Tag Archives: Nick Strobel

Closing The Chapter on 2017

Happy New Year!

Foxtail Agave in bloom Dec 24 2017

Foxtail Agave in Santa Monica

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, December 30, 2017.  A great day and a great year to be a Renegade.

It seems like it was only yesterday that we were wrapping up 2016, but here we are about to ring in the new year. So much has happened this year, there is so much to celebrate, and still so much to look forward to.

It is a pleasure to look back on my blog over the past year and celebrate the good work happening at our college each and every day to improve student success. I am truly the luckiest and happiest college president ever, and I am so thankful for my colleagues who make it their life’s work to ensure students reach their college dreams.

Bakersfield College is a place of hope, transformation, and dreams. I can’t wait to see all that 2018 has in store.

2017 was a great year for Bakersfield College.  I am happy to report that the State of the College is strong.

Bakersfield College (BC) continues its strong growth and leadership among community colleges in the state, particularly in its implementation of guided pathways. The annual 2016-17 headcount was 31,292  producing 15,879 Full-time Equivalent Students (FTES), a 7% increase relative compared to 2015-16. Early indications from fall 2017 enrollments indicate that more growth is projected for 2017-18.

Enrollment growth chart.png

BC’s work over the past three years has:

Resulted in FTES growth in an environment where the overall state FTES was actually 1.2% lower in 2016-2017 than it was in 2015-2016
Improved early student momentum metrics, with over 50% more students completing transfer-level English and math within their first year
Broadened outreach, particularly in rural Kern County, including new demographics of students
Connected us with business and industry leaders, other educational sectors, and community organizations
Positioned the college as a statewide leader in the guided pathways movement, increasing opportunities with funders for further increases in categorical funding

The Dual enrollment program began in fall of 2013 in order to provide Wonderful Academy students the opportunity to complete an Associate of Science in Ag Business by the time the student completed their high school education. Since that time the College has developed partnerships with 24 high schools.  Thank you Noemi Donoso and Wonderful for the partnership.  Thank you Michael Turnipseed and Supervisor Leticia Perez for the funding with the Game Changer program in Arvin.

Dual Enrollment.png

Delano and Rural Kern County:  Delano FTES increased from 1,092 in 2015-2016 to 1,310 2016-2017; a 20% increase in just one year.  Growth was also noticeable in Arvin, McFarland, Shafter, and Wasco, as well as in inmate education.

Rural enrollments.png

BC also recently launched the Rural Initiative Distance Education (R.I.D.E) Project, which will establish distance education classrooms at Arvin High School, Delano High School, and Cesar E. Chavez High School. These interactive technology classrooms will be used to stream college courses from Bakersfield College to the high school sites, and high school site to high school site. Also of note in Delano in 2017-2018 is the implementation the National Endowment for the Humanities grant program Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History. To find our more about this project, click here  https://bakersfieldcollege.libguides.com/DigitalDelano

Superheroes at the BC Foundation

All of the transformation that takes place at BC through classes, community outreach and student success initiatives have one thing in common—they require hundreds of hours of time, lots of dedication, and a lot of heart.

Tom Gelder and Sonya Christian May 25 2017 croppedTom Gelder and our BC Foundation work year-round raising funds to close the financial gaps that might prevent us from helping students who would be able to excel on our campus, and to create a better world for their families and our community.

Taking a look back, the Foundation hosted two fundraisers in 2017—this year’s Sterling Silver event honored the community members who helped secure the passing of Measure J, while last fall’s Tailgade reached out to our Renegade football supporters with a steak dinner and performance from Mento Buru (who debuted a new version of the BC Fight Song that’s currently being recorded with Josh Ottum from the Commercial Music program).

We have a wonderful Donor Relations Manager Heather Pennella!  Here is a picture of Heather with Lauren Skidmore at this year’s Sterling Silver.

Heather Pennella and Lauren SkidmoreThe Board of Directors to the BC Foundation just welcomed five new members—Connie Perez-Andreesen, Ryan Hansen, Jay Rosenlieb, Sarabjeet Singh, and Derek Yurosek. Each new member will bring their own strengths to the already strong Board of Directors and were sought to represent the needs of BC students, staff and the changing Kern County business community.

Next year, the 10th annual Sterling Silver dinner will take place on February 24th – Are you saving the date? And the Foundation is working on introducing an Employee Giving Program during Spring 2018, while also strengthening alumni outreach for the new year.

Umoja Spotlight

The Umoja Community ASTEP program had a great semester and was recently spotlighted in a News Observer article! The success rate in English 53 was three times the success rate of African-American students not in Umoja ASTEP. The students in the Umoja math class we added had a 100% success rate!

Umoja News Observer

 

Notes about our Faculty

Deborah Rosenthal

Deborah Rosenthal

Deborah Rosenthal, BC Chemistry professor emailed me a sweet note during winter break which said:

“Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting a family in the park by the Kern River below the Bluffs. The father is a structural engineer and owns a business in town.   He says he speaks to BC classes/students. The son told me he began at BC and transferred to Davis.  He shared complimentary comments concerning his chemistry courses at BC.  This is quite impressive considering he is now in a Master’s Engineering program at Davis!

I just wanted to share because I understand at my age I must live vicariously through the success of my students.”

Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio:  The article begins with… “Talking about art with Diego Monterrubio is like listening to a love story” – can it get any better than that? Bakersfield College is a place filled with incredible faculty and staff who love what they do. Professor Monterrubio is one of those who is not only active in his craft as an accomplished artist regionally and internationally, but he also truly is interested and cares about his students. Thank you to Bakersfield Magazine for highlighting Diego and his work!

Expressions

Christmas in Santa Monica 

It was a wonderful quiet Christmas.  My daughter was on call on Christmas day and needed to be close to the hospital.  So we decided to spend Christmas in Santa Monica with her.

Eisha Christian, Pam Christian, Sonya Christian Dec 24 2017

The three days were filled with long walks on the beach, family talks, and good food.  In fact my daughter cooked dinner at her apartment on December 24th which was my first. It was fabulous.  Neo was on overload the first day with all the new sights and sounds as we took him for walks on Ocean Avenue and Third Street Promenade.

Restaurants that I loved — (1)  Scopa in Marina Del Rey: An Italian place that serves Italian food tapas style.  The cauliflower, eggplan parmesan, and barrota with beets were all delicious.  https://www.scopaitalianroots.com/    (2) The Ivy in Santa Monica. I loved the chilaquiles.  http://theivyrestaurants.com/ivy-at-the-shore/

Neo enjoying life

 

December 23 2017 Neo

 

 

Holidays and the movies:

I loved the latest Star Wars movie: The Last Jedi.  Manohla Dargis of the New York Times
(https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/12/movies/star-wars-the-last-jedi-review.html?_r=0) titles her review Star Wars: The Last Jedi Embraces the Magic and the Mystery.   And the movie sure does.  Loved many scenes like the one where Luke Skywalker projects himself across galaxies for a face-off with Kylo Ren or Princess Laela propelling herself through space towards the spaceship.  The new characters of Rey, Finn and Poe are a lot of fun.  I must say that the evil Supreme Leader Snoke kept reminding me of Hugh Heffner with his gold lame cloak. lol… not sure that is what Rian Johnson was hoping will be the takeaway from the evil Snoke character.

From Social Media

From Facebook – great picture of Michael Turnipseed with his wife Nancy and little grand-daughter Hattie.  Thank you Mike for your support of Bakersfield College in 2017.  Looking forward to getting nudges from you in 2018 to do bigger and better things for our community.

Michael Turnipseed, Nancy Turnipseed and Hattie their randdaughter on Christmas 2018

Also from Facebook – Nick Strobel posted the following after the family saw The Last Jedi on December 26, 2017.

Strobels after The Lst Jedi Dec 26 2017

Small contingent of Strobels saw “The Last Jedi” today (lit Star Wars sign in the background was washed out). One battle scene after the other with several places where it could have ended the movie, that after a while I felt like I did with the last of the Hobbit movies: when does this thing end? Some new things not seen in previous movies were a mind-link of two characters with the Force, another person surviving the vacuum of space with the Force, and a Jedi master using the Force to project himself across light years of space in a state of pseudo-corporeal existence.

Tom Pasek on Facebook:

Tom Pasek Post about his sister Dec 2017.png

Coach Rich Hughes on twitter:

Rich Hughes Dec 29 2017.png

BC’s Pre-med Club on Facebook — Rebecca Cabeza, Rebecca Sinor, Catherine Pereira

Rebecca Cabeza, Rebecca Sinor, Catherine Pereira

 

Cindy Collier

Cindy Collier Dec 29 2017

Dena and her new pup Bob.  10 weeks and 15 pounds.

Dena Rhoades and Bob at 10 weeks Dec 2017

Sonya Christian in 22 Reef Street Dec 23 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Another Inspiring and Packed Week at BC

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, December 1, 2017 and a fabulous day to be a Renegade.  Why would it not be, when I wake up and see Dr. Nick Strobel’s stargazing piece in the Californian.  Here is the opener as a teaser for you to read more The Bakersfield Californian.

Stargazing TBC Dec 1 2017

 

On Thursday night, the faculty cohort for our National Endowment of the Humanities grant including Andrew Bond, Oliver Rosales and Josh Ottum hosted local author Gerald Haslam to talk about how he is able to tap into the energy of the Central Valley in his work.

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, Josh Ottum

f17geraldhaslam_slider

Andrew Bond was teaching in Arvin and he and his students were watching the live stream from their classroom.  How cool is that!

Oliver RosalesOliver Rosales read Andrew’s write up

When we first began writing this grant, we decided that we wanted to focus on programming that put the Central Valley, its cultures, and its people at the fore. Drawing on our respective backgrounds in literature, history, and music, Oliver Rosales, Josh Ottum, and I put together a roster of scholars and authors whose work represents and examines the diverse yet interconnected cultures of the southern San Joaquin Valley. We are honored to have Dr. Gerald Haslam as our first speaker because his life and his work best embody the diversity of the region and the interdisciplinary nature of our grant program. A native of Oildale, Gerald Haslam grew up in the Bakersfield area in a family that is “culturally braided,” rooted in a mix of Hispanic and European heritages that were taught to him through family stories. As an author, he has written  biographies, autobiographies, short stories, novels, and essays that cover a wide range of topics, but the majority share the common thread of being based in, or somehow connected to, the home he knew in this region. His interdisciplinary curiosity has produced books like Workin’ Man’s Blues, a historical study of California country music that looks to the Bakersfield Sound for its inspiration while staying rooted in love of writing and storytelling. It is the connections that he makes between the importance of place, narrative, and history that, from our perspectives, made him an ideal candidate to inaugurate our grant programming. We are happy, then, to introduce to you Dr. Gerald Haslam.

Gerald Haslam and Jack Hernandez Nov 30 2017During the evening, Haslam, who grew up in post-World War II Oildale, talked about his slow but steady evolution as a writer in the 50s and 60s. After briefly attending Bakersfield College, Haslam worked as a military journalist and roughneck before getting a teaching position at Sonoma State University, where he was able to hone his craft, using the Central Valley as the thread that would weave the tapestry of his award-winning novels, essays and biographies. While many of his contemporaries saw Central California as boring and uncultured, Haslam recognized the potential of the Valley as a literary setting.

“It seemed crazy to me that educated people in California or elsewhere should know so little about this remarkable place,” Haslam said. “This place had never been empty.”

Gerald HaslamIn Haslam’s time, the literary, historical and cultural contributions of the Central Valley were not even being taught in Kern County schools, but through his work and the writing of Joan Didion, Maxine Hong Kingston and others, as well as the elusively complex songwriting of Merle Haggard and other members of the Bakersfield sound, that history started getting recognized.

Haslam had some very useful advice about the value of perseverance in order to become an established writer, using his own struggles as a reference. “I failed many, many, many times,” Haslam said. “I started communicating with other writers on the backs of rejection letters. Don’t quit, learn from the mistakes, and learn if the mistakes are really mistakes,” he added.

Haslam’s connection to Oildale and the Central Valley made him one of the first contributors that members of the “Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley” cohort looked to as an important voice for their project.

Photo by Oliver Rosales of the Gerald Haslam event

“It is the connections he makes between the importance of place, narrative and history, that from our perspective as faculty, make him an ideal candidate to inaugurate our programming,” Oliver Rosales said.

I’d like to thank Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, Josh Ottum, Jack Hernandez for organizing the event, and I’m looking forward to more developments on the Digital Delano project and all of the other work that the group has planned.

The Other California: The Great Central Valley in Life and Letters by Gerald Haslam is available on Amazon.com here.

Thank you to Manny De Los Santos who also helped with the evening. Here is Manny in action.

i-nsqcgxs-x2

Gerald Haslam, Manny de Los Santos

Chicano/Latino Community Leader Breakfast

Kern County leaders from government representatives, philanthropists, industry, and education came together at the Fireside Room on Thursday morning to hear about what BC and the community is doing to support our Latino community.

Rudy Salas, Olivia Garcia, Sonya Christian, Lisa Kent, Jay Tamsi, Corny Rodriguez

Sonya Christian Latino Leaders Breakfast Nov 30 2017.jpg

Corny Rodriguez opened by welcoming everyone to the event, recounting his work over the last 20 years to support and expand our Latino student body. I have to share a photo straight from the presentation that shows Corny then and now.

f17latinobreakfast02-x2

We discussed BC’s focus on meeting students where they are through high school outreach, rural initiatives, outreach efforts in Arvin, Delano, McFarland, Shafter, and more. Our goal is to keep students on the path once they arrive through co-curricular activities, programs, and unique completion communities. We want long term sucess through industry advisory boards and through strengthening community partnerships.

Student representatives Dezi Von Manos and Emmanuel Limaco from BC’s M.E.Ch.A and Tania Bernal from Latinos Unidos por Educacion (LUPE) spoke briefly about their organizations

Dezi Von Manos

Dezi Von Manos, Emmanuel Limaco

Victor Diaz moderated a panel about expanding education and job opportunities for Latinos in Kern County with Beatris Espericueta, Kern County Farm Bureau, Jorge Barrientos, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Russell Judd, Kern Medical Center.

Beatris Espericueta

We also had three elected official address the audience.

rudy_salas-m

Thank you Lauren Skidmore, field representative for Vince Fong and Ariana Joven, field representative for David Valadao.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

To see all our photos from the morning, check out BC’s SmugMug gallery.

It was a treat walking into the Fireside Room in the morning prior to the event and hear Zach Quiroz playing on the piano.  Just beautiful.

De-Stress Week

 

The BC Library and Student Health Center partnered to present their third biannual De-Stress Fest this week before finals. The goal of this pre-finals event is to provide students with a space to take a break from their academic stress through calming activities, and to give them access to the mental health resources they have available to them at BC and in the Bakersfield community.

De-Stress events started on Monday with a visit from the Miracle Mutts therapy dogs to the library lobby, and continued throughout the week with puzzles and yoga in the library.

 

 

De-Stress Week Puppy

The final event was a large De-Stress Fest at the Renegade Crossroads, put together by the Student Health Center. Here, different health and mental health resources at BC and the Bakersfield community came together with information such as suicide prevention and HIV testing, as well as free massages from the Milan Institute and coloring with librarians.

Thank you to Faith Bradham , Raymond Purcell, and Debra Strong at the Student Health Center for brainstorming and planning these events and SGA for creating the flyer and promotions.

Future Renegades Visit BC for Field Trip

We welcomed some special guests to campus this week. Second Graders from Centennial Elementary in the Rosedale Union School District were at “Harvard on the Hill” visiting our Planetarium for their class field trip. The group was too large to all fit in the planetarium at once, so they split up in two groups. While one group was experiencing the planetarium show, the other group was given a tour of the campus.

I heard a few of the kids even said that it was “The best field trip ever!!” Coach Carl Dean led one of the tours and I ran into the group right outside the Administration Building. Coach Dean explained that I was “like their Principal” for us here at BC. After the exciting day, Coach Dean also let me know that everyone on campus throughout the different buildings and departments were amazing and very enthusiastic about the 2nd graders being on campus!!! Thank you to everyone who welcomed them to our place of hope, dreams, and education. Here’s to our future generation of Renegades!!!!

Centennial Elementary Field Trip

Bryon Schaefer at North High Basketball Game

Bryon Schaefer and Casey GoodmanKHSD Superintendent, Bryon Schaefer took this picture and texted it to me when he was at the North High Basketball game. While at the game, he took a selfie with BC Softball Coach and North High alumni, Casey Goodman. She returns to cheer on her alma mater and join the festivities of the opening of Lloyd Williams Court. Coach Goodman was a stellar athlete at North High playing basketball and ultimately received a scholarship to University of Louisiana-Monroe to play softball. Coach Goodman’s roots are in Bakersfield and she is proud to return home.

 

Rudy Salas on Campus

Jose Cortes and Dezi Von Manos

On Monday, BCSGA hosted the Power Lunch with Assemblymember Rudy Salas where he encouraged students to get involved with their community and work toward a better brighter future. SGA President, Dezi Von Manos and SGA Director of Legislative Affairs, Jose Cortez opened the morning and posted a great photo on Instagram.

It was great to see the post on twitter as well from @Rudysalasjr.

Rudy Salas Twitter

The Renegade RIP also covered the morning at https://www.therip.com/news/2017/11/28/californian-assemblyman-rudy-salas-visits-bakersfield-college/

IEPI Event

Our Professional Resource Team (PRT) arrived for their second visit on Wednesday, 11/29, full of enthusiasm, helpful advice, and praise for BC’s Institutional Effectiveness Improvement Plan. The plan focuses on integrating Canvas and eLumen in order to streamline faculty workload and increase the value of student learning outcomes assessment. After a two-hour meeting, the PRT approved BC’s plan and cleared the way for the release of $200,000 in funding from the Institutional Effective Partnership Initiative (IEPI).

iepi-visit-3.jpg

From left to right in the photo above is:
Craig Hayward, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness
Di Hoffman, Co-Chair of the Assessment Committee/Allied Health
Bill Moseley, Dean of Academic Technology, Co-Chair of the Assessment Committee
Kevin Walthers PRT lead, President, Allan Hancock
President Sonya Christian
Rebecca Eikey, Academic Senate President/Chemistry, College of the Canyons
Rick Fillman, Director of Institutional Research (ret.), CCSF
Paul Hert, Program Review & Assessment Coordinator/Math, Mt. San Jacinto College

Accreditation Forum

On December 1st, the Accreditation team held the fourth accreditation forum in the Fireside Room. The forum focused upon Standard IV, which focuses on leadership. The forum was sponsored by our own College Council, and the forum was also zoomed to our Delano campus.

Accreditation Forum 4 Dec 1 2017

Forum 4 Accreditation ISER Dec 1 2017.jpg

stratton moseley forum 4Professor Jason Stratton, the faculty lead of the ISER team, welcomed the guests and discussed Standard IV.A. Professor Stratton emphasized the terminology of the “institution,” which includes the incorporation of voices from the college’s different constituent groups. Our history professor emphasized the democratic nature of our campus-wide dialogues, transparency, and openness, and our ongoing promotion of the inclusion of voices. Jason closed with a powerful idea: accreditation reflects the values of education.

krista lesley forum 4Lesley Bonds and Krista Moreland presented their work on Standard VI B, which focuses on the Bakersfield College CEO! Standard IV.B. 3 requires the CEO to guide “institutional improvement of the teaching and learning environment’ and Professor Moreland emphasized the establishment of procedures to evaluate overall institutional planning and implementation efforts to achieve the mission of the institution.

steven zav forum 4Steven Holmes, our Academic Senate President, and Zav Dadabhoy, Vice President of Student Affairs, discussed their work on Standard IV.C, and Dr. Nick Strobel, professor of astronomy and editor of our ISER report, then joined Zav to discuss the draft of Standard IV.D, which deals with multi-college districts.

nick zav forum 4

Jason Stratton closed with a paraphrase of Winston Churchill: “This isn’t the end, or the beginning, but this is the end of the beginning.” Accreditation is supposed to be a continuous process, and as we move into the Spring, we will shift our focus from the collection of evidence to the refinement of our story within the ISER.

Shafter Christmas Parade

BC Group Picture at Shafter Christmas Parade

Thank you Steve Watkin, Ashlea Ward, Debi Andreson and all the outreach staff for organizing the BC presence at the Shafter Christmas Parade.  It was a lot of fun even though I did not have my walking shoes.  The Shafter crowd was very responsive to BC as  we walked along chanting “We are BC.”

It was a treat when we heard and then saw Danny Morrison of the NEW 103.9 The Beat – “The Beat of Bakersfield.”  Danny is a big believer in education and a supporter of what we do at Bakersfield College.  When we passed him he certainly was effusive in recognizing BC.  Thank you Danny.  And I love your email signature tagline “Don’t wait for opportunity… Create it.”

Danny Morrison

Thank you to all of the BC employees who showed up for this event on a Friday night.

Debi Anderson, Ashlea Ward, Steve Watkin, Savannah, June Charles

Thank you Abel Guzman and the Delano and Rural Initiatives gang.  Thank you Heather Pennela for bring there and representing the BC Foundation.  Thank you to Financial Aid to coming out.  Here I am with Kevin Ott and Victoria Koiyan.

Thank you students Emmanuel Limaco and Christian Bravo who were there in the Renegade Knight outfit.  And the fabulous June Charles whom I love very much.

Eammanuel Limaco, June Charles

Emmanuel Limaco, June Charles, Christian Bravo

Thank you to our cheerleaders who were there.

Thank you all who took the time to come out.  
We are BC!

CA Guided Pathways Institute 2 in Bakersfield

We hosted the statewide CA Guided Pathways Institute 2 at the Bakersfield Marriott.  It was a treat seeing colleagues from all across the state converge in Bakersfield.

Kay McClenney, Sonya Christian, Laura Hope, Janet Fulks Dec 1 2017

Kay McClenney, Sonya Christian, Laura Hope, Janet Fulks

And thank you Shawn Whalen of the College Futures Foundation for advancing higher education attainment levels in California.

Sonya Christian, Shawn Whalen Nov 29 2017

Our students were the opening speakers as they presented Guided Pathways from a student’s perspective.  The audience jumped to their feet in a standing ovation when they were done.  I’m so proud of our students!

BC Students at CA Guided Pathways Institute 2 Nov 30 2017.jpg

We also had Manny Mourtzanos, dean of instruction, and Eleanora Hicks, faculty member and data coach, present right before the students.

In addition, Dr. Janet Fulks, Dr. Craig Hayward, and I did various presentations.

We Are BC!

From Social Media:

Loved this post from Nick Strobel.

Nick Strobel Facebook Nov 2017 about the tree

Sonya and Neo Nov 10 2017

 

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A Wonderful Week at BC and Beyond!

Good evening from Tempe Arizona as I start this blog to make sure I get it done and out on Saturday (2/4/2017) rather than Sunday.  I don’t want to get a text from my friend like I did last Saturday night when I was on the train heading back to Bakersfield from Sacramento: “Are you okay? I am worried about you.  Have not see your blog yet.”  When I responded saying that I was busy preparing for my presentations in Sacramento and that I will probably get it out on Sunday he responded with something like: “well…ok then. You are excused. I’ll read National Tweets instead.  Altho I must say it will not be the same.”  lol….so funny! National tweets, now our national news in 140 characters or less. 🙂

Tempe Bridge Feb 2 2017.jpg

james-elmore-founding-dean-of-school-of-architecture-asuThe Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge is a beautiful piece of architecture.  I walked the bridge several times during our stay at the Tempe Mission Palms for the AACC Pathways Institute #4. On March 18th, Tempe City Council will dedicate the bridge to the man whose passion led to the creation of Tempe Town Lake, James Elmore, ASU’s founding Dean of Architecture.

 

Here is an excerpt from the Tempe City Hall website

“James Elmore was a champion of Tempe Town Lake for more than 40 years, from encouraging the School of Architecture to take on the Salt River as a project to bringing the student ideas to those who could make them reality,” said David Scheatzle, a Professor Emeritus for the ASU College of Architecture. “Associating his name with the beautiful pedestrian bridge at the west end of the Tempe Town Lake seems most appropriate for someone so dedicated to this vision.”

Here is a nice piece about the bridge.  Check it out: http://tinyurl.com/jnpvsk5

AACC Pathways Institute

Here is the BC team at the  AACC Pathways Institute.

bc-gang-in-tempe-feb-3-2017

Sonya Christian, Jennifer Johnson, Janet Fulks, Maria Wright, Lesley Bonds

BC was one of 30 colleges selected nationwide through a competitive process to participate in a 3-year Guided Pathways initiative.  The Tempe, AZ institute was the fourth of 6 institutes designed to help us focus our work on four key pillars: 1) clarifying students’ paths, 2) getting them on a path, 3) keeping them on the path, and 4) ensuring they’re learning.  This institute focused on ensuring meaningful learning.  The BC team dug into our student learning outcomes, discussed ways to engage faculty in cross-disciplinary pedagogical professional development, and identified areas of focus for our academic support services agenda moving forward.  And we had fun doing all of this.  Here are some photos to prove it.

 

Last semester, Janet Fulks and Maria Wright led student and faculty focus groups that gave us a lot of insight into the BC experience from each perspective.  We were able to use the focus group themes to drive discussion throughout the institute, and our very own Dr. Janet Fulks was invited to present in Tempe on faculty-led models for assessing student learning outcomes.  BC has the best faculty and staff!  Thanks so much to our Institute #4 team: Lesley Bonds, Janet Fulks, Jennifer Johnson, and Maria Wright.

IEPI Workshop on Guided Pathways: Here are more pictures from the workshop in Costa Mesa last week.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel

Enjoyed reading Nick Strobel‘s piece in the Californian today.  I love Nick’s writing.  Here is one of my favorite paragraphs from his article

A couple of cool space exploration stories came into my inbox recently. The first was the stunning view of the waves in Saturn’s rings made by the tiny moon Daphnis. Daphnis is just 5 miles along its longest dimension and it clears out a gap 26 miles wide in Saturn’s outer A ring. When the Cassini spacecraft came to within 17,000 miles of Daphnis during a recent ring-grazing pass on its highly tilted orbit, Cassini took a beautiful image that shows the ripples or waves made in the A-ring by the weak gravity of Daphnis. The image is so sharp that you can see a faint thin tendril of ring material pulled up from the ring by Daphnis. Absolutely gorgeous and to know that it’s all just gravity at work!

The Bakersfield Californian does not have it posted yet on their website.  But Nick has it on his planetarium website: http://tinyurl.com/zybbxmo

 

Trice Harvey a legend

trice-harvey-picture-by-julie-rogers-1994

The picture is by Julie Rogers in 1994.  You see Trice Harvey with Carl Sparks and Ed Jagels.

James Burger did a nice story on Trice Harvey in The Bakersfield Californian.  Here is how Burger starts the story:

Trice Harvey was the kind of guy who spawned stories, yarns and the occasional tall tale.
There was the time Harvey barbecued ostrich meat and served it to his fellow legislators to try to convince them to make ostrich a farm product, not an exotic item, to exempt it from a tax.
Or the time he wore a football jersey that was half-Bakersfield College and half-Taft College to a game between the two rival schools.
Or the time the notoriously camera-friendly former politician turned suddenly shy as a Fish and Game warden began eyeing the catch he’d had made that day — without his fishing license.
There are probably hundreds of those stories. Maybe thousands.
But on Tuesday, the former Kern County supervisor and California assemblyman’s story came to a close at age 80.

For more click on http://tinyurl.com/za8g7o4.

I briefly refer to Trice Harvey in the March 19, 2016 post on Kay Meek.  Here is the link
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/03/19/a-whirlwind-week-at-bakersfield-college/

 

BC Commercial Music Ensemble Open Rehearsal

On Wednesday afternoon, the BC Commercial Music Ensemble rehearsal offered a chance for students to perform original compositions and arrangements of popular songs. The ensemble has nearly doubled in size since first being offered last semester as a part of unveiling the new commercial music program. At the beginning of the semester, Professor, Dr. Josh Ottum notified students that their first performance would be happening in a few weeks. Their expressions were equal parts fear and excitement. This expectation set the bar high and I’m overjoyed to say that the students exceeded his expectations, putting together six songs in just three rehearsals. We are so proud of of our students and look forward to seeing this ensemble grow and become an essential part of BC and the greater Bakersfield community.

What would people say about you if you died tomorrow?

The most recent speaker to present at the Levan Center opened the discussion with a topic many of us do not often think about: What do we want others to say about us after our death? BC alumni and former BC professor, Dr. Crystal Dea Moore, used her lively and contagious personality to interact with the students, faculty, and staff in attendance on the importance of making an after death plan, before our passing.

Dr. Moore has published a number of readings regarding end-of-life decisions, as well as worked as a licensed social worker with Veteran’s Affairs (VA). Moore is currently a Professor and Associate Dean of the faculty at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York.

img_0437

Walking into the room, there were very few places to sit as the room was full of students of all ages and staff members of all types. The room was alive with discussions and questions of what the presentation might include. As the introductions began, the audience fell silent. Becki Whitson of the Behavior Science Department described Moore as that student that “everyone knew or wanted to be.” Moore’s personality shined throughout her presentation as the crowd erupted in laughter at her jokes.

img_0458

Moore explained the importance of asking questions when speaking to a doctor. For example: when they used words that you may need a dictionary to decode. She expressed how many of her Veteran clients would tell the doctor that they understand what was told to them but in reality would have the definitions misunderstood. She asked the crowd to write down a two sentence response to a simple question: What would people say about you if you died tomorrow?

Such a simple question… but, how often do we actually think about it? After a brief moment to write down our answers, Moore asked for a “few brave souls” to share their answers. Throughout her presentation, Moore stopped to take any questions and continuously explained and defined words that might cause any confusion. The presentation was unlike any other because when it comes to talking about death and the taking the steps to handling things that relate to death and dying, many of us do not know where to start.

Thank you, Dr. Crystal Dea Moore for giving us all the tools to tackle these difficult situations in life.

Outreach at BC

Our dedicated outreach team went out to Stockdale High School this week to conduct Matriculation Services for the upcoming Summer and Fall semesters at BC. We had an all-time record high for one day with 140 students assessed on Thursday and 80 scheduled to take the assessment the following day, on Friday the 3rd. WOW! 220 students!! Thank you to Kalina Hill, Josie Guillen, and the whole outreach team for making it happen!

stockdale

1.6 Million Awarded for the Enhancement of Alternative Fuel and Vehicle Tech Training Programs

 This past summer, the Advanced Transportation and Renewable Energy Sector released a competitive solicitation awarding a total of $1.6 million to address the regional workforce technical training needs for workers who will be employed by fleets, dealerships, independent shops and similar organizations.

This funding from the California Energy Commission was awarded to:energy-commission

  • American River College
  • Bakersfield College
  • Cerritos College
  • Chabot College
  • City College of San Francisco
  • College of the Desert
  • Cypress College
  • Rio Hondo College
  • San Diego Miramar College

Each of these colleges has a demonstrated need for program and course enhancements in their regions. Over the next year, they will execute carefully designed plans to train students, create curriculum, purchase equipment, and educate faculty on the latest industry technologies.

The grant was written by Andrew Haney, with contributions from Vic Posey, Justin Flint, Dan Johnson. Sarah Baron & Bonita Steele helped with the writing. BC got ~$80K from the Grant with specific equipment they can purchase.  We Are BC!

See more by visiting http://www.4nrg.org/cec-awards/

What a Night for Musical Talent in Bakersfield

It was great to see from Jennifer Garrett’s Facebook that BC was recognized during such a great event. She said,

Enjoying a beautiful night of music at Grand Night with 700 band, orchestra, and choir students in Kern County. Our new BC Band and Orchestra Director, Dr Kathryn Kuby led the band and did a fantastic job! Also saw our BC Jazz Band Director, Kris Tiner receive the Jazz Educator Award from Kern County Music Educators Association and my friend and colleague, Dr Angel M. Vázquez-Ramos received the Collegiate Music Educator Award. What a night of music!

grandnight

More on Jen Garrett:

I continually hear about the wonderful things happening on high school campuses across this great community. Jennifer Garrett recently visited Frontier High School to check out their musical talents and incredible students.

jengarrethsvisit

A final word on Jen Garrett:

Our Choir Director Jen Garrett and the BC Choir are everywhere.  It is amazing that the petite Jen Garrett has all the energy in the universe!  Here are members of the BC Choir that were in Stars production on “The Drowsy Chaperone” yesterday!

choir-performing-at-the-stars-feb-3-2017

Caley Mayhall, Nichole Heasley, Ken Burdick, Jake Wattenbarger, Madeline Engel, and Caitlin Wolfenstein all in this picture with Jen.  Julie Verell did lights for the show but did not make it into the picture. They were all fantastic.

Seniors and BC Dancers

The BC Cheer team is hosting a halftime performance this weekend with the Brookdale Senior Community cheer team. They’ve been choreographing and practicing for over 4 weeks and their performance is at the men’s Basketball game this weekend. These pictures are absolute joy so I had to share. Great job BC Cheer team!

I hope you’ll cheer on our BC Renegades with them at the next home game you can attend! Go Gades!

Thank you Heather Foss and Becki Whitson!

BC Athletics

BC Track 5 individual winners: Congratulations to BC’s track teams! With five individual wins and two relay wins last weekend. Check it out at http://tinyurl.com/jewdlaa

BC Basketball: Great article by Jeff Evans in The Bakersfield Californian.  Here is an excerpt:

But when the team got on the bus to return to Bakersfield, Dahl gave each player a name of a Holocaust victim and an assignment: Research that person and give a report to the team the following Monday. Dahl said she got the idea after reading about Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is held each Jan. 27 so the world will never forget the 6 million people, mostly Jews, who were killed by the Nazis in World War II. This year the remembrance was the day before the Canyons game.
Dahl said it was a special practice when the players shared their research.
“I hated the loss, but I loved the moment on Monday,” Dahl said. “One of the great coaching moments in my life.”

Check out the story: http://tinyurl.com/j324ofk

BC Football: Relationships are critical to spreading the word about our incredible athletic programs, and that’s how BC Football’s illustrious legacy came to be a part of KGET’s Super Bowl Sunday coverage!

Assistant Football Coach Tyler Thompson talked with a friend about one of his favorite things; being a Renegade and having his name associated with a football tradition that stretches back to when leather helmets were worn.

“I know Tab well,” he told Sports Information Director Francis Mayer recently in regard to KGET’s Tabitha Mills, “We went to school together, and I just told her, ‘you’ve got to hear some of these stories from our legends. They are incredible.'”

That simple exchange spurred more conversations, including with KGET’s General Manager Derrick Jeffries-who’s brother played BC football-and they decided to pursue the stories. Mills tracked down Coaches Carl Bowser and Gerry Collis among others-legends indeed-at one of their favorite Basque haunts for lunch recently…and rumor has it that the footage captured is priceless!

We’ll be able to judge for ourselves-and with pride-this Sunday at 5pm. An encore will run Monday at 5pm as well.

Way to go, Coach Thompson! You rock!

Diego Monterrubio, BC Adjunct Art faculty being highlighted at Metro Galleries First Friday

Here you see Diego Monterrubio at the Metro gallery with Prof. Richard Marquez and Corny Rodriguez, Dean of Instruction.

 

Congratulations Faith Bradham

faithbradhamHave you been to the BC library recently? The staff are incredible. Second year librarian, Faith Bradham, was awarded a scholarship to attend the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) annual meeting in March in Baltimore. As you can see from the link, she will be in good company from around the country, the Virgin Islands, Canada, and NYU Shanghai.  One of the keynote speakers is Carla Hayden, the current and 14th Librarian of Congress. She is the first woman and first African-American to fill the post.

Check Faith Bradham out in the Early Career Section: http://conference.acrl.org/scholarships/

Letter Worth Sharing

andrea-thorson-phone-banking-oct-2016

Andrea Thorson

I often say I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever and it’s because I have the honor and joy to work with the best colleagues — the best students, the best staff, and the best faculty. I’d like to share a letter that hit my inbox this week. Thank you, Amber Smithson, for allowing me to share.

 

To whom it may concern,

All too often in our society today we focus on the negative and are quick to express our dislike or distaste in people and or events. In a world of negativity and altercations however I have learned to focus on that which empowers and strengthens me. I try to see the world with what it can offer me and I take those tools that I am given and try my hardest to pay it forward whenever possible. As a single mother of four when I decided to go back to school and get my degree at a later age in life, to say that I was apprehensive is to speak lightly of how I felt. With my nerves high and my self-doubt even higher, knowing I would ultimately be one of the oldest students in all my classes I returned to Bakersfield College 3 semesters ago. When I returned I was confident that I wanted to get my degree in business administration. Just by accident I decided to take a Public Speaking class as one of my very first classes. By accident even more, I walked into the wrong class because all I noticed was the last name and paid no attention to the CRN number attached to the class. It was by those “accidents” that I came upon a professor who has ultimately changed my life.

Professor Andrea Thorson has been instrumental in some amazing changes in my life. I went from an insecure, unaware, naive, and ignorant student to a confident, aware, and purposeful individual. I changed my major from Business to Communications and now have a purpose in life that I never thought I would have. I watched every day in class this remarkable professor teach and inspire her students with poise and knowledge that I hope to one day be able to share with my students when I too become a professor. She has brought me to tears, laughter, and deep soul searching. I learned more in one semester then I had all my life. I have been able to take what I have learned in her classes and incorporate them into my personal life. She renewed my faith in people by showing such compassion and desire to help each and every one of her students. I truly admire what she brings to the classroom each time she steps foot in there. She pushes you to do your best and discover who you are inside and what you are capable of achieving.

              

20170127_173546

Amber Smithson

I am sure that in the positions you hold, you must hear too often about the “bad” professors or you hear from the students who are angry because of their grades and therefore blame it on the so-called deficiencies of their professors. I am not writing this accolade because I am a straight A student or because school comes easy to me. On the contrary I typically have to study twice as hard as someone half my age. I work hard for my grades and when I do receive A’s it’s because I have gone above and beyond to earn them. I am writing this letter because there are some amazing professors at Bakersfield College and Professor Andrea Thorson is one of them. I owe so much to this professor and I only hope that when I have achieved my goals and am able to return to Bakersfield College as a professor myself, I will be half the instructor that she proves to be each and every day.  Sincerely, Amber Smithson

 

Check out this video that Prof Manny Fernandez did on our Baccalaureate Program in Industrial Automation

And here is a picture I forgot to post last week when I ran into the Leadership Academy in Sacramento.  I was there to present to the California Community College Trustee Association.  Both Chancellor Tom Burke and Trustee and retired Congressman Bill Thomas were also in Sacramento.

Leadership Academy in Sacramento Jan 29 2017.jpg

sonya-christian-feb-2-2017-tempe-arizona

Sonya Christian, loving Renegade life in Tempe, Arizona, Feb 2 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Good morning Bakersfield.  Have you bought your tickets for Winterfest!

I woke up to the headline in The Bakersfield Californian “Obama signs $12 Billion Water Bill” and a wonderful piece by Nick Strobel “Longest night of year, winter is approaching” in his column Stargazing.  Definitely a good way to start the morning.

But let me get back to Winterfest ….

Winterfest is coming

Excitement is building up around campus for the upcoming Winterfest celebrations! Did you ever think you’d see a Zamboni parked at Bakersfield College?  Thanks to the Condors and the upcoming Three-Way Chevrolet Winterfest and Outdoor Classic hockey game, we’ve got one! Construction has taken over Memorial Stadium and the rink is coming to life.  In an article this week titled, “It’s Twice as Nice Outdoors on the Ice,” Ryan Holt of the Bakersfield Condors had some awesome things to say about BC!

“We’re thankful they believed in our project,” Holt said. “Memorial Stadium was the spot. It’s iconic. I’ve never seen a community college with a stadium like that. It’s going to be perfect for hockey. Every seat is a perfect seat for watching the game. Winterfest, the Outdoor Classic and the Alumni game are “a way to highlight not only the Condors organization, but the city of Bakersfield,” Holt said. “That’s what we’re all about.”

winterfest-panoramic

See this whole article at http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODN/BakersfieldCalifornian/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TBC%2F2016%2F12%2F15&entity=Ar01800&sk=6A9B2023

The Bakersfield Californian said, “It’s beginning to look like hockey at Bakersfield College” and I couldn’t agree more! Check out the article at http://www.bakersfield.com/sports/it-s-beginning-to-look-like-hockey-at-bakersfield-college/article_bb9b4aac-6bc7-517d-a527-10e99ee3af31.html.

#BCLearns!

immigrationpoliciespanelLast week Thursday, an open forum with panelists, H.A. Sala and Win Eaton took place in the Levan Center on the topic of U.S. Immigration Policies. This discussion was presented by members of the Immigration Justice Collaboration, a group of over 20 local attorneys from different fields of practice, including immigration law. The panel discussed imminent changes in immigration policies, including how DACA may be affected, and basic due process and constitutional rights, among other topics of interest to our communities. Thank you to Dr. Manny Mourtzanos, Dean of Instruction, for moderating the panel and Manny De Los Santos for recording and live streaming the event.

 

International Ag Expo

On Tuesday (Dec 13, 2016) morning, I was on a quick field trip with the Ag faculty to check out the COS farm and do some planning for our Ag program.  The ride in the 16-year-old bus was enjoyable with Bill Kelly leisurely at the wheel when we headed north, and Chris McCraw putting pedal to the metal but definitely keeping it at the legal limit on the way back to get me to a meeting on time.  I love our Ag department!  Bill Kelly, Lindsay Ono, Bill Barnes, Greg Cluff, and Chris McCraw.  We missed Heather Baltis who could not go with us.

I learned that we cut back on our classes during the recession, and once had horse riding classes when Gay Gadella was with us.

Our ride in the bus took us past the home of the World Ag Expo in Tulare, CA. I was surprised to learn this global convention started at BC and moved to the Bakersfield Fairgrounds before going to Tulare, where it is now a global event. Wow!

The International Agri-Center now hosts this annual event boasting 2.6 million square feet of show space, and calculating an annual average of 100,000 attendees. Learn more by visiting https://www.worldagexpo.com/

agfaculty

There’s a new chief in town

Join me in welcoming Lyle Martin as the new Bakersfield Police Chief. After serving as the assistant chief of police since 2008, Lyle was sworn in on Wednesday replacing Greg Williamson who is retiring. The Bakersfield Californian reports that “Williamson called Martin a ‘man of character,’ and said the city is in good hands.”
Check out the article at The Bakersfield Californian here.

I love this picture by Felix Adamo in The Bakersfield Californian of outgoing BPD Chief Greg Williamson and incoming Chief Lyle Martin.

chief-williamson-and-chief-martin-photo-by-feliz-adamo-dec-2016

The Bakersfield Police Department is a great partner of Bakersfield College.
Check out my past blog when I showcased the National Night Out on August 6, 2016.

ASTEP Student Appreciation

I attended the ASTEP Student Appreciation awards this week. If you haven’t heard, the African-American Success through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP) program at BC is one that integrates academics, support services and African-American culture. ASTEP seeks to educate the whole student — body, mind and spirit — through an ethic of love. African and African-American histories and voices are deliberately and intentionally acknowledged and are woven into the learning experience, and this integration is seen as being empowering to students and foundational for their academic and personal success.  Students are full participants in their learning and growth. ASTEP aims to develop students into leaders and role models in their college and larger community.astep-mentors

The mentors of this program are fabulous people and we are lucky to have them with us at BC.

For example, here is Keith Wolaridge, President of the Panama Buena Vista District Board, supporter of Measure J, and leader of our community. And another great supporter of ASTEP is Joe Coughlin – local business owner of the delicious Coconut Joes. Check out my blog including Joe from September 24th. Also, our very own June Charles is a mentor, and her mentee took all three awards of the night. Congratulations!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Dr. Paula Parks has greatly improved our student success numbers through this program.  You can see her dedication in this email that she sent me after the event.

Sonya,

Thanks for attending the ASTEP Umoja Community Mentor Appreciation and Milestone Celebration. The best part for me is hearing from the students what the program means to them and how much they treasure the support provided, including that from the mentors. They talked about how much the mentors encourage them and help keep them focused to finish the semester. I also loved hearing how much they enjoyed reading and discussing black authors in the English class as well as how much they learned about themselves in the student development class. They formed such a loving, supportive community, and I know they’ll do well next semester in English 1A, Student Development 2, and Library 1. The Mentor Appreciation and Milestone Celebration always end the semester on a high note for me. I just love those kids.

Thanks again,

Paula

Centennial High School Holiday Concert

Holiday festivities are one of my favorite things about the end of the year. I attended the Centennial High School Christmas Concert on Thursday, Dec 15th, to watch Gracie, Jennifer Marden’s daughter perform.  Gracie is a very talented young woman and sings with both the Chamber Singers and Concert Choir at Centennial High School.  I hope Gracie comes to BC and sings with Jen Garret’s group and goes to Sydney Australia in Summer 2018.  Friends, please mark your calendars and head out to Sydney with us to watch your Bakersfield Choir perform.  I guarantee you that this will be your best vacation ever!

Patrick Burzlaff is the Director of Choral Activities and the students are just so incredibly talented. Music programs are constantly in danger of being cut from shrinking schools budgets, but they’re important for the success of our young people and have been proven to improve academics. The College Entrance Examination Board found that students involved in public school music programs scored 107 points higher on the SAT’s than students with no participation. Check out all the facts at http://www.musicforall.org/who-we-are/advocacy/quick-facts

centennial

Fire Tech graduation

On December 16th BC’s Firefighter II candidates graduated. Trained through BC we are proud of you. Outgoing Mayor Harvey Hall got his own hard hat.  And Mary Jo Pasek, thank you for the photos.

mayor-hall-presented-dec-16-2016

Thank you Tim Capehart, Director of Fire Tech, for your vision and hard work.  I enjoyed the field trip with you earlier this year.

Jean Fuller’s Holiday Gathering

jeanfullerholidayparty-with-dick-taylor

Cheryl Taylor, Dick Taylor, Jean Fuller

Have I told you that I love Senator Jean Fuller?  The Senator is a great partner, friend, and alumna of BC! She earned her AA degree at Bakersfield College in 1970. After more than 30 years as an educator and Superintendent of Bakersfield City School District, she was elected in 2006 and right away was widely recognized as a leader.

I took this photo of Jean Fuller with Dick Taylor and Cheryl Taylor. Dick is the Director of Kern County Veterans Service Department. Born and raised in Bakersfield with a history of service in the Marines and traveling the world, Dick is an ally for local veterans and is a great advocate for our student vets.

We are Bakersfield!

 PuebloFest

1215160932.jpg

Member of the California Board of Governors and self-described Social Entrepreneur Arnaldo Avalos is leading an effort to bring musical, cultural, and educational awareness to the central valley through PuebloFest.  As Arnaldo shared with BC’s student organizations and their advisors, PuebloFest isn’t like any other music festival; it’s a music festival with a purpose: non-profit and educational organizations can actually use the event to earn money for their organizations!  When BC’s soccer coach, Vayron Martinez, heard about the opportunity, he showed up in force with three of his student athletes even after the close of the season.

Be sure to use code “BCSoccer” when you purchase your tickets for PuebloFest online for a discount and to support your local BC team.  Children 12 and under are free and those ages 13-17 earn discounted admission.

This isn’t the first time Vayron has stepped in to encourage his athletes to contribute to the greater good through community involvement.  Check out this post on the BC Soccer Team volunteering for Measure J!

Buy tickets using “BCSoccer” code online: https://pueblofest.frontgatetickets.com/?utm_source=frontgate&utm_medium=fdp&utm_term=banner&utm_content=pueblofest&utm_campaign=fgt-website

Like PuebloFest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pueblofestca/photos/a.558781277655516.1073741830.530404543826523/581580685375575/?type=3&theater

doc_erwinMidweek morning meeting with a great educational leader!

This week, I also had a small window of time to catch up with Doc Ervin, Bakersfield City School District Superintendent.

Get to know more about Doc in an article at the Bakersfield Californian from earlier this year:  http://www.bakersfield.com/news/from-farm-to-city-who-is-doc-ervin-bcsd-s/article_428ee4e8-1654-56ac-b16d-87dcab77bbdf.html

 

Accreditation on a rainy friday

Kate Pluta said it best, yesterday at a gathering at BC doing a “soft launch” to our accreditation self evaluation work in anticipation of our site visit in October 2018 — “It is friday, it is after the semester ended, and it is raining.  But here you all are to participate in accreditation work.”  I love my colleagues at BC!  Enjoy a few photos

 

I love BC! We Are BC!

sonya at polynesian cultural center april 2 2015

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

Thank you Kern County!

Measure J Passes! Thank you Kern County

50058052351__d475d29b-01c3-43e5-b511-163349ebdf77

With a vote of 96,589 to 58,155, Kern County supported Measure J with 62.42% of the vote. Measure J also received 59.99% of the vote in Tulare County, and 63.6% of the vote in San Bernardino County. After months of hard work, I am so grateful to our voters for supporting our community colleges! And I am grateful to the many volunteers who turned out over the past few months to get out the vote and spread the word about the great things that this bond will do for Bakersfield College and all of the college in the Kern Community College District.

And a special thank you to my friend who reminds me everyday to Keep the Faith!

And thank you Tom Moran who responded to my early morning call on Saturday and taught me how to sign my thank you message to the voters.

We had an amazing group of volunteers that came out to assist in our final push on Election Day. It was a busy day that began around 6 am and lasted until midnight! The guy behind me in the picture is Dave Mason who worked with us through the campaign.  He drove in from Oakland to spend election night with us.  Thank you Dave!

Here are two great pictures of Nick Strobel on November 8th.  One was taken when he was relentless in phone banking to get out the vote.  The picture was taken at 7:30 p.m., 30 minutes before the polls closed.  And the picture on the left is when we had a table give way, sending an ice bucket and the melted water in it crashing to the floor. (I guess you could say the election center took the ice bucket challenge…) Nick, true to himself, we the first one up and helping to clean the floor.

A few of our volunteers shared some memorable moments from the campaign:

 

The weekend leading up to Election Day was hectic at campaign headquarters.  Here are pictures of Nov 5th (Saturday) and Nov 6th (Sun) including the half-time show that Congressman Bill Thomas (or should I say KCCD Trustee Bill Thomas) did with Vance Palm on the Damron Deck with a great view of the city and the valley.  Vance Palm, you do a real nice job with Renegade Football and the half-time show with the congressman was fantastic.

November 5th;  Here is Rick Kreiser, owner of Carney’s saving the day and saving the campaign by replacing the toner Saturday late evening so that we could continue printing materials for our GOTV (Get Out the Vote) campaign.  Thank you Rick Kreiser for all of the donations and all of your time in support of passing Measure J.

 

I love this picture of Chief Counts and his beautiful daughter Faith who volunteered their time through the entire Measure J campaign.

And pets were also part of the campaign. Here’s Tom Gelder with canine friend Lexy and Bruce our election dog on November 10th helping clean up Campaign HQ.

Measure J was a “whole family affair.”  Andrea Thorson and her son James.  Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg holding Lily Ann (Grace’s baby girl), who was sleeping peacefully while Nan phone banked.  I love both these pictures.

Dr. Kimberly Bligh, Dr. Janet Fulks, Bruce Meyer all phone banking on Nov 7 2016

Grace Commiso and Sue Vaughn.

I loved the cookies Bill Moseley baked using a 3D printed cookie cuttter.  Yes on J!

Bill Moseley Cookies Nov 7 2016.JPG

On November 7th night, I was trying to get these folks out of the office and get them to go to bed before the big day.  It was a hard task! Lesley Bonds, Nicky Damania, Chris Glaser, Nicole Para.

Nov 7 wrapping up the night.JPG

The Election Day 6:00 a.m. pictures

On the right, our fabulous campaign manager Nicole Parra. In the group picture on the left: Chris Glaser, Lesley Bonds, Sue Vaughn, Ashley Ward, Todd Coston, Bill Potter, Liz Rozell, Asha Chandy, Nicole Parra.

Polling location teams at Aera Energy and at Delano

Polling location team at the Kern County Fair and first-time voters who were so excited. Thank you Olivia Garcia for the photo.

 

Polling location teams in South East Bakersfield and at Wasco.

 

Veterans Day. Nov 11, 2016

On Veterans Day, our BC Veterans Club took part in the annual Bakersfield Veterans Day parade. It was such an honor to meet with them at the parade. We are truly grateful for their service, and for the service of all this great nation’s veterans. Thank you!

IMG_0282.JPG

doug-and-martha-miller-and-sonya-christian-nov-11-2016-vets-paradeThank you Karen Goh for some great pictures.

It was also a treat running into Martha Miller nee McCuen at the Vets Parade.  Martha is the daughter of Theron McCuen who was the Superintendent of Kern High and Bakersfield College when BC was on the Kern High campus. Martha’s husband Doug Miller retired as Superintendent of the Panama Buena Vista School District in 2007.  I am so glad Martha recognized me and called out as I was dashing towards my car.  With the work we undertook related to campaigning for Measure J, I was always fully aware of BC’s past, particularly 1956 when the campus moved from Kern High (Now BHS) to the Panorama Bluffs, while we were forging BC’s future.  So to run into the daughter of Theron McCuen whose name is on the Administration Building where I have my office felt like an auspicious moment.

So, of course, I went searching in BC’s archives.  Thank you Jerry Ludeke for your commitment to the archives.

 

Here is a 1958 photo that includes Theron McCuen at Ralph Prator’s retirement dinner. From Left: Ralph Prator (outgoing BC President), Ed Simonsen (incoming BC President), Marvene Simonsen, Theron McCuen (Superintendent), Hazel McCuen. 1958.

1958-ralph-prator-outgoing-bc-president-ed-simonsen-incoming-bc-president-marvene-simonsen-theron-mccuen-superintendent-hazel-mccuen

Also from the archives this newspaper clipping from the Bakersfield Californian.  From Left to Right: H.E. Woodworth, Ralph Prator, Ed Simonsen, Dorothy Donohoe, Theron McCuen.  This is the first time that I have seen a picture of Dorothy Donohoe, who as Assemblywoman was responsible for the development of the California Higher Education Master Plan.  It seems appropriate to have her picture in my post Measure J blog to recognize the leaders from our community who had the vision for what we are today.

may-15-1958-newspaper-clipping-woodworth-prator-simonsen-dorothy-donohoe-mccuen

 

BC Veterans

Let’s salute our faculty, staff and students who are veterans.

Bernadette Martinez in the counseling department put out a call to our faculty & staff to share out who on our BC campus is a veteran, which I’d like to repeat here:

United States Marines

  • Jeremy Staat, 2005-2009, Corporal (E-4). — Welding
  • Armando Trujillo, Marine Corps –Veterans Educational Advisor
  • Felix Ramirez from 1980-1985.  1985-2002 Army National Guard (E-7) —Public Safety Officer
  • Juan Torres, United State Marine Corps from 1988-1994—Site Operations  (Delano)

United States Navy

  • Lieutenant Manuel Fernandez, 11 years—Electronics
  • Jahnea Palfrey, 1999-2003, Law Enforcement—Department Assistant
  • Di Hoffman,  1992-2001 – Nursing
  • Eddie Rangel, 1998-2001 (E-4) –Information Technology
  • Diana Alcala, 2002-2008—Human Resources Assistant
  • Paul Beckworth, 1989-1993, Guard 1997-2003—History
  • Richard McCrow, 30 years –Director Delano Campus

United States Army

  • Pat Smith, 5 yrs —Criminal Justice
  • Patrick Fulks, 1969-1971,(E-5) Biology

United States Air Force

  • Bernadette Martinez, 1993-1997 (E-4)—Office Supervisor
  • Christine Dunn 1995-1998 (Captain) Nursing

Veterans Celebration at Porterville College

On November 10th we had the KCCD Board meeting at Porterville College.  They had their Veterans event on the same day and it was wonderful wandering the campus hearing from student veterans and visiting the Veterans Resource Center.  Steve Schutlz has done a real nice job with the facility and I was warmly greeted by the counselor for PC’s student veterans Maria Roman.

I learned from the keynote speaker, a Vietnam Vet, that it was important to remember our history…particularly the local history.  He shared that there was a former airport and military airfield located in the area that conducted flying training during World War II.

During our lunch with the Board, Dr. Carlson had organized a presentation on the Pathways work undertaken by the community over the last decade; a large scale collaboration with business and industry and K-12 partners.  Both Trustee John Corkins and President Rosa Carlson have worked in leadership roles to advance this work on student success. Pretty cool stuff.  Great results!

At the Board meeting, I enjoyed the presentation by Jay Rosenlieb on behalf of the Measure J Honorary Committee.  Jay reviewed the work done by hundreds of volunteers that resulted in the successful passing of Measure J.  Board members too commented about this great accomplishment.  YesOnJ!

 

vets-parade-2016-with-glenn-porterWounded Heroes Fund

The Kern County Wounded Heroes Fund is a local nonprofit that supports veterans and their families with a focus to help ease the transition back to civilian life through ongoing support and appreciation. When veterans come home, sometimes they’re unsure of what to do, not knowing what’s next – that’s where Wounded Heroes comes in, offering everything from a cup of coffee and good conversation to marriage retreats, couples counseling, financial counseling, and even housing.

On November 5th at the Kern County Fairgrounds, a BBQ Steak Lunch helped raise money for these great causes.  At the Veterans Parade on November 11th, Paul Beckworth introduced me to Glenn Porter who is on the Board of Directors for the Wounded Heroes fund and he talked about this event and that it was sold out this year.  It was wonderful getting to know Glenn.

To learn more about the Wounded Heroes Fund, check out http://thewoundedheroesfund.org/.

BC was out at the Fairgrounds for the Wounded Heroes Fund event.  Here are three pictures..the first with our nursing students and the second with Paul Beckworth’s family (Andy Lopez, Eileen Lopez, Adam Lopez, Sandra Beckworth, Paul Beckworth, Sonya Christian) who came out to support the event and the last one, a selfie with Wesley Barrientos.  Wesley, I am so happy to see you!

woundedheroes

 

 

Renegade RIP covers Driven by Art

The Renegade RIP, BC’s student newspaper recently highlighted the unique and individually painted trucks you’ve spotted around town. J.R. Hensley, the RIP Reporter notes, “the trucks will be in their current locations until the January 6, 2017, at which time the businesses that purchased the models will take possession of them or they can donate them to the city, which will put them on permanent display on the Westside Parkway.”  I hope you’ll have a chance to spot them all – many are in various places throughout Downtown Bakersfield.

The RIP has been around for over 85 years at Bakersfield College reporting on news and events across campus and our community. To learn more about The RIP, visit www.therip.com and to see my previous blog about the BMOA’s Driven by Art Trucks, see https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/10/08/so-many-reasons-to-celebrate-we-are-bc/.

EOP&S Takes Off to Museum of Tolerance

eopsI found this draft blog entry from March 2016.  Enjoy!

A group of 42 EOP&S students and staff gathered before sunrise on March 18, 2016 and boarded a bus headed southbound to the Museum of Tolerance. During the drive, the movie Anne Frank was played to get an insight of the holocaust.

Her spirit was felt on the bus and students were left thinking about the horrific events that happened in the early 1930s.

The Museum of Tolerance provided an interactive experience for students ranging from digital storytelling, films, artifacts, personal testimonies and thought provoking questions. Students were also guided to the Tolerance center exhibit where they were exposed to major issues of intolerance that happen on a local and global level. Topics on contemporary events such as bullying, hate speech, discrimination, human rights exploitation, and terrorism were covered, all which affect our community. “Don’t be a standby” was a phrase that the docent kept repeating as he challenged us to think what we can do to work to end injustices, discrimination, hateful behaviors and concluded with “History has a tendency to repeat itself.”

After the tour, a few students shared this was an eye-opening experience. One student expressed “this education[al] excursion [taught] me a lesson about the power of words.” Another student said “every minute was filled with learning about history” and others shared this was just not a visit “but also an educational trip, it teaches us about what we should do about eliminating discrimination.” When students were asked to identify steps to be more personally responsible for positive change, many responded to “speak up, help others, and care more.” One student summed it up and said “Speak up because someone needs to take initiative. Be the change I want to see.”

Their visit to the Museum of Tolerance was impactful. Over 85 percent of the group had never visited the museum. In the evaluation of their learning experience at the Museum of Tolerance, only about 26 percent indicated they had a great deal of understanding of the Holocaust prior to visiting the museum — after visiting the museum, 75 percent of the students indicated they gained a greater understanding of the Holocaust. Overall there was a 77 percent student consensus that visiting the Museum of Tolerance increased their awareness of past social injustices and the different types of prejudice and discrimination that exist in the world we live in.

Academic Senate

Its been a while since I visited with our Academic Senate.  BC has a great group of faculty serving on the senate with exceptional leadership from President Steven Holmes, VP Andrea Thorson and the Exec Board of the Senate.  I stopped by on Wednesday, November 9th, after the election to thank the faculty members from the senate who helped with the Measure J work.  One of my colleagues took these pictures and I so enjoyed seeing them that I thought I would share them with you. We Are BC!

 

bruce-the-election-dog-nov-9-2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — signing off with a picture of Bruce and reminding everyone that I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.