Tag Archives: Paul Beckworth

Collaboration, Community, and Conferences!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 16, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

What a week for Bakersfield College and for education throughout the state! Yesterday, leaders and educators from K12, community colleges, CSU’s, UC’s, and independent colleges together with industry leaders met in Bakersfield, working together to increase educational attainment by reducing barriers and mapping out seamless pathways for students. The sold-out event was a great success thanks to the enthusiasm of our attendees, the generous support of our sponsors, and inspirational leadership of key speakers. I will cover this in detail next week. For now let me share just one signature photo!

Sonya Christian, Lande Ajose, Eloy Oakley, Lupita Alcala, Rudy Salas, Mary Barlow

2019 Champion of Higher Education

On Thursday evening Bakersfield College was honored as a 2019 Champion of Higher Education by the Campaign for College Opportunity. The award recognized our high-touch, high-tech, and focused strategies to both grow and streamline transfer pathways that address baccalaureate attainment.

Samantha Pulido, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog, and Tom Burke were present to accept the recognition

BCSGA President, Samantha Pulido and Director of Student Life, Nicky Damania joined myself, Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Chancellor Tom Burke for the award celebration.

According to data from the California Department of Education, Kern County’s baccalaureate attainment rates are only roughly half the statewide rate. In rural service areas, fewer than nine in every 100 residents holds a bachelor’s degree or higher. This gap is even more significant given the Public Policy Institute of California estimate that statewide by 2030 there will be a workforce shortage of over 1 million workers holding a baccalaureate degree.

Bakersfield College has worked in innovative ways to address the educational attainment shortfall, including:

  • Increasing Associate Degree for Transfer Completion by 637% in five years through the Finish-in-4 agreement with CSU Bakersfield and the development of increased transfer course offerings at Bakersfield College Southwest, a new campus that is colocated with CSU Bakersfield.
  • Motivating degree completion by creating the nationally acclaimed Program Pathways Mapper web tool that aligns curriculum across systems, and gives students a visual map of degree completion.
  • Offering Early College across Kern County, allowing over 11,000 high school students annually the opportunity to complete college credit, certificates, or even an Associates Degree before high school graduation.

At yesterday’s event Chancellor Eloy Oakley said that “There would be no Bakersfield without Bakersfield College.” Our graduates are vital to our communities. Our grads are the nurses, the teachers, the welders, the fire fighters, safety officers, and more.

Michele Siqueriros on the screen with Arnold Schwarzenegger

Partners like the Campaign for College Opportunity are vital to the work we’re doing. They are singularly focused on increasing the number of students that attend college and complete their degree, and they are partners in the shared goal of strengthening California’s future. We owe a special thank you to The Campaign for College Opportunity and CCO President, Michele Siqueiros.

Sharing the Success of Early College at the California Economic Summit

I had the opportunity to attend the California Economic Summit in Fresno, CA, where I was invited to join BC’s partners from the Wonderful Company: Dr. Noemi Donoso, Executive Vice President of Wonderful Education, and Andy Anzaldo, Chief Operating Officer for Wonderful Education, and Victor a student from the first graduating class in 2018. At the Summit we shared the story of the success of the Early College partnership which was started in 2013 with the goal of providing students at Wonderful’s Delano campus an opportunity to complete an Associate of Science in Agriculture Business from BC by the time they graduated from high school. 

The pilot program proved successful when the 2018 graduating class from Wonderful walked across the Bakersfield College graduation stage to receive their associate degrees a week before participating in their high school graduation. All students went on to attend college or enter the workforce. Those who graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above and enrolled full-time in a four-year university were eligible for a renewable four-year scholarship of up to $24,000 per year through the Wonderful Academy. The following year, our number of graduates almost tripled and by 2023, BC expects to award over 1,000 Early College certificates and degrees.

Now, that’s a positive change for the central valley and future generations that we can all be proud of.

Energy Festival

The Kern County Foundation held their annual Kern County Energy Festival on Saturday, November 9, to celebrate the positive impact that energy has on our community.  BC Industrial Automation Bachelor of Science Program Manager, Aubrey Priest,  educated the attendees about the great opportunities the program offers our community in the energy sector. Carlos Medina from Career Education shared information about the different energy-related programs BC offers to support the community and increase the skilled workforce.

Kern County Energy Summit

Attending the 13th Annual Kern County Energy Summit this week offered new insight into ways that Bakersfield College can contribute to building a sound energy future for our community. The event opener Lorelei Oviatt, Director of Kern County’s Planning and Natural Resources Department, who painted a picture of Kern County as a place for energy growth and innovation in a way that is not always recognized outside the county.

Lorelei said she is often contacted by energy innovators in France and Germany, people who consider Kern County to be the first choice when launching energy technologies, inviting her to share Kern’s policies and incentives in their own efforts to to support a comprehensive energy portfolio. Kern County has evolved far beyond the iconic wooden oil derricks from the 1930’s:

  • Kern County is number one in the state and 5th in the nation in oil production.
  • Kern County is a leader in innovating new energy technologies in the fields of solar and wind energy, biomass, hydrogen.
  • Kern County energy sector is upwardly mobile: a person is more able to move from the bottom 20% to the top 20% of wage earners than anywhere else in the country.
  • Kern County leads in the growing need for and development of energy storage—battery storage, water storage, underground energy storage.
Sonya Christian & Stu Witt

At our table, Tony Cordova, BC’s Director of Career and Technical Education, and Klint Rigby, BC Department Chair of Industrial Technology, talked about workforce needs Bakersfield College could fulfill in Kern County. Meanwhile, former Top Gun pilot and new member of the National Space Council, Stu Witt and Dr. Michele Bresso, Bakersfield College Communication Professor, strategized about building partnerships between energy leaders and education.  Stu was discussing the sunset of fossil fuels and the need to restructure education to meet the growth and change in workforce needs for the vast array of energy industries that would emerge in our region. Bakersfield College is well-positioned to fuel the energy industry workforce innovation and growth with its educational programs in Engineering, Industrial Automation, Industrial Technology, Physics, Chemistry and more.

Michele Bresso & Klint Rigby

And, it can’t come a moment too soon, according to the predictions of summit speaker, Dr. Steven R. Bohlen, Energy and Homeland Security Program Director at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Dr. Bohlen offered an exciting perspective about the future when he said that Kern County is the next Silicon Valley in terms of carbon management: turning agriculture waste into biomass energy and other products.

BC Education Department LETS TEACH Conference

BC’s Education Department hosted their 5th FUTURE TEACHERS conference on October 25, 2019. The conference consisted of 16 interactive breakout sessions focusing on Building Bridges for Diversity in Education. Presenters were from the Edison School District, BC faculty John Hart and Michael Westwood, vendors with representatives from our BC programs, K-16 stakeholders, and local organizations that employ future teachers.

A special thanks to Christina Maldonado, Isabel Castaneda, Dr. Kimberly Bligh, and the Education Department peer mentors, as well as the BC CTE and food services staff who assisted with the event!

Early College Team Goes to Central Valley Higher Education Consortium Meeting in Fresno

Last Tuesday, November 12th, Steve Watkin and Kylie Swanson represented BC at the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium (CVHEC) meeting in Fresno, CA, in a regional discussion on Dual Enrollment. Our team was joined by the Kern High School District’s Director of Educational Services, Carla Stallworth. Kylie and Carla were invited to be on one of three panels that took place during the meeting. They shared with our regional partners how we are scaling up dual enrollment and implementing Early College opportunities throughout Kern County. 

Other panels for the day included a discussion on pathway development from West Hills College and their high school partners in Mendota Unified School District, and a focus on data-driven outcomes from a collaboration between Fresno City College, CSU Fresno, and Valley ROP.

Kylie Swanson & Steve Watkin

Thank you for representing BC and Kern County, Steve, Kylie, and Carla!

Cal EPA in Bakersfield

The California Environmental Protection Agency is developing several studies on making our state a carbon neutral economy, and invited stakeholders in Kern County’s energy industry to the Levan Center on Wednesday to discuss their preliminary findings and get feedback from our community about climate change, energy consumption, and vehicle emissions.

Cal EPA and the office of Governor Newsom brought together representatives from Aera, Chevron, the Western States Petroleum Association, and other local energy giants, as well as environmental advocates from organizations like the Sierra Club and the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment. The Levan Center was packed with participants looking to have their perspective heard on this important issues. 

CASFAA Conference

Last week, BC’s Director of Financial Aid, Jennifer Achan, and her team of financial aid experts returned from this year’s California Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (CASFAA) conference, held in Riverside. The focus of this event was to discuss the latest financial aid policy issues; participate in in-depth training and professional development; and engage with peers, policy makers, and other educational partners to better serve California’s expanding college student population.

Rebecca Bumpous, Vanesa Hernandez, Lysander Ramos, and Nick Chidgey (Financial Aid Technicians) excited to attend the 2019 CASFA

Tom Gelder’s Farewell Ice Cream Social

Friends and colleagues wished retiring BC Foundation Executive Director Tom Gelder good luck as he heads into retirement this week, celebrating the occasion with an abundance of Rosemary’s ice cream! Tom has been with the Foundation since 2014.

Speakers at the party included Heather Pennella, Academic President Steven Holmes, Athletic Director Sandi Taylor, and Communications Director Norma Rojas. Tom and his wife, Anthropology Professor Dana Heins-Gelder, will remain in the area and Tom intends to keep closely tied to all things BC. As Dana has expressed on numerous occasions, “I’m too young to retire!” So, she will continue to teach her anthropology and gender courses.

Tom Gelder, Sonya Christian

Mrs. Bakersfield Pageant

Adjunct theater professor Leslie Aldridge was one of the three pageant queens crowned during the competition, judged based on personality, interview skills, and presentation on stage. The theme of this year’s competition was “Service Above Self”, designed to honor veterans, military and first responders. The three pageant queens showed their pride for Kern County’s service members by marching at the Veterans Day parade in downtown Bakersfield on Monday.

Aldridge designs costumes for many of our amazing theater productions, and will be teaching beginning acting at BC next spring. Throughout 2020, she will be accompanying Miss Teen Bakersfield Zoe Gudino and Miss Bakersfield Shelby Moore in attending more than 50 major local events. We couldn’t be more proud of Leslie’s accomplishments and wish her the best of luck during her reign as Mrs. Bakersfield 2020.  You can see more about the story from 23ABC

Fun Photos:

Veterans Parade

BC had our traditional float at the Veterans Parade.

Student Veterans Panel

Earlier this week, BC Veterans Services hosted a Student Veterans Panel for BC’s student veterans to talk about their experiences serving in the military as well as their transition to civilian life and college. BC’s student veterans Aaron Neubert, Ilene Garcia, Josiah Thomas, and Kimberly Rodriguez, BC Veterans Educational Advisor Armando Trujillo, and BC History Professor and Veteran Services faculty Paul Beckworth, talked about their service in the military with the Marines, National Guard, and Navy as well as their experiences serving in the military during their transition to civilian and college life. Our BC student veterans talked about their experiences traveling abroad while stationed in places around the world such as in Australia, Hawaii, Iraq, Japan, and Thailand and talked about the personal growth that they experienced while serving in the military. 

Armando Trujillo discussed the challenges veterans may have due to concerns with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and adjusting to the transition of civilian and college.

California Economic Summit

It was great seeing Van Ton-Quinlivan and Dr. Omid Pourzanjani at the 2019 California Economic Summit in Fresno! 

Sonya Christian, Van Ton Quinlivan, Omid Pourzabjani
Abstract and Nature Photos

Web Content Editor Earl Parsons shared some nature photos he took around campus during the summer and early fall, as well as some abstract photos that he took during various events. For instance, during the most recent Opening Day, he took some photos of speakers through the black gauze that hung over the monitors.  Great photos, Earl!

Renegade Wrestling Claims the 2019 SCWA Title

Coach Brett Clark and his Renegade Wrestling team claimed their third conference title of the last four years this last week at the Southern California Wrestling Alliance Conference Tournament held at our Gil Bishop Sports Center. Taking first in their individual weight classes for the Renegades were Alexis Becerra at 141 lbs., Scott Hokit at 174 lbs., Jordan Annis at 184 lbs., and Ricardo Gonzalez at 197 lbs. Coach Clark and Co-Head Coach Marcos Austin were named SCWA Coaches of the Year. Assistant coaches Joe Espejo, Ryan Meloche and Jessie Urbie were named SCWA Assistant Coaches of the year. Becerra was named the Outstanding Lower Weight Wrestler of the Tournament. Congrats, Brett and team!

Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week

Ryan Bayne, Volleyball

In two matches last week that clinched the fourth consecutive Western State Conference (WSC) championship for Renegade Volleyball, Ryan totaled 10 kills, 0 errors and 19 attempts for a .526% hitting percentage.

Alexis Becerra, Wrestling

Alexis was the 141. lb champion at last Saturday’s SCWA Tournament in helping the team their third conference championship in the last four years. Alexis was also named the ‘Outstanding Lower Weight Wrestler’ of the tournament.

Student Athlete Spotlight: Keithen Estrada, Wrestling

Enjoy this week’s Renegade Student Athlete Spotlight video on sophomore Keithen Estrada from our Renegade Wrestling team. Keithen took 7th at last years state finals and is looking to top that performance this year. The Wrestling team just won the conference title and is looking to add a state title this year as well. The video was shot and edited by BC digital media student Manny Robinson. Great work, Manny!

Tina Cummings Swim Class

Our very own Tina Cummings celebrated her 55th birthday by swimming 55 x 50 yard laps. Her beginning swim class joined in on the fun and swam 55 x 25 yard laps to celebrate with her. In her own words, “They didn’t think they could do it when they started, but I knew they could. They were awesome! They went from not being able to swim a lap, to swimming 55 of them in a row.” Way to push our students and Happy Birthday, Tina!

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week

Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

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

  • 11/22 at 4pm – Men’s Basketball vs. Cuesta
  • 11/23 at 3pm – Men’s Basketball vs. Napa Valley


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC celebrates our Veterans

A message from Paul Beckworth

Paul Beckworth at VRC

On behalf of all the student-veterans, Thank you.     While we veterans are honored every November 11th, I want to take this opportunity to honor you.

Lisa Kent, Paul Beckworth, Olivia Garcia, and Armando Trujillo
Lisa Kent, Paul Beckworth, Olivia Garcia, and Armando Trujillo

Faculty, I honor you.  Your emails and phone calls to me due to grave concerns about veterans in your class, fearful for their safety, show your humanity.  You have taken their PTSD, and/or TBI into account when you felt it necessary or appropriate.  Your patience with them, your listening ears, are lifesavers, figuratively and literally. 

Classified staff, I honor you.  Your willingness to jump in and help never wanes.  You are always so helpful, knowing that when we ask for something, it is to assist a veteran.  You are professional when veterans are upset and act out in Financial Aid, or A&R or you name it.  You cut through red tape like a hot knife through butter. As far as I am concerned there need not be any contract negotiation because you have earned all that you are asking for, and more, period.

Administration, I honor you.  Your concern for all students is fundamental to your leadership. Your passion for the success of our veterans is second to none.  Other veteran service departments are literally jealous over the support we get from our administration.  I can text Sonya and get a response rather quickly. Others schools cannot fathom that my president gave me her cell phone number in the first place.  It is all because our administrators care, not just through words but actions.

There could be no veteran student success, no veteran completion, without people like you all. So, on this Veterans Day, on behalf of our student-veterans, I thank you for your service to our veterans.

Happy Veterans Day!

https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/veterans/student-deployment-spotlight

https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/veterans-resource-center

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSMlIM9zLio (you’ll need tissues)

(Special thoughts and prayers to History Professor Olivia Garcia as her Marine son ships off to Okinawa today)

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 9, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

A garden of American flags in the grass.

Veterans Breakfast 

L-R: Zav Dadhaboy, Mike Giacomini, Karen Goh, Tom Burke, Kay Meek, Billie Jo Rice, Sonya Christian, Paul Beckworth, Cinthia Zimmer, Armando Trujillo

Bakersfield College kicked off Vet Month on Monday, November 4th, with an invitation-only delicious breakfast by the culinary arts students in the Renegade Room. Several local dignitaries attended the annual Veterans’ Breakfast event to learn more about BC’s comprehensive plan to meet the education needs of Kern County’s brave men and women who have served our country in the military. Assemblyman Vince Fong, Mayor Karen Goh, and District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer and others were joined by KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke and Trustees Kay Meek, Romeo Agbalog, and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.

Paul Beckworth and Tamara Baker shared the latest details about the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, a one-stop shop for our veterans and dependents as they strive to achieve their educational goals, which will be unveiled to the public at a ribbon cutting ceremony on December 10. This will be the first capital project of Measure J to be completed.  

Tamara Baker and Paul Beckworth
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Armando Trujillo, Bilie Jo Rice, Sonya Christian, Tom Burke

Keynote speaker Abel Guzman also explained how the Rural Initiatives and Adult Education teams are working to remove the barriers that can keep veterans from translating their military experience into successful civilian careers. See his presentation.

Abel Guzman
Zav Dadabhoy, Kay Meek, Vince Fong, Earl Parsons

Trustee Kay Meek, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, and Mayor Karen Goh addressed the group.

Thank you to Paul Beckworth, Armando Trujillo, Bernadette Martinez and everyone in the Veteran Services team for organizing this lunch, to BC Culinary Arts for providing a lovely meal, and to all of the dignitaries that took time out of their busy schedules to learn how BC is supporting veterans in the classroom. Thank you Mayor Karen Goh for some of the great photos.

Trustee Romeo Agbolog, Armando Trujillo and me.

Vet Fest 2019

4 uniformed men with the CA and US flags.
Kern County Sheriff Color Guard

The VetFest celebration is an annual tradition at BC to recognize the contributions of those who have bravely served our country. Wednesday’s event in the CSS lawn is part of a whole month of programming that we’ve developed to honor our local veterans, culminating with the unveiling of the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center next month.

Veteran and BC faculty member Tommy Tunson started the presentation by asking all of the veterans in the audience to come to the front and have their service celebrated. It was a great chance to see all of our faculty and student veterans in one place.

VetFest featured a resource fair, free food, vendors, and a DJ on the CSS lawn. The keynote speaker for Wednesday morning was Jenny Frank, a former marine who encouraged our student veterans to utilize all of the opportunities they’ve been given. Assemblyman Vince Fong also spoke about the history of Veterans’ Day.

And then there was Danny Morrison….one of my all time favorites…. Danny Morrison kept the celebration going all day.  I loved the videos of Danny leading the Cupid Shuffle! 

Although Danny Morrison was at the event as a DJ with 103.9 The BEAT where he focuses on elevating stories about local community programs that make Bakersfield a better place, BC’s partnership with Danny dates back long before his time with the radio station.  Danny has been a vocal advocate for our students – particularly those most vulnerable – and is always just a text away when we need him.  In my seven years as president, I have called on Danny many times and he has shown up without question.  From his tireless advocacy on Measure J to speaking out about the value of Inmate Education, Danny operates from an ethic of care for our students.

Danny understands that education transforms communities, and never misses an opportunity to highlight valuable programs on his show and on social media. Be sure to catch The Pulse with Danny Morrison Sundays from 8am-12pm, and The B-Town Mixdown on Saturdays from 6pm-midnight to catch information about Early College, student and academic supports, BC’s guided pathways work, and more.

I would like to thank all of our veterans for their bravery and sacrifice, as well as BC Veterans Services for putting together another great VetFest.

Vince holding a Veterans Club t-shirt.
Veterans club presented a club T to Assemblymember Fong

We started Vet Fest in 2013, the year I started as a new president. Here is a walk down memory lane.

2018 Vet Fest blog, BC Loves our Vets: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2018/11/10/bc-loves-our-vets/

2017 Vet Fest blog, Celebrating our Veterans all week long: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/11/11/celebrating-veterans-all-week-long/

2016 Vet Fest, Thank you Kern County: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/11/12/thank-you-kern-county/

2015 Vet Fest blog, Remembering America’s Best: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2015/11/11/veterans-day-vet-fest-and-remembering-americas-best/

2014 Vet Fest blog, 2nd annual vet fest: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2014/11/11/student-veterans-and-bcs-2nd-annual-vet-fest/

2013 Memorial Day blog, Our student veterans: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2013/06/05/out-student-veterans/

There are more photos in our Smugmug photo gallery:

When will you get a chance to hear from Lande Ajose, Senior Policy Advisor to Higher Ed for Governor Newsom; Eloy Oakley, Chancellor for CA Community Colleges; Tony Thurmond, State Superintended. Register today for the November 15th symposium here in Bakersfield.

https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/conference/intersegmental-pathways-symposium

Radiologic Technology Program 50 Years Celebration

Jaycee Hill, Carla Gard and Nancy Perkins

Jacelyn Hill, Director of Radiologic Technology here at BC, spoke eloquently at the Radiologic Technology Program Celebration of 50 years at BC on Thursday, November 7, 2019. She spoke of the National Rad Tech Week, discovery of the technology that changed health care, the history of the program at Bakersfield College, and the people who made it happen.

Holding the proclamation.
Vice Mayor Chris Parlier and Jaycee Hill

November 3-9 is National Radiologic Technology Week™ in which medical radiology technologists are celebrated for their role in health care.This week celebrates the detection or x-rays by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen on November 8 1895. Vice Mayor Chris Parlier was in attendance for Mayor Karen Goh to read the official proclamation declaring:

Proclamation from Karen Goh.

“November 3-9, 2019 as ‘Radiologic Technology Week’ in our city, and urge all citizens to recognize this event in our community, celebrating 50 years of educational excellence in Radiologic Technology at Bakersfield College.”

In addition, the BC Foundation and the BC Rad Tech program honored former Program Director Nancy Perkins with a bench for her great work of over 39 years of improving the program and the establishment of the Nancy Perkins Scholarship.

The history of the Rad Tech program at BC began in 1958 at Mercy Hospital under Ferris Boyce with a certificate program and on-the-job training. Mrs. Ferris worked with Bakersfield College administration and faculty, including John Ackland and George Lawrence, to move the program to BC so that students could earn an associate degree. In 1969 the classes were taught at Kern General. The X-Ray program moved to the Panorama campus in August 1979, when Nancy Perkins, at a mere 23 years old began at BC. She started in the very room where the ceremony was held and continued improving the program until her recent retirement. You can read all about this important history in the Fall 2018 Archives Newsletter.

Program students and faculty gathered around the bench.

Yessenia Diaz, a proud Rad Tech student told the attendees she was happy to be a part of this program as it will allow her to help people. She said “the program is worth the effort and very rewarding.” 

Speaking to room.
Yessenia Diaz

Our graduates work all over Kern County and beyond. Nancy estimates that at least 85% of Radiologic Technologists in our area are BC Graduates. Our Rad Tech Graduates have 100 percent job placement. They continually exceed Board expectations, and win awards even in competition with 4-year universities programs.

Thank you Vice Mayor Parlier for taking the time to participate, thank you Mayor Goh for the proclamation, and Jacelyn Hill, Carla Gard, and Nancy Perkins for all of your hard work on our Rad Tech program.

Distinguished Speaker Jason Beardsley

Beardsley at the podium.

On Thursday, November 7th, former Master Sergeant, Jason Beardsley, presented his “An Apotheosis of America” as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series in the Levan Center. He discussed the importance of recognizing the everyday challenges and influences that hinder our growth for success and overcoming them in order to achieve our goals. 

Beardsley used the challenges and issues in his life to demonstrate the importance of recognizing and overcoming obstacles in order to reach our goals. We decide whether we succumb to the pressures of society preventing us from achieving our goals, or whether we overcome the challenges to further our goals. He pointed out the importance of understanding yourself in order to identify your ideals and goals. What are the goals that will shape who you are and determine your achievements? 

Thank you Jason Beardsley, for your inspiring words. I would also like to thank Reggie Williams of the Levan Center, Paul Beckworth and Veterans Services, and Nicky Damania and the Office of Student Life for bringing this speaker as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series.

HBCU Caravan Comes to Bakersfield College

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Transfer Caravan stopped by BC on Monday, November 4th, during their tour of California.  There were 19 HBCUs on-hand working with our students and students from our local community to talk about the transfer opportunities outside the State and the guaranteed admission for California Community College students to the HBCUs.  Students who complete an AA-T or an AS-T with a 2.5 GPA are guaranteed admission to the HBCU partner colleges. Representatives also provided students with information about scholarships available to students showing that it is possible to afford a baccalaureate degree.  

This event was made possible by the joint collaboration between the Office of Outreach and School Relations, the Transfer Center, African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP), Umoja, and the Office of Student Success and Equity.

BC Umoja students gain motivation at the Umoja state-wide conference

 The Umoja Community state-wide conference in Oakland was motivating, eye-opening, and engaging for BC’s Umoja students. The annual event, held each fall, exposes students to ideas and people that they otherwise might never would have had the opportunity to. 

Student with Paula in front of the Umoja sign.

One of our students Zions stated: “My experience at the Umoja Conference was one of the greatest events I’ve been a part of. . . Before the conference, I felt mentally asleep, but now I feel woke and motivated to reach my full potential.”

BC’s Umoja Community African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence is in its fifth year.

Group of students and representatives at a table.

The conference was so effective in part due to powerful keynote speakers, such as activist Bree Newsome Bass and Professor/Author/Speaker Dr. Marc Lamont Hill. Workshops included topics such as Student Leadership, Learn Math Through Hip Hop, and Pursuing a Career in STEM. 

Students at a table in front of a large full room.

The speakers “really inspired me to do better and influence others to follow the same path,” said Tyler.

BC Students with Paula in front of the Umoja Conference sign.

Lauren echoed his thoughts: “I was moved to tears throughout both speeches. I feel pushed to strive for greatness.”

speaker at the conference.

The warm, loving environment was another aspect that students described as never having experienced on such a large scale.

Students holding lots of information pamphlets.

Said Tahnjanique: “I’ve never been around that much positive black energy. It made me feel comfortable, loved, and empowered.”

Students speaking to a rep from Bowie.

All of the 70 Umoja programs around the state have the same foundation – the Umoja practices.  Love is at the center of everything Umoja does at the state-wide level and on BC’s campus. Students respond to the love, high expectations, and culturally relevant curriculum — and succeed!

Students with rep holding a CSUB B.

BC Students Tour Measure J Construction

Earlier this week, Professor Kenneth Jones Intro to Construction class visited our Measure J construction site to experience it directly.  AECOM/Parsons project manager Jared Cascadden spoke to students about what goes into building a facility, as they were able to get a first-hand look at the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center. Thank you to AECOM/Parsons and S.C. Anderson for hosting our students and showing them how much work goes into these projects.

Child Development Center: A Phenomenal Evaluation

On November 5th, a team of consultants from the California Department of Education Early Learning and Care Division arrived at Bakersfield College to evaluate our Child Development Center. In KCCD, the child development centers at Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso College, and Porterville College are evaluated as a single agency. On the first day of the evaluation, the consultants were greeted by John Means, Vice Chancellor of Education Services, Jessica Krall, the Program Manager of the Cerro Coso Community College Child Development Centers, Karen Ball, the Program Manager of Porterville College Child Development Center, and Bakersfield College’s Vice President of Instruction Billie Jo Rice and Dean Jessica Wojtysiak

Panel members and BC administrators.

The state evaluates Child Development Centers every three years. During their visit, the evaluators reviewed enrollment and financial files from all three colleges and conducted classroom observations at the Bakersfield College and Porterville College Centers, scoring them in categories such as Space and Furnishings, Personal Care Routines, Language and Reasoning, Activities, Interactions, and Program Structures.

Administrators and visiting panel.

While the evaluators were originally scheduled to stay for four days, we were informed that they were ready to share their findings on Thursday, ahead of schedule. In the exit meeting, lead Child Development Consultant Roseanne Pitz, called the final report “phenomenal.” The report noted no negative findings, and the Child Development Centers received three perfect scores on the Infant-Toddler Environment Rating (ITERS) Scale in Listening and Talking, Interactions, and Program Structure and two perfect scores on the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-R) in Interactions and Program Structure.  The Bakersfield College Child Development Center provides quality childcare for the children of Bakersfield College students, and we are delighted that the hard work of our center’s employees was recognized by the state’s team.

Faculty Art Exhibition

The Bakersfield College Art Department is hosting the 2019 BC Art Faculty Exhibition from October 24 to November 27 at the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery, which showcases the artistic work of our incredibly talented BC Art Faculty. The Art Faculty Exhibition presents a variety of artistic mediums, including drawings, paintings, sculptures, photography, video, and digital media. 

BC Art Professor, Jamee Eaton, presents her works “Loss & Remembrance I, II, & III.”  These three pieces depict an overlap of layers signifying our journeys that intertwine and connect together as a whole in space and time.

Abstract painting of an artist.

BC Art Professor, Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio, presents his work “El Triste Pintor,” which translates to “The Sad Painter.”  This piece of art depicts the misunderstood realm of imagination and his dedication to the world of art as an artist.

BC Art Professor, Yvonne Cavanagh, presents her work “Perceptible,” depicting the expression of the moment one’s life changes from unforeseen circumstances to finding the hope and ability to embrace the unknown.

Perceptible by Cavanagh.

Here are a few more to entice you to the exhibit before the 27th.

If you can’t get to the Exhibit, you can view some pictures of the wonderful artwork.

Thank you to the BC Art Department for hosting the Art Faculty Exhibition. This awe-inspiring artwork will surely inspire our future BC artists and community.

Gandhi’s Legacy Speech

Large crowd behind the Bakersfield College Delano Campus sign.

The first weekend in November the BC Department of Communication coordinated with Gandhi Celebration Committee, CHAP, Rural Initiatives and Student Affairs to host a series of Speech and Debate events that discussed the legacy of Gandhi. The event organizers Chris Cruz-Boone and John Geirtz created these events to give all students an opportunity to practice and apply methods and skills studied in courses, such as public speaking, persuasion, small group, intercultural communication & argumentation. The department has aimed to embody the “We Are BC” mantra and it is notable that competitors for the two events included students from: Kern Valley State Prison, Early College Arvin, Early College Valley Oaks/Homeschool, Job Spot, BC Delano, BC Southwest and BC Panorama. 

Kern Valley Prison Lincoln Douglas Debate Tournament  
7 participants lined up in front of the crowd.

On Friday, the first day of November, men at Kern Valley State Prison took part in a Lincoln Douglas debate tournament.  The event was held in yard B, the same yard that in August of 2019 graduated 17 students with Associate of Arts in Communication.  The event was spearheaded by the student Debate Club at Kern Valley and supported by both yard staff and faculty advisor John Giertz. The tournament champion was honored with a first-place certificate to mark his achievement.

Gandhi Legacy Speech Tournament  

Walking through the applauding crowd.
Chris Cruz-Boone

The following day, the BC Gandhi Legacy Speech Tournament awarded cash prizes of $500 to top speakers in each event category. On Saturday November 2nd, more than one-hundred people including students, their families, faculty and volunteers participated in speech tournament held at the BC Delano campus. The event coordinators provided free transportation for 46 Bakersfield College students to the event. The winners for the Speech Tournament included:  

 Awards for Persuasive Research Speeches About Gandhi’s Legacy   
  • 1st Place – Karen Fuentes (BC Panorama) 
  • 2nd Place – Karolina Kuntz (BC Panorama) 
  • 3rd Place- Abi Kyles (Early College Homeschool) 
3 students accept their awards from Helen.
 Awards for Informative Research Speeches About Gandhi’s Legacy    
  • 1st Place- Cristian Ocampo (BC Panorama) 
  • 2nd Place- Mike Aldano (BC Panorama) 
  • 3rd Place- Marisabel Perez (Arvin High School Early College) 
4 participants applaud Helen.
Awards for Impromptu/ Spontaneous Speeches about Gandhi  
  • 1st Place – Julio Moreno (BC Panorama) 
  • 2nd Place- Eduarda Angeles (Arvin High School Early College) 
  • 3rd Place – Anastasia Bryand (Early College Homeschool) 

“People should take the opportunity to come to these events because it helps you get a broader view on how to speak.” – BC student

 PEN America

https://pen.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/web_JD.jpg
Courtesy of PEN America

The non-profit organization PEN America awarded BC adjunct professor Jerry Mathes with a Writing for Justice Fellowship to work on his novel In Strange Company. Mathes will be working with editor Kerri Arsenault of the National Book Critics Circle to develop In Strange Company, which tells the story of a young man who rises above incarceration, mental illness and addiction to find humanity through music.

PEN International is a worldwide organization that aims to defend and celebrate free expression through the advancement of literature and human rights. Some famous past and present members of PEN America include Maya Angelou, Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer, Phillip Roth, Salman Rushdie, John Steinbeck, and Toni Morrison. The organization also advocates for press freedom and the safety of journalists and campus free speech.

The Writing for Justice Fellowship is in its second year, and the fellows for 2019-20 were invited to New York City on November 1 to hear the 2018-19 winners read from their published works. It is a profound honor to have one of BC’s own adjunct faculty selected for this award.

In Memory of Peggy Haight

Margaret Haight as a young woman in BW photo.

Another memorial bench was placed on campus this week for Peggy Haight. Margaret “Peggy” Haight, one of Bakersfield College’s most generous donors, passed away a year ago on October 21, 2018.  On the anniversary of her passing, a bench in her memory was unveiled outside the Administration Building.  

The wording on the memorial plaque reads:

Close up of plaque.

In loving memory of

Margaret “Peggy” Haight

1924 to 2018

A nearby neighbor of modest demeanor, Peggy attended classes and campus events.  She donated more than $1.25 million to the Bakersfield College Foundation because she loved Bakersfield College and its students.

Peggy was smart, light-hearted and epitomized true generosity.

While Peggy always kept a low profile and never wanted recognition for her contributions, she is perhaps best known by a select group of faculty and staff as the elderly woman who walked across campus to the BC Foundation office from her near-by co-op, carrying over $100,000 in cash in a couple of grocery bags.  The world needs more Peggy Haights. 

Metal bench with pebbled sides and BC emblems.

Fun Photos

Construction

Corny Rodriguez snapped these of the construction on campus this week.

BC students in the workplace
Selfie.

Sheila Fuller sent this to me: I had an x-ray done at San Joaquin Hospital and had the pleasure of a BC RAD Tech Student learning how to take x-rays.  Then, on October 2, 2019 I was hanging out at Memorial hospital. My daughter had a baby girl who had some problems and had to stay in the NIC unit. My granddaughter is doing great and at home with her older brother, Mom and Dad.  While wandering around the hospital I ran into our Nursing students and they were all happy to take pictures with me. 

Students in red scrubs pose.

Athletics Updates

Renegade Volleyball Claims Fourth Consecutive Conference Championship

A huge congrats goes out to Coach Carl Ferreira and his 2019 squad for claiming their fourth consecutive outright Western State Conference championship after beating West LA at home this last Wednesday, 3-0. The team has a perfect home record of 10-0 this season with a total of 16 sweeps with one regular season game remaining on their schedule. This is a phenomenal accomplishment Coach Carl! 

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (10/27-11/2) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Bandon Dunn and Emily Clark.

Emily Clark, Volleyball – Emily totaled 18 kills, 0 errors and 37 attempts in helping the team to sweeps over Santa Monica, Glendale and Citrus last week.

Brandon Dunn, Football – Brandon grabbed two interceptions, his first as a Renegade in last week’s game at East LA.

Renegade Report: Women’s Soccer and Women’s Golf

Watch both of this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Women’s Soccer and Women’s Golf teams. Head Coaches Scott Dameron and Wes Coble sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss their seasons 

 Women’s Soccer Segment:

Women’s Golf Segment

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week:

Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

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

  • Tue. 11/12 – Men’s Soccer vs. Citrus, 3pm
  • Thur. 11/14 – Wrestling vs. Fresno City, 7pm
  • Sat. 11/16 Football vs. Canyons, 6pm


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Remembering Those We Lost This Memorial Day

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 14, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Memorial Day started in 1868 as Decoration Day, a remembrance of those who died during the Civil War. Over the years, cities and states designated it as a legal holiday, and in 1971, Congress established Memorial Day as a national holiday to take place on the last Monday of May every year.

Every Memorial Day, a special ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery, where the President or Vice President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Locally, Bakersfield’s oldest traditional Memorial Day celebration takes place at Union Cemetery, this year featuring speeches by Kevin McCarthy and local veteran Bill Glaspie, who fought the Nazis on the beaches of Normandy 75 years ago on D-Day. The Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary held their sixth-annual Thousand Flags event, and Tehachapi celebrated with a parade and ceremony through downtown. KERO provided a list of local Memorial Day events on their website.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy with Paul Beckworth and guests at the Union Cemetery on Memorial Day.

At BC, we are proud of our veteran students and have a particular duty to support them through their education. We’re reaffirming that commitment to our local veterans with the construction of the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, the first Measure J project, slated for completion this fall.

Rendering of the soon to be finished Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center.

We remember the sacrifices made and lives lost defending the freedom and sovereignty of the United States. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten.

I’d like to share this quote from James A. Garfield at that first Memorial Day commemoration at Arlington National Cemetery in 1868.

“We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and virtue.”

Emails Worth Sharing

I’d also like to share this email that our Director of Veterans Services Paul Beckworth sent on Monday.  Our duty to support veterans goes much deeper than academic support, as Paul’s words of encouragement for our veterans make clear.  Thank you for all that you do Paul, and thank you to those who have served our country.

“Hello Region V Veteran Services colleagues,


Today, May 27, 2019, is Memorial Day.


The vast majority celebrate it as the unofficial start of summer.  Many Americans honor the day and the dead, in a variety of heartfelt ways.  However, there is a much smaller group whose acknowledgement of the day goes deeper than most.  It is personal, it is emotional, and it is visceral. While today we remember the fallen, we must keep in the mind the ones who were left behind; their families and fellow warriors.  There are people I know who wish to be left alone today and others who do not want to left alone for fear of what their emotions might lead them to. Sometimes, people remember with laughter and tears, while others do so with the bottle and with tears.  


For those who lost comrades, or family or best friends, please do not go to those dark places inside you.  If you do go there do not stay there. We need you, here, with us. We know the 22 a day suicide rate among veterans.  It is terrible. Do not be a part of the 22. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Depression is serious. It is a weight the likes of which cannot be described, only experienced.  If your arm is hurt, you go the doctor. If your head/heart hurts, go to a doctor. There is no shame in it. It is often said that the soldier is not the only one who goes to war.  The family does, too, in its’ own way.


Those of you who work closely with veterans may not have lost a loved one, but assisting veterans for years can take a toll, especially for counselors and advisors.  Who counsels the counselors? Seriously. There are several of you who have worked with veterans for many years now. Make sure to take care of yourselves. Go to veteran-specific conferences, sit in the hotel lobbies and have venting sessions with your colleagues from across the state.  Let iron sharpen iron. Get help just like we tells our veterans to do. I am pretty sure most of you have walked a veteran to your on-campus mental health professional at least once. If you need to take a walk to one yourself, please take it. We need you, here. Your military-affiliated students need you, here.  


While today can be very emotional, one of the best ways we can honor the fallen is to take care of our minds, bodies, and spirits.  In this way we can continue the work ahead of us, making them proud.”

Paul Beckworth, May 27, 2019 Memorial Day

BC Friends in Sacramento

Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE)  hosted its 2019 Latina Action Day in Sacramento on Wednesday, May 22. Our own Nicole Parra facilitated a panel discussion, and I was thrilled to see BC students impromptu participation.  Evelyn Torres, a Studio Arts, Graphic Design & Communications major volunteered to be the voice of millennials on the panel.  

Nicole Parra and panelists at the 25th Annual Latina Action Day.

The panel on California’s Present and Future Workforce examined the challenges and opportunities the state is facing as we look to filling workforce needs.  The conversation regarding career education included an informative discussion of the value of apprenticeship programs, and the role community colleges in meeting workforce needs. Evelyn shared a student perspective on the importance of providing opportunities for all students, including those who need short term training leading to employment.

Evelyn Torres alongside panelists discussing education and workforce needs.

Thank you Norma Rojas Mora for your work in Sacramento.

Rural Initiatives Classified and Support Staff Appreciation Celebration

Last week, the Rural Initiatives classified and support staff were recognized by the management team in a surprise celebration of Classified Appreciation week. This celebration brought together members of the RI team that serve a region that extends from Arvin to Delano. I’m grateful for the focused dedication and passion for serving our rural students. Thank you Rural Initiatives Classified and Support Staff for everything you do for our Bakersfield College Rural Renegades. Also thanks to our RI Management team, especially Jaime Lopez for coordinating such a special celebration.

Rural Initiatives Classified and Support Staff at the celebration
Carolina Madrigal and Rural Initiatives Classified and Support Staff at the celebration.
Public Safety Officers Matthew Rodriguez and Linda Morgan
Kim Collins, Academic Liaison (left) and Monica Huyck, Tutoring Services Team Leader
Group photo of the Rural Initiatives Classified and Support Staff
North Kern Adult Education team (From left to right) Jaime Lopez, Jesus Jimenez, Kim Collins, and Thalia Solorio
Manuel Muralles and Carolina Madrigal

Administrative Council Retreat: Day 1

This last Thursday we had the first day of our annual summer retreat with our college-wide administrative council. BC Food Services provided a fantastic breakfast spread and a delicious salad bar later in the day for the lunch. I opened the session with an overview of our college strategic plan and highlighting the fact that we now have 37,000 students! Our administrative council fanned out across campus in teams as they completed in a scavenger hunt.

Attendees preparing for Day 1 of the Administrative Council Retreat.

Members of our college Program Review Committee briefed the council on best practices for conducting their program reviews for this coming year and Manny Mourtzanos provided a training on aligning work plans to direct us as embark on a new year. It was a great retreat and great work that we will regroup on to finish up on a second day in early June.  

Attendees preparing for Day 1 of the Administrative Council Retreat.
Attendees preparing for Day 1 of the Administrative Council Retreat.

Umoja’s End of the Year Celebration

This week, Umoja held its end of the year celebration to acknowledge its graduates and mentors. Students joined together to celebrate their academic success and celebrate their mentors who dedicated time and energy to support their scholarly journey at BC. Thank you to Dr. Paula Parks for sending over these photos, and for your dedication to our students.  If you’d like to learn more about Umoja, make sure to check out their website!

BC Umoja students and graduates
Austyn William, graduate and Umoja’s first SI leader
Graduate Jade Slack with Dr. Parks, Mr. Ward, and Mr. Rosas, Umoja’s first counselor.
Graduate Kim Evans with Dr. Park and Jonathan Ward.
TiYante Patterson, who is transferring to Morgan State in the fall.
Emcee Korrie Edwards, who is also the outgoing Umoja Club president.
Dr. Park and Mr. Ward preparing a ritual for the Umoja community.
Some of the 2018-2019 graduates with Joe Coughlin, who acknowledged the graduates with Coconut Joe’s gift card and cash. Thanks for your continued support, Joe!
Some of the Umoja students who graduated from BC. The tee-shirts show that as they become BC alum, they are always part of Umoja.
Some of the awesome, dedicated Umoja mentors
The audience sang the Black National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing”

Conexiones Rurales Dreamers Conference

The Conexiones Rurales Dreamers Conference on Friday, May 17th at the Delano Campus allowed our Rural Renegades to learn about several topics including programs and services offered by our college and other local institutions. This opportunity was funded by the Catalyst grant received by Bakersfield College. Thank you to our Conexiones Estudiantiles/LUPE student organization, their advisors and the Rural Initiatives team, especially Jesus Oropeza, Jessica Garcia, and Jaime Lopez for bringing these fantastic opportunities to our rural communities.

Conexiones Estudiantiles LUPE student panel sharing their stories with Conexiones Rurales students.
Rural Initiatives Executive Director Abel Guzman speaking to students.
From left, Octavio Barajas, Marivel Servin, Manuel Rosas
Conexiones Estudiantiles LUPE students and their advisors.
Conexiones Rurales and Conexiones Estudiantiles students with BC Faculty and Staff

BC Cheerleaders at the New Kids On the Block Remix Tape Concert

Wow!  Does BC know how to pump up the crowd, or what?!  Also, what an amazing throwback to have the New Kids On the Block perform here in Bakersfield!  They definitely have “the right stuff.”

The Bakersfield College Cheerleaders on stage with New Kids on the Block!

I want to thank Cheer Coach Heather Foss for making possible this phenomenal experience for our students. It’s hard to describe the energy of the packed Rabobank and and the pride I felt in seeing our students on stage.

Thank you Manny de Los Santos for capturing this video. You are the very best!!!!!!

Cooking a Healthy Meal with Chef Alex Gomez

This week our Executive office team demonstrated their culinary skills at our Wellness & Professional Development Session:  Cooking a Healthy Meal with Chef Alex Gomez.  The team learned cooking and cutting techniques, and were given recipes to prepare — then eat! We enjoyed Cauliflower Tacos, Cilantro Rice, and Grilled Zucchini.

The Exec team preparing delicious and healthy meals.
Sharon Bush, President Christian, Billie Jo Rice and Mike Giacomini
Chef Alex Gomez and Jennifer Serratt
Sharon Bush, President Christian, Billie Jo Rice diligently following the recipe.
Sonya Christian, Billie Jo Rice and Mike Giacomini preparing their healthy dishes.

The Executive Office has a standing Wellness Initiative that began a couple years ago, as well as a new Training/Professional Development Initiative that began last year. Chris Glaser and Tarina Perry worked with Chef Alex for help in meeting goals for both initiatives and did he ever deliver! The training was clear and engaging, the menu healthy, and the food delicious. We worked in teams to prepare the meal, and then enjoyed our meal together as we discussed our takeaways from the day.  Thank you to Chef Alex and Chef Suzanne Tangeman for working with our team on this, and thank you to Chris and Tarina for organizing the activities!

Chefs Suzanne Tangeman and Alex Gomez
With Billie Jo Rice and Liz Rozell
Chef Gomez teaching Liz and me secrets of the trade.
Chef Suzanne Tangeman, Chef Alex Gomez, Billie Jo Rice & Christian Flores-Castaneda

Progress on Memorial Stadium

The renovation of the Memorial Stadium track and football field is moving along nicely. The work will be completed in time for this fall’s football season. We are all excited to see the finished product! Also, thank you to Brandon Urry for capturing these photos.

Drone footage of Memorial Stadium construction
Drone footage of Memorial Stadium construction
Drone footage of Memorial Stadium construction
Drone footage of Memorial Stadium construction

Photos that make me happy

Monika Scott and Nicky Damania at Aladdin

Family weekend at Lake Arrowhead

Memorial Day weekend with family at a cabin in Lake Arrowhead.

Lake Arrowhead, May 26, 2019
President Christian and her dog Neo


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC Loves Our Vets!

Good morning Bakersfield. 
It is Saturday, November 10, 2018…..A great day to be a Renegade

Official group picture

It has been 6 weeks since I went to my Saturday exercise class.  So I really enjoyed being back at Body Pump and fell in love with this song that the instructor used for the lunge session.

Now back to BC….. Paul Beckworth texted me this morning that it was a “fantastic week” at BC.  All week long we have been celebrating our student veterans at BC with many events.

Bakersfield College Vernon Valenzuela Veteran Resource Center

Monday morning began with the 2018 Veterans Community Leader Breakfast, celebrating those who diligently support our returning veterans and men and women in service. Local leaders ate a delicious breakfast at the Renegade Room prepared by our amazing culinary team.  With an over 60% increase in student veterans at BC on campus, it is the leadership and engagement from these dedicated individuals who help us intentionally and meaningfully support our students and veterans to reach their goals. Thank you to everyone who came out including Mayor Goh, Chancellor Tom Burke, Assemblyman Vince Fong, Dick Taylor, Cole Karr (Representative for Kevin McCarthy), Perry Finzel (Representative for David Valadao), Josh Dhanens, and Scott Spielman.  

Karen Goh, Lauren Skidmore, Perry Finzel, Cole Carr, Lilly Agbalog.jpg

A special thanks to Christian Flores-Castaneda, Alex Gomez, Suzanne Tangeman for all of your hard work on the breakfast!

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After the breakfast, attendees joined others from the community to break ground on the Bakersfield College Veterans Resource Center, the first capital project to be funded by Measure J.  Speakers celebrated Vernon Valenzuela and his importance to our community, and spoke about how it is fitting that the first building to be constructed using the Measure J funds is that in dedication to our veterans.  Thank you to our MANY attendees, including Trustee Kay Meek, Trustee Bill Thomas, Trustee Romeo Agbalog for coming to celebrate this momentous occasion! You can view the entire photo album on Facebook. 

I grabbed some of these photos from Mayor Goh’s Facebook posts.

Karen Goh, Sonya Christian.  Picture 2: Norma Rojas Mora, Romeo Agbalog

Karen Goh, Dyann Serrato, Sonya Christian.  Picture 2: Tom Burke, Jeff Flores

Group at the Ground Breaking ceremony.  Picture 2: The fabulous Jennifer Serrat with me

 

Large group with shovel in hand Nov 5 2018.jpg

 

2018 Vetfest

Patriotism was on full display this past Wednesday, November 7, as Bakersfield College celebrated Vetfest.  The festival, which honored and showed appreciation to all active and former members of the military, was well-attended by students, community members, and veterans.

The morning began with the BC Drumline giving a wonderful performance to kick off the festivities.  They were followed by the presentation of colors and National Anthem. The MC for the event, Veterans Club President Miguel Valle, did an excellent job welcoming the attendees and introducing the speakers.  We had the distinct honor of hearing from the keynote speaker, Lt. Col. (retired) Dr. Tommy Tunson, Director of Public Safety Training Programs, who delivered a truly inspiring speech.

Providing entertainment for the festival were the Brothers of Latin Rock.  Music echoed throughout the campus as this talented band played many classic rock songs, adding their own Latin feel, including “Black Magic Woman” by Santana, which was requested by a veteran in attendance.  BC student Brooke Perez also got on stage and showcased her amazing voice by singing a handful of songs. Way to go, Brooke!

It is events like this that remind us how important it is to never forget the sacrifices our veterans have made.  I am humbled at how this campus has come together to take care of those who have given so much in the name of freedom.
Very special thanks goes out to the following individuals for contributing to the success of Vetfest:

  • Armando Trujillo – Veteran Educational Advisor
  • Bernadette Martinez – Office Supervisor, Counseling Dept.
  • Adeana Williams – Department Assistant, Veterans Resource Center
  • Miguel Valle – Student Veteran Club President
  • Lee Caldwell – BC Student Veteran
  • Lt. Col (ret.) Dr. Tommy Tunson — Director of Public Safety Training Programs
  • BC Veteran Club advisors and members
  • Office of Student Success & Equity
  • BC Food Services
  • BC Facilities, Maintenance & Operations

Last but most definitely not least, a HUGE thank you to Lisa Kent and Paul Beckworth for organizing this week!  Thank you to everyone for helping honor our veterans as we celebrate Vet Week. We are BC!

vetfest1

President Sonya Christian, VPs Zav Dadabhoy and Mike Giacomini, with keynote speaker Lt. Col. Dr. Tommy Tunson.

vetfest2

American pride at BC

vetfest3

BC Drum Line

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President Sonya Christian speaker to the crowd.

vetfest5

Keynote speaker Lt. Col. Dr. Tommy Tunson on stage.

You can view photos of the entire week’s worth of events on Facebook.

Vet Club

BC’s Vet Club

Football game honoring our Veterans

Last weekend’s football game was a treat. There was a beautiful color in the sky which looked fierce like fire as I made my way towards Memorial Stadium.

Sky at the BC football game

It started with the National Anthem sung by a student veteran who is also a Music Major. His name is Josh Forquera. He works so hard and it shows. Let’s listen to his talent….

Josh singing the National Anthem.

Josh Forquera singing the National Anthem.

skydiving2

Skydiver from Skydive San Joaquin bringing in the American and State flags.

skydiving

Skydiver from Skydive San Joaquin bringing in the game ball.

Thank you to SGA for being so supportive of our football game honoring our Veterans, and for providing the amazing skydivers to kick off the night.

chevron coin toss 2

Jeremy Staat tossing the coin at the football game.

BC’s very own Jeremy Staat performed the coin toss at the game, alongside Chevron’s Gavin Kimmel.  Jeremy played football as a Renegade, then went on to play at ASU as a teammate of Pat Tillman.  Jeremy’s football career then took him to the NFL, after which he served in the Marines. He’s now a welding instructor at BC.

We also had a swearing in ceremony for army recruits at halftime.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds for these recruits!

Moorepark at BC Football29

Swearing in ceremony for army recruits at halftime.

That night, the names of all BC staff/faculty veterans were read aloud.  I would like to honor them now by listing them by name once again:

United States Marines
• Jeremy Staat, 2005-2009, Corporal (E-4). — Welding
• Armando Trujillo, Marine Corps –Veterans Educational Advisor
• Felix Ramirez from 1980-1985. 1985-2002 Army National Guard (E-7) —Public Safety Officer (ret). (Retired from BC)
• Juan Torres, United State Marine Corps from 1988-1994—Site Operations (Delano)
• Jason Mattheus, 1997-2003, Public Safety
• Luke Thomas, Public Safety

United States Navy
• Lieutenant Manuel Fernandez, 11 years—Electronics
• Jahnea Palfrey, 1999-2003, Law Enforcement—Department Assistant
• Di Hoffman, 1992-2001 – Nursing
• Eddie Rangel, 1998-2001 –Information Technology
• Diana Alcala, 2002-2008—Human Resources Assistant
• Paul Beckworth, 1989-1993, National Guard 1997-2003— Faculty Director of Veteran Services
• Richard McCrow, 30 years –Dean of Instruction
• Tony Cordova- Program Manager CTE
• David Whalen, 5 year, Physics and Astronomy Professor

United States Army
• Pat Smith, 5 yrs —Criminal Justice Professor
• Joe Escalante, served 4 years, Sociology Professor
• Patrick Fulks, 1969-1971,(E-5) Biology Professor
• F. Javier Llamas, 1995-2003, History Professor
• Chef Patrick Coyle, 1972-1977, Culinary Professor
• Charlie Fivecoat, 1971-1974, Criminal Justice Professor
• Tommy Tunson, 1974-2007, Director of Public Safety Training Program
• Richard Castallon, 2013-present, Public Safety

United States Air Force
• Bernadette Martinez, 1993-1997 (E-4)—Office Supervisor
• Malissa Buggs, 21 years, Nursing Professor
• Christine Dunn 1995-1998 (Captain) Nursing
• Myron Patton, 1973-1977, Air Force, Adjunct Agriculture

Coast Guard
• Thomas T. Rush, 4 years, BS Program Associate Professor-Electronics
• Glen Gustafson, 6 years, Art Professor

Thank you for all that you do, for serving our country and protecting our freedom.  I am so proud that you all are a part of the Bakersfield College team!

During the game, it was great to see Kimberly Bligh, Zav Dadabhoy, and Carlos Barabaran in the stands among all our regular dedicated Renegade fans.

Sonya Christian and Kimberly BlighSonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy, & Carlos Barbaran

Chris Hine shared a photo with me after the game of Valerie hanging out with Pepper, the softbank robot programmed by BC’s Industrial Automation seniors to be a Renegade football fan!

Valerie & Pepper the Robot

Chris Hines’ grandaughter Valerie

Chevron supports current and future Renegades

Partnerships with local industry are so important to our students and Chevron is a true partner in the transformative power of higher education.  In 2013 when I started as President of Bakersfield College, we received a $125,000 gift from Chevron for various programs and initiatives. With that gift, the college was able to modernize engineering labs equipment from the petroleum and engineering fields.

An ongoing project between Bakersfield College and Chevron, called Project Lead the Way, grows each and every summer offering more enriching STEM camp opportunities for local high school and middle school students. These day-long summer camps truly inspire students to consider career fields in engineering, robotics, architecture, and more. Check out the article from KGET which highlights these camps from last summer with a video.

BC’s Yadira Guerrero, the Program Manager of Engineering at Bakersfield College has spoke about her passion for bringing hands-on STEM education to young people during these camps made possible by Chevron. “We’re hoping to inspire students and ignite a love for hands-on learning that maybe they don’t get the chance to do a lot of in school,” she said. “We’re hoping the academy will inspire them to want to go to college.”

In 2016, the Bakersfield College Foundation honored Chevron as Outstanding Corporate Donor for all they invest in our community. Everything Chevron does is focused on preparing students to succeed in school and in life. As a testament to their generosity, they are a core reason for the increase in our engineering majors from 163 in 2008 to 2512 STEM majors in Fall 2018.

In addition to the STEM camps before students get to BC, the support of BC’s MESA program is life changing. I previously blogged about MESA Week Zero here and news about recent MESA students is regular feature in my blog! It’s amazing to see these young men and women grow and succeed in their studies and budding passion for engineering and STEM careers.  

Chevron leader and advocate Adam Alvidrez was also on campus for the signing of the Kern Promise in April 2017. The Kern promise supports a vision of focused partnerships between education and industry partners to increase efficiency and ensure that our graduates can find meaningful employment upon completion. You can read more about the signing event in my blog, “Strengthening Kern County One Degree at a Time.”

Chevron’s support goes beyond academics and the classroom, extending to athletics and support for our veterans. Last weekend, Chevron’s Gavin Kimmel was on the field alongside BC faculty and Veteran Jeremy Staat for the coin toss. Chevron invited employees to support veterans and attend the Renegade football at the game against Moorepark for a family night out supporting the ‘Gades.

chevron coin toss

Chevron’s Gavin Kimmel alongside BC’s Jeremy Staat tossing the game coin.

Thank you Chevron, for investing in education, supporting our students, and inspiring the future workforce to learn skills that provide living wages and meaningful employment.

Wounded Heroes Fund: Salute to Our Local Heroes

For the 10th year, the local Wounded Heroes Fund sponsored a very successful BBQ steak lunch at the Kern County Fairgrounds–free for all veterans!  Just inside the grounds was a range exhibitors that provide services for veterans, employers of veterans, and veteran supporters, such as Kevin McCarthy. Of course, Armando Trujillo, BC Veteran’s Adviser, was stationed at the BC booth, and addressed the gathering regarding his military service and transition home.

Inside the pavilion, large rows of camo-covered tables and US flags filled the room providing plenty of space for veterans, families, and friends. Attendees listened to speeches from our local veteran leaders, and rocked to music from outstanding veteran-lead bands. A fantastic steak lunch added to the festivities!  BC Director of Veterans programs, Paul Beckworth and his wife Sandra were there with family, and joined by Terri Goldstein, Director of BC Disabled Students Programs & Services.

The official website states that The Wounded Heroes Fund is a local service organization for veterans and families affected by the war on terror in an effort to provide the support and appreciation they need for a healthy return to civilian life. Thank you to Mayor Karen Goh who always notices BC in the community and is never shy to forward me the photos, BC’s Veteran Services, Terri Goldstein, Director of BC’s DSPS, and BC’s Nursing students who always jump in with involvement in the community. See the post by Mayor Karen Goh on her Facebook! BC Nursing rocks!

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Thirty Unit Coining Ceremony

On Wednesday evening Bakersfield College Veteran Services held its first ever 30-unit Coining Ceremony, which signifies an important momentum point for our student-veterans. This milestone captures the halfway mark to the participants’ road to degree completion. Challenge coins are traditionally handed out upon completion of an important task or mission and to raise morale.  Wednesday’s ceremony may very be the first of its kind in the California Community College system. Twenty-seven veterans were coined in front of a roomful of family and friends.  I’m so proud of our student veterans!

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BC Honored with Joint Assembly & Senate Resolution

Earlier this week, Senator Fuller presented BC with the joint Assembly and Senate Resolution in honor of Bakersfield College receiving the Gold Strong Workforce Star for our Radiologic Technology program and our Registered Nursing program. Over the summer, BC was recognized by the 2018 Strong Workforce Stars for SIXTEEN of our programs!  The Strong Workforce Stars highlights career education programs whose students show significant gains in factors important in building a skilled workforce and for advancing personal social mobility: a substantial increase in earnings, attainment of a living wage and placement in a job closely matched with the field of study.  Here you’ll be able to see the entire list of programs honored.  You can view the ceremony on our Facebook page.

It was such a beautiful moment, and I’m glad I got to share it with those who work so hard to make our CTE programs successful.  Thank you to Tony Cordova, Cindy Collier, Carla Gard, and Jennifer Johnson for all of your hard work and your commitment to our students!  

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Thank you to Senator Fuller, Assemblyman Vince Fong, Senator Andy Vidak and Assemblyman Rudy Salas for your support and this honor.

Telemundo highlights BC’s Free on the Outside program

Thank you to Telemundo for highlighting our Free on the Outside program.  President Alex Arreola shared how this program has helped him envision a different future for himself and his family.  Adolfo Vega shared how the program has provided academic and social support to help him feel part of the Bakersfield College campus.  Norma Gaspar congratulated the students for their dedication and commitment to each other and to changing their lives all while encouraging viewers to see the opportunities Bakersfield College has to offer.  Providing an avenue for all students to succeed and giving them support is what matters. Todos Somos BC!

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BC’s Alex Arreola, Adolfo Vega and Emmanuel Limaco with Telemundo’s Norma Gaspar.

You can watch the segment here on Telemundo.

Roadmap to Public Health Degrees & Careers

Sarah Baron of BC’s Public Health Science program hosted an informational fair on Monday along with presentations on degrees and careers in public health. Throughout the morning, she shared tips for transferring to CSU and UC into a public health or health science major and various opportunities to learn more about public health careers from professionals in the field. There was information on how to apply for the UCLA Public Health Scholar program, an overview on how to obtain an Associate Degree for Transfer in Public Health Science and information on the new Health Navigator Certificate.

BC is fortunate to have such incredible faculty who inspire students to learn more and be inspired by their programs and areas of focus. Thank you Sarah Baron!

Panel Discussion – World War I: A Retrospective

On Tuesday, Bakersfield College professors gave a series of lectures about World War I in the Levan Center to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day this Sunday, which marks the end of The Great War.  History professor Tina Mendoza moderated the event, which offered substantive analysis of three different aspects of World War I and how it continues to influence society today.

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Tina Mendoza moderating the WWI panel.

Paul Beckworth’s presentation focused on the last day of the war on November 11, 1918. Even though a peace agreement had been reached by 5 a.m. that morning, seven US generals forced their troops to continue fighting until the official end of the war at 11 a.m. More than 11,000 casualties were needlessly suffered on that last morning due to the hubris of generals such as John J. Pershing, which Beckworth considers a criminal act and a violation of the social contract that a military officer agrees to when he or she becomes an authority figure in control of the fate of their troops.  “An officer is a powerful thing, and it carries with it a heavy responsibility,” Beckworth said. “You don’t grade on curves with other people’s lives.”

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Paul Beckworth speaking on the WWI panel.

Olivia Garcia focused on young men in the British middle and upper class who volunteered to die by the thousands in the first major world conflict of the Industrial Age. Military propaganda convinced young men to fight in the conflict; and the horrifying realities of trench warfare and death at a scale that humanity had never seen before was challenging for Victorian and Edwardian notions of aristocratic masculinity that still permeated British society.

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Olivia Garcia presenting at the WWI panel.

Javier Llamas discussed how the United States’ late entry into World War I reorganized the structure of the Army and provided opportunities for immigrants and African-Americans to defend their country through volunteering and being drafted into the conflict. African-Americans, as well as Asian immigrants and Mexicans, participated in the conflict via segregated units that primarily provided infrastructure for the war effort. Some troops of color, such as the Harlem Hellfighters, got to fight alongside French and Senegalese troops and were treated as equals.

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Javier Llamas presenting at the WWI memorial.

I’d like to thank everyone who participated in this panel Levan Center discussion about World War I. It provided some fascinating perspectives on a conflict that shaped the the 20th Century.

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Thank you Olivia, Paul, Javiera & Tina!

Distinguished Speaker Oz Sanchez

On Thursday BC hosted its fifth Distinguished Speaker, Oz Sanchez, author of Know No Limits: The Gold Medalist in Us All. Mr. Sanchez is a Marine and 3x Paralympic medalist who spoke about achieving successful change inevitably means overcoming obstacles and, in some cases, recreating oneself through an identity shift. He asked the question: how can you become better if you don’t change your mindset? An open mind creates a growth mindset, and helps create your identity. Mr. Sanchez explained that excuses are justifications for our inactions.


Thank you to Dr. Terri Goldstein, Director of Disabled Students Programs and Services, Paul Beckworth, Director of Veterans Services, and Sandi Taylor, Director of Athletics for organizing and advising on this event, and to the Veterans Committee, Renegade Athletics, and Kern Disability Collaborative for collaborating on it as well.

Operation: Not Forgotten Drop Zone

BC held its annual “Operation: Not Forgotten Drop Zone” from 7am-6pm this past Thursday.  The community came out and showed its support by dropping off items to send to deployed military personnel overseas, as well as giving cards and letters of support.  BC holds this activity annually alongside the group Blue Star Moms. Thanks to everyone who donated and showed their support for our troops!

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Services for David Besst

Last Saturday, I attended a celebration of life for Professor David Besst.  There were several faculty and staff and retired faculty and staff at the event.

David passed away unexpectedly in October at the age of 55, with 25 of those years being spent as an English faculty at BC.  I grabbed these photos from Andrea Thorson’s Facebook post. 

 

Entree to Employment

Speaking of the Renegade Room and Culinary Arts department, the Career Technical Education Department partnered with the Kern High School District ROC to host the 3rd Bi-Annual, Entrée to Employment event on October 23, 2018. The goal of this event is to introduce our students to the art of networking and gaining valuable knowledge of industry expectations from the employers firsthand. The following Automotive, Fire Technology, Nursing, and Veterinary Technician programs were highlighted. Students were individually selected to participate by their Professors and were required to attend an etiquette class that covered proper dining, attire, and business networking practices. Entrée to Employment took place in our very own Renegade Room, where Chef Suzanne Tangeman, Lab Technician Christian Flores, and their entire staff of students prepared and served an impeccable meal.

While there are no expectations of job offers, the survey results from the event were very positive:

  • 95% of the employers surveyed commented on how professional our students were dressed and how effectively they communicated.
  • 1 student was offered an interview the following day
  • 2 students were told about internship opportunities
  • 1 student was invited to a facility tour
  • 1 student invited on a hike with the Battalion Chief
  • 1 student was offered a job

Kudos to Beth Harrison, Job Development Specialist, who coordinated the event. Without the assistance of BC culinary students, instructors, staff, community employers and the Kern High School District the event would not have been possible.

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Attendees at the Entree to Employment event.

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Delicious meal prepared by our talented Renegade Room Culinary team.

Student Life & SGA hosts Murder Mystery Dinner

The Renegade Room was packed for the Murder Mystery Dinner hosted by Student Life and BCSGA. The crowd was captivated by the hilarious performers and interactive experience. And the food…well the food was simply to die for! Special thanks to Christian Flores-Castaneda, Alex Gomez, Suzanne Tangeman and the Renegade Room Staff for a night well spent! It was fantastic!

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Running in Silence

Dr. Terri Goldstein, BC’s Director of DSPS, shared an article featuring BC student athlete, Adolfo Escudero-Mendoza. The moving story featured the passion, love of sport, determination, and power of teammates. 23ABC’s Sports Director Kari Osep shot and produced this piece on our very own Men’s XC student athlete Adolfo, who has run Men’s XC since his time at Highland HS, and who does not let being deaf slow him down. His teammates even embrace the challenge of learning ASL to communicate with him and cheer him on. Special thank you to Kari Osep for sharing Adolfo’s story and bringing awareness to the incredible things taking place at the Home of the Renegades. Check out the story “Running in Silence” on 23ABC.