Tag Archives: Ralph Alessi

November is Here!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 2, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

First Responders Day

America honored the brave men and women on the frontlines of catastrophe on Monday during the first annual National First Responders Day. This summer, the US Senate approved a bipartisan resolution establishing October 28 as a day to honor the 4.6 million first responders who keep us safe every day.

BC’s programs range from our EMT and paramedic programs to our fire science and police academies.

Our EMT students spend 350 hours training in the Hall EMT Academy, developed in partnership with Hall Ambulance. The program is now in its 18th year. Hall Ambulance founder and former Bakersfield mayor Harvey Hall was the program’s fiercest champion.

Our registered nursing program is the 6th oldest in the state of California, launching in 1951 through a partnership with Kern General Hospital (now Kern Medical Center). BC’s first cohort of graduating nurses received certification in 1952, and the program has continued changing people’s lives ever since.

Industry partnerships have been crucial to the development of first responder training programs at BC. Our BC Fire Science program launched in 1956 through the joint efforts of the Bakersfield Fire Department and our vocational career leadership. Students learn a special curriculum designed for Bakersfield city firefighters that mixes academic courses with on-the-job training, incorporating all motorized fire equipment used in emergency situations.

Fire tech student learning to carry a person down a fire ladder
A Fire Tech student learning to carry a person down a fire ladder in 1975.

In another example of joint partnerships benefiting our students and community, our police academy consists of both Bakersfield Police Department staff working together with BC Public Safety Training staff.

Let’s take a moment to recognize those who have chosen the difficult but meaningful career path to be a first responder. Every day, we have first responders to be thankful for, as we are reminded now in the midst of the wildfires blanketing the state.  Whether first responders are assisting a neighbor or rallying together to address larger statewide needs, the quality of our lives is only possible thanks to their care and sacrifice.

ACBO 2019 Conference: Supporting Equity and Inclusion with Early College

This past week, Vice President Mike Giacomini, Senator Emeritus Jean Fuller and Early College Manager Kylie Swanson attended the Association of Chief Business Officials (ACBO) Fall 2019 conference in San Diego. Our team presented on our Early College initiative, and attended sessions related to business operations and incorporating equity into every aspect of our institutions.

The team’s presentation framed Early College as a “sound strategy” for both student success and fiscal sustainability.

My thanks to our team for representing BC at the Fall 2019 ACBO Conference.

BC’s Disability Awareness Day

The last day of October was also BC’s Disability Awareness Day, a day to shine a light on disability awareness by celebrating special programs and services, such as tutoring, accommodation, and job placement, that help students with disabilities.

Dr. Terri Goldstein, Director of Disabled Student Programs & Services (DSPS) presented awards to some of our outstanding departments, faculty, staff, and students who work with students with disabilities.

Participants had the opportunity to learn about the game of Goalball. This paralympic sport for athletes with vision impairment is designed around senses of hearing and touch. William Slason explained the rules of the game to those in attendance. Basically, Goalball is a 3-on-3 sport played with a ball that has bells inside. Similar to soccer, the object of the game is to roll the ball over the opponent’s goal line.

Thanks to our exhibitors for sharing valuable information with BC students, and to William Slason for teaching everyone how to play Goalball!

BC Choir and Chamber Singers

Last Friday, October 25, the BC Choir and Chamber Singers gave an amazing performance in creative collaboration with the Synergy String Quartet, a professional Bakersfield ensemble. Jennifer Garrett this was yet another amazing concert!  Check out the videos below to catch a glimpse of the talent that was on display that night. 

BC Jazz Combos Concert

On Thursday, October 30, the BC Jazz Studies program hosted the 2nd annual BC Jazz Combos concert in the Indoor Theatre.  The BC Monday, Wednesday, and Applied Jazz Combos were featured, along with a special guest performance by the jazz band Ralph Alessi and This Against That.

The Monday and Wednesday Jazz Combos performed an arrangement of songs from Miles Davis’ “Milestones”, Lee Morgan’s “The Sidewinder”, Charles Mingus’ “Nostalgia in Times Square”, and Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”. The Applied Jazz Combo performed original songs by students from Izzy Foster’s “Hmm, What’d You Say” and Abigail Wilson’s “Jet Lag,” which showcased students’ creative musical talents.

I love Nina Simone…. Here is the piece Feeling Good performed at the concert.

and here is my favorite Nina Simone song….. Sinnerman

The night featured the world-class jazz band Ralph Alessi and This Against That, who performed their original songs “Iram Issela” and “Fun Room” from their recently released 2019 hit record “Imaginary Friend.”  Ralph Alessi noted that the title of their song “Iram Issela” is actually his daughter’s name spelled backwards. Thank you Kris Tiner for bringing to us this amazing concert.

Thank you to the BC Jazz Studies program, Wednesday, Monday, and Applied Jazz Combos, and Ralph Alessi and This Against That for their incredible and inspiring musical performances.

BC Hosts Undocumented Student Week of Action Activities

During the week of October 14-18, 2019, a collaborative week of events was organized across the AB 540 Program, EOPS, Rural Initiatives team, Student Life, BC Foundation, SGA, LUPE Student Club, and Project Conexiones. Community organizations provided support and services, including UFW Foundation and Youth 2 Leaders. The planning committee included Dr. Anna Laven (AB 540 Program Manager), Jaime Lopez (Rural Initiatives Program Manager), Benjamin Balderrama (Student Life Program Manager), Manuel Rosas (EOPS Counselor and LUPE Advisor), Marivel Servin (Catalyst Fellow and BC Graduate), and Christopher Hernandez (SGA Director of Student Activities).

Anna Laven, Imelda Valdez
Rafael Centeno, Educational Advisor, explains about the AB 540 Program to Open House attendees.
Left to right: Manuel Rosas, Elizabeth Rodacker, Dr. Anna Laven, Rafael Centeno, and Isabel Castaneda

Attendees were asked to use a pin to show where their journey began.  Pins were placed across the world, ranging from Southern California, Central America to as far as Pakistan and the Philippines.

Serving the largest population of undocumented students in the state, California Community Colleges are committed to serving ALL students, regardless of immigration status. Undocumented Student Week is a systemwide campaign to advocate and provide support resources for our undocumented student population.

Launching the week-long series of events was the AB 540 Program Open House, housed within the EOPs umbrella. Students and faculty stopped by…thank you Elizabeth Rodacker for bringing your class.

The Bakersfield College AB540 Program provides a comprehensive program of services for students who are eligible under the AB540 out-of-state tuition exemption. The goal of the program is to help eligible students meet their educational objectives, whether they seek occupational certificates, associate degrees, or transfer to four-year institutions.

Signed into law in October 2001, California Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) is a bill that provides an exemption to the requirement to pay nonresident tuition.  California Community College students who are granted an AB 540 exemption will be charged in-state tuition and fees, and not the supplemental tuition charged to nonresidents.

The AB 540 team (Dr. Anna Laven, Rafael Centeno, student Catalyst Fellows, Marivel Servin, Maria Jaimes, and Imelda Simos-Valdez) provided an informational table and materials at the GBLA-sponsored Immigrant Civil Rights Conference, hosted at Hodel’s, Those in attendance gained helpful information about the asylum process and importance of the census, and heard as well from BC student, Jose Bello, and other notable speakers including Supervisor David Couch and Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin.

The Delano Campus also hosted a number of events including an activity called “Painting the Symbolic Butterfly: What does it mean to you?,” which included a fun and symbolic opportunity to paint butterflies.  The monarch butterfly is commonly used as a symbol to recognize the globalization and movement of people.

The movie by CSUB graduate Maria Rodriguez Ornelas, entitled “5 Decades Later: The Aftermath of the Grape Strike,” was viewed by aproximately 20 students, followed by a panel discussion led by student Catalyst Fellows, Marivel Servin, panelists, Oscar Camacho, Yesenia Garcia (BC students), and Professor Bianca Moreno (Communications).

Dr. Anna Laven introduces the filmmaker and discusses the importance of recognizing the Undocumented Student Week of Action.

More than 60 students, faculty, staff, and community members attended the sugar skulls activity hosted by the LUPE student organization and headed by their Faculty Advisor, Manuel Rosas.  The two dozen butterfly images produced during the “My Immigrant Story” held earlier in the week were showcased at the sugar skulls workshop.

Dr. Anna Laven poses with LUPE student club leadership.

Learn more about the AB 540 Program at Bakersfield College.

Larry Itliong Day

Local middle school students in Delano got the opportunity to learn about the rich history of labor and civil rights activism in their community during the celebrations for Larry Itliong Day on BC’s Delano Campus last week.

In 2015, Assemblyman Rob Bonta introduced a bill officially declaring October 25 as “Larry Itliong Day” to honor the contributions of Filipino-Americans in the farm labor movement of the 1960s. While thousands of pages have been written about the work of Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, it was Larry Itliong and the Filipino laborers who initiated the famous Delano grape strike and boycott in 1965. When Chavez and the Mexican laborers agreed to join the Filipinos in their strike, the United Farm Workers organization was born, and it would take five years and a nationwide movement for workers to achieve a Collective Bargaining Agreement, the first for farm workers in American history.

BC’s programming for Larry Itliong Day was organized by Andrew Bond, Oliver Rosales, and the team for the “Energizing the Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley” grant provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities . The festivities started with an historic tour of Filipino History in Delano. Alex Edillor, President of the Filipino American National Historical Society, Delano Chapter, led BC faculty and staff through a number of historic landmarks from the Delano grape strike and boycott era.

The tour concluded at Agbayani Village, which was built by Itliong, Filipino activist Philip Vera Cruz, and the UFW in 1974 to house retiring Filipino laborers known as Manongs. The Manongs were able-bodied Filipino men who migrated to the US in the early 20th Century to work in the fields from Alaska to the Coachella Valley. Manongs were unable to marry or have children outside of their race due to anti-miscegenation laws, and an entire generation of these laborers grew old without families to support them, so Agbayani Village was created as a safe haven and retirement community for them. Once the last Manong passed away in 1997, Agbayani Village was converted into a national historic landmark. It’s also where Cesar Chavez participated in his last fast in 1988, a 36-day water-only hunger strike to draw attention to the dangers of pesticide use on farm workers and their families.

The BC team later reconvened at the Delano Campus to greet middle school students from the Delano Union School District. The NEH team screened the documentary “Delano Manongs” for students and answered any questions that students had about their community’s history. Delano resident Javier Cardena also shared his personal collection of photos, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia from the grape boycott with middle school students. His collection will be archived by the BC team as part of the Digital Delano project.

After lunch, the keynote speaker for the event, author Patty Enrado, talked about her book “A Village In The Fields”, which tells a fictionalized account of a Manong in Agbayani Village. The book was the culmination of 20 years of research on Agbayani Village and the Manongs, and it was shortlisted for the 2016 Saroyan Prize for Fiction.

I thank the National Endowment for the Humanities team for organizing this event, Abel Guzman for supporting the event at the Delano Campus, and the Delano Union School District for busing students out of class to participate in Larry Itliong Day, as well as the BC Education Department for providing additional funding.

High School Chamber Festival

Fall is musical season for local high schools. Before they start performing at other schools around the county, BC holds its annual High School Chamber Festival on Monday in the Indoor Theater.

Our award-winning BC Chamber Singers host this event every year so high school choirs can perform and get advice from professionals, such as this year’s guest Dr. Christopher Peterson, a professor and concert choir director at the University of Fullerton. Dr. Peterson gave constructive feedback on each high school’s performance, and also demonstrated different techniques and drills that local choirs could use for maximum performance.

The event also featured the first-ever performance of BC’s Men’s Chorus that had the audience on the edge of their seats.

Thanks to the BC Chamber Singers for organizing, as well as Dr. Peterson for helping so many students.

Cafe Murder

On Thursday, October 17, the Office of Student Life collaborated with the Theater Arts department to host a murder mystery dinner called Café Murder. Guests arrived to the Renegade Room at 5:30 p.m. to enjoy a Basque-themed dinner, but found themselves sharing the space with a birthday party. After some awkward encounters with the birthday guests, and the fact that everyone seemed to hate the birthday girl, they all left to use the restroom, and that is when the night turned upside-down. The birthday girl never returned and fingers were pointing at everyone in the room, especially since everyone mentioned how much they disliked the birthday girl. After some questioning from the audience, they were left to determine who was the murderer, and let’s just say, it’s in your best interest to tip and treat your waiter generously in the future.

This event was highly popular (it sold out within a day) and both offices look to collaborate in the future. This performance was made possible with the guidance of Professor Kimberly Chin.

Standout Interview and Resume Seminar

To help our students develop strong resumes and stand out in job interviews, BC held a workshop on Monday in the Levan Center.

The guest speaker for the workshop was Susanne Rego, Senior Manager of Human Resources for Target. Rego spoke about what she looks for personally from a resume and job interview. Business pathways counselor Jonathan Ward informed students about all the things they should watch out for during the semester, including the start of priority registration.

I thank all employees who helped with this event, from our business department to our job development specialists embedded within BC’s Learning and Career Pathways.

Pre-Rad Tech Orientation

BC’s Radiologic Technology Department held an orientation on Wednesday to inform students about how to apply and what to expect out of the Rad Tech curriculum at BC.

BC faculty and staff, including Jacelyn Hill, Venessa Reyes, Victoria Coffee, and Dinorah Castro, presented information regarding pre-requisites, scholarship and employment opportunities. Current students in the Rad Tech program held a panel discussion to answer students’ questions about learning habits, time management, and personal growth during the program.

The Radiologic Technology Program is a 2-year commitment that prepares students to pass licensure and eligibility for California’s Fluoroscopy Permit exam. Thank you to BC Rad Tech and Allied Health for preparing the Rad Techs of the future!

Chevron Employee Appreciation Day

Bakersfield College was invited by Chevron North America to participate in their Employee Appreciation Day at the Chevron Kern River Oilfield site on Thursday, October 31. This was an opportunity for approximately 1,000 Chevron employees to come together and enjoy a lovely lunch, play yard games, and have the chance to connect with local organizations.

Heather Pennella and Aubrey Priest

Heather Pennella, Alumni & Donor Relations Manager and Aubrey Priest, Program Manager-Industrial Automation, attended the event. Thank you to Gina Pettit of Chevron for including Bakersfield College in the celebration!

BC at the Vineyards

Our Bakersfield College Rural Initiatives Team took their outreach efforts on the road! Last week, the team visited vineyards throughout rural Kern County during the 2nd Annual BC at the Vineyards to promote the programs and services Bakersfield College has to offer throughout its various locations to more than 1,000 farmworkers. These visits to the vineyards were followed up with matriculation events at the Delano Campus and Arvin High School, where prospective renegades had the opportunity to complete their applications and meet with a counselor to determine their pathway options. 

These outreach efforts would not have been possible without the collaboration of the California Farmworkers Foundation and support from the Outreach and CTE Departments at Bakersfield College.

Huge shout out to our Rural Initiatives team, especially our Program Managers Jaime Lopez and Endee Grijalva for coordinating these efforts!

Foundation of California Community Colleges Provides Mobile Hotspots to 11 BC MESA Students

Through collaboration with the Chancellor’s Office and MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) program, and in partnership with ThinkEDU, the Foundation for California Community Colleges and California Connects Equity Program has provided 11 BC MESA students with free WiFi hotspots with 12 months of prepaid service. The California Connects Equity Program helps reduce barriers to learning by assisting MESA students who are currently enrolled in a California community college. Although many students are connected through a smartphone, they are considered “under connected” in that the consistency of their access is lower than they would like it to be.

Left to right: Annabelle Recino, Ramssess Patterson, and Peter Rodriguez

The requirements for participation are: (1) student is enrolled in the MESA program; (2) student is enrolled in a California community college; and (3) student is willing to receive and respond to periodic surveys measuring the efficacy of this program and online education for the community colleges.

Danielle Zepeda and Ian Spark

MESA students receiving the hotspot devices include Jesus Barrita, Mark Gutierrez, Jason Moore, Katie Ramirez, Annabelle Recinos, Peter Rodriguez, Rebecca Sinor, Ian Spark, Maria Valencia, Alejandra Zapata, and Danielle Zepeda.  At the conclusion of the 12 months of prepaid service, students will have the option to return the device or pay $19.99 per month for continued service.

As the Acting Program Director for MESA, Martin Perez has purchased a device (valued at $125.00) for his own use.  He is paying the $19.99 monthly service charge and will be disconnecting his internet from home.  Learn more about these hotspot devices.

Fun Photos

Fun Photos: Times Past

I received a wonderful email from Trustee Nan Gomez-Heizeberg about a trip we once took together.  We had traveled to Tehachapi to observe an adjunct faculty member teach a math class; I was the department chair at that time and Nan a dean.  Such great memories! Check out this magazine article from years ago regarding Nan’s many trips up and down Highway 99.

Students’ Halloween at BC

Web Content Editor Earl Parsons snapped these great photos of some Renegade students wearing their Halloween costumes.

Financial Aid Halloween

Heather Skibinski, Financial Aid Technician, sent over these great photos of Financial Aid staff in their Halloween costumes. Bob Ross, Slash, and a T-Rex? What’s not to love?

Physical Science Halloween

Chris Benker‘s authentic Indian garb!

Taken From Facebook: BC Staff Celebrate Halloween

Some of our BC staff posted photos on Facebook of how they celebrated Halloween. Check out these great photos!

Endee Grijalva and her daughter looked very spooky!
Monika Scott spent Halloween in Toronto with Buzz Lightyear.
At Basketball
Fun Video: Creative Design Center

Renegade video intern, Thanh Cao, from the Marketing and Public Relations Department, created a short video highlight reel using footage provided by Derrin Willis, Professor of Industrial Drawing. The short video will be featured on the BC website.  Great work, Thanh!

Fun Video: Health Fair

Renegade video intern, Thanh Cao, also created another short video highlight reel about the Health Careers Fair.  Great work (again), Thanh!

Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week (10/20-10/26)

Emily Lostetter, Women’s Soccer

Emily scored three goals in a 7-0 win over West LA, and two more goals in a 4-1 win over Glendale for a total of five on the week.

Jonathan Hunter, Wrestling

Jonathan placed 1st in the 165 lb. class at the Meat Head Movers Tournament on Saturday (10/26) beating both the #1 and #2 ranked wrestlers in the state to help the team to a 2nd place finish.

Student Athlete Spotlight

Anthony Ponce, Men’s Soccer

Enjoy this week’s Renegade Student Athlete Spotlight video on Anthony Ponce from our Renegade Men’s Soccer team. The video was shot and edited by BC digital media student Jacob Amado. Great work, Jacob!

Renegade Athletics Scoreboard

Athletics Events ‘On the Hill’

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. 11/5 – Women’s Soccer vs West LA @ 3pm
  • Wed. 11/6 – Volleyball vs. West LA @ 6pm
  • Fri. 11/8 – Women’s Soccer vs. LA Valley @ 3pm
  • Sat. 11/9 – Wrestling hosts SEWA Tournament

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever