This week, Michael O’Doherty, one of our Foundation Board members, sent me this picture:
“Live in Black and White on the wall of Vons in the Marketplace is this action shot of Renegade Basketball.”
One of the things I love best about Bakersfield College is how connected it is throughout the community. I love the interaction between the campus and Bakersfield – BC truly is a community college. That sense of community pride strengthens our students, faculty, staff and administration as we all work toward our common goal of helping our students achieve their educational goals.
And I love the notes and emails that people share with me when they see BC being represented throughout the community. Keep those notes coming.
Btw, Have you seen this picture at Vons?
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, February 20, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.
KHSD Expanding Early College Partnership with BC
The Kern High School District is offering a select number of students the opportunity to earn an Associate’s degree. With BC’s Early College program expanding into the Kern High School District, students can get a 2-year head start on their baccalaureate degree, and all books and transportation will be provided to them free of charge.
Thank you Dr. Jean Fuller and Trustee Romeo Agbalog for your leadership in the #EarlyCollege movement.
Learning Together with the Library
The BC Library continued its series of conversations around cultural competency during the All-Campus Virtual Seminar on Thursday. English professor Pam Boyles and history professor Erin Miller discussed their thoughts about the video titled “Fighting Racism Without Shaming”, featuring Moral Courage Project founder Dr. Irshad Manji.
Thank you to Mindy Wilmot for moderating the discussion, Todd Coston for serving as our emcee, and Earl Parsons for providing the programming support for the Virtual Seminar Series.
Check out the video below:
You can find videos from previous Learning Together seminars, as well as other virtual forums, on the President’s Events page. (Check the Virtual Forums tab!)
Recognizing Robert Tafoya
This week I saw a wonderful article from Jose Gaspar in the Bakersfield Californian honoring Judge Robert Tafoya, who retired February 5 after being appointed to the bench by Governor Gray Davis in 2002.
I’m not sure if you are all aware, but Judge Tafoya was the person behind creating Bakersfield College’s inmate education program. I remember when Chancellor Emeritus Sandra Serrano called me about working with Kern Valley State Prison to create an educational opportunity for inmates, with a goal of providing opportunities for these individuals while reducing recidivism rates.
After this phone call, I pinged Rich McCrow, then director of the Delano campus. Rich put his head and heart into building this program — and Bryan Hirayama was the first faculty member to teach at KVSP.
The program began at Kern Valley State Prison in Spring 2015. The pilot course, COMM B1 – Public Speaking, had 27 students enrolled.
I am grateful for Judge Tafoya and Chancellor Serrano for seeding this work that has made such a profound change in these inmates’ lives.
On Friday, Kern County Public Health announced that more sectors will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines beginning next week. It’s been reassuring seeing members of our Bakersfield College community being able to get their vaccines as well.
Di Hoffman, one of our nursing faculty, shared that she got her vaccine this week:
I’d also like to share another video from our February 2 Virtual Forum with Dr. Michael Saag. In this clip, he talks more about the vaccine rollout process and our ability to scale up our supply and distribution:
Mars Rover Perseverance Watch Party
On Thursday, NASA successfully landed a new rover, Perseverance, on Mars. Astronomy professor Nick Strobel hosted a Zoom watch party for our Renegade community. Before the landing, he shared lots of great information about Perseverance’s mission and about Mars.
The Perseverance mission is looking for signs of possible past life on Mars, as well as collecting rock and soil samples and testing oxygen production in the atmosphere to prepare for potential future human travel to the Red Planet.
BCSGA shared this picture of Maya Angelou’s visit to Bakersfield College in the 1970s:
Librarian Mindy Wilmot shared this throwback photo:
Professor Buggs’ Level 2 RN students celebrated completing their first round of clinical:
Shannon Musser tuned into BC’s Perseverance watch party with her kids:
The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce had this positive message to share:
Head Coach Spotlight – Casey Goodman, Renegade Softball
Our Renegade Coaches are the glue that keep their teams together. All of our coaches spend countless hours behind the scenes preparing their teams for competition and life. This week we’re shining the spotlight on Casey Goodman, who leads our softball team.
Coach Goodman has been at BC since 2017 and has already won two Western State Conference (WSC) Championships and been named the 2019 WSC Coach of the Year. Coach Goodman played college softball at the University of Louisiana at Monroe where as a player she earned multiple post-season awards and has since been inducted into the ULM Athletics Hall of Fame in 2018.
We are proud to call Coach Goodman a Renegade and know she’s still yet to accomplish many great things in her coaching career!
That’s all for now. Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
The weather in Bakersfield has been perfect. The sound of the birds and the smell of the flowers intoxicating. My morning starts with a Neo walk as dawn is breaking but still relatively dark and the neighborhood quiet. Every morning, a sentinel owl who is perched high up on the cypress that fills our neighborhood calls out … who goes there.
Good morning, Bakersfield. It is Saturday, April 4, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.
Here is Jack Hernandez on Beauty
By Jack Hernandez
From my window azaleas blush, a white cloud lingers above, rain has come and gone, the dawn begins a week of waiting for another kiss of passing beauty.
Jack also had a beautiful essay in the April 1, 2020 Californian. Poetry is felt, not analyzed. A poem is not an argument; it is an experience, a revelation. check it out https://tinyurl.com/tzye3ja
Ronnie Wrest and Jeffrey Huston from the Jones Gallery created a virtual exhibition of student art projects. The 2020 Bakersfield College Student Exhibition went live on the web on Thursday afternoon, and features art projects in a variety of mediums. The annual student art exhibition usually takes place at the Jones Gallery inside the Grace Van Dyke Byrd Library, but our art students and staff #LettheTimesGuidetheirCreativity to move this year’s exhibition online.
See the fabulous art at one or all of the following:
Talking about the art faculty and their creativity, I spotted this wonderful tweet from their dean bragging about them.
Career Education’s First Virtual Career Expo
The Career Education Department hosted their first ever virtual career expo for the Industrial Technology & Transportation pathway on Wednesday April 1st. This innovative platform successfully connected employers with students giving them virtual facetime through Zoom. Our Employer participants included; Berry Petroleum Company, LLC, Sierra School Equipment, Crown Lift Trucks, US Army, AppleOne, JTI Electrical & Instrumentation, LLC, and Westec. As in the many things we do BC is setting the trend as our regional partners have reached out to see how they can duplicate and adapt the event to their campuses. Check out our video recapping the event.
Thank you Carlos Medina and the staff in CTE for thinking outside the box and finding another modality to bring this important event to our students and the community. #BCGoesOnline
Leslie Aldridge Making the World Beautiful
Professor of Performing, Leslie Aldridge is still finding incredible ways to serve our community even though we currently find ourselves in challenging times. Leslie is Mrs. Bakersfield 2020 pageant queen, led a senior donation drive to bring food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and gift cards to needy seniors, and she hosted Donate Life to increase the number of vital organs and tissues to save lives.
She has also used her creativity to bring joy to our community. Her art work at the “Chalk Your Walk” was breathtaking!
BC “Do Good, Feel Good” Campaign
Now, for some more positive initiatives at BC! Endee Grijalva, the Program Manager of Rural Initiatives, and the BC Office of Student Life staff members came together to assist BC students through the “BC Do Good, Feel Good” campaign. On April 1, 2020 (no April Fools on this one), began a campaign that provides opportunities and encourages BC employees to continue to “do good and feel good” in continuing to serve and provide much-needed resources to students, all while social distancing. We are keeping our spirits up by continuing to support our students in this difficult time and feeling good about it.
Thank you, BC staff and faculty, for your generosity during this time, and thank you, Endee Grijalva and the BC Office of Student Life staff members, for leading this fantastic campaign.
Cesar Chavez Day
Did you know that Tuesday, March 31st, was César Chávez Day in the United States? In California, César Chávez Day is a state holiday that celebrates the birthday of César E. Chávez, paying tribute to his life as a labor leader and champion of civil rights.
Chávez’s life as a community organizer and activist began in 1952 when he joined the Community Service Organization (CSO), a Latino civil rights group. He coordinated voter registration drives and conducted campaigns against racial and ethnic discrimination. He eventually became CSO’s national director, but his dream was to create an organization that protected and served farmworkers. In the early 1960s, he co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers of America), along with Dolores Huerta (who spoke at BC just last year) and Philip Vera Cruz. Chávez remained president of the United Farm Workers of American until he passed away on April 23rd, 1993.
Today, his life motto, “sí se puede” (it can be done),” encourages organizers around the nation to come together and advance civil rights and different causes. Additionally, many schools, parks, streets, libraries, and other public buildings named or renamed after César Chávez to commemorate his work and commitment to social justice. In 1994, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor the U.S. president can grant an American. In 2006, he was inducted into the California Hall of Fame by Gov. Schwarzenegger. Here at BC, we hope Chávez’s legacy continues to inspire us to serve others and the greater good.
David Villarino has organized a large community celebration each year but could not do so this year because of COVID-19 stay-at-home executive order from the Governor. Here are links to the three previous years.
Thank you to everyone who continues to share their experiences sheltering in place using the hashtag #BCGoesOnline on social media. Here are some highlights from this week:
Librarian Mindy Wilmot hosted her first ConferZoom meeting and had a furry friend joining her, as well.
Isabel Castaneda joins a Zoom meeting to move the Summer Bridge to BC program online.
Lesley Bonds’ dog Luna was listening intently to the All-Campus Virtual Forum on Tuesday.
Finally, Kalina Hill from Testing and Placement responds to a message of hope from Manuel Rosas.
This Week at BC: Nursing and Allied Health
Marketing student workers Ramon Carreido and Juan Reyes made one last video before BC transitioned to a virtual environment, which happened to be about the important work of our Nursing and Allied Health Departments. Thank you, Juan and Ramon!
BC in the News: Back to College Program on KGET
Local station KGET covered BC’s five-week Back to College in a video piece last weekend, explaining to the community how our program will assist workers who are displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you, KGET
Caption from Sara Wallace’s blog: “This is my mobile office. I have office supplies for the students (left) and my clear backpack (right) to bring in supplies (office supplies, graded work, handouts, dry erase markers, etc). It makes it easier for security if I have a clear backpack, and one of the facilities we work in requires it.”
Sara Wallace, an English faculty at Bakersfield College, has published her second blog entry titled “Reflections from Inside: Teaching in the Inmate Scholars Program”. She has been working as a full-time instructor at a total of five different prisons since the Fall. This blog is her reflection about doing this important work. This program is only a few years old, but it has expanded to include ten prisons and a thousand students. It is expected to grow more in the future. This was written before the recent CoronaVirus Outbreak, and some of the lessons and experiences with teaching inside have already changed dramatically.
Lessons Learned so far: I am teaching composition. There are some real differences between teaching on campus and teaching inside, so it has not been a seamless transition, which was not surprising.
Pro-tip: Do not put anything in the supply cabinet. It will be gone when you get back. The inmates do not have access to this cabinet, so it is probably not them. It is probably another educator. We are all office supply thieves at heart. I am a hardened pen thief myself. There is a real run on office supplies inside.
Something that I take for granted like having a pen or paper to do homework with is really valuable. Bring it in with you and take it with you when you leave. That is a pain, but in some facilities the inmates do not have paper, or they have to buy the paper on their own, which is hard when they are using some of their available time to take my class. I am trying to teach writing. Paper and pens are pretty necessary. I just threw bundles of papers into the recycler the other day because the printer messed up a little bit. It really makes you think about the things we take for granted.
In addition to supply issues, there are some differences in the way I run my class. For example, I have had to limit the amount of call and response kinds of questions I ask. The inmates are very excited to participate, so it can get a little loud. It requires a little bit more management partly because of their excitement for us to be there. It makes it harder to manage, but it also makes me feel more enthusiastic as well. I have only been working in this program for a month, so there is still plenty to learn and different techniques to try out.
A few months ago, the program had its first graduation. Since I am new, none of the new graduates were students of mine. I am looking forward to future graduations so that I get the chance to hear about what some of our students do with this opportunity as it will continue to inform my response to the question of why I am doing what I am doing.
Language of Power: One of my students asked me why I was making them write in this way. I have been asked this question on campus as well, though not as frequently. I had a more precise answer for my students on the inside. I am teaching you the language of power. People who have control over your lives write like this and speak like this. If you do not know how to communicate like them then you are at a disadvantage. Another student asked: like how the lawyers talk? Yes, and everyone else you talk with who has power. That seemed to motivate some of the students who were not as motivated before though I have less trouble with a lack of motivation inside than I do on the outside.
Lessons Learned: “It is all your fault” one of my students said as he stuck his head in the door during their break. They are not really supposed to come back into the classroom until the break is over. The private facility is more strict about this than the government facilities. I have a hard time saying no to students when they want or need help, so I end up spending our entire break answering questions most days. After all, they do not have the opportunity to come to my office hours. This time, my student did not have a question, but he did want to tell me something.
Me: “Oh? What is my fault?”
Student: “The conversation is still going on out there!”
Me: “Fantastic! That is so great!”
We had a discussion before break about the reading, and they were so engaged with the topic that they continued the discussion. We did have to move on to working on the research essay, so I am glad I gave them the break first. Sometimes they can get a little loud because everyone wants to say something. Last week one of the Correctional Officers came into the classroom to see what was going on because we were so loud. We do eventually have to get back to the writing, but it is nice to talk with students who have something to say, and lots of questions.
At first I was finding it hard to maintain control over the students with all of their questions and comments. It led to a conversation with the director of education, correctional officers, and with the class itself. The solution offered by employees of the prison was to just press the emergency button and have the guards come in and crack some heads.
Me: Because they were a little too loud and were a bit rude? That seems like an overreaction.
Them: They would not do it again.
True. If I pressed the emergency button, the students would not do it again, but they also would not say anything in class anymore, and it would hinder their learning. I am not an employee of the prison system, and my purpose in being there is not to control them or to punish them or even to rehabilitate them; it is to teach them. I have dealt with boisterous classes before, and I have never felt the need to call in a bruiser to deal with them. So I did what I usually do, I changed their seating arrangement every week. They could not form little groups of people chatting to themselves if they were not by their friends. Educators can find other ways to manage a class. We do not always have to drop the hammer.
The interactions with the students in the prison setting are really rewarding for the instructors and hopefully the students as well. The coronavirus outbreak has put a stop to all face-to-face teaching in the prison system. My next blog post will be about the effect it has had on our teaching. We are trying to make the best out of this situation, but all of us want to eventually go back inside. Having interactions with someone who is communicating with these students about something other than their behavior or the past mistakes they have made is really important and means a lot to them. I was evaluated by the students last semester as part of the normal evaluation process. I have not had a chance to read all my evaluations (which I cannot read until after the grades are submitted for the semester), but during my meeting with my committee, one of my committee members read a comment to me from one of my students. He said: she never looks at me like I am a level four criminal. She said there were a lot of comments like that and if I am ever feeling low, I should go and read through them. As soon as this is over, I will, and I hope we can go back in soon because besides teaching the Inmate Scholars the content of the course, personal interaction is important too.
Archives Throwback: Highlights from 1965-1967
Earl Parsons took a deep dive into the Bakersfield College Archives last weekend to find any information available about Lupe Hernandez, the Bakersfield nursing student rumored to have invented hand sanitizer in 1966. After digging through two Raconteur yearbooks and countless volumes of the Renegade Rip, however, nothing came up. If you have any information about a Bakersfield nursing student from the mid-60s named Lupe Hernandez, please email email@example.com.
In his search, he managed to find all kinds of resources that paint a picture of life for Renegades in the mid-60s. We’ll be focusing on a few of those major highlights over the next coming weeks, but let’s just take a look at some of the best photos from those years, including this picture of donkey basketball in the gym:
Renegade Athletics were alive and well during this time, with diving, water polo and men’s soccer all being played on the Panorama Campus.
In 1966 just like now, construction projects were happening around the Panorama Campus.
In the coming weeks, look forward to a glimpse of Bill Thomas during his time as a Renegade faculty member, Ray Gonzales founding the first Hispanic Cultural Club in BC history, and a closer look at the era of on-campus student housing.
Fun Photos Coffee Cup Collection
Every weekday morning at 7:30 (8 on Fridays) the Marketing team greets one another on Slack. Lori Ortiz also adds a photo of her coffee cup. She has quite the collection. It’s just one of the fun things the MPR team does to stay connected and have some fun in our work from home environment. Here are a few the team shared with me:
Upgrade Your Zoom Appeal With New Athletics Backgrounds!
We all have been using Zoom to its fullest this past few weeks and why not ‘Rep your Renegade pride while meeting with your colleagues and community. Feel free to use the background above or click this link to find more on GoGades.com: Renegade Custom Video Conference Backgrounds
National Athletic Training Month
This last month (March) was National Athletic Training Month and we don’t want to let the opportunity slip by without highlighting our awesome Renegade Athletic Trainers – Mike Medeiros, Tricia Gay and Lexi Pitcher. All three spend countless hours helping our student athletes (and visiting teams’ student athletes) stay in tip-top shape for competition. We are grateful to have such a great team of athletic trainers who keep our student athletes operating at peak physical condition!
Field House Demolition
The Dr. Romain Clerou Fieldhouse has been a fixture on campus since we moved up to here on the hill. This last week the historic structure was demolished to make way for the gymnasium. Countless Renegade student athletes used this facility to change for practice/games and we know there are hundreds of alumni with cherished memories of the building from their time spent as Renegades. While we are sad to see it go, we are excited for the new gymnasium that will take its place.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya- the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning Bakersfield…It is Saturday, March 24th and a great day to be a Renegade.
This past week Bakersfield was rejoicing in the rain that kept visiting us and revisiting almost every day of the week. What a blessing!
So many highlights from this week…the brightest of them all was the recognition of Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.
The “Nan” Touch
Many know the incredible value that Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Executive Vice President of Instruction Emeritus, has brought over the last 35 years to Bakersfield College and across the Kern Community College District. Yet her impact has been felt beyond our campus, so much that one of our partners, FIELD (Farmworker Institute for Education and Leadership Development), honored her Friday with its Cesar Chavez Legacy Award. (Check out the video for more.)
The Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast is one place where community champions, who quietly work behind the scenes, are illuminated for their phenomenal dedication. Our own Nan is a part of this special group.
This years other honorees included Dr. Horace Mitchell, California State University Bakersfield President, who was recognized with the Cesar E. Chavez Lifetime Achievement Award, and Esther Tarango Uranday whose key role in the United Farm Workers earned her the Cesar E. Chavez Si Se Puede Award (posthumously). The Kern Service and Conservation Corps (KSACC) and a group of EPIC High School students and ESL students were also highlighted with Si Se Puede Awards.
It was wonderful to see many community leaders there supporting the event, such as Assemblyman Rudy Salas, Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Jay Tamsi, and the office of Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez. There was also a table full of BC leadership.
Rudy Salas and Sonya Christian
Many walked away with a sense of empowerment and renewed vision for their own causes after hearing from keynote speaker Paul F. Chavez, the son of the late UFW labor leader Cesar Chavez.
Paul Chavez shared personal father-son stories that tugged at the hearts of many in attendance. At one point, Paul reflected on advice his father shared with him, especially in moments of despair and struggle – in particular two that stay close to Paul’s heart: have faith in people; and persevere.
His father always saw what others could become; he saw potential, and his vision helped others find their own path of success.
I connected with Paul’s story. It made me think about the wonderful work we do at Bakersfield College; our goal is also to show hope and success to our students. We want them to see their potential, and we encourage them to never give up. In the words of Cesar Chavez, “Si se puede.”
I was moved to hear the story that Jose Gaspar (who was emceeing the event with Norma Gaspar) told about the passing of Cesar Chavez and how Corny Rodriguez addressed the KC Board of Supervisors to recognize the passing of a great leader.
For Women’s History Month and in light of BC’s efforts to preserve and share our local history, Dr. Lydia Otero from the Mexican-American Studies program at the University of Arizona came to the Fireside Room on Thursday to share about the historical preservation projects she’s spearheaded in downtown Tuscon.
BC’s Office of Student Life and the Women’s History and More committee invited Otero as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series. Otero, who grew up in downtown Tuscon, was inspired to capture the history of the Mexican-American communities in her hometown that were displaced by urban renewal projects. To Otero’s surprise, her 2010 book “La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwest City” sold out in the Tuscon area within five hours of the first book signing, Otero said. “Even I didn’t appreciate the desire for local audiences to read about local history, you want to read about yourself.”
Dr. Lydia Otero
While local or regional history can often be seen as less important than larger-scale historical analysis, it’s important to fill in the smaller details about an area in order to understand the larger picture. “What do we know about world history if we haven’t studied local history?” Otero asked. “It’s a history of silences.”
After the success of “La Calle”, Otero partnered with the Borderlands Theater Company on an ambitious project called “Barrio Stories”. A camera crew recorded oral histories from Mexican-Americans in Tuscon talking about their personal lives, then those stories were re-interpreted as theatrical plays. The Borderlands Theater performed those plays during a four-day festival that utilized promenade-style staging, meaning that audiences could walk around the old town plaza and experience these stories happening at different stages in real time. You’re able to see all of the oral histories and performances on the Barrio Stories Project website, and a documentary about the project is currently in the works.
Olivia Garcia, Dr. Lydia Otero, Tina Mendoza
Otero is currently working on a book tentatively titled “Quien lo Dice?” about Maria Cordova, a Tuscon woman whose house was seized by eminent domain and all evidence that she had ever lived there was taken out in a failed attempt to make the property a tourist attraction. Throughout her presentation, Otero emphasized the importance of valuing local history and bringing research out of the classroom and into the community.
“Don’t forget the power of memory,” Otero said.
I’d like to thank Tina Mendoza, who worked with Dr. Otero, for her introduction, and I’d like to thank the Office of Student life and WHAM for putting the event together. It gave an interesting perspective on local historical preservation, which we’re working on at BC with the Digital Delano project spearheaded by our Energizing Humanities group. #WeAreBC
Ribbon Cutting in Wasco
This week, Juan Torres, Abel Guzman, Gustavo Enriquez and principal of Wasco Union High School, Kevin Tallon celebrated the Ribbon Cutting and Inaugaration of their beautiful brand new student services building. Inside, the building it’s filled with beautiful pieces of art that celebrate the rich history of Wasco High School.
Kern Disability Collaborative
As your community college, BC is always seeking opportunities to improve communication and collaboration with our community partners. To this end, the Director of our Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS), Dr. Terri Goldstein, initiated the first meeting of what she is calling the “Kern Disability Collaborative.” The purpose of the meeting was to pull together those who work with people with disabilities in our community to learn who we are and what we each do. “Only good things can happen if we have a better understanding of all the resources available, as well as the unmet needs in our community,” said Dr. Goldstein. What started out with 20 invitations bloomed into approximately 50 attendees representing K-12 schools, higher education, non-profit organizations, and State agencies. “As the meeting date drew closer, individuals were calling and asking to participate in the meeting,” Dr. Goldstein said. The response just shows the need for this kind of group in Kern County.
The idea for the Collaborative is modeled after the very successful “Kern Veterans Collaborative” which meets monthly at the National Guard Armory. After voting, the attendees decided that the Kern Disability Collaborative will continue to meet on a bi-monthly basis at Bakersfield College. The next meeting will be in May 2018, after college graduation, then the meetings will go dark for the summer, reconvene in August prior to the start of the fall 2018 semester, and meet every other month thereafter.
In addition to discussing future meetings, establishing a listserv and web presence, everyone presented their organizational affiliation, populations served, and services provided. BC faculty member, Jaclyn Krause, announced establishing our Interpreter Training Program; which made everyone happy since there are never enough sign language interpreters to go around. Jimmie Soto, Executive Director of the Independent Living Center of Kern County, spoke about the need to support each other in our quests for additional funding— including partnerships, and letters of support. BC was well represented with DSPS, EOPS, Office of Student Life, Wellness Center, and Veterans Services. There were also representatives from Bakersfield City School District, Kern High School District, Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Taft College, Valley Achievement Center, Bakersfield GLAD office on Deafness, New Advances for People with Disabilities, Path Point, CA Department of Rehabilitation, Kern Vet Center, Kern Regional Center, and Autism Society Inc.
For more information about the Kern Disability Collaborative, please contact Dr. Terri Goldstein at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 661-395-4590. Everyone is welcome at these meetings!
Bakersfield College is so enthusiastic about the incredible things coming to our community. Thank you Bakersfield and Kern County for supporting education and investing in BC through a Yes on Measure J!
Eric Mittlestead, Rafaela Cisneros, Kim Crews represented KCCD on the show floor
For all the photos, visit BC’s Smugmug. And thank you to Harold Pierce at the Bakersfield Californian for attending to share the exciting news with the community of Bakersfield. It was nice to see KCCD Trustee Kyle Carter, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Mike Turnipseed and others attend this event.
Trustee Carter and Harold Pierce speak to a guest at the Bidders Fair
We received this email from Mikin Plummer about the event.
The BC staff was fantastic!!! Thank you! Thank you! The gym was put together perfect and made set up very easy!
Thank you Bill Potter, Eric Middlested, Ramon Puga, and Jim Coggins for pulling together this amazing event. Thank you Mary Jo Pasek. Thank You Marlene Heise who works behind the scenes. #WeAreBC
Armando Trujillo, Student Veteran Educational Advisor and Lisa Robles Kent Program Manager, Office of Student Success & Equity were honored to represent Bakersfield College at a ceremony that provided full military honors for unaccompanied veterans interred at the National Cemetery who do not have family to recognize and remember them.
Armando Trujillo, Bakersfield College; Randy Dickow, KC Veterans Collaborative; Maximo Perez, American Legion.
It’s a privilege for BC to honor the great men and women who paid the greatest sacrifice for our country. While there, Armando and Lisa stopped to visit the graveside of Vernon P. Velenzula. I recall that he was spoken of so fondly by KCCD Trustee, Bill Thomas at our Veterans Resource Center unveiling.
Vernon touched the lives of so many people here at BC and in our community. I only wish I had the privilege of meeting such an inspirational man. A Purple Heart recipient, Valenzuela’s desire to help veterans began early following his return from a tour in Vietnam in 1968. In the early 1970s Valenzuela served as president of the Associated Veterans Students club at Bakersfield College and later as a counselor supporting student veterans. Valenzuela worked for years as a professional therapist who focused primarily on aiding veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and difficulties in making the transition between life in combat and life at home as a civilian.
Art with Impact
On Wednesday, students gathered in the Fireside Room to #SubvertStigma, the goal of Movies For Mental Health. “Stigma” was the hook, the tag line used by Leslie Poston, our facilitator, to open our awareness and provide perspective on the very complex personal, cultural and societal issues surrounding mental health and mental illness. The audience of 50 students, staff, faculty and community has steadily grown over the past four semesters since Student Health and Wellness Services began hosting Movies For Mental Health. And, so has the diversity of responses and perspectives on the question of what is “stigma.” Audience contributions included: “Shaming”, “barrier”, “judgmental”, “labeling”, “prejudiced”, “isolation” to name a few but ultimately, “stigma” is an erroneous and negative stereotype.
This is where the movies come in. These are independent submissions, judged in competition; the films are poignant, evocative and selected by Art With Impact to stimulate discussion and reveal the unexpected, uncomfortable and inconvenient in the human condition.
Following the movie screenings and the facilitated discussion, as well as a light meal of fresh seasonal fruit and wraps provided by Chef Eric Sabella, we listened to a panel discussion. The first panelist was a student named Caitlin who shared her very personal experience with profound depression and suicidal tendencies. Following Caitlin was our own Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Rosealinda Carrillo, who shared her own path to strengthen her own personal mental health but also in becoming a professional counselor. Rosealinda exemplifies the adage “you can’t care for others if you can’t care for yourself.” Panelist and Professor of Psychology, Tim Burke lead us through the impact of suicide in his family, his reaction to a diagnosis and treatment for lymphoma and research-proven self-care modalities like meditation, yoga, mindfulness and of course exercise.
The BC Student Health and Wellness Team was joined by guests from the Health Services program of Antelope Valley College, which will be hosting Movies For Mental Health on their own campus for the first time this May. Among those from Antelope Valley College were Dr. Jill Zimmerman Dean of Student Life & Services, Health Clerk Jennifer Winn and Monteigne Long, Veterans Program Coordinator.
What is the value and importance of #SubvertStigma to students? As individuals and friends, cultures of origin and faiths, and society in general, we must free mental illness and mental health from stigma, shadow, and shame.
Spring Fling and 18-19 BCSGA Elections
James Tompkins and Ashley Harp
This week was “Spring Fling” week at Bakersfield College with various events hosted by BCSGA as well as the Office of Student Life. Kicking off the fun was the “BCSGA Ice Cream and StudOrgs” event. BC’s clubs and organizations were joined by Ben & Jerry’s to promote various student organizations. On Monday afternoon, students were welcomed by BCSGA’s President Dezi Von Manos for her monthly “Cafecito Time” event where students can discuss issues or questions they may have in an open and inclusive way, and on Monday evening, BCSGA hosted an “Easel Event” where participants engaged in a fun evening of painting and light refreshments.
Tuesday was the “Community Movie Day” where the movie Justice League was played for students to enjoy during lunch. On Wednesday we hosted the “Epic Proportions Tour” featuring the musical talents of Gabe Kubanda and People Who Could Fly.
Wrapping up the wonderful events, students also had the opportunity to vote in elections for next years BCSGA leadership. Congratulations to next year’s BCSGA President, James Tompkins and Vice President, Ashley Harp.
Hate Speech and Free Speech Forum
The Levan Center hosted a panel discussion on Wednesday providing legal and historical context to the ongoing debate about hate speech and freedom of speech on college campuses. Students filled out anonymous surveys before the panel asking them some basic facts about First Amendment law and their thoughts about various free speech issues. Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez then gave a brief introduction about some of the recent protests over white nationalist speakers appearing on college campuses before introducing the panel of BC faculty and administration.
Communication professor John Giertz started with a brief overview of the Supreme Court decisions that have shaped free speech law in the United States. Colleges are bound by the First Amendment interpretation established in the 1969 case Brandenburg v. Ohio, which states that no inflammatory speech can be punished unless it incites “imminent lawless action.” In the 80s and 90s, many campuses attempted to enact speech codes and free speech zones, which have all been struck down as unconstitutional on the grounds that a listener’s right to be protected from hateful speech is not as important as someone else’s right to speak hatefully or however else they choose, Giertz said.
left to right: Communication professor John Giertz, Director of Student Life Nicky Damania, History professor Erin Miller, and Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez host a panel discussion about free speech on college campuses on March 21st.
Dr. Nicky Damania, BC’s Director of Student Life, gave students a practical description of the ways that he deals with free speech issues on the BC campus every day. At BC, Damania is in charge of enforcing academic freedom, which is the legal right of both students and faculty to teach or communicate controversial ideas or facts without fear of bias or punishment.
BC history professor Erin Miller closed the panel with a discussion of the motivating history behind the United States’ free speech protections. Before the Revolutionary War, England used its common law to silence colonial dissent, which is why James Madison made free speech the first priority of the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution. Hateful speech is protected, Miller argues, because once a government agency begins to arbitrate which types of speech are considered acceptable, then speech that challenges authority can be silenced.
High Schools, BC, CSUB coming together
On Thursday morning, BC hosted an intersegmental initiative on data exchange of student academic information. Right now we (high school districts, BC, CSUB) all have different data systems for maintaining student academic records and as these students in our community move from one segment to another, their academic records are transferred manually. This is unacceptable in the highly evolved tech world that we live in. The CSU systemwide Chancellor’s Office and the Community College statewide Chancellor’s Office have come together to solve this problem. BC is part of this pilot program that is fully funded by the Community College Chancellor’s Office and other private philanthropic groups.
Here are some photos from the work session.
Virginia Madrid-Salazar, Tess Deroy, Ben Duran, Sonya Christian, Grace Commiso, Anna Garcia
Steve Watkin, Ben Perlado
McFarland Superintendent Victor Hopper and team
Ryan Gievet, Ben Sherley
Zav Dadabhoy, Assistant Superintendent Jason Garcia, Paul Chavez, Abel Guzman
Steve Watkin, Ben Perlado, Michelle Pena, RyanGievet, Ben Sherley
Dave Barnett, Craig Hayward
Grace Commiso, Anna Garcia, Sonya Christian, Ben Duran
David Abernathy from Wasco High speaking
David Abernathy (Wasco), Kalina Hill (BC), Elysa Vargas (Wonderful Academy)
The Education Futures Grant sponsored a Future Teachers Open House March 20th on the Panorama Campus. Close to 100 attendees braved the pouring rain to enjoy an informational and engaging evening with presentations, 10 breakout sessions, raffles, social media contest, and vendor booths.
Presentations and vendors included BC Education Pathways, CSU Bakersfield, University of Lavern, Bakersfield College Career and Technical Education (CTE) & Student Employment Department, Bakersfield College Future Teachers Club, Brandman University, Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies (CAFS) at CSUB, Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) Head Start, Community Connection for Child Care (CCCC), National University, Point Loma Nazarene University, and Western Governors University (WGU). A similar event was held at the BC Delano campus on March 3rd.
A huge thank you to the Future Teachers Open House Planning Team, Education Futures Director, Kimberly Bligh, Anthony Cordova, Isabel Castaneda, and Erica Menchaca.
Future Teachers Open House Planning Team
Public Safety Metamajor Pathway Open House
CTE and Public Safety Pathway teamed up to host the first ever Public Safety Open House with 92 Kern High School District students in attendance. The event went full circle beginning with department faculty who provided an overview of the program outcomes and trainings available; student service representatives were available including staff from Financial Aid, CTE and Student Employment; finally, industry representatives from the City Fire Department, County Fire Department, EMS Department, Kern County Sheriff Department, Bakersfield Police Department and California Highway Patrol presented on a panel to share events and experiences in their professions.
Students were given the opportunity to ask questions, participate in simulations and were even provided a tour of the different department vehicles. It was a great event that provided insight to the pathways available in Public Safety at Bakersfield College. Thank you to Brent Burton, Dominica Dominguez, BC Public Safety Faculty, Department Staff and the industry partners who worked so hard to put this event together.
Closest to the screen on the left-Todd Coston (BC), beyond him-Hernando Mondragon (DO), beyond him-David Barnett (DO), moving to the right-Micelle Pena (BC), then Grace Commiso (BC), Somaly Boles (BC), Zach Quiroz (BC) and closest to camera on the right Dena Rhoades (DO).
The Kern Community College District and Bakersfield College were out in full force both attending and presenting at the CISOA/3CBG conference earlier this week from March 18-20th in Ontario, CA. The conference site says this about the conference, “The partnership of California Community College Chief Information Systems Officers Association (CISOA) and California Community College Banner Group (3CBG) allows us to leverage our resources to present an outstanding array of conference sessions of interest to those who are part of the information technology arena in California’s Community College system.”
BC’s Grace Comisso, Michelle Pena, and consultant, Becky Weaver, presented on Using Starfish for Guided Pathways.
BC’s Todd Coston and Dave Barnett from the District Office presented on Improving IT Communication Using Free and Low Cost Tools
And our Chief Technology Officer, Gary Moser, from the District Office presented on Are You Ready for a CCC Statewide ERP System.
Finally, the participants had an option to rate each session via a conference app. As proof that the KCCD/BC team rock the house, check out this rating for Dave and Todd’s session. Todd tells me he isn’t quite sure how you can get 6 out of 5 stars, but he’ll take it anyway!
An American Education Agenda with Lance Izumi
KCCD and BC were present at a luncheon put on by the Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government with guest speaker, Lance Izumi, author of The ‘American Education Agenda’ Top 15 Recommendations for Improving Education. Lance discussed his newly published report, which offers policymakers concrete reforms they can adopt today to ensure every student learns in a safe and nurturing environment, and is well-prepared to meet the changing demands of the 21st century workforce.
Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Cindy Collier, Lance Izumi, Trustee Bill Thomas, John Means
Johnson spoke about the importance of the academy, which hosts a course every Saturday from September to April to help students build skills that they can use in their future careers. Open enrollment for next year’s academy, of which BC is a partner, is starting now.
Rosales, who chairs the committee on Energizing Humanities in the Central Valley committee, wrote about how proper funding of the National Endowment of the Humanities and California Humanities will allow those organizations to meet the demand for community enrichment projects in writing, history, philosophy, social studies and other subjects.
“It’s important that we maintain a robust National Endowment for the Humanities, while at the same time mobilize voters to support state funding, as well as opportunities to increase public-private partnerships,” Rosales said.
Chris McCraw on Twitter
Official National Ag Day was marked on March 20th and I’ve enjoyed following BC’s wonderful Agricultural Business faculty, Chris McCraw on Twitter @CMcatBC as he shares our BC Ag Club at Kern County’s #farmdayinthecity! It’s so exciting to see our BC Ag Club students have the opportunity to share their agricultural knowledge with over 2,000 elementary students during this multi-day event!
Kern County is the #1 Ag County in the U.S. and Ag Day is a special time to say THANK YOU to all our farmers and laborers, as well as our BC Agriculture students and faculty for educating and inspiring the next generation of agriculturists!
So fortunate to have a real vibrant Ag faculty and staff.
On Thursday, Cal State Bakersfield announced that Lynette Zelezny will be the new president to succeed Horace Mitchell at the end of the academic year.
This week we had the Grater Bakersfield Chamber Board meeting. I am honored to be on the Board of this wonderful organization — great board members, great CEO and great staff.
I was delighted to see leaders from the City of Bakersfield visit us to discuss some critical needs including the need for more police officers. The team who presented included City Manger Alan Tandy, Councilman Andrae Gonzales, Concilman Bob Smith, BPD Chief Lyle Martin, Assistant City Manager Chris Huot.
Cindy and Liz
Liz Rozell and Cindy Collier are two amazing people who continue to inspire us all. I loved this photo because we all need to just lean on each other sometimes. Thank you Cindy and Liz for your dedication to BC and the Kern Community College District.
We are BC
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, April 1, 2017 and just a fabulous day to be a Renegade.
This past week the campus has been abuzz with activities…..an absolutely uplifting week.
Here is an email with a picture that I got from Francis Mayer.
This is an image I grabbed last week while running errands on campus. For me, it captures the essence of BC. The father (or father type) is standing beneath the shade of a beautiful tree adjacent to the LA building, and he’s smiling and his posture is relaxed..on second viewing, we see that his two munchkins are scrambling up the arms of this generous tree…and all is well.
Is Mom attending classes? Is he enjoying a break with his children before attending classes? While both are lovely notions, in the end it doesn’t matter. BC is a place that is perfect for everyone.
Indeed it is Francis…..BC is a place that is perfect for everyone. #WeAreBC
Here is another great picture I snapped as I rushed out of the Office of Student Success and Equity, Shauna Turner and her two boys.
Let me start with yesterday, when Bakersfield celebrated the inaugural Cesar Chavez Day with a breakfast organized by David Villarino.
1st Annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast
It was a beautiful morning celebrating the life of an absolutely inspirational and life changing man. We remember Cesar as a great labor organizer. He gave voice to the voiceless; he became a face for the invisible, and an advocate for social justice. He was a servant for his community and a champion of education as a means leading toward a better life. Cesar once said, “The end of all education should surely be service to others.” It was fitting that the morning recognized Chancellor emeritus of the Kern Community College District and Bakersfield College’s 7th president, Sandra Serrano.
Sandra Serrano receiving the award
With a powerful combination of a strong legal mind, a compassionate heart, and passion for education, there was no one better suited to influence our higher educational community than Sandra Serrano. Her educational leadership is a gift; her work for the community at the local, regional, state and national levels is emblematic of education in service to others.
At the state and national level, she has lived a life of service:
As a member of the Finance and Operations Committee for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
On many boards and committees for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.
As President of the oard for the Chief Executive Officers of California Community Colleges;
As Chair of the Board for the Community College League of California;
and as a member of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Consultation Council.
… just to name a few.
At the regional level, she has served on:
The Board of Directors for the Kern Economic Development Corporation and
The Central Valley Higher Education Consortium and
The California Council for the Humanities
… just to name a few.
Sandra has served this community over and over, in ways that are visible and in ways that have gone unrecognized. Her work has touched so many lives. Her life of service is part of the strength of our community. It would take more time than I have just speaking to all that she’s done for Bakersfield College – that she’s done for the Kern Community College District, and the thousands and thousands of lives that have been touched, whether they knew it or not, by her work.
Sandra Serrano, Tom Burke, Sonya Christian
It was an honor to introduce this quiet, sincere, dedicated, fearless, and dynamic woman who has committed her life and her education in service to others. Thank you David Villarino for putting together the first annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast, and thank you also for giving me the opportunity of introducing the first recipient of the Cesar Chavez Legacy award.
Sonya Christian, Sandra Serrano
There were so many dignitaries in the room. At the main table there was Supervisor Leticia Perez who is a great supporter of education in general and Bakersfield College in particular. Then there was Assembly Member Rudy Salas who introduced the keynote speaker, Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa. When it was my time to speak I shared the story of how Rudy Salas made BC feel so special when i went up to Sacramento to testify to the Senate Budget Committee.
Sonya Christian, Rudy Salas
It was a joy to see familiar faces at the event, including Chris Cruz, a BC student who works at St. Francis and dedicated his free time to supporting Measure J. It’s incredible to see our BC students contributing to their communities and giving back to the organizations important to them.
Sonya Christian, Heidi Scott
I also had the opportunity to finally meet the “voice of an angel” Heidi Scott, the director of music and liturgy at the parish. I mentioned hearing Heidi sing in my blog a few weeks ago titled, “Every Day is Something to Celebrate” – Check it out here. She truly is gifted and talented and her voice can inspire and touch my soul.
We had a BC table… of course.
Manuel Rosas, Chelsea Esquibias, Victor Diaz, Sonya Christian, Olivia Garcia, Lisa Kent, Yvonne Almendaris, Maria Wright
Love this picture of Chelsea and Lisa….girls just wanna have fun…..
Chelsea Esquibias, Lisa Kent
The students from FIELD (Farm worker Institute for Education and Leadership Development) helped out with the event. Lisa snapped this picture with Manuel and me with the Field Students in the background.
Inspiring post by Professor Bryan Hirayama
Professor Hirayama with his Distinguished Teaching Award
Speaking of being inspired, Professor Bryan Hirayama wrote a powerful post in the blog detailing his experiences in Bakersfield College’s Inmate Education Programillustrating the depths of the prison industrial complex and how hard we’ll need to work to change the perceptions of incarcerated people in the United States. When people are released out of jail, they’re often told by correctional officers, “We’ll leave the light on for you.” It’s a cynical reference to an old marketing campaign that’s meant to imply that the person getting out of jail is almost certain to come back. Correctional officers know the realities of recidivism rates and the difficulties people on probation or parole face when they go back into society, and many have become numb to the fact that they’re part of an institution that houses more prisoners than any country in the world.
In Bryan’s blog, he describes how he was able to cut through this cynicism for a moment and create an opportunity for the staff to consider why saying “we’ll leave the light on for you” might be a cruel twist of the knife for those inmates who are genuinely striving to rehabilitate themselves.
Talking about Inmate Education, Chelsea Esquibias partnered with the Opportunity Institute to host the first meeting to Serve Our Formerly Incarcerated Students. The “Corrections to College California” forum was sponsored by Opportunity Institute/Renewing Communities and Stanford Law School/Stanford Criminal Justice Center. Community partners included Bakersfield College, CSU Bakersfield, Sheriff’s Office, Probation, Parole, Garden Pathways, MAOF. Chelsea and BC students spoke on panels.
Karen Goh, Chelsea Esquibias
Karen Goh, Chelsea Esquibias, Juan Avila
Mayor Karen Goh welcomed the numerous community partners and members of the justice system including CDCR, Lerdo Jail, and the Parole Dept. Chelsea Esquibias of Bakersfield College, Dr. Jacqueline Mimms of CSUB, and Lisa Stephens of Cerro Coso presented on their school’s initiatives. The meeting allowed the community to partner with the colleges to build student success for our formerly incarcerated students. Thank you to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office for attending and the continuous support.
Thank you Chancellor Tom Burke for attending the event.
Celebrating the life of Danell Ward
The BC community lost one of our own this month, Child Development Center Director, Danell Ward. Danell’s time with us was too short but her impact was meaningful and lasting. Those who knew her, understand how much she loved Tinkerbell, from Disney’s Peter Pan. There is a saying, “’All you need is faith, trust and a little pixel dust” which Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg mentioned during the memorial. She said it best through her heartfelt words, “Danell was generous with her faith in others and her trust that there was a better tomorrow was boundless. I am sure that whenever you need a little pixie dust, she has left some behind for you…….. So in her memory, have a little more faith in others than you think is necessary, always trust that tomorrow will be better, and remember that a little pixie dust is always available to you.”
My closest interaction with Danell was in Summer 2015, when the administrative team decided to add in a little fun into our summer planning retreats. Check out my October 15, 2015 blog for more http://tinyurl.com/mv6ovgd
The entire admin council was divided into groups and Danell was in the group along with Ramon Puga, Liz Rozell, Odella Johnson and myself. We were supposed to pick and song and lipsync in a competition. Before any of us could volunteer a song, Danell enthusiastically presented that we should do I wanna be like you from Jungle Book. And although none of us were thrilled with the selection, who could dare go up against the enthusiastic Danell. So here you see us performing on the day of our competition. Danell got sick the previous day and could not join us, so we asked Manny Mourtzanos to join us in her stead. Enjoy seeing us making complete fools of ourselves in all earnestness and remember Danell and her pixie dust.
Annual International Faculty Appreciation Dinner
The Annual International Faculty Appreciation Dinner took place on Wednesday and is about building bridges of friendship among international students and their invited faculty guests. The international students plan cultural shows and a formal dinner, as they acknowledge BC faculty who work so diligently every day to ensure that the engine of progress never stops moving.
This event is a joint effort by ISA
(International Student Affairs program ) and the ISO( International Student Organization). Last night’s event brought together approximately 80 students and faculty for an evening of storytelling, cultural immersion, and international food; prepared by our own Chef Eric Sabella. You’ll have to check out the photos with the delicious looking international cuisine. This year our international students come from 20 different countries. The largest number of students are from India, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. More pictures are available here!
Petro Stories at BC’s Levan Center
Thursday evening March 23rd in the Levan Center 20-25 students discussed the Oil Age, Symbolism of Oil. Guest speaker from UC Davis a young rising star in the growing field of ecocriticism, which examines the relationship between literature and the physical environment.
Kern County is one the most prolific oil-producing counties in the state of California. In fact, Kern County is the fourth largest oil-producing region in the entire country. Kern County produces 66% of the oil in California, about 10% of the U.S. oil supply, and approximately 1% of the world’s total oil production. That works out to about 560,000 barrels of oil per day, which at $12 to $15 per barrel is something similar to $2.4 billion to $3.0 billion worth of oil every year.
Petro culture studies Michael Ziser says Oil is everywhere. It’s in the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the roads we drive on and the buildings we live in. Its production employs us and its sale sustains our booming economy. Our lives, our cities, our world are shaped by oil, from the arrangement of streets to the arrangement of geopolitics. According to Ziser, our culture’s investment in oil is not just material, but symbolic as well. If we can recognize the power of oil as a symbol, we just might be able to separate myth from reality, and make more sensible decisions about a sustainable future.
Commercial Music Professor Josh Ottum also spoke at the event. I recently ran into him with his wife Vanessa and son Emmet at the Haggin Oaks Farmers Market where one of my favorite things to pick up is the fresh, local produce. If you’ve never been, it’s a real treat and you never know who you’ll bump into! You might even catch me at my favorite stand with the sweetest, most delicious oranges.
Bakersfield College Athletics is a valuable extension of our college that takes folks who want to improve themselves and gives them the tools to do so!
Baseball: Last week, I told you that we’d talk about a baseball player who has made a name for himself this season, and he has done so by taking advantage of resources like BC’s Baseball Coach Tim Painton.
Luke Andrews pitched for Bakersfield College last season, but this season he has been a revelation! According to Coach Painton, he has bought into our program 100 percent, and the results have been phenomenal. He’s walked just eight batters in 64 innings pitched! I am not a baseball expert, but friends who follow baseball tell me this is excellent! Coach Painton says Andrews did this by working hard in the offseason and having faith in hard work! Now he is drawing attention from top scouts, so we know his experience at BC is going to take him places, whether that’s to a professional baseball career or a four year degree. Way to go, Luke!!
Cross Country: Speaking of going places, Cross Country runner Emily Freeman was recently entered into the California Community College Athletic Association’s prestigous Scholar Honor Roll at the CCCAA Spring Convention in Concord, CA.
Athletic Director Sandi Taylor and her indispensable partner, Associate Athletic Director Keith Ford, were both in attendance to honor Emily as she was recognized for her achievement in both athletics and academics.
Emily Freeman, you know what’s coming…You rock!!
BC Swimming hosted The Bakersfield College Relays last weekend, and while Clovis came out on top as a team, Coach Matt Moon was happy with the day for more reasons than wins and losses. Wasco High School’s team came and watched the Relays today, and they got to watch alumni like Steve Santana turn in great performances. Santana is the first college attendee in his family, and he will attend University of California, Santa Barbara in the fall to study Chemistry.
“My family immigrated to this country, so they don’t understand the gravity of me getting in a UC,” Santana told Sports Information Director Francis Mayer, “But swimming really showed me how hard I can work. I wasn’t the best student in high school, and I wasn’t the fastest swimmer. But coming to BC showed me just how hard I need to work, and how it’s possible for me to keep up if I try and apply myself. This was life-changing.”
The BC Track and Field teamalso competed last weekend, and I know high jumper Jacob Bookout is having another great season. It’ll be exciting to see what he can do at the next level! It was great to see Harlan Hunter, faculty member in Criminal Justice, volunteering his time to help out with track and field. I snapped this picture of Cesar Patino, sophomore from Wasco High School in the relay where BC placed third.
Making Transfer Opportunities a Reality
National University was on Campus Wednesday March 29th to connect with as many Bakersfield Students as possible. Rita Jones and Oscar Hernandez were just a couple of the NU staff available to meet and greet the BC students and help answer all of their questions. Some of the most popular programs asked about was the Bachelor of Science in Nursing-RN completion as well as the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. They are also the only local university to offer a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Communication. The members of NU were on location from 10 am to 2 pm where they also gave students a chance to spin and win fun NU gear and were also passing out hotdogs and drinks to all those who stopped by. In all, more than 250 BC students stopped to obtain information and speak to the helpful NU associates. As students make it to the end of their time at BC and are considering their options to move to the next step in their academic year, it is opportunities such as these that allow students to have a full array of information and options.
You might remember, BC recently hosted a HBCU Caravan Tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. I covered it in my recent blog entry here. This week, I was informed by Lisa Kent that 60!!! total number of acceptances were provided at this years HBCU event and scholarships amounted to $657,480.00! These opportunities are fantastic for our students
High School Students going to College
I was so excited to see the news that KHSD and CSUB have created a University Promise that codifies and clarifies student pathways from high school to university. Here is a photo of Superintended Bryon Schaefer, KHSD) and President Horace Mitchell, CSUB, with the beautiful Brenda Lewis.
Taft College has Taft College Promise. BC’s sister campus, Cerro Coso Community College will be announcing the Kern Promise in the Ridgecrest area on April 4th. And to round off the College Promises being made in our County, BC working in partnership with BCSD, KHSD, and CSUB will be making an announcement on April 28th. Exciting times! and great collaboration among the different education sectors.
On Thursday evening, Dr. Emmet Campos and Dr. Victor Saenz, two researchers from the University of Texas at Austin discussed their Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success, which is Texas’ boys & men of color) program at BC. Specifically, they highlighted how K-12, the community colleges, and Texas universities have been working together. They tailored their presentation around projects that our K-12 system, Bakersfield College, and the CSU system might work together on in the future.
Dr. Emmet Campos, Dean Rodriguez, Dr. Victor Saenz, Dr. Mark Martinez
The goal is to highlight how different education systems can create successful education pathways to graduation for boys and men of color. But it’s especially towards highlighting how Ed.D. / Ph.D. programs and institutes of higher education can do more than provide teachers, by also providing faculty mentors, assessment, and real time research of local education programs. You can check out UT Austin’s Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success program online at http://diversity.utexas.edu/projectmales/
Dr. Victor Saenz, Dr. Mark Martinez, Dr. Sonya Christian, Mayor Jose Gurrola, Dr. Emmet Campos
It was great seeing so many friends of Bakersfield College. Here is a picutre of attorney Win Eaton with Miguel Orozco a screenplay writer from Southern California
Win Eaton and Miguel Orozco
It was great seeing Jeff Flores and Camilla Chavez at the event. And thank you Dr. Mark Martinez for your collaboration with BV.
Dr. Mark Martinez,and Jeff Flores
Danny Murillo and Camila Chavez
Here is a photo of incredible program managers at BC who make things happen.
Lisa Kent, Shanell Tyus, Maria Wright
The Art of the Selfie
So many incredible speakers have made their way to BC this week, including Crystal Galindo who shared with a large group of students and faculty, “The Art of the Selfie”. This exhibit highlighted the Chicana culture, in particular, selfies of the artist herself. In true form of celebrating Women’s Month, Crystal shared her ideas on the stereotypes that surround many women today and how her hope is that her art will show that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. As a Latina woman, she felt that it was important to showcase artwork that would reach a wider audience. As an art student at Sonoma State University, her art professors often were critical of her work telling her that she should, “make it less Mexican” so that she would appeal to a wider audience. Crystal knew passion and what started off as a tribute to herself later turned into a form of self-expression and celebration.
Crystal Galindo, Photo by Amber Smithson
She hoped that her art would speak to those who are not typically portrayed in art and therefore after her show “The Art of the Selfie” her drive to connect with others pushed her to start painting others, those that maybe she had never met in person but had seen the beauty in them. Before she knew it, her artwork was being requested from all of the United States due to her marketing on social media. She soon moved to the bay area where her art shows have been on display and she has been welcomed with warm accolades for her work and portrayal of Latina’s. Regardless of the size jeans you where, the style of your hair, or the color of your skin, as women we must learn to appreciate every inch of ourselves. Take a selfie, strike a pose, but above all find your self-beauty and love yourself!
Photo by Amber Smithson
On Thursday, March 30th, I dropped by another presentation in our WHAM series– The Evolution of the Selfie: Deconstruction of the Female from 1400 to the Present”
Bakersfield College faculty Andrea Thorson & Erin Miller joined Taft College’s Jessica Grimes, faculty of English, & Faheemah Salahud-Din, Executive Director of First and Always Melanin (FAAM), to address the historical & social constructions of femininity, as well as the power these stereotypes continue to exert through language, self-presentation, & individual interpretation. Tina Mendoza moderated the event.
It was a treat to see the roomful of students and community members to hear from these powerful women speakers.
Here are photos from Olivia Garcia’s Facebook post
Juan Felipe Herrera at The Levan Center
Writing about poetry can be one of the most demanding tasks that many students face in a literature class. Poetry by its very nature requires dedication and makes demands on writers who attempt to analyze it, in ways that other forms of literature do not. So it was no surprise on Wednesday March 29th that over a hundred students and faculty attended an evening to remember inside of the Indoor Theater.
Juan Felipe Herrera. Photo: Lovie Johnson
American poet, author, and activist, Juan Felipe Herrera became the poet laureate of the United States in 2015. He was the first Hispanic to serve in that position and is best known for his autobiographical poems on immigration, Chicano (Mexican American) identity, and life in California. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth. Herrera spent his early years living in tents and trailers in farm communities around Southern California. He shares his life’s information eagerly, and wants his audience to relate to his struggle in life. Encouraging young poets to write poems on anything, even PG&E bills. He shows the audience a son of a migrant farmworkers whose writing fuses wide-ranging experimentalism with reflections on Mexican-American identity through poetry. Herrera, who recently retired as a professor at the University of California, Riverside, mentioned he would use his new position to encourage young poets, and non-poets, to find their voices.
I loved this Facebook post from Olivia Garcia
What a priceless moment it was for me to see my former Chicano literature/poetry professor Juan Felipe Herrera deliver a powerful presentation this evening at Bakersfield College. I even got a chance to introduce my students to him. Here was a Central Valley boy who became the U.S. poet laureate. Like his wife Margarita said, he’s still influencing and inspiring minds, young and old. Thank you, Juan Felipe.
Community Town Hall
BC students, their families, and members of the neighboring Bakersfield community were invited to the Levan Center on Thursday, March 30th to engage in a town hall on issues of immigration law. The event was hosted by the Immigration Justice Collaborative (IJC) in collaboration with CSUB and Bakersfield College. The IJC is a network of twelve lawyers who volunteer their time to host these town halls in various locations in Kern County, to educate our community on their constitutional rights in the United States. Panel discussions were presented in both English and Spanish, and were followed by the opportunity for attendees to engage in one-on-one discussions with local lawyers. The event was organized by Dr. Mark Martinez, Department Chair of Political Science at CSUB, Jay Tamsi President/CEO of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Lisa Kent, Program Manager for Equity and Shanell Tyus, Program Manager for Student Support and Success Program.
Many of the attorney’s you see on this program are on the advisory committee for BC’s Pre-Law program. Thank you!
The Renegade Room, Fine Dining at the Campus on the Hill.
I’m constantly impressed by the level of elegance at BC’s Renegade Room, our public restaurant operated by the students enrolled in the Culinary Arts program. This past Wednesday, an exquisite lamb burger was on the menu and I can tell you now… it was juicy and tender, absolutely incredible.
The goal for the Renegade Room is to have students learn professionalism and service industry standards in a fast-paced, realistic environment. The program entails classes in Nutrition, Cost Control, Supervision, Management, Baking, Food Production, Dining Room Services and Sanitation. Master Chef Suzanne Durst, Chef Alex Gomez, and Chef Anna Melby have over fifty-years’ experience and everyone is still anxious, even the staff when it’s time to open up for the day. The Renegade Room is not even simply room at all, but an affordable upscale restaurant. It’s a great way to enjoy a fine dining experience and one of the best reasons to visit the campus on the hill.
Next time you want to have a night out on the town, start with dinner reservations at The Renegade Room on Tuesdays or Thursdays… or plan your next business lunch for Wednesday afternoon. You won’t be disappointed, and the students appreciate your support.
Let Freedom Sing
Let Freedom ring….Let Freedom Sing! Last Friday, the Bakersfield College Choir and Chamber singers did just that, conducted by Dr. Jennifer Garrett and accompanied by Patrick Bender, performing a remarkable tribute to the various aspects of freedom.
The first half of the concert was dedicated to all those who helped each and every one of attain and maintain the freedoms we hold true today. The Choir and Chamber Singers came together in perfect harmony to sing the National Anthem, after which Dr. Garrett took a moment with the audience to show appreciation for all the Veterans in attendance. As each of the Veterans stood, scattered throughout the seats of the indoor theater, the audience erupted in applause of great gratitude. It’s moments like these that give me chills. I’m proud that #weareBC!
Guest artists accompanied the BC Choir and Chamber singers throughout the night such as, Audrey Boyle on flute, Marla Hansen on violin, and Kris Tiner playing the trumpet.
Here is a solo piece by Ken Burdick that I posted last week but felt I should repeat.
The second half of the performance was a beautifully commissioned piece written for the BC Choir by Dr. Ron Kean entitled “The Journey of Harriet Tubman”. This multipart multimedia piece written by Dr. Kean in collaboration with his daughter Hannah was magnificent. Dr. Garrett and her students also contributed to its creation. Here is an excerpt with Caley Mayhall that I posted last week and here it is again.
The Bakersfield College Choir has an immense amount of talent and they are in the process of making arrangements to travel to Sydney Australia in June 2018 where they hope to have the great privilege of performing at the famous Sydney Opera House. So I have two asks of you community members: (1) plz help fund this trip for our students and (2) mark your calendars to take you summer 2018 vacation in Australia and let’s pack the Sydney Opera House with the Bakersfield Community supporting its college.
Tonight, they will host a fundraising dinner with choral entertainment themed around Spaghetti Dinner and Broadway. If you have other plans for tonight, change them 🙂 Stop by the BC Cafeteria. The show begins at 5:30 and limited tickets are still available. $15 per person at the door.
Levan Faculty Colloquium:
I stopped by the indoor theater on Friday, March 31st, packing in as many events as I could to support our faculty, staff and students at BC. Dr. Ron Kean, this year’s recipient of the award, discussed his composition process in three recent commissions including a live performance of the Bakersfield College choirs singing, “Follow the River/The Journey of Harriet Tubman.” This is a five-movement work that incorporates eight African American spirituals in a West African musical framework. “The White Birds,” by W. B. Yeats, is composed in a traditional Irish musical style. “The Rose That Bare Jesu” is a setting of a 14th century English poem using antique style features. These techniques will be discussed and demonstrated in a presentation that is dedicated to the artist in all of us.
Ron opened with the songs Wade in the Water and Sometimes I feel like a Motherless Child. Check out this excerpt. Just beautiful. So happy for so much talent at BC….so much dedication….. I am the luckiest and happiest college president event.
Math Articulation Day
Math Articulation Day was celebrated yesterday as a way to build strong relationships across the independent institutions that serve our communities students. BC math faculty, as well as faculty from local high schools, CSUB, Taft College, Cerro Coso and Porterville Colleges, and math specialists from BCSD gathered to exchange ideas, update each other on curriculum changes and discuss strategies to increase student success. Workshops throughout the day included, dual enrollment, acceleration and compressed courses, “laugh with math” programs, planetarium shows, and using the robotics lab and 3-D printers. Free t-shirts were given to all attendees.
Thank you to Regina Hukill and the entire Math Department for all your work in hosting this great day.
Photo by Dylan Wang
Photo by Dylan Wang
Was so happy to see all of Mary Jo Pasek’s post on Facebook about our Math Articulation Day. Thank you Mary Jo for all that you do.
Here is a copy of the email Regina sent out after the event:
Math Articulation Day was a lot of fun! We had around 60 people attend including math instructors from BC, Porterville, Cerro Coso, Berkeley (yes, Eddie Ham was here in the flesh!), UC Davis, CSUB, and KHSD. We had about a dozen BC students who participated as well.
We appreciate the College Futures Grant which funded the event and paid for the food and t-shirts. Claudia Sandoval, the representative for the College Futures Grant was also briefly in attendance. The BC staff for Dual Enrollment helped in getting all the purchases completed through the grant, so we want to thank Cindy Collier, Marissa Jeffers, and Anna Laven.
Many thanks to all of you who worked on this event: Math Faculty–Tom Greenwood, Kurt Klopstein, Kris Toler, Mike Fredenberg, Alba Romero, Jon Brown, and Donna Starr. Other BC Faculty—Erica Menchaca, and Nick Strobel. CSUB Faculty—Charles Lam. KHSD Math Specialist—Kyle Atkin. BC Students—Freddy Padilla, Isabelle Recinos, Kevin Starr, Tyler Starr, Devin Serna, Patrick Chao, Allyson Milburn, and Emily Davis.
We also want to thank our dean, Steve, who supported us in putting on this event, and his staff Janet Thomas and Heather Barajas.
And, a special thank you to Josh Lewis who worked diligently to set up the speakers, write the agenda, help with the planning, and who was the MC for the day.
We do have some t-shirts left, so if anyone who couldn’t attend Math Articulation Day wants a t-shirt, please come see me, or send me your shirt size and I’ll put one in your mail box.
Great Day! Great Fun!
Some posts from twitter:
BC’s incredible Automotive Program:
BC’s automotive program is very much integrated with our business and industry partners in the community. Here is a Facebook post from faculty member Andrew Haney
Starting in August I ventured into the process of writing a grant. I had no idea what I was doing but had some great help from faculty member that did. They guided and directed me with great experience. Today I was able to finalize all the purchases that the grant awarded to us. I ordered four (4) new factory level software subscriptions to use on the factory scan tools and one new factory scan tool for Chrysler.
I went to Three Way Chevrolet and signed the purchase agreement for the Brand new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt and will have it on Monday on campus, it will be used in training new technologies to student and for program promotion and business when needing to get around town. I then confirmed the order is placed and will be shipping soon for a brand new Generation 3 smog machine which if we did not get Bakersfield College would have lost our Smog and Emissions training certification program from the state. All said and done it totaled just over 80,000.
I started the day with the inaugural Cesar Chavez Celebration and then popped in to see our faculty and staff working away on BC’s accreditation self evaluation work. And then attended part of Ron Kean’s presentation and finally the Math Articulation Day. Here are some photos and Facebook posts.
BC’s accreditation Laboratory, Friday, March 31st:
Michele Pena, Sue Vaughn, Debi Rosenthal, Jennifer Johnson, Maria Wright
Todd Coston presenting at the Accreditation Lab
Qiu Jimenez, Talita Pruitt
I’d like to end with one more quote from the Cesar Chavez.
Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.” – Cesar Chavez, Address to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Nov. 9, 1984
Thank you BC for an absolutely uplifting week!
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Education never comes easy. Nothing worth acquiring ever does. And with all of life’s pressures and responsibilities we juggle each day – our jobs, our families, our friends and all the rest that comes with our frantic existences – it’s easy to look at the added toil of going to classes, completing assignments and paying tuitions and think, “Why am I putting myself through all this?”
That journey can seem even tougher to conquer if you come from a disadvantaged background. For many, paying bills, taking care of family members and simply surviving in difficult environments and communities can easily take precedence over the education that will inevitably set you up for an even better tomorrow.
BC has been working on issues of Equity and Inclusion in a focused way over the last two years particularly as it relates to the success of students in their educational attainment. We have several Equity initiatives underway and our newest initiative is Equity TV.
Launched last month on January 19, 2015, on Martin Luther King day, the one-hour series webcast on Bakersfield.com explores the important benefits available to students from all walks of life to help motivate higher education dreams among potential future Renegades and their families.
Dr. Sonya Christian, President, Bakersfield College
Every Monday at 11 a.m., hosts Francis Mayer and Christine Dinh O’Dell spotlight the experiences of BC faculty, staff, students and alumni to deliver a fundamental message: education is the key to life success and the bright future we all crave.
Dr. Horace Mitchell, President of CSUB
On January 19th, as the first guest on the show, I introduced BC-EquityTV to our community. Dr. Horace Mitchell, President of CSUB, was a guest on the launch episode. Thank you President Mitchell!
Subsequent weeks have similarly highlighted other special student populations particularly in need of encouragement and guidance, including Latino students, veterans and former foster youth.
Sandra Serrano, Chancellor, KCCD
Last Monday’s (Feb 23rd) show, shot in the beautiful studios at the Bakersfield Californian downtown, centered on the difficult issues confronting athletically gifted high school grads forced to tackle the often unfamiliar terrain of higher education.
Specifically, why should I care about school if I’m on my way to a life in professional sports?
Francis got a resounding answer to that question from former BC and NFL player Jeremy Staat. Jeremy recounted his rocky relationship with learning while at BC and later at Arizona State before being drafted in the second round of 1998 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
You can still feel the regret as Jeremy told the heartbreaking story of being rejected for a post-football job at Home Depot – all because he left school without completing his degree. Despite a four-year NFL career and a trophy case of athletic accomplishments, none of it helped set up Jeremy to succeed after his career on the playing field. Jeremy is now a welding faculty at BC while he pursue a master’s degree.
Coach Reggie Bolton
Other guests this week included BC’s Associate Director of Athletics and assistant football coach Reggie Bolton, who advocates a “win at life” philosophy of academics ahead of any on-field accomplishments; and current Renegade football players safety Pat Marzett and running back Curtis McGregor, who despite challenging upbringings, have committed to achieving their higher education dreams with the same passion they’ve carried on to the turf at Memorial Stadium.
You can check out those Equity TV segments with Jeremy, Reggie, Pat and Curtis below as well as all the interviews from the show’s first five episodes on the Equity TV page at bakersfieldcollege.edu.
I want to thank the entire BC crew that made this happen. Amber Chiang, Odella Johnson, Corny Rodriguez, Paul Beckworth, Tina Mendoza, and Primavera Arvizu. Tune in and see just one of the fantastic projects at BC helping to make higher education a reality for everyone in Bakersfield and Kern County.
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