Tag Archives: Theresa Tena

One Week Left in Spring 2017!!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, May 6, 2017….a great day to be a Renegade

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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.

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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.

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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.

Miles Nevin Tweet on Theresa Tena and Sonya Christian May 6 2017

I was also happy to see Doug Otto, Chair of the CCLC Board attend our session.

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Sonya Christian, Doug Otto, Theresa Tena

Pre-Law Day at BC

Pre-Law Mayor GohThis 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.

Sonya Christian and Karen Goh Law Conf April 30 2017Mayor 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!

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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!

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Graduates present at the graduation (left to right): Diana Alvarez, Elaina Barker, Princess Herrera, Raquel Fuentes, ShaQuia Jones, Lucelle Irven, and Raul Munoz.

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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.

 

 

 

Sonya Christian and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg May 3 2017“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.

Linda Snoddy May 3 2017

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!

LA 2017 Group

Thank you Genevieve Graber for the photos.  Here are the individual graduates.

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Give Big Kern

GiveBigKern (2)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

Public Health

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.

Sarah Baron Public Health Hackathon March 2017

Sarah Baron

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

Automotive Open House (2).jpgCTE 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.

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Ceramic Sale

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.

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Separation of Church and State

IMG_8180Eddie 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.

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Retirement Reception

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.

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Renegades Out and About

Luis HernandezI 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.

SI Leaders

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!

Keri Kennedy

Speaking of amazing students on campus – we have amazing staff as well.

KeriI’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

Nick Strobel

Did you see Nick Strobel’s newest stargazing article?

Check it out at

http://www.bakersfield.com/entertainment/nick-strobel-cassini-delivers-on-images-from-saturn-pass/article_248bd401-c9ab-514a-ade6-a3c5b30a5678.html

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!

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Superintendent Doc Ervin, Shanell Tyus

 

Did you know?

https://twitter.com/CalCommColleges/status/860212618350346241

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!

Coach Brett 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……

Sonya Christian Creekside Inn Bishop May 7 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

BC Students Visit The White House!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, January 21st and such a fabulous day to be a Renegade.

It was great waking up to a piece by Nick Strobel.  Also read a piece by Harold Pierce which I tweeted. Here is a jpg of the front page of the Eye Street section of The Bakersfield Californian.  And the weblink http://tinyurl.com/h2eg6u2 

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I love the way Nick starts his piece:

This was first week of the spring semester at Bakersfield College and classes are full! The week before was filled with workshops, including a two-day institute on the college GPS (Guided Pathways System), followed by Opening Day, which focused on the college GPS. Good stuff happening!

Great stuff happening up in the sky too with our two closest neighbors: Brilliant Venus continues to close in on orange-red Mars in our evening sky in the southwest. Venus is the super-bright star in the southwest after sunset and Mars will be to the upper left of Venus. By the end of the month, they will be almost within the same field of view of typical binoculars.

and I also love how he ends it

A NOTE ON SCIENCE

I’ll close with a comment about the process of science. As a science educator, I read with great interest Robert Gebelhoff’s column that ran in last Sunday’s Californian about using science as a political tool. Although we have discovered much about our universe that we’re confident enough to bet our life on, there is still a lot that is unknown and tentative. Science is a human endeavor and it isn’t perfect, but the process of science has built into it a way to take into account our human fallibility.

Instead of “arguing from authority,” the process of science uses peer review to double-check (triple-check, quadruple-check, etc.) our ideas and ultimately, nature will be the final judge of what’s true or not — nature has the final veto power over any of our ideas. Studies and theories based on facts are published in peer-reviewed journals for other research teams to pick apart and find the defects in the argument or method.

When an idea has been tested many times by many independent groups and has withstood all those tests, then the reasonable approach is to assume that the idea is close to the truth.

Here is the link to Harold Pierce’s article A hidden health crisis: Toxic stess driving up Kern death rates.  http://tinyurl.com/hbnnafk

Talking about the Bakersfield Californian, I got a text message from Francis Mayer letting me know that Louis Amestoy is back in Bakersfield.  Welcome home Louis!  So happy to have you back.

I was also excited to see a facebook post that our very own Dr. Matthew Garrett presenting to the Miller-Eccles group.

 

 

Here is a “copy and paste” from Jen’s post:

Tonight I got to accompany Matt as he spoke at the Miller/Eccles group at CSU Fullerton. They asked him to speak about his newly published book. He spoke with passion and was clearly knowledgeable, well researched, and well prepared. They were amazed by the way he connected to the audience and what a great speaker he is. He also responded well to all of their questions. He has another tomorrow night and I know it will go well also. His 10 years of work came through tonight. I am so proud of him!

Talking about being proud, here is the intro slide to Matt’s presentation:

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Do you notice something?  It says Bakersfield College and the email is @bakersfieldcollege.edu.  Yes!  You see my dear community members, Dr. Matt Garrett is a great scholar respected widely for his work and he teaches at BC.  The Miller-Eccles group is a group of affluent professionals and retired academics that fly out big name scholars for a small private lecture each month. Next month speaker is Laurel Thatcher, a Pulitzer Prize winning professor with an endowed chair at Harvard. The following month they have Christine Durham, the first woman appointed to the Utah Supreme Court. And among this group of speakers if our Bakersfield College faculty.  Yes!

How fortunate our students are…..students most of whom are first in their families to go to college.  Matt represents many of our faculty who are recognized scholars. #WeAreBC

Well, back to last week…. Whew, what a week.  Lots of travel. And I made sure that I remembered my power cord, phone and other necessities….  The week started on Martin Luther King Jr. day on Monday January 16th.

Martin Luther King Jr. will be a person who forever stands out in people’s minds as a leader who gave voice to the injustice of social inequality and racism, and demonstrated “non-violent civil disobedience as a means to expose racial injustice.”  I was surprised to know that King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech was not his first at the Lincoln Memorial. Check out this list of ten things you might not know about MLK. How many did you know? Leave a comment after checking out the link! http://tinyurl.com/ktwjdo3

Here is a 17:27-minute youtube video …I have a dream

mlk_img_0573The week was off to a wonderful start when on Monday, I had the pleasure of attending the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Awards Breakfast. The morning was hosted by Danny Morrison, local radio personality and columnist with the Bakersfield Californian. The keynote speaker, Bishop Broderick Huggins, is a pastor at St. Paul Baptist Church in nearby Oxnard, CA. As an advocate for higher learning, he earned his Bachelor of Theology, a BA in Religon, a PhD in Religious Philosophy and a PhD in Theology. In 1995, he founded the Saint Paul Seminary and Bible Institute where he currently serves as President and Principal Professor. Bishop  Dr. Broderick Huggins spoke truth to power. He told the audience, “Change will not happen unless people are uncomfortable.  Justice, mercy, humility work together. We need the hearts of people to change.”

It was fantastic to see the BC gang in attendance at such a great celebration.

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shanell-tyus-and-familyI was sitting next to Shannel Tyus, manager of our Student Success Program, and Destiny, a student who wants to get into our nursing program. Loved getting to know both of them.  Here is Shanell with her beautiful family.  A young mom juggling family with little ones and committed to a greater calling of working with our first generation students and transforming their lives.  The Student Success Program that Shanell oversees focuses on best practices of educational planning and others that have had a very positive impact on our students. #WeAreBC

The room was packed and it felt as if the entire community turned out in support.  Our political leaders here in Bakersfield and in Sacramento were there in full force. Now for some photos of the event – see for yourself!

Bishop Broderick Huggins, Steve Watkin, Sonya Christian;
Sonya Christian with BPD Chief Lyle Martin;
NaTesha Kindred, Karen Goh, Jay Tamsi, Shannon Grove, Vince Fong

 

Sonya Christian, Pastor Martha Johnson; David Valadao, Jay Tamsi, Rudy Salas

Shanell Tyus, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Harlan Hunter

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Join me in congratulating this year’s award recipients who were recognized  make a difference in our community:

Sgt. Claton Madden, Bakersfield Police Dept.
Steven W. Schilling, President & CEO of Clinica Sierra Vista
Manuel Carrizalez, Director & Founder of Stay Focused, Reach for Greatness
Dr. Rhonda Williams, President of The Bakersfield Chapter of the Links, Inc
Dr. Evelyn Young, CSUB, Executive Assistant to the President
Pastor Josephate Jordan,  Christ First Ministries
Raquel Jones, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Bakersfield Chapter
Rev. Dr. Oscar J. Anthony, Pastor St. Peter R.C.C.M. for his passion in unifying the Pastors
Danny Morrison, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 2017 Host
Dr. Bishop Broderick Huggins, Pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church and MLK 2017 Keynote

Guided Pathways and Board of Governors

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On Tuesday, Jan 17th, I attended the Board of Governors meeting in Sacramento.  I think this was the first meeting with our new California Community College Chancellor, Eloy Ortiz Oakley. If you haven’t had a chance to learn a little about him, check out  http://tinyurl.com/3jzbryw for his bio and this recent article from The Los Angeles Times, “Long Beach educator will be first Latino to lead California community colleges.

bog_garyThe Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges sets policy and provides guidance for the 72 districts and 113 colleges that constitute the system. The 17-member Board is appointed by the Governor and formally interacts with state and federal officials and other state organizations.

I was happy to see Gary Reed who warmly welcomed me and was supportive as I got ready to present to the BOG on Guided Pathways. Member Reed lives in the Tulare area and spoke positively about the linked learning program with Porterville College, the High School and the community. So happy to have one of our very own from the Central Valley on the BOG.  I also learned that Pauline Larwood was also on the BOG when she was on the KCCD Board of Trustees.

I co-presented with Vice Chancellor for Institutional Effectiveness, Theresa Tena who is wonderful to work with.  And Mario Rodriguez, Vice Chancellor of Finance, who presented the Governor’s budget to the BOG is just fabulous.

cropped-image-arnoldo-avalos-connie-conway-sonya-christian-romeo-agbalog-april-29-2016The other two BOG members that I have blogged about are Arnoldo Avalos and Connie Conway. Here is a picture of both of them with Trustee Romeo Agbalog from April 29, 2016 when they visited Bakersfield College.

I was really impressed with the level and sophistication of discussion.  As I opened my remarks, I told them that the CA Community Colleges were in very good hands under their leadership.  The president of the BOG Cecelia Estalano is one smart person and facilitated complicated discussions in a very skillful manner.  Wow!

I am not sure if I’ve already blogged about an article written by Nick Strobel and me about Guided Pathways that was published in the League for innovations, but here it is….
https://www.league.org/leadership-abstracts/what-guided-pathways-model

BOG Member Pamela Haynes who is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Los Rios district mentioned that 9-page article as a must-read in understanding Guided Pathways.  Yes!  Here is a picture of Pamela Haynes.

I also want to give s shout out to the student member of the BOG Eman Dalili.  He is a smart, caring young man and I was so proud sitting in the audience watching him engage with the discussions.

 

 

Kern Education Round table

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You may recall I shared with you information regarding the California Community College Chancellor’s Office announcing their investment of $15 million to support local communities in coming together to guarantee students a mechanism to complete their first two years of higher education in a community college, where they can seamlessly transfer to a university, or become competitively employable for careers with family-sustaining wages.

Bakersfield College is answering the call in response to the California College Promise Innovation Grant request for applications by proposing to introduce The Bakersfield Promise Program (a scaled iteration of The Renegade Promise) in close partnership with Kern High School District (thank you Superintendent Bryon Schaefer) and California State University Bakersfield (thank you President Horace Mitchell). On December 21st, educational, political, and business community leaders in Kern met at BC in the Fireside Room for the first of three College Promise Education Roundtables. Check out my Dec 24, 2016 blog https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/12/24/happy-holidays-from-bc/.  The third will most likely be on March 8, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. with a potential public statement from the three institutions.

BC staff joined together this past Wednesday, January 18th with community partners from Kern Community Foundation (thank you Kristen Barnes) and educational partners from Kern Community College District (KCCD), Kern High School District (KHSD), as a smaller operational work team to continue the conversation and narrow in on the strategy for our collaborative work ahead. Dr. Janet Fulks and Shanell Tyus (BC) facilitated the discussion by providing an overview of our grant application and goals, and solicited feedback from attendees.

Vickie Spanos led members of KHSD in a discussion about their successes to date in closing achievement gaps among Kern High School District students as they prepare for graduation and college entry. Recommendations on opportunities to partner further as the promise unfolds were shared and received with great enthusiasm! The information shared will continue to guide not only the final development of the grant application, but the direction of The Bakersfield Transfer Promise.

 

Kristen Barnes Philanthropy-Matters

Kristen Barnes

Dr. Kristen Barnes from Kern Community Foundation (KCF) shared highlights from the work done through the College Access Convening Committee and the importance of continuing the great work shared among these educational and community partners. She also shared information regarding the potential for financial partnership opportunities through scholarships made possible by Kern donors.  Kristen is a rock star!

 

Guests in attendance included:

KCCD Associate Vice Chancellor John Means,
From KHSD: Vickie Spanos, Christy Fraley, Ben Sherley, and Ryan Geivet,
From Kern Community Foundation: Dr. Kristen Barnes,
From Bakersfield College: Dr. Janet Fulks, Dr. Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Rich McCrow, Dr. Stephen Waller, Keri Kennedy, Dr. Nicky Damania, Steve Watkin, Cindy Collier, Dr. Emmanuel Mourtzanos, Jennifer Achan, Marissa Marquez, Michelle Pena, Dr. Zav Dadabhoy, Tom Gelder, Sandi Taylor, Shanell Tyus, Cornelio Rodriguez and
Renegade Promise Program Student Magdalena Pantelon.

As we near the completion and submission of our grant application we are thankful for close educational, industry, and political partners. The synergy surrounding this promise to students and members of the Kern community is taking us through the home stretch!

 

Coach Paula Dahl

coachdahlOur Renegade Women’s Basketball team is led by Coach Paula Dahl, who recorded her milestone 300th win earlier this season, and in my opinion she’s one of those folks whose influence transcends even her athletes and students.

Her team opened the season with five straight losses. And while Coach Dahl was dejected, she never gave up, and she showed us all what a “Coach Dahl-type team” is; it’s a group of athletes who each have specific skills but not necessarily the complete package as individual athletes. But Coach Dahl’s superpower is in bringing together those individuals where each of their strengths can shine, and benefit one another. Yes, Coach Dahl builds TEAMS.

If you think about it, this is what we should all be doing – helping peers, family members, and friends put their best strength forward while not drawing attention to their faults, and having folks in your circle doing the same for you.

I’ve learned that saying “it’s not about the wins” is more than a well-worn sports cliché at Bakersfield College; it’s part of the Renegade Way…and I’m learning more and more about that hallowed code with every athletic event I attend!

East Hills Mall

On Wednesday, big plans were revealed by the owners of the East Hills Mall. The plans for a 350,000-square-foot “destination open-air lifestyle center” are showcased in an article by the Bakersfield Californian. Check out the exciting news at  http://tinyurl.com/z9qxjql

Spring 2017

Even though the weather this week did not quite feel like “spring has sprung,” the Spring 2017 semester is very much alive at Bakersfield College. It’s an incredible sight to see eager students already at-home on campus when I drive in every morning. They’re excited to learn and browsing through books, checking their cell phones, and chatting with fellow students. The first week of a new semester is always a fantastic time… Isn’t there something great about opening up a brand new book, or writing on the first page of a new notebook?

Healthy Campus Designation

Our campus is lively, and we’re also healthy! On Jan. 13, First Lady Michelle Obama joined representatives from BC and the other Healthy Campus Challenge winning schools for a group photo. Alexa Rivera, Ray Purcell, and Vincente Lopez visited on behalf of our campus and I’d love to share an email from our two students sharing their experience.

whitehouse_healthycampuschallengewinningschools

“Dear President Christian,

As representatives of the Student Health Advisory, thank you again for the opportunity to represent Bakersfield College at the White House to receive the Healthy Campus Challenge Award. Both Vicente and I are extremely grateful. As expected, Vicente and I were able to gain valuable information from our current government leaders about, not only health care reform, but also about student leadership and advocacy. Throughout the White House Healthy Campus event, Vicente and I were able to converse with several influential leaders ranging from individuals that not only represented the 60 campuses in attendance, but also the Senior Manager of Partnerships, for the Partnership for a Healthier America. In addition to expanding our professional networks, we were also able to listen to several government leaders, such as the Senior Advisor to the President, emphasize the importance of student involvement. They explained that students are the most influential voice in a college campus. Because of our understanding of our student body, we, the students, have the ability to positively impact our college campuses through our involvement. After the panel discussions and speakers at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, we were fortunate to be invited to the East Wing of the White House. There we met First Lady, Michelle Obama, and a portrait was taken of the campus participants with the First Lady. Mrs. Obama explained that although all of our present healthcare may soon change as a result of defunding the Affordable Care Act, the goal of making sure that people throughout the nation are insured in healthcare is and will always be an important issue that we as a nation have to continue to work towards. The First Lady was also very appreciative of our work throughout the White House Healthy Campus Challenge, building on the increased enrollment among the demographic group who is most inequitably under covered and who’s academic careers are vulnerable to unexpected illness. All in all, the experiences Vicente and I have gained have not only empowered us to continue to improve the overall health and well being of Bakersfield College, but it has also motivated us to continue to work hard and be engaged. We are hopeful that after we are able to relay our gained experiences and knowledge to our student body, that they too will be motivated to continue to work towards their goals. This has truly been a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Thank you,

Alexa Rivera and Vicente Lopez”

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That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever