Tag Archives: Mayor Karen Goh

Winter has arrived!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 8, 2018… A great day to be a Renegade.

Winter has arrived.  Photo of the grapevine from my Land Rover on December 6th.

Last week of classes at BC.  Great holiday spirit.  Students excited….students stressed….  Nicky Damania and team staffed the library with extra hours for students to study in groups…. faculty dropped by to help students…..  What can I say.  We are BC!

BC Food Services Comes Through in a Pinch

Earlier this week BC administrators and managers came together to assist students with enrolling in classes for the Spring semester.  I want to give a huge shout out to our Food Services team who stepped up and served a delicious lunch to those helping in the outreach efforts.  If you know of anyone wanting to register for BC courses in the Spring 2019 semester, have them sign up today!  Steven Watkin and Ashlea Ward have organized three days of registration (Dec 10th, 11th and 12th) with the help of Counselors and Ed Advisors.    You can check out the Class Schedule and registration information at this link: www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/academic/schedule

Penny Loos, Diana Murrell and Pam Miller: These ladies are on it!

Food Services had their last day in Campus Center yesterday before relocating to make room for the cafeteria remodel!  They are moving to the Huddle and Mount Vernon Commissary over Winter Recess.  Here are some photos of their last day before the remodel:

Also, be sure to check out the new Food Services social media accounts!  You can follow their journey to the new location at the Huddle, see the new food trailer, and see what delicious menu items they’re preparing!  Check out @BCFoodScene on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

BC Jazz presents: Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite

The Bakersfield College Jazz Ensemble held a holiday concert earlier this week, featuring Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite re-imagined with a big band twist. The concert was amazing!!  The big band rendition of this classic music provided holiday cheer with a fun spin. There were saxophones, trumpets, trombones, guitars, a double bass and of course drums. I loved the beautiful clarinet during the “Chinoiserie” song, or rather, the Chinese Dance.  Also, Professor Robbie Martinez surprised guests and joined in on “Arabesque Cookie (Arabian Dance)” with his beautiful piccolo playing.

I was so proud of our students and the beautiful music that they performed.  My personal favorite was the “Sugar Rum Cherry” song, a take on the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” Students learned how to integrate trumpet mutes and rubber plungers in order to hit the notes as Duke Ellington originally intended. A huge shout out to Kris Tiner for directing this amazing piece of music here at the BC campus.    

The Jazz Ensemble performing “Sugar Rum Cherry”
The Jazz Ensemble performing “Dance of the Floreadores”

Blue Ribbon Committee Reconvenes

The Blue Ribbon Committee reconvened earlier this week bringing together community leaders who were pivotal to the passage of Measure J in 2016.  Attendees were taken on a trip down memory lane with a great video created by our very own Chris Blakemore.  Thank you Chris!

Measure J: Memories

We also shared all of the recent developments here at the BC campus.  There are eleven projects in various phase stages over the next year!  Bill Potter and Tamara Baker definitely have their hands full, and can’t wait to share each of these projects as they progress along.

Emails Worth Sharing from Paul Beckworth

In light of the news of the passing of President George Bush, Paul Beckworth shared a memorable photo with me this week. He said, “with GW Bush in Somalia in December 92 or Jan 93. I asked him for a pic, he grabbed my camera out of my hand, and said , “Come here Beckworth,” (he read my name tag) and took a selfie of us. Pretty cool!”

Paul Beckworth and President Bush

2018 Bakersfield College Foundation Holiday Dinner

The Bakersfield College Foundation hosted a wonderful group of about 60 invited guests in the Renegade Room at the Holiday Dinner, following the Foundation Board’s annual strategic planning meeting. The dinner was expertly prepared and served by the students in the Culinary Arts program as their final exam for the semester. Many members of the BC Foundation Board were joined by their spouses to ring in the holidays, including founding Foundation Board member, Ken Byrum and his wife Pam; and Foundation Board Chair Jeff Bell and his wife Amy. Other special guests of the evening included KCCD Trustee-Elect, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and her husband Jim; Adam Alvidrez of Chevron and his wife Tiffani; and Gloria Williams of CRC and her sister Loretta. The guests were entertained by the talented BC Chamber Choir under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Garrett. The choir performed four Christmas songs and surprised the Foundation with a special video to express their gratitude to the Foundation members for the help in making their trip to Australia a reality this past summer. Major compliments to the Culinary Arts students, Chefs Alex Gomez, Suzanne Tangeman and Christian Flores-Castaneda for a beautiful and delicious evening! You all earned an A+ in our eyes!

Attendees at the Bakersfield College Foundation Holiday Dinner

SGA Discovers a Hidden Treasure

Our SGA president Ashley Harp came across a fun piece of BC nostalgia.  Check out the video below to see why BC has school spirit in spades!

Seen on Facebook: BC Chamber Singers Christmas Gathering

This week, I saw on Facebook that the BC Chamber Singers gathered at Choral Director Jennifer Garrett’s home for evening caroling in the neighborhood park, packing bags for the homeless, and spending time together for the holidays. She said in her post, “What a wonderful night with the BC Chamber Singers in my home! We ate lots of yummy food, put on a mini concert in the City in the Hills Park (thanks to so many for joining us), exchanged secret Santa gifts, made bags to hand out to the homeless, and many enjoyed the hot tub or talked to finish off the night. They are such an incredible group of people. We still have a lot of work to do in order to reach the excellence we are striving for and we will continue to work and love music to get there.”  Check out the fun photos.

KernTax 79th Annual Meeting

I was at Tom Burke’s table at the KernTax 79th Annual Meeting earlier this week at the Bakersfield Country Club, along with Cindy Collier, Bill Thomas, Tom Gelder, Romeo Agbalog, and Debbie Martin.  It is always great to get out and visit with our fellow community members! I feel so lucky to be a part of a city like Bakersfield!

Our dual enrollment program was highlighted at the event. Michael Turnipseed shared in his introductory remarks that over 3,000 dual enrolled students have benefited from the partnership between Bakersfield College and Kern High School District (KHSD), thanks to initial support from the Game Changer grant. Dr. Anna Laven, program manager for dual enrollment, and her husband, Commissioner Andrew Kendall, attended the event. The keynote speaker, James Gollub, highlighted the success of applying collaborative strategy to address our next generation economy.

Celebrating Dual Enrollment

On Thursday, December 6, the dual enrollment team held a convening of high school partners from McFarland, Wasco, Delano and KHSD and Bakersfield College student services areas to recognize the strong work that has taken place, expanding on success. Points of discussion included enrollment trends, guided pathways, pre- and post-enrollment activities, and the dual enrollment newsletter. Steve Watkin guided participants in discussion, with presentations provided by Dr. Anna Laven, Kylie Swanson, Sharon Bush, Liz Rozell, Jaqueline Lau, and Abel Guzman.

Fun Registration Time Photos from S&E

Veronica Hathaway shared with me the creativity of Dean Stephen Waller and everyone in the Science and Engineering area. We are BC!

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this past Thursday at 11a, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights include segments with BC Baseball Head Coach, Tim Painton and four of his players: Kamron Willman, Ryan Dickerson, Nate Ortiz, and Frank Villasenor.

Renegade Women’s Volleyball Team Goes to State

Our amazing Renegade Women’s Volleyball team went to the state championships last weekend, hosted by Solano College in Fairfield. This was the first time since 2009 that the team qualified for the state tournament. They were ranked #2 in the state with a 25-1 overall record and were riding a 19-match winning streak. The streak ended last weekend, but we could not be more proud of our Renegades!!! Not only did they make it to the championships, Coach Ferreira was recently honored as the SoCal Coach of the Year and WSC South Coach of the Year. Setter Sarah Armendariz was named an AVCA All-American and WSC Player of the Year – huge recognitions for both! 

Proudly wearing the Renegade Volleyball Conf Championship t-shirt. We are BC!

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (11/25-12/1) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

  • Brianna Mendez, Women’s Basketball – Scored 38 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in helping the team to a third place finish at the Santa Ana Tournament this last weekend.
  • Marcus Hutcherson, Wrestling – Qualified for the state tournament by placing 1st in his weight class (125 lb) at the Southern Regional Tournament and helping the team to a 4th place finish.

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Post-Season Awards Announced

The Renegade Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams recently finished their 2018 fall season at the CCCAA State Championships. The women’s team placed in a tie for 15th place, with Gabby Lugo placing 10th overall. For the men, Adrian Lopez was a state qualifier.

With the conclusion of the season, post season awards have been announced. Below is the list of awards by individual:

Gabby Lugo, So. (Bakersfield Christian HS) – 1st-Team All-American and Western State Conference (WSC) 1st-Team All-Conference

Jacquelyn Barrios, Fr. (Foothill HS) – WSC 2nd-Team All-Conference

Lourdes Cruz, So. (Wasco HS)- WSC 2nd-Team All-Conference

Angelo Benitez, Fr. (Independence HS) – WSC Honorable Mention

Justin Frando, Fr. (Highland HS) – WSC Honorable Mention

Cutberto Salgado, So. (Wasco HS) – WSC Honorable Mention

Roundup of Athletics Events This Week

As always, it was a full week of events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics by following us on social media. On Facebook find us under ‘Bakersfield College Athletics’, on Twitter – @GoGadesGo and on Instagram – @gogadesgo.

California College Guidance Initiative in McFarland

As we continue to expand Early College opportunities for high school students throughout Kern County, we are looking for innovative ways to align with our K-12 partners and provide the resources they need. The California College Guidance Initiative (CCGI) is a new partnership opportunity with K-12 school districts to support students, counselors, parents, and community-based organizations with technological tools that help guide the college and career planning and preparation process. Bakersfield College is currently working with all of our partner districts to engage with CCGI. On December 5th, CCGI staff met with McFarland Unified School District (MUSD) administrators and counselors to begin implementation of the program. MUSD is leading the way for all districts in Kern County on this project. This tool will help K-12 educators, parents, students, and Bakersfield College collaborate to build clear pathways to higher education. I cannot wait to see what develops out of this work!

MUSD, BC & CCGI in McFarland.

Bakersfield New Car Dealers Annual Luncheon

Earlier this week, BC attended the Bakersfield New Car Dealers Annual Luncheon where Bill Wright was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. BC’s Rony Recinos, Automotive Instructor Industrial Arts had the chance to meet with Sheriff Donny Youngblood and Senator Shannon Grove.

Sheriff Youngblood, BC’s Rony Recinos, and Senator Shannon Grove 

Winter at BC

Earl Parsons from the Marketing team sent over some beautiful photos that he took as winter weather blankets the BC campus.  Thanks Earl!

Jennifer Serratt took some photos of the gorgeous rain that we had earlier this week. The rainy weather made for a cozy atmosphere in the office! 

Jennifer also shared a photo with her and two of our favorite veterans, Paul Beckworth and Tommy Tunson.  They’re ready for the Army Navy game this weekend.  When Jennifer said she was rooting for the Air Force, they let her know that was the wrong choice! 🙂 

Tommy, Jennifer and Paul


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Summer Success Stories

 

Good morning Bakersfield, it is Saturday, June 30, 2018.

We are reeling, yet again, from another senseless shooting incident.  Another tragedy.

 

June 29 2018 Capital Gazette.jpeg

Let’s pause and get to know the five individuals, through the lens of the Capital Gazette, who lost their lives.

Rob Hiaasen: A joyful stylist, a generous mentor.

Let’s read what Jean Marbella has to say about Rob Hiaasen….. Hiaasen, 59, as a writer, was drawn to quirky stories, and had a unique way of telling them, with wry asides and internal and imagined dialogues.  For more, read…

http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/annapolis/bs-md-rob-hiaasen-20180628-story.html

 

Wendi Winters: A prolific writer who chronicled her community

Wendy Winters from Capital Gazette website.jpg

Let’s see what Yvonne Wenger said about Wendi Winters .. After a career in fashion and public relations in New York City, the 65-year-old mother of four moved to Maryland 20 years ago and began stringing for the Annapolis news organization. She soon built a reputation as a prolific freelance reporter and well-known community resource.  For more, read…

http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/annapolis/bs-md-wendi-winters-20180628-story.html

Gerald Fischman: Clever and quirky voice of a community newspaper

Gerald Fischman Capital Gazette

Let’s see what Erin Cox wrote about Gerald Fischman…..Fischman, 61, had worked at the paper since 1992. His quirky, low-key demeanor belied a biting sense of humor that charmed his colleagues. See more..

http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/annapolis/bs-md-gerald-fischman-20180628-story.html

John McNamara (Mac): Sports reporting was his dream job

John McNamara Capital Gazette.jpg

Let’s see what Andrea McDaniels wrote about John McNamara in the Capital Gazette…

McNamara, 56, who went by “Mac,” was remembered by his colleagues for his flexibility, concise writing and extensive knowledge of regional sports. He had a razor wit … see more at

http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/annapolis/bs-md-john-mcnamara-20180628-story.html

Rebecca Smith: Recent hire loved spending time with family

Rebecca Smith Capital Gazette

Let’s see what Jessica Anderson wrote about Rebecca Smith …Smith (34) was a recent hire at the Capital Gazette but had already proved herself a valuable asset.  For more, read..

http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/annapolis/bs-md-ar-rebecca-smith-20180628-story.html

The press

It is our duty as Americans to support and defend the press. It is essential to our freedom. To make the press the enemy is no different than to make the military or law enforcement our enemy, or to make education the enemy, or any of the values and institutions that make us free….. and makes us a great country.

So this morning, in the wake of this tragedy, I am particularly grateful for the press.  Let us take a moment to recognize those in the press doing what is essential to preserve our freedom. Join me in thanking them and in support of our local press.

In our very own Bakersfield Californian

This morning the Bakersfield Californian featured many Bakersfield College faces in the Bakersfield Life Magazine, including Asha Chandy who was the Associate Campaign Manager to Nicole Parra for Measure J was featured as one of the top 20 people under 40 to watch.  And she is only 26!

Asha Chandy Bakersfield Life

People under 40 to watch

And here she is with Nicole Parra during the Measure J campaign.

kathy-rosellini-and-asha-chandy-sep-25-2016

Kathy Rosellini, Asha Chandy

election-day-morning-nicole-para-6-am

Nicole Parra

Dining Divas with Tamara Baker and Olivia Garcia

Dining Divas Tamara Baker, Olivia Gracia June 30 2018

 

Summer is getting hot and we are really blazing trails at BC!  In my June 16th Blog I mentioned waking to BC’s record enrollment rates on the front page of the Bakersfield Californian. This week, Reyna Harvey of KBAK highlighted BC’s record-breaking summer enrollment.

The article reports that BC has enrolled 2,000 more students into summer school than they had last year, as well as serving over 33,000 students in the 2017-18 academic year. Manny Mourtzanos is quoted in the article talking about the baccalaureate program and the ways that we’ve expanded enrollment via online courses, dual and concurrent enrollment and offering classes at Delano, Arvin, Wasco and BC Southwest. Read Reyna’s article Enrollment Rates Soar at Bakersfield College.

 

Sounds of Summer

For the second year, BC was treated to a musical night with the US Air Force Band of the Golden West. They played for a packed Indoor Theater crowd on Tuesday night, performing a mix of traditional military music, American show-tunes and original compositions inspired by music from around the world.

The group, based out of Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, is the only active duty Air Force band on the West Coast.  They’ve performed at gubernatorial inaugurations, sporting events and led off the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena on New Year’s Day, according to their website.

 

Dick Taylor, director of the Kern County Veterans Service Department, introduced the Air Force Band of the Golden West and talked about the deep respect and admiration that the people of Kern County have for the armed services.

Dick Taylor speaking at podium

Dick Taylor who made this happen.  Thank you!

The Color Guard for Tehachapi Composite Squadron 46 brought out the flags for the band’s performance of the national anthem.

Here is a short splice of the national anthem

Once the performance began, Master Sergeant Jeremy Laukhuf served as the master of ceremonies between songs, emphasizing the importance of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics in everything that the military does.

S18USAFBand04

Master Sergeant Jeremy Laukhuf Master of Ceremonies

The US Air Force Band of the Golden West has performed previously at BC, and they never disappoint with their tight-knit arrangements led by conductor Rafael F. Toro-Quinones, whether they’re performing the sweeping Americana of John Williams’ “The Cowboys” or the somber folk song “Shenandoah”.

the band

The group even performed a Latin-inspired original composition written by Technical Sergeant Marco Munoz which featured a prolific percussion solo by Staff Sergeant Freddie Cruz.

For this year’s program, the US Air Force Band of the Golden West is honoring the 100th birthday of legendary American composer Leonard Bernstein with several compositions from his legendary musicals “West Side Story” and “Wonderful Town”, which were beautifully sung by Staff Sergeant Michelle Doolittle.

The band’s performance of Bernstein’s “Slava! A Political Overture” was conducted by Airman First Class Cagdas Donmezer, a Turkish immigrant who had just earned his American citizenship about three weeks ago and primarily plays keyboard for the group.

At the end of the concert, Captain Quinones presented a special commemorative coin to Mary Jo Pasek for organizing the event and arranging for a special dinner to be prepared for the group by our Food Service Department.

S18USAFBand43

Captain Quinones presenting a special commemorative coin to Mary Jo Pasek

Commemorative coins were also presented to Dick Taylor and Michael Stone, the Bakersfield City School District’s Coordinator of the Visual and Performing Arts who conducted a composition with the group.

S18USAFBand45

Dick Taylor helps Captain Quinones don a BC veterans services shirt.

Check out America the Beautiful

I was so pleased by the turnout for this year’s US Air Force Band of the Golden West performance, and I’d like to thank Mary Jo Pasek for organizing this event, and Chef Stefanie and the food services crew for preparing the dinner for our honored guests. We had many Renegades and friends of Bakersfield College join us for this musical treat!

My favorite piece from the evening was when they played the Armed Services Medley honoring each branch of the US Military and those in the audience who served stood up and were recognized during their part of the medley.

Here are some familiar faces:

members of the audience standing

Paul Beckworth and others being recognized as veterans

 

audience saluting for the National Anthem

Andrea Thorson, Billie Jo Rice and Janet Tarjan

selfy in the audience at band concert

Paul Beckworth, Nicky Damania and Craig Hayward

Sonya Christian and Karen Goh

It’s always nice to see Mayor Goh

 

french bull dog with a harness in the indoor theater

A part of the Renegade family…

S18USAFBand56

Mayor Goh and friends

From Mayor Goh’s Facebook pictures

Jim Pentico, Pam Moore Pentico, Karen Goh, Paul Beckworth, Sonya Christian

 

CDC Early Registration

Speaking of encouraging student success, it is also important that we offer services that assist students with challenges to their studies. For some students, having children becomes a challenge when they need to find daycare while they study. The Child Development Center at Bakersfield College (CDC) offers a student service with the primary goal of providing a comprehensive child development program that serves student families and their children.

This amazing center provides the time and support to assist student families in achieving their chosen academic/career goals. The CDC demonstration laboratory classrooms offer a model of best practices in early childhood education while providing students with learning opportunities through observation and on-floor interactions with young children and their families.

All teachers are professionally trained in the field of Early Childhood Education, and are certified through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Placement in the program is made according to state priorities and date of application and is designed for income eligible families who are enrolled in college courses leading to a specific career/professional goal.

Make sure our students know about this fantastic resource. See the CDC Fall Registration Flier for more information on fall’s enrollment for the Child Development Center. Applications are being accepted now.

Bon Voyage Concert

Hope to see you at today’s Bon Voyage concert at 4:00 p.m.

Bon Voyage Concert June 30 2018

Certifiable Partnerships in Safety

On Tuesday, BC’s Public Safety Senior Officer Matthew Rodriguez taught a First Aid/CPR/AED certification class at the BC Southwest Campus. Matthew taught and certified five BC and  Fresno Pacific University (FPU) staff members. I am so pleased that both Bakersfield College and Fresno Pacific University staff and employees got together and asked for this class. Their request shows how lucky I am to be a President where our staff finds safety important and looks to collaborate with FPU for this educational partnership.

Afterwards, I heard that Matthew did a wonderful job!

if you See something Say Something Do Something public safety sign

Prior to the start of each semester, BC’s Public Safety trains all of our new Cadets in the First Aid/CPR/AED training certification course. This program is part of BC’s Public Safety Department’s commitment to enhancing safety through education and prevention.

You know the Public Safety Moto: If you See Something, Say Something, Do Something! Check out these new signs from Public Safety

BC Alumnus Newest Fire Chief

Public safety in our community is so important and BC strives to improve safety not only on campus, but in the community at large. As you know, we offer many programs in public safety at BC including the Fire Technology program. I was so excited to see an article in the Californian by Joseph Luiz reporting Anthony Galazaga, a Bakersfield College Fire Technology graduate and 26-year veteran of the Bakersfield Fire Department, will be taking over as the city’s newest fire chief.

fire-tech-graduation-dec-16-2016

BC’s Fire Tech Graduation

Joseph’s article features quotes about Battalion Chief Galazaga from City Manager Alan Tandy and current chief Doug Greener, who retires at the end of June. “I’ve been able to work alongside the finest firefighting force these past 26 years and now I get to lead them,” Galazaga said.

Galazaga earned his associate’s degree in fire technology from BC before getting a bachelors in fire science from Columbia University. He’s been working in the Bakersfield Fire Department since 1992 and is currently working on his master’s degree in business administration at Columbia Southern while being involved with organizations such as the Kern American Red Cross, Youth Leadership Bakersfield, and the Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation.

Upon taking office as the new chief, Galazaga aims to develop a five-year strategic plan that includes increasing funding for the department while implementing a progressive new recruitment strategy to get young people interested in firefighting.

I feel honored to know that such an exciting leader in our community started on his path at our campus, and it’s another important footnote in the storied history of BC’s fire technology program. The program, initially referred to as fire science, was established in 1956 by Bakersfield Fire Department Chief Phil Pifer and Norman Harris, BC’s coordinator of technical and vocational education, according to the Fire Technology History website. The curriculum was designed specifically for Bakersfield city firefighters in mind, featuring on-the-job training with all types of firefighting equipment the department used at that time. The program would eventually expand into a training service for all Kern County fire agencies.

I wish Chief Galazaga the best of luck in his new position as chief, and I thank him for choosing Bakersfield College to begin his life’s journey. Read Joseph Luiz’s Bakersfield Californian article City Announces New Fire Chief.

BC Students on Telamundo

Bakersfield College’s MEChA and LUPE students talk about the World Cup, their student organizations and community involvement in these segments with Telemundo’s Nancy Preciado.

See the videos:

Encouraging Student Success – No More Excuses

While our enrollment rates are growing, it is so important that we concentrate on encouraging all of our students to be successful. At President’s Cabinet this week, Dr. Steven Waller presented how he worked with his Meta-major Completion Coaching Team to support and encourage student success.  Thank you Corny for snapping this picture.

Steven Waller at President's Cabinet

CTE Dean’s Meeting

Corny snapped this picture too…..Dr. Michele Bresso attending the district-wide CTE meeting led by Associate Vice Chancellor Cindy Collier.

two ladies speaking at meeting

Together we are building…A Better BC  –

We are on the last leg of the parking lot renovations.  Starting on Monday, July 2, parking lots 3 and 4 on Mount Vernon and Panorama will reopen.  On that day, the following parking lots and roads will be closed until August 3:

  • Red and White Way  **M&O recommends that drop-offs occur at the round-about located off the driveway east of the PAC building, north of the FA building
  • Parking Lot 2 (staff parking off the main entrance from Haley Street) **M&O recommends that staff park in Parking Lot 3 located on the corner of Panorama and Mount Vernon.  I will be car pooling next week.  I suggest you do as well.
  • Parking Lot 1 (visitor parking near Administration building)  **Visitor parking will be moved to Parking Lot 3 located on the corner of Panorama and Mount Vernon
  • The main entrance off of Haley Street
  • The road west of the Library and Public Safety
  • The road north of M&O, south of Public Safety
  • Parking Lot 12 (Public Safety & Levinson) ** M&O recommends that staff park in other parking lots in that area (P14, P13, P15, P11, P9)
  • Parking lot 5 (by the Industrial Technology building and auto shops) and the driveway leading to INDT & auto shops **M&O recommends that staff park in Parking Lot 4 located off of Church Way & Mount Vernon

As always, visit A Better BC for updated campus maps and construction updates.

Doing the Right Thing

I am in the process of doing the final read through of BC’s Accreditation Self Study document and I am coming across great gems.  For example, Board Policy 7E, states that “we endeavor always to do what is right and just, even when no one is watching.” Nick Strobel explains that policy is implemented by recognizing the dignity of all persons and fulfilling our obligations to others using fair and honest means.

It’s important for us to go above and beyond the legal requirement to ensure that we’re treating everyone in our community with the respect and autonomy they deserve. We expect our students to be honest and ethical in their academics, so it’s only right that we hold ourselves to the same rigorous standard. This philosophy has helped cement Bakersfield College’s reputation as one of the most respected institutions of higher learning in the Central Valley. We are BC!

Opportunity Institute

Chelsea Esquibias, Program Director for the Inmate Scholars Program spoke on a panel with Laura Hope, Executive Vice Chancellor for Educational Services for the California Community Colleges and Rebecca Silbert, Director, Renewing Communities Initiative for the Opportunity Institute for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), at last week’s statewide principal’s meeting.  They discussed the partnership between the California Community College System and CDCR. They discussed the thriving partnership, current student success outcomes, and building a successful program. The Inmate Scholars Program provides students the opportunity to earn an Associate Degree for Transfer while incarcerated. Studies show that recidivism (rate of return to prison) is dramatically reduced through education and positively impacts future generations of those incarcerated.  Bakersfield College’s program serves ten local prisons and students have achieved exceptional grades and outcomes.

Chelsea Esquibias, Rebecca Silbert and Laura Hope

Chelsea Esquibias, Rebecca Silbert and Laura Hope

Missed Opportunities

I want to share with you this wonderful essay that a faculty member shared with me.

My husband once announced that history can be defined as “missed opportunities”.  I never replied to the comment because I tried to rationalize it as very pessimistic in nature.  For years this idea weighed heavy as I looked back. What might have been if a different path in my half-century of opportunities had been chosen?

During the year I frequently fantasize about teaching art or coaching track. The precursor is that chemistry is not an easy subject for most students.  It is also very different from other subjects, including math and the remaining sciences. Teaching chemistry can be challenging and often feels sadistic in nature.  Students that register for the pre-professional track have prestigious goals and they are aware they must succeed in the course if they are to be successful by their standards.

Most community college students in the sciences will be transferring or entering the nursing program. Therefore, the second semester of the year can be inundated with requests for letters of recommendations. Former students may even contact professors if they are applying to graduate school. Individual students inevitably ask for multiple recommendations; each institution demanding different requirements.  This is the behind-the-scenes work of a professor. The hours are never recorded and the quality of work is never evaluated. Feedback is not even offered when recommendations are submitted. At best, periodically a student will announce an acceptance. Nonetheless, there is always a holistic sense of scrupulous dedication.

Recently, a student approached me because she had been accepted to The University of Virginia for a summer research internship. An overwhelming flow of emotions permeated my body.  It was not just the excitement for her or the relief that my letter had been productive. It was the realization that the sorrow of my “missed history” had been erased. Virginia is a beautiful state full of horses.  I have always dreamed of living there. I even applied to work at Virginia Technical University but when offered an interview had to cancel because I was sick. My decision to cancel has always haunted me. What if I had gone to the interview?

Within the same week a second student informed me of his acceptance to Stanford University for the summer. Yes, another “missed opportunity”.  The closest I got to attending Stanford was throwing a college party with Michigan and Stanford men swim teams. I always regret not running for Stanford.  Instead, I stayed back in my home state for a boyfriend and ran for Michigan. The student’s acceptance this summer may be the closest I come to attending Stanford. Admittingly, at my age I am learning to allow their tribulations to erase my trials.

My current assignment is to complete a meticulous recommendation form for a student applying to Duke.  This endeavor is inflicting emotional responses of memories. My belated grandfather used to brag that I was attending Duke for graduate school.  I never even applied to Duke. At best I visited and experienced the pure beauty of the antiquated buildings. I corrected grandpa a couple of times but promptly decided to abandon the attempts and allow him to be proud. If my student is not accepted to Duke, the mere process of this task is fulfilling a purpose. The opportunities of choices are really left for the next generation. The ability to live vicariously through our students is important for professors to strive forward and find purpose in our history of “missed opportunity”. With an improved perspective of history, I thank each student for the letters and forms they have requested.

 

Fun Photos #Summer2018

Jennifer Johnson, Tarina Perry, June Charles, Wendy Lawson, Jo Ellen Patterson

The Executive Office Admins

And then there is Monika Scott driving the BC golf cart.  I will let you figure out this picture.

 

Summer Bridge 2018

Summer Bridge Liz Rozell, Tony Cordova, Nicky Damania, Craig Hayward, Matt Garrett, Anna Laven

 

June 27 2018 Summer Bridge

Had dinner with our fabulous SGA President James Tompkin prior to the Airforce Band concert.

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Sonya Christian, Craig Hayward, Jonathan Schultz, James Tompkins, Nicky Damania

With one of our great faculty counselors

Sonya Christian, Jonathan Schultz June 26 2018

Fun picture from this week at a retreat with the Foundation and Community Relations Team.

Foundation and Community Relations Retreat June 26 2018

Norma Rojas-Mora, Amanda Stone, Tom Gelder, Sonya Christian, Monika Scott, Heather Penella, Tamara Baker

 

 

Last week I had fun seeing all the summertime dog pictures.  I don’t think that pleased the Renegade cat lovers.  My inbox got flooded with cat pictures. So here are some photos from our proud cat owners:

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Michele Bresso’s purebred Maine Coon, Maddie

Monika Scott’s Feline Family

Tracy Lovelace’s four-legged fur-babies

Nicky Demania’s Kitty Kids with a story

Our Director of Student Life, Dr. Nicky Damania, has four cats. His love for cats grew when his parents would not allow them to have any pets, but one day he brought home a full white cat, with one green eye, and one blue eye, and his mom fell in love with that cat, named Aspen.

Now, he has two gray tuxedo boys, which he flew over from Colorado to Bakersfield this past spring. He also has two girls (one full black and the other one gray and white) that he inherited from Dean Grace Commiso who asked him to Cat-sit for a couple of months, which was over a year ago.

 

The skinny tuxedo male cat is the oldest of 11 years. His name is Skitz, which is short for schizophrenia. Skits came to Nicky, in 2008, back in Colorado when a fellow friend said she was going to get rid of Skitz because Skitz licks the hair on the top of her head for hours, while she sleeps at night.

The fluffier tuxedo male cat is nine years old and called Spaz, short for Spaztastic, literally fell into his hands back in October 2009. They found Spaz as a little kitten inside a golf cart. Public Safety Officers tried to get the kitten out, but had no luck. As soon as Nicky went in to grab the little kitten, the kitten fell right into his hands.

The two female cats came together and have found a place within Nicky’s heart. Cleo, the gray and white cat, is short for CleoCatra. The other black cat is named Kiki. Together they are probably the most laziest cats you have ever seen, but they are also the sweetest.

The four cats have definitely grown attached to each other and care for each other, except during mealtimes, then it’s kitty wars.

Sonya Christian June 26 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

We are Bakersfield!

Good Morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 21, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade.

The Renegade Red and White Roses are bursting out creating a joyous walkway into my home.

Great week at BC and in our community.  Let me start with the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

Thursday was the 28th annual Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference and Bakersfield College staff and faculty were in full force attending the workshops and tuning into the messages from keynote speakers. The conference allows women in business to network, find mentors, and develop friendships with to advance their careers and or businesses. Many of the workshops focus on topics from a feminine perspective and included topics on health and wellness addressing healthy lifestyles, nutrition and breast cancer. Communication workshops addressed techniques for overcoming lessons learned as girls to be more effective in the business world. There were several on maintaining the balance of work and family.

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Josie Gullian and Endee Grijalva

The Conference also held many empowering workshops on leadership such as “Secure Your Place at the Table – Women Leading in Male Dominant Territory” by District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, Assembly Member Shannon Grove, and Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez.

While the name and focus of the conference is women, men are also welcome and there were many workshops that were gender neutral on many business topics including business strategies, leadership and finance. Richard Chapman, head of Kern EDC, presented on “Kern County’s Economic and Workforce Development Opportunities and Possibilities.” The keynote speakers and many of the workshop speakers were motivational for everyone.

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The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference is a major supporter of the R.O.S.E. (Realizing Options for Student Excellence) mentor program. The program matches high school students with mentors and has several seminars, to aid student mentees in recognizing their value and self-worth. Topics for the seminars focus on careers, communication, balancing life, money, safety and building self-confidence. The mentees receive a scholarship to cover the cost of attending the BWBC. Conference attendees were impressed by one of the mentees that spoke about the benefits of being in the program and to encourage all the women present to become a mentor. This is a wonderful program and I encourage all of you to consider becoming a mentor.

Like the R.O.S.E. program, BC encourages and mentors students to better themselves through education and gave some BC students the opportunity to attend the BWBC. EOPS/CARE/CalWORKS purchased two tables, and sponsored fourteen women from all three programs to attend the 2018 Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference. These ladies are all single parents who are striving to achieve a better life for their families through education. The importance of exposing our students to different events such as the BWBC is vital to their growth, and development as students, professionals, and individuals. They were able to develop networking skills, meeting highly successful women, and gaining valuable business knowledge that will empower them to become strong leaders.

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Debi Anderson, Steve Watkin, and Sandi Taylor at BC’s Booth

The 2018 luncheon keynote speak was Laila Ali, undefeated boxing champion, television host and entrepreneur. She is also well known for her famous father Mohamed Ali and treated BWBC attendees to several picture of her young self with her famous and doting father. She told us of many of the trials in her life that she overcame to be a successful and very driven business woman. Her stories were relatable to what many women and girls face in this time and she is a great example of encouragement for all women.

Joseph Luiz has a Bakersfield Californian Article mentioning highlights from the day.

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Kimberly Bligh and Mary Jo Pasek

i-gmdtwhz-x3It was great to be invited to be the closing keynote at the Women’s Business Conference.  BC women leaders gave birth to this event. Phyllis Hullett – In 1989, BC professor started the Bakersfield Business Womens Conf. as an idea during the International Year of the Woman. She gathered friends and coworkers, and out of one meeting of 12 women and 1 lone man, Pat Shaffer, Dean of Development at Bakersfield College, agreed to serve on the executive board. The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference was born.

I focused on the important guiding tools of Choice, Commitment, Compassion, and Community while interweaving music from the song “We are the World.”  The session concluded by having about 25 women leaders on the stage in red We are Bakersfield t-shirts singing We are the World with the BC Chamber Singers.

I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever and by the end of my talk, I was surrounded on stage by talented musicians, community leaders, fellow educators, friends, and family. We are Bakersfield! 

Loved Robin Mangarin Scott’s introduction of me in that beautiful voice.  Robin was representing the sponsors of the keynote — Dignity health and CBCC.

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I want to start by thanking Heidi Scott.  If it wasn’t for Heidi, I would not have had the courage to do the music.

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Heidi Scott, Sonya Christian

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We invited the whole audience to stand and join us in song.

 

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Kaya Leyendecker and Heidi Scott

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The Chamber Singers had their Spring Concert at the BC Indoor Theater the same evening.  Yet they decided to come our and support me and do We are the World..  Thank you Jen Garrett.  Your energy is astounding and you are out there constantly giving to others.

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BC Chamber Singers

Was so happy to have women leaders from Delano join us.  Thank you April Gregerson for organizing this.  and thank you Rosalina Rivera and Sandra Rivera.

Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Sonya Christian, April Gregerson

Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Sonya Christian, April Gregerson

Thank you to all these fabulous busy women who showed up support the event.

Community Leaders

Liz Rozell, April Gregerson, Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Ingrid Lake, Cathy Abernathy, Raji Brar, Immani Brar

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Pam Rose, Mia Cifuentes, Victoria, Lilly Agbalog, Cheryl Scott, Lauren Skidmore

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Trustee Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Michael Bowers

 

Cathy Abernathy and Sonya Christian

Cathy Abernathy, Sonya Christian

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Cheryl Scott, Sonya Christian

Thank you Norma Rojas-Mora for helping me recruit the women leaders in our community.

Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas Mora, Lisa Kent

Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora, Lisa Kent

Was happy to meet Bethany Rice, Billie Jo Rice’s daughter.  Beautiful, smart young woman.  And then the lighting and sound guys, Manny Gomez and Ryan McCallah, who let me know they were also the ones who did the work in setting up the lighting and sound systems in BC’s newly remodeled Indoor Theater!

 

 

Thank you to the 2018 Executive Board, Diane Williams, Norma Rojas-Mora, Marisol ONeil, Susan Spears, Arleana Waller, Diane Williams, Christina Springstaad, Irma Cervantes, Tayna Nichols, Deanna Blaise, Marelle Williams, LaMeka Ross, Leigh Pozas, and Colleen Bauer. bwbc-group-768x513

Thank you for being great sports and wearing the We are Bakersfield t-shirt and joining us on stage

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Thank you to Manny De Los Santos, William Velasquez, Monika Scott, Jennifer Serratt, and Asha Chandy.  Here are some photos of the folks behind the scenes.

Loved this photo of William Velasquez relaxing after the session.

William Velasquez

 

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BC Crew in Attendance

Kern County Black Chamber Honors Bakersfield College

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Bakersfield College were honored by the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce with the Outstanding Corporate Member Award. In accepting the award, I acknowledged the efforts of all those who have worked hard on the African American Initiative and Dr. Zav Dadabhoy for being an “equity” champion and finding the necessary resources to support the equity agenda.

I specifically recognized the efforts of Dr. Paula Parks, Umoja Community lead, in increasing the success of Black students on campus, and Mr. Steve Watkin, Director of Outreach, in increasing their access and contributing to BC’s equity agenda. I then handed the award to Steve who has been leading the AAI effort on campus.

Steve Watkin

 

BC had two tables that included administrators, faculty, staff, and Umoja students.

Sonya Christian, Steve Watkin and BC receiving award at KCBCC

Also honored at 15th Annual Gala was CSUB President Dr. Horace Mitchell with the Lifetime Achievement Award. I will miss you Horace when you retire.  Loved seeing Cindy Pollard being recognized as the Business Woman of the Year.  Enjoyed catching up with Jim Baldwin (who won the award for Outstanding Community Organization) and Rudy Salas. Spotted Danielle Hillard, Michelle Miller-Galaz and Nick Hill and snapped a picture.

Jim Baldwin, Sonya Christian, Rudy Salas April 20 2018

Enjoyed catching up with Mayor Karen Goh who is a big supporter of education.

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Sonya Christian April 20 2018 croppedThe keynote speaker for the event was Mathew Knowles, Beyonce’s father… what a treat!  Have a picture of him with Shannon Grove and Karen Goh.

Congratulations to all other award recipients:
Cindy Pollard, the Distinguished Businesswoman Award,
James Luckey, Jr. of the News Observer, Distinguished Businessman Award,
Judge Gloria Cannon with the Business Pioneer Award,
CSUB President Horace Mitchell, the Lifetime Achievement Award
Barrington Lewis, the Outstanding New Business Award,
Sharron Lehrer, the Outstanding Young Achievers Award, and Jim Baldwin of BARC, Outstanding Community Based Organization Award.

Thank you Kern County Black Chamber (KCBCC) for recognizing Bakersfield College. Thank you Richard Soberanis, CEO of the Chamber.  And congratulations Nathan Banks…looking forward to great things under your chairmanship of the Chamber Board.

KCBCC has been a great partner of Bakersfield College and supported us in 2016 with Measure J.  I am sure we will continue to work closely together for many years to come.

Social Justice and Health Hackathon at BC

30653393_10215531998558279_9031222892318162944_nThe preliminary panel kicked off this years Hackathon and really set the stage for a fantastic and meaningful event.  Each of the panel members discussed what were the pressing issues and the solutions they wanted to explore. This helped the teams form around the issues and begin developing ideas.  Over the next three days, teams worked hard to develop these concepts and then competed in a 3 minute pitch, one page community impact report, and technology competition.

Thank you to Mayor Karen Goh for attending the kick off and inspiring the student teams.

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Mayor Karen Goh inspires at the Hackathon Kick Off

Thank you to the Preliminary Session on Health Inequality Challenges and Solution panelists including, moderator Kiyoshi Tomono, Genevieve Gale, Sandy Woo, Brynn Carrigan, Michelle Corson, Christy Leyvas,and Jack Becker.

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Eddie Rangel, Sandy Woo, Karen Goh, Kiyoshi Tomono, Jennifer Self, Sarah Baron

By the end of the competition, 11 projects had been submitted and community partners have expressed interest in funding their ideas! All the student groups submitted great projects and please do stay in touch with us for years to come. Now for the finalists and winning team!

Project Kern Air- 1st Place

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Created an app concept to raise awareness on air quality in Kern

Congratulations to: Noe Ramirez, Victoria Corrales, Troy Scott, Justin Morales, and
Krystal Reynes

 

R.A.H.T ( Renegade Against Human Trafficking)- 2nd Place

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Created a tech tool to help connect those who are victims of human trafficking with help.

Congratulations to: Janneth Guarcas Garcia, Alexander Glascock,  Carlos Hernandez, Maria Cabrera, and Stefanie Medina

Sex shouldn’t make you next- 3rd Place

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Created a website for youth to raise awareness sexual transmitted diseases and also help connect resources to those who are risk of a STD.

Congratulations to: Yajaira Hernandez, Elizabeth Martinez, Jessica Macias, Jessica Jaime, and Crystal Quintevo.

Beyond the winners, it was about the team work, the sharing of ideas and networking with partners.  Special thanks to the sponsors and the great support from BCSGA clubs.

Can’t wait for next years event! This one keeps getting bigger and better! Check out my blog titled “The Renegade Experience is Incredible” from last years equally awesome event.

Jess Nieto Memorial Conference: Exploring Chicano Studies at BC

The conference really hit home…It felt like a family reunion.” Francisco Barroso, Bakersfield College student.

Jess Nieto Memorial Conference

On Tuesday, April 17 the Levan Center for the Humanities hosted the first annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference: Exploring Chicano Studies at Bakersfield College.  Named after the late Dr. Jesus “Jess” Nieto, a former faculty member and Dean of the BC Delano Center in the 1970s, the conference honored Dr. Nieto’s legacy in creating the first Chicano Studies curriculum implemented at Bakersfield College.  A Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), this conference celebrated the cultural contributions of Bakersfield’s Chicano/Latino community to the history of Bakersfield and beyond.

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Corny Rodriguez speaking in the Levan Center

The conference featured two panel presentations and a keynote address.  Prior to the panels, Corny Rodriguez welcomed guests, as well as presenting, along with moderator Octavio Barajas a certificate of recognition on my behalf to Professor Rosa Garza in acknowledgement for her more than twenty years of teaching at Bakersfield College, as well as serving as faculty advisor to MEChA.  The first panel consisted of former and current student members of the Bakersfield College student organization MEChA, or Movimieno Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán.

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The second panel consisted of an academic showcase by Bakersfield College faculty members Professors Olivia Garcia and Javier Llamas, who discussed the history of women in farm labor activism and the historic Benito Juarez Hall in East Bakersfield as a site of community activism among local Mexican Americans for the past century.  Professor Garcia’s talk on the late Esther Uranday, one of the longest serving staff members of the United Farm Workers, was particularly meaningful given that Esther’s daughter and family members were in attendance.

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Professor Gonzalo Santos of CSU Bakersfield rounded out the faculty panel by discussing the personal of history of Jess Nieto as an international activist, through his various educational and social justice ties with Cuba, Central America, and China, including a number of educational exchange programs Dr. Nieto organized with education groups since the 1970s.  The final presentation included a book talk by Professor Ralph Ambruster-Sandoval of UC Santa Barbara who spoke about his latest book Starving For Justice: Hunger Strikes, Spectacular Speech, and the Struggle for Dignity (University of Arizona Press 2016).  Guests were also treated to a special performance by Bakersfield College alumnus and world-renown percussionist Louie Cruz Beltran who regaled the audience with a lesson on the history of Afro-Latino rhythms and Chicano music.

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Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia speaking in the Levan Center

See all the photos at Smugmug.

A very special thank you to Adjunct Professor of History Octavio Barajas for helping organize and moderate this event, as well as Dr. Oliver Rosales, Professor of History and Faculty Coordinator for the Social Justice Institute of Bakersfield College for sponsoring this event through the National Endowment for the Humanities grant “Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley,” as well as the Bakersfield College Student Government Association’s CCA Grant.

I also enjoyed seeing Octavio on KGET early Tuesday morning.  You can see the clip here.

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And did you miss his community voices piece?  It is available here.

It’s a joy to work with faculty and staff who love what they do and are so passionate about our students and community. Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

Renegade Athletics

Softball: We won the Conference Championship

Softball conference champions April 19 2018

Nathan Ortiz4Baseball: The baseball team sits in first place in the Western State-South Conference with three games remaining in the regular season.

The Renegades record is 19-18 overall and 13-4 in conference.  BC has won 7 out of their last ten games and are one game ahead of LA Pierce in the standings.  The Renegades have to win two of their last three games to guarantee themselves at least a tie for the conference title.

Team Photo

With Sandi Taylor on Saturday, April 14th after another win.

Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian April 14 2018

Men’s and Women’s Swimming: The men’s swimming team is in fourth place and the women’s swimming team is in second place after day one of the Western State Conference Championships.  The Championships, which are being held at the William A. Wheeler Aquatic Center, on BC’s Panorama campus will continue through Saturday afternoon.

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The Bakersfield College men’s swimming team is in fourth place after day one of the Western State Conference Championships.  Cael Osborn and Mark Glossbrenner were on two relay team that finished in the top four and also finished in the top three in an individual event.  The complete list of BC’s top finishers is below.

The BC women’s swim team sits in second place after day one of the Western State Conference Championship.  Niquelette Rimer had third place finish in 50 free and was part of two relay teams that finished in the top three and Jennifer Quan was part of two relay teams that finished in the top three.  The top BC finishers from day one are listed below.

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Jennifer Quan

Renegade Pulse Health Fair

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Bakersfield College is distinctive in so many ways, and one important way is in how we live our core value of health and wellness. The health of a community is directly related to literacy and education in general, and BC has many activities that promote healthy living, including the 18th Annual Renegade Pulse Health Fair.

The event is part resource fair and part celebration of the programs, agencies and services that support the health and success of students and  the community at large. With over 31,000 students, we are a community nested in a community. So, thank you to all who support healthy higher education, from green transportation to our campus facilities, Golden Empire Transit, to quality licensed Community Connection for Child Care.

Teena Bensusen (left) and Amber Smithson from the Behavioral Health Hospital host a booth at the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Teena Bensusen (left) and Amber Smithson from the Behavioral Health Hospital host a booth at the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

The Renegade Pulse Health Fair brought together healthcare organizations, substance abuse support groups, law enforcement agencies and businesses from across the community to educate students on how to live a safer, healthier life.

BC’s Public Safety Department booth had equipment used during Public Safety’s Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Trainings, which are offered for free to students and staff throughout the semester. Student Cadets also answered questions about Public Safety’s cadet program, in which BC students have the opportunity to work part-time helping ensure safety on campus. Public Safety is looking for cadets for the Fall 2018 semester, so if you’re a BC student who is interested in joining the program, contact the office at 395-4554 for more information.

Members of the Student Health and Wellness Advisory Commitee pose inside the Health Hut during the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Members of the Student Health and Wellness Advisory Committee pose inside the Health Hut during the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Thank you to the Student Health and Wellness Center including Dr. Ray Purcell and Stella Ponce for putting together the Renegade Pulse Health Fair, as well as all of the organizations who came out to support a healthier Kern County. See more photos at BC’s Smugmug.

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Revisiting Two Cultures

The disciplines of the humanities and the sciences can feel as if they’re worlds apart, but UC Santa Barbara professor Alendra Chang spoke at the Levan Center on Thursday to explain how she brings those two worlds together through the study of environmental humanities, which examines themes of ecology in art and mass media.

Alenda Chang

BC’s Energizing Humanities Grant funded the discussion from Dr. Chang, which was titled “Revisiting the Two Cultures.” Many artists, writers and others have begun to explore ways that art and popular culture can raise awareness of the importance of environmental causes, using data from scientific research to inform their work. Essays in scientific academic journals, and several new academic journals have signaled the emergence of Ecomedia as a field of study that examines cultural representations of the environment in media.

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Alendra Chang presents at the Levan Center

Environmental engagement in the humanities combines social and scientific engagement. Journalists, artists and others may feel uncomfortable with scientific approaches, just as many scientists may have trouble engaging in the humanities, but there is emerging awareness of the need to work together to find solutions to environmental problems.

Within the field of environmental humanities, Chang studies the ecology and ecomedia of video games. As editor of the Growing Games blog and a professor of media studies, Chang examines the carbon footprint created by e-waste and the excessive power used by gaming PCs, which can consume the equivalent power of three energy-efficient refrigerators, Chang said. Chang also attempts to dispel the notion that excessive video game use makes people feel detached from nature, citing multiple studies indicating that virtual reality can make people more conscious of their external environment and motivate them to take action on climate change.

During her time as a graduate student at UC Berkeley, Chang worked on an unpublished game about air quality based in the Central Valley that used actual wind speed and air quality data from the area. In the game, you play as a character from Fresno with asthma who must navigate how to keep their lungs clean in one of the worst places for respiratory health in America. In the game, the player’s asthma functions as a superpower that helps them perceive the environment in a different way.

Within the indie and academic games spaces, there have been a number of works that explore environmental humanist themes, Chang said. Some examples she listed included ThatGameCompany’s “Flower”, in which you play as the wind to bring life back to plants; Campo Santo’s “Firewatch”, which is about a man who takes a job as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness; and “Walden, a game”, a project funded by the National Endowment of the Humanities that is essentially a digital recreation of Henry David Thoreau’s book “Walden”, one of the seminal works of the American transcendentalism movement in the 19th Century.

delano-grant-logo-neh_logo_horizontal_rgbWarm thank you to Alendra Chang for coming to BC, as well as Josh Ottum, Oliver Rosales and Andrew Bond from the Energizing Humanities cohort for providing a great learning opportunity for those who have never heard of environmental humanities or didn’t realize that computer games were capable of helping tackle important social issues.

Seen on Facebook

It was fabulous to see Jazz Day at BC gain some attention from the National Association for Music Education. Our local KCMEA, Kern County Music Educators Association, is a chapter of CMEA, which is an affiliate of NAfME. Congratulations to Kris Tiner and all our performing arts and music faculty, staff, and students.

Give them a Like and share by visiting this link on Facebook!

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College Council

Jason Stratton

Jason Stratton Presenting at College Council

It’s an exciting time to be at BC. As we gear up for Accreditation this year, our editing team revealed BC’s ISER (Institutional Self Evaluation Report) at College Council on Friday. College Council is a collegial, consultative, and oversight body designed to serve the good of the College.

Since the group met in Delano, we also broadcast the ISER reveal to the Panorama campus.

ISER reveal Broadcast

Sharon Bush, Kimberly Nickell, and Kristin Rabe tune in to the ISER Reveal from Panorama

Special thank you to the Editing Team including Nicole Griffin, Sarah Baron, Lesley Bonds, Sondra Keckley, the incredible Nick Strobel and EVERYONE who has contributed to BC’s Self Evaluation Report.  As Jason Stratton reminds us – It is OUR story!

ISER Team

Nicole Griffin, Sarah Baron, Lesley Bonds, Sondra Keckley, and Nick Strobel

Entree to Employment

On April 17, 2018, Bakersfield College and Kern High School District ROC teamed up to host the Biannual Entrée to Employment event. This career event brings together students and industry professionals over a fine dining experience to highlight social etiquette, conversations about personal and professional experiences, necessary soft skills, workforce expectations, education requirements, diversity of employment and career ladder opportunities.

The evening featured four different programs: Electronics/Robotics, Mechanized Ag, Child Development and Criminal Justice. While the industry professionals and students were busy networking, the Bakersfield College and ROC faculty dined separately to discuss articulation partnerships and dual enrollment opportunities. Thank you to the Career and Technical Education Department for making this night happen and a special thank you to the Renegade Room, Chef Suzanne and her Culinary Arts students for delivering a 5-star cuisine meal that delighted participants. Overall the event was a huge success and a true demonstration of our expanding partnerships with the community.

CTE: Business and Computer Science Employer Panel

Thursday April 19, 2018 the Career and Technical Education Department hosted a Business and Computer Science Employer Panel for students in the program. Professionals in attendance included: Leo Bautista, Senior Recruiter – Talent Acquisition, The Wonderful Company; Steven Alexander, Director of IT Security –  Kern Community College District; Keith Wolaridge, Owner – Professional Development Firm; Scott Burton, CEO – On-Stack; Clayton Montgomery, Certified Information Systems Security – Area Energy; Trulaine Woken, Owner – Cones Health Food; and Debbie Butler, Secretary Treasurer & Project Manager – On Stack. What started as an information only session blossomed into a networking event that allowed our students to exchange information with employers, submit their resumes for consideration, and engage in preliminary interviews. Thank you to all of the employers who stayed almost 2 hours longer to provide these exciting opportunities for our students. Special thank you to Beth Harrison, Job Development Specialist and Vikki Coffee, Job Development Specialist, for coordinating the event and Martin Perez, CCPT2 Manager, Master of Ceremonies for the event whose humor, grasp of the subject matter, and navigation of the dialog, cultivated an organic and insightful exchange between community professionals and students.

CTE Panel (2)

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Noche de Cultura

Thank you to the BC MEChA Club and the Office of Student Life for putting on a wonderful program with its annual Noche de Cultura, a colorful evening filled with an array of singers, musicians and other performers. Noche de Cultura was held April 13 at the Outdoor Theater.

Noche-de-Cultura

The night opened with Aztecan Blessing, followed by Jammin Island Hula, Group Folklorico Escuelas Unidas, Spoken Word by Tezozomoc, Carbajal’s Martial ArtsAcademy, and Banshee in the Kitchen. One big highlight was seeing the performance by SGA President and MECHA President Dezi Von Manos who gave a tribute to the late Tejana superstar Selena.

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Dezi Von Manos, BCSGA President

Ballet Folklorico Huaztecalli closed the evening with an awestruck series of performances. A special thanks to the program committee, Dezi Von Manos, president; Emmanuel Limaco, ICC Rep; Belinda Lopez Rickett, treasurer; Francis Benavente, member; and faculty adviser, Prof. Olivia Garcia.

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BC Drum Corps

BC’s Drum Corps is competing in Dayton, Ohio at the Winter Guard International Championships! Go Gades! The competition can be watched online at www.flomarching.com/ 

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Accessibility for All

This week, Bakersfield College had the pleasure of hosting an expert in accessibility, Gaeir Dietrich Director of the High Tech Center Training Unit (HTCTU) of the California Community Colleges, for two training sessions and a presentation over two days on Accessibility for All. You can read a short bio about Gaeir on the Accessibility for All Flyer.

On Tuesday, Gaier trained over 20 Bakersfield College faculty, staff and community guests from the Department of Rehabilitation and Kern Regional Center. She taught the difficult and intricate skills of making PDF forms accessible to everyone whether they use assistive technology or not.

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Twenty-four BC faculty, staff and community guests attended Wednesday’s Accessible Documents trainings. We were pleased to have employees of Kern Regional Center, Taft College, College of the Sequoias and Department of Rehabilitation join us to learn about making Word documents accessible. We all think we know how to use Word, though most of us are self-taught. Gaeir teaches how to make documents accessible, and in so doing, teaches how to use Word to our advantage.

Many of her lessons, just as with the forms, teach a better understanding of using the software that allows us to work smarter not harder. She teaches the helpful acronym: LIST for access! The lessons teach about Links, Images, Structure and Tables. Many of the attendees, just like the attendees for Forms, were heard to exclaim, “that’s how you do it” and “I always wanted to be able to do that, but I didn’t know how.”

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The Accessibility for All presentation followed where Gaeir explained the difference between access and accommodation when it comes to satisfying the legal requirements established by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires public entities to make its resources accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act concerns access for everyone, ensuring that all content posted electronically, as well as any software procured, can be used by anyone. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act concerns the provision of “auxiliary aids and services” to accommodate individuals with a particular impairment.

Everyone deserves the right to an education, and educational institutions have an obligation to ensure that we are not depriving anyone of the ability to achieve upward mobility and accomplish their dreams. Community colleges in particular must be sensitive to this issue due to the marginalized populations we serve.

“[Accessibility] is about allowing people the opportunity to step forward, which is what community colleges are all about,” Dietrich said. “By learning to make things accessible, you can make an important impact on someone’s life.”

Dietrich also offered advice for how to test accessibility in a new piece of software that schools are attempting to procure, as well as a few implementation models for how to enforce accessibility standards. Throughout the presentation, Dietrich emphasized the importance of finding the financial and personnel support to tackle accessibility issues from the top of the organizational structure on down. Remember if it is “DUMP’ed (Developed, Used, Maintained or Procured) on campus it must be accessible!”

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Terri Goldstein and Gaeir Dietrich

I would like to thank Gaeir Dietrich for coming to our campus to provide this important information and training for the BC faculty, staff and our community. We hope to have you return soon. A special thank you to Terri Goldstein, for arranging Gaier’s presence on campus, and inviting those interested both at BC and from others in the community. Thank you Kristin Rabe, Tracy Lovelace, Pam Rivers, Aricia Leighton and the BC Accessibility Task Force for supporting Terri. Thank you Tarina Perry for making arrangements and organizing all the events on campus. Thank you Eric Sabella and the Food Services staff for the delicious food and Jack Hernandez and the Levan Center for use of the Levan Center for the presentation. I would also like to thank all of the faculty and staff who took time at the end of the semester to learn more about accessibility.

According to the US Census Bureau approximately  19% of the US population has some form of disability, but whatever the number, BC strives to make sure there are no barriers to accessibility for anyone in the community.

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Student Success Stories

This is the time of year I am especially excited to hear student success stories and what our Renegades are planning to do after graduation. Ensuring that students can transfer to continue their studies and/or get jobs in their career of choice is our number one goal. Here are two wonderful examples I heard of this week. Congratulations!

Fredrico Navarro has been acccepted to UC Irvine Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Valeria Tapia has been accepted to UC Santa Barbara in Biology.

Special Delivery from Edwards Air Force Base

i-kwrmksh-x2The Edwards Air Force Base Civilian-Military Support Group is a non-profit organization that helps provide services to soldiers living at Edwards Air Force Base. The organization recently sent BC a book documenting its over 25-year history of making life a little better for those who dedicate their lives to serving our country.

The group hosts fundraising events that have helped provide an Internet Café for the officers’ dormitory complex, the Flags of Honor Memorial Park, and other resources for residents at the base. The book titled “25 Years Support Warriors” honors all of the organization’s contributions to the base over the years, and copies are being sent to US Air Force installations around the world as an example of how military bases can form important partnerships with their surrounding communities.  Thank you to Allen Hoffman for sending the book, which is now housed in our Veterans Resource Center.

Bakersfield Homeless Center Fundraiser

On Wednesday, the Bakersfield Homeless Center had a great turnout at their Annual Drive Thru Lunch Fundraiser. The lunch pickup took place at Compassion Corner at 22nd and L behind the KGET studios . All the proceeds went to helping families experiencing homelessness.

Fundraiser lunch

Here’s a picture of Edie Nelson’s husband John Nelson, who picked up the special lunch for staff in the President’s Office who wanted to support this great cause. Thank you John, and thanks to all who contributed to this annual fundraiser!

John Nelson

CCCCO in Bakersfield.

Loved having lunch with Van Ton-Quinlivan, Executive Vice Chancellor of Technology and Workforce Development, when she was in Bakersfield.

Von Ton Quinllivan visits Bakersfield April 16 2018

Ed Coghlan, John Means, Van Ton-Quinlivan, Sonya Christian, Cindy Collier, Craig Hayward

Fun photos from Garden Fest:

Love this picture of “Uncle Paul” as Abby, Lily and Lexy Garrett call Paul Beckworth in this picture with Sandra Beckworth.

Paul Beckworth, Sandra Beckworth, Abby Garrett, Lily Garrett, Lexy Garrett April 21 2018

The Vice Presidents enjoying their saturday with their families.  Including little Miss Mae.

 

Fun photo of Tom Gelder

Very happy to see Chancellor Tom Burke at Garden Fest

Tom Burke with Corny Rodriguez

 

 

We are the World!
We are Bakersfield!
We are BC!

 

 

Sonya Christian April 20 2018 cropped

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A Beautiful Rainy Week at BC

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

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

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

The “Nan” Touch

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

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

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

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

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

Sonya Christian and Rudy Salas March 23 2018

Rudy Salas and Sonya Christian

BC table at Cesar Chavez Breakfast

BC table at Cesar Chavez Breakfast

Cindy Collier, Danielle Hillard, Khushnur Dadabhoy, Isebelle Cataneda

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

Paul Chavez

Paul Chavez

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

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

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

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

Corny Rodriguez, Sonya Christian March 23 2018

Sonya Christian, Corny Rodriguez

 

 

 

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We are BC

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

Thank you David Villarino!

Lydia Otero at BC

Tina Mendoza

Tina Mendoza welcomes Dr. Otero

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

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

Dr. Lydia Otero

Dr. Lydia Otero

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

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

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Olivia Garcia, Dr. Lydia Otero, Tina Mendoza

Olivia Garcia, Dr. Lydia Otero, Tina Mendoza

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

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

Ribbon Cutting in Wasco

Wasco

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

Kern Disability Collaborative

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

Kern Disability Collab

Terri Goldstein

Terri Goldstein

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

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

Kern Disability Collaboration

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

Bidders Open House hosted at BC

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

Bidders Fair

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

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

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

Harold Pierce and Trustee Carter

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

We received this email from Mikin Plummer about the event.

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

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

National Cemetery

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

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

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

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

Art with Impact

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

Movies for Mental Health

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

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

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

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

 

Spring Fling and 18-19 BCSGA Elections

James Tompkins and Ashley Harp.jpg

James Tompkins and Ashley Harp

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

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

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

Hate Speech and Free Speech Forum

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

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

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

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

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

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

High Schools, BC, CSUB coming together

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CCGI

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

Here are some photos from the work session.

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

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

 

 

Steve Watkin and Ben Perlado March 22 2018

Steve Watkin, Ben Perlado

McFarland Superintendent Victor Hopper and team.jpg

McFarland Superintendent Victor Hopper and team

Ryan Gievet and Ben Sherley.jpg

Ryan Gievet, Ben Sherley

Paul Chave and Delano Team with Abel Guzman and Zav Dadabhhoy

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

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

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

Dave Barnett, Craig Hayward

Dave Barnett, Craig Hayward

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

Grace Commiso, Anna Garcia, Sonya Christian, Ben Duran

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

David Abernathy from Wasco High speaking

David Abernathy, Kalina Hill, Elysa Vargas

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

See all the photos at BC’s SmugMug.

Future Teachers

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

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

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

Future Teachers Open House Planning Team

Future Teachers Open House Planning Team

Public Safety Metamajor Pathway Open House

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

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

For all the photos, visit BC’s SmugMug.

KCCD and BC Leadership at CISOA/3CBG

Group Photo

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating

An American Education Agenda with Lance Izumi

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

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

League of Dreams

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

League of Dreams Opening Day

STEAM Academy

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

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

Oliver Rosales

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

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

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

Oliver Rosales Community Voices March 19 2018

Chris McCraw on Twitter

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

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

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

Lynette Zelezny

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

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

City of Bakersfield visiting the Chamber

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

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

Cindy and Liz

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

Cindy and Liz

 

We are BC

Sonya Christian at Cesar Chavez Breakfast March 23 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Bright Futures start with Good Teachers

Feb 10 2018 Neo Live Laugh LoveGood morning Bakersfield.  

It is Saturday, February 24, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade.

This was a short but action packed week.  I traveled to Santa Rosa to present at the Association of California Community College Administrators (ACCCA).  The drive was long to Santa Rosa and back.  There were several high points in this trip, including (1) hearing from the President of Santa Rosa College of how they supported the community during and after the fires and (2) crossing the bay on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

We have all been impacted by the California fires…. here is a poignant piece by Thomas Fuller in the California Today section of the NYTimes about Santa Rosa.  https://tinyurl.com/y8bv77jk

 

From the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Feb 21 2018.jpg

Photo snapped from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Feb 21 2018

The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is the northernmost bridge crossing over the San Francisco Bay.  I, like everyone else likes to ride the train and enjoy bridges.  Apparently, this 5.5-mile engineering feat was rejected by Frank Llyod Wright for its aesthetics. Wright must have taken after Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg,  who tolerates everything and anything with a gentle soul but is unforgiving when it  comes to poor design and bad colors.  I don’t remember where this photo was snapped, but all I can say is that this I stay quiet when Nan is in a serious art conversation with David Koeth.

Nan Gomez Heitzeberg

The Conference held at Santa Rosa is the annual ACCCA conference and I was invited to present at the opening plenary.  As I walked in I spotted Gustavo Enrique and Jaime Lopez from Bakersfield College.

Gustavo Enrique, Sonya Christian, Jaime Lopez Feb 21 2018

 

BC is such a large campus, and I am always surprised and delighted to see us all over the state.  I spot BC administrators, faculty and staff presenting at different statewide conferences via tweets and posts on facebook and other social media.  #WeAreBC

Here are my fellow presenters at the ACCCA — Reagan Romali, President of Long Beach City College; Joe Wyse, President of Shasta College; and Willy Duncan, President of Sierra College.  We are in the photo with Susan Bray, Executive Director of ACCCA who is in the middle.

Sonya Christian, Reagan Romali, Susan Bray, Joe Wyse, Willy Duncan Feb 21 2018

Sonya Christian, Reagan Romali, Susan Bray, Joe Wyse, Willy Duncan

So now for few of the very many activities on campus…..

Judge Raymonda Marquez

Judge Raymonda Marquez

Yesterday, we held the 3rd annual YES! Youth Empowering Success Conference. The all-day event began with a welcome and introduction from Judge Raymonda Marquez of the Kern County Superior Court. She spoke of how there are people in our lives who believe in us, even when we sometimes doubt ourselves.

An article from last November titled “Families changed for the better on National Adoption Day in Bakersfield” mentions Judge Marquez. She introduced the keynote speaker by saying, “With all of the adversity he faced in life, his experiences inspired him to dedicate his life to helping troubled youth and adults overcome the negative challenges within their own lives and discover that they have greatness within them.”

The keynote speaker of the morning, Mark Anthony Garrett, opened with a video recounting how his third grade teacher is “his hero.” The video can be seen on his website, www.teachersareheros.com. Mark shared his life story in a compelling, motivational, and inspiring talk that pumped up the audience before the smaller breakout sessions.

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Mark Anthony Garrett

It brings great joy to our campus to provide a place for events like this that not only inspire, but empower our young students to achieve greatness. As Mark said,

Everyone is brought to this world with a special gift. When one discovers what that gift is, they must let it shine so that others lives will become brighter. Teachers shine that light every time they impart knowledge to a student.

Special thank you to Kern County Superintendent of Schools Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program, Human Services, Kern High School District, and QPI. Special thank you also to Aracelli Navarro, and the team from BC who worked so hard to make the event a success.

BC Team at YES Conference

Child Development CenterChildCare2The Child Development Center provides a hands-on laboratory experience for our students as they pursue their certificate or degree in child development.

Beyond the educational opportunities the Child Development Center provides, it also offers a child care for students with small ChildCare1children so they can go to their classes  — knowing that their child is well taken care of. The proximity of their children helps our students access campus services and study opportunities while their children are safe and sound right here on campus.

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As a traditional Child Development Center, our center provides important direct laboratory experiences and opportunities for students in child development programs and allied health programs. Students have access to supplies and materials, trained teachers who mentor them through the experience, a quality physical environment with vibrant classrooms, and low student-to-child ratios. Together, these benefits make for a quality facility for children and an outstanding educational environment for our students.

Calling Future Teachers

Are you inspired to teach? Learn about the programs at BC that lead to careers in education of all ages. Two upcoming events will answer all your questions so you can know what’s needed to qualify to become a teacher at a variety of levels. Events take place March 3rd at the Delano Campus and March 20th on the Panorama Campus. Learn more here.

Kern County Career Expo

Career Expo 2018

The Kern County Career Expo took place on Thursday night and BC was represented in a HUGE way! #WeAreBC

This career awareness event geared towards the students and employers of Kern builds career awareness for tomorrow’s workforce. Employers from Kern County had the opportunity to promote the different career opportunities that are available within their companies through interactive booths. I loved seeing BC students in this clip on ABC 23.

It is exciting to see all the various departments at BC sharing their programs with the future generations of Renegades. I especially love seeing how the Engineering programs and Industrial Automation brought out the robotics and 3D printing machinery to inspire visitors. Nursing and RAD tech were out in full force and so was the team from Adult Education and our Rural Initiatives team. Special thanks to the CTE team for their work on organizing BC’s involvement with this fantastic event. #WeareBC!

Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

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Engineering and INDA Booths at the Career Expo

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Rony Recinos and Automotive Tech Students

And a tweet from Pam Gomez

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CHAP at Allensworth

Laura Hooton and Oliver Rosales

Laura Hooton and Oliver Rosales

On Saturday, Feb 10, the Bakersfield College Delano Campus Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (CHAP) participated in a Black History month event at Allensworth State Historical Park located just northwest of the Delano Campus in Tulare County.  Allensworth is the only state historic park in California dealing exclusively with the history of African Americans.  The CHAP program hosted a booth at the event in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant “Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History.”

Professors Oliver Rosales, Paula Parks, Michelle Hart, and Librarian Elisabeth Sundby were joined by BC students Danielle Wiley, SGA Photographer and Christian Bravo, SGA Mascot, as well as PhD Candidate Laura Hooton from UC Santa Barbara, an expert on rural African American History in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, to visit the historic Allensworth site in the goal of spreading information about the digital history effort at the Delano Campus to “harvest local and family histories” related to the San Joaquin Valley.  A number of contacts were made among attendees, particularly community members with familial ties to Allensworth and historic black families from Tulare County.

Elisabeth Sundby , Laura Hooton and Oliver Rosales

Elisabeth Sundby , Laura Hooton and Oliver Rosales

What makes Allensworth unique as a space of historical significance is it draws African Americans from across the state for its annual celebrations.  Folks from San Diego, Oakland, Richmond, Los Angeles, and elsewhere visit Allensworth because it represents a place of great importance to the history of African Americans in the United States.  If you haven’t made the trek to Allensworth, the entire CHAP team strongly recommends attending one of Allensworth’s annual events. More information can be found at the Allensworth SHP Website.

Bridging the Racial Divide

Students had a great opportunity to talk to leaders from local law enforcement agencies across Kern County, who were all in the same room for a special forum in the Levan Center on Tuesday. BC criminal justice professor and former Arvin police chief Tommy Tunson moderated the forum, titled “Transformational Policing: Bridging the Racial Divide”, which addressed how the community policing model is evolving nationwide in response to several high profile officer-involved shootings in Baltimore, Ferguson, Missouri and other cities over the last few years.

left to right FBI Special Agent Bennett O. Scott, Kern County Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman, McFarland Police Department Chief Scot Kimble, CHP Commander Ron Seldon, Bakersf

left to right: FBI Special Agent Bennett O. Scott, Kern County Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman, McFarland Police Department Chief Scot Kimble, CHP Commander Ron Seldon, Bakersfield Police Department Chief Lyle Martin and BC criminal justice professor Tommy Tunson talk about restoring the public’s faith in law enforcement on February 20th in the Levan Center.

Tommy Tunson,

Tommy Tunson, a criminal justice professor at BC and the former Chief of the Arvin Police Department, moderates a discussion on transformational policing in the Levan Center on February 20th.

Before giving the floor over to the panel—which included police chiefs from McFarland and Bakersfield, a California Highway Patrol Commander, a Kern County Assistant District Attorney and a field agent from the local FBI office—Tunson showed video from a police brutality protest, pointing out that every officer on the field is one cell phone video away from being on the national news, no matter how small the city that they’re tasked with keeping safe. He then outlined the Transformational Policing Model (TPM), a two-pronged approach to law enforcement that emphasizes using data analysis to target areas where agencies can serve the public better, as well as community and media outreach to restore the public’s faith in the people who protect and serve them every day.

Bakersfield Police Department Chief Lyle Martin talked about the work he’s done during his time as chief to keep the lines of communication open with the public and the media. When something controversial happens around one of the officers in his department, he is proactive in reaching out to local media before they reach out to him, and he’s leveraging the power of social media to reach out to the increasing number of people who don’t read the newspaper or tune into local news.

Bakersfield Police Department Chief Lyle Martin

Bakersfield Police Department Chief Lyle Martin outlines the importance of proper law enforcement training at the Transformational Policing Forum on February 20th in the Levan Center.

“When you mess up, you’ve got to dress up and fess up,” Martin said, adding that the BPD’s motto for this year is “Change the Experience”.

California Highway Patrol Commander Ron Seldon described his department’s Public Trust Initiative, a series of assessments in which the CHP is graded on its public relations and community outreach by a third-party organization and given advice on how to improve.  “Are we treating the public as we’d like to be treated?” Seldon asked.

McFarland Police Chief Scott Kimble said that outreach efforts such as his “Ice Cream with the Chief” event have been crucial in changing the culture in McFarland, which sits at the border between California’s Norteno and Sureno street gangs, making it a potential hotbed for violent crime. Kimble credits the restoration of trust between law enforcement and the community for McFarland’s inclusion on the National Council for Homeland Security’s list of the 100 safest cities in California. McFarland, ranked at number 60, is the only city in Kern County on the list, with only 33 violent crimes committed in the area in 2016.

Kern County Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman

Kern County Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman speaks on the importance of separating one’s emotional response to a traumatic case from the duties required to mete out justice during the Transformational Policing event at the Levan Center on February 20th.

Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman reiterated the importance of maintaining the bond between law enforcement and the community. If people don’t feel comfortable with reporting a crime or serving as a witness for the prosecution, then it makes it more difficult on the District Attorney’s office to deliver justice. Regardless of whether law enforcement officials feel that the public’s mistrust is justified, agencies must strive to create a perception of fairness, and it’s important to understand the history of the relationship between the police and the community that lead up to where we’re at today in order to change that relationship.

FBI Special Agent Bennett O. Scott shared information about an anonymous tipline that people in the community can use to report crimes without fear of reprisal and described how the local FBI office collaborates with local authorities on counter-terrorism and gang violence prevention. With only 11 FBI agents for all of Kern County, it’s important for the federal office to be in constant communication with local police and county sheriffs.

Students and local media

Students and local media pack the Levan Center for the Transformation Policing Forum on February 20th.

I’d like to thank Dr. Tunson and Steve Watkin for helping to organize this important and educational event for our students as part of Black History Month. For more about the Transformational Policing forum, you can read Steven Mayer’s article published in the Bakersfield Californian on Wednesday.

HBCU Visits BC

Last week, representatives from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) set up tables in the Renegade Crossroads to offer scholarships and registration at schools across the country. HBCUs provide an opportunity  for students to learn within their peer group, and we were honored to have the HBCU Caravan back for another year.

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We also had representatives from historically black fraternities and sororities to provide information about how students can find support from their peers at the four-year institution of their choice, not just at HBCUs. I’d like to thank Lisa Kent from Student Success and Equity, as well as Steve Watkin from Outreach, for helping to put the HBCU event together. It’s an extremely valuable resource for our students, and I can’t wait to see how the opportunities provided by these HBCUs will help our students grow after they graduate BC.

Renegade Athletics

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Tucker Eenigenburg

For the month of January, BC’s Tucker Eenigenburg averaged 23.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and two assists per game over the course of nine games.  He shot 52.4 percent from the floor, 53.4 percent from three-point range and 91 percent from the free-throw line. Eenigenburg had a career high 51 points, in an 87-81 win, against College of the Canyons on Jan. 27.  In that game, he was 13 of 21 (61.9 percent) from the floor, 8 of 12 (66.7 percent) from three-point range and 17 of 17 (100 percent) from the free-throw line. See the CCCAA website for more. 

Military Ball

Bakersfield College was out in full force at the 8th Annual Military Order of the Purple Heart Military Ball, held at the Doubletree Hotel last Saturday night.

Paul Beckworth, Steve Watkins, Lisa Kent, Sandra Beckworth, Olivia Garcia, Sgt. Julio Garcia.

Paul Beckworth, Steve Watkins, Lisa Kent, Sandra Beckworth, Olivia Garcia, Sgt. Julio Garcia

Mayor Karen Goh and Zav Dababhoy

Mayor Karen Goh and Zav Dababhoy

One of the organizers of this event had a busy week, Professor Tommy Tunson, retired Army.  As last year’s recipient of the Ball’s Veteran Support Organization of the Year, BC was well represented by Dr. Zav Dadabhoy, who handed off this year’s award to Chevron, in honor of the company’s support of veterans in Kern County. And thank you Mayor Karen Goh for the great photos!

According the their website, “Chartered by Congress in 1958, The Military Order of the Purple Heart is composed of military men and women who received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds suffered in combat. Although our membership is restricted to the combat wounded, we support all veterans and their families with a myriad of nation-wide programs by Chapters and National Service Officers.”  The Order’s mission is to foster an environment of goodwill and camaraderie among combat wounded veterans, promote patriotism, support necessary legislative initiatives, and most importantly, provide service to all veterans and their families.

While a good time was had by all, the night’s theme was a somber one; remembering America’s POWs and MIAs from the Vietnam War.  The United States still has over 1,600 unaccounted-for personnel from the conflict that divided this nation.  As a part of the ceremony to honor America’s missing, a POW/MIA table was set.

According to tradition, the POW/MIA table is smaller than the others, symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his or her oppressors. This table is separate from the others and can be set for one to four place settings to represent each service participating in the event.

Honor TableThe white tablecloth draped over the table represents the purity of their response to our country’s call to arms. The empty chair depicts an unknown face, representing no specific Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine, but all who are not here with us.The table itself is round to show that our concern for them is never ending. The Bible represents faith in a higher power and the pledge to our country, founded as one nation under God. The black napkin stands for the emptiness these warriors have left in the hearts of their families and friends. A Purple Heart medal can be pinned to the napkin. The single red rose reminds us of their families and loved ones. The red ribbon represents the love of our country, which inspired them to answer the nation’s call. The yellow candle and its yellow ribbon symbolize the everlasting hope for a joyous reunion with those yet accounted for. The slices of lemon on the bread plate remind us of their bitter fate. The salt upon the bread plate represent the tears of their families. The wine glass, turned upside down, reminds us that our distinguished comrades cannot be with us to drink a toast or join in the festivities of the evening.

The significance of the POW/MIA table is called to attention during the toast of the evening. This is an important part of many military banquets to remind us that the strength of those who fight for our country often times rests in the traditions that are upheld today.  These men, these women are not forgotten.

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Creating Lasting Guided Pathways

The CCCCO is conducting a series of 7 workshops on Creating Lasting Guided Pathways. Bakersfield College is being highlighted at each of the 7 events around the state as one of the first colleges that has data in California showing benefits to students.

Julian West

Julian West was part of a plenary panel on that data and followed up with a breakout on student voices and equity. He shared statistics from Spring 2018 such as:

  • 783 African-American Students Total Enrolled
  • 414 Students Have Completed Less Than 30 units
  • 136 Students started Fall or Summer 2017
  • 89 Students started Spring 2018

He shared how BC’s high tech, high touch level of support is truly making a difference for our students.

AAI Outcomes

Grace Commiso and  Maria Wright will be presenting at plenary panels and reporting on BC’s completion coaching teams and student voices.  Janet Fulks is presenting Bakersfield’s Outcomes over the next two weeks and presenting Guided Pathways 101 breakouts. These early outcomes and distinctive work at Bakersfield will help other colleges plan strategies to successfully help their students complete programs of study.

So proud of the incredible work being done by the BC staff, faculty, and completion coaching teams.

Cheryl Scott

Kern Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Cheryl Scott wrote an op-ed in the Bakersfield Californian on February 12th urging business leaders in the community to build partnerships with teachers and students at all levels of school.

Darren Scott and Cheryl Scott

Darren Scott and Cheryl Scott

“Kern County’s future workforce is entrusted largely to our local educators,” Scott writes, outlining how important it is for business leaders to reach out to the schools and let educators know the exact skills they’re looking for. Many Kern County businesses have to look outside of the Valley for job applicants with the advanced skills that they need, and developing these partnerships at the primary, secondary, and post-secondary educational levels will create more home-grown applicants for those positions, which leads to upward mobility for individuals and their families in the process.

“Bringing business into the classroom can give students a leg up in their future careers and sets them up for success by equipping them with the skills and information employers need, “ Scott writes, highlighting the work done by the CSUB School of Business and Public Administration Student Professional Development Initiative, as well as Independence High School’s Energy and Utilities Academy as examples of programs that are creating effective mentorship opportunities for students looking to join the skilled labor force after graduation.

Chancellor Tom Burke Seen on Twitter

i-k66vmpv-lAs one of the nation’s largest networks of higher education, California community colleges were well represented in Washington, DC at the 2018 National Legislative Summit hosted by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) last week.

KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke represented the Kern Community College District at the annual summit, which raises awareness of the issues impacting community colleges across the country while allowing opportunities for community college leaders to meet with congressional representatives to advocate for policies that would benefit them, according to the FAQ page on the National Legislative Summit’s website. Burke, who can be seen in the tweet towards the back on the right, met with Congressman Kevin McCarthy at his office in Capitol Hill during the summit.

Jake Tapper, CNN’s Chief Washington Correspondent and the host of The Lead with Jake Tapper, was the keynote speaker for the opening event on February 12th. US Department of Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta also spoke about the importance of workforce education to close the skills gap in the nation’s labor market, and Carroll Doherty of the Pew Research Center gave statistics that provided context for the political divide in higher education and reasons behind misperceptions many members of the public have about the value of community colleges.

Thank you to our Chancellor, Tom Burke for representing our district at this year’s National Legislative Summit. You can find a list of legislative priorities from the summit on the ACCT’s website, which include reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, investment in education and workforce development, and a path to citizenship for DREAMers. During the summit, California Community College Chancellor Eloy Oakley was also quoted in an article from the Washington Post regarding the president’s comments about vocational schools.

Congratulations to Professor Chris Ennis

EnnisCongratulations to Adjunct Architecture Professor Christopher Ennis, recipient of the American Institute of Architects California Council’s Emerging Educator of the Year.

The official article states, “The Educator Award recipient is also a member of the Golden Empire Chapter. Chris Ennis, AIA, is faculty at a community college and experiences difficulties and roadblocks different than his peers in the four-year university system. The jury applauded his efforts to ignite passion and interest in students who may not otherwise be exposed to possibilities in the field of architecture before they transfer.” Check it out here.

Spotted on Media

Say these two articles in the Bakersfield Life Magazine this morning.

Dr. Jeet Singh is on the Bakersfield College Foundation Board of Directors and is doing incredible work in service to this community.

Jeet Singh Feb 24 2018

 

And here is our very own Prof. Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia Bakersfield Life Magazine Feb 24 2018.jpg

And finally let’s support our choir students

Get your tickets now for an incredible night of collaborative music between some of Bakersfield’s finest musicians. Local celebrities Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger are coming together with the BC Chamber Singers to perform in a benefit concert at the Music Hall of Fame.  Email me!

Chamber Singers-Poster-3_preview

Feb 10 2018 Sonya Christian Walking Neo 2

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever