Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, May 25, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.
Classified employees at Bakersfield College are the backbone of moving the work that we do. These individuals work directly with BC’s students, faculty, volunteers, business partners and community members. I’m continually struck by the dedication, positive energy, student-centered focus, and the hearts of service brought to campus every day by our classified staff.
These committed BC Renegades embody a collaborative culture of service, one that creates new processes to efficiently serve a growing number of students; one that goes the extra mile to ensure the safety of our campus, that builds bridges for students near and far, and continues a legacy of service that spans over 106 years.
Bakersfield College is such a vital part of our community, expanding into our rural areas to serve all students with a desire to learn and develop their skills. Our classified staff are key to supporting the work of making student life goals a reality.
The official CSEA website states, “California’s Legislature recognizes the important contributions of classified school employees and has named the third full week of May “Classified School Employee Week” (CSEW) to honor these contributions.” So this week, our management team took the time to recognize and thank these special colleagues with a special luncheon.
The afternoon included a delicious lunch from Coconut Joes and a ice cream sundae bar with all the extra special fixings.
Last month, at the April KCCD Board of Trustees meeting, some classified staff spoke during the luncheon to highlight the extraordinary work they and their colleagues do. For example, Financial Aid Technician Rebecca Bumpous took to the podium to described how she has helped her department with funding our students’ dreams, awarding $44 million in Title IV funding and $3 million in state funding for the 2018-19 academic year. Carlos Barbaran proudly spoke of his 24 years of service as a custodian in Maintenance and Operations, keeping 72,000 square feet of instructional facilities clean for our students every day. See the full piece in my blog from April 13th titled “Spring Into Action!”
And the recognition of their hard work isn’t just on the BC campus. KCCD recently highlighted Debra Anderson of BC’s Outreach and School Relations with the KCCD Leadership Award. Congratulations to Debbie! If you missed it, you can check it out on my blog from May 12th titled “Celebrating 2018-2019.”
Thank you to Bill Potter, Jim Coggins, Ramon Puga, Caroline Walth, Rachell Morehouse, Brett Redd, Stephen Waller, Tamara Baker, Lisa Kent, Dena Rhoades, Liz Rozell, Billie Jo Rice, Heather Pennella, Monika Scott, Susan Hubbell, Yvonne Armendariz, Tom Gelder, Manny Mourtzanos, Grace Commiso, Imelda Valdez, Kalina Hill, and especially Todd Coston for coordinating the celebration.
Early College Launch in Arvin
On Tuesday, BC held its Arvin Information Meeting, where community members were invited to learn about BC’s commitment to the city, and the future of education in their region. Norma Rojas-Mora touched on Early College coming to Arvin High, and the educational opportunities offered for adults.
Chancellor Tom Burke spoke to attendees about the importance of the partnership between the City of Arvin and Bakersfield College, and thanked the community for supporting the 2016 bond Measure J. Bill Potter and Tamara Baker presented information on the planned Measure J funded campus across the street from the high school. They reported that they are currently in the programming phase, and have initiated the CEQA study. Construction is currently scheduled to begin in August 2021.
Thank you to Arvin’s Mayor Jose Gurrola, AHS Principal Ed Watts, and City Manager Jerry Breckinridge for speaking in support of the partnership with BC. We are very excited to bring higher education and increased access to the city of Arvin and its residents!
Women’s Empowerment Summit
The California Latino Leadership Institute (CLLI) hosted their Fourth Annual Women’s Empowerment Summit in the Levan Center last Saturday, inspiring young women to pursue careers in STEM. The conference featured appearances from Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, California Assembly Member Rudy Salas, and several women from the local petroleum industry. Aera Energy President and CEO Christina Sistrunk was also recognized by CLLI as the 2019 Distinguished Woman and Petroleum Advocate of the Year.
Cathy Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association and recipient of last year’s CLLI Distinguished Woman Award, introduced Supervisor Perez, who expressed her appreciation for all that the local oil and gas industry does to keep the economy of Kern County stable.
BC’s own Kylie Swanson shared how BC’s Early College program is providing opportunities for young girls to develop a passion for STEM as early as eighth grade. Our Community Relations Director Norma Rojas-Mora also introduced Brittney Plascecia, the Associate Director of Women’s Leadership and Student Involvement at Mount Saint Mary’s University. Plascensia shared the university’s 2019 Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California, noting that while several improvements have been made in hiring women in the fields of media and politics, there’s still a lot more work to be done to close the gender wage gap and put more women in positions of leadership for large corporations.
Rojas-Mora also introduced Assemblymember Salas, who attended the event with several students from the Young Assembly Members program, which provides internship opportunities to young people interested in politics and civic engagement. Salas advised attendees of the Women’s Empowerment Conference to seek mentors and not be afraid to ask for the help and support they need to be successful.
One particularly informative portion of the conference was the roundtable discussion on women in STEM careers, which featured a panel of women who have found success in the traditionally male-dominated petroleum industry. The panel reiterated the importance of mentors and developing professional relationships that can create new opportunities.
I’d like to thank CLLI, Aera Energy, Chevron, and the California Resources Corporation for helping to organize the Women’s Empowerment Summit at BC. Thanks, also, to Charter-Spectrum Communications for providing breakfast to attendees.
Elementary Teacher Education & Liberal Studies Pre-Commencement Celebration
Bakersfield College’s Elementary Teacher Education & Liberal Studies Spring 2019 graduates were honored May 2nd during a student celebration of their successful completion of their degrees. The event was held in the beautiful Renegade Park in an elegant setting with fabulous food by BC Food Services. The future teachers recited an educator pledge to their friends and families and thanked them publicly for their ongoing support. They each received a light blue stole that they will wear with their graduation robes. Kudos to Dr. Kimberly Bligh, department chair for the Education Department, who directed the event, and to her outstanding Education faculty colleagues who attended: Dr. Erica Menchaca, Bill Chapman and Teresa McAllister. Christina Maldonado and the Education Department student peer mentors worked together to make this special event happen. Dean Billie Jo Rice, dean of Education Pathway and Dean Michele Bresso, dean over Education Department, were also present and took part in the ceremony! The most moving moments came as students thanked their parents, children, siblings, significant others plus their Bakersfield College faculty for helping them achieve their degrees. The joy of success of our students is why we are here! We Are BC!
MESA Awards and ACS Scholar
On Friday May 17, the 15th Annual MESA Student Awards Banquet commemorated and recognized MESA program students who have accomplished the goal of transferring to a 4-year institution and, for those graduating from Bakersfield College. Students were also recognized for obtaining an internship, research position, and/or a merit scholarship. This year, the MESA Program had more than 26 students transferring to a 4-year institution (more than 20% of MESA students), 14 that received a scholarship and 12 that received an internship and/or research position. Clayton Fowler, BC alumni and previous SGA president, from the office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy awarded transfer students with a certificate from the congressman.
In addition to celebrating the students, industry members, mentors, sponsors/donors, BC-MESA board members, and faculty are recognized during this event. MESA recognized:
Travis Burns — “Alumni of the Year”
This BC-MESA Alumni works at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. with the USA Air Force Contractor Logistic Support efforts, primarily related to datalink system on the MQ-9, which means he works at a global scale. He received the first “Alumni of the Year” award for his dedication to the students, giving back to this community, and his donations to the MESA Program.
Scott Trahan — “Individual of the Year”
Scott, an engineer at Chevron, is a member of the BC-MESA Board, participates in the Mentorship Program, and is constantly involved and volunteering at student/community MESA Program events.
Samuel Grijalva — “Sponsor of the Year”
Sam, as he likes to be called, received this award for his continued contributions/donations to the MESA Program over the past few years and the more significant contributions this year. In addition, he supports MESA as a BC-MESA Board member and participating in student/community events as a volunteer.
Professor Richard Darke — “Professor of the Year”
Professor Darke earned this award due to his dedication to students, and was nominated and voted for by MESA students to receive this award. Students believe Prof. Darke deserves this award due to his outstanding teaching methods, his disposition to help students succeed academically, and his eagerness to help students succeed both academically and professionally.
BC-MESA Board members
All of the Board Members were recognized for their support of the MESA program: Dolores Salgado, Infrastructure Engineering Corporation, Patrick Aderhold, Bakersfield College Engineering Professor, Salvador Ledesma, PG&E, Samuel Grijalva, Grimmway Farms, Linda Mohammad, AERA Energy, Kimberly Newton, Bakersfield College Biology Professor, Stephen Waller, Bakersfield College Dean of Instruction, Juan M. Alvarez,USDA NHSIP, Caleb Griffin, NRCS, Marcos Perez, NRCS, Wayne Cooper, Bakersfield College Chemistry Professor, Dillon Giblin, Bakersfield College Math Professor, Bakersfield College, Seira Greenwood, UCLA/MEDPEP, Andrea Gonzalez, Bakersfield College MESA Student, Scott Trahan, Chevron, and Consuelo Gonzalez, Bakersfield College MESA Director.
MESA student Brianna Aguilar was not only recognized for her accomplishment of achieving the goal for transferring to a 4-year university and for obtaining an internship/research position, she was also recognized for being chosen as an ACS scholar. This scholarship is up to $5,000 a year. Recipients of this award in the past have gone on to be leaders in the chemical professions. This opens up so many doors for Brianna.
I am so proud of Brianna and all of our MESA Renegades and look forward to hearing of their successes in the future. I would like to thank Steve Waller, Connie Gonzales, Vanessa Moreno and all of the faculty, mentors and sponsors that are involved in the MESA program.
Emails Worth Sharing
Janet Thomas also sent a warm email sharing her delight in the MESA Event. She said:
“It was a beautiful event. I was thrilled to hear from Travis Burns and his accomplishments that all began with his education at Bakersfield College and Ian Spark who is beginning her career as a new graduate from Bakersfield College going on to her next steps. I sat next to a young man named Rodrigo who is transferring to San Diego State on scholarships as a Chemical Engineer. It is very awesome to see the students when their names are called to come up to get their awards for their achievements in scholastics, community services and opportunities for internships. It was a great honor to be invited to this great event. Kevin McCarthy recognized each student with awards, because he knows the value of the education that begins at Bakersfield College. Anyway, The MESA team did a wonderful job, in conjunction with The MARK with hosting this event.”
Aera Tech and Regional Skills Conference
Last Saturday, the AERA Engine Builders Association and Engine Professional Magazine hosted an all-day conference to inform BC Automotive Technology students about all of the latest developments and trends in engine manufacturing. The 2019 AERA Tech and Regional Skills Conference took place in BC’s Automotive Technology building on the Panorama campus, featuring technical demonstrations from some of the biggest names in the automotive industry, including Edelbrock, Rottler, and Sunnen.
I’d like to thank AERA and Engine Professional Magazine, as well as Vic Posey and the BC Automotive Technology staff for organizing this professional development opportunity for our students.
LUPE/Conexiones Students Attend a 3-Day Leadership Retreat
Bakersfield College student leaders from LUPE/Conexiones participated in an unforgettable experience of leadership development. Students were able to experience outdoor adventures in a unique way that allowed them to develop self-confidence, improve effective program planning, and establish long-lasting and meaningful relationships with each other.
Because of their interactions during the 3-day retreat, these student leaders developed trust with each other and were able to cultivate a stronger support network.
Students were fully engaged in an in-depth discussion of John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. The student leaders facilitated an interactive discussion based on their personal life experiences and circumstances.
Students discussed what separated great leaders from good leaders and how they can become instruments of change in their immediate families and their communities.
In addition to the leadership workshop, students engaged in outdoor activities to enhance their confidence and learned how to overcome any difficult challenge they come across. Students conquered a physically challenging ropes course with persistence and determination.
Professor Octavio Barajas conquering the ropes course. Sí Se Puede!
They also tested their accuracy in the archery field.
In the evening hours, students had a blast on the karaoke machine and spent the late evening hours learning some dance moves.
See more fun photos of the LUPE/Conexiones Students Attend a 3-Day Leadership Retreat on smugmug.
The retreat provided a welcoming, refreshing, and inspiring environment in which to innovate, plan and collaborate. Through reflection and assessment of the academic year, the students identified areas of improvement within the LUPE/Conexiones organization and initiated a plan to produce a student-led leadership conference for the upcoming school year.
Funding for the Pali Retreat was provided by the Catalyst Fund. Special thanks to the coordinating efforts of the EOPS and CalSOAP staff who graciously took care of all the logistical planning.
Big SHOUT OUT to the BC staff/faculty who served as mentors and chaperones during the retreat: Professor Octavio Barajs (History), Lisa Robles Kent (SSP/Equity), and Rafael Centeno (EOPS).
ASSP Frank R. Rosenlieb Lifetime Achievement Award
On March 20th 2019, American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) held their 20th Annual Bakersfield ASSP Symposium. Founded in 1911, ASSP is the longest running safety organization and the most respected advocate for workplace safety and health professionals. With over 450 guests in attendance, our very own, Catherine Jones, was recognized with the Frank R. Rosenlieb Lifetime Achievement Award, which is recognized as one of the highest achievements in her industry. Congratulations Catherine.
OSRM Summer Internship Success
Summer internships are under way especially for a few students from the Occupational Safety & Risk Management program. An internship is a hands-on experience that provides meaningful, career-related work that extends a student’s learning beyond the classroom. One of the students, Stephany Cabrera, was offered an internship with Amazon as an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist in Delaware. Wilson Jones accepted an internship with Granite Construction as a Safety Intern and Martin Amezcua accepted an internship with Trinity Safety as a safety coordinator. These students are excited and grateful for these opportunities that will help launch their careers.
On the Monday just after commencement, May 13, 2019, Bakersfield College was honored to host an amazing performance about world peace from Jai Jagat and the children of the Manav Sadhna orphanage in India. The children are touring the world with Jai Jagat, an inspirational dance and drama troupe composed of 17 underprivileged children from six different communities in Ahmedabad, a city located in India’s Gujarat province.
“Jai Jagat” means “Victory of the World”, and this year’s show depicts the life of Mahatma Gandhi through interpretive choreography in honor of his 150th birthday this October. Jai Jagat’s program in the Indoor Theater envisioned what the planet might look like in 50 years, 2069, if people take Gandhi’s philosophy to heart and come together to settle their conflicts without violence and anger.
The Manav Sadhna orphanage is based out of Gandhi’s ashram in Ahmedabad, and they provide education, medical care and resources for proper hygiene to more than 10,000 underprivileged children, Jai Jagat Project Director Nimesh Patel said. They also offer sports leagues and arts and crafts programs for children, as well as compassionate care for the elderly.
New Taj Palace Indian Restaurant provided food for the cast and workers and for sale to the public at the event. It was great to see trustees Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg in the audience for Jai Jagat, as well as former trustee Bill Thomas.
This performance would not have been possible without help from the Office of Student Life, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and the Ravi and Naina Patel Foundation. Thank you to everyone who helped organize this event, as well as everyone who came out to hear the group’s motivational message.
BC takes Pantages Theater
On Wednesday evening, a group of BC faculty, staff, and students attended Les Miserables at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. The iconic theater, located on the corner of Hollywood and Vine is a monument of art, theater, movies, music, and performances. It has been home to popular productions such as the stage production of Disney’s Lion King, Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, and more. The interior of the theater is stunning and although originally constructed in 1930, it most recently underwent a $10-million restoration and upgrade in the year 2000.
Dr. Jen Garrett makes it a priority to give her students the opportunity to have eye opening and life changing experiences.. everything.from performing at local charity events to performing in Rome and at the Sydney Opera House, to experiencing talent as members of the audience. After giving students first priority, leftover reserved seats were made available to staff and faculty. In total, BC had over 150 individuals at Wednesday night’s performance. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it but I received tons of texts and messages from the BC crew who were there. I’m told that the performers were absolutely incredible.
Monika texted me that she could hear Manny De Los Santos, who was sitting with his wife one row above whispering comments like “Oh, this is my favorite part” and the following day, Manny let me know that “As a Les Mis fanboy,” he was not disappointed. He added that he wasn’t the only one as he claims he could see Nick Strobel “bouncing along to the music.”
Take a listen to Nick Cartell who was cast as Jean Valjean in the show on Wednesday evening.
I loved the photos from Jen Garrett’s Facebook showing their family of five at the theater. It’s truly wonderful to know the Garrett’s future Renegades are getting an early start on appreciation for music and live performances. Experiences like this are truly what make BC a campus, a community, and a family without boundaries. I’m looking forward to the next performance where BC takes Pantages!
Proud Day for the Writing Center & Academic Support Programs
Wednesday May 22nd was a joyous day for Bakersfield College Academic Support Programs. Four Writing Center team members were conferred with masters and doctoral degrees from California State University, Bakersfield! Laraine Rosema, Adjunct Writing Center Faculty, earned her Ed.D. In Educational Leadership: Jeff Newby, Writing Center Consultant, earned his Master of Arts in History; Marlin Morales, Writing Center Consultant, and Kim Arbolante, Writing Center Lead, both earned their Master of Arts in English with Writing Certificate.
The ceremony was held on the verdant soccer field at CSUB, and participants were relieved as rain clouds gave way to clearer skies and a beautiful sunset just as the graduate procession began. The proud graduates were blessed to have many BC colleagues in the crowd cheering them on. And while the fearless Director of Academic Support Programs, Maria Wright, is at home on maternity leave, the ASP team has done its best to make her proud by demonstrating its commitment to continuing education, excellence in the humanities, and to Renegades supporting colleagues and friends as part of our collective BC family.
Innocent Victims of Gang Violence
Last week I was able to attend an awareness event and memorial for innocent victims of gang violence at Lowell Park. Local radio host and media personality Danny Morrison volunteered to emcee the event as he grew up in the neighborhood around the park and has lost close friends to gang violence. It was highlighted by passionate remarks on the topic from Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh and a special musical number sung by a children’s choir from McKinley Elementary School. At the end of the program a permanent bench was unveiled to memorialize and remember all innocent victims of gang violence in our community. The event was part of a group project planned by the 2019 Leadership Bakersfield cohort that included our own Brandon Urry, Manager of Athletics Communications and Community Relations. Leadership Bakersfield is an annual program put on by the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce to better connect leaders in our community. Learn more about the Leadership Bakersfield program.
M&O Summer Projects
Maintenance & Operations has been hard at work since the Summer Semester began. So many projects in the past two weeks!
- Replaced carpet in A17 and HR
- Installed swamp coolers in the Huddle for Food Services and students
- Installed new artificial turf by pool
- Began renovations to the small pool
- Prepared for installation of artificial turf by solar parking lots
- Replaced landscaping alongside the FACE building and the Indoor Theater
- Removed a tree and planted fruit trees near FACE for the Renegade Pantry
- Trimmed 80 trees in one week
- Began renovations on restroom by tennis courts
- Stripped and waxed gym flooring, along with rooms in FACE building
- Replaced the air filters in the wood shop and welding labs
Thank you to our amazing M&O team for keeping our campus beautiful!
Emails Worth Sharing: from Baghdad
Paul Beckworth shared this email with me. I am so proud of our students serving abroad and continuing their education.
I payed for my classes today. It all worked out. I got into 3 classes I needed and waitlisted for 1. Thought I’d share some photos.
Emails Worth Sharing: Invited to Barcelona to Exhibit!
Diego Gutiérrez Monterrubio, adjunct faculty in the Art Department shared this email with me:
Waking up to this message with an invitation to exhibit my work in Barcelona makes my heart beat with happiness. I am humbled to be appreciated internationally
…y sigue la novela.
Buenos días, soy Aaron Henriques
Director de la Galería Carey
Tras ver su obra quiero proponerle exponer individualmente en Barcelona, España.
Esperando que la propuesta sea de su agrado quedó a la espera de sus noticias
Aespaña #art #arte #artlovers #novela #pintormexicano #contemporaryart
Good morning, I’m Aaron Henriques
Director of the Carey Gallery
After seeing his work I want to propose to you to exhibit individually your artwork in Barcelona, Spain.
Waiting for the proposal to be of your liking was waiting for your news.
Fun Photos: Temblor for Frank Caliendo
Look who I ran into on comedy night at Temblor.
Fun Photos: Living Victory Church
Fun Photos: El Camino at GPIT
El Camino College visited BC’s Campus for tips on implementing Guided Pathways.
Track & Field Finishes Season at CCCAA Championships
The Renegade Track & Field team traveled to the College of San Mateo, host site for the 2019 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Championships. The team had qualified five student athletes in six events and all placed well in their respective competitions. Renegade finishes included:
With the CCCAA Track & Field Championships now concluded, the season now finishes for both the Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams.
Track & Field Pulls In Long List Of Post-Season All-Conference Awards
The Renegade Track & Field team wrapped up the 2019 regular season this last week at the CCCAA State Championships with five top-10 finishes. As the regular season concludes, the team has racked up a number of post-season conference awards, listed below:
All-WSC First Team
- Zaila Clark – Triple Jump
- Joycelind Currie – 4 x 100m, 4 x 400m
- Daizhiana Ebert – 4 x 100m, Long Jump, 4 x 400m
- Noemi Esparza – 4 x 100m, 4 x 400m
- Victoria Lennon – 4 x 400m
- Gabby Lugo – 1500m, 4 x 400m
- Bree McCabe – 4 x 100m
- Daniel Nichols – High Jump
- Justin Frando – 800m
- Elvis Sanchez – Hammer
- Jacob Whitby – Shot, Discus, Hammer
All-WSC Second Team
- Rayvan Childs – 400m Hurdles
- Joycelind Currie – 400m
- Noemi Esparza – 400m Hurdles
- Derek Crawford – 4 x 400m
- Justin Frando – 4 x 400m
- Cody Hartsfield – Hammer, Discus
- Adrian Lopez – 800m
- Lorenzo Maldonado – 4 x 400m
- Cutberto Salgado – 4 x 400m
- Marcos Varela – Hammer
All-WSC Honorable Mention
- Yarabi Campos – Hammer
- Zaila Clark – Long Jump
- Noemi Esparza – 200m
- Victoria Lennon – 400m
- Gabby Lugo – 5000m, 800m
- Derek Crawford – 200m
- Cutberto Salgado – Steeplechase
- Elvis Sanchez – Discus
- Harrison Wykoff – Steeplechase
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever