This long weekend, I am grateful to be able to take a short break and enjoy the quiet beauty of the world around us. In our hectic lives, it’s these peaceful moments that can help renew and restore us to continue the things we must do.
And as we head into Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I wanted to share this email W. Christian Flores-Castaneda in our Culinary Science department, full of Renegade love. It is notes like this from our campus community that also help renew and restore my spirit:
Thank you for supporting the Food and Nutrition Program here at Bakersfield College.
I had started this email a number of times, months ago, only to delete it over and over again, because it felt like I just couldn’t get the right words to flow together… I was trying to be funny, or quirky, or all wordsmith-y to keep you upbeat and interested.
And then I got to thinking, y’all just need some Love. Like, “Hey, we didn’t forget about you all, and how supportive and invested you are, and how much we rely on your gratitude and guinea pig-ness, and gosh darnnit, WE MISS YOU!” kinda love. The kind of love I tell our new students about. The RenRoom Fam. The “every Tuesday at 6 pm at THAT table” kinda love. We’ve been missin’ all the good times, and the not-so-perfect-but-let’s-chock-it-up-to-learning-experience times…
Well, the show must go on. People gotta eat. And we gotta make sure our students know what to do when they get out there. So, we are working on training them appropriately to today’s measures, ensuring theirs and others’ safety as they navigate the industry. COVID gave us an opportunity to build humane relationships with each other as we learn new techniques and skillsets under new guidelines and prevention measures. We’ve needed to adhere to the most practical methods of teaching our culinarians without compromising anyone’s health and safety. We’re connecting with each other in ways we had not completely relied upon in prior lesson exchanges. These moments are being seized.
“Are we open for business?” We are working on that, actually. We will provide our students opportunities to engage in real-time application as far as production expectation and sanitary distribution. That’s fancy talk for “how to cook and package things nicely.” Our advanced students are poised to begin processing orders this week. Because we are working with reduced class sizes, our production team can only offer a limited number of portions, so it’s gonna be a little “First Come, First Served”-fashioned at first.
Renegade Room Take-Out events are being coordinated for both Tuesday Night Fine Dining and Wednesday Lunch services, with tailored menus and pricing. As we begin to offer more service, I’ll be updating our webpage and send out communication regarding menus and payment methods.
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, February 13, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.
BC Vaccine Clinic Updates
While preparations continue for our vaccination clinic on the Panorama Campus, more Renegades are getting access to the vaccine.
Yovani Jimenez, one of the newest Trustees to the Kern Community College District, is also a case worker for Clinica Sierra Vista, got his vaccine. Mary Jo Pasek also took her first treatment of the vaccine.
Jennifer Garrett also recently received her first dose of the vaccine:
In this 6:20-min video, he gives a brief description of the body’s immunization process and how the COVID-19 vaccine works. Thank you to BC Pre-Med student Ian Spark for taking part in the Q&A session:
Jack Hernandez shared a poignant poem with me this week:
Abusive voices lash the air and souls of those they despise. Amid the endless rancor words like peace hide behind doors of despair. Yet ready to pounce with love forgiveness begins her silencing song.
She does not avert her eyes, her lyrics tell those whose tongues are whips she will not strike back, will stand strong without hate, waiting and singing waiting and giving.
Putnam Exam Open to BC Students
From email from Jonathan P. Brown:
The William Lowell Putnam Competition is “the leading university-level mathematics examination in the world.” The exam is fun, challenging, and if you score anything greater than a 0 on it, then that is something remarkable to put on your resume/CV or applications. I am happy to announce that it will be available for the first time to any BC students who do not already hold a bachelor’s degree. The exam will be Saturday, February 20th, and we will have two study sessions before then.
The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is “the leading university-level mathematics examination in the world.” The competition consists of two 3-hour sessions. During each session, participants work individually on six challenging mathematical problems.
The 81st Putnam Competition will take place virtually on Feb 20, 2021
KHSD Opens Early College Pathway Applications for 2021-2022 School Year
KHSD announced this week that applications for their Early College pathways are now open for the 2021-2022 school year. In addition to the 4 pathways launched last Fall (Industrial Automation, Public Health, Psychology, and Administration of Justice), the district is also planning a new “Introduction to Health Careers” pathway with their CTEC facility that will align with our Title V objectives and expose high school students to the many Health Science pathways available here at BC. A cohort of 35 incoming 9th grade students will be selected for each of the 5 pathways, and students from other grades will be selected for courses that will get them a head start on pathways of their choice.
The link to our website is also accessible by clicking the “BC Peer Tutoring” link in Canvas. Our online hours are:
Monday: 9 am – 7 pm
Tuesday: 9 am – 7 pm
Wednesday: 9 am – 8 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 7 pm
The BC Tutoring Center is a proven student success service that provides FREE online tutoring to all currently enrolled Bakersfield College Students. Our one-on-one Peer Tutors, who are trained and certified, can assist you with many Bakersfield College courses. Assistance with course content, assignments, required papers (at any stage of the writing process) and/or academic skills are available through drop-in and scheduled appointments for most BC courses. Please feel free to share this information with your students. Thank you so much.
Opening Day Spring 2021
On the first day of our Opening Day Spring 2021 production, CSEA President Tina Johnson shared an update:
We also featured a performance from the Renegade Chorus. Please enjoy “Resilience”:
Philanthropy just may be the best tool we have for increasing social, economic mobility
Sheri Horn-Bunk, executive director of the Taft College Foundation, and Cheryl Scott, executive director of the Bakersfield College Foundation, co-wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the $100 million donation from the Jay Pritzker Foundation to fund the Finish Line Scholarships for 34 California community colleges.
“By providing students Finish Line scholarships, we’re able to remove barriers while supporting the overall community. When a student is able to feed their family, pay rent and complete their college degrees, they are putting the money back into the community. In fact, students earning a degree or certificate from a California community college nearly double their earnings within just three years!”
“Even though we are all virtually apart and not able to come physically together to workout, this avenue provides a small community for us to engage with each other. Also, as the workouts are shown on social media platforms, many community members have also started engaging with the workouts. We even have a couple of regulars who join in from the states of Indiana and Colorado.”
she sits in the shadow of the window noiselessly she sits the shadow of the window
in a shadow-window she sits noiselessly she sits a wooden shadow in the window an etching sunlight-shadow carved
sunlight breaks on bended knees and sags upon her feets and slides away across the wooden floor a river of bright and dancing dust splashing noiselessly as she sits the shadow of the window
Throwback to 1979 Women’s Volleyball
It’s always fun to throwback to pictures of the past. Here’s some action pics from the 1979 women’s volleyball season – almost 40 years ago! That year the team placed fourth in the conference and had four players selected to the All-Conference team – Sharlene Carroll, Jill Turner, Terri McNamara and Rhonda Harrington. Do you know any of these ladies? What a blast from the past!
That’s all for now. Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
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
Many 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.)
The 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.
Rudy Salas and Sonya Christian
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 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.
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
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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
For more information about the Kern Disability Collaborative, please contact Dr. Terri Goldstein at email@example.com, or call 661-395-4590. Everyone is welcome at these meetings!
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!
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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
On 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.
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.
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
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.
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
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 Madrid-Salazar, Tess Deroy, Ben Duran, Sonya Christian, Grace Commiso, Anna Garcia
Steve Watkin, Ben Perlado
McFarland Superintendent Victor Hopper and team
Ryan Gievet, Ben Sherley
Zav Dadabhoy, Assistant Superintendent Jason Garcia, Paul Chavez, Abel Guzman
Steve Watkin, Ben Perlado, Michelle Pena, RyanGievet, Ben Sherley
Dave Barnett, Craig Hayward
Grace Commiso, Anna Garcia, Sonya Christian, Ben Duran
David Abernathy from Wasco High speaking
David Abernathy (Wasco), Kalina Hill (BC), Elysa Vargas (Wonderful Academy)
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Cindy Collier, Lance Izumi, Trustee Bill Thomas, John Means
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.
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.
Chris McCraw on Twitter
Official 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!
So fortunate to have a real vibrant Ag faculty and staff.
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.
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.
We are BC
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, August 5th, and at 5:15 a.m. it is 74 degrees … a beautiful morning, a great week full of community leaders, BC leaders, veterans and congressmen. A great week to be a Renegade.
I had a series of productive meetings this week. The Kern Promise completion coaching community met for the first time and I forgot to take a photo. Darn it. But I might have pictures of some of the individuals in my photo library on word press.
Lisa Kent, Shanell Tyus, Maria Wright
Shanell Tyus with Lisa Kent and Maria Wright. Lesley Bonds
Just a great group of BC folks discussing the students in the cohort to make sure that they are positioned to successfully complete their first milestone at the end of the fall semester — 15 credits of course work. In addition, we are focusing on students completing their college-level English and college-level math in their first year. Jennifer Achan, Director of Financial Aid, did a detailed presentation of the Financial Aid status of each student. Keri Kennedy, the counselor responsible for this cohort, reviewed the courses that these students are enrolled in. We also have a student in the group. Here are some of the faces of the completion coaches for the affinity group The Kern Promise.
Jennifer Achan with Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg. Keri Kennedy.
We also submitted the 2017-2020 Educational Master Plan (EMP) for Board approval. Thank you Dr. Janet Fulks for leading the effort on the EMP work. I love this picture of Janet with her granddaughter.
I thought you might enjoy some excerpts from the President’s letter in the EMP
Bakersfield College (BC) started in 1913 as a vision and a plan for educational opportunity and community service with 13 students in a borrowed classroom on the Kern High School campus. From that hopeful start, BC now provides approximately 30,000 students a year with educational opportunity, serves as a cultural center for its community, and trains the workforce for a vibrant community of industry partners.
BC’s Vision today remains true to that founding vision:
“Building upon more than 100 years of excellence, Bakersfield College continues to contribute to the intellectual, cultural, and economic vitality of the communities it serves.”
The visionaries of 1913 could not have imagined the growth or rapidly changing society, however, they would instantly recognize the individuals today who tirelessly help our students (many still first in their families to go to college) attain their dreams. It is the shared work of college faculty, staff, and administrators, and our community.
BC’s 2017-2020 Educational Master Plan embarks on a systematic Guided Pathways redesign of how we guide students to complete their educational goals. Guided Pathways is built on four pillars:
Clarifying educational pathways for both Career Technical Pathways and Transfer Pathways.
Getting students on the path starts by getting 9th grade students to see college in their futures.
Keeping students on the path calls us to ensure that every precaution is taken to keep students on their educational pathway to degree completion.
Ensuring learning invites as to develop a learning environment both in and out of the classroom to create adaptive learners who can communicate effectively, think critically, demonstrate competencies, and engage with their communities.
The 2017-2020 Educational Master Plan calls for an approach that better serves BC’s 30,000 students by grouping them into 18 completion communities – 10 meta-majors and 8 affinity groups, which include the identified underrepresented groups in BC’s Equity Plan. Each meta-major and affinity group will be surrounded by completion coaches ranging from 10 to 20 faculty and staff that will form a safety net around their cohort of students. The high-touch, personalized approach of these completion coaching communities combined a with the high-tech data analytics will help coaches to monitor progress and target student communications.
BC History on Facebook
Keith Wolaridge, Tom Gelder
This week, Keith Wolaridge shared a Facebook post with me featuring historical photos of the Bakersfield College campus. The post on Kern County Historical Society’s page was posted by Fatima Al-Bugharin. It’s incredible to see how supportive, interested, and dedicated the residents of Kern County are to BC.
Thank you Keith for your support of Bakersfield College. Here you see Keith with Tom Gelder, being recognized for his leadership role on the Measure J committee. Keith is also a community mentor in BC’s Astep program with Dr. Paula Parks.
In 1913, Bakersfield leadership and the community were visionaries. They knew that higher education was absolutely critical for Kern County and so they created a community college in Bakersfield. In the 50’s, leadership and the community again showed their commitment when they supported BC’s move to have its own campus.
The land was chosen – it was empty, barren, and probably very dusty and it was right there – 1801 Panorama Drive… this 153-acre lot on the China Grade Bluffs. The ground was not yet broken, but the seeds for the future were planted and the location was chosen; this was the place. This was the place where hundreds of thousands of students would make their way “up the hill” to attend college for the very first time.
Sixty years later, many things have changed, but one constant piece remains – Bakersfield is a community that realizes the importance of a college education and undeniably supports Bakersfield College.
On Wednesday, August 2nd, morning, Paul Beckworth and BC student and US Navy Veteran, Robert Enger were featured in a story on ABC 23 about the Forever GI Bill. Straight from the story, Paul Beckworth said,
It will extend the benefits for stem majors up to one academic year which is indicative of the federal government recognizing we need stem majors and this is a way we can help veterans get those degrees so they can enter the workforce.
Thanks to your loyal support through Measure J, our student veterans will be getting a brand new, state of the art, stand-alone Veterans Resource Center. Thank you Bakersfield, Thank you Kern County! Thank you Congressman McCarthy for your work on the Forever GI Bill and for your continued support of our veterans. Also, a big thank you to all of our political leaders such as County Supervisor Leticia Perez and Assemblyman Rudy Salas. And finally, thank you to all our BC student veterans for trusting us with your education — you can go far and BC is here to support you.
On Thursday, Congressman McCarthy was at BC participating in the Veterans History Project.
Zav Dadabhoy, Kevin McCarthy, Armando Trujillo, Mary Jo Pasek
The United States Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000 to collect, preserve, and make accessible the personal stories and accounts of American war veterans so that future generations can hear directly from the veterans, in their voices, and better understand the realities of war.
Love this photo — a Manny selfie 🙂
Manny de Los Santos, Kevin McCarthy, Marvin Belcher
Mary Jo Pasek, Miriam Kann
One of the veterans interviewed was Miriam Kann. You see her here with Mary Jo Pasek. Steven Mayer of The Bakersfield Californian did a great story on Kann in the July 27th paper titled Bakersfield woman, on eve of 100th birthday, says she joined up because she was ‘mad at Hitler’. Loved the header…. Here are some excerpts from the article
Then in her mid-20s, Kann joined millions of other American women who participated in the war effort in those dark days when Hitler’s armies had occupied much of Europe and the Japanese Imperial Navy had control of much of the Pacific.
She served in San Francisco and at other locations training new pilots using the Link Trainer, an early flight simulator. Many, she said, credited the training with saving their lives.
Steven Mayer concludes with:
“On the flight, several of the guys were just ga-ga over her,” recalled Kim Whitaker, an Honor Flight volunteer.
But one man, Jack Henslee, asked for her number.
“I met her on Honor Flight in 2013, and we have been seeing one another ever since,” Henslee said. “She’s a lady.”
The joke going around is that Kann is robbing the cradle, as Henslee is a mere lad of 91. But she seems sweetly embarrassed by the suggestion.
And just in case anyone might suggest something untoward is going on, Henslee repeated his admonition.
“She’s a lady,” he said.
She certainly is.
Miriam Kann turns 100 today. Happy 100th birthday Ms. Miriam Kann. We thank you for your service to our country.
The veterans were interviewed at Bakersfield College on Thursday, August 3rd. Dick Taylor, Armando Tuijillo, and Kevin McCarthy did the interviews. Thank you Dick Taylor for your continued support of Bakersfield College. And thank you for bringing the Airforce Band to BC’s outdoor theater. Here is a link to my July 1, 2017 blog featuring the Airforce Band. https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/07/01/time-flies-when-youre-at-bc/
Here is the list of veterans who participated.
Andrew Perales, Marvin Belcher (WWII), Greg Underwood (Vietnam), Tom Svare (Vietnam), Augustine Flores (WWII), Jessica Brown (Navy 2011-2015), Aaron Coates (Iraq War), Henry Ochsner (WWII), Victor Killingsworth (WWII), Miriam Kann (WWII)
Thank you to all involved with this project, including Mary Jo Pasek, Manny De Los Santos, and John Farrand.
Here is John and Manny in action, a post from Mary Jo Pasek’s Facebook.
Bakersfield College Students Intern with Congressman Kevin McCarthy
Mary Jo Pasek got this great photo from Robin Lake-Foster.
Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s 2017 Summer Internship Program
Included in this group photo, albeit gloomy weather, are college students from the 23rd Congressional District who participated in Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s 2017 Summer Internship Program, where they spent two weeks in McCarthy’s Bakersfield District Office and six weeks in the DC offices, where their time was shared serving three weeks in the Congressman’s congressional office and three weeks in the Office of the Majority Leader.
The students from Bakersfield College are:
Halle Cornejo (left back row, auburn hair and cream blouse) Austin Machado (kneeling down in front row, white shirt with striped tie Nicolas Montero-Garcia (to the right of the Congressman, pink shirt, no jacket) James Priest (next to Nicolas, gray shirt with striped tie)
BC’s Ag Department
BC is located in California’s agriculturally rich San Joaquin Valley and has the history and resources to move Ag students in the right direction. Our Ag program has rich history too, dating back to it’s beginnings in 1915 — making it one of the first community college agriculture programs in the nation. Since then, BC continues to educate students for a career in all ag fields.
This week, a fun email was forwarded to me. Charles Parker, Agriculture Education Consultant shared Ag Teacher Trivia – how many of these did you know?
Charles wrote, “To start of the year, I thought I would provide you with some teacher trivia. Enjoy and let me know if I am missing anyone.”
LeAnn English, BC Ag Dept.
LeAnn English, Bakersfield College and Matthew Riley, Bakersfield College
Allison Ferry, COS and Charles Abee, COS
Koren Martins, Mt. Whitney and Zach Brown, El Diamante
Courtney Serafin, Golden West and Jared Castle, Hanford
Elizabeth ??, Strathmore and Donald Thornburg, Woodlake
Jenna Villacana, Kern ROC and Jacob Eyraud, Bakersfield
RELATIVES Audrey Bonomi, Sanger and Amy Vivenzi, Washington (Sisters)
Don Clark, Wasco and Vernon Clark, Foothill (Dad and Son)
Alex Gutierrez, Caruthers and Nancy Gutierrez, Reedley College (Brother and Sister)
Erin Hanger, Summit Charter and Robert Hanger, Kern Valley (Brother and sister)
Roz Lopez, Central and Robert Calvert, Selma (Mother and Son)
Charles Parker, Regional Supervisor and Steve Parker, Taft (Brothers)
Matthew Riley, Bakersfield College and Carolee Trimble, Kern ROC (Brother and Sister)
FORMER STATE FFA OFFICERS Joe Buffington, Bishop (Nevada)
Vernon Clark, Foothill
Amber Cleaver, Delano
Kristi Mattes, Minarets
Natalie Ryan, North
CHILDREN OF AG TEACHERS Annie Andersen, Hanford and Eric Andersen, Retired
Adam Bullard, Independence and Edwin Bullard, Retired
Robert Calvert, Selma and Roz Calvert, Central
Vernon Clark, Foothill and Don Clark, Wasco
John Coon, Redwood and Bob Cummings, Retired
James Corbett, Monache and Max Corbett, Deceased
Erin Hanger, Summit Charter and Greg Hanger, Retired
Robert Hanger, Kern Valley and Greg Hanger, Retired
Nicole Potstada, Sanger and Leanne Potstada, Retired
Matt Riley, Bakersfield College and Roger Riley, Retired
Glen Sailors, Coalinga and Tim Sailors, Retired
Carolee Trimble, Kern ROC and Roger Riley, Retired
Matt Wenstrand, Caruthers and Gerald Wenstrand, Retired
Brad Wyman, Sierra and Edward Wyman, Retired
LONGEST TENURED TEACHERS Bill Kelly, Bakersfield College – 51 years
Frank Tebeau, COS – 41 years
Kristi Mattes, Minarets – 40 years
David Caetano, Tulare – 38 years
Charles Parker, Region Supervisor – 37 years
Ralph Mendes, Kern ROC – 36 years
Ken Dias, Clovis – 35 years
Darlene Gilles, Madera – 33 years
Student Affairs Retreat
Grace Commiso, lead for meta-majors and Lesley Bonds, lead for affinity groups.
Bakersfield College’s approximately 30,000 students represent a multitude of individual goals and needs. With a student to counselor ratio of approximately 1000:1, the Guided Pathways structure prompts the development of Completion Coaching Communities, which are the mechanism for ensuring that the individual student needs are more effectively met within the context of meta majors. By assigning a fully-equipped support team to each of 10 meta majors, Bakersfield College is able to address the specific needs of each meta major in a more personalized, more relevant way.
Going a step further, BC has identified eight affinity groups where additional personalized support exist, and has developed completion coaching communities around those groups as well, providing another layer of support and personal resources for students.
Through the development of these structures, Bakersfield College has developed a strategy for applying a very personal, case management approach to helping our 30,000 students stay on the path to success. Thank you to
Completion Coaching Communities will focus their work on supporting students in their progress toward critical milestones in the journey to successful, timely completion:
Completion of 12 to 15 credits in their first semester of college.
Completing both college-level Math and English in the first year.
Completion of 30 credits in the appropriate pathway in the first year.
Completion of 60 credits in the span of two years.
The photo you see below is of four superheroes in our Academic Support area. They are geared up this year to provide intensive tutoring services for English and math in particular to support students in their courses.
Eileen Pierce, Maria Baltazar, Yvonne Armendariz, Maria Wright
I popped in and out of the retreat in between my meeting schedule. So I caught a few of the discussions that inspired me. Here you see BC’s Financial Aid Director who is a bundle of energy and works with an incredible team in our Financial Aid Office.
Did you know that BC currently has over 45,000 active Financial Aid accounts? I did not. Did you know that students have a window between October 1, 2017 and March 2018 to file for financial aid for the following year. The sooner applications come in the better their chances of getting things squared away. So why wait. Plz complete your applications before the end of October this year!
Go team Financial Aid!
National Endowment for the Humanities Grant
We received an announcement this week that BC has been awarded $100,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to complete a three year project titled, “Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley.” Complementing the local legacy of energy production, Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley examines the concept of energy broadly from historical and literary perspectives, as well as the intersection of humanities with music/performing arts. Each year, faculty cohorts will engage critical scholarship within the fields of history, literature, and cultural performing arts. A regional conference highlighting faculty pedagogical innovation, student panels, as well as keynote speakers, will conclude the grant project.
Several other projects receiving grants from NEH will help preserve fragile historical and cultural collections and make them more accessible to the broader public, such as grants to safeguard a collection of Native American and Medieval and Renaissance art at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma; for the preservation of Civil War artifacts recovered from the USS Monitor warship in Newport News, Virginia; and new initiatives in Arkansas and Georgia to digitize historic local newspapers for inclusion in the Chronicling America database at the Library of Congress.
Thank you to the National Endowment for the Humanities for your support of BC!
Here are the three faculty who will be the Principal Investigators for the grant. Oliver Rosales, History (lead); Andrew Bond, English; Josh Ottum, Music.
Special Thank you to Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, and Josh Ottum
BC Team at CTEOS
Craig Hayward, Karen Snow, Stephanie Baltazar, and Corny Rodriguez
The California Community College CTE Employment Outcomes Survey (CTEOS) began as a pilot project with fifteen colleges in 2012. CTE Dean’s, frustrated at the lack of relevant outcomes measures for CTE students, determined to pool resources and to scale up employment outcomes surveys that had been conducted by some individual colleges. The CTE Outcomes Survey has grown to include all 113 California Community Colleges, and several non-credit CTE programs. In the photo, BC’s Team at CTEOS on Aug. 3rd and 4th.
Craig Hayward was a presenter at the event and his talk was titled Accreditation and Calculating Employment in the Field of Study with the CTEOS (CTE Outcomes Survey)
It’s an insightful and thoughtful piece commending Bakersfield for the little things that make this town special to those who live here and the experiences that brought Asha to appreciate Bakersfield too. She said after coming back to Bakersfield, that she “constantly recognized faces in passing cars, when shopping or walking downtown.” and “Servers in coffees shops recognize your face and remember your usual order.”
Besides the friendly and familiar faces, Asha explained that quickly after coming back, she “soon met mentors who actually invested time and effort in young people…. millennials who lacked direction but had the potential to thrive.” and she said Bakersfield is the perfect incubator for young professionals.
Asha Chandy worked tirelessly, side-by-side with the fabulous Nicole Parra, to help Bakersfield College pass Measure J…
Asha Chandy, Nicky Damania, Sonya Christian
Of course, how can I forget the campaign dog Bruce.
Thank you Bakersfield for passing Measure J and for being a rock of support for our young people, higher education, and all BC students! Thank you Kern County!! Have I mentioned recently that I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever?
Former Taft College President, David Cothrun
Former Taft College President Dr. David Cothrun wrote a piece in the July edition of the Bakersfield Life Magazine praising the quality of life in Taft, where he’s lived for the last 21 years. I so enjoyed this piece and wanted to share it with the larger community.
Despite being retired from Taft College since 2001, Cothrun has chosen to stay in the area because of the “community that cares and gives back” and non-profit organizations that provide transportation for health care and events while funding scholarships and creating a welcoming atmosphere for students with disabilities.
Cothrun took a moment to highlight Taft College’s important Transition to Independent Living (TIL), a two-year residential program that teaches students with disabilities the skills they need to become independent and able to live alone. The TIL program is one of the only ones of its kind in the United States, and it’s providing amazing opportunities for success that disabled students never had before.
The Chronicle of Higher Education published an interviewabout the future of career training and vocational education with Van Ton-Quinlivan, the Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development for California community colleges.
The video, which corresponded with a Chronicle of Higher Education report titled “The Future of Work: How Colleges Can Prepare Students for the Jobs Ahead”, focuses on the plight of stranded workers, an unemployment statistic that’s become a catch-all term for those who don’t see themselves in our future automated economy. After the recession of 2008, work productivity increased even though unemployment increased due to a confluence of technological advances and developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Many people looking to return to the economy found themselves without the skills needed to compete for positions in a post-industrial world.
Ton-Quinlivan discussed the numerous paradigm shifts that will have to happen in education to get distressed workers the skills to return to the economy. Where educational institutions once had the luxury of extensively training students before they enter the work force, they now have to scale their educational services to prepare for workers who need to come back to school to keep up with evolving technologies and business practices.
Ton-Quinlivan wants to “modularize delivery of education” with low-impact, 3-6 month Certificates of Specialization that would allow adults to continue education while contributing to the workforce. She also would also like to see the California community college system forge more direct partnerships with employers through apprenticeships and structuring curricula to meet the demands of the labor market.
“The economy is becoming more and more unforgiving to those without skills,” Ton-Quinlivan said. “With apprenticeships, you’re not divorcing the education from the employer needs.”
One way companies are bridging the skills gap is through on-site “maker-spaces”—augmented learning environments where laborers can work directly with expensive new equipment to develop competency.
In addition to maker-spaces, Van Ton-Quinlivan emphasized the role of community colleges in identifying a student’s skill sets and shepherding them into the best education program to utilize and develop those skills. She highlighted a capstone program a few California community colleges conducted for veterans to transition from security work into positions as systems operators or utility workers based on a pre-employment screening. These kind of creative collaboration between counselors, educators and industry leaders can close the education gap in California and transform people’s lives.
It is wonderful seeing California Community College leadership setting the national trends in education. So proud!
Super hero Anna Meyer
As I was heading out from a meeting on wednesday to the Student Affairs retreat, I saw Aaron Kidwell and stopped to talk with him. He raved about how Anna Meyer, who is in payroll in the Human Resources department. Thank you Anna for doing what you did to support Aaron and thank you Aaron for sharing. Here is a photo of Aaron that I snapped when he shared his good news.
Talking about Anna Meyer, there is another Anna who is a superhero in HR, Anna Gonzalez, who was at BC and is now at the District Office. I had the opportunity to work with Anna on faculty recruitment and Jennfer Marden and I had an Anna Gonzalez fan club going.
Lori Carlson, Anna Meyer, Anna Gonzalez
Tonya Davis at BC
Talking about Human Resources, KCCD has a new Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, Tonya Davis who comes to us from southern California. Here are two photos of Tonya that I snapped on July 18th when she was at BC for a meeting. She specifically wanted to check out the Veterans hub a small space that supports our student veterans. Through Measure J, our first project will be a wonderful Veterans Resource Center. We ran into fabulous Dennis Spencer on our way back to the office. Here you have Tonya with Armando Trujillo, Advisor to the BC student veterans and Dennis Spenser.
Armando Trujillo, Tonya Davis
Dennis Spencer, Tonya Davis
Summer Bridge Continues
Some photos from this week’s summer bridge
So what about Neo?
Well….he continues to love to spend time in his mud/sand bed. Here he is Sunday, July 30th sometime mid morning not happy when I directed him to move away from his frolicking activities in the mud.
Neo July 30 2017
Neo July 30 2017
Neo July 30 2017
Then there is the happy puppy mud face on August 2, 2017
And then there is his chew toy.
Neo August 4 2017
Neo Aug 4 2017
Neo Aug 4 2017
He is 45 lbs.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Can you believe it’s already July? Where does the time go?
Good morning, it is Saturday, July 1, 2017 and such a wonderful day to be a Renegade
As we approach Independence Day, the right to a trial by jury is one of the primary factors contributing to America’s decision to fight for independence. Jury rights were written into Article III of the US Constitution and the Sixth Amendment, which guarantees all Americans “the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed”. In contrast to the magistrate process popular in 18th Century Europe, where the judges lead the prosecution, the US legal system forces each side to conduct its own investigation, present evidence and argue its side in open court.
As it happens, I spent much of my time last week on Jury Duty and was reminded daily of two things. First, how much I love the community of Delano and second, how thankful I am to live in a society that gives every citizen a voice and a way to serve and contribute.
I enjoyed the short drive from Bakersfield to Delano daily. Dr. Oliver Rosales mentioned in an article last year that the 99 has been “dubbed the most dangerous road in America” but that he, too, enjoys his drives to Delano. In the article, he mentions the fields surrounding the city and cleverly says BC Delano is surrounded by “fields of dreams.”
The Superior Court of Kern County operates two facilities in northern Kern County: the Shafter/Wasco Branch in Shafter, and the Delano/McFarland Branch Courthouse, also known as the North Kern Regional Court, in Delano. The Delano facility serves the communities of Delano, Elmo, Famoso, McFarland, Pond, Richgrove, Vineland, and other outlying rural areas. This court also handles cases from two neighboring prisons: Kern Valley State Prison and North Kern State Prison.
It’s incredible to think of the large area that Delano services.
My week of service reframed my thinking on Jury Duty. Jury duty is not only a good thing to do, but also one of the most important ways we can be responsible citizens. It is an opportunity to make use of our mind and voice… while making it count on matters that are life changing and profound. Jurors have a tremendous responsibility and what an honor it is to be trusted as a collective of regular citizens. A guilty or not guilty verdict will and can change a life forever.
Also, it was a real treat watching Judge Robert Tafoya in action. He is one of the most authentic individuals I know. Thank you Judge Tafoya for all that you do for our communities of Bakersfield and Delano. Check out this piece on Robert Tafoya, March 28, 2014, in the Bakersfield Life Magazine of The Bakersfield Californian titled What I am Reading.
On Monday, we held a student success retreat which focused on understanding real student data, beginning the process of taking action through the Completion Coaching Communities Structure, identifying students who are off the path in some way, and helping them get back on path to completing their educational goals.
Discipline faculty, counselors, educational advisors, and the entire management team gathered in groups organized by our ten Learning and Career Pathways. Each team of Completion Coaches reviewed the schedules of the students in their Learning and Career Pathway. Using the “Completion Coach Student Evaluation” (photo attached), Completion Coaches manually reviewed and discussed their individual students’ schedules to ensure they are on path toward their educational goals. While this work is time intensive, it’s critical in ensuring each of our Renegades are equipped with the information and tools necessary for their success.
Craig Hayward, our Institutional Researcher, led the Completion Coaches in a discussion to identify the key themes present among the data. The Coaches identified issues related to the first three pillars of the guided pathways model:
Goal Clarity: Lack of clarity in the pathways and educational maps
Enrollment Roadblocks: Onboarding to the wrong path through registration
Lane Assist: Need for tracking to ensure students stay on path toward their educational goals
Thank you Lesley Bonds for the photos.
Summer Bridge Video and Registration Rocks
I received this video from Jordan Rude. You can see why Summer Bridge is so important and successful. Navigating the road of college isn’t easy, especially if you’re right out of high school. BC’s Summer Bridge is here to help!
Check out the work of John Farrand and Francis Mayer for July 11th — Registration Rocks
I will cover this event more in next week’s blog.
The Air Force Concert Band is off to the Hollywood Bowl
Photo by MJ Pasek
What a lovely evening it was last Wednesday for a live concert! We were so lucky to have the U.S. Air Force Concert Band give a free concert at the outdoor theatre. The USAF Band of the Golden West, on their way to play at the Hollywood Bowl, played so many of the great songs that are familiar in a creative, inventive way. They played selections from Aaron Copland, Pat Methany, a Medley of Gershwin classic, the lively jazz piece from 1955 called “Malaguena” (by Ernesto Lecuona). Giving us a little bit of history from each of their selections, they told us the story of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Check out this brief video of Yankee Doodle from the Air Force Band
Most people don’t know about the history of the song, but it’s really quite humorous. British soldiers of the revolutionary war made up the words (the melody itself had been around for a long time already) to make fun of the rough-around-the-edges [in appearance and organization] American Colonials. British soldiers liked to laugh at the unkempt Americans who would think they were high-class if they were to stick a feather in their dirty hat.
Photo by MJ Pasek
Not ones to sit around and be mocked, American soldiers started singing the song as a sign of defiance. Even changing a few verses to mock the Britons and hail George Washington. So what was originally meant to mock the Americans had the tables turned on it to become something proudly sung throughout the army.
Mary Jo Pasek always has fantastic pictures of every event at BC! More photos to come next week!
I also loved seeing this picture at the concert posted later on Facebook with Art Professor, Diego Monterrubio and History Professor, Paul Beckworth.
The concert started with a rendition of Hoedown
Check out Fascinating Rhythm.
Here is a short video of their last song honoring each branch of the Military to Caissons Go Rolling Along
It was a treat to see the community out enjoying incredible music, supporting our veterans and being a part of the Bakersfield College community.
Thank you Dick Taylor for bringing the Air Force Band of the Golden West to Bakersfield and to Bakersfield College.
Here is an excerpt describing the band from their website
The United States Air Force Band of the Golden West is stationed in the San Francisco Bay area at Travis Air Force Base, California. The only active duty Air Force band west of the Rockies, the Band of the Golden West is comprised of about 60 talented and versatile Airmen-musicians under the command of Captain Rafael F. Toro-Quiñones. In addition to performing for civilian communities throughout the states of California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, the band supports 13 Air Force Bases, 8 Air Force Reserve Wings, and 6 recruiting squadrons in over 250 annual performances for 1.5 million listeners.
And thank you Mary Jo Pasek, for all that you did to make this happen. Here is a picture that SGA Vice President Lawrence Salcido snapped when the Band Conductor invited Mary Jo to come up and be recognized. Mary Jo then invited me to come along. She did all the work, and I get to share the credit with her. You see why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.
Here is a screen capture of Dick Taylor’s Facebook post recognizing the amazing work done by Mary Jo.
Most of the photos are from our own William Velasquez, from the BC IT department. Thank you William for the photos!
Celebrating our Fire Grads!
In last weeks blog, I mentioned our Firefighter Graduation, but this week Tim Capehart, our Fire Technology Director, sent me some great photos and information so I thought I’d revisit that incredible celebration. Tim said, “The F/F 1 Academy is over 524 hrs. long. It meets three times a week in the evenings and all day Sat. and Sun. so students can maintain a day job and still complete the academy. The Academy that just finished meets the new curriculum requirements for F/F 1 IFSAC and Pro Board accreditation. This means our students can apply for jobs anywhere in the United States. We graduated thirty two students who all passed the State skills and written exams.”
Furthermore, Tim added that all thirty two students held full time jobs along with studying, training, and continuous testing throughout the six month journey. In this year’s graduating class, we had dedicated husbands, parents, marines, an airborne ranger, Cal State Berkeley football player, ferrier, Alabama volleyball player, CSUB swimmer, and a division one baseball athlete. The young men and women represent the many different and diverse groups of future firefighters. We are BC!
Chris McCraw and E. Kika De La Garza Fellows Program
BC Ag Professor, Chris McCraw participated in the E. Kika De La Garza Fellows Program.
Chris pretending to be the President’s Press Secretary
Chris enjoying his trip!
The official brochure says,
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO), Hispanic-Serving Institutions National Program (HSINP) E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship Program offers faculty and staff from Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) the opportunity to work collaboratively with USDA to gain insight and understanding of the Federal Government. Through the fellowship, participants learn about opportunities that are available with USDA and other Federal Agencies for their respective institutions and their students. Fellows share their experience with students at their respective HSIs, motivating them to pursue careers in agriculture, science, research, technology, and other related fields of study. Furthermore, the fellowship strengthens and expands USDA’s partnerships with HSIs and the communities they serve.
Evelyn Young Spath (CSU Bakersfield) and Chris McCraw
Chris with the leadership team from the USDA’s Office of Advocacy and Outreach
The Chris McCraw and E. Kika De La Garza Fellows
Working together across KCCD to implement better systems
Lisa Couch, Jason Andrews, Terri Goldstein
On Monday and Tuesday, the student conduct officers from all three KCCD institutions came together at Bakersfield College to learn the our new student conduct case management system, Maxient. Lead by Dr. Nicky Damania, the group spent two intense days learning the system while implementing processes that would not only increase positive experiences within student conduct process, but also bring efficiency to their workflow when processing case paperwork. The new process will convert the student conduct process completely online thus being able to effectively communicate with students in a timely manner.
Val Garcia, Jason Andrews
National Camera Day
The Bakersfield Californian featured our Art Department Chair, Kristopher Stallworth’s photos and a brief blurb on Thursday for National Camera Day. Check it out on Bakersfield.com.
Stallworth has been taking photos for 25 years. His first camera was a 110 film point and shoot camera, and his first serious camera was a Canon AE-1 that was his father’s.
John Kelly, Tina Mendoza, Sandra Beckworth, Paul Beckworth, Terri Goldstein, Nicky Damania
BC employees always support our local community organizations and partners. Sunday June 25 at the Kern County Fair Grounds was the second annual Bakersfield Wing Fest where several Renegades supported our community partner, NaTesha Kindred Johnson’s group, Upside Productions. NaTesha is a great friend of BC and did a lot of work on Measure J. Thank you NaTesha! Here is a picture of NaTesha that I found in my blog library. We were at an event organized by Norma Rojas Mora. Here is NaTesha with Karen Goh and me.
Paul Beckworth, John Kelly, Tina Mendoza, Sandra Beckworth, Terri Goldstein, Nicky Damania
The event brought the community together to not only enjoy delicious wings from around Bakersfield, but also raise awareness and funds for the Alzheimer’s Disease Association for Kern County and Grandma Whoople Enterprise (a non-profit anti bullying campaign). This year Happy Hour won the wing competition but we all won a great taste of community pride!
Superheroes Behind the Scenes
Have I told you lately that I’m the happiest and luckiest college president in the world? One reason is because of the fantastic faculty and staff at Bakersfield College, and one example is Kristina Whitmore in the department of Student Success and Equity. Above and beyond her work at BC, volunteering is an important part of her life. She said,
Helping others is an essential part of who am I, If I am not helping others I am not helping myself. I do not feel whole as a person when I am not advocating and doing for others. I find joy and hope in helping our students at BC, here I know each student will go on to accomplish great things. I find light in a dark place when I am in Prison helping. These men have made bad choice that have found them behind bars, but they are not to be forgotten!
Pawsitive Change is a progressive and intensive rehabilitation program which matches Death Row dogs with inmates inside California State Prisons. Our goal is to reduce inmate recidivism by providing them a viable skill, while at the same time saving dogs lives. The program is guided by four of our experienced trainers over 14 weeks, during which the inmates work toward vocational accreditation and the dogs towards their Canine Good Citizen Certification. Both man and mutt will use the skills gained in this program to better their lives and stay out of prisons and/or shelters, respectively.
On the homepage, there is a testimony that stood out to me and shows how lifechanging and “pawsitive” is.
“We live inside a place where we can’t show our emotion — it’s considered a weakness. But with this program, we can feel, give, and receive affection. We become cold in here, much more cold than when we entered. But these dogs give us a chance to be human.” -Inmate Participant, Cyclell
Thank you Kristina and thank you Marley’s Mutts for all that you do. This is an inspirational program.
Speaking of puppies, on Wednesday Neo had his third visit to the vet (by the way, a great supporter of Marley’s Mutts…). Two vaccines — Bordetella Bronchiseptica and Canine Distemper. The first picture was taken on June 2nd (his second visit to the Vet when he weighed 19 lbs) and the second picture on June 28th (this third visit to the Vet at 30 lbs)
I must say this time the drive to the vet was much more pleasant than three weeks ago, he was calm, self-assured, and not the distressed puppy in a car moving fast!
Here he is making a reckless uncontrolled dash for the ball.
Renegade Passings of Joyce Teague and Rich Wise
On Tuesday morning, I received a notice from Jerry Ludeke that we’ve had another passing in the Renegade family. The email from BC Archives said, “We are very sad to report that Joyce Teague (Kite) passed away last evening. Joyce began working for Bakersfield College in 1983 and retired on August 17, 2013. She loved her job in the M&O Department, where she was the go-to woman! She was also known for her outgoing and fun personality. You could say that she was a “character!” Later in her career, she moved to the Fine Arts Department. She will be deeply missed.” I remember Joyce very well from my time as faculty at BC. She ran a tight operation and was fearless in telling folks, including new department chair, what to do 🙂
Last week, news also spread that Richard Wise passed away. Dr. Wise was devoted to his students and Bakersfield College and always encouraged students reach their goals and gain knowledge to be successful. His students and colleagues admired his diligence and tenacity while teaching and doing battle with his illness. He will be missed dearly and Liz Rozell said in an email, “I can tell you that he always was friendly with his colleagues and pleasant to work alongside. When I was Rich’s supervisor, he participated in a committee and communicated good insight with critical issues. I always enjoyed passing him in the hall because I knew he would smile at me and give me a friendly greeting. That means a lot in a work environment.” It’s special people like Rich Wise who make BC so special.
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, April 1, 2017 and just a fabulous day to be a Renegade.
This past week the campus has been abuzz with activities…..an absolutely uplifting week.
Here is an email with a picture that I got from Francis Mayer.
This is an image I grabbed last week while running errands on campus. For me, it captures the essence of BC. The father (or father type) is standing beneath the shade of a beautiful tree adjacent to the LA building, and he’s smiling and his posture is relaxed..on second viewing, we see that his two munchkins are scrambling up the arms of this generous tree…and all is well.
Is Mom attending classes? Is he enjoying a break with his children before attending classes? While both are lovely notions, in the end it doesn’t matter. BC is a place that is perfect for everyone.
Indeed it is Francis…..BC is a place that is perfect for everyone. #WeAreBC
Here is another great picture I snapped as I rushed out of the Office of Student Success and Equity, Shauna Turner and her two boys.
Let me start with yesterday, when Bakersfield celebrated the inaugural Cesar Chavez Day with a breakfast organized by David Villarino.
1st Annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast
It was a beautiful morning celebrating the life of an absolutely inspirational and life changing man. We remember Cesar as a great labor organizer. He gave voice to the voiceless; he became a face for the invisible, and an advocate for social justice. He was a servant for his community and a champion of education as a means leading toward a better life. Cesar once said, “The end of all education should surely be service to others.” It was fitting that the morning recognized Chancellor emeritus of the Kern Community College District and Bakersfield College’s 7th president, Sandra Serrano.
Sandra Serrano receiving the award
With a powerful combination of a strong legal mind, a compassionate heart, and passion for education, there was no one better suited to influence our higher educational community than Sandra Serrano. Her educational leadership is a gift; her work for the community at the local, regional, state and national levels is emblematic of education in service to others.
At the state and national level, she has lived a life of service:
As a member of the Finance and Operations Committee for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
On many boards and committees for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.
As President of the oard for the Chief Executive Officers of California Community Colleges;
As Chair of the Board for the Community College League of California;
and as a member of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Consultation Council.
… just to name a few.
At the regional level, she has served on:
The Board of Directors for the Kern Economic Development Corporation and
The Central Valley Higher Education Consortium and
The California Council for the Humanities
… just to name a few.
Sandra has served this community over and over, in ways that are visible and in ways that have gone unrecognized. Her work has touched so many lives. Her life of service is part of the strength of our community. It would take more time than I have just speaking to all that she’s done for Bakersfield College – that she’s done for the Kern Community College District, and the thousands and thousands of lives that have been touched, whether they knew it or not, by her work.
Sandra Serrano, Tom Burke, Sonya Christian
It was an honor to introduce this quiet, sincere, dedicated, fearless, and dynamic woman who has committed her life and her education in service to others. Thank you David Villarino for putting together the first annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast, and thank you also for giving me the opportunity of introducing the first recipient of the Cesar Chavez Legacy award.
Sonya Christian, Sandra Serrano
There were so many dignitaries in the room. At the main table there was Supervisor Leticia Perez who is a great supporter of education in general and Bakersfield College in particular. Then there was Assembly Member Rudy Salas who introduced the keynote speaker, Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa. When it was my time to speak I shared the story of how Rudy Salas made BC feel so special when i went up to Sacramento to testify to the Senate Budget Committee.
Sonya Christian, Rudy Salas
It was a joy to see familiar faces at the event, including Chris Cruz, a BC student who works at St. Francis and dedicated his free time to supporting Measure J. It’s incredible to see our BC students contributing to their communities and giving back to the organizations important to them.
Sonya Christian, Heidi Scott
I also had the opportunity to finally meet the “voice of an angel” Heidi Scott, the director of music and liturgy at the parish. I mentioned hearing Heidi sing in my blog a few weeks ago titled, “Every Day is Something to Celebrate” – Check it out here. She truly is gifted and talented and her voice can inspire and touch my soul.
We had a BC table… of course.
Manuel Rosas, Chelsea Esquibias, Victor Diaz, Sonya Christian, Olivia Garcia, Lisa Kent, Yvonne Almendaris, Maria Wright
Love this picture of Chelsea and Lisa….girls just wanna have fun…..
Chelsea Esquibias, Lisa Kent
The students from FIELD (Farm worker Institute for Education and Leadership Development) helped out with the event. Lisa snapped this picture with Manuel and me with the Field Students in the background.
Inspiring post by Professor Bryan Hirayama
Professor Hirayama with his Distinguished Teaching Award
Speaking of being inspired, Professor Bryan Hirayama wrote a powerful post in the blog detailing his experiences in Bakersfield College’s Inmate Education Programillustrating the depths of the prison industrial complex and how hard we’ll need to work to change the perceptions of incarcerated people in the United States. When people are released out of jail, they’re often told by correctional officers, “We’ll leave the light on for you.” It’s a cynical reference to an old marketing campaign that’s meant to imply that the person getting out of jail is almost certain to come back. Correctional officers know the realities of recidivism rates and the difficulties people on probation or parole face when they go back into society, and many have become numb to the fact that they’re part of an institution that houses more prisoners than any country in the world.
In Bryan’s blog, he describes how he was able to cut through this cynicism for a moment and create an opportunity for the staff to consider why saying “we’ll leave the light on for you” might be a cruel twist of the knife for those inmates who are genuinely striving to rehabilitate themselves.
Talking about Inmate Education, Chelsea Esquibias partnered with the Opportunity Institute to host the first meeting to Serve Our Formerly Incarcerated Students. The “Corrections to College California” forum was sponsored by Opportunity Institute/Renewing Communities and Stanford Law School/Stanford Criminal Justice Center. Community partners included Bakersfield College, CSU Bakersfield, Sheriff’s Office, Probation, Parole, Garden Pathways, MAOF. Chelsea and BC students spoke on panels.
Karen Goh, Chelsea Esquibias
Karen Goh, Chelsea Esquibias, Juan Avila
Mayor Karen Goh welcomed the numerous community partners and members of the justice system including CDCR, Lerdo Jail, and the Parole Dept. Chelsea Esquibias of Bakersfield College, Dr. Jacqueline Mimms of CSUB, and Lisa Stephens of Cerro Coso presented on their school’s initiatives. The meeting allowed the community to partner with the colleges to build student success for our formerly incarcerated students. Thank you to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office for attending and the continuous support.
Thank you Chancellor Tom Burke for attending the event.
Celebrating the life of Danell Ward
The BC community lost one of our own this month, Child Development Center Director, Danell Ward. Danell’s time with us was too short but her impact was meaningful and lasting. Those who knew her, understand how much she loved Tinkerbell, from Disney’s Peter Pan. There is a saying, “’All you need is faith, trust and a little pixel dust” which Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg mentioned during the memorial. She said it best through her heartfelt words, “Danell was generous with her faith in others and her trust that there was a better tomorrow was boundless. I am sure that whenever you need a little pixie dust, she has left some behind for you…….. So in her memory, have a little more faith in others than you think is necessary, always trust that tomorrow will be better, and remember that a little pixie dust is always available to you.”
My closest interaction with Danell was in Summer 2015, when the administrative team decided to add in a little fun into our summer planning retreats. Check out my October 15, 2015 blog for more http://tinyurl.com/mv6ovgd
The entire admin council was divided into groups and Danell was in the group along with Ramon Puga, Liz Rozell, Odella Johnson and myself. We were supposed to pick and song and lipsync in a competition. Before any of us could volunteer a song, Danell enthusiastically presented that we should do I wanna be like you from Jungle Book. And although none of us were thrilled with the selection, who could dare go up against the enthusiastic Danell. So here you see us performing on the day of our competition. Danell got sick the previous day and could not join us, so we asked Manny Mourtzanos to join us in her stead. Enjoy seeing us making complete fools of ourselves in all earnestness and remember Danell and her pixie dust.
Annual International Faculty Appreciation Dinner
The Annual International Faculty Appreciation Dinner took place on Wednesday and is about building bridges of friendship among international students and their invited faculty guests. The international students plan cultural shows and a formal dinner, as they acknowledge BC faculty who work so diligently every day to ensure that the engine of progress never stops moving.
This event is a joint effort by ISA
(International Student Affairs program ) and the ISO( International Student Organization). Last night’s event brought together approximately 80 students and faculty for an evening of storytelling, cultural immersion, and international food; prepared by our own Chef Eric Sabella. You’ll have to check out the photos with the delicious looking international cuisine. This year our international students come from 20 different countries. The largest number of students are from India, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. More pictures are available here!
Petro Stories at BC’s Levan Center
Thursday evening March 23rd in the Levan Center 20-25 students discussed the Oil Age, Symbolism of Oil. Guest speaker from UC Davis a young rising star in the growing field of ecocriticism, which examines the relationship between literature and the physical environment.
Kern County is one the most prolific oil-producing counties in the state of California. In fact, Kern County is the fourth largest oil-producing region in the entire country. Kern County produces 66% of the oil in California, about 10% of the U.S. oil supply, and approximately 1% of the world’s total oil production. That works out to about 560,000 barrels of oil per day, which at $12 to $15 per barrel is something similar to $2.4 billion to $3.0 billion worth of oil every year.
Petro culture studies Michael Ziser says Oil is everywhere. It’s in the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the roads we drive on and the buildings we live in. Its production employs us and its sale sustains our booming economy. Our lives, our cities, our world are shaped by oil, from the arrangement of streets to the arrangement of geopolitics. According to Ziser, our culture’s investment in oil is not just material, but symbolic as well. If we can recognize the power of oil as a symbol, we just might be able to separate myth from reality, and make more sensible decisions about a sustainable future.
Commercial Music Professor Josh Ottum also spoke at the event. I recently ran into him with his wife Vanessa and son Emmet at the Haggin Oaks Farmers Market where one of my favorite things to pick up is the fresh, local produce. If you’ve never been, it’s a real treat and you never know who you’ll bump into! You might even catch me at my favorite stand with the sweetest, most delicious oranges.
Bakersfield College Athletics is a valuable extension of our college that takes folks who want to improve themselves and gives them the tools to do so!
Baseball: Last week, I told you that we’d talk about a baseball player who has made a name for himself this season, and he has done so by taking advantage of resources like BC’s Baseball Coach Tim Painton.
Luke Andrews pitched for Bakersfield College last season, but this season he has been a revelation! According to Coach Painton, he has bought into our program 100 percent, and the results have been phenomenal. He’s walked just eight batters in 64 innings pitched! I am not a baseball expert, but friends who follow baseball tell me this is excellent! Coach Painton says Andrews did this by working hard in the offseason and having faith in hard work! Now he is drawing attention from top scouts, so we know his experience at BC is going to take him places, whether that’s to a professional baseball career or a four year degree. Way to go, Luke!!
Cross Country: Speaking of going places, Cross Country runner Emily Freeman was recently entered into the California Community College Athletic Association’s prestigous Scholar Honor Roll at the CCCAA Spring Convention in Concord, CA.
Athletic Director Sandi Taylor and her indispensable partner, Associate Athletic Director Keith Ford, were both in attendance to honor Emily as she was recognized for her achievement in both athletics and academics.
Emily Freeman, you know what’s coming…You rock!!
BC Swimming hosted The Bakersfield College Relays last weekend, and while Clovis came out on top as a team, Coach Matt Moon was happy with the day for more reasons than wins and losses. Wasco High School’s team came and watched the Relays today, and they got to watch alumni like Steve Santana turn in great performances. Santana is the first college attendee in his family, and he will attend University of California, Santa Barbara in the fall to study Chemistry.
“My family immigrated to this country, so they don’t understand the gravity of me getting in a UC,” Santana told Sports Information Director Francis Mayer, “But swimming really showed me how hard I can work. I wasn’t the best student in high school, and I wasn’t the fastest swimmer. But coming to BC showed me just how hard I need to work, and how it’s possible for me to keep up if I try and apply myself. This was life-changing.”
The BC Track and Field teamalso competed last weekend, and I know high jumper Jacob Bookout is having another great season. It’ll be exciting to see what he can do at the next level! It was great to see Harlan Hunter, faculty member in Criminal Justice, volunteering his time to help out with track and field. I snapped this picture of Cesar Patino, sophomore from Wasco High School in the relay where BC placed third.
Making Transfer Opportunities a Reality
National University was on Campus Wednesday March 29th to connect with as many Bakersfield Students as possible. Rita Jones and Oscar Hernandez were just a couple of the NU staff available to meet and greet the BC students and help answer all of their questions. Some of the most popular programs asked about was the Bachelor of Science in Nursing-RN completion as well as the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. They are also the only local university to offer a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Communication. The members of NU were on location from 10 am to 2 pm where they also gave students a chance to spin and win fun NU gear and were also passing out hotdogs and drinks to all those who stopped by. In all, more than 250 BC students stopped to obtain information and speak to the helpful NU associates. As students make it to the end of their time at BC and are considering their options to move to the next step in their academic year, it is opportunities such as these that allow students to have a full array of information and options.
You might remember, BC recently hosted a HBCU Caravan Tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. I covered it in my recent blog entry here. This week, I was informed by Lisa Kent that 60!!! total number of acceptances were provided at this years HBCU event and scholarships amounted to $657,480.00! These opportunities are fantastic for our students
High School Students going to College
I was so excited to see the news that KHSD and CSUB have created a University Promise that codifies and clarifies student pathways from high school to university. Here is a photo of Superintended Bryon Schaefer, KHSD) and President Horace Mitchell, CSUB, with the beautiful Brenda Lewis.
Taft College has Taft College Promise. BC’s sister campus, Cerro Coso Community College will be announcing the Kern Promise in the Ridgecrest area on April 4th. And to round off the College Promises being made in our County, BC working in partnership with BCSD, KHSD, and CSUB will be making an announcement on April 28th. Exciting times! and great collaboration among the different education sectors.
On Thursday evening, Dr. Emmet Campos and Dr. Victor Saenz, two researchers from the University of Texas at Austin discussed their Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success, which is Texas’ boys & men of color) program at BC. Specifically, they highlighted how K-12, the community colleges, and Texas universities have been working together. They tailored their presentation around projects that our K-12 system, Bakersfield College, and the CSU system might work together on in the future.
Dr. Emmet Campos, Dean Rodriguez, Dr. Victor Saenz, Dr. Mark Martinez
The goal is to highlight how different education systems can create successful education pathways to graduation for boys and men of color. But it’s especially towards highlighting how Ed.D. / Ph.D. programs and institutes of higher education can do more than provide teachers, by also providing faculty mentors, assessment, and real time research of local education programs. You can check out UT Austin’s Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success program online at http://diversity.utexas.edu/projectmales/
Dr. Victor Saenz, Dr. Mark Martinez, Dr. Sonya Christian, Mayor Jose Gurrola, Dr. Emmet Campos
It was great seeing so many friends of Bakersfield College. Here is a picutre of attorney Win Eaton with Miguel Orozco a screenplay writer from Southern California
Win Eaton and Miguel Orozco
It was great seeing Jeff Flores and Camilla Chavez at the event. And thank you Dr. Mark Martinez for your collaboration with BV.
Dr. Mark Martinez,and Jeff Flores
Danny Murillo and Camila Chavez
Here is a photo of incredible program managers at BC who make things happen.
Lisa Kent, Shanell Tyus, Maria Wright
The Art of the Selfie
So many incredible speakers have made their way to BC this week, including Crystal Galindo who shared with a large group of students and faculty, “The Art of the Selfie”. This exhibit highlighted the Chicana culture, in particular, selfies of the artist herself. In true form of celebrating Women’s Month, Crystal shared her ideas on the stereotypes that surround many women today and how her hope is that her art will show that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. As a Latina woman, she felt that it was important to showcase artwork that would reach a wider audience. As an art student at Sonoma State University, her art professors often were critical of her work telling her that she should, “make it less Mexican” so that she would appeal to a wider audience. Crystal knew passion and what started off as a tribute to herself later turned into a form of self-expression and celebration.
Crystal Galindo, Photo by Amber Smithson
She hoped that her art would speak to those who are not typically portrayed in art and therefore after her show “The Art of the Selfie” her drive to connect with others pushed her to start painting others, those that maybe she had never met in person but had seen the beauty in them. Before she knew it, her artwork was being requested from all of the United States due to her marketing on social media. She soon moved to the bay area where her art shows have been on display and she has been welcomed with warm accolades for her work and portrayal of Latina’s. Regardless of the size jeans you where, the style of your hair, or the color of your skin, as women we must learn to appreciate every inch of ourselves. Take a selfie, strike a pose, but above all find your self-beauty and love yourself!
Photo by Amber Smithson
On Thursday, March 30th, I dropped by another presentation in our WHAM series– The Evolution of the Selfie: Deconstruction of the Female from 1400 to the Present”
Bakersfield College faculty Andrea Thorson & Erin Miller joined Taft College’s Jessica Grimes, faculty of English, & Faheemah Salahud-Din, Executive Director of First and Always Melanin (FAAM), to address the historical & social constructions of femininity, as well as the power these stereotypes continue to exert through language, self-presentation, & individual interpretation. Tina Mendoza moderated the event.
It was a treat to see the roomful of students and community members to hear from these powerful women speakers.
Here are photos from Olivia Garcia’s Facebook post
Juan Felipe Herrera at The Levan Center
Writing about poetry can be one of the most demanding tasks that many students face in a literature class. Poetry by its very nature requires dedication and makes demands on writers who attempt to analyze it, in ways that other forms of literature do not. So it was no surprise on Wednesday March 29th that over a hundred students and faculty attended an evening to remember inside of the Indoor Theater.
Juan Felipe Herrera. Photo: Lovie Johnson
American poet, author, and activist, Juan Felipe Herrera became the poet laureate of the United States in 2015. He was the first Hispanic to serve in that position and is best known for his autobiographical poems on immigration, Chicano (Mexican American) identity, and life in California. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth. Herrera spent his early years living in tents and trailers in farm communities around Southern California. He shares his life’s information eagerly, and wants his audience to relate to his struggle in life. Encouraging young poets to write poems on anything, even PG&E bills. He shows the audience a son of a migrant farmworkers whose writing fuses wide-ranging experimentalism with reflections on Mexican-American identity through poetry. Herrera, who recently retired as a professor at the University of California, Riverside, mentioned he would use his new position to encourage young poets, and non-poets, to find their voices.
I loved this Facebook post from Olivia Garcia
What a priceless moment it was for me to see my former Chicano literature/poetry professor Juan Felipe Herrera deliver a powerful presentation this evening at Bakersfield College. I even got a chance to introduce my students to him. Here was a Central Valley boy who became the U.S. poet laureate. Like his wife Margarita said, he’s still influencing and inspiring minds, young and old. Thank you, Juan Felipe.
Community Town Hall
BC students, their families, and members of the neighboring Bakersfield community were invited to the Levan Center on Thursday, March 30th to engage in a town hall on issues of immigration law. The event was hosted by the Immigration Justice Collaborative (IJC) in collaboration with CSUB and Bakersfield College. The IJC is a network of twelve lawyers who volunteer their time to host these town halls in various locations in Kern County, to educate our community on their constitutional rights in the United States. Panel discussions were presented in both English and Spanish, and were followed by the opportunity for attendees to engage in one-on-one discussions with local lawyers. The event was organized by Dr. Mark Martinez, Department Chair of Political Science at CSUB, Jay Tamsi President/CEO of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Lisa Kent, Program Manager for Equity and Shanell Tyus, Program Manager for Student Support and Success Program.
Many of the attorney’s you see on this program are on the advisory committee for BC’s Pre-Law program. Thank you!
The Renegade Room, Fine Dining at the Campus on the Hill.
I’m constantly impressed by the level of elegance at BC’s Renegade Room, our public restaurant operated by the students enrolled in the Culinary Arts program. This past Wednesday, an exquisite lamb burger was on the menu and I can tell you now… it was juicy and tender, absolutely incredible.
The goal for the Renegade Room is to have students learn professionalism and service industry standards in a fast-paced, realistic environment. The program entails classes in Nutrition, Cost Control, Supervision, Management, Baking, Food Production, Dining Room Services and Sanitation. Master Chef Suzanne Durst, Chef Alex Gomez, and Chef Anna Melby have over fifty-years’ experience and everyone is still anxious, even the staff when it’s time to open up for the day. The Renegade Room is not even simply room at all, but an affordable upscale restaurant. It’s a great way to enjoy a fine dining experience and one of the best reasons to visit the campus on the hill.
Next time you want to have a night out on the town, start with dinner reservations at The Renegade Room on Tuesdays or Thursdays… or plan your next business lunch for Wednesday afternoon. You won’t be disappointed, and the students appreciate your support.
Let Freedom Sing
Let Freedom ring….Let Freedom Sing! Last Friday, the Bakersfield College Choir and Chamber singers did just that, conducted by Dr. Jennifer Garrett and accompanied by Patrick Bender, performing a remarkable tribute to the various aspects of freedom.
The first half of the concert was dedicated to all those who helped each and every one of attain and maintain the freedoms we hold true today. The Choir and Chamber Singers came together in perfect harmony to sing the National Anthem, after which Dr. Garrett took a moment with the audience to show appreciation for all the Veterans in attendance. As each of the Veterans stood, scattered throughout the seats of the indoor theater, the audience erupted in applause of great gratitude. It’s moments like these that give me chills. I’m proud that #weareBC!
Guest artists accompanied the BC Choir and Chamber singers throughout the night such as, Audrey Boyle on flute, Marla Hansen on violin, and Kris Tiner playing the trumpet.