Tag Archives: student

SGA Students Take the Lead at Statewide Conference

20140504_105420During the weekend of May 2-4, Bakersfield College SGA students participated in the Spring 2014 General Assembly of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges (SSCCC), held in Los Angeles. This year’s theme was “Courage to Take the Lead: Inspiring the Future.” BC’s delegation included Acting SGA President, Shelby Ashton Sward, accompanied by incoming SGA 2014-2015 officers, Alex Dominguez (President-Elect),  Aeri Kim (Director of Finance-elect), and Reg Autwell (Director of Clubs and Organizations-elect), and advisor, Liz Peisner. Our students participated in a number of breakout sessions, collaborating with student leaders from community colleges up and down the state of California, on topics such as Veterans’ services, the upcoming implementation of SSSP, sustainability, and equity and diversity. Our BC students brought their Bakersfield regional experience to the table for statewide discussion, engaging in debate on matters unique to their region, such as Kern County’s priority of water conservation, and concerns over divestment of fossil fuel industries.

BmuPNxgCIAAM0U9In a move of solidarity with other California community colleges, BC delegate Shelby Sward participated in a heated debate on the GA floor, related to equity and access to academic services and student success for deaf and hard of hearing students.

Incoming SGA president Alex Dominguez reflected on his experience: “SSCCC was a great opportunity for all of us to better connect with other community colleges across the state. I saw it as a great leadership opportunity to represent and stand up for Bakersfield College and Bakersfield as a whole. Not only did I learn a lot, it was a great networking opportunity. I met countless counterparts along with many other college leaders. This also gave me an opportunity to better know my incoming SGA Board along with the existing SGA President. I strongly recommend that we attend this event again and that we bring several resolutions to the table in 2014/15. Bakersfield College has a very open opportunity to be known by establishing strong leadership and advocacy at this event.”

2014-05-02 09.31.09Informed by pre-conference feedback from our own BC faculty in the Foreign Languages and ASL department, Sward spoke up in opposition of dividing one of two resolutions, instead advocating for the importance of equity of access and services in the academic, counseling, and extracurricular environment. Following her sound leadership and advocacy, delegates immediately moved to call the question. The motion to divide failed, and the resolution passed in its entirety. The sponsoring delegation from Los Angeles Trade Tech College asked to meet with our team following the session, for pictures and discussion on best practices as implemented here at BC.

BmzgoWuCMAEkANUAutwell reflected on his experience, stating “For the most part I found this GA to be an interesting experience, as I have never been involved with student government before. I was surprised to find out how many colleges were in Region 5 and it was interesting to watch how our region works. The best experience I had was with the Spectrum Caucus. I am now Region 5’s interim representative for the caucus, and have been elected to be the representative for the new-year, starting in July. The Spectrum Caucus is very involved in providing information, not only to members of the LGBTQIA community, but also to students, about these groups. I am particularly curious on the plan to spread awareness regarding the Trans Gender population, and how they will support the Trans Gender students.”

Our newly revised constitution and restructuring of our SGA was a topic of discussion, and numerous advisors have contacted our Office of Student Life for best practices, training modules, information on the Renegade Pantry, and other opportunities for future collaboration. Our students entered General Assembly this year, with our continued promise for “Renegade Rises,” and came away with new allies in student representative government, demonstrating the best of BC, Renegade pride, and a fortified SGA.

Our STEM students

stem 4Each fall, with the support of Chevron and Bakersfield College’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) grant, students start school early for Week Zero: a six-day orientation which exposes students to problem solving and team work dynamics. Held during the two weeks prior to the start of fall semester, Week Zero is designed for students majoring in science, engineering, and mathematics. During the 2013 Week Zero program, students participated in projects in various subjects, including biology, chemistry, green technology, industrial design with SolidWorks, and leadership training. In addition, break out sessions were offered for engineering statics, interdisciplinary filmmaking, computer integrated manufacturing, microcontrollers, and mathematics. This program, which has been offered for several years, had more than 150 students participating in 2013, and 14 faculty continue to guide the programming.

stem 2

To encourage participation in Week Zero and majors in STEM careers, an Engineering Open House was hosted in November for local high school students. More than 120 students from 12 high schools in Kern County participated in competitions in Solidworks, Inventor, projectile launching, and robotics. This event highlighted the strength of the STEM program at Bakersfield College and provided important information on STEM careers to prospective students.

Related to STEM is MESA, the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement program. MESA has grown to more than 150 students who receive tutoring support from seven peer mentors who offered more than 40 hours per week of free tutoring for these students.


stem 3In order to continue to foster interest in MESA and STEM, students with engineering majors had the opportunity to attend the National Society of Hispanic Engineers conference in Indianapolis. Students attended workshops held by engineering professionals and explored employment and internship opportunities at prominent employers such as Google, Intel, PG&E, and General Mills.



In addition, MESA pre-medical students attended the 11th annual UC Davis Pre-Medical and Pre-Health Professions National Conference. Students were provided the opportunity to meet with deans of admission, admission officers, faculty, and staff from Harvard Medical School, New York University School of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, The John Hopkins University School of Medicine, and more. At the conference, information about interviewing for medical schools and MCAT preparation was provided.

stem 6Part of understanding the needs of students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs is the demographics and expectations of students attending Bakersfield College. In the STEM Conversations series, Bakersfield College faculty in STEM fields met in September to learn details on newly-gathered data about first generation students, and students majoring in STEM disciplines in particular, at Bakersfield College. A second STEM Conversation occurred in early November and entailed presentations on the use of the Smartboard and BriteLinks technology in math courses.

MESA Director Connie Gonzalez worked to establish a robust MESA Advisory Board with an expanded membership of industry, faculty, and student representatives. This group works to guide the STEM disciplines and developed a mission statement, Strategic Plan, and Marketing Plan.


stem 5STEM programs also work to keep the technology and understanding of fields current. A two-day session, facilitated by STEM Counselor Cynthia Quintanilla and Bakersfield College English professor Paula Parks, English professor, educated STEM Mentors, STEM Assistants, and English Express Coaches on lesson planning, group dynamics, conflict resolution, and much more. These training sessions have continued once a month on Fridays and have even been interactively presented to STEM Assistants located at the Delano Campus.

From Camp to Campus. Winners from our Delano campus.

“Camp to Campus” is a 90-minute documentary which focuses on first-generation college graduates who come from a migrant labor background. This is the reality for many Bakersfield College students, and for two in particular.

As part of “Camps to Campus” students could submit essays about their own college-going experience for the opportunity to receive a $1000 scholarship to attend CSUB. Two Bakersfield College students who attend class at the Delano Campus were the winners!

CamptoCampusDeissy Ibarra received a scholarship for her essay titled “The Light at the End of the Tunnel.” You can read Deissy’s submission online. Deissy related her own college-going experience to one of the students featured in “Camp to Campus” and received a $1000 scholarship for her effort.

Raji Rivera created a video essay for his submission.

Congratulations to these two students. Their success stories and pursuit of higher education are why Bakersfield College has worked for the last 100 years to provide access to quality higher education!