Tag Archives: Tom Burke

Welcome Back, Renegades!

Good morning from Berkeley, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 26, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

This week I made it to the final Concerts by the Fountain performance at the Marketplace to hear Mento Buru. As I was walking up they were doing a rendition of Desaparecido by Manu Chao, that I have not been able to get out of my head.

First BC Inmate Scholars’ Graduation at Kern Valley State Prison

BC’s pioneering class of students in prison graduated on August 28, 2019 — a historic day for BC.  We had 17(!) inmate Renegades graduate and receive their associate’s degrees from Bakersfield College. This was the first commencement since the program began at Kern Valley State Prison in 2015, and there really are no words to capture the tenacity and perseverance of these students.  I’m extremely proud of them! Robert Price from the Bakersfield Californian was there to share in the experience (check out his article) and some of the great coverage from local news stations!

Make sure to check out the piece that BakersfieldNow did on the graduation!

The faculty speaker was Bryan Hirayama who focused his remarks on lifting the students with whom he started this journey in 2015. Here is an excerpt from his speech.

The hard work and dedication, discipline, and transformation of these men, there is nothing more profound than that. The impact of this education is irreversible, and the trajectory of people’s lives have forever been changed. That is truly profound! I want to thank you men for your Renegade spirit and meeting and exceeding expectations. Your success here not only gives life and hope to this program, but to your peers who may not have ever considered college prior to your success. Your work here has subtly, and arguably drastically, changed people’s perceptions of you. Most importantly, your accomplishments here have created a lane and challenge for family and friends to redefine what is possible and give higher education a chance. Men, you have affirmed through your pursuit of something more that “you are worthy” and that the deep reservoir of potential has been tapped and we can’t wait to see what’s next as you continue moving forward. We are all so proud of you men and again, congratulations. Go Gades!

Check out this short video that will give you an insight into the work.

Photo from TBC website. Photo by Robert Price

Thank you Dan Hall, Angelica Perez, Camilla Anderson and Manny Mourtzanos for all of their hard work on this program. I also want to recognize Rich McCrow who started this program at BC in 2015. Thank you Rich for working with me in launching this program that transforms lives.

First Day of Fall 2019

Classes for the 2019-2020 academic year officially started this past Saturday, but most students took their first classes of the year on August 26 and 27. BCSGA helped ease any first-day jitters by providing donuts and student planners at welcome tents next to Administration Building, Outdoor Theater and Gym Huddle on the Panorama Campus, as well as the entrances to BC SouthWest and the Delano Center. Students could also ask representatives at the welcome tents for help finding their classes.

BCSGA representatives helped incoming freshmen feel comfortable with their new college life, including providing student planners to help them be more organized and stay up-to-date with their class assignments.  I’d like to thank BCSGA for motivating our incoming students and for helping them feel more safe and welcome on the BC campus. Welcome to our new Renegades!!

BCSGA Power Lunch with Congressman TJ Cox

Congressman TJ Cox visited BC on Wednesday for the first Power Lunch of the Fall, organized by our Student Government Association.  BCSGA’s Legislative Affairs director Johnny Maddon served as the moderator for Congressman Cox, who won his seat in the House of Representatives by just 862 votes in one of the most contested races of last year’s midterm elections.

Congressman TJ Cox
Congressman TJ Cox

The room was packed, and it was exciting to see so many people connecting with local politics.  Congressman Cox spoke about how his Filipino upbringing instilled a strong sense of social justice in him that has influenced his career in politics. After leaving a successful career in engineering to start over in the Central Valley with his wife Kathleen Murphy, who was called to serve as a pediatrician at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, he was inspired by the Iraq War to run for office for the first time in 2006. Despite losing by more than 20 points in his first two campaigns, he persevered and continued his political ambitions, believing deeply that his message and commitment would resonate with Central Valley voters with the right mobilization and support.

Mike Giacomini, Chancellor Tom Burke, Congressman TJ Cox and Zav Dadabhoy

Congressman Cox was extremely engaged during his time on campus, speaking with as many students and faculty as he could, and even making a diagram of the Washington Mall out of note cards for one student who had questions about the layout of the Capitol building.  I appreciate him taking the time to answer questions from the audience on inmate education, Valley Fever, and college tuition.  

Dr. Nicky Damania, Congressman TJ Cox and Johnny Maddon

I’d like to thank Congressman Cox for being so open and available to the BC community. I’d also like to thank the Office of Student Life, BCSGA, and Johnny Maddon for organizing this event, as well as Food Services for providing a delicious lunch.

Our very own Renegade Rip wrote a great piece on the event which I encourage reading.  

Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 25th annual Hispanic Business Conference and Expo Thursday August 29 with much fanfare and success, and Bakersfield College was in high gear connecting with community members, business leaders and working professionals to promote the work we do. Many local businesses, professionals, entrepreneurs and students gathered at the conference and expo to participate in business workshops and networking opportunities.

History Professor Olivia Garcia co-chaired Hispanic Business Conference and Expo, along Eva Ramirez of Kaiser Permanente. In working with KCHCC CEO/President Jay Tamsi, Olivia and Eva sought to celebrate the 25th anniversary of this growing special event by offering an array of workshops, dealing from conflict resolution and media branding to understanding the millennial as the consumer and employee, to showcasing rising women in business.

Margita Thompson, Vice President, Public Affairs at California Resources Corporation, CRC, traveled from Los Angeles and spoke as one of the keynote speakers. Thompson, a Harvard grad and bicultural Latina, spoke of her varied experiences, including serving as press secretary of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and working as the California press secretary for former President George W. Bush during his 2000 election campaign.

The second keynote speaker was Richard Montanez, who created the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. He spoke of his humble beginnings as janitor who thought of an idea to spice up the Cheetos and found the courage and persuasion to present it to Frito-Lay executives who were wowed by it. Montanez is now an executive of a multinational company, PepsiCo whose subsidiary is Frito-Lay. Montanez spoke frankly of his limited education and encouraged the audience, particularly students, to never give up and look to education as part of the path to success. He told attendees to embrace their uniqueness and pursue their dreams relentlessly. Montanez’s own story of janitor-turned-inventor is being turned into a movie, called “Flamin’ Hot,” which, according to media reports, is set to be directed by Eva Longoria.

Olivia interviewed both keynote speakers, and a contingent of Bakersfield College faculty and staff attended to promote Bakersfield College programs and services and connect with local businesses and participants. BC was represented by CTE Director Tony Cordova; Paul Beckworth, Director of Veteran Services; Armando Trujillo, veterans advisor; Jeff LaForce, educational advisor; and CTE staff, Dominica Trinidad, Carlos Medina, Juan Manzano, and Jeff LaForce.

It’s always exciting to see our campus connecting with the business and community in innovative ways.

BC Listed as Top 10 School

This week, BC was listed as a Top 10 School for our Ag Business Programs by Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine. Agriculture is a huge part rural Kern County’s economy.  BC’s Rural Initiatives mission is to provide ready access to the high quality education necessary for our socially and ethnically diverse students ‐‐ vocational, transfer‐oriented, developmental ‐‐ and to help them thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Careers in agriculture are diverse, and include: farm management, accounting, marketing, sales, and services requiring accounting, computers and salesmanship.

I’m so proud of our what our Ag faculty at BC do for our community. Check out the article at Hispanicoutlook.com and see why BC Renegades choose Ag Business in the video below!

Rural Express Enrollment Events: Creating Pathways for All!

Our Rural Initiatives team has been very busy! The team has been going from North to South offering Express Enrollment opportunities for Kern County rural communities. The cities of Arvin, Shafter, Delano, Wasco and Southeast Bakersfield enrolled new Renegades through these Express Enrollment opportunities.

BC Adult Ed Newsletter

Have I mentioned how proud I am to be the President of Bakersfield College?  This summer our Adult Ed Team was out and about in the community sharing the good news of education — catch the latest edition of their newsletter “In Touch, In Tune” for some highlights. Also, check out the article about the new Arvin Transit routes from locations in Arvin to the Job Spot in South Bakersfield.  A very special thank you to Endee Grijalva on our Adult Ed team for all of her hard work! 

Mike Giacomini Presents on Measure J

Our VP of Finance & Administrative Services Mike Giacomini presented at the Government Review Council (GRC) at the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce to update community members on the status of various Measure J projects.  Thank you Nick Ortiz, Jean Scheiber, and Kaelyn Peterson for allowing us to come present!  

Mike Giacomini presenting at GRC

Community members are extremely supportive of Measure J, and it’s important that we keep the community updated as much as possible.  If you’re active in the community, expect to see us at one of your events!

Deployed Renegade Elaine Moreno Update!

Paul Beckworth faculty Director of Veterans Services forwarded me an email earlier this week with an update on our currently deployed BC Renegade Elaine Moreno.  I’ve shared a bit about Elaine in past blog posts, and was happy to hear an update on her.  She told Paul that she’s currently working on a video to thank everyone who contributed to the eight (yes, 8!!) care packages that she received and will give a more detailed update then.  In the meantime, she sent over these great photos which we’ve also added to our Student Deployment Spotlight webpage.  Thank you for your service Elaine, and stay safe!  

Equity Training at BC 

Last week, faculty and staff had an exciting learning opportunity with the equity presentation by Inger Stark from the Peralta Community College District. Inger is one of the creators of the Online Equity Rubric that helps faculty understand the impact of their teaching practices on all of their students. Feedback on this session was overwhelmingly positive and we hope to have the rubric creators back again.

Warm Welcome From Carlos 

On Monday morning, Carlos Barbaran left welcome notes on the desks in the Administration building. Each year, Carlos leaves a note inviting those working in his area to contact him should we ever need his assistance. In A-17, he even left a delicious coffee café for the entire team of Marketing and Institutional Effectiveness to share. What a great way to start the year, thanks to incredible and caring staff!

Library Infographic

Check out this infographic from the Library team.  The stats below reflect all the work the librarians and library staff put in over the past academic year, and were they ever busy! Thanks to Faith Bradham for sharing this! 

Eat With Fellow Renegades 

Earlier this week BC Food Services welcomed students to a new 2019-2020 academic school year with a variety of meals provided by The Huddle, Gades Grub, and Banderas Burger Grill. So many delicious food options on campus!

If you happen to be at the Home of the Renegades, the Huddle is open Monday through Thursday, from 7:00 am to 7:30 pm, as well as Friday, from 7am to noon.

We also have rotations of food trucks on campus, right now with the Banderas Burger Grill open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. 

BC Rocks with Epic Proportions Tour!

BC’s Office of Student Life rocked the Huddle earlier this week with the Epic Proportions Tour, kicking off the new school year by hosting two touring bands: pop-rock artists Gabe Kubanda and People Who Could Fly!  Both are currently touring high schools, colleges, and military bases around the United States, performing for over 250,000 fans, and in the process encouraging kids to pursue a future in music.

The Epic Proportions Tour is a veteran-owned business that has since 2011 been offering free entertainment across the nation and teaching people about music. I would like to thank Gabe Kubanda, People Who Could Fly and everyone from Epic Proportions Tour for putting an amazing performance, and a very special thank you to our Office of Student Life for constantly making BC not only a place of learning, but a place of fun! 

Fun & Games with SGA

BC’s Student Government Association celebrated the new academic year with  an Indoor Gaming and Board Games event where students could get together, have some fun, relieve stress, listen to music and most importantly: enjoy some tasty snacks!  While it was mostly fun and games, BCSGA also introduced students to the Renegade Pantry assistance program, which helps students receive quality food, clothing, and hygiene supplies. 

Thank you to BCSGA for organizing this great event and for constantly bringing our students together.  Your work helps students become familiar and comfortable on the campus, and lets them know about available BC organizations and upcoming BC community events.  THANK YOU! 

BC Cheerleaders at Extreme MakeOver: Home Edition!

Heather Foss shared some photos with me of our Renegade Cheerleaders on the set of Extreme MakeOver: Home Edition earlier this week.  They taught everyone at the event a dance, and helped to “Move That Bus”!!!! Thank you for making BC proud! 

Fun Photos: 2019 Convocation

We had a wonderful time last week welcoming the newest Renegades and their families to the BC campus.  I’d like to extend a very special thank you to Dr. Nicky Damania for his consistently amazing work on this event.  

Fun Photos: Carpooling this Fall! 

I’ve continued my challenge from last fall to carpool to campus during the first couple of weeks of the Fall Semester.  Steve Holmes sent me a picture of his carpooling buddy…

Men’s Soccer Opens the Season With a Win

Our Renegade Men’s Soccer team opened up their season with a 2-0 shutout win at home on the BC Soccer Field over visiting West Hills Lemoore. The goals were scored by sophomore Christian Gonzalez and freshman Vitor Silva. The team will look to keep up the winning as the season continues!

Men’s Soccer Serves  the Community at the Kern County Mission 

This last weekend Men’s Soccer head coach Vayron Martinez and his team spent their Saturday morning at the Kern County Mission store helping to sorting donated clothing and hanging it on racks. Great work, and way to represent the college in serving the community Vayron and team!

Join us for the 5th Annual Free Community Swim Lessons 

The Renegade Swimming program is proud to announce the 5th Annual Free Community Swim Lesson Day. The event will be held at the Bakersfield College pool on Saturday, September 7th from 8am-12pm and is open to all, and any age children as long as they are potty-trained! The free lessons will be taught by members of the BC swim team. For more information or questions please call the Bakersfield College Pool at 661-395-4663.

Student Athlete Spotlight – Sarah Lopez, Volleyball

Please enjoy the first in an installment of student athlete profile videos this semester from our athletics department. This week’s video is on Sarah Lopez from Renegade Volleyball. Sarah came to BC from Taft, CA and explains in the video why she chose to come to the ‘Home of the Renegades’.  This year’s volleyball team looks to be dominant once again so make sure to come watch them in action this season. They are seeking to win their fourth conference title in a row! You can find their 2019 season schedule on GoGades.com.

First Football Home Game This Saturday

Make sure you’ve purchased your season tickets, marked your calendars, and join us for the first football game of the season this coming Saturday, September 7th at 6pm at Memorial Stadium against Mt. SAC. The new turf is looking great and we can’t wait to have the community join us for the first game! To purchase tickets visit Vallitix.com or call 661-322-5200. Go Gades!

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Recognition & Gratitude — One Proud Renegade Prez

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, July 20, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Celebrating BC Two Days in a Row

Bakersfield College had a phenomenal week of celebrating the diligent, committed, and focused work of BC faculty, staff, and students. The talent at BC is truly exceptional and the work ethic one of a kind. We are BC!

On Monday morning we started with a crowd of approximately 200 packing the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery on the Panorama Campus for a press event where Assembly Member Rudy Salas presented Bakersfield College with a check for $1 million from the state legislature for the second consecutive year. The 2018 funding kicked off the HVAC program at the Delano Campus, in addition to supporting rural educational efforts. This year’s funding will allow us to expand our baccalaureate program in Industrial Automation in Delano and our Early College programs in Wasco and McFarland. It will also allow for the creation and expansion of health career pathways in North Kern.

A group surrounds Assembly Member Rudy Salas presenting a $1 million check
A group surrounds Assembly Member Rudy Salas presenting a $1 million check. Sitting from L to R: Tom Burke, Romeo Agbalog, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Rudy Salas, Sonya Christian, Justin Derrick, Rob Cobb, Abel Guzman

Community Support means so much to the students, staff, and faculty of Bakersfield College. It is the support of our community which fuels our work and enables BC to do what it does. Thank you to our local educational, political, and community dignitaries who came in strength to support this work including Mayor Karen Goh, Senator Jean Fuller, Sam Moretti, Ricardo Delgetta, Laura Melendez, Pawan Gill, Michael Turnipseed, Joseph Lopez, Lily Agbalog, Alissa Reed, Melinda Hicks, Kevin Tallon, Robert Price, and from KCCD, Chancellor Tom Burke, Bonita Steele, and Trustees Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.

Here is a short video that the Salas team put together. Enjoy!

2019 Dr. John W. Rice Awards Student Success award Completion Coaching Communities BC.

Then on Tuesday, a team from Bakersfield College was invited to Sacramento to attend the Dr. John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award Ceremony held at the Crocker Art Museum. The college is unbelievably honored to accept the award this year for our collective work supporting student success through Coaching Communities following the Guided Pathways model. The Dr. John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award was established in 2001 to honor a community college staff member, district, college, or program that has made the greatest contribution towards faculty and staff diversity or student equity.

Since beginning the implementation of Guided Pathways in 2014, BC has seen growth and improvement across virtually every metric at the college.  To get more students to complete and/or transfer – on time and without excess units – BC has intentionally designed an innovative, formal structure through which cross-functional teams of faculty and staff are responsible for advancing student success along defined momentum points. These teams, called Completion Coaching Communities, include BC faculty, staff and administrators responsible for ensuring each student is actively helped to pursue the most direct path to his or her educational goal while facilitating a swift and at-scale response to remove barriers.

Group of BC and KCCD representative around the award.
BC’s Outreach Director Steve Watkin, Director of Student Life Nicky Damania, BC’s Student Government President Samantha Pulido, BC President Sonya Christian, California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley, Kern Community College District Trustee Romeo Agbalog, California Community Colleges Board President Tom Epstein, English Professor and Umoja Lead Paula Parks 

I am so proud of BC’s faculty and staff for their commitment to Renegades, especially progress in advancing student outcomes such as:

  • Closing the transfer-level English completion gap for African American Students: from 14% to 44%.  African American now students exceed overall rate of 39% for this metric.
  • Closing the Hispanic/Latinx gap in Associate Degree for Transfer attainment: from 61.6% to 67.4% of all ADT earners in two years
  • Improving completion rates for Hispanic/Latinx students from 26.8% to 38.6%
  • Improving completion rates for African American students from 32% to 39.8%

Special thank you to the team who nominated Bakersfield College for this very prestigious award and to the team who selected BC as this year’s recipient. BC’s attendees included: Steve Watkin, Nicky Damania, Grace Commiso, Kylie Swanson, Ashlea Ward, Paula Parks, Dezi Von Manos, Samatha Pulido, April Whitfield, Jordan Thomas, Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Chancellor Tom Burke.

Photos are available on BC’s Smugmug: Rice Award – Student Success Gallery  

Special thanks to the following media outlets for covering these events:

Bakersfield College Earns Student Success Award article clipping.
Bakersfield Californian article "Salas awards college with a $1 million check."
Rudy Salas Event covered by Ema Sasic July 16 2019
Page 2 of the Rudy Salas article.

THANK YOU RUDY SALAS!!  AGAIN!!!

Rudy Salas, Sonya Christian

Assemblyman Salas is a champion for Bakersfield College’s vision of educational equity in California, and we can’t thank him enough for having faith in our ability to make an immediate positive impact in the lives of Kern County residents with the support of “shovel-ready” projects.

Dignitaries on the dais during Monday’s press conference included KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke, Trustees Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, BC Rural Initiatives Director Abel Guzman, Delano HVAC graduate Felix Dominguez, Assemblyman Salas, Senator Emeritus Jean Fuller, McFarland High Principal Justin Derrick, and Rob Cobb, Director of Categorical Programs and Special Projects at the Wasco Union High School District.

Agbalog spoke of the importance of vocational education in rural Kern as many traditional labor careers will be gradually replaced by automation. He then introduced a video about rural BC student Moises Marin de Luna, who was unable to attend the event because he couldn’t miss his shift in the grape fields. Moises was inspired by his brother’s educational journey to go back to school as an adult, and after taking one electronics class at BC with professor Michael Larson, he’s decided to pursue the Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Automation.

The stories of students like Moises are why we are working so hard to level the playing field for our students in rural Kern, and the support of leaders like Assemblyman Salas will allow us to transform the kinds of opportunities available in our county.

“This money will be used to help students like Moises reach the first or second rung up the ladder toward prosperity,” Agbalog said.

Salas praised the way that BC’s leadership team was able to break down its institutional needs to a granular level in order to allocate funding in a way that could make the greatest impact. He also spoke of the ways that education opens doors for new opportunities in people’s lives and the lives of future generations.

“It’s about you kicking open that door, but you can hold the door open for everyone behind you,” Salas said.

Guzman thanked Assemblyman Salas and the state legislature, as well as our industry partners, for supporting BC’s workforce development programs. He also detailed how our career and technical education programs create marketable career pathways that lead to jobs.

Cobb shared his excitement in partnering with BC to expand Early College offerings in Wasco and Delano, and Derrick talked about McFarland High’s preparations for the first Level 3 Early College program in the nation.

“At McFarland High, we know a champion when we see one,” Derrick said. “Thank you, Assemblyman Salas, for being our champion.”

Rudy Salas, Sonya Christian and BC Students
Rudy Salas, Sonya Christian and BC Students

See the photos from the event:

Individual Videos from Monday’s Event on BC’s Youtube:

More on the John W. Rice Award event in Sacramento

BC Students Jordan Thomas and April Whitfield

Jordan Thomas wrote this brief essay inserted below:

“On July 16th of 2019, myself along with other Bakersfield College staff and students attended the 19th annual Dr. John W. Rice award ceremony where Bakersfield College was awarded the Dr. John W. Rice award on behalf of student success. Dr. John W. Rice was a longtime educator, minister, coach and mentor in Tuscaloosa, Alabama Birmingham and Denver. Rice also served on a number of educational advisory boards, and was well known for his belief that education was powerful; as well as every individual deserves equal opportunity to an education regardless of race or background. Present at the award ceremony was special guest Condoleezza Rice, Dr. Rice’s well known daughter. Ms. Rice is an American political scientist, and is well known for serving as the 66th United States Secretary of State, under the George W. Bush administration. She was the second African-American Secretary of State, as well as the first female African-American in history to hold the position. As the award ceremony began a presentation of the 2019 Dr. John W. Rice award was presented breaking down the life, legacy, and obstacles that Dr. Rice encountered throughout his journey. After the presentation, special guest Condoleezza Rice would go on to give a heartwarming speech about diversity in correspondence to the power of education and how regardless of where a person has come from, their race, their religion, or their beliefs; education is a powerful tool that can bring individuals from all races and ethnicities to a common understanding. While listening to Condoleezza Rice’s speech, I couldn’t agree more. Rice stated that anyone can come from humble circumstances and still do great things. This statement resonated with me and I came to the realization that education is the most powerful tool in which it breaks a tremendous amount of barriers, as well as a magnificent tool that can be used to change the world. This speech gave me the motivation to continue my education because now I see how important of a tool it is to thrive in today’s society, regardless of my background.”             

BC Team with Condoleezza Rice

Thank you Nicky Damania for clicking so many photos.

Three Presidents: Dezi Von Manos, Sonya Christian, Samantha Pulido
Romeo Agbalog, Steve Watkin, Paula Parks, Ashlea Ward, April Whitfield, Grace Commiso, Dezi Von Manos, Tommy Tunson, JJOrdan Thomas, Samantha Pulido, Nicky Damania, Kylie Swanson, Sonya Christian
Teresa Aldridge (Umoja Board of Directors), Pamela Haynes (Board of Governors), Sonya Christian, Paula Parks

Bakersfield State of the City Luncheon

On Thursday afternoon, BC representatives joined community leaders at the Marriott for the 2019 Bakersfield State of the City luncheon. Joining me from BC was Dean of Instruction, Jessica Wojtysiak and Director of Community Relations, Norma Rojas-Mora, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Chancellor Tom Burke, Senator Jean Fuller, Congressman Bill ThomasBob Price, Jay Rosenlieb, and Lily Agbalog.

Sonya Christian with Mayor Karen Goh
Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Bill Thomas, Jay Rosenlieve, Sonya Christian
Bill Thomas, Jessica Wojtysiak

It was an enjoyable event to see the news and what’s in store for Bakersfield, hosted by Mayor Karen Goh. I was especially thrilled to see Bakersfield College included in the program, highlighting our growing enrollment, growing student success, and statewide leadership recognitions.

Norma Rojas-Mora, Karen Goh & Lily Agbalog

Thank you also to Dignity Health who included Bakersfield College in their most recent promotional video. What an exciting time to be in Bakersfield and what an exciting time to be a Renegade.  As Mayor Goh says, “We are Bakersfield!”

Robert Price, Jay Rosenlieb, & Tom Burke
Chancellor Tom Burke & Senator Jean Fuller

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Brian Sivesind and the BC Performing Arts Department are bringing the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” to life in the Indoor Theater this summer.

Actors sing with a colorful background.

If you’re reading this on Saturday, July 20, you still have a chance to catch two performances of this incredible story adapted by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1968. The matinee performance is at 2 p.m. on Saturday, and the final evening performance is at 7:30 p.m.

Actors perform song with hands in air.
Actors hold hands together over their heads as they dance.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” recounts the Biblical story of Joseph and his 11 brothers using music and lyrics. Joseph, played by BC student Jake Wattenbarger, is his father Jacob’s favorite son, and his brothers are jealous of him and his coat of many colors, as well as his prophetic dreams. The brothers attempt to murder Joseph but sell him into slavery instead, telling their father that Joseph was killed.

The Elvis Pharaoh on steps with singers.
Actors sing and dance around a quilt.

Joseph takes advantage of his gift for prophecy to break the chains of slavery and become a trusted advisor to the Pharaoh. By the end of the story, Joseph’s brothers are unknowingly begging him for food in the middle of a drought, and Joseph is reunited with his family (and his coat) once again.

Pharaoh sings on steps with other actors.

Thank you to all of the students for putting together such a beautiful performance, as well as Brian Sivesind for bringing this amazing production to our community. Thank you Jen Garrett and choir and Robby Martinez and the orchestra. What talent! What excellence! What hard work! After all, We are BC!

Very happy to have several community members come out to the musical. here are some photos I snapped.

Mikie Hay, Jean Fuller, Mary Madland
Dan Hay, Mikie Hay, Russell Fuller, Mary Madland, Romeo Agbalog, Sonya Christian
Romeo Agbalog, David Bynum, Meagan Bynum, Sonya Christian, Robert Price
2 adults and 2 children sitting in audience.
David Bynum, Meagan Bynum and family
Romeo Agbalog, Lilly Agbalog

Visit the Performing Arts Department for more photos.

Dress Rehearsal Photos by Michelle Guerrero.

Sounds of Summer: Drum and Bugle Corps

The sounds of marching band music reverberated throughout the Panorama Campus on Tuesday, with students from BC’s Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps practicing wherever they could fit in. There were drumlines and a horn section practicing on the lawn between the Administration building and the bus station, and students were setting up and performing with marimbas, gongs and a drum set in the square that sits between the CSS, Fine Arts and Engineering buildings. 

Snare drummers drumming.

Musicians come from all over California and even out-of-state to join the Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps, which BC offers as a Performing Arts class called MUSC B28. The group is made up of concurrently enrolled high school students, BC students, and students who attend other universities, BC Marching Arts instructor Tim Heasley said.

Students setting up drum sets in the shade of a tree.

During the summer, the group traditionally practices on BC’s soccer practice field across from the agricultural laboratory during the summer, but due to Measure J Construction projects, it has had to conduct the majority of its practices at North High School. When the offsite location at North High was unavailable on Tuesday, the group decided to make the Panorama Campus its temporary practice space.

Bugle player plays while another student claps and others look on.

The Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps is currently in the final stages of fundraising for money to return to the Drum Corps International World Championships in Indianapolis. While the BC “Indoor” drumline took the world championship last year, the full drum and bugle ensemble made the finals in its first year competing in the competition.

Tuba players practicing in the shade.

“We have an amazing team of instructional staff and very dedicated volunteers that help set the students up for success, and we’re thankful to have a campus community that supports the hard work that everyone puts in to this competitive sport of the arts,” Heasley said.

Chris Glaser caught the drummers on video.

Published in Royal Society of Chemistry

Deborah Rosenthal with Renegade Knight
Deborah Rosenthal with Renegade Knight

Bakersfield College Chemistry Professor, Deborah Rosenthal, was published in the Royal Society of Chemistry earlier this year. She collaborated with Martin Cole and Michael Sanger, from Holyoke Community College and Middle Tennessee State University respectively to write the paper. You can read her paper at Two studies comparing students’ explanations of an oxidation-reduction reaction after viewing a single computer animation: the effect of varying the complexity of visual images and depicting water molecules.

Curriculum Institute

The BC team attended and participated at the Curriculum Institute in Burlingame, Ca. Jennifer Johnson, as a member of the California Community College Curriculum Committee (5C), contributed to 4 breakout sessions on topics including Training your Curriculum Committee, the Brown Act, and  AB705 implementation. Mark Osea, as a statewide general education reviewer, also presented on the topic of articulation and transfer. Billie Jo Rice and Jennifer Johnson presented the Program Pathways Mapper which is embedded in our new online Guided Pathways 2019-2020 Bakersfield College Catalog.

Jennifer Johnson, Billie Jo Rice, Linda Allday, Edie Nelson, and Erica Menchaca.
Mark Osea, Karen Daar Los Angeles Valley College, ASCCC Curriculum Committee, Aimee Tran, Saddleback College, ASCCC Curriculum Committee

Thank you Jennifer Johnson, Billie Jo Rice, Linda Allday, Edie Nelson, Erica Menchaca, Craig Hayward, Mark Osea and Brent Wilson for participating in the Curriculum Institute and working so hard on the curriculum at BC.

Veterans’ Summer Bridge

On Wednesday, faculty and staff led a group of military veterans who are incoming BC students through a tour of the main campus as part of the Bridge to BC. This intensive, one-day course is designed to familiarize students with the BC campus and prepare them for the college experience. Military veterans have a different transition experience than that of a recent high school graduate. As such, we give them a separate Bridge to BC tailored to their needs. It was a pleasure to see Trustee Kay Meek join the staff and faculty in welcoming our veterans.

In front of students and staff at workshop classroom.
Trustee Kay Meek at the Veteran’s Summer Bridge
Fun Videos: Summer Bridge

John Harte sent this video he recorded at Summer Bridge. We Are BC!

Saw these photos on Facebook. Summer Bridge goes to Delano.

Fun Photos

Executive Offices with M&O

Wednesday morning the Executive Office inhabitants were welcomed with sticky note from a member of one of our best teams on campus –  Maintenance and Operations. Caroline (Caro) Walth, our Custodial Services Supervisor left a welcome note on each desk for Jo Ellen Barnes, June Charles, Tarina Perry, Catherine Rangel & Jennifer Serratt. What a great way to start the day!

Iphone message "and when I got to work this morning, I was greeted with this note from one of our lead custodians- Caroline Walth. It already made my day!
Catherine Rangel, Caroline Walth and Jo Ellen Barnes

New Careers Education Site

Dean of Instruction, Cornelio Rodriguez shared some fun photos of the BC Career Education teams recent visit to the new KHSD Career Education site. The visit was hosted by KHSD Trustee Jeff Flores who represents Area 2 on the Kern High School District Board. Also in attendance was Scott Cole, Assistant Superintendent of KHSD and BC’s Director of Career Education Tony Cordova. It’s an exciting time to be a part of education in Kern County as these incredible resources come to life, inspiring our young people to explore and follow their dreams.

Summer STEM Architecture camp

Monday was a day of learning for mini ‘Gades who attended the Summer STEM Camp focused on Architecture. Presented by Chevron, this class taught students how to design and build their very own tiny home and inspired Kern County’s future architects to pursue a college degree to make their dreams a reality. Check out the fun photos captured by Earl Parsons from BC’s Marketing and Public Relations team.

Students at desks looking at computer screens with architecture plans.

Dean Mourtzanos

Manny presented our Early College model as an example of aBest Practice at the Enrollment Management Academy in Claremont

Dean Mourtzanos speaks in front of audience.

Registration Workshop

BC held two registration workshops on Tuesday and Wednesday to get students ready for taking classes in the fall.

Staff member listening to student.

Counselors and academic advisors worked one-on-one with students to sort out all of their registration questions and issues and get them enrolled in classes before the Fall 2019 semester kicks off on August 24. There will be one more registration workshop this month on Monday, July 29 at 8 a.m. in CSS 151. To participate, call the Counseling Center at (661) 395-4421 and ask to sign up for a registration workshop.

Staff member explaining things to students.

Student Employment Lab

The Office of Student Employment is hiring and is busy in the Student Employment Lab. Know of a student interested in gaining valuable work experience and building their resume? Send them over to the FACE 11 building or call (661) 395-4982.

Students must be enrolled in at least 6 units for Fall/Spring semester and 2 units during Summer. (Some positions may require Federal Work-Study)

On-campus and off-campus job opportunities are posted at: bakersfield.jobspeaker.com. To learn more about on-campus employment, check out:Bakersfield College Student Employment.

Athletics Updates

Congrats to Kobe Garner from Men’s Basketball

Renegade Athletics now has a total of 39 student athletes who have signed to continue their academic and athletic trajectory at the next level with this weeks announcement that Kobe Garner from Men’s Basketball has signed to play at Eastern University in St. David’s, PA. Kobe had a two-year run as a Renegade and we are pleased that he represented BC so well in his time here. Congrats and good luck, Kobe!

Kobe Garner Eastern University.
Sonya holding the Student Success award.


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

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.

i-9ts5ksd-x2

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.

i-cpqj5dt-x2

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