Tag Archives: Rachelle Murcia

BC & Bakersfield: Community Strong

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, June 29, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

2019 Media Music Jam

If you have not heard the name Steve Flores, well…. let me introduce you to him. He is the energy, vision and spirit of the Media Music Jam, and he did the impossible….. he got me to say “yes” to being a participant in this year’s Media Music Jam.

Thank you Manny De Los Santos for putting together this 1-minute video.

This year’s SOLD OUT event raised $71,320 and still counting for the Kern County Cancer Fund. Over the past six years, they’ve raised $442,447 to help families pay medical expenses related to their cancer treatment. 

Thanks to Heather Foss and Manny De Los Santos, who supported me as I partnered with Robert Price on his rendition of “Let’s Work Together,” and line danced with Lyle Martin and Robert Rodriguez to Rachelle Murcia performing “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” while the talented Cindy Zimmer did a fabulous job on the violin

Lyle Martin, Sonya Christian, Robert Rodriguez
Robert Price in action singing Let’s Work Together
Manny De Los Santos, SonyaChristian and Heather Foss

KGET and The Bakersfield Californian covered the event and provided additional information on the history of this tremendous event. 

Welcoming Our first Cougar-Renegade Class of 2023!

This last Wednesday, Bakersfield College hosted thirty of our incoming McFarland Early College students. These students are a small group of the 280 freshmen that will begin their college pathway at McFarland High School this Fall.

The group started their day with a welcome breakfast hosted by Outreach and Dual Enrollment Director Steve Watkin. Our Early College Program Manager Kylie Swanson then introduced them to becoming a Renegade, dual enrollment, and what their next four years would look like as they pursued an associate degree for transfer while they were in high school.

Students were given a choice of four different summer courses to visit—and these 14-year-old students fit right in! While they were a little shy at first, the Early College students loved the opportunity to see what a college class is like and to participate in the course discussions. After their course visits, the team gathered again for a tour of our beautiful campus.

Welding instructor Jeremy Staat gives our newest Renegades an up close look at our Welding program McFarland High School will have a strong Welding Early College program that will prepare students to complete Welding degrees and/or enter the workforce here in Kern County.

Following their tour, I had the pleasure of hosting this amazing group of students for lunch. I invited some very special guests to join me in welcoming our newest Renegades to the family — Senator Jean Fuller, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Superintendent Aaron Resendez, and Principal Justin Derrick all gave the students advice and encouragement as they embark as trailblazers for secondary and higher education in the United States.

A lovely lunch with my newest Renegades!
Students being encouraged and welcomed by our amazing retired state Senator Dr. Jean Fuller.
Trustee Romeo Agbalog shares his passions and what he had to overcome as he connected with our students to inspire them to never give up.
President Sonya Christian, Principal Justin Derrick

Each student was then interviewed by one of our distinguished guests. When asked what three words describe how he felt when he thought about starting college this Fall as a high school freshman, young Isaiah said he felt “nervous, but excited and READY!” Fellow student Melina stated, “I am excited to be a Renegade. I am starting college at 14-years-old, and I am going to keep going until I get a master’s degree.” Our video team captured these interviews, and I can’t wait to share the final project with you! It will be amazing to track these students along their journey to Associate Degree completion four years from now.

The students then had another opportunity to sit in on college courses, including a special tour of our photography studios where Kris Stallworth gave the students a hands-on lesson in creating photo-grams.

Early College Student – Class of 2023
Early College Student – Class of 2023

As we closed out the day there was a growing sense of excitement for their future at BC, and I can’t wait to welcome these students back to BC each year leading up to Spring 2023 when I will proudly be able to hand them their degrees on our commencement stage. 

They are McFarland Cougars. They are Bakersfield College Renegades. They are our Cougar Renegades, Class of 2023.

Lesley Bonds recognized as a 20 Under 40 person to watch in Bakersfield

The Bakersfield Life’s magazine’s Mark Nessia hosted the event recognizing the 20 young individuals under 40 recognized for their leadership and service to our community. Our amazing Lesley Bonds was selected to be in this group.

Eduardo Torres Vargas, Manpreet Kaur, Lesley Bonds, Nancy Solis-Vargas
North High Connections. Jessica Mathews, Jennifer Williams-Cordova, Jack Bertrand

BC Hosts Kern EDC Board Meeting

BC hosted Kern Economic Development Corporation’s last board meeting of the year here at the BC campus.  BC strongly supports Kern EDC’s mission to stimulate and diversify Kern County’s economy. When Measure J was on the ballot in 2016, Kern EDC endorsed the measure for its economic development benefits, which was unusual for an organization that doesn’t usually adopt a position on ballot measures.

Dr. Jean Fuller and Mike Giacomini
Jennifer Serratt and Trustee Romeo Agbalog
Dave Howlett and Cheryl Scott
Supervisor Maggard and Steve Renock
Richard Chapman and David Womack
Dr. Jean Fuller, Wayne Kress, Arvin Mayor Jose Gurrola, and Chancellor Tom Burke

Mike Giacomini gave attendees a quick update on the Measure J projects, and Dr. Jean Fuller presented on the new Early College program.  It was great to provide our prominent community members with updates and information on all of the great things happening at BC.  I can’t wait to host them again in the future! 

Mike Giacomini presenting to the board
Dr. Jean Fuller presenting to the board
Dr. Jean Fuller highlighting the Early College program.

Jack Scott Fundraising Institute

A team from Bakersfield College had the opportunity to attend the Jack Scott Fundraising Institute this week, held at the beautiful Claremont Graduate University. The two-and-a-half day conference kicked off with remarks from the California Community College District Chancellor, Dr. Eloy Oakley, on Wednesday evening. Dr. Oakley discussed the future of community college funding in California, large employer partnerships with community colleges, and the need to help students with cost-of-living expenses, including housing and medical costs. Wednesday evening concluded with a reception for the 40 attendees at the home of Claremont President, Dr. Len Jessup.

Heather Penella, Chancellor Eloy Oakley, Norma Rojas Mora
Tom gelder, DeLacy Ganley, Heather Penella, Jack Scott, Norma Rojas-Mora, Pendleton Armistead

Thursday had a full day of interactive presentations covering topics ranging from visionary leadership, fundraising trends and strengthening business and corporate partnerships. Friday concluded with sessions highlighting the importance of strategic planning and skills on bringing plans to reality. Tom Gelder, Norma Rojas-Mora and Heather Pennella had the opportunity to make impactful connections with conference faculty and attendees alike.

Community Voices: BC’s Core Values Help Us Be better 

BC’s Nick Strobel had a published piece in the Community Voices section of The Bakersfield Californian on Saturday, discussing BC’s core values and strategic directions and how they can transform lives for the better. Be sure to check it out! 

Summer Bridge

Summer Bridge continues to orient incoming freshmen with its awesome Summer Bridge program, a first-year student success course.  Chancellor Burke even dropped by to see the program, and meet the newest Renegades.  If you know of a student who would benefit from this program, please visit the website to sign up for a session!    

BC staff at Summer Bridge
BC staff at Summer Bridge
Isabel Castaneda, Chancellor Tom Burke and Kimberly Bligh
Students at the Summer Bridge session
Chancellor Burke at a Summer Bridge session

BC Scholarship in Memory of Stephanie Marie Gonzalez

Rich McCrow reached out to me this week about a scholarship opportunity in memory of the amazing Stephanie Marie Gonzalez.  The Criminology/Criminal Justice team created a scholarship through the BC Foundation in her memory to assist Bakersfield College Criminal Justice & Corrections students with their education.  

In memory of Stephanie Marie Gonzalez

Stephanie was a BC alumni and a Kern County juvenile correctional officer at Juvenile Hall for 15 years until she passed away from a brain aneurysm at the age of 35.  Stephanie passed away in 2017, but her spirit lives on here at BC. She was an exceptional student and beloved by all Criminology faculty.

If you would like to contribute to this scholarship in Stephanie’s memory, please go to SupportBC.org or call the Bakersfield College Foundation at 661-395-4800.

Olivia Garcia recognized

Mark Nessia recognized Olivia Garcia in his article in the Bakersfield Life Magazine.

Fun Photos:

2019 Bakersfield Young Professionals (BYP) Summit: Chesi Womack sent over a photos from last week’s 2019 BYP Summit, a great event for young professionals in our community.  The speakers focused on emotional intelligence, decision making, stress management and leadership. Chelsi said, “It was a very informative and inspiring event to be a part of!” I love seeing our Renegades in the community! 

Chelsi Womack, Tiffany Simpson and Yolanda Aguilera
Photo from Facebook. Pam Boyles, the runner on the beach 2011
Manny Mourtzanos: The Artist

Manny Mourtzanos sent over to me his latest artistic creations featuring Billie Jo Rice, Bill Moseley and myself at the new BC SouthWest construction site at CSU Bakersfield, along with the infamous Kit Foxes.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? 🙂

Athletics on the Radio

Brandon Urry, our athletics communications manager, was on the radio this week with Danny Morrison of 103.9 The Beat and Fernando Ambriz of 92.5 La Campesina to talk about our athletics departments recent #19 CCCAA NATYCAA ranking (up from #31 the year before!), Memorial Stadium construction and the many summer sports camps/clinics happening at BC over the summer. We are excited for another big year of Renegade Athletics!

Brandon Urry and Danny Morrison
Brandon Urry and Fernando Abriz

President’s Cabinet Retreat

On Tuesday, President’s Cabinet met to discuss goals and work plans for the 2019-2020 academic year. This group is composed of direct reports to the President of Bakersfield College, as well as other members who serve at the discretion of the president. President’s Cabinet provides a forum for vetting decisions prior to implementation.

Attendees at the President’s Cabinet Retreat
Bill Potter and Mike Giacomini
President’s Cabinet members at the retreat
Corny Rodriguez, Bill Moseley, and Manny Mourtzanos
Manny Mourtzanos presenting
Corny Rodriguez presenting

Exec Office Retreat

The Executive Office held its retreat earlier this week, with myself, the three Vice Presidents and our Exec Office staff.  It’s always a fun time with this group! 

President Christian trying her hand at the wheel
Zav Dadabhoy speaking at the retreat
Chris Glaser, Billie Jo Rice, Mike Giacomini, and Jennifer Serratt
Jordaun Bennett spinning the wheel
Catherine Rangel spinning the wheel
Tarina Perry at the wheel
Chris Glaser’s turn!
Chris Glaser, Jordaun Bennett, and Catherine Rangel

Early College Retreat

We held our very first Early College retreat this week and I’m excited to see what the future holds for this amazing team! 

President Christian, Abel Guzman, Steve Watkin and Michelle Pena
Kylie Swanson and Ashlea Ward
Abel Guzman, President Christian, Michelle Pena and Steve Watkin

Exec Office Birthday Celebration

The Exec Office celebrated birthdays this week, namely Chris Glaser, Somaly Boles, Jennifer Serratt, Brenda Gamlowski and Mike Giacomini. Happy birthday everyone!!!

Chris Glaser, Somaly Boles, Jennifer Serratt, Brenda Gamlowski, Mike Giacomini
Lunch celebration in the Exec office


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever