Tag Archives: Romeo Agbalog

BC — always supporting our students & our community

What a great week…. the campus was alive with activity from the BCSGA screening of the Ironed Jawed Angels, to the production of the Pillowman, to Baseball and Softball, to our tiny Cougar Renegades Lighting up the Night with the grand opening of the McFarland High Stadium, to the monitoring and ongoing education about the coronavirus and promoting healthy habits. Another routine week at the Home of the Renegades! This is how we roll…..

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 7, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in California this week to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. At BC, we’ve been monitoring the evolving news and remain in close communication with Kern County Public Health.

There are currently no known cases of Coronavirus in our community.

When news first emerged of the coronavirus, I tasked a special advisory team on this matter to keep me informed with daily updates and status reports from Kern County Public Health.  I activated the Incident Command Center on February 27th and started my direct communication to the campus.

In the best efforts to keep our community informed, BCSGA President Samantha Pulido and Academic Senate President, Steven Holmes joined Cindy Collier and me in a video message to the campus this past Monday to share procedures like frequent and correct hand washing techniques.

Various teams around campus have been working around the clock to keep hand sanitizers filled, put out communications and posters to bulletin boards and the website, and keep surfaces and door handles disinfected on a routine schedule.  Thank you Bill Potter and our M&O staff. Thank you Dr. Nicky Damania, Cindy Collier and Shelly Casteneda

Bakersfield College will continue to closely monitor the global and and local development and BC’s COVID-19 Advisory Team will provide regular updates to the campus. I am proud of the efforts and leadership displayed by our community thus far. As educators, we continue to be role models for our students and for our community.  

Iron Jawed Angels

Earlier this week, BC’s Office of Student Life, the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities, and Women’s History and More Committee hosted a screening of the 2004 American historical film Iron Jawed Angels at the Levan Center, in honor of the National Women’s History month. The film portrayed the American women’s suffrage movement, during the 1910s, which defined a historical revolution of women’s right to vote.

American women’s suffrage leaders, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, dedicated their lives to the women’s suffrage movement and formed the National Women’s Party which was committed to grant women the right to vote. Our BC History faculty, Jennifer Grohol, led the screening of the film and described how the women’s suffrage movement granted women the right to vote with the enactment of the U.S. 19th Amendment.

Renegades Star in The Pillowman

The Performing Arts Department staged a riveting rendition of the dramatic play “The Pillowman” this week, bringing this dark, dystopian tale to life on the Indoor Theater stage.

 “Pillowman”, created by Irish playright Martin McDonagh, tells the story of a fiction writer being interrogated by police for the murder of three children. The details of the crimes are very similar to several short stories that he wrote, and the audience was at the edge of their seats as the narrative of the play unfolded to reveal the truth.

The cast and crew masterfully rotated the set designs for each scene, and all of the actors did an amazing job. There were two separate casts for “the Pillowman”, and both were fabulous.

Thank you to director Brian J. Sivesind, BC Performing Arts, and all of the cast and crew for bringing this psychological thriller to the stage. If you’re reading this on March 7, you still have a chance to catch three more performances of “The Pillowman” at at 2 p.m. on March 8.

The Inmate Scholars Program Shows Support for Females Achieving Change Together

Pictured left to right: Educational Advisor Diana Alcala, Admissions and Records Assistant La-Reina Villanueva, and Department Assistant III Camilla Andersen assist prospective Bakersfield College students in selecting a learning and career pathway.

Females Achieving Change Together (F.A.C.T.) is a gender responsive collaboration that focuses on the unique issues that previously incarcerated women face. On February 27th, The Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) partnered with local community organizations and educational institutions for the first annual resource event. At the event, attendees learned about dressing for success, overcoming life obstacles, maintaining health and sobriety, and gathered information on next steps necessary for successful reintegration.

Pictured left to right: Program Manager Sabrina Aguilar, Admissions and Records Assistant La-Reina Villanueva, Educational Advisor Diana Alcala, Department Assistant III Camilla Anderson, and Counselor Sue Ann Villaros.

2020 Panorama Invitational

The Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery inside the library is acknowledging the creativity of our local high school students as part of BC’s annual Panorama Invitational. You can visit the Jones Gallery Monday through Thursday between 3 and 6 p.m. to check out all of the beautiful artwork, which was curated from 13 high schools throughout Kern County.

The gallery runs until March 12, so be sure to check out all the great art on display. The gallery held an opening reception for the exhibition on January 30, giving the artists, their families, and members of the community the chance to celebrate their work. The pieces in this year’s Panorama Invitational show off the full range of creative expression that these young artists are capable of. For instance, “Chaos Through Angel Tears”, created by a senior from Golden Valley High School, depicts an angel in a state of ponderous melancholy, while “Stressed Patience”, created by a senior from Independence High School, is a visual representation of how time ebbs and flows.

Thank you to Ronnie Wrest, Jeffrey Huston and all of the staff at the Jones Gallery for giving young artists their first opportunity at having work displayed in an exhibition. On March 26, we will be honoring artists at the Home of the Renegades with the opening reception for the Bakersfield College Student Art Exhibition.

Fun photos from the CISOA conf

UC Merced Trip with STEM Students

A group of 25 STEM students and five STEM faculty took off from Bakersfield on Friday, February 21th on the Amtrak train to visit UC Merced.  It was a new adventure for many BC students, and some of them had have never been a train before.  The group took CatTracks, the campus shuttle, to and from the train station to UC’s newest campus nestled in the rolling hills outside of Merced, mingling with current UC Merced students and staff.  Once on campus they met with Professor Chistopher Viney, one of the twelve founding faculty of the University and chair of the Material Science and Engineering Department. Professor Viney greeted us and gave the students an overview of material science and engineering at UC Merced.  His department is a refreshing departure from the stereotypical view of the engineering profession, the faculty is 75% female from four different continents.

The students were impressed with the tour of the Chemistry Department which included their nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometery lab and their super computer facility used for computational chemistry.  UC Merced faculty member Prof. Hratchian was excited to tell us that ALL students, undergraduates included, had free access to the super-computer regardless of major. Many students commented on the train ride back that lunch in the The Pavilion (the newest dinning hall) was a great experience.  UC Merced is guided by a long-range vision of sustainable design, and waste reduction. In the cafeteria recycling and composting is a part of the dining experience, and the UC Merced student helped make sure that the compostable food waste and recycling was separated correctly.  BC faculty, Professors Rosenthal, McGarrah, Vaughan, Daniel and Saldivar accompanied the students on the trip.

Dr. Joe Saldivar deep in thought 🙂

Writing Center team at UCLA

The Writing Center team spent leap day attending the Southern California Writing Centers Association Tutor Conference on Saturday, February 29, 2020. Writing centers across So. Ca. gathered at the beautiful UCLA campus to hear presentations and a keynote on this year’s theme: “Equity in the Center.” Public and private two- and four-year colleges along with other types of institutions hosted workshops dedicated to addressing embedding an equity framework in writing centers.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Elizabeth Kleinfeld, Director of the Metropolitan University of Denver Writing Center, whom our own Writing Center Lead, Kim Arbolante, had the pleasure of meeting at the North American IWCA conference last October. Dr. Kleinfeld delivered an enlightening presentation on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and participants were invited to “participate in a little anarchy” by pretending our centers burned to the ground and needed to be completely redesigned physically and conceptually with UDL in mind.

On the BC team’s scenic walk back to the van, there were plenty of photo opportunities. Kim was even able to make time for a quick Byrd scooter ride along the way. Look at her go! 

Archives Throwback: Renegade Pantry

5 Staff members in front of well stocked shelves.

Looking back through our archive of Renegade Rip issues on the BC website, we discovered that this year marks the tenth anniversary of the Renegade Pantry, a resource center that provides our students with food, hygiene items and other essentials to support them through their educational journey.

In the February 3, 2010, issue of the Renegade Rip, reporter Brian N. Willhite and photographer David Karnowski covered the opening ceremony that took place on January 28 of that year. Former BC President Greg Chamberlain cut the ribbon for the new facility inside the John Collins Campus Center, and one of the speakers for the event was a BCSGA senator named Shawn Newsom, who is now one of our history professors. His wife Kristi Newsom served as BCSGA President at the time.

Today, you can find the Renegade Pantry inside Levinson Hall, and an expanded pantry is a big part of our plans for the new Campus Center that is slated to open before the end of this year.

Check out an excerpt from the article below:

The Student Government Association at Bakersfield College has started a new program that hopes to eliminate hunger among the student body. The SGA will be offering a variety of canned goods and other food staples by providing a food bank to assist students in need. The Renegade Pantry officially opened its doors Jan. 28 with multiple news media organizations on hand to witness the ribbon-cutting ceremony and commencement speeches given by SGA senator and assistant to the dean Shawn Newsom and BC president Greg Chamberlain.

Together they expressed their desires and vision for the program and its success. “If we can provide the opportunity for one student to stay in school, then it is all worth it,” said Chamberlain as he spoke about the needs of the student body reaching their educational pursuits. With budgets being cut from community college special-needs programs such as CalWorks and EOPS, SGA board members sought opportunities to better serve BC students in need. The decision to start a student run food bank began over the winter break with hopes to provide relief to students who may be affected by budget cuts or other circumstances hindering their educational goals. “It is our goal that no student will have to choose between books or groceries,” said Newsom.

Renegades in the News: Shelly Castaneda

The magazine “Diversity: Issues in Higher Education” wrote a blurb highlighting Bakersfield College’s appointment of Shelly Castaneda as Executive Director of Public Safety. Shelly worked for the Kern County Sheriff’s office for 28 years and was the second woman in the history of the department to serve as Chief Deputy Sheriff. She is also an award-winning body builder and two-time survivor of breast cancer. I speak for everyone at BC when I say that we’re so proud to have Shelly on our team!

STEM & MESA Students Unite

On Monday, March 2nd, the STEM Pathway and MESA Program hosted Jaimi Paschal, Jenny Ezpeleta, and Melissa Mayfield, CSUB Advisors, to the AERA STEM Center. The advisors provided a brief presentation on STEM opportunities at CSUB.

Wendale Davis Foundation

On February 28, 2020, Bakersfield College hosted the Wendale Davis foundation’s 12th annual Youth Leadership Conference. 

Since the murder of 16-year-old Wendale in 2006, his father Wesley Davis has worked to prevent Bakersfield’s youth from turning to violent lifestyles.

Over 300 students from the Bakersfield area were on campus Friday to learn about gang prevention and AIDS awareness and heard from Bakersfield Police Officers and current prison inmates. The keynote speaker Andrew “Dance Fever 3-D” Jones, shared his personal story on how he overcame early childhood adversity to become a professional dancer and motivational speaker. 

The purpose of the conference is to give youth skills to get through challenging situations.

Community Voices: Endee Grijalva

Endee Grijalva, the Program Manager for Adult Education, wrote her piece about the Homeless HireUp Project, an exciting new project we’re launching to provide 24 individuals with career preparation and a job within six months. One quote at the end of Endee’s article crystallizes why this initiative, which is in its pilot phase, is so important.

“The ultimate goal of Project HireUp is to shift the conversation on the nationwide homelessness crisis by demonstrating that in order to work towards the eradication of homeless, we must come together as a community to invest in the resources that will ensure the safety, health and overall well-being of all.”

Community Voices: Gian Gayatao

Gian Gayatao is a student senator on the Bakersfield College Student Government Association. He wrote about how BC helped him find and realize his passion for public service.

BC SGA set me on a path of purpose to help students while working cohesively as a team from very different walks of life. I participated in making a survey for all students at BC to optimize our events on campus, see the issues being presented to us and to understand students on a deeper level. I sit on committees such as Student Health and Wellness and Accreditation and Institutional Quality to provide a student perspective. I have finally hit my stride and found my purpose to better BC.

Community Voices: Jack Hernandez

Former Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez had this piece share some beautiful ruminations about the nature of solitude in the Californian: 

“To understand solitude is to understand its purpose, which is to be with, discover, and grow our inner self, our soul, as some would say. Solitude is more than being by ourselves, perhaps reading, listening to music, thinking and letting our minds wander. It is planned and structured attention, introspection and reflection at a regular time and place. As we set aside this regular time and place to be alone in solitude, our inner self begins to anticipate it.”

McFarland Athletic Field Ribbon Cutting

Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Abel Guzman attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for McFarland Unified School District’s Petersen Athletic Field Complex. Superintendent Aaron Resendez introduced and thanked Petersen family matriarch, Geneva Petersen, for her family’s generosity and support of the school district.  One of the highlights of the event was the performance by Browning Road STEAM Academy’s cheer squad who were wearing Future Early College Cougar t-shirts. 

Love this picture of Romeo Agbalog and Abel Guzman with these tiny Cougar Renegades

This Week at BC

This week at BC, our marketing students Juan and Ramon focus on BC Athletics!

Renegade Athletics

Men’s Basketball Spring 2020 Camp

Renegade Men’s Basketball is offering a spring basketball camp on April 6th-7th from 9am-2pm each day. The camps emphasize the fundamentals of basketball and are co-ed, open to children ages 5-17. The cost will be $60/person. Pre-registration is encouraged through the form linked here. For more information, call Rich Hughes at 395-4553 or email at rihughes@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

Swimming Offers Private Swimming Lessons

Renegade Swimming is now offering private swimming lesson for anyone ages 3 to adult. The price for four, 30 minutes lessons is $80. Available lesson times are Monday-Friday 2:30pm & 7:00pm and on Saturdays between 9am-11am.

Adult lap swim is also available at the below times. It is free for BC faculty, staff and students and a $5 drop-in fee for community members.

  • Monday – Thursday evenings 6:00-7:30pm
  • Monday/Wednesday Mornings – 9:30-11:00am
  • Tuesday/Thursday Mornings – 7:00-8:30am
  • Saturdays – 9:00-11:00am

For more information call the BC pool at 661-395-4663 or email Head Swim Coach Matt Moon at matthew.moon@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

BC Golf at the Mission

This last Saturday our Men’s and Women’s Bakersfield College Golf Team’s headed over to provide service at the Kern County Mission. Our athletic department has consistently provided weekly service at the Mission for the past year. On top of school, practice, work and other obligations our student athletes are always finding ways to serve in our community. Way to represent BC!

Next Level Gades!

Renegade Football’s Angel Baez has committed to play with the Kansas Wesleyan University Coyotes this next fall. Angel, who attended East HS, played the last two seasons at BC as a defensive lineman. Congrats, Angel!

Also, Christian Gonzalez and Edgar Gonzalez are both headed taking their soccer talents to the next level. Christian (Ridgeview HS) is headed to Humboldt State and Edgar (Bakersfield HS) is staying in Bakersfield and will be at CSUB. Both were exceptional soccer players for Coach Vayron Martinez the past two years and played huge roles in the team winning the men’s soccer teams first conference championship this last fall. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

Valley Strong Credit Union Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (2/23-2/29) Valley Strong Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Amaya Williams, Women’s Track and Field – Amaya won the 100 hurdles (16.49) and 400 hurdles (1:09.25) at the Santa Monica College West Coast Classic. She is currently ranked first in SoCal in the 400 hurdles and ranked third in the 100 hurdles.

Cody Hartsfield, Men’s Track and Field – Cody won the discus (42.43m) and placed fourth in the hammer (41.03m) and seventh in the shot put (11.72m) at the Santa Monica College West Coast Classic.

Athletics Photos from this week

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week:

Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

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

  • Tues. 3/10 – Women’s Tennis vs Antelop Valley at 2pm
  • Tues. 3/10 – Baseball vs Glendale, 2:30pm
  • Tues. 3/10 Softball vs. LA Mission, 2:30pm
  • Thu. 3/12 – Women’s Tennis vs Ventura, 2pm
  • Sat. 3/14 – Track and Field host the BC Relays at 11am
  • Sat. 3/14 – M/W Tennis host Folsom Lake at 9:30am
  • Sat. 3/14 Softball vs Reedley, 12pm
  • Sat. 3/14 Softball vs. Long Beach, 4pm
  • Sat. 3/14 Baseball vs. Glendale, 1pm
sonya christian

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Feb 29, 2020 Celebrating Leap Year & showcasing Sterling Silver 2020

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 29, 2020…A Leap Year… A great day to be a Renegade.

Sterling Silver

Liz Rozell, John Petre, Sonya Christian, Kay Meek
Liz Rozell, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian
left to right: Zav Dadabhoy, Sandi Taylor, Liz Rozell, Dr. William F. Baker, Jr., Sonya Christian, and Romeo Agbalog.
Liz Rozell, Rick Kreiser, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder

We had a beautiful reception at the Seven Oaks Country Club last weekend as part of our 12th-annual Sterling Silver Dinner, which the BC Foundation puts together to honor and recognize the exceptional support that members of our community provide to BC every day. Proceeds from the Sterling Silver Dinner help fund scholarships for students, providing vital opportunities to make higher education a reality for thousands of Renegades.

Kris Tiner

The evening brought together Renegade alumni and supporters, generous donors, and friends of the college to celebrate this year’s honorees. Under the direction of Kris Tiner, the BC Jazz Ensemble masterfully entertained the crowd as they entered the event. Seven Oaks chef Paul Burzlaff prepared a wonderful variety of culinary delights with help from BC Culinary Arts students.

Several notable Renegade supporters were on hand to celebrate our honorees, including Mayor Karen Goh, Assemblymember Vince Fong, State Senator Shannon Grove, County Supervisor Zack Scrivner, and City Councilmember Andrae Gonzales. Other notable community partners included S.C. Anderson, Diane Lake, and AECOM/Parsons.

Corporate Philanthropist of the Year – Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealers Association

We started off the reception by recognizing the Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealers Association for their long-standing support of BC. The Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealers Association was founded in 1945 and has held several golf tournaments to promote education in Kern County.

Individual Philanthropist of the Year – Mr. Bill Kelly

Bill Kelly receives the Individual Philanthropist of the Year Award
Bill Kelly receives the Individual Philanthropist of the Year Award

Bill Kelly taught agriculture at BC for 37 years. In addition to being selected Professor of the Year in 2014, he has won accolades across the state for his influence on agriculture education. Mr. Kelly retired in 2019, but he loves what he does so much he is back on campus as an adjunct instructor. However, we honored Bill because he and his family have provided substantial financial assistance to generations of BC students through the Verna L. Kelly Memorial and Kelly Family scholarships, set up to honor his family and strengthen ag education.

Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal – Dr. William F. “Bill” Baker, Jr.

Dr. William Baker receives the Foundation Service Medal.
Dr. William Baker receives the Foundation Service Medal.

Dr. William Baker has served as the Team Physician for Bakersfield College athletics since 1978 and has provided expert medical care to generations of athletes, witnessing milestones such as the 1988 State Championship and the 1990 Potato Bowl. Dr. Baker’s contributions continue in the scholarship that he and Dr. Michael Tivnon established and award annually through the Bakersfield College Foundation. Dr. Baker has a successful practice in town and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the International Academy of Thrombosis, Hemostasis and Vascular Medicine. The Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal recognizes extraordinary service to the Bakersfield College community for fifty-two years of commitment to Bakersfield College and Bakersfield College Athletics, and a lifetime of service to the good health of Bakersfield and Kern County.

Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal – Rick Kreiser

Rick Kreiser receives the Foundation Service Medal.
Rick Kreiser receives the Foundation Service Medal.

Rick Kreiser is a Bakersfield College alum who has served on the Bakersfield College Foundation since 2001, even serving a stint as chair of the Foundation from 2005 to 2007. Over the years, Rick and his company, Carney’s, have helped numerous local charities raise money, especially to fight cancer. There is a scholarship benefiting Bakersfield College students in the name of his late wife, Kris Kreiser.

Thank Yous

Heather Pennella and Norma Rojas-Mora
Heather Pennella and Norma Rojas-Mora

Thank you KGET for covering the event and for producing the honoree videos. I’d also like to thank Norma Rojas-Mora, Monika Scott, Dylan Wang, Manny De Los Santos and Brandon Urry from BC’s Marketing and Public Relations team for the promotion and social media coverage of this year’s Sterling Silver Dinner.

Sterling Silver is the signature event for the Bakersfield College Foundation, and it wouldn’t be possible without the tireless planning and work of Heather Pennella, our Alumni and Donor Relations Manager. Thank you Heather, as well as the rest of the Foundation team, for coordinating another successful night. A special thanks also goes out to Liz Rozell for stepping in as Executive Director of the Foundation after Tom Gelder’s retirement.

Check out more photos from the Sterling Silver Dinner below, captured with the brilliant photography of April Massirio.

Karen Gohn, Sonya Christian, Christina Scrivner, Shannon Grove
Sonya Christian sits with Sterling Silver dinner attendees.
Seated: Dr. Michael Tivnon, Gerry Collis
Standing: Lorenzo Alvarez, Duane Damron, Carl Bowser, Dr. Bill Baker, Dallas Grider, Carl Dean, R. Todd Littlejohn, Bob Covey, Harvel Pollard.
front row: John Turner, Joi Turner, Patrick Beck; back row: Vince Fong, Julia Turner, Kay Meek, Sonya Christian, Lauraine Cook, Jerry Cook.
Front row: John Turner, Joi Turner, Patrick Beck;
Back row: Vince Fong, Julia Turner, Kay Meek, Sonya Christian, Lauraine Cook, Jerry Cook.

African-American Community Leadership Breakfast

Mayor Karen Goh with the Buffalo Soldiers.
Mayor Karen Goh with the Buffalo Soldiers.

BC is recognized nationwide for the work of our African-American Initiatives team with the John W. Rice Award and other accolades, and their success has been aided by the support of leaders in the African-American community who believe in our vision for closing equity gaps in Kern County. We held a special breakfast for African-American leaders in the Levan Center on Wednesday to thank them and show how that support is transforming thousands of lives every day.

Steve Watkin receives a standing ovation.
Steve Watkin receives a standing ovation.

I always look forward to the African-American Community Leadership Breakfast every year, and I’m glad that we could bring it back for 2020. Our Food Services Department provided another lovely meal for all our attendees, and Steve Watkin organized and emceed the event.

Mayor Karen Goh was in attendance at the event, and she gave a beautiful speech about the power of unity to create systemic change.

Umoja Coordinator Paula Parks.
Paula Parks

The keynote speaker for the African-American Community Leadership Breakfast was BC’s own Paula Parks to talk about the success of our Umoja Community chapter. The audience erupted in applause when Paula announced an increase of 133 percent for African-American student completion of English at BC, which is a direct result of the leadership and community promoted through Umoja. Listening to Paula’s presentation, even I was surprised at how much the program had grown in the last few years, expanding to cohort courses in English, math, astronomy, biology and more. We now have a sister student organization called the Umoja Club, and the program will begin to offer students internships through Dignity Health.

After Paula’s presentation, representatives from several important community organizations spoke to promote their education initiatives, as well as partnerships with BC and other schools. I loved hearing from Dee Slade of the African-American Network of Kern County, Charles Everly from the Buffalo Soldiers, Dr. Bradford Anderson of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Essie Davis from The Links, Incorporated, Linda McKnight from Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and LaMeka Ross from the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

BC culinary arts student Edwin Peterson.
Edwin Peterson

We closed out the morning with a powerful student testimonial from Edwin Peterson, a young man who has turned his back on the mire of the streets to pursue a Culinary Arts degree right here at BC. He credits Steve Watkin and the African-American Initiatives team for motivating him to continue his education.

Thank you to the African-American Initiatives team, Food Services, the Levan Center, and everyone who attended this event to show their love and support for our African-American students.

Steve Watkin, Mayor Karen Goh, Sonya Christian and Charles Everly.
Steve Watkin, Mayor Karen Goh, Sonya Christian and Charles Everly.
Steve Watkin, Sonya Christian, Rev. Ralph Anthony, Doc Ervin, Dr. Oscar Anthony
Steve Watkin, Sonya Christian, Rev. Ralph Anthony, Doc Ervin, Dr. Oscar Anthony

Levan Center and Levan Institute on KGET

Reggie Williams and Susan Pinza visited the KGET studios early Thursday morning to talk about the Levan Center and the Levan Institute, two important institutions that provide community enrichment and lifelong learning to everyone in Kern County. Thanks, Reggie and Susan! Check out the video above or visit the KGET website.

Art, Architecture and Archetypes: Art as Ritual

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Ronnie Wrest, Rae Ann Kumelos, and Krista Moreland.
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Ronnie Wrest, Rae Ann Kumelos, and Krista Moreland.

A panel of current and former BC professors engaged in an informative discussion about how art is used in sacred rituals and ceremonies around the world. The Levan Center’s first Art, Architecture, and Archetypes panel of the Spring semester brought together Ronnie Wrest, Rae Ann Kumelos, Krista Moreland and KCCD Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg around the theme of ritual as art.

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Wrest talked about Navajo sand painting and German performance artist Joseph Beuys, whose interpretive piece “I Like America and America Likes Me” portrayed the story of being healed by an indigenous tribe in the Crimea after a plane crash. Kumelos shared Stephen King’s ritual of “intentional dreaming” before sitting down to write his novels, which helps his mind enter a higher level of imagination. Krista Moreland offered a deeper understanding behind the symbolism of the sand mandala, which uses symbolic colors, shapes, figures and object to represent the interconnectedness of life. Finally, Trustee Heitzeberg explained the influences of devotional art in the Catholic faith.

Thank you to the Levan Center, all of our panelists, and everyone who attended this interesting discussion.

Renegade Roundtable on Homelessness

A group of five brilliant BC faculty members shared their views on the homeless crisis at the Levan Center as part of the first Renegade Roundtable of the Spring 2020 semester last week.

Erin Miller.
Erin Miller

This edition of the Renegade Roundtable featured Michael Harvath, Jack Hernandez, Steve Holmes, Erin Miller and Neal Stanifer. Each of these educators brought their years of scholarship to the table to approach this important issue from different perspectives. Hernandez, the former director of the Levan Center, encouraged audience members to think of the homeless as individuals instead of statistics. Stanifer and Horvath proposed solutions to getting people off the streets and into homes, and Erin Miller took a closer look at how mental health affects the ways that homeless people tend to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs.

While the panelists had different ideas about how to deal with homelessness, all agreed that we can’t keep ignoring the problem any longer. Thank you to all of the panelists, as well as Reggie Williams and the Levan Center, for offering a space to encourage insight into this ongoing problem. Events like these are important for fulfilling BC’s core value of community, honoring our obligation to “build an environment in which all members participate as a community through democratic engagement”.

BC's Core Value of Community
BC’s Core Value of Community

Community Voices: Michele Bresso

Michele Bresso

In a Community Voices column earlier this week, Michele Bresso shared a story from one of her communication classes that brings home the impact of homelessness on the lives of our students and the power of education to change it.

When she assigned her small groups communication class to volunteer at the Bakersfield Homeless Shelter as part of a class project, she found out that one of her students used to be a resident of the shelter before she became a Renegade. The student vowed never to return to the shelter once she got back on her feet, but her experience as a volunteer for Michele’s class convinced her to have a change of heart:

She met a young woman living at the center who was much like herself years before. My student committed to a weekly volunteer schedule at the center so that she could mentor this young woman and model a way to achieve independence.”

Grounds for Dreaming

Lori Flores speaks in the Levan Center.
Lori Flores speaks in the Levan Center

Stony Brook University professor Lori Flores visited the Home of the Renegades to host an enlightening discussion on the agriculture labor rights movement in California during the early 20th Century.

Lori Flores
Lori Flores

As an historian of agricultural labor in the United States, Flores was excited to come to the Central Valley for the first time. After all, this is the place where so much of that history was and continues to be made. The Social Justice Institute invited Flores to the Levan Center last week to share from her book “Grounds for Dreaming: Mexican-Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the California Farmworker Movement”. “Grounds for Dreaming” is a deeply researched account of how immigrant laborers from the Bracero program and Mexican-Americans came together to organize for better working conditions in the 40s and 50s, decades before Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta founded the UFW.

Thank you to Lori Flores for sharing her years of scholarship with our students, and thank you to Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond for organizing the event.

This Week at BC: Financial Aid

For the newest edition of This Week at BC, marketing student workers Ramon Carreido and Juan Reyes take a closer look at the Financial Aid office ahead of the March 2 deadline for filling out the FAFSA.

I love seeing our student workers get more comfortable with their video skills while spreading the word about all of the awesome programs and initiatives here at BC. Great job, Juan and Ramon!

Renegade Athletics

Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Men’s Golf Team out at Stockdale Country Club. Head Coach Wes Coble and student athletes Blake Keesey, Caleb Jameson and Quinn Walker sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss their season so far. On Monday the team will host a conference match out at Stockdale Country Club and we know they will represent us well!

Coach Goodman Reaches 100 Career Victories

100 Career Victories! Casey Goodman, BC Head Softball Coach
Congrats, Coach Goodman!

A special congratulations go out to Renegade Softball Head Coach Casey Goodman, who just collected her 100th victory as a head coach. In her third season at BC she has collected 66 victories and the other 34 came from her time as the head softball coach at Louisiana State University, Alexandria. As a Renegade Casey has captured back-to-back Western State Conference Championships and the team looks to make that three in a row this spring. Congrats Casey – we are lucky to have you!

BC Football at the Mission

Coach Littlejohn at the Mission of Kern County

This last Saturday our new football coach R. Todd Littlejohn and a number of our Renegade football student athletes spent the morning serving our community at the Mission of Kern County. We are glad to have the relationship with the Mission that allows our students to give back!

Men’s and Women’s Basketball All-Conference Renegades

With basketball season coming to a close we had multiple men’s and women’s basketball student athletes who were awarded post-season conference awards. From Men’s Basketball Tyrell Coleman (1st-Team), Michael Guillory (Co-Defensive MVP and Honorable Mention) and Isayas Aris (Honorable Mention) all received recognition. From the Women’s team Dasia Wandick was named All-Conference for the second year in a row, along with teammate Alyssa Gonzalez.

Next Level Gades – Eamon Sullivan

Next Level Gades - Eamon Sullivan, Football
Eamon Sullivan signs to the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.

Eamon Sullivan from Renegade Football has signed to continue his academic and athletic career at University of Virginia’s College at Wise located in Wise, VA. Eeamon played the last two season at BC and is excited to continue his career at UVA Wise. We wish him the best and know he will always represent BC!

Valley Strong Credit Union Renegades of the Week: Feb. 16 – Feb. 22

BC Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (2/16-2/22) Valley Strong Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Dasia Wandick, Women’s Basketball – Dasia matched a career high and had a season-high total of 30 points in the women’s basketball season finale against Canyons. She also received WSC South All-Conference honors for the second straight year.

Esteban Robles, Men’s Swimming – Esteban was the only individual with an event win for BC (100 Free and 50 Fly) at the 2020 Ram Crush this last weekend at Clovis College. He was part of the 200 Free Relay team who took 1st  where he put up big anchor leg for the win. He was also part of 3 other relays all placing in the top 4 at the meet. For his efforts he was named the Sprint Master and Butterfly Master of the meet. To win the award one must have competed in the 50/100/200 of the strokes and score the highest cumulative points in the events. He swam in all 6 races and took the title in both strokes.

Athletics Photos From The Week

Renegade Athletics Updates From This Past Week

Renegade Track

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:

  • Mon. 3/2 – Men’s Golf hosts WSC #4 at 9am, Stockdale CC
  • Tues. 3/3 – Women’s Tennis vs Bakersfield at 2pm
  • Tues. 3/3 – Baseball vs LA Mission at 2:30pm
  • Sat. 3/7 – Softball vs. Fullerton at 12pm
  • Sat. 3/7 – Softball vs. Pasadena City at 4pm
  • Sat. 3/7 – Baseball vs LA Mission at 1pm

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC Hits the Ground Running in 2020

The first week of 2020 at BC was an active one, and for me the highlights included watching our Basketball teams play at the Gil Bishop gymnasium and seeing the Measure J campus center construction moving so rapidly. Btw, the team won the first conference game against Citrus College 65-40!

The two weeks that BC was closed for Christmas were just great. I had the perfect vacation at home …the first week with my daughter who visited for four days for Christmas, what a treat to have her for that long a time. The second week quiet with lots of walks, curling up in front of the fireplace with a book, cooking, and catching up on home projects. Talking about reading here are a few of my favorite reads from 2019.

  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
  • The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
  • The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
  • Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Back to basketball and athletics. Not sure if you were aware that student athletes outperform the college average in metrics for academic performance. These kids play hard in their sport and work hard in their coursework. Here is a quote from the my recent State of the College report: student-athletes outperform the general student population on all of the Guided Pathways Momentum Points. In fact, in Fall 2018, 62% of first-time student-athletes attempted 30+ units in their first year, compared to their peers at 12%. Our coaches are the very best. It was wonderful watching Coach Paul Dahl, Coach Rich Hughes, and Coach Aaron Chavez in action yesterday.

McFarland Cougars and BC Renegades are so connected… The fabulous Superintended of McFarland, Aaron Resendez tweets:

Here is a 17-sec fun video of our Men’s team.

Renegade Mens Basketball

2020 Women’s Empowerment Summit at BC

Mark your calendars for the Fifth Annual Women’s Empowerment Summit to be hosted at Bakersfield College on Saturday, April 25, 2020.  This annual Summit is organized by the California Latino Leadership Institute (CLLI) and launched in 2016 to address Central Valley women’s issues with gender gaps, career barriers and prospects for the future.  You can learn more about it at their website

Last year’s conference featured appearances from Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, California Assembly Member Rudy Salas, and several women from the local petroleum industry. Aera Energy President and CEO Christina Sistrunk was also recognized by CLLI as the 2019 Distinguished Woman and Petroleum Advocate of the Year.  Check out this great video from last year’s Summit and please join us for this year’s wonderful event!

BC Welding Students Tour PCL Industrial Services

BC Job Developer Carlos Medina organized an industry tour of PCL Industrial Services for our Bakersfield College welding students on December 20th. Thank you to Carlos for organization this, and thank you to PCL Industrial Services for opening doors for our students!

Welcoming BC Students With One Day Express Enrollment

The new year is upon us, and the Spring 2020 semester is about to begin in just a few weeks here at BC. To get our students ready, the Outreach Department held a One-Day Express Enrollment event in the Welcome Center to integrate members of the community into the Renegade family.

Counselors and student interns made sure that the incoming students got into the right classes that fit into their busy schedules. I would like to congratulate all of our future Renegades for letting us help you reach your educational goals.

BC Welcomes 26 New BPD Officers

Friends, family, and members of law enforcement packed nearly every seat in the Indoor Theater on Thursday to celebrate 26 new officers who had just finished the Bakersfield Law Enforcement Training Academy. Bakersfield Police Department Class 19-01 is the first to graduate from the new training facility on California Avenue and the first wave of new officers that will hit the streets since the passage of Measure N, which provides $58 million in funding to enhance public safety around the city.

Photo courtesy of The Bakersfield Californian

I would like to thank the Bakersfield Police Department for choosing the home of the Renegades to host their graduation ceremony. Check out the article by Quinn Wilson of the Bakersfield Californian to learn more about Class 19-01.

State of the BC Agriculture, Nutrition and Culinary Arts Pathway

At the last College Council meeting the Agriculture, Nutrition and Culinary Arts (ANC) Completion Team consisting of Juan Manzano, Dominca Trindad, Corny Rodriguez and LeAnn Riley presented the status of their pathway.  They found that since Fall 2014, the number of first-time students in the pathway has increased by almost 2.5 times to a total of 304 students.  If you include dual enrollment numbers, it has increased nearly six times!! Great job, team!!    

The ANC Pathway provides a large variety of exciting degree options that will lead to many in-demand careers. The focus of this pathway is to learn while doing by offering courses designed for students to have hands-on experience, develop problem-solving skills, and provide industry standard experience. Students can earn a variety of industry accepted certificates of achievement and associates degrees for those who want to enter the workforce directly from Bakersfield College. Some of those areas of concentration include occupational safety and risk management, forestry, animal science, and heavy equipment technician to name a few! You can check out all of the degrees and certificates offered at the ANC website

Student Employment Scoop: Careers in Overdrive

This week’s Student Employment Scoop newsletter (see excerpt below) highlighted the ongoing work in BC’s Authomative Technology department.  Take a look and learn about the opportunities BC has to offer!

Automotive Technology Associate Professor Vic Posey, in just a few short years, has grown the Automotive Internships into a model program. Assessing student’s strengths, he invites students to participate each summer to be placed at different companies throughout Kern County. Over the summer two particular students shifted their careers into overdrive. Diana Barrios began as an Engineering major, but also wanted to learn some basic maintenance so she registered for the Introduction to Automotive Technology course and was hooked. Over the summer she was placed at GMC Motor City and after only one month was offered a full time position. But because she was still working towards her degree she agreed to a part time position with GMC who was willing to work around her school schedule. Diana is the second in her family to attend college, she is the only female Gas Drivability Technician at GMC, and has moved into a full time position. Diana only has one class left to complete her Automotive Technology Associate Degree.

Shifting gears to Edgar Villasenor, who much like Diana, was the second in his family to go to college. He was placed at Jim Burke Ford Quick Lane for his internship, and within 2 weeks completed his required 60 hours. His work ethic and diligence caught the attention of his internship supervisor and one month after completing his required hours they called to offer him a full time position. Ford was able to provide flexibility with his school schedule. Edgar is a Lube Technician for Jim Burke Ford Quick Lane but wants to work bumper to bumper in the main shop one day and has 4 classes left to graduate in May 2020.

Both students agreed that when the opportunity to connect with the industry presents itself to TAKE IT! But you have to put in the work and want to be there. They also say, “It’s not enough to just do your school work, you must learn how to effectively communicate with coworkers and customers.”

Pictured Left to Right Diana Barrios, Vic Posey, Edgar Villasenor

Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee Community Awards Breakfast

Two members of the Renegade family will be recognized at this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee Community Awards Breakfast on January 20. Josephine Triplett was a long-time child development professor here at BC, and Polly Warren is a community service organizer whose husband Harvey Warren was a BC counselor.

BC’s Steven Watkin at last year’s annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Awards Breakfast Celebration at the MLK Community Center. Rev. Watkin was the master of ceremonies for the event. Photo courtesy of The Bakersfield Californian.

The breakfast is held at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center every year to honor individuals for their acts of generosity and kindness in the community. Honorees include civil rights attorney Kathleen Faulkner, Dolores Huerta, and Memorial Hospital CEO Ken Keller.

Thank you to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee for recognizing our Renegades. For more information about the breakfast, read Ema Sasic’s article in the Bakersfield Californian.

Fun Photos: Bill Potter Working Hard

Upon returning from Winter Recess, life at BC can get hectic, but leave it to Bill Potter to find some time to turn work into play!

Bill putting his Measure J construction knowledge to work.

Fun Photos: BC Supporting Astromech Droids

I returned to campus this week and found a Christmas present waiting for me in my office…. Astromech Droid sweatshirt (often most recognizable as R2D2 in the Star Wars saga).  Thanks to a dear colleague who knew that I was a Star Wars fan and this sweatshirt has Industrial Automation emblazoned in bold with Astromech Droid in smaller lettering underneath it. A marriage of BC and Star Wars.

Governor Newsom’s Focus on Education

Reporter Michael Burke recapped Governor Gavin Newsom’s first year of higher education initiatives in an article published in EdSource on Monday.

In his first year of office and with the help of the state legislature, Governor Newsom has increased the number of available competitive Cal Grants, increased funding for the California College Promise, and launched the Council for Post-Secondary Education, an advisory board of education, business and labor leaders to help Newsom shape policy on college access and student success initiatives. The article quotes several experts and analysts from the California higher education community, including Campaign for College Opportunity President Michele Siqueiros, one of our partners in the Educational Systems and Intersegmental Pathways Task Force.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

In 2020, Newsom and the legislature will be working on reforming financial aid to cover non-tuition costs. Check out Michael Burke’s informative, detailed article for more information about the present and future of community college statewide.

Jeff Chudy Steps Down as Renegade Football Coach

After 16 seasons of leading the Renegade Football program, head coach Jeff Chudy decided to retire from coaching, and back to full time teaching, this last week. Including his time as an assistant coach, Jeff has spent almost 30 years roaming the sidelines at Memorial Stadium coaching football. We are grateful for his many years of service to the college and the countless hours he spent teaching and leading our Renegade student athletes. The 2012 football season he coached was particularly extraordinary when he led the Renegades to a record of 11-2 and the State Championship, routing City College of San Francisco 35-14 in the title game at Memorial Stadium in front of over 18,000 fans.

Coach Jeff Chudy

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (12/29-1/4) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Julie Hernandez, Women’s Basketball – Julie was a driving force in helping the Renegades to a huge come-from-behind victory at home last Saturday against Reedley College, 68-63. She was 40% from the field, led the team in rebounds with 11 boards, scored 13 points and had 3 assists.

Javier Gallardo, Men’s Basketball – Javier led the Renegades in two big wins hosting the Western State Classic this last weekend. In their 106-52 win over Santa Barbara he had 22 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. In their 101-54 win over Oxnard he had 13 points and 7 rebounds.

Renegade Athletics Updates From This Past Week

Men’s Basketball Hosted 2020 Western State Classic

Game 1 win over Santa Barbara, 106-52

Game 2 win over Oxnard, 101-54

Women’s Basketball with come-from-behind victory over Reedley

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:

Wed. 1/15 Women’s Basketball vs Glendale, 5pm

Wed. 1/15 Men’s Basketball vs. Glendale, 7pm

BC… Raising the Bar

Jingle Bells. BC at BSO Dec 6 2019
Sleigh Ride BSO Dec 6 2019
Both photos snapped while walking Neo on Dec 21, 2019

Merry Christmas

Started this week’s blog with Christmas music from the BSO-BC Home for the Holidays concert. Featured below is the fun version of Twelve Days of Christmas performed by our new Mens Choir. See if you can spot some of our faculty and staff and in the video. Going left to right: Nicky Damania, Chris Glaser, Nick Strobel.

Celebrating our BC Foster Youth through the NextUp Program!

NextUp, a Foster Youth Support Program housed within EOPS, had an end-of-the-year celebration this past Tuesday.

Fun Photos: UMOJA Recognizes June Charles

June Charles being recognized by the Umoja Program. Thank you Andrea Thorson for the photos.

Fun Photos from the December KCCD Board meeting

Snapped some fun pictures at the Dec KCCD Board meeting. Was great seeing Bill Henry who was recognized by the Board for his tenure at KCCD. Also,Gary Moser and KCCD received an award from Ellucian for the innovative work we are doing statewide. Finally both Romeo Agbalog and Kyle Carter were recognized by KCSOS.

Sandi Taylor was recognized as Manager of the Month by Manny Mourtzanos this past week. Congrats Sandi! You deserve it!

Manny Mourtzanos and Sandi Taylor

Annual Culinary and Caroling Dinner

Topping Out Party

Steve Anderson, Bill Potter, Sonya Christian

On Friday, S.C. Anderson held it’s “topping out” party for the new Campus Center building.  I joined our very own Bill Potter, Tamara Baker, Zav Dadabhoy, Billie Jo Rice, Nicky Damania, and Pam Kelley, along with KCCD Project Manager Nick Hernandez to celebrate this occasion.