Tag Archives: Pam Christian

Spring is here bringing new life and beauty

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

The gift of music which can move us

The sound of music has profound power to inspire, stir the soul, and move us in ways that simple words could not. I was blessed to hear the BC choir at St. Francis this week as they sang Nearer my God to Thee and Wind Beneath My Wings, led by the talented Jen Garrett. In fact Msgr. Craig Harrison was wanting to keep the BC Choir at St. Francis forever 🙂

The BC Choir getting ready to sing at St. Francis
BC Choir performing Nearer my God to Thee at St. Francis on March 20, 2019
BC Choir directed by Dr. Jen Garrett performing Wind Beneath my Wings on March 20, 2019 at St. Francis

Early College Team Presents in Madera

We are taking our Early College story on the road! KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Liz Rozell, Abel Guzman, Aaron Resendez (McFarland Unified Superintendent), and Brian Bell (McFarland HS Principal) traveled to Madera to present at the “California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley” quarterly meeting. The partnership brings together experts and leaders committed to the same purpose- sustainable economic development, environmental stewardship, and human advocacy.

Group Photo in Madera
Abel Guzman, Liz Rozell, Romeo Agbalog, Aaron Resendez, and Brian Bell

Those in attendance heard from Dr. Jean Fuller via a pre-recorded video, and learned from the BC and McFarland Early College team members in attendance about how the project came to be, and where we are headed.

The reaction and feedback was extremely positive. One particular member in attendance asked that the partnership have more presentations that provide information on innovative solutions to problems in the Central Valley, and stated that our team’s presentation was a great example. Stay tuned for more stories about where we take our Early College story.

Equity Conference

Early this week, our BC Equity team traveled to the University of Southern California (USC) Center for Urban Education (CUE) to participate in the Student Equity Planning Institute.  Led by Dr. Estela Bensimon, the USC CUE team prepared a working institute so college teams could spend time reviewing our student data, analyzing our strategic planning documents and processes, and consider the alignment with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Vision for Success goals.

BC Team at USC Equity Conference
BC Team at the Southern California (USC) Center for Urban Education

I was the keynote speaker on Day 2, sharing with attendees how student-centered legislation has paved the way for major gains in student outcomes.  I highlighted some of our key work at BC, including our Completion Coaching Communities, the Umoja Program, our Kern Promise Finish-in-4 transfer pathways, our placement practices, and our Early College program.  A special thank you to Shawn Whalen with the College Futures Foundation for his investment in the institute. And thank you to our equity team attendees for your engagement: David Buitron, Terri Goldstein, Abraham Castillo, Lisa Robles, Steven Watkin, Imelda Valdez, and Lesley Bonds.

Check out updates like this one from Shawn Whalen and other attendees across California at #SEPI19 on Twitter.

Educational Systems and Intersegmental (ESIP) Task Force

The Educational Systems and Intersegmental Pathways (ESIP) Task Force’s second face-to-face meeting was at the CSU Chancellor’s Office in Long Beach, CA on March 21st. The group continued work on its two main goals: 1) advancing the intersegmental curricular data organized in the Pathways Program Mapper tool for clarifying student journeys and 2) aligning usability and feasibility for California’s future Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS).

Vikash Lakhani, Assistant Vice President for Student Success, CSUB Ben Perlado, Director of Admissions & Records, CSUB
Vikash Lakhani, Assistant Vice President for Student Success, CSUB Ben Perlado, Director of Admissions & Records, CSUB

Patrick Perry, Chief Information Officer at the CSU Office of the Chancellor, welcomed representatives from over 14 groups across the state to engage in the conversations. Vikash Lakhani, Assistant Vice President for Student Success at CSUB, Ben Perlado, Director of Admissions & Records at CSUB, and Faust Gorham, Associate Vice President for Information Technology Services & Chief Information Officer at CSUB presented plans for utilizing Pathways Program Mapper at CSUB while integrating program maps with current BC programs.

Steven Glyer, Workforce Development Consultant
Steven Glyer, Workforce Development Consultant

Workforce Development guru, Steve Glyer, provided updates on the CTE code alignment between K12 career pathways and Community College TOP Codes as well as future plans on expanding the Program Pathways Mapper. Craig Hayward, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness at Bakersfield College reported that 11 community colleges in California are currently working with the Program Mapper. As many as 20 Colleges and district will join the second wave of within in the coming weeks.

Craig Hayward, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness

Justin Curtin, CSU IT Support

Erica Menchaca, BC Faculty
Craig Hayward, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness
Justin Curtin, CSU IT Support
Erica Menchaca, BC Faculty
Darla Cooper, Executive Director, RP Group
Darla Cooper, Executive Director, RP Group

There were two presentations to update the group on progress being made statewide. Concentric Sky CEO Wayne Skipper presented on work being done regarding Open Standards and the Quantification of Learning. (BC and CCCCO worked with Concentric Sky to build Program Mapper.)
Research fellow Jacob Jackson of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) presented on their work in convening a Data Collaborative that discusses future data needs and possible outcomes.

Ben Perlado, Director of Admissions & Records, CSUB

BCSGA Renegades in Washington, DC

BC’s Student Government (BCSGA) representatives visited Washington, DC recently with Director of Student Life, Nicky Damania. I enjoyed reading what Mustafa Barraj, BCSGA’s Director of Legislative Affairs, wrote about their travels and experiences:

BCSGA Team in Washington
BCSGA Team in Washington

My time at Washington DC was an enjoyable, educational, and enlightening experience. I was given the great opportunity to attend the American Student Association of Community Colleges (ASACC) National Student Advocacy Conference and listen to the wonderful Ralph Nader speak on how to better our nation and our community. As a child of Lebanese immigrants, his words were able to inspire and evoke a sense of servitude in me to better my community.

The ASSAC conference also provided me the opportunity to speak and learn from an array of diverse students and gather useful information and resources to take and better my student government. I was able to learn things such as advocacy, lobbying and how to properly speak on issues to my representatives. With these skills, I and other fellow students were able to speak to representatives from Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Office, Congressman Garamendi, and was even given the opportunity to speak on issues regarding California Community Colleges with Kevin McCarthy himself.

I also had the extraordinary opportunity to visit some of America’s great landmarks such as the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and a collection of different museums from the Smithsonian. As an English and Political Science Major, I was able to find the most pleasure in two museums. The first was the Folgers Shakespeare Museum where I was able to look at literature that dates back to the Elizabethan era and that has the only confirmed drawing of William Shakespeare. The Second was the Library of Congress where my group and I and the life-changing experience to see the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with our very own eyes.

This trip was a life-changing experience forever be grateful to Bakersfield College and Nicky Damania for giving me the opportunity to visit the City of Magnificent Distances. This was not only a learning experience for myself but also a transformative one that I will forever remember.

BCSGA Team meets with Kevin McCarthy

Exhume and Release

As part of the “Women in War” theme of BC Women’s History Month programming for 2019, local poet Portia Choi hosted an open mic about war in the Levan Center on Wednesday night and recited some of her poetry about surviving the Korean War as a young girl in the 1950s.

Jessica Martinez introduces Portia Choi

English professor Jessica Martinez organized the event, titled “Exhume and Release”, in conjunction with the Women’s History and More Committee. It was a unique opportunity for local artists to have their work celebrated on the BC campus. During the open mic portion of the event, authors Anke Hodenpijl, Anna Marco and Julie Jordan Scott shared some of the writing about the effects of war on their lives, and musician Fabian Tolan performed a cover of “Peace Song” by Never Shout Never on ukulele. There was also a drawing on display from BC student Crystal Appleton, as well as Gita Lloyd’s cover illustration for Choi’s poetry book “Sungsook”.

Gita Lloyd's cover for Portia Choi's poetry book "Sungsook" is displayed in the Levan Center next to a drawing by BC student Crystal Appleton.
Gita Lloyd’s cover for Portia Choi’s poetry book “Sungsook” is displayed in the Levan Center next to a drawing by BC student Crystal Appleton.

After a brief overview of the history of the Korean War, Choi talked about her personal experience of fleeing her home after being displaced by the conflict. Choi’s family was one of millions who fled North Korea and crossed the 38th parallel to South Korea on foot – a distance equivalent to the stretch of land between Los Angeles and San Francisco – with nothing more than the clothes on their back and a few family heirlooms. Many members of Choi’s family were unable to leave North Korea during the war, and they’ve been unable to contact their North Korean part of the family for over 60 years. Her family moved to the United States when she was 8 years old, Choi said.

Portia Choi talks about fleeing North Korea as a child in the 1950s before coming to the US with her parents at the age of 8.
Portia Choi talks about fleeing North Korea as a child in the 1950s before coming to the US with her parents at the age of 8.

Choi’s poetry juxtaposes the desolation and horror of the war with idyllic, childlike images of the Korean countryside and long springs spent playing with dolls and enjoying her grandmother’s cooking. She shared a poem she wrote based on the story of Neil Vance, a local veteran who fought in the Korean War and saw four of his friends from Bakersfield get killed in the conflict.

Choi has been writing poetry for 35 years, and is an active member of the poetry community in Kern County. Since 2010, she helps organized the events for National Poetry Month in Kern County every April, and she hosts the First Friday Poetry Open Mic at Dagny’s Coffee every month.

Thank you to Jessica Martinez, Portia Choi, and the Women’s History and More Committee for organizing this event, as well as all of the artists and open mic performers for sharing their work with the campus community.

Poet Anke Hodenpijl recites a poem she wrote about Indonesia and growing up as an Indo-Dutch woman in America.
Poet Anke Hodenpijl recites a poem she wrote about Indonesia and growing up as an Indo-Dutch woman in America.

BC’s Welding visits the future site of the McFarland Early College Welding Program! 

the BC team visits Mcfarland welding shop
BC team visits the future home of BC Welding in McFarland!

Last wednesday, Klint Rigby (Industrial Technoligies Department Chair) and Jeremy Staat (Welding Department Dual Enrollment Laison) met with McFarland dual enrollment instructor, and BC graduate, Miguel Martinez to tour the welding facilities at McFarland High School and discuss the future of the program. Early College students in McFarland will have the opportunity to complete 14 units towards a variety of Welding certificates and degrees. Collaborations like this are building the bridge for our students from high school to college, beginning in the 9th grade. The Welding pathway is one of six CTE pathways being offered through the Early College program starting at McFarland High School this Fall. You can learn more about these pathways at the BC website. #pathway2college

McFarland Welding Shop M
McFarland Welding Shop

Spotlight on Industrial Automation

Robot in BC's Robotics Lab
Robot in BC’s Robotics Lab

Reporter Noelle Lilley from ABC 23 spotlighted the Industrial Automation program at Bakersfield College earlier this month, featuring Renegade and Industrial Automation senior, Chad Hildalgo. The article and video clip features how this BC program is preparing students for job opportunities, which Chad described as, “the present meeting the future.”  Love that! Check out the video clip and article at turnto23.com.

Staying Safe through Education and Awareness

Erin Aucherbach Portrait
Erin Auerbach, Faculty lead for the Renegade RIP

BC’s student newspaper, the Renegade RIP, has a history of quality writing and journalism on campus and in the community for over 85 years. Led by journalism faculty Erin Auerbach, the Renegade RIP recently published an article titled “Public Safety at Bakersfield College Conducts an active shooter training.” The article, by Haley Duval, offers insight into the seminars and workshops regularly held by Chief Chris Counts and BC’s Public Safety officers.

Public Safety Group Photo
Public Safety Group Photo

Keeping students, faculty, staff, and the community safe is an ongoing effort. These informational sessions are key to familiarizing ourselves with the best practices, drills, exercises, and preparation. If you have not yet had the opportunity to attend, I hope you will find time to mark one on your calendar. Check out the article at therip.com.

Women’s Month Feature: Who Is The Mystery Woman?

Grace Van Dyke Bird Silouette

Many of you follow Bakersfield College on Instagram and you may have caught the #TBT post this past Thursday. So, who is she?

“I think of the 20s as a period of great energy, exciting drive, and bursting imaginations. The faculty and the students had the buoyancy of youth.” —???

Our mystery woman embodied that same “buoyancy” she spoke of all those years ago. Let’s take a moment to honor a Renegade that is very special to BC. You’ll know why she’s so extraordinary in these excerpts from The Bakersfield College Century (a book published for our centennial celebrations).

It was with reservations that Grace Van Dyke Bird came to Bakersfield in 1917 after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley (a Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in architecture and French)…Bakersfield’s reputation as a ‘gun-slinging,’ western town had preceded it…

In 1920, Kern County Junior College introduced the state’s first woman dean of a junior college. Grace Van Dyke Bird was the ‘right person for the job,’ agreed Mr. Vander-Eike and Principal Ludden when Mr. Vander-Eike decided to take a leave of absence to concentrate on the nursery he owned just south of Bakersfield. So at the age of 25 and in an era when most women did not explore careers outside the home. Miss Bird became acting dean of the junior college and part-time vice principal of the high school.

“I thought very little about being made an administrator of a small college where I already knew personally each student who was in the college and all the faculty,” Miss Bird reflected years later.

A few months later Miss Bird was appointed permanent dean…Grace Bird was an extraordinary woman who would lead the budding junior college through its infancy and growth to develop Kern County Junior College into a fine academic institution.

“I was transformed overnight from a cardboard dean into the real thing. There was no actual metamorphosis since I kept on doing what I had already been doing: trying to keep the college on an even keel…I had become a dean by accretion and not by a ‘big bang,’ as an astronomer might say.’”

Miss Bird went on to be appointed Principal of the Kern County Union High School after a car accident killed Principal Ludden in 1922. Grace Van Dyke Bird would spend the next 30 years keeping education standards high at BC. She’d oversee the college through the 20’s, the Depression, and war. In 1949 she again changed the course of BC’s history.

In a rare breach of protocol, Miss Bird began a quiet campaign for a home [for BC] on higher ground. She called her good friend Carl Melcher, president of the Kern County Land Company, for an “off the record chat” to discuss the possibility of a parcel of land on the China Grade bluffs. When Miss Bird received a phone call in the Spring of 1950 from Mr. McCuen telling her that the Board had purchased the land on the bluffs and that plans for the new free-standing $11 million junior college were moving forward in earnest, she recalled that “my neighbor heard my ‘whoop’ and came to ask about the excitement. I answered, ‘A whole new world of promise has just come to the lower San Joaquin Valley.’”

It’s incredible to think of the gravity of her legacy. Women’s History IS Bakersfield College’s history.

Fun Photo: Kimberly Bligh

Midweek, Kimberly Bligh sent this photo and titled the email “Love Runs Deep.” It is a photo of her and a future little Renegade.

Little future Renegade looks up at Dr. Kimberly Bligh

Fun Photos from Hope Through Mentoring

Hope Through Mentoring Conference in BC Forum
Hope Through Mentoring Conference

Last week on Friday, BC hosted the Hope Through Mentoring event featuring keynote speaker, CNN Hero Award recipient Teresa Goines. Multiple workshops were held with a focus on supporting youth. Special thank you to Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery services for all their work to put on the event and to Mayor Karen Goh for attending.

Mayor Karen Goh
Mayor Karen Goh
Teresa Goines and Lisa Kent
Teresa Goines and Lisa Kent

Fun Photo of Steve Holmes and Trustee Meek

Dean of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez surprised me with a rare and great photo of Steve Holmes standing beside KCCD Trustee, Kay Meek.

Lookin’ sharp Steve. 🙂

Steve Holmes and Trustee Kay Meek

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11a, check out the segments from this week’s show which went live from the 50-yard line at Memorial Stadium. Guests included former BC football student athletes Stane Greene and Jeremy Staat along with football coach Jeff Chudy and Athletics Communications Manager Brandon Urry.

Segment with Stan Greene

Segment with Jeff Chudy

Segment with Jeremy Staat

Segment with Brandon Urry

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (3/10-3/16) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.

Kayleen Sanchez and Daniel Nichols
Kayleen Sanchez and Daniel Nichols

Kayleen Sanchez, Women’s Tennis – Won four matches to continue her unbeaten streak this season and on Friday against Canyons, crushed the only other unbeaten conference opponent, 6-1, 6-0.

Daniel Nichols, Men’s Track & Field –  Made a season best and took first in the high jump at the BC Relays with a jump of 1.85m (6’ 0.75”)

Women’s Soccer Players Moving On

Renegade Women’s Soccer student athletes Drew Hallum and Jacki Zavala are moving on to compete at the four-year level after completing successful BC careers. Hallum has signed and already started school at Emerson College this spring and Zavala has signed and will begin school this fall at West Virginia Wesleyan. Congrats and make us proud!

Jackie Zavala and Drew Hallum

Renegades Named to 2019 CCCWBCA All-Academic Team

A total of four Renegades have been named to the 2019 California Community College Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (CCCWBCA) All-Academic Team. The four include: Victoria Trevino – Forward, Ridgview HS, Aubrey Stone – Forward, Ridgeview HS, Bianca Zamora – Guard, Shafter HS, Brianna Mendez – Forward, Arvin HS. We love to see our student athletes receive recognition for their hard work in the classroom as well!

2019 CCWBCA Team Graphic
2019 CCWBCA Team

Athletics Roundup

All these and more at GoGades.com!

Clint Walker, Janet Tarjan, Sonya Christian, Pam Christian


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

The Dawn of a New Era in Education

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 23, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

This is the second time in six years that I missed a blog post…. last Saturday’s (2/16).

I am dedicating this blog to all moms….the wind beneath our wings.

Pam Christian watching the sunset in San Diego

Early College Launches in McFarland

Bakersfield College and McFarland High School are making education history with the Early College program, and we decided to celebrate the first chapter of that history with a launch event in the McFarland High gym last week on Wednesday night

Early College line

I was unfortunately unable to attend the Early College launch event due to a family emergency, but the Early College teams at BC, and McFarland High ensured that it was a beautiful, informative launch for students and parents alike.

McFarland cougar

Corny Rodriguez introduced the Early College video that aired in English and Spanish, providing a preliminary explanation of how 280 incoming freshmen at McFarland High will be able to get a head start on accomplishing their dreams by being enrolled in college classes on a Guided Pathways to college degree or certificate completion.

Community Relations Director Norma Rojas-Mora served as Master of Ceremonies for the event, spreading the excitement that our team has felt putting together this program over to our students. She also introduced some of the dignitaries present on the dais on Wednesday night, which included 4th District Supervisor David Couch, trustees from the McFarland Unified School District and McFarland Recreation and Park District, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, as well as representatives from the offices of Kevin McCarthy, TJ Cox, Vince Fong, Shannon Grove and Rudy Salas, among others.

Let’s listen now to Aaron Resendez, the amazing superintendent of McFarland School District….a courageous innovator who will do what it takes to advance his students in McFarland.

Brian Bell, Principal of McFarland High, was not able to attend the event. I want to recognize his work in partnership with BC. Just wonderful.

Dr. Mary Barlow, Superintendent of Kern County schools, congratulated BC and McFarland High for launching the Early College initiative before introducing the McFarland Middle School Cadet Corps to present the colors and lead the packed auditorium in the National Anthem.

McFarland children holding flags

Retired State Senator Jean Fuller, who is leading the Early College initiative for BC, emphasized how unique this partnership between BC and McFarland High actually is. After searching across the nation, Fuller discovered that this program is the first of its kind in the history of United States education, and McFarland High will be the laboratory where the Early College model will be tested before hopefully being rolled out for all of our nation’s children.

“This program is one of the first of its kind in the nation, and it’s a miracle,” Fuller said. “This program will make the difference for your child if you reach out and take it.”

Early College crowd
Jean Fuller

Fuller shared the story of how an education at BC changed her life and propelled her to a career of public service, and how Early College will create opportunities for low-income and marginalized students to do the same.

“I wanted to be somebody, but I didn’t know what a somebody was,” Fuller said. “[Your children] can be whatever they want to be, and what we need them to be.”

Early College welcome table

McFarland Unified School District President Jim Beltran offered some perspective on how Early College will increase high school and graduation rates while closing education and employment gaps in California.

“This program will set the precedent for California and other states to change,” Beltran said.

McFarland Unified School District Clerk David Diaz said that the Early College program “embodies [McFarland’s] values as a community” and will make a higher education “more accessible than ever.”

Early College welcome table

Kern Community College District Trustee Romeo Agbalog gave an inspiring presentation about how Early College will prevent students from struggling with their higher education like he did as a young man, and affirmed his commitment to ensuring that every person in Kern County receives the support they need to receive a quality education. I received several text messages telling me that there was not a dry eye in the audience during Trustee Agbalog’s heartfelt comments.

“This program began with a conversation that started with three simple words–‘What If We?’” Agbalog said. “Now it’s not just an idea. It’s happening, and it’s happening here first.”

Early College entrance

Agbalog also connected McFarland High’s proud tradition of cross-country success, captured in the film “McFarland, U.S.A.,” with the community’s commitment to its students.

“This is a community that knows how to get things done,” Agbalog said. “Who better than the 9-time state champions to lead the race to early college in California?”

Liz Rozell spoke on my behalf to share how much hard work has been done with joy to make Early College a reality before leading the gym in chants of “We Are BC” and “We Are Cougar Renegades.”

KCCD Associate Chancellor John Means talked about how classes offered through the Early College program will be equal in rigor to courses at the BC main campus while offering students the support they need to receive acceleration completion to a two-year degree or certificate.

Mike Turnipseed, Romeo Agbalog, Patty Poire
Early College child
Steve Watkin and Kylie Swanson

At the conclusion of the presentations by the Early College leadership, Steve Watkin and Kylie Swanson raffled off 3 iPads and BC sweatshirts to people in the audience while dignitaries were taking group photos. Then, BC’s Director of Rural Initiatives Abel Guzman and McFarland High School Vice Principal Justin Derrick offered more concrete details about the Early College program.

Abel Guzman
Justin Derrick and Abel Guzman
Early College raffle winners
These lucky winners went home with iPads and BC sweatshirts, including one sweet little girl who just walked up and grabbed a bag!

Guzman and Derrick explained how every single incoming 9th grader to McFarland High will be enrolled as BC Renegades and McFarland High Cougars at the same time.

Early College child in helmet

There will be 9 pathways to choose from, offering credits toward degrees and certificates at BC. Incoming freshman will take a student development course in their first semester to learn more about all of the pathways and develop a 10-year plan to accomplish their career goals. Aside from the introductory 12-unit pathway programs, there will also be 30 credits of general education courses available, as well as another 30 credits that will go toward an Associate’s Degree. Students will have to take courses after school and during summer school to complete 60 units of college credit, but they’ll have a two-year head start on their dreams and be able to apply to four-year universities as juniors.

Early College welcome table

While Early College was designed with incoming 9th-graders in mind, we’re not leaving behind any students who are currently enrolled at McFarland High, and those students will have access to some of the Early College opportunities, as well, which included courses in welding, photography, AutoCAD, as well as retail and manufacturing via designing and selling McFarland High Cougar merchandise. After the presentation, there were breakout sessions throughout the McFarland High campus where parents and students could learn more about each of the programs offered.

Early College team

The Early College program has been an immense undertaking that has been over a year in the making, and I’d personally like to thank each and every person who made it a reality.

Thanks to 23ABC for covering this incredible opportunity which starts Cougar Renegades on an early path to a college degree! Check out their coverage!

Early College: Behind the Scenes

Thanks to Manny De Los Santos for producing this great video that shows some of what happened during the Early College launch event!

catherine rangel chris glaser
Catherine Rangel and Chris Glaser working hard before the Early College launch.
Early College team
Volunteers pose for a photo before an eventful evening!
Tarina Perry, McFarland Cougar, Chris Glaser, and Catherine Rangel

Member of Congress, TJ Cox visits BC

Professor Allen Bolar and Congressman TJ Cox

On our rainy Thursday afternoon, Congressman TJ Cox visited Bakersfield College during his first trip home to Kern County from Washington, DC in 2019. His special visit was to speak to students from Professor Bolar’s Political Science courses and share not only his background and experiences, but encourage and invite them to seek careers in public service.

The Forum East was filled with students to see Congressmember Cox
Congressman Cox

He shared tidbits of information with over 200 students, such as being able to tell the members of Congress by the pin they wear and he even shared that he, too, has to go through airport security – just like us!

Congressman Cox shared with students that many jobs and internships are available for them and they should dream big, explore their options, consider visiting Washington, DC to see it for themselves. Thank you to Professor Bolar for inviting Congressman TJ Cox to the Home of the Renegades and offering such an amazing learning experience for BC students.  We are BC!

Making their way to Forum East on BC’s campus
Congressman TJ Cox shakes hands with BC Dean of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez
Upon arrival, Congressman Cox was greeted by Prof. Allen Bolar, Vice President Liz Rozell and Dean of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez.

Chevron’s Black History Month Panel

Dr. Paula Parks at Chevron Black History Month Panel

Dr. Paula L. Parks, Umoja Coordinator and English professor, participated in a community Black History Month panel discussion. The Chevron Black Employees Association held a luncheon program that included a panel discussion on the value of Black Greek-lettered sororities and fraternities and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Dr. Parks shared the experience with four of her students in the Umoja Community African American Success Through Excellence and Persistence program.

Also on the panel were LaMeka Ross, Mark Parham, and Keith Wolaridge, who shared what they gained from their experiences in a supportive African-American environment. Parks, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc; Parham, a member of Kappa Alpha Phi Fraternity, Inc.; Wolaridge, a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Fraternity, Inc.; and Ross, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. talked about the advantages of Greek life in college and in graduate chapters. They said they learned leadership skills, civic responsibility to their communities, and sisterhood/brotherhood while being held to high academic standards.

Wolaridge added that he made valuable connections through his fraternity. He said that many of the Fresno State College leaders were in his fraternity. Both Parks and Parham shared that they continued a family legacy of membership in their sorority or fraternity. Keon Warren, an Umoja student, commented on what he gained:


“I learned that the African-American sororities and fraternities were founded to serve their surrounding community and the greater good.”

Keon Warren, BC Umoja student
Panelists at Chevron Black History Month event

All the Black sororities and fraternities have minimum grades point averages to pledge and to stay active; scholarship is a big focus in addition to community service. Black Greek life helped the panelists to remain connected to their Black community at Predominately White Institutions (PWI). Parks mentioned that she was the only Black English major at UC Irvine and that membership in her sorority reduced the feeling of isolation that she had on campus and in her classes.

Ross, the only one on the panel to attend an HBCU, talked about how much she thrived at Grambling University with the love and support of faculty, staff, and students who looked like her. Members of Black Greek-lettered fraternities and sororities, including the panelists, are known as the accomplished leaders in their professions and communities.

Warren, Umoja student, summed up his thoughts: “It was inspiring to meet really successful men and women who look like me.”

Dr. Paula Parks at Umoja Students

Distinguished Speaker and Cerro Author Temple Grandin, Ph.D. Visits BC

Temple Grandin speaking

We were honored to host author, speaker, engineer and professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, Dr. Temple Grandin, at Bakersfield College last week. Dr. Grandin spoke at four events on Tuesday, February 12, 2019. Two engagements were about living with autism, one on livestock animal behavior, and one on identifying the core emotional needs of animals

Her first lecture on “Thinking in Pictures, Expanded Edition: My Life with Autism” packed the Levan Center. Her second lecture, moved to the Indoor Theater to allow a larger audience, gave tips for students with autism and parents raising children on the spectrum to be successful in neurotypical society

Temple Grandin group

She recommends that individuals on the spectrum identify their preferred method of learning, whether it is visual, auditory or language-based, and build on their strengths while continuing to develop their areas of weakness. A person who is a visual learner, for instance, may be better suited to communicating their ideas via charts and diagrams, while an auditory learner is better at explaining themselves via public speaking. Grandin also recommends that children on the spectrum learn a trade or skill at a young age so that they’re better prepared for the workforce when they come into adulthood.

Temple Grandin at podium

Dr. Grandin’s story is an interesting one and is the basis of some of her books and the subject of an award-winning HBO movie. She was determined to be autistic as a child and did not speak until she was three. With early speech therapy and teachers teaching her to “wait and take turns when playing board games” she was able to join the normal kindergarten class at age five, according to her website. In high school she was teased and became the target for bullies. Thanks to her high school science teacher’s mentoring and her aunt on her Arizona ranch, Dr. Grandin was motivated to study hard and pursue a career as a scientist.

Temple Grandin crowd

BC’s Cerro Author biography explains that Dr. Grandin’s work in animal science includes developing animal welfare guidelines and designing livestock equipment. They proclaim, “half the cattle in the US and Canada are handled in equipment Grandin has designed for meat plants.” Our Distinguished Speaker Series biography shares that she is a past member of the board of directors of the Autism Society of America and that she lectures parents and teachers throughout the nation on autism. She has over 400 articles published, was inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Thank you, Dr. Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life, Dr. James Selgrath, Professor of Agricultural Business, and Kirk Russell, Library Department Chair, for working together to bring such a prestigious speaker and author to campus. Thank you, Mary Jo Pasek and the events staff, for coordinating the event and being flexible in changing the venue to accommodate the large crowds that Dr. Grandin attracted. This is another example of why our college excels at bringing cultural awareness and furthering the learning of our students and community. We are BC!

BC Jazz Performs with Wayne Horvitz and Sara Schoenbeck

The Bakersfield College Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combos recently performed with visiting artists Wayne Horvitz and Sara Schoenbeck in the Indoor Theater. Horvitz is an acclaimed composer and pianist known for his work with John Zorn’s Naked City, Bill Frisell, and the New York Composers Orchestra. Schoenbeck is a pioneer of contemporary music for the bassoon, and has worked with Anthony Braxton, Phillip Glass, Nels Cline, and the Dakah Hip Hop Orchestra. Horvitz worked with our student jazz musicians to perform a set of his original compositions, followed by a duo set by Horvitz and Schoenbeck

Wayne Horvitz and Sara Schoenbeck
Wayne Horvitz and Sara Schoenbeck perform in the Indoor Theater.


Wayne Horvitz, Sara Schoenbeck, and Kris Tiner
Wayne Horvitz, Sara Schoenbeck, and Kris Tiner make some musical magic!

Sara now calls Brooklyn home and performs regularly with many creative and inspiring musicians in the New York scene and beyond. She has performed at major venues and festivals throughout North America and Europe. To learn more, visit Sara’s website.

BC Takes Part in ‘State of the Downtown’ Breakfast

Room of tables

Bakersfield College was honored to be part of the Downtown Business Association’s (DBA) State of the Downtown Breakfast.  It was a great way to kick off Valentine’s Day! Here at BC, we recognize the impact the DBA has made in championing our city.  It was a great to reminisce about the successes of the last year, hear about the plans for the coming year and to see so many friends coming together to continue to support the growth and revitalization of Downtown Bakersfield.

Group at table
Left to right: Keith Wolaridge, Endee Grijalva, Ashley Harp, Tom Gelder, Nicky Damania, Mustaffa Barraj, Norma Rojas-Mora, Christina Springstead

It was especially touching to hear the tribute to Dave Urner and his lifelong commitment to our community.  The impact he has made has not gone unnoticed. Melanie Farmer, the DBA/DBDC President/CEO, presented a video that highlights downtown Bakersfield’s past and its current resurgence. Bakersfield College was joined by community guests Keith Wolaridge and Christina Springstead, students Ashley Harp, BCSGA President, and Mustafa Barraj, BCSGA Director of Legislative Affairs as well as Dr. Nicky Damania, BC Foundation Executive Director Tom Gelder, Program Manager for Adult Education, Endee Grijalva, and Director of Community Relations, Norma Rojas-Mora.

Bakersfield College is always pleased to support our partners and looks forward to continuing to play a part in promoting our downtown!

Theater Students Pour Their Hearts into Valentine’s Day Show

Kimberly Chin’s theater classes delivered a special Valentines-themed performance in the Renegade Food Court the day before Valentines Day, filled with interpretative improvisation and monologues about love.

The event started with a free association exercise where students wandered around each other in a circle and said whatever words came to mind regarding certain words that were picked. The next exercise involved pulling strips of paper out of a box at random with the names of famous love songs on them. The students then created a “machine” via interpretive movement of how that song makes them feel.

The last exercise involved students sharing famous quotations about love. The students would wander in a circle again and suspend their movements whenever one of their classmates was selected to share their quote.

At the conclusion of the improv exercises, students shared their individual pieces, which ranged from spoken word interpretations of songs about love to performances of monologues by famous playwrights such as Neil Simon.

BC Staff Attend Garden Pathways Heart of the Country

Billie Jo Rice, Maria Wright, Kylie Swanson, and Lesley Bonds attended the Garden Pathways Heart of the Country event at the Buck Owens Crystal Palace. They enjoyed music from award-winning Nashville recording artist Jimmy Wayne, Stan Ellis and Stampede Band, and Amy Adams and the Rising Stars.  

Billie Jo Rice, Maria Wright, Kylie Swanson, and Lesley Bonds
Billie Jo Rice, Maria Wright, Kylie Swanson, and Lesley Bonds enjoying some lovely music.

They shared with me the stories they heard of three Garden Pathways mentees whose lives were transformed through mentorship. We see the power of mentorship each day at Bakersfield College, which is why I’m so proud of programs like the African American Mentoring Program, Umoja ASTEP, BC athletics, the Veterans Center, and of course our Completion Coaching Communities.

Musicians on stage

We are excited to partner with Garden Pathways and Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services to host the Hope Through Mentoring Conference: The Unexpected Mentor on April 6, 2019.  Behavioral health professionals, teachers, case managers, law enforcement, students, and others who work in mentoring should mark your calendars and plan to join us here on the BC campus. See you there!

BC Brings College Opportunities to Wasco

The Rural Initiatives team has been busy! Through the Adult Education Program, Bakersfield College has been able to bring college closer to home for Wasco residents and surrounding rural areas. This opportunity was made possible in collaboration with the Wasco Union High School District by setting up a one-stop center for continuing and higher education. The North Kern Adult Education team welcomed more than 70 guests including Wasco residents, partners and KCCD Staff to celebrate the opening of the center at the ribbon cutting ceremony on February 8.

Thanks to KCCD Vice Chancellor John Means and KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog for joining the BC family at the opening of the center. Special thanks to Jaime Lopez and Abel Guzman for making this possible and continuously looking for ways to make education more accessible throughout rural Kern County.

Professor Lindsay Ono Wins CLCA Award

The California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) presented the 2018 Associate Member of the Year Award at the 40th Landscape Industry Show to Professor Lindsay Ono from Bakersfield College.

The award is presented to an associate member in recognition of leadership and service to the CLCA. Associate members are persons or companies selling or producing a product or service used in the green and outdoor service industries, such as equipment manufacturers, material suppliers and business service providers.

Lindsay Ono

Lindsay Ono is Professor of Environmental Horticulture at Bakersfield College. During the summer of 2007, he was recognized as a E. Kika de la Garza Fellow in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Hispanic-Serving Institutions National Program (HSINP). He was one of 17 individuals across the nation who were chosen for this prestigious honor.  He is a member of the California Agricultural Teachers Association and serves on the Environmental Horticulture Curriculum committee. He also works with the California Statewide Career Pathways Project – Discipline Work Group and Champions Career Pathways Consortium.

Ono has been active at the Kern County CLCA Chapter serving in many positions, including President. He also serves at the state level as the Director of Education and serves on the current CLCA Board of Directors.

If you live in the Bakersfield area, you may know him from his Saturday morning radio program, The Country Garden, where he is known as the “Plant Professor.”  Ono is one of the organizers of Garden Fest, an event in its 14th year that highlights the Bakersfield College Agriculture program and brings the community together combining educational gardening seminars and fundraisers for community garden clubs.

In his continued quest to expand educational access and provide pathways to education, he was a leader in the recent statewide work to create a stackable certificate program which aligned green industry community college classes and content across the state’s community colleges to assist students in their journey to learn and grow.

Congratulations to Lindsay Ono from Bakersfield College and the Kern County Chapter as the CLCA’s 2018 Associate Member of the Year!

BC: A Family Tradition Unlike Any Other

Bakersfield College’s legacy in the Central Valley spans across generations, and that legacy of transforming lives through education is evident in the story of three men named John Radman.

John Radman
John Radman’s family has a long and storied history at BC.
John Radman Grandfather
John Radman, Sr. (John’s grandfather)

The story of the Radman family begins in Madera County. John Radman, Sr. was unable to attend classes at nearby Fresno City College, so he moved to Bakersfield to attend BC when it was still located inside the BHS campus. He decided to stay in the community to raise a family, and his son, John S. Radman, ended up attending classes at the Panorama Campus, eventually earning an associate’s degree in Industrial Arts around 1975. John S. Radman met his wife Mary Donovan during his time at BC, and two of their children would attend the Panorama Campus in the ’90s, including Renegade wrestler Aaron Radman and soccer player Brooke Radman.

Mary Donovan
Mary Donovan in 1971 (John’s mother)

Fast forward to last year, when Aaron and Brooke’s brother John Radman was hired as a Maintenance Technician for the Engineering and Systems Department. John had quit pursuing his education to support his wife’s dreams of becoming an elementary school teacher, and after spending several years as a small business owner, he was excited to give back to the Renegade community that had given his family so many opportunities.

After having a few conversations with Dean of Instruction Michele Bresso at the beginning of the 2018-19 academic year, John has decided to continue with his education, and he’s now pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Business while simultaneously working as a BC employee.

Stories like the Radman family’s are why we all work so hard to provide the highest quality of education for our students. When you hear how BC has touched the lives of thousands of people over decades, it really puts all of the work we do into perspective. I wish the best of luck to John as he pursues his business degree, and I can’t wait to hear about what future Radmans contribute to Renegade history.

Fun Photos: Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department

LA Sheriff Department
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) hosted an information table at the Huddle on Tuesday, February 12 to inform students about job opportunities with the LASD.  Web Content Editor Aricia Leighton captured this great photo of officers talking to students.

Fun Photos: Snow on the Grapevine

Grapevine
Found this on Facebook.  What a great photo by Ron Kean of the Grapevine covered in snow!

GPIT Committee Meeting

The week before last, Bakersfield College hosted colleagues from Citrus College and Mt. San Jacinto College to discuss our guided pathways implementation. A small team observed our Guided Pathways Implementation Team (GPIT) meeting and learned about the rollout of our work over the past four years.

Steven Holmes leading discussion
Steve Holmes leads a discussion around sustainability and fiscal stability through enrollment growth facilitated by our guided pathways approach.

We joined in community to dig into the detailed work of implementation with dozens of faculty and staff across campus through a series of round-table discussions.  The group wrestled with questions like:

  1. How did BC approach program and pathway mapping?
  2. How does BC ensure support for all students in English and math?
  3. What kinds of training and support does BC provide faculty and staff to advance student success?
  4. What data does BC collect to support students in staying on their educational pathways?
  5. How do industry partners work with BC faculty and staff to design curriculum?

To give a full picture of our work, our BC team from offices and departments across campuses shared their work around the following:

Amber Hroch speaking
People talking
  • Counseling and Advising Redesign: Grace Commiso, Dean of Counseling
  • Placement and Co-Requisite Supports: Dean Andrea Thorson, Dean Stephen Waller
  • Library & Academic Supports: Maria Wright, Director of Academic Support Services, Dean Bill Moseley, and Librarian Faith Bradham
  • Program Mapper & Finish-in-4: Dean of Institutional Effectiveness Craig Hayward, Dean Grace Commiso
  • Matriculation & Outreach: Steve Watkin, Director of Outreach & Dual Enrollment, Program Managers Ashlea Ward and Kylie Swanson
  • Completion Coaching: Dean Grace Commiso, Program Manager Lisa Kent, and Dean Stephen Waller
  • Professional Development & Academic Technology: Dean Bill Moseley, Lesley Bonds, Director of Student Success & Equity
  • Summer Bridge: Kimberly Bligh, Title V Director, Teresa McAllister, Faculty – Education
  • Data Coaching: Amber Hroch, Institutional Researcher
  • Instructional Leadership: Jessica Wojtysiak, Faculty – Education

Building Diversity Summit

Armando Trujillo, Pedro Ramirez, Julian West, Lisa Robles-Kent
Armando Trujillo, Pedro Ramirez, Julian West, and Lisa Robles-Kent

The Building Diversity Summit was focused on eliminating institutional barriers that impede employment access to historically underrepresented groups. The leads of the BC Completion Coaching Communities for Affinity Group (AAI, Undocu-students/ DREAMers and Veterans) along with our prestige partner, Julian West of Career Ladders Project but always a Renegade, shared their knowledge in a presentation entitled “Representation Matters: The Power of Representation on Student Success” of how Bakersfield College intentionally hires with the intent to create conditions for student success.

Photography Fun on Campus

BC’s Manny De Los Santos has a fantastic eye and great talent for capturing moments that happen on campus. Here is a photo of him getting just the right angle for his photo.

Manny De Los Santos gets the shot just right.

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11a, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights included segments with BC Head Women’s Tennis Coach, Austin Lee and BC Women’s Tennis student athletes Paige Darstein and Kayleen Sanchez.

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.

Kayleen Sanchez, Women’s Tennis – While battling injury, she beat her #1 singles AVC opponent 6-1, 6-2 and in doubles, routed the #1 AVC doubles team, 8-0 with partner Alexis Strange.

Anieus Medrano, Men’s Basketball – Went 8-16 (50%) from behind the arc totaling 29 points (26 in the second half) in final home game against West LA.

Renegade Athletics Roundup

As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):

Be sure to follow Renegade Athletics on social media for all the latest news and updates!

Sonya Christian


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Celebrating Diversity & Community; 2 Core Values at BC

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 2, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

I missed my blog post last Saturday, January 26th — the first missed post in six years as my attention was required elsewhere. Spent sometime last week looking at family pictures and it seems fitting to share a few of them with you before I jump into the amazing happenings at Bakersfield College.

As you’ll see, the work at the college has been moving ahead, blog or no blog … so heads up…..this is a longer blog than usual!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

We began the second week of the Spring 2019 semester with a day to honor Dr. Martin Luther King and his work advocating for the civil rights of all under-represented groups through community organizing, acts of civil disobedience, and the compelling poetry of his writings and speeches.

Debra Strong, Whitney Strong, Nan Gomez Heitzeberg, Tom Burke, Sonya Christian, Vernon D. Strong III, Nancy Strong, Norma Rojas-Mora

On that Monday, the Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Breakfast honored members of the community for contributing to the advancement of civil rights in the Central Valley, and many community members participated in the annual march downtown. The local celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was covered in an article at BakersfieldNow.com, which also featured a quote from BC’s own Steve Watkin.

It is always great to see Mayor Goh at special community events
Vernon Strong and Sonya Christian

This year, the planning committee launched the Vernon Strong Visionaries Award; it was a true honor to be named as the recipient of this inaugural award.

This award in fact recognizes the work of the faculty and staff of Bakersfield College – the work of over 1000 employees at the college; and the work of over 33,000 students. It is through collective effort and dedication that BC serves our community — on the 153-acres up on the hills on Panorama, at Arvin, Lamont, Delano, Wasco, McFarland Shafter…. and hopefully soon on the CSUB campus, online, and expanding greatly in the prisons. 

This past year has seen real growth in student success at the Home of the Renegades. Bakersfield College has a greater number of African American students with a 37.5% increase in the number that transfer to four-year universities. These same students show a 340% increase in those completing transfer-level English in their first year. Thank you Paula Parks!

Keynote speaker Fred Prince at the 2019 MLK Breakfast

Nationally, there were major marches in San Diego, Phoenix, Miami, Houston and Washington, DC, according to an article by Newsweek. And soon after Martin Luther King Day comes February’s African-American History Month. To learn more about all of the events we have planned at BC in celebration, visit our page dedicated to it on the Bakersfield College website.

Carrington Prichett taking photos at the event

A special thank you to the events photographer, Carrington Prichett who has shared his photos with us. You can check them out at BC’s Smugmug!

Sonya Christian and Steve Watkin

I was so delighted to see the Community Voices piece by Steve Watkin in the Bakersfield Californian about “Recognizing the leaders in our community” where he writes about “the conditions that have facilitated our success and more importantly, the people who have helped to create them.”

Check it out at Bakersfield.com.

Blood Wolf Super Moon

The previous Sunday there was also an incredible sight in the sky, the “Blood Wolf Super Moon” lunar eclipse. As the moon approached the constellation Leo, the Earth, moon, and sun aligned, and a crimson-tinged shadow covered the moon. Nick Strobel wrote about the eclipse in the Bakersfield Californian last week, giving a detailed explanation of this astronomical phenomenon. And as always, he took some amazing pictures.

Nick’s description on Facebook was that his pictures turned out “still okay,” but I find them to be incredibly beautiful.

If you missed Sunday’s total lunar eclipse, you’ll have another chance in Kern County on May 21, 2021.

Bakersfield Women’s March

The second annual Women’s March for Kern County doesn’t look like it’s slowing down!  This year there were over 4,000 attendees, with over 70 organizations, food booths and artisans.

The 2019 Bakersfield Women’s March

I love seeing the positive energy in our community, and seeing people support and empower one another. There were so many BC folks in attendance, including Nick Strobel, David Koeth, and more.

The Bakersfield Californian’s Joseph Luiz covered the event in his article, “Women’s March Kern County returns to support women’s rights.

Two Schools, One Location

Presidents Sonya Christian and Lynnette Zelezny

Speaking of The Bakersfield Californian, Lynnette Zelezny, President of CSUB, and I collaborated on a Community Voices piece that shares the exciting prospect of a BC co-location at the campus of Cal State Bakersfield. This ideal location for a BC Southwest campus will benefit students and Kern County for generations.

Jean Fuller Talks about Early College

Jean Fuller was interviewed on Kern Radio and on The Bakersfield Californian One on One with Robert Price. Dr. Fuller shared how the Early College program provides students with quality college education at the same time as they are completing high school. Dr. Fuller touched on so many aspects of Early College including:

  • The cost savings for students, families, and taxpayers
  • Partnerships between high schools and BC
  • Course scheduling to fit the needs of the high schools and students
  • Certifications and degree offerings
  • Workforce skills and industry benefits
  • Benefits and gains for rural students and their families

On Kern Radio Louis Amestoy said Early College sounds “almost too good to be true.” By innovating we can start students on an early path to a college degree and a successful career.

Jean Fuller speaking to Robert Price at the tv studio
Jean Fuller and Robert Price on TBC’s One on One with Robert Price

Join us as we launch this program at McFarland High School on February 13th at 5:00 pm! It promises to be a remarkable event. For information you can visit www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/earlycollege .

Early College Planning in McFarland

Leadership at McFarland HS and Bakersfield College

So much dedicated work has gone into the launch of the McFarland Early College program. It has been inspiring for the BC Early College program team members to work with the McFarland team — Aaron Resendez, Brian Bell, and many others — McFarland High’s administrators, counselors, and CTE coordinator, as they plan the pathway options that will be available to all 280 expected freshman. All students who enter the high school in the Fall will complete at least 12 college units before their high school graduation in Spring 2023. The team has mapped out 10 pathways: an Associate Degree for Transfer 60-unit pathway, a 30-unit General Education pathway, and 8 CTE certificate pathways that correspond with the existing CTE pathways at McFarland. 

The Feb 13 launch of the program will be held in the McFarland gym — you may recognize it from the movie? This work is creating such optimism that every McFarland student will get on the #pathway2college. We hope to see you all at the launch on February 13th! Stay tuned for more updates!

McFarland and BC Early College Launch Planning Team

Early College in Shafter

Bakersfield College Rural Initiatives and Early College team is also meeting with the Shafter High School team to plan their own implementation of Early College program. We are so excited to partner with the folks at Shafter to make a college education more attainable for their students.

Kylie Swanson-BC, Jaime Lopez-BC, Juan Leyva-Shafter HS, Beatriz Ricketts-Shafter HS, Abel Guzman-BC, Jesse Oropeza-BC, Marybeth Beadling-Shafter HS, Patricia Martinez-Shafter HS
Kylie Swanson-BC, Jaime Lopez-BC, Juan Leyva-Shafter HS, Beatriz Ricketts-Shafter HS, Abel Guzman-BC, Jesse Oropeza-BC, Marybeth Beadling-Shafter HS, Patricia Martinez-Shafter HS

BC at Wonderful College Prep Academy

Carolina Madrigal of BC’s Rural Initiatives team and Engineering professor Travis Steele participated as judges in Wonderful College Prep Academy’s middle school science fair. How cool is that?

Professor Steele seen in the middle with black shirt and Carolina Madrigal pictured in BC red sweater

Building Leaders at BC

California Campus Catalyst Fund #stillwerise undocu-ally immigrantsrising.org handouts

As part of the recently awarded California Catalyst Grant a team from Bakersfield College attended a convening last week. Joining them were two students who were chosen as part of the Catalyst Fund Student Leadership Fellowship. The Student Leadership Fellowship supports Catalyst Fund grantees in promoting the voice, visibility, and knowledge of undocumented student leadership at the BC campus.

BC Catalyst team selfie
Pedro speaking at the catalyst event
BC and IR catalyst team
Students wearing LUPE shirts

Students engaged in in-person training by Immigrants Rising staff and partners of the Catalyst Fund. They will continue to get ongoing professional development and attend leadership workshops throughout the remainder of the academic year.

Ag Department Orange Sale

Student in the Ag wagon with pre-picked bags of BC oranges

BC’s Agriculture Department hosted another successful orange sale in the Agricultural Laboratory located at the Haley Street entrance to campus. Students and members of the community came to pick their own deliciously ripe oranges fresh off the trees of the BC orchards, while others purchased pre-picked bags from a wagon at the entrance to the Agricultural Laboratory. Participation in the orange sale has increased in recent years due to media coverage in the Bakersfield Californian and KBAK/KBFX Eyewitness News.

A special thank you to Sally Sterns and the whole BC Agriculture Department for providing real-world experience in agricultural work for our students, and I’d like to thanks people out in the community for supporting BC Agriculture via the orange sale.

Students motivated by HBCU presentation hosted by Umoja

Umoja Community BC partnered with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and the HBCU partnership office to inform students about their transfer opportunities. Students with a minimum 2.5 GPA and 30 transferrable units will be accepted at any of the 37 Historically Black College and University (HBCU) partner schools and receive priority housing and scholarship opportunities. Students heard from a panel of community members who attended an HBCU about why they chose an HBCU and what they gained from the experience.

Umoja Community is a program designed for African-American students to increase success, retention, graduation, and transfer rates. The core program includes English and student development coursework, tutoring, mentoring, and counseling support. The program also offers gen ed courses and a Club. Dr. Paula Parks is the coordinator/English professor/Club advisor; Jonathan Ward is the counselor/student development professor. 

Group photo from the event

Panelist Addonica Stanley, a middle school principal who attended Grambling State University, said that a Black person at a college with a small Black population can feel “less than. I wanted an opportunity to embrace my culture. I was able to learn who I am.” Stanley, who is also an Umoja Advisory Board member, added that the expectations were high and meeting those challenging expectations gave her confidence.

Kotanya Kimbrough Hubbard, who works for the Bakersfield City School District in instructional technology, said that the faculty and staff at HBCUs “care about you. . . They want to see you succeed.” Hubbard, who attended Bennett College, advised students to consider size, part of the country, and their major in selecting an HBCU that fits their personality.

Students were attentive and asked great questions. Terreah Whitmire called the information and discussion “eye opening.” Whitmire, who is in the Umoja program and officer in the Umoja Club, said she definitely wants to attend an HBCU due to the supportive environment they provide. She had been concerned about being able to afford going away to college, but she learned that partner schools offer in-state tuition and the costs are comparable to attending a UC. “Umoja has helped me branch out and meet more (African-American) people,” adding she can build on those “tools and networking skills” at an HBCU.

Students can follow the CSU or UC path and apply using the Common Black College App. Historically Black Colleges and Universities were founded around the time of the Civil War when African-Americans were denied admission to colleges and universities. There are 105 HBCUs, and the Chancellor’s Office is working to expand the number of partner schools from 37.

Herbert Nealy, who transferred from BC to Prairie View in Texas, said going away helped him learn how to handle things on his own in a supportive environment.” Umoja student Kierra Littles said before the presentation she had felt hesitant about going so far away from home, but now feels that the experience will be worth it. Check out all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

Project Conexiones Estudiantiles de BC

South Kern Sol highlighted a new program at BC designed to provide support for undocumented students at BC in an article by reporter Paige Atkison, who is also a BC student and editor-in-chief of the Renegade Rip.

The article features quotes from BC professors Octavio Barajas and Oliver Rosales talking about Project Conexiones, a program funded by an $115,000 grant BC received last year from the California Campus Catalyst Fund to raise the profile and expand resources available to undocumented students and their families. The article also quotes excitement from BC students Jose Bello and Emmanuel Limaco for the project and ways that the grant money can benefit students.

Two students have already received money from the grant, according to Professor Rosales. Faculty involved in Project Conexiones are working with members of student organization Latinos Unidos Por Educación (LUPE), as well as other undocumented students to decide the best way to utilize the grant money to promote community awareness of the issues that undocumented immigrants face.

Oliver Rosales, photo by Paige Atkison, South Kern Sol

The Project Conexiones has several events planned for Spring 2019, including a screening of the documentary “Adios Amor” in the Indoor Theater on March 28, and a Catalyst Culminating event in the Outdoor Theater on May 2 featuring musical performances from Velorio and Las Cafeteras. I look forward to these events and the promotion of Project Conexiones.

Start it up, Renegades!

Goli speaking

Last week, a group of BC leaders met with the CEO of StartItUp, Goli Ameri, to view and discuss a software application that can help students interested in entrepreneurship to start their own business. Also in attendance was Kelly Beardon, SBDC Director and Alese Campbell, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Deputy Sector Navigator for our Central Region Consortium.

BC leaders pose with Startitup
Leaders discussing Startit up


Porterville College Foundation Hall of Fame Dinner

BC’s Culinary Arts

BC’s Culinary Arts program has been selected to prepare the meal for Porterville College’s Foundation Hall of Fame celebration on Friday, February 1, according to an article in the Porterville Recorder.

The PC Foundation is honoring softball coach Vickie Dugan as its Hall of Fame inductee for Athletics after 22 years of service and winning more than 250 games as the Pirates softball coach. The Foundation is also bestowing Distinguished Alumni honors to Steve Schultz, the director of the Porterville College Veterans Resource Center and the father of BC’s Jonathan Schultz. You can read more about Steve and Jonathan Schultz in an article from this blog on November 11, 2017.

I know that our Culinary Arts students are going to knock the PC Hall of Fame dinner out of the park, and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

Continuing Legacy

Jonathan and Steve Schultz

The Renegade RIP published a nice piece titled “The sons of two former faculty continue their legacy” which follows current BC faculty, Dr. Oliver Rosales and Jonathan Schultz and shared how serving BC students is now a family tradition that began with their fathers. See the article at therip.com.

Panorama Invitational

“Two Faces” by Foothill High School senior Emily Alcala.

The Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery is currently home to about 50 pieces of art created by Kern County high school students as part of the 15th annual Panorama Invitational Showcase.

An opening reception was held on Thursday afternoon with hors d’oeurves catered by BC Food Services. Students, staff and members of the public are encouraged to view the exhibit in the Jones Gallery from between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday through Thursday until February 28.

“Mandala” by South High School junior Joanna Alarcon
“Untitled” by Highland High School senior Danae Manzo

This year, 12 Kern County high schools were featured in the exhibition, and art teachers from each high school selected three outstanding students to have their work displayed in the Jones Gallery. This year’s Panorama Invitational Showcase featured paintings, illustrations, a sculpture and even typography with West High senior Daniel Lara’s piece “The Heart of Marvel”, crafted in commemoration of comic book creator Stan Lee, who passed away in November at the age of 95.

“The Heart of Marvel” by West High School senior Daniel Lara

I’d like to thank Jones Gallery curators Ronnie Wrest and Jeffrey Huston for continuing the tradition of celebrating young artists with the Panorama Invitational, and I look forward to seeing the BC Art Student Exhibition starting on March 14.

“Untitled” by Highland High School senior Angel Lopez.
Students examine the art at the opening reception for the Panorama Invitational.

Sex Museums – The Politics and Performance of Display

On Thursday night, the Levan Center hosted a discussion with UC Santa Barbara feminist studies professor Jennifer Tyburczy about her book “Sex Museums: The Politics and Performance of Display”, which examines the ways that art with sexual content is displayed in museum galleries and how that influences public perceptions about the types of sexuality that are considered controversial.

Professor Jennifer Tyburczy

I’d like to thank Jennifer Tyburczy for driving up to Bakersfield for this fascinating discussion, and I’d also like to thank the Reggie Williams and the Levan Center for organizing this event.

BC in the News

Joseph Luiz wrote a nice piece in the Bakersfield Californian on the growth of BC’s online classes — thank you Joseph. You can read the full Californian article here:  “BC sees record growth in students taking online classes.”

Students at the Online Hub help desk used in the article
Graph showing the number of online classes offered since 2015

More News: BC Offering Classes in Wasco

The Bakersfield Californian also announced that we will soon be offering classes in Wasco and are holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony on February 8 at 10 a.m. at the Wasco Adult Education Center. Read the article “Bakersfield College to offer classes in Wasco.”

Emails Worth Sharing: Harry Potter Style

BC’s Matt Jones emailed to share a story about Harry Potter themed English B2 at BC! I had to share! How fun!

So, during the Fall 2018 semester Professor Savanna Andrasian and I conducted our first Harry Potter themed English B2 course. The course explored literary composition and critical thinking at an advanced level. First, as the English faculty for the course, Savanna Andrasian had the students analyzing Harry Potter deeply within each of the books. While examining the books students explored topics such as Heroes and Anti-Heroes, Feminism, History, “The other”, and much more. For my side of the course, as the Academic Technology Faculty, I took the students outside of the books and we explored Harry Potter across all forms of media…audiobooks, blogs, podcasts, websites, and video games. As we did so, we analyzed it with concepts such as Social Determinism and Technological Determinism, Communities of Practice, Convergence Culture, New Media Literacy, and Transmedia Storytelling, and much more. Needless to say the course was challenging, fun, and generated a great deal of excellent work and discussion.

After the course final, we dismissed our students (keep in mind this class goes from 6:00pm to 8:05, two nights a week). However, at that time none of the students wanted to leave. As a result we all hung out in the class room with our students for an additional hour, immersed in deep Harry Potter discussion about character and plot analysis, assignments they loved, and other Potter theory topics that had come to light as a result of the course and the recent Fantastic Beasts movies. Savanna and I were astounded because the students had become so attached to the material and the thrill of discussion that they didn’t want to leave. During that time, they gave us a lot of great positive feedback. However, the reason I am writing you is to tell you this…the feedback was so positive at the end of last semester that over the Winter break…it lead me to create a private Facebook group which I have called Potter Scholars. On this private group, the students from our course who want to join can opt in to be part of the group. As part of BC Potter Scholars, we have continued to discuss academic work that relates to Harry Potter in Education, Memes, Theories, Plot Holes, and the like. This BC Potter Scholar group has become a thriving Community of Practice. One where former students of ours, are immersed in academic discussion that lay outside the confines of a classroom and is set in their own personal lives.

Email from Matt Jones, Jan. 22, 2019

Emails Worth Sharing: “I’ve Been to Prison”

This week, an email from Ron Kean made its way to my inbox. I loved what he had to share about his experience with BC’s Inmate Scholars program.

Dear family,

Yesterday was my first day teaching WORLD MUSIC to 30 students from the INMATE SCHOLARS PROGRAM through Bakersfield College.  I teach at a local state prison that is a Level 4, Maximum Security Prison in Delano, CA. Yesterday, I introduced my subject matter, its importance to our society and its relevance to each inmate scholar.  Thirty felons sang, danced, and improvised to the music of “Amen,” using west-African style as its basis. We then defined the many musical terms that we experienced and I had their utmost attention for 3 hours.  All thirty of these inmate scholars gave me a standing ovation at the end of the class. Next to being a husband and parent, this was the most meaningful experience of my life. This is the only course left for these students to graduate with the nation’s first ever face-to-face transfer A.A. degree.

 And this program will help these inmates to transition back to life outside of prison. There was no correctional officer in the room with me for almost three hours. It was only after we started singing the ostinatos from the introduction to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” did two correctional officers come into the room.  I think they were pleased with what they heard and with music that they all knew. And it was good to see everyone involved relaxed and smiling. And that’s day one! Stay tuned…

Ron

Silly Signage seen on Campus

BC’s Dean of Instruction, Manny Mourtzanos emailed me this hilarious photo from the hallway near his office. He said, “Am I the only one concerned about our campus signage? Exhibit A is attached  :)”

Encouraging Future STEM Students

Kern County Museum sign

Stephen Waller, Dean of Instruction, shared a wonderful example of BC’s outreach in the community and making strides towards encouraging our youth on to the STEM pathway. Isabel Stierle, Professor of Biology has been working with Cheryl Scott of the Kern Economic Development Foundation and Stuart Packard, Superintendent of Buttonwillow School, and female volunteers from the sciences to mentor and encourage various grade level girls’ interest in STEM programs.

Outdoor displays show some of the oil rig equipment to pump oil from deep in the ground.

On Wednesday, January 23rd, Isabel and other mentors met with the Buttonwillow School 4th and 5th grade female students at Kern County Museum to view the Black Gold Exhibit so they could learn about geology, oil production, and uses of petroleum products. Thank you Isabel and Steve for sharing these photos of their field trip and for encouraging STEM students.

students viewing the display
Dave was our tour guide at the Kern County Museum
man pointing things out to the children
The girls viewing some of the indoor exhibits at the Kern County Museum.
Dave showing another display to the girls
wall with interactive rock and soil
Some of the girls got “hands-on” experience to demonstrate the dynamics of rock and soil while oil is being pumped out of the ground.
One of the girls close up to the hands-on rock display
girls faces lit with backlight from looking at a display
Dave pointing out more displays to the girls.

Tree Cutting in Renegade Park

At Bakersfield College, our Environmental Horticulture program is concerned for the health of our trees and the safety of our students.  Unfortunately, California’s drought has taken a toll on some of our trees on the main campus. Our Pin Oak tree, located at Renegade Park, had to be removed due to borer infestation and the potential danger to visitors in the park.  The drought conditions weakened the tree and the borer damage killed around 60% of the tree canopy. It was sad to remove this majestic tree, but the damage was irreversible.

We were able to create a learning experience from this.  The video will be used to demonstrate limb and tree removal that will be used for the Tree Care and Urban Forestry class.  This video will also be distributed to other community colleges in California who also teach this C-ID recognized course, thanks to a grant for developing stackable Horticulture certificates. Some of the wood is being milled to create benches for the park that will be built by Bakersfield College students.

Passing of Margaret “Peggy” Buckley

Photo of Margaret Buckley, nursing faculty, demonstrating CPR. Photo by Al Noriega. Circa 1975.

Jerry Ludeke and the BC Archives team shared the news this week of Peggy Buckley’s passing, a true Renegade.  Dr. Buckley was the first Academic Senate president to serve more than one term, serving for three years from 1976 to 1979. Bill Thomas entered a Tribute to Dr. Peggy Buckley in the May 2, 1985 Congressional Record on the occasion of her being honored as 1985 Kern RN of the Year.  Through her entire 34 year career at BC she worked one weekend each month as a staff nurse at an acute care hospital to keep in touch with nursing reality. Her obituary as it appeared in the Bakersfield Californian on January 23, 2019 is printed in italics below.

Peggy Buckley died peacefully at home in Napa, California, after a short illness. Born Margaret Rourke in Moynalty, County Meath, Ireland, she immigrated to the United States in 1951 and attended St. Mary’s College of Nursing and the University of San Francisco. Peggy became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1956 and moved to Bakersfield to begin her nursing career at Mercy Hospital. In 1958, she married Robert Buckley of Bakersfield. Their son John was born in 1959. Peggy worked at the Houchin Community Blood Bank in Bakersfield prior to accepting a position as the School Nurse at Bakersfield College. While there, she continued her education, earning a Master’s degree and PhD in Education. From that point on, her entire career was spent at Bakersfield College, where she served as the Chairperson of the Allied Health Division and Director, Associate Degree Nursing program. Upon her retirement in 1994, Peggy and Bob moved to Penn Valley, California where they enjoyed golf and travel until Bob’s death in 2003. She moved to Napa, California in 2011 and resided there for the remainder of her life.

Peggy is survived by sister Rhodi Rhodes of Eastbourne England, brother Tony Rourke and sister-in-law Audrey Rourke of Birmingham, England, brother-in-law Larry Buckley of Visalia, CA, son John Buckley, daughter-in-law Julie Buckley and granddaughters Amelia and Sophie Buckley of Fairfax, CA.

To quote Jerry, “We at Bakersfield College have been fortunate to work with so many talented, special people.”

Postcards from DC

I received a lovely postcard from the Eisenhower Fellowship Students.

Washington, DC postcard with pictures of the White House
Postcard signed by 7 students thanking Sonya

Fun Photos at BC’s Huddle

Isabel Castaneda enjoying a Funnel Cake from one of our food trucks on campus

Fun Photos 20 Years Ago

Cynthia Munoz captured this picture of the downtown when it snowed in Bakersfield 20 years ago

Baby Renegade

Professor Ximena Da Silva Tavares shared with me the cutest photo of baby Leo. She said “Janet Thomas gifted us this little Renegade Hoodie.” So sweet!

Baby Leo, Future BC Renegade

CCLC Effective Trustee Workshop

Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Jack Connell attended the CCLC Effective Trustee Workshop in Sacramento along with Chancellor Tom Burke.

Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Chancellor Tom Burke, and Trustee Jack Connell at CCLC
Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Chancellor Tom Burke, and Trustee Jack Connell at CCLC

Renegades of the Weeks

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this 1/13-1/19 and 1/20-1/26 Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.

1/13-1/19

Dasia Wandick, Women’s Basketball – Scored 19 points and had 7 rebounds in game against El Camino. Blake Van Uden, Men’s Basketball – Went 3-3 in FG’s for a total of 6 points and 9 rebounds in road game against Glendale.

1/20-1/26

Natilee Parrish, Softball – Had game winning three-run walk-off home run to claim the opening day victory over Santiago Canyon, 6-4. She ended the opening three games with 3 total hits (2 HR) and 4 RBI’s. Will Reynolds, Baseball – Hit .714 on opening weekend over two games against Moorpark. He was 5 for 7 with a double, 2 RBI’s and a run scored. Defensively, he threw out a crucial game tying run at home plate in the 7th inning of Friday night’s 1-0 win.

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11a, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights include segments with BC Head Golf Coach Wes Coble and BC Sophomore Golfers Matt Sakowski and Matt Sanders.

Segment with BC Golf Coach Wes Coble

Segment with Matt Sakowski and Matt Sanders

Segment with Brandon Urry

Segment with Colby Lewis

Roundup of Athletics Events this week

As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Registration is Rockin’ at Bakersfield College!

A beautiful morning here in Bakersfield….It is Saturday, July 15, 2017.  What a great day to be a Renegade.

And I thought July was going to be a slow month here, as Coach Paula Dahl would say, in the Renegade nation.  This week in July was full and rich ….like peanut butter and jelly.

#NeoThePup

July 14 2017 Neo

Neo

Let me start with, as Lesley branded the the growing up of Neo, #NeoThePup.  At 34 lbs he still thinks he is a puppy.  Well actually he is still a puppy — 4 months old.  But my mom does not think so.  Particularly when after his bath this last weekend he ran full speed and jumped on her lap, all 34 lbs of him, and started licking her face.  She later politely told me I had to teach him some manners.  When Tom Gelder heard this story, he said well, you must introduce your mom to Ogden Nash

 

The truth I do not stretch or shove
When I state that the dog is full of love.
I’ve also found, by actual test,
A wet dog is the lovingest.
-Ogden Nash

I then checked out Ogden Nash and enjoyed what I read about him. Wikipedia says that Nash loved to rhyme, and quotes him as saying in a 1958 news interview, “I think in terms of rhyme, and have since I was six years old.” What an incredible, natural, and wondrous talent.

The big adventure this week was to get smart with Neo and put in gates to secure areas that we did not want himfrolicking in.  Needless to say, he was not very happy as you can see in the photo.

July 9 2017 Neo behind gates

Neo in his new world

And he has progressed from an obedient 2-month old to a stubborn almost 4-month old. Here he is with mud all over his muzzle and paws looking at me after I repeatedly called out to him.  Do you think this look displays any indication that he is ready to get up and respond to me?

July 14 2017 Neo's response when I called him

Neo creating his muddy bed

 

Meet the new member of the KCCD Trustees Rayven Acosta-Webb

Raven Acosta, Romeo Agbalog, Bill Thomas July 13 2017

Rayven Acosta-Webb, Chancellor Tom Burke

Rayven Acosta-Webb is a sophomore student at Bakersfield College, double majoring in Engineering and American Sign Language. Her previous experiences include being a supplemental instructor and the Bakersfield College Student Government Association’s Public Relations Manager. She offers a new perspective, as well as an understanding of the diverse needs students have on campus. She wants to be more involved with campus organizations, staff, and fellow students at all three sister KCCD institutions. She will help to create a stronger voice for all who attend and reach out to all areas of the school. Most important of all, she will represent the students’ opinions and concerns at the KCCD Board of Trustee’s meetings. She will use her ability to listen and help get the ball rolling in areas in which individuals have found themselves stuck or felt neglected. She aims to help generate change that benefits all who attend a KCCD institution and is honored to help KCCD continue to thrive.

Rayven Acosta Webb KCCD Trustee July 13 2017

Rayven Acosta-Webb, Romeo Agbalog, Bill Thomas

Involvement:

  • American Sign Language Club (Member) at Bakersfield College
  • Cadet Training Officer for Bakersfield High School
  • Bakersfield Club of the Deaf (Member)
  • Bakersfield College Student Government Association Public Relations Manager
  • M.E.Ch.A Club (Member)

Registration Rocks at Bakersfield College

Registration Rocks

Steve Watkin, Sonya Christian, Michelle Pena

The sight was incredible, stepping out of my office on Tuesday morning — hundreds of students in the Welcome Center with our incredible staff there to assist and support each step of the enrollment process. I had to stop and take a photo with Steve Watkin and Michelle Pena. The event had an incredible turnout with 227 new first-time students and 323 students who we welcomed back making a grand total of 550 students helped out in just one day!  Thank you to the entire team who designed the event including Steve Watkin and the Outreach office, John Farrand and Francis Mayer for the promotional video, and all the amazing BC staff and faculty on hand to help out the students.

Its Possible3

Steve was also on the news bright and early Monday morning – check it out here.

Miss the video? See it on last week’s blog post here.

State of the City Luncheon

July 12, 2017 was the State of the City event hosted by the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce.  This was Karen Goh’s first as mayor of Bakersfield.  We had a table of folks from KCCD, the Bakersfield College Foundation and Bakersfield College.  We had a great time.  Here are some photos of our team.

State of the City Luncheon

Romeo Agbalog, Bill Thomas, Sonya Christian, Tom Burke

Karen Thompson and Rick Kreiser July 12 2017

Karen Thompson, Rick Kreiser

 

 

Mayor Karen Goh made an opening statement for the State of the City, hosted by the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, urging attendees to “change the narrative of our community” and challenging Bakersfield’s leaders to do their part in distorting the negative perceptions outsiders have about this area as we continue to grow.  She called it “A New Vision, A New Narrative”

Slide from Karen Goh's presentation July 12 2017

Goh also outlined her plans for her first term as mayor and encouraged businesses to work with schools to prepare students for the workforce and hiring locally for technology needs.  In talking about diversification of the Bakersfield portfolio, the mayor highlighted Health Care, the Technology industry, and Education.  Working collaboratively was a central theme of her message.  So in that context, I would like to remind the reader about the Kern Promise, a large educational collaborative across all education sectors, business and industry, political leaders and other community organizations.

KernPromiseEven-042817s-37-X3

KernPromiseEven-042817s-35-X3

For more on the Kern Promise check out my April 29, 2017 blog at
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/04/29/strengthening-kern-county-one-degree-at-a-time/

 

 

City Manager Alan Tandy gives the State of the City

The Kern River Alan Tandy's presentation

Alan Tandy State of the City July 12 2017

Alan Tandy

Alan Tandy started his talk with images of the Kern River gushing with water.  I felt uplifted at the image since it always tugged my heart when I walked or biked on the “River Walk” bike path and saw no river for my first few years back in Bakersfield from Oregon.

And of course he talked about transportation and TRIP.  He showed us a pretty cool video with drone footage of the project and offered details about the Centennial Corridor Project aiming to connect Highway 58 with the recently-completed Westside Parkway.  He did a special mention of Retired Congressman Bill Thomas and the room burst into a round of applause.

Tandy provided an explanation for the increase in water rates and reminded attendees that the resolution on housing and urban development and the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program is coming up at the next City Council meeting.

Thank you Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce for hosting the State of the City event and providing a platform for some very important conversations about the future of our city to take place. If we’re going to make Bakersfield a key destination for the entrepreneurs of the future, we’ll need to continue having these conversations.

Loved this picture from Karen Goh’s Facebook page with the fabulous Chamber staff

Mayor Karen Goh and Chamber Team

Want to catch up on some things covered during the afternoon? Check out The Bakersfield Californian’s article, “Gateway to Barstow? Mayor tells State of the City crowd rebranding is imperative” by Dorothy Mills-Gregg and the official State of the City website.

Bakersfield Burrito Project

Karen_Goh_Facebook_Post_with_Emmanuel_Limaco

Here is Mayor Karen Goh with BCSGA Senator, Emmanuel Limaco helping out at the local event. It’s great to see the ways BC is out in the community and Bakersfield has so many great initiatives to get involved with. The Bakersfield Burrito Project says on it’s official website that it “has been serving the community of Bakersfield, California since 2009. Every Sunday, without fail, our volunteers create fresh burritos from raw ingredients and package them.” Learn more about this incredible project at www.bakersfieldburritoproject.org.

To see all the photos from Bakersfield’s Mayor, visit Karen Goh’s album on Facebook!

Into the Woods Closing Show Tonight

Tonight is the closing performance of “Into the Woods” — the first BC musical in about 20 years! It has been incredible to see the cast and faculty on this great endeavor. Jennifer Garrett tells me, that doing a Sondheim musical in a 4-week class has been absolute insanity but they have pulled things together and created a show that is truly remarkable. The director of the show, Brian Sivesind has he just completed his first year as full-time faculty at BC! Brian is an amazing addition to our faculty. He is so focused on student success and sets high expectations for students and all those involved in the musical He has devoted an amazing amount of time to this production and specifically to each individual student. I know that the cast of the production appreciates him very much and so do I. Thank you to all of those that have already attended the musical and I hope many more will be able to attend tonight.

Final performance begins tonight at 7:30PM.  I hope you’ll be there.

Patrick Bender thank you for you countless hours with all of our performances.  Every time I run into Dr. Garrett she raves about what a blessing you are to our students, to the department and to the college.  #WeAreBC

Patrick Bender

Patrick Bender

The fabulous Jen Garrett with the female cast of Into the Woods

Jen Garrett with the female cast Into the Woods July 2017.JPG

And the Director of BC’s first musical in 20 years, Brian Sivesand!

Brian Sivesind Photo from TBC Rod Thornburg.jpg

BC’s Drumline “Resounds”

GE-Resound-2017-10

Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps

This is the second year in a row that I attended the Resound International Competition here in the Memorial Stadium.  Last year, the event was on July 16, 2016 and check out this fun blog post that has a lot of great memories in addition to the Drumline.  This post covers:

(1) the KCCD BOard of Trustees vote on Measure J
(2) Mayor Harvey Hall’s Community Voices in The Bakersfield Californian endorsing Measure J.
(3) Great speeches by SGA President Matthew Frazer and another SGA member Wesley Lyons
(4) Visit to Arvin High School
(5) Presenting to Chevron Retirees
(6) And finally Rocky, The Racoon

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/07/16/building-a-better-bc/

At this year’s event, what an incredible lineup from across California

7:00 p.m. Welcome & National Anthem
7:08 p.m. Blue Devils CConcord, CA
7:24 p.m. IncognitoBrea, CA
7:40 p.m. WatchmenRiverside, CA
7:56 p.m. ImpulseBuena Park, CA
8:12 p.m. Intermission
8:27 p.m. Blue Devils BConcord, CA
8:43 p.m. Vanguard CadetsSanta Clara, CA
8:59 p.m. Golden EmpireBakersfield, CA

 

In First Place – Blue Devils; Second Place – Vanguard Cadets; Third Place – Golden Empire (BC)

Here are some photos from John Farrand

 

And some extra photos:

Francis Mayer and John Farrand on the field capturing photos and videos.

 

 

We are so fortunate to have such a great M&O staff.  It seems like they are everywhere every time taking care of something for the college, for our faculty and staff and for our students.  And they do it with a smile.  Let me introduce you to Patrick Harrison, Martin Ramirez, and Aaron Kidwell.  Gentlemen, from the entire college and our community, I thank you for what you do and for who you are.

Patrick Harrison, Martin Ramirez, Aaron Kidwell July 14 2017.JPG

Patrick Harrison, Martin Ramirez, Aaron Kidwell

 

Check out the 1:27-minute video

I am so glad we have Prof. Tim Heasley at Bakersfield College.  Thank you Tim for the countless hours working and travelling with our students.  The sheer physical stamina and focus on details that you provide with such a limited staff is truly remarkable.  Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! #WeAreBC

Here is a photo of Tim Heasley from Mary Jo Pasek’s Facebook

Tim Heasley from MJ's Facebook July 14 2017

Tim Heasley

The BC Fight Song

A fun email chain passed by my inbox where Heather Pennella was investigating the legalities behind copyright and re-recording the BC fight song. I loved our chancellor Tom Burke’s addition to the email chain where he said, “I have a 1960’s recording of the fight song on 33 ⅓ vinyl record.”  When I stopped by the district office this last week to work with John Means and Gary Moser, I stopped by Tom’s office to say hello and he had the record with him for the BC Archives.  Of course I snapped a few pictures.

 

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As an extra bonus, he shared with me the ticket for the performance to meet with the pope!

fight-song-4.jpg

What’s Trending at the Chamber?

I received the latest newsletter that keeps me looped in with all the latest regarding our Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce and the newsletter shared that the GBCC received a recent CalChamber award. Congratulations on the CalChamber President’s Circle Award.

The award, first presented in 2009, recognizes chambers for excellence in business advocacy and helping their members comply with California employment laws. GBCC President and CEO Nick Ortiz accepted the award on May 31 during the CalChamber’s annual Capitol Summit in Sacramento. To learn more about this specific award, visit the CalChamber website.

Speaking of the GBCC, Hillary Haenes, Member Programs and Engagement Manager for the chamber was recently featured by Bakersfield Magazine in their section highlighting 20 under 40. I love how the piece says, “Since coming to Bakersfield in 2004, Hillary Haenes has made it her mission to get involved.”  That’s what Bakersfield is all about! See the whole piece on Bakersfield.com.  The photo of Hillary is from The Bakersfield Californian taken by Jonah and Lindsay.

Bakersfield College at the statewide Curriculum Institute

The last few years have seen unprecedented changes to curriculum and curricular processes, from the introduction of baccalaureate degrees to local certification for approval of credit courses to guided pathways. While all of these changes are exciting, they can also be daunting to navigate for curriculum chairs, faculty, administrators, and classified professionals. This year’s Curriculum Institute will provide interactive workshops, breakout sessions, and opportunities for discussion designed to provide the tools and knowledge needed to keep all hands on deck when it comes to curriculum and curricular processes!

The BC Team: Di Hoffman, Sharon Bush, Cindy Collier, Bill Moseley, Jennifer Johnson, Mark Osea, Marissa Marquez

BC Team at Curriculum Institute July 2017

Summer Bridge Continues..

So proud of our faculty and staff who are participating in BC’s Summer Bridge to “bridge” high school students from high school to college.

Here are some emails that Dr. Kimberly Bligh shared with me from students who participated in Summer Bridge

Dr. Kimberly Bligh,

My name is Samantha Coston, I am an incoming freshman and I am pursuing aerospace engineering. I wish to thank you for your valuable information regarding Bakersfield College. Your book had a lot of information that my high school couldn’t provide. It also was a big help with the transition to Bakersfield College. Often times small pieces of vital information gets left out of introductory speeches simply out of forgetfulness. However, your book has provided all the information I need to fully transition and continue to pursue my degree at Bakersfield College.

Thank you! – Samantha Coston

Wonder who Samantha Coston is Todd?

Todd Coston John Hart Krista Moreland May 2 2017

Todd Coston, John Hart, Krista Moreland

 

Hello Dr. Bligh,

I’d like to thank you for putting together such a great opportunity for incoming BC students to get a feel for the campus and figure out exactly what we will be expecting when we come back for the fall semester. It has helped tremendously and I can all ready tell I’ll have a good feel for the place on my first day.

Again, thank you very much.

Wesley Kelley

 

Hello Dr. Bligh,

My name is Alex Cerda, and I am an incoming freshman for the fall semester of 2017. Something that I have learned during this program today is that Bakersfield College is a fairly welcoming place filled with kind faculty members who are very willing to help students to the best of their ability.

Alex Cerda

 

 

Dr. Bligh,

My name is Bailey Gather. I just wanted to thank you for allowing us to have this day. If we wouldn’t have had this day I definitely would be lost on my first day. But another thing that I feel like BC will help me with is all of the resources that there is on campus. So again thank you for giving your time and helping us.

Sincerely,

Bailey Gather

Fun photos:

Jennifer Marden was at Catalina this weekend with Mark and she snapped this picture with a young man named Diego who is Cynthia Munoz’ nephew.

 

I texted back that he is almost as good looking as his aunt.  Jennifer was so delighted to see her friend’s nephew there.  And talking about Cynthia, I got to know her when she regularly came to the Measure J campaign headquarters to help out.  Thank you Cynthia.

Chudy goes to DC

Coach Jeff Chudy was telling me how Congressman Kevin McCarthy welcomed him and his family and showed them a great time in DC.  I enjoyed this photo and wanted to thank the Congressman for his unwavering support of Bakersfield College.

Jeff Chudy in Washington DC with Kevin McCarthy July 2017

 

 

Sonya at the Market Place March 17 2013 (1)

Sonya Christian at the Market Place. March 17, 2013.

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Celebrating our people

Pam and Sonya June 24 2016Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, June 25th and just a wonderful day to be a Renegade.

The last two weeks have been all about family.  Daughter’s graduation and then helping her pack to head off to her one-year fellowship.  And with my mom visiting, there were daily walks and talks.  Looking at albums when Eisha was a baby, at Highland High at UC San Diego and at medical school.  And then there was the cooking…..wonderful meals every evening followed by freezing the leftovers for more wonderful meals in her absence.  What a treat!  Three generations of Christian women.  Life…..

Let me start my blog with the event of the week — A very special retirement.

Bill Parker and Erin MillerCan one person have an impact on a campus community?  The answer is yes. Just say the name, Bill Parker and people will gladly share their stories about how they came to know him and why they will remember him long after he retires. Bill has run our print shop for three decades and delivers paper to offices. He has been a permanent fixture at graduation, guiding and greeting the graduates and the employees as they take their seats. But what people remember about Bill is more that his job or how he volunteered, or how much he loved to play basketball. We will remember his perpetual smile, happy greeting and big heart. Bill, we will miss you but you will always have a place in our hearts.

And how do you celebrate a true Renegade like Bill Parker?  You have a retirement party and invite the campus community. Who comes? The friends he has made over the decades he has run the print shop at BC. Thursday night’s retirement party reflected how he has impacted the lives of so many people. Current and retired employees from across the BC community attended. It was a night for reminiscing, laughter and celebration.

The party started started in the Huddle, with food and memories of our friend and colleague. It became immediately evident that Bill had fostered a special relationship with each one. Joined by his daughter, Marta, and his son,  Malachi, we presented him with an engraved sculpture, recognizing his excellence and inspiration. More than 130 Renegades gathered to play a last game with Bill!

Bill Parker…always with a big smile, big hugs and a big heart!  And always a Renegade! We love you Bill!

Thank you Erin Miller and Marta Parker for planning this amazing event.  Also thank you Jennifer Marden and Eric Sabella for your support. Thank you Valerie Robinson for sending me the pictures and the video.

You may also enjoy my April 30th blog post that has a picture of Bill Parker with Trustee Romeo Agbalog.  Here is the link
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/04/30/sprinting-toward-semesters-end/

Tina Johnson

 

It brought me great satisfaction to see Tina Johnson’s email a few weeks ago  at 8:51 am, telling me that reading my blog was her Saturday ritual.  Tina, thank you!

“I wanted to let you know that I absolutely love your blog. It’s the first thing I do on Saturday mornings when I hear the little ding of my email go off alerting me that I have an email. It’s refreshing to see all the wonderful things that are going on at Bc. I’m so often stuck in my office working that I’m not able to get out and see all the great things that are happening around  our campus, you allow me to take those travels every Saturday morning. I just wanted to send a little thank you! You go girl!!!!!”

 

Bakersfield College Student Health and Wellness is embracing its mandate under BC’s Strategic Directions to “Ensure the health and wellness college value is integrated into campus activities and meetings.” That value is explained in Bakersfield College’s Core Values, specifically Wellness is envisioned as follows:

We believe health and wellness to be integral and foundational elements, and we understand that holistic education improves all aspects of the individual and the society including the mind, body, and spirit: through education, we will positively impact the health of the natural environment and the global community.

HealthFair_4College health can no longer be confined to Student Health Centers, as services are required across the full breadth of the Delano and Panorama Campuses. In 2013 Forbes Magazine explored this paradigm shift. The article, How College Health Centers Help Students Succeed, opens as follows:

“Of all the dramatic changes in higher education in recent years, one that goes largely unnoticed is the tremendous growth in the mission, services, and facilities of health centers. Decades ago most colleges and universities believed their only responsibility for student health was to set up a clinic to treat the sick and injured. Today, driven by a broader and, in our judgment, better understanding of health and its impact on learning, many institutions of higher education provide much more.”

Information Sharing.4To effectively address our mandate, Student Health and Wellness Services tells me that they are beginning a strategic planning process. One of the most important of the needs assessment tools we will be utilizing is the National College Health Assessment (NCHA).

Early adopters at BC are realizing not just the benefit to student health but new opportunities to integrate health into their curricula. These departments and faculty include Sarah Futrell-Baron, Public Health Sciences; Reggie Bolton, with Health and Athletics; Assistant Dean Carla Gard, Allied Health and Nursing; and Brent Burton, Emergency Medical Technician program.

Talking about Health and Wellness, I had drafted a write-up on BC’s Health and Wellness Fair in April that somehow didn’t make it in, so here it is for your easy read this Saturday morning.

Renegade Pulse Health & Wellness Fair

HealthFair_3The 16th annual Health & Wellness Fair, held on April 13, was another great success.

The fair was opened by keynote speakers Vice President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Director Matthew Constantine of Kern County Public Health and Ellen Eggert, Project Supervisor of Kern County Mental Health. Also present was the Medical Director of Student Health and Wellness, Dr. Ron Ostrum. [check out my March 25th blog that mentions Ellen Eggert https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/03/25/the-state-of-kern-county-is-strong/]

With approximately 40 community organizations represented, Bakersfield College’s Health and Wellness Fair was held from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm on the Student Services Lawn.

This outreach opportunity was provided to both campus and community members and offered free blood pressure checks, health screenings, and other related services and topics designed to increase awareness of health issues impacting Kern County. In addition to the keynote presenters, the featured speakers included Ray Purcell (Director of BC Student Health & Wellness Center), Robert Rodriguez (Officer, California Highway Patrol), Matt Constantine (Director, Kern County Public Health).

The fair was well represented by both campus and community. The BC Student Nursing Association had the popular blood glucose, blood pressure and Body Mass Index screenings. Fred Smith from Athletics and Kinesiology demonstrated conditioning. There was also a confidential HIV testing by Clinica Sierra Vista.  Thank you Steve Schilling.

Community representation was extensive, generous and far too many to list here. Officer Robert Rodriguez of the CHP helped call the fair to order. Kern County Fire and Hall Ambulance also turned out. A number of Health Care agencies enrolled for Cover California. Marley’s Mutts brought Therapy Dogs in training for lovable, tail wagging petting.

And did you catch Student Health and Wellness’ own Yolanda “Yolli” Puente, BCSGA Senator and Student Health Campus Correspondent Fitzgerald “Fitz” Graves, BC Director of Student Health & Wellness Center Raymond Purcell and BC nurse Debra Strong on morning television?

Firefighter Graduation

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Photo by Cara Jackson

On June 7, 2016, all 5 Squads of Bakersfield College Firefighter 1 Academy celebrated their achievements and were presented with their certificates. The audience watched as 31 cadets marched single file on the stage with serious faces and straight backs in respect to their profession.

As the night progressed, it  brought laughter when guest speakers voiced memories of funny moments each of the cadets had during their training. Deputy Chief Tyler Hartley spoke about how he hoped the cadets would apply the “training, lectures and lessons learned” and that they would “effectively convert those into everyday actions in order to give back to their community.”

Deputy Chief Benny Wofford also gave soulful advice when he said, “You don’t settle for less on the job, because that’s the difference between life and death. These guys show commitment.” This morning’s sad reminder with the Californian’s front-page story, by Harold Pierce, John Cox, and Steven Mayer, of the Erskine fire near Lake Isabella, the homes lost and death of two residents really drove that point home for me.

At the end of the night academy instructors, staff, guest speakers, and Fire Captains greatly contributed to the evening in a very positive and encouraging way. The group of cadet graduates included thirty men and one woman.

Thank you Tim Capehart for all that you do!

And thank you Chief Doug Greener and Chief Brian Marshall.  Here are two pictures I found on the web.  Chief Greener in the Bakersfield Life Magazine and Chief Marshall on Scott Cox

Doug Greener Page 154

First-Look-Brian-Marshall-and-Tyler-Townsend

Chief Brian Marshall, Officer Tyler Townsend on Scott Cox. Photo from the Californian 

 

Science Camp at BC and Chevron:

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This summer BC is hosting on campus the Project Lead the Way Academy thanks in large part to the work and support of Chevron’s Adam Alvidrez. The PLTW Academy is a series of workshops offered to Junior High, Middle School, and High School Students interested in experiencing science, math, technology and engineering fields through STEM. These workshops will be ongoing through July and will be teaching kids everything from robotics to building an electric guitar.

This week 44 Jr High School kids had the opportunity to build and design a tiny house and work with 3D models. They commented that they were preparing themselves for future opportunities and this sounded like fun during the summer.

 

Chevron has greatly contributed to STEM by funding scholarships that provide teachers the opportunity to learn more about the STEM projects themselves and to then teach students at school. The main idea is to integrate disciplines together in class rather than isolated areas of study.

Check out the story by KGET http://tinyurl.com/jmp9mzx

And look what I found when I scanned the Bakersfield Life Magazine, on page 74:

Adam Alvidrez in Bakersfield Life June 25 2016

A note on our veterans

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Jerry Ludeke, Sonya Christian

Here is an email I received from Jerry Ludeke about the history of Student Veterans at BC.  As usual Jerry’s writing is just beautiful. Enjoy a little bit of Ludeke.

Sonya,

…..BC has a long history of hiring veterans to counsel veterans.  In 1942 Paul Freed, of our faculty, was put in charge of Minter Field. As that closed down near the end of the war, he returned to BC and was assigned to be Coordinator of Veteran Affairs, a post he held until 1953.  Grace Bird hired ex-marine Ed Simonsen as Dean of Men with specific oversight of the veterans programs.  Veteran John Collins’ initial assignment at BC included counseling the veterans.  The 1947 catalog list of administrators has listed right near the top:  Coordinator of Veterans’ Affairs (J. Paul Freed), Assistant Coordinator of Veterans’ Affairs (Fred Robinson), and Co-ordinator  of Veterans’ Advisement Center (Burns Finlinson).  Right below that are listed nine members of the Veterans’ Advisement and Co-ordination, including one woman and one member of the Veterans’ Administration.  After 1959, the veterans’ services seem to fall under the Director of Student Activities, a position held by veterans John Collins and Ron McMasters.

Meanwhile, the Veterans’ Club has kept going through the years.  (I am not aware of any breaks in it, only a name change…..but I haven’t researched that.)

I just wanted you to know that Paul’s marvelous efforts to expand these important services hold true to BC’s tradition of honoring our veterans.

Jerry Ludeke

Sonya cropped June 24 2016

Sonya Christian

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya ….. the luckiest and happiest college president in the whole world