Tag Archives: Romeo Agbalog

Carnaval del Barrio as BC opens

This week, Bakersfield College officially welcomed students back to campus with an Ice Cream Social and vaccination clinic on Tuesday and Wednesday.

And look who visited us ……

Governor Gavin Newsom visited BC in a private event the day after he officially declared California as open. The Governor had heard about BC’s vaccination clinics staffed by ONLY volunteers — student nurses who gave shots, nursing faculty on site to supervise, along with other faculty, staff and students volunteering to do set up and take down of pop up clinics at our various communities as well as the mass drive-thru clinics on the Panorama campus.

What a thrill to share the amazing work being done at Bakersfield College with our governor.

And if you still need to get a vaccine, please come by BC. The BC Student Health and Wellness Center is open to all students and community to be vaccinated. In addition to the various community pop-up clinics, we are administering the Moderna vaccine on campus every Tuesday and Wednesday, and the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine every Thursday between 9 am and 3 pm. Walk-ins are accepted at all clinics. You can also register at myturn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255 to schedule your appointment. Enter the zip code of 93305 to view the BC Student Health Center availability.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, Juneteenth, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.

Juneteenth — Celebrating Independence and Freedom

Just watched this 4-min video that was done last year leading upto the Juneteenth events. Really love the music backdrop from our choir. Check it out.

This week, Bakersfield College held a series of Zoom events commemorating Juneteenth, leading up to our local community event this evening.

History: January 1, 1863 – June 19, 1865

On June 15, Rich McCrow facilitated a discussion between BC history professor Jamal Wright and CSUB history professor Kiran Garcha about the history of the African-American struggle from the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation to June 19, 1865 (Juneteenth).

What Juneteenth Means to Me?

On June 16, Dean of Counseling and Student Success Marisa Marquez hosted a forum titled “What Juneteenth Means to Me”. The panel featured Daron Mackey, BC Educational Advisor and Lead for the African-American Mentoring Program; Natasha Harris, Senior Admissions Officer at CSUB; and Julian West, Director of the Career Ladders Project.

Celebrating Juneteenth: Customs and Traditions

For the last seminar on June 17, we closed out the series with a look at Juneteenth customs and traditions facilitated by Keith Wolaridge, a BC professor of Business Management and Information Technology. The panel featured Dee Slade, Executive Director of the African-American Network of Kern County, in conversation with Vikki Coffee, Co-Chair of BC’s Equal Opportunity and Diversity Advisory Committee.

Finally, BC will be in attendance at the NAACP Bakersfield Branch’s Juneteenth Celebration at Yokuts Park between 3:30 and 8 p.m. today, June 19, where we’ll be handing out The Taste of Juneteenth food to the community.

Industrial Automation Summer Academy

Room full of excited students and their parents.

Last Thursday, June 10th, 2021, we kicked off our very first Industrial Automation Summer Academy for our early college students. We welcomed 31 students and their parents on campus during our orientation.

We were joined on stage by Roy Allard, instructor of the ELET B70 course the students will be taking during the academy, to review COVID guidelines and introduce the students to their course on CANVAS. We were also joined by one of BC’s advising experts, Dylan Jensen, and job development specialist, Carlos Medina, who presented information about our baccalaureate program and the awesome benefits of completing their industrial automation degree at Bakersfield College.

Our early college students were given backpacks full of Bakersfield College swag, textbooks for their summer course, and a guided tour of the industrial automation classrooms.

Industrial Automation Summer Academy students pose with
their backpacks and textbooks for ELET B70.

Participants left excited about the INDA Summer Academy and looking forward to starting class and the field trips we will be taking every Friday for the duration of the academy, starting this Friday, June 18th with a tour of the Witron facilities!!

Special thanks to Tony Cordova, the entire Industrial Automation team and the BC Foundation for finding our sponsor, Phillips 66, and making this all possible!

Kylie Campbell and Berenice Arellano
at the orientation check-in.

Free Immigration Legal Services at Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College and the United Farm Workers Foundation have partnered to provide free Immigration Legal Services to all Bakersfield College students, faculty, and staff. Services are provided by authorized immigration attorneys via Zoom/Phone appointments. As a reminder, USCIS, the agency that administers DACA, is NOW accepting initial applications. Bakersfield College AB540/Undocumented Students Program and the UFW Foundation strongly urges all BC students, staff and faculty who believe they may be eligible to schedule an appointment for free Immigration Legal Services. DACA fee assistance is currently available while funds last. 

Appointments can be scheduled using the following link: https://UFWFLegalServicesCollege.as.me/schedule.php

Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:


His namesake was learning
to walk    getting a first tooth,
they would have looked
at each other recognizing
their yearning to be free
to follow roads
narrow    wide
up exultant hills
through reflective valleys,
but he had taken himself
off the road years before,
his namesake so sweetly fresh
would never know
his searching face.

Spring Internships: Windmill Cattle Ranch Video

In last week’s blog, I wrote about Spring Internship Success internships of several of our students.

Today, I’d like to share the video that student James Bruce created to capture his experience. James was one of three welding students who interned at Windmill Cattle Ranch on a project of tearing down old horse corrals and installing new ones.

Commencement 2021

On May 16, our special Commencement Tribute for the class of 2021 aired on KGET. Today, I am sharing 4 videos from that production.

KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog‘s remarks:

Congressman David Valadao‘s remarks:

The third section of our graduates:

And the fourth section of graduates:

You can see all the videos from our 2021 Commencement Tribute production at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/admissions/2021-commencement-tribute.

Early College Newsletter

The Bakersfield College Early College team has created a newsletter to keep everyone informed about the great work that they are doing with our Early College students across Kern County.

The first edition includes recognition for the Early College Class of 2021, as well as highlights of student Jayleen Vargas and community supporters Clifford and Patricia Mettler, and more!

To subscribe to the newsletter, please visit https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/pX4CTY9.

Closing Day 2021

Our Closing Day 2021 production spanned 3 days and featured speakers and performances from across our Renegade community.

Today, I am sharing three videos – three of the President’s Leadership Award recipients.

The COVID-19 Vaccination Team:

The Academic Services Team:

And Pam Rivers:

Check out all the videos on the Closing Day 2021 website.

In the News

Bakersfield’s “kindness ambassador,” Chuck Wall, dies at age 80

Chuck Wall, a longtime Bakersfield College professor, was known as Bakersfield’s kindness ambassador to the world. He popularized performing “random acts of kindness”. He passed away at age 80 on June 8.

I hope you will all join me in honoring Chuck Wall with some extra kindness this week.

Disability Awareness Assessment Center Recepient Speaker Chuck Wall

Community Voices: BC and Community Voices: BC and Rotary: Building peace in Kern County

Mindy Wilmot and Cheryl Scott wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian promoting the next seminar in our ongoing peace seminar series.

“Indeed peacebuilding is at the heart of everything Rotary stands for. Through its service, Rotary is dedicated to causes that improve lives and communities around the world, including those in our own backyard.”

Please consider tuning in to the June 22nd event, which will be held via Zoom from 4-5 pm. Registration is required. Please visit the BC website to register.

You can find out more about the BC Peace Initiative, including the seminar series, on the Bakersfield College website.

Community Voices: Ignorance of Things Past

Jack Hernandez wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the importance of looking back on history, and trying to view it with a fair lens that acknowledges there was good as well as bad:

“What is the point of these revelations? How do we respond when we learn about the dark side of the past, our past? Forget? Forgive? Learn? Change? Some would have us demonize the past: all was evil and terrible. Others would have us mythologize the past: all was good and wonderful. Usually, though, the past is a mixture of happiness and suffering. In Detroit, growing up, I had a very happy childhood, while others had terrible, segregated, poor childhoods. Mine was full of opportunities, theirs was not.”

Community Voices: An American Tapestry

Check out Dr. Brij Bhambi’s piece here https://tinyurl.com/4jzfayw2

This world is not a monochromatic experiment. It’s a chaos of colors. Colors that lend diversity and festivity. Colors that divide and bridge. Prejudice is an ultimate versatile emotion, a true chameleon. It piggybacks on color, culture, nationalism, reason, region, religion and God forbid, politics.

What distinguishes the United States of America is its virtues, which far outweigh its flaws. The pursuit continues but progress is everywhere to see. It’s the most benevolent empire the world has witnessed in human history.

Community Voices: Everyone Deserves to Find Their Path

Sandy Woo-Cater wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the importance of supporting our students so they can achieve their goals:

“Imprinted on my heart is the encouragement I received from the late Jack Brigham, who instilled in me the values of social justice. Initially my history professor, he mentored me throughout my academic career until his passing. I will also never forget my second time on a plane. Don Turney, our former dean of students, took a group of us to D.C. for a student leadership conference. I remember buying my first blazer for that trip. With people like Jack and Don by my side, I understood for the first time that I had a purpose and contributions to make toward creating a just world.”

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Librarian Sondra Keckley shared some photos of new construction on campus:

“Today at work I finally took a look around the campus during my lunch break to see all the new changes. (For those who don’t know, we had a huge Measure J bond pass in 2016 for major building construction and improvements.) Thanks to the pandemic, the construction could go on without interrupting classes or a hassle for students, and we get to come back to a big surprise.”

Pamela Rivers shared an update from the Renegade Hub:

“The Renegade Hub is here to help our BC students with all their technology needs. See us in person in the library or online!”

Rural Initiatives Team in Wasco

The Library shared that they’ll be open this summer:

And I just loved this picture that Regina Rivera shared when she sent out the daily Gades Grub Food Menu on Tuesday:

The Gades Grub is parked right in front of the new Dining Commons. Currently, they are only accepting cash, with breakfast service from 7-10:30 am and lunch service from 10:30 am – 3 pm. If you’re on campus, be sure to stop by to try out the amazing breakfast burritos and other offerings from food service!

Lin-Manuel Miranda does it again

In the Heights is a must see. check out this 1-min teaser of my favorite song in the movie.


That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC doing it right – Early College in Kern County

Have you heard about 2-year-old Kashe Quest? Her IQ is 146, which is nearly 50 points higher than the average American adult.

Kashe, who is from Los Angeles, is America’s youngest member of Mensa – the oldest high IQ society in the world. She knows the periodic table and can identify the states by shape – wow.

A faculty member from BC sent me this story…. made my week.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, June 12, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.

Early College Students Graduate from Wonderful College Prep Academy in Delano

Early College graduates from the Wonderful College Prep Academy celebrated graduating as Renegade-Wolves during their ceremony on Saturday, June 5. A team of Bakersfield College advisors were present at the graduation to let parents know about the course offerings available in Summer and Fall 2021. 

Student speakers included these accomplished young wpmen, pictured with Abel Guzman and myself. Crystal Herrera Heredia will be attending UCLA, Destiny Serna will be attending UC Davis, and Adriana Alvarado will be attending Princeton.

Abel Guzman, Crystal Herrera Heredia, Destiny Serna, Adriana Alvarad, Sonya Christian

Destiny Serna was named the Excellence in Pathways Student Speaker. She earned a 4.5 GPA with 430 credits. In her speech, she spoke of the “sense of independence and responsibility” at Wonderful Academy.

Salutatorian Crystal Herrera Heredia earned a 4.5 GPA with 450 credits. In her speech, she talked about the difficulties of attending high school and graduating during a pandemic and the importance of staying connected ….. “when we are apart, it is important to connect to each other.”

Valedictorian Adriana Alvarado earned a 4.5 GPA with 460 credits. In her remarks, she mentioned how her parents were farm workers, as we well as fruit and tupperware vendors. She credited her parents with helping her understand the value of a strong work ethic, and she urged her fellow graduates to remember the sacrifices their loved ones had made to give them a better life.

Congratulations to these incredible young women, and all the graduates at Wonderful College Prep Academy. #ProudPrez #WeAreBC

Visit the photo gallery by Earl Parsons to see more pictures from the Wonderful College Prep Academy graduation.


I’d also like to share some more videos from our commencement tribute for our class of 2021, which aired on KGET on May 16th. Our production included some phenomenal speakers who offered words of advice and congratulations to our amazing Class of 2021.

KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke:

State Senator Shannon Grove:

Assemblyman Vince Fong:

We also included a photo roll of our graduates. Today, I’m sharing the second segment:

You can see all the videos from the Commencement Tribute at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/admissions/2021-commencement-tribute.

BC Celebrates Juneteenth

Dr. Paula Parks embraces a student from the Umoja Club
during the Black History Month conference in February 2020.

Join us on June 15, 16 and 17 at 3 p.m. as we celebrate the history and contributions of African-Americans in a series of virtual seminars leading up to June 19. Visit the Zoom registration link to sign up for all three days.

On June 15, Rich McCrow will be facilitating a discussion between BC history professor Jamal Wright and CSUB history professor Kiran Garcha about the history of the African-American struggle from the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on June 19, 1865 through the Reconstruction era to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

On June 16, Dean of Counseling and Student Success Marisa Marquez is hosting a forum titled “What Juneteenth Means to Me”. The panel will feature Daron Mackey, BC Educational Advisor and Lead for the African-American Mentoring Program; Natasha Harris, Senior Admissions Officer at CSUB; and Julian West, Director of the Career Ladders Project.

Finally on June 17, we close out the celebration with a look at Juneteenth customs and traditions hosted by Outreach and Early College Director Steven Watkin and Dean of Instruction Jessica Wojtysiak.

On the morning of June 17, a team of volunteers led by Reggie Bolton, Kara McDonald, Michele Puentes, and Cecilia Lopez will be handing out Juneteenth Recipe kits filled with all of the materials needed for some great traditional recipes. Finally, BC will be in attendance at the NAACP Bakersfield Branch Juneteenth Celebration at Yokuts Park between 3:30 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 19.

BC and Rotary: Building Peace in Kern County

BC and local Rotary clubs are partnering to raise the peace conversation to a new level locally. Join us to hear what your neighbors are already doing to promote peacebuilding in Kern County, and to learn how you can join in the effort! The virtual seminar on Tuesday, June 22 at 4 p.m. is free and open to the public. To attend, visit the registration link

BC Foundation Executive Director Cheryl Scott will be facilitating a discussion between Rotary E-Club member Michael Henstra and Bakersfield East Rotary Club member Fernando Aguirre about how individuals can be empowered to contribute to a peaceful community and world. The discussion was inspired by a video from Rotary Action Group for Peace Director Reem Ghunaim, who described how her experiences living in Palestine shaped her understanding of peace as a conscious choice.

For more information about the BC and Rotary virtual event, visit the BC website.

This event is part of the BC Peace Initiative. You can find out more at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/bc-peace-initiative. There, you can find videos from our two previous seminars, “Educators for Peace” on May 18, and “Mothers for Peace” on March 30.

I’d like to share a few videos from the Educators for Peace seminar, to give you a taste of the types of discussions we have been having.

Here, our panelists are responding to the following prompt:
“It’s a painful reality that we live in a time of extreme polarization, and higher education is no exception. With that said, what are the professional as well as personal challenges of being an educator or administrator in higher educator right now, in this environment, and why?”

Richard McCrow:

Bryan Hirayama:

Jeremy Staat:

Jessica Wojtysiak:

Spring Internship Success

Manufacturing Professor Robert Stewart and Manufacturing Student Antonio Zavala

Internships are a great way for students to receive hands-on experience utilizing the skills they have learned from their pathway program. Every semester the Career Education Department works to expand placement opportunities for our students out in the community. The spring semester was no exception for great placements.

Antonio Zavala, a manufacturing student, was placed with a new employer partner, Shar-Craft Inc’s, a local manufacturing company that provides coating, machining and sealing services. Professor Robert Stewart was diligent in ensuring a positive placement, and Antonio was the perfect fit. Three weeks into his internship, Shar-Craft Inc. offered Antonio a full time position with their company.

The Welding department also had the opportunity for a great internship project over the spring semester at Windmill Cattle Ranch. Three students were placed on the project of tearing down old horse corrals and installing new ones. One of the students, James Bruce, had so much fun with the internship program he created a short video to capture the experience.

Express Enrollment

Last week, Bakersfield College’s Outreach Team served over 190 students during their Express Enrollment Event on June2nd! We hope to see similar turnouts throughout the summer! The next Express Enrollment Event is Wednesday June 16 from 12pm to 5pm. Register here: https://forms.gle/og858uCosjSU6Cao9 or visit the website at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/registrationrocks

There are two more Express Enrollment events planned for this summer, on July 7th from 12pm to 8pm, and August 11th from 12pm to 8pm.

BC Foundation Panorama Newsletter

The BC Foundation released their fourth issue of Panorama – their final issue for the 2020-21 academic year. Great work Heather Penella and Cheryl Scott.

A few items of note –

Kylie Campbell contributed a piece about donations from Bank of America and Phillips 66 to benefit the Early College program. Bank of America’s $56,000 donation will help the Public Health Pathway’s 4-year program that allows students to earn an Associate Degree for Transfer in Public Health. The $25,000 from Phillips 66 will provide course materials and travel funds for students in Industrial Automation.

Longtime BC Foundation Board Member Fran Florez is retiring in September after nearly two decades. “I am so proud of the major improvements to the campus today,” she said.

There will be a Celebration of Life for Professor Emeritus, BC Alumni Association President and Cheer Coach Becki Whitson, who passed away in December. The celebration will be held in the new Campus Center at BC on Monday, July 26 – her birthday. Guests must register online to attend.

Becki Whitson

Closing Day 2021

I am continuing to share videos from our Closing Day 2021 celebration, which took place virtually May 11-13. We enjoyed three days of video productions featuring speakers and performances.

We heard from KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog:

I’m sharing three more of the President’s Leadership Awards today.

The first is for the Curriculum Committee:

The second is for Chris Glaser:

And finally, the third is for Steven Holmes, who is ending his tenure as Academic Senate President:

Check out all of the videos from the multi-day production at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/closing-day-spring-2021.

Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:

The Desert

The moon rise
over the desert
is no longer surprising,
he had not foreseen
living in its barren canvas
painted in his later years.

Until this time his life
scurried like an ant
seeking    always seeking,
now he sits grasping
for nothing more
than silent truth in silver light.

BC Vaccine Clinics

If you still need to get your COVID vaccine, I invite you to come to one of BC’s upcoming clinics. Walk-ins are accepted at all clinics, or register at myturn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255 and schedule your appointment. Enter the zip code of 93305 to view the Bakersfield College Student Health and Wellness Center availability.

This week’s clnics include:

  • Tuesday, June 15 on-campus Student Life Office from 10 am to 3 pm: Moderna (18+) and Johnson and Johnson Janssen (18+)
  • Wednesday, June 16 on-campus Student Life Office from 10 am to 3 pm: Moderna (18+) and Johnson and Johnson Janssen (18+)
  • Friday, June 18 @ Mercado Latino (2105 Edison Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93305) from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Moderna (18+) and Pfizer (12+)
  • Saturday, June 19 @ Yokuts Park (4200 Empire Drive) for the 6th Annual Juneteenth Celebration from 3:30 to 8 pm:  Pfizer (12+)

You can find all upcoming clinics at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/studenthealth/clinic.

In the News

Jamal Wright featured in CTA piece about pandemic’s silver linings

Jamal Wright

The California Teachers Association’s California Education magazine, which showcases CTA members, did a piece on the pandemic’s silver linings and how educators have emerged “better, stronger and kinder.”

One of these educators is BC History Professor Jamal Wright:

“For me, the silver lining was learning how to create information resources for students, so they knew something about a topic before even coming to class,” says Wright, a member of the Kern Community College District chapter of the Community College Association (Kern CCD/CCA).

“I learned how to embed videos in lectures using Canvas. I post lectures with videos that students can watch any time. I engage in ‘flipped learning,’ so students can watch clips of Gladiator before I lecture on the Roman Empire. It develops a deeper understanding of the material. I also create quizzes in Canvas to test for understanding and help them retain information.”

102 high school students in Kern County will graduate with an associate degree

I loved this article by Emma Gallegos which made the front page of the Bakersfield Californian. Across the Early College program, 102 graduating high school students in Kern County will also be receiving an associate degree from BC. https://tinyurl.com/594dnfa3

Arvin High School Principal Ed Watts credits the program with helping students continue their education even beyond their associate degree.

“Once a kid has a college plan in their pocket, they’re much more apt to keep going,” he said.

CityServe hosts graduation ceremony for Project HireUp students

KGET did a piece on the Project HireUp program’s latest graduation. Seven students completed the 6-week course, which incorporates job training and life skills development for those struggling with unemployment. And here is Sam Morgan with a front page piece in the Bakersfield Californian https://tinyurl.com/42ftvcsz with photo below from Alex Horvath.

Fun Photos

Here are my latest photos of Neo and Bessie:

Here are a few social media posts I’ve enjoyed this week:

From BC Librarian Mindy Wilmot:

From Counseling and Student Success & Kern Promise Program Manager Isabel Castaneda:

And from History Professor Olivia Garcia:


That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

KCCD – Daring Mighty Things

Last Sunday, I read Nick Strobel’s article in the Bakersfield Californian about the Ingenuity helicopter – which has now had several successful test flights on Mars.

Check out this video from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) showing the first flight, on Monday, April 19th:

Innovation at its very best – and, yes, ingenuity – of all of the scientists and engineers who came together and were able to successfully fly a helicopter on the Red Planet. It was no easy task. As Nick mentions in his article, the surface air pressure on Mars makes it equivalent to 100,000 feet altitude on Earth, and the highest helicopter flight on Earth has only made it to about 41,000 feet.

It was against the backdrop of this inspirational scientific achievement that I was honored to be named the 6th Chancellor of the Kern Community College District, succeeding current Chancellor Tom Burke when he retires this summer.

April 19th felt auspicious to me for the public announcement — the same day that Ingenuity took its first flight on another world. The words “Dare Mighty Things” – JPL’s motto, first attributed to Theodore Roosevelt – written in binary code inside the parachute of the Perseverance Mars lander.

Loved the news coverage. The KGET youtube video made it to my hometown in Quilon, Kerala. Check it out

Then woke up to Steven Mayer‘s featured article in The Bakersfield Californian, front page, above the fold. Beautiful pictures by Alex Horvath.

Christian asked employees in the district — and by extension, the entire community — to join together, to “lock arms and do mighty things.”

At the Kern Community College District, we predict the future by creating it

Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/as6ca4fc

I want to thank Trustees Kay Meek and Romeo Agbalog for their kind words during the announcement.

Kay Meek:

Romeo Agbalog:

And a few photos from the event:

I am deeply honored and humbled to have been selected to lead the Kern Community College District. Together we will dare mighty things for all the students we serve.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, April 24, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.

President’s Virtual Seminar Series – Campus Reopening

This week, we had two more President’s Virtual Seminar Series forums to discuss our return to campus.

On Tuesday, the Student Work Group provided student perspectives. Chef Anna Melby and student Amanda Atksinson discussed what it’s been like on campus for culinary arts students. We also heard from Professor Thomas Rush and Industrial Automation student Benjamin Neville. Bradley Cramer and Monica Huyck also gave an update from academic support services.

On Thursday, we had more updates from the Instructional Work Group, led by Dean Richard McCrow. Panelists on Thursday included three psychology professors – Isaias Hernandez, Christina Howell, and David Riess.

Thank you to Nicky Damania, who introduced both sessions this week, as well as to Earl Parsons and Todd Coston for their continued support in this series.

You can find all the President’s Virtual Seminar Series videos on the Bakersfield college website.

As you can see from our forums, we are hard at work preparing for the return to campus – check out this photo of Bill Moseley, Dean of Academic Technologies, and Eileen Pierce, Program Manager for Academic Support Programs, as they were on campus getting ready this week:

2021 Bakersfield College Art Student Show

The directors of the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery are pleased to present the 2021 Bakersfield College Art Student Exhibition. The exhibit includes student made artwork, created in Bakersfield College art courses in media ranging from charcoal drawings, acrylic paintings, photography, graphic design, ceramics, video, and many others. The work was juried by Seattle based artist Teddy “Stat” Phillips.    

In past years, this exhibition has been located physically in the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery on the Bakersfield College campus. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, this will be our second year displaying the work as a digital exhibition. This exhibit represents the commitment and strength of our students in the face of uncertain times and displays the resiliency Bakersfield College art students have in their continued efforts working in a virtual environment.  

The work is available now at https://www.flickr.com/photos/192804348@N08/

You can also find and share the work at our social media sites below. Please support our BC art students by liking and sharing with your networks:

For more information please contact the Jones Gallery directors: jonesgallery@gmail.com.

NEH Conference with Mark Arax Keynote

This past Thursday saw the final events related to the National Endowment for the Humanities-funded project Energizing Humanities in California’s Southern San Joaquin Valley.

The day’s panels were dedicated to the memory of Gerald Haslam, who served as our grant project’s first speaker in 2017 and was an Oildale native, BC alumnus, prolific and celebrated author, and longtime educator. Gerry passed away last week and will be missed.

Mark Arax

The one-day conference culminated with a speaking engagement featuring Mark Arax.

Mark Arax is an author and journalist whose writings on California and the West have received numerous awards for literary nonfiction. He is a former staffer at the Los Angeles Times and The California Sunday Magazine, and his books include a memoir of his father’s murder, a collection of essays about the West, and the best-selling The King of California. Much of Arax’s work focuses on the Central Valley, and his most recent book, The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California, uses family memoir, history, and extensive reportage on the land to tell the epic story of California’s invention and reinventions through the bending of water.

Other topics included:

Place Based Pedagogy and Our Experiences in the “Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley” Grant Project, which saw project directors Oliver Rosales, Josh Ottum, and Andrew Bond join current and previous faculty fellows to talk about their experiences during the run of the grant and how it has influenced their work.

Narrating the Southern San Joaquin Valley: Journalism and the Past and Future of Storytelling in the Region featured panelists Mark Arax, Olivia Garcia, Jose Gaspar, Lois Henry, Joe Moore, and Reyna Olaguez. Moderators were Erin Auerbach, BC journalism professor; and Haley Duval, Editor-in-Chief of The Renegade Rip.

Chris Cruz-Boone

First Annual Pursuing the Dream Conference

The AB 540/Undocumented Students Program and Rural Initiatives at Bakersfield College will be hosting our first annual Pursuing the Dream Conference: Resources-Advocacy-Empowerment for our Undocumented Student Community on Friday, April 30th from 1:30 PM -5:30 PM. This one-day conference is designed for students, educators, family, and community members to receive information on pursuing higher education, including the resources and support available to the undocumented student community.

Throughout the conference you will hear from one of the first undocumented students to receive a degree from Harvard, UFW Foundation lawyers, licensed therapists, BC and CSUB staff, students, and more! Please encourage your undocumented students and campus allies to attend.

Student Leadership & Involvement Awards Virtual Ceremony

Please join us for The Student Leadership and Involvement Awards Ceremony, coordinated by the Office of Student Life, which recognizes the accomplishments of our registered student organizations and various leaders at Bakersfield College. This event is to acknowledge their achievements to better the College community. It is an opportunity to showcase the wide variety of activities that occurred this year and to demonstrate ingenuity and creative talent. Let’s get together virtually and applaud the recipients!

The event will be on Thursday, April 29, from 6-7 pm. Registration is required by Wednesday, April 28. You can RSVP at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/osl/awards.

BC Faculty speak to Liberty High students

Over the 2020 winter break, Professor Jeff Newby of the History Department was asked to join in on a dual enrollment history class at Liberty High School. Ms. Alyson Moss, one of Liberty’s first dual enrollment instructors, has worked closely with BC to provide her students with an experience as close as possible to actually being in a college classroom. Professor Newby spent the day meeting with three of her classes to go over how to construct historical-argumentative essays.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience helping bridge the gap between high school and college.

On April 13, 2021, Ms. Alyson Moss invited Professors Jeff Newby and Olivia Garcia back to Liberty High School, this time to speak to Liberty’s National Social Studies Honors Society (NSSHS). The purpose of the NSSHS is promote scholarship and academic excellence in social studies, as well as encourage an active interest in social studies in students’ communities and school environments.

Ms. Moss introduced both professors who spoke at length about their own personal journeys towards becoming college professors, advice they had picked up along the way, and the importance of earning a degree in the humanities. They then fielded questions from over 40 students ranging from Professor Garcia’s time as a journalist to Professor Newby’s time teaching abroad.

Umoja Community celebrates creative expression

Umoja Community program offered two recent Indabas to showcase the arts and foster creativity through expression. The Indabas (important meeting with important people) are offered each Monday to engage and connect students.

Poet/vocalist/activist Gina Loring

Poet/vocalist/activist Gina Loring spoke and sang a couple of her poems and offered writing prompts to empower students. She told students, “your voice is your liberation.”

Blake Burton said the prompts around identity and commitment “really made me think.”

Performer/writer/musician Dahlak Brathwaite

The other artist was spoken word/performer/musician Dahlak Brathwaite. Umoja partnered with BC’s Jazz Studies program to bring Dahlak to BC.

Dahlak shared clips from his solo play and film Spirit Trials. Those works traced the history of African Americans through music with the theme of adaptation.

In the film, the Sacramento native said sometimes you have to be someone else, but “the key is to never to lose yourself because to adapt is to be human so that you don’t disappear. What good is adapting if it means part of you isn’t still here.”

After that line, the chat was popping with, “that was so dope” and “whew.”

With the Jazz ensemble students, Dahlak talked about adapting from the creative and musical side. He explained how he merged forms (drama, spoken word, music, and poetry) to find the best platform for his message. He added that through freestyling he has learned not to be afraid to mess up.

Zariyah, an Umoja student and theatre major, said she admired how open and free he was – both creatively and in his worldview.

These two examples of creativity and expression sparked something inside students.

Umoja Community is a program designed for motivated African-American students to increase success and retention. It includes coursework with a cultural component, academic and cultural trips, and counseling support to keep students on track to graduate.

Thanks to Dr. Paula L. Parks, Umoja Coordinator, and Professor Kris Tiner, Jazz Studies lead, for partnering to expose students to the arts.

Welcome Marcos Rodriguez!

From email from Mike Giacomini:

Good afternoon,

I am very pleased to announce that Marcos Rodriguez will be joining the Bakersfield College team as the Executive Director of Facilities and Operations and will effectively lead this ever-growing department and teams as we continue to maneuver through the pandemic while simultaneously expanding our Measure J program on our campuses.  Marcos will be joining our Maintenance and Operations team on Monday, 4/26/21 to continue serving our community at each of our BC locations across Kern County.

Mr. Rodriguez is a local Kern County citizen who attended our own Bakersfield College and went on to getting a bachelor degree in Environmental Resource Management, and masters degrees in Industrial and Technical Studies and in Business Administration.

With this specialized education, Marcos has served schools with close to twenty years of management experience in local college campuses as well as elementary, middle and high school districts – all in Kern County.   

Please join me in welcoming Marcos Rodriguez to the Renegade family.

Commencement Committee – Hard at Work

The Commencement Committee has been hard at work. Kevin Ganger, Jeff Huston, Renegade student Julian, John Gerhold, and Josh Ottum joined Monika Scott to record the National Anthem this week. Be sure to tune in on May 16th to see this performance as we honor and celebrate the Renegade Class of 2021.

The special televised event will air on May 16th at 6 p.m. on KGET Channel 17 or on Telemundo Valle Central Channel 13 (with antennae, 17.3). This event will also be streamed on KGET’s website and KGET-TV17 Bakersfield Facebook. You do not need to have a Facebook account to view the stream on Facebook.

Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem sent to me by Jack Hernandez:


Have I had enough?
the seasons keep coming
ignoring the cries
of those scrambling below
to find a branch
above the flood.
a hill from which
to watch the sun’s
upward glow.

Mornings continue
to unfold
familiar pages
and I’ll reread them,
I have not yet
had enough,
the words   the words
always new.

Updates from EOPS

EOPS Regalia Distribution

The EOPS/CARE/CalWORKs/NextUp team hosted their annual Cap & Gown event to provide prospective BC graduates with their commencement regalia. Over 223 students visited the drive through event to pick up their free cap & gown as well as a certificate for their participation with the programs. EOPS/CARE/CalWORKs/NextUp wants to congratulate this year’s graduating class!

CSUB Transfer Information Session

Bakersfield College’s EOPS Department partnered with CSUB’s EOP and Office of Admissions to better prepare and inform students on the process of transferring in Fall 2021 and future semesters. CSUB’s EOP department was able to provide information to students to help them understand their EOP admissions process, services and resources offered upon transfer. CSUB’s Office of Admissions provided updates, reminders, and helpful tips for students transferring in the Fall. CSUB informed BC students on the transfer admissions requirements for their upcoming Spring 2022 application.

Career Education Workshops for EOPS students

Bakersfield College’s EOPS department partnered with Career Education to provide three informative workshops for the EOPS student groups. Through these workshops, Career Education provided training on Professional Resume Building, Jobspeaker, and Interview Skills which will support students with securing employment at BC and/or in the community.

In the News

Community Voices; College lets you broaden your worldview

This week, journalism professor and Renegade Rip adviser Erin Auerbach wrote a piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the importance of college for students to find the best path for their own futures.

“Taking a class in welding does not force you to become a welder. But it will teach you a skill that might prove useful for future options. Opportunity abounds, so take a chance on yourself. Attend an informational meeting. Sign up for that class that looks interesting.”

Kern County leaders say Chauvin trial is just the beginning

On Tuesday, former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd, whose death launched widespread protest across the country last summer.

Bakersfield College’s Tommy Tunson spoke with 23ABC about the need the change our training and education programs for police officers.

“The training and education that we currently have, I think, is not enough to address racial equity and social justice in the curriculum in police academies,” he said.

Spotted on Social Media

Jonathan Schultz shared a pic of some Umoja gear:

Jen Garrett shared a behind the scenes look at filming for the upcoming BC Chamber Singers video project.

BC Rural Initiatives shared information about an upcoming mobile vaccine clinic in Arvin on Tuesday, April 27, from 8 am to 1 pm. For more information, visit the Arvin High School website.

And Maria Wright shared this pic of her husband Jamal Wright and their son, who had a close encounter with a dino:


Track and Field and Swimming Get Underway

Both Track and Field and Swimming got their abbreviated Spring II sports season underway this last weekend.

Track and Field traveled to compete at Antelope Valley where they faced not only AVC but also Santa Monica. Both the men and women placed first overall. To view individual T/F results click this link.

The Renegade Swim squad went to Santa Monica where they topped the Corsairs with an overall score of 167-77. The men won 102-19 and the women 65-58. To view individual Swim results click this link. Way to go Renegade T/F and Swim!!

That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC — Beat Covid

BC stands for Beat Covid — David Torres

David Torres, Centric Health Foundation Chairman, put it best “BC may stand for Bakersfield College, but to all of us here in this community, for us, BC stands for Beats Covid.”

I loved his energy and excitement at the clinic:

We also celebrated Community Relations Director Norma Rojas-Mora’s birthday with a drive-through singalong:

On Friday, March 26, Bakersfield College hosted our second big drive-through vaccination event – vaccinating 1,025 people!

I am grateful to everyone whose hard work and dedication helped make BC’s second drive-through Covid vaccination clinic an absolute success.

Check out more pictures from the March 26 clinic on BC’s SmugMug site.

I’m continuing to share pictures of our vaccinated Renegades. If you’d like to share your vaccination photo, please email it to president@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

BC supporter Nicole Parra got her vaccination at our first drive-thru clinic:

Nicole Parra getting vaccinated

Program Manager for Counseling & Student Success Isabel Castaneda tweeted about her Johnson&Johnson vaccination:

Food Services Manager Fidel Cabuena got his second Pfizer shot:

Department Assistant Cheryl Caswell-Fairbanks got the shot with her husband and Shawn Newsom from the History Department:

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, April 3, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.

This Easter weekend, I wanted to share a few photos of spring flowers:

And the rose season is getting started:

First Lady comes to Central Valley

This week, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden visited the Central Valley to meet with farmworkers at The Forty Acres. She was joined by Gov. Gavin Newsom in touring The Forty Acres, which was created by Cesar Chavez and became the headquarters for the United Farmworkers of America, and in thanking farmworkers for their hard work during the pandemic. Connie Perez-Andreeson from the BC Foundation Board introduced Dr. Jill Biden…. so cool!

And here is an Instagram post by FLOTUS; the picture is of Connie introducing her.

Sonya Christian, Dolores Huerta, Norma Rojas-Mora

Young Mothers for Peace

Mothers for Peace, the first in a series of seminars through the Bakersfield College Peace Initiative, kicked off on Tuesday this week with a Zoom webinar where panelists reflected on their experiences and concerns as they raise their children, as well as their visions for a peaceful future. Norma Rojas-Mora, served as emcee. Our panelists were Sandy Woo-Cater, Anti-Trafficking Expert; Lauren Skidmore, District Director for Assembly Member Vince Fong; Pawan Gill, Director of HR and Community Development for the City of Arvin; and Antrenette Carr, Human Resources Manager at Amazon.

Here are my opening remarks:

Then, our panelists each gave a short introduction of themselves and their families:

Norma then asked our panelists to reflect on a series of questions.

As a mother, what do you see as the threat?

Let’s fast forward to 2035, your child is now an adult. As you envision that world what do you want it look like? 

What do you want to do to reach that vision for a peaceful society  in 2035?  What is your call to action?

Norma wrapped up the seminar with a few closing comments:

Please stay tuned to the BC Peace Initiative website for information about upcoming seminars, events, and other projects.

Early College Info Night at Valley Oaks Charter

Last Thursday the Early College team hosted a virtual student & parent information night for Valley Oaks Charter School. The session was focused on incoming 9th graders and their parents, but was open for all Valley Oaks students. The student testimonials were the highlight of the event. Two graduating seniors shared their experiences with taking Early College classes through Valley Oaks. They also participated in a question and answer session for the parents and students.

Here are some quotes from our Early College students:

“It’s a really good experience… If you do start, I would start with 1-2 classes.” – Jaxon Young

“I was nervous too. It’s ok to be nervous. It puts a little bit of pressure on you but don’t be afraid to ask your professors for help.” – Elise Mayer

Inmate Scholars Update

Jennifer Craig, an assistant professor of English and the Inmate Scholars Program, sent out the latest edition of the Inmate Scholars Newsletter on March 26.

You can check it out below:

She also shared two links – Success Stories (Roberto Luca’s story), and Professor Sara Wallace’s Reflections from Outside blog.

Spotted on Social Media

BC Cheer shared a throwback photo from the 1994-1995 squad:

The Kern Exceptional Family Center shared some pictures from their vaccination clinic in partnership with the Kern Regional Center and Bakersfield College:

History Professor Olivia Garcia spotted some Easter cheer on a trail:

One of our Culinary Arts students was preparing pastry boxes for Nixtamal Cafe:

Job Development Specialist Carlos Medina’s family took a bike ride through the bluffs:

The Story of Kitty

Before I wrap up with the Athletics Corner that Brandon sends my way, I wanted you to enjoy this story written by one of my regular contributors to the blog, Dr. Jack Hernandez, aka “Grandpa Jack” who wrote a delightful short story for his seven year old granddaughter who is a terrific gymnast…she was cartwheeling and flipping when he was visiting in Williamstown.

        Kitty was a small, grey fluffy cat. Her older sister, Kiki, loved to musically meow and dance, waving her paws in the air like flags. Her big brother, Cosmic, was a superstar mouse chaser.

        But one morning as Kitty watched them from her high breakfast perch she wondered what she could do to be happy like them. She remembered all the things she had tried to do, but hadn’t worked.

        First she had tried swimming, but didn’t like her fur all wet, soggy, and heavy. So that didn’t work.

        Next she had played catball, but didn’t like waiting for her turn, plus she missed too many. So that didn’t work.

        Then she had gone outside on the grass to race snails, but that was too easy. Like even an ant can beat a snail. So that didn’t work.

        Finally she had tried tooting a horn, but didn’t like her lips all tired and worn. So that didn’t work.

        O me, o my, she thought, what can I do? And as she sat and wondered, she suddenly fell from her perch and without thinking landed upright on her paws! Wow, she said, I can do this, can do tricks in the air!

        So when her mama cat, Lipsi, brought her a pancake, she asked her how she could learn to leap and turn, leap and circle in the air.

        He mom answered, “I know a place, Kitty, that teaches kiddy cats to do catnastics, and after breakfast I’ll take you there.”

        “Thank you, mom,” Kitty purred as she put some syrup on her pancake.

        So that very afternoon Kitty began her catnastics lessons. And she practiced and practiced.

        Then one day, not too long after, she was cartwheeling her way! Here and there! Everywhere!

        O how she could flip and dip! Backward and forward! Up and down! Cat flips to the ceiling, to the floor. Tricks, tricks, and tricks galore!

        She was no longer just watching other cats in their jazzy fur. She was now cool, cool Kitty. Jumping. Pumping. Swinging and zinging. Every day.  Every way.

        And that is how she became Kitty–The Cartwheeling Cat.


Volleyball End Spring I Season With Perfect Record

Even though they were not playing competitively for over a year, the Renegade Women’s Volleyball squad is playing like they haven’t skipped a beat. They recently wrapped up play in the abbreviated California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) Spring I sports season with a perfect 9-0 record. In the process they swept seven of the nine opponents and only gave up two sets in those nine games. While there will be no conference or state championship for them to play at the end of this season, we are proud of the what they accomplished and how they represented BC!

Coach Littlejohn on KGET Coaches Corner

Be sure to catch our very own Renegade Head Football Coach R. Todd Littlejohn as he joins KGET sports reporter Taylor Schaub to dissect the local high school football games each week. Watch last week’s segment of the first week of Kern High District games by clicking below:



That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Bakersfield College – Bakersfield’s Disneyland

I woke up on Monday, March 22, to this headline in The Bakersfield Californian, written by its executive editor, Christine L. Peterson:

Christine L. Peterson

‘Today is a victory’: BC hosts first mass drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Kern

“They’re not celebrating at Disneyland quite yet, but you might have thought those at Bakersfield College on Sunday had already arrived at the happiest place on earth.

Cars and trucks lined up to make their way into the parking lot abutting University Avenue for a poke in the arm in the form of one of 1,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses.

The event was dubbed the first mass drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Kern County, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who wasn’t smiling.”

Beautiful writing….. beautiful words…..

We kicked off the clinic with a press conference with some wonderful speakers:

Norma Rojas-Mora, BC Director of Communication and Community Relations:

Assemblyman Rudy Salas:

KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog:

Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez:

David Torres, Centric Health Foundation Chairman:

Imelda Ceja-Butkiewicz, President of the Kern Inyo Mono Central Labor Council:

Jay Tamsi, Co-founder of Kern County Latino COVID-19 Task Force:

Joseph Lopez, on behalf of State Senator Melissa Hurtado:

The entire day had an air of celebration and collaboration as so many different people and groups worked together to get 1,000 vaccine shots-in-arms for the clinic. It is amazing what we can accomplish when we all work together toward a common goal.

Check out more photos from our first mass drive through clinic on BC’s SmugMug website.

And be sure to check the BC Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic web page for information about future clinics!

I also wanted to share a few of the vaccination photos I’ve received this week.

Our KCCD Chancellor, Tom Burke:

Chancellor Tom Burke

Trustee Kyle Carter, who was vaccinated by Miss Yen from the BC Nursing Program:

Astronomy Professor Nick Strobel:

History Professor Olivia Garcia:

Instructional Technology Instructor Alex Rockey & Biology Professor William Rockey:

If you have a photo of your COVID-19 vaccination, please send it to president@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

And be sure to check out our gallery of vaccinations.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 27, 2021, my dad’s b’day … a great day to be a Renegade.

Paul Christian, Sonya Christian

Photos & Poetry

This week, a friend sent me this amazing photo…the heavens have opened:

Arvin, CA

I thought of this photo – these gray skies broken up by a few rays of radiant sunshine – when I read this poem that Jack Hernandez sent to me:

Exit Road

The little yellow flowers
along the freeway exit road
smile as I wait for the light
to give me permission to go.

Some sunless days though,
eager winds sowing dust,
they stay tightly closed,
I drive on unsure and cold.

Another friend of mine, who lost her partner, shared this poem from Khalil Gibran:


It is said that before entering the sea
a river trembles with fear.

She looks back at the path she has traveled,
from the peaks of the mountains,
the long winding road crossing forests and villages.

And in front of her,
she sees an ocean so vast,
that to enter
there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.

But there is no other way.
The river can not go back.

Nobody can go back.
To go back is impossible in existence.

The river needs to take the risk
of entering the ocean
because only then will fear disappear,
because that’s where the river will know
it’s not about disappearing into the ocean,
but of becoming the ocean.

Magnificent sunset photos at BC taken by Janet Tarjan on March 25th

Morning walk celebration of dad’s birthday.

Jess Nieto Conference

The 3rd Annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference was held this past week. Professor Jess Nieto established the Chicano Studies program and Chicano Cultural Center at Bakersfield College. He was an entrepreneur, civil rights activist, educational leader and mentor to countless students. 

The conference this year included a wonderful mix of education, entertainment and celebration. Contributions from student organizations, professors, community leaders and partners make this a truly special event. Panels include “Unraveling Latina Stereotypes: Latinas Unidas in Conversation”, “Celebrating the Legacy of Cesar Chavez, the Farmworker Movement, and the Ongoing Work of the UFW and Cesar Chavez Foundation” and many more.

Check out this video from Abel Guzman, Executive Director of Rural Initiatives, which was part of the opening day programming:

You can see all the Opening Day programming in a YouTube playlist.

A Conversation with Dolores Huerta

On Thursday, the Jones Art Gallery exhibit Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields / Revolución en los Campos officially kicked off with a Conversation with Dolores Huerta.

Dolores Huerta spoke via Zoom with Dr. Taína Caragol, Curator of Latino Art & History at the Smithsonian Institution. The event was co-sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the Dolores Huerta Foundation, the Wylie and May Louise Jones Art Gallery at Bakersfield College, and the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities at Bakersfield College.

Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields / Revolución en los Campos is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. See the virtual tour and get more information at the Jones Art Gallery.

Measure J – Thank You Nicole!

I love this photo of Nicole Parra and her dog, Bailey, sitting in front of our first Measure J Project – the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center.

Thank you, Nicole, for managing our Measure J campaign. We could not have done it without you, and I’m so glad you were able to enjoy the fruits of your labor 5 years later!

Dual Enroll

Gone are the days of receiving thousands of paper application submissions! We are excited to announce the launch of our new online program, dualenroll.com, that has replaced the paper form submissions for Dual Enrollment and Concurrent Enrollment. Students from all high schools can now use Dual Enroll to register for Summer 2021 and Fall 2021. This transition will streamline services for students and will make these opportunities more accessible in distance and online learning environments.

Dual Enroll is a win-win! Check it out at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/earlycollege/how-to-enroll.

In the News

Community Voices: Building a peaceful future

Kara McDonald, program manager for Student Success & Equity, wrote this piece about the importance of embracing peace instead of conflict – and highlighting the new Peace Initiative that Bakersfield College will be embarking on over the next 18 months.

“This initiative includes the Peace Garden that will soon begin construction on BC’s campus, as well as a series of projects done in partnership with other community groups working toward peace. Finally, the Peace Initiative includes a seminar series designed to engage small groups of women, veterans, educators and police in conversations about what peace looks like here in Kern County and how we build it.”

On Tuesday, we will kick off the Peace Initiative with the first installment of the Peace Initiative Seminar Series, “Mothers for Peace.” For more information, or to register for the Zoom event, visit the Bakersfield College website.

Community Voices: Our lives, our stories

Jack Hernandez, retired director of the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities, wrote a piece about how our lives live on in the stories, minds and memories of those who know us.

“But we all have an afterlife on this earth. An afterlife of our stories remembered by those who have known us for many years. Many live on in my mind: the stories of dad working two jobs to send me to college, of mom sending me off every morning to school, filled with breakfast and secure in her love. My Bakersfield College students, friends and colleagues during my many years here after I drove to Bakersfield from Detroit, not knowing what to expect when I came down Edison Highway in my own “Grapes of Wrath.””

Bakersfield College Ranks 3rd in State

Check out this video & article on KGET – BC ranks 3rd in degrees awarded among California Hispanic serving institutions!

“Bakersfield College said in recent years they have worked on improving student outcomes, reducing achievement gaps and increasing access for students using a Guided Pathways approach. Since BC first started its Guided Pathways program in 2014, the college has seen growth and improvement across multiple student success metrics.”

Spotted on Social Media

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh shared this post about our vaccination clinic:

Bill Moseley shared his delicious weekend plans:

Jessica Wojtysiak also had a delicious night, courtesy of BC’s culinary arts students:

And Kristin Rabe shared the daisies outside her porch:


Alyson Dees Named CCCWVCA State Player of the Week

Women’s Volleyball are undefeated thus far in the abbreviated Spring I season and to top it off, sophomore Alyson Dees was named the California Community College Women’s Volleyball Coaches Association (CCCWVCA) State Player of the Week for her performance against Cerro Coso the week prior. Alyson embodies the spirit of the team and as her coach Carl Ferreira said “one of the most amazing things about Aly is how much selfless energy she gives to her teammates. If that’s not enough, she’s an even better person.” Congrats Alyson!


That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever