Danitzia Romo – (BC Alumni and former SGA President). Her uplifting presentation revolved around working diligently to succeed in college, and her appreciation for the educational opportunities BC has to offer.

Ms. Romo urged students to bring their parents’ hardworking mentality into their current and future studies and to persevere through any obstacles that may come their way. Students were inspired by her humble beginnings as an immigrant, her professional development, and successful career path. Ms. Romo addressed the significance of community involvement, embracing hard work, and the importance of portraying the success of immigrants, regardless of their immigration status.

18 hispanic students mostly in LUPE t-shirts.

Building upon the momentum from the STDV B2 class, LUPE students conducted a student panel at East Bakersfield High School where they addressed graduating AB540/Dreamers/DACA seniors and spoke about their personal success stories and strategies, barriers, and challenges, persevering through adversity, and the importance of not letting their immigration status negatively impact their educational goals.  The panel was made possible through the assistance and collaboration of the entire EHS Administration & Counselors, CSUB’s ETS Trio Program, CalSOAP, EOP&S, and above all, the fantastic LUPE students.

Lupe students pose in front of the East Bakersfield High School sign.
Lupe students pose in front of the "Home of the Blades" sign.
Students of the panel discussing issues.
A full classroom listening to the panel.
Staff and students take a selfie with piece signs.

World Autism Month

April is World Autism Month and April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, so I wanted to take a few moments and share a quick story about a colleague, Nicholas Hernandez.  If you haven’t met Nick, he works at the District Office as a Construction Project Manager.

Nick has a grandson named Nicholas (or Bubba) who was officially adopted almost one year ago. Bubba has autism and they are trying to raise the needed funds for an Autism Service Dog. I’m a major fan of dogs and especially these service dogs. You can read about their story, and donate to the cause if you’d like, at Paws for Bubba

Multiple photos of a boy dressed for thanksgiving, with a backpack, in a car seat, at the beach, with a toy, playing with blocks and smiling.
Bubba

Nick’s granddaughter also came up with the idea to make “Paws for Bubba” bracelets as a way to help raise funds and to promote Autism awareness in general.  We hope that Bubba gets his Autism Service Dog!

Autism Awareness on plastic bracelets.
Paws for Bubba Bracelets
3 men.
L to R: Nick Hernandez with Bill Potter and John Smith

Email Worth Sharing: BC Student Heading to Baghdad

I wanted to share this email I received from Paul Beckworth this week:

Hello all,

Just a heads up that one of our BC students, Elaine Moreno @00[…], is being deployed with the National Guard to Baghdad.  She is currently in Georgia training up to go overseas. She is a nursing major and has been at BC since fall 2017. Here is a clip of her from last semester.

She knew she was being called up so she did not enroll for spring but did call Armando yesterday to ask about taking summer online BC classes from Iraq.  Quite a resiliency, if you ask me!

I will let the veterans know tomorrow so we can get some care packages sent out to her soon.

Fun Photos: Chief Student Services Officers Conference in LA

Michelle Pena, Dan Hall, and Becky Weaver (consultant) presenting: Plan, Nudge, and Schedule: Using Ed Plans, ALERT’s, and the Course Schedule the Ultimate Integrated Approach to Student Success.

2 women at a podium.
Becky Weaver (consultant) and Michelle Pena
Man presenting Pillar IV: Ensure Learning.
Dan Hall
Group stands of people in hotel lobby.
L-R: Abel Guzman, Imelda Valdez, Zav Dadabhoy, Angelica Vasquez, Marisa Marquez, Michelle Pena, Lisa Robles, Dan Hall

Fun Photos: Circle of Friends

Just to show how much the Circle of Friends is a part of the Bakersfield College Campus, here are some fun photos taken during the IT/Marketing retreat last summer.

4 men and a woman with arms held out like the sculpture.
Clockwise from top: DO’s Justin Wallace, MPR’s Dylan Wang and Aricia Leighton, IT’s Zach Wharton and Ian Mason
5 people with arms held out like the sculpture.
Clockwise from top: IT’s Chris Leithiser, Judy Ahl, Yin Vang, MPR’s Earl Parsons and IT’s TJ Mason

Fun Photos: Abel Guzman at the Beat

3 men in a radio studio.
L-R: Danny Morrison, Sal Avalos, Abel Guzman

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (3/17-3/23) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.

[image]

Sarah Lopez and Isaiah Muhammad Renegades of the week sponsored by Wells Fargo.

Sarah Lopez, Beach Volleyball – Went 2-0 last week with partner Lanie Camarillo, with wins over Glendale and Victor Valley.

Isaiah Muhammad, Men’s Track & Field – Finished 1st in his first time out in the 110 hurdles with a 15.79, which ranks 5th in the conference. He also finishes 2nd in the 400m hurdles, which moved him into the 7th place ranking in the conference.

Jeremy Staat Selected for the 2019 CCCAA Hall of Fame Class

Jeremy speaking at podium.

Former Renegade Football and Track and Field student athlete and current BC Welding Instructor, Jeremy Staat has been selected as a member of the 2019 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Hall of Fame Induction Class.

Staat, a native of Bakersfield who has returned to his hometown where he’s a welding instructor at Bakersfield College, was a three-time state champion discus and shot put thrower for the Renegades while also earning Western State Conference MVP accolades and setting school records in both.

Jeremy stands with other inductees in front of a CCCAA screen.

He lent his prowess to the football team as well, helping Bakersfield to a 20-2 record and two Potato Bowl championships over his two-year career, while adding all-conference recognition both seasons. Staat was selected as Bakersfield College’s Freshman Athlete of the Year in 1995 and, subsequently, was the Most Outstanding Sophomore Athlete a year later.

Jeremy with parents and 2 children.

After a standout football career at Arizona State, Staat was second-round NFL Draft Pick in 1998 by the Pittsburgh Steelers, beginning a professional tenure that lasted until his retirement in 2003. He then followed the inspirational lead of former ASU teammate Pat Tillman and joined the Armed Forces. Staat served a tour in Iraq before returning to finish his education and begin the Jeremy Staat Foundation. He is also currently a sought after motivational speaker.

Jeremy poses with Keith Ford, Assistant director of athletics, Sandi Taylor, director of athletics, his son and another man.

“The CCCAA Hall of Fame induction to me is the pinnacle of achievement for my junior college career.” Staat said, “I am so grateful to my family and to Bakersfield College, my coaches, and teammates that supported me during my time here at Bakersfield College. Bakersfield College was the catalyst that propelled me to achieve everything in my life up to this point. Bakersfield College helped make it happen and I am very thankful, honored, and blessed to have been selected for such a prestigious honor.”

Staat, along with four other inductee’s, was honored at a ceremony on Wednesday, March 27 at the Hilton Concord during the CCCAA’s annual convention. Read the CCCAA press release.

Cynthia Maner selected to the CCCAA Scholar Athlete Honor Roll

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce that former swimming student athlete, Cynthia Maner has been selected as a member of the 2018 California Community College (CCCAA) Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll.

[image]

Cynthia with parents, Keith Ford and Sandi Tayor, Assistant director and director of BC athletics.

Being selected as a member of the Student Athlete Honor Roll is an accomplishment only a handful of the over 24,000 student athletes in the CCCAA system receive annually. Manor was honored at a luncheon on Wednesday, March 27 at the CCCAA Celebration of Scholar-Athletes Luncheon in Concord, CA as part of the CCCAA’s annual convention.

Man presents plaque to a woman.

Athletics Roundup


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Women Who Create Ripples in Our Community

Good morning from Berkeley, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 26, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

In light of celebrating International Women’s Day, I found myself browsing this post of 21 Powerful Quotes to Celebrate International Women’s Day and found myself pausing at this one by Mother Teresa.

"I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples."
Mother Teresa Quote. Graphic from boredpanda.com

Saint Mother Teresa demonstrated a life worth living; one of finding deep purpose by serving those in need, acting as a light in dark places, and inspiring others around the world to act in kindness. Saint Mother Teresa is an inspiration of generosity, persistence, resilience, compassion, and love – love with no boundaries.

Throughout my life, incredible women have taught me, mentored me, guided me, loved me, and inspired me and the best way I know how to thank them is to pay it forward. When women support each other, unbelievable things can happen.

A favorite song of our family growing up. Recognizing moms….. Let’s listen to Mother of Mine.

Women in Leadership Panel

Speaking of inspirational women, last Friday, March 1st, I hosted a panel in the Levan Center with some of Kern County’s most inspirational women leaders in politics, business and education to talk about their pathways to success. This panel was moderated by the inspiring Jean Fuller. It was great to see BC’s Levan Center filled with students, staff, and women from our community. Additionally, KCCD Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Romeo Agbalog came out to support the event.

Women in Leadership with Trustees
(L-R) Cynthia Giumarra, Rosalina Rivera, Blanca Cavazos, Sonya Christian, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Romeo Agbalog, Shannon Grove, and Jean Fuller
Liz Rozell and Jean Fuller

Jean Fuller – the first Republican woman ever elected to state office in California and a decades-long champion for BC – was the perfect moderator for our panel on Women in Leadership. Food Services provided a lovely selection of hors d’oeuvres and ornate plating and tea cups to create an elegant ambiance for the event, as well.

Attendees at Womens Panel

The panel consisted of some of the most successful women in Kern County. California Senator Shannon Grove represents the 16th State Senate district, taking Fuller’s place at the end of her second term. Shannon Grove — Senator, Entrepreneur, Veteran, Leader.

Blanca Cavazos has broken barriers throughout her career in education, becoming the first Latina principal of Arvin High School before being appointed as the first Latina Superintendent of the Taft Union High School District. Her family immigrated to the United States from Mexico when she was three years old. Blanca Cavazos — Superintendent, change maker, trailblazer, leader.

Cynthia Giumarra practiced law for more than 20 years, overcoming many barriers that women lawyers faced in the 1970s and ’80s, when it was still uncommon to see women on the other side of the courtroom bench. Since 2000, she has turned her life over to her faith, counseling women and leading Bible studies as a licensed minister for the Canyon Hills Assembly of God Church while raising awareness and fundraising for anti-human trafficking causes. Cynthia Giumarra — Minister, advocate, attorney, leader.

During Rosalina Rivera’s tenure as the Superintendent of the Delano Joint Union High School District, several schools in the district have been recognized with prestigious awards, including the California Distinguished Schools Award, the U.S. News and World Report Nation’s Best High School Awards, and the National Title I Distinguished School Award. In 2013, Rudy Salas recognized Rivera for her leadership and dedication, stating that she “is unwavering in her commitment to the children and the community of Delano.” Rosalina Rivera — Superintendent, innovator, collaborator, leader.

Even with all of their success, the panelists at the Women in Leadership event recognized the importance of balancing their personal lives and being committed to their families. While they have all had to remain strong to overcome barriers and accomplish their goals, finding time to quietly be with their families has helped them stay humble and keep things in perspective when dealing with coworkers and employees.

Standing ovation from the audience

Thank you to all of our panelists for taking time out of their busy schedules to speak to our students, and thank you to Prof. Olivia Garcia for organizing the programming for this event.

Olivia Garcia
Olivia Garcia
BCSGA President Ashley Harp and Sonya Christian
It was awesome to see BCSGA President Ashley Harp in attendance.
KCCD Trustees Nan Gomez Heitzeberg and Romeo Agbalog
KCCD Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Romeo Agbalog

Early College Parent & Student Workshop in Arvin

On March 6th, Members of the Early College Team which included Jesse Oropeza, Couselor and Maggie Rodriguez, Support Specialist, welcomed Arvin High Early College students and parents Wednesday night with smiles and tasty food! The
onsite support team facilitated a workshop, engaging students and parents together in learning about the education process.

Jesse Oropeza speaks to the parents in the room

More workshops like these are planned to keep future Early College students involved. Stay tuned!

Early College Flier

Celebrating our first Early College Graduates

Last May, thirty-eight Wonderful Ag Prep Renegades walked the stage at Memorial Stadium in recognition of earning a college degree from BC
through the Early College program a few weeks prior to receiving their high school diploma. Then later that August, the amazing team at Wonderful Education hosted a special celebration for their graduates and families and I was fortunate to share some remarks at this life-changing event. I first shared this in my blog on August 18th, 2018 and you can see the original post here.

Sonya Christian speaking at the Wonderful Ag Prep Graduation Celebration in August 2018

Lynda and Stewart Resnick, you had a vision for the Central Valley. You had a vision for this graduating class of 2018. You not only had the dream, you also created the infrastructure and the programming to make this dream come true. You invested significant resources because you believed in these communities, you believed in these young minds. With your work, you are transforming the Central Valley into a place of big dreams.

Sonya Christian, August 11, 2018

Take a moment to listen to these successful and inspirational young people who have completed the program and how it has impacted their futures.

Thank you Lynda and Stewart Resnick for your passionate investment in education, qualify of life and family, and the future of Kern County. We will be recognizing the Resnick’s at Sterling Silver on March 23rd.

Graduates stand to thank Lynda and Stewart Resnick
Thanking Lynda and Stewart Resnick

KCCD Trustee Jack Connell Visits BC

Students, Pepper and Trustee Connell
Industrial Automation students pose with Pepper, the robot and Trustee Connell

This week, BC faculty, staff, students, and administration welcomed one of our newest Trustees, Mr. Jack Connell to campus for a visit and tour. Trustee Connell represents the Area II service area and joined the KCCD Board in November 2018 with Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.

When Trustee Connell first arrived, he was welcomed by the VP Team, Liz Rozell, Zav Dadabhoy, and Mike Giacomini. Benny Balderrama, Program Manager for Campus Center Events and Services, and Samantha Pulido, SGA Vice President, provided an overview of Student Life, while Heather Penella welcomed Trustee Connell on behalf of the Bakersfield College Foundation. Deans of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez and Manny Mourtzanos, dropped by to highlight some of our outstanding institutional initiatives and instructional work.

Afterwards, Trustee Connell enjoyed a tour of the Nursing Skills Lab hosted by Ronnie Knabe, Automotive Engine Lab hosted by Justin Flint, and the Baccalaureate Robotics Lab hosted by Tom Rush. He met our BC humanoid robot, Pepper, and was instructed on how to maneuver robotic arms by INDA students, Yasmeen Reyes and Jose Manriquez. Student Carlos Medina discussed student employment using Jobspeaker.

Yasmeen Reyes and Trustee Connell
Yasmeen Reyes and Trustee Connell
Jose Marquez introduces Trustee Connell to a robotic machine
Jose Marquez introduces Trustee Connell to a robotics machine
Trustee Connell visits BC Nursing
Trustee Connell visits BC Nursing
Trustee Connell visits a BC workshop
Trustee Connell visits a BC workshop
Trustee Connell Visit
The tour ended with a lunch provided by BC’s Food Services.
(Back) Trustee Connell, Todd Coston, Jennifer Johnson Bernadette Martinez
(Front) Mike Giacomini, Liz Rozell, Nick Strobel, Jessica Wojtsjiak.

Industrial Automation hosts local HS students

Students learn about the Industrial Automation program

On March 1st 2019, Bakersfield College Industrial Automation hosted over 60 students from West High School, Regional Occupational Center, and Robert F. Kennedy High School to explore the Industrial Automation program.

HS Students see robotics in action
HS Students see robotics in action

Students were provided an overview of the Baccalaureate Degree, Career Education certificates and degrees, Campus Life, Student Government Association, Financial-Aid and a campus tour. At lunch, all guests were surprised by a special guest from a galaxy far far away.

Industrial Automation staff with R2D2
Industrial Automation staff with R2D2

Art on the Fly

BC’s Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio has been working with one of BC’s art students on the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and making a large-scale painting on the fly. He said in an email, “We are representing and concluding Black History Month on the Hip Hop & Poetry side. I teach Art and Hip Hop…

Professor Monterrubio says that his students talk about art, but also about music and other areas of the humanities, and how important it is to learn from these different realms. His student Keiolani inquired about African American female singers who showed empowerment with their music and life. Monterrubio shared that Lauryn Hill started in a group called The Refugees that was shortened to the Fugees in the 90s. He said, “I explained to my student that her music has transcended decades and is still as empowering today as it was in the nineties. So during that short conversation in regard to Black History Month and inquiry of my student, we decided to get some acrylic paint and use what we’ve learned in class regarding contrast/scale and create a huge portrait of Lauryn Hill.  As an educator of color, it’s important to teach identity and diversity when my students ask for it or need to hear it. We are educators. I am here for them. Together we make art.”

Passionate Professor: Bill Kelly

Thank you to Tabatha Mills at KGET for spotlighting a true Renegade and Ag champion and BC legend, Bill Kelly.

Uncommon Women

Graphic by Tish Gamez

UNCOMMON WOMEN AND OTHERS is a comedy/drama set in an East Coast women’s college during the 1970s and the second wave of feminism. Five former classmates compare notes on their activities since graduating and then, in a series of flashbacks, are seen back in their college days and we learn of the events, some funny, some touching, some awkward, some outrageous, that helped to shape them.

The play was presented in the Simonsen Performing Arts Center indoor theater and had its final showing last weekend. It was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein, and directed by theatre faculty member Bob Kempf.

(R-L): Emily Andrews, Jerusha Crystian, Emma Jordan-Scott, Jenna Joy Fernandez, Angela Caffee, Lorea Laverty, Lindsay Pearson, and Lucy Brown.
Photo by Michelle Guerrero
(R-L): Emily Andrews, Jerusha Crystian, Emma Jordan-Scott, Jenna Joy Fernandez, Angela Caffee, Lorea Laverty, Lindsay Pearson, and Lucy Brown.

Project Conexiones Estudantiles de BC

As a result of their leadership development, LUPE students are highly involved in Project Conexiones Estudantiles de BC, a new venture on campus to unite recognized student organizations on campus and community agencies who are advocates and raise the awareness of the  issues affecting undocumented students on campus.

BC LUPE Group Photo

In addition, engagement in the community and early outreach to our local high school students has been a major point of emphasis for the spring semester. LUPE has been intentional in advocating for post-secondary education for all Kern County residents, regardless of their immigration status.

BHS Parents Presentations
BHS Parents Presentations

Six LUPE student leaders visited the Parent Center at BHS and addressed over thirty Spanish speaking parents and their students ranging from 9th – 12th grade.  The information disseminated ranged from: Student Success Strategies, College Expectations, the Freshmen Experience, Resiliency/Perseverance Testimonies, EOPS Program, Dream Act/FAFSA, Scholarship Opportunities and how parents can better support and motivate the next generation.

Beyond #BringBackOurGirls: Women and Conflict in North East Nigeria

Hilary Matfess speaks at BC's Levan Center
Hilary Matfess speaks at BC’s Levan Center

Journalist, research analyst and Yale Ph.D. candidate Hilary Matfess came to campus on Wednesday to present her research on women’s roles in the Boko Haram insurgency group in North East Nigeria. Titled “Beyond #BringBackOurGirls: Women and Conflict in North East Nigeria”, Matfess’ visit was organized by the Women’s History and More Committee, who are focusing this year’s Women’s History Month programming on discussions of women in war.

Matfess originally came to Nigeria to interview men who had defected from Boko Haram, a jihadist insurgency that initially started as a religious volunteer group before evolving into one of the world’s most violent terrorist organizations. When she discovered that getting access to Boko Haram soldiers was pretty difficult, she decided to focus her research on women who were either abducted or volunteered to join Boko Haram.

“It became clear to me that these women’s experiences were not being highlighted,” Matfess said. “Understanding women’s experiences in their totality is crucial to understanding conflict.”

Over one million Nigerians have been displaced from their homes as a result of the Boko Haram conflict, and rampant corruption and human rights abuses in displacement camps by the Nigerian military gave women few safe options to turn to. International attention of Boko Haram peaked in 2014, when the group abducted 276 young girls from a school in the town of Chibok. A group of Nigerian activists started the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, which became rapidly shared across social media and led to several of the girls being released. However, Matfess said that the campaign oversimplified the complexities of the Boko Haram conflict and ignored the thousands of other people who had been abducted by the group, and negotiating for the release of several Chibok girls resulted in the group abducting even more women in the region due to their perceived increase in value.

Thank you to BC’s WHAM committee, BCSGA, and Hilary Matfess for the enriching and informative event.

Spotlight on Student Employment

The Student Employment department hosted their second hiring recruitment for local moving company Meathead Movers on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. During the recruitment, 28 students completed onsite applications and several others picked-up an application to return at a later time. We also had several students inquire about current on-campus employment and upcoming events at our jobspeaker tent.

Meathead Movers and Student Employment
Meathead Movers and Student Employment

Erin Norton, Operations Manager for Meathead Movers, will provide an update on number of hires within the next couple of weeks. He has also requested another hiring recruitment in April as he is impressed the caliber of students Bakersfield College produces. Thank you Domenica Trinidad, Job Developer for coordinating this event and a special thanks to Darrell Ballard, Athletics Program Manager, for his continual efforts in helping our students.

Kern County Career Expo

Speaking of gainful employment, the 2nd Annual Kern County Career Expo was held, Thursday February 28, 2019. In partnership with the Kern High School District, Bakersfield College Career Education supported this large scale event that drew in approximately 5,700 middle school, high school and early college students to explore career options within Kern County.

The 2019 Kern County Career Expo

There were over 140 companies in addition to, Regional Occupation Center, Bakersfield College, Taft College and Cal State Bakersfield to support students on the path to their future careers. Check out all the photos on BC’s Smugmug!

Connecting the Dots: Data-Informed Integrated Planning

BC Team at Connecting the Dots
BC Team at Connecting the Dots

A power team from BC attended the Connecting the Dots: Data-informed Integrated Planning conference in Fresno on March 1st. Nick Strobel, Dan Hall, Amber Hroch, Tony Cordova, Craig Hayward, Erica Menchaca, Billie Jo Rice, and Todd Coston spent the day looking through the student success dashboard, looking at data, identifying what we are doing now and then looking for opportunities to do things better.  All of this work then funneled down to how we can use this information to fill the gaps of our strategic plan so we can meet the goals set by the state for the Vision For Student Success.

Counseling Department Award

Renegade Student

Exciting news emerged from the BC Foundation this week that a self-funded Counseling Department award has been established. Fifteen members from the Counseling (Panorama & Delano), EOPS, DSPS, and BSIA departments came together and signed up for automatic, monthly payroll deduction. The contribution will total $285 per month generating $3,420 per year to support deserving BC students! The first $500 award will be given out this spring. What an amazing demonstration of care, teamwork and leadership!

CASE District VII Conference

 Susan Hubbell and Heather Pennella attend the conference
Susan Hubbell and Heather Pennella attend the conference

Susan Hubbell, Financial Information Manager and Heather Pennella, Alumni & Donor Relations Manager attended the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII Conference in Anaheim, representing Bakersfield College and the BC Foundation. CASE District VII represents institutions in the western region of the U.S., including Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah. The four-day conference was stacked with sessions focused on alumni relations, advancement services, philanthropy, leadership and communications. Susan and Heather took part in many educational sessions during the conference to bring back information and apply it to the Foundation’s growing efforts towards improved alumni outreach, donor stewardship and a robust scholarship program.

Go Red Luncheon

Mayor Karen Goh, Lynnette Zelezny, Sonya Christian, Beatris Espericueta-Sanders, Norma Rojas-Mora, and Lourdez Nilon
Mayor Karen Goh, Lynnette Zelezny, Sonya Christian, Beatris Espericueta-Sanders, Norma Rojas-Mora, and Lourdez Nilon

On March 1, 2019 the American Heart Association held its annual Go Red Luncheon. What a fantastic event with incredible turnout! Bakersfield College was well represented by the BC cheerleaders.

Adventist Health’s Beatris Espericueta-Sanders and Kiyoshi Tomono were gracious hosts as Norma Rojas-Mora and I joined Mayor Karen Goh, CSUB’s President Zelezny and Lourdes Nilon, from Bakersfield High, Tamara Clark, and from Adventist Health Dr. Anabiet Udofia, Heather Van Housen.   There was a sea of red as the community came out to understand the importance of heart health and to build awareness around knowing the symptoms of a heart attack. The American Heart Association cites that one in three women is living with some form of cardiovascular disease and it kills one woman every 80 seconds.  To prevent the disease, the organization recommends understanding family health history, knowing your numbers and making lifestyle changes like eating smart, managing blood pressure and being more active.

Mayor Karen Goh, President Lynnette Zelezny, President Sonya Christian
In true red style, BC Cheer was on hand for the event! Cheer coach Heather Foss expecting her first baby.

Seen on Facebook: BC at Shafter City Council

Last Tuesday, Dean of Academic Technology Bill Moseley joined Shafter Educational Liaison David Franz at the Shafter City Council meeting, to speak in support of the proposed Shafter Library and Learning Center expansion.  The Shafter Learning Center has partnered with BC to offer study space and support for BC students who live in Shafter, and may offer classroom space in the future for BC classes.

Bill Moseley FB post

Career Ladders Project Partnership

These Affinity Team rock stars, Pedro Ramirez and Armando Trujillo along with their stage manager Lisa Robles went on tour sharing the good news surrounding Guided Pathways from a Completion Coaching Community perspective. The group started their tour at the Building Diversity Conference  in L.A., moving on to their second gig in Long Beach at the Achieving the Dream Conference and ended their tour in NYC at the League for Innovation conference where former BC AAI champion and current Director at Career Ladders Project Julian West received the 2018 Innovation Award.

The partnership and collaboration between Bakersfield College and Career Ladders Project is an important one as we continue the work in making Guided Pathways a success.

Photos of Campus at Dawn

Earl Parsons of BC’s Marketing team shared these photos with me and they were too beautiful not to include! Enjoy!

Collage by Earl Parsons
Photos by Earl Parsons

Ordiz-Melby Architects

Jeannie Bertolaccini and Danny Ordiz

We have been so fortunate to work alongside local firm Ordiz-Melby Architects for our new Campus Center.  They have been wonderful partners and have been working diligently to make sure that our new Campus Center will benefit the campus, students, and our community!  The new campus center will have many exciting features, including a new food services area, student life offices, and a 500-person conference room! Thank you to Jeannie Bertolaccini, Danny Ordiz and Bob Varner for your partnership to build A Better BC!

The team hard at work! A Better BC in action!

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11am, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights included segments with BC Head Cheer Coach Heather Foss and BC Cheerleaders Jasmine Garcia and Karlee Nelson.

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (2/24-3/2) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.

Bailey Pike, Women’s Swimming – In the first Western State Conference meet she took first in the 1650m Freestyle (19:37.41), lowering her season best time by 23 seconds and finishing over a minute ahead of the second place swimmer, helping the women take first overall at the meet.

Zach Williams, Baseball –  He was 8 for 10 (.800) in three games last week. He had a total of 8 RBI, 2 stolen bases and 2 home runs (one grand slam and one three-run homerun).

Zach Williams named SoCal Player of the Week An big congrats to Zach on not only being Renegade of the Week, but also being named SoCal Player of the week by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association (CCCBCA) for his big week last week!

Seven Renegades Named to the 2018 SCFA Scholar Athlete Team

We are proud to have student athletes who not only take care of business on the field, but in the classroom as well. This year we have seven Renegade football student athletes named to the Southern California Football Association 2018 Scholar Athlete Team. The seven include: Jeremiah Johnson (DB, Soph, Garces HS), Nathan De Jager (PK, Soph, Bakersfield Christian HS), James Thomas (DE, Soph, Independence HS), Monolete Robinson (DB, Soph, Centennial HS), Andrew Magana (DL, Fresh, Bakersfield HS), Carson Olivas (P, Soph, Bakersfield HS) and Blake Brown (OL, Soph, Garces HS). Congrats and keep up the great work academically!

Fun Photo of Coach Dahl and Trustee Agbalog

Coach Paula Dahl and Trustee Agbalog at the McFarland Basketball game

Renegade Athletics Roundup


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC Celebrating Black History Month. We Are BC!

Good morning Bakersfield!

Could not wake up this morning when my alarm went off after a looong, hectic and fun filled week at Bakersfield College.  But then, as Jennifer Marden would say,  this is how we roll at BC.

Thank you Steve Watkin for putting together a robust series of events for Black History Month. #WeAreBC

Sonya Christian and Steve Watkin Feb 9 2018

Warning, this is going to be a long blog…but remember it is only the tip of the iceberg of what goes on at this college that serves over 31,000 students at campus on Panorama, and at locations in Delano, Wasco, McFarland, Shafter, Arvin, Lamont and now, in southwest Bakersfield at the corner of Stockdale and Buena Vista.

Yes, We Are BC!
And we are your college!

Before I get into the Bakersfield College activities, I want to recognize the passing of the husband of a dear friend Cathy Abernathy.  Mark Abernathy has been a public figure in this community for a long time and this piece by James Burger in the Jan 29th Californian gives us a glimpse of his life.  https://tinyurl.com/ycpxjy3r

Cathy Abernathy and Mark Abernathy TBC Photo.jpg

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson at Bakersfield College

A major highlight for the week was having author, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson on campus for a jam packed Thursday at BC.  hosting four events on the campus to talk about racial inequality and the ongoing journey for restorative justice in African-American communities.

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Dr. Dyson at BC’s Indoor Theater

Dyson, a sociology professor at Georgetown University, an author of 19 books, a radio show host, and a frequent guest on several nationally-broadcast political roundtable shows, addressed a packed Indoor Theater on Thursday night to talk about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and his influence on African-American leadership in the 21st Century.

i-jnmw4xp-x4Although Dr. King never ran for elected office, Dyson argues, his gift for motivating others through rhetoric and his great vision for what America could be, he enabled that vision to come slightly closer to reality.

“All [Dr. King] asked for was for America to be what is said it was on paper,” Dyson said. While talking about the riots and police brutality of the ’60s that created the civil rights movement, Dyson emphasized that King sought to take on the structural biases that held all marginalized people back, and that for Dr. King’s work to continue, we must also fight against sexism and homophobia in order to fight back against racism.

Dyson packed the Fireside Room to capacity for the two open-discussion forums on latest book “Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America”, as well as a question and answer session with Paula Parks and the students in BC’s Umoja community.

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Dr. Paula Parks and Dr. Dyson

During the book discussions, Dyson kept the conversation focused on the contemporary debate about police brutality, cultural appropriation of black artists, kneeling for the National Anthem and how to engage in dialogue about racial issues with people who aren’t able to relate to the struggles facing African-Americans and might be resistant to the message.

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Inspired by his 2016 New York Times op-ed titled “Death in Black and White,” “Tears We Cannot Stop” is about the need for an honest, unrestrained dialogue about race that doesn’t pull punches about the hardships marginalized groups have had to endure in order to carve out their place within the American Dream.

Between the open forum discussions on “Tears We Cannot Stop”, Dyson sat down for an interview with Paula Parks and the students in our Umoja Community to talk about how predominately-white educational institutions have evolved to incorporate and empathize with students from marginalized groups, as well as Dyson’s inspiration to continue writing and giving his perspective over the past 30 years.

Nan and Zav

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Zav Dadabhoy at Dr. Dyson. Love this picture.

“I write to save my life and the lives of others, and sometimes for the dynamic privilege of saying something well,” Dyson said. “I believe in explaining stuff to white people.” Dyson’s tone was very humorous despite talking about the serious issues plaguing the African-American community today. Dyson was one of the first academics to examine the literary themes of hip-hop music, and he often spoke of the intergenerational struggles expressed through African-American music.

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BC’s Choir performed before Dr. Dysons evening performance

Through the candid, authentic persona and fiery oration, Dyson has redefined what a public intellectual can be. Thank you to the partnership of the Office of Student Life’s Distinguished Speaker Series and the Cerro Author program for bringing Dr. Dyson to BC.

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Dr. Dyson with OSL and Student Life

Manny DeLosSantos found Ralph Bailey in attendance for the evening presentation.

Manny DeLosSantos and Ralph Bailey

Manny DeLosSantos and Ralph Bailey

And Earl Parsons spotted Dr. Jackie Fisher, alumnus, former faculty, former Dean and retired president of Antelope Valley College.

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Dr. Jackie Fisher visiting Bakersfield College

Danyel Owens snapped this photo of the the overflow in the Fireside Room. It’s great to see the community coming out to events such as this.

Fireside Room during presentation by Dr. Dyson

Fireside Room during presentation by Dr. Dyson

#WeAreBC

Revitalizing the Campus thought Measure J.  Thank you Kern County!

Since the passing of Measure J in November of 2016 by a 65% vote by the Bakersfield community, BC has partnered with  AECOM-Parsons to plan for the major renovation and expansion of Bakersfield College’s campuses, including the Delano-Timmons campus and the much anticipated Arvin campus. AECOM, a company that has worked with many educational institutions, together with Parsons, who has been working on the Thomas Roads Improvement Project for the last decade, are working together with BC faculty and leadership to update our Facilities Master Plan based on our needs.

FMPU

 

The presentation, led by Todd Coston pointed out that we are still in the planning stages and since “a plan is a plan,” we can expect changes to come as we get further into the details of architecture and construction. AECOM-Parsons has worked diligently to maximize the square footage of renovations and construction of buildings in the shortest amount of time to maximize our dollars. They are considering our needs, what exists, and where savings can be made. AECOM has also partnered with the Department of State Architecture (DSA) for a more efficient and faster way for construction approval and they are using BC Measure J Facilities Master Plan renovations and construction as part of a pilot program to implement construction in a fast pace.

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Nick Strobel in the audience alongside Aricia Leighton

Leveraging funds from Measure G and the state with Measure J funding, the plan is to renovate approximately 224,000 square feet and construct 266,000 square feet of new buildings over the next 6 years. The Veterans Resource Center is in the design phase and we look forward to breaking ground soon. AECOM-Parsons and BC are working on strategies for effectively accomplishing the master plan, such as planning the construction sequence being mindful of swing space, when construction goes to market locally, construction staging areas and rerouting of traffic while minimally impacting our students.

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Sonya Christian and Romeo Agbalog

Sonya Christian and Trustee Romeo Agbalog

Todd Coston was our entertaining and eloquent emcee and did a wonderful visualization of taking a “stroll into 2024” as a new student on the new Panorama campus without having the actual details of what the architecture will look like in the future. Thank you Trustee Bill Thomas for supporting Measure J, helping bring it to fruition, continuing your support, and attending our update. Thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog for attending the update and supporting the needs of our rural campuses. I want to thank Trustee Kay Meek and Chancellor Tom Burke for being a part of this work, although they were unable to attend. I would also like to thank the AECOM-Parsons team, Scott Preston, Jill Kurth, and Yvonne Hidle.

During the afternoon, Trustee Thomas brought up an interesting fact regarding the proposed “New Entry for Campus off Panorama” was actually the original entry when the campus was first built in the 1950’s. Knowing our history is very important in planning our future. Looking ahead, as we improve the facilities, we are striving to not only accommodate our needs now, but anticipate our needs in the future.

Bringing BC to Arvin #BCArvin

Arvin and BC Leadership

We know how much education can affect a family,” said Abel Guzman, BC Director of Rural Initiatives. “Imagine how much a college can affect a city.”  After the presentation on the Panorama campus, a team from BC, together with Arvin Mayor Jose Gurrola shared details and plans for the BC center in Arvin at the Veteran’s Hall.

Bill Potter in Arvin

Bill Potter presenting in Arvin, CA

 

Jose Gurrola, Sonya Christian, Future Rengades

Jose Gurrola, Sonya Christian, and future Arvin Renegades

It was exciting to provide the community an opportunity to hear the plans for the new BC Arvin Facility and give them a platform to voice their expectations for the campus. Facilitated by Director of Rural Initiatives, Abel Guzman, community Leaders from every level including Mayor Jose Gurrola, City Manager Al Noyola, and Arvin Chief of Police Jerry Breckinridge, came out in support.

Abel Guzman, Director of Rural Initiaives talked about the programming BC has brought to Arvin the last four years.  Thank you Supervisor Leticia Perez for $400K to increase educational attainment rates in this community thought the Game Changer program.  Thank you Mike Turnipseed and Superintendent Bryon Schaefer.

Enrollments last year topped 1000.  Can’t wait to see the numbers for 2017-2018.

Enrollment Growth in Arvin Bar Graph.png

 

Trustee Bill Thomas told the audience that BC in Arvin is a “promise kept,” while Bill Potter, was able to paint a visual of the campus for the audience. 40-50 attendees were present including former chancellor and Arvin resident Jim Young, BC Adjunct faculty Amalia Ojeda, Dean Richard McCrow and BC Rural Initiatives Program Management team Raquel Lopez, Gustavo Enriquez, Endee Grijalva, and Jaime Lopez. Director Abel Guzman ended the forum with a reminder that BC in Arvin is like adding to the Arvin sense of “familia” in the community and has been and will continue to be a constant presence.

harold-pierce Feb 5 2018 Measure J draft plan roll outThank you Harold Pierce

Thank you also to Harold Pierce from the Californian for your articles.

The Bakersfield Californian is a local treasure and has a remarkable history. This newspaper has withstood a revolutionized industry, new technologies, and serves an expanding community that continues to grow, yet at the same time, it has kept that traditional “hometown content” that we’ve come to love.  A salute to the Californian and all its reporters.

Talking about Harold Pierce, I have been impressed with his coverage of Valley Fever and the efforts by our political leaders in Sacramento — Rudy Salas, Jean Fuller, Vince Fong.  See his piece in today’s Californian https://tinyurl.com/ya5wal63

 

A Wonderful Visit to Lost Hills

The Wonderful Company recently extended an invitation to BC leadership to engage in discussion to investigate possibilities to make local higher education a reality for the residents of Lost Hills. As you may know, Bakersfield College continues our commitment to serve neighboring rural communities by providing access to higher education.

Wonderful Tour Group Photo

Our morning began by visiting the various school sites in Lost Hills and seeing the college students of tomorrow beginning their educational journey on the right step.

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The Learning Garden was one of our favorite stops and the children there are growing both delicate herbs and hearty veggies such as cauliflower and broccoli.

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After visiting the school sites of Wonderful College Prep Academy, Wonderful Preschool, and the future permanent site of Wonderful College Prep Academy, the group visited Wonderful Park and Community Center in Lost Hills for a brainstorming lunch and discussion.  The Wonderful Company takes wellness seriously, just like BC and the lunch they provided was fresh and delicious.

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Beautiful lunch of salads, cauliflower rice, and salmon

Thank you to Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Lynda Resnick for joining the leadership from BC, and leadership from Wonderful Education and The Wonderful Company.

 

 

 

I look forward to more discussion and planning to bring college closer to home for the residents of Lost Hills.

 

You should check out David Brook’s piece in the NYTimes in 2016 on lost Hills and Lynda Resnick

Julian West Community Voices

BC Mentoring ArticleI recently shared that Julian West presented at BC’s Spring Opening Day where he addressed the audience about how he’s able to keep 600 students in our African-American affinity group engaged and striving for their highest level of excellence, using a combination of data analysis and “real talk” face-to-face mentorship to ensure that none of our African American students are falling through the cracks. See Julians full remarks here.

It brought a smile to my face on Friday morning when I saw Julians piece published in the paper. This inspiring and informative piece is an incredible piece of writing that shares a glimpse of the work taking place at BC. Julian writes, “To be effective in accomplishing equitable transformation, we address issues beyond what we see in the classroom. Scholastic results, or lack thereof, are rooted in issues students face outside the classroom. At BC, we address these issues in our African American Mentoring Program (AAMP) meetings during a component we call “Real Talk.” Real Talk is the facilitation of honest conversations, “Truth-telling conversations.” Sometimes that involves unpacking very complex issues such as masculinity. What does it really mean to be a man? What does it really mean to be a black man?”  See the whole article here.

And in case you missed Julians presentation on Opening Day:

Student Challenge

Speaking of student success… Jamie Garza, a sophomore in our Radiologic Technology program, won second place in the Student Challenge at a Radiologic Technology Educators’ Conference in Las Vegas. He was the only California community college student to place in the top three awards for the challenge, held at the 43rd annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Educators in Radiologic Technology (ACERT). Over 500 students were in attendance for the conference, which holds a sample mock registry exam called the Student Challenge to prepare students for the licensure certification exam in radiologic technology.

Radiologic Technology Students that participated in the challenge

Jamie Garza (holding certificate), myself (directly behind her to the right and the other 8 Radiologic Technology Students that participated in the challenge

Garza was one of the nine BC students who attended the conference with four other faculty members from BC, and she was awarded a certificate of recognition and a monetary award for her efforts. Jamie is scheduled to graduate this May with her Associate of Science degree, and plans on taking the licensure exam and seeking employment in Radiologic Technology immediately after Commencement, according to our Radiologic Technology Director Nancy Perkins.

Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrom, BC Chamber Singers …Buy your ticket now

As I mentioned each week the last two weeks, I am personally involved in helping sell tickets to the benefit concert on March 10th at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $100 each to help our students go to Australia.  Email me now or call the BC Foundation for your tickets.  We have to sell 231 more tickets.

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Financial Aid Awareness Month Kicks Off

Did you know February is Financial Aid Awareness month? The Office of Financial Aid held a special kick-off event in the Renegade Crossroads on Monday with financial aid technicians teaching our students how to get a head start on their FAFSA paperwork for next semester. This year’s kick-off event had a NASCAR theme, with technicians passing out pizza and distributing information behind a checkerboard flag. There were also booths with specialized information for veterans and DREAMers to apply, and the BC drumline performed to kick off the morning’s festivities.

While the deadline for students to apply for a Federal Student Aid identification number (FSA ID) and complete the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) is June 30th for the 2018-19 academic year, according to Financial Aid Assistant Adriana Vega, it’s important for students to get their information processed as soon as possible so that our pit crew at the Financial Aid office can deal with any complications that may arise. We want all of our students to be able to sprint ahead with their application as soon as the green flag of the Fall 2018 semester is waved. We are encouraging students to apply for aid before March 2nd, the priority filing deadline and the deadline for Cal Grant consideration for the 2018-19 academic year.

The Office of Financial Aid is working on streamlining the processing of awards for next year and digitizing financial aid forms for easier access to students while reducing the carbon footprint and storage space necessary for paper applications, Vega said.

Thank you to Kevin Ott, Vanesa De La Madrid, Gina Hunter, Heather Skibinski, Mark Llanes, Adriana Vega, Lucy Perez-Dykes, Evette Lara, Victoria Koiyan, Walter Rivas, Rebecca Bumpous, Connie Garza-Singh, Valerie Mackey, Pedro Ramirez, and the various departments who contributed to the resource fair:
From EOP&S: Bobby Baylon, Bradley Parrot and Jessica Cortez.
From DSPS: Rudy Gutierrez, Denise Crawford, and Diane Allen.

Student Employment: Vicki Coffee and Beth Harrison.

African American Community Leadership Breakfast

The campus activities for Black History Month also continue and on Wednesday morning, African American leaders in our community gathered in the Fireside Room. The morning was an opportunity to connect, discuss student success and initiatives that are making a difference.

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It was great to hear from Tommy Tunson as he shared a story of visiting Palm Springs and meeting Rosa Parks. Chelsea Esquibias, Danny Morrison, Julian West, and Rayven Acosta-Webb also presented about the Inmate Scholars Program and all the incredible transformation brought about because of the opportunity to obtain an education.

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June Charles and Michael Bowers

 

And thank you Michael Bowers for your continued support of Bakersfield College.  You introduced me to some stellar members of our community during the campaign for Measure J.

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Michelle Hart at our Delano Campus shared with me this photo and said,

We had 26 students attend! They laughed, were engaged throughout, and were super appreciative of being given the opportunity to “attend” the event! In fact, afterward, Anhelica Perez, SGA Delano Campus Programmer, Elisabeth Sundby, Delano Campus Librarian, and I were able to have brief conversations with them about the issues discussed and about offering more events like these in the future.

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Welcoming Mr. Finzel in Delano

U.S. Congressman David Valadao’s field representative, Perry Finzel, reached out to Gustavo Enriquez hoping to learn more about the Delano campus. On Wednesday, February 7th, Delano staff had the pleasure of providing a tour and updating Perry Finzel on all of our rural initiatives. He was truly impressed with all of the work happening in the rural areas.

U.S. Congressman David Valadao is the Representative for California’s 21st District which includes Kings County, western Fresno County, southwestern Tulare county, and northwestern Kern county, including Delano. The Congressman is a proponent of education and supporter of Career Technical Education legislation. Thank you Gustavo for welcoming the Congressman’s field representative.

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Perry Finzel and Gustavo Enriquez

Agriculture Career Exploration Day

The BC cafeteria was brimming with Future Farmers of America Friday morning for the Agriculture Career Exploration Day. Around 200 excited students from local high schools with an interest in a future in agriculture attended this first Career Day focused on Agriculture at Bakersfield College.

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Jeff Rasmussen and Corny Rodriguez

Jeff Rasmussen and Corny Rodriguez

This event was made possible by the Kern County Farm Bureau, Kern High School District and the many industry partners including JG Boswell, Sunview Vineyards, Syngenta, Grimmway Farms, Cargill-Nutrena and Wonderful Farms. It was Jeff Rasmussen, past president of the Kern County Farm Bureau, BC alumnus and great friend and supporter of agriculture education, who first approached me about having this event. I’m happy to say that we were able to come together and have this first of many career days for Ag.

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Ag faculty Feb 9 2018 Photo by Mary Jo Pasek

Thank you Jeff for coming to me with this wonderful idea. I want to give a special thank you to BC faculty Heather Baltis for taking the lead in putting this event together.  Thank you to all of the Ag department that were involved with this event: Corny Rodriguez, Matt Riley, Lindsay Ono, Dr. Greg Cluff, Department Chair, Dr. Jim Selgrath, Catherine Jones, Leann Riley, Bill Kelly, Billy Barnes, Dr. James McEnroe, Chris McCraw, and Sally Sterns. Thank you Eric Sabella and food services staff for providing the delicious food and Mary Jo Pasek for arranging and coordinating the event locations. And last, but not least, thank you Ralph Mendes, Kern High School District Ag Coordinator, for all of your work in making the event happen from the high school side.

Rudy Salas

Assemblymember Rudy Salas speaking at BC

We were delighted to have special guest Assemblymember Rudy Salas, District 32, join us and encourage the students to let him know if BC didn’t show “how Ag is cool.” Assemblymember Salas led the charge in saving agriculture education and was instrumental in bringing back programs in schools when the government removed FFA. The state is now investing millions in Ag education.

Jeff Rasmussen told an engaging parable about a water bearer trying to cheer up his cracked pot by showing the pot the wonderful flowers that grew along the pathway he walked every day to bring water back to his masters house. He told the students that we all have cracks, that we may not see the benefits of our cracks, and we may need a water bearer to show us the benefits. For him, Bill Kelley was a water bearer. Bill encouraged him when he was having problems with math and English and convinced him that he could transfer to Cal-Poly, where he earned a degree in Ornamental Horticulture. Bill helped him see his pathway.

 

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Mike Riel, Grimmway Farms

Did you know that careers in Ag are growing? Because of feedback from the Ag industry and the high schools, we realized that the demand for education that leads to jobs in these industries is important. This resulted in BC’s Ag department doubling over the last few years.

This Agriculture Career Exploration Day is so impactful on our future students. It gives them the opportunity to meet the water bearers of Ag Mechanics, Plant Science, Agribusiness, Forestry and Animal Science to help them down the Ag pathway. After all, we are an agricultural community and education is the key to sustaining the future of agriculture and a strong economy in our community.

Manny at the Ag Expo

Manny DeLosSantos hanging out

Industrial Automation

Clovis Community College has launched a new short-term course in Mechatronics to prepare its students for a career in industrial automation, according to a report by YourCentralValley.com.

Clovis professor Matthew Graff has been working closely with the Central Valley’s Strong Workforce Consortium on Industrial Automation, of which BC is a part, to develop the course, which teaches students about manufacturing and agricultural automation technologies.

For the last few years, BC has been leading the way on industrial automation programs at community colleges, with our first baccalaureate class in Industrial Automation getting the chance to walk across the stage and graduate this May, and it’s exciting to see other community colleges in our area developing curricula that will meet the growing demand for industrial automation professionals in San Joaquin.

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KC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Gala

KCHCC Group PhotoIt was a wonderful evening of familiar community faces and much deserved recognition as the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a longtime Bakersfield College supporter, recently honored 7 local leaders and businesses that are making a difference in our town. California State University Bakersfield President Dr. Horace Mitchell who retires in June was among the honorees. He received the businessman of the year award, and in giving his speech, he credited educational success to various institutions — corporations, schools, and business chambers — working together as partners in community excellence.  “It’s all about all of us working together in improving our community,” he shared with the audience. Thank you, Horace, for highlighting the power of education and its lasting, positive impact on our community.

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Other honorees from the evening were: Pam Alvarez of Beautiful You Medical Aesthetics as business woman of the year; Beverly Camp of Catholic Diocese of Fresno Charities as community service of the year; Trans-West Security, Inc., as corporation of the year; Luis Aguilar who recently retired from his longtime business, El Pueblo restaurant in Lamont, as large business of the year; Godinez Law as small business of the year; and Patriots of Kern, led by Dick Taylor, as nonprofit of the year. Even more special for Bakersfield College was that three of our very own were installed as officers to this year’s Hispanic chamber board and its foundation.

History Professor Olivia Garcia was appointed to the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce executive board of directors. Dean of Instruction Cornelio “Corny” Rodriguez and Lisa Kent, Equity Program Manager, were both named to serve on the Hispanic Chamber’s Business Education Foundation. Kudos also goes to Chevron’s Adam Alvidrez who was honored as the returning chair of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce board. Thank you, Adam, Chevron, Jay Tamsi and the Hispanic chamber for your continued support of BC and the Energy Academy.

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Jesse Oropeza, Olivia Garcia, Endee Grijalva, Octavio Barajas, Heather Pennella, and Lisa Kent

The event was indeed a sellout, and familiar faces were many, including Mayor Karen Goh, Assembly members Vince Fong and Rudy Salas, Senator Andy Vidak, Chair of the Board Supervisor Mike Maggard, Bakersfield Council members Andrae Gonzales and Chris Parlier, and Delano City Councilwoman Liz Morris, along with newcomers, such as Clinica Sierra Vista’s Brian Harris and his wife, Gisela, among many others. Brian began as the new CEO of Clinica on Jan. 29, replacing its founder and longtime CEO, the much-respected Stephen Schilling.

Second Annual Pathway to Success Conference.

The second annual Pathway to Success Conference took place yesterday for students with less than a “Good” Academic Standing. The conference was full of facts on how your Academic Standing can affect your financial aid, steps to take to get back to Good Standing, and tools to help you be successful here at BC.

Grace Commiso and Tanner Dyrness

Grace Commiso and Tanner Dyrness

Grace Commiso kicked off the event with an enlightening  presentation that was well received. She said, “Get Connected! The more you communicate with your professor, classmates, and advisers, the more successful you will be in class.”

She also relayed to us, that we all need to find our Why?! Finding out the ‘why you are here’ will help inspire you to get good grades and stay involved. She shared with students that it took her a few years to find her why, but when she did, she was able to thrive in academia and was able to become who she is today.

Tanner Dyrness, Mary Jo Pasek, Michael McClenic

Tanner Dyrness, Mary Jo Pasek, Michael McClenic, and Fabiola Johnson

Presenting for Assemblyman Vince Fong was field Representative Tanner Dyrness. He also shared with us that he too, had trouble finding his “why,” but when he finally figured it out, he knew his destiny was being in politics. Mr. Dyrness also presented a Certificate of Recognition to Bakersfield Collage on behalf of the State of California.

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I would to give a special thank you to Fabiola Johnson for her amazing presentation and all her hard work. Thank you to Dr. Michael McClenic and Grace Commiso for hosting the Second annual Pathway to Success Conference.

Clarifying Paths from BC to CSUB

This week, approximately 70 CSUB and BC faculty and leaders gathered in BC’s Huddle to create 4-year default pathways for each degree. During the morning, the group compared coursework and aligned the classes. Our goal is to have a validated 4-year pathway for each of our ADTs in the next college catalog and a big event to come at CSUB announcing the created pathways.

We know that by working together, we can increase completion rates for all of our students and get them guarantees for transferring their course work. Thank you to Shawn Whalen from College Futures Foundation for announcing a grant to continue our work on transfer alignment. And thank you to the admin team from CSUB including Jacqueline Mimms and Vernon Harper.

4 Renegade Football Players Sign to Play at the Next Level

Wednesday was National Signing Day and four Bakerfield College football players signed to play at the next level.  Tyrrel Eddington, Jeffrey Jones and Ernest Harris signed to play at the Division I level while Cristion Brown signed to play at the Division II level.  

Tyrrell Eddington will be playing at Eastern Michigan University (Mid-American Conference), Jeffrey Jones will be playing at The University New Mexico (Mountain West Conference), Ernest Harris will be playing at Sam Houton State (Southland Conference) and Cristion Brown will be playing at Fort Lewis College (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference).
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Renegade Basketball

The BC women’s basketball team (10-13, 4-2) used a balanced attack to defeat Santa Monica last night.  Four Renegades scored in double-figures, led by Jasmyn Rodriguez with 20 points.  Brianna Mendez added 14 points and 8 rebounds, while Bianca Zamora chipped in 12 points.  Angie Kroeger recorded here 5th double-double of the season.

The Renegades will be on the road Saturday when they travel to West LA for a 1:00 PM tip-off.

The Bakersfield College men’s basketball team (13-11, 4-2) defeated Santa Monica 81-53 on Wednesday night.  Jaylunn English led the Renegades with 29 points.  Henry Galinato added 17 pooint and Johnathan Murray scored 15 points and had 10 assists.  

BC at Garden Pathways

Garden Pathways Billie Jo Rice, Karen Goh, Liz Rozell, Grace Commisso, Endee Grijalva

Billie Jo Rice, Mayor Karen Goh, Liz Rozell, Grace Commiso, Endee Grijalva

Heart of the Country_Social_TextThe Garden Pathways “Heart of the Country” event held Thursday and we saw people from every part of the community in support of the amazing organization and the people it serves.

Bakersfield College was proud “Arbuckle Sponsors” with Liz Rozell, Bill Jo Rice, Grace Commiso and Endee Grijalva in attendance representing BC.

Highlights included Invocation by the honorable Mayor and Garden Pathways President Karen Goh, Program Graduate Awards/ Recognition, live entertainment and of course, KGET-TV 17’s Maddie Janssen as the MC for the evening.

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On Thursday, Lesley Bonds and I headed out to LA for the Accreditation Evaluation Team Training.  There were six teams heading out in March to six different colleges that are up for their accreditation comprehensive site visit.  And guess what….. all six teams had a BC person on it.  How cool is that.  BC is everywhere in our community, in our state, in our region.  In the photo below – Bill Moseley, Jessica Wojtysiak, Janet Fulks, Lesley Bonds and me.  We did not see Don Chrusciel at that time and therefore we were not able to get him into the photo.

BC at ACCJC Team Training

And thank you Mary Jo Pasek for all that you do to support and bring these great events to Bakersfield College.

Mary Jo and Tom Pasek Aug 2 2016

 

#WeAreBC

 

Feb 10 2018 Neo Live Laugh Love

Sonya Christian Feb 7 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Another Great Week to be a Renegade

Good morning Bakersfield.  What a beautiful Saturday morning in July.  Sitting outside on the patio, it is 4:30 a.m., July 8, 2017…a great day to be a Renegade.

FlagDayIn fact, it was a great week to be a Renegade with a special day off on Tuesday to relax and celebrate a holiday with friends and family. On July 4th, the United States commemorates the start of a grand experiment in self-governance.

On that day 241 years ago, Thomas Jefferson gave words to the birthright of liberty and free expression that is not granted by kings or governments, and which we fight to preserve if our leaders attempt to deny. From that simple idea, forged by the philosophical works of John Locke, Voltaire, Rene Descartes and other contributors of the Enlightenment, a new society emerged, and blueprint for governance.

Over the last 241 years, the blueprint has proved to be difficult to realize, and society has had to change – and continues to change – to remain true to its ideals as inalienable rights once denied are progressively regained, by women, by immigrants, by people of color, and many more. The experiment continues, even today, as an intrinsic privilege of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – and intrinsic denial of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness – are gradually seen as such.

This dynamic defines our work as community college educators, as we struggle to educate everyone, anyone, faced with the systemic effects of poverty, lack of health care, lack of safety, physical disability, and mental disability, that we now recognize as a self-perpetuating status quo.

As educators, it is our responsibility to keep the public informed on what their rights are, the history of how those rights were earned, and what we’re able to do on both an individual and community-wide level to protect and recognize those rights. It is a profound responsibility, but it’s also an incredible opportunity to be the scientists on the front lines of the great American experiment. As an immigrant I have a unique understanding of what a great country this is!

How did you celebrate Independence Day? Leave a comment below. I’d love to know how you spent your holiday.

I had a relatively quiet fourth at home – the kind I like – and this year with a sense of anticipation to see how Neo would react to the fireworks.  He did surprisingly well especially considering how dramatically he reacted to the gardener’s demon leaf blower.

June 30 2017 Neo with a stick

Neo, chewing on a twig. His favorite pastime.

 

I’ve been congratulating myself on having the calmest, most enlightened puppy in town as I heard stories of puppy destruction from others… and then he turned three months old at 30 lbs and I began to understand…  I sent an SOS to several friends. Lesley shook her head wisely and said “You have got to tire him out.  I take Blue for runs, and then there is the formidable battle with the water sprinkler that is intentionally planned.”  Here is the evidence.

Blue chasing water

So, I took my instructions very seriously and this has now become part of Neo’s evening routine..

Neo has his last set of shots scheduled for July 19th.  After that the vet said we had permission to take him to the dog park.  Can’t wait to get him exercised and exhausted in the dog park.  I have been there several times when Ken visited me from Oregon with the one and only Woody, his chocolate-colored Lab.

I know you have seen this 27-sec video of Woody swimming many many times, but here it is again in my July 3, 2016 blog post.
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/07/03/daily-inspiration-from-all-things-bc/

Thomas Roads Improvement Project

In an op-ed from last week’s Bakersfield Californian, Bakersfield City Manager Alan Tandy laid out his case for Trustee Bill Thomas’ Thomas Road Improvement Program, or TRIP.

When Retired Congressman and Trustee Thomas brought in a $630 million federal earmark for road repair in Bakersfield shortly before retiring from the House of Representatives, he established a partnership between Cal Trans and local and county government to outline a plan to fix the city’s aging, insufficient road infrastructure. One of TRIP’s most successful and notable projects so far is the Westside Parkway, which linked the suburban communities of Northwest Bakersfield with our burgeoning and resurgent downtown area.

TRIP May 2017

Photo by Dorothy Mills-Greg from The Bakersfield Californian. Mayor Karen Goh and Retired Congressman Bill Thomas

TRIP has grown its initial $630 million federal budget into a $1.4 billion budget through grants and contributions, adding 24 bridges and nearly 100 lane miles of roadway to Bakersfield’s transportation network since 2007. Upcoming projects, including the Hageman flyover road, the 24th Street widening and the first phase of the Centennial Corridor project, will ease congestion further as Kern County continues to have some of the fastest population growth in the nation.

TRIP is essential to making our city functional, especially as our growth continues to outpace our infrastructure. Thank you Trustee Thomas! And thank you Alan Tandy for the great article.

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Grimmway

On Thursday, July 6th, Rich and I had the pleasure of meeting with the Dream Team from Grimmway Academy — Greg West, Director of School Support Services;  Paul Escala, Executive Director of the Grimmway Schools; and Casey Yeazel, Chief Academic Officer.  The Grimmway Academy just graduated their eigth grade class and most of them will be starting their ninth grade at Arvin High School.  There was great chemistry in the room and I can’t wait to see the results of our planning.

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Sonya Christian, Greg West, Rich McCrow, Paul Escala, Casey Yeazel

The Grimmway Academy is a great example of #EducationDoneRight.  Barbara Grimm, a true visionary, made this happen.  I visited the Grimmway Academy in in 2014.  Check out my blog post on July 1, 2014
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2014/07/01/grimmway-academy-thrives-in-arvin/

Academic Support Services Retreat Day

Let me introduce you to BC’s Academic Support Team.

Left to right:  Kimberly Arbolante, Grace Commiso, Laraine Rosema, Susan Abbassi, Eric Weis, Maria Wright, Stephanie Vega, Barry Ramirez, Monica Huyck, Eileen Pierce, Christopher Anderson, Kim Collins, Sonia Avila, Yvonne Armendariz, Bradley Cramer, Alana Austin, Jessica Flores, and Miguel Cuate.

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I am always happy to see Monica Huyck since she was one of the very first people I met when I arrived on campus in 2013.  Here is my blog post from March 6, 2013 that has a picture of me with Monica and the team from the tutoring center in Delano.  Gosh I look so young in that picture and Rich McCrow was still tall then 🙂  Check it out

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2013/03/16/our-delano-campus/

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Dr. Janet Fulks

The Retreat was very good and I felt hugely energized listening to the different presenters and the comments from the group.  Janet Fulks, of course, gave an inspiring talk when she shared data about our students.  And Rich and I were whispering to each other how fortunate we were to have the amazing Janet Fulks in our midst.

 

As BC continues to aggressively make changes to get more students to and through the college in an efficient and effective manner, we have realized the importance of being more intrusive with our students, over 80% of them are first generation college going, and get them to make use of our academic support services like tutoring, supplemental instruction, the writing center etc.  The team you see above have been redesigning their systems and practices to get more students to participate in these services as well as engage with faculty regularly to track student progress so that they minimize the risk of having these students fall between the cracks.

 

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Maria Wright addressing the group. Rich McCrow, Sonya Christian, Criag Hayward, Michael McClinnick

Here are some of the concluding thoughts shared by team members at the end of the retreat.

What was the most important piece of information gained from this retreat?

  • The accountability of faculty and staff to students via completion teams & “permission” to hammer team members to participate in success of our students.
  • The strengths quest workshop. It was a real joy and very informative.
  • A more clearly defined path for guided pathway.
  • Hearing about the programs and services being implemented as a result of the data
  • Clarification about the goals of the campus.
  • Points of connection and defining our identity through students.
  • I think the most important piece(s) of information I gained from this experience are the utilization of our talents as well as the massive amounts of support the Academic support team receives.
  • Clarification of our roles in Academic Support Services in the context of Pathways.
  • How collaboration will happen on each team.
  • Gaining insight on the “what” and “why”
  • Understanding the role of academic support services within the meta-majors and affinity groups
  • The enforcement of the effectiveness of support services

How will your role be affected as a result of the information shared today?

  • My role is more “global” now.
  • I understand the relationship between my role as a guided pathway leader and my everyday tasks
  • I will have to take a more holistic approach when working with students.
  • I like to think that my program will have so much support.
  • I will be able to contact the correct people with a support attitude.
  • I will reach out more to my colleagues in order to coordinate our efforts in serving students.
  • I have gained confidence that I can help students reach goals.

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Maria had invited several of the senior administrators and other key leaders of campus to the retreat for the first hour.  During this time, she asked me to address her team on Guided Pathways and the new direction for Academic Support.  She wanted to make sure that we had this larger group for this segment so that we could integrate the work and the key strategies as a whole rather than in isolation.  Maria Wright rocks!

Let me introduce you to those in the photo.

Back row: Pedro Ramirez, Julian West, Abel Guzman, Eric Weis, Richard McCrow, Christopher Anderson, Monica Huyck, Kim Collins, Sonia Avila, Bradley Cramer, Alana Austin, Michael Mcclenic, Miguel Cuate, Craig Hayward,  and Stig Jantz

Front row: Imelda Valdez, Lisa Kent, Alyse Braaten, Laraine Rosema, Susan Abbassi, Maria Wright, Stephanie Vega, Barry Ramirez, Eileen Pierce, Yvonne Armendariz, Shohreh Rahman, Jessica Flores, and Grace Commiso.

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I was sorry to miss being in the photos since I had a dignitary stop by my office at exactly the time the photo was being taken 😦

Here are a few more pictures.

 

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Agriculture Career Camps

TweetTwo weeks of Agriculture Career Camps were a success! Bakersfield College’s partnership with The Wonderful Company allowed 8th grade students to explore different career options in the agriculture industry.

Food production may start with a farmer, but the employment opportunities to get food to the end-consumer are endless. Each week 50 campers were exposed to different careers options.

Marko ZaninovichThe camp started with industry guest speakers and a tour of Sunview Vineyards. Thank you Marko Zaninovich for allowing us to visit Sunview Vineyards! They are leading the agriculture industry by using beneficial insects to control unwanted pests in lieu of spraying pesticides.

Scott, Sunview Vineyard’s Entomologist, was very passionate about his career and he had an amazing insect collection that the students got to view. Cristina monitors the beneficial and invasive insects and she was an inspiration for our young campers.

Bakersfield College’s new Agribusiness professors, Jim Selgrath and Leann Riley, along with Lindsay Ono, Katie Tune and Arian Hallum put together branding and marketing curriculum where students were able to create and brand a new flavor of pistachios, almonds and papayas.

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Bakersfield College’s new Agriculture Mechanics professor Matt Riley, along with Ernesto Marcial and Scott Trimble had students building water pumps and filtration systems. Campers also got the chance to weld (a first for most!).

Rock wallIn the evenings, campers tackled rock walls, swam and went bowling! It was a dynamic week and with support from The Wonderful Company, students were exposed to various career option in agriculture. Thank you Rebecca Farley and Tony Alteparmakian for facilitating this amazing opportunity.

Campers were also introduced to the dual-enrollment programs in Agribusiness and Agriculture Mechanics between The Wonderful College Prep Academy and Bakersfield College.

Raquel Lopez did an amazing job at orchestrating the camp activities and Heather Baltis helped to run it. A big thank you to our camp mentors: Jessie McCraw, Vanessa Mendoza, Kaitlyn McCoy, Jisel Silva Cornejo, Cristal Diaz, Jessie Oropeza, Dylan Klawitter, Zac Ojeda, Mario Solorio. They spent 24 hours a day with our campers. Many were past Renegades and were an inspiration for our campers.  Thank you Youth 2 Leaders for your help in coordinating our mentors and keeping our campers hydrated. Thank you CSUB for housing our campers in your dorms and providing us with fun evening activities.  And thank you Heather Baltis, faculty member in the Ag department, for being the lead for this year’s Ag Academy.

Manny De Los Santos put together a great video, check it out here. Our next generation of agricultural leaders are bright, talented and full of new ideas!

Lynda Resnick Sonya Christian Jan 2015

I want to also take a moment to recognize Lynda Resnick the creator of the Wonderful Academy.  She has invested a lot in promoting education in rural communities.  The work in Los Hills had David Brooks of the NYTimes writing a piece on the incredible work that Resnick has been doing in Lost Hills.  Here is a quote:

“In Lost Hills there are new health centers, new pre-K facilities, new housing projects, new gardens, new sidewalks and lights, a new community center and a new soccer field. Through the day, people have more places to meet, play and cooperate with their neighbors.”

Lynda has also been a great friend of Bakersfield College.  Thank you Lynda Resnick for your commitment to the Central Valley

Check out my May 21, 2016 blog post that includes the Lost Hills article.
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/05/21/so-much-diversity-and-we-are-bc/

Culinary Arts Academy

With the support of BC Delano Auxiliary Foundation, Bakersfield College was able to partner with Delano Joint Union High School District and Delano Union Elementary School District to run a Culinary Arts Academy. Eleven incoming 8th-grade students from various Delano area middle schools took part in the pilot program. The program was designed to create a pathway in culinary arts starting in middle school. This is all part of KCCD’s K-14 Pathways initiative to develop and promote career pathways.

Cesar E. Chavez High School home economics instructor, Jill Pickett, developed a four-day curriculum to teach students the basics of safety, cooking, and etiquette. Mrs. Pickett had the support of three amazing student leaders, including two Bakersfield College-Delano students (Karla Gonzalez and Dalila Rodriguez).

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Each day the students learned how to prepare a hearty meal from scratch, which they would ultimately eat as their own lunch. One of the highlights of the program was when our very own Chef Eric Sabella and his wife, Chef Lupe Sabella (Executive Chef at Kern Medical), stopped by to speak to the students about their experiences in the culinary arts field. The students truly enjoyed learning about their journeys in the field. I’m so very thankful that Chefs Eric and Lupe took the time out of their busy day to meet with the students.

Culinary ARts (2)

The program concluded on Friday, June 30th. The students were treated to a nice lunch at Perko’s Café in Delano where they were given a tour of the kitchen facilities from the owner himself. He also shared his experience in the restaurant industry with the students. The academy was a great success, and showed a great pathway partnership between two secondary school districts and a community college. We hope to expand this enrichment opportunity in 2018.

 

BC Golden Empire Drum Corps

Congratulations to the Drum Corps!! This past weekend, the BC Golden Empire Drum Corps had back-to-back competitions at the Rose Bowl (Pasadena) and Riverside Community College. Under Tim Heasley’s leadership and instruction, I’m pleased to announce that our students won the Open Class division at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, and placed 2nd at their competition in Riverside (Sunday). The Drum Corps heads up the coast to Oregon and Washington this week for more competitions. Our music pageantry programs have flourished significantly in the last several years as a result of Tim’s investment of time and endless energy. The future for music pageantry at BC is bright and strong. You can view some recent pictures of our Corps on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/gedrumcorps/

Instagram

Then on Thursday, I received a photo from Maribeth Heasley with the following email:

“Thought you might like to see this beautiful shot of the Bakersfield College Golden Empire Drum&Bugle Corp as they caravan to the Northwest.  The corps (100 students plus instructors, and about 15 volunteers) spent the night, ate and practiced, all in the shadow of Mt Shasta at the College of the Siskiyous. Now they will continue North, performing in Portland, Seattle and Tri Cities WA, before heading home next week.  Having done volunteer work with these students, I know they are wonderful kids, and great ambassadors of BC!”

drumcorps

What an incredible and beautiful photo!!

And I snapped this picture July 4th morning when Tim Heasley appeared on KGET with Jason Galvin.

July 4 2017 Tim Heasley on KGET.JPG

Jason Galvin, Tim Heasley

 

Into The Woods Opening Weekend

“Into the Woods” had its premier show last night and will have 3 more performances tonight, and July 14th and 15th. The Bakersfield Californian showcased an article highlighting the passion and dedication that goes into making these performances great.  The article says,

The Bakersfield College production has involved a large number of faculty: In addition to Jennifer Garrett and Sivesind, instrumental music professor Kathryn Kuby will conduct an 18-piece pit orchestra of students, community members and also music professors Robert Martinez and Marcia Maynard and staff accompanists Patrick Bender and Marla Hansen. Voice instructors Ken Burdick and Cayley Mayhall and BC English professor Andrew Bond are featured members of the cast. Theater staff Kevin Ganger and Leslie Aldridge are directing students in creating sets, lighting and costumes.

Thank you Susan Scaffidi for the great article.

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Turnipseed shaking things up

It really is wonderful living in a community of leaders who are on the move  Loved the Community Voices piece done by Michael Turnipseed recently in The Bakersfield Californian.  He talks about the importance of government agencies disrupting the status quo.  Here is the link to the full article.  http://tinyurl.com/y8sclc4a

Community Voices July 6 2017 County Government must disrupt status quo

 

Registration Rocks at Bakersfield College

College is an exciting and sometimes challenging time for new students – that’s why BC staff and faculty are dedicated to hosting events that support our students. Coming up this Tuesday, we’re hosting Registration Rocks from 8:00AM to 3:00PM. There will be an introduction to BC, campus tour, financial aid, assessment, counseling, help for enrollment, and assistance finding classes. Did I mention free food and prizes? Even though registration has already begun for Fall 2017, it’s possible to become a Renegade and leave this one-day express registration event as a student of Bakersfield College! You can be enrolled in classes after just one day! Want to attend? Sign up now!

Tweet of the Week

I loved this tweet from Science Faculty, Joe Saldivar and the short video he posted too. Check it out on Youtube.

Joe_Salvidar_Twitter_Screenshot

Wonder Woman

If you have not seen Wonder Woman yet, cancel all plans for this weekend and make time for the movie.  It has been out since June 2nd…..come now.  It is a must see.

Check out the trailer

I am an avid reader of reviews from the NYTimes.  Here is what A.O.Scott has to say.

Excerpt 1:

Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins from a script by Allan Heinberg, briskly shakes off blockbuster branding imperatives and allows itself to be something relatively rare in the modern superhero cosmos.  It feels like yet another installment in an endless sequence of apocalyptic merchandising opportunities than like ……what’s the word I’m looking for? A movie. A pretty good one, too.

Excerpt 2:

Wonder Woman, though, resists the reflexive power-worship that drags so many superhero movies – from the Marvel as well as the DC universe – into the mire of pseudo-Nietzschean adolescent posturing.  Unlike most of her male counterparts, its heroine is not trying to exorcise inner demons or work out messiah issues.  She wants to function freely in the world, to help out when needed and to be respected for her abilities.  No wonder she encounters so much resistance.

For the full review:

Music by the Fountain at the Market Place

I love summers and the month of July since the administrative team goes mostly dark in July.  That is, no regularly scheduled meetings.  Other than wishing temperatures would be lower than 102 degrees, life in Bakersfield in July is just perfect.  This includes relaxing at the fountain by the Market Place on Thursday evenings listening to music.

 

What I missed this week

I bought tickets to join my daughter to watch Blondie and Garbage perform in Santa Barbara.  But because of the new addition to the family, Neo, I did not go.

Here is one of my favorite Blondie songs — Call me.

And my favorite Garbage song Crush featured in the Caprio/Danes version of Romeo and Juliet.

 

From Facebook: 

Summer Bridge photo posts:

July 7 2017 photo 1 Summer Bridge.png

 

July 7 2017 photo 2 Summer Bridge.png

 

Thank you Kimberly Bligh.

Kate Pluta posted this poem on grief which I thought I would share with you

Grief

by Gwen Flowers

Calla Lily June 4 2016I had my own notion of grief.
I thought it was the sad time
That followed the death of someone you love.
And you had to push through it
To get to the other side.
But I’m learning there is no other side.
There is no pushing through.
But rather,
There is absorption.
Adjustment.
Acceptance.
And grief is not something you complete,
But rather, you endure.
Grief is not a task to finish
And move on,
But an element of yourself-
An alteration of your being.
A new way of seeing.
A new definition of self.

Sonya Christian July 6 2017 at the Market Place

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

July 9 Blog

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Jack Brigham. Photo from The Bakersfield Californian website

Professor Jack Brigham passed away on Thursday at 10:11 p.m.  A man who has left a deep legacy at Bakersfield College and in our community.  James Burger in his article says: “Brigham’s generosity extended to his wit, spirit and time.” For more read his piece Beloved Professor Philanthropist Jack Brigham Dies http://tinyurl.com/zr643qv

 

Yesterday I felt the whole city was mourning.  Social media was buzzing with tributes to Jack.  Here are some:

Daniela Miramontes:

Your endless wisdom brought light to us all. Thank you for being our mentor at PEAK and for your endless support, we will always love and remember you, Jack Brigham.

 

Saw Kapi

My heart hurts as I heard early this morning that my foremost professor of history and political science passed away in California. Professor Jack Brigham is an exemplary humanist, educator and mentor. Through his actions and encouragement, he showed us how to be a good citizen of the world. He embraced me and my sisters at Bakersfield College and helped us navigate complicated US education system. He encouraged us to read and be a life-long learner. He was the one who introduced us to the works of Ernesto Che Guevara, Noam Chomsky, Edward Said and Howard Zinn. He lived his best and we will miss him dearly. Professor Jack Brigham, may your soul rest in peace.

Sandy Woo:

My heart hurts and I still don’t want to believe that last night happened, but I’m comforted in knowing that Jack is now resting in peace. I’m so grateful that God led me back here. I got to spend the last year of Jack’s life with him, and got to share that time with so many others who also held him close to their hearts. I will always think of him, especially on Sunday afternoons… I’ll miss admiring those bright roses in the garden and barging through that front door like that house was my own home.

Jack, you were more than a teacher. You were my family. You were the reason I believed I could reach for the stars. You have touched so many lives with your love for humanity. Thank you for all that you have taught me these last 13 years. I hope to make you proud. Until we meet again, dear friend…

Shawn Taro Newsom:

RIP Jack Brigham. You made me believe in myself and to reach for the stars. You were a force of nature in my life with your quiet demeanor. You will be missed my friend.

Misa Ingles:

Last night, we all lost one of the foremost philanthropists that has ever set foot on kern county soil. A man of immeasurable wisdom and a heart of gold. He was an inspiration to many, including myself.

He had a knack for finding undeveloped talent and bringing out the true potential in everyone.
He believed wholeheartedly in the importance of encouraging the youth to take control of their future. He knew how to build a better world.

He was truthful and his values unwavering.

 

Professor Jack Brigham
1946-2016

Tassos Frangou:

Wisdom, humility, love, integrity, catalyst for greatness, a silent leader that guided everyone to audacious self exporation in exceeding their potential…… as far as my concern Jack is alive in my heart, in my thoughts, in my contribution to humanity, in my every actions, in what I am and what I will pass to my children. I am celebrating the opportunity to know him, to guide me, and his contribution in shaping me for who I am. Thank you Jack, thank you for being there, thank you ! Till we meet again!

Oliver Rosales:

A great tribute to a wonderful man, educator, and model of social justice activism over decades…he will be missed but his work and legacy continue…!!!

 

Randy Beeman and I were writing back and forth about Jack and here is an excerpt from Randy:

I would cone in the office and if he is clicking the keyboard at rocket speed I knew an injustice was being righted! He’s in heaven now forming a committee on something!

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Jack Brigham (2nd from left) with the BC Leadership and Equity Academy

Chains of Suffering

This week was hard for many reasons. After reading my comments about Elie Wiesel last week, Jack Hernandez txted me a quote by Wiesel that said

Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere

This week saw the devastating news from Dallas that followed public anger and sorrow over shootings, which were preceded by bombings and more in what felt like chains of suffering. There is so much suffering that concerns us all – I take solace in what we do, our community, our learning, our values of tolerance and diversity.

BC Hosts Black Caucus Annual Leadership Conference

I discovered this draft blog post from earlier in the spring term and felt it was the right time to include it in today’s blog.

Dating back to 1976, every U.S president has designated February as Black History Month to celebrate the achievements of black Americans and recognize the central role of African Americans in U.S history.

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Sonya Christian, Clayton Fowler

Prior to that, dating back to 1926, this recognition was celebrated only during the second week of February, during the birthday week of both Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass. This “Negro History Week” event gave schools and communities an inspiration to organize local celebrations.  But in 1976, President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized and lengthened the commemoration to Black History Month, calling on all Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout history.”

On February 19th, Bakersfield College was honored to become the first community college to host the Black Caucus Annual Leadership Conference with a massive event that sprawled across the entire campus.  From the Simonsen Performing Arts Center to the cafeteria to the Fireside Room to spaces in the Math/Science and Language Arts buildings, attendees to the three-day conference converged on BC to take in scores of speeches, seminars and training sessions.

Students from throughout the state convened at the 15th annual convention to discuss local issues, share best practices, and take action locally, regionally and nationally.

The Black Caucus of the California Community Colleges began in 1998 as an affiliated Caucus of the then California Student Association of Community Colleges (CalSACC).  Since then, the Black Caucus has worked to build coalitions and alliances for the purpose of leadership, advocacy and equity with other student leaders and organizations.

This conference and the Black Caucus organization were great additions to Bakersfield College and thanks to BC’s own Fitzgerald Graves for helping to pave the way to bring such an amazing event to our campus.

Meeting with the VFW

On Wednesday, I gave a presentation with Paul Beckworth and Jenny Frank to the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post #97 about “A Better BC,” which highlights our plans to improve our facilities for the future with a potential November 8th ballot measure.

I read up about the VFW, a very prestigious organization and here is an excerpt from their website http://www.vfw.org/:

The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service: Many arrived home wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans’ pension for them, and they were left to care for themselves.

In their misery, some of these veterans banded together and formed organizations with what would become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. After chapters were formed in Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania, the movement quickly gained momentum. By 1915, membership grew to 5,000; by 1936, membership was almost 200,000.

Since then, the VFW’s voice had been instrumental in establishing the Veterans Administration, creating a GI Bill for the 20th century, the development of the national cemetery system and the fight for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange and for veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. In 2008, VFW won a long-fought victory with the passing of a GI Bill for the 21st Century, giving expanded educational benefits to America’s active-duty service members, and members of the Guard and Reserves, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The VFW also has fought for improving VA medical centers services for women veterans.

Besides helping fund the creation of the Vietnam, Korean War, World War II and Women in Military Service memorials, the VFW in 2005 became the first veterans’ organization to contribute to building the new Disabled Veterans for Life Memorial, which opened in November 2010.

Annually, the nearly 1.7 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliaries contribute more than 8.6 million hours of volunteerism in the community, including participation in Make A Difference Day and National Volunteer Week.

From providing over $3 million in college scholarships and savings bonds to students every year, to encouraging elevation of the Department of Veterans Affairs to the president’s cabinet, the VFW is there.

We were honored to meet the California VFW State Commander, Dale Smith, who happened to be on the grounds at the time.

District Commander, Deb Johnson, who is also the President/CEO of the California Veterans Assistance Foundation, invited us to repeat our presentation on August 27 at their district wide meeting, which consists of thirteen different VFWs in the area.   Jenny did a great job as our community lead and took the reins when the time came.

Good job team!

AG Ventures Camp

For the past 3 years, Bakersfield College has partnered with Wonderful Education and put on our “Ag Ventures Camps.”

Talking about Wonderful, here is a shout out to Noemi Donoso a great leader who believes in the transformational power of education and is in charge of the Wonderful Academy.

Also a shout out to the fabulous Lynda Resnick who has the heart for communities like Delano and Lost Hills.  Check out a piece I did on the work of Lynda in my May 21, 2016 blog at https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/05/21/so-much-diversity-and-we-are-bc/

 

The purpose of the Ag Ventures Camps is to paint a vivid and complete picture of agriculture for young students (8th graders) in the Wasco and Delano areas. Although many of the students’ parents may be involved in agriculture, ofttimes they are active in the crucial and challenging areas of the industry that bring the product to market (field work, product sorting…), and exposure to just this experience can paint a limited picture of the opportunities available in agriculture.

Ag Ventures provides a hands-on, active curriculum that focuses on careers in our industry that require the additional education of a certificate, 2-year or 4-year degree (water engineering, product fabrication, new product development, marketing…).

This is accomplished in a 6 days and 5 nights fast-paced, energetic “camp like” environment that the students love. The camp culminates with a Friday evening, family dinner presentation where they demonstrate what they have engaged in during their week in camp experience. Thank you Rich McCrow and entire Rural Kern Team as well as Chris McCraw and the Ag faculty for putting in countless hours to make this happen.

Check out this 7-minute video by Manny De Los Santos

Celebrating our neighbor Shafter

There was a recent article in The Californian by Pete Tittl about a little downtown restaurant in our neighboring city of Shafter which caught my attention. A triple-decker enchilada Shafter has been keeping to itself, until now.

Wait a second… A triple-decker enchilada? I knew I had to read the whole article.

El Michoacano, located in downtown Shafter is described by Tittl as what you’d expect when you see the description of a “little hole in the wall restaurant,” but raves that the food is absolutely delicious.

Scot Hurlbert Sonya Christian July 5 2016

Sonya Christian, Scot Hurlbert

Well, I got to try the street tacos at El Michoacano this Tuesday along with Scot Hurlbert, Shafter City Manager, David Franz, Director of the Learning Center, and Rich McCrow, Director of the BC Delano Campus.  The food was awesome and the conversation was so engaging that I was terribly late for my next meeting.

 

The folks in Shafter have a big vision and they pursue that vision in a collaborative manner and put in the resources necessary to make that vision happen.  What’s not to like about that? It got me thinking about our neighboring city and all that has happened there over the past few years.

In 2013, the city of Shafter celebrated 100 years with their centennial anniversary. This exciting milestone brought renovations and projects to beautify the city, which is described on the city website as “plans to honor the city’s heritage while embracing its future.”

The city continues to grow in population and size.

Ask almost anyone who lives in Shafter, and I bet they will tell you they love it because there’s little to no traffic, but Shafter is home to many amazing things – Paramount Logistics Park (PLP) (formerly known as the International Trade and Transportation Center (ITTC)) was built to facilitate Central Valley access to ports in Long Beach and Los Angeles via the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway.

And then there’s Minter Field, which began operations in 1941 and saw heavy use during World War II. It’s incredible how much history is in the area.

In the last two years, Bakersfield College has been working closely with David Franz and the High School to expand college courses in Shafter.  I suspect that we are going to be doing way more in the future.

Bakersfield Chamber Government Review Committee:

Friday, July 8th, at 7:30 a.m., Tom Burke, CFO of KCCD, and I presented to the Chamber Government Relations Committee (GRC) about the potential bond measure being considered by the KCCD Board of Trustees for the November 8th ballot.

The presentation was well received and GRC members unanimously voted to recommend endorsement of the bond to the Greater Bakersfield Chamber Board.  This was great news and Tom and I were absolutely elated.  What was particularly enjoyable was the conversation.  Let me start by saying that Mayor Harvey Hall, Chair of the BC Bond Blue Ribbon Committee, took the time out of his crazy busy schedule to be there.  Just his presence in the audience set the tone for the conversation.  Then, Congressman Bill Thomas, Senior Advisor to the BC Bond Blue Ribbon Committee spontaneously addressed the GRC as well as responding during Q&A.

GRC Group 1 July 8 2016

It was wonderful seeing our community so engaged and the stories they brought up from the past.  I was just sitting back and enjoying the leadership of Bakersfield at its very best.  Leadership that has been with us with the likes of Gene Tackett, Peter Pankey, Michael Turnipseed, John Mcquiston etc.  Jennifer Pitcher, Chair of GRC did a masterful job managing this group of, at times rowdy individuals 🙂  I guess, when you get Tackett, Pankey, and Thomas in a room, the discussions are quite vibrant 🙂 I was happy to see Trustee Kyle Carter at the meeting.  Also, thank you Nick Ortiz for your leadership as the CEO of the Chamber.

 

Coming Soon: New Student IDs

It’s such a delight to see college employees engaged and excited about the work we do at BC. Thursday afternoon was no different as 20 or more employees from Bakersfield College and the other district colleges, Porterville and Cerro Coso, gathered to learn about the new Student ID printing process.

It has been almost 2 years since our student ID’s have had actual student photos on them, so I know these new cards will be anticipated by all.

Jimmy, the technician we had on campus, demonstrated all kinds of useful things, such as how to use the printer, loading the ID cards, and even a trick for when you have to print a large volume of cards.

We’re not ready to start printing just yet, but I look forward to seeing all our eager students picking up their IDs in the Welcome Center within a few short weeks.

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Wrapping up…..

I did not actually feel too well this week but have finally turned the corner.  This week was intense with work. However, I was able to check out the music performance Thursday evening by the Fountain at the Market Place.  This is my first time at this event this season.  Usually the Summer Music at the Fountain has been a regular activity for me.

Also, I through I would sign off by mentioning two movies — The Jungle Book and The Legend of Tarzan.  Although both movies did not get rave reviews, I enjoyed them very much.  But for that matter, I am told it is just part of my personality — enjoying everything that is.  Never sure if it is a compliment or not…….

Growing up I read a lot of comics and the four of us children had a library that was filled with comic books with about 10 bound together so that it would not get tattered.  Tarzan, the King of the Jungle, along with Phantom, the ghost who walks, were some of my all time favorites.  Of course when the animated Tarzan came out in 1999, I think I watched it on opening night.  I loved the soundtrack of that movie with Phil Collins doing two beautiful pieces. Check out this love song You’ll Be In My Heart by Phil Collins.

 

 

The other movie Jungle Book came out in 1967 capturing Rudyard Kipling’s characters in all their glory.  I have lost track of how many times I have watched the movie.  And although this year’s release did not stack up against the original, I still enjoyed it very much.  I wish they had included the songs in it.  In any event, here is my favorite Jungle Book song on youtube which I watch when I am feeling low and Balu, the bear, always cheers me up.  Not only is the video so much fun (it is a must see), but there is definitely some wisdom in the lyrics.  How about this:

 

‘Cause let me tell you something little britches

If you act like that bee acts, uh uh

You’re working too hard

And don’t spend your time lookin’ around

For something you want that can’t be found

When you find out you can live without it

And go along not thinkin’ about it

I’ll tell you something true

The bare necessities of life will come to you

 

 

And, btw, good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, July 9th.  A wonderful day to be a Renegade.

sonya July 8 2016

That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya ….. from the Firestone at 7:00 a.m. Friday morning, assuring a friend that I would do a good job at the GRC presentation and there was nothing to worry.

and of course, the luckiest and happiest college president in the whole world