Tag Archives: Robert Rodriguez

BC & Bakersfield: Community Strong

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

2019 Media Music Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcoming Our first Cougar-Renegade Class of 2023!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BC Hosts Kern EDC Board Meeting

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

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

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

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

Jack Scott Fundraising Institute

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

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

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

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

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

Summer Bridge

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

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

BC Scholarship in Memory of Stephanie Marie Gonzalez

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

In memory of Stephanie Marie Gonzalez

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

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

Olivia Garcia recognized

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

Fun Photos:

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

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

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

Athletics on the Radio

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

Brandon Urry and Danny Morrison
Brandon Urry and Fernando Abriz

President’s Cabinet Retreat

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

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

Exec Office Retreat

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

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

Early College Retreat

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

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

Exec Office Birthday Celebration

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

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


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Celebrating our people

Pam and Sonya June 24 2016Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, June 25th and just a wonderful day to be a Renegade.

The last two weeks have been all about family.  Daughter’s graduation and then helping her pack to head off to her one-year fellowship.  And with my mom visiting, there were daily walks and talks.  Looking at albums when Eisha was a baby, at Highland High at UC San Diego and at medical school.  And then there was the cooking…..wonderful meals every evening followed by freezing the leftovers for more wonderful meals in her absence.  What a treat!  Three generations of Christian women.  Life…..

Let me start my blog with the event of the week — A very special retirement.

Bill Parker and Erin MillerCan one person have an impact on a campus community?  The answer is yes. Just say the name, Bill Parker and people will gladly share their stories about how they came to know him and why they will remember him long after he retires. Bill has run our print shop for three decades and delivers paper to offices. He has been a permanent fixture at graduation, guiding and greeting the graduates and the employees as they take their seats. But what people remember about Bill is more that his job or how he volunteered, or how much he loved to play basketball. We will remember his perpetual smile, happy greeting and big heart. Bill, we will miss you but you will always have a place in our hearts.

And how do you celebrate a true Renegade like Bill Parker?  You have a retirement party and invite the campus community. Who comes? The friends he has made over the decades he has run the print shop at BC. Thursday night’s retirement party reflected how he has impacted the lives of so many people. Current and retired employees from across the BC community attended. It was a night for reminiscing, laughter and celebration.

The party started started in the Huddle, with food and memories of our friend and colleague. It became immediately evident that Bill had fostered a special relationship with each one. Joined by his daughter, Marta, and his son,  Malachi, we presented him with an engraved sculpture, recognizing his excellence and inspiration. More than 130 Renegades gathered to play a last game with Bill!

Bill Parker…always with a big smile, big hugs and a big heart!  And always a Renegade! We love you Bill!

Thank you Erin Miller and Marta Parker for planning this amazing event.  Also thank you Jennifer Marden and Eric Sabella for your support. Thank you Valerie Robinson for sending me the pictures and the video.

You may also enjoy my April 30th blog post that has a picture of Bill Parker with Trustee Romeo Agbalog.  Here is the link
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/04/30/sprinting-toward-semesters-end/

Tina Johnson

 

It brought me great satisfaction to see Tina Johnson’s email a few weeks ago  at 8:51 am, telling me that reading my blog was her Saturday ritual.  Tina, thank you!

“I wanted to let you know that I absolutely love your blog. It’s the first thing I do on Saturday mornings when I hear the little ding of my email go off alerting me that I have an email. It’s refreshing to see all the wonderful things that are going on at Bc. I’m so often stuck in my office working that I’m not able to get out and see all the great things that are happening around  our campus, you allow me to take those travels every Saturday morning. I just wanted to send a little thank you! You go girl!!!!!”

 

Bakersfield College Student Health and Wellness is embracing its mandate under BC’s Strategic Directions to “Ensure the health and wellness college value is integrated into campus activities and meetings.” That value is explained in Bakersfield College’s Core Values, specifically Wellness is envisioned as follows:

We believe health and wellness to be integral and foundational elements, and we understand that holistic education improves all aspects of the individual and the society including the mind, body, and spirit: through education, we will positively impact the health of the natural environment and the global community.

HealthFair_4College health can no longer be confined to Student Health Centers, as services are required across the full breadth of the Delano and Panorama Campuses. In 2013 Forbes Magazine explored this paradigm shift. The article, How College Health Centers Help Students Succeed, opens as follows:

“Of all the dramatic changes in higher education in recent years, one that goes largely unnoticed is the tremendous growth in the mission, services, and facilities of health centers. Decades ago most colleges and universities believed their only responsibility for student health was to set up a clinic to treat the sick and injured. Today, driven by a broader and, in our judgment, better understanding of health and its impact on learning, many institutions of higher education provide much more.”

Information Sharing.4To effectively address our mandate, Student Health and Wellness Services tells me that they are beginning a strategic planning process. One of the most important of the needs assessment tools we will be utilizing is the National College Health Assessment (NCHA).

Early adopters at BC are realizing not just the benefit to student health but new opportunities to integrate health into their curricula. These departments and faculty include Sarah Futrell-Baron, Public Health Sciences; Reggie Bolton, with Health and Athletics; Assistant Dean Carla Gard, Allied Health and Nursing; and Brent Burton, Emergency Medical Technician program.

Talking about Health and Wellness, I had drafted a write-up on BC’s Health and Wellness Fair in April that somehow didn’t make it in, so here it is for your easy read this Saturday morning.

Renegade Pulse Health & Wellness Fair

HealthFair_3The 16th annual Health & Wellness Fair, held on April 13, was another great success.

The fair was opened by keynote speakers Vice President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Director Matthew Constantine of Kern County Public Health and Ellen Eggert, Project Supervisor of Kern County Mental Health. Also present was the Medical Director of Student Health and Wellness, Dr. Ron Ostrum. [check out my March 25th blog that mentions Ellen Eggert https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/03/25/the-state-of-kern-county-is-strong/]

With approximately 40 community organizations represented, Bakersfield College’s Health and Wellness Fair was held from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm on the Student Services Lawn.

This outreach opportunity was provided to both campus and community members and offered free blood pressure checks, health screenings, and other related services and topics designed to increase awareness of health issues impacting Kern County. In addition to the keynote presenters, the featured speakers included Ray Purcell (Director of BC Student Health & Wellness Center), Robert Rodriguez (Officer, California Highway Patrol), Matt Constantine (Director, Kern County Public Health).

The fair was well represented by both campus and community. The BC Student Nursing Association had the popular blood glucose, blood pressure and Body Mass Index screenings. Fred Smith from Athletics and Kinesiology demonstrated conditioning. There was also a confidential HIV testing by Clinica Sierra Vista.  Thank you Steve Schilling.

Community representation was extensive, generous and far too many to list here. Officer Robert Rodriguez of the CHP helped call the fair to order. Kern County Fire and Hall Ambulance also turned out. A number of Health Care agencies enrolled for Cover California. Marley’s Mutts brought Therapy Dogs in training for lovable, tail wagging petting.

And did you catch Student Health and Wellness’ own Yolanda “Yolli” Puente, BCSGA Senator and Student Health Campus Correspondent Fitzgerald “Fitz” Graves, BC Director of Student Health & Wellness Center Raymond Purcell and BC nurse Debra Strong on morning television?

Firefighter Graduation

IMG_3749.jpg

Photo by Cara Jackson

On June 7, 2016, all 5 Squads of Bakersfield College Firefighter 1 Academy celebrated their achievements and were presented with their certificates. The audience watched as 31 cadets marched single file on the stage with serious faces and straight backs in respect to their profession.

As the night progressed, it  brought laughter when guest speakers voiced memories of funny moments each of the cadets had during their training. Deputy Chief Tyler Hartley spoke about how he hoped the cadets would apply the “training, lectures and lessons learned” and that they would “effectively convert those into everyday actions in order to give back to their community.”

Deputy Chief Benny Wofford also gave soulful advice when he said, “You don’t settle for less on the job, because that’s the difference between life and death. These guys show commitment.” This morning’s sad reminder with the Californian’s front-page story, by Harold Pierce, John Cox, and Steven Mayer, of the Erskine fire near Lake Isabella, the homes lost and death of two residents really drove that point home for me.

At the end of the night academy instructors, staff, guest speakers, and Fire Captains greatly contributed to the evening in a very positive and encouraging way. The group of cadet graduates included thirty men and one woman.

Thank you Tim Capehart for all that you do!

And thank you Chief Doug Greener and Chief Brian Marshall.  Here are two pictures I found on the web.  Chief Greener in the Bakersfield Life Magazine and Chief Marshall on Scott Cox

Doug Greener Page 154

First-Look-Brian-Marshall-and-Tyler-Townsend

Chief Brian Marshall, Officer Tyler Townsend on Scott Cox. Photo from the Californian 

 

Science Camp at BC and Chevron:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This summer BC is hosting on campus the Project Lead the Way Academy thanks in large part to the work and support of Chevron’s Adam Alvidrez. The PLTW Academy is a series of workshops offered to Junior High, Middle School, and High School Students interested in experiencing science, math, technology and engineering fields through STEM. These workshops will be ongoing through July and will be teaching kids everything from robotics to building an electric guitar.

This week 44 Jr High School kids had the opportunity to build and design a tiny house and work with 3D models. They commented that they were preparing themselves for future opportunities and this sounded like fun during the summer.

 

Chevron has greatly contributed to STEM by funding scholarships that provide teachers the opportunity to learn more about the STEM projects themselves and to then teach students at school. The main idea is to integrate disciplines together in class rather than isolated areas of study.

Check out the story by KGET http://tinyurl.com/jmp9mzx

And look what I found when I scanned the Bakersfield Life Magazine, on page 74:

Adam Alvidrez in Bakersfield Life June 25 2016

A note on our veterans

Sonya Christian - BCF-SterlingSilverDinner_09 cropped

Jerry Ludeke, Sonya Christian

Here is an email I received from Jerry Ludeke about the history of Student Veterans at BC.  As usual Jerry’s writing is just beautiful. Enjoy a little bit of Ludeke.

Sonya,

…..BC has a long history of hiring veterans to counsel veterans.  In 1942 Paul Freed, of our faculty, was put in charge of Minter Field. As that closed down near the end of the war, he returned to BC and was assigned to be Coordinator of Veteran Affairs, a post he held until 1953.  Grace Bird hired ex-marine Ed Simonsen as Dean of Men with specific oversight of the veterans programs.  Veteran John Collins’ initial assignment at BC included counseling the veterans.  The 1947 catalog list of administrators has listed right near the top:  Coordinator of Veterans’ Affairs (J. Paul Freed), Assistant Coordinator of Veterans’ Affairs (Fred Robinson), and Co-ordinator  of Veterans’ Advisement Center (Burns Finlinson).  Right below that are listed nine members of the Veterans’ Advisement and Co-ordination, including one woman and one member of the Veterans’ Administration.  After 1959, the veterans’ services seem to fall under the Director of Student Activities, a position held by veterans John Collins and Ron McMasters.

Meanwhile, the Veterans’ Club has kept going through the years.  (I am not aware of any breaks in it, only a name change…..but I haven’t researched that.)

I just wanted you to know that Paul’s marvelous efforts to expand these important services hold true to BC’s tradition of honoring our veterans.

Jerry Ludeke

Sonya cropped June 24 2016

Sonya Christian

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya ….. the luckiest and happiest college president in the whole world