Tag Archives: Paul Beckworth

BC… Raising the Bar

Jingle Bells. BC at BSO Dec 6 2019
Sleigh Ride BSO Dec 6 2019
Both photos snapped while walking Neo on Dec 21, 2019

Merry Christmas

Started this week’s blog with Christmas music from the BSO-BC Home for the Holidays concert. Featured below is the fun version of Twelve Days of Christmas performed by our new Mens Choir. See if you can spot some of our faculty and staff and in the video. Going left to right: Nicky Damania, Chris Glaser, Nick Strobel.

Celebrating our BC Foster Youth through the NextUp Program!

NextUp, a Foster Youth Support Program housed within EOPS, had an end-of-the-year celebration this past Tuesday.

Fun Photos: UMOJA Recognizes June Charles

June Charles being recognized by the Umoja Program. Thank you Andrea Thorson for the photos.

Fun Photos from the December KCCD Board meeting

Snapped some fun pictures at the Dec KCCD Board meeting. Was great seeing Bill Henry who was recognized by the Board for his tenure at KCCD. Also,Gary Moser and KCCD received an award from Ellucian for the innovative work we are doing statewide. Finally both Romeo Agbalog and Kyle Carter were recognized by KCSOS.

Sandi Taylor was recognized as Manager of the Month by Manny Mourtzanos this past week. Congrats Sandi! You deserve it!

Manny Mourtzanos and Sandi Taylor

Annual Culinary and Caroling Dinner

Topping Out Party

Steve Anderson, Bill Potter, Sonya Christian

On Friday, S.C. Anderson held it’s “topping out” party for the new Campus Center building.  I joined our very own Bill Potter, Tamara Baker, Zav Dadabhoy, Billie Jo Rice, Nicky Damania, and Pam Kelley, along with KCCD Project Manager Nick Hernandez to celebrate this occasion. 

Kurt Hettinger of S.L. Shaw Company, Inc. sent this great explanation of the tradition:

Atop the rust-and-grey steel, a white beam sprouts a green tree from another era.

The “topping out” of a steel framed building with an evergreen tree is an ironworker tradition that originated centuries ago by Scandinavians who believed that gods lived in trees. The evergreen branch is a remnant of a time when builders thought they had to appease the gods whose trees they felled for construction.

Early Scandinavians would place the top-most  branches of trees that were cut for lumber atop their completed buildings. They believed this prevented incurring the wrath of both the tree gods and the souls of men, since man’s soul was believed to originate in trees and return to them.

To live amiably among the tree gods, these early builders accompanied the topping out with festivity and ceremony, culminating with the pouring of wine at the foot of the building. With this, they thought the building and its occupants would gain good luck since no tree god would wreck vengeance on so devout a believer.

Except for the presence of alcohol on a worksite, the topping out practice remains common in the United States, where the last beam of a significant building is painted and signed by all the workers involved. Then a living tree, or at least leafy branch, is placed on the beam, often with flags and banners tied to it. S.L. Shaw, like any red-blooded company, proudly flies the stars-and-stripes on the final beam every time too.

S.L. Shaw Company is proud to continue this tradition, and is proud to have partnered with SC Anderson and Mechanical Industries for the erection of this noteworthy project.

Congratulations on a job well done!

Kurt Hettinger

S.L. Shaw Company, Inc.

I would like to thank S.L. Shaw Company, Inc. SC Anderson and Mechanical Industries for including us in this unique tradition. Specifically, thank you to project manager Bill Campe of SC Anderson, Lee Shaw and Kurt Hettinger of S.L. Shaw, Bob Varner of Ordiz Melby Architects, as well as crane operator Trent Gardener, Nestor and Jose Ramirez for all of their hard work. I cannot wait to see the finished product next December!

You can see more photos from the event on Bakersfield College’s Smug Mug or the A Better BC Facebook page.

Army vs. Navy Football Game

Paul Beckworth hosted the annual Army vs. Navy football game between the Army Black Knights of the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York, and the Navy Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy (USNA) at Annapolis, Maryland. Check out the pictures!

This game brings out the best rivalries at our campus, and it was a joy to be a part of it! Congrats to the Navy on their well-earned win (sorry Tommy Tunson!)!

Steve Holmes playing middle man between Paul Beckworth (Nacy) and Tommy Tunson (Army)
Tony Cordova (Navy), Tommy Tunson (Army) and Paul Beckworth (Navy)

The Southern San Joaquin Valley Cal-SOAP Consortium held a Winter Training Series!

BC’s California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP) staff attended a two-day winter staff development series, which was geared towards preparation for the Cal-SOAP work with high school seniors for the spring semester. Tpoics included the Common Application by Nora Dominguez of University of LaVerne, Naviance Career Inventory by Christy Fraley of Kern High School District.

Cal-SOAP is a statewide program designed to increase the number of students attending college. The program serves students who are from low-income families, will be the first in their family to attend college, or are from areas or schools with low-eligibility or college-going rates. Cal-SOAP was established by the state legislature in 1978 and today operates in 14 locations throughout the state. Cal-SOAP is funded and administered by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC).

Tour of the New Veterans Resource Center

If you weren’t able to join us for the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center ribbon cutting on December 10, have no fear! Take a tour of the new facility through the camera lens! 

You can also see the astounding photos that Max Becherer donated to the new VRC. They’re incredibly powerful.

To San Antonio, Christmas 1977

A beautiful Jack Hernandez poem.

PB&J During Finals Week

Thank you BCSGA for providing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches during finals week.

Thank you to the Office of Student Life, BCSGA, and the Renegade Pantry.

Christmas Tree Recycling

This year, we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of our Christmas tree recycling partnership with the City of Bakersfield. Stop by the southwest parking lot on the  corner of University and Haley to drop your Christmas tree off between December 25 and January 17.

 Image courtesy of KBAK 29/58

If the Panorama Campus is too far to bring your tree, you can drop it off at the Kern County Fairgrounds, the Shafter/Wasco landfill, or any number of locations throughout Kern County. Stacey Shepard of the Bakersfield Californian put together a convenient list of all the Christmas tree recycling locations in our area. 

If you live in the Metro Bakersfield area, you can also place Christmas trees into your green waste container as long as the tree is cut into small pieces and the container lid is able to close completely.

M&O Never Sleeps!

The Maintenance & Operations department has been busy over the winter recess making sure that our campus is beautiful for our return in January! They’ve been replacing the flooring in the FACE building west wing and CDC classrooms.  Instructors in the Humanities building will have new stations when they return, and the Delano campus will have new lighting! Thank you to our entire M&O team for continually working hard to make our campuses beautiful and kept to the highest standards for our students.  We appreciate you! 

Measure J: Preparing for New Science & Engineering Building

Over winter break contractors are putting up the construction fence for the upcoming Measure J funded Science & Engineering building.  This new three-story facility will house offices, labs and classrooms for BC’s Science & Engineering department. The 68,300 square foot building has a program value of $65 million and is scheduled to be completed in September 2021.  Mark your calendars for the groundbreaking ceremony to be held on February 4th!   

Fun Photos from the BC Behavioral Science Elves

BC’s Behavioral Science faculty including David Riess, David Rohac, and Jordan Rude wish all their colleagues, friends, students, and president happy holidays!

‘Tis the Season for Giving—

The CARE and CalWORKs parent programs hosted their annual holiday celebration at Rollerama last Friday, a true family friendly affair! Student accomplishments were celebrated along with their children as they skated, enjoyed a meal together, and took family pictures with Santa Claus upon receiving the children’s Christmas gifts from the “Adopt a Family” project.

All the families with a total of 130 children were adopted by our generous BC faculty, staff, and community partners. A big “THANK YOU” for purchasing dinner at our Chipotle fundraiser, providing donations and/or going out of your way to purchase presents for the children! A special acknowledgement goes to Juan Estrada who adopted 12 families!!  I am beyond proud to be the President of such a giving and generous college! 

Fun Photos: Holiday Gifts

Check out the decorations on the cookies from the Grimm Family Ed Foundation.

Pressed flower cookies from Grimm Family Education Foundation

Student Employee Testimonial

Ramon Carriedo says..

Ramon Carriedo

Going to college and having a job can be hard. Balancing work and study is not easy, especially for a full-time student like myself. Fortunately, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to be a student employee here at BC, which helps me stay focused on school while earning a paycheck at the same time.

Being a student employee has taught me a lot of skills that can only benefit me in the future. Plus, I get to see all the hard work done behind the scenes to keep the school successful.

In the Marketing Department, I work alongside writers, photographers, graphic designers, web content editors, and leaders. Working around all of these specialists is an amazing opportunity to gather knowledge, which is my favorite part. When I first started working here, I had no clue on how to make documents accessible or work with graphic design. With no experience covering an event, Earl Parsons walked me through the basics of how to take notes and catch a reader’s eye with my writing. He also taught me how to use a digital camera and find the best angles.

My favorite memory of working here had to be the day that I walked in and Monika Scott asked me if I would be willing to help the team present in front of all the new staff. When I asked Monika when this meeting was going to happen, she replied that it was in the next 15 minutes. I instantly started studying the slides, and I walked into the meeting room feeling extremely confident. But when it was my turn to present, everything I thought I was going to say flew right out the window. I started stuttering and I felt frozen.

After the presentation, Monika let me know that this was a great learning experience, and in the future, jobs will ask me to present on short notice. The more practice you get at it, the better you become – just one of the many lessons I’ve learned as a BC student employee.

New Employee Orientation

Holidays are Going to the Dogs

So….. what should I get Neo and Bessie for Christmas? This led me to wonder how many others think about buying Christmas presents for their pets. According to the APPA (American Pet Products Association), American’s are estimated to spend $75.38 billion dollars on pets in 2019! Isn’t that incredible? They estimate that $16.44 billion of that will be spent on “Supplies/OTC Medicine.” DogTime.com had some fun holiday statistics:

· Dog owners are more likely to give their pet a gift than cat owners (but that gap is closing)
· 4 out of 10 pet owners confess to giving presents to others as if it was from their pet
· 54% of pets will have Christmas stockings this year
· 34% have a special pet-safe advent calendar
· 29% of pets will get a Christmas card from their owner (Maybe the pets enjoy having it read to them)
· 16% of owners feature their pets on their Christmas cards (TheNosePrint.com claims this is 43%)
· 3% say their pets are writing a letter to Santa Paws (he exists, you just have to believe)

TheNosePrint.com surveyed people and ranked states according to their expenditure on their pets. While the average was $23.10, California ranked 6th with spending an average of $26.07 per dog for state residents. I’m not going to confess where I ranked for Neo this year.

Here are some fun photos of BC Employee’s dogs. If you would like your pet featured in my blog, do send a photo to Aricia Leighton or me.

Lesley Bond’s Blue
Lisa Robles’ Samson and Oliver
Kylie Swanson’s Oscar Meyer (in a sweater Ashlea Ward bought for him)
Manny Mourtzanos’ Brooklyn and Dodger
Aricia Leighton’s Sting
Eric Carillo’s Froderick Diezel von Heiden (Diezel)
Tamara Baker’s Jack and Bruce

Wrestling take 3rd at CCCAA State Finals

This last weekend, our Renegade Wrestling team traveled to Fresno City College for the CCCAA State Finals. Led by Jonathan Hunter taking 1st in the 174 lb. weight class, the team brought back a 3rd place finals finish. Renegade placers included:

• 174 lb. – Jonathan Hunter – 1st place (State Champion and All-American)

• 184 lb. – Jordan Annis – 2nd place (All-American)

• 197 lb. – Ricardo Gonzalez – 4th place (All-American)

• 149 lb. – Adrian Gonzalez – 5th place

• 125 lb. – Keithen Estrada – 7th place (Back-to-back state placer, finished 7th in 2018)

Next Level Renegades

Congrats to three of our Renegade student athletes for committing to continue their academic and athletic careers at the next level. Holden Williams from Renegade Football, has committed to play for Portland State University. From Renegade Women’s Soccer, Ashley Quintanilla and Lissette Garcia have both committed to play at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salinas, KS. Congratulations to Holden, Ashley and Lissette!

Renegade Report

Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Men’s Basketball team. Head Coach Rich Huges and players sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss their hot start to the season.

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week

• Men’s Basketball Competes at Santa Barbara Tourney:

o Game 1 loss vs. Pasadena City, 78-73

o Game 2 win over Oxnard, 85-76

o Game 3 win over Porterville, 84-61 

Wrestling Takes 3rd at CCCAA State Finals

Thank you for voting Yes on J!

The transformation of our campus for the next 50 years has begun! Major changes will be taking place over the next 10 years ranging from construction of new buildings, renovations of buildings, and major repairs to our campus infrastructure. The grand opening of our first building, the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, was on December 10, 2019

Thank you for voting Yes on J!

Sonya Christian voting Yes on J on Oct 30, 2016
Sonya Christian thanking Kern County for voting Yes on J. Nov 12, 2016

The Bakersfield College Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center

Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center. Dec 10, 2019

After years of preparation and development, our community gathered on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019 for a historic milestone in Renegade history. With college and district leaders, community members, students, supporters, family, and friends, BC officially opened the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, a space dedicated to student veterans and the first completed Measure J building.

Thank you KCCD Trustees
Sonya Christian, President of Board John Corkins, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Kyle Carter, Jack Connell, Tom Burke, Paul Beckworth

I could not be more proud of everyone who helped bring this grand vision into reality. Attendees who came from across the country were greeted with a massive American flag that billowed proudly, flying above the newly christened building from an extending ladder on a Kern County Fire Department truck. Dignitaries on the dais outside of the center included Chancellor Tom Burke, Mayor Karen Goh and Congressman Bill Thomas, as well as KCCD Trustees Jack Connell (a Navy veteran), Romeo Agbalog, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and President of the KCCD Board John Corkins. There were also representatives from about 40 student organizations on campus. Trustee Kay Meek was viewing the live stream, unable to attend the ceremony in-person. She was one of the most vocal supporters for the construction of the new center as the first Measure J project, and her presence was missed. 

Ricardo Del Hoyo, Joseph Lopez, Nick Ortiz, Tommy Tunson, Mayor Goh, Trustee Corkins, President Christian, Chancellor Burke, Perry Finzel & Monica Martin

This new 4,700 square foot facility is dedicated to student veterans and includes a tutoring room, conference room with whiteboards and television, a lounge area with two televisions, coffee bar, fridge, microwave, computer area and outdoor patio area.

Diego Ross from JTS Construction and Armando Trujillo

This space is dedicated to the education, wellness, and transformation of our students, therefore it’s only fitting that this place is named after Vernon Valenzuela. Vernon was a Vietnam combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient. He was a Bakersfield College student in the 1970s and later became a licensed counselor who spent the rest of his life working with veterans and their families; his legacy will live on forever in its walls.

Former student Wesley Barrientos cuts the ribbon with help from current SGA President Samantha Pullido and President of the Vets Club Ilene Garcia
The VRC Challenge Coin
Study area in the new VRC
Lise Valenzuela in the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center

This center would not be possible without the leadership of Paul Beckworth, who opened the ceremony by thanking Armando Trujillo and his team for all they do to help our Renegade veterans. Armando was a protégé of Vernon Valenzuela, the founder of the first veterans’ clubs at BC and CSUB, and I could think of no one else who is better suited to extend Vernon’s love and empathy to a new generation of Renegade vets. Armando also announced an annual scholarship that will be offered through the VRC for years to come.

Armando Trujillo addressing the audience

When our local veterans are returning home, this new center will be the place they can come to to find support, comfort, and comradery with fellow Renegades. For over 100 years Renegades have put on the uniform, and when they were ready to trade in their boots for books, BC knew its responsibility. BC’s mission continues to be to educate our veterans, mind body, and soul, and to celebrate the impact that veterans have had on BC.

I surprised Paul Beckworth by presenting him with the President’s Leadership Award during the ceremony. Over these last seven years, Paul has advocated on behalf of our student veterans here on campus, in the community, and in the state. He and a group of student veterans were fearless in “occupying” a vacant room adjacent to their existing cramped space, quietly doing the necessary remodeling work.  He has written public letters to our student veterans, to our faculty veterans, to our staff veterans.   He is brave, kind, funny, open, tender, with a passion to respect, honor and support his fellow brothers and sisters from the military.

Zav Dadabhoy, Armando Trujillo, Paul Beckworth, Sonya Christian
Zav Dadabhoy, Armando Trujillo, Paul Beckworth, President Christian & Jenny Frank

I also introduced incoming manager Jenny Frank, who comes to us from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This special facility is the first of many made possible by the tremendous community support of Measure J. There is a very, very long list of individuals to thank, but Trustee Kay Meek deserves special recognition for her constant focus and dedication.

Bill Thomas, Kay Meek, Tom Burke, Steven Holmes

The impact of Trustee Meek’s work was evident in the words of student veteran and Veteran Club President Ilene Garcia during the grand opening, who said, “As soon as I walked in, I felt that camradery and bond that I had been missing that you instantly obtain when you join the military. Finding that comfort zone in civilian life is essential for veterans returning home. We crave the structure and sense of belonging that the military instills in us. The Veterans Resource Center at BC provides this.”

Veterans Club President Ilene Garcia and fellow veterans

BC Veterans Club President Ilene Garcia took a moment to explain how the team at BC creates a structure and a sense of belonging that helps soldiers readjust to civilian life. She also thanked all of us at BC for making this center a priority with the funding from Measure J.

Vernon’s wife Lise Valenzuela offered some personal anecdotes about how BC changed her husband’s life. After serving a tour of duty in the Vietnam War, Vernon found his confidence and his calling as a student at BC, and he dedicated the rest of his life to helping other veterans like him find their calling through higher education.

Lise Valenzuela

Former Trustee Bill Thomas talked about how Vernon’s imposing physical presence, and his empathy and talent for listening, inspired respect from anyone who had a conversation with him. Bill highlighted Kay Meek’s work and her emphatic message to all that she wanted this to be the very first project of Measure J. He also previewed the ribbon cutting ceremonies to come as more Measure J projects finish construction.

Former Congressman & Trustee Bill Thomas
Tom Burke, Ilene Garcia, Paul Beckworth, Bill Thomas, Sonya Christian, Kyle Carter, Karen Goh

Attendees were treated to the beautiful music of BC’s Chamber Singers. led by the talented Dr. Jennifer Garrett. I’m happy that Brandon Urry captured these videos so that I can share then with you.

Award-winning photojournalist Max Becherer started his career right here at BC as a student of Kris Stallworth, and he took pictures of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for publications like the Washington Post and Time Magazine before becoming the Photo Editor of the New Orleans Advocate. He donated several of his most famous photographs from those conflicts to the VRC and attended the groundbreaking alongside his family.

Photographer Max Becherer sharing his photography.

As Paul described in his closing address, the VRC is more than just a place of learning. It is a place where our veteran students can heal from the physical and psychological wounds of combat, supporting each other through all of their struggles. Thank you Paul, Armando and our Veterans Affairs team for dreaming of this safe space for healing, and thank you to our Measure J team for making that dream a reality. I would also like to thank Tamara Baker for organizing the ribbon cutting and open house, as well as everyone who contributed to making this event such a success.