Tag Archives: Mike Turnipseed

BC Celebrating Black History Month. We Are BC!

Good morning Bakersfield!

Could not wake up this morning when my alarm went off after a looong, hectic and fun filled week at Bakersfield College.  But then, as Jennifer Marden would say,  this is how we roll at BC.

Thank you Steve Watkin for putting together a robust series of events for Black History Month. #WeAreBC

Sonya Christian and Steve Watkin Feb 9 2018

Warning, this is going to be a long blog…but remember it is only the tip of the iceberg of what goes on at this college that serves over 31,000 students at campus on Panorama, and at locations in Delano, Wasco, McFarland, Shafter, Arvin, Lamont and now, in southwest Bakersfield at the corner of Stockdale and Buena Vista.

Yes, We Are BC!
And we are your college!

Before I get into the Bakersfield College activities, I want to recognize the passing of the husband of a dear friend Cathy Abernathy.  Mark Abernathy has been a public figure in this community for a long time and this piece by James Burger in the Jan 29th Californian gives us a glimpse of his life.  https://tinyurl.com/ycpxjy3r

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Dr. Michael Eric Dyson at Bakersfield College

A major highlight for the week was having author, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson on campus for a jam packed Thursday at BC.  hosting four events on the campus to talk about racial inequality and the ongoing journey for restorative justice in African-American communities.

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Dr. Dyson at BC’s Indoor Theater

Dyson, a sociology professor at Georgetown University, an author of 19 books, a radio show host, and a frequent guest on several nationally-broadcast political roundtable shows, addressed a packed Indoor Theater on Thursday night to talk about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and his influence on African-American leadership in the 21st Century.

i-jnmw4xp-x4Although Dr. King never ran for elected office, Dyson argues, his gift for motivating others through rhetoric and his great vision for what America could be, he enabled that vision to come slightly closer to reality.

“All [Dr. King] asked for was for America to be what is said it was on paper,” Dyson said. While talking about the riots and police brutality of the ’60s that created the civil rights movement, Dyson emphasized that King sought to take on the structural biases that held all marginalized people back, and that for Dr. King’s work to continue, we must also fight against sexism and homophobia in order to fight back against racism.

Dyson packed the Fireside Room to capacity for the two open-discussion forums on latest book “Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America”, as well as a question and answer session with Paula Parks and the students in BC’s Umoja community.

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Dr. Paula Parks and Dr. Dyson

During the book discussions, Dyson kept the conversation focused on the contemporary debate about police brutality, cultural appropriation of black artists, kneeling for the National Anthem and how to engage in dialogue about racial issues with people who aren’t able to relate to the struggles facing African-Americans and might be resistant to the message.

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Inspired by his 2016 New York Times op-ed titled “Death in Black and White,” “Tears We Cannot Stop” is about the need for an honest, unrestrained dialogue about race that doesn’t pull punches about the hardships marginalized groups have had to endure in order to carve out their place within the American Dream.

Between the open forum discussions on “Tears We Cannot Stop”, Dyson sat down for an interview with Paula Parks and the students in our Umoja Community to talk about how predominately-white educational institutions have evolved to incorporate and empathize with students from marginalized groups, as well as Dyson’s inspiration to continue writing and giving his perspective over the past 30 years.

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Zav Dadabhoy at Dr. Dyson. Love this picture.

“I write to save my life and the lives of others, and sometimes for the dynamic privilege of saying something well,” Dyson said. “I believe in explaining stuff to white people.” Dyson’s tone was very humorous despite talking about the serious issues plaguing the African-American community today. Dyson was one of the first academics to examine the literary themes of hip-hop music, and he often spoke of the intergenerational struggles expressed through African-American music.

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BC’s Choir performed before Dr. Dysons evening performance

Through the candid, authentic persona and fiery oration, Dyson has redefined what a public intellectual can be. Thank you to the partnership of the Office of Student Life’s Distinguished Speaker Series and the Cerro Author program for bringing Dr. Dyson to BC.

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Dr. Dyson with OSL and Student Life

Manny DeLosSantos found Ralph Bailey in attendance for the evening presentation.

Manny DeLosSantos and Ralph Bailey

Manny DeLosSantos and Ralph Bailey

And Earl Parsons spotted Dr. Jackie Fisher, alumnus, former faculty, former Dean and retired president of Antelope Valley College.

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Dr. Jackie Fisher visiting Bakersfield College

Danyel Owens snapped this photo of the the overflow in the Fireside Room. It’s great to see the community coming out to events such as this.

Fireside Room during presentation by Dr. Dyson

Fireside Room during presentation by Dr. Dyson

#WeAreBC

Revitalizing the Campus thought Measure J.  Thank you Kern County!

Since the passing of Measure J in November of 2016 by a 65% vote by the Bakersfield community, BC has partnered with  AECOM-Parsons to plan for the major renovation and expansion of Bakersfield College’s campuses, including the Delano-Timmons campus and the much anticipated Arvin campus. AECOM, a company that has worked with many educational institutions, together with Parsons, who has been working on the Thomas Roads Improvement Project for the last decade, are working together with BC faculty and leadership to update our Facilities Master Plan based on our needs.

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The presentation, led by Todd Coston pointed out that we are still in the planning stages and since “a plan is a plan,” we can expect changes to come as we get further into the details of architecture and construction. AECOM-Parsons has worked diligently to maximize the square footage of renovations and construction of buildings in the shortest amount of time to maximize our dollars. They are considering our needs, what exists, and where savings can be made. AECOM has also partnered with the Department of State Architecture (DSA) for a more efficient and faster way for construction approval and they are using BC Measure J Facilities Master Plan renovations and construction as part of a pilot program to implement construction in a fast pace.

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Nick Strobel in the audience alongside Aricia Leighton

Leveraging funds from Measure G and the state with Measure J funding, the plan is to renovate approximately 224,000 square feet and construct 266,000 square feet of new buildings over the next 6 years. The Veterans Resource Center is in the design phase and we look forward to breaking ground soon. AECOM-Parsons and BC are working on strategies for effectively accomplishing the master plan, such as planning the construction sequence being mindful of swing space, when construction goes to market locally, construction staging areas and rerouting of traffic while minimally impacting our students.

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Sonya Christian and Romeo Agbalog

Sonya Christian and Trustee Romeo Agbalog

Todd Coston was our entertaining and eloquent emcee and did a wonderful visualization of taking a “stroll into 2024” as a new student on the new Panorama campus without having the actual details of what the architecture will look like in the future. Thank you Trustee Bill Thomas for supporting Measure J, helping bring it to fruition, continuing your support, and attending our update. Thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog for attending the update and supporting the needs of our rural campuses. I want to thank Trustee Kay Meek and Chancellor Tom Burke for being a part of this work, although they were unable to attend. I would also like to thank the AECOM-Parsons team, Scott Preston, Jill Kurth, and Yvonne Hidle.

During the afternoon, Trustee Thomas brought up an interesting fact regarding the proposed “New Entry for Campus off Panorama” was actually the original entry when the campus was first built in the 1950’s. Knowing our history is very important in planning our future. Looking ahead, as we improve the facilities, we are striving to not only accommodate our needs now, but anticipate our needs in the future.

Bringing BC to Arvin #BCArvin

Arvin and BC Leadership

We know how much education can affect a family,” said Abel Guzman, BC Director of Rural Initiatives. “Imagine how much a college can affect a city.”  After the presentation on the Panorama campus, a team from BC, together with Arvin Mayor Jose Gurrola shared details and plans for the BC center in Arvin at the Veteran’s Hall.

Bill Potter in Arvin

Bill Potter presenting in Arvin, CA

 

Jose Gurrola, Sonya Christian, Future Rengades

Jose Gurrola, Sonya Christian, and future Arvin Renegades

It was exciting to provide the community an opportunity to hear the plans for the new BC Arvin Facility and give them a platform to voice their expectations for the campus. Facilitated by Director of Rural Initiatives, Abel Guzman, community Leaders from every level including Mayor Jose Gurrola, City Manager Al Noyola, and Arvin Chief of Police Jerry Breckinridge, came out in support.

Abel Guzman, Director of Rural Initiaives talked about the programming BC has brought to Arvin the last four years.  Thank you Supervisor Leticia Perez for $400K to increase educational attainment rates in this community thought the Game Changer program.  Thank you Mike Turnipseed and Superintendent Bryon Schaefer.

Enrollments last year topped 1000.  Can’t wait to see the numbers for 2017-2018.

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Trustee Bill Thomas told the audience that BC in Arvin is a “promise kept,” while Bill Potter, was able to paint a visual of the campus for the audience. 40-50 attendees were present including former chancellor and Arvin resident Jim Young, BC Adjunct faculty Amalia Ojeda, Dean Richard McCrow and BC Rural Initiatives Program Management team Raquel Lopez, Gustavo Enriquez, Endee Grijalva, and Jaime Lopez. Director Abel Guzman ended the forum with a reminder that BC in Arvin is like adding to the Arvin sense of “familia” in the community and has been and will continue to be a constant presence.

harold-pierce Feb 5 2018 Measure J draft plan roll outThank you Harold Pierce

Thank you also to Harold Pierce from the Californian for your articles.

The Bakersfield Californian is a local treasure and has a remarkable history. This newspaper has withstood a revolutionized industry, new technologies, and serves an expanding community that continues to grow, yet at the same time, it has kept that traditional “hometown content” that we’ve come to love.  A salute to the Californian and all its reporters.

Talking about Harold Pierce, I have been impressed with his coverage of Valley Fever and the efforts by our political leaders in Sacramento — Rudy Salas, Jean Fuller, Vince Fong.  See his piece in today’s Californian https://tinyurl.com/ya5wal63

 

A Wonderful Visit to Lost Hills

The Wonderful Company recently extended an invitation to BC leadership to engage in discussion to investigate possibilities to make local higher education a reality for the residents of Lost Hills. As you may know, Bakersfield College continues our commitment to serve neighboring rural communities by providing access to higher education.

Wonderful Tour Group Photo

Our morning began by visiting the various school sites in Lost Hills and seeing the college students of tomorrow beginning their educational journey on the right step.

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The Learning Garden was one of our favorite stops and the children there are growing both delicate herbs and hearty veggies such as cauliflower and broccoli.

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After visiting the school sites of Wonderful College Prep Academy, Wonderful Preschool, and the future permanent site of Wonderful College Prep Academy, the group visited Wonderful Park and Community Center in Lost Hills for a brainstorming lunch and discussion.  The Wonderful Company takes wellness seriously, just like BC and the lunch they provided was fresh and delicious.

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Beautiful lunch of salads, cauliflower rice, and salmon

Thank you to Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Lynda Resnick for joining the leadership from BC, and leadership from Wonderful Education and The Wonderful Company.

 

 

 

I look forward to more discussion and planning to bring college closer to home for the residents of Lost Hills.

 

You should check out David Brook’s piece in the NYTimes in 2016 on lost Hills and Lynda Resnick

Julian West Community Voices

BC Mentoring ArticleI recently shared that Julian West presented at BC’s Spring Opening Day where he addressed the audience about how he’s able to keep 600 students in our African-American affinity group engaged and striving for their highest level of excellence, using a combination of data analysis and “real talk” face-to-face mentorship to ensure that none of our African American students are falling through the cracks. See Julians full remarks here.

It brought a smile to my face on Friday morning when I saw Julians piece published in the paper. This inspiring and informative piece is an incredible piece of writing that shares a glimpse of the work taking place at BC. Julian writes, “To be effective in accomplishing equitable transformation, we address issues beyond what we see in the classroom. Scholastic results, or lack thereof, are rooted in issues students face outside the classroom. At BC, we address these issues in our African American Mentoring Program (AAMP) meetings during a component we call “Real Talk.” Real Talk is the facilitation of honest conversations, “Truth-telling conversations.” Sometimes that involves unpacking very complex issues such as masculinity. What does it really mean to be a man? What does it really mean to be a black man?”  See the whole article here.

And in case you missed Julians presentation on Opening Day:

Student Challenge

Speaking of student success… Jamie Garza, a sophomore in our Radiologic Technology program, won second place in the Student Challenge at a Radiologic Technology Educators’ Conference in Las Vegas. He was the only California community college student to place in the top three awards for the challenge, held at the 43rd annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Educators in Radiologic Technology (ACERT). Over 500 students were in attendance for the conference, which holds a sample mock registry exam called the Student Challenge to prepare students for the licensure certification exam in radiologic technology.

Radiologic Technology Students that participated in the challenge

Jamie Garza (holding certificate), myself (directly behind her to the right and the other 8 Radiologic Technology Students that participated in the challenge

Garza was one of the nine BC students who attended the conference with four other faculty members from BC, and she was awarded a certificate of recognition and a monetary award for her efforts. Jamie is scheduled to graduate this May with her Associate of Science degree, and plans on taking the licensure exam and seeking employment in Radiologic Technology immediately after Commencement, according to our Radiologic Technology Director Nancy Perkins.

Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrom, BC Chamber Singers …Buy your ticket now

As I mentioned each week the last two weeks, I am personally involved in helping sell tickets to the benefit concert on March 10th at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $100 each to help our students go to Australia.  Email me now or call the BC Foundation for your tickets.  We have to sell 231 more tickets.

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Financial Aid Awareness Month Kicks Off

Did you know February is Financial Aid Awareness month? The Office of Financial Aid held a special kick-off event in the Renegade Crossroads on Monday with financial aid technicians teaching our students how to get a head start on their FAFSA paperwork for next semester. This year’s kick-off event had a NASCAR theme, with technicians passing out pizza and distributing information behind a checkerboard flag. There were also booths with specialized information for veterans and DREAMers to apply, and the BC drumline performed to kick off the morning’s festivities.

While the deadline for students to apply for a Federal Student Aid identification number (FSA ID) and complete the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) is June 30th for the 2018-19 academic year, according to Financial Aid Assistant Adriana Vega, it’s important for students to get their information processed as soon as possible so that our pit crew at the Financial Aid office can deal with any complications that may arise. We want all of our students to be able to sprint ahead with their application as soon as the green flag of the Fall 2018 semester is waved. We are encouraging students to apply for aid before March 2nd, the priority filing deadline and the deadline for Cal Grant consideration for the 2018-19 academic year.

The Office of Financial Aid is working on streamlining the processing of awards for next year and digitizing financial aid forms for easier access to students while reducing the carbon footprint and storage space necessary for paper applications, Vega said.

Thank you to Kevin Ott, Vanesa De La Madrid, Gina Hunter, Heather Skibinski, Mark Llanes, Adriana Vega, Lucy Perez-Dykes, Evette Lara, Victoria Koiyan, Walter Rivas, Rebecca Bumpous, Connie Garza-Singh, Valerie Mackey, Pedro Ramirez, and the various departments who contributed to the resource fair:
From EOP&S: Bobby Baylon, Bradley Parrot and Jessica Cortez.
From DSPS: Rudy Gutierrez, Denise Crawford, and Diane Allen.

Student Employment: Vicki Coffee and Beth Harrison.

African American Community Leadership Breakfast

The campus activities for Black History Month also continue and on Wednesday morning, African American leaders in our community gathered in the Fireside Room. The morning was an opportunity to connect, discuss student success and initiatives that are making a difference.

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It was great to hear from Tommy Tunson as he shared a story of visiting Palm Springs and meeting Rosa Parks. Chelsea Esquibias, Danny Morrison, Julian West, and Rayven Acosta-Webb also presented about the Inmate Scholars Program and all the incredible transformation brought about because of the opportunity to obtain an education.

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June Charles and Michael Bowers

 

And thank you Michael Bowers for your continued support of Bakersfield College.  You introduced me to some stellar members of our community during the campaign for Measure J.

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Michelle Hart at our Delano Campus shared with me this photo and said,

We had 26 students attend! They laughed, were engaged throughout, and were super appreciative of being given the opportunity to “attend” the event! In fact, afterward, Anhelica Perez, SGA Delano Campus Programmer, Elisabeth Sundby, Delano Campus Librarian, and I were able to have brief conversations with them about the issues discussed and about offering more events like these in the future.

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Welcoming Mr. Finzel in Delano

U.S. Congressman David Valadao’s field representative, Perry Finzel, reached out to Gustavo Enriquez hoping to learn more about the Delano campus. On Wednesday, February 7th, Delano staff had the pleasure of providing a tour and updating Perry Finzel on all of our rural initiatives. He was truly impressed with all of the work happening in the rural areas.

U.S. Congressman David Valadao is the Representative for California’s 21st District which includes Kings County, western Fresno County, southwestern Tulare county, and northwestern Kern county, including Delano. The Congressman is a proponent of education and supporter of Career Technical Education legislation. Thank you Gustavo for welcoming the Congressman’s field representative.

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Perry Finzel and Gustavo Enriquez

Agriculture Career Exploration Day

The BC cafeteria was brimming with Future Farmers of America Friday morning for the Agriculture Career Exploration Day. Around 200 excited students from local high schools with an interest in a future in agriculture attended this first Career Day focused on Agriculture at Bakersfield College.

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Jeff Rasmussen and Corny Rodriguez

Jeff Rasmussen and Corny Rodriguez

This event was made possible by the Kern County Farm Bureau, Kern High School District and the many industry partners including JG Boswell, Sunview Vineyards, Syngenta, Grimmway Farms, Cargill-Nutrena and Wonderful Farms. It was Jeff Rasmussen, past president of the Kern County Farm Bureau, BC alumnus and great friend and supporter of agriculture education, who first approached me about having this event. I’m happy to say that we were able to come together and have this first of many career days for Ag.

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Ag faculty Feb 9 2018 Photo by Mary Jo Pasek

Thank you Jeff for coming to me with this wonderful idea. I want to give a special thank you to BC faculty Heather Baltis for taking the lead in putting this event together.  Thank you to all of the Ag department that were involved with this event: Corny Rodriguez, Matt Riley, Lindsay Ono, Dr. Greg Cluff, Department Chair, Dr. Jim Selgrath, Catherine Jones, Leann Riley, Bill Kelly, Billy Barnes, Dr. James McEnroe, Chris McCraw, and Sally Sterns. Thank you Eric Sabella and food services staff for providing the delicious food and Mary Jo Pasek for arranging and coordinating the event locations. And last, but not least, thank you Ralph Mendes, Kern High School District Ag Coordinator, for all of your work in making the event happen from the high school side.

Rudy Salas

Assemblymember Rudy Salas speaking at BC

We were delighted to have special guest Assemblymember Rudy Salas, District 32, join us and encourage the students to let him know if BC didn’t show “how Ag is cool.” Assemblymember Salas led the charge in saving agriculture education and was instrumental in bringing back programs in schools when the government removed FFA. The state is now investing millions in Ag education.

Jeff Rasmussen told an engaging parable about a water bearer trying to cheer up his cracked pot by showing the pot the wonderful flowers that grew along the pathway he walked every day to bring water back to his masters house. He told the students that we all have cracks, that we may not see the benefits of our cracks, and we may need a water bearer to show us the benefits. For him, Bill Kelley was a water bearer. Bill encouraged him when he was having problems with math and English and convinced him that he could transfer to Cal-Poly, where he earned a degree in Ornamental Horticulture. Bill helped him see his pathway.

 

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Mike Riel, Grimmway Farms

Did you know that careers in Ag are growing? Because of feedback from the Ag industry and the high schools, we realized that the demand for education that leads to jobs in these industries is important. This resulted in BC’s Ag department doubling over the last few years.

This Agriculture Career Exploration Day is so impactful on our future students. It gives them the opportunity to meet the water bearers of Ag Mechanics, Plant Science, Agribusiness, Forestry and Animal Science to help them down the Ag pathway. After all, we are an agricultural community and education is the key to sustaining the future of agriculture and a strong economy in our community.

Manny at the Ag Expo

Manny DeLosSantos hanging out

Industrial Automation

Clovis Community College has launched a new short-term course in Mechatronics to prepare its students for a career in industrial automation, according to a report by YourCentralValley.com.

Clovis professor Matthew Graff has been working closely with the Central Valley’s Strong Workforce Consortium on Industrial Automation, of which BC is a part, to develop the course, which teaches students about manufacturing and agricultural automation technologies.

For the last few years, BC has been leading the way on industrial automation programs at community colleges, with our first baccalaureate class in Industrial Automation getting the chance to walk across the stage and graduate this May, and it’s exciting to see other community colleges in our area developing curricula that will meet the growing demand for industrial automation professionals in San Joaquin.

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KC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Gala

KCHCC Group PhotoIt was a wonderful evening of familiar community faces and much deserved recognition as the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a longtime Bakersfield College supporter, recently honored 7 local leaders and businesses that are making a difference in our town. California State University Bakersfield President Dr. Horace Mitchell who retires in June was among the honorees. He received the businessman of the year award, and in giving his speech, he credited educational success to various institutions — corporations, schools, and business chambers — working together as partners in community excellence.  “It’s all about all of us working together in improving our community,” he shared with the audience. Thank you, Horace, for highlighting the power of education and its lasting, positive impact on our community.

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Other honorees from the evening were: Pam Alvarez of Beautiful You Medical Aesthetics as business woman of the year; Beverly Camp of Catholic Diocese of Fresno Charities as community service of the year; Trans-West Security, Inc., as corporation of the year; Luis Aguilar who recently retired from his longtime business, El Pueblo restaurant in Lamont, as large business of the year; Godinez Law as small business of the year; and Patriots of Kern, led by Dick Taylor, as nonprofit of the year. Even more special for Bakersfield College was that three of our very own were installed as officers to this year’s Hispanic chamber board and its foundation.

History Professor Olivia Garcia was appointed to the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce executive board of directors. Dean of Instruction Cornelio “Corny” Rodriguez and Lisa Kent, Equity Program Manager, were both named to serve on the Hispanic Chamber’s Business Education Foundation. Kudos also goes to Chevron’s Adam Alvidrez who was honored as the returning chair of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce board. Thank you, Adam, Chevron, Jay Tamsi and the Hispanic chamber for your continued support of BC and the Energy Academy.

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Jesse Oropeza, Olivia Garcia, Endee Grijalva, Octavio Barajas, Heather Pennella, and Lisa Kent

The event was indeed a sellout, and familiar faces were many, including Mayor Karen Goh, Assembly members Vince Fong and Rudy Salas, Senator Andy Vidak, Chair of the Board Supervisor Mike Maggard, Bakersfield Council members Andrae Gonzales and Chris Parlier, and Delano City Councilwoman Liz Morris, along with newcomers, such as Clinica Sierra Vista’s Brian Harris and his wife, Gisela, among many others. Brian began as the new CEO of Clinica on Jan. 29, replacing its founder and longtime CEO, the much-respected Stephen Schilling.

Second Annual Pathway to Success Conference.

The second annual Pathway to Success Conference took place yesterday for students with less than a “Good” Academic Standing. The conference was full of facts on how your Academic Standing can affect your financial aid, steps to take to get back to Good Standing, and tools to help you be successful here at BC.

Grace Commiso and Tanner Dyrness

Grace Commiso and Tanner Dyrness

Grace Commiso kicked off the event with an enlightening  presentation that was well received. She said, “Get Connected! The more you communicate with your professor, classmates, and advisers, the more successful you will be in class.”

She also relayed to us, that we all need to find our Why?! Finding out the ‘why you are here’ will help inspire you to get good grades and stay involved. She shared with students that it took her a few years to find her why, but when she did, she was able to thrive in academia and was able to become who she is today.

Tanner Dyrness, Mary Jo Pasek, Michael McClenic

Tanner Dyrness, Mary Jo Pasek, Michael McClenic, and Fabiola Johnson

Presenting for Assemblyman Vince Fong was field Representative Tanner Dyrness. He also shared with us that he too, had trouble finding his “why,” but when he finally figured it out, he knew his destiny was being in politics. Mr. Dyrness also presented a Certificate of Recognition to Bakersfield Collage on behalf of the State of California.

AwardBC

I would to give a special thank you to Fabiola Johnson for her amazing presentation and all her hard work. Thank you to Dr. Michael McClenic and Grace Commiso for hosting the Second annual Pathway to Success Conference.

Clarifying Paths from BC to CSUB

This week, approximately 70 CSUB and BC faculty and leaders gathered in BC’s Huddle to create 4-year default pathways for each degree. During the morning, the group compared coursework and aligned the classes. Our goal is to have a validated 4-year pathway for each of our ADTs in the next college catalog and a big event to come at CSUB announcing the created pathways.

We know that by working together, we can increase completion rates for all of our students and get them guarantees for transferring their course work. Thank you to Shawn Whalen from College Futures Foundation for announcing a grant to continue our work on transfer alignment. And thank you to the admin team from CSUB including Jacqueline Mimms and Vernon Harper.

4 Renegade Football Players Sign to Play at the Next Level

Wednesday was National Signing Day and four Bakerfield College football players signed to play at the next level.  Tyrrel Eddington, Jeffrey Jones and Ernest Harris signed to play at the Division I level while Cristion Brown signed to play at the Division II level.  

Tyrrell Eddington will be playing at Eastern Michigan University (Mid-American Conference), Jeffrey Jones will be playing at The University New Mexico (Mountain West Conference), Ernest Harris will be playing at Sam Houton State (Southland Conference) and Cristion Brown will be playing at Fort Lewis College (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference).
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Renegade Basketball

The BC women’s basketball team (10-13, 4-2) used a balanced attack to defeat Santa Monica last night.  Four Renegades scored in double-figures, led by Jasmyn Rodriguez with 20 points.  Brianna Mendez added 14 points and 8 rebounds, while Bianca Zamora chipped in 12 points.  Angie Kroeger recorded here 5th double-double of the season.

The Renegades will be on the road Saturday when they travel to West LA for a 1:00 PM tip-off.

The Bakersfield College men’s basketball team (13-11, 4-2) defeated Santa Monica 81-53 on Wednesday night.  Jaylunn English led the Renegades with 29 points.  Henry Galinato added 17 pooint and Johnathan Murray scored 15 points and had 10 assists.  

BC at Garden Pathways

Garden Pathways Billie Jo Rice, Karen Goh, Liz Rozell, Grace Commisso, Endee Grijalva

Billie Jo Rice, Mayor Karen Goh, Liz Rozell, Grace Commiso, Endee Grijalva

Heart of the Country_Social_TextThe Garden Pathways “Heart of the Country” event held Thursday and we saw people from every part of the community in support of the amazing organization and the people it serves.

Bakersfield College was proud “Arbuckle Sponsors” with Liz Rozell, Bill Jo Rice, Grace Commiso and Endee Grijalva in attendance representing BC.

Highlights included Invocation by the honorable Mayor and Garden Pathways President Karen Goh, Program Graduate Awards/ Recognition, live entertainment and of course, KGET-TV 17’s Maddie Janssen as the MC for the evening.

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On Thursday, Lesley Bonds and I headed out to LA for the Accreditation Evaluation Team Training.  There were six teams heading out in March to six different colleges that are up for their accreditation comprehensive site visit.  And guess what….. all six teams had a BC person on it.  How cool is that.  BC is everywhere in our community, in our state, in our region.  In the photo below – Bill Moseley, Jessica Wojtysiak, Janet Fulks, Lesley Bonds and me.  We did not see Don Chrusciel at that time and therefore we were not able to get him into the photo.

BC at ACCJC Team Training

And thank you Mary Jo Pasek for all that you do to support and bring these great events to Bakersfield College.

Mary Jo and Tom Pasek Aug 2 2016

 

#WeAreBC

 

Feb 10 2018 Neo Live Laugh Love

Sonya Christian Feb 7 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Finals Week for Fall 2017 is a Wrap!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, December 9, 2017 and fall semester is a wrap.  A great day to be a Renegade and a great semester to be a Renegade.  BC students have been completing their finals all week long and the cool, chilly weather has us all in the holiday spirit.

And then Felix Adamo from The Bakersfield Californian dropped by during a lunch meeting at Don Perico.  I was so delighted to listen in on the banter between Felix and Nan.  Did you know that this fabulous photographer with the twitter handle @TBCpix is a veteran, was a student at BC, was the photographer for the Renegade Rip and the Raconteur….  Just wonderful.  Also, try a google image search with “Felix Adamo”…. you will find thousands of photos, but not one photo of him.  So I felt quite sneaky stealing this picture of Felix with Nan and then blasting it on social media — twitter and now my blog 🙂

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Felix Adamo

He was the student photographer for the 1975 Raconteur when BC won the Rosebowl championship.  James E. Meadows was the sports editor and started the article with

On December 11, 1975 a crowd of only 21,200 gathered in the sun-warmed Rosebowl in Pasadena for the Los Angeles Times sponsored Junior Rose Bowl — the 22nd of its kind …

Felix Adamo photographer in the BC Dec 1975 Raconteur.png

And as I scrolled through the Dec 1975 Raconteur I found this picture of Bill Thomas and Sharon Thomas by Lewis Wakeland.

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Thank you Felix Adamo.
I’m so proud that such a talented photographer is a Renegade!

100th Graduating Class of the BC Associate Degree Nursing Program

On Thursday evening, we celebrated the momentous occasion of the 100th Graduating Class of the BC Associate Degree Nursing Program.

Did you know the Nursing program at Bakersfield College is the 6th oldest RN program in the state? An article in one of the BC Archives newsletters says, “It all started in 1951 when a vocational nursing program was initiated in cooperation with Kern General Hospital (now Kern Medical Center). Its first group of nurses graduated in 1952.”

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GlennBultman, Ed Simonsen, and Pearl Wassen at Registered Nursing Graduation in 1960

It continued, “The original intention of the vocational nursing program was to train nurses to address the shortage brought on by World War II. It is thought that the program might end when the registered nursing program was initiated, but this did not occur.”  The registered nursing program began at BC in 1957 under the direction of Kathryn Cafferty. Accreditation was granted in June 1958 and the first graduating class was the following year.

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Thursdays Ceremony had 59 graduates and all grads have received and accepted job offers. The evening began with a performance by the BC Drumline and attendees were welcomed by the Master of Ceremonies, Jaime Mendiola and the Pledge of Allegiance by Gagan Jattana. Speakers for the evening included Carla Gard, Director of the Nursing Program, Lisa Harding, Faculty, Jeanette Harvey and Haley Wayts, Students, Ronnie KnabeDebbie Kennedy, and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.  

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

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Lisa Harding

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In recognition of the 100th Graduating class of the Bakersfield College Associate Degree Nursing Program, the department shared a few mementos that commemorate the amazing milestone. This is such an exciting time for the department and our college.

Special thanks to Cindy Collier, Carla Gard, Michelle Burton, Bryan Lainez, Treana Adams, and Vanessa Reyes.

See all the photos at the Bakersfield College Smugmug.

Culinary Caroling

I walked into the third annual Culinary and Caroling dinner event to find this distinguished gentleman playing the piano to greet the guests.

Mark Wilcox Dec 2 2017

Mark Wilcox, the proud father of the talented, passionate and beautiful Jen Garrett.

On December 2nd, the BC Chamber Singers and BC Culinary Arts partnered to create their third annual Culinary and Caroling dinner.  Last year’s event was on Dec 3, 2016.  Here is my blog post from last year https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/12/10/17775/

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Sonya Christian, Jen Garrett with Chamber Singers Dec 2 2017

Chefs Alex Gomez, Suzanne Durst and the Renegade Room staff hosted a delicious holiday dinner, and host Christian Flores made sure all guests were taken care of. Decorations were by Christine Foth.  My guests this year included Mayor Karen Goh, Chancellor Tom Burke and his wife Tina, KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog and his wife Lily, and Ed Davis and his wife Shelley Davis.

Each table had a chamber singer assigned to take care of the guests.  Our chamber singer was the fabulous Mark who you see in the picture below.

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Special Guests at the Culinary Caroling Dinner

The beautiful voices of the BC Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Garrett, always make this special annual event magical. One piece had a student signing to it and I love that they added this. Here is a short video:

 

CulinaryCaroling_PattDavisSingingSantaBabyPatt Davis sang Santa Baby and here is a picture when she visited the table with our Chancellor, Tom Burke. So fun!

It’s heartwarming to see multiple departments at BC come together, along with the support from local businesses that donated items and services. It’s a joy to see the amazingly generous attendees enjoy their visit to our campus and experience the true talent of our students and staff.

Here is Trustee Romeo Agbalog visiting with faculty and staff — in the pictures below you see him with Cindy Collier, Dean of Allied Health and Career and Technical Education and Talita Pruett, faculty member in Communication.

Chef Suzanne and Jen Garrett thank you for another great event.

 

Loved this picture that Lily Agbalog texted me with the photos of Santa captioned.

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Santa!

Markelle (Mark) Taylor, one of our students and a music major was in charge of our table. Mark performs in a lot of musical theater in the community.

Markelle Taylor.jpg

 

 

Here is Matt Garrett with his mom Barbara Garrett who did the m&m counting for the jar of 1000 m&ms and his grandpa Roger Garrett.

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Roger Garrett, Matt Garrett, Barbara Garrett

Here is Chancellor Tom Burke with his lovely wife Tina, and the lovely Suzanne Durst.

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Tom Burke, Suzanne Durst, Tina Burke

Karen Goh, Lily Agbalog, Romeo Agbalog, Jen Garrett, Sonya Christian, Shelley Davis, Ed Davis

Front Row: Mayor Karen Goh, Lily Agbalog, Sonya Christian.  Back Row: Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Jen Garrett, Shelley Davis, Ed Davis

Special thanks to Dr. Jen Garrett and the BC Choirs, Chefs Suzanne Durst, Alez Gomez, Christian Flores, and our BC Culinary Arts students. And thank you to everyone who purchased tickets and visited “Harvard on the Hill” for this special annual holiday evening. I know we’re already looking forward to next year.

Mayor Karen Goh has some lovely photos on her Facebook

BSO & BC Choir

On Saturday, December 16th, the Bakersfield College Choir is partnering with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra for the winter concert, Home for the Holidays. The show begins at 7PM at Fox Theater and tickets are available now at www.thebakersfieldfox.com.

Choir_andBSO

LVN graduation

In addition to the RN nursing students graduating, this Friday, December 8, 2017, we had our LVN cohort graduating as well with the ceremony being held at the Indoor Theater.

LVN Program.jpg

After three semesters of hard work and perseverance, the students from our Vocational Nursing program got to walk across the stage and earn their pins at a special ceremony Friday night in the Indoor Theater.

Along with their certification as Licensed Vocational Nurses, the graduates were awarded a special pin commemorating all of their hard work and success. The pin is a traditional badge of achievement, and each nursing school’s pin is different.

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After a brief welcome from Jennifer Johnson and MC Kren Campbell, student speakers Krystal Shendo-Quidachay and Juana Aguilar spoke about all of the hard work that the group of 21 graduates had to endure in order to earn the licensure; the support they received from family, friends, BC faculty and their peers; and the relief that the effort resulted in a certification that enables them to achieve their career goals, or to continue their nursing education.

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The holiday spirit was in the air as Aguilar lead the audience in singing “Feliz Navidad” while poinsettias decorated the theater.

The graduates and their family members in the audience were often moved to tears as the nursing staff recited the Nightingale Pledge and pinned the graduates. Faculty speaker Sandra Davis spoke highly of all her graduating students, and was ecstatic for all of the lives that she knew her students would go on to help save.

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I’d like to congratulate all of our newly licensed vocational nurses and our nursing staff for all the work they do to transform the lives of our students and community through the education that they provide.

Community Christmas Parades

We are so fortunate to have a variety of local community based Christmas Parades. BC was so happy to walk in the Shafter Parade a few weeks ago. I shared photos in my blog last weekend here, and I loved the photos from Mayor Jose Gurrola from the Arvin Christmas Parade. It’s great to see our community leaders working together and supporting our various communities.

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Rudy Salas, Leticia Perez, and Jose Gurrola

Leaders Leticia Perez and Former Mayor Harvey Hall both came together with a financial donation to support the Arvin Christmas Parade. The Bakersfield Californian covered this here.

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A few nights ago, the community came out to see the Bakersfield Christmas Parade and The Bakersfield Californian has some incredible photos available here. I also loved the opening of this article, “Christmas Parade kicks the holiday season into high gear.” Author, Steven Mayer wrote,

There were toddlers wearing footed PJs dancing in the street. There was a man sporting a black sombrero riding a Brahma bull. There was a dude herding cats — although he claimed he was director of the Washington Middle School Marching Band. There were thousands of smiles, hundreds of princess parade waves, and enough good will toward men to make you feel like everything is going to be all right after all.

Don’t miss the article. It’s fantastic.

ArvinChristmasParade

BC Holiday Party

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BC Rural Initiatives Team

On November 30th, right before the busy week of finals, our campus faculty, staff, and administrators came together for a little holiday party in the Fireside Room. An assortment of treats and hors d’oeuvres were available including the famous bread pudding with caramel sauce from BC Food Services. There was a raffle for dinner for four at the Renegade Room, various BC shirts and sweatshirts, and mini desktop christmas trees. Kris Tiner and our BC musicians provided festive music.

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Kris Tiner and BC Musicians

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Renegade Wrestling

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Adrian Godinez

Jon Mettus of The Bakersfield Californian reported on BC Wrestling this week in his article, “BC wrestlers on potential state championship collision course.” BC’s Adrian Godinez is the number one ranked 184-pound wrestler in the state and BC’s Jeremy Maas is the second ranked. The article describes the two, “Godinez is dynamic upright while Maas works well down on the mat. Godinez excels with his footwork and Maas has heavy hands.”

Renegade Basketball

The BC women’s basketball team got a huge effort from Octavia Croney this week, in a 83-67 victory over Taft College. Croney poured in 27 points, had 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals to lead the Renegades.  Brianna Mendez and Jasmyn Rodriguez also scored in double figures with 19 and 15 points respectively.  Aubrey Stone led BC in rebounds with 13.

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And the Men’s Basketball Tournament scheduled for this weekend has been canceled due to the ongoing fires in California. The Bakersfield College Men’s Basketball team has added two games to their schedule to make up for the games lost this weekend. The added games are January 3rd at LA Valley and January 9th at Oxnard.

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To stay up-to-date on all things Renegade Athletics, visit www.gogades.com. Go ‘Gades!

Kerntax

This week was the annual Kern Tax Annual Installation Luncheon.  Tom Burke is a member of the board and invites me and several others to sit at his table.  Mike Turnipseed, CEO of Kerntax has done a remarkable job connecting various entities and aggressively educating our community on due diligence with tax dollars.  It seemed as it the all of the community leaders were there at the end.  I quickly snapped this picture of Chancellor Tom Burke with the President of the KCCD Board, Kay Meek.  Trustee Romeo Agbalog was present as well.  He was sitting at Mike Turnipseed’s table.   I was sitting right next to Vice Chancellor John Means and had a great time listening to the speakers and catching up with John.  Life is good.

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Tom Burke, Kay Meek

BC OChem Letters

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A copy of the newest BC OChem Letters, Volume 5, Number 1, crossed my desk this week. It’s incredible to see the work of Professor Kenward Vaughan and our students. In the editor’s notes, Professor Vaughn mentions the challenges of the separation and identification of components of binary liquid mixtures using various research techniques spanning distillations, physical and chemical characterizations, and spectroscopic work.

The intro states “People in general tend to categorize things that they encounter as a way to organize information. Observations of similarities and/or differences are used to make correlations between things, which in turn, people can make predictions of other characteristics an unknown may show. This is especially important in the field of chemistry, where matter is studied all the way down to its microscopic level. Observations of various atomic structures have been made throughout the years, which paved ways to methods of separations of mixtures using the differences of physical and chemical properties between substances.”

Fun photos

On Friday, I received this fun text from Zav Dadabhoy. It said

“Engaging in a deep discussion about copyright law, and debating which “G” is better (they are identical, except for the colors.) Georgia State or the Green Bay Packers!”

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Zav Dadabhoy and Chris Hine

 

Loved seeing Dennis Spencer and his grandson Andrew visiting BC and our office — Andrew, a future Renegade

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Snapped these pictures of Liz Rozell with granddaughter May at Don Perico on Oswell where we were having a meeting while enjoying the fabulous lunch buffet. Liz and May joined Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Jennifer Johnson, and myself.

And then I ran into Joshua Gonzales having lunch with his family.  Josh is a Rad tech student who is graduating in May 2018.  He was very complimentary about the program Nancy 🙂

Joshua Gonzales Rad Tech Student Dec 8 2017

 

 

BC Foundation Holiday Dinner

I was at an accreditation meeting in LA and could not attend the Foundation Holiday Party.  I want to thank the Bakersfield College foundation for all their support in passing Measure J.  And thank you Karen Thompson for your leadership through the entire process.

We had our choir perform at this event as well.  Here are a few photos.

Foundation Holiday Dinner Dec 7 2017

Jen Garrett at the Foundation Holiday Dinner Dec 7 2017

We are BC!

December 5 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Thank you Bakersfield, for a great 2016!

2016 — a year of great friendships, great love, great partnerships, great collaboration. 

Thank you Bakersfield, thank you Kern County for a great 2016! My blog post from January 2, 2016 (https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/01/02/2016-the-force-awakens/) ends with

Warm wishes to each and every one of you in this amazing community from all faculty, staff and students of Bakersfield College.  Here’s to a glorious 2016!

And what a year it has been. A year when the force was definitely with BC.

A year when BC:

  • produced an increase in student numbers that far exceeds the statewide trends
  • improved student success outcomes
  • created efficiencies that save both time and money for students and taxpayers
  • broadened outreach to Kern county residents, particularly in rural Kern
  • engaged throughout the community, connecting with business and industry leaders, other educational sectors, and community organizations
  • positioned the college for even more opportunities in grant funding.

And thank you for passing Measure J!

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Bruce our campaign dog

The campus is closed during the week between Christmas and New Year BC.  So things have been relatively quiet on the work front with faculty, staff and students spending time with friends, family and loved ones.  A few of us have been periodically connecting on grant applications that are due in early February.  Most meetings have been via 7:30 a.m. conference calls or meetings at Panera Bread, since offices are not heated to conserve energy during this week.

I published my last blog as I was on a plane from LAX to Toronto.  The few days in Toronto with Eisha were perfect — walks, talks, netflix, friends, and good food.  The buildings are so well insulated and heated that you can practically walk around inside in a t-shirt, and Eisha taught me how to dress for the cold during our walks.  She let me use her ear muffs, which worked wonders in keeping me warm.  I did not take many photos this week (I am regretting it now), but here are a few.

What a difference in attire….July 2016 in Canada and Dec 2016 in Canada

Mom was with us last Christmas and joined us in Toronto when we visited in July, but she did not want to face Toronto in December. Here is a picture of three generations on Christmas 2015 which popped up on Facebook.

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Kwanzaa Celebration Dec 28, 2016

It was a lot of fun attending the Kwanzaa celebration for the second year in a row.  I found myself being inspired by the music and the storytelling.  I walked away with much joy and a renewed commitment to spend time with loved ones.  Met up with my friends Karen Goh and NaTesha Kindred at the event.  Here are a few pictures from both of them.

It was fun talking to the group from the Cain Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church Young People’s Department.  David Sandles  standing to my left in the photo, is a Freshman at Bakersfield College and a Biochemistry major.  So cool!

Photo on the left: NaTesha Kindred Johnson, Karen Goh, Sonya Christian

Photo on the right: The Kwanzaa 2016 organizer Bakari Sanyu.

 

Cathy Abernathy Nov 19 2015

Cathy Abernathy, Rotary, Nov 19 2015

On December 29th I had a series of meetings and joined Cathy Abernathy who was hosting the Ralph Bailey show, and had invited me to be a guest and talk about the happenings at BC.  Of course I said yes.  It is truly an honor to share the wonderful things happening at BC and also wonderful to hang out with Cathy.

We talked about the work BC is doing with KHSD, about the Career Technical Education programs, the new Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation etc. We ended with the spectacular event of having an outdoor ice rink in the magnificent Memorial Stadium– 2016 Winterfest!  If you have not purchased your tickets yet, you should!  January 6th is the celebrity game with Wayne Gretzky(!), and January 7th the Condors play.

I wish I had taken a picture when I was in the studio with Cathy,  but I did not do much of that this week.  Maybe it is because I am so irritated with myself for having dropped my iphone yet again and widened the crack on the glass…

December 30th, a group of us watched the Bakersfield College Basketball team win yet another game under the leadership of the fabulous coach Paula Dahl. Our students are such a treat and Coach Dahl rocks.  It was great to meet Paula’s brother David and his wife who came in from Utah to spend New Years.  The young women you see behind David Dahl are students from Stockdale High School, who I am hoping will be future Renegades, and here’s a picture of Sandi Taylor, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and me having a great time at the game.

I also connected with Christy Haycock at an exercise class session and Wayne Cooper at CALM’s Holiday Lights.

Here is the LA Times article about the Holiday Lights at CALM.

http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-christmas-lights-20161218-story.html

Bakersfield Life today:

Saw this great piece on our Dean of Allied Health, Cindy Collier

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I spent much of this morning reading previous blog posts and enjoying thinking about all that happened at Bakersfield College and in our community.  Here are a few in case you have time to click through:

March 25, 2016 post: The State of Kern County is Strong

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/03/25/the-state-of-kern-county-is-strong/

 

April 2, 2016: Life at BC is about living life fully.

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/04/02/life-at-bc-is-all-about-living-life-fully/

 

April 9, 2016: BC and the community — relationships run deep

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/04/09/bc-and-the-community-relationship-runs-deep/

Calla Lily June 4 2016

 

June 4, 2016: A community together

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/06/04/a-community-together/

An excerpt from the post

So here is a calla lily for you, my community, for all that you do on a daily basis to support each other and support the students at BC.

Thank you Fred Misono for making my visit to Bakersfield West Rotary so memorable.

And let’s remember Tharrell Ming — a community leader.

 

June 9, 2016: We are Bakersfield….We are BC

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/06/19/we-are-bakersfield-and-we-are-bc/

This blog covers two presentations on the bond measure during the educational phase of the campaign to the Hispanic Chamber and Kerntax.  A quick note here on Donna Carpenter — we miss you!

 

July 16, 2016: Building a Better BC

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/07/16/building-a-better-bc/

This blog covers the July 14th board meeting when the trustees voted to put Measure J on the ballot.

Let’s remember Mayor Harvey Hall’s words on Measure J. Thank you Mayor Hall for all that you have done for BC and for Bakersfield.

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August 26, 2016: Launching Fall 2016 to Build a Better BC

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/08/20/launching-fall-2016-to-build-a-better-bc/

This post is about BC’s Fall Opening Day.  I typically do my State of the College address once a year during Fall Opening.  Here is an excerpt:

We live in an era of viral soundbites and tweets rather than one of comprehensive and detailed discussion. But let us not be reluctant to tell our story, openly and honestly; boldly in all its detail; and in all its glory.

Let’s joyfully shout out the BC story from the roof tops for the next 82 days and beyond.

Let us use Twitter….Facebook… Instagram and Snapchat.

Can we get 82 pieces of writing in the community voices section of the Californian? Every day from now until November 8th. We are BC and we are a Jewel of Kern County.

 We will continue to balance bold new directions with elegance and poise. We will continue to encourage punctual completion with gentle compassion and strong support. We see the face, heart, and brilliant mind of each individual student in the crowd of thousands and our mission is as important as it’s ever been.

I’m proud to say the state of Bakersfield College has never been stronger

Just like in 1913 – Just like in the 50s –

Now, in 2016, we stand together to write the next chapter of BC’s story….

Together, let’s build…A Better BC

WE are BC!

 

September 24, 2016: Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; Faith is the courage to dance to it today.

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/09/24/hope-is-the-ability-to-hear-the-music-of-the-future-faith-is-the-courage-to-dance-to-it-today/

 

October 8, 2016: So many reasons to celebrate. We are BC!

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/10/08/so-many-reasons-to-celebrate-we-are-bc/

This is a great one.  A must watch.  Many video of community leaders talking about BC.  This includes Mayor Harvey Hall, Congressman Bill Thomas, Mike Turnipseed, Wayne Kress, David Torres, Fred Prince …..

 

 

Wishing all of you a wonderful 2017.  Another year of great friendships, great love, great partnerships and great collaborations.

Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future;
Faith is the courage to dance to it today.

 

sonya-dec-25-2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC and the community – relationship runs deep

On March 31, 2016, Thursday night, we celebrated our eighth Sterling Silver event.

Sterling Silver is a fundraiser for the Bakersfield College Foundation, which manages funds for campus organizations, individuals and endowments. The Foundation provides over $500,000 in scholarships and student aid to over 500 students annually.

This year, we wanted to evolve our signature event to highlight for the community what it means to be a philanthropist by honoring two of Bakersfield College’s biggest supporters: Mary Trichell and Chevron.

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Mary Trichell, Sonya Christian, Carla Musser

These supporters epitomize the spirit of giving through their level of generosity, their consistency in giving, and the breadth of what they do.

Mary’s relationship with Bakersfield College goes back not just 10 years, or 20 years, or 30 years. Mary’s mother, Alice Heber Gordon, was born in Bakersfield in 1911.  And Bakersfield College was born in 1913.

 

In the 1920s, Alice took classes at Bakersfield College when it still shared a campus with Bakersfield High School (then Kern County Union High School).

Fast forward to 1963, when Mary Gordon took classes on the hill – after Bakersfield College made the move to the current Panorama campus — the Home of the Renegades. Mary especially enjoyed her math classes with Shirley Trembley and economics classes with Wylie Jones.

It is so wonderful to see a relationship with the college that goes back decades, and that goes back generations.

Bakersfield College Athletic Director Sandi Taylor and Head Football Coach Jeff Chudy had the honor of speaking about the importance of Mary’s contributions to Bakersfield College athletics.

“With the addition of Beach Volleyball, and then Men’s Soccer in the fall, we’ll have 20 teams and approximately 500 student athletes competing for Bakersfield College across the state. We are exceptional. We aren’t your average community college athletic program. Why? Because we have incredible support from folks like Mary. That’s what allows us to be exceptional. We couldn’t do it without our friends,” Taylor said.

 

Adam Alvidrez March 31 2016

Adam Alvidrez, Chevron

Liz Rozell, Dean of Instruction for Engineering and Industrial Technology (as well as our new Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial Automation) spoke about Chevron’s generous and long-standing relationship with Bakersfield College.

 

Chevron is a company that invests in the communities it serves. Everything they do is focused on preparing our students to succeed in school and in life. Chevron’s generosity with our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) has helped increase the number of our engineering majors from 163 in 2008 to 718 engineering majors today.

Carla Musser March 31 2016

Carla Musser (right), Chevron

Two of our great programs that have been recipients of Chevron’s generosity include our MESA Week Zero for incoming STEM majors, and our new Project Lead the Way Camp for middle school students. I previously blogged about MESA Week Zero here, and Project Lead the Way here.

 

Receiving the award on Chevron’s behalf was Carla Musser, Chevron manager of policy, government and public affairs.

Thank you Chevron!

The support BC has from this community is astounding.  Here are the list of sponsors for this event:

Sterling Sponsor:

Mary Trichell — Of course!

Silver Sponsor:

  • Chevron (thank you for supporting our STEM program)
  • Klein Denatale Goldner Cooper Rosenlieb and Kimball LLC (thank you for all you do for Bakersfield College and our students.  thank you for bringing Amgen to our campus)
  • Motor City Lexus (thank you for your consistent support of BC and our Auto Program.  Your generosity in providing equipment, funds, and time is invaluable)
  • KGET (thank you for Allisa Carlson, our emcee)
  • Kern Schools Federal Credit Union (thank you for supporting several of our programs including inservice and Athletics)

Bronze sponsor:

Phil and Debby Rosenthal

During my remarks, I pointed out that the KCCD Board of Trustees was considering a bond for the November 8, 2016 ballot by reminding our friends in the community that it was up to us to take care of this gem, Bakersfield College, for the next 50 years — 2016 to 2066.

In 1913, Bakersfield leadership & the community were visionaries. They knew that higher education was absolutely critical for Kern County, and so they created a community college to Bakersfield.

In the 1950s, leadership & the community again showed their commitment to the college when they supported Bakersfield College’s expansion and move to the hill.

60 years later, many things have changed – but one constant piece that remains is that the community realizes that the return on investment of Bakersfield College is huge. The community remains committed to supporting the work of the college, and lifting up the students that the college serves. The community recognizes and appreciates the special relationship between Bakersfield and Bakersfield College.

Here is the 2:38-minute video that Manny De Los Santos put together giving us Bakersfield College from the Millennium Falcon.

Talking about the Millennium Falcon and De Los Santos, you have got to check out the videos that he did for our Opening Day.  Here is my Jan 23, 2016 blog post.

http://tinyurl.com/hl8n9pm

There were many other wonderful donors and friends of Bakersfield College in attendance.

Sonya Lorraine Cook and Jerry Cook March 31 2016

Sonya Christian with Lauraine & Jerry Cook

Jerry and Lauraine Cook met at Bakersfield College in a music appreciation class. They are longtime supporters of Bakersfield College. Lauraine is a retired Vice Chancellor of Educational Services for the Kern Community College District.

 

 

It goes without saying that an important part of Bakersfield College’s ties to the community is our Athletics department, and there was no shortage of BC Athletics legends on hand at the event.

It was great to see Walt Johnson, former Men’s Athletic Director and Renegade baseball and football coach. Johnson was part of the legendary “Fab Five” quintet — Duane Damron, Harvell Pollard, Carl Bowser, and Gerry Collis — who made the Renegades a national force in athletics.

A big part of Mary’s giving to Bakersfield College positively impacts the Athletic Department, and fellow athletics benefactors were on hand to honor Mary. That included longtime football supporter Wes Bradford, President and Owner of Clifford-Bradford Insurance Agency.

Ed Davis, President of the Renegade Helmet Club, shared a table with Coach Chudy. Recently, Davis donated materials and labor for a more efficient irrigation system for the practice field and playing surface in Memorial Stadium.

Julie Bowser-Sanders, daughter of Coach Bowser and employee of Clifford-Bradford Insurance, was on hand as well.

“My father won two National Championships in his time with the Renegades, and I can say this with certainty: it wouldn’t have happened without community support from folks like Mary Trichell, her husband Ray Trichell, or Wes Bradford, or generous companies like Chevron,” she said.

PrezVinceFong March 31 2016

Sonya and Vince Fong

It was wonderful to have representation from our political leaders as well. Vince Fong, District Director for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy came out to show his support.

McCarthy is an alum of Bakersfield College, another great example of the important relationship between Bakersfield College and the community. He has returned to his alma mater to show his support on many occasions, including when he served as honorary Chair and keynote speaker for the Kern Ag Summit hosted on the BC campus in fall 2014 – check out my blog post about that great event. And during our Centennial Celebration, Bakersfield College honored Congressman McCarthy for his service to the community with a 100 Stars award.

Michael Bowers Sonya Christian March 31 2016

Michael Bowers, Sonya Christian

We were also so happy to have the support of Michael Bowers, a senior field representative for State Senator Andy Vidak.  The two of them are such great supporters of education in general and of BC in particular.

 

Thank you also to our KCCD Board Members in attendance, Romeo Agbalog and Kyle Carter.  We so enjoy seeing our Board members at college events.

 

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Kyle Carter, Kim Mcabee

The Californian did a wonderful piece on the Bakersfield Hall of Fame, the “brain child” of Carter and Mcabee.  Check it out http://tinyurl.com/hq6ndw8.

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Romeo Agbalog, Lily Perez

Trustee Romeo Agbalog is a fierce advocate for education in Delano and rural Kern, for improving the lives of those living in rural communities, and for the less fortunate economically. He is tireless and selfless in his work for those he serves, and he and his wife Lily are regular supporters at college events.

It was a treat seeing Randy Beeman at the event.  Randy and I were faculty together at BC before I went off to Oregon — Randy in History and me in Math.  Randy and his wife came with their friends Martin and Lori Caratan of Columbine Vineyards.

Randy Beeman Sonya Christian Martin Caratan March 31 2016.jpg

Randy and Martin kept bragging about each other and it was clear that they had a deep longstanding friendship that is tried and true.  Check out Caratan’s website at http://www.columbinevineyards.com/.  Here is a neat excerpt, from the website, about generational farming in this valley

The Caratan heritage continues to thrive as the next generation provides leadership to Columbine Vineyards. Martin Caratan maintains his grandfather’s vision, Luis and Milan’s momentum and their own dedication to the propagation of new varietals, consistent quality and the superior products and customer service the industry has come to know and expect from Columbine Vineyards.

Lakes

Ingrid and JP Lake

I shared a table that evening with a fun group of people:  Mike and Nancy Turnipseed, JP and Ingrid Lake, Romeo Agbalog and Lily Perez, and Karen Goh.  The conversations that I was able to join in on ranged from how Rain for Rent could help us secure the waters from the Willamette to address the drought in the central valley in California, to the necessity of having coffee with desert, which had a nice splash of sea salt with caramel!

 

Karen Goh has been a consistent and longstanding friend of Bakersfield.  She has always taken the time to help out whenever help was needed.  Thank you Karen!  Here she is with Mary Trichell and Billie Jo Medders.  I have never met Billie Jo Medders but she helped me out about 2 decades ago when I was a faculty at BC and she was working in Congressman Bill Thomas’ Office.  Congressman Thomas, you have single-handedly done so much for our community.

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Mary Trichell, Karen Goh, Billie Jo Medders

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Mike and Nancy Turnipseed

Mike Turnipseed is a great community leader who recognizes the importance of the relationship between the Bakersfield community and Bakersfield College.  “It’s wonderful to see the exceptional community support that Bakersfield College has, and how much the community supports and appreciates that value BC adds to the community,” said Mike Turnipseed, executive director of the Kern County Taxpayers Association.

Check out my August 4, 2015 blog post on the collaborative work that BC did with Turnipseed and others in the community. http://tinyurl.com/hkm2p6y.

As you can see, the relationship between Bakersfield College and Bakersfield runs deep – Bakersfield College truly is a community college!

The Force is with….BC!  We are….BC!

Thank you Marlene Heise, Tom Gelder, and Mary Jo Pasek for this great event.

 

Mary Jo and Tom Pasek March 31 2016

Mary Jo Pasek, Tom Pasek

 

 

 

Heise Gelder Christian March 31 2016

Marlene Heise, Tom Gelder, Sonya Christian

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Shannon Musser, Francis Mayer, Sonya Christian, Kristin Rabe