Let’s start with this photo a friend sent me of Monday morning’s sunrise at the Panorama Campus. A beautiful sky for a beautiful college.
Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take, But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, November 7, 2020, a beautiful day … and a great day to be a Renegade.
Enrollment Begins for Spring
Registration began this week for “Special Populations” and Continuing Students who have completed all enrollment steps. Students can see how to qualify for Early (Priority) Registration on the BC website.
Outreach & Early College
The Outreach & Early College Department had a Disney-themed team call this past week. The team call also turned into an impromptu Dodgers celebration following their World Series Win!
It’s always fun when I’m able to see how our BC teams stay connected and have fun virtually. Thank you for sharing!
Upcoming: David French Visits BC Virtually Next Week
Please join us for the next Distinguished Speaker Series event, sponsored by BCSGA and the Office of Student Life at Bakersfield College.
The events are free and open to the public. All events this year are scheduled to be via Zoom on a virtual platform. Closed captioning will be available at each event.
David French will be speaking on the Bakersfield Student Government Association Facebook page at two times:
David French is a senior editor at The Dispatch and a columnist for Time.
A graduate of Harvard Law School and a constitutional lawyer, David most recently worked as a senior writer for National Review and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute. His most recent book — Divided we fall.
David is a former major in the United States Army Reserve. In 2007 he deployed to Iraq with the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment and was awarded the Bronze Star.
Thank you to History Professor Paul Beckworth for his work in putting this event together.
The Effects of Colorism on Latina and Black Youth Panel
This week, Bakersfied College’s Latinas Unidas Student Organization and Latina Leaders of Kern County held their third discussion on race & diversity relations in Kern County.
In the first panel, local leaders presented their experiences and perspectives on race and diversity relations in Kern County, as women in biracial marriages and women raising biracial children. The second panel featured Kern County women who are leading conversations around diversity to make our community and coalitions stronger.
Thank you to Brenda Valadez for her work in coordinating these discussions, and to Norma Rojas-Mora for facilitating the discussions.
Today, I’d like to share a short, 45-second clip from one of our students, Aris Trujillo, who spoke on her experience with light-skin privilege:
Get Out The Vote Caravan
Last weekend, the BC Cheer team and Drumline showed up to celebrate early voters on campus.
Thank you to Heather Foss and Tim Heasley for bringing the students out safely to engage them in one of the most critical exercises of citizenship in the United States.
Spotted on Social Media
Kalina Hill’s dog Thunder turned 11 this week!
Vice President of Instruction Billie Jo Rice shared this photo of her enjoying a beautiful day with her granddaughters:
I loved this note and these photos from the Rural Initiatives Facebook page:
Today our RI Team concluded day 3 of Bakersfield College in the Vineyards. In order to eliminate barriers for our rural students, innovative approaches are crucial to their success especially during a pandemic. We had the privilege of taking out BC face masks to those who feed the nation and through technology, info sent out in real time of their interest in pursuing their education…. bettering their lives and the lives of their families.
History professor Olivia Garcia shared her Halloween costume – she dressed as the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Olivia was instrumental in helping put together Bakersfield College’s tribute to Justice Ginsburg. Here is her introduction to that program:
“Last fall, the academic technology team at Bakersfield College, partnering with our Career and Technical Education leadership and several academic departments, launched an innovative effort to provide students and their future employers with a much sharper picture of student learning. Called badges or microcredentials, these digital representations of learning allow employers and students to see a much more detailed view of what happens inside a college course, down to the level of the critical skills and knowledge students will master. In addition to the more detailed view of learning, badges store information, such as when and how the skill was measured.”
Retired Bakersfield College Professor Susan McQuerrey has a collection of watercolors, “Nature’s Colors”, on display at Dagny’s Coffee, and on the BAA Facebook page.
‘Gades Club’ Launched to Support Renegade Student Athlete Success
This last week our athletics department announced the launch of the ‘Gades Club’ to help support the success of Renegade student athletes both on the field and in the classroom.
Since 1922 Renegade Athletics has served as a launching pad for thousands upon thousands of student athletes who have gone on to professional careers both in their respective sports and off the playing field. The newly announced ‘Gades Club’ is a way for community donors to support Bakersfield College student athletes as they continue their academic and athletic careers at one of the most well-respected community colleges in the country.
“Participation in college athletics had long been a training ground for life lessons that transcend sports,” said current Renegade Interim Dean/Athletic Director Reggie Bolton.
“What our student athlete learn in their time here will stick with them through their entire lives. We appreciate the long-standing relationships and support the Bakersfield community has provided throughout the years. With the introduction of the ‘Gades Club’ we are looking to maintain a strong connection with that community and our Renegade alumni well into the future”
The ‘Gades Club’ will provide financial support to all 20 Renegade athletic male/female teams and will assist with the annual Hall of Fame and Renegade student athlete awards ceremonies. Click here to visit the ‘Gades Club’ webpage and make a donation to support the future of Renegade Athletics. The donation is tax deductible, but it is advised to speak with a tax professional for details.
That’s all for now. Until next time. With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
What a great week at the college. Felt the life of BC every minute of every day……summer bridge, visit from a senator, summer academies for middle and high school students…… ended Friday night at the Memorial Stadium with sound, color, and creativity of the Resound Drum and Bugle Corps competition…. and woke up to an article about Summer Bridge by Joseph Luiz on the front page of the Californian with photos by Felix Adamo. A great week to be a Renegade!
Dolores Huerta Day is a day to recognize Huerta’s lifelong work from being a civil rights activist, community rights activist and community organizer as well as the co-founder and vice president of the United Farm Workers union. The state law is implemented to encourage schools to teach the students about Huerta and her life.
Dolores Huerta is a supporter of BC Renegades, and she visited campus last March as we premiered the film, “Dolores: Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother.” I shared photos and a description of the event in my blog on March 17th earlier this year. If you have not had the opportunity to see the film, you must. “Dolores” tells the story of how Huerta co-founded the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez to advocate for the rights of immigrant laborers, rekindling a nationwide sense of pride and identity in the American Latino community in the process.
Senator Andy Vidak at BC
Bakersfield College is fortunate to be supported by local and statewide leaders who believe in the power of higher education. On Thursday afternoon, Senator Andy Vidak visited the Panorama campus accompanied by a tremendous supporter and enthusiastic friend of BC, Michael Bowers who wanted to make sure our Senator had a chance to meet “the legend” Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and BCSGA President, James Tompkins.
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Senator Vidak
Senator Vidak and SGA President James Tompkins
During his visit, Senator Vidak wanted to see the campus, but most of all the students. His first stop was to visit BC’s Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps who were busy practicing on the field. Faculty Director, Tim Heasley was onsite to share a little background on the extreme dedication and commitment made by these young men and women. Each day this week they have been out on the field rehearsing and practicing their routines in preparation for the competition on Friday night.
After the Senator cheered them on and shared that he was a trombone player, we visited the Veterans Resource Center to hear from Paul Beckworth about the growth of out student veteran population, what our veterans have been up to, and the plans for the new Veterans Resource Center coming soon to the Panorama campus. Senator Vidak heard directly from the 3 men studying in the lounge about their plans, what the new VRC means to them, and what they’re most looking forward to after finishing their education.
Senator Vidak with student veterans and Adeana Williams, Paul Beckworth, Sonya Christian, and Liz Rozell
Stephen Waller, Rich McCrow, Liz Rozell and Senator Andy Vidak
Across the way, outside of the Science and Engineering building, Dean Stephen Waller, Dean Rich McCrow and Vice President Liz Rozell shared with Senator Vidak that the very building next tothem was a hub of activity.
From STEM camps to robotics labs, summer chemistry classes and more, the Science and Engineering building at BC was full of energy. We headed inside to escape the heat, where Senator Vidak met with more students, alumni, and faculty to see what was taking place.
In the robotics lab, a number of students shared that their experiences this past summer at Bakersfield College have sparked their interests in STEM related careers and professions. Meanwhile, alumni and faculty shared the various tools and hands on learning experiences available within the robotics lab and how these technological advances are contributing to local industry.
Across the hall, we stopped in to Professor Ximena De Silva Tavares’ Chemistry course where Senator wanted to know what career fields everyone in the room was interested in. A young man spoke up saying he was interested in medicine and was looking forward to attending medical school after Bakersfield College.
Renegades all along our visit were thrilled to see Senator Vidak on campus and it was great to see our students approach this strong, yet quiet spoken statewide leader. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the afternoon.
Thank you Senator Vidak for visiting BC! #WeareBC!
Celebrating the Success of Rural Renegades
Abel Guzman, BC’s Director of Rural Initiatives described the work being done at BC through the 1+1+2=Game Changer program, which is changing the course of education for Kern County. In the piece, he explains the intentional work being done by faculty and staff to bring college closer to home and make college education a reality for our rural communities. “With the support and collaboration of both Supervisor Leticia Perez and Kern Tax CEO Michael Turnipseed,” he said, “Bakersfield College and the Kern High School District partnered to develop a game changing proposal.”
This “wise investment” as Abel says, is changing lives in our rural communities.
Purple Ribbon Safety Awareness Event
On Wednesday morning, the community came out to join Kern County Department of Human Services, First 5 Kern, California Highway Patrol, Kern County Sheriff’s Department, Bakersfield Police Department, District Attorney’s Office Community Connection for Child Care, and BC’s Child Development Center team for a small program and safety demonstration.
BC’s Sea Turtles class of five-year-olds opened the program by singing “You are my Sunshine” and BC’s Child Development Center Director, Sue Vaughn welcomed all guests to our campus on the hill. BC’s Child Development Center is proud to be the host location for this years event. We are committed to being Bakersfield’s college and are happy any time the campus can serve as a location for uplifting the community through education and prevention. Cindy Uets, Deputy Director of the Department of Human Services spoke about the tragedies of child heat stroke deaths that occur every year in the US.
Cindy Uets speaking at the event
Donny Youngblood speaking at the event
Sheriff Donny Youngblood described how difficult it is to be called to the scene of such a tragedy, but it happens nearly every year in Kern county. And Fire Chief, Anthony Galagaza shared similar comments. District Attorney-Elect, Cynthia Zimmerman was also present and it was great to see all the support for such a worthwhile cause.
Anthony Galagaza speaking at the event
During the demonstration, a thermometer was placed inside a closed and parked car in sight. After watching the thermometer inside the closed vehicle rise dramatically, Robert Rodriguez of the CHP lead a demonstration of how many children could be lined up behind an SUV before the driver could see them in her rearview mirror. We had 25 three-year olds from the Seashells, Sea Horses and Starfish classrooms arranged behind the SUV before they were spotted.
Officer Robert Rodriguez leading the “Spot the tot” demonstration
After the demonstration, the police, sheriff’s deputies, Fire Chief and CHP officers talked with the children about safety. Special thanks to Heidi Carter and Sarah Morales-Ross from Kern County Human Services for their planning efforts. And thank you to the media contacts from 23, 17, and KBAK who also attended.
Football season tickets are on sale now! Prices range from $25 to $60 and can be purchased online at Vallitix.com (click the link), by calling 1 (888) 825-5484 or in-person at the Bakersfield College business office. The Renegades will scrimmage with Antelope Valley on Wednesday, August 22nd at 6 PM in Memorial Stadium. The scrimmage is free and open to the public. This will be your first chance to get a look at your 2018 BC football team.
Congratulations to Aryka Chavez
We are proud to announce another Renegade who is moving on to continue her academic career and playing career at a four-year school. Aryka Chavez signed to play softball for Arizona Christian Univeristy located in Phoenix, AZ this week. Aryka is now the 35th Renegade student athlete from the ’17-’18 year to sign to continue their student-athlete career at the next level.
Head softball coach, Casey Goodman and Aryka Chavez
Summer Youth Football Camp Recap
This last month the Bakersfield College football team hosted over 1,100 youth, families and staff for their annual football summer camp. Over 600 youth participated in the event which was put on by Golden Empire Youth Football (GEFY) and hosted at our Bakersfield College football practice fields.
Throughout the day BC football coaches led the youth participants through many drills that helped them to sharpen their skills of the game. The relationship between BC and GEFY dates back many years. Many current BC football players participated in the camps when they were younger as well.
To participate in the camp next summer, stay tuned to www.gogades.com for registration information.
For more information contact Coach Dahl at: email@example.com
Royal Industrial Solutions’ Group Partnership
After 12 months of planning and development, the Bakersfield College Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Automation team has constructed two advanced instrumentation trainers. These devices measure mass, pressure, fluid levels, and vacuum for industrial process control. The trainers will be used by BC’s baccalaureate students to learn how to install and calibrate devices they will find in local, national and international industry workplaces. The trainers support five types of sensors and can also interface with the Allen Bradley program Logix controllers and the Amatrol process control trainers. The baccalaureate faculty can format the trainers to interface with other devices and expand students’ knowledge in the field. Special thanks to Process Solutions Engineer Robert Ellis and Services Manager Crystal Mann, both of Royal Industrial Solutions’ Automation Solutions Group, for partnering with Bakersfield College to make this possible!
Back row left to right: Robert Ellis (Royal Electric Process Solutions Engineer), Lawrence Coulthurst (senior student, BC Industrial Automation Program), John Radman (BC Maintenance Technician), Shaun Powelson (senior student, BC Industrial Automation Program), Thomas Rush (BC Professor) Front row, Michele Bresso (Bakersfield College Dean of Instruction), Anthony Cordova (BC CTE Program director), Crystal Mann (Royal Electric Services Manager), Edwin Jimenez (freshman student, BC Industrial Automation Program).
Renegades at the Bureau of Land Management
Three BC MESA students, Jonathan Kim, Jerad Hanson, and Samantha Pulido interned from May 25 to July 6 at the Bureau of Land Management of Bakersfield. Through the experience, students learned about professional equipment, natural catastrophes, and the processes of evaluating industries, such as the petroleum industry.
The students gained vast skills and information regarding this department, two project that they focused on were the process of conserving a historic cabin and maintaining a functional and safe water well that hikers frequent during the hot summer days. This internship was made possible by partnership with USDA National Hispanic Serving Institution Program, Juan Alvarez, MESA Director, Consuelo Gonzalez, and the students’ BLM mentor Elizabeth Crosswell.
Renegades at the National Resources Conservation Service
Juluis Ntuis, Phuong Le, and Jose Mercardo were chosen as the 2018 summer interns and they’ve all expressed how close they became with their cohort and mentors.
Recently, the students spoke about the challenges during their internships and answered questions regarding their overall experiences. They agreed that this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and the scenery in which they worked was breathtaking. The MESA program is once again grateful for Juan Alvarez, USDA National Hispanic Serving Institution Program, and Javier Flores, and UDSA NRCS, for their commitment to student success and support.
KGET highlighted the STEM camps happening on campus, thanks to partners Chevron and Project Lead the Way! This year, the camps were extremely popular which is exciting because they help our future Renegades get a fun and hands on experience at STEM career options. This week focused on Architecture and Design and I loved to see Yadira say, “If you walk into the classroom you will hear students yell things out like ‘oh this is so much more fun than school.”
Speaking of summer camps, KCCD in collaboration with The California Endowment and Delano Joint Unified School District to offer the Delano Medical Academy Camp for incoming 9th grade students. All students expressed an interest in joining the medical field and the camp provided hands-on exposure to health care fields.
Camps just like these are making a difference as our young people begin to explore their higher education options and plans sooner, rather than later! See the article at bakersfield.com.
Record Number of Transfer Students Highlight
Michele Bresso on KBAK
Last week, KBAK Reporter, Emma Goss covered the news that more students in the central valley and specifically Bakersfield College are transferring to the UC and CSU system after Community College. Her article and news clip, available on bakersfieldnow.com, mentions Dean of Instruction Michele Bresso who stated the rate successful transfers to the UC system has increased 57% and successful transfers to the Cal State University system have increased 43%.
This exciting news was also released in a LA Times article which mentions Bakersfield College.
It’s incredible to see the many places our BC faculty and students touch! The reach of BC is truly fascinating.
Have a story to share? I’d love to hear about it in the comments! Share with me where you’ve brought your Renegade spirit!
Remembering Dr. Lincoln Hall
This week, I also took some quiet time to remember past BC President, Dr. Lincoln Hall. It’s important to remember the Renegades and leadership that has brought our campus and community to where we are today. This week it was shared that Dr. Lincoln Hall, who served as Interim President of BC from January 2004 – March 2005 and then went on to serve at Porterville College, had passed away. Dr. Lincoln began his work in education after being released from active duty in 1954. He attended UC Berkeley to obtain his teaching credential and taught history, economics, and civics at Antioch High.
His obituary states “In 1957 he moved to Visalia, where he began teaching economics at College of the Sequoias (COS). It was then that Linc met the love of his life, Gerry Vogel, a teacher of business classes at the college. They were married in 1960. While working in a variety of administrative roles at COS, Linc earned his Doctorate in Education from USC.
In 1981, he left COS to become president of Reedley College. Two years later, Linc returned to COS, where he served as superintendent/president until his retirement in 1991. Three weeks prior to retirement, Linc was asked to serve as interim president of a community college in Southern California. He accepted, and enjoyed it so much that he went on to serve in interim positions at twelve community colleges.”
Bakersfield College will be hosting a Local Contractor Outreach Seminar here at the Bakersfield College campus next Tuesday, July 24. This informative outreach seminar is for local contractors who are interested in potentially working on upcoming Measure J projects at Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso Community College, and Porterville College. More information and details can be found at the Bakersfield College website.
Weekly Fun Photos
The BC crew attended Starfish Summer Institute 2018 for presentations and training!
The third session of summer courses have started at BC SouthWest! We are in the homestretch of summer 2018!
And the President’s Office shared lunch on Monday with a taco bar, crock pot cake, and other delicious treats!
William Velasquez is one of Todd Coston’s techs who has a true gift for photography. He took this photo before leaving work this week of BC’s Drum and Bugle Corps practicing for RESOUND!
Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps by William Velasquez
Seen on Facebook
BC’s Rural Initiatives Team that spans both North and South Kern!
Dr. Oliver Rosales shared:
Had a wonderful time yesterday hosting Carol Peters, Director of Educational Programs for the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of her California site visit. I was impressed that she took the time to drive to Bakersfield College from Los Angeles after visiting a project director at UCLA and spending time with the wonderful Julie Santoski Fry and California Humanities folks. Thanks so much to my fellow project director Andrew Bond and faculty cohort members Chris Cruz-Boone and Octavio Barajas for joining us to discuss the state of humanities at California Community Colleges and the work we are doing at Bakersfield College. Thanks especially to Reggie Williams for dropping by and hosting us at the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities. Thanks too to Dean Manny Mourtzanos for spending a few moments with us as we toured campus and for signing off on this grant years ago. And as my former dean noted, thanks especially to President Sonya Christian for her leadership and promoting faculty innovation. Carol Peters stressed that Chancellor Constance Carroll from San Diego Community College, who is currently serving on the National Humanities Council, spoke so highly of the good work we are doing at BC.
Oliver Rosales, Carol Peters, Manny Mourtzanos
Purple Heart Run.
Photos from Karen Goh’s photos on Facebook
Bakersfield College Veterans were are the Purple Heart Truck event. The truck has been adapted for combat-wounded paralyzed or double amputee veterans and will be given to a wounded veteran who lost both his legs in Iraq.
We Are BC
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, March 3rd…. on a long flight this morning to chair an accreditation site visit ….
Where do I begin? With Nan of course!
Celebrating her retirement with Nan …. not really retiring, or at least not completely – I see her continuing her service to BC and KCCD… just wondering what that next role will be?
Nan says “Make it so!”
“Be the first one to arrive and the last one to leave. I never did figure out that first one, but I’ve got that last one down pat.” Anyone that’s been at BC for any length of time will tell you that, evening after evening, a few vehicles would remain in those expansive (and soon to be resurfaced) parking lots. Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg’s was always one.
The Bakersfield College that you see, read about, and experience today, would not be the same Bakersfield College without her graceful touch and bold leadership. Many of the changes and things you see around you, from the colors of countless BC publications to securing Measure J funds, were expertly transformed by what must have been her magic wand or sparkling fairy dust. Or maybe it was just years of wisdom, a knack for instinctual transcendence, and many, many evenings of a lone vehicle in that parking lot while work was being perfected here on campus.
So this past Wednesday, our Executive Offices prepared a celebration day for Nan, and what an adventure! Picture it: Zav, Don, Jennifer, Wendy, June, Somaly, Tarina, Chris, Zach, and myself huddled in Nan’s office minutes before she arrived. The floor, lush with multicolored roses, we covered our faces with the photos of various Nans (yes, even the “bob cut years”), lined the decorative “The Legend has Retired” balloons, and waited. Until…
Nan said, “You guys!” And I think her face says it all!
From there we, we prepared a (nearly) all vegetarian lunch in A5, just how Nan likes it. There was falafel, Liz Rozell’s fruit salad, Flame-N-Skewers’ hummus, and this delicious treat Chef Sabella calls a Vegetarian Napoleon.
Tom Burke, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and Danielle Hillard-Adams
Trustee Bill Thomas stopped by to say hello
Being surrounded by friends and her work family really brought a unique radiance, even for Nan.
But with that the afternoon was far from over. Nan requested a flash mob… so you remember her wand?
We also celebrated the promotions of Liz Rozell, new Interim Vice President of Instruction, and Jason Dixon, who will be taking Liz’s place as the dean in charge of the Engineering and Industrial Technology and Business Management and Information Technology departments.
Liz has been an ambitious leader for her department, which oversaw the implementation of our Baccalaureate Degree in Industrial Automation during her tenure. Her effervescent personality and inspirational words of guidance brought the best out of everyone on her team, and BC has been lucky to have her, but I’m confident that Jason will be able to fill her shoes and continue the tradition of excellence that Liz has created over at Engineering and Industrial Technology.
Mary Webb and the Industrial Tech department hosted a dinner for Liz and Jason’s respective promotions, and Liz passed a literal torch to Jason after Mary said a few words congratulating them both. Moments like this reminds me why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever.
Liz and Nan
The 10th Annual Sterling Silver Dinner was held on campus on February 24th. The library was a beautiful setting for the 200 guests that attended to mix and mingle during the reception, while enjoying hors d’oeuvres. The Jones Art Gallery was open for the evening with a collection of student art on display for guests to view. The Archives Department expertly curated a variety of artifacts from BC’s past for attendees to enjoy.
It was great to see friends, supporters of BC, and our Trustees Romeo Agbalog and Bill Thomas at the event.
The Bakersfield College Drumline did a fabulous job of calling guests to make their way to the gorgeous tented dining area. The focus of the evening was to celebrate three benefactors of Bakersfield College and Nick James – KGET Sports Reporter, served as emcee for the evening.
Marko B. and Theo Zaninovich were honored as the Outstanding Individual Philanthropists of the year and they shared the importance of education and the reasons they support BC.
Kern Schools Federal Credit Union received recognition as the Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist, and Steve Renock – President/CEO of KSFCU, spoke to the long history of partnership between Kern Schools and BC.
Tom Gelder, Sonya Christian, Steve Renock
Tom Gelder, Sonya Christian, Kenneth Byrom
The BC Foundation honored Kenneth M. Byrum with the inaugural Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal. Ken has been on the Foundation board since its inception in 1975 and continues to serve and support Bakersfield College. The Byrum family came in full support for the evening with members coming to town from coast to coast.
Thank you all who were generous in sponsoring the 2018 Sterling Silver which was a sold out event.
Thank you Senator Jean Fuller for squeezing the Sterling Silver event into your busy calendar
Thank you Mayor Karen Goh, Cathy Abernathy, Jay Rosenlieb, Mary Jo Pasek and Tom Pasek.
Jen Garrett and Matt Garrett. Lily Agbalog and Trustee Romeo Agbalog
The fabulous John Gerhold with the beautiful Wendy Gerhold
Two academic senate presidents — Corny Rodriguez (now dean) and Steven Holmes (current academic senate president)
Jerry Cook and Lauraine Cook. Olivia Garcia and Heather Penella
With the fabulous Monty Byrom who traveled back from Fresno just to support Dr. Jen Garrett and our BC choir for their trip to Australia. So happy to be standing by this talented man.
Love having Mayor Goh at these events. Here we are with three of the awardees for the evening – Ken Byrum and Marco and Theo Zaninovich.
And thank you for our students who were helping out driving carts during this very cold evening. #WeAreBC
The expertly prepared four=course meal and wine pairings were a highlight of the evening. I must say that I tend to avoid desert most evenings, but the desert at Sterling Silver was to die for. Stars of local cuisine such as Chef Thomas Chairez of Bakersfield Country Club, Chef Eric Sabella of Bakersfield College, Chef John Pilling of Trilogy Resort, and Chef Stephanie Caughell-Fisher of Gimmee Some Sugar worked together to plan the evening’s menu, and guests were treated to a delicious feast.
If you have not bought your tickets yet for this event, do so now. Monty Byrom, Lydia Ranger, BC Chamber singers all in one evening — March 10th at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 each. Email me now please or call the BC Foundation or purchase tickets directly from the Music Hall of Fame.
Tarina Perry was out this Sunday helping Kyle Carter and Lydia Ranger sell tickets to the March 10th concert at churches.
Thank you Trustee Kyle Carter for all your support of this event!
Black History Month Parade
“Staying Connected to Preserve Our Heritage” was the theme of this year’s Black History Parade in downtown Bakersfield. Bakersfield College was proud to participate and march in the parade last weekend.
Great to see BC’s Cheer Team with Heather Foss and the Drumline with Tim Heasley.
Staff brought out their children and students. Here is Endee Grijalva with her daughter Ava and Prof. Ish Kimbrough with his daughter. Love this selfie with Kimbrough’s two students Destiny and Michael.
BC’s Drumline performed at the parade and even took home first place trophy! Congratulations!!!!
Last Sunday, familiar faces gathered at St. Peter Restoration Community Christian Ministries for a morning of prayer, worship, connecting, and honoring one another. Part of the day was to Honor Dr. Horace Mitchell for all that he’s done for our community. The Master and Mistress of Ceremony were Steve and Kimberly Watkin.
It was a beautiful celebration, with so many friends and supporters of education and BC in our community. Among the friendly faces, I saw Chief Lyle Martin, Brenda Lewis, Ramon Hendrix, Ronda Williams, Dee Slade, and more. Dee shared with me information about icanaffordcollege.com which is a campaign by California Community Colleges to make sure Californians know how affordable community colleges can be. Dee was a true supporter of Measure J and she is a true supporter of local community colleges. What a gem for our community.
Sonya Christian and Dee Slade
Dr. Horace Mitchell Shares his Story
BC students and faculty got the opportunity to hear CSUB President Dr. Horace Mitchell reflect on his 50-year career in higher education in the Fireside Room on Tuesday, and to ask him a few questions before he retires in June.
The African-American Initiatives group invited Dr. Mitchell as the last speaker for our Black History Month programming in February, and he talked extensively about how he worked to create safe spaces and a welcoming atmosphere for minority students throughout his career as a university administrator, which included stints at UC Irvine and UC Berkeley before he became the first black president of CSUB, a position which he’s held for the last 14 years.
Dr. Horace Mitchell and BC’s Leadership
Dr. Mitchell has had the opportunity to shatter many barriers in academia. While studying his Ph.D. In Counseling Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, Mitchell got his first job in college administration when he was selected to be the associate dean of arts and sciences. During that time, Dr. Mitchell recognized the advantage he had over his peers in understanding the needs that are specific to students of color, and in academia, he saw the ways that traditional psychological studies of the time were blind to structural biases facing people of color. He was persistent in his advocacy for university policies that reduce the difficulties students of color face while promoting more diverse hiring of faculty to reflect the diversity of the student body.
Attendees listened to Dr. Mitchell
“Throughout my career, it has been about increasing student potential,” Dr. Mitchell said. “We push our students to define what is important to them, then work to see how we can make it a reality.”
Dr. Mitchell went on to become the first African-American vice chancellor and the first non-physician to become a dean of medicine at UC Irvine on his path to becoming the Vice Chancellor of Business and Administrative Services at UC Berkeley. Despite working in the administration at one of the most prestigious universities in the country, Dr. Mitchell was excited to take the president’s job at CSUB because he recognized the opportunity he had to transform the community here and expand CSUB’s diversity outreach.
During Dr. Mitchell’s tenure, CSUB has reformed general education requirements, expanded to Division I athletics, added programs in engineering and agriculture business and a doctoral degree in educational leadership in response to the community’s needs. He’s also expanded partnerships with industry leaders, the Kern High School District, and with BC, helping us add CSUB counselors at the Panorama campus to assist our Renegades in smoothly transferring to become Roadrunners.
Dr. Horace Mitchell and BC Students
During the Q&A session with students, Dr. Mitchell stressed the importance of following the Associate Degree for Transfer programs closely in order to successfully transfer and graduate with a baccalaureate degree in four years.
“Look at what you need, be clear about what you need to do, and stay focused,” Dr. Mitchell said.
March is Women’s History Month and Bakersfield College Women’s History and More (WHAM) committee is hosting numerous events. Anita Hill will be lecturing on Reimagining Equality: Inclusive Communities in Post-Obama America on Thursday next week. We will also be showing the film Dolores: Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother. followed by discussion with Delores Huerta and some of her adult children on Monday, 3/12. Later in March, there will be a Frida Kahlo painting event and Dr. Lydia Otero will discuss her work as part of our Distinguished Speakers Series. During all of March, Grace Van Dyke Bird Library will feature the display Local & Widespread Female Activism on the main floor with various titles from the library that focus on female actives in California and specifically in Kern County, prepared by Faith Bradham, Reference Librarian. You can see all of the details for the events on BC’s Women’s History Month.
I would like to thank all of the faculty and staff involved in organizing and holding these events on campus including: Erin Miller, Olivia Garcia, Tina Mendoza, Jessica Flores, Faith Gradham, all of the members of WHAM, Nicky Damania, and Jack Hernandez.
Our own Olivia Garcia, History and Journalism faculty, wrote an article published in Wednesday’s Bakersfield Californian. She details what to expect from a few of the events including why we are so fortunate to have activists Anita Hill, Dolores Huerta and Dr. Lydia Otero at BC. Read “BC celebrates Women’s History Month with series of events.”
Cindy’s New Digs
I was at the District for the accreditation subcommittee meeting and popped in to check out Cindy’s new digs. Though we miss her, she’s not far away.
Cindy Collier in her new space at the District Office.
Bakersfield Lifestyle Magazine
What a treat to see artwork by Duane Anderson, Architecture faculty on the front cover of Bakersfield Lifestyle Magazine. On his website, www.duaneandersonart.com, he says:
“Twenty-five years ago my love of painting led me to leave architecture, my chosen profession, to focus on architectural illustration. That proved to be a rewarding decision as I was able to blend my love of painting with my interest in architecture.
Thirteen years ago I had the opportunity to pursue another dream – to teach at my Alma Mater, Bakersfield College. I am presently a tenured Professor of architecture. I teach perspective drawing and presentation graphics. When not in class, I enjoy teaching drawing and watercolor workshops whenever the opportunity presents itself.”
Seen on Twitter
Thank you to Reyna Harvey@ReynaHarveyB, weekend anchor at KBAK for this tweet!
An Evening with Laura Bush
Laura Bush was at the Kern County Fairgrounds last Tuesday in support of the Boys and Girls Club of Kern County. She discussed the importance of literacy and education in advancing opportunities for America’s youth, and in fostering healthy families and communities. I was fortunate to be Jean Fuller‘s guest for this lovely dinner event. See the article “Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County welcome Laura Bush to Bakersfield” on 23ABC.
Get Focused, Stay Focused
Dr. Lauren Wintermeyer
On Monday morning, some of our counselors got the opportunity to learn about a program that teaches students how to prepare for the career of their dreams.
Dr. Lauren A. Wintermeyer Ramirez, a counselor at Ventura College, broke down the components of “Get Focused…Stay Focused!”, an initiative she co-founded to teach high school students and college freshman about how to choose the right career based on their interests, and how to develop the financial literacy, education and job skills necessary to reach that career.
After working closely with English language learners as a high school teacher, Wintermeyer Ramirez was inspired to create “Get Focused…Stay Focused!” when she realized that many of her students were picking their college of choice without thinking about the career opportunities that college could provide. Using guided pathways as a framework, Wintermeyer Ramirez helped develop a course dedicated to career and financial literacy that could be offered during each year of high school for college credit, or as a 3-unit course for college freshmen that would be transferrable to a CSU or UC.
The first part of “Get Focused…Stay Focused!” involves pinpointing three potential careers that each student would be interested in, which involves a series of budget and financial planning exercises to help students identify a career that could support their lifestyle, as well as psychoanalytic frameworks such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs or Myers-Briggs Personality Types to clarify students’ strengths.
The financial planning portion of “Get Focused…Stay Focused!” is the largest and most eye-opening part of the curriculum, Wintermeyer Ramirez explained, since many young people have never lived on their own and often aren’t familiar with the basic costs of living.
Once students have the three careers that they’re interested in, Wintermeyer Ramirez has each student visit the Career Center at her college. She then assigns students with contacting someone in the community with one of those careers for job shadowing, in which the student follows that person around for a day to learn the ins and outs of their career. These job shadow assignments have led to internships and job opportunities for several of Wintermeyer Ramirez’s students, she said.
Letty Garza (left), the Curriculum and Technical Support Advisor for Academic Innovations, LLC, goes over the workbook for the course created by the “Get Focused…Stay Focused!” initiative with BC counselor Marisa Marquez.
By the end of the course, each student in “Get Focused…Stay Focused!” picks one career and creates a ten-year plan outlining how they’ll reach and sustain their goals. They’re able to plan out what classes they’ll need to take in each semester of college, and other skills they’ll need to develop to impress their future employers.
Students can give their ten-year plans to counselors and educational advisors at the end of the course, and examining the aggregate data gathered by students’ ten-year plans can help institutions make decisions about developing new programs of study that match up with their student population’s interests and community needs.
“Get Focused…Stay Focused!” is primarily integral for the first two pillars of guided pathways—helping to clarify the best educational pathway for each student and giving them the information they need to enter that path with the right college courses—but the ten-year plans also give students the motivation they need to stay on the path and do the work required of them to ensure learning. Dr. Davis Jenkins, a senior scholar with the Community College Research Center whowrote the book on guided pathways, is currently looking at “Get Focused…Stay Focused!” as a case study, Wintermeyer Ramirez said.
I’d like to thank Dr. Wintermeyer Ramirez—as well as Curriculum and Technical Support Advisor Letty Garza from Academic Innovations, LLC—for taking the time to teach our counselors about this important program. We’re looking into how we can incorporate elements of this program into our curriculum, and we hope that something similar can be enacted at the high-school level along with our multiple measures and dual enrollment partnerships.
FIELD Institute at BC
The FIELD Institute held a meeting at Bakersfield College in the Levan Center this week to move forward work related to The Career and Technical Education Initiative. I attended the announcement event back in December and shared it in my blog post, “Busy Between Semesters at BC.”
Thank you David Villarino for your leadership in pulling together this consortium of colleges and universities. You have been always been committed to providing opportunity and family-wage jobs for the most under-served populations.
Pictured below are leaders and supporters of this initiative including, David Villarino, FIELD; Dr. Stephen Schoonmaker, President Siskiyous College District Dr. Horace Mitchell, President CSUB, Liz Rozell, VP Instruction BC, and Dr. Sean Hancock, President of Palo Verde.
Guided Pathways Workshops
In last week’s blog, I highlighted Julian West’s participation in the Guided Pathways workshops hosted by the CCCCO. This week, both Grace Commiso and Maria Wright presented in the Fresno and Oakland workshops. Grace and Maria highlighted the success that Bakersfield College has experienced through the Guided Pathways efforts. A larger group including Billie Jo Rice, Brent Burton, Erica Menchaca, Janet Fulks, and Eleonora Hicks participated in the Fresno workshop. The presentation included some of the following highlights:
The number of students successfully completing the matriculation steps has increased over the past couple of years. Specifically, the follow-up services have doubled from 30 to 60 percent since the 2014-2015 Academic Year.
Bakersfield College has documented a 34.4 percent growth rate in the last five years.
The number of students successfully completing an associate’s degree has increased by 450 in the last six years.
The number of students successfully completing a certificate has increased by 476 in the last six years.
In addition, Grace and Maria hosted plenary sessions on the development of early steps and the importance of incorporating the student voice through Guided Pathway efforts.
On Monday, we had our first of two all campus budget forums for 2018. Teresa McAllister, Budget Committee Faculty Co-Chair kicked off the informative session. Other speakers included myself, Don Chrusciel, VP of Finance and Administrative Services, and Steven Holmes, President of Academic Senate.
The purpose of these biannual all campus forums is to give a high-level status report. This second forum is coming up within the following months. Thank you to Somaly Boles for coordinating the event.
On Friday, College Council met to address college-wide issues through a collaborative, integrative approach, promoting greater communication that is accessible to the college campus at large, and to facilitate timely and effective decision-making efforts. The fantastic Lesley Bond presented on Guided Pathways and the Innovation Award Proposals.
Leadership Academy at BC
Cindy Collier, Liz Rozell, John Means
Special guests on campus Friday were members of this years KCCD Leadership Academy. The day started with a welcome to our guests by KCCD Vice Chancellor, John Means. An overview of the BC campuses, centers, and our programs was given by Deans of Instruction, Rich McCrow and Corny Rodriguez. The next activity was an overview of the Program Mapper led by Jennifer Johnson and Mark Osea. Other activities included learning about BC’s Baccalaureate Program, Industrial Automation led by Manny Fernandez, Guided Pathways by Lesley Bonds, and Dual Enrollment by Anna Laven, Corny Rodriguez, and Cindy Collier, Strong Workforce by Anthony Cordova, and last but not least, a facilities update by Bill Potter.
The Kern Community College District is committed to supporting professional development that informs employees’ leadership abilities. Hence, the Kern Community College District Leadership Academy works to develop classified, faculty and management employees to prepare for leadership roles at every level of the organization. Through experiential learning opportunities in day-long workshops from September through April each school year, the KCCD Leadership Academy offers employees the opportunity to interact with district executives, KCCD trustees, state-level education leaders and others. Participants generate a greater understanding of our geographically expansive district and build cross-district relationships with co-workers. The program includes workshops held at each of our college campuses, conference travel, and team projects that address goals identified in the KCCD Strategic Plan. .
Corny Roriguez and Cindy Collier
A full campus tour by cart was offered, thanks to our drivers, Chris Glaser and Wendy Lawson.
BC Ag Advisory
On Thursday, Eric Garcia spoke at BC’s Ag Advisory. Eric is Advisory Chair, works at Discoll, and is a Bakersfield College Alum.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
In the infamous introductory words of one of my students inside, “Love, Peace, and Blessings”. Everyday regardless of what is going on and before he addressed the class for anything, this student said very sincerely, “Love, Peace and Blessings”. It is clear to me that he shares more than just an obligatory salutation. There is a sense of affection, care, and encouragement embedded into the word “Love” when he says it. The idea of togetherness, shared responsibility to each other, and above all brotherhood is coded into the word “Peace”. Lastly, a touch of hope that all people’s wishes and dreams, goals and aspirations, and will to be free will be met one day is also baked into this seemingly mundane yet deep and meaningful message. I would like to thank this student for sharing this greeting with me and other students on a daily basis. It has kept me grounded. As I am wrapping up grades and looking back on the semester it is moments like this, shared with love, that will keep me motivated to make a difference and keep spreading the “Love, Peace, and Blessings”.
This is a “copy and paste from the May 15th blog of Professor Bryan Hirayama
Love, Peace and Blessings Bakersfield. It is Saturday, October 21st and a fabulous day to be a Renegade
BC Football fought off a second half push by Moorpark and continued with their season-long trend of finishing strong by beating the Raiders 34-10 in front of over 5,000 fans at Memorial Stadium to complete a festive homecoming celebration Saturday and open conference play with a win.
Thank you Trustee Bill Thomas, who came to the game with his grandson William and thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog.
Trustee Bill Thomas, grandson William, Trustee Romeo Agbalog
Our fabulous cheer team with cheer coach Heather Foss.
Photo by April Massirio of the BC Cheer team
So happy to see Fran Florez and her husband Ray Florez. Fran is on our Foundation Board of Directors and put in a lot of time helping us with Measure J.
Here is another foundation board member Ken Byrum and his wife. Ken is a big supporter of BC.
Pam Byrum and Ken Byrum
And here is the fabulous Ed Davis with his family. Always supporting Bakersfield College!
Glad to see Jim Darling at the Memorial Stadium supporting Renegade Football
Karen Goh, Jim Darling
Marlene Heise, Karen Goh, Todd Hansen, Bill Thomas, grandson William, Jim Darling, Sonya Christian
BC employees were out in full force with their families. I snapped this picture of Wendy Lawson and her husband Ken and here is Dena Rhoades with her husband, daughter, and grandchildren.
So enjoyed seeing Steve’s daughter out with her mom and dad at the game.
Kendra Watkin, Steve Watkin, Kim Watkin
Love, Peace, and Blessings all
Before the homecoming game, I attended the BC Alumni Association’s first TailGade. It was a wonderful event and a lovely afternoon to welcome home our Alumni to their campus on the hill. The large tent provided plenty of shade for eating and fellowship. The food from Fred’s BBQ was a big hit. We had delicious large, juicy grilled steaks, beans, salad and rolls. The steaks were so gigantic, I couldn’t even finish mine and the dinner was well worth the price of admission. They even offered refreshing la Rosa Frozen Fruit Bars for dessert. Perfect for the weather!
Friends and familiar faces were all around at TailGade and throughout the day it was incredible to catch up with Renegades and Renegade fans.
Bakersfield’s famous ska, reggae, mambo band, Mento Buru, played great music from the stage. Some members of the band are BC Alumni and they performed a modern version of the BC Fight Song. You can see a video of Mento Buru practicing for homecoming: https://www.facebook.com/MentoBuru/videos/10159515917410296/. With such jazzy, upbeat music, alumni couldn’t resist getting up and dancing to the wonderful music.
Karen Goh, photo by April Massirio.
To the side of the stage, a monitor played footage of games played in 1945. Kids were playing everywhere and there were games of corn hole going the entire time. The cheerleaders gave a great performance of their cheers for the crowd. The Homecoming parade with the BC Renegade Band and Homecoming float came right around the party so we got to see everyone up close. Honored guest Mayor Karen Goh joined us and led us in a “We are BC!” cheer. Thank you to Heather Pennella and the BC Alumni Association for putting on such a fabulous event. What a way to welcome our alumni home!
And not just alumni, I spotted BC faculty and staff celebrating too! Here is Tom Gelder, Exec Director of the BC Foundation having fun.
Thank you Michael O’Doherty, past president of the Bakersfield College Foundation Board of Directors for coming out to support BC.
Great to see Peter Reyes and the fabulous Becki Whitson
Sonya Christian, Peter Reyes, Becki Whitson
Bob Martin, a Renegade, with his daugther Theresa McAllister and grand daughter.
Sonya Christian, Bob Martin, Theresa McAllister and her daughter
Heather Pennella, you did a great job organizing the 2017 Alumni BBQ
Homecoming Royalty is an honored and longstanding tradition of Bakersfield College that recognizes outstanding students at Bakersfield College. The Homecoming Royalty Court this year will be comprised of two students who shall represent the College and student body at various campus and community events throughout the year. The selection process for the Homecoming Royalty Court is based upon the candidate’s leadership activities, academic achievement, and campus involvement. Royalty are screened and ultimately selected based on the applicant’s’ ability to articulate and demonstrate academic performance, curricular and co-curricular involvement, contributions to the College as well as the Bakersfield Community, and BC Renegade Spirit. This year there were nine candidates selected.
Elka Desjardins is a Journalism/Agriculture Business Management/Forestry major. She is also the Historian for the BC Agriculture Student Organization and she works as a hairstylist, photographer, and wedding officiant when not in a classroom or on campus.
Evelyn Hernandez is a sophomore here studying Admissions of Justice. She is also the amazing secretary for your student government. Her long-term goal is to work in probation while helping the youth community in Bakersfield.
Ganae Romo-Watson is a fun loving, outgoing person. She enjoys the company of her peers as well as her faculty. She strives for greatness and rises up the people around her as well. She believes that leadership is the key to opening doors of strong bonds and future prospects.
Running to renew his title, Lawrence Salcido is a long time Renegade pushing through his final year. His passion for this school is shown through his involvement on campus. He is involved in multiple student organizations such as the BC Renegamers, the American Sign Language Club, and the Student Learning Alliance. Besides his student organization involvement, he is also a student leader and advocate, involved in student government and activities that involve BC students.
Gisela Campos, a kinesiology major, is from Delano California and in her fourth and final year at BC. She is pursuing her dream of becoming a Physical Therapist when she finishes up at CSU Long Beach. She is currently the president of Korean Culture Club.
While all five candidates are extremely qualified and exhibit the BC Spirit and the Renegade Pride, this year’s recipient of the 2017 Homecoming Royalty Court are: Elka Desjardins and Ganae Romo-Watson.
BCSGA and the Office of Student Life would like to thank Enchanted Bridal Boutique for their donation of the homecoming gowns and Mr. Tuxedo for their donation of today homecoming tuxedos.
The evening ended with BC’s Drumline performing outside the stadium. So fortunate to have Tim Heasley at BC.
Thank you Mary Jo Pasek for being you!
Gov. Jerry Brown signs AB 19 and AB 705
It’s been an active week for community colleges across California with Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of new legislation to make education more affordable and efficient for students across California’s Community Colleges.
The California College Promise, also known as AB 19 essentially attempts to maximize student success by encouraging full-time enrollment, and we’ve already started on a similar path at our campus with the Kern Promise. Please note that the Kern Promise is not about “free tuition.” It is a shared responsibility of the college with the student to complete their degree in a timely manner. For example, with the Associates Degree for Transfer to complete their 60 credits at BC and then transfer to CSUB or another 4 year university. For more on the Kern Promise see https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/sse/kernpromise
AB 705 legislates the use of multiple measures to determine students’ entry-level math and English placement at College. BC piloted Multiple Measures three years ago and this year it is fully instituted thanks for the intense efforts on the part of Janet Fulks, Sue Vaughn and faculty in Academic Development, English and Math. Also, thanks to the great collaboration with KHSD. The standards for the courses at BC are still the same, the only change is that we are more connected with the high schools in order to provide a seamless transition from high school to college. This saves the taxpayer money when public sector institutions are working to promote efficiency and effectiveness.
We’re equipping students with the tools they need to be successful, making sure that they’re enrolled full time and completing transfer-level math and English in their first year, which our guided pathways research has demonstrated is crucial for students to successfully make their way through college.
Korean Delegation Visits Bakersfield College
Bakersfield College was honored to host delegates from our sister city, Bucheon, South Korea. A dozen delegates, including their Vice Mayor, Oh Byoung Kwon, retired KCCD Chancellor Sandra Serrano, KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke, and John Heffner met with faculty and staff to tour our campus and learn about our incredible programs.
Btw, talking about our campus, let me take this opportunity to once again thank Kern County for passing Measure J.
Korean Delegates Visits BC. With Sandra Serrano, Tom Burke, John Heffner, Kimberly Bligh, Lesley Bonds
During their first stop, the delegates spoke with our international student services Counselor, Shohreh Rahman to learn about the support we offer to nearly 100 students from all over the world.
Prof. Shohreh Rahman
After hearing about our, world-traveling choir and theatre arts programs, our guests insisted on seeing the theatre. They quietly slipped into their seats to listen in to Dr. Jen Garrett’s students for a few moments. They were thoroughly impressed by the theatre but, more importantly, loved seeing our faculty and students in action.
The next stop was at the best restaurant in town: the Renegade Room. Chef Suzanne Tangeman invited our BC guests to the kitchen where her students were beginning a lesson, chopping vegetables to create a salad. Chef Suzanne welcomed our guests and describe the program benefits.
Chef Suzanne Tangeman and Culinary Students
Before heading to the Planetarium for a quick show led by Dr. Nick Stobel, the group swung by the Industrial Automation Robotics Lab to learn about our work to meet the demands the technology-driven business model of the 21st century.
Thank you to Manny Fernandez for leading the lab tour and talking with such enthusiasm about the way this program will help our students while meeting an industry demand.
It is customary in Korean culture to exchange gifts upon when visiting someone’s home.
To thank our guests, our BCSGA students and Student Life staff created bags filled with BC goodies.
A special thank you to Paul Beckworth, Liz Rozell, Stephen Waller, Nicky Damania, Kimberly Bligh, Tarina Perry, for coordinating this visit and sharing BC’s story with our guests. And thank you Lesley Bonds for being the lead on this. #WeAreBC
Love, Peace, and Blessings
On Monday, I was in Washington DC to present at the national Grantmakers for Education conference. This was my first time at a conference of “grant makers.” In this picture, you see me with the College Futures Foundation, Irvine Foundation, Gates Foundation and the Teagle Foundation. These individuals are smart and at their core believe in the transformative power of education. This combination of passion and intellect along with a keen sense of scalability and return on investment allows them to use the private philanthropic dollars in a very smart way. Needless to say it was a fabulous experience for an educator like me to hang out with large private philanthropic foundations at this conference. #WeAreBC
Sonya Christian, Shawn Whalen, April Yee, Christie Hill, Loni Bordoloi Pazich
Last time I was in D.C., it was Spring 2016 and I can still remember the cherry blossoms. You can visit my blog about that trip here. During that trip, I had attended the AACC Pathways Institute, but also had time to visit some of my favorite places.
During this trip, I rushed over to the national mall and walked the historical pathways between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
One of my friends asked me if I ever visited the Jefferson Memorial and the answer is sadly “no.” So for my next trip I look forward to visiting the Jefferson Memorial.
I attended the annual luncheon event, hosted by the Thursday Prayer group, for leadership in government. The keynote speaker was Rev. Oscar Anthony who gave a powerful talk on unity and prayer. Pastor Anthony graduated from BC and still engaged with the work of the college. Thank you for Jan Lockhard and the Thursday prayer group for all you support for our community.
Love, Peace, and Blessings all
The 2017 Great ShakeOut
At 10:19 on Thursday, the 2017 Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill was held on all BC campuses. The day is a reminder that earthquakes are a part of life in our state and a major earthquake could be on the horizon at any time. When the alarms rang, our whole campus followed the procedure to (1) Drop, (2) Cover, and (3) Hold on! After the two-minute drill, our buildings evacuated and each building was thoroughly checked.
Chris Counts, Sonya Christian
ShakeOut organizers note that many Californians have not experienced a damaging earthquake, such as young people or people who have recently moved to the state. They also warned that while the San Andreas fault could generate a large-scale earthquakes, up to magnitude-8, “there are over a hundred other active faults in the region that can produce smaller earthquakes.”
Our campus responded wonderfully and I reported to the Incident Command Center at exactly 10:23. The ICC immediately sprang into action receiving information from Building Marshalls, Runners, and Public Safety Personnel. Todd Coston, our Planning Chief reported all building clearings on a white board on one side of the room and Chief Counts, our Safety Officer cross checked these reports with our campus map. Each individual in the ICC has a specific role to support the Incident Commander with various responsibilities and key activities. By 10:43, we had all the information we needed to cut the alarms and give the “All Clear” signals.
We take the annual ShakeOut and all emergency drills very seriously to ensure our students, staff, and faculty are as safe as possible and also to practice responding so that we are well trained and ready in case of an emergency situation. I invite you to share Earthquake Safety for College Students, which is available at https://www.shakeout.org/downloads/2014_College_Student_Preparedness.pdf
Olivia’s story highlighted this new project, headed by Dr. Oliver Rosales, to document the oral histories of farm workers in Delano and other rural areas in Kern County, preserving all of their amazing stories for generations to come, while providing an archival resource for rural students in Kern County to research their own community’s history.
BC was blessed to be chosen for this funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to even begin work on this project, and it’s great to see it finally starting to take shape.
This Week on Social Media
On Instagram this week, Sequoia Sandwich Company featured Jack Hernandez as a regular and one of their favorite customers! His usual is posted as an oatmeal cookie and a cup of coffee. That sounds like a winning combo to me!
And then I saw these gorgeous cookies from Arisve & Bianca Pimentel and I couldn’t help but grab a screen capture to share with you all. Check them out at Pimentel Delights. We Are BC and I’m the luckiest and happiest college president, ever!
Faculty busy supporting our students and community
Thank you Dr. Oliver Rosales for moderating this panel discussing issues of poverty.
Prof. Olivia Garcia with her students
Pam Gomez tweeted from the CCPT Conf with the BC Team
This week, Coach Paula Dahl sent an email to our campus community and she said,
I am so incredibly excited about this year’s team. I have 19 completely dedicated student/athletes. They are completing a mandatory 5 hours in the tutoring center per week, taking a minimum of 15 units, many also have jobs, and one is even a parent of 2. We have future doctors, nurses, lawyers, police offers, ultra sound technicians, physical therapists and teachers in our midst. This will be a fun team to follow because they embrace hard work and a commitment to being great. Some of these incredible student-athletes do not have great support at home and are struggling to raise the $400.00 we require. This money goes towards travel gear, an exposure showcase where they are seen by 4 year coaches, Synergy a game editing software that helps them improve their game and also allows them to be seen by virtually every college coach across the country. Our program is committed to transferring our athletes.
If you would like to contact me separately I would be happy to tell you about those athletes that are struggling to meet our fundraising goal and you can adopt them for $60 dollars. This will get you a t-shirt and a team photo. Thank you for all you do to make this an incredible place to work. We hope to see you at our games. The Disneyland Drawing will be Friday November 3 not the 10th.
And if you’re interested in any of the fundraisers the team currently has going on, feel free to reach out to coach Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jon Mettus at the Bakersfield Californian published an article featuring BC Volleyball and included this quote from Coach Carl Ferreira.
“Sometimes we get caught up placing so much emphasis on performance and results and all this kind of stuff,” Ferreira said. “It really kind of puts you back a little bit to understand that the most important success we should have is just as grateful people and seeing the human spirit at work. That volleyball match was a therapeutic match for those ladies and for our team.” Don’t miss this great read located here.
The Renegades finished third in the WSC match No. 7 at the Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena, on Monday.
The Renegades beat Citrus, 1-0, on October 17th to improve to (5-5-2, 1-1-1). Odalys Espinoza scored the only goal of the game, her 8th of the season.
Jennifer Garrett and BC Chamber Singers
Bakersfield City School District held the 10th Annual Junior High/Middle School Choir Festival and BC’s Dr. Jen Garrett was the guest clinician and conductor. See the article and all the photos at bcsd.com.
Photo from bcsd.com
Photo from bcsd.com
Photo from bcsd.com
Jen also sent out an email worth sharing this week. She said:
Ken Burdick, Jen Garrett
Conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein is often quoted as saying, “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” Never before has this quote struck me more than it did Monday night as I rehearsed with the Chamber Singers. We discussed the happenings of Las Vegas with great sadness, especially as two of our students grieved for lost friends. Then we made some of the most beautiful music of the semester and I watched as the grieving students devoted themselves to the music and in some way began to heal from their loss. One of them approached me after rehearsal and said that singing did not change what happened, but it gave them the ability to think more clearly and deal with it on a personal level. Music truly can be a powerful tool for good in this world.
With that in mind I want to invite every one of our BC family to join the choirs to celebrate the power of music at our fall concert on October 27 in the Indoor Theater. It is called, “The Music of Living” and it encourages people to share in the beauty, peace, and joy that music brings to this world. I know that many today are weighed down with the happenings of all the recent tragedies, but I believe those who attend will leave inspired, and motivated to be part of the change for good. The concert also features 7 incredible local instrumentalists and one of the pieces that Dr. Ron Kean composed for the choir this past spring. I hope that you will join us for a night of celebrating how music helps us live to the fullest. The concert begins at 7:30 and tickets can be purchased from Vallitix or at the door. Faculty, staff, students, administration, seniors, and veterans are $7 and $10 general. We do tend to sell out so you might want to purchase tickets in advance or arrive early.
And, are you saving the date for the annual Culinary Caroling Dinner? I look forward to this festive event each holiday season. The date this year is December 2nd at 5:30PM. Tickets will be available from Jen, any of the Chamber Singers, or at the Fall Concert.
Community Voices by Catherine Jones
BC Professor Catherine Jones had a Community Voices piece published this week where she shared the associate degree program in Occupational Safety and Risk Management. She says, “Kern County is blessed with many types of industry and now there will be an educational pathway for safety and risk management professionals which matches the diversity in industry.” Read more here at bakersfield.com.
So what about Neo?
October 18, 2017 — 7 months old
Love, Peace, Blessings to my friends and colleagues
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
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.
In 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sonya Christian, Greg West, Rich McCrow, Paul Escala, Casey Yeazel
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Agriculture Career Camps
Two 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.
The 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.