Tag Archives: Monika Scott

Thank you for voting Yes on J!

The transformation of our campus for the next 50 years has begun! Major changes will be taking place over the next 10 years ranging from construction of new buildings, renovations of buildings, and major repairs to our campus infrastructure. The grand opening of our first building, the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, was on December 10, 2019

Thank you for voting Yes on J!

Sonya Christian voting Yes on J on Oct 30, 2016
Sonya Christian thanking Kern County for voting Yes on J. Nov 12, 2016

The Bakersfield College Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center

Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center. Dec 10, 2019

After years of preparation and development, our community gathered on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019 for a historic milestone in Renegade history. With college and district leaders, community members, students, supporters, family, and friends, BC officially opened the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, a space dedicated to student veterans and the first completed Measure J building.

Thank you KCCD Trustees
Sonya Christian, President of Board John Corkins, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Kyle Carter, Jack Connell, Tom Burke, Paul Beckworth

I could not be more proud of everyone who helped bring this grand vision into reality. Attendees who came from across the country were greeted with a massive American flag that billowed proudly, flying above the newly christened building from an extending ladder on a Kern County Fire Department truck. Dignitaries on the dais outside of the center included Chancellor Tom Burke, Mayor Karen Goh and Congressman Bill Thomas, as well as KCCD Trustees Jack Connell (a Navy veteran), Romeo Agbalog, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and President of the KCCD Board John Corkins. There were also representatives from about 40 student organizations on campus. Trustee Kay Meek was viewing the live stream, unable to attend the ceremony in-person. She was one of the most vocal supporters for the construction of the new center as the first Measure J project, and her presence was missed. 

Ricardo Del Hoyo, Joseph Lopez, Nick Ortiz, Tommy Tunson, Mayor Goh, Trustee Corkins, President Christian, Chancellor Burke, Perry Finzel & Monica Martin

This new 4,700 square foot facility is dedicated to student veterans and includes a tutoring room, conference room with whiteboards and television, a lounge area with two televisions, coffee bar, fridge, microwave, computer area and outdoor patio area.

Diego Ross from JTS Construction and Armando Trujillo

This space is dedicated to the education, wellness, and transformation of our students, therefore it’s only fitting that this place is named after Vernon Valenzuela. Vernon was a Vietnam combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient. He was a Bakersfield College student in the 1970s and later became a licensed counselor who spent the rest of his life working with veterans and their families; his legacy will live on forever in its walls.

Former student Wesley Barrientos cuts the ribbon with help from current SGA President Samantha Pullido and President of the Vets Club Ilene Garcia
The VRC Challenge Coin
Study area in the new VRC
Lise Valenzuela in the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center

This center would not be possible without the leadership of Paul Beckworth, who opened the ceremony by thanking Armando Trujillo and his team for all they do to help our Renegade veterans. Armando was a protégé of Vernon Valenzuela, the founder of the first veterans’ clubs at BC and CSUB, and I could think of no one else who is better suited to extend Vernon’s love and empathy to a new generation of Renegade vets. Armando also announced an annual scholarship that will be offered through the VRC for years to come.

Armando Trujillo addressing the audience

When our local veterans are returning home, this new center will be the place they can come to to find support, comfort, and comradery with fellow Renegades. For over 100 years Renegades have put on the uniform, and when they were ready to trade in their boots for books, BC knew its responsibility. BC’s mission continues to be to educate our veterans, mind body, and soul, and to celebrate the impact that veterans have had on BC.

I surprised Paul Beckworth by presenting him with the President’s Leadership Award during the ceremony. Over these last seven years, Paul has advocated on behalf of our student veterans here on campus, in the community, and in the state. He and a group of student veterans were fearless in “occupying” a vacant room adjacent to their existing cramped space, quietly doing the necessary remodeling work.  He has written public letters to our student veterans, to our faculty veterans, to our staff veterans.   He is brave, kind, funny, open, tender, with a passion to respect, honor and support his fellow brothers and sisters from the military.

Zav Dadabhoy, Armando Trujillo, Paul Beckworth, Sonya Christian
Zav Dadabhoy, Armando Trujillo, Paul Beckworth, President Christian & Jenny Frank

I also introduced incoming manager Jenny Frank, who comes to us from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This special facility is the first of many made possible by the tremendous community support of Measure J. There is a very, very long list of individuals to thank, but Trustee Kay Meek deserves special recognition for her constant focus and dedication.

Bill Thomas, Kay Meek, Tom Burke, Steven Holmes

The impact of Trustee Meek’s work was evident in the words of student veteran and Veteran Club President Ilene Garcia during the grand opening, who said, “As soon as I walked in, I felt that camradery and bond that I had been missing that you instantly obtain when you join the military. Finding that comfort zone in civilian life is essential for veterans returning home. We crave the structure and sense of belonging that the military instills in us. The Veterans Resource Center at BC provides this.”

Veterans Club President Ilene Garcia and fellow veterans

BC Veterans Club President Ilene Garcia took a moment to explain how the team at BC creates a structure and a sense of belonging that helps soldiers readjust to civilian life. She also thanked all of us at BC for making this center a priority with the funding from Measure J.

Vernon’s wife Lise Valenzuela offered some personal anecdotes about how BC changed her husband’s life. After serving a tour of duty in the Vietnam War, Vernon found his confidence and his calling as a student at BC, and he dedicated the rest of his life to helping other veterans like him find their calling through higher education.

Lise Valenzuela

Former Trustee Bill Thomas talked about how Vernon’s imposing physical presence, and his empathy and talent for listening, inspired respect from anyone who had a conversation with him. Bill highlighted Kay Meek’s work and her emphatic message to all that she wanted this to be the very first project of Measure J. He also previewed the ribbon cutting ceremonies to come as more Measure J projects finish construction.

Former Congressman & Trustee Bill Thomas
Tom Burke, Ilene Garcia, Paul Beckworth, Bill Thomas, Sonya Christian, Kyle Carter, Karen Goh

Attendees were treated to the beautiful music of BC’s Chamber Singers. led by the talented Dr. Jennifer Garrett. I’m happy that Brandon Urry captured these videos so that I can share then with you.

Award-winning photojournalist Max Becherer started his career right here at BC as a student of Kris Stallworth, and he took pictures of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for publications like the Washington Post and Time Magazine before becoming the Photo Editor of the New Orleans Advocate. He donated several of his most famous photographs from those conflicts to the VRC and attended the groundbreaking alongside his family.

Photographer Max Becherer sharing his photography.

As Paul described in his closing address, the VRC is more than just a place of learning. It is a place where our veteran students can heal from the physical and psychological wounds of combat, supporting each other through all of their struggles. Thank you Paul, Armando and our Veterans Affairs team for dreaming of this safe space for healing, and thank you to our Measure J team for making that dream a reality. I would also like to thank Tamara Baker for organizing the ribbon cutting and open house, as well as everyone who contributed to making this event such a success.

Here are some of the elected officials or their reps in the photo below. Left to right:
1.     Congressman Kevin McCarthy (Monica Martin, rep)
2.      Congressman T.J. Cox (Joseph Lopez, rep)
3.      Assemblyman Vince Fong (Lauren Skidmore, rep)
4.      Mayor Karen Goh
5.      Congressman Kevin McCarthy (Perry Finzel, rep)
6.      Senator Melissa Hurtado (Ricardo Del Hoyo, rep)
7.      City Councilman Willie Rivera, Ward 1
8.      Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, District 5 (Nicole Villaruz,
rep)
9.      Assemblyman Rudy Salas (Athena Skapinakis, rep)

I would like to recognize those who actually built the facility, taking it from plans to a reality: local companies IBI Group, Inc. and JTS Construction. Also, I would like to thank AECOM/Parsons for all of their hard work on this project (and the other 14 Measure J projects), for finishing the job ahead of time and under budget. AECOM/Parsons joined our team in 2017 to design the Measure J master plan, and have been managing all of the projects from the very first meeting until the last. All of the above groups not only met our expectations, but went well above. The bar has been set high!

2019 Sterling Silver with the AECOM-Parsons team

We had much love from our local media and press. Thank you to the Bakersfield Californians Robert Price and Ema Sasic, Reyna Harvey, Tyrah Majors, Jacueline Gutierrez of the Renegade RIP and more!

Reyna Harvey interviews Sonya Christian on Tuesday Morning

Most importantly, I’d like to thank the community of Kern County for supporting Renegades today and for the next 50 years through Measure J.

And in closing, I will quote the words of Paul Beckworth, BC’s Faculty Director of Veteran Services as he addressed BC’s students… “Thank you for your courage, for believing in yourself and for pursing an education. Thank you for choosing Bakersfield College. This place is for you.”

Love these “behind the scenes” pictures.

BSO-BC Home for the Holidays Concert

Here is my promised weekly Christmas music from our Chamber Singers during the month of December

Rick Kreiser narrating the Night Before Christmas
Hallelujah

Led by the amazing, Dr. Jennifer Garrett, the BC Chamber Singers are an absolutely stunning group who shares their voices with the world. They performed a fun version of Jingle Bells and the Renegade Mens Chorus- sang “The 12 Days of Christmas” mixed with various other Christmas carols.

The evening included sing-alongs with the audience and it was really fun to celebrate the holiday season with family and friends.

Adventist Health was a sponsor of the evening and I saw Sharlet Briggs, CEO of Adventist, who referred to Mary Poppins and a “spoon of sugar makes the medicine go down”. She went on to observe how a teaspoon of music can make the medicine go down too!

BCSGA Attends the Kern Tax Annual Meeting

BCSGA President Samantha Pulido, BCSGA Student Activities Manager Perla Villegas, KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke, KCCD Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzberg, KCCD Director Dave Teasdale, and BC Director of Student Life Dr. Nicky Damania attended the Kern Tax 80th Annual Meeting at the Bakersfield Country Club. Kern Tax is the county’s leader on reviewing and educating about taxpayer issues and dollars. The keynote speaker was founding chief executive and Senior Fellow, President Emeritus of California Forward, Jim Mayer who presented “Transforming California.” His presentation focused on performance-oriented government, society-oriented business, and entrepreneurial civic organizations working together to engage in community resolutions. 

Mike Turnipseed with Perla and Samantha

Before the speaker, there was a video montage of various Kern leaders thanking Kern Tax for their 80 years of service to Kern County, and especially highlighting the leadership and work of Mike Turnupseed for the association and our community. What a pleasure to have two of our strong student leaders in attendance at this engaging community event.

Human Rights Day Social Justice Student Conversation Event

Jose Bello speaks to fellow Renegades

Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on December 10th each year. At Bakersfield College, student organization YES (Youth Empowered Success) brought two NFL players to campus for a student centered event to bring awareness to various social justice topics. Student organization YES president, Jose Bello, was the emcee of the event and encouraged his fellow Renegades to pay close attention, listen, respect one another, and use their voice for the good of humankind. Jose also took the mic to say a few words in Spanish to thank his mom who was in attendance, for all her support.

Two special guests who took the stage were Joshua Norman and Demario Davis, two NFL players who take pride in their activist roles for human rights. They encouraged students to be sources of support for one another and to give words to the voiceless.

In the early morning before the speaker presentations began, students in attendance participated in a cultural dance outside in the courtyard. This collaborative dance was a symbol of cultivating community, peace, and social responsibility.

And once again, Reyna Harvey is everywhere! Spotted her interviewing Joshua Norman and Demario Davis outside the event.

Renegades Finish Finals!

This week was also finals week so the library began offering their Extended Study Hours last week, which will run through Wednesday.

The lobby portion of the library is the busiest and loudest section with check-in, food, tables, and chairs for group studying. BCSGA Officers and Office of Student Life help ensure everything runs smoothly with the help of volunteers.

As a result of the efforts this semester of Todd Coston and Kirk Russell, the entire first floor of the library is a place for students to spread out and study.  Students need to feel supported now more than ever as they attempt to cross the finish line this semester.

Campus Safety at Porterville College

Our colleagues at Porterville College planned a day of safety drills and invited BC’s Dr. Nicky Damania and Monika Scott to observe the activity. It was a great opportunity and a good experience. Both Nicky and Monika are involved with the planning of BC’s full-scale active shooter scenario and response drill taking place next year. This activity planned for April 8, 2020, will be a cross county, multi-agency drill to test our preparations and enhance our collaboration and response. Special thanks to Todd Dearmore, Safety and Security Manager at Porterville College for a successful drill and for the invitation to observe.

Dr. Nicky Damania & Monika Scott

Networking and Nursing

Bakersfield College’s Nursing Department held its 1st annual Entrée to Employment for the graduating Vocational Nursing Program students. A number of health care agencies within Kern County were present at BC to recruit our stellar vocational nursing students and to discuss future career opportunities.

Entree to Employment for Vocational Nursing grads, 2019

A gourmet dinner was provided by the Renegade Room as the students and staff networked with industry partners. Carla Gard, Director of Nursing Programs and Associate Dean of Instruction, highlighted the program objectives, rigor, and faculty’s dedication to developing skilled and competent nurses.The Vocational Nursing Entrée to Employment was such a success that students had several employment options by the end of the event! So proud!

Graduating Vocational Nursing Students

Crane Visit for OSRM Students

Students in OSRM B10 Occupational Safety had an opportunity to see safety in action when they viewed campus construction up close as part of a class module on crane safety. Bill Campe from SC Anderson, and Kurt Hettinger from SL Shaw Company hosted the students, providing an overview of crane operations. The crane was operated by Trent Gardner.

The large crane is just the right tool to hoist steel beams into place for the new building. Workers deftly navigate the structure, guide steel beams into position and rivet them into place. Following established safety procedures is essential to ensure that they are not injured on the job.

Lifting heavy loads safely takes more than a big crane. The operator relies on detailed lift charts that specify how much the crane can lift at a specific angle. Need more horizontal distance? That reduces capacity. Wind? Reduce capacity or stop work if gusts are too strong. Want to watch the crane work? Stand clear of the swing radius or risk being hit or crushed by the crane’s big back end. This quick visit provided a view of safety in action.

Students enjoyed the “field trip” and the opportunity to watch two world-class companies safely work to build the future of BC. Measure J — a learning lab for our construction students.

Fun Photos: College Council

I’m always proud of the work that College Council does. The presentations are rigorous and focus on our performance metrics.

Amber Hroch reviews the data.

The last College Council meeting for the semester was on Friday, December 6th. The council received updates on various institutional topics ranging from Early College to Meta Major Pathways and more. Just a reminder to the reader….This group is a collegial, consultative, and oversight body designed to serve the good of the entire College. The group facilitates timely, factual, and clear communication between constituents and the President. It provides recommendations to the President on college-wide matters.

Kylie Swanson and Craig Hayward
Education Pathway Team

Giving Thanks: CARE & CalWORKs Workshop

The Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) and California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) programs hosted a Thanksgiving Workshop, providing a bonding opportunity for parents and their children and to build a network of support at Bakersfield College.

The Thanksgiving Workshop provided the students a break from studying for finals while their children engaged in fun-filled arts and crafts activities. Additionally, students received a turkey donated by Costco to help them celebrate Thanksgiving with their families.

CARE and CalWORKS are programs under the EOPS Department, serving BC students who are also parents, with CARE parents being single head of household. Both programs are designed to promote student educational success by offering specialized services to parents receiving public assistance (CalWORKs/TANF/Tribal TANF) with a primary goal to increase wage earning power, leading to self-sufficiency.

Fun Photos: Executive Office Holiday Potluck

Fun Photos: Renegade Road

William Velasquez from BC’s IT department is a talented photographer and often will share the beautiful pictures he captures on campus. He shared an email earlier this week the following photo and said…

William relaxing after an event

“As I was driving away and looked at the banners on the fence, I ponder on the thousands of student athletes that walked this same road. They found the road to success. So I parked my car and took my phone out and took a few pics. This is one of them. The Renegades Road.”

William Velasquez, 2019

Renegade Athletics  Volleyball vs. Chaffey

Enjoy these highlights from Renegade Volleyball’s first round playoff win at home over Chaffey back on Nov. 26th. Renegade Volleyball enjoyed another terrific season this year. They captured a fourth consecutive conference championship and finished the season with a 21-3 overall record. Way to go Coach Carl Ferreira and team!

Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week

Alyssa Gonzalez, Women’s Basketball – Alyssa was a driving force in helping the Renegades to an 86-29 victory over Taft on Friday (12/6). She totaled 17 points going 5/9 from 3-point and adding 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 rebounds. Jonathan Hunter, Wrestling – Jonathan pinned all of his opponents at the Southern Regionals this last Saturday at Santa Ana College to place first in the 174 lb. weight class and qualify for the CCCAA State Finals this coming weekend.

Renegade Athletics News:

Renegade Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Join us on 12/20 at 5pm – Men’s Basketball vs El Camino

Renegade Athletics Social Media
Renegade Athletics Social Media

We are BC!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Cinco de Mayo, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade!

Loved the Women’s Empowerment Summit coordinated by Lisa Baca at BC this afternoon.  Both Liz and I were invited to speak and Carla Musser was recognized as the 2018 Distinguished Woman of the Year! Here is a panel of young women engineers who inspired the audience.

Panel at Women's Empowerment

Carla Musser and Liz Rozell May 5 2018

 

Lisa Baca and Sonya Christian Women's Empowerment May 4 2018

And loved seeing our hardworking Budget Analysts on a Saturday hard at work preparing BC’s budget that will go to the board this June.  Thank you Zach Quiroz and Somaly Boles!

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Zach Quiroz, Somaly Boles working on saturday, cinco de mayo!

Less than a week to Commencement

Less than a week to making history at the Home of the Renegades! On May 11, join us at Memorial Stadium as we celebrate the largest graduating class in BC history, the first graduating class of the Industrial Automation Baccalaureate Program, and the first graduating class of Wonderful dual enrollment students in Agriculture Business!

Wow! What a year! I hope you will join us to celebrate this momentous occasion.

BC Commencement 2016

Celebrating Nan – Artist, Teacher, Dean, Vice President, Friend, and more–

Nan Gomez Heitzeberg 2

Nan Gomez Heitzeberg

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Friends and family came together at the Indoor Theater on Friday night to honor Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, who retired earlier this semester after working for 35 years in the Kern Community College District.  Of course the evening started with Jazz and Kris Tiner.

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Past President Greg Chamberlain and his wife Kelly drove all the way from Idaho to be present for Nan’s event.

Greg Chamberlain, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.jpg

 

Thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog for attending the event.  Trustee Agbalog is in the photo with Prof. Kim Flachman from CSUB and Khushnur Dadabhoy.

 

Khushnur Dadabhoy, Romeo Agbalog, Kim Flachman.jpg

Nan warmly greeted everyone entering the theater from an ornate Renegade Red throne. Our Renegade drummers led us in procession to the Indoor Theater to begin the evening.

 

Ostry, Quinn Heitzeberg, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Jim Heitzeberg

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Quinn Heitzeberg, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Jim Heitzeberg

Current and retired faculty from throughout the decades gave tribute to Nan with video testimonials that added a fun yet bittersweet tone to the retirement celebration. She was also presented with a joint resolution of recognition from the California state legislature by Andy Vidak representative Michael Bowers, a certificate of recognition from the Kern County Board of Supervisors, and a beautiful pink hat by former BC chef Pat Coyle.

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Nan Gomez Heitzeberg with Resolution from Board of Supervisors

Nicole Villaruz and Nan Gomez-Heitzberg

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We love you Nan!!!!

I want to thank the planning committee led by David Koeth who put this evening together so meticulously.  David Koeth (chair), Lynn Hall, Corny Rodriguez, Cindy Collier, Tom Moran, Pam Boyles, Jennifer Serratt, Wendy Lawson, Chris Glaser, Manny De Los Santos, Kristin Rabe, and Monika Scott.

 

 

AB 705 Workshop

On Friday, we hosted a workshop at Bakersfield College focused on learning more about the requirements of AB 705. We heard from members of the AB 705 Implementation Committee regarding how to use data to come into compliance with AB 705.

The morning’s first speaker was Michelle Siqueiros, President of The Campaign For College Opportunity. She spoke about her own journey and how having support systems and good public policy was crucial to her success.

Michele Siqueros

Other speakers included Nicole Bryant, Nika Hogan, and Janet Fulks who titled their talk “Keeping Students at the Center” and Craig Hayward who presented on the research behind default placement rules. Summer Serpas and Myra Snell presented on “The Promise of Concurrent Support Models in English and Math” and Alice Perez spoke about “The Social Justice Fight of Our Time.”

Nicole Bryant, Nika Hogan, Janet Fulks

Nicole Bryant, Nika Hogan, Janet Fulks

 

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Janet Fulks

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Craig Hayward

Summer Serpas

Summer Serpas

Alice Perez

Alice Perez

The afternoon focused on teams, as together we worked through exercises and data that are a challenge for implementation. We wrapped up with a discussion of common concerns and shared solutions so that we left with a plan to come into AB 705 compliance.

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The math team.jpg

 

Nick Strobel, Phil Feldman, Steven Holmes.jpg

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Michele Siqueiros and Sonya Christian

Michele Siqueiros and Sonya Christian

Sonya Christian and Nick Strobel

Sonya Christian and Nick Strobel

Special thank you to BC Food Services and Chef Eric Sabella who made everything beautiful and delicious.

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And thank you to the amazing staff who pulled all this together — Chris Glaser, Monika Scott, Manny de Los Santos, Kristin Rabe.  and thank you Tarina Perry for leading this effort.

3rd Annual BC Law Day Conference

This year’s theme is “The Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom” and the 3rd Annual BC Law Day Conference focused on how checks and balances preserve political liberty. Students got the opportunity to learn more about the process of how laws are created and enforced at the state and federal level at Friday morning’s Law Day event in the Indoor Theater.

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left to right: Aaron Falk, representative for Congressman Kevin McCarthy; Janea Benton, representative for California Assemblyman Rudy Salas; Tanner Dyrness, representative for Assemblyman Vince Fong; Charles Kim, BC political science professor and moderator.

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Gabriela Gonzalez (left) and Pearl Urena, BC academic advisor for the Pre-Law pathway.

Pre-Law academic advisor Pearl Urena organized this year’s Law Day conference, which featured representatives from across all of Kern County’s branches of government. BC political science professor Charles Kim gave a brief lecture explaining how the US Constitution’s separation of powers divides governance between executive, legislative and judicial branches at both the federal and state levels, with a system of check and balances to ensure that one branch isn’t more powerful than the other. He also gave an explanation about presidential executive orders and the ways that the federal court system is able to judge the constitutionality of a specific executive order.

After the lecture, Kim moderated a panel on the functions of the legislative branch featuring representatives from the offices of California Senator Andy Vidak, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and California Assemblymen Rudy Salas and Vince Fong. The panelists shared their experience working as staff members for Kern County’s elected officials and how they fight for the needs of their constituents by supporting legislation that addresses their concerns. There was also a second panel about the judicial branch featuring court officials from the Kern County legal system. See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

Dual Enrollment Celebration

On the morning of Tuesday, May 1, BC hosted the first Dual Enrollment Celebration event in the Fireside room. Approximately 60 attendees from Kern County high schools, school districts, and Bakersfield College came to celebrate the successful growth and achievements of the dual enrollment program. Serving 29 sites spread across five school districts, the admissions, enrollment, scheduling and instruction for dual enrollment would not be possible without the tireless effort of high school site staff, instructors, administrators and support services.

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Cornelio Rodriguez

The program began with an overview of dual enrollment provided by Dean of Instruction Cornelio Rodriguez. Dean Rodriguez noted that although we have visited other colleges to explore best practice, the Bakersfield College dual enrollment program already far exceeds most other programs in breadth of offerings, number of students served, and number of partnerships achieved. Dr. Anna Laven, Dual Enrollment Program Manager, later revealed that the census enrollment for Summer 2017 through Spring 2018 has reached 7,100.

Seeing dual enrollment as an opportunity for students to improve their educational attainment and connect to a career pathway, many attendees noted the significant impact of dual enrollment in reducing the barriers of educational access. One attendee explained, “I support dual enrollment because my students don’t always believe that college credit is within reach, they attend a school where the perception is that everyone has money and support, but that simply isn’t true. Dual Enrollment allows them to take the first step and build confidence.”

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Group Photo of School District Representatives– from left – Ben Sherley, KHSD; Robert Cobb and Kevin Tallon, WUHSD (Wasco); Paul Chavez, DJUHSD (Delano); Abel Guzman, BC; Maria Herrera, MUSD (McFarland); Anna Laven, BC; Angelica Rios, WCPA (Wonderful College Prep Academy); Raquel Lopez, BC

Dual Enrollment is part of the Bakersfield College effort to support access for all students. Another attendee shared that dual enrollment helps “students understand they can break the poverty cycle and know that anyone can go to college.” Abel Guzman, Interim Director of the Delano Campus, explained that two-thirds of dual enrollment courses are offered in rural communities whose access to college is often limited. A true success story, Raquel Lopez presented that the Wonderful Prep Academy, also a rural site, will celebrate the graduation of their first 30 students with an AST in Business Ag at next week’s commencement exercises.

Offering a good reminder that the hard work of supporting dual enrollment is worth the effort, an instructor from Delano sent Dr. Laven this note, “Just wanted to say great job today at the dual enrollment celebration. You presented quality info and I am glad that we are pioneers as a program in this area. Keep up the good work!”

The Celebration event could not have taken place without the help of the campus, including food service, CTE staff, Delano campus, Outreach, Event Services and Media Services. More photos available on BC’s Smugmug.

 

Rural Archives Show Case “Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History.”

delano-grant-logo-neh_logo_horizontal_rgbOn Tuesday, May 1 the Bakersfield College Delano Campus hosted a rural archives showcase event.  Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage initiative, the “Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History” project has spent the 2017-2018 academic year hosting a variety public outreach events throughout the greater Delano area to preserve family and local histories through digital preservation and oral history.  Project Directors Elisabeth Sundby (Delano Campus Librarian) and Dr. Oliver Rosales (Professor of History & Faculty Coordinator, Social Justice Institute) organized the showcase event on May 1 to highlight the work being done within the archival project, as well as featuring a public panel with three archival donors and a keynote speaker.

DD Showcase presenters

Allison Burch – Delano Campus Adjunct Librarian,  Monte Marshall – Community Archive contributor, Elisabeth Sundby – Delano Campus Adjunct Librarian, Kimberly Arbolante – Contributor and Writing Center Lead, Christine CruzBoone – Bakersfield College Professor of Communication, Anhelica Perez – Graduating BC student, Oliver Rosales – Bakersfield College Professor of History, Dawn Mabalon, Keynote speaker and Professor of History, San Francisco State University

Over one hundred students and community members attended the event, which included a wonderful lunch provided by Bakersfield College food services.  High school students from the Delano Joint Union High School’s migrant program and RFK high school attended the event and were able to pick up information about attending Bakersfield College and becoming future renegades, in addition to learning more about the importance of family history.

DD Showcase SGA bags

The archive donor panel consisted of Monte Marshall, a native of Delano with deep family ties dating back to the founding of the city; Kim Arbolante, Bakersfield College Writing Center Coordinator who spoke of her grandmother Luz Arbolante, a pioneering leader within Delano’s Filipino American community; and finally Anhelica Perez, a graduating student at Bakersfield College and Office of Student life employee who spoke of her grandmother Josephine Fraire, an active member in various civic organizations in the McFarland area since the 1960s.  Each donor shared with the audience the process of archival donation, highlights from their family histories, and why the project was important to them.

Keynote speaker Dawn Mabalon addresses a packed room of attentive attendeesThe keynote speaker for the event was San Francisco State University historian Dawn Mabalon.  An expert on Filipino American history, Professor Mabalon addressed the audience about the importance of preserving family history, as well as her process from moving from getting a “D” in high school history, toward completing her undergraduate degree at UCLA, PhD at Stanford, and ultimately writing her first book Little Manila Is In the Heart: The Making of the Filipina/o American community in Stockton, California (Duke University Press 2013).  Professor Mabalon stressed to the audience how important it is for young people, particularly children of color, to see themselves in the curriculum.

The project directors wish to thank Carolina Madrigal and the entire BC Delano Campus staff for helping host the event, Bakersfield College Library Chair Kirk Russell, Librarian Allison Burch, Professor Chris Cruz-Boone, the Delano Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Bakersfield College Student Government Association CCA Grant.  Special thanks as well to Arnold Bon for taking wonderful photographs of the event, as well as numerous student volunteers who helped coordinate the event.  We are BC Delano!

 

Adventures with BC Geology Club

In late April the Bakersfield College Geology Club explored the desert and plains surrounding our community.

Professor Benker led the students on a field trip east to visit the Rio Tinto Borax pit mine and Mojave National Preserve.  Students were able to visit the Borax museum and learn about the process of mining the valuable economic mineral out of the ground.  They were also able to see boulder sized chunks of the mineral Kernite named after our county.

 

At the Mojave National Preserve students explored the ring trail and observed the Swiss cheese like weathering in rhyolitic tuff making up Hole in the Wall Canyon, wondered into the depths of a lava tube in the Cima Volcanic Field where they even sent me a fun video!

 

The group trudged up the Kelso Dunes.

 

The following week Professor Pierce led students into the Carrizo Plains to view the salt flats and explore Wallace Creek to view offsets and scarps produced by San Andreas Fault movement over the last 3,800 years.  Professors Benker and Pierce tell me, friends of BC and our community is invited to become part of the Bakersfield College Geology Club. You, too, can join in on these adventures!

Black and Gold Scholarship Banquet

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Mayor Karen Goh

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. held its 10th annual Black and Gold Scholarship Banquet to honor four high school seniors and two community members. At the festive event, the Fraternity presented scholarships to Bryce Jackson, Colby Maiden, Leslie Ceciliano, and Heavenly Ford. Ruscel Reader, a retired principal who has held many leadership positions in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., received the Community Service Award along with Dr. Ronnie Claiborne, a physician who is active in health and education organizations.

The keynote speaker was Dee Slade, director of the African American Network of Kern County. She shared with the audience the stories of several African-American scholars and inventors and told the students that anytime anyone tells them that they can’t do something, not to believe them because African American history suggests otherwise.

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The Fraternity also honored Dr. Brad Anderson and Mr. Jamal Powell as Man of the Year. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., established in 1906 at Cornell University, is the oldest African American Greek lettered organization. They focus on community service and involvement while promoting academic excellence, brotherhood, and leadership.

Honors Fiesta

The BC Foundation and the Financial Aid Department treated its Honors and scholarship recipients to a Fiesta celebrating their accomplishments on Wednesday.

The Foundation team transformed the courtyard of the Administration building into a plaza with festive decorations, a taco bar provided by Food Services, and a Mexican helado cart filled with La Rosa Fruit and Ice Cream Bars. There was also a photo booth area where participants could dress up and have their picture taken. Special thanks to the BC Foundation and Financial Aid for organizing this fun event honoring the contributions of our amazing students.

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BCSGA Transition Ceremony

i-fpjh3pn-x4There was plenty of laughter amongst some of the tears shed at the closing of the 93rd Session of the Bakersfield College Student Government Association. As the newly elected officers for 2018-19 were sworn in, Former BCSGA President, Dezi Von Manos, encouraged the new officers to “work together as a team” and reminded them “the position you now hold is not about you, but the students you represent.” She encouraged them not to give up when it seemed hard or stressful, but to push harder. Former BCSGA Vice-President, Lawrence Salcido, encouraged this year’s officers to not only dream big, but to execute a plan for that dream.

Newly elected BCSGA President, James Tompkins, stated that the goal for this year was “giving students a larger and louder voice,” while newly elected Vice-President, Ashley Harp, recognized the past officers and looked to the future for increasing communication and connections with the students and especially the sometimes forgotten Delano students while working together to bring a larger presence from BCSGA to the campus. A heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to all of  the BC Student Government officers who have served during 2017-18 and a warm welcome and congratulations to the new officers of 2018-19. WE ARE BC!

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Student Art on Display

The hallway in the Fine Arts Building morphed into the Renaissance this week as Professor Diego Monterrubio’s Advanced Drawing class created incredible masterpieces over the semester.

 

Renegades Voices in the Community

Kori Masilon

It was wonderful to see the piece titled “Community Voices: BC’s Industrial Automation program equips students with right tools” by Renegade, Kori Masilon published by the Californian on April 24th.

Kori shared her journey beginning in 2015, the year BC announced we were selected as one of 15 community colleges in the state of California to pilot a 4-year degree.

This year, Kori will be one of the 7 first graduates from Bakersfield College to receive a baccalaureate degree. Join me in congratulating her and her cohort and make sure to read to piece to see what she is up to and how her degree is changing her life.

Steve WatkinOutreach and School Relations Director, Steve Watkin also had his Community Voices piece published which focuses on the student success guidance and how these efforts are changing the statistics for our incoming generation of students.

In his piece, “Support efforts are crucial to student success” he mentions the incredible work of the college and the high recognition from organizations such as League for Innovation and the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce. Thank you to these organizations and thank you Steve for highlighting them and the work that BC accomplishes.

Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia authored a great article titled “Filipina American historian to visit Delano, discuss importance of preserving family histories” and highlighted the work in Delano by Dr. Oliver Rosales and Elisabeth Sundby.

She quotes Dr. Rosales in the piece:

“The most meaningful thing to me has been the many tears from students, and by extension their grandparents and elder relatives that did not think their histories matter,” Rosales said. “Family history does matter.  This project has allowed young people, students in and around the greater Delano community, to see how their family stories connect with larger historical forces that have shaped their past.”

Renegade Athletics

Renegade Softball won yesterday in the CCCAA Southern California Regional best of 3 payoff series.  Was happy to see Trustee Romeo Agbalog and his family cheering our term.

Romeo Agbalog, Lily Agbalog, Victoria Perez

 

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#21 Kara Morgan (Frankhouser) left a beautiful post on the BC Softball Facebook page.

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#21 Kara Morgan

“6 years ago, I played ball at the Dean & Adah Gay complex for the last time. It was regionals and my team, OUR team, made BC history time and time again, just as your team has, and we were able to host regionals for the first time, on this beautiful field we all get to call home. I didn’t want it to be my last time. I wanted to play in State, on OUR field, and win. I wanted Coach Sandi to finally get the pay off she deserved from giving all of our teams year after year all that she had. I wanted to go to Disneyland with my team, celebrating that huge victory. We could taste it, dream it, feel it, and we were freaking good.

But we all have dreams that we don’t quite reach.

Yeah, I knew I was probably going to continue playing after BC. I had dreams of D1 ball, playing on the field against top national teams, and continuing to get the fire in my gut that we all get as we play this game. But let me tell you, playing on the UCLA field and shaking hands with Lisa Fernandez, seeing my name on ESPN, flying in airplanes and walking as a proud unit that still donned the Bakersfield name on my chest, playing the game for money, NOTHING compares to the love and fire I get when I walk into that BC stadium.

You see, at BC you are a part of something bigger, something greater. You have decades of alumni who still show up to cheer you on. You have a school athletic coaching staff that cares about you and knows your name. You have a secret weapon of an athletic trainer who makes your mind, body, and spirit align. You have a coach who bleeds Bakersfield and wants to give back to the city who raised her. You girls are given everything you need to win. So just play ball.

I hope you girls spend this week mentally preparing. Thinking about the reasons WHY you play this game. Not how you play it. Not about the future, or the past. Think about the present. Stay close to the why. Because the why gets you through the darkest of times in the softball world, trust me. When you’re mad and hate the game, remember why. When you’re on fire, on top of the world, remember why. We all have different why’s. Learn about your teammate. Figure out why they play the game. Get closer to them. You guys are about to go to war together. As Sandi always told us, you just gotta win your last game.

You will hang it up before you know it. Your old glove will get stiff. You’ll start losing your equipment piece by piece as you move into adulthood. But what an amazing feeling it is when you run into your old team mate that had your back more than anyone when that fight broke out at home plate (Kelsey and Jessica “HEY THATS MY CATCHER”) or you come across old pictures of you and your pitchers locked in together. Sometimes you’re unpacking boxes when you move and you find your old game visor, or warm up jacket, and you just can’t help but remember why that game meant so much.

Take it in, ‘gades, we’re all rooting for you!!!!!!”

Celebrating Retirees

At Thursdays, KCCD Board of Trustees, we presented Felix Ramirez with his plaque of recognition. During his years of service at Bakersfield College, Felix had countless friends across campus. Many employees have fond memories of Felix patrolling the hallways and especially, his kind knock on the door to remind them it was time to go home at 5:30PM.

With years of service in the Marines and in the Army National Guard, Felix always had a calm, authentic security and warmth with him where ever he was. His retirement is truly deserved with a job well done.  Felix, thank you for your service to our country, our community, our Renegade family, and BC.

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Kay Meek and Felix Ramirez

Math and Science celebrated a little Retirement Luau for Andrea Garrison and Rafael Espericueta

 

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Celebrating Faculty and Staff

Congratulations to Manny Fernandez who was awarded Outstanding Industry Partner for the Kern High School District!

 

IMG_0996On Wednesday morning, I received an email from Jackie Lau in BC’s Admissions and Records sharing that she feels so fortunate to be at BC and a part of Michelle Pena’s team.

Jackie said, “She was a great speaker! Several institutions staff were coming up to our team telling us how lucky we were to have her as a Director because she’s is so knowledgeable and shares information in each session.”

 

I loved seeing Jackie’s post also on Facebook!  #WeareBC!

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ASCCC Career and NonCredit Education Institute 2018

A group of amazing individuals from BC are also attending the ASCCC Career and NonCredit Education Institute in Costa Mesa. The website states,  “The ASCCC Career and Noncredit Education Institute is the first ASCCC event to bring faculty together from these areas to collaborate on a statewide level on how best to integrate the services, practices and instruction of these areas. Presentations cover topics in areas such as career education, noncredit education, counseling and student services, Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG), and apprenticeship.”

ASCCC Career and NonCredit Education Institute 2018

Endee Grijalva, Jaime Lopez,  Jennifer Johnson, Stephanie Baltazar and Tony Cordova

Physics Olympics

IMG_2889Friday, April 28th, was the 30th annual Physics Olympics take-over of BC. Over a thousand high school science students (many of them future Renegades) came to BC to put into action the physics and engineering concepts they’ve learned on paper in the classroom. Mark Trunnell from Centennial and Dan Halbur from Foothill work with BC professor Rick Darke to put on the event at BC. The map below shows where the events took place.

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Foothill physics teacher Dan Halbur encourages these South High students in the “Efficiency Bridge” contest. Using ordinary wood pieces like popsicle sticks, coffee stir sticks and toothpicks glued together, students construct a bridge that can carry a 5.0 kg load across a 60-cm span. Designs are judged on how much the bridge flexes, and the total mass of the bridge.

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Physics Olympics students. The ever-popular egg drop was on the north side of the stadium. In that event students design a container holding a raw egg and drop the container from a three-story height. Successful containers will keep the egg intact.

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Paper airplane contest has students design paper airplane that fly the longest and straightest. These students found out that throwing the paper airplanes with a lot of force causes the typical paper airplane to swirl around off course, often coming right back to the thrower, especially if the plane is the typical design with big wings. I advised one team to make the plane more like a missile and practice throwing it before doing the contest (advice based on experience gained in competing with my brothers growing up).

Paper tower event has students building the tallest tower out of just paper and tape.

Super Quiz that pits high school teams against each other in rapid-fire physics questions. The teams are cheered on by their friends in the bleachers. Nick Strobel shared his excitement by telling me, “Yes! An astronomy question was included!”

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Guided Pathways Peer-to-Peer Work Plan

BC sent a team to the first California Guide Pathways Peer-to-Peer Work Plan Reading Circle, an event sponsored by IEPI and the Chancellor’s Office, on April 27th. Dean Steve Waller of our STEM pathway, education pathway counselor Brynn Schock, and Guided Pathway Implementation team faculty members Janet Fulks and Jessica Wojtysiak worked within regional teams to identify themes and share concerns about future policy and support efforts.

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Sonya Christian 3 May 4 2018

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

We are Bakersfield!

Good Morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 21, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade.

The Renegade Red and White Roses are bursting out creating a joyous walkway into my home.

Great week at BC and in our community.  Let me start with the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

Thursday was the 28th annual Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference and Bakersfield College staff and faculty were in full force attending the workshops and tuning into the messages from keynote speakers. The conference allows women in business to network, find mentors, and develop friendships with to advance their careers and or businesses. Many of the workshops focus on topics from a feminine perspective and included topics on health and wellness addressing healthy lifestyles, nutrition and breast cancer. Communication workshops addressed techniques for overcoming lessons learned as girls to be more effective in the business world. There were several on maintaining the balance of work and family.

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Josie Gullian and Endee Grijalva

The Conference also held many empowering workshops on leadership such as “Secure Your Place at the Table – Women Leading in Male Dominant Territory” by District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, Assembly Member Shannon Grove, and Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez.

While the name and focus of the conference is women, men are also welcome and there were many workshops that were gender neutral on many business topics including business strategies, leadership and finance. Richard Chapman, head of Kern EDC, presented on “Kern County’s Economic and Workforce Development Opportunities and Possibilities.” The keynote speakers and many of the workshop speakers were motivational for everyone.

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The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference is a major supporter of the R.O.S.E. (Realizing Options for Student Excellence) mentor program. The program matches high school students with mentors and has several seminars, to aid student mentees in recognizing their value and self-worth. Topics for the seminars focus on careers, communication, balancing life, money, safety and building self-confidence. The mentees receive a scholarship to cover the cost of attending the BWBC. Conference attendees were impressed by one of the mentees that spoke about the benefits of being in the program and to encourage all the women present to become a mentor. This is a wonderful program and I encourage all of you to consider becoming a mentor.

Like the R.O.S.E. program, BC encourages and mentors students to better themselves through education and gave some BC students the opportunity to attend the BWBC. EOPS/CARE/CalWORKS purchased two tables, and sponsored fourteen women from all three programs to attend the 2018 Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference. These ladies are all single parents who are striving to achieve a better life for their families through education. The importance of exposing our students to different events such as the BWBC is vital to their growth, and development as students, professionals, and individuals. They were able to develop networking skills, meeting highly successful women, and gaining valuable business knowledge that will empower them to become strong leaders.

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Debi Anderson, Steve Watkin, and Sandi Taylor at BC’s Booth

The 2018 luncheon keynote speak was Laila Ali, undefeated boxing champion, television host and entrepreneur. She is also well known for her famous father Mohamed Ali and treated BWBC attendees to several picture of her young self with her famous and doting father. She told us of many of the trials in her life that she overcame to be a successful and very driven business woman. Her stories were relatable to what many women and girls face in this time and she is a great example of encouragement for all women.

Joseph Luiz has a Bakersfield Californian Article mentioning highlights from the day.

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Kimberly Bligh and Mary Jo Pasek

i-gmdtwhz-x3It was great to be invited to be the closing keynote at the Women’s Business Conference.  BC women leaders gave birth to this event. Phyllis Hullett – In 1989, BC professor started the Bakersfield Business Womens Conf. as an idea during the International Year of the Woman. She gathered friends and coworkers, and out of one meeting of 12 women and 1 lone man, Pat Shaffer, Dean of Development at Bakersfield College, agreed to serve on the executive board. The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference was born.

I focused on the important guiding tools of Choice, Commitment, Compassion, and Community while interweaving music from the song “We are the World.”  The session concluded by having about 25 women leaders on the stage in red We are Bakersfield t-shirts singing We are the World with the BC Chamber Singers.

I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever and by the end of my talk, I was surrounded on stage by talented musicians, community leaders, fellow educators, friends, and family. We are Bakersfield! 

Loved Robin Mangarin Scott’s introduction of me in that beautiful voice.  Robin was representing the sponsors of the keynote — Dignity health and CBCC.

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I want to start by thanking Heidi Scott.  If it wasn’t for Heidi, I would not have had the courage to do the music.

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Heidi Scott, Sonya Christian

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We invited the whole audience to stand and join us in song.

 

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Kaya Leyendecker and Heidi Scott

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The Chamber Singers had their Spring Concert at the BC Indoor Theater the same evening.  Yet they decided to come our and support me and do We are the World..  Thank you Jen Garrett.  Your energy is astounding and you are out there constantly giving to others.

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BC Chamber Singers

Was so happy to have women leaders from Delano join us.  Thank you April Gregerson for organizing this.  and thank you Rosalina Rivera and Sandra Rivera.

Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Sonya Christian, April Gregerson

Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Sonya Christian, April Gregerson

Thank you to all these fabulous busy women who showed up support the event.

Community Leaders

Liz Rozell, April Gregerson, Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Ingrid Lake, Cathy Abernathy, Raji Brar, Immani Brar

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Pam Rose, Mia Cifuentes, Victoria, Lilly Agbalog, Cheryl Scott, Lauren Skidmore

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Trustee Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Michael Bowers

 

Cathy Abernathy and Sonya Christian

Cathy Abernathy, Sonya Christian

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Cheryl Scott, Sonya Christian

Thank you Norma Rojas-Mora for helping me recruit the women leaders in our community.

Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas Mora, Lisa Kent

Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora, Lisa Kent

Was happy to meet Bethany Rice, Billie Jo Rice’s daughter.  Beautiful, smart young woman.  And then the lighting and sound guys, Manny Gomez and Ryan McCallah, who let me know they were also the ones who did the work in setting up the lighting and sound systems in BC’s newly remodeled Indoor Theater!