Tag Archives: Nicky Damania

Recognition & Gratitude — One Proud Renegade Prez

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, July 20, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Celebrating BC Two Days in a Row

Bakersfield College had a phenomenal week of celebrating the diligent, committed, and focused work of BC faculty, staff, and students. The talent at BC is truly exceptional and the work ethic one of a kind. We are BC!

On Monday morning we started with a crowd of approximately 200 packing the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery on the Panorama Campus for a press event where Assembly Member Rudy Salas presented Bakersfield College with a check for $1 million from the state legislature for the second consecutive year. The 2018 funding kicked off the HVAC program at the Delano Campus, in addition to supporting rural educational efforts. This year’s funding will allow us to expand our baccalaureate program in Industrial Automation in Delano and our Early College programs in Wasco and McFarland. It will also allow for the creation and expansion of health career pathways in North Kern.

A group surrounds Assembly Member Rudy Salas presenting a $1 million check
A group surrounds Assembly Member Rudy Salas presenting a $1 million check. Sitting from L to R: Tom Burke, Romeo Agbalog, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Rudy Salas, Sonya Christian, Justin Derrick, Rob Cobb, Abel Guzman

Community Support means so much to the students, staff, and faculty of Bakersfield College. It is the support of our community which fuels our work and enables BC to do what it does. Thank you to our local educational, political, and community dignitaries who came in strength to support this work including Mayor Karen Goh, Senator Jean Fuller, Sam Moretti, Ricardo Delgetta, Laura Melendez, Pawan Gill, Michael Turnipseed, Joseph Lopez, Lily Agbalog, Alissa Reed, Melinda Hicks, Kevin Tallon, Robert Price, and from KCCD, Chancellor Tom Burke, Bonita Steele, and Trustees Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.

Here is a short video that the Salas team put together. Enjoy!

2019 Dr. John W. Rice Awards Student Success award Completion Coaching Communities BC.

Then on Tuesday, a team from Bakersfield College was invited to Sacramento to attend the Dr. John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award Ceremony held at the Crocker Art Museum. The college is unbelievably honored to accept the award this year for our collective work supporting student success through Coaching Communities following the Guided Pathways model. The Dr. John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award was established in 2001 to honor a community college staff member, district, college, or program that has made the greatest contribution towards faculty and staff diversity or student equity.

Since beginning the implementation of Guided Pathways in 2014, BC has seen growth and improvement across virtually every metric at the college.  To get more students to complete and/or transfer – on time and without excess units – BC has intentionally designed an innovative, formal structure through which cross-functional teams of faculty and staff are responsible for advancing student success along defined momentum points. These teams, called Completion Coaching Communities, include BC faculty, staff and administrators responsible for ensuring each student is actively helped to pursue the most direct path to his or her educational goal while facilitating a swift and at-scale response to remove barriers.

Group of BC and KCCD representative around the award.
BC’s Outreach Director Steve Watkin, Director of Student Life Nicky Damania, BC’s Student Government President Samantha Pulido, BC President Sonya Christian, California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley, Kern Community College District Trustee Romeo Agbalog, California Community Colleges Board President Tom Epstein, English Professor and Umoja Lead Paula Parks 

I am so proud of BC’s faculty and staff for their commitment to Renegades, especially progress in advancing student outcomes such as:

  • Closing the transfer-level English completion gap for African American Students: from 14% to 44%.  African American now students exceed overall rate of 39% for this metric.
  • Closing the Hispanic/Latinx gap in Associate Degree for Transfer attainment: from 61.6% to 67.4% of all ADT earners in two years
  • Improving completion rates for Hispanic/Latinx students from 26.8% to 38.6%
  • Improving completion rates for African American students from 32% to 39.8%

Special thank you to the team who nominated Bakersfield College for this very prestigious award and to the team who selected BC as this year’s recipient. BC’s attendees included: Steve Watkin, Nicky Damania, Grace Commiso, Kylie Swanson, Ashlea Ward, Paula Parks, Dezi Von Manos, Samatha Pulido, April Whitfield, Jordan Thomas, Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Chancellor Tom Burke.

Photos are available on BC’s Smugmug: Rice Award – Student Success Gallery  

Special thanks to the following media outlets for covering these events:

Bakersfield College Earns Student Success Award article clipping.
Bakersfield Californian article "Salas awards college with a $1 million check."
Rudy Salas Event covered by Ema Sasic July 16 2019
Page 2 of the Rudy Salas article.

THANK YOU RUDY SALAS!!  AGAIN!!!

Rudy Salas, Sonya Christian

Assemblyman Salas is a champion for Bakersfield College’s vision of educational equity in California, and we can’t thank him enough for having faith in our ability to make an immediate positive impact in the lives of Kern County residents with the support of “shovel-ready” projects.

Dignitaries on the dais during Monday’s press conference included KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke, Trustees Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, BC Rural Initiatives Director Abel Guzman, Delano HVAC graduate Felix Dominguez, Assemblyman Salas, Senator Emeritus Jean Fuller, McFarland High Principal Justin Derrick, and Rob Cobb, Director of Categorical Programs and Special Projects at the Wasco Union High School District.

Agbalog spoke of the importance of vocational education in rural Kern as many traditional labor careers will be gradually replaced by automation. He then introduced a video about rural BC student Moises Marin de Luna, who was unable to attend the event because he couldn’t miss his shift in the grape fields. Moises was inspired by his brother’s educational journey to go back to school as an adult, and after taking one electronics class at BC with professor Michael Larson, he’s decided to pursue the Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Automation.

The stories of students like Moises are why we are working so hard to level the playing field for our students in rural Kern, and the support of leaders like Assemblyman Salas will allow us to transform the kinds of opportunities available in our county.

“This money will be used to help students like Moises reach the first or second rung up the ladder toward prosperity,” Agbalog said.

Salas praised the way that BC’s leadership team was able to break down its institutional needs to a granular level in order to allocate funding in a way that could make the greatest impact. He also spoke of the ways that education opens doors for new opportunities in people’s lives and the lives of future generations.

“It’s about you kicking open that door, but you can hold the door open for everyone behind you,” Salas said.

Guzman thanked Assemblyman Salas and the state legislature, as well as our industry partners, for supporting BC’s workforce development programs. He also detailed how our career and technical education programs create marketable career pathways that lead to jobs.

Cobb shared his excitement in partnering with BC to expand Early College offerings in Wasco and Delano, and Derrick talked about McFarland High’s preparations for the first Level 3 Early College program in the nation.

“At McFarland High, we know a champion when we see one,” Derrick said. “Thank you, Assemblyman Salas, for being our champion.”

Rudy Salas, Sonya Christian and BC Students
Rudy Salas, Sonya Christian and BC Students

See the photos from the event:

Individual Videos from Monday’s Event on BC’s Youtube:

More on the John W. Rice Award event in Sacramento

BC Students Jordan Thomas and April Whitfield

Jordan Thomas wrote this brief essay inserted below:

“On July 16th of 2019, myself along with other Bakersfield College staff and students attended the 19th annual Dr. John W. Rice award ceremony where Bakersfield College was awarded the Dr. John W. Rice award on behalf of student success. Dr. John W. Rice was a longtime educator, minister, coach and mentor in Tuscaloosa, Alabama Birmingham and Denver. Rice also served on a number of educational advisory boards, and was well known for his belief that education was powerful; as well as every individual deserves equal opportunity to an education regardless of race or background. Present at the award ceremony was special guest Condoleezza Rice, Dr. Rice’s well known daughter. Ms. Rice is an American political scientist, and is well known for serving as the 66th United States Secretary of State, under the George W. Bush administration. She was the second African-American Secretary of State, as well as the first female African-American in history to hold the position. As the award ceremony began a presentation of the 2019 Dr. John W. Rice award was presented breaking down the life, legacy, and obstacles that Dr. Rice encountered throughout his journey. After the presentation, special guest Condoleezza Rice would go on to give a heartwarming speech about diversity in correspondence to the power of education and how regardless of where a person has come from, their race, their religion, or their beliefs; education is a powerful tool that can bring individuals from all races and ethnicities to a common understanding. While listening to Condoleezza Rice’s speech, I couldn’t agree more. Rice stated that anyone can come from humble circumstances and still do great things. This statement resonated with me and I came to the realization that education is the most powerful tool in which it breaks a tremendous amount of barriers, as well as a magnificent tool that can be used to change the world. This speech gave me the motivation to continue my education because now I see how important of a tool it is to thrive in today’s society, regardless of my background.”             

BC Team with Condoleezza Rice

Thank you Nicky Damania for clicking so many photos.

Three Presidents: Dezi Von Manos, Sonya Christian, Samantha Pulido
Romeo Agbalog, Steve Watkin, Paula Parks, Ashlea Ward, April Whitfield, Grace Commiso, Dezi Von Manos, Tommy Tunson, JJOrdan Thomas, Samantha Pulido, Nicky Damania, Kylie Swanson, Sonya Christian
Teresa Aldridge (Umoja Board of Directors), Pamela Haynes (Board of Governors), Sonya Christian, Paula Parks

Bakersfield State of the City Luncheon

On Thursday afternoon, BC representatives joined community leaders at the Marriott for the 2019 Bakersfield State of the City luncheon. Joining me from BC was Dean of Instruction, Jessica Wojtysiak and Director of Community Relations, Norma Rojas-Mora, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Chancellor Tom Burke, Senator Jean Fuller, Congressman Bill ThomasBob Price, Jay Rosenlieb, and Lily Agbalog.

Sonya Christian with Mayor Karen Goh
Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Bill Thomas, Jay Rosenlieve, Sonya Christian
Bill Thomas, Jessica Wojtysiak

It was an enjoyable event to see the news and what’s in store for Bakersfield, hosted by Mayor Karen Goh. I was especially thrilled to see Bakersfield College included in the program, highlighting our growing enrollment, growing student success, and statewide leadership recognitions.

Norma Rojas-Mora, Karen Goh & Lily Agbalog

Thank you also to Dignity Health who included Bakersfield College in their most recent promotional video. What an exciting time to be in Bakersfield and what an exciting time to be a Renegade.  As Mayor Goh says, “We are Bakersfield!”

Robert Price, Jay Rosenlieb, & Tom Burke
Chancellor Tom Burke & Senator Jean Fuller

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Brian Sivesind and the BC Performing Arts Department are bringing the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” to life in the Indoor Theater this summer.

Actors sing with a colorful background.

If you’re reading this on Saturday, July 20, you still have a chance to catch two performances of this incredible story adapted by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1968. The matinee performance is at 2 p.m. on Saturday, and the final evening performance is at 7:30 p.m.

Actors perform song with hands in air.
Actors hold hands together over their heads as they dance.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” recounts the Biblical story of Joseph and his 11 brothers using music and lyrics. Joseph, played by BC student Jake Wattenbarger, is his father Jacob’s favorite son, and his brothers are jealous of him and his coat of many colors, as well as his prophetic dreams. The brothers attempt to murder Joseph but sell him into slavery instead, telling their father that Joseph was killed.

The Elvis Pharaoh on steps with singers.
Actors sing and dance around a quilt.

Joseph takes advantage of his gift for prophecy to break the chains of slavery and become a trusted advisor to the Pharaoh. By the end of the story, Joseph’s brothers are unknowingly begging him for food in the middle of a drought, and Joseph is reunited with his family (and his coat) once again.

Pharaoh sings on steps with other actors.

Thank you to all of the students for putting together such a beautiful performance, as well as Brian Sivesind for bringing this amazing production to our community. Thank you Jen Garrett and choir and Robby Martinez and the orchestra. What talent! What excellence! What hard work! After all, We are BC!

Very happy to have several community members come out to the musical. here are some photos I snapped.

Mikie Hay, Jean Fuller, Mary Madland
Dan Hay, Mikie Hay, Russell Fuller, Mary Madland, Romeo Agbalog, Sonya Christian
Romeo Agbalog, David Bynum, Meagan Bynum, Sonya Christian, Robert Price
2 adults and 2 children sitting in audience.
David Bynum, Meagan Bynum and family
Romeo Agbalog, Lilly Agbalog

Visit the Performing Arts Department for more photos.

Dress Rehearsal Photos by Michelle Guerrero.

Sounds of Summer: Drum and Bugle Corps

The sounds of marching band music reverberated throughout the Panorama Campus on Tuesday, with students from BC’s Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps practicing wherever they could fit in. There were drumlines and a horn section practicing on the lawn between the Administration building and the bus station, and students were setting up and performing with marimbas, gongs and a drum set in the square that sits between the CSS, Fine Arts and Engineering buildings. 

Snare drummers drumming.

Musicians come from all over California and even out-of-state to join the Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps, which BC offers as a Performing Arts class called MUSC B28. The group is made up of concurrently enrolled high school students, BC students, and students who attend other universities, BC Marching Arts instructor Tim Heasley said.

Students setting up drum sets in the shade of a tree.

During the summer, the group traditionally practices on BC’s soccer practice field across from the agricultural laboratory during the summer, but due to Measure J Construction projects, it has had to conduct the majority of its practices at North High School. When the offsite location at North High was unavailable on Tuesday, the group decided to make the Panorama Campus its temporary practice space.

Bugle player plays while another student claps and others look on.

The Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps is currently in the final stages of fundraising for money to return to the Drum Corps International World Championships in Indianapolis. While the BC “Indoor” drumline took the world championship last year, the full drum and bugle ensemble made the finals in its first year competing in the competition.

Tuba players practicing in the shade.

“We have an amazing team of instructional staff and very dedicated volunteers that help set the students up for success, and we’re thankful to have a campus community that supports the hard work that everyone puts in to this competitive sport of the arts,” Heasley said.

Chris Glaser caught the drummers on video.

Published in Royal Society of Chemistry

Deborah Rosenthal with Renegade Knight
Deborah Rosenthal with Renegade Knight

Bakersfield College Chemistry Professor, Deborah Rosenthal, was published in the Royal Society of Chemistry earlier this year. She collaborated with Martin Cole and Michael Sanger, from Holyoke Community College and Middle Tennessee State University respectively to write the paper. You can read her paper at Two studies comparing students’ explanations of an oxidation-reduction reaction after viewing a single computer animation: the effect of varying the complexity of visual images and depicting water molecules.

Curriculum Institute

The BC team attended and participated at the Curriculum Institute in Burlingame, Ca. Jennifer Johnson, as a member of the California Community College Curriculum Committee (5C), contributed to 4 breakout sessions on topics including Training your Curriculum Committee, the Brown Act, and  AB705 implementation. Mark Osea, as a statewide general education reviewer, also presented on the topic of articulation and transfer. Billie Jo Rice and Jennifer Johnson presented the Program Pathways Mapper which is embedded in our new online Guided Pathways 2019-2020 Bakersfield College Catalog.

Jennifer Johnson, Billie Jo Rice, Linda Allday, Edie Nelson, and Erica Menchaca.
Mark Osea, Karen Daar Los Angeles Valley College, ASCCC Curriculum Committee, Aimee Tran, Saddleback College, ASCCC Curriculum Committee

Thank you Jennifer Johnson, Billie Jo Rice, Linda Allday, Edie Nelson, Erica Menchaca, Craig Hayward, Mark Osea and Brent Wilson for participating in the Curriculum Institute and working so hard on the curriculum at BC.

Veterans’ Summer Bridge

On Wednesday, faculty and staff led a group of military veterans who are incoming BC students through a tour of the main campus as part of the Bridge to BC. This intensive, one-day course is designed to familiarize students with the BC campus and prepare them for the college experience. Military veterans have a different transition experience than that of a recent high school graduate. As such, we give them a separate Bridge to BC tailored to their needs. It was a pleasure to see Trustee Kay Meek join the staff and faculty in welcoming our veterans.

In front of students and staff at workshop classroom.
Trustee Kay Meek at the Veteran’s Summer Bridge
Fun Videos: Summer Bridge

John Harte sent this video he recorded at Summer Bridge. We Are BC!

Saw these photos on Facebook. Summer Bridge goes to Delano.

Fun Photos

Executive Offices with M&O

Wednesday morning the Executive Office inhabitants were welcomed with sticky note from a member of one of our best teams on campus –  Maintenance and Operations. Caroline (Caro) Walth, our Custodial Services Supervisor left a welcome note on each desk for Jo Ellen Barnes, June Charles, Tarina Perry, Catherine Rangel & Jennifer Serratt. What a great way to start the day!

Iphone message "and when I got to work this morning, I was greeted with this note from one of our lead custodians- Caroline Walth. It already made my day!
Catherine Rangel, Caroline Walth and Jo Ellen Barnes

New Careers Education Site

Dean of Instruction, Cornelio Rodriguez shared some fun photos of the BC Career Education teams recent visit to the new KHSD Career Education site. The visit was hosted by KHSD Trustee Jeff Flores who represents Area 2 on the Kern High School District Board. Also in attendance was Scott Cole, Assistant Superintendent of KHSD and BC’s Director of Career Education Tony Cordova. It’s an exciting time to be a part of education in Kern County as these incredible resources come to life, inspiring our young people to explore and follow their dreams.

Summer STEM Architecture camp

Monday was a day of learning for mini ‘Gades who attended the Summer STEM Camp focused on Architecture. Presented by Chevron, this class taught students how to design and build their very own tiny home and inspired Kern County’s future architects to pursue a college degree to make their dreams a reality. Check out the fun photos captured by Earl Parsons from BC’s Marketing and Public Relations team.

Students at desks looking at computer screens with architecture plans.

Dean Mourtzanos

Manny presented our Early College model as an example of aBest Practice at the Enrollment Management Academy in Claremont

Dean Mourtzanos speaks in front of audience.

Registration Workshop

BC held two registration workshops on Tuesday and Wednesday to get students ready for taking classes in the fall.

Staff member listening to student.

Counselors and academic advisors worked one-on-one with students to sort out all of their registration questions and issues and get them enrolled in classes before the Fall 2019 semester kicks off on August 24. There will be one more registration workshop this month on Monday, July 29 at 8 a.m. in CSS 151. To participate, call the Counseling Center at (661) 395-4421 and ask to sign up for a registration workshop.

Staff member explaining things to students.

Student Employment Lab

The Office of Student Employment is hiring and is busy in the Student Employment Lab. Know of a student interested in gaining valuable work experience and building their resume? Send them over to the FACE 11 building or call (661) 395-4982.

Students must be enrolled in at least 6 units for Fall/Spring semester and 2 units during Summer. (Some positions may require Federal Work-Study)

On-campus and off-campus job opportunities are posted at: bakersfield.jobspeaker.com. To learn more about on-campus employment, check out:Bakersfield College Student Employment.

Athletics Updates

Congrats to Kobe Garner from Men’s Basketball

Renegade Athletics now has a total of 39 student athletes who have signed to continue their academic and athletic trajectory at the next level with this weeks announcement that Kobe Garner from Men’s Basketball has signed to play at Eastern University in St. David’s, PA. Kobe had a two-year run as a Renegade and we are pleased that he represented BC so well in his time here. Congrats and good luck, Kobe!

Kobe Garner Eastern University.
Sonya holding the Student Success award.


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Make Learning a Lifelong Activity

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, August 4th and a great day to be a Renegade. 

I had a wonderful week which concluded with a tour of BC in North Kern with Senator Jean Fuller and Trustee Romeo Agbalog.  More on that next week.  But here is a photo, with the McFarland High School leadership team, just to peak your interest.

Romeo Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Jean Fuller, Abel Guzman, Raquel Lopez at McFarland High Aug 4 2018

Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Abel Guzman, Senator Jean Fuller, Raquel Lopez, with the McFarland High Principal Brian Bell and his team

 

Bob Allison

Bob Allison

I was inspired yesterday by Bob Allison‘s Community Voices “Make Learning a Lifelong Activity.” He shared how BC’s Levan Institute is beginning its 11th year in operation and thanks to an incredibly generous gift by the late Dr. Norman Levan, BC is able to provide learning and enrichment opportunities to the local 55 and over community.

The piece mentions, “…we have had classes as varied as wine tasting, the afterlife, Photoshop Elements, ukulele, weight training, golf and creative writing. We even had a class on the history, tasting and brewing of beer (with lab!). Field trips are popular, particularly our annual wine trip. The fall 2018 term includes new classes in ceramics, watercolor painting, religion, history, fitness, website construction, making your own videos, kitchen remodeling, a trip to the Peterson Automotive Museum, and others.”

So if you’re interested in returning back to BC or even coming to BC for the first time as an adult learner, there’s never a better time to make learning a lifelong activity.

Bob Allison Community Voices Aug 3 2018.png

Remembering Gloria McLean

The Californian’s Robert Price wrote a piece celebrating the life of Gloria McLean. “Ceiling-shattering legislative aide was ground floor for CSUB’s creation” describes how McLean, who worked with Dorothy Donahoe “became the first woman to serve as an administrative assistant to a state senator and, later, the first woman to serve as a state senate district coordinator.”

Bob Price on Gloria McLean August 2 2018.png

The article goes on to share that Gloria McLean was a Renegade. “McLean was born in Bakersfield to a Scottish-born oilman and his New Zealander wife. She attended Standard School, KCUHS and Bakersfield Junior College, which was then part of the high school campus.”

Gloria McLean cover Californian

Here is Gloria McLean on the cover of The Bakersfield Californian on Saturday, January 22, 1955. She is pictured at the California State Employees Association pre-convention rally. The paper identifies left to right as Earl Chesmore, regional director; Mrs. Patricia Smith, regional secretary; Howard Lake of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Bureau, Gloria McLean, president of the Bakersfield Chapter, and Dale Halverson. “Miss McLean is showing Lake the ‘rebel hat’ that is the official mascot for the Bakersfield chapter.”

You know, the “rebel hat” reminds me that Bakersfield truly is a Renegade community. #WeareBC!

Enjoyed Nick Strobel’s Stargazing piece in today’s paper.

He just wanted to be a Renegade

Romeo the Pup

Romeo the Pup

On Thursday in the late afternoon, this beautiful and happy dog was found on campus sporting his Renegade Red bandana.

With no family in sight, BC sprang into action by sharing on social media, giving him water and some food to keep him hydrated, healthy, and happy.

First thing Friday morning, we took this happy dog to the vet to have him scanned for a microchip and his family was found!

We’ve concluded that Romeo just wanted to be a Renegade for a day. Maybe he was late to Summer Bridge? Whatever the case, we’re happy to report that he’s back with his family because of his micro-chip!

Situations like this remind me just how important it is to be a responsible pet owner and microchip our animals. The American Humane Association estimates over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year and one in every 3 pets will get lost at some point during their life.  When you have your animal micro-chipped, it is also important to regularly keep your contact information updated.

BC’s Voices

In addition to Bob Allison’s inspiring piece, BC’s Jack Hernandez and Nicky Damania also shared their voices this week.

Jack Hernandez penned a piece titled “Nest of truth” which can be read online here.

Jack Hernandez Community Voices Aug 1 2018.png

 

Nicky Damania in Sydney

Nicky Damania in Sydney

And Nicky Damania shared his experiences in Australia with the BC Chamber Singers with “Sounds of Sydney.” 

He said, I love to sing and hear people sing. It is one of my passions, and it’s got mood and soul, power and magic. Music is both transformative and unifying.”

Make sure to check it out to read how this trip to Australia changed his life and the lives of these talented Renegades. See the piece at Bakersfield.com.

Nicky Damania Community Voices July 31 2018

Biennial Conference on Chemical Education

BCCE Trio

A team from BC attended this years Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE) hosted by University of Notre Dame on July 29th through August 2nd. The conference is designed to provide attendees with opportunities to interact with chemistry instructors of all levels in formal and informal settings. There is a mixture of plenary lectures, symposia, workshops, chemical demonstrations, poster sessions, exhibits and tours of chemistry research areas.

BCCE Group Photo

BC Students Internships in Action

Lora PorterAs a culinary student, Lora Porter participated in an summer job fair that resulted in an internship with Disneyland. She had been selected for placement at the Blue Bayou inside the theme park, working alongside some of the premier chefs at the private Club 33 restaurant.
Flash forward and Lora is now at Wasco High School as a culinary instructor doing what she loves with her skills and education, including her Disneyland internship opportunity, and right away met with our CTE office to start an articulation agreement that will help her students find their path.

Darren Willis Creates Special BC Gift Boxes

A few special gifts have been created this week by Industrial Drawing faculty, Darren Willis. “The project concept and layout was actually designed by a student as a small jewelry box,” he said.

These special boxes will be given to the Accreditation Team evaluating Bakersfield College later this year. Thank you Darren, Michele Bresso, and the ISER team.

 

Renegade Athletics Volleyball Camps

Our incredible women’s volleyball Head Coach Carl Ferreira hosted another great round of summer volleyball camps this year. Over 150 participants from the three camps received instruction from Coach Ferreira and his current BC volleyball players in teaching them  volleyball fundamental of serving, passing, defense and attacking. To read more about the volleyball camps and see more photos click here.

2018 Summer Volleyball Camp

2018 Summer Volleyball Camp

BC Summer Basketball Academies

Once again our amazing women’s head basketball coach put on a fantastic few weeks of her annual summer basketball academies. One session was focused on youth and teaching them fundamentals and the other focused on 7-12th grade students in emphasizing those fundamentals and giving them the opportunity to compete and challenge themselves to make themselves better. The event brought almost 100 youth and their families on-campus.

2018 Basketball Academy

2018 Basketball Academy

Read more about it and see the full photos here.

Another Athlete Signing

Octavia Croney and Paula Dahl

Octavia Croney and Paula Dahl

Renegade women’s basketball player Octavia Croney has signed to continue her academic and playing career for the Cal State LA Golden Eagles.

Croney, a sophomore guard this last season and local Highland HS product, appeared in 24 games for head coach Paula Dahl. She ended the season averaging 16.4 points/game and 6.0 rebounds/game. She notched more than 20 points in ten different contests with her highest scoring effort coming against Taft College when she scored 27.

“Octavia was a major impact player for us over the past two years”, said Coach Dahl. “Her fearless nature on the court her sophomore year was so fun to watch. At the sophomore showcase I remember Cheryl Miller looking at me and saying very excitedly – ‘You think I can get her?’ Cheryl is a basketball icon and an incredible person and Octavia is a BC icon and one of the finest human beings I’ve ever coached. I am so excited for them to work together and for Octavia to continue her education with one of, if not the most respected woman in the game.”

Cal State LA is an NCAA D-II program that competes in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). There have now been a total of 36 Renegade student-athletes from the 2017-18 year that will be playing at various four-year schools throughout the country this coming season.

Media Day is Next Week!

Please come out to join us this coming Thursday (8/9) at 11am on the south concourse level of Memorial Stadium for Renegade Football Media Day. Mayor Goh, Sandi Taylor and Coach Chudy will be speaking to the media about our upcoming 2018 football season. Go ‘Gades!

2018 Football Media Day

Here are some photos from last year’s Media Day.

 

Athletic Director Sandi Taylor 2017 Renegade Football

Jeff Chudy 2017 Renegade Football.jpg

Karen Goh Media Day August 8 2017.jpg

Football Practice

On Thursday morning before the heat of the day, I visited the practice field to watch the 2018 Renegade Football team prepare for the best season yet with Athletic Director, Sandi Taylor and Athletics Community Relations Manager, Brandon Urry.

It brings great joy to see a preview of the strength, talent, and teamwork of our Renegade Football team. I can’t wait to get the season started. Go ‘Gades Go!

IMG_2399

IMG_2402

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Visiting the BC Archives

BC’s web guru, Aricia Leighton and her student workers did a deep dive this week to dig for gems related to our mascot for use on the web. While there, they discovered that you can research the archives from the comfort of your computer. No gear required.

Jersey, Brian, and Aricia

Jersey, Brian, and Aricia

Fun Photos from EOP&S Freshman Day

EOP&S, BC’s Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, is a state funded program that serves educationally and financially disadvantaged students. EOP&S provides services that assist students who have the potential to succeed in college.

This week, special days were held for incoming Freshman to share all about the services and support they could find at Bakersfield College!

Fun Photos & Video from Summer Bridge

Students and faculty are enjoying the final days of Summer Bridge.  I dropped in and out of the August 2nd Summer Bridge and was blown away by the students and the faculty engagement with the students.  Here is the list who were working the August 2nd bridge.

Erica Menchaca, Stephen Tavoni, Teresa McAllister, Brent Wilson, John Harte,  Sara  Wallace, Jamal Wright, Marcelyn Allen, Denise Richards, Amanda Gonzales, Bonnie Hammond, Manuel Muralles, Jeff La Force, Josh Shackelford, Julian West, Dominica Rivera  … and the HQ team Kimberly Bligh, Isabel Castaneda and Christina Maldonado! Thank you!

Steve Tavoni and Erica Menchaca were the two lead faculty.  I dropped in for the segment that Steve was presenting on setting goals and he was so effective openly sharing his own story.  I am truly the luckiest and happiest college president to work with such great faculty and staff — smart, talented and with big hearts for students and their learning.

Sonya Christian at Summer Bridge August 2 2018

Summer Bridge Team

BC SGA President’s Breakfast

2018 SGA Presidents Breakfast

Matthew Frazer, Clayton Fowler, Nicky Damania, Dezi Van Manos

On Monday, July 30, 2018, Dr. Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life, hosted the annual BCSGA Presidents’ Breakfast at his house. The breakfast included homemade French-Mexican inspired Green Chili roasted pork, mango infused vinaigrette seasonal vegetables, and a cook to order waffle bar. Here is a bit of an update on our beloved student leaders.

Alex Dominguez (2014-2015) returned to Bakersfield over the summer as the Policy Intern for The Wonderful Company and will be returning back to Ole Miss for law school. Two more years left for him.

Clayton Fowler (2015-2016) graduated UC Davis this past June in political science and is putting his degrees to work as a Field Representative for Assemblyman Vince Fong right here in Bakersfield. And his BCSGA sweetheart Raquel Vega is now an associate producer for KGET’s Sunrise newscast.

MFrazier with TwinsMatthew Frazer (2016-2017) is finishing up his last year at California State University, Bakersfield with his bachelors in Political science. Congrats to him and his wife Stefanie Frazer on two adorable twin boys named Oliver and Jameson who will soon be attending Bakersfield College.

Joined by her two kids, Dezi Von Manos ((2017-2018) is finishing up her requirements at Bakersfield College while working in the Office of Student Life before heading on to theology school. What an amazing motherly role model as her kids will no doubt also be following in her footsteps to college just around the corner.

Dezi Von Manos and children

James Tompkins (2018-2019) is the current BCSGA President majoring in psychology. He plans on using his time left at BC strengthening the Prison-to-School pipeline and plans to graduate in May 2019. We’re looking forward to his commencement speech.

Student Employment Scoop

Trish and Savannah

BC’s Student Employment team has recognized Savannah Andrews for her outstanding services at an On-Campus Supervisor. Her student employees feel that they are able to talk to her about anything and that she is very understanding. Savannah has selected to recognize Student Ambassador Trishainah Vernado for her initiative and positive attitude. Savannah says that Trish is the ideal student employee because she is passionate about her education as well as helping others.

Thank you to FPU

Departing Fresno Pacific employees Samuel Frankhouser and Amanda Rodriguez were both recognized for the support they provided to Bakersfield College Faculty and Students during their time at BC SouthWest. Thank you to Fernando Lara, BC’s Southwest Manager for making sure they are recognized and to BC Foundation’s Heather Pennella for the beautiful house plants.

Thank you to FPU Employees

Norma Rojas Mora does another fabulous segment with Telemundo

This week’s Telemundo segment highlighted the Job Spot and the RIDE program expansion.  Lupe Aguirre, Educational Advisor at the Job Spot shared how the one-stop center is a partnership between the Bakersfield Adult School, America’s Job Center, and Bakersfield College.  The RIDE program expansion will benefit many of our rural communities opening the doors to dual enrollment for many of our high school students.  Not wanting to let an opportunity to provide information go by, Norma Rojas-Mora also helped promote the HVAC program in Delano encouraging interested students to enroll now and invited the community to the Express Enrollment scheduled for August 7 at Bakersfield College.

I love the way the segment ends with Todos Somos BC!

Telemundo Norma Rojas Mora, Lupe Aguirre August 3 2018.png

Todos Somos BC!

 

Sonya Christian cropped Aug 8 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Summer Success Stories

 

Good morning Bakersfield, it is Saturday, June 30, 2018.

We are reeling, yet again, from another senseless shooting incident.  Another tragedy.

 

June 29 2018 Capital Gazette.jpeg

Let’s pause and get to know the five individuals, through the lens of the Capital Gazette, who lost their lives.

Rob Hiaasen: A joyful stylist, a generous mentor.

Let’s read what Jean Marbella has to say about Rob Hiaasen….. Hiaasen, 59, as a writer, was drawn to quirky stories, and had a unique way of telling them, with wry asides and internal and imagined dialogues.  For more, read…

http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/annapolis/bs-md-rob-hiaasen-20180628-story.html

 

Wendi Winters: A prolific writer who chronicled her community

Wendy Winters from Capital Gazette website.jpg

Let’s see what Yvonne Wenger said about Wendi Winters .. After a career in fashion and public relations in New York City, the 65-year-old mother of four moved to Maryland 20 years ago and began stringing for the Annapolis news organization. She soon built a reputation as a prolific freelance reporter and well-known community resource.  For more, read…

http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/annapolis/bs-md-wendi-winters-20180628-story.html

Gerald Fischman: Clever and quirky voice of a community newspaper

Gerald Fischman Capital Gazette

Let’s see what Erin Cox wrote about Gerald Fischman…..Fischman, 61, had worked at the paper since 1992. His quirky, low-key demeanor belied a biting sense of humor that charmed his colleagues. See more..

http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/annapolis/bs-md-gerald-fischman-20180628-story.html

John McNamara (Mac): Sports reporting was his dream job

John McNamara Capital Gazette.jpg

Let’s see what Andrea McDaniels wrote about John McNamara in the Capital Gazette…

McNamara, 56, who went by “Mac,” was remembered by his colleagues for his flexibility, concise writing and extensive knowledge of regional sports. He had a razor wit … see more at

http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/annapolis/bs-md-john-mcnamara-20180628-story.html

Rebecca Smith: Recent hire loved spending time with family

Rebecca Smith Capital Gazette

Let’s see what Jessica Anderson wrote about Rebecca Smith …Smith (34) was a recent hire at the Capital Gazette but had already proved herself a valuable asset.  For more, read..

http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/annapolis/bs-md-ar-rebecca-smith-20180628-story.html

The press

It is our duty as Americans to support and defend the press. It is essential to our freedom. To make the press the enemy is no different than to make the military or law enforcement our enemy, or to make education the enemy, or any of the values and institutions that make us free….. and makes us a great country.

So this morning, in the wake of this tragedy, I am particularly grateful for the press.  Let us take a moment to recognize those in the press doing what is essential to preserve our freedom. Join me in thanking them and in support of our local press.

In our very own Bakersfield Californian

This morning the Bakersfield Californian featured many Bakersfield College faces in the Bakersfield Life Magazine, including Asha Chandy who was the Associate Campaign Manager to Nicole Parra for Measure J was featured as one of the top 20 people under 40 to watch.  And she is only 26!

Asha Chandy Bakersfield Life

People under 40 to watch

And here she is with Nicole Parra during the Measure J campaign.

kathy-rosellini-and-asha-chandy-sep-25-2016

Kathy Rosellini, Asha Chandy

election-day-morning-nicole-para-6-am

Nicole Parra

Dining Divas with Tamara Baker and Olivia Garcia

Dining Divas Tamara Baker, Olivia Gracia June 30 2018

 

Summer is getting hot and we are really blazing trails at BC!  In my June 16th Blog I mentioned waking to BC’s record enrollment rates on the front page of the Bakersfield Californian. This week, Reyna Harvey of KBAK highlighted BC’s record-breaking summer enrollment.

The article reports that BC has enrolled 2,000 more students into summer school than they had last year, as well as serving over 33,000 students in the 2017-18 academic year. Manny Mourtzanos is quoted in the article talking about the baccalaureate program and the ways that we’ve expanded enrollment via online courses, dual and concurrent enrollment and offering classes at Delano, Arvin, Wasco and BC Southwest. Read Reyna’s article Enrollment Rates Soar at Bakersfield College.

 

Sounds of Summer

For the second year, BC was treated to a musical night with the US Air Force Band of the Golden West. They played for a packed Indoor Theater crowd on Tuesday night, performing a mix of traditional military music, American show-tunes and original compositions inspired by music from around the world.

The group, based out of Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, is the only active duty Air Force band on the West Coast.  They’ve performed at gubernatorial inaugurations, sporting events and led off the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena on New Year’s Day, according to their website.

 

Dick Taylor, director of the Kern County Veterans Service Department, introduced the Air Force Band of the Golden West and talked about the deep respect and admiration that the people of Kern County have for the armed services.

Dick Taylor speaking at podium

Dick Taylor who made this happen.  Thank you!

The Color Guard for Tehachapi Composite Squadron 46 brought out the flags for the band’s performance of the national anthem.

Here is a short splice of the national anthem

Once the performance began, Master Sergeant Jeremy Laukhuf served as the master of ceremonies between songs, emphasizing the importance of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics in everything that the military does.

S18USAFBand04

Master Sergeant Jeremy Laukhuf Master of Ceremonies

The US Air Force Band of the Golden West has performed previously at BC, and they never disappoint with their tight-knit arrangements led by conductor Rafael F. Toro-Quinones, whether they’re performing the sweeping Americana of John Williams’ “The Cowboys” or the somber folk song “Shenandoah”.

the band

The group even performed a Latin-inspired original composition written by Technical Sergeant Marco Munoz which featured a prolific percussion solo by Staff Sergeant Freddie Cruz.

For this year’s program, the US Air Force Band of the Golden West is honoring the 100th birthday of legendary American composer Leonard Bernstein with several compositions from his legendary musicals “West Side Story” and “Wonderful Town”, which were beautifully sung by Staff Sergeant Michelle Doolittle.

The band’s performance of Bernstein’s “Slava! A Political Overture” was conducted by Airman First Class Cagdas Donmezer, a Turkish immigrant who had just earned his American citizenship about three weeks ago and primarily plays keyboard for the group.

At the end of the concert, Captain Quinones presented a special commemorative coin to Mary Jo Pasek for organizing the event and arranging for a special dinner to be prepared for the group by our Food Service Department.

S18USAFBand43

Captain Quinones presenting a special commemorative coin to Mary Jo Pasek

Commemorative coins were also presented to Dick Taylor and Michael Stone, the Bakersfield City School District’s Coordinator of the Visual and Performing Arts who conducted a composition with the group.

S18USAFBand45

Dick Taylor helps Captain Quinones don a BC veterans services shirt.

Check out America the Beautiful

I was so pleased by the turnout for this year’s US Air Force Band of the Golden West performance, and I’d like to thank Mary Jo Pasek for organizing this event, and Chef Stefanie and the food services crew for preparing the dinner for our honored guests. We had many Renegades and friends of Bakersfield College join us for this musical treat!

My favorite piece from the evening was when they played the Armed Services Medley honoring each branch of the US Military and those in the audience who served stood up and were recognized during their part of the medley.

Here are some familiar faces:

members of the audience standing

Paul Beckworth and others being recognized as veterans

 

audience saluting for the National Anthem

Andrea Thorson, Billie Jo Rice and Janet Tarjan

selfy in the audience at band concert

Paul Beckworth, Nicky Damania and Craig Hayward

Sonya Christian and Karen Goh

It’s always nice to see Mayor Goh

 

french bull dog with a harness in the indoor theater

A part of the Renegade family…

S18USAFBand56

Mayor Goh and friends

From Mayor Goh’s Facebook pictures

Jim Pentico, Pam Moore Pentico, Karen Goh, Paul Beckworth, Sonya Christian

 

CDC Early Registration

Speaking of encouraging student success, it is also important that we offer services that assist students with challenges to their studies. For some students, having children becomes a challenge when they need to find daycare while they study. The Child Development Center at Bakersfield College (CDC) offers a student service with the primary goal of providing a comprehensive child development program that serves student families and their children.

This amazing center provides the time and support to assist student families in achieving their chosen academic/career goals. The CDC demonstration laboratory classrooms offer a model of best practices in early childhood education while providing students with learning opportunities through observation and on-floor interactions with young children and their families.

All teachers are professionally trained in the field of Early Childhood Education, and are certified through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Placement in the program is made according to state priorities and date of application and is designed for income eligible families who are enrolled in college courses leading to a specific career/professional goal.

Make sure our students know about this fantastic resource. See the CDC Fall Registration Flier for more information on fall’s enrollment for the Child Development Center. Applications are being accepted now.

Bon Voyage Concert

Hope to see you at today’s Bon Voyage concert at 4:00 p.m.

Bon Voyage Concert June 30 2018

Certifiable Partnerships in Safety

On Tuesday, BC’s Public Safety Senior Officer Matthew Rodriguez taught a First Aid/CPR/AED certification class at the BC Southwest Campus. Matthew taught and certified five BC and  Fresno Pacific University (FPU) staff members. I am so pleased that both Bakersfield College and Fresno Pacific University staff and employees got together and asked for this class. Their request shows how lucky I am to be a President where our staff finds safety important and looks to collaborate with FPU for this educational partnership.

Afterwards, I heard that Matthew did a wonderful job!

if you See something Say Something Do Something public safety sign

Prior to the start of each semester, BC’s Public Safety trains all of our new Cadets in the First Aid/CPR/AED training certification course. This program is part of BC’s Public Safety Department’s commitment to enhancing safety through education and prevention.

You know the Public Safety Moto: If you See Something, Say Something, Do Something! Check out these new signs from Public Safety

BC Alumnus Newest Fire Chief

Public safety in our community is so important and BC strives to improve safety not only on campus, but in the community at large. As you know, we offer many programs in public safety at BC including the Fire Technology program. I was so excited to see an article in the Californian by Joseph Luiz reporting Anthony Galazaga, a Bakersfield College Fire Technology graduate and 26-year veteran of the Bakersfield Fire Department, will be taking over as the city’s newest fire chief.

fire-tech-graduation-dec-16-2016

BC’s Fire Tech Graduation

Joseph’s article features quotes about Battalion Chief Galazaga from City Manager Alan Tandy and current chief Doug Greener, who retires at the end of June. “I’ve been able to work alongside the finest firefighting force these past 26 years and now I get to lead them,” Galazaga said.

Galazaga earned his associate’s degree in fire technology from BC before getting a bachelors in fire science from Columbia University. He’s been working in the Bakersfield Fire Department since 1992 and is currently working on his master’s degree in business administration at Columbia Southern while being involved with organizations such as the Kern American Red Cross, Youth Leadership Bakersfield, and the Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation.

Upon taking office as the new chief, Galazaga aims to develop a five-year strategic plan that includes increasing funding for the department while implementing a progressive new recruitment strategy to get young people interested in firefighting.

I feel honored to know that such an exciting leader in our community started on his path at our campus, and it’s another important footnote in the storied history of BC’s fire technology program. The program, initially referred to as fire science, was established in 1956 by Bakersfield Fire Department Chief Phil Pifer and Norman Harris, BC’s coordinator of technical and vocational education, according to the Fire Technology History website. The curriculum was designed specifically for Bakersfield city firefighters in mind, featuring on-the-job training with all types of firefighting equipment the department used at that time. The program would eventually expand into a training service for all Kern County fire agencies.

I wish Chief Galazaga the best of luck in his new position as chief, and I thank him for choosing Bakersfield College to begin his life’s journey. Read Joseph Luiz’s Bakersfield Californian article City Announces New Fire Chief.

BC Students on Telamundo

Bakersfield College’s MEChA and LUPE students talk about the World Cup, their student organizations and community involvement in these segments with Telemundo’s Nancy Preciado.

See the videos:

Encouraging Student Success – No More Excuses

While our enrollment rates are growing, it is so important that we concentrate on encouraging all of our students to be successful. At President’s Cabinet this week, Dr. Steven Waller presented how he worked with his Meta-major Completion Coaching Team to support and encourage student success.  Thank you Corny for snapping this picture.

Steven Waller at President's Cabinet

CTE Dean’s Meeting

Corny snapped this picture too…..Dr. Michele Bresso attending the district-wide CTE meeting led by Associate Vice Chancellor Cindy Collier.

two ladies speaking at meeting

Together we are building…A Better BC  –

We are on the last leg of the parking lot renovations.  Starting on Monday, July 2, parking lots 3 and 4 on Mount Vernon and Panorama will reopen.  On that day, the following parking lots and roads will be closed until August 3:

  • Red and White Way  **M&O recommends that drop-offs occur at the round-about located off the driveway east of the PAC building, north of the FA building
  • Parking Lot 2 (staff parking off the main entrance from Haley Street) **M&O recommends that staff park in Parking Lot 3 located on the corner of Panorama and Mount Vernon.  I will be car pooling next week.  I suggest you do as well.
  • Parking Lot 1 (visitor parking near Administration building)  **Visitor parking will be moved to Parking Lot 3 located on the corner of Panorama and Mount Vernon
  • The main entrance off of Haley Street
  • The road west of the Library and Public Safety
  • The road north of M&O, south of Public Safety
  • Parking Lot 12 (Public Safety & Levinson) ** M&O recommends that staff park in other parking lots in that area (P14, P13, P15, P11, P9)
  • Parking lot 5 (by the Industrial Technology building and auto shops) and the driveway leading to INDT & auto shops **M&O recommends that staff park in Parking Lot 4 located off of Church Way & Mount Vernon

As always, visit A Better BC for updated campus maps and construction updates.

Doing the Right Thing

I am in the process of doing the final read through of BC’s Accreditation Self Study document and I am coming across great gems.  For example, Board Policy 7E, states that “we endeavor always to do what is right and just, even when no one is watching.” Nick Strobel explains that policy is implemented by recognizing the dignity of all persons and fulfilling our obligations to others using fair and honest means.

It’s important for us to go above and beyond the legal requirement to ensure that we’re treating everyone in our community with the respect and autonomy they deserve. We expect our students to be honest and ethical in their academics, so it’s only right that we hold ourselves to the same rigorous standard. This philosophy has helped cement Bakersfield College’s reputation as one of the most respected institutions of higher learning in the Central Valley. We are BC!

Opportunity Institute

Chelsea Esquibias, Program Director for the Inmate Scholars Program spoke on a panel with Laura Hope, Executive Vice Chancellor for Educational Services for the California Community Colleges and Rebecca Silbert, Director, Renewing Communities Initiative for the Opportunity Institute for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), at last week’s statewide principal’s meeting.  They discussed the partnership between the California Community College System and CDCR. They discussed the thriving partnership, current student success outcomes, and building a successful program. The Inmate Scholars Program provides students the opportunity to earn an Associate Degree for Transfer while incarcerated. Studies show that recidivism (rate of return to prison) is dramatically reduced through education and positively impacts future generations of those incarcerated.  Bakersfield College’s program serves ten local prisons and students have achieved exceptional grades and outcomes.

Chelsea Esquibias, Rebecca Silbert and Laura Hope

Chelsea Esquibias, Rebecca Silbert and Laura Hope

Missed Opportunities

I want to share with you this wonderful essay that a faculty member shared with me.

My husband once announced that history can be defined as “missed opportunities”.  I never replied to the comment because I tried to rationalize it as very pessimistic in nature.  For years this idea weighed heavy as I looked back. What might have been if a different path in my half-century of opportunities had been chosen?

During the year I frequently fantasize about teaching art or coaching track. The precursor is that chemistry is not an easy subject for most students.  It is also very different from other subjects, including math and the remaining sciences. Teaching chemistry can be challenging and often feels sadistic in nature.  Students that register for the pre-professional track have prestigious goals and they are aware they must succeed in the course if they are to be successful by their standards.

Most community college students in the sciences will be transferring or entering the nursing program. Therefore, the second semester of the year can be inundated with requests for letters of recommendations. Former students may even contact professors if they are applying to graduate school. Individual students inevitably ask for multiple recommendations; each institution demanding different requirements.  This is the behind-the-scenes work of a professor. The hours are never recorded and the quality of work is never evaluated. Feedback is not even offered when recommendations are submitted. At best, periodically a student will announce an acceptance. Nonetheless, there is always a holistic sense of scrupulous dedication.

Recently, a student approached me because she had been accepted to The University of Virginia for a summer research internship. An overwhelming flow of emotions permeated my body.  It was not just the excitement for her or the relief that my letter had been productive. It was the realization that the sorrow of my “missed history” had been erased. Virginia is a beautiful state full of horses.  I have always dreamed of living there. I even applied to work at Virginia Technical University but when offered an interview had to cancel because I was sick. My decision to cancel has always haunted me. What if I had gone to the interview?

Within the same week a second student informed me of his acceptance to Stanford University for the summer. Yes, another “missed opportunity”.  The closest I got to attending Stanford was throwing a college party with Michigan and Stanford men swim teams. I always regret not running for Stanford.  Instead, I stayed back in my home state for a boyfriend and ran for Michigan. The student’s acceptance this summer may be the closest I come to attending Stanford. Admittingly, at my age I am learning to allow their tribulations to erase my trials.

My current assignment is to complete a meticulous recommendation form for a student applying to Duke.  This endeavor is inflicting emotional responses of memories. My belated grandfather used to brag that I was attending Duke for graduate school.  I never even applied to Duke. At best I visited and experienced the pure beauty of the antiquated buildings. I corrected grandpa a couple of times but promptly decided to abandon the attempts and allow him to be proud. If my student is not accepted to Duke, the mere process of this task is fulfilling a purpose. The opportunities of choices are really left for the next generation. The ability to live vicariously through our students is important for professors to strive forward and find purpose in our history of “missed opportunity”. With an improved perspective of history, I thank each student for the letters and forms they have requested.

 

Fun Photos #Summer2018

Jennifer Johnson, Tarina Perry, June Charles, Wendy Lawson, Jo Ellen Patterson

The Executive Office Admins

And then there is Monika Scott driving the BC golf cart.  I will let you figure out this picture.

 

Summer Bridge 2018

Summer Bridge Liz Rozell, Tony Cordova, Nicky Damania, Craig Hayward, Matt Garrett, Anna Laven

 

June 27 2018 Summer Bridge

Had dinner with our fabulous SGA President James Tompkin prior to the Airforce Band concert.

Sonya Christian, Craig Hayward, Jonathan Schults, James Tompkins, Nicky Damania June 26 2018.jpg

Sonya Christian, Craig Hayward, Jonathan Schultz, James Tompkins, Nicky Damania

With one of our great faculty counselors

Sonya Christian, Jonathan Schultz June 26 2018

Fun picture from this week at a retreat with the Foundation and Community Relations Team.

Foundation and Community Relations Retreat June 26 2018

Norma Rojas-Mora, Amanda Stone, Tom Gelder, Sonya Christian, Monika Scott, Heather Penella, Tamara Baker

 

 

Last week I had fun seeing all the summertime dog pictures.  I don’t think that pleased the Renegade cat lovers.  My inbox got flooded with cat pictures. So here are some photos from our proud cat owners:

large calico cat with laying with feet crossed

Michele Bresso’s purebred Maine Coon, Maddie

Monika Scott’s Feline Family

Tracy Lovelace’s four-legged fur-babies

Nicky Demania’s Kitty Kids with a story

Our Director of Student Life, Dr. Nicky Damania, has four cats. His love for cats grew when his parents would not allow them to have any pets, but one day he brought home a full white cat, with one green eye, and one blue eye, and his mom fell in love with that cat, named Aspen.

Now, he has two gray tuxedo boys, which he flew over from Colorado to Bakersfield this past spring. He also has two girls (one full black and the other one gray and white) that he inherited from Dean Grace Commiso who asked him to Cat-sit for a couple of months, which was over a year ago.

 

The skinny tuxedo male cat is the oldest of 11 years. His name is Skitz, which is short for schizophrenia. Skits came to Nicky, in 2008, back in Colorado when a fellow friend said she was going to get rid of Skitz because Skitz licks the hair on the top of her head for hours, while she sleeps at night.

The fluffier tuxedo male cat is nine years old and called Spaz, short for Spaztastic, literally fell into his hands back in October 2009. They found Spaz as a little kitten inside a golf cart. Public Safety Officers tried to get the kitten out, but had no luck. As soon as Nicky went in to grab the little kitten, the kitten fell right into his hands.

The two female cats came together and have found a place within Nicky’s heart. Cleo, the gray and white cat, is short for CleoCatra. The other black cat is named Kiki. Together they are probably the most laziest cats you have ever seen, but they are also the sweetest.

The four cats have definitely grown attached to each other and care for each other, except during mealtimes, then it’s kitty wars.

Sonya Christian June 26 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

Kern County Unites to Support Women

Good morning from Sacramento, sipping coffee in my hotel room that has a window seat, overlooking Sacramento that is just waking up.

With the primary office of the State Chancellor’s Office in Sacramento, I find myself often on the train between Bakersfield and Sacramento.  Yesterday I took the last train from Bakersfield which got into Sacramento Valley Station at 12:15 a.m. and got to my hotel close to 1:00 a.m.

In the afternoon I presented at the CCLC New Trustee Workshop along with two wonderful colleagues, Bill McGinnis (Trustee from Butte College) and Sandy Fried from the State Chancellor’s Office.  The talk was well received.

Bill McGinnis, Sandy Fried, Sonya Christian Jan 27 2018

I was not the only presenter from Bakersfield College.  BC’s Dean of Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Craig Hayward also presented at the conference with Linda Wah, Trustee from Pasadena City College.

Craig Hayward and Linda Wah presenting at Trustees Workshop at CCLC Jan 28 2018

This past week has been active for Bakersfield College with teaching and learning and activities within the campus and within the community.

Let me start with our NEH grant invited speaker Gabriel Thompson…..

Book Talk: Gabriel Thompson

Author Gabriel Thompson

Author Gabriel Thompson

On Thursday evening, the cohort for our National Endowment of the Humanities grant invited author Gabriel Thompson to the Levan Center to talk about Fred Ross, a community organizer whose direct action techniques would inspire Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.

Thompson’s book “America’s Social Arsonist” tells the story of how Fred Ross’ experience working at the Arvin/Weedpatch farm south of Bakersfield that inspired John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” led to a career organizing voter registration drives in Latino-American neighborhoods to help those communities fight for equal representation in local and state government. Through Ross’ work as the founder of the Community Service Organization, he trained Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in his techniques that emphasized face-to-face contact and empowering marginalized groups over fundraising and awareness.

Gabriel Thompson speaks to the packed room

Gabriel Thompson speaks to the packed room

Ross’ technique of house-meeting organizing would become the hallmark tactic of the United Farm Workers, who organized the Coachella grape strike in the 1970s. Many of Ross’ voter registration techniques, which included driving voters to the polls and educating them on how to read and vote on a ballot, would later be successfully utilized by Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008, Thompson said.

While Ross was inspired by popular leftists of the 1930s such as Woody Guthrie, Thompson emphasized that Ross favored tangible results that could hold power accountable over any particular ideology. Ross, who also fought to get Japanese-Americans out of internment camps during World War II, was a diligent organizer and a perfectionist who left no stone unturned while amplifying the voices of his women organizers, whom he found to be “diligent, natural, fearless leaders,” Thompson said.

Thompson became inspired to write about Ross while researching his book “Working in the Shadows”. He spent a year working alongside Latino immigrants in low-wage industries across the United States, and in his research he found that little was written about Ross despite the huge legacy that he left in American political activism.

Jack Hernandez

Jack Hernandez speaks in the packed Levan Center

It was an honor to have Thompson talk about his work documenting an important but largely unknown footnote in Kern County’s political history, and I’m excited to see all of the stories that Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond and Joshua Ottum are going to be surfacing during their work on this grant.  So proud of our faculty. #WeAreBC

Andrew Bond and Oliver Rosales at the event

Andrew Bond and Oliver Rosales at the event along with Jack Hernandez

Thank you Manny de Los Santos for live streaming this event.

Kern County Women’s March

Last weekend marked the first Women’s March of Kern County and the second Women’s March across the nation. It was great to see our community and country come together, standing united. Our diverse community of all genders, races, ethnicity, and faiths came together. 

Andrea Thorson, Nick Strobel and me

Joseph Luiz of The Bakersfield Californian covered the event in his article, “Equal treatment, rights focus of Kern County Women’s March

A special shout out to BC’s very own Dezi Von Manos, our Student Government President who was a speaker at the event.

I would like to give special thank you to the Bakersfield College Adult Education team who hosted a booth right in the middle of all the action to recruit and network with our community members.

Womens March Joining me was Lupe Aguirre, our new Adult Edu Education Advisor and Endee

There were many BC employees and students at the event….  Jennifer Achan, Lupe Aguirre, Debra Anderson, Christine Cruz-Boone, Danny Escobar, Terri Goldstein, Endee Grijalva, Lisa Robles-Kent, Anna Laven, Keston Lyman, Mia Ocean, Heather Pennella, Sally Sterns, Nick Strobel, and Andrea Thorson.

 

nan-heather-pennella-and-me.jpg

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Heather Pennella, Sonya Christian

It was great to see Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Jenny Zorn, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs from CSUB, chatting during the chilly morning.  Dr. Zorn was one of the speakers along with Evelyn Young from CSUB.  BC’s dean of instruction Andrea Thorson was the closing speaker.

Academic Leaders at both higher ed institutions are women. —Jenny Zorn and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Jenny Zorn and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Andrea with family

Student Government Leadership Conference

On Monday, January 8, 2018, the three Student Governments from the colleges within the Kern Community College District participated in a Student Leadership Conference at the Porterville College campus. This leadership training and development workshop facilitated a collaborative and inclusive educational environment, which inspired the campus communities, provided valuable peer-to-peer learning experiences, and engaged students as they share and develop their leadership skills effectively within KCCD.

KCCD Student Leaders

KCCD Student Leaders

Chief Finance Officer, Debbie Martin, and Chancellor Tom Burke both presented to the Student Governments regarding their financial planning and Chancellor’s vision for the District. Other workshops provided the student government officers the means to expand their individual and group leadership potential as well as avenues to apply those skills in a broader student advocacy within KCCD, local, and state-wide initiatives.

BC SGA 2018

 

Spring Student Involvement Festival

At the beginning of each semester, the Office of Student Life hosts a Student Involvement Festival where BC departments and services are invited to host a booth and share their services with new students. The event helps students learn about our campus, community initiatives, and become engaged and active members of the student body.

Cynthia Garbett and Denise Crawford

Cynthia Garbett, DSPS Scribe Coordinator  and Denise Crawford, WorkAbility III

More photos are available at BC’s Smugmug. 

Strategic Directions

It was great to have so many BC faculty and staff attend the Strategic Directions Initiative Session last Friday, January 19th. The Strategic Directions Core Team held the session to solicit initiatives for BC’s staff and faculty for the 2018-2021 Strategic Directions session.

The three-year cycle for developing, implementing and evaluating Bakersfield College’s goals and strategic plan began in 2012. With the sun setting on our Strategic Directions 2015-2018 this semester, the Strategic Direction Committee has evaluated the Directions and is looking to create new initiatives to continue for Bakersfield College’s future.

Our Strategic Directions dream team: Todd Coston (lead), Grace Commiso, Liz Rozell, Bill Moseley, Jessica Wojtysiak, Teresa Mcallister, Marcelyn Allen, Aricia Leighton, and Somaly Boles, prepared a presentation and led the participants through activities. Thank you for all of your hard work on analyzing the past initiatives and leading faculty and staff in creating new initiatives that will lead Bakersfield College in future directions.

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Jessica and Teresa did an excellent job of gathering the participants into 4 groups, each group working on an initiative for one of the Strategic Directions: Student Learning, Student Progress and Completion, Facilities, and Leadership and Engagement. There were lively discussions and fabulous initiatives from the participants. There were also some  camaraderie for a group of BC faculty and staff working to move Bakersfield College toward an effective direction.

The plans for our collective direction depend on the talent and expertise of our BC faculty, staff and administrators. Please take the time to suggest an initiative if you haven’t already.

Strategic Directions 1

Jack Hernandez

Last Sunday, Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez wrote an op-ed in the Community Voices section of the Bakersfield Californian clarifying how so-called “political correctness” is not about stifling the truth but simply offering a more sensitive interpretation of the truth through language.

While political correctness “has been criticized as forcing people to speak in ways acceptable to those on the political left,” writes Hernandez in his column, it actually helps to incorporate the feelings and experiences of marginalized groups that have historically been overlooked, who “are too often ignored, looked down upon, and described in hurtful, even hateful, terms,” said Hernandez, a professor emeritus of philosophy at BC.

“To be ‘politically correct’ is not meant to evade seeing reality as it is or not to accurately describes,” Hernandez writes. “It is not a political ideology or dictatorial censoring of language. Rather, it is an expression of our highest moral values, of our best selves.”

Jack Hernandez

Ron Saylor’s Magic Show at BC

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Ron Saylor, photo from ronsaylor.com

Local magician Ron Saylor has kindly donated his time to help raise money for the BC Chambers Singers’ tour to Australia this summer, with a night of magic, mentalism and illusion on Friday Feb 2nd at 7 p.m. in the Indoor Theater.

Saylor, who performs at the famed Magic Castle in Los Angeles, performed a card trick live on KGET 17 Wednesday morning to promote the fundraiser, which will help with travel expenses for the Chamber Singers’ tour, which will include a performance at the Sydney Opera House.

We’re so thankful that Ron is helping us out, and we hope to have a full house for the event. Tickets are available online now via Vallitix for $20 general admission seating and $30 for seating in the orchestra pit.

Helping our choir students sing at the Sydney Opera House

Dr. Jen Garrett approached me to help her close the final gap in the fundraising to help our BC students go to Australia to perform at the Sydney Opera House.  BC’s Choral program does this once every three years.  In 2015 it was at the Vatican in Rome.  Then our students have spent three years fundraising for this trip in July 2018.

I approached trustee Kyle Carter to see if he could help us.  He unhesitatingly said yes and opened up the Hall of Fame venue for this benefit concert.  Hold on to you seats…. Lydia Ranger and Monty Byrom both generously volunteered to perform with the Chamber singers to help with this benefit concert. See flier.

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I have taken responsibility for the success of the evening concert.  Tickets $100 each.  If you cannot make the concert, for our students’ sake, buy a few tickets anyway 🙂

What a wonderful evening it’s going to be with the combination of Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrom and our fabulous BC Choir.

Renegade Basketball and Coach Hughes

Gogades.com reports that the Bakersfield College Men’s Basketball team (9-8) finished the first half strong but El Camino College (5-11) made half time adjustments and pounded away with a relentless five man rotation to issue BC a 104-87 loss Friday night in the Gil Bishop Sports Center.

“They just continually come at us, and we couldn’t get over the hump. We had a good run in the first half, and then we’d make a mistake or turn it over and they’d capitalize,” Coach Rich Hughes said.

Henry Galinato chipped in his second straight double-double in as many games with a 14 point 14 rebound night, on seven of 10 shooting from the field.

Jamar Hammonds led all scorers with 34 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome team-wide ball control issues as the ‘Gades coughed up 30 turnovers to El Camino’s 27 (23, plus four team TOs)

“We’re kind of stumbling in (to league play), we’ve struggled a little bit, especially with the turnovers. That’s been a real problem, but I know our guys, and I think we were ready to play tonight, but stylewise, I don’t think we play well against teams like that. Some people call that an excuse, but it is one of those things; we play better with teams that are more half-court oriented, and most of the teams in league play are like that,” Hughes said.

Bakersfield plays Cerritos College (14-4) at LA Southwest College Saturday night in the Renegades’ final non-conference tilt before league play begins at home, Wednesday, January 17th at 7 pm against LA Pierce College (5-13).

Coach Hughes

Coach Aaron Chavez and Coach Rich Hughes

Grand Opening of the Kern County Justice Center

IMG_7869On Tuesday, January 16, 2018, Dena Rhodes, BC Human Resource Manager and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, and Dr. Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life, went to the Grand Opening of the Kern County Justice Center. The opening was attended by many individuals across the Bakersfield Community and held a tour through the newly renovated building.

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A small reception was held with delicious food samples which as you can see from the pictures. The concept for the center began in San Diego in 2002. It was envisioned that a family justice center would be a one-stop shop for victims of domestic violence. It seeks to be a place where representatives from various agencies are housed under one roof in order to provide services for victims of domestic violence and their children. There are more than 130 family justice centers across the nation. The KCFJC will house representatives from agencies including The Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, Great-er Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Kern County D.A.’s Office, Behavioral Health, Department of Human Services, Bakersfield Police, Kern County Sheriff’s Office, Dress for Success and Aging and Adult Services.

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District Attorney Lisa Green, Dena Rhoades, Nicky Damania

The BC family

One of our Chemistry faculty Dr. Deborah Rosenthal organized a Baby Shower for another faculty member Dr. Ximena Da Silva Tavares on Friday.

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I am so happy that Debby pinged me so I could stop by for a few minutes.  In addition to Ximena’s joy, I loved seeing all the faculty and staff hovering around her like proud family members showering her with love.  Debby organized a fun game where she took time to college photos of faculty members as babies and then had us map which baby picture match which faculty member.  Thank you Debby for the care in planning this event.

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Liz Rozell made this quilt for Ximena

Liz Rozell Ximena Da Silva Tavares

Ximena noted that being an immigrant is hard when all of your family and friend support network from home is so far away so her BC family has been so much appreciated. Having something like the baby shower shows we care about her as a person. Again it is much appreciated and then she said she couldn’t say anything more without crying.

You see why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever…. #WeAreBC

Seen on Social Media

I loved this photo of Kirk Russell, BC’s Library Chair from their instagram bc_library.

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Jim Selgrath

Jim Selgrath tweet Jan 2018

Chris McCraw

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Cindy Collier camping and stated on Facebook “This the culprit that got me up this morning at 5:20 😩 — at Wine Country RV Resort.”

Cindy Collier with her dog Jan 27 2018

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We are BC!

Ximena Da Silva Tavares and Sonya Christian Jan 26 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

(with Prof. Ximena Da Silva Tavares)

On remembrance, and making memories

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Sharon Baker, Sandi Taylor, Vickie Edden, Leonard Cravens, Sonya Christian, Peter Reyes

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Sunday, September 18th…I started this blog yesterday, but since the day was packed with events that ended with driving to Riverside to watch Renegade football on the road I could not finish my blog.  It was great to see the Bakersfield Community come out to support an away game.

Here is a gang of regulars at the games.  Sharon Baker and Bill Baker (The Renegade Football doc) come to all the games.  It always warms my heart to see both Dr. Baker and Dr. Tivnon out there with our student athletes.  Here is a picture of Dr. Baker with Terence Young, one of our star football players last year who got seriously injured.

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Terence is now a student at BC although he does not play football.  I want to recognize the kindness and generosity of the Bakers.  Both Sharon and Bill have given their time, money, and unwavering commitment to BC. This is what makes the community of Bakersfield unique.  And this is what makes Bakersfield College so successful.
We are BC!

the-moon-sep-18-2016The entire week was just like Saturday, a lot of travel — Wisconsin (Tuesday-Wednesday), Sacramento (Friday), and then Riverside (Saturday).  Quite tired this Sunday morning and enjoying the calm and quiet with a cup of coffee and the beautiful early morning moon through the window in my bedroom.  Life is good!

The many highlights from the week started with our first football home game on September 10th at BC against Chaffey! Even ESPN was buzzing with excitement! Really, check out the video on the GoGades Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/p/BKMmC1hAgP6/

Saturday, Sep 10th: New Faculty Reception

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Photo by Cara Jackson

Before the first home game of the season, we celebrated with the new members of the BC family in the Fireside Room at the New Faulty Reception on September 10, 2016. BC hired a total of 39 new faculty for the 2016-2017 academic year.  The college has been growing in the number of students we serve over the last three years.

Thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Trustee Dennis Beebe for attending.  We really appreciate our trustees coming out the college campuses.  If you check out the picture carefully you will be able to spot both trustees.

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Photo by Cara Jackson

A special thank you and shout out to our new cook Nicole Sizemore who prepared an elegant dinner and dessert menu for faulty and guests! My favorite was the watermelon salad with flavorful ingredients including feta cheese. Come to think of it, I loved the tri-tip, the couscous salad and everything on the menu.

After dinner, we headed to the first football game of the year!  And what a game it was.

Join me in welcoming… Teresa McAllister, ACDV; Heather Baltis, Agriculture; Jaclyn Krause, ASL; Ronnie Wrest and Jeff Huston, Art; Katie Ganster, Biology; Ximena Da Silva, Chemistry; Melissa Ysais, Child Development; Talita Pruett and Neeley Hatridge, Communication; Maximo Pena, Construction Management; Catherine Ryan and Elvira Martinez, DSPS; Cynthia Quintanilla, Counseling; Vanessa Bell, EOP&S; Keri Kennedy and Mark Osea, SSSP; Thomas Rush and Kelvin Albaa, Engineering; Isaac Sanchez and Savanna Andrasian, English; Don Brady, Fire Tech; Ayan Hill, Allied Health; Catherine Jones, Industrial Safety; Eddie Rangel, Information Technology; Timothy Heasley, Performing Arts; Dillon Giblin and Jonathan Brown, Math; Nichole Hernandez and Shae Johnson, Medical Surgical; Noelia Citialin, Mental Health; Kathryn Kuby, Music; Christine Harker, Allied Health; Jacelyn Hill, Rad Tech; David Riess and Eleanora Hicks, Sociology; Sara Palasch, Spanish; Brian Sivesind, Theatre; Ronnie Knabe, Sim Lab; Milena Lilles, Biology; John Kelleher, History; Alba Romero, Math; Cari Meyer, Geology; Mark Kay and Yuki Takeuchi, Foreign Language; Jeanne Young, Nursing; Heidi Forsythe, Communication; Kristin Mercer, Denise Canning, Tanna Rozar, Sara Wallace, and Justin Bell, English.

If you get the chance, visit https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/employees/new-faculty-staff to see the new faculty photos!

Running of the Renegades & BC Football

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Photo by Cara Jackson

The evening started off with the annual Running of the Renegades event that welcomes the Football team back to the Stadium for their first home game. This event offers the BC Community the chance to run across Memorial Stadium behind the Renegade Mascots and alongside the BC Cheerleaders before the BC Renegade Football players take the field. This year, 30 students, staff, and faculty members dashed onto the field at 5:55pm sporting their Red and White Spirit. Starting with Renegade pride is always a fantastic way to kick-off a great game and a great week!

BC beat Chaffey College by 45-35 in their home opener at Memorial Stadium on the strength of an offensive explosion led by Derrick Vickers’ three touchdowns and 289 multi-purpose yards. Check out the game summary by Francis Mayor at GoGades.com.

It was wonderful having so many from the community come out to support Renegade Football.

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Sonya Christian, Karen Goh, Romeo Agbalog, JP Lake

A huge thank you to JP Lake for not only attending but also being involved as the halftime guest on Vince Palms show. Francis has made the video available on YouTube – definitely check it out to see JP Lake and your BC Renegades!

JP is the co-chair of the Measure J campaign committee along with Sue Benham, Michael Bowers, Norma Rojas Mora, Jay Rosenlieb, and Karen Thompson. Mayor Harvey Hall is the chair.  Here are a some of the many community leaders on the committee: Michael O’Doherty, Mayor Milt Stowe from Porterville, Justin O’Neill (from Cerro Coso), Jay Tamsi, David Torres, Ed Davis, Fran Flores, Ken Byrum, Rick Kreiser, Cheryl Scott, Chad Hathaway, Janet Rabanal, Reyna Olaguez.

And huge thanks also to Karen Goh for regularly attending our football games and showing your Renegade spirit in the stands! Karen has posted the most fantastic photos on her Facebook – check them out here!  Also much appreciate the connection with other parts of the campus like our Student Government Association.

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And special thank you to Cara Jackson for these great photos from the game:

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Cara also sent an email to share a story of how she was able to capture these great images:

“A moment before I walked onto the football field to capture the Running of the Renegades, I saw another photographer heading that way for the game. I casually asked, “Sir you wouldn’t happen to have an extra lens I could borrow?”

Nick contemplated respectively for a short moment and replied, ” Yes, I might just have one for you.”  I was surprised and excited, and when he pulled out his extra Canon 70-200 mm f2.8L telephoto lens, I was jumping for joy!

It turned out my wish came true and he loaned it to me for the entire game! Not only did he do this, but helped me improve my settings on my camera so I could get these great shots!

It’s wonderful that there are still positive and amazing people out there wishing the best for you and helping you succeed in life, even if you meet them for the first time!

A huge shout out to Nick Ellis from the Bakersfield Californian. Thanks Nick!”

We truly are the community’s college.

Sunday, Sep 11th: World Trade Center Memorial on 9/11

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I had the honor of attending the World Trade Center Memorial in Southwest Bakersfield. The sun was shining bright when the breathtaking memorial featuring a structural girder from the North Tower of the World Trade Center was unveiled. This national artifact is one of many sent throughout the nation for 9/11 memorials. Thank you to Fire Chief, Doug Greener, who petitioned for Bakersfield to get one of the last remaining pieces. Our community was approved to receive the piece because of where the memorial is situated – on Buena Vista in the southwest directly between a fire station and police station. I encourage you to stop by and pay respects and remember the brave men and women in New York that day.

I was so proud to see one of our BC music students Linda Snoddy lead the color guard with her bagpipe. BC has the best music program!  And then hear from Mayor Harvey Hall who was the first speaker of the morning.

 

I asked Jennifer to email Heather Pruitt and get the mayor’s written remarks.  Here they are.  I love the way he wrapped up his speech by saying “thank you for your hearts.”

As we gather today let us not forget the 4,377 souls who perished as a result of the deadliest terrorist attack in our history. Let us not forget the husbands, wives, sons and daughters who lost their lives. Let us not forget the devastation felt by many Americans on this dreadful day.

For fifteen years now we have given our heartfelt condolences, sympathy and caring contributions to the survivor’s families, first responders, police officers and rescue workers. Today is a day of honor and recognition for the Bakersfield City Fire Department and the many volunteers and sponsors who have made this 911 World Trade Center Memorial possible.

What an everlasting tribute our city will have for reflections on each September 11th in our future.

Let us not forget to give prayer and thanks to our wonderful country, fireman, police officers and first responder ambulance paramedics for the daily contributions they make to keep us safe and healthy.

Your presence here today is another example of how Bakersfield cares, a thought I have carried with me for the past sixteen years as our city’s Mayor.

Let us remember and never forget September 11, 2001. Thank you for your hearts today.

I also texted Tim Capehart, Director of BC’s Fire Tech program and asked him if Tyler Hartley, Deputy Fire Chief, could be willing to share his brief comments.  Here are the powerful words by our Deputy Fire Chief:

The attacks on September 11th have been documented as the most destructive acts of terrorism on American soil.  On that unforgettable morning, 19 terrorist associated with the extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners enroute to San Francisco and Los Angeles from Boston, Newark, and Washington D.C. Two of the planes were flown into the towers of the World Trade Center, a third plane hit the Pentagon, and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania – this series of events changed our lives forever.

Although fifteen years have passed since that fateful day, it is important that we do not allow time and distance to cloud our memory of that tragic event. The Bakersfield Fire Department World Trade Center Memorial shall serve a reminder to future generations of what September 11th means to our Nation.

We Shall Never Forget

 

 

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Following the event, I was inspired to take some quiet time for reflection and to read poetry written after 9/11. I truly believe that words hold immense power to comfort, express, console, and heal. A collection of poems can be found here and one really caught my attention titled, Firefighter’s Prayer. It reminded me of how courageous and brave each of our men and women in all first responder roles prove themselves to be each and every day. The immense physical and mental training requires strength and dedication, but the role these individuals fulfill requires a bravery that can’t be taught.  And I am proud of the BC fire tech program.

This year’s fire season, including the recent Erskine fire, serves as a true testament of the challenges faced by our Kern County and Bakersfield fire departments. A post on BFD’s Facebook page this past Tuesday, announced that over the past 48-hour period, BFD responded to 13 fire related incidents; 145 medical/rescue emergencies, and 79 public service related calls. We are lucky to have both Fire Chief, Brian Marshall of Kern County FD and Fire Chief Doug Greener of Bakersfield FD leading our local firefighters. A shout out to both of these incredible departments for all you do!

Follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BakersfieldFire/ and https://www.facebook.com/kerncountyfire/

September 12th: College Night

Any opportunity to expose young people to the endless opportunities of higher education is one to celebrate. On Monday evening over 80 BC staff, faculty, administrators, and students represented the college at the 17th Annual Kern County College Night at the Rabobank Convention Center.  Representatives from more than 100 colleges and universities were in attendance answering questions about their campuses and providing information about admissions requirements and financial aid to high school students and parents. Approximately 1,200 students submitted an interest card requesting further information about Bakersfield College.

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Fellow KCCD Campus, Cerro Coso was also in attendance and it was fanatic to see Pam Campbell, CC’s Director, Outreach and Student Life and Lisa Stephens, CC’s Director of East Kern and Kern River Valley.

pamcampbell_lisastephensBC even had multiple groups and tables at the event. Tom Gelder and Kathy Rosellini hosted the BC Alumni table and Sue Vaughn, Gustavo Enriquez, and Mary Jo Pasek hosted the BC facilities needs booth.

Events like this reinforce what we do at Bakersfield College! Our student body continues to grow and grow each year and the need for higher education in Kern County is expanding.

Thank you Steven Watkin, Director of Outreach, and the Outreach Team (Josie, Debi, Ashlea, Chris, Manuel, Claudio) for making it happen. And a special thank you to Matt Boone of Bakersfieldnow.com for the great media coverage and video. Check out the article here! And various pictures are on our photo gallery located here! We Are BC!

Remembering Dr. Thomas Larwood

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Sonya Christian, Pauline Larwood, Tom Larwood

On Sunday, Sep 11th, afternoon, I had the opportunity to attend Dr. Thomas Larwood’s memorial. Dr. Larwood was dedicated man who led groundbreaking research to find a cure for Valley Fever and together with his wife Pauline –one of Bakersfield’s power couples – always willing to get involved, put in the work, and find solutions.

In his obituary, he was described as a devoted physician, caring deeply for a wide range of patients. It goes on to describe how as a missionary, Tom contracted polio and was inspired by his friend and partner, Dr. Hans Einstein to study Valley Fever. He was an active member in the community alongside his wife, and an active member of the East Bakersfield Rotary.

“Affectionately known as “Doctor Tom” or just plain Tom, he was a man of the people. He chose a life of service very early, active in church leadership in his teens. At 18, talking with his father, Tom worked out that he liked “science and people.” He explored pre-med. After two years, he was drafted in 1944 and became a Navy Pharmacist’s Mate. Shortly before Navy discharge, he was deeply inspired by a talk by Dr. Day at a Methodist Youth Conference meeting. Dr. Day asked “Are you going to invest your life or just spend it?” That very night he felt he had been called to develop and share this gift, and he indeed gave and gave his entire life.” Check out the full obituary by clicking here.

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It was great to see fellow BC friends and family at the memorial, including Nick Strobel and Jerry Ludeke singing in the choir. I particularly liked the rendition of Amazing Grace and the Nick and Jerry section of the piece. It also spotted Trustee Kay Meek, Karen Goh and Bob Allison, and briefly connected with Steve Schilling, and John Fallgatter.  We do have a great community in Bakersfield.

The picture with Tom and Pauline was from March 31, 2016 at the Sterling Silver Dinner.

john-boydstun-sep-15-2016Remembering John Boydstun:

 

Just like on September 11th the community came out to support Tom Larwood, on September 15th, they came out to support John Boydstun.  At the football game against Riverside at Riverside, Leonard Cravens, an avid BC football fan, mentioned that he had traveled from his home in Indigo to Bakersfield just to attend Boydstun’s funeral. Becki Whitson and the BC Cheer Team were to show their respect to a longtime Renegade fan.

 

I searched my blog site for previous blogs where I mention John Boydstun and found the following:

April 23, 2016 blog: http://tinyurl.com/hfcpe8g

December 19th blog:  http://tinyurl.com/hozrypd

 

John Boydstun and BC Cheer team Aug 2016

September 15th: Renegade Football at Rotary

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Jeff Chudy, Sonya Christian, Garro Ellis at Rotary. Sep 15, 2016

It was wonderful having Coach Jeff Chudy at Rotary this Thursday, Sep 15th.  This is an annual event where coach shares the “state of Renegade Football” with the club.  He talked about a new approach he took with his student athletes by having them read together “The Training Camp” by Jon Gordon and do a book report.

 

The book is about an un-drafted rookie trying to make it in the NFL, trying to prove that a small guy with a big heart can make it.  “The life lessons in this book are invaluable in teaching our students how to become better students, better teammates and better men.”

Stig Jantz, BC’s advisor to our student athletes led a team discussion with  coaches and players and asked the hard questions of each. Relationship are being built to make us better.

Just wonderful!

The meeting as a whole was great.  Jay Rosenlieb led the song and at the cost of being fined $30 promoted Measure J among club members.

We are BC!

Follow BC Wrestling

BC Wrestling is off to a strong start. The newest blog post by Brett Clark says,

Well it was a good weekend for the guys on the mat. Bakersfield College went 3-1 this weekend with strong performances against East Los Angeles College, Victor Valley College, and Santa Ana College, the lone loss came against a very good Cerritos College Team. Top performers this weekend were Pedro Sarabia going 3-1, and Julio Fuentes who went 2-1 along with Andrew Binger going 2-1. Overall this young group has a lot of work but the future is bright for them as a team. Next home match is October 26, 2016 Wednesday night at 7pm we will be wrestling Cuesta College in a conference dual come out and support.

To stay up-to-date on BC Wrestling, follow the BC Wrestling Blog at https://bakersfieldcollegewrestling.wordpress.com/.  Well done Brett!

Generations of Leaders at BC!

Don’t you love this picture?  I do!

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SGA Prez Clayton Fowler, Dr. Nicky Damania, SGA Prez Matthew Frazer, SGA Prez Alex Dominguez

Last week, the current Bakersfield College Students Government Association (BCGSA) president, Matthew Frazer, rallied together with two former BCSGA presidents to chat over some delicious breakfast at Pappy’s Cafe down on Rosedale along with the BCSGA Advisor, Dr. Nicky Damania.

During the meal, they wished Clayton Fowler, president FY16, happy journeys as he begins a new journey at UC Davis to start this Bachelor’s degree in Political Science next week. Clayton started as an EMT student at BC, but found his passion for civic leadership through this career with BCSGA. You can follow Clayton’s blog at https://claytonjfowler.wordpress.com/

Alex Dominguez, BCSGA President FY15, is now the President of the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) at CSUB and this guy is one to watch out for as he’s already a great community leader within the city of Bakersfield.

Matthew Frazer, our current SGA prez, is putting BC on the map with all of his efforts.  I suspect 2016-2017 will be a historic year for SGA under his leadership.

Of course, these four men couldn’t help but talk about their love for Bakersfield College. Dr. Damania shared with me they were discussing and developing strategies on how to engage their peers on the need of better facilities and technologies at Bakersfield College for the years to come. Alex invited current officers to CSUB this week to chat with their ASI Officers on how the two groups would be able to educate their peers at CSUB regarding Measure J.

If you haven’t already seen, Matthew Frazer, current BCSGA Present, stars in this week’s Renegade Reveal. The Renegade Reveal is a weekly webisode published by the Office of Student Life every Monday at Noon in efforts to increase and encapsulate student life at Bakersfield College. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZXJUQqb9hk

September 14th: AACU Event

 

I was invited to speak at the AAC&U Leap State Summit this week at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I enjoy opportunities to engage in conversations about learning, quality, and equity.  And this was definitely one of those.

The AACU is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,350 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

It was a lot of fun presenting with Michael Crafton from the University System of Georgia and Joe DeFilippo from Higher Education for Virginia.  Debra Humphrey moderated the panel.  Here is an excerpt from my remarks from the section on “Learning.”  I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it the night before the presentation.

Biologically speaking, learning is making new neural pathways, physically creating new networks that make meaning, and pruning the pathways and networks that are not meaningful. As they say, neurons that “fire together wire together”. Thinking reinforces thinking. I was thinking how the academy can become distracted by the profusion of information, but not enough thinking. This is a fundamental shift in education. Our brains evolved to nurture, gather, mine, imagine, and make meaning, based on environmental clues and scant information – now we must learn to cope with and prune a flood of “information”.

That shift is visible in the transition of learning from oral tradition, to literacy, to digital literacy, to the re-merging oral digital literacy of Siri and Watson, to the promise of Kurzweil’s artificial intelligence singularity. The wonder of it all is that our brains are able to adapt to this changing landscape, that our ancient evolutionary skills to learn are up to the task.

In fact, Randy Bass and Bret Eynon in “Open and Integrative, discuss how can and must use this new digital ecosystem as a tremendous opportunity to recast, they call it “design” Liberal Education.  I was inspired by Carol Geary Snider’s comment in her Foreword to Open and Integrative: Designing Liberal Education for the new Digital Ecosystem.

“Within the digital learning ecosystem, higher education is ideally a site focused around engagement, community and mentorship, and integration, in which the disparate and “unbundled” learning opportunities endemic to our constantly networked modern life can be “rebundled” to support an integrative vision of learning.”

Thank you to Ken O’Donnell and Debra Humphrey for inviting and welcoming me.

Check out my selfie with Lynn Pascarella, President of AAC&U.

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Sonya Christian, Lynn Pascarella

Movie Night in the AM!

img_7036-x2If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’m a great fan of movies – so when I heard the film “McFarland, USA” would be shown on campus, I was immediately excited. What made this event even better was that we’d have the chance to welcome young people from rural migrant program high schools on the BC campus and into our beautiful Indoor Theater.

On Friday, September 16, approximately 300 students from the Kern High School District’s Migrant Education program gathered at Bakersfield College’s Indoor Performing Arts Theater to watch a screening of the movie McFarland, USA. Participating high schools included Arvin, Golden Valley, McFarland, Taft, Wasco, South, East, Shafter, Foothill, Mira Monte, Ridgeview, and Highland.

img_7028The film chronicles the achievements of the McFarland cross-country team in the 1980s. Led by coach Jim White, McFarland’s runners overcame tremendous obstacles in order to succeed in athletics, education, and ultimately life. The story is significant because it symbolizes the challenges faced by our rural migrant student population in Kern County and how hard work and discipline, both within and beyond the classroom, so clearly evident in the lives of the runners, can uplift entire communities.

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Kate Pluta

Bakersfield College alumni Vanessa Renteria, currently Assistant Vice Principal at McFarland High School and former employee of the BC Delano Campus, moderated the event. Following the film, a panel discussion with some of the main characters portrayed in the film, including Coach Jim White, as well as former runners Danny Diaz, David Diaz, Johnny Samaniego, Thomas Valles, and Victor Puentes addressed a variety of important issues raised in the film including the importance of perseverance and education.

Dean of Instruction Kate Pluta also honored Danny Diaz as a BC alumni and for his longtime service at the McFarland campus. Here’s an excerpt of Kate’s comments:

“Danny Diaz has been a pillar of the McFarland community for two decades. Following his achievements as a McFarland runner Danny went on to graduate Bakersfield College and work as a counselor at McFarland high school, guiding and impacting the lives of countless students.

He is incredibly humble, modest, and is committed to advancing opportunities for our rural youth, particularly those most at risk and vulnerable. Bakersfield College is proud to recognize him for his accomplishments, not only for his life story being highlighted in the movie McFarland, USA, but for his continued work for our students. Bakersfield College is proud to donate $1,000.00 to McFarland high school’s cross-country team in honor of Danny Diaz. Thank you Danny for your service in making Kern County a better place for us all.”

Following the panel discussion, the students took a brief campus tour with SGA officers, student volunteers from the Office of Student Life and the Delano Campus WECOMM club. From there, a special lunch was served by the wonderful Eric Sabella and BC Campus Food Services.

img_7057Thank you so much to Oliver Rosales, Steve Watkin, Nicky Damania, Kristen Rabe, Mary Jo Pasek, Ramon Puga, Shannon Musser, Jennifer Marden, Arisve Pimentel, Anhelica Perez, Alexa Rivera, and the many volunteers from BCSGA, Office of Student Life, and the WECOMM club who volunteered their Friday morning to spend time with these wonderful students and make them feel welcomed. A huge thank you also to the good folks over at PacWest for running our lighting and soundboard. Finally, a very special thanks to Sal Avalos and Jose Morales from the Kern High School District Migrant Education Office for co-sponsoring this event.

Thank you Oliver Rosales for leading this effort.  Thank you Kate Pluta for recognizing Danny Diaz.  And thank you Arnoldo Avalos, member of the Board of Governors, for giving me the idea.  Sorry you were not able to make it.

THANK YOU!!

You can catch more photos from this event at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/McFarland-Movie-Panel.

Fall’s First Gadfly Cafe

gadfly01.jpgBakersfield College students debated the importance and root causes of terrorism at the first Gadfly Café of the fall semester.

A discussion forum hosted three times per semester at the Levan Center for the Humanities, the Gadfly Café encourages anyone in the community to come in and offer their opinions on a different controversial social issue every month. With the presidential election around the corner in November, moderator Reggie Williams tailored this semester’s topics toward hot-button issues on the campaign trail.

gadfly03Wednesday’s topic was titled “Terrorism, Cars and Other Threats to Americans”, and Williams opened the discussion with a few statistics for context. While there are approximately 30,000 car-related deaths every year and 20 veteran suicides every day, only 58 people have been killed by terrorism in the United States since 2002, said Williams, a philosophy professor at Bakersfield College. In light of those numbers, Williams asked the group why they believe terrorism is such a crucial issue in our political discourse.

After some spirited discussion, Gadfly participants concluded that the threat of terrorism is omnipresent enough to justify spending significant time legislating to prevent it, regardless of the amount of people it actually affects. The debate then turned to distinguishing what separates terrorist attacks like September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing from hate crimes or other acts of violence. Some argued that it was religious zealotry, but a consensus formed that the defining element of terrorism is any attempt at using violence as a tool of political coercion.

While the debate might get confrontational, Gadfly Café participants are expected to be respectful, kind and avoid personal attacks. Next month’s forum on Oct. 12 is titled “Undocumented Immigrants: Boon, Bane or Political Ruse?” and the last Gadfly Café of the semester on Nov. 9 will be about “Healthcare: A Right, Privilege or Practical Necessity?”

Celebrating Dia de la Indepencia

14322243_10153973754444352_4757304245717391097_n.jpgThe Bakersfield College chapter of M.E.Ch.A celebrated Mexican Independence Day Thursday with a fleet of classic hydraulic cars parked in front of the gym.

M.E.Ch.A, a Chicano student organization founded in the 1960s, honored the Dia de Independencia by inviting the owners of a few “lowriders”, antique muscle cars modified with hydraulics that can lower the chassis all the way down to the floor or make the front end of the car bounce. BC’s M.E.Ch.A chapter also sold horchata and pan dulce at a table in front of the gym.

On September 16th, 1810, Catholic priest and revolutionary Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla uttered the famous Cry of Dolores, symbolizing the start of the Mexican War of Independence. Many Americans falsely believe that Mexican Independence Day takes place on Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

University Transfer Day

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Photo by Cara Jackson

On September  12, over 32 colleges were in attendance to meet with prospective BC transfer students.

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Photo by Cara Jackson

This gave all in attendance a chance to inform and be informed on transcripts, advice on what each college offers and other information. The event was carefully organized by the Transfer Days College Night Intersegment Coordinating Committee. The committee has created a Northern and Southern Region California Community College circuit for Universities and Colleges throughout the country, led by Mr. Michael Burton.

 

Mr. Burton then connects with all California Community College Transfer Directors in this assigned region such as Marisa Marquez, Transfer Counselor and the Center for Student Success Office Supervisor, Bernadette Martinez to further organize the event. Mary Jo Pasek, Office of Student Life Director Dr. Nicky Damania and his energetic and always professional Student Life staff are also part of this event.

The promotions are made by team effort such as creating posters, made by Dylan Wang and Mr. Steve Watkin and his hard-working office of Outreach and School Relations also contribute. Food is catered by the sensational Chef Eric Sabella and his team , and at the end of the day students have knowledge to make a great decision about transferring.

For more information see: http://www.certicc.org/transferDayscollegeNights.aspx

BC featured on CSPAN’s “Lectures in History” Program

Bakersfield College got some national attention when Dr. Oliver Rosales, Professor of History at our Delano Campus, was featured on CSPAN’s Lectures in History series on September 3.  The program visits college and university classrooms to highlight professors lecturing on topics related to their research expertise.  Oliver’s lecture focused on “Latinos and the Civil Rights Movement.”  Here’s a synopsis of his lecture from the CSPAN website:

Latinos and the Civil Rights Movement: Professor Oliver Rosales talked about Latinos, the Delano grape strike of the mid-1960s, and their place in the larger Civil Rights movement of the period. Professor Rosales shared his personal family history and other oral histories about the National Farm Workers Association, the labor union led by Ceasar Chavez and Delores Huerta which eventually became the United Farm Workers. He also described the connection between the local history of Bakersfield, California, and the national Civil Rights movement.

You can watch the program on CSPAN’s website here: https://www.c-span.org/video/?407964-1/latinos-civil-rights-movement

Congratulations to Jack Hernandez

zolbrod_4.jpgI often sign off by saying I’m the luckiest college president in the world, and a huge part of that is all due to the fantastic faculty and staff who work with me at BC. I’m proud every time I’m able to announce something and congratulate someone, but I’m even proud silently walking the halls of our facilities because our classrooms and offices are filled with faculty and staff who take their work to heart. Jack Hernandez is one of our star faculty, now retired and still contributing, who I’m proud to spotlight today.

On Friday, I was filled in via email that Jack’s paper, “Suicide: A Personal and Philosophical Reflection” has been selected for presentation at the Central Valley Philosophy Associations annual conference. I look forward to sharing the pictures and recap from the event to come in November!

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That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya 

(in my airplane travel attire heading to the AACU conference)