Tag Archives: meeting

SGA Students Take the Lead at Statewide Conference

20140504_105420During the weekend of May 2-4, Bakersfield College SGA students participated in the Spring 2014 General Assembly of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges (SSCCC), held in Los Angeles. This year’s theme was “Courage to Take the Lead: Inspiring the Future.” BC’s delegation included Acting SGA President, Shelby Ashton Sward, accompanied by incoming SGA 2014-2015 officers, Alex Dominguez (President-Elect),  Aeri Kim (Director of Finance-elect), and Reg Autwell (Director of Clubs and Organizations-elect), and advisor, Liz Peisner. Our students participated in a number of breakout sessions, collaborating with student leaders from community colleges up and down the state of California, on topics such as Veterans’ services, the upcoming implementation of SSSP, sustainability, and equity and diversity. Our BC students brought their Bakersfield regional experience to the table for statewide discussion, engaging in debate on matters unique to their region, such as Kern County’s priority of water conservation, and concerns over divestment of fossil fuel industries.

BmuPNxgCIAAM0U9In a move of solidarity with other California community colleges, BC delegate Shelby Sward participated in a heated debate on the GA floor, related to equity and access to academic services and student success for deaf and hard of hearing students.

Incoming SGA president Alex Dominguez reflected on his experience: “SSCCC was a great opportunity for all of us to better connect with other community colleges across the state. I saw it as a great leadership opportunity to represent and stand up for Bakersfield College and Bakersfield as a whole. Not only did I learn a lot, it was a great networking opportunity. I met countless counterparts along with many other college leaders. This also gave me an opportunity to better know my incoming SGA Board along with the existing SGA President. I strongly recommend that we attend this event again and that we bring several resolutions to the table in 2014/15. Bakersfield College has a very open opportunity to be known by establishing strong leadership and advocacy at this event.”

2014-05-02 09.31.09Informed by pre-conference feedback from our own BC faculty in the Foreign Languages and ASL department, Sward spoke up in opposition of dividing one of two resolutions, instead advocating for the importance of equity of access and services in the academic, counseling, and extracurricular environment. Following her sound leadership and advocacy, delegates immediately moved to call the question. The motion to divide failed, and the resolution passed in its entirety. The sponsoring delegation from Los Angeles Trade Tech College asked to meet with our team following the session, for pictures and discussion on best practices as implemented here at BC.

BmzgoWuCMAEkANUAutwell reflected on his experience, stating “For the most part I found this GA to be an interesting experience, as I have never been involved with student government before. I was surprised to find out how many colleges were in Region 5 and it was interesting to watch how our region works. The best experience I had was with the Spectrum Caucus. I am now Region 5’s interim representative for the caucus, and have been elected to be the representative for the new-year, starting in July. The Spectrum Caucus is very involved in providing information, not only to members of the LGBTQIA community, but also to students, about these groups. I am particularly curious on the plan to spread awareness regarding the Trans Gender population, and how they will support the Trans Gender students.”

Our newly revised constitution and restructuring of our SGA was a topic of discussion, and numerous advisors have contacted our Office of Student Life for best practices, training modules, information on the Renegade Pantry, and other opportunities for future collaboration. Our students entered General Assembly this year, with our continued promise for “Renegade Rises,” and came away with new allies in student representative government, demonstrating the best of BC, Renegade pride, and a fortified SGA.

Meeting the Community – Kern Economic Development Corporation

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Leah Carter, Sonya Christian, Liz Rozell

On June 27th a group of us attended the Kern Economic Development Corporation (KEDC) Board meeting at Tejon Ranch and stayed on for their annual dinner.  With me in the photo are Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Dean Leah Carter and Dean Liz Rozell.

KEDC CEO Richard Chapman gave a remarkable presentation on KEDC activities for 2012-2013 and plans for 2013-2014. From this presentation I learned that:

1. We have a great public-private partnerships in Kern County that helps with Economic Growth and Development.  For example, Kern County, through the work of KEDC and other partners were able to get the Ross Dress for Less distribution center to locate in Shafter.

2. The Brookings Institute just released a report on June 10th titled The Hidden Stem Economy.  When I returned home I downloaded the report (http://tinyurl.com/nvvhrq5) with exciting news for community colleges as well as for Kern County. Here’s an excerpt:

Workers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields play a direct role in driving economic growth. Yet, because of how the STEM economy has been defined, policymakers have mainly focused on supporting workers with at least a bachelor’s (BA) degree, overlooking a strong potential workforce of those with less education but substantial STEM skills.

And here’s the best part, Bakersfield-Delano scored fourth of large metropolitan areas with the highest STEM knowledge for 2011. [Page 15 of the report]. Bakersfield-Delano, u rock!!  And btw, did you read the blog post about our very own BC STEM students winning an award for the NASA project?  check it out at http://tinyurl.com/ph76h53.

At the annual dinner, we had a chance to talk with with several key community leaders and also met some of the staff of KEDC.  Cheryl Scott, the Vice President is on the Bakersfield College Foundation Board.  Melinda Brown, Director of Business Development, came over with Richard Chapman to BC to welcome me to the community.  Trish Reed who focuses on investor relations is absolutely fabulous.  For more info on KEDC, go to their website at http://kedc.com/.

I was inspired by the good work this organization is doing for our community and look forward to working with them as an active and engaged partner.