Tag Archives: NeoThePup

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

Joe Saldivar with premed students Feb 2018.jpg

 

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)

We are BC! Love, Peace, and Blessings

Love, Peace, and Blessings Bakersfield….I borrow this greeting from Prof. Bryan Hirayama’s student on the “inside.”

Inmate Scholars, Bryan Hirayama, Chelsea Esquibias, Rich McCrow, Letty Garza, Doug Grimsley, Gerald Cantu, Kaitlin Hulsy, Isaias Hernandez

Bryan Hirayama, Chelsea Esquibias, Rich McCrow, Letty Garza, Doug Grimsley, Gerald Cantu, Kaitlin Hulsy, Isaias Hernandez

In the infamous introductory words of one of my students inside, “Love, Peace, and Blessings”. Everyday regardless of what is going on and before he addressed the class for anything, this student said very sincerely, “Love, Peace and Blessings”. It is clear to me that he shares more than just an obligatory salutation. There is a sense of affection, care, and encouragement embedded into the word “Love” when he says it. The idea of togetherness, shared responsibility to each other, and above all brotherhood is coded into the word “Peace”. Lastly, a touch of hope that all people’s wishes and dreams, goals and aspirations, and will to be free will be met one day is also baked into this seemingly mundane yet deep and meaningful message. I would like to thank this student for sharing this greeting with me and other students on a daily basis. It has kept me grounded. As I am wrapping up grades and looking back on the semester it is moments like this, shared with love, that will keep me motivated to make a difference and keep spreading the “Love, Peace, and Blessings”.

This is a “copy and paste from the May 15th blog of Professor Bryan Hirayama

 Love, Peace and Blessings Bakersfield.  
It is Saturday, October 21st and a fabulous day to be a Renegade

Homecoming 2017

Oct 14 2017BC Football fought off a second half push by Moorpark and continued with their season-long trend of finishing strong by beating the Raiders 34-10 in front of over 5,000 fans at Memorial Stadium to complete a festive homecoming celebration Saturday and open conference play with a win.

Thank you Trustee Bill Thomas, who came to the game with his grandson William and thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog.

Bill Thomas, grandson William, Romeo Agbalog

Trustee Bill Thomas, grandson William, Trustee Romeo Agbalog

Our fabulous cheer team with cheer coach Heather Foss.

Sonya and Cheer Squad

Photo by April Massirio of the BC Cheer team 

 

So happy to see Fran Florez and her husband Ray Florez.  Fran is on our Foundation Board of Directors and put in a lot of time helping us with Measure J.

Ray and Fran Florez.jpg

Here is another foundation board member Ken Byrum and his wife.  Ken is a big supporter of BC.

Ken Byrum and his wife at the homecoming game Oct 14 2017

Pam Byrum and Ken Byrum

And here is the fabulous Ed Davis with his family. Always supporting Bakersfield College!

Ed Davis and family Oct 14 2017

Glad to see Jim Darling at the Memorial Stadium supporting Renegade Football

Karen Goh and jim Darling

Karen Goh, Jim Darling

Marlene Heise, Karen Goh, Todd Hansen, Bill Thomas, grandson William, Jim Darling, Sonya Christian

Marlene Heise, Karen Goh, Todd Hansen, Bill Thomas, grandson William, Jim Darling, Sonya Christian

BC employees were out in full force with their families.  I snapped this picture of Wendy Lawson and her husband Ken and here is Dena Rhoades with her husband, daughter, and grandchildren.

Wendy Lawson and Dena Rhoades with their families October 14 2017.jpg

So enjoyed seeing Steve’s daughter out with her mom and dad at the game.

Steve and Kim Watkin and their daughter

Kendra Watkin, Steve Watkin, Kim Watkin

Love, Peace, and Blessings all

TailGade

Staff and Faculty at HomecomingBefore the homecoming game, I attended the BC Alumni Association’s first TailGade. It was a wonderful event and a lovely afternoon to welcome home our Alumni to their campus on the hill. The large tent provided plenty of shade for eating and fellowship. The food from Fred’s BBQ was a big hit. We had delicious large, juicy grilled steaks, beans, salad and rolls. The steaks were so gigantic, I couldn’t even finish mine and the dinner was well worth the price of admission. They even offered refreshing la Rosa Frozen Fruit Bars for dessert. Perfect for the weather!

Homecoming Bar

Friends and familiar faces were all around at TailGade and throughout the day it was incredible to catch up with Renegades and Renegade fans.

Renegade TailgadeR

Bakersfield’s famous ska, reggae, mambo band, Mento Buru, played great music from the stage. Some members of the band are BC Alumni and they performed a modern version of the BC Fight Song. You can see a video of Mento Buru practicing for homecoming: https://www.facebook.com/MentoBuru/videos/10159515917410296/. With such jazzy, upbeat music, alumni couldn’t resist getting up and dancing to the wonderful music.

Karen Goh at Homecoming

Karen Goh, photo by April Massirio.

To the side of the stage, a monitor played footage of games played in 1945. Kids were playing everywhere and there were games of corn hole going the entire time. The cheerleaders gave a great performance of their cheers for the crowd. The Homecoming parade with the BC Renegade Band and Homecoming float came right around the party so we got to see everyone up close. Honored guest Mayor Karen Goh joined us and led us in a “We are BC!” cheer. Thank you to Heather Pennella and the BC Alumni Association for putting on such a fabulous event. What a way to welcome our alumni home!

And not just alumni, I spotted BC faculty and staff celebrating too!  Here is Tom Gelder, Exec Director of the BC Foundation having fun.

Tom Gelfer in action at Tailgade Oct 14 2017

Tom Gelder

Rob Parsons Isabel Stierle Michael ODoherty Tom Gelder Oct 14 2017

Thank you Michael O’Doherty, past president of the Bakersfield College Foundation Board of Directors for coming out to support BC.

Great to see Peter Reyes and the fabulous Becki Whitson

Sonya Christian, Peter Reyes, Becki Whitson Oct 14 2017

Sonya Christian, Peter Reyes, Becki Whitson

Bob Martin, a Renegade, with his daugther Theresa McAllister and grand daughter.

Sonya Christian, Bob Martin, Theresa McAllister Oct 14 2017

Sonya Christian, Bob Martin, Theresa McAllister and her daughter

Heather Pennella, you did a great job organizing the 2017 Alumni BBQ

Sonya Christian, Eric Pennella and Heather Pennella Oct 14 2017

Sonya Christian, Eric Pennella, Heather Pennella

Check out “Bakersfield College celebrates homecoming with parade, tailgating” by Joseph Luiz at The Bakersfield Californian. It has some incredible photos of Renegade fans celebrating before the big game.

John Harte took some great shots – they are available here. 

Photo by John Harte

Photo by John Harte, original from http://www.bakersfield.com

April Massirio also provided some lovely photos from TailGade and the parade. Check them out at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/2017/TailGade

Homecoming Parade

Homecoming Parade, photo by April Massirio.

Homecoming Royalty Court

Homecoming Royalty is an honored and longstanding tradition of Bakersfield College that recognizes outstanding students at Bakersfield College. The Homecoming Royalty Court this year will be comprised of two students who shall represent the College and student body at various campus and community events throughout the year. The selection process for the Homecoming Royalty Court is based upon the candidate’s leadership activities, academic achievement, and campus involvement. Royalty are screened and ultimately selected based on the applicant’s’ ability to articulate and demonstrate academic performance, curricular and co-curricular involvement, contributions to the College as well as the Bakersfield Community, and BC Renegade Spirit. This year there were nine candidates selected.

Homecoming Court (1)

Elka Desjardins is a Journalism/Agriculture Business Management/Forestry major. She is also the Historian for the BC Agriculture Student Organization and she works as a hairstylist, photographer, and wedding officiant when not in a classroom or on campus.

Evelyn Hernandez is a sophomore here studying Admissions of Justice. She is also the amazing secretary for your student government. Her long-term goal is to work in probation while helping the youth community in Bakersfield.

Ganae Romo-Watson is a fun loving, outgoing person. She enjoys the company of her peers as well as her faculty. She strives for greatness and rises up the people around her as well. She believes that leadership is the key to opening doors of strong bonds and future prospects.

Running to renew his title, Lawrence Salcido is a long time Renegade pushing through his final year. His passion for this school is shown through his involvement on campus. He is involved in multiple student organizations such as the BC Renegamers, the American Sign Language Club, and the Student Learning Alliance. Besides his student organization involvement, he is also a student leader and advocate, involved in student government and activities that involve BC students.

Gisela Campos, a kinesiology major, is from Delano California and in her fourth and final year at BC. She is pursuing her dream of becoming a Physical Therapist when she finishes up at CSU Long Beach. She is currently the president of Korean Culture Club.

While all five candidates are extremely qualified and exhibit the BC Spirit and the Renegade Pride, this year’s recipient of the 2017 Homecoming Royalty Court are: Elka Desjardins and Ganae Romo-Watson.

BCSGA and the Office of Student Life would like to thank Enchanted Bridal Boutique for their donation of the homecoming gowns and Mr. Tuxedo for their donation of today homecoming tuxedos.

The evening ended with BC’s Drumline performing outside the stadium.  So fortunate to have Tim Heasley at BC.

Drumline.jpg

Thank you Mary Jo Pasek for being you!

Mary Jo Pasek and Sonya Christian Oct 14 2017

Gov. Jerry Brown signs AB 19 and AB 705

It’s been an active week for community colleges across California with Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of new legislation to make education more affordable and efficient for students across California’s Community Colleges.

Harold Pierce describes the new bills in an article on the cover of Wednesday’s Bakersfield Californian.

The California College Promise, also known as AB 19 essentially attempts to maximize student success by encouraging full-time enrollment, and we’ve already started on a similar path at our campus with the Kern Promise.  Please note that the Kern Promise is not about “free tuition.” It is a shared responsibility of the college with the student to complete their degree in a timely manner.  For example, with the Associates Degree for Transfer to complete their 60 credits at BC and then transfer to CSUB or another 4 year university.  For more on the Kern Promise see https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/sse/kernpromise

AB 705 legislates the use of multiple measures to determine students’ entry-level math and English placement at College.  BC piloted Multiple Measures three years ago and this year it is fully instituted thanks for the intense efforts on the part of Janet Fulks, Sue Vaughn and faculty in Academic Development, English and Math.  Also, thanks to the great collaboration with KHSD.  The standards for the courses at BC are still the same, the only change is that we are more connected with the high schools in order to provide a seamless transition from high school to college.  This saves the taxpayer money when public sector institutions are working to promote efficiency and effectiveness.

We’re equipping students with the tools they need to be successful, making sure that they’re enrolled full time and completing transfer-level math and English in their first year, which our guided pathways research has demonstrated is crucial for students to successfully make their way through college.

Korean Delegation Visits Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College was honored to host delegates from our sister city, Bucheon, South Korea.  A dozen delegates, including their Vice Mayor, Oh Byoung Kwon, retired KCCD Chancellor Sandra SerranoKCCD Chancellor Tom Burke, and John Heffner met with faculty and staff to tour our campus and learn about our incredible programs.

Btw, talking about our campus, let me take this opportunity to once again thank Kern County for passing Measure J.

Korean Delegates Visit BC

Korean Delegates Visits BC. With Sandra Serrano, Tom Burke, John Heffner, Kimberly Bligh, Lesley Bonds

During their first stop, the delegates spoke with our international student services Counselor, Shohreh Rahman to learn about the support we offer to nearly 100 students from all over the world.

Shohreh Rahman and Korean Delegate Oct 15 2017

Prof. Shohreh Rahman

After hearing about our, world-traveling choir and theatre arts programs, our guests insisted on seeing the theatre.  They quietly slipped into their seats to listen in to Dr. Jen Garrett’s students for a few moments.  They were thoroughly impressed by the theatre but, more importantly, loved seeing our faculty and students in action.

Jen Garret and Choir Koren delegation

The next stop was at the best restaurant in town: the Renegade Room. Chef Suzanne Tangeman invited our BC guests to the kitchen where her students were beginning a lesson, chopping vegetables to create a salad.  Chef Suzanne welcomed our guests and describe the program benefits.

Chez Suzanne and students Korean Delegation

Chef Suzanne Tangeman and Culinary Students

Culinary students Korean Delegation Oct 15 2017

Before heading to the Planetarium for a quick show led by Dr. Nick Stobel, the group swung by the Industrial Automation Robotics Lab to learn about our work to meet the demands the technology-driven business model of the 21st century.

Planetarium with Korean Delegation

Thank you to Manny Fernandez for leading the lab tour and talking with such enthusiasm about the way this program will help our students while meeting an industry demand.

John Heffner with Manny Fernandez and Korean Delegation

It is customary in Korean culture to exchange gifts upon when visiting someone’s home.

 

Tarina Perry getting gift from Korean Delegation

To thank our guests, our BCSGA students and Student Life staff created bags filled with BC goodies.

BC SGA

In exchange, Vice Mayor Oh Byoung Kwon presented gifts to BC faculty, staff, and students. The South Korean delegation from Bucheon’s visit to BC was part of a larger trip to Bakersfield.  Read more about an event earlier this week  to honor the sacrifices of Korean War veterans.

A special thank you to Paul Beckworth, Liz Rozell, Stephen Waller, Nicky Damania, Kimberly Bligh, Tarina Perry, for coordinating this visit and sharing BC’s story with our guests.  And thank you Lesley Bonds for being the lead on this. #WeAreBC

Kimberly Bligh and Lesley Bonds leading the tour

Love, Peace, and Blessings 

Washington, D.C.

On Monday, I was in Washington DC to present at the national Grantmakers for Education conference.  This was my first time at a conference of “grant makers.”  In this picture, you see me with the College Futures Foundation, Irvine Foundation, Gates Foundation and the Teagle Foundation.  These individuals are smart and at their core believe in the transformative power of education.  This combination of  passion and intellect along with a keen sense of scalability and return on investment allows them to use the private philanthropic dollars in a very smart way.  Needless to say it was a fabulous experience for an educator like me to hang out with large private philanthropic foundations at this conference.  #WeAreBC

 

Grantmakers for Ed Conf Oct 16 2017

Sonya Christian, Shawn Whalen, April Yee, Christie Hill, Loni Bordoloi Pazich

Last time I was in D.C., it was Spring 2016 and I can still remember the cherry blossoms. You can visit my blog about that trip here. During that trip, I had attended the AACC Pathways Institute, but also had time to visit some of my favorite places.

During this trip, I rushed over  to the national mall and walked the historical pathways between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.

One of my friends asked me if I ever visited the Jefferson Memorial and the answer is sadly “no.”  So for my next trip I look forward to visiting the Jefferson Memorial.

Jefferson Memorial from britannica

Prayer Luncheon

I attended the annual luncheon event, hosted by the Thursday Prayer group, for leadership in government. The keynote speaker was Rev. Oscar Anthony who gave a powerful talk on unity and prayer.  Pastor Anthony graduated from BC and still engaged with the work of the college.  Thank you for Jan Lockhard and the Thursday prayer group for all you support for our community.

Oscar Anthony

Love, Peace, and Blessings all

The 2017 Great ShakeOut

2017Shakeout-header

At 10:19 on Thursday, the 2017 Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill was held on all BC campuses. The day is a reminder that earthquakes are a part of life in our state and a major earthquake could be on the horizon at any time. When the alarms rang, our whole campus followed the procedure to (1) Drop, (2) Cover, and (3) Hold on! After the two-minute drill, our buildings evacuated and each building was thoroughly checked.

ShakeOut organizers note that many Californians have not experienced a damaging earthquake, such as young people or people who have recently moved to the state. They also warned that while the San Andreas fault could generate a large-scale earthquakes, up to magnitude-8, “there are over a hundred other active faults in the region that can produce smaller earthquakes.”

Our campus responded wonderfully and I reported to the Incident Command Center at exactly 10:23. The ICC immediately sprang into action receiving information from Building Marshalls, Runners, and Public Safety Personnel. Todd Coston, our Planning Chief reported all building clearings on a white board on one side of the room and Chief Counts, our Safety Officer cross checked these reports with our campus map. Each individual in the ICC has a specific role to support the Incident Commander with various responsibilities and key activities. By 10:43, we had all the information we needed to cut the alarms and give the “All Clear” signals.

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We take the annual ShakeOut and all emergency drills very seriously to ensure our students, staff, and faculty are as safe as possible and also to practice responding so that we are well trained and ready in case of an emergency situation. I invite you to share Earthquake Safety for College Students, which is available at https://www.shakeout.org/downloads/2014_College_Student_Preparedness.pdf

Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia and Karen Goh

Olivia Garcia and Mayor Karen Goh

While the rest of the media was busy covering the new Assembly bills, Olivia Garcia took the time to write an article about our Digital Delano project in Tuesday’s Bakersfield Californian.

Olivia’s story highlighted this new project, headed by Dr. Oliver Rosales, to document the oral histories of farm workers in Delano and other rural areas in Kern County, preserving all of their amazing stories for generations to come, while providing an archival resource for rural students in Kern County to research their own community’s history.

BC was blessed to be chosen for this funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to even begin work on this project, and it’s great to see it finally starting to take shape.

This Week on Social Media

On Instagram this week, Sequoia Sandwich Company featured Jack Hernandez as a regular and one of their favorite customers! His usual is posted as an oatmeal cookie and a cup of coffee.  That sounds like a winning combo to me!

Instagram_Jack
And then I saw these gorgeous cookies from Arisve & Bianca Pimentel and I couldn’t help but grab a screen capture to share with you all. Check them out at Pimentel Delights. We Are BC and I’m the luckiest and happiest college president, ever!

Instagram_Cookies

Corny Rodriguez on Facebook

Corny his daughter and grand daughter Alzeimer's walk Oct 2017

Pam Boyles with grandson on Facebook

Robert Boyles Facebook of Pam Boyles with grandson Oct 20 2017

Links Celebration Photos

I shared last week that BC was in full force at The Links, Incorporated’s 40 year celebration of providing important educational resources to the community. I wanted to share a few photos from the event. If you missed my piece last week, check it out here!

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Faculty busy supporting our students and community

Thank you Dr. Oliver Rosales for moderating this panel discussing issues of poverty.

Oliver Rosales OBOBOK Oct 19 2017

Prof. Olivia Garcia with her students

Olivia Garcia October 19 2017 about History Seminar

Pam Gomez tweeted from the CCPT Conf with the BC Team

CCPT Conf Oct 19 2017 Pam Gomez

Pam Gomez at CCPT Conf

Renegade Athletics

Women’s Basketball

This week, Coach Paula Dahl sent an email to our campus community and she said,

I am so incredibly excited about this year’s team. I have 19 completely dedicated student/athletes. They are completing a mandatory 5 hours in the tutoring center per week, taking a minimum of 15 units, many also have jobs, and one is even a parent of 2. We have future doctors, nurses, lawyers, police offers, ultra sound technicians, physical therapists and teachers in our midst. This will be a fun team to follow because they embrace hard work and a commitment to being great. Some of these incredible student-athletes do not have great support at home and are struggling to raise the $400.00 we require. This money goes towards travel gear, an exposure showcase where they are seen by 4 year coaches, Synergy a game editing software that helps them improve their game and also allows them to be seen by virtually every college coach across the country. Our program is committed to transferring our athletes.

If you would like to contact me separately I would be happy to tell you about those athletes that are struggling to meet our fundraising goal and you can adopt them for $60 dollars. This will get you a t-shirt and a team photo. Thank you for all you do to make this an incredible place to work. We hope to see you at our games. The Disneyland Drawing will be Friday November 3 not the 10th.

womenbeatlapierce

Paula is right and all our students are absolutely inspiring and incredible. To keep up with our Womens Basketball team, visit Gogades.com

And if you’re interested in any of the fundraisers the team currently has going on, feel free to reach out to coach Paula at pdahl@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

BC Volleyball

Jon Mettus at the Bakersfield Californian published an article featuring BC Volleyball and included this quote from Coach Carl Ferreira.

“Sometimes we get caught up placing so much emphasis on performance and results and all this kind of stuff,” Ferreira said. “It really kind of puts you back a little bit to understand that the most important success we should have is just as grateful people and seeing the human spirit at work. That volleyball match was a therapeutic match for those ladies and for our team.”  Don’t miss this great read located here.

Women’s golf

Women's gold Oct 19 2017 from gogades website

The Renegades finished third in the WSC match No. 7 at the Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena, on Monday.

Women’s Soccer

Women's Soccer Oct 17 2017 Photo by William Velasquez

The Renegades beat Citrus, 1-0, on October 17th to improve to (5-5-2, 1-1-1).  Odalys Espinoza scored the only goal of the game, her 8th of the season.

Jennifer Garrett and BC Chamber Singers

Bakersfield City School District held the 10th Annual Junior High/Middle School Choir Festival and BC’s Dr. Jen Garrett was the guest clinician and conductor. See the article and all the photos at bcsd.com.

Jen also sent out an email worth sharing this week. She said:

Ken Burdick and Jenn Garrett April 1 2017

Ken Burdick, Jen Garrett

Conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein is often quoted as saying, “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” Never before has this quote struck me more than it did Monday night as I rehearsed with the Chamber Singers. We discussed the happenings of Las Vegas with great sadness, especially as two of our students grieved for lost friends. Then we made some of the most beautiful music of the semester and I watched as the grieving students devoted themselves to the music and in some way began to heal from their loss. One of them approached me after rehearsal and said that singing did not change what happened, but it gave them the ability to think more clearly and deal with it on a personal level. Music truly can be a powerful tool for good in this world.

With that in mind I want to invite every one of our BC family to join the choirs to celebrate the power of music at our fall concert on October 27 in the Indoor Theater. It is called, “The Music of Living” and it encourages people to share in the beauty, peace, and joy that music brings to this world. I know that many today are weighed down with the happenings of all the recent tragedies, but I believe those who attend will leave inspired, and motivated to be part of the change for good. The concert also features 7 incredible local instrumentalists and one of the pieces that Dr. Ron Kean composed for the choir this past spring. I hope that you will join us for a night of celebrating how music helps us live to the fullest. The concert begins at 7:30 and tickets can be purchased from Vallitix or at the door. Faculty, staff, students, administration, seniors, and veterans are $7 and $10 general. We do tend to sell out so you might want to purchase tickets in advance or arrive early.

And, are you saving the date for the annual Culinary Caroling Dinner? I look forward to this festive event each holiday season. The date this year is December 2nd at 5:30PM. Tickets will be available from Jen, any of the Chamber Singers, or at the Fall Concert.

Community Voices by Catherine Jones

Catherine Jones from TBCBC Professor Catherine Jones had a Community Voices piece published this week where she shared the associate degree program in Occupational Safety and Risk Management. She says, “Kern County is blessed with many types of industry and now there will be an educational pathway for safety and risk management professionals which matches the diversity in industry.”  Read more here at bakersfield.com.

So what about Neo?

October 18, 2017 — 7 months old

 

 

Love, Peace, Blessings to my friends and colleagues

Sonya Christian at airport heading back home July 27 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever