Tag Archives: President Matthew Frazer

Week One of the Summer Semester!

Lily June 16 2017

Calla Lily. June 17 2017

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, June 17, 2017 and a wonderful day to be a Renegade.

Here’s this year’s garden Calla Lily for you.

You can see last year’s on my June 4, 2016 blog post: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/06/04/a-community-together/ .

A typical summer week at Bakersfield College — several department retreats where employees get to evaluate last year and then plan for 2017-2018, BC’s incredible Summer Bridge program, and then an underground line from our chiller tanks broke causing the air conditioning to go out.

We had several events planned on campus including Summer Bridge for High School students entering as freshman in Fall 2017 and a high school basketball camp that is hosted by Coach Rich Hughes.  Imaging 200 high school students playing basketball in our gym with no air conditioning and the  temperature forecast to spike to 100 degrees.  Our BC facilities and maintenance group went into action immediately, with alternate plans getting large coolers in the gym so that the event could continue without disruption.

Here is a picture Kimberly Bligh snapped of the Summer Bridge event as they dealt with changes in their plans with the air conditioning down and the high expected to be 96 degrees.

June 16 2017 Summer Bridge

And then our Athletics Director Sandi Taylor, who was worried about the heat in the gym sent me this photo

2017 Summer High School Showcase June 16 2017

This is the email I received from Bill Potter.  BC’s M&O staff rock!  Do you see why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever…


Bill Potter

We have been able to isolate the broken water line to only 4 buildings on campus. We are still working to uncover the lines and see the extent of the damage before we can determine how long the repair will take.  Until the repairs can be made these buildings will not have Air Conditioning.

  1. Business Services/Bookstore
  2. LA Building
  3. Forums
  4. Gymnasium
  • Air Conditioning is being restored to the remainder of the campus and all scheduled activities will not be affected.
  • We rented 4 portable swamp coolers and paced them in the Gym for the Basketball Tournament. Coach Hughes has been informed throughout the entire process.
  • I will send another update when we have a timeline for repairs. Our plumbing contractor has assured us they can stay onsite until repairs can be made.  We will do our best to get it restored over the weekend so we can resume Monday morning as normal.

The following team members played an important role in keeping us going today:

Bill Garrett, Landon Webb, Tim Hernandez, Aaron Kidwell, Martin Ramirez, Dennis Spencer, Frank Tinoco, Gilbert Merjil, Jason Brown, David Branson, Dalia Garcia

The rest of the M&O team picked up the slack and kept the campus functioning and other project going.

It was a great team effort.

I love this picture with Charlie, Bill Potter’s son (see below).  This is how we roll at BC.  I remember for Measure J, employees brought out their families to 1675 Chester, our campaign headquarters, to help with phone banking, precinct walking and all other campaign chores. A whole family endeavor.  #WeAreBC!

Thank you to the plumbers from J Noble Binns to helping us fix this major issue that resulted in us shutting down the air conditioning system

So thank you for passing Measure J.  
BC absolutely needs to upgrade its 60-year-old facilities and infrastructure.



Neo June 15 2017 at 8 30 pm

Sonya Christian and Neo June 10 2017


I continue to be distracted by Neo’s new mannerisms and pranks. He is sweet, smart and learning fast, but he can be fierce with toys and petunias… In three weeks, he has gone from 10 lbs to 24 lbs.  You see him here being sweet while he plays with me and then his stubborn streak sets in when I am attempting to get his attention at 8:30 p.m. to come in and he just sits by the pool and calmly looks at me without budging an inch.  But I must confess that the Golden Retriever sweetness emerges again and he relents and comes in.

The only reason friends now ping me is to discuss the latest and greatest with Neo.  Here is a sample.

Set 1:

Friend: Were you up at 5:00 a.m. to let Neo out for a potty break.

Me: Lol. That was at 3:20 a.m.

Friend: You need a doggy door.

Set 2:

Friend: Is it true that you have to chase Neo around in the wee hours of the morning in damp grass to get back inside the house after he goes potty outside?

Me: emoji of laughter with tears

Friend: And isn’t it true that he will sit and wait for you to get near him, and after  you give chase, just to get up and run away again….and he will do this repeatedly?


Enough about Neo.

BC produces leaders

What a powerful picture of leadership!

BCSGA Presidents with Nicky Damania June 16 2017

President Matthew Frazer, President Dezi Von Manos, President Alex Dominguez, President Clayton Fowler, Dr. Nicky Damania

Loved receiving this photo from Dr. Nicky Damania who hosts an annual dinner which he cooks at his house with all the previous presidents of the Bakersfield College Student Government Association (BCSGA).


The group met and reminisced about their years while giving advice to the incoming president.

President Alex Dominguez, 2014-15, is going to the University of Mississippi for law school.

President Clayton Fowler, 2015-2016, will finish his Political Science and Public Service degrees is at UC Davis.

President Matthew Frazer, 2016-17 will be starting at CSUB in Political Science.

President Dezi Von Manos, 2017-18, is working on a double degree in Criminal Justice and Communication.

And Dr. Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life, is starting his fourth year at Bakersfield College and is excited for the next year of student leaders

Start of Summer School

On Monday morning, campus felt alive with energy. Students filled the halls in preparation for the first day of summer class and the Welcome Center was full of student activities. The first day of class is always exciting because it marks another new step in the educational journey towards completion. The week, however, was just as exciting for faculty who welcomed new students into their classes and for BC’s Administration, who came together to plan, strategize, and work on the future of BC and student success.

It’s always great to see students on campus and I loved this photo on Instagram!


Admin Council Retreat

The Admin Council at BC is BC’s entire management team. Administrative Council is a forum for communication on issues and trends affecting Bakersfield College, and communicates directly with the president. Each summer, we gather for retreats which help us recap our accomplishments so far, but more importantly work on our plans for moving the college forward.


Earl Parsons and Manny De Los Santos took the group photos and luckily the weather on Tuesday was not too hot to be outside. Group photography always presents a unique set of challenges, but I think the photo turned out great. Earl later said in an email, “it’s an honor that I am trusted to capture all kinds of important moments for such a historic and life-changing institution as Bakersfield College.”  What a great team of people we have at BC! Can you see why I’m the happiest and luckiest college president ever?


Sonya Christian addressing the management team

When I walked in the second day of the retreat, there was our new manager Zach Quiroz tapping the ivories on the piano.  Just beautiful!










There was great panel discussion that left the group with practical take-aways and tools they can use to manage their roles while also creating urgency to implement and improve strategies that work.

Lesley Bonds moderated a fantastic panel which included Tom Gelder on strategic thinking and clarity on priorities, Jennifer Aachan on action orientated communication, Shanell Tyus on clarity in decision making, and Alyse Braaten on starting on the right path and communication.

Team 2

Alyse Braaten, Shanell Tyus, Tom Gelder, Lesley Bonds

They shared “8 Things Really Efficient People Do” which is an article by @KevinJDaum. The author points out that focus is vital in his first point that suggests we should stop multitasking. The article goes on to discuss proper planning, appropriate communication, and delegating items that others can do better than we can, especially given our workload. It was a beneficial discussion as we all have the goal to be able to achieve our objectives in record time at BC.

Jennifer Marden, Liz Rozell, and Eric Sabella led a session on recognizing stressors in our lives in order to cope with them,  staying well.  Both Liz Rozell and Eric Sabella did a deep dive when they presented their personal stories, the stressors in their lives and how they cope.  They were open in their descriptions, smart in their thinking and sensitive in their delivery.  Have I told you recently that I am the luckiest and happiest college president…..I get to work with these amazing individuals every day.

Team 1.JPG

Here is an excerpt from Jennfier Marden’s opening comments:

As the spring semester came to a close, Sonya and I started talking about the various retreats.  Of course at that time there was a lot of energy at BC centered around the Leadership Matters Summit: Reimagining Leadership to Sustain Transformative Change to Advance Student Success & Equity.  The website describes the summit as “three sessions immersed in the theory and practice of change, how to navigate change, how to lead change, how to deal with the friction points, conflicts that arise due to change and above all how to sustain change.”

Sonya and I talked about the amount of change the college is undergoing—from Curriculum to Facilities.  In particular, those of us in this room, the 65 people that comprise the management team of BC, have experienced a substantial amount of change this past academic year.

This seems like a good time to pause and to celebrate the resiliency of the Bakersfield College management team in accomplishing so many things 2016-17!!

From this conversation, and true to form, Sonya asked me to get a team together to facilitate this discussion.  The Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory that we all completed will frame this session, “Wellness Strategies by Being Aware of Stressors in Our Lives”

Change is inevitable and change isn’t always negative.  Often change is a positive experience… buying a new house, welcoming a new baby to the family, a promotion—all examples of positive change.  But regardless of this, change causes stress… increased responsibility, sleepless nights, and unfamiliar territory.

It is how we manage the stress of change in our lives that is important as this has a direct impact to our overall well-being. If our wellness is compromised, will are not able to give our best to our work or our loved ones.

So in the next 28 minutes, Liz, Eric and I will each share thoughts about our personal results from the stress inventory, and Liz will give us a 50,000ft level look at our group scores.  Be thinking about…  How you navigate change, lead others through change, deal with the friction points and conflicts that arise due to change, and above all… how do you sustain change?  Eric will be asking five of you to share your personal reflections. (373 words)

Bill Moseley, Ramon Puga and Imelda Valdez led a session focused on how to stay organized in moving large quantities of work with quality. Ramon shared with the management team that in his line was work, his goal every morning is to come to work and expect the unexpected.  He also talked about how he has been attempting to delegate more.  Imelda, one of our new managers talked about the power of planning.  She is the Director of our EOP&S program and is right now planning the retreat with her team.  I was really impressed with her clarity and focus.  Bill discussed the tech tools he uses to maximize productivity and keep the work moving.  He reviewed his own strategy, which involves dividing his time into three areas; triage, light work, and deep work.  In triage, the work is focused on guiding input, responding to emails, and completing tasks that can be done in under two minutes.  Triage can be done almost anywhere, and isn’t vulnerable to distraction.  Light work consists of planning, reviewing, researching, and organizing.  This can be done in a mildly distracting environment and is perfect for “open door” times in the office.  Deep work takes uninterrupted time and deep concentration.  Bill described creating his environment for deep work as, “door closed, email turned off, and music with no words playing in the background.  By using these three phases of work, anyone can take control of their inputs and outputs, and increase their productivity.

Janet Fulks and Craig Hayward did a great presentation about BC’s students.  Through data, video and story telling the two of them grounded the discussions on the “why” our work matters…..Our students.  and how education transforms lives.

Here are a few highlights from the powerpoint that Janet and Craig used for their presentation.

Pie Chart Student Demographics June 14 2017

When you think about the “needs” of the BC students think about their background

  • Proportion on Financial Aid 69.6%   (that’s 19,228 students)
  • Proportion First Gen 53.9% (that’s 14,891 students)

This picture captures the need being right now!

Need circle

Here is a powerful bar graph that shows increase in wages with specific skill building cluster classes.  Check out Automotive Technology.

Wage Growth related to Skills Builder

Grace Commiso did brief presentations on both days about how BC is developing 18 completion coaching communities among faculty and staff to coach students through their 15-credits in their first semester and successfully completing their English and math requirements in the first year.  The 18 completion coaching communities are comprised of 10 metamajors and 8 affinity groups.

On Wednesday morning, the team was back at it and Dena Rhoades snapped photos of the beautiful breakfast that fueled us through the morning. Thank you chef Eric Sabella and BC Food Services.


I loved this tweet from Nicky Damania:

Executive Office Photo

Executive Office - Getting Set-1

The Executive Office is comprised of the President, the three Vice Presidents and the staff.  Here is the team.  and thank you John Farrand for this fun photo.  We retreated for half a day on Thursday.  Thank you Chris Glaser, Somaly Boles, June Charles, Tracy Hall and Jennifer Marden for organizing the different sessions for the retreat.


Saluting Keith Wolaridge

Keith WoolaridgeOn Monday, Tom Gelder met with Keith Wolaridge to present him his plaque from Sterling Silver at Uricchio’s Trattoria. Passing a bond initiative is like raising a child…it takes a village. Keith is one of those people who did whatever was needed to get the word out, to ask for the right endorsements, to write the opinion pieces, to make the phone calls, to bolster people’s spirits. Thank you Keith!

To check out all the recipients of awards at Sterling Silver, check out my blog post: Moments that make up Life.


The Outreach team at BC is gearing up for one of the best express enrollment events yet. Coming up on June 20th, anyone and everyone is invited to attend IT’S POSSIBLE – a one-day express event starting at 8:00AM that will help future and current students, no matter where they are in the enrollment or registration process so they can leave with their class schedule in hand, knowing exactly what classes they’ll be attending in Fall. Thank you to everyone on campus who is preparing for this fantastic day!

Check out the event on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1941376366135105  or RSVP on the website at: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/itspossible

Its Possible

Come out for the Air Force Band

Exciting things are coming to the campus on the hill. On June 28th, at 7:00PM, the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West will perform a free concert at the Simonsen Outdoor Theater at our beautiful campus. This is FREE to the public so I hope you’ll gather your friends and family and visit the campus to enjoy the music.

The United States Air Force Band of the Golden West is stationed in the San Francisco Bay area at Travis Air Force Base and their goal is to foster positive, long lasting impressions of the Air Force and the United States of America using the power of music. They are headed to the Hollywood Bowl and will perform the entire set for everyone at BC. Let’s show them the warmest Bakersfield welcome by packing the theater. See you there!


Recycling Event at BC

Bakersfield College is partnering with Happy Recyclers to help our community dispose of any unwanted electronics the right way.

Last year, over 500 people participated, giving away over one million pounds of electronics to be efficiently recycled instead of ending up in a landfill. This year, our event will even accept those heavy outdated televisions, which many recyclers aren’t able to process.

BC cares for our surrounding neighborhoods and the ecological well-being of our planet, so come out for an opportunity to clear out your electronic clutter and help the environment on June 24th and 25th from 8:00AM to 5:00PM.


Student Success During the Summer

Along with eager-to-learn students on campus, our student services have also reopened their doors for the summer! Staff and faculty at BC encourage all students to take advantage of the everything BC has to offer to ensure that all students will succeed with the tools and help they need!


This Summer, there is an array of services provided that can help all students achieve their academic goals. Located in the Student Services Center Building, there is an abundance of free academic help. I’d like to spotlight a few:

  • ItsPOSSIBLE_3Dec16-12There is the Math lab where students are able to work on online math classes, get math help for on-campus classes, and even the Extend The Classroom for Math B72.
  • The Writing Center is a gem, where students can make an appointment and speak to an extremely knowledgeable and supportive coach who will guide students through the entire process of writing a solid paper. Amber Smithson, a BC student, offered a great tip. She said, “make sure to take in your assignment sheet, so you can go through each step for you to obtain the best grade!”
  • The Tutoring center is also located upstairs overlooking the math and writing labs. That’s where students can obtain free peer tutoring in 50-minute sessions for most courses and 15-minute drop-in sessions for English and Math only. These peer tutors are amazing because they’re students who have taken these classes and they’re knowledgeable on the material, but they can also relate to the student needing help.  The tutors not only have a passion for learning, but also for teaching and sharing that knowledge with their fellow students. All of these services are offered throughout the Summer and start right away. During the Fall session, they start a week into the semester.

The staff and faculty care so much about student success…


Superheroes behind the Scenes

David WhalenLike I mentioned earlier, the faculty at BC ALWAYS have student success in their heart and on their mind. When a physics class was left without a professor due to an emergency, Dr. David Whalen stepped in to save the semester. It’s incredible that he has volunteered to change his summer and vacation plans to put BC students first.  Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president?

Jonathan Schultz introduces us to Prof. Joe Saldivar

Sonya Christian Manhatten Beach day before CA Guided Pathways Advisory Committee


That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Our BC family gives to the community!

Have you voted yet? And did you vote Yes on Measure J? #MeasureJ 🙂

I did vote on October 30th, a rainy Sunday morning and then dropped off my ballot at the Post Office.  Here is my proof!


Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, November 5, 2016…..A great day to be a Renegade.

This past week was busy on campus with many events including Vet Fest, the Levan Faculty Colloquim, a special FCDC meeting where faculty positions for next year were presented as well as a quick trip to Orange County to present the work on California Guided Pathways at the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges Fall Plenary.  In addition, the Campaign Head Quarters for Measure J was buzzing with activity as the volunteers were shifting gears to the last lap of this marathon.  Four more days to November 8th!

Here we have Prof. Harlan Hunter volunteering his time to lead a team of volunteers to promote Measure J.

Harlan Hunter and volunteers return after precinct walking Nov 5 2016.jpg


So proud of our faculty, staff and students:

Paula Parks and ASTEP:

BC’s ASTEP Program, under the leadership of Prof. Paula Parka, won first place in the Black365 Knowledge Bowl!  Just phenomenal.

Parks says on Facebook:

My students studied their Black history!!! #umojaconf All the ASTEP Umoja students in attendance cheered our team to victory! They all make me so proud!!


Anna Poetker and the Levan Faculty Colloquim:


Anna Poetker, Susan Pinza

Philosophy professor Dr. Anna Poetker presented her research findings on her work with undocumented students at Bakersfield College at the Norm Levan Faculty Colloquium (the longest running program of the Levan Center). Her talk The Struggles and Success of Undocumented Latino/a College Students on Friday, November 4th was a combination of the theoretical background of the philosophical and psychological foundations of the problems facing  undocumented students, personal stories told to her by her undocumented students, and practical ways we can support our undocumented students.


Nick Strobel emailed me:
She gave us the mental framework of the process undocumented college students go through in forming their own identity—“self authorship”. In some ways it is like the maturing process we all go through as we transition from learning values and identity from our family and society as children and then constructing our own identity as young adults in late high school and early college years. However, the consequences for undocumented students can be much more significant for our undocumented students because they are “sewn with two threads” (as one student put it).
They entered this country as very young children, so their values and background are primarily of the United States with a more distant familial connection to the country they came from, but they are not citizens of the U.S. with all the rights thereof. The undocumented students can face strong negative pressures against going to college from society and even from their own families. As young adults, the undocumented students that Anna shared stories about had gone through the phase of tearing down/blasting away the externally constructed identity  shaped by the society and family and then constructing their own identity internally from within.
There are practical ways we can support these students. It starts with acknowledging them and their special needs as undocumented students, being supportive with even something as simple as a smile and listening ear, and letting them know about the resources and rights given to them through the California Dream Act and DACA for attending college and remaining in the U.S.
Alex Gomez prepared a nice spread of Mexican food for attendees to enjoy after the talk.
For more about what BC is doing to support our undocumented students see https://bcdreamers.wordpress.com and https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/project-dream-act .
For more about the Faculty Colloquium series, see https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/levancenter/programs#colloquia. The Faculty Colloquium committee needs nominations from faculty for faculty who have done research on interesting topics and would
be good speakers. Contact Susan Pinza with your suggestions.

Flu Shots


According to the CDC, the “flu season” can begin as early as October and last until May. During these months, the flu viruses circulate at a higher rate and an annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce chances of catching the flu and spreading it to others. Students and faculty from BC’s Allied Health provided free flu shots to BC students and staff on Tuesday morning at the Collins Conference Center. Way to go BC!

Student Volunteers at Allensworth Park


allensworth_houseEvery year, the volunteer coordinator for the CA State Parks invites BC students to a one-day volunteer event at Allensworth State Historic Park. Not only is this a great way to give back, but students also learn about the amazing Colonel Allensworth State Park, tour of the park, and a chance to talk to park Rangers.

This year, they had two groups since so many students wanted to attend. One group dusted the insides of historic homes and the other painted a historic house. Pictured above are BC students Andrea Moreno, Salvador Murillo, Krista Nolan, Payton Brandon, and Mitchell Switalki with the park ranger.

Alongside these students, many others also volunteered. It’s great to know so many of our students are getting involved, helping out, volunteering, and learning about local history!

Thank you to Erin Miller and Krista Moreland for helping to facilitate these great experiences!

Vet Fest at BC!


Veterans Day is a reminder of the price paid for the liberties we enjoy, but it’s also time to reflect on the burden we all share in ensuring our future generations enjoy those same freedoms. We must never forget that it is the strength of our armed forces that has brought us to this point, and it is the strength that will continue to ensure peace.

leticia-perez-at-vet-fest-2016Between now and Veterans Day on November 11th, people throughout America will gather to remember and give thanks to those who have served in our armed forces. But at Bakersfield College, our veterans are our family… you are our friends, classmates, students, staff, and faculty.  Today we honor you and we thank you for your courage, strength, and soul.

Thank you to all of our speakers and guests, especially Supervisor Leticia Perez for her generosity and her commitment to Bakersfield College and to our student veterans.  Our keynote speaker JR Browning was fabulous. A copy of JR Browning’s speech is available here.

You can see more photos in our online gallery at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/Vet-fest.

Thank you to KGET for the coverage http://www.kerngoldenempire.com/news/vet-fest-returns-today-at-bakersfield-college

Check out my blog on last year’s Vet Fest.


The Kern Housing Authority

I attended the fundraising gala put on by the Kern Housing Authority and Norma Rojas-Mora.  This is a great organization that does great things for our community.  Here are a few pictures from the event.

Row 1: Here I am with friends of Measure J and friends of Bakersfield College.  NaTesha Johnson, Nicole Parra and Karen Goh.

Row 2: Selfies with Norma Rojas-Mora and Andrea Navarro a culinary graduate of Bakersfield College.  Andrea is currently working at the Padre and reminder me that she taught me the right way to cut vegetables.


A little something:

When this note from Professor Dave Neville found its way to my desk on Wednesday afternoon with its attached project, I just knew I had to share it with you. It says, “Could you find an appropriate time to return this project that Lesley did as a student for my Spanish 2 class at North High School. I was going through papers that I had saved as prime examples of student work and came across this.”

I should add that Lesley Bonds is our director of Student Success and Equity and she’s a graduate of North High, right here in Bakersfield.


The highly educational story that Lesley wrote as a high school student follows a girl named Rosa who accidentally cut herself while running with a knife. Rosa’s doctor could not save her and her friends and brother were very, very sad. Throughout the rest of the story, Juan decides to educate other children about knife safety and he even takes the steps necessary to make his own kitchen safer for his little boy.  You can see in the end, the child cries because the knife drawer is locked, but grows up to be a strong and healthy young man.

Our professors at BC are great people who go the extra mile to let our students, past and present, know that they care… and that’s only one reason why I love this story. BC is Bakersfield… our staff, faculty, and administration love this community. We are Bakersfield and… We are BC!

Also wanted to do a quick shout out to Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Tracy Hall, deans, and Faculty Chairs and Directors who do a phenomenal job every day making sure we have the classes available to our students and also making sure that our students are successful in those classes.  Here are two pictures from the FCDC meeting on Friday, Nov 4th, where the chairs were presenting their requests for faculty positions.  Thank you Corny Rodriguez for getting me these photos.  And thank you FCDC!

Measure J support continues:

As we continue with the campaign for Measure J (#MeasureJ), I want to thank our volunteers for this week:

October 30: Cynthia Munoz, Maria Wright, Jamal Wright, Steve Waller, Ramona Benavidez, Tom Gelder, Dana Heins-Gelder, Ivan Valdez, Marisa Marquez, and Kaylana Demmin.

October 31: Stephen Waller, Steve Watkin, Emmanuel Mourtzanos, Todd Coston, Michelle Pena, Jennifer Achan, Sandi Taylor, Liz Rozell, Corny Rodriguez, Janet Fulks, Shannon Musser, Nicky Damania, Lesley Bonds, Zav Dadabhoy, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Tom Gelder, Bill Potter, Shanell Tyus, Maria Wright, Sarah Baron, Ivan Valdez, Rob Parsons, David Koeth, Paul Beckworth, Nick Strobel, Loy Salarda, and Laura Longo.

November 1: Jackie Lau, Michelle Pena, Todd Coston, Isabel Stierle, Christine Saldivar, Joe Saldivar, Dena Rhoades, Terri Goldstein, Grace Commiso, Heather Skibinski, Ivan Valadez, Kathy Howarth, Manny Mourtzanos, Zav Dadabhoy, Steve Watkin and Stephen Waller.


November 2: Eileen Pierce, Kaitlyn Kirkland, Alexa Rivera, Chris Cruz, Felicia Scott, Maria Wright, Ivan Valadez, Savannah Andrews, Manuel Muralles, Claudio Felix, Brian Nava, Russel Tetzschner, Randi Tetzschner, Danny Verdugo, Debi Anderson, Raul Leon, Shanell Tyus, Marshall Compton, Loy Salarda, Alberto Munoz, Juan Cillarreal, Cain Perez, Connor Turner, Jorge Reyes, Juan Hernandez, Ashlea Ward, Edwin Bernal, Carlos Melendez, Lokai Borthel, Reese Weltman, Edgeir Morcio, Julia Crayton, Josie Guillen, Carlos Barbaran, Heidi Forsyth, Lori Williams, Jose Chavez, Tom Gelder, Kalina Hill, Jackie Brouillette, Steven Watkin, Chris McCraw, Greg Cluff, Heather Baltis, Araceli Navarro, Bill Kelly, Tracy Lovelace, Janet Thomas, Lindsay Ono, and Steve Waller.



November 3: Yadira Guerrero, Gabriel Torres, Brigid Mady, Josh Shackleford, Tom Gelder, Evette Lara, Jackie Lau, Salvador Gomez, John Means, Steve Waller, Paul Beckworth, Grace Commiso, Cristian Gutierrez, Valerie Robinson, Ivan Valadez, Rob Parsons, Chris Cruz, Shanell Tyus, Manuel Muralles, Kristina Whitmore, Todd Coston, Ashlea Ward, Steven Watkin, Terri Goldstein, Maria Wright, John Means, Matt Frazer, and Lawrence Salardo.



November 4: Todd Coston, Carlos Barbaran, Evette Lara, Matt Frazer, Pedro Ramirez, Keesha Collins, Danyel Owens, Paulette Rodriguez, Peter Rodriguez, Emmanuel Limaco, Nicky Damania, Chris Glaser, Lesley Bonds, Sam Moreno, Heidi Allison, Bob Allison, Shanice Watson, Dalton Jones, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Zav Dadabhoy, and Rob Parsons.



Community Voices in the Bakersfield Californian

The support we have received in recent months for Measure J (#MeasureJ) has been spectacular and we’re on a four day countdown to when our community decides whether to invest in the future of the Kern Community College District, including BC’s campus, infrastructure, our mission, vision, and values.

Here are two Community Voices pieces that were published this last week and one letter to the editor.

November 1, 2016. Measure J will help those working in the field by Professor Oliver Rosales. Check out his piece in the Bakersfield Californian.

Here are a few excerpts:

There are tremendous needs in this community and, conversely, tremendous opportunities for making a real impact on people’s lives. I have always enjoyed challenges. Delano is a challenge for Bakersfield College. That’s why the center was built in the first place: to educate the children of farm workers. It is a campus center in the middle of the fields, surrounded by high levels of poverty, poor health outcomes, and low educational attainment.

BC Delano is also surrounded, though, by fields of dreams. My Delano students are the reason I love going to work every day. They ground me and keep me content, “working in the fields” every day as I jokingly tell my wife…

Rosales concludes:

Measure J expands opportunities to teach students of the field. The Bakersfield College Delano campus has been around for more than four decades, first located on Randolph Street (now the Wonderful Academy) and now located west of Highway 99 next to Robert Kennedy High School. Measure J will expand the BC Delano campus by developing additional physical space for students to study, collaborate with faculty, and learn. It is not far-fetched to say that students at BC Delano literally study in the fields.

Let’s pass Measure J and continue to give them the opportunity to dream big and change their communities for the better for decades to come.


November 2, 2016: The Bakersfield Californian published Measure J supports a long-held community vision  (#Measure J) by Sonya Christian 🙂

Check out the web version at http://tinyurl.com/h2m3f8o.

Here is an excerpt

In the early 1900s, our people had a dream, a shared goal and a vision, to make the Central Valley a place of opportunity and unbelievable growth, and they did it. In 1913, a then-isolated and relatively small community decided to open a college campus that initially served only 13 students. …..

and another excerpt

Today, our generation is at a pivotal point. We are facing a challenge to prepare and provide for the next 50 years of growth and evolving education. In the 1950s, that generation of leaders had the courage and foresight to make the investments that have paved the way for strengthening our community. Now it is up to us; it’s our turn to look forward.

and I conclude with:

Let your name be listed alongside, for your children and grandchildren, who, when they look through the historic archives, will say, yes, my parent or grandparent was one of the leaders who look care of me and our community.

I ask you to vote yes on Measure J.




November 3, 2016. Letter to the Editor. Yes on J: Local Health Care needs Educated Workforce by Gitest Patel.

Gitesh Patel Nov 3 2016.png


david-torres-californian-nov-4-2016November 4, 2016. BC is community’s ears, ears; but what about bones? by David Torres

Check out the full article at  http://tinyurl.com/gsafm5r

Here are a few excerpts:

Every day, I see where our community struggles, but more often, I see where it comes together and succeeds. Often, the nexus of that success emanates from our area’s community college: Bakersfield College.

I am a father of five and four of my children have attended BC. Two of my daughters earned their AA degrees at BC. Another started college their before transferring to CSUB and one is currently attending BC in order to satisfy requirements for entrance into medical school. I am also a veteran, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. I have seen first-hand the innovative ways that BC interacts with its vets and supports their success. BC means a great deal to me and to our community…..

I see the students of Bakersfield College as the eyes and ears of the institution: they see and hear, they learn. The faculty is the heart of BC.

What about the body, the bones? The infrastructure of BC’s campus overlooking the bluffs is 60 years old and it’s starting to show. Put another way, 21st Century learning can’t happen in mid-century facilities. Just think of the advances in architecture, building construction, disability access, and learning technology that have been introduced in the last 50 years.

Our community’s college is in dire need of replenishment, and the time to provide that is now. Measure J, on the Nov. 8 ballot, is the best, most direct way to provide BC with the badly needed funds to carry this venerable, cherished community institution further into the 21st Century.

I urge you support the many needs of our community and the success of your children and neighbors. Join me in voting yes on Measure J.


Thank you to all who have shared your opinions and voices with the community!

List of endorsements for Measure J:

Over 2000 individuals have endorsed Measure J.

Here are a few

Cathy Abernathy, Cathy Abernathy Consultants
Romeo Agbalog, KCCD Trustee
Joe Aguirre, Former Delano Mayor
Dennis Beebe, KCCD Trustee
Sue Benham, Former Bakersfield City Council Member
Kevin Burton, President, SJCH Foundation
Kyle Carter, Bakersfield Mayoral Candidate/KCCD Trustee
Ricardo Chavez, Delano Mayor
John Corkins, KCCD Trustee
Stephanie Cortez, Porterville Chamber of Commerce CEO/President
David Couch, Kern County Supervisor
Ed Davis, S&E Farms
Robert de la Rosa, Ola Raza Director
Jose Flores, Arvin Mayor
Fran Florez, Shafter City Council Member
Mick Gleason, Kern County Supervisor
Karen Goh, Bakersfield Mayoral Candidate
Doug Greener, Bakersfield Fire Chief
Shannon Grove, California State Assembly Member
Jose Gurrola, Arvin City Council Member
Virginia Gurrola, Porterville Councilwoman
Harvey Hall, Bakersfield Mayor
Cam Hamilton, Porterville Vice Mayor
Harold Hanson, Bakersfield Vice Mayor
Chad Hathaway, Hathaway LLC
Ruben Hill, Delano City Council Member
JP Lake, Rain for Rent
Pauline Larwood, Former KCCD Trustee/
Kern County Supervisor

January Lau, January & Associates
Mike Maggard, Kern County Supervisor
Terry Maxwell, Bakersfield City Council Member
Michelle McLean, Arvin Union School District Superintendent
Kay Meek, KCCD Trustee
Liz Morris, 
Delano City Council Member
Arnold Morrison, DJUHS Board Member
Steve Murray, Murray Family Farms
Chris Parlier, Bakersfield City Council Member
Nicole Parra, Former California State Assembly Member
Ruben Pascual, Delano City Council Member
Leticia Perez, Kern County Supervisor
Christy Porter, Jasmine Cetner Inc.
Leticia Prado, Lamont Water District Member
Fred Prince, Omega Financial & Insurance Services
Janet Rabanal, Delano Chamber of Commerce Director
Rosalina Rivera, Delano Union Elementary School District Superintendent
Willie Rivera, Bakersfield City Council Member
Jazmine Robles, Arvin City Council Membre
Rudy Salas, California State Assembly Member
Mary K. ShellFormer Bakersfield Mayor & County Supervisor
Bob Smith, Bakersfield City Council Member
Mark Storch, KCCD Trustee
Milt Stowe, Porterville Mayor
Jay Tamsi, Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President
Rob Taylor, Stafford’s Chocolates
Bill Thomas, Retired U.S. Congressman, KCCD Trustee
Grace Vallejo, Delano City Council Member
Jon Van Boening, Dignity Health
Greg Williamson, Bakersfield Police Department Chief
Keith Wolaridge, Panama Buena Vista Union Trustee
Dr. James Young, Retired KCCD Chancellor
Donny Youngblood, Kern County Sheriff
Milt Younger, Attorney
Mark Zaninovich, Sunview Vineyards

Here are some organizations that have endorsed Measure J:

The Bakersfield Californian
Bakersfield City Firefighters Association
Bakersfield College Alumni Association
Bakersfield Downtown Business Association
Building4SUCCESS Inc
California City Chamber of Commerce
California Teachers Association
Delano Camber of Commerce
Democratic Women of Kern
Dolores Huerta Foundation
Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce
Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council
KCCD California School Employees Association
KCCD Community College Association
KCCD Management Association
Kern Agriculture Foundation
Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce
Kern County Democratic Party
Kern County Farm Bureau
Kern County Firefighters Union
Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Kern County Young Republicans (PAC)
Kern Economic Development Corporation
Kern Taxpayers Association
Latina Leaders of Kern County
Murray Family Farms
Ola Raza
Porterville Democratic Club
RA Johnsfam
Renegade Helmet Club
Sikh Women’s Association of Kern County
Veterans of Foreign Wars District #6
Veterans of Foreign Wars #97
Wendale Davis Foundation

4 more days Bakersfield!

November 8th is an important day – make sure your voice counts. To find your nearest polling location, visit http://elections.co.kern.ca.us/elections/Voterinfo/Address.asp


Here is a video that the Bakersfield College Student Government Association (BCSGA) under the leadership of President Matthew Frazer created to Get Out the Vote!  Check it out.

And let’s make sure we follow the advice of Mayor Harvey Hall and retired Congressman Bill Thomas.



There’s so much to celebrate and it’s a great time to be at BC!



That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever