Tag Archives: Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

2019 Sterling Silver

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 30, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Annual Foundation Sterling Silver Dinner

Chancellor Tom Burke, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Sonya Christian, and Stewart and Lynda Resnick

The 11th annual Sterling Silver Dinner, held last Saturday, recognized exceptional support and service to the BC Foundation and to the College. The beautiful event, at Seven Oaks Country Club, directly supports the Bakersfield College scholarship program providing educational opportunities for Renegades today and tomorrow.

The event brought together college supporters, donors, alumni, and friends for an evening of live entertainment featuring Kris Tiner and the BC Jazz Ensemble and culinary delights from Seven Oaks Executive Chef Paul Burzlaff and the BC Culinary Arts students.

Sonya Christian, Kris Tiner, and Trumpet Player in the Renegade Jazz Band
Sonya Christian, Kris Tiner, and Trombone Player in the Renegade Jazz Band
Five BC Culinary Arts students pose at Sterling Silver
BC Culinary Arts students pose at Sterling Silver
Sonya Christian, Lynda Resnick

It was great to see Renegade supporters like Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Mayor Karen Goh, Senator Shannon Grove, and Assembly Member Vince Fong.

Karen Goh, Shannon Grove, Vince Fong
Karen Goh, Shannon Grove, Vince Fong
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, and Kiyoshi Timono
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, and Kiyoshi Timono

This year, our 2019 recognition’s included:

Lynda and Stewart Resnick as Individual Philanthropists of the Year

Sonya Christian, Stewart and Lynda Resnick, and Tom Gelder
Sonya Christian, Stewart and Lynda Resnick, and Tom Gelder

Lynda and Stewart Resnick have championed education, health care and community development across the Central Valley. Together, they have transformed the lives of countless students by making college an achievable goal through generous scholarships and a robust education program. Their long-standing support for Bakersfield College has provided significant opportunities for youth throughout the region.

Aera Energy as Corporate Philanthropist of the Year

Tom Gelder, Christina Sistrunk of Aera Energy, and Sonya Christian
Tom Gelder, Christina Sistrunk of Aera Energy, and Sonya Christian

Aera Energy has supported Bakersfield College and students throughout Kern County with consistent and generous donations, creating opportunities and spaces such as the Aera STEM Success Center, inspiring young people to pursue STEM education and careers with their involvement in BC’s MESA program, ensuring Bakersfield’s success with participation in advisory boards, and offering internships as a vital part of a hands-on education.

featuring Christina Sistrunk of Aera Energy
Tom Burke, Kevin McCarthy, Christina Sistrunk, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder
Tom Burke, Kevin McCarthy, Christina Sistrunk, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder with the recognition for Aera Energy.

Jerry Ludeke as BC Foundation Service Medal Winner

Jerry Ludeke has served the Renegade community for over 60 years, starting with her position teaching English and Art and eventually teaching in the Learning Center, receiving the Margaret Levinson Faculty Leadership Award, the Shirley Trembley Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Distinguished Service Award presented by the Kern Community College Board of Trustees. More recently, Ludeke spends her time giving back and preserving history with the BC Archives department.

Tom Burke, Kevin McCarthy, Jerry Ludeke, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder
Tom Burke, Kevin McCarthy, Jerry Ludeke, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder
Kimberly Bligh, Sonya Christian, Nicky Damania, Janet Tarjan
Lynnette Zelezny, Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora
Lynnette Zelezny, Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora
Kevin McCarthy speaks at Sterling Silver
Congressman and Renegade Kevin McCarthy
The BC Team with Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Assemblymember Vince Fong
(L-R) Janet Tarjan, Norma Rojas-Mora, Sonya Christian, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Vince Fong, Tom Gelder, and Nicky Damania
Norma Rojas Mora, Lynnette Zelezny, Karen Goh, Sonya Christian, Lynda Resnick, Heather Pennella, Noemi Donoso
Norma Rojas Mora, Lynnette Zelezny, Karen Goh, Sonya Christian, Lynda Resnick, Heather Pennella, Noemi Donoso
Meagan Bynum, Sonya Christian, David Bynum
Sonya Christian, Jay Rosenlieb, Cindy Pollard
Sonya Christian, Stephen Waller, Adele Waller and the AECOM Parsons team

Thank you KGET for covering our event, see the KGET Video.

Thank you Tom Gelder, Norma Rojas-Mora and team for the 2019 Sterling Silver. Thank you Heather Penella for leading this effort. Thank you Tamara Baker and Dylan Wang for the social media support for the evening. We are BC!

Check out all the pictures by the talented April Massirio Sterling Silver Dinner on BC’s Smugmug.

Betty Younger

Sonya and Betty.
Sonya Christian, Betty Younger

Local sculptor and community arts supporter Betty Younger passed away at the age of 88 — see the article by Steven Mayer in the Bakersfield Californian on Thursday. Betty was a champion for Bakersfield College along with her husband Milt, and dedicated her sculpture “Circle of Friends” in honor of Dr. Jim Young to the Panorama campus in 2014.

Circle of Friends sculpture is 4 abstract figures symbolizing people on a circle base.

Back in 2014, I wrote about the dedication of Betty’s “Circle of Friends” sculpture. It’s a beautiful symbol of what higher education is all about – providing an environment where information and experiences are shared to make our community stronger and cultivating a better understanding of the world around us. “Circle of Friends” was created in honor of Jim Young, a KCCD Chancellor from 1978 to 1999 – you can visit the sculpture yourself on the hill between the Humanities building and the Child Development Center on Panorama Drive.

The Circle of Friends by Betty Younger - sculptor.to Honor James C. Young, Ed.D. Chancellor of Ker Community College District 1978-1999 A gift from Milt and Betty Younger March 2014 plaque in front of sculpture.

Betty’s history with the Renegades goes back as far as the 1940s and 50s, as her aunt Hattie Hoenshell was a chemistry teacher at BC when Betty was a young girl. Betty later attended classes at BC before embarking on a career as a painter and sculptor, as well as a patron and connoisseur of art in Kern County. Jerry Ludeke recalls that legendary BC administrator Grace Van Dyke Bird purchased one of her paintings.

I also wrote about Milt Younger at his passing in 2017 in the blog Bakersfield College – A Place of Dreams. The Renegade family misses Milt and Betty Younger, but their legacy lives on everywhere you look in Kern County, from BC, to CSUB, home of her sculpture “Owl of Knowledge”, to the Bakersfield Symphony and all of the wonderful programs and non-profit organizations that they supported.

Dual Enrollment: Helping all Students Gain Access to College

The first week of April is the first-ever Dual Enrollment Week across the state of California, and I want to observe the occasion by highlighting the amazing work our Dual Enrollment team is doing to make a college education more accessible for high school students.

Dual Enrollment First student to sign up in 2016

BC offers UC/CSU transferable courses and Career Technical Education to more than 30 high schools, reaching approximately 10,000 students. BC’s Dual Enrollment program is estimated to be the largest in the state and within the California Community College system. The program started as a grant partnership with the Wonderful Company providing an Associate of Science in Ag Business to high school students in the Wonderful Academy. It has now expanded to four local high school districts, saving students and their families more than $2 million in education expenses.

Dual Enrollment Week was approved by the California state legislature last year to raise awareness of programs that give high school students the opportunity to earn transferable college credit at no cost. During Dual Enrollment Week, KCCD has invited the Get Focused…Stay Focused program to give an overview workshop at the Larry E. Reider Education Center at 2000 K Street on Friday, April 5. Get Focused…Stay Focused is a course for high school freshmen to learn more about college and make a ten-year plan for their education and career. Visit the Academic Innovations website to register and learn more information about the workshop.

Summer Bridge

As the Bridge to BC sessions for Summer 2019 are rapidly approaching, I thought it would be a great time to highlight Joseph Luiz’s article in the Bakersfield Californian from last year about the phenomenal growth in our orientation program for incoming freshmen and their families.

Last year, 1,200 students participated in the Bridge to BC program, and we expect even more students this summer. Bridge to BC, which is offered as a one-day class titled Academic Development B55: First Year Student Success, has been instrumental in getting our students ready for college and, with an emphasis on reaching out to first-generation students of color, easing the anxiety many students feel about starting their college journey.

Staff gather a Summer Bridge tent holding a sign.

During Bridge to BC, students are given a tour of the campus and information about financial aid, counseling and other resources. They also form teams and create a poster representing the path they’ll take from high school graduation to BC Commencement and beyond. “We want [students] to understand how to be a successful person in college and also how to successfully navigate our resources,” says Kimberly Bligh, faculty director of the program.

Registration for Bridge to BC sessions in Summer 2019 are available now. Visit the Bridge to BC website for more information.

Early College Launch in Shafter

Abel Guzman and Trustee Romeo Agbalog at Early College Info Event in Shafter
Abel Guzman and Trustee Romeo Agbalog at Early College Info Event in Shafter

Thursday night, the incoming Shafter High Class of 2023 flooded the Shafter High auditorium in a kick-off event for 9th-grade registration. When Shafter High School Principal Russel Shipley took the stage to tell incoming students and their families about the opportunities they would have in high school, he had an amazing new opportunity to share with them — Early College. Head Counselor Juan Leyva explained to the high school students that they would have the opportunity to earn college credits during and after the traditional school day right on their own high school campus. To assist with the program debut, Kern Community College District Trustee Romeo Agbalog was invited to share some remarks.

“We are committed to improving access and opportunities for Shafter High students to reach their academic and career goals, as well as supporting the college going culture in the community of Shafter. Through the Early College program, each student will be on a guided path to earn college credit while in high school,” said Agbalog. “These efforts translate directly into time and tuition savings for the student, savings for the taxpayers, and securing a brighter future through the power of education,” he added.

BC Staff at Bakersfield College Early College tables of bags, laniards, folders and giveaways at Shafter High.

Following the presentations in the auditorium, students went into the quad to learn more about the opportunities they would have in high school. Staff from BC’s Rural Initiatives, Dual Enrollment, and Outreach teams (Jaime Lopez, Kylie Swanson, Steve Watkin, Debra Anderson, and Jessica Garcia) were present from BC to share with both incoming 8th graders and current high school students and their parents about the Early College program and the jump start that it provides students for their college education and career.

Adult students also learned about the many evening course options being offered in collaboration with Shafter High School on their campus. Working at the forefront of the partnership between BC and Shafter, Executive Director of Rural Initiatives Abel Guzman shared:

“The City of Shafter is an incredible partner of BC, committed to the success of students throughout the community. Together, as we incorporate more educational opportunities and offerings, like the Early College program, we will level the playing field. And by bringing college closer within grasp for these students, we are granting them a head start towards a college degree and successful career.”

Starting in the 2019-2020, Shafter High School’s incoming 9th-grade students will follow a plan to complete over 30 general education units prior to their high school graduation through a combination of dual and concurrent enrollment courses. Students will also have access to additional CTE dual enrollment opportunities in the areas of agriculture, welding, and woodworking. As the partnership between BC and Shafter High continues to grow, the goal is for students to be able to complete complete college-level certificates and degrees during their time at Shafter High School.

For more information on the Early College work being done at Shafter High, visit BC’s Early College at Shafter

Adios Amore Screening

Filmmaker Laurie Coyle came to BC for a screening of her documentary about one of the forgotten heroes of the 20th-Century farm worker rights movement in the Indoor Theater on Thursday night. Coyle hosted a panel with five BC DREAMer students to talk about how they related to the story of Maria Moreno, a farm worker with 12 children and a second-grade education who became a spokesperson for a nationwide agricultural union.

Woman on microphone.
Professor Jessica Martinez moderating the screening and panel.

The film, titled “Adios Amor: The Search for Maria Moreno”, documents the search for Maria’s family and details about her life through photographs, news articles reel-to-reel audio tapes and video footage recovered in attics, archives and museums across the United States and Mexico. Years before the grape boycott and before Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta led the work that would blossom into the United Farm Workers organization, Moreno was picked to be a spokesperson for the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) was funded by the AFL-CIO. Moreno would travel the nation telling stories about the extreme poverty her family faced in the fields of the Central Valley and how her oldest son once became blind from starvation when their family didn’t have enough to eat.

Moreno standing in a dirt lane between bunk houses, black & white picture.
“Adios Amor” screenshot

Moreno eventually disappeared from public records after the collapse of AWOC, and Coyle wasn’t able to find the rest of Moreno’s story until one of Moreno’s granddaughters reached out to her. After leaving the organization, Moreno became a Pentecostal preacher who travelled the desert between Mexico and the American Southwest feeding the poor and hungry in every town she stopped at. Some of the most powerful moments of the documentary are when Moreno’s family are reconnected with old photographs and footage of their mother and given the chance to visit their childhood home.

Audience in the indoor theater.

Production costs for “Adios Amor” were funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the film has been screened across the American Southwest. Coyle said she was surprised that the Endowment would fund the film since they usually only fund projects about well-known historical figures, but Moreno’s story as an immigrant Mexican woman organizing a labor union was an important one to document.

BC Dreamer student speaks with microphone, 2 panelists looking at him.
left to right: Jovana Espinoza, Jesus Arias, Pedro Coata

After the film, BC students Jovana Espinoza, Jesus Arias, Pedro Coata, Edith Mata and Maria Jaimes sat on a panel with Coyle to talk about how they related to Moreno’s story as the children of first-generation immigrants themselves. Many of the students saw glimpses of their own mothers in Moreno’s strength and resolve in the face of adversity, and the women on the panel felt empowered by the ways that Moreno challenged the norms of how women were expected to act in traditional Mexican culture and were inspired to speak up against injustice regardless of the consequences.

The Dreamer panelists and director sit at an onstage table with Bakersfield College cloth.
left to right: Maria Jaimes, Edith Mata Jovana Espinoza, Jesus Arias, Pedro Coata, Laurie Coyle

Coyle encouraged people in the audience to find stories about people in their community that aren’t being told in any medium available to them. “History is about how we get by, and the values that we take with us wherever we go,” Coyle said. “Does your family have a story that isn’t being represented?”

Woman speaking into microphone.
Director Laurie Coyle

I’d like to thank the Social Justice Institute, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Director Laurie Coyle, moderator Jessica Martinez, and the five DREAMer students who spoke for making this event a huge success.

Jovana speaks in microphone as the others smile at her.
left to right: Edith Mata, Jovana Espinoza, Jesus Arias and Pedro Coata.
Retired broadcaster Jose Gaspar asks a question during the Adios Amor panel.

Adios Amore in Community Voices

Oliver Rosales’ latest op-ed for the Community Voices section of the Bakersfield Californian helped spread the word about Thursday’s screening of “Adios Amor: The Search for Maria Moreno” in the Indoor Theater.

Dr. Oliver Rosales

Rosales wrote that the film sheds light on one of the forgotten heroines of the agricultural farm labor movement of the mid-20th Century.
Rosales describes “Adios Amor” as “a beautiful mosaic of borderlands history” that provides an important resource of representation for first-generation college students and immigrant families to connect with the story of the California farmworkers’ movement. Rosales wrote, “these stories offer a vital link to past struggles for civil rights and inclusion.”

Blue and Gold Day

It’s never been easier for BC Renegades to transition into CSUB Roadrunners, and CSUB hosted Blue and Gold Day in the CSS Lawn Area on Thursday to inform BC students about all of the transfer services and educational opportunities that are available to them.

A CSUB staff member at the Financial Aid table talks to students.

The CSUB Student Transfer Center hosted a tent in the middle of the lawn with information about Finish-in-Four and the California Promise, and representatives from CSUB’s social science, STEM and graduate studies departments lined the perimeter with booths about all of their degrees and programs. There were also representatives from CSUB Financial Aid, the Veterans Center and various student organizations to get the word out about all of the support that our students can receive when they decide to join the Roadrunner family.

7 students and staff in CSUB t-shirts hold up flags about CSUB.

I’d like to thank everyone at CSUB who made this event possible, as well as BC’s Transfer Initiatives team for facilitating the creation of Blue and Gold Day. As we continue to develop our partnership with CSUB and begin construction of the new BC SouthWest Center on the edge of the CSUB campus, informational events like these will only become more important.

BC Art Student Exhibition

Collage of colorful images as a backdrop to a skeleton framed in bright pink with a rose vine hanger.
“Go to Sleep” by Jessica Campos

BC students are showing off their talents in a variety of media during the 2019 BC Art Student Exhibition in the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery inside the library. The annual gallery event celebrating the best work created in BC art classes is running from now until May 2 during the Jones Gallery from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. An opening reception was held on March 14.

Black and white image of two black birds flying over a church-like building against a cloudy sky.
“The Apostle” by Nicolas Zuniga

Everything from paintings, illustrations, photographs and sculptures to mixed media, collage, digital art and video projects are on display in the exhibition, and everyone is encouraged to take time to celebrate our students’ creativity .

Black and white water color of woman with bloodshot eyes, whole in forehead and eyeballs in background.
“Uzamaki” by Scott Johnston
Painting of child standing under flowery sheet next to a window on canvas.
“Good Morning Clem” by Keiolani Mahinan-Brockenbrough
Aztec style clay sculpture of a dragon head hung on a wall.
“Quetzalcoatl Head” by Jovani Rodriguez
Tea pot and 2 vases.
A variety of vases from David Ekern’s Ceramics class are displayed in the Jones Gallery.

Former SGA President Encourages East-High LUPE Students

This week BC’s LUPE students were inspired by the success story of Ms. Danitzia Romo – (BC Alumni and former SGA President). Her uplifting presentation revolved around working diligently to succeed in college, and her appreciation for the educational opportunities BC has to offer.

Ms. Romo urged students to bring their parents’ hardworking mentality into their current and future studies and to persevere through any obstacles that may come their way. Students were inspired by her humble beginnings as an immigrant, her professional development, and successful career path. Ms. Romo addressed the significance of community involvement, embracing hard work, and the importance of portraying the success of immigrants, regardless of their immigration status.

18 hispanic students mostly in LUPE t-shirts.

Building upon the momentum from the STDV B2 class, LUPE students conducted a student panel at East Bakersfield High School where they addressed graduating AB540/Dreamers/DACA seniors and spoke about their personal success stories and strategies, barriers, and challenges, persevering through adversity, and the importance of not letting their immigration status negatively impact their educational goals.  The panel was made possible through the assistance and collaboration of the entire EHS Administration & Counselors, CSUB’s ETS Trio Program, CalSOAP, EOP&S, and above all, the fantastic LUPE students.

Lupe students pose in front of the East Bakersfield High School sign.
Lupe students pose in front of the "Home of the Blades" sign.
Students of the panel discussing issues.
A full classroom listening to the panel.
Staff and students take a selfie with piece signs.

World Autism Month

April is World Autism Month and April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, so I wanted to take a few moments and share a quick story about a colleague, Nicholas Hernandez.  If you haven’t met Nick, he works at the District Office as a Construction Project Manager.

Nick has a grandson named Nicholas (or Bubba) who was officially adopted almost one year ago. Bubba has autism and they are trying to raise the needed funds for an Autism Service Dog. I’m a major fan of dogs and especially these service dogs. You can read about their story, and donate to the cause if you’d like, at Paws for Bubba

Multiple photos of a boy dressed for thanksgiving, with a backpack, in a car seat, at the beach, with a toy, playing with blocks and smiling.
Bubba

Nick’s granddaughter also came up with the idea to make “Paws for Bubba” bracelets as a way to help raise funds and to promote Autism awareness in general.  We hope that Bubba gets his Autism Service Dog!

Autism Awareness on plastic bracelets.
Paws for Bubba Bracelets
3 men.
L to R: Nick Hernandez with Bill Potter and John Smith

Email Worth Sharing: BC Student Heading to Baghdad

I wanted to share this email I received from Paul Beckworth this week:

Hello all,

Just a heads up that one of our BC students, Elaine Moreno @00[…], is being deployed with the National Guard to Baghdad.  She is currently in Georgia training up to go overseas. She is a nursing major and has been at BC since fall 2017. Here is a clip of her from last semester.

She knew she was being called up so she did not enroll for spring but did call Armando yesterday to ask about taking summer online BC classes from Iraq.  Quite a resiliency, if you ask me!

I will let the veterans know tomorrow so we can get some care packages sent out to her soon.

Fun Photos: Chief Student Services Officers Conference in LA

Michelle Pena, Dan Hall, and Becky Weaver (consultant) presenting: Plan, Nudge, and Schedule: Using Ed Plans, ALERT’s, and the Course Schedule the Ultimate Integrated Approach to Student Success.

2 women at a podium.
Becky Weaver (consultant) and Michelle Pena
Man presenting Pillar IV: Ensure Learning.
Dan Hall
Group stands of people in hotel lobby.
L-R: Abel Guzman, Imelda Valdez, Zav Dadabhoy, Angelica Vasquez, Marisa Marquez, Michelle Pena, Lisa Robles, Dan Hall

Fun Photos: Circle of Friends

Just to show how much the Circle of Friends is a part of the Bakersfield College Campus, here are some fun photos taken during the IT/Marketing retreat last summer.

4 men and a woman with arms held out like the sculpture.
Clockwise from top: DO’s Justin Wallace, MPR’s Dylan Wang and Aricia Leighton, IT’s Zach Wharton and Ian Mason
5 people with arms held out like the sculpture.
Clockwise from top: IT’s Chris Leithiser, Judy Ahl, Yin Vang, MPR’s Earl Parsons and IT’s TJ Mason

Fun Photos: Abel Guzman at the Beat

3 men in a radio studio.
L-R: Danny Morrison, Sal Avalos, Abel Guzman

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (3/17-3/23) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.

[image]

Sarah Lopez and Isaiah Muhammad Renegades of the week sponsored by Wells Fargo.

Sarah Lopez, Beach Volleyball – Went 2-0 last week with partner Lanie Camarillo, with wins over Glendale and Victor Valley.

Isaiah Muhammad, Men’s Track & Field – Finished 1st in his first time out in the 110 hurdles with a 15.79, which ranks 5th in the conference. He also finishes 2nd in the 400m hurdles, which moved him into the 7th place ranking in the conference.

Jeremy Staat Selected for the 2019 CCCAA Hall of Fame Class

Jeremy speaking at podium.

Former Renegade Football and Track and Field student athlete and current BC Welding Instructor, Jeremy Staat has been selected as a member of the 2019 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Hall of Fame Induction Class.

Staat, a native of Bakersfield who has returned to his hometown where he’s a welding instructor at Bakersfield College, was a three-time state champion discus and shot put thrower for the Renegades while also earning Western State Conference MVP accolades and setting school records in both.

Jeremy stands with other inductees in front of a CCCAA screen.

He lent his prowess to the football team as well, helping Bakersfield to a 20-2 record and two Potato Bowl championships over his two-year career, while adding all-conference recognition both seasons. Staat was selected as Bakersfield College’s Freshman Athlete of the Year in 1995 and, subsequently, was the Most Outstanding Sophomore Athlete a year later.

Jeremy with parents and 2 children.

After a standout football career at Arizona State, Staat was second-round NFL Draft Pick in 1998 by the Pittsburgh Steelers, beginning a professional tenure that lasted until his retirement in 2003. He then followed the inspirational lead of former ASU teammate Pat Tillman and joined the Armed Forces. Staat served a tour in Iraq before returning to finish his education and begin the Jeremy Staat Foundation. He is also currently a sought after motivational speaker.

Jeremy poses with Keith Ford, Assistant director of athletics, Sandi Taylor, director of athletics, his son and another man.

“The CCCAA Hall of Fame induction to me is the pinnacle of achievement for my junior college career.” Staat said, “I am so grateful to my family and to Bakersfield College, my coaches, and teammates that supported me during my time here at Bakersfield College. Bakersfield College was the catalyst that propelled me to achieve everything in my life up to this point. Bakersfield College helped make it happen and I am very thankful, honored, and blessed to have been selected for such a prestigious honor.”

Staat, along with four other inductee’s, was honored at a ceremony on Wednesday, March 27 at the Hilton Concord during the CCCAA’s annual convention. Read the CCCAA press release.

Cynthia Maner selected to the CCCAA Scholar Athlete Honor Roll

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce that former swimming student athlete, Cynthia Maner has been selected as a member of the 2018 California Community College (CCCAA) Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll.

[image]

Cynthia with parents, Keith Ford and Sandi Tayor, Assistant director and director of BC athletics.

Being selected as a member of the Student Athlete Honor Roll is an accomplishment only a handful of the over 24,000 student athletes in the CCCAA system receive annually. Manor was honored at a luncheon on Wednesday, March 27 at the CCCAA Celebration of Scholar-Athletes Luncheon in Concord, CA as part of the CCCAA’s annual convention.

Man presents plaque to a woman.

Athletics Roundup


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

March in Like a Renegade!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 16, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Kern Economic Summit

Bakersfield College attended the Economic Summit earlier this week, put on by Kern Economic Development Corporation, CSU Bakersfield, and the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce.  As always, the summit was wonderful, and the information extremely impactful.

Manny Mourtzanos and Nan Gomez Heitzeberg
Manny Mourtzanos and Nan Gomez Heitzeberg
Corny Rodriguez, Michael ODoherty, Tom Gelder
Sonya Christian and Trustee Romeo Agbalog
Sonya Christian and Trustee Romeo Agbalog

During the panel titled “Fostering a Strong Entrepreneurial Culture in Kern County,” Goli Ameri, CEO of StartItUp, stated that Bakersfield College and CSU Bakersfield’s Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC)’s support of entrepreneurs has been vital to the development of young entrepreneurs.  She also stated that out of all the cities and counties that she’s worked with in Southern California, Bakersfield and Kern County are by far the most enthusiastic and supportive of creating an entrepreneurial-friendly community.

JP Lake, Goli Ameri, Neeraj Rama, Irma Olguin

Bakersfield College is always ready to support and guide our young entrepreneurs! We are so proud of the work that has been done here.

Sally Meek, Amanda Frank, Tamara Baker
Tamara Baker, Jennifer Pitcher

Fun Photos: Economic Summit VIP Dinner

On the night before the Kern Economic Summit, the Economic Summit VIP Dinner was held in downtown Bakersfield. Thank you to April & Co. for the great photos!

Melissa Hurtado Swears In

Newly-elected Senator Melissa Hurtado of the 14th District held her swearing-in ceremony in Bakersfield at South High School on March 9.  Senator Hurtado spoke about her experiences as a first-generation American citizen, being the first person in her family to graduate high school, and being a first-generation college student.

Woman speaking at podium
Senator Melissa Hurtado speaks about her experiences as a first-generation American citizen.
Tamara Baker and Nan Gomez Heitzberg
Tamara Baker and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Denise Norris

Community Relations Manager Tamara Baker and Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg attended the event, where Assemblyman Rudy Salas introduced the new Senator and gave a bit of background on their work together.  We are extremely excited to get to know Senator Hurtado and show her what it means to be a Bakersfield College Renegade!

Celebrating Pi Day

March 14 is celebrated around the world as Pi Day, and BC honored the discovery of one of the most important mathematical concepts in human history with free pizza and pie in the Levan Center.

Women behind booth
Free pizza and pie makes everyone happy!

Several academic departments hosted booths in the courtyard of the Science and Engineering building in celebration of Pi Day, and a student dressed in a raptor costume handed out flyers with facts about pi.

Inflatable dinosaur eating woman's head
Dinosaurs get pretty hungry on Pi Day!

Pi, a mathematical constant of approximately 3.14 used to calculate the perimeter and radius of a circle, was discovered by several mathematicians in ancient China, Egypt and India, but around 250 BC, the Greek mathematician Archimedes developed a polygonal algorithm that could calculate an extremely accurate approximation of pi, which is why the number is often referred to as “Archimedes’ constant.”

Geometric methods for calculating pi remained the dominant technique used by mathematicians until the revolutionary invention of infinite series in the late 1500s and early 1600s, and Sir Isaac Newton was able to calculate pi up to 15 digits using infinite series techniques. Today, computers are able to calculate pi to the two-quadrillionth digit, which happens to be 0.

BC Screens ‘Served Like a Girl’

Last Monday, BC Women’s History and More (WHAM) Committee and the Levan Center presented a screening of Director Lysa Heslov’s powerful documentary ‘Served Like a Girl,’ which explores the lives of several American women who were wounded in action and are now transitioning from soldier to civilian after serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The film exposes heartbreak, triumph, and inspiration as the veterans struggle with PTSD, homelessness, broken families, and other tragedies.  It is an engaging and honest look at an often unseen veteran reality. Check out the trailer.

At the BC Main campus, Professor of English for Multilingual Students Elizabeth Rodacker, who served as moderator, introduced the documentary and facilitated discussion about the film.

In Delano, Professor Patricia Smith introduced the film and moderated a discussion with Lt. Col. Cheri Provancha, who served in the U.S. military for 31 years, deploying to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

I’d like to give a special thanks to WHAM for putting on this event, and also to the Levan Center for the Humanities for providing funding and accommodations.

For more information, visit Women’s History Month.

BC Puts on ‘A Piece of my Heart’

Last week in the Black Box Theater, Professor of Theatre Kimberly Chin directed a student production of Shirley Lauro’s dramatic play ‘A Piece of My Heart,’ which is the true story of six women (five nurses and a country western singer) who went to Vietnam to entertain the troops.

This event was provided as a collaboration between the BC Performing Arts Department and the BC Women’s History and More Committee (WHAM), with funding provided by the BC Alumni Foundation.

I’d like to thank everyone involved for putting on this fantastic production. To learn more, visit Women’s History Month.

Fun Photos: Memorial Stadium

Brandon Urry, Sports Information Director snapped this great photo of Memorial Stadium against the backdrop of the mountains. Nice job, Brandon!

Memorial Stadium

Industrial Automation Video

I loved seeing this news story on Channel 23ABC about our Industrial Automation program offering a Bachelor’s degree.  It’s so exciting to see our campus moving forward into another aspect of higher education.

Read the story and watch the video on turnto23.com.  We are BC!

Dr. Anna Laven to Serve on Regional K-12 Strong Workforce Program Selection Committee

Dr. Anna Laven, Program Manager for Dual Enrollment, was selected to serve on the inaugural Central/Mother Lode Regional Consortium (CRC) K-12 Strong Workforce Programs Selection Committee.  Honored to represent Bakersfield College, Dr. Laven is one of 18 members serving a two-year term.

Dr. Anna Laven (right) will serve on the inaugural Central/Mother Lode Regional Consortium (CRC) K-12 Strong Workforce Programs Selection Committee.

With $150,000,000 in total grant funding available from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office – Division of Workforce and Economic Development, in partnership with the California Department of Education, the Strong Workforce Program (SWP) aims to provide more and better Career Technical Education to increase social mobility and fuel regional economies with skilled workers.  Focusing on innovation and risk-taking, SWP is meant to increase the number of students enrolled in programs leading to high-demand, high-wage jobs.

Culturally Responsive Teaching

Group of people

On Friday, March 1, the Bakersfield College Dual Enrollment Program, in partnership with CSU Bakersfield and funded by the College Futures grant, hosted a professional development opportunity for more than 40 local educators from Arvin to Wasco at the Bakersfield College Delano Campus. The half-day event focused on implementing place-based and culturally responsive pedagogies in the San Joaquin Valley classroom throughout the PK-16 pipeline.

Woman explaining something with her hands

After welcomes by Dr. Anna Laven and Abel Guzman, Dr. Adam Sawyer of CSU Bakersfield lead the participants in an interactive activity and provided opening remarks focused on understanding the importance of place-based education.  Sharing her research on “citizen science work across the curriculum,” Dr. Brittney Beck of CSU Bakersfield explained how culturally relevant curriculum can be included in diverse areas, including STEM fields, as action research projects that promote positive community change.  

Dr. Oliver Rosales facilitated a conversation with Roger Gadiano, Delano resident and activist, on the importance of oral history in creating archives within a community and the use of the Larry Itliong Curriculum Resource Guide. Robust conversations followed in concurrent sessions with the three presenters, with attendees yearning for more!

Three people smiling

In the wrap-up, participants agreed that they would enthusiastically attend a follow-up two-day seminar that offered an even deeper dive into culturally responsive teaching and curriculum. Always a good problem when participants want even more! The Dual Enrollment program thanks the Delano campus staff for the warm welcome and hosting the seminar.

Two men speaking

Dr. Sawyer and Dr. Rosales offered these comments on the seminar:

“Teachers across the region are yearning for ways to better connect with and improve the learning outcomes of our culturally and linguistically diverse student population. The Delano workshop provided useful theory, examples from practice, and standards-aligned curricula for these educators (and future educators) to use the local socio-historical context and the cultural and linguistic assets of local students as resources for rich and meaningful content area learning across subject areas and grade levels. This work is truly transformational and Friday in Delano was just the first step.”

— Dr. Adam Sawyer

“This was a wonderful opportunity to create a humanities learning and professional development experience for faculty and teachers across multiple grade levels and educational institutions.  The fact that we did it too in the rural communities is so significant. Recognizing the historical and cultural capital of our rural communities is a high priority for our rural teachers and college/university faculty.  Finding the intersections between humanities and STEM learning also guides our work. This conversation among educators who care about our rural communities was an important one to initiate and we have definitely built a framework for future collaboration, innovation, and interest across institutions, including the elementary, secondary community college, and university levels.”

Dr. Oliver Rosales

Active Shooter Response and Tourniquet Training

Public Safety held a series of training seminars in the Levan Center to teach BC students and staff the proper way to respond to an active shooter situation on campus.

School shootings are increasingly common in the United States, and there is no consistent profile of an active shooter, Chris Counts said. In the wake of dozens of mass shootings that have occurred since the Columbine massacre in 1999, campus security services at schools around the country have changed their emergency protocols to be more proactive during these incidents.

Two males practicing tourniquet application
Knowing how to apply a tourniquet can save someone’s life.

The most important thing to prevent active shooter incidents is to report any suspicious activity to campus security or BC’s Students of Concern team. In almost every mass shooter incident, someone else knew that it was being planned, and reporting suspicious notes or social media posts can save lives.

Man holding red shirt
EMT and Public Safety Training instructor Brent Burton taught everyone how to properly use a tourniquet.

In the event that you hear shots being fired from a distance on campus, the first thing you should do is be aware of building exits and leave campus as soon as possible. If that isn’t possible, lock and barricade the doors, turn off all lights, cell phones and any source of noise, and hide somewhere out of sight from windows. It is extremely rare that active shooters will try to breach any barricaded rooms.

If you’re unable to run or hide in time, then it’s time to fight for your life. Use anything available to you as a weapon, and overwhelm the shooter with numbers while giving emergency responders time to react. You won’t be punished for acting in self-defense, and your bravery could save your life and the lives of countless others.

After the presentation, EMT and Public Safety Training instructor Brent Burton demonstrated how to properly use a tourniquet to prevent serious loss of blood in the event someone is shot. If someone is arterially bleeding, it’s very likely that they’ll lose all their blood and die before emergency responders can arrive on the scene, so knowing how to apply a tourniquet can save someone’s life, Burton said.

Military-grade tourniquets will be added to all of the red bag first aid kits available to every department on campus soon, but if you don’t have access to a tourniquet, you can use a belt or a shirt instead. First, apply pressure to the wound until bleeding has ceased. Then, apply the tourniquet two inches above the wound, avoiding any joints, then mark the time that the tourniquet was applied somewhere on the person’s body and leave it on until emergency responders arrive.

Thank you to Chris, Brent and our Public Safety team for organizing these important training sessions.

Art, Architecture, and Archetypes

On Wednesday, current and former BC professors talked about the ways that art is inspired by storytelling during the second Art, Architecture and Archetypes event for the Spring 2019 semester.

Five people sitting at table and looking to their left
The Art, Architecture, and Archetypes panel discussed how art is inspired by storytelling.

Rae Anne Kumelos discussed the ways that advertising re-contextualizes utopian imagery from mythology to sell products. David Koeth and Miriam Valenzuela focused their discussion on operas and paintings that depict the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.  Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg talked about the revolutionary work of Mexican artist Enrique Chagoya and his use of Aztec codices as a storytelling tool, and Duane Anderson talked about how architecture techniques have evolved throughout history to match the stories that cultures tell about themselves.

Thank you to the Levan Center and the Art, Architecture and Archetypes panel for this enlightening discussion about the relationship between art and storytelling.

YES Conference Empowers and Supports Foster Youth Across Kern County

Woman with video camera and two male students
Reyna Harvey filming Matthew Stubblefield and Carlos Lopez for the news clip.

The Youth Empowering Success (YES) program was highlighted by Reyna Harvey on KBAK this week. She featured BC Professor Ian Anderson and Renegade Matthew Stubblefield as they shared how impactful this program has been. Check it out at bakersfieldnow.com.

The annual YES Conference returned to BC last Friday for their annual event to support local foster youth, encouraging them to finish school and follow their dreams. Photos can be found on BC’s Smugmug.

The YES program is also holding a Trivia Night fundraiser from 6-8 p.m. on April 1 at the Stockdale Affairs Event Center, located at 201 New Stine Road, Suite 350. To support this program, tickets may be purchased online.

Fun Photos: OB Nursing Teaching Fair

For their final projects, teams of students in BC’s Nursing department hosted informational booths and tables with games, activities, and prizes to teach fellow Renegades about safe sex, maternal health, and pregnancy.

Group of nursing students
Two female nursing students
Two female nursing students

Fun Photos: St. Patty’s Day

Two men loving each other
Mike Ivey and Pam Kelley showing some serious ST. PATRICK’S DAY spirit!

Bill Kelly: Agriculture Icon

Bill Kelly is one of BC’s most legendary instructors, and his history with the campus dates all the way back to 1966, when he earned his associate’s degree in agriculture as a student. He has taught agriculture at BC since 1982, after 20 years of teaching at Fresno State University and South High School. He was the 2015 recipient of the Teacher of Excellence Award from the California Agriculture Teachers’ Association.

Bill Kelly smelling flowers
Bill Kelly takes a moment to stop and smell the flowers.

Last week, Tabatha Mills of KGET highlighted Bill Kelly’s contribution to Kern County agriculture in a piece that aired on the local news, highlighting how Kelly has launched agriculture careers for thousands of BC students. Kelly’s students have worked for the US Forest Service, California Department of State Parks, and the Bureau of Land Management, and include several people in management positions at Paramount Farms and a VP at Bolthouse Farms.

Bill Kelly
Bill Kelly as a young(er) man.

Kelly serves on the Board of Directors for the Tree Foundation, a non-profit organization that plants trees throughout Kern County. He also supervises interns for BC and the Panorama Vista Preserve, and is a member of the Society of American Foresters. In the Wasco FFA’s recommendation for the Teacher of Excellence Award, Advisor Denise Morales wrote that Kelly “is a living, breathing example of someone that wants the best for all his students.”

I feel honored to work with such a caring and distinguished person as Bill Kelly, and I know that his kindness has helped Kern County continue its proud tradition of feeding the world.

‘Those Outspoken’ Speaks Out to Students

On Thursday, March 7 several inmates from Taft Correctional Institution spoke to students in the Levan Center about daily life in a federal prison and how to avoid making bad choices that could take away their freedom.

The inmates were part of a group called “Those Outspoken,” formerly known as “Those Outspoken Against Drugs,” which reaches out to young people in Kern County to help them avoid making the kinds of decisions that could lead them to a jail sentence. Those Outspoken, which was founded by inmates at Taft Correctional Institution, is not a “Scared Straight” style outreach program; rather, the inmates speak honestly at the audience’s level about their lives and the lessons they’ve learned during their time in jail.

They answered questions from the audience about what they’d learned from reading “Incarceration Nations”, Baz Dresinger’s book about mass incarceration around the world and the community read for last year’s One Book, One Bakersfield program. The book focuses on the success of rehabilitation programs at prison systems in other countries and how similar programs in the United States could reduce recidivism rates.

While many of the inmates in Those Outspoken suffered from the kind of structural inequality that lead people into a life of gangs, drugs and crime due to a lack of other opportunities, several inmates ended up in federal prison as a result of financial and business choices that ended up hurting themselves and their families. The inmate who called himself “Darrell,” for instance, grew up in a life of privilege, started a multimillion-dollar stationery company before turning 18, and was president of his local chamber of commerce. He’s now serving an 8-year sentence for mail fraud and money laundering as a result of making shady business decisions in the wake of the 2008 economic crash.

“Taking shortcuts led me to prison,” “Darrell” said. “[My family are] the true victims, and they’re paying the most for my actions.”

“Hector” is serving a second 10-year sentence for distributing drugs, and he only was out of jail for a little more than a year after his first sentence before he started associating with gang members again and was caught attempting to distribute fentanyl. He described the shame he felt in missing his daughter grow up during the first sentence, and how he’ll miss the opportunity to see his daughter get married and have grandchildren during the second sentence.

“No matter how tough someone thinks they are, it hurts,” “Hector” said.

Thank you to Mark Olsen and the Levan Center for bringing Those Outspoken to BC.

Kern County Science Fair

Joe Saldivar
Joe Saldivar speaks at the Kern County Science Fair.

Joe Saldivar, Biology Department Chair, was the guest speaker for the Kern County Science Fair on Tuesday, March 12. Hundreds of 4th–12th grade students assembled to display the results of their science projects and compete for awards. Dr. Saldivar presented on Curi-“loss”-ity: the challenge of keeping critical thinking alive as we grow older. Here is the abstract of his talk:

We are living in the most incredible time in human history. Advancements in technology, engineering and scientific research occur on a daily basis. With these advancements, comes the bombardment of information: Feng Shui will balance your life, alien abductions occur all the time, Earth is flat, the Holocaust never happened, cancer is prevented with an alkaline diet, pills are better than exercise, evolution is incorrect, magnets in your shoes will heal pain, a bronze bracelet will equalize your energy levels and you can speak to the deceased through a medium. Unfortunately, many people believe these claims are based on science. Joe Saldivar’s presentation describes how humans are all born as scientists and why humans eventually lose our ability to think critically.

Joe Saldivar speaking to large audience
Joe Saldivar explains to a captive audience why humans eventually lose our ability to think critically.

The presentation received numerous accolades from parents, students, and professional colleagues.

Check out one of Joe Saldivar’s Renegade Talks:

Family Math & Science Night

Some of BC’s EDUC B24 students were stars at a nearby elementary school’s Family Math & Science Night. Eighteen teams of 2-3 BC student volunteers from Dr. Bernadette Towns and Teresa McAllister’s “Introduction to Classroom Teaching” classes came up with creative, engaging, and interactive learning activities for the elementary students and their families.

Three BC students and two children making art projects
Group of students
Students and child making art projects

As it turns out, Nick Strobel also participated in this event.

Nick Strobel holding box
Nick Strobel

By all appearances both the BC and elementary students had a wonderful time!

Local Renegade Puts the ‘Baker’ in Bakersfield College

KGET highlighted BC culinary arts student Maria Lopez and her business Baking Encanto, which is helping support her family and pay her way through college.

Lopez runs Baking Encanto out of her kitchen while attending school full time and taking care of her newborn baby who inspired her to pursue her dream of becoming a baker. It’s often very stressful, but Lopez knows that all of her effort will lead to success.

“With hard work, dedication and determination, anything is possible,” Lopez said. “There are days and night that I don’t sleep because I have to bake, but truly it’s worth it.”

Lopez is set to graduate from BC at the end of this semester and hopes to move her bakery into a new location. You can follow her bakery on her Instagram account, @baking_encanto.

See the whole story on KGET.com.

ProSoft Technology Presents on Industrial Automation

On March 13, 2019, the Bakersfield College Career Education Department welcomed engineers from ProSoft Technology. They provided a presentation that enlightened students from the industrial automation and engineering programs about the current and future trends of industrial automation.

Presenters delivered personal advice about their educational backgrounds and careers. ProSoft Technology is dedicated to supporting our students as some of the staff that presented were alumni from BC and could not be more thrilled that we have made history with our Industrial Automation Bachelor of Science program.

Thank you to Carlos Medina, Job Development Specialist and the INDA and Engineering department for coordinating a great event for our students.

BC’s College Council

We had a another great College Council meeting. Laser focused on student learning and student achievement. Here are Manny Mourtzanos, Jonathan Ward, and Crieghton Magers presenting the Business Pathways Outcomes.

Manny Mourtzanos, Jonathan Ward, Creighton Magers

Here are Craig Hayward and Jessica Wojtysiak presenting the Vision for Student Success goals to College Council.

Two people presenting data in classroom

Gadfly Cafe Talks Love

On Wednesday, students participated in a friendly debate about love as part of the Gadfly Cafe series.  The official topic name was ‘Love: It’s Meaning, Purpose and Value.’

It’s always good to see our Renegade youth being able to discuss love in such an open and inviting manner.  Thanks to Levan Center Director Reggie Williams for putting on these monthly events!

Fun Photos: Trees at BC

Andrew Willcut was very helpful with our KHSD students earlier this week. He gave them a safety lesson using hedge trimmers and explained how the BC maintenance crew keeps all the hedges the same general length.

Students trimming hedges

Then, he demonstrated how they plant trees along the parking lot and let some of the students plant a few trees.

Three males planting a tree

Thank you to Andy and the BC team for coordinating this program and working with the KHSD students. Always great to branch out into the community!

Former Renegade Football Coach Inducted into CCCFCA Hall of Fame

Sonya Christian, Duane Damron, unidentified male
I was honored to be there to support Coach Damron on his special day!

Former long-time Renegade Football Assistant Coach Duane Damron was inducted into the California Community College Football Coaches Association (CCCFCA) Hall of Fame this last Saturday. Sandi Taylor, Frank Gornick (former BC administrator), Carl Bowser (former BC Football Coach), Dr. William Baker (BC Athletic Team Doctor), and I along with many others, including Duane’s family, were there to honor his career and his commitment to BC.

Duane Damron speaking
Duane Damron gave a rousing speech.

Duane was born and raised in McFarland and had several opportunities to move up and out in the coaching world, but always chose to stay in beautiful Bakersfield.

Congratulations Duane and thanks for your dedication to BC!

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (3/10-3/16) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.

Renegades of the Week

Gabby Lugo, Women’s Track and Field

Lugo achieved the A standard for both the 800m (2:18.86) and the 1500m (4:51.02) at the Oxy Distance Carnival on Saturday (3/9).

Ryan Dickerson, Baseball

In his first game back from having his hamate (wrist) bone removed three weeks ago, Dickerson had a walk-off RBI double to claim the 7-6 victory over LA Valley on Saturday (3/9).

Mayor Goh at BC Baseball & Softball

Mayor Goh and BC Softball team
Mayor Goh with softball

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh came out to support BC Baseball and Softball this past Saturday. She was able to spend time with each team before the start of their games and encourage them to keep representing the college with pride. We are fortunate to live in an area with such strong support for our college.

Mayor Goh and BC Baseball team
Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh sits in the dugout with a few members of the BC Baseball team.

Ten Renegades Named to 2019 CCCBCA Academic All-State Team

2019 CCCBCA Academic All State team

A big congratulations goes out to our ten Renegade baseball players who made this year’s California Community College Baseball Coaches Association (CCCBCA) Academic All-State Team. To be considered for the award student athlete needed to have participated as a member of a community college baseball program, completed a sophomore level of academic credits with a minimum of a 3.5 overall GPA. The ten include:

  • Desi Garcia (Shafter HS, Shafter, CA)
  • Hudson Hartley (Garces HS, Bakersfield, CA)
  • Kyle Willman (Ridgeview HS. Bakersfield, CA)
  • Kamrom Willman (Ridgeview HS. Bakersfield, CA)
  • Colby Freeman (Centennial HS, Bakersfield, CA)
  • Luke Lewis (Centennial HS, Bakersfield, CA)
  • Luis Omphoy (Kaiser HS, Honolulu HI)
  • Sage Voda (Desert Christian HS, Bakersfield, CA)
  • Konner Dodge (Frontier HS. Bakersfield, CA)
  • Trey Harmon (Foothill HS, Bakersfield CA)

Roundup of Athletics Events This Week

As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include (click/tap for the story on GoGades.com):


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Women Who Create Ripples in Our Community

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, August 10, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

In light of celebrating International Women’s Day, I found myself browsing this post of 21 Powerful Quotes to Celebrate International Women’s Day and found myself pausing at this one by Mother Teresa.

"I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples."
Mother Teresa Quote. Graphic from boredpanda.com

Saint Mother Teresa demonstrated a life worth living; one of finding deep purpose by serving those in need, acting as a light in dark places, and inspiring others around the world to act in kindness. Saint Mother Teresa is an inspiration of generosity, persistence, resilience, compassion, and love – love with no boundaries.

Throughout my life, incredible women have taught me, mentored me, guided me, loved me, and inspired me and the best way I know how to thank them is to pay it forward. When women support each other, unbelievable things can happen.

A favorite song of our family growing up. Recognizing moms….. Let’s listen to Mother of Mine.

Women in Leadership Panel

Speaking of inspirational women, last Friday, March 1st, I hosted a panel in the Levan Center with some of Kern County’s most inspirational women leaders in politics, business and education to talk about their pathways to success. This panel was moderated by the inspiring Jean Fuller. It was great to see BC’s Levan Center filled with students, staff, and women from our community. Additionally, KCCD Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Romeo Agbalog came out to support the event.

Women in Leadership with Trustees
(L-R) Cynthia Giumarra, Rosalina Rivera, Blanca Cavazos, Sonya Christian, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Romeo Agbalog, Shannon Grove, and Jean Fuller
Liz Rozell and Jean Fuller

Jean Fuller – the first Republican woman ever elected to state office in California and a decades-long champion for BC – was the perfect moderator for our panel on Women in Leadership. Food Services provided a lovely selection of hors d’oeuvres and ornate plating and tea cups to create an elegant ambiance for the event, as well.

Attendees at Womens Panel

The panel consisted of some of the most successful women in Kern County. California Senator Shannon Grove represents the 16th State Senate district, taking Fuller’s place at the end of her second term. Shannon Grove — Senator, Entrepreneur, Veteran, Leader.

Blanca Cavazos has broken barriers throughout her career in education, becoming the first Latina principal of Arvin High School before being appointed as the first Latina Superintendent of the Taft Union High School District. Her family immigrated to the United States from Mexico when she was three years old. Blanca Cavazos — Superintendent, change maker, trailblazer, leader.

Cynthia Giumarra practiced law for more than 20 years, overcoming many barriers that women lawyers faced in the 1970s and ’80s, when it was still uncommon to see women on the other side of the courtroom bench. Since 2000, she has turned her life over to her faith, counseling women and leading Bible studies as a licensed minister for the Canyon Hills Assembly of God Church while raising awareness and fundraising for anti-human trafficking causes. Cynthia Giumarra — Minister, advocate, attorney, leader.

During Rosalina Rivera’s tenure as the Superintendent of the Delano Joint Union High School District, several schools in the district have been recognized with prestigious awards, including the California Distinguished Schools Award, the U.S. News and World Report Nation’s Best High School Awards, and the National Title I Distinguished School Award. In 2013, Rudy Salas recognized Rivera for her leadership and dedication, stating that she “is unwavering in her commitment to the children and the community of Delano.” Rosalina Rivera — Superintendent, innovator, collaborator, leader.

Even with all of their success, the panelists at the Women in Leadership event recognized the importance of balancing their personal lives and being committed to their families. While they have all had to remain strong to overcome barriers and accomplish their goals, finding time to quietly be with their families has helped them stay humble and keep things in perspective when dealing with coworkers and employees.

Standing ovation from the audience

Thank you to all of our panelists for taking time out of their busy schedules to speak to our students, and thank you to Prof. Olivia Garcia for organizing the programming for this event.

Olivia Garcia
Olivia Garcia
BCSGA President Ashley Harp and Sonya Christian
It was awesome to see BCSGA President Ashley Harp in attendance.
KCCD Trustees Nan Gomez Heitzeberg and Romeo Agbalog
KCCD Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Romeo Agbalog

Early College Parent & Student Workshop in Arvin

On March 6th, Members of the Early College Team which included Jesse Oropeza, Couselor and Maggie Rodriguez, Support Specialist, welcomed Arvin High Early College students and parents Wednesday night with smiles and tasty food! The
onsite support team facilitated a workshop, engaging students and parents together in learning about the education process.

Jesse Oropeza speaks to the parents in the room

More workshops like these are planned to keep future Early College students involved. Stay tuned!

Early College Flier

Celebrating our first Early College Graduates

Last May, thirty-eight Wonderful Ag Prep Renegades walked the stage at Memorial Stadium in recognition of earning a college degree from BC
through the Early College program a few weeks prior to receiving their high school diploma. Then later that August, the amazing team at Wonderful Education hosted a special celebration for their graduates and families and I was fortunate to share some remarks at this life-changing event. I first shared this in my blog on August 18th, 2018 and you can see the original post here.

Sonya Christian speaking at the Wonderful Ag Prep Graduation Celebration in August 2018

Lynda and Stewart Resnick, you had a vision for the Central Valley. You had a vision for this graduating class of 2018. You not only had the dream, you also created the infrastructure and the programming to make this dream come true. You invested significant resources because you believed in these communities, you believed in these young minds. With your work, you are transforming the Central Valley into a place of big dreams.

Sonya Christian, August 11, 2018

Take a moment to listen to these successful and inspirational young people who have completed the program and how it has impacted their futures.

Thank you Lynda and Stewart Resnick for your passionate investment in education, qualify of life and family, and the future of Kern County. We will be recognizing the Resnick’s at Sterling Silver on March 23rd.

Graduates stand to thank Lynda and Stewart Resnick
Thanking Lynda and Stewart Resnick

KCCD Trustee Jack Connell Visits BC

Students, Pepper and Trustee Connell
Industrial Automation students pose with Pepper, the robot and Trustee Connell

This week, BC faculty, staff, students, and administration welcomed one of our newest Trustees, Mr. Jack Connell to campus for a visit and tour. Trustee Connell represents the Area II service area and joined the KCCD Board in November 2018 with Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.

When Trustee Connell first arrived, he was welcomed by the VP Team, Liz Rozell, Zav Dadabhoy, and Mike Giacomini. Benny Balderrama, Program Manager for Campus Center Events and Services, and Samantha Pulido, SGA Vice President, provided an overview of Student Life, while Heather Penella welcomed Trustee Connell on behalf of the Bakersfield College Foundation. Deans of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez and Manny Mourtzanos, dropped by to highlight some of our outstanding institutional initiatives and instructional work.

Afterwards, Trustee Connell enjoyed a tour of the Nursing Skills Lab hosted by Ronnie Knabe, Automotive Engine Lab hosted by Justin Flint, and the Baccalaureate Robotics Lab hosted by Tom Rush. He met our BC humanoid robot, Pepper, and was instructed on how to maneuver robotic arms by INDA students, Yasmeen Reyes and Jose Manriquez. Student Carlos Medina discussed student employment using Jobspeaker.

Yasmeen Reyes and Trustee Connell
Yasmeen Reyes and Trustee Connell
Jose Marquez introduces Trustee Connell to a robotic machine
Jose Marquez introduces Trustee Connell to a robotics machine
Trustee Connell visits BC Nursing
Trustee Connell visits BC Nursing
Trustee Connell visits a BC workshop
Trustee Connell visits a BC workshop
Trustee Connell Visit
The tour ended with a lunch provided by BC’s Food Services.
(Back) Trustee Connell, Todd Coston, Jennifer Johnson Bernadette Martinez
(Front) Mike Giacomini, Liz Rozell, Nick Strobel, Jessica Wojtsjiak.

Industrial Automation hosts local HS students

Students learn about the Industrial Automation program

On March 1st 2019, Bakersfield College Industrial Automation hosted over 60 students from West High School, Regional Occupational Center, and Robert F. Kennedy High School to explore the Industrial Automation program.

HS Students see robotics in action
HS Students see robotics in action

Students were provided an overview of the Baccalaureate Degree, Career Education certificates and degrees, Campus Life, Student Government Association, Financial-Aid and a campus tour. At lunch, all guests were surprised by a special guest from a galaxy far far away.

Industrial Automation staff with R2D2
Industrial Automation staff with R2D2

Art on the Fly

BC’s Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio has been working with one of BC’s art students on the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and making a large-scale painting on the fly. He said in an email, “We are representing and concluding Black History Month on the Hip Hop & Poetry side. I teach Art and Hip Hop…

Professor Monterrubio says that his students talk about art, but also about music and other areas of the humanities, and how important it is to learn from these different realms. His student Keiolani inquired about African American female singers who showed empowerment with their music and life. Monterrubio shared that Lauryn Hill started in a group called The Refugees that was shortened to the Fugees in the 90s. He said, “I explained to my student that her music has transcended decades and is still as empowering today as it was in the nineties. So during that short conversation in regard to Black History Month and inquiry of my student, we decided to get some acrylic paint and use what we’ve learned in class regarding contrast/scale and create a huge portrait of Lauryn Hill.  As an educator of color, it’s important to teach identity and diversity when my students ask for it or need to hear it. We are educators. I am here for them. Together we make art.”

Passionate Professor: Bill Kelly

Thank you to Tabatha Mills at KGET for spotlighting a true Renegade and Ag champion and BC legend, Bill Kelly.

Uncommon Women

Graphic by Tish Gamez

UNCOMMON WOMEN AND OTHERS is a comedy/drama set in an East Coast women’s college during the 1970s and the second wave of feminism. Five former classmates compare notes on their activities since graduating and then, in a series of flashbacks, are seen back in their college days and we learn of the events, some funny, some touching, some awkward, some outrageous, that helped to shape them.

The play was presented in the Simonsen Performing Arts Center indoor theater and had its final showing last weekend. It was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein, and directed by theatre faculty member Bob Kempf.

(R-L): Emily Andrews, Jerusha Crystian, Emma Jordan-Scott, Jenna Joy Fernandez, Angela Caffee, Lorea Laverty, Lindsay Pearson, and Lucy Brown.
Photo by Michelle Guerrero
(R-L): Emily Andrews, Jerusha Crystian, Emma Jordan-Scott, Jenna Joy Fernandez, Angela Caffee, Lorea Laverty, Lindsay Pearson, and Lucy Brown.

Project Conexiones Estudantiles de BC

As a result of their leadership development, LUPE students are highly involved in Project Conexiones Estudantiles de BC, a new venture on campus to unite recognized student organizations on campus and community agencies who are advocates and raise the awareness of the  issues affecting undocumented students on campus.

BC LUPE Group Photo

In addition, engagement in the community and early outreach to our local high school students has been a major point of emphasis for the spring semester. LUPE has been intentional in advocating for post-secondary education for all Kern County residents, regardless of their immigration status.

BHS Parents Presentations
BHS Parents Presentations

Six LUPE student leaders visited the Parent Center at BHS and addressed over thirty Spanish speaking parents and their students ranging from 9th – 12th grade.  The information disseminated ranged from: Student Success Strategies, College Expectations, the Freshmen Experience, Resiliency/Perseverance Testimonies, EOPS Program, Dream Act/FAFSA, Scholarship Opportunities and how parents can better support and motivate the next generation.

Beyond #BringBackOurGirls: Women and Conflict in North East Nigeria

Hilary Matfess speaks at BC's Levan Center
Hilary Matfess speaks at BC’s Levan Center

Journalist, research analyst and Yale Ph.D. candidate Hilary Matfess came to campus on Wednesday to present her research on women’s roles in the Boko Haram insurgency group in North East Nigeria. Titled “Beyond #BringBackOurGirls: Women and Conflict in North East Nigeria”, Matfess’ visit was organized by the Women’s History and More Committee, who are focusing this year’s Women’s History Month programming on discussions of women in war.

Matfess originally came to Nigeria to interview men who had defected from Boko Haram, a jihadist insurgency that initially started as a religious volunteer group before evolving into one of the world’s most violent terrorist organizations. When she discovered that getting access to Boko Haram soldiers was pretty difficult, she decided to focus her research on women who were either abducted or volunteered to join Boko Haram.

“It became clear to me that these women’s experiences were not being highlighted,” Matfess said. “Understanding women’s experiences in their totality is crucial to understanding conflict.”

Over one million Nigerians have been displaced from their homes as a result of the Boko Haram conflict, and rampant corruption and human rights abuses in displacement camps by the Nigerian military gave women few safe options to turn to. International attention of Boko Haram peaked in 2014, when the group abducted 276 young girls from a school in the town of Chibok. A group of Nigerian activists started the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, which became rapidly shared across social media and led to several of the girls being released. However, Matfess said that the campaign oversimplified the complexities of the Boko Haram conflict and ignored the thousands of other people who had been abducted by the group, and negotiating for the release of several Chibok girls resulted in the group abducting even more women in the region due to their perceived increase in value.

Thank you to BC’s WHAM committee, BCSGA, and Hilary Matfess for the enriching and informative event.

Spotlight on Student Employment

The Student Employment department hosted their second hiring recruitment for local moving company Meathead Movers on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. During the recruitment, 28 students completed onsite applications and several others picked-up an application to return at a later time. We also had several students inquire about current on-campus employment and upcoming events at our jobspeaker tent.

Meathead Movers and Student Employment
Meathead Movers and Student Employment

Erin Norton, Operations Manager for Meathead Movers, will provide an update on number of hires within the next couple of weeks. He has also requested another hiring recruitment in April as he is impressed the caliber of students Bakersfield College produces. Thank you Domenica Trinidad, Job Developer for coordinating this event and a special thanks to Darrell Ballard, Athletics Program Manager, for his continual efforts in helping our students.

Kern County Career Expo

Speaking of gainful employment, the 2nd Annual Kern County Career Expo was held, Thursday February 28, 2019. In partnership with the Kern High School District, Bakersfield College Career Education supported this large scale event that drew in approximately 5,700 middle school, high school and early college students to explore career options within Kern County.

The 2019 Kern County Career Expo

There were over 140 companies in addition to, Regional Occupation Center, Bakersfield College, Taft College and Cal State Bakersfield to support students on the path to their future careers. Check out all the photos on BC’s Smugmug!

Connecting the Dots: Data-Informed Integrated Planning

BC Team at Connecting the Dots
BC Team at Connecting the Dots

A power team from BC attended the Connecting the Dots: Data-informed Integrated Planning conference in Fresno on March 1st. Nick Strobel, Dan Hall, Amber Hroch, Tony Cordova, Craig Hayward, Erica Menchaca, Billie Jo Rice, and Todd Coston spent the day looking through the student success dashboard, looking at data, identifying what we are doing now and then looking for opportunities to do things better.  All of this work then funneled down to how we can use this information to fill the gaps of our strategic plan so we can meet the goals set by the state for the Vision For Student Success.

Counseling Department Award

Renegade Student

Exciting news emerged from the BC Foundation this week that a self-funded Counseling Department award has been established. Fifteen members from the Counseling (Panorama & Delano), EOPS, DSPS, and BSIA departments came together and signed up for automatic, monthly payroll deduction. The contribution will total $285 per month generating $3,420 per year to support deserving BC students! The first $500 award will be given out this spring. What an amazing demonstration of care, teamwork and leadership!

CASE District VII Conference

 Susan Hubbell and Heather Pennella attend the conference
Susan Hubbell and Heather Pennella attend the conference

Susan Hubbell, Financial Information Manager and Heather Pennella, Alumni & Donor Relations Manager attended the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII Conference in Anaheim, representing Bakersfield College and the BC Foundation. CASE District VII represents institutions in the western region of the U.S., including Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah. The four-day conference was stacked with sessions focused on alumni relations, advancement services, philanthropy, leadership and communications. Susan and Heather took part in many educational sessions during the conference to bring back information and apply it to the Foundation’s growing efforts towards improved alumni outreach, donor stewardship and a robust scholarship program.

Go Red Luncheon

Mayor Karen Goh, Lynnette Zelezny, Sonya Christian, Beatris Espericueta-Sanders, Norma Rojas-Mora, and Lourdez Nilon
Mayor Karen Goh, Lynnette Zelezny, Sonya Christian, Beatris Espericueta-Sanders, Norma Rojas-Mora, and Lourdez Nilon

On March 1, 2019 the American Heart Association held its annual Go Red Luncheon. What a fantastic event with incredible turnout! Bakersfield College was well represented by the BC cheerleaders.

Adventist Health’s Beatris Espericueta-Sanders and Kiyoshi Tomono were gracious hosts as Norma Rojas-Mora and I joined Mayor Karen Goh, CSUB’s President Zelezny and Lourdes Nilon, from Bakersfield High, Tamara Clark, and from Adventist Health Dr. Anabiet Udofia, Heather Van Housen.   There was a sea of red as the community came out to understand the importance of heart health and to build awareness around knowing the symptoms of a heart attack. The American Heart Association cites that one in three women is living with some form of cardiovascular disease and it kills one woman every 80 seconds.  To prevent the disease, the organization recommends understanding family health history, knowing your numbers and making lifestyle changes like eating smart, managing blood pressure and being more active.

Mayor Karen Goh, President Lynnette Zelezny, President Sonya Christian
In true red style, BC Cheer was on hand for the event! Cheer coach Heather Foss expecting her first baby.

Seen on Facebook: BC at Shafter City Council

Last Tuesday, Dean of Academic Technology Bill Moseley joined Shafter Educational Liaison David Franz at the Shafter City Council meeting, to speak in support of the proposed Shafter Library and Learning Center expansion.  The Shafter Learning Center has partnered with BC to offer study space and support for BC students who live in Shafter, and may offer classroom space in the future for BC classes.

Bill Moseley FB post

Career Ladders Project Partnership

These Affinity Team rock stars, Pedro Ramirez and Armando Trujillo along with their stage manager Lisa Robles went on tour sharing the good news surrounding Guided Pathways from a Completion Coaching Community perspective. The group started their tour at the Building Diversity Conference  in L.A., moving on to their second gig in Long Beach at the Achieving the Dream Conference and ended their tour in NYC at the League for Innovation conference where former BC AAI champion and current Director at Career Ladders Project Julian West received the 2018 Innovation Award.

The partnership and collaboration between Bakersfield College and Career Ladders Project is an important one as we continue the work in making Guided Pathways a success.

Photos of Campus at Dawn

Earl Parsons of BC’s Marketing team shared these photos with me and they were too beautiful not to include! Enjoy!

Collage by Earl Parsons
Photos by Earl Parsons

Ordiz-Melby Architects

Jeannie Bertolaccini and Danny Ordiz

We have been so fortunate to work alongside local firm Ordiz-Melby Architects for our new Campus Center.  They have been wonderful partners and have been working diligently to make sure that our new Campus Center will benefit the campus, students, and our community!  The new campus center will have many exciting features, including a new food services area, student life offices, and a 500-person conference room! Thank you to Jeannie Bertolaccini, Danny Ordiz and Bob Varner for your partnership to build A Better BC!

The team hard at work! A Better BC in action!

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11am, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights included segments with BC Head Cheer Coach Heather Foss and BC Cheerleaders Jasmine Garcia and Karlee Nelson.

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (2/24-3/2) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.

Bailey Pike, Women’s Swimming – In the first Western State Conference meet she took first in the 1650m Freestyle (19:37.41), lowering her season best time by 23 seconds and finishing over a minute ahead of the second place swimmer, helping the women take first overall at the meet.

Zach Williams, Baseball –  He was 8 for 10 (.800) in three games last week. He had a total of 8 RBI, 2 stolen bases and 2 home runs (one grand slam and one three-run homerun).

Zach Williams named SoCal Player of the Week An big congrats to Zach on not only being Renegade of the Week, but also being named SoCal Player of the week by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association (CCCBCA) for his big week last week!

Seven Renegades Named to the 2018 SCFA Scholar Athlete Team

We are proud to have student athletes who not only take care of business on the field, but in the classroom as well. This year we have seven Renegade football student athletes named to the Southern California Football Association 2018 Scholar Athlete Team. The seven include: Jeremiah Johnson (DB, Soph, Garces HS), Nathan De Jager (PK, Soph, Bakersfield Christian HS), James Thomas (DE, Soph, Independence HS), Monolete Robinson (DB, Soph, Centennial HS), Andrew Magana (DL, Fresh, Bakersfield HS), Carson Olivas (P, Soph, Bakersfield HS) and Blake Brown (OL, Soph, Garces HS). Congrats and keep up the great work academically!

Fun Photo of Coach Dahl and Trustee Agbalog

Coach Paula Dahl and Trustee Agbalog at the McFarland Basketball game

Renegade Athletics Roundup


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Let’s celebrate women

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 2, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Women in Leadership

Five women sitting and talking

To celebrate the kickoff of Women’s History Month at Bakersfield College, yesterday I hosted a panel discussion on Women in Leadership.  California Senator Emeritus and Early College champion, Jean Fuller served as the guest moderator while four esteemed panelists shared their stories, accomplishments, challenges, and more. Thank you to guests Shannon Grove, Republican State Senator, 16th Senate District;  Blanca Cavazos, Taft Union High School District Superintendent; Cynthia Giumarra, Local Attorney and minister;  and Rosalina Rivera, Delano Union Elementary School District Superintendent for participating on the panel.

The fabulous Manny De Los Santos recorded the event and I hope to have many photos and videos for you in next week’s blog. Stay tuned!

One on One with Robert Price

On Wednesday afternoon, I enjoyed being a guest on One on One with Robert Price, @stubblebuzz . The Bakersfield Californian is a great resource for this community with engaged reporters, like Joseph Luiz who visits BC often and always ensures he has the right info to create the best report possible for the people in our community.

Thank you, Robert, for having me on the show to share with our community the latest on Measure J, BC Southwest, Early College, and education transforming the Central Valley.

Check it out: One on One with Robert Price: Guest Bakersfield College President Sonya Christian.

Bob Price, Sonya Christian, and Joseph Luiz
Robert Price, Sonya Christian, and Joseph Luiz

Behind the Scenes

One on One Behind the Scenes Video

Some fun pictures of behind the scenes. For more, visit the One-on-One photo gallery.

2019 Diversity Champion Award

Bakersfield College received the 2019 Diversity Champion Award from the California LAW Pathway for its excellence in building the Community College Pathway Program.  The awardees were chosen at the California LAW Board of Directors meeting in November and winners were announced to the to the California State Bar and the CPA Advisory Council. Deans Corny Rodriguez and Manny Mourtzanos, and Pre-Law Advisory Council Member Yinka Glover accepted the award on behalf of BC at the Omni Hotel on February 22, 2019.

Bakersfield College is honored to receive the award.  I would like to thank the California LAW Pathway for the recognition, as the Pathway to Law Program at BC was designed with innovation and creativity in mind in order to keep Bakersfield College Pathway Students engaged and inspired to achieve success in the law.  Congrats to our Pathway to Law program and to our amazing prelaw team including Corny Rodriguez, Christian Zoller, Edward Borgens, Charles Kim, Marilynn Sanchez Avila, and Pearl Urena! I would like to recognize Foothill College President Thuy Nguyen for her statewide leadership in establishing this program.

Finally thank you to the Pathways to Law advisory committee chaired by David Torres. Thank you David for your unwavering commitment to Bakersfield College and our students. Here is the list of the committee members — Adeyinka Glover, Steven Katz, Jeannie Kraybill, Courtney Lewis, Cynthia Loo, James Maddox, Rebecca Murillo, Bathany Peak, Brett Price, H.A.Sala, Robert Tafoya, David Torres (Chair), Alekxia Torres-Stallings.

Cal Law Diversity Champion Award
Manny Mourtzanos, Yinka Glover, Corny Rodriguez, and President Thuy Thi Nguyen with BC’s award

Celebrating Black History Month

In conjunction with the community organization Harlem and Beyond, Bakersfield College was honored to have Dr. James Chaffers, Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Michigan. Dr. chaffers was the Senior Design Juror for the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial statue in Washington, D.C. See the Bakersfield Californian Article: Bakersfield College celebrates Black History Month.

BC students and staff with Dr. James Chaffers

Gades Grub Grand Opening

Food Services celebrated the launch of the Gades Grub food trailer with a grand opening event in the Gym Huddle on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. The event featured a live DJ, free samples of some of the delicious food that Gades Grub has to offer, and other giveaway prizes. Students were eager to try some of the delectable options that will now be available to them from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Thursday.

BC at Startup Grind Global Conference

BC was represented by Professors Rudy Menjivar and Valerie Robinson at the Startup Grind’s Global Conference in Silicon Valley. This is for startups everywhere, especially the who’s who of the Silicon Valley startup scene. With more than 8,000 individuals, mostly entrepreneurs, venture capital investors, and professional service providers attending the two-day event, the conference provided an environment unlike anything else – a community coming together for invaluable education, connection, and inspiration.  The event had a roster of world-class speakers and thousands of entrepreneurs looking to build relationships, and it was great to see that BC was well represented.

Fox Theater Marquee
Fox Theater Marquee
Professor Rudy Menjivar and Professor Valerie Robinson
Professor Rudy Menjivar and Professor Valerie Robinson

Culture of Power

On Valentine’s Day, Daniel Rios, a Ph.D. student in Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego and a BC graduate, shared his passion for researching communities of color in East Bakersfield with BC students and staff. Rios presented research at A Culture of Power: Race, Youth, Labor and Sound in East Bakersfield, 1966-1974, in the Levan Center. The event was organized by commercial music professor Joshua Ottum as part of the Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley grant.

Daniel Rios talks about labor and music in East Bakersfield during the 1960s.
Daniel Rios talks about labor and music in East Bakersfield during the 1960s.

Rios’ presentation began with an overview of race and labor relations in Bakersfield in the early-to-mid 20th Century. Communities of color in Bakersfield were locked into low socioeconomic status via discriminatory housing practices that persisted until the 1970s and forced into low-level employment as farm, sanitation and domestic workers. In 1966 and 1972, black, Chicano and Latino sanitation workers in Bakersfield went on strike to fight for unionization and protest unhealthy working conditions and the dehumanizing way they were treated by white property owners. Protesters were met with heavy resistance by police and organizations such as the White Citizens Council.

Daniel Rios plays music from Kern County Soul and R&B artists from the 1960s.
Daniel Rios plays music from Kern County Soul and R&B artists from the 1960s.

At this same time, an often-overlooked music scene was booming around dance halls frequented by communities of color across East Bakersfield. While many music historians have documented the local country music scene known as the Bakersfield Sound, the contributions of doo-wop, soul and R&B groups are rarely discussed in academic circles. Groups from Kern County such as the Paradons, the Montereys, and Little Ray Jimenez were recording Billboard Top 40 hits while performing in local venues such as Salon Juarez and Fraternity Hall.

Billy Haynes from the Original Souls and Johnny Gomez from the Paradons perform in the Levan Center.
Billy Haynes from the Original Souls and Johnny Gomez from the Paradons perform in the Levan Center.

The majority of the groups, such as The Original Souls, were multicultural, composed of a mixture of Filipinos, Latinos and blacks. In 1969, the Original Souls beat out country and psychedelic rock bands to win a Battle of the Bands competition at Lake Ming attended by approximately 4,000 people.

Daniel Rios, Billy Haynes and Johnny Gomez answer audience questions in the Levan Center.
Daniel Rios, Billy Haynes and Johnny Gomez answer audience questions in the Levan Center.

After Rios’ presentation, Johnny Gomez of the Paradons and Original Souls bassist Billy Haynes, who went on to perform with Tina Turner and Lou Rawls, performed a few songs in the Levan Center and talked about their history in what is commonly referred to as the East Bakersfield Sound. “There was a lot of oppression in our town back then,” Haynes said. “We made people feel proud of our community.”

Thank you Daniel Rios for sharing his important research on the intersection of labor relations and music in Kern County, as well as Joshua Ottum and the Energizing Humanities cohort for organizing this event and Reggie Williams for the use of the Levan Center.

The Girl who Smiled Beads: Clementine Wamariya

Clementine Wamariya
Clementine Wamariya

On Thursday, Distinguished Speaker Clementine Wamariya gave several speeches in the Levan Center, sharing the powerful story of traveling through 9 different countries as a refugee to escape the Rwandan genocide.

Wamariya read from her memoir The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After, which was written during a major crossroads in her life. She was several years removed from the traumatic experience of fleeing the genocide with her sister at the age of 6, living in refugee camps and illegally crossing borders to seek freedom in the United States before being reunited with her parents on an episode of “Oprah”. In 2014, she had returned to Rwanda to attend an event in a soccer stadium where the history of Rwanda and the genocide was being re-enacted and memorialized, and she was so triggered by the memories that the re-enactment brought out that she had to immediately leave and fly back to the United States. She listened to Nina Simone’s cover of “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles on repeat and cried the whole way home, and the message of that song inspired her to write her memoir.

Clementine Wamariya speaks emotionally with hand gesture.
Clementine Wamariya speaks emotionally with hand gesture.

“I had lived opposite lives,” Wamariya said. “I had everything and nothing. I could stay anywhere in the world, but I didn’t have a home.” She continued, “I felt like that song was burning me, but I realized that if I could bear the sun, and my people could bear working in the sun, that it could be a source of strength.”

Wamariya spent five years researching her life and past with an investigative journalist to write “The Girl Who Smiled Beads,” which became a New York Times bestseller upon its release in 2018. The book talks about the lessons that she learned as a young child from her mother, a devout Catholic who imparted the value of sharing everything, never taking more than what you need, and having reverence for fruits, plants and the Earth. To this day, Wamariya likes to ask the question, “What fruit are you?” The answer reveals a lot about where someone comes from and how they view themselves, and driving through the farms of the Central Valley helped her relate to this area as a place of sharing, where fruits and vegetables are spread across the world.

When the genocide happened, Wamariya went to live with her grandparents and eventually ended up in a refugee camp, where people had to wait in line to eat corn and walk six hours for water. When she eventually decided to flee and cross the first of 8 borders to escape the horrors of war, she thought that she would have to jump over a chasm in the ground to get from one country to the other. Instead, time and distance passed and she didn’t even realize that she was in another country. Borders aren’t even real,” Wamariya said with tears in her eyes. “The Earth is the only thing that’s real, and everything else is made up.”

Clementine Wamariya smiles with hands on hips in front of the lectern.
Clementine Wamariya smiles with hands on hips in front of the lectern.

Wamariya pleaded for attendees of her presentations to be motivated by joy and not by fear, for when someone is motivated by joy, they realize that they don’t have to take someone else’s joy to experience it for themselves, and they’ll never believe that they have to take someone’s life to maintain their joy.

Since her appearance on “Oprah” in 2006, Wamariya has gone on to receive a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Comparative Literature from Yale University and serves on the boards of Women for Women International and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Thank you Olivia Garcia, History Professor, for coordinating Clementine Wamariya’s visit as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series, and to the Office of Student Life, the BC African-American Initiative Committee and the BC Women’s History and Awareness Month (WHAM) Committee. See more events for Women’s History Month.

Faculty Diversification Meeting

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges held the Spring 2019 Hiring Regionals at Bakersfield College on Thursday, February 21, 2019. Faculty diversity is a critical component in the support of student success, and each California community college has a responsibility to develop a workforce that reflects the diversity of its community and is best prepared to serve the college’s specific student populations.  The event presented important considerations for faculty hiring, including ways to diversify and expand hiring pools and reshape search processes to focus on candidates who understand and are committed to our students.

Thank you Dr. Janet Fulks and Prof. Steven Holmes for bringing this statewide event to BC. Thank you Tarina Perry for coordinating the event with the graceful touch that is so you!

BC's Faculty Diversification Meeting
BC’s Faculty Diversification Meeting
Corny Rodriguez at the Faculty Diversification Meeting

See more photos in the ASCCC Faculty Diversity Regional @BC Gallery.

Question, Persuade, Refer

Eric Lord, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, therapist and adjunct instructor at CSUB, taught a program known as “Question, Persuade, Refer,” or QPR, which demonstrates how to recognize when someone may be suicidal, persuade them to seek help, and refer them to the proper authority that can save their life. Lord was invited to give the QPR presentation by the mental health interns at the Office of Student Life, who work closely with the Student Health and Wellness Center to assist students dealing with serious mental health issues.

Lord speaking to the crowd from the lectern.
Lord speaking to the crowd from the lectern.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death on college campuses, and 31 percent of college students have considered committing suicide, Lord said. These are preventable deaths, and all it takes is the courage and empathy to ask the right questions when students are suffering, help them realize that there are people who love them and want them to succeed, and help them find the resources they need to get their lives back, whether it’s a mental health professional, or in more extreme cases of suicidal ideation, law enforcement.

Lord compared being suicidal to being locked in a house that is on fire, and suicide appears to be the only doorway to escape. “When somebody wants to die and not be around anymore, there’s a lot that leads them to that moment,” Lord said. “If we can use the power of our words and our relationship to folks, we can open up another door.” Suicidal ideation is related to a number of systemic issues, such as the loss of a job, the ending of a relationship or the death of a loved one, and some ways to recognize that someone may want to commit suicide include recently acquiring a gun, putting personal affairs in order, chronic drug and alcohol abuse, or saying things like “I just can’t go on” or “I won’t be around much longer”.

QPR Suicide Prevention Presented by Eric Lord, LCSW on a slide behind Lord.
QPR Suicide Prevention Presented by Eric Lord, LCSW on a slide behind Lord.

It’s important that when you recognize some of these symptoms, you talk to the person in a blunt and direct, yet caring way. Don’t be afraid to use words like “death”, “kill”, and “suicide.” In the moment that you ask the question, make eye contact with them and say, “Have you thought about killing yourself?” or “Are you going to commit suicide?” Never phrase the question as, “You’re not going to commit suicide, are you?” because it makes the other person feel like you don’t actually care and they shouldn’t be honest with you.

When you find out that the person in question may want to end their life, persuade them that it’s not the answer and show them that you and others care and want them to live. Get other people in the individual’s life involved, such as family, friends, doctors, or clergy members. Then, refer them to a group such as BC’s Students of Concern Team or a mental health professional and follow up with them via a personal visit or phone call to establish a connection and ensure that they won’t be punished for seeking help. If you think that they won’t receive help and they’re going to follow through, contact Public Safety or law enforcement. You can find more information about suicide prevention from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and share their number 1-800-273-8255.

Thank you to the Office of Student Life’s mental health team for inviting Eric Lord to campus for this important professional development opportunity. Thank you Dr. Nicky Damania.

BCSGA Power Lunch with Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

When Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg enrolled in college as a sociology major, she had no idea that she would embark upon a journey that would lead to being elected on the Board of Trustees for the Kern Community College District. But at every stop along the way of her 35-year career in education – whether it was as an art professor, a preschool teacher, or one of BC’s longest-serving administrators – Nan’s faith in her ability to prioritize and solve problems propelled her to success in every new endeavor to which she applied herself.

Nan spoke to BC students and staff in the Levan Center about her journey in education and her plans for the Board of Trustees during Monday’s Power Lunch organized by the Legislative Affairs Department of BCSGA. All three Vice Presidents and I were in attendance to hear from a woman that inspired all of us so immensely and continues to inspire us today.

While she has accomplished many things during her career, Nan says that her students have kept her humble and put things into perspective. The first accomplishment Nan has been able to celebrate during her short stint on the Board of Trustees was the approval of BC’s new Southwest Center to be constructed on the CSUB campus. “The part that made it so sweet was that I knew how much work that was done to make it happen,” Nan said.

Liz Rozell speaking with Nan at the front table.
Liz Rozell speaking with Nan at the front table.

While she has attended many Board of Trustee meetings as a BC administrator, it is surreal for her to be sitting at the other side of table and balancing the concerns of students, constituents and instructors, as well as her fellow board members, she said. However, she feels up to the task of continuing to be aware of everything happening in Kern County education in order to position the District to best serve Area 1 of the KCCD. “It’s not the paperwork that makes you get up every day,” Nan said. “It’s knowing that you’re going to do something that helps someone out.” She said, “That feels like a big deal to me most days.”

I’d like to thank Mustapha Barraj and BCSGA for organizing Monday’s Power Lunch. I know we’ll be hearing a lot more from Nan in the future.

Sonya and Nan.
Sonya and Nan.
Sonya videoing Nan with her phone.
Thank you Earl Parsons for this photo
Nan speaking
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Congratulations to Laura Luiz

The American Library Association (ALA) is recognizing BC reference librarian Laura Luiz for her outstanding contributions to student learning and community engagement with the BC Get Out The Vote program.

In a press release on Wednesday, ALA, in conjunction with the Association of College and Research Libraries, announced Luiz as the winner of the 2019 Community and Junior College Libraries Section EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Program Award, which includes a $750 award and a plaque that will be presented to Luiz at the ALA’s annual conference in Washington, DC.

Get Out the BC Vote was a campaign that helped BC students on the Panorama and Delano campus get registered to vote in the 2018 midterm elections. There were also workshops and online resources breaking down every candidate and initiative on the midterm ballot and helping students to properly discern fake news and disinformation.

ALA award chair Laura Mondt of Northern Essex Community College had effusive praise for Luiz and the Get Out the BC Vote campaign. “Laura Luiz’s efforts with Get Out The BC Vote allowed the library to connect with the Student Government Association to help students become informed voters and promote news literacy,” Mondt said.

Luiz and the library have plans to expand the Get Out the BC Vote program for the 2020 midterm and presidential elections.

Lincoln Dinner

I was fortunate to attend the Kern County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner on February 22, 2019, as the guest of Senator Jean Fuller. The featured keynote speaker was newly elected Congressman Dan Crenshaw who has an incredible story as a former Navy SEAL who lost his eye in an IED blast.

Last November, Dan also appeared on Saturday Night Live and bits of this skit were referenced last Friday evening. This is a “Must watch.”

It was great to see CSUB President, Lynnette Zelezny at the event, as well as KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog and his wife, Lilly. I unfortunately did not snap a picture of many of the community leaders who support education who were there — JP Lake, David Bynum, …..

STEM Truck

On Tuesday, February 19, 2019, representatives from the US Army visited the BC campus to show off various military robotics technologies to students in the Renegade Food Court area.

Both KGET and KERO featured the US Army STEM Truck in its afternoon broadcasts, and soldiers demonstrated all of the innovative technology the Army uses to save lives every day.

A simulation of the Search and Rescue Automation Hardware (SARAH) system is displayed inside the US Army STEM Truck.
A simulation of the Search and Rescue Automation Hardware (SARAH) system is displayed inside the US Army STEM Truck.
A cameraman from KERO gets ready to interview a US Army soldier on the air in front of the STEM truck parked in the Renegade Food Court area.
A cameraman from KERO gets ready to interview a US Army soldier on the air in front of the STEM truck parked in the Renegade Food Court area.

Inside the truck, students could participate in a simulation of the Army’s Search and Rescue Automation Hardware, also known as SARAH, which uses aerial and ground drones to locate missing persons. Students also had the opportunity to check a drone created by the iRobot company for remotely disarming explosives. Above the iRobot drone, there were videos demonstrating various robotic prototypes developed in conjunction with Boston Dynamics, including the infamous “Big Dog” robot and another robot that can jump up stairs and run 28.3 miles per hour, which is slightly faster than Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man.

An iRobot drone used to remotely disarm explosives is displayed inside the US Army STEM truck.
An iRobot drone used to remotely disarm explosives is displayed inside the US Army STEM truck.

Thank you to the Army for inspiring our students to pursue careers in STEM, as well as everyone who worked to make their visit possible.

Wendale Davis Foundation 11th Annual Leadership Conference

The Wendale Davis Foundation is an intervention, prevention, mentoring foundation with a mission to educate, motivate, and rehabilitate at-risk youth. On Friday, February 22, 2019, a series of workshops were held at BC with topics such as HIV/AIDS Awareness, Gang Intervention, Life/Coping Skills, and more. It’s a great day any time BC invites young people to campus to learn and embrace a healthy and successful future.

Steve Watkins claps to get the audience's attention
Steve Watkins claps to get the audience’s attention
A full auditorium listening to Wendale.
A full auditorium listening to Wendale.

Juvenile Justice Employers

The Criminal Justice, Public Health and the Career Education Department collaborated to host the first Juvenile Justice Employer Panel on February 27, 2019. The primary focus of this event was to inform students in the Public Safety Pathway, Public Health Science, Psychology and/or Sociology majors about the different career paths they can follow after completing their education. Each panelist discussed their role working on prevention and intervention with troubled youth and tools they use to reduce criminal behavior. With over 100 students and special guest, Ricardo De Hoyo a District Representative of Senator Melissa Hurtado, in attendance, employers answered questions related to educational background, past and current work experience and employer expectations.

A full audience for the panel with Juvenile Justice slide behind them.
From Left to Right: Pat Smith, Criminal Justice Professor, Dr. Dixie King from Transforming Local Communities, Liz Gonzalez from Bakersfield City School District, Sgt. Nicole Anderberg from BPD, Officer Joshua Deutinger from BPD, Deputy Bobby Sherrill from Kern County Probation Department, Leticia Limon from Kern County Superintendent of Schools and Nichol Ruiz from Kern County Behavioral Health & Recovery.

Dean and Adah Gay Reading Room Refurbishment

If you haven’t been in the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library recently, check out the refurbished Dean and Adah Gay Reading Room.  The Gay family created an endowment back in 2007 to help maintain the room but until recently the goals of this endowment were not fully realized. New chairs, lamps and plants have been added, plus additional electrical outlets to assist students in recharging their electronic devices.

BC staff with the Gay's in the Reading Room.
BC staff with the Gay’s in the Reading Room.

David and Catherine Gay, Andreas, Emily (Gay) and Eva Dauner joined Kirk and Stacey Russell (Library), and Heather Pennella, Tom Gelder and Dana Heins-Gelder (Foundation) to rededicate the space last Saturday evening, February 23, 2019.  The new furniture arrived last Friday just before noon and the students began enjoying it immediately.

Kirk and Stacy Russell in the Reading Room.

From Earth to the Universe Planetarium Show

Last week Dr. Nick Strobel held one of his amazing planetarium presentations called From Earth to the Universe.  Community Relations Manager Tamara Baker brought her parents to the event, excited to show off the beautiful William M Thomas Planetarium, which boasts the largest dome in all of the Central Valley!  Tamara said that Dr. Strobel delved into the evening stars, and showed attendees how to identify different constellations and how to find true north. Tamara said that she and her family cannot wait to go star gazing up at their cabin.  Thanks Dr. Strobel for always putting on such great and informational presentations for our local community!

Degree With a Guarantee

Near the end of last year, I participated in an interview with Gary Stern for an article focused on Degrees with a Guarantee at California Community Colleges. Check it out the Hispanic Outlook Article: Degree Guarantee.

Public Health Program in Case Study

Sarah Baron and BC’s Public Health Sciences program were featured in a case study published by the Community College Journal of Research and Practices. The report published on February 19, titled “Practical Lessons in Public Health Program Implementation: Perspectives from the Field,” was co-written by Baron and discusses the way BC’s program offers a health navigator certificate and a general transfer degree developed with support from the Society for Public Health Education. Our Public Health Sciences program is creating the next generation of advocates for healthy communities, and I’m confident that their work will make the San Joaquin Valley a happier, healthier places for thousands of people.

Lisa Caputo is talking to students about internships in public health ambassadors and STI Peer Health Educator.  Thanks to the support of The California Endowment and Kaiser Permanente for making the startup of these programs possible. 
21 interns and Sara Baron

What has everyone a-twitter?

Trustee Romeo Agbalog appeared on the radio show Money Wise.

Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government thanking everyone.
Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government thanking everyone.
Aaron Resendez thanking everyone.
Aaron Resendez thanking everyone.

Speech Intramural Competition in Delano

Last Saturday, the BC Delano Campus hosted a speech intramural competition featuring Panorama and Delano students, as well as Arvin High and homeschooled Early College students.

Sarah Baron, Cris Cruz-Boone, Abel Guzman, and Lesley Bonds

There were close to 80 people in attendance for the speech intramural, which featured BC communication faculty and student judges evaluating students in a number of different speech competitions, including informative speech, persuasion, special topics, and impromptu speaking. Christine Cruz-Boone, a communication professor at BC and one of the judges for the event, said that Arvin High freshmen swept all top three places in the informative speech category, and homeschool student Samantha Craig earned second overall in impromptu speaking. Delano Campus student Itzel Hernandez won first place in the persuasion competition, and Panorama students Gloria Sanchez, Mandy Canada, and Lindsey Brackett also placed in various categories. The diverse group of BC participants got the opportunity to test out communication skills that they learned from BC instructors in a practical environment.

Abel Guzman, who attended the final round and awards ceremony of the competition, was impressed by the students who participated and compiled a series of emails about the intramural for entry in this week’s blog. As our Early College program continues to grow, I’m excited to see the ways that our Early College kids interact with the more traditional student population.

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11a, check out the segments from this week’s show. This week’s highlights included segments with BC Men’s Tennis Head Coach, Noel Dalton and BC student athletes Conrad Dalton, Luis Aceves and Moses Jimenez. 

Renegades of the Week

This week’s (2/17-2/23) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

Kylee Fahy and Tanner Lopes.
Kylee Fahy and Tanner Lopes.

Kylee Fahy, Softball – Pitched 26 innings (1 no-hitter) with a .269 era, 41 strikeouts, six hits, one run, one earned run in helping softball go 4-0 for the week.

Tanner Lopes, Men’s Swimming – The only Renegade individual event winner at the Mt. SAC Invite last weekend, taking the 50 breaststroke and also getting two other top-ten finishes. He was part of two top six relays and was the highest scoring male swimmer from BC helping the men finish 6th overall.

Men’s and Women’s Basketball Post-Season Awards

BC Wester State Conference All Conference, sketch photo effect.
BC Wester State Conference All Conference, sketch photo effect.
BC Wester State Conference All Conference, sketch photo effect.

Huge congratulations to our men’s and women’s basketball student athletes who received recognition from the Western State Conference. Renegade Men’s Basketball student athletes Anieus Medrano and Shahadah Camp were been named to the 2018-2019 Western State Conference All-Conference team. Marcus Jones was also recognized as the Co-Defensive MOP for the conference. Renegade Women’s Basketball student athletes Jasmyn Rodriguez, Dasia Wandick and Brianna Mendez were named to the 2018-2019 Western State Conference (WSC) All-Conference team. Congrats! And way to represent BC!

BC Western State Conference All Conference of the 3 women in action poses, sketch photo effect.

Roundup of Athletics Events this week

As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Summertime is Full of Activities at BC

Good morning Bakersfield.

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What a great week at the college.  Felt the life of BC every minute of every day……summer bridge, visit from a senator, summer academies for middle and high school students…… ended Friday night at the Memorial Stadium with sound, color, and creativity of the Resound Drum and Bugle Corps competition…. and woke up to an article about Summer Bridge by Joseph Luiz on the front page of the Californian with photos by Felix Adamo.  A great week to be a Renegade!

Check out the full article: 

Check out the video:

 

I’m proud of the work of Tim Heasley and our students who practice countless hours to prepare for the competition.  So thankful for all the volunteers who support this program.  Check it out.

And then Telemundo had Norma Rojas Mora and Abel Guzman discussing BC at various cities

Norma Rojas Mora and Abel Guzman on Telemundo July 2018

https://www.kget.com/telemundo/nuestra-comunidad/colegio-de-bakersfield-en-varias-ciudades-del-condado-kern_20180717232317/1308349282

Dolores Huerta Day

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Dolores at Bakersfield College in March, 2018

Have you heard the news that April 10th has been designated as Dolores Huerta Day by Governor Jerry Brown? An article on turnto23.com states,

Dolores Huerta Day is a day to recognize Huerta’s lifelong work from being a civil rights activist, community rights activist and community organizer as well as the co-founder and vice president of the United Farm Workers union. The state law is implemented to encourage schools to teach the students about Huerta and her life.

Dolores Huerta is a supporter of BC Renegades, and she visited campus last March as we premiered the film, “Dolores: Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother.” I shared photos and a description of the event in my blog on March 17th earlier this year.  If you have not had the opportunity to see the film, you must. “Dolores” tells the story of how Huerta co-founded the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez to advocate for the rights of immigrant laborers, rekindling a nationwide sense of pride and identity in the American Latino community in the process.

Senator Andy Vidak at BC

Bakersfield College is fortunate to be supported by local and statewide leaders who believe in the power of higher education. On Thursday afternoon, Senator Andy Vidak visited the Panorama campus accompanied by a tremendous supporter and enthusiastic friend of BC, Michael Bowers who wanted to make sure our Senator had a chance to meet “the legend” Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and BCSGA President, James Tompkins.

During his visit, Senator Vidak wanted to see the campus, but most of all the students. His first stop was to visit BC’s Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps who were busy practicing on the field. Faculty Director, Tim Heasley was onsite to share a little background on the extreme dedication and commitment made by these young men and women. Each day this week they have been out on the field rehearsing and practicing their routines in preparation for the competition on Friday night.

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img_8044-x3After the Senator cheered them on and shared that he was a trombone player, we visited the Veterans Resource Center to hear from Paul Beckworth about the growth of out student veteran population, what our veterans have been up to, and the plans for the new Veterans Resource Center coming soon to the Panorama campus. Senator Vidak heard directly from the 3 men studying in the lounge about their plans, what the new VRC means to them, and what they’re most looking forward to after finishing their education.

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Senator Vidak with student veterans and Adeana Williams, Paul Beckworth, Sonya Christian, and Liz Rozell

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Stephen Waller, Rich McCrow, Liz Rozell and Senator Andy Vidak

Across the way, outside of the Science and Engineering building, Dean Stephen Waller, Dean Rich McCrow and Vice President Liz Rozell shared with Senator Vidak that the very building next tothem was a hub of activity.

From STEM camps to robotics labs, summer chemistry classes and more, the Science and Engineering building at BC was full of energy. We headed inside to escape the heat, where Senator Vidak met with more students, alumni, and faculty to see what was taking place.

img_8116-x3In the robotics lab, a number of students shared that their experiences this past summer at Bakersfield College have sparked their interests in STEM related careers and professions. Meanwhile, alumni and faculty shared the various tools and hands on learning experiences available within the robotics lab and how these technological advances are contributing to local industry.

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img_8147-x3Across the hall, we stopped in to Professor Ximena De Silva Tavares’ Chemistry course where Senator wanted to know what career fields everyone in the room was interested in. A young man spoke up saying he was interested in medicine and was looking forward to attending medical school after Bakersfield College.

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Renegades all along our visit were thrilled to see Senator Vidak on campus and it was great to see our students approach this strong, yet quiet spoken statewide leader. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the afternoon.

Thank you Senator Vidak for visiting BC!  #WeareBC!

Celebrating the Success of Rural Renegades

Abel Guzman, BC’s Director of Rural Initiatives described the work being done at BC through the 1+1+2=Game Changer program, which is changing the course of education for Kern County. In the piece, he explains the intentional work being done by faculty and staff to bring college closer to home and make college education a reality for our rural communities. “With the support and collaboration of both Supervisor Leticia Perez and Kern Tax CEO Michael Turnipseed,” he said, “Bakersfield College and the Kern High School District partnered to develop a game changing proposal.”

This “wise investment” as Abel says, is changing lives in our rural communities. Abel Guzman July 19 2018

 

Purple Ribbon Safety Awareness Event

i-9qbjpfc-x4On Wednesday morning, the community came out to join Kern County Department of Human Services, First 5 Kern, California Highway Patrol, Kern County Sheriff’s Department, Bakersfield Police Department, District Attorney’s Office Community Connection for Child Care, and BC’s Child Development Center team for a small program and safety demonstration.

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Sue VaughnBC’s Sea Turtles class of five-year-olds opened the program by singing “You are my Sunshine” and BC’s Child Development Center Director, Sue Vaughn welcomed all guests to our campus on the hill. BC’s Child Development Center is proud to be the host location for this years event. We are committed to being Bakersfield’s college and are happy any time the campus can serve as a location for uplifting the community through education and prevention. Cindy Uets, Deputy Director of the Department of Human Services spoke about the tragedies of child heat stroke deaths that occur every year in the US.

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Cindy Uets speaking at the event

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Donny Youngblood speaking at the event

Sheriff Donny Youngblood described how difficult it is to be called to the scene of such a tragedy, but it happens nearly every year in Kern county. And Fire Chief, Anthony Galagaza shared similar comments. District Attorney-Elect, Cynthia Zimmerman was also present and it was great to see all the support for such a worthwhile cause.

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Anthony Galagaza speaking at the event

 

i-dxpgh7w-x4During the demonstration, a thermometer was placed inside a closed and parked car in sight. After watching the thermometer inside the closed vehicle rise dramatically, Robert Rodriguez of the CHP lead a demonstration of how many children could be lined up behind an SUV before the driver could see them in her rearview mirror.  We had 25 three-year olds from the Seashells, Sea Horses and Starfish classrooms arranged behind the SUV before they were spotted.

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Officer Robert Rodriguez leading the “Spot the tot” demonstration

After the demonstration, the police, sheriff’s deputies, Fire Chief and CHP officers talked with the children about safety. Special thanks to Heidi Carter and Sarah Morales-Ross from Kern County Human Services for their planning efforts. And thank you to the media contacts from 23, 17, and KBAK who also attended.

KGET posted an informative clip of the event on their website. See it on KGET.com! or See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug!

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Football Season Ticket Sales and Media Day

Football season tickets are on sale now!  Prices range from $25 to $60 and can be purchased online at Vallitix.com (click the link), by calling 1 (888) 825-5484 or in-person at the Bakersfield College business office.  The Renegades will scrimmage with Antelope Valley on Wednesday, August 22nd at 6 PM in Memorial Stadium. The scrimmage is free and open to the public.  This will be your first chance to get a look at your 2018 BC football team.

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Congratulations to Aryka Chavez

We are proud to announce another Renegade who is moving on to continue her academic career and playing career at a four-year school. Aryka Chavez signed to play softball for Arizona Christian Univeristy located in Phoenix, AZ this week. Aryka is now the 35th Renegade student athlete from the ’17-’18 year to sign to continue their student-athlete career at the next level.

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Head softball coach, Casey Goodman and Aryka Chavez

Summer Youth Football Camp Recap

This last month the Bakersfield College football team hosted over 1,100 youth, families and staff for their annual football summer camp. Over 600 youth participated in the event which was put on by Golden Empire Youth Football (GEFY) and hosted at our Bakersfield College football practice fields.

Throughout the day BC football coaches led the youth participants through many drills that helped them to sharpen their skills of the game. The relationship between BC and GEFY dates back many years. Many current BC football players participated in the camps when they were younger as well.

To participate in the camp next summer, stay tuned to www.gogades.com for registration information.

More photos of the camp are also available on the GoGades website.

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Renegade Volleyball Camp and Basketball Academy

It’s not too late to participate in this summer’s volleyball camp and basketball academy. These are great opportunities to work with college coaches and expand your athletes game.

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Remaining Volleyball Camp dates:

  • July 25-27: Serve Pass & Defense Camp
  • July 25-27: Attacking Camp

For more information contact Coach Ferreira at: carferre@bakersfieldcollege.edu or by phone at: (661) 903-1911.

Basketball Academy dates:

For more information contact Coach Dahl at: pdahl@bakersfieldcollege.edu

Royal Industrial Solutions’  Group Partnership

After 12 months of planning and development, the Bakersfield College Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Automation team has constructed two advanced instrumentation trainers. These devices measure mass, pressure, fluid levels, and vacuum for industrial process control. The trainers will be used by BC’s baccalaureate students to learn how to install and calibrate devices they will find in local, national and international industry workplaces.  The trainers support five types of sensors and can also interface with the Allen Bradley program Logix controllers and the  Amatrol process control trainers.  The baccalaureate faculty can format the trainers to interface with other devices and expand students’ knowledge in the field. Special thanks to Process Solutions Engineer Robert Ellis and Services Manager Crystal Mann, both of Royal Industrial Solutions’ Automation Solutions Group, for partnering with Bakersfield College to make this possible!

Royal Industrial Solutions and BC

Back row left to right: Robert Ellis (Royal Electric Process Solutions Engineer), Lawrence Coulthurst (senior student, BC Industrial Automation Program), John Radman (BC Maintenance Technician), Shaun Powelson (senior student, BC Industrial Automation Program), Thomas Rush (BC Professor) Front row, Michele Bresso (Bakersfield College Dean of Instruction), Anthony Cordova (BC CTE Program director), Crystal Mann (Royal Electric Services Manager), Edwin Jimenez (freshman student, BC Industrial Automation Program).

Renegades at the Bureau of Land Management

Three BC MESA students, Jonathan Kim, Jerad Hanson, and Samantha Pulido interned from May 25 to July 6 at the Bureau of Land Management of Bakersfield. Through the experience, students learned about professional equipment, natural catastrophes, and the processes of evaluating industries, such as the  petroleum industry.

The students gained vast skills and information regarding this department, two project that they focused on were the process of conserving a historic cabin and maintaining a functional and safe water well that hikers frequent during the hot summer days.  This internship was made possible by partnership with USDA National Hispanic Serving Institution Program, Juan Alvarez, MESA Director, Consuelo Gonzalez, and the students’ BLM mentor Elizabeth Crosswell.

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Renegades at the National Resources Conservation Service

Juluis Ntuis, Phuong Le, and Jose Mercardo were chosen as the 2018 summer interns and they’ve all expressed how close they became with their cohort and mentors.

Recently, the students spoke about the challenges during their internships and answered questions regarding their overall experiences. They agreed that this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and the scenery in which they worked was breathtaking. The MESA program is once again grateful for Juan Alvarez, USDA National Hispanic Serving Institution Program, and Javier Flores, and UDSA NRCS, for their commitment to student success and support.

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STEM Camps

KGET highlighted the STEM camps happening on campus, thanks to partners Chevron and Project Lead the Way! This year, the camps were extremely popular which is exciting because they help our future Renegades get a fun and hands on experience at STEM career options. This week focused on Architecture and Design and I loved to see Yadira say, “If you walk into the classroom you will hear students yell things out like ‘oh this is so much more fun than school.”

Thank you Chevron! Thank you Project Lead the Way! This program is incredible. Check it out at KGET.com!

Medical Academy Camp

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Photo from The Record at Bakersfield.com

Speaking of summer camps, KCCD in collaboration with The California Endowment and Delano Joint Unified School District to offer the Delano Medical Academy Camp for incoming 9th grade students. All students expressed an interest in joining the medical field and the camp provided hands-on exposure to health care fields.

Camps just like these are making a difference as our young people begin to explore their higher education options and plans sooner, rather than later! See the article at bakersfield.com.

Record Number of Transfer Students Highlight

Michele Bresso on KBAK

Michele Bresso on KBAK

Last week, KBAK Reporter, Emma Goss covered the news that more students in the central valley and specifically Bakersfield College are transferring to the UC and CSU system after Community College. Her article and news clip, available on bakersfieldnow.com, mentions Dean of Instruction Michele Bresso who stated the rate successful transfers to the UC system has increased 57% and successful transfers to the Cal State University system have increased 43%.

This exciting news was also released in a LA Times article which mentions Bakersfield College.

Faculty Spotlight on Gina Herrera

Photo from VoyageLA

Photo from VoyageLA

Last week, I highlighted a VentureLA article on BC adjunct Art faculty, Gina Herrera and this week I found out her exhibition titled “A Fanciful Escapade” will be part of a First Fridays art series in Kansas City, MO!

It’s incredible to see the many places our BC faculty and students touch! The reach of BC is truly fascinating.

Have a story to share? I’d love to hear about it in the comments! Share with me where you’ve brought your Renegade spirit!

Remembering Dr. Lincoln Hall

Dr Lincoln hall 2004This week, I also took some quiet time to remember past BC President, Dr. Lincoln Hall. It’s important to remember the Renegades and leadership that has brought our campus and community to where we are today. This week it was shared that Dr. Lincoln Hall, who served as Interim President of BC from January 2004 – March 2005 and then went on to serve at Porterville College, had passed away. Dr. Lincoln began his work in education after being released from active duty in 1954. He attended UC Berkeley to obtain his teaching credential and taught history, economics, and civics at Antioch High.

His obituary states “In 1957 he moved to Visalia, where he began teaching economics at College of the Sequoias (COS). It was then that Linc met the love of his life, Gerry Vogel, a teacher of business classes at the college. They were married in 1960. While working in a variety of administrative roles at COS, Linc earned his Doctorate in Education from USC.

In 1981, he left COS to become president of Reedley College. Two years later, Linc returned to COS, where he served as superintendent/president until his retirement in 1991. Three weeks prior to retirement, Linc was asked to serve as interim president of a community college in Southern California. He accepted, and enjoyed it so much that he went on to serve in interim positions at twelve community colleges.”

A photo reel of his life and his full obituary is available at this link.

Local Contractor Outreach Seminar

Bakersfield College will be hosting a Local Contractor Outreach Seminar here at the Bakersfield College campus next Tuesday, July 24.  This informative outreach seminar is for local contractors who are interested in potentially working on upcoming Measure J projects at Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso Community College, and Porterville College.  More information and details can be found at the Bakersfield College website.

Weekly Fun Photos

The BC crew attended Starfish Summer Institute 2018 for presentations and training!

BC at Starfish

The third session of summer courses have started at BC SouthWest!  We are in the homestretch of summer 2018!

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And the President’s Office shared lunch on Monday with a taco bar, crock pot cake, and other delicious treats!

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William Velasquez is one of Todd Coston’s techs who has a true gift for photography. He took this photo before leaving work this week of BC’s Drum and Bugle Corps practicing for RESOUND!

Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps by William Velasquez

Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps by William Velasquez

Seen on Facebook

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BC’s Rural Initiatives Team that spans both North and South Kern!

Dr. Oliver Rosales shared:

Had a wonderful time yesterday hosting Carol Peters, Director of Educational Programs for the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of her California site visit. I was impressed that she took the time to drive to Bakersfield College from Los Angeles after visiting a project director at UCLA and spending time with the wonderful Julie Santoski Fry and California Humanities folks. Thanks so much to my fellow project director Andrew Bond and faculty cohort members Chris Cruz-Boone and Octavio Barajas for joining us to discuss the state of humanities at California Community Colleges and the work we are doing at Bakersfield College. Thanks especially to Reggie Williams for dropping by and hosting us at the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities. Thanks too to Dean Manny Mourtzanos for spending a few moments with us as we toured campus and for signing off on this grant years ago. And as my former dean noted, thanks especially to President Sonya Christian for her leadership and promoting faculty innovation. Carol Peters stressed that Chancellor Constance Carroll from San Diego Community College, who is currently serving on the National Humanities Council, spoke so highly of the good work we are doing at BC.

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Oliver Rosales, Carol Peters, Manny Mourtzanos

 

Purple Heart Run.

Photos from Karen Goh’s photos on Facebook

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Bakersfield College Veterans were are the Purple Heart Truck event.  The truck has been adapted for combat-wounded paralyzed or double amputee veterans and will be given to a wounded veteran who lost both his legs in Iraq.

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We Are BC

 

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That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever