Tag Archives: Pam Christian

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!

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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

IMG_3749.jpg

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:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

Sonya Christian - BCF-SterlingSilverDinner_09 cropped

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

 

A Holiday Blog

Eisha and Mom Dec 25 2015

Eisha Christian, Pam Christian

Woke up to a quiet house this morning–December 27, 2015.  My daughter and her husband left yesterday after spending two nights and two and a half days with me.  I packed up some of my daughter’s favorite food items which we cooked ahead of time — coffee cake with butter icing topped with chopped caramelized pecans, roast beef, and beef stew with potatoes.  It felt like old times when she would visit from college and then head back with lots and lots of home cooked food.  As a friend texted me Christmas eve, it’s a wonderful life!

We did the usual fireplace talks, great food, monopoly, and movies.  This year of course it was Star Wars — The Force Awakens.  The movie, at the new IMAX in Bakersfield, was just awesome, and Manohla Dargis describes it best in her Dec 16, 2015 review in the New York Times at

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/18/movies/star-wars-the-force-awakens-review.html?_r=0

Strobels at Star Wars

Strobel extended family.  Picture from Facebook

J.J. Abrahms, the director of episode VII, was described in a recent article I read as a cross between George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.  The Sunday Californian now has a USA Today insert that names J.J.Abrahms one of the “People of the Year” for Star Wars.

Renegades, the Force has always been with Bakersfield College, but even so I feel the stirrings of a new awakening.  Watch out 2016!
Or as Yoda once taught us, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Judge David Lampe

Sonya Christian and David Lampe

Leading up to Christmas there were so many events it was tiring and wonderful all at once.  One of the highlights was meeting Judge David Lampe at the Open House at Cathy Abernathy’s home.  He is an alum of BC and spoke fondly of his time at the college particularly the quality of the faculty.  He said his two favorite faculty were Sam McCall at BC and Charles McCall at CSUB.  They had very difference approaches to teaching Political Science he said — Sam McCall being more of a traditionalist focusing on the purpose and organization of the state from an ethical and philosophical perspective, while Charles McCall was more of a behaviorist focusing on the political behaviors and informal relationships that influence decisions.  At all of the events that I attended, I was reminded over and over again how much our community loves Bakersfield College.  And this includes political leaders like Jean Fuller, Shannon Grove, Kevin McCarthy, Andy Vidak, Rudy Salas, Leticia Perez, Zack Scrivner…….. and of course, the fabulous Harvey Hall.

 

Bryan Burrows Dec 19 2015

Bryan Burrow and Sonya Christian

Another highlight was the BC Choir performing with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra (BSO) at their Home for the Holidays event featuring all our favorite Christmas music at the Harvey Auditorium.  Bryan Burrow, CEO of the BSO is just a great partner.  Bryan deeply believes in the value of the having a fine symphony in the community and puts in a lot of effort in planning and taking care of details.  I did not get around to purchasing tickets for the event from the website until I showed up at the Harvey Auditorium at around 2:00 p.m. on Saturday hoping that the ticket office would be open.  It was not.  Instead I found Jen Garrett and conductor Stilian Kirov with the choir and symphony rehearsing for the evening performance.   I also found Bryan in his sweatshirt and jeans doing a lot of the detailed grunt work to make sure that the evening was very special for all those who were attending.  He is my kind of a guy.  Here he is all cleaned up for the event in the evening after putting in long hours ahead of time.  Thank you Bryan! 

The photo collage below was taken from Mary Jo Pasek’s Facebook page.

Bryan brought the symphony to the college for the Noteworthy Event marking the reopening of the outdoor theater, part of the Simonsen Performing Arts Center (SPArC). I missed the opportunity to blog about this great event, but here is a post on the ribbon cutting of SPArC

 

http://bcpresidentblog.com/2015/04/24/reintroducing-the-new-sort-of-simonsen-performing-arts-center/

Josh Rothstein with Frank Gifford Bobblehead

Josh Rothstein with the Frank Gifford Bobblehead

A third highlight was getting a photo from Josh Rothstein with a Frank Gifford bobblehead.  I received an email on December 6th from Josh’s dad Eric.  Here is a copy and paste.

Dear President Christian:

I write on behalf of my son Joshua who collects bobbleheads. I was wondering if the college has any extra of the Frank Gifford bobblehead that it just sponsored and if so whether you can send one to Josh? I know he would greatly appreciate it as he is a big New York Giants fan as it is our hometown team. If you can, Josh’s address is: ****

Thank you and happy holidays.

Eric Rothstein

Of course, we did not have any extra bobbleheads but Francis Mayer who always does the impossible, located the bobblehead which Jennfier Marden mailed to Josh.  On December 23rd, right before Christmas, Josh received the bobblehead and sent the picture to Jennifer.

A fourth highlight was the full moon on Christmas — a rare phenomenon.  I headed out early Christmas morning and took this series of pictures on my iphone.  The first with the moon relatively high in the sky, followed by others as the sky got brighter and the moon lower on the horizon.

For more on the Christmas Full Moon check out

http://www.space.com/31471-rare-christmas-full-moon-guide.html#st_refDomain=t.co&st_refQuery=/2eNW1oBF0C

A final highlight: BC has remarkable students. A majority of them are first-generation college-going among other challenges. The college has expanded its student employment and engagement opportunities on campus. One such program is the “Promising Professionals” that provides employment for students in leadership roles. On Dec. 23rd as we were wrapping up activities to start the holiday campus closure, we took this picture in the welcome lobby:

Promising Professionals Dec 23 2015

Sonya Christian on Dec 23, 2015 with BC Students –The Promising Professionals