Tag Archives: Tom Burke

Preparing for Spring 2019

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, January 12, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Spring Opening Day

Bakersfield College kicked off Spring 2019 in style, with Opening Day activities filled with laughter, fellowship, and tales of student success.

On Thursday at the Indoor Theater, faculty and staff were treated to a delicious continental breakfast catered by Hodel’s Country Dining.  I’d like thank both Hodel’s and our Food Services Department for amazing food that got everyone in the Renegade spirit before Opening Day began.

Food from Hodels & BC Food Services

Acting BCSGA President Ashley Nicole Harp began the morning’s activities with an opening address reminding faculty and staff about the Distinguished Speakers planned for this semester, including
Temple Grandin, autism spokesperson and advocate for the ethical treatment of livestock. Ashley also encouraged faculty to nominate students for BCSGA elections during the nomination period in February.

BCSGA Acting President Ashley Harp

Although I was unable to be at Opening Day in person this time, due to the ACCJC Accreditation Commission meeting, Monika Scott and Manny De Los Santos helped me prepare videos on some of the major projects we have planned for 2019, and to share some of the work that we managed to accomplish in 2018, and that we’ll continue to build on in 2019.

Our work with the Early College initiative is kicking into high gear this spring, and members of the Early College team took the stage to talk about the ways that dual and concurrent enrollment is clarifying the path for students in rural Kern County. Rural Initiatives director Abel Guzman described how Early College has already proven to effective in leveling the playing field for young people in Kern County, and outlined plans for the program to expand from Wasco and Arvin, to McFarland, Shafter and beyond. Director of Student Success & Equity Lesley Bonds provided data on the 90 percent completion rate for the program, which is predominately composed of first-generation students of color.

L to R: Sarah Baron, Christine Cruz-Boone, Abel Guzman and Lesley Bonds

For a faculty perspective, Sarah Baron and Christine Cruz-Boone shared how Early College is touching the lives of students on an individual level while maintaining the rigor expected of college-credit courses. Baron shared the touching story of one high school student in her Introduction to Public Health class who broke down crying upon realizing that she was capable of earning a college degree, and the ways that achieving a college degree could transform her life and the lives of her family members. Cruz-Boone shared a similar story from her Public Speaking and Intercultural Communication courses, and encouraged faculty to invite Early College students to participate in events to make them feel closer to the BC community.

Billie Jo Rice gave a presentation about how software such as Starfish is an integral part of BC’s patented “high-tech, high-touch” approach to student success while informing enrollment management decisions, and announced that the Academic Development is changing to the Education Department, which better reflects serving students in our Education Pathway. Kimberly Bligh described analyzing Education Pathway data and working with the Mathematics Department to triple the seats available in transfer-level math, helping meet the momentum point goal of students completing transfer-level math in their first year. She also shared how the Bridge to BC: First Year Student Success program is beginning to incorporate our award-winning Program Pathways Mapper system.

L to R: Grace Torres, Kimberly Bligh, Billie Jo Rice and Isabel Castaneda

Education Pathway data coach Isabel Castaneda went into more detail on individualized case management using Starfish, and introduced Early Childhood Education major Grace Torres, who was inspired to become a first-grade teacher by the guided pathways framework and observing the dedication that BC students and staff exhibit toward their own students. Torres is currently one of our peer mentor tutors at BC.

Nick Strobel shared some information on how the Board of Governors developed the new statewide funding formula for community colleges, and Craig Hayward showed an Excel spreadsheet he created to calculate state funding allocations on a per-student basis.

L to R: Dan Hall, Angelica Perez, Grace Torres, Kimberly Bligh, Billie Jo Rice, Isabel Castaneda, Craig Hayward & Nick Strobel

Dan Hall introduced himself in his new role as Director of our Inmate Education program over the winter break, and and shared how he’s observed the positive influence that education can have on incarcerated students during his time working in inmate education at Taft College. BC’s Inmate Scholars program manager Angelica Perez recited the mission statement pledge that incarcerated students say while in the program, and described how providing opportunities for education for those in prison reduces recidivism and makes re-entry into society easier.

Dan Hall and Angelica Perez

At the conclusion of the Inmate Education portion of the ceremony, faculty and staff watched a video about Free on the Outside, a student organization that provides support and a sense of community for previously-incarcerated students at BC.

Free on the Outside is a student organization at Bakersfield College

Todd Coston, who also served as master of ceremonies for Spring 2019 Opening Day, provided an update for the various construction projects around campus. The Campus Center is currently in the process of being demolished, and there will be a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Campus Center next Wednesday, January 16. In the meantime, Food Services has moved to the Gym Huddle, and a food truck dubbed Gades Grub will complement the other food truck vendors on campus. The Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center is slated to be completed by November 2019; renovations to Memorial Stadium will be completed in two phases; and a new gym facility and new science and engineering building are currently in planning stages.

Todd Coston

Director of Student Life Nicky Damania announced that all Campus Center services have been moved to Levinson Hall, and that the Levinson courtyard will serve as an outdoor space for students to eat and study.

Nicky Damania & Ashley Harp

Bernadette Martinez announced CSEA President Tina Johnson as the classified union’s Member of the Year, and CCA President Tom Greenwood talked about the opening of faculty negotiations.

Bernadette Martinez and Tina Johnson
Tom Greenwood

Academic Senate President Steven Holmes announced the upcoming hiring of 35 new faculty, and then took the stage again to accept the Margaret Levinson Award for Faculty Leadership. Nick Strobel and Matt Garrett presented Holmes with the award, as well as a makeover kit that included dress shoes and a tie, lightly poking fun at his often very informal appearance while praising all that he’s done to advocate for BC faculty at the district level.  Steve is quite the jokester, so his colleagues wanted to return the favor. Here are some remarks from Matt:

Some of you may only know him as the boisterous jokester, but he truly has a huge heart for BC, and this year he is completing his fifth year as senate president – a tenure that exceeds that of any other senate president in the history of Bakersfield College. In that capacity he has partnered with faculty leaders to facilitate the roll out of a variety of initiatives and software, and software, and software; but more than that Steve ferociously defended this college against district growth in policy and practice, and established an important new precedent in securing proportional representation in district wide governance.

There is not time sufficient to review all Steve has done over just the past few years.

Matthew Garrett, January 10, 2019
Matt Garrett, Steve Holmes & Nick Strobel

Donna Starr also announced physics professor Richard Darke as the recipient of the Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award, and Darke talked about taking Shirley Trembley’s math classes as a student in the ’60s, and how that inspired him to pursue a career in STEM. Starr also shared that nominations have begun for the Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium Award.

Richard Drake & Donna Starr

This year’s Opening Day was packed with information and activity! I’d like to thank our ushers, Media Services, Marketing and Public Relations, Maintenance and Operations, and everyone who came together to assemble another great Opening Day.  Also, a very special thank you to Jennifer Serratt for making sure that opening day goes off without a hitch.

Jerry Ludeke and Jennifer Serratt

Bi-Annual KCCD SGA Retreat

Chancellor Tom Burke addressing the student leaders from all three colleges

On Monday January 7th, the Bakersfield College Student Government Association travelled to our sister institution Cerro Coso Community College for the bi-annual KCCD SGA retreat, along with members of the student governments at Cerro Coso and Porterville. The 20 student officers had a full day of leadership development, presentations, and planning for the spring semester. CCCC Vice President of Instruction Dr. Chad Houck gave a presentation about the evolution of leadership ending with servant leadership as it relates to the student officers roles at each college. KCCD Chancelor Tom Burke and KCCD Chief Financial Officer Debbie Martin also made the retreat to talk about developing projects at the district office and student leaders’ fiduciary role with student funds. The SGA advisors guided the students through conversations about their reasons for joining SGA and how to recruit more officers for future SGAs. Thanks to CCCC for hosting the retreat!

Student Employment for Spring 2019

While our students are learning new job skills in their classes, the Student Employment Department at BC offers them the opportunity to bring those skills into the workplace while they’re still in school.

Since 2017, Student Employment has used the Jobspeaker platform to provide students with work experience, and job development specialists work step-by-step with students to build an online job profile and resumes that are accessible right from their phones by both students looking for work, and potential employers looking to find the perfect applicants .

Student Employment program manager Stephanie Baltazar shared that in Spring 2019 there are 574 students participating in the Jobspeaker platform. As of opening day, there were 17 open positions for on-campus employment and 60 more on-campus positions that were in the interviewing process. There are also multiple off-campus positions available for JobSpeaker students to apply for. Any student interested in creating a Jobspeaker account should visit the Student Employment Lab in FACE 11 to speak with a job development specialist — no appointment necessary.

Stephanie Baltazar

BC’s Student Employment Department is under Career and Technical Education (CTE), which is currently in the process of launching a rebranding campaign as recommended by the Strong Work Force Task Force of the California Community College’s Chancellor’s Office. Research conducted by this task force has concluded that lack of knowledge about CTE programs and opportunities is the biggest barrier to enrollment in these programs. This statewide rebranding initiative aims to increase awareness and engagement by students, businesses, union leaders and community stakeholders about career technical education programs at community colleges.

Express Enrollment Throughout Kern County

The Outreach Department hosted a series of Express Enrollment workshops this week throughout Kern County, where students could become ready to start their college journey in just one day!

Students at Express Enrollment

Throughout the week, Express Enrollment events were held at the Delano and Panorama campuses, the Job Spot, Wasco High, and Arvin High. These events have facilitated students’ ability to get processed and registered for their classes, and it’s a major factor driving growth of our student population at BC.

Stay tuned for more information about Express Enrollment events happening throughout the semester.

Students in the BC Welcome Center

Web Team Behind the Scenes

I want to also take a moment here to highlight our web team in the Marketing and Public Relations Department and everything they do to ensure that all the information on the Bakersfield College website is accurate, accessible and up-to-date for our students.

The web team works closely with every part of the campus community to update and maintain BC’s website. This includes everything from routine date and deadline changes on web pages, to adding events and workshops to the BC Calendar, to ensuring that the website is in full compliance with state and federal accessibility and FERPA regulations.

Chris Blakemore, Aricia Leighton and Earl Parsons

The web team diligently handles dozens of requests in the weeks leading up to the start of each semester, and I would strongly encourage all faculty and staff at BC to take a look at the pages related to their respective departments to provide the web team with any needed updates. Faculty and staff can submit web requests by visiting the KCCD Service Center and creating a case under “Web Services” in the “Request Type” drop-down menu.

The Marketing and Public Relations department is also responsible for coordinating all of our Opening and Closing Day activities, and they do a great job of making these events engaging experiences that keep our BC family informed about both the new projects planned for the upcoming semester, as well as what’s been accomplished by ongoing projects.

I’m proud of the work our Marketing and Public Relations team does to connect the lines of communication between our students, staff and community, and I’m grateful to have such a dynamic group in charge of our website.

Educating One Another on Campus During FLEX Week

The week before every semester our campus holds “FLEX week,” with a series of professional development workshops for new and returning faculty and staff.

Brandon Urry on Social Media 101

Measure J Updates

It’s a busy time to be a Renegade!  Not only do we have active construction for both the Campus Center and Veterans Resource Center, but we have NINE other projects underway in various stages.  You can check out a full list of the projects and their statues on the A Better BC website.  Make sure to follow our Twitter and Facebook accounts to stay up to date with all that’s going on!

Looping in the Community

The Bakersfield Californian published a great article last week about the new Bakersfield College Campus Center and the impact that it will have on student life on the campus.  Student life is at the forefront of everything we do here at Bakersfield College, and the new Campus Center will enable us to keep growing while offering the best services possible in order for them to achieve their educational goals.  Make sure to read the full article “Bakersfield College starts cashing in to $502 million bond with $38 million campus center.”  Thank you to TBC Media reporter Joseph Luiz for helping spread the word!

TBC Media Photo

Next week we are holding the Campus Center Groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate this new facility.  Please join us next Wednesday, January 16 at 10:30am on the CSS Lawn (near the Admin building). This is going to be a great event and will be a celebration our students and their future on our campus.

Veterans Bridge to BC

On Tuesday, faculty and staff led a group of incoming veteran BC students through a tour of the campus as part of the Bridge to BC, an intensive, one-day course designed for students to familiarize themselves with the BC campus and prepare for the college experience. Initially piloted as a course offered to veterans in the summer, Bridge to BC has expanded to offerings throughout the year, and there are openings now for non-veteran students throughout the Spring 2019 semester.

Veterans heading in for Bridge to BC

For more information and to register for a Bridge to BC course, visit the Bridge to BC page.

Head Athletic Trainer Fred Smith Calls it a Career

Our very own Fred Smith wrapped up his career as an athletic trainer after 35 years working in the Bakersfield College athletic department. Fred has left a lasting impact on thousands of Renegade student athletes over the years and will be missed. Make sure to check out 23ABC’s story on Fred’s retirement.  

Fred Smith

Learning From Our Students

Earlier this week BC sent a survey to our enrolled students in order to learn more about food insecurity, and the need for housing and safety of our students.  This survey is a part of Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), which helps us identify primary concerns in the areas of access to medical care, availability of services, and service gaps.

Kaiser Permanente in Bakersfield

I would like to thank Kaiser Permanente for their commitment to our students and community, and for partnering with Bakersfield College to help gather this information.

Fun Photos: Happy Birthday Dean Waller

Steve Waller celebrates his birthday with STEM folks this week. Janet Thomas made the bunt cake filled with Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms.

Dean Waller slicing up some birthday cake.

Fun Photos: Opening Day

Janet Tarjan, Jerry Ludeke, and Gayle Richardson
Manny Mourtzanos as Steve Holmes

Renegade Athletics Roundup

Baseball/Softball Season is just around the corner

Our Renegade baseball and softball teams open the season in just a few weeks. Check their schedule on GoGades.com and make plans to enjoy some games in-person this spring. Home games will be live-streamed on the athletic Facebook page – search Bakersfield College Athletics to follow.

Baseball 2019 Promo Photo
Softball 2019 Promo Photo

Renegade Online Student Hub in Shafter

On Friday, David Franz, the Education Partnership Director for the City of Shafter, and employees from the Shafter Learning Center visited the Renegade Online Student Hub to receive training on supporting BC students in Shafter that are either taking online classes, or using technology in their face-to-face classes. Starting this Spring, the Shafter Learning Center will provide a dedicated space for BC students who live in the Shafter community to get online support, help with classes, and access online tutoring.

Renegade Online Student Hub training


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

‘Tis the season to be a Renegade!

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

BC’s Jason Frando just keeps swimming

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

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

Check out the video on YouTube!

Weekend Adventures

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

Education Strategy Session

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

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

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

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

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

Educational Systems and Intersegmental Pathways Task Force

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

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

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

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

Sue Vaughn retires a Renegade

Sue Vaughn and friends

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

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

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

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

Some of Sue’s notable career highlights include:

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

A couple of fun facts about Sue include:

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

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

BC talks Open Enrollment on Telemundo!

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

Watch video of their appearance on KGET.

Delano De-stress Fest

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

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

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

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

Thank you for the support!

Delano Suicide Awareness

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

A must-read by Jack Hernandez

Newspaper article

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

Another must-read by Jack Hernandez

Jack Hernandez
Jack Hernandez

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

A Rule

My monkish soul

seeks a rule

in this familiar

place where windows

dazzle no longer,

the call of a full

order or stomach

receding like mother’s

admonition to clean

my dinner plate.

The days unfold

with limited promise,

my genes fulfilled

mind stuffed

with books

instructions not

to blink

before strong

ideas no matter

how strange their eyes.

A young woman

walks by

a baby in each arm

her days

ruled like mine

when flushed with time,

The rule of life

I seek now

is a grace to light

this cloistered dusk.

South Kern Sol shines light on Renegade Pantry

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

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

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

Norma Rojas-Mora appears on Telemundo

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

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

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

Watch video of Norma’s appearance on Telemundo.

Fun photos from the Faculty Tenure Party

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

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

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

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

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

Fun holiday photos

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

Fun photos around Bakersfield

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

Fun photos from the CSEA Potluck

Photos from the KCCD Board of Trustees Meeting

Executive Suite Holiday Potluck

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

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

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

Outdoor Fun

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

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

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

North High and BC start holiday season on a high note

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

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

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

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

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

BC and BPD: Partners Against Crime

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

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

Holiday Tree lights up the Welcome Center

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

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

Kern Education Pledge

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

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

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

Mary Barlow
Mary Barlow

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

Kristin Beale
Kristin Beale

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

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

Renegade Report

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

Segment with Darrell Ballard

Segment with Scarlett Sabin

Segment with Robert Carter

Renegades of the Week

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

Renegades of the Week

Vada Lewis, Women’s Basketball

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

Anieus Medrano, Men’s Basketball

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

Roundup of Athletics Events This Week

As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include:

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

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

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


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

We are BC! and We are Valley Strong!

Woke up this morning to Bakersfield College making the front page of The Bakersfield Californian, above the fold.  A good day to be a Renegade!

Joseph Luiz of The Bakersfield Californian covered the launch of the implementation of Measure J with some level of detail.

Reconstruction of BC July 14 2018 TBC Front Page above the fold

Loved this statement from Trustee Bill Thomas

“This is the official getting-underway,” trustee Bill Thomas said of the two approved motions. “We’re beginning the reconstruction of Bakersfield College. If (the college) was a ship, I would have broken a bottle of champagne on it.”

Here is the map of the new BC after Measure J.

Map of new BC July 14 2018 TBC.png

You can find the entire article here: https://tinyurl.com/ycnnevcx

 

State of the City Luncheon

The Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce did a phenomenal job with the State of the City event.  Thank you Chamber staff.  You rock!

Nick Ortiz and Karen Goh with Chamber Staff

 

Bakersfield College attended in full force  — Trustee Bill Thomas, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Chancellor Tom Burke, Vice Chancellor John Means, Karen Thompson — Chair of the BC Foundation, Tom Gelder — Exec Director of the Foundation, Heather Penella — Foundation Manager, Norma Rojas-Mora — Director of Community Relations, Tamara Baker — Manager Community Relations, Endee Grijalva — Manager, Jaime Lopez — Manager.

Romeo Agbalog, Jaime lopez, Endee Grijalva

Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Jaime Lopez, Endee Grijalva

Karen Goh, Tamara Baker, Norma Rojas Mora

Karen GohThe luncheon was extremely informative, as Mayor Goh discussed branding efforts taking place in Bakersfield to promote our city to outsiders as a great place to live, work and play.  I was struck, yet again, by the homelessness issues in our community and am proud of the work being done by Louis Gill and the Homeless Shelter.  Karen Goh also highlighted education, workforce development and economic development in the State of the City.

Thank you Mayor Karen Goh for also highlighting our recent history making graduation of firsts of 2018 in BC’s Baccalaureate Class of  Industrial Automation, Wonderful Early College, and the first graduate to receive a degree in Public Health.

Alan TandyCity Manager Alan Tandy updated us on the Thomas Road Improvement Project and recognized Congressman Bill Thomas for bringing in the resources to us from Washington DC.  Tandy then  spoke about a proposed Public Safety & Vital Services Measure that will appear on the November 6 ballot.

The measure would increase sales tax by one percent, which would LOCALLY fund community priorities, such as increasing a public safety presence in our community. 

Todos Somos BC!

So happy to have Norma Rojas Mora as part of the BC Team.  Check out this 5-minute video.  Todos Somos BC!

Norma Rojas Mora on Telemundo June 2018.png

https://tinyurl.com/yaz5576x

RESOUND!

Next Friday, the BC Golden Empire Drum Corps will perform at RESOUND! This competition brings international talent to our Memorial Stadium and you don’t want to miss it. Tickets are available now at Vallitix.

And if you weren’t convinced already that you have to see these talented men and women on the field, take a moment to watch the video below about BC’s team attending the DCI World Championships this year.  Read the full article at www.DCI.org.

$1 Million investment by Assembly Member Rudy Salas

The excitement continues from last week’s announcement by Assembly Member Rudy Salas.   Watch this short video that I did not post last week.

 

It was incredible to see this on the front page of The Delano Record with photography from the fabulous Felix Adamo. Did you know Felix is a Renegade? Last December I had an opportunity to share lunch with Felix and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and I shared it in my blog back then. While at BC, Felix had an early love for photography and was involved with both the Renegade RIP and the BC Raconteur.

 

 

Special thanks to Tamara Baker for the article. If you haven’t picked up a copy of The Record, you can see the article online.

You also don’t want to miss Tamara’s Community Voices Piece titled “We are valley strong.”

Community Voices Tamara Baker July 12 2018

 

BC-MESA Interns

On Monday, BC Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) students and staff were treated to presentations from 3 BC-NRCS intern presentations. Juan Alvarez, Regional Director for the Office of Advocacy and Outreach for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Javier Flores, from the National Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) and BC alumnus, introduced the interns. Javier and Juan are also on the BC-MESA Board and serve as mentors for the BC-MESA Students.

i-qwspv6w-x2The BC-NRCS internship is a 6 week program generously sponsored by BC-MESA supporters such as AERA Energy and Chevron. There is a rigorous competitive process for selecting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) students through essays, and interviews that intern Jose Mercado-Solis said “was totally worth it.” Four students were selected this year and three attended the first session which ended July 6th. Those three students, Julius Ntui, Dung Vo and Jose Mercado-Solis presented to the group their experiences and projects during the 6 weeks.

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While the students had different favorite projects and different least favorite aspects of the experience, like poor Dung was “attacked by foxtails” and had to throw away her socks, they were all thankful for the experience as a recurring theme in each of the presentations. They were able to apply knowledge from classes at BC to real situations with local farmers, helping them use resources for the betterment of the farmer and the environment. They got to experience what their chosen career will really be like. They were thrilled to be treated like employees and enjoyed the camaraderie they experienced with the knowledgeable employees at NRCS and the physical exertion of being in the field. They all had a lot of fun and were very thankful to the MESA staff and their mentors.

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MESA provides academic support to educationally disadvantaged students so they can excel in math and sciences and graduate with degrees in engineering, science and technology. The MESA program goal is to increase the number of educationally disadvantaged community college students who transfer to four-year institutions and earn degree in math science, engineering or computer science fields.

These experiences are so important for our students and I enjoy hearing the wonderful things our students are doing. Each of the interns plans to go on to a 4-year college. Julius, a recent graduate in Civil Engineering, will be attending Howard University in the fall; Dung, plans to extend her studies to other areas of Engineering and hopes to transfer to University of California, Berkeley in the future; and Jose is transferring to CSU Long Beach for Chemical Engineering. I am so thankful to our STEM sponsors like AERA and Chevron for giving these opportunities to our students.

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2018 CCCSAA Professional Development Conference

Our Director of Student Life, Dr. Nicky Damania, hosted the 2018 CCCSAA Professional Development Conference from Wednesday, June 20th to Friday, June 22nd at Riverside City College. This is the third year that he was the professional development conference chair for the California Community College Student Affairs Association (CCCSAA), which has been a California professional association that focuses on networking, student and professional development, and advocating for the field of Student Affairs and Student Leadership within the California Community College system. CCCSAA also promotes and advances public two-year post-secondary education and stimulates effective working relationships in the field.

Prof Dev Conference (1)

This year’s conference was in partnership with American Student Association of Community Colleges (ASACC), a national association for student government advisors. Attendees at the conference underwent a rigorous Advisor Training Certification Program that built on their current set of skills and developed other skills as well. At this conference, there were advisors and administrators from 52 California Community Colleges and six colleagues from other states. With the funding assistance of BCSGA, Dr. Damania was able to bring along five student organization’s advisors to participate in the program: Jordan Rude, Assistant Professor of Psychology, David Riess, Professor of Psychology, Andrew Bond, Associate Professor of English, Heidi Forsythe, Adjunct Faculty in Communication, and Pearl Urena, Educational Advisor in Counseling for Pre-Law. Each of the advisors will be presenting throughout the year to educate other student organization advisors. At the end of the program, each of them received an advisor completion certificate from ASACC.

Jobspeaker Workshop at BCSW

On Wednesday, a Jobspeaker workshop was held at BC SouthWest. Rosa Perez and Jessica McGrath are shown in the photo below with checkout prizes for the students and attendees.

Jobspeaker_table

Studies show that students who work on campus are more likely to persist with their studies and through their hands-on work experience, students become better acquainted with faculty, staff, and their ultimate career goals.

Bon Voyage Concert

Before the BC Chamber Singers took their seats on the plane to jet off to their once-in-a-lifetime experience, we gathered for some music and celebration of talent at the Bon Voyage concert last weekend. Friends and families packed the indoor theater alongside supporters like Cindy Collier, Kate Pluta, Trustee Kyle Carter, Kim McAbee, Deborah Rosenthal and more.

 

Love Monty Byrom supporting our music program at BC.  Really very special!

Check out Imagine

Love Monty Byrom doing Hallelujah

The last song for the evening, BC Chamber singers’ signature piece, Bridge Over Troubled Waters.  Featured guests, Monty  Byrom and Lydia Ranger.

Chamber Singers take Australia

After multiple buses and planes, the BC Chamber Singers have landed in Australia. #BCtakesAustralia is the hashtag on social media

Chambersingers_Aus

In the words of the talented Dr. Jennifer Garrett,

“Today has been unbelievably amazing. I don’t think I can explain it! We began with singing on the radio and then traveled to Rainforest Station. We first went on an army duck through the rainforest which I could have done 4 more times! Our guide pointed out plants, water dragons, a tree called a stinging tree that literally stings you, and the best part was actually going into the water and the vehicle turning into a boat! Unbelievable! I have more video to show them my WiFi can post!

Chambersingers_Aus_GroupatRainforest

Chambersingers_Aus_JGarrettThen we had an aboriginal experience where a man demonstrated how to throw Spears. Next everyone learned actually tried to throw a boomerang! Some were incredible at it. Then we learned how to play the didgeridoo which was amazing! And we saw some aboriginal dancing and again heard the didgeridoo. If all that wasn’t amazing enough we also experienced kangaroos right next to us and were able to pet them!!! We also saw other Australian animals including wallaby, Tasmanian devil, cassowary, and more. But the best part was holding and taking a picture with a koala!!!! It was on my list. “Must do’s” in Australia. I only wish I could have held it a little longer.

Then we went to Kuranda for lunch and were able to go into shops. It truly has been an unforgettable day and it’s only 3 pm. Now we have the opportunity to do an exchange concert with a local choir, “Soul Song” and as we boarded the bus the Chamber Singers were saying. “I’m ready to sing now!” What a day!!!” #bctakesaustralia

The next stop on their tour was to perform with the Sydney University Madrigal Society at a local church. #WeareBC

Jen Garrett FB Sydney Univeristy Madrigal Society

Express Enrollment at BC!

Maddie Janssen at KGET interviewed BC’s Manuel Muralles, Educational Advisor early in the morning on Tuesday to share details about BC’s Express Enrollment event. Watch the clip on the KGET website. I’ve heard the event was another success and Ashlea Ward from BC’s Outreach team shared with me that it was great to see students leave fully enrolled with a personalized set of classes for fall. If you or someone you know is interested in enrolling at BC, there is no better time than now.  The next Express Enrollment event is scheduled to take place on August 7th at the Panorama campus. Learn more here!

KGETExpressEnrollment

Bachelors Degree Conference

Craig Hayward, Michele Bresso, Michelle Pena, and Manny Fernandez attended the Bachelor’s Degree Conference at Cypress College this past week. While there, they discussed the Interim Evaluation of Baccalaureate Degree Pilot programs and the Legislative Analyst Report.

Bachelors Degree Conference

2018 Curriculum Institute

Bakersfield College was at the annual Curriculum Institute at Riverside this week.  Here is the team at dinner.

BC Team at Curriculum Institute July 2018.jpg

BC at the Curriculum Institute July 2018.jpg

BC’s Curriculum Chair, Jennifer Johnson presented at this year’s Curriculum Institute. Michelle Pena shared with me that Jennifer covered important issues such as creating Guided Pathways, e-catalogs, Ed planning, and assessment. Thank you Michelle Pena for the picture!

Richard Goode, Porterville; Carrie Edwards, Cerritos College; Jennifer Johnson, Bakersfield College; and Patrick Backes, College of the Canyons.

Richard Goode, Porterville; Carrie Edwards, Cerritos College; Jennifer Johnson, Bakersfield College; and Patrick Backes, College of the Canyons.

Janet Fulks presenting at the Curriculum Institute with Ginni May

Janet Fulks and Virginia May July 2018

And then there is the group that really does the curriculum work at the colleges — the Curriculum Specialists.   They are so into protecting every detail of the curriculum that they christened Friday of the Institute “Curriculum is my happy place” and wore t-shirts to prove it.  At BC we have the amazing Sharon Bush.

Curriculum Institute Sharon Bush and gang

(Left to right) Amy Nelson (college of the desert), Nancy Dayton (Berkley), Herbert Cortex (Hartnell), Dixie Krimm (imperial), Jojie  Magbuhat (college of desert), Kristina Heilgeist (San Bernardino), Liz Locke (Barstow), Sharon Bush (Bakersfield College), Kaylene Thomas (Santa Barbara), Marwin Luminaries (Fullerton).

Today I salute all curriculum specialists in the 114 California Community College.  We could not do it without you.

Public Health Rocks at BC and in Kern County!

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Public Health professor, Sarah Baron recently visited the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and said on her blog, “I kept envisioning public health in Kern County and the powerful ideas we have discussed at our Hackathons and in our Bakersfield College Public Health Science classes in the Southern Central Valley.”

I covered the latest Hackathon during the Spring semester in my blog. This fascinating event takes place each year at Bakersfield College with the concept that powerful ideas can come to life when a group of students come together with passion, support, and initiative.

The weekend long event focuses on students identifying public health challenges and creating solutions for a healthier community. This past year, by the end of the competition, the teams had 11 projects submitted and community partners expressed interest in funding the student’s ideas!

Mayor Karen Goh at Public Health Hackathon March 2017

Sarah Baron and Public Health Graduate

The Public Health program at BC is thriving because of events like the Hackathon, creative and invested students, and inspirational faculty. This past graduation, we celebrated history-in-the-making with many programs including the Baccalaureate degree, Wonderful Ag graduates, and Public Health too!

Public Health professionals are the leaders and ambassadors to healthy futures. It’s a science and an art, but most of all – it’s a necessity to the future of Kern County.

Just this week, the Kern County Health Department released an app called Safe Diner which helps the public locate and navigate to healthy restaurants. The Bakersfield.com article mentions Kern County Public Health Director, Matt Constantine who taught last semester at BC and works alongside Professor Baron to support the future Public Health professionals. Matt also had a Community Voices piece on Thursday where he highlights the Certified Healthy program and said, “Unfortunately, in Kern County we suffer from some of the highest rates of chronic disease in the state. Kern County residents have the highest rates of death due to diabetes than any other of the 57 counties in California. One-third of Kern County children and more than 67 percent of Kern County adults are overweight or obese and obesity is one of the greatest risk factors for developing chronic diseases. With wide open spaces that provide plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation and the rich variety of locally grown produce, we can change those numbers.”

BC professors, like Sarah Baron know our current Renegades pursuing a Public Health degree will play a key part in changing those statistics.

She closes her most recent blog post by encouraging her students to “…dream big and know that everything is in your reach.  Where you have a passion and commitment the world will open it’s doors. Here are a couple of photos for you to begin planting that seed. My path never has been a straight arrow, look….you never know the places you will go!”

 

Congratulations from BC, ASACC, and CCCSAA

The American Student Association of Community Colleges (ASACC) in collaboration with the California Community College Student Affairs Association (CCCSAA) recently offered its Certified Advisors Training program at Riverside Community College.

ASACC_Logo

BC Professors David Riess and Jordan Rude participated in the three day training program and achieved the Advisor I Certification. The training provides in depth coverage of topics critical to those advising student leadership groups including conflict resolution, managing liability, and building strong teams.

The American Student Association of Community Colleges is a national organization founded in 1984 that promotes development of student leaders in three areas: leadership, citizenship and advocacy. The summer conference focuses on the professionals that serve students this year, there were over 80 participants. To learn more about ASACC, visit www.asacc.org.

Renegade Athletics

During the 2017-18 academic year Renegade athletics had 34 student-athletes sign letters of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at various schools across the country. BC faculty, staff, and administration are extremely proud of these student-athletes as they have put in a tremendous amount of work, both in the classroom and in their sport, to better themselves. They have been  representatives of Bakersfield College and good ambassadors in our community, throughout the state and now to the country. Below is a list by sport of the student-athletes and the school they signed with.

Baseball Team April 27 2018

Baseball: Taylor Burns, University of Hawaii; Chris Diaz, Hawaii Pacific; Brycin Hernandez, Cal State Bakersfield; Josh Hernandez, Briar Cliff University; Kyle Willem, Campbell University; Hudson Hartley, San Francisco State; Konner Dodge, Hope International; and Walker Frayne, Simpson College

REnegade Softball

SoftballAlexis Solis, University of St. Mary

football

FootballTyrell Eddington, Eastern Michigan University; Jeffrey Jones, University of New Mexico; Brandon Jones, University of Texas El Paso; Ernest Harris, Sam Houston State; Justin Holmes, Dakota State; Matt Hubble, Kansas Weslyan;  Stevan Thornton, New Mexico Highlands; Cesar DeLeon- Northwest Oklahoma; Malik Barkley, University of Cumberland; Mason Grantz, Humbodt State; and Brock Holloway, Dordt College

Soccer

Women’s SoccerSabrina Murillo, Texas A&M Texarcana; Jackie Padilla, Texas A&M Texarcana; and Odalys Espinoza,West Virginia Tech

BasketballTucker Eeinegenburg, Western Washington; and Henry Galinato, Benedictine College

Men’s GolfTitus Goodman, Vanguard University

Women’s GolfBrandi Borjon, Cal State Bakersfield

Volleyball Athletes

VolleyballHaley Sanchez, University of Oklahoma; Alex Paris, Niagara University; and Brooke Horack, Maramount University.

Mens Wrestling

Wrestling: Esteban Corona, Jamestown College; Pedro Corona, Jamestown College; Zavion Roberson, Jamestown College; and Ramiro Macias, Jamestown College.

Also, save the date for Renegade Football Media day on Thursday, August 9th at 11am outside Memorial Stadium. The event will provide a preview of the upcoming football season and is free to the public.

Football season tickets are on sale.  Prices range from $25 to $60 and can be purchased on-line at Vallitix.com, by calling 1 (888) 825-5484 or in-person at the Bakersfield College business office.  The Renegades will scrimmage 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!

Together we are building …A Better BC!

37019810_10155674049839352_2725489282859925504_nThings are heating up at the BC Panorama Campus with Measure J construction projects!

We will be hosting a Local Contractor Outreach Seminar here at the Bakersfield College campus on July 24.   This will be an informative outreach seminar for local contractors on the Panorama campus, and is directed towards 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 on the BC website.

Please help us spread the word that P16 parking lot on the corner of Haley and University will provide FREE parking to students for the entire 2018-2019 Academic Year in an effort to accommodate more students during the Measure J construction period.

Updated Mission Statement Poster on Campus

Aaron Kidwell from BC’s M&O team and Dylan Wang, from the Graphic Design crew visited most of the campus this week posting fresh new copies of the BC Mission Statement, Vision, and Core Values in each building and facility.

Aaron Kidwell

Aaron Kidwell

Get to know Gina Herrera, Art Faculty

Photo from VoyageLA

Photo from VoyageLA

Adjunct Art Faculty, Gina Herrera was highlighted in a recent article by VoyageLA. The piece gives some incredible insight into Professor Herrera, her background, and that her military service made higher education possible for her. She talked about her recent projects, interests, and pursuits.

“I am interested in developing proposals to engage the local community to use the things that we all throw away to raise our collective conscience, to bring awareness and healing to the way we choose to engage with the Earth,” she said.

And added, “I also think there are interesting ways to look at the way culture can inform the creative process. My Tesuque and Latina heritage and my experiences as a Veteran echo through my work … and offer a contemporary, rather than historical opportunity to consider the perspective of First Peoples.” Read the full piece today at VoyageLA.com.

BC SouthWest Bike Racks

Fernando Lara has shared that the new bike racks have gone up at Bakersfield College SouthWest! He said, “Now our faculty and students have a spot to secure their rigs!”

And while I wasn’t quite sure if anyone was biking to college during the summer weather, Fernando was quick to share that Adjunct Faculty Esmeralda Chapa cycled 9.7 miles one-way daily to teach her COMM B1 course at BC SouthWest location. Talk about dedication!

Esmeralda Chapa

Esmeralda Chapa

FIELD Graduation at EPIC de Cesar Chavez High School

The Farmworker Institute of Education and Leadership Development (FIELD) was founded in 1978 by Farmworker Leader Cesar E. Chavez and is dedicated to strengthening America’s agricultural and rural communities through the Core Values of Opportunity, Excellence, Integrity, Innovation and Si Se Puede.

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Corny Rodriguez shared some front row photos from the event with me and it was great to see some familiar faces on stage including David Villarino, Nora Dominguez, Mark Martinez, and Delano Mayor Grace Vallejo.

 

We are BC!

 

Sonya Christian July 3 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

We need each other…..Proud to be an American

Washington Monument July 7 2018Good morning Bakersfield
from our nation’s capital. 

Here is the view from my window of the phenomenal Washington Monument.  The weather in DC was perfect and my traditional walk from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial started at 8:30 p.m. as dusk fell over this historic area with the cicadas buzzing close to the trees that line both sides of the impressive expansive walkway with the water feature right in the middle.  And then as it got darker, there were hundreds of fireflies  twinkling in the air that created the perfect magical evening.

This fourth of July week has been a week of reflection triggered by the sermon of the visiting priest at St. Phillips at the 7:00 a.m. service.  His main message was that we need each other.  This then pulled me into the talk that I attended at UMC on Holy Trinity Sunday where the speaker emphasize the importance of living in community.  The individual he said becomes a person when they are connected to other individuals creating a community.  On July 5th, I attended the wake of a man who was clearly beloved by his community.  The testimony, one person after the other, was about this individual showing up with his wife and the two of them being there for others during their darkest hour.  He was there as a constant for all of his community and not just some.  And then Pope Francis stated:  Let us ask our Lord to help us understand that love is service, love means taking care of others.  All these messages, whether religious, spiritual, or secular extol the virtue of love and respect for all human beings.  And on July 4, 1776 there was a declaration with this sentence:

….. all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Washington Monument to Lincoln Memorial

Every fourth of July is an opportunity for all of us, to live a life of supporting each and every individual in our community, who, as the declaration clearly states has unalienable Rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  Let us continue to nurture the human dignity of every individual in this amazing country.

Proud to be an American.  Happy Fourth!

Bakersfield celebrated a festive day mid-week with numerous events in our community.  I checked out the scene at the River Walk that was bustling with energy, music and food.

Did you know that this Fourth of July, Intel had planned its first-ever drone light show in honor of Independence Day at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California. The event ended up being cancelled due to windy weather conditions, but Intel released breathtaking video of the rehearsals for the light show, which were published on the YouTube channel for the San Jose Mercury News.

Intel performed its first synchronized drone show at the Opening Ceremony for this year’s Olympic Winter Games in Pyeonchang, South Korea, and the proposed drone show for Independence Day was designed to provide a safe celebration for armed services members in wildfire-prone Northern California, as well as for individuals who are part of the base’s Exceptional Family Member Program, which offers support for active personnel who require dependents to provide special physical or psychological care, according to an article by Wired. BC has a great Robotics program and drone technology is part of the curriculum.  

I grabbed this fun photo from Facebook of Sociology Professor, Eleonora Hicks celebrating July 4th  at the Lincoln Memorial. You can see the WAshington Monument behind them.

Thank you Assembly Member, Rudy Salas

Rudy Salas with group

img_7643-lLast week Bakersfield College was awarded $1 million allocated from the 2018-2019 state budget to fund our Rural Initiative programs in rural Kern, thanks to the hard work and tenacity of Assemblyman Rudy Salas.  We held a Public Statement here at the Bakersfield College campus on Tuesday where students, staff and community leaders could come together to celebrate this amazing support.

I am beyond proud that our college has been recognized as a regional and statewide leader with the strategic goal of expanding access to workforce development programs.

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The North Kern area, which includes the cities of Delano, McFarland, Shafter and Wasco, has seen a student headcount growth of 79%.  This funding will support and help to expand the following programs:

  • Launch of the first HVAC Certificate and Associate of Science Degree programs in Fall 2018 targeting North Kern, which includes the cities of Delano, Shafter, Wasco & McFarland
  • Establishment of a new chemistry course designed to satisfy the local general education science requirement for CTE degrees.
  • Expansion of the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation to the Delano campus, for the North Kern community.
  • Expansion of the mobile welding program, to provide a broader welding program to Arvin/Lamont and other rural areas.
  • Expansion of the Rural Initiatives Distance Education (RIDE) project.

As you all know, supporting student success is at the core of Bakersfield College’s mission and this funding will help influence not only current students, but also those of generations to come.  This truly is an amazing time to be a Renegade!

Special thank you to Assemblymember Rudy Salas, Senator Jean Fuller, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, and KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke.

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Rudy Salas, Sonya Christian, Tom Burke, Romeo Agbalog

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Manny Fernandez, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog, Tom Burke, Freddie, Rudy Salas, Abel Guzman

Standing: Prof. Manny Fernandez, Sonya Christian, Trustee Romeo Agbalog.  Sitting: Chancellor Tom Burke, Student Freddie Maldonado, Assembly Member Rudy Salas, Abel Guzman

See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

And special thanks to Joseph Luiz of the Bakersfield Californian for covering this event. See his article at Bakersfield.com.

Joseph Luiz

Joseph Luiz, Bakersfield Californian

PLTW Camp

Engineering and Industrial Technology Professor Roy Allard created an amazing video showcasing the 2018 Project Lead the Way Automation Camp. This specific camp was all about building robots and using drones. Dean Michele Bresso said, “When you see the excitement on the faces of these young students, you know that Professors Allard and Fernandez, Yadira Guerrero, Jose Sepulveda and other wonderful folks in our Industrial Tech department have done an incredible job to inspire young people with all the possibilities of technology, now and in the future. I’m so proud of their work!”

I am so proud of the dedicated work of our faculty and staff. My friends, can’t you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

Youth Renegade Wrestling Camp

Wrestling Camp in actionThe BC wrestling team held the Renegade youth wrestling camp on June 29th and 30th.  Over forty youth wrestlers from Kern County attended the camp.  The BC coaches and guest clinician, Quincy Osborn (assistant wrestling coach at Concordia University and a Division III National Champion at Augsburg College) taught proper wrestling techniques to the enthusiastic group of youngsters.  BC Head Coach Brett Clark said that there were some future Renegades at the camp.

Wrestling Camp Group Photo

Alix Solis Signs at the University of Saint Mary

ALEXIS SOLIS

Alexis Solis

Alexis Solis, a sophomore outfielder with the Bakersfield College softball team, has signed to continue her softball career and education at the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, KS.

Solis played in 81 games in her career at BC. She batted .366 with 15 home runs, 73 RBI and scored 69 runs.

Congratulations to Alexis and all our Renegade Athletes!

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Sikh Peace Parade

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Nan at the parade

I was cleaning out the junk folder in my email last weekend when I noticed some lovely pictures that Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg had sent me from the Sikh Peace Parade in downtown Bakersfield.  The annual parade celebrated Bakersfield’s Sikh community with food at Mill Creek Park and beautiful floats marching down 18th Street.

The week before, the Sikh community also celebrated the annual Sikh Nagar Kirtan parade in Southwest Bakersfield, which brought together Sikhs to sing hymns and pass out refreshments in honor of the Guru Granth Sahib, the religious scripture of Sikhism. Both celebrations correspond with the festival of Vaisakhi, which celebrates Guru Gobind Singh’s creation of the Khalsa Panth, a community of initiated Sikh warriors, in 1699.

Finding these pictures of Nan with Trustee Romeo Agbalog and his wife Lilly was definitely one of the highlights of my weekend, and I’m so grateful that our campus leadership is so engaged with our community.

Special Notes from Friends of BC

Fred Misono, proud Renegade Alumni and past president of the Bakersfield West Rotary sent me a kind email after attending the Air Force Band’s performance at BC on June 26th. If you missed my blog last weekend, where I covered this evening, check it out here. 

But back to Fred’s email! He said:

Thanks so much for your part in hosting the Air Force Band concert on Tuesday evening.  It was my wife and my first time to attend a program in your new venue and we were quite impressed and proud as BC Alumni.  Tried to get your attention, but you were busy tending to your special guests while managing crowd control over a standing room only audience.  Also, thanks for providing an up lifting evening of patriotism to our community, which our 9 year grandson totally enjoyed.  Only disappointed that you weren’t donning your very special West Rotary Taft College speaker’s t shirt!

See my blog entry from June 2016, when Fred presented me with the Taft College shirt here.

Summer Drawing I

Professor Diego Monterrubio recently shared with me that his midterms for Summer Drawing I were a huge success. I love every time he shares his students art with us. Let’s take a moment to enjoy these talented Renegades and their creations!

Fun Summer Photos

Fernando Lara, BC SouthWest Program Manager shared some photos from the summer activities taking place at BC SouthWest.

BC’s SALT, Student Affairs Leadership Team held their summer retreat at BC SouthWest in June.

Last month, Public Safety Officer Carlos Rios in action during BC SouthWest fire drill. Fernando shared that faculty members, Fabiola Butcher and Scott Dirkse did an excellent job of clearing the building in less than four minutes. Go BC Public Safety!

Jennifer Garrett and a few Chamber Singers were on the morning show!

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Check back later I will have more photos and videos from the Bon Voyage concert.

 

Sonya Christian 3 at Finish in 4 May 7 2018That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

We are Bakersfield!

Good Morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 21, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade.

The Renegade Red and White Roses are bursting out creating a joyous walkway into my home.

Great week at BC and in our community.  Let me start with the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

Thursday was the 28th annual Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference and Bakersfield College staff and faculty were in full force attending the workshops and tuning into the messages from keynote speakers. The conference allows women in business to network, find mentors, and develop friendships with to advance their careers and or businesses. Many of the workshops focus on topics from a feminine perspective and included topics on health and wellness addressing healthy lifestyles, nutrition and breast cancer. Communication workshops addressed techniques for overcoming lessons learned as girls to be more effective in the business world. There were several on maintaining the balance of work and family.

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Josie Gullian and Endee Grijalva

The Conference also held many empowering workshops on leadership such as “Secure Your Place at the Table – Women Leading in Male Dominant Territory” by District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, Assembly Member Shannon Grove, and Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez.

While the name and focus of the conference is women, men are also welcome and there were many workshops that were gender neutral on many business topics including business strategies, leadership and finance. Richard Chapman, head of Kern EDC, presented on “Kern County’s Economic and Workforce Development Opportunities and Possibilities.” The keynote speakers and many of the workshop speakers were motivational for everyone.

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The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference is a major supporter of the R.O.S.E. (Realizing Options for Student Excellence) mentor program. The program matches high school students with mentors and has several seminars, to aid student mentees in recognizing their value and self-worth. Topics for the seminars focus on careers, communication, balancing life, money, safety and building self-confidence. The mentees receive a scholarship to cover the cost of attending the BWBC. Conference attendees were impressed by one of the mentees that spoke about the benefits of being in the program and to encourage all the women present to become a mentor. This is a wonderful program and I encourage all of you to consider becoming a mentor.

Like the R.O.S.E. program, BC encourages and mentors students to better themselves through education and gave some BC students the opportunity to attend the BWBC. EOPS/CARE/CalWORKS purchased two tables, and sponsored fourteen women from all three programs to attend the 2018 Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference. These ladies are all single parents who are striving to achieve a better life for their families through education. The importance of exposing our students to different events such as the BWBC is vital to their growth, and development as students, professionals, and individuals. They were able to develop networking skills, meeting highly successful women, and gaining valuable business knowledge that will empower them to become strong leaders.

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Debi Anderson, Steve Watkin, and Sandi Taylor at BC’s Booth

The 2018 luncheon keynote speak was Laila Ali, undefeated boxing champion, television host and entrepreneur. She is also well known for her famous father Mohamed Ali and treated BWBC attendees to several picture of her young self with her famous and doting father. She told us of many of the trials in her life that she overcame to be a successful and very driven business woman. Her stories were relatable to what many women and girls face in this time and she is a great example of encouragement for all women.

Joseph Luiz has a Bakersfield Californian Article mentioning highlights from the day.

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Kimberly Bligh and Mary Jo Pasek

i-gmdtwhz-x3It was great to be invited to be the closing keynote at the Women’s Business Conference.  BC women leaders gave birth to this event. Phyllis Hullett – In 1989, BC professor started the Bakersfield Business Womens Conf. as an idea during the International Year of the Woman. She gathered friends and coworkers, and out of one meeting of 12 women and 1 lone man, Pat Shaffer, Dean of Development at Bakersfield College, agreed to serve on the executive board. The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference was born.

I focused on the important guiding tools of Choice, Commitment, Compassion, and Community while interweaving music from the song “We are the World.”  The session concluded by having about 25 women leaders on the stage in red We are Bakersfield t-shirts singing We are the World with the BC Chamber Singers.

I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever and by the end of my talk, I was surrounded on stage by talented musicians, community leaders, fellow educators, friends, and family. We are Bakersfield! 

Loved Robin Mangarin Scott’s introduction of me in that beautiful voice.  Robin was representing the sponsors of the keynote — Dignity health and CBCC.

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I want to start by thanking Heidi Scott.  If it wasn’t for Heidi, I would not have had the courage to do the music.

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Heidi Scott, Sonya Christian

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We invited the whole audience to stand and join us in song.

 

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Kaya Leyendecker and Heidi Scott

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The Chamber Singers had their Spring Concert at the BC Indoor Theater the same evening.  Yet they decided to come our and support me and do We are the World..  Thank you Jen Garrett.  Your energy is astounding and you are out there constantly giving to others.

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BC Chamber Singers

Was so happy to have women leaders from Delano join us.  Thank you April Gregerson for organizing this.  and thank you Rosalina Rivera and Sandra Rivera.

Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Sonya Christian, April Gregerson

Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Sonya Christian, April Gregerson

Thank you to all these fabulous busy women who showed up support the event.

Community Leaders

Liz Rozell, April Gregerson, Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Ingrid Lake, Cathy Abernathy, Raji Brar, Immani Brar

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Pam Rose, Mia Cifuentes, Victoria, Lilly Agbalog, Cheryl Scott, Lauren Skidmore

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Trustee Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Michael Bowers

 

Cathy Abernathy and Sonya Christian

Cathy Abernathy, Sonya Christian

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Cheryl Scott, Sonya Christian

Thank you Norma Rojas-Mora for helping me recruit the women leaders in our community.

Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas Mora, Lisa Kent

Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora, Lisa Kent

Was happy to meet Bethany Rice, Billie Jo Rice’s daughter.  Beautiful, smart young woman.  And then the lighting and sound guys, Manny Gomez and Ryan McCallah, who let me know they were also the ones who did the work in setting up the lighting and sound systems in BC’s newly remodeled Indoor Theater!

 

 

Thank you to the 2018 Executive Board, Diane Williams, Norma Rojas-Mora, Marisol ONeil, Susan Spears, Arleana Waller, Diane Williams, Christina Springstaad, Irma Cervantes, Tayna Nichols, Deanna Blaise, Marelle Williams, LaMeka Ross, Leigh Pozas, and Colleen Bauer. bwbc-group-768x513

Thank you for being great sports and wearing the We are Bakersfield t-shirt and joining us on stage

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Thank you to Manny De Los Santos, William Velasquez, Monika Scott, Jennifer Serratt, and Asha Chandy.  Here are some photos of the folks behind the scenes.

Loved this photo of William Velasquez relaxing after the session.

William Velasquez

 

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BC Crew in Attendance

Kern County Black Chamber Honors Bakersfield College

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Bakersfield College were honored by the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce with the Outstanding Corporate Member Award. In accepting the award, I acknowledged the efforts of all those who have worked hard on the African American Initiative and Dr. Zav Dadabhoy for being an “equity” champion and finding the necessary resources to support the equity agenda.

I specifically recognized the efforts of Dr. Paula Parks, Umoja Community lead, in increasing the success of Black students on campus, and Mr. Steve Watkin, Director of Outreach, in increasing their access and contributing to BC’s equity agenda. I then handed the award to Steve who has been leading the AAI effort on campus.

Steve Watkin

 

BC had two tables that included administrators, faculty, staff, and Umoja students.

Sonya Christian, Steve Watkin and BC receiving award at KCBCC

Also honored at 15th Annual Gala was CSUB President Dr. Horace Mitchell with the Lifetime Achievement Award. I will miss you Horace when you retire.  Loved seeing Cindy Pollard being recognized as the Business Woman of the Year.  Enjoyed catching up with Jim Baldwin (who won the award for Outstanding Community Organization) and Rudy Salas. Spotted Danielle Hillard, Michelle Miller-Galaz and Nick Hill and snapped a picture.

Jim Baldwin, Sonya Christian, Rudy Salas April 20 2018

Enjoyed catching up with Mayor Karen Goh who is a big supporter of education.

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Sonya Christian April 20 2018 croppedThe keynote speaker for the event was Mathew Knowles, Beyonce’s father… what a treat!  Have a picture of him with Shannon Grove and Karen Goh.

Congratulations to all other award recipients:
Cindy Pollard, the Distinguished Businesswoman Award,
James Luckey, Jr. of the News Observer, Distinguished Businessman Award,
Judge Gloria Cannon with the Business Pioneer Award,
CSUB President Horace Mitchell, the Lifetime Achievement Award
Barrington Lewis, the Outstanding New Business Award,
Sharron Lehrer, the Outstanding Young Achievers Award, and Jim Baldwin of BARC, Outstanding Community Based Organization Award.

Thank you Kern County Black Chamber (KCBCC) for recognizing Bakersfield College. Thank you Richard Soberanis, CEO of the Chamber.  And congratulations Nathan Banks…looking forward to great things under your chairmanship of the Chamber Board.

KCBCC has been a great partner of Bakersfield College and supported us in 2016 with Measure J.  I am sure we will continue to work closely together for many years to come.

Social Justice and Health Hackathon at BC

30653393_10215531998558279_9031222892318162944_nThe preliminary panel kicked off this years Hackathon and really set the stage for a fantastic and meaningful event.  Each of the panel members discussed what were the pressing issues and the solutions they wanted to explore. This helped the teams form around the issues and begin developing ideas.  Over the next three days, teams worked hard to develop these concepts and then competed in a 3 minute pitch, one page community impact report, and technology competition.

Thank you to Mayor Karen Goh for attending the kick off and inspiring the student teams.

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Mayor Karen Goh inspires at the Hackathon Kick Off

Thank you to the Preliminary Session on Health Inequality Challenges and Solution panelists including, moderator Kiyoshi Tomono, Genevieve Gale, Sandy Woo, Brynn Carrigan, Michelle Corson, Christy Leyvas,and Jack Becker.

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Eddie Rangel, Sandy Woo, Karen Goh, Kiyoshi Tomono, Jennifer Self, Sarah Baron

By the end of the competition, 11 projects had been submitted and community partners have expressed interest in funding their ideas! All the student groups submitted great projects and please do stay in touch with us for years to come. Now for the finalists and winning team!

Project Kern Air- 1st Place

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Created an app concept to raise awareness on air quality in Kern

Congratulations to: Noe Ramirez, Victoria Corrales, Troy Scott, Justin Morales, and
Krystal Reynes

 

R.A.H.T ( Renegade Against Human Trafficking)- 2nd Place

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Created a tech tool to help connect those who are victims of human trafficking with help.

Congratulations to: Janneth Guarcas Garcia, Alexander Glascock,  Carlos Hernandez, Maria Cabrera, and Stefanie Medina

Sex shouldn’t make you next- 3rd Place

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Created a website for youth to raise awareness sexual transmitted diseases and also help connect resources to those who are risk of a STD.

Congratulations to: Yajaira Hernandez, Elizabeth Martinez, Jessica Macias, Jessica Jaime, and Crystal Quintevo.

Beyond the winners, it was about the team work, the sharing of ideas and networking with partners.  Special thanks to the sponsors and the great support from BCSGA clubs.

Can’t wait for next years event! This one keeps getting bigger and better! Check out my blog titled “The Renegade Experience is Incredible” from last years equally awesome event.

Jess Nieto Memorial Conference: Exploring Chicano Studies at BC

The conference really hit home…It felt like a family reunion.” Francisco Barroso, Bakersfield College student.

Jess Nieto Memorial Conference

On Tuesday, April 17 the Levan Center for the Humanities hosted the first annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference: Exploring Chicano Studies at Bakersfield College.  Named after the late Dr. Jesus “Jess” Nieto, a former faculty member and Dean of the BC Delano Center in the 1970s, the conference honored Dr. Nieto’s legacy in creating the first Chicano Studies curriculum implemented at Bakersfield College.  A Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), this conference celebrated the cultural contributions of Bakersfield’s Chicano/Latino community to the history of Bakersfield and beyond.

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Corny Rodriguez speaking in the Levan Center

The conference featured two panel presentations and a keynote address.  Prior to the panels, Corny Rodriguez welcomed guests, as well as presenting, along with moderator Octavio Barajas a certificate of recognition on my behalf to Professor Rosa Garza in acknowledgement for her more than twenty years of teaching at Bakersfield College, as well as serving as faculty advisor to MEChA.  The first panel consisted of former and current student members of the Bakersfield College student organization MEChA, or Movimieno Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán.

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The second panel consisted of an academic showcase by Bakersfield College faculty members Professors Olivia Garcia and Javier Llamas, who discussed the history of women in farm labor activism and the historic Benito Juarez Hall in East Bakersfield as a site of community activism among local Mexican Americans for the past century.  Professor Garcia’s talk on the late Esther Uranday, one of the longest serving staff members of the United Farm Workers, was particularly meaningful given that Esther’s daughter and family members were in attendance.

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Professor Gonzalo Santos of CSU Bakersfield rounded out the faculty panel by discussing the personal of history of Jess Nieto as an international activist, through his various educational and social justice ties with Cuba, Central America, and China, including a number of educational exchange programs Dr. Nieto organized with education groups since the 1970s.  The final presentation included a book talk by Professor Ralph Ambruster-Sandoval of UC Santa Barbara who spoke about his latest book Starving For Justice: Hunger Strikes, Spectacular Speech, and the Struggle for Dignity (University of Arizona Press 2016).  Guests were also treated to a special performance by Bakersfield College alumnus and world-renown percussionist Louie Cruz Beltran who regaled the audience with a lesson on the history of Afro-Latino rhythms and Chicano music.

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Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia speaking in the Levan Center

See all the photos at Smugmug.

A very special thank you to Adjunct Professor of History Octavio Barajas for helping organize and moderate this event, as well as Dr. Oliver Rosales, Professor of History and Faculty Coordinator for the Social Justice Institute of Bakersfield College for sponsoring this event through the National Endowment for the Humanities grant “Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley,” as well as the Bakersfield College Student Government Association’s CCA Grant.

I also enjoyed seeing Octavio on KGET early Tuesday morning.  You can see the clip here.

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And did you miss his community voices piece?  It is available here.

It’s a joy to work with faculty and staff who love what they do and are so passionate about our students and community. Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

Renegade Athletics

Softball: We won the Conference Championship

Softball conference champions April 19 2018

Nathan Ortiz4Baseball: The baseball team sits in first place in the Western State-South Conference with three games remaining in the regular season.

The Renegades record is 19-18 overall and 13-4 in conference.  BC has won 7 out of their last ten games and are one game ahead of LA Pierce in the standings.  The Renegades have to win two of their last three games to guarantee themselves at least a tie for the conference title.

Team Photo

With Sandi Taylor on Saturday, April 14th after another win.

Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian April 14 2018

Men’s and Women’s Swimming: The men’s swimming team is in fourth place and the women’s swimming team is in second place after day one of the Western State Conference Championships.  The Championships, which are being held at the William A. Wheeler Aquatic Center, on BC’s Panorama campus will continue through Saturday afternoon.

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The Bakersfield College men’s swimming team is in fourth place after day one of the Western State Conference Championships.  Cael Osborn and Mark Glossbrenner were on two relay team that finished in the top four and also finished in the top three in an individual event.  The complete list of BC’s top finishers is below.

The BC women’s swim team sits in second place after day one of the Western State Conference Championship.  Niquelette Rimer had third place finish in 50 free and was part of two relay teams that finished in the top three and Jennifer Quan was part of two relay teams that finished in the top three.  The top BC finishers from day one are listed below.

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Jennifer Quan

Renegade Pulse Health Fair

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Bakersfield College is distinctive in so many ways, and one important way is in how we live our core value of health and wellness. The health of a community is directly related to literacy and education in general, and BC has many activities that promote healthy living, including the 18th Annual Renegade Pulse Health Fair.

The event is part resource fair and part celebration of the programs, agencies and services that support the health and success of students and  the community at large. With over 31,000 students, we are a community nested in a community. So, thank you to all who support healthy higher education, from green transportation to our campus facilities, Golden Empire Transit, to quality licensed Community Connection for Child Care.

Teena Bensusen (left) and Amber Smithson from the Behavioral Health Hospital host a booth at the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Teena Bensusen (left) and Amber Smithson from the Behavioral Health Hospital host a booth at the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

The Renegade Pulse Health Fair brought together healthcare organizations, substance abuse support groups, law enforcement agencies and businesses from across the community to educate students on how to live a safer, healthier life.

BC’s Public Safety Department booth had equipment used during Public Safety’s Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Trainings, which are offered for free to students and staff throughout the semester. Student Cadets also answered questions about Public Safety’s cadet program, in which BC students have the opportunity to work part-time helping ensure safety on campus. Public Safety is looking for cadets for the Fall 2018 semester, so if you’re a BC student who is interested in joining the program, contact the office at 395-4554 for more information.

Members of the Student Health and Wellness Advisory Commitee pose inside the Health Hut during the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Members of the Student Health and Wellness Advisory Committee pose inside the Health Hut during the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Thank you to the Student Health and Wellness Center including Dr. Ray Purcell and Stella Ponce for putting together the Renegade Pulse Health Fair, as well as all of the organizations who came out to support a healthier Kern County. See more photos at BC’s Smugmug.

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Revisiting Two Cultures

The disciplines of the humanities and the sciences can feel as if they’re worlds apart, but UC Santa Barbara professor Alendra Chang spoke at the Levan Center on Thursday to explain how she brings those two worlds together through the study of environmental humanities, which examines themes of ecology in art and mass media.

Alenda Chang

BC’s Energizing Humanities Grant funded the discussion from Dr. Chang, which was titled “Revisiting the Two Cultures.” Many artists, writers and others have begun to explore ways that art and popular culture can raise awareness of the importance of environmental causes, using data from scientific research to inform their work. Essays in scientific academic journals, and several new academic journals have signaled the emergence of Ecomedia as a field of study that examines cultural representations of the environment in media.

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Alendra Chang presents at the Levan Center

Environmental engagement in the humanities combines social and scientific engagement. Journalists, artists and others may feel uncomfortable with scientific approaches, just as many scientists may have trouble engaging in the humanities, but there is emerging awareness of the need to work together to find solutions to environmental problems.

Within the field of environmental humanities, Chang studies the ecology and ecomedia of video games. As editor of the Growing Games blog and a professor of media studies, Chang examines the carbon footprint created by e-waste and the excessive power used by gaming PCs, which can consume the equivalent power of three energy-efficient refrigerators, Chang said. Chang also attempts to dispel the notion that excessive video game use makes people feel detached from nature, citing multiple studies indicating that virtual reality can make people more conscious of their external environment and motivate them to take action on climate change.

During her time as a graduate student at UC Berkeley, Chang worked on an unpublished game about air quality based in the Central Valley that used actual wind speed and air quality data from the area. In the game, you play as a character from Fresno with asthma who must navigate how to keep their lungs clean in one of the worst places for respiratory health in America. In the game, the player’s asthma functions as a superpower that helps them perceive the environment in a different way.

Within the indie and academic games spaces, there have been a number of works that explore environmental humanist themes, Chang said. Some examples she listed included ThatGameCompany’s “Flower”, in which you play as the wind to bring life back to plants; Campo Santo’s “Firewatch”, which is about a man who takes a job as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness; and “Walden, a game”, a project funded by the National Endowment of the Humanities that is essentially a digital recreation of Henry David Thoreau’s book “Walden”, one of the seminal works of the American transcendentalism movement in the 19th Century.

delano-grant-logo-neh_logo_horizontal_rgbWarm thank you to Alendra Chang for coming to BC, as well as Josh Ottum, Oliver Rosales and Andrew Bond from the Energizing Humanities cohort for providing a great learning opportunity for those who have never heard of environmental humanities or didn’t realize that computer games were capable of helping tackle important social issues.

Seen on Facebook

It was fabulous to see Jazz Day at BC gain some attention from the National Association for Music Education. Our local KCMEA, Kern County Music Educators Association, is a chapter of CMEA, which is an affiliate of NAfME. Congratulations to Kris Tiner and all our performing arts and music faculty, staff, and students.

Give them a Like and share by visiting this link on Facebook!

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College Council

Jason Stratton

Jason Stratton Presenting at College Council

It’s an exciting time to be at BC. As we gear up for Accreditation this year, our editing team revealed BC’s ISER (Institutional Self Evaluation Report) at College Council on Friday. College Council is a collegial, consultative, and oversight body designed to serve the good of the College.

Since the group met in Delano, we also broadcast the ISER reveal to the Panorama campus.

ISER reveal Broadcast

Sharon Bush, Kimberly Nickell, and Kristin Rabe tune in to the ISER Reveal from Panorama

Special thank you to the Editing Team including Nicole Griffin, Sarah Baron, Lesley Bonds, Sondra Keckley, the incredible Nick Strobel and EVERYONE who has contributed to BC’s Self Evaluation Report.  As Jason Stratton reminds us – It is OUR story!

ISER Team

Nicole Griffin, Sarah Baron, Lesley Bonds, Sondra Keckley, and Nick Strobel

Entree to Employment

On April 17, 2018, Bakersfield College and Kern High School District ROC teamed up to host the Biannual Entrée to Employment event. This career event brings together students and industry professionals over a fine dining experience to highlight social etiquette, conversations about personal and professional experiences, necessary soft skills, workforce expectations, education requirements, diversity of employment and career ladder opportunities.

The evening featured four different programs: Electronics/Robotics, Mechanized Ag, Child Development and Criminal Justice. While the industry professionals and students were busy networking, the Bakersfield College and ROC faculty dined separately to discuss articulation partnerships and dual enrollment opportunities. Thank you to the Career and Technical Education Department for making this night happen and a special thank you to the Renegade Room, Chef Suzanne and her Culinary Arts students for delivering a 5-star cuisine meal that delighted participants. Overall the event was a huge success and a true demonstration of our expanding partnerships with the community.

CTE: Business and Computer Science Employer Panel

Thursday April 19, 2018 the Career and Technical Education Department hosted a Business and Computer Science Employer Panel for students in the program. Professionals in attendance included: Leo Bautista, Senior Recruiter – Talent Acquisition, The Wonderful Company; Steven Alexander, Director of IT Security –  Kern Community College District; Keith Wolaridge, Owner – Professional Development Firm; Scott Burton, CEO – On-Stack; Clayton Montgomery, Certified Information Systems Security – Area Energy; Trulaine Woken, Owner – Cones Health Food; and Debbie Butler, Secretary Treasurer & Project Manager – On Stack. What started as an information only session blossomed into a networking event that allowed our students to exchange information with employers, submit their resumes for consideration, and engage in preliminary interviews. Thank you to all of the employers who stayed almost 2 hours longer to provide these exciting opportunities for our students. Special thank you to Beth Harrison, Job Development Specialist and Vikki Coffee, Job Development Specialist, for coordinating the event and Martin Perez, CCPT2 Manager, Master of Ceremonies for the event whose humor, grasp of the subject matter, and navigation of the dialog, cultivated an organic and insightful exchange between community professionals and students.

CTE Panel (2)

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Noche de Cultura

Thank you to the BC MEChA Club and the Office of Student Life for putting on a wonderful program with its annual Noche de Cultura, a colorful evening filled with an array of singers, musicians and other performers. Noche de Cultura was held April 13 at the Outdoor Theater.

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The night opened with Aztecan Blessing, followed by Jammin Island Hula, Group Folklorico Escuelas Unidas, Spoken Word by Tezozomoc, Carbajal’s Martial ArtsAcademy, and Banshee in the Kitchen. One big highlight was seeing the performance by SGA President and MECHA President Dezi Von Manos who gave a tribute to the late Tejana superstar Selena.

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Dezi Von Manos, BCSGA President

Ballet Folklorico Huaztecalli closed the evening with an awestruck series of performances. A special thanks to the program committee, Dezi Von Manos, president; Emmanuel Limaco, ICC Rep; Belinda Lopez Rickett, treasurer; Francis Benavente, member; and faculty adviser, Prof. Olivia Garcia.

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BC Drum Corps

BC’s Drum Corps is competing in Dayton, Ohio at the Winter Guard International Championships! Go Gades! The competition can be watched online at www.flomarching.com/ 

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Accessibility for All

This week, Bakersfield College had the pleasure of hosting an expert in accessibility, Gaeir Dietrich Director of the High Tech Center Training Unit (HTCTU) of the California Community Colleges, for two training sessions and a presentation over two days on Accessibility for All. You can read a short bio about Gaeir on the Accessibility for All Flyer.

On Tuesday, Gaier trained over 20 Bakersfield College faculty, staff and community guests from the Department of Rehabilitation and Kern Regional Center. She taught the difficult and intricate skills of making PDF forms accessible to everyone whether they use assistive technology or not.

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Twenty-four BC faculty, staff and community guests attended Wednesday’s Accessible Documents trainings. We were pleased to have employees of Kern Regional Center, Taft College, College of the Sequoias and Department of Rehabilitation join us to learn about making Word documents accessible. We all think we know how to use Word, though most of us are self-taught. Gaeir teaches how to make documents accessible, and in so doing, teaches how to use Word to our advantage.

Many of her lessons, just as with the forms, teach a better understanding of using the software that allows us to work smarter not harder. She teaches the helpful acronym: LIST for access! The lessons teach about Links, Images, Structure and Tables. Many of the attendees, just like the attendees for Forms, were heard to exclaim, “that’s how you do it” and “I always wanted to be able to do that, but I didn’t know how.”

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The Accessibility for All presentation followed where Gaeir explained the difference between access and accommodation when it comes to satisfying the legal requirements established by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires public entities to make its resources accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act concerns access for everyone, ensuring that all content posted electronically, as well as any software procured, can be used by anyone. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act concerns the provision of “auxiliary aids and services” to accommodate individuals with a particular impairment.

Everyone deserves the right to an education, and educational institutions have an obligation to ensure that we are not depriving anyone of the ability to achieve upward mobility and accomplish their dreams. Community colleges in particular must be sensitive to this issue due to the marginalized populations we serve.

“[Accessibility] is about allowing people the opportunity to step forward, which is what community colleges are all about,” Dietrich said. “By learning to make things accessible, you can make an important impact on someone’s life.”

Dietrich also offered advice for how to test accessibility in a new piece of software that schools are attempting to procure, as well as a few implementation models for how to enforce accessibility standards. Throughout the presentation, Dietrich emphasized the importance of finding the financial and personnel support to tackle accessibility issues from the top of the organizational structure on down. Remember if it is “DUMP’ed (Developed, Used, Maintained or Procured) on campus it must be accessible!”

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Terri Goldstein and Gaeir Dietrich

I would like to thank Gaeir Dietrich for coming to our campus to provide this important information and training for the BC faculty, staff and our community. We hope to have you return soon. A special thank you to Terri Goldstein, for arranging Gaier’s presence on campus, and inviting those interested both at BC and from others in the community. Thank you Kristin Rabe, Tracy Lovelace, Pam Rivers, Aricia Leighton and the BC Accessibility Task Force for supporting Terri. Thank you Tarina Perry for making arrangements and organizing all the events on campus. Thank you Eric Sabella and the Food Services staff for the delicious food and Jack Hernandez and the Levan Center for use of the Levan Center for the presentation. I would also like to thank all of the faculty and staff who took time at the end of the semester to learn more about accessibility.

According to the US Census Bureau approximately  19% of the US population has some form of disability, but whatever the number, BC strives to make sure there are no barriers to accessibility for anyone in the community.

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Student Success Stories

This is the time of year I am especially excited to hear student success stories and what our Renegades are planning to do after graduation. Ensuring that students can transfer to continue their studies and/or get jobs in their career of choice is our number one goal. Here are two wonderful examples I heard of this week. Congratulations!

Fredrico Navarro has been acccepted to UC Irvine Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Valeria Tapia has been accepted to UC Santa Barbara in Biology.

Special Delivery from Edwards Air Force Base

i-kwrmksh-x2The Edwards Air Force Base Civilian-Military Support Group is a non-profit organization that helps provide services to soldiers living at Edwards Air Force Base. The organization recently sent BC a book documenting its over 25-year history of making life a little better for those who dedicate their lives to serving our country.

The group hosts fundraising events that have helped provide an Internet Café for the officers’ dormitory complex, the Flags of Honor Memorial Park, and other resources for residents at the base. The book titled “25 Years Support Warriors” honors all of the organization’s contributions to the base over the years, and copies are being sent to US Air Force installations around the world as an example of how military bases can form important partnerships with their surrounding communities.  Thank you to Allen Hoffman for sending the book, which is now housed in our Veterans Resource Center.

Bakersfield Homeless Center Fundraiser

On Wednesday, the Bakersfield Homeless Center had a great turnout at their Annual Drive Thru Lunch Fundraiser. The lunch pickup took place at Compassion Corner at 22nd and L behind the KGET studios . All the proceeds went to helping families experiencing homelessness.

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Here’s a picture of Edie Nelson’s husband John Nelson, who picked up the special lunch for staff in the President’s Office who wanted to support this great cause. Thank you John, and thanks to all who contributed to this annual fundraiser!

John Nelson

CCCCO in Bakersfield.

Loved having lunch with Van Ton-Quinlivan, Executive Vice Chancellor of Technology and Workforce Development, when she was in Bakersfield.

Von Ton Quinllivan visits Bakersfield April 16 2018

Ed Coghlan, John Means, Van Ton-Quinlivan, Sonya Christian, Cindy Collier, Craig Hayward

Fun photos from Garden Fest:

Love this picture of “Uncle Paul” as Abby, Lily and Lexy Garrett call Paul Beckworth in this picture with Sandra Beckworth.

Paul Beckworth, Sandra Beckworth, Abby Garrett, Lily Garrett, Lexy Garrett April 21 2018

The Vice Presidents enjoying their saturday with their families.  Including little Miss Mae.

 

Fun photo of Tom Gelder

Very happy to see Chancellor Tom Burke at Garden Fest

Tom Burke with Corny Rodriguez

 

 

We are the World!
We are Bakersfield!
We are BC!

 

 

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That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever