Tag Archives: Steve Waller

Celebrating our classified staff. We are BC!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, May 25, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Classified Appreciation

Group of smiling employees.

Classified employees at Bakersfield College are the backbone of moving the work that we do. These individuals work directly with BC’s students, faculty, volunteers, business partners and community members. I’m continually struck by the dedication, positive energy, student-centered focus, and the hearts of service brought to campus every day by our classified staff.

Managers serving the classified employees.
Line of classified employees entering the gym.

These committed BC Renegades embody a collaborative culture of service, one that creates new processes to efficiently serve a growing number of students; one that goes the extra mile to ensure the safety of our campus, that builds bridges for students near and far, and continues a legacy of service that spans over 106 years.

Eric enjoyed the food.

Bakersfield College is such a vital part of our community, expanding into our rural areas to serve all students with a desire to learn and develop their skills. Our classified staff are key to supporting the work of making student life goals a reality.

Patty and Dena

The official CSEA website states, “California’s Legislature recognizes the important contributions of classified school employees and has named the third full week of May “Classified School Employee Week” (CSEW) to honor these contributions.” So this week, our management team took the time to recognize and thank these special colleagues with a special luncheon.

The afternoon included a delicious lunch from Coconut Joes and a ice cream sundae bar with all the extra special fixings.

2 plates of food.
Prize Table

Last month, at the April KCCD Board of Trustees meeting, some classified staff spoke during the luncheon to highlight the extraordinary work they and their colleagues do.  For example, Financial Aid Technician Rebecca Bumpous took to the podium to described how she has helped her department with funding our students’ dreams, awarding $44 million in Title IV funding and $3 million in state funding for the 2018-19 academic year. Carlos Barbaran proudly spoke of his 24 years of service as a custodian in Maintenance and Operations, keeping 72,000 square feet of instructional facilities clean for our students every day. See the full piece in my blog from April 13th titled “Spring Into Action!”

Todd smirks as dining employees laugh.
Todd Coston always provides entertainment.

And the recognition of their hard work isn’t just on the BC campus. KCCD recently highlighted Debra Anderson of BC’s Outreach and School Relations with the KCCD Leadership Award. Congratulations to Debbie! If you missed it, you can check it out on my blog from May 12th titled “Celebrating 2018-2019.”

Nicky and Heather gettin’ jiggy with it!

Thank you to Bill Potter, Jim Coggins, Ramon Puga, Caroline Walth, Rachell Morehouse, Brett Redd, Stephen Waller, Tamara Baker, Lisa Kent, Dena Rhoades, Liz Rozell, Billie Jo Rice, Heather Pennella, Monika Scott, Susan Hubbell, Yvonne Armendariz, Tom Gelder, Manny Mourtzanos, Grace Commiso, Imelda Valdez, Kalina Hill, and especially Todd Coston for coordinating the celebration.

Early College Launch in Arvin

Welcome! Bakersfield College Arvin Information Meeting Expanding Access in Arvin.
Steve Watkin, Mayor Gurrola, Norma Rojas, Chancellor Burke, Tommy Tunson, Jerry Breckinridge

On Tuesday, BC held its Arvin Information Meeting, where community members were invited to learn about BC’s commitment to the city, and the future of education in their region.  Norma Rojas-Mora touched on Early College coming to Arvin High, and the educational opportunities offered for adults.  

BC staff preparing for the event.
Ed Watts, Chancellor Burke and Mayor Gurrola

Chancellor Tom Burke spoke to attendees about the importance of the partnership between the City of Arvin and Bakersfield College, and thanked the community for supporting the 2016 bond Measure J.  Bill Potter and Tamara Baker presented information on the planned Measure J funded campus across the street from the high school.  They reported that they are currently in the programming phase, and have initiated the CEQA study. Construction is currently scheduled to begin in August 2021.  

On stage at the podium.
Norma Rojas and Abel Guzman
Bill Potter & Tamara Baker
Kylie Swanson, Norma Rojas, Monika Scott, & Steve Watkins
Tom Burke speaking on stage at the podium.
Chancellor Burke
Norma Rojas and Chancellor Burke
Arvin Mayor Jose Gurrola

Thank you to Arvin’s Mayor Jose Gurrola, AHS Principal Ed Watts, and City Manager Jerry Breckinridge for speaking in support of the partnership with BC.  We are very excited to bring higher education and increased access to the city of Arvin and its residents!

Abel Guzman and Jesus Oropeza from BC’s Rural Initiatives team with their Early College students.
BC cups with candy give away.
Audience members clapping.
Group of students approach Abel on stage.

Women’s Empowerment Summit

The California Latino Leadership Institute (CLLI) hosted their Fourth Annual Women’s Empowerment Summit in the Levan Center last Saturday, inspiring young women to pursue careers in STEM. The conference featured appearances from Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, California Assembly Member Rudy Salas, and several women from the local petroleum industry. Aera Energy President and CEO Christina Sistrunk was also recognized by CLLI as the 2019 Distinguished Woman and Petroleum Advocate of the Year.

California Assemblyman Rudy Salas

Cathy Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association and recipient of last year’s CLLI Distinguished Woman Award, introduced Supervisor Perez, who expressed her appreciation for all that the local oil and gas industry does to keep the economy of Kern County stable.

Leticia Perez, Kern County 5th District Supervisor

BC’s own Kylie Swanson shared how BC’s Early College program is providing opportunities for young girls to develop a passion for STEM as early as eighth grade. Our Community Relations Director Norma Rojas-Mora also introduced Brittney Plascecia, the Associate Director of Women’s Leadership and Student Involvement at Mount Saint Mary’s University. Plascensia shared the university’s 2019 Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California, noting that while several improvements have been made in hiring women in the fields of media and politics, there’s still a lot more work to be done to close the gender wage gap and put more women in positions of leadership for large corporations.

Cathy Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association

Rojas-Mora also introduced Assemblymember Salas, who attended the event with several students from the Young Assembly Members program, which provides internship opportunities to young people interested in politics and civic engagement. Salas advised attendees of the Women’s Empowerment Conference to seek mentors and not be afraid to ask for the help and support they need to be successful.

Kimberly Kirchner of Women’s March Kern County
Lisa Baca, Executive Director of the California Latino Leadership Institute

One particularly informative portion of the conference was the roundtable discussion on women in STEM careers, which featured a panel of women who have found success in the traditionally male-dominated petroleum industry. The panel reiterated the importance of mentors and developing professional relationships that can create new opportunities.

left to right: California Latino Leadership Institute President Maria Hernandez poses with Assemblyman Rudy Salas and students from the Young Assembly Members program.

I’d like to thank CLLI, Aera Energy, Chevron, and the California Resources Corporation for helping to organize the Women’s Empowerment Summit at BC. Thanks, also, to Charter-Spectrum Communications for providing breakfast to attendees.

Elementary Teacher Education & Liberal Studies Pre-Commencement Celebration

Program: Elementary Teacher Education & Liberal Studies Reception & Celebration.

Bakersfield College’s Elementary Teacher Education & Liberal Studies Spring 2019 graduates were honored May 2nd during a student celebration of their successful completion of their degrees. The event was held in the beautiful Renegade Park in an elegant setting with fabulous food by BC Food Services. The future teachers recited an educator pledge to their friends and families and thanked them publicly for their ongoing  support. They each received a light blue stole that they will wear with their graduation robes. Kudos to Dr. Kimberly Bligh, department chair for the Education Department, who directed the event, and to her outstanding Education faculty colleagues who attended: Dr. Erica Menchaca, Bill Chapman and Teresa McAllister. Christina Maldonado and the Education Department student peer mentors worked together to  make this special event happen. Dean Billie Jo Rice, dean of Education Pathway and Dean Michele Bresso, dean over Education Department, were also present and took part in the ceremony! The most moving moments came as students thanked their parents, children, siblings, significant others plus their Bakersfield College faculty for helping them achieve their degrees. The joy of success of our students is why we are here! We Are BC!

Graduates serving themselves hamburgers and sides at the buffet.
Graduates reading the pledge.
Posed in front of a Bakersfield College Renegades logo backdrop.
Emmanuel Limaco and Kim Bligh
Woman speaking in microphone on stage-like patio.
Dean Michele Bresso
2 women at a round table.
L to R: Christina Maldonado and Kim Bligh
Staff putting blue sash around a graduate's shoulders.
15 graduates in blue sashes, with deans and department chair.

MESA Awards and ACS Scholar

On Friday May 17, the 15th Annual MESA Student Awards Banquet commemorated and recognized MESA program students who have accomplished the goal of transferring to a 4-year institution and, for those graduating from Bakersfield College. Students were also recognized for obtaining an internship, research position, and/or a merit scholarship. This year, the MESA Program had more than 26 students transferring to a 4-year institution (more than 20% of MESA students), 14 that received a scholarship and 12 that received an internship and/or research position. Clayton Fowler, BC alumni and previous SGA president, from the office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy awarded transfer students with a certificate from the congressman.

Clay, a male and Connie sit at a table.
Table filled with smiling people.

In addition to celebrating the students, industry members, mentors, sponsors/donors, BC-MESA board members, and faculty are recognized during this event. MESA recognized:

Connie, a female and a male stand next to a table with MESA Bakersfield College logo.
Connie poses with a male award recipient.

Travis Burns — “Alumni of the Year”

This BC-MESA Alumni works at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. with the USA Air Force Contractor Logistic Support efforts, primarily related to datalink system on the MQ-9, which means he works at a global scale. He received the first “Alumni of the Year” award for his dedication to the students, giving back to this community, and his donations to the MESA Program.

Connie poses with a male holding an award, a certificate for Scott Trahan in background.
Connie smiles with a male in front of an award table.

Scott Trahan — “Individual of the Year”

Scott, an engineer at Chevron, is a member of the BC-MESA Board, participates in the Mentorship Program, and is constantly involved and volunteering at student/community MESA Program events.

Connie and a female smile in front of the awards table.
Connie and a female in black smile in front of the awards table.

Samuel Grijalva — “Sponsor of the Year”

Sam, as he likes to be called, received this award for his continued contributions/donations to the MESA Program over the past few years and the more significant contributions this year. In addition, he supports MESA as a BC-MESA Board member and participating in student/community events as a volunteer.

2 male faculty pose with a female student in front of shimmery curtain.
3 males pose in front of shimmery curtain.

Professor Richard Darke — “Professor of the Year”

Professor Darke earned this award due to his dedication to students, and was nominated and voted for by MESA students to receive this award. Students believe Prof. Darke deserves this award due to his outstanding teaching methods, his disposition to help students succeed academically, and his eagerness to help students succeed both academically and professionally.

7 males and females smile in front of a shimmery curtain.
An older couple in front of the Renegade logo backdrop.

BC-MESA Board members

All of the Board Members were recognized for their support of the MESA program: Dolores Salgado, Infrastructure Engineering Corporation, Patrick Aderhold, Bakersfield College Engineering Professor, Salvador Ledesma, PG&E, Samuel Grijalva, Grimmway Farms, Linda Mohammad, AERA Energy, Kimberly Newton, Bakersfield College Biology Professor, Stephen Waller, Bakersfield College Dean of Instruction, Juan M. Alvarez,USDA NHSIP, Caleb Griffin, NRCS, Marcos Perez, NRCS, Wayne Cooper, Bakersfield College Chemistry Professor, Dillon Giblin, Bakersfield College Math Professor, Bakersfield College, Seira Greenwood, UCLA/MEDPEP, Andrea Gonzalez, Bakersfield College MESA Student, Scott Trahan, Chevron, and Consuelo Gonzalez, Bakersfield College MESA Director.

2 females in front of the Renegade logo backdrop.
Male in front of the Renegades backdrop.

MESA student Brianna Aguilar was not only recognized for her accomplishment of achieving the goal for transferring to a 4-year university and for obtaining an internship/research position, she was also recognized for being chosen as an ACS scholar. This scholarship is up to $5,000 a year. Recipients of this award in the past have gone on to be leaders in the chemical professions.  This opens up so many doors for Brianna.

Male faculty with female student in front of shimmery curtain.
Male faculty and female student in front of Renegade logo backdrop.

I am so proud of Brianna and all of our MESA Renegades and look forward to hearing of their successes in the future. I would like to thank Steve Waller, Connie Gonzales, Vanessa Moreno and all of the faculty, mentors and sponsors that are involved in the MESA program.

Emails Worth Sharing

Janet Thomas also sent a warm email sharing her delight in the MESA Event. She said:

“It was a beautiful event.  I was thrilled to hear from Travis Burns and his accomplishments that all began with his education at Bakersfield College and Ian Spark who is beginning her career as a new graduate from Bakersfield College going on to her next steps.  I sat next to a young man named Rodrigo who is transferring to San Diego State on scholarships as a Chemical Engineer. It is very awesome to see the students when their names are called to come up to get their awards for their achievements in scholastics, community services and opportunities for internships.  It was a great honor to be invited to this great event. Kevin McCarthy recognized each student with awards, because he knows the value of the education that begins at Bakersfield College. Anyway, The MESA team did a wonderful job, in conjunction with The MARK with hosting this event.”

Aera Tech and Regional Skills Conference

Last Saturday, the AERA Engine Builders Association and Engine Professional Magazine hosted an all-day conference to inform BC Automotive Technology students about all of the latest developments and trends in engine manufacturing. The 2019 AERA Tech and Regional Skills Conference took place in BC’s Automotive Technology building on the Panorama campus, featuring technical demonstrations from some of the biggest names in the automotive industry, including Edelbrock, Rottler, and Sunnen.

Representatives from L.A. Sleeve talk about piston rings.

I’d like to thank AERA and Engine Professional Magazine, as well as Vic Posey and the BC Automotive Technology staff for organizing this professional development opportunity for our students.

BC Automotive Technology students talk with vendors at the Aera Tech and Regional Skills Conference.

LUPE/Conexiones Students Attend a 3-Day Leadership Retreat

Bakersfield College student leaders from LUPE/Conexiones participated in an unforgettable experience of leadership development. Students were able to experience outdoor adventures in a unique way that allowed them to develop self-confidence, improve effective program planning, and establish long-lasting and meaningful relationships with each other.

Group of students with forest trees and mountains in background.

Because of their interactions during the 3-day retreat, these student leaders developed trust with each other and were able to cultivate a stronger support network.

Group standing in front of a lodge.
Group of students sit on low wall with forest trees behind them.
8 students laughing and active.
8 students pose and smile among the trees.

Students were fully engaged in an in-depth discussion of John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. The student leaders facilitated an interactive discussion based on their personal life experiences and circumstances.

Four posters of illegible writing.
Students at tables working on posters.

Students discussed what separated great leaders from good leaders and how they can become instruments of change in their immediate families and their communities.

In addition to the leadership workshop, students engaged in outdoor activities to enhance their confidence and learned how to overcome any difficult challenge they come across. Students conquered a physically challenging ropes course with persistence and determination.

Students watch as a student climbs ropes into the trees.
Student zip lines from one tree to another.

Student prepares to zip line from a tree.
Woman free being hoisted to zip line platform in tree.

Student high in tree.
One student with helmet watches as another is in zip line harness.

Professor Octavio Barajas conquering the ropes course. Sí Se Puede!

Climbing rope ladder into tree.
Standing in rope ladder between poles.

They also tested their accuracy in the archery field.

Around 20 people readying bows with arrows.
Archer with bow and arrow in flight.
Student with thumb up pulls arrow from center of target.
Bullseye on the 1st shot!

In the evening hours, students had a blast on the karaoke machine and spent the late evening hours learning some dance moves.

2 students sing into microphone.
Students line dancing.

See more fun photos of the LUPE/Conexiones Students Attend a 3-Day Leadership Retreat on smugmug.

The retreat provided a welcoming, refreshing, and inspiring environment in which to innovate, plan and collaborate. Through reflection and assessment of the academic year, the students identified areas of improvement within the LUPE/Conexiones organization and initiated a plan to produce a student-led leadership conference for the upcoming school year.

Funding for the Pali Retreat was provided by the Catalyst Fund. Special thanks to the coordinating efforts of the EOPS and CalSOAP staff who graciously took care of all the logistical planning.

Big SHOUT OUT to the BC staff/faculty who served as mentors and chaperones during the retreat: Professor Octavio Barajs (History), Lisa Robles Kent (SSP/Equity), and Rafael Centeno (EOPS).

ASSP Frank R. Rosenlieb Lifetime Achievement Award

On March 20th 2019, American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) held their 20th Annual Bakersfield ASSP Symposium. Founded in 1911, ASSP is the longest running safety organization and the most respected advocate for workplace safety and health professionals. With over 450 guests in attendance, our very own, Catherine Jones, was recognized with the Frank R. Rosenlieb Lifetime Achievement Award, which is recognized as one of the highest achievements in her industry. Congratulations Catherine.

Catherine holding award next to a gentleman.
Woman speaking to slide.
Audience at several round tables.

OSRM Summer Internship Success

Summer internships are under way especially for a few students from the Occupational Safety & Risk Management program. An internship is a hands-on experience that provides meaningful, career-related work that extends a student’s learning beyond the classroom. One of the students, Stephany Cabrera, was offered an internship with Amazon as an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist in Delaware. Wilson Jones accepted an internship with Granite Construction as a Safety Intern and Martin Amezcua accepted an internship with Trinity Safety as a safety coordinator. These students are excited and grateful for these opportunities that will help launch their careers.

Professor Catherine Jones with Stephany and Wilson
Wilson Jones
Stephany Cabrera

Jai Jagat

On the Monday just after commencement, May 13, 2019,  Bakersfield College was honored to host an amazing performance about world peace from Jai Jagat and the children of the Manav Sadhna orphanage in India. The children are touring the world with Jai Jagat, an inspirational dance and drama troupe composed of 17 underprivileged children from six different communities in Ahmedabad, a city located in India’s Gujarat province.

Man speaks in front of Jai Jagat One Earth Family background.

“Jai Jagat” means “Victory of the World”, and this year’s show depicts the life of Mahatma Gandhi through interpretive choreography in honor of his 150th birthday this October. Jai Jagat’s program in the Indoor Theater envisioned what the planet might look like in 50 years, 2069, if people take Gandhi’s philosophy to heart and come together to settle their conflicts without violence and anger.

Dancers in colorful costumes.

The Manav Sadhna orphanage is based out of Gandhi’s ashram in Ahmedabad, and they provide education, medical care and resources for proper hygiene to more than 10,000 underprivileged children, Jai Jagat Project Director Nimesh Patel said. They also offer sports leagues and arts and crafts programs for children, as well as compassionate care for the elderly.

Children dancing.

New Taj Palace Indian Restaurant provided food for the cast and workers and for sale to the public at the event. It was great to see trustees Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg in the audience for Jai Jagat, as well as former trustee Bill Thomas.

Dancers in front of We Let Out Our Hearts To Shine background.

This performance would not have been possible without help from the Office of Student Life, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and the Ravi and Naina Patel Foundation. Thank you to everyone who helped organize this event, as well as everyone who came out to hear the group’s motivational message.

Speaking with hand out.
Dr. Nicky Damania
Mayor karen Goh, Sonya Christian, Lilly Agbalog
Bill Thomas, Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg in the audience.

BC takes Pantages Theater

The screen before showtime shows "Les Miserables"
Pantages Le Miserables screen before showtime

On Wednesday evening, a group of BC faculty, staff, and students attended Les Miserables at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. The iconic theater, located on the corner of Hollywood and Vine is a monument of art, theater, movies, music, and performances. It has been home to popular productions such as the stage production of Disney’s Lion King, Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, and more. The interior of the theater is stunning and although originally constructed in 1930, it most recently underwent a $10-million restoration and upgrade in the year 2000.

A couple and 3 daughters.
The Garrett family
The Garrett family poses in front of the Les Mis poster
The Garrett family poses in front of the Les Miserables poster

Dr. Jen Garrett makes it a priority to give her students the opportunity to have eye opening and life changing experiences.. everything.from performing at local charity events to performing in Rome and at the Sydney Opera House, to experiencing talent as members of the audience. After giving students first priority, leftover reserved seats were made available to staff and faculty. In total, BC had over 150 individuals at Wednesday night’s performance. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it but I received tons of texts and messages from the BC crew who were there. I’m told that the performers were absolutely incredible.

Pantages street view
Outside the Pantages theater
Pantages lobby full of guests
Pantages ceiling art

Monika texted me that she could hear Manny De Los Santos, who was sitting with his wife one row above whispering comments like “Oh, this is my favorite part” and the following day, Manny let me know that “As a Les Mis fanboy,” he was not disappointed. He added that he wasn’t the only one as he claims he could see Nick Strobel “bouncing along to the music.”

Manny De Los Santos, his wife, daughter, and her boyfriend in their seats
Manny De Los Santos with his wife, daughter, and daughters boyfriend
Nick Strobel with one of the Garrett's girls
Nick Strobel with one of the Garrett children
Monika Scott in front, Manny De Los Santos and wife wife in the back
Monika Scott, Manny De Los Santos and his wife

Take a listen to Nick Cartell who was cast as Jean Valjean in the show on Wednesday evening.

I loved the photos from Jen Garrett’s Facebook showing their family of five at the theater. It’s truly wonderful to know the Garrett’s future Renegades are getting an early start on appreciation for music and live performances. Experiences like this are truly what make BC a campus, a community, and a family without boundaries. I’m looking forward to the next performance where BC takes Pantages!

Proud Day for the Writing Center & Academic Support Programs

Wednesday May 22nd was a joyous day for Bakersfield College Academic Support Programs. Four Writing Center team members were conferred with masters and doctoral degrees from California State University, Bakersfield! Laraine Rosema, Adjunct Writing Center Faculty, earned her Ed.D. In Educational Leadership: Jeff Newby, Writing Center Consultant, earned his Master of Arts in History; Marlin Morales, Writing Center Consultant, and Kim Arbolante, Writing Center Lead, both earned their Master of Arts in English with Writing Certificate.

Marlin Morales, M.A., Kim Arbolante, M.A., Laraine Rosema, Ed.D, & Jeff Newby, M.A.

The ceremony was held on the verdant soccer field at CSUB, and participants were relieved as rain clouds gave way to clearer skies and a beautiful sunset just as the graduate procession began. The proud graduates were blessed to have many BC colleagues in the crowd cheering them on. And while the fearless Director of Academic Support Programs, Maria Wright, is at home on maternity leave, the ASP team has done its best to make her proud by demonstrating its commitment to continuing education, excellence in the humanities, and to Renegades supporting colleagues and friends as part of our collective BC family.

Eileen with the 4 graduates.
Eileen Pierce, SI Program Manager supporting ASP grads
Group poses in a balloon frame with Congrats CSUB 2019 yay!
Earl Parson, Part-time Web Content Editor & Partner, Rachel Pori, Noelia Citialin, Nursing Faculty, John Davies, former English Adjunct

Innocent Victims of Gang Violence

Last week I was able to attend an awareness event and memorial for innocent victims of gang violence at Lowell Park. Local radio host and media personality Danny Morrison volunteered to emcee the event as he grew up in the neighborhood around the park and has lost close friends to gang violence. It was highlighted by passionate remarks on the topic from Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh and a special musical number sung by a children’s choir from McKinley Elementary School. At the end of the program a permanent bench was unveiled to memorialize and remember all innocent victims of gang violence in our community. The event was part of a group project planned by the 2019 Leadership Bakersfield cohort that included our own Brandon Urry, Manager of Athletics Communications and Community Relations. Leadership Bakersfield is an annual program put on by the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce to better connect leaders in our community. Learn more about the Leadership Bakersfield program.

Student choir on stage.
DJ and students clap and cheer on stage.
Audience mingling in park.
Stage.
Bench with plaque.
In Remembrance of All Innocent Victims of Gang Violence in Our Community, plaque.

M&O Summer Projects

Maintenance & Operations has been hard at work since the Summer Semester began. So many projects in  the past two weeks!

  • Replaced carpet in A17 and HR
  • Installed swamp coolers in the Huddle for Food Services and students
  • Installed new artificial turf by pool
  • Began renovations to the small pool
  • Prepared for installation of artificial turf by solar parking lots
  • Replaced landscaping alongside the FACE building and the Indoor Theater
  • Removed a tree and planted fruit trees near FACE for the Renegade Pantry
  • Trimmed 80 trees in one week
  • Began renovations on restroom by tennis courts
  • Stripped and waxed gym flooring, along with rooms in FACE building
  • Replaced the air filters in the wood shop and welding labs

Thank you to our amazing M&O team for keeping our campus beautiful!

Small pool renovations.
Preparing for installation of artificial turf at the solar parking lot.
New artificial turf by the small pool.
Painting the Tennis Court Restrooms.
New carpet installation in A-17.
Ramon Puga and Jim Coggins work on replacing carpet in A17 and HR.
Corey Garcia, Aaron Kidwell, and Tim Martinez installing a swamp cooler at the Gym Huddle.
Mitchell Barter supervising installation of the swamp cooler.
2 women in the hallway.
Rachell Morehouse and Damaris Duque preparing for stripping floors.
Shiny floor.
Stripped and waxed gym floor.

Emails Worth Sharing: from Baghdad

Paul Beckworth shared this email with me. I am so proud of our students serving abroad and continuing their education.

Hey, Paul!

I payed for my classes today. It all worked out. I got into 3 classes I needed and waitlisted for 1. Thought I’d share some photos.

[3 photos]

Sitting in fatigues on box.
In operating room.
Elaine with thumbs up skyping with daughter.

Emails Worth Sharing: Invited to Barcelona to Exhibit!

Diego Gutiérrez Monterrubio, adjunct faculty in the Art Department shared this email with me:

Waking up to this message with an invitation to exhibit my work in Barcelona makes my heart beat with happiness.  I am humbled to be appreciated internationally

…y sigue la novela.

-Diego

Buenos días, soy Aaron Henriques

Director de la Galería Carey

Tras ver su obra quiero proponerle exponer individualmente en Barcelona, España.

Esperando que la propuesta sea de su agrado quedó a la espera de sus noticias

Un Saludo

Galeriacarey.com

Aespaña #art #arte #artlovers #novela #pintormexicano #contemporaryart

* translation:

Good morning, I’m Aaron Henriques

Director of the Carey Gallery

After seeing his work I want to propose to you to exhibit individually your artwork in Barcelona, ​​Spain.

Waiting for the proposal to be of your liking was waiting for your news.

Greetings.

Standing at a table in front of graphic drawing of man and graphic drawing of woman crying.
Diego Gutiérrez Monterrubio

Fun Photos: Temblor for Frank Caliendo

Look who I ran into on comedy night at Temblor.

Michelle Pena, Nicky Damania, Kylie Swanson
Having fun at Temblor!

Fun Photos: Living Victory Church

8 students with pastors and Sonya behind them hold up certificates.
Another angle of Sonya speaking with microphone in front of screen where she is projected.
Sonya with the pastor.

Fun Photos: El Camino at GPIT

El Camino College visited BC’s Campus for tips on implementing Guided Pathways.

Athletics Updates

Track & Field Finishes Season at CCCAA Championships

The Renegade Track & Field team traveled to the College of San Mateo, host site for the 2019 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Championships. The team had qualified five student athletes in six events and all placed well in their respective competitions. Renegade finishes included:

2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championships Gabby Lugo 2nd place 1500m
2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championships Zaila Clark 5th Place Triple Jump
2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championships Daizhiana Ebert 2nd place long jump.
2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championships Jacob Whitby 2nd place hammer.
2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championships Jacob Whitby 12th place discus.
2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championships Justin Frando 7th place 800m

With the CCCAA Track & Field Championships now concluded, the season now finishes for both the Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams.

Track & Field Pulls In Long List Of Post-Season All-Conference Awards

The Renegade Track & Field team wrapped up the 2019 regular season this last week at the CCCAA State Championships with five top-10 finishes. As the regular season concludes, the team has racked up a number of post-season conference awards, listed below:

Jacob Whitby 2019 Western State Conference co-male filed athlete of the year.

All-WSC First Team

Women:

  • Zaila Clark – Triple Jump
  • Joycelind Currie – 4 x 100m, 4 x 400m
  • Daizhiana Ebert – 4 x 100m, Long Jump, 4 x 400m
  • Noemi Esparza – 4 x 100m, 4 x 400m
  • Victoria Lennon – 4 x 400m
  • Gabby Lugo – 1500m, 4 x 400m
  • Bree McCabe – 4 x 100m
BC Renegade Track and Field Female All - WSC 1st team portraits.

Men:

  • Daniel Nichols – High Jump
  • Justin Frando – 800m
  • Elvis Sanchez – Hammer
  • Jacob Whitby – Shot, Discus, Hammer
BC Renegade Track and Field Male All - WSC 1st team portraits.

All-WSC Second Team

Female:

  • Rayvan Childs – 400m Hurdles
  • Joycelind Currie – 400m
  • Noemi Esparza – 400m Hurdles
BC Renegade Track and Field Female All - WSC 2nd team portraits.

Male:

  • Derek Crawford – 4 x 400m
  • Justin Frando – 4 x 400m
  • Cody Hartsfield – Hammer, Discus
  • Adrian Lopez – 800m
  • Lorenzo Maldonado – 4 x 400m
  • Cutberto Salgado – 4 x 400m
  • Marcos Varela – Hammer
BC Renegade Track and Field Male All - WSC 1st team portraits.

All-WSC Honorable Mention

Female:

  • Yarabi Campos – Hammer
  • Zaila Clark – Long Jump
  • Noemi Esparza – 200m
  • Victoria Lennon – 400m
  • Gabby Lugo – 5000m, 800m
BC Renegade Track and Field Female All - WSC Honorable Mention portraits.

Male:

  • Derek Crawford – 200m
  • Cutberto Salgado – Steeplechase
  • Elvis Sanchez – Discus
  • Harrison Wykoff – Steeplechase
BC Renegade Track and Field Male All - WSC Honorable Mention portraits.
Sonya speaking with microphone.


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Talent, Dedication and Passion at the Home of the Renegades

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 27, 2018….. a great day to be a Renegade.

In Eugene, Oregon this weekend, wearing my Renegade Athletics shirt and enjoying the soft moisture filled air and fall colors.

Missing the two little ones.

Homecoming Week

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Cheer Team serving Ice Cream!

Homecoming exceeded all expectations this year, as Renegade pride was in full force throughout the week.  While the highlight of Homecoming will be at the football game tonight, the weeklong celebration has been an exciting time to be on campus.  Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members have come together to honor our history by participating in events like the homecoming parade, student organization competitions, talent show, office decoration party, pep rally, tailgating, and more!

On Thursday, students came out to the Crossroads for “Rally of the Renegades” to get fired up for Saturday’s Homecoming football game .  Carnival games, music, and food got everyone in the mood to celebrate. Our BC cheerleaders served up some delicious ice cream, which was a welcome treat on a warm October day.

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Students also enjoyed listening to music as they took  turns playing some carnival games. The bean bag toss presented a challenge as students attempted to toss bags into the mouths of cardboard pigs and cows.

Several students gathered around the miniature basketball hoop, trying to one-up each other to see who could make the longest shot. There were a lot of makes, and a few misses, but fun was had by all. Thank you to all the teams who participated in the festivities and the cheerleaders for dishing up that fantastic ice cream.  Go BC!

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The enthusiasm displayed from everyone who participated in the various events made Homecoming an exciting time to be at BC!

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BC Hosts 6th Annual Bioenergy Day

Liz Rozell at Bioenergy Day at BC 2018

Liz Rozell at Bioenergy Day at BC 2018

BC hosted the 6th Annual National Bioenergy Day earlier this week where local renewable energy producers Mt. Poso Cogeneration, Macpherson Energy Corporation and DTE Energy Services were recognized by Mayor Karen Goh, Assemblyman Salas’s office, Congressman McCarthy’s office, Assemblyman Fong’s office, and Supervisor Mick Gleason’s office.  Our Career and Technical Education department co-hosted this event, and works closely with our industry partners. Because of these connections, our students have a better chance of landing jobs, internships or work experience.

Russell Johnson, Common Sense Consulting

Russell Johnson, Common Sense Consulting

Mt. Poso is a great example of this since the types of jobs that are located at the plant are closely related to our Industrial and Transportation Technology pathway. Having a company like Mt. Poso and its partners at our campus gives our students the opportunity to learn about the different type of employment options they can obtain with their degree or certificates they earn at BC.

Companies were represented at Bioenergy Day that generate electricity and heat from wood and organic materials.  Ruth Santos from DTE led a presentation educating attendees on this sustainable, reliable, renewable, and carbon-friendly energy source.

Mayor Goh wrapped the morning up by proclaiming October 24, 2018 as “National Bioenergy Day” in our city. I loved getting to see so many of our amazing community members here on the BC campus!  Thank you to Russell Johnson of Common Sense Consulting for reaching out to host the event here, Norma Rojas-Mora, Tony Cordova, Carlos Medina & Jessica McGrath for your help in organizing this event, as well as Mary Jo Pasek and Leah Prendez for your hard work.  Also, thank you to Stephanie Stuart and her team for providing the lunches! See all the pictures at BC’s Smugmug! 

Tony Cordova, Liz Rozell, Karen Goh, Sonya Christian

Tony Cordova, Liz Rozell, Karen Goh, Sonya Christian

Disability Awareness Day

IMG_1274October is an active month for bringing awareness to many issues. One of those issues is disability employment. National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) begins each October 1st. As part of this movement to “educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s worker with disabilities,” BC’s own DSPS held a Disability Awareness event. On Thursday, October 25th, DSPS hosted an Exhibitor Fair in the Renegades Crossroads, held a DSPS Awards Ceremony and showed a free movie for the students and employees of Bakersfield College.

Among the exhibitors were the Special Education Department, the LBC Deaf Church, Inclusion Films, the Kern Regional Center, the Independent Living Center, and the Department of Rehabilitation. The Valley Achievement Center’s booth talked to parents about their non-profit school for children with autism. The Sorenson Video Relay Service (SVRS) was there to explain their technology that “enables the Deaf community to communicate with both Deaf and hearing families” through technology, according to their flier. We have really made great strides in aiding the disabled with technology.

Disability Awareness Day Monika and Tamara

Monika and Tamara had to visit the pups.

Of course the scene-stealer and most popular booth was Canine Companions for Independence. At least three volunteers brought their Canines-in-training to Bakersfield College to promote awareness of the impact assistance dogs has on improving the life of a person with disabilities. Volunteer puppy raisers accept a specially bred puppy to keep safe and healthy while they train for about 2 years. Once the pups are raised, they are returned to the Canine Companions and tested to see if they will make a good assistance dog. Those that qualify are then trained as assistance dogs and provided to qualified disabled people. The volunteer puppy raisers are truly amazing people that dedicate two years to the animal to benefit the life of another person. As puppy raiser Barbara Raines said, “it is truly a gift of the heart.”

IMG_4461Another highlight of the event is the awards ceremony where departments, faculty, staff and students are recognized as allies for those with disabilities. These are departments and people that go out of their way to remove barriers and obstacles for our students with disabilities. These employees and students epitomize our mission to provide a supportive learning environment and represent the Core Values of integrity, diversity and community. Thank you Academic Technology Department, Marketing and Public Relations Department, Faculty Matthew Garrett and Eleonora Hicks, staff members Maria Elizondo and Helen Calip, and students Kristen Ponce and Parker Lancaster for being allies to those with disabilities.

Marketing and Public Relations

Marketing and Public Relations

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Maria Elizondo and Helen Calip

Parker Lancaster

Parker Lancaster

In the afternoon we were treated to a free movie about Temple Grandin, a child born with autism that grew up to overcome her disability to become a professor of Animal Science, prominent author and speaker. Grandin will be speaking at BC on February 12, 2019 as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series. We will also have Oz Sanchez speaking on November 8, 2018. Sanchez is a Marine, Paralymic and will speak to us about “Know No Limits.”

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As a large part of the Bakersfield Community it is important for us to embrace the diversity of our community and bring awareness to our differences and embrace them. I would like to thank Terri Goldstein and the DSPS staff for putting together such an important event to make our students and employees aware of the help available to those with disabilities AND the help that we can give.

BC In the Vineyards Project

In partnership with CVFF, the Central Valley Farmworker Foundation, Bakersfield College Rural Initiatives visited various Farmworker crews to promote higher education in the vineyards. It is incredible to share the programs and services available to these people in our community. The week-long outreach plan will be covered in depth during next week’s blog. Be sure to come back and read the highlights.

BC in the Vineyards (1)

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11a, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights include segments with Former BC Football Coach – Carl Bowser, Former Renegade QB (and 1988 National Champion) – Stan Greene and local businessman and former Renegade – Paul Pavletich.

Segment with Paul Pavletich

Segment with Stan Greene and Linzy Collins

Segment with Stan Greene, Linzy Collins and John Rose

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (10/14-10/20) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

10.23 RENEGADES OF THE WEEK

Gabriella Lugo, Cross Country (2nd RotW honor) – Ran a PR of 18:59 to finish 5th overall individually at the WSC Championships and helping the team to a 4th overall finish. Her performance also qualifies her for 1st team All–Conference and ranks her as one of the top ten in Southern California.

Nathan De Jager, Football – 5/5 on field goals (ties school record) in helping team to 22-17 win over Long Beach. Through seven games on the season he is 12/12 on FG’s and 20/21 on PAT’s.  Congrats to Nathan De Jager for being named SCFA Player of the Week.

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De Jager was also named The Southern California Football Association (SCFA) National Division Special Teams/All-Purpose Player of the Week for his 5/5 field goal performance in a 22-17 win at Long Beach on Saturday (10/20). De Jager totaled 16 points in the 22-17 win at Long Beach. He was 5/5 on field goals (43yd, 34yd, 50yd, 38yd, 45yd), which ties a school record for most FG’s in a game and 1/1 on PAT’s. Through seven games on the season he is 12/12 on FG’s and 20/21 on PAT’s.

Renegade Athletics Roundup

It was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include:

Distinguished Speaker: Dashka Slater

Dashka Slater (3)

Author Dashka Slater spoke to BC students, staff and fellow community members on October 24th about her book The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives, and the lasting impact that it had on not only those involved, but the entire city of Oakland.  On Monday, November 4, 2013, in Oakland California, a 16-year-old junior at Oakland High School, Richard Thomas, set fire to Sasha Fleischman, an 18-year-old senior at a private high school, when both students were traveling on the AC Transit 57 bus. Dashka Slater investigated the story after hearing of the horrifying crime from her neighborhood email list. Her questions: What does it mean to be a gender and how should we think about a teenager who commits a bias crime?

Dashka is a journalist, novelist and children’s book author with nine books under her belt.  She explained how The 57 Bus began as an article for The New York Times Magazine and evolved into a fully-fledged book with numerous accolades.  She spoke with students about the story evolved, and how her past career in journalism helped with investigating the story fully.  Thank you Dashka for coming to Bakersfield College, and thank you to our faculty coordinator Jeannie Parent for organizing this great event! You can read the original article on the NY Times.

Connecting BC Students with Industry to Launch STEM Careers

MESA Students

BC’s MESA Students at the Conference

Talented Bakersfield College students gathered in downtown Los Angeles in a step towards becoming the diverse leaders of tomorrow’s tech and engineering workforce. MESA’s Student Leadership Conference brings together hand-picked engineering and computer science students with industry professionals to develop the next generation of STEM leaders.  Held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Oct. 4-5, this year’s conference theme was A Bounty of Homegrown Talent.  

The Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program guides diverse students from underrepresented backgrounds into STEM careers. Unlike job fairs or speaker-only conferences, MESA students got the unique opportunity to interact one-on-one and in small groups with company executives, engineers and recruiters. Many often leave the conference with internship offers that lead to full time employment. Students participated in mock interviews, communications, team building, emotional intelligence and financial literacy workshops, and watched entrepreneur and alumni panels.

Companies recognize the importance of engaging with and supporting our students — so much so they fully fund the conference with donations.  These enlightened corporate partners understand these are not simply underserved and underrepresented students, they are an underutilized pool of talent that has been long overlooked.  Companies simply cannot afford to ignore this talent pool. This year’s partners and sponsors included: Edison International, Southern California Gas Company and Pacific Gas and Electric as top sponsors and Applied Materials, San Diego Gas and Electric, Cisco, Intuit, California Resources Corporation and Lyft. Miriam Aguirre, SVP of engineering for e-sports company Skillz was the keynote speaker.

Each year MESA serves over 25,000 students at the pre-college, community college and university levels across California. MESA bridges classroom learning with real-world applications, and employ rigorous academics, leadership preparation, a peer community and collaborative problem-solving training to produce highly-skilled college graduates who meet 21st century STEM workforce needs. The White House, the Ford Foundation, and the Silicon Valley Education Foundation have all recognized MESA for its innovative and effective academic development model.

MESA high school students have a 92% college-going rate, as compared to the statewide average of 42%. MESA’s UC acceptance rate: 70% (vs 60% for all CA students); Community college transfer rate into STEM majors: 97%; Graduates with STEM bachelor’s degrees: average of 500 per year.

Accessible Document Training

Aricia Leighton leading web training

Aricia Leighton offering web training earlier this year

While not a part of the Disabilities Awareness activities, I was proud to see June Charles, Jo Ellen Patterson and Cathy Rangel participate in a training on creating accessible documents in Word. Thank you Chris Glaser for facilitating and organizing the training and Aricia Leighton for sharing her expertise. It is so important to learn the little thing that we can do to make our documents accessible to people with disabilities that may need assistive devices to read the document. I appreciate the staff taking the initiative to learn how they can make documents accessible. That is truly disability awareness.

Health Career Fair

Health Career FairOn Wednesday, October 24, the Bakersfield College Office of Student Employment hosted the Health Careers Connection Fair at the Gym Huddle.  Students who were majoring in or considering the Health Science Pathway were provided with an opportunity to connect with various industry employers, learn about available jobs, and gain career insight. Health industry employers also had the chance to meet their future workforce.

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Vendors included Kern Medical Center, Lags Medical Center, Sierra View Medical Center, Davita Kidney Care, Maxim Healthcare Services, Delano Regional Medical Center, Brookdale Senior Living, Valley Children’s Healthcare, HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, Adventist Health, Kaweah Delta Medical Center, Sendas Northwest Urgent Care, and Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital.  Thank you to everyone who came out to make the Health Careers Connection Fair a success!

Agriculture Career Fair

On October 19th, the Agriculture Department and the Kern County Farm Bureau hosted our 2nd Annual Agriculture Career Exploration Day. Over 400 high school FFA students came to Bakersfield College to learn about different career opportunities in the agriculture industry and participate in a Career Fair.

A special thanks to the industry professionals, faculty and staff that hosted each breakout sessions.

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After the breakout sessions, students came to the Renegade Park for a great lunch provided by our BC Food Service. This event was made possible by the support of our amazing agriculture industry professionals, BC faculty and staff, the Agriculture Leadership class, BC’s Agriculture Ambassadors and the amazing Event Staff – Mary Jo and Leah.

A special thank you to our sponsors Kern County Farm Bureau, The Wonderful Company, Kern Machinery, CAPCA and Lynn Citrus Seed for helping to make this event possible.

Elena Rhodes

Elena Rhodes, Wonderful Citrus, Director of Product Management

Seen on Social Media:

Via Arte

Congratulations to the talented professor Diego Monterrubio and his students for representing BC at Via Arte 2018 and receiving an award! Professor Monterrubio said,

As you can see, it takes a lot of integrity and dedication to spend your whole weekend sitting, kneeling, sweating over the hot pavement all for the love of artwork. I have never been more proud as a professor and a human being of these people. The drawing is 12ft × 12ft and consisted of 18 hours of work and it came out magnificent. Thank you very much to the faculty and friends that came out to support me and my students.

Diego Monterrubio, Sonya Christian and students at Via Arte Oct 21 2018

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BC at BYP Street Party!

Last Friday evening, Bakersfield College was well represented at the Bakersfield Young Professionals Annual Street Party; connecting arts, culture and industry. Not only was BC a proud Sponsor but was a highlight of the night featuring it’s automotive and industrial automation departments.

Andrew Haney with BC_s electric car

Professor Andrew Haney with BC’s electric car!

Carpenters Skills Competition

Last weekend I visited the Carpenters Apprenticeship Skills Competition. It was incredible to watch BC students compete in the Olympics of Carpentry, where industry professionals will put their skills to the test in Concrete, Drywall and Scaffold events! Special thank you to Ryan Nance for the personal invitation!

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Principal Partners Day at the Job Spot

A team of community member and partners paid a visit to the Job Spot on Wednesday, for KHSD’s Principal Partners Day. This collaborative, innovative space features BC’s one-stop where students can receive full enrollment support and take classes who live and work in south Bakersfield. Special thanks to our Rural Initiatives team, especially Endee Grijalva, seen in the photos below sharing about BC.

Visiting the migrant labor camp in Arvin and La Paz

As part of the grant program, a select group of faculty participants spends each year attending talks like Dr. Wald’s and taking part in workshops to learn about local issues, history, and culture and how to bring those things into their classrooms. This year’s cohort is Nicole Carraso (History), Esmerelda Chapa (Communication), Christine Cruz-Boone (Communication), Jessica Flores (English), Daniel Gomes (English), Rae Ann Kumelos (English), Carolyn Lane (Child Development), Shawn Taro Newsom (History), Isaac Sanchez (English), and Brenda Valadez (Communication).

Andrew Bond, Joshua Ottum, and Oliver Rosales direct the grant and its programming.

visitingsunsetlaborcamp.jpgOn Friday, the faculty cohort, Dr. Sarah Wald, and visiting UCSB scholar Francisco Beltran visited the Sunset Migratory Labor Camp in Arvin to learn about the Okie experience in the site’s historic buildings from community members who lived there in their youth. The site served as inspiration for Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and is featured in novel as the “Weedpatch Camp.” After that, Mia Woods, Kern Housing Authority’s site manager for the present day migrant labor housing nearby, gave the cohort and visitors a brief tour of one of the housing units rented out to field workers during the annual growing and harvest seasons.

VisitingChavezMonumentSeveral of the attendees went on afterward to visit the Cesar Chavez National Monument and Villa La Paz in Keene. The site is jointly managed by the Cesar Chavez Foundation and the National Park Service, and it features a museum of Chavez’s life and the farmworker movement, buildings and residences on site once used by the United Farm Workers movement, and Cesar and Helen Chavez’s graves. Coincidentally, Andres Chavez, Cesar and Helen’s grandson, was on site that day and took over the tour, speaking with the visitors from BC and their guests while showing them around the grounds.

VisitingLaPazwithAndresChavez

I’d like to thank the grant directors and everyone involved who helped make these events happen. Our community and its history are important resources for our students, and when faculty share this with their students, it makes BC a better place.

BC Food Services

Fajita Lunch Special Oct 23 2018On Tuesday, I enjoyed the lunch special from BC Food Services, which was chicken fajitas with rice, beans, and salad. I am so proud of our food services team and I continue to be impressed by their skilled and creative work to provide a variety of great meals on campus. From staples like our famous breakfast burritos, salad variety, and sandwiches, to the daily specials, I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever to have such a talented team preparing treats and meals at BC.

There are longstanding traditions at BC Food Services like the famous BC cookies made each and every day, and the BC cookbook has the special recipes used. Students and staff are always able to purchase our crispy chicken tenders, fresh-baked personal pizzas and other regular items, but the Food Services Department also prepares a special soup and entrée for lunch every day.

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i-jrwpxg5-x2The staff in our kitchen and cafeteria always greets me with a smile and I’m proud whenever the BC Food Services team is providing catering, because I know each detail will be taken care of by Penny and Pam. The precious details like beads on mirrors or the Renegade Knight lifted above the display of breakfast pastries… it’s amazing!

Exciting things are happening in Food Services starting next year with a kitchen relocation and addition of a new Renegade food trailer called Gades Grub! The unveiling will take place when the semester kicks back up in 2019 with Spring!

It’s the special things which make the Home of the Renegades a true home-away-from-home. Thank you to Stephanie Stuart, Jennifer Sanderson, Theresa Rodriguez, Penny Loos, Deanna Urias, Chad Martin, Diana Murrell, Mirian Fuentes, Rosa Castro, Clarissa Williams, Shannon Worley, Lupe Wheeler, Michael Brooks, and Maria Gastelum for the beautiful meals, warm lunches, and treats you provide to keep students, faculty, and staff satisfied throughout the day.

Latinas Unidas Ribbon Cutting

Latinas Unidas, BC’s newest student organization, commemorated its first meeting with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday afternoon. Elizabeth Sanchez of South Kern Sol reported on the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the club, which aims to provide resources, promote academic development, participation in community service and a support system for Latina students at BC.

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“We want to provide a space for women to come together and support each other,” Latinas Unidas president Gabriela Gomez said. “I just want to offer students a support network where they feel wanted and included.”

Gomez said she was inspired to start Latinas Unidas when she noticed that many of her classmates were first-generation students who didn’t know how to navigate the college experience. The club offers study sessions and moral support for Latina students, and future plans include a Thanksgiving potluck on November 15 and an event titled “Latte Latinas” during finals week on December 3-7.

Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government

David Krane, Norma Rojas Mora, and Mike G

David Crane, Norma Rojas Mora, and Mike Giacomini

It was a great to be at the “Evening for Kern County” hosted by Kern Citizens on Thursday evening at the Kern County Fairgrounds. Keynote speaker businessman, educator, and policy expert David Crane is a lecturer in Public Policy at Stanford University and president of Govern for California. Crane served as a special adviser to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and from 1979-2003 he was a partner at Babcock & Brown. He also serves as a director of Building America’s Future and formerly served on the University of California Board of Regents and as a director of the California State Teachers Retirement System, Society of Actuaries Blue Ribbon Panel on the Causes of Public Pension Underfunding, and Volcker-Ravitch Task Force on the State Budget Crisis.

Kern Citizens Group Photo

I was very pleased to see the organization honoring Senator Jean Fuller with the Impact Award. The Bakersfield Californian shared the news in their report “WORTH NOTING: Sen. Jean Fuller receives local Impact Award.” The article mentions, “The Impact Award is given out to people who have demonstrated that they are committed to affordable, efficient government, education and economic development in Kern County and have had success in furthering those efforts.”

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McFarland HS welding students and Trustee Romeo Agbalog on the right

The icing and cherry on top for the event was seeing a group of youth from McFarland HS welding program in attendance who designed and produced the award presented to Senator Fuller. It’s always a great day to support community leadership including KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog who also serves at the Executive Director of Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government.

Scholarships at BC

Halloween Hands for ScholarshipThe BC scholarship application opened on October 1st and there have been a strong stream of applications coming in bakersfieldcollege.edu/Apply4Money. On Wednesday, October 31st the Scholarship Team will be connecting with students at the Renegade Crossroads from 11:00am-1:00pm and handing out treats and tricks for success. November is National Scholarship Month and on Thursday, November 1st the team will host a National Scholarship Month KICK-OFF Celebration in CSS-151 from 2:00-4:00pm. Students are encouraged to come by for games, prizes, refreshments and most of all help with scholarship related questions. Computers will be available to start the application process. Don’t let it haunt you, apply for scholarships today!

Fun Photos

Last week, I had to chance to meet President of Fresno Pacific Univeristy, Dr. Joseph Jones. You can read about Dr. Jones in the Fresno Bee article “From Pakistan to the Valley

Sonya Christian and FPU President Joseph Jones

Jordaun Bennett, assistant to the President’s Office celebrated her 26th Birthday this week! Happy Birthday Jordaun!

Jordaun Bennetts 26th Birthday

I was also interviewed on Thursday by BC Student, Francis Benavente for his podcast. I suspect it will come out in the coming weeks so stay tuned to find out what makes me the happiest and luckiest college president ever!

Sonya Christian, Francis Benavente

Math Professor, Patrick Serpa was interviewed earlier this week on Lotto fever! Check out the video snippet here!

Serpa

Professor Serpa being interviewed on lotto statistics and probability!

Deans Andrea Thorson and Steve Waller provided AB705 training for counselors and advisors on Monday morning.

Steve Waller and Andrea Thorson leading AB705 Training

Deans Thorson and Waller leading a workshop on AB705

Mary Jo Pasek is ready for Homecoming!!! Are you?

MJ ready for Homecoming

Did you catch the Industrial Automation program on the news?  Swing by and see them at the Homecoming Game!

Supplemental Instruction Program Manager, Eileen Pierce made me the most beautiful custom shirt. Can you read it?!

We are BC

Sonya Christian Eugene Oct 27 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC is Booming with Activities!

Good morning Bakersfield….. It is March 17th, St Patrick’s Day and Neo’s first birthday. 

 

Another week of booming activity at Bakersfield College and each activity so rich and profound in its impact on our students and our community.  Let me start this week’s blog with the Sydney Bound Concert to send our choir to Australia and as Bill Thomas said, get them back.

Sydney Bound Concert

Trustee Kyle Carter and Sonya ChristianI want to recognize Trustee Kyle Carter first and foremost for his support of BC’s choir.  When I approached him a few weeks ago and asked for his help to strategize how we could bridge the gap in funding to get our students to Australia to perform at the Sydney Opera House, he immediately went into action and the result was the March 10th concerts (one at 5:00 p.m. and the other at 7:30) with two amazing musicians Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger, who performed pro bono alongside the BC Chamber Singers to raise the funds.  Kyle opened up the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame venue for this event and along with his wife Kim McAbee-Carter pulled off an incredible concert.

Next I want to thank Monty Byrom who brought out his band to support our students. He also traveled from Fresno to attend the Sterling Silver dinner to promote the March 10th event and then turned around the next day and traveled back.   Just extraordinary.  And then there is the woman with the best voice ever…Lydia Ranger.  When Kyle Carter reached out to her, she unhesitatingly said yes.  And you have got to check out the video at the end of this section of Lydia belting out Bridge Over troubled Water…..  just amazing.

Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrum, Sonya Christian, Jen Garrett

I also want to thank our major sponsors for the evening.

  • Kern Schools Federal Credit Union
  • Deborah & Philip Rosenthal, MD
  • Klein, DeNatale, Goldner Attorneys At Law
  • Rick & Lorie Kreiser & Guitar Masters
  • Ken & Pam Byrum
  • An anonymous donor

These two pictures were taken at the Sterling Silver.  Steve Renock of Kern Schools and Ken and Pam Byrum.

Here are photos of Debby Rosenthal,  Jay Rosenlieb of Klein Denatale Goldner, and Rick Kreiser.

And to the anonymous donor…..

 

Bakersfield College itself was in full force at the concert. This incredible evening was full of great music, friends, BC family, and fun. Thank you to all who came out to support our talented BC Chamber Singers in their dream to perform at the Sydney Opera House. Bakersfield is a community that makes dreams a reality! What an incredible and fun way to make this happen for our students.

Debby Rosenthal, Steven Holmes and Meg Stidham; Grace Comisso, Maria Wright and Jamal Wright.

Thank you to the BC team who worked to make this happen: Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Manny Mourtzanos, Jennifer Garrett, Jerry Ludeke, Michelle Pena, and Tom Gelder.

Thank you Tonya Davis and her husband, Chris and Nancy Hine, John and Julie Means from the District Office for coming out to this BC event.

Thank you to the deans who should up in full force.

Steve Waller and Andrea Thorson; Sonya Christian and Steve Waller

Was happy to see my friends Arlene and Lauro Braganza who love music and support our BC Chamber Singers; Karen Thompson and Pat Thompson who are strong supporters of BC.

Steven and Lori Holmes, Khushnur and Zav Dadabhoy, Bob Allison and Manny Mourtzanos

Steve and Lori Holmes, Khushnur and Zav Dadabhoy, Bob Allison, Manny Mourtzanos

Michelle Pena helped with selling the tickets and here she is with her whole family

 

Some more pictures….

 

Love this picture of Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrom and Jennifer Garrett rehearsing.

Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrom, Jennifer Garrett

Endee Grijalva snapped this great pic of our Early College Program Students from Arvin High School. Equity paid for their attendance and transportation to the event. We also had a group of Adult Ed Students able to attend via equity as well. Abel Guzman, Director, Delano Campus and Rural Initiatives said “This was a huge team effort, including Arvin HS. Ed Watts, the Principal, has been extremely supportive of the early college program.”

Sydney Bound - Early College Program

Steven Daniels, professor at CSUB uploaded beautiful photos from the evening on his facebook. Check them out here!

Jill Burdick performing Ron Kean’s Carry me Home

Monty Byrom, Lydia Ranger and the BC Chamber Singers did a phenomenal job with Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah is one of my favorite songs.  Composed in the late 1980s when I first got to the United States as a foreign student the song was not an immediate hit but then gained popularity later.  Beautiful blend of rock, pop and gospel music….. I love it.  Let’s listen to Monty Byrom and Ken Burdick perform it.

 

Dolores: Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother.

s18huerta01-x2To celebrate the upcoming television premiere of the documentary “Dolores: Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother”, Dolores Huerta and her family came to the Levan Center on Monday night to answer questions about the work she’s done as a community organizer for over 50 years. BC’s Olivia Garcia and Tina Mendoza gave a brief introduction about the Huerta family before hosting a screening of “Dolores”, which premieres on PBS’ Independent Lens March 27th.  (Btw, doesn’t Olivia look absolutely gorgeous and happy in this picture?)

The Levan Center was so full that many audience members had to sit on the floor to enjoy the documentary, which is executive produced by Carlos Santana.

Dolores

“Dolores” tells the story of how Huerta co-founded the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez to advocate for the rights of immigrant laborers, rekindling a nationwide sense of pride and identity in the American Latino community in the process. The film goes on to discuss Huerta’s history with the feminist movement, being beaten and hospitalized by a police officer in 1988, repairing the fractured relationship with her 11 children, and eventually leaving the UFW to help found a non-profit foundation in her name.
After the film, Dolores and four of her children walked into the Levan Center to a standing ovation, answering audience questions about the film and the Foundation’s current work advocating for Latinos in rural Kern County. Some of the Foundation’s recent successes include winning a lawsuit to redraw Kern County’s voting districts to secure a second Latino-majority district on the Board of Supervisors, as well as using the Foundation’s youth programs to develop political leaders from the local Latino community, including Jose Gurrola, the 23-year-old mayor of Arvin.

left to right: Emilio Huerta, Juanita Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Camila Chavez and Lori de Leon

left to right: Emilio Huerta, Juanita Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Camila Chavez and Lori de Leon

Other participants on the panel included Emilio Huerta, a lawyer who ran for Congress against David Valadao in 2016; Camila Chavez, Executive Director of the Dolores Huerta Foundation; Lori De Leon, Business Manager for the Dolores Huerta Foundation; and Juanita Chavez, Communications and Media Coordinator for the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

Dolores Screening
Dolores’ children didn’t get to spend much time with their mother growing up since she was so busy traveling around the country as a political activist, but they all said that they now understand the value of the sacrifices they had to endure in order to provide opportunities on behalf of all Latinos, and they’re inspired by their mother’s determination every single day.

Dolores and Olivia Garcia
Several BC faculty and staff were in attendance at the documentary screening, including Dean Cornelio Rodriguez, who shook Dolores’ hand at the end of the event, as well as nursing professor Noelia Citialin, who is Dolores’ granddaughter. I loved seeing Jay Tamsi in the room as well.

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I’d like to thank PBS, the Levan Center, Olivia Garcia, Tina Mendoza and everyone who helped organize this event.  Happy to see Jay Tamsi in this picture.  Dolores Huerta needs to be well known even outside of the San Joaquin Valley, and hopefully this documentary spreads the word about one of the greatest labor organizers of the 20th and 21st centuries.

See all the photos at BC’s SmugMug.

 

Spring Serenade Concert Band/Orchestra

Dr. Kathryn Kuby and the BC Concert Band/Orchestra held their Spring Serenade concert last night. This amazing concert featured ensembles performing music of varying styles and five very talented student soloists performing solo works with orchestral accompaniment. The following student soloists performed:

Sebastian Lee & Cheyenne Toussaint, Double Cello Concerto in G minor, RV 531, I (Vivaldi) Jaison Miles, Clarinet Concerto No. 3 in B-flat, I (Stamitz) Aflredo Ramirez, Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E♭ Major, Op. 74, J. 118, I (Weber) Matthew Rose, Concerto in One Movement for Tuba and Orchestra (Alexey Konstantinovich Lebedev, Arranged by Allen Ostrander)

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Admin Council

The work of the college is continuous and inspirational. On Monday, Admin Council gathered to recap and update each other on important campus happenings such as Testing and Placement Program Review, led by Kalina Hill and upcoming Registration Days, led by Steve Watkin.  A wonderful presentation was given by  Dr. Maria Wright on BC’s Academic Support Services highlighting all that we’ve done in previous years and where these services are headed.

National Walkout Day

While high school students around the country took a stand on Wednesday to raise awareness of gun violence, several BC students also held a short march on campus in solidarity with them. The march was held for 17 minutes, each minute representing a life that was lost during the Parkland, Florida school shooting in February.

Emmanuel Limaco of BC’s M.E.Ch.A. organization gave some brief remarks before leading the group through a triangular march between the Campus Center, Center for Student Success and Science and Engineering building. Each point represented Bakersfield, Sacramento, and Washington, DC, respectively.

“Our parents did not raise us to be afraid of going to school,” Limaco said. “We should never have to live in a world where school shooting is a reality.”

Pi Day

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Computer Science professor Eddie Rangel hosts a booth about BC’s Computer Studies program during the Pi Day celebration in the Science and Engineering Courtyard.

The Bakersfield College STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) Completion Coaching Team and the BC Math Club partnered in the first STEM Celebrates Pi Day event on March 14, 2018 (National Pi Day). The event celebrated the number Pi, 3.14159…. with free pizza Pi and fruit Pi for more than 200 students who attended. Students visited tables with various STEM-related activities to earn tickets towards prize drawings for BC swag, graphing calculators, and (of course) pies!

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At exactly Pi 3/14 1:59 pm, faculty devoted to Pi got a pie in the face: (from left to right) Dr. Scott Peat (Biology), Dr. Joe Saldivar (Biology), Mr. Arnie Andrasian (Math). Dr. Kenward Vaughan (Physical Sciences), and Dr. Jon Brown (Math Club Advisor). It was a fun event with lots of useful information for students about tutoring services, supplemental instruction, counseling, and financial aid. The team is now back to planning more STEM events for this year and next year!

Dr. Joe Saldivar even has a fantasatic video on his twitter @DrJoeBio! Check it out here.

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Global Connections

The International Student Organization (ISO) hosted several booths at the lawn in front of Counseling on Tuesday, educating students about all of the different cultures represented at BC.

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Booths at the ISO’s Global Connection event were hosted by students and featured information about each of their home countries. Students played acoustic guitar and electric drums in the lawn, and several women wore traditional Mexican dresses while handing out chips and salsa.

The ISO also held a special dinner on Tuesday evening in the Fireside Room honoring the faculty and staff who work every day to make BC an inclusive space for international students. And the fabulous Manuel DeLosSantos took a beautiful photo of the food provided by BC Food Services.

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Shafter Learning Center

David Franz, Shafter Education Partnership Director, gave a presentation to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday morning talking about the Shafter Learning Center’s classes at BC.

During a discussion about the success of the Shafter Learning Center as part of the Supervisors’ series of informational sessions about education and workforce development, Franz mentioned the addition of psychology and sociology courses at the Shafter Learning Center, which is located inside the Shafter library. KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog, representing the organization Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government, also gave a public comment at the meeting praising the intergovernmental approach Franz has adopted with the Shafter Learning Center, bridging partnerships between local government, school boards and BC to provide tutoring and education to Shafter residents. Agbalog was also excited about the reduced commute that classes in Shafter offer for people in Wasco, who otherwise might have to drive to the Delano Center for classes, as well as Northwest Bakersfield residents who live closer to Shafter than the Panorama campus or BC Southwest.

Dr. Fontes Presents

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Dr. Patrick Fontes presents in Delano

On Wednesday, March 14 the Bakersfield College Delano Campus hosted Dr. Patrick Fontes of CSU Fresno.  Dr. Fontes earned his PhD in History from Stanford University and visited the Delano Campus to offer a presentation on his oral history project, “Chicano Legacy of Fresno County,” funded by California Humanities. A fourth-generation Fresnan, Patrick’s presentation offered students and faculty an overview of Mexican American history in Fresno county, as well as highlighted oral history interviews with local Mexican Americans involved in the Chicano civil rights movement in Fresno since the 1960s—including Dr. Lea Ybarra of John Hopkins University and the Smithsonian Center for Latino Studies.  Other highlights from the presentation included the history of the Ku Klux Klan in Fresno County, as well as the process of doing archival research and oral history.  Delano Faculty member Dr. Chris Cruz-Boone attended with her Communication students and will be designing place-based pedagogy and assignments dealing with local history in Delano and the surrounding rural communities.  “The overall goal of Digital Delano,” remarked History Professor and NEH Project Director Oliver Rosales, “is for students and faculty to examine more closely the rich histories of the San Joaquin Valley.

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More information about Dr. Fontes’s project can be found at www.chicanolegacy.com.

This event was sponsored by Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (C.H.A.P.), and Social Justice Institute of Bakersfield College.

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Pictured above is Dr. Oliver Rosales, Professor of History, Coordinator, Social Justice Institute at Bakersfield College, and Project Director, Digital Delano, Dr. Patrick Fontes, Lecturer of History at Fresno City College and Fresno State, Elisabeth Sundby, MLIS, MBA Adjunct Librarian at BC Delano and Project Co-Director, Digital Delano, and Dr. Christine Cruz-Boone, Professor of Communications at Bakersfield College.

KCHCC Spotlighted in Renegade RIP

The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHCC) is looking for high school and BC students to apply for their annual Energy and Agriculture Academy. Student reporter Miranda Defoor of the Renegade Rip wrote about the Energy and Agriculture Academy in an article published last Sunday. BC is hosting all five sessions for the academy, which is a partnership between KCHCC, Aera and Chevron to prepare students for careers in STEM and Agriculture. Such great news about incredible partnerships in the community!

Renegade Softball

REnegade SoftballThe Renegade softball team is one of the ten best in the state, according to an article published Thursday by Jon Mettus in the Bakersfield Californian.
The team is 17-4 going into today’s double-header against LA Valley College, on the heels of a six-game winning streak. Three of their losses are against the top-ranked College of San Mateo and Cypress College, as well as seventh-ranked Santiago Canyon College.
The Renegades’ success is propelled by the arm of freshman pitcher Kylee Fahey, who leads all California community colleges in strikeouts, and McKenna Valencia, who leads the team with a .448 batting average and 21 RBI.

Check out “Bakersfield College softball ranked Top-10 in state” at the Bakersfield Californian.

Also check out “BC jumps out early, hangs on late in win over LA Mission” at the Bakersfield Californian. 

Save the Date – Air Force Band

We’re excited to announce that the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West will be performing at BC once again on June 26th. Stationed in Travis Air Force Base in the Bay Area, the USAF Band of the Golden West has performed for an estimated 1.5 million people, according to their website, playing an exciting brand of marching band music for air force bases, recruiting squadrons, Bay Area sporting events and NASCAR races.
We’ll be serving dinner in the Fireside Room that evening before the USAF Band of the Golden West performs in the Indoor Theater. Seeing this extremely talented band is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we’d love everyone in the community to be a part of it. Stay tuned for more information about this event as we get it finalized.

Last years event was a true hit!

Achieving the Dream Team

This week, we hosted Achieving the Dream in the BCSGA Boardroom on Wednesday to have a conversation with BC leadership about how we can improve educational access for our students and close the achievement gap. Achieving the Dream is dedicated to finding data-driven solutions to serving low-income students, students of color and other historically underrepresented student populations. BC has been a member of the program since 2013, and we’ve used their guidance and framework to initiate programs such as Summer Bridge, Multiple Measures and the Student Financial Empowerment Project.

Truth: Objective, Invented, Esteemed? – Gadfly Cafe

It was nice to see around 100 students, staff and faculty attend this month’s Gadfly Cafe. Everyone was invited to bring their lunch to Levan Center on Wednesday, March 14, for a lively round table discussion on timely issues.

Thank you Reggie Williams, Philosophy Faculty, for leading this lively discussion and raising the question of what is truth, and how we verify it. Seeing the students engage about their “true” beliefs and discovering that they may not be true, struggling to define the tangibility and verifiability of truth, and critically thinking about the impacts on religion, society and their own beliefs and morality is a testament to Reggie being the well deserved recipient of the 2017 Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award.

Gadfly1It was also nice to see Jerry Ludeke, Archives, Andrew Bond, English Faculty, Pete LeGrant and Anna Poetker, Philosophy Faculty, in attendance. We are truly fortunate to have such valuable learning experiences on our campus. The next Gadfly Cafe, Beauty: The Pursuit, Privileges, and Pressures will be held on Wednesday, April 11 at 12:30 in the Levan Center.

Greenfield School District

I shared photos in last weeks blog about the work some BC faculty and students have been involved in with Greenfield School District. You can read more about it in my post “Inspirational Speakers, Visitors, and Guests on Campus.”  Chris Benker gave a skateboard demo this week and next week, they’ll visit the Planetarium. Thank you to Chris Benker, Daniel Ahn, Steven Tavoni, Deborah Rosenthal, and Kenward Vaughan.

Economic Summit

The Kern County Economic Summit is an annual program featuring economists and business leaders who provide valuable information designed to educate and broaden perspectives on international, national, and regional economies. This week, BC was well represented. Photographed below is Mayor Karen Goh with BC’s Billie Jo Rice, Anthony Cordova, and Jason Dixon. 

Kern County Economic Summit

Patricia Flores

One of our BC graduates with an AA in Human Services sent a small write up detailing her experience interning with Human Services. Patricia Flores received the National award of “2017 Dementia Care Professional of the Year”  with ADAKC .  Her recognition is quite impressive and such an honor for our past student-intern and graduate.  In her note, she said

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Patricia Flores with DCPA Award

My name is Patricia Flores. I have been working in the human services field for 13 years. I currently work for Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County (ADAKC). I was honored to receive a national recognition of 2017 Dementia Care Professional of the year from Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

My journey started at Bakersfield College Human Services Internship Program. It was during the internship experience that I realized my strengths, weaknesses, and desire to find a passion in my career.

The Human Services internship helped me to narrow my career selection in Human Services field. At first I thought that I wanted to work with children. During one of the human services classes, a professor showed the class pictures of neglected children that gave me sad feelings and realized my weakness of being incapable to with neglected and abused children. I returned to class feeling that I needed to research other careers in the human services field. My first internship was in 2004 at ADAKC assisting with the daycare program with clients affected with Alzheimer’s Disease and related Dementias. First time working with Seniors and enjoyed it very much. My second internship was assisting in the payee program from Around The Clock. Being close to graduating and finishing up the internship, I was offered a job at the Payee program. After 4 years, applied in a case manager position at Around The Clock to get experience in Social Work while attending CSUB.

IMG_3405It was during my job as a Social Worker that I realized I had a passion to work with seniors. While working as a full time Social Worker, I completed my Bachelor’s in Science at University of Phoenix with a more flexible schedule. In 2011, I was hired at ADAKC as Director of Family Services Program assisting seniors, early on set clients, caregivers and family members in the journey of Alzheimer’s Disease and related Dementias. It was then that I also realized that I returned to my first internship and it has been 7 years working a ADAKC.  ADAKC continues to be a site for students from Bakersfield Human Services Internship Program to complete internship opportunities. Having the experience in completing the Human Services Program, I am able to give back to the program in assisting and training students in the skills they need for their Human Services Career.

I am very grateful to my professors from the Human Services Internship Department. I hope that my journey and experience may assist and encourage students in the field of human services career to find their passion in their jobs. Because working in the career of your desire with passion you will all find success and happiness.”

Loved reading her story and I’m so proud to share it with you. Thank you Patricia for your service to others. #WeareBC!

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Renee Hernandez. Past BC intern and now employed with ADAKC, Lynn Knaggs, BC Human Services Program Coordinator, Jacqueline Hernandez, Current BC Human Services Intern, Patty Flores, Director of Family Services at the Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County, Maria Silva, Current BC Human Services Intern

Jack Hernandez

It’s always a joy to see Jack Hernandez in the Community Voices section. You can also read it online here.

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ACCJC Commission Development Workshop (CDW)

I spent much of the week in San Diego at an ACCJC meeting.  The commission meets once a year in development and we bring in individuals from the field to work with us during some of the sessions.  This year we had President Kindred Murillo and Chancellor Constance Carroll join us for the opening session of the CDW.  You see them here is the picture along with Raul Rodriguez, Chair of ACCJC, Richard Winn, President of ACCJC, and Gohar Momjian, Vice President.

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Sonya Christian, Kindred Murillo, Raul Rodriguez, Richard Winn, Constance Carroll, Gohar Momjian

 

Then we had a “student achievement” data presentation and discussion with Darla Cooper and Craig Hayward.  It was very informative.

Loved this picture of Jared Spring, Jessica Dreier, and Cheri Sixbey.

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And this picture of Gohar Momjian and Stephanie Droker.

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I am so glad that I managed to squeeze in time to walk the waterfront that is oh so beautiful.

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Sonya Christian Dec 11 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

 

Launching Fall 2016 to Build A Better BC!

Good morning Bakersfield.  Today is Saturday, August 20th, the day after my grandmother Hilda Sparrow’s b’day and two days after BC’s Opening Day.  Hilda Sparrow, Nana as I called her, was born in 1908 — that would make her a 5-year-old in 1913 when leaders here is Bakersfield launched the first community college in Kern County, Bakersfield College.  Last night when mom and I were out for our evening walk, rather late yesterday because of going to the new release of the 1959 epic movie Ben Hur, we enjoyed the fabulous moon and talked about Hilda Sparrow. Nana, this blog is for you!

Back to Ben-Hur, the music done by Hungarian composer and pianist Miklós Rózsa is just wonderful.  Here it is on Youtube.  See if you enjoy it as much as I do.

 

 

Opening Day 2016

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It’s been an eventful, exciting, and super-hot Bakersfield summer leading up to one of my favorite times of the year – Fall.   And this week at BC, we gathered to celebrate Opening Day kicking off our monumental fall semester of 2016.

Our faculty, staff, and administration look forward to seeing the halls filled with students and our campus brimming with activity. Our campus comes alive when the students are present – after all, they are the center and the inspiration for all we do.

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Chef Eric Sabella and his team prepared a bountiful, delicious, and healthy lunch of fresh salads and a selection of different wraps. It’s always a treat when we gather together as the whole BC staff to enjoy lunch (or any kind of food, really) together.

In a special way, I’d like to recognize folks who spent the last several weeks preparing for opening day.

 

Our fantastic team of ushers –  Chris Glaser (lead) –  Somaly Boles – June Charles
Heather Barajas – Isbael Casteneda – Bernadette Martinez – Jacki O’Bannon Strong
Felicia Scott – our wonderful students

Contributors to the content of the program – Kate Pluta – Nan Gomez-Heitzberg – Zav Dadabhoy –  Bill Potter – Lesley Bonds –  Steve Waller –  Nicky Damania

The M&O team – Ramon Puga – Rachell Morehouse – Jason Brown

Our video, media and technical team – Manuel De La Santos –  Kristin Rabe – Kevin Ganger

Our graphics and printing – Dylan Wang

My creative writing partner – Monika Scott

And the two women who are complete rockstars – Shannon Musser and Jennifer Marden

 The program followed lunch and almost every seat in the Indoor Theater was filled. The sea of familiar faces and red Renegade pride gets me every time. It’s an incredible sight to see and I hope you’ll check out some of the photos if you couldn’t be there in person.

Our BCSGA President, Matthew Frazer took the stage introducing himself and welcoming everyone to the celebration. He spoke as a true leader of our next generation:

IMG_6313Knowing how my life has been impacted, I felt a calling to serve for the greater good. Last spring, impacted me in two life altering ways that I am grateful for… finally be wedded to my girlfriend of three years, and to announce my candidacy for BCSGA President.  I am happy to report I survived both this summer, so far. I’m still married and expecting, and I am standing before you as the 2016-2017 Bakersfield College Student Government Association (BCSGA) President. I am Matthew Frazer.

This year, my goal is for us to be more visible and vocal on campus. We hope to achieve this goal by hosting an array of events all year long and by doing so we wish to inspire others to be just as equally impactful.”

I can’t wait to see what our incredible student body has in store this year – it is a great time to be a Renegade.

This fall, we will see the great work of our excellent departments come to life. Enrollment is booming, students are excelling, and we have our first set of history making juniors in the industrial automation baccalaureate program at BC!

As of today, Saturday August 20th, there are exactly 80 days till our community decides on the investment and outcome of Measure J so it was fitting that during Opening Day, we revisited the innovative history and evolution of BC’s ground breaking past.  Together let’s build…A Better BC.  We will have the State of the College posted next week.

Our story began in 1913 and took a gigantic leap in the 50’s as we claimed a campus of our own, moving to Panorama Drive. Today, 50 years later, we continue to dream big because BC’s tale isn’t over. Our campus gives life to the endless opportunities for future generations and along with our students. We’re writing the next chapter and it’s up to us to direct the story.

Here is the conclusion from the State of the College:

We live in an era of viral soundbites and tweets rather than one of comprehensive and detailed discussion. But let us not be reluctant to tell our story, openly and honestly; boldly in all its detail; and in all its glory.

Let’s joyfully shout out the BC story from the roof tops for the next 82 days and beyond.

Let us use Twitter….Facebook… Instagram and Snapchat.

Can we get 82 pieces of writing in the community voices section of the Californian? Every day from now until November 8th. We are BC and we are a Jewel of Kern County.

 We will continue to balance bold new directions with elegance and poise. We will continue to encourage punctual completion with gentle compassion and strong support. We see the face, heart, and brilliant mind of each individual student in the crowd of thousands and our mission is as important as it’s ever been.

I’m proud to say the state of Bakersfield College has never been stronger

Just like in 1913 – Just like in the 50s –

Now, in 2016, we stand together to write the next chapter of BC’s story….

Together, let’s build…A Better BC

WE are BC!

We had great presenters during the 4-hour plenary including the stretch breaks to support our Wellness core value.  Here are some pictures:

 

Our day continued with presentations by employee groups and a community panel. Thank you to Mike Turnipseed, Olivia Garcia, Karen Goh, and JP Lake – your words, voice, and wisdom will resonate with us this fall semester. Thank you for your involvement and for being a voice of the community!

Community Panel Opening Day Aug 18 2016

 

Community Panel 2We welcomed all the new faculty to our roster and concluded our indoor presentation with faculty awards and recognition. Congratulations to Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award recipient, Kenward Vaughn, Margaret Levinson Faculty Leadership Award recipient, Jennifer Johnson, and recipient of this year’s Norm Levan Faculty Colloquium, Anna Poetker.

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What makes this year one for the history books, besides our record setting enrollments and student success accomplishments, is our upcoming date of November 8th.  But what makes this year one that I’m so proud to be a part of right now – right here – today, and in the present – is the fantastic people who make up Bakersfield College. Your energy, your smiles, your laughter, your involvement in our Opening Day stretch breaks, your willingness to stand and be recognized makes a lasting impact on me – and encourages me as President of BC each and every day.  Thank you colleagues.  We Are BC!

 

 New Student Convocation

What an amazingly spirited experience, right after Opening Day on Thursday night introducing new student Renegades and their families to the BC community!

As soon as students walked towards the Outdoor Theatre they were greeted by the Bakersfield College Student Government Association, received welcome packets and enjoyed food and refreshments before the start of the event.

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Chef Eric Sabella and the food services team are just phenomenal!

Chef Eric kicked off the ceremonies with a wonderfully delicious chili & cornbread meal with the perfect blend of spices. His team set the stage for the evening of excellence as the cheerleaders, faculty, and staff paraded down the stairs with the accompaniment of the BC Drumline, in celebration and commitment to the incoming freshmen.

The BC Chamber Singers, directed by Dr. Jennifer Garrett, performed a breathtaking piece by Scott Farthing entitled “Come Travel with Me.” With references to Walt Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road”, the piece encourages the young spirit to explore the journey of life. Jen, you are the best!

Our drumline and cheer leaders were just awesome!  Prof Becky Whitson was in great form….loved her energy and style.  And she did not lose it when she was introduced as a sociology faculty rather than a psychology faculty 🙂  And thank you Tom Moran for these wonderful photos!

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Renegade students, their families, faculty, staff, and administration all joined in taking oaths to support the incoming student renegades in their commitment to academic success as we all join together to make BC a better place of higher learning.

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Student Life Director Nicky Damania was very busy putting on such a wonderful event.

In talking with the students and their families at the event, I met a family that traveled a few hours to meet the staff, faculty, and students. They have an incoming freshman starting on Monday that was not able to attend the event; however, they wanted to meet the school community that would help cultivate their son’s educational experience. They expressed comfort in knowing that the entire campus community is invested in the success of their son. Even though he will have to leave home to pursue his academic goals, they are confident that he will be looked after and supported. That is the core of our work!

I want to thank CJ for teaching me how to sign We Are BC and Nan for prompting it.

Was very proud of all the Convocation Speakers — Steven Holmes, Academic Senate President; Mathew Frazer, SGA President; Manny Mourtzanos, Dean of Instruction; Corny Rodriguez, Dean of Instruction; Chief Chris Counts, Director of Public Safety. And of course the emcee for the evening.  The fabulous Nicky Damania.

Sonya_CaraThis shows how the faculty and staff  are important in helping our students excel at BC and in life and demonstrating what it means to be student and what it means to be a Renegade. Thank you everyone who showed up for this event, even in the heat, and helping make this tradition a meaningful experience for our students.

I also got a chance to take a selfie our student Cara Jackson, who does fabulous work taking photos for my blog! I’m so glad to share a photo of the young woman behind the camera with all of you.

Matthew Garrett’s Making Lamanites

MakingLamanites.pngI’m excited to share that Matthew Garrett’s award winning book Making Lamanites will be released next month. It is the winner of the Juanita Brooks Prize in Mormon Studies for it “traces student experiences within contested cultural landscapes to reveal how and why many of these Native youth adopted a notion of Indianness.”

Donald L. Fixico from Arizona State University says, “Using historical themes of colonization, assimilation, and identity, Matthew Garrett presents an extraordinary revelation of indigenous resilience among 50,000 native students during the second half of the twentieth century. This brilliant exposé advances our understanding of Indian-white relations and it is truly an award-winning book!”

How lucky are we to have such dedicated, interesting, and accomplished professors like Matthew Garrett at BC. Make sure to keep an eye out for details on where you can get this book! We Are BC!
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International Students

Welcoming  F-1 visa students to our college and community is not a new concept; in fact, the arrival  of international students at Bakersfield College has been since the 1970’s, upon the arrival of Filipinos and Cambodians to Kern County.

International students are a vital part of our campus and community. Their attendance at our colleges bring diversity and enrich the college experience for our domestic students who may not otherwise have a chance to travel abroad or experience other cultures.  International students expose both the student body as well as the faculty and staff to different cultures and ideas.

Since 2013, there has been an approximate 30% increase in the enrollment of F-1 visa studentsIMG_7873 every year.  In fact, in Spring 2016, 88 F-1 Visa students representing 26 different countries, joined Bakersfield College. Students from Saudi Arabia are the largest group at 30%; the other 70% come from India, Mexico, Vietnam, Yemen, and Nigeria.

An increase in the number of international students can boost our local economies, create a worldly and diverse student population, and prepare our future generations for a globalized workplace. All international students pay for their American education with personal or family funds.

Thank you Shohreh Rahman for leading this work for the college.

Share Memories:

Loy Salada’s post on the Ice Bucket Challenge from two years ago just popped up on Facebook.  So fun!  Here it is

 

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That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday…..

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya  

The luckiest and happiest college president