Tag Archives: Oliver Rosales

Inspirational Speakers, Visitors, and Guests on Campus

Good morning Bakersfield…..

41 Plumeria_previewIt is Saturday, March 10th and a great day to be a Renegade.  I started last week’s blog travelling to an accreditation visit and today, I am travelling again, with my blog to keep me company.  What a good way to pass the time.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,

but by the moments that take our breath away.

 

BC was active this week and let me start with Anita Hill’s visit to the campus.

Anita Hill at BC

On International Women’s day this Thursday, we were lucky to have Anita Hill in the Indoor Theater to talk about reimagining equality for the 21st Century and how the national conversation about sexual harassment has evolved both before and after her remarks during Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings in 1991.

Anita Hill at BC

Anita Hill at BC

Hill, who is currently a professor of law and women’s studies at Brandeis University said she was inspired by the countless women before her who had worked to find justice for workplace sexual harassment in the 70s and 80s, culminating with the Supreme Court’s decision in the 1986 case Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, ruling for the first time that sexual harassment was a violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Hill’s testimony inspired women around the country to bravely speak up about sexual harassment and abuse in their homes and workplaces. Over 25 years later, the #MeToo movement is rapidly spreading across the nation.

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The audience in the Indoor Theater gives a standing ovation for Anita Hill before she took the stage.

Hill also stressed the importance of tackling issues of racial injustice along with injustices facing women, as progress on both issues tends to happen hand-in-hand with each other. In the 21st Century, we need to envision equality not as an abstract philosophical concept, but as a practical part of our personal development that grows and evolves with us every day.  “Dare to be a catalyst for change,” Hill said. “We are living in a moment in time where we are being pushed to live out our ideals of equality.”

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left to right: Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez, social studies professor Olivia Garcia and Anita Hill talk before Hill’s speech in the Indoor Theater on March 8th.

I’d like to recognize Jack Hernandez and the Levan Center for bringing Anita Hill to BC, Olivia Garcia for her beautiful introduction speech, and all of the people in the community for coming out to engage in a conversation about equality on International Women’s Day. See at the photos at Smugmug. 

 

 

MESA STEM and Pre-Health Conference

Last weekend, our Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) Department held a conference on the BC campus to show high school and college students that anyone can develop the skills needed to earn a career in STEM or healthcare fields.

Steve Waller

Dean Steve Waller

The MESA STEM and Pre-Health conference last Saturday brought together industry leaders and educators in the community and throughout California to showcase all of the career options available to someone with an education in math, science or pre-health. The conference started with students packing the Indoor Theater for the opening festivities, and Dean Steven Waller emphasized the importance of developing one’s competence in math, as it establishes the foundation for thousands of potential job opportunities.

“As you plan your career, be sure to keep math in focus,” Waller said. “It’s possible to be successful without math, but with it you can be even more successful.”

Waller then introduced keynote speaker Dr. Jose Antonio Diaz, an Arvin High graduate who went on to study microbiology and genetics at UC Berkeley, Stanford and UC Davis, where he’s currently a post-doctorate research fellow studying the prevention of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s.

Diaz’s mother contracted Valley Fever when he was a child, which inspired him to pursue a career in biology in order to help others suffering from serious debilitating illnesses. Diaz pushed himself outside of his comfort zone throughout his career, both as a first-generation college student moving from Arvin to Berkeley for undergraduate studies, and by transitioning fields from biology to medicine once he realized that it would help expand his research.

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Diaz, who gave his keynote speech in Spanish and English, sought to motivate the audience to push themselves outside of their comfort zone like he did. “Be ambitious with setting your goals, and take chances,” Diaz said. “Embrace change, and don’t be afraid of failure.” Diaz was part of the team that discovered Nest RNA, which determines resistance to microbial infections in mice. He is now working with a CRISPR gene editing machine to test whether he can safely modify human cells with Nest RNA in order to prevent diseases such as Valley Fever and salmonella.

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After Diaz’s presentation, students broke up into groups to attend a series of workshops in the Science and Engineering and Math and Science Buildings. Representatives from UCLA, CSUB and Fresno Pacific University hosted seminars on how to apply in the STEM and nursing programs at their respective universities, and many other workshops were hosted by members of the BC family, such as counselor Mark Osea’s presentation about STEM Guided Pathways, educational advisor Pedro Ramirez’s workshop on BC’s LUPE program and resources for DREAMers, professor Dillon Giblin’s seminar about career opportunities in STEM, and BC nursing graduate Stephanie Perez talking about how her time in our program helped prepare her for a career in health care.

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CSUB’s Chevron FAB LAB also hosted a maker space in the AERA STEM Success Center where students could watch a toy prototype being made on a 3D printer, as well as a virtual reality sandbox projected using the motion sensor on an Xbox One Kinect.

While MESA volunteers handed out lunch to students in the patio area of the Science and Engineering building, several organizations hosted a resource fair with booths for students to visit and learn more information. Participating organizations included BC’s Pre-Med and Engineering clubs, Univision, Kern Medical Center, the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Center, and the American Society of Civil Engineering.

Thank you to all our MESA staff, especially Connie Gonzales as well as all of our industry and education partners for inspiring young people our community to achieve careers in healthcare and STEM. I look forward seeing some of the students from this year’s conference taking STEM and pre-health classes at BC.

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BC and BCSD Youth Summit

At the March 3 event, the Bakersfield College African American Mentor Program (A.A.M.P.) partnered with the Bakersfield City School District to put on its first-ever Youth Summit.  The Youth Summit hosted over 150 African American middle school students at Bakersfield College to emphasize the importance of education, highlighting education as a tool for developing knowledge and character.  The summit invited keynote speaker Ken Morris who delivered a memorable speech about his family history: Ken is a direct descendant of Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass. He moved the audience with his description of what his great grandfathers had to overcome in order to receive an education, and closed his presentation with a message of perseverance and hope.

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Kimbrough

Professor Kimbrough

After the keynote the middle school students joined small group workshops on education, black culture, and community service. One of the most notable workshops was led by Bakersfield College’s own professor of African American history, Ishmael Kimbrough. Professor Kimbrough talked about the most important elements of the Black community and the importance of good role models of Black culture.  The group of students hung onto Kimbrough’s every word, were enjoying themselves, and the positive energy in the room allowed for a lots of engagement. Kimbrough highlighted some of the negative portrayals of Black culture that are in the media and explained how they perpetuate negative stereotypes. Kimbrough goes on to state, “Success is not flashing cash and gold teeth, that’s a false idea of success”, “the basis of black culture is family, culture, and common goals.”  

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Kimbrough concluded his workshop with a message that we have it within our power as a community to topple steep obstacles and inaccurate depictions in the media by learning about what our culture truly is. He emphasizes that despite the negative stereotypes of black culture, African-American boys and girls are not problems that need to be solved—they’re assets.

Tejon Tribe Visits BC

It was a packed house, with students, faculty, and the community coming out to hear tribal member Sandra Hernandez talk about the Tejon Tribe’s culture and history. The Tejon tribe is the only recognized tribe in the Bakersfield area, and its members are made up of Kitanemuk, Chumash, and Yokuts people, the first people in southern San Joaquin valley.

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Sandra opened up the presentation with a warm welcome in the Kitanemuk language, (the language of the indigenous Indians of Kern County) and then began to share her story and their plans for their future. Sandra spoke powerfully of her ancestors struggle and how their land and their status of a tribe were taken from them by the settlers who came here after them. She explained that in the early 1900’s their Chief Juan Lozada began the fight to get back their status as a tribe and hopefully be able to rebuild what was lost.

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Sandra Hernandez and Matthew Solis

When Chief Juan Lozada was asked by the US government how long his tribe has been here, he replied, “We been here since the first time the sun’s come up.” This set off a spark with the Tejon Tribe and ever since then, as a group and as a family, they have been fighting the government to be reaffirmed. Most recently, at the forefront of this fight, was Tejon Tribal chairwoman Kathryn Montes Morgan (Granddaughter of Chief Juan Lozado) who helped end this case as a victory for the Tejon Tribe. Sandra was proud to tell us that as of January 2012 the United States of America reaffirms the Tejon Tribe.
Although this was an exciting moment for the Tejon Tribe Sandra says the rebuilding has just begun. Being federally recognized is a huge step in the right direction, they now have to rebuild their Tejon Tribe community. She also adds, The Tejon Tribe will do this by reaching out to our neighborhoods, to educate them on our culture, heritage and history of our family, while also encouraging our youth to experience our way of life as a Tejon Tribe.

Thank you to Krista Moreland, Sandra Hernandez, and everyone who made this event a reality. 

 

 

Mini Science Olympiad

I loved seeing these photos from BC’s involvement at the Greenfield School District. Daniel Ahn, Chris Benker and a dozen BC STEM and Education majors helped 46 fifth-graders with various learning, but fun activities! It is a four week program. Meg Stidham helped along with the fantastic Deborah Rosenthal

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Activities included a Tallest Bridge Competition and I heard Chris Benker will do a skateboard demo at the end. During Week 4, the students will come to BC for astronomy fun.  Thank you to all our BC volunteers for bringing the Renegade spirit to our local Greenfield School District.

Mini Science Olympiad Student Volunteers

Ximena’s baby Leo

Thank you Debby Rosenthal for sending me this picture.

Ximena and baby Leo.

BCSGA Power Lunch

Romeo Agbalog

Romeo Agbalog

Romeo Agbalog, the Kern Community College District Trustee representing Delano and surrounding rural areas, sat down with BC students in the Fireside Room on Tuesday to share the story of how he overcame being a first-generation college student and young father on his path to advocating for students in public office. BCSGA hosted Agbalog as part of its Legislative Affairs Power Lunch series, in which public officials from the community tell their stories and answer questions from students. The Legislative Affairs Department of SGA, which is responsible for informing BC students on any new or developing laws pertaining to their education, has previously hosted state senator Jean Fuller, as well as Vince Fong and Rudy Salas from the California Assembly.

 

Agbalog credits political science professor Stephen Holmes with recognizing his potential and inspiring him to develop an interest in public service and administration. With Holmes’ inspiration, he went on to work behind the scenes for several Kern County campaigns, but he never thought he could hold public office. Eventually, after some strong persuasion by local political leadership, he realized that he had an opportunity to be actively engaged with improving his son’s education by serving on his local school board. At the age of 24, he campaigned door to door in his community and spoke directly with voters to beat out two incumbents for a spot on the Delano Union School District board.

Rayven Acosta Webb and Romeo Agbalog

Rayven Acosta Webb and Romeo Agbalog

After serving the Foundation for BC’s Delano Campus, Agbalog now advocates for rural students on the KCCD board, helping to expand services at the Delano Campus while bringing post-secondary education to Arvin and Shafter.  Throughout his discussion, he imparted the value of taking advantages of every opportunity presented to you, in life and in education. “When times get tough and you’re ready to quit, I want you to think about the people who have seen things in you that you didn’t see in yourself and use that for motivation,” Agbalog said. “Prove to those people you were worth the investment.”

SGA Power Lunch

Blood Drive on Campus

BC students gave back to their community at Campus Center on Wednesday and Thursday, donating to the Houchin Community Blood Bank during our annual blood drive. Students signed up to donate blood in front of the Fireside Room before walking over to one of Houchin’s three buses parked in front of the Campus Center.

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Active Shooter Response Trainings at BC

Last month, another school shooting tragedy took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida which claimed the lives of 17 people. This week, the Department of Public Safety and Chief Chris Counts hosted several Active Shooter Response Training workshops to teach our students and staff what to do in the event that an active shooter situation happened on our campus.

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Public Safety Chief Chris Counts broke down the proper response into three parts: “Run, Hide, Fight”. The first thing you should do if you hear gunfire is to evacuate the area as far as you can and try to take as many people with you. If that’s not possible, choose a location to hide out of the shooter’s view where you’re protected and you’re movement isn’t limited, then use furniture or heavy equipment to barricade entrance into that area. If you can’t run or hide, then your last resort is to remain calm while acting as aggressively as possible to fight for your own life and the lives of others.

In the overwhelming majority of active shooter cases, there was some indication that the attack was going to occur before it happened. In order to prevent these attacks, Counts stressed the importance of reaching out to authorities if there’s an indication that other people’s lives may be in jeopardy. Our Public Safety Department’s motto is “If You See Something, Say Something and Do Something About It”, and recognizing the signs of a potential attack is key to preventing it.

There will be three more Active Shooter Response Trainings on March 21 st at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 6 p.m. in the Indoor Theater. If you haven’t attended one of these training before, I recommend going as soon as possible in order to stay educated on how to respond to one of these emergencies. It may save your or someone else’s life.

Manny DeLosSantos even spotted friend and supporter of BC, Adam Alvidrez at the training this week.

Adam Alvidrez

Adam Alvidrez at BC

Leading from the Middle

Craig Hayward, Mark Osea, Billie Jo Rice, and Jennifer Johnson are currently attending the Leading from the Middle Academy being held at the Kellogg West Conference and Hotel in Pomona.  The project that they are tackling is how to represent our pathways programs using 21st century visual tools.  Can’t wait to see the end result of their yearlong work together as a team.

Craig Hayward Mark Osea Billie Jo Rice Jennifer Johnson

Craig Hayward Mark Osea Billie Jo Rice Jennifer Johnson

Jen Garrett on Scott Cox Show

Jen Garrett was on the Scott Cox Show Wednesday morning advertising for our big Sydney Bound Benefit Concert this Saturday! Only a few more days to buy tickets. You don’t want to miss this!

Jen Garrett and Scott Cox

Jen Garrett and Scott Cox

Seen on Instagram

Thank you to Lydia Ranger and Monty Byrum for their continued support of the BC Chamber Singers

Lydia Ranger on Instagram

Lydia Ranger on Instagram

Capitol Weekly Spotlights Bill Thomas

An article in Capitol Weekly published on March 1st examined how Trustee Bill Thomas’ influence in the House of Representatives continues to be felt more than a decade after retiring as the Congressman for California’s 22nd District.

bill-thomas-croppedDorothy Mills-Gregg wrote about how Thomas mentored two of the most powerful people in Congress right now—House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Thomas’ direct successor, and Oversight Committee Chair Devin Nunes, who Thomas inspired to run for Congress while helping him with campaign strategy along the way. The article also looks back on Thomas’ career and accomplishments while in Congress. I especially love the photo they used with the big YES ON J poster behind him.

“The only tools I ever had was listen to what people want, build a coalition and pass legislation,” Thomas was quoted as saying in the article. Florida Congressman Mark Foley was also quoted about Thomas’ tenacity and passion for serving voters. “Thomas is also known for losing his temper when people are unprepared, earning a reputation for sharp interrogations,” Foley said.

Thank you Trustee Thomas for all you’ve done to support BC, Bakersfield, and Kern County.

International Women’s Day

Sonya Christian and Tom Burke

Sonya Christian and Tom Burke

On Thursday, KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke emailed all KCCD Employees sharing some inspirational quotes. He said, “Today is International Women’s Day, so in acknowledgment of this day I thought I would share with you some inspiring quotes from several women who have had an impact on society.”  These are the quotes he shared:

  • Golda Meir said you should, “Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” I agree that everyone in our District has the ability to succeed.
  • If Rosa Parks believes, “Knowing what must be done does away with fear”, then we ALL can succeed by pushing ourselves during those difficult moments”
  • “Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.” Oprah Winfrey  Imagine what we could become.
  • “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” Following the words of Mother Teresa, the experiences during our day-to-day interactions can create a much healthier environment for students, staff, and faculty.
  • Sonia Sotomayor said, “A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.” I need everyone to be a part of our District’s success.
  • Joan Rivers once said, “I was smart enough to go through any door that opened.” Take every opportunity that is offered to you!
  • I will end with this quote: “We need to start work with the idea that we’re going to learn every day. I learn, even at my position, every single day.” – Chanda Kochhar

Chancellor Burke ended his message by saying, “There are great things happening every day at the colleges and the district office. On this International Women’s Day, I celebrate all of your accomplishments, dedication to the Kern Community College District, and look forward to the things to come!”  Thank you Tom Burke!

24th Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium

dsc02596-x4On Friday, the Levan Center for the Humanities held the 24th annual Norm Levan Faculty Colloquium in honor of the current Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium Award recipient, Oliver Rosales, and all past award recipients.  Oliver presented his lecture on Bakersfield into U.S. Civil Rights History: Exploring Multiracial Social Activism in the American Far West. The presentation was followed by a question and answer session, presentation of his award, and refreshments in the Norman Levan Center for Humanities.

Thank you to the Norm Levan Faculty Colloquium Committee, Susan Pinza, Chair, Bob Allison, John Gerhold, Alex Gonzalez, Donna Starr, Jack Hernandez, Richard Marquez, and Erin Miller. Also, thank you to the many others who help put on this event, including the Students of the Renegade Room for the refreshments, Manny De Los Santos and Kristin Rabe for the media arrangements,  FCDC and Archives Association.

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Susan joked that for those that were able to attend the Reimagining Equality: Inclusive Communities in Post-Obama America lecture the night before, Anita Hill was the opening act for Oliver’s lecture. We are so fortunate to have these opportunities to bring such important people to BC.

dsc02636-x4Did you know that Oliver is a Renegade? He received his AA here at BC and went on to get his BA at UC Berkeley, his Master at CSUB and his PhD at UC Santa Barbara. He then returned to be a Renegade and brought with him his education, his excellence and his drive to find and publish the contentious historiography of activism that touches many of our students and our community. He is also a supporter of the National Endowment for the Humanities and recently returned from DC where he met with congress concerning the NEH budget. Oliver’s award is well deserved. Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

Celebrating Jeannie Parent

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Jeannie Parent

Jeannie Parent, a BC faculty member who teaches English for Multilingual Students, will be mentioned at the Wendy Wayne Ethics Awards on March 21st. Cal State Bakersfield’s Kegley Institute of Ethics hosts an awards ceremony every year recognizing people who make positive contributions to the community. Jeannie is being honored for her work as the founder of the non-profit organization Kern Welcoming and Extending Solidarity to Immigrants (KWESI), a group of volunteers who visit immigrants in detention at Mesa Verde Detention facility in Bakersfield, and advocate for justice on their behalf.

She tells me that the organization is connected to a larger, national network called CIVIC, which is committed to ending the isolation of immigrants in detention. and she says “Many of the people we visit are asylum seekers, and we not only visit them in order to end the isolation they feel when they are imprisoned for months on end (sometimes indefinitely), but we support them if and when they are released on bond or when they win their cases; this may include helping with temporary housing, transportation, food, clothing, and phones, as well as communicating with families and finding legal assistance for them. I started visiting people weekly three years ago when Mesa Verde opened.”

You can read a full list of the Wendy Wayne Ethics Awards recipients in an op-ed written by Michael Burroughs in the Community Voices section of the Bakersfield Californian.

Student Resources in The RIP

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Paige Atkinson

Student Reporter, Paige Atkison wrote a beautiful article for The Renegade RIP highlighting the various student services offered at BC.

She said, “Whether or not you believe you need to find extra academic or health resources, it can be useful to familiarize yourself with the programs made available to you by Bakersfield College.” Check it out at www.therip.com

Photo from http://www.therip.com

Let me conclude my blog with my trip to Guam.

Long flight — about 6 hours to Honolulu and then another 8 hours to Guam.  We were a team of 10.  Standing: Susan Kazama, Sylvia Dorsey-Robinson, Bill Hirt, Vernoica Ogata, Susan Murray, Laurie Huffman, Gene Huff, Charles Sasaki. Sitting: Sonya Christian, Lesley Bonds

 

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Sonya Christian MArch 6 2018 GuamMost of my time was spent on accreditation work but I did get out for regular early morning walks. After a regular 3:00 a.m. zoom video call with Jennifer and the Vice Presidents, I headed out for my walk north on San Victores all the way to the point and then back to the hotel on the beach.

At 4:00 am it is very quiet – ocean breezes and unpredictable rain showers. At 5:00 am the runners start, looking serious, maybe training for the Guam Marathon coming up on April 8th.

After the official visit I did get in a driving tour around the southern half of the island. The island coastline is very beautiful, white beaches, great diving and full of history from war in the Pacific Theater. Guam is 6000 miles from the US west coast, 3 hours from Japan, on the edge of the Philippine Sea and 210 miles from the Marianas Trench – the deepest part of the oceans of the world.36 Talofofo Bay_preview.jpeg

The island reminded me in some ways of Kerala, India, with its contrasts in wealth and three-story cinderblock shopping complexes, except Guam as part of the US has building codes that don’t allow the maze of electrical wires that you see in southern Indian villages. The island is seeing a resurgence of the indigenous Chamorro culture, and is over 80% catholic so my driving tour included many beautiful churches that in some ways reminded me of the tropical churches of Kerala as well.

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Spent my last evening on The Beach (on Gun Beach Road).  Guam’s largest Bar and Grill is located on this beach front property.  However, there are secluded nooks that make this part of the island the best place to witness the sunset….. a spectacular, romantic, spiritual and most perfect sunset. A piece of heaven certainly descended on this part of the world that memorable evening.  Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

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Sunset March 9 2018 Gun Beach.jpg

Loved the Plumeria and the Flame of the Forest Trees.

Thank you Susan Murray for some of the great pictures.

Exhausted and at the Guam airport heading back home.

Leaving Guam Airport March 10 2018

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away.

Sonya Christian early morning walk on the beach March 8 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Kern County Unites to Support Women

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

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

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

Bill McGinnis, Sandy Fried, Sonya Christian Jan 27 2018

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

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

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

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

Book Talk: Gabriel Thompson

Author Gabriel Thompson

Author Gabriel Thompson

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

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

Gabriel Thompson speaks to the packed room

Gabriel Thompson speaks to the packed room

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

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

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

Jack Hernandez

Jack Hernandez speaks in the packed Levan Center

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

Andrew Bond and Oliver Rosales at the event

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

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

Kern County Women’s March

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

Andrea Thorson, Nick Strobel and me

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Heather Pennella, Sonya Christian

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

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

Jenny Zorn and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Andrea with family

Student Government Leadership Conference

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

KCCD Student Leaders

KCCD Student Leaders

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

BC SGA 2018

 

Spring Student Involvement Festival

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

Cynthia Garbett and Denise Crawford

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

More photos are available at BC’s Smugmug. 

Strategic Directions

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

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

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

Strategic Directions 2

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

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

Strategic Directions 1

Jack Hernandez

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

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

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

Jack Hernandez

Ron Saylor’s Magic Show at BC

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Ron Saylor, photo from ronsaylor.com

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

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

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

Helping our choir students sing at the Sydney Opera House

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

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

Great Barrier Benefit Concert March 10 2018.png

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

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

Renegade Basketball and Coach Hughes

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coach Hughes

Coach Aaron Chavez and Coach Rich Hughes

Grand Opening of the Kern County Justice Center

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

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

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District Attorney Lisa Green, Dena Rhoades, Nicky Damania

The BC family

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

Group at Ximena's Baby Shower Jan 26 2018.jpg

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

Debby Rosenthal's game of matching faculty baby pictures.jpg

Liz Rozell made this quilt for Ximena

Liz Rozell Ximena Da Silva Tavares

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

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

Seen on Social Media

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

KirkRussel

Jim Selgrath

Jim Selgrath tweet Jan 2018

Chris McCraw

Chris McCraw Tweet Jan 28 2018.png

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

Cindy Collier with her dog Jan 27 2018

Neo

We are BC!

Ximena Da Silva Tavares and Sonya Christian Jan 26 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

(with Prof. Ximena Da Silva Tavares)

Another Inspiring and Packed Week at BC

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

Stargazing TBC Dec 1 2017

 

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

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, Josh Ottum

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

Oliver RosalesOliver Rosales read Andrew’s write up

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Oliver Rosales of the Gerald Haslam event

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

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

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

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

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Gerald Haslam, Manny de Los Santos

Chicano/Latino Community Leader Breakfast

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

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

Sonya Christian Latino Leaders Breakfast Nov 30 2017.jpg

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

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

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

Dezi Von Manos

Dezi Von Manos, Emmanuel Limaco

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

Beatris Espericueta

We also had three elected official address the audience.

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

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

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

De-Stress Week

 

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

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

 

 

De-Stress Week Puppy

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

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

Future Renegades Visit BC for Field Trip

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

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

Centennial Elementary Field Trip

Bryon Schaefer at North High Basketball Game

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

 

Rudy Salas on Campus

Jose Cortes and Dezi Von Manos

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

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

Rudy Salas Twitter

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

IEPI Event

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

iepi-visit-3.jpg

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

Accreditation Forum

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

Accreditation Forum 4 Dec 1 2017

Forum 4 Accreditation ISER Dec 1 2017.jpg

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

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

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

nick zav forum 4

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

Shafter Christmas Parade

BC Group Picture at Shafter Christmas Parade

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

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

Danny Morrison

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

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

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

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

Eammanuel Limaco, June Charles

Emmanuel Limaco, June Charles, Christian Bravo

Thank you to our cheerleaders who were there.

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

CA Guided Pathways Institute 2 in Bakersfield

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

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

Kay McClenney, Sonya Christian, Laura Hope, Janet Fulks

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

Sonya Christian, Shawn Whalen Nov 29 2017

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

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

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

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

We Are BC!

From Social Media:

Loved this post from Nick Strobel.

Nick Strobel Facebook Nov 2017 about the tree

Sonya and Neo Nov 10 2017

 

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Leadership, Innovation, Music, Community – We are BC!

Sonya Christian and Neo Nov 5 2017 in Riverside

Sonya and Neo, Nov 5, 2017

Good morning Bakersfield from So. Cal.  Came in late on Friday night and have a busy weekend ahead.  Will try my best to chip away on my blog in between activities with the goal of publishing by the end of the day on Sunday.  But I can’t promise anything.

Brought Neo along, which of course does not help with my resolution to publish this weekend……his first trip away from home.  At 7 and 1/2 months, a friend said, “what a big boy”, which he certainly is.

It is cloudy in So. Cal. and everything appears to be beautiful…fresh air and bright colors.  Life is good.  Why would it not be when I am the president of the best higher education institution in the country.  One with the majority population being first generation college students and the faculty and staff are top notch.

Talking about faculty, let me start with BC’s amazing choir Director.  We have had a tradition of excellence with Joe Hustzi, Ron Kean and now the beautiful, brilliant and talented Jennifer Garrett.

Music of Living

 

music-of-living-1Last Friday the Bakersfield College Choir and Chamber Singers conducted their first concert of the academic year. The program, which included a full range of music history, was named “The Music Of Living” by Dr. Jennifer Garrett because “music is part of how we live.”

Matt Garrett and Jennifer Garrett Oct 27 2017In a Bakersfield Californian interview, she explained that, “[music] carries us through the challenging times in life and help us celebrate the good times,” and “music is how we truly express those emotions, opinions and memories that simply cannot be expressed through words alone.”  I so agree with her….it is music, poetry and the sheer beauty of nature that have helped me in difficult times.

music of Living stadium

Jonathan Garcia

On Friday, the theater was full and the audience there to help celebrate the life of a young Renegade taken too soon in a tragic traffic accident this fall. The BC Choir and Chamber Singers dedicated the concert to one of their own, Jonathan Garcia. “Tank” to his friends, according to the program, “was a football player, a singer, a guitar player, a volunteer, a decorated member of the Junior ROTC, and most importantly, a son, a brother, and a friend to all who knew him.” While he was taken from this life before he could perform for the Choir, “Applied students remember him for the passion he expressed about music and the joy in his eyes as he talked with other students about playing guitar for Mariachi ensembles.”

Chamber Music Festival

On Monday last week the Panorama campus was filled with the Chamber Music Festival. Each year local high school chamber choirs (smaller and often elite choirs) and guest conductor participate by invitation. This  year we brought in conductor and composer David Dickau (who went to Frontier High School & sang in the BC Choirs many years ago) from Minnesota.  He was absolutely wonderful with the choirs and everyone learned a great deal. There are sessions where the choirs sit in the audience and go up in turn to perform 2 selections.  Then the guest conductor works with each choir for approximately 12-15 minutes on stage as choir members in the audience watch and listen. Then Chamber Singers close each session by performing 2-3 pieces. This year the following schools participated:  Bakersfield HS, Frontier, Foothill, East, West, North, Stockdale (bringing 2 choirs), and Centennial.  Some of the schools decided to wait a year to come to the Festival as it is challenging to have repertoire ready so early in the year.  We had a great turnout and the whole evening went smoothly. Thanks to the College Choir members who donated their time to make it all happen, and thank you Dr. Jennifer Garrett for organizing this each year for our community and future Renegades.

 

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A Taste of BC

A Taste of BC Nov 4 2017

Last Saturday, our Performing Arts faculty and students partnered with our Culinary Arts faculty and students to create an unforgettable evening for 35 students from Standard Middle School. Starting with a tour of our Performing Arts Center, the middle school students got a ‘behind the scenes’ look at our Theatre and Music facilities.

A Taste of BC 4 Nov 4 2017

They also enjoyed an incredible performance by BC students from our recent production of Hamlet, followed by a skit from Brian’s Beard (BC’s Improv Troupe). Our Theatre majors also taught the middle school students how to do improv. Very impressive! To top off the evening, the students enjoyed a fantastic meal in the Renegade Room by our Culinary Arts majors, and were entertained with dinner music by many of our Music majors.

A Taste of BC 2 Nov 4 2017.JPG

Many thanks to Dr. Jen Garrett, Brian Sivesind, Chef Suzanne Tangeman, Kevin Ganger, Leslie Aldridge, and Kim Chin, along with our students from the Hamlet cast, 1984 cast, Brian’s Beard, Music majors, and Culinary Arts students for volunteering the time and talents to benefit our local middle school students (…and hopefully future Renegades!)  And thank you Dr. Manny Mourtzanos for supporting and advancing this work.

A Taste of BC 3 Nov 4 2017.JPG

Check out the amazing Mason!

Paul Meyer, District Superintendent of SMS sent this email.

To all involved-

On behalf of the students and staff at Standard Middle School, I wish to express my sincere thanks to the students and staff at Bakersfield College for volunteering their time to create a memorable night for my students. Manny, the experience was powerful for my students, and we appreciate the attention to the details that made everything come together so well Saturday night. Please share my gratitude with all who were involved at BC. Your staff was great to work with and the BC students seemed to enjoy it as much as my students did!

I also want to thank Morgan, Ira, and Jorge for your vision and leadership in helping to make this special night into a reality.

Last Saturday evening was a huge success, and I look forward to continuing this amazing partnership.

Sincerely,

Paul

Paul Meyers

District Superintendent

Standard School District

 

A Taste of BC 13 Nov 4 2017

 

More Amazing Faculty

BC Faculty Awarded $100,000 Grant Visit Washington D.C.

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, and Josh Ottum

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, Josh Ottum

Three BC Faculty members visited Washington D.C. this past week.  Andrew Bond (English), Josh Ottum (Music and Performing Arts), and Oliver Rosales (History) attended a Project Director’s meeting hosted by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) at the Constitution Center just off Capitol Hill.  Representing their project Energizing the Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the faculty spent an entire day meeting with NEH program officers, including NEH Acting Chairman Jon Parrish Peede, as well as with other current project directors from community colleges across the United States. Professors Ottum, Rosales, and Bond joined NEH’s Director of Congressional Affairs Tim Robison on Capitol Hill for several meetings with staffers from California Senators Kamala Harris and Diane Feinstein’s offices.

Oliver Rosales, Josh Ottum, Andrew Bond, and Trevor Smith in McCarthy's Office

Oliver Rosales. Josh Ottum, Andrew Bond, Trevor Smith

The trio also discussed Bakersfield College’s (KCCD) two current NEH grant projects (Energizing the Humanities and Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History) in person with Congressman David Valadao from the 21st District before spending time in House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office with staff member Trevor Smith.

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, Rep. David Valadao, Josh Ottum, Tim Robison (NEH)

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, David Valadao, Josh Ottum, Tim Robinson (NEH)

Everyone the BC faculty members met with showed interest in and voiced their support for BC’s grant projects, and were impressed to learn that Bakersfield College is the only California community college to receive federal funds through the National Endowment for the Humanities this year.

 

Project Directors Bond, Ottum, and Rosales returned from D.C. ready to kick off the programming for Energizing the Humanities on November 30th at 7:00 PM with noted author and Bakersfield native Gerald Haslam (Professor Emeritus, Sonoma State) giving a public lecture at the Levan Center for the Humanities. Dr. Haslam will also lead a closed workshop with the Energizing the Humanities inaugural cohort of faculty fellows the following morning.

More information about the NEH Projects Energizing the Humanities and Digital Delano can be found here:

Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley

Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History

Last Home Game of the Season

It was great to see BC Renegades come out in full force Saturday night, our last home game, against Santa Monica which was a blowout. It was exciting to watch six different BC students make it into the end zone while our defense blocked all attempts on ours. I’m so proud of our Renegades they are 3 and 0 in conference and 7 and 1 overall with two more games to go.

And I’m always happy to see Manny De Los Santos working on the sidelines.

 

Football - Manny in Action

Here I am with Carlos Barbara and a great photo of Kimberly Bligh and Jerry Ludeke, and photos below with Janet Tarjan and Zav Dadabhoy —

colleagues out to support Renegade Football

HACU’s 31st Annual Conference

We had a large team from BC attend HACU’s (Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities) 31st Annual Conference this week.  Thank you Corny Rodriguez, Dean of Instruction and MESA Director, Consuela (Connie) Gonzalez for sending me photos.

Corny Rodriguez, Connie Gonzales, Manuel Rosas HACU 2017The conference provided a unique forum for networking and learning best practices, understanding and meeting the education needs of Hispanics. The conference allowed for BC professionals to:

  • Hear about successful, effective programs and initiatives of HACU member institutions
  • Expand partnerships and collaboration between HACU member institutions, public-and private-sector organizations
  • Discuss policy issues affecting the education opportunities of Hispanics, including HACU’s legislative agenda
  • Learn about Hispanic participation in scholarships, fellowships, internships and other such programs funded by private and government organizations

This important conference allowed Connie and BC representatives to create important partnerships and strengthen collaboration with the USDA Hispanic-Serving Institutions National Program, UC Davis, USDA/NRCS, and USDA Forest Service. Connie was able to secure a whole day dedicated to BC transfer students with Dr. Blas Guerrero, Director of the Chicano/Latino Recruitment Center, in collaboration with UC Davis’s MESA program.  BC MESA students will be able to look at engineering labs and tour the campus. Connie is working with Manuel Rosas to include EOP&S students as well. Thank you Connie for your work and forging relationships to further our MESA students’ educational opportunities.

David Villarino and FIELD was represented at this national conference in a big way.  Villarino is doing very important work among adults in rural communities to get them the required language and work skills to make them employable.  Just great work.  Here are several photos of the FIELD students as well as the FIELD dinner meeting with many of the colleges including Cerro Coso and CSUB.

Corny Rodriguez, Susana FIELD, Yvonne Armandariz, Manuel Rosas, Javier FIELD

 

FIELD Dinner Oct 29 2017

This is definitely a picture of celebrities

HACU Official, Esais Morales, Cheech Marin, Rick Najera, David Villarino.JPG

HACU Official, Esais Morales (actor), Cheech Marin (actor), Rick Najera (Director), David Villarino

Dinner with collaborating college officials

Cropped Group at Field Dinner 2017

 

Adult Education

Sonya Christian with the Adult School students Oct 2017

Endee Grijalva, Sonya Christian with students

Our first Adult Education Sample a Course event was a tremendous success. The event was held on October 30th and we saw 30 attendees from Adult Education in collaboration with the Bakersfield Adult School and Migrant Education. The event, which will also occur November 16th, is designed to highlight our EMLS courses and connect Adult Learners to our Main Campus, giving them a direct insight into the college experience. Attendee experience included transportation to the BC campus from the Bakersfield Adult School Job Spot, lunch provided by the delicious Panorama Grill, BC and Program overview and campus tour. The highlight of this event was the classroom observation. Aimed to alleviate the fears and misconceptions of Adult Learners, potential students can sample an EMLS course.

Many thanks to all who helped make this event successful including Endee Grijalva, support from the Outreach team, Food Service, CTE, Bakersfield Adult School and Migrant Education. You all make BC great for our students and for our community. THANK YOU!

Audiophile Magazine

A beautiful magazine appeared on my desk on Tuesday afternoon sent to me by David Koeth. The November/December issue of Audiophile from KVPR/KPRX features artwork from our own BC student, Argenis Maciel. David said in an attached message that Development Director, Joe Garcia emailed him earlier this year and said that they wanted to feature artwork from a BC student so he had his Digital Illustration students work on ideas. The promotions director chose Argenis Maciel’s piece. Check out the photo of the beautiful cover.

audiophileCoverMd.jpg

BCSGA Leadership

Lawrence Salcido, Dezi Von Manos, Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy, Nan Gomez Heitzeberg

On the morning of Halloween, Senator Jose Cortez hosted a Leadership Panel comprised of the SGA president and vice presidents and BC’s president and two vice presidents.  It was a lot of fun and I am so proud of this series that Jose Cortez is leading.  He had Senator Jean Fuller as the first speaker and Assemblyman Vince Fong as the second speaker.

Jose Cortez

Students learned about their student governments’ and administration’s  roles in reducing hurdles in the path of student success, expanding our positive impact on the community, and the importance of the spirit of leadership,  while enjoying some eggs and bacon prepared, as always, by our great Food Services crew.

Panelists at Leadership Breakfast

It was a lot of fun being a panelist along with Zav Dadabhoy and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, as well as SGA President Dezi Von Manos and SGA Vice President Lawrence Salcido. Both Dezi and Lawrence were articulate about the Guided Pathways work.  Just incredible!

I was happy to see several faculty, staff and administrators also attend the event. Snapped this picture with Earl Parsons who is usually the man behind the camera and then here is Marcelyn Allen, one of our new faculty who teaches in the ESL department, also teaches Japanese and helps out with Summer Bridge.

And loved these two pictures of Nan and Zav

 

Advance Kern:

Liz Rozell and I had great fun having lunch with Richard Chapman and Wayne Kress to learn about the Advance Kern Initiative.  Imagine innovation thriving in our county where cultivating an entrepreneurial and creative mindsets is one of the products of our education.  That was the main topic of conversation in addition to Stig Larson’s Girl With the Dragon Tatoo series.  I am so proud of the work of KEDC and its leadership. I missed the company of the fabulous Cheryl Scott who is now leading the charge on promoting STEM education in Kern County.   Thank you Richard, Wayne, and Cheryl for advancing Kern County.

Liz Rozell, Sonya Christian, Wayne Kress, Richard Chapman Nov 3 2017

Liz Rozell, Sonya Christian, Wayne Kress, Richard Chapman

Public Health Sciences Program Partnership with UCLA

BC students got the chance to learn more about BC’s newly-formed Public Health Sciences program and our partnership with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in the SGA Executive Boardroom on Monday.

Public Health Info Session Fall 2017

Sarah Baron, Public Health Sciences faculty, got the opportunity to explain more about BC’s Public Health program, and several representatives from UCLA spoke in detail about the UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program [link to 2018 UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program Handout.pdf]. The UCLA training program is recruiting 50 students for a paid stipend to participate in an 8-week training program with structured workshops, field trips and leadership development in the public health field. UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program is held each summer. The application deadline for the summer 2018 program is January 31, 2018, and the application window opens in mid-November.

Sarah Baron Public Health Info SessionFor more information, you can contact Sarah Baron at sarah.baron@bakersfieldcollege.edu or Public Health Scholars Training Program Manager Lindsay Rice at phscholars@ph.ucla.edu.

Pathway to Law School Program

What a way to start November! On Wednesday, BC had the privilege of hosting Leslie Cunningham, Executive Director of California Law, Inc (Cal-Law), which is the sponsoring organization of the statewide Pathway to Law School program. Ms. Cunningham affirmed BC’s ongoing position as a statewide leader in implementing this innovative program to support students in attaining a law degree.

Law Pathway group memebers

Manny Mourtzanos, Dean of Instruction, Pearl Urena, BC Educational Advisor for Pre-Law, Jeff Green, General Counsel for Grimmway Farms, David Torres, Attorney and member of BC’S Pre-Law Advisory Council, Leslie Cunningham, Executive Director of Cal-Law, Stephen Katz, Kern County Superior Court Judge and member of BC’S, Pre-Law Advisory Council Bonnie Thompson, Executive Director of the Kern County Bar Association, Zach Sullivan, President of the BC Pre-Law Scholars Student Club

Careers in Criminal Justice

On Wednesday, October 11, the BC Delano Campus hosted “Jobs in Justice: A Panel on Careers in Criminal Justice.”  The guest employers were well-prepared and provided students with a wealth of information ranging from personal education, experiences, and their unique career paths to job specifics and seasoned career advice. The panel consisted of the following individuals:

CareersinCriminalJustice2

  • Mark DeRosia, Chief of Police – Delano Police Department
  • Eddie Aguil– Community Service Officer- Delano Police Department
  • Edwin Barahona, Assistant Court Supervisor – Kern County Superior Court
  • Kathy Garcia, Deputy Probation Officer II – Kern County Probation Department, Investigations Unit
  • Raquel Segura, Agent – Alcoholic Beverage Control
  • Ana Ovando, Investigator – Kern County Public Defender
  • Brittaney Pena, Office Technician – Kern Valley State Prison
  • Salvador Hernandez, Assistant Government Program Analyst – Kern Valley State Prison

It is interesting to note that although only 36% of students indicated that the guest speaker’s topics related to their chosen career paths, 81% noted that they would attend future employer panels and 100% stated that the forum met or exceeded their expectations. This is a testimony to the breadth of the panelists’ knowledge and wisdom which they freely shared. Not only did they give the audience a thorough understanding of their particular role within their respective organizations, but they also provided an overview of various levels of employment in their respective fields and each organization’s goals. Furthermore, they imparted invaluable career advice: the value of and how to secure internships, the need to protect one’s image (employers check social media sites), the importance of being an upstanding citizen (after all, these are careers in criminal justice), and accepting the reality that a career is built (often one has to start at the bottom).

CareersinCriminalJustice1

The panelists were exceptional but the event would never have gotten off the ground without the stellar work of Lupe Aguirre (CTE Job Development Specialist) and Kim Collins (BC Academic Liaison for Adult Education). Our special thanks to them, the panelists, and all who made this event possible. It’s exciting for us whose hearts are knit to BC Delano students that these types of events are becoming increasingly available on their campus. We are all about the students. We are BC!

In the News

Renegades were in the news again this week. Victoria Coffee was quoted by the Bakersfield Californian as an attendee at the Business Expo in Many at the Business Expo were looking for the reset button. She attended to get information to give to our BC students. She is quoted as saying “I wanted to get a better look into the business industry and see how we can strengthen our infrastructure for student success.” Thank you Victoria for going the extra mile for our students.

The Bakersfield Californian also did a nice piece about BC’s Men’s Basketball. In BC men’s basketball starts attempt at 3 conference titles in a row, Jon Mettus wrote about our 5 returners and their striving for the State Championship. Coach Hugh is optimistic for our chances of a “three-peat” for the WSC South Division title this season. Come out to the games this season and support our team all the way to the State Championship.

Emails Worth Sharing

Thank you Paul Beckworth for sharing this story with me! Paul’s email said, “PLEASE read this story that Matt Garrett found in the archives awhile back.  A BC student turned soldier captured 12 Nazis thanks to his BC German professor!  Can’t make this stuff up! It is a little hard to read but worth the effort.” Matt Garrett’s email “Capturing Nazis Like a Boss” included the following:

“We were holding a town cut off from our troops. The Eleventh Panzer Division attacked us and one of the tanks got a tread blown off about 15 yards from one position where we could not hit a man behind it or on the ground near it. It was giving us trouble so we got a ‘satchel charge’ (30 pounds of TNT in convenient carrying form). Being the demolition expert of the platoon, I was elected.

“To allow free use of my hands I laid my rifle down and went out to blow up the tank. When I got there I discovered nine Jerry infantrymen around the tank, concealed from my pals and with their rifles in position. They were as frightened as I was. I managed to stutter, ‘Weg werfen deine Waffen Komm hier mit Hande hoch’ oder sic warden tot gewesen.’ [Throw down your weapons. Come here with your hands raised or you will die] How they would die I didn’t know but they believed me. One said, ‘Nicht schessen,’ and I said, ‘Wir warden nicht schiessen.’ [We’ll not shoot] (Notice the we.) So they gave up.

“They’d have shot me if I hadn’t been quick with the lip—so maybe I learned something in school after all. But we’ll credit (BC German Professor) Miss Schafer for the capture.”

“Adelaide Schafer Credited with Capture of 12 Nazis,” Renegade Rip, April 26, 1945, p. 3.

Fun Pictures

Precious picture of Jennifer Marden now Jennifer Serratt at her 2008 graduation

Jennifer Graduation Photo

Our title V Director, Dr. Kimberly Bligh and Ed Advisor Isabel Cataneda in Washington DC for the Title V meeting.

Kimberly Bligh and Isabel Cataneda in Wahington DC Oct 2017

Sonya Christian and Neo Nov 5 2017 in Riverside

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

The Renegade Experience is Incredible

Good morning Bakersfield…. let’s start this morning with two short videos of the phenomenal concert. Freedom, on friday night by Dr. Jen Garrett and the BC Choir.   The concert featured a multipart, multimedia commissioned piece by Dr. Ron Kean chronicling the inspirational story of courage of Harriet Tubman.  I will cover this evening in my April 1st blog.  But until then, enjoy the 1:34-minute excerpt of Ken Burdick and 2:14-minute excerpt of Caley Mayhall with the BC Choir.

Caley Mayhall a little taste of Ron Kean’s composition.

 

It was quite an incredible week for me… a week filled with music, travelling to present on Guided Pathways…a week of enjoying Renegade Passion and Renegade Talent…The Renegade Experience is incredible.

Let’s take for example just one day in the week, Friday, March 24th.  So many individuals engaged in important issues.  Here are three:

AAMP Open House:

Lesley Bonds March 24 2017 Umoja Recruitment Event

Faculty Chairs and Assessment Team attending a webinar

Assessment March 24 2017.jpeg

Completion Coaching Communities Workshop

Lesley Bonds March 23 2017 Completion Coaching Communities

African American Mentor Program Open House

 

The Bakersfield College African American Mentor Program hosted its first ever AAMP open house event.  Keynote speaker Dr. Thomas Wallace inspired an audience of over 100 high school and college students in which he highlighted the importance of leadership in the community.  As a first-generation college graduate, Dr. Wallace experienced growing up in a poverty-stricken environment in which he could have very easily gone down the wrong path. Dr. Wallace explained that he could have been sucked into a perpetual life of crime and self-pity as so many of his peers did, but instead, he rose to the occasion, he made sure to not let anyone else define who he was or would become, and is now the Vice-President at CSUB.

Photo Collage AAMP Open House March 23 2017

After the keynote and lunch, we had a sample of the talent that Bakersfield College has among its student body.  Lee Collins, Dominique Miller, and Jordan Young invigorated the crowd with their musical collaborations.  To close the event we heard from community member Bryan Buyton.  What became a very sobering moment was when Bryan revealed to us that his 5-year-old son had been tragically murdered in a driveby shooting that occurred last month in Central Bakersfield.  He implored students to have an appreciation for what they have and to trust in a divine purpose, even in the face of adversity such as his.  Overall, we spoke, we learned, we sang, we laughed, and we cried, but most importantly, we came together as a community and embodied the true definition of a community college.  #WeAreBC

Here is one of our six core values:

Core Value of Community

Thank you Julian West for your leadership! Here is a tweet from Lesley bragging about Julian.  The picture is not very clear, but I am sure you will enjoy Julian and Lesley’s tweet as much as I did

Lesley Bonds March 23 2017 on Julian West

Public Health Hackathon

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Photo by Dylan Wang

Over a week ago, students from BC and CSUB lined up to register for BC’s first Public Health Hackathon. This competition was for teams of students to innovate and design public health solutions for the community of Kern County. Free food, prizes, and networking opportunities were available. This interdisciplinary competition engaged students and professionals from various backgrounds in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and non-STEM fields, local centers of higher education, community, industry, and the public. It’s great to see students and events that rally around increasing awareness of public health and use technology based tools to address public health issues. 

Special thank you to ALL who were involved, especially professor Sarah Baron and our mayor, Karen Goh who was present for the awards ceremony.

Thank you Mayor Goh for all you do to support our community and especially education.

hackathon 2nd place

Photo by Cara Jackson

First place was awarded to “Down with Depression” for developing an app that gives accurate information on how to fight depression. Second place to “Safe Searches” for a website that helps LGBTQ communities search for supportive doctors. And third place to “MentalMapper” for an app that stimulates brain activity to improve cognitive functions for patients with neurological disorders.

Mayor Karen Goh at Public Health Hackathon March 2017.jpg

Photo 2 Public Health Hackathon.jpg

More photos were taken by Cara Jackson and are available on Smugmug.

Also check out Mayor Karen Goh’s Facebook posts for more photos: http://tinyurl.com/mf5ajcs

Earlier this week, I tweeted an absolute must read by Harold Pierce at The Bakersfield Californian. He covered this incredible event in his article, “During Public Health Hackathon, students search for solutions to big problems”  His opening words are powerful. “When it comes to diabetes, obesity, heart disease and sexually transmitted diseases, Kern ranks among the worst statewide. Awareness, however, isn’t an issue. Solutions are.”  You have to check it out!

Thank you to the amazing team that worked with Sarah Baron to make all this happen. Specifically, Eddie Rangel and Richard Miles from Computer Science, Chris Cruz Boone and Angela Bono BC Communications, Diego Diaz Computer Science Club, KIT and Alyssa Haas and all the sponsors who are on the back of the T-shirt and Asha Chandy who support behind the scenes.

Talking about Asha Chandy, here is a cute picture Jennifer snapped of Asha taking our Measure J dog Bruce for a walk on campus.

Asha Chandy taking Bruce for a walk on campus March 24 2017

Thank you sponsors of the Public Health Hackathon #bcinnovates

Sponsors for Hackathon.jpg

Here are the different articles about this amazing event:

The Bakersfield Californian – Harold Pierce – February 17th  http://tinyurl.com/lt968u8

The Bakersfield Californian Article – Harold Pierce – Sunday March 19th  http://tinyurl.com/m2yo5g9

Building Health Communities  http://tinyurl.com/l687kqn

Valley Public Radio – Kerry Klein
http://kvpr.org/post/bakersfield-college-hackathon-brings-health-advocates-together

BC Social Justice Institute hosts “Real Boy” film screening & discussion

Real Boy SponsorThe Bakersfield College Social Justice Institute hosted a wonderful screening and panel discussion of the new award-winning documentary “Real Boy” on March 16th.  The film, funded in part by a documentary grant from California Humanities, follows the story of a young transgender youth, Bennett Wallace, as he transitions gender to a “real boy.”  Over 100 people attended the screening and engaged in a community dialogue with California Humanities Program Officer John Lightfoot, “Real Boy” director Shaleece Haas, and Jack Bockover from the Sexuality and Gender Awareness (S.A.G.A.) Club of Bakersfield College.

Thank you to everyone who made this happen: Professor Helen Acosta, Oliver Rosales, the Levan Center for the Humanities, BC Office of Student Life, and the Renegade Rip and Bakersfield Californian for covering the event.

RealBoy03

Oliver Rosales

For more information about “Real Boy” and California Humanities, including a Community Voices piece written by California Humanities CEO Julie Fry about the event, you may go to the following links:

Here is my tweet on the Julie Fry community Voices piece

Julie Fry community voices

PuebloFest

Speaking with prospective students is one of the most incredible things… There’s no way to quite describe the excitement in the voice and in the eyes of young people who are about to begin their college experience. Any opportunity that we have to speak to them is a great one.

IMG_2211Student Success and Equity Manager, Lisa Kent joined Office of Student Life Director, Nicky Damania at PuebloFest 2017, a three-day arts and culture festival that took place March 17-19th in Tulare. BC had the opportunity to be involved with the first-ever regional Mexican music festival in the United States, via Arnaldo Avalos, a Board of Governors member for the California community college system and festival organizer who sought for PuebloFest to have a larger social purpose. Our goal was to educate festival attendees on the higher education opportunities available at BC and encourage anyone wanting a college education to consider BC a place for them.

IMG_2204It was great to see representatives from Reedley College also hosting a booth, alongside over 100 other nonprofit and community organizations offering information on topics like financial literacy, health services, and immigration. A diverse variety of artists were represented including Los Lobos, Baby Bash, Los Tigres Del Norte and Bakersfield’s own Velorio.

The inclusion of higher learning institutes at Latin music festivals like this can only help to empower 1st and 2nd generation Latinos with the information they need to have a successful education experience and become upwardly mobile. BC aims to meet the needs of Latino students with its Student Success and Equity program, specialized Summer Bridge institutes in rural communities, an increase in dual enrollment course offerings for Kern County high school students, and on-site matriculation services throughout Kern County, Student Success.

I checked out Pueblofest on Sunday, March 19th, after returning from the Accreditation commission meeting on Saturday.

Sonya Christian at Pueblo Fest March 19 2017

This is whatArnoldo Avalos, the man who had the dream and made it happen, had to say on Facebook

Adiós PuebloFest- you changed my life. Until next year, PuebloFest 2018.

Arnoldo Avalos at Pueblo Fest March 2017

Summer Bridge 2017

Faculty gearing up to meet our new cohort of students.  Thank you faculty! Thank you Kimberly Bligh!

BC STEM/MESA Students Dreaming Big!

Twelve BC STEM/MESA students, Dillon Giblin, BC Math Faculty and Yadira Guerrero, Engineering Program Manager attended a field trip to the California Science Center to watch “Dream Big: Engineering Our World” and explore the permanent and special exhibitions the museum had to offer. The bus was loaded up by 7am and the morning chatter on the road was of sharing individual stories. Chad Hidalgo, Emmanuel Limaco (MESA), and Andrea Hernandez (MESA) are a few BC students who shared their inspiring stories and offered guidance to high school attendees.

MESA STEM STUDENTS (1)Inspiration was just the theme of the day. I’m told the film even moved several students enough to make them misty-eyed. After lunch, the group was off to explore the Ecosystems Exhibit and the Air and Space Exhibit, which included the space shuttle, Endeavor! The bus, tickets, and even lunch were all provided courtesy of the Southern San Joaquin Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers and was of no cost to any students or faculty. What a gift!! And what a way to enjoy a Saturday!

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BC at the USC Choral Invitational

The BC Chamber Singers had an incredible experience at the USC Choral Invitational last month.  Some of the best two-year colleges in the state perform at this annual event and it was an honor to be among them. Choral Director, Jennifer Garrett tells me it’s one of the most stressful events of each year, but it’s exactly what the group needs to help them rise to the greatest potential. The group performed two pieces and one was the premiere of a new work by Dr. Ron Kean, “Swing Low Sweet Chariot/Follow the River” which is part of a newly commissioned work entitled, “The Journey of Harriet Tubman” which was premiered at the concert last night.

La Valley College Rehearal 2017

Rehearsal right before USC at LA Valley College with Ron Kean and our marimba player

This is what Jen Garret had to say:

The Chamber Singers gave their all at the Invitational and many reported that they were the finest choir of the evening.  I appreciate their dedication to the music, attention to detail, and the emotional investment they put forth in each piece. The audience rose to their feet in applause almost before I could cut off the last note of “Swing Low”.  Ron Kean, who graduated with his Masters and Doctorate from USC was there on the stage with us playing the mbira (African thumb piano) and I know the performance meant a great deal to him as it did to me.

 

USC pic after performance 2017

This years traditional picture, always taken after a successful USC performance in the stairwell of Newman Recital Hall at USC

I am so proud of the BC Chamber Singers.  They always strive to be more and do more. Did you know they will be representing BC in Australia at the Sydney Opera House?

You can help this talented group get there by partaking in the next evening of Broadway music and spaghetti dinner on April 1st.  I have purchased a table and I hope to see you there. Jennifer Garrett says,

We are calling it ‘Give My Regards to Broadway.’ It will combine the talents of the BC culinary arts under chef Eric Sabella providing spaghetti, bread, salad, drinks, etc., and the BC chamber singers performing Broadway hits as a choir, soloists and small groups.

 

Susan Scaffidi did a fabulous article in The Bakersfield Californian
http://tinyurl.com/lrh24sc

You don’t want to miss this incredible event on April 1st. The cost is $15 per person and tickets are only on sale until Monday, March 27. Tickets can be purchased by calling 395-4547 or by emailing at jennifer.garrett@bakersfiieldcollege.edu.

USC choral directors

BC Choral Director, Jen Garrett, with some of the best choral directors in California!

 

Sounds for the Soul

SoundsForOurSouls-BandOrch-20

Photos by Belen Martinez

The talent at BC just keeps going… this time, the BC Concert Band, Orchestra, and Dr. Kathryn Kuby had something extra planned for the audience. During “Sounds For Our Soul”  last weekend, there was an abundance of music provided to satisfy the souls of all who were present.

Dr. Kuby invited the incredible Pipe Dream Flutes & Friends to perform in the beginning of the first half of the concert. Prior to this performance, I didn’t know that there were more than just the flute and the piccolo… but, having the pleasure of hearing a Double Contrabass Flute, C Flutes, Alto Flutes, and the more was incredible and filled the air with the most powerful yet delicate sounds.

Apparently there are only 4 Double Contrabass Flutes in the world and imagine one of them is in Bakersfield.  When I heard this, I leaned over and whispered to Jon Gerhold, “Really?”

Double contrabass March 18 2017

Here is a copy and paste from wikipedia:

The double contrabass flute (sometimes also called the octobass fluteor subcontrabass flute) with over 18 feet (5.5 m) of tubing is the largest and lowest pitched metal flute in the world (the hyperbass flute has an even lower range, though it is made out of PVC pipes and wood). It is pitched in the key of C, three octaves below the concert flute (two octaves below the bass flute and one octave below the contrabass flute). Its lowest note is C1, one octave below the cello‘s lowest C. This flute is relatively easy to play in comparison to most other large flutes. Despite the tendency of the larger sizes of flute to be softer than their higher pitched relatives, the double contrabass flute has a relatively powerful tone, although it usually benefits from amplification in ensembles.

 

When concert band took the stage and performed a beautiful piece by Rossano Galante, the instruments filled the theater with the most powerful sound. I mentioned before that Dr. Kuby had planned a special night, and  in addition to Pipe Dream Flutes & Friends, she also had a flute soloist perform with both the band and orchestra.

SoundsForOurSouls-BandOrch-36

Sara Andon. Photo by Belen Martinez

Sara Andon, an international soloist and recording artist, took the stage in beautiful white gown and performed with the band. The Lark Ascending, was such a beautiful piece.

I wish we were able to capture a video of this music, but instead here is a version on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR2JlDnT2l8

The BC campus is a place full of talent and it always shows on performance days. If you’ve missed out, the final concert for the spring semester is coming up on May 3rd. Check out all the photos, captured by the talented Belen Martinez at the BC Smugmug page.

SoundsForOurSouls-BandOrch-69

Photo by Belen Martinez

Thank you Dr. Kathryn Kuby

Kathryn Kuby March 18 2017

Dr. Kathryn Kuby

This week on the road:

This was an easier travel week for me.  I provided testimony at the Senate Budget Committee along with a team from the State Chancellor’s office.  It was a great experience.  Chancellor Eloy Oakley is doing a terrific job advancing the student success agenda in a fiscally sound manner.  I tweeted this picture right before we walked over to the capital.

Sonya Christian and Eloy Oakley March 23 2017

 

The most fun part for me was how Senator Jean Fuller and Assembly Members Rudy Salas supported my visit to the Senate Budget committee.  Senator Jean Fuller contacted Senator John Moorlach and Assesbly Member Rudy Salas contacted Senator Anthohny Portantino.  When the item of Guided Pathways came up both Senator Moorlach and Senator Portantino were warm and welcoming and openly supportive.

Senate Budget Committee Senator Portantino Senator Moorlach

Senator Anthony Portantino and Senator John Moorlach

Thank you so much Senator Jean Fuller and Assembly Member Rudy Sallas for your support.   #WeAreBakersfield!

And thank you Dana Culhane Brennan for so quickly responding to my text.  You are the best!!!!  I tried finding a photo of Dana and I found this picture on Facebook.

Photo from Facebook

Dana Culhane Brennan and family

After the presentation at the Capitol in Sacramento I headed out to the Chief Student Services Officers Conference on Integration Through Action in Los Angeles.  It was a great conference and they dedicated two hours to Guided Pathways – the first hour on CA Guided Pathways presented by Deputy Chancellor Erik Skinner, Senior Researcher Craig Hayward and myself.

Guided Pathways at CSSO Sonya Christian Erik Skinner Craig Hayward March 24 2017

Sonya Christian, Erik Skinner, Craig Hayward

This was followed by Tom Bailey, the first author of the book Redesigning America’s Community Colleges.  I want to do a shout out to the Exec Board of the CSSOs for putting on such a dynamic conference.  Sylvia Dorsey-Robinson is the president and our very own Zav Dadabhoy is on the Exec Board.  Unfortunately, we did not get a photo of the BC team that was there — Zav Dadabhoy, Steve Watkin and Grace Commiso.  Here are the ones I have.  In the first picture, I am with Valerie Shaw a member of the Board of Governors and Tom Bailey.  The second picture is of Mandy Davies, a member of the CA Guided Pathways Advisory Committee with Tom Bailey.

 

 

Delta Kappa Gamma events at BC

Delta Kappa Gamma Area VII and BC Future Teachers Club cosponsored a Voter Information Night at BC in October that had 37 participants.  On March 18, they cosponsored the Technology for Educators Conference at BC which had approximately 65 participants!

DKG Tech event at BC March 18 2017.JPG

Janet Tarjan and Gayle Richardson co-chaired the conference committee. Presenters included BC students, CSUB Faculty, K-12 teachers and administrators, authors, and the chair of the DKG International Communication Committee.  Participants learned about Google docs, social media, games, increasing student participation, Word templates, and were provided with updates on current legislation related to education.

DKG

Denise Hollister, Rachel Hibler

Denise Hollister (English Teacher, BHS) and president of DKG and her daughter Rachel Hibler.  Rachel presented two sessions:  “Social Media in Education” and “Ice Breakers and Drama Games.”

DKG March 18 2017 event

DKG BC Members include:  Jerry Ludeke, Pat Smith, Gayle Richardson, Janet Tarjan. Mary Jo Anhalt, Mita Dhariwal, and Sonya Christian.

And I got this email from Gayle Richardson about Chef Eric Sabella’s incredible food.

Yes, Eric!  In 35 years I have NEVER heard so many guests rave about the food at BC.  One spouse said that he has been to years of conferences, but never to one with such a delicious meal!  The compliments were made without being asked for!

Compliments to you, Chef Eric!

Renegade Athletics

Baseball

BC Baseball has endured some ups and downs this season, including a recent three-game losing streak. But they are on a tear now after winning two games in a row over LA Valley College. Catcher Brock Hallum will be attending Long Island University, Bronx on a baseball scholarship next fall, but he hasn’t lost sight of the work that is right in front of him. He hit a home run last Sunday to spur his team to a 8-4 win on the road against Valley before getting bit by the flu bug.  Coach Tim Painton ordered him to take a day off from practice Monday, but he still watched from the dugout.

Tuesday, Hallum played against LA Valley and had four hits in four at-bats while driving in four runs! Brock Hallum, you rock! Next week I’ll tell you about a special pitcher who has really turned his baseball career around this season for the Renegades.

McKenna Valencia and Alexis Solis

Speaking of turning it around, BC Softball had a shaky start to their season, but they’ve risen to second place in their conference  after winning three straight games this week, including sweeping a doubleheader from Santa Barbara at the Dean and Aaah Gay Sports Complex. They got good pitching from McKenna Valencia and Alexis Solis, and both also had good at-bats to help their teams win. Valencia pitched again Thursday, and the game went extra innings and she pitched the whole thing! That’s 12 innings; a usual game is seven, so she almost pitched the equivalent of two games! Thank you Coach Christie Hill.

Thank you Francis Mayer, the fabulous Sports Information Director for Renegade Athletics.

Always Something to Celebrate at BC

On Wednesday afternoon, Academic Senate and the executive office came together to celebrate with birthday cake! Tarina Perry planned a special surprise for Academic Senate President, Steve Holmes who celebrated his birthday on Monday. Little did Tarina know, Somaly Boles, who also works in the executive suite also planned a surprise for the party to surprise Tarina, whose birthday is later this month!  BC Food Services provided the most decadent chocolate cake…. Just look at those pictures! Wow! Happy Birthday Steve and Tarina!

BirthdayCollage

More Press coverage:

We got some great coverage from the Delano Recorder.

Delano Recorder March 2017

Check out my previous blog post about this event in Delano at https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/03/04/inspiration-all-around-us/

Emails Worth Sharing

When a child smiles, there’s something special about the wonder in their eyes. I received an email from Lesley Bonds saying,

Shauna Turner, Department Assistant III in Equity, shared this photo in a group text to my entire staff who has gotten to know her 3 sons over the past 2 years. Here is Bry’Shaun with the BC baseball team at the 2017 League of Dreams Baseball Opening Day. I’ve never seen him smile so big! You can just tell he feels like he’s surrounded by celebrities.

Shauna Turners Son

Little future Renegade Bry’Shaun with the BC Baseball Team

 

So much to be proud of….Renegade Experiences are Incredible

 

Coffee at Waikkiki March 14 2017

Sonya Christian. Morning Coffee on the Beach

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever