Tag Archives: Nancy Perkins

BC celebrates our Veterans

A message from Paul Beckworth

Paul Beckworth at VRC

On behalf of all the student-veterans, Thank you.     While we veterans are honored every November 11th, I want to take this opportunity to honor you.

Lisa Kent, Paul Beckworth, Olivia Garcia, and Armando Trujillo
Lisa Kent, Paul Beckworth, Olivia Garcia, and Armando Trujillo

Faculty, I honor you.  Your emails and phone calls to me due to grave concerns about veterans in your class, fearful for their safety, show your humanity.  You have taken their PTSD, and/or TBI into account when you felt it necessary or appropriate.  Your patience with them, your listening ears, are lifesavers, figuratively and literally. 

Classified staff, I honor you.  Your willingness to jump in and help never wanes.  You are always so helpful, knowing that when we ask for something, it is to assist a veteran.  You are professional when veterans are upset and act out in Financial Aid, or A&R or you name it.  You cut through red tape like a hot knife through butter. As far as I am concerned there need not be any contract negotiation because you have earned all that you are asking for, and more, period.

Administration, I honor you.  Your concern for all students is fundamental to your leadership. Your passion for the success of our veterans is second to none.  Other veteran service departments are literally jealous over the support we get from our administration.  I can text Sonya and get a response rather quickly. Others schools cannot fathom that my president gave me her cell phone number in the first place.  It is all because our administrators care, not just through words but actions.

There could be no veteran student success, no veteran completion, without people like you all. So, on this Veterans Day, on behalf of our student-veterans, I thank you for your service to our veterans.

Happy Veterans Day!



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSMlIM9zLio (you’ll need tissues)

(Special thoughts and prayers to History Professor Olivia Garcia as her Marine son ships off to Okinawa today)

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 9, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

A garden of American flags in the grass.

Veterans Breakfast 

L-R: Zav Dadhaboy, Mike Giacomini, Karen Goh, Tom Burke, Kay Meek, Billie Jo Rice, Sonya Christian, Paul Beckworth, Cinthia Zimmer, Armando Trujillo

Bakersfield College kicked off Vet Month on Monday, November 4th, with an invitation-only delicious breakfast by the culinary arts students in the Renegade Room. Several local dignitaries attended the annual Veterans’ Breakfast event to learn more about BC’s comprehensive plan to meet the education needs of Kern County’s brave men and women who have served our country in the military. Assemblyman Vince Fong, Mayor Karen Goh, and District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer and others were joined by KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke and Trustees Kay Meek, Romeo Agbalog, and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.

Paul Beckworth and Tamara Baker shared the latest details about the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, a one-stop shop for our veterans and dependents as they strive to achieve their educational goals, which will be unveiled to the public at a ribbon cutting ceremony on December 10. This will be the first capital project of Measure J to be completed.  

Tamara Baker and Paul Beckworth
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Armando Trujillo, Bilie Jo Rice, Sonya Christian, Tom Burke

Keynote speaker Abel Guzman also explained how the Rural Initiatives and Adult Education teams are working to remove the barriers that can keep veterans from translating their military experience into successful civilian careers. See his presentation.

Abel Guzman
Zav Dadabhoy, Kay Meek, Vince Fong, Earl Parsons

Trustee Kay Meek, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, and Mayor Karen Goh addressed the group.

Thank you to Paul Beckworth, Armando Trujillo, Bernadette Martinez and everyone in the Veteran Services team for organizing this lunch, to BC Culinary Arts for providing a lovely meal, and to all of the dignitaries that took time out of their busy schedules to learn how BC is supporting veterans in the classroom. Thank you Mayor Karen Goh for some of the great photos.

Trustee Romeo Agbolog, Armando Trujillo and me.

Vet Fest 2019

4 uniformed men with the CA and US flags.
Kern County Sheriff Color Guard

The VetFest celebration is an annual tradition at BC to recognize the contributions of those who have bravely served our country. Wednesday’s event in the CSS lawn is part of a whole month of programming that we’ve developed to honor our local veterans, culminating with the unveiling of the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center next month.

Veteran and BC faculty member Tommy Tunson started the presentation by asking all of the veterans in the audience to come to the front and have their service celebrated. It was a great chance to see all of our faculty and student veterans in one place.

VetFest featured a resource fair, free food, vendors, and a DJ on the CSS lawn. The keynote speaker for Wednesday morning was Jenny Frank, a former marine who encouraged our student veterans to utilize all of the opportunities they’ve been given. Assemblyman Vince Fong also spoke about the history of Veterans’ Day.

And then there was Danny Morrison….one of my all time favorites…. Danny Morrison kept the celebration going all day.  I loved the videos of Danny leading the Cupid Shuffle! 

Although Danny Morrison was at the event as a DJ with 103.9 The BEAT where he focuses on elevating stories about local community programs that make Bakersfield a better place, BC’s partnership with Danny dates back long before his time with the radio station.  Danny has been a vocal advocate for our students – particularly those most vulnerable – and is always just a text away when we need him.  In my seven years as president, I have called on Danny many times and he has shown up without question.  From his tireless advocacy on Measure J to speaking out about the value of Inmate Education, Danny operates from an ethic of care for our students.

Danny understands that education transforms communities, and never misses an opportunity to highlight valuable programs on his show and on social media. Be sure to catch The Pulse with Danny Morrison Sundays from 8am-12pm, and The B-Town Mixdown on Saturdays from 6pm-midnight to catch information about Early College, student and academic supports, BC’s guided pathways work, and more.

I would like to thank all of our veterans for their bravery and sacrifice, as well as BC Veterans Services for putting together another great VetFest.

Vince holding a Veterans Club t-shirt.
Veterans club presented a club T to Assemblymember Fong

We started Vet Fest in 2013, the year I started as a new president. Here is a walk down memory lane.

2018 Vet Fest blog, BC Loves our Vets: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2018/11/10/bc-loves-our-vets/

2017 Vet Fest blog, Celebrating our Veterans all week long: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/11/11/celebrating-veterans-all-week-long/

2016 Vet Fest, Thank you Kern County: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/11/12/thank-you-kern-county/

2015 Vet Fest blog, Remembering America’s Best: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2015/11/11/veterans-day-vet-fest-and-remembering-americas-best/

2014 Vet Fest blog, 2nd annual vet fest: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2014/11/11/student-veterans-and-bcs-2nd-annual-vet-fest/

2013 Memorial Day blog, Our student veterans: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2013/06/05/out-student-veterans/

There are more photos in our Smugmug photo gallery:

When will you get a chance to hear from Lande Ajose, Senior Policy Advisor to Higher Ed for Governor Newsom; Eloy Oakley, Chancellor for CA Community Colleges; Tony Thurmond, State Superintended. Register today for the November 15th symposium here in Bakersfield.


Radiologic Technology Program 50 Years Celebration

Jaycee Hill, Carla Gard and Nancy Perkins

Jacelyn Hill, Director of Radiologic Technology here at BC, spoke eloquently at the Radiologic Technology Program Celebration of 50 years at BC on Thursday, November 7, 2019. She spoke of the National Rad Tech Week, discovery of the technology that changed health care, the history of the program at Bakersfield College, and the people who made it happen.

Holding the proclamation.
Vice Mayor Chris Parlier and Jaycee Hill

November 3-9 is National Radiologic Technology Week™ in which medical radiology technologists are celebrated for their role in health care.This week celebrates the detection or x-rays by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen on November 8 1895. Vice Mayor Chris Parlier was in attendance for Mayor Karen Goh to read the official proclamation declaring:

Proclamation from Karen Goh.

“November 3-9, 2019 as ‘Radiologic Technology Week’ in our city, and urge all citizens to recognize this event in our community, celebrating 50 years of educational excellence in Radiologic Technology at Bakersfield College.”

In addition, the BC Foundation and the BC Rad Tech program honored former Program Director Nancy Perkins with a bench for her great work of over 39 years of improving the program and the establishment of the Nancy Perkins Scholarship.

The history of the Rad Tech program at BC began in 1958 at Mercy Hospital under Ferris Boyce with a certificate program and on-the-job training. Mrs. Ferris worked with Bakersfield College administration and faculty, including John Ackland and George Lawrence, to move the program to BC so that students could earn an associate degree. In 1969 the classes were taught at Kern General. The X-Ray program moved to the Panorama campus in August 1979, when Nancy Perkins, at a mere 23 years old began at BC. She started in the very room where the ceremony was held and continued improving the program until her recent retirement. You can read all about this important history in the Fall 2018 Archives Newsletter.

Program students and faculty gathered around the bench.

Yessenia Diaz, a proud Rad Tech student told the attendees she was happy to be a part of this program as it will allow her to help people. She said “the program is worth the effort and very rewarding.” 

Speaking to room.
Yessenia Diaz

Our graduates work all over Kern County and beyond. Nancy estimates that at least 85% of Radiologic Technologists in our area are BC Graduates. Our Rad Tech Graduates have 100 percent job placement. They continually exceed Board expectations, and win awards even in competition with 4-year universities programs.

Thank you Vice Mayor Parlier for taking the time to participate, thank you Mayor Goh for the proclamation, and Jacelyn Hill, Carla Gard, and Nancy Perkins for all of your hard work on our Rad Tech program.

Distinguished Speaker Jason Beardsley

Beardsley at the podium.

On Thursday, November 7th, former Master Sergeant, Jason Beardsley, presented his “An Apotheosis of America” as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series in the Levan Center. He discussed the importance of recognizing the everyday challenges and influences that hinder our growth for success and overcoming them in order to achieve our goals. 

Beardsley used the challenges and issues in his life to demonstrate the importance of recognizing and overcoming obstacles in order to reach our goals. We decide whether we succumb to the pressures of society preventing us from achieving our goals, or whether we overcome the challenges to further our goals. He pointed out the importance of understanding yourself in order to identify your ideals and goals. What are the goals that will shape who you are and determine your achievements? 

Thank you Jason Beardsley, for your inspiring words. I would also like to thank Reggie Williams of the Levan Center, Paul Beckworth and Veterans Services, and Nicky Damania and the Office of Student Life for bringing this speaker as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series.

HBCU Caravan Comes to Bakersfield College

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Transfer Caravan stopped by BC on Monday, November 4th, during their tour of California.  There were 19 HBCUs on-hand working with our students and students from our local community to talk about the transfer opportunities outside the State and the guaranteed admission for California Community College students to the HBCUs.  Students who complete an AA-T or an AS-T with a 2.5 GPA are guaranteed admission to the HBCU partner colleges. Representatives also provided students with information about scholarships available to students showing that it is possible to afford a baccalaureate degree.  

This event was made possible by the joint collaboration between the Office of Outreach and School Relations, the Transfer Center, African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP), Umoja, and the Office of Student Success and Equity.

BC Umoja students gain motivation at the Umoja state-wide conference

 The Umoja Community state-wide conference in Oakland was motivating, eye-opening, and engaging for BC’s Umoja students. The annual event, held each fall, exposes students to ideas and people that they otherwise might never would have had the opportunity to. 

Student with Paula in front of the Umoja sign.

One of our students Zions stated: “My experience at the Umoja Conference was one of the greatest events I’ve been a part of. . . Before the conference, I felt mentally asleep, but now I feel woke and motivated to reach my full potential.”

BC’s Umoja Community African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence is in its fifth year.

Group of students and representatives at a table.

The conference was so effective in part due to powerful keynote speakers, such as activist Bree Newsome Bass and Professor/Author/Speaker Dr. Marc Lamont Hill. Workshops included topics such as Student Leadership, Learn Math Through Hip Hop, and Pursuing a Career in STEM. 

Students at a table in front of a large full room.

The speakers “really inspired me to do better and influence others to follow the same path,” said Tyler.

BC Students with Paula in front of the Umoja Conference sign.

Lauren echoed his thoughts: “I was moved to tears throughout both speeches. I feel pushed to strive for greatness.”

speaker at the conference.

The warm, loving environment was another aspect that students described as never having experienced on such a large scale.

Students holding lots of information pamphlets.

Said Tahnjanique: “I’ve never been around that much positive black energy. It made me feel comfortable, loved, and empowered.”

Students speaking to a rep from Bowie.

All of the 70 Umoja programs around the state have the same foundation – the Umoja practices.  Love is at the center of everything Umoja does at the state-wide level and on BC’s campus. Students respond to the love, high expectations, and culturally relevant curriculum — and succeed!

Students with rep holding a CSUB B.

BC Students Tour Measure J Construction

Earlier this week, Professor Kenneth Jones Intro to Construction class visited our Measure J construction site to experience it directly.  AECOM/Parsons project manager Jared Cascadden spoke to students about what goes into building a facility, as they were able to get a first-hand look at the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center. Thank you to AECOM/Parsons and S.C. Anderson for hosting our students and showing them how much work goes into these projects.

Child Development Center: A Phenomenal Evaluation

On November 5th, a team of consultants from the California Department of Education Early Learning and Care Division arrived at Bakersfield College to evaluate our Child Development Center. In KCCD, the child development centers at Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso College, and Porterville College are evaluated as a single agency. On the first day of the evaluation, the consultants were greeted by John Means, Vice Chancellor of Education Services, Jessica Krall, the Program Manager of the Cerro Coso Community College Child Development Centers, Karen Ball, the Program Manager of Porterville College Child Development Center, and Bakersfield College’s Vice President of Instruction Billie Jo Rice and Dean Jessica Wojtysiak

Panel members and BC administrators.

The state evaluates Child Development Centers every three years. During their visit, the evaluators reviewed enrollment and financial files from all three colleges and conducted classroom observations at the Bakersfield College and Porterville College Centers, scoring them in categories such as Space and Furnishings, Personal Care Routines, Language and Reasoning, Activities, Interactions, and Program Structures.

Administrators and visiting panel.

While the evaluators were originally scheduled to stay for four days, we were informed that they were ready to share their findings on Thursday, ahead of schedule. In the exit meeting, lead Child Development Consultant Roseanne Pitz, called the final report “phenomenal.” The report noted no negative findings, and the Child Development Centers received three perfect scores on the Infant-Toddler Environment Rating (ITERS) Scale in Listening and Talking, Interactions, and Program Structure and two perfect scores on the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-R) in Interactions and Program Structure.  The Bakersfield College Child Development Center provides quality childcare for the children of Bakersfield College students, and we are delighted that the hard work of our center’s employees was recognized by the state’s team.

Faculty Art Exhibition

The Bakersfield College Art Department is hosting the 2019 BC Art Faculty Exhibition from October 24 to November 27 at the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery, which showcases the artistic work of our incredibly talented BC Art Faculty. The Art Faculty Exhibition presents a variety of artistic mediums, including drawings, paintings, sculptures, photography, video, and digital media. 

BC Art Professor, Jamee Eaton, presents her works “Loss & Remembrance I, II, & III.”  These three pieces depict an overlap of layers signifying our journeys that intertwine and connect together as a whole in space and time.

Abstract painting of an artist.

BC Art Professor, Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio, presents his work “El Triste Pintor,” which translates to “The Sad Painter.”  This piece of art depicts the misunderstood realm of imagination and his dedication to the world of art as an artist.

BC Art Professor, Yvonne Cavanagh, presents her work “Perceptible,” depicting the expression of the moment one’s life changes from unforeseen circumstances to finding the hope and ability to embrace the unknown.

Perceptible by Cavanagh.

Here are a few more to entice you to the exhibit before the 27th.

If you can’t get to the Exhibit, you can view some pictures of the wonderful artwork.

Thank you to the BC Art Department for hosting the Art Faculty Exhibition. This awe-inspiring artwork will surely inspire our future BC artists and community.

Gandhi’s Legacy Speech

Large crowd behind the Bakersfield College Delano Campus sign.

The first weekend in November the BC Department of Communication coordinated with Gandhi Celebration Committee, CHAP, Rural Initiatives and Student Affairs to host a series of Speech and Debate events that discussed the legacy of Gandhi. The event organizers Chris Cruz-Boone and John Geirtz created these events to give all students an opportunity to practice and apply methods and skills studied in courses, such as public speaking, persuasion, small group, intercultural communication & argumentation. The department has aimed to embody the “We Are BC” mantra and it is notable that competitors for the two events included students from: Kern Valley State Prison, Early College Arvin, Early College Valley Oaks/Homeschool, Job Spot, BC Delano, BC Southwest and BC Panorama. 

Kern Valley Prison Lincoln Douglas Debate Tournament  
7 participants lined up in front of the crowd.

On Friday, the first day of November, men at Kern Valley State Prison took part in a Lincoln Douglas debate tournament.  The event was held in yard B, the same yard that in August of 2019 graduated 17 students with Associate of Arts in Communication.  The event was spearheaded by the student Debate Club at Kern Valley and supported by both yard staff and faculty advisor John Giertz. The tournament champion was honored with a first-place certificate to mark his achievement.

Gandhi Legacy Speech Tournament  

Walking through the applauding crowd.
Chris Cruz-Boone

The following day, the BC Gandhi Legacy Speech Tournament awarded cash prizes of $500 to top speakers in each event category. On Saturday November 2nd, more than one-hundred people including students, their families, faculty and volunteers participated in speech tournament held at the BC Delano campus. The event coordinators provided free transportation for 46 Bakersfield College students to the event. The winners for the Speech Tournament included:  

 Awards for Persuasive Research Speeches About Gandhi’s Legacy   
  • 1st Place – Karen Fuentes (BC Panorama) 
  • 2nd Place – Karolina Kuntz (BC Panorama) 
  • 3rd Place- Abi Kyles (Early College Homeschool) 
3 students accept their awards from Helen.
 Awards for Informative Research Speeches About Gandhi’s Legacy    
  • 1st Place- Cristian Ocampo (BC Panorama) 
  • 2nd Place- Mike Aldano (BC Panorama) 
  • 3rd Place- Marisabel Perez (Arvin High School Early College) 
4 participants applaud Helen.
Awards for Impromptu/ Spontaneous Speeches about Gandhi  
  • 1st Place – Julio Moreno (BC Panorama) 
  • 2nd Place- Eduarda Angeles (Arvin High School Early College) 
  • 3rd Place – Anastasia Bryand (Early College Homeschool) 

“People should take the opportunity to come to these events because it helps you get a broader view on how to speak.” – BC student

 PEN America

Courtesy of PEN America

The non-profit organization PEN America awarded BC adjunct professor Jerry Mathes with a Writing for Justice Fellowship to work on his novel In Strange Company. Mathes will be working with editor Kerri Arsenault of the National Book Critics Circle to develop In Strange Company, which tells the story of a young man who rises above incarceration, mental illness and addiction to find humanity through music.

PEN International is a worldwide organization that aims to defend and celebrate free expression through the advancement of literature and human rights. Some famous past and present members of PEN America include Maya Angelou, Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer, Phillip Roth, Salman Rushdie, John Steinbeck, and Toni Morrison. The organization also advocates for press freedom and the safety of journalists and campus free speech.

The Writing for Justice Fellowship is in its second year, and the fellows for 2019-20 were invited to New York City on November 1 to hear the 2018-19 winners read from their published works. It is a profound honor to have one of BC’s own adjunct faculty selected for this award.

In Memory of Peggy Haight

Margaret Haight as a young woman in BW photo.

Another memorial bench was placed on campus this week for Peggy Haight. Margaret “Peggy” Haight, one of Bakersfield College’s most generous donors, passed away a year ago on October 21, 2018.  On the anniversary of her passing, a bench in her memory was unveiled outside the Administration Building.  

The wording on the memorial plaque reads:

Close up of plaque.

In loving memory of

Margaret “Peggy” Haight

1924 to 2018

A nearby neighbor of modest demeanor, Peggy attended classes and campus events.  She donated more than $1.25 million to the Bakersfield College Foundation because she loved Bakersfield College and its students.

Peggy was smart, light-hearted and epitomized true generosity.

While Peggy always kept a low profile and never wanted recognition for her contributions, she is perhaps best known by a select group of faculty and staff as the elderly woman who walked across campus to the BC Foundation office from her near-by co-op, carrying over $100,000 in cash in a couple of grocery bags.  The world needs more Peggy Haights. 

Metal bench with pebbled sides and BC emblems.

Fun Photos


Corny Rodriguez snapped these of the construction on campus this week.

BC students in the workplace

Sheila Fuller sent this to me: I had an x-ray done at San Joaquin Hospital and had the pleasure of a BC RAD Tech Student learning how to take x-rays.  Then, on October 2, 2019 I was hanging out at Memorial hospital. My daughter had a baby girl who had some problems and had to stay in the NIC unit. My granddaughter is doing great and at home with her older brother, Mom and Dad.  While wandering around the hospital I ran into our Nursing students and they were all happy to take pictures with me. 

Students in red scrubs pose.

Athletics Updates

Renegade Volleyball Claims Fourth Consecutive Conference Championship

A huge congrats goes out to Coach Carl Ferreira and his 2019 squad for claiming their fourth consecutive outright Western State Conference championship after beating West LA at home this last Wednesday, 3-0. The team has a perfect home record of 10-0 this season with a total of 16 sweeps with one regular season game remaining on their schedule. This is a phenomenal accomplishment Coach Carl! 

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (10/27-11/2) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Bandon Dunn and Emily Clark.

Emily Clark, Volleyball – Emily totaled 18 kills, 0 errors and 37 attempts in helping the team to sweeps over Santa Monica, Glendale and Citrus last week.

Brandon Dunn, Football – Brandon grabbed two interceptions, his first as a Renegade in last week’s game at East LA.

Renegade Report: Women’s Soccer and Women’s Golf

Watch both of this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Women’s Soccer and Women’s Golf teams. Head Coaches Scott Dameron and Wes Coble sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss their seasons 

 Women’s Soccer Segment:

Women’s Golf Segment

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week:

Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Tue. 11/12 – Men’s Soccer vs. Citrus, 3pm
  • Thur. 11/14 – Wrestling vs. Fresno City, 7pm
  • Sat. 11/16 Football vs. Canyons, 6pm

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

So much Diversity and We are BC

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, May 21st…and another wonderful day to be a Renegade.

The weeks leading up to graduation I kept telling everyone, just wait till after May 13th and I am going to have plenty of time.  Well “after May 13th” came, and went ….wow …it was one crazy week.

I, and others at BC, had a number of speaking engagements that gave me the opportunity to get connected or reconnected with some wonderful Bakersfield organizations: the Boys and Girls Club, Bakersfield City School District Foundation (thank you Dee Slade), The Boy Scouts annual dinner at Tejon, and the Dong Hae Lions Club.

This morning, BC hosted the first class for the Energy Academy, a project of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Chevron.

Energy Academy May 21 2016

This is the second year of the program and is being facilitated by Lauren Skidmore, Director of Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government whose mission is to promote economic, fiscal, and public policies that keep Kern County on a sustainable path to prosperity.  For more see www.kerncitizens.org.  The Academy has a great list of speakers that include Richard Chapman, CEO KEDC; Christina Sistrunk, CEO Aera; Robin Fleming, Chevron and many others.  The Academy will end with a tour of the San Joaquin Refinery and the Mt. Poso Biomass Cogeneration Plant.  The students are BC students many of whom are from our MESA program.  Thank you Jay Tamsi and Adam Alvidrez and BC’s Lisa Kent for making this happen.

Honor’s Celebration

On May 6, 2016, in the BC gym, the Honor’s Celebration was held to recognize student’s scholarships and achievements. Each year, businesses, organizations, individuals in the community, and the Bakersfield College Foundation, sponsor students to go out and achieve their dreams.Recipients and their families lined up outside the doors, eagerly waiting for the program to start. Once inside the doors participants found their name tags and sampled the refreshments. It was so nice to hear a reflection speech from outgoing BCSGA President Clayton Fowler.

Roberta Ayala Sonya Christian May 2016

Sonya Christian, Roberta Ayala

Many students were singled out and introduced by BC professor’s to highlight their particular scholarships, GPA achievements, and future education goals.

A quick shout out to Roberta Ayala, Financial Aid Tech, with whom I had the pleasure of working the check-in table to expedite the long line of students.  It was also a treat to sit by Michael O’Doherty, chair of the BC Foundation and a big supporter of the college.

Thank you Tom Gelder for making this happen.


Delano Campus Pre-Commencement Celebration

“Magtiis ka muna”

“All your sacrifice will be worth it”

Emmanuel Espanola recalled how his family encouraged him with these words when his studies interfered with his attendance at family functions during his brief acceptance speech at the BC Delano Campus Pre-Commencement Celebration hosted on Friday, May 13.



This theme—loving and supportive faculty, friends, and family as being vital to success—was echoed by fellow graduates who each took a couple of minutes to address attendees. I am continuously impressed by students’ deep appreciation.

This is Delano campus’s second pre-commencement ceremony, and it was a success. The complementary luncheon catered by Janitzio was plentiful and delicious; the Delano High School drum line rousingly entertained the crowd before the formal ceremony; keynote speaker Danny Ordiz shared experiences from his life and offered practical advice for the new graduates; student guest speaker Yanelie Ponce spoke convincingly of the transformative effect that her involvement with other students and with WECOMM, a communication and service organization, have had upon her life. Program Manager Raquel Lopez offered inspiring opening and closing remarks.  Many proud students gathered after the ceremony for a group picture. The cameraman prodded, “Smile!” After the many years of hard work, that was the easy part.

Lost Hills Article

Lynda Resnick Sonya Christian Jan 2015

Sonya Christian, Lynda Resnick Jan 2015

On Tuesday morning, Trustee Agbalog sent me an article by David Brooks in the New York Times.  Those of you who know me know that I am a fan of Brooks.  This particular piece, One Neighborhood at a Time, calls for recognition to the wonderful things happening in the close by community of Lost Hills, CA.  Brooks says that, “we’re beginning to see the rise of intentional community instigators” on the heels of a statement that generally says, social isolation is…. well, scary.

He states that social isolation is a catalyst for trends like rising suicide rates, drug addiction, inequality, and depression, among many other things. To put this simply, people need other people – which brings us to what’s going on in the small nearby community of Lost Hills.

“In Lost Hills there are new health centers, new pre-K facilities, new housing projects, new gardens, new sidewalks and lights, a new community center and a new soccer field. Through the day, people have more places to meet, play and cooperate with their neighbors.”

These improvements are all because of the philanthropic efforts of Lynda Resnick, owner of The Wonderful Company, whose efforts are not going unnoticed. I encourage you to read the article in its entirety, located at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/17/opinion/one-neighborhood-at-a-time.html

Black Graduates Recognition Ceremony

Tamika Payne and daughterOn May 10th, the Black Graduates Recognition Ceremony was held in the Indoor Theater.  It was a fabulous event with students and families celebrating education.

Manny de Los Santos has put together this overview of the event in a very Manny style.  I love the singing voice of our student  Austyn Williams in the background. Check it out at https://youtu.be/uX4SVBOo9hI.

Gwendolyn Turner the student speaker was phenomenal.  She started in 1980, graduating in 2016. A Theater Arts major and veteran, she overcame many obstacles. BC improved over the years she said. They knew they had to do better to be better. She gave a special thanks to Paul Beckworth, Joyce Kirst and Kimberly Chin. All went the extra mile to be supportive.

Dr. Oscar Anthony was the keynote and was inspiring in his remarks.  Pastor Anthony is someone who says it as he sees it.  He is a former former Renegade who graduated in 1974 after coming back from the service. He is a good friend of Bakersfield College.  He said: We are turning a chapter in your book. Be the best you can be and better than everyone else. God has a plan for you. Follow your passion.

Paula Parks emceed the event with the consistent message ……you didn’t come this far, just to come this far.

We also have a photo gallery at

Latino Celebration

ChicanoGroup1Drum roll! Here comes the twenty-second Latino Celebration on Thursday, May 5, 2016! Guests not only enjoyed receiving their awards, but also seeing the festive and colorful entertainment. The car show, mariachi band and cultural dance performances kicked the event off to a great start. Despite a thunderstorm, which darkened the gym for a short few seconds, the ceremony began.


Dolores Huerta (photo by Cara Jackson)

Key Speaker Dolores Huerta, one of the leaders in founding the National Farm Worker’s Association, congratulated the students on their achievements so far and encouraged all “to pursue a passion each person loves.” She in turn said that she quit teaching grammar school after she “couldn’t stand seeing kids come to class hungry and needing shoes,” and thought she “could do more by organizing farm workers than by trying to teach their hungry children.” She said that she pursues her passion of changing laws and standing up for the rights of her people and that everyone should pursue their dream.

The crowd responded to her speech with applause and then the students were invited to step up on stage to receive their diploma. Everyone had the opportunity to voice their appreciation to family and teachers for helping make their goals a reality.

I want to thank Victor Diaz, Lisa Kent, Vanessa Bell, Jo Ann Acosta, Isabel Castaneda and Corny Rodriguez for all their efforts in organizing such a great event to celebrate our students.

Check out our 4:49-minute overview video at

Also, I briefly introduced this event in a previous blog. http://tinyurl.com/heu6mmk


Photo by Cara Jackson


Radiologic Technology Certification & Pinning Ceremony

On May 12, in BC’s Indoor Theatre, family and friends gathered to watch the

graduates of the Radiologic Technology program walk up on stage with their heads high and faces beaming as they accepted awards and certificates.

Kathy was honored for her 26 years of service. She was described by a former student as someone you want to keep in your life.  She was an alumni of the program who always embodied engagement. She was described a collaborator, a mentor and a friend.  I knew Kathy in my previous life at BC as a Math faculty.  I have always loved her big beautiful smile.

These students put many hours of hard work and effort in earning their
certificate. In the beginning, they first attended an orientation, were placed on a 1-to-3
year waitlist, and now have finally completed 2 years of training!
In addition, on average for the first year, in addition to schoolwork, each person works 16 hours a week on-the-job, and the second year, about 24 hours a week!
Radiology technicians help peform general x-rays, CT and MRI scans, radiation
therapy and other diagnostic imaging. One graduate, Gregory Jason McGee stated,
“It is something I always wanted to do because I have a love of people and this will help
find out what is wrong with someone.”
A special feature this year was a song written and performed by LaTierra Rumph that described the graduates’ journey.
 I am so thankful that Cindy Randal from Kern Radiology was able to attend and congratulate each of our deserving, hard-working graduates.  Nancy Perkins, you do a phenomenal job directing this excellent program.
Also, thank you to Cara Jackson for taking great photos of the event!


Thursday night’s (May 19th) African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP) end-of-the-year celebration was a festive evening acknowledging student achievement and recognizing those who lent support. Students Darlene Williams and Mariah Bagsby spoke about their growth as writers and researchers as well as how much they depended on the ASTEP community of faculty, students, and mentors to make it through their coursework. The evening was full of creativity, humor, and love – expressed through words, poetry, song, and ritual.

The first year of ASTEP includes two English courses (53 and 1a) and two student development courses (2 and 6) – all offered with an African-American focus. Students also studied together, enjoyed cultural and academic trips, met with their mentors, and attended community events.

ASTEP2 continues the support and includes a 1-unit class with readings and community involvement.  Paula Parks is our lead faculty for this program and does a phenomenal job.

Check out my blog post on Paula Parks receiving the Alpha Alpha Phi award: http://tinyurl.com/jm2fgjw


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Physical Science Student Recognition Dinner


Photo by Cara Jackson

Also on May 12th, in the Fireside Room a dinner was provided by MESA and was held in honor of students who were recognized for their outstanding work and effort in Physical Science.

Many of our faulty had the chance to speak about how diligent students were and why they deserved to be honored at the dinner. Overall, students
enjoyed an elegant dinner, while celebrating their accomplishments for the year.
MESA Program


Photo by Cara Jackson

The 12th Annual Awards Banquet for MESA was held on May 5th in the Renegade Room. The MESA program is dedicated to providing academic support to educationally disadvantaged students so they can pursue higher education.

Students who are enrolled in the program have the goal to graduate with degrees in engineering, science and technology.

The night began with a delicious dinner, followed by humorous speeches given by keynote speakers Skylar Pane, Alex Marquez and Javier Flores.

Skylar Pane, a Software Engineer at Google, highlighted that one thing he wants future students to know is that, “failure is a pre-requisite for success.” He mentioned the reason he has come this far in life is simply because he kept trying and that everyone can achieve their goal if they work hard for it.

Bakersfield City School District Foundation meeting

BCSD Ed Foundation Board Presentation May 16 2016Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” and the hard working people at the BCSD Education Foundation are doing the groundwork to see this positive change through.

Bakersfield City School District’s vision is to create a collaborative and supportive learning community that ensures all students are inspired to achieve academic excellence and become life-long learners and productive citizens.  I had the delightful opportunity on Monday to present our BC Facility Needs to the BCSD Foundation and was overwhelmed by the positive response. Thank you Dee Slade for opening up the door for BC.  You are such a powerhouse and you just make things happen.

Delano High School District–a great partner.

Sonya Christian Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg Terri Nuckol May 16 2016Have I mentioned recently that I love BC’s campus at Delano….I love the Delano community.  This is a community of passinate people who are willing to do what it takes to make their community better.  Dr. Terri Nuckols, Superintendent of the Delano High School District is one such individual. Terri visited our campus this week to discuss the planning for dual enrollment at Delano High Schools. Thank you Terri.  You are a fabulous partner of Bakersfield College

Check out my previous post on the Delano Prayer Breakfast http://tinyurl.com/heu6mmk


WESTEC Partnership

Corny Sonya Bill Rector May 18 2016

Corny Rodriguez, Sonya Christian, Bill Rector

I had the opportunity to spend Wednesday afternoon speaking with previous Bakersfield Police Chief, Bill Rector, who now serves as the executive director at WESTEC. This fantastic program works together, with BC and Taft College, to provide specialized training for those interested in certain careers.

These programs are giving our students the necessary skills to succeed in an ever changing and evolving workplace. Some of the training areas are as follows: oilfield/agricultural safety, general industrial safety, corrections/law enforcement training, court report writing classes and a program that prepares people for general industry jobs. For more about WESTEC and their program offerings, visit www.westec.org.

American Lung Association Luncheon

Recently BC was a sponsor of the American Lung Association Luncheon.  BC Nursing students were present taking blood pressure and basic vital signs.  We received a lot of positive feedback about their presence at the luncheon. Everyone loved them! Thank you Pearl Urena for making this happen.  Pearl is the educational advisor for BC’s Pre-Law Program.  You may enjoy my April 30th blog that included our Pre-Law program at http://tinyurl.com/gldggc5



Korean Cultural Club:

Thank you Andrew Bond, first year English faculty in starting a Korean Cultural Club. Here is a picture of them at the end of the semester celebration at Tofu House.

Korean Cultural Club May 2016.jpg

So much diversity….and We Are BC!  

Our community partners and CTE programs

Jess Nieto and Sonya Christian Jan 9 2016

Sonya Christian with Jess Nieto Jan 9, 2016

I got back home late on Friday (Jan 8th) night after spending almost an entire week in Sacramento at the Accreditation Commission meeting.  Was happy to wake up in my own bed and start the day slowly and quietly with a cup of coffee and a bagel and this blog post.  Headed out to my usual 9:30 a.m. exercise class on Saturday morning and when I stepped out for a drink of water, I heard someone call out to me….I turned to see Jess Nieto, one of many community members who care so much for this community.  It was wonderful hearing Mr. Nieto talk about his work in Bakersfield as well as Bakersfield College.  He spoke with enthusiasm about how he believed that the leaders in our community should be invited to mentor our students.  He also spoke very highly of John Collins, former president of Bakersfield College.  And I completely agree with him on both counts.

Michael Carley

Michael Carley with Kati Haycock April 3 2014.

Michael Carley, our Institutional Researcher from Porterville College sent me this link to the Californian’s story about the passing of a great Renegade, Red Simpson who pioneered the Bakersfield Sound http://tinyurl.com/huq56op.  Thank you Michael for sending this my way.  I did tweet the link and thought I would include it in my blog as well.  Your email caused me to youtube some old country music songs which my grandpa Arthur used to play when I was growing up.  

Today, I also came across this great poster of Amgen that our local community brought to Bakersfield. For those of you who may not be familiar with Amgen Tour of California, this is an international  professional cycling race started in California in 2006.

Jay Rosenlieb worked with a team that brought Amgen to Bakersfield in 2010 and again in 2012.  Kerry Ryan, owner of Action Sports, was part of the core group that made this event possible.  At the Board of Trustees meeting that Rosenlieb and Ryan attended, Jay described Kerry as being key to pulling off the event– “Without his knowledge of professional cycling and connections to the local cycling community, this event would not have been possible.”  The third member of the core team was Jim Cordle, a CPA, who acted as the business manager. It was a great team and during the years that they were in operation they were able to grant about $70,000 back to the community and BC was a recipient of their generosity. Jay, could BC partner with you and your team again to bring this magical moment back to Bakersfield?

Talking about the community and partnerships, what comes to mind are the Career Technical Education (CTE) programs at BC.  Each and every CTE program has an advisory committee comprised of individuals from business and industry.  Let me share with you some pieces of information that I received from Cindy Collier and Liz Rozell.

DSC00065Not long ago we were happy to welcome to campus members of the Central/Mother Lode Regional Consortium and our area Deputy Sector Navigators (DSN), both to see our Career Technical Education (CTE) coursework firsthand, as well as to talk with us about how that training can better serve the employment demands of regional industries.

The Central/Mother Lode Regional Consortium (CRC) is a collaboration of community college faculty and staff with regional workforce and economic development organizations that serve the Central and Mother Lode region. The CRC supports regional economic growth by facilitating development of college training and educational programs to meet the needs of regional businesses and industries.

Deputy Sector Navigators convene advisory groups in each of the region’s primary industry sectors; provide outreach and partnership support to the community colleges; facilitate the endorsement of new credit Career Technical Education programs; and serve as a connection between local colleges and business.

DSC00075Obviously, their input not only channels valuable communication between colleges like BC and the area’s largest job providers, but more importantly, it makes sure our CTE programs are helping students become as employable as possible the minute they graduate with their degree.

It was a large group of dedicated individuals, including Karri Hammerstrom, Regional Chair; Nora Seronello, Center of Excellence – Central Valley region; Valerie Fisher (Health); Lorinda Forrest (Small Business); Shelley Attix (Retail/Hospitality); Jeanette Benson (Global trade and logistics); Dennis Mohle (ICT/Digital Media); Gurminder Sangha (Advanced Manufacturing); Bob Hawkes (Regional SB 1070 Director); and David Teasdale (Prop. 39 Dir., Energy and Efficiency).

After introductions, our BC CTE representatives talked about their programs and courses, highlighting changes they’ve made to curriculum in response to industry needs and labor market changes, including new digital media, commercial music, automotive, public health sciences, paramedic and baccalaureate programs.  They also highlighted the collaborative work going on with the CCPT1/CCPT2 and C6 grants and the growth in Kern County’s rural communities, especially highlighted in the ongoing growth and development of BC’s welding, agriculture and health programs.

In addition, job development specialist Stephanie Baltazar and faculty shared information regarding all the varied internships, job placement programs, career connection events and “soft” skills (resume development, interview techniques, etc.) that they are providing students.

BC’s Health Care group highlighted their phenomenal employment rates of 95% or greater.

Meanwhile, auto and welding faculty shared that most of their students had jobs before they completed the programs.

IMG_9372Right now, the Bakersfield College Automotive Technology program provides a wide range of training for automotive technicians with an average of 250 students each year participating in the program. Through the guidance and feedback of an active Automotive Advisory Committee, the program serves the community well by responding to the increasing needs of industries in Kern County.

The newest Automotive Technology faculty member Andrew Haney gave the visiting CRC group a guided tour of Vic Posey’s engine repair and machining, electrical, and smog testing labs. Andrew and Vic, along with their colleagues Dan Johnson and Justin Flint, showed how they provide a dynamic, hands-on learning environment preparing students for employment as automotive technicians, smog test technicians, engine repair technicians, engine machinists, transmission repair technicians, alignment specialists, suspension specialists, brake system specialists, tire service technicians, air conditioning technicians, electrical diagnostic specialists, onsite/field repair technicians, heavy duty equipment technicians, service writers and consultants, parts sales persons and more.

We’re so proud of BC’s automotive program, a true standout among such programs in the state and a shining positive example of the college’s commitment to student success.  The auto dealerships in Bakersfield have been just wonderful in supporting our program.  Thank you!

As for BC’s welding program, it’s strategically designed to easily adapt to the economic fluctuations of local industry and increased student support needs.  Student success is enhanced with online instruction, embedded remedial skills, innovative technology, and engaged faculty, who continuously seek improvement via professional development.

Welding faculty member Josh Ralls provided an excellent overview of the program to our visiting DSNs, briefly describing the stackable organization of the curriculum.  In 2014-2015, the welding program experienced a 9% growth increase to 364 students.  This was primarily due to an expansion of the program to the Delano campus, facilitated by Professor Mike Komin in partnership with the Delano Joint Union High School District.  Additional growth is expected through faculty participation in the California Career Pathways Trust grant initiative to develop a successful dual enrollment program with our local and rural high schools.


IMG_9678We also can’t forget Electronics Technology, one of the fastest growing programs in the Engineering and Industrial Technology Department.  Currently, ET is at an incredible 32% growth in headcount during the last academic year.

The Electronics Technology program at Bakersfield College provides electronics training for a wide variety of technicians, including automation, instrumentation, consumer electronics, radio/telecommunications, installation and electronic systems fabrication.  In addition, Electronics Technology is the lower division feeder program to Bakersfield College’s new Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Automation, to begin in Fall 2016.

DSN guests were given a tour of the Computer Integrated Manufacturing lab, where they learned more about BC’s innovative industrial automation program of study within the Electronics Technology program. Electronics faculty member Manny Fernandez provided an overview of this rigorous and technically challenging program and related employment opportunities within the various industry sectors utilizing industrial automation and electronics preparation.

These are just some of the highlights from the DSN visit, which also included presentations from other notable BC programs, including FACE (Leah Carter and Corny Rodriguez), Culinary (Suzanne Durst and Alex Gomez), Child Development (Danell Ward, Jo’L Jackson and Bernadette Towns), Agriculture (Lindsay Ono and Corny Rodriguez), Horticulture (Lindsay Ono), Plant Science, Performing Arts (John Gerhold and Manny Mourtzanos), Commercial Music (Josh Ottum), Digital Art (Kris Stallworth and David Koeth), Nursing/Allied Health (Jennifer Johnson) and Rad Tech (Nancy Perkins).

A big thank you to our gracious DSN’s, to the wonderful CTE faculty members who took the time to present their stellar educational work and to Cindy Collier and Liz Rozell for the exceptional information they provided to me on  a wonderful visit and invaluable day.

Check out my Nov 30, 2013 blog on Allied Health and CTE Dean Cindy Collier:


Also check out my April 29, 2014 blog on Liz Rozell, Dean, Engineering and Industrial Technology which includes our new baccalaureate program in Industrial Automation:



Jason Haffner Wins RadTech Challenge

Jason and Nancy

Jason Haffner and Nancy Perkins, Director, Radiologic Technology Program

More good student news! Nancy Perkins, director of Bakersfield College’s Radiologic Technology program, emailed about Jason Haffner, who has done what no Bakersfield College student has done before: placed first in the Student Challenge at the Annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Educators in Radiologic Technology. Nancy, tell us about it:

I am very pleased to announce that Jason Haffner, a sophomore student in the Associate in Science Radiologic Technology Program at Bakersfield College was the 1st place winner of the Student Challenge at the 39th Annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Educators in Radiologic Technology (ACERT).

ACERT is an educational organization dedicated to improving the quality of education at the collegiate level in radiologic technology. ACERT held its annual meeting on February 5-7, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The annual meeting provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information related to collegiate radiologic science education and health professions. As part of each annual meeting ACERT holds a Student Challenge which is a planned sample mock registry exam to prepare students for the licensure certification exam for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT). This year there were 387 students in attendance representing 43 community colleges and universities from across the United States. Nine radiologic technology second-year students and four faculty members represented Bakersfield College at the conference.

Jason was awarded a certificate of recognition as well as a monetary award for his superb efforts in the student challenge! Well done Jason! He began the Radiologic Technology Program in June 2012 and is scheduled to graduate in May 2014 with his Associate in Science Degree. Jason has excelled both academically in his program courses as well as learning and practicing the profession during his clinical education courses. Jason has applied himself to his academic preparation and in each course and comes well prepared by his studious attention to detail and learning the “right way” to work with patients effectively, compassionately and competently. Jason has been part of the cohort of radiography students participating in the Central California Community Colleges Committed to Change (C6) consortium grant that enhances student success through effective changes in teaching and learning within the radiography program. Following graduation, Jason will be taking his ARRT licensure examination and will be seeking employment within Kern County. His future plans include pursuing education in either computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Jason has also been dedicated to Bakersfield College with the BC archives project. Jason first worked with the archives project beginning in January 2009 as a student worker. He has since been promoted to the position of archives assistant helping our college celebrate and record the wonderful achievements of our 100 year-old institution.