Tag Archives: Sonya Christian

BC — the heart of the community

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 15, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

Financial Aid Fest

Danny Morrison and DJ Ace hold play music for Financial Aid Fest.
Danny Morrison and DJ Ace perform at Financial Aid Fest.

The Financial Aid Department encouraged our students to “Beat the Clock” and “Get the Money” before the March 2 FAFSA and Dream Act deadline as part of the weeklong Financial Aid Fest held at our three core campuses.

The BC Foundation tables at Financial Aid Fest.

For Wednesday’s Financial Aid Fest on the CSS Lawn of the Panorama Campus, Renegades got the chance to play games, enjoy some tacos catered by BC Food Services, and listen to some great music from Danny Morrison and DJ Ace on the turntables. There were also Financial Aid Fests held at BC SouthWest on Tuesday and the Delano Campus on Thursday. This was the first year that the Financial Aid Department planned a circus theme for Financial Aid fest, and it was a beautiful setup that caught the eyes of everyone who passed through on their way to their classes.

Events like Financial Aid Fest and the FAFSA workshops equip our Renegades with the resources they need to be successful. This year’s Financial Aid Fest also featured booths from several other BC programs such as EOP&S, who came out to inform students about book vouchers, counseling and other resources that may be available to them.

Thank you to the talented folks at Financial Aid for working so hard to put together this event. There are Financial Aid Application Assistance workshops planned throughout the weeks leading up to the March 2 deadline, so check the Bakersfield College calendar for dates and remember to get your applications in for next year!

Rudy Salas Roundtable on Homelessness

Anna Laven with Rudy Salas, Leticia Perez and other participants in the homelessness roundtable.
Left to right: Anna Laven; Alex Garcia, Wasco City Councilmember; Alicia Sutton, Deputy Secretary of Homelessness at California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council; Rudy Salas, California Assemblymember; Leticia Perez, Kern County Supervisor; and Grace Vallejo, Delano City Councilmember.

Fun Photos: Mayor’s Ball

BC faculty, staff and dignitaries at the first annual Mayor's Ball.
left to right: Anthony Cordova, Anna Laven, Norma Rojas-Mora, Shannon Grove, Liz Rozell, Jay Rosenlieb, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog, Michael O’Doherty, Heather Pennella, and Endee Grijalva.

BC was present in full force at Karen Goh’s inaugural Mayor’s Ball at the City Center in downtown Bakersfield which raised money for Pastor Robin Robinson and CityServe, a local non-profit organization that provides churches with food, hygiene items and more to help the homeless and other members of our community in need.

Gadfly Cafe

Students and faculty engaged in spirited and insightful debates at the Levan Center as part of the first Gadfly Café of the Spring 2020 semester on Wednesday.

Students debate about aging and death at the Gadfly Cafe.
Students debate the topic “Aging, Disease, and a Timely Death” during the Gadfly Café.

Philosophy professor and Levan Center Director Reggie Williams served as moderator for this month’s topic “Aging, Disease, and A Timely Death”. Students were really engaged, sharing their thoughts on the health complications that come with aging, as well as the feelings of grief that suicide and death can elicit in our loved ones. The group started recognizing that matters of aging and death are very personal and each person has a different answer to finding their purpose in life, and it is our experiences that determine whether or not we’ve lived up to that purpose.  I lost my dad in 2006 and my mom just last year…  I am really grateful for Norm Levan who through his generous gift has allowed BC the ability to host the Levan Center and its remarkable programming.  Also thankful for the Levan Director Reggie Williams.

College is supposed to be a place where people can have deep, important conversations with their peers to determine their beliefs and priorities. Events like the Gadfly Café are important for developing BC’s core values of Community, Diversity and Wellness, so I would like to thank Professor Williams for providing our students with a space for Socratic discourse.

Rad Tech Students Compete at National Conference

I was delighted to hear that the second-year students in BC’s Radiologic Technology Program got to attend a nationwide conference in Las Vegas last week. The Association of Collegiate Radiologic Technology (ACERT) Conference held on February 5-7 featured Rad Tech students and educators from across the country.

BC Radiologic Technology students attend a nationwide conference in Los Angeles.
BC Radiologic Technology students at the 2020 ACERT Conference.

BC Rad Tech Director Jacelyn Hill and the BC students participated in the annual Rad Tech Student Bowl, a 2-hour academic competition against 600 other students. BC stood proudly against other community colleges and universities, with the majority of our 21 students finishing in the top 60, and Renegade student Yolanda Puente finishing in 29th place!

Thank you to all of our Rad Tech students for representing BC at this nationwide conference, and thank you to Jacelyn Hill and our Rad Tech and Allied Health staff for training the radiology professionals of tomorrow.

BC Rad Tech Students at the ACERT Conference.
BC Rad Tech Students Kristi Gifford, Yolanda Puente, Emily Byers and Deanna Munoz pose with Stewart Bushong, the author of their textbook.

SLO Symposium

Bill Moseley speaks at a panel during the SLO Symposium 2020.
Bill Moseley presents during a panel at the SLO Symposium.

Last week, BC’s assessment team participated in the Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) Symposium at Monterey Peninsula College. The 7th-annual event is organized by Jarek Janio and the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, a research and resource-development organization that advocates for the systematic use of student learning outcomes in colleges and universities.

I keynoted the event, and called on the group to #OccupyLearning using the framework established in the books “Redesigning America’s Community Colleges” and “Degrees that Matter”. For more information, you can check out the slides from my keynote presentation on the Bakersfield College website.

There was quite the back channel chatter on twitter. Here are some screen captures.

Dean of Academic Technology Bill Moseley also presented during a panel discussion with representatives from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, and the American Institute for Research. Two videos from his presentation can be viewed below. Thank you Teresa McAllister for capturing the video.

Jarek Janio from Santa Ana College, organized this event. He is a missionary to improve student learning. Jarek, let’s plan a statewide gathering sometime in the fall to advance this conversation!

Reconnecting with Teens Conference

Did you know that Bakersfield College provides support and training to over 1,800 foster families in Kern County each year?  As part of the efforts to improve the outcomes of foster children, the BC Foster & Kinship Care Education (FKCE) program hosted the Reconnecting with Teens Conference on Friday, January 31 at the Marriott in downtown Bakersfield with State Ombudsperson, Rochelle Trochtenberg.  

Imelda Simos-Valdez speaks at the FKCE Conference
FKCE Director Imelda Simos-Valdez speaks at the Connecting with Teens Conference.

Among the 250+ events and 1,140+ training hours offered throughout the year by FKCE, “Reconnecting with Teens” was a special event. Caregivers who care for foster youth attended the event to learn strategies on how to better support teenagers as they launch into adulthood. FKCE Director Imelda Simos-Valdez provided a gracious welcome presentation guests were treated to a very special guest speaker and breakout sessions.

Rochelle Trochtenberg, our guest speaker at the FKCE Conference, is currently the California Foster Care Ombudsperson and a former foster youth. Originally labeled “severely emotionally disturbed”, Rochelle gained her own voice when she shared criticism of Humboldt County Dept. of Health and Human Services approach to group homes at a 2008 conference.  She was eventually hired by the department, earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Social Work, and has become nationally recognized for her work as a lead organizer for the Humboldt County Transition Age Youth Collaborative. She is the first former foster youth appointed to the Office of Foster Care Ombudsman.  

Keynote speaker Rochelle Trochtenburg
Keynote speaker Rochelle Trochtenburg

More information can be found at the FKCE website.

Thank you to Araceli Navarro, the FKCE Program Manager at Bakersfield College, as well as Imelda Simos-Valdez and the rest of the FKCE staff for putting together this important conference for foster families, and for everything you do to provide for foster families throughout the year.

The BC FKCE Team at the Connecting with Teens Conference.
BC’s FKCE Team signs people in at the Connecting with Teens Conference.

This Week at BC: Agriculture

A BC student picks oranges in the Ag Laboratory.
A BC student picks oranges in the Agriculture Laboratory.

People came to the Panorama Campus from across Kern County last week to pick fresh oranges and grapefruits at the BC Ag Farm. Members of the community were able to pick their own fresh fruit straight from the citrus trees in our ag laboratory off Haley Street, beautifully maintained by our Renegade students and faculty.

The Agriculture Laboratory and the BC Ag Ambassadors are the focus for the newest edition of This Week at BC, a video series put together by Marketing and Public Relations student interns Ramon Carreido and Juan Reyes.

Fun Photos: Journalism Day

BC Photojournalism teacher John Harte speaks to students.
BC photojournalism professor John Harte speaks to students at Journalism Day.

We talked about Journalism Day in last week’s blog, but I wanted to share some more great photos from the on-site competition featuring the Bakersfield Police Department’s “A Life Interrupted” trailer about the dangers of drunk driving. Students also got to ask questions of current and former local journalists during a Q&A session that featured the talents of BC professors Erin Auerbach, John Harte, and Olivia Garcia, CSUB communications professor Jennifer Burger, Chain-Cohn-Stiles Marketing Director Jorge Barrientos, KBAK anchor Sara Shouhayib, and Bakersfield Californian editor Mark Nessia.

left to right: Erin Auerbach, John Harte, Jennifer Burger, Sara Shouhayib, Jorge Barrientos, Mark Nessia, and Olivia Garcia.
Left to right: Erin Auerbach, John Harte, Jennifer Burger, Sara Shouhayib, Jorge Barrientos, Mark Nessia, and Olivia Garcia.

State of the Downtown Breakfast

BCSGA President Samantha Pulido with Tony Cordova, Jaime Lopez, and Benny Balderama attended the State of the Downtown Breakfast on Thursday morning.

left to right: Jaime Lopez, Anthony Cordova, Samantha Pulido, and Benjamin Balderrama
Jaime Lopez, Anthony Cordova, Samantha Pulido, and Benjamin Balderrama.

The Downtown Business Association (DBA) celebrated 65 years of service to the community, and the program focused heavily on their Block-to-Block program, which gives 300 square blocks in the heart of the city a platform to voice their concerns with DBA.

Fun Photos:

BC hard at work!

Zav Dadabhoy, Mike Giacomini, Sonya Christian, Billie Jo Rice, and Lesley Bonds.
Lesley Bonds takes a selfie with Zav Dadbhoy, Mike Giacomini, Sonya Christian, and Billie Jo Rice.

Enjoying Renegade Softball!

Brandon Urry takes a selfie of Sandi Taylor and Sonya Christian

Emails worth Sharing: David Koeth

Screenshot from David Koeth's HelveticaBakersfield blog.
A screenshot from HelveticaBakersfield-a blog curated by BC typography students.

Check out HelveticaBakersfield, a blog created by BC students enrolled in his Art B25 Typography class for the last 11 years.

Since February 2009, my Typography students and I have been collecting samples of the typeface Helvetica, and posting them to a blog. 

It’s an assignment I use to encourage them to look closely and critically at type. 

In the early years, when blogs were a new trend, the blog was featured in the Bakersfield Californian. 


Seen on Twitter: Renegades at Bakersfield Heart Hospital

The Bakersfield Heart Hospital highlighted our amazing Renegades in a tweet from their “meet-and-greet” event at the BLVD on Wednesday. Check out the screenshot below:

Renegade Athletics Report

Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Softball team at the Dean & Adah Gay Sports Complex. Head Coach Casey Goodman and student athletes Alantis Rede and Alex Venegas sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss the 2020 season.

Renegade Recruiting Round-Up

Darrel Ballard
Darrel Ballard

Big thanks to Darrel Ballard, the Athletics Program Manager for Student Success who successfully planned and coordinated the Renegade Recruiting Round-Up this last Monday.

This event was for prospective Renegade student athletes to learn more about attending BC. Darrell pulled the offices of financial aid, student outreach, student life, career education, athletic counseling and the housing service Sharing Spaces together to provide information and educate these future Renegades! Great event Darrell!

Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week: Feb. 2-8

BC Renegades of the Week Alejandro Murillo, baseball, and Alantis Rede, softball.

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (2/2-2/8) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week.

Alantis Rede, Softball – Alantis hit two grand slams – one against Porterville and one to tie the game in the bottom of the 12th against Riverside last week. She was 7 for 14 at the plate (.500 avg.), with 6 walks and 17 RBI’s in four games.

Alejandro Murillo, Baseball – Against El Camino on 2/6 he pitched nine innings, giving up one unearned run, three hits and 15 strikeouts. He earned a no-decision as the game was tied 1-1 after nine innings. The Gades eventually lost 3-1 in 15 innings.

Renegade Athletics Updates from This Past Week:

A Renegade track and field athletes competes in a relay race.

Athletics ‘Action’ Photos from This Week

Renegade Events ‘On The Hill’ Next Week

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

  • Tue. 2/18 – Women’s Tennis vs. Santa Monica at 2 p.m.
  • Wed. 2/19 – Women’s Basketball vs. LA Valley at 5 p.m.
  • Wed., 2/19 – Men’s Basketball vs. LA Valley at 7 p.m.
  • Fri., 2/21 – Track and Field hosts WSC North Meet at 12 p.m.
  • Fri., 2/21 – Women’s Basketball vs. Canyons at 5 p.m. (Sophomore Night)
  • Fri., 2/21 – Men’s Basketball vs. Canyons at 7 p.m. (Sophomore Night)
  • Sat., 2/22 – Baseball vs. LA Pierce at 1 p.m.
BC President Sonya Christian.

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Student Success Blossoms at BC

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 8, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

Bakersfield College student, Audrey Spears, shares her Renegade Student Success Story. Check it out:

HBCU Visits BC

This week, we kicked off Black History Month with representatives from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) converging on the Renegade Crossroads to provide an awesome transfer opportunity for our students.

There were about 20 HBCUs working with our students and providing them with information about scholarships to fund a baccalaureate degree. During this event, 57 students were admitted and a total of $1,607,452 in scholarships were awarded.

BC MESA Volunteers for STEAM

The Bakersfield Chapter of The Links, hosted the 2nd annual “Career Expo” at the Links Leadership STEM/STEAM Academy (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics). This event was held at Emerson Middle School with the goal to increase STEAM literacy for all students, especially groups of students who are underrepresented in the sciences.

BC had a few booths representing the college efforts of STEM outreach to our community.

Deep Cuts and Conversations

Led by Reggie Williams, Kris Tiner, and Josh Ottum, the song “Home” by Molly Herndon centered around music and technology. The lyrics played on the idea of how one’s life can be affected by technology, leaving the artist with a feeling that their life is under surveillance by an unseen digital entity.

Levan Center Presentation

The second selection was from 1971 by Gil Scott-Heron titled “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” The song is packed with cultural references from Timothy Leary to Spiro Agnew to Coca Cola.

Patrisse Khan-Cullors Speaks to BC Students

Distinguished Speaker

Patrisse Khan-Cullors on Thursday spent the day at BC speaking with students about her life experience as a civil rights leader. Students filled the Levan Center to hear this well known advocate talk about the importance of recognizing and overcoming systematic community obstacles, to feel empowered to stand up for what is right.

Khan-Cullors is from the San Fernando Valley and has been on the front lines of criminal justice reform for the last 20 years, most notably leading the globally known initiative called Black Lives Matter. During her presentation, she shared the importance of unity as a community in order to challenge and change the systematic issues of social injustice and discrimination that arise within our society.

Reggie Williams leading Q&A

Thank you to BC’s Office of Student Life for coordinating the Distinguished Speaker Series and African-American Initiative Committee for hosting Patrisse Khan-Cullors. It is always great to see so many BC students engaging with thought-provoking presentations.

 BCSGA Power Lunch with Reyna Olaguez

BC’s Student Government Association hosted Executive Director of Kern Sol, Reyna Olaguez on Tuesday for their monthly Power Lunch. The room was filled with students eager to learn more about journalism, media, and the power of students who use their voice for good within the community.

Kern Sol is a non-profit news organization that works with youth leaders united together to give voice to issues and local stories within our Kern communities. Olaguez shared important community issues within Kern County involving affordable and accessible healthcare for all, presenting initiatives to improve infrastructure, and empowering the voices of our community members and youth working together for a better future.

BCSGA Director of Legislative Affairs, Johnny Maddon, and Legislative Affairs Manager, Jesus Arias, led the Q & A.

Thank you to BC’s Student Government Association for providing these enriching opportunities and Reyna Olaguez for inspiring students to use their voices to better their community. 

Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Gala

What a wonderful evening at the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Installation and Business Awards Gala, honoring local leaders and businesses for the work they do in our community. The evening also saw the installation of the new Board of Directors for the chamber and foundation.

It was a joy to see Taft Union High School District Superintendent Blanca Cavazos honored as Business Woman of the Year and Dr. Jeet Singh awarded Business Man of the Year. Jeet is a renowned interventional cardiologist and Blanca is recognized for her dedicated history in local education, leaving a positive impact on countless students. Both shared heartfelt stories of their love and commitment to helping others. Blanca participated in our first annual Women in Leadership panel, moderated by Jean Filler, last year as part of Women’s History Month. Stay tuned for details on our second annual event.

Cynthia Giumarra, Rosalina Rivera, Blanca Cavazos, Sonya Christian, Shannon Grove, Jean Fuller

Bakersfield College showed up in full force in support of the gala, and some of our own were recognized. Dean Corny Rodriguez, Norma Rojas-Mora, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, and Tony Cordova, Director of Career and Technical Education, were recognized as board members for the KCHCC Business Education Foundation, while History Professor Olivia Garcia was named chair-elect of the KCHCC executive board.

In previous years, BC has been well represented as well. In 2019, KCHCC named Corny Rodriguez as Businessman of the year. Check out my blog titled “Continuing Partnerships in the Community” published on February 9, 2019. Also, you must check out the highlight recorded by InMotionPro:

In 2017, I was honored to be named as Business woman of the year which I shared in my blog titled “We are BC & We are Bakersfield” on February 18, 2017.

Group photo from 2017 KCHCC Gala

I am always impressed by the work of Jay Tamsi, CEO/President of the KCHCC, and all he accomplishes through what he does for the chamber and our community. Thank you, Jay, for being an advocate for our local business community and consumers, and thank you for partnering with BC on the annual Energy and Agriculture Academy, which introduces our students to opportunities in Kern County’s energy and agriculture industries.

National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students

Mark Osea, Articulation Officer and Transfer Center Director, Marisa Marquez, Director, Counseling and Atudent Success, Natasha Harris, CSUB Transfer Student Success Coordinator, and Melissa Mayfield, CSUB Transfer Specialist attended the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (NISTS) in Atlanta Georgia, where Marisa and Natasha presented the success of the Finish In 4 Program, alongside transfer champion programs from Sinclair Community College, University of Dayton, and Western Oregon University.

Second Annual Journalism Day Moves to Bakersfield College

BC hosted the Second Annual Journalism Day on Feb. 7. At this year’s event, high school journalism students from Kern County gathered at BC’s Panorama Campus to participate in workshops that covered everything from newswriting to press photography to media ethics.

Multiple local TV, print and online journalists and journalism educators conducted the sessions. Ten different high schools took part in the event.

Erin Auerbach, Associate Professor of Journalism at BC,  and Kristen Hunter-Flores, the Journalism adviser at Ridgeview High, spent months planning the day.

“Last year, we kept the first event at Ridgeview simple,” Auerbach said. “This year, we wanted to engage with the students on a deeper level, so we worked with my fantastic CTE advisory committee members and community partners to brainstorm the workshops and competitions. In addition to Kristen, I could not have put this event together without all of the help from BC’s amazing and generous CTE team (especially Freddie Rodriguez), events planning and the moral support of my terrific student editors and the Communication department.”

Local law firm Chain Cohn Stiles generously provided plaques for the winning entries. Jorge Barrientos, director marketing and public relations at the firm and a former journalist, coordinated the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)/“A Life Interrupted” trailer that was the centerpiece of the on-site competition. He also presented awards to the winning students for the mail-in competition.

Heart of the Country Garden Pathways

Tony Cardova, Stephanie Baltazar, Endee Grijalva, and Maria Wright attended the Garden Pathways Heart of the Country event hosted at the Buck Owens Crystal Palace. The program included music from Amy Adams and the Rising Stars, The Brothers Barton, Stan Ellis and the Stampede Band, and the Smokin’ Armadillos. The BC team was able to get a picture with Mayor Karen Goh who is also the CEO and President of Garden Pathways.

Top: Stephanie Baltazar, Tony Cordova.
Bottom: Mayor Karen Goh, Maria Wright,
and Endee Grijalva

The night also included testimonials from mentees in the program that attribute their success to the mentorship and skills gained from programs made possible through Garden Pathways. According to the Garden Pathways website, the Comprehensive Mentoring Services includes focused efforts aimed at helping individuals overcome challenging situations through positive encouragement and mentorship.

At Bakersfield College, we share a similar goal. In fact the community core value for Bakersfield College states:

We commit to the wellbeing of all members of our community; we maintain strong ties with the surrounding community, and we respond to their needs by serving as an open institution which engages all students, faculty, and staff; in our college, we have built and continue to build and environment in which all members participate as a community through democratic engagement.

KCCD Leadership Academy

Members of the KCCD Leadership Academy joined KCCD Administrators for the annual legislative day in Sacramento. The teams composed of staff, faculty and administrators from BC and our sister colleges, PC and CC, had the opportunity to meet with our local elected officials to discuss issues faced by our students and to explore possible student-centered solutions.

A Better BC: Field House

You may have noticed some construction by the Field House.  We have started demolition work, so please be aware of your surroundings if you are near that area. 

We are constructing a temporary facility at the very south end of the football practice field which will remain there until the completion of the new gymnasium. 

Community Voices by Jean Fuller

Earlier this week, retired Senator Jean Fuller shared how Bakersfield College is creating new pathways of hope in her latest Community Voices piece. She says, “Currently, Bakersfield College and Adventist Health are collaborating on a pilot project to “skill up” 20 homeless individuals that lead to jobs. I am a firm believer that having a job is the best way to build self-efficacy and self-confidence that leads to individuals becoming healthy and productive members of our community.”

Community Voices by Jeff LaForce

BC’s Jeff LaForce added his voice to recognizing the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and sharing how Kobe’s influence shaped him and many other lives. He said, “In my current role as an educational adviser at Bakersfield College, my drive is for each and every student to leave my office with a mindset of completion. As a higher education mentor, I have the opportunity to change lives on a daily basis, and I do not take that responsibility lightly. My single focus is assisting students to successfully transfer from BC to a four-year institution — to influence them to be persistent toward their educational goals. I aim to model for them the work ethic they need to complete their assignments, their classes and their degrees.”

Fun Photos: College Council

At Friday’s College Council gathering, the group heard from two presentation teams on Housing and Homelessness and the second on Public Safety Programs Pathway. Enjoy the fun photos!

Fun Photos: Lost Hills Meeting

Fun Photos: Spotted Supporting Renegades

Chancellor Tom Burke was spotted with Jill Board at a baseball game with Sandi Taylor and Keith Ford.

Coach Littlejohn Winds the Siren at the Condors Game

To help welcome Coach Littlejohn back to Bakersfield, the Bakersfield Condors had him ‘Wind the Siren’ at their game against the Ontario Reign this last Friday at Mechanics Bank Arena. The traditional siren wind taking place just before the puck drop gets the crowd rallied and ready to go. Coach Littlejohn didn’t disappoint and within 27 seconds of the puck drop, the Condors had scored the first goal of the game. The crowd gave coach an enthusiastic welcome and was the largest Friday night crowd in the history of the Condors organization with 8, 524 fans in attendance!

Men’s Golfer Blake Keesey Featured in 23ABC Segment

Sophopmore Men’s Golfer, Blake Keesey from Tehachapi, was featured in a segment with local 23ABC sports reporter Matt Lively on the putting green out at Stockdale Country Club. We are proud of the work of Blake and all of our student athletes. Check out the video to watch him sink a 60 foot put – wow!

Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (1/26-2/1) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Brianna Green, Women’s Basketball – Brianna was instrumental in defeating Canyons, changing the momentum of the game with a pair of back to back three’s. She finished the game with 13 points and seven rebounds. She then followed that up with a season high of 28 points against Santa Monica, grabbing seven rebounds, one assist and one steal. 

Wes Bradford, Baseball – Wes played a key role in baseball’s 9-0 win over Cerro Coso on Saturday night. He went 3/3 from the plate with a single, double, triple, 2 RBI’s and stolen base.

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week:

Fun Photos from Athletics From This Week

Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

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

  • Tues. 2/11 – Baseball vs. Sequoias at 3pm
  • Wed. 2/12 Women’s Basketball vs Antelope Valley at 5pm
  • Wed. 2/12 – Men’s Basketball vs Antelope Valley at 7pm
  • Thu. 2/13 – Men’s Tennis vs Ventura
  • Sat. 2/15 – Softball vs. Sierra at 12pm
  • Sat. 2/15 – Softball vs Monterey Peninsula at 4pm

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC — Commitment to Quality Education

US Capitol Photo snapped Jan 28, 2020

When our founding fathers settled on this stretch of land along the Potomac River, it was the result of a compromise in 1790 between Hamilton and the duo of Madison and Jefferson. My trip to DC this time was especially stirring because I am on chapter 18 of Ron Chernow’s book Alexander Hamilton. This book is so engaging that I find myself ignoring work and other pressing matters to steal away a few hours to read…. reminding me of my growing up years when I curled up with a mystery novel, sacrificing the completion of my homework for school the next day.

Alexander Hamilton was appointed as the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury in 1789, and he sought to create a stable foundation for the newly-established federal government. He pushed for passage of the Residence Act in 1790 and negotiated the selection of the capital of the United States in a spot we now know as Washington, DC, near the colonial port cities of Georgetown and Alexandria, and the navigation head of the Potomac River.

Since I have been reflecting on the history of this great country, let me also reflect on the history of this great college founded in 1913. Here is a piece from the 1964 Raconteur that I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did.

Print from 1964.

This is your book, your story-
It covers a span of time in your life
Which is small but a scope which is large.
It is the story of Bakersfield College

A Raconteur is a French storyteller,
And indeed your Raconteur is telling a very important story.
A story about an important part of your life.
Within its covers lie your hopes and dreams,
Your successes and failures.

Your life is but in the molding here,
You are being prepared for the complicated world
Which you will enter when you leave Bakersfield College.
A life which will be complex,
A world of science and technology which will make your hectic
Days here seem like a moment of brief rest.
You will look back upon your years here and see
The preparation that took place,
How your classes and teachers used science for your enrichment

Whether you majored in Humanities or Physics
Art or mechanics, your preparation has been scientific,
As our world is scientific.
This then is a capsule summary of that preparation.

A montague look at your life here.
Your preparation has been fast and efficient
Brief and complete.
Whether you transfer to another institution of preparation
Or go into the world directly,
You will fall back on your education here.

The life of science,
And the science of life –
This is the story of Bakersfield College,
And this is what story. 

-Published by Associated Students, Bakersfield College, 1964 Raconteur

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 1, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

I spent the week in Washington, DC attending the CHEA (Council on Higher Education Accreditation conference during which I accepted the CHEA-CIQG Award on behalf of BC.

CIQG Quality Award

with framed award from CHEA.
Sonya Christian & Jean Fuller

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) International Quality Group (CIQG) awarded Bakersfield College the CIQG Quality Award at the annual plenary CIQG meeting in Washington, DC.

The Council annually awards colleges and universities for outstanding performance based on the rigorous standards set forth by CHEA/CIQG.  The criteria calls for high-quality performance across seven categories ranging from the institution’s impact on student outcomes to its impact on community and society.

Posing on stage with the award.
Stephanie Droker (President Elect ACCJC), Jean Fuller (Senator Emeritus), Sonya Christian, Judith Eaton (President CHEA)

It is beyond awesome that Bakersfield College is being recognized in an international arena for the transformational work that we embarked upon seven years ago. BC’s faculty and staff have courageously redesigned what we do and how we do it, to ensure at every step that the sole focus of our work is the success of our students.  To be evaluated against CIQG’s rigorous, high-performance standards and win this award is a validation of the quality and efficiency of our whole-college redesign effort. This recognition especially calls out the high quality, impactful work of our faculty and staff in specific programs such as Early College, Kern Promise, and the Program Mapper, as well as in the daily functions of the college.

Sonya speaking at the CHEA.
Sonya Christian addressing the conference after receiving BC’s award

Both presidents of CHEA, Judith Eaton, and CIQG, Chita Pijano, expressed appreciation for the significant work accomplished by Bakersfield College.

To read more about the CIQG Quality Award, visit BC’s website.  

Special thanks to The Bakersfield Californian for mentioning this prestigious recognition as well. 

The Welcome Continues

BCSGA’s welcoming festivities continued into the second week of the Spring 2020 semester with a full slate of events to keep students in the Renegade spirit. We wrote about the first Welcome Week in last week’s blog, along with a preview of what to expect from BCSGA and the Office of Student Life in 2020, so please do check it out if you haven’t already. Next week, BCSGA’s Department of Legislative Affairs has invited South Kern Sol Executive Director Reyna Olaguez to speak in the Levan Center at 1 p.m. on February 4 during the first BCSGA Power Lunch of the semester.

Super Smash Bros. Tournament

Many of our student Renegades love to play video games, so BCSGA set up a Super Smash Bros. tournament to kick off the second week of Welcome Week festivities on Monday. Students converged on Levinson Hall, where BCSGA holds their meetings, to sit down and compete against each other in “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” for the Nintendo Switch. 

BCSGA Super Smash Bro's Tournament plaque in front of computer.

After signing up, each student was placed in an elimination bracket and played against each other until one champion was left standing. The event got pretty intense, with students bringing their own controllers and consoles to practice before the start of the tournament. Jesus C. Rodriguez was the winner of this year’s competition, beating everyone in the tournament with the characters Ganon and Kirby. As a reward for winning the tournament, his name is displayed on a trophy that hangs proudly in Levinson Hall.

Thank you to Benny Balderrama and BCSGA for getting our students who love to game invested in the campus.

Churros with Prez Pulido

Samantha with thumbs up behind a tray of churros.

BCSGA President Samantha Pulido shared churros with students and listened to their concerns in the Gym Huddle as part of a Welcome Week outreach event on Monday afternoon. Pulido wants the BC student body to get to know her a little better, so she made herself available to answer any questions that students wanted to ask.

Renegades lined up to get their free churros and share a moment with their student body president. Thank you to Prez Pulido for making all of our students feel welcome and accepted.

Renegade Rage

Students geared up in jumbo-sized boxing gloves and faced off for a friendly showdown in the Gym Huddle on Tuesday. A team of organizers got together to host the “Renegade Rage: Jumbo Boxing” event, including Student Life Assistant Sarah Aguirre, BCSGA Vice President Daniel Escobar, Director of Student Activities Christopher Hernandez, Senator Gian Gayatao, and student volunteer Alex Bridges.

Students were encouraged to put their dukes up and get in the ring, and all participants received free Renegade Student Planners. Thank you to all of the organizers and participants in this year’s “Renegade Rage”.

#SelfiesAtBC: Renegade Scavenger Hunt

Ready! Set! Go! BC students had 24 hours to share their #SelfiesAtBC and win prizes from BCSGA as part of this year’s Renegade Scavenger Hunt during Welcome Week.

BC Got Talent

Welcome Week concluded with the “BC’s Got Talent: Entertainment Gauntlet” showcase in the Gym Huddle on Thursday. BCSGA students set the stage for our talented Renegades to show off their creative abilities.

The panel of judges for the performance showcase included BCSGA members Jackie Gutierrez, Samantha Pulido, Daniel Escobar, Perla Villegas, Christopher Hernandez and Gian Gayatao. A group of singers and performers took the spotlight, including Forestry student Andrew Ramos, who sang Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” for an excited audience. Andrew said that music and singing are some of his favorite hobbies, and he enjoys all genres of music.

The panel graciously congratulated all of the participants for having the courage to share their talents with the world. Thank you to BCSGA and all of the performers for coming together at “BC’s Got Talent”.

Last Sunday’s Tragedy

Like so many basketball fans around the world, I was saddened at the passing of five-time NBA champion and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. The terrible helicopter crash on the hills of Calabasas last weekend was a shock to us all.

If you go to the intersection of Rosedale Highway and Mohawk Street in Bakersfield, you can see a billboard paying tribute to Bryant with the words “Legend: 1978-2020”. On Friday, the Dignity Health Memorial Sports Complex held a candlelight vigil for Bryant, who was nicknamed “The Black Mamba” for his lethal shooting ability. Local Lakers fans wore their jerseys and other memorabilia to pay respects to one of the best players in the history of the NBA.

The world of community college athletics is also in mourning after the death of John Altobelli, the baseball coach of Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, who was among the nine people involved in the crash. Altobelli coached the Orange Coast Pirates for 27 seasons, winning four CCCAA titles during his tenure. In 2019, the American Baseball Coaches Association named him the National Coach of the Year. Renegade baseball coach Tim Painton knew Altobelli for 30 years and reflected on his legacy in a video posted by KERO on Tuesday.

The Pirates held an emotional tribute to Altobelli at their home game on Tuesday, with several hundred of his former players coming out to reminisce about their coach, including New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole. You can read more about the John Altobelli tribute  in the LA Times.

Heartfelt condolences from the BC Athletics Department and the whole college to all the students, faculty and administration at Orange Coast College, and all of the friends and family that lost loved ones in the tragic accident. 

Anna Laven Picked to Lead Homeless Collaborative 

Anna Lavan.

Anna Laven, manager for BC’s Dual Enrollment and AB 540 programs, has been appointed as the first executive director of the Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative (BKRHC). The newly-reorganized collaborative will guide the city and county’s efforts to curtail homelessness and provide resources for people in our community dealing with housing insecurity.

Laven has extensive experience in public affairs in addition to her experience as a college administrator, serving as a Field Representative for the Kern County Board of Supervisors and a member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Kern County Behavioral Health boards. Over the last three years at BC, she has managed grant funding and developed programs focused on the recruitment and success of disadvantaged students.

The Bakersfield Californian and KGET covered the announcement on Wednesday. The BKRHC is currently working on developing a point-in-time homeless count, which would help the collaborative determine the type of services needed for homeless programs while securing additional funding and support.

BC is proud to be one of the community partners in this collaborative, which includes membership from the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, Garden Pathways, the Kern Housing Authority, CityServ and The Mission at Kern County. For more information,  visit the BKRHC website.

Agriculture Ambassadors

Bakersfield College’s Agriculture Ambassadors are a group of students that were hand-selected by faculty members in the Agriculture Department. These students have become knowledgeable in what it takes to get one of our agriculture degrees at Bakersfield College. With this knowledge, they participate in all of our outreach events, whether it is a career expo, a booth at the World Ag Expo or visiting high schools.

Group of agriculture ambassadors.

This past weekend, they had the unique opportunity to go to the Agriculture Ambassador conference at Cal Poly, SLO.

Ag ambassadors speaking to students.

So proud of our students! WE ARE BC!

Community Voices: Principal Justin Derrick 

Justin Derrick speaks at the press event
Justin Derrick speaks at the press event

It was great to see McFarland principal, Justin Derrick, in the Community Voices section of The Bakersfield Californian.  He shared his personal story of being a small town boy; one who experienced real struggles of exploring colleges and feeling supported to attend and be successful. He spoke of relating to the students he knew in McFarland and how proud he is of them today as Cougar-Renegades. He said, “Now I find myself here in McFarland, a small town like the one where I grew up, and I’ve been given the opportunity to be the principal that shepherds the Early College program, guiding our very first cohort to graduation with a Bakersfield College degree. I have a front row seat to the transformations underway in our district and across our entire community. From kindergarten through eighth grade, we’re instilling in our students that going to high school in McFarland also means starting a college pathway with Bakersfield College as a Cougar-Renegade.”

See the full Justin Derrick piece at The Bakersfield Californian Community Voices webpage.

Community Voices: Coach Paula Dahl

Coach Paula Dahl and winning team

Women’s basketball coach Paula Dahl also published a Community Voices piece looking back on her 26 years of coaching at BC. The piece is titled “the best job in the world”.

I am blessed to work with some of the greatest women I know. They battle daily to become the best version of themselves on and off the court. I’ve watched them develop lifelong friendships and learn to sacrifice and compete for each other. I’ve watched them completely leave everything they have on the floor and fall short and pick themselves up and be ready to compete again the next day for a win.

Read the full Paula Dahl piece at The Bakersfield California Community Voices webpage.

Eisenhower Fellows

Received some more fun photos from the group I wrote about  in last week’s blog

Fun Video

Let’s enjoy Tarina Perry’s sister’s well trained Chocolate Lab.

Renegade Athletics

Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week – January 19 – 25

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (1/19-1/25) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Renegades of the week Devon Lee and Neshara Smith.

Neshara Smith, Women’s Track & Field– Neshara qualified in the long jump for the SoCal Regionals in the first meet of the year with a jump of 18’5 at the AVC All-Comers meet.

Devon Lee, Men’s Track & Field – Devon also qualified for the SoCal Regionals in the first meet of the year with a jump of 47’8 in the triple jump at the AVC All-Comers Meet. 

Renegade Report

Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Baseball team from Gerry Collis Field. Head Coach Tim Painton and student athlete Alejandro Murillo, Matt Patton and Ryan Darbee sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss the 2020 season.

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week:

Athletics ‘Action’ Photos From This Week.

Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

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

  • Tue. 2/4 – Men’s Tennis vs Glendale at 1pm
  • Tues 2/4 – Softball Doubleheader vs. Porterville at 1p and 3p
  • Thurs. 2/6 – Baseball vs. El Camino at 6pm
  • Fri. 2/7 – Track and Field hosts Battle of the Regions
  • Fri. 2/7 – Baseball vs. El Camino, 2pm
  • Sat. 2/8 – Baseball vs. El Camino, 12pm
  • Sat. 2/8 Softball Doubleheader vs. Riverside at 2:30p and 5pm
Sonya speaking at the CHEA conference.

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC — an uplifting space for all

This last week I took Neo see his vet and as it turned out there was a substitute vet in for the day. The substitute spent over 15 minutes, talking and interacting with Neo and me.

While he was alternately examining and spoiling Neo we had a relaxed conversation, covering a range of topics from the Corona virus outbreak in China that has reportedly spread to cases now in the US, to how dogs who have an upset tummy eat grass which can get stuck on their tonsils that can end up with respiratory type symptoms….. I found my energy uplifted as I talked to Neo on the short drive home, and I realized the substitute vet reminded me of James Harriot the vet I loved reading about growing up in Kerala and devouring his four books — All creatures great and small, All things Bright and Beautiful, All things Wise and Wonderful, The Lord God made them all. Even today these books are a true feel good read for youngsters and adults alike…. I promise you!

James Herriot. Photo from express.co.uk

Also this week, I was saddened to hear that PBS NewsHour co-founder Jim Lehrer had passed away on Thursday. This article from PBS describes how Jim and his partner Robert MacNeil covered the events of the day with a steadfast integrity that laid the foundation for broadcast journalism. Years before CNN and the Internet created the 24-hour news cycle, Lehrer and MacNeil provided gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Watergate hearings for public TV stations across the country. MacNeil retired from PBS in 1983, and Lehrer would continue to host the show for another 25 years, helping TV viewers across the country make sense of the ending of the Cold War, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and countless presidential election cycles.

Robert MacNeil’s described Lehrer as a man of considerable cognitive and moral intelligence.

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, January 25, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

There’s a Pathway for Everyone at Bakersfield College

Monika Scott, Tamara Baker and Joseph Hernandez put together an awesome new video –There’s a Pathway For Everyone. The video premiered at last week’s Opening Day and features Athletics, Industrial Technology, Culinary Arts and more. Check it out.

Welcome Week at BC

Student wait for the classes in front of the Indoor Theater.
Students return to campus for the first week of school.

The Office of Student Life (OSL) and the Bakersfield College Student Government Association (BCSGA) are kicking off the Spring 2020 semester in spectacular fashion as part of Welcome Week, which actually stretches across two weeks, January 22-31.

To make sure that our Renegades’ first day of classes runs smoothly, they’ve been hosting Welcome Tents at the Administration Building, Outdoor Theater and the Gym Huddle to pass out maps, help students find their classes, and provide information about what is going on during the first two weeks of school.

Two students hanging out in front of CSS.

On the first week of classes, BCSGA officers gave out hot cocoa and cookies, invited mentalist Richard Aimes to campus, and screened the movie “Zombieland: Double Tap” at the Panorama and Delano campuses. Next week, Welcome Week continues with a Super Smash Bros. tournament and Churros with President Samantha Pulido event hosted by BCSGA on Monday, a jumbo boxing ring in the Gym Huddle on Tuesday, a scavenger hunt across the Panorama Campus on Wednesday, and the BC Got Talent: Entertainment Gauntlet competition on Thursday. For more information, visit the Welcome Week page.

Danyel Harris from the Office of Student Life encourages students to stop by Levinson Hall to connect with their student government representatives and find out more about what they do to provide a hospitable environment on campus. Levinson Hall is also home to the Renegade Pantry, which provides snacks and fresh bread to our students every day during the semester.

Mentalist Richard Aimes.
Mentalist Richard Aimes conducts a thought experiment on the audience

As part of the Welcome Week festivities, mentalist Richard Aimes returned to the Gym Huddle on Wednesday to blow people’s minds.

Richard Ames and his assistant Marielle perform at college campuses across the country as “the MindSurfers”, using their skills of perception to entertain audiences and demonstrate the power of suggestion.

Students interested in getting involved with BCSGA for the 2020-2021 academic year can visit the BCSGA File for Elections page to learn more about the requirements. The application window for filing opens on Monday, February 3. Faculty are also encouraged to nominate students who they feel are especially qualified for office.

Thank you Nicky Damania, Benny Balderrama and all of the Office of Student Life staff for providing leadership to our ambitious student government representatives. The first week of classes went by very smoothly, and that wouldn’t be possible without everyone on the campus coming together to work for our students, including Food Services, Public Safety, the staff in the Welcome Center, and of course the faculty who are getting their students ready for the start of the semester.

Fun Photos: Renegades Come Back to School

Student intern Juan Reyes from the Marketing and Public Relations Department snapped these photos. Thanks Juan!

Women’s March

The BC team from the Women's March poses in front of the Mill Creek Park Bridge.
The BC team came out in full force to support the 2020 Women’s March.

The Women’s March Kern County 2020 inspired thousands last Saturday at Mill Creek park. This highly anticipated event saw fabulous vendors, music and incredible speakers such as Dolores Huerta and our very own Andrea Thorson. Andrea gave a powerful speech about the struggles that women face, as well as people with disabilities.

BC hosted a booth at the Women's March.
BC’s booth at the Women’s March.

Thank you to all of the Renegades who came out to support BC at the Women’s March. Check out more photos from the event below.