Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, April 8, 2017….a wonderful day to be a Renegade.
Spring is definitely in the Renegade Air in all its glory. Let’s start with last Saturday when the community packed the BC Cafeteria for some spaghetti and Broadway.
Give My Regards to Broadway
Jen Garrett and the Chamber Singers had two back-to-back wins….The Freedom concert followed on March 24th followed by Broadway with dinner evening on April 1st.
Incredible stamina, incredible talent, incredible dedication…… Do consider sponsoring one of them to perform at the Sydney Opera House in July 2018. Also, do plan your vacation to Australia as well…Let’s help fill the seats of the Sydney Opera House with the Bakersfield Community watching their College Chamber Singers perform!
Ken Burdick, Jen Garrett
It was wonderful having two of our trustees at the event — Retired Congressman and Trustee Bill Thomas and his wife Sharon and Trustee Romeo Agbalog and his wife Lily. Faculty and staff really enjoy seeing our trustees on our campuses.
Trustee Romeo Agbalog and lily Agbalog
Sonya Christian, Lily Agbalog, Sharon Thomas
Thank you Michael Turnipseed, CEO of Kerntax and his wife Nancy for joining us. It is quite amazing how our community leaders come out to support Bakersfield College. We also appreciated having Vice Chancellor of Ed Services John Means and his wife Julie join us.
Sonya Christian with Julie and John Means
Here are some more pictures:
The Garrett Family
The Braganza Family
You can spot Bill Thomas and Mike Turnipseed in this picture
You can spot Romero Agbalog in this picture
Vice President Zav Dadabhoy and his wife Kushnur and Vice President Dom Chrusciel and his wife Marilyn were at the event.
Marilyn Chrusciel, Sonya Christian, Don Chrusciel
The music was phenomenal. I wish I had captured snippets of more songs. But here are three for you to enjoy. Sit back and listen to our BC Chamber Singers
The fabulous Ken Burdick with a beautifully romantic rendition of Dulcinea, Man from La Mancha
If you have not heard this song before, you must find the complete version on youtube and listen. Here are the lyrics. Just beautiful
I have dreamed thee too long,
Never seen thee or touched thee.
But known thee with all of my heart.
Half a prayer, half a song,
Thou hast always been with me,
Though we have been always apart.
I see heaven when I see thee, Dulcinea,
And thy name is like a prayer
An angel whispers… Dulcinea… Dulcinea!
If I reach out to thee,
Do not tremble and shrink
From the touch of my hand on thy hair.
Let my fingers but see
Thou art warm and alive,
And no phantom to fade in the air.
I have sought thee, sung thee,
Dreamed thee, Dulcinea!
Now I’ve found thee,
And the world shall know thy glory,
One of my favorite musicals of all time is Phantom of the Opera. Not only are the stage settings incredibly beautiful, but I have vivid imagery in my mind whenever I hear the familiar sounds. The storyline is haunting and the music is connected, warm, soft, intense, strong, yet gentle…. It’s simply, magnificent. I was overjoyed when our BC Chamber Singers performed this piece at the Spaghetti Dinner last weekend.
They also performed their signature song Bridge Over Troubled Waters – a classic!
Last weekend’s event was an enjoyable evening for all who had the chance to attend. The Chamber Singers are raising funds to tour Australia in July of 2018 and to perform at the Sydney Opera House. The delicious spaghetti dinner was provided by BC’s wonderful food services team, including Chef Eric Sabella and there were raffle giveaways.
Thank you to all in attendance.
More photos are available at BC’s Smugmug. Thank you Lovie Johnson for the pictures
KCCD at the Accreditation Conference in Irvine
The Kern Community College District attended the ACCJC Conference in full force. We are up for our accreditation site visit in October 2018 and so all three colleges along with Chancellor Tom Burke and Trustee Bill Thomas attended the conference. Trustee Thomas is on the accreditation subcommittee of the Board. ACCJC is a regional accrediting agency and covers California, Hawaii and the Federated States of Micronesia. It was a full house and the conference was intense and fast paced.
Bill Thomas, Anthony Culpepper, Nick Strobel, Jennifer Johnson, Jessica Wojtisiak, Tom Burke
One of the keynote speakers was Dr. Paul Gaston with whom I had the privileged to work with when I was in Oregon. It was a treat reconnecting with him
Sonya Christian, Paul Gaston
John Means organized a dinner with the whole KCCD gang Thursday night. Bill Moseley chose the place, Wahoo Fish Tacos. The food was delicious. You see in this picture Bill Henry (Porterville), Kalani Knutson (Porterville), Jessica Wojtisiak (Bakersfield), Nick Strobel (Bakersfield), John Means (District), Bill Moseley (Bakersfield), Jennfier Johnson (Bakersfield), Tom Burke (District). Trustee Bill Thomas had to leave on Thursday so you don’t see him in the picture. And Sam Aunai from Porterville College had to leave on Thursday as well.
Here is a tweet from Lesley Bonds on statewide Chancellor Eloy Oakley’s plenary at the ACCJC Conference
Annual Crime Victims Rights Walk
The Bakersfield College Chamber Singers had the opportunity to sing for the 5th Annual Crime Victims Rights Walk on April 4th. The event began at the County Court House and then those involved traveled on foot to Mill Creek Park. The BC Chamber Singers were waiting at the park to be a part of the closing program. The crowd had many people holding signs depicting loved ones lost to violence.
Local pastors spoke and people shared stories of their lost loved ones and the Chamber Singers was visibly moved by the speeches. Their performance of “Seasons of Love”, “Come Travel With Me”, and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” were clearly from the heart and many people in the crowd sang along or shed tears during the music. Director of the Chamber Singers, Jennifer Garrett, tells me, “the BC Chamber Singers were honored to be involved in a memorable event” and I’m so glad our talented students give back to their community in ways of service like this. Thank you to all who were involved, including Heidi Scott, who reached out to connect BC’s Chamber Singers with the opportunity.
Spring was in the Renegade Air
Dezi Von Manos
Spring Fling Week was packed full of events for students to take part in. BCSGA and the Office of Student Life brought free ice cream on Monday serving 580 students with delicious ice cream sundaes while listening to the music of fellow student renegades in the Commercial Music Ensemble lead by Professor Joshua Ottum… More about that in a bit!
On Tuesday, Renegade students (and even a few staff members) tie-dyed t-shirts and hunted for one of 400 eggs all over the campus. Some students even won prizes donated by CTE to promote the upcoming Career Day on April 26th and others won gift cards to the bookstore, but all won candy!
Wednesday boasted one of the highlights of the week with the Epic Proportions Tour (nationally touring band ensembles) and the first Renegade Pizza Fest. At this event, students got to taste test pizza from five different pizza vendors and a winner was chosen. The winner will be announced at the upcoming Student Leadership and Involvement Awards ceremony on April 27th at 6pm! Don’t forget to RSVP for the event: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/osl/awards
On Thursday, The final part of Spring Fling went out with a bang as Renegades played Laser Tag. The cool breeze of Thursday evening brought over 200 students and their families out for some real entertainment.
Photo by: Diana Martin Photography (www.DianaMartinphoto.com)
I need to highlight Professor Kathy Freeman who even took her entire English class to play laser tag and made an assignment out of it. She asked her students to write a 300-word descriptive essay outlining their experiences playing in or observing the event. Way to think outside the box to engage students in the Renegade community, Kathy! And thank you to the BCSGA Officers and Office of Student Life Staff for providing fun spring activities for our BC Renegades!
BCSGA Election Results
Along with Spring Fling, BCSGA Elections came to a close, and new officers were elected for the upcoming year, but we will talk more about that next week! Congratulations to all of the candidates. 2017/18 is going to be a great year!
BCSGA President-Elect: Dezi Von Manos
BCSGA Vice President-Elect: Lawrence Salcido Jr
BCSGA Director of Student Organizations: Dontae Smith
KCCD Student Trustee: Rayven Webb
BCSGA Senator-Elect: Erika Alvarez, Mustafa Barraj, Juan Francisco Cantu, Jose Manuel Cortez, Emmanuel Limaco, Jose E. Lopez, Brittney Lumsden-Ross, Ganae Romo, Nisha Sharma, and James Michael Tompkins.
More information about their platforms and involvement can be found on the BCSGA Elections website.
Talking about SGA, the students are presenting to the KCCD Board on April 13th when they visit the BC campus. I got this picture from Nicky saying they were working hard preparing for the Board meeting. I love it!
Here is a great video of Sarah Strobel advising freshman How to Succeed in College. Students, pay attention to Sarah!
Commercial Music Ensemble
Monday, April 3rd, in the campus center, over 2 hours of live music was provided by the Panoramas! The Panoramas is made up of the musically talented students in the Commercial Music Ensemble course offered here at Bakersfield College.
Professor Josh Ottum
The Commercial Music Ensemble course lets you participate in small ensembles concentrating on popular styles, improvisation, and other aspects of commercial music performance. Students were able to enjoy cover songs from The Rolling Stones, Imagine Dragons, Gorillaz, and more. Fellow Renegades sang along and danced near the campus center stage. Everyone had a great time while listening to great music. Now do you know why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever……
What a great way to kick off spring break! Check out the great photos at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/Commercial-Music-Ensemble
Jazz Day at BC
Kris Tiner hosted High School students at Jazz Day at BC. Thank you!
Stockdale High School
Ridgeview High School
For mose check out Kris Tiner’s Facebook page.
With graduation just around the corner and students planning to move on from BC, our counseling department is making sure students know their options! Transfer Day was held at the Center for Student Success Lawn and we had a variety of schools present as well as our very own Bakersfield College counselors. Students could talk with representatives from schools like UCLA, CSUB, and Fresno Pacific about the different programs they offered and admissions requirements. There was a lot of opportunity, information, and friendly faces to help Renegades decide on what to do next in their educational journey. Thank you Marissa Marquez!
Culinary Arts in McFarland
I received an email worth sharing from Chef Pat Coyle about BC’s Culinary Arts class at the GEO Reentry Services, McFarland Female Community Facility, which is part of the College’s Inmate Programs. These young ladies are working towards their Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts from Bakersfield College. They have been in classes and production labs since July of 2016, with a completion date of December 2017. They are presently in Baking and Restaurant Production labs that feed 80-100 staff members every Wednesday. Pat tells me these young ladies have grown professionally and personally over the last 9 months and what they’ve learned has given them a light to guide their future. I am so proud of them and so glad to know these women are working towards a bright future. #WeAreBC!
Each month the Gadfly Café invites faculty, students, and interested others to join them in the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities in order to have in-depth conversations about various topics. This past Wednesday April 5, 2017, they discussed their last topic for the semester, “The Death Penalty: Deterrent, Racist, Barbaric?”
Everyone is welcome to join for the entire hour-long discussion or to pop in for a few moments anytime within the event. The crowded room of students, faculty, and guests delved into the topic with many ideas and feelings on the topic. Attendees are able to discuss their thoughts and the feelings behind them, and the moderator validates all opinions and feelings for a healthy and interesting conversation. While there was no right or wrong answer or feeling towards the issue, it is thought-provoking to hear the arguments for both sides and enlightening to hear why people feel the way that they do.
The Gadfly Café is intended to provoke deep thought and active conversation about issues that we all face today. Whether you are a Psychology or Philosophy major, or simply interested in having a healthy discussion about important matters that affect each of us in today’s society, the Gadfly Café is the ideal place to go, learn, explore, and share. Thank you Reggie Williams.
Pop Up Art Show
There is always something going on at the Bakersfield College campus. On Thursday, Professor Diego Gutiérrez Monterrubio and his Drawing II students hosted a pop up art show titled “The Michelangelo Project: Images of the Sistine Chapel.” Each artist chose different aspects from Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling and recreated those pieces into their own work of arts with their own stories. Like the artists, each piece was incredibly different and you can see the unique stories, dreams, and aspirations come through their pieces. Diego says that when students enroll into Drawing II they should expect to be pushed to better themselves and their techniques and skill. And as a professor, he believes it is his job to help his students get to the place they want to be in the future.
Check out the gallery at
Cheer Tryouts Underway
Students are showing their pride and talent in hopes to earn their spot as a Renegade Cheerleader. Each day this week, students learned routines and then practiced them feverishly hoping to earn their spot in the 2017-2018 squad. Candidates lined up in formation, they practiced relentlessly and perfected the moves. It’s a big commitment and requires hard work, determination, and above all, enthusiasm. Each year, we have a great turn-out of students who are interested in joining the squad.
The students will have opportunities to perform at various sporting events and competitions throughout the semester and also be a part of a close knit cheer family. Students are required to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA and be attending as a fulltime student during the semesters that they are on the squad. Watching the squad members from the previous year breaking down each step of the routine to the new hopefuls and making sure that they knew the counts and how to place hands, feet and legs was a testament to their dedication to the sport and school. In the Fall when you attend a sporting event to cheer on the players and support your school with pride and spirit, make sure you also cheer on those who are there cheering on the players. Regardless of your role at Bakersfield College, everyone can show their pride and enthusiasm and cheer on the Renegades!
MESA STEM Pre-Health Conference
BC in collaboration with UCLA’s Médicos, Enfermeros y Dentistas Para El Pueblo (MEDPEP) and UCLA Undergraduate Admissions, hosted the 1st Annual MESA Bakersfield College Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and Pre-Health Conference on Saturday, April 1st. This one-day conference inspired students to learn and to network with different health/STEM professionals, health system agencies, college advisors, financial aid counselors, and student organizations who want to mentor students and help them pursue the health care profession or STEM career that best matches their interest and talents. Photos are available at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/MESA-STEM-PreHealth-Conference/
Chevron Design Challenge
Bakersfield College had the opportunity to host the 2017 Chevron Design Challenge on Saturday, April 1st and it was quite the event!
From Mary Jo Pasek’s Facebook post
Teams were composed of three students who have completed, or are currently enrolled in, a Project Lead the Way Introduction to Engineering Design class. All students were either freshmen or sophomores from local high schools and had never competed before. Each team was given the design brief the morning of the competition and had the entire day to work together to create an original design that met the design specifications given for a unique set of headphones. Throughout the day, teams were required to submit sketches, assembly drawing, parts drawings, and an exploded view with Parts List for judging. Additionally, at the end of the day, they had to give a short presentation on their product to a panel which consisted of engineers, an architect, a geologist, and music industry representatives. Teams were judged on everything from originality, to marketability, to professionalism of presentation. Teachers, judges, and support staff crowded around all day watching young minds realize their thoughts and ideas into an actual creation that we could all see. We literally got to see dreams come to life! There were prizes for the top 5 winners and the top 3 winners will go on to State Finals but every participant got the opportunity to do something great that day. All in all, it was a wonderful STEM Saturday at Bakersfield College!
Thank you to: Adam Alvidrez (Chevron), Bruce Westermo (PLTW), Darren Willis (BC), Eddie Ledbetter (BC), and Yadira Guerrero (BC).
Judges were: John Karnes (Klassen), Keyron Mackey (Klassen), Jackie Weeks (Chevron), Noe Garcia (HOT 94.1), Emmanuel Vasquez (DJ and former Chevron Engineer)
And the participating schools: North High, Garces Memorial High, Greenfield High, Harmony Magnet Academy (1st place), Centennial High (3rd place), Lindsay High, Sanger High, Bakersfield High, Redwood High, Shafter High (5th place), Mission Oak High 4th place), and Frontier High (2nd place).
Thank you to the Bakersfield Californian for the great coverage! Here is the article:
Campout Against Cancer
Each year to raise money for the Kern County Cancer Fund, a weekend “Campout Against Cancer” is filled with fun family activities and entertainment. Last Saturday, BC’s Student Nursing Association camped out and volunteered a community service booth and gave health info and took blood pressures. Mayor Karen Goh shared a few photos on Facebook from the event!
BC Students in Seattle for MECHA Conference
This year’s 24th National M.E.CH.A Conference in Seattle, Washington, with over 600 students attending from high schools and colleges across the nation.
It is a three-day event consisting of group discussions and introductions, workshops, seminars, and fun moments. Workshops range from cultural experiences and awareness to leadership skills and training, happening over the first two days. Of those in attendance, students Francis Benavente and Emmanuel Limaco enjoyed the experience of meeting several individuals whose goals in life include higher education and providing avenues for the younger generations to follow in their footsteps toward success and community involvement.
One topic in discussion was the stand against the building of new youth detention centers in favor of funding more educational institutions and access to higher education as a method of inspiring the youth of our country.
This is the mural that all of the attendees painted to represent the central theme of Freedom through Education.
The BC Women’s Tennis Team set a school record this season by winning 18 matches on their way to winning a share of the Western State Conference Championship! But they aren’t done earning accolades; this weekend they are out of town competing in the WSC Individuals Championship.
Before match play began, All-Conference Awards were handed out and Sophomore Riley Tucker was named 1st Team All-Conference twice! Once for singles play, and once more with her doubles partner Brittany Aguilar. Tucker was undefeated in conference play as both a singles player and a doubles player! Awesome job, Riley!
Serena Contreras and Arianna Acevedo also earned First Team All Conference honors for their doubles play, while Contreras earned Second Team All Conference Honors for her singles play.
Coach Nick Loudermilk is only in his second season, but he’s accomplished exactly what AD Sandi Taylor tasked him with; bringing women’s tennis to a highly competitive level. Coach Loudy, you rock!
The BC Track and Field and Swimming Teams are both just two weeks away from their conference meets, so things are heating up around the Gil Bishop Sports Center!
I Love Reading your Comments in my blog!
Last weeks post had 7 comments. Go check it out 🙂
One of the comments was from a Renegade graduate from class 1962, Celia Mickey. She said
Dear Dr. Sonya Christian, Just want to thank you for your weekly Blogs. They really help keep those of us in this All-America City very connected to what’s happening on the hill at 1801 Panorama Drive. Love seeing the involvement of the students and various community guests. I am sure the students at B.C. feel deeply appreciated as evidenced from these weekly blogs. It is so good for our community to be reminded of the rich curriculum and expanded activities offered at Bakersfield College.
Once again, thank you Dr. Christian for taking time out of your busy schedule each week to share all this with the Bakersfield Community.
I was so excited to read Celia’s post and I emailed her right away and requested two photos… one from 1962 and then a more recent one. Here they are. Just beautiful……
Loved this text from Lisa Kent
Omgeeeeee. Her baby is only 4 days old and this student Tamara was here getting her paperwork in order for gradution!! Talk about dedication!
Loved seeing this post from Mayor Karen Goh announcing the Women with a Heart for Bakersfield. Here is our very own Olivia Garcia as one of the women. Karen Goh’s post
Congratulations to Garden Pathways 2017 “WOMEN WITH A HEART FOR BAKERSFIELD” honorees: EDNA CORNFORTH, KATE EUCCE, OLIVIA GARCIA, and KATIE WERDEL. Garden Pathways will recognize these outstanding women at our fifteenth annual HIGH TEA on Wednesday, May 10 at 11:30 a.m. (11:00 social) at Seven Oaks Country Club.
Writing about our music programs resulted in me playing my favorite songs as I was blogging. So let me sign off with one of my faves.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever