What a difficult, active week at the virtual Home of the Renegades as we continue to Shelter in Place and engage with a world coping with COVID-19, the recession, and the horrific public death of George Floyd.
The picture above is from a friend’s garden. These are the Mexican bird of paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima). They bloom when the temperature gets above 90.
Renegade Baseball Pitcher Sends Caring Note To Bakersfield PD
Through social media and television we have seen many protests around the country, and our community has been no different. After one of this week’s protests in downtown Bakersfield, the Bakersfield Police Department shared a photo of a card that a ‘black teen’ had given one of the BPD officers earlier that evening.
We soon found out that ‘black teen’ was none other than one of our Renegade Baseball student athletes, PJ Roberts. PJ is a pitcher and has been on the team the last two years. While PJ did not share this card with the officer to be recognized publicly, we are beyond proud of his actions to bridge the gap at this critical point in time. Way to be the change you wish to see in the world, PJ! #StudentTeacher
Good morning Bakersfield It is Saturday, June 6, 2020 – a great day to be a Renegade.
I’d like to start off this week with a video I saw from Trevor Noah, who hosts The Daily Show. In it, he talks about how different events are connected and knock into each other like dominoes, causing a great wave.
#LightACandle: A Juneteenth Celebration
On the heels of the recent death of George Floyd and mass unrest across the country, Bakersfield College will host a two week conversation and virtual celebration leading up to June 19 or “Juneteenth,” a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
I believe that in the 50 years since King asked this question – What is it that America has failed to hear? We have made enormous progress that we can and should be proud of. But we need to hear what George Floyd’s Memorial Day death – and our national reactions to it – are saying. It is a long and painful history, which makes it harder to hear. It is a dark and confusing time, which makes it harder to see how to move forward. But as Bakersfield College Renegades, we owe it to our community, to our veterans, and we each owe it to George Floyd, to join together, listen with humility, and to bring light that can illuminate the way ahead.
In this spirit, I invite you to join Bakersfield College for a two-week series of Juneteenth conversations across multiple platforms to #LightACandle and #ShineALight on the gut wrenching and horrific experiences of our Black brothers and sisters as they go about their business contributing to the economic wellbeing of our community, volunteering to help the neediest in our society, enjoying a family stroll in the neighborhood park with their children. We invite you to listen, learn, engage, and make an action-oriented commitment to speak up, lean in and create an environment that values every human.
Thank you to the leadership of the #LightACandle Juneteenth Planning Team: Steven Watkin, Paula Parks, Tommy Tunson, and Jennifer Achan.
Led by Pastor Oscar Anthony of St. Peter Restoration Community Christian Ministries, and Pastor Ignacio Valdez of New Hope Family Worship Center, with the support of networks such as Kern County Ministers Conference, Kern Leadership Alliance and CityServe, hundreds assembled to acknowledge the pain our community is in, while promoting promote reconciliation healing.
I was grateful to walk alongside Steve Watkin and our BC team in solidarity for #BlackLivesMatter.
#RealTalk on Race with Danny, Reggie, and Julian
On Thursday, June 4, BC launched the first of a series of #RealTalk on Race discussions, hosted by Danny Morrison Media. Over 7000 views in just 3 days!
Danny, always a friend to BC and an ardent supporter of our African American Initiatives and Inmate Scholars program, kicked off the discussion with a reflection on the recent high-profile deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmed Arbery. I was struck by the weight of the dialogue as he recalled a long history of murders of Black men at the hands of those in power… the stories of Philando Castile, Eric Garner, and Emmett Till.
Reggie Bolton, BC professor of kinesiology, and Julian West, director of the Career Ladders Project, described their personal experiences coming to terms with race and racism as Black men. As I listened to Reggie, Julian, and Danny, I felt the enormity of the moment we are in as a nation and the responsibility we have as educators to shine light on these stories. The words of these men – brilliant, courageous, kind hearted, and committed to our students – should strengthen our resolve to work for racial equity at BC and beyond.
The livestream also featured a video from Steve Watkin.
BC in the News: The Bakersfield Californian
The Bakersfield Californian published a great article on BC’s plans to shine light on the ways education can advance justice. Thank you, Ema Sasic, for capturing not only our plans for the weeks ahead, but also the ways BC has been advancing educational equity for Black students through the remarkable work of our African American Initiatives team. I enjoyed reading the highlights of our progress on increasing access and success for our students over the past five years:
Increased overall enrollment of Black students by 45% to more than 1,000 students
Increased first-time Black student enrollment by 72%
Increased Black student enrollment in Early College opportunities by 1,017%
Increased Black student completion of associate degrees by 223%
Umoja students share feelings on recent killings by police
Umoja Community students and faculty gathered virtually to discuss recent killings of African Americans by police. Over the past few weeks, the murders of Ahmad Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have dominated the news. Repeated exposure to lynching is traumatizing.
Floyd’s murder, captured on video and widely circulated, has ignited pain and anger in the Black community and resulted in protests nationwide. The Umoja Community – a program designed for African-American students that includes coursework, mentoring, academic and cultural trips, and counseling support to keep students on track to graduate – routinely provides space for students to share and process their lived experiences.
Students said this latest incident feels different from other police murders captured on camera because of what the video shows: Floyd was handcuffed when he was pushed onto the pavement. You observe the officer rather nonchalantly with his hands in his pocket and with his knee on Floyd’s neck. Over 8 minutes and 46 seconds, you see Floyd plead for his life and call out “Mama,” then slowly lose consciousness and die. Three officers watch and the crowd shouts out that “he ain’t moving.” It seemed to students the most extreme example of police abuse and of an undeserved, agonizing death.
In addition, Floyd evokes Eric Garner’s words, “I can’t breathe” sixteen times. This painful revisit of the 2014 New York case is a reminder as one student put it that “the deaths keep increasing.” The police aren’t charged or convicted even with video evidence, which emboldens police, students explained, to continue to abuse their power. Black people are re-traumatized with each death, understanding that they are similarly at risk. One student said she felt “numb.” Another reported that she was at “the breaking point.”
Being in the middle of a pandemic and somewhat isolated, they noted, adds to their anxiety because they have fewer outlets while being constantly bombarded with videos of Floyd’s death and mass protests. Students are suffering from a double injury: fears for their basic physical safety from police as well as threats to their physical and mental health from COVID.
Said one student, “racism is our (constant) virus.”
I was happy to see in The Bakersfield Californian this week two pieces from BC faculty and staff lending perspective on how we move forward.
Lesley Bonds, BC’s Director of Student Success & Equity reflected on the significance of Juneteenth in the midst of mass unrest. She calls upon white people to learn to practice anti-racism. Read her suggestions for how people can practice anti-racism HERE.
“Anti-racism is more than simply not acting racist. Anti-racism requires constant vigilance — an unlearning of our conditioned behaviors, beliefs and biases, and constant, intentional, new learning of the ways we can recognize and dismantle racism in ourselves, our community, our institutions, and the systems we navigate daily.”
Nick Strobel, Astronomy professor and Director of BC’s planetarium called upon us to reconcile the “story of American society” with the stories we are reading today in order to give meaning to the popular hashtag #WeAreAllInThisTogether. Read Nick’s piece HERE.
“If American society is to survive, we all need to recognize that an alternate story, that has been told in word and deed for many, many decades at least, has grown more powerful than the shared story of opportunity and equal application of the law… Do we want that? Do we really believe that the shared story on which this nation was founded is not real and can never be real?”
BC launches free immigration clinics
Bakersfield College is partnering with the UFW Foundation to offer Immigration Clinics for BC students, faculty and staff. The next two Clinics are on Tuesday, June 9th, and Thursday, June 25th, from 9 AM to 6 PM. DACA renewals are being prioritized and Fee Assistance is available at this time.
Bakersfield College has been named as one of twenty recipients to receive part of the $24 million Job Corps Scholars Program funding, provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.
This national program serves Job Corps eligible youth by providing free tuition for their first year in the Job Corps Scholars program, career technical training, and intensive personal and career counseling services towards program completion.
Back to College
I wanted to share with you all a story from one of our student Renegades, Martha Lopez. She was left jobless when the Coronavirus pandemic hit, and decided to try out our Back to College program.
“I had just started a new job working at a Distribution Center when the Coronavirus hit. The entire center was shut down and everybody was left without a job, and we didn’t know for how long it was going to last. I started looking for a new job, but then I heard about the Back to College program on TV. I had been going to BC on and off for over several years and always struggled and felt like it was not for me, but I decided to give it one more try. From the start, the counselors helped me with Financial Aid and helped me find classes that were required for my major, and that were also interesting to me. The professors were all very clear from the beginning by telling us exactly what was required, and they were always there when we had questions. I had taken online classes before, but this time was a huge difference. Not only did I get As and Bs in all my classes, but I actually enjoyed them, especially Art which I was not expecting, and I’m excited to keep going in the summer and fall. At first I was only planning on getting my degree in Sociology at BC, but after talking to my counselors and professors, I’ve decided I want to actually transfer to CSUB and go on to become a Substance Abuse Counselor.”
Our Back to College program is still going strong with courses for this summer. Please check it out!
Fun Social Media
Our Admission & Records director, Jackie Lau, earned her Masters degree this year. The Admission & Records department shared a wonderful tribute on Facebook to celebrate her achievement.
Before each day’s celebration, we shared a few videos from throughout the year – including this performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” performed by our BC choir, faculty, staff, and administration:
Student Affairs earned a President’s Leadership Award:
And incoming BCSGA Vice-President Emma McNellis shared her remarks:
Coach Littlejohn Leading The Way Staying Fit During The Pandemic
Our newest Renegade Coach, Coach R. Todd Littlejohn of BC Football is leading the way in showing our campus how to stay fit during the pandemic. Here’s a picture of him doing hang cleans during his CrossFit workout this last week. Details for how the 2020 fall sports season is going to look are still being determined by the CCCAA, but one things for sure – Coach LJ will not be out of breath running up and down those sidelines coaching his team this fall!
Q&A With Sandi Taylor
The Renegade Rip ran an article where Editor-in-Chief Haley Duval interviewed retiring athletic director and softball coach Sandi Taylor. Sandi talked about her greatest memories, proudest accomplishments, what she’ll miss, and what changes she saw during her time at BC. Thank you for the well-written article, Haley, and thank you for your years of service Sandi!
That’s all for now. Until next time. With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
BC hit the ground running in the first month of 2019 with the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Campus Center and the first announcement about Early College. Food Services moved their operation over to the Gym Huddle area, and BC students opened a time capsule from 1955. We also launched an ITV pilot program for our Music B2 class at North High school, and our three Vice Presidents spoke with students at the first BCSGA Power Lunch of the year.
In February BC showed our love for students in rural Kern County with the historic launch of the Early College program in McFarland.
Congressman TJ Cox visited BC as part of his first trip home from Capitol Hill, and Paula Parks participated in a Black History Month panel hosted by the Chevron Black Employees Association. Legendary agricultural scientist and autism advocate Temple Grandin was our Distinguished Speaker for the month, and the Adult Education team brought a new learning center to Wasco.
We celebrated International Women’s Day with Senator Jean Fuller moderating a panel of women leaders throughout Kern County, which included Shannon Grove, Blanca Carvazos, Rosalina Rivera, and Cynthia Giumarra.
The Wonderful Ag Prep Renegades were the first Early College graduates in BC history, and KCCD Trustee Jack Connell toured our robotics and nursing facilities. The students in our LUPE and Project Conexiones groups reached out to students at BHS, and the CTE Team represented our campus at the Kern County Career Expo.
In April, I introduced Shannon Doherty at the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference, which was chaired by BC’s Director of Community Relations, Norma Rojas-Mora. For the first time, dual enrollment students were included in our annual SGA Student Leadership Dinner, and the MEChA club hosted the second annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference in honor of the late Chicano Studies pioneer. We also hosted the Business Pathway Career Expo in front of the library and celebrated our drumline winning a gold medal in the WGI World Championships.
Everything we do at the home of the Renegades is for our students, and we celebrated a record-breaking graduation at Rabobank Arena. Before the main ceremony, we also had pre-Commencement celebrations for Delano Campus graduates, veterans, Early College, African-American students, LGBTQ, and the second graduating class of the Baccalaureate in Industrial Automation program.
Summer is supposed to be a time when the campus slows down, but that wasn’t the case for 2019, as our Dual Enrollment team led by Steve Watkin celebrated its Beautiful Bakersfield Award in Education. Pedro Ramirez presented on AB 40 at the Board of Governors meeting, Steve Flores recruited me for the Media Music Jam, and two of our students were selected as Student Wellness Ambassadors for the California Community College system’s Health and Wellness/Each Mind Matters program.
Assemblyman Rudy Salas presented BC with a $1 million check for the second year in a row, making for $2 million brought in for BC students. BC was honored to receive the Student Success Award for our Guided Pathways at the John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award ceremony hosted by the Board of Governors. Our team joined community leaders at the State of the City Luncheon, and the Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps rehearsed all over campus.
We kicked off the 2019-20 academic year with an inspiring set of Opening Day and New Student Convocation events that featured a performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by the BC Chamber Singers.
Tom Rush and Michael Larson worked diligently to bring Industrial Automation classes to the Delano Campus, and BC hosted the Project Next Step Conference for new and continuing high school students. Later in the month, BC hosted a graduation ceremony for the first group of Inmate Scholars graduates.
In September, we unveiled the BC Launch Pad located at the Weill Institute to support local entrepreneurs, small business owners, and inspired students. The center is a free hub of resources and support for all kinds of practical small businesses needed in Kern County.
Also in September, BC’s AB 540 Team attended the Catalyst Fund Convening in Long Beach, and the Rural Initiatives team updated the Board of Supervisors on the Game Changer grant which establish Early College pathways for Arvin High students.
BC was honored to bring Arun Gandhi to Delano to speak to Early College students and the community. A video below was created by one of BC’s video students, Mario Esquer. Our second Distinguished Speaker for October was Erin Gruwell, an inspirational educator who founded the Freedom Writers’ Diary to help inner-city students see themselves reflected in the classroom. BC also hosted an important conversation about Valley Fever during a symposium by TJ Cox in the Indoor Theater, and the Early College program got special recognition at the Renegade football game against Golden West College.
Educational leaders from across the state convened at the downtown Bakersfield Marriott for the Intersegmental Pathways Symposium, engaging in important conversations about closing the gaps between K-12 education, community colleges and universities to bring 1.1 million new bachelor’s degree graduates to California. The sold out event featured 18 panelists, additional speakers, and our keynote guests Assemblymember Rudy Salas, California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley, Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Newsome, Lande Ajose, and Chief Deputy to State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, Lupita Alcala.
This blog entry also covers BC’s Veteran Services held a care package drop zone for the troops, and BC men’s soccer won its first ever conference championship.
This month we cut the ribbon for the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, the first project funded by Measure J. I recapped this in full in the blog post so please check it out if you missed it earlier this month!
And BC’s Chamber Singers performed with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra as part of the Home for the Holidays Concert… one of my favorite parts of the season.
Blog Bonus: Some All-Time Favs
When looking back at only one post a month from 2019, it sparked my interest to see what other gems I could discover as I flipped through the older pages of my blog. Let’s take a look at some of these all time favorites…
When my blog first started, I didn’t have the slightest clue how it would turn out. Now, here we are about to be in January 2020 with a blog that features the activity and energy on the BC campus weekly. Thank you for following along on the Renegade journey.
My second ever blog post was titled “So… What’s it like being BC’s President?” Well, back then I said…
Being president of Bakersfield College is like being strapped to a rocket at the speed of light.
Sonya Christian, Jan. 9, 2013
I don’t think I can say that part has changed, but being the president of Bakersfield College is a joy and a gift as well. The commitment of BC’s faculty, the passion of our staff, and the overwhelming dedication by BC’s students make me the happiest and luckiest college president ever.
Celebrating BC’s 100th anniversary will live among my highlights at Bakersfield College. So many details went into making the evening one to remember. I fondly remember the many friends of BC who came out to support that evening, even Jean Fuller.
My first Sterling Silver was a fabulous evening showcasing the talent of BC’s culinary arts and agriculture students. Tom Moran took some great photos that night and I still love this one of Jerry Ludeke, Jack Hernandez, and me.
2016 was a yeah full of anticipation, “dreaming big” as mayor Harvey Hall asked us to do, and celebration. Kern County with a vote of 96,589 to 58,155, supported Measure J with 62.42%! Thank you for supporting KCCD and Bakersfield College with the necessary funding to renovate and update our facilities to serve students for the next 50 years.
It would not have been possible without countless volunteers who worked tirelessly on the campaign. Too many names to list individually but each and everyone of you knows who you are. Thank you thank you thank you.
Neo was a handful as a puppy… and who am I kidding? He still is! On May 13, 2017, Neo made his first appearance in my blog and I asked readers to guess his name. To my surprise, Theresa McAllister guessed it the very next day on May 14th in the comments.
Christmas Tree Recyling
With the holidays now in our rear view mirror, I wanted to remind everyone that they can come to BC to get their Christmas trees recycled.
Your Christmas pines are made of organic material that can be easily recycled …. so do your part for the planet and drop your Christmas tree off at the corner of University and Haley before January 17. For a list of all Christmas Tree recycling locations in Kern County, read Stacey Shepard’s article in the Bakersfield Californian.
Fun Photos from Social Media: BC’s TPAC Team
Kalina Hill posted this fun photo of the testing and placement team at BC wishing you a Merry Christmas!
Holiday Family Photos
Engineer Systems & Industrial Technology Holiday Luncheon
Mary Webb made sure to share a photo from the department holiday luncheon.
Back row: Aubrey Priest, Klimt Rigby, Martin Perez Front: Kathy Melson, Mary Webb, Jason Dixon, Lora Larkin.
BC’s William Velasquez is a talented photographer who shared additional photos of the “Renegade Road” here at BC. He wrote:
Perhaps [these photos] will give you the sense of pride I experienced when I was there and to be part of the Renegade Family. GO Gades!!!
Swim Team Testimonial
While we’re all away for break, the student athletes for our spring sports are busy getting ready for their upcoming seasons. Ramon Carreido is a student worker in the Marketing and Public Relations Department who also competes on the Renegade swim team. Here is his testimonial about their intensive training regimen heading into the upcoming swim season.
“Winter training has struck the Bakersfield College swim team. At the beginning of each day, we hit the weight room for about an hour before hopping into the pool for two hours of swimming in 45-degree weather. Don’t worry, the pool is heated. 🙂
Coach Moon is pushing us to be ready for the Western State Conference and California Community College Athletic Association championships. As a second-year swimmer, I’ve learned to “trust the process”, as Coach Moon often says. He is doing everything it takes to make us the best swimmers this school has ever seen, and he challenges us every day to push through set after set. These trainings are important to help develop the most important muscle of the body – the brain. A swimmer’s mental game is just as important, if not more important, than their physical talents.
On New Year’s Eve, we will push through the longest set of the year – the 100×100. After 100 laps of 100 meters, any competitive event will feel like a walk in the park. Preseason training is hard, but it is definitely worth it. When you see your results at the end of the season and compare them against your results at the beginning of the season, you can see how much the training pays off.
The swim team’s first meet is the WSC Preview on February 7 at Ventura College, and we hope to see Renegade fans in force at the Renegade pool for the annual meet at BC on April 4, 2020.
Next Level Renegade
Huge congratulations to Renegade Football’s Justin Harrington for signing to continue his academic and football career at the University of Oklahoma this last week. We couldn’t be more excited for Justin as he will be playing for the Sooners who have an excellent football program currently still in the hunt for the national championship this year. We will miss his contagiously positive attitude and big hits on the football field. Congrats again, Justin!
All-Tournament Player – Dasia Wandick
Our Renegade Women’s Basketball team played up at the Monterey Peninsula College Tournament just before Christmas and Sophomore forward Dasia Wandick was selected to the All-Tournament team. Dasia continues to be a leader in her sophomore year for Coach Dahl and we can’t wait to see how the rest of their season unfolds. Be sure to catch the Renegades in action this season – head to GoGades.com to keep up with their schedule.
Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 2, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.
Women in Leadership
To celebrate the kickoff of Women’s History Month at Bakersfield College, yesterday I hosted a panel discussion on Women in Leadership. California Senator Emeritus and Early College champion, Jean Fuller served as the guest moderator while four esteemed panelists shared their stories, accomplishments, challenges, and more. Thank you to guests Shannon Grove, Republican State Senator, 16th Senate District; Blanca Cavazos, Taft Union High School District Superintendent; Cynthia Giumarra, Local Attorney and minister; and Rosalina Rivera, Delano Union Elementary School District Superintendent for participating on the panel.
The fabulous Manny De Los Santos recorded the event and I hope to have many photos and videos for you in next week’s blog. Stay tuned!
One on One with Robert Price
On Wednesday afternoon, I enjoyed being a guest on One on One with Robert Price, @stubblebuzz . The Bakersfield Californian is a great resource for this community with engaged reporters, like Joseph Luiz who visits BC often and always ensures he has the right info to create the best report possible for the people in our community.
Thank you, Robert, for having me on the show to share with our community the latest on Measure J, BC Southwest, Early College, and education transforming the Central Valley.
Bakersfield College received the 2019 Diversity Champion Award from the California LAW Pathway for its excellence in building the Community College Pathway Program. The awardees were chosen at the California LAW Board of Directors meeting in November and winners were announced to the to the California State Bar and the CPA Advisory Council. Deans Corny Rodriguez and Manny Mourtzanos, and Pre-Law Advisory Council Member Yinka Glover accepted the award on behalf of BC at the Omni Hotel on February 22, 2019.
Bakersfield College is honored to receive the award. I would like to thank the California LAW Pathway for the recognition, as the Pathway to Law Program at BC was designed with innovation and creativity in mind in order to keep Bakersfield College Pathway Students engaged and inspired to achieve success in the law. Congrats to our Pathway to Law program and to our amazing prelaw team including Corny Rodriguez, Christian Zoller, Edward Borgens, Charles Kim, Marilynn Sanchez Avila, and Pearl Urena! I would like to recognize Foothill College President Thuy Nguyen for her statewide leadership in establishing this program.
Finally thank you to the Pathways to Law advisory committee chaired by David Torres. Thank you David for your unwavering commitment to Bakersfield College and our students. Here is the list of the committee members — Adeyinka Glover, Steven Katz, Jeannie Kraybill, Courtney Lewis, Cynthia Loo, James Maddox, Rebecca Murillo, Bathany Peak, Brett Price, H.A.Sala, Robert Tafoya, David Torres (Chair), Alekxia Torres-Stallings.
Celebrating Black History Month
In conjunction with the community organization Harlem and Beyond, Bakersfield College was honored to have Dr. James Chaffers, Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Michigan. Dr. chaffers was the Senior Design Juror for the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial statue in Washington, D.C. See the Bakersfield Californian Article: Bakersfield College celebrates Black History Month.
Gades Grub Grand Opening
Food Services celebrated the launch of the Gades Grub food trailer with a grand opening event in the Gym Huddle on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. The event featured a live DJ, free samples of some of the delicious food that Gades Grub has to offer, and other giveaway prizes. Students were eager to try some of the delectable options that will now be available to them from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Thursday.
BC at Startup Grind Global Conference
BC was represented by Professors Rudy Menjivar and Valerie Robinson at the Startup Grind’s Global Conference in Silicon Valley. This is for startups everywhere, especially the who’s who of the Silicon Valley startup scene. With more than 8,000 individuals, mostly entrepreneurs, venture capital investors, and professional service providers attending the two-day event, the conference provided an environment unlike anything else – a community coming together for invaluable education, connection, and inspiration. The event had a roster of world-class speakers and thousands of entrepreneurs looking to build relationships, and it was great to see that BC was well represented.
Culture of Power
On Valentine’s Day, Daniel Rios, a Ph.D. student in Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego and a BC graduate, shared his passion for researching communities of color in East Bakersfield with BC students and staff. Rios presented research at A Culture of Power: Race, Youth, Labor and Sound in East Bakersfield, 1966-1974, in the Levan Center. The event was organized by commercial music professor Joshua Ottum as part of the Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley grant.
Rios’ presentation began with an overview of race and labor relations in Bakersfield in the early-to-mid 20th Century. Communities of color in Bakersfield were locked into low socioeconomic status via discriminatory housing practices that persisted until the 1970s and forced into low-level employment as farm, sanitation and domestic workers. In 1966 and 1972, black, Chicano and Latino sanitation workers in Bakersfield went on strike to fight for unionization and protest unhealthy working conditions and the dehumanizing way they were treated by white property owners. Protesters were met with heavy resistance by police and organizations such as the White Citizens Council.
At this same time, an often-overlooked music scene was booming around dance halls frequented by communities of color across East Bakersfield. While many music historians have documented the local country music scene known as the Bakersfield Sound, the contributions of doo-wop, soul and R&B groups are rarely discussed in academic circles. Groups from Kern County such as the Paradons, the Montereys, and Little Ray Jimenez were recording Billboard Top 40 hits while performing in local venues such as Salon Juarez and Fraternity Hall.
The majority of the groups, such as The Original Souls, were multicultural, composed of a mixture of Filipinos, Latinos and blacks. In 1969, the Original Souls beat out country and psychedelic rock bands to win a Battle of the Bands competition at Lake Ming attended by approximately 4,000 people.
After Rios’ presentation, Johnny Gomez of the Paradons and Original Souls bassist Billy Haynes, who went on to perform with Tina Turner and Lou Rawls, performed a few songs in the Levan Center and talked about their history in what is commonly referred to as the East Bakersfield Sound. “There was a lot of oppression in our town back then,” Haynes said. “We made people feel proud of our community.”
Thank you Daniel Rios for sharing his important research on the intersection of labor relations and music in Kern County, as well as Joshua Ottum and the Energizing Humanities cohort for organizing this event and Reggie Williams for the use of the Levan Center.
The Girl who Smiled Beads: Clementine Wamariya
On Thursday, Distinguished Speaker Clementine Wamariya gave several speeches in the Levan Center, sharing the powerful story of traveling through 9 different countries as a refugee to escape the Rwandan genocide.
Wamariya read from her memoir The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After, which was written during a major crossroads in her life. She was several years removed from the traumatic experience of fleeing the genocide with her sister at the age of 6, living in refugee camps and illegally crossing borders to seek freedom in the United States before being reunited with her parents on an episode of “Oprah”. In 2014, she had returned to Rwanda to attend an event in a soccer stadium where the history of Rwanda and the genocide was being re-enacted and memorialized, and she was so triggered by the memories that the re-enactment brought out that she had to immediately leave and fly back to the United States. She listened to Nina Simone’s cover of “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles on repeat and cried the whole way home, and the message of that song inspired her to write her memoir.
“I had lived opposite lives,” Wamariya said. “I had everything and nothing. I could stay anywhere in the world, but I didn’t have a home.” She continued, “I felt like that song was burning me, but I realized that if I could bear the sun, and my people could bear working in the sun, that it could be a source of strength.”
Wamariya spent five years researching her life and past with an investigative journalist to write “The Girl Who Smiled Beads,” which became a New York Times bestseller upon its release in 2018. The book talks about the lessons that she learned as a young child from her mother, a devout Catholic who imparted the value of sharing everything, never taking more than what you need, and having reverence for fruits, plants and the Earth. To this day, Wamariya likes to ask the question, “What fruit are you?” The answer reveals a lot about where someone comes from and how they view themselves, and driving through the farms of the Central Valley helped her relate to this area as a place of sharing, where fruits and vegetables are spread across the world.
When the genocide happened, Wamariya went to live with her grandparents and eventually ended up in a refugee camp, where people had to wait in line to eat corn and walk six hours for water. When she eventually decided to flee and cross the first of 8 borders to escape the horrors of war, she thought that she would have to jump over a chasm in the ground to get from one country to the other. Instead, time and distance passed and she didn’t even realize that she was in another country. Borders aren’t even real,” Wamariya said with tears in her eyes. “The Earth is the only thing that’s real, and everything else is made up.”
Wamariya pleaded for attendees of her presentations to be motivated by joy and not by fear, for when someone is motivated by joy, they realize that they don’t have to take someone else’s joy to experience it for themselves, and they’ll never believe that they have to take someone’s life to maintain their joy.
Since her appearance on “Oprah” in 2006, Wamariya has gone on to receive a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Comparative Literature from Yale University and serves on the boards of Women for Women International and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Thank you Olivia Garcia, History Professor, for coordinating Clementine Wamariya’s visit as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series, and to the Office of Student Life, the BC African-American Initiative Committee and the BC Women’s History and Awareness Month (WHAM) Committee. See more events for Women’s History Month.
Faculty Diversification Meeting
The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges held the Spring 2019 Hiring Regionals at Bakersfield College on Thursday, February 21, 2019. Faculty diversity is a critical component in the support of student success, and each California community college has a responsibility to develop a workforce that reflects the diversity of its community and is best prepared to serve the college’s specific student populations. The event presented important considerations for faculty hiring, including ways to diversify and expand hiring pools and reshape search processes to focus on candidates who understand and are committed to our students.
Thank you Dr. Janet Fulks and Prof. Steven Holmes for bringing this statewide event to BC. Thank you Tarina Perry for coordinating the event with the graceful touch that is so you!
Eric Lord, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, therapist and adjunct instructor at CSUB, taught a program known as “Question, Persuade, Refer,” or QPR, which demonstrates how to recognize when someone may be suicidal, persuade them to seek help, and refer them to the proper authority that can save their life. Lord was invited to give the QPR presentation by the mental health interns at the Office of Student Life, who work closely with the Student Health and Wellness Center to assist students dealing with serious mental health issues.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death on college campuses, and 31 percent of college students have considered committing suicide, Lord said. These are preventable deaths, and all it takes is the courage and empathy to ask the right questions when students are suffering, help them realize that there are people who love them and want them to succeed, and help them find the resources they need to get their lives back, whether it’s a mental health professional, or in more extreme cases of suicidal ideation, law enforcement.
Lord compared being suicidal to being locked in a house that is on fire, and suicide appears to be the only doorway to escape. “When somebody wants to die and not be around anymore, there’s a lot that leads them to that moment,” Lord said. “If we can use the power of our words and our relationship to folks, we can open up another door.” Suicidal ideation is related to a number of systemic issues, such as the loss of a job, the ending of a relationship or the death of a loved one, and some ways to recognize that someone may want to commit suicide include recently acquiring a gun, putting personal affairs in order, chronic drug and alcohol abuse, or saying things like “I just can’t go on” or “I won’t be around much longer”.
It’s important that when you recognize some of these symptoms, you talk to the person in a blunt and direct, yet caring way. Don’t be afraid to use words like “death”, “kill”, and “suicide.” In the moment that you ask the question, make eye contact with them and say, “Have you thought about killing yourself?” or “Are you going to commit suicide?” Never phrase the question as, “You’re not going to commit suicide, are you?” because it makes the other person feel like you don’t actually care and they shouldn’t be honest with you.
When you find out that the person in question may want to end their life, persuade them that it’s not the answer and show them that you and others care and want them to live. Get other people in the individual’s life involved, such as family, friends, doctors, or clergy members. Then, refer them to a group such as BC’s Students of Concern Team or a mental health professional and follow up with them via a personal visit or phone call to establish a connection and ensure that they won’t be punished for seeking help. If you think that they won’t receive help and they’re going to follow through, contact Public Safety or law enforcement. You can find more information about suicide prevention from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and share their number 1-800-273-8255.
Thank you to the Office of Student Life’s mental health team for inviting Eric Lord to campus for this important professional development opportunity. Thank you Dr. Nicky Damania.
BCSGA Power Lunch with Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg
When Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg enrolled in college as a sociology major, she had no idea that she would embark upon a journey that would lead to being elected on the Board of Trustees for the Kern Community College District. But at every stop along the way of her 35-year career in education – whether it was as an art professor, a preschool teacher, or one of BC’s longest-serving administrators – Nan’s faith in her ability to prioritize and solve problems propelled her to success in every new endeavor to which she applied herself.
Nan spoke to BC students and staff in the Levan Center about her journey in education and her plans for the Board of Trustees during Monday’s Power Lunch organized by the Legislative Affairs Department of BCSGA. All three Vice Presidents and I were in attendance to hear from a woman that inspired all of us so immensely and continues to inspire us today.
While she has accomplished many things during her career, Nan says that her students have kept her humble and put things into perspective. The first accomplishment Nan has been able to celebrate during her short stint on the Board of Trustees was the approval of BC’s new Southwest Center to be constructed on the CSUB campus. “The part that made it so sweet was that I knew how much work that was done to make it happen,” Nan said.
While she has attended many Board of Trustee meetings as a BC administrator, it is surreal for her to be sitting at the other side of table and balancing the concerns of students, constituents and instructors, as well as her fellow board members, she said. However, she feels up to the task of continuing to be aware of everything happening in Kern County education in order to position the District to best serve Area 1 of the KCCD. “It’s not the paperwork that makes you get up every day,” Nan said. “It’s knowing that you’re going to do something that helps someone out.” She said, “That feels like a big deal to me most days.”
I’d like to thank Mustapha Barraj and BCSGA for organizing Monday’s Power Lunch. I know we’ll be hearing a lot more from Nan in the future.
Congratulations to Laura Luiz
The American Library Association (ALA) is recognizing BC reference librarian Laura Luiz for her outstanding contributions to student learning and community engagement with the BC Get Out The Vote program.
In a press release on Wednesday, ALA, in conjunction with the Association of College and Research Libraries, announced Luiz as the winner of the 2019 Community and Junior College Libraries Section EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Program Award, which includes a $750 award and a plaque that will be presented to Luiz at the ALA’s annual conference in Washington, DC.
Get Out the BC Vote was a campaign that helped BC students on the Panorama and Delano campus get registered to vote in the 2018 midterm elections. There were also workshops and online resources breaking down every candidate and initiative on the midterm ballot and helping students to properly discern fake news and disinformation.
ALA award chair Laura Mondt of Northern Essex Community College had effusive praise for Luiz and the Get Out the BC Vote campaign. “Laura Luiz’s efforts with Get Out The BC Vote allowed the library to connect with the Student Government Association to help students become informed voters and promote news literacy,” Mondt said.
Luiz and the library have plans to expand the Get Out the BC Vote program for the 2020 midterm and presidential elections.
I was fortunate to attend the Kern County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner on February 22, 2019, as the guest of Senator Jean Fuller. The featured keynote speaker was newly elected Congressman Dan Crenshaw who has an incredible story as a former Navy SEAL who lost his eye in an IED blast.
Last November, Dan also appeared on Saturday Night Live and bits of this skit were referenced last Friday evening. This is a “Must watch.”
It was great to see CSUB President, Lynnette Zelezny at the event, as well as KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog and his wife, Lilly. I unfortunately did not snap a picture of many of the community leaders who support education who were there — JP Lake, David Bynum, …..
On Tuesday, February 19, 2019, representatives from the US Army visited the BC campus to show off various military robotics technologies to students in the Renegade Food Court area.
Both KGET and KERO featured the US Army STEM Truck in its afternoon broadcasts, and soldiers demonstrated all of the innovative technology the Army uses to save lives every day.
Inside the truck, students could participate in a simulation of the Army’s Search and Rescue Automation Hardware, also known as SARAH, which uses aerial and ground drones to locate missing persons. Students also had the opportunity to check a drone created by the iRobot company for remotely disarming explosives. Above the iRobot drone, there were videos demonstrating various robotic prototypes developed in conjunction with Boston Dynamics, including the infamous “Big Dog” robot and another robot that can jump up stairs and run 28.3 miles per hour, which is slightly faster than Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man.
Thank you to the Army for inspiring our students to pursue careers in STEM, as well as everyone who worked to make their visit possible.
Wendale Davis Foundation 11th Annual Leadership Conference
The Wendale Davis Foundation is an intervention, prevention, mentoring foundation with a mission to educate, motivate, and rehabilitate at-risk youth. On Friday, February 22, 2019, a series of workshops were held at BC with topics such as HIV/AIDS Awareness, Gang Intervention, Life/Coping Skills, and more. It’s a great day any time BC invites young people to campus to learn and embrace a healthy and successful future.
Juvenile Justice Employers
The Criminal Justice, Public Health and the Career Education Department collaborated to host the first Juvenile Justice Employer Panel on February 27, 2019. The primary focus of this event was to inform students in the Public Safety Pathway, Public Health Science, Psychology and/or Sociology majors about the different career paths they can follow after completing their education. Each panelist discussed their role working on prevention and intervention with troubled youth and tools they use to reduce criminal behavior. With over 100 students and special guest, Ricardo De Hoyo a District Representative of Senator Melissa Hurtado, in attendance, employers answered questions related to educational background, past and current work experience and employer expectations.
Dean and Adah Gay Reading Room Refurbishment
If you haven’t been in the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library recently, check out the refurbished Dean and Adah Gay Reading Room. The Gay family created an endowment back in 2007 to help maintain the room but until recently the goals of this endowment were not fully realized. New chairs, lamps and plants have been added, plus additional electrical outlets to assist students in recharging their electronic devices.
David and Catherine Gay, Andreas, Emily (Gay) and Eva Dauner joined Kirk and Stacey Russell (Library), and Heather Pennella, Tom Gelder and Dana Heins-Gelder (Foundation) to rededicate the space last Saturday evening, February 23, 2019. The new furniture arrived last Friday just before noon and the students began enjoying it immediately.
From Earth to the Universe Planetarium Show
Last week Dr. Nick Strobel held one of his amazing planetarium presentations called From Earth to the Universe. Community Relations Manager Tamara Baker brought her parents to the event, excited to show off the beautiful William M Thomas Planetarium, which boasts the largest dome in all of the Central Valley! Tamara said that Dr. Strobel delved into the evening stars, and showed attendees how to identify different constellations and how to find true north. Tamara said that she and her family cannot wait to go star gazing up at their cabin. Thanks Dr. Strobel for always putting on such great and informational presentations for our local community!
Degree With a Guarantee
Near the end of last year, I participated in an interview with Gary Stern for an article focused on Degrees with a Guarantee at California Community Colleges. Check it out the Hispanic Outlook Article: Degree Guarantee.
Public Health Program in Case Study
Sarah Baron and BC’s Public Health Sciences program were featured in a case study published by the Community College Journal of Research and Practices. The report published on February 19, titled “Practical Lessons in Public Health Program Implementation: Perspectives from the Field,” was co-written by Baron and discusses the way BC’s program offers a health navigator certificate and a general transfer degree developed with support from the Society for Public Health Education. Our Public Health Sciences program is creating the next generation of advocates for healthy communities, and I’m confident that their work will make the San Joaquin Valley a happier, healthier places for thousands of people.
What has everyone a-twitter?
Trustee Romeo Agbalog appeared on the radio show Money Wise.
Speech Intramural Competition in Delano
Last Saturday, the BC Delano Campus hosted a speech intramural competition featuring Panorama and Delano students, as well as Arvin High and homeschooled Early College students.
There were close to 80 people in attendance for the speech intramural, which featured BC communication faculty and student judges evaluating students in a number of different speech competitions, including informative speech, persuasion, special topics, and impromptu speaking. Christine Cruz-Boone, a communication professor at BC and one of the judges for the event, said that Arvin High freshmen swept all top three places in the informative speech category, and homeschool student Samantha Craig earned second overall in impromptu speaking. Delano Campus student Itzel Hernandez won first place in the persuasion competition, and Panorama students Gloria Sanchez, Mandy Canada, and Lindsey Brackett also placed in various categories. The diverse group of BC participants got the opportunity to test out communication skills that they learned from BC instructors in a practical environment.
Abel Guzman, who attended the final round and awards ceremony of the competition, was impressed by the students who participated and compiled a series of emails about the intramural for entry in this week’s blog. As our Early College program continues to grow, I’m excited to see the ways that our Early College kids interact with the more traditional student population.
If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11a, check out the segments from this week’s show. This week’s highlights included segments with BC Men’s Tennis Head Coach, Noel Dalton and BC student athletes Conrad Dalton, Luis Aceves and Moses Jimenez.
Renegades of the Week
This week’s (2/17-2/23) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:
Kylee Fahy, Softball – Pitched 26 innings (1 no-hitter) with a .269 era, 41 strikeouts, six hits, one run, one earned run in helping softball go 4-0 for the week.
Tanner Lopes, Men’s Swimming – The only Renegade individual event winner at the Mt. SAC Invite last weekend, taking the 50 breaststroke and also getting two other top-ten finishes. He was part of two top six relays and was the highest scoring male swimmer from BC helping the men finish 6th overall.
Men’s and Women’s Basketball Post-Season Awards
Huge congratulations to our men’s and women’s basketball student athletes who received recognition from the Western State Conference. Renegade Men’s Basketball student athletes Anieus Medrano and Shahadah Camp were been named to the 2018-2019 Western State Conference All-Conference team. Marcus Jones was also recognized as the Co-Defensive MOP for the conference. Renegade Women’s Basketball student athletes Jasmyn Rodriguez, Dasia Wandick and Brianna Mendez were named to the 2018-2019 Western State Conference (WSC) All-Conference team. Congrats! And way to represent BC!
Roundup of Athletics Events this week
As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):
Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 2, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.
I missed my blog post last Saturday, January 26th — the first missed post in six years as my attention was required elsewhere. Spent sometime last week looking at family pictures and it seems fitting to share a few of them with you before I jump into the amazing happenings at Bakersfield College.
As you’ll see, the work at the college has been moving ahead, blog or no blog … so heads up…..this is a longer blog than usual!
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
We began the second week of the Spring 2019 semester with a day to honor Dr. Martin Luther King and his work advocating for the civil rights of all under-represented groups through community organizing, acts of civil disobedience, and the compelling poetry of his writings and speeches.
On that Monday, the Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Breakfast honored members of the community for contributing to the advancement of civil rights in the Central Valley, and many community members participated in the annual march downtown. The local celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was covered in an article at BakersfieldNow.com, which also featured a quote from BC’s own Steve Watkin.
This year, the planning committee launched the Vernon Strong Visionaries Award; it was a true honor to be named as the recipient of this inaugural award.
This award in fact recognizes the work of the faculty and staff of Bakersfield College – the work of over 1000 employees at the college; and the work of over 33,000 students. It is through collective effort and dedication that BC serves our community — on the 153-acres up on the hills on Panorama, at Arvin, Lamont, Delano, Wasco, McFarland Shafter…. and hopefully soon on the CSUB campus, online, and expanding greatly in the prisons.
This past year has seen real growth in student success at the Home of the Renegades. Bakersfield College has a greater number of African American students with a 37.5% increase in the number that transfer to four-year universities. These same students show a 340% increase in those completing transfer-level English in their first year. Thank you Paula Parks!
I was so delighted to see the Community Voices piece by Steve Watkin in the Bakersfield Californian about “Recognizing the leaders in our community” where he writes about “the conditions that have facilitated our success and more importantly, the people who have helped to create them.”
The previous Sunday there was also an incredible sight in the sky, the “Blood Wolf Super Moon” lunar eclipse. As the moon approached the constellation Leo, the Earth, moon, and sun aligned, and a crimson-tinged shadow covered the moon. Nick Strobel wrote about the eclipse in the Bakersfield Californian last week, giving a detailed explanation of this astronomical phenomenon. And as always, he took some amazing pictures.
Nick’s description on Facebook was that his pictures turned out “still okay,” but I find them to be incredibly beautiful.
If you missed Sunday’s total lunar eclipse, you’ll have another chance in Kern County on May 21, 2021.
Bakersfield Women’s March
The second annual Women’s March for Kern County doesn’t look like it’s slowing down! This year there were over 4,000 attendees, with over 70 organizations, food booths and artisans.
I love seeing the positive energy in our community, and seeing people support and empower one another. There were so many BC folks in attendance, including Nick Strobel, David Koeth, and more.
Speaking of The Bakersfield Californian, Lynnette Zelezny, President of CSUB, and I collaborated on a Community Voices piece that shares the exciting prospect of a BC co-location at the campus of Cal State Bakersfield. This ideal location for a BC Southwest campus will benefit students and Kern County for generations.
The cost savings for students, families, and taxpayers
Partnerships between high schools and BC
Course scheduling to fit the needs of the high schools and students
Certifications and degree offerings
Workforce skills and industry benefits
Benefits and gains for rural students and their families
On Kern Radio Louis Amestoy said Early College sounds “almost too good to be true.” By innovating we can start students on an early path to a college degree and a successful career.
Join us as we launch this program at McFarland High School on February 13th at 5:00 pm! It promises to be a remarkable event. For information you can visit www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/earlycollege .
Early College Planning in McFarland
So much dedicated work has gone into the launch of the McFarland Early College program. It has been inspiring for the BC Early College program team members to work with the McFarland team — Aaron Resendez, Brian Bell, and many others — McFarland High’s administrators, counselors, and CTE coordinator, as they plan the pathway options that will be available to all 280 expected freshman. All students who enter the high school in the Fall will complete at least 12 college units before their high school graduation in Spring 2023. The team has mapped out 10 pathways: an Associate Degree for Transfer 60-unit pathway, a 30-unit General Education pathway, and 8 CTE certificate pathways that correspond with the existing CTE pathways at McFarland.
The Feb 13 launch of the program will be held in the McFarland gym — you may recognize it from the movie? This work is creating such optimism that every McFarland student will get on the #pathway2college.We hope to see you all at the launch on February 13th! Stay tuned for more updates!
Early College in Shafter
Bakersfield College Rural Initiatives and Early College team is also meeting with the Shafter High School team to plan their own implementation of Early College program. We are so excited to partner with the folks at Shafter to make a college education more attainable for their students.
BC at Wonderful College Prep Academy
Carolina Madrigal of BC’s Rural Initiatives team and Engineering professor Travis Steele participated as judges in Wonderful College Prep Academy’s middle school science fair. How cool is that?
Building Leaders at BC
As part of the recently awarded California Catalyst Grant a team from Bakersfield College attended a convening last week. Joining them were two students who were chosen as part of the Catalyst Fund Student Leadership Fellowship. The Student Leadership Fellowship supports Catalyst Fund grantees in promoting the voice, visibility, and knowledge of undocumented student leadership at the BC campus.
Students engaged in in-person training by Immigrants Rising staff and partners of the Catalyst Fund. They will continue to get ongoing professional development and attend leadership workshops throughout the remainder of the academic year.
Ag Department Orange Sale
BC’s Agriculture Department hosted another successful orange sale in the Agricultural Laboratory located at the Haley Street entrance to campus. Students and members of the community came to pick their own deliciously ripe oranges fresh off the trees of the BC orchards, while others purchased pre-picked bags from a wagon at the entrance to the Agricultural Laboratory. Participation in the orange sale has increased in recent years due to media coverage in the Bakersfield Californian and KBAK/KBFX Eyewitness News.
A special thank you to Sally Sterns and the whole BC Agriculture Department for providing real-world experience in agricultural work for our students, and I’d like to thanks people out in the community for supporting BC Agriculture via the orange sale.
Students motivated by HBCU presentation hosted by Umoja
Umoja Community BC partnered with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and the HBCU partnership office to inform students about their transfer opportunities. Students with a minimum 2.5 GPA and 30 transferrable units will be accepted at any of the 37 Historically Black College and University (HBCU) partner schools and receive priority housing and scholarship opportunities. Students heard from a panel of community members who attended an HBCU about why they chose an HBCU and what they gained from the experience.
Umoja Community is a program designed for African-American students to increase success, retention, graduation, and transfer rates. The core program includes English and student development coursework, tutoring, mentoring, and counseling support. The program also offers gen ed courses and a Club. Dr. Paula Parks is the coordinator/English professor/Club advisor; Jonathan Ward is the counselor/student development professor.
Panelist Addonica Stanley, a middle school principal who attended Grambling State University, said that a Black person at a college with a small Black population can feel “less than. I wanted an opportunity to embrace my culture. I was able to learn who I am.” Stanley, who is also an Umoja Advisory Board member, added that the expectations were high and meeting those challenging expectations gave her confidence.
Kotanya Kimbrough Hubbard, who works for the Bakersfield City School District in instructional technology, said that the faculty and staff at HBCUs “care about you. . . They want to see you succeed.” Hubbard, who attended Bennett College, advised students to consider size, part of the country, and their major in selecting an HBCU that fits their personality.
Students were attentive and asked great questions. Terreah Whitmire called the information and discussion “eye opening.” Whitmire, who is in the Umoja program and officer in the Umoja Club, said she definitely wants to attend an HBCU due to the supportive environment they provide. She had been concerned about being able to afford going away to college, but she learned that partner schools offer in-state tuition and the costs are comparable to attending a UC. “Umoja has helped me branch out and meet more (African-American) people,” adding she can build on those “tools and networking skills” at an HBCU.
Students can follow the CSU or UC path and apply using the Common Black College App. Historically Black Colleges and Universities were founded around the time of the Civil War when African-Americans were denied admission to colleges and universities. There are 105 HBCUs, and the Chancellor’s Office is working to expand the number of partner schools from 37.
Herbert Nealy, who transferred from BC to Prairie View in Texas, said going away helped him learn how to handle things on his own in a supportive environment.” Umoja student Kierra Littles said before the presentation she had felt hesitant about going so far away from home, but now feels that the experience will be worth it. Check out all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.
Project Conexiones Estudiantiles de BC
South Kern Sol highlighted a new program at BC designed to provide support for undocumented students at BC in an article by reporter Paige Atkison, who is also a BC student and editor-in-chief of the Renegade Rip.
The article features quotes from BC professors Octavio Barajas and Oliver Rosales talking about Project Conexiones, a program funded by an $115,000 grant BC received last year from the California Campus Catalyst Fund to raise the profile and expand resources available to undocumented students and their families. The article also quotes excitement from BC students Jose Bello and Emmanuel Limaco for the project and ways that the grant money can benefit students.
Two students have already received money from the grant, according to Professor Rosales. Faculty involved in Project Conexiones are working with members of student organization Latinos Unidos Por Educación (LUPE), as well as other undocumented students to decide the best way to utilize the grant money to promote community awareness of the issues that undocumented immigrants face.
The Project Conexiones has several events planned for Spring 2019, including a screening of the documentary “Adios Amor” in the Indoor Theater on March 28, and a Catalyst Culminating event in the Outdoor Theater on May 2 featuring musical performances from Velorio and Las Cafeteras. I look forward to these events and the promotion of Project Conexiones.
Start it up, Renegades!
Last week, a group of BC leaders met with the CEO of StartItUp, Goli Ameri, to view and discuss a software application that can help students interested in entrepreneurship to start their own business. Also in attendance was Kelly Beardon, SBDC Director and Alese Campbell, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Deputy Sector Navigator for our Central Region Consortium.
Porterville College Foundation Hall of Fame Dinner
The PC Foundation is honoring softball coach Vickie Dugan as its Hall of Fame inductee for Athletics after 22 years of service and winning more than 250 games as the Pirates softball coach. The Foundation is also bestowing Distinguished Alumni honors to Steve Schultz, the director of the Porterville College Veterans Resource Center and the father of BC’s Jonathan Schultz. You can read more about Steve and Jonathan Schultz in an article from this blog on November 11, 2017.
I know that our Culinary Arts students are going to knock the PC Hall of Fame dinner out of the park, and I can’t wait to hear all about it!
The Renegade RIP published a nice piece titled “The sons of two former faculty continue their legacy” which follows current BC faculty, Dr. Oliver Rosales and Jonathan Schultz and shared how serving BC students is now a family tradition that began with their fathers. See the article at therip.com.
The Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery is currently home to about 50 pieces of art created by Kern County high school students as part of the 15th annual Panorama Invitational Showcase.
An opening reception was held on Thursday afternoon with hors d’oeurves catered by BC Food Services. Students, staff and members of the public are encouraged to view the exhibit in the Jones Gallery from between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday through Thursday until February 28.
This year, 12 Kern County high schools were featured in the exhibition, and art teachers from each high school selected three outstanding students to have their work displayed in the Jones Gallery. This year’s Panorama Invitational Showcase featured paintings, illustrations, a sculpture and even typography with West High senior Daniel Lara’s piece “The Heart of Marvel”, crafted in commemoration of comic book creator Stan Lee, who passed away in November at the age of 95.
I’d like to thank Jones Gallery curators Ronnie Wrest and Jeffrey Huston for continuing the tradition of celebrating young artists with the Panorama Invitational, and I look forward to seeing the BC Art Student Exhibition starting on March 14.
Sex Museums – The Politics and Performance of Display
On Thursday night, the Levan Center hosted a discussion with UC Santa Barbara feminist studies professor Jennifer Tyburczy about her book “Sex Museums: The Politics and Performance of Display”, which examines the ways that art with sexual content is displayed in museum galleries and how that influences public perceptions about the types of sexuality that are considered controversial.
I’d like to thank Jennifer Tyburczy for driving up to Bakersfield for this fascinating discussion, and I’d also like to thank the Reggie Williams and the Levan Center for organizing this event.
The Bakersfield Californian also announced that we will soon be offering classes in Wasco and are holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony on February 8 at 10 a.m. at the Wasco Adult Education Center. Read the article “Bakersfield College to offer classes in Wasco.”
Emails Worth Sharing: Harry Potter Style
BC’s Matt Jones emailed to share a story about Harry Potter themed English B2 at BC! I had to share! How fun!
So, during the Fall 2018 semester Professor Savanna Andrasian and I conducted our first Harry Potter themed English B2 course. The course explored literary composition and critical thinking at an advanced level. First, as the English faculty for the course, Savanna Andrasian had the students analyzing Harry Potter deeply within each of the books. While examining the books students explored topics such as Heroes and Anti-Heroes, Feminism, History, “The other”, and much more. For my side of the course, as the Academic Technology Faculty, I took the students outside of the books and we explored Harry Potter across all forms of media…audiobooks, blogs, podcasts, websites, and video games. As we did so, we analyzed it with concepts such as Social Determinism and Technological Determinism, Communities of Practice, Convergence Culture, New Media Literacy, and Transmedia Storytelling, and much more. Needless to say the course was challenging, fun, and generated a great deal of excellent work and discussion.
After the course final, we dismissed our students (keep in mind this class goes from 6:00pm to 8:05, two nights a week). However, at that time none of the students wanted to leave. As a result we all hung out in the class room with our students for an additional hour, immersed in deep Harry Potter discussion about character and plot analysis, assignments they loved, and other Potter theory topics that had come to light as a result of the course and the recent Fantastic Beasts movies. Savanna and I were astounded because the students had become so attached to the material and the thrill of discussion that they didn’t want to leave. During that time, they gave us a lot of great positive feedback. However, the reason I am writing you is to tell you this…the feedback was so positive at the end of last semester that over the Winter break…it lead me to create a private Facebook group which I have called Potter Scholars. On this private group, the students from our course who want to join can opt in to be part of the group. As part of BC Potter Scholars, we have continued to discuss academic work that relates to Harry Potter in Education, Memes, Theories, Plot Holes, and the like. This BC Potter Scholar group has become a thriving Community of Practice. One where former students of ours, are immersed in academic discussion that lay outside the confines of a classroom and is set in their own personal lives.
Email from Matt Jones, Jan. 22, 2019
Emails Worth Sharing: “I’ve Been to Prison”
This week, an email from Ron Kean made its way to my inbox. I loved what he had to share about his experience with BC’s Inmate Scholars program.
Yesterday was my first day teaching WORLD MUSIC to 30 students from the INMATE SCHOLARS PROGRAM through Bakersfield College. I teach at a local state prison that is a Level 4, Maximum Security Prison in Delano, CA. Yesterday, I introduced my subject matter, its importance to our society and its relevance to each inmate scholar. Thirty felons sang, danced, and improvised to the music of “Amen,” using west-African style as its basis. We then defined the many musical terms that we experienced and I had their utmost attention for 3 hours. All thirty of these inmate scholars gave me a standing ovation at the end of the class. Next to being a husband and parent, this was the most meaningful experience of my life. This is the only course left for these students to graduate with the nation’s first ever face-to-face transfer A.A. degree.
And this program will help these inmates to transition back to life outside of prison. There was no correctional officer in the room with me for almost three hours. It was only after we started singing the ostinatos from the introduction to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” did two correctional officers come into the room. I think they were pleased with what they heard and with music that they all knew. And it was good to see everyone involved relaxed and smiling. And that’s day one! Stay tuned…
Silly Signage seen on Campus
BC’s Dean of Instruction, Manny Mourtzanos emailed me this hilarious photo from the hallway near his office. He said, “Am I the only one concerned about our campus signage? Exhibit A is attached :)”
Encouraging Future STEM Students
Stephen Waller, Dean of Instruction, shared a wonderful example of BC’s outreach in the community and making strides towards encouraging our youth on to the STEM pathway. Isabel Stierle, Professor of Biology has been working with Cheryl Scott of the Kern Economic Development Foundation and Stuart Packard, Superintendent of Buttonwillow School, and female volunteers from the sciences to mentor and encourage various grade level girls’ interest in STEM programs.
On Wednesday, January 23rd, Isabel and other mentors met with the Buttonwillow School 4th and 5th grade female students at Kern County Museum to view the Black Gold Exhibit so they could learn about geology, oil production, and uses of petroleum products. Thank you Isabel and Steve for sharing these photos of their field trip and for encouraging STEM students.
Tree Cutting in Renegade Park
At Bakersfield College, our Environmental Horticulture program is concerned for the health of our trees and the safety of our students. Unfortunately, California’s drought has taken a toll on some of our trees on the main campus. Our Pin Oak tree, located at Renegade Park, had to be removed due to borer infestation and the potential danger to visitors in the park. The drought conditions weakened the tree and the borer damage killed around 60% of the tree canopy. It was sad to remove this majestic tree, but the damage was irreversible.
We were able to create a learning experience from this. The video will be used to demonstrate limb and tree removal that will be used for the Tree Care and Urban Forestry class. This video will also be distributed to other community colleges in California who also teach this C-ID recognized course, thanks to a grant for developing stackable Horticulture certificates. Some of the wood is being milled to create benches for the park that will be built by Bakersfield College students.
Passing of Margaret “Peggy” Buckley
Jerry Ludeke and the BC Archives team shared the news this week of Peggy Buckley’s passing, a true Renegade. Dr. Buckley was the first Academic Senate president to serve more than one term, serving for three years from 1976 to 1979. Bill Thomas entered a Tribute to Dr. Peggy Buckley in the May 2, 1985 Congressional Record on the occasion of her being honored as 1985 Kern RN of the Year. Through her entire 34 year career at BC she worked one weekend each month as a staff nurse at an acute care hospital to keep in touch with nursing reality. Her obituary as it appeared in the Bakersfield Californian on January 23, 2019 is printed in italics below.
Peggy Buckley died peacefully at home in Napa, California, after a short illness. Born Margaret Rourke in Moynalty, County Meath, Ireland, she immigrated to the United States in 1951 and attended St. Mary’s College of Nursing and the University of San Francisco. Peggy became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1956 and moved to Bakersfield to begin her nursing career at Mercy Hospital. In 1958, she married Robert Buckley of Bakersfield. Their son John was born in 1959. Peggy worked at the Houchin Community Blood Bank in Bakersfield prior to accepting a position as the School Nurse at Bakersfield College. While there, she continued her education, earning a Master’s degree and PhD in Education. From that point on, her entire career was spent at Bakersfield College, where she served as the Chairperson of the Allied Health Division and Director, Associate Degree Nursing program. Upon her retirement in 1994, Peggy and Bob moved to Penn Valley, California where they enjoyed golf and travel until Bob’s death in 2003. She moved to Napa, California in 2011 and resided there for the remainder of her life.
Peggy is survived by sister Rhodi Rhodes of Eastbourne England, brother Tony Rourke and sister-in-law Audrey Rourke of Birmingham, England, brother-in-law Larry Buckley of Visalia, CA, son John Buckley, daughter-in-law Julie Buckley and granddaughters Amelia and Sophie Buckley of Fairfax, CA.
To quote Jerry, “We at Bakersfield College have been fortunate to work with so many talented, special people.”
Postcards from DC
I received a lovely postcard from the Eisenhower Fellowship Students.
Fun Photos at BC’s Huddle
Fun Photos 20 Years Ago
Professor Ximena Da Silva Tavares shared with me the cutest photo of baby Leo. She said “Janet Thomas gifted us this little Renegade Hoodie.” So sweet!
CCLC Effective Trustee Workshop
Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Jack Connell attended the CCLC Effective Trustee Workshop in Sacramento along with Chancellor Tom Burke.
Renegades of the Weeks
Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this 1/13-1/19 and 1/20-1/26 Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.
Dasia Wandick, Women’s Basketball – Scored 19 points and had 7 rebounds in game against El Camino. Blake Van Uden, Men’s Basketball – Went 3-3 in FG’s for a total of 6 points and 9 rebounds in road game against Glendale.
Natilee Parrish, Softball – Had game winning three-run walk-off home run to claim the opening day victory over Santiago Canyon, 6-4. She ended the opening three games with 3 total hits (2 HR) and 4 RBI’s. Will Reynolds, Baseball – Hit .714 on opening weekend over two games against Moorpark. He was 5 for 7 with a double, 2 RBI’s and a run scored. Defensively, he threw out a crucial game tying run at home plate in the 7th inning of Friday night’s 1-0 win.
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 BC Head Golf Coach Wes
Coble and BC Sophomore Golfers Matt Sakowski and Matt Sanders.
Segment with BC Golf Coach Wes Coble
Segment with Matt Sakowski and Matt Sanders
Segment with Brandon Urry
Segment with Colby Lewis
Roundup of Athletics Events this week
As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, September 1st …. a day of remembering a great American Hero.
“John was above all a man with a code. He lived by a set of public virtues
that brought strength and purpose to his life and to his country. ”
President George W. Bush, Sep 1, 2018
This week was certainly a week of reflection for our nation as our country’s leaders paid homage to a great American hero — John McCain. Like many of you, I read and listened to stories and messages about his life and the lives he touched. The message that hit home the most to this immigrant about a country that I love so dearly was delivered by President George W. Bush at the funeral service for Senator John McCain in Washington DC on September 1, 2018. I quote:
“….Whatever the cause, it was this combination of courage and decency that defined John’s calling, and closely paralleled the calling of his country.
This combination of courage and decency that makes the American military something new in history. Unrivaled power for good….”
To me, every word and every sentence of President Bush’s speech was powerful….full of meaning and spoke to the fundamental character and beliefs that America and Americans embody to the world. Being constantly vigilant in not slipping into a thought or action that is “unworthy” of the ideals of this great nation. And when we do, to hear the voice of John McCain reminding us …”we are better than this.”
And you can listen to his 7:53-minute speech on youtube here.
Now back to BC……
Another great week at BC culminating with the visit from the chair of our Accreditation visiting team on a pre-site visit.
Accreditation Team Chair Visits Campus
Quality assurance of higher education in the United States occurs through the accreditation peer review process. Bakersfield College’s peer review is happening this fall, and our entire campus is eagerly awaiting the site visit the first week of October. In preparation for the visit, our evaluation team chair and the team assistant visited our campus to organize logistics, tour their team room for the visit, and meet with some of the team members involved in the development of the Institutional Self-Evaluation Report.
In typical Renegade fashion, BC faculty, staff, and students reported to work in BC red, prepared to greet our guests. Check out these photos:
Thanks to Jessica Wojtysiak, Nick Stroble, Steven Holmes, Bernadette Martinez, and James Thompkins for their help today!
The Administration Building staff proudly showed off their BC red today
Special thanks to Tarina Perry, Chris Glaser, Nick Strobel, Steven Holmes, Bernadette Martinez, Jessica Wojtysiak, Carlos Barbaran, Jennfier Marden, June Charles, JoEllen Patterson, Liz Rozell, and Lesley Bonds for organizing the visit and meeting with our evaluators.
BC Has Strong Presence at KCHCC Business Expo
Both Norma Rojas-Mora and Tamara Baker presented at this year’s Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, showing what a team we have here at BC! Tamara presented on “Branding Yourself and Your Business,” while Norma was a part of a panel named “Women Empowerment: Climbing the Ladder to Success.” Our very own Professor of History Olivia Garcia was the Co-Chair for the event. Great job ladies!
Norma and Olivia on the panel for women’s success stories.
Tamara Baker presenting on branding
Norma Rojas-Mora, Olivia Garcia and Tamara Baker
Norma and Olivia representing BC!
Olivia, CSU Bakersfield President Lynnette Zelezny, and Javier LLamas
Oliva with Dolores Huerta!
Jay Tamsi, Norma, Raji Brar of Countryside Market and Restaurants, Gabriela Mello of Wells Fargo, and Olivia Garcia
Also present were Armando Trujillo of Veterans Services and Domenica Trinidad of CTE, who had a booth for the expo portion of the event. Thanks Armando and Domenica!
Armando Trujillo and Domenica Trinidad at the KCHCC Business and Conference Expo
BC Ag Department Connecting with Community
Chris McCraw has had a busy couple of weeks! Last week he spent a couple of days with Kern County CA Ag Teachers Association (CATA) to talk about the opportunities available here at Bakersfield College. CATA has been around since 1920, promoting and improving the teaching of agriculture here in our Golden State! A special thank you to Chris for actively promoting the BC Ag department and what we offer here!
Chris McCraw at the CATA Meeting
Ag Department at the Student Involvement Festival
BC Professor David Koeth in LA Art Exhibit
I am so proud of Professor David Koeth! He has three paintings in LAUNCH LA’S “Intersection,” a juried exhibit at the Korean Cultural Center. LAUNCH LA explains the exhibit as follows: “An Intersection occurs when two or more paths cross- where cultures, histories, ambitions or chance converge, creating defining moments of decision, denial or opportunity. For some, the paths are riddled with obstacles or even blocked while for others the way is smoothed. For some the moment is fleeting, for others it lasts a lifetime. The artists of ‘Intersection’ respond to these diverging and converging moments that shape their identities, imbue their work and impact their daily lives.”
Delano Chamber Award
As I mentioned in the last blog, The Delano Chamber of Commerce recognized BC alongside Assemblyman Salas with Education Award. It is always great to share quality time with friends of Bakersfield College. The Delano Chamber of Commerce Awards, Installation and Membership Appreciation Mixer was a great opportunity to reconnect with many longtime friends.
Joseph Lopez, Sonya Christian
Judge Robert Tafoya did the honors of swearing in the new Delano Chamber of Commerce Board Members. He overhead my story about teaching a class in Delano and that Juan Torres was a student and then became my TA. I said it was then that I fell in love with the people of Delano. Judge Tafoya started his remarks by mentioning that story and said that my comments held true for him as well. When he began presiding over the Delano courts, he knew he would be there for a long time, because the people he met were the best. Delano is a true treasure in Kern County and Bakersfield College is proud to be part of the fabric of its community. Thank you Judge Robert Tafoya for your continued work in Delano and support for Bakersfield College!
Rich McCrow, Rosalina Rivera, Judge Tafoya
With Joseph Lopez of Assemblyman Salas’s office
Rich McCrow, Norma Rojas-Mora, Abel Guzman, Michele Bresso, Jaime Lopez, Rachel Lopez, and Juan Torres
Abel Guzman, Raquel Lopez, Sonya Christian, Jaime Lopez, and Juan Torres
Again, I’d like to thank the Delano Chamber of Commerce and the city of Delano for showing us so much support. You can check out coverage on the award in this Delano Record article: https://bit.ly/2PUd1dK
Brandon & Norma Visit Telemundo
Norma Gaspar welcomed Brandon Urry as the new Sports Information Director for Renegade Athletics. It was a pleasant surprise to hear Brandon share his experiences in Argentina where he learned Spanish over fifteen years ago and to see how he has retained the language. Brandon was excited to share about the sports programs and the upcoming football season. Norma Rojas-Mora encouraged the community to get involved and support Renegade Athletics. The rooter bus service was highlighted as an opportunity to travel to away games. The sports season has started at Bakersfield College so come on out and support your favorite including football, soccer and volleyball. Todos Somos BC!
Norma Rojas-Mora and Brandon Urry on Telemundo!
If you haven’t seen the interview, you can check it out HERE.
BC Has Arrived in Lost Hills!
Starting from conversations that began late last year, BC is finally in Lost Hills! Here are some photos of when we visited Lost Hills and here is the link to the February 2018 blog post:
The North Kern Adult Education Team who is a part of Rural Initiatives has launched supportive services out in Lost Hills to prepare future Renegades for the EMLS program and eventually CTE certificates as well as degree pathways. The Wonderful company is collaborating with the Adult Education team to bridge the Lost Hills residents’ education gap by encouraging employees to take advantage of BC services offered. Adult Education staff will be onsite at the Lost Hills Community Center every Monday evening to provide language development workshops, as well as transitional and matriculation support to the future renegades. Lost Hills residents will have the opportunity to continue their education in Wasco as we increase offerings in the upcoming semesters.
Future renegades presenting in front of group
Future renegades presenting in front of peers
Academic Liaison talking to group of future renegades
Delano Gets New Carpet. Small investments make a difference 🙂
BC Delano Campus had new carpet put in three of their classrooms and two of their labs!
Delano Lab 1
Delano Lab 2
Deslano DST 117
Delano DST 109B
Delano DST 109
Bakersfield College Dual Enrollment team provided a full breadth of training to approximately 60 Kern High School District dual enrollment instructors in preparation for the fall term. Hosted at the KHSD District Board Room, Dr. Dean McGee and Dr. Ben Sherley provided an introduction outlining the many reasons to support dual enrollment and the benefits to students. Director of Outreach and Dual Enrollment, Steve Watkin, and Dean of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez, shared the strong effort and support from Bakersfield College for both instructors and students.
Coverage of topics ranging from enrollment and FERPA to syllabus construction and assessment were provided by Jacqueline Lau, Hilda Rodriguez, Dr. Anna Laven and Mark Osea. Additional information was provided by Abel Guzman, Fernando Lara, Dr. Emmanuel Mourtzanos, Raquel Lopez and Cindy Collier. Participants actively participated in thoughtful discussion about their instructional responsibilities and expressed appreciation for the BC efforts to bring college to students. The strength of our partnership, wealth of knowledge and commitment to support dual enrollment was truly impressive!
Alianza Recycling Presents Check to BC Drum Corp.
Alianza Recycling and Recovery LLC held a free electronics recycling event this past April. On Thursday, Neil Agness of Alianza Recycling presented our very own Tim Heasley with a check, donating all of the proceeds to the BC Drum Corps! Thank you to Alianza Recycle for your support!
Neil Agness of Alianza presenting BC’s Tim Heasley with their donation.
Former Renegade and Current Dallas Cowboy Tyrone Crawford Subject of Documentary
Our very own head football coach, Jeff Chudy, was interviewed by the Dallas Cowboys on campus this last month as part of a documentary on the life of former BC football star Tyrone Crawford and his journey to the Dallas Cowboys. Originally from Canada, Tyrone started his college football career here at BC before transferring to Boise State. He now makes a living as an NFL football player. Watch the documentary by clicking HERE.
Tyronne Crawford in his BC Renegade days!
Ride the Rooter Bus to Football Away Games this Season
Fans wishing to attend football away games and not have to drive themselves will be able to use the BC rooter bus once again this season. Fans wishing to reserve a spot on the bus need to call the athletics department at (661) 395-4269 by 11:00am the Friday before the game they wish to attend. The cost is $25/person (cash only) and is payable on Saturday before boarding the bus. The fare does not cover the price of admission into the game.
September 1st vs. Mt. SAC – bus will depart at 2:00pm
September 22nd vs. Golden West – bus will depart at 10:00am
October 13th vs. Ventura – bus will depart at 3:00pm
October 20th vs. Long Beach – bus will depart at 2:00pm
November 10th vs. Canyons – bus will depart at 3:30pm
Women’s Soccer opens the season with a Win
The Renegades women’s soccer team opened up the 2018 season with a home victory over West LA at Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night. Our Renegades scored first and never looked back, winning 6-1. This weekend our women’s team will travel north to the bay area to play against Los Medanos College and Napa Valley College. Best of luck and Go Gades!
Women’s Golf Opens Season at South Coast Classic
The Renegade Women’s Golf team opened their 2018 season on the road in Ventura at the South Coast Classic hosted by Santa Barbara Community College. On Sunday they played at Olivas Links Golf Course and on Monday they played at Buenaventura Golf Course. Sophomore and second year player Allie Crawley led the charge for the Renegades, shooting a two-day score of 154.
Complete scores for the team are listed below:
Allie Crawley – 154
Sydney Crawley – 164
Elizabeth Nakagawa – 214
Breann Bonkosky – 229
Ramanda Lara – 260
Allie Crawley, Sydney Crawley, Elizabeth Nakagawa, Breann Bonkosky and Ramanda Lara
Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics on social media. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. The Renegades will next be in action on Monday, September 10th against Santa Barbara at Santa Barbara Golf Club.
This Week’s Renegade Report
This week’s Renegade Report highlighted our women’s volleyball team. Assistant Coach Lorraine Aguilar and players Jessica Merante and Shyanne Baez talked about their team goals and upcoming season. To watch all four segments from the 8/30 show click this link: http://gogades.com/video/index. To keep up with what’s happening around Renegade Athletics, visit Bakersfield.com (the Californian website) where the show streams live on their homepage each Thursday at 11:00am.
BC Volleyball players Jessica Merante and Shyanne Baez
Assistant Volleyball Coach Lorraine Aguilar
BC Partners with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra
BC is once again partnering with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra Next program to provide an enrichment opportunity for many high-school and middle-school students to spend time on our campus prior to attending a symphony concert. Last year, we supported over 100 students. For the 2018-19 season, we anticipate serving over 300 students across six BSO concerts from October to May. In fact, the symphony concert on May 11 will include our very own BC Chamber Singers as guest performers. You won’t want to miss it!
A special word of thanks to Kari Heilman (Executive Director of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra) and Ira Cohen (Founding Member of the BSO Next program) for their grand vision to create a cultural experience in the arts for many students who otherwise would not be able to attend. We are so lucky to have such wonderful community partners. Here’s a picture of the beautiful gift Ira and Kari gave me to recognize BC’s support of BSO Next. I love it!
Enjoying my beautiful gift from BSO
On Monday, BCSGA hosted a karaoke event in the Fireside Room to get the campus community prepared for Wednesday’s Student Involvement Festival. Billed as “Karaoke Knights”, students came together to sing karaoke version of popular songs such as “Waterfalls” by TLC and “Smooth” by Santana and Rob Thomas.
Francis Benavente performs Waterfalls by TLC during the Karaoke Knights event on August 27th in the Fireside Room
Lyrics to the song “Waterfalls”
Student Involvement Festival
This last Thursday, Bakersfield College held it’s 2nd Annual Student Involvement Festival. This festival is the largest event that takes place during the week-long campus welcome program, and provides the opportunity for students to learn about the Bakersfield College campus and how they can become involved on the campus and in the community. Dozens of local businesses and community organizations will be in attendance with information booths throughout the campus. Volunteers at the booths will provide students with information about their organizations, sell items, and recruit workers and volunteers. A huge thank you to Nicky Damania and his team at Student Life for organizing this great event!
BC SouthWest Hosts Pint for a Pass
BC SouthWest and Houchin Community Blood Bank partnered together and held the first-ever BC SouthWest/Houchin Blood Bank Blood Drive called “Pint for a Pass.” By donating, students received a free shirt, food and admission to the Kern County Fair. Over 43 pints of blood were received on Thursday ALONE, far surpassing Houchin’s projects and expectations! This event was a huge success as HCBB collected 48 units, which can potentially help 144 individuals.
Thank you to Stephanie Gibbons and the Houchin Community Blood Bank crew for your hard work, and thank you to BCSGA and KVC for the grant that sponsored the event’s food and drinks. Also, special thanks to Stephanie Stuart and Theresa Rodriguez for the delicious food, and to Officers Linda Morgan and Ricardo Orozco, Jr. for securing the parking stalls for the buses. Last but not least, thank you to SouthWest Director Fernando Lara for all of your hard work! WE ARE BC!
Stephanie Gibbons, Fernando Lara and the HCBB crew
I want to thank BC Southwest for stepping up to support our community. It especially warmed my heart to hear that Professor Don Turney provided an extra credit opportunity for students in his Psychology courses who donated blood. Many of Professor Turney’s students took the Renegade Shuttle from the Panorama Campus to the Southwest for this service opportunity. Thank you, Don, for exemplifying the collegial spirit we share at BC, but also for directly benefiting our students, our Kern County community, and likely beyond!
Kobe Villatoro and Noah Gonzalez
Marisol Alvarez showing her support!
Natalie Bustamante with her new shirt.
Keep those cars away from campus and ride smart 🙂
Students, faculty and staff, plz carpool to work or join me and ride the express bus from the southwest to the main campus. That’s what Mindy Wilmot and I do!
You’ve heard of a drive-in, but have you experienced a “float-in?” Students brought their own floatation devices and watched the movie “The Shallows”… nothing like a good shark movie to make you want to have your feet dangling in water! Thanks to Student Life and Nicky Damania for planning such a wonderful past two weeks!
As I wrap up this post on September 2, 2018, that day after John McCain was laid to rest, I am inspired to ensure that Bakersfield College continues to live up to the principles and virtues this man had for this great country and its people.
….. He was courageous, with a courage that frightened his captors, and inspired his countrymen. ….. He respected the dignity inherent in every life, a dignity that does not stop at borders and cannot be erased by dictators.
Perhaps above all John detested the abuse of power, could not abide bigots and swaggering. He spoke up for the little guy, forgotten people in forgotten places. …….
Where does such strength and conviction come from? Perhaps from a family where honor was in the atmosphere or from the firsthand experience of cruelty which left physical reminders that lasted his whole life. Or from some deep well of moral principle. Whatever the cause, it was this combination of courage and decency that defined John’s calling, and closely paralleled the calling of his country.
Bakersfield College is a place of courage and decency, where no student is forgotten and the dignity of each is respected.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as the 10th president of Bakersfield College.
We are BC!
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
The Workforce & Economic Mobility Blog blog shares approaches to workforce and economic development, with a goal of supporting economic mobility for our community while staying committed to the health of our people and the health of our environment.