Tag Archives: The Bakersfield Californian

Renegades gearing up for the new academic year

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, August 17, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

2019 Football Media Day

From Mayor Karen Goh’s FB post

For the third consecutive year we celebrated the start of the upcoming football season with media day out at Memorial Stadium. This year the event focused on the new field turf and track that were installed over the course of the summer, thanks to Measure J funding. Our community support was in full force as we welcomed Mayor Goh, KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Chancellor Tom Burke, BPD Chief Martin, KHSD Administrator (and former Renegade QB) Stan Greene, President of the Condors Matt Riley and a host of others who were able to see the new field for the first time in-person. The new field looks spectacular and we can’t wait to welcome Mt. SAC into Memorial Stadium for the first home football game on Saturday, Sept. 7th at 6pm. It’s not too late to get your season tickets by visiting Vallittix.com or calling 661-322-5200. Go Gades!

Trustee Abalog and President Christian clapping.
Trustee Romeo Agbalog and me
Chad Manning, Tom Burke, Stan Greene
Ed Davis, Tom Burke, Jeff Chudy

Enjoyed looking at 2018 pictures and comparing it to 2019. My hair is a lot longer 🙂 I got most of the photos from Mayor Goh’s Facebook page. Thank you mayor!

Thank you Brandon Urry for pulling off another great Media Day. You are an amazing addition to the BC team.

Sonya Christian, Brandon Urry

“Real Star of BC football media day? The new turf.”

Loved waking up to this headline, by Robert Price, on the front page of The Bakersfield Californian, below the fold.

Read it online at The Bakersfield Californian.

inspecting the astroturf.
(front) Romeo Agbalog, Lilly Agbalog, Keith Ford,
(back) Liz Mojica, Robert Price.

Last week construction work at the Bakersfield College Memorial Stadium shifted to being done overnight in order for W2W Sport Flooring workers to avoid the daytime extreme heat conditions. Construction work is 8:00 p.m. through 8:00 a.m. during the regular work week throughout the month of August.  Bakersfield College greatly appreciates the neighborhood’s cooperation during this time, and its understanding of the necessary measures taken to avoid heat exhaustion. The health and safety of the construction employees is of the utmost importance to both Bakersfield College and W2W Sport Flooring. 

Renegade Football at Downtown Rotary

Reggie Bolton, Sandi Taylor, Norma Rojas-Mora, Jeff Chudy, Trustee Agbalog, Mayor Goh, Brandon Urry, Sonya Christian, Zach Hartsfield

BC was showing its pride at this week’s Downtown Rotary meeting!  Head football coach Jeff Chudy spoke about the upcoming season and the toughness of the Renegade team — both physically and mentally.  Zach Hartsfield #88 was in attendance; not only is Zach a stellar player, but he also maintains a 3.0G PA at BC!  

Sonya and a football player in jersey.
Me with Renegade Zach Hartsfield

Opening Day is Next Week!

It’s almost here, our annual campus Opening Day will take place on Thursday, August 22, 2019 in the Indoor Theater. Remember, this is the only day of the year that we close the campus to students and the public to ensure that all employees can come together in community to participate in this all-day event. For this year’s Opening Day, we have also invited community leaders to address our campus.  This is my seventh Opening Day as president and my seventh State of the College. I cannot be prouder of BC! 

Logistics team: Dylan, Earl, Eric, Aricia, Monika, Kevin, & Kristin

We have new managers, we have new classified, and we have new faculty. What better way to welcome them to the Home of the Renegades than a grand Opening Day.

Besides the annual State of the College address and hearing from constituent leaders Tina Johnson, CSEA; Ann Tatum, CCA; Steven Holmes, Academic Senate, and Manny Mourtzanos, Management Association, we should all look forward to hearing from our insightful community panelists. 

On BC’s Health Equity and Learning initiative, we will hear from Adventist Health’s CEO Sharlet Briggs, Dignity Health’s CEO Ken Keller, and Centric Health’s Physician Partner Dr. Jeet Singh. To share more about our partnership with high schools and its impact in the community, Senator Jean Fuller will be moderating a panel with Barbara Grimm, founder of Grimmway Academy, Aaron Resendez, Superintendent of McFarland Unified School District, and Myka Peck, Principal of Garces High School.

You will hear from our winners of the Margaret Levinson Leadership Award and the Shirley Trembley Teaching Award, Kimberly Nickell, Helen Acosta, and Regina Hukill.  We will also hear from Reggie Williams and Susan Pinza about the Levan Center and the Levan Institute.

 It is an exciting time to be a Renegade. Here’s to a great 2019-2020 year at Bakersfield College!

Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2019 Energy and Ag Academy

Last week 50 students graduated from the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2019 Energy and Ag Academy. The event honored students who participated in the summer program to learn about Kern County’s largest industries, energy and agricultural, and how these industries both feed and power the world.

Standing around the Hispanic Chamber Energy and Agriculture Academy sign.
Mayor Goh, Jorhe Barrientos, Norma Rojas-Mora, Jamie Doniaz, Tony Cordova, Jay Tamsi

The graduating class includes students from local high schools, Bakersfield College, California State University of Bakersfield and Fresno State. The academy was sponsored by Aera Energy, Bakersfield College, Chevron, Kern Energy Foundation and California Resources Corporation.

Check out the group photo in b/w:

Black and White of large group.

The summer program included speakers in the energy and ag industries, field trips to local energy and ag facilities, leadership opportunities, meeting with elected officials, and financial scholarships.

BC’s Drum & Bugle Corps at DCI World Championships in Indianapolis

BC’s Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps is wrapping up its summer tour of the United States this week, advancing to the Open Class finals at Indiana Wesleyan University.

The Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps placed 9th in their division in the DCI World Championships competition.

“Students and staff pushed through the most challenging season to date both on and off the field,” Heasley said. “The corps faced adversity with a sense of determination. They return home with the true grit needed to face the next challenge, whatever it may be.”

Follow the Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps’ adventures throughout the year:

BC’s Guided Pathways Team on the Road

A Bakersfield College team traveled to Long Beach this week to present to Compton College faculty, staff, and administrators on our Guided Pathways implementation with a focus on our Completion Coaching Communities as a way to advance equitable student achievement and completion. Compton College invited BC to present as they develop their very own version of completion coaching which they are calling their “Tartar Success Teams.”

The team shared with me what an honor it was to participate in Compton’s early implementation and to learn about the remarkable work Compton College is doing to re-energize their college campus and serve the students in their community. 

Keith Curry, Compton College President, Lisa Robles, BC Program Manager – Student Success & Equity, Grace Commiso, Counselor, Jonathan Ward, Counselor, Armando Trujillo, Advisor – Veterans

HVAC Lab Delano

Check out the newest pics of Delano’s HVAC Lab, made possible by funding secured in 2018 by Assembly Member Rudy Salas

The lab is now finished, and will be ready for students to use this Fall.  This hands-on facility will serve Renegades interested in this high demand career field!

You can read when I announced the unveiling of our HVAC Tech Program in my October 21, 2018 blog. The Bakersfield College Delano Campus unveiled its new HVAC Tech program and broke ground for the new facility on October 15, 2018 with a projected completion by Summer 2019. This program is a part of Bakersfield College’s Rural Initiatives, which target BC’s surrounding communities to equip more residents with workforce skills through college education. The funding for this program comes from the monies secured by Assemblyman Rudy Salas in the 2018-2019 state budget. And thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog for your passion and support of North Kern communities.

Groundbreaking October 15, 2018

Grant to Alleviate Food Insecurity Among BC Students

Bakersfield College’s Renegade Pantry has received a $20,000 grant from the Kern Partnership for Children and Families to further alleviate food insecurity among college students.

5 Staff members in front of well stocked shelves.
Staff stocking shelves and refrigerator with groceries.

The Renegade Pantry is fortunate to receive contributions from BC staff and the greater Bakersfield community. Donations enable pantry staff to provide groceries to students in need. Learn more about donating to the Bakersfield College Renegade Pantry on our website or contact The Office of Student Life at (661) 395-4355. 

Thank you Nicky Damania for all that you do for BC and our students.

Veterans Mentorship Program

On Friday, August 2, Bakersfield College Veteran Services and the Chevron SJV  Veterans Network kicked off the first ever Chevron SJV Veterans Network-Bakersfield College Student Veterans Mentorship Program at Rosa’s Italian Restaurant.  The program is designed to assist STEM-minded student-veterans with mentorship guidance from Chevron engineers and other Chevron employees who are also veterans. This is a timely program considering that the new Forever GI Bill now offers the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship, providing up to nine months of additional Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to qualifying veterans seeking an undergraduate STEM degree.

Mentors and students seated at a long table for dinner.

The SI Fab Four
Help me if you can; my grades are down!

Welcome SI Mentors with a hear sign.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that BC’s Supplemental Instruction, otherwise known as SI, has its very own team of Mentors each semester.  The newest group of SI Mentors for Fall 2019, Oscar Hernandez, Alejandra Hernandez, Debbie Stapp, Hunter Pentico, and their Program Manager Eileen Pierce planned out the 7 Mentor Meetings that they will facilitate as they train the incoming crop of 24 brand new SI Leaders, many of whom have very little experience with public speaking and certainly no real experience with teaching.

with arms in various poses.
The SI Fab Four: (L to R) Mentors Oscar Hernandez, Alejandra Hernandez, Debbie Stapp, and Hunter Pentico

If anyone wants more information about SI at Bakersfield College, please contact Eileen Pierce at 395-4202, epierce@bakersfieldcollege.edu, or visit our SI website.

Last Express Enrollment of the Summer

Prospective students in a classroom learning about programs in our catalog.

Students at the Panorama Campus had one last chance to register for their classes on Thursday during the last Express Enrollment event on the main campus before the start of the fall semester.

Representatives from Outreach and School Relations gave students a brief orientation of BC’s programs of study in the Forum before moving over to the Computer Commons area in the library for hands-on assistance with registration for the Fall semester.

Staff assisting a student enroll in the computer lab.

There will be two more Express Enrollment events targeting rural Kern County students at the Job Spot on 1501 Panama Lane on Monday at 3 p.m. and the Wasco Adult Education Center on Wednesday at 4 p.m. I would like to thank everyone on the Outreach Team for all that they do to help our students clarify and enter the pathway to their education.

Fun Photos

Enrollment Services Retreat

Last week, Enrollment Services, including the staff of Admissions and Records and Testing and Placement Center, participated in their annual retreat. Special Guest Stephanie Baltazar trained them on “Dealing with Difficult People Having Hard Conversations.” The retreat was a day of team bonding and customer service training.

Enrollment Services Team

The Last Summer Bridge 2019

Summer Bridge held their last class this week. They posted some great photos on the Summer Bridge Facebook page:

Large group of students and faculty on the grass.

Todd’s Vacation

This year the Coston family went camping in the Sequoia National Forest at the Lower Peppermint Creek campground.  The area is close by, and a nice respite from the hot weather during Bakersfield summers. Todd and Cari enjoying the view at Dome Rock. 

Standing together with a forest and mountain background.

One of the hikes was to a beautiful waterfall that is a part of Peppermint Creek.

waterfall.

Part of the adventure is to get the adrenaline going by jumping into natural pools.

Last Year’s Vacation Photo 

Bill Potter, Tamara Baker and Todd Coston were busy preparing this week for their Opening Day presentation on Measure J.  

Todd, Bill and Tamara with party hats and cupcakes.

As you might remember, they took a “vacation” last year, so who knows what they have planned this time!

Bill and Todd holding on to the Eiffel tower and Tamara falling.

Library’s Statue

Check out the statue on the second floor of the library! Someone is enjoying the last days of summer.

Statue of female student reading dressed with goggles, beach towel and flamingo float.

Stadium Photography

Dylan taking a photo with the stadium field in the background.
MPR’s Dylan taking pictures of the Stadium.

Athletics Update

Congrats to Anieus Medrano

Anieus Medrano University of Texas El Paso.

Renegade Men’s Basketball standout Anieus Medrano announced this week that he will be continuing his academic and athletic career at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Anieus played here at BC for two years under head coach Rich Hughes and is now the 44th student athlete from this year to sign with a four-year school. We wish you all the best at UTEP Anieus and continued success in your future endeavors. 

2019 Spring Student Athlete Honor Roll

Spring 2019 Student Athlete Honor Roll BC.

The annual Renegade Athletics Spring Honor Roll has been released for 2019. A huge congratulations goes out to all the student athletes on the distinction of being named to the list. We had 56 student athletes named Distinguished Scholars (3.5-4.0 GPA) and 62 that were named Outstanding Scholars (3.0-3.49 GPA). View the full list of names in the release on GoGades

Sonya waves to the crowd with Romeo clapping for her.


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A Commencement of Firsts

This blog is dedicated to all Mothers

Happy Mother’s Day

Eisha Christian, Pam Christian, Sonya Christian Dec 24 2017

 

Good morning Bakersfield!

I woke up today to the front page article by Joseph Luiz in the The Bakersfield Californian, above the fold, titled Record Breaking: BC graduates biggest class in school history.  Read all of it at https://tinyurl.com/ybnmz7a8.

Commencement Photo by Henry Barrios TBC May 12 2018

May 12, 2018 front page. Photo by Henry Barrios

TBC article May 12 2018 Front Page Joseph Luiz Photo by Henry Barrios

104th Commencement Historical Celebration

dsc06615-x3Congratulations to the Bakersfield College Class of 2018! Last night we had a record breaking historical evening. Our college has grown so much over the century.

In 1913 we began with thirteen students and this year we have almost thirty-two thousand students. And last night we celebrated the highest number of eligible graduates to obtain an associates degree in our history. With more than 2,000 students eligible for graduation this year and nearly half of them walking the stage, Memorial Stadium was packed with family and friends of class of 2018 graduates for the 104th Commencement.

Last night there were many firsts: we celebrated the first Dual Enrollment class from the Wonderful Academy, graduating with their Associates Degrees before they even complete high school; and we celebrated the first graduating cohort of the Kern Promise, a select group of students who piloted a Guided Pathways model of shared responsibility and support to complete their degree within 2 years.

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And, this year Bakersfield College became the first community college in the State of California to award a four-year baccalaureate degree (!) to seven graduates of the Industrial Automation program.

Here is a little more about the class of 2018:

  • 1,522 graduates are transferring to a four-year college or university to continue their education
  • 1,226 earned an Associate of Arts degree
  • 979 earned an Associate of Science Degree
  • Over 1,095 guaranteed their ability to transfer to a four-year university by obtaining an Associate of Art or Science for Transfer
  • Over 1,027 have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above

It was a beautiful event for such a monumental occasion in our students’ lives. Also in attendance were Presidents Greg Chamberlain and Sandra Serrano, and two who served as presidents in an interim capacity, Bob Allison and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg. Three trustees attended – Trustee Agbalog, Trustee Carter, and Trustee Thomas.  Chancellor Tom Burke also attended. We were fortunate to have lovely weather, and what a fantastic fireworks display.

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Dr. Jennifer Garrett, the Sam McCall award winner could not be there, so she recorded this powerful message for the class of 2018.

Commencement is such a large event and takes a lot of teamwork to pull it all together. Chances are if you saw someone with a Renegade Red shirt and black pants or skirt, they were working the event.

I would like to thank the College Commencement Committee: Karimeh Amin, Gayla Anderson, Paul Beckworth, Ralph Burnette, Cheryl Caswell, Christopher Counts, Victor Diaz, John Gerhold, Christy Haycock, Eryn Justice, Jennifer Marden Serratt, Gabriele Martin, John Menzies, Rachell Morehouse, Michelle Peña, Jack Pierce, Ramon Puga, Kristin Rabe, Corny Rodriguez, Monika Scott, Marco Sifuentes, Pearl Urena, Sue Vaughn, Angelica Vasquez, and Steve Watkin for all their hard work and planning. I also want to thank the many staff and faculty needed for details, preparation, and who participated in Commencement.

See the gallery and article at Bakersfield.com!IMG_1036

Congratulations Industrial Automation Baccalaureate Students!

Before we celebrated the historic accomplishment of BC’s first graduating class of baccalaureate students during our main commencement, the recipients of our Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Automation had their own special Pre-Commencement Celebration in Renegade Park. During the Industrial Automation Pre-Commencement, many of the faculty who worked closely with our seven baccalaureate graduates got an opportunity to speak about how proud they were of their students’ accomplishments and what they had to overcome to complete this new degree program.

Baccalaureate students with dignitaries May 11 2018.jpg

 

Through our Industrial Automation program, which focuses on the engineering and development of assembly line and manufacturing technology, BC is giving members of our community an opportunity to train in one of the most important skill sets of the future workforce. Employers say that our Industrial Automation program is on par with similar programs offered at other major universities in California and across the country. Industrial automation is an important part of almost every industry in Kern County, including agriculture, oil production, and alternative energy, as well as the major corporate retail distribution centers in our area that rely on machine automation technology to get their products ready for shipping across the United States. Our graduating students are already being flooded with job offers.

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I’d like to thank the Engineering and Industrial Technology Department for organizing this pre-commencement ceremony, and I can’t wait to see how our baccalaureate program is going to support and help transform the economy of the Central Valley.

Congratulations Delano Students!

Tom Burke at Delano Pre commencement Celebration May 11 2018.jpg

Chancellor Tom Burke visits Delano

While many of our faculty and staff were engaged with our Closing Day ceremony on Friday morning, students who attended classes at the Delano Campus had their own pre-commencement ceremony in the Robert F. Kennedy Auditorium. Graduating students walked across the stage of the RFK Auditorium for all of their friends and family to celebrate the monumental task of earning a college degree and discovering the tools to increase their earning potential and provide a better life for their children and the Delano community.

Trustee Romeo Agbalog at Delano Precommencement celebration.jpg

Trustee Romeo Agbalog address the students at the Delano Pre-commencement Ceremony

Recognizing Nan in Delano with Abel Guzman, Rich McCrow.jpg

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Chancellor Tom Burke, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg were on hand to congratulate all of the Delano graduates. I’d like to thank Gustavo Enriquez and all of the faculty and staff at the Delano Center for organizing this Pre-Commencement ceremony and all they do for students in rural Kern. Eventually, we’ll be hosting Pre-Commencement at BC Southwest, Arvin and all of our current and future satellite campuses.

Oliver Rosales at Delano Precommencement.jpg

Congratulations Veteran Students!

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Eleven of our graduating veteran students got one last opportunity to have sacrifices that they made to our country be recognized and honored by BC faculty and staff in the Levan Center, capping off an academic year that included BC committing to building a new Veterans Resource Center and expanding educational services to the military men and women in our community. Graduating veterans were treated to a celebration ceremony where they each got to shake hands with Veteran Center director Paul Beckworth before heading to the Gymnasium for dinner.

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A big thanks to Paul Beckworth and the Veterans Resource Center for organizing the Veterans Pre-Commencement Celebration, and check back at this blog for more information about the Veterans Resource Center construction as it develops.

Congratulations Chicano/Latino Students!

Chicano and Latino families from across Kern County filled the Outdoor Theater before the main Commencement ceremony to rejoice in the accomplishments of their students who graduated from BC, and many of those who participated are first generation – first in their families to graduate from college.

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SGA President, Dezi Von Manos

The Chicano/Latino Pre-Commencement Celebration is BC’s oldest pre-commencement event, started by Dean Cornelio Rodriguez over 20 years ago to recognize BC’s Chicano and Latino graduates. Since that time, it’s grown rapidly as Chicano and Latino students are a majority of BC’s student population.

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Dean Corny Rodriguez

I’d like to thank everyone who helped organize the Chicano/Latino Pre-Commencement Celebration, as well as the faculty and staff members who donated money at the last minute to help students that needed assistance in order to participate. It’s amazing to see all of the ways the community continues to support its students.

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Congratulations African American Students!

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Graduating African-American students got the opportunity to fellowship with each other and celebrate their accomplishments with their friends and family in the Indoor Theater on Friday afternoon before the main commencement ceremony. This year’s African-American Pre-Commencement Ceremony began with the audience singing James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, with lyrics voicing the liberation and affirmation of African-American people. The words to “Lift Every Voice and Sing” were first written as an introduction for Booker T. Washington ata celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday in 1900. Its message continues to reverberate to this day, and was recently performed by Beyonce at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

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I’d like to thank the African-American Initiatives team for organizing this pre-commencement event and all they do to support our African-American students. Thanks in part to their efforts, the educational attainment rates of our African-American students are higher than they’ve ever been.

Congratulations Lavender (LGBTIQA+) Students!

dsc04638-x4Commencement Celebrations, the Lavender Pre-Commencement Celebration is a ceremony conducted on numerous campuses and this year Bakersfield College joined this tradition. Lavender Graduation is a cultural celebration that recognizes sexual and gender minorities and their allies of all races and ethnicities, and acknowledges their achievements and contributions to the college.

Professor of Communication Helen Acosta and Director of Student Life Dr. Nicky P. Damania facilitated the ceremony which consisted of a keynote presentation by Ms. Whitney Weddell, high school history teacher and vocal stylings of Ms. Danyel Owens, Department Assistant in the Office of Student Life, and heartfelt stories shared by three Lavender graduate students. This year yielded 13 graduates who were bestowed a lavender stole with a rainbow embroidered on them. The ceremony was attended by about 20 BC faculty and staff, over 30 friends and family, and a special guest Chancellor Tom Burke.

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The tradition of Lavender graduations celebrating LGBTQIA+ students started in 1995 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, spreading to hundreds of campuses across the country over the last 23 years. This ceremony is also the start of BC’s efforts to expand our equity plan support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other gender non-conforming students under California Assembly Bill No. 1018. You can read more about inception of the Lavender Graduation in this May 2nd Renegade Rip Article.

 

Congratulations Radiologic Technology Students!

The Radiologic Technology celebrated it’s 49th year at BC during the Pinning and Certification Ceremony held on Thursday evening, May 10, 2018. The evening celebrated the hard work and dedication of 18 medical imaging students and their completion of the Associate in Science Degree. Students spend twenty-four months and 1800+ hours training at local hospitals and imaging centers. These clinical affiliates give their time and talents to these students to ensure they meet the competency standards necessary to ensure that patients receive excellent patient care – in addition to students completing lecture and lab courses at the main campus. These graduates will be entering careers throughout Kern County including Bakersfield and Delano, and in Tulare County in Visalia in summer 2018 following the completion of their State and national licensing examinations.

Also recognized during the ceremony was Program Director Nancy Perkins who has served BC since 1979 and will enter into retirement in 2018. Past and current faculty together with the community has started a scholarship fund for radiography students in her name through the BC Foundation. In addition, a “bench” project has begun to raise funds for seating around the Allied Health building for students to enjoy. A plaque was also awarded to Mrs. Perkins, and which will be permanently displayed in the campus x-ray lab. “I am so honored to have lived my passion my serving at BC teaching the next generation of medical imaging professionals. Both BC and the radiology community have supported me in my journey and assisting me in developing a modern laboratory for student exploration and instruction” Nancy said.

You can view all of the photos taken by Manny De Los Santos at 2018 Rad-Tech Pinning Ceremony.

I’d like to thank Nancy Perkins and the Radiologic Technology staff and faculty for organizing this pinning ceremony.

Closing Day

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Sonya Christian, Lawrence Salcido, James Tompkin, Nicky Damania

On the morning of Commencement, BC faculty and staff commemorated the end of the 2017-2018 academic year with the annual Closing Day Celebration, recognizing each others’ accomplishments with our traditional end-of-the-year awards. After some brief fellowship during a delightful breakfast buffet provided by Food Services, faculty and staff piled into the Indoor Theater to hear opening remarks from outgoing BCSGA Vice President Lawrence Salcido.

 

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Lawrence Salcido relished the opportunity to talk about the over 200 events that SGA hosted this year, including the Distinguished Speaker Series and Legislative Affairs Power Lunch, as well as being able to provide scholarships for the first time in BCSGA’s history. BCSGA’s two scholarships will be awarded to single parents and formerly-incarcerated students, respectively. Salcido thanked the faculty and staff of BC for their “time and dedication to help provide culture within our campus walls.”

 

Interspersed throughout the various faculty and staff award presentations, I announced the ten winners of my President’s Leadership Awards. The list of groups and individuals below have displayed exceptional leadership throughout this year, and nothing that we do here at BC would be possible without their hard work:

Higher education is a pursuit following hopes and visions. The 2018 Guided Pathways leads, Jennifer Johnson, Jessica Wojtysiak, Nick Strobel, Grace Commiso, and Lesley Bonds have made great strides toward creating systems and programs that fast track dreams into realities. They have been traveling up and down the state to communicate BC’s implementation of this important educational philosophy while putting together our Program Mapper and reconfiguring our curriculum via meta-majors. The Guided Pathways leads continue to do incredible work surrounding the Momentum Points, Coaching Communities, and engagement campus-wide.

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Under the guidance of the African-American Initiatives team, Steve Watkin, Jennifer Achan, Paula Parks, Jonathan Ward, Julian West, Debra Strong, Tommy Tunson, June Charles, Valerie Robinson, and Ishmael Kimbrough, the African-American cohort of approximately 800 students in 2017-18 have increased completion in both college-level English and/or math by nearly 10%, increased transfer degree course completion by 14%, and the team has increased the success rate for students who participate in our Umoja ASTEP program by up to four times the rate for non-Umoja African-American students. The work of this group has also been recognized by the community, with Bakersfield College winning Corporate Partner of the Year by the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce, as well as individual recognition for Julian West, Steve Watkin and Paula Parks by the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, the League for Innovation, and NAACP.

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When it comes to going the extra mile for BC, Tina Chamberlain in the Office of Instruction has walked a thousand miles. She truly embodies the Renegade spirit with her undeniable commitment to our students and diplomatic yet polite problem solving skills. Tina ensures courses are scheduled and students are served.

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The Workgroup to Advance Regional Baccalaureate Attainment (WARBA), chaired by Matthew Garrett and Janet Fulks and including leaders Elenora Hicks, Marisa Marquez, Grace Commiso, Khushnur Dadabhoy and Stephen Waller, have been diligently collaborating with Cal State Bakersfield to establish the Finish in 4 campaign, as well as aligning our curriculum and pathways with the California Academic Partnership Program. This work is revolutionizing higher education for current and future generations of Renegades.

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Everyone on the campus is closely involved with creating our Institutional Self-Evaluation Report (ISER), but the campus leaders of our ISER Finish Line Team have dedicated hundreds upon hundreds of hours to put all of the information together into a cohesive document that seamlessly tells BC’s story. I recognized Nick Strobel, Sondra Keckley, Liz Rozell, Jessica Wojtsiak, Jason Stratton, and Lesley “the Universal Chopper” Bonds for all of their hard work in collecting, editing, indexing and “chopping” the final document.

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Michelle Pena of the Admissions and Records team works tirelessly to ensure that our students are supported at each pivotal point in their journey toward graduation. Michelle also represents BC state-wide through the development of CCCApply, and she was recently elected Vice President of the California Association of Community College Registrars and Admissions Officers.

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In her first year as head softball coach, Casey Goodman lead the Renegades to winning the WSC conference with a 31-9 record en route to winning WSC Conference and Southern California Coach of the Year. Wrestling coaches Brett Clark and Marcos Austin led the Renegades to winning the conference for the second year in a row, along with five individual conference titles and a state championship victory by student Adrian Gonzales. Did you know that student athletes at BC attempt an average of 15.2 units per semester and finish at an average of 12.5 units? This is nearly twice the average of the school overall.

The Maintenance & Operations team is responsible for the monumental undertaking of caring for the landscaping, plumbing, custodial work and infrastructure of over 150 acres and 20 buildings, keeping us comfortable in every classroom and office on campus. This year, they’ve facilitated office moves for 52 faculty and staff and completed 5,320 work orders.

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When it comes to sharing BC’s story through beautiful photos, videos and words, Manny De Los Santos and Monika Scott, M&M, make it happen. Manny brings an excellent attention to detail and a creative spark to all of his video and photography work and his talent, enthusiasm and gregarious personality make him a pleasure to work with. Monika came to BC thinking her job duties would involve web content editing, but when her interim supervisor went on maternity leave, Monika stepped up to the plate. She found herself reporting directly to me and dealing with everything from fielding news media calls, sensitive Clery Report notifications working with Chris Counts, and preparing last-minute remarks for public events. She has become my go-to for speech preparation. In fact, she has had a major role in speeches at BC for many formal events.

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As Academic Senate President, Steve Holmes is engaged and vigilant in his responsibility of upholding the integrity of our academic enterprise.

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Steve was also awarded this year’s Margaret Levinson Faculty Leadership Award (announcement made by Pam Boyles), and along with Zav Dadabhoy, he gave a fun farewell to retiring Vice President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg. He never fails to liven up our opening and closing day ceremonies.

Liz Rozell also made a presentation to Nan of this beautiful tree Educational Administrators Council:

Nan-Tree

Donna Starr announced retiring biology faculty Andrea Garrison and physics faculty Richard Darke as the recipients of the Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award. Starr also announced the Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium winner Rae Ann Kumelos, a member of the English faculty who will be hosting a discussion titled “Animal Advice” in the Levan Center next fall.

In addition to the Faculty Colloquium Award, incoming Levan Center director Reggie Williams announced the winners of the Levan Faculty Scholarship Summer Grants, which funds research projects for BC faculty. Some notable projects funded through this year’s grants include Biology Department Chair Joe Saldivar’s research project on the ethical impact of donating a kidney to a complete stranger, and the recording of music professor Josh Ottum’s studio album, which will be mixed by students in BC’s commercial music program and performed by Josh’s band during next fall’s Panorama Creative Music Summit.

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Matthew Garrett recognized all of the retiring faculty members during the Closing Day Celebration, and Liz Rozell recognized the BC faculty which have achieved tenure this year. CSEA President Tina Johnson urged us all, BC faculty and staff, to “take a breath” with the close of this academic year, and CCA Campus Chair Isabel Stierle encouraged faculty to submit their application to participate in the CCA Special Election by May 21st.

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Management Association President Sue Vaughn announced the Management Association’s presence in Board Policy meetings, and she was excited to announce that the construction of the Child Development Center’s playground is nearing completion.

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It feels like this year came and went so quickly, and I’m just grateful for the opportunity to wrap it up with the best community college staff on the planet during every Closing Day. Can you see why I always sign off as the luckiest and happiest president? Thanks to everyone who attended this year and all of those who make this event possible every year.

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Closing Day 2018 Student Emcees

Custodial Communication

Custodian Carlos Barbaran left a nice note to BC faculty thanking them for all of the great conversations and congenial work environment they provided for him throughout the semester. Carlos is always a pleasant and fun person to talk to, and everyone at BC is grateful to have him on our custodial staff.

Carlos Barbaran and Sonya Christian

We spend a lot of time talking about the hard work of many of our faculty, counselors and other classified staff, but I’d also like to thank the Bakersfield College custodial staff for tirelessly keeping our campus spotless throughout the year. It’s not easy to clean up after 30,000 students and 1,000 employees, and our custodial staff takes care of us with smiles on their faces.

Retiree Reception

As we say goodbye and good luck to our graduating students, the end of the school year also brings about the farewell to some of our colleagues as they  retire. On Wednesday morning, Bakersfield College held a Retirement Reception in the Fireside Room to honor this year’s retirees: Barbara Braid, Deborah Carmona, Marsha EggmanRafael Espericueta, Kathryn Freeman, Andrea Garrison, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Odella Johnson, Janet LewisSusan McQerry, Gilbert Merjil, Nancy Perkins, Kate PlutaBob Shimmin, Walton Simmons, Jimmy (Smitty) Smith, Dennis Spencer, Rachel Vickery, and Ann Wiederrecht.

While eating a delicious food provided by Food Services, this year’s retiring faculty and staff signed the “Perpetual Retiree Scroll” featuring signatures of all our retirees and the years in which they served the campus. The scroll was started by the Archives Department in 2009 and the scroll itself will be retired after this year due to running out of space. The Archive Department plans to replace the retiree scroll with a more manageable book for next year’s retirement reception, according to Rosalee Pogue, Archives technician.

Thank you Archives for coordinating this opportunity to celebrate the contributions of everyone in the Bakersfield College family who has served our students and this community for decades. I would also like to thank the Bakersfield College Foundation and the Bakersfield College Archives for co-sponsoring this event with me.

You can see the entire photo gallery: Retiree Reception 2018.

Finish in 4

Bakersfield College (BC) and California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) have spent the last 4 years collaborating to increase baccalaureate completion in 4 years. On Tuesday, both institutions held a joint unveiling ceremony on the BC campus to introduce The Kern Promise’s Finish in 4. The new program supports the increase in student completion with an Associate Degree for Transfer in 60 semester units at BC. Students are then guaranteed admission to CSUB, in a similar major, and will complete an additional 60 semester units to earn a bachelor’s degree!

BC 2 CSUB balloons over speakers from BC and CSUB

This partnership is the first of its kind to exist within the state of California’s public institutions of higher education. The historic event was held in the Fireside Room, where Dr. Horace Mitchell, President of California State University, Bakersfield and I unveiled the Finish in 4 initiative, which will encourage students in Kern County to complete their transfer and baccalaureate degrees in 4 years from start to finish!

Sonya Christian Finish in 4 May 7 2018

 

 

Horace Mitchell Finish in 4

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Janet Fulks

The project is an expansion of The Kern Promise and is an unprecedented partnership between two local higher education institutions and focuses on benefits to the students and ultimately the community. The Finish in 4 efforts aim to guarantee students complete their transfer degree in 2 years at Bakersfield College and a baccalaureate degree in the following 2 years at CSUB. Together, the goal is to move students through to the next stage of their educational and career goals in a more efficient and impactful way.

Sonya signing the agreement

There is pivotal work ahead of us, with just 22% of Kern County residents 25 and older holding an Associate’s Degree or higher, compared with the California average of 39%. BC has adopted a guided pathways framework and by partnering with high schools to increase the number of dual enrolled students. We are intervening to clarify pathways before a student gets lost, decreasing time to completion, and closing attainment gaps. Finish in 4 is the next best thing aiding in student success.

BC and CSUB Presidents standing next to the Finish in 4 Pathway agreement.

For the Kern County community, the Finish in 4 program creates a win-win situation for our students, our local and state economies, and taxpayer time while providing a rigorous quality education to give our students a clearly defined direction and ensure their success at an efficient pace.

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One happy president!

Garden Pathways

Bakersfield College was on hand for the Garden Pathways Sixteenth Annual High Tea 2018 in honor of Women with a Heart for Bakersfield last Wednesday.  BC’s contingent, included myself, Vice President of Instruction Liz Rozell, Dean of Instruction Billi Jo Rice, Program Director of CTE Tony Cordova, and Director of Veteran Services Paul Beckworth. The sold-out event supports this important organization.

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Tony Cordova, Liz Rozell, Billie Jo Rice, Paul Beckworth, Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora

 

Bakersfield College with Adventist Health

Bakersfield College, Adventist Health

Karen Goh, Sonya Christian, Paul Beckworth, Billie Jo Rice, Liz Rozell MAy 9 2018

Mayor Karen Goh, Sonya Christian, Paul Beckworth, Billie Joe Rice, Liz Rozell

 

Chad Tongco Unitek College, Tony Cordova, Sonya Christian

Loved the singing by Amy Adams students in Garden Pathways.  Captured about 40 seconds of Million Dreams

Garden Pathways High Tea in honor of Women with a Heart for Bakersfield

Garden Pathways, founded by David and Karen Goh, is a community-based nonprofit that provides mentoring and education programs to children, youth and adults to improve family lives in Kern County. The High Tea event recognizes women within the community that have shown exceptional community service and leadership. One of last year’s honoree’s was our very own History Professor Olivia Garcia.  This year’s recipients included Beverly Camp, Robin Fleming, Janice Varner, and Lili Marsh who founded the Bakersfield hub of Honor Flight.  Bravo to these strong, women who indeed have a heart for Bakersfield.

2017 recipient History Professor Olivia Garcia

Michelle Chantry, Olivia Garcia

National Nurses Week

In the midst of everything that is happening around the campus at the end of the year, we’d be remiss not to mention that May 6th through 12th is National Nurses Week, which recognizes the commitment of nurses around the country for protecting, promoting and improving health care for everyone. The American Nurses Association began celebrating National Nurses Week in 1954 in honor of Florence Nightingale, one of the founders of the modern nursing profession who was best known for treating soldiers wounded during the Crimean War in the 19th Century. This year’s theme for National Nurses Week was “Nurses: Inspire, Innovate, Influence”, according to the American Nurses Association website.

Bakersfield College is proud of its nursing department and the work we’ve done to train healthcare professional across Kern County that save thousands of lives every day. Last fall, BC celebrated its 100th graduating class in nursing, and it’s amazing to think about all of the people whose lives have been saved over the last century by BC nursing graduates.

Kern Valley State Prison Debate

We had the unique opportunity to step inside Kern Valley State Prison’s B-Yard Monday, May 7th to participate in a Debate and Student Panel with BC’s Inmate Scholars Program.

The topic of the value proposition was to debate whether the American economy was better off by allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the country. The two debate teams consisted of five inmate scholars, who each presented their case either for the affirmative or opposition. In a well-articulated researched, and engaging manner these scholars courageously took to the podium and challenged themselves and the audience through thought-provoking reasoning.

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Chelsea Esquibias presenting about Inmate Education

This event gave the scholars an opportunity to showcase their communication skills and share with us their aspirations and future goals through education. There were a lot of heartfelt emotions bravely shared that day. Not to mention, a much deserved standing ovation for Chelsea Esquibias (Program Director) and Ms. Smith (faculty member) who have undeniably changed lives in their work with the Inmate Education Program.

Since 2015, incidents of violence on B-yard has decreased 39% due to education and the formation of the debate team, according to a member of the Inmate Education Advisory Committee. Another scholar noted that before BC’s Inmate Education Program began, his ”lens on life was blurred, broken, and limited.” And now through education he has “a lens of love, kindness, and opportunity regardless of race, color, or creed.”

As part of our mission statement, Bakersfield College “provides opportunities for students from diverse economic, cultural, and educational backgrounds…to think critically, communicate effectively, and demonstrate competencies and skills in order to engage productively in their communities and the world.” No matter your circumstance or where you find yourself in life, I believe BC can provide a pathway towards opportunity.

The Links, Incorporated closing celebration this morning at Emerson Middle School

The Links, Incorporated has partnered with BC in the last year to focus on providing middle school and high school students and parents the opportunity to learn more about educational pathways in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math).  Professors Kimberly Chin and Nick Strobel, and staff members from Job Placement with Stephanie Baltazar, have helped lead sessions for these students and parents in the past year, among others from BC.

Today, Professor Chin’s students performed monologues they prepared for the participants and parents. Odella Johnson, retired Professor, and Debra Strong, who currently works in the health center, made the connection with BC.

 

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We are BC Dang It!

At this busy time of year I love to hear stories of triumphant student success as they are the ultimate joys of higher education. Paul Beckworth shared with me his experience of a student no longer in distress:

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I love my job!

I ran across a student I worked with before who had been distraught and discouraged to the point to where she wanted to drop her classes. I encouraged her not to do so and walked her to the Writing Center, where Kim Arbolante started working with her.

I had not seen the student since that day. Well, I saw Wednesday afternoon and she told me that she not only stayed enrolled, she passed her class!  She only has two more classes to go for her degree, and she’s already signed up for summer school.  She did not have graduation in her head. I basically ran her over to A&R at 5:25 where Linda Allday told her what to do TO GRADUATE AND WALK THIS FRIDAY NIGHT!  This time tears of frustration were replaced with tears of joy.

I know we are all tired but this is why we do what we do!

We are BC dang it!

Fun Photos

Talking about Paul Beckworth, I loved this selfie that he took at graduation

Paul Beckworth, Sonya Christian selfie May 11 2018 Commencement

 

I grabbed these three photos from Robert Boyles’ Facebook posts

Photo by Robert Boyles - Lighting up the stadium

Photo by Robert Boyles

Photo by Robert Boyles - Tom Moran signing

Photo by Robert Boyles — Greg Chamberlain, Tom Moran signing

 

Photo by Robert Boyles - Sonya Christian

Photo by Robert Boyles — Sonya Christian

 

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BC Librarians

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Photo of Sonya Christian by Manny Moutzanos

 

Sonya Christian 2 Commencement May 11 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Another Great Week to be a Renegade

Good morning Bakersfield.  What a beautiful Saturday morning in July.  Sitting outside on the patio, it is 4:30 a.m., July 8, 2017…a great day to be a Renegade.

FlagDayIn fact, it was a great week to be a Renegade with a special day off on Tuesday to relax and celebrate a holiday with friends and family. On July 4th, the United States commemorates the start of a grand experiment in self-governance.

On that day 241 years ago, Thomas Jefferson gave words to the birthright of liberty and free expression that is not granted by kings or governments, and which we fight to preserve if our leaders attempt to deny. From that simple idea, forged by the philosophical works of John Locke, Voltaire, Rene Descartes and other contributors of the Enlightenment, a new society emerged, and blueprint for governance.

Over the last 241 years, the blueprint has proved to be difficult to realize, and society has had to change – and continues to change – to remain true to its ideals as inalienable rights once denied are progressively regained, by women, by immigrants, by people of color, and many more. The experiment continues, even today, as an intrinsic privilege of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – and intrinsic denial of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness – are gradually seen as such.

This dynamic defines our work as community college educators, as we struggle to educate everyone, anyone, faced with the systemic effects of poverty, lack of health care, lack of safety, physical disability, and mental disability, that we now recognize as a self-perpetuating status quo.

As educators, it is our responsibility to keep the public informed on what their rights are, the history of how those rights were earned, and what we’re able to do on both an individual and community-wide level to protect and recognize those rights. It is a profound responsibility, but it’s also an incredible opportunity to be the scientists on the front lines of the great American experiment. As an immigrant I have a unique understanding of what a great country this is!

How did you celebrate Independence Day? Leave a comment below. I’d love to know how you spent your holiday.

I had a relatively quiet fourth at home – the kind I like – and this year with a sense of anticipation to see how Neo would react to the fireworks.  He did surprisingly well especially considering how dramatically he reacted to the gardener’s demon leaf blower.

June 30 2017 Neo with a stick

Neo, chewing on a twig. His favorite pastime.

 

I’ve been congratulating myself on having the calmest, most enlightened puppy in town as I heard stories of puppy destruction from others… and then he turned three months old at 30 lbs and I began to understand…  I sent an SOS to several friends. Lesley shook her head wisely and said “You have got to tire him out.  I take Blue for runs, and then there is the formidable battle with the water sprinkler that is intentionally planned.”  Here is the evidence.

Blue chasing water

So, I took my instructions very seriously and this has now become part of Neo’s evening routine..

Neo has his last set of shots scheduled for July 19th.  After that the vet said we had permission to take him to the dog park.  Can’t wait to get him exercised and exhausted in the dog park.  I have been there several times when Ken visited me from Oregon with the one and only Woody, his chocolate-colored Lab.

I know you have seen this 27-sec video of Woody swimming many many times, but here it is again in my July 3, 2016 blog post.
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/07/03/daily-inspiration-from-all-things-bc/

Thomas Roads Improvement Project

In an op-ed from last week’s Bakersfield Californian, Bakersfield City Manager Alan Tandy laid out his case for Trustee Bill Thomas’ Thomas Road Improvement Program, or TRIP.

When Retired Congressman and Trustee Thomas brought in a $630 million federal earmark for road repair in Bakersfield shortly before retiring from the House of Representatives, he established a partnership between Cal Trans and local and county government to outline a plan to fix the city’s aging, insufficient road infrastructure. One of TRIP’s most successful and notable projects so far is the Westside Parkway, which linked the suburban communities of Northwest Bakersfield with our burgeoning and resurgent downtown area.

TRIP May 2017

Photo by Dorothy Mills-Greg from The Bakersfield Californian. Mayor Karen Goh and Retired Congressman Bill Thomas

TRIP has grown its initial $630 million federal budget into a $1.4 billion budget through grants and contributions, adding 24 bridges and nearly 100 lane miles of roadway to Bakersfield’s transportation network since 2007. Upcoming projects, including the Hageman flyover road, the 24th Street widening and the first phase of the Centennial Corridor project, will ease congestion further as Kern County continues to have some of the fastest population growth in the nation.

TRIP is essential to making our city functional, especially as our growth continues to outpace our infrastructure. Thank you Trustee Thomas! And thank you Alan Tandy for the great article.

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Grimmway

On Thursday, July 6th, Rich and I had the pleasure of meeting with the Dream Team from Grimmway Academy — Greg West, Director of School Support Services;  Paul Escala, Executive Director of the Grimmway Schools; and Casey Yeazel, Chief Academic Officer.  The Grimmway Academy just graduated their eigth grade class and most of them will be starting their ninth grade at Arvin High School.  There was great chemistry in the room and I can’t wait to see the results of our planning.

Group Photo

Sonya Christian, Greg West, Rich McCrow, Paul Escala, Casey Yeazel

The Grimmway Academy is a great example of #EducationDoneRight.  Barbara Grimm, a true visionary, made this happen.  I visited the Grimmway Academy in in 2014.  Check out my blog post on July 1, 2014
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2014/07/01/grimmway-academy-thrives-in-arvin/

Academic Support Services Retreat Day

Let me introduce you to BC’s Academic Support Team.

Left to right:  Kimberly Arbolante, Grace Commiso, Laraine Rosema, Susan Abbassi, Eric Weis, Maria Wright, Stephanie Vega, Barry Ramirez, Monica Huyck, Eileen Pierce, Christopher Anderson, Kim Collins, Sonia Avila, Yvonne Armendariz, Bradley Cramer, Alana Austin, Jessica Flores, and Miguel Cuate.

Academic Support Team July 6 2017.jpg

 

I am always happy to see Monica Huyck since she was one of the very first people I met when I arrived on campus in 2013.  Here is my blog post from March 6, 2013 that has a picture of me with Monica and the team from the tutoring center in Delano.  Gosh I look so young in that picture and Rich McCrow was still tall then 🙂  Check it out

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2013/03/16/our-delano-campus/

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Dr. Janet Fulks

The Retreat was very good and I felt hugely energized listening to the different presenters and the comments from the group.  Janet Fulks, of course, gave an inspiring talk when she shared data about our students.  And Rich and I were whispering to each other how fortunate we were to have the amazing Janet Fulks in our midst.

 

As BC continues to aggressively make changes to get more students to and through the college in an efficient and effective manner, we have realized the importance of being more intrusive with our students, over 80% of them are first generation college going, and get them to make use of our academic support services like tutoring, supplemental instruction, the writing center etc.  The team you see above have been redesigning their systems and practices to get more students to participate in these services as well as engage with faculty regularly to track student progress so that they minimize the risk of having these students fall between the cracks.

 

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Maria Wright addressing the group. Rich McCrow, Sonya Christian, Criag Hayward, Michael McClinnick

Here are some of the concluding thoughts shared by team members at the end of the retreat.

What was the most important piece of information gained from this retreat?

  • The accountability of faculty and staff to students via completion teams & “permission” to hammer team members to participate in success of our students.
  • The strengths quest workshop. It was a real joy and very informative.
  • A more clearly defined path for guided pathway.
  • Hearing about the programs and services being implemented as a result of the data
  • Clarification about the goals of the campus.
  • Points of connection and defining our identity through students.
  • I think the most important piece(s) of information I gained from this experience are the utilization of our talents as well as the massive amounts of support the Academic support team receives.
  • Clarification of our roles in Academic Support Services in the context of Pathways.
  • How collaboration will happen on each team.
  • Gaining insight on the “what” and “why”
  • Understanding the role of academic support services within the meta-majors and affinity groups
  • The enforcement of the effectiveness of support services

How will your role be affected as a result of the information shared today?

  • My role is more “global” now.
  • I understand the relationship between my role as a guided pathway leader and my everyday tasks
  • I will have to take a more holistic approach when working with students.
  • I like to think that my program will have so much support.
  • I will be able to contact the correct people with a support attitude.
  • I will reach out more to my colleagues in order to coordinate our efforts in serving students.
  • I have gained confidence that I can help students reach goals.

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Maria had invited several of the senior administrators and other key leaders of campus to the retreat for the first hour.  During this time, she asked me to address her team on Guided Pathways and the new direction for Academic Support.  She wanted to make sure that we had this larger group for this segment so that we could integrate the work and the key strategies as a whole rather than in isolation.  Maria Wright rocks!

Let me introduce you to those in the photo.

Back row: Pedro Ramirez, Julian West, Abel Guzman, Eric Weis, Richard McCrow, Christopher Anderson, Monica Huyck, Kim Collins, Sonia Avila, Bradley Cramer, Alana Austin, Michael Mcclenic, Miguel Cuate, Craig Hayward,  and Stig Jantz

Front row: Imelda Valdez, Lisa Kent, Alyse Braaten, Laraine Rosema, Susan Abbassi, Maria Wright, Stephanie Vega, Barry Ramirez, Eileen Pierce, Yvonne Armendariz, Shohreh Rahman, Jessica Flores, and Grace Commiso.

Academic Support Retreat Larger Group July 6 2017.jpg

I was sorry to miss being in the photos since I had a dignitary stop by my office at exactly the time the photo was being taken 😦

Here are a few more pictures.

 

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Agriculture Career Camps

TweetTwo weeks of Agriculture Career Camps were a success! Bakersfield College’s partnership with The Wonderful Company allowed 8th grade students to explore different career options in the agriculture industry.

Food production may start with a farmer, but the employment opportunities to get food to the end-consumer are endless. Each week 50 campers were exposed to different careers options.

Marko ZaninovichThe camp started with industry guest speakers and a tour of Sunview Vineyards. Thank you Marko Zaninovich for allowing us to visit Sunview Vineyards! They are leading the agriculture industry by using beneficial insects to control unwanted pests in lieu of spraying pesticides.

Scott, Sunview Vineyard’s Entomologist, was very passionate about his career and he had an amazing insect collection that the students got to view. Cristina monitors the beneficial and invasive insects and she was an inspiration for our young campers.

Bakersfield College’s new Agribusiness professors, Jim Selgrath and Leann Riley, along with Lindsay Ono, Katie Tune and Arian Hallum put together branding and marketing curriculum where students were able to create and brand a new flavor of pistachios, almonds and papayas.

Scott2Matt RileyScott1

Bakersfield College’s new Agriculture Mechanics professor Matt Riley, along with Ernesto Marcial and Scott Trimble had students building water pumps and filtration systems. Campers also got the chance to weld (a first for most!).

Rock wallIn the evenings, campers tackled rock walls, swam and went bowling! It was a dynamic week and with support from The Wonderful Company, students were exposed to various career option in agriculture. Thank you Rebecca Farley and Tony Alteparmakian for facilitating this amazing opportunity.

Campers were also introduced to the dual-enrollment programs in Agribusiness and Agriculture Mechanics between The Wonderful College Prep Academy and Bakersfield College.

Raquel Lopez did an amazing job at orchestrating the camp activities and Heather Baltis helped to run it. A big thank you to our camp mentors: Jessie McCraw, Vanessa Mendoza, Kaitlyn McCoy, Jisel Silva Cornejo, Cristal Diaz, Jessie Oropeza, Dylan Klawitter, Zac Ojeda, Mario Solorio. They spent 24 hours a day with our campers. Many were past Renegades and were an inspiration for our campers.  Thank you Youth 2 Leaders for your help in coordinating our mentors and keeping our campers hydrated. Thank you CSUB for housing our campers in your dorms and providing us with fun evening activities.  And thank you Heather Baltis, faculty member in the Ag department, for being the lead for this year’s Ag Academy.

Manny De Los Santos put together a great video, check it out here. Our next generation of agricultural leaders are bright, talented and full of new ideas!

Lynda Resnick Sonya Christian Jan 2015

I want to also take a moment to recognize Lynda Resnick the creator of the Wonderful Academy.  She has invested a lot in promoting education in rural communities.  The work in Los Hills had David Brooks of the NYTimes writing a piece on the incredible work that Resnick has been doing in Lost Hills.  Here is a quote:

“In Lost Hills there are new health centers, new pre-K facilities, new housing projects, new gardens, new sidewalks and lights, a new community center and a new soccer field. Through the day, people have more places to meet, play and cooperate with their neighbors.”

Lynda has also been a great friend of Bakersfield College.  Thank you Lynda Resnick for your commitment to the Central Valley

Check out my May 21, 2016 blog post that includes the Lost Hills article.
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/05/21/so-much-diversity-and-we-are-bc/

Culinary Arts Academy

With the support of BC Delano Auxiliary Foundation, Bakersfield College was able to partner with Delano Joint Union High School District and Delano Union Elementary School District to run a Culinary Arts Academy. Eleven incoming 8th-grade students from various Delano area middle schools took part in the pilot program. The program was designed to create a pathway in culinary arts starting in middle school. This is all part of KCCD’s K-14 Pathways initiative to develop and promote career pathways.

Cesar E. Chavez High School home economics instructor, Jill Pickett, developed a four-day curriculum to teach students the basics of safety, cooking, and etiquette. Mrs. Pickett had the support of three amazing student leaders, including two Bakersfield College-Delano students (Karla Gonzalez and Dalila Rodriguez).

Culinary ARts (1)

Each day the students learned how to prepare a hearty meal from scratch, which they would ultimately eat as their own lunch. One of the highlights of the program was when our very own Chef Eric Sabella and his wife, Chef Lupe Sabella (Executive Chef at Kern Medical), stopped by to speak to the students about their experiences in the culinary arts field. The students truly enjoyed learning about their journeys in the field. I’m so very thankful that Chefs Eric and Lupe took the time out of their busy day to meet with the students.

Culinary ARts (2)

The program concluded on Friday, June 30th. The students were treated to a nice lunch at Perko’s Café in Delano where they were given a tour of the kitchen facilities from the owner himself. He also shared his experience in the restaurant industry with the students. The academy was a great success, and showed a great pathway partnership between two secondary school districts and a community college. We hope to expand this enrichment opportunity in 2018.

 

BC Golden Empire Drum Corps

Congratulations to the Drum Corps!! This past weekend, the BC Golden Empire Drum Corps had back-to-back competitions at the Rose Bowl (Pasadena) and Riverside Community College. Under Tim Heasley’s leadership and instruction, I’m pleased to announce that our students won the Open Class division at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, and placed 2nd at their competition in Riverside (Sunday). The Drum Corps heads up the coast to Oregon and Washington this week for more competitions. Our music pageantry programs have flourished significantly in the last several years as a result of Tim’s investment of time and endless energy. The future for music pageantry at BC is bright and strong. You can view some recent pictures of our Corps on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/gedrumcorps/

Instagram

Then on Thursday, I received a photo from Maribeth Heasley with the following email:

“Thought you might like to see this beautiful shot of the Bakersfield College Golden Empire Drum&Bugle Corp as they caravan to the Northwest.  The corps (100 students plus instructors, and about 15 volunteers) spent the night, ate and practiced, all in the shadow of Mt Shasta at the College of the Siskiyous. Now they will continue North, performing in Portland, Seattle and Tri Cities WA, before heading home next week.  Having done volunteer work with these students, I know they are wonderful kids, and great ambassadors of BC!”

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What an incredible and beautiful photo!!

And I snapped this picture July 4th morning when Tim Heasley appeared on KGET with Jason Galvin.

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Jason Galvin, Tim Heasley

 

Into The Woods Opening Weekend

“Into the Woods” had its premier show last night and will have 3 more performances tonight, and July 14th and 15th. The Bakersfield Californian showcased an article highlighting the passion and dedication that goes into making these performances great.  The article says,

The Bakersfield College production has involved a large number of faculty: In addition to Jennifer Garrett and Sivesind, instrumental music professor Kathryn Kuby will conduct an 18-piece pit orchestra of students, community members and also music professors Robert Martinez and Marcia Maynard and staff accompanists Patrick Bender and Marla Hansen. Voice instructors Ken Burdick and Cayley Mayhall and BC English professor Andrew Bond are featured members of the cast. Theater staff Kevin Ganger and Leslie Aldridge are directing students in creating sets, lighting and costumes.

Thank you Susan Scaffidi for the great article.

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Turnipseed shaking things up

It really is wonderful living in a community of leaders who are on the move  Loved the Community Voices piece done by Michael Turnipseed recently in The Bakersfield Californian.  He talks about the importance of government agencies disrupting the status quo.  Here is the link to the full article.  http://tinyurl.com/y8sclc4a

Community Voices July 6 2017 County Government must disrupt status quo

 

Registration Rocks at Bakersfield College

College is an exciting and sometimes challenging time for new students – that’s why BC staff and faculty are dedicated to hosting events that support our students. Coming up this Tuesday, we’re hosting Registration Rocks from 8:00AM to 3:00PM. There will be an introduction to BC, campus tour, financial aid, assessment, counseling, help for enrollment, and assistance finding classes. Did I mention free food and prizes? Even though registration has already begun for Fall 2017, it’s possible to become a Renegade and leave this one-day express registration event as a student of Bakersfield College! You can be enrolled in classes after just one day! Want to attend? Sign up now!

Tweet of the Week

I loved this tweet from Science Faculty, Joe Saldivar and the short video he posted too. Check it out on Youtube.

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Wonder Woman

If you have not seen Wonder Woman yet, cancel all plans for this weekend and make time for the movie.  It has been out since June 2nd…..come now.  It is a must see.

Check out the trailer

I am an avid reader of reviews from the NYTimes.  Here is what A.O.Scott has to say.

Excerpt 1:

Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins from a script by Allan Heinberg, briskly shakes off blockbuster branding imperatives and allows itself to be something relatively rare in the modern superhero cosmos.  It feels like yet another installment in an endless sequence of apocalyptic merchandising opportunities than like ……what’s the word I’m looking for? A movie. A pretty good one, too.

Excerpt 2:

Wonder Woman, though, resists the reflexive power-worship that drags so many superhero movies – from the Marvel as well as the DC universe – into the mire of pseudo-Nietzschean adolescent posturing.  Unlike most of her male counterparts, its heroine is not trying to exorcise inner demons or work out messiah issues.  She wants to function freely in the world, to help out when needed and to be respected for her abilities.  No wonder she encounters so much resistance.

For the full review:

Music by the Fountain at the Market Place

I love summers and the month of July since the administrative team goes mostly dark in July.  That is, no regularly scheduled meetings.  Other than wishing temperatures would be lower than 102 degrees, life in Bakersfield in July is just perfect.  This includes relaxing at the fountain by the Market Place on Thursday evenings listening to music.

 

What I missed this week

I bought tickets to join my daughter to watch Blondie and Garbage perform in Santa Barbara.  But because of the new addition to the family, Neo, I did not go.

Here is one of my favorite Blondie songs — Call me.

And my favorite Garbage song Crush featured in the Caprio/Danes version of Romeo and Juliet.

 

From Facebook: 

Summer Bridge photo posts:

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July 7 2017 photo 2 Summer Bridge.png

 

Thank you Kimberly Bligh.

Kate Pluta posted this poem on grief which I thought I would share with you

Grief

by Gwen Flowers

Calla Lily June 4 2016I had my own notion of grief.
I thought it was the sad time
That followed the death of someone you love.
And you had to push through it
To get to the other side.
But I’m learning there is no other side.
There is no pushing through.
But rather,
There is absorption.
Adjustment.
Acceptance.
And grief is not something you complete,
But rather, you endure.
Grief is not a task to finish
And move on,
But an element of yourself-
An alteration of your being.
A new way of seeing.
A new definition of self.

Sonya Christian July 6 2017 at the Market Place

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Congratulations talented faculty and staff

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, May 13th….the day after BC’s 103rd commencement.  What a glorious week to be a Renegade.

In January, the halls of BC filled with students as the new semester began… A semester that will forever change the lives of our 1400 plus graduates who were invited to walk on the commencement stage yesterday evening.

There is so much to talk about and so much to share about the Commencement festivities yesterday. I’ll be recapping the individual events next weekend, but for now –

 

Have you checked out the Waterfall in Bakersfield?  I did..on May 3rd when a friend told me about it.

Check out Lois Henry’s brief fun description of the Waterfall in Bakersfield at

http://tinyurl.com/k5939ju

 

 

Closing Day

What an incredible, record breaking and history setting year for Bakersfield College. We saw a record setting increase in student numbers, improved student outcomes, created efficiency saving time and money for students and taxpayers, broadened outreach to Kern County Residents, particularly in rural Kern, engaged with our community, educational sector, business, and industry, and continued to develop innovative programs that benefit our students.

Closing Day is all about celebrating people.  Here are some of them

Shirley Trembley Award Recipient: Reggie Williams

Reggie Williams recipient of the Shirley Trembley Award May 12 2017

 

The Margaret Levinson Award Recipient: Kimberly Bligh

Kimberly Bligh Margaret Levinson Award Recipient May 12 2017

Levan Faculty Colloquim Recipient: Rafael Espericueta

Rafael Espericueta Levan Faculty Colloquim May 12 2017.png

 

Each year, at Closing Day, I recognize groups or individuals with The Presidents Leadership Award. This year, the 10 recipients were:

I. Public Safety:

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On call 24/7, 365 days a year, and under the guidance and leadership of Chief Chris Counts, our Public Safety officers and department has put forth commendable effort to keep our campus safe and welcoming.

Thank you for your caring service to our community. As an open campus, with thousands of visitors and students, it is you our campus officers who deal with the issues and providing assistance to those in need.

Thank you for putting forth the effort to make BC an environment that not only reaches out, but also provides a safe and caring community. I am delighted to award the President’s Leadership Award to the Public Safety team!

Chris Counts, Christina Vazquez, Freddie Rodriguez, Felix Ramirez, Marcos Sifuentes, Mason Blair, Blanca Blanco, Vincente Costa, Robert Fore, Raymond Grant,
Jason Mattheus, Matthew Rodriguez, Carlos Rios

II. Financial Aid

17closingday14Tenacity!  Eye on details!  Relentless focus on improving systems!  Challenging the status quo!

These are some of the characteristics I think of when I see a whole department reinventing itself and championing “systems” changes to ensure student success. And this is exactly what I think of when I hear what our Financial Aid Department has achieved this year!

For the first time in my memory, we did not have any delay in awarding Financial Aid, and disbursing awards on time.  Our Financial Aid team, under the direction of Jennifer Achan, has re-invented itself by sheer hard work, and a focus on examining processes internally and externally!

They have been relentless in challenging inefficiencies, and have focused on putting student success first!  And more importantly they have sought out innovative technologies and applications to improve how they work.  I am delighted to present the President’s Leadership Award to the Financial Aid team!

 

Jennifer Achan, Mark “Adam” Llanes, Adriana Vega, Connie Garza-Singh, 
Donica Delarose, Gina Hunter, Heather Skibinski, Pita Montes, Rebecca Bumpous               Roberta Ayala, Valerie Mackey, Victoria Koiyan, Walter Rivas, Lucy Perez-Dykes
Evette Lara, Claudio Felix, Grace Saenz, Jesus Cardenas

III. Inmate Education

Inmate Education 2017 President's Leadership Awards

“Teaching inside is a labor of love.”  These words are from Bryan Hirayama’s blog on his experience teaching in prison.

The ‘labor of love’ also applies to those who started and developed the Bakersfield College Inmate Scholars Program.

In 2 short years, BC has taken a leading role in the state. Our dedicated team has been asked to present at state-wide conferences, provide training, and we are one of 7 California programs to receive a grant for our innovative and effective approach to teaching incarcerated students.

The rigor and the academic standards are maintained in these college level courses. Our program faculty and administrators go the extra mile.

That might mean using paper and pen to answer student questions over the weekend because students don’t have access to email or telephones.

Or it might mean providing additional transfer materials so a student can answer their daughter’s questions about college classes.

In a recent post Bryan said, “It is no different teaching inside. One measurable but significant call of teaching behind the wall is shouldering hope.”

Chelsea Esquibias, Rich McCrow, Patricia Smith, Bryan Hirayama, 
Douglas Grimsley, David Moton, Yuki Takeuchi Chan

IV. Dual Enrollment Program

 

Dual Enrollment President's Leadership Award.pngIt takes vision, leadership, persistence and thinking to move from an idea to a college practice.

BC’s early model of dual enrollment was at a Delano Charter School and, now Wonderful Academy.

Just this past year and a half, we have built on the long standing articulation agreements and CTE program pathways to schedule courses that prepare students for college and careers. This year, general education courses were piloted.

We are well on the way to address the significantly low degree attainment and unemployment rates in our rural communities.

All these indicators pointed to the need for post-secondary education and training. We knew we could not afford to wait until students enrolled at one of BC’s college locations. We knew we had to strengthen our partnerships with high school districts in order to make a positive change for Kern County.

Building connections between two very different systems has its challenges and growing pains. Bringing together college and high school faculty is time intensive but critical to the success of dual enrolled students.

But, for the sake of our students, making the effort and improving what we are doing is exactly where we need to be.

This year 69% of dual enrolled students live in rural communities and 85% are students of color. Dual enrollment is about access and equity. It is about improving the statistics of Kern County.

Cindy Collier, Corny Rodriguez, Klint Rigby, Anna Laven, Rich McCrow, Raquel Lopez

V. MESA & STEM

The MESA Program is vital to our first student generation and assists students who are declared in STEM transfer majors that are economically and educationally disadvantaged.

MESA, under the leadership of Connie Gonzales, leverages a $75,000 State grant with three times that amount in donations from local business, industry and other private philanthropic groups.

Students have access to dedicated tutoring support, guidance and resources to develop habits that keep them on the pathway to success, resulting in historical success rates 10% higher than the total BC student population.

Just last month, MESA ran a successful STEM Pre-Health Conference in collaboration with UCLA to direct 150 future STEM students to BC and beyond.

MESA is housed in the AERA STEM Success Center, which was opened last fall using a major financial donation from AERA Energy. This valuable resource center for students, led by Yadira Guerrero, is funded through a STEM grant.

MESA and STEM May 12 2017

 

I promise you that if you swing by anytime you will find the center alive with support for all STEM students through assistants and mentors, who help other students succeed in challenging courses.

Together, Connie and Yadira and the MESA and STEM team have made BC the place to succeed in Science, Technology, Math, and Engineering . I am delighted to present this team The President’s Leadership Award!

 

Connie Gonzales, Yadira Guerrero, Cynthia Quintanilla, Tiffani Alvidrez, 
Mark Osea, Patrick Aderhod, Kenward Vaughan, Wayne Cooper, 
Dan Kimball, Joe Saldivar, Kim Newton, Regina Hukill, Dillion Giblin                                Josh Lewis, Donna Starr, Becky Head

VI. Summer Bridge

Summer is almost here – and it’s a critical time in the academic success for recent high school graduates planning to attend BC in the fall.

This is the time when new students can get started on their pathways to success at BC, but it takes the determination, coordination and hard work of BC faculty, staff, student mentors and leaders like Kimberly Bligh and the Summer Bridge team.

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Together, their efforts have created the BC Summer Bridge program – an intensive orientation program with hands-on activities covering academic and student services, campus tour, registration processes, and financial aid.

  • In 2013, the Summer Bridge program was only one section with 35 students over one week.
  • In 2014, this was increased to 145 students, and in 2015, over 400 students.
  • Funding from a Title V grant and Kimberly Bligh’s leadership, last year, supported nearly 1,000 students, who were 5% more successful in their fall courses than those not attending Summer Bridge.

With new sessions and expansion to Delano, the participation goal is simply… every new BC student!

 

Kimberly Bligh, Lesley Bonds, Isabel Castaneda, Matthew Garrett, 
Marcelyn Allen, Alexandra Dalllara, Faith Bradham, Jessica Wojtysiak
Paul Beckworth, Stephen Tavoni, Andrew Haney, Teresa McAllister
Don Brady, Jennifer Peters, Sarah Baron, Ximena Da Silva, Nigie Shi,
Eddie Rangel, Sondra Keckley, Jonathan Shultz

VII. Measure J. Writers Bureau

Higher education is a pursuit; one that follows visions and dreams to make tomorrows story better than today’s.

With the support of our community and because of the phenomenal efforts of a dedicated group of individuals who helped broadcast BC’s unique story, we gained the support of over 65% of voters for YES ON J.

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Our stories were everywhere.

They were authentic and vibrant. They brought to life our outstanding history and long tradition of excellence. They shared experiences and whispers from within the classrooms and the hallways.

Thank you for sharing your talent and thank you for sharing your stories.

Your words, community voices, and opinions have brought life to the conversation that has propelled Bakersfield College into the next era.  Thank you.

Andrea Thorson, Talita Pruett, Neely Hatridge, Gloria Dumler, Krista Moreland, Nick Strobel, Oliver Rosales, Patricia Smith, Paula Parks, Sarah Baron, Tom Moran, Janet Tarjan, Debbie Rosenthal

VIII. Measure J Campus Leaders

The Measure J journey started a year in advance and included much more than just 12 months of intense work. A team of campus leaders rallied behind this work, often not even knowing what the work needed to be… building it as we moved forward, one step at a time – creating that step as we took it.

The work took courage, time, patience, and grace from many individuals who came together during non-school and non-work time, volunteer hours, evenings, weekends, early mornings, lunchtime meetings, whatever it took – these campus leaders were there.

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The work was initially broken up into two phases.

The first was the educational campaign… Together, we shared our vision for A Better BC through presentations, conversations, and sharing our ideas with anyone who would listen.

And then when the board took action in July 2016, we moved to the political campaign – Yes on J.  As educators, who know nothing about political campaigns, except our Political Science faculty, we rolled up our sleeves, locked arms, and engaged with the hard work.

1675 Chester Avenue became a home away from home. It was a refuge of sharing our vision, engaging with folks on the phone in English and Spanish, eating pizzas, exhausted, planning walking precincts…. And then…. November 8th happened.

Our hard work gave life to our vision… a vision that now will be a reality.  And as I began to identify those who worked so tirelessly, I know many were missed… but here is a glimpse of the mosaic of faces that have made measure J a reality.

Somaly Boles, Tarina Perry, Shannon Musser, Kate Pluta, Nicky Damania,                     Richard McCrow, Cornelio Rodriguez, Steven Holmes, Zav Dababhoy                              Todd Coston, Liz Rozell, Sandi Taylor, Tom Gelder, Nan Gomez-Heiteberg
Mary Jo Pasek, Lesley Bonds, Steven Watkin, Sue Vaughn, Isabel Stierle                      Sarah Baro, Nick Strobel, Sondra Keckley, Tina Johnson, Jennifer Marden Serratt, 
Chris Glaser, Stephen Waller, Manny Mourtzanos, Andrea Thorson, Bill Potter, Jackie Lau, Paul Beckworth, Michelle Pena

Check out this 5-minute video that Manny de Los Santos put together of some Measure J photos.

IX. Jerry Ludeke, Bob Allison, and Jack Hernandez

It’s hard to imagine a world without archives, without scholarship, and without lifelong learning.

On the BC campus, we uniquely rely on these three important components to enrich our working and learning environment.

Jerry Ludeke Bob Allison Jack Hernandez May 12 2017.png

Our archives give us a comprehensive and vital understanding of our past, as we work towards building a better future…. the detailed extent to which Jerry Ludeke preserves our history is usually only found at prestigious universities and not so much in community colleges.  The Bakersfield Californian accurately called Jerry Ludeke a “True Bakersfield College Treasure.”

The lifelong learning offered at The Levan Institue, under the direction of Bob Allison is a gift for our neighbors, community, and Renegade alumni.  Bob Allison has served this college as a chemistry faculty, a senior administrator, president and now the caretaker of lifelong learning opportunities for our community.  Bob Allison opened up his home to me as a rookie faculty and mentored me on the enrollment management and budgets when I was a rookie dean and has done so for many many of us at BC.

The lectures and programs offered at the Levan Center, led by Jack Hernandez, brings a unique opportunity to deepen the learning environment for our faculty, staff and students and to elevate our core value of learning.

The Levan Center through its scholarly and rigorous treatment of the humanities, arts, letters and sciences does just that.  And it is a bright shining light of excellence due to the leadership of Jack Hernandez.

X. Mary Jo Pasek

You will frequently see Mary Jo speeding around campus in her golf cart, making friends wherever she goes and serving as BC’s goodwill ambassador to students and visitors alike.

In her role as Events and Scheduling Manager, Mary Jo is involved in all outside events that come to campus and she was instrumental in bringing the Condors and their WinterFest to Memorial Stadium.

She works closely with our maintenance, media relations and food service staffs to make sure every event has the right venue, the right equipment and the perfect menu to make it a success.

Sonya Christian Mary Jo Pasek May 12 2017

She knows everybody in town and is a fountain of information when you need to know who to call, who to ask, or who to invite.

She is a true Midwestern treasure… Minnesota born and bred…and a treasure to Bakersfield College.

Between her stints at the District and her time at BC Mary Jo has spent 10 years making “a better BC” and today, I’m delighted to honor her as a recipient of The Presidents Leadership Award.

Here are some photos from the morning.

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Thank you to the Closing Day Team: Monika Scott, Dylan Wang, Kristin Rabe, Manuel De Los Santos, Kevin Ganger, Francis Mayer, Jennifer Marden Serratt, and our Ushers led by Chris Glaser, Kristina Whitmore, Bernadette Martinez, Heather Skibinski, Walter Rivas, Cecilia Lopez, and Tarina Perry. And I can’t forget, Emmanuel Limaco who led our stretch break.

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What a great selfie of the three VPs

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Wounded Heroes Event

BC was represented at “An Evening with American Heroes” last Friday evening.  The Wounded Heroes Fund is a local service organization for those veterans and their families affected by the war on terror with a focus on facilitating a healthy transition to civilian life through support and appreciation. The beautiful evening underneath the big trees was a perfect setting for a great meal, catered by Cafe Med, with community members supporting this important organization.  The highlight of the night was a panel of three Army special forces operators discussing their missions and their passions.  On stage was SGT. Major Jeremy Morton, Master SGT., (Ret) Jason Beardsley, and SGT First Class Joe Drullard.  Paul Beckworth told me, it was Sgt. Major Jeremy Morton who helped plan and execute the capture of Saddam Hussein. Bakersfield College veterans attended this important fundraiser as a part of, and in support of our local veteran community.  

Mayor Goh, Angelica Perez (Army), Jahnea Palfrey (Navy), Bernadette Martinez (Air Force) Paul Beckworth

Paul Beckworth, Mayor Goh, Angelica Perez (Army), Jahnea Palfrey (Navy), Bernadette Martinez (Air Force)

 

Women’s Empowerment Summit

Last Saturday marked the second annual Women’s Empowerment Summit which brings knowledge, resources and networking to all who attend. There was a wonderful line-up of some amazing and talented women throughout the county and state.  In today’s world, we are striving for equality and inclusion for everyone, and it is with this in mind that the women at the conference shared statistics, studies, and hope. It is estimated that women today earn 86 cents to every dollar a man is paid for the same job with the same experience and so we are left asking ourselves what is it that we can do to level the playing field? This is especially pertinent when we think about the fact that 1.5 million businesses in California alone are owned and run by women.

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Through the various speeches shared a story of importance… a story of being that role model for others to emulate whatever field you are passionately pursuing. There were speakers from Latina Leaders of Kern County, Associate State Director for AARP, Executive Director for the Kern Literacy Council and also a stirring presentation from Melissa Abad, Research Associate for the Clayman Institute. The morning began with refreshments while those in attendance networked with others, then the women sat together, shoulder to shoulder and listened intently as each speaker shared with us with wisdom in their field of expertise.

IMG_5623The first speaker of the day was none-other than Executive Vice President of Instruction at our own Bakersfield College, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg. She shared, “I started in 1966 as an educator, teaching three year olds, but I was always curious and my curiosity is what put me in positions that opened doors instead of simply watching life by the sidelines. Appreciate people who have taught you things that maybe were painful but they are all part of your story, you can become your own author to your story of life. The best thing about working for BC is being able to transform so many lives but also working for and with so many wonderful women’. These words resonated with me, as she closed by simply stating, “It’s never too late to write your story.”

As all of the other wonderful speakers presented, these words continued to stay at the forefront as each one demonstrated how they had in fact written their own story and how they strived and continue to strive each and every day to make it the best story possible. Lisa Baca posted photos on Facebook! 

Levan Humanities Review

The Norman Levan Center for the Humanities just released the fifth volume of the “Levan Humanities Review”, an annual journal of essays, poetry and cultural criticism submitted by contributors in and out of BC. Contributors submit their work to Levan Center director Jack Hernandez for publication, and he curates and edits the entries throughout the year.

In the current issue of the Levan Humanities Review, Writing Center tutor Susan Abbassi wrote an essay on the cultural importance of the hijab and the struggles many Muslim women in the Western world face when they choose to continue incorporating it into their spiritual practice. Philosophy professor, Anna Poetker’s piece documented the obstacles that many undocumented Latino college students face in achieving their educational goals, while commercial music professor Joshua Ottum wrote about the percussive, industrial sounds of Kern River oilfields and its influence on our music and culture. Cal State Bakersfield professor Tim Vivian even contributed a review of Wendell Berry’s book “Roots to the Earth” and a poem titled “To One Who Coughed in Darkness”.

To find out more about the latest issue of the “Levan Humanities Review,” including David M. Kernanen’s explanation of humanism and Miriam Raub Vivian’s essay on Roman architecture, you can read Volume 5, Issue 1 online right now.

To order a paper version of the journal, please check the Amazon page at: https://www.amazon.com/Levan-Humanities-Review-Jack-Hernandez/dp/1544171021/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491337744&sr=8-1&keywords=levan+humanities+review

U.S./Mexican Muralism

The Bakersfield College Art Department was excited to have a guest lecture from UCLA PhD candidate Kaelyn D. Rodriguez on campus. She was here share all about U.S./Mexican Muralism: Visualizing the Past, Present, and Future of Chicanx Murals. She expressed the reason behind the word Chicanx and its importance. In a world were inclusion in vital to us as a society, by saying or labeling things as Chicanx, you are taking the gender and or sex out of the equation. No longer do they say Chicano or Chicana or Latina or Latino which designates to only certain gender and sexes, by using the word Chicanx, you are now including all!

Mexican Muralism flyerHer excitement beamed as she went through the history of Chicanx Murals and then brought the audience up to today. She engaged all in attendance to share with her in discussion about murals that represent different time eras and events throughout history. Social Realism was one of her main themes throughout the discussion for the day, focusing on its true meaning of being true to yourself and representing yourself accurately, it’s about what’s happening in life now and how that affects you. With each of the pieces of artwork that she shared, she asked the students what caught their attention. She wanted to know their interpretation of what they saw, how it spoke to them, what it was that they noticed is. This entire discussion was actually Ms. Rodrigues Thesis paper at UCLA and she was thrilled at the opportunity to share it will all those in attendance to engage with the students in a riveting back and forth of thoughts, feelings, and interpretations of Murals and artwork represented through time in the Chicanx society.

Bill Potter’s Ride

Todd Coston showed me this fantastic pic of Bill Potter. I had to share. What do you think?!

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End of Year Celebration in my backyard

Since 2013 when I started as president, I have held a traditional end of year celebration for the leadership of BC and the District Office in my backyard.  Here are some photos from the May 2nd event.  Thank you Krista Moreland, John Hart, Tracy Hall, Jennifer Marden and Chris Glaser for helping me with this event. It was wonderful have Chancellor Tom Burke, Vice Chancellor John Means, and Vice Chancellor Gary Moser join us.

Exec Team Enf of year potluck May 2 2017

Don Chrisciel, Zav Dadabhoy, Sonya Christian, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girls just wanna have fun 🙂

 

 

 

Here are the party planners.

Party Planners May 2 2017

Tracy Hall, Sonya Christian, John Hart, Krista Moreland, Jennifer Marden

So if you are wondering why I have been tardy with my blog posts, I can only ask you to look at the picture below.  Can you guess his name?  Post the name as a comment on my blog.  If you don’t get it right, I will then give you clues until next Saturday.

Sonya-and-Neo-May-13-2017-at-Comanche-Gas-Station v2

 

 

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Renegades are EVERYWHERE!

 

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, March 18th and just a terrific day to be a Renegade.  I was travelling this morning back from my Accreditation Commission meeting and am moving quickly to get the blog published.  If I don’t get it out today, I am sure I will get a text from one of my dear friends who will ask the question “Are you ok? Should I be worried? 🙂

koeth1-900x600My week began with an email from David Koeth sharing that he and his wife spent Presidents Day in Los Angeles. He said:

As we checked in our hotel in Koreatown, the young man at the desk noticed my business affiliation. He said ‘I attended Bakersfield College. I was a business major, I got my gen ed’s done there.’ He’s working on a bachelor’s degree at Cal State Long Beach in hospitality management. Renegades are everywhere. — David

I love this! Renegades are everywhere in our community and beyond our community! 

Industrial Automation Program Hosting Info Session Today!

Come to the campus on the hill later this morning for an information session about the Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Automation at BC.  The program prepares students for careers in the design, operation, and management of industrial automation systems focusing on the local industries that utilize these technologies, such as petroleum production, food production, fabrication, and logistics. Significant emphasis is placed on project based learning facilitated by laboratory work.

The BS program is designed to prepare individuals for technical management careers in industries which utilize automation, including the petroleum, manufacturing, logistics and agriculture industry sectors, in order to improve the regional economy. Thank you as well to The Bakersfield Californian for highlighting this program in the latest Education Roundup! http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODN/BakersfieldCalifornian/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TBC%2F2017%2F03%2F16&entity=Ar00501&sk=3D40C0C7

The information session is today, March 18th from 10AM to 11AM in the Science and Engineering Building, Room 53. All are welcome!

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Bakersfield College Receives a Planning Award for new Public Health Sciences Program

Exciting times at BC Bakersfield College where BC is creating new public health career pathways!  This past Tuesday, BC was recognized at the League for Innovation in the Community College Riegelman Awards for Excellence in Public Health & Health Navigation Education.  This national award was presented to four community colleges that demonstrated excellence in planning or enhancing associate degree or certificate programs in Public Health and Health Navigation education.

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Antonio Alfaro CTE Advisor, Rozanne Hernandez, CTE Program Manager, Sarah Baron, Professor Public Health Sciences, and Dominica Rivera-Dominguez, CTE Advisor

 

BC is rolling out a new Public Health Sciences Associate Degree for Transfer in the upcoming academic year, followed by job certificate in health navigation. To learn more about the national award and the plan, go to https://www.league.org/awards/riegelman-awards-excellence-public-health-health-navigation-education-community-colleges

Under the leadership of Cindy Collier, Dean of Allied Health, Career Technology Education (CTE), and Strong Workforce, this is a team effort and an interdisciplinary approach. Pictured below are members of the team Antonio Alfaro CTE Advisor, Rozanne Hernandez, CTE Program Manager, Sarah Baron, Professor Public Health Sciences,  and Dominica Rivera-Dominguez CTE Advisor. Sarah is our lead faculty for Public Health and is a rock star!

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Achieving the Dream

Bakersfield College earned Leader College distinction through Achieving the Dream in 2015 for our commitment to improving student success and closing achievement gaps.  With this distinction, BC has access to two nationally-recognized coaches who visit campus twice a year to meet with campus leaders, discuss our student success data, and explore strategies to improve our policies and practices.  During their visit this week, coaches Ronald Head and John Nixon met with nearly 50 campus leaders to explore the Institutional Capacity Assessment Tool (ICAT) in a series of round table activities where faculty, staff, and administrators worked together in cross-functional focus groups to discuss BC’s work across the seven Achieving the Dream capacities: 1) Leadership & Vision, 2) Data & Technology, 3) Equity, 4) Teaching & Learning, 5) Engagement & Communication, 6) Strategy & Planning, and 7) Policies & Practices.  Participants not only tackled the areas for improvement, but began collectively developing action plans to build BC’s capacity to serve students.  BC’s leadership and engagement across the board is simply unmatched!

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Thank you to all who attended!

Lesley Bonds, Stephen Waller, Matthew Garrett, Jessica Wojtysiak, Maria Wright, Mindy Wilmot, Grace Commiso, Jonathan Schultz, Bill Moseley, Marisa Marquez, Isabel Castaneda, Matt Jones, Talita Pruett, Kimberly Bligh, Kathy Rosellini, Lisa Kent, Steve Watkin, Bernadette Towns, Janet Fulks, Steven Holmes, Tim Burke, Odella Johnson, Shanell Tyus, Nick Strobel, Jennifer Johnson, Krista Moreland, Di Hoffman, Kristin Rabe, Ashlea Ward, Abraham Castillo, Richard Marquez, Elisabeth Sundby, Kim Nickell, Sue Vaughn, Julian West, Pedro Ramirez, Craig Hayward, Michelle Pena, John Giertz, Manny Mourtzanos, Anna Laven, Vickie Spanos, Reese Weltman Joe Saldivar, and a special thank you to Chef Eric Sabella and his team for the wonderful chicken fajita dinner!

Keep Bakersfield Beautiful

Keep Bakersfield Beautiful (KBB) is a local non-profit with a mission “to engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community.” Bakersfield Mayor, Karen Goh, is in this picture with BC students from Steven Holmes’ and Charles Kim’s political science classes visiting a recent meeting led by Anna Smith, chair of KBB Board of Directors. It’s great to see Renegades out in the community, doing great things! Learn more about Keep Bakersfield Beautiful at http://www.bakersfieldcity.us/gov/depts/kbb/default.htm

Beautiful Bakersfield Karen Goh

C.H.A.P Hosts Guest Speaker, Salvador Garcia

On March 14, the Bakersfield College Delano Campus Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (C.H.A.P.) hosted its first speaker event for the spring semester.  Ridgeview High School counselor Salvador García captivated audience members consisting of students, staff, and community members with an engaging talk, entitled “Exploring the Nahuatl and Mesoamerican Cultural Legacy, Past & Present.”  As a child of migrant parents, Salvador has experienced two vastly different worlds: his life in México, and his life in the USA.  He became captivated with pre-Columbian art and the symbology used by his ancestors, and in particular, what people refer to as the “Aztec calendar.”  After studying the calendar system and the Nahuatl language (the indigenous language of the Aztec people) for over twenty years, Salvador has developed a deep knowledge and appreciation for Mesoamerican history and the indigenous heritage of the Mexican people.   After an hour-long presentation, audience members asked questions about the legacy of the Nahuatl people today, their influence on Mexican culture, as well as parallels and similarities between Mesoamerican calendars and the Gregorian and Julian calendars in western tradition.

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Two more C.H.A.P. events are scheduled for the spring semester.  The next event will occur Tuesday, March 28 from 6pm-8pm in RFK Lecture Hall.  This event will be a screening of the film “Miss Representation,” followed by a panel discussion with several female faculty and staff on the Delano Campus moderated by Professor Susanne Langham (Phil. & Religious Studies).   A third and final event will be moderated by Professor Charles Kim (Political Science) after the spring break and will feature local political staffers for a talk on civic engagement and local politics.  Stay tuned!

Houchin Blood Bank Stats

Houchin sent an email this week recapping the numbers from the previous week’s blood drive at Bakersfield College. Stephanie Gibbons from Houchin said, “Drum roll please…..Wow!! what an amazing two day blood drive. Bakersfield College you nailed it.  Day one, we registered 223 donors and collected a record number of 174 units, with 104 of them as first-time donors.  Day two, we registered 150 donors with a collection of 105 units, with 80 of them as first-time donors.   The grand total for this life saving event was  279 units collected. Surpassing last year donations by 80 units.  Yeah!!!!”

Thank you again to all involved! Renegades are definitely doing great things!!

Student Health Highlight

Do you know what your blood sugar level is? Are you familiar with what the numbers even mean or why it’s important to know them? This semester we were fortunate to have two days where the Student Health Center invited all students to come out and get their glucose levels checked.

On Thursday March 16th, Mrs. Debbie, one of the nurses was there to do the screenings for all those who came in and checked their levels. Earlier this month there was another glucose screening where the LN’s from Bakersfield College’s Nursing Program practiced honing their new skills. It was beneficial to so many, both the nursing students and those student’s checking their glucose levels. At this screening, the nursing students were able to test levels, give out important health information, and also pass out healthy snacks. The Bakersfield College Student Health Center has a wealth of knowledge and practical help for all BC students.

Along with all of the day-to-day help they provide the BC students such as: first aid, TB testing, mental health counseling, and much more, they will be hosting their 17th annual health fair, “The Renegade Pulse Health Fair”, on April 19th from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Last year they had several Zumba instructors attend and were able to get the student body moving in the interest of better health! They offer several monthly events geared to the betterment of each student’s health. They have a marvelous e-magazine with an abundance of helpful information that anyone can subscribe to simply by texting BAKERSFIELDCOLLEGE to 40691. They have also started a campaign of #BCsmokefree and have been conducting a “Clean your Campus” event once a month.

The Student Health service main goal is to ensure that all of BC students live a long and healthy life and they are available to make sure you have all the tools possible to ensure that happens. One of the many amazing facilitators found in the Student health services building is Stella Ponce who had this to say about the various events that have been going on around campus lately. Mataalofa Hubbard, Vicente Lopez, Alexa Rivera and Yolanda Puente were on the scene sharing information on Tobacco Cessation, how and where to obtain assistance in quitting as well. Passing out Healthy snacks & water to help our students maintain and acquire optimal health and wellness. Also, Professor Sarah Baron’s Public Health classes were onsite too, collecting valuable data on Tobacco Use and E Cig. While providing additional literature on the effects of smoking provided by the American Lung Association. The final collaboration of the two groups resulted in a mini #CleanyourCampus event, while obtaining 2 gallon bags full of cigarettes butts. Imagine #BCTobaccoFree #1DayStand”

As students, it’s important to remember that good grades start with good health! Make sure you take full advantage of what your campus can do for you. Swing by the Student Health Services building and get more information on how you can be a better and HEALTHIER you!!!

Go Gades!

I loved how Allyson Cummings began her piece on BC’s Women’s tennis. She said, “The Bakersfield College women’s tennis team is making quite a racket!” Check out the video and the article about the team and coach Nick Loudermilk at http://www.turnto23.com/sports/local-sports/bakersfield-college-womens-tennis-dominating-the-cccaa

 

Congratulations to Coach Carl Dean for being inducted into the West High School Hall of Fame.  “Carl (class of 1992) was an outstanding quarterback at West, Bakersfield College and San Jose State who won the Burger King Scholar Athlete $10,000 academic scholarship in 1996.”

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Carl Dean

Way to go, Carl!

STEM Speakers: David Gallo Visits BC

On Tuesday, MArch 14th, afternoon, the Fireside Room was filled with all ages, ranging from jr. high school aged youth to BC students and their professors. They were excitedly awaiting guest speaker, David Gallo, to begin his presentation on ocean exploration. David is an American oceanographer and the Director of Special Projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. For more than 30 years, Dr. Gallo has been participating in and being a witness to the development of new technologies and scientific discoveries that have shaped our understanding and view of the planet earth. He was a fabulous speaker for the STEM Speaker Series because he was one of the first scientists to use a combination of robots and submarines to explore the deep sea floor. Most recently, he co-led an expedition to create the first detailed and comprehensive map of the RMS Titanic and co-led the successful international effort to locate the remains of Air France flight 447 which crashed after suffering a loss of lift with debris was scattered in an area greater than six football fields.

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During the presentation, students learned that instead of taking the oceans for granted, we all need to recognize the oceans critical role in providing the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Dr. Gallo shared that human activity has impacted the ocean on a global scale and with significant consequences. The oceans hold clues to our past and the key to our future yet they remain mostly unexplored and poorly understood. We live on a planet that’s covered by mostly water but, we don’t have nearly enough information about that part of the planet we call home.

BC student, Lovie Johnson, who attended the event said, “Gallo is a cool New Yorker and funny scientist. He knows how to lecture on the subject in a way you can understand. He is one of the most interesting … speakers I have come across.”

Gallo’s commitment conveying his passion and the importance of ocean exploration makes learning about this subject interesting and fun for everyone. Events like these, and speakers like this are important to our students, the BC community, and our world. Everyone walks away inspired and better informed regarding something that they’ve never seen before. Let’s learn more and do something that can positively affect humanity forever.

Thank you Dr. David Gallo and everyone involved with the STEM Speakers. #BCLearns

Changing inmates lives through education

The Inmate Education program manager Chelsea Esquibias continues to do and report amazing stories .  Here is a note she sent me this week about another life changed through education:

“At 17 he was put in prison for gang violence for 12 years at Kern Valley where he earned a 3.0 in our classes.

He was recently released and is back with his 13-year-old son. Since then he’s obtained his license, proposed to his girlfriend, got a car, opened a bank account, said NO to his old gang, and we’re enrolling him in his local college.

He said, “College changed everything for me. I’m not the same anymore” and he says thank you all the time.  Working in the prisons can be hard.  Thank you for your belief in the program. I love working for an administration that believes so strongly in the students and staff. Happy Friday!!”

Now do you see why I consider myself the luckiest and happiest college president ever…..

In the picture you see Chelsea Esquibias and Bryan Hirayama.  Thank you!

BC Innovations 2017 Conference

This past weekend Eileen Pierce, Supplemental Instruction Program Manager; Kim Arbolante, Writing Center Lead; and Eric Weis, AccuSQL Liaison, all attended the League for Innovation in the Community College Innovations 2017 conference at the Marriott Marquis San Francisco. This team of academic support services professionals delivered a presentation and workshop entitled “Be the BEACON of Student Success: Reimaging Academic Support Services with Close Collaboration in Mind.”

The presentation began with some brief introductory demographic and enrollment data about the college. Eileen Pierce explained the Guided Pathways context for this academic support service initiative and facilitated an interactive survey on silos and territorialism that allowed participants to anonymously express whether these issues are prevalent on their own campuses. Kim Arbolante described the work done thus far, the data collected for ENGL 53 and MATH 60 ETC, and all of the features of our new, integrated academic support services model. The presentation closed with Eric Weis calling on participants to redefine what they consider to be their service assets and deficits before leading the group in a game designed to get participants to try and think more collaboratively with other areas of their colleges. The presentation was well-attended, and the presenters received a great deal of praise from participants, a reporter covering the conference who attended this workshop, and an attendee who claimed she had been waiting all week to finally participate in an interactive workshop session.

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Fulfilling a need in an underserved population

Katie Price from TBC

Katie Price. Pic from TBC

There is a large underserved population in our community that usually goes unnoticed.  We may not realize that our high schools are filled with kids who are either homeless or live in foster or group homes.  Up until recently, teachers and counselors weren’t even able to know who these underserved kids were.  Recent legislation has changed some of that to allow those students to be given the tools they need to continue a successful education not just throughout high school (where the dropout rate is nearly 50%), but transition successfully into a form of higher education.

Katie Price is a counselor at Bakersfield High School who helped to create a meeting group on the BHS campus where foster youth could discuss issues like budgeting, and college and career planning.  This group has expanded to six different high schools and continuation schools.

Bakersfield College is proud to have been a sponsor and host of the “Breaking Barriers & Empowering Success” conference last month.

It’s wonderful to see the long tradition of Bakersfield High School and Bakersfield College continue (as many of you already know BC met on the BHS campus for several decades before moving to Panorama Drive!). Here is Katie Price’s for opinion piece in The Californian.

BC at the 17th Annual KEDC Economic Summit

The 17th Annual KEDC Economic Summit took place on Wednesday at the Doubletree.  An enthusiastic crowd heard both local and national speakers comment on the Kern County economy and what to expect in the months ahead. Faculty at CSUB gave economic presentations related to the oil industry and healthcare.  Representatives for China Lake, Edwards AFB and Rio Tinto gave an update on the economy in East Kern County. Oscar Wei of the California Association of Realtors spoke about the local housing market.  Joel Kotkin, author, speaker and editor of Newgeography.com gave the keynote address.  He’s an authority on global, economic, political and social trends.  Bakersfield College helped sponsor the event and we’re so glad to partner with a great organization, like Kern Economic Development Corporation.  

KKEDC

Photo by April & Co Photography

Here is a nice editorial from The Bakersfield Californian http://tinyurl.com/mwj46hb

Photos from the event are available on the event photographers facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/aprilcophoto/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1478301398846975

Bakersfield Transfer Day

The Bakersfield College Transfer Center, in collaboration with Fresno Pacific University, hosted a Fresno Pacific University Takeover Day on the BC main campus.  On Wednesday, March 15th, from 10AM-2PM, FPU Sunbirds representatives from Admissions were out in full force outside on the CSS lawn, meeting with prospective transfer students.  Student transcripts were reviewed for admission, application submission assistance was given, and food and music was provided.  The day was a great success, resulting in many Fall 2017 admits! FPU is committed to Renegade success and plans to host one  “takeover” event each semester!  Thank you Fresno Pacific University!

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Spotlight on Dr. Paula Parks

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Dr. Paula Parks

BC’s very own Dr. Paula Parks was recently spotlighted by speaker, author, and leadership coach, Arleana Waller. Every Monday, Arleana shares a e-newsletter designed to “Powerup your Monday Motivation.”

“This week, the #ShePowerAmbassador Feature is Dr. Paula Parks, The Innovative Educator who impact lives daily and who boldly owns her #ShePower” What a great spotlight on Dr. Paula and the ASTEP program! Check it out at http://us7.campaign-archive2.com/?u=301aa4a241bc2b8ff15a8fc92&id=31b3a52c42

The Lemucchi Family Story

100-stars-tim-lemucchiNot too far from campus is a little treasure in our community – you’ve been there. It’s Luigi’s and writing this I’m reminded of the times I’ve enjoyed great food and great company there. Last weekend, Timothy Lemucchi and the Lemucchi family held a book signing for their new book, “Luigi’s 100 Years Then and Now” which showcases the story of how the Lemucchi family came to Bakersfield and the early beginnings of the restaurant.

Did you know Tim is also an alumni of Bakersfield College? After BC, he went on to complete his BA and MA at Stanford, then to Georgetown University for his Juris Doctor. He’s also an active member of the Helmet Club and has continually given public support to Bakersfield College athletics. We proudly recognized Tim as one of BC’s 100 stars during our centennial celebration.

Alumni stories are an extension of Renegade history and I’m always fascinated to learn more. See the article at The Bakersfield Californian here: http://www.bakersfield.com/entertainment/an-immigrant-family-story-the-lemucchis-of-bakersfield/article_5845aa2a-f644-5e54-875d-9cdbb47a807a.html  

The Legacy Continues

I was fascinated to read a recent RIP article about two current BC staff and faculty who are carrying on the legacy their fathers began at BC. Definitely check out the article featuring Dr. Oliver Rosales and BC Counselor, Jonathan Schultz by RIP Reporter, Megan Fenwick.  http://www.therip.com/news/2017/03/16/the-sons-of-two-former-faculty-continue-their-legacy/

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David Rosales, Oliver Rosales, Jonathan Schultz, and Steve Schultz. Photo by Megan Fenwick and The Renegade RIP

BC’s Performing Arts Improv

On March 10th, the Black Box Theater in the Bakersfield College Performing Art’s Center was re-envisioned into of a New York City comedy club. The dim light with low jazz music for ambiance made the audience feel like they were in the audience of Saturday Night Live anxiously waiting for the performances to begin. The performers took the stage and the comedy show began with the introductions. After a topic was chosen, a performer would give a brief story from their life revolving around said topic. Then other members would take the stage and make short improv skits focused on key elements of the story just told. They would take turns and there were a wide variety of improv skits throughout the night. With no props to use, they made the audience laugh with their strong sense of comedic imagery as if they actually had props on the stage. The night was full of laughter and joy. Bakersfield College is full of talented Renegades that exemplify how exceptional the student body is.

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Women’s History Month is Underway at BC

So many events are taking place around the BC campuses – check out the great article featuring many of our upcoming events for Women’s History Month at  http://www.bakersfield.com/entertainment/selife-portrait-challenging-the-way-women-are-seen/article_c6905776-f4d9-5300-ab40-0229d8f302f6.html

It’s a great time to be at BC!

Since I was away at the Accreditation Commission meeting, I had to call in to the College Council meeting Friday morning, where our team of very passionate and dedicated individuals were engaged in sharing, discussing and debating the amazing and incredible institutional work.  Among the great work, we are focused on upcoming accreditation, institution-set standards, BC’s educational master plan, strategic directions, and our mission statement.  There so much was on the agenda and each topic was substantive.  There was much laughter in the midst of serious deliberations. Listening in I was just happy that we have such talent, such dedication, such compassion, such camaraderie….. We are BC! and  I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

I texted Jennifer and asked her to get me some pictures for my blog.  Please enjoy them.  Smart people, doing serious work in community.

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Sonya Christian Walking March 13 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever