Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, May 6, 2017….a great day to be a Renegade
That’s the view from my room as I start my blog in Tahoe attending the CCLC Annual Trustees Conference in Lake Tahoe. Just beautiful! And the coffee is perfect.
Here is photo of Lake Tahoe. Beautiful…serene. Crater Lake in Oregon (a must see as well) is the deepest lake in the United States and Lake Tahoe the second.
I drove to Tahoe via I-5 and I-80 but returned via Nevada Hwy 50 and Route 395. The drive back went back and forth between rain and sunshine and I captured this brilliant rainbow ….of course, my iphone photo does not do it justice.
It was fun presenting with the statewide Vice Chancellor Theresa Tena on Guided Pathways. Here is a tweet from Miles Nevin from Long Beach right after the presentation. Was real happy to see Tom Burke, Chancellor of KCCD, in the audience.
I was also happy to see Doug Otto, Chair of the CCLC Board attend our session.
Pre-Law Day at BC
This year Bakersfield College held its second annual Law Day Conference on Friday, April 28, 2017 which was open to both high school and college students. Included in the program were several distinguished attorneys and judges from the Bakersfield legal community in addition to BC Professors: Christian Zoller, Charles Kim, Oliver Rosales, and Ed Borgens. Adjunct Professor Marilyn Sanchez and Pre Law Advisor, Pearl Urena, were also instrumental in the preparation and success of the event.
Mayor Karen Goh opened the conference after making very poignant remarks by reading a proclamation.
I am so happy Lesley Bonds snapped this picture of me receiving the proclamation from the mayor.
The panel topics dealt with the 150th anniversary of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution as well as the challenges of the Law School path. At the conclusion of the morning presentation, discussion sessions took place and the audience received lunch in the Performance Arts Center courtyard. They then had the opportunity to participate in the Internship Fair held by various law schools at BC. As the BC Pre-Law Program continues to grow, future Law Day Conferences will also grow in order to accommodate the increased interest in the legal field. I can’t wait for next year’s conference!
Congratulations Pre-Law Students!
Bakersfield College is one of 24 community colleges in the state of California participating in the Pre-Law pathway. This program is designed to help students matriculate more easily from Bakersfield College to a four-year university and on to a participating law school. We are happy to report that this year our first graduating class of 11 students has completed the recommended courses for our Pre-Law Program. We have students transferring to CSUB, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to San Diego. Best of luck to our Pre-Law graduates!
Graduates present at the graduation (left to right): Diana Alvarez, Elaina Barker, Princess Herrera, Raquel Fuentes, ShaQuia Jones, Lucelle Irven, and Raul Munoz.
Advisory Council and Leadership Team present at the celebration (front to back, left to right): Cynthia Loo, Christian Zoller, Yinka Glover, Pearl Urena, Steve Katz, David Torres, Courtney Lewis, Rebecca Murillo, Bethany Peak, Robert Tafoya, Charles Kim, and Ed Borgens.
“A Little Knight Music”
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, and I found the perfect way to wind down after a busy Wednesday.
“A Little Knight Music” took place at the Outdoor Theater and featured all of BC’s performing ensembles and programs, including jazz ensemble, choir and chamber singers, orchestra, concert band, and commercial music ensemble (performing Bohemian Rhapsody!). The evening also showcased some of our soon-to-be AA-T in Music graduates performing solos.
Linda Snoddy opened the evening.
The Jazz Band directed by Kris Tiner was spectacular. Loved Little Rootie Tootie. Wish I captured a video clip for you to enjoy.
The Commercial Music Ensemble directed by Josh Ottum was a lot of fun. I totally enjoyed Radioactive (Imagine Dragons) and The Scientist (Coldplay) and Nan was in ecstasy with Locked Out of Heaven (Bruno Mars)
Here I captured Nan in action dancing to Bruno Mars as we walked to the car at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night. She said: “Bruno Mars Carpool Karaoke. Bruno Mars Uptown Funk Mark Ronson, (featuring Bruno Mars). Now that is my favorite song.” Don’t you love it!
Well, back to the program…
The BC Combined Choirs directed by Jen Garrett performed Baba Yetu a powerful Swahili adaptation of The Lord’s Prayer.
The Combined Band and Orchestra directed by Dr. Kathryn Kuby did a great job with all their pieces and in particular, the Pirates of the Caribbean.
The grand finale was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s You’ll Never Walk Alone/Climb Every Mountain by the BC Combined Band and Orchestra and Combined Choirs.
What a night!
Now listen to the Bohemian Rhapsody by our students:
2017 Leadership Academy
Congratulations to all the graduates from this year’s KCCD Leadership Academy! From Bakersfield College: Victor Diaz, Chris Dison, Gustavo Enriquez, Raquel Lopez, Tracy Lovelace, Christine Morales, Tarina Perry, Zenaida Tutop, and Reese Weltman. From Cerro Coso Community College, there are two graduates: Rebecca Rock and Matthew Wanta. From Porterville College, there are also two graduates: Elmer Aguilar and Patricia Serrato. And our District Office has one graduate: Cathi Jacob
Congratulations to you all from everyone at Bakersfield College!
Thank you Genevieve Graber for the photos. Here are the individual graduates.
Give Big Kern
The 2nd annual Give Big Kern took place on May 2nd. The day of county-wide giving was coordinated by the Kern Community Foundation and had 101 different non-profits from Kern County participating in this year’s event! Money raised will go directly toward students realizing their goals of higher education. Bakersfield is such a generous community and thanks to all that supported Bakersfield College. #WeAreBC
Bakersfield College is always striving to improve the lives and future careers of our community by staying agile concerning the growing needs and demands. On April 24, many eager students in the Levan Center listened to the exciting information regarding the new programs that Bakersfield College will be implementing in the near future.
With staggering statistics that show Kern County having the highest rates of STI’s in ages 18-24 year olds, highest teen pregnancy rates, as well as prediabetes affecting one in every 3 people, the need for those who obtain their degree in Public Health Science is on the rise. Part of the new program that is being put in place will allow students to obtain their Associate in Science in Public Health Science for Transfer and will also allow them to be a part of a Certificate of Achievement program that will require four specific classes. Students will have the opportunity to intern so that they will obtain experience to back up their degree.
Special thanks to Sarah Baron for making this information session possible.
Automotive Open House
CTE in partnership with the Automotive Department Faculty hosted an open house on April 27th. It was a great event that welcomed both current BC students and current Kern County High School Juniors and Seniors. The evening included an informative presentation of the new program pathways, a student panel, and a tour of the automotive labs.
Thank you to the Automotive Faculty, Justin Flint, Andrew Haney & Dan Johnson; Dominica Rivera-Dominguez, CTE Educational Advisor & Stephanie Baltazar, CTE Job Development Specialist; and the Auto Student Panel, Morgan Langston, Javier Chavez, Mark Gildez, Derek Karns & Noe Cantu. Special thanks to Leticia Garza, Director K-14 Pathways, for allocating CTE Transition funding to support the event.
Professor Darrin Ekern, who has been practicing ceramics and pottery for 20 years, showcased and sold the pieces that students in Ceramics I, II, and III crafted this semester. The ceramics classes at Bakersfield College teach students how to make pottery, sculpture out of ceramics, and about the materials and process. “Ceramics is a highly process oriented medium. They learn about the clay and how to fire it and cook it in the kilns. As well as the actual crafting on the wheel for pottery and hand building which are more sculptural conceptual pieces.”
Like all things beautiful, Ceramics requires a lot of patience. Once you get the technique down this can become a soothing yet exciting and fun way of creating art.
Separation of Church and State
Eddie Tabash delivered a presentation on the First Amendment and the separation of church and state on Thursday evening. Mr. Tabash is chair of the legal committee of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He is also a Los Angeles area constitutional lawyer and chairs the board of directors for the Center for Inquiry Transnational/Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.
The talk provided history of the religion clauses of the First Amendment that demonstrate that the Framers really intended for believers and nonbelievers to be equal before the law. This means that no branch of government can favor belief over nonbelief and that everyone, regardless of their views on religious topics, is to have equal rights in American society. Professor Olivia Garcia, described the evening as “powerful.” Thank you to all who attended and thank you to Jack Hernandez for coordinating such fantastic programs for our students and the community.
Old friends got a chance to catch up and share stories about working for BC at the Archives Association’s annual Retirement Reception on Thursday morning in the Fireside Room. Former Renegades such as Dr. Greg Chamberlain relished the opportunity to chat with faculty and staff over a beautiful selection of cheeses, fried cauliflower and other hors d’oeuvres provided by the Food Services department. Thank you Chef Eric Sabella. Some current faculty and staff members took time out of their busy end-of-the-year schedules to reminisce with some of their former coworkers. Thank you Archives staff – Jerry, Rosalee, Daniel, and Helen – for putting together this reception and all of the tireless work you do to keep the retired members of our Renegade family close.
Our 2016-2017 Honored Retirees:
Anna Agenjo, Edwin Barton, Richard Brantley, Carroll Brown, Elizabeth Cancio, Deborah Carmona, Nancy Coyle, Daniel Edwards, Marsha Eggman, Elizabeth Elms, Jana Fidler-Wiggers, Kathryn Goehring, Kathleen Howarth, Daniel Johnson, Odella Johnson, Joyce Kirst, Michael Komin, Janet Lewis, Connie Maranda, Tom Moehnke, Bill Parker, Katherine Pluta, Kathleen Rosellini, Rachel Vickrey, Scott Wayland, Melanie Wheeler-Hayes, Rita White, and Becki Whitson.
Renegades Out and About
I ran into Luis Hernandez at Vons a few weeks ago.
He’s a Renegade Alum who is now studying Engineering at CSUB. He was in the Energy Academy and loved his time at BC.
I love any and every opportunity to quickly chat with our community and reminisce about their time at BC. I loved that Luis specifically mentioned how the classes at BC prepared him well for his upper division courses at CSUB.
Emails Worth Sharing
Eileen Pierce tagged me in an email this week where the title was “You all are amazing!” and it was a personal note from her to her SI Instructors. The Supplemental Instruction program at BC is essentially group tutoring led by a fellow student, known as an SI Leader or SI Instructor. The SI Leaders attend classes with you so they know what the pace of the class is and what is being expected of the students. More details can be found on the Supplemental Instruction Page on BC’s website.
Back to the email, I was struck by how impactful these programs are and how valuable our students are when they serve one another. Eileen said, “Just now, I shut my office door so that I could read through all 45 of the SI Leader evaluations that you all have returned to me so far via Survey Monkey. And I am wiping away tears. Thank you so much for giving of yourselves to mentor and encourage these SI Leaders. As you all know already, they don’t come to us perfectly formed and are still in need of a great deal of nurturing. On the other hand, they are positively bursting with potential, and with each day that goes by, we catch more and more of a glimpse of the gems they are becoming.
Every mark and every comment you indicated on these evals is so valuable to your SI Leader (and, of course, I will only share those that you want to have shared). You are the ones closest to your Leaders in the network of SI relationships, so you have the unique ability to impact them for a lifetime.I couldn’t feel more honored and blessed to work with each and every one of you. You have gone above and beyond the mere call of duty as faculty. From my heart, I thank you for choosing to be involved with SI.”
Here are some photos of our SI Leaders in action.
Superheroes Behind the Scenes
Have I mentioned yet that I’m the luckiest college president in the world? I get to work with the most incredible team of administrators, staff, faculty, and students. I’d like to highlight a couple of them!
Speaking of amazing students on campus – we have amazing staff as well.
I’m still smiling and thinking about last Friday, our commitment day to The Kern Promise. If you haven’t seen last Saturday’s blog, check it out here! It’s an incredible program which will greatly improve the future success of our students and the community.
There is so much detailed work that goes on behind the scenes to make exciting events and programs a reality at BC. Keri Kennedy is a dedicated completion coach who makes herself available to every single promise student. She reviews each and every application and transcript, she individually follows up with each of them, she oversees the multiple measures placement to insure students are placed appropriately, and she does everything she can to help every student reach their maximum potential. Thank you Keri for everything you do!
Mary Jo Pasek
Mary Jo is everywhere on the BC campus! As our Community Relations and Event and Scheduling Manager, almost everyone who attends an event on campus will see MJ out and about. She sent an email recently highlighting all the busy happenings in her department over the course of two weeks and WOW! From the Health Fair with a record number of vendors to Gardenfest, retirement celebrations, community events, student events like career day, Presidents Breakfast, The Kern Promise – oh and booking the U.S. Air Force Band for an outdoor concert this summer! So many exciting happenings on campus are touched by the work of Mary Jo Pasek and her crew!
Here is a great photo of Mary Jo Pasek and Susan Hopkins, Event Specialist. Thank you for all that you do. #WeAreBC
Did you see Nick Strobel’s newest stargazing article?
Check it out at
The Kern Promise
As I just mentioned, I’m still smiling thinking about last Friday and this week Kern Promise Program Manager, Shanell Tyus, met with Bakersfield City School District Superintendent, Doc Ervin, to get his signature on The Kern Promise commitment. What a great photo!
Did you know?
It’s always a great day to learn something new. Thursday was “May the Fourth be with You” and I saw on Twitter this week that George Lucas attended a California Community College! Did you know that?! Know any other cool CA Community College facts? I’d love to read them in the comments.
Renegade Athletics Roundup from Francis Mayer
While the 2016-2017 athletic season is winding to a close, there are still a few teams out of our 20 that are still competing!
The BC Swim team is competing in the CCCAA State Championships at East Los Angeles College. Brian Bender and Jennifer Quan are still competing as individuals, while the men’s relay team of Bender, Kenneth Rodriguez, Cameron Reeves, and Steve Santana are hoping to make a mark for the Renegades after a grueling season in the pool. The competition will be the last of Santana’s intercollegiate career before he transfers to UC Santa Barbara and concentrates his efforts on getting a Chemistry degree. Good luck, Steven!
Renegade Track & Field is competing at the Southern Californian Prelims this weekend at Cerritos College, and then they’ll compete at the SoCal Finals next weekend (also at Cerritos) before wrapping up their season with the CCCAA State Championships at American River College. We’ve followed Jacob Bookout’s incredible High Jump season as he seems poised to break a record or jump right out of the stadium every time he approaches the bar! But his teammate Cesar Patino has put together a pretty amazing season in the 1500. He just clinched the conference championship by two seconds, and Coach Pam Kelley says that isn’t very close when it comes to a race like the 1500.
“It was a very strategic race; it started slow, and that played right into his trap,” Coach Kelley told Sports Information Director Francis Mayer, “The other runners were saving themselves for the 5000, or maybe they didn’t think they needed to exert themselves to win, so Cesar went for it and he won.”
Coach Kelley feels like Cesar could win a state title for BC in the 1500, as long as he keeps doing what he’s done all season…as Cesar hasn’t lost a single 1500 meter race ALL SEASON! Fingers crossed, Cesar!
Our athletes aren’t the only ones winning competitions! Wrestling Coach Brett Clark competed in the Master’s Nationals and won both the Greco and Freestyle National Championships! Coach Clark competed in the Class B (for athletes with birthdays from 1974 to 1982) 130kg bracket for “Team Fluffy”, and the wins were the third consecutive time he’s “doubled up” and swept his division.
“The team is something (BC Assistant Coach and former state champion) Ryan Meloche put together with comedian Gabriel Iglesias a few years ago,” Coach Clark explained, “We do this to remind us older guys to stay in shape, and that fitness doesn’t need to end when our collegiate careers are over. We have families that need us, and friends that we need to be there for, so we have to stay in shape.”
Way to go, Coach Clark!
There is so much more to blog about… The end of year event in my backyard for the leadership of BC and KCCD, the Board meeting at Cerro Coso Community College. But alas due to my travels and needing to turn my attention to another important event I must stop for now. But will pick up where I left off on May 13th. Until then……
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever