Tag Archives: Oliver Rosales

Live simply…so others can simply live

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 5, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

What a week…. started with Arun Gandhi visiting BC and Delano and ended the week in San Diego at a statewide meeting. Snapped some great photos, and snuck away one evening to check out Old Town San Diego.

Sunset Oct 2 2019….. Don’t forget your three wishes

Old Town San Diego is home to the first European colonial settlement in California. The San Diego Presidio and Mission San Diego Alcala were established in 1769. The mission was later moved further up the San Diego River, but the Presidio remained the center of town until the 1860s, when Alonzo Horton developed present-day downtown San Diego.

Today, visitors can wander through lush gardens, browse in shops for unique treasures, indulge great Mexican food, listen to strolling mariachis, tour a haunted building, or spend a day at a museum. Year round, Old Town is the place to be for food, folklore, and fun. For dinner, I had a chille releno and sopapillas which were delicious … although I must say that the sopapillas in New Mexico are the best I have had yet.

It seemed that there were many celebrating birthdays at the restaurant. Got introduced to the song Las Mananitas that is traditionally sung to wake up loved ones on their birthdays. So here it is for those of you celebrating your birthdays this weekend.

Arun Gandhi Speaks in Delano

This week’s visit by Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, made me go back and watch clips from Richard Attenborough’s 1983 movie Gandhi, which won a total of 8 Oscars including best picture, best director, and best actor.

Here are some clips, starting with a 2:37-min clip from the movie on his early years in South Africa.

A 2:43-minute clip

The funeral scene

Chamber Singers with Dr. Jen Garrett perform two pieces… You Will Be Found, and Bridge Over Troubled Water

Abel Guzman captured a side view of the Chamber Singers performing these two songs on facebook live.

When Dr. Arun Gandhi took the stage at Delano High’s RFK Auditorium on Monday, he started by asking the audience to participate in a thought experiment. He had everyone pair up, asking one person to hold their fist clenched as tightly as possible, while the other person did anything they could to get it open. After a few seconds struggling to force their partner’s hand open, he asked a simple follow-up question, “Did anyone ask their partner if they would open their hand?” This simple exercise helped motivate the primary theme of Arun Gandhi’s talk, the pervasiveness of violence in our everyday lives and how by reducing the passive violence within ourselves we can reduce acts of physical violence and conflict in our larger society.

The grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Arun’s appearance in Delano is one of the highlights of a full year of programming honoring the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth in 1869. Arun grew up in South Africa in the 1940s and became full of anger at a young age as he fell victim to prejudice in his home country. For his well-being, his parents sent him to live with his grandparents at the Sevagram ashram in India for two years. During that time, “Grandfather,” as Arun simply calls him, taught him how to channel his anger and react peacefully. Arun’s stories about his time at Sevagram are collected in his most recent book, The Gift of Anger and Other Lessons from My Grandfather.

Arun’s time with both of his grandparents taught him about anger, and in fact he says that it was his grandmother that taught his grandfather that reacting in anger was ineffective. He tells more about his grandmother in his book The Forgotten woman: The Untold Story of Kastur Gandhi.

I was happy to see that three of our trustees were able to attend this event — Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Trustee Jack Canale, and Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Arun described how physical violence is what most of us think of with the word violence, but there is also non-physical violence, or passive violence. When we over consume or waste abundant resources for our own comfort, we are acting with passive violence against the environment and humanity. Passive violence creates the conditions for and fuels physical violence, so recognizing that in our own actions becomes the conduit of change. We can stop over consuming and wasting our resources. Arun’s grandfather taught him that we must, “live simply so others can simply live.” 

Arun spoke of great leaders such as Cesar Chavez and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who studied Grandfather, even as he advised that their work was not done, and that we will not get rid of violence and know peace until we stop subjugating others, identifying people by labels, and judging others. To know peace, we must accept each other as human beings.

Sonya Christian with Arun Gandhi

In response to a question, Arun Gandhi said there is no more honorable work than manual labor and to never be ashamed of working in the fields. He stressed that education is not just for upward mobility, but for better understanding, and to never stop educating yourself as education is about enlightenment.

BC history professor Oliver Rosales moderated a Q&A session with Arun Gandhi, asking what his grandfather would think about the ways that his approach to non-violent political protest influenced Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, and countless other civil rights leaders over the last century. Arun responded that while Grandfather’s philosophy of “ahimsa” or non-violence is effective for resolving grievances between conflicting cultures, it is primarily a tool for self-improvement and growth, and people will continue to engage in the same conflicts over and over until they evolve to address the root causes of conflict within themselves.

See a short clip of his response in this Bakersfield Californian video.

Check out Robert Price‘s piece on the front page of The Bakersfield Californian “‘Never submit to cowardice,’ another Gandhi urges.”

Loved the coverage from Univision where the reporter talked to students as well as Abel Guzman, BC’s Exec Director of Rural Initiatives.

https://www.univision.com/local/fresno-kftv/nieto-de-gandhi-comparte-ensenanzas-con-estudiantes-del-condado-kern-video

Also KGET: https://tinyurl.com/y5n3f3kx

I want to recognize the person who really brought the community wide celebrations to life, Dr. Naina Patel. BC got engaged with these celebrations when Naina texted me on January 4, 2019 inviting us to participate. Thank you Naina Patel!

Dr. Naina Patel

Thank you Dr. Nicky Damania and the Office of Student Life, Abel Guzman, Executive Director of Rural Initiatives, Rene Ayon, Principal of Delano High School, Delores Rodriguez, Principal of RFK and everyone in the Renegade family who made his visit as warm and welcoming as possible.

Here are some fun pictures of the BC Team that made it happen.

The Gandhi Celebration will continue throughout the Fall semester. On October 25, you can check out the BC Choir and Chamber Singers at the Building Bridges in the World event, which will honor Gandhi’s legacy through singing and accompaniment by the Synergy String Quartet.

Distinguished Speaker Series: Erin Gruwell

Teachers can truly have a remarkable impact on their students’ lives. Our Distinguished Speaker from this past Wednesday, Erin Gruwell, is a perfect example of this. When assigned freshman English classes full of students that nobody believed could really succeed, she was determined to make a difference. Her heart and determination led her to capture her students’ stories in journals, which lead to the start of The Freedom Writers Foundation and the publication of The Freedom Writer’s Diary, a book composed of the students’ true stories written in Gruwell’s class.

Erin Gruwell

After the success of the Freedom Writers Diary, the story of Gruwell and the Freedom Writers was later adapted into a 2007 film starring Hilary Swank. Check out the trailer of the movie on youtube.

Gruwell lead a series of presentations in the Indoor Theater, getting very emotional in the process while showing clips from the “Freedom Writers” movie to describe how close they were to what actually happened. She brought out special guest Narrada Comans, one of the original Freedom Writers, who talked about the ups and downs of his life as a Freedom Writer over the last 20 years, and what a difference it made to be able to share his story and have the voice that “Ms. G” gave him.

Joining the audience in the Indoor Theater to hear the powerful message of Erin Gruwell and Narrada Comans were more than 500 dual enrollment students from Independence, Bakersfield, Mira Monte, Frontier, Ridgeview, McFarland, Vista, Cesar E. Chavez, Delano, and Robert F. Kennedy high schools. When the Dual Enrollment Department heard that Erin Gruwell would be coming to speak at BC, they purchased 500 copies of The Freedom Writer’s Diary to put into our dual enrollment classrooms across the county. These students were excited to meet Gruwell and her former student Narada in real life, and there were many emotional moments as students came to get their books signed and shared a bit of their own stories. 

Erin Gruwell and friend on stage

I would like to thank Erin Gruwell and Narrada Comans for being a part of the Distinguished Speaker Series. I would also like to thank BCSGA and the Cerro Author Series committee for putting this event on and continuing to bring great guests.

Erin Gruwell on stage

Our next Distinguished Speaker will be Dr. Paula Green from the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, who will be giving a presentation in Forum 101 on October 23. I hope to see you there!

Valley Fever Town Hall

On New Years Day in 2012, Rob Purdie woke up with an aggressively painful headache that wouldn’t go away. His energy felt depleted, and any amount of light in his eyes would intensify the migraines even further. As the weeks passed, he visited several doctors to try to find a cause, but none of them could give an answer.

Valley Fever Town Hall panel

By Valentine’s Day of that year, Purdie was hospitalized with Valley Fever, and the doctors at Kern Medical were beginning the months-long fight to save his life.

Valley Fever Town Hall panel

Purdie was one of the panelists for a town hall on Valley Fever at the Indoor Theater on Thursday. Congressman TJ Cox and the Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical organized the event, which provided the public with essential information on one of the deadliest diseases in the Central Valley, with approximately 3,000 cases diagnosed in Kern County alone last year.

Valley Fever Town Hall panel

Congressman Cox briefly spoke at the beginning of the event about what his team is doing to bring awareness of Valley Fever to the nation’s capital, with the hopes of securing financial resources for increased research into treatment. His comments were followed by the Valley Fever Institute, a panel of world-class medical experts who are working to save those affected with Valley Fever while conducting clinical trials and research to minimize the symptoms and eventually cure the disease.

Valley Fever Town Hall panel

Purdie’s story is typical for the majority of people afflicted with Valley Fever, as the nature of the symptoms make it difficult for a doctor to discover the cause if they don’t know to look for it. Valley Fever is caused by breathing in airborne spores of a fungus that is prevalent in the soil throughout the Southwestern US, but occurs in Central California in particular. The symptoms typically manifest as a flu that never ends. By the time that Valley Fever is usually diagnosed weeks or even months after symptoms appear, the disease has progressed into life-threatening complications.

Valley Fever Town Hall panel

The Valley Fever Institute aims to increase awareness of the disease so that people can be aware of the symptoms and let their primary care physicians know when they might need to be tested. To prevent getting Valley Fever, the institute recommends taking preventative safety measures like watering the ground when working or playing around soil and dirt.

Valley Fever Town Hall panel

At the end of their presentation, members of the Valley Fever Institute took questions from the audience about the economic impact of the disease, as well as what low-income patients can do to secure resources for treatment, which can cost thousands of dollars per month.

KGET Channel 17’s Eytan Wallace was in attendance to provide local media coverage for the event. Visit KGET.com to read more.

Thank you to Congressman Cox and the Valley Fever Institute for this important informational event, as well as everyone at BC who helped provide a welcoming space for this event to occur.

Early College Football Night

Pictured, in no particular order: Steve Watkin, Mayor Karen Goh, Jean Fuller, Romeo Agbalog, Brian Bell (McFarland High School Principal), Tony Cordova, Kimberly Bligh, Aaron Resendez (McFarland Unified School District Superintendent), Jim Beltran (McFarland USD Board of Trustees President), and Angel Turrubiates (McFarland USD Board of Trustees Vice President)

I was so happy to have Early College students from McFarland High School Early College and Arvin High School join me at last Saturday’s home football game! Before the game began, students were invited to a resource fair where our wonderful CTE, Counseling, Umoja, EOPS, Next Step, Finish in 4, Outreach, Rural Initiatives and Early College teams were giving out swag and information to these young Renegades. The students also enjoyed free tacos and played lawn games together while waiting for the football game to start.

Early college football night
Pictured, in no particular order: Jean Fuller, Russell Fuller, Jerene Bastisti, Pam Chambers, Dana Brennen, Joe Brennen, Courtney Dunbar, Lindsay Mayo, Kaelyn Peterson, Brent Peterson, Annie Beard, and Jeremy Beard 

The game started with McFarland Unified School District Superintendent Aaron Resendez doing the coin toss, and at halftime we had two Early College students compete to win the relay challenge. Both students left winners, with prizes provided by our Athletics Department.

Check out these great photos of KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog and McFarland School District Superintendent Aaron Resendez being interviewed at halftime by Vance Palm

And, here are some great shots of our amazing new football field!

Thank you to Kylie Swanson and Early College, Outreach, and Athletics for providing this exciting event for our Early College students. I can’t wait to do this again next year!

Here are some pictures — thank you Mayor Karen Goh.

New Employee Orientation

Bakersfield College has a new way to connect with our employees. This week kicked off our New Employee Orientation, welcoming recent classified and management employees with a full-day orientation designed to get them acclimated to the college and more knowledgeable about BC processes and structure. We welcomed employees from financial aid, athletics, food services, and many others.

BC new employees group shot
Front row, left to right: Rena Hamblin, Michelle Puentes, Michelle Kruse, Lysander Ramos
Back row, left to right: Benjamin Balderama, Jonathan Hernandez, Jeff Keith, Alexis Pitcher, Fidel Cabuena, Nick Chidgey

Participants learned about public safety, IT, BC’s culture, and got to take a tour of the campus. Along with this orientation, Michele Bresso, Todd Coston, Dena Rhoades and Pam Rivers have developed New Classified and New Manager academies that will kick off in November, designed to continue the professional development of new employees and those who want to increase their skills.

Welcome to BC, new employees! We can’t wait to learn together.

BASECAMP 2019: Prison Educators Retreat

BC’s Inmate Scholar program and Cerro Coso Community College, in collaboration with the Corrections to College California organization and New York University’s McSilver Institute, co-hosted the first ever Prison Educators Retreat at Tehachapi Mountain Park on September 26-29. Known as BASECAMP2019: Prison Educators Retreat, the event focused on professional development opportunities and personal wellness during a multi-day and overnight retreat located in a unique natural setting, as opposed to the traditional hotel conference venue.

Inmate Scholars Program Retreat

The event was attended by nearly 80 people teaching face-to-face college programs throughout California’s prisons and jails, including Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso Community College, College of the Redwoods, Southwestern Community College, San Diego City College, Cuesta College, Antelope Valley College, Norco College, Imperial Valley College, Allan Hancock College, Columbia College, Folsom Lake College, Chaffey College, Cal State LA, and the Prison University Project in San Quentin.

Inmate Scholars Program Retreat

Bakersfield College Inmate Scholar program attendees included Dan Hall, Angelica Perez, Diana Alcala, Camilla Anderson, Heidi Forsyhe, Dana Heins-Gelder, Bryan Hirayama, Michael Muhme, Shawn Newsom, Gabriel Searcy, La-Reina Villanueva, Joseph Tipay, Sue Ann Villaros, and Sara Wallace.

Inmate Scholars Program Retreat

BC Program Managers Support the Bakersfield Homeless Center

Last Friday evening, four of BC’s program managers were spotted at the Crystal Palace in support of the Bakersfield Homeless Center at their annual Boots and Bachelor auction. Both ticket sales and bids directly support the mission and action of the Bakersfield Homeless Center, which provides services for those in need across Kern County. The BAKHC website states that the center “creates a strong safety net for homeless and at-risk families by providing a broad continuum of services which begins with basic shelter.”

Kylie Swanson, Monika Scott, Endee Grijalva, Lisa Robles
Cowgirls Kylie Swanson, Monika Scott, Endee Grijalva, and Lisa Robles roped in a good time! Yee-haw!
Lisa Robles and Endee Grijalva decked out with light-up swag
Lisa Robles and Endee Grijalva decked out with light-up swag!

Watch the video below to learn how the Bakersfield Homeless Center got started.

Phillips 66 Industrial Automation Presentation

The Career Education Department welcomed Phillips 66 on Wednesday, September 25 for an industry overview presentation of their company. Phillips 66 brought several members from their team including representatives from Lost Hills, Taft, Long Beach, their headquarters in Houston, and our very own Industrial Automation Graduate, Edwin Marroquin, who completed his Baccalaureate in May 2019.

Phillips 66 presentation and students
Phillips 66 team tours Industrial Automation labs.

The Industrial Automation students had an exclusive opportunity to meet and greet with members from their team which included their West Region Engineering Operator, Lead University Technical Recruiter and Director of University Relations. Phillips 66 was so impressed by our faculty, modern labs, and students’ participation, they envision a greater investment into the college and its programs in the future.

Phillips 66 presentation and students
Students receiving insight information from Phillips 66 team.
Phillips 66 presentation and students
Students meet and greet Phillips 66 staff.

Watch Edwin’s success story below:

You Gotta Have Faith

Librarian Faith Bradham presented a paper last December at the Library Assessment Conference in Houston, TX. This paper showcased a mixed-methods assessment of library services at BC she completed in Fall 2017. The conference proceedings have now been published and her paper is available to read now. Way to go, Faith!

Faith Bradham

Fun Photos

Outreach Reaches Out

Web Content Editor Aricia Leighton shared this great photo of the Outreach team after the Arun Gandhi event. They pulled their team together at the last minute and helped out tremendously.  Thanks, everyone!

Outreach department
Boy Scouts of America 2019 Distinguished Citizens Gene and Linda Voiland
College Council

Here are some great photos that Jennifer Serratt sent over from our College Council meeting on Friday.

Found on Facebook: Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio

Adjunct Art Professor Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio tagged me on Facebook in this photo of a beautiful sculpture he created.  The size of this piece is 18 feet tall × 16 feet long × 5 feet wide. Which is bigger: the sculpture, or his artistic talent!

Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio Art
Found on Facebook: Renegade Softball and Cheer Team at St. Vincent De Paul’s BBQ

Mary Jo Pasek had a wonderful evening with her BC family working at the St Vincent BBQ.

Found on Facebook: Partners in Arvin

Endee Grijalva, Program Manager for Adult Education, sent me this flashback to the accreditation forum, where BC saw tremendous community support from our partners in Arvin.

Left to right: Abel Guzman, Casey Yeazel (Grimmway Academy), Jesse Oropeza, Ed Watts (Arvin High Principal), Endee Grijalva, Lupe Aguirre, and Jaime Lopez

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (9/22-9/28) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week.

renegades of the week

Lanie Camarillo, Volleyball

In two wins last week Lanie collected 22 kills and zero errors. In the 3-1 win over Canyons (9/25) she had a .387 hitting % and in a 3-0 sweep over Glendale she had a .500 hitting %.

Bryan Gaxiola, Men’s Cross Country

With a time of 21:38 Bryan took first place at the Bakersfield Invitational in leading the men’s cross country team to their first, first place finish as a team of the season.

Men’s Basketball Serves at the Mission of Kern County

This last Saturday our men’s basketball team headed to the Kern County Mission to serve the homeless and needy people of our county. They served meals and even took the time to play basketball with the residents, and showed off their dunking abilities! Thanks Coach Righ Hughes for getting your student athletes involved in our community.

Renegade Report: Volleyball

Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our three-time conference champion volleyball team. Coach Carl Ferreira along with players sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss the season and who they think would play them in the movie of their life.

Renegade Athletics Scores

Upcoming Athletics Events ‘On the Hill’

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

  • Tues. 10/8 @ 4pm – Women’s Soccer vs. Citrus
  • Wed. 10/9 @ 9am – Women’s Golf hosts Bakersfield Tournament (WSC #6)
  • Fri. 10/11 @ 6pm – Wrestling vs. Moorpark

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

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.”  

Speaker

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.

Chief Counts 2

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 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.

Sunset on last evening March 9 2018 on The Beach (Gun Beach).jpg

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.

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

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

Renegade Basketball and Coach Hughes

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coach Hughes

Coach Aaron Chavez and Coach Rich Hughes

Grand Opening of the Kern County Justice Center

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

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

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District Attorney Lisa Green, Dena Rhoades, Nicky Damania

The BC family

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

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.

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Jim Selgrath

Jim Selgrath tweet Jan 2018

Chris McCraw

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

Cindy Collier with her dog Jan 27 2018

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We are BC!

Ximena Da Silva Tavares and Sonya Christian Jan 26 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

(with Prof. Ximena Da Silva Tavares)

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.

f17latinobreakfast02-x2

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

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

Dezi Von Manos

Dezi Von Manos, Emmanuel Limaco

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

Beatris Espericueta

We also had three elected official address the audience.

rudy_salas-m

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

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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.