Tag Archives: Memorial Stadium

Sprinting to the finish line –Commencement 2019

I wake up every morning to NPR’s Morning Edition….for many years now. A change is coming — after 40 years, the tune BJ Leiderman composed in 1979 is being replaced by a new jingle on Monday, May 6, 2019. Click on the youtube link below and cherish the soon-to-be-replaced 60-second theme song for NPR’s morning edition. It’s been with us for so long; this is all I knew since I started listening to morning edition in 1988 as a foreign student at USC.

Last day for this version of the morning edition theme song. Cinco de Mayo 2019

It is good to be back home after two weeks of travel which started with the Non-Credit Conference in San Diego. We had a BC team present and engaged by doing our planning to create more opportunities for adults with low academic skills to onboard and complete a certificate which will give them the necessary skills for an entry-level job.

I had a lot of fun keynoting at the CACCRAO conference in San Diego. This is the statewide organization for Admissions and Records professionals, and our Director, Michelle Pena is the current Vice President. She is super smart and has a keen mind for system fixes. Michelle was there with Jackie Lau and Erineo Garcia.

2019 ACCJC Partners in Excellence Conference: What the Future Holds

ACCJC’s bi-annual conference was held in San Francisco this year. I was there primarily in my role as a commissioner and the current Vice Chair of the commission. However, we had a large team from BC doing two presentations at this conference and it gives me great joy and pride when I watch “my peeps” presenting.

Kim Nickell, Kristin Rabe, Jessica Wojtysiak, Janet Fulks, Sonya Christian, Lesley Bonds, Amber Hrioch, Steve Waller

At the opening session of the ACCJC conference, I had the pleasure of introducing the former Under Secretary of Education, Dr. Martha Kanter. Dr. Kanter now leads the College Promise Campaign nationally which focuses on higher education affordability and accessibility.

Dr. Kanter speaking at the ACJCC Conference

Dr. Kanter has made many contributions to higher education, most notably her work on equity, innovation, and accountability. Her work is grounded in the conviction that education is not only an economic imperative but more fundamentally a civic imperative; and that education is necessary to individual freedom and essential to a healthy society and a vibrant democracy.

Kristin Rabe, Kim Nickell, Amber Hroch, and Steve Waller presented on how BC is engaged with Program Review and Program Planning that drives institutional resource allocation. A data informed process, the Program Review process has not only brought transparency to our work, but has helped us determine priorities more effectively.

Amber Hroch, Kim Nickell
Kristin Rabe, Steve Waller

Jessica Wojtysiak and Lesley Bonds presented on BC’s work on Guided Pathways with a focus on “It takes Leadership” from all constituent groups to make this happen.

Here are some other pictures that I snapped. Enjoy!

Jessica Wojtysiak, Amber Hroch, Sonya Christian, Kristin Rabe, Kim Nickell
Sonya Christian, Daisy Gonzales, Sabrina Sencil, Terrence Willett

BC partners with CSUB

On Tuesday, April 30, 2019, over 40 administrators, faculty, and staff from both CSUB and Bakersfield College met to discuss and plan for programmatic collaborations at the new BCSW Center co-located on the CSUB campus. The synergistic teamwork evident at this meeting is indicative of this exciting partnership between BC and CSUB, and of our shared commitment to our students and community. It’s a great time to be in Bakersfield!

BC represented at African-American Town Hall with State Chancellor Oakley

Last week BC’s Steve Watkin, Outreach Director; Dr. Paula Parks, Umoja faculty lead; Jonathan Ward, Umoja Counselor; and Daron Mackey, AAI Ed Advisor attended the Fresno Town Hall & College Fair.  There, state Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley urged community members to support Central Valley leaders who are advocating for changes that result in higher success rates for African-American students. “We need you to push,” Oakley said “because what we’ve been doing hasn’t been working.”

Fresno Town Hall & College Fair Agenda

“Friction has to happen around college completion,”Oakley advocated, adding that “we have to get to the point where we put the needs of the students above the needs of employees and staff.”

Chancellor Oakley
Tweet from California Community Colleges on the Fresno Town Hall

He cited the passage of AB 705 as a positive step in increasing equity for students of color. The law, which goes into effect this fall, will allow most community college students to start at college-level English and math.

Steve Watkin, Dr. Paula Parks, Chancellor Oakley, Jonathan Ward, & Daron Mackey

The Fresno event was sponsored by the California Community College Black and African-American Advisory Panel and featured information on financial aid (Icanaffordcollege.com), attending a Central Valley community college, and transferring to a CSU or Historically Black College or University (adegreewithaguarantee.com).  The Advisory Panel was created in 2017 to increase the graduation and transfer rates of African-American students in support of Oakley’s Vision for Success. They are planning other events around the state to share information and gather feedback. Oakley joked at the end that the Community Colleges will not have an admissions scandal because “we take the top 100% of all applicants.”

Daron Mackey, Jonathan Ward, Dr. Paula Parks, & Steve Watkin
Steve Watkin

Celebrating Judge Tafoya at Kern Literacy

Judge Robert S. Tafoya was honored as a Read for Life Award Recipient at the 2019 Kern Literacy Council Celebration. Former KCCD Chancellor Sandra Serrano, Judge Tafoya’s spouse, was in attendance to celebrate her husband’s passion for reading and his service as a Kern Literacy Council tutor for the past four years. In addition, a group from Bakersfield College joined the festivities. Pictured in the photo below are Traco Mathews and Krista Herrera (KCSOS), Abel Guzman and Pearl Urena (BC), Sheri Horn-Bunk (Taft), Elaine McNearney (Dress for Success), Romeo Agbalog (KCCD Trustee) and Liz Rozell (BC). Liz Rozell was also able to connect with longtime friends, Fred and Cynthia Brakeman (KHSD Trustee).

BC and Community Leaders at Kern Literacy Event

Presidential Investiture at CSUB

CSUB President Lynnette Zelezny

A festive CSUB Presidential Investiture took place Friday morning, May 3rd, in recognition of Dr. Lynnette Zelezny, fifth President of California State University, Bakersfield and the first female president. She was recognized and honored by many, including Mayor Karen Goh, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and CSU Chancellor Timothy White. The processional included student leadership, delegates from educational partners, and CSUB faculty and staff.

Mary Barlow (Kern County Superintendent of Schools), Doc Ervin (Superintendent of Bakersfield City School District), Kevin Silberberg (Superintendent of Panama-Buena Vista Union School District), Liz Rozell (VP of Instruction, BC), and John Means (Vice Chancellor, Educational Services, KCCD)
Mariachi band from the BCSD Migrant Program

63rd Annual Honors Celebration Rocks this Year’s Scholars!

On April 26th, the Outdoor Theater pulsed with the energetic beats of our BC Drumline as they drummed for our 2019 class of scholarship and award recipients at the 63rd Annual Honors Celebration.

BC Drumline performing

This year, nearly 400 outstanding Renegades were named for over $494,000 in scholarships and awards, capping off a demanding academic year with some exciting financial awards.

Attendees at the Honors Celebration

Tom Gelder, the Executive Director of the BC Foundation and SGA President Ashley Harp, welcomed students and their guests to the festivities, expressing his gratitude for the many donors, faculty, and staff that made the evening possible.

Prior to the reading of names, BC Alumna and Foundation Board Member, Connie Perez-Andresen inspired students with an emotional keynote that demonstrated the power of self-belief and finding a career path that speaks to your heart.

The BC Foundation team

The memorable evening ended with a sweet goodbye as hundreds of freshly baked cookies arrived, provided by our very own BC Food Services.  Be sure to check out all of the photos of the event!

All current and future Bakersfield College students are encouraged to apply for scholarships again, later this year, on October 1st, coinciding with the opening of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Visit the website for details.

2019 Student Employees of the Year

On Thursday, April 25th, the Office of Student Life held its annual Student Leadership and Involvement Awards Ceremony.  The awards included “Student Employee of the Year” that recognizes exceptional contributions to their office or department during the academic year. The award was jointly given to Jasmen Taylor and Rico Carrillo from the BC Tutoring Center.  Congrats to Jasmen and Rico!

Jasmen with the medallion to be worn at commencement in 2020!  

Thank you to Student Life for recognizing the importance and dedication of our student employees!  Additionally, thank you Student Employment for facilitating the hiring of student employees!

McFarland Early College 8th Grade Application Workshop

This past week, our Early College team went out to McFarland Junior High School to prepare students for the Early College journey that they will embark on at McFarland high School next Fall. All 8th graders completed a BC application and now have their BC ID numbers, which will streamline the process for getting them enrolled in their first dual enrollment course STDV B3 Career and Life Planning. It’s official, we have 280 new Cougar-Renegades!

Students at the Early College workshop
Students at the Early College workshop

To learn more about the Early College program at McFarland High School, please visit The Early College website.  

Students at the Early College workshop
Students at the Early College workshop
Students at the Early College workshop

BC Jazz Spring Concert

The BC jazz program held its spring concert in the Indoor Theater on Monday, focusing on standards from the 1930s while giving the audience a masterful performance of more modern music.

Students performing at the Jazz Spring concert

Jazz professor Kris Tiner said that this year’s program was the culmination of extensive study on the history of jazz. The Jazz Studies program is growing fast since its expansion in 2016, and the amazing performances made for an exciting night.

I’d like to thank Professor Tiner and the Jazz Studies program for putting together a beautiful evening of music.

Students performing at the Jazz Spring concert

2019 Kern High School District Physics Olympics at Bakersfield College Campus

The annual Kern High School District Physics Olympics was held last Friday at BC main campus. Sponsored by the Kern High School District and hosted by Bakersfield College the competition features the work of student teams from over a dozen high schools in Kern County in activities requiring skills and knowledge in theoretical and experimental physics and engineering. Eighteen different activities were held from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm at various venues around the Bakersfield College campus, with over 1,000 high school students participating!

The efficiency bridge, where students design carts to successfully carry heavy loads across a bridge.
The magnetic field competition, where students make measurements and do calculations to determine the earth’s magnetic field at their location.
The spring constant competition, where students use measurements of the elongation of springs due to suspended masses to determine the spring stiffness coefficients.

Dual Enrollment Symposium Connects High School Partners and Bakersfield College

On Friday, April 26, the Dual Enrollment team hosted a symposium for over 85 local high school teachers, counselors and administrators.  The half-day event focused on helping high school partners understand responsibilities within a dual enrollment program, learn about resources available to support students, as well as opportunities to develop college and career pathways.

Breakout session participants

The Dual Enrollment Symposium opened with a welcome from Steve Watkin, Abel Guzman and Liz Rozell who emphasized the importance of partnerships in offering a successful dual enrollment program.  Breakout sessions provided for discussions, including one for STDV B3 Instructors and Counselors provided by Mark Osea, Victor Diaz, Hilda Rodriguez and Alma Feathers, that addressed the unique opportunity this course affords students to clarify their path.  High school administrators asked questions about infrastructure during a session hosted by Steve Watkin. Dr. Anna Laven, Raquel Lopez, Savannah Andrews and Kylie Swanson led subject-area instructor sessions with discussions facilitated by Chris McCraw, David Neville, Jennifer Johnson, Kris Stallworth, Jennifer Jett, Stephen Waller, Christian Zoller, Darren Willis, Robert Stewart, Creighton Magers, Michael Ivey, Jason Dixon, Jeremy Staat and Jason Stratton.  

Steve Watkin and Dr. Anna Laven present during a breakout session for Administrators

After working in small groups, attendees came together for presentations about student resources, academic resources, guided pathways, and a dual enrollment overview. Many thanks to Terri Goldstein, Bill Moseley, Kirk Russell, Lesley Bonds, Yvonne Armendariz, and Anna Laven for providing helpful information and resources.  Attendees were impressed to learn that they are part of the largest dual enrollment program in the state! Following lunch, Kylie Swanson provided student highlights and several teachers shared stories about their hardworking students.

Dr. Terri Goldstein and Dr. Anna Laven present on resources for Students with Disabilities
Dr. Anna Laven

Attendees from across the Bakersfield College service area indicated they found the symposium to be helpful and beneficial.  They came away with a better understanding of the value of dual enrollment and were excited to be a part of the program.

Kirk Russell
Kylie Swanson
Lesley Bonds
Vice President Liz Rozell
Steve Watkin
Yvonne Armendariz

Food Historian Ken Albala Visits BC

Food historian Ken Albala visited BC on Monday to provide context to the rising popularity of the artisanal food movement over the last few years. Albala is a professor of history at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, and he’s authored 25 books about the culinary arts, including “Cooking in Europe: 1250-1650”, “Food and Faith”, and “Three World Cuisines”, winner of a 2012 Gourmand World Cookbook Award.

Food historian Ken Albala

BC English professor Neal Stanifer first learned about Albala from “Food: A Cultural Culinary History Podcast,” which is a 36-episode series examining how food evolved throughout human history, from the Stone Age to the Digital Age. Stanifer listened to the whole series over the course of a weekend and was inspired to work with Levan Center Director Reggie Williams to bring Albala to campus. Several students from BC’s culinary arts and nutritional science programs showed up to hear Albala speak.

Food historian Ken Albala speaking

Albala opened his talk by asking the audience what they imagine what they see when they think of “bad” pizza, then to imagine what they see when they think of “artisanal” pizza. He then gave a history of the terms “artisanal” and “craft”, which used to mean different things but are now utilized the same way in contemporary marketing jargon – to convey food or beverages that are prepared by hand with fresh ingredients and a bare minimum of industrial processing.

Food historian Ken Albala speaking

After the Great Depression and World War II, the rise of canned goods, processed food and fast food was perceived positively as making life easier and preserving meat and produce longer. Increasingly, Americans have felt disconnected with their relationship to food, contributing to the increased popularity of farmers’ markets, organic produce, farm-to-table restaurants and independent breweries in the 21st Century. Major corporations have begun catching on to this trend, leading to the rise of “fast casual” restaurants such as Chipotle and Blaze Pizza which purport to be fresh or “artisanal” while maintaining the large-scale, industrialized philosophy of fast food. Beer companies such as Coors and Anheuser-Busch have also started buying out small breweries to distribute their products nationwide while marketing mass-produced brands such as Blue Moon and Shock Top as “craft” beer.

Audience members at the presentation

I’d like to thank Neal Stanifer and the Levan Center for organizing this informative event examining the culinary arts through the lens of the humanities. I’d also like to thank Ken Albala for driving down from Stockton to speak on our campus.

Food historian Ken Albala speaking

Transfer Celebration

On Thursday, BC celebrated students that continue to pursue further education and transfer to a four-year university during the Transfer Celebration in the courtyard between Financial Aid and the Indoor Theater.

CSUB staff member speaking to a student about transfer.

CSUB staff were also on hand to assist students transferring to CSUB, and BC Food Services provided catering and light refreshments for all who attended.

Food for attendees at the Transfer Celebration

BC offers a great program to help student receive two degrees in four years called Finish In 4, which encourages completion of both an Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degree. Students in this program are guaranteed admission to CSUB after they finish 2 years at BC. Representatives from Finish In 4 were on hand to interact with students and provide more information about the program.

I would like to thank everyone who helped put on this event and congratulate all of the students who are continuing their academic career.

The Office of Student Life assisting at the celebration.

ENGL B24 Field Trip

This year’s ENGL B24 class had the opportunity to speak with Carol Jacques, a commissioner for the City of Los Angeles. She shared her story as a child of one of the many families displaced from her neighborhood by the city of LA for the construction of Dodger’s Stadium and her subsequent activism and organizing pre- and post-Civil Rights.

The ENGL B25 field trip attendees

The field trip was supported by funding from a Campus Collaborative Action Grant which allowed students to visit the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument in the Olvera Street district of L.A., a point of cultural and historical significance in the development of Latino literary identity. That same day they went to the Ramona Pageant, California’s oldest running outdoor play, in Hemet, CA. Staging every spring since 1923, the play is based on the novel Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson and offers a theatrical interpretation of the novel’s literary glimpse into the Spanish days of California, its changing demography amidst westward expansion, and the mixing of indigenous and old-world cultures.

Emails Worth Sharing

Earlier this week Abel Guzman received an email from a student sharing her experience with one of Delano’s tutors in the reading and writing skills lab tutor Kim Collins.

When I began college it was suggested I attend school in Delano because I did not know how to write paragraphs and follow grammatical rules. I was at a 4th grade level.

However, I went on to become a journalist for our college newspaper. I also would become an editor for the paper. I would end up completing my AA in journalism last semester. This semester I completed my AA in communication. I was also awarded the Sigma Chi Eta distinction for being a honor roll student in communication.

The reason I shared this is to simply say how [Kim’s] faith in me when I was a returning student made a huge difference, along with a few other people who believed in me.

My tutor had said during a tutoring session that my desire to write a New York Best Seller was a ‘lofty goal.’  Well, my book is halfway finished. Although it may not reach that status, I won’t stop climbing. It’s desire, dreams and good tutors/educators that sure do keep them afloat!


Melissa Puryear

Kim Collins

I received an email from Manny Mourtzanos that at first had me panicking… and then laughing!

“Subject: Center for Disease Control Advisory! Measles hit Bakersfield

Good morning, Deans. Please be advised: The CDC stated that the measles outbreak in California has recently impacted Bakersfield and is so severe that it is even affecting vehicles! Just ask Liz!

Be ye all forewarned!!”

VP Rozell's truck covered in stickers

Fun Photos:

Shauna Turner graduates! Shauna is graduating with her bachelors degree this weekend. Her cap reads: Mom of 3 with a degree.

Shauna Turner in her cap and gown.

She has been diligently working on her BA since she started at BC 4 years ago. She uses her lunch breaks and late evenings after she puts her boys to bed to prepare for class, write her papers, and study for tests. Congratulations Shauna; you deserve it!!

Nestle Field Trip: Last week, students from the Delano HVAC program took a field trip to Nestle’s plant here in Bakersfield.  There the students were able to observe the operation and system components of “The Largest, Most Complex Ammonia Refrigeration System In the World”!!

BC Students at the Nestle plant
BC Students at the Nestle plant
BC Students at the Nestle plant
BC student at the Nestle plant
BC students at the Nestle plant

Chamber’s Leadership Bakersfield Program: BC’s Endee Grijalva is a member of this year’s Leadership Bakersfield class and unveiled her team project yesterday.  Her team renovated the Dream Center Bakersfield Infant and Toddler room to a safer and warmer space for these children.  Very cool!

Endee Grijalva & Tamara Baker
Endee Grijalva and teammate Sarah Hickock Levan
GBCC President Nick Ortiz introducing Team 2 and their project.
Norma Rojas-Mora, Endee Grijalva, Tamara Baker, Lupe Aguirre, Samantha Guillory, Evelyn Hernandez, and Abel Guzman at the project ribbon cutting.

CSEA Gold Tournament: Last Saturday a KCCD team supported CSEA at their annual golf tournament.  It looks like a rough day at work, but someone’s gotta do it!

Vice Chancellor Tonya Davis and her husband along with Fernando Lara and Tony Cordova

Ceramics Sale: Here are some fun photos of the amazing ceramics created by our very own BC students this year. They held a sale earlier this week where people could purchase the items created in the Spring 2019 semester.

Ceramics Sale board
Student ceramics for sale
Student ceramics for sale

It was great to see Bakersfield College featured in the Engine Professional magazine. Make sure to check out the Aera Tech Skills Conference hosted by BC on May 19th.

BC's ad in Engine Professional magazine

Memorial Stadium: I love this shot that Brandon Urry took this week of the Memorial Stadium construction!! WE ARE BC!

Memorial Stadium construction

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11:00 am, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights include segments from BC Men’s Golf program and Athletic Trainer Mike Medeiros.

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (4/21-4/27) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

Renegades of the Week photo

Penelope Zepeda/Morgan Townson, Beach Volleyball – The pairs team finished 4th in the WSC “Pairs” conference championships and qualified for the CCCAA SoCal Regional “Pairs” Championships this Friday May 3rd at Irvine Valley. They will be attempting to qualify for the CCCAA State “Pairs” Championships May 10th and 11th in Chula Vista at the Olympic Training Center.

Justin Frando, Men’s Track and Field – Justin ran a personal record time of 1:55.59 in the 800m at the WSC Finals at Santa Barbara City College which placed him in 2nd place and qualified him for the SoCal Finals. He currently ranks 5th in the state in the 800m.

Renegade Athletics End of the Year Awards

Each year we are very proud of how hard our Renegade student athletes work — both in the classroom and within their respective sports. At the end of each academic season, we like to award those student athletes who have been key parts to their teams and lifted those around them. Below are the winners of each category of award for the 2018-2019 season:

Athletes of the Year

Female – Gabby Lugo, Cross Country/Track & Field

Male – Carson Olivas, Football

Career Achievement

Female – Kylee Fahy, Softball

Male – Jacob Whitby, Track & Field

Newcomer of the Year

Female – Daran Towns, Swimming

Male – Justin Harrington, Football

Individual Performance

Female – Kayleen Sanchez, Women’s Tennis

Male – Zach Williams, Baseball

Grit Award

Female – Brooke McDonald, Women’s Soccer

Male – Justin Solario, Men’s Swimming

Weight Room Warrior

Female – Jessica Merante, Women’s Volleyball

Male – Zach Hartsfield, Football

Roundup of Athletics Events This Week

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

BC Athletics: Basketball, Spring Sports Heat Up the Valley


Lawrence Moore

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Friday, February 12, 2016.  The start of the long weekend to honor Presidents’ Day.  It is a good time to be a Renegade.

Greg Gallion and Kay Meek Feb 11 2016

Kay Meek, Greg Gallio. Feb 11, 2016

Yesterday, Feb 11th, at our Board meeting, BC received an award from Greg Gallion, CEO of the Houchin Community Blood Bank (HCBC).  Trustee Kay Meek received the award on behalf of the college and clearly she was delighted at the great work being done at BC and the strong partnership with HCBC.  Meek greeted Greg Gallion with warmth and appreciation. BC received the award due to the remarkable work done by our Student Government Association (SGA) and BC staff during the National Caesar Chavez Blood Drive.  This has been an ongoing effort at the college, and the partnership with Houchin.  

I remember having done two blogs on the blood drive at BC since I got here as president.  One in 2013 and another in 2014.  Check it out.

2014 blog at: http://bcpresidentblog.com/2014/04/20/sga-fills-the-bank-at-blood-drive/

2013 blog at: http://bcpresidentblog.com/2013/06/13/bc-in-the-top-10-for-blood-drive/

HCBC is a wonderful organization with the motto People Live when People Give and their CEO Greg Gallion, a fellow Rotarian, is just wonderful.  For more on the work that HCBC does check out http://hcbb.com/.

Clayton Fowler Feb 11 2015

Clayton Fowler. Board Meeting. Feb 11, 2016

I also enjoyed SGA President Cayton Fowler addressing the Board about the Renegade Promise work that SGA has undertaken along with College Council.  (Thank you Clayton, Nicky Damania, and Lesley Bonds for all your work on this project.)

I obtained Clayton’s written remarks to share with you this morning:

According to the College Promise Campaign, in the 21st century, a high school diploma is no longer enough to lead Americans to a good job and decent quality of life. In the next ten years, more than six out of ten jobs will require employees to have more than a high school diploma, while today only 40% of US adults ages 25–64 are adequately prepared for the workforce. Community colleges already reduce inequality in education and income by serving more than 40% of all undergraduates in the U.S. at more than 1,100 community colleges throughout the nation. Therefore, students, staff, and faculty of the Bakersfield College community have called to question, is there something more Bakersfield College can do to help educate our community.

Good Afternoon, I am Clayton Fowler the President of the Bakersfield College Student Government Association. I wanted to present to the Board the ambitious project Bakersfield College will been undergoing to increase student access and success. This venture, modeled after other programs, is entitled the Renegade Promise, which is a mutually agreed commitment that Bakersfield College will promise entering first-year students starting fall 2016.

While still in the development stages, the Renegade Promise will soon offer two pathways designed to give motivated first-time entering students a head start on a college degree. The purpose of the Renegade Promise is to offer structured opportunities for qualified students to enroll in community college courses that provide pathways that lead to a certificate, diploma, or transfer pathways or degrees.

Academic credits earned shall empower students who continue into postsecondary education after graduating from high school to complete a postsecondary degree or certificate in less time than would normally be required. BC would like to offer two pathways starting fall of 2016 with Plan A for Students who are College Ready and then in fall 2017, Plan B for Students who are not College Ready.

The public announcement and details for the Renegade Promise will be presented the 2016 Bakersfield College Student Leadership and Awards Ceremony on Friday, April 29, from 9:30 a.m. to Noon. I am here to invite you all to attend this ceremony to highlight not only our current student leaders, but also for the unveiling the Renegade Promise for student leaders of tomorrow.

Aaron Kidwell with Sonya Christian Feb 10 2016

Sonya Christian, Aaron Kidwell enjoying Renegade Basketball

On Wednesday, Feb 10th, after a long day of meetings, Vice President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Vice President Zav Dadabhoy and I headed over to watch our basketball teams take on Glendale. It made for a great evening and I’m happy to report that we won both games!  Coach Dahl and Coach Hughes rock!

It was wonderful to see BC faculty and staff out there at 8:00 p.m. supporting our student athletes.  Right from Aaron Kidwell who was up since 4:00 a.m. that day and taking care of stuff at BC to Pam Boyles, Ann Tatum and Robert Boyles, to department staff AD Sandi Taylor and gang, Educational Advisor Stig Jantz….A true labor of love!

I also learned an interesting tidbit at the game.  In High School and College, the Jersey numbers of the basketball players each digit cannot be higher than 5. Here are acceptable numbers  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21…… Apparently, this rule was adopted to help referees hand sign numbers to the scoring table. When a referee reports the number of the player to the scorer’s table. he does so with one hand signaling the number in the tens place and the other hand signaling the number in the ones place. Makes sense?  So, if he signals two fingers on his right hand and 4 on the left, he is designating the player with the jersey number 24.

If you haven’t made it out to the Gil Bishop Sports Center to watch our BC Renegades men’s and women’s basketball teams, you really should.

The men’s basketball team had a record of 21-4 after clinching a shot at the league title by beating Glendale on Feb. 10. If the team wins two of their next three games, they will win the Western State Conference South division title outright for the first time in more than 10 years!


The team is led by dynamic 5’7″ point guard Jameik Riviere, who currently leads the state in assists. Nothing stops Riviere from quickly weaving through two or three towering defenders, defying gravity as he hangs in the air a second longer than his opponents as his layup glides through the basket.

At the other end of the height chart, 6’9″ Deandre Dickson throws down amazing dunks several times a game, fielding impressive alley-oop style passes from Riviere.

While those two have emerged as stars, the men’s team routinely has depth in players scoring in double digits, including James Pendleton, Lawrence Moore, Shane Christie and Nick Velasquez, making it hard for opposing teams to keep the ‘Gades from scoring.

BC Basketball vs Barstow(M)-348-JPB

Coach Rich Hughes with his team

The men play their last home game on Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Gil Bishop Sports Center against Santa Monica, and we have a good chance of seeing Head Coach Rich Hughes  cut the net down after the game like Head Coach Paula Dahl did last season when the women’s team won their conference title!

Even though the women’s basketball team has had a season this year where they’ve struggled to put up wins like they did last season, they have played with a lot of heart, and Coach Dahl couldn’t be prouder of her team.

“I’m proud of my kids because they are learning that you can do hard things. I get compliments about their character, that they are polite and continue to work hard even though things have been tough. They are learning that life can be hard, and they are working through it and continuing to fight and get better even when the chips are down, and there’s nothing more I could ask for as a coach,” Dahl said.

Here is a quick update on BC’s other sports:

Baseball:  Coach Tim Painton has a solid bunch of players, and they have gotten off to a great start this season.  His pitching staff is composed almost entirely of freshmen, but on the offensive side, Harrison Smith and Hanz Harker (who have both already signed letters of intent to play at Division 1 schools) are now sophomores, picking up where they left off last season.  Smith already has a grand slam to his credit this year.

Sonya firing the gun spring 2015

Sonya Christian. Starter in Feb 12, 2015

Softball:  The BC Softball team is in its second year under coach Christie Hill, and she’s brought back key sophomores like Trinidad Lee.  Last season, Lee pitched the majority of the team’s innings, and helped them score runs with her bat.  This season, she’ll have help from sophomore Maddie Arambula and a host of freshmen from across Kern County.


Track & Field:  The Bakersfield College Track and Field team will have their first home meet of the year Friday, Feb. 12 at 10 a.m. at the “Battle of the Regions.”  Marylin Quintero and Sha’nya Terry have dominated the throwing events this season, while Deonte Henderson and Daniel Aguirre have been strong in the running events.  Tristan McGee won the long jump at an event last weekend, so there will be a great assortment of Renegades to cheer on in Memorial Stadium this season.  Thank you Coach Pam Kelley for inviting me to be the starter last year as well as this year.



Jeremy Price

Swimming:  The Swim Team opens competition Fri., Feb. 12 at the Pentathlon Event in Ventura. Last season, BC men’s swimmer Erik Wood won the event, while women’s swimmer Sara Klang had a great day in the pool as well.


Sara Klang

This year, coach Matt Moon is looking to freshmen swimmers Brian Bender and Christian Chou to lead the pack in Ventura, and he feels that Klang can build on her performance last season, and possibly claim the title at the five-event swim meet.

But one of the more interesting stories on the team is that of Jeremy Price. Coach Moon says that three years ago, Jeremy wasn’t even “water safe.”

But he took Tina Cummings’ Beginning Swimming course, did the hard work, and now Moon feels he can contend in some of the freestyle events.  Just amazing!

Men’s Golf:  Coach Brittney Goehring is now running both the men’s and women’s golf teams, and she’s in her second season with the men.  The 2016 men’s team has an interesting mix of athletes, from United States Marine Corps veteran Francisco Tomayo to former BC football punter Brady Wylie to freshmen like Brad Chamberlain (who currently leads the team) and North High grad Hunter Hopkins, they prove that you can get a lot of variety — even on a small squad like a golf team!  Fun bunch!


These are just some of the awesome things that are happening in the Athletics Department! Francis Mayer does a great job with with the gogades.com website — check it out for interesting stories about our student athletes.  Also, when you are at the website, check out the schedule and make it a point to get out and enjoy the great weather nature is providing, and the great performances our student athletes are providing!
We are…BC!

Meet Gathered Colleges at Memorial Stadium for Track & Field Competition

On Friday, March 28 the Western State Conference’s Inland Meet for Track & Field was held in the Memorial Stadium. Four other community colleges traveled to Bakersfield College for this meet: College of the Canyons, West Los Angeles, Glendale, and Antelope Valley.

Even if you have not attended any Track & Field meets, the events may be familiar to those who have watched any Summer Olympics-skilled and dedicated athletes competing in running, jumping, or throwing. It takes its name from the fact that these events are held on a track and field.

The WSC Inland Meet was an exciting event–athletes, coaches and spectators alike were abuzz with evident enthusiasm. There was a never a dull moment; As soon as an event ended, another started merely minutes afterwards. Scores of student athletes lined up not only to score points for their schools, but to prove to themselves that they are making progress. “I got a season best, so I’m happy about that. [The team] is getting a lot of PRs (Personal Records), especially the girls. We’re all improving,” said Renegade runner Jonathan Salinas, in between deep breaths.

It was amazing to see so many athletes wearing red and white doing their absolute best out on the track and in the field. Apparently, they faced some stiff competition! “It was hard, there’s a lot of fast kids here,” Jonathan explained. One of his teammates concurred. “On the first heat, [the girls] were really competitive,” Bakersfield College long-distance runner Cristina Herrera said, “We will need to practice harder.”

All in all, it was an exceptionally fun place to be. Family members and faculty cheered for their students during the events, rivaling athletes high-fived and congratulated each other at the finish line, and teammates spent some quality time together sprawled out on the cool grass after their events. Bakersfield College was proud to host this years Western State Conference’s Inland Meet! In the end, the Men placed 5th and Women 3rd overall. Go ‘Gades!

My First Commencement – Bakersfield College’s 99th!

Dr. Sonya Christian at Bakersfield College's 99th Commencement

Sonya Christian at BC’s 99th Commencement

May 10, 2013 was BC’s 99th commencement.  My first as president.

Faculty, staff, and administration marched into Memorial Stadium, ready and excited to celebrate the hard work and determination of every single Bakersfield College student. Those who have never been to a Bakersfield College commencement had little idea what these dedicated professionals had planned for the night – but the accoutrements were tucked neatly under their gowns: bubbles, horns, noisemakers, and more!

Following the faculty and staff, the music, provided live by members of the Bakersfield College band and orchestra, switched to “Pomp and Circumstance,” which is the traditional commencement march for colleges and universities. Students came streaming into Memorial Stadium to the shouts and cheers of family and friends, before taking their seats and staring up into the crowd in awe and wonder.

After some opening preliminaries, including the presentation of the American and California flags by a huge contingent of Boy Scouts, we heard from our resident anthem singer, Dr. John Gerhold, who sang a rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” which brought tears to my eyes.

The night’s honored speakers followed Dr. Gerhold, which included Kern Community College District Board of Trustees member Pauline Larwood, Kern Community College District Associate Vice Chancellor Dr. Michele Bresso, Vice President of the Academic Senate Michael Korcok, and Bakersfield College Student Government Association President and member of the class of 2013 Danitza Romo.

As I spent the next hour or so congratulating each and every student and presenting them their diplomas, I am reminded of the transformative power of education. Each student had their own hopes, their own dreams, and on commencement night, I was part of it.

Faculty and Staff Celebrate the Class of 2013

Faculty and staff form a tunnel to celebrate the class of 2013!

Remember those hidden treasures our faculty and staff snuck in? They came out and were enthusiastically used as students started receiving their diplomas. Each student walks a route from their chair, to the announcement area, to me, then through the cadre of faculty and staff who are ready to give high-fives, hugs, and make as much noise as possible for their students. The celebratory atmosphere was very, very energizing.

We kept it up until every last diploma was presented. As we finished the night, the faculty and staff created a tunnel to the edge of the stadium, and every graduate walked through the rows of celebratory cheers and hugs.

We attempted a new routine in handing out diplomas with two lines rather than one and shortened the duration of the event by 30 minutes which was very well received by all.

Check out Tom Moran’s commencement collection which is at http://tinyurl.com/ca3s9lc

Bringing the community back to BC: July 4, 2013

July 4, 2013 — To the delight of residents young and old, Bakersfield College Memorial Stadium BC fireworksbrought back the July 4th fireworks spectacular after a four-year hiatus.

Bringing the community back to campus via events is one of my areas of focus and the BC M&O department responded immediately with the necessary support and coordination to make it happen.  A big thank you to Tarina Perry who was at the front and center of all the events coordination.

I had the greatest feeling of pride and peace driving up Mt. Vernon to the campus at 8:00 p.m. to see families and their friends outside their homes, even south of University, waiting for the fireworks.  As I got closer to campus the energy was  palpable.  And then entering the packed stadium and seeing all those lights was absolutely euphoric.  I recalled many July 4ths from 10 years ago when we as a family did the BC fireworks as a family tradition.

Bakersfield College partnered with Canyon Hills Church, SC Anderson, Grimmway Enterprises, San Joaquin Community Hospital and other sponsors to present the I Love America Liberty Festival & Freedom Celebration on July 4, 2013.

It was a day of games, activities, booths and food for all, along with competitions held including   a patriotic photo contest, singing, kid’s talent, best-dressed bicycle and everyone’s favorite…baby photos!

Festivities inside Memorial Stadium kicked-off at 7:30 p.m. with a crowd estimated at 8,000. There was so much to see! A parade, marching band, skydivers, the BC drum line, military and veterans’ honors, remembrance of the victims of 9/11, music by a 150-voice singing flag, and the grand-finale fireworks show beautifully choreographed to music.

Fourth of July is back at Bakersfield College Memorial Stadium, and with the continued support of our sponsors and community, the tradition of lighting up the sky at the stadium will live on for years to come.

Photo: The Bakersfield Californian