Tag Archives: Marlene Heise

A Beautiful Rainy Week at BC

Good morning Bakersfield…It is Saturday, March 24th and a great day to be a Renegade.

This past week Bakersfield was rejoicing in the rain that kept visiting us and revisiting almost every day of the week.  What a blessing!

So many highlights from this week…the brightest of them all was the recognition of Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.

The “Nan” Touch

Nan Gomez-HeitzebergMany know the incredible value that Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Executive Vice President of Instruction Emeritus, has brought over the last 35 years to Bakersfield College and across the Kern Community College District. Yet her impact has been felt beyond our campus, so much that one of our partners, FIELD (Farmworker Institute for Education and Leadership Development), honored her Friday with its Cesar Chavez Legacy Award. (Check out the video for more.)

BC supporting Nan Gomez Heitzeberg as the receipient of the Cesar Chavez Legacy Award

Horace Mitchel and Nan Gomez-HeitzebergThe Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast is one place where community champions, who quietly work behind the scenes, are illuminated for their phenomenal dedication. Our own Nan is a part of this special group.

This years other honorees included Dr. Horace Mitchell, California State University Bakersfield President, who was recognized with the Cesar E. Chavez Lifetime Achievement Award, and Esther Tarango Uranday whose key role in the United Farm Workers earned her the Cesar E. Chavez Si Se Puede Award (posthumously). The Kern Service and Conservation Corps (KSACC) and a group of EPIC High School students and ESL students were also highlighted with Si Se Puede Awards.

It was wonderful to see many community leaders there supporting the event, such as Assemblyman Rudy Salas, Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Jay Tamsi, and the office of Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez. There was also a table full of BC leadership.

Sonya Christian and Rudy Salas March 23 2018

Rudy Salas and Sonya Christian

BC table at Cesar Chavez Breakfast

BC table at Cesar Chavez Breakfast

Cindy Collier, Danielle Hillard, Khushnur Dadabhoy, Isebelle Cataneda

Many walked away with a sense of empowerment and renewed vision for their own causes after hearing from keynote speaker Paul F. Chavez, the son of the late UFW labor leader Cesar Chavez.

Paul Chavez

Paul Chavez

Paul Chavez shared personal father-son stories that tugged at the hearts of many in attendance. At one point, Paul reflected on advice his father shared with him, especially in moments of despair and struggle – in particular two that stay close to Paul’s heart: have faith in people; and persevere.

His father always saw what others could become; he saw potential, and his vision helped others find their own path of success.

I connected with Paul’s story. It made me think about the wonderful work we do at Bakersfield College; our goal is also to show hope and success to our students. We want them to see their potential, and we encourage them to never give up. In the words of Cesar Chavez, “Si se puede.”

I was moved to hear the story that Jose Gaspar (who was emceeing the event with Norma Gaspar) told about the passing of Cesar Chavez and how Corny Rodriguez addressed the KC Board of Supervisors to recognize the passing of a great leader.

Corny Rodriguez, Sonya Christian March 23 2018

Sonya Christian, Corny Rodriguez

 

 

 

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We are BC

Last year was the inaugural year for this event and the first recipient of the Cesar Chavez Legacy Award was Sandra Serrano.  Check out my blog from one year ago: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/04/01/an-absolutely-uplifting-week-at-bc/

Thank you David Villarino!

Lydia Otero at BC

Tina Mendoza

Tina Mendoza welcomes Dr. Otero

For Women’s History Month and in light of BC’s efforts to preserve and share our local history, Dr. Lydia Otero from the Mexican-American Studies program at the University of Arizona came to the Fireside Room on Thursday to share about the historical preservation projects she’s spearheaded in downtown Tuscon.

BC’s Office of Student Life and the Women’s History and More committee invited Otero as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series. Otero, who grew up in downtown Tuscon, was inspired to capture the history of the Mexican-American communities in her hometown that were displaced by urban renewal projects. To Otero’s surprise, her 2010 book “La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwest City” sold out in the Tuscon area within five hours of the first book signing, Otero said.  “Even I didn’t appreciate the desire for local audiences to read about local history, you want to read about yourself.”

Dr. Lydia Otero

Dr. Lydia Otero

While local or regional history can often be seen as less important than larger-scale historical analysis, it’s important to fill in the smaller details about an area in order to understand the larger picture. “What do we know about world history if we haven’t studied local history?” Otero asked. “It’s a history of silences.”

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After the success of “La Calle”, Otero partnered with the Borderlands Theater Company on an ambitious project called “Barrio Stories”. A camera crew recorded oral histories from Mexican-Americans in Tuscon talking about their personal lives, then those stories were re-interpreted as theatrical plays. The Borderlands Theater performed those plays during a four-day festival that utilized promenade-style staging, meaning that audiences could walk around the old town plaza and experience these stories happening at different stages in real time. You’re able to see all of the oral histories and performances on the Barrio Stories Project website, and a documentary about the project is currently in the works.

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Olivia Garcia, Dr. Lydia Otero, Tina Mendoza

Olivia Garcia, Dr. Lydia Otero, Tina Mendoza

Otero is currently working on a book tentatively titled “Quien lo Dice?” about Maria Cordova, a Tuscon woman whose house was seized by eminent domain and all evidence that she had ever lived there was taken out in a failed attempt to make the property a tourist attraction. Throughout her presentation, Otero emphasized the importance of valuing local history and bringing research out of the classroom and into the community.
“Don’t forget the power of memory,” Otero said.

I’d like to thank Tina Mendoza, who worked with Dr. Otero, for her introduction, and I’d like to thank the Office of Student life and WHAM for putting the event together. It gave an interesting perspective on local historical preservation, which we’re working on at BC with the Digital Delano project spearheaded by our Energizing Humanities group. #WeAreBC

Ribbon Cutting in Wasco

Wasco

This week, Juan Torres, Abel Guzman, Gustavo Enriquez and principal of Wasco Union High School, Kevin Tallon celebrated the Ribbon Cutting and Inaugaration of their beautiful brand new student services building. Inside, the building it’s filled with beautiful pieces of art that celebrate the rich history of Wasco High School.

Kern Disability Collaborative

As your community college, BC is always seeking opportunities to improve communication and collaboration with our community partners. To this end, the Director of our Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS), Dr. Terri Goldstein, initiated the first meeting of what she is calling the “Kern Disability Collaborative.”  The purpose of the meeting was to pull together those who work with people with disabilities in our community to learn who we are and what we each do.  “Only good things can happen if we have a better understanding of all the resources available, as well as the unmet needs in our community,” said Dr. Goldstein. What started out with 20 invitations bloomed into approximately 50 attendees representing K-12 schools, higher education, non-profit organizations, and State agencies.  “As the meeting date drew closer, individuals were calling and asking to participate in the meeting,” Dr. Goldstein said. The response just shows the need for this kind of group in Kern County.

Kern Disability Collab

Terri Goldstein

Terri Goldstein

The idea for the Collaborative is modeled after the very successful “Kern Veterans Collaborative” which meets monthly at the National Guard Armory.  After voting, the attendees decided that the Kern Disability Collaborative will continue to meet on a bi-monthly basis at Bakersfield College.  The next meeting will be in May 2018, after college graduation, then the meetings will go dark for the summer, reconvene in August prior to the start of the fall 2018 semester, and meet every other month thereafter.

In addition to discussing future meetings, establishing a listserv and web presence, everyone presented their organizational affiliation, populations served, and services provided. BC faculty member, Jaclyn Krause, announced establishing our Interpreter Training Program; which made everyone happy since there are never enough sign language interpreters to go around.  Jimmie Soto, Executive Director of the Independent Living Center of Kern County, spoke about the need to support each other in our quests for additional funding— including partnerships, and letters of support. BC was well represented with DSPS, EOPS, Office of Student Life, Wellness Center, and Veterans Services. There were also representatives from Bakersfield City School District, Kern High School District, Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Taft College, Valley Achievement Center, Bakersfield GLAD office on Deafness, New Advances for People with Disabilities, Path Point, CA Department of Rehabilitation, Kern Vet Center, Kern Regional Center, and Autism Society Inc.

Kern Disability Collaboration

For more information about the Kern Disability Collaborative, please contact Dr. Terri Goldstein at terri.goldstein@bakersfieldcollege.edu, or call 661-395-4590. Everyone is welcome at these meetings!

Bidders Open House hosted at BC

On Thursday morning, BC hosted the local Bidders Open House to educate local contractors about the logistics of bidding on public construction projects. Harold Pierce wrote a great article explaining the event and its purpose in, “As more than $1 billion in school construction projects begin, districts attempt to lure local contractors to work.

Bidders Fair

Bakersfield College is so enthusiastic about the incredible things coming to our community. Thank you Bakersfield and Kern County for supporting education and investing in BC through a Yes on Measure J!

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Eric Mittlestead, Rafaela Cisneros, Kim Crews represented KCCD on the show floor

For all the photos, visit BC’s Smugmug. And thank you to Harold Pierce at the Bakersfield Californian for attending to share the exciting news with the community of Bakersfield. It was nice to see KCCD Trustee Kyle Carter, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Mike Turnipseed and others attend this event.

Harold Pierce and Trustee Carter

Trustee Carter and Harold Pierce speak to a guest at the Bidders Fair

We received this email from Mikin Plummer about the event.

The BC staff was fantastic!!! Thank you! Thank you! The gym was put together perfect and made set up very easy!
Mikin Plummer

Thank you Bill Potter, Eric Middlested, Ramon Puga, and Jim Coggins for pulling together this amazing event.  Thank you Mary Jo Pasek.  Thank You Marlene Heise who works behind the scenes.  #WeAreBC

National Cemetery

Armando Trujillo, Student Veteran Educational Advisor and Lisa Robles Kent Program Manager, Office of Student Success & Equity were honored to represent Bakersfield College at a ceremony that provided full military honors for unaccompanied veterans interred at the National Cemetery who do not have family to recognize and remember them.

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Armando Trujillo, Bakersfield College; Randy Dickow, KC Veterans Collaborative; Maximo Perez, American Legion.

It’s a privilege for BC to honor the great men and women who paid the greatest sacrifice for our country. While there, Armando and Lisa stopped to visit the graveside of Vernon P. Velenzula. I recall that he was spoken of so fondly by KCCD Trustee, Bill Thomas at our Veterans Resource Center unveiling.

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Vernon touched the lives of so many people here at BC and in our community. I only wish I had the privilege of meeting such an inspirational man. A Purple Heart recipient, Valenzuela’s desire to help veterans began early following his return from a tour in Vietnam in 1968. In the early 1970s Valenzuela served as president of the Associated Veterans Students club at Bakersfield College and later as a counselor supporting student veterans. Valenzuela worked for years as a professional therapist who focused primarily on aiding veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and difficulties in making the transition between life in combat and life at home as a civilian.

Art with Impact

Movies for Mental HealthOn Wednesday, students gathered in the Fireside Room to  #SubvertStigma, the goal of  Movies For Mental Health. “Stigma” was the hook, the tag line used by Leslie Poston, our facilitator, to open our awareness and provide perspective on the very complex personal, cultural and societal issues surrounding mental health and mental illness. The audience of 50 students, staff, faculty and community has steadily grown over the past four semesters since Student Health and Wellness Services began hosting Movies For Mental Health. And, so has the diversity of responses and perspectives on the question of what is “stigma.” Audience contributions included: “Shaming”, “barrier”, “judgmental”, “labeling”, “prejudiced”, “isolation” to name a few but ultimately, “stigma” is an erroneous and negative stereotype.

Movies for Mental Health

This is where the movies come in. These are independent submissions, judged in competition; the films are poignant, evocative and selected by Art With Impact to stimulate discussion and reveal the unexpected, uncomfortable and inconvenient in the human condition.

Following the movie screenings and the facilitated discussion, as well as a light meal of fresh seasonal fruit and wraps provided by Chef Eric Sabella, we listened to a panel discussion. The first panelist was a student named Caitlin who shared her very personal experience with profound depression and suicidal tendencies. Following Caitlin was our own Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Rosealinda Carrillo, who shared her own path to strengthen her own personal mental health but also in becoming a professional counselor. Rosealinda exemplifies the adage “you can’t care for others if you can’t care for yourself.” Panelist and Professor of Psychology, Tim Burke lead us through the impact of suicide in his family, his reaction to a diagnosis and treatment for lymphoma and research-proven self-care modalities like meditation, yoga, mindfulness and of course exercise.

The BC Student Health and Wellness Team was joined by guests from the Health Services program of Antelope Valley College, which will be hosting Movies For Mental Health on their own campus for the first time this May. Among those from Antelope Valley College were Dr. Jill Zimmerman Dean of Student Life & Services, Health Clerk Jennifer Winn and Monteigne Long, Veterans Program Coordinator.

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What is the value and importance of #SubvertStigma to students? As individuals and friends, cultures of origin and faiths, and society in general, we must free mental illness and mental health from stigma, shadow, and shame.

 

Spring Fling and 18-19 BCSGA Elections

James Tompkins and Ashley Harp.jpg

James Tompkins and Ashley Harp

This week was “Spring Fling” week at Bakersfield College with various events hosted by BCSGA as well as the Office of Student Life. Kicking off the fun was the “BCSGA Ice Cream and StudOrgs” event. BC’s clubs and organizations were joined by Ben & Jerry’s to promote various student organizations. On Monday afternoon, students were welcomed by BCSGA’s President Dezi Von Manos for her monthly “Cafecito Time” event where students can discuss issues or questions they may have in an open and inclusive way, and on Monday evening, BCSGA hosted an “Easel Event” where participants engaged in a fun evening of painting and light refreshments.

Tuesday was the “Community Movie Day” where the movie Justice League was played for students to enjoy during lunch. On Wednesday we hosted the “Epic Proportions Tour” featuring the musical talents of Gabe Kubanda and People Who Could Fly.

Wrapping up the wonderful events, students also had the opportunity to vote in elections for next years BCSGA leadership. Congratulations to next year’s BCSGA President, James Tompkins and Vice President, Ashley Harp.

Hate Speech and Free Speech Forum

The Levan Center hosted a panel discussion on Wednesday providing legal and historical context to the ongoing debate about hate speech and freedom of speech on college campuses. Students filled out anonymous surveys before the panel asking them some basic facts about First Amendment law and their thoughts about various free speech issues. Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez then gave a brief introduction about some of the recent protests over white nationalist speakers appearing on college campuses before introducing the panel of BC faculty and administration.

Communication professor John Giertz started with a brief overview of the Supreme Court decisions that have shaped free speech law in the United States. Colleges are bound by the First Amendment interpretation established in the 1969 case Brandenburg v. Ohio, which states that no inflammatory speech can be punished unless it incites “imminent lawless action.” In the 80s and 90s, many campuses attempted to enact speech codes and free speech zones, which have all been struck down as unconstitutional on the grounds that a listener’s right to be protected from hateful speech is not as important as someone else’s right to speak hatefully or however else they choose, Giertz said.

left to right: Communication professor John Giertz, Director of Student Life Nicky Damania, History professor Erin Miller, and Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez host a panel discussion about free speech on college campuses on March 21st.

left to right: Communication professor John Giertz, Director of Student Life Nicky Damania, History professor Erin Miller, and Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez host a panel discussion about free speech on college campuses on March 21st.

Dr. Nicky Damania, BC’s Director of Student Life, gave students a practical description of the ways that he deals with free speech issues on the BC campus every day. At BC, Damania is in charge of enforcing academic freedom, which is the legal right of both students and faculty to teach or communicate controversial ideas or facts without fear of bias or punishment.

BC history professor Erin Miller closed the panel with a discussion of the motivating history behind the United States’ free speech protections. Before the Revolutionary War, England used its common law to silence colonial dissent, which is why James Madison made free speech the first priority of the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution. Hateful speech is protected, Miller argues, because once a government agency begins to arbitrate which types of speech are considered acceptable, then speech that challenges authority can be silenced.

High Schools, BC, CSUB coming together

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CCGI

On Thursday morning, BC hosted an intersegmental initiative on data exchange of student academic information.  Right now we (high school districts, BC, CSUB) all have different data systems for maintaining student academic records and as these students in our community move from one segment to another, their academic records are transferred manually.  This is unacceptable in the highly evolved tech world that we live in.  The CSU systemwide Chancellor’s Office and the Community College statewide Chancellor’s Office have come together to solve this problem.  BC is part of this pilot program that is fully funded by the Community College Chancellor’s Office and other private philanthropic groups.

Here are some photos from the work session.

Virginia, Tess De Roy, Ben Duran, Sonya Christian, Grace Commiso, Anna March 22 2018

Virginia Madrid-Salazar, Tess Deroy, Ben Duran, Sonya Christian, Grace Commiso, Anna Garcia

 

 

Steve Watkin and Ben Perlado March 22 2018

Steve Watkin, Ben Perlado

McFarland Superintendent Victor Hopper and team.jpg

McFarland Superintendent Victor Hopper and team

Ryan Gievet and Ben Sherley.jpg

Ryan Gievet, Ben Sherley

Paul Chave and Delano Team with Abel Guzman and Zav Dadabhhoy

Zav Dadabhoy, Assistant Superintendent Jason Garcia, Paul Chavez, Abel Guzman

Steve Watkin, Ben Perlado, Michelle Pena, Ryan Gievet, Ben Sherley

Steve Watkin, Ben Perlado, Michelle Pena, RyanGievet, Ben Sherley

Dave Barnett, Craig Hayward

Dave Barnett, Craig Hayward

Grace Commiso, Anna Garcia, Sonya Christian, Ben Duran.jpg

Grace Commiso, Anna Garcia, Sonya Christian, Ben Duran

Ben Duran, Virginia Madrid Salazar, David Abernathy, Kalina Hill

David Abernathy from Wasco High speaking

David Abernathy, Kalina Hill, Elysa Vargas

David Abernathy (Wasco), Kalina Hill (BC), Elysa Vargas (Wonderful Academy)

See all the photos at BC’s SmugMug.

Future Teachers

The Education Futures Grant sponsored a Future Teachers Open House March 20th on the Panorama Campus. Close to 100 attendees braved the pouring rain to enjoy an informational and engaging evening with presentations, 10 breakout sessions, raffles, social media contest, and vendor booths.

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Presentations and vendors included BC Education Pathways, CSU Bakersfield, University of Lavern, Bakersfield College Career and Technical Education (CTE) & Student Employment Department, Bakersfield College Future Teachers Club, Brandman University, Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies (CAFS) at CSUB, Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) Head Start, Community Connection for Child Care (CCCC), National University, Point Loma Nazarene University, and Western Governors University (WGU). A similar event was held at the BC Delano campus on March 3rd.

A huge thank you to the Future Teachers Open House Planning Team, Education Futures Director, Kimberly Bligh, Anthony Cordova, Isabel Castaneda, and Erica Menchaca. 

Future Teachers Open House Planning Team

Future Teachers Open House Planning Team

Public Safety Metamajor Pathway Open House

CTE and Public Safety Pathway teamed up to host the first ever Public Safety Open House with 92 Kern High School District students in attendance. The event went full circle beginning with department faculty who provided an overview of the program outcomes and trainings available; student service representatives were available including staff from Financial Aid, CTE and Student Employment; finally, industry representatives from the City Fire Department, County Fire Department, EMS Department, Kern County Sheriff Department, Bakersfield Police Department and California Highway Patrol presented on a panel to share events and experiences in their professions.

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Students were given the opportunity to ask questions, participate in simulations and were even provided a tour of the different department vehicles. It was a great event that provided insight to the pathways available in Public Safety at Bakersfield College. Thank you to Brent Burton, Dominica Dominguez, BC Public Safety Faculty, Department Staff and the industry partners who worked so hard to put this event together.

For all the photos, visit BC’s SmugMug.

KCCD and BC Leadership at CISOA/3CBG

Group Photo

Closest to the screen on the left-Todd Coston (BC), beyond him-Hernando Mondragon (DO), beyond him-David Barnett (DO), moving to the right-Micelle Pena (BC), then Grace Commiso (BC), Somaly Boles (BC), Zach Quiroz (BC) and closest to camera on the right Dena Rhoades (DO).

The Kern Community College District and Bakersfield College were out in full force both attending and presenting at the CISOA/3CBG conference earlier this week from March 18-20th in Ontario, CA.  The conference site says this about the conference, “The partnership of California Community College Chief Information Systems Officers Association (CISOA) and California Community College Banner Group (3CBG) allows us to leverage our resources to present an outstanding array of conference sessions of interest to those who are part of the information technology arena in California’s Community College system.”

BC’s Grace Comisso, Michelle Pena, and consultant, Becky Weaver, presented on Using Starfish for Guided Pathways.

BC’s Todd Coston and Dave Barnett from the District Office presented on Improving IT Communication Using Free and Low Cost Tools

And our Chief Technology Officer, Gary Moser, from the District Office presented on Are You Ready for a CCC Statewide ERP System.

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Finally, the participants had an option to rate each session via a conference app.  As proof that the KCCD/BC team rock the house, check out this rating for Dave and Todd’s session. Todd tells me he isn’t quite sure how you can get 6 out of 5 stars, but he’ll take it anyway!

Rating

An American Education Agenda with Lance Izumi

KCCD and BC were present at a luncheon put on by the Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government with guest speaker, Lance Izumi, author of The ‘American Education Agenda’  Top 15 Recommendations for Improving Education. Lance discussed his newly published report, which offers policymakers concrete reforms they can adopt today to ensure every student learns in a safe and nurturing environment, and is well-prepared to meet the changing demands of the 21st century workforce.

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Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Cindy Collier, Lance Izumi, Trustee Bill Thomas, John Means

League of Dreams

The League of Dreams, a nonprofit sports league for young athletes with physical and developmental disabilities, held its opening ceremonies for the 2018 season at CSUB’s Hardt Field on Sunday.  Snagged this picture of Mayor Karen Goh with BC Renegades representing the College in their jerseys during the event.

League of Dreams Opening Day

STEAM Academy

Odella Johnson and Sonya Christian May 19 2017Odella Johnson was featured on KGET’s News at Sunrise program on Wednesday morning to talk about the STEAM Academy, a series of courses to promote science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

Johnson spoke about the importance of the academy, which hosts a course every Saturday from September to April to help students build skills that they can use in their future careers. Open enrollment for next year’s academy, of which BC is a partner, is starting now.

Oliver Rosales

History professor Oliver Rosales wrote an article in the Community Voices section of the Bakersfield Californian on Sunday urging voters in the community to let their lawmakers know that funding for the humanities should be a top priority.

Rosales, who chairs the committee on Energizing Humanities in the Central Valley committee, wrote about how proper funding of the National Endowment of the Humanities and California Humanities will allow those organizations to meet the demand for community enrichment projects in writing, history, philosophy, social studies and other subjects.

“It’s important that we maintain a robust National Endowment for the Humanities, while at the same time mobilize voters to support state funding, as well as opportunities to increase public-private partnerships,” Rosales said.

Oliver Rosales Community Voices March 19 2018

Chris McCraw on Twitter

 mccraw2Official National Ag Day was marked on March 20th and I’ve enjoyed following BC’s wonderful Agricultural Business faculty, Chris McCraw on Twitter @CMcatBC as he shares our BC Ag Club at Kern County’s  #farmdayinthecity! It’s so exciting to see our BC Ag Club students have the opportunity to share their agricultural knowledge with over 2,000 elementary students during this multi-day event!

Kern County is the #1 Ag County in the U.S. and Ag Day is a special time to say THANK YOU to all our farmers and laborers, as well as our BC Agriculture students and faculty for educating and inspiring the next generation of agriculturists!

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So fortunate to have a real vibrant Ag faculty and staff.

Lynette Zelezny

On Thursday, Cal State Bakersfield announced that Lynette Zelezny will be the new president to succeed Horace Mitchell at the end of the academic year.

The announcement was featured in a front-page Q and A article in the Bakersfield Californian written by Harold Pierce, as well as an article by Chloe Carlson for KGET. Zelezny is CSUB’s first female president, and she’ll be transitioning from her role as the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Fresno State to come to Bakersfield. Zelezny has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Humboldt State University, a Ph.D. in applied social psychology from Claremont Graduate University, and an MBA with distinction from Fresno State.

City of Bakersfield visiting the Chamber

This week we had the Grater Bakersfield Chamber Board meeting.  I am honored to be on the Board of this wonderful organization — great board members, great CEO and great staff.

I was delighted to see leaders from the City of Bakersfield visit us to discuss some critical needs including the need for more police officers.  The team who presented included City Manger Alan Tandy, Councilman Andrae Gonzales, Concilman Bob Smith, BPD Chief Lyle Martin, Assistant City Manager Chris Huot.

Cindy and Liz

Liz Rozell and Cindy Collier are two amazing people who continue to inspire us all. I loved this photo because we all need to just lean on each other sometimes. Thank you Cindy and Liz for your dedication to BC and the Kern Community College District.

Cindy and Liz

 

We are BC

Sonya Christian at Cesar Chavez Breakfast March 23 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Celebrating Veterans All Week Long

Good  morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, November 11, 2017, Veterans Day.  Thank you for your service.

It’s been another active week here at BC.

We’ve been celebrating our veterans all week, starting with a special leadership breakfast on Monday, guest speakers, and the public unveiling of our plans for the Veteran Resource Center, which wouldn’t be possible without the community of Kern County coming together to support Measure J.

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Veterans’ Day started as the US celebration of the end of World War I, which officially ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day in November of 1918. Over time, it’s evolved into a celebration of all current or retired members of our armed forces, and a time to honor the contributions of all the brave men and women who fought to preserve our safety and uphold our nation’s grand ideals. In 1955 when the Panorama Campus at Bakersfield College was being built, the first structure completed was Memorial Stadium. It was named to honor our fallen heroes of World War I and World War II and a plaque at the finish line commemorates its dedication to the bravery and sacrifice of our brothers and sisters. Over sixty years later, those who serve our country continue to be an inspiration to this campus, and our student veterans are an important part of the Renegade family.

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Tom, Kay, Zav

Tom Gelder, Kay Meek, Zav Dadabhoy

On Monday, we kicked off the week with a breakfast for leaders in our community who diligently support our returning veterans and men and women in service. While I couldn’t be in attendance, I heard so many lovely comments about the morning. With an over 60% increase in student veterans at BC on campus, it is the leadership and engagement from these dedicated individuals who help us intentionally and meaningfully support our students and veterans to reach their goals. Thank you to everyone who came out including Mayor Karen Goh, Chancellor Tom Burke, Judge Louie Vega, Representative for Rudy Salas David Valadao, Michael O’Doherty, Scott Spielman, and JR Browning.

To see the full photo gallery of the breakfast, visit the BC Smugmug.

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Lisa Kent speaking to one of our guests, a 1968 Vietnam Veteran

Karen Goh posted about the breakfast on her facebook with some awesome photos as well. See her post here.

Karen Goh Facebook

Thank you to KGET who also invited Paul Beckworth to talk about our weeklong celebration on Monday. The clip from KGET Sunrise is available here. 

Paul Beckworth at KGET

Drop Zone Lisa Kent

Text Message with selfie from Lisa Kent and Christine Heard

On Tuesday, we held an all day Drop Zone in front of the Admin Building where a team of individuals collected donations for our troops. Accepted donations included various foods and treats. I received a text message from Lisa Kent who helped at the event with the following photo and message that since student veteran, Wen Medrano, had arrived at the zone, they had 3 drive-up donation drop offs!

The donations will be boxed and prepared by Kern River Blue Star Moms, which is our local chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America. Throughout the year they send care packages to local troops who are deployed, assist local veterans’ organizations, and participate in multiple community outreach events. Look for them in the Veterans Day Parade.

Throughout the day, we welcomed various organizations and special visitors who brought donations.

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Lee Caldwell, Annie Garrett and Julie Kapoor from KHSD, Wen Medrano, Lisa Kent, and Christine Heard

Annie Garrett and Julie Kapoor from KHSD visited the Drop Off Zone with a donation and they left this message, “We wanted to say how much we appreciate what you do for our Veterans. It was so gratifying seeing your face and those Veterans faces when we opened up the car. Thank you for your service and our Veterans”

Christine and Lisa

Drop off zone at BC with Christine and Lisa

If you visited campus this week, you would have noticed the flag garden outside of the Center for Student Success, specifically the Counseling office. All flags were $1 and the proceeds will go to Mikes Pass Program at BC to purchase parking permits for veterans.

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Elizabeth Perez-Halperin

Elizabeth Perez-Halperin speaking to students in the Fireside Room.

On Wednesday, we welcomed Elizabeth Perez-Halperin, as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series . Hosted by Bakersfield College Veterans Services, former Navy Petty Officer-turned entrepreneur Elizabeth Perez-Halperin spoke about her own experiences as a female veteran and her struggles after leaving of the service. Ms. Perez-Halperin holds a degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle University with a Minor in Logistics, Business & Safety Management. She also is the President and founder of GC Green Incorporated (GCG), a certified woman-owned, Native American, and 9/11 service disabled veteran-owned Green Build General Contracting and Consulting Firm.

Celebrating the 1-year anniversary of Measure J by unveiling the future Veterans Resource Center

Sonya Christian with speakers Nov 8 2017

Sonya Christian cropped Nov 8 2017November 8, 2017 marked the one-year anniversary of the Yes vote on Measure J.  A Yes vote meant sharing in a renewed vision of what moved the community to start Bakersfield College 104 years ago — and 61 years ago to start building the beautiful campus on Panorama Drive. Thank you for your support and thank you for sharing this vision.

Today, one year later, our first project funded by our shared and renewed vision is the Veterans Resource Center. What better way to thank our community than by building this center as a commitment to the knowledge and preparation of our veterans; and what better way than by focusing on student veteran needs in the learning environment, their opportunities, and their dreams for the future. Thank you veterans for your service.

 

I wrote about this in my Community Voices article, also posted on Wednesday.  Thank you to the Bakersfield Californian. 

Community Voices Sonya Christian Nov 8 2017

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KCCD Board President Kay Meek, Student Combat Veteran Lee Caldwell

Kay Meek and Lee Caldwell unveiling the future VRC

When our Veterans are returning home, the brand-new Veterans Resource Center at Bakersfield College will be the place they’re coming to for the promise of opportunities through a successful education. We were honored to have the President of the KCCD Board of Trustees as our first guest speaker for the event, Kay Meek.

Kay Meek speaking at VRC ItLee Caldwell was specifically important to Kay that this new center was designed to enhance and improve student success, wellness, and provide a comforting space for camaraderie for our returning veterans, like Lee Caldwell. Trustee Meek called on Chancellor Burke to get the building open for our student veterans sooner than later.

Lee spoke of how returning home and coming to BC changed his life. Our campus is a place of hope, dreams, and transformation and Lee is shining proof of this. These sacred spaces of higher education are over half a century old, but inspiration and transformation are abundant within our halls and on our campus grounds.

Our next speaker was Karen Thompson, Chair of the Measure J Committee and Chair of the Board of Directions for the BC Foundation.  Karen was a force on the campaign for Measure J — from taking care of finances to logistics.  Thank you Karen Thompson and the Bakersfield College Foundation.

Karen Thomas Speaking at VRC

Tom Burke at VRCChancellor Tom Burke spoke about the ways in which KCCD is looking forward to enhancing student success through the initiatives provided by Measure J. An article from The Bakersfield Californian which showcased the unveiling quoted him, “Your support will ensure that Bakersfield College will be able to provide quality facilities for our local communities for decades to come,” said Kern Community College District Chancellor Tom Burke. “I believe quality facilities are a huge part in providing a learning environment that leads to student success. Veterans, this resource center is our tribute and resource to you and those that follow. You will always find support at the Kern Community College District for meeting your life goals and aspirations.”

Our final guest speaker was Trustee Bill Thomas, who was a true storyteller and champion for the BC campus throughout the Measure J campaign. His dedication to BC stems from back when he was known on campus as Professor Thomas to his Renegade Political Science students and his love for this campus has never dimmed. He spoke of how he was inspired by returning veterans who dedicated themselves to earning an education after returning home from service.  He specifically spoke about Vernon Venezuela, a Vietnam Veteran, and his advocacy for veterans across the country.  When he brought up Vernon’s name, many of the veterans attending the event teared up.

Bill Thomas speaking

The new Veterans Resource Center funded by the community through Measure J will be a true game changer for our returning veterans as students, and will offer support services along with a team of staff to guide them through their educational journey. We currently have over 680 enrolled student veterans and more each year. Our student veterans are an inspiration, through their stories, their successes, and their courage. We are honored that they chose to come to BC.

Thank you to our student veterans for your courage and service, for believing in yourself, for pursuing an education, and for choosing Bakersfield College.  This is for you.

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Thank you to our community for supporting Measure J and important initiatives.  I can’t think of a better way to start building that renewed vision than by building the Veterans Resource Center to serve our student veterans. It is a good time to be at Bakersfield College.  It is a good time to be in Bakersfield and it is a good time to be in Kern County.

It was great seeing Michael O’Doherty at the event.  Michael spent countless hours on Measure J.  BC is indebted to you.  And here is a photo of Nick Strobel and Bill Thomas after the event.

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I was so happy to see Wesley Barrientos at the event.  Wesley later joined Paul Beckworth and me for an interview with Richard Beene on his radio show.  Wesley was at BC when I arrived as a new president and was instrumental in getting me to understand how BC could best prepare for welcome and support returning veterans to the Home of the Renegades.

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Thank you Monika Scott, Jennifer Serratt, Bill Potter, and Paul Beckworth for planning this event.  Thank you Mary Jo for doing what you do.  And thank you Marlene Heise for bringing out the media.  Thank you Manny De Los Santos, Earl Parsons, and Carson for the photos.  Thank you Dennis Spencer

 

 

Kay Meek, Sonya Christian, Bill Thomas

This was my favorite picture of the event.  A selfie by Jenny Frank of four veterans who love BC and have helped us take care of our student veterans.

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Richard Beene Show

Later that afternoon Paul Beckworth, Wesley Barrientos and I were on the Richaed Beene radio show.

Wesley Barrientos, Sonya Christian, Richard Beene, Paul Beckworth Nov 8 2017

Wesley Barrientos, Sonya Christian, Richard Beene, Paul Beckworth

VetFest 2017

On Thursday, we wrapped up our week on campus with Vet Fest and had over a dozen booths showcasing some of the support and tools that veterans can make use of. At 9AM, the BC Drumline started out the beautiful day —

… then the Presentation of the Colors by the Kern County Sheriff’s Department Color guard, and to kick off our speakers was Veteran Club President, Cristian Gutierrez.

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Speakers included Mayor Karen Goh, Assemblyman Rudy Salas, Paul Beckworth, Cristian Gutierrez and keynote speaker, Dr. Denita Oyeka.

Christian Gutierrez

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Mayor Karen Goh

 

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Assembly Member Rudy Salas

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Dean Paul Beckworth

Dr. Oyeka served in the US Army for 17 years until wounded during a complex ambush in Mosul Iraq. Her injuries included Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), PTSD, spinal injuries, broken ribs, and heart damage. During her multiple tours for operations Iraq Freedom and Operations Enduring Freedom, she served as a Weapons of Mass Destruction Intelligence Team Lead for Base Defense Operations, with the Biological Detection and Identification Systems under the Big Red One Infantry Division. She has her Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Weapons of Mass Destruction and recently completed her Doctorate in Public Policy: Organizational Management and Leadership with Focus on Transitioning Veteran Policy Development. Denita is continuing her service to America by working for the Department of Justice. She has found the determination to continually overcome her injuries through educating and supporting fellow Veterans in various collaborations from California to Capitol Hill.

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Keynote Speaker, Dr. Denita Oyeka.

 

Locals from the community came to celebrate on campus, such as Buzz Wells from Tehachapi who made the trip to BC just for Vetfest.

Buzz and Armando

Buzz and Armando

 

Karen Goh, Tommy Tuson, Sonya Christian Vet Fest 2017

Karen Goh, Rudy Salas, Sonya Christian Nov 9 2017

Mayor Karen Goh, Assemblyman Rudy Salas, President Sonya Christian

A huge thank you to BC Food Services for providing tacos, rice and beans, and the  live band for the music and entertainment.

BC Vets Club

Thanks to all of the local organizations who came out including: Veterans Club, Department of Rehabilitation, Agriculture Department, United States Marine Corps, Kern River Blue Star Moms, BC Disabled Students Program and Services, University of La Verne in Bakersfield, Veterans Job Club, Kern Healing Connections, Kevin McCarthy, Planned Parenthood, Self-Help Enterprises, Wounded Heros Fund , Social Security Administrations, Kern County Probation Department, Veterans Service Department, Kern Patriot Partnership, Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance , Southwest carpenters, Bakersfield college Vet Center, The California State University, M.E.Ch.A

All of these weeks activities would not have been possible without a team of people who coordinated each and every detail. Thank you to everyone, especially including Paul Beckworth, Lisa Kent, Bernadette Martinez, Armando Trujillo, and Lee Caldwell.

Group we love our vets at VRC

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Law Enforcement Graduation

i-z7mqcbm-x2While we were all busy celebrating our military at Vetfest, the Bakersfield Police Department was graduating 14 new officers in the Indoor Theater.

We were honored to have the BPD’s academy, the graduating cadets, and all of their families on campus to celebrate the hard-fought achievements of 14 future police officers, who will soon begin working diligently out in our streets to protect our community. Before graduating, the academy showed a video demonstrating all of the trials the physical and mental challenges the cadets had to endure during their training. I’d like to thank Chief Lyle Martin, who pushed to bring the graduation back to the BC campus. I can’t wait to welcome more graduates into our future law enforcement agencies.

Check out all the photos taken by Earl Parsons at BC’s Smugmug.

Thank you Paul Beckworth for your leadership in this week-long celebration of our veterans.

Paul Beckworth Nov 8 2017

Paul Beckworth. Photo by Manny de Los Santos

CSUB BC Transfer Event

Faculty and administrators from BC and CSUB gathered Monday, October 30 in the Fireside room to discuss course-specific road maps for each institution. We shared a simple lunch and while sitting across from our counterparts each came to better understood our shared mission to serve Kern county. Although the initial intent was to work on areas where BC ADT’s (Associate Degrees for Transfer) were similar to CSUB areas of Concentration, some additional important programs with opportunity or a large number of transfers were included. By days end, 23 Transfer degrees (AA-T/AS-T), 2 TMC’s and 2 new degree areas were coordinated with 51 CSU Major Emphasis or concentration areas.

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Outcomes included:

  • Clarified pathways to facilitate student completion of Baccalaureate Degrees in Kern County
  • Relationships between discipline faculty to better inform students’ coursework
  • Identified course articulation or ADT modifications
  • Expanded ADT application to Areas of Concentration (one ADT degree may go to multiple CSU BA pathways) and understanding any specific course benefits within individual pathways
  • Documented pathways by semester for full-time students – CSU 120 units and BC 60 unit + CSUB 60 unit packages
  • Documented CSU/CCC model that can be replicated statewide to meet the Graduation 2025 Initiative goals

Transfer Event (3)Numerous materials including one-year pathway models and 4-year pathway models, discipline C-ID courses and Transfer Model Curriculum were supplied faculty who worked through a 4-year pathway from BC to Bachelor’s degree at CSUB. The end-product for each discipline was a semester pattern of course-taking for each area of emphasis at CSUB. Patterns included recommended coursework by CSUB faculty for specific pathways at BC.

BC and CSUB faculty are currently finalizing these pathways, which will be posted and available to clarify paths for students in Biology, Pre-Nursing, Communication, Journalism, Computer Science, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Engineering, English, History, Kinesiology, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.  Additional pathway maps will be completed this winter.

Taste of BC

Have I mentioned recently how amazing our faculty and students are? Last Saturday, our Performing Arts faculty and students partnered with our Culinary Arts faculty and students to create an unforgettable evening for 35 students from Standard Middle School. Starting with a tour of our Performing Arts Center, the middle school students got a ‘behind the scenes’ look at our Theatre and Music facilities. They also enjoyed an incredible performance by BC students from our recent production of Hamlet, followed by a skit from Brian’s Beard (BC’s Improv Troupe). Our Theatre majors also taught the middle school students how to do improv. Very impressive! To top off the evening, the students enjoyed a fantastic meal in the Renegade Room by our Culinary Arts majors, and were entertained with dinner music by many of our Music majors. Many thanks to Dr. Jen Garrett, Brian Sivesind, Chef Suzanne Tangeman, Kevin Ganger, Leslie Aldridge, and Kim Chin, along with our students from the Hamlet cast, 1984 cast, Brian’s Beard, Music majors, and Culinary Arts students for volunteering the time and talents to benefit our local middle school students (…and hopefully future Renegades!)

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Paul Meyers, District Superintendent emailed to share that  the experience was powerful for the young students, and they appreciate the attention to the details that made everything come together so well Saturday night.

Thank you to all involved, and thank you Standard Middle School for bringing the students to Bakersfield College. I hope they will all return as Renegades.

Check out the side article at The Bakersfield Californian.

Accreditation Forum #3

Monday’s 3rd Accreditation Forum was well attended with great participation from faculty and staff.  Dena Rhodes and Todd Coston (filling in for Mike Ivey) lead the group through a discussion on Standard III.A.5, one of 15 sections for Human Resources, concerning the evaluation process, improving it, educating and training managers, and documenting the plan. Next, Bill Potter and Kristen Rabe Discussed Standard III.B Facilities, or physical resources. The main purpose of the 4 sections of this standard is to ensure that we have adequate, appropriate, equitable and safe space for classes and administration. Their discussion of Standard III.B.3 focused on the process for requesting facilities (program review), the request’s prioritization through committee, inclusion in the Facilities Master Plan, and completion contingent on funding.

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Richard Marquez and Todd Coston, co-chairs of the ISIT Committee, discussed sections 2 & 5, of the five sections of Standard III.C, Technology. The theme of requesting our technological needs through program review, prioritization, planning, and funding were consistent with that of Bill’s and Kristen’s facility needs. There is also a new standard this year for “policies and procedures that guide the appropriate use of technology in the teaching and learning processes.” We meet this standard through the Board Policy, Acceptable Use Policy and adhering to ADA and 508 compliance.

Don Chrusciel and Steve Holmes, co-leads on Standard III.D Finance, gave a demonstration on where we can find budget information on the District web site. Don explained the Closing the Loop document that recaps how the budget was spent on planned projects. You may view the Forum Presentations on the Accreditation site.

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Thank you to Sue Vaughn, Nick Strobel, John Gerhold, Maria Wright, Jennifer Johnson, staff and faculty in Delano and all of the others that participated in the discussion. Also a big thank you to Liz Rozell, Jason Stratton, Bill Moseley, Kirk Russell, Johnathon Shultz and Delano for coordinating the forum. I hope to see all of you at the next forum hosted by the College Council on November 17th. Keep an eye out for the announcement.

Great picture of Todd Coston, Bill Potter, and Kristin Rabe celebrating after the forum.

Celebrating after the forum

Academic Senate at BC!

The Bakersfield College Academic Senate represents the faculty in its entirety and whose primary function is to make recommendations to and agreements with the governing board of the district with respect to academic and professional matters, and to make recommendations to the administration and governing board on matters pertaining to the conduct and welfare of the college.

We have a great group of faculty on the senate at BC under the leadership of Senate President Steven Holmes.  Tarina Perry (far left) does a great job supporting the senate.

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Academic Senate 2017-2018

Front row, left to right:
Tarina Perry (Administrative Secretary), Kimberly Nickell (EB), Steven Holmes (AS President), Laura Peet, Di Hoffman (EB), Lisa Harding (EB), Susan McQuerrey, Dan Kimball, Deborah Rosenthal (EB), Chad Newton (EB), Michael Fredenberg, Ishmael Kimbrough, Robby Martinez, Lawrence Salcido (BCSGA)
Second row, left to right:
Phil Whitney, Barbara Braid, Alisha Loken, Matt Garrett (EB), Neal Stanifer, Klint Rigby, Victor Diaz (EB), Matt Jones, Teresa McAllister, Qui Jimenez, Jessica Wojtysiak (EB), Ganae Romo (BCSGA)

 

The Renegade Minute

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Professor Josh Ottum performing with Commercial Music students

The Renegade Minute is a podcast produced by students in the Commercial Music program at Bakersfield College. The series presents profiles of BC faculty, students, and people around Kern County and beyond. For more information on the Commercial Music Program at Bakersfield College please visit: panoramarecordings.com/ and bccommercialmusic.tumblr.com/

 

BC Express Enrollment at Shafter Learning Center

Bakersfield College is bringing higher education to Shafter for rural North West Kern county. The college offerings at the Shafter Learning Center and Shafter High School will service a population of over 60,000 adults (18 and over) living within a twenty mile radius of both locations. The initial offerings will be general education college courses that apply to a Bakersfield College degree or transfer to local four-year schools. The effort is to improve our support to students that cannot access our services at the Panorama campus. The site is located about eight miles south of Wasco on highway 43 in the city of Shafter at 236 James Street, Shafter, Ca.

I invite everyone in the area to come out to Shafter Learning Center for BC’s Express Enrollment event on November 14th from 8AM to 2PM. Get enrolled and leave registered for BC classes in Shafter!

Music:

Fall Jazz Concert on Monday, November 13, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.: The Bakersfield College Jazz Ensemble directed by Kris Tiner celebrates some of the greatest jazz composers from the 1940s to the present. Featuring music by Horace Silver, Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington, Sonny Rollins, Pat Metheny, Toshiko Akiyoshi and more. Tickets available atwww.vallitix.com or at the door, $10 general admission, $7 students/staff/seniors. Proceeds benefit the BC Jazz Program. For more information call 661-395-4313 or visit www.bcjazz.org

kris tiner

Culinary Caroling Dinner on Dec. 2nd: The incredible Culinary Arts Department and the BC Chamber Singers get together and put on quite an evening of food and music to kick of your holiday season. This year’s theme is based on the Christmas movies we all know and love, and even features Santa Claus for your picture-taking pleasure. This is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Chamber Singers ambitious tour to Australia to sing in the Sydney Opera House. We have raised over 65,000 for the tour but currently need to almost double that amount. Your support will help us reach our goal of taking all of the Chamber Singers regardless of their financial situation. We cannot make this happen on our own and are so grateful for your support. There will be a silent and live auction also full of wonderful items!

Tickets are $45 for a single ticket and $40 each for 2 or more tickets. Tickets are only sold through Dr. Jennifer Garrett at jennifer.garrett@bakersfieldcollege.edu or the Chamber Singers. Tickets will go quickly.

Enjoying Porterville College at the Nov 9th Board Meeting

The KCCD BOard of Trustees typically meet at the Weill Institute in downtown Bakersfield every month.  However, three of their meetings are scheduled on the college campuses.  On November 6th we met at the Porterville College campus.  During lunch President Bill Henry had organized a short presentation of a new program at the college — the Pirate Pathway to success.  It is a great program with focus on getting to degree completion in a shorter amount of time.  Here are Erin Cruz and Elmer Aguilar presenting the program.  Very cool presentation.

It was also a treat to see the retirees present with the Board recognizing them for their service.  Dr. Rosa Carlson was there and everyone greeted her back with much warmth.  Here is a photo of Steve Schultz who is just a wonderful man …. He was my inspiration on supporting student veterans with what he did at the Porterville College campus.  Here he is with his wife.

Steve Schultz with his wife Nov 9 2017Also, their son Jonathan Schultz is an amazing faculty in the counseling department.  He work long hours and is passionate about student success.  Check out this 7-minute video

I also found this great picture on Jonathan Schultz’ facebook page.

Jonathan Schultz FAcebook

Steve Schultz and Virginia Gurrola were both recognized with the status of “emeritus” along with several others.  I got to know Virginia Gurrola when she took a leadership role with the campaign on Measure J.  She was just great.

Congratulations Steve and Virginia.

MESA Students at BC

MESA

BC’s MESA Students

Four talented Bakersfield College students gathered in downtown Los Angeles in a step towards becoming the diverse leaders of tomorrow’s tech and engineering workforce. MESA’s Student Leadership Conference brings together hand-picked engineering and computer science students with industry professionals to develop the next generation of STEM leaders.  Held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Oct. 27-28, this year’s conference theme was Illuminate. Motivate. Launch.  

The Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program guides diverse students from underrepresented backgrounds into STEM careers.

Unlike job fairs or speaker-only conferences, MESA students got the unique opportunity to interact one-on-one and in small groups with company executives, engineers and recruiters. Many often leave the conference with internship offers that lead to full-time employment. Students participated in mock interviews, communications, team building, emotional intelligence and financial literacy workshops.

Renegade Athletics

Renegade Volleyball Conf Champs.

From TBC: “Ferreira is hoping for a top-four seeding, which would mean opening the playoffs at home on Nov. 21.”  I will be there on Nov 21st.  Will you?

Check out the article by Mike Griffith at: http://tinyurl.com/ydg2zhs9

It was a fun game and there were many who came out to support the student athletes.

The Softball Team came out to support Renegade Volleyball

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The Wrestling Team came out to support Renegade Volleyball

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The Cheer Team was there

Cheer team out to support Renegade Volleyball Nov 10 2017

Loved seeing Becki Whitson.

Cross Country

Women’s Cross Country qualifies two  for state meet: wo members of the BC women’s cross country team qualified for the State Championships, next week in Fresno.  Lourdes Cruz finished 59th (21:12.68) and Gabriella Lugo finished 83 (21:46.99) at the SO CAL Championships, this past Friday, to qualify. (from gogades.com)

Women's Cross Country Nov 8 2017

Men’s Cross Country Team qualifies for state: The Renegades finished in 14th place as a team to earn a spot in the State Championships.  In the field of 196 runners at the SO CAL Cahmpionships, three Renegades finished in the top eighty.  Angelo Benitez led BC, finishing in 50th place with a time of 22:26.60.  Harrison Wykoff (22:30.62) finished in 58th place and Marcos Mulato (22:47.66) finished 77th. (from: gogades.com)

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Men’s Soccer: The Renegades defeated Glendale College 3-1, last night to improve to 3-4-2 in conference play.  Jesus Barajas led the Renegades with two goals, giving him four for the season and Edui Pardo scored the other goal, his first of the season.  Abel Gonzalez made 5 saves and Israel Rodriguez made one save.

Jesus Barajas Nov 8 2017

Women’s Basketball defeat Riverside

The Renegades got in the win column, by defeating Riverside 69-64.  Freshman, Brianna Mendez led the way with 22 points, 3 blocks and 4 steals, while Angie Kroeger added 16 points and 9 rebounds. (from gogades.com)

Basketball Nov 5 2017 against Riverside

Men’s Basketball

On Thursday (Nov 2nd), the Renegades defeated Santa Ana 84-68.  They had multiple players score in double figures, led by Jaylunn English with 22.  Henry Galinato recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Jamar Hammonds (12 points), Tucker Eenigenburg (11 points) and Anieus Medrano (10 points) were the other players scoring in double figures.  On Friday (Nov 3rd), the Renegades defeated Long Beach 92-84.  Four Renegades scored in double figures, led by Jamar Hammonds, who had 33 points and 17 rebounds, Jaylunn English addes 21 points, Shahadah Camp 18 points and Tucker Eenigenburg 16 points.  (from: gogades.com)

Jamar Hammonds drives home a dunk

BC coming to Shafter January 2018.  Enroll now!

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Fun Pictures:

It was a treat running into Kathy Bohner on Tuesday, Nov 7th.  Kathy retired as the assessment center coordinator and before that she worked in the math lab.

 

Sonya Christian, Kathy Bohner Nov 7 2017

Paul Beckworth wins the motorcycle when Mayor Karen Goh draws the winning raffle ticket at the Wounded Heroes Fund event.

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Emmanuel Limaco at MeCha Panelist event…from Facebook

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Bilbo

Bilbo Nov 11 2017

Neo

 

 

Sonya Christian at the podium

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A busy Homecoming Week at BC!

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“I don’t think there’s any jobs like back then.” – Bob Thompson

Two years ago, in 2014, The Washington Post published a story following Bob Thompson, a man from Southern California who had never gone to college, but as a young man in his hometown of Downy in the 1960’s it was easy to find a decent job. Since it was the proud hub of aerospace manufacturing, he quickly secured a job at a local plant with no higher education.

At the end of the video clip, he said, “Today’s world – I don’t think there’s any jobs like back then. Today’s world – you have to be educated… college educated, or trades, something like that. But to just go out and get a job, a nice paying job, I think those days are over with.You can check out the short video clip here on Washingtonpost.com.

His words have stuck with me over the past week… Especially as I’ve witnessed the amazing dedication from individuals who persistently support BC and Measure J. It is BC’s goal to provide necessary job skills for the people of this community for the next 50 years.

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Michael Turnipseed supporting Measure J

Georgetown University, in its Job Growth and Educational Requirements Through 2020, has predicted that, “By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the economy will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school” and “The United States will fall short by 5 million workers with postsecondary education- at the current production rate- by 2020.” https://cew.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Recovery2020.ES_.Web_.pdf

Bakersfield College – and community colleges nationwide – are the pipeline to prepare the workforce for both middle-skill jobs and transfering to higher levels of educational obtainment and the highly-skilled workforce. A lot has changed since the 1960s, and the demands for more education will increase, right along the increasing number of students. The success of our community, the success of our local economy, and the health of our people depend on locally and technically trained prepared students to meet this upcoming demand.  #MeasureJ

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David Torres supporting Measure J

This was made clear at the Kern Workforce Summit on October 19th organized by Supervisor Leticia Perez, Teresa Hitchcock and a team of business and industry partners.  Unfortunately, I did not take my own pictures at the event, so here is a collage from Karen Goh’s facebook page.  Thanks Karen!

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Supervisor Leticia Perez supporting Measure J

David Womack, a retired USAF colonel, is the senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente in Kern County.

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David Womack

Have you seen his piece in the Community Voices section of the Bakersfield Californian? He says,

Measure J has the potential to transform our region and create a tipping point for generations to come. Here is how your vote will make a difference.

He concludes with:

Desmond Tutu once said, “There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they are falling in.” Measure J is our upstream opportunity. You can choose to invest in the health of our community and wellbeing of our veterans.

You can choose to vote Yes on Measure J.

Find out how by checking out his letter at http://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/community-voices-how-measure-j-can-improve-kern-s-health/article_4516a34e-973f-527d-a569-256b8f93fa9b.html

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Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, October 22nd …. Homecoming at Bakersfield College and an amazing day to be a Renegade.  An amazing day following an amazing week of activities both on-campus and off-campus.

And why would the week not be great when we had Scott Cox in it 🙂

First Look with Scott Cox

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Scott Cox, Marlene Heise, Bill Thomas, Sonya Christian

Retired Congressman and KCCD Trustee, Bill Thomas and I were guests on First Look with Scott Cox this past week to talk about Measure J.  It was really a lot of fun.  Also notice Hop, Mike Hopper, with the Measure J sign.  We was wonderful and so funny.  Thank you Marlene Heise for making this happen.

A recording of the live video is available on First Look’s Facebook page at

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=706139332868277&id=175755155906700&__tn__=C

Measure J Update

Endorsements:

The Kern County Farm Bureau Endorses Measure J.  See press release

press-release

Thank you President Jeff Rasmussen and Beatris Espericueta Sanders and each member of the Board for your support of Measure J.

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Beatris Espericueta, Heather Baltis, Sonya Christian

#MeasureJ

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Doug Starr of the Kern Ag Foundation supports Measure J

Over 1800 individuals have endorsed Measure J.  Check out the list at http://www.yesonj2016.com/endorsements.html

Here are some examples in alphabetical order:

Kevin Burton, President, SJCH Foundation
Kyle Carter, Bakersfield Mayoral Candidate/KCCD Trustee
David Couch, Kern County Supervisor
Jose Flores, Arvin Mayor
Karen Goh, Bakersfield Mayoral Candidate
Doug Greener, Bakersfield Fire Chief
Shannon Grove, California State Assembly Member
Harvey Hall, Bakersfield Mayor
Harold Hanson, Bakersfield Vice Mayor
Mike Maggard, Kern County Supervisor
Kay Meek, KCCD Trustee
Terry Maxwell, Bakersfield City Council Member
Chris Parlier, Bakersfield City Council Member
Leticia Perez, Kern County Supervisor
Leticia Prado, Lamont Water District Member
Willie Rivera, Bakersfield City Council Member
Rudy Salas, California State Assembly Member
Mary K. Shell
Bob Smith, Bakersfield City Council Member
Jay Tamsi, Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President
Bill Thomas, Retired U.S. Congressman
Greg Williamson, Bakersfield Police Department Chief

Milt Younger


What’s happening at the Measure J Head Quarters?

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Volunteers are coming from all around to give their time and talent to ensure Measure J is a success!

Here are some smart, beautiful and talented women who support Measure J

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January Lau-CEO January & Company (Bakersfield)

Norma Rojas-Mora-President Latina Leaders of Kern County (Bakersfield)

Pauline Larwood-Retired Kern Community College Trustee/Kern County Supervisor (Bakersfield)

Connie Perez-CPA (Bakersfield)

Sue Benham-Retired Bakersfield City Council (Bakersfield)

Mariela Gomez-student ( Bakersfield)

Carolina Espinoza-student (Bakersfield)

Raji Brar-Owner Countryside Market & Restaurants (Bakersfield)

Tina Miller-Host “Open Up” talk show (Bakersfield)

And here is the fabulous Nicole Parra.  I love this picture.

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Nicole Parra supporting Measure J

At the headquarters this week, I had a minute to chat with Malique McClanaan, a high school student volunteering with his mom who also wants to take dual enrollment classes at BC.

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I also saw smiling faces like Manny De Los Santos and Venessa Reyes, who made phone calls to voters.

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Manny De los Santos, Vanessa Reyes

I snagged a selfie with adjunct faculty, Kaureen Brady. And Kenneth Mireles, Carlos Baraban and Paul Beckworth also hit the phones and chatted with potential supporters.

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Sonya Christian, Kaureen Brady

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It was great to also see Ken Byrum, a local attorney, a member of our Board of Directors and a strong supporter of Bakersfield College phone banking out on behalf of Measure J.

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Ken Byrum phone banking

Check out our Academic Senate Vice President volunteering her time phone banking.

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Andrea Thorson phone banking Oct 19, 2016

Here is Dena Rhoades, Kathy Howarth, and Kristin Rabe counting and preparing Measure J yard signs!

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Dena Rhoades, Kathy Howarth, Kristin Rabe

Matt Stahl and I took a look at the voters map for walking precincts.

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Sonya Christian, Matt Stahl

BC is a family and so it was refreshing to see Grace Comisso downtown at Measure J headquarters with her whole family, even the baby in tow! Marissa Marquez and her daughter Clarissa were on hand to help with whatever was needed!

The Delano crew also got together. The committee meeting for lunch and “walk” planning took place – Here is Raquel Lopez, Alma Feathers, Carolina Madrigal; Juan Torres; Gustavo Enriquez; Abel Guzman; and Helen Calip.

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Shout out to Volunteers:

Tuesday, October 18th:

Terri Goldstein, Michelle Pena, Keri Kennedy, Adel Shafik, Amanda Rangel, Lesley Bonds, Ashlea Ward, Claudio Felix, Shanell Tyus, Manuel Muralles, Josie Guillen, Steven Watkin, Debi Anderson, Tom Gelder, Paul Beckworth, Jackie Lau, Yadira Guerrero, Chris Glaser, Steve Waller, Cynthia Munos, Jay Rosenlieb

Wednesday, October 19:

Jackie Lau, Carlos Banbaran, Pat Smith, Heather Barajas, Tracy Lovelace, Kristin Rabe, Loy Salarda, Lisa Kent, Kathy Howarth, Dena Rhoades, Somaly Boles, Chris Glaser, Steve waller, Keesha Collins

Thursday, October 20:

Lesley Bonds, Lisa Kent, Brenda Silva, Silvia Silva, Jason Page, Mark Osea, Keesha Collins, Terri Goldstein, Michelle Pena, Linda Cordobam, Josh Shackelford, Jackie Lau, Sergio Maldenado, Salvador Gomez-Pantoja, Shohreh Rahman, Matt Hinson, Sam Moreno, Steve Waller, Chris Glaser, January Lau, Tom Gelder, Janet Tarjan

Friday, October 21:

Stephen Waller, Keesha Collins, Kalina Hill, Jackie Brouillette, Shanell Tyus, Pedro C. Ramirez, Tom Saba, Janet Tarjan, Elina Garcia, Maria Duenas, Brenda Silvia, Sam Moran, Daulton Jones, Shanice Watson, Liz Rozell, Kate Pluta, Ruben Chavez, Mariah Earl, Iris Gonzalez, Loy Salarda, Nicky Damania, Teresa McAllister, Chase McAllister, Lucero Cisneros, Andrea Lopez, Lesley Bonds

And a little birdy told me that some people didn’t sign in – you know who you are!

Homecoming 2016!

School spirit is alive at 1801 Panorama Drive! The week was off to a magical start with our campus’s first “Quidditch Tournament!” Students drew a crowd as they participated in the magical sport created by J.K Rowling in her Harry Potter series. Teams were formed, competitions began, and no one walked away empty handed! You have to see the pictures to see a glimpse of how this whimsical sport was a fantastic start to Homecoming Week at BC!

On Tuesday, BCSGA set up bumper ball soccer for students! Large plastic balls were inflated for one person and that’s how the games began! Student booths for Student Life and BCSGA were on hand to get students involved and assist with the bumper games.

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Wednesday was all about fun and food with a special event Tacos & Tie-Dye out in the Renegade Crossroads. As you can imagine, tie-dye was incredibly messy and the tacos from the Taqueria el Roble del Leon Taco Truck are always a hit with the students.

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Campus was fired up on Thursday in preparation for the big weekend. Students listened to music and enjoyed pancakes at the traditional Pep Rally and Pancake Feed! The BC Cheerleaders and BC Drumline raised the excitement and our campus spirit with stellar performances.

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It’s an exciting time to be on campus, and this evening is the best chance to reconnect with your community college – Bakersfield College! Homecoming 2016 is going to be the best one yet and it all takes place tonight starting with the Big Red Dinner! You don’t want to miss the parade and big game vs. Cerritos College.

I hope to see you up at “the campus on the hill” tonight! For Homecoming 2016!!

Third Thursday

There were two events this past Thursday, October 20th — the third thursday prayer group luncheon for public sector leaders and the Downtown Business Association’s event in the evening.  Our mayor Harvey Hall was recognized at both events.

I enjoyed hearing the McKinley School Choir perform and found this youtube video of them receiving a check from Robin Mangarin on behalf of Dignity Health.

Another event that happened Thursday evening was the Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government.  Thank you JP Lake for having me as your guest. I did not take photos but found this collage on Karen Goh’s Facebook.  Thank you Karen Goh!

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Creative Experiences at BC

BC at Via Arté

It is through the music and art curriculum and experiences that BC students are prepared for a myriad of creative fields. From professional music to drawing, painting, ceramics, architecture, digital media and more, our students accomplish great things. Each year, the Bakersfield Museum of Art presents Via Arte at The Marketplace where artists recreate a traditional Italian street painting festival with original chalk art.

Check out these incredible pics from Art adjunct faculty, Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio and BC Art student, Emily Lloyd.

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BC Chamber Singers

On Monday, our BC Chamber singers were featured on First Look with Scott Cox. If you missed this wonderful highlight of Dr. Jennifer Garrett and a portion of the BC Chamber Singers, make sure to check out this link for the recording!

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Yesterday, on Friday evening, this group of talented students took the stage along with the entire BC Chamber Singers, BC College Choir, Lucy Adams on french horn, Naomi Rivera from Marvin Ramey’s Experience Dance, and one of our own BC students Linda Snoddy on bagpipes. The beautiful Indoor Theater was filled with talent and the evening’s theme was one to remember: Life and Death.

Here is the Director’s Note to us:

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Dr. Jen Garrett emailed me… “I have done quite a few concerts in my life, but I don’t think any of them have meant as much to me as this one.  I thought of the idea just over a year ago on the day my Mom passed away and I had to do a rehearsal with College Choir immediately after I arrived home from traveling to see her one last time.  I knew then that I wanted to do something to honor her.”

I did not take photos but saw Cara Jackson at the vent.  When she gets her pictures to us, I will go ahead and add them to this blog.  So check back.

Here are two of my favorite songs from the evening and since I did not take a video of the BC Choir performing, I found the songs on youtube take a few moments to close your eyes and listen and see the amazing Jen Garrett with her choir, in her pale but bright blue dress with a delicate black vest.

We Rise Again:

Peace Like a River

All of the choir members have made dedications to people that have influenced their lives–both people still living and those that have passed on.” The BC Choral program is constantly working to bring light to our community through performance, art, and music. The next performance is December 2nd for “Winter Around the World” – you don’t want to miss it.  We love you Jen Garrett!

Lucian Ban & Mat Maneri:

Tomorrow, Sunday October 23rd at 6:00pm, the BC Jazz Program presents a unique evening with Transylvanian born, NYC-based pianist Lucian Ban and Grammy nominee Mat Maneri, who will share their musical discoveries. Admission is free, open to the public and also for our students. Performing Arts adjunct faculty, Susan Scaffidi shares more about these incredible artists in her article on Bakersfield.com.

I hope you’ll check it out.

Traveling to Mars at BC

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BC’s planetarium director, Nick Strobel, presented a Mars Travel Guide on Thursday at BC’s very own William M. Thomas Planetarium on Thursday. This special show covered the hazards of the months-long flight to Mars, properties, the atmosphere and geology, weather, and the history of our explorations on the surface of Mars from Viking to Curiosity.

planetarium1Nick said, “To give it proper justice would probably require a whole semester’s worth of a class or at least a six-hour show but most people, I suspect, would find that a tad too long.”

Just a tad, he said!

What a fabulous gift for the community at BC – the gift of knowledge and education concerning one of our most interesting subjects – space!

Check out this link for more about the Bakersfield College Planetarium or click here to read one of Nick’s biweekly Bakersfield Night Sky articles.

Student Initiatives

African American Mentor Program:

Making a transition to a new environment such as college can be overwhelming, especially for first-time and first-generation college students. That’s why Bakersfield College strives to offer many diverse student organizations and initiatives. One initiative in particular, the African American Mentor Program, is one that incorporates drop-in mentors, peer mentors, resiliency guidance, and general assistance to encourage students to be motivated in their studies.

Julian West is the coordinator for AAMP and he has said, “A big part of what AAMP is for and what I do, is to ensure that African American students feel like they belong at BC and get them comfortable with using these services. We have a network of dedicated staff and community members that are addressing the unique issues faced by African American students.”

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The group holds weekly meetings with dedicated black tutors, or “real talk” sessions in which students can speak their mind and talk about any issues on or off campus.

The most recent “Real Talk” was conducted by Danny Morrison of Hot 94.1 radio, who runs Project Dynamo, helping children strive in school. I’m told Danny spoke on how important it is to break the cycle of black stereotypes and how it must strive from motivation to change and its talks like this that help motivate our students and keep them on track.

The mentors of AAMP make note of and reach out to students when they are missing items like educational plans or financial aid paperwork. They incorporate a very intrusive approach to educational advising including outreach and even text message reminders!

BC is a family and nothing makes us more proud than to see students accomplish their goals and better their future; services like AAMP on campus allow us to do that.

If students want to get involved, find contact details and more at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/student/aai/aamp

Spotlight On: The Grace Van Dyke Bird Library

library

This week, I’d like to take a moment to focus on our fabulous library.  This is the newest building on campus, built in 1996.  Most of the other buildings were built in 1956.

The Bakersfield College library is a tremendous academic resource to students in need of books, reference books, articles, research assistance, research workshops, or just a quiet place to study.  The library subscribes to 12 online research databases and offers access to 150,000 electronic books in addition to the 80,00 print volumes housed in the library. The library staff consists of 5 full-time librarians, 3 adjunct librarians, and 4 support staff. The library is open 62 hours each week, including Saturdays.

Each semester librarians teach 2-3 sections of Library B1 (Introduction to Library Research), almost 70 research workshops, and well over 100 discipline-specific library orientations. In Spring 2016, a small library was opened at the Delano Campus, staffed by both adjunct and full-time BC librarians.

The Delano library is open 24 hours each week.

There are a total of 70 library workshops available to students every semester. These workshops help students learn research strategies, which give tips on how to find information about a certain topic by using key words; find books, including e-books and using the library catalog, as well as using EBSCOhost and other scholarly sources needed for researching. To find the schedule of all library workshops, visit the website: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/library/workshops

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The library hosts an annual Cerro Author Lecture, thanks to the generous bequest of Dolores Cerro. This year, we’re pleased to host Andy Weir, author of “The Martian”, which is now a major motion picture.

This book portrays the story of a young astronaut, Mark, left stranded by his crew after being presumed dead during a sand storm on Mars.

Left with only broken machinery, and no way to contact Earth, Mark is left to rely on his intuition and knowledge to survive. The book has proven to be a page-turner and hard to put down!

Weir will present programs to our students, faculty and staff on October 25th and 26th. On October 25th, he will also present a public program at 7 pm at the Indoor Theatre – all are welcome to this free event! For more information visit the Bakersfield College Librarian desk, or see https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/library/cerro-authors.

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You can follow the library on both Instagram (bc_library) and Twitter (LibraryatBC)

Celebrating our favorite red!

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The days are ticking down to Nov. 8th, and a few short days later, Jennifer Marden will be saying “I do!”

Last weekend, it was a great thing to see so many friends and colleagues take the time out of our busy lives on a Saturday afternoon to celebrate with Jennifer and her soon-to-be-husband, Mark. Stepping out into the patio at the Pyrenees Café was like stepping into a Tuscan retreat.

The food was delicious, including the gorgeous cake made by BC’s Rad Tech Dept. Assistant, Anita Karr.  Thank you to the special party planners, Kathy Howarth, Tracy Hall, Cynthia Munoz, and Becky Dargatz.

Jennifer’s wedding website says that even with an ocean, the 2nd largest city in America, and a mountain range between their homes, they did everything possible to spend as much time together and now their wedding is quickly approaching! There’s so much to celebrate at BC, but I’m glad last Saturday afternoon was all about Jennifer. Congratulations Jennifer Marden and Mark Serratt – I can’t wait to share a picture from the joyous occasion in a few short weeks!

Sonya and Pam in Singapore

Sonya Christian, Pam Christian

That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — 

reading Jenn’s note about her mom made me go back through old pictures.  Here I am with Pam Christian in Singapore many years ago.

A community together

 

Calla Lily June 4 2016

A calla lily for you

Good evening Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, June 4, 2016…the day the community came together at St. Francis to celebrate the life of Tharrell Ming, a diehard driller and a Renegade.  The church was packed by the time I got there at 10:53 a.m. for the 11:00 a.m. mass and they had already run out off the stack of booklets.  I spotted Coach Jeff Chudy, Trustee Kay Meek at the service and noticed that Carl Bowser‘s name led the list of honorary pall bearers followed by  Don James, TH Lockard, Bob Millinich, Bob Morton, Richard Russell, Sid Thompson, Gene Toschi, Rick Twisselman.

 

Bakersfield is a great community and as I am writing this blog, unusually at the end of the day instead of the beginning, I see the burst of flowers in the backyard and the burst of yellow from the calla lily. So here is a calla lily for you, my community, for all that you do on a daily basis to support each other and support the students at BC.

Tharrell Dean Ming June 4 2016 Booklet

Now, back to Tharrell Ming…..Monsignor Craig Harrison was his usual remarkable self, funny, warm, comforting and efficient with the mass.  We are blessed to have  Father Craig (as he is warmly referred to) in our community.  The music was minimal and powerful and here are two songs that I listened to throughout the rest of the day.  And whatever your religious leanings or non-religious leanings for that matter, I am sure these two songs will move your spirit and soul as it did mine sitting with hundreds of community members this morning at St. Francis.

Shephard me O God with acoustic guitar on youtube.com

I googled the musical composition of Psalm 23 and learned from the United Methodist Church website that Marty Haugen had composed the haunting melody for the lyrics.  For more on Marty Haugen, check out:

http://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-shepherd-me-o-god

How Great Thou Art.  Maybe this is a non-traditional approach to have the Elvis version here in my blog.  But here I go…..

Here’s to a great Renegade, Tharrell Ming.

I started my day early today preparing for a morning meeting with the two Vice Presidents, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Zav Dadabhoy, of Bakersfield College at Starbucks.  There were a few things that came up that required this early morning meeting on a Saturday during summer.  I know…. crazy…. but that’s what faculty and staff do at BC!  The talent, commitment and dedication of faculty, staff and administrators at the college is just remarkable.  We are…BC! It is a good time to be at BC!

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy

Here are a few highlights from the week:

 

Transfer Award from College Opp June 2 2016

Beebe, Koeth, Christian, Pluta, Siqueiros

BC wins an award for transfer degrees.
Earlier this month we received an email from the President of the Campaign for College Opportunity, Michele Siqueiros, that Bakersfield College was one of 13 community colleges in the state being recognized for the growth in the number of transfer degrees.  The event was held in Sacramento in June 2nd, Thursday, and the BC team that headed north to receive the award included: Trustee Dennis Beebe, Dean of Instruction Kate Pluta and Faculty member David Koeth.

 

 

The Bakersfield Group at College Opp awards June 2 2016

Beebe, Chavez, Koeth, Huerta, Christian, Pluta

The Campaign for College Opportunity is a group dedicated to advancing the educational attainment levels in California by impacting policy at the state level.  The staff are great.  A special thank you to Michele Siqueiros, President; Audrey Dow, Vice President, External Affairs and Operations; Linda Vasquez, Regional Affairs Director. For more check out their website at http://collegecampaign.org/.

 

Here is a picture with the group from Bakersfield that included Dolores Huerta who received a lifetime achievement award and her daughter Camilla Chavez. Congratulations Dolores!

We also connected with Connie Conway, a wonderful member of the Board of Governors for California Community Colleges and now a member of the Board of Directors of the Campaign for College Opportunity.  Also, the fabulous Dean Florez, who is an advocate for education and in particular Bakersfield College.

Dean Florez Connie Conway Dennis Beebe June 2 2016

Dean Florez, Connie Conway, Dennis Beebe

Thank you Trustee Beebe for making this long trip to support BC receiving the award.  It is always wonderful to have our Board members celebrating with us.

In the Bakersfield Californian:

The piece on Corny Rodriguez which was in the Bakersfield Magazine was published in the June 2nd issue of the Californian along with Odella Johnson’s piece on BC’s promising professionals.

I loved the opening by Laura Liera about Corny

On his 10th birthday, Cornelio Rodriguez was picking strawberries in Artesia during the early hours of the morning instead of making a birthday wish. He spent summers picking okra in Indio and Coachella and was even driving his dad’s gardening truck by the age of 12.

 

Here is another excerpt from the article:

But after a conversation with his dad, a visit to the career center led to the applications of Cerritos College, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach, UCLA and USC.

It was a Tuesday when the first college acceptance letter came in. Rodriguez was accepted to USC.

“I got scared because we were so poor and I couldn’t afford to go,” Rodriguez remembered. “I was panicking because I thought I had gotten my family into trouble.”

The next day, the UCLA acceptance letter arrived.

“I said, ‘Dear Lord, now I have to go to TWO colleges?’” Rodriguez said.

 

Check out the Californian: http://tinyurl.com/ztwbxva

Promising Professionals:

This is a must-read piece written by Odella Johnson.  Johnson writes about the Promising Professionals and highlights the story of two students — Tamika Narvaez and Linda Esquivel. She writes about Tamika

Students like Tamika Narvaez, a mother of eight who survived abuse and arrived on campus to complete the requirements to transfer, demonstrates how BC delivers student initiatives that allow them to take critical next steps, which result in positive academic outcomes.

and Linda:

Linda Esquivel, a local graduate of South High School and a first- generation college student, left the community to attend San Francisco State University in fall 2013 and, after a semester, left to attend Bakersfield College for financial reasons. Believing that she would not fit in, she felt frustrated and uncertain about the next steps in her journey; however, when she became a student ambassador/ Promising Professional, she admitted that “BC made my future possible,” so with a renewed spirit, Esquivel’s next steps include attending a predoctoral program at the University of Michigan and Penn State this summer.

Johnson ends the article with:

Narvaez and Esquivel’s diversity as students is our strength and we recognize their potential. They embody the spirit of Promising Professionals – students who have passion and purpose.

Kristen Barnes Philanthropy-MattersFor more: http://tinyurl.com/h74g7np

On June 2nd, Kristen Barnes, CEO of Kern Community Foundation and a great partner of BC wrote a wonderful Community Voices piece–Philanthropy Matters: Growing Scholarships, Growing Futures.  Here is an excerpt:

Scholarships close the funding gap students experience. They are one way to provide critical financial support for students – to help make higher education a reality. In many cases, the financial assistance provided by scholarships is a key factor. Gifts for scholarships help students to invest their energies more fully in their course work and pursue internships and leadership opportunities that enrich their personal development and career preparation.

For more, check out http://tinyurl.com/jg47rwq

 

Misono Christian FM EDIT

Misono and Christian

At Rotary West
On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to visit the Bakersfield West Rotary Club. The club went all out with BC colors for the table decorations and traditional “flying saucer” cookies that have been a staple on BC’s campus for  decades.

 

Local CPA and BC alum Fred Misono hosted the meeting in West Rotary President Roger Griess’ absence, keeping the event light and funny.

I was able to give a brief history of the College and recount some of our recent accomplishments. Jay Rosenlieb shared the podium as a member of BC’s Blue Ribbon Committee that is working on a facilities initiative for the college — A Better BC 2016…2066.  This initiative, if approved by the KCCD Board of Trustees in July, could becomes a bond measure on the November 2016 election.  Thank you Jay for taking the time to co-present with me. Check out the the website at http://www.abetterbc.com/

I must say that this is a fun club.  There is a lot of teasing back and forth and great camaraderie and fellowship.  At the end of the presentation, all about Bakersfield College, President Misono presents me with a Taft College T-shirt 🙂 I attempt to get away but he was too quick for me.

 

Acting President Misono made the day very special for Bakersfield College.  He then followed up with the photos and wonderfully warm and fun emails after the meeting. Thank you Russell Johnson, John Pryor, John Fallgatter and others at Bakersfield West for your support.  Rick Kreiser, thank you for that great introduction and your service to the Bakersfield College Foundation for so many years.  You are the best! and thank you Tom Gelder, for getting BC on the agenda.

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Rick Kreiser, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder

Honoring Our Veterans on Memorial Day:

1000Flags2Last weekend, I hope you had a chance to stop by and walk around Riverwalk Park or at least drive by to catch a glimpse of the incredible view. Memorial Day is regularly celebrated on the last Monday of May thanks to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, but did you know its roots go back to 1868 when the day was originally known as Decoration Day?  “On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery” (History.com).

It’s always humbling to reflect on the sacrifice that so many men and women have made and continue to make for the United States and her people. The Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary Club (BBRC) is a group of local community members who through their leadership and friendship, get things done in our community and for the past few years, they have lead a project of planting one thousand flags at Riverwalk Park over Memorial Day weekend.

Volunteers, sponsors, and the BBRC make this annual event, including activities and formal ceremonies at the park possible. What a great way to be reminded of our freedom, liberty, and justice thanks to our courageous service men and women.  Liz Rozell, Mary Jo Pasek, Marlene, Heise, Cheryl Scott and others at BBRC, you did a fantastic job!

I would also like to share an email I received from Paul Beckworth, our veterans faculty lead at Bakersfield College. He sent this last Monday – Memorial Day:

AdminPaulBeckworth

Paul Beckworth

Memorial Day Message 2016

The warrior-poet, King David, wrote, “Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.”  This quote may sound familiar to any fan of the Tom Hanks, World War II epic, Saving Private Ryan.  It is quoted in earnest by the in-residence sniper, Pvt. Jackson, during a pivotal scene in the film.  Inevitably, most of the cast is killed off, as was our popcorn.  However, we know life is not a movie and memories of comrades lost do not go away when the lights go on.

So, what of Memorial Day?  What of those men and women whose hands were taught to war and fingers to fight, who lie still in the ground on this warm May evening?  This is not about the history of Memorial Day.  You can go look that up on Wikipedia.  But, what of those who we remember and honor today?  Today, we see the aged World War II and Korean War veterans, canes in hand, gait a bit unsteady, but minds sharp when recalling battlefields of another time.  Today, they see the friends they lost on those battlefields.  Today, we see 28 year-old OIF/OEF veterans with physical and emotional scars of Iraq and Afghanistan.  Today, they see their lost friends buried at Arlington or the Bakersfield National Cemetery.  Today, we see tatted up, motorcycle riding, leather vest, patch wearing, Vietnam veterans who speak of Tet, and of Khe Sanh.  Today, they see lost buddies who did not get the due deserved them thanks to a divided nation and a callous youth population who called them baby killers.

Today is not about the bullet that barely missed its mark.  Today is about the person whose bullet that found its’ mark.  Today is about the forever young sailor who drowned on the USS Indianapolis, or was killed on the destroyer escort USS Samuel B. Roberts, while fighting toe to toe with Japanese battleships in what became known as the “Last stand of the tin can sailors.”  Today is about the Rangers killed taking Point du Hoc on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and the airborne paratrooper of the 101st or 82nd who never made it out of his chute alive.  Today is about the 1,170 corpsman killed during World War II, often cut down while responding to the blood curdling cry of “Corpsman up!”  Today is about the Marine who never left Guadalcanal, Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima, or Okinawa.  Today is about the pilots who never returned to the airfield, or the submariners who are now on “eternal patrol.”  Today is about the young Coastie who maneuvered his landing craft on to the battered shores of Sicily, Salerno, and Anzio only to stay ashore forever.

Today we remember.  We memorialize the “Frozen Chosin” dead who were carefully carried out by the living rather than being left behind in the rugged mountains of North Korea.  Today is about those killed on countless hills in Korea, so numerous to count they were simply numbered by height.  Today is about those who fell defending the Pusan Perimeter, and those who never left the beaches of Inchon.

Today is about those that this country dishonored in so many ways that it is a stain on the honor of this nation.  Today is about those nearly 60,000 Americans killed in Vietnam.  Today is about those who did not evade the draft, but answered to the nation’s call, despite often not understanding what that call was all about.  Today is about those were cut down in the hot, steamy, jungles and in the highlands, in Hueys and in huts.  Today is not about those who were cursed at when they returned home but about those who were cursed at, despite never making it home.

Today is about Cold War warriors who died doing special operations and of Gulf War warriors, whose deaths were few, yet nonetheless paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Today is about Fallujah Marines who are now at Arlington or other national cemeteries.  Today is about those who never left the Triangle of Death.  Today is about the Helmand Province men who are finally still.

The warrior-poet wrote King David wrote, “A thousand fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.”  Today is about the thousand who fell at the left side and the ten thousand who fell at the right hand.  So, today, let us, the living, be comforted and know that those whose hands were taught to fight are at rest.  Today, let us, the living, be comforted and know that today and for eternity, those who fingers were made to war are finally at peace.

Let us remember.