Tag Archives: Nick Strobel

KCCD leaders with our communities

We are wrapping up our third week of the Fall 2021 semester, and all three of our campuses have been alive with the bustle of students, faculty, and staff. We’ve also welcomed the return of athletics on our campuses. I invite you to follow our Porterville College Pirates, Cerro Coso Community College Coyotes, and Bakersfield College Renegades throughout the season.

This week, I was honored to speak at the Rotary Club of Bakersfield Downtown’s meeting on Thursday.

I shared some of the work that has been happening over the past few years, and throughout the pandemic, and the plans for the next five years. #KCCDDaringMightyThings

I am grateful for the deep and meaningful connections our colleges have to our communities.

Good morning, friends…
It is September 4, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

This week, the Pirates, the Coyotes, and the Renegades continue to 
#DareMightyThings


Porterville College

PC brings new Leadership to Equity and Diversity efforts

Porterville College’s new Director of Equity and Student Success hopes to use his background in Equity and Inclusion to strengthen the student experience. 

Dr. Julian West

Dr. Julian West holds two degrees from California State University, Bakersfield: a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and an M.B.A. with an emphasis in Marketing. Additionally, He has studied at San Diego State University where he earned a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in community college leadership. Before coming to Porterville College, Julian was serving as a Director at the Career Ladders Project. While at Career Ladders, Dr. West assisted in developing equity work at various community colleges across the state.

Prior to that, he served as the Educational Advisor for African American Success at Bakersfield College. While at BC, the college received the innovation of the year award from the Community College League of Innovation for the African American Mentor Program (AAMP).

PC Students RUSH to join clubs on campus

Porterville College held its first Club Rush event of the Fall Semester this past week, bringing students to the quad to explore different choices for student clubs available on campus. 

Club Rush is held every semester to promote campus clubs, student involvement, and recruitment. Due to the Pandemic, this is our first time hosting the event in-person for over a year.

Various clubs were in attendance to provide students with information on things that might meet their interests –whether those interests be academic, career or hobby. From honor societies, to LGBTQIA+ clubs, to entertainment and cultural clubs, Club Rush had a wide variety to choose from.

The RUSH for club recruitment continues next week with another day in the quad for students on Wednesday, September 8th.

PC Sports ask students to MASK UP!

The Porterville College Men’s Basketball and Women’s Volleyball Teams were seen on social media asking students to wear their masks.  They have been taking to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in recent days with the hashtag #PiratesMaskUp. Go Pirates! 


Cerro Coso Community College

Cheers for Charity Pulls Out All the Stops

Math Instructor at the Tehachapi campus Jaclyn Kessler and President Sean Hancock pose for a picture in front of the Cheers for Charity welcome banner.

The CCCC Foundation would like to thank Cheers for Charity for selecting Cerro Coso Community College as a recipient of this year’s wine, food, and beer fundraiser in Tehachapi.  The fun, laid-back atmosphere boasted an awesome selection of food, wine, beer, music, and games all in support of local non-profits. 

Guests sipped, savored, mixed and mingled their way through an impressive number of local award-winning wines, craft beers, homebrews, and culinary exhibits. 

The evening was a breath of fresh air with some of the most passionate and knowledgeable volunteers. the event was a great way to enjoy everything the region has to offer. Proceeds will benefit Cerro Coso Promise Scholarships for Tehachapi students.

Library Supports ISEP Students

The Cerro Coso Library is pleased to announce a new “Core Academic Collection” of print reference titles for the Tehachapi Prison D-Yard Library! This collection of over 200 titles was purchased with Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) funding and was curated with input from ISEP faculty. 

The collection includes such titles as:  African American Culture: An Encyclopedia of People, Traditions, and Customs; American Prisons and Jails: An Encyclopedia of Controversies and Trends; Economics: The Definitive Encyclopedia from Theory to Practice; The Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice; Encyclopedia of Psychology; and The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. The collection addresses a gap in access to academic sources at the prison, most recently made clear by students taking LIBR C111 “Advanced Library Research and Information Studies.” 

When asked to contribute to the library blog, students were eager to reflect on the social, psychological, and physiological impacts of living in an information-restricted environment while their non-incarcerated peers are living in an information-saturated society.

Read their blog posts at: cerrocoso.libguides.com/blog

Ridgecrest Parade of 1,000 Flags to remember 20th anniversary of 9/11

September 11, 2021, will mark the 20th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. that killed 2,977 people and injured more than 6,000 others. Cerro Coso will participate in this year’s Parade of 1,000 Flags in Ridgecrest on September 11, 2021 at 9 a.m.  

Despite our shared grief in the aftermath of 9/11, hope, resilience, and unity lifted us up as a nation. Twenty years later, these lessons are more important than ever.  Since 2008 the Parade of 1,000 Flags has become one of the community’s signature events. 

As a nation we vowed to “never forget” and on this day Cerro Coso students, employees, and family members will march in unity with others in remembrance of those who were killed and injured in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as well as the many rescue and recovery workers and members of the military who bravely rose in service in response.


Bakersfield College

BC to Offer License Renewal Course for Smog Repair Technicians

Bakersfield College announced that they will offer a 12-hour Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) License Update Training course required for smog repair technician license renewal.

The 12-hour course, UTO47 – Advanced Valve Timing and Engine Mechanical Diagnostic, along with the required BAR 4-hour online course, will satisfy the inspector update training requirements.

The course will be taught in-person on the Panorama campus September 16th, September 17th, September 23rd and September 24th from 6:00pm – 9:00pm. BC is meeting the rising need for continual education opportunities for Smog Repair Technicians.

Interested individuals may sign up by contacting the Career Education office.

Bakersfield College to Host AWE Education Series Webinar I on Tuesday

On September 7 at 10 a.m., the Bakersfield College Energy Technology Transfer and Workforce Development initiative is hosting its first webinar in the Agriculture/Water/Energy (AWE) Education Series. The webinar, “An Introduction to Existing and Potential Opportunities in Kern County” features a panel of local stakeholders and national researchers sharing their perspectives on emerging opportunities and technology within their respective fields.

The panelists are – Roger Aines, Senior Scientist and energy researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Patricia Poire, Executive Director at the Kern Groundwater Authority; and Joe Ashley, Director of Regulatory and External Affairs at California Resources Corporation.

To attend this event, Register for the AWE Webinar.

James Fitzgerald, Criminal Profiler and Forensic Linguist “Visits” Bakersfield College

BC students, faculty, staff, and community members were treated to a presentation about the Unabom serial bomber investigation this week. James Fitzgerald, criminal profiler, forensic linguist and author, shared stories of his involvement in the Unabom case and his experience in other cases as a forensic linguist. He was live via Zoom and on BSGA’s Facebook. Recordings will be available soon.

You may have seen the Discovery Channel’s scripted mini-series Manhunt: Unabomber that aired in August 2017. Fitzgerald was portrayed by actor Sam Worthington and shared a few photos and compared real life events with how it was portrayed on TV.  He also shared a few experiences with his consultant work on CBS’s Criminal Minds. He finished his presentation with advice for students on entering the forensic linguist and criminal profiler fields and advice for reaching the goal of working for the FBI.

This was the first of this year’s Distinguished Speaker Series (DSS) which brings community leaders from around the world to benefit Bakersfield with their knowledge and experience. The speakers are brought to us by the BCSGA and Office of Student Life in collaboration with departments and faculties of Bakersfield College. Thank you to Pam Smith, Professor of Criminal Justice, for coordinating this event. 

Don’t miss the rest of the series! Check out the schedule, which includes Rob Reiner in April, at BC Distinguished Speaker Series.

Webinars to discuss C.O.P. The Color of Power: Odyssey of a Black Cop Webinar

The Levan Center for the Humanities is kicking off this year’s lineup of events on Thursday, September 9th, with two virtual events starring our own Tommy Tunson. Tommy will be hosting two webinars on Thursday that are based on his recent book: The Color of Power: Odyssey of a Black Cop. Since these events are webinars, they require advanced registration. The times and links are below. Please tell your students about these webinars and encourage them to attend, again underscoring that they must register in advance. As always, thanks for all of your support, and I look forward to see all of you Thursday!

After decades of civil unrest protesting police brutality against communities of color, the George Floyd murder has provided a long-awaited catalyst in demanding necessary reform. Local Leader Dr. Tommy Tunson Advocates for Unity between Law Enforcement & Communities of Color. Kern County Author Releases New Book, The “Color of Power: Odyssey of a Black Cop.”  “Sylvester Stone” is the pen name of Dr. Tunson. This book is one cop’s story of the internal struggle of being a cop of color. All students and community members are invited to hear his amazing story! This event is highly recommended for CJ students and law enforcement professionals. September 9th, 1100 am and 5:00 pm.

Sign up for this motivating webinar:

11am registration link: https://cccconfer.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FMMXwh04SAS64tDYoAEWag

5pm registration link: https://cccconfer.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_OgWh_J9dQweipiH0wCZokQ

Professors win grant to bring attention to the farmworker movement

BC History Professor Oliver Rosales is co-directing a grant with CSUB’s Adam Sawyer who directs liberal studies.  They worked together on projects dating back a decade. 

This grant award builds upon Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley, a NEH grant wrapping up at KCCD (2017-2021).  While the existing grant focused exclusively on community college faculty within KCCD, this new NEH landmarks grant will expand opportunities for 72 K-12 educators to learn about historical landmarks in the San Joaquin Valley during a professional development opportunity in summer 2022.


Poetry Corner

Photo of Rockport

Last week, I shared the fifth part in Jack Hernandez‘s Rockport in June series.

Please enjoy Part 6:

With its flicking light
the lighthouse signals
the island’s existence
in this thick night,
I go to bed with hope
that such a sign
will let me know
I still have
many places to go.

In the News

Community Voices: The mighty thing about early college

KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the next step in BC’s Early College Program.

“So in a few weeks, join Bakersfield College and McFarland High School-Early College in daring mighty things in announcing a new opportunity for high school students to earn a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Automation in five years. In partnership, Bakersfield College and McFarland High School–Early College has removed barriers and created an opportunity for all students with the chance to have a college education, regardless of their circumstance or background.”

COUCH’S CORNER: State agriculture secretary visits District 4

My visit with Secretary Ross concluded at McFarland High School, where we were greeted by the school’s audiovisual production class. McFarland High School students also gave a tour of the agriculture and industrial automation degree programs offered at the campus. I would be remiss if I did not mention that roughly 26 percent of the students graduate with an AA degree from Bakersfield Community College. The high school students also had a separate robotics challenge on display, and we took a tour of their recently renovated welding shop.

Read more: https://www.bakersfield.com/delano-record/couchs-corner-state-agriculture-secretary-visits-district-4/article_0b763424-0d12-11ec-a59a-639fca298275.html

Community Voices: The matter of religious liberty on vaccines

Let me start by thanking those who decided to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Your decision has reduced my chances of getting COVID-19 and has reduced the chance of all the children under 12 getting COVID-19, children who do not have a choice because they cannot get the vaccine. Whether you decided because of a self-interest in not wanting to risk getting seriously ill or because of a sense of social responsibility in being part of a society that can only thrive by cooperating and helping each other out — whatever the reason, thank you. Because COVID-19 is a very infectious disease, your decision affects my and other people’s health.

Read more: https://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/community-voices/community-voices-the-matter-of-religious-liberty-on-vaccines/article_89900a40-0c06-11ec-889a-c70a8a58b8fb.html

Leadership Porterville Class of 22 introduced

Esther Avila of The Porterville Recorder wrote this article about the Leadership Porterville Class of 22. This year’s class includes Refugio Rodriguez, CTE/Dual Enrollment Director at Porterville College. PC President Claudia Habib was the keynote speaker at the event.

Fun Photos/Spotted on Social Media

PC President Claudia Habib shared these photos from the Leadership Porterville event:

Cerro Coso Athletics shared a post from their kick off Cosolympics 2021 event:

Jennifer Garrett shared this great photo from a BC Chamber Singers rehearsal:

And I loved this adorable picture Cheryl Scott shared of her dog, Remi:

Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, left, and BC program manager Stacey Shepard, right, show off their BC pride. Supervisor Perez has been going out with BC canvassers as part of our door-to-door, on-site vaccine effort in partnership with UCLA’s Get Out the Vaccine project and our community partners Dignity Health, Kern Health Systems and Hall Ambulance.

Dr. Kimberly Bligh with a TRIO student

Pictures from the Rotary meeting on Sep 2, 2021

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That’s a wrap for now.
See you next Saturday!

The future is bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

#KCCDDaringMightyThings

#LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation

What a difficult, active week at the virtual Home of the Renegades as we continue to Shelter in Place and engage with a world coping with COVID-19, the recession, and the horrific public death of George Floyd.

The picture above is from a friend’s garden. These are the Mexican bird of paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima). They bloom when the temperature gets above 90.

Renegade Baseball Pitcher Sends Caring Note To Bakersfield PD

Through social media and television we have seen many protests around the country, and our community has been no different. After one of this week’s protests in downtown Bakersfield, the Bakersfield Police Department shared a photo of a card that a ‘black teen’ had given one of the BPD officers earlier that evening.

We soon found out that ‘black teen’ was none other than one of our Renegade Baseball student athletes, PJ Roberts. PJ is a pitcher and has been on the team the last two years. While PJ did not share this card with the officer to be recognized publicly, we are beyond proud of his actions to bridge the gap at this critical point in time. Way to be the change you wish to see in the world, PJ! #StudentTeacher

Good morning Bakersfield
It is Saturday, June 6, 2020 – a great day to be a Renegade.

I’d like to start off this week with a video I saw from Trevor Noah, who hosts The Daily Show. In it, he talks about how different events are connected and knock into each other like dominoes, causing a great wave.

#LightACandle: A Juneteenth Celebration

On the heels of the recent death of George Floyd and mass unrest across the country, Bakersfield College will host a two week conversation and virtual celebration leading up to June 19 or “Juneteenth,” a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

Six days after Floyd’s murder, I penned a letter to the campus and community.  In part, I wrote: 

I believe that in the 50 years since King asked this question – What is it that America has failed to hear? We have made enormous progress that we can and should be proud of. But we need to hear what George Floyd’s Memorial Day death – and our national reactions to it – are saying. It is a long and painful history, which makes it harder to hear. It is a dark and confusing time, which makes it harder to see how to move forward. But as Bakersfield College Renegades, we owe it to our community, to our veterans, and we each owe it to George Floyd, to join together, listen with humility, and to bring light that can illuminate the way ahead.

In this spirit, I invite you to join Bakersfield College for a two-week series of Juneteenth conversations across multiple platforms to #LightACandle and #ShineALight on the gut wrenching and horrific experiences of our Black brothers and sisters as they go about their business contributing to the economic wellbeing of our community, volunteering to help the neediest in our society, enjoying a family stroll in the neighborhood park with their children. We invite you to listen, learn, engage, and make an action-oriented commitment to speak up, lean in and create an environment that values every human.  

Thank you to the leadership of the #LightACandle Juneteenth Planning Team: Steven Watkin, Paula Parks, Tommy Tunson, and Jennifer Achan.

BC Joins Prayer Walk

At Steven Watkin’s invitation, dozens of BC faculty and staff joined a peaceful community walk and prayer on Wednesday. 

Led by Pastor Oscar Anthony of St. Peter Restoration Community Christian Ministries, and Pastor Ignacio Valdez of New Hope Family Worship Center, with the support of networks such as Kern County Ministers Conference, Kern Leadership Alliance and CityServe, hundreds assembled to acknowledge the pain our community is in, while promoting promote reconciliation healing.

I was grateful to walk alongside Steve Watkin and our BC team in solidarity for #BlackLivesMatter.

#RealTalk on Race with Danny, Reggie, and Julian

On Thursday, June 4, BC launched the first of a series of #RealTalk on Race discussions, hosted by Danny Morrison Media.  Over 7000 views in just 3 days!

Danny, always a friend to BC and an ardent supporter of our African American Initiatives and Inmate Scholars program, kicked off the discussion with a reflection on the recent high-profile deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmed Arbery. I was struck by the weight of the dialogue as he recalled a long history of murders of Black men at the hands of those in power… the stories of Philando Castile, Eric Garner, and Emmett Till.

Reggie Bolton, BC professor of kinesiology, and Julian West, director of the Career Ladders Project, described their personal experiences coming to terms with race and racism as Black men. As I listened to Reggie, Julian, and Danny, I felt the enormity of the moment we are in as a nation and the responsibility we have as educators to shine light on these stories.  The words of these men – brilliant, courageous, kind hearted, and committed to our students – should strengthen our resolve to work for racial equity at BC and beyond.

The livestream also featured a video from Steve Watkin.

BC in the News: The Bakersfield Californian

The Bakersfield Californian published a great article on BC’s plans to shine light on the ways education can advance justice.  Thank you, Ema Sasic, for capturing not only our plans for the weeks ahead, but also the ways BC has been advancing educational equity for Black students through the remarkable work of our African American Initiatives team.  I enjoyed reading the highlights of our progress on increasing access and success for our students over the past five years:

  • Increased overall enrollment of Black students by 45% to more than 1,000 students
  • Increased first-time Black student enrollment by 72%
  • Increased Black student enrollment in Early College opportunities by 1,017%
  • Increased Black student completion of associate degrees by 223%

Umoja students share feelings on recent killings by police

Umoja Community students and faculty gathered virtually to discuss recent killings of African Americans by police. Over the past few weeks, the murders of Ahmad Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have dominated the news. Repeated exposure to lynching is traumatizing.

Floyd’s murder, captured on video and widely circulated, has ignited pain and anger in the Black community and resulted in protests nationwide. The Umoja Community – a program designed for African-American students that includes coursework, mentoring, academic and cultural trips, and counseling support to keep students on track to graduate – routinely provides space for students to share and process their lived experiences.

Students said this latest incident feels different from other police murders captured on camera because of what the video shows: Floyd was handcuffed when he was pushed onto the pavement. You observe the officer rather nonchalantly with his hands in his pocket and with his knee on Floyd’s neck. Over 8 minutes and 46 seconds, you see Floyd plead for his life and call out “Mama,” then slowly lose consciousness and die. Three officers watch and the crowd shouts out that “he ain’t moving.” It seemed to students the most extreme example of police abuse and of an undeserved, agonizing death.

In addition, Floyd evokes Eric Garner’s words, “I can’t breathe” sixteen times. This painful revisit of the 2014 New York case is a reminder as one student put it that “the deaths keep increasing.” The police aren’t charged or convicted even with video evidence, which emboldens police, students explained, to continue to abuse their power. Black people are re-traumatized with each death, understanding that they are similarly at risk. One student said she felt “numb.” Another reported that she was at “the breaking point.”

Being in the middle of a pandemic and somewhat isolated, they noted, adds to their anxiety because they have fewer outlets while being constantly bombarded with videos of Floyd’s death and mass protests. Students are suffering from a double injury: fears for their basic physical safety from police as well as threats to their physical and mental health from COVID.

Said one student, “racism is our (constant) virus.”

Community Voices

I was happy to see in The Bakersfield Californian this week two pieces from BC faculty and staff lending perspective on how we move forward.

Lesley Bonds, BC’s Director of Student Success & Equity reflected on the significance of Juneteenth in the midst of mass unrest. She calls upon white people to learn to practice anti-racism. Read her suggestions for how people can practice anti-racism HERE.

An excerpt:

“Anti-racism is more than simply not acting racist. Anti-racism requires constant vigilance — an unlearning of our conditioned behaviors, beliefs and biases, and constant, intentional, new learning of the ways we can recognize and dismantle racism in ourselves, our community, our institutions, and the systems we navigate daily.”

Nick Strobel, Astronomy professor and Director of BC’s planetarium called upon us to reconcile the “story of American society” with the stories we are reading today in order to give meaning to the popular hashtag #WeAreAllInThisTogether. Read Nick’s piece HERE.

An excerpt:

“If American society is to survive, we all need to recognize that an alternate story, that has been told in word and deed for many, many decades at least, has grown more powerful than the shared story of opportunity and equal application of the law… Do we want that? Do we really believe that the shared story on which this nation was founded is not real and can never be real?”

BC launches free immigration clinics

Bakersfield College is partnering with the UFW Foundation to offer Immigration Clinics for BC students, faculty and staff. The next two Clinics are on Tuesday, June 9th, and Thursday, June 25th, from 9 AM to 6 PM. DACA renewals are being prioritized and Fee Assistance is available at this time.

You may email ab540@bakersfieldcollege.edu for instructions on setting appointments. The Immigration Clinics are held virtually on Zoom.

BC receives Job Corps Scholars Program funding

Bakersfield College has been named as one of twenty recipients to receive part of the $24 million Job Corps Scholars Program funding, provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.

This national program serves Job Corps eligible youth by providing free tuition for their first year in the Job Corps Scholars program, career technical training, and intensive personal and career counseling services towards program completion.

Back to College

I wanted to share with you all a story from one of our student Renegades, Martha Lopez. She was left jobless when the Coronavirus pandemic hit, and decided to try out our Back to College program.

“I had just started a new job working at a Distribution Center when the Coronavirus hit. The entire center was shut down and everybody was left without a job, and we didn’t know for how long it was going to last. I started looking for a new job, but then I heard about the Back to College program on TV. I had been going to BC on and off for over several years and always struggled and felt like it was not for me, but I decided to give it one more try. From the start, the counselors helped me with Financial Aid and helped me find classes that were required for my major, and that were also interesting to me. The professors were all very clear from the beginning by telling us exactly what was required, and they were always there when we had questions. I had taken online classes before, but this time was a huge difference. Not only did I get As and Bs in all my classes, but I actually enjoyed them, especially Art which I was not expecting, and I’m excited to keep going in the summer and fall. At first I was only planning on getting my degree in Sociology at BC, but after talking to my counselors and professors, I’ve decided I want to actually transfer to CSUB and go on to become a Substance Abuse Counselor.”

Our Back to College program is still going strong with courses for this summer. Please check it out!

Fun Social Media

Our Admission & Records director, Jackie Lau, earned her Masters degree this year. The Admission & Records department shared a wonderful tribute on Facebook to celebrate her achievement.

The BC Library is sharing resources on racism. Check it out at https://bakersfieldcollege.libguides.com/blacklivesmatter.

Closing Week Videos

Before each day’s celebration, we shared a few videos from throughout the year – including this performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” performed by our BC choir, faculty, staff, and administration:

Student Affairs earned a President’s Leadership Award:

And incoming BCSGA Vice-President Emma McNellis shared her remarks:

Athletics

Coach Littlejohn Leading The Way Staying Fit During The Pandemic

Our newest Renegade Coach, Coach R. Todd Littlejohn of BC Football is leading the way in showing our campus how to stay fit during the pandemic. Here’s a picture of him doing hang cleans during his CrossFit workout this last week. Details for how the 2020 fall sports season is going to look are still being determined by the CCCAA, but one things for sure – Coach LJ will not be out of breath running up and down those sidelines coaching his team this fall!

Q&A With Sandi Taylor

The Renegade Rip ran an article where Editor-in-Chief Haley Duval interviewed retiring athletic director and softball coach Sandi Taylor.
Sandi talked about her greatest memories, proudest accomplishments, what she’ll miss, and what changes she saw during her time at BC. Thank you for the well-written article, Haley, and thank you for your years of service Sandi!

That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

The Energy that’s BC!

Berkeley Waterfront

The tune that has been in my head this week… Imagine Dragons Believer

2019 Homecoming!

Last week was BC’s Homecoming week, and our Renegades played a hard-fought game!  Thank you for coming out and showing your Renegade pride. Here are some photos and videos from last week’s game.

The Energy that’s BC!

The 16-sec ending to the Chamber singers doing the National Anthem at the game.

Jennifer Garrett and the BC Choir singing the National Anthem
Sonya Christian, Steve Watkin, Catherine Rangal, Tonya Cordova
Mayor Goh, President Christian, Catherine Rangel and Mary Jo Pasek
Bill Potter with 17 rowdy kids!
BC Fireworks!

BC SouthWest Has Officially Moved! 

The move has happened!  We officially moved our classes to the new BC SouthWest campus, which will be held in modulars while construction for the new building is underway.  It was a busy and exciting week, but we are ecstatic to begin our journey at our new home in Southwest Bakersfield! Make sure to check out this great video on the new BC SouthWest center!

Leo Campo and Brynn Shock

BCSGA Power Lunch with Rudy Salas

We had the pleasure of hosting Assemblymember Rudy Salas this past week, who spoke with BC students in the Levan Center for another great BCSGA Power Lunch. BCSGA believes that it is important for students and the community to hear from the people that are representing them, so they invite an important government leader in Kern County to participate in the Power Lunch every month.

Assemblymember Rudy Salas at the BCSGA Power Luncheon

Assemblymember Salas talked about his childhood in southeast Bakersfield, as well as his career in politics, which started with being a financial analyst for the White House in Washington, DC. Assemblymember Salas would eventually move back to Bakersfield to become the first Latino to sit on our City Council before becoming Kern County’s representative on the California Assembly for the last seven years.

OSL serving lunch to attendees

Salas has also been instrumental in funding for career and technical education programs at BC, awarding $1 million to our campus for two consecutive years. Check out my July 20, 2019 blog of the recognition event https://sonyachristianblog.com/2019/07/20/recognition-gratitude-one-proud-renegade-prez/

Salas inspired our students with…. “If you have it in your heart to make a difference, you can do it.”

Assemblymember Salas, Mike Giacomini and Zav Dadabhoy

I would like to give a huge thank you to Assemblymember Rudy Salas. I would also like to thank BCSGA for putting on yet another great event.

Assemblymember Salas and BCSGA’s Legislative Affairs director Johnny Maddon

Dr. Paula Green: Peacebuilding in Divided Communities

Nicky Damania, Reggie Williams, Paula Green, Nick Strobel

Our BC Student Government Association and the Office of Student Life had the pleasure of hosting the Distinguished Speaker Dr. Paula Green and her presentation Peacebuilding in Divided Communities earlier this week. Dr. Green, founder of The Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, presented her work on the significance of peacebuilding efforts in communities worldwide with the purpose of resolving conflicts and the valuable impact of understanding one another’s different views. Dr. Green discussed the importance of reconciliation through our mutual understanding to communicate on the issues that divide communities and give rise to conflicting views making it necessary to discuss and understand our differing perspectives. 

Dr. Paula Green presenting in the Distinguished Speaker Series

The humanitarian efforts of the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding advocate for the importance of bridging divides in order to develop a sustainable peace in communities worldwide affected by political, civil, religious, and war conflicts. Dr. Green has recognized that we must learn to be deep listeners and to understand the circumstances of others around us in order to accept the differences of others and to reach a point of unity and peace. Thank you to the BC Student Government Association and the Office of Student Life for hosting this presentation, and a very special thank you to Dr. Green for taking the time to visit our campus and share her insight.  And thank you Nick Strobel!

Dr. Paula Green, Dr. Ximena Da Silva

BC Hosts Distinguished Speaker Samuel Sternberg

Our second Distinguished Speaker for this week was biochemist Samuel H. Sternberg, who shared in-depth details about the revolutionary gene-editing tool CRISPR in a series of lectures at the Panorama Campus on Thursday.

Dr. Sternberg

Dr. Sternberg is an assistant professor in biochemistry at Columbia University and co-author of the book “A Crack in Creation: The New Power to Control Evolution”. His research in this field has been instrumental in the development of new technologies to edit the DNA of practically any living organism, raising thousands of bioethical questions in the process.

CRISPR, which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, is a phenomenon that was first observed in the bacteria E. coli as a way to fight off destructive bacterial viruses known as phages. A strand of RNA in the bacteria identifies where the phages are actively attempting to destroy its cellular structure and deploys an enzyme to “cut” the virus out of its DNA.

Benny Balderrama, Dr. Sternberg and Dr. Joe Saldivar

Thank you Dr. Sternberg for coming to BC, and thanks to everyone on the Office of Student Life team for making this happen. Our next Distinguished Speaker will be veteran Jason Beardsley, who will be giving three presentations in the Levan Center on November 7.

Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) Visits BC 

Earlier this week, BC hosted members of the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) to evaluate our Baccalaureate program.  The visit was to assess the progress of the Industrial Automation Baccalaureate Degree Program as one of the 15 pilot programs chosen by the State Chancellor’s Office in collaboration with the Academic Senate against the purposes articulated in the SB 850 legislation.

Legislative Analyst Edgar Cabral, from the State Chancellor’s Office, met with our team (Jason Dixon, Lora Larkin, Thomas Rush, Roy Allard, Aubrey Priest, Amber Hroch, Michelle Pena, Liz Rozell, Jennifer Achan, Cynthia Quintanilla, & Manny Fernandez), our students (Richard Van Horn, Edwin Marroquin, Aaron Thomas, & Armando Gutierrez), and industry partners Blair Pruett (Kern Steel), Jonathan Greersen (California Resources Co.), Carlos Media (BC Job Development Specialist), Sam Gomez (Tasteful Selections), Tim McCord (Carboline), Paisley Stidham and Anthony Gutierrez (GAF) yesterday to discuss our Baccalaureate in Science degree for Industrial Automation.  Thank you to our dedicated team of faculty, staff, students, and employers who helped showcase our program and our community it serves. 

State and National Visibility for Early College

Our Early College team has been busy spreading the word about the amazing work being done in association with our high school partners. Steve Watkin, Kylie Swanson, and Ashlea Ward have been sharing the scaling up of Early College across the county and the innovative ways that we have been increasing college accessibility in our rural areas. 

Ashlea Ward and Kylie Swanson

In September, the team, along with several of our high school partners, went to Riverside, CA to present at the 6th Annual California Dual Enrollment Summit, put on by the California Coalition of Early and Middle Colleges (CCEMC). Then, in October, the team went to Salt Lake City, Utah to share our work at the national level with the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP).

CCEMC Panel

As we build our relationships with other colleges across the state and across the nation, we are coming together to present Early College as a solution to the degree attainment crisis that is plaguing our nation. Early College is our chance to get students on path as early as the 9th grade, and to equip them with the skills and mindset necessary to follow that path all the way through baccalaureate completion, and beyond. 

Kylie Swanson, Steve Watkin and Ashlea Ward

Thank you for doing this crucial work, Early College team!

BC at the Kern County Education to Workforce Summit

Employers’ Training Resource, Kern Community College District and Kern High School District partnered with America’s Job Center to sponsor “Kern County Education to Workforce Summit”. The summit was held on October 24th, 2019 at the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton.

Teresa Hitchcock and Norma Rojas-Mora

BC was in full force at this Summit, with businesses, education staff, community leaders, human resource professionals, students, and the general public, providing information on hot topics in business and their impact on today’s economy. 

Norma Rojas, Mayor Goh, Nateasha Johnson and Steve Watkin

BC Ag Departments Hosts 3rd Annual Agriculture Career Expo

The Ag Expo was huge!

This past week, the Agriculture Department and the Kern County Farm Bureau hosted its 3nd Annual Agriculture Career Expo.  Over 300 FFA high school students visited campus to learn about different career opportunities in the agriculture industry. Ariana Joven, Executive Director of the Kern County Farm Bureau spoke to students about the importance of agriculture in Kern County and BC’s drumline arrived to get the students excited about the day – thank you Tim Heasley.

Students from Heather Baltis’ Agriculture Leadership Class along with the Agriculture Ambassadors helped plan and guide students around campus. High school students went to four rotations learning about different careers in the agriculture industry. A special thanks to all the industry professionals that took time to invest in these students.

Along with the different rotations, students went to the Agriculture Career Expo. Domenica Trinidad and the CTE team did an amazing job connecting students with agricultural companies around Kern County.

Domenica Trinidad and the CTE team

We would also like to thank our sponsors for making this day possible. This is a valuable experience for the next generation of agriculture employees. It was a great day to be a Renegade. WE ARE BC!

BC Presents before Sons in Retirement Group

The Sons In Retirement (SIR) Branch 163-Golden Empire, reached out and invited Heather Pennella and Tamara Baker to attend their October monthly meeting held at Hodel’s. SIRs began in 1958, and has thousands of members and branches in most areas of Central and Northern California. Tamara provided a Measure J construction update and offered information on the future projects slated to take place. Heather discussed an increased need for Alumni Engagement, and various opportunities available to support the mission of Bakersfield College. There were several Renegade alums in the crowd and all were impressed to hear that BC attendance has grown to 37,000 students. Thanks to SIR for their hospitality, and to David Fabrizius and Ron Harrington (and little Ron, see picture) for the invitation to share information about Bakersfield College with the group.

Tamara Baker, Heather Pennella, Ron Harrington and Little Ron

BC Holds New Student Orientation

Last week the BC Outreach & School Relations department held a Fall 2019 New Student Orientation session welcoming new incoming students to the BC campus. Our Outreach Advisors Angela Williams, Savannah Andrews, and Jo Ann Acosta led the New Student Orientation session guiding students on available academic resources that help students on their educational journey at BC.

2019 Mental Health Symposium

Earlier this week BC partnered with the Kern County Public Health Services Department and Kern County Behavioral Health & Services to host the first annual 2019 Mental Health Symposium.  The Symposium was held at our Indoor Theater, recognizing and raising awareness on the concerning mental health issues affecting first responders and others with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a growing mental health issue.

BC Public Safety EMT Instructor Jana Richardson, and Kern County Public Health EMS Program Manager Jeff Fariss highlighted the importance of gathering together as a Bakersfield community in order to support our first responders and everyday people affected with mental health issues and raising awareness on the symptoms of PTSD. Mental health symptoms of PTSD include stress, fear, anger, negative thoughts, recurring memories, and hyper-arousal which causes strong reactions to sounds and sights around an affected person. It is important that we work together as a community to understand the issues concerning mental health awareness and recognizing PTSD symptoms in order to help identify affected people in need of support. Thank you to the BC Public Safety, Kern Public Health, Kern Behavioral Health, and the Bakersfield community for their dedication and commitment to recognizing and raising mental health awareness in support of our first responders and community.

Bakersfield College Attends Prospanica Leadership Conference

BC Latinx students attended the Prospanica Leadership Conference this week.

Local high school students, including college students from CSUB and Bakersfield College, participated in a series of workshops which included: Dress For Success 101 (Jerry Gamez: Finos Menswear & Tux); Financial Literacy (Lorenzo Tafolla, Jesse Quintanilla, Manuel Muralles); Finding Your Purpose (Jason Hanash– Senior Pastor Discovery Church); and were inspired by the words of affirmation and wisdom imparted by the Conference Emcee (Robert Gonzales – Realtor)

Thank you Manuel Muralles (Program Manager- Rural Initiatives) who diligently served in the planning committee to develop an excellent conference and for extending the invitation to Latinx males from Bakersfield College. Also, thank you to Rene Deniz (EOPS Adjunct Counselor) for incorporating Lamont youth into the conference and for serving as a positive role model in the community.

STEM and Chemistry Day at BC

BC celebrated National Chemistry Week with a STEM fair in the courtyard of the Science and Engineering Building on Wednesday. All departments and student organizations that fall under the STEM pathway participated in this event

Some of the groups that participated in the event include MESA, the Physics Club and BC’s Artificial Intelligence club. Thank you to STEM Counselor Laurel Mourtzanos for working to help promote all of the STEM programs that we offer to inspire the science and engineering leaders of tomorrow.

National Chemistry Week is an annual event organized by the American Chemical Society (ACS), an organization founded in 1876 to improve people’s lives through the power of chemistry. The theme of this year’s National Chemistry Week is “Marvelous Metals”, and the ACS website has all kinds of resources for educators to share interesting experiments with metals.

Thank you to the STEM program for honoring National Chemistry Week on our campus, and thank you to all of the clubs who helped organize another great event for our students.

Emails Worth Sharing: Student Success Story

Tom Moran recently shared a link to a video he made that highlights a Renegade student success story. In his email, he describes Jasmine Rubio as a graduate from ITP who has also secured two jobs including one at BC! Check out this incredible Renegade spotlight:  

French Sister City Residents Attend BC Football Game 

Earlier this week, 17 students from Bakersfield’s French sister city, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, came to visit as part of the city’s exchange program.  One of their stops was none other than a BC Renegade Football game, where they were able to take in this great American pastime. We hope that had a great trip to this amazing place we call home! Check out this great piece by KGET on their visit.

Rick Kreiser Distinguished Honoree at American Cancer Society Gala

I received this photo from Michael O’Doherty showing local community leader Rick Kreiser being honored at last week’s American Cancer Society Gala. Rick is a strong supporter of Bakersfield College, and truly deserves this recognition.  Congratulations Rick! 

Rick Kreiser at American Cancer Society Gala
BC’s Cheer Team

NAPD, New Advancement for People with Disabilities, had some of their special needs clients at the home game a couple weeks ago.  BC Cheer is volunteering at their Halloween dance doing Halloween make up, serving food, and are actors in their haunted house.  Here is their thank you video to the cheer team and the college.

Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week 

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (10/13-10/19) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Penelope Zepeda, Volleyball – Penelope played a key roll in the three sweeps the volleyball team collected last week. She was  9-1-18 with a .444 hitting%, collecting 6 digs and 10.5 pts against West LA; she was 9-2-24 with a .292 hitting%, collecting 14 digs and 11.5 pts against Antelope Valley and was 15-2-33 with a .394 hitting% collecting 9 digs and 15.5 pts against Canyons. For her efforts she was also recognized as the CCCWVCA SoCal State Player of the Week. 

Brock Mather, Football – Brock anchored the Renegade defense against Ventura, the fourth ranked team in the state, during the homecoming game on 10/19. He totaled 11 tackles (2 for a loss) and one pass break-up in the game. He also leads the team in tackles so far this season with 41. 

Wrestling Coach Joe Espejo Honored at Alma Mater 

Joe Espejo, one of our assistant wrestling coaches was honored by his alma mater, Dickinson State University where he was inducted as a member in their athletics hall of fame as a member of the 2007-08 Blue Hawk wrestling team. Joe first wrestled for BC before transferring to Dickinson State and is now back at BC coaching the next generation of Renegade wrestlers. Well deserved, Joe!

Volleyball’s Penelope Zepeda Named CCCWVCA State Player of the Week 

The California Community College Women’s Volleyball Association (CCCWVCA) has named Penelope Zepeda as the SoCal State Player of the Week for week #8 of the season. 

Zepeda led the Renegade volleyball team to three straight sweeps last week over West LA, Antelope Valley and Canyons. Congrats, Penelope! Check out this release on the California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) website.

Former Renegade Wrestler To Be Inducted Into National Wrestling Hall of Fame 

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame announced this week that former Renegade State Champion wrestler Bruce Burnett will be inducted as a Distinguished Member at the 44th Annual Honors Weekend on June 5-6, 2020 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Burnett wrestled at Bakersfield College from 1969 to 1970 and was a two-time state champion at the 137/142 lb. weight class. In 1969 he played a key role in the Renegade wrestling team winning the state junior college championship under head coach Bruce Pfutzenreuter. He finished his Renegade career with a 55-3 career record and was named the state’s outstanding wrestler in 1970. Congrats Bruce!

Renegade Athletics Scores From This Past Week

Athletic Events ‘On the Hill’ This Coming Week

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

  • Tues. 10/29 – 4pm Men’s Soccer vs. Canyons
  • Wed. 10/30 – 6pm Volleyball vs. Santa Monica
  • Fri. 11/1 – 7pm Women’s Basketball vs. Riverside
  • Sat. 11/2 – 5pm Women’s Basketball vs. Pasadena City

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Breaking Boundaries and Serving the Community — Mary K. Shell and BC

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, June 16th, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade. 

Woke up to find two Bakersfield College related articles in the Californian with one on record enrollment, on the front page below the fold, and the other a delightful stargazing piece by Dr. Nick Strobel on the front page of the Eye Street section.

Sam Morgan @smorgenTBC covered the enrollment spike for Summer 2018.

Sam Morgan BC's Summer Enrollments June 16 2018

Morgan included a media piece which is a #MustSee!

Dr. Nick Strobel discusses the biological possibilities of life on Mars

June 11 2018 Nick Strobel Stargazing

Mary K. Shell

Reflecting on life of Mary K. Shell after the news of her passing on Thursday morning, two phrases have come to mind … “breaking boundaries” and “serving the community”.

During her career, she was unafraid to move into areas not traditionally held by women. She started work in her grandfather’s welding and auto repair shop. At 17, she became a cub reporter for the Bakersfield Californian which at the time was another male dominated field, and continued in journalism until the 1980’s. She also had a strong desire to learn to fly and became the dispatcher at La Cresta Airfield in order to pay for lessons, eventually earning a pilot’s license.

Sonya Christian Mary K Shell

Sonya Christian & Mary K. Shell at BC’s Centennial Event in 2013. Photo from TBC

Mary K Shell attended Bakersfield College from 1945 to 1947, married Joe Shell, served as the first female Mayor of Bakersfield, and the 2nd woman to hold the title of Kern County Supervisor.

Mary K Shell Photo by Felix Adamo the June 16, 2018 TBC

Mary K. Shell.  Photo by Felix Adamo, TBC

Throughout her life, she remained a Renegade – loyal and true. She served as a member of the Foundation Board, retiring as Emeritus Director of the BC Foundation Board, and her heart was always with our community.

During her political career she was known for winning elections when the political odds were against her, and upon her retirement from public office, the Bakersfield Californian called her “the most popular politician in Kern County history”.

During her time in office and after, she was dedicated to serving our community and improving life for all in Bakersfield, and in our surrounding communities. She began the Beautiful Bakersfield Committee; created the formation of an organization to build a memorial to Medal of Honor recipient Larry Pierce; created the Bakersfield Historical Preservation Commission; established the annual Bakersfield Prayer Breakfast; and supported the building of a lighted soccer field in an under-served area of the city in coordination with AYSO.

Mary K Shell in 2014 at BC Photo by Henry Barrios TBC

Mary K. Shell at BC in 2014. Photo by Henry Barios of TBC

Her work has been recognized in the naming of the Mary K. Shell Journalism Scholarship and the local Mary K. Shell Mental Health Facility and her life is an example of committed investment in your community and humble public service.

Bob Price did a great article on Mary K. Shell.  Check it out https://tinyurl.com/y9qhzbq8.

Let’s pause for a moment and remember Mary K. Shell, this incredible woman… a visionary, a leader, and a Renegade.

Summer of Music at Bakersfield College

June 26, 2018 — The US Airforce Band of the Golden West will be performing at Bakersfield College once again. Stationed in Travis Air Force Base in the Bay Area, the USAF Band of the Golden West has performed for an estimated 1.5 million people, according to their website, playing an exciting brand of marching band music for Air Gorce bases, recruiting squadrons, Bay Area sporting events and NASCAR races. Seeing this extremely talented marching 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)

Check out this 18-minute video by John Farrand  of the Airforce Band when they were at BC last year June 28, 2017

June 30, 2018 — Bon Voyage Concert with BC Chamber Singers, Dr. Jennifer Garrett, Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger

The Chamber Singers have been hard at work rehearsing and finishing all the plans for the Australia Tour. After working towards this goal for 2 1/2 years, it is almost here!

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.

Bon Voyage Concert June 30 2018

Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrom, Jennifer Garrett

Monty Byrum and Lydia Ranger

Monty Byrum and Lydia Ranger

July 20, 2018 — Resound: A Drum Corps International Competition at Memorial Stadium.

Drum Corps International (DCI) competition will bring some of the country’s best drum and bugle corps to Bakersfield College’s Memorial Stadium in the 4th Annual Resound Competition. Ten corps, including 2017 DCI Open Class champions Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets, 5 – time champions Blue Devils B, and Golden Empire from Bakersfield College, will be competing. STICKS WILL FLY ON THE 20TH OF JULY! For more info visit: https://www.dci.org/events/resound.   From modest beginnings more than four decades ago, Drum Corps International (DCI) has developed into a powerful, nonprofit, global youth activity with far-reaching artistic, educational and organizational influence. Through the annual DCI Tour and World Championships, Drum Corps International provides entertainment to millions through live performances and nationally broadcast events. Drum Corps International is Marching Music’s Major League™. RESOUND is supported by an Arts in the Community Grant from the Arts Council of Kern.

IYEC Conference 2018

IYEC Conference 2018

Group Photo of BC’s LUPE attending IYEC 2018

Students in BC’s Latinos Unidos por Educacion (LUPE) program attended the Immigrant Youth Empowerment Conference hosted by UCLA last Saturday, which inspired the group to continue identifying and providing assistance for DREAMer students.

IDEAS at UCLA, a group that represents undocumented students on the UCLA campus, organized the conference to give undocumented students throughout California the tools to pursue higher education. BC had 19 students attend the 11th annual conference, which is double the number that attended the previous year.

Upon returning to the conference, LUPE students called a special meeting to plan their events and activities for next year. The group plans to host DREAMer Open House events with the goal of doubling the organization’s numbers for the 2018-19 academic year and they plan to create LUPE Banners and T-shirts to spread awareness for the group.

Wonderful Academy/Ag Camp

Wonderful Ag CampYou might have seen a large group of very young students around campus over the last week and wondered who they were? I am excited to share that they are participating a week-long summer camp run by BC in partnership with Wonderful Company. These students are selected from middle schools in our rural communities, including Wasco, Shafter, Delano and surrounding areas. These students are exposed to all the exciting things that Bakersfield College Agriculture department has to offer.  Students can be found in our welding facilities creating a stationary holder for themselves.

Students also take advantage of our Horticulture Lab creating a water filtration system to learn about the different materials that can be used to filter water.  Students must also create a product-marketing plan for a product they themselves create. Students are given the option to use a variety of ingredients such as tajin, cocoa powder, cinnamon powder, lime juice, cayenne pepper to create this product.  Once they create their product, they then have to create a branding strategy.  Students create T-shirts, hats, and other marketing materials all using their very own logo and a printing press. In addition to creating different products, these students get to connect with industry professionals discovering the many opportunities that exist in our community.

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I would like to thank our dedicated staff involved in making this great opportunity happen. Starting with our Program Manager overseeing the program Raquel Lopez with the support of Jaime Lopez.  As well as our Lead Agriculture faculty Heather Baltis and Jim Selgrath.  Let’s not forget about the lead mentor, Jesse Oropeza, 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 Director, Abel Guzman, Delano Site Office Coordinator, Carolina Madrigal and all the Support Staff.

Jim Selgrath on Twitter

Corny Rodriguez snapped this photo of Professor Selgrath with future Renegade and his student for the day, Emilio.   Emilio designed the shirt which shows two tangoing mangos!

Professor Selgrath and Emilio

Professor Selgrath and Emilio

Superheroes of CTE Retreat

BC’s superheroes of CTE gathered for at their headquarters in the FACE building for a day of team building, planning, and activities as they re-energize to save the day and accelerate student success in 2018-2019! IMG_1588

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Spotlight on BC Baccalaureate Grads Continues

Erin Auerbach

Erin Auerbach, photo from http://www.therip.com

On Monday, journalism professor and Renegade Rip advisor Erin Auerbach wrote an article in the Bakersfield Californian about a few of the students who graduated from our Industrial Automation Baccalaureate program in May and already have jobs.

In our program, graduate Miguel Ceja got the chance to intern at Aera Energy and complete his senior project at the Nestle Ice Cream Factory, modernizing their equipment to work with a touchscreen interface. He’s now accepted a full-time job in the Wonderful Leadership Program.

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Miguel Ceja at Commencement on May 11, 2018

“What will help me the most in my new position is the leadership classes, project management classes, quality control classes, and the background into the technical instrumentation and equipment classes I took at Bakersfield College,” Ceja said.

Another graduate, Richard Van Horne, is working in the engineering department for JG Boswell Tomato Company after interning their last summer.

“The most helpful skill I have learned, and the one that separates this degree from its lower-division counterpart, is the high-level theories of management that equipped me to not only be the one to fix a technical issue in the field but lead others in the same pursuit,” Van Horne said.

Manny Fernandez and Richard Van Horne

Manny Fernandez and Richard Van Horne

Out of seven students who graduated from our pilot program in the Industrial Automation Baccalaureate Degree, four of them already have jobs and a fifth is about to receive a job offer, according to industrial automation professor Manny Fernandez.

It is so special to see the BC Community invested in our students. Thank you, Erin for writing about our Baccalaureate graduates. And, thank you for supporting our future journalists through advising the Renegade Rip, our student newspaper which has been in publication for over 85 years.

Administrative Council Retreat

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BC’s Summer 2018 Photo of Admin Council

With caffeine in hand, the BC leadership and management gathered in the Fireside Room for our annual summer retreat days.These two days are filled with team building, planning, and strategizing for moving the workload necessary for a college with 33,000 students.i-xw9dz9x-x2

i-vsksfqk-x2We began the morning with a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, fruit, and pastries from BC Food Services and I shared my opening remarks, starting with a celebration of new managers at BC, passing the microphone for introductions from each, including their names, department, and why they came to the home of the Renegades.

Friends, reminiscing on what I heard that morning just confirms why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever. The leadership at BC is passionate, dedicated, and they work with their hearts focused on the students.

Next, I took a moment to highlight BC’s Core Values, and specifically diversity and community. These incredible values offer us guidance on how we live our professional lives as Renegades and we strive each day for the Core Values to shine every time we navigate a difficult moment or celebrate successes.

BC Core Values

Our ice breaker for the morning included unknown anonymous facts about each manager and a scavenger hunt to find that person. Craig Hayward and Amber Hroch led the group in a session sharing data about our students. We learned facts and details about headcount, pathways, distance students vs traditional students, density of students within BC’s service area, and the growth in students in various programs.

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Amber Hroch and Craig Hayward

Marina Mancera making a comment at the retreat

Marina Mancera Admin Council Retreat June 2018.jpg

Here I am with a new manager in IT Brett Redd and Gustavo Enrique with a new manager Fernando Lara.

After a quick break, the Executive Team addressed the group regarding coming a Guided Pathways College and the role we play in facilitating student success and Todd Coston and Billie Jo Rice led a session on work plans and strategic directions.

Darrell Ballard, Sandi Taylor, keith Ford

Administrators in Athletics planning for 2018-19

Eileen Pierce, Paul Beckworth, Yvonne Armanderez.jpg

Steve Watkin, Ashlea Ward.jpg

Amanda Stone, Jennifer Achan, Zav Dadabhoy, Terri Goldstein.jpg

Admin Council Retreat June 11 2018.jpg

Todd, Liz, and Lesley

Todd Coston, Liz Rozell, and Lesley Bonds

On day two, we had a team building activity led by Yvonne Armendariz, Somaly Boles, Fernando Lara, and Todd Coston and we had an Accreditation Workshop and heard from Liz Rozell, Todd Coston, and Lesley Bonds.

The fabulous duo of Bill Potter and Todd Coston led us in an update and forecast of campus construction and project plans and Monika Scott led a session on Sharing your Story. Thank you to Jennifer Serratt who always coordinates and creates the best retreats for BC’s Administrative Team and thank you to Stephanie Stuart and Chef Nicole Woodruff for the delicious and nutritious food.

Wellness Core Value

We take wellness seriously at Bakersfield College. Here is a room of 74 managers participating in the stretch break at Admin Retreat.

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Afterwards, Dean of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez sent me the following video of his granddaughter, Charlize, teaching relaxation techniques “a la BC” as Corny said.

See this future Renegade getting a head start on BC’s core value of wellness.

Spotlight on Heather Pennella

State of the County 2018 - Romeo Agbalog and Heather Penella (1)

Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Heather Pennella

Heather Pennella, Donor Relations Coordinator for the BC Foundation graduated from Leadership Bakersfield on Friday evening. Leadership Bakersfield is a wonderful program offered by the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce and gives local professionals the opportunity to explore and connect with various industries in Kern County through structured monthly, full-day experiences. The group had the opportunity to connect with leaders in healthcare, law enforcement, local government, energy, agriculture and education. Liz Rozell, Vice President of Instruction was part of Education Day in February.

Part of the expectation of the program is the team project and Heather was part of Team 4. The group delivered a feasibility study titled “A Soft Place to Land” focused on respite care for homeless individuals. Findings were shared at a luncheon at the Padre on May 22, with many stakeholders in attendance including Mayor Karen Goh and representatives from all local hospitals and homeless centers.

Leadership Bakersfield 2018

(Left to Right) Kevin Danley, Kat Gomez, Lauren Be, Heather Pennella, Bryce Sterling, Isaac Lin, Jen Williams-Cordova — Missing from picture: Tony Phan

Heather Penella June 2018 with Tom Gelder and Dana Gelder

Tom Gelder, Heather Penella, Dana Gelder

BC’s Catalog

On Thursday, the Bakersfield College 2018-2019 catalog was published online. We were able to add eight new degrees and revise six of the degrees. This huge document has many parts and the catalog team strives to make it easily navigable for our students. Online, the catalog is divided into the various sections, degrees and courses so that students may find the section they need without having to search for it in a large document. The degrees are organized by pathway to coincide with the Learning and Career Pathways model, as well as alphabetically for students who already know what they are looking for.

Thank you Liz Rozell for leading the catalog team in bringing this project to fruition. I would also like to thank team members: Billie Jo Rice, Jennifer Johnson, Edie Nelson, Sharon Bush, Erica Menchaca, Marisa Marquez, Mark Osea and Aricia Leighton.

As BC grows, we are striving to add more and more programs. I look forward to the addendum in the fall that will include many more degrees. Check out the new catalog on the BC Catalog page.

Oliver Rosales

History professor Oliver Rosales’ latest op-ed in the Bakersfield Californian on Monday urges Kern County residents to be engaged with shaping their community while talking about a National Parks projects highlighting the history of the farm labor movement in the San Joaquin Valley.

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Dr. Oliver Rosales

Dr. Rosales encourages people in Kern County who have stories to tell about the farm worker movement, either personally or through family members and close friends, to contribute to oral history projects and submit photographs, letters or any other important materials to local archives.

“As a historian, I can assure readers that this history is important and discussed throughout American higher education institution, from the Ivy League to University of California, and every university in between,” Rosales said. “It’s our history. Let’s own it and not let the outside world write that narrative exclusively but take an active role in telling that story ourselves for generations to come.”

More on the Drum Corps

Patt Davis captured some photos of BC’s Drum and Bugle Corps students  who celebrated “Family Day” on Thursday evening. The students performed a sneak peek to all in attendance before they hit the road this summer for Drum Corps International competition. It’s incredible to see the dedication of these young men and women and their families that support them.

I also heard a family member of one of our drum corps students has generously donated a catered dinner for the entire Drum Corps prior to that evening’s performance (yes! All 100+ members!!). This is the dedication of not only our students, but the many family and friends who support them, monetarily and otherwise.

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Thank you to Tim Heasley and his crew for such an amazing program.

BC’s Child Development Center Outdoor Classroom

Sue Vaughn and The Bakersfield College Child Development Center proudly invite you to the grand opening of our first Outdoor Classroom this upcoming Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 8:30 am in the BC Child Development Center.  The playground was funded in partnership with CAPK Head Start for our two-year Early Head Start classrooms.

We are very proud to have the first recognized outdoor classroom in our community for our two-year-olds.  The children have been watching the construction and they are eagerly awaiting the opportunity two enjoy the new, nature-focused equipment. The playground is designed to allow us to bring learning activities out onto the playground.

Please join us to watch the toddlers explore their new environment.

Fun Photos and videos

Loved this Summer Bridge video posted by Dr. Kimberly Bligh on Facebook

Craig Hayward at CADE

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John Hetts of ERP, Craig Hayward of BC, and Terrence Willett of Cabrillo College

Carlos Barbaran watching Peru playing Denmark at the World Cup

Carlos Barbaran June 16 2018 watching Peru at the World Cup

It is a great time to be at BC!

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That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Remembering, Celebrating, and Planning

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, June 2, 2018 …a great day to be a Renegade.

On Monday, we spent the day reflecting on the men and women who gave their lives fighting to protect the ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that our nation was founded on. Every year on Memorial Day, we honor the US soldiers who died in military service with the greatest sacrifice an individual can make for their country. Originally known as Decoration Day, Americans started commemorating loved ones who died fighting the Civil War during the second half of the 18th Century, but it wasn’t recognized as an official holiday until a declaration by an act of Congress in 1971. It’s important to note that Memorial Day is intended to honor soldiers who have died in military service—Veterans’ Day in November honors the contributions of all current and former armed service members, while Armed Forces Day celebrated all currently-serving military personnel on May 19 this year.

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In honor of Memorial Day, Bakersfield College Veteran Services helped out this past Saturday making care packages for deployed service personnel with Good Samaritots, directed by Brooke Whitehead-Tolles.  This organization fosters compassion and social responsibility through tot-friendly community service projects.