Tag Archives: Mary Barlow

‘Tis the season to be a Renegade!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 15, 2018… A great day to be a Renegade.

BC’s Jason Frando just keeps swimming

Love this powerful video of BC swimmer Jason Frando.  Such an inspiration to see one of our student-athletes succeeding in school and life.  He’s really making a splash at BC!

Special shout-out to student Justin Frando for shooting and editing this great video!

Check out the video on YouTube!

Weekend Adventures

Dogs in sand
This past weekend, Neo was happy to be reunited with Bessie in Southern California. Can you believe how big Bessie is getting?
Dog on beach
I love this photo of Neo enjoying the sand beneath his paws and the sun rising on the beach.
Dog in sand
And, of course, Bessie… a Southern California puppy who knows how to have fun in the sun and sand.

Education Strategy Session

Bakersfield College enriches the community it serves by partnering with local organizations to meet local needs. On Tuesday, November 27, a BC team met with several North Kern K-12 district leaders to initiate conversations surrounding Teacher Preparation Pathways in Kern County.

The Central Valley, along with the rest of the state and nation, is suffering from a teacher shortage. BC currently contributes to teacher preparation through its Early Childhood Education AS-T and Elementary Teacher Education AA-T degrees. Through research and planning from a recent Education Futures grant, BC is broadening its collaborations with its K-12 and university partners to alleviate teacher shortages in its surrounding communities.

Trustee Romeo Agbalog set the stage by highlighting the transformative power of education, particularly for rural Kern. Abel Guzman, Exec. Director of Rural Initiatives, gathered leaders from Grimmway Schools, KCSOS, McFarland High School, Richland Union Elementary School District, Wasco Independence High School, Shafter Learning Center, and Delano Joint Union High School and Elementary School Districts to participate in the first North Kern strategy session. The rest of the Bakersfield College team included:

  • Liz RozellVice President of Instruction
  • Billie Jo Rice and Michele BressoDeans of Instruction
  • Kimberly Bligh, Erica Menchaca, and Jessica WojtysiakFaculty

BC is dedicated to working with CSUB and other community partners to recruit, train, and retain more teachers at all levels and in all subjects. More strategy sessions and plans to expand current offerings are in the works. We look forward to sharing more exciting updates in the coming months!

Educational Systems and Intersegmental Pathways Task Force

It is uplifting to see leaders in education across the state coming together to increase student learning and degree attainment. The Educational Systems and Intersegmental Pathways Task Force met on November 29th at the LAX Marriott to do just that –- influence student outcomes at scale.

Noting that systems development is critical for improving student success in California, I highlighted the statewide need for more efficient data flow and interactive student planning tools. Current statewide data systems challenges were discussed by a panel of experts, including Patrick Perry from CSU, Anthony Dalton from CalPASS, Tess Carmen De Roy from CCGI, and Krystinne Mica from ASCCC.  Omid Pourzanjani, CCCCO Visiting Vice Chancellor, shared statewide data of current student paths and ideas to improve the student journey.

Program Mapper projects that sequence curriculum in a virtual map for students were showcased by Bakersfield College, Cypress College, and Concentric Sky. President of Cypress College JoAnna Schilling, CTE faculty Kathleen Reiland, Workforce consultant Steve Glyer, BC Dean of Institutional Effectiveness Craig Hayward, Assistant Vice President of CSU Bakersfield Vikash Lakhani, and Wayne Skipper from Concentric Sky presented updates and future planning for their respective projects.

After the presentations and panel discussion, the task force determined two areas of focus: Mapping Student Journeys and Intersegmental Data Systems. The group plans to continue its collaborative work over the next two years, including three more face-to-face meetings.

Sue Vaughn retires a Renegade

Sue Vaughn and friends

Last Thursday, we celebrated the career of a woman who has dedicated her life to education.  Sue Vaughn, who has served at BC for more than two decades, said goodbye to fellow staff and faculty in a ceremony held at PAC 101.

Colleagues such as Manny MourtzanosZav DadabhoyNicky Damania, Steve Watkin, and Kalina Hill (in a UCLA football shirt) shared heartwarming stories about their experiences with Sue and what an inspirational woman she is to all of us.  It was emotional to witness Sue reflect on her time at BC; she has put so much of herself into the education of others and we all owe her a debt of gratitude.

Sue has invested more than 32 years in higher education. She faithfully and diligently served BC for 22 of those years (20 as the Director of Enrollment Services, and 2 as the Director of the Child Development Center).

Prior to BC, Sue served as Director of the PACE program for public assistance recipients at Tompkins Cortland Community College in upstate New York for 10 years.  She also directed a Child Council in Syracuse, trained Head Start Teachers in Mississippi, directed a Parent Cooperative Preschool in Milpitas CA, and taught 6th grade in Palos Verdes.  Needless to say, her accomplishments in education are nothing short of remarkable.

Some of Sue’s notable career highlights include:

  • Served as Vice President of the New York State Child Care Coordinating Council
  • President of the California Association of Community College Registrars and Admissions Officers CACCRAO
  • Awarded the CACCRAO Robert Brown Leadership Award in 2017

A couple of fun facts about Sue include:

  • Sue and her husband Norm have two grown sons and five grandchildren
  • Sue is a diehard UCLA fan. Go Bruins!
Sue Vaughn

Sue will be sorely missed around the BC campus, but we know she will be enjoying her retirement years with her family.  Thank you for everything, Sue!

BC talks Open Enrollment on Telemundo!

Jaime Lopez and Manuel Muralles made an appearance on Telemundo to encourage students and remind parents that BC Enrollment is now open.  They provided information on upcoming events and outreach to help students enroll for the Spring semester. Great information and great to see our team getting the word out! Todos Somos BC!  Thank you Norma Rojas-Mora for this great partnership with Telemundo. 

Watch video of their appearance on KGET.

Delano De-stress Fest

The De-stresser event at the main campus was extended to the Delano Campus on Monday, December 3, 2018 during finals week. The Miracle Mutts were such a hit with the students, and even faculty and staff were able to benefit. According to the Miracle Mutt’s website, many benefits of human-canine interaction are:

  • Lowered blood pressure and heart rate
  • Increased production of serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin in the brain–chemicals responsible for feelings of happiness, calmness, and connectivity
  • Decreased production of cortisol and norepinephrine–chemicals that produce feelings of stress, anxiety, and fear
  • Reduced depression, loneliness, and anxiety
  • Boosted motivation for physical activity and social interaction

Such great physical, emotional, and social health benefits from the interaction with these playful dogs!

Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud used his dog, Jofi, in his therapy sessions. But, why? What is it that can make the presence of dogs so soothing? Many students were able to experience this phenomonon first-hand and even asked that the Miracle Mutts come back the first week of next semester.

Thank you for the support!

Delano Suicide Awareness

The Suicide Awareness event was geared toward an open dialogue centered on eliminating the stigma in society when it comes to discussing mental health, and even more so addressing suicide.  Bringing awareness creates a safe space to openly discuss sensitive and otherwise taboo topics. By opening up this forum, we allow students to be empowered to talk openly when the need arises.  The event included a hands-on activity where students were encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings through art.

A must-read by Jack Hernandez

Newspaper article

Loved seeing BC’s Jack Hernandez in The Bakersfield Californian’s Community Voices section. His piece entitled “You can’t go back home” is a must-read. Check it out!

Another must-read by Jack Hernandez

Jack Hernandez
Jack Hernandez

I also love this poem by Jack Hernandez, which was recently published in the current issue of the Anglican Theological Review.  So powerful!

A Rule

My monkish soul

seeks a rule

in this familiar

place where windows

dazzle no longer,

the call of a full

order or stomach

receding like mother’s

admonition to clean

my dinner plate.

The days unfold

with limited promise,

my genes fulfilled

mind stuffed

with books

instructions not

to blink

before strong

ideas no matter

how strange their eyes.

A young woman

walks by

a baby in each arm

her days

ruled like mine

when flushed with time,

The rule of life

I seek now

is a grace to light

this cloistered dusk.

South Kern Sol shines light on Renegade Pantry

Reporter Jessica Manzo of South Kern Sol highlighted the Renegade pantry in an article last week, spreading the word of how food pantries at BC and CSUB provide food security and important nutrition for college students, especially during finals week.

Manzo spoke to several Renegade Pantry coordinators, including David Guinto and Nallely Sanchez, about how pantries provide an important resource for students who are already struggling with the costs of tuition, books, housing, and school supplies. She also quoted this blog about how food support is able to help students commit to their education.

If you’d like to donate food or new and gently used clothing to the Renegade Pantry, you can drop it off in Levinson Hall during the pantry’s hours of operation, which are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Popular items include drinks, cookies, and frozen snacks.

Norma Rojas-Mora appears on Telemundo

Norma Rojas-Mora was on Telemundo this week to share information on Bakersfield College, including the open enrollment period, BC’s expansion plans, as well as to provide an update to the viewers on her journey at Bakersfield College.

Telemundo interviewed Norma when she first joined the BC team, and as always she continues to look for ways to share the great work of the college. Norma talked about what she sees as one of the most innovative programs from her perspective, the Early College initiative and partnership with the Wonderful Academy, where 38 high school students graduated from Bakersfield College one week before graduating from high school!  This was a game changer! To know that it is possible for local kids to graduate from college with their AA degree while they are simultaneously completing high school will fundamentally change access to education.

She encouraged parents to become engaged and informed about programs that help their children. More than anything, she encouraged parents to always be supportive and engaged in their child’s education. Norma promised to be back to share more about Bakersfield College and its plans for expanding in the Southwest.

Watch video of Norma’s appearance on Telemundo.

Fun photos from the Faculty Tenure Party

I received this email from Krista Moreland, a great faculty leader on campus.

“This is the year my faculty cohort and I are up for tenure. You form a unique and long lasting bond with the faculty you start full-time with, one that will last until retirement. And on Thursday Dec. 6th, many of us met at the Tower bar and grill to celebrate our year four evaluations and Tenure!  Receiving a satisfactory evaluation at year four, starts the final tenure process which culminates in spring with board approval. Although we have not received official tenure yet, we couldn’t wait to celebrate the completion of mode A evaluations and symbolically mark the occasion! It’s a great feeling to have your work be recognized by faculty and deans, and I think I can safely speak for my cohort when I say we appreciate all of the support and guidance we’ve received from our BC family over the years. “

“We had a wonderful night of cheers and pics with our colleagues, and Academic Senate President Steve Holmes symbolically marked the occasion by formally presenting each of us with a BC pin.”

“I organized the event, and our cohort all contributed, including: Erica Menchaca, Andrew Bond, Chris Dison, Harlan Hunter, Jessica Wojtysiak, Sarah Villasenor, Debbie Rosenthal, Sondra Keckley, and Krista Moreland. Others were not able to make it, but were there with us in spirit. “

“I’m  very thankful that my department supports its faculty and contributed to the celebration, including Human Services director  Lynn Knaggs, Behavioral Sciences Chair Christian Zoller,  and area Dean Richard McCrow!  Thank you to everyone who helped make the night special!”

Fun holiday photos

Chris Glaser and Nicky Damania
Chris Glaser and Nicky Damania performing at the Rainbow Voices holiday concert.

Fun photos around Bakersfield

Mayor Karen Goh and Deborah Rosenthal
Professor Deborah Rosenthal took a selfie with Mayor Karen Goh at the pop-up deli and lighting of the menorah at Chabad on Ming. It was a tradition of Mayor Harvey Hall to attend each year and Mayor Goh is keeping up the tradition.

Fun photos from the CSEA Potluck

Photos from the KCCD Board of Trustees Meeting

Executive Suite Holiday Potluck

Executive Suite Holiday Potluck
The Executive Suite enjoying a wonderful holiday meal. Thank you Tarina Perry for the photo.

Tuesday, December 11 was an exciting day at BC. A main water line ruptured and campus closed while our Maintenance & Operations team coordinated the emergency repairs. Tuesday also happened to be our annual Executive Suite Holiday Potluck. This is a time when our team whips-up favorite dishes and we join together to share. The food was amazing. (Because they’re all talented chefs!) And I was so happy to be able to end that day sharing stories and great conversation with these bright faces.

You would never know that just moments before they were calmly handling a campus emergency.

Outdoor Fun

As a result of their participation in the Outdoor Classroom Specialist trainings, Child Development Center teachers are now including a wider variety of specific learning and developmental activities. And the second outdoor classroom for toddlers will be ready for the children to use when they return in January. This additional classroom will allow the Center to have the children outside for up to 3 hours each day–air quality and weather permitting.

Children playing with tires
Watching these children play sure does make me “tired.”

Below is a very short video of two-year olds and their teachers enjoying themselves in the rain.  The picture above is of them utilizing the tires that we added to their outdoor classroom. So fun to be young!

North High and BC start holiday season on a high note

On Thursday, Bakersfield College was honored to host North High School’s fourth-annual Winter Collage concert in the Indoor Theater featuring the North High choir and jazz band. The BC Chamber Singers even got the opportunity to participate in the festivities.

North High students, parents, and alumni filled every seat in the Indoor Theater, and the holiday spirit reverberated through the walls of the auditorium with each performance, which ranged from ethereal traditional music to holiday show tunes. 

North High choir director Jack Bertrand directed the BC Chamber Singers in the opening song, then Chamber Singers director Jennifer Garrett directed North High students and BC Chamber Singers for a few performances. After beautifully executing the solo and group numbers that they’d been working on all school year, the North High choir turned the stage over to the North High jazz band, which played a set of funk and Latin-tinged Christmas jams.

The event was free to attend, but throughout the night, North High alumni and staff took donations and sold raffle tickets to raise money for choir and band students to visit music programs at colleges and universities across the state next spring.

I’d like to thank Jennifer Garrett and the Events staff for arranging a space for North High to host its Winter Collage while their campus is undergoing renovations, and I’d like to thank Jack Bertrand and North High for choosing BC as the temporary home for such an important night.

BC and BPD: Partners Against Crime

Chief Lyle Martin, Sonya Christian, Fred Prince, and student
(left to right) Chief Lyle Martin, Sonya Christian, Fred Prince, and Darrin Branson, BPD Business Manager

Bakersfield College is lucky to be supported by so many local institutions and community partners. One of those incredible partners, our local BPD, does so much to inspire and work with our students in the Public Safety Training and Law Enforcement fields. Chief Lyle Martin attends many BC events, including his participation on a panel earlier this year called “Transformational Policing: Bridging the Racial Divide.” Director of Public Safety at BC, Chief Chris Counts, reminds me often of the great working relationship outside of the classroom between BPD and BC as well.

Holiday Tree lights up the Welcome Center

BC staff smiles by Christmas Tree
Faculty and staff pose near the holiday tree in the Welcome Center.

Faculty and staff gathered in the Welcome Center on Tuesday morning to celebrate the lighting of the holiday tree.  Hot cocoa, coffee, and delicious cookies were served. I love celebrating this time of year as it gives everyone such a warm sense of togetherness!

Kern Education Pledge

CSU Bakersfield held a news conference earlier this week about the Kern Education Pledge, an initiative partnering K-12 and college facilities.  The goal of this new alliance is to transform the county’s education system so that the pathway to college or a career is streamlined and seamless. All 47 school districts in Kern County, Cal State Bakersfield, the Kern Community College District and Taft College are part of the coalition. I absolutely love our Kern community and our commitment to education!  

Mary Barlow, Lorea Laverti, Tom Burke
(left to right) Mary Barlow, Renegade Lorea Laverti (who sang a beautiful version of the National Anthem), and Chancellor Tom Burke
Chancellor Tom Burke, Lorea Laverti, President Jill Board
BC Music Major Lorea Laverti. Thank you Dr. Jen Garrett for your phenomenal work with students.

Kern Community College District Chancellor Tom Burke said a few words, noting that the District supports the Kern Education Pledge not only because of partnerships between the local school districts and CSU Bakersfield, but because of the mission of the pledge.  “We know that improving student outcomes throughout Kern County requires innovative and sustained collaboration across all of our organizations and I have been impressed by the level of excitement and commitment around this work that we have seen to date,” he said.  

Mary Barlow
Mary Barlow

I want to take a moment to recognize Mary C. Barlow and Kristin Beale for all of their hard work on making the Kern Education Pledge a reality. Mary was named the Kern County Superintendent of Schools last year, and has been working non-stop since then to help better the Kern County educational system.  She has spent the majority of her career in education, serving as a teacher, Director of Children and Family Services, and a district superintendent. During her time as Superintendent of the Kernville Union School District, she focused on increasing student achievement, and has continued that same goal as the Kern County Superintendent of Schools.

Kristin Beale
Kristin Beale

Kristin Beale has been an invaluable part of creating the Kern Education Pledge.  She is President and CEO of Kern Community Foundation, a CPI grantee partner that provides scholarships to more than 300 students annually. Kern Community Foundation has granted $18 million to nonprofits and scholarship recipients in Kern County, California, since the foundation was established in 1999!

It’s because of people like Mary and Kristen that the Kern Education Pledge has become a reality, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for the students of Kern County.  Be sure to check out the Bakersfield Californian’s article “Collaboration of education leaders, industry partners, launch Kern Education Pledge” for more information!

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11 a.m., check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights include segments with BC Student Success Program Manager Darrell Ballard, Director of the Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House Scarlett Sabin, and KBYH Executive Vice President / Program Director Robert Carter.

Segment with Darrell Ballard

Segment with Scarlett Sabin

Segment with Robert Carter

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (12/2-12/8) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

Renegades of the Week

Vada Lewis, Women’s Basketball

Vada had a double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds) in a 79-66 win over Taft College on 12/7.

Anieus Medrano, Men’s Basketball

Anieus had 30 points (including seven 3-pointers) in an 81-71 win over LA Valley at the SBCC Tournament on 12/6.

Roundup of Athletics Events This Week

As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include:

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics by following us on social media.

  • Facebook – find us under ‘Bakersfield College Athletics’
  • Twitter – @GoGadesGo
  • Instagram – @gogadesgo
Sonya Christian


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Renegades are Doing Amazing Things!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, March 11, 2017 and such a fabulous day to be a Renegade.  

Let me start with the video of the week.  Real funny!

Finally a week where I only traveled once to Los Angeles, and a week where I was able to catch up on some Renegade Athletics.

Nancy Edwards

Friends and colleagues gathered on March 4, 2017 to celebrate the life of Nancy Edwards, long-time BC English faculty.  John Gerhold sang works Nancy had written with Harold Quilling’s (retired BC faculty) music.

Local poets along with BC retired and active faculty Jack Hernandez, Rosa Garza, and Sheena Bhogal, read Nancy’s poetry.  Tom Greenwood and Ruth Greenwood organized the event.  Fine Arts 30 was filled with community members, retired BC faculty, and current BC faculty.

Listen to John Gerhold here:

Tom Burke Open Forum March 6 2017Tom Burke at BC

It was a treat having Chancellor Tom Burke doing an open forum at BC.  In his new role as Chancellor, Tom has been visiting the three colleges to share his plans for the future and to listen to the employees across the district.  His presence was well received by the faculty, staff and students at BC.  I loved his response to a question from Lawrence Salcido, a student, who asked Tom what students could do to support him.  Tom’s immediate response was “get good grades.”  Lawrence is very active on campus and you can see him here in the picture with Tom.

Dylan Wang took a lot of pictures but I forgot to get them from him.  So for now, here is the one picture I took on my iphone.  Will update the blog with more photos when I get them.

Looking good with the beard Chancellor Burke!

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BC Blood Drive with Houchin Blood Bank

Stephenie March 8 2017

Stephanie Gibbons

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Houchin Blood Bank vans were parked outside our Campus Center where students could donate to give the gift of life to those who are in need each and every day. The passion that was in the eyes and smiles of those who work for Houchin was obvious, and their warm welcomes and genuine “thank yous” could be heard coming from the Fireside room in the center of campus, just outside the cafeteria.

 

As students signed in, they were offered water and snacks while filling out a general health questionnaire and have a quick physical performed by the many nurses on staff. One of the dedicated nurses who has been working for Houchin for over thirty years now expressed the joy she finds in her job by saying, “There is never a dull moment or day”. She explained how Houchin travels each and every day to areas throughout Kern County, and how these mobile clinics are able to reach a great number of Kern County residents with success.

When students were asked what makes them want to donate, I heard of one response that was, “I just want to be able to help people”. Many people who have the desire to help their community may say, “But I just don’t know how?’ Houchin Blood Bank is always in need of their community to help replenish their blood bank. If you are in the position to be able to help out your community, and you are curious to how you can do that, what better way than to give the gift of life!

Stephanie Gibbons is just fabulous to work with.  Thank you Stephanie and Greg Gallion for all that you do for our community.

Thank you to BC’s Office of Student Life, especially Danyel Owens, Arisve Pimentel, and SGA President, Matthew Frazier for all your work in coordinating these events.  And thank you Dr. Nicky Damania for all that you do for our students at BC.  and thank you for always helping out.  I am so very glad I get to work with you.

The Houchin Blood bank caravan of busses at the campus center.

Photos taken by Amber Smithson

Check out my post from last year about Houchin Blood Bank on March 19, 2016

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/03/19/a-whirlwind-week-at-bakersfield-college/

and my write up about Greg Gallion on Jne 19, 2016

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/06/19/we-are-bakersfield-and-we-are-bc/

Wednesday’s Soup Special

Coconut Quinoa Chicken Soup in a bell pepper "bowl"

Last week, BC Food Services sent out an email announcing the daily soup special – Coconut Quinoa Chicken Soup. Chef Eric Sabella tells me the idea came from our cook, Nicole Sizemore and the unique recipe was served inside of a bell pepper, which added a beautiful presentation. You know, they say you eat with your eyes first!

Staff, faculty, and students at BC are in for a treat when we find out what the daily specials are. A different soup is prepared every day, and many of their recipes, including their popular chicken curry soup, include the creamy flavor of coconut milk, which is a great source of calcium for vegans and people with lactose intolerance while being rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals.

My dear friend, do you see why BC is such a special place….right from our interesting and talented food services department to our commercial music program….I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

STEMposium from KEDC

Cheryl Scott with Sandi and Scruffy Facebook picture

Cheryl Scott with Sandie and Scruffy

Bakersfield College is excited to do its part in preparing the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering and math during the inaugural Kern County “STEMposium” on May 19th in the BC gym!  Cheryl Scott and the Kern Economic Development Corporation (KEDC) are leading this effort.  Cheryl is a friend of Bakersfield College and volunteers her time to support the college and support our students. I found this great picture of Cheryl on Facebook where she says: “Back in the day when Sandie was a scruffy little pup. They’re still my baby girls!”

 

The first annual “STEMposium” aims to connect middle and high school students with local business representatives to raise awareness of the STEM-related career opportunities in Kern County. The confluence of agriculture, energy and defense industries has lead Kern County to be ranked fourth-best in the nation for availability of STEM jobs, according to the Central Valley Business Times, and events like the “STEMposium” will only help those STEM opportunities continue to grow.

High school students will get the chance to show off their STEM class project, and local business will be hosting demonstrations booths with specialized engineering equipment. The first keynote speaker for the inaugural event will be Jose Hernandez, a son of migrant workers who grew up to travel to the International Space Station, becoming an engineer for NASA. Hernandez will be talking about his book, “Reaching for the Stars: The Inspiring Story of a Migrant Farm Worker Turned Astronaut.”

Gadfly Café

Founded by René Trujillo and continued now under the leadership of Reggie Williams, both of the Philosophy Department, the Gadfly Café is an extracurricular event that takes place six times per academic year in the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities. The Gadfly Café provides students, faculty, staff, and administrators the opportunity, and a forum, to discuss social and philosophical issues that we face as human beings in a diverse community. Topics have included terrorism, alienation, gender, race, abortion, and religion. The purpose of the Gadfly Café is to promote open, respectful discourse and communication on the difficult issues we face, better appreciating their complexity, and learning from each other’s experiences. The Gadfly Café is typically scheduled on Wednesdays at the lunch hour from 12:30 to 1:30 throughout the Fall and Spring Semesters at Bakersfield College. The next Gadfly is April 5th and will address the death penalty.  So proud that BC has these incredible opportunities through the Levan Center.  It feels more like something you’d find at a Liberal Arts college.  Thank you Jack Hernandez!

The Gadfly Cafe meeting

Gadfly Cafe is always an important, though-provoking discussion.

BC Alum Stories

Maria Madeline Herndon with a goat

Maddie and a baby goat

Last Friday, when I was in Delano with Tracy Lovelace, she shared with me some pictures and a video of a former BC student, Maria Madeline Herndon. Currently, Maddie is a junior at Davis majoring in Animal Science and Management but prior to that she went to BC. She completed her first two years here and was very involved in student government. I enjoyed hearing how Maddie loved her time at BC and enjoyed taking classes from Prof. Jerry Poncetta (Ag) and Prof. Dave Meyers (Math). She was the recipient of a highly competitive scholarship given by the KC CattleWomen.

For the past two summers, she has been involved at the UC Cooperative Extension where her day starts when the run rises, but Maddie has loved it because it truly gave hands-on experience to the Ag scene with-in KC. I love hearing stories and updates about past Renegades. Especially, students who could go away to school but whose family (and Maddie too) knew the positives of attending BC for the first two years. I know it was a great experience for Maddie to be here at BC.

Foster Youth Conference at BC

Breaking Barriers & Empowering Success, the 2nd annual conference took place on Friday, February 24, 2017 on the BC campus.  About 170 people attended including: Foster Youth adults and high school foster youth, Foster Parents, Relative Caregivers, Social Workers, CASA volunteers, school staff, and others working with children. The sponsors were Foster Youth Services, Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Quality Parenting Initiative, the Department of Human Services, and Bakersfield College. The keynote speaker was Terry Harrak, Youth Law Center staff member and former foster youth. It was great to have Judge Marquez on campus, who was also in attendance. After the welcoming and keynote speaker, breakout sessions were held with foster youth panels.

Extra information was available during the resource fair with 16 vendors and community agencies such as: America’s Jobs First, Alliance Human Services, Dolores Huerta Foundation, and more.

BC Ag department helping with Homeless Center Project

Thank you Ag community and our wonderful BC Ag students for your help at the Homeless Center in Bakersfield. What a beautiful way to brighten the day for the residents. So proud of our Ag community, partnering and planting fruits and vegetables at the Bakersfield Homeless Center with the Kern County Young Farmers and Ranchers and some fellow AG students from Bakersfield College. For more on the Bakersfield Homeless Center see http://bakhc.org/

 

Faculty Spotlight: Robby Martinez

“He leapt to the stage with contagious energy, and spoke with a charm that drew the crowd in.” What a perfectly descriptive statement for one of our talented faculty, Robby Martinez. I was thrilled to see this article from The Daily Independent in Ridgecrest. You have to check it out at http://www.ridgecrestca.com/article/20170308/NEWS/170309676.

And Robby, a Grammy award winner brought back this blanket for me from this year’s Grammy awards.  How cool is that!

 

Staff Spotlight: Isabel Castaneda

I’m so very happy to see Isable Casteneda back on campus.  Isabel is so devoted to BC and our students. She’s an Educational Advisor and very involved with our Summer Bridge program! She put in so many volunteer hours during the Measure J campaign.  I ran into her when I stopped by the cafeteria to get chicken strips. Don Chruciel, BCs new VP of FInance and Admin Services is pictured here with Isabel!  Isabel, welcome home!

Don Chruciel with Isabel Castaneda

Don Chruciel with Isabel Castaneda. It was so nice to see her again!

The BC Staff is a Family!

While browsing Facebook, I always love seeing posts by BC’s Mary Jo Pasek. Here she highlighted seeing Ramon Puga’s son and as she mentioned, Ramon is our BC Maintenance Supervisor! It’s great to see the close support among BC campus colleagues.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10208770865209102&set=a.1091935378728.2014321.1236827397

Our Town

Last weekend the talented Renegades of the Performing Arts Department presented “Our Town” by Thorton Wilder. Aside from a few tables and chairs, a stain glass window, and some stairs the set didn’t give much away, and it left the audience wondering. Brian J. Sivesind directed the rather interesting play by Wilder and greeted everyone on stage just before the performance began.

“Our Town” starts with the Stage Manager giving us details about the setting and would continue to inform us with character information. It began as a normal day in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire in 1901. Two mothers prepared breakfast for their two children and sent them off to school, the milkman and paper boy made their deliveries, and their husbands came home from work. Later, the audience met two of the children, George Gibbs and Emily Webb, and their seems to be a romance starting to bud between them. A lot of character development was done in Act I, it gave the audience different ways to connect to each character. It was like revisiting history as told by the Stage manager; who then later informs us that the play discusses life, will discuss love, and something else the audience could probably guess in the upcoming Acts. While the play ended in tragedy, it had plenty of comedy amidst it as well. It gave the audience a different outlook and how we should appreciate the transience of human life and our companionships.

If you ever have the chance to see a production at BC by our talented Performing Arts Department, you don’t want to miss it. Thank you to Belen Martinez for the photos!

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BC Athletics

Pierce College Baseball playing at BC

BC beat Pierce College with a 9-7 win.

BC baseball team moves to 3-1 in WSC Conference play with a 9-7 win over visiting LA Pierce on Tuesday night at Gerry Collis field. The Renegades had 11 hits and drew 5 walks in overcoming a 6-3 deficit. “We did enough offensively to climb back in ” Coach Tim Painton said. “We were not very good defensively.  I don’t know how many unearned runs there were, but the majority of the runs that Pierce scored were unearned.” The Bakersfield Californian covered it here: http://www.bakersfield.com/sports/bc-downs-pierce-improves-to—in-wsc-south/article_675d87df-8e88-5dc3-958f-6abc21627225.html

Have you been to a BC softball game lately? I recently attended March 9ths game against Moorpark College. I enjoyed cheering on the Renegades with Don Chrusciel, Sandi Taylor, Zav Dadabhoy, and Janet Tarjan. I hope to see YOU at the next one!

Don Chrusciel, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy, Janet Tarjan

Don Chrusciel, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy, Janet Tarjan

To stay up-to-date with all Athletic activities at the Home of the Renegades, check out www.gogades.com!

Moorpark College Softball at Bakersfield College.

Moorpark College Softball at BC.

BC’s Swim Team Rocks!

Men’s and Women’s swimming competed in the first conference meet of the season Friday March 3rd at College of the Canyons.

MArch 6 2017

Men

1. LA Valley 367

2. BC 334

3. Canyons 311

4. Santa Monica  289

Women

1. Santa Barbara  381

2. BC 278

3. LA Valley 266

4.Santa Monica 226

5. Canyons 203

Top Performances for BC: Jennifer Quan: 1st 500 Free, 2nd 200 IM; Cynthia Maner: 2nd 1000 Free, 3rd 100 Breaststroke; 2nd 200 Medley Relay: (Victoria Hernandez, Cynthia Maner, Jennifer Quan, Niquelette Rimer)

Steve Santana: 1st 200 Free, 2nd 100 Butterfly; Andrew Martinez: 1st 100 Free, 2nd 500 Free; Brian Bender: 2nd 100 Breaststroke, 3rd 200 IM; 2nd 200 Free Relay: (Steve Santana, Cameron Reeves, Cesar Zepeda, Brian Bender)

 Congratulations to Sigma Chi Eta Inductees

lhp_bw.tif [Converted]Sigma Chi Eta is the official community college honor society of the National Communication Association (NCA). Since 2000, SCH has fostered growth in the Communication discipline among two-year colleges and universities. Once inducted, a student is a member for life and is expected to always strive for excellence. I’m happy to announce BC has nine students who have qualified to be inducted. Congratulations to: Evelyn A Andrad, Preston George III, Andrea Rivera Gomez, Hugo Daniel Mendez, Miguel Angel Munoz, Griselda Vanessa Navarro, Joey Ramirez, Taylor Ross, and Amber Rose Smithson.

Thank you Communication department and thank you Mark Staller!

The Empowerment Project

15894554_1249062191837632_7296633576726583240_nThe Empowerment Project is the incredible journey of a crew of female filmmakers driving across America to encourage, empower, and inspire the next generation of strong women to go after their career ambitions.Driving over 7,000 miles from Los Angeles to New York over the course of 30 days, the documentary spotlights 8 positive and powerful women leaders across a variety of lifestyles and industries. In celebration of the all-female focus in front of and behind the camera, the filmmakers turned the cameras on themselves, capturing their transformational journey. The film challenges the audience to ask themselves, “What would you do if you knew you would succeed?”  Nan Gomez-Heitzberg was a panelist at the March 8th Empowerment Project premiere at CSUB hosted by The Women’s and Girls’ Fund at Kern Community Foundation. Over 150 were in the audience including all generations, girls from 8 and 9 years old to grandmothers and said she was particularly struck by the passion, determination, and perseverance in the documentary. The women on the panel (Jenny Zorn provost CSUB, Mary Barlow supt schools, Lisa Green, district attorney, Racquel Santos Pina, MD, Kaiser Permanente. Kristen Barnes, moderator) spoke about finding their niche and being committed to their chosen profession with the underlying theme to not let others dissuade you, instead – be confident, find mentors, both men and women, and follow your heart.

The one thing all panelists had in common was education and education gives you options. What a wonderful and inspirational event.

Logan came to visit!

One of the highlights of my week was when Shannon Musser came to visit with her beautiful new baby boy Logan.  Just wonderful!

Shannon Musser with her baby son Logan.

Logan and his mom paid me a visit!

Little things that make me happy

I love it when I am travelling and I get text messages or photos about things happening at BC.  Here are two of my faves from this week.  Jennifer Marden (you can just see her left eye) taking a selfie of the office folks huddling to solve problems focusing on the document projected from Chris’ laptop on the TV screen and one with Lesley Bonds who was thrilled after spending hours and days and weeks working on the SSSP report.

We have a great team in the Office of the President and the three Vice Presidents–Jennifer Marden, Tracy Hall, Somaly Boles, June Charles, Tarina Perry, and Chris Glaser.   And as Jennifer refers to the group– Team Awesome! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for all that you do.

 

Happy Sonya Christian after great picture from Jennifer March 8 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever