Tag Archives: Reggie Williams

The Energy that’s BC!

Berkeley Waterfront

Good morning from Berkeley, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 26, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

The tune that has been in my head this week… Imagine Dragons Believer

2019 Homecoming!

Last week was BC’s Homecoming week, and our Renegades played a hard-fought game!  Thank you for coming out and showing your Renegade pride. Here are some photos and videos from last week’s game.

The Energy that’s BC!

The 16-sec ending to the Chamber singers doing the National Anthem at the game.

Jennifer Garrett and the BC Choir singing the National Anthem
Sonya Christian, Steve Watkin, Catherine Rangal, Tonya Cordova
Mayor Goh, President Christian, Catherine Rangel and Mary Jo Pasek
Bill Potter with 17 rowdy kids!
BC Fireworks!

BC SouthWest Has Officially Moved! 

The move has happened!  We officially moved our classes to the new BC SouthWest campus, which will be held in modulars while construction for the new building is underway.  It was a busy and exciting week, but we are ecstatic to begin our journey at our new home in Southwest Bakersfield! Make sure to check out this great video on the new BC SouthWest center!

Leo Campo and Brynn Shock

BCSGA Power Lunch with Rudy Salas

We had the pleasure of hosting Assemblymember Rudy Salas this past week, who spoke with BC students in the Levan Center for another great BCSGA Power Lunch. BCSGA believes that it is important for students and the community to hear from the people that are representing them, so they invite an important government leader in Kern County to participate in the Power Lunch every month.

Assemblymember Rudy Salas at the BCSGA Power Luncheon

Assemblymember Salas talked about his childhood in southeast Bakersfield, as well as his career in politics, which started with being a financial analyst for the White House in Washington, DC. Assemblymember Salas would eventually move back to Bakersfield to become the first Latino to sit on our City Council before becoming Kern County’s representative on the California Assembly for the last seven years.

OSL serving lunch to attendees

Salas has also been instrumental in funding for career and technical education programs at BC, awarding $1 million to our campus for two consecutive years. Check out my July 20, 2019 blog of the recognition event https://sonyachristianblog.com/2019/07/20/recognition-gratitude-one-proud-renegade-prez/

Salas inspired our students with…. “If you have it in your heart to make a difference, you can do it.”

Assemblymember Salas, Mike Giacomini and Zav Dadabhoy

I would like to give a huge thank you to Assemblymember Rudy Salas. I would also like to thank BCSGA for putting on yet another great event.

Assemblymember Salas and BCSGA’s Legislative Affairs director Johnny Maddon

Dr. Paula Green: Peacebuilding in Divided Communities

Nicky Damania, Reggie Williams, Paula Green, Nick Strobel

Our BC Student Government Association and the Office of Student Life had the pleasure of hosting the Distinguished Speaker Dr. Paula Green and her presentation Peacebuilding in Divided Communities earlier this week. Dr. Green, founder of The Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, presented her work on the significance of peacebuilding efforts in communities worldwide with the purpose of resolving conflicts and the valuable impact of understanding one another’s different views. Dr. Green discussed the importance of reconciliation through our mutual understanding to communicate on the issues that divide communities and give rise to conflicting views making it necessary to discuss and understand our differing perspectives. 

Dr. Paula Green presenting in the Distinguished Speaker Series

The humanitarian efforts of the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding advocate for the importance of bridging divides in order to develop a sustainable peace in communities worldwide affected by political, civil, religious, and war conflicts. Dr. Green has recognized that we must learn to be deep listeners and to understand the circumstances of others around us in order to accept the differences of others and to reach a point of unity and peace. Thank you to the BC Student Government Association and the Office of Student Life for hosting this presentation, and a very special thank you to Dr. Green for taking the time to visit our campus and share her insight.  And thank you Nick Strobel!

Dr. Paula Green, Dr. Ximena Da Silva

BC Hosts Distinguished Speaker Samuel Sternberg

Our second Distinguished Speaker for this week was biochemist Samuel H. Sternberg, who shared in-depth details about the revolutionary gene-editing tool CRISPR in a series of lectures at the Panorama Campus on Thursday.

Dr. Sternberg

Dr. Sternberg is an assistant professor in biochemistry at Columbia University and co-author of the book “A Crack in Creation: The New Power to Control Evolution”. His research in this field has been instrumental in the development of new technologies to edit the DNA of practically any living organism, raising thousands of bioethical questions in the process.

CRISPR, which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, is a phenomenon that was first observed in the bacteria E. coli as a way to fight off destructive bacterial viruses known as phages. A strand of RNA in the bacteria identifies where the phages are actively attempting to destroy its cellular structure and deploys an enzyme to “cut” the virus out of its DNA.

Benny Balderrama, Dr. Sternberg and Dr. Joe Saldivar

Thank you Dr. Sternberg for coming to BC, and thanks to everyone on the Office of Student Life team for making this happen. Our next Distinguished Speaker will be veteran Jason Beardsley, who will be giving three presentations in the Levan Center on November 7.

Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) Visits BC 

Earlier this week, BC hosted members of the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) to evaluate our Baccalaureate program.  The visit was to assess the progress of the Industrial Automation Baccalaureate Degree Program as one of the 15 pilot programs chosen by the State Chancellor’s Office in collaboration with the Academic Senate against the purposes articulated in the SB 850 legislation.

Legislative Analyst Edgar Cabral, from the State Chancellor’s Office, met with our team (Jason Dixon, Lora Larkin, Thomas Rush, Roy Allard, Aubrey Priest, Amber Hroch, Michelle Pena, Liz Rozell, Jennifer Achan, Cynthia Quintanilla, & Manny Fernandez), our students (Richard Van Horn, Edwin Marroquin, Aaron Thomas, & Armando Gutierrez), and industry partners Blair Pruett (Kern Steel), Jonathan Greersen (California Resources Co.), Carlos Media (BC Job Development Specialist), Sam Gomez (Tasteful Selections), Tim McCord (Carboline), Paisley Stidham and Anthony Gutierrez (GAF) yesterday to discuss our Baccalaureate in Science degree for Industrial Automation.  Thank you to our dedicated team of faculty, staff, students, and employers who helped showcase our program and our community it serves. 

State and National Visibility for Early College

Our Early College team has been busy spreading the word about the amazing work being done in association with our high school partners. Steve Watkin, Kylie Swanson, and Ashlea Ward have been sharing the scaling up of Early College across the county and the innovative ways that we have been increasing college accessibility in our rural areas. 

Ashlea Ward and Kylie Swanson

In September, the team, along with several of our high school partners, went to Riverside, CA to present at the 6th Annual California Dual Enrollment Summit, put on by the California Coalition of Early and Middle Colleges (CCEMC). Then, in October, the team went to Salt Lake City, Utah to share our work at the national level with the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP).

CCEMC Panel

As we build our relationships with other colleges across the state and across the nation, we are coming together to present Early College as a solution to the degree attainment crisis that is plaguing our nation. Early College is our chance to get students on path as early as the 9th grade, and to equip them with the skills and mindset necessary to follow that path all the way through baccalaureate completion, and beyond. 

Kylie Swanson, Steve Watkin and Ashlea Ward

Thank you for doing this crucial work, Early College team!

BC at the Kern County Education to Workforce Summit

Employers’ Training Resource, Kern Community College District and Kern High School District partnered with America’s Job Center to sponsor “Kern County Education to Workforce Summit”. The summit was held on October 24th, 2019 at the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton.

Teresa Hitchcock and Norma Rojas-Mora

BC was in full force at this Summit, with businesses, education staff, community leaders, human resource professionals, students, and the general public, providing information on hot topics in business and their impact on today’s economy. 

Norma Rojas, Mayor Goh, Nateasha Johnson and Steve Watkin

BC Ag Departments Hosts 3rd Annual Agriculture Career Expo

The Ag Expo was huge!

This past week, the Agriculture Department and the Kern County Farm Bureau hosted its 3nd Annual Agriculture Career Expo.  Over 300 FFA high school students visited campus to learn about different career opportunities in the agriculture industry. Ariana Joven, Executive Director of the Kern County Farm Bureau spoke to students about the importance of agriculture in Kern County and BC’s drumline arrived to get the students excited about the day – thank you Tim Heasley.

Students from Heather Baltis’ Agriculture Leadership Class along with the Agriculture Ambassadors helped plan and guide students around campus. High school students went to four rotations learning about different careers in the agriculture industry. A special thanks to all the industry professionals that took time to invest in these students.

Along with the different rotations, students went to the Agriculture Career Expo. Domenica Trinidad and the CTE team did an amazing job connecting students with agricultural companies around Kern County.

Domenica Trinidad and the CTE team

We would also like to thank our sponsors for making this day possible. This is a valuable experience for the next generation of agriculture employees. It was a great day to be a Renegade. WE ARE BC!

BC Presents before Sons in Retirement Group

The Sons In Retirement (SIR) Branch 163-Golden Empire, reached out and invited Heather Pennella and Tamara Baker to attend their October monthly meeting held at Hodel’s. SIRs began in 1958, and has thousands of members and branches in most areas of Central and Northern California. Tamara provided a Measure J construction update and offered information on the future projects slated to take place. Heather discussed an increased need for Alumni Engagement, and various opportunities available to support the mission of Bakersfield College. There were several Renegade alums in the crowd and all were impressed to hear that BC attendance has grown to 37,000 students. Thanks to SIR for their hospitality, and to David Fabrizius and Ron Harrington (and little Ron, see picture) for the invitation to share information about Bakersfield College with the group.

Tamara Baker, Heather Pennella, Ron Harrington and Little Ron

BC Holds New Student Orientation

Last week the BC Outreach & School Relations department held a Fall 2019 New Student Orientation session welcoming new incoming students to the BC campus. Our Outreach Advisors Angela Williams, Savannah Andrews, and Jo Ann Acosta led the New Student Orientation session guiding students on available academic resources that help students on their educational journey at BC.

2019 Mental Health Symposium

Earlier this week BC partnered with the Kern County Public Health Services Department and Kern County Behavioral Health & Services to host the first annual 2019 Mental Health Symposium.  The Symposium was held at our Indoor Theater, recognizing and raising awareness on the concerning mental health issues affecting first responders and others with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a growing mental health issue.

BC Public Safety EMT Instructor Jana Richardson, and Kern County Public Health EMS Program Manager Jeff Fariss highlighted the importance of gathering together as a Bakersfield community in order to support our first responders and everyday people affected with mental health issues and raising awareness on the symptoms of PTSD. Mental health symptoms of PTSD include stress, fear, anger, negative thoughts, recurring memories, and hyper-arousal which causes strong reactions to sounds and sights around an affected person. It is important that we work together as a community to understand the issues concerning mental health awareness and recognizing PTSD symptoms in order to help identify affected people in need of support. Thank you to the BC Public Safety, Kern Public Health, Kern Behavioral Health, and the Bakersfield community for their dedication and commitment to recognizing and raising mental health awareness in support of our first responders and community.

Bakersfield College Attends Prospanica Leadership Conference

BC Latinx students attended the Prospanica Leadership Conference this week.

Local high school students, including college students from CSUB and Bakersfield College, participated in a series of workshops which included: Dress For Success 101 (Jerry Gamez: Finos Menswear & Tux); Financial Literacy (Lorenzo Tafolla, Jesse Quintanilla, Manuel Muralles); Finding Your Purpose (Jason Hanash– Senior Pastor Discovery Church); and were inspired by the words of affirmation and wisdom imparted by the Conference Emcee (Robert Gonzales – Realtor)

Thank you Manuel Muralles (Program Manager- Rural Initiatives) who diligently served in the planning committee to develop an excellent conference and for extending the invitation to Latinx males from Bakersfield College. Also, thank you to Rene Deniz (EOPS Adjunct Counselor) for incorporating Lamont youth into the conference and for serving as a positive role model in the community.

STEM and Chemistry Day at BC

BC celebrated National Chemistry Week with a STEM fair in the courtyard of the Science and Engineering Building on Wednesday. All departments and student organizations that fall under the STEM pathway participated in this event

Some of the groups that participated in the event include MESA, the Physics Club and BC’s Artificial Intelligence club. Thank you to STEM Counselor Laurel Mourtzanos for working to help promote all of the STEM programs that we offer to inspire the science and engineering leaders of tomorrow.

National Chemistry Week is an annual event organized by the American Chemical Society (ACS), an organization founded in 1876 to improve people’s lives through the power of chemistry. The theme of this year’s National Chemistry Week is “Marvelous Metals”, and the ACS website has all kinds of resources for educators to share interesting experiments with metals.

Thank you to the STEM program for honoring National Chemistry Week on our campus, and thank you to all of the clubs who helped organize another great event for our students.

Emails Worth Sharing: Student Success Story

Tom Moran recently shared a link to a video he made that highlights a Renegade student success story. In his email, he describes Jasmine Rubio as a graduate from ITP who has also secured two jobs including one at BC! Check out this incredible Renegade spotlight:  

French Sister City Residents Attend BC Football Game 

Earlier this week, 17 students from Bakersfield’s French sister city, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, came to visit as part of the city’s exchange program.  One of their stops was none other than a BC Renegade Football game, where they were able to take in this great American pastime. We hope that had a great trip to this amazing place we call home! Check out this great piece by KGET on their visit.

Rick Kreiser Distinguished Honoree at American Cancer Society Gala

I received this photo from Michael O’Doherty showing local community leader Rick Kreiser being honored at last week’s American Cancer Society Gala. Rick is a strong supporter of Bakersfield College, and truly deserves this recognition.  Congratulations Rick! 

Rick Kreiser at American Cancer Society Gala
BC’s Cheer Team

NAPD, New Advancement for People with Disabilities, had some of their special needs clients at the home game a couple weeks ago.  BC Cheer is volunteering at their Halloween dance doing Halloween make up, serving food, and are actors in their haunted house.  Here is their thank you video to the cheer team and the college.

Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week 

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (10/13-10/19) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Penelope Zepeda, Volleyball – Penelope played a key roll in the three sweeps the volleyball team collected last week. She was  9-1-18 with a .444 hitting%, collecting 6 digs and 10.5 pts against West LA; she was 9-2-24 with a .292 hitting%, collecting 14 digs and 11.5 pts against Antelope Valley and was 15-2-33 with a .394 hitting% collecting 9 digs and 15.5 pts against Canyons. For her efforts she was also recognized as the CCCWVCA SoCal State Player of the Week. 

Brock Mather, Football – Brock anchored the Renegade defense against Ventura, the fourth ranked team in the state, during the homecoming game on 10/19. He totaled 11 tackles (2 for a loss) and one pass break-up in the game. He also leads the team in tackles so far this season with 41. 

Wrestling Coach Joe Espejo Honored at Alma Mater 

Joe Espejo, one of our assistant wrestling coaches was honored by his alma mater, Dickinson State University where he was inducted as a member in their athletics hall of fame as a member of the 2007-08 Blue Hawk wrestling team. Joe first wrestled for BC before transferring to Dickinson State and is now back at BC coaching the next generation of Renegade wrestlers. Well deserved, Joe!

Volleyball’s Penelope Zepeda Named CCCWVCA State Player of the Week 

The California Community College Women’s Volleyball Association (CCCWVCA) has named Penelope Zepeda as the SoCal State Player of the Week for week #8 of the season. 

Zepeda led the Renegade volleyball team to three straight sweeps last week over West LA, Antelope Valley and Canyons. Congrats, Penelope! Check out this release on the California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) website.

Former Renegade Wrestler To Be Inducted Into National Wrestling Hall of Fame 

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame announced this week that former Renegade State Champion wrestler Bruce Burnett will be inducted as a Distinguished Member at the 44th Annual Honors Weekend on June 5-6, 2020 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Burnett wrestled at Bakersfield College from 1969 to 1970 and was a two-time state champion at the 137/142 lb. weight class. In 1969 he played a key role in the Renegade wrestling team winning the state junior college championship under head coach Bruce Pfutzenreuter. He finished his Renegade career with a 55-3 career record and was named the state’s outstanding wrestler in 1970. Congrats Bruce!

Renegade Athletics Scores From This Past Week

Athletic Events ‘On the Hill’ This Coming Week

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:

  • Tues. 10/29 – 4pm Men’s Soccer vs. Canyons
  • Wed. 10/30 – 6pm Volleyball vs. Santa Monica
  • Fri. 11/1 – 7pm Women’s Basketball vs. Riverside
  • Sat. 11/2 – 5pm Women’s Basketball vs. Pasadena City

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever

A thing of beauty is a joy forever

Clouds on flight from PDX to BUR Jan 6 2018

Cloud formation from the turbulent flight from PDX to BUR Jan 7 2018

Good morning Bakersfield…It is Saturday, January 13, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade!

This week, it seemed that I was able to see beauty all around me.  I have noticed that there are times that my sensitivity to all things beautiful seem more heightened.  It is during these time that I pick up my poetry book from high school at Mount Carmel Convent ….. this week I found myself reading Keats.  So my friends, here are images of beauty for you as you soak in Keats

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:

Its loveliness increases; it will never

Pass into nothingness; but still will keep

A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Pacheco Pass Jan 12 2018

San Luis Reservoir, Pacheco Pass, Jan 12 2018

 

Before Magnolia and Brazilian Pepper

An extremely active week at BC with faculty arriving back on campus for inservice activities, workshops as we gear up to welcome over 31,000 students back to our campuses in Bakersfield, in Delano, in Arvin, in Shafter, online, …… I did a bit of travelling to San Jose to attend the accreditation commission (ACCJC) meeting.

With half of the school year in our rear view mirror, all of Bakersfield College’s faculty and staff came together once again in anticipation for the next semester during our Spring 2018 Opening Day celebration Thursday at the Indoor Theater.

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One of my favorite parts of the day kicks off with seeing familiar faces during the gathering in the plaza. I was so glad to have beautiful photos this year of the activity before the program.

Great group from our Child Care Center.

Child Care gang Opening Day Jan 11 2018

Dezi Von Manos opened the program with the traditional remarks from the BCSGA President.

Dezi Von Manos Opening day

Dezi Von Manos Opening day

Opening day spotlighted our accreditation work under the leadership of Liz Rozell, dean of Instrcution, and Jason Stratton, history faculty.

Liz Rozell and Jason Stratton

Liz Rozell and Jason Stratton

After showing a brief video interviewing students and staff about accreditation and Student Learning Outcomes, Liz and Jason thanked the faculty team leads who will be putting together the materials for our four accreditation standards and the writers, editors and communication team for the Quality Focus Essay that will wrap our self-evaluation report in a neat little bow and tell the world BC’s story.

Our primary editor for this project is Dr. Nick Strobel, and he’ll be responsible for putting all of the information together into a coherent narrative. Manny produced a silly comic relief video of Nick dressed up as a monk, walking around the library while carrying large scrolls as Gregorian chants echoed through the halls.

Following Accreditation, Andrea Thorson took the stage to emphasize the importance of maintaining a singular, coherent voice about BC’s institutional philosophy when we talk to students or people in the community.

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Andrea Thorson

 

Di Hoffman and new Dean Billie Jo Rice talked about assessment and Student Learning Outcomes, using the acronym PARR (Plan, Assess, Reflect, and Refine) as a pneumonic device to outline our assessment process.

Billi Jo Rice and Di Hoffman

Billi Jo Rice and Di Hoffman

Julian West addressed the audience about how he’s able to keep 600 students in our African-American affinity group engaged and striving for their highest level of excellence, using a combination of data analysis and “real talk” face-to-face mentorship to ensure that none of our African American students are falling through the cracks. See Julians full remarks here.

Janet Fulks and our new Web Content Editor, Nicole Griffin discussed our state-of-the-Renegade Scorecard 3.0, that continues to bring our institutional data to life on the web with an unprecedented level of interactivity displaying statistics about our student population and programs of study.

Nicole Griffin and Janet Fulks

Nicole Griffin and Janet Fulks

 

I was excited to announce the planned campus renovations that are going to be made possible via Measure J, which was initially going to take place over 25 years, has now been compacted planned for a shorter time line. This means that many of you will get to see our campus transform before your eyes during your tenure at BC, and the money will be used more efficiently to avoid cost increases due to inflation.

Todd Coston

Todd Coston 

Bill Potter presented the new Facilities Master Plan to the audience at our Opening Day presentation, with a special guest for the presentation, Todd Coston dressed as a janitor showing how accreditation is a whole campus endeavor. I heard Todd even threw a mop bucket full of silver confetti into the theater.

Toward the end of the Opening Day presentation, Tina Johnson introduced the new members of the CSEA board, Isabel Stierle encouraged faculty members to welcome our new faculty members into the CCA, and Steven Holmes urged faculty and staff to be active participants in all of our various committees including Guided Pathways.

 

Sue Vaughn gave an update sharing the constant and rapid movement in the Management Association.  At one point the audience gave a standing ovation for Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg. Love this photo taken by Earl Parsons.

Audience applauding Nan Spring 2018 Opening Day

Our SGA Senators, Ashley Harp and Mustapha Burraj led the entire audience in a stretch break.

Stretch Break for Opening Day

Stretch Break for Opening Day

Reggie Williams, the recipient of the 2017 Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award, gave his thank-you speech during this semester’s Opening Day since he was out of the country during the Fall 2017 festivities. He gave special recognition to Jack Hernandez for inspiring him to learn more about philosophy during his time in one of Jack’s classes as an 18-year-old freshman at BC.

Susan Pinza announced Oliver Rosales as the winner of the Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium Award. Oliver will be delivering a presentation about multicultural civil rights activism in post-World War II Bakersfield.

Oliver Rosales standing to be recognized

Dr. Oliver Rosales standing to be recognized

Opening and Closing Days are a huge undertaking, and I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who made it possible. I’d like to thank Manny de Los Santos for his work compiling all of the videos for this event, as well as running the livestream. And special thanks to Nate from Freestyle who was our sound technician and is a BC student studying Computer Science!

s18openingday_earl34-x3

Manny De Los Santos and Nate

Thank you also to our photographers from the Marketing and Public Relations team—Earl Parsons, Eric Carillo and Dylan Wang

Dylan Wang

Dylan Wang capturing the day through the lens.

 

Thank you Eric Carillo for texting me some of the selfies and bringing me vicariously to Opening Day.  I so loved them.  Here are a few.

 

 

All of their photos for the day can be found on the BC Smugmug.

Thank you to Monika Scott, Jennifer Serratt and Lesley Bonds for coordinating and planning, and Kristin Rabe for coordinating the theater.

Jennifer Serratt, Aricia Leighton, Kristin Rabe, Monika Scott

Jennifer Serratt, Aricia Leighton, Kristin Rabe, Monika Scott

Jennifer Serratt, Lesley Bonds Jan 11 2018

Jennifer Serratt, Lesley Bonds

And Opening Day wouldn’t be the same without Francis Mayer as our emcee.

Francis Mayer

Francis Mayer, the man behind the microphone

Thank you to our Food Services crew led by Chef Eric Sabella, who put together another great breakfast and lunch.

Food Services on Opening Day

Food Services Crew with BC’s awesome Breakfast Burritos

And our interpreters Jarris Wright and Carolyn Borso and our incredible ushers were Arisve Pimentel, Bernadette Martinez, Chris Glaser, Danyel Owens, Jordaun Bennett, Lori Ortiz, Tarina Perry, and Wendy Lawson.

Ushers

Flex Week

The week before the semester begins is always exciting because Faculty come back and re-engage with the campus through flex workshops which cover an array of topics. This year workshops covered everything from eLumen Curriculum led by Jennifer Johnson, Best Practices for Online Learning by Matt Jones, and Summer Bridge by Kimberly Bligh, Erica Menchaca, Isabel Castaneda, and Teresa Mcallister among many many others. Here are some photos from Flexweek!

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See all the photos at Bakersfield College’s Smugmug.

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Erica Menchaca, Isabel Castaneda, Kimberly Bligh

Corrections to College California

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Bryan Hirayama on the left with his Distinguished Teaching Award

Corrections to College California just released a new short documentary, The Sergeant and the Professor, featuring a CDCR-College partnership. The video tells the story of Sergeant Jeff Ervin and Professor Bryan Hirayama. Sergeant Ervin has worked for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for 12 years. Two years ago, Bakersfield College began offering classes in his housing unit. Sergeant Ervin was reluctant and skeptical. Professor Hirayama was the first Bakersfield College professor to teach inside Sergeant Ervin’s facility. The two didn’t always see eye to eye, but these unlikely colleagues learned to work together to support the college students. You can find out how this program transformed Sergeant Ervin and the prison by watching the video.

See the video on Facebook by clicking here.

Visitors from Korea

BC and KCCD representatives met January 8 with a representative from a Bakersfield’s Sister City, Bucheon City to talk about a possible exchange program for students and faculty. This is the second time that BC has hosted Bucheon City visitors. They were here this summer.

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John Means, Vice Chancellor, Shohreh Rahman, Counselor International Students So-Hyun Kim, Representative Bucheon City, Republic of Korea Eun-Ja Kim Park, retired professor CSUB Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Vice President Instruction

BC Point Guard, Johnathan Murray

cropped conf champions feb 17 2016 rich hughes

Coach Hughes after winning the Conf Championship Feb 17, 2016

There was a great piece by Jon Mettus of the Californian about our record setting player Johnathan Murray as the teams ‘unsung hero.’

Mettus wrote that “Murray is the facilitator for BC’s offense and the glue that holds the team together. On a squad that features players like Jamar Hammonds, Tucker Eenigenburg and Jaylunn English, who can all go off for more than 20 points on any given night…” He goes on to credit coach, Rich Hughes with naming Murray the “unsung hero.”

Bakersfield is so proud to have Coach Rich Hughes leading the Renegade Basketball team. Have you been a game recently?  There’s a few great games left this season. Check out http://www.gogades.com/sports/mbkb/2017-18/schedule  for the schedule and follow Coach Hughes on Twitter  @coachrichhughes

To see the article by Jon Mettus visit, http://www.bakersfield.com/sports/bc-point-guard-johnathan-murray-is-the-team-s-unsung/article_9195640c-f6fb-11e7-8c83-db2b4fe11733.html

EOP&S

Starting this semester, representatives from the Department of Human Services (DHS) are holding office hours in the second floor of the CSS building to help students to assist students with children who receive financial assistance through their department.

EOPS

DHS Social Service Workers from the Employment Services division are partnering with our Extended Opportunities Programs and Services Department (EOP&S) to help BC student parents attending school while receiving cash aid benefits via CalWORKS (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids). Their offices will be located in the EOP&S area of the CSS building, and they’ll be helping provide our students educational support services, employment training and work study opportunities.

This partnership will help our BC CalWORKS program that was already being run under EOP&S integrate more efficiently with the Department of Human Services, and I’m excited for all of the potential that this partnership holds.

Accreditation and ACCJC

I always feel a little reluctant to snap pictures at the Accreditation Commission Meeting.  But here are a few after we were done with the meeting.  In the first picture you see the Chair of the Commission Raul Rodriguez who is the Chancellor of the Rancho Santiago Community College District with Mary Okada who is the president of Guam Community College and is on the ACCJC Exec Committee.  Inn the second picture, I am with Richard Mahon, who is currently a dean at Alan Hancock College.  In the last picture I am with Jared Spring, a manager at ACCJC and one of my favorite people.

Sonya Christian and Jared Spring ACCJC Jan 12 2018

Let me end with John Keats again

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever

Neo Jan 12 2018

Sonya Christian Pacheco Pass heading back home from ACCJC Meeting Jan 12 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Spring is in the Renegade Air

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 8, 2017….a wonderful day to be a Renegade.

Rosed April 8 2017Spring 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.

Singers April 1 2017Incredible 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!

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.

Romeo Agbalog and Lily Agbalog April 1 2017

Trustee Romeo Agbalog and lily Agbalog

Sonya Christian with Lily Agbalog Sharon Thomas April 1 2017

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

Sonya Christian with Julie and John Means

Here are some more pictures:

The Garrett Family.JPG

The Garrett Family

The Braganza Family.JPG

The Braganza Family

 

 

You can spot Bill Thomas and Mike Turnipseed in this picture

Broadway and Spaghetti April 1 2017

You can spot Romero Agbalog in this picture

Broadway April 1 2017

Vice President Zav Dadabhoy and his wife Kushnur and Vice President Dom Chrusciel and his wife Marilyn were at the event.

Marilyn Chruciel Sonya Christian Don Chrusciel April 1 2017

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.

Dulcinea… Dulcinea…
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.

Dulcinea… Dulcinea…
I have sought thee, sung thee,
Dreamed thee, Dulcinea!

Now I’ve found thee,
And the world shall know thy glory,
Dulcinea… Dulcinea!

source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/soundtracks/m/manoflamanchalyrics/dulcinealyrics.html

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.

BC Food Services

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.

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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 and Paul Gaston April 6 2017

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.

KCCD at Dinner April 6 2017

KCCD at dinner 2 April 6 2017

Here is a tweet from Lesley Bonds on statewide Chancellor Eloy Oakley’s plenary at the ACCJC Conference

Eloy Oakley at ACCJC Conf April 6 2017

 

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.

Choirperformingatpark

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

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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)

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!

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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!

2017-18 SGA Leadership

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!

SCA working hard April 6 2017

Here is a great video of Sarah Strobel advising freshman How to Succeed in College.  Students, pay attention to Sarah!  

Commercial Music Ensemble

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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.

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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

Photo by: Diana Martin Photography (www.DianaMartinphoto.com)

Jazz Day at BC

Kris Tiner hosted High School students at Jazz Day at BC.  Thank you!

John Biller Stockdale Jazz Day BC April 6 2017

Stockdale High School

Tina Raymond Rob Martens Ridgeview HS

Ridgeview High School

For mose check out Kris Tiner’s Facebook page.

Transfer Day

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!

TransferDay-7

Culinary Arts in McFarland

CulinaryArtsStudentsI 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!

Gadfly Cafe

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.

gadfly03The 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

MichelangeloProject-3There 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
https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/Drawing-II-Pop-Up-Art-Show/

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

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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/

MESA and Stephen Waller

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:

http://www.bakersfield.com/news/how-many-ways-can-you-design-headphones-young-minds-answer/article_a0129590-53ba-57ee-a496-011b45998c5e.html

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.

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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.

17635404_1259187830862325_2363984312208109468_oOne 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.

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This is the mural that all of the attendees painted to represent the central theme of Freedom through Education.

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Renegade Athletics

 

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.

WomensTennisBefore 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!

Memorable moments:

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……

#WeAreBC!

 

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.

Edna Cornforth, Kate Eucce, Olivia Garcia, Katie Werdel.jpg

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.

Sonya Christian cropped March 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Sprinting toward semester’s end

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 30, 2016….A good day to be a Renegade.

This day 68 years ago, in 1948, the Land Rover debuted at an auto show.  An incredible car designed by the British car company and owned now by Tata Motors was initially intended to be used for farm work but quickly became popular with the public.  Needless to say…I love my Land Rover.

It was another “normal” week at BC–with the Spring performance of our Jazz Ensemble to the One-act festival theater, Career day, High school students attending BC’s Law day, the SGA awards ceremony, baseball, track….. After being on the road for several weeks, and MIA at our athletic events it was great to catch up on baseball after completing faculty interviews late on Friday.  Nan was at the track meet and we exchanged messages from different parts of the campus celebrating our students and coaches.

Baseball finished the regular season in a dramatic fashion, winning 14 of their last 16 games to clinch a playoff berth.  Playoff seeding will be announced on Sunday, a strong possibility we will play at home on May 6th & 7th. Thank you Coach Tim Painton.

Western State Conference finals were held on the newly resurfaced track Friday afternoon with 500 student athletes vying for qualifying marks to the Southern California meet. A beautiful day with a beautiful track resulted in numerous personal best marks. Thank you Coach Pam Kelley.

Softball swept a doubleheader from Antelope Valley on Tuesday to clinch a playoff berth for the fist time since 2012.  There was no quit in these ladies with multiple lead changes throughout both games. Playoff seeding announced today. Thank you Coach Christie Hill.

Board of Governors visits

Avalos Conway Christian Agbalog Stewart April 29 2016

It was a treat having two members of the Board of Governors, Arnoldo Avalos and Connie Conway, visit BC on Tuesday, April 26th.  Rather than doing a special series of presentations, we decided to fit their itinerary into what was happening at BC.  The morning started with them attending an annual event where we connect with leaders from high school and share with them the advances made on the goals set the previous year.  After that, they toured the campus and connected with faculty and students in the sciences, music, CTE etc. Thank you Joe Saldivar, Jen Garrett, Liz Rozell, Manny Gonzales, Clayton Fowler, Nicky Damania and others who helped.  And the fabulous Jennifer Marden who pulled all this together.

Both Arnoldo and Connie were open, direct and clearly enjoyed being on a college campus and interacting with faculty, staff and students.  Here is a blurb about them from the Chancellor’s website:

Arnoldo Avalos has been the founder and chief executive officer of the Avalos Foundation since 2013. He was head of compensation and the global compensation manager at Facebook from 2008 to 2013 and senior global compensation manager for Google from 2006 to 2008. Avalos held multiple positions at Cisco Systems from 1999 to 2006, including compensation manager, corporate recruiter and manager of business operations. He was a system consultant at Andersen Consulting from 1996 to 1999 and farm manager for Avalos Farms from 1989 to 1996. Avalos is a member of the Latino Community Foundation Board of Trustees and a founding member of Hermanos Unidos. He earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Connie Conway has been a member of the California Women Lead Board of Directors since 2008. She served as a member of the California State Assembly from 2008 to 2014, where she was Minority Leader from 2010 to 2014. Conway was a member of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors from 2000 to 2008, serving as chair in 2005 and 2008. She was chair of the Cities Counties Schools Partnership in 2007 and president of the California State Association of Counties in 2006.

It was a wonderful surprise to have Trustee Romeo Agbalog join us. He was able to rearrange his schedule and connect with both Avalos and Conway.

I enjoyed meeting Vince Stewart, Vice Chancellor of External Affairs from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, and hear about the great things being undertaken statewide.

Pre-Law Program: First Graduates & Law Day Conference

Prelaw2As many of you know, Bakersfield College has developed a Pre-law Program over the past two years. We are one of 24 of community colleges in the state of California participating in this program.

This program is designed to help students matriculate more easily from Bakersfield College to a four-year university and on to a participating law school.

We are happy to report that this year our first graduating class of three students has completed the recommended courses for our Pre-Law Program. Bailey Bryson, Michael Esqueda and Fernando Singh were honored at a Pre-Law celebration on Monday. We are estimating that we will have at least 15 graduates in 2017!

We are so excited that members of our Advisory Council were able to attend. Thank you Steven Katz, Courtney Lewis, Mark Pafford, Bethany Peak, Brett Price, H.A. Sala, Rebecca Murillo, Roberta Tafoya, David Torres and Alekxia Torres-Stallings.

On Friday, April 29th,  over 200 students from local high schools packed the Indoor Theater for our annual Law Day Conference. It’s always inspiring to see so many young people enthusiastically pursuing their interests and future career goals, and choosing to visit Bakersfield College.

BrandonStallings_SonyaChristian_MannyMourtzanosShortly before the event, I met Brandon Stallings, a deputy District Attorney and representing the State Bar Board of Trustees. He shared that our local rural communities suffer a real lack of attorneys, and that for our justice system to work we need dedicated students who are interested in a law career and want to stay local.

To help inspire these young people and foster their career goals, local professionals were on hand to share stories and answer questions. Thank you to all attorneys and volunteers involved, especially Honorable Louie L. Vega, Adayinka Glover, Esq., Christian Zoller, Bethany Peak, Esq., Michael J Yraceburn, Esq., Honorable Steven M Katz, Esq., H.A. Sala, Esq., and Alekxia Torres-Steallings, Esq.

EricHogan_DeanMWe have great faculty and staff at Bakersfield College, like Manny Mourtzanos, our Dean of Instruction, who makes these events fun and captivating for our future students. While opening the program, Manny asked if anyone could recite the Miranda Rights by memory. Surprisingly, hands flew up and Eric Hogan from Bridges Academy was chosen to come up. Without hesitation, Eric was able to say aloud the entire Miranda Rights before a packed theater of fellow students – Well done, Eric.

In fact, did you know this year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1996 Miranda vs. Arizona ruling? It’s a great day when you can learn something new. And as time has gone by, the Miranda Rights have become an icon in pop culture, as seen in some of our favorite movies, but also as an integral part of American culture.

During my opening remarks I referred to the two movies that capture the creativity, sharpness, and performance abilities of a young lawyer played by Tom Cruise in both instances — The Firm and A Few Good Men.  Sydney Pollack’s The Firm was done in 1991 where Cruz plays a young lawyer who joins a prestigious law with a sinister dark side and the strategy he adopts to bring them down.  A year later Rob Riner has Cruise playing the lead role along with Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men.  You have got to check out this classic scene from A Few Good Men.

 

SonyaChristian_DouglasGrimsleySpeaking of great faculty, it was fantastic to see Professor Douglas Grimsley, who is involved with our inmate education plan. Grimsley is one of our pioneering faculty who knows that his investment is helping folks get back into society – something that is true to the mission of Bakersfield College; Providing opportunities for students from all diverse backgrounds to engage productively in their communities and the world.

GroupShotAs you may know, Bakersfield College is selected by the State Bar of California to participate in the Community Colleges Pathway to Law School Initiative, which provides a transfer-pathway for students to one of at least six prestigious law schools in our state.  But beyond that, the law program at BC is a rigorous path that is a true investment and will sharpen any student’s critical thinking, writing skills, and leadership qualities.

 

Project BEST

 

 

HOrace Mitchell Sonya Christian Project BEST April 23 2016Fuchsia Ward Project Best April 23 2016

Steve Watkin invited me to attend the Project BEST event last Saturday, April 26th.  In fact it was great seeing an entire BC gang at the table–Harlan Hunter, Reggie Bolton, Paula Parks, Christopher Anderson, Ishmael Kimbrough, and our ATEP students.

This was my first introduction to Project BEST and I was impressed and inspired by the caliber of our High School students as well as the commitment from our community. Project BEST (Black Excellence in Scholarship and Teaching) is a partnership between the Kern High School District, California State University, Bakersfield, the local business community, parents and students. It is privately funded and financially administered by the Kern High School District Education Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization.  It was wonderful connecting with Dr. Horace Mitchell, President of CSUB, who is clearly committed to this program and on the spot increased CSUB’s financial support for these students.  The icing on the cake was when Fuschia Ward, the KHSD administrator in charge of the program, received an award for her leadership.  For those of you who do not know Fuschia, you are missing out on someone very special.  I met Fuschia when I spoke at the Kern Kiwanis Club and immediately could sense that this woman is passionate and makes things happen.  On Saturday, she read a beautiful poem that she had read in previous Project BEST events.  This last week I must have read it a 1000 times….. well, that might be a slight exaggeration 😉 Here it is:

Don’t You Quit – An Inspirational Poem

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than

It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out –

The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Renegade Promise at the Kern County Alliance

 

 

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Jacqueline MimmsOn Thursday, Kristen Barnes, CEO of the Kern Community Foundation, invited us to present the Renegade Promise to a group of Educators across Kern County.  The story of the Renegade Promise is a story of collaboration and partnership, a story about adaptation, a story about saying “yes” rather than “no”, a story about making this happen despite the odds.  The heroes in this story are the faculty, staff and administrators from KHSD, BC and CSUB who have been laser focused on moving students through our educational pathways faster and not compromising their learning; on the contrary, enhancing their learning.  Presenting along with me were Dr. Jacqueline Mimms from CSUB, Vickie Spanos from KHSD, and Lesley Bonds from BC.  These three women are brilliant, beautiful, passionate and work tirelessly.

Vickie Spanos 2Lesley Bonds

Check out my Feb 5, 2016 blog to learn more about this collaborative work being led by Kristen Barnes.  http://tinyurl.com/jptv4xh

Wasco High Summer Bridge

Wasco Sumer Bridge April 2016.jpgSummer Bridge is an essential part of a student’s journey to becoming a college student.  Throughout summer 2016, BC will engage 2,000 new students in this extended orientation where they’ll learn how to access important campus information, discuss success strategies for the transition into college, take a campus tour, and hear from important academic and student affairs support services about the many offerings available to them.  Thank you Dr. Kimberly Bligh for your leadership.  For more information about Summer Bridge, email bcsummerbridge@gmail.com.

This week, BC hosted 60 Wasco High School future Renegades on the Panorama campus and the Delano campus for the first Bridge of the season!  These attendees arrived to campus bright and early Monday morning for a campus tour led by one of our amazing Promising Professionals, Sharita Knowles, and Educational Advisor Claudio Felix.  Title V Director Kimberly Bligh and Counselor Keri Kennedy led the group through success strategies and resources as they transition from high school to college.  Monica Huyck at the Delano pitched in to host the students at the Delano campus on Thursday for a campus tour and review of the new facilities and support services available to our Rural Renegades.

Student Leadership & Recognition Awards Ceremony

On Friday morning, the Office of Student Life and the amazing Dr. Nicky Damania held the Student Leadership and Involvement Awards Ceremony. The ceremony is intended to recognize the accomplishments of student organizations and student leaders at Bakersfield College. This annual event, offers chance for all registered student organizations and student leadership to present their achievements to the rest of the College community, and be recognized for their accomplishments.

Romeo Agbalog SGA Awards April 29 2016.jpgA special thank you to Trustee Romeo Agbalog for attending the event and for your powerful words that leadership is about building others up – not just building oneself up.  And thank you Tom Moran for all that you do for BC.  Do you see Tom signing to the left of Romeo?

Clayton Fowler and Sonya Christian April 29 2016Before I get into the many honorees, I should first recognize a student who has been working hard to engage students and make BC a better place for future Renegades: our BCSGA President, Clayton Fowler.  It has been Clayton’s advocacy for students that has catalyzed our work on a number of projects; most notably, our Renegade Promise.  Stay tuned for details!

Onto the awards…

Student Employee of the Year: Awarded to an outstanding student in recognition of exceptional contributions to their office or department of service during the academic year.

  • Bradley Parrot, EOP&S/Care/CalWORKs
  • Paulette Rodriguez, BCSGA

Most Valuable Renegade (MVR): Awarded to intercollegiate student athletes who through their involvement at BC have made significant contributions to the quality of life for their fellow athletes.

  • Daryan Heathcott, Women’s Volleyball
  • De’Andre Dickson, Men’s Basketball

Renegade Spirit Award: Awarded to student leaders who bring spirit and enthusiasm to the Bakersfield College community through their involvement on campus.

  • Allison Guzman, American Sign Language Club

Service Award: Awarded to a student whose behavior embraces civic responsibility and service to the community on a campus, local, regional, national, or global level.

  • Anhelica Perez, Office of Student Life at Delano

President’s Leader of the Year Award: Awarded to student leaders with a distinguished record of extraordinary leadership, service, spirit, advocacy, and involvement within the college community.  Recipients will have a history of positive and significant accomplishments resulting in major contributions that enhance the quality of life at the college.

  • Alia Brost, ACS Chemistry Chapter Club

Event of the Year: Awarded to a registered student organization that sponsored an event promoting social interaction among students.  The effectiveness of the planning, publicity, and execution of the event will be considered.

  • Def-Nation, American Sign Language Club
  • Relay for Life, Relay for Life Club

Renegade Spirit Award (Organization): Awarded to a registered student organization that brings spirit and enthusiasm to the Bakersfield College community through their programs and activities.

  • Disabilities Inspire and Support Change Club
  • Gender and Sexuality Awareness Club

Student Organization of the Year: Awarded to a registered organization that is organized, active, and maintains strong membership.  This student organization continually strives to increase their impact and influence on the campus community. You should follow them on Twitter @WECOMMBC

  • WECOMM Club

Outstanding Student Organization Advisor(s): Awarded to a faculty or staff member that goes above and beyond their expectations of an advisor, is an integral part of the organization, and shows dedication to the mission of the organization.

  • Jonathan Hernandez, WECOMM Club

Grace Van Dyke Bird Leadership Scholarship Award: Given annually to one freshman student attaining the highest standards of leadership, citizenship, service, and overall accomplishments while a student attending Bakersfield College.  This award is dedicated to the first president of Bakersfield College who showed great pride and shared a great vision for education in Kern County.

  • Arthur Tondin

Alumni Association Honor Trophy Scholarship Award: Given annually to one sophomore student attaining the highest standards of leadership, citizenship, service, and overall accomplishments while a student attending Bakersfield College.

  • Tania Bernal

Samuel W. McCall Outstanding Professor of the Year Award: Given annually to a Bakersfield College faculty member who has been nominated and selected by the students.  The award spotlights the college’s “super teachers.”  The finalists include:

  • Bernard Scanlon, Mathematics
  • Deborah Rosenthal, Chemistry
  • Reggie Williams, Philosophy
  • Paula Parks, English
  • Jennifer Garrett, Performing Arts
  • Stephen Tavoni, Biological Sciences
  • Nick Strobel, Physical Science/Astronomy
  • Paula Dahl, Athletics

Congratulations to Reggie Williams, Philosophy, for your selection as the Samuel W. McCall Outstanding Professor of the Year!

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Here is a picture of Trustee Agbalog with Bill Parker.  Bill has been at BC for 39 years and he absolutely gives his heart and soul to the campus.  We love you Bill Parker!

Bill Parker and Romeo Agbalog April 29 2016.jpg

Fourth Annual High School Leaders Breakfast

Presbreakfast1On Tuesday, we hosted the 4th Annual President’s Breakfast. About 60 education partners (counselors and administrators) from our high school service area came to our Fireside Room for a quick and insightful update and discussion. We talked about our strides in collaboration with Guided Pathways, Dual Enrollment, Multiple Measures, and our High School Matriculation Visits.

Mr. Arnoldo Avalos (Board of Governors Member, CCCCO) told the story of how, in higher education, personal connections matter. “That first week, so difficult, completely frazzled and I met one person. A counselor for Chicano Studies…she took me aside and said, ‘Are you ok?’”

Vickie Spanos (Director of Instruction, KHSD) spoke about the Kern High School District and how the “seeds of partnership,” have been sewn with BC. Connie Conway (Board of Governors Member, CCCCO) touched on how important the role the Board of Governors has in supporting California’s Community Colleges. And Vincent Stewart (Vice Chancellor for External Relations, CCCCO) expressed his excitement at visiting Bakersfield College for the first time and getting to interact with our charismatic administrators, faculty, staff, and students.

The work that we do for our students is paramount. It was so exciting to celebrate our collaboration successes this year, even as we begin the conversations about where we are headed for next year! Thank you! And here is BC’s Outreach Team.  You make BC look good. Thank you!

Outreach April 29 2016 cropped.jpg

 

Alex Victoria April 27 2016Kern’s Poet Laureate:

On Wednesday I attended a poetry reading hosted by the Bakersfield Arts Council. The event featured the poetry of Kern Poet Laureate Don Thompson who read from several of  his published works, provided context for the poems he read, and offered comments on his life in poetry. The evening started with original readings by  students from Taft College, CSUB and BHS. (Pictured at right is Taft College’s Alex Victoria.) I so enjoyed attending the event.  Don Thompson is Kern’s Poet Laureate for the next two years. It was a treat seeing several friends taking in an evening of poetry.  To know more about Kern’s Poet Laureate check out http://writersofkern.com/2015/12/29/poet-laureate/

2016 Phi Theta Kappa induction.  Thank you Prof. Charles Kim for your leadership.

PTK Induction April 2016 cropped.jpg

Thank you Delano Chamber and Janet Rabanel for your generosity.

Donation from Delano Chamber Janet Rabanel April 28 2016.jpg

It truly is a great time to be at BC.

PS …

As we finish our Spring 2016 semester, I wanted to extend an invitation to our community to join us as we celebrate our students.

Our Performing Arts joint music concert in the Outdoor Theater on Wednesday. May 4th at 7:00 p.m.

Our Chicano/Latino celebration will be on Thursday, May 5, at 5 pm in our beautiful Outdoor Theater. Latina icon Dolores Huerta, founder of the Dolores Huerta foundation, will be the featured speaker. The celebration will feature food, art, music and dancing.

Our Black Graduates Recognition Ceremony will take place on Tuesday, May 10, at 6 pm in the Indoor Theater. We welcome the public to this free event.

Our Delano campus will hold a Pre-Commencement celebration from 11:30 am – 3 pm on Friday, May 13. Food and entertainment will begin at 11:30, with a recognition ceremony beginning promptly at 12 pm. This event will be on our Delano Campus, 1450 Timmons Ave. in Delano.

And of course, our 102nd Bakersfield College Commencement will be held on Friday, May 13 at Memorial Stadium. Gates open at 5:30 pm, and the ceremony will begin at 7. We will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display. Don’t miss it!

Faculty Accomplishments: BC Stars Shine

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, March 12, 2016…..A good day to be a Renegade!

Alexx Dominguez and Sonya Christian March 10 2016

With Alex Dominguez

What a hectic week at BC.  Just on one day, March 10th, we had the Board of Trustees for their monthly board meeting on campus, the Houchin Blood Bank drive hosted by SGA on campus, and had a group of 74 Highland High School seniors visiting who completed their Abbreviated Student Ed Plans (ASEPs) on campus.  I was happy to hear Stewart Hathaway, Academic Senate President of Porterville College, do a shout-out to Steve Watkin and our Outreach department.   The day actually started early morning with Corny Rodriguez and me presenting our Facilities Master Plan, in light of a potential bond for the November 2016 ballot, to the newly formed Government Relations Committee (GRC) of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHC).  Most of the members of this group are up and coming young professionals who have already established themselves as leaders in this community.  They are very enthusiastic about Bakersfield College and as Corny and I were leaving we snagged this photo with Alex Dominguez, past SGA president and a member of the GRC.  Jay Tamsi, President of the KCHC is a wonderful partner!   Jennifer Marden commented to me at the end of the day as I was rushing off to Sacramento for the IEPI advisory committee meeting: “Just another normal day at BC”.

Clayton Fowler March 10 2016

Clayton Fowler and team at the Houchin Blood Bank Drive. March 10, 2016

Victor Diaz with Highland  Students March 10 2016

Victor Diaz in action. Outreach Department bringing 74 Highland High Scots to campus

It was wonderful having our Board members on campus along with colleagues from Porterville and Cerro Coso.  Danielle Hillard and Jennifer Marden did an exceptional job planning the day.  We changed the venue from the Indoor Theater to the Gym–lunch was in the Huddle and the Board Meeting on the Mezzanine overlooking the floor of the gym.  Josh Ottum, our new faculty member in music who is launching the Applied and Commercial Music Program and his student Omar performed for the Board. Manny Mourtzanos and John Gerhold were walking around being proud of Josh and the music program at BC.

Josh Ottum and Omar March 10 2016

Josh Ottum and his student Omar

It was wonderful seeing Ron Frolich who sits on the Ag advisory committee and is a strong supporter of BC and BC’s Ag program.  I remember decades ago when I was a rookie Dean and Ag was assigned to me.  It was Bill Kelly and folks like Ron Frolich who taught me about the Ag program and Ag in the Central Valley in California.

Billie Barnes Sonya Christian Ron Frolich March 10 2016

Bill Barnes, Sonya Christian, Ron Frolich

Chef Sabella and team did a phenomenal job and Kristin Rabe and I were commenting that we were so happy after devouring the Cous Cous and Quinoa salad.  I think Kristin actually used the word “euphoric”.  And of course, Todd Coston and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg are always thrilled when we have great vegetarian options available.  Ramon Puga and the facilities crew did an outstanding job.  Thank you!

We had individual Board members briefly tour five of the capital projects that are listed on the proposed bond list–Math Science; Health, PE and Athletics; Student Services neighborhood; Agriculture; and the Veterans Center.  During their Board reports each Board member was complimentary about their tour, and impressed with the faculty and staff.  I enjoyed Trustee Storch‘s comments about his Math Science tour as well as his visit to the Veterans Center.  He played with the STEM umbrella and rearranged the sequence to consider what it would be like with the following arrangement: Math Science Engineering and Technology, or “MSET”.  And then Trustee Corkins jumped in by introducing an “A” for Agriculture — STEAM rather than STEM.  Trustee Meek was very supportive of having a robust Veterans Program.  She highlighted the statewide Guided Pathways summit hosted by BC and acknowledged the presentation by President Jill Board.  Finally she remarked positively on the Arvin Forum that was held the same evening as the Summit.  Trustee Agbalog was very complimentary about his tour, and commended both president Rosa Carlson and Jill Board and the achievements of their students.  Trustee Wright reflected on how much of a positive impact the colleges have on their students as well as on the employees.  He said a very heartfelt “thank you” to all of the faculty and staff at all three colleges.  Trustee Beebe was very appreciative to everyone for their work.  Trustee Carter was also appreciative and acknowledged individuals by name for their wonderful work. Thank you Trustees! 

Three presidents 2 March 10 2016

President Jill Board, President Sonya Christian, President Rosa Carlson

Now, let me take a moment to focus on BC.  There are few blogs I enjoy writing more than those highlighting the amazing accomplishments of BC’s incredible team of educators.  Every time I turn around, I’m finding out about another award, another fabulous achievement, or another incredible event or work produced by a member of our super-talented Renegade family.

Jennifer Garrett

Jennifer Garrett

Jennifer Garrett

BC’s very own director of Choral Activities, Dr. Jennifer Garrett has been honored as the recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Collegiate Educator Award, as bestowed by the Kern County Music Educators Association.

In less than three years as a full-time faculty in the Performing Arts Department, Dr. Garrett has built upon the tradition of excellence laid by Dr. Ron Kean, and under the leadership of Performing Arts Faculty Chair Dr. John Gerhold, is propelling the BC choral programs into a prominent spotlight at regional, national, and international venues.

Last summer, Jennifer completed a successful performance tour of Italy with BC’s Chamber Singers and she’s entertaining similar invitations to tour Australia in 2018.  Jennifer very clearly told me where I would be spending June 2018–in Sydney Australia, enjoying our students performing at the Sydney Opera House.  You should mark your calendars as well.  As a member of the BC entourage during that summer tour of Italy, I got a first-hand, front-row view of Jennifer’s incredible dedication to her craft and love of music, as well as her commitment to her students’ success.

Award

Jennifer accepting her 2016 Outstanding Collegiate Educator Award

Of course, no volume of words can ever do the talent of Jennifer’s singers their true justice, so to experience the full scope of her ensemble, check out these samples of recordings by the BC Chamber Singers under Jennifer’s expert direction:

Dr. Garrett’s award is a testament to her amazing talents — and it was only a matter of time before the whole of Kern County knew about them.  Congratulations, Jennifer!  I am so glad you are at BC.

Gina Herrera

Art adjunct professor Gina Herrera was selected to be a featured artist at the Los Angeles Art Association’s The Foolish Game. She was honored by having 2 of her sculptures displayed in the show.

She has also been chosen for 2 fully-funded summer residencies this summer. One will be at Hambidge in Rabun Gap, Georgia, and one is Ox-Bow in Saugatuck, Michigan.

David Koeth was chosen as one of the “Driven by Art” artists for the Bakersfield Museum of Art.  Chicago had the cows, New York had big apples, Lake Tahoe had bears, Sedona had javalinas; Bakersfield has old trucks. David will be painting a fiberglass truck that will be a public art piece.  I can’t wait to see this piece of work.

Delta Kappa Gamma

The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International was organized in 1929.  Its mission statement is that DKG Society International promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education.  The Alpha Alpha Chapter in Bakersfield was organized in 1939.  Over the years many members and DKG leaders have been BC faculty and/or administrators.

They include Grace V. Bird, Margaret (Peg) Levinson, Ruth Maguire, Dorothy Albaugh, Jerry Ludeke, Janet W. Tarjan, Hillary Neumeister, Lynne Hall, Gayle Richardson, Mary Jo Anhalt, and many more.

Dr  Mitchell w-Delta Kappa Gamma leaders

Gayle Richardson and Janet Tarjan, guests BC faculty Valerie Robinson and Pat Smith, and BC Future Teachers Club alumni and CSUB alumni and current teachers Jennifer Garcia (2nd grade) and Tayci Stallings (6th grade), and current BC students and guests Samaria De alba and Maria Holland were among the attendees at an exciting Women’s Networking Open House at the Dezember Reading Room in the CSUB library in February.  Dr. Horace Mitchell, President of CSUB, welcomed everyone and shared stories of commitment to the success of women professional educators at CSUB.

Dr  Deb

Dr. Debby Rosenthal

Debby Rosenthal, our new Chemist presented recently at the Instructional Design Institute held by the State-wide Academic Senate.  Her talk titled Utilizing Technology to Enhance Time-on-task and Critical thinking Skills was well received.  Here is a brief description of her presentation:

Electronic classroom management systems assist in developing “flipped” classrooms or variations of the concept. Pre-chapter quizzes can cover rote terminology and embed videos for concepts that demand mental visualization. When students attend class and encounter the information a second time, lectures and activities are more productive and their confidence is enhanced. Ultimately, the goal is for students to form a deliberate habit of covering material (in all their courses) before it is presented in the classroom.

When attempting to solve higher-level, multi-stop problems, any mental concept that must be addressed is considered a step and often overlooked when teaching. Pre-chapter quizzes can be used to break down problems into questions that instructors naturally ask themselves in order to solve advanced problems.

One objective of the presentations is to encourage instructors to use technology for lower-level instruction to increase time students are exposed to their subject. Instructors will also be asked to be cognitively aware of their own critical thinking skills and model a series of  mental questioning that can introduced to students using technology.

Kimberly Bligh Terence young Feb 2016Kimberly Bligh and a BC team attended the ATD Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  Kimberly took time out of her schedule to drive from Atlanta to Conyers to spend time with Terence Young, one of our student athletes who got seriously injured playing football for us last term.  Jeff Chudy and Sandi Taylor have been supporting Terence all these months and he is now back in San Diego for his second surgery as a result of his football injury.  I am so proud of all these individuals who go out of their way to support our students.  You inspire me!

Oliver Rosales:  Among a “murderer’s row” of incredible educators, no one at BC throws more of himself and his passions into his work than BC Associate Professor of History Oliver Rosales.  And when that passion lands his work — and BC — front and center of a nationally-televised broadcast…well, that demands some recognition.

In celebration of last fall’s 40th anniversary of the seminal Delano Grape Strike, Oliver coordinated a series of on-campus events and observances of that 1965 occurrence that’s not only one of the Central Valley’s watershed moments of the past century, but one of the most important workers’ rights events in U.S. history.

rosales1

Oliver Rosales

The specter of what happened in Delano 40 years ago still looms large — so when Oliver brought a fleet of nationally-renowned scholars for a Delano Grape Strike symposium, C-SPAN decided to air that discussion live.

Held in conjunction with our friends at CSU Bakersfield, the symposium drew more than 350 attendees and was viewed nationwide on C-SPAN.  Lorraine Agtang, who participated in the 1965 Delano Grape Strike as a member of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, joined a panel discussion on the strike and its legacy.  The discussion also branched deeper into the formative days of the Farm Workers Movement.

It was a fantastic event that you can still watch on the C-SPAN website.  Fantastic work, Oliver!

Grape-strike

 

Reggie Williams: As with Oliver’s symposium, it’s truly exceptional when work generated right here on our campus can stand on a national stage and be rightfully recognized for its brilliance.

Reggie Williams

Reggie Williams

I wrote here on the blog last October about BC Philosophy Professor Reggie Williams’ thought-provoking talk at the Levan Center about race, wealth and inheritance.  Well, now the rest of America will get a chance to hear his enlightened presentation when Reggie delivers his work at next month’s National Council for Black Studies Conference in Charlotte, NC.

The conference is among the most high-profile of annual events furthering the development of Black/Africana Studies as a respected academic discipline.

Reggie presents his findings collected in pursuit of the central reasons behind America’s overwhelming Black/White wealth gap.  As Reggie discovered, while income disparity does play a role in the gap in wealth disbursement along racial lines, it is much more closely tied to 200-plus years of laws and practices surrounding inheritance in America.

Philosophy…and more

Staying with Reggie and his co-workers in BC’s standout Philosophy Department, I received a great email from Moya bragging about her colleagues.  She says:

I am so proud of my department, and I have to share with you how great they are! Just because I am so vain and humility has its limits.

Here are some highlights of BC’s active Philosophy department:

Reggie Williams and Rene Trujillo are continuing the monthly Gadfly Café sponsored by the Levan Center where faculty, staff, students and the community gather to discuss how relevant issues affect our lives.

Anne Poetker is coordinating the Philosophy Department’s Student Colloquium, where, supported by the rest of the philosophy faculty, students submit papers and read them for the experience of being professional academics and to potentially win a $500 scholarship.

Moya Arthur is leading a book group for faculty and staff reading Jared Diamond’s latest book, Until Yesterday in anticipation of Jared Diamond’s lecture at BC (which is coming up on Apr. 6).

It’s always fantastic when faculty members like Moya reach out about the great work happening in their corner of our BC universe.  First, it’s a perfect way to help keep me up to speed on everything going on on our bustling campus at any given time. There are just too many plates spinning every day to stay intimately involved with each one of them, so I’m a huge fan of the updates!

But more than that, emails like this come to me all the time — and they serve as an inspiring glimpse at the day-to-day quality work happening at BC.  From Philosophy to Biology, from Nursing to Agriculture, from Art to Engineering, every single department at BC is home to its own collection of daily work engaging both students and the broader Kern County community in the pursuit of academic or social enlightenment.

Student colloquia and book groups may not “grab headlines” like a county award or a national television broadcast or presentation audience — but those types of activities are the lifeblood of what make BC so vital, day in and day out.

Across the board, the abundant heart exhibited everyday by the faculty and staff who serve this campus and our students is an inspiration to me.  I couldn’t ask for a better band of colleagues.  We are….BC!