Tag Archives: Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

On Eagle’s Wings

Has this hymn been on your mind recently?

And then Earl found me this great piece from BC’s first president, a woman.

“One thinks of a college year book as a record of things past, things done together that are worth remembering. And this is surely its evident purpose. However, one might also think of it as a promise of things to come, a rehearsal for the larger drama of community life. As you turn over the pages of this 1948 Raconteur, let each one tell its story of personal and group achievement, of cooperation toward a common goal, of happiness shared with one another. And, in doing so, let each page also prophecy the kind of community you can help create by the same willing and selfless working together.”

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 14, 2020 … a great day to be a Renegade.

Happy Veterans Day!

I hope everyone in the Renegade family, particularly those who have served in our nation’s armed services or have family members in the military, had a pleasant and reflective mid-week break for Veterans Day. I’m so thankful for all of your contributions to keeping our democracy safe.

I am saddened we were not able to hold our traditional annual Vet Fest this year, but I enjoyed reflecting on how Bakersfield College has honored our student veterans in years past. (And I am grateful that our fantastic Veterans Services team was able to put together ways to celebrate our veterans in different ways during this year’s Veterans Month.)

I also wanted to share this message from Jenny Frank, manager of Veterans programs & services:

“Dear Veterans, Friends, Colleagues, and Fellow Renegades,

Jenny Frank

Veterans Day is upon us, my first at Bakersfield College. Before coming to BC, I marveled to see how Bakersfield College celebrated veterans, not just in November, but all year round. Becoming a part of the BC family allows me the great pleasure of wishing all of our Renegade veterans a very happy Veterans Day.

Veterans, on this day, we pay tribute to you for your selfless service to our nation. While this is the day set aside in celebration of your service, know that each and every day we are eternally grateful for the sacrifices you have made. While some of you may have seen war in foreign lands, others might have stayed closer to home. Each of you raised your right hand and took the oath of enlistment. For that, there are no words that would be sufficient to express our profound gratitude.

Today we thank and celebrate our veterans, but I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to also thank the families of our servicemen and women for all that they do and have done to ensure their loved ones could fulfill their sacred duties. The sleepless nights, long deployments, and precious moments missed have not gone unnoticed, and you have our respect, admiration, and appreciation for all that you have endured.

To all Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and women, and Coastguardsmen and women, wherever you are, we salute you!

WE ARE BC!

Jenny Frank” 

Friday the 13th

Yesterday was Friday the 13th…. I don’t know if you experience folks turning down important meetings when the 13th falls on a Friday. 

I thought I’d share a little bit about the history of Friday the 13th, and how it became such a force in our culture https://www.history.com/topics/folklore/friday-the-13th

Thank you to Macy’s Department Store!

This week, the Renegade Pantry received a generous gift from our local Macy’s Department store. Thanks to many store employees who are Renegade alumni and current Renegades, the store took donations from the community and generated over $12,000 for the Renegade Pantry to stock the shelves for the holiday season.

Increasing Opportunities Through Collaborations

BC is creating more Early College opportunities for high school students through a new online collaborative teaching model. Last year the English, Education and Public Health departments partnered with Early College to bring their courses and pathways into more high schools. In this model the courses were taught fully online by BC faculty and the high school students received support navigating the college course from a high school instructor whom they met with daily within their high school schedule. After the completion of a successful pilot year, and the unexpected shift of all college and high school courses to online modalities, this model has expanded to 25 sections that are scheduled for next Spring.

Last week, Kylie Campbell provided a training and networking opportunity for the BC and high school instructors who will be teaching these courses in the Spring. It is amazing to see our educators from throughout Kern County coming together to ensure access and success for our Early College students. I am excited to see even more departments embracing this model and expanding their course offerings into the high schools this year, and look forward to the positive impact it will have on students entering and staying on their college pathways here at BC.

For more information on how your department can explore offering entrances to your pathways for Early College students, please contact Kylie Campbell at kylie.campbell@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

A Better BC: S&E Topping Ceremony

On November 12, the construction crew on the new Science and Engineering building held their topping ceremony to symbolize that the steel beams that will form the skeleton of the building are near completion. The practice of “topping out” originated as a Scandinavian tradition of placing a tree to appease the spirits of the trees that had been displaced by construction. The practice spread across Europe and eventually the United States, where steel workers place a Christmas tree and an American flag on one of the last beams used in creating the structure of the building.

BC Director of Facilities Bill Potter and AECOM Project Manager John Smith were on hand to witness the Science and Engineering topping ceremony. This is our second topping ceremony of 2020 after the Campus Center in February, which is nearing completion of the main building by the end of this year.

Thank you to everyone who helped build A Better BC, and check out the photos from the Topping Ceremony taken by Earl Parsons.

Virtual Forum on Student Learning

We’re gearing up to renew our 3-year Strategic Plan, so on Thursday, we launched the first in a four-part series of virtual seminars around our Strategic Directions. For the Strategic Direction of Student Learning, Alex Rockey from Academic Technology talked about microbadging, Assessment Committee co-chair Brent Wilson shared their approach to measuring learning, Nick Strobel spoke on social construction of learning, and Erica Menchaca explained the nuances of competency-based education.

Alex Rockey:

Brent Wilson:

Nick Strobel:

Erica Menchaca:

Love and Information

BC’s Performing Arts will present Love and Information by Caryl Churchill through a Live Zoom Webinar next week November 19, 20, and 21, 2020. Our students will perform live from their homes!

The Virtual Lobby opens at 7:15 P.M. each of the nights and the show starts at 7:30 P.M. Admission is free, but advanced registration is required. For more information about the play and to register, visit Love and Information.

Women’s Caucus

Women leaders in the California community college system have launched a new caucus to celebrate their contributions and advocate for women in higher education. The California Community College Women’s Caucus is holding its inaugural meeting on Tuesday, November 17 with Deputy Chancellor Daisy Gonzales and Pasadena City College Trustee Linda Wah. Our very own Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg is one of the leads for this newly formed group

Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Visit the Women’s Caucus website for more information about how to join this collaborative.

Archives Throwback: Grace Van Dyke Bird’s Introduction to 1948 Raconteur

And speaking of women breaking barriers in higher education, check out this throwback to BC’s first president, Grace Van Dyke Bird.

Grace Van Dyke Bird is the reason why we call institutions of higher learning like BC “community colleges”. In the introduction to the 1948 Raconteur yearbook, she kept that same focus on community and forward-thinking when she asked Renegades to imagine the kind of world they could help build after their time at BC. Here are her eloquent words again — a double touch in today’s blog.

“One thinks of a college year book as a record of things past, things done together that are worth remembering. And this is surely its evident purpose. However, one might also think of it as a promise of things to come, a rehearsal for the larger drama of community life. As you turn over the pages of this 1948 Raconteur, let each one tell its story of personal and group achievement, of cooperation toward a common goal, of happiness shared with one another. And, in doing so, let each page also prophecy the kind of community you can help create by the same willing and selfless working together.”

In The News

BC In the Vineyards

Friday the 13th can bring bad luck – but this Friday the 13th I woke to find a wonderful article from Emma Gallegos on the front page above the fold of the Bakersfield Californian.

Emma Gallegos wrote about “BC In the Vineyards,” which brings counselors and advisers into the vineyards to help farmworkers navigate higher education.

Last year, I wrote about BC in the Vineyards in my November 3 blog post. I also wanted to share my posts from October 29, 2018, and November 4, 2018, which also featured this amazing program.

Thank you to Jaime Lopez and our entire Rural Initiatives team for their work on helping expand access to education throughout the county.

Kern Venture Group
JP Lake

I was also excited to see this story in the Californian. JP Lake’s Kern Venture Group has passed the $1 million mark in investing to promote and support local startup businesses.

KVG is Kern County’s first “angel investor group,” and has raised over $2.15 million to invest in local entrepreneurs through December 2021.

JP Lake is truly an asset to the Kern County community, and I am excited to see what further good he and the KVG will do in the coming year.

Community Voices

Benny Balderrama, a program manager in the Office of Student Life, wrote a Community Voices piece in this week’s Bakersfield Californian: “Renegades creating a digital community“.

Benny Balderrama

He wrote of the challenges and creativity in maintaining community in our online, socially-distanced reality.

“BC’s innovative spirit has opened a lot of creative windows over the past eight months as we’ve navigated this new virtual and sometimes “stifling” environment. I commend our students for their flexibility and I’ve never been more proud to meet students where they’re at, creating a space that allows them to succeed and thrive.”

Spotted on Social Media

Brian Sivesind from the Theatre Department shared an addition to his family. Congratulations!!

I loved this tweet from journalist Poornima Murali, showing the celebration in Kamala Harris’ ancestral village. I grew up in a similar area in south India.

BC Nursing shared a pic of Level 1 RN students:

Athletics

Memorial Stadium Always Looking Beautiful

Enjoy these wonderful shots of our gorgeous Memorial Stadium from this last week taken by the Instagram account @epicflightz. This account is a great follow for amazing shots of Bakersfield and Kern County. We anxiously await the opportunity to be back in our athletics facilities and cheer on our Renegades. Until then, we have shots like this to remind us of the beauty of Memorial Stadium and memories of great times. 

That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC – Responding to the unexpected

Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect – Margaret Mitchell

This quote has stuck with me the whole week as I kept up with my readings on pandemics, health data metrics, contact tracing apps and the development of a potential short term workforce, V-shaped rebounding of the economy, to now economists discussing a more protracted, or potentially, L-shaped recovery.

Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect

Good morning Bakersfield
It is Saturday, May 2, 2020…A great day to be a Renegade

This week, President’s Cabinet rolled a fun video message for our BC students thanks to Dena Rhoades. Check it out.

BC Answers call for PPE

Darren Willis and our students at the Creative Design Center used our 3D printer makerspace to create face shields and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Cindy Collier presented Clinica Sierra Vista with 50 face shields on Wednesday, and we delivered another batch of face shields to the Bakersfield Family Medical Center.

Cindy Collier presents face shields to her daughter, Casey Wilkerson, who is a BC RN graduate and VP of clinical services at Bakersfield Family Medical Center

Visit the Bakersfield College website for more details about how our students are using 3D printers to help our healthcare workers, and check out the Creative Design Center page for more information about the longest-running makerspace in Kern County.

Thank you to Darren Willis and our Industrial Technology students for answering the call during these important times, and thank you again to the BC nurses on the frontlines of COVID-19.

Thank you also to The Bakersfield Californian, KGET, and KERO, for their coverage of this story.

And check out this video from Darren about how the PPE is made:

Virtual Forums. April 13th speakers

Let’s check out the videos from the Virtual Forum on April 13th.

California State Assemblyman Rudy Salas

Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

David Bynum

You can find archived videos of our virtual forums, and information about our response to COVID-19 on our COVID-19 website.

Virtual student events

This week, we have continued to be active with events to help our students succeed and to celebrate their talents.

Express Enrollment

The Office of Outreach and School Relations organized a Virtual Express Enrollment event on Wednesday. Each participant received the help they needed to complete all of the enrollment steps, including counseling, registering for classes and financial aid.

Thank you to the 45 staff members and student workers who were rockstars. Thnx to our Counseling, EOPS/Cal-SOAP, Financial Aid, A&R, and Marketing for collaborating with Outreach and Early College to ensure we were fully staffed and able to help those who attended. All around amazing teamwork… We are BC!

Visit the Registration Rocks page for more information about the next Express Enrollment event.

Virtual Transfer Day

Counselors from universities across the country engaged with BC students through Zoom at the 2020 Virtual Transfer Fair on Tuesday. Counselors like Ched Salasek from Grand Canyon University spoke with students on a one-to-one basis to walk Renegades through all of the programs and facilities that their schools have to offer.

Thank you to the Transfer Team for putting together this important chance for our students to continue their education. Read more information on the BC website or visit the Transfer Pathways page for more information about how to set yourself up for success when you graduate from BC.

Virtual Industrial Automation Day

Thursday’s Virtual Industrial Automation Day offered our community the chance to learn more about our innovative baccalaureate program. Staff members from the Industrial Transportation and Technology Pathway guided students through all of the career opportunities available with a degree in automation.

Thank you to Carlos Medina and the Career Education Team for working with the Industrial Transportation and Technology Pathway to put together this important expo for our students.

Virtual Performance of “Metamorphoses”

This weekend, the Bakersfield College Performing Arts Department presents an audio-only, virtual performance of “Metamorphoses,” a play based on the Myths of Ovid and written and originally directed by Mary Zimmerman.

The play is directed by Cody Ganger and edited by Kevin Ganger.

The audio-only performance will be available on the BC Performing Arts website until 10 pm on Sunday night.

The cast of “Metamorphoses” meets over Zoom

Grow With Google Small Business Seminars

The BC Launchpad is hosting a free series of digital skills webinars from the Business and Entrepreneurship Sector of California Community Colleges. The webinars are organized and hosted by Grow with Google, a small business initiative and relief fund.

The first webinar on April 23 focused on Reaching Customers Online with Google. On Thursday, the Grow with Google team hosted a webinar on using Google Search and Maps to optimize your business.

If you’re interested in the final webinar on May 14 about using data to drive business growth, which will be hosted by Corissa Saint Laurent, register through GoToWebinar.

To learn more about BC’s collaborative efforts to support entrepreneurs in Kern County, visit the BC Launchpad.

BC In the News: Craig Hayward on KGET

Craig Hayward, dean of Institutional Effectiveness, was featured in an investigative piece by KGET’s Karen Hua regarding data related to COVID-19.

He simply yet eloquently explained statistical principles in sample selection in data modeling.

#BC Goes Online

I’d like to share a few of the social media posts I found from our BC facutly and staff this week.

Our nursing students and staff are still working hard to keep our community safe. The BC library has been giving us a peek into their personal libraries. The old Memorial Stadium scoreboard was recently leveled. We’re working on a website to track our transfer-bound students (look for more on that in the coming weeks). And the 2020 Student Leadership & Involvement Award Ceremony went virtual this year.

Archives Throwback: Student Housing at Bakersfield College

In the 1960s, the Home of the Renegades was a literal home for many of our students who lived on campus. The dormitory for men was behind the Campus Center and had their own live-in maid named Eleanor. The women’s dormitory also had a live-in “den mother” named Miss Snell. The two houses were active in student activities and had their own associated fraternities and sororities.

Earl Parsons collected a few passages about on-campus housing from the 1966 Raconteur that offers a glimpse of life for those student residents. Check it out on the BC website for more details.

Student Perspective Corner

Our Marketing student workers Juan Reyes and Ramon Carreido have been attending some of the student life virtual events to check in on how our students are engaging with each other on remote platforms. Here are some of the events they’ve covered.

Renegades Surf the Web Earth Day Challenge

BCSGA used Facebook and Instagram to host an Earth Day challenge featuring our students’ creative appreciation and support for our environment. Students were encouraged to share art, music, poetry or anything to express their appreciation for the Earth.

Danny Escobar was announced as the BCSGA winner along with his friend, Brittany the Turtle, enjoying a sweet fruit and veggie salad while expressing their Earth Day pride.

Video Game and Netflix Streams with Student Life

The Office of Student Life is using video games to help Renegades stay connected while sheltering in place. On Monday, students logged in to Discord to organize matches through the competitive survival horror game Dead by Daylight. Benny Balderrama, Samantha Pulido, and Perla Villegas moderated the virtual chat and encouraged students to play together any way they could. On Thursday, the Office of Student Life streamed “Fallout: New Vegas” with students.

The Office of Student Life continues to stream the popular reality show “Tiger King” and engage with students through the Netflix Watch Party feature.

Cooking with BCSGA: Pancakes From Around the World

BCSGA students showed off their culinary skills at the end of Virtual Spring Fling week on Friday, April 24, during the Pancakes From Around the World event. Students flocked to the BCSGA YouTube account to watch their peers cook mouth-watering pancake dishes, including potato pancakes from Poland, Japanese souffle pancakes, and Venezuelan arepas.

The Office of Student Life posts their upcoming events on their website.

Athletics

Next Level Gades!

We are excited to see another Renegade student athlete sign to move on to the next level this week. Ryan Bayne from Renegade Volleyball is headed to Humboldt State this fall. Ryan has been a part of Coach Carl Ferreira’s volleyball program for the last two years in winning back-to-back conference championships during her time. We are excited for Ryan and wish her all the best up north!

Former Renegade Solo Ajayi Signs with the Cleveland Browns

We were also excited to see a former Renegade football student athlete sign an undrafted free agent contract with the Cleveland Browns this last week.

Solo Ajayi had a great few seasons as a linebacker at BC from 2015-2016. Afterwards he moved on to play at Liberty University before his signing with the Browns.

We are rooting for you Solo!

Cheer Announces Virtual Tryouts for the 2020-21 Season

The BC Cheer team has announced it will be going forward with virtual tryouts for the 2020-21 season. The tryouts will take place the week of May 18th-21st with prospects submitting videos of their tryout. The team will primarily use the app ‘BAND’ for video sharing purposes.

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Lean on BC

BC Students, lean on BC.

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow.
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on (Bill Withers)

Good morning, Bakersfield. Happy Easter
It is Saturday, April 11, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

Bill Withers

I was saddened to hear that the legendary soul singer Bill Withers, passed away at the age of 81 last week. Withers is a three-time Grammy Award winner best known for the songs “Lean On Me” and “Ain’t No Sunshine”, which are both on Rolling Stone’s List of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, and John Legend perform “Lean on Me”.
Bill Withers performs “Ain’t No Sunshine”.

Jon Pareles wrote a moving piece in the New York Times about how Bill Withers used his music as a tool to express his compassion and selflessness. Withers was in his early 30s when his recording career started, and his real-life experiences serving in the Navy and working in factories brought an authenticity to his songs about people and their everyday lives. A 2009 documentary about Withers’ life titled “Still Bill” traces the influential singer’s life from his childhood in West Virginia to his retirement from the music industry in 1985.

Enjoying spring with national poetry month

Jack Hernandez emailed me about April being National Poetry Month. His email triggered me dusting off an old book of poems that was part of my high school curriculum. Here are a few verses from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Cloud

I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noonday dreams.

From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother’s breast,
As she dances about the sun.

I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under,
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.

Here is another lovely poem by Jack Hearnandez

Rain hits a budding flower on the Panorama Campus.
Photos by Earl Parsons

Waiting
By Jack Hernandez

When dawn brings
the darkness,
and light confounds
the day,
we are given
the gift of waiting,
which must be opened
to show the way
of breathing

Rain hits a blooming tree on the Panorama Campus

without a calendar
whose hours
are trained to run,
We must hold silence
like a bowl
receiving rain,
a leaf shining
in the sun,
We must feel
in stillness
the caress of hope.

Thank you Jack!

============================

Thank you Greg and Mary Bynum

Of Bakersfield College’s 40,000 students, 80% are First Generation, approximately 80% are low income, and many rely on campus WiFi and computer labs to access the internet in order to complete their assignments.  Students’ responses to a March 20 survey revealed that about one in 10 students do not have adequate off-campus internet access while nearly a quarter of students use their cell phones as their primary device to access their courses. In response to student high student need for technology as Bakersfield College moved instruction online, BC developed a laptop loan program with a generous donation from Greg and Mary Bynum.

Ema Sasic covered this story in the April 10th issue of The Bakersfield Californian. https://tinyurl.com/r4jskk8

Joseph Luiz covered it on KGET https://tinyurl.com/sqpcsx7

Back to College

Unemployment Rates during COVID-19.

In my virtual forums, I have been sharing an article from Politico on April 2 highlighting the 10 million workers nationwide who filed jobless claims over the previous 2 weeks. Yet another surge has brought the total of new jobless claims during this pandemic to over 17 million. I have also been sharing this chart showing how the current unemployment claims compare with unemployment data from the Great Recession. One key difference is how quickly the jobless claims have spiked.

I have previously mentioned the Back to College program our team has created to help combat rising unemployment in Kern County. It is my hope that our community can continue to Lean on BC in this time of need and difficulty.

Our team held four sessions last week and two additional sessions this week to answer student questions and get students registered for these courses. Thank you to Victor Diaz, Erineo Garcia, Jo Ann Acosta, Heather Skibinski, Ashlea Ward and Armando Trujillo for leading these sessions and getting our students registered.

Outreach and Financial Aid work together on Back to College.
The Back to College Team meets on Zoom.

I also want to thank Joseph Tipay, David Moton, Oliver Rosales, Isaias Hernandez, Sylvia Reyes, Beenne Anglin and Jonathan Ward for agreeing to take on this important work and teach these courses to our students. This 5-week program will help jumpstart students’ educational journeys and put them on a path that can lead to new associates degrees or transfer options. Online classes begin on Monday.

Levan Institute Moves Online

#NeverStopLearning
The Levan Institute is offering 7 classes to help our community #NeverStopLearning.

On Monday, the Levan Institute for Lifelong Learning announced seven online classes starting the week of April 20. Enroll in these fun classes as you shelter in place.

Visit the Levan Institute Registration page to apply now!  If you have any questions about the online classes hosted by the BC Levan Institute, please email Miriam Valenzuela at mvalenzu@bakersfieldcollege.edu.To follow the Levan Institute’s posts regarding online classes, please follow them on Facebook. A full list of classes includes:

  • What’s Streaming?: Find out everything you need to know about popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and more.
  • Self Massage for Stress and Tension Relief – Learn massage techniques that you can apply to your whole body and understand the benefits and precautions of massage.
  • Massage for Headache Relief – In this course, you will learn about the causes of headaches and practice massage, acupressure and Reflexology techniques for headache relief.
  • Tai Chi – Tai Chi is a form of martial arts in which slow, gentle movements are made in the air to improve balance, coordination, joint mobility, and blood circulation.
  • Gentle Mat Pilates – In this class, you will learn about Pilates, a blend of exercises to increase core strength, flexibility, breath control, and alignment correction to improve balance and posture.
  • Creative Writing: Creating Characters and Their Stories – In this course, you can expect to learn the elements of fictional writing, such as creating memorable characters, descriptive scenes, and realistic dialogue.
  • Gentle Yoga – This class is designed to promote increased mobility, flexibility, and balance. Yoga is practiced by people of all ages. Each class is an hour of relaxation and gentle movement.

Thank you to Norma Rojas-Mora, Susan Pinza, Miriam Valenzuela, and the BC Levan Institute staff for leading this online classes initiative.

Community Voices: Jeff Newby

Jeff Newby wrote a piece for the Community Voices section.
Jeff Newby

History Professor Jeff Newby wrote a great Community Voices piece for the Californian on Tuesday with tips to help our neighbors and ourselves in small ways.

Jeff’s tips include donating food or money to food banks, donating blood, writing letters to people in isolation, supporting local businesses, and daily neighborhood cleanups. Thank you, Jeff!

All-Campus Forum with Community Leaders

Our All-Campus Virtual Forum last Monday focused on community and political leaders sharing their passion for higher education, as well as their plans to improve the job market during the COVID-19 crisis. I will have their videos for you next week.

On Monday, April 13th, we have another great line up of speakers — Rudy Salas, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and David Bynum. Tune in at 3:00 p.m.

Thank you to Nicky Damania and Todd Coston for moderating the virtual forum, Shannon Musser and Lesley Bonds for facilitating the forum behind the scenes, and all of our participants for keeping the valley strong during these uncertain times.

Virtual Forums from the previous week

You can find the videos on the COVID-19 website at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/covid19

Here are a few short videos of some of our presenters

Abel Guzman on Rural BC.

Diane Allen — Faculty Counselor supporting DSPS

Jackie Lau — Assistant Director, Enrollment Services

Matt Jones — Faculty, Academic Technology

Fun Photos: IT Provides Laptops Before Physical Campus Closure

Before we shut down the physical campus, Manny De Los Santos got some great photos of the Technology Support Team getting laptops ready for Renegades to move online. Thank you to our whole Information Technology Department for helping us manage this transition.

Renegade Nurses Help Fight COVID-19

Graduating Registered Nursing speak at BC’s 100 th Nursing Ceremony in 2017.

Bakersfield College nursing students have stepped up to meet the need for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only eight weeks from graduation, our Level 4 nursing students were thrown into uncertainty as we shifted to a virtual learning environment. But our Associate Dean of Nursing, Carla Gard, playing to “where the puck was going to be,” coordinated externship opportunities with our community health partners: Kern Medical, Dignity Health Systems and Bakersfield Heart Hospital. 

Working in paid positions at these facilities, these 69 senior students will be paired with nurses so they can complete their education by providing hands-on patient care.

Nursing student Shantelle Rubio and Cindy Collier were interviewed by Valley Public Radio last week, and Fresno Univision affiliate KFTV-21 featured our nursing students in a piece for Spanish-language media.

Here’s a salute and prayer for all healthcare workers who are on the front lines of this epidemic.

Renegades on the Front Lines

Kaitlin and Bonnie Hulsy

English faculty member Kaitlin Hulsy wrote a beautiful piece about the importance of nursing and her late mother’s 35-year career in nursing, which started right here at Bakersfield College. Thank you, Kaitlin!

Before I existed in this world, my mother was a student in the nursing program at Bakersfield College. At the time, she was a single mother who was working multiple jobs to raise two young boys and pay her way through college. My mother was always glamorous, but during her days hitting the books, she had a little more grit as opposed to glitter.

Bonny Lou Hulsy walked across the stage at graduation with a smile on her face. She had done it! She went on to have a 35-year career in nursing. This started with cleaning bedpans, and eventually morphed into assisting doctors in diagnosing kiddos with autism at Kern Regional Center. She eventually co-founded one of the top schools in the nation for children with autism and autistic spectrum disorders. Her sons are now grown, one of them the CAO of Kern County.

Bonnie Hulsy’s photo from her Nursing graduation at BC.

We know that nurses can do anything. More importantly, we know how needed they are at this uncertain time. It is in the spirit that I have an ask for the sixty-nine nursing students who are about to be on the front lines in the time of COVID-19: What do you need? How may we help each and every one of you as you begin your journey?

It is my desire to put together a wish list of items for our 69 Renegade nurses to bring them comfort as they confront a still very much unknown dragon. Please email Endee Grijalva to request any items you need. We will do our best to accommodate you.

In the meantime, please know that my mother is looking down from Heaven on BC nursing and bubbling with pride. As a faculty number, I join countless others who are so incredibly proud of you. We Are BC!

Until next time,

Kaitlin Hulsy

Emails Worth Sharing: Castle In the Storm

Cover illustration for Castle in the Storm.

Kaitlin is also spearheading an important creative outlet for Renegades as they shelter in place. In Kaitlin’s most recent column on the website, she shares her thoughts about teaching being the best job in the world. Read her email below about Castle In the Storm.

Good Afternoon, Colleagues:

I wanted to humbly direct your attention to a project I’m working on, namely Castle In the Storm.

Castle in the Storm is a place for Renegade students who need a creative outlet in the time of Covid-19. The website functions both as a place to showcase student work, in addition to being a repository for professional advice and published pieces from established authors. Our logo was created by BC alumnus and local comedienne Margaret Haggard, and original student work is appearing daily. Submissions of flash fiction/poetry/nonfiction from any Bakersfield College students are always welcome. Students may email me directly, or submit to the website via the Contact page.

At this time, our featured author is acclaimed nonfiction writer Deanne Stillman. Her works include Mustang: the Saga of Wild Horses in the American West, among many others. Deanne has written for Rolling Stone Magazine, and her work Twenty Nine Palms: A True Story of Murder was referred to by the great Hunter S. Thompson as “a strange and brilliant story by an important American writer.” She is part of the core faculty at UC Riverside Palm-desert-MFA. Thank you very much for your time, and please enjoy your weekend.

Regards,
Kaitlin Hulsy

#BCGoesOnline

We got a ton of great content this week through the #BCGoesOnline hashtag on social media. Keep sharing your photos and posts with #BCGoesOnline on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and we’ll feature you in next week’s blog!

Carlos Medina tweeted about supporting CSUB with virtual career events, like the virtual career expo for Industrial Technology last week:

Tweet from Carlos Medina.

Kalina Hill shared about how inspired she felt after hearing our students speak at the All-Campus Virtual Forum on Tuesday:

Tweet from Kalina Hill.

Jaime Lopez shared a screenshot from Abel Guzman’s presentation at last week’s Virtual Forum:

Tweet from Jaime Lopez

Finally, Chris Glaser is staying engaged with all of our virtual forums on Twitter:

Virtual Vacations for Spring Break

decorative image.

Although Spring Break is happening at home this year, here are some tips from our marketing department….

Museums and Attractions

Art Collections

Architecture

Nature

Animals

Archives Throwback: Thomas Takes Over New Position

Thomas Takes Over New Position.
Bill Thomas from the 1967 Raconteur

Our look at Bakersfield College in the mid-60s continues with this article from the 1967 Raconteur yearbook about Bill Thomas accepting a position as the student government advisor. Bill Thomas would continue to be a champion for Bakersfield College over the next half-century as a BC professor, KCCD Trustee, and US Congressman representing the Southern San Joaquin Valley. Check the article out below, and stay tuned for more glimpses at Renegade life in the 1960s.

During the last meeting of the Board of Representatives, Fall Semester, a motion was made without proper parliamentary procedures; this mistake was corrected by a member of the Board with the supervision of an interested teacher who had come into the meeting for a few minutes. Noticing this teacher’s interest in student government, Mr. Ronald McMasters, Advisor, appointed him as the Spring Semester Advisor to student government, knowing there was a vacancy for that position.

“Mr. William Thomas has taught at Bakersfield College for the last two years. Previous to this he attended Santa Ana Junior College, where he received his A.A. degree, after which he transferred to San Francisco State College. After four years with a year of student teaching, he obtained his B.A. and M.A. degrees.

Bill Thomas is animated during a student government meeting.

“Besides being Advisor to Student Government, Mr. Thomas is a member of the Board of Publications. He teachers the Parliamentary Procedures Class, Political Science 1, and Social Science 53A and B. Previous to his new appointment, he was advisor to the Tutorial Project and the Young Republicans Club.

“Mr. Thomas enjoys many extra-curricular activities but is not interested in any special activity. He enjoys sports very much, such as handball and basketball, and he also rides a motorcycle occasionally. To pass the time, he reads and listens to music. Most of his weekends in the past two years have been spent chaperoning the college dances.

“Mr. Thomas is very active and is interested in helping the Bakersfield College students whenever he can through his active life in Student Government and campus life.”

More recent photos of Bill Thomas.

Athletics

Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Men’s Tennis Coach Noel Dalton and Head Football Coach R. Todd Littlejohn. Both Coaches talked to Kenny Calvin, the radio host of the Renegade Report, about leading young student-athletes through this unprecedented time. The three also talked about how student-athletes and coaches are facing the stoppage of sports. Click the link to listen to the conversation on Facebook:

National Student-Athlete Day

National Student Athlete Day

Monday, April 6th, was National Student-Athlete Day! With all of our sports teams at a standstill, it’s a unique time for athletic staff and coaches, and in particular, for student-athletes. On top of going to class and studying hard, they put in many hours in practice and competition every week. Even now, as we are all sheltering in place, our athletes are hard at work at home, pushing themselves to stay in shape so that they are ready to compete once again. Happy National Student-Athlete Day Renegades, you’re doing fantastic training at home!

Brett Clark Named BVarsity Coach of the Year

Brett Clark
Brett Clark.

Brett Clark, BC’s head wrestling coach and the head girls wrestling coach at Frontier High School, was named the BVarsity All-Area Girls Wrestling Coach of the Year this week. Congrats go out to Coach Clark for this accomplishment! We are lucky to have a coach who is so devoted to developing young talent within our community.

Special Edition: “I Miss Sports Because…”

I Miss Sports Because..
.

We asked our student-athletes on social media this week to finish this sentence, “I miss sports because…” Here are  a few of their responses

Blake Keesey, from Men’s Golf: “I miss the pressure of needing to hit the shot at the right moment. I miss the early morning drives with the team. I miss the nerves of the opening shot. I miss fighting for each other.”

Brooklyn Walsh, from Women’s Golf: “My team is my family.”

Caleb Jameson, from Men’s Golf: “I miss sports because I miss my team, I miss my brothers, and I miss the pressure and expectations that come with sports.”

Carlos Estrada, from the Football team: “The family environment.”

President Sonya Christian in front of a Bakersfield College wall.

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

It’s Still a Beautiful World

We do live in a beautiful world.

The weather in Bakersfield has been perfect. The sound of the birds and the smell of the flowers intoxicating. My morning starts with a Neo walk as dawn is breaking but still relatively dark and the neighborhood quiet. Every morning, a sentinel owl who is perched high up on the cypress that fills our neighborhood calls out … who goes there.

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, April 4, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

Beauty

Here is Jack Hernandez on Beauty

Jack Hernandez at church

Beauty

By Jack Hernandez 

From my window
azaleas blush,
a white cloud
lingers above,
rain has come
and gone,
the dawn begins
a week of waiting
for another kiss
of passing beauty.

Jack also had a beautiful essay in the April 1, 2020 Californian. Poetry is felt, not analyzed. A poem is not an argument; it is an experience, a revelation. check it out https://tinyurl.com/tzye3ja

#JonesGalleryGoesOnline

Ronnie Wrest and Jeffrey Huston from the Jones Gallery created a virtual exhibition of student art projects. The 2020 Bakersfield College Student Exhibition went live on the web on Thursday afternoon, and features art projects in a variety of mediums. The annual student art exhibition usually takes place at the Jones Gallery inside the Grace Van Dyke Byrd Library, but our art students and staff #LettheTimesGuidetheirCreativity to move this year’s exhibition online.

Invitation with an image of a wild horse running.

See the fabulous art at one or all of the following:

Talking about the art faculty and their creativity, I spotted this wonderful tweet from their dean bragging about them.

Career Education’s First Virtual Career Expo

The Career Education Department hosted their first ever virtual career expo for the Industrial Technology & Transportation pathway on Wednesday April 1st. This innovative platform successfully connected employers with students giving them virtual facetime through Zoom. Our Employer participants included; Berry Petroleum Company, LLC, Sierra School Equipment, Crown Lift Trucks, US Army, AppleOne, JTI Electrical & Instrumentation, LLC, and Westec. As in the many things we do BC is setting the trend as our regional partners have reached out to see how they can duplicate and adapt the event to their campuses. Check out our video recapping the event.

Thank you Carlos Medina and the staff in CTE for thinking outside the box and finding another modality to bring this important event to our students and the community. #BCGoesOnline

Leslie Aldridge Making the World Beautiful

Mrs. Bakersfield and 2 ladies.

Professor of Performing, Leslie Aldridge is still finding incredible ways to serve our community even though we currently find ourselves in challenging times. Leslie is Mrs. Bakersfield 2020 pageant queen, led a senior donation drive to bring food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and gift cards to needy seniors, and she hosted Donate Life to increase the number of vital organs and tissues to save lives. 

Donations for Seniors notice.

She has also used her creativity to bring joy to our community. Her art work at the “Chalk Your Walk” was breathtaking! 

Laying next to chalk drawing of flowers.

BC “Do Good, Feel Good” Campaign

Image of Do Good Feel Good poster.

Now, for some more positive initiatives at BC! Endee Grijalva, the Program Manager of Rural Initiatives, and the BC Office of Student Life staff members came together to assist BC students through the “BC Do Good, Feel Good” campaign. On April 1, 2020 (no April Fools on this one), began a campaign that provides opportunities and encourages BC employees to continue to “do good and feel good” in continuing to serve and provide much-needed resources to students, all while social distancing. We are keeping our spirits up by continuing to support our students in this difficult time and feeling good about it.

Thank you, BC staff and faculty, for your generosity during this time, and thank you, Endee Grijalva and the BC Office of Student Life staff members, for leading this fantastic campaign. 

Cesar Chavez Day 

Cesar Chavez Speaking

Did you know that Tuesday, March 31st, was César Chávez Day in the United States? In California, César Chávez Day is a state holiday that celebrates the birthday of César E. Chávez, paying tribute to his life as a labor leader and champion of civil rights.

Chávez’s life as a community organizer and activist began in 1952 when he joined the Community Service Organization (CSO), a Latino civil rights group. He coordinated voter registration drives and conducted campaigns against racial and ethnic discrimination. He eventually became CSO’s national director, but his dream was to create an organization that protected and served farmworkers. In the early 1960s, he co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers of America), along with Dolores Huerta (who spoke at BC just last year) and Philip Vera Cruz. Chávez remained president of the United Farm Workers of American until he passed away on April 23rd, 1993. 

Today, his life motto, “sí se puede” (it can be done),” encourages organizers around the nation to come together and advance civil rights and different causes. Additionally, many schools, parks, streets, libraries, and other public buildings named or renamed after César Chávez to commemorate his work and commitment to social justice. In 1994, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor the U.S. president can grant an American. In 2006, he was inducted into the California Hall of Fame by Gov. Schwarzenegger. Here at BC, we hope Chávez’s legacy continues to inspire us to serve others and the greater good.

David Villarino has organized a large community celebration each year but could not do so this year because of COVID-19 stay-at-home executive order from the Governor. Here are links to the three previous years.

Third annual Cesar Chavez Breakfast. April 24, 2019. Corny Rodriguez was honored. https://sonyachristianblog.com/2019/04/27/spring-is-heating-up-at-bc/

Second annual Cesar Chavez Breakfast in March 2018. Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg was honored. https://sonyachristianblog.com/2018/03/24/a-beautiful-rainy-week-at-bc/

Inaugural Cesar Chavez Breakfast in March 2017. Sandra Serrano was honored. https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/04/01/an-absolutely-uplifting-week-at-bc/

#BCGoesOnline 

Thank you to everyone who continues to share their experiences sheltering in place using the hashtag #BCGoesOnline on social media. Here are some highlights from this week:

Librarian Mindy Wilmot hosted her first ConferZoom meeting and had a furry friend joining her, as well.

Isabel Castaneda joins a Zoom meeting to move the Summer Bridge to BC program online.

Lesley Bonds’ dog Luna was listening intently to the All-Campus Virtual Forum on Tuesday.

Finally, Kalina Hill from Testing and Placement responds to a message of hope from Manuel Rosas.

Screen shot of Nobody is Alone in this, We are here to help!

This Week at BC: Nursing and Allied Health 

Marketing student workers Ramon Carreido and Juan Reyes made one last video before BC transitioned to a virtual environment, which happened to be about the important work of our Nursing and Allied Health Departments. Thank you, Juan and Ramon!

BC in the News: Back to College Program on KGET

Local station KGET covered BC’s five-week Back to College in a video piece last weekend, explaining to the community how our program will assist workers who are displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you, KGET

For more information about this program, visit the Back to College website.

Reflections From Inside 

Caption from Sara Wallace’s blog: “This is my mobile office. I have office supplies for the students (left) and my clear backpack (right) to bring in supplies (office supplies, graded work, handouts, dry erase markers, etc). It makes it easier for security if I have a clear backpack, and one of the facilities we work in requires it.”

Sara Wallace, an English faculty at Bakersfield College, has published her second blog entry titled “Reflections from Inside: Teaching in the Inmate Scholars Program”. She has been working as a full-time instructor at a total of five different prisons since the Fall. This blog is her reflection about doing this important work. This program is only a few years old, but it has expanded to include ten prisons and a thousand students. It is expected to grow more in the future. This was written before the recent CoronaVirus Outbreak, and some of the lessons and experiences with teaching inside have already changed dramatically.

Lessons Learned so far: I am teaching composition. There are some real differences between teaching on campus and teaching inside, so it has not been a seamless transition, which was not surprising. 

Pro-tip: Do not put anything in the supply cabinet. It will be gone when you get back. The inmates do not have access to this cabinet, so it is probably not them. It is probably another educator. We are all office supply thieves at heart. I am a hardened pen thief myself. There is a real run on office supplies inside.

Something that I take for granted like having a pen or paper to do homework with is really valuable. Bring it in with you and take it with you when you leave. That is a pain, but in some facilities the inmates do not have paper, or they have to buy the paper on their own, which is hard when they are using some of their available time to take my class. I am trying to teach writing. Paper and pens are pretty necessary. I just threw bundles of papers into the recycler the other day because the printer messed up a little bit. It really makes you think about the things we take for granted. 

In addition to supply issues, there are some differences in the way I run my class. For example, I have had to limit the amount of call and response kinds of questions I ask. The inmates are very excited to participate, so it can get a little loud. It requires a little bit more management partly because of their excitement for us to be there. It makes it harder to manage, but it also makes me feel more enthusiastic as well. I have only been working in this program for a month, so there is still plenty to learn and different techniques to try out.

A few months ago, the program had its first graduation. Since I am new, none of the new graduates were students of mine. I am looking forward to future graduations so that I get the chance to hear about what some of our students do with this opportunity as it will continue to inform my response to the question of why I am doing what I am doing.

Language of Power: One of my students asked me why I was making them write in this way. I have been asked this question on campus as well, though not as frequently. I had a more precise answer for my students on the inside. I am teaching you the language of power. People who have control over your lives write like this and speak like this. If you do not know how to communicate like them then you are at a disadvantage. Another student asked: like how the lawyers talk? Yes, and everyone else you talk with who has power. That seemed to motivate some of the students who were not as motivated before though I have less trouble with a lack of motivation inside than I do on the outside.

Lessons Learned: “It is all your fault” one of my students said as he stuck his head in the door during their break. They are not really supposed to come back into the classroom until the break is over. The private facility is more strict about this than the government facilities. I have a hard time saying no to students when they want or need help, so I end up spending our entire break answering questions most days. After all, they do not have the opportunity to come to my office hours. This time, my student did not have a question, but he did want to tell me something.

Me: “Oh? What is my fault?”

Student: “The conversation is still going on out there!”

Me: “Fantastic! That is so great!”

We had a discussion before break about the reading, and they were so engaged with the topic that they continued the discussion. We did have to move on to working on the research essay, so I am glad I gave them the break first. Sometimes they can get a little loud because everyone wants to say something. Last week one of the Correctional Officers came into the classroom to see what was going on because we were so loud. We do eventually have to get back to the writing, but it is nice to talk with students who have something to say, and lots of questions.

At first I was finding it hard to maintain control over the students with all of their questions and comments. It led to a conversation with the director of education, correctional officers, and with the class itself. The solution offered by employees of the prison was to just press the emergency button and have the guards come in and crack some heads.

Me: Because they were a little too loud and were a bit rude? That seems like an overreaction.

Them: They would not do it again.

True. If I pressed the emergency button, the students would not do it again, but they also would not say anything in class anymore, and it would hinder their learning. I am not an employee of the prison system, and my purpose in being there is not to control them or to punish them or even to rehabilitate them; it is to teach them. I have dealt with boisterous classes before, and I have never felt the need to call in a bruiser to deal with them. So I did what I usually do, I changed their seating arrangement every week. They could not form little groups of people chatting to themselves if they were not by their friends. Educators can find other ways to manage a class. We do not always have to drop the hammer.

The interactions with the students in the prison setting are really rewarding for the instructors and hopefully the students as well. The coronavirus outbreak has put a stop to all face-to-face teaching in the prison system. My next blog post will be about the effect it has had on our teaching. We are trying to make the best out of this situation, but all of us want to eventually go back inside. Having interactions with someone who is communicating with these students about something other than their behavior or the past mistakes they have made is really important and means a lot to them. I was evaluated by the students last semester as part of the normal evaluation process. I have not had a chance to read all my evaluations (which I cannot read until after the grades are submitted for the semester), but during my meeting with my committee, one of my committee members read a comment to me from one of my students. He said: she never looks at me like I am a level four criminal. She said there were a lot of comments like that and if I am ever feeling low, I should go and read through them. As soon as this is over, I will, and I hope we can go back in soon because besides teaching the Inmate Scholars the content of the course, personal interaction is important too.

Archives Throwback: Highlights from 1965-1967

Homecoming float with Bakersfield College wall.

Earl Parsons took a deep dive into the Bakersfield College Archives last weekend to find any information available about Lupe Hernandez, the Bakersfield nursing student rumored to have invented hand sanitizer in 1966. After digging through two Raconteur yearbooks and countless volumes of the Renegade Rip, however, nothing came up. If you have any information about a Bakersfield nursing student from the mid-60s named Lupe Hernandez, please email web@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

In his search, he managed to find all kinds of resources that paint a picture of life for Renegades in the mid-60s. We’ll be focusing on a few of those major highlights over the next coming weeks, but let’s just take a look at some of the best photos from those years, including this picture of donkey basketball in the gym:

Donkeys on a basketball court.

Renegade Athletics were alive and well during this time, with diving, water polo and men’s soccer all being played on the Panorama Campus.

In 1966 just like now, construction projects were happening around the Panorama Campus.

4 images on a yearbook page of campus construction.

In the coming weeks, look forward to a glimpse of Bill Thomas during his time as a Renegade faculty member, Ray Gonzales founding the first Hispanic Cultural Club in BC history, and a closer look at the era of on-campus student housing.

Fun Photos Coffee Cup Collection

Every weekday morning at 7:30 (8 on Fridays) the Marketing team greets one another on Slack. Lori Ortiz also adds a photo of her coffee cup. She has quite the collection. It’s just one of the fun things the MPR team does to stay connected and have some fun in our work from home environment. Here are a few the team shared with me:

Renegade Athletics

Upgrade Your Zoom Appeal With New Athletics Backgrounds!

We all have been using Zoom to its fullest this past few weeks and why not ‘Rep your Renegade pride while meeting with your colleagues and community. Feel free to use the background above or click this link to find more on GoGades.com: Renegade Custom Video Conference Backgrounds 

Baseball stadium.

National Athletic Training Month

This last month (March) was National Athletic Training Month and we don’t want to let the opportunity slip by without highlighting our awesome Renegade Athletic Trainers – Mike Medeiros, Tricia Gay and Lexi Pitcher. All three spend countless hours helping our student athletes (and visiting teams’ student athletes) stay in tip-top shape for competition. We are grateful to have such a great team of athletic trainers who keep our student athletes operating at peak physical condition!

Field House Demolition

The Dr. Romain Clerou Fieldhouse has been a fixture on campus since we moved up to here on the hill. This last week the historic structure was demolished to make way for the gymnasium. Countless Renegade student athletes used this facility to change for practice/games and we know there are hundreds of alumni with cherished memories of the building from their time spent as Renegades. While we are sad to see it go, we are excited for the new gymnasium that will take its place.

Sonya in front of the BC hedge.

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Feb 29, 2020 Celebrating Leap Year & showcasing Sterling Silver 2020

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 29, 2020…A Leap Year… A great day to be a Renegade.

Sterling Silver

Liz Rozell, John Petre, Sonya Christian, Kay Meek
Liz Rozell, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian
left to right: Zav Dadabhoy, Sandi Taylor, Liz Rozell, Dr. William F. Baker, Jr., Sonya Christian, and Romeo Agbalog.
Liz Rozell, Rick Kreiser, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder

We had a beautiful reception at the Seven Oaks Country Club last weekend as part of our 12th-annual Sterling Silver Dinner, which the BC Foundation puts together to honor and recognize the exceptional support that members of our community provide to BC every day. Proceeds from the Sterling Silver Dinner help fund scholarships for students, providing vital opportunities to make higher education a reality for thousands of Renegades.

Kris Tiner

The evening brought together Renegade alumni and supporters, generous donors, and friends of the college to celebrate this year’s honorees. Under the direction of Kris Tiner, the BC Jazz Ensemble masterfully entertained the crowd as they entered the event. Seven Oaks chef Paul Burzlaff prepared a wonderful variety of culinary delights with help from BC Culinary Arts students.

Several notable Renegade supporters were on hand to celebrate our honorees, including Mayor Karen Goh, Assemblymember Vince Fong, State Senator Shannon Grove, County Supervisor Zack Scrivner, and City Councilmember Andrae Gonzales. Other notable community partners included S.C. Anderson, Diane Lake, and AECOM/Parsons.

Corporate Philanthropist of the Year – Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealers Association

We started off the reception by recognizing the Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealers Association for their long-standing support of BC. The Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealers Association was founded in 1945 and has held several golf tournaments to promote education in Kern County.

Individual Philanthropist of the Year – Mr. Bill Kelly

Bill Kelly receives the Individual Philanthropist of the Year Award
Bill Kelly receives the Individual Philanthropist of the Year Award

Bill Kelly taught agriculture at BC for 37 years. In addition to being selected Professor of the Year in 2014, he has won accolades across the state for his influence on agriculture education. Mr. Kelly retired in 2019, but he loves what he does so much he is back on campus as an adjunct instructor. However, we honored Bill because he and his family have provided substantial financial assistance to generations of BC students through the Verna L. Kelly Memorial and Kelly Family scholarships, set up to honor his family and strengthen ag education.

Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal – Dr. William F. “Bill” Baker, Jr.

Dr. William Baker receives the Foundation Service Medal.
Dr. William Baker receives the Foundation Service Medal.

Dr. William Baker has served as the Team Physician for Bakersfield College athletics since 1978 and has provided expert medical care to generations of athletes, witnessing milestones such as the 1988 State Championship and the 1990 Potato Bowl. Dr. Baker’s contributions continue in the scholarship that he and Dr. Michael Tivnon established and award annually through the Bakersfield College Foundation. Dr. Baker has a successful practice in town and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the International Academy of Thrombosis, Hemostasis and Vascular Medicine. The Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal recognizes extraordinary service to the Bakersfield College community for fifty-two years of commitment to Bakersfield College and Bakersfield College Athletics, and a lifetime of service to the good health of Bakersfield and Kern County.

Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal – Rick Kreiser

Rick Kreiser receives the Foundation Service Medal.
Rick Kreiser receives the Foundation Service Medal.

Rick Kreiser is a Bakersfield College alum who has served on the Bakersfield College Foundation since 2001, even serving a stint as chair of the Foundation from 2005 to 2007. Over the years, Rick and his company, Carney’s, have helped numerous local charities raise money, especially to fight cancer. There is a scholarship benefiting Bakersfield College students in the name of his late wife, Kris Kreiser.

Thank Yous

Heather Pennella and Norma Rojas-Mora
Heather Pennella and Norma Rojas-Mora

Thank you KGET for covering the event and for producing the honoree videos. I’d also like to thank Norma Rojas-Mora, Monika Scott, Dylan Wang, Manny De Los Santos and Brandon Urry from BC’s Marketing and Public Relations team for the promotion and social media coverage of this year’s Sterling Silver Dinner.

Sterling Silver is the signature event for the Bakersfield College Foundation, and it wouldn’t be possible without the tireless planning and work of Heather Pennella, our Alumni and Donor Relations Manager. Thank you Heather, as well as the rest of the Foundation team, for coordinating another successful night. A special thanks also goes out to Liz Rozell for stepping in as Executive Director of the Foundation after Tom Gelder’s retirement.

Check out more photos from the Sterling Silver Dinner below, captured with the brilliant photography of April Massirio.

Karen Gohn, Sonya Christian, Christina Scrivner, Shannon Grove
Sonya Christian sits with Sterling Silver dinner attendees.
Seated: Dr. Michael Tivnon, Gerry Collis
Standing: Lorenzo Alvarez, Duane Damron, Carl Bowser, Dr. Bill Baker, Dallas Grider, Carl Dean, R. Todd Littlejohn, Bob Covey, Harvel Pollard.
front row: John Turner, Joi Turner, Patrick Beck; back row: Vince Fong, Julia Turner, Kay Meek, Sonya Christian, Lauraine Cook, Jerry Cook.
Front row: John Turner, Joi Turner, Patrick Beck;
Back row: Vince Fong, Julia Turner, Kay Meek, Sonya Christian, Lauraine Cook, Jerry Cook.

African-American Community Leadership Breakfast

Mayor Karen Goh with the Buffalo Soldiers.
Mayor Karen Goh with the Buffalo Soldiers.

BC is recognized nationwide for the work of our African-American Initiatives team with the John W. Rice Award and other accolades, and their success has been aided by the support of leaders in the African-American community who believe in our vision for closing equity gaps in Kern County. We held a special breakfast for African-American leaders in the Levan Center on Wednesday to thank them and show how that support is transforming thousands of lives every day.

Steve Watkin receives a standing ovation.
Steve Watkin receives a standing ovation.

I always look forward to the African-American Community Leadership Breakfast every year, and I’m glad that we could bring it back for 2020. Our Food Services Department provided another lovely meal for all our attendees, and Steve Watkin organized and emceed the event.

Mayor Karen Goh was in attendance at the event, and she gave a beautiful speech about the power of unity to create systemic change.

Umoja Coordinator Paula Parks.
Paula Parks

The keynote speaker for the African-American Community Leadership Breakfast was BC’s own Paula Parks to talk about the success of our Umoja Community chapter. The audience erupted in applause when Paula announced an increase of 133 percent for African-American student completion of English at BC, which is a direct result of the leadership and community promoted through Umoja. Listening to Paula’s presentation, even I was surprised at how much the program had grown in the last few years, expanding to cohort courses in English, math, astronomy, biology and more. We now have a sister student organization called the Umoja Club, and the program will begin to offer students internships through Dignity Health.

After Paula’s presentation, representatives from several important community organizations spoke to promote their education initiatives, as well as partnerships with BC and other schools. I loved hearing from Dee Slade of the African-American Network of Kern County, Charles Everly from the Buffalo Soldiers, Dr. Bradford Anderson of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Essie Davis from The Links, Incorporated, Linda McKnight from Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and LaMeka Ross from the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

BC culinary arts student Edwin Peterson.
Edwin Peterson

We closed out the morning with a powerful student testimonial from Edwin Peterson, a young man who has turned his back on the mire of the streets to pursue a Culinary Arts degree right here at BC. He credits Steve Watkin and the African-American Initiatives team for motivating him to continue his education.

Thank you to the African-American Initiatives team, Food Services, the Levan Center, and everyone who attended this event to show their love and support for our African-American students.

Steve Watkin, Mayor Karen Goh, Sonya Christian and Charles Everly.
Steve Watkin, Mayor Karen Goh, Sonya Christian and Charles Everly.
Steve Watkin, Sonya Christian, Rev. Ralph Anthony, Doc Ervin, Dr. Oscar Anthony
Steve Watkin, Sonya Christian, Rev. Ralph Anthony, Doc Ervin, Dr. Oscar Anthony

Levan Center and Levan Institute on KGET