Tag Archives: Nancy Edwards

Renegades are Doing Amazing Things!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, March 11, 2017 and such a fabulous day to be a Renegade.  

Let me start with the video of the week.  Real funny!

Finally a week where I only traveled once to Los Angeles, and a week where I was able to catch up on some Renegade Athletics.

Nancy Edwards

Friends and colleagues gathered on March 4, 2017 to celebrate the life of Nancy Edwards, long-time BC English faculty.  John Gerhold sang works Nancy had written with Harold Quilling’s (retired BC faculty) music.

Local poets along with BC retired and active faculty Jack Hernandez, Rosa Garza, and Sheena Bhogal, read Nancy’s poetry.  Tom Greenwood and Ruth Greenwood organized the event.  Fine Arts 30 was filled with community members, retired BC faculty, and current BC faculty.

Listen to John Gerhold here:

Tom Burke Open Forum March 6 2017Tom Burke at BC

It was a treat having Chancellor Tom Burke doing an open forum at BC.  In his new role as Chancellor, Tom has been visiting the three colleges to share his plans for the future and to listen to the employees across the district.  His presence was well received by the faculty, staff and students at BC.  I loved his response to a question from Lawrence Salcido, a student, who asked Tom what students could do to support him.  Tom’s immediate response was “get good grades.”  Lawrence is very active on campus and you can see him here in the picture with Tom.

Dylan Wang took a lot of pictures but I forgot to get them from him.  So for now, here is the one picture I took on my iphone.  Will update the blog with more photos when I get them.

Looking good with the beard Chancellor Burke!

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BC Blood Drive with Houchin Blood Bank

Stephenie March 8 2017

Stephanie Gibbons

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Houchin Blood Bank vans were parked outside our Campus Center where students could donate to give the gift of life to those who are in need each and every day. The passion that was in the eyes and smiles of those who work for Houchin was obvious, and their warm welcomes and genuine “thank yous” could be heard coming from the Fireside room in the center of campus, just outside the cafeteria.


As students signed in, they were offered water and snacks while filling out a general health questionnaire and have a quick physical performed by the many nurses on staff. One of the dedicated nurses who has been working for Houchin for over thirty years now expressed the joy she finds in her job by saying, “There is never a dull moment or day”. She explained how Houchin travels each and every day to areas throughout Kern County, and how these mobile clinics are able to reach a great number of Kern County residents with success.

When students were asked what makes them want to donate, I heard of one response that was, “I just want to be able to help people”. Many people who have the desire to help their community may say, “But I just don’t know how?’ Houchin Blood Bank is always in need of their community to help replenish their blood bank. If you are in the position to be able to help out your community, and you are curious to how you can do that, what better way than to give the gift of life!

Stephanie Gibbons is just fabulous to work with.  Thank you Stephanie and Greg Gallion for all that you do for our community.

Thank you to BC’s Office of Student Life, especially Danyel Owens, Arisve Pimentel, and SGA President, Matthew Frazier for all your work in coordinating these events.  And thank you Dr. Nicky Damania for all that you do for our students at BC.  and thank you for always helping out.  I am so very glad I get to work with you.

The Houchin Blood bank caravan of busses at the campus center.

Photos taken by Amber Smithson

Check out my post from last year about Houchin Blood Bank on March 19, 2016


and my write up about Greg Gallion on Jne 19, 2016


Wednesday’s Soup Special

Coconut Quinoa Chicken Soup in a bell pepper "bowl"

Last week, BC Food Services sent out an email announcing the daily soup special – Coconut Quinoa Chicken Soup. Chef Eric Sabella tells me the idea came from our cook, Nicole Sizemore and the unique recipe was served inside of a bell pepper, which added a beautiful presentation. You know, they say you eat with your eyes first!

Staff, faculty, and students at BC are in for a treat when we find out what the daily specials are. A different soup is prepared every day, and many of their recipes, including their popular chicken curry soup, include the creamy flavor of coconut milk, which is a great source of calcium for vegans and people with lactose intolerance while being rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals.

My dear friend, do you see why BC is such a special place….right from our interesting and talented food services department to our commercial music program….I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

STEMposium from KEDC

Cheryl Scott with Sandi and Scruffy Facebook picture

Cheryl Scott with Sandie and Scruffy

Bakersfield College is excited to do its part in preparing the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering and math during the inaugural Kern County “STEMposium” on May 19th in the BC gym!  Cheryl Scott and the Kern Economic Development Corporation (KEDC) are leading this effort.  Cheryl is a friend of Bakersfield College and volunteers her time to support the college and support our students. I found this great picture of Cheryl on Facebook where she says: “Back in the day when Sandie was a scruffy little pup. They’re still my baby girls!”


The first annual “STEMposium” aims to connect middle and high school students with local business representatives to raise awareness of the STEM-related career opportunities in Kern County. The confluence of agriculture, energy and defense industries has lead Kern County to be ranked fourth-best in the nation for availability of STEM jobs, according to the Central Valley Business Times, and events like the “STEMposium” will only help those STEM opportunities continue to grow.

High school students will get the chance to show off their STEM class project, and local business will be hosting demonstrations booths with specialized engineering equipment. The first keynote speaker for the inaugural event will be Jose Hernandez, a son of migrant workers who grew up to travel to the International Space Station, becoming an engineer for NASA. Hernandez will be talking about his book, “Reaching for the Stars: The Inspiring Story of a Migrant Farm Worker Turned Astronaut.”

Gadfly Café

Founded by René Trujillo and continued now under the leadership of Reggie Williams, both of the Philosophy Department, the Gadfly Café is an extracurricular event that takes place six times per academic year in the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities. The Gadfly Café provides students, faculty, staff, and administrators the opportunity, and a forum, to discuss social and philosophical issues that we face as human beings in a diverse community. Topics have included terrorism, alienation, gender, race, abortion, and religion. The purpose of the Gadfly Café is to promote open, respectful discourse and communication on the difficult issues we face, better appreciating their complexity, and learning from each other’s experiences. The Gadfly Café is typically scheduled on Wednesdays at the lunch hour from 12:30 to 1:30 throughout the Fall and Spring Semesters at Bakersfield College. The next Gadfly is April 5th and will address the death penalty.  So proud that BC has these incredible opportunities through the Levan Center.  It feels more like something you’d find at a Liberal Arts college.  Thank you Jack Hernandez!

The Gadfly Cafe meeting

Gadfly Cafe is always an important, though-provoking discussion.

BC Alum Stories

Maria Madeline Herndon with a goat

Maddie and a baby goat

Last Friday, when I was in Delano with Tracy Lovelace, she shared with me some pictures and a video of a former BC student, Maria Madeline Herndon. Currently, Maddie is a junior at Davis majoring in Animal Science and Management but prior to that she went to BC. She completed her first two years here and was very involved in student government. I enjoyed hearing how Maddie loved her time at BC and enjoyed taking classes from Prof. Jerry Poncetta (Ag) and Prof. Dave Meyers (Math). She was the recipient of a highly competitive scholarship given by the KC CattleWomen.

For the past two summers, she has been involved at the UC Cooperative Extension where her day starts when the run rises, but Maddie has loved it because it truly gave hands-on experience to the Ag scene with-in KC. I love hearing stories and updates about past Renegades. Especially, students who could go away to school but whose family (and Maddie too) knew the positives of attending BC for the first two years. I know it was a great experience for Maddie to be here at BC.

Foster Youth Conference at BC

Breaking Barriers & Empowering Success, the 2nd annual conference took place on Friday, February 24, 2017 on the BC campus.  About 170 people attended including: Foster Youth adults and high school foster youth, Foster Parents, Relative Caregivers, Social Workers, CASA volunteers, school staff, and others working with children. The sponsors were Foster Youth Services, Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Quality Parenting Initiative, the Department of Human Services, and Bakersfield College. The keynote speaker was Terry Harrak, Youth Law Center staff member and former foster youth. It was great to have Judge Marquez on campus, who was also in attendance. After the welcoming and keynote speaker, breakout sessions were held with foster youth panels.

Extra information was available during the resource fair with 16 vendors and community agencies such as: America’s Jobs First, Alliance Human Services, Dolores Huerta Foundation, and more.

BC Ag department helping with Homeless Center Project

Thank you Ag community and our wonderful BC Ag students for your help at the Homeless Center in Bakersfield. What a beautiful way to brighten the day for the residents. So proud of our Ag community, partnering and planting fruits and vegetables at the Bakersfield Homeless Center with the Kern County Young Farmers and Ranchers and some fellow AG students from Bakersfield College. For more on the Bakersfield Homeless Center see http://bakhc.org/


Faculty Spotlight: Robby Martinez

“He leapt to the stage with contagious energy, and spoke with a charm that drew the crowd in.” What a perfectly descriptive statement for one of our talented faculty, Robby Martinez. I was thrilled to see this article from The Daily Independent in Ridgecrest. You have to check it out at http://www.ridgecrestca.com/article/20170308/NEWS/170309676.

And Robby, a Grammy award winner brought back this blanket for me from this year’s Grammy awards.  How cool is that!


Staff Spotlight: Isabel Castaneda

I’m so very happy to see Isable Casteneda back on campus.  Isabel is so devoted to BC and our students. She’s an Educational Advisor and very involved with our Summer Bridge program! She put in so many volunteer hours during the Measure J campaign.  I ran into her when I stopped by the cafeteria to get chicken strips. Don Chruciel, BCs new VP of FInance and Admin Services is pictured here with Isabel!  Isabel, welcome home!

Don Chruciel with Isabel Castaneda

Don Chruciel with Isabel Castaneda. It was so nice to see her again!

The BC Staff is a Family!

While browsing Facebook, I always love seeing posts by BC’s Mary Jo Pasek. Here she highlighted seeing Ramon Puga’s son and as she mentioned, Ramon is our BC Maintenance Supervisor! It’s great to see the close support among BC campus colleagues.


Our Town

Last weekend the talented Renegades of the Performing Arts Department presented “Our Town” by Thorton Wilder. Aside from a few tables and chairs, a stain glass window, and some stairs the set didn’t give much away, and it left the audience wondering. Brian J. Sivesind directed the rather interesting play by Wilder and greeted everyone on stage just before the performance began.

“Our Town” starts with the Stage Manager giving us details about the setting and would continue to inform us with character information. It began as a normal day in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire in 1901. Two mothers prepared breakfast for their two children and sent them off to school, the milkman and paper boy made their deliveries, and their husbands came home from work. Later, the audience met two of the children, George Gibbs and Emily Webb, and their seems to be a romance starting to bud between them. A lot of character development was done in Act I, it gave the audience different ways to connect to each character. It was like revisiting history as told by the Stage manager; who then later informs us that the play discusses life, will discuss love, and something else the audience could probably guess in the upcoming Acts. While the play ended in tragedy, it had plenty of comedy amidst it as well. It gave the audience a different outlook and how we should appreciate the transience of human life and our companionships.

If you ever have the chance to see a production at BC by our talented Performing Arts Department, you don’t want to miss it. Thank you to Belen Martinez for the photos!

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BC Athletics

Pierce College Baseball playing at BC

BC beat Pierce College with a 9-7 win.

BC baseball team moves to 3-1 in WSC Conference play with a 9-7 win over visiting LA Pierce on Tuesday night at Gerry Collis field. The Renegades had 11 hits and drew 5 walks in overcoming a 6-3 deficit. “We did enough offensively to climb back in ” Coach Tim Painton said. “We were not very good defensively.  I don’t know how many unearned runs there were, but the majority of the runs that Pierce scored were unearned.” The Bakersfield Californian covered it here: http://www.bakersfield.com/sports/bc-downs-pierce-improves-to—in-wsc-south/article_675d87df-8e88-5dc3-958f-6abc21627225.html

Have you been to a BC softball game lately? I recently attended March 9ths game against Moorpark College. I enjoyed cheering on the Renegades with Don Chrusciel, Sandi Taylor, Zav Dadabhoy, and Janet Tarjan. I hope to see YOU at the next one!

Don Chrusciel, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy, Janet Tarjan

Don Chrusciel, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy, Janet Tarjan

To stay up-to-date with all Athletic activities at the Home of the Renegades, check out www.gogades.com!

Moorpark College Softball at Bakersfield College.

Moorpark College Softball at BC.

BC’s Swim Team Rocks!

Men’s and Women’s swimming competed in the first conference meet of the season Friday March 3rd at College of the Canyons.

MArch 6 2017


1. LA Valley 367

2. BC 334

3. Canyons 311

4. Santa Monica  289


1. Santa Barbara  381

2. BC 278

3. LA Valley 266

4.Santa Monica 226

5. Canyons 203

Top Performances for BC: Jennifer Quan: 1st 500 Free, 2nd 200 IM; Cynthia Maner: 2nd 1000 Free, 3rd 100 Breaststroke; 2nd 200 Medley Relay: (Victoria Hernandez, Cynthia Maner, Jennifer Quan, Niquelette Rimer)

Steve Santana: 1st 200 Free, 2nd 100 Butterfly; Andrew Martinez: 1st 100 Free, 2nd 500 Free; Brian Bender: 2nd 100 Breaststroke, 3rd 200 IM; 2nd 200 Free Relay: (Steve Santana, Cameron Reeves, Cesar Zepeda, Brian Bender)

 Congratulations to Sigma Chi Eta Inductees

lhp_bw.tif [Converted]Sigma Chi Eta is the official community college honor society of the National Communication Association (NCA). Since 2000, SCH has fostered growth in the Communication discipline among two-year colleges and universities. Once inducted, a student is a member for life and is expected to always strive for excellence. I’m happy to announce BC has nine students who have qualified to be inducted. Congratulations to: Evelyn A Andrad, Preston George III, Andrea Rivera Gomez, Hugo Daniel Mendez, Miguel Angel Munoz, Griselda Vanessa Navarro, Joey Ramirez, Taylor Ross, and Amber Rose Smithson.

Thank you Communication department and thank you Mark Staller!

The Empowerment Project

15894554_1249062191837632_7296633576726583240_nThe Empowerment Project is the incredible journey of a crew of female filmmakers driving across America to encourage, empower, and inspire the next generation of strong women to go after their career ambitions.Driving over 7,000 miles from Los Angeles to New York over the course of 30 days, the documentary spotlights 8 positive and powerful women leaders across a variety of lifestyles and industries. In celebration of the all-female focus in front of and behind the camera, the filmmakers turned the cameras on themselves, capturing their transformational journey. The film challenges the audience to ask themselves, “What would you do if you knew you would succeed?”  Nan Gomez-Heitzberg was a panelist at the March 8th Empowerment Project premiere at CSUB hosted by The Women’s and Girls’ Fund at Kern Community Foundation. Over 150 were in the audience including all generations, girls from 8 and 9 years old to grandmothers and said she was particularly struck by the passion, determination, and perseverance in the documentary. The women on the panel (Jenny Zorn provost CSUB, Mary Barlow supt schools, Lisa Green, district attorney, Racquel Santos Pina, MD, Kaiser Permanente. Kristen Barnes, moderator) spoke about finding their niche and being committed to their chosen profession with the underlying theme to not let others dissuade you, instead – be confident, find mentors, both men and women, and follow your heart.

The one thing all panelists had in common was education and education gives you options. What a wonderful and inspirational event.

Logan came to visit!

One of the highlights of my week was when Shannon Musser came to visit with her beautiful new baby boy Logan.  Just wonderful!

Shannon Musser with her baby son Logan.

Logan and his mom paid me a visit!

Little things that make me happy

I love it when I am travelling and I get text messages or photos about things happening at BC.  Here are two of my faves from this week.  Jennifer Marden (you can just see her left eye) taking a selfie of the office folks huddling to solve problems focusing on the document projected from Chris’ laptop on the TV screen and one with Lesley Bonds who was thrilled after spending hours and days and weeks working on the SSSP report.

We have a great team in the Office of the President and the three Vice Presidents–Jennifer Marden, Tracy Hall, Somaly Boles, June Charles, Tarina Perry, and Chris Glaser.   And as Jennifer refers to the group– Team Awesome! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for all that you do.


Happy Sonya Christian after great picture from Jennifer March 8 2017


That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever


A Busy Week at BC!

Good morning from Sacramento my dear friends and colleagues in Bakersfield.  Let me share a great sunrise as I sit by the window seat at the Sheraton and pull together the week’s happenings at Bakersfield College.  It is Saturday, Jan 28, 2017 and a great day to be a Renegade!

Sunrise in Sacramento 7 15 on Jan 28 2017.JPG

And what a busy second week of the term!  For much of the time I was on the road….to Newport to do a workshop with Kay McClenney and Rob Johnstone and then to Costa Mesa for the IEPI 2-day workshop on Guided Pathways where over 250 individuals from 39 colleges and organizations came together to understand this integrated and powerful approach to enhance student success.  The Guided Pathways System (GPS) acts like the GPS (Geographic Positioning System) that we have all grown to rely on.

Here is the BC team that attended IEPI.


Reaching out to our Vets

On Tuesday, the Office of Student Success and Equity, in collaboration with Armando Trujillo, Veteran Educational Advisor, has sent out the first Veterans Resource Center’s postcard to returning veterans in Kern County!

Wveteranspostcarde hope to increase our student veteran’s enrollment by reaching out to all recently discharged vets to let them know that BC is here and is ready to serve them in their educational goals for success! I loved hearing that once the prints came in, Armando ran over to the SSE office, pulled a poster from the stack, grabbed a sharpie to jot down info and sign it for the BC archives. As far as he is tracking, this is the first time BC has ever intentionally connected with veterans this way. Thank you to the fabulous work of the Office of SSE, Armando Trujillo, Dylan Wang, and Lisa Kent!


FFA High School Students Visit BC

It’s always a joy to have high school students visit our campus and explore their options for higher education. On Wednesday morning, local students visited campus as part of the FARMS Leadership Program to meet with the Ag Department faculty and learn about careers in the industry.


picture-1-ffa-leadership-high-schools-jan-25-2017The FARMS (Farming, Agriculture, and Resource Management for Sustainability) Leadership Program serves over 230 youth from 30 high schools across the state and participants spend an average of 35 hours engaging with farms, wildlife areas, agriculture, and related businesses. It’s a great opportunity for young people to get real life experiences to explore opportunities.  Madeline Abernathy was one of the students in the group and I look forward to seeing Madeline as a future Renegade 🙂

Thank you to all who made this happen, especially – Ralph Mendes, Bill Kelly, Heather Baltis, Dr. Cluff, Dylan Klawitter, Kaitlyn McCoy, and Colleen Taber. Check out this fantastic program at http://landbasedlearning.org/farms.

Dual Enrollment Student Success Story

cruzverdozamedina_artshowThis year, one of our Dual Enrollment HS students have been selected to showcase one of his drawings in the BC Student Art Show. Congratulations to Cruz Verdoza Medina.

Cruz is enrolled in Armando Rubio’s dual enrollment art class with BC and has submitted several drawings this year. Armando told me via email, “I have worked very close with this student in the Drawing 1 Dual Enrollment course offered at Central Valley. I encouraged him and helped to submit images to the BC Student Art Show. I am very proud of his accomplishment in being selected to show his work. Cruz is very talented and quiet, but his work is very intricate, detailed, and expressive. Only great work comes from a good work ethic and Cruz Verdoza has demonstrated this while taking the Drawing course for BC.”

And Kristopher Stallworth, our Art Department Chair let me know that, “His work was selected by an outside juror, Robey Clark and judged alongside all of the student work submitted from all levels of BC art courses. Armando Rubio has been an adjunct art instructor for the department for several years and recently began teaching Drawing I as a Dual Enrollment course. This is what we hope for when we have dual enrollment, students have opportunities that they would not have otherwise, and their work stands alongside that of our traditional students.

The Opening Reception is Thursday, February 2nd from 3:00 – 7:00. The exhibit will be up through February 1st – 28th. Stop by and check out the art!

BC Athletics News

Join me in congratulating Coach Paula Dahl for her 300th game! In this picture is Sandi Taylor, Athletic Director, Coach Paula, and Keith Ford, Associate Athletic Director.



While browsing the news to keep up with all things BC Athletics, I came across a Bakersfield.com article which said, “A near-capacity crowd watched Jamar Hammonds score 32 points on an emotional night on which the team honored Coach Brian Carter and his surviving family with a jersey and other mementos.” A near-capacity crowd!  Our BC Athletes are so fortunate to have such a loyal and dedicated community and our fans are always rewarded with a great game. Have you been to a BC game recently? There’s always so much excitement!

Here is a tweet by Kimberly Bligh:

Kimberly Bligh's tweet about Coach Brian Carter Jan 21 2017.png

If not, check out the article at  http://www.bakersfield.com/sports/bc-men-win-double-ot-thriller/article_348dff1c-7b9e-5473-96e0-74b27f8faccd.html and check our sports schedules and news at http://www.gogades.com/.

It was wonderful seeing a packed gym for the two games.  It was great to see Coach Vayron Martinez and his girlfriend Lexy Farmer.  Coach Martinez is our Men’s Soccer coach and fully engaged with his student athletes.


On the upper deck of the gym, this family had come out to support their granddaughter and great granddaughter Kennedy Nielson.

David Gallagher, Pat Gallagher and Phyllis Adams are shown here, and you can see Kennedy in action in the two pictures below.  And check out Dave’s t-shirt.


And there is an adorable picture of Janet Tarjan with her grandson Jackson


oliver-rosales-croppedDr. Oliver Rosales will speak at the University of Washington

 When I received notice that Dr. Oliver Rosales had been invited to offer a keynote address at the University of Washington in early June, I was thrilled. The Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington has secured funding from the Mellon foundation in partnership with area community colleges in the greater Seattle area to focus on “Reimagining the Humanities PhD”.  I look forward to sharing with all of you about Dr. Rosales’s trip and experience afterwards. Stay tuned!

96th Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting

 trb-1The 96th Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting and David Eisenhower Showcase is a required meeting for our six fellowship recipients.  It offers the opportunity to showcase their research on the Department of Transportation projects; allows senior transportation managers to greet our Eisenhower fellowship recipients and provide remarks about the future transportation workforce.  This meeting also provides opportunities to network with fellow students and transportation professionals from across the nation and the around the world.  The 96thTransportation Research Board Annual Meeting and David Eisenhower Showcase travel cost for the students will be covered by the Eisenhower grant from the US Department of Transportation. Students will be accompanied by Dr. Patrick Aderhold, engineering faculty.

This provides extraordinary opportunity for our students and faculty, and I’d like to share with you the full text of an email that he sent to me on the event.


I have to admit that, prior to last year, I had never heard of the Transportation Research Board (TRB). When I was informed that some of our students had received a fellowship and were travelling to the annual meeting, I was expecting to usher them into a small corner room with a few dozen people rubbing elbows and quietly discussing traffic or highway safety. You can imagine my surprise when I walked into the palatial Walter E. Washington Conference Center and was immediately absorbed into the cauldron of activity as attendees from all parts of the US and several places beyond surged back and forth from expos to lectures.

This year I was better prepared to supervise the six students of ours that were selected to participate in the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program (DDETFP), but it was still exciting to be a part of 13,000 attendees that were sharing wisdom on everything from buses in South America to bike lanes in San Francisco. The five-day event would be overwhelming even for seasoned veterans, but the DDETFP staff worked hard to put on a curated set of events that allowed DDETFP fellows to listen, observe, network and showcase their own research. I was very impressed by the attention that TRB puts into the recruitment and development of young members, as the executive director himself spoke about the need for young professionals, the value of equity and inclusion and his desire to replace the old model of a small number of “gray-beards” running the show.

I believe our students represented BC well, as the they were thrown “into the deep end” so to speak. They and their peers have been performing their own research on local transportation issues for the last few months, but the DDETFP program exposed them to several talks by doctoral students as well. As proud as we are of students doing part-time, local research, I think it is valuable to expose them to the highest levels of R&D happening nation-wide. A fifteen-minute talk by a Ph.D. candidate outside your field is a sure-fire way to walk away feeling stupid (which is a good thing in my mind), but our students didn’t shy away. They showed genuine interest, reaching out to speakers with extra questions after the talks.

One of our own, Alia Brost, was selected to present a poster this year. She laid out her ongoing research on air quality on local GET bus routes and received some tough questions about equipment, methodology and goals and held her own quite well. It was an intimidating atmosphere, but she already looked the part of a confident, but skeptical researcher and I hope she saw this as the first of many chances to learn and share in a professional setting.

trb-5Though I grew up in the Midwest, I understand that most of our students at BC are born and raised in Bakersfield and few have the financial resources to spend a week absorbing life in a different climate and culture 2600 miles away. I’m proud of the work that BC does in the community, but I also know there is a great value in exposure to things that are big, far, confusing and uncomfortable and a professional meeting on the east coast meets all those criteria. It’s important to see what happens “behind the curtain” and to have a first-hand look at what it takes to be part of a large, diverse organization doing important things on the national scale. For some, this may be the first foot in the door to a career in transportation, for others a greater appreciation for the complexity of problem solving at the scale of thousands of cars or millions of tons of freight. I’m sure this event will have long-lasting benefits, whether they be professional, intellectual… and maybe even personal (like warm memories of an impromptu snowball fight before dinner). On behalf of all the students, I want to thank Connie Gonzalez and the MESA staff for encouraging them to apply for this program and all time and effort that goes into organizing a cross-country trip.


I’m sure they’re eager to share their experiences with you all so seek out Alia Brost, Jose Chavez, Johnson Her, Andrea Hernandez, Evaleena Reyes and Sharina Washington and ask them about their trip, I’m think you’ll get an earful.

Renegade Passings

Each passing brings back memories and relationships.  I’d like to share ten more notices that I received from Jerry Ludeke, notices of Renegades who have recently passed, so that we can remember them and their wonderful contributions . If you have any special memories, please leave a comment. I would love to read your stories.

NANCY EDWARDS taught English at BC from 1968 to 2009 and was a leader in poetry circles in Kern County and beyond.  Nancy and Howard Quilling, also now deceased, collaborated on many performances of original poetry set to music.  An on-campus memorial is being planned.  We will announce it when a date is confirmed.

RALPH KRAFVE, who died January 16, was the successful, well liked BC basketball coach from 1973 to 1985.  Ralph coached the 1977-1978 team that won BC’s only basketball state championship.  Previously he was the championship coach at East High for 12 years.  He was inducted into the Bob Elias Kern County Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.  Dolly, his wife and survivor, was active in the Faculty Wives and Women group.

CAROL MARSHALL passed away December 22 in Seattle.  Carol was a tutor in the Learning Center helping recent immigrants, mainly Vietnamese, learn to read English.  She and her husband Rod Marshall, now deceased, came in 1968 when he joined the BC faculty in Supportive Services, after a career in the Armed Services which took them to Germany and the Pentagon.

DAN NYSTROM, 88, died on December 12.  He was a BC zoology teacher from 1958 until 1984.  He and Arleen were married for 47 years and raised three children.  After Arleen died in 1998, Dan married  Mary Horst in 2000 and they had 16 years together before she passed away earlier in 2016.

DALENE OSTERKAMP, 84, passed away on December 27th.  Dalene was a distinguished BC art teacher (listed in Who’s Who of American Women and, in 1989, given the First Annual Service to Women Award from the American Association of Women in Community and Junior Colleges.)  Primarily a print maker, she retired to Glennville and worked in prints, stained glass, mosaics, etching, pottery, and jewelry making.  At BC she was also a counselor and worked with the Women’s Studies Department.

RONDA VALDEZ died December 8.  A member of the classified staff, Ronda served in several different departments on the BC campus in her years at BC from 1969 to 1997, ending in the Public Information Office.

CLYDE VERHINE died on December 12 in Oregon at age 95.   A Social Studies and Economics professor, Clyde was active in campus activities, served as the Academic Senate President, and was known for his cheerful greetings and demeanor.

EDDIE WARD passed away on January 1 in Arizona.  He retired in 2008 after 34 years as Grounds Supervisor at Bakersfield College.

ALEJANDRA “Nicki” WILKERSON lived with many years of dialysis and passed on shortly after finally receiving a kidney and liver transplant.  She served 25 years in M&O first at BC and then at the District, 1986-2011.

THOMAS H. DAVIS, III passed away on Sunday, Nov. 13th. His partner, Nam (Chauncey Yao) told the BC archives that he had suffered from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. With Nam’s help, Tom was able to live at home until the previous Friday.

I have so much more to write about from this week but am running out of time.  It is Sunday now and I have not published my blog yet and I have so many deadlines to meet this coming week.

So let me wrap up with my song of the week – Linda Ronstadt’s Blue Bayou.

sonya 2 convocation aug 18 2016


That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A Thank You for Trio Celeste

BC Composers' Club plus a woodworking student interested in the construction of Stradivarius instruments.

BC Composers’ Club plus a woodworking student interested in the construction of Stradivarius instruments.

Recently, Trio Celeste, a small group of musicians, performed at the Levan Center here at Bakersfield College. Nancy Edwards was in the crowd, and she wrote a thank you to Jack Hernandez and John Gerhold, who facilitated the performance. Jack oversees the programming at the Levan Center, and John is the chair of Bakersfield College’s performing arts department.

As part of the event, Trio Celeste performed with Bakersfield College students.




Dear John and Jack,

I want to thank you for inviting and presenting to the community the Trio Celeste recently at the Levan Center on campus. The extraordinary accomplishments and talent alone of these remarkable performers are dazzling. As their biographies stated, they are stars on an international level, as well as within the American states. Their muscianship and professionalism are models of perfection for all of us to admire.

It was quite endearing to hear them speak of how pieces were performed and how much they practiced, as well as to hear about the Stradivarius violin. I would not have believed that I would ever have an opportunity to hear a performance on a Stradivarius. Each performer was so gracious and charming, I am sure the students were delighted to have them work with them in their classes! It has to be the opportunity of a lifetime!

We were most pleased also to have some time to visit with Ann Finlinson and John for a lovely breakfast before they went home to northern California. They have become very close friends and we are most appreciative of every opportunity to visit with them. They were so delighted with the concert and appreciative of what you have done to make these events possible. Ann has repeatedly said how much these events mean to her knowing that so many lives are touched by the extraordinary performers and presenters the Finlinson Committee has brought to the college. 

I wanted to again thank you both in particular and add my congratulations to your success. I would be delighted for our committee to meet perhaps in early summer or early fall before classes are too far along and everyone is swamped just to explore some ideas again. It is very exciting to hear all of the great ideas.

I send my very best wishes to you always,

Nancy Edwards