This week, Michael O’Doherty, one of our Foundation Board members, sent me this picture:
“Live in Black and White on the wall of Vons in the Marketplace is this action shot of Renegade Basketball.”
One of the things I love best about Bakersfield College is how connected it is throughout the community. I love the interaction between the campus and Bakersfield – BC truly is a community college. That sense of community pride strengthens our students, faculty, staff and administration as we all work toward our common goal of helping our students achieve their educational goals.
And I love the notes and emails that people share with me when they see BC being represented throughout the community. Keep those notes coming.
Btw, Have you seen this picture at Vons?
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, February 20, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.
KHSD Expanding Early College Partnership with BC
The Kern High School District is offering a select number of students the opportunity to earn an Associate’s degree. With BC’s Early College program expanding into the Kern High School District, students can get a 2-year head start on their baccalaureate degree, and all books and transportation will be provided to them free of charge.
Thank you Dr. Jean Fuller and Trustee Romeo Agbalog for your leadership in the #EarlyCollege movement.
Learning Together with the Library
The BC Library continued its series of conversations around cultural competency during the All-Campus Virtual Seminar on Thursday. English professor Pam Boyles and history professor Erin Miller discussed their thoughts about the video titled “Fighting Racism Without Shaming”, featuring Moral Courage Project founder Dr. Irshad Manji.
Thank you to Mindy Wilmot for moderating the discussion, Todd Coston for serving as our emcee, and Earl Parsons for providing the programming support for the Virtual Seminar Series.
Check out the video below:
You can find videos from previous Learning Together seminars, as well as other virtual forums, on the President’s Events page. (Check the Virtual Forums tab!)
Recognizing Robert Tafoya
This week I saw a wonderful article from Jose Gaspar in the Bakersfield Californian honoring Judge Robert Tafoya, who retired February 5 after being appointed to the bench by Governor Gray Davis in 2002.
I’m not sure if you are all aware, but Judge Tafoya was the person behind creating Bakersfield College’s inmate education program. I remember when Chancellor Emeritus Sandra Serrano called me about working with Kern Valley State Prison to create an educational opportunity for inmates, with a goal of providing opportunities for these individuals while reducing recidivism rates.
After this phone call, I pinged Rich McCrow, then director of the Delano campus. Rich put his head and heart into building this program — and Bryan Hirayama was the first faculty member to teach at KVSP.
The program began at Kern Valley State Prison in Spring 2015. The pilot course, COMM B1 – Public Speaking, had 27 students enrolled.
I am grateful for Judge Tafoya and Chancellor Serrano for seeding this work that has made such a profound change in these inmates’ lives.
On Friday, Kern County Public Health announced that more sectors will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines beginning next week. It’s been reassuring seeing members of our Bakersfield College community being able to get their vaccines as well.
Di Hoffman, one of our nursing faculty, shared that she got her vaccine this week:
I’d also like to share another video from our February 2 Virtual Forum with Dr. Michael Saag. In this clip, he talks more about the vaccine rollout process and our ability to scale up our supply and distribution:
Mars Rover Perseverance Watch Party
On Thursday, NASA successfully landed a new rover, Perseverance, on Mars. Astronomy professor Nick Strobel hosted a Zoom watch party for our Renegade community. Before the landing, he shared lots of great information about Perseverance’s mission and about Mars.
The Perseverance mission is looking for signs of possible past life on Mars, as well as collecting rock and soil samples and testing oxygen production in the atmosphere to prepare for potential future human travel to the Red Planet.
BCSGA shared this picture of Maya Angelou’s visit to Bakersfield College in the 1970s:
Librarian Mindy Wilmot shared this throwback photo:
Professor Buggs’ Level 2 RN students celebrated completing their first round of clinical:
Shannon Musser tuned into BC’s Perseverance watch party with her kids:
The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce had this positive message to share:
Head Coach Spotlight – Casey Goodman, Renegade Softball
Our Renegade Coaches are the glue that keep their teams together. All of our coaches spend countless hours behind the scenes preparing their teams for competition and life. This week we’re shining the spotlight on Casey Goodman, who leads our softball team.
Coach Goodman has been at BC since 2017 and has already won two Western State Conference (WSC) Championships and been named the 2019 WSC Coach of the Year. Coach Goodman played college softball at the University of Louisiana at Monroe where as a player she earned multiple post-season awards and has since been inducted into the ULM Athletics Hall of Fame in 2018.
We are proud to call Coach Goodman a Renegade and know she’s still yet to accomplish many great things in her coaching career!
That’s all for now. Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
It has been an incredibly busy week as we prepare for the beginning of the Spring 2021 semester.
On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, we held our Opening Day ceremonies. As we’ve been doing since the pandemic began, we again held a virtual celebration with multiple days of video productions featuring presentations, speakers, and performances.
The video team is working on getting the pieces prepared on a website, and I will start sharing those with you next week. Today, though, I’m able to share a sneak peek – an especially poignant one while we as a nation grapple with the events of the past weeks and months, and where we will go from here.
Please enjoy our Bakersfield College Renegade Chorus’ rendition of True Colors:
“Just call me up Because you know I’ll be there”
Friends – in this time of ongoing uncertainty and social distancing, that is such a wonderful message:
Call me up, and I will be there.
I know that even in the hardest days of social distancing, we can reach out to one another and offer support or a friendly voice. It is ever more important that we remain connected.
Thank you to Performing Arts Chair & Choral Director Jennifer Garrett for sharing this message with all of us. And thank you to our wonderful and talented Renegade Chorus!
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, January 16, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.
Thank you, Dr. King!
On Monday, the nation will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his vision for a better America. While many parades and celebrations for Martin Luther King day have been cancelled nationwide due to the pandemic, we still have the time to reflect on what Dr. King’s ideals and sacrifice mean to each of us, as well as how we can embed the clarity and power of Dr. King’s ideals into our daily work as we start to build a new future for our students.
The Bakersfield MLK committee has put together its usual MLK Breakfast event, except this year it is virtual. Get your scrambled eggs and bacon and tune in at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, January 18, 2021 ….
Levan Institute for Lifelong Learning
Susan Pinza, Director of the Levan Institute for Lifelong Learning, joined 17 News at Sunrise to share more about classes available for community members. These classes aim to help keep our community members active – both mentally and physically.
Classes are available in a variety of subjects, including art, photography, yoga, pilates – and there’s even a class about Zoom!
Bakersfield College was one of 16 colleges to receive $450,000 from the U.S. Department of Education to establish a Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success.
The grant will allow BC’s Veterans Services to hire a second dedicated student veteran advisor, as well as provide additional support and services.
“When a veteran transitions out of the military, there’s a sudden feeling like, ‘Where’s my place in the world, where do I belong? What we aim to do is assist them in the educational journey,” said Veterans Services Director Jenny Frank.
As we prepare for the Spring 2021 semester, I wanted to remind everyone that the overwhelming majority of our instruction and all of our student services remain in an online format, and all of our physical campus locations remain closed to the general public.
However, if you have been granted access for our very small selection of courses featuring socially-distanced instruction, or you have been approved to be on campus for essential work, then you must download the Kern Community College District app to do your daily pre-screening and receive your Campus Pass. The Kern Community College District app is available in the iOS App Store and Google Play for Android devices.
Once you download the Kern Community College District app, you can the Health Pre-Screening Questionnaire that will be required every day to get the Campus Pass for in-person attendance. Once you receive your Campus Pass, you’ll use the app to scan QR codes around the campus when entering and leaving all buildings, classrooms, offices, and physical spaces.
Talking about ACCJC, I am proud of the Learning Seminar Series we hosted in early december 2020 — The Future of Learning, which was highlighted in this year’s Opening Week videos.
I’ll be sharing these with you over the coming weeks, so please check back!
Opening Week Roundup
Faculty and staff got ready for the start of the Spring 2021 semester with three days of videos chock full of performances from the Renegade Choir, highlights from the ACCJC Future of Learning Seminar Series, and important updates about campus initiatives. The emcees for all three days were Manny Mourtzanos, Todd Coston, Norma Rojas-Mora, and Reggie Bolton, and we had Konrad Dahl and Zack Peters leading our stretch breaks.
On Day 1, we heard from BCSGA President Gian Gayatao and the Assessment Committee, as well as a retrospective on the life of Ruth-Bader Ginsburg from Olivia Garcia.
Day 2 featured remarks from Chancellor Tom Burke, the Manny Mourtzanos of the Management Association, the Curriculum Committee, and a heartfelt tribute to Becki Whitson.
Day 3 closed out the festivities with Liz Rozell and James McGarrah speaking about the Energy TT&WD initiative; an accessibility report from Matt Andrasian-Jones, Andrea Thorson, and John Means; remarks from Ann Tatum of CCA and Steven Holmes of the Academic Senate; and announcements from Erin Miller for the Levan Faculty Colloquium and Reggie Williams for the Levan Center for the Humanities.
It took a lot of work and intentional thought to put together this year’s presentation. I can’t wait to share the videos with you all. A special thank you to the programming team — Valerie Urso, Shannon Musser, Tarina Perry and Jennifer Serratt.
He wrote about how the program has grown since its early beginnings, and how it has been particularly successful in closing equity gaps.
“However, the success of the program extends beyond just the sheer number of students served, but also in closing equity gaps. Early College has had a 93 percent student success rate across all high school campuses in the last academic year, consistently exceeding BC’s own institution-set standard for student success by 15 to 20 percent. Most importantly, more than 85 percent of students from rural areas who were in an associate degree completion pathway went to college after high school.“
Trustee Agbalog has always been an ardent supporter of our Early College program. Talking about Early College, I must mention Senator Jean Fuller who helped up take this idea to scale; under the senator’s leadership we accomplished in one year the goals we had set for three years. Here is a fun video from March 2019 of the senator talking about Early College.
Spotted on Social Media
Alisha Loken, Nursing Department Chair, got her COVID-19 vaccine this week!
Bakersfield Heart Hospital shared this thank you to our BC Nursing Students, who helped with vaccine distribution:
And BC Nursing shared a photo of upcoming Level 4 students about to get vaccinated:
Mindy Wilmot watched Opening Day with her dog:
Olivia Garcia got a treadmill workout in while she watched:
Matt Andrasian-Jones continued his Discern and Draw series with a pasta spoon:
And the City of Bakersfield celebrated the city’s 123rd birthday on January 11:
Throwback to 1961 Renegade Basketball
While most of our campus has laid dormant due to the pandemic, it’s interesting to look back at old photos of our Renegade athletes of many years past.
This throwback picture from the Renegade Raconteur goes all the way back to the 1961 basketball season. While the identity of the players is unknown (maybe one of you reading this know who they are??) – this image gives fantastic imagery into the environment of a BC Men’s Basketball game in the 60’s. I mean, look at that crowd filled all the way into the top bleachers! More throwbacks to come.
That’s all for now. Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Have you met Dr. Naina Patel? Well, she is a quiet force in our community promoting peace and wellbeing. I got to work alongside Naina last year as she she was coordinating the Gandhi celebrations here in Bakersfield. During these celebrations, we had the fortune of having Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Arun Gandhi speak to the students in our Early College Program in Delano. What a treat! Check this out in my October 5, 2019 blog titled – Live simply so others can simply live https://sonyachristianblog.com/2019/10/05/live-simply-so-others-can-simply-live/
Here is a 9:31-minute video from Opening Week where we unveiled the Peace Garden project. If you don’t have time to watch the whole video, then start at the 6:56 timestamp and hear the message from Dr. Naina Patel and the Gandhi committee.
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, August 29, 2020…a great day to be a Renegade
Friends, let me introduce you to Abel Guzman, BC’s Exec Director of Rural Initiatives. You will see why he is a “20 under 40 to watch”.
Romeo Agbalog, Trustee for the Kern Community College District, wrote a great piece in the Bakersfield Californian highlighting the work the college has done to continue providing quality education to our students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the midst of widespread unemployment and economic austerity, now has never been a better time to enroll at Bakersfield College. While most of us are sheltered in place, we can take advantage of this time to upskill or chart a new career path to compete in tomorrow’s job market, or post-COVID-19 economy, and be able to do this all from the comfort and safety of your own home.”
Here is another poem from the fabulous Jack Hernandez:
He did not notice his steps were less quick jaunty a past tense, then he heard he was slowing down to that pace reserved for snails and wobbling legs.
He rejected those words even as young walkers passed him as though a sign stuck in place, “slow” is a relative term he thought, philosophy giving him the nudge he needed.
Panorama Creative Music Summit Goes Virtual
Presented by the Jazz Studies and Commercial Music programs at Bakersfield College, the Panorama Creative Music Summit is an annual showcase for acclaimed musicians, local performers, and BC faculty, students, and alumni performing original music and exploring a range of styles and creative approaches across the jazz-pop continuum.
Ordinarily the summit takes over our beloved Simonsen Performing Arts Center for a weeklong series of workshops and live concerts. This year, thanks to support from the Lydia Jennings Finlinson and Burns L. Finlinson Endowment of the Bakersfield College Foundation, the music summit is transitioning to an online format that will feature weekly live sessions with guest artists.
Each artist will give a 20-30 minute solo performance followed by an artist talk and Q&A with students. These sessions will be held on Zoom and broadcast free to the public via Facebook Live on the Bakersfield College Jazz Studies page.
Check out Blue Bayou performed by Josh Ottum and Kris Tiner for Opening Week.
#LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation
I am continuing to share videos from Bakersfield College’s #LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation productions from June. Today, I am wrapping up with the videos from the June 17th program.
Daron Mackey, Educational Advisor with Outreach & School Relations:
Traco Matthews, Social Pastor and Adjunct Professor:
This first issue includes a welcome from the Foundation’s new executive director, Cheryl Scott. Previously Cheryl served on the foundation’s board of directors for 7 years, and was also active in the Measure J campaign.
I also loved seeing the “Your BC Story” section of the Panorama newsletter. This issue featured Bob Meadows, Class of 1975. Bob wrote about his time writing for the Renegade Rip and how he met his wife Vicki at BC:
“I grew up at BC, I discovered my abilities at BC, I overcame challenged at BC, and I found love at BC. My life’s foundation was built at BC and has supported me ever since. Thank you Bakersfield College.”
“Your BC Story” will be a regular feature in the Panorama newsletter, and I am excited to hear from more of our proud alums. Those interested in sharing their stories can fill out the form on the Foundation website.
This Thursday, we wrapped up our Opening Day celebration. This year’s celebration was virtual, and ended up spanning two weeks, with five days of productions.
I’d like to share my introductory remarks from Day 1 of the Opening Week festivities:
As you may know, this year the Bakersfield College Commencement celebration went virtual with a Special Televised Commencement Tribute broadcast on July 11, 2020 on KGET, Telemundo and steaming on Facebook.
Today, I’d like to share a few videos from that production.
There’s a Pathway for Everyone at Bakersfield College:
I wanted to share this heartwarming post from Jessie Ryan, executive vice president at The Campaign for College Opportunity:
Heart bursting: My daughter asked me to take her to Target tonight to use the allowance she had saved to buy some special school supplies – our first outing in weeks. Unfortunately, Target was closed due to a COVID case. Brooklyn was disappointed but as we drove home she saw an elderly homeless woman. Without thinking twice she produced her $20 bill and said, “Mother pull over and give it to her.” “Are you sure honey, that’s all your savings”. She didn’t hesitate, “Yes, she needs it more than me”
Endee Grijalva, Adult Education Program Manager for South Kern, modeled her new Bakersfield College mask (and fantastic Renegade Red hair!):
And in honor of National Dog Day this week, I’d like to share a few of the posts I caught from our Renegade family. Carlos Medina, Lesley Bonds, and Mindy Wilmot all shared pictures of their pets:
Throwing it back to the beginning of Renegade Athletics
We are just a few years short of the 100th anniversary of Renegade Athletics in the year 2022. Originally with just a football team founded in 1922, the department has grown to its current total of 20 men’s and women’s sports over the last century. In the process our Renegade athletic teams have captured a total of 184 team conference championships, 15 state championships and 10 national championships. In addition they have won countless individual conference and state championships in a variety of sports. Pictured above is the original 1922 Renegade football team (thanks to our fabulous BC Archives team). This makes our football program one of the oldest in the state!
Renegade football runs deep in the Baker family – Jon’s father, William Baker was hired as the team’s official doctor in 1979.
And Jon has continued to assist the BC football team. R. Todd Littlejohn, who was hired as BC head football coach in January, is represented by Jon and said that Jon’s connections have been helpful to him in his new role.
“He can point out people to me that I need to get involved with. When you’re gone and you’ve been away for so long, your pool of people might get smaller.
That’s all for now. Until next time. With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
With the month of March having unseasonably high temperatures, some of us worried that the cooler wetter weather was left behind and we could be in for an early brutal summer with the potential for another CA drought. And then April surprisingly brought us rains with beautiful clouds and burst of flowers, with roses all around our neighborhood. Enjoy the sprinkling of roses throughout this blog post that I captured for you during my Neo-Bessie walks.
Good morning, Bakersfield. It is Saturday, April 17, 2020…A great day to be a Renegade
Here is another great poem by Jack Hernandez
As I turn into a new year I feel the cycle narrowing, the road to the ocean shorter where I will sit on a rock and see the expanse before me, I do not walk on water only the earth behind me with its soft snow fallen winters and rising green springs, I could spread tears on the rock, instead I will enfold myself in memories as the waves embrace me.
Continuing to celebrate National Poetry month with youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman
I thought I’d awaken to a world in mourning. Heavy clouds crowding, a society storming. But there’s something different on this golden morning. Something magical in the sunlight, wide and warming.
I see a dad with a stroller taking a jog. Across the street, a bright-eyed girl chases her dog. A grandma on a porch fingers her rosaries. She grins as her young neighbor brings her groceries.
While we might feel small, separate, and all alone, Our people have never been more closely tethered. The question isn’t if we will weather this unknown, But how we will weather this unknown together.
So on this meaningful morn, we mourn and we mend. Like light, we can’t be broken, even when we bend.
As one, we will defeat both despair and disease. We stand with healthcare heroes and all employees; With families, libraries, schools, waiters, artists; Businesses, restaurants, and hospitals hit hardest.
We ignite not in the light, but in lack thereof, For it is in loss that we truly learn to love. In this chaos, we will discover clarity. In suffering, we must find solidarity.
For it’s our grief that gives us our gratitude, Shows us how to find hope, if we ever lose it. So ensure that this ache wasn’t endured in vain: Do not ignore the pain. Give it purpose. Use it.
Read children’s books, dance alone to DJ music. Know that this distance will make our hearts grow fonder. From a wave of woes our world will emerge stronger.
We’ll observe how the burdens braved by humankind Are also the moments that make us humans kind; Let every dawn find us courageous, brought closer; Heeding the light before the fight is over.
When this ends, we’ll smile sweetly, finally seeing In testing times, we became the best of beings.
California History on Bakersfield’s CW 12
Tomorrow, April 19, Bakersfield College History Professor Oliver Rosales will be hosting a new series on Bakersfield’s CW at 12:00 noon about California history. The show, “Our California Story: Community Stories and Digital Preservation in the San Joaquin Valley,” is a community engagement forum connected to the California History course students will enroll in through Bakersfield College.
Oliver will be interviewing experts on local history and archiving. This week, he interviews Javier Llamas and Olivia Garcia from our own history department.
This is an opportunity for viewers to learn more about Central Valley history and become a part of developing our California story. Many thanks to Manny De Los Santos and Shannon Musser for helping put together this television experience to our local community.
BC’s Distinguished Speaker Series Presents: Dr. Tony Iton
Our final Distinguished Speaker for the semester was our first to lead their discussion through a webinar presentation. Dr. Tony Iton, the Senior Vice President for Healthy Communities at the California Endowment, delivered a presentation via Zoom on Wednesday titled “Zip Code vs. Genetic Code: Which is a Better Predictor of Health?”
Dr. Iton’s presentation on health in rural communities was hosted by Public Health Professor Charles Daramola and Office of Student Life Director Nicky Damania.
If you want to keep engaged with BC’s health equity and rural health work, please follow the Health, Equity, and Learning (HEAL) page, events, and HEAL Twitter account. Thank you, Dr. Tony Iton, for presenting and engaging with BC students, faculty, and staff. And, thank you to Dr. Charles Daramola, Nicky Damania, Benny Balderrama, and the Office of Student Life for coordinating such an informative webinar.
Our talented group of representatives in the Bakersfield College Student Government Association (BCSGA) have been very busy with moving our annual Spring Fling festival online. The BCSGA team brilliantly organized a fun group of activities through Discord, Zoom and other virtual platforms.
Thank you to our BCSGA representatives and their supporters in the Office of Student Life for keeping Spring Fling Week fun for our campus community. Read more about all of the activities below, and follow BCSGA on Discord.
Escape the Room: Report Back from Valerie
Let’s check out the text-based Escape the Room challenge through the virtual chat service Discord. Valerie Urso, a Web Content Editor in the Marketing Department, describes her experience of solving the elaborate puzzle:
“This Monday, I played the BCSGA’s Escape the Room challenge as part of the Spring Fling week slate of virtual events. Once I got through the hurdle of signing up for Discord and figuring out how it works (like Slack, but cooler-looking), I was ready to begin.
The game was cleverly constructed using a Google form, a Powerpoint and finally, a website with a secret challenge. I had been expecting to click around on a single screen, in an environment that looked pulled straight out of Clue, looking under lamps and behind bookcases. Instead, I found myself on a quest to solve riddles with a unique story customized to being a student at Bakersfield College. I was impressed with the work and creativity that went into putting together a game from the ground up.
As a bit of a puzzle nerd who in their youth racked up an unseemly number of hours playing Myst, I have to congratulate the BCSGA team for making something original that was both fun and challenging. Whenever I got stuck, there was a clue to help me along, but nothing that made the quest too easy. I’m pleased to report I did, in fact, “Escape the Room” and made it through the final stage to claim my prize.”
April 6, 2020 line up — Fong, Fuller, Chapman, Agbalog
Vince Fong gave us an update on how the State Assembly is operating to serve Californians during the unprecedented times.
Retired California Senator Jean Fuller offered her perspective on the impact that COVID-19 is having on schools across the country. In her 48-year career as a public servant, only natural disasters compare to the level of response that this situation requires.
Richard Chapman, CEO of the Kern Economic Development Corporation, gave his prognosis for how COVID-19 will affect the Kern County’s business climate.
Romeo Agbalog spoke on behalf of Kern Citizens For Sustainable Government to talk about how Bakersfield College is establishing the model for other colleges to efficiently move their programs online.
Radiologic Technology student Sara Navidad shared the challenges she had with moving to an online environment.
Computer Science and Engineering major Krissy Coggshall talked about what she’s learned about learning and working as a Child Development tutor online.
Commercial Music student Izzy Foster misses the opportunity to perform live with her peers, but she’s still getting ready to transfer to the Berklee College of Music in Boston next year. She also performed a song at the end of the All-Campus Virtual Forum.
BC “Do Good, Feel Good” Campaign
The BC “Do Good, Feel Good” campaign is still in motion! This week, we’re reaching out to the Mission at Kern County, which is in dire need of supplies for babies and children, including hand sanitizer, wipes, diapers, and toiletries. These supplies would greatly benefit those in need, including BC’s very own Project HireUp students.
Thank you to all who have donated or supported the BC “Do Good, Feel Good” Series, and thank you to Endee Grijalva for leading this wonderful campaign!
Thank You to Our Essential Workers
Thank you Valerie for putting together this photo display to recognize our Essential Workers
Photos submitted by Bill Potter in M&O and Shelley Casteneda in Public Safety with messages from their staff.
Thank you to all our essential workers who are going in every day to make sure our campus is kept safe and secure. I deeply appreciate your commitment to the health and safety of our BC community.
Fun Photos: Everything Is Going to Be Okay
Veronica Hathaway, a Department Assistant with the Office of Instruction, shared this great photo of her dog Bella Marie. Thanks, Veronica!
And here is Bessie…growing up fast.
BC Nursing Students Join Battle Against COVID-19
Our third-semester students joined the battle last week and began working as COVID-19 screeners at Bakersfield Heart Hospital. Thank you to all our nursing students who are working on the front lines of the pandemic to protect us all.
Another big thank you to our classified staff and their families, who have been making Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the form of cloth face masks and caps. Thank you to BC staff Venessa Reyes and Robin Patterson, and their mothers Corrine Reyes and Vivian Patterson, for working hard to meet the national shortage of PPE. Over 170 masks have been distributed to students and faculty to keep them safe as they provide patient care.
Thank you to everyone who is continuing to share their experiences on social media using the hashtag #BCGoesOnline. Here are some of the responses that came through this week: BC librarian Allison Burch and her pup Mr. Unicorn are eager to help and support students online!
Huerta was born on April 10, 1930, in Dawson, New Mexico, but at the age of three, she moved to Stockton, California.
In 1988, Huerta was a recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award, and in 2012, President Barack Obama awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the highest civilian honor in our nation.
Emails Worth Sharing: In Memoriam – Ron Dethlefson
Jerry Ludeke at the BC Archives sent this email commemorating Ron Dethlefson, who taught at BC for 27 years in the Communication Department. He was the advisor to our student radio station KBCC for 14 years and published expert work about early records and phonographs. Read the full email below:
Dear BC family:
The normal cycles of life go on even as Covid 19 surrounds and constricts us. We’re grateful for the technology that still lets us keep in touch.
Easter morning Ron Dethlefson, 82, died peacefully in a nursing home after several years living with Alzheimer’s disease. Ron retired in 1996 as a full professor after teaching for 27 years at BC. He started in 1969 teaching speech in the Communication Department. Then in 1972 he became advisor/instructor for the fledgling radio broadcasting station KBCC which he guided until 1986, when he returned to teaching speech.
Ron was always known for his outstanding radio voice and a good sense of wry humor. Few people knew, however, of his outside interest. Ron was considered an expert consultant in the area of early records and phonographs which he began collecting and writing about in 1953. His books and other writings on Edison Blue Amberol Recordings are highly regarded. In 2012 the ARSC (Association for Recorded Sound Collection) awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award. He also volunteered as a consultant while he did research at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
At Bakersfield College, Ron was active in the Academic Senate and his wife Barbara, who survives him, was active in Faculty Wives and served in the very first volunteer tutoring program offered to BC students. The Dethlefson family is planning a celebration of Ron’s life in July at Wesley United Methodist Church where they have been active participants for many years.
If you go to the BC Archives website, you will see two changes. First, it is my personal pleasure to call your attention to the listing which shows Mindy Wilmot as the new Director. She is ready for the challenge, and we on the staff are all excited to have her. (I will continue as an archives assistant, so you will still hear from me once in a while.) Our second change is that photos, which were once visible on the website, disappeared after January. They are only temporarily in hiding while arrangements are being made to let them move to a happy little cloud. It may be summertime before that changeover is completed.
Meanwhile……Stay well….and let us hear from you. Jerry Ludeke, for the Archives
Archives Throwback: Hispanic Culture – An Energetic Group in the BC Tradition
Let’s hear from Earl Parsons as he digs into our archives
For the third part in our series looking back at the Panorama Campus in the mid-60s, we turn to the 1966 Raconteur for a feature on the first Hispanic Culture Club in Renegade History. The club was founded by Spanish professor Ray Gonzales, who would go on to become the first Latino ever to represent Kern County in the State Assembly, as well as a diplomat for the US State Department in Central America.
Ray Gonzales passed away in 2018 at the age of 80, and many of our Renegade faculty regarded him as one of their greatest friends and mentors, including Dean Corny Rodriguez and History Professor Octavio Barajas, who organized a roundtable discussion about Gonzales during last year’s Jess Nieto Memorial Conference.
Read the article below, and stay tuned next week for more glimpses into Renegade life during the mid-60s.
Hispanic Culture: An Energetic Group in the BC Tradition
One of the newest clubs on campus, the Hispanic Culture Club, did not lag in getting organized or active. Under the advisorship of Ray Gonzales, a BC alumnus and Spanish instructor, the club had its constitution accepted early in the fall semester.
At Christmas, the 26 members sponsored a canned food drive for needy Bakersfield families. In addition, they chipped in Christmas trees and much-needed clothing for the underprivileged. During the spring semester, they planned a dance and Spanish fiesta and also participated in the annual Spring Carnival with a taco booth.
Athletics: Resilience II Workouts Released This Week
Thank you Brandon Urry for the Athletics Roundup
As we continue our social distancing protocol in an effort to flatten the curve and protect our at-risk population and frontline workers, BC Athletics has your training covered! Our fantastic Renegade Kinesiology faculty including Zack Peters, Konrad Dahl and Matt Moon have put together the next phase of at-home workouts for our student athletes. Like the first phase, all exercises require nothing more than a chair, a towel, and your own bodyweight. Visit the GoGades website to get started with Resilience II.
Next Level Gades!
This week, we saw another group of Renegades commit to the next level while continuing their academic and athletic careers. First, from Renegade Baseball, Alejandro Murillo (pitcher) is headed to the University of Nevada, and Rich Garcia (infielder) is headed to the University of Antelope Valley. Both of these student athletes were key players for Coach Tim Painton and were great examples to their teammates of hard work and dedication.
Secondly, from Renegade Football, Paxton Winders announced he is headed to further his education and football career at Western Illinois University. We want to wish all three of these the very best in the future.
Renegade Student Athletes Will Receive “Make-Up” Year of Eligibility
23ABC sports reporter Matt Livelyput together a story this week on the fact the California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) has granted another season of eligibility to spring sports student athletes due to their seasons being cut short this spring. He talked with our Men’s Golf Coach Wes Coble and men’s golf student athlete Blake Keesey on the topic. Blake is one of about 9,500 student athletes that will be affected state-wide by this new policy.
Jackie Robinson Day
Wednesday was National Jackie RobinsonDay. The day is celebrated because Jackie Robinson (a four-sport star at both Pasadena City College and UCLA) first stepped on the field in the Major Leagues as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, effectively breaking the color barrier in professional sports.
In 1997, Major League Baseball (MLB) officially retired his jersey number ‘42’ across all MLB teams. On April 15, 2005 MLB declared April 15th as Jackie Robinson Day and on this day every player wears the number 42 to honor his legacy. Although Jackie faced much persecution personally and to his family, he never wavered and stood fast in his resolve to be viewed not by his skin color but by his ability to compete on the field. The movie ‘42’ which came out in 2013 perfectly portrays the hardships he endured in his plight breaking the color barrier. As we are all at home staying safe, now is a great time to watch (or re-watch) this film.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Sometimes in our lives we all have pain We all have sorrow But if we are wise We know that there’s always tomorrow. Lean on me, when you’re not strong And I’ll be your friend I’ll help you carry on For it won’t be long ‘Til I’m gonna need Somebody to lean on (Bill Withers)
Good morning, Bakersfield. Happy Easter It is Saturday, April 11, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.
Jon Pareles wrote a moving piece in the New York Times about how Bill Withers used his music as a tool to express his compassion and selflessness. Withers was in his early 30s when his recording career started, and his real-life experiences serving in the Navy and working in factories brought an authenticity to his songs about people and their everyday lives. A 2009 documentary about Withers’ life titled “Still Bill” traces the influential singer’s life from his childhood in West Virginia to his retirement from the music industry in 1985.
Enjoying spring with national poetry month
Jack Hernandez emailed me about April being National Poetry Month. His email triggered me dusting off an old book of poems that was part of my high school curriculum. Here are a few verses from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Cloud
I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers, From the seas and the streams; I bear light shade for the leaves when laid In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken The sweet buds every one, When rocked to rest on their mother’s breast, As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail, And whiten the green plains under, And then again I dissolve it in rain, And laugh as I pass in thunder.
Here is another lovely poem by Jack Hearnandez
Waiting By Jack Hernandez
When dawn brings the darkness, and light confounds the day, we are given the gift of waiting, which must be opened to show the way of breathing
without a calendar whose hours are trained to run, We must hold silence like a bowl receiving rain, a leaf shining in the sun, We must feel in stillness the caress of hope.
Thank you Jack!
Thank you Greg and Mary Bynum
Of Bakersfield College’s 40,000 students, 80% are First Generation, approximately 80% are low income, and many rely on campus WiFi and computer labs to access the internet in order to complete their assignments. Students’ responses to a March 20 survey revealed that about one in 10 students do not have adequate off-campus internet access while nearly a quarter of students use their cell phones as their primary device to access their courses. In response to student high student need for technology as Bakersfield College moved instruction online, BC developed a laptop loan program with a generous donation from Greg and Mary Bynum.
In my virtual forums, I have been sharing an article from Politico on April 2 highlighting the 10 million workers nationwide who filed jobless claims over the previous 2 weeks. Yet another surge has brought the total of new jobless claims during this pandemic to over 17 million. I have also been sharing this chart showing how the current unemployment claims compare with unemployment data from the Great Recession. One key difference is how quickly the jobless claims have spiked.
I have previously mentioned the Back to College program our team has created to help combat rising unemployment in Kern County. It is my hope that our community can continue to Lean on BC in this time of need and difficulty.
Our team held four sessions last week and two additional sessions this week to answer student questions and get students registered for these courses. Thank you to Victor Diaz, Erineo Garcia, Jo Ann Acosta, Heather Skibinski, Ashlea Ward and Armando Trujillo for leading these sessions and getting our students registered.
I also want to thank Joseph Tipay, David Moton, Oliver Rosales, Isaias Hernandez, Sylvia Reyes, Beenne Anglin and Jonathan Ward for agreeing to take on this important work and teach these courses to our students. This 5-week program will help jumpstart students’ educational journeys and put them on a path that can lead to new associates degrees or transfer options. Online classes begin on Monday.
What’s Streaming?: Find out everything you need to know about popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and more.
Self Massage for Stress and Tension Relief – Learn massage techniques that you can apply to your whole body and understand the benefits and precautions of massage.
Massage for Headache Relief – In this course, you will learn about the causes of headaches and practice massage, acupressure and Reflexology techniques for headache relief.
Tai Chi – Tai Chi is a form of martial arts in which slow, gentle movements are made in the air to improve balance, coordination, joint mobility, and blood circulation.
Gentle Mat Pilates – In this class, you will learn about Pilates, a blend of exercises to increase core strength, flexibility, breath control, and alignment correction to improve balance and posture.
Creative Writing: Creating Characters and Their Stories – In this course, you can expect to learn the elements of fictional writing, such as creating memorable characters, descriptive scenes, and realistic dialogue.
Gentle Yoga – This class is designed to promote increased mobility, flexibility, and balance. Yoga is practiced by people of all ages. Each class is an hour of relaxation and gentle movement.
Thank you to Norma Rojas-Mora, Susan Pinza, Miriam Valenzuela, and the BC Levan Institute staff for leading this online classes initiative.
Jeff’s tips include donating food or money to food banks, donating blood, writing letters to people in isolation, supporting local businesses, and daily neighborhood cleanups. Thank you, Jeff!
All-Campus Forum with Community Leaders
Our All-Campus Virtual Forum last Monday focused on community and political leaders sharing their passion for higher education, as well as their plans to improve the job market during the COVID-19 crisis. I will have their videos for you next week.
On Monday, April 13th, we have another great line up of speakers — Rudy Salas, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and David Bynum. Tune in at 3:00 p.m.
Thank you to Nicky Damania and Todd Coston for moderating the virtual forum, Shannon Musser and Lesley Bonds for facilitating the forum behind the scenes, and all of our participants for keeping the valley strong during these uncertain times.
Here are a few short videos of some of our presenters
Abel Guzman on Rural BC.
Diane Allen — Faculty Counselor supporting DSPS
Jackie Lau — Assistant Director, Enrollment Services
Matt Jones — Faculty, Academic Technology
Fun Photos: IT Provides Laptops Before Physical Campus Closure
Before we shut down the physical campus, Manny De Los Santos got some great photos of the Technology Support Team getting laptops ready for Renegades to move online. Thank you to our whole Information Technology Department for helping us manage this transition.
Renegade Nurses Help Fight COVID-19
Bakersfield College nursing students have stepped up to meet the need for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only eight weeks from graduation, our Level 4 nursing students were thrown into uncertainty as we shifted to a virtual learning environment. But our Associate Dean of Nursing, Carla Gard, playing to “where the puck was going to be,” coordinated externship opportunities with our community health partners: Kern Medical, Dignity Health Systems and Bakersfield Heart Hospital.
Nursing student Shantelle Rubio and Cindy Collier were interviewed by Valley Public Radio last week, and Fresno Univision affiliate KFTV-21 featured our nursing students in a piece for Spanish-language media.
Here’s a salute and prayer for all healthcare workers who are on the front lines of this epidemic.
Renegades on the Front Lines
English faculty member Kaitlin Hulsy wrote a beautiful piece about the importance of nursing and her late mother’s 35-year career in nursing, which started right here at Bakersfield College. Thank you, Kaitlin!
Before I existed in this world, my mother was a student in the nursing program at Bakersfield College. At the time, she was a single mother who was working multiple jobs to raise two young boys and pay her way through college. My mother was always glamorous, but during her days hitting the books, she had a little more grit as opposed to glitter.
Bonny Lou Hulsy walked across the stage at graduation with a smile on her face. She had done it! She went on to have a 35-year career in nursing. This started with cleaning bedpans, and eventually morphed into assisting doctors in diagnosing kiddos with autism at Kern Regional Center. She eventually co-founded one of the top schools in the nation for children with autism and autistic spectrum disorders. Her sons are now grown, one of them the CAO of Kern County.
We know that nurses can do anything. More importantly, we know how needed they are at this uncertain time. It is in the spirit that I have an ask for the sixty-nine nursing students who are about to be on the front lines in the time of COVID-19: What do you need? How may we help each and every one of you as you begin your journey?
It is my desire to put together a wish list of items for our 69 Renegade nurses to bring them comfort as they confront a still very much unknown dragon. Please email Endee Grijalva to request any items you need. We will do our best to accommodate you.
In the meantime, please know that my mother is looking down from Heaven on BC nursing and bubbling with pride. As a faculty number, I join countless others who are so incredibly proud of you. We Are BC!
Until next time,
Emails Worth Sharing: Castle In the Storm
Kaitlinis also spearheading an important creative outlet for Renegades as they shelter in place. In Kaitlin’s most recent column on the website, she shares her thoughts about teaching being the best job in the world. Read her email below about Castle In the Storm.
Good Afternoon, Colleagues:
I wanted to humbly direct your attention to a project I’m working on, namelyCastle In the Storm.
Castle in the Storm is a place for Renegade students who need a creative outlet in the time of Covid-19. The website functions both as a place to showcase student work, in addition to being a repository for professional advice and published pieces from established authors. Our logo was created by BC alumnus and local comedienne Margaret Haggard, and original student work is appearing daily. Submissions of flash fiction/poetry/nonfiction from any Bakersfield College students are always welcome. Students may email me directly, or submit to the website via the Contact page.
At this time, our featured author is acclaimed nonfiction writer Deanne Stillman. Her works include Mustang: the Saga of Wild Horses in the American West, among many others. Deanne has written for Rolling Stone Magazine, and her work Twenty Nine Palms: A True Story of Murder was referred to by the great Hunter S. Thompson as “a strange and brilliant story by an important American writer.” She is part of the core faculty at UC Riverside Palm-desert-MFA. Thank you very much for your time, and please enjoy your weekend.
Regards, Kaitlin Hulsy
We got a ton of great content this week through the #BCGoesOnline hashtag on social media. Keep sharing your photos and posts with #BCGoesOnline on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and we’ll feature you in next week’s blog!
Carlos Medina tweeted about supporting CSUB with virtual career events, like the virtual career expo for Industrial Technology last week:
Archives Throwback: Thomas Takes Over New Position
Our look at Bakersfield College in the mid-60s continues with this article from the 1967 Raconteur yearbook about Bill Thomas accepting a position as the student government advisor. Bill Thomas would continue to be a champion for Bakersfield College over the next half-century as a BC professor, KCCD Trustee, and US Congressman representing the Southern San Joaquin Valley. Check the article out below, and stay tuned for more glimpses at Renegade life in the 1960s.
“During the last meeting of the Board of Representatives, Fall Semester, a motion was made without proper parliamentary procedures; this mistake was corrected by a member of the Board with the supervision of an interested teacher who had come into the meeting for a few minutes. Noticing this teacher’s interest in student government, Mr. Ronald McMasters, Advisor, appointed him as the Spring Semester Advisor to student government, knowing there was a vacancy for that position.
“Mr. William Thomas has taught at Bakersfield College for the last two years. Previous to this he attended Santa Ana Junior College, where he received his A.A. degree, after which he transferred to San Francisco State College. After four years with a year of student teaching, he obtained his B.A. and M.A. degrees.
“Besides being Advisor to Student Government, Mr. Thomas is a member of the Board of Publications. He teachers the Parliamentary Procedures Class, Political Science 1, and Social Science 53A and B. Previous to his new appointment, he was advisor to the Tutorial Project and the Young Republicans Club.
“Mr. Thomas enjoys many extra-curricular activities but is not interested in any special activity. He enjoys sports very much, such as handball and basketball, and he also rides a motorcycle occasionally. To pass the time, he reads and listens to music. Most of his weekends in the past two years have been spent chaperoning the college dances.
“Mr. Thomas is very active and is interested in helping the Bakersfield College students whenever he can through his active life in Student Government and campus life.”
More recent photos of Bill Thomas.
Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Men’s Tennis Coach Noel Dalton and Head Football Coach R. Todd Littlejohn. Both Coaches talked to Kenny Calvin, the radio host of the Renegade Report, about leading young student-athletes through this unprecedented time. The three also talked about how student-athletes and coaches are facing the stoppage of sports. Click the link to listen to the conversation on Facebook:
National Student-Athlete Day
Monday, April 6th, was National Student-Athlete Day! With all of our sports teams at a standstill, it’s a unique time for athletic staff and coaches, and in particular, for student-athletes. On top of going to class and studying hard, they put in many hours in practice and competition every week. Even now, as we are all sheltering in place, our athletes are hard at work at home, pushing themselves to stay in shape so that they are ready to compete once again. Happy National Student-Athlete Day Renegades, you’re doing fantastic training at home!
Brett Clark Named BVarsity Coach of the Year
Brett Clark, BC’s head wrestling coach and the head girls wrestling coach at Frontier High School, was named the BVarsity All-Area Girls Wrestling Coach of the Year this week. Congrats go out to Coach Clark for this accomplishment! We are lucky to have a coach who is so devoted to developing young talent within our community.
Special Edition: “I Miss Sports Because…”
We asked our student-athletes on social media this week to finish this sentence, “I miss sports because…” Here are a few of their responses
Blake Keesey, from Men’s Golf: “I miss the pressure of needing to hit the shot at the right moment. I miss the early morning drives with the team. I miss the nerves of the opening shot. I miss fighting for each other.”
Brooklyn Walsh, from Women’s Golf: “My team is my family.”
Caleb Jameson, from Men’s Golf: “I miss sports because I miss my team, I miss my brothers, and I miss the pressure and expectations that come with sports.”
Carlos Estrada, from the Football team: “The family environment.”
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya- the luckiest and happiest college president ever
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