Tag Archives: Sue Vaughn

‘Tis the season to be a Renegade!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 15, 2018… A great day to be a Renegade.

BC’s Jason Frando just keeps swimming

Love this powerful video of BC swimmer Jason Frando.  Such an inspiration to see one of our student-athletes succeeding in school and life.  He’s really making a splash at BC!

Special shout-out to student Justin Frando for shooting and editing this great video!

Check out the video on YouTube!

Weekend Adventures

Dogs in sand
This past weekend, Neo was happy to be reunited with Bessie in Southern California. Can you believe how big Bessie is getting?
Dog on beach
I love this photo of Neo enjoying the sand beneath his paws and the sun rising on the beach.
Dog in sand
And, of course, Bessie… a Southern California puppy who knows how to have fun in the sun and sand.

Education Strategy Session

Bakersfield College enriches the community it serves by partnering with local organizations to meet local needs. On Tuesday, November 27, a BC team met with several North Kern K-12 district leaders to initiate conversations surrounding Teacher Preparation Pathways in Kern County.

The Central Valley, along with the rest of the state and nation, is suffering from a teacher shortage. BC currently contributes to teacher preparation through its Early Childhood Education AS-T and Elementary Teacher Education AA-T degrees. Through research and planning from a recent Education Futures grant, BC is broadening its collaborations with its K-12 and university partners to alleviate teacher shortages in its surrounding communities.

Trustee Romeo Agbalog set the stage by highlighting the transformative power of education, particularly for rural Kern. Abel Guzman, Exec. Director of Rural Initiatives, gathered leaders from Grimmway Schools, KCSOS, McFarland High School, Richland Union Elementary School District, Wasco Independence High School, Shafter Learning Center, and Delano Joint Union High School and Elementary School Districts to participate in the first North Kern strategy session. The rest of the Bakersfield College team included:

  • Liz RozellVice President of Instruction
  • Billie Jo Rice and Michele BressoDeans of Instruction
  • Kimberly Bligh, Erica Menchaca, and Jessica WojtysiakFaculty

BC is dedicated to working with CSUB and other community partners to recruit, train, and retain more teachers at all levels and in all subjects. More strategy sessions and plans to expand current offerings are in the works. We look forward to sharing more exciting updates in the coming months!

Educational Systems and Intersegmental Pathways Task Force

It is uplifting to see leaders in education across the state coming together to increase student learning and degree attainment. The Educational Systems and Intersegmental Pathways Task Force met on November 29th at the LAX Marriott to do just that –- influence student outcomes at scale.

Noting that systems development is critical for improving student success in California, I highlighted the statewide need for more efficient data flow and interactive student planning tools. Current statewide data systems challenges were discussed by a panel of experts, including Patrick Perry from CSU, Anthony Dalton from CalPASS, Tess Carmen De Roy from CCGI, and Krystinne Mica from ASCCC.  Omid Pourzanjani, CCCCO Visiting Vice Chancellor, shared statewide data of current student paths and ideas to improve the student journey.

Program Mapper projects that sequence curriculum in a virtual map for students were showcased by Bakersfield College, Cypress College, and Concentric Sky. President of Cypress College JoAnna Schilling, CTE faculty Kathleen Reiland, Workforce consultant Steve Glyer, BC Dean of Institutional Effectiveness Craig Hayward, Assistant Vice President of CSU Bakersfield Vikash Lakhani, and Wayne Skipper from Concentric Sky presented updates and future planning for their respective projects.

After the presentations and panel discussion, the task force determined two areas of focus: Mapping Student Journeys and Intersegmental Data Systems. The group plans to continue its collaborative work over the next two years, including three more face-to-face meetings.

Sue Vaughn retires a Renegade

Sue Vaughn and friends

Last Thursday, we celebrated the career of a woman who has dedicated her life to education.  Sue Vaughn, who has served at BC for more than two decades, said goodbye to fellow staff and faculty in a ceremony held at PAC 101.

Colleagues such as Manny MourtzanosZav DadabhoyNicky Damania, Steve Watkin, and Kalina Hill (in a UCLA football shirt) shared heartwarming stories about their experiences with Sue and what an inspirational woman she is to all of us.  It was emotional to witness Sue reflect on her time at BC; she has put so much of herself into the education of others and we all owe her a debt of gratitude.

Sue has invested more than 32 years in higher education. She faithfully and diligently served BC for 22 of those years (20 as the Director of Enrollment Services, and 2 as the Director of the Child Development Center).

Prior to BC, Sue served as Director of the PACE program for public assistance recipients at Tompkins Cortland Community College in upstate New York for 10 years.  She also directed a Child Council in Syracuse, trained Head Start Teachers in Mississippi, directed a Parent Cooperative Preschool in Milpitas CA, and taught 6th grade in Palos Verdes.  Needless to say, her accomplishments in education are nothing short of remarkable.

Some of Sue’s notable career highlights include:

  • Served as Vice President of the New York State Child Care Coordinating Council
  • President of the California Association of Community College Registrars and Admissions Officers CACCRAO
  • Awarded the CACCRAO Robert Brown Leadership Award in 2017

A couple of fun facts about Sue include:

  • Sue and her husband Norm have two grown sons and five grandchildren
  • Sue is a diehard UCLA fan. Go Bruins!
Sue Vaughn

Sue will be sorely missed around the BC campus, but we know she will be enjoying her retirement years with her family.  Thank you for everything, Sue!

BC talks Open Enrollment on Telemundo!

Jaime Lopez and Manuel Muralles made an appearance on Telemundo to encourage students and remind parents that BC Enrollment is now open.  They provided information on upcoming events and outreach to help students enroll for the Spring semester. Great information and great to see our team getting the word out! Todos Somos BC!  Thank you Norma Rojas-Mora for this great partnership with Telemundo. 

Watch video of their appearance on KGET.

Delano De-stress Fest

The De-stresser event at the main campus was extended to the Delano Campus on Monday, December 3, 2018 during finals week. The Miracle Mutts were such a hit with the students, and even faculty and staff were able to benefit. According to the Miracle Mutt’s website, many benefits of human-canine interaction are:

  • Lowered blood pressure and heart rate
  • Increased production of serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin in the brain–chemicals responsible for feelings of happiness, calmness, and connectivity
  • Decreased production of cortisol and norepinephrine–chemicals that produce feelings of stress, anxiety, and fear
  • Reduced depression, loneliness, and anxiety
  • Boosted motivation for physical activity and social interaction

Such great physical, emotional, and social health benefits from the interaction with these playful dogs!

Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud used his dog, Jofi, in his therapy sessions. But, why? What is it that can make the presence of dogs so soothing? Many students were able to experience this phenomonon first-hand and even asked that the Miracle Mutts come back the first week of next semester.

Thank you for the support!

Delano Suicide Awareness

The Suicide Awareness event was geared toward an open dialogue centered on eliminating the stigma in society when it comes to discussing mental health, and even more so addressing suicide.  Bringing awareness creates a safe space to openly discuss sensitive and otherwise taboo topics. By opening up this forum, we allow students to be empowered to talk openly when the need arises.  The event included a hands-on activity where students were encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings through art.

A must-read by Jack Hernandez

Newspaper article

Loved seeing BC’s Jack Hernandez in The Bakersfield Californian’s Community Voices section. His piece entitled “You can’t go back home” is a must-read. Check it out!

Another must-read by Jack Hernandez

Jack Hernandez
Jack Hernandez

I also love this poem by Jack Hernandez, which was recently published in the current issue of the Anglican Theological Review.  So powerful!

A Rule

My monkish soul

seeks a rule

in this familiar

place where windows

dazzle no longer,

the call of a full

order or stomach

receding like mother’s

admonition to clean

my dinner plate.

The days unfold

with limited promise,

my genes fulfilled

mind stuffed

with books

instructions not

to blink

before strong

ideas no matter

how strange their eyes.

A young woman

walks by

a baby in each arm

her days

ruled like mine

when flushed with time,

The rule of life

I seek now

is a grace to light

this cloistered dusk.

South Kern Sol shines light on Renegade Pantry

Reporter Jessica Manzo of South Kern Sol highlighted the Renegade pantry in an article last week, spreading the word of how food pantries at BC and CSUB provide food security and important nutrition for college students, especially during finals week.

Manzo spoke to several Renegade Pantry coordinators, including David Guinto and Nallely Sanchez, about how pantries provide an important resource for students who are already struggling with the costs of tuition, books, housing, and school supplies. She also quoted this blog about how food support is able to help students commit to their education.

If you’d like to donate food or new and gently used clothing to the Renegade Pantry, you can drop it off in Levinson Hall during the pantry’s hours of operation, which are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Popular items include drinks, cookies, and frozen snacks.

Norma Rojas-Mora appears on Telemundo

Norma Rojas-Mora was on Telemundo this week to share information on Bakersfield College, including the open enrollment period, BC’s expansion plans, as well as to provide an update to the viewers on her journey at Bakersfield College.

Telemundo interviewed Norma when she first joined the BC team, and as always she continues to look for ways to share the great work of the college. Norma talked about what she sees as one of the most innovative programs from her perspective, the Early College initiative and partnership with the Wonderful Academy, where 38 high school students graduated from Bakersfield College one week before graduating from high school!  This was a game changer! To know that it is possible for local kids to graduate from college with their AA degree while they are simultaneously completing high school will fundamentally change access to education.

She encouraged parents to become engaged and informed about programs that help their children. More than anything, she encouraged parents to always be supportive and engaged in their child’s education. Norma promised to be back to share more about Bakersfield College and its plans for expanding in the Southwest.

Watch video of Norma’s appearance on Telemundo.

Fun photos from the Faculty Tenure Party

I received this email from Krista Moreland, a great faculty leader on campus.

“This is the year my faculty cohort and I are up for tenure. You form a unique and long lasting bond with the faculty you start full-time with, one that will last until retirement. And on Thursday Dec. 6th, many of us met at the Tower bar and grill to celebrate our year four evaluations and Tenure!  Receiving a satisfactory evaluation at year four, starts the final tenure process which culminates in spring with board approval. Although we have not received official tenure yet, we couldn’t wait to celebrate the completion of mode A evaluations and symbolically mark the occasion! It’s a great feeling to have your work be recognized by faculty and deans, and I think I can safely speak for my cohort when I say we appreciate all of the support and guidance we’ve received from our BC family over the years. “

“We had a wonderful night of cheers and pics with our colleagues, and Academic Senate President Steve Holmes symbolically marked the occasion by formally presenting each of us with a BC pin.”

“I organized the event, and our cohort all contributed, including: Erica Menchaca, Andrew Bond, Chris Dison, Harlan Hunter, Jessica Wojtysiak, Sarah Villasenor, Debbie Rosenthal, Sondra Keckley, and Krista Moreland. Others were not able to make it, but were there with us in spirit. “

“I’m  very thankful that my department supports its faculty and contributed to the celebration, including Human Services director  Lynn Knaggs, Behavioral Sciences Chair Christian Zoller,  and area Dean Richard McCrow!  Thank you to everyone who helped make the night special!”

Fun holiday photos

Chris Glaser and Nicky Damania
Chris Glaser and Nicky Damania performing at the Rainbow Voices holiday concert.

Fun photos around Bakersfield

Mayor Karen Goh and Deborah Rosenthal
Professor Deborah Rosenthal took a selfie with Mayor Karen Goh at the pop-up deli and lighting of the menorah at Chabad on Ming. It was a tradition of Mayor Harvey Hall to attend each year and Mayor Goh is keeping up the tradition.

Fun photos from the CSEA Potluck

Photos from the KCCD Board of Trustees Meeting

Executive Suite Holiday Potluck

Executive Suite Holiday Potluck
The Executive Suite enjoying a wonderful holiday meal. Thank you Tarina Perry for the photo.

Tuesday, December 11 was an exciting day at BC. A main water line ruptured and campus closed while our Maintenance & Operations team coordinated the emergency repairs. Tuesday also happened to be our annual Executive Suite Holiday Potluck. This is a time when our team whips-up favorite dishes and we join together to share. The food was amazing. (Because they’re all talented chefs!) And I was so happy to be able to end that day sharing stories and great conversation with these bright faces.

You would never know that just moments before they were calmly handling a campus emergency.

Outdoor Fun

As a result of their participation in the Outdoor Classroom Specialist trainings, Child Development Center teachers are now including a wider variety of specific learning and developmental activities. And the second outdoor classroom for toddlers will be ready for the children to use when they return in January. This additional classroom will allow the Center to have the children outside for up to 3 hours each day–air quality and weather permitting.

Children playing with tires
Watching these children play sure does make me “tired.”

Below is a very short video of two-year olds and their teachers enjoying themselves in the rain.  The picture above is of them utilizing the tires that we added to their outdoor classroom. So fun to be young!

North High and BC start holiday season on a high note

On Thursday, Bakersfield College was honored to host North High School’s fourth-annual Winter Collage concert in the Indoor Theater featuring the North High choir and jazz band. The BC Chamber Singers even got the opportunity to participate in the festivities.

North High students, parents, and alumni filled every seat in the Indoor Theater, and the holiday spirit reverberated through the walls of the auditorium with each performance, which ranged from ethereal traditional music to holiday show tunes. 

North High choir director Jack Bertrand directed the BC Chamber Singers in the opening song, then Chamber Singers director Jennifer Garrett directed North High students and BC Chamber Singers for a few performances. After beautifully executing the solo and group numbers that they’d been working on all school year, the North High choir turned the stage over to the North High jazz band, which played a set of funk and Latin-tinged Christmas jams.

The event was free to attend, but throughout the night, North High alumni and staff took donations and sold raffle tickets to raise money for choir and band students to visit music programs at colleges and universities across the state next spring.

I’d like to thank Jennifer Garrett and the Events staff for arranging a space for North High to host its Winter Collage while their campus is undergoing renovations, and I’d like to thank Jack Bertrand and North High for choosing BC as the temporary home for such an important night.

BC and BPD: Partners Against Crime

Chief Lyle Martin, Sonya Christian, Fred Prince, and student
(left to right) Chief Lyle Martin, Sonya Christian, Fred Prince, and Darrin Branson, BPD Business Manager

Bakersfield College is lucky to be supported by so many local institutions and community partners. One of those incredible partners, our local BPD, does so much to inspire and work with our students in the Public Safety Training and Law Enforcement fields. Chief Lyle Martin attends many BC events, including his participation on a panel earlier this year called “Transformational Policing: Bridging the Racial Divide.” Director of Public Safety at BC, Chief Chris Counts, reminds me often of the great working relationship outside of the classroom between BPD and BC as well.

Holiday Tree lights up the Welcome Center

BC staff smiles by Christmas Tree
Faculty and staff pose near the holiday tree in the Welcome Center.

Faculty and staff gathered in the Welcome Center on Tuesday morning to celebrate the lighting of the holiday tree.  Hot cocoa, coffee, and delicious cookies were served. I love celebrating this time of year as it gives everyone such a warm sense of togetherness!

Kern Education Pledge

CSU Bakersfield held a news conference earlier this week about the Kern Education Pledge, an initiative partnering K-12 and college facilities.  The goal of this new alliance is to transform the county’s education system so that the pathway to college or a career is streamlined and seamless. All 47 school districts in Kern County, Cal State Bakersfield, the Kern Community College District and Taft College are part of the coalition. I absolutely love our Kern community and our commitment to education!  

Mary Barlow, Lorea Laverti, Tom Burke
(left to right) Mary Barlow, Renegade Lorea Laverti (who sang a beautiful version of the National Anthem), and Chancellor Tom Burke
Chancellor Tom Burke, Lorea Laverti, President Jill Board
BC Music Major Lorea Laverti. Thank you Dr. Jen Garrett for your phenomenal work with students.

Kern Community College District Chancellor Tom Burke said a few words, noting that the District supports the Kern Education Pledge not only because of partnerships between the local school districts and CSU Bakersfield, but because of the mission of the pledge.  “We know that improving student outcomes throughout Kern County requires innovative and sustained collaboration across all of our organizations and I have been impressed by the level of excitement and commitment around this work that we have seen to date,” he said.  

Mary Barlow
Mary Barlow

I want to take a moment to recognize Mary C. Barlow and Kristin Beale for all of their hard work on making the Kern Education Pledge a reality. Mary was named the Kern County Superintendent of Schools last year, and has been working non-stop since then to help better the Kern County educational system.  She has spent the majority of her career in education, serving as a teacher, Director of Children and Family Services, and a district superintendent. During her time as Superintendent of the Kernville Union School District, she focused on increasing student achievement, and has continued that same goal as the Kern County Superintendent of Schools.

Kristin Beale
Kristin Beale

Kristin Beale has been an invaluable part of creating the Kern Education Pledge.  She is President and CEO of Kern Community Foundation, a CPI grantee partner that provides scholarships to more than 300 students annually. Kern Community Foundation has granted $18 million to nonprofits and scholarship recipients in Kern County, California, since the foundation was established in 1999!

It’s because of people like Mary and Kristen that the Kern Education Pledge has become a reality, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for the students of Kern County.  Be sure to check out the Bakersfield Californian’s article “Collaboration of education leaders, industry partners, launch Kern Education Pledge” for more information!

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11 a.m., check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights include segments with BC Student Success Program Manager Darrell Ballard, Director of the Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House Scarlett Sabin, and KBYH Executive Vice President / Program Director Robert Carter.

Segment with Darrell Ballard

Segment with Scarlett Sabin

Segment with Robert Carter

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (12/2-12/8) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

Renegades of the Week

Vada Lewis, Women’s Basketball

Vada had a double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds) in a 79-66 win over Taft College on 12/7.

Anieus Medrano, Men’s Basketball

Anieus had 30 points (including seven 3-pointers) in an 81-71 win over LA Valley at the SBCC Tournament on 12/6.

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:

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics by following us on social media.

  • Facebook – find us under ‘Bakersfield College Athletics’
  • Twitter – @GoGadesGo
  • Instagram – @gogadesgo
Sonya Christian


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever

A thing of beauty is a joy forever

Clouds on flight from PDX to BUR Jan 6 2018

Cloud formation from the turbulent flight from PDX to BUR Jan 7 2018

Good morning Bakersfield…It is Saturday, January 13, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade!

This week, it seemed that I was able to see beauty all around me.  I have noticed that there are times that my sensitivity to all things beautiful seem more heightened.  It is during these time that I pick up my poetry book from high school at Mount Carmel Convent ….. this week I found myself reading Keats.  So my friends, here are images of beauty for you as you soak in Keats

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:

Its loveliness increases; it will never

Pass into nothingness; but still will keep

A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Pacheco Pass Jan 12 2018

San Luis Reservoir, Pacheco Pass, Jan 12 2018

 

Before Magnolia and Brazilian Pepper

An extremely active week at BC with faculty arriving back on campus for inservice activities, workshops as we gear up to welcome over 31,000 students back to our campuses in Bakersfield, in Delano, in Arvin, in Shafter, online, …… I did a bit of travelling to San Jose to attend the accreditation commission (ACCJC) meeting.

With half of the school year in our rear view mirror, all of Bakersfield College’s faculty and staff came together once again in anticipation for the next semester during our Spring 2018 Opening Day celebration Thursday at the Indoor Theater.

IMG_0013-X3

One of my favorite parts of the day kicks off with seeing familiar faces during the gathering in the plaza. I was so glad to have beautiful photos this year of the activity before the program.

Great group from our Child Care Center.

Child Care gang Opening Day Jan 11 2018

Dezi Von Manos opened the program with the traditional remarks from the BCSGA President.

Dezi Von Manos Opening day

Dezi Von Manos Opening day

Opening day spotlighted our accreditation work under the leadership of Liz Rozell, dean of Instrcution, and Jason Stratton, history faculty.

Liz Rozell and Jason Stratton

Liz Rozell and Jason Stratton

After showing a brief video interviewing students and staff about accreditation and Student Learning Outcomes, Liz and Jason thanked the faculty team leads who will be putting together the materials for our four accreditation standards and the writers, editors and communication team for the Quality Focus Essay that will wrap our self-evaluation report in a neat little bow and tell the world BC’s story.

Our primary editor for this project is Dr. Nick Strobel, and he’ll be responsible for putting all of the information together into a coherent narrative. Manny produced a silly comic relief video of Nick dressed up as a monk, walking around the library while carrying large scrolls as Gregorian chants echoed through the halls.

Following Accreditation, Andrea Thorson took the stage to emphasize the importance of maintaining a singular, coherent voice about BC’s institutional philosophy when we talk to students or people in the community.

s18openingday_earl31-x2

Andrea Thorson

 

Di Hoffman and new Dean Billie Jo Rice talked about assessment and Student Learning Outcomes, using the acronym PARR (Plan, Assess, Reflect, and Refine) as a pneumonic device to outline our assessment process.

Billi Jo Rice and Di Hoffman

Billi Jo Rice and Di Hoffman

Julian West addressed the audience about how he’s able to keep 600 students in our African-American affinity group engaged and striving for their highest level of excellence, using a combination of data analysis and “real talk” face-to-face mentorship to ensure that none of our African American students are falling through the cracks. See Julians full remarks here.

Janet Fulks and our new Web Content Editor, Nicole Griffin discussed our state-of-the-Renegade Scorecard 3.0, that continues to bring our institutional data to life on the web with an unprecedented level of interactivity displaying statistics about our student population and programs of study.

Nicole Griffin and Janet Fulks

Nicole Griffin and Janet Fulks

 

I was excited to announce the planned campus renovations that are going to be made possible via Measure J, which was initially going to take place over 25 years, has now been compacted planned for a shorter time line. This means that many of you will get to see our campus transform before your eyes during your tenure at BC, and the money will be used more efficiently to avoid cost increases due to inflation.

Todd Coston

Todd Coston 

Bill Potter presented the new Facilities Master Plan to the audience at our Opening Day presentation, with a special guest for the presentation, Todd Coston dressed as a janitor showing how accreditation is a whole campus endeavor. I heard Todd even threw a mop bucket full of silver confetti into the theater.

Toward the end of the Opening Day presentation, Tina Johnson introduced the new members of the CSEA board, Isabel Stierle encouraged faculty members to welcome our new faculty members into the CCA, and Steven Holmes urged faculty and staff to be active participants in all of our various committees including Guided Pathways.

 

Sue Vaughn gave an update sharing the constant and rapid movement in the Management Association.  At one point the audience gave a standing ovation for Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg. Love this photo taken by Earl Parsons.

Audience applauding Nan Spring 2018 Opening Day

Our SGA Senators, Ashley Harp and Mustapha Burraj led the entire audience in a stretch break.

Stretch Break for Opening Day

Stretch Break for Opening Day

Reggie Williams, the recipient of the 2017 Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award, gave his thank-you speech during this semester’s Opening Day since he was out of the country during the Fall 2017 festivities. He gave special recognition to Jack Hernandez for inspiring him to learn more about philosophy during his time in one of Jack’s classes as an 18-year-old freshman at BC.

Susan Pinza announced Oliver Rosales as the winner of the Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium Award. Oliver will be delivering a presentation about multicultural civil rights activism in post-World War II Bakersfield.

Oliver Rosales standing to be recognized

Dr. Oliver Rosales standing to be recognized

Opening and Closing Days are a huge undertaking, and I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who made it possible. I’d like to thank Manny de Los Santos for his work compiling all of the videos for this event, as well as running the livestream. And special thanks to Nate from Freestyle who was our sound technician and is a BC student studying Computer Science!

s18openingday_earl34-x3

Manny De Los Santos and Nate

Thank you also to our photographers from the Marketing and Public Relations team—Earl Parsons, Eric Carillo and Dylan Wang

Dylan Wang

Dylan Wang capturing the day through the lens.

 

Thank you Eric Carillo for texting me some of the selfies and bringing me vicariously to Opening Day.  I so loved them.  Here are a few.

 

 

All of their photos for the day can be found on the BC Smugmug.

Thank you to Monika Scott, Jennifer Serratt and Lesley Bonds for coordinating and planning, and Kristin Rabe for coordinating the theater.

Jennifer Serratt, Aricia Leighton, Kristin Rabe, Monika Scott

Jennifer Serratt, Aricia Leighton, Kristin Rabe, Monika Scott

Jennifer Serratt, Lesley Bonds Jan 11 2018

Jennifer Serratt, Lesley Bonds

And Opening Day wouldn’t be the same without Francis Mayer as our emcee.

Francis Mayer

Francis Mayer, the man behind the microphone

Thank you to our Food Services crew led by Chef Eric Sabella, who put together another great breakfast and lunch.

Food Services on Opening Day

Food Services Crew with BC’s awesome Breakfast Burritos

And our interpreters Jarris Wright and Carolyn Borso and our incredible ushers were Arisve Pimentel, Bernadette Martinez, Chris Glaser, Danyel Owens, Jordaun Bennett, Lori Ortiz, Tarina Perry, and Wendy Lawson.

Ushers

Flex Week

The week before the semester begins is always exciting because Faculty come back and re-engage with the campus through flex workshops which cover an array of topics. This year workshops covered everything from eLumen Curriculum led by Jennifer Johnson, Best Practices for Online Learning by Matt Jones, and Summer Bridge by Kimberly Bligh, Erica Menchaca, Isabel Castaneda, and Teresa Mcallister among many many others. Here are some photos from Flexweek!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

See all the photos at Bakersfield College’s Smugmug.

26231034_2002088896680782_2530407326886787086_n

Erica Menchaca, Isabel Castaneda, Kimberly Bligh

Corrections to College California

bryan_hirayama

Bryan Hirayama on the left with his Distinguished Teaching Award

Corrections to College California just released a new short documentary, The Sergeant and the Professor, featuring a CDCR-College partnership. The video tells the story of Sergeant Jeff Ervin and Professor Bryan Hirayama. Sergeant Ervin has worked for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for 12 years. Two years ago, Bakersfield College began offering classes in his housing unit. Sergeant Ervin was reluctant and skeptical. Professor Hirayama was the first Bakersfield College professor to teach inside Sergeant Ervin’s facility. The two didn’t always see eye to eye, but these unlikely colleagues learned to work together to support the college students. You can find out how this program transformed Sergeant Ervin and the prison by watching the video.

See the video on Facebook by clicking here.

Visitors from Korea

BC and KCCD representatives met January 8 with a representative from a Bakersfield’s Sister City, Bucheon City to talk about a possible exchange program for students and faculty. This is the second time that BC has hosted Bucheon City visitors. They were here this summer.

IMG_1809

John Means, Vice Chancellor, Shohreh Rahman, Counselor International Students So-Hyun Kim, Representative Bucheon City, Republic of Korea Eun-Ja Kim Park, retired professor CSUB Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Vice President Instruction

BC Point Guard, Johnathan Murray

cropped conf champions feb 17 2016 rich hughes

Coach Hughes after winning the Conf Championship Feb 17, 2016

There was a great piece by Jon Mettus of the Californian about our record setting player Johnathan Murray as the teams ‘unsung hero.’

Mettus wrote that “Murray is the facilitator for BC’s offense and the glue that holds the team together. On a squad that features players like Jamar Hammonds, Tucker Eenigenburg and Jaylunn English, who can all go off for more than 20 points on any given night…” He goes on to credit coach, Rich Hughes with naming Murray the “unsung hero.”

Bakersfield is so proud to have Coach Rich Hughes leading the Renegade Basketball team. Have you been a game recently?  There’s a few great games left this season. Check out http://www.gogades.com/sports/mbkb/2017-18/schedule  for the schedule and follow Coach Hughes on Twitter  @coachrichhughes

To see the article by Jon Mettus visit, http://www.bakersfield.com/sports/bc-point-guard-johnathan-murray-is-the-team-s-unsung/article_9195640c-f6fb-11e7-8c83-db2b4fe11733.html

EOP&S

Starting this semester, representatives from the Department of Human Services (DHS) are holding office hours in the second floor of the CSS building to help students to assist students with children who receive financial assistance through their department.

EOPS

DHS Social Service Workers from the Employment Services division are partnering with our Extended Opportunities Programs and Services Department (EOP&S) to help BC student parents attending school while receiving cash aid benefits via CalWORKS (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids). Their offices will be located in the EOP&S area of the CSS building, and they’ll be helping provide our students educational support services, employment training and work study opportunities.

This partnership will help our BC CalWORKS program that was already being run under EOP&S integrate more efficiently with the Department of Human Services, and I’m excited for all of the potential that this partnership holds.

Accreditation and ACCJC

I always feel a little reluctant to snap pictures at the Accreditation Commission Meeting.  But here are a few after we were done with the meeting.  In the first picture you see the Chair of the Commission Raul Rodriguez who is the Chancellor of the Rancho Santiago Community College District with Mary Okada who is the president of Guam Community College and is on the ACCJC Exec Committee.  Inn the second picture, I am with Richard Mahon, who is currently a dean at Alan Hancock College.  In the last picture I am with Jared Spring, a manager at ACCJC and one of my favorite people.

Sonya Christian and Jared Spring ACCJC Jan 12 2018

Let me end with John Keats again

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever

Neo Jan 12 2018

Sonya Christian Pacheco Pass heading back home from ACCJC Meeting Jan 12 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Thank you Kern County!

Measure J Passes! Thank you Kern County

50058052351__d475d29b-01c3-43e5-b511-163349ebdf77

With a vote of 96,589 to 58,155, Kern County supported Measure J with 62.42% of the vote. Measure J also received 59.99% of the vote in Tulare County, and 63.6% of the vote in San Bernardino County. After months of hard work, I am so grateful to our voters for supporting our community colleges! And I am grateful to the many volunteers who turned out over the past few months to get out the vote and spread the word about the great things that this bond will do for Bakersfield College and all of the college in the Kern Community College District.

And a special thank you to my friend who reminds me everyday to Keep the Faith!

And thank you Tom Moran who responded to my early morning call on Saturday and taught me how to sign my thank you message to the voters.

We had an amazing group of volunteers that came out to assist in our final push on Election Day. It was a busy day that began around 6 am and lasted until midnight! The guy behind me in the picture is Dave Mason who worked with us through the campaign.  He drove in from Oakland to spend election night with us.  Thank you Dave!

Here are two great pictures of Nick Strobel on November 8th.  One was taken when he was relentless in phone banking to get out the vote.  The picture was taken at 7:30 p.m., 30 minutes before the polls closed.  And the picture on the left is when we had a table give way, sending an ice bucket and the melted water in it crashing to the floor. (I guess you could say the election center took the ice bucket challenge…) Nick, true to himself, we the first one up and helping to clean the floor.

A few of our volunteers shared some memorable moments from the campaign:

 

The weekend leading up to Election Day was hectic at campaign headquarters.  Here are pictures of Nov 5th (Saturday) and Nov 6th (Sun) including the half-time show that Congressman Bill Thomas (or should I say KCCD Trustee Bill Thomas) did with Vance Palm on the Damron Deck with a great view of the city and the valley.  Vance Palm, you do a real nice job with Renegade Football and the half-time show with the congressman was fantastic.

November 5th;  Here is Rick Kreiser, owner of Carney’s saving the day and saving the campaign by replacing the toner Saturday late evening so that we could continue printing materials for our GOTV (Get Out the Vote) campaign.  Thank you Rick Kreiser for all of the donations and all of your time in support of passing Measure J.

 

I love this picture of Chief Counts and his beautiful daughter Faith who volunteered their time through the entire Measure J campaign.

And pets were also part of the campaign. Here’s Tom Gelder with canine friend Lexy and Bruce our election dog on November 10th helping clean up Campaign HQ.

Measure J was a “whole family affair.”  Andrea Thorson and her son James.  Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg holding Lily Ann (Grace’s baby girl), who was sleeping peacefully while Nan phone banked.  I love both these pictures.

Dr. Kimberly Bligh, Dr. Janet Fulks, Bruce Meyer all phone banking on Nov 7 2016

Grace Commiso and Sue Vaughn.

I loved the cookies Bill Moseley baked using a 3D printed cookie cuttter.  Yes on J!

Bill Moseley Cookies Nov 7 2016.JPG

On November 7th night, I was trying to get these folks out of the office and get them to go to bed before the big day.  It was a hard task! Lesley Bonds, Nicky Damania, Chris Glaser, Nicole Para.

Nov 7 wrapping up the night.JPG

The Election Day 6:00 a.m. pictures

On the right, our fabulous campaign manager Nicole Parra. In the group picture on the left: Chris Glaser, Lesley Bonds, Sue Vaughn, Ashley Ward, Todd Coston, Bill Potter, Liz Rozell, Asha Chandy, Nicole Parra.

Polling location teams at Aera Energy and at Delano

Polling location team at the Kern County Fair and first-time voters who were so excited. Thank you Olivia Garcia for the photo.

 

Polling location teams in South East Bakersfield and at Wasco.

 

Veterans Day. Nov 11, 2016

On Veterans Day, our BC Veterans Club took part in the annual Bakersfield Veterans Day parade. It was such an honor to meet with them at the parade. We are truly grateful for their service, and for the service of all this great nation’s veterans. Thank you!

IMG_0282.JPG

doug-and-martha-miller-and-sonya-christian-nov-11-2016-vets-paradeThank you Karen Goh for some great pictures.

It was also a treat running into Martha Miller nee McCuen at the Vets Parade.  Martha is the daughter of Theron McCuen who was the Superintendent of Kern High and Bakersfield College when BC was on the Kern High campus. Martha’s husband Doug Miller retired as Superintendent of the Panama Buena Vista School District in 2007.  I am so glad Martha recognized me and called out as I was dashing towards my car.  With the work we undertook related to campaigning for Measure J, I was always fully aware of BC’s past, particularly 1956 when the campus moved from Kern High (Now BHS) to the Panorama Bluffs, while we were forging BC’s future.  So to run into the daughter of Theron McCuen whose name is on the Administration Building where I have my office felt like an auspicious moment.

So, of course, I went searching in BC’s archives.  Thank you Jerry Ludeke for your commitment to the archives.

 

Here is a 1958 photo that includes Theron McCuen at Ralph Prator’s retirement dinner. From Left: Ralph Prator (outgoing BC President), Ed Simonsen (incoming BC President), Marvene Simonsen, Theron McCuen (Superintendent), Hazel McCuen. 1958.

1958-ralph-prator-outgoing-bc-president-ed-simonsen-incoming-bc-president-marvene-simonsen-theron-mccuen-superintendent-hazel-mccuen

Also from the archives this newspaper clipping from the Bakersfield Californian.  From Left to Right: H.E. Woodworth, Ralph Prator, Ed Simonsen, Dorothy Donohoe, Theron McCuen.  This is the first time that I have seen a picture of Dorothy Donohoe, who as Assemblywoman was responsible for the development of the California Higher Education Master Plan.  It seems appropriate to have her picture in my post Measure J blog to recognize the leaders from our community who had the vision for what we are today.

may-15-1958-newspaper-clipping-woodworth-prator-simonsen-dorothy-donohoe-mccuen

 

BC Veterans

Let’s salute our faculty, staff and students who are veterans.

Bernadette Martinez in the counseling department put out a call to our faculty & staff to share out who on our BC campus is a veteran, which I’d like to repeat here:

United States Marines

  • Jeremy Staat, 2005-2009, Corporal (E-4). — Welding
  • Armando Trujillo, Marine Corps –Veterans Educational Advisor
  • Felix Ramirez from 1980-1985.  1985-2002 Army National Guard (E-7) —Public Safety Officer
  • Juan Torres, United State Marine Corps from 1988-1994—Site Operations  (Delano)

United States Navy

  • Lieutenant Manuel Fernandez, 11 years—Electronics
  • Jahnea Palfrey, 1999-2003, Law Enforcement—Department Assistant
  • Di Hoffman,  1992-2001 – Nursing
  • Eddie Rangel, 1998-2001 (E-4) –Information Technology
  • Diana Alcala, 2002-2008—Human Resources Assistant
  • Paul Beckworth, 1989-1993, Guard 1997-2003—History
  • Richard McCrow, 30 years –Director Delano Campus

United States Army

  • Pat Smith, 5 yrs —Criminal Justice
  • Patrick Fulks, 1969-1971,(E-5) Biology

United States Air Force

  • Bernadette Martinez, 1993-1997 (E-4)—Office Supervisor
  • Christine Dunn 1995-1998 (Captain) Nursing

Veterans Celebration at Porterville College

On November 10th we had the KCCD Board meeting at Porterville College.  They had their Veterans event on the same day and it was wonderful wandering the campus hearing from student veterans and visiting the Veterans Resource Center.  Steve Schutlz has done a real nice job with the facility and I was warmly greeted by the counselor for PC’s student veterans Maria Roman.

I learned from the keynote speaker, a Vietnam Vet, that it was important to remember our history…particularly the local history.  He shared that there was a former airport and military airfield located in the area that conducted flying training during World War II.

During our lunch with the Board, Dr. Carlson had organized a presentation on the Pathways work undertaken by the community over the last decade; a large scale collaboration with business and industry and K-12 partners.  Both Trustee John Corkins and President Rosa Carlson have worked in leadership roles to advance this work on student success. Pretty cool stuff.  Great results!

At the Board meeting, I enjoyed the presentation by Jay Rosenlieb on behalf of the Measure J Honorary Committee.  Jay reviewed the work done by hundreds of volunteers that resulted in the successful passing of Measure J.  Board members too commented about this great accomplishment.  YesOnJ!

 

vets-parade-2016-with-glenn-porterWounded Heroes Fund

The Kern County Wounded Heroes Fund is a local nonprofit that supports veterans and their families with a focus to help ease the transition back to civilian life through ongoing support and appreciation. When veterans come home, sometimes they’re unsure of what to do, not knowing what’s next – that’s where Wounded Heroes comes in, offering everything from a cup of coffee and good conversation to marriage retreats, couples counseling, financial counseling, and even housing.

On November 5th at the Kern County Fairgrounds, a BBQ Steak Lunch helped raise money for these great causes.  At the Veterans Parade on November 11th, Paul Beckworth introduced me to Glenn Porter who is on the Board of Directors for the Wounded Heroes fund and he talked about this event and that it was sold out this year.  It was wonderful getting to know Glenn.

To learn more about the Wounded Heroes Fund, check out http://thewoundedheroesfund.org/.

BC was out at the Fairgrounds for the Wounded Heroes Fund event.  Here are three pictures..the first with our nursing students and the second with Paul Beckworth’s family (Andy Lopez, Eileen Lopez, Adam Lopez, Sandra Beckworth, Paul Beckworth, Sonya Christian) who came out to support the event and the last one, a selfie with Wesley Barrientos.  Wesley, I am so happy to see you!

woundedheroes

 

 

Renegade RIP covers Driven by Art

The Renegade RIP, BC’s student newspaper recently highlighted the unique and individually painted trucks you’ve spotted around town. J.R. Hensley, the RIP Reporter notes, “the trucks will be in their current locations until the January 6, 2017, at which time the businesses that purchased the models will take possession of them or they can donate them to the city, which will put them on permanent display on the Westside Parkway.”  I hope you’ll have a chance to spot them all – many are in various places throughout Downtown Bakersfield.

The RIP has been around for over 85 years at Bakersfield College reporting on news and events across campus and our community. To learn more about The RIP, visit www.therip.com and to see my previous blog about the BMOA’s Driven by Art Trucks, see https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/10/08/so-many-reasons-to-celebrate-we-are-bc/.

EOP&S Takes Off to Museum of Tolerance

eopsI found this draft blog entry from March 2016.  Enjoy!

A group of 42 EOP&S students and staff gathered before sunrise on March 18, 2016 and boarded a bus headed southbound to the Museum of Tolerance. During the drive, the movie Anne Frank was played to get an insight of the holocaust.

Her spirit was felt on the bus and students were left thinking about the horrific events that happened in the early 1930s.

The Museum of Tolerance provided an interactive experience for students ranging from digital storytelling, films, artifacts, personal testimonies and thought provoking questions. Students were also guided to the Tolerance center exhibit where they were exposed to major issues of intolerance that happen on a local and global level. Topics on contemporary events such as bullying, hate speech, discrimination, human rights exploitation, and terrorism were covered, all which affect our community. “Don’t be a standby” was a phrase that the docent kept repeating as he challenged us to think what we can do to work to end injustices, discrimination, hateful behaviors and concluded with “History has a tendency to repeat itself.”

After the tour, a few students shared this was an eye-opening experience. One student expressed “this education[al] excursion [taught] me a lesson about the power of words.” Another student said “every minute was filled with learning about history” and others shared this was just not a visit “but also an educational trip, it teaches us about what we should do about eliminating discrimination.” When students were asked to identify steps to be more personally responsible for positive change, many responded to “speak up, help others, and care more.” One student summed it up and said “Speak up because someone needs to take initiative. Be the change I want to see.”

Their visit to the Museum of Tolerance was impactful. Over 85 percent of the group had never visited the museum. In the evaluation of their learning experience at the Museum of Tolerance, only about 26 percent indicated they had a great deal of understanding of the Holocaust prior to visiting the museum — after visiting the museum, 75 percent of the students indicated they gained a greater understanding of the Holocaust. Overall there was a 77 percent student consensus that visiting the Museum of Tolerance increased their awareness of past social injustices and the different types of prejudice and discrimination that exist in the world we live in.

Academic Senate

Its been a while since I visited with our Academic Senate.  BC has a great group of faculty serving on the senate with exceptional leadership from President Steven Holmes, VP Andrea Thorson and the Exec Board of the Senate.  I stopped by on Wednesday, November 9th, after the election to thank the faculty members from the senate who helped with the Measure J work.  One of my colleagues took these pictures and I so enjoyed seeing them that I thought I would share them with you. We Are BC!

 

bruce-the-election-dog-nov-9-2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — signing off with a picture of Bruce and reminding everyone that I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

The end of the first week…Fall 2016

Casey Sorrell, Krista Sorell, Baby Jack Aug 26 2016

Casey, Krista and Jack Sorell

Baby Jack “is going to be a Renegade football player like his dad,” said Krista Sorell, the young mom with her husband Casey at the Memorial Stadium watching the Renegade scrimmage against Antelope Valley.  The young family was there with their parents and this generational support for Renegades is not uncommon.  As you can see baby Jack is already in Renegade Red.  Thank you Sorell’s for your support of Bakersfield College.  We are BC!

 

Btw, I didn’t get their email address, so, if any of your reading the blog know the Sorells, could you forward the blog link to them?

Good Morning Bakersfield! It is Saturday, August 27, 2016 and a phenomenal day to be a Renegade!

Week One of Fall 2016

Last Saturday, I was filled with anticipation for the students to arrive on campus and boy, was I not disappointed! The students have filled the campus and BC is alive!

On Wednesday, Sue Vaughn, Director of Enrollment Services and who has served our students in Admissions and Records for over 20 years, stopped by my office to let me know our enrollment numbers have hit an all-time high. On Thursday, we hit a headcount of 20,268.  This is just for the fall term.  Wonder what the number is going to be for 2016-2017.  In 2015-2016 we had approximately 27,000 students.   Together, let’s build A Better BC for our growing student body and the future generations.  Check out our efforts to do so at http://www.abetterbc.com/.

Many of our departments volunteered to staff welcome tents, “ask me” carts, or extended hours to assist students with their needs. Food services rocked the house and fed a growing number of students wanting snacks and nutritional meals, campus safety was on top of things, answering every call and addressing the increased traffic and congestion around campus. Student Life prepared amazing activities and events every day of the week. Each department contributed in a unique way to this successful start to a new year. We are BC! And our entire community works together to make sure our students are prepared, and equipped with the tools they need to be successful. Here’s to a great Fall Semester and 2016-2017 academic year!

Carlos!

Carlos

Sonya Christian with Carlos Barbaran

In addition to new students, we also have new faculty and staff on campus. This week our office staff walked in to a beautiful memo on their desks written by Carlos Barbaran, our custodian. Carlos welcomed the 22 new staff with a letter explaining how to best reach him if help is needed and kind gestures like this remind me how people at BC always go out of their way to do that little extra something.

 

Carlos, along with many others, takes pride in his loyalty to BC. He has such a unique story and background which was detailed in an article titled “Immigrant from Peru comes to U.S., finds home at Bakersfield College.” This fantastic article, from a 2009 issue of The Renegade Rip explains how Carlos, born in Lima, Peru, found himself in Bakersfield accepting a job at BC and made a true home here. He took classes in real estate, communication, and English; volunteered for local and global initiatives; earned numerous awards including a Congressional award from Congressman McCarthy, an award from Mayor Hall, and from the Governor of Peru; and he’s spoken to state officials in Sacramento on behalf of Bakersfield College.

In his letter to staff this week, Carlos notes that “The key to success is great communication” and he’s taken the first step to opening the door of communication with all our new staff.

With over 20 years of dedication to Bakersfield College, thank you Carlos.

I encourage you to read the article on Carlos as it’s an incredible glimpse into one of the hundreds of people who make up this amazing and diverse college.

Kate and Sonya JAn 25 2015 in OaklandKate!

The second example of going above and beyond was brought to my attention via an email from Kate Pluta. She said…

We have had a wonderful team work through the process of adding additional English B1a sections (last week there were over 700 students on waitlists).

Dave Moton who wouldn’t give up on finding more and more adjunct faculty. Tina Johnson who worked closely with Tina Chamberlain to find classrooms–magic! Tina Johnson who emailed and called students to tell them they were moving from a waitlist to a new section (online or at the same time). Angela Craft who made sure they had office space and keys and sent them their class lists because they couldn’t yet access them until they were in the system. Tina Chamberlain–the eye in the middle of the storm, who calmly added the classes, ensured loads were correct, and kept track of newly-hired faculty as they were finalized by HR so the names could be changed from STAFF to theirs.  A & R staff who moved the waitlists. HR who verified that adjunct faculty could take on an additional section or sections and then made sure they were processed in time so they could step in the classrooms the first week.  Dave Moton who kept on top of the process and shepherded the new faculty or new-to-full-time faculty. Nan who responded so quickly so that we could move adjunct into temporary full-time status for the fall.  Her faculty led to two additional online 1a sections. 

What a wonderful team effort that most won’t know about, but many students who didn’t have a class have one now!  I am sure there are more people involved, but this list gives you an idea of the teamwork involved. –Kate Pluta, Dean of Instruction”

It’s a fantastic day when we can push ourselves to go above and beyond to accommodate our growing number of students.

Jahnea!

And a third example was brought to my attention through email but started on social media. Mary Jo Pasek received this Facebook message from the parent of one of our new students! It said…

Hey, MJ … sending a shout out to thank Jahnea Palfrey via you, for making my son’s day yesterday!! There was a glitch in the enrollment system and Jahnea took time to listen and help resolve the issue … school starts for my son on Monday and he cannot be any more thrilled to be part of the BC Renegade family!! ThankyouThankyouTHANKYOU”

People like Carlos, everyone mentioned in Kate’s email, and Jahnea are the hands and heart of BC. Every member of the BC community across buildings, departments, and even across campuses go above and beyond each day to make BC the best choice for our students. Days like these are one of the reasons I’m the luckiest college president in the world!

Winterfest

Winterfest.jpg

Cooler days are headed our way as we begin the countdown to Winterfest! Beginning December 21st, BC’s Memorial Stadium will come to life as a winter wonderland featuring not one, but two outdoor ice skating rinks, an obstacle course, zip line, and 18 days of seasonal family fun. I can’t wait to see our BC staff, faculty, administration, friends, and community enjoying this monumental event.

The Three-Way Chevrolet Condorstown Outdoor Classic presented by Mission Bank will be the ultimate signature event held on January 7th at 6:00 PM. On Tuesday, I joined the Condors Organization and community partners on the field for the press event and I’ll tell you – standing under the late August, mid-morning sun, it’s hard to imagine an ice cold environment for a wintry wonderland. But, I’m assured by the brilliant people putting this rink together, that this feat, including 600 tons of sand, will be a success! Check out the interview on CondorsTV to see what will go into creating this outdoor ice rink at https://twitter.com/Condors/status/768512055900905473.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0040.JPGMemorial stadium was built in 1955 with the grand vision of bringing the community together – creating extraordinary occasions through hometown favorites, such as Renegade Football. Throughout the years, it’s been a place of rich history, athletic achievement, world records, and dreams… and now the Condors playing ice hockey outdoors in this signature venue will bring our community together once more. Winterfest will truly make Memorial Stadium the “coolest” place in Bakersfield for two-and-a-half weeks of seasonal entertainment.

CondorsTV has a recap of Tuesday morning on their Youtube channel. I encourage you to check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABHlhNCZdjY.

And we have a great photo gallery from the press conference – check it out at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/Condors-at-BC-stadium-2016/! Thank you to Manny De Los Santos and Dylan Wang for sharing their photography skills.

Thank you to Matthew Riley, President of Bakersfield Condors; Mayor Harvey Hall; Ted Nicholas, President of Three-Way Chevrolet; A.J. Antongiovanni, President of Mission Bank; Chris Huot, Assistant City Manager of Bakersfield; Kelly Buchberger, Vice President of Player Development, Edmonton Oilers (NHL); Gerry Fleming, Head Coach, Bakersfield Condors; Barry Sherer, International Hockey Events; and Rich Cubin, Rink Specialists.

Winterfest announcement group August 23 2016

Chris Huot, A.J. Antongiovanni, Ted Nicholas, Sonya Christian, Harvey Hall

All information regarding Winterfest, tickets, and the Bakersfield Condors game versus The Ontario Reign can be found at http://www.bakersfieldcondors.com/classic/.

And extra thank you’s to Ramon Puga, Martin Ramirez, Sandi Taylor, Keith Ford, Roger Fessler, Erin Kidwell, Landon Webb, and Patrick Harrison, who came out to help set up the event, and helped break it down afterwards.

After the announcement of Winterfest, I started thinking about Ice Hockey and its history in the state of sunny California.

Did you know the first Calfornia hockey game was held in Los Angeles in 1917? Within a few short years, college hockey gained immense popularity with teams popping up at both USC and UCLA by the mid-1920s. The essential Zamboni was even invented in Paramount, California in 1949. In 1959, the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena opened giving the city a suitable venue for the NHL to visit, with exhibition games and visiting minor leagues.

After a short stint with the Western Hockey League, Los Angeles was learning to love hockey and by the late 60’s, the NHL was looking to expand. The Kings began an era of hockey growth that has just never really stopped. Their first game was in Long Beach, CA on October 14, 1967.

But they’re not the only team we have today. We now have 3 NHL teams, 5 AHL teams, and countless adult and youth teams across the state. And other ice sports have a connection with California – just look at Michelle Kwan, a two-time Olympic medalist, five-time world champion, nine-time U.S. figure skating champion, and southern California native.

Wayne Gretzky’s trade to LA may have led to a hockey boom, but it’s the true love and dedication of the hockey fans who keep that boom going strong. If you’ve never seen a game, you just have to experience it in person. I hope you’ll come and bring your friends and family to the “campus on the hill” for this memorable Winterfest event.

Voice of the Animal

I’m always excited to share something unique that our fine faculty are up to in their spare time, and last week, I mentioned Matthew Garrett’s book, Making Lamanites: Mormons, Native Americans, and the Indian Student Placement Program, 1947-2000. It’s now available online at http://content.lib.utah.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/upcat/id/2022/rec/1.

RaeandJoshProfessor Rae Ann Kumelos shared some awesome news with me this week that I’d couldn’t wait to highlight. First off, she and Professor Josh Ottum of the newly established Commercial Music Program at BC, have partnered together to record and score the Voice of the Animal show. As part of the Commercial Music program curriculum, students will have a guaranteed commercial venue to produce sound and musical content, and will gain valuable exposure and experience in creating material appropriate for a national audience on a variety of social media and broadcast platforms. In addition, she tells me, students will have national commercial experience to include in their portfolio, and BC and the Commercial Music program will receive acknowledgment at the end of each show.

Just last week, Rae Ann and Josh were in the studio recording our first programs – check out the selfie! It’s an incredible opportunity for our students and we’re so lucky to have Rae Ann and Josh at BC!  We are BC! We are all about developing talent and all about J for Jobs!

If you’re wondering about Voice of the Animal, it’s Rae Ann’s radio show with international exposure. It’s broadcast on the Animal Radio Network via XM Satellite Radio, I-Heart Radio podcasts,  and over 140 independent radio stations in the US and Canada, and it reaches almost 500,000 listeners.

In addition, Rae Ann also has a new book coming out titled Wild Wisdom: Animal Stories of the Southwest, published by Rio Nuevo. The book is available now on Amazon – and you can check out more on her website, www.voiceoftheanimal.com.

Hispanic Chamber Business Conference
and Familiar Faces

On Thursday, August 25th, the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held the 22nd Annual Hispanic Business Conference and Expo. Mary Jo Pasek and Tom Gelder were on hand to set up a beautiful display with BC themed goodies and represent Bakersfield College while I saw many familiar faces of BC supporters throughout the day.

First to catch my eye was Jay Tamsi, the CEO of the KCHCC.  Jay is a strong supporter of education and a great partner of the college.  Jay, the Business Conf. was a huge success. Thank you for all that you do for the community and for BC!

Next, BC alumna Lynne Grimes holds BC close to her heart with many fond memories of her time as a BC Renegade. She was an editor for the Rip and sang with our renowned BC Chamber Singers during her years as a student.

Three former students of BC have come together to create a small business, KIT Community, that supports tech and innovation in Kern County.  They were promoting their work at the Business Conference and stopped by the BC table.  We are going to collaborate with these youngsters and promote tech innovation and the entrepreneurial mindset.

Schilling Christian Aug 25 2016

Sonya Christian and Stephen Schilling

Stephen Schilling, CEO of Clinica Sierra Vista and a fantastic partner of BC also was in attendance and stopped by to say hello. He posted in his official message on the Clinica Sierra website that, “Clinica Sierra Vista is a testament to what can be accomplished when there is a sincere desire to serve. We have faced many challenges, not the least of which have been recent mandates to reduce health care costs. Yet we continue to forge ahead to meet those changes and prepare for a new era without compromising our mission. As we celebrate over forty years of success, we are still aware of the myriad of challenges facing us. There is still much to do as we try to reach those who are still not receiving adequate health care. We view the coming years with excitement as we continue our role in providing much-needed services in the ever-changing health care arena never forgetting who it is we truly serve.”

A truly inspirational message from a first-class leader in our community — Clinica Sierra Vista is build upon a foundation of caring for the community and “it is truly a program of local, state and federal resources meeting the needs of our very at-risk patient populations.” For more information about Clinica Sierra Vista, please check out https://clinicasierravista.org/.  Thank you to all BC staff and students who volunteered to staff the table — Lisa Kent, Mary Jo Pasek, Tom Gelder, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Nicky Damania, Sarah Baron, Asha Chandy, and Corny Rodriguez.  

DBA

At the Business Conference, I snagged a selfie with Cathy Butler, president of Bakersfield Downtown Business Association (DBA).

DBA

Selfie. Sonya Christian with Cathy Butler

Did you know the Bakersfield DBA was formed after the historical earthquake that devastated the Bakersfield area? It’s true! In 1954, two years after the historic earthquake wreaked havoc on over 100 buildings in Bakersfield, the DBA was established to bring business back to Bakersfield. Since then, it has worked diligently to improve the downtown area and keep Bakersfield safe, clean, and beautiful. And Cathy Butler is the heart and soul of the DBA!

A quick visit to their website reminded me that the Taste of Downtown event is back again this year. Did any of my blog readers attend last year? For information, check out http://bakersfielddba.com/taste-of-downtown-2016/

Student Leaders from BC, PC and CCCC Meet:

Last Saturday, August 20th, after publishing my blog, I headed out to Porterville College to join Tom Burke, CFO of KCCD, to present information about the bond and Measure J (remember J for Jobs) to student leaders from BC, PC, and CCCC.  It was delightful to see our students across KCCD be so enthusiastic, so curious, and so involved.  I was also really impressed with the advisors at the three colleges — Nicky Damania (Bakersfield), Carrin Blyth (Porterville) and Pam Campbell (Cerro Coso).  Porterville College President, Dr. Rosa Carlson, joined us and we had a wonderful and energetic conversation with the students.  And of course a shout out to the fabulous BC SGA Prez Mathew Frazer.

SGA Retreat Aug 20 2016

Arvin in the News:

 

The City of Arvin is definitely on the move. A groundbreaking ceremony was heldl on August 25th on the  Garden in the Sun Park on Bear Mountain Blvd.  Community Leaders were out in large numbers supporting the city.  Among them, Mayor Harvey Hall, who is also the honorary chair of the BC Bond Blue Ribbon Committee; Kern Community College Trustees Dennis Beebe and Kay Meek; as well as the Vice President of the Kern Economic Development Corporation Cheryl Scott.  Cheryl is also on the BC Foundation Board and is taking a leadership role on the Blue Ribbon Committee for the bond.  I also must do a shout out to Jim Young,  BC alum Jose Gurrola who is on the City Council, Mayor Jose Flores, City Manager Al Noyola, Jazmine Robles, and the entire Arvin City Council.

Ribbon Cutting Aug 25 2016

BC Athletics

Let’s now hear from Francis Mayer, BC’s Sports Director on the happenings with BC Athletics:

COACH CHUDY CALLS ANTELOPE VALLEY SCRIMMAGE PRODUCTIVE

“At this stage, you’ve got to look at it in bits and pieces; unfortunately we weren’t as consistent across the board as we needed to be. We had some missed tackles that led to more yards after the catch than you want to see, and then the mistakes…Our first two pays of the offensive series resulted in procedure penalties and those are momentum killers, and we repeated it. Those are killers…”

Chudy addressed the different looks BC trotted out against Antelope Valley.

“The game is evolving, and we are trying to get our best eleven players on the field every play whether that’s on offense or defense. Each play is it’s own unique play, and you take it one play at a time with your best eleven out there, that’s what we are trying to focus on…we are fortunate to have a lot of speed, and we have to utilize it. We won’t chuck n’ duck fifty times a game…we will try to be a balanced attack and make them cover the field; if they aren’t putting enough guys in the box, we’ve got to run downhill. When they gang up, we’ve got to throw to the edges and we are lucky enough to have guys who can take that five yard catch and turn it into a big gain,” Chudy explained.

No score was kept, but Chudy and his staff said they were more interested in finding hungry players. “We are finding out who can do what; that’s what this was about…it’s not about keeping score. It’s about correcting mistakes and pointing out things that were done correctly. And when we watch film tomorrow we’ll see who was doing the little things. Because the one thing they can control is their own effort. It doesn’t take talent; it just takes a lot of heart, guts, and mindset,” Chudy said.

THE BAKERSFIELD COLLEGE MEN’S SOCCER TEAM LOST THEIR REGULAR SEASON OPENER 2-1 AT SANTA MONICA COLLEGE

Coach Martinez Aug 2016

Coach Martinez

The Bakersfield College Men’s Soccer Team lost their regular season opener 2-1 on the road to Santa Monica College, their first regular season game in almost 30 years after being reinstated for play this year.

“We held our own for the first 45 minutes, we were a little bit disorganized and it took us some time to get into the flow of things. We held them off the score sheet in the first half, and we came out in the second half and committed a turnover around the 20 minute mark of the second half that led to their first score. And then with about eight minutes left in regulation, we got a throw-in deep in their half by Alberto Munoz, and Braulio Guiterrez collected the ball, shook off the defender, and placed a nice cross to Kevin Hernandez who calmy headed the ball in to the far post with about eight minutes to go.”

The excitement of having scored the very first goal in so many years at BC, and the blood might have boiled to hot from that adrenaline rush and one of their wingers beat our guy in the one-on-one and scored off of that cross to give them the last lead of the game.

Frank Arreola had eight saves while giving up two goals in the net for the Renegades.

“You can’t dwell on it, we’ve got another game in four days,” Martinez said.

The ‘Gades will host West Hills-Lemoore in their home debut in Memorial Stadium Tuesday at 7p in the second half of a double header that sees the women’s team play West Hills-Lemoore at 5p.

LADY ‘GADES WIN OPENER 4-1 AT LA VALLEY

After coming out of the half tied at 1s, Bakersfield ripped LA Valley for three goals to run away

“I’m really thrilled to say we had four different goal scorers,” Head Coach Scott Dameron said, “Because I think that’s the strength of this year’s team; we are pretty balanced.”

Ali Castro scored the first goal from about 40 yards out, and Dameron called it an “absolute bomb”.

Sabrina Sanchez set up the ‘Gades second goal just one minute after entering the game in the second half as a sub; she slipped a ball through to Amelia Lopez who drove the ball home from about 18 yards out.

But Sanchez wasn’t done being helpful, and about 15 minutes later she found Maria Carrillo with a similar ball that only required nimble collection and a steady shot to beat the keeper.

3-1 ‘Gades.

Odalys Espinoza scored BC’s final goal on a PK given after a handball on a corner kick.

VOLLEYBALL OPENS REGULAR SEASON 2-0 WITH WINS OVER CHAFFEY COLLEGE AND RIO HONDO @DAY ONE OF LA PIERCE TOURNEY 

The Bakersfield College Volleyball team opened their 2016 season with a 3-0 win over Chaffey College and a 3-1 win over Rio Hondo in day one of the LA Pierce Tournament Friday.

 

The Lady Gades will resume play Saturday at 1pm against Mira Costa, and 6:30p against either Pierce or Santa Barbara.

MEN’S AND WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY OPEN SEASONS AT OXNARD INVITATIONAL

Cross Country Aug 2016

The Bakersfield College Women’s Cross Country team finished eighth out of 10 teams competing in the 5k race, while the Men’s team placed eighth out of 11 teams in the four mile race.

Sydney Roman was the top individual finisher for the women with a time of 20 minutes and 56 seconds (25th place), while Patrick Alvardo finished first for the men with a time of 22 minutes and 23.9 seconds (22nd)

Rudyard Kipling

Out of the blue, one of my friends this week quoted Rudyard Kipling. “But to stand an’ be still to the Birken’ead drill is a damn tough bullet to chew” …a line from Soldier an’ Sailor too.  That got me digging out my poetry book, Panorama, from high school and spending nostalgic evenings reading some of my favorite poems.  I thought about the late and absolutely genius Robin Williams as his role in The Dead Poets Society saying “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry… beauty, romance, love, these… are what we stay alive for.”

Rudyard Kipling, known for notable works including “The Jungle Book” and “If-“ was born in Bombay, India and found his talent at a young age as the editor of his school paper. He is quoted as saying “If history were taught in form of story, it would never be forgotten.” So, it was no surprise when researching Soldier an’ Sailor too, that it has a true historical reference to the sinking of the HMS Birkenhead in 1852. The poem pays homage to the Royal Marines who went down with the ship and gave lifeboat priority to the women and children on board. “The synonymous ‘Birkenhead drill’ became an exemplar of courageous behavior in hopeless circumstances”

The themes in Rudyard Kipling’s works include valor, adventure, and bravery. I’ve often mentioned my affinity for The Jungle Book (Check out July 9th’s blog when I saw the new movie) and one of my favorite stories in the collection is the one of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the courageous mongoose who protects his family against the snakes. You can see a clip of the cartoon on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl7f2ytS7Vw.

While these two stories are thoughtfully different – one of perishing soldiers and one of a brave little creature – they both have the same unfailing message that heroes (who can come in any shape or form) strive to do the right thing by putting others first.

That’s a wrap – and I can’t wait to see what next week has in store.

sonya thoughtful fall 2016

 

 

Until next Saturday…..

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya  

The luckiest and happiest college president

Spring 2016 Opening Day: The Force is With…BC

Good morning Bakersfield!  It is Saturday, January 23, 2016…..a good day to be a Renegade.

It’s been a wild week here at BC.  Of course, every time we start a new semester and welcome thousands of ready-to-roar Renegades back to campus, it’s a time of excitement, activity and barely contained chaos.  We have approximately 7% more Full-Time Equivalent Students this spring compared to spring last year.  It is a good time to be at BC!

Almost a month ago, on December 27th I did a blog on the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens http://bcpresidentblog.com/2015/12/27/a-holiday-blog/.  

That led to a series of texts to Manny De Los Santos and Francis Mayer followed by phone calls to the creative team. 

 

Did you spot the Sriracha?

So, the Creative Team made it all happen as fluidly as J.J. Abrams himself.  From an idea fleshed out by Shannon Musser, Dylan Wang and Francis Meyer, BC’s videographer extraordinaire Manny de Los Santos, with his newly acquired drone, shot an amazing 3-minute short film to kick off Opening Day, bringing the entire world of Star Wars to the Bakersfield College campus.

Watch the Millennium Falcon take off and circle over 1801 Panorama Drive, the Imperial stormtroopers and R2-D2 strolling around campus, and the roar of Zav Dadabhoy aka Wookiee Chewbacca.

 

Put all that together — and you’ve got Spring Opening Day 2016.  Looking out at the collected BC family in the Simonsen Performing Arts Center theater last week made it one of the best semester kickoffs we could have imagined.  I received several emails appreciative of Opening Day.  Here is one from Gayle Richardson or should I say Darth Richardson:

What an amazing start of a new semester! This is the start of my 69th semester at BC and I am a proud Renegade as I am certain you must know.

Kudos to those who magnificently presented the best Opening Day I have ever seen!  I am hoping the live stream will be saved to a land not so far away in order for faculty to take bits and pieces to energize students.  Big Smile!

Many years ago I was named “Darth Richardson” by students in 4 consecutive classes.  It is a story, Sonya, that I would love to share with you in person.

As a new Star Wars fan, I can’t tell you how much fun it was to sit in Han Solo’s captain’s chair and fly the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs with my incredible crew — even if it was all just movie magic shot in our BC studio!  But truly, all the work we have accomplished in such a short period of time is magic indeed.

Our Star Wars theme carried over as members of the BC team talked about some the amazing accomplishments we’ve achieved together in recent months.  Here are the three videos:

Video 1:

 

Video 2:

 

Video 3:

 

Putting all the fun of droids and Jedis and Death Stars aside, Spring 2016 Opening Day also stands out for another important reason: the soft launch of The Renegade Promise.  Mark your calendars, on April 29th, BC led by our SGA President Clayton Fowler will be ready to make the Renegade Promise officially to our community.

Opening-Day-02

SGA Prez Clayton Fowler leading the Renegade Promise Team at Spring 2016 Opening Day

Students come to BC to expand their educational opportunities and turn that new-found knowledge toward a broader, more lucrative employment future. What often goes without saying is that our students and their families want the process to happen YESTERDAY and as President Fowler stated on Opening Day, he does not want to spend 6 years at BC to get a doctorate.

Well, we feel like it’s time to SAY it — we want you to move on too!  As much as we love each and every BC student, Bakersfield College is committed to fulfilling the new Renegade Promise — assuring that every BC student attains their educational goals, graduates, or transfers as quickly as possible.  All this without compromising the quality of learning that is our hallmark….the development of creativity, critical thinking and problem solving.

As a collective, the BC family is making the Renegade Promise a pledge to position students on a path to reach graduation or transfer requirements within our promised 60-credit window.  Can this be done in two years?  Of course this could happen if the responsibility is shared by BC and the student.  BC by ensuring that the courses are available with the necessary academic support and the student committing to 15 credits per term.  Now, if the student instead chooses to take 12 or 9 credits per term (remember, most of BC’s students work), it will mean the extension of the timeline for 60 credits from 2 years to perhaps three.  Still a huge improvement. Now, should this “shared responsibility” extend to the community as well. Absolutely!  The community has done an incredible job supporting education though providing internships and scholarships to help our students prepare for the workforce and quickly make progress on their educational pathways.

The Renegade Promise is a simple pledge…yet not always as simple to pull off as you may believe.  Any number of delays, both personal and scholastic, can push a student off-course.  Under the Renegade Promise, we’re all taking an active role in trying to foresee those delays for each student and chart pathways around those obstacles.

Top to bottom, Spring 2016 Opening Day was a tremendous day.  Huge thank yous go out to several people, including my fellow presenters — SGA President Clayton Fowler, BC Campus Chair Ed Borgens, CSEA President Tina Johnson, Management Association President Sue Vaughn, Academic Senate President Steve Holmes.

Also major thanks to the ushers, the logistics team and M&O team members who made the day happen so seamlessly!  Francis it was such a treat to work with you.  You have talent!  and thank you to the fabulous red, my Obi-Wan Kenobi, R2D2, and Yoda–Princess Jennifer.

 

 

To wrap up, I’d like to share my concluding remarks from Spring 2016 Opening Day:

Colleagues, we’re all instrumental in keeping Bakersfield College at the vanguard of local intellectual, cultural and economic vitality.  As we continue to be accountable, and as we move the dial on student success, let us not forget that what makes life wonderful, rich and expansive is the little somethings that are not rational. It is the pure lightness that fills our hearts when we see the mountains at the far edges of the valley when the air is clear.  Or the vibrations we feel when our drumline students perform in the gym. It is the excited text from Cindy Collier after the Deputy Sector Navigators visited our CTE program and her sense of pride in our faculty.  Or what I experienced watching Liz Rozell at a breakfast keynote speaking about her life.  It is hearing Nan talk about how we got the colors on a building wrong, or lamenting that the beautiful oleander bushes should not be trimmed down to resemble miniature poodles.  Or noticing that my mentee from Shafter high who was stuck to me through the whole fall term is now a promising professional.  It is the pride of Chef Sabella and team as they prepare a wonderful meal.

This is the essence of who we are as “humans in community.” This is the essence of BC.   We impact each other in all we do.  When we create the conditions to make our days rich with little somethings, we create the best environment for ourselves, for our colleagues, and for our students.  This is the essence of our work to be accountable; but “little somethings” are the fundamentals of excellence.

I received an email from Matt Garrett on November 15, 2015.  He wrote:

 

In 1945 Grace Bird’s message to the student body began by claiming the tune “You can be Better Than You Are” as the school theme song, and explained:

“Your College–your faculty and your student leaders–bring you opportunities to develop skills and enrich understanding. We ask you to bring your minds and your hearts. ‘In preference lies the root and essence of all excellence.’ Among the multitude of activities opened to you during the year, chose wisely.” –Grace Bird

 

Matt added that Grace Bird was quoting George Santayana’s essay “Value Irrational” found in his book titled “Little Essays” (1921), which prompted me to read this little gem.  All three pages of it.

 

Here is an excerpt from the final paragraph that for me captures the little somethings that define our lives because they come from a deeper place of being:

Values spring from the immediate and inexplicable reaction of vital impulse, and from the irrational part of our nature. The rational part is by its essence relative; it leads us from data to conclusions, or from parts to wholes; it never furnishes the data with which it works. If any preference or precept were declared to be ultimate and primitive, it would thereby be declared to be irrational …

 

So colleagues, here’s to Spring 2016.  A term of great rationality…. a term of data, and moving the dial, …… all this sprinkled with a great deal of irrationality and the little somethings that differentiate BC from the rest.

The Force is with…..BC!

We are….BC!

Check out the 12-minute photo roll video that Shannon put together as everyone was gathering in the indoor theater for Opening Day