Tag Archives: Michael Saag

It’s Valentine’s Day … Love is in the air

This long weekend, I am grateful to be able to take a short break and enjoy the quiet beauty of the world around us. In our hectic lives, it’s these peaceful moments that can help renew and restore us to continue the things we must do.

And as we head into Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I wanted to share this email W. Christian Flores-Castaneda in our Culinary Science department, full of Renegade love. It is notes like this from our campus community that also help renew and restore my spirit:

Thank you for supporting the Food and Nutrition Program here at Bakersfield College.

Hey, Y’all…

I had started this email a number of times, months ago, only to delete it over and over again, because it felt like I just couldn’t get the right words to flow together… I was trying to be funny, or quirky, or all wordsmith-y to keep you upbeat and interested.

And then I got to thinking, y’all just need some Love. Like, “Hey, we didn’t forget about you all, and how supportive and invested you are, and how much we rely on your gratitude and guinea pig-ness, and gosh darnnit, WE MISS YOU!” kinda love. The kind of love I tell our new students about. The RenRoom Fam. The “every Tuesday at 6 pm at THAT table” kinda love. We’ve been missin’ all the good times, and the not-so-perfect-but-let’s-chock-it-up-to-learning-experience times…

Well, the show must go on. People gotta eat. And we gotta make sure our students know what to do when they get out there. So, we are working on training them appropriately to today’s measures, ensuring theirs and others’ safety as they navigate the industry. COVID gave us an opportunity to build humane relationships with each other as we learn new techniques and skillsets under new guidelines and prevention measures. We’ve needed to adhere to the most practical methods of teaching our culinarians without compromising anyone’s health and safety. We’re connecting with each other in ways we had not completely relied upon in prior lesson exchanges. These moments are being seized.

“Are we open for business?” We are working on that, actually. We will provide our students opportunities to engage in real-time application as far as production expectation and sanitary distribution. That’s fancy talk for “how to cook and package things nicely.” Our advanced students are poised to begin processing orders this week. Because we are working with reduced class sizes, our production team can only offer a limited number of portions, so it’s gonna be a little “First Come, First Served”-fashioned at first.

Renegade Room Take-Out events are being coordinated for both Tuesday Night Fine Dining and Wednesday Lunch services, with tailored menus and pricing. As we begin to offer more service, I’ll be updating our webpage and send out communication regarding menus and payment methods.

You can visit the Renegade Room page of the Bakersfield College website for more information here: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/renegaderoom

Glad to be back, fam. We’ll see you soon.

W. Christian Flores-Castaneda

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 13, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.

BC Vaccine Clinic Updates

While preparations continue for our vaccination clinic on the Panorama Campus, more Renegades are getting access to the vaccine.

Yovani Jimenez, one of the newest Trustees to the Kern Community College District, is also a case worker for Clinica Sierra Vista, got his vaccine. Mary Jo Pasek also took her first treatment of the vaccine.

Jennifer Garrett also recently received her first dose of the vaccine:

If you have photos of yourself or loved ones getting vaccinated for COVID-19, please email them to earl.parsons@bakersfieldcollege.edu or president@bakersfieldcollege.edu

I also wanted to share another video from the February 2, 2021, Virtual Forum about the COVID-19 vaccine, with Dr. Michael Saag. You can see more videos from that session at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/covid19/resources.

In this 6:20-min video, he gives a brief description of the body’s immunization process and how the COVID-19 vaccine works. Thank you to BC Pre-Med student Ian Spark for taking part in the Q&A session:

For more information about Bakersfield College’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic, visit the COVID-19 page.

Poem: “Silencing Song”

Jack Hernandez shared a poignant poem with me this week:

Silencing Song

Abusive voices lash
the air and souls
of those
they despise.
Amid the endless rancor
words like peace
hide behind doors
of despair.
Yet ready to pounce
with love
forgiveness begins
her silencing song.

She does not avert
her eyes,
her lyrics tell those
whose tongues
are whips
she will not
strike back,
will stand strong
without hate,
waiting and singing
waiting and giving.

Putnam Exam Open to BC Students

From email from Jonathan P. Brown:

The William Lowell Putnam Competition is “the leading university-level mathematics examination in the world.”  The exam is fun, challenging, and if you score anything greater than a 0 on it, then that is something remarkable to put on your resume/CV or applications.  I am happy to announce that it will be available for the first time to any BC students who do not already hold a bachelor’s degree.  The exam will be Saturday, February 20th, and we will have two study sessions before then.

The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is “the leading university-level mathematics examination in the world.”  The competition consists of two 3-hour sessions.  During each session, participants work individually on six challenging mathematical problems. 

The 81st Putnam Competition will take place virtually on Feb 20, 2021

For more info: www.artofproblemsolving.com/contests/putnam
Register at https://artofproblemsolving.com/contests/putnam/student

Contact jonathan.brown@bakersfieldcollege.edu for more.

KHSD Opens Early College Pathway Applications for 2021-2022 School Year

KHSD announced this week that applications for their Early College pathways are now open for the 2021-2022 school year. In addition to the 4 pathways launched last Fall (Industrial Automation, Public Health, Psychology, and Administration of Justice), the district is also planning a new “Introduction to Health Careers” pathway with their CTEC facility that will align with our Title V objectives and expose high school students to the many Health Science pathways available here at BC. A cohort of 35 incoming 9th grade students will be selected for each of the 5 pathways, and students from other grades will be selected for courses that will get them a head start on pathways of their choice.

To learn more about these pathways, you can visit https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/earlycollege/khsd.

Tutoring Center Online and Open for BC Students

From email from Bradley Cramer:

Great news! The Bakersfield College Tutoring Center is now open and available online.

Services offered:

  • Weekly 50-minute appointments
  • 15-minute drop-in tutoring (for math and English)
  • Tutors available in many subjects

For more information and to sign up for tutoring, go to our website at: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/student/tutoring

The link to our website is also accessible by clicking the “BC Peer Tutoring” link in Canvas. Our online hours are:

  • Monday: 9 am – 7 pm
  • Tuesday: 9 am – 7 pm
  • Wednesday: 9 am – 8 pm
  • Thursday: 9 am – 7 pm

The BC Tutoring Center is a proven student success service that provides FREE online tutoring to all currently enrolled Bakersfield College Students. Our one-on-one Peer Tutors, who are trained and certified, can assist you with many Bakersfield College courses. Assistance with course content, assignments, required papers (at any stage of the writing process) and/or academic skills are available through drop-in and scheduled appointments for most BC courses. Please feel free to share this information with your students. Thank you so much.

Opening Day Spring 2021

On the first day of our Opening Day Spring 2021 production, CSEA President Tina Johnson shared an update:

We also featured a performance from the Renegade Chorus. Please enjoy “Resilience”:

For more videos from our Opening Day Spring 2021 production, visit https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/opening-week-spring-2021.

Community Voices

Philanthropy just may be the best tool we have for increasing social, economic mobility

Sheri Horn-Bunk, executive director of the Taft College Foundation, and Cheryl Scott, executive director of the Bakersfield College Foundation, co-wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the $100 million donation from the Jay Pritzker Foundation to fund the Finish Line Scholarships for 34 California community colleges.

“By providing students Finish Line scholarships, we’re able to remove barriers while supporting the overall community. When a student is able to feed their family, pay rent and complete their college degrees, they are putting the money back into the community. In fact, students earning a degree or certificate from a California community college nearly double their earnings within just three years!”

Get on track with Renegade Fitness

Nicky Damania wrote a piece for the Bakersfield Californian highlighting the virtual Renegade Fitness program, and shared how it has evolved over the course of the pandemic:

“Even though we are all virtually apart and not able to come physically together to workout, this avenue provides a small community for us to engage with each other. Also, as the workouts are shown on social media platforms, many community members have also started engaging with the workouts. We even have a couple of regulars who join in from the states of Indiana and Colorado.”

You can check out the Renegade Fitness program Monday through Friday from Noon to 1 p.m. Register on Zoom or tune in on Facebook LiveTwitterTwitch, or YouTube. Archived videos are available on the BCSGA YouTube channel.

Spotted on Social Media

The Padrinos de BC Instagram page shared this photo from the Latinx CCC Virtual Mixer:

Endee Grijalva had a family-style nachos night:

Shannon Musser shared this photo of her and her dog, Zoe:

Maria Wright shared this photo of her family:

And Abel Guzman shared this update about his work at BC:

Archives Throwback: Portrait of an Older Woman

In the Feb. 5, 1971 edition of the Renegade Rip, Mark W. Johnson breathes life into the casual and the mundane with his poem “Portrait of an Older Woman”. There aren’t many details available other than that, so enjoy the poem below:

Portrait of an Older Woman

she sits
in the shadow
of the window
noiselessly
she sits
the shadow
of the window

in a shadow-window
she sits
noiselessly
she sits
a wooden shadow
in the window
an etching
sunlight-shadow
carved

sunlight breaks
on bended knees
and sags upon
her feets
and slides
away across
the wooden floor
a river of bright
and dancing dust
splashing
noiselessly
as she sits
the shadow
of the window

Athletics

Throwback to 1979 Women’s Volleyball

It’s always fun to throwback to pictures of the past. Here’s some action pics from the 1979 women’s volleyball season – almost 40 years ago! That year the team placed fourth in the conference and had four players selected to the All-Conference team – Sharlene Carroll, Jill Turner, Terri McNamara and Rhonda Harrington. Do you know any of these ladies? What a blast from the past!


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That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Keeping our community healthy. We are BC!

Today, we pass a milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic. While the first US death was announced on February 29, 2020, later studies found that the first US death from COVID-19 was on February 6, 2020. Since then, over 450,000 people in the United States have died due to COVID-19.

It has been a harrowing year, but we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as more and more people receive the vaccine.

This week, Bakersfield College was given official approval as a site to administer to COVID-19 vaccinations. The college is engaged in discussions with Kern County Public Health to develop plans to support the vaccination effort in Kern County. To prepare for our first shipment of the vaccine, BC staff members who will be on-site to assist members of the community at the clinic got their first doses of the vaccine. I received these photos of Zav Dadabhoy, Nicky Damania, and Steve Watkin getting vaccinated.

I also wanted to share this note from Zav:

“Nurse graduated from Bakersfield College. Said it was the best thing since sliced bread. Lots of praise for the program overall, specially for Lisa Harding. I learned something new today, don’t put hand sanitizer on a glove. It destroys the protection of the glove. Thanks BC nursing!”

Dr. Zav Dadabhoy, VP Student Affairs
Steve Watkin, Exec Dir of Outreach and School Relations

I am so excited that once again, BC can step up and offer support to a community that has always supported us. Here is a photo of Bill Kelly getting his vaccination. Thank you Prof. Deb Rosenthal for facilitating BC employees over 65 getting their vaccinations. I am collecting and sharing vaccination photos and videos so plz send me your photos/videos by emailing president@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

Bill Kelly, Faculty Emeritus

Our fantastic nursing faculty and students, BC’s pandemic heroes, have already been hard at work giving vaccines at various sites throughout Kern County.

Art professor David Koeth also sent in a photo from his sister-in-law Sharon Nold, who received her vaccine from a BC nursing student at the Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley Hospital drive-through last weekend:

And Nursing Department Chair Alisha Loken shared this post on her Facebook page about her nursing students giving out vaccines:

I’m so proud of our nursing students and faculty, who are continuing to work on the frontlines of this pandemic to keep our community healthy and safe!

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 6, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.

Dr. Michael Saag Breaks Down the COVID-19 Vaccine

For our first President’s Virtual Seminar of 2021, we invited special guest Dr. Michael Saag, a dean of global health at the University of Alabama-Birmingham and a prominent researcher of infectious diseases, to educate the campus about vaccines. Dr. Saag answered questions from BC students Ian Spark (Pre-med) and Kassandra Sweeney (Public Health Sciences) about the human body’s immunization process, projections of how the COVID-19 vaccine rollout will expand over the next few months, and his personal experience with contracting COVID-19 in the early weeks of the virus. Dr. Charles Daramola gave a brief introduction of Dr. Saag’s accomplishments and answered questions from students and staff in online chat about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Today, I’d like to share one of Dr. Saag’s answers from the seminar. He talks about how long he thinks the vaccine rollout might take

You can find the rest of his videos, as well as other videos from our Virtual Seminar Series, on the COVID-19 Resources page.

An Appointment

I wanted a share another poem from Jack Hernandez:

An Appointment

When death left me
 in the waiting room
I ordered my usual coffee
read the morning news
as voices blathered
on the big screen
covering the wall
adjoining the locked
door I had entered
moments before.
I was unsure
when my appointment
was scheduled,
when death would diagnose
my exit,
I had heard
he could be blunt
or sadly soft.
Either way I thought
I’d look him in the eye,
smile, then say,
“I have lived well
and like the wind
I will always swirl
in memories
beyond your door.”

Zav Dadabhoy Presents at Immigration Legal Services Webinar

In addition to receiving the vaccine, Zav Dadabhoy spoke at a Chancellor’s office webinar about services for undocumented and immigrant students. Zav focused his comments around the importance of a creative supportive environment for undocumented students, integrating support for students across disciplines and service areas across the campus, and keeping the community informed about their immigration rights and opportunities to support their success.

Watch the full presentation from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office for more details about the Immigration Legal Services Project. Zav’s comments start around 47 minutes into the Zoom video.

Early College Administrators Convene to Celebrate Success and Discuss Future Opportunities

As you may have seen on Twitter, I welcomed 150 administrators and counselors from our Early College partners at a virtual convening hosted by our Outreach & Early College team last Friday. I was so happy to see some of our longtime partners there like Wonderful College Prep Academy, Wasco High School, Kern High School District, Delano Joint Union High School District, and McFarland High School Early College, as well as some of our newer partners like Garces Memorial High School, Taft Union High School, and Monache High School from Porterville. It amazes me how many high schools now offer entrances to our guided pathways through Dual Enrollment on their campuses, and how we continue to push forward on an exponential trajectory to keep expanding opportunities and access for all high school students all across Kern County.

The data shared during this meeting showed that our enrollment numbers for Dual and Concurrent Enrollment continued to increase through Spring 2020, Summer 2020, and Fall 2020. As the group planned for next school year, several representatives from BC shared about pathways opportunities through CTE, Title V- Health Sciences, Kinesiology, Public Safety Training, and more. It is amazing to see the high school and BC staff working together to continue bridging the gap between high school and higher education for all students, and I am excited to see our plans for Early College implementation continue to progress within each of our partnering districts.

The meeting closed with a preview of a new online platform, DualEnroll.com, that will replace our current Dual/Concurrent Enrollment form. With the constant growth in enrollments through Dual Enrollment and Concurrent Enrollment, this new platform will help to streamline the enrollment process for our high school students, their parents, and the high school sites.

Umoja Community starts Employment Prep Academy for Students Interested in Nursing

Umoja students and Dr. Parks talking with Dr. Michael Williams, COO of St. Joseph’s Hospital (A Dignity Hospital)

Umoja Community is partnering with Nursing and Job Placement to offer students an opportunity to be part of the newly established Umoja Employment Preparation Academy. We are so grateful to Morgan Clayton, president of Tel-Tec Security, for funding this program for a pilot group of five students.

Over the spring semester, the Umoja students will work with Venessa Reyes, education advisor, on planning their schedule and preparing to apply to the nursing program; with Dr. Ken Robinson, leadership consultant, on identifying their strengths and growing as a leader; with Vikki Coffee, Job Placement, on preparing a resume and identifying their career interests; with Dr. Paula L. Parks, Umoja English professor, on discussing Black Man in a White Coat; and with practitioners in the medical field. Many of the speakers are associated with Dignity Hospital, where Clayton is Chairman of the Board.

Dr. Michael Williams, the first African-American COO of St. Joseph’s Hospital, spoke with students this past week. He started his career in nursing, continued his education to earn a masters and doctorate, and over a period of 14 years moved up from bedside nurse to charge nurse, chief nurse, director, then COO.

“If you really put your mind to it, you can move up. You have to take your destiny in your own hands, get out of your comfort zone, and get the necessary experiences,” explained Williams, who combines his clinical knowledge and education with experience in project management, facilities, and budgets.

“What stuck with me,” said Alexis, “was that I need to get out of my comfort zone, ask for help, and seek challenges.”

Dr. Williams acknowledged the barriers he faced in becoming the hospital’s first Black administrator and encouraged students to advocate for themselves, ask others for advice, and earn the practical experience, degrees, and overall skill set for the position they want.

Upon completing the Employment Prep Academy, students will receive a scholarship and continue the following two semesters on-site at Dignity Health. Huge thanks to Morgan Clayton, Tel-Tec; Carla Gard, Nursing; Vikki Coffee, Job Placement; Dr. Ken Robinson, Umoja Advisory Board Member; and Dr. Paula L. Parks, Umoja Coordinator for making this opportunity possible for outstanding Umoja students.

CCRC Hosts Seminar on Costs of Guided Pathways

On Wednesday, February 3, I was a featured panelist at a nationwide panel on the costs of guided pathways. The panel, which was hosted by the Community College Research Center (CCRC), featured “Redesigning America’s Community Colleges” author Davis Jenkins, as well as Anthony Culpepper, a Vice President of Administrative Services at Glendale College who was instrumental in BC’s early implementation of the guided pathways model during his time as our Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services. The moderator was CCRC Senior Research Associate Hana Lahr, and Vice Chancellor of Finance and Facilities Planning Lizette Navarette talked about the statewide trends in pathways funding.

The forum centered around a technical report from the CCRC that examined the average increased costs for implementation of guided pathways at community colleges. The report concludes that a majority of the costs around guided pathways comes from hiring more advisors to be embedded within each of the learning and career pathways. All of the colleges in the study, which includes BC, are moving forward with guided pathways during the COVID-19 pandemic due to increased retention and graduation rates and making the colleges more efficient as a business.

You can check out the video below:

Opening Day Spring 2021

Today I’d like to share two more videos from our Opening Day Spring 2021 Programming, which took place January 12-14.

BCSGA President Gian Gayatao provided the traditional BCSGA President’s welcome:

And we took a look back at previous opening days:

You can find all the videos from our Spring 2021 Opening Day programming on the BC website.

In The News

Bakersfield Californian Tours Measure J Projects

Mike Giacomini gives Emma Gallegos and Alex Horvath of the Bakersfield Californian a tour of the Measure J construction projects.

The Bakersfield Californian visited the Panorama Campus on Monday to report on the latest developments with Measure J. Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services Mike Giacomini led reporter Emma Gallegos and photographer Alex Horvath on a tour of the renovations in the Campus Center, the new Science and Engineering building and Memorial Stadium while answering questions about construction timelines, infrastructure, swing space and more.

Check out the photo gallery on the Bakersfield Californian website.

For more information about Measure J, visit the A Better BC website

Art Professor gets recognition

Joseph Tipay, Studio Art professor, was honored in Bakersfield Life Magazine. Readers were asked to nominate area educators who have gone above and beyond for their students during the pandemic.

Community Voices: Dr. Brijesh Bhambi

Dr. Brijesh Bhambi

Dr. Brijesh Bhambi penned this piece in the Bakersfield Californian, The Solution is Inside the Box.

Dr. Bhambi discusses the need to accelerate vaccination to make sure we are safe from COVID-19. He says that the easiest and fastest way to ensure the most people are vaccinated is to allow doctors and pharmacies to give the vaccine.

“Release the vaccine to doctors and pharmacies. Relationships there are underpinned by trust and familiarity. Patient records already exist. Compliance to guidelines should be encouraged, but thrust of vaccination has to be vaccination. We should resist the temptation to overthink. Sometimes the solution is inside the box.”

Dr. Bhambi and I have been having an online conversation about COVID-19, vaccinations, and other topics at our shared blog, https://bhambiandchristian.com/.

Spotted on Social Media

EMT Program Director Brett Burton was a guest on KNZR Talk Radio, on The Law with Tony Lee:

Check out the video:

BCSGA shared this inspiring quote:

The BC Library Instagram account shared this photo of Faith Bradham and Laura Luiz (thank you to Mindy Wilmot!):

Mary Jo Pasek shared this photo in support of Go Red Day for heart disease awareness:

Isabel Castenada shared this picture of a Bridge to BC planning session with Kimberly Bligh and Ashlea Ward:

Athletics

Celebrating National Girls and Women in Sports Day

This last Wednesday, February 3rd was National Girls and Women in Sports Day. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the day which is meant to “Inspire girls and women to play and be active, to realize their full potential” – as stated on the Women’s Sports Foundation website. The day was meant to highlight the stories and paths of student athletes, coaches, administrators and lawmakers to provide equitable access to sports for all girls and women. These pictures are just a small sample of the many Renegade women we celebrate who have come through our campus to be an example and pave the way for future women’s opportunities in sports. We are proud of these women and celebrate their achievements both on the field and in life.

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That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever