Tag Archives: Neo

Precious Lives and Developing Dreams at Bakersfield College

Good morning Bakersfield. 

It is Saturday, June 23, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade.

June 22 2018 Sonya Christian with Neo

Sonya Christian and Neo in Marina Del Rey

 

This last week, I found my mind drifting to the passing of two celebrities, Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade and the difficult and tragic circumstances that led to their passing.

 

The world has infinite beauty, but there are millions who struggle with darkness and unable to see the world around them. Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain that can block out life’s joys, both large and small. Those afflicted can believe they don’t deserve the things that make them happy, or believe that others cannot understand their struggles.

Anthony Bourdain brought an unpretentious, engaging and culturally respectful perspective on the world’s food and people to American television viewers. Kate Spade revolutionized New York fashion in the 1990s with her line of functional, yet sophisticated handbags. These individuals were two of the most admired professionals in their respective fields, yet each of them decided to take their own life after a lifetime battle with depression.

Plumeria Tree

Someone close who passed last January after a brief bout with flu and pneumonia had an email signature that says it well: “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”

It’s an important reminder to be kind and supportive, and even more so when we do recognize that someone might be suffering from depression. If you suffer from depression, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline has volunteers in Bakersfield working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help. Call 1-800-273-8255 to get confidential support today. If talking on the phone makes you uncomfortable, you can text HOME to 741741 to access the Crisis Text Line. Every life is precious, and there is someone who cares and is willing to help.

Today, Pope Francis tweeted

Pope Francis Tweet June 23 2018

And then there is music…..

William Congreve an English playwright and poet begins The Mourning Bride in 1967 with the quote

Music has charm to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or to bend a knotted oak

I invite you to three incredible music events at Bakersfield College.

June 26, 2018 (Tuesday) at 7:00 p.m. — The US Airforce Band of the Golden West will be performing at Bakersfield College once again.  Seeing this extremely talented band is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we’d love everyone in the community to be a part of it.  Tue, 06/26/2018 – 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.  Location: Edward Simonsen Performing Arts Center (Indoor Theater)

USAF Band-8

Bon Voyage Concert June 30 2018June 30, 2018 — Bon Voyage Concert with BC Chamber Singers, Dr. Jennifer Garrett, Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger.  Please come out to the Bon Voyage Concert on June 30 in the Indoor Theater. The concert begins at 4:00 p.m. and doors will open at 3:30 p.m. You do not need to get tickets in advance as this is a donation only show. The concert will feature the music they will perform in Cairns and will also have special guests, Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger.

 

July 20, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at the Memorial Stadium —  4th Annual Resound Drum Corps Competition

The Bakersfield College Golden Empire Drum & Bugle Corps presents the 4th Annual “Resound” Drum Corps International (DCI) contest! The competition will take place Friday, July 20th at 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium on the Bakersfield College campus.

Get your tickets now! Costs are $20 for premium seating, $15 for general admission, and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased at Vallitix.

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Child Development Center Outdoor Classroom

On Wednesday, the Child Development Center unveiled their brand-new playground to the public, and the children in the program got the chance to play in it for the first time.

The playground was funded by the Head Start program of the Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) for our two-year Early Head Start classrooms. The new facility will function as an outdoor classroom that allows the toddlers to directly engage with their learning. Six of our teachers and associate teachers have completed the first level of outdoor classroom training, with a second level of outdoor classroom workshops planned for the next few weeks.

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“Young children learn through direct first-hand experience using all of their five senses,” Child Development Center Director Sue Vaughn said in announcing the new playground.

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Liz Rozell, Vice President of Instruction thanked CAPK for funding the playground, and all of our staff who played a part in making outdoor learning a possibility for the children in our Early Head Start classrooms. Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg took a short break from retirement for a ribbon-cutting and to invite children to participate in their new space, which has books and toys, plants the children can water, and musical instruments.

“When people come together for the benefit of children, great things happen,” Nan said.

Yolanda Gonzales, the Director of Head Start and State Child Development for CAPK, thanked the child development staff at Bakersfield College for their dedication to getting children started on the right path to a successful education.

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“This would not be possible without the staff who have made a commitment,” Gonzales said. “It takes a team to achieve the outcomes that are so evident here.”

Thanks to Sue Vaughn and the staff at BC’s Child Development Center, as well as CAPK, for making children’s dreams come true with this new playground. During the celebration, Sue also gave recognition to BC’s Bill Potter and Jim Coggins for all that they contributed to making this project a reality.

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Tony Cordova

STEM Camps at BC with partners Chevron and Project Lead the Way

Joseph Luiz, Henry Barrios and Diana Olivares highlighted our Summer STEM Camps in the Bakersfield Californian on Wednesday, which is providing hands-on experience in STEM for over 100 middle and high school students.

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The Californian highlighted the guitar building and electrical engineering workshops with photos and video, in addition to workshops that have already taken place on 3D printing and mobile app development. Over the coming weeks, students will be attending workshops on architecture and design and automation technology. The classes are offered free of charge with funding from Chevron and Project Lead the Way.

Yadira Guerrero, the Program Manager of Engineering at Bakersfield College, organized the camps and is quoted in the article speaking about her passion for bringing hands-on STEM education to young people. “We’re hoping to inspire students and ignite a love for hands-on learning that maybe they don’t get the chance to do a lot of in school,” she said. “We’re hoping the academy will inspire them to want to go to college.”

I’d like to thank the Bakersfield Californian for featuring our Summer STEM Camps on their Wednesday front page, and I’d like to thank Yadira Guerrero, Chevron and Project Lead the Way for making the camps a reality.  Thank you Adam Alvidrez and Carla Musser of Chevron for supporting Stem education and Bakersfield College.

Don’t forget to check out the media piece created by Joseph and Diana. It’s a #MustSee!

2018 Guitar building STEM students

Wonderful Summer Camps Continue

Last week we shared with you some information and pictures from the first of two Summer Agriculture Camps coordinated by BC Staff and funded by Wonderful Company. These students are exposed to all the exciting things that Bakersfield College has to offer and have the opportunity to connect with industry professionals discovering the many opportunities that exist in our community.

If you remember back to our most recent graduation ceremony, one of the most special things we experienced was the graduation of over 30 Wonderful Prep students with their Associates Degree for Transfer.

Orange County Event Photography

The students for the second camp are recruited from Wonderful Prep Academy in Delano, and, like our recent Wonderful graduates will have the opportunity to enroll in Dual Enrollment courses, allowing them to graduate high school with an Associates degree even before receiving their high school diploma.

A highlight of this week’s activities was researching, designing, and creating the marketing for various products. It all begins with research!

Summer Ag Camp students researching career for final project

And then perfect product development. This part looks tasty. 🙂

Students working on developing a product during ag business session

Then for the creative design and implementation!

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There were also sessions to learn about water pumps and welding. Check out these hands on activities!

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This is a crucial moment for them as many will be starting high school in a year, and the exposure to agriculture and the careers within the industry can open their eyes to fields of study they may not have thought of otherwise. It’s also crucial for their families.

Here are some photos of Wonderful College Prep Academy students presenting to family and friends during the week’s culminating event.

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During the event, we take wellness seriously.  Here are some photos of the physical exercise activities!

Again a shout out to our dedicated staff in charge of making this opportunity happen, starting with Raquel Lopez, Program Manager, who oversees and coordinates the camp with the support of Jaime Lopez, Program Manager. Thanks also to our Lead Agriculture faculty Heather Baltis and Jim Selgrath, with support from, Jesse Oropeza as the lead mentor, Christopher McCraw and his leadership class, as well as the peer mentors. None of this could be possible without the support of our Delano Campus Support Staff and Director, Abel Guzman.

Summer Bridge

Isabel Castaneda and Kimberly Bligh at Bridge HQ June 23 2018

Isabel Castaneda and Kimberly Bligh

Summer Bridge to BC is a fun, intensive freshmen orientation day where students engage with faculty and staff, tour the BC campus with experienced and knowledgeable mentors, and participate in activities that orient them to the freshman experience. They also learn practical skills that enable college success such as effective communication, time management, GRIT, and more. By the end of the day, participants become knowledgeable in campus student/academic services and other resources available for FREE to ultimately clarify and facilitate their Career and Learning Pathway success.

Summer Bridge has educational advisors on call each day from Outreach, Career and Technical Education, Financial Aid, STEM, General Counseling, and more! The Bridge advising team is led by the Title V Grant lead advisor, Isabel Castaneda. Advisors not only carefully pre-screen schedules for each and every student who enrolls in Summer Bridge, they also pair up on the day of each Bridge and work side-by-side with every student along with our outstanding Bridge peer mentors to ensure students leave the same day with the correct courses, locations,  and units for their Learning and Career pathways success. Students also receive one -on-one time with our fabulous Financial Aid staff to make sure their financial aid forms are all in order.

Numerous engaging, hands-on activities and discussions make the day fun and memorable, and provide students opportunities to bond with fellow students, staff, and faculty before classes start for fall! It should be no surprise that our BC Summer Bridge students have higher success and retention rates, PLUS complete more units in their first year, AND are more likely to enroll in college level math and English than students who do not attend this one-of-a -kind Freshmen Orientation Day. There are sections still open in the Summer 2018 schedule. See Academic Development B55.

On August 14th, 5-8 PM, Summer Bridge is hosting a FAMILY Bridge to BC Night that will be a Career and Learning Pathways Open House Showcase and will close with our annual New Student Convocation. The Convocation is a spectacular family and BC Staff celebration that welcomes new students to BC! Watch the BC website for more information about how to sign up for this event soon!

Express Enrollment

The Outreach Department supported and registered 135 students for classes in one day during Tuesday’s express enrollment event. On Tuesday morning, Scott Sheahen of KERO Channel 23 highlighted the event, which handles application, placement and enrollment in one five-hour session. Tuesday’s enrollment also had a special component to get home-schooled students ready for classes at BC.

The next One-Day Express Enrollment event is on July 10th starting at 8 a.m. in the Welcome Center, so if you or someone you know needs help with the enrollment and registration process, then come by and we’ll make you a Renegade in one day!

BC Enrollment Banner (4)

Norma Rojas-Mora

BC welcomed Norma Rojas-Mora to campus as Director of Communications and Community Relations on Monday.

Telemundo invited Norma on air to share about her new role at BC. Norma emphasized her continued commitment to the community through her transition and in the importance of education both on a personal and community level. She spoke about how Bakersfield College is committed to opening its doors and access to the entire community, which can be seen in our rural outreach. Check it out at Telemundo online.

Norma Rojas-Mora

Norma Rojas-Mora

A Better BC Update

Pardon the pun, but we are trucking right along on the parking lot renovations! The parking lot on Mount Vernon and Panorama, and Parking Lot 4 on Mount Vernon and Church Avenue is scheduled to be opened on July 2. Following the opening, renovations will continue on other lots and roads throughout campus.

Starting July 2nd, closures include Red and White Way, Haley St. Entrance and staff/guest parking outside of the Administration building.

Parking-as-of-July-2

As always, please visit the A Better BC website for all construction updates.

 

 

Summer Soccer Camp at BC

 

It’s exciting to watch the World Cup action, and a good reminder of the upcoming Summer Soccer Camps at BC!

The BC Men’s and Women’s soccer programs are hosting a summer soccer camp for boys and girls ages 7-17.  Sessions will run from Monday July 16 through Thursday July 19, 9am-12pm.

The cost is only $145 per participant for the week, and even better, there are group discounts available. To learn more or sign up, contact Scott Dameron at sdameron@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

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Fun Renegade Photos — #Summer2018

BC Team at eLumen Conference

BC Team at eLumen Conference

Craig Hayward’s tweet

Craig Hayward tweet June 21 2018 of Sonya Christian

Tweet at the same conference from Wayne Skipper of Concentric Sky

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Spotted on Facebook.  Coach Casey Goodman being inducted to the 2018 University of Louisiana at Monroe Hall of Fame Class. #GoGades #WeAreBC

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I want to remember to give special thanks to the BC Food Service team. Every day during our BC Summer Camps, and as always(!), they are on it! Thank you Chef Stephanie and crew for such attention to all who come to the Home of the Renegades.

Food Services

A great photo of Grace Commiso’s Rocky on Facebook: While studying looked over and saw Rocky sprawled out on the floor…..How’s your Friday?  Apparently his has been rough. #thelifeofpets.

Grace Commiso's Rocky June 22 2018

 

Neo on the beach in Marina Del Rey #Summer2018

Heather Penella in Utah

Heather Penella June 2018 Utah

Found on Facebook that Paul Beckworth and family are heading to the beach.

Paul Beckworth and family day trip to the beach June 23 2018

 

Tweet from Tamara Baker our new Manager for Community Relations

Tamara Baker Tweet June 23 2018

It is a great time to be at BC!

June 22 2018 Neo with Sonya Christian Marina Del Rey

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

So Many Things to Celebrate in our Community

Good morning Bakersfield.  

Sonya Christian Bitmoji Good Morning

It is Saturday, February 17, 2018….anticipating SpaceX’s first Falcon Heavy west coast launch (the best of times) and the week when 17 individuals were shot dead in Florida (the worst of times).

Let’s take a moment to go back and see their faces and read about them.  Here are two of those beautiful faces — Alaina Petty (14) and Peter Wang (15) from the cnn.com website

For more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/15/us/florida-shooting-victims-school/index.html

 

Lincoln Day

two students delivering food to the pantry

Students delivering food to the pantry

Yesterday, campus was quiet as we’re celebrating Presidents Weekend. I recently came across this great article by William Lambers about bringing back the Lincoln Friendship Train to help feed starving countries. He says “Peace and freedom cannot be founded on empty stomachs.”

It brought to mind how lucky we are at Bakersfield College to have the Renegade Pantry. The Renegade Pantry focuses on alleviating food insecurity, hunger and poverty among BC Students. Just another reminder of why I am so proud of Bakersfield College and why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

Read William Lambers’ We Need Abraham Lincoln’s Friendship Train again article.

Valentines Day Performances on campus

Students from BC’s Performing Arts classes delivered a special theatrical production for Valentine’s Day in the Campus Center. Such a treat.  Have I mentioned yet that I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

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BC Performing Arts Students on Valentines Day

See all the photos of the lovely performances at BC’s Smugmug.

Engineer It, Girl!

The Engineering Girl event was well received, a fantastic program promoting engineering for girls ages 4-6. The event is hosted through Valley Public Broadcasting Service (VPBS) located in Fresno and by Engineering for kids of Kern County.

February 10, 2018 was one of the two days this will be hosted at BC. The second day will be on May 10, 2018 that will offer projects in all types of engineering. MESA was a volunteer partner along with other entities. Our MESA students volunteer assisting in the environmental engineering project for over 100 attendees. MESA had over 8 volunteers helping promote engineering to little girls and the next generation of engineers.

After the event, Suzanne Galindo, from the KCCD District Office sent an email of appreciation for the event and said how much her granddaughter and friend loved it.

Suzanne Galindo Granddaughter

Future Renegades, Annalise Aguirre and  Mila Perez with the MESA crew at BC

Industrial Automation Info Sessions Coming Up

BC is hosting three public events at the end of February for members of the community to learn more about our Baccalaureate Degree in Industrial Automation.

Students in the Industrial Automation program, which teaches the design, operation and management of automated machinery used in manufacturing and agricultural production, are able to graduate with a four-year degree that prepares them for a career in a high-paying, high-demand field. The sessions will be held on February 20th at 1 p.m. in SE 56, February 24th at 10 a.m. in SE 46, and February 27th at 6 p.m. in SE 46.

Thank you to both KGET and 23ABC for mentioning these upcoming sessions.

We’re excited to have our first-ever Baccalaureate students in Industrial Automation walk across the stage during our 104th Commencement ceremony this May.

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BC Industrial Automation students

BC Fight Song Remastered

dsc01621-x3On Thursday morning, members of famed local band Mento Buru were on campus to record the voice track to the updated version of the BC Fight Song. Matt Munoz, Cesareo Garasa and Jay Smith of Mento Buru joined Commercial Music Professor Josh Ottom’s class and collaborated on the vocals. Josh Ottom used the session as a lab for the class. Matt Munoz came to the Foundation in June with the concept to revive the BC Fight Song and after much research from the Archive Department, General Counsel Chris Hine, Chancellor Tom Burke and others, the project received the green light just prior to TailGade in October. The instrument tracks were laid down in December with Josh Ottom’s help. Keep your ears open for the new and improved BC Fight Song in the near future…Fight, Fight, Fight!!!

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See all the photos from the afternoon on BC’s Smugmug.

BC Adult Education

The first issue of BC’s Adult Education Newsletter was released this week. It’s so wonderful to hear the fantastic things happening to empower our adult students. The Bakersfield College Adult Education program  serves students in North and South Kern
County in collaboration with local adult schools, and in various locations such Delano, Wasco, and McFarland adult schools, and most recently, the Bakersfield Adult School (BAS). The newsletter is available on BC’s Website. 

Special thank you to Endee Grijalva and the whole Adult Education Team. #WeareBC!

AEBG students visit BC main campus in October 2017

AEBG students visit BC main campus in October 2017

Recognizing BC Art Faculty

David Koeth Selfie Sep 2016

David Koeth

It’s always exciting to share stories that highlight BC’s talented faculty. During the weekend of January 26, 27 and 28, David Koeth participated in the stARTup Art Fair in Venice Beach. David tells me that while art fairs are not a new concept, they are a great community alternate to showing work in a gallery. Most art fairs require the artist to be represented by a gallery but stARTup is juried and intended for artists who are independent of the gallery system. To be nominated, David had to submit a portfolio of his work to be shown to a select panel of judges to decide on which artists would be invited.

This year stARTup took place at the Kinney, and each artist had a room that was then transformed into a gallery space for the duration of the fair which was well attended, with hundreds of visitors from the public coming to the event space. David showed two pieces of art called “Citrus Series” and “Drought Series”.

You can see his art on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/koethart and also on his Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/davidkoeth/

This event provided opportunity both for art buyers and curators to view his artwork, as well as to engage with the art community.

Nano Rubio

nano1Another BC faculty also recently showed pieces at an different art show. Nano Rubio, an adjunct instructor of Art at Bakersfield College, was recently invited to include his work in the LA Art Show. This show was held at the LA Convention Center as part of a group show titled Eyes Forward, and was curated by LaunchLA Gallery in partnership with the California African American Museum. The group show included artists April Bey, June Edmonds, Duane Paul, Ana Rodriguez, Holly Tempo, Chukes, Loren Holland, Miles Regis, and Tim Washington.  Work at the Show also included master works from Monet, Picasso, Chagall and many others. To celebrate diversity the LA Art Show worked with local and international museum curators and galleries to develop innovative programs, engaging dialog and showing cutting-edge exhibitions with an ecumenical resonance.

Rubio brings his work to students at BC and at the Kern High School District and says, “I share my professional experiences with students to show them that the profession of being an Artist in the 21st Century is very much alive and has room for more voices.”

Gadfly Cafe

Gadfly Cafe Roundtable discussions

Reggie Williams leading the discussion at Gadfly Cafe

Engaging student experiences is one of the highlights of being a student at BC. Philosophy Professor, Reggie Williams hosted his first installment of this year, Gadfly Café, with War: Causes, Consequences, and Costs as the topic.

The hour-long, round table discussion this past Wednesday, February 14th, was jam-packed with a fun, diverse crowd that included students, faculty and staff, of all ages and backgrounds, and not afraid to voice their opinions when called on.

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Conversation kicked off with an eye-opening statement. “Did you all know, that during the last century, 100 years, from all the War’s during this time frame, that there were 123 million total deaths caused from these wars alone?”

Hands went up and the conversation  lively. Thank you to Professor Reggie Williams for hosting this discussion and for all the BC’s students, staff and faculty for participating. Mark your calendar for the next Gadfly Café event on Wednesday, 3/14/2018 with the topic of Truth: Objective, Invented, and Esteemed.

Gadfly Cafe logo

Jack Hernandez

BC’s Jack Hernandez has a published piece in the Community Voices section of The Californian. You can see it online, “The Parable of the good cake baker with a clear conscience.

Jack Hernandez

BC Superstar, Connie Gonzales

Connie at Univision

Connie Gonzales (right) at Univision

Connie Gonzales was recently featured on Univision to share the exiting news that MESA’s STEM and Pre-Health Conference is returning for a second year to the BC Campus on March 3rd, from 8 am to 2 pm.

The interview was in Spanish, and she’s proud to promote STEM among the Spanish speaking community, inviting them to come to BC and get exposure to different STEM careers with this conference.

The conference is a joint effort with UCLA and other industry partners. Interested in learning more or getting tickets? visit the Eventbrite page for more.

Bakersfield DBA State of Downtown

On Thursday morning, I attended the Bakersfield DBA Breakfast as a guest of Bob Bell. (Thank you Bob for the invitation.) At our table was Bill Thomas, Shannon Grove and several individuals from the City of Bakersfield.  Here is a picture of the team with Mayor Karen Goh.  Thank you Mayor Goh for posting great pictures celebrating the people of Bakersfield.  I snagged many of them for my blog 🙂

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I sat near Dianne Hoover, director for Bakersfield Parks and Rec.   I am so thankful for the investment in parks in Bakersfield.  I told Dianne that the first thing I noticed when I returned five years ago after a 10-year stint in Oregon was the investment in parks.  I use them so many times a week.  It is a critical component of healthy communities.

It’s exciting to hear the plans to revitalize our city and the downtown district. So much care and love is being poured into our downtown area so local community, businesses and development can thrive. Robert Price covered the morning in-depth in his article, “At DBA breakfeast, nothing but good news about downtown’s growth.”

Also, the City of Bakersfield is considering a Property-based Business Improvement District (PBID) for parts of downtown Bakersfield.  Bakersfield Colelge’s Weill Institute and the KCCD District Office will be included in the PBID and our Chief Finance Office Debbie Martin is a member of the Steering Committee.

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For more information check out: http://bakersfielddbdc.com/downtown-bakersfield-property-based-business-improvement-district-2/

KC Career Expo Happening Next Week!

On February 22, 2018, join us for a night of Career Exploration and Educational Programs that will give you an opportunity to learn the expectations, work ethic, certificates and degrees needed to join the workforce. Speak directly with over 100 Kern County Employers from different industry sectors and engage with activities that will help you decide what career is right for you! Don’t forget! The Event is February 22, 2018, 4:30-7:30 pm at Rabobank Arena & Convention Center.

CareerExpoFlier2018

Renegade Athletics

Jon Mettus of The Bakersfield Californian did a nice article on BC’s Spring Sports.
Check it out here: https://tinyurl.com/ybvn25no

BC Tennis with Coach Nick Jacobs February 2018.jpg

BC Tennis with Coach Nick Jacobs. Photo from TBC

Fun pictures:

Welcoming Baby Leo.  Mom Prof. Ximena Da Silva Tavares and baby are doing well.

Baby Leo Feb 16 2018

As I was heading back from the cafeteria having picked up some chicken strips for lunch, I saw a lot of activity in the campus center with Julian West, Lisa Ken and Steve Watkin.  I so enjoyed it and snapped this picture.

Julian West, Lisa Kent, Steven Watkin Feb 2018.jpg

 

Loved this selfie that Liz Rozell took with Horace Mitchell at the Chamber’s Leadership Bakersfield Education Day.

Liz Rozell and Horace Mitchell at Leadership Bakersfield Feb 16 2018

Liz Rozell joined colleagues from CSUB, University of LaVerne, Point Loma University, and  Wonderful Education to discuss trends in education with participants in the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Leadership program. It was an honor to speak with Horace Mitchell, CSUB President who is retiring at the end of this academic year. John Nikon, CSUB Trustee, moderated the event. And Heather Pennella, who is a member of the Leadership Bakersfield Class of 2018, cheered the team along.

Thank you Heather Pennella for this photo of the group of presenters

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On twitter, here is a post from Dr. Joe Saldivar with his premed students visiting Geffen Med School at UCLA

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students had a great time visiting Geffen Med School

March 10 – Monty Byrum and Lydia Ranger – Buy your tickets now and support our choir!

Get your tickets now for an incredible night of collaborative music between some of Bakersfield’s finest musicians. Local celebrities Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger are coming together with the BC Chamber Singers to perform in a benefit concert at the Music Hall of Fame.

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The concert will assist the Chamber Singers with their final fundraising effort for their tour to Australia(!), where they will perform in the Sydney Opera House this coming July.

It promises to be a great evening of music and for such a good cause. Mark your calendar now! March 10 at 5 pm and 7:30 pm. The 5 pm concert tickets are $35 and the 7:30 pm concert tickets are $50-$100. Tickets can be purchased at the Music Hall of Fame website www.musichalloffame.com or by calling or emailing Courtney Carter at the BC Foundation at 395-4800 or courtney.carter@bakersfieldcollege.edu. Come enjoy the music and support the BC Chamber Singers.

Here is a post from Jen Garrett on FAcebook:

Today is a day I will always remember. I conducted the finest performance of my career with the hard working choir I’ve ever had the privilege of conducting.

We auditioned and were selected last year to be one of the performing choirs at the California All State Music educators conference in San Jose. This is a great honor and we wanted to bring our best.

While we performed in this gorgeous basilica it felt like we were all carrying each other. I was nearly emotional in the sound check and many emotions surfaced during the performance and after we finished. I’m still in a high.

Thank you Chamber Singers for going in this wild adventure with me. I know it nearly involved blood, sweat, and tears but I hope it was worth it all. I am so grateful for your dedication and willingness to let go. We have so many more adventures to take this year and more mind blowing music to make. Australia here we come! BC Chamber Singers: All Day……Every day!

Come on out to the William M. Thomas Planetarium

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel

Here is an exerpt from Dr. Nick Strobel’s article in today’s Californian

Thursday was the first show of the William M. Thomas Planetarium’s spring lineup as “Black Holes” played to an audience eager to see a beautiful star field with the Goto Chronos projector and take a flight through the Milky Way into the supermassive black hole at the center. This coming Thursday is “Supervolcanoes,” which after a tour of the night sky will explain what happens in the most powerful eruptions on Earth (thousands of times more powerful than Mt St Helens). Supervolcanoes put so much ash, gases and other material into the atmosphere that they can cause global mass extinctions through the very dramatic climates changes. Fortunately, these types of eruptions are rare!

Read the whole piece at: https://tinyurl.com/y7twehos

Took Neo to work yesterday since the campus was closed.  Here we are checking out the Future Home of the Veterans Resource Center.  He is 11 months old today, February 17, 2018 and weighs 85 lbs.  Can’t wait for his first birthday on March 17th.

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Was happy to see Coach Bob Covey when he stopped by the office

Bob Covey and Sonya Christian Jan 26 2018

Sonya Christian Bitmoji Feeling Lucky

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC is in the SouthWest!

Good morning from Portland, OR ….yes, two months in a row.

Portland morning walk Feb 3 2018.jpg

Walking in downtown Portland, to get a bagel and coffee, with dawn breaking the air cool, crisp, and clean.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take,
but by the moments that take your breath away.

Another hectic week at the best community college in the nation.  Let me start with the activity at our more recent outreach location, the BC campus int he southwest part of Bakersfield.  BC has always offered general education courses in the southwest. However there is still significant unmet need.  So due to persistent requests from the community, we have increased the number of courses we are offering in this location…the corner of Stockdale Highway and Buena Vista.

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27459827_10155314015884352_5115116001192028854_nYesterday, the BC team held an Express Enrollment event for students and residents in the southwest. Did you know Bakersfield College has morning, afternoon, evening, and weekend classes in 93311? Located across from Target on Stockdale Hwy in the Fresno Pacific building, BC has classrooms on the second floor which are able to hold up to 60 and 35 students.

Dezi Von Manos, BCSGA President said, “This is an awesome opportunity for my peers who still need to enroll in courses for this spring, especially if they are living or working in the south and northwest area, or if they need that one night or weekend course to catch up.”

It was exciting to see the photo of the BC balloon flying in the sky. Here is the view from the Target parking lot.

 

 

 

Manny Mourtzanos

Back inside the building, students were assisted by staff and faculty from Outreach, Counseling, and Financial Aid to get enrolled into the classes they need. It was great to see Manny Mourtzanos on air sharing all the fantastic news surrounding BC SouthWest.

bc sw reg

Thank you to the teams from outreach, financial aid, counseling, IT, and marketing who made this event a success. Still need classes or want to learn more?
Visit https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/southwest

BC Performing Arts

I am so proud that January has been the month of awards for BC’s Performing Arts. Both a Commercial Music student and two of our Music faculty received awards last month.

Sandy Feldstein and Eddie Garcia

Sandy Feldstein and Eddie Garcia

Commercial Music student Heriberto (Eddie) Garcia was awarded the President’s Innovation Award from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). The award covered travel and attendance costs for Eddie to attend the NAMM annual convention in Anaheim, January 25-28. Having recently received his Certificate in Commercial Music from BC, Eddie was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet fellow students and potential employers in the music products industry. To the side is a photo of Eddie with Sandy Feldstein, legendary music publisher and music technologist.

Eddie was one of four students from California to receive the award. He was chosen from a pool of over 100 applicants, and was joined by students from national institutions such as Manhattan School of Music, University of Texas, and Berklee College of Music. Read about the event on the NAMM Foundation site.

Ottum Student Award 2

 

 

 

On the heels of Eddie’s award, Dr. Josh Ottum and Dr. Jennifer Garrett received awards at the Kern County Music Educators Association’s annual “Grand Night for Music” on January 30, 2018, at the Rabobank Theater. Jennifer was awarded the honor as Choral Educator of the Year and Josh was awarded the honor as 2018 College/University Educator of the Year. Josh says he is “thrilled to have received this award and I take great pride in the development of the Commercial Music program at BC.”

The Kern County Music Educators Association (KCMEA) is an organization of music advocates and music educators from the local area that provide services to music educators and music students in Kern County. KCMEA offers workshops and professional development clinics to its members and holds various musical events. It is a true honor bestowed on our faculty from such an influential musical organization.

Congratulations to our talented faculty and student for their awards. This is recognition of the high caliber faculty and the rigorous supportive learning environment that we provide at BC.

 

 

 

My phone was burning up with text messages from friends with photos of John and Jen. Thank you Lauro and Arlene Braganza for supporting our music programs at Bakersfield College.

Do you have your tickets?

Chamber Singers-Poster-3_preview

BC’s Chamber Singers are headed to perform in the Sydney Opera House with your support. Our choral music programs continue to amaze audiences right here at home and around the globe. From touring Europe in 1965 to Carnegie Hall in New York and again to Rome in 2015, we never quite know where our BC Chamber Singers are headed next – except for now!  They’re headed to Sydney but still need your support to make it happen.

When the lights dim and the curtains open on this concert on March 10th, we are in for an experience of true local talent. Performances by Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger are not to be missed. Email me today to purchase your $100 ticket or two. Even if you are out of town, make that donation to help our students with the Sydney trip and an experience of a lifetime 🙂

Thank you to everyone who attended the Ron Saylor event.  Thank you Tom Moran for sending me these great photos.

Here is the Facebook post from Jen Garrett

Thank you to magician Ron Saylor and his assistant Katie and all who came out tonight to support our “A Night of Magic” fundraiser. Everyone that came tonight had a great time and we appreciate all of the support to help us raise the last of our money for our Australia Tour to sing in the Sydney Opera House. We couldn’t do it without you. Our Broadway Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser is one month from tomorrow on March 3. You do NOT want to miss this! Tickets went on sale and are already going fast. Get your tickets by Valentine’s Day for a discount price of $15 and $20 after the 14th. No rest for the weary!

Ron Saylor 3 Group Picture by Tom Moran

 

Tom Moran and family with Ron Saylor

Leadership Academy

On January 28-29, members of the KCCD Leadership Academy, including four members from Bakersfield College, joined Chancellor Tom Burke, Vice Chancellor of Educational Services John Means, Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Tonya Davis, Cerro Coso President Jill Board, and BCSGA Senator James Tompkins in Sacramento for the Annual Legislative Conference sponsored by the Community College League of California.

Leadership Academy

BC contingent of the Leadership Academy. Pictured left to right: Mindy Wilmot, Michael McClenic, Heather Barajas, and Keith Ford.

The team attended breakout and general sessions that discussed the latest trends in higher education and how the current legislative proposals could affect our colleges. Presenters included chancellors, presidents, trustees, and other advocates for the community college system (including BC’s own Craig Hayward), while the Closing Keynote was delivered by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.

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Back row (l-r): James Tompkins (BCSGA); Steven Alexander (DO); Chancellor Tom Burke; Keith Ford (BC); Stephanie Olmedo-Hinde (PC); Michael McClenic (BC); Mike Barrett (CC)
Front row (l-r): President Jill Board (CC); Heather Barajas (BC); Cammie Ehret-Stevens (DO); Nikki Gardepe (CC); Mindy Wilmot (BC); Vice Chancellor, Human Resources Tonya Davis

The KCCD contingent was split into various teams on January 29 to conduct brief meetings advocating for our district with Assemblymen and Senators, or with members of their staffs, who represent the constituents in the district’s vast service area: Assemblymen Jay Obernolte – District 33, Frank Bigelow – District 5, Vince Fong – District 34, Devon Mathis – District 26, Tom Lackey – District 36, Rudy Salas – District 32, and Senators Andy Vidak – District 14, Tom Berryhill – District 8, Jean Fuller – District 16. Topics discussed included the proposed state budget, the Community College Promise, DACA Work Study, and the Baccalaureate Pilot Program. See more photos at BC’s Smugmug page.

On Friday, Debbie Martin, CFO of KCCD invited me to present to the Leadership Academy on a President’s approach to budgeting.  This group of KCCD employees were engaged and had a lot of fun.  Here is a group picture of the cohort with Debbie Martin.

KCCD Leadership Academy Feb 2 2018 when I presented on budgets.jpg

State of the County

On Wednesday, January, 31, 2018 the County of Kern and the Kern Economic Development Corporation partnered to present the 20th Annual State of the County Dinner & Address at the DoubleTree Hotel to a sold-out crowd. County Supervisor, Mike Maggard, gave the keynote address and touched upon the various industries that make up Kern County’s economy and focused on the positive efforts being made county wide. Maggard noted that Bakersfield College is a driving force in helping students afford and realize their dreams of higher education.

State of the County 2018

Mike Maggard, Incoming Chair of the Kern County Board of Supervisors

James Burger of The Bakersfield Californian said BC was highlighted for its “record for helping offer a middle class life to disadvantaged students.” See the article here.

 

 

 

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One highlight of the evening was the showing of a video covering the Inaugural Kern County STEMposium. The day-long STEMposium was the product of the Kern Economic Development Foundation and was held at Bakersfield College in May and was an opportunity for students to showcase their STEM related projects and connect them with local business representatives. Check out the video.

To get the scoop on this years upcoming STEMposium in April, visit http://kedf.org/stemposium/

Cheer Team Honk for HeartsRenegade Cheer Team

I loved seeing the BC Cheer Team on KGET promoting people to “Wear Red Tomorrow.” National Wear Red Day is a day in February when we wear red to show support for the awareness of heart disease.  Thank you to Heather Foss and the BC Cheerleaders for sharing their BC spirit and love for Renegade Red with the community.

 

 

 

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Black History Month Kick-Off

Black History month is here! To kick off the events and activities the Community Empowerment Organization Choir came to Bakersfield College to perform. The group performed a mixture of jazz and blues with incorporated gospel music. The band consisted of two singers, Marshelle Taylor and Savannah Andrews, pianist James Tyson, saxophonist Eugene Lothridge, and drummer Lamar Brooks.

 

 

 

The music from the band captivated BC students, staff, and faculty. The college Campus Center was filled with individuals enjoying the free music and learning about the upcoming events planned for Black History Month. It was also a great surprise to see the fabulous Steve Watkin on the news. Check it out here. And see the article at The Bakersfield Californian.

Steve Watkin

To see all the photos from the afternoon, visit BC’s Smugmug.

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Thank you to Manny DeLosSantos here in action.

Congratulations to the Amazing Cindy Collier

We gathered on Thursday to see the incredible Cindy Collier off with best wishes as she moves to the District Office as Vice Chancellor for Workforce and Economic Development. This is an exciting time for Cindy and for Kern Community College District.

 

 

 

 

 

When planning the event, the fantastic Stephanie Baltazar reached out to our own Chef Suzanne and Chef Alex who didn’t hesitate to jump on board. They coordinated the food, and students prepared the appetizers and desserts which were so fresh and beautiful. What an incredible contribution by the Culinary Program at BC.

 

 

 

Anita Karr, Executive Secretary, brought a personal touch to the display table with a custom cake to highlight the legacy Cindy leaves behind. Of course, we cannot forget Manny and the wonderful  video he put together, after being tasked with capturing the live shots.

And a final thanks to Jennifer Johnson, the staff and student employees of the CTE department, Tony Cordova and Liz Rozell for contributing to make the event a memorable one.

Panorama Invitational 2018

Nan and I walked over to the Wylie and Louise May Jones Gallery after the Foundation Board of Directors meeting on Thursday.  As we walked into the galley we were greeted in a warm professional manner by a student Crystal who was graceful and attentive to every detail in the gallery.  It was wonderful seeing the proud faculty who put in hours to get a show ready for the public.  Here you see photos I snapped of Nan with Jeff Huston, Ronnie Wrest, and Jamee Eaton.

The Panorama Invitational has been an annual event for over 15 years, here at Bakersfield College. It showcases the artwork of Kern County high school students. The art show has a variety of art from students in grades 9-12 showcasing a wonderful range of 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional and multimedia pieces.

 

 

 

Before the show, BC Faculty Jeff Huston and Ronnie West were super excited to be a part of this annual event and shared how proud they are of these students who were selected to be in the show. They both mentioned that they remembered their own first shows, when their art was selected to be displayed at an event, and how excited they were. They were delighted to pay it forward and possibly give these students a pathway to a career in Art.

Luis_Ramirez with Daughter Artist Vanessa

Luis Ramirez and his daughter, Vanessa Ramirez

On Thursday February 1st 2018, we had an amazing turn out with family and friends, admiring the exhibition with marvelous works of art from our local community high school students. We also had the pleasure of meeting the proud father of a local art student from Centennial High School, Vanessa Ramirez. She painted a portrait of her father, Luis Ramirez,Vietnam veteran from the 1969 infantry division — he was so proud of his daughter. Also present was Arlene Leyva from South High School whose art was shown at the exhibition. I was so thrilled to see all these talented students from our great community and sharing their work with us.

BC Student Brayden Mcdonel

BC Student Brayden M.

I would like to say thank you to all the students for their works of art that they shared with us, with a special thank you to our BC Faculty Jeff Huston and Ronnie West for putting on such a wonderful exhibition. The Annual Panorama Invitational at Bakersfield College is a treat for the community and inspires these young artists.

Fun Images

Nick Strobel tracking “totality” on the Parnorama bluffs.  His post on Facebook

Total lunar eclipse this morning. Pics start at 4:11 am before totality and end at 6:17 am after totality. The previous “super blue blood moon” triple header like this happened in 1866.

 

 

I loved this photo that Manny de Los Santos snapped of the current Vice President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and the incoming Vice President Liz Rozell.

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Liz Rozell Feb 1 2018.jpg

And I was happy to see Monica Hyuck on campus as Nan and I were walking to our cars from the Art Show.  So I snapped this picture of Nan with Monica and Bradley Cramer.

Nan Gomez Heitzeberg, Monica Hyuck and Bradley Cramer.jpg

 

Bitmoji

Earlier this week I had breakfast with my daughter and she made me a bitmoji.  I tried to find one with bangs and a braid, but could not.  So for you youngsters, Nicky Damania and Lesley Bonds, here I come…

Sonya Christian Bitmoji Stoked

 

Neo

 

 

Sonya Christian Bitmoji Oh Happy Day

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Gearing Up for Spring 2018

Good morning from Portland Oregon.
Gorgeous sunrise.

Sunrise in Portland Jan 7 2018

Portland Jan 6 2018.jpg

Enjoying the  fresh air after a bout of rain…. 52 degrees… a beautiful day in Oregon and a great day to be a Renegade.

Portland 2 Jan 6 2018

 

Last week, across campus, the hustle and bustle signaled the gearing up for Spring 2018. Every office and every department is excited to welcome students back to our hallways and classrooms.

Let me start by bragging about some serious talent we have at BC.  This week, I worked on a video project with Manny de Los Santos, Monika Scott, Jennifer Serratt, and Dylan Wang.  Just great creative talent, all working together to get a great product.

Jennifer Serratt, Monika Scott, Manny de los santos Jan 4 2018.jpg

Talent in action

Welcome Center is Gearing Up

The Welcome Center at BC is getting ready for a busy week of helping students last minute to register for classes. Next week on Tuesday and Wednesday, from 9AM to 5PM, everyone is encouraged to come by the BC Welcome Center for help to register for the classes you need for Spring 2018.

Steve Watkin Welcome Center Fall 2017

My Favorite restaurant featured in the Californian

I shared my excitement almost exactly a month ago that Felix Adamo stopped by to take some photographs during a lunch meeting at Don Perico. I loved sharing in my blog post that Felix was a student photographer for the 1975 Raconteur when BC won the Rosebowl championship.   So here is the piece with photos from Felix Adamo that Monika requested.  The link to the actual Californian article is provided at the end.

 

Sonya Christian, Jennifer Johnson, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg at Don Perico

Sonya Christian, Jennifer Johnson, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg at Don Perico. Photo by Felix Adamo.

 

As a rookie Math Faculty at Bakersfield College in the early 90’s, I discovered, then fell in love with the Chile Verde, Chicken Fajitas and the avocado pico de gallo at Don Perico. I was new to teaching and still new to the United States, and I loved exploring the food and scene of Bakersfield and Southern California.

I still remember clearly the first time I walked through the lunch buffet line at the little restaurant on Oswell, the food, a rich color, a variety of flavors and mouthwatering aroma…..It somehow reminded me of my hometown of Kollam in the southern tip of India, and Don Perico quickly became my favorite spot to grab a warm meal close to BC, and close to my heart.

CSUB_Sonya

For very many years now, I’ve been known to recommend Don Perico to friends and colleagues. And the lunch buffet is still my first choice when I get food off-campus – and not just for the food. The staff and servers treat you like family. For decades before her retirement, Amelia greeted me by name and always with the largest smile. I would look forward to my visits to also see her and catch up on stories about her family.

I had moved away from Bakersfield for ten years, but when I returned for the most important interview of my life, I knew I needed to prepare and put myself in the right frame of mind. Of course I went straight to Don Perico, walked through the door, and there was Amelia with a big smile! “Sonya! Where have you been?” she asked. That was the meal that kept me going through my interview to become BC’s 10th President. At times when I found myself with my picture in the Californian, Arturo, at Don Perico, would greet me with a smile let me know “I saw you in the news…..and that was a nice photo of you!”  Great warmth, great caring.

The years go by, and Amelia has since retired, but the new faces still welcome me just as warmly with a smile, and it remains my favorite for many reasons… the food, the atmosphere, the friendly staff, and it just feels like home.

Thank you Amelia, thank you Arturo and thank you Don Perico for being the place with great food, warm smiles, and the place where before you know it they greet you by name.

If you missed the article in the December 16th copy of the Californian, it is available here.

Sue Vaughn in the AACRAO Report

Sue Vaughn, BC’s Director of Enrollment Services, got the opportunity to be interviewed about our “high-tech, high-touch” institutional philosophy in a report by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO).

The report, titled “The State of College Completion Initiatives at US Community Colleges,” examined the changes BC has made in the last five years to better serve our growing population of over 30,000 students, 55 percent of whom are the first generation in their family to attend college. The article highlights our Achieving the Dream and Pathways projects, Multiple Measures, Summer Bridge and Completion Coaching.

Sue Vaughn

Sue Vaughn at Bakersfield College’s Opening Day

“At the institutional level, [BC] is engaged in efforts to change its developmental education approach,” the article says. “The use of technology in tandem with in-person support allows for more frequent touch points with students.”

We’re honored to be one of many case studies featured in this report, and we’re inspired by the work other institutions are doing to make higher education a reality for everyone in America.

People to Watch in 2018

Before the start of the new year, the Bakersfield Californian highlighted a number of important BC supporters as People to Watch in 2018. The article examined the first year of leadership for Bakersfield Police Department Chief Lyle Martin, who pushed for the BPD police academy to come back to BC.

 

The list also highlighted former BC student and Arvin Mayor Jose Gurrola’s efforts to close the gaps in his city’s fiscal deficit, and Aera CEO Christina Sistrunk’s partnership with GlassPoint Solar to promote renewable energy. I’m so grateful for Aera’s investment in our STEM Success Center, and it is amazing to watch her efforts to move the company toward sustainability.

The article also highlighted CSUB’s search for a new president to succeed Horace Mitchell this spring, and we’re looking forward to building a relationship with whoever the university chooses later this year. BC has played an integral part in thousands of people’s lives across Kern County, and some of this campus’ biggest advocates are making huge waves that will ripple throughout our community in 2018 and the decades to come.

Lots of Reasons to Watch the Skies in 2018

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel’s most recent article highlights the many things we can look forward to in the skies above in 2018. He mentions lunar eclipses, meteor showers, satellites, and more. Astronomy is a truly wondrous thing.  It was Mark Twain who said in the voice of Huckleberry Finn, “We had the sky, up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made, or only just happened.”

Take some time to look above. In the article Nick says, “Saturday night in the pre-dawn sky low in the southeast you’ll see the conjunction of Mars and Jupiter among the dim stars of Libra. When the waning crescent moon passes Mars and Jupiter in the early morning hours of Jan. 11, all three will fit in the same field of view of your binoculars.”

Truxtun Avenue Roads Improvement Project 

TrusteeBillThomas

Trustee Bill Thomas

The groundbreaking ceremony for the $6.9 million project to widen Truxtun Avenue took place Friday at Jastro Park. The project, which will add two lanes of traffic on Truxtun between Empire Drive and Elm Street, is another traffic decongestion effort supported by the Thomas Roads Improvement Project (TRIP), made possible by retired Congressman and now KCCD Trustee Bill Thomas.

Joseph Luiz of the Bakersfield Californian wrote an article on Monday warning commuters who take Truxtun Avenue to get downtown to expect full to partial road closures during construction of the Truxtun widening, which is contracted out to Granite Construction.

While commuters will be inconvenienced by the construction, in the long run it will help reduce the traffic congestion at Truxtun Avenue and Oak Street, one of the busiest intersections in town.

I’d like to thank Trustee Thomas for his dedication in securing funding for roads in Bakersfield. The city wasn’t initially built to sustain the level of growth we’ve experienced in the last twenty years, but TRIP is working to make life easier for hundreds of thousands of motorists in the area.

Social Media gems:

I loved this picture of Tom Moran and his daughter Mallory

Tom Moran On FAcebook Jan 3 2016

A Fun video of Carlos Barbaran December in Denver

So what about Neo?

 

 

 

Sonya Christian Jan 5 2018 walking to Powell

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever
(walking to Powell’s Books)

Leadership, Innovation, Music, Community – We are BC!

Sonya Christian and Neo Nov 5 2017 in Riverside

Sonya and Neo, Nov 5, 2017

Good morning Bakersfield from So. Cal.  Came in late on Friday night and have a busy weekend ahead.  Will try my best to chip away on my blog in between activities with the goal of publishing by the end of the day on Sunday.  But I can’t promise anything.

Brought Neo along, which of course does not help with my resolution to publish this weekend……his first trip away from home.  At 7 and 1/2 months, a friend said, “what a big boy”, which he certainly is.

It is cloudy in So. Cal. and everything appears to be beautiful…fresh air and bright colors.  Life is good.  Why would it not be when I am the president of the best higher education institution in the country.  One with the majority population being first generation college students and the faculty and staff are top notch.

Talking about faculty, let me start with BC’s amazing choir Director.  We have had a tradition of excellence with Joe Hustzi, Ron Kean and now the beautiful, brilliant and talented Jennifer Garrett.

Music of Living

 

music-of-living-1Last Friday the Bakersfield College Choir and Chamber Singers conducted their first concert of the academic year. The program, which included a full range of music history, was named “The Music Of Living” by Dr. Jennifer Garrett because “music is part of how we live.”

Matt Garrett and Jennifer Garrett Oct 27 2017In a Bakersfield Californian interview, she explained that, “[music] carries us through the challenging times in life and help us celebrate the good times,” and “music is how we truly express those emotions, opinions and memories that simply cannot be expressed through words alone.”  I so agree with her….it is music, poetry and the sheer beauty of nature that have helped me in difficult times.

music of Living stadium

Jonathan Garcia

On Friday, the theater was full and the audience there to help celebrate the life of a young Renegade taken too soon in a tragic traffic accident this fall. The BC Choir and Chamber Singers dedicated the concert to one of their own, Jonathan Garcia. “Tank” to his friends, according to the program, “was a football player, a singer, a guitar player, a volunteer, a decorated member of the Junior ROTC, and most importantly, a son, a brother, and a friend to all who knew him.” While he was taken from this life before he could perform for the Choir, “Applied students remember him for the passion he expressed about music and the joy in his eyes as he talked with other students about playing guitar for Mariachi ensembles.”

Chamber Music Festival

On Monday last week the Panorama campus was filled with the Chamber Music Festival. Each year local high school chamber choirs (smaller and often elite choirs) and guest conductor participate by invitation. This  year we brought in conductor and composer David Dickau (who went to Frontier High School & sang in the BC Choirs many years ago) from Minnesota.  He was absolutely wonderful with the choirs and everyone learned a great deal. There are sessions where the choirs sit in the audience and go up in turn to perform 2 selections.  Then the guest conductor works with each choir for approximately 12-15 minutes on stage as choir members in the audience watch and listen. Then Chamber Singers close each session by performing 2-3 pieces. This year the following schools participated:  Bakersfield HS, Frontier, Foothill, East, West, North, Stockdale (bringing 2 choirs), and Centennial.  Some of the schools decided to wait a year to come to the Festival as it is challenging to have repertoire ready so early in the year.  We had a great turnout and the whole evening went smoothly. Thanks to the College Choir members who donated their time to make it all happen, and thank you Dr. Jennifer Garrett for organizing this each year for our community and future Renegades.

 

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A Taste of BC

A Taste of BC Nov 4 2017

Last Saturday, our Performing Arts faculty and students partnered with our Culinary Arts faculty and students to create an unforgettable evening for 35 students from Standard Middle School. Starting with a tour of our Performing Arts Center, the middle school students got a ‘behind the scenes’ look at our Theatre and Music facilities.

A Taste of BC 4 Nov 4 2017

They also enjoyed an incredible performance by BC students from our recent production of Hamlet, followed by a skit from Brian’s Beard (BC’s Improv Troupe). Our Theatre majors also taught the middle school students how to do improv. Very impressive! To top off the evening, the students enjoyed a fantastic meal in the Renegade Room by our Culinary Arts majors, and were entertained with dinner music by many of our Music majors.

A Taste of BC 2 Nov 4 2017.JPG

Many thanks to Dr. Jen Garrett, Brian Sivesind, Chef Suzanne Tangeman, Kevin Ganger, Leslie Aldridge, and Kim Chin, along with our students from the Hamlet cast, 1984 cast, Brian’s Beard, Music majors, and Culinary Arts students for volunteering the time and talents to benefit our local middle school students (…and hopefully future Renegades!)  And thank you Dr. Manny Mourtzanos for supporting and advancing this work.

A Taste of BC 3 Nov 4 2017.JPG

Check out the amazing Mason!

Paul Meyer, District Superintendent of SMS sent this email.

To all involved-

On behalf of the students and staff at Standard Middle School, I wish to express my sincere thanks to the students and staff at Bakersfield College for volunteering their time to create a memorable night for my students. Manny, the experience was powerful for my students, and we appreciate the attention to the details that made everything come together so well Saturday night. Please share my gratitude with all who were involved at BC. Your staff was great to work with and the BC students seemed to enjoy it as much as my students did!

I also want to thank Morgan, Ira, and Jorge for your vision and leadership in helping to make this special night into a reality.

Last Saturday evening was a huge success, and I look forward to continuing this amazing partnership.

Sincerely,

Paul

Paul Meyers

District Superintendent

Standard School District

 

A Taste of BC 13 Nov 4 2017

 

More Amazing Faculty

BC Faculty Awarded $100,000 Grant Visit Washington D.C.

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, and Josh Ottum

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, Josh Ottum

Three BC Faculty members visited Washington D.C. this past week.  Andrew Bond (English), Josh Ottum (Music and Performing Arts), and Oliver Rosales (History) attended a Project Director’s meeting hosted by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) at the Constitution Center just off Capitol Hill.  Representing their project Energizing the Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the faculty spent an entire day meeting with NEH program officers, including NEH Acting Chairman Jon Parrish Peede, as well as with other current project directors from community colleges across the United States. Professors Ottum, Rosales, and Bond joined NEH’s Director of Congressional Affairs Tim Robison on Capitol Hill for several meetings with staffers from California Senators Kamala Harris and Diane Feinstein’s offices.

Oliver Rosales, Josh Ottum, Andrew Bond, and Trevor Smith in McCarthy's Office

Oliver Rosales. Josh Ottum, Andrew Bond, Trevor Smith

The trio also discussed Bakersfield College’s (KCCD) two current NEH grant projects (Energizing the Humanities and Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History) in person with Congressman David Valadao from the 21st District before spending time in House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office with staff member Trevor Smith.

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, Rep. David Valadao, Josh Ottum, Tim Robison (NEH)

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, David Valadao, Josh Ottum, Tim Robinson (NEH)

Everyone the BC faculty members met with showed interest in and voiced their support for BC’s grant projects, and were impressed to learn that Bakersfield College is the only California community college to receive federal funds through the National Endowment for the Humanities this year.

 

Project Directors Bond, Ottum, and Rosales returned from D.C. ready to kick off the programming for Energizing the Humanities on November 30th at 7:00 PM with noted author and Bakersfield native Gerald Haslam (Professor Emeritus, Sonoma State) giving a public lecture at the Levan Center for the Humanities. Dr. Haslam will also lead a closed workshop with the Energizing the Humanities inaugural cohort of faculty fellows the following morning.

More information about the NEH Projects Energizing the Humanities and Digital Delano can be found here:

Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley

Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History

Last Home Game of the Season

It was great to see BC Renegades come out in full force Saturday night, our last home game, against Santa Monica which was a blowout. It was exciting to watch six different BC students make it into the end zone while our defense blocked all attempts on ours. I’m so proud of our Renegades they are 3 and 0 in conference and 7 and 1 overall with two more games to go.

And I’m always happy to see Manny De Los Santos working on the sidelines.

 

Football - Manny in Action

Here I am with Carlos Barbara and a great photo of Kimberly Bligh and Jerry Ludeke, and photos below with Janet Tarjan and Zav Dadabhoy —

colleagues out to support Renegade Football

HACU’s 31st Annual Conference

We had a large team from BC attend HACU’s (Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities) 31st Annual Conference this week.  Thank you Corny Rodriguez, Dean of Instruction and MESA Director, Consuela (Connie) Gonzalez for sending me photos.

Corny Rodriguez, Connie Gonzales, Manuel Rosas HACU 2017The conference provided a unique forum for networking and learning best practices, understanding and meeting the education needs of Hispanics. The conference allowed for BC professionals to:

  • Hear about successful, effective programs and initiatives of HACU member institutions
  • Expand partnerships and collaboration between HACU member institutions, public-and private-sector organizations
  • Discuss policy issues affecting the education opportunities of Hispanics, including HACU’s legislative agenda
  • Learn about Hispanic participation in scholarships, fellowships, internships and other such programs funded by private and government organizations

This important conference allowed Connie and BC representatives to create important partnerships and strengthen collaboration with the USDA Hispanic-Serving Institutions National Program, UC Davis, USDA/NRCS, and USDA Forest Service. Connie was able to secure a whole day dedicated to BC transfer students with Dr. Blas Guerrero, Director of the Chicano/Latino Recruitment Center, in collaboration with UC Davis’s MESA program.  BC MESA students will be able to look at engineering labs and tour the campus. Connie is working with Manuel Rosas to include EOP&S students as well. Thank you Connie for your work and forging relationships to further our MESA students’ educational opportunities.

David Villarino and FIELD was represented at this national conference in a big way.  Villarino is doing very important work among adults in rural communities to get them the required language and work skills to make them employable.  Just great work.  Here are several photos of the FIELD students as well as the FIELD dinner meeting with many of the colleges including Cerro Coso and CSUB.

Corny Rodriguez, Susana FIELD, Yvonne Armandariz, Manuel Rosas, Javier FIELD

 

FIELD Dinner Oct 29 2017

This is definitely a picture of celebrities

HACU Official, Esais Morales, Cheech Marin, Rick Najera, David Villarino.JPG

HACU Official, Esais Morales (actor), Cheech Marin (actor), Rick Najera (Director), David Villarino

Dinner with collaborating college officials

Cropped Group at Field Dinner 2017

 

Adult Education

Sonya Christian with the Adult School students Oct 2017

Endee Grijalva, Sonya Christian with students

Our first Adult Education Sample a Course event was a tremendous success. The event was held on October 30th and we saw 30 attendees from Adult Education in collaboration with the Bakersfield Adult School and Migrant Education. The event, which will also occur November 16th, is designed to highlight our EMLS courses and connect Adult Learners to our Main Campus, giving them a direct insight into the college experience. Attendee experience included transportation to the BC campus from the Bakersfield Adult School Job Spot, lunch provided by the delicious Panorama Grill, BC and Program overview and campus tour. The highlight of this event was the classroom observation. Aimed to alleviate the fears and misconceptions of Adult Learners, potential students can sample an EMLS course.

Many thanks to all who helped make this event successful including Endee Grijalva, support from the Outreach team, Food Service, CTE, Bakersfield Adult School and Migrant Education. You all make BC great for our students and for our community. THANK YOU!

Audiophile Magazine

A beautiful magazine appeared on my desk on Tuesday afternoon sent to me by David Koeth. The November/December issue of Audiophile from KVPR/KPRX features artwork from our own BC student, Argenis Maciel. David said in an attached message that Development Director, Joe Garcia emailed him earlier this year and said that they wanted to feature artwork from a BC student so he had his Digital Illustration students work on ideas. The promotions director chose Argenis Maciel’s piece. Check out the photo of the beautiful cover.

audiophileCoverMd.jpg

BCSGA Leadership

Lawrence Salcido, Dezi Von Manos, Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy, Nan Gomez Heitzeberg

On the morning of Halloween, Senator Jose Cortez hosted a Leadership Panel comprised of the SGA president and vice presidents and BC’s president and two vice presidents.  It was a lot of fun and I am so proud of this series that Jose Cortez is leading.  He had Senator Jean Fuller as the first speaker and Assemblyman Vince Fong as the second speaker.

Jose Cortez

Students learned about their student governments’ and administration’s  roles in reducing hurdles in the path of student success, expanding our positive impact on the community, and the importance of the spirit of leadership,  while enjoying some eggs and bacon prepared, as always, by our great Food Services crew.

Panelists at Leadership Breakfast

It was a lot of fun being a panelist along with Zav Dadabhoy and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, as well as SGA President Dezi Von Manos and SGA Vice President Lawrence Salcido. Both Dezi and Lawrence were articulate about the Guided Pathways work.  Just incredible!

I was happy to see several faculty, staff and administrators also attend the event. Snapped this picture with Earl Parsons who is usually the man behind the camera and then here is Marcelyn Allen, one of our new faculty who teaches in the ESL department, also teaches Japanese and helps out with Summer Bridge.

And loved these two pictures of Nan and Zav

 

Advance Kern:

Liz Rozell and I had great fun having lunch with Richard Chapman and Wayne Kress to learn about the Advance Kern Initiative.  Imagine innovation thriving in our county where cultivating an entrepreneurial and creative mindsets is one of the products of our education.  That was the main topic of conversation in addition to Stig Larson’s Girl With the Dragon Tatoo series.  I am so proud of the work of KEDC and its leadership. I missed the company of the fabulous Cheryl Scott who is now leading the charge on promoting STEM education in Kern County.   Thank you Richard, Wayne, and Cheryl for advancing Kern County.

Liz Rozell, Sonya Christian, Wayne Kress, Richard Chapman Nov 3 2017

Liz Rozell, Sonya Christian, Wayne Kress, Richard Chapman

Public Health Sciences Program Partnership with UCLA

BC students got the chance to learn more about BC’s newly-formed Public Health Sciences program and our partnership with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in the SGA Executive Boardroom on Monday.

Public Health Info Session Fall 2017

Sarah Baron, Public Health Sciences faculty, got the opportunity to explain more about BC’s Public Health program, and several representatives from UCLA spoke in detail about the UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program [link to 2018 UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program Handout.pdf]. The UCLA training program is recruiting 50 students for a paid stipend to participate in an 8-week training program with structured workshops, field trips and leadership development in the public health field. UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program is held each summer. The application deadline for the summer 2018 program is January 31, 2018, and the application window opens in mid-November.

Sarah Baron Public Health Info SessionFor more information, you can contact Sarah Baron at sarah.baron@bakersfieldcollege.edu or Public Health Scholars Training Program Manager Lindsay Rice at phscholars@ph.ucla.edu.

Pathway to Law School Program

What a way to start November! On Wednesday, BC had the privilege of hosting Leslie Cunningham, Executive Director of California Law, Inc (Cal-Law), which is the sponsoring organization of the statewide Pathway to Law School program. Ms. Cunningham affirmed BC’s ongoing position as a statewide leader in implementing this innovative program to support students in attaining a law degree.

Law Pathway group memebers

Manny Mourtzanos, Dean of Instruction, Pearl Urena, BC Educational Advisor for Pre-Law, Jeff Green, General Counsel for Grimmway Farms, David Torres, Attorney and member of BC’S Pre-Law Advisory Council, Leslie Cunningham, Executive Director of Cal-Law, Stephen Katz, Kern County Superior Court Judge and member of BC’S, Pre-Law Advisory Council Bonnie Thompson, Executive Director of the Kern County Bar Association, Zach Sullivan, President of the BC Pre-Law Scholars Student Club

Careers in Criminal Justice

On Wednesday, October 11, the BC Delano Campus hosted “Jobs in Justice: A Panel on Careers in Criminal Justice.”  The guest employers were well-prepared and provided students with a wealth of information ranging from personal education, experiences, and their unique career paths to job specifics and seasoned career advice. The panel consisted of the following individuals:

CareersinCriminalJustice2

  • Mark DeRosia, Chief of Police – Delano Police Department
  • Eddie Aguil– Community Service Officer- Delano Police Department
  • Edwin Barahona, Assistant Court Supervisor – Kern County Superior Court
  • Kathy Garcia, Deputy Probation Officer II – Kern County Probation Department, Investigations Unit
  • Raquel Segura, Agent – Alcoholic Beverage Control
  • Ana Ovando, Investigator – Kern County Public Defender
  • Brittaney Pena, Office Technician – Kern Valley State Prison
  • Salvador Hernandez, Assistant Government Program Analyst – Kern Valley State Prison

It is interesting to note that although only 36% of students indicated that the guest speaker’s topics related to their chosen career paths, 81% noted that they would attend future employer panels and 100% stated that the forum met or exceeded their expectations. This is a testimony to the breadth of the panelists’ knowledge and wisdom which they freely shared. Not only did they give the audience a thorough understanding of their particular role within their respective organizations, but they also provided an overview of various levels of employment in their respective fields and each organization’s goals. Furthermore, they imparted invaluable career advice: the value of and how to secure internships, the need to protect one’s image (employers check social media sites), the importance of being an upstanding citizen (after all, these are careers in criminal justice), and accepting the reality that a career is built (often one has to start at the bottom).

CareersinCriminalJustice1

The panelists were exceptional but the event would never have gotten off the ground without the stellar work of Lupe Aguirre (CTE Job Development Specialist) and Kim Collins (BC Academic Liaison for Adult Education). Our special thanks to them, the panelists, and all who made this event possible. It’s exciting for us whose hearts are knit to BC Delano students that these types of events are becoming increasingly available on their campus. We are all about the students. We are BC!

In the News

Renegades were in the news again this week. Victoria Coffee was quoted by the Bakersfield Californian as an attendee at the Business Expo in Many at the Business Expo were looking for the reset button. She attended to get information to give to our BC students. She is quoted as saying “I wanted to get a better look into the business industry and see how we can strengthen our infrastructure for student success.” Thank you Victoria for going the extra mile for our students.

The Bakersfield Californian also did a nice piece about BC’s Men’s Basketball. In BC men’s basketball starts attempt at 3 conference titles in a row, Jon Mettus wrote about our 5 returners and their striving for the State Championship. Coach Hugh is optimistic for our chances of a “three-peat” for the WSC South Division title this season. Come out to the games this season and support our team all the way to the State Championship.

Emails Worth Sharing

Thank you Paul Beckworth for sharing this story with me! Paul’s email said, “PLEASE read this story that Matt Garrett found in the archives awhile back.  A BC student turned soldier captured 12 Nazis thanks to his BC German professor!  Can’t make this stuff up! It is a little hard to read but worth the effort.” Matt Garrett’s email “Capturing Nazis Like a Boss” included the following:

“We were holding a town cut off from our troops. The Eleventh Panzer Division attacked us and one of the tanks got a tread blown off about 15 yards from one position where we could not hit a man behind it or on the ground near it. It was giving us trouble so we got a ‘satchel charge’ (30 pounds of TNT in convenient carrying form). Being the demolition expert of the platoon, I was elected.

“To allow free use of my hands I laid my rifle down and went out to blow up the tank. When I got there I discovered nine Jerry infantrymen around the tank, concealed from my pals and with their rifles in position. They were as frightened as I was. I managed to stutter, ‘Weg werfen deine Waffen Komm hier mit Hande hoch’ oder sic warden tot gewesen.’ [Throw down your weapons. Come here with your hands raised or you will die] How they would die I didn’t know but they believed me. One said, ‘Nicht schessen,’ and I said, ‘Wir warden nicht schiessen.’ [We’ll not shoot] (Notice the we.) So they gave up.

“They’d have shot me if I hadn’t been quick with the lip—so maybe I learned something in school after all. But we’ll credit (BC German Professor) Miss Schafer for the capture.”

“Adelaide Schafer Credited with Capture of 12 Nazis,” Renegade Rip, April 26, 1945, p. 3.

Fun Pictures

Precious picture of Jennifer Marden now Jennifer Serratt at her 2008 graduation

Jennifer Graduation Photo

Our title V Director, Dr. Kimberly Bligh and Ed Advisor Isabel Cataneda in Washington DC for the Title V meeting.

Kimberly Bligh and Isabel Cataneda in Wahington DC Oct 2017

Sonya Christian and Neo Nov 5 2017 in Riverside

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever