Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 28, 2019…My last blog entry for 2019. A great day to be a Renegade.
Take a look at the highlights from 2019. Each header is a link to a featured blog post from that month. So don’t forget to click on the header.
Happy New Year
Happy New Decade
BC hit the ground running in the first month of 2019 with the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Campus Center and the first announcement about Early College. Food Services moved their operation over to the Gym Huddle area, and BC students opened a time capsule from 1955. We also launched an ITV pilot program for our Music B2 class at North High school, and our three Vice Presidents spoke with students at the first BCSGA Power Lunch of the year.
Some photos from January.
In February BC showed our love for students in rural Kern County with the historic launch of the Early College program in McFarland.
Congressman TJ Cox visited BC as part of his first trip home from Capitol Hill, and Paula Parks participated in a Black History Month panel hosted by the Chevron Black Employees Association. Legendary agricultural scientist and autism advocate Temple Grandin was our Distinguished Speaker for the month, and the Adult Education team brought a new learning center to Wasco.
Photos from February
We celebrated International Women’s Day with Senator Jean Fuller moderating a panel of women leaders throughout Kern County, which included Shannon Grove, Blanca Carvazos, Rosalina Rivera, and Cynthia Giumarra.
The Wonderful Ag Prep Renegades were the first Early College graduates in BC history, and KCCD Trustee Jack Connell toured our robotics and nursing facilities. The students in our LUPE and Project Conexiones groups reached out to students at BHS, and the CTE Team represented our campus at the Kern County Career Expo.
In April, I introduced Shannon Doherty at the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference, which was chaired by BC’s Director of Community Relations, Norma Rojas-Mora. For the first time, dual enrollment students were included in our annual SGA Student Leadership Dinner, and the MEChA club hosted the second annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference in honor of the late Chicano Studies pioneer. We also hosted the Business Pathway Career Expo in front of the library and celebrated our drumline winning a gold medal in the WGI World Championships.
Some photos from April
Everything we do at the home of the Renegades is for our students, and we celebrated a record-breaking graduation at Rabobank Arena. Before the main ceremony, we also had pre-Commencement celebrations for Delano Campus graduates, veterans, Early College, African-American students, LGBTQ, and the second graduating class of the Baccalaureate in Industrial Automation program.
More photos from my May blog posts
Summer is supposed to be a time when the campus slows down, but that wasn’t the case for 2019, as our Dual Enrollment team led by Steve Watkin celebrated its Beautiful Bakersfield Award in Education. Pedro Ramirez presented on AB 40 at the Board of Governors meeting, Steve Flores recruited me for the Media Music Jam, and two of our students were selected as Student Wellness Ambassadors for the California Community College system’s Health and Wellness/Each Mind Matters program.
Assemblyman Rudy Salas presented BC with a $1 million check for the second year in a row, making for $2 million brought in for BC students. BC was honored to receive the Student Success Award for our Guided Pathways at the John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award ceremony hosted by the Board of Governors. Our team joined community leaders at the State of the City Luncheon, and the Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps rehearsed all over campus.
Photos from July
We kicked off the 2019-20 academic year with an inspiring set of Opening Day and New Student Convocation events that featured a performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by the BC Chamber Singers.
Tom Rush and Michael Larson worked diligently to bring Industrial Automation classes to the Delano Campus, and BC hosted the Project Next Step Conference for new and continuing high school students. Later in the month, BC hosted a graduation ceremony for the first group of Inmate Scholars graduates.
More photos from my August blog posts
In September, we unveiled the BC Launch Pad located at the Weill Institute to support local entrepreneurs, small business owners, and inspired students. The center is a free hub of resources and support for all kinds of practical small businesses needed in Kern County.
Also in September, BC’s AB 540 Team attended the Catalyst Fund Convening in Long Beach, and the Rural Initiatives team updated the Board of Supervisors on the Game Changer grant which establish Early College pathways for Arvin High students.
Some photos from my September posts.
BC was honored to bring Arun Gandhi to Delano to speak to Early College students and the community. A video below was created by one of BC’s video students, Mario Esquer. Our second Distinguished Speaker for October was Erin Gruwell, an inspirational educator who founded the Freedom Writers’ Diary to help inner-city students see themselves reflected in the classroom. BC also hosted an important conversation about Valley Fever during a symposium by TJ Cox in the Indoor Theater, and the Early College program got special recognition at the Renegade football game against Golden West College.
Some photos from October.
Educational leaders from across the state convened at the downtown Bakersfield Marriott for the Intersegmental Pathways Symposium, engaging in important conversations about closing the gaps between K-12 education, community colleges and universities to bring 1.1 million new bachelor’s degree graduates to California. The sold out event featured 18 panelists, additional speakers, and our keynote guests Assemblymember Rudy Salas, California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley, Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Newsome, Lande Ajose, and Chief Deputy to State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, Lupita Alcala.
This blog entry also covers BC’s Veteran Services held a care package drop zone for the troops, and BC men’s soccer won its first ever conference championship.
This month we cut the ribbon for the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, the first project funded by Measure J. I recapped this in full in the blog post so please check it out if you missed it earlier this month!
And BC’s Chamber Singers performed with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra as part of the Home for the Holidays Concert… one of my favorite parts of the season.
Blog Bonus: Some All-Time Favs
When looking back at only one post a month from 2019, it sparked my interest to see what other gems I could discover as I flipped through the older pages of my blog. Let’s take a look at some of these all time favorites…
When my blog first started, I didn’t have the slightest clue how it would turn out. Now, here we are about to be in January 2020 with a blog that features the activity and energy on the BC campus weekly. Thank you for following along on the Renegade journey.
My second ever blog post was titled “So… What’s it like being BC’s President?” Well, back then I said…
Being president of Bakersfield College is like being strapped to a rocket at the speed of light.Sonya Christian, Jan. 9, 2013
I don’t think I can say that part has changed, but being the president of Bakersfield College is a joy and a gift as well. The commitment of BC’s faculty, the passion of our staff, and the overwhelming dedication by BC’s students make me the happiest and luckiest college president ever.
Celebrating BC’s 100th anniversary will live among my highlights at Bakersfield College. So many details went into making the evening one to remember. I fondly remember the many friends of BC who came out to support that evening, even Jean Fuller.
My first Sterling Silver was a fabulous evening showcasing the talent of BC’s culinary arts and agriculture students. Tom Moran took some great photos that night and I still love this one of Jerry Ludeke, Jack Hernandez, and me.
2016 was a yeah full of anticipation, “dreaming big” as mayor Harvey Hall asked us to do, and celebration. Kern County with a vote of 96,589 to 58,155, supported Measure J with 62.42%! Thank you for supporting KCCD and Bakersfield College with the necessary funding to renovate and update our facilities to serve students for the next 50 years.
It would not have been possible without countless volunteers who worked tirelessly on the campaign. Too many names to list individually but each and everyone of you knows who you are. Thank you thank you thank you.
Neo was a handful as a puppy… and who am I kidding? He still is! On May 13, 2017, Neo made his first appearance in my blog and I asked readers to guess his name. To my surprise, Theresa McAllister guessed it the very next day on May 14th in the comments.
Christmas Tree Recyling
With the holidays now in our rear view mirror, I wanted to remind everyone that they can come to BC to get their Christmas trees recycled.
Your Christmas pines are made of organic material that can be easily recycled …. so do your part for the planet and drop your Christmas tree off at the corner of University and Haley before January 17. For a list of all Christmas Tree recycling locations in Kern County, read Stacey Shepard’s article in the Bakersfield Californian.
Fun Photos from Social Media: BC’s TPAC Team
Kalina Hill posted this fun photo of the testing and placement team at BC wishing you a Merry Christmas!
Holiday Family Photos
Engineer Systems & Industrial Technology Holiday Luncheon
Mary Webb made sure to share a photo from the department holiday luncheon.
Back row: Aubrey Priest, Klimt Rigby, Martin Perez
Front: Kathy Melson, Mary Webb, Jason Dixon, Lora Larkin.
BC’s William Velasquez is a talented photographer who shared additional photos of the “Renegade Road” here at BC. He wrote:
Perhaps [these photos] will give you the sense of pride I experienced when I was there and to be part of the Renegade Family. GO Gades!!!
Swim Team Testimonial
While we’re all away for break, the student athletes for our spring sports are busy getting ready for their upcoming seasons. Ramon Carreido is a student worker in the Marketing and Public Relations Department who also competes on the Renegade swim team. Here is his testimonial about their intensive training regimen heading into the upcoming swim season.
“Winter training has struck the Bakersfield College swim team. At the beginning of each day, we hit the weight room for about an hour before hopping into the pool for two hours of swimming in 45-degree weather. Don’t worry, the pool is heated. 🙂
Coach Moon is pushing us to be ready for the Western State Conference and California Community College Athletic Association championships. As a second-year swimmer, I’ve learned to “trust the process”, as Coach Moon often says. He is doing everything it takes to make us the best swimmers this school has ever seen, and he challenges us every day to push through set after set. These trainings are important to help develop the most important muscle of the body – the brain. A swimmer’s mental game is just as important, if not more important, than their physical talents.
On New Year’s Eve, we will push through the longest set of the year – the 100×100. After 100 laps of 100 meters, any competitive event will feel like a walk in the park. Preseason training is hard, but it is definitely worth it. When you see your results at the end of the season and compare them against your results at the beginning of the season, you can see how much the training pays off.
The swim team’s first meet is the WSC Preview on February 7 at Ventura College, and we hope to see Renegade fans in force at the Renegade pool for the annual meet at BC on April 4, 2020.
Next Level Renegade
Huge congratulations to Renegade Football’s Justin Harrington for signing to continue his academic and football career at the University of Oklahoma this last week. We couldn’t be more excited for Justin as he will be playing for the Sooners who have an excellent football program currently still in the hunt for the national championship this year. We will miss his contagiously positive attitude and big hits on the football field. Congrats again, Justin!
All-Tournament Player – Dasia Wandick
Our Renegade Women’s Basketball team played up at the Monterey Peninsula College Tournament just before Christmas and Sophomore forward Dasia Wandick was selected to the All-Tournament team. Dasia continues to be a leader in her sophomore year for Coach Dahl and we can’t wait to see how the rest of their season unfolds. Be sure to catch the Renegades in action this season – head to GoGades.com to keep up with their schedule.
Renegade Athletics updates from this past week
- Men’s Basketball Handles El Camino, Stay undefeated at home
- Women’s Basketball goes 2-1 at Monterey Peninsula tournament:
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever