Tag Archives: Norma Rojas-Mora

Spring is heating up at BC

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, April 27, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Thinking of Sri Lanka

While the rest of the world was celebrating Easter Sunday with their families, the people of Sri Lanka were fighting a senseless tragedy.

As of Tuesday, more than 300 Sri Lankans were reported dead and 500 more were injured in a series of eight coordinated attacks on churches and hotels, according to an article by Vox. Six of the eight attacks happened in the capital city of Colombo, and attacks also occurred during Easter Sunday church services in Negombo and Batticaloa. The Guardian published a timeline and visual guide to the bombings, which are being blamed on terrorist groups seeking retaliation for the attack on Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand in March.

Sri Lanka is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, located southeast of the Tamil Nadu province on the Indian subcontinent and close to Kerala, the area where I grew up. I last visited Sri Lanka in 2011, and my heart goes out to all the people who have lost loved ones in the attacks.

Moments like this remind me of Mahatma Gandhi, whose 150th anniversary is being celebrated around the world in 2019. He elevated human consciousness by recognizing our infinite capacity for kindness and dignity to counter our species’ infinite potential for violence and devastation.

At BC, wellness and community are part of our core values, and our faculty and staff inspire thousands of students every day to be beacons of light out in their families and communities, spreading love, knowledge and kindness.

In the wake of senseless tragedies such as these, it’s important to consider ways that we can come together to build bridges even in our differences. The battle against hostility and divisiveness starts in our hearts, with our family and friends, in the classroom, outside the classroom — and education is the tool that can help us understand our differences and yet unify us as a people.

My mom and I spent Christmas 2011 in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and split our time between Batticaloa and Columbo, Here is the 200-word piece featured in the 2018 Christmas Edition of The Bakersfield Californian.

Christmas 2011 with my mom Pam Christian in Sri Lanka (Ceylon)

Notre Dame Cathedral Catches Fire

Last week, the world mourned the partial destruction of a historical landmark, as Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral went up in flames.

Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral, most beautiful Cathedral in Paris.
The Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral is a French Gothic style church built to honor the Virgin Mary. Construction on the cathedral started in 1160 AD, and it’s considered one of the greatest architectural achievements in world history.

The roof of Notre Dame caught fire on the evening of April 15 and continued for 15 hours, causing significant damage. However, a lot of the core structure of the building was saved, and there were no deaths or injuries in the fire.

Thanks to approximately $1 billion in donations, the cathedral will be restored to most of its previous glory, but this historic building that has existed for more than eight centuries will never be the same.

Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

Bakersfield College was extremely proud to be a part of this year’s annual Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference, which was chaired by our very own Director of Communications Norma Rojas-Mora!  Norma put her heart and soul into this event, and it was easy to see her touch in so many different areas.

The Women’s Business Conference was celebrating its 30th anniversay and Norma asked me to introduce the video. Here it is.

The year was 1989. 

Imagine a group of women, twenty-something and thirty-something, coming together at the Home of the Renegades, talking about what it was like to be a women working in our community….. talking about work environments that may or may not have been supportive of women and mothers, talking about gaps in opportunities for women, about behaviors that were considered unacceptable only because you were a woman….talking about general societal issues of the time.

Imagine these women…exceptional professionals,  wanting to transform our community by  empowering all women, but particularly those who were young and just getting started in their professional career…..unleashing the power that is a woman –  helping women Believe in the Power of You.

Phyllis Hullett of Bakersfield College came up with the idea of a conference for women.   She was known to move with conviction, and once she started on a path no obstacle, however large, however daunting could deter her from reaching her destination. But Phyllis was certainly not alone.  She recruited co-conspirators, Lynn Hall, Kay Meek, Cindy Pollard, Sheryl Barbich, Cynthia Icardo, Judy Salamacha, and Mary Jo Pasek. These women became the co-leaders, the Mothers of the first Women’s Business Conference here in Bakersfield. 
The title – “Options Unlimited.”

To honor this 30-year anniversary and the founding mothers, we have a short video. Let’s quiet our minds, breathe in and out, and immerse ourselves in our history as told by some of the 7 visionary women leaders from our community, who first made it happen. 

Thank you Manny de Los Santos and Monika Scott for putting together this video.

I was also asked to introduce this year’s Keynote speaker, Shannen Doherty.  Here are excerpts…

I am here to introduce to you a woman who has grown up in the public eye….. no easy task.  A woman who has engaged with life fully, exuberantly, fearlessly, passionately, ….. and yet with a quintessential sense of openness and vulnerability.  

In 1991 young America fell in love with Brenda Walsh, the young woman who moved with her family from Minnesota to Beverly Hills where she tries to fit into the lifestyle of the rich and famous. 

In 1998 America was Charmed by Prudence “Prue” Halliwell, a powerful and responsible witch who protected the innocent and defeated the forces of evil.

In the past week, as the Shannen Doherty story unveiled itself to me through third party narratives, I discovered the sheer power and boldness in this “petite” 5 ft 4” person who appeared to mesmerize the world around her ….whatever world that might be at that time.

In the most recent chapter of her life, Shannen Doherty teaches us about overcoming severe adversity.   

Falling down is an inevitable part of life.  But getting up and engaging with life with a ferociousness when it appears that you don’t have a drop of life remaining in you….. now that is the story of our keynote speaker.

From becoming a child actress and financially supporting her family to building a booming television career, to receiving a devastating cancer diagnosis, and later slaying the disease and entering remission, Shannen Doherty is living proof that she is not defined by her lowest moments but by the absolute drive to lift up, take off and soar high.

I am also struck by her spirit of hope and gratitude…. Her propensity for creativity, her fearlessness in trying new things, and her bravery in sharing her journey. America fell in love with Brenda and Prue decades ago, but I find myself in awe of the woman Shannen Doherty is today: Survivor, animal rights activist….. inspirational and fearless.

And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire – and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears. [Post theshando, March 8, 2019..quote attributed to Mark Anthony]

Bakersfield, I give you the indomitable Shannen Doherty!

shannen doherty

In her honor, the conference focused on encouraging women to be proactive about their health and get mammogram screenings.  It is so easy for us to focus on others, our jobs, our families and forget about our own self-care.  I was extremely honored to be a part of an event with this message, and also very proud of all of the hard work Norma put in!  It was a wonderful event!

women's conference

Andrea Thorson was a rock star with her presentation. I had a young woman who rushed up to me and said that I had a great dean at BC and that she was just coming from Andrea’s presentation. We are BC!

Andrea Thorson

Early College Initiative Award Presented at SGA Student Leadership Dinner

For the first time, dual enrollment students were included in our annual SGA Student Leadership Awards Dinner. The Early College Initiative Award was created in a collaboration between our Dual Enrollment and Student Life departments to recognize high school students who have shown early initiative in taking college courses and starting on their college pathway. Out of many nominations that came in from across all high school districts, five finalists were selected to attend the awards dinner with their families, nominating instructor, and principal.

Osvaldo Casillas and Kathy Rowland
Kathy Rowland and Osvaldo Casillas

The first recipient of the award was Osvaldo Casillas from Mira Monte High School. He was nominated by dual enrollment instructor and BC English Adjunct instructor Kathy Rowland who wrote, “Osvaldo continuously demonstrates a keen dedication to attendance, thorough completion of assignments, and thoughtful contribution to class discussion/analysis.  For almost 4 years, he has strategized a plan for post-secondary education knowing that he will make strides in engineering to broaden opportunities both for himself, family, and his mother who has been detained in Mexico for an extensive timeframe. Nonetheless, he has found a method, a coping mechanism that harnesses all his personal struggles and heartaches into the surety of an academic pathway to success. He is one of the finest young men I have ever met in my 20 years of teaching.”

Mariano Balbueno with Mario Nunez and Susana Salazar (Counselor)
Left to right: Mariano Balbueno, Mario Nunez, and Susana Salazar (Counselor)

The second recipient was Mariano Balbueno from Delano High School. Mariano was nominated by his dual enrollment instructor Mario Nunez who wrote, “Mariano has completed a total of 10 dual/concurrent enrollment courses, and is currently working on four more during this second semester of his Senior year. He has earned a total of 32 general education credits towards an associate degree, all while he has been in high school.  At the end of his senior year, Mariano will have earned a total of 44 college units.”

Finalists with Early College Team
Early College Initiative Award finalists and the Early College team.

Both students received BCSGA student leadership medals that they will be able to wear with pride at their high school graduations this spring. As we continue to embrace our early college students into our campus culture, events such as this are such an amazing way to welcome our high school students into our Renegade family, and to show everyone on our campus just how much our students and our communities benefit from early college opportunities.

Second Annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference

The 2nd Annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference took over the Panorama campus this week to honor the history of Chicano Studies programs and the 50th anniversary of the founding of MEChA.

This year’s conference was expanded to three days, packed with panels, speakers, art, music, and film celebrating Chicano culture. Octavio Barajas brilliantly organized all of the programming that happened between Tuesday and Thursday.

Jess Nieto was an activist, philanthropist, and instructor who founded the Chicano Studies program at BC in the 1970s. He also founded Heritage for America, a non-profit organization that helps immigrants with achieving citizenship.

When Nieto passed away just before his 70th birthday in 2017, a team of educators who were inspired by his contributions to BC and the Chicano community founded this conference in his name. The theme for this year’s conference was based on the MEChA motto of “Self-Determination for the Liberation of Our People.”

Corny Rodriguez speaking
Corny Rodriguez speaks passionately about MEChA.
Four students sitting at table with hands folded
Project Conexiones students Edith Mata, Jovana Espinoza, Jennifer Lule, and Erick Plata give a presentation in the Levan Center.

Students from the newly-created BC organization Project Conexiones talked about the founding of their group, which seeks to create a bridge between MEChA, LUPE, and other campus organizations that support Chicano and undocumented students through their education.

Three people sitting at table
Left to right: Dr. Mark Martinez, Steve Barber and Emily Gonzales host a panel on the life of Ray Gonzales, the first Chicano elected to state office in Kern County.

CSUB political science professor Mark Martinez spoke of Gonzales’ gregarious personality and told stories from his time as a CSUB social studies teacher toward the end of his life. Steve Barber, Gonzales’ campaign manager from 1972, talked about Gonzales’ important work in petitioning to redrawing the district lines in Kern County to maximize Latino representation, as well as conducting demographic research that would lead to the creation of Cal State Monterey Bay. Gonzales’ daughter Emily ended the panel with a tearful discussion of his passion and discipline for learning.

Two men standing by painting
Artist Jorge Guillen and Oliver Rosales pose with Guillen’s painting of Ray Gonzales.

After the Ray Gonzales panel, local artists Jorge Guillen and Juan X shared their poetry about the Chicano struggle. Guillen made a portrait of Ray Gonzales in honor of the conference and shared some of his murals in Rexland Acres Park. He also talked the influence that BC professors such as Jack Brigham had on his development as an artist.

BC Jazz ensemble
The BC Jazz Ensemble performs in the Administration Courtyard.
Man blowing trumpet
Kris Tiner performs with BC jazz students.
Man playing bongos
Louie Cruz Beltran performs with the BC Jazz ensemble.
Male and female smiling
Louie Cruz Beltran and Dolores Huerta

The first day of the conference moved to the Administration Courtyard, where attendees ate a delicious spread of enchiladas and tacos provided by Food Services. During dinner, the BC Jazz Ensemble performed in the courtyard with Louie Cruz Beltran, a percussionist, singer and BC alum who has played alongside Tito Puente, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Macy Gray, and some of the most famous entertainers in the world. Paintings of historic Chicano figures by Guillen, BC students and professor Diego Monterrubio were also displayed in the courtyard.

Girl painting portrait of woman
Male painting aztec head
Hispanic Latin painting artwork
BC professor Diego Monterrubio’s painting is displayed in the Administration Courtyard on April 23.

Day one of the conference concluded with a keynote presentation by Sean Arce, a teacher who revolutionized Chicano Studies instruction at the elementary and high school levels. He also represented Tucson high school students in challenging Arizona’s ban on ethnic studies instruction, which was overturned by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Arce v. Douglas.

Man blowing conch
Sean Arce calls in the four directions in a Mesoamerican ceremony that uses a conch shell.
Man pointing at painting
Sean Arce talks about the importance of Chicano Studies.

Arce shared some demographic information about educational attainment rates broken down by race, and explained how Ethnic Studies programs can help to increase educational attainment rates by allowing students of color to see their experiences reflected in the curriculum.

On Wednesday night in the BC Forum, the Jess Nieto Memorial Conference screened the PBS documentary “The Rise of the Brown Buffalo,” about Chicano lawyer and activist Oscar Zeta Acosta.

“The Rise of the Brown Buffalo” was directed by veteran PBS filmmaker Philip Rodriguez, using actors to portray Acosta and the major figures in his life. The film juxtaposes talking head testimonials from the actors with actual photos and footage of Acosta. In the film, Acosta is portrayed by Bakersfield native Jesse Celedon.

Two men with fingers on chins
A screenshot from the PBS documentary “The Life of the Brown Buffalo” screened in the BC Forum.

Acosta was an influential part of the Chicano movement of the late ’60s and early ’70s as a bold and boisterous lawyer representing activists and Chicano militants in Los Angeles during a time of rioting and intense racial strife. He was known for his wild and unorthodox methods of practicing law, and he cross-examined 100 judges, an unprecedented act that demonstrated how the jury selection process for his cases was biased against Chicanos. He also ran for Sheriff of Los Angeles County in 1970.

Acosta’s books didn’t do well commercially despite critical acclaim, and in 1974, he hand-wrote a last will and testament and disappeared in the deserts of Mexico. He was never seen again and is presumed dead.

Two men standing at Jess Nieto Conference
Director Philip Rodriguez and local actor Jesse Celedon speak in the Forum.

The last day of the conference focused on student presentations. Current members of BC’s MEChA gave a current update on everything they’ve done this year and testimonials about how the club helped them connect with their Chicano heritage. Graduate students Randy Villegas from UC Santa Cruz and Francisco Beltran from UC Santa Barbara gave presentations of their research. BC students Jose Bello and Tania Bernal moderated a panel on immigration, and Levan Student Award recipients gave presentations as well. The conference ended with a special baile by Project Conexiones students.

I’d like to thank Octavio Barajas for organizing all of the programming, as well as all of the students, staff and panelists who came out to support such an amazing, legendary man.

Third Annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast

On Wednesday, April 24, BC attended the 3rd Annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast at Hodel’s Country Dining.  The Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast is one place where community champions who quietly work behind the scenes are illuminated for their phenomenal dedication.

nora dominguez, kimberly white-smith, sonya, lynette, dolores huerta, nan, norma

This year’s honoree and recipient of the Cesar Chavez Legacy Award was Dolores Huerta, who was born on April 10, 1930 in Dawson, New Mexico, but spent most of her childhood and early adult life in Stockton, California.  Dolores found her calling while serving in the leadership of the Stockton Community Service Organization (CSO), when she founded the Agricultural Workers Association (AWA).  In 1955, she met CSO Executive Director Cesar E. Chavez.  The two shared a common vision of organizing farm workers, which was an idea that did not necessarily follow the CSO’s mission.

abel-guzman-brenda-valdez
corny-rodriguez-olivia-garcia
Josefina Flores

In 1962, Cesar and Dolores launched the National Farm Workers Association, where Dolores’s skills were vital to the growth of this organization.  In addition, she was instrumental in the enactment of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, as well as working as a lobbyist to improve workers’ legislative representation.  Later, she fought to elect more Latinos and women to political office.

Dolores has received many honors and accolades over the years, including the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award in 1998 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.  As of 2015, she was a board member of the Feminist Majority Foundation, Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus of the United Farm Workers of America, and President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

danny-morrison
Danny Morrison did an amazing job as host.

The breakfast was hosted by Danny Morrison, who is a social and community activist, motivational speaker, and multimedia personality and host of The Danny Morrison Radio Show with the NEW 103.9 The Beat in Bakersfield and the NEW Forge 92.5 in Fresno.  Born and raised in Bakersfield, Danny spends his time mentoring children, performing motivational speeches, and giving back to the community.

nan and sonya
victor-diaz-lisa-robles
bc group

It was wonderful to see several members of our BC leadership come out to celebrate Huerta’s accomplishments, including Abel Guzman, Brenda Valdez, Corny Rodriguez, Olivia Garcia, Victor Diaz, and Lisa Robles.  We are BC!  Si, se puede!

Project Conexiones Students Participate in Leadership Conference

Participants attended various workshop topics ranging from career development, political consciousness, social and community activism, supporting undocumented students, systems of higher education, cultural resiliency, unity among students, and learned from many powerful keynote speakers, authors, and influential community organizers.

Students began their morning at MacArthur Park with an appreciation of their indigenous cultural roots as they were greeted by a traditional Aztec danza.

After the final day of the conference, Conexiones students enjoyed a relaxing and fun day at Malibu Beach.

Special thanks to the EOPS and CalSOAP staff who contributed greatly to the planning process. Big shout out to Octavio Barajas (History), Francisco Llamas (History), and Marcela Gamino (EOPS) for serving as advocates and mentors to the Conexiones students.

Business Pathway Career Expo

On Wednesday, Bakersfield College held its Business Pathway Career Expo in front of the library for students to interact with professionals regarding the careers they would like to pursue.

business pathway booth
business pathway booth
business pathway booths overview
business pathway booth

Students talked to people in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship, Computer Science, and Law Enforcement.  These days, employers are looking for more than an education. They are looking for skilled workers with job experience, so the Business Pathway Career Expo gave students a chance to learn about job prospects and internships before they finish college so they can get a head start on their career. The expo also allowed students to interact with several local business owners and industry partners.

business pathway booth
business pathway booth

Cool t-shirt. Thank you.

Pre-Law Student Celebration

The Bakersfield College Pre-Law Program is pleased to report that we have 11 students who completed the Pre-Law program this year. We have students transferring to CSU Bakersfield, CSU East Bay, UC Davis, and Washington State. Best of luck to our Pre-Law graduates!

Pre law students
Graduates present at the celebration (left to right): Leodegario Aguilar, Stephiny Winslow, Linda Eaves, Karla Alvarez, Kiley Thompson, David Arredondo, Robert Bankowski, and Denise Ruiz.
Pre law students
David Arredondo (with guest) and Advisory Council Member Yinka Glover.
Pre law students
David Arredondo, Leslie Cunningham (Director of Cal Law Inc.), Linda Eaves, Karla Alvarez, Robert Bankowski, Pearl Urena, and Leodegario Aguilar.

EOP&S Student Celebration

Last Tuesday, April 23, the EOP&S Student Celebration took place at Hodel’s Country Dining. Check out these great photos!

EOP&S graduates
EOP&S graduates
EOP&S graduates
EOP&S medals

Community Voices: Tom Burke

Check out this piece by Chancellor Tom Burke in The Bakersfield Californian about celebrating community colleges.  Like the chancellor, I’m very proud of the work we have done to serve our community college students.

community voices by tom burke

Read Tom’s entire article on www.bakersfield.com.

Community Voices: Jack Hernandez

Last month, Jack Hernandez wrote a touching piece in The Bakersfield Californian on the topic of suicide.  His words touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes as he wrote about his personal experience dealing with suicide.  As he states in the first paragraph, suicide is a “terrifying, endlessly sad word.”

community voices by jack hernandez

Read Jack’s entire article on www.bakersfield.com.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

William Harland Boyd Gets Plaque

This weekend, a plaque will be dedicated on campus in memory of Dr. William Harland Boyd, who was a history professor and department chair at Bakersfield College.

william harland boyd plaque
william harland boyd plaque

In addition to his BC duties, Dr. Boyd was a co-founder and editor of the local historical society in Kern County, being affiliated with this group for more than fifty years.  This wonderful plaque will be displayed inside our Humanities area, so be sure to stop by and take a look! We are BC proud!

Geology Club Rocks the Sequoias

Francis Benavente, who recently joined the Bakersfield College Geology Club, sent over these great photos of a wonderful field trip they took to see rocks in Sequoia National Park.  Under the direction of geology professor Chris Benker, they hiked up the river to Brush Creek, and got a lot of really awesome pictures.  I’d like to give a special thanks to Chris for providing these amazing opportunities for our students!

BC geology club
BC geology club

View more photos of the Geology Club’s visit to Sequoia National Park.

BC Drumline Beats the Competition at WGI World Championship

Last week, I wrote about our amazing BC Drumline winning the gold medal at the WGI World Championship Competition in Dayton, Ohio.  Director of Marching Arts Ensembles Tim Heasley and Drumline Media Manager Jimmie Taliaferro sent over these videos of the students warming up for the competition.  The actual performance couldn’t be recorded because of copyright reasons, but as Tim puts it, “You had to be there!”  Congrats, again!

Math and Science Retirement Luau

Retirees from the Math and Science Departments were celebrated with a retirement luau on Wednesday, April 24, and I was happy to participate in the festivities.  Patrick Fulks from the Biology Department is also retiring this semester, but was unavailable for the picture.

Group of people at makeshift luau
Left to right: Regina Hukill, Math Department; myself; Richard Darke, Physical Science Department; and Janet Fulks, Biology Department
Group of people at makeshift luau
Left to right: Richard Darke, Physical Science Department; Regina Hukill, Math Department; Janet Fulks, Biology Department; and Bernard Scanlon, Math Department

Thank you to Stephen Waller and Janet Thomas and the Office of Instruction Staff, as well as fellow faculty members of the math, biology, and physical science departments, for putting on the luau party.  Aloha!

Celebrating Earth Day with ‘Eating Animals’

Last Monday night in the Levan Center, Professor Beth Rodacker and Professor Emily Wilson hosted a viewing and discussion of the film Eating Animals to celebrate Earth Day 2019.

eating animals movie poster

The film, which was released in 2017, has received fine reviews and takes a close-up look at factory farming.  Based on the bestselling book by Jonathan Safran Foer, narrated by co-producer Natalie Portman, and directed by Christopher Quinn, Eating Animals takes an eye-opening look at the environmental, economic, and public health consequences of factory farming.

Spotlighting farmers who adopt more humane practices, Eating Animals offers attainable, commonsense solutions to a growing crisis.

Thanks to Beth and Emily for giving our students a chance to view this great film.

View the ‘Eating Animals’ trailer here!K

Spotlight: Office of Institutional Effectiveness

At Bakersfield College, we take pride in our high-touch, high-tech approach to working with our students, and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness has been instrumental in the development and evolution of that approach since its inception in 2016.

office of institutional effectiveness staff
karen, david, dan hall

Institutional Effectiveness conducts research, collects data, and provides reports on everything from accreditation, program review, and enrollment strategies to data coaching, grant funding, and student learning outcomes. This data is used by executive leadership and program managers to inform decisions, track outcomes and effectiveness of initiatives, and direct the daily activities of staff.

This year, the office has launched the Institutional Review Board and developed a process for faculty and staff to request research projects. The Institutional Review Board helps college personnel attain higher education credentials, facilitates applications for federal grants, and maintains ethical standards of research projects at BC. So far, the office has received 385 research requests through the Institutional Review Board during the 2018-19 academic year, Hayward said.

karen and david
Karen Snow and David Buitron

After compiling the information for this year’s Scorecard, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness has noticed an increasing proportion of younger students in the BC student body over the past five years due to the growth of the Dual Enrollment and Early College programs. The shift in curriculum via metamajors and the establishment of Completion Coaching communities has resulted in a significant increase of Hispanic/Latinx students receiving Associate Degrees for Transfer, as well as increases in the number of students attempting 15 or more units in their first term and completing transfer-level math and English in their first year. These are important momentum points in both the guided pathways model and new state funding formula for community colleges.

Institutional researchers have shared BC’s high-tech, high-touch strategies across the nation, including the state Chancellor’s Office, EMSI, the Center for Urban Education, and the RP Group conference this month. In May, researcher Amber Hroch will be presenting at ACCJC’s Partners in Excellence conference about program review.

office of institutional effectiveness staff

This year, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness developed Cognos reports that will help the EOP&S and Veterans’ Services departments streamline the work they do to support students.  They’ve also launched the first phase of a project that will create a centralized data warehouse for all of the information collected across Banner, Starfish, eLumen, and other programs utilized by BC faculty and staff.

I’d like to thank all of the brilliant minds in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness for providing concrete data analysis that continues to drive innovation at BC.

Fun Photos: BC Entrepreneurship Team

Manny Mourtzanos shared a fun photo of the team after the Entrepreneurship Workshop that was offered to BC students following the Business Pathway Career Expo on Wednesday. They enjoyed two very successful events–it’s a good time to be a Renegade!

Manny Mourtzanos, Heather Wight (Executive Assistant, Small Business Development Center), Goli Ameri (President and CEO, StartItUp), Prof. Rudy Menjivar (BC Entrepreneurship & Business Law Faculty), and JP Lake (Managing Partner, Kern Venture Group)
Left to right: Manny Mourtzanos, Heather Wight (Executive Assistant, Small Business Development Center), Goli Ameri (President and CEO, StartItUp), Professor Rudy Menjivar (BC Entrepreneurship & Business Law Faculty), and JP Lake (Managing Partner, Kern Venture Group)

Fun Photos: Power Luncheon

Check out these great photos from Wednesday’s Power Luncheon with Jean Fuller.

crowd listening at the Power luncheon with jean fuller
Power luncheon with jean fuller
people sitting at desks
Power luncheon with jean fuller
Power luncheon with jean fuller
Power luncheon with jean fuller

Fun Photos: College Budget Meeting

Our College Budget Meetings are always an exciting time, as you can see in these wonderful photos.

college budget meeting
college budget meeting
college budget meeting
college budget meeting
college budget meeting
Members of the budget committee being asked to stand and be recognized.

Renegade Athletics

The annual Army All-Star football game at Rabobank is a huge community event that we had the opportunity to sponsor this year. Athletics Program Manager Darrell Ballard and student worker Daniel Kraskey manned a table representing the college before the game and Associate AD Keith Ford presented the Offensive Player of the Game Award at the conclusion of the game. Over twenty of this year’s players are coming to BC this fall to play football for Coach Chudy. We look forward to seeing them on campus!

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11:00 a.m., check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights include segments from BC Baseball and Softball, who are both Western State Conference Champions!

Segment with BC Baseball Coach Tim Painton

Segment with BC Baseball’s Kamron Willman and Alejandro Murillo

Segment with BC Assistant Softball Coach Aryka Chavez

Segment with BC Softball’s Natilee Parrish and Ashley Hernandez

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (4/14-4/20) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

Daran Towns, Women’s Swimming

Was named WSC Co-Female Swimmer of the Year, winning all three of her individual races and breaking school records in all three. (500 Free, 200 Free, 100 Free) She was also on the winning 800 Free Relay along with 3 other top 4 relays.

Jacob Whitby, Men’s Track and Field

Placed first in the discus with a throw of 46.63m at the WSC Championships for back-to-back conference championships in that event.

Renegade Volleyball is Tearing it up on the Sand

lady gades beach volleyball
lady gades beach volleyball

The Renegade Women’s Beach Volleyball team hosted both Santa Barbara City College and Glendale College at the CSUB Beach Volleyball courts on Friday and came away with two dominant victories, 5-0 over SBCCC and 5-0 over GC. KCCD General Counsel Chris Hine was at the match to witness the dominating play by our student athletes. View a full album of the matches.

Women’s Soccer Student Athletes Moving On

Renegade Women’s Soccer student athletes Reagan King and Drew Hallum will be continuing their academic and athletic careers at the Division I level this coming season. King has signed with the University of Louisiana Monroe and Hallum, who originally committed to Emerson College, has signed with Appalachian State University. Congrats and good luck!

Jacob Whitby Grabs Back-to-Back WSC Discus Championships

Congrats to Renegade Student Athlete Jacob Whitby who won the Western State Conference Discuss Title that last weekend with a throw of 46.63m. This is now Jacob’s second title in as many years. Congrats, Jacob and good luck the rest of the season!

Roundup of Athletics Events This Week

As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include:

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics by following us on social media.

  • Facebook – ‘Bakersfield College Athletics’
  • Twitter – @GoGadesGo
  • Instagram – @gogadesgo
Sonya Christian


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Courage and Decency …. the American Way

Good morning Bakersfield. 
It is Saturday, September 1st …. a day of remembering a great American Hero.

John McCain Boston Herald Photo.jpg

“John was above all a man with a code. He lived by a set of public virtues
that brought strength and purpose to his life and to his country. ”
President George W. Bush, Sep 1, 2018

This week was certainly a week of reflection for our nation as our country’s leaders paid homage to a great American hero — John McCain.  Like many of you, I read and listened to stories and messages about his life and the lives he touched.  The message that hit home the most to this immigrant about a country that I love so dearly was delivered by President George W. Bush at the funeral service for Senator John McCain in Washington DC on September 1, 2018.  I quote:

“….Whatever the cause, it was this combination of courage and decency that defined John’s calling, and closely paralleled the calling of his country.

This combination of courage and decency that makes the American military something new in history. Unrivaled power for good….”

To me, every word and every sentence of President Bush’s speech was powerful….full of meaning and spoke to the fundamental character and beliefs that America and Americans embody to the world.  Being constantly vigilant in not slipping into a thought or action that is “unworthy” of the ideals of this great nation.  And when we do, to hear the voice of John McCain reminding us …”we are better than this.”

I have read the transcript of President Bush’s speech many times.  You can find it here: https://tinyurl.com/y76yrymb

And you can listen to his 7:53-minute speech on youtube here.

 

Now back to BC……

Another great week at BC culminating with the visit from the chair of our Accreditation visiting team on a pre-site visit.

Accreditation Team Chair Visits Campus

Quality assurance of higher education in the United States occurs through the accreditation peer review process. Bakersfield College’s peer review is happening this fall, and our entire campus is eagerly awaiting the site visit the first week of October. In preparation for the visit, our evaluation team chair and the team assistant visited our campus to organize logistics, tour their team room for the visit, and meet with some of the team members involved in the development of the Institutional Self-Evaluation Report.

In typical Renegade fashion, BC faculty, staff, and students reported to work in BC red, prepared to greet our guests. Check out these photos:

Jessica Wojtysiak Nick Stroble Steven Holmes Bernadette Martinez James Thompkins

Thanks to Jessica Wojtysiak, Nick Stroble, Steven Holmes, Bernadette Martinez, and James Thompkins for their help today!

The Administration Building staff proudly showed off their BC red today

The Administration Building staff proudly showed off their BC red today

Special thanks to Tarina Perry, Chris Glaser, Nick Strobel, Steven Holmes, Bernadette Martinez, Jessica Wojtysiak, Carlos Barbaran, Jennfier Marden, June Charles, JoEllen Patterson, Liz Rozell, and Lesley Bonds for organizing the visit and meeting with our evaluators.

Lesley Bonds, Sonya Christian, Liz Rozell, Tarina Perry, Chris Glaser Aug 31 2018

BC Has Strong Presence at KCHCC Business Expo

Both Norma Rojas-Mora and Tamara Baker presented at this year’s Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, showing what a team we have here at BC!  Tamara presented on “Branding Yourself and Your Business,” while Norma was a part of a panel named “Women Empowerment: Climbing the Ladder to Success.” Our very own Professor of History Olivia Garcia was the Co-Chair for the event.  Great job ladies!

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Norma and Olivia on the panel for women’s success stories.

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Tamara Baker presenting on branding

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Norma Rojas-Mora, Olivia Garcia and Tamara Baker

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Norma and Olivia representing BC!

Olivia Garcia CSUB Pres Lynette Zelezny BC Histor Prof Javier LLamas

Olivia, CSU Bakersfield President Lynnette Zelezny, and Javier LLamas

Olivia Garcia and Dolores Huerta

Oliva with Dolores Huerta!

Jay Tamsi Norma Raji Brar of Countryside Market and Restaurants Gabriela Mello of Wells Fargo Olivia

Jay Tamsi, Norma, Raji Brar of Countryside Market and Restaurants, Gabriela Mello of Wells Fargo, and Olivia Garcia

Also present were Armando Trujillo of Veterans Services and Domenica Trinidad of CTE, who had a booth for the expo portion of the event.  Thanks Armando and Domenica!

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Armando Trujillo and Domenica Trinidad at the KCHCC Business and Conference Expo

BC Ag Department Connecting with Community

Chris McCraw has had a busy couple of weeks!  Last week he spent a couple of days with Kern County CA Ag Teachers Association (CATA) to talk about the opportunities available here at Bakersfield College.  CATA has been around since 1920, promoting and improving the teaching of agriculture here in our Golden State!  A special thank you to Chris for actively promoting the BC Ag department and what we offer here!

 

BC Professor David Koeth in LA Art Exhibit

I am so proud of Professor David Koeth!  He has three paintings in LAUNCH LA’S “Intersection,” a juried exhibit at the Korean Cultural Center.  LAUNCH LA explains the exhibit as follows: “An Intersection occurs when two or more paths cross- where cultures, histories, ambitions or chance converge, creating defining moments of decision, denial or opportunity. For some, the paths are riddled with obstacles or even blocked while for others the way is smoothed. For some the moment is fleeting, for others it lasts a lifetime. The artists of ‘Intersection’ respond to these diverging and converging moments that shape their identities, imbue their work and impact their daily lives.”  

 

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Delano Chamber Award

As I mentioned in the last blog, The Delano Chamber of Commerce recognized BC alongside Assemblyman Salas with Education Award. It is always great to share quality time with friends of Bakersfield College.  The Delano Chamber of Commerce Awards, Installation and Membership Appreciation Mixer was a great opportunity to reconnect with many longtime friends.

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Sonya Christian and Rudy Salas' rep

Joseph Lopez, Sonya Christian

Judge Robert Tafoya did the honors of swearing in the new Delano Chamber of Commerce Board Members.  He overhead my story about teaching a class in Delano and that Juan Torres was a student and then became my TA.  I said it was then that I fell in love with the people of Delano.  Judge Tafoya started his remarks by mentioning that story and said that my comments held true for him as well. When he began presiding over the Delano courts, he knew he would be there for a long time, because the people he met were the best. Delano is a true treasure in Kern County and Bakersfield College is proud to be part of the fabric of its community. Thank you Judge Robert Tafoya for your continued work in Delano and support for Bakersfield College!

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With Joseph Lopez of Assemblyman Salas’s office

 

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Rich McCrow, Norma Rojas-Mora, Abel Guzman, Michele Bresso, Jaime Lopez, Rachel Lopez, and Juan Torres

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Abel Guzman, Raquel Lopez, Sonya Christian, Jaime Lopez, and Juan Torres

Again, I’d like to thank the Delano Chamber of Commerce and the city of Delano for showing us so much support.  You can check out coverage on the award in this Delano Record article: https://bit.ly/2PUd1dK

Brandon & Norma Visit Telemundo

Norma Gaspar welcomed Brandon Urry as the new Sports Information Director for Renegade Athletics.  It was a pleasant surprise to hear Brandon share his experiences in Argentina where he learned Spanish over fifteen years ago and to see how he has retained the language.  Brandon was excited to share about the sports programs and the upcoming football season. Norma Rojas-Mora encouraged the community to get involved and support Renegade Athletics.  The rooter bus service was highlighted as an opportunity to travel to away games. The sports season has started at Bakersfield College so come on out and support your favorite including football, soccer and volleyball.  Todos Somos BC!

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Norma Rojas-Mora and Brandon Urry on Telemundo!

If you haven’t seen the interview, you can check it out HERE.

BC Has Arrived in Lost Hills!

Starting from conversations that began late last year, BC is finally in Lost Hills!  Here are some photos of when we visited Lost Hills and here is the link to the February 2018 blog post:

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2018/02/10/bc-celebrating-black-history-month-we-are-bc/

Wonderful Tour Group Photo

Admin Team, Lynda Resnick, and Children

The North Kern Adult Education Team who is a part of Rural Initiatives has launched supportive services out in Lost Hills to prepare future Renegades for the EMLS program and eventually CTE certificates as well as degree pathways. The Wonderful company is collaborating with the Adult Education team to bridge the Lost Hills residents’ education gap by encouraging employees to take advantage of BC services offered. Adult Education staff will be onsite at the Lost Hills Community Center every Monday evening to provide language development workshops, as well as transitional and matriculation support to the future renegades. Lost Hills residents will have the opportunity to continue their education in Wasco as we increase offerings in the upcoming semesters.

 

Delano Gets New Carpet.  Small investments make a difference 🙂

BC Delano Campus had new carpet put in three of their classrooms and two of their labs!  

 

Dual Enrollment

Bakersfield College Dual Enrollment team provided a full breadth of training to approximately 60 Kern High School District dual enrollment instructors in preparation for the fall term. Hosted at the KHSD District Board Room, Dr. Dean McGee and Dr. Ben Sherley provided an introduction outlining the many reasons to support dual enrollment and the benefits to students. Director of Outreach and Dual Enrollment, Steve Watkin, and Dean of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez, shared the strong effort and support from Bakersfield College for both instructors and students.

Coverage of topics ranging from enrollment and FERPA to syllabus construction and assessment were provided by Jacqueline Lau, Hilda Rodriguez, Dr. Anna Laven and Mark Osea. Additional information was provided by Abel Guzman, Fernando Lara, Dr. Emmanuel Mourtzanos, Raquel Lopez and Cindy Collier. Participants actively participated in thoughtful discussion about their instructional responsibilities and expressed appreciation for the BC efforts to bring college to students. The strength of our partnership, wealth of knowledge and commitment to support dual enrollment was truly impressive!

Alianza Recycling Presents Check to BC Drum Corp.

Alianza Recycling and Recovery LLC held a free electronics recycling event this past April.  On Thursday, Neil Agness of Alianza Recycling presented our very own Tim Heasley with a check, donating all of the proceeds to the BC Drum Corps!  Thank you to Alianza Recycle for your support!

Neil Agness of Alianza and Tim Heasley check

Neil Agness of Alianza presenting BC’s Tim Heasley with their donation.

Former Renegade and Current Dallas Cowboy Tyrone Crawford Subject of Documentary

Our very own head football coach, Jeff Chudy,  was interviewed by the Dallas Cowboys on campus this last month as part of a documentary on the life of former BC football star Tyrone Crawford and his journey to the Dallas Cowboys. Originally from Canada, Tyrone started his college football career here at BC before transferring to Boise State. He now makes a living as an NFL football player. Watch the documentary by clicking HERE.

Tyronne Crawford

Tyronne Crawford in his BC Renegade days!

Ride the Rooter Bus to Football Away Games this Season

Fans wishing to attend football away games and not have to drive themselves will be able to use the BC rooter bus once again this season. Fans wishing to reserve a spot on the bus need to call the athletics department at (661) 395-4269 by 11:00am the Friday before the game they wish to attend. The cost is $25/person (cash only) and is payable on Saturday before boarding the bus. The fare does not cover the price of admission into the game.

  • September 1st vs. Mt. SAC – bus will depart at 2:00pm
  • September 22nd vs. Golden West – bus will depart at 10:00am
  • October 13th vs. Ventura – bus will depart at 3:00pm
  • October 20th vs. Long Beach – bus will depart at 2:00pm
  • November 10th vs. Canyons – bus will depart at 3:30pm

Ride the Rooter Bus

Women’s Soccer opens the season with a Win

The Renegades women’s soccer team opened up the 2018 season with a home victory over West LA at Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night. Our Renegades scored first and never looked back, winning 6-1. This weekend our women’s team will travel north to the bay area to play against Los Medanos College and Napa Valley College. Best of luck and Go Gades!

Renegade Soccer Player on the Field with win 6 to 1

Women’s Golf Opens Season at South Coast Classic

The Renegade Women’s Golf team opened their 2018 season on the road in Ventura at the South Coast Classic hosted by Santa Barbara Community College. On Sunday they played at Olivas Links Golf Course and on Monday they played at Buenaventura Golf Course. Sophomore and second year player Allie Crawley led the charge for the Renegades, shooting a two-day score of 154.

Complete scores for the team are listed below:

  • Allie Crawley – 154
  • Sydney Crawley – 164
  • Elizabeth Nakagawa – 214
  • Breann Bonkosky – 229
  • Ramanda Lara – 260

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Allie Crawley, Sydney Crawley, Elizabeth Nakagawa, Breann Bonkosky and Ramanda Lara

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics on social media. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.  The Renegades will next be in action on Monday, September 10th against Santa Barbara at Santa Barbara Golf Club.

Stay connected with athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

This Week’s Renegade Report

This week’s Renegade Report highlighted our women’s volleyball team. Assistant Coach Lorraine Aguilar and players Jessica Merante and Shyanne Baez talked about their team goals and upcoming season. To watch all four segments from the 8/30 show click this link: http://gogades.com/video/index. To keep up with what’s happening around Renegade Athletics, visit Bakersfield.com (the Californian website) where the show streams live on their homepage each Thursday at 11:00am.

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BC Volleyball players Jessica Merante and Shyanne Baez

Renegade Report

Assistant Volleyball Coach Lorraine Aguilar

BC Partners with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra

BC is once again partnering with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra Next program to provide an enrichment opportunity for many high-school and middle-school students to spend time on our campus prior to attending a symphony concert. Last year, we supported over 100 students. For the 2018-19 season, we anticipate serving over 300 students across six BSO concerts from October to May. In fact, the symphony concert on May 11 will include our very own BC Chamber Singers as guest performers. You won’t want to miss it!

A special word of thanks to Kari Heilman (Executive Director of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra) and Ira Cohen (Founding Member of the BSO Next program) for their grand vision to create a cultural experience in the arts for many students who otherwise would not be able to attend. We are so lucky to have such wonderful community partners. Here’s a picture of the beautiful gift Ira and Kari gave me to recognize BC’s support of BSO Next. I love it!

Sonya - BSO Next

Enjoying my beautiful gift from BSO

Karaoke Knights

On Monday, BCSGA hosted a karaoke event in the Fireside Room to get the campus community prepared for Wednesday’s Student Involvement Festival. Billed as “Karaoke Knights”, students came together to sing karaoke version of popular songs such as “Waterfalls” by TLC and “Smooth” by Santana and Rob Thomas.

 

Student Involvement Festival

This last Thursday, Bakersfield College held it’s 2nd Annual Student Involvement Festival.  This festival is the largest event that takes place during the week-long campus welcome program, and provides the opportunity for students to learn about the Bakersfield College campus and how they can become involved on the campus and in the community.

Dozens of local businesses and community organizations will be in attendance with information booths throughout the campus. Volunteers at the booths will provide students with information about their organizations, sell items, and recruit workers and volunteers.  A huge thank you to Nicky Damania and his team at Student Life for organizing this great event!

 

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BC SouthWest Hosts Pint for a Pass

BC  SouthWest and Houchin Community Blood Bank partnered together and held the first-ever BC SouthWest/Houchin Blood Bank Blood Drive called “Pint for a Pass.”  By donating, students received a free shirt, food and admission to the Kern County Fair. Over 43 pints of blood were received on Thursday ALONE, far surpassing Houchin’s projects and expectations!  This event was a huge success as HCBB collected 48 units, which can potentially help 144 individuals.

Thank you to Stephanie Gibbons and the Houchin Community Blood Bank crew for your hard work, and thank you to BCSGA and KVC for the grant that sponsored the event’s food and drinks.  Also, special thanks to Stephanie Stuart and Theresa Rodriguez for the delicious food, and to Officers Linda Morgan and Ricardo Orozco, Jr. for securing the parking stalls for the buses.  Last but not least, thank you to SouthWest Director Fernando Lara for all of your hard work!  WE ARE BC!

fernando and hbcc crew

Stephanie Gibbons, Fernando Lara and the HCBB crew

I want to thank BC Southwest for stepping up to support our community. It especially warmed my heart to hear that Professor Don Turney provided an extra credit opportunity for students in his Psychology courses who donated blood. Many of Professor Turney’s students took the Renegade Shuttle from the Panorama Campus to the Southwest for this service opportunity. Thank you, Don, for exemplifying the collegial spirit we share at BC, but also for directly benefiting our students,  our Kern County community, and likely beyond!

 

Keep those cars away from campus and ride smart 🙂

Students, faculty and staff, plz carpool to work or join me and ride the express bus from the southwest to the main campus.  That’s what Mindy Wilmot and I do!

Sonya Christian and Mindy Wilmot August 27 2018

 

Float-In

You’ve heard of a drive-in, but have you experienced a “float-in?” Students brought their own floatation devices and watched the movie “The Shallows”… nothing like a good shark movie to make you want to have your feet dangling in water! Thanks to Student Life and Nicky Damania for planning such a wonderful past two weeks!  

 

As I wrap up this post on September 2, 2018, that day after John McCain was laid to rest, I am inspired to ensure that Bakersfield College continues to live up to the principles and virtues this man had for this great country and its people.

….. He was courageous, with a courage that frightened his captors, and inspired his countrymen. …..  He respected the dignity inherent in every life, a dignity that does not stop at borders and cannot be erased by dictators.

Perhaps above all John detested the abuse of power, could not abide bigots and swaggering. He spoke up for the little guy, forgotten people in forgotten places. …….

Where does such strength and conviction come from? Perhaps from a family where honor was in the atmosphere or from the firsthand experience of cruelty which left physical reminders that lasted his whole life. Or from some deep well of moral principle. Whatever the cause, it was this combination of courage and decency that defined John’s calling, and closely paralleled the calling of his country.

Bakersfield College is a place of courage and decency,
where no student is forgotten and the dignity of each is respected.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as the 10th president of Bakersfield College.

We are BC!

sonya christian at Rotary April 30 2015

 

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!

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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!

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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

We are Bakersfield!

Good Morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 21, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade.

The Renegade Red and White Roses are bursting out creating a joyous walkway into my home.

Great week at BC and in our community.  Let me start with the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

Thursday was the 28th annual Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference and Bakersfield College staff and faculty were in full force attending the workshops and tuning into the messages from keynote speakers. The conference allows women in business to network, find mentors, and develop friendships with to advance their careers and or businesses. Many of the workshops focus on topics from a feminine perspective and included topics on health and wellness addressing healthy lifestyles, nutrition and breast cancer. Communication workshops addressed techniques for overcoming lessons learned as girls to be more effective in the business world. There were several on maintaining the balance of work and family.

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Josie Gullian and Endee Grijalva

The Conference also held many empowering workshops on leadership such as “Secure Your Place at the Table – Women Leading in Male Dominant Territory” by District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, Assembly Member Shannon Grove, and Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez.

While the name and focus of the conference is women, men are also welcome and there were many workshops that were gender neutral on many business topics including business strategies, leadership and finance. Richard Chapman, head of Kern EDC, presented on “Kern County’s Economic and Workforce Development Opportunities and Possibilities.” The keynote speakers and many of the workshop speakers were motivational for everyone.

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The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference is a major supporter of the R.O.S.E. (Realizing Options for Student Excellence) mentor program. The program matches high school students with mentors and has several seminars, to aid student mentees in recognizing their value and self-worth. Topics for the seminars focus on careers, communication, balancing life, money, safety and building self-confidence. The mentees receive a scholarship to cover the cost of attending the BWBC. Conference attendees were impressed by one of the mentees that spoke about the benefits of being in the program and to encourage all the women present to become a mentor. This is a wonderful program and I encourage all of you to consider becoming a mentor.

Like the R.O.S.E. program, BC encourages and mentors students to better themselves through education and gave some BC students the opportunity to attend the BWBC. EOPS/CARE/CalWORKS purchased two tables, and sponsored fourteen women from all three programs to attend the 2018 Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference. These ladies are all single parents who are striving to achieve a better life for their families through education. The importance of exposing our students to different events such as the BWBC is vital to their growth, and development as students, professionals, and individuals. They were able to develop networking skills, meeting highly successful women, and gaining valuable business knowledge that will empower them to become strong leaders.

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Debi Anderson, Steve Watkin, and Sandi Taylor at BC’s Booth

The 2018 luncheon keynote speak was Laila Ali, undefeated boxing champion, television host and entrepreneur. She is also well known for her famous father Mohamed Ali and treated BWBC attendees to several picture of her young self with her famous and doting father. She told us of many of the trials in her life that she overcame to be a successful and very driven business woman. Her stories were relatable to what many women and girls face in this time and she is a great example of encouragement for all women.

Joseph Luiz has a Bakersfield Californian Article mentioning highlights from the day.

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Kimberly Bligh and Mary Jo Pasek

i-gmdtwhz-x3It was great to be invited to be the closing keynote at the Women’s Business Conference.  BC women leaders gave birth to this event. Phyllis Hullett – In 1989, BC professor started the Bakersfield Business Womens Conf. as an idea during the International Year of the Woman. She gathered friends and coworkers, and out of one meeting of 12 women and 1 lone man, Pat Shaffer, Dean of Development at Bakersfield College, agreed to serve on the executive board. The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference was born.

I focused on the important guiding tools of Choice, Commitment, Compassion, and Community while interweaving music from the song “We are the World.”  The session concluded by having about 25 women leaders on the stage in red We are Bakersfield t-shirts singing We are the World with the BC Chamber Singers.

I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever and by the end of my talk, I was surrounded on stage by talented musicians, community leaders, fellow educators, friends, and family. We are Bakersfield! 

Loved Robin Mangarin Scott’s introduction of me in that beautiful voice.  Robin was representing the sponsors of the keynote — Dignity health and CBCC.

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I want to start by thanking Heidi Scott.  If it wasn’t for Heidi, I would not have had the courage to do the music.

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Heidi Scott, Sonya Christian

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We invited the whole audience to stand and join us in song.

 

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Kaya Leyendecker and Heidi Scott

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The Chamber Singers had their Spring Concert at the BC Indoor Theater the same evening.  Yet they decided to come our and support me and do We are the World..  Thank you Jen Garrett.  Your energy is astounding and you are out there constantly giving to others.

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BC Chamber Singers

Was so happy to have women leaders from Delano join us.  Thank you April Gregerson for organizing this.  and thank you Rosalina Rivera and Sandra Rivera.

Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Sonya Christian, April Gregerson

Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Sonya Christian, April Gregerson

Thank you to all these fabulous busy women who showed up support the event.

Community Leaders

Liz Rozell, April Gregerson, Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Ingrid Lake, Cathy Abernathy, Raji Brar, Immani Brar

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Pam Rose, Mia Cifuentes, Victoria, Lilly Agbalog, Cheryl Scott, Lauren Skidmore

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Trustee Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Michael Bowers

 

Cathy Abernathy and Sonya Christian

Cathy Abernathy, Sonya Christian

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Cheryl Scott, Sonya Christian

Thank you Norma Rojas-Mora for helping me recruit the women leaders in our community.

Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas Mora, Lisa Kent

Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora, Lisa Kent

Was happy to meet Bethany Rice, Billie Jo Rice’s daughter.  Beautiful, smart young woman.  And then the lighting and sound guys, Manny Gomez and Ryan McCallah, who let me know they were also the ones who did the work in setting up the lighting and sound systems in BC’s newly remodeled Indoor Theater!

 

 

Thank you to the 2018 Executive Board, Diane Williams, Norma Rojas-Mora, Marisol ONeil, Susan Spears, Arleana Waller, Diane Williams, Christina Springstaad, Irma Cervantes, Tayna Nichols, Deanna Blaise, Marelle Williams, LaMeka Ross, Leigh Pozas, and Colleen Bauer. bwbc-group-768x513

Thank you for being great sports and wearing the We are Bakersfield t-shirt and joining us on stage

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Thank you to Manny De Los Santos, William Velasquez, Monika Scott, Jennifer Serratt, and Asha Chandy.  Here are some photos of the folks behind the scenes.

Loved this photo of William Velasquez relaxing after the session.

William Velasquez

 

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BC Crew in Attendance

Kern County Black Chamber Honors Bakersfield College

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Bakersfield College were honored by the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce with the Outstanding Corporate Member Award. In accepting the award, I acknowledged the efforts of all those who have worked hard on the African American Initiative and Dr. Zav Dadabhoy for being an “equity” champion and finding the necessary resources to support the equity agenda.

I specifically recognized the efforts of Dr. Paula Parks, Umoja Community lead, in increasing the success of Black students on campus, and Mr. Steve Watkin, Director of Outreach, in increasing their access and contributing to BC’s equity agenda. I then handed the award to Steve who has been leading the AAI effort on campus.

Steve Watkin

 

BC had two tables that included administrators, faculty, staff, and Umoja students.

Sonya Christian, Steve Watkin and BC receiving award at KCBCC

Also honored at 15th Annual Gala was CSUB President Dr. Horace Mitchell with the Lifetime Achievement Award. I will miss you Horace when you retire.  Loved seeing Cindy Pollard being recognized as the Business Woman of the Year.  Enjoyed catching up with Jim Baldwin (who won the award for Outstanding Community Organization) and Rudy Salas. Spotted Danielle Hillard, Michelle Miller-Galaz and Nick Hill and snapped a picture.

Jim Baldwin, Sonya Christian, Rudy Salas April 20 2018

Enjoyed catching up with Mayor Karen Goh who is a big supporter of education.

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Sonya Christian April 20 2018 croppedThe keynote speaker for the event was Mathew Knowles, Beyonce’s father… what a treat!  Have a picture of him with Shannon Grove and Karen Goh.

Congratulations to all other award recipients:
Cindy Pollard, the Distinguished Businesswoman Award,
James Luckey, Jr. of the News Observer, Distinguished Businessman Award,
Judge Gloria Cannon with the Business Pioneer Award,
CSUB President Horace Mitchell, the Lifetime Achievement Award
Barrington Lewis, the Outstanding New Business Award,
Sharron Lehrer, the Outstanding Young Achievers Award, and Jim Baldwin of BARC, Outstanding Community Based Organization Award.

Thank you Kern County Black Chamber (KCBCC) for recognizing Bakersfield College. Thank you Richard Soberanis, CEO of the Chamber.  And congratulations Nathan Banks…looking forward to great things under your chairmanship of the Chamber Board.

KCBCC has been a great partner of Bakersfield College and supported us in 2016 with Measure J.  I am sure we will continue to work closely together for many years to come.

Social Justice and Health Hackathon at BC

30653393_10215531998558279_9031222892318162944_nThe preliminary panel kicked off this years Hackathon and really set the stage for a fantastic and meaningful event.  Each of the panel members discussed what were the pressing issues and the solutions they wanted to explore. This helped the teams form around the issues and begin developing ideas.  Over the next three days, teams worked hard to develop these concepts and then competed in a 3 minute pitch, one page community impact report, and technology competition.

Thank you to Mayor Karen Goh for attending the kick off and inspiring the student teams.

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Mayor Karen Goh inspires at the Hackathon Kick Off

Thank you to the Preliminary Session on Health Inequality Challenges and Solution panelists including, moderator Kiyoshi Tomono, Genevieve Gale, Sandy Woo, Brynn Carrigan, Michelle Corson, Christy Leyvas,and Jack Becker.

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Eddie Rangel, Sandy Woo, Karen Goh, Kiyoshi Tomono, Jennifer Self, Sarah Baron

By the end of the competition, 11 projects had been submitted and community partners have expressed interest in funding their ideas! All the student groups submitted great projects and please do stay in touch with us for years to come. Now for the finalists and winning team!

Project Kern Air- 1st Place

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Created an app concept to raise awareness on air quality in Kern

Congratulations to: Noe Ramirez, Victoria Corrales, Troy Scott, Justin Morales, and
Krystal Reynes

 

R.A.H.T ( Renegade Against Human Trafficking)- 2nd Place

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Created a tech tool to help connect those who are victims of human trafficking with help.

Congratulations to: Janneth Guarcas Garcia, Alexander Glascock,  Carlos Hernandez, Maria Cabrera, and Stefanie Medina

Sex shouldn’t make you next- 3rd Place

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Created a website for youth to raise awareness sexual transmitted diseases and also help connect resources to those who are risk of a STD.

Congratulations to: Yajaira Hernandez, Elizabeth Martinez, Jessica Macias, Jessica Jaime, and Crystal Quintevo.

Beyond the winners, it was about the team work, the sharing of ideas and networking with partners.  Special thanks to the sponsors and the great support from BCSGA clubs.

Can’t wait for next years event! This one keeps getting bigger and better! Check out my blog titled “The Renegade Experience is Incredible” from last years equally awesome event.

Jess Nieto Memorial Conference: Exploring Chicano Studies at BC

The conference really hit home…It felt like a family reunion.” Francisco Barroso, Bakersfield College student.

Jess Nieto Memorial Conference

On Tuesday, April 17 the Levan Center for the Humanities hosted the first annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference: Exploring Chicano Studies at Bakersfield College.  Named after the late Dr. Jesus “Jess” Nieto, a former faculty member and Dean of the BC Delano Center in the 1970s, the conference honored Dr. Nieto’s legacy in creating the first Chicano Studies curriculum implemented at Bakersfield College.  A Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), this conference celebrated the cultural contributions of Bakersfield’s Chicano/Latino community to the history of Bakersfield and beyond.

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Corny Rodriguez speaking in the Levan Center

The conference featured two panel presentations and a keynote address.  Prior to the panels, Corny Rodriguez welcomed guests, as well as presenting, along with moderator Octavio Barajas a certificate of recognition on my behalf to Professor Rosa Garza in acknowledgement for her more than twenty years of teaching at Bakersfield College, as well as serving as faculty advisor to MEChA.  The first panel consisted of former and current student members of the Bakersfield College student organization MEChA, or Movimieno Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán.

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The second panel consisted of an academic showcase by Bakersfield College faculty members Professors Olivia Garcia and Javier Llamas, who discussed the history of women in farm labor activism and the historic Benito Juarez Hall in East Bakersfield as a site of community activism among local Mexican Americans for the past century.  Professor Garcia’s talk on the late Esther Uranday, one of the longest serving staff members of the United Farm Workers, was particularly meaningful given that Esther’s daughter and family members were in attendance.

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Professor Gonzalo Santos of CSU Bakersfield rounded out the faculty panel by discussing the personal of history of Jess Nieto as an international activist, through his various educational and social justice ties with Cuba, Central America, and China, including a number of educational exchange programs Dr. Nieto organized with education groups since the 1970s.  The final presentation included a book talk by Professor Ralph Ambruster-Sandoval of UC Santa Barbara who spoke about his latest book Starving For Justice: Hunger Strikes, Spectacular Speech, and the Struggle for Dignity (University of Arizona Press 2016).  Guests were also treated to a special performance by Bakersfield College alumnus and world-renown percussionist Louie Cruz Beltran who regaled the audience with a lesson on the history of Afro-Latino rhythms and Chicano music.

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Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia speaking in the Levan Center

See all the photos at Smugmug.

A very special thank you to Adjunct Professor of History Octavio Barajas for helping organize and moderate this event, as well as Dr. Oliver Rosales, Professor of History and Faculty Coordinator for the Social Justice Institute of Bakersfield College for sponsoring this event through the National Endowment for the Humanities grant “Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley,” as well as the Bakersfield College Student Government Association’s CCA Grant.

I also enjoyed seeing Octavio on KGET early Tuesday morning.  You can see the clip here.

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And did you miss his community voices piece?  It is available here.

It’s a joy to work with faculty and staff who love what they do and are so passionate about our students and community. Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

Renegade Athletics

Softball: We won the Conference Championship

Softball conference champions April 19 2018

Nathan Ortiz4Baseball: The baseball team sits in first place in the Western State-South Conference with three games remaining in the regular season.

The Renegades record is 19-18 overall and 13-4 in conference.  BC has won 7 out of their last ten games and are one game ahead of LA Pierce in the standings.  The Renegades have to win two of their last three games to guarantee themselves at least a tie for the conference title.

Team Photo

With Sandi Taylor on Saturday, April 14th after another win.

Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian April 14 2018

Men’s and Women’s Swimming: The men’s swimming team is in fourth place and the women’s swimming team is in second place after day one of the Western State Conference Championships.  The Championships, which are being held at the William A. Wheeler Aquatic Center, on BC’s Panorama campus will continue through Saturday afternoon.

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The Bakersfield College men’s swimming team is in fourth place after day one of the Western State Conference Championships.  Cael Osborn and Mark Glossbrenner were on two relay team that finished in the top four and also finished in the top three in an individual event.  The complete list of BC’s top finishers is below.

The BC women’s swim team sits in second place after day one of the Western State Conference Championship.  Niquelette Rimer had third place finish in 50 free and was part of two relay teams that finished in the top three and Jennifer Quan was part of two relay teams that finished in the top three.  The top BC finishers from day one are listed below.

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Jennifer Quan

Renegade Pulse Health Fair

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Bakersfield College is distinctive in so many ways, and one important way is in how we live our core value of health and wellness. The health of a community is directly related to literacy and education in general, and BC has many activities that promote healthy living, including the 18th Annual Renegade Pulse Health Fair.

The event is part resource fair and part celebration of the programs, agencies and services that support the health and success of students and  the community at large. With over 31,000 students, we are a community nested in a community. So, thank you to all who support healthy higher education, from green transportation to our campus facilities, Golden Empire Transit, to quality licensed Community Connection for Child Care.

Teena Bensusen (left) and Amber Smithson from the Behavioral Health Hospital host a booth at the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Teena Bensusen (left) and Amber Smithson from the Behavioral Health Hospital host a booth at the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

The Renegade Pulse Health Fair brought together healthcare organizations, substance abuse support groups, law enforcement agencies and businesses from across the community to educate students on how to live a safer, healthier life.

BC’s Public Safety Department booth had equipment used during Public Safety’s Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Trainings, which are offered for free to students and staff throughout the semester. Student Cadets also answered questions about Public Safety’s cadet program, in which BC students have the opportunity to work part-time helping ensure safety on campus. Public Safety is looking for cadets for the Fall 2018 semester, so if you’re a BC student who is interested in joining the program, contact the office at 395-4554 for more information.

Members of the Student Health and Wellness Advisory Commitee pose inside the Health Hut during the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Members of the Student Health and Wellness Advisory Committee pose inside the Health Hut during the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Thank you to the Student Health and Wellness Center including Dr. Ray Purcell and Stella Ponce for putting together the Renegade Pulse Health Fair, as well as all of the organizations who came out to support a healthier Kern County. See more photos at BC’s Smugmug.

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Revisiting Two Cultures

The disciplines of the humanities and the sciences can feel as if they’re worlds apart, but UC Santa Barbara professor Alendra Chang spoke at the Levan Center on Thursday to explain how she brings those two worlds together through the study of environmental humanities, which examines themes of ecology in art and mass media.

Alenda Chang

BC’s Energizing Humanities Grant funded the discussion from Dr. Chang, which was titled “Revisiting the Two Cultures.” Many artists, writers and others have begun to explore ways that art and popular culture can raise awareness of the importance of environmental causes, using data from scientific research to inform their work. Essays in scientific academic journals, and several new academic journals have signaled the emergence of Ecomedia as a field of study that examines cultural representations of the environment in media.

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Alendra Chang presents at the Levan Center

Environmental engagement in the humanities combines social and scientific engagement. Journalists, artists and others may feel uncomfortable with scientific approaches, just as many scientists may have trouble engaging in the humanities, but there is emerging awareness of the need to work together to find solutions to environmental problems.

Within the field of environmental humanities, Chang studies the ecology and ecomedia of video games. As editor of the Growing Games blog and a professor of media studies, Chang examines the carbon footprint created by e-waste and the excessive power used by gaming PCs, which can consume the equivalent power of three energy-efficient refrigerators, Chang said. Chang also attempts to dispel the notion that excessive video game use makes people feel detached from nature, citing multiple studies indicating that virtual reality can make people more conscious of their external environment and motivate them to take action on climate change.

During her time as a graduate student at UC Berkeley, Chang worked on an unpublished game about air quality based in the Central Valley that used actual wind speed and air quality data from the area. In the game, you play as a character from Fresno with asthma who must navigate how to keep their lungs clean in one of the worst places for respiratory health in America. In the game, the player’s asthma functions as a superpower that helps them perceive the environment in a different way.

Within the indie and academic games spaces, there have been a number of works that explore environmental humanist themes, Chang said. Some examples she listed included ThatGameCompany’s “Flower”, in which you play as the wind to bring life back to plants; Campo Santo’s “Firewatch”, which is about a man who takes a job as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness; and “Walden, a game”, a project funded by the National Endowment of the Humanities that is essentially a digital recreation of Henry David Thoreau’s book “Walden”, one of the seminal works of the American transcendentalism movement in the 19th Century.

delano-grant-logo-neh_logo_horizontal_rgbWarm thank you to Alendra Chang for coming to BC, as well as Josh Ottum, Oliver Rosales and Andrew Bond from the Energizing Humanities cohort for providing a great learning opportunity for those who have never heard of environmental humanities or didn’t realize that computer games were capable of helping tackle important social issues.

Seen on Facebook

It was fabulous to see Jazz Day at BC gain some attention from the National Association for Music Education. Our local KCMEA, Kern County Music Educators Association, is a chapter of CMEA, which is an affiliate of NAfME. Congratulations to Kris Tiner and all our performing arts and music faculty, staff, and students.

Give them a Like and share by visiting this link on Facebook!

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College Council

Jason Stratton

Jason Stratton Presenting at College Council

It’s an exciting time to be at BC. As we gear up for Accreditation this year, our editing team revealed BC’s ISER (Institutional Self Evaluation Report) at College Council on Friday. College Council is a collegial, consultative, and oversight body designed to serve the good of the College.

Since the group met in Delano, we also broadcast the ISER reveal to the Panorama campus.

ISER reveal Broadcast

Sharon Bush, Kimberly Nickell, and Kristin Rabe tune in to the ISER Reveal from Panorama

Special thank you to the Editing Team including Nicole Griffin, Sarah Baron, Lesley Bonds, Sondra Keckley, the incredible Nick Strobel and EVERYONE who has contributed to BC’s Self Evaluation Report.  As Jason Stratton reminds us – It is OUR story!

ISER Team

Nicole Griffin, Sarah Baron, Lesley Bonds, Sondra Keckley, and Nick Strobel

Entree to Employment

On April 17, 2018, Bakersfield College and Kern High School District ROC teamed up to host the Biannual Entrée to Employment event. This career event brings together students and industry professionals over a fine dining experience to highlight social etiquette, conversations about personal and professional experiences, necessary soft skills, workforce expectations, education requirements, diversity of employment and career ladder opportunities.

The evening featured four different programs: Electronics/Robotics, Mechanized Ag, Child Development and Criminal Justice. While the industry professionals and students were busy networking, the Bakersfield College and ROC faculty dined separately to discuss articulation partnerships and dual enrollment opportunities. Thank you to the Career and Technical Education Department for making this night happen and a special thank you to the Renegade Room, Chef Suzanne and her Culinary Arts students for delivering a 5-star cuisine meal that delighted participants. Overall the event was a huge success and a true demonstration of our expanding partnerships with the community.

CTE: Business and Computer Science Employer Panel

Thursday April 19, 2018 the Career and Technical Education Department hosted a Business and Computer Science Employer Panel for students in the program. Professionals in attendance included: Leo Bautista, Senior Recruiter – Talent Acquisition, The Wonderful Company; Steven Alexander, Director of IT Security –  Kern Community College District; Keith Wolaridge, Owner – Professional Development Firm; Scott Burton, CEO – On-Stack; Clayton Montgomery, Certified Information Systems Security – Area Energy; Trulaine Woken, Owner – Cones Health Food; and Debbie Butler, Secretary Treasurer & Project Manager – On Stack. What started as an information only session blossomed into a networking event that allowed our students to exchange information with employers, submit their resumes for consideration, and engage in preliminary interviews. Thank you to all of the employers who stayed almost 2 hours longer to provide these exciting opportunities for our students. Special thank you to Beth Harrison, Job Development Specialist and Vikki Coffee, Job Development Specialist, for coordinating the event and Martin Perez, CCPT2 Manager, Master of Ceremonies for the event whose humor, grasp of the subject matter, and navigation of the dialog, cultivated an organic and insightful exchange between community professionals and students.

CTE Panel (2)

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Noche de Cultura

Thank you to the BC MEChA Club and the Office of Student Life for putting on a wonderful program with its annual Noche de Cultura, a colorful evening filled with an array of singers, musicians and other performers. Noche de Cultura was held April 13 at the Outdoor Theater.

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The night opened with Aztecan Blessing, followed by Jammin Island Hula, Group Folklorico Escuelas Unidas, Spoken Word by Tezozomoc, Carbajal’s Martial ArtsAcademy, and Banshee in the Kitchen. One big highlight was seeing the performance by SGA President and MECHA President Dezi Von Manos who gave a tribute to the late Tejana superstar Selena.

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Dezi Von Manos, BCSGA President

Ballet Folklorico Huaztecalli closed the evening with an awestruck series of performances. A special thanks to the program committee, Dezi Von Manos, president; Emmanuel Limaco, ICC Rep; Belinda Lopez Rickett, treasurer; Francis Benavente, member; and faculty adviser, Prof. Olivia Garcia.

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BC Drum Corps

BC’s Drum Corps is competing in Dayton, Ohio at the Winter Guard International Championships! Go Gades! The competition can be watched online at www.flomarching.com/ 

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Accessibility for All

This week, Bakersfield College had the pleasure of hosting an expert in accessibility, Gaeir Dietrich Director of the High Tech Center Training Unit (HTCTU) of the California Community Colleges, for two training sessions and a presentation over two days on Accessibility for All. You can read a short bio about Gaeir on the Accessibility for All Flyer.

On Tuesday, Gaier trained over 20 Bakersfield College faculty, staff and community guests from the Department of Rehabilitation and Kern Regional Center. She taught the difficult and intricate skills of making PDF forms accessible to everyone whether they use assistive technology or not.

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Twenty-four BC faculty, staff and community guests attended Wednesday’s Accessible Documents trainings. We were pleased to have employees of Kern Regional Center, Taft College, College of the Sequoias and Department of Rehabilitation join us to learn about making Word documents accessible. We all think we know how to use Word, though most of us are self-taught. Gaeir teaches how to make documents accessible, and in so doing, teaches how to use Word to our advantage.

Many of her lessons, just as with the forms, teach a better understanding of using the software that allows us to work smarter not harder. She teaches the helpful acronym: LIST for access! The lessons teach about Links, Images, Structure and Tables. Many of the attendees, just like the attendees for Forms, were heard to exclaim, “that’s how you do it” and “I always wanted to be able to do that, but I didn’t know how.”

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The Accessibility for All presentation followed where Gaeir explained the difference between access and accommodation when it comes to satisfying the legal requirements established by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires public entities to make its resources accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act concerns access for everyone, ensuring that all content posted electronically, as well as any software procured, can be used by anyone. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act concerns the provision of “auxiliary aids and services” to accommodate individuals with a particular impairment.

Everyone deserves the right to an education, and educational institutions have an obligation to ensure that we are not depriving anyone of the ability to achieve upward mobility and accomplish their dreams. Community colleges in particular must be sensitive to this issue due to the marginalized populations we serve.

“[Accessibility] is about allowing people the opportunity to step forward, which is what community colleges are all about,” Dietrich said. “By learning to make things accessible, you can make an important impact on someone’s life.”

Dietrich also offered advice for how to test accessibility in a new piece of software that schools are attempting to procure, as well as a few implementation models for how to enforce accessibility standards. Throughout the presentation, Dietrich emphasized the importance of finding the financial and personnel support to tackle accessibility issues from the top of the organizational structure on down. Remember if it is “DUMP’ed (Developed, Used, Maintained or Procured) on campus it must be accessible!”

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Terri Goldstein and Gaeir Dietrich

I would like to thank Gaeir Dietrich for coming to our campus to provide this important information and training for the BC faculty, staff and our community. We hope to have you return soon. A special thank you to Terri Goldstein, for arranging Gaier’s presence on campus, and inviting those interested both at BC and from others in the community. Thank you Kristin Rabe, Tracy Lovelace, Pam Rivers, Aricia Leighton and the BC Accessibility Task Force for supporting Terri. Thank you Tarina Perry for making arrangements and organizing all the events on campus. Thank you Eric Sabella and the Food Services staff for the delicious food and Jack Hernandez and the Levan Center for use of the Levan Center for the presentation. I would also like to thank all of the faculty and staff who took time at the end of the semester to learn more about accessibility.

According to the US Census Bureau approximately  19% of the US population has some form of disability, but whatever the number, BC strives to make sure there are no barriers to accessibility for anyone in the community.

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Student Success Stories

This is the time of year I am especially excited to hear student success stories and what our Renegades are planning to do after graduation. Ensuring that students can transfer to continue their studies and/or get jobs in their career of choice is our number one goal. Here are two wonderful examples I heard of this week. Congratulations!

Fredrico Navarro has been acccepted to UC Irvine Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Valeria Tapia has been accepted to UC Santa Barbara in Biology.

Special Delivery from Edwards Air Force Base

i-kwrmksh-x2The Edwards Air Force Base Civilian-Military Support Group is a non-profit organization that helps provide services to soldiers living at Edwards Air Force Base. The organization recently sent BC a book documenting its over 25-year history of making life a little better for those who dedicate their lives to serving our country.

The group hosts fundraising events that have helped provide an Internet Café for the officers’ dormitory complex, the Flags of Honor Memorial Park, and other resources for residents at the base. The book titled “25 Years Support Warriors” honors all of the organization’s contributions to the base over the years, and copies are being sent to US Air Force installations around the world as an example of how military bases can form important partnerships with their surrounding communities.  Thank you to Allen Hoffman for sending the book, which is now housed in our Veterans Resource Center.

Bakersfield Homeless Center Fundraiser

On Wednesday, the Bakersfield Homeless Center had a great turnout at their Annual Drive Thru Lunch Fundraiser. The lunch pickup took place at Compassion Corner at 22nd and L behind the KGET studios . All the proceeds went to helping families experiencing homelessness.

Fundraiser lunch

Here’s a picture of Edie Nelson’s husband John Nelson, who picked up the special lunch for staff in the President’s Office who wanted to support this great cause. Thank you John, and thanks to all who contributed to this annual fundraiser!

John Nelson

CCCCO in Bakersfield.

Loved having lunch with Van Ton-Quinlivan, Executive Vice Chancellor of Technology and Workforce Development, when she was in Bakersfield.

Von Ton Quinllivan visits Bakersfield April 16 2018

Ed Coghlan, John Means, Van Ton-Quinlivan, Sonya Christian, Cindy Collier, Craig Hayward

Fun photos from Garden Fest:

Love this picture of “Uncle Paul” as Abby, Lily and Lexy Garrett call Paul Beckworth in this picture with Sandra Beckworth.

Paul Beckworth, Sandra Beckworth, Abby Garrett, Lily Garrett, Lexy Garrett April 21 2018

The Vice Presidents enjoying their saturday with their families.  Including little Miss Mae.

 

Fun photo of Tom Gelder

Very happy to see Chancellor Tom Burke at Garden Fest

Tom Burke with Corny Rodriguez

 

 

We are the World!
We are Bakersfield!
We are BC!

 

 

Sonya Christian April 20 2018 cropped

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Time Flies When You’re at BC!

Can you believe it’s already July? Where does the time go?

Good morning, it is Saturday, July 1, 2017 and such a wonderful day to be a Renegade

Jury Duty

As we approach Independence Day, the right to a trial by jury is one of the primary factors contributing to America’s decision to fight for independence. Jury rights were written into Article III of the US Constitution and the Sixth Amendment, which guarantees all Americans “the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed”. In contrast to the magistrate process popular in 18th Century Europe, where the judges lead the prosecution, the US legal system forces each side to conduct its own investigation, present evidence and argue its side in open court.

As it happens, I spent much of my time last week on Jury Duty and was reminded daily of two things. First, how much I love the community of Delano and second, how thankful I am to live in a society that gives every citizen a voice and a way to serve and contribute.

McNamara and Horace MitchellThe Judge who did the orientation in Bakersfield was Judge McNamara, a previous faculty at CSUB. I found this CSUB blog post which shared photos and the story of when Judge McNamara was appointed. Both he and the Judge Tafoya in Delano had significant respect for veterans.

I enjoyed the short drive from Bakersfield to Delano daily. Dr. Oliver Rosales mentioned in an article last year that the 99 has been “dubbed the most dangerous road in America” but that he, too, enjoys his drives to Delano. In the article, he mentions the fields surrounding the city and cleverly says BC Delano is surrounded by “fields of dreams.”

After spending three days in Jury Duty, I wanted to learn more about the Delano Court. The California Courts website says,

The Superior Court of Kern County operates two facilities in northern Kern County: the Shafter/Wasco Branch in Shafter, and the Delano/McFarland Branch Courthouse, also known as the North Kern Regional Court, in Delano. The Delano facility serves the communities of Delano, Elmo, Famoso, McFarland, Pond, Richgrove, Vineland, and other outlying rural areas. This court also handles cases from two neighboring prisons: Kern Valley State Prison and North Kern State Prison.

It’s incredible to think of the large area that Delano services.

Robert Tafoya MArch 28 2015 from TBCMy week of service reframed my thinking on Jury Duty.   Jury duty is not only a good thing to do, but also one of the most important ways we can be responsible citizens. It is an opportunity to make use of our mind and voice… while making it count on matters that are life changing and profound. Jurors have a tremendous responsibility and what an honor it is to be trusted as a collective of regular citizens. A guilty or not guilty verdict will and can change a life forever.

Also, it was a real treat watching Judge Robert Tafoya in action.  He is one of the most authentic individuals I know.  Thank you Judge Tafoya for all that you do for our communities of Bakersfield and Delano. Check out this piece on Robert Tafoya, March 28, 2014, in the Bakersfield Life Magazine of The Bakersfield Californian titled What I am Reading.

Photo: Rod Thornburg of TBC

http://www.bakersfield.com/bakersfield_life/what-i-m-reading-judge-robert-tafoya/article_c218bd28-cdf2-5fe4-aa53-9ec272b3e8b6.html

Student Success Retreat

On Monday, we held a student success retreat which focused on understanding real student data, beginning the process of taking action through the Completion Coaching Communities Structure, identifying students who are off the path in some way, and helping them get back on path to completing their educational goals.

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Discipline faculty, counselors, educational advisors, and the entire management team gathered in groups organized by our ten Learning and Career Pathways.  Each team of Completion Coaches reviewed the schedules of the students in their Learning and Career Pathway.  Using the “Completion Coach Student Evaluation” (photo attached), Completion Coaches manually reviewed and discussed their individual students’ schedules to ensure they are on path toward their educational goals.  While this work is time intensive, it’s critical in ensuring each of our Renegades are equipped with the information and tools necessary for their success.

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Craig HaywardCraig Hayward, our Institutional Researcher, led the Completion Coaches in a discussion to identify the key themes present among the data.  The Coaches identified issues related to the first three pillars of the guided pathways model:

  1.      Goal Clarity: Lack of clarity in the pathways and educational maps
  2.      Enrollment Roadblocks: Onboarding to the wrong path through registration
  3.      Lane Assist: Need for tracking to ensure students stay on path toward their educational goals

Thank you Lesley Bonds for the photos.

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Summer Bridge Video and Registration Rocks

I received this video from Jordan Rude.  You can see why Summer Bridge is so important and successful.  Navigating the road of college isn’t easy, especially if you’re right out of high school. BC’s Summer Bridge is here to help!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FsummerbridgeBC%2Fvideos%2F1919455238277482%2F&width=450&show_text=false&height=252&appId

Check out the work of John Farrand and Francis Mayer for July 11th — Registration Rocks

I will cover this event more in next week’s blog.

The Air Force Concert Band is off to the Hollywood Bowl

Beautiful garrison flag welcoming our guests Wed night

Photo by MJ Pasek

What a lovely evening it was last Wednesday for a live concert!  We were so lucky to have the U.S. Air Force Concert Band give a free concert at the outdoor theatre.  The USAF Band of the Golden West, on their way to play at the Hollywood Bowl, played so many of the great songs that are familiar in a creative, inventive way.  They played selections from Aaron Copland, Pat Methany, a Medley of Gershwin classic, the lively jazz piece from 1955 called “Malaguena” (by Ernesto Lecuona).  Giving us a little bit of history from each of their selections, they told us the story of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Check out this brief video of Yankee Doodle from the Air Force Band

Most people don’t know about the history of the song, but it’s really quite humorous.  British soldiers of the revolutionary war made up the words (the melody itself had been around for a long time already) to make fun of the rough-around-the-edges [in appearance and organization] American Colonials.  British soldiers liked to laugh at the unkempt Americans who would think they were high-class if they were to stick a feather in their dirty hat.

USAF Band-8

Veteran's Center mobile unit did a brisk business all evening

Photo by MJ Pasek

Not ones to sit around and be mocked, American soldiers started singing the song as a sign of defiance.  Even changing a few verses to mock the Britons and hail George Washington.  So what was originally meant to mock the Americans had the tables turned on it to become something proudly sung throughout the army.

Mary Jo Pasek always has fantastic pictures of every event at BC! More photos to come next week!

https://twitter.com/BandGoldenWest/status/880243635823951872

I also loved seeing this picture at the concert posted later on Facebook with Art Professor, Diego Monterrubio and History Professor, Paul Beckworth.

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The concert started with a rendition of Hoedown

Check out Fascinating Rhythm.

Here is a short video of their last song honoring each branch of the Military to Caissons Go Rolling Along

 

It was a treat to see the community out enjoying incredible music, supporting our veterans and being a part of the Bakersfield College community.

Thank you Dick Taylor for bringing the Air Force Band of the Golden West to Bakersfield and to Bakersfield College.

Here is an excerpt describing the band from their website

The United States Air Force Band of the Golden West is stationed in the San Francisco Bay area at Travis Air Force Base, California. The only active duty Air Force band west of the Rockies, the Band of the Golden West is comprised of about 60 talented and versatile Airmen-musicians under the command of Captain Rafael F. Toro-Quiñones. In addition to performing for civilian communities throughout the states of California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, the band supports 13 Air Force Bases, 8 Air Force Reserve Wings, and 6 recruiting squadrons in over 250 annual performances for 1.5 million listeners.

And thank you Mary Jo Pasek, for all that you did to make this happen.  Here is a picture that SGA Vice President Lawrence Salcido snapped when the Band Conductor invited Mary Jo to come up and be recognized.  Mary Jo then invited me to come along.  She did all the work, and I get to share the credit with her.  You see why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

Mary jo receiving a recognition June 29 2017

Here is a screen capture of Dick Taylor’s Facebook post recognizing the amazing work done by Mary Jo.

Dick Taylor recognizing Mary Jo Pasek on Facebook

Most of the photos are from our own William Velasquez, from the BC IT department. Thank you William for the photos!

 

Celebrating our Fire Grads!

In last weeks blog, I mentioned our Firefighter Graduation, but this week Tim Capehart, our Fire Technology Director, sent me some great photos and information so I thought I’d revisit that incredible celebration. Tim said, “The F/F 1 Academy is over 524 hrs. long. It meets three times a week in the evenings and all day Sat. and Sun. so students can maintain a day job and still complete the academy. The Academy that just finished meets the new curriculum requirements for F/F 1 IFSAC and Pro Board accreditation. This means our students can apply for jobs anywhere in the United States. We graduated thirty two students who all passed the State skills and written exams.”

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Furthermore, Tim added that all thirty two students held full time jobs along with studying, training, and continuous testing throughout the six month journey. In this year’s graduating class, we had dedicated husbands, parents, marines, an airborne ranger, Cal State Berkeley football player, ferrier, Alabama volleyball player, CSUB swimmer, and a division one baseball athlete. The young men and women represent the many different and diverse groups of future firefighters. We are BC!

 

Chris McCraw and E. Kika De La Garza  Fellows Program

BC Ag Professor, Chris McCraw participated in the E. Kika De La Garza Fellows Program.

The official brochure says,

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO), Hispanic-Serving Institutions National Program (HSINP) E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship Program offers faculty and staff from Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) the opportunity to work collaboratively with USDA to gain insight and understanding of the Federal Government. Through the fellowship, participants learn about opportunities that are available with USDA and other Federal Agencies for their respective institutions and their students. Fellows share their experience with students at their respective HSIs, motivating them to pursue careers in agriculture, science, research, technology, and other related fields of study. Furthermore, the fellowship strengthens and expands USDA’s partnerships with HSIs and the communities they serve.

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The Chris McCraw and E. Kika De La Garza  Fellows

 

Working together across KCCD to implement better systems

Students across KCCD June 2017

Lisa Couch, Jason Andrews, Terri Goldstein

On Monday and Tuesday, the student conduct officers from all three KCCD institutions came together at Bakersfield College to learn the our new student conduct case management system, Maxient. Lead by Dr. Nicky Damania, the group spent two intense days learning the system while implementing processes that would not only increase positive experiences within student conduct process, but also bring efficiency to their workflow when processing case paperwork. The new process will convert the student conduct process completely online thus being able to effectively communicate with students in a timely manner.

 

Student Leaders across KCCD June 2017

Val Garcia, Jason Andrews

National Camera Day

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The Bakersfield Californian featured our Art Department Chair, Kristopher Stallworth’s photos and a brief blurb on Thursday for National Camera Day. Check it out on Bakersfield.com.

Stallworth has been taking photos for 25 years. His first camera was a 110 film point and shoot camera, and his first serious camera was a Canon AE-1 that was his father’s.

Community Events

BC at Bakersfield Wing Festival June 25 2017.jpg

John Kelly, Tina Mendoza, Sandra Beckworth, Paul Beckworth, Terri Goldstein, Nicky Damania

 

natesha-sonya-karen-nov-4-2016-kern-housisng-authority-galaBC employees always support our local community organizations and partners. Sunday June 25 at the Kern County Fair Grounds was the second annual Bakersfield Wing Fest where several Renegades supported our community partner, NaTesha Kindred Johnson’s group, Upside Productions.  NaTesha is a great friend of BC and did a lot of work on Measure J.  Thank you NaTesha!  Here is a picture of NaTesha that I found in my blog library.  We were at an event organized by Norma Rojas Mora.  Here is NaTesha with Karen Goh and me.

Bakersfield Wing Festival June 25 2017

Paul Beckworth, John Kelly, Tina Mendoza, Sandra Beckworth, Terri Goldstein, Nicky Damania

The event brought the community together to not only enjoy delicious wings from around Bakersfield, but also raise awareness and funds for the Alzheimer’s Disease Association for Kern County and Grandma Whoople Enterprise (a non-profit anti bullying campaign). This year Happy Hour won the wing competition but we all won a great taste of community pride!

Superheroes Behind the Scenes

Have I told you lately that I’m the happiest and luckiest college president in the world? One reason is because of the fantastic faculty and staff at Bakersfield College, and one example is Kristina Whitmore in the department of Student Success and Equity. Above and beyond her work at BC, volunteering is an important part of her life. She said,

Helping others is an essential part of who am I, If I am not helping others I am not helping myself. I do not feel whole as a person when I am not advocating and doing for others. I find joy and hope in helping our students at BC, here I know each student will go on to accomplish great things. I find light in a dark place when I am in Prison helping. These men have made bad choice that have found them behind bars, but they are not to be forgotten!

Marleys Mutts Program (1)

Kristina Whitmore

The specific program Kristina mentions is called Pawsitive Change Prison Program by Marley’s Mutts. The website says,

Pawsitive Change is a progressive and intensive rehabilitation program which matches Death Row dogs with inmates inside California State Prisons.  Our goal is to reduce inmate recidivism by providing them a viable skill, while at the same time saving dogs lives.  The program is guided by four of our experienced trainers over 14 weeks, during which the inmates work toward vocational accreditation and the dogs towards their Canine Good Citizen Certification.  Both man and mutt will use the skills gained in this program to better their lives and stay out of prisons and/or shelters, respectively.

Marleys Mutts Program (3)

On the homepage, there is a testimony that stood out to me and shows how lifechanging and “pawsitive” is.

“We live inside a place where we can’t show our emotion — it’s considered a weakness.  But with this program, we can feel, give, and receive affection.  We become cold in here, much more cold than when we entered.  But these dogs give us a chance to be human.” -Inmate Participant, Cyclell

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Thank you Kristina and thank you Marley’s Mutts for all that you do.  This is an inspirational program.

Marleys Mutts Program (4)

Neo

Speaking of puppies, on Wednesday Neo had his third visit to the vet (by the way, a great supporter of Marley’s Mutts…). Two vaccines — Bordetella Bronchiseptica and Canine Distemper.  The first picture was taken on June 2nd (his second visit to the Vet when he weighed 19 lbs) and the second picture on June 28th (this third visit to the Vet at 30 lbs)

I must say this time the drive to the vet was much more pleasant than three weeks ago, he was calm, self-assured, and not the distressed puppy in a car moving fast!

Here he is making a reckless uncontrolled dash for the ball.

Renegade Passings of Joyce Teague and Rich Wise

joyceteagueOn Tuesday morning, I received a notice from Jerry Ludeke that we’ve had another passing in the Renegade family. The email from BC Archives said, “We are very sad to report that Joyce Teague (Kite) passed away last evening. Joyce began working for Bakersfield College in 1983 and retired on August 17, 2013. She loved her job in the M&O Department, where she was the go-to woman! She was also known for her outgoing and fun personality. You could say that she was a “character!” Later in her career, she moved to the Fine Arts Department. She will be deeply missed.”  I remember Joyce very well from my time as faculty at BC.  She ran a tight operation and was fearless in telling folks, including new department chair, what to do 🙂

4419330Last week, news also spread that Richard Wise passed away. Dr. Wise was devoted to his students and Bakersfield College and always encouraged students reach their goals and gain knowledge to  be successful. His students and colleagues admired his diligence and tenacity while teaching and doing battle with his illness.  He will be missed dearly and Liz Rozell said in an email, “I can tell you that he always was friendly with his colleagues and pleasant to work alongside. When I was Rich’s supervisor, he participated in a committee and communicated good insight with critical issues. I always enjoyed passing him in the hall because I knew he would smile at me and give me a friendly greeting. That means a lot in a work environment.”  It’s special people like Rich Wise who make BC so special.

East Hills Mall

I shared with you back in January in my blog that big plans were announced for the East Hills Mall and this week, The Bakersfield Californian shared an update with all the various stores that have been requested for the space. Check it out at The Bakersfield Californian website. None are guaranteed yet, but they would make great additions to the neighborhood.

Fun Photos

Thank you Corny Rodriguez for sending me photos of our new M&O building going up.  Here is the latest from June 30, 2017

June 30 2017 M&O Building

Came across this photo of Nicole Parra in action with Norma Rojas Mora and Bill Thomas when we were in the middle of the Measure J campaign.  Thank you Nicole for saying yes to BC or was it yes to BT 🙂

Nicole Parra Norma Rojas Mora Bill Thomas

Nicole Parra, Norma Rojas Mora, Bill Thomas

A few summer bridge photos from Kimberly Bligh

And this one is from Francis Mayer.  He titled it “Mega phone Matt” 🙂

MegaPhoneMatt.jpg.jpeg

 

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Sonya Christian

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever