Tag Archives: Romeo Agbalog

Live simply…so others can simply live

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 5, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

What a week…. started with Arun Gandhi visiting BC and Delano and ended the week in San Diego at a statewide meeting. Snapped some great photos, and snuck away one evening to check out Old Town San Diego.

Sunset Oct 2 2019….. Don’t forget your three wishes

Old Town San Diego is home to the first European colonial settlement in California. The San Diego Presidio and Mission San Diego Alcala were established in 1769. The mission was later moved further up the San Diego River, but the Presidio remained the center of town until the 1860s, when Alonzo Horton developed present-day downtown San Diego.

Today, visitors can wander through lush gardens, browse in shops for unique treasures, indulge great Mexican food, listen to strolling mariachis, tour a haunted building, or spend a day at a museum. Year round, Old Town is the place to be for food, folklore, and fun. For dinner, I had a chille releno and sopapillas which were delicious … although I must say that the sopapillas in New Mexico are the best I have had yet.

It seemed that there were many celebrating birthdays at the restaurant. Got introduced to the song Las Mananitas that is traditionally sung to wake up loved ones on their birthdays. So here it is for those of you celebrating your birthdays this weekend.

Arun Gandhi Speaks in Delano

This week’s visit by Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, made me go back and watch clips from Richard Attenborough’s 1983 movie Gandhi, which won a total of 8 Oscars including best picture, best director, and best actor.

Here are some clips, starting with a 2:37-min clip from the movie on his early years in South Africa.

A 2:43-minute clip

The funeral scene

Chamber Singers with Dr. Jen Garrett perform two pieces… You Will Be Found, and Bridge Over Troubled Water

Abel Guzman captured a side view of the Chamber Singers performing these two songs on facebook live.

When Dr. Arun Gandhi took the stage at Delano High’s RFK Auditorium on Monday, he started by asking the audience to participate in a thought experiment. He had everyone pair up, asking one person to hold their fist clenched as tightly as possible, while the other person did anything they could to get it open. After a few seconds struggling to force their partner’s hand open, he asked a simple follow-up question, “Did anyone ask their partner if they would open their hand?” This simple exercise helped motivate the primary theme of Arun Gandhi’s talk, the pervasiveness of violence in our everyday lives and how by reducing the passive violence within ourselves we can reduce acts of physical violence and conflict in our larger society.

The grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Arun’s appearance in Delano is one of the highlights of a full year of programming honoring the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth in 1869. Arun grew up in South Africa in the 1940s and became full of anger at a young age as he fell victim to prejudice in his home country. For his well-being, his parents sent him to live with his grandparents at the Sevagram ashram in India for two years. During that time, “Grandfather,” as Arun simply calls him, taught him how to channel his anger and react peacefully. Arun’s stories about his time at Sevagram are collected in his most recent book, The Gift of Anger and Other Lessons from My Grandfather.

Arun’s time with both of his grandparents taught him about anger, and in fact he says that it was his grandmother that taught his grandfather that reacting in anger was ineffective. He tells more about his grandmother in his book The Forgotten woman: The Untold Story of Kastur Gandhi.

I was happy to see that three of our trustees were able to attend this event — Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Trustee Jack Canale, and Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Arun described how physical violence is what most of us think of with the word violence, but there is also non-physical violence, or passive violence. When we over consume or waste abundant resources for our own comfort, we are acting with passive violence against the environment and humanity. Passive violence creates the conditions for and fuels physical violence, so recognizing that in our own actions becomes the conduit of change. We can stop over consuming and wasting our resources. Arun’s grandfather taught him that we must, “live simply so others can simply live.” 

Arun spoke of great leaders such as Cesar Chavez and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who studied Grandfather, even as he advised that their work was not done, and that we will not get rid of violence and know peace until we stop subjugating others, identifying people by labels, and judging others. To know peace, we must accept each other as human beings.

Sonya Christian with Arun Gandhi

In response to a question, Arun Gandhi said there is no more honorable work than manual labor and to never be ashamed of working in the fields. He stressed that education is not just for upward mobility, but for better understanding, and to never stop educating yourself as education is about enlightenment.

BC history professor Oliver Rosales moderated a Q&A session with Arun Gandhi, asking what his grandfather would think about the ways that his approach to non-violent political protest influenced Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, and countless other civil rights leaders over the last century. Arun responded that while Grandfather’s philosophy of “ahimsa” or non-violence is effective for resolving grievances between conflicting cultures, it is primarily a tool for self-improvement and growth, and people will continue to engage in the same conflicts over and over until they evolve to address the root causes of conflict within themselves.

See a short clip of his response in this Bakersfield Californian video.

Check out Robert Price‘s piece on the front page of The Bakersfield Californian “‘Never submit to cowardice,’ another Gandhi urges.”

Loved the coverage from Univision where the reporter talked to students as well as Abel Guzman, BC’s Exec Director of Rural Initiatives.

https://www.univision.com/local/fresno-kftv/nieto-de-gandhi-comparte-ensenanzas-con-estudiantes-del-condado-kern-video

Also KGET: https://tinyurl.com/y5n3f3kx

I want to recognize the person who really brought the community wide celebrations to life, Dr. Naina Patel. BC got engaged with these celebrations when Naina texted me on January 4, 2019 inviting us to participate. Thank you Naina Patel!

Dr. Naina Patel

Thank you Dr. Nicky Damania and the Office of Student Life, Abel Guzman, Executive Director of Rural Initiatives, Rene Ayon, Principal of Delano High School, Delores Rodriguez, Principal of RFK and everyone in the Renegade family who made his visit as warm and welcoming as possible.

Here are some fun pictures of the BC Team that made it happen.

The Gandhi Celebration will continue throughout the Fall semester. On October 25, you can check out the BC Choir and Chamber Singers at the Building Bridges in the World event, which will honor Gandhi’s legacy through singing and accompaniment by the Synergy String Quartet.

Distinguished Speaker Series: Erin Gruwell

Teachers can truly have a remarkable impact on their students’ lives. Our Distinguished Speaker from this past Wednesday, Erin Gruwell, is a perfect example of this. When assigned freshman English classes full of students that nobody believed could really succeed, she was determined to make a difference. Her heart and determination led her to capture her students’ stories in journals, which lead to the start of The Freedom Writers Foundation and the publication of The Freedom Writer’s Diary, a book composed of the students’ true stories written in Gruwell’s class.

Erin Gruwell

After the success of the Freedom Writers Diary, the story of Gruwell and the Freedom Writers was later adapted into a 2007 film starring Hilary Swank. Check out the trailer of the movie on youtube.

Gruwell lead a series of presentations in the Indoor Theater, getting very emotional in the process while showing clips from the “Freedom Writers” movie to describe how close they were to what actually happened. She brought out special guest Narrada Comans, one of the original Freedom Writers, who talked about the ups and downs of his life as a Freedom Writer over the last 20 years, and what a difference it made to be able to share his story and have the voice that “Ms. G” gave him.

Joining the audience in the Indoor Theater to hear the powerful message of Erin Gruwell and Narrada Comans were more than 500 dual enrollment students from Independence, Bakersfield, Mira Monte, Frontier, Ridgeview, McFarland, Vista, Cesar E. Chavez, Delano, and Robert F. Kennedy high schools. When the Dual Enrollment Department heard that Erin Gruwell would be coming to speak at BC, they purchased 500 copies of The Freedom Writer’s Diary to put into our dual enrollment classrooms across the county. These students were excited to meet Gruwell and her former student Narada in real life, and there were many emotional moments as students came to get their books signed and shared a bit of their own stories. 

Erin Gruwell and friend on stage

I would like to thank Erin Gruwell and Narrada Comans for being a part of the Distinguished Speaker Series. I would also like to thank BCSGA and the Cerro Author Series committee for putting this event on and continuing to bring great guests.

Erin Gruwell on stage

Our next Distinguished Speaker will be Dr. Paula Green from the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, who will be giving a presentation in Forum 101 on October 23. I hope to see you there!

Valley Fever Town Hall

On New Years Day in 2012, Rob Purdie woke up with an aggressively painful headache that wouldn’t go away. His energy felt depleted, and any amount of light in his eyes would intensify the migraines even further. As the weeks passed, he visited several doctors to try to find a cause, but none of them could give an answer.

Valley Fever Town Hall panel

By Valentine’s Day of that year, Purdie was hospitalized with Valley Fever, and the doctors at Kern Medical were beginning the months-long fight to save his life.

Valley Fever Town Hall panel

Purdie was one of the panelists for a town hall on Valley Fever at the Indoor Theater on Thursday. Congressman TJ Cox and the Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical organized the event, which provided the public with essential information on one of the deadliest diseases in the Central Valley, with approximately 3,000 cases diagnosed in Kern County alone last year.

Valley Fever Town Hall panel

Congressman Cox briefly spoke at the beginning of the event about what his team is doing to bring awareness of Valley Fever to the nation’s capital, with the hopes of securing financial resources for increased research into treatment. His comments were followed by the Valley Fever Institute, a panel of world-class medical experts who are working to save those affected with Valley Fever while conducting clinical trials and research to minimize the symptoms and eventually cure the disease.

Valley Fever Town Hall panel

Purdie’s story is typical for the majority of people afflicted with Valley Fever, as the nature of the symptoms make it difficult for a doctor to discover the cause if they don’t know to look for it. Valley Fever is caused by breathing in airborne spores of a fungus that is prevalent in the soil throughout the Southwestern US, but occurs in Central California in particular. The symptoms typically manifest as a flu that never ends. By the time that Valley Fever is usually diagnosed weeks or even months after symptoms appear, the disease has progressed into life-threatening complications.

Valley Fever Town Hall panel

The Valley Fever Institute aims to increase awareness of the disease so that people can be aware of the symptoms and let their primary care physicians know when they might need to be tested. To prevent getting Valley Fever, the institute recommends taking preventative safety measures like watering the ground when working or playing around soil and dirt.

Valley Fever Town Hall panel

At the end of their presentation, members of the Valley Fever Institute took questions from the audience about the economic impact of the disease, as well as what low-income patients can do to secure resources for treatment, which can cost thousands of dollars per month.

KGET Channel 17’s Eytan Wallace was in attendance to provide local media coverage for the event. Visit KGET.com to read more.

Thank you to Congressman Cox and the Valley Fever Institute for this important informational event, as well as everyone at BC who helped provide a welcoming space for this event to occur.

Early College Football Night

Pictured, in no particular order: Steve Watkin, Mayor Karen Goh, Jean Fuller, Romeo Agbalog, Brian Bell (McFarland High School Principal), Tony Cordova, Kimberly Bligh, Aaron Resendez (McFarland Unified School District Superintendent), Jim Beltran (McFarland USD Board of Trustees President), and Angel Turrubiates (McFarland USD Board of Trustees Vice President)

I was so happy to have Early College students from McFarland High School Early College and Arvin High School join me at last Saturday’s home football game! Before the game began, students were invited to a resource fair where our wonderful CTE, Counseling, Umoja, EOPS, Next Step, Finish in 4, Outreach, Rural Initiatives and Early College teams were giving out swag and information to these young Renegades. The students also enjoyed free tacos and played lawn games together while waiting for the football game to start.

Early college football night
Pictured, in no particular order: Jean Fuller, Russell Fuller, Jerene Bastisti, Pam Chambers, Dana Brennen, Joe Brennen, Courtney Dunbar, Lindsay Mayo, Kaelyn Peterson, Brent Peterson, Annie Beard, and Jeremy Beard 

The game started with McFarland Unified School District Superintendent Aaron Resendez doing the coin toss, and at halftime we had two Early College students compete to win the relay challenge. Both students left winners, with prizes provided by our Athletics Department.

Check out these great photos of KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog and McFarland School District Superintendent Aaron Resendez being interviewed at halftime by Vance Palm

And, here are some great shots of our amazing new football field!

Thank you to Kylie Swanson and Early College, Outreach, and Athletics for providing this exciting event for our Early College students. I can’t wait to do this again next year!

Here are some pictures — thank you Mayor Karen Goh.

New Employee Orientation

Bakersfield College has a new way to connect with our employees. This week kicked off our New Employee Orientation, welcoming recent classified and management employees with a full-day orientation designed to get them acclimated to the college and more knowledgeable about BC processes and structure. We welcomed employees from financial aid, athletics, food services, and many others.

BC new employees group shot
Front row, left to right: Rena Hamblin, Michelle Puentes, Michelle Kruse, Lysander Ramos
Back row, left to right: Benjamin Balderama, Jonathan Hernandez, Jeff Keith, Alexis Pitcher, Fidel Cabuena, Nick Chidgey

Participants learned about public safety, IT, BC’s culture, and got to take a tour of the campus. Along with this orientation, Michele Bresso, Todd Coston, Dena Rhoades and Pam Rivers have developed New Classified and New Manager academies that will kick off in November, designed to continue the professional development of new employees and those who want to increase their skills.

Welcome to BC, new employees! We can’t wait to learn together.

BASECAMP 2019: Prison Educators Retreat

BC’s Inmate Scholar program and Cerro Coso Community College, in collaboration with the Corrections to College California organization and New York University’s McSilver Institute, co-hosted the first ever Prison Educators Retreat at Tehachapi Mountain Park on September 26-29. Known as BASECAMP2019: Prison Educators Retreat, the event focused on professional development opportunities and personal wellness during a multi-day and overnight retreat located in a unique natural setting, as opposed to the traditional hotel conference venue.

Inmate Scholars Program Retreat

The event was attended by nearly 80 people teaching face-to-face college programs throughout California’s prisons and jails, including Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso Community College, College of the Redwoods, Southwestern Community College, San Diego City College, Cuesta College, Antelope Valley College, Norco College, Imperial Valley College, Allan Hancock College, Columbia College, Folsom Lake College, Chaffey College, Cal State LA, and the Prison University Project in San Quentin.

Inmate Scholars Program Retreat

Bakersfield College Inmate Scholar program attendees included Dan Hall, Angelica Perez, Diana Alcala, Camilla Anderson, Heidi Forsyhe, Dana Heins-Gelder, Bryan Hirayama, Michael Muhme, Shawn Newsom, Gabriel Searcy, La-Reina Villanueva, Joseph Tipay, Sue Ann Villaros, and Sara Wallace.

Inmate Scholars Program Retreat

BC Program Managers Support the Bakersfield Homeless Center

Last Friday evening, four of BC’s program managers were spotted at the Crystal Palace in support of the Bakersfield Homeless Center at their annual Boots and Bachelor auction. Both ticket sales and bids directly support the mission and action of the Bakersfield Homeless Center, which provides services for those in need across Kern County. The BAKHC website states that the center “creates a strong safety net for homeless and at-risk families by providing a broad continuum of services which begins with basic shelter.”

Kylie Swanson, Monika Scott, Endee Grijalva, Lisa Robles
Cowgirls Kylie Swanson, Monika Scott, Endee Grijalva, and Lisa Robles roped in a good time! Yee-haw!
Lisa Robles and Endee Grijalva decked out with light-up swag
Lisa Robles and Endee Grijalva decked out with light-up swag!

Watch the video below to learn how the Bakersfield Homeless Center got started.

Phillips 66 Industrial Automation Presentation

The Career Education Department welcomed Phillips 66 on Wednesday, September 25 for an industry overview presentation of their company. Phillips 66 brought several members from their team including representatives from Lost Hills, Taft, Long Beach, their headquarters in Houston, and our very own Industrial Automation Graduate, Edwin Marroquin, who completed his Baccalaureate in May 2019.

Phillips 66 presentation and students
Phillips 66 team tours Industrial Automation labs.

The Industrial Automation students had an exclusive opportunity to meet and greet with members from their team which included their West Region Engineering Operator, Lead University Technical Recruiter and Director of University Relations. Phillips 66 was so impressed by our faculty, modern labs, and students’ participation, they envision a greater investment into the college and its programs in the future.

Phillips 66 presentation and students
Students receiving insight information from Phillips 66 team.
Phillips 66 presentation and students
Students meet and greet Phillips 66 staff.

Watch Edwin’s success story below:

You Gotta Have Faith

Librarian Faith Bradham presented a paper last December at the Library Assessment Conference in Houston, TX. This paper showcased a mixed-methods assessment of library services at BC she completed in Fall 2017. The conference proceedings have now been published and her paper is available to read now. Way to go, Faith!

Faith Bradham

Fun Photos

Outreach Reaches Out

Web Content Editor Aricia Leighton shared this great photo of the Outreach team after the Arun Gandhi event. They pulled their team together at the last minute and helped out tremendously.  Thanks, everyone!

Outreach department
Boy Scouts of America 2019 Distinguished Citizens Gene and Linda Voiland
College Council

Here are some great photos that Jennifer Serratt sent over from our College Council meeting on Friday.

Found on Facebook: Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio

Adjunct Art Professor Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio tagged me on Facebook in this photo of a beautiful sculpture he created.  The size of this piece is 18 feet tall × 16 feet long × 5 feet wide. Which is bigger: the sculpture, or his artistic talent!

Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio Art
Found on Facebook: Renegade Softball and Cheer Team at St. Vincent De Paul’s BBQ

Mary Jo Pasek had a wonderful evening with her BC family working at the St Vincent BBQ.

Found on Facebook: Partners in Arvin

Endee Grijalva, Program Manager for Adult Education, sent me this flashback to the accreditation forum, where BC saw tremendous community support from our partners in Arvin.

Left to right: Abel Guzman, Casey Yeazel (Grimmway Academy), Jesse Oropeza, Ed Watts (Arvin High Principal), Endee Grijalva, Lupe Aguirre, and Jaime Lopez

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (9/22-9/28) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week.

renegades of the week

Lanie Camarillo, Volleyball

In two wins last week Lanie collected 22 kills and zero errors. In the 3-1 win over Canyons (9/25) she had a .387 hitting % and in a 3-0 sweep over Glendale she had a .500 hitting %.

Bryan Gaxiola, Men’s Cross Country

With a time of 21:38 Bryan took first place at the Bakersfield Invitational in leading the men’s cross country team to their first, first place finish as a team of the season.

Men’s Basketball Serves at the Mission of Kern County

This last Saturday our men’s basketball team headed to the Kern County Mission to serve the homeless and needy people of our county. They served meals and even took the time to play basketball with the residents, and showed off their dunking abilities! Thanks Coach Righ Hughes for getting your student athletes involved in our community.

Renegade Report: Volleyball

Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our three-time conference champion volleyball team. Coach Carl Ferreira along with players sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss the season and who they think would play them in the movie of their life.

Renegade Athletics Scores

Upcoming Athletics Events ‘On the Hill’

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Tues. 10/8 @ 4pm – Women’s Soccer vs. Citrus
  • Wed. 10/9 @ 9am – Women’s Golf hosts Bakersfield Tournament (WSC #6)
  • Fri. 10/11 @ 6pm – Wrestling vs. Moorpark

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC: Creating Partnerships to Better Kern

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, September 28, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Pre-dawn Saturday, Sep 28 2019

Taking sunrise and sunset photos while I walk Neo is one of mine…..As we move into the fall season with the sunrise getting later and later (today’s sunrise was at 6:49 a.m.) my photos are a lot darker. This morning’s walk was breathtaking with the ocean-like breeze softly washing over my face and hair. I am so grateful for all the blessings in my life. I am so grateful for all my friends and colleagues at Bakersfield College. I am so grateful for all of Bakersfield, a community that cares abundantly and gives abundantly.

Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take, But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away

Here are a few more sunrises and sunsets for you Bakersfield …. all of them taken last week while walking Neo.

Sunrise Sep 23, 2019
Happy dog
Sunset Sep 23, 2019

Unveiling the New Launchpad Program

Dave Teasedale, Tony Cordova, Sonya Christian, Janine Johnson

The Launchpad is Bakersfield College’s new entrepreneurship center developed to provide a system of connected resources and support for local entrepreneurs to help increase the number of new businesses in our community and to assist small businesses to grow.

Dave Teasdale, BC student Timothy Salvador, Sonya Christian and John Means

Speakers at the ribbon cutting included Morgan Clayton, JP Lake, David Teasdale, and our student innovator Timothy Salvador. It was great to see support from Trustee Romeo Agbalog and local leaders like Jay Tamsi, Mike Lukens, Nora Dominguez, Kelly Bearden, and Keith Brice. After the ribbon cutting, professor Rudy Menjivar gave a special demonstration of the StartItUP program. 

The Launchpad is centrally located in downtown Bakersfield, close to many small businesses downtown.

With local media

The idea for the Launchpad sprung from working with the passionate people partnering to create the Kern Initiative for Talent and Entrepreneurship (KITE). We are thankful to be supported by: 

  • Bank of America
  • Bitwise
  • Kern Economic Development Corporation
  • Kern Initiative for Talent and Entrepreneurship
  • Kern Economic Development Corporation
  • CSUB Small Business Development Center
  • CSUB Small Business and Entrepreneurship Program
  • MCSC Kern Women’s Business Center
  • Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce
  • Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce
  • North of the River Chamber of Commerce
  • StartItUP
  • 59 Days of Code

On Monday, John Cox wrote an article in The Bakersfield Californian explaining the BC LaunchPad project on how the center will provide an important component for Bakersfield’s small businesses and startups. Thank you to NV Catering for the amazing table of goodies and the custom carved BC Watermelon too!

Coverage by other local media outlets includes:

Nick Hill, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Jay Tamsi, Sonya Christian, Kelly Bearden, Manny Mourtzanos
Dave Teasdale, Mike Lukens, Kelly Bearden, Nora Dominguez, Jay Tamsi, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Manny Mourtzanos, Sonya Christian, J.P. Lake, Timothy Salvador, Morgan Clayton, Keith Brice and fellow community leaders

You can also visit the LaunchPad’s online through Bakersfield College’s website

Dave Teasdale speaking to community leaders about the new LaunchPad

Autumnal Equinox

Over the weekend, the Science faculty had a party at Nick Strobel’s house to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox.  Thanks for opening your home to us, Nick! 

The autumnal equinox occurs between September 21 and 24 every year, representing the moment when the sun appears to cross the celestial equator southwards toward the constellation Libra, causing the Northern and Southern hemispheres to receive the same amount of light.

Sonya Christian, Gilbert Ayuk and Chris Benker

Communities celebrate the equinox with harvest festivals, including the Mid-Autumn Festival recognized as an official holiday in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, as well as the Japanese Buddhist holiday Higan.

Bakersfield College AB 540 Program Team Attends Convening

The newly established AB 540 Program team and 2019-2020 student fellows attended the California Campus Catalyst Fund Grantee Convening from September 13-14 in Long Beach, CA.  

Marivel Servin, Rafael Centeno, Maria Jaimes, Imelda Valdez-Simos, Dr. Anna Laven

Focused on deepening the knowledge, skills and resources needed to expand support and institutionalize services for undocumented students and their families, teams of administrators and students from 32 campuses convened for two days of reflection and planning.  

The Bakersfield College team included Imelda Simos-Valdez (Director), Dr. Anna Laven (Program Manager), Rafael Centeno (Educational Advisor), and student fellows, Maria Jaimes and Marivel Servin.  

Attendees connected with other CSU and CCC partners and learned promising practices that support academic programming, entrepreneurship, mental health, and legal services. 

Rafael Centeno, Marivel Servin, Maria Jaimes, Imelda Valdez-Simos, Dr. Anna Laven

Thought to be the first of its kind, the work undertaken under the California Catalyst Community emphasizes both the power of data and storytelling.  The first day of the convening closed with a particularly powerful student panel of AB 540 youth leaders who shared their strategies for living and thriving. One panelist described the power of living life in the moment even while weighing the risks in leaving the house each day.  

Marivel Servin, Dr. Anna Laven & Maria Jaimes

The AB 540 Program has grown 25% in just two months, including 1,204 students, over 70% of whom are identified as undocumented.  AB 540 is state legislation that allows students who attended and graduated from a California high school to receive non-resident tuition exemption.  

Imelda Simos-Valdez

It is estimated that nearly 100,000 undocumented students graduate from high school every year, and almost a third of undocumented high school graduates live in California. Check out this article from the Migration Policy Institute for more detailed information this statistic.  

Thank you to our AB 540 Program team for representing Bakersfield College at this important event! 

BC’s Rural Initiatives team updates Kern County Board of Supervisors on Game Changer grant

In 2015, Bakersfield College received a grant from the County of Kern’s Employers Training Resource Center to facilitate Early College work at Arvin High School. Thanks to the support of Supervisor Leticia Perez and Kern County Taxpayers Association Executive Director Michael Turnipseed, Bakersfield College secured $400,000 to establish Early College pathways for Arvin High School students known as “Game Changer.” 

I just went back to my blog post of August 4, 2015…. was so happy to see it. check it out https://tinyurl.com/y2ndr8ry

Arvin High Project Team
2015 team who presented to the KC Supervisors. Rich McCrow, Gustavo Enrique, Jareth Regpala, Sonya Christian, Mike Turnipseed, Dave Teasedale, Al Noyola

On Sep 24th, our Rural Initiatives team provide the Board of Supervisors with an update on the Game Changer program. The Game Changer program was a catalyst for the Early College model of packaging Dual Enrollment and Concurrent Enrollment courses to put students on track to complete at least a year of college before high school graduation. With two cohorts in the pipeline at Arvin High, we now have over 100 students on track to complete at least 30 college units by high school graduation, and many more students earning a wide range of college credits.

Dean Corny Rodriguez, Exec Dir Abel Guzman, Mike Turnipseed and BC’s Rural Initiative Team
Abel Guzman presenting to the Board of Supervisors

I would like to thank the Rural Initiatives team, particularly Endee Grijalva, Jesse Oropeza, Maggie Rodriguez, and Tania Burgos who are moving the work of Game Changer along and in doing so moving the needle on degree attainment in South Kern. Thank you Ed Watts, Principal of Arvin High for your support.

California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) Visits BC

Bakersfield College hosted a campus visit for representatives from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO), including Board of Governor’s member Hildegarde (Hilde) Aguinaldo, the California Department of Finance, and the Legislative Analyst’s Office to learn about BC’s work.  We started the day with a campus tour to see the extensive construction underway, followed by a presentation on BC’s student completion and equity agenda. 

Seen in the News: BC’s Trainings

On Friday morning, The Bakersfield Californian’s Ema Sasic reported on BC’s recent Active Shooter Response Training in her piece “BC’s active shooter training teaches community how to be prepared for potential risk.”. BC’s Public Safety offers these informational sessions so that both our campus and community can be familiar with the best practices, drills, exercises, and preparation.

Sr. Officer Jason Mattheus leading one of the public training sessions. Photo courtesy of The Bakersfield Californian

These efforts have the ability to save lives.  Special thanks to Ema Sasic for the article.

BC Recognized in PayScale’s College Salary Report

I was so pleased to see the new PayScale College Salary Report come across my inbox!  BC is in the top 20% of schools with the highest-paid graduates surveyed. PayScale reported that early career pay for BC graduates averages $46,300 per year, while mid-career pay averages $70,900 per year.  Make sure to read the full  2019 College Salary Report at this link! 

One of our BC students!

BC’s Rural Initiatives on Telemundo

Telemundo recently invited Manual Muralles and Jaime López to speak on BC’s Rural Initiatives. The goal of BC’s Rural Initiatives is to bring college closer to home so students that live in rural communities have equal access to BC’s services. Muralles and Lopez also spoke about BC’s Early college program that offers students in high school the opportunity to start taking college courses and potentially complete an associates degree at the same time as they earn their high school diploma.

Special thanks to Manual Muralles, Jaime Lopez, and Telemundo for this special piece. Check it out at Telemundo.

Solving the Equation to a Successful STEM Transfer

The STEM Team (Laurel Mourtzanos and Josh Shackelford) partnered with Transfer Center Director, Mark Osea and took students on a journey into their transfer futures with topics such as academic preparation, determining the best university fit and financing their education. Score another Pathway victory!

Pathway to Success Conference

Dr. McClenic and Counseling Center Support Team (Bernadette Martinez, Peer Mentor Stephen and Peer Mentor Gino) hosted the first of three conferences in Fall 2019 for students on probation and/or dismissal. Topics such as Road to Redemption, Financial Aid & Budgeting, Starfish, and Academic Support Services equipped students with the necessary knowledge and tools to make a successful comeback to Bakersfield College!

Students attending the Pathway to Success Conference

Heather Pennella Keeps Bakersfield Beautiful

I love following our very own Heather Pennella (Alumni & Donor Relations Manager) on social media to see all of her community participation!  Heather is currently Mayor Karen Goh’s alternate appointee and is serving as the 2019 Chair of Keep Bakersfield Beautiful, a volunteer committee associated with the City of Bakersfield. The mission of Keep Bakersfield Beautiful (KBB) is “to engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community.” The City of Bakersfield Mayor and City Council Members each appoint one board member and one alternate board member to the KBB Committee. Committee members work to organize community cleanup and tree planting events, educate the public on proper solid waste disposal practices, and beautification projects throughout the city. 

Heather was the lead on the Truxtun Lake cleanup last Saturday in celebration of California Coastal Cleanup Day. Thank you Mayor Goh for capturing these great photos! 

Transfer Day Highlight Reel

Earlier this month, Bakersfield College celebrated Transfer Day with representatives from over 60 colleges and universities. Various CSU, UC, out of state, and private colleges were in attendance to give students the information they need to transfer to the 4-year school of their dreams. Check out the highlight reel created by our Marketing video intern, Thanh.

Fun Photos: Kern East – West Collaborative Leadership Convening

Earlier this week BC hosted the Kern East – West Collaborative Leadership Convening with local community leaders. Attendees discussed what the collaborative’s priorities are, why they’re doing the work that they are, and what are some resources to support naval air weapons china lake. Important work with smart, passionate and dedicated people.

Fun Photos:

BC Paints!

Fun to see our Renegades hanging out outside of work.  Nicky Damania, Michelle Pena, Kat Whitehead, Tonya Davis and Debbie Martin joined forces for painting at Blush and Brush last week, and I can say, I didn’t know we had so many artists on staff! 

Exec Office Birthday Celebration

Our Executive Office team, budget team, and Academic Services team celebrated birthdays for Billie Jo Rice and Jordaun Bennett.  Thank you to Edie Nelson from our Academic Services area for graciously organizing this quarterly gathering! 

Our Exec Office team enjoying some savory treats!
Found on Social Media

Loved this photo posted by Andrea Thorson on Facebook. Had to grab it for my blog.

Andrea Thorson and her son Monty

Women’s Basketball Serves at the Mission of Kern County

This last week our women’s basketball team had the incredible opportunity to give back to the community by serving in the Mission of Kern County. As a team they walked the local streets and handed out water bottles to those homeless people in need. Thanks for getting our Renegades out in the community Coach Paula Dahl!

Make sure to come to the Early College night at the 9/28 football game

Join us at the Inaugural Early College High School Football Night where you can learn more about the Early College resources and programs available at BC. Enjoy free food, games, and giveaways, and root for your Renegades as they take on Golden West College.

Check in on the lawn across from the North entrance of Memorial Stadium for free game tickets and free food. The first 200 high school students will receive free food, and all high school students will receive a free game ticket.

Students must bring their current High School ID card to get a game ticket and food. Be sure to show your school pride by wearing your High School colors!

Renegade Athletics scores from this past week

Football Gets First W of the Season

Wrestling places 7th at Sac City Tournament

Men’s Soccer Tops Allan Hancock, 2-1

Women’s Golf Competes at Morro Bay Invitational

Volleyball Conference Opener Over Canyons

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. 11/1 at 4pm Men’s Soccer vs. El Camino
  • Wed. 11/2 at 6pm Volleyball vs. Citrus
  • Fri. 10/4 at 2pm Men’s Soccer vs. Santa Monica
  • Fri. 10/4 at 4pm Women’s Soccer vs. Canyons

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Football, New Faculty, it must be Fall

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, September 14, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Who doesn’t love looking at the moon. Always beautiful….always kindling emotions within our souls… Last night was a special full moon…A full moon on Friday the 13th! Enjoy the photo I snapped while walking Neo and then the other taken by Nick Strobel.

New Faculty Reception

Per tradition, we welcomed our new faculty before the first football game of the season last Saturday.

See all of them on the Bakersfield College New Faculty page.

We had lots of great food, prepared by our food services.

Our Deans were there to welcome everyone.

Among the dignitaries present, Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh energized the group with her usual upbeat message ending with the BC chant….We are BC!

Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg greeted the new faculty

Was happy to have Congressman Bill Thomas at the event. Was a real treat that he brought as his guest retired faculty member Gaylen Lewis.

Gaylen Lewis, Sonya Christian

Aren’t these Renegade tattoos great?

Catherine Rangel, Sonya and Jo Ellen Barnes

Football Season Begins 

A highlight for me was hearing the BC Men’s Choir for the first time. Jen Garrett you just keep raising the bar on our music program. Thank you!

Men’s choir with the National Anthem
Sonya Christian with Jen Garrett and the BC Men’s Choir

Thanks to Measure J funding, the Renegade football team opened up the 2019 football season running out onto the beautiful, newly installed field turf field of Memorial Stadium. The field, the first football field in Bakersfield to have field turf, was the focal point of the evening as more than 5,100 fans packed into the stadium for the home opener. The game was broadcast locally on KGET, and I was the halftime show guest with Nick James. The game was also streamed on GoGades.com where over 6,000 fans tuned in, and broadcast on the radio at KERN 1180.

While the team had a tough game against Mt. SAC, they look to bounce back tonight on the road at El Camino at 6pm. The game stream will be live through GoGades.com and on the radio at KERN 1180. The next home game is September 28th at 6pm against Golden West. Be sure to fire up your grill for tailgating at that game as a $500 prize will go to the winner of the ‘Mexican Fiesta’ tailgating theme. Judging will begin at 4:30pm and end by 5:30pm. The winner will be announced at the game.

Romeo Agbalog, Karen Goh, Lilly Agbalog, Yasmine, Sonya Christian

Thomas Blackwell visits BC

Thomas Blackwell, fresh off the plane from Japan, explained during his Distinguished Speaker presentation, “The Liberty of Our Language Revealed,” on Monday, “challenges are just opportunities for growth.”

Blackwell putting a hand on the shoulder of a volunteer.

During his presentation, Blackwell brought up a few volunteers to demonstrate the ways that words affect our body. The audience could see how positive words made the person’s body language stronger, while negative words made their body language weaker.

In the evening, Blackwell gave a community presentation in the Edward Simonsen Performing Arts Center (PAC) Indoor Theater. 

Blackwell was the first of nine Distinguished Speakers scheduled for the 2019-2020 semester. The events are organized by the Office of Student Life to offer thought-provoking discussions to the campus community. 

Thomas Blackwell speaking.

I would like to thank the Office of Student Life, Dr. Jennifer Garrett, and BC Performing Arts Department for bringing this speaker to campus. Don’t miss the next Distinguished Speaker, Arun Gandhi, grandson of civil rights leader Mohandas Gandhi, in Delano on September 30 at 11:00 a.m.

You will be found

Right before she introduced Thomas Blackwell for the community presentation, Dr. Jen Garrett had the Chamber singers perform You will be Found. A beautiful piece with great words. Enjoy BC’s Chamber singers.

Have you ever felt like nobody was there?
Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere?
Have you ever felt like you could disappear?
Like you could fall, and no one would hear?Well, let that lonely feeling wash away
Maybe there’s a reason to believe you’ll be okay
‘Cause when you don’t feel strong enough to stand
You can reach, reach out your handAnd oh, someone will coming running
And I know, they’ll take you homeEven when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
And when you’re broken on the ground
You will be found So let the sun come streaming in
‘Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
Lift your head and look around
You will be found

Interview with Ema Sasic

I had a delightful interview from Ema Sasic of the Bakersfield Californian. Check it out at “Q&A: BC President Sonya Christian says the college will have its ‘best year yet’.”

Sonya speaking from podium.

Onam

Last week, I was invited to speak at the annual Onam celebration organized by Bakersfield Malayalee Association.

Sonya poses with 20 Onam participants.

Onam is an annual harvest festival in the state of Kerala in India, as well as a major religious and cultural celebration practiced around the world by Malayalees, which is Kerala’s primary ethnic group. The event was a lot of fun and given the passing of my mom, I particularly enjoyed immersing myself in the sights, sounds and smells of all things Keralite.

Sonya speaking on stage.

Thank you President Chinnu for the invitation. Thank you to my dear friend Valsa to hanging out with me and catching up. Time is a precious gift….the struggle is always finding enough of it.

President Chinnu Joseph, Sonya Christian, Solly Benny
Valsa Chandy, Sonya Christian, Anita Patel, Chinnu Joseph

Transfer Day

We’re less than a quarter of the way through the Fall 2019 semester, but students are already thinking about where they’re going to go next year after graduating from BC. To make students aware of all their transfer options, BC’s Transfer Pathways team organized a resource fair in the Renegade Crossroads on Monday with representatives from colleges and universities around the country.

Colleges from near and far had booths for this year’s Transfer Day, with the Finish-in-4 Team from Cal State Bakersfield alongside the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. All of the UC campuses were represented at the transfer fair, as well as CSUs such as Fresno State and Humboldt State. There were also booths for specialized trade schools such as the California Aeronautical University and Gnomon School of VFX and Animation, as well as for-profit distance learning colleges such as the University of Phoenix. BC’s Financial Aid, Career Education, and Public Safety Training programs managed to get in on the fun, too.

I’d like to thank the Transfer Pathways team, Outreach, and everyone who helped organize this year’s Transfer Day as an important resource for students looking to continue their education.

Early College Tiny Renegades visit Delano

The Early College Initiative at Bakersfield College has been serving high school students for several years now, and most recently has grown to serve more high schools throughout Kern County. While early exposure to college in 9th grade is important, the Rural Initiatives team has partnered with Delano Elementary School District to expose students as early as Pre-school! This past Monday morning the team welcomed a group of tiny Renegades from Albany Park Elementary to the Delano Campus. The students got a tour of the campus, got to do some chalk art in front of the Science and Technology building, and walked away with some BC souvenirs. They even learned the “We are BC” chant! Thank you Abel for sending me the 15-second video. Loved it! A big thank you to Rural Initiatives coordinator, Carolina Madrigal, and the rest of the team for making this visit possible.

Wounded Heroes Fund Lunch

Bakersfield College turned out for the Wounded Heroes Fund Annual Barbecue Fundraiser.  A number of BC employees purchased the lunches, prepared by Café Med, Mexicali and JM’s Café.  Our own Veteran Services was there giving out information and BC Nursing students were on hand helping put the food together. 

According to their website, the Wounded Heroes Fund (WHF)’s mission is, “To act as a service organization for those veterans and their families affected by the war on terror in an effort to provide them with support and appreciation they need for a healthy return to civilian life.”  Edie Nelson, and her husband John, went above and beyond, driving to the site of the barbecue to bring back lunch for the a number of staff members, including the President’s Office.  This busy day saw 2,850 meals sold!

You can support the WHF at their next event “Soaring with Heroes” hangar party at Minter Field on November 2nd.

EPIC Faculty Story

On August 14, 2019 Bakersfield College Communication faculty member, Dr. Chris Cruz-Boone traveled to the Stanford University Campus for a summer intensive as part of a fellowship on teaching. 

BC Classroom a Gateway to the World

Posing in a suit in a grand hall.

One way we carry out our mission is through the establishment and consistent assessment of our 4 Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

The fourth of these goal is “Engage: Engage productively in all levels of society – interpersonal, community, the state and the nation, and the world”.

With this goal in mind Communication faculty Dr. Chris Cruz-Boone applied and was accepted as Stanford EPIC fellow. 

2019-2020 Stanford EPIC Fellows Retreat

The EPIC fellow retreat hosted several renowned Stanford faculty to collaborate on materials and content with the goal of increasing global competencies.  The first collaborative session for fellows was facilitated by Jeremy Weinstein the Faculty Director, Stanford Global Studies Division. Director Gary Mukai and instructional designer Jonas Edman, from the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) shared existing resources on various topics aligned with common core standards. Open Education Resources (OER) or free online textbooks provide cost savings to students. Stanford has created a free application that challenges learners to engage with digital materials in complex and meaningful ways. The application called Lacuana Stories provides an interface where individual’s annotations can be inserted into the text. 

Dr. Cruz-Boone Project: Establishing Best Practices for Early College: Using Lacuna Stories in Culturally Responsive Teaching

Dr. Cruz-Boone uses digital learning resources, specifically Lacuana, as a mechanism to increase student engagement in the Arvin Early College program. Class materials will be designed for general education classes and aim to engage students to simultaneously explore relationships in cultural context of globalization and integrate these skills in the process of effective communication.

Very proud of Chris Cruz-Boone … very proud of BC faculty.

Fun Photos

Stephanie Stuart, Interim Food Services Manager worked all day Saturday to cover special functions, such as the New Faculty Welcome Dinner and the first home game of the football season, and still found time to help one of our long time BC football fans.

Loraine Wagner! She has been coming 50 years to the game. Thought you could pass this on! I gave her a ride to her car.

 With Cooper at new faculty reception. 

With Cooper, son of Faculty Heather Silva and future Renegade Football player, at new faculty reception.

Good looking team supporting Renegade Baseball fundraiser.

Athletics Update

Football Breaks in New Turf (Time-Lapse)

Check out this great time-lapse video (above) captured by Manny De Los Santos from May-August of the construction. The photos were taken by Brandon Urry and show the difference in the field from fall 2018 to fall 2019. We cannot thank Kern County enough for voting yes on Measure J!

Student Athlete Spotlight – Zach Hernandez, Renegade Football

Enjoy this week’s Renegade Student Athlete Spotlight video on Zach Hernandez from football. Zach talks about why he chose to come to BC and shares advice for future BC student athletes. This video was shot and edited by fellow BC digital media student Jacob Amado. Great work, Jacob!

Congrats to the 9/1-9/7 Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week!

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (9/1-9/7) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

BC Renegades of the Week Presented by Kern Schools Federal Credit Union.

Penelope Zepeda, Volleyball – In helping the team to three impressive wins over Santa Barbara, Long Beach and Pasadena, Penelope totaled 47 kills and 60 digs! She also added 40 perfect passes with a 2.43% passing percentage and 64% perfect pass percentage. 

Christian Gonzalez, Men’s Soccer – Scored the tying goal on the road against San Francisco City on Friday and had an assist in Saturday’s 4-1 win at Mendocino in playing 177 out of 180 minutes in both contents. 

Men’s Golf Serves the Community

This past Saturday our Men’s Golf team represented the college providing service to the Kern County Mission, helping sort and prepare food and make sure water cups were filled! Thank you Coach Coble and team! We love to see our Renegades out in the community making Bakersfield a better place.

Renegade Athletics scores this week:

Wrestling Set To Open Up The Season at Home

BC wrestling home opener sep 13 - 6:00 PM.

Our Renegade Wrestling squad opens up their season at home this weekend in the Gil Bishop Sports Center. Coach Brett Clark is excited for the new year and says “Expect our team to compete and wrestle to the end.” Coach Clark and the team placed 6th at the state CCCAA state tournament last year and we are expecting big things from them this season. Read their wrestling season preview.

Renegade Swim Hosts 5th Annual Free Community Swim Lessons

This last Saturday, the Renegade Swim Program led by Coach Matt Moon opened up the BC pool to host the 5th Annual Free Community Swim Lessons. Participation from the local community was great and those kids who attended were able to get a 25-minute swimming lesson followed by a snow cone! If you missed the event this year, be sure to join us next year!

Sonya in traditional Indian dress.



That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever


Women Who Create Ripples in Our Community

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, September 28, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

In light of celebrating International Women’s Day, I found myself browsing this post of 21 Powerful Quotes to Celebrate International Women’s Day and found myself pausing at this one by Mother Teresa.

"I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples."
Mother Teresa Quote. Graphic from boredpanda.com

Saint Mother Teresa demonstrated a life worth living; one of finding deep purpose by serving those in need, acting as a light in dark places, and inspiring others around the world to act in kindness. Saint Mother Teresa is an inspiration of generosity, persistence, resilience, compassion, and love – love with no boundaries.

Throughout my life, incredible women have taught me, mentored me, guided me, loved me, and inspired me and the best way I know how to thank them is to pay it forward. When women support each other, unbelievable things can happen.

A favorite song of our family growing up. Recognizing moms….. Let’s listen to Mother of Mine.

Women in Leadership Panel

Speaking of inspirational women, last Friday, March 1st, I hosted a panel in the Levan Center with some of Kern County’s most inspirational women leaders in politics, business and education to talk about their pathways to success. This panel was moderated by the inspiring Jean Fuller. It was great to see BC’s Levan Center filled with students, staff, and women from our community. Additionally, KCCD Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Romeo Agbalog came out to support the event.

Women in Leadership with Trustees
(L-R) Cynthia Giumarra, Rosalina Rivera, Blanca Cavazos, Sonya Christian, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Romeo Agbalog, Shannon Grove, and Jean Fuller
Liz Rozell and Jean Fuller

Jean Fuller – the first Republican woman ever elected to state office in California and a decades-long champion for BC – was the perfect moderator for our panel on Women in Leadership. Food Services provided a lovely selection of hors d’oeuvres and ornate plating and tea cups to create an elegant ambiance for the event, as well.

Attendees at Womens Panel

The panel consisted of some of the most successful women in Kern County. California Senator Shannon Grove represents the 16th State Senate district, taking Fuller’s place at the end of her second term. Shannon Grove — Senator, Entrepreneur, Veteran, Leader.

Blanca Cavazos has broken barriers throughout her career in education, becoming the first Latina principal of Arvin High School before being appointed as the first Latina Superintendent of the Taft Union High School District. Her family immigrated to the United States from Mexico when she was three years old. Blanca Cavazos — Superintendent, change maker, trailblazer, leader.

Cynthia Giumarra practiced law for more than 20 years, overcoming many barriers that women lawyers faced in the 1970s and ’80s, when it was still uncommon to see women on the other side of the courtroom bench. Since 2000, she has turned her life over to her faith, counseling women and leading Bible studies as a licensed minister for the Canyon Hills Assembly of God Church while raising awareness and fundraising for anti-human trafficking causes. Cynthia Giumarra — Minister, advocate, attorney, leader.

During Rosalina Rivera’s tenure as the Superintendent of the Delano Joint Union High School District, several schools in the district have been recognized with prestigious awards, including the California Distinguished Schools Award, the U.S. News and World Report Nation’s Best High School Awards, and the National Title I Distinguished School Award. In 2013, Rudy Salas recognized Rivera for her leadership and dedication, stating that she “is unwavering in her commitment to the children and the community of Delano.” Rosalina Rivera — Superintendent, innovator, collaborator, leader.

Even with all of their success, the panelists at the Women in Leadership event recognized the importance of balancing their personal lives and being committed to their families. While they have all had to remain strong to overcome barriers and accomplish their goals, finding time to quietly be with their families has helped them stay humble and keep things in perspective when dealing with coworkers and employees.

Standing ovation from the audience

Thank you to all of our panelists for taking time out of their busy schedules to speak to our students, and thank you to Prof. Olivia Garcia for organizing the programming for this event.

Olivia Garcia
Olivia Garcia
BCSGA President Ashley Harp and Sonya Christian
It was awesome to see BCSGA President Ashley Harp in attendance.
KCCD Trustees Nan Gomez Heitzeberg and Romeo Agbalog
KCCD Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Romeo Agbalog

Early College Parent & Student Workshop in Arvin

On March 6th, Members of the Early College Team which included Jesse Oropeza, Couselor and Maggie Rodriguez, Support Specialist, welcomed Arvin High Early College students and parents Wednesday night with smiles and tasty food! The
onsite support team facilitated a workshop, engaging students and parents together in learning about the education process.

Jesse Oropeza speaks to the parents in the room

More workshops like these are planned to keep future Early College students involved. Stay tuned!

Early College Flier

Celebrating our first Early College Graduates

Last May, thirty-eight Wonderful Ag Prep Renegades walked the stage at Memorial Stadium in recognition of earning a college degree from BC
through the Early College program a few weeks prior to receiving their high school diploma. Then later that August, the amazing team at Wonderful Education hosted a special celebration for their graduates and families and I was fortunate to share some remarks at this life-changing event. I first shared this in my blog on August 18th, 2018 and you can see the original post here.

Sonya Christian speaking at the Wonderful Ag Prep Graduation Celebration in August 2018

Lynda and Stewart Resnick, you had a vision for the Central Valley. You had a vision for this graduating class of 2018. You not only had the dream, you also created the infrastructure and the programming to make this dream come true. You invested significant resources because you believed in these communities, you believed in these young minds. With your work, you are transforming the Central Valley into a place of big dreams.

Sonya Christian, August 11, 2018

Take a moment to listen to these successful and inspirational young people who have completed the program and how it has impacted their futures.

Thank you Lynda and Stewart Resnick for your passionate investment in education, qualify of life and family, and the future of Kern County. We will be recognizing the Resnick’s at Sterling Silver on March 23rd.

Graduates stand to thank Lynda and Stewart Resnick
Thanking Lynda and Stewart Resnick

KCCD Trustee Jack Connell Visits BC

Students, Pepper and Trustee Connell
Industrial Automation students pose with Pepper, the robot and Trustee Connell

This week, BC faculty, staff, students, and administration welcomed one of our newest Trustees, Mr. Jack Connell to campus for a visit and tour. Trustee Connell represents the Area II service area and joined the KCCD Board in November 2018 with Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.

When Trustee Connell first arrived, he was welcomed by the VP Team, Liz Rozell, Zav Dadabhoy, and Mike Giacomini. Benny Balderrama, Program Manager for Campus Center Events and Services, and Samantha Pulido, SGA Vice President, provided an overview of Student Life, while Heather Penella welcomed Trustee Connell on behalf of the Bakersfield College Foundation. Deans of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez and Manny Mourtzanos, dropped by to highlight some of our outstanding institutional initiatives and instructional work.

Afterwards, Trustee Connell enjoyed a tour of the Nursing Skills Lab hosted by Ronnie Knabe, Automotive Engine Lab hosted by Justin Flint, and the Baccalaureate Robotics Lab hosted by Tom Rush. He met our BC humanoid robot, Pepper, and was instructed on how to maneuver robotic arms by INDA students, Yasmeen Reyes and Jose Manriquez. Student Carlos Medina discussed student employment using Jobspeaker.

Yasmeen Reyes and Trustee Connell
Yasmeen Reyes and Trustee Connell
Jose Marquez introduces Trustee Connell to a robotic machine
Jose Marquez introduces Trustee Connell to a robotics machine
Trustee Connell visits BC Nursing
Trustee Connell visits BC Nursing
Trustee Connell visits a BC workshop
Trustee Connell visits a BC workshop
Trustee Connell Visit
The tour ended with a lunch provided by BC’s Food Services.
(Back) Trustee Connell, Todd Coston, Jennifer Johnson Bernadette Martinez
(Front) Mike Giacomini, Liz Rozell, Nick Strobel, Jessica Wojtsjiak.

Industrial Automation hosts local HS students

Students learn about the Industrial Automation program

On March 1st 2019, Bakersfield College Industrial Automation hosted over 60 students from West High School, Regional Occupational Center, and Robert F. Kennedy High School to explore the Industrial Automation program.

HS Students see robotics in action
HS Students see robotics in action

Students were provided an overview of the Baccalaureate Degree, Career Education certificates and degrees, Campus Life, Student Government Association, Financial-Aid and a campus tour. At lunch, all guests were surprised by a special guest from a galaxy far far away.

Industrial Automation staff with R2D2
Industrial Automation staff with R2D2

Art on the Fly

BC’s Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio has been working with one of BC’s art students on the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and making a large-scale painting on the fly. He said in an email, “We are representing and concluding Black History Month on the Hip Hop & Poetry side. I teach Art and Hip Hop…

Professor Monterrubio says that his students talk about art, but also about music and other areas of the humanities, and how important it is to learn from these different realms. His student Keiolani inquired about African American female singers who showed empowerment with their music and life. Monterrubio shared that Lauryn Hill started in a group called The Refugees that was shortened to the Fugees in the 90s. He said, “I explained to my student that her music has transcended decades and is still as empowering today as it was in the nineties. So during that short conversation in regard to Black History Month and inquiry of my student, we decided to get some acrylic paint and use what we’ve learned in class regarding contrast/scale and create a huge portrait of Lauryn Hill.  As an educator of color, it’s important to teach identity and diversity when my students ask for it or need to hear it. We are educators. I am here for them. Together we make art.”

Passionate Professor: Bill Kelly

Thank you to Tabatha Mills at KGET for spotlighting a true Renegade and Ag champion and BC legend, Bill Kelly.

Uncommon Women

Graphic by Tish Gamez

UNCOMMON WOMEN AND OTHERS is a comedy/drama set in an East Coast women’s college during the 1970s and the second wave of feminism. Five former classmates compare notes on their activities since graduating and then, in a series of flashbacks, are seen back in their college days and we learn of the events, some funny, some touching, some awkward, some outrageous, that helped to shape them.

The play was presented in the Simonsen Performing Arts Center indoor theater and had its final showing last weekend. It was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein, and directed by theatre faculty member Bob Kempf.

(R-L): Emily Andrews, Jerusha Crystian, Emma Jordan-Scott, Jenna Joy Fernandez, Angela Caffee, Lorea Laverty, Lindsay Pearson, and Lucy Brown.
Photo by Michelle Guerrero
(R-L): Emily Andrews, Jerusha Crystian, Emma Jordan-Scott, Jenna Joy Fernandez, Angela Caffee, Lorea Laverty, Lindsay Pearson, and Lucy Brown.

Project Conexiones Estudantiles de BC

As a result of their leadership development, LUPE students are highly involved in Project Conexiones Estudantiles de BC, a new venture on campus to unite recognized student organizations on campus and community agencies who are advocates and raise the awareness of the  issues affecting undocumented students on campus.

BC LUPE Group Photo

In addition, engagement in the community and early outreach to our local high school students has been a major point of emphasis for the spring semester. LUPE has been intentional in advocating for post-secondary education for all Kern County residents, regardless of their immigration status.

BHS Parents Presentations
BHS Parents Presentations

Six LUPE student leaders visited the Parent Center at BHS and addressed over thirty Spanish speaking parents and their students ranging from 9th – 12th grade.  The information disseminated ranged from: Student Success Strategies, College Expectations, the Freshmen Experience, Resiliency/Perseverance Testimonies, EOPS Program, Dream Act/FAFSA, Scholarship Opportunities and how parents can better support and motivate the next generation.

Beyond #BringBackOurGirls: Women and Conflict in North East Nigeria

Hilary Matfess speaks at BC's Levan Center
Hilary Matfess speaks at BC’s Levan Center

Journalist, research analyst and Yale Ph.D. candidate Hilary Matfess came to campus on Wednesday to present her research on women’s roles in the Boko Haram insurgency group in North East Nigeria. Titled “Beyond #BringBackOurGirls: Women and Conflict in North East Nigeria”, Matfess’ visit was organized by the Women’s History and More Committee, who are focusing this year’s Women’s History Month programming on discussions of women in war.

Matfess originally came to Nigeria to interview men who had defected from Boko Haram, a jihadist insurgency that initially started as a religious volunteer group before evolving into one of the world’s most violent terrorist organizations. When she discovered that getting access to Boko Haram soldiers was pretty difficult, she decided to focus her research on women who were either abducted or volunteered to join Boko Haram.

“It became clear to me that these women’s experiences were not being highlighted,” Matfess said. “Understanding women’s experiences in their totality is crucial to understanding conflict.”

Over one million Nigerians have been displaced from their homes as a result of the Boko Haram conflict, and rampant corruption and human rights abuses in displacement camps by the Nigerian military gave women few safe options to turn to. International attention of Boko Haram peaked in 2014, when the group abducted 276 young girls from a school in the town of Chibok. A group of Nigerian activists started the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, which became rapidly shared across social media and led to several of the girls being released. However, Matfess said that the campaign oversimplified the complexities of the Boko Haram conflict and ignored the thousands of other people who had been abducted by the group, and negotiating for the release of several Chibok girls resulted in the group abducting even more women in the region due to their perceived increase in value.

Thank you to BC’s WHAM committee, BCSGA, and Hilary Matfess for the enriching and informative event.

Spotlight on Student Employment

The Student Employment department hosted their second hiring recruitment for local moving company Meathead Movers on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. During the recruitment, 28 students completed onsite applications and several others picked-up an application to return at a later time. We also had several students inquire about current on-campus employment and upcoming events at our jobspeaker tent.

Meathead Movers and Student Employment
Meathead Movers and Student Employment

Erin Norton, Operations Manager for Meathead Movers, will provide an update on number of hires within the next couple of weeks. He has also requested another hiring recruitment in April as he is impressed the caliber of students Bakersfield College produces. Thank you Domenica Trinidad, Job Developer for coordinating this event and a special thanks to Darrell Ballard, Athletics Program Manager, for his continual efforts in helping our students.

Kern County Career Expo

Speaking of gainful employment, the 2nd Annual Kern County Career Expo was held, Thursday February 28, 2019. In partnership with the Kern High School District, Bakersfield College Career Education supported this large scale event that drew in approximately 5,700 middle school, high school and early college students to explore career options within Kern County.

The 2019 Kern County Career Expo

There were over 140 companies in addition to, Regional Occupation Center, Bakersfield College, Taft College and Cal State Bakersfield to support students on the path to their future careers. Check out all the photos on BC’s Smugmug!

Connecting the Dots: Data-Informed Integrated Planning

BC Team at Connecting the Dots
BC Team at Connecting the Dots

A power team from BC attended the Connecting the Dots: Data-informed Integrated Planning conference in Fresno on March 1st. Nick Strobel, Dan Hall, Amber Hroch, Tony Cordova, Craig Hayward, Erica Menchaca, Billie Jo Rice, and Todd Coston spent the day looking through the student success dashboard, looking at data, identifying what we are doing now and then looking for opportunities to do things better.  All of this work then funneled down to how we can use this information to fill the gaps of our strategic plan so we can meet the goals set by the state for the Vision For Student Success.

Counseling Department Award

Renegade Student

Exciting news emerged from the BC Foundation this week that a self-funded Counseling Department award has been established. Fifteen members from the Counseling (Panorama & Delano), EOPS, DSPS, and BSIA departments came together and signed up for automatic, monthly payroll deduction. The contribution will total $285 per month generating $3,420 per year to support deserving BC students! The first $500 award will be given out this spring. What an amazing demonstration of care, teamwork and leadership!

CASE District VII Conference

 Susan Hubbell and Heather Pennella attend the conference
Susan Hubbell and Heather Pennella attend the conference

Susan Hubbell, Financial Information Manager and Heather Pennella, Alumni & Donor Relations Manager attended the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII Conference in Anaheim, representing Bakersfield College and the BC Foundation. CASE District VII represents institutions in the western region of the U.S., including Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah. The four-day conference was stacked with sessions focused on alumni relations, advancement services, philanthropy, leadership and communications. Susan and Heather took part in many educational sessions during the conference to bring back information and apply it to the Foundation’s growing efforts towards improved alumni outreach, donor stewardship and a robust scholarship program.

Go Red Luncheon

Mayor Karen Goh, Lynnette Zelezny, Sonya Christian, Beatris Espericueta-Sanders, Norma Rojas-Mora, and Lourdez Nilon
Mayor Karen Goh, Lynnette Zelezny, Sonya Christian, Beatris Espericueta-Sanders, Norma Rojas-Mora, and Lourdez Nilon

On March 1, 2019 the American Heart Association held its annual Go Red Luncheon. What a fantastic event with incredible turnout! Bakersfield College was well represented by the BC cheerleaders.

Adventist Health’s Beatris Espericueta-Sanders and Kiyoshi Tomono were gracious hosts as Norma Rojas-Mora and I joined Mayor Karen Goh, CSUB’s President Zelezny and Lourdes Nilon, from Bakersfield High, Tamara Clark, and from Adventist Health Dr. Anabiet Udofia, Heather Van Housen.   There was a sea of red as the community came out to understand the importance of heart health and to build awareness around knowing the symptoms of a heart attack. The American Heart Association cites that one in three women is living with some form of cardiovascular disease and it kills one woman every 80 seconds.  To prevent the disease, the organization recommends understanding family health history, knowing your numbers and making lifestyle changes like eating smart, managing blood pressure and being more active.

Mayor Karen Goh, President Lynnette Zelezny, President Sonya Christian
In true red style, BC Cheer was on hand for the event! Cheer coach Heather Foss expecting her first baby.

Seen on Facebook: BC at Shafter City Council

Last Tuesday, Dean of Academic Technology Bill Moseley joined Shafter Educational Liaison David Franz at the Shafter City Council meeting, to speak in support of the proposed Shafter Library and Learning Center expansion.  The Shafter Learning Center has partnered with BC to offer study space and support for BC students who live in Shafter, and may offer classroom space in the future for BC classes.

Bill Moseley FB post

Career Ladders Project Partnership

These Affinity Team rock stars, Pedro Ramirez and Armando Trujillo along with their stage manager Lisa Robles went on tour sharing the good news surrounding Guided Pathways from a Completion Coaching Community perspective. The group started their tour at the Building Diversity Conference  in L.A., moving on to their second gig in Long Beach at the Achieving the Dream Conference and ended their tour in NYC at the League for Innovation conference where former BC AAI champion and current Director at Career Ladders Project Julian West received the 2018 Innovation Award.

The partnership and collaboration between Bakersfield College and Career Ladders Project is an important one as we continue the work in making Guided Pathways a success.

Photos of Campus at Dawn

Earl Parsons of BC’s Marketing team shared these photos with me and they were too beautiful not to include! Enjoy!

Collage by Earl Parsons
Photos by Earl Parsons

Ordiz-Melby Architects

Jeannie Bertolaccini and Danny Ordiz

We have been so fortunate to work alongside local firm Ordiz-Melby Architects for our new Campus Center.  They have been wonderful partners and have been working diligently to make sure that our new Campus Center will benefit the campus, students, and our community!  The new campus center will have many exciting features, including a new food services area, student life offices, and a 500-person conference room! Thank you to Jeannie Bertolaccini, Danny Ordiz and Bob Varner for your partnership to build A Better BC!

The team hard at work! A Better BC in action!

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11am, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights included segments with BC Head Cheer Coach Heather Foss and BC Cheerleaders Jasmine Garcia and Karlee Nelson.

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (2/24-3/2) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.

Bailey Pike, Women’s Swimming – In the first Western State Conference meet she took first in the 1650m Freestyle (19:37.41), lowering her season best time by 23 seconds and finishing over a minute ahead of the second place swimmer, helping the women take first overall at the meet.

Zach Williams, Baseball –  He was 8 for 10 (.800) in three games last week. He had a total of 8 RBI, 2 stolen bases and 2 home runs (one grand slam and one three-run homerun).

Zach Williams named SoCal Player of the Week An big congrats to Zach on not only being Renegade of the Week, but also being named SoCal Player of the week by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association (CCCBCA) for his big week last week!

Seven Renegades Named to the 2018 SCFA Scholar Athlete Team

We are proud to have student athletes who not only take care of business on the field, but in the classroom as well. This year we have seven Renegade football student athletes named to the Southern California Football Association 2018 Scholar Athlete Team. The seven include: Jeremiah Johnson (DB, Soph, Garces HS), Nathan De Jager (PK, Soph, Bakersfield Christian HS), James Thomas (DE, Soph, Independence HS), Monolete Robinson (DB, Soph, Centennial HS), Andrew Magana (DL, Fresh, Bakersfield HS), Carson Olivas (P, Soph, Bakersfield HS) and Blake Brown (OL, Soph, Garces HS). Congrats and keep up the great work academically!

Fun Photo of Coach Dahl and Trustee Agbalog

Coach Paula Dahl and Trustee Agbalog at the McFarland Basketball game

Renegade Athletics Roundup


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Welcoming New Faculty, Fans, Friends to Renegade Football Home Games & More!

Good morning Bakersfield. 
It is Saturday, September 15, 2018….a great day to be a Renegade

This week we remembered September 11th from 17 years ago. Families still grieve, lives were forever changed. This week we reflected on our friends, mothers, fathers, men, women, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, heroes who lost their lives that day.

We will never forget.

9.11

Football Wins Season Opener & New Faculty Reception

Remegade Football Sep 8 2018

Last weekend, BC’s football team won their season opener against El Camino College, 20-15. The game was thrilling to watch and it was great to see all of our fans (approximately 5,000 attended the game) in and around the stadium throughout the evening.  Many watched on KGET.

Renegade Football 3 Sep 8 2018.jpg

 

The celebration started way before the game began. As per our annual tradition, we kicked off the evening with the New Faculty Dinner and Reception. As is the tradition,  we share BC’s New Faculty each year on our website along with their photo and discipline.

New Faculty 2018

Victor Diaz spoke behalf of Academic Senate and Mayor Karen Goh who is a fan of Renegade Football was also in attendance to welcome our newest educators.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

I also have to mention the amazing food prepared by BC Food Services. The meal prepared each year is impressive and this year did not disappoint! Thank you Chef Stephanie!

Mirian Fuentes and Sonya Christian Sep 8 2018

Miriam Fuentes, Sonya Christian

i-bchwzts-x4

i-4g74brn-x4

Grace and Joe Commiso and their family.jpg

i-2k74qg3-x4

Sonya Christian and Tonya Davis

Sonya Christian and Tonya Davis

i-n5dldcp-x4

Karen Goh, Brian Bell, Sonya Christian, Ambelina Garcia Duran, Aaron Resendez, Romeo Agbalog

i-hwqt44q-x4

Sonya Christian, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Mayor Karen Goh

41416179_10213301050140894_5302193670156451840_n

i-fsm2kpn-x4

Students from McFarland High School attending Renegade Football

The Renegade Rooter Bus brought some special visitors from  McFarland High School who attended the first Renegade Football game of the season. For making this happen, I must thank Abel Guzman, Jesse Oropeza for coordinating the visit, Chef Stephanie Stuart for the concessions, and the leadership team from McFarland including Maria Herrera, CTE Specialist, Miquel Martinez, Welding Instructor, Brian Bell, Principal, Aaron Resendez, Interim Superintendent, Ambelina Garcia Duran, Deputy Superintendent, Jim Beltran, Board President, and Eleso Garza, Board Member.

IMG_5410

Aaron Resendez, Sonya Christian, Mrs Resendez, Amberlina Garcia Duran

The game was covered in depth by Jon Mettus of the Bakersfield Californian in his article, “Renegades hang on for first win of 2018 season.” Nick Ellis also took some incredible photos during the game like the one below:

Shon Stephens works to defend a pass reception made by El Camino's Trevon Clark, Photo by Nick Ellis

Shon Stephens works to defend a pass reception made by El Camino’s Trevon Clark, Photo by Nick Ellis

Be sure to come out to the game this Saturday at 6pm at Memorial Stadium against Santa Monica.

2018 College Night

BC was at the 19th Annual Kern County College Night last monday.  Over 125 colleges were present, and of course BC was there to represent!  This event is great for giving prospective students not only the chance to get to see what the colleges have to offer, but also they’re able to learn how to pay for college.  Thank you to the Outreach team and all who attended to represent that #WeAreBC!!

College Night Group Photo

41513675_700463506962462_5710406934134259712_o

Special thank you to Tim Heasley and the BC Drum Corps who always puts on the best performance to get everyone in the house revved up.

All the photos can be found at BC’s Smugmug!

OneBook Event Kickoff & Distinguished Speaker Series: Jim St. Germain

Germain 6

Gorgeous weather, outdoor venue, and conversation made for a beautiful day at BC! In collaboration with the Kern County Library, One Book, One Bakersfield kicked off at the Campus Center Main Stage on Thursday. Addressing the crowd was Emerson Case from CSUB, Danyel Ritter from Student Life, and Dezi Von Manos on behalf of Free on the Outside Student Organization. The kickoff concluded with a presentation from the first Distinguished Speaker, Jim St. Germain. This author’s heart shone through in every word he spoke. He spent time getting to know our students, hearing their personal stories, and offering words of mentorship and encouragement to each person he came in contact with. Thank you, Jim, for sharing your life with our students!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thank You Sequoia Paints for Your Generosity!

This week, Sequoia Paints owner Jim Elder made a $100,000 donation to our Athletics department.   I cannot thank Jim enough for his generosity, and what it means to the BC family. You can read about it in the Bakersfield Californian’s article by Jon Mettus titled “BC Athletics gets $100,000 donation.”

memorial_stadium_bakersfield_college1

BC Ag Teams Up and Cleans Up

Love seeing our Ag department get ready for the next year.  Last Friday our wonderful faculty members removed materials to build the showcase farm that BC deserves!  Thank you Chris McCraw, Jim Selgrath, and Matt Riley for your hard work!

Ag department cleanup Matthew Riley

Renegades of the Week

The athletics department is beginning a new weekly tradition – naming Renegades of the Week. Each week they will be honoring one male and one female student-athlete of the week based on how well they competed in their sport and led their team from the previous week. Please join me in congratulating our first two Renegades of the Week for this year: Jessica Merante from women’s volleyball and Elisha Ortiz from football. Jessica had 108 digs and a 2.51 passing % in helping her team to a 3-1 record at the SBCC Quad and Elisha Ortiz of football had 221 all-purpose yards and 2 TD’s to lift the Gades over El Camino.

9.8 RENEGADES OF THE WEEK

Renegades Put the Student in Student-Athlete

A huge thank you to Maria Wright and the Academic Support Services team, Darrell Ballard and all the coaches in athletics for helping guide our student-athletes to be excellent students in and out of the classroom. We have recently seen growing numbers of our students athletes using academic support to study and excel as students in the classroom. Shown below are student athletes on the softball team and our football Quarterback, Josh Medina using academic support. Great examples of superstar students and athletes!

Soccer Gets Huge Win at Home

Our men’s soccer team hosted East LA college at Memorial Stadium on Tuesday and scored a huge victory, 2-1. Scoring goals for the Renegades were Edgar Gonzalez and Jose Lara. Come out to Memorial Stadium this Tuesday for the men’s and women’s soccer double-header. Women play at 5pm and the men at 7pm.

1

Wrestling Goes 2-2 Over the Weekend

On Friday our wrestling team hosted Victor Valley in their first home dual of the season and won 56-0. The following day they hosted the BC Duals in the Gil Bishop Sports Center. We had seven other teams from across the state in attendance which drew a large crowd to watch the action. Our Renegades went 1-2 on the day and head to Sacramento City College this weekend to take on the Panthers in a dual meet. Go Gades!

Wrestling

Free Swim Lessons

Reminder to attend the 4th annual free community swim lessons The Bakersfield College Men’s and Women’s swim team will be hosting the 4th annual Free Community Swim Lesson and Six-Hour Relay on Saturday, September 15th, 2018 at the BC Pool. The event will last from 8a-2p and feature a free 30-minute swim lesson for each child. In addition, parents will receive water safety tips. Attendees are encouraged to attend whenever they are able to throughout the day. The event is free and open to anyone who would like to participate.

Swim Lessons

Emails Worth Sharing

This week, Welding Professor Jeremy Staat received an email from a previous student. The email reads:

“I just wish to let you know that currently I have been in Texas near Houston for the past 2 weeks. At the moment I interned with a pipeline company called Strike and have been learning what the life on the pipeline is like with each passing day. Thanks to you sir, I have been able to show a sense of purpose and often times even assist some welders as a welders helper. Currently I am assigned as a ground holder for the welders creating the root pass, and at times dealing with the welders behind who deal with the hot pass. Even though the work is repetitive, it is often filled with slight differences due to the time of day and weather.

One of the many things that has helped me since starting is when you would tell us that those who have an education higher than higher than high school will be more sought after. Honestly simply because I still remember how to stick weld and have some college background, I am receiving $2 more than what the standard position pays. To which I have you, Mr. Grays, and Mr. Ralls to thank, for instituting not only the basics of knowledge but also the practical work ethics and safety requirements such as signing in and out when entering the lab each day.

Thank you for being such a huge influence sir, may you continue to share your knowledge with others and may more people stay the course even during the tough moments.”

Here is a photo of Professors Jeremy Staat and Tommy Tunson at the 2018 Commencement in front of the Collins Campus Center.

Jeremy Staat and Tommy Tunson

Professor Jeremy Staat and Tommy Tunson

“This is what education means to me” – Kim Arbolante

Kim ArbolanteKim Arbolante, BC’s lead in the Writing Center also sent an email worth sharing. She said,

“Today I was confronted with asking myself what education means to me and why I chose to work in education. I just tutored a student on his English speaking skills for an autobiography speech he was about to deliver in his COMM B1 course. He plans to tell the class that he majors in English because he is from Guatemala, and when he was a young boy a local gang would stand in front of the school so that children could not enter unless their parents had sent them to school with money to pay off the gang. His family had no money, but he desperately wanted to learn. So, he risked it all and snuck in the back door of the school to attend class. The gang found out and waited outside the doors for him after school. He was afraid to leave, so his teacher offered him a ride home. He graciously accepted. On their way in the car, she made him promise to keep up his schooling no matter what. The gang was following them, and shortly after he made her that promise, the gang boxed her car in, which forced them to stop. They pulled her out of the vehicle and murdered her in front of his eyes. He was just eight years old.

Now, at eighteen years old, he is a student at BC and there are no words for how much I want him to succeed! He has crossed miles and miles of dangerous roads, uncertain outcomes, and unnavigable immigration procedures to fulfill that promise he made ten years ago in his teacher’s car. This selfless woman sacrificed her life to see that his might be better.

This is what education means to me. Education is not merely meaning making and skill learning. Education is social mobility. Education is the means by which we can alleviate poverty, diminish violence, and create a more peaceful, equitable world. Education provides hope to those who may find themselves in hopeless situations. I am just a tutor. I help students with their academic needs. However, today, my student taught me a more valuable lesson than I could ever give: he taught me why I do it. Today, more than ever before, I am PROUD to be a Renegade.”

President’s Challenge

The President’s Challenge to carpool to campus is still going strong. Aricia Leighton, in BC’s Marketing and Public Relations team sent me her selfie on Thursday morning as she rode the shuttle from BC Southwest!

The 2018 President's PArk Smart Challenge

Panorama Creative Music Summit

Is this year’s Panorama Creative  Music Summit on your calendar? Taking place on September 21-22nd at BC’s Indoor Theater, the Panorama Creative Music Summit will showcase acclaimed visiting artists, local performers, and BC faculty, students, and alumni performing original music and exploring a broad range of styles and creative approaches across the jazz-pop continuum.

Thanks to support from the Lydia Jennings Finlinson and Burns L. Finlinson Endowment of the Bakersfield College Foundation, as well as an Arts in the Community Grant from the Arts Council of Kern, all events at the summit are FREE ADMISSION, open to the public and the campus community.

For a full listing of the events and more information, visit the Panorama Creative Music Summit webpage.

pcmsPoster-fb-1024x536

2018 Emsi Conference: Visualizing the Future Workforce

2018 Emsi conferenceThe BC team was at it again this week, attending the 2018 Emsi Conference in Coeur D’alene, Idaho.  Our very own Michele Bresso, Amber Hroch, Stephanie Baltazar, Tony Cordova, Alma Livingston, Klint Rigby and Cindy Collier were at the conference, learning about how to better use labor market data to target our programs in the region.  Go BC!

2018 Emsi conference michele bresso Klint Rigby stephanie baltazar tony cordova alma livingston amber hroch cindy collier

Student Employment Kudos Corner

Justina Alston and Cristina Marinez Gonzalez

Each month the Student Employment Office selects an On-Campus Supervisor for their outstanding service. The Supervisor then has the honor to highlight one of their top student employees. This month, Cristina Martinez Gonzalez, Executive Secretary for Public Safety has been recognized because her student employees say that she fosters a great work environment and is always willing to help. Chief Counts is so pleased Cristina joined 8 months ago and has become not only a supervisor to the 50+ students but also a mentor and leader. Cristina has selected to recognize student assistant Justina Alston for bringing their mission to life. She assist students with campus emergency calls as well as faculty, staff, and our BC community with parking and other issues.

Fun Photos

History Professor, Olivia Garcia and her family enjoying the BC campus over the weekend! She said, “Sometimes, you just can’t stay away from BC. Me, my husband Julio and my little guys, Joaquin and Cruz. Julio and I ran, did some repeats under the shady solar panel parking area while the boys cycled. Beautiful day!”

IMG_7495

Dean of Instruction, Andrea Thorson shared some fun photos of running into CSUB President Lynette Zelezny and Assemblymember Rudy Salas at the Democratic Women event.

 

BC in full strength at the Central Valley Counselors Conference:

 

Jennifer Johnson and Grace Commisso presented at the Counselor Conference on Friday.

Grace Commiso speaking on Guided Pathways

Grace Commiso speaking on Guided Pathways

Jennifer Johnson, September 14 2018

Jennifer Johnson speaking on the Program Pathways Mapper

Sonya Christian, Cindy Collier, Jennifer Johnson, Grace Commiso

Jessica McGrath, Sonya Christian

BC gang at conference

Sonya Christian presenting Sep 14 2018

Post from Anna Laven’s Facebook post:

Great day at the annual Technology, Jobs and Future of Work Counselor Conference! First heard from Sonya Christian about our amazing work on Guided Pathways, both at Bakersfield College and across the state. Then some really interesting breakout sessions on curriculum and labor market data. And finally an inspiring and humbling closing speaker making a very clear argument for intentionality in counseling and student success.  It was also delightful to run into so many people doing amazing work to support students!

Pam Gomez and Lupita Aguirre

 

and here is a post from Pam Gomez:

It’s been a busy and productive week. College Night, Business expo, Ag Club Mtg, Ag Expo planning mtg, and today we went to Clovis (2 hrs north) for the 4th annual Counselor’s Conference. Involved late nights and an early morning. We shook hands, spread the word about our great college and networked. Just a few things I enjoy about my job.

We are BC.

 

Sonya Christian at New Faculty Reception Sep 8 2018 cropped

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever