Tag Archives: Shawn Whalen

California comes to Bakersfield

Good morning Bakersfield….it is Saturday, June 3, 2017. A great day to be a Renegade.

With Monday, May 29th, being Memorial Day, the college was closed. Facebook was active with messages honoring those who gave up their lives for the country.  And later in the evening, BC’s faculty lead for student veterans sent a Memorial Day message that reverberated across the CA Community Colleges.

AdminPaulBeckworthChancellor Dr. Eloy Oakley, California Community College Veteran Counselors and Veteran Services Personnel,

Today is Memorial Day.

Today is the day we honor our fallen brothers and sisters.

What we do everyday is not a sacrifice.  What we do is a honor.  We are honored to help those who survived the fight. We get to go help those who are here with us, now.  As we go back to work tomorrow, let us remember TODAY, those who gave all.  Those who gave all will never be California Community College students.  They will never study MLA format or do a CSEP.  They will never fill out Post 9/11 GI Bill paperwork.  They will not stroll into your veteran center and ask about voc rehab.  They will not ask for hot coffee, or why they cant take more than 7 credits in summer school.  Although we cannot help them, we can help their brothers and sisters who survived the fight.

PaulBeckworthOur bbqs are done for the day.  It is late Monday night.  Tomorrow is a new day.  As we go back to work, let us strive to honor those who will never enter our hallowed halls by honoring the student-veterans who do.  Honor them and their dependents.  Our task is not easy.  Some of us suffer from “Compassion fatigue.”  What is demanded of us is not expected of anyone else on our campuses.  Veterans suffer 22 suicides a day and we feel each one.  I am proud of all of you and the work you do for our student-veterans.  Let’s face it, we love all our students, but, there is something about those veterans with big bushy beards, tattoos and bad language.  They tug at our hearts and they make us want to try a little bit harder.  Considering what they did for us, what we do is a small price to pay.

To those of you on this list serv who lost friends or family, please know our hearts and prayers are with you tonight.  From Bunker Hill to Fallujah, from Iwo Jima to the Triangle of Death, let us remember Abraham Lincoln’s words at Gettysburg, “We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place to those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. IT IS ALTOGETHER FITTING AND PROPER THAT WE SHOULD DO THIS.”

Paul Beckworth Cynthia QuintanillaTonight we remember.  Tomorrow we do the work: It is all together fitting and proper that we should do this.

Let us remember.

Respectfully,

Paul Beckworth
History Professor
Veterans Faculty Lead
Bakersfield College


Leadership Matters Summit

Eloy Oakley keynoting at the Leadership SummitIt’s another great week to be a Renegade, especially in light of our recent “Leadership Matters: Re-Imagining Leadership to Sustain Transformative Change to Advance Student Success & Equity” summit that took place on campus last week on Wednesday May 24th. It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to be able to host this remarkable and motivating day focused on leadership. Colleges from all over California met to discuss the Guided Pathways Initiative and how we can better accommodate and serve our community and our 2.1 million students across California.

With one year of work completed in developing the project, $150 million of one-time funding in the Governor’s budget for implementing Guided Pathways at all of the California community colleges, and an excellent slate of speakers and panelists, we knew the summit was going to be well-attended!

shawn-whalen-oct-11-2016Before I go any further, I must recognize Shawn Whalen of College Futures who has been committed to the equity and transfer agenda to community college students.

I’m so thankful that Chancellor Eloy Oakley agreed to come to Bakersfield and launch the summit. With great passion he made it very clear why Guided Pathways is critical to the future of California Community College System in the eyes of the state legislature and how there is no other institution better positioned to help California move forward than our 113 colleges.

Sonya Christian Leadership Matters SummitHere is my introduction of Chancellor Eloy Oakley

I have good news. At the head of the California Community College system, the largest higher educational system in the nation, that serves populations that are most in-need, we have a leader.

We have someone who is moving the dial on student success; someone who builds coalitions to make the impossible possible; someone who sets agendas that have national and statewide impact.

Back when it was first announced that Eloy Ortiz Oakley was our new Chancellor, I heard excitement and anticipation; that community colleges are in good hands, and to expect a lot to happen, – a lot to happen quickly, well, and sustainably, as it did at Long Beach City College under President Eloy Oakley.

We have a leader – I remember being in the audience at the senate budget committee, with the senators asking tough questions, of the $850M that has been invested in community colleges, and why we were back asking for an additional $150M for Guided Pathways. And he explained calmly, clearly and confidently that that the prior investments had laid the foundation, and that the $150M was what was needed to bring it together, to bring it to its tipping point and that the results would be exponentially better.

When he was done speaking, those legislators who were only able to see a block of marble, were able to see that angel in the marble that Eloy Oakley was attempting to free.

We have a leader – Chancellor Oakley brings incredible clarity on how to make local empowerment and systems development work together to maximize talent…to maximize resources.  His college promise initiative is all about empowering colleges to create local coalitions with their high school, industry and university partners to clear pathways for students. And then with the Guided Pathways investment to develop technical assistance and systems to meet each community college where they are and to move them to greater levels of performance.  Because remember, over 2 million students are counting on us.

This clarity in bringing together many worlds is exciting and promising. I will tell you dear friends that there has never, ever been a better time to be in the community college system, in California. There has never been a better time for vision, and hope, while keeping a steady eye on the realities and challenges we face.

We have a leader who with us will say with confidence, “Si se puede”.

Friends, I give you that leader, our Chancellor, Eloy Oakley.

Watch Chancellor Oakley’s Keynote Address here:

LeadershipMatters-JoshWyner-1

Josh Wyner of The Aspen Institute

The first session of the summit explained how leaders build urgency and college-wide ownership for change. Moderated by Josh Wyner, Executive Director of the College Excellence Program at the Aspen Institute, three leaders from three different constituencies described their communication strategies to establish urgency and share a vision for long-term and scalable change: from the trustee perspective, Bill McGinnis (trustee, Butte-Glenn Community College District); from the faculty perspective, Julie Bruno (Professor of Communication Studies at Sierra College and President of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges); and from the administration perspective, Wolde-Ab Isaac (President of Riverside City College).

Panel 1 Leadership Matters

Session1-Panel

Bill McGinnis, Julie Bruno, and Wolde-Ab Isaac

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Angelica Garcia

The second session “Psychology of Change” moderated by Angelica Garcia, Vice President of Student Services at Skyline College, focused on the deeper level at which change leadership must be cultivated and exercised. Cleavon Smith (Professor of English at Berkeley City College), Irene Malmgren (Vice President of Instruction at Mt. SAC), and Andrea Neptune (Professor of English and Academic Senate President at Sierra College) shared how they were able to get authentic engagement and establish trust among faculty and trust that led to co-ownership for the systems change occurring at their colleges. While Guided Pathways is the integrating framework, the panelists showed how the details of creating the change depend on the particular history and culture of the college.

Panel 2 Leadership Matters

Panel 2 at Leadership Matters

Session2-Panel

Irene Malmgren, Cleavon Smith, and Andrea Neptune

I was thrilled that Chancellor Tom Burke stopped by to welcome the participants to the Kern Community College District and to Bakersfield College.  Gregory Stoup who currently chairs the RP Group gave a fabulous, quick paced, MTV style presentation on Guided Pathways.

The third session was titled “Aligning Resource to Support and Sustain Change”. Three leaders focused on how their institutions are realigning and repurposing existing resources to ensure organizational capacity for transformational student success work: Glenn Roquemore (President of Irvine Valley College), Ann Ransford (Trustee from Glendale Community College District and President of the California Community College Trustees), and our own Jennifer Johnson.

Panel 3 Leadership Matters

Panel 3 — Leadership Matters

Session3-Panel

Glenn Roquemore, Ann Ransford, and Jennifer Johnson

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Laura Hope

Laura Hope, co-director of the RP Group’s “Leading from the Middle”, gave us the wrap-up by having us share with the person next to us and then the whole gathering, the why—why guided pathways right now, why are we going on this difficult journey to move this framework forward?

Three hundred twenty attendees registered in person from over 60 different colleges and organizations, as well as a livestream audience of almost 500. BC staff and students helped ensure the summit ran smoothly.

Check out some of the photos and videos taken at the event on the Bakersfield College Instagram page and at the full BC Gallery here:
https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/2017-Leadership-Matters-Summit/
.  

Don’t forget the BC Twitter feed, where you can find more photos, questions, and comments with the #CAGuidedPathways.

There were many hands that worked together to make this happen.  Here are a few who look care of the logistics: Tarina Perry,  Christopher Glaser, John Farrand, Monika Scott, Dylan Wang,  Kristin Rabe,  Reese Weltman, Earl Parsons,  Kristina Whitmore, Somaly Boles, Kevin Ganger,  June Charles, Jennifer Marden, Tracy Hall, Mary Jo Pasek, Maria Diaz, Anita Karr, Bernadette Martinez, Arisve Pimentel, Danyel Owens,  Yolanda Aguilera, Eric Sabella, Ramon Puga, Marissa Jeffers.  

A special thank you to Tarina Perry for being the lead on the summit.

Thank you Laura Hope and Keren Stashower for emceeing the event.

Also a special thank you to Janet Fulks and Lesley Bonds who worked closely with me on the programming of the summit and the work with shaping the content with the speakers.

Additional photos related to the Leadership Summit

Southwestern College

Marie Vicario-Fisher, Sonya Christian, Angelica Suarez

Keren Stashower Leadership Matters May 24 2017

Keren Stashower at Leadership Matters

The night before:

Shawn Whalen Sonya Christian Eloy Oakley May 24 2017

Shawn Whalen, Sonya Christian, Eloy Oakley

Craig Hayward and John Wyner May 23 2017

Criag Hayward, Josh Wyner

Cabrillo May 23 2017

Gang from Cabrillo

Tarina Perry did a “thank you” pizza party at her house to all those who helped with the logistics.  I popped in for a few minutes at the front end of the party.

Tarina Perry's Thank You Party June 2 2017

Tarina sent me this cool picture of Marissa Jeffries at the Leadership Summit.  Marissa was in charge of food.

Marissa Jeffries


All things Cerro Coso

Deanna Ing CampbellThis last week the Student Success and Equity Office organized their retreat at the Mammoth Center of Cerro Coso Community College.  The idea to hold one of our critical summer retreats at one of KCCD’s sister campuses came up when we heard the Director of Mammoth and Bishop campuses, Deanna Campbell, of Cerro Coso present at the KCCD Leadership Academy.  I covered this in my March 4, 2017 blog.

Check it out
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/03/04/inspiration-all-around-us/

Mammoth View.JPG

When I asked Lesley Bonds if she would like to take her team to Mammoth she promptly said yes.  This office of eight touches the entire campus — both the instructional side of the house as well as the Student Affairs side.

SS and Equity Retreat at Mammoth May 31 2017.JPG

Kristina Whitmore, Sonya Christian, Julian West, Lisa Kent, Shauna Turner, Pedro Ramirez, Keri Kennedy, Lesley Bonds, Shanell Tyus

BC’s Student Success and Equity team is remarkable.  This small office is tasked with “moving the dial” on student completion.  At BC we measure student completion through 4 momentum points — (1) completing college level English and Math in the first year (2) completing 12-15 credits in their program pathways in the first semester (3) completing 30 credits in their program pathway in the first year (summer-fall-spring) (4) completing an associates degree or transfer in two-years.  With over 30,000 students and few staff, the challenge is always about the ratio of students to staff. The task at hand requires each individual to move large quantities in a quality way.  But given that the majority of our students fall in the “at risk” category the only way to get them to be successful is through case management.  Normally when we think case-management we think managing individual student cases.  However, with BC does not have that luxury.  So we need to “case manage” through “groups”.  This require both a high touch and high tech approach.

Group at Cerro Coso Mammoth May 31 2017

Shauna Turner, Kristina Whitmore, Lesley Bonds, Sonya Christian, Pedro Ramirez (hidden), Julian West, Lisa Kent, Keri Kennedy, Shanell Tyus

I was so proud of this team when I hung out with them during their discussions.  Talented, smart and so committed to student success.  Do you understand now why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever

SS and Equity Team Painting May 30 2017.JPG

I learned that BC has a dual enrollment program in Culinary at Mammoth High School.  Thanks to Deanna and Trish for connecting with Chef Pat Coyle and making this happen.  The students at the high school prepared lunch for the BC team.

Mammoth Lakes students in BC's Culinary Class

Deanna asked Trish what she would like her to tell the BC team and this is what Trish wrote back:

My culinary students are taking their state test this week and I expect a high passing rate.  There are many restaurants in Mammoth that appreciate my students having their Food Handlers certificate.  They hire my graduates before others, partly because of the hands-on training they receive and also the certificate in itself.  Many of the students plan to continue in the trade by furthering their education in addition to the units they receive at MHS.

I attached a note from one of my recent graduates that I felt expressed the importance of the certificate and how it helped him.

Faculty member Trish Qualls with her culinary students

Trish Quall with her students

Here is the email from Connor Craig to Trish:

In taking the Food Handler Training Program, not only was I able to learn proper food handling and safety regulations for food, I was able to use this certificate for my new job.  Since becoming certified, I was able to skip food training programs at The Looney Bean because of the knowledge acquired through the Safety Program that I learned in Foods Class.  It would also be more than likely that I will work in food services in the future, so this program will also most definitely help for jobs and careers later in life.  This is a must program for all of those who wish to skip a tedious step in any kind of food handling business as well as those who wish to look professional when applying for a job in this field.

We got to meet the Cerro Coso team that is responsible for the Mammoth and Bishop campuses and were really impressed by all that they do for these remote communities that are at great distances from each other.

Cerro Coso Team at Mammoth May 31 2017

Kim Blackwell, James Markam, Yvonne Martin, Caroline Sanderson, Deanna Campbell

I learned from Deanna that:

  • Cerro Coso partners with University of Nevada in Reno since that is the closest university to the Mammoth and Bishop.
  • Demographics shift: Whites decreased from 80% to 45% from 2002-2003 to 2016-2017; Latino increase from 17% to 38%
  • 14 high schools in Inyo and Mono County
  • Bishop campus opened in 2003 and Mammoth in 2008

Thank you Lesley for making this happen.  And thank you for all that you do for BC.  We are fortunate to have you.

Lesley Bonds May 31 2017


Board meeting at Cerro Coso

Since I am on a roll bragging about our sister campus, let me briefly spotlight them through pictures the KCCD Board meeting at Cerro Coso  which was on May 4, 2017.

President Jill Board receives the Shirley B. Gordon Award.  This is a prestigious national award and to have one of KCCD presidents receive it is pretty cool.  Congratulations Jill!

Jill Board winning the award

Retiree Carol Hewer and Congressman Bill Thomas were talking about the good old days when I snapped this picture.

Carol Hewer and Bill Thomas May 4 2017

Cerro Coso traditionally has their Scholarship Awards ceremony during lunch prior to the Board meeting.  It is always a treat hearing about the lives of these amazing students.

Students at Cerro Coso being honored


Oliver Rosales speaking at University of Washington

dgd6leyfjrsqyajlbuinjsnnIt was exciting to hear that our own Oliver Rosales from the History Department was going to be speaking at the University of Washington, Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities.  Rosales addressed connections between two-year colleges and PHD programs.

I always feel proud to hear of our own being recognized for their leadership in their fields.
https://tinyurl.com/y76yzwcj


BC Foundation Honors Celebration

Every year before spring graduation, The Bakersfield College Foundation and the Bakersfield College Financial Aid Office host the Honors Celebration. It is the time when scholarships for the upcoming academic year are announced and academic and athletic awards are handed out for accomplishments for the year just ending.

This year’s event had approximately 900 participants, including BC administration, faculty and staff, and donors whose generosity has funded the scholarship program at BC,  as well as over 200 scholarship and award recipients and their guests.  Over 500 scholarships are dispensed each year, totaling approximately $500,000 in scholarships and awards.

See nearly over 300 images from this year’s event: (https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/2017-Honors-Celebration/)


A Poem

Jack Hernandez will be published in the Anglican Theological Review.

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Jack Hernandez

A Rule
My monkish soul
seeks a rule
in this familiar
place where windows
dazzle no longer,
the call of a full
order or stomach
receding like mother’s
admonition to clean
my dinner plate.

The days unfold
with limited promise,
my genes fulfilled
mind stuffed
with books
instructions not
to blink
before strong
ideas no matter
how strange their eyes.

A young woman
walks by
a baby in each arm
her days
ruled like mine
when flushed with time,
The rule of life
I seek now
is a grace to light
this cloistered dusk.


David Koeth’s “Thoughts on avoiding burnout in teaching”

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David Koeth

Our graphic design teacher and self-proclaimed “recovering department chair,” shared some insightful thoughts on the AIGA Design Educators website.  Among some of my favorite ideas: “Take care of your health,” “know the signs of burnout,” and my personal favorite, “find a ritual that relaxes you.”

David’s amusing personality is on display and he has some great ideas for all of us! You can read the article here: https://educators.aiga.org/thoughts-on-avoiding-burnout-in-teaching/.


Lisa Strobel and Nick StrobelNick Strobel — excited about an eclipse

Wouldn’t you get excited too if you read this opening paragraph of Nick Strobel’s column in today’s Californian?

Recently, at many gatherings where people know what I do or find out that I teach astronomy at Bakersfield College, the subject of the conversation quickly gets around to the August 2017 total solar eclipse. That was the case as well at the Bakersfield College Sterling Silver Dinner a couple of weeks back. It’s a sign that the education and public outreach campaign for this astronomical event has done a very good job. I have been looking forward to it for about 40 years since I first read about it in the World Book Encyclopedia in my boyhood home.

If you have ever been to a total solar eclipse or one where enough of the sun was covered to clearly notice a drop in the light level (say over 95% covered), you know it is a truly awesome thing to experience. That’s “awesome” in the true sense of the word—awe-inspiring, soul-stirring. If you have never been to a total solar eclipse, then a word of warning: be very careful because you can get addicted to eclipses and become one of those people who chase eclipses all over the globe. It is an excellent excuse to travel all over but it can get a bit expensive going to some remote places to witness at most a few minutes of totality.

I’ve exhibited great resistance to the lure of eclipse chasing, keeping myself to just two total solar eclipses in the past ten or so years: one in China in 2009 and another in Australia in 2012. Fortunately for us this eclipse won’t be expensive to travel to. Finding cheap lodging will be difficult, though, as hotels exercise their right under capitalism’s supply-and-demand.

The August 2017 eclipse is the first total solar eclipse visible only in the United States since 1776, yes 1776. It will also be the first since 1918 that crosses the United States from Pacific to Atlantic and the first since 1979 that is visible anywhere in the lower 48 states. Approximately 391 million people in the U.S. will be able to see the August 2017 eclipse (partial or total).

For the whole article:
https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/planetarium/bakersfield-night-sky/bakersfield-night-sky-june-3-2017


From Facebook

Jen Garrett

Last night part of the BC Chamber Singers had an opportunity to sing in St Francis Church in Bakersfield for their women’s bible study group called WOW (Women in Wisdom). We were honored to be asked and appreciate the generous support the Church showed towards our Australia tour next summer. I hope this is the beginning of many opportunities to perform and collaborate with them.

I am so grateful to have a choir that can meet and perform as they did last night after not seeing each other for weeks. I know I can rely on them for more than just their talents and I do grateful for that. Hearing them last night felt like healing for the soul. The pastor told us we gave a great gift to give. I believe that music itself is a very special gift and when given by this group of musicians it almost feels like magic.

And I get this text from my friend Arlene Braganza

The BC Chamber Singers did a phenomenal job at the WOW at St. Francis on Wednesday evening.

Here is a picture of Arlene Braganza and her family when they came out to BC for the Caroling and Culinary evening in December.

The Braganza Family

Lauro Braganza, Arlene Braganza, and Gemma Lauro’s sister

Here are photo’s from Jen’s post

BC Chambers at St. Francis.jpg

Chamber Singers May 31 2017.jpg


Who gets 448 “likes” on a Facebook post….. I know

Kris Tiner June 2017


Neo

Neo had his second set of shots today.  When I carried him in at 10 weeks the young woman at the front desk spontaneously blurted “what a ginormous cutie”

sonya christian at Rotary April 30 2015

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

The little things we do!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, December 10th….a good day to be a Renegade!  a good week to be a Renegade.

Campus was buzzing this week as students crammed in last-minute studying, raced to complete finals and closed out fall 2016 as another successful semester – but life has a humorous way of always making the busiest of times also some of the most memorable.

On Wednesday night, multiple gas leaks were reported on campus and immediately the BC team jumped into action. The President’s Cabinet received news at approximately 9:30PM that PG&E disconnected gas to the main campus and that’s when the work began. Without heat and throughout the night, Bill Potter, Chris Counts, Ramon Puga, Michelle Pena, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and Zav Dadabhoy worked to make sure Thursday’s finals and events could resume as normal. In addition, all of the deans were on standby to respond to whatever was the outcome of work of the technical team.  Also a shout out to Liz Rozell, who answered my call from Sacramento and went immediately to work.  Stephen Waller who headed out to campus.  Manny Mourtzanos, Cindy Collier, Corny Rodriguez, Shannon Musser, …..

Approximately 365 finals were scheduled for Thursday, so a list of alternate spaces and a plan B was drafted. However, by 1:00AM, repairs were estimated to be complete within 3-5 hours, and by 7:30AM, campus was up-and-running like nothing had happened!

Thank you Zav Dadabhoy for taking this picture on Wednesday, Dec 6th night, and sending it to me while I was in Sacramento.

chris-counts-bill-potter-nan-gomez-heitzeberg-dec-6-2016

Chief Chris Counts, Bill Potter, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg on campus with Zav Dadabhoy

BC is a gem because of its people – the dedication of our staff, faculty, administration, and students make this campus a great place to be. Thank you again to everyone who pulled together to make sure classrooms had heat and finals could resume as scheduled on Thursday morning. #WeAreBC #TodosSomosBC

Caroling and Culinary extravaganza:

Saturday, December 3rd: Our BC Chamber singers, faculty and staff sang Christmas carols to us, and our Culinary students and faculty chefs cooked an incredible meal.  Two of our trustees, Kyle Carter and Romeo Agbalog, attended the event. Thank you trustees.  It is always a treat to have you on our campus.

I also enjoyed seeing many community members out to support BC as well as our faculty and staff.  Pauline Larwood, so wonderful to see you!

 

I enjoyed catching up with Brian Burrows, past CEO of the Bakersfield Symphony orchestra, as well as Phil McDermott, son of Greg McDermott whom I have known for many years.

bryan-burrows-sonya-christian-phillip-mcdermott-at-caroling-and-christmas-dinner

And the icing on the cake was a surprise guest, Senator Jean Fuller and her husband Russell Fuller.  Senator Fuller is a Renegade and I enyoyed hearing her talk about her time at BC, how she was in the Fireside Room listening to President Simonsen and about how BC made a tremendous difference in her life.  Senator Fuller is just amazing….smart, beautiful, and so caring.  She is a warrior for issues important to the Central Valley and her negotiating skills have served us very well.  Let’s take a moment to toast this incredible human being.  To Senator Jean Fuller!

And I love this picture of my mom, Pam Christian, who, after dinner wanted a more comfortable chair and found herself this cozy corner.  She loves Christmas music, and I was so happy watching her relaxing and listening to her favorite songs. You can even spot her in the background of the group picture above, staying warm and having a good time.  So glad you came to the event mom!

Glad to see faculty, staff and their families out to support this event.  Loved having the young Strobel, Kelly, with us who had just completed a physics project with cranes, pulleys and weights.  How fast our children grown up.

And thank you Camilla for triggering a bidding war on a live auction item!

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Rob Parsons, Isabel Stierle, Becki Whitson

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Nick, Kelly and Lisa Strobel

 

I captured a few videos on my iphone.  Yes, I have a new phone, the iphone 7.  So you should be seeing more videos in my blog posts.  Except, only a week after I got the phone, I dropped it and there is a crack across the front face 🙁 … I’m told it can be repaired at the mall, or maybe I’ll leave it as a reminder to get the iphone 8 as soon as it comes out.

Pat Davis is the best.  Here are 26 second of Pat doing Santa Baby.  Jen Garret we need Pat to do this again in December 2017!

 

I so loved this Christmas rendition of Santa and his Sleigh performed extravagantly by Dr. John Gerhold to the tune of Bennie and the Jets.  I found myself responding to the music the moment the first chords exploded from the keyboard, matched by the power of John’s voice, and sent the music reverberating across the room.  Turn on your sound and turn up the volume, because Heeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeee’s John Gerhold!!

 

If anyone could have followed John Gerhold with a stellar performance, it was Ken Burdick doing The Impossible Dream from The Man from La Mancha with his fabulous voice and great presence.  This is what we do at BC…  The Impossible Dream, transforming lives.  Let’s look at these magical lyrics and then turn up the volume and listen to Burdick.

To dream … the impossible dream …
To fight … the unbeatable foe …
To bear … with unbearable sorrow …
To run … where the brave dare not go …
To right … the unrightable wrong …
To love … pure and chaste from afar …
To try … when your arms are too weary …
To reach … the unreachable star …
This is my quest, to follow that star …
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far …
To fight for the right, without question or pause …
To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause …
And I know if I’ll only be true, to this glorious quest,
That my heart will lie will lie peaceful and calm,
when I’m laid to my rest …
And the world will be better for this:
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach … the unreachable star …

 

Finally, I am glad Jen Garrett caught a video of Mason Edwards and Kelsey Celeste singing this duet. https://www.facebook.com/jennifergarrettdma/videos/10209738052381028/

The evening before the event, Jen Garrett and her students were in the cafeteria late into the night getting the place ready for us.  Jen sent this txt: “You should see the cafeteria! And we aren’t finished yet. It will be even better. The snowflakes aren’t showing on the ceiling yet!”  Talk about a faculty member going the extra 100 miles to engage our students, the single most important ingredient in student learning. #WeAreBC

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Here are more pictures:

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Guided Pathways:

We were excited to hear on December 6th that the College Futures Foundation funded the California Guided Pathways Proposal a major initiative that BC is promoting as a framework statewide to build on and integrate the work of student learning and achievement in California’s Community Colleges.  Harold Pierce of  The Bakersfield Californian covered the story on Thursday, December 8th.  Check out Pierce’s coverage at http://tinyurl.com/hz7tqfn.

Here is an excerpt

The model provides structure to students selecting classes. Counselors would plan course schedules based on whether students want to receive two-year degrees, or transfer to a four-year university, check in on them regularly and create pathways for success.

Students would be assisted from point of entry through employment in a chosen field, according to the Foundation for California Community Colleges, which spearheaded the effort.

 

Guided Pathways would limit the number of students taking courses not necessary for their goals and move them through the community college system faster, clearing enrollment backlogs that districts have for years faced.

“The Guided Pathway model provides a structured framework for colleges to lead institutional change and improve student success,” said incoming California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “I applaud the colleges and partners who’ve taken an innovative leadership role tailoring a national model to benefit students in California.”

Btw, Eloy Oakley is the incoming Chancellor of the California Community Colleges.  He starts on Janaury 1, 2017.  We also have a new Chancellor for the Kern Community College District, Tom Burke.  Let’s welcome Chancellor Eloy Oakley and Chancellor Tom Burke to their new roles.

So proud of the work done by the BC team who has been helping with the statewide work — Lesley Bonds, Nick Strobel, Jessica Wojtysiak, and Janet Fulks.  It has been great partnering with Kay McClenney, Rob Johnstone, and Kathy Booth.

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Shawn Whalen

But the man who connected the dots and worked hard behind the scene to make it happen is Shawn Whalen.  I am sure he is going to hate it that I am calling him out.  But truly he is the person who has worked diligently bringing us together, asking the tough questions, keeping the equity conversation front and center, and stretching for high levels of performance from the colleges.  Here’s to Shawn Whalen! I am so glad to be working with you!

 

Talking about Guided Pathways, there was a statewide Guided Pathways workshop in Sacramento on Wednesday (Dec 6th) and Thursday (Dec 7th). This workshop was funded by the Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative led by the statewide Vice Chancellor Theresa Tena and BC took a leadership role in pulling together the programming for the event.  It was also a treat to have a fabulous BC team attend.  I rode back on the train with the team and so enjoyed hearing the group work, talk and laugh together.  The best part of working at BC is the camaraderie, the love, respect and admiration we have for each other.

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Andrew Haney, Matthew Garrett, Janet Fulks, Eleonora Hicks, Maria Wright, Steve Watkin, and Grace Commiso took time out of their busy schedules to attend the IEPI Guided Pathways Workshop in Sacramento this week. #WeAreBC

 

NEH Grant for Delano

delano-grant-logo-neh_logo_horizontal_rgbThere is always something to celebrate at Bakersfield College and I’m so excited to share that the Delano Campus Library has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a digital project to record Delano’s past. Our rural campus and neighboring communities deserve this kind of recognition and attention. Their stories are one-of-a-kind and the difference education can make in their neighborhoods will forever change the people, families, and generations that reside there. I could not mention such a great achievement for the Delano campus and community without thanking Dr. Oliver Rosales for his continued passion and dedication to improving the lives of our students in rural Kern. I so look forward to seeing the project, “Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History” come to life through the fantastic resources provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities!!

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Oliver Rosales

It’s POSSIBLE

Higher education makes a world of opportunities possible, but what do young people do when they don’t know where to start or where to find the answers?

That’s where the BC Outreach team steps in with events that make enrolling in college an easy and successful experience. The goal is that students walk away from this one day event with a class schedule in hand, ready to take on the college adventure – and that’s just what the BC Outreach team does. Last Saturday, December 3rd,  at It’s POSSIBLE, new students were helped individually, regardless of status within the enrollment process to enroll, find courses, and set up their educational plan for the next couple years depending on what they were trying to achieve. Different goals include certificates and different types of degrees. There’s a lot you can accomplish at BC and there’s so many resources offered to help you achieve your goals. And the whole family comes out to help.  Here is Debi Anderson with her husband Jerry and their cute grandson.

jerry-and-debi-anderson-and-their-grandson-dec-3-2016

Kaleidoscope

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The next day, BC’s Renegade Band, Concert Band, and Orchestra had their concert in the Edward J. Simonsen Performing Arts Center. Tim Heasley opened the evening with the extraordinary talents of the Bakersfield College Renegade Marching band, where they did something a little different than expected in an indoor concert. With stage choreography, they performed Bolero, composed by Maurice Ravel and arranged by Jay Bocook.

kaleidoscope_band-orch_4dec16-1Kathryn Kuby then took the stage as she conducted the Bakersfield College Concert band and Orchestra. This was her first performance at BC and she surely did not disappoint. Kuby selected a wide variety of pieces for the audience ranging from Holiday classics, a John Lennon medley, a piece by John Williams, and a personal favorite Symphony no. 25 in G Minor, Allego con brio. All in all the performance from these exceptionally talented renegades was definitely a treat for all who were in attendance.

Vision for the Valley

On Wednesday, The Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, along with event partners including The Bakersfield Californian, Wells Fargo, Chevron, Aera, and San Joaquin Community Hospital hosted a crowd of over 300 people in BC’s indoor theater for the Vision for the Valley conference.

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Over 300 local professionals were greeted by Nancy Ortiz, President  & CEO of the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, followed by Michelle Chantry, CEO of The Bakersfield Californian, and myself  to kick off the multipart event.

 

The first panel focused on election impact on California businesses and the San Joaquin Valley.  I got this nice picture of Richard Beene, Dan Walters and Michelle Chantry in the green room.

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STEM Education was in the spotlight for the second panel and I had the joy of joining my fellow panelist, Adam Alvidrez of Chevron and our moderator, Nick Ortiz of GBCC on the stage. Local STEM education programs for workforce development are of vital importance to Kern County and the future success of our region.

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The final panel on healthcare innovations wrapped up the event by exploring the future of key programs and exploring how to provide effective and innovative healthcare.

Thank you to all the fantastic partners, presenters, and attendees who contributed to making this event one-of-a-kind. It was great to see Bakersfield Mayor Elect, Karen Goh upcoming KCCD Chancellor, Tom Burke in the audience, JP Lake, Cathy Butler, Jim Scott, Bob Meadows, and so many friends of BC.

When Students say Thank You

Mariah Earl just successfully completed her first semester of the Registered Nursing program and sent a thank you email to her professors. After making its way to my inbox, I just knew I had to share —

mariah-earl-photo-2Dearest Professors, As my first semester of the Registered Nurse program draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment and thank you for your instruction that has played a vital role in my success as a nursing student thus far. We have to take a lot of pre-requisite classes before beginning the program, but none are nearly as valuable as Anatomy and Physiology and Microbiology. The time I spent mastering the topics of the courses you teach was time well spent as an investment in my future success, not just as a student, but as a nurse giving care to patients.

I recognize that it takes an extra effort on the part of the professors to offer instruction that is relevant and emphasizes real-life public health issues. Thank you for taking those extra steps on behalf of your students.

I’ve had study groups with many different classmates this semester and I’ve noticed that the students who are struggling the most are the ones that are weakest in their A&P and Micro knowledge. Their struggles are partly related to not mastering the material at the time they took the classes and partly due to how long it took them to get accepted into the program after taking the courses. I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity I had to do Supplemental Instruction for Profs. Fullks and Tavoni. Those two semesters kept the material fresh in my mind, and teaching others helped cement the knowledge in my brain.

If I were to be so bold as to offer any advice to your future students, it would be to treat your classes as seriously as they would treat the classes in the actual nursing program. Microbiology and Anatomy and Physiology are not classes that should be taken just to check off of the pre-req list. They should be taken with intention of mastery. All of the organ systems and disease conditions (plus more!) will be revisited in the nursing program. If they take the time to learn it now, then they will get to sleep a little more at night during the program and worry less about exams. Speaking of exams, thank you for the exam questions that require a lot more critical thinking. I didn’t necessarily enjoy them at the time, but they helped train my brain to think in a new and improved way.

I don’t want to bore you with all the topics that have helped me so far, but here’s a quick bullet list:

  • Nervous system and neurotransmitters
  • Hormones (origin, target, and action)
  • BP regulation (short term and long term, especially the R-A-A system)
  • Immunity (humoral, cell mediated, active/passive, natural/acquired, and antimicrobial therapy)
  • Principles of gas exchange, and respiratory diseases
  • Carbonic acid formula
  • Fluid, Electrolyte, and Acid Base Balance (especially this!)
  • Diabetes

Truly, I can’t thank all of you enough. I appreciate your knowledge and the ways you’ve challenged me to grow as a student. Warmest Regards, Mariah Earl”

When a student says thank you, there’s an instant feeling of purpose, of making a difference, and of knowing that what you do each day as an educator is and will change lives.  It’s something I can’t accurately describe in words, but I hope Mariah and all of our students know… we at BC… staff, faculty and administrators – we can’t thank you enough as well. You are the heart and soul of what drives us each day. You are the future so be brave and follow your dreams boldly. Thank you for your dedication to your studies – it’s the most important thing you could do. You’re an inspiration for us, your fellow students, and your community.

BC’s Nursing Students Graduate!

Here are some pictures of our RN and VN students graduating.  Thank you Nan and Cindy.  And Nan wanted me to include the Nightingale Pledge a modified “Hippocratic Oath” composed in 1893 by Lystra E. Gretter and a Committee for the Farrand Training School for Nurses, Detroit, Michigan. It was called the Florence Nightingale Pledge as a token of esteem for the founder of modern nursing.

I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.

Community Voices: Jack Hernandez

 I loved seeing Jack Hernandez’s piece in the Californian. He begins by saying,
“When I came to BC many years ago, I saw by the front door of the administration building a plaque dated 1955 with the words, “Only the Educated are Free.”

Did you know that plaque still resides on the right-hand side of the admin buildings entry doors?  Jack’s article made me take a moment and pause Monday morning when I arrived on campus. Thank you for the reminder Jack, of what it means to be free.

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If you haven’t read the piece, make sure to take a moment. It’s worth your time and available at http://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/community-voices-only-the-educated-are-free/article_0e788a32-0784-58a7-b775-5eedf25ceff8.html

BC Adjunct Faculty Olivia Garcia on BC Public Safety

oliviagarcia_fromopeningdayAny time a tragedy strikes at a school or college, it affects all educational campuses across the globe and we feel it, right at home on the campus of BC. Last weekend Olivia Garcia, a local journalist and adjunct faculty member, featured BC public safety Director, Chris Counts, in a published piece. Olivia said, “The recent attack at Ohio State University has left a somber mood at colleges and campuses throughout the nation.” Check out the piece at http://www.bakersfield.com/columnists/olivia-garcia-bc-public-safety-official-reflects-on-ohio-state/article_3858defc-bd72-5a7c-9574-ac4da11df084.html

Equity TV and David Moton

Kate Pluta sent me the link to Equity TV episode featuring David Moton, Department Chair of English.  I loved watching and hearing from both Francis Mayer and David Moton.  Check it out.

Pueblo Fest — Mark your Calendars, March 17th, 18th, 19th, 2017

Recently I had dinner with Arnoldo Avalos, member of the Board of Governors for California’s Community Colleges and he talked about this music festival he is bringing to the Central Valley.  Very exciting.  Guess where I am going to be on March 17th, 18th and 19th…

Here is a picture with Arnoldo Avalos when he visited Bakersfield College in his official capacity as a member of the BOG. From left to right: Arnoldo Avalos, Connie Conway, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog, Vince Stewart

Avalos Conway Christian Agbalog Stewart April 29 2016

Arnoldo Avalos, Connie Conway, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog, Vince Stewart

Here is an excerpt from an email he sent me.

I want to introduce you to Pueblofest – the first ever regional Mexican music festival in the history of the United States being held at the international ag-center in Tulare CA. Pueblofest is a family friend event with a social purpose. The venue holds up to 100k people. The music will attract our community now we need to inspire them! We plan to have over 100 nonprofits at the music festivals to help educate and provide services to concert goers.

Pueblofest has an amazing line up of artists like Tigre del Norte, Tucanes de Tijuana, Intocables, Voz del Mando, Original Banda el Limón, Cheque Peña, and others coming to the Central Valley. In addition, we will have many motivational speakers like Jose Hernandez (US astronaut), Dr Raul Ruiz MD (3 degrees from Harvard – US congressman), Amanda Renteria (1st Latina Chief of Staff for US Senator) and many others.

Check it out http://pueblofest.com/

 

 

The Bakersfield Californian, a community gem!

Did you notice that I referred a lot to The Bakersfield Californian in my blog.  TBC is a local treasure.  Been with us for over 100 years.  As an aside, in response to a question posed by Richard Beene, Lois Henry at the Vision for the Valley sent a call out to the community to support the work journalists do!  I agree!

Cindy Collier — BC’s gem

On Friday, I was interviewing a candidate for a position here at BC and she talked about why she wanted to come to BC.  She said it was because of the people who work here.  They seem to watch out for each other and care for each other.  And the example that she gave me was our Dean for Allied Health and CTE Cindy Collier.

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So I went back and read an email Cindy recently sent me.  So, you see Bakersfield, this is why BC is so special

Good morning Sonya,

Just wanted to share a few photos with you from our VN and RN pinning ceremonies that were held this week.  I was particularly moved by the story of Brandy Billingsly one of our VN graduates who shared her journey through nursing school.

brandy-billingsy-dec-9-2016A single mom with 3 children, spoke of the challenges of nursing school, the long hours in class and studying that kept her away from her children, she cried as she apologized for the countless football games missed, the early mornings that she had to wake her children up to take them to their “Nana’s” house so that she could be in the clinical setting at 6:00 a.m., the weekends that she had to give up because she had to work,  but at the same time she graciously thanked her employer for allowing the opportunity to work every weekend for the past 18 months so that she could complete nursing school.  She thanked her classmates for being her family and allowing her to cry on their shoulders when she failed a test or just couldn’t understand her material, and she thanked her professors for showing up each and everyday teaching and re-teaching her the material so that she could be the best nurse possible. As she wiped the tears from her eyes she looked out into the audience and told them that she wasn’t very strong, but she had to be strong so that she could do this (complete nursing school) for her family so that they could have a better life. And she then looked back at her classmates and told them “WE ARE SIMPLY AMAZING”!  And I looked around the audience of family members, friends and faculty totally moved by her story, I thought yes she’s right – our students are simply amazing.

 After coming home, I had the opportunity to reflect upon my own week and I was reminded why I chose to work at a Community College, it’s because of our students and the way that we (BC) change their lives.  Leaving our doors this week we have over 75 nursing graduates (RN and VN) who will very soon enter the workforce and will have the opportunity to earn beginning wages of greater than $50,000/year which is a family sustaining livable wage. This is huge, not only for our students but our community as well.

As I continue to reflect on why I am so blessed to work at BC, I also am amazed and awed by the support that we have from our community. Yesterday’s advisory board meeting for our Industrial Automation Baccalaureate degree was just awesome.  I listened to these high-powered business men and women who were so thankful for BC to take on the challenge to be one of the 15 pilot college’s, but at the same time had no problem being very frank with us on how we market our program, use data and systems to track our students and program’s success and quite frankly meet their needs for the 21st century employee.

Listening to our partner’s from KHSD who talked about the shared vision for students, through Dual Enrollment and Pathways that align curriculum and programs from 9th grade on, made me proud of the work that we’ve done with Dual Enrollment (despite its challenges). But most importantly what awed me the most was our students; they spoke of how this new degree has opened the door of possibilities for them.  One student who is currently working full-time in the field, while attending our program shared how he knows completing this degree will provide him with so many other career opportunities, he will no longer be stuck in an entry level job.  Another student shared how she really wanted to be an engineer, but last year while in the Calculus, Chemistry, Physics series she discovered she was pregnant with her 3rd child and she just couldn’t ask her family to take on the responsibility of raising her children for the next 4+ years while she completed the necessary courses to earn this degree, but the Industrial Automation degree now provided her with an achievable degree and on-top of it all she really loved what she was learning – she was enjoying putting things together and this program really made sense to her.

So, my dear president even though I am really exhausted and I believe your speech at the President’s Cabinet retreat in August about our 20-mile march this semester was a bunch of baloney, because this semester really has been a 20-mile sprint, I am grateful for you and the fact that you allow each and every one of us to be a part of this privilege to change student’s lives.  So, thank you for inspiring us to think beyond the status quo and for empowering us to move exciting ideas forward.

Cindy, thank you for your email!

It is the holiday season friends.  We have so much to be thankful for.  Reach out to the person close to you and give them a hug.  I am right now in my office and I walked over to say hello to Jackie Lau working away in Admission and Records to give her a hug.

 

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That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — with Jackie Lau on campus on Saturday, Dec 10th.

Daily Inspiration from all things BC!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Sunday, July 3rd and here I am blogging from Eugene, Oregon and thinking that it is truly a wonderful day to be a  Renegade.  

cropped sonya ken woody july 2 2016Apologies for the late blog post… I was travelling and taking care of work related activities and could not get to my Saturday morning ritual.  I did feel sorry missing my exercise class this weekend and instead made up with long walks by the Willamette with two of my favorites — Woody and Ken Murdoff.  Eugene at this time of the year is like a botanical garden with the trees a vibrant green and bursts of colors everywhere.  The daisies, in particular, were crowding the bike paths competing for space with lavenders.  A good friend told me about how spectacular the Willamette Valley is when the lavenders are in full bloom. The high temperature here is around 82 and the low 58.  Hence the sweatshirt for the morning walk.  Check out this 27-sec video of Woody fetching his tennis ball from the water.

Yesterday, July 2 2016, Elie Wiesel, A-7713 his number in Auschwitz, passed away at 87.  A survivor of the holocaust Wiesel was a prolific writer and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.  I was first introduced to him through his book Night.  A powerful story from a young boy who had it all and then lost it all.  Here is an excerpt.

Elie Wiesel with his mother and sisters

Elie Wiesel with his mother and sisters. Source: http://www.achievement.org

Men to the left! Women to the right!

Eight words spoken quietly, indifferently, without emotion. Eight short, simple words. … For a part of a second I glimpsed my mother and my sisters moving away to the right. Tzipora held Mother’s hand. I saw them disappear into the distance; my mother was stroking my sister’s fair hair …and I did not know that in that place, at that moment, I was parting from my mother and Tzipora forever.

So yesterday, carrying the words of Wiesel and the horrors we inflict on each other I was especially sensitive to all of the slightest movements and colors, subtle or bright, as I experienced the sheer beauty of nature in the Northwest part of this great country.  Talking about this great country, tomorrow is July 4th — Happy Independence Day all!

The NY Times has an in-depth article on Wiesel at http://tinyurl.com/jblvgf2

Now, back to BC…… I must say inspiration is all around us each and every day at the college. Often caught up in the business of life, the little things, can be missed and with that, sometimes we miss an opportunity for enormous inspiration, but this week was especially motivating. From the fantastic people who work with their minds and hearts at Bakersfield College, to the current and former students who are accomplishing things beyond their dreams, all the way to the nitty gritty of the hard work we’re doing at BC – It never ceases to motivate and inspire me to continue to do what I do.

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A Beckworth selfie

The first example of inspiration came to me on Monday afternoon. I received a fantastic text from Paul Beckworth.

I am in a Hawaiian shirt and jeans, in an air conditioned office, writing up veteran stuff, and getting ready to teach about the gold rush. And you pay me to do it! What a life! It’s a good time to be at BC!

This just reminds me that when you’re doing a job you love, it’s hardly feels like work at all. Our dedicated staff and faculty, bring so much passion to BC which inspires us all.

And then there was the email titled Out with the Old, In with the New that Tom Moran, long standing chair of the Foreign Language Department sent his staff as his farewell email.  Tom Moran, who has given his all to BC and our students and given his all to his family and loved ones.  Let’s toast Tom.

Here are excerpts from his July 1st email:

Dear Colleagues,

As has recently so often been the case, this email is a day late. Yesterday was my final day as chair of the Foreign Language Department. It has been my pleasure to serve in this capacity for the past seven years. It has been challenging, gratifying, fun, rewarding, often intense and always interesting. Each of you has been supportive of my efforts for which I will always be grateful, particularly this last year, which has been enormously challenging for my family. Together we have accomplished much: the Spanish ADT, uniform ASL curriculum, hiring more adjunct instructors, including five full- and part-time Deaf ASL instructors, several successful and on-time program reviews, numerous successful and on-time assessments, more, remodeled, and technology-enhanced classrooms, priority room scheduling, and a host of other projects and initiatives too numerous to list. The programs in our department have grown, improved, and expanded, and that is thanks to you.

I’m grateful to David Neville who threw his hat into the ring to serve as chair. I’m grateful to each of you for offering him your vote of confidence. I know that he will do a good job and I anticipate that you will support him in his new role. I intend to offer him the same support that he offered me, which was considerable.

I’m also immensely grateful to our dean, Manny, whose support of our department has been nothing short of steadfast. We’re so lucky to have him. I’m also grateful beyond words to Patt Davis for all her work—particularly with evaluations—and to my dear Camilla, who has always kept me on task and anticipated our needs, even when I was so frequently rolling off the rails. We’re tremendously fortunate to have our administrative support in FA-69: They’re the finest on campus. I want to thank Sonya for entrusting us with two new positions and to Nan and Manny for helping us to structure our new interpreter education program.

Had I sent this email yesterday, it would have been my final act as chair to offer you wonderful news: With the support of our president, we have been successful in hiring two, new full-time faculty members, bring our total FT pool to eight. What a great time to be in Foreign Language and what a great time to be at BC!

Both of our new hires will be familiar to you, as they have both served as adjunct instructors. Please allow me to formally introduce Jaclyn Krause, ASL, and Sara Palasch, Spanish. Jaclyn has been hired to spearhead our new sign language interpreting program. Sara has been hired to develop the infrastructure that will allow us to begin offering online courses in Spanish and our other disciplines.

This summer, I begin my fourteenth year at BC. It has been a busy one for me, teaching a summer course, participating in our writer’s bureau, serving on a hiring committee, revising curriculum, developing tests, and meeting with students. Although summer is a time for rest and rejuvenation, now is such an exciting time at BC that it’s a bit hard to stay away. Enjoy the remainder of your summers, and I look forward to seeing you all in the fall.

In Gratitude,

Tom Moran

And then on June 15th there was this wonderful piece written by Paula Parks published on the front page of the Bakersfield News Observer.  Here it is

Paula Parks in the News Observer.jpg

Then on Saturday, July 2nd, I get this excited message from Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg with a series of text messages that our year-long planning way-finding project is being implemented. See Photos below.

Nan’s txt:

Our new ‘way finding’ project. Finally ! Over a year in planning they are being installed. New maps also. Love the vintage Renegade Red. Let’s push this color this year. I am a happy Renegade 👍

There are several layers of excitement here. The first, gosh darn it, this project should have happened months ago.  Then there is the color.  Note that Nan does not say just Red, nor does she say just “Renegade Red” but rather “vintage Renegade Red.”  You have got to be in the room when Nan and David Koeth are together.  I swear they speak a different language altogether — the language of colors….the language of design.  And they can keep it up for a looooong time.  I must say that Kris Stallworth, Chair of the Art department, totally speaks this language as well.  He recently sent me this link to the Harvard Library of Color. Check it out.

http://www.fastcodesign.com/3058058/the-harvard-vault-that-protects-the-worlds-rarest-colors/8

You would think that things slow down at an academic institution in the summer.  This past week certainly did not reflect that.  Let me highlight just a few items.

Fire Technology Program

Last Saturday, June 25th, right after publishing my weekend blog and rushing to my exercise class I drove over to meet Tim Capehart, Director of BC’s Fire Tech Program, at the Kern County Fire Facility on Olive drive.  The whole field trip was a real treat and I so enjoyed getting to know Tim.

In light of the recent and tragic nearby fires, I couldn’t help by think about how many of these courageous men and women graduated from our Fire Technology Program. The program began in 1956 as a partnership between BC and the Bakersfield Fire Department. Students in the fire science program were hired as paid on-call firefighters by the city and earned $30 a month. They could sleep and study at the fire station south of the college on University, and performed routine station duties such as meal prep, mopping floors, making beds, fire prevention and suppression training.

Bakersfield FD and Kern County FD built a joint fire training center called “The Olive Drive Fire Training Facility” in 1984. Shortly after its completion, BC entered into an in-service agreement with both agencies. [Check out the logo in the picture above Tim Capehart and Mike Lencioni.  It embodies the collaboration between Bakersfield FD, Kern County FD and Bakersfield College].  In the years that followed, the program was run by some awesome coordinators including, Jacki Fisher, Ray Soto, Frank Ramos, and our current Director of Fire/EMS, Tim Capehart.

In 1993, the program produced 51,304 student contract hours and since our programs continue to expand and grow, over the past three years, our students have generated over 200,000 hours of training.

Training schedule June 25 2016 rotated

The students have a training schedule which is pretty intense. Here is a picture I quickly snapped as Mike Lencioni was reviewing the curriculum and training schedule with me.  We offer an AA Degree in Fire Technology, an AS Degree in Wildland Firefighting and an AS Degree in Paramedic studies. We also provide the accredited State Fire Marshal Firefighter 1 & 2 Academies. Both these academies run nine hours a day, forty hours a week, and include night and weekend academies. Both academies run for six months, and cover over 400 hours of training. The training is provided by city and county firefighters.

The academy is run in a para-military style very structured and requiring the students to be extremely disciplined. If students are not performing up to par, they may receive “gigs” and have to run up to the top of the six story tower and ring a bell.  Whew, I got exhausted just looking at the stairs in this tall tower [see picture with Tim and Mike] so can only imagine that this “gig” quickly disciplines these students.  My hats off to them!  The entire academy is intended to instill self-discipline and teamwork, which is essential when they are out working on real fire situations. The cadets are divided up into squads the first night of the academy. If one cadet messes up the whole squad gets the gig, so they learn quickly to help build up, or assist teach other in their squad. They always give 100%.

A program this large and successful could not happen without the support of our industry partners (Bakersfield Fire Chief, Doug Greener, and Kern County Fire Chief, Brian Marshal). Our fire technology advisory board is made up of two Chiefs from each department, they are Deputy Chief Tyler Hartley, Training Battalion Chief Trever Martinusen ‎ from the City, and Deputy Chief Benny Wofford, and Training Battalion Chief Derik Davis, from the Kern County Fire Department.  Vice President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Dean Cindy Collier, and Director of Fire/EMS Tim Capehart provide staffing support for the advisory committee.

PSmeeting

The picture above was taken when Tim, Nan and I presented to a group of stellar Public Safety individuals — Bakersfield Fire, Kern County Fire, Bakersfield Police Department, and Kern County Sheriff’s Office.  The conversation was about meeting future workforce needs and to see if we could collaborate to extend the dollar in meeting needs.  Specifically we were talking about facilities and how to leverage the resources to fund this vision for future generations.

With a heart full of gratitude, thanks to our local firefighters, especially with current fires so close to home, up near the mountains of Kernville. With more than 200 structures destroyed and 43,360 acres burned, our more than 1,700 firefighters work non-stop to keep us safe. Your courage, strength, and dedication is inspiring to everyone.

Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHHC)

The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHHC) Business Education Foundation is giving a “thumbs up” after one of our faculty, Sarah Baron presented “A Better BC,” which highlights our plans to improve our facilities for the future to address the growth in enrollment, the new expansion into baccalaureate programs as well as antiquated spaces. With several hundreds of members, the Chamber represents over 410,000 Hispanics, and is composed of a cross-section of professionals and business people, who in turn represent corporations as well as large and small businesses. The KCHHC is on a roll doing awesome things! BC can’t be more excited about the ongoing partnership and future opportunities that lie ahead.  Don’t forget to keep in touch with our plans to take care of our facilities by checking out the website at www.abetterbc.com

Business Ed Foundation June 2016

BC’s Blue Ribbon Committee:

BC’s Blue Ribbon Committee met this week on Tuesday, June 28th and members of the Blue Ribbon Committee attended and spoke at the Board of Trustees meeting on June 30th to discuss a potential 2016 bond measure.  The Board took the first of two steps to set the stage for the 2016 ballot.  July 14th will be the Board meeting when they will consider whether KCCD should go out for a measure. Mayor Harvey Hall is the Chair of the Blue Ribbon Committee and Congressman Bill Thomas the Senior Advisor.  Norma Rojas-Mora and Jay Rosenlieb co-chair the community connections group and Michael O’Doherty the Oversight and Accountability group.

California Guided Pathways Project

“As long as we keep asking, ‘Is it good for students?’ we will stay on the right track”
John Nixon, former Mt. SAC President

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, or keep up with Bakersfield College, you know we are among 3 community colleges in California participating in a national project designed to implement guided academic and career pathways at scale. The 3-year project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is led by the American Association of Community Colleges.

On June 29th, Bakersfield College hosted the first California Guided Pathways Project Planning Meeting funded by the College Futures Foundation at the LAX Marriott in Los Angeles. The convening connected national scholars, including Kay McClenney, Rob Johnstone, and Davis Jenkins, with California leaders including Brad Phillips in higher education in order to begin the crafting of a guided pathways initiative suited for California’s unique regulatory and social environment.

Representatives from Bakersfield College were joined by administrators and faculty from the two other participating California community colleges, Mt. San Antonio College and Irvine Valley College, as well as representatives from the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, Achieving the Dream, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), California Acceleration Project, California Community College Chancellor’s Office, Campaign for College Opportunity, Career Ladders Project, Community College Research Center, Educational Results Partnership, Foundation for California Community Colleges, Institute for Evidence Based Change, Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative, and the National Center for Inquiry & Improvement, Research & Planning (RP) Group.

The event was made possible through the generous support of the College Futures Foundation.  Thank you Shawn Whalen and College Futures.

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CSU Chancellor’s Office partners

We were so fortunate to have two CSU Chancellor’s Office representatives, Dawn Digrius and Ken O’Donnell, collaborate with us on this work.  It is partnerships like this that will be critical in ensuring success for our students across educational sectors and in alignment with industry needs.

Our website has more information on the dozens of partners committed to making this happen. In the days to follow, we will also add photos from the event, so be sure to check out:
https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/projects/ca-guided-pathways-planning

 Check out some of the quotes noted by Lesley Bonds:

  • In California, the barriers are common and known.  As we set the table for a project like this one, let’s go after them as a collective. –Irene Malmgren, VP of Instruction at Mt. San Antonio College
  • How do we ensure success for students through California’s current river delta of transfer pathways? –Craig Hayward, IVC
  • It is becoming more clear to me that we must create conditions so that students don’t have to be heroes in order to be successful –Rob Johnstone, Founder & Director of National Center for Inquiry & Improvement
  • As long as we keep asking, ‘Is it good for students?’ we will stay on the right track –John Nixon, former Mt. SAC president says he left behind a plaque with this question engraved for current president Bill Scroggins
  • It should be written on June 29, 2016 –in three years, California will be the model for transformation nationally – Sonya Christian
  • The manifestation of leadership is institutional organization.  In this work, we need organizational elegance –John Nixon, AACC and ATD Leadership Coach
  • This isn’t another project someone in an office on the south side of campus leads, this is an institutional transformation and will require broad and deep engagement from all –Bill Scroggins, Mt. SAC President

Thank you Lesley Bonds and Jessica Wojtysiak for working side-by-side with me to make this happen.

Lesley and Jessica June 29 2016

 

Jorge Santos

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This week, recent Bakersfield College graduate, Jorge Santos, led an 8-piece Latin Jazz ensemble at The Mark in downtown Bakersfield, paying tribute to the music of legendary Cuban saxophonist and composer, Paquito D’Rivera.

The band was composed of fellow BC alumni along with several local pros, and they played for a packed, enthusiastic crowd. Jorge, who is part of the first graduating class from our new Applied Music program, studied trumpet at BC with Kris Tiner and has played lead trumpet in the BC Jazz Ensemble for the past several years. He has quickly become one of the busiest musicians in town, working regularly with groups including La Marcha, the Mentorship Big Band, and his own combos. His concert was part of the ongoing Bakersfield Jazz Workshop series, which presents a different featured artist every Tuesday night at The Mark. Talk about inspiring!

sonya july 2 2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya ….. the luckiest and happiest college president in the whole world

 

A Promise…..College Futures Foundation, Kern Education Leaders Talk Student Success, Community Partnership

 

Hello from San Antonio…..It is February 5, 2016.  A good day to be a Renegade.

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Zav Dadabhoy, Lesley Bonds, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Kimberly Bligh, Sonya Christian

 

Bakersfield College is one of the 30 colleges nation-wide selected to be part of the three-year AACC Guided Pathways Initiative.  Long days at the Pathways Institute ….. visionary and detailed work all at once.  There are two other colleges from California as part of the Pathways initiative — Mt SAC and Irvine Valley.  The goal of this initiative is to get students from High School to degree completion in the shortest amount of time while improving the quality of the learning.

The pathways work with AACC is very much aligned with what is happening in Kern County under the leadership of Kristen Barnes, CEO of the Kern Community Foundation (KCF).  With the support of the KCF, BC faculty and staff have been working with other educational leaders in Kern County on the Kern County Access Initiative, to explore issues of college access countywide.  Together, we’ve had ongoing meetings with representatives from virtually every level of education in the county, all aimed at finding opportunities to boost degree completion. Smaller work groups have continued looking for even more avenues for alignment and collaboration as well as ways to bridge cultural disconnects and engage businesses in the educational process.

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With those goals in mind, Bakersfield College hosted a KCF event on campus to introduce College Futures Foundation to the key Kern County educational partners.

College Futures Vice President of Programs Jackie Khor and Senior Program Officer Shawn Whalen kicked off the morning’s activities by sharing what has impressed them most about Kern County.  Jackie called Kern County “a beacon of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit,” while Shawn noted Kern’s “collaborative commitment to our students”.

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Alyse Braaten, Lesley Bonds

We were happy to have KHSD Superintendent Bryon Schaefer, KCSOS leadership Rob Arias, Taft College President Brock McMuray and CSUB Vice President for Enrollment Management Jacqueline Mimms at BC for this event.  All great leaders.  All great partners.

And I always enjoy having the fabulous Vickie Spanos, Director of Instruction for the Kern High School District with us.  Vickie tirelessly moves the student success agenda in Kern County.  She does not shy away from difficult conversation; particularly those that highlight the dismal educational attainment rates in Kern county.  Rather, she uses this information to spur the community to work together and find ways to get students to be college and career ready. Thank you Vickie!

Dr. Jacqueline Mimms offered some encouraging news, sharing that CSUB has seen an increase in transfers from around 650 to over 900 in the past two years, with the vast majority coming from BC.  That’s a promising sign for the bachelor degree attainment rate in Kern County.

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Jackie Khor, Odella Johnson

College Futures expressed appreciation for the work happening here in Kern County, and the level of credibility, trust, and courage among the partners. Indeed, it’s a great time to be at BC! and a great time to be in Kern County.

Thanks so much to Janet Fulks, Lesley Bonds, Steve Watkin, Odella Johnson, Paul Beckworth, Richard McCrow, Gustavo Enriquez, Liz Rozell, Cindy Collier, Henry Covarrubias, Karla Young, and others for your diligence in advancing this important work as a part of the Kern County College Access Team.

We are…..BC!