Tag Archives: Tom Burke

BC: Advancing Education in our community and state

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 23, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium

By the end of the next decade, California will need 1.1 million more people with bachelor’s degrees to meet the changing demands of industry in the golden state. Closing this gap requires a reimagining of our educational pathways and the ability to track a student’s journey from K-12 to the start of their post-baccalaureate career.

The symposium content was anchored in a 2015 Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) paper that outlines 4 policy strategies to meet this goal. Working with Craig Hayward & Lesley Bonds, I outlined an expanded set of strategies at this symposium.

#1. For rural communities and other areas in California where educational attainment levels are low, incorporate Early College Pathways to Baccalaureate Completion using the Program Pathways Mapper by the 9th grade. #2. Promote innovative approaches to scale up baccalaureate attainment, e.g., Brandman University’s competency-based education, Arizona State University’s online programs. #3. Among students that are new to the CSU, increase the proportion of California community college transfer students, with a goal of reaching 75%. #4. Strengthen transfer pathways from community colleges to UCs as well as to independent colleges and universities. #5. Expand the community college Bachelor degree program.

Educational leaders and policymakers from across the state came together to share their success stories during the Intersegmental Pathways Symposium organized and hosted by Bakersfield College on Friday, November 15. Colleges and universities from as far north as Shasta and as far south as the Imperial Valley converged on the Bakersfield Marriott for a sold-out event sharing practices that are transforming California’s educational landscape while calling for policy reform to increase baccalaureate attainment with equity.

Several representatives from non-profit organizations and research groups also attended the event, which was sponsored by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, College Futures Foundation, the Univeristy of California Office of the President, and the Wonderful Company.

The event received local coverage on KBAK.

KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke opened the event by commending the attendees for working together and uniting around the common goal of creating an educated workforce. Burke also highlighted the importance of investing resources to ensure equity in completion.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendee
Linda Collins

The first panel of the morning revolved around clarifying the pathways from high school to community college. Moderator Linda Collins from the Career Ladders Project shared that 68 percent of new jobs in California will require some education beyond high school. She then introduced KCCD Student Trustee Christian Chavez from Porterville College, who described how the support of her counselors and educational advisors helped her overcome some early hurdles along her educational journey.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendees
Left to right: Kevin Tallon, Dr. Kristin Clark, Christian Chavez, and Dr. Lori Bennett

West Hills College Lemoore President Kristin Clark discussed how dual enrollment and a high-touch approach to case management is closing racial and gender gaps for transfer English completion across the campus. Wasco High Principal Kevin Tallon is working together with BC and the Wonderful Company to get first-generation students through intentionally designed pathways that lead to jobs within their community. Clovis Community College has won the Champion of Higher Education Award for two years in a row, and President Lori Bennett shared how their dual enrollment and placement initiatives have established one of the newest schools in the state community college system as a leader in academic excellence.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendee
Steven Holmes

BC’s Academic Senate President Steven Holmes moderated the second panel, which focused on pathways from community college to the university. Before introducing the panel, he spoke briefly about how BC’s transfer initiatives have led to 637 percent growth in Associate Degree for Transfer completion within the last five years. Shasta College President Joe Wyse opened with an overview of his college’s Degrees When Due Initiative, which identifies students who are eligible for degree completion but who never applied. The initiative also identifies students who are near completion and invites them back to take the last few classes that they need to graduate.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendees
Dr. Joe Wyse, Jackie Cruz, and Noemi Donoso

Hartnell College’s computer science department has an innovative partnership with CSU Monterey Bay titled CS in 3, and Vice President of Advancement and Development Jackie Cruz described their internship collaborations with Salesforce, Amazon, Facebook, and other major players in the nearby Silicon Valley tech industry. Industry partnerships are key to the Central Valley’s educational reforms as well, and Wonderful Company Senior Vice President Noemi Donoso talked about the powerful collaborations they’ve developed with BC and high schools throughout Kern County.

The third panel focused on tools for sharing data across institutions. Moderator Craig Hayward introduced symposium attendees to our Program Pathways Mapper, an important tool for sharing curricular and career data with our students.

Cypress College was one of the early implementers of the pathways mapper, and President Joanna Schilling demonstrated how it’s an important tool not just for our students, but for faculty and staff who may need the pathways clarified for them as well. BC’s student government president Samantha Pulido attested to the ease and simplicity of pathway mappers, and said she wishes she had access to these resources earlier in her educational career to reduce confusion about what classes she needed to take.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendees
Kris Grappendorf and Dr. Joanna Schilling
Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendees
Justin Derrick and Samantha Pulido

McFarland High School Principal Justin Derrick is clarifying the path for the 9th graders in McFarland’s Early College program, giving students the tools they need to navigate their future before they even walk across the stage for their high school diplomas. CSUB professor Kris Grappendorf uses the program mapper to show how a degree in kinesiology is a gateway into both STEM and health careers.

Dr Joseph Jones
Dr. Joseph Jones

The last panel before lunch focused on effective partnerships. Dr. Joseph Jones, the President of Fresno Pacific University, moderated this discussion between leaders across the spectrum of California higher education. As a representative of an independent university, Jones urged attendees not to forget how schools like Fresno Pacific are uniquely positioned to quickly adapt to educational demands and build partnerships. He then introduced Gregg Camfield, the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of UC Merced. UC Merced is dedicated to serving its primarily first-generation student body, and its commitment to engaging with the community has made it the top school in the country for students performing above expectations. Camfield shared the partnerships UC Merced is developming with BC in the STEM areas and called on attendees to participate in the Health Equity and Poverty Summit on November 22nd organized by BC and UC Merced.

Lynette Zelezny has felt a call to serve the Central Valley throughout her career as an administrator, and one year into her term as the first woman president of Cal State Bakersfield, is engaged in an innovative partnership with BC with the co-location of BC SouthWest adjacent to the CSUB campus. Wolde-Ab Isaac rose from extreme poverty in the African country of Eritrea to become chancellor of the Riverside Community College District, and he spoke proudly of the partnerships he’s established throughout the Inland Empire to fulfill the district’s mission of social justice.

After a beautiful plated lunch provided by the Bakersfield Marriott, Kern County Superintendent of Schools Mary Barlow spoke about how the “cradle-to-career” vision promised by intersegmental pathways requires buy-in from all educational partners. Assemblyman Rudy Salas was the moderator for the afternoon’s keynote panel with higher ed policymakers in California. He expressed how this intersegmental pathways work makes it easier for lawmakers like him to support funding for higher education because it gives schools the ability to communicate outcomes.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendee
Assemblyman Rudy Salas

As the Chancellor of California Community Colleges and a community college graduate himself, Eloy Oakley is passionate about the moral responsibility that our 115 colleges have to help Californians elevate themselves out of poverty. He called on all sectors of education to work together and not remain in the silos of the past. Gavin Newsom has outlined an ambitious agenda called California For All to help our colleges live up to that responsibility, and senior policy advisor Lande Ajose shared the governor’s educational vision with symposium attendees. It was a real treat having Lande Ajose in Bakersfield. Check out her tweet the next day after the symposium.

Finally, California Education Department chief deputy Lupita Alcala talked about how school funding reform and mental health resources are crucial to closing equity gaps in baccalaureate attainment.

Left to right: Rudy Salas, Eloy Oakley, Lupita Alcala, and Lande Ajose
Left to right: Eloy Oakley, Lupita Alcala, and Lande Ajose

On the digital side, Twitter was a very prominent part of the day. Check out these tweets that were posted by attendees using the hashtag #BCIPS.

We even had a wonderful (and useful) stretch break that was led by our own Manny Mourtzanos and Todd Coston.

At the end of the symposium, attendees who contributed to the conversation on Twitter were entered into a raffle for an Apple Watch, iPad, and other prizes.

I would like to thank everyone who attended the Intersegmental Pathways Symposium, as well as all of our sponsors who made it possible. A big thank you to Naomi Castro and the Career Ladders Project (CLP) team who worked side by side with BC. Check out Naomi in this video.

Behind the Scenes of the Symposium

There were so many wonderful people behind the scenes of the symposium that made our event work smoothly. These include Lesley Bonds for her contributions of content and coordination of the program and panels; Craig Hayward with the content; Norma Rojas-Mora for assisting with the panels; Catherine Rangel for organizing registration; Tarina Perry for the venue logistics and food; Manny De Los Santos for the Livestream; Kristin Rabe for audio and visual support; Dylan Wang and Earl Parsons for photography; Monika Scott for technology logistics, chat and social media support; Aricia Leighton for web and social media support; and our MPR students, Juan Reyes and Ramon Carriedo for supporting us with anything that was needed.

Thank you also to the many other members of the BC family who were there supporting us with the many little details. We couldn’t have done this without all of you.

Care Package Drop Zone

BC’s Veteran Services Department partnered up with Kern River Blue Star Moms to collect care packages for our troops on Tuesday. Faculty and staff organized a booth in front of the Administration building where members of the community could donate non-perishable food and hygiene items.

Christine Heard (Kern River Blue Star Moms) with me at the Care Package Drop Zone

The goods will be distributed to troops on the ground through Operation: Not Forgotten, a volunteer non-profit organization that helps improve the quality of life for veterans and their families.

Armando Trujillo, the advisor for BC student veterans and a veteran himself, said that events like these help our troops understand that their sacrifices are appreciated. We’ve expanded our programming for veterans throughout the month of November until the grand opening of our Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center on December 10.

Thank you to Kern River Blue Star Moms, Operation: Not Forgotten, and everyone at BC who made our care package drive a huge success.

Save the Date: VRC Groundbreaking on December 10, 2019

In just a few weeks, our community will celebrate the grand opening of BC’s first facility designed and built with the funding provided out of Measure J. Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for more details!

BC at the Office of Emergency Services

On Tuesday morning, a team of BC administrators who serve on the Incident Command Center reported to the Kern County Office of Emergency Services to participate in a tabletop exercise. The purpose of this activity was to talk through the procedures of what could and should be done in the case of an emergency.

In the room, we had evaluators from local organizations such as Kern County Fire, Kern County Office of Emergency Services, Red Cross, and more. After our activity, local partners contributed with feedback and short overviews about the services their organization can provide. 

Special thank you to Dr. Nicky Damania for his detailed work to run the group through the exercise and our partners for the valuable contributions to the morning discussion.

BCSGA Power Lunch with Jeremy Staat

The BCSGA Power Lunch on Monday featured Jeremy Staat, a former Renegade football star, veteran, and candidate for California’s 8th Congressional District. Staat is also an assistant professor of welding here at BC.

Jeremy Staat

Staat played defensive end for the Renegades, Pittsburgh Steelers, and other NFL teams before deciding to serve his country as a Marine Corps veteran in Iraq. Staat comes from three generations of veterans and believes their voice deserves to be heard and recognized in society, which is the motivation for his congressional campaign.

Thank you to Jeremy Staat for taking the time out of his day to speak with our community, and thank you to BCSGA for organizing another great power lunch.

BC goes to College Night at the Getty Villa

Last week, 10 BC students headed to College Night at the Getty Villa. This free event was organized by Dr. Nicky Damania and Benny Balderrama, who reserved tickets and provided transportation. The evening lasted from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and offered activities, food, a

59DaysofCode Entrepreneurship Competition

With 25+ teams, more than 70 entrepreneurs, and $36,000 in cash prizes, 59DaysofCode was an enormous event for entrepreneurship and technology in Kern County.

The teams had 59 days to prepare and build their ideas, and at the end of the 59 days, each team had to present their idea to a panel of judges. The judges included Dusting McCraw (Software Engineer), Trevor Thomas-Uribe (Financial Investor), and our very own professor Rudy A. Menjivar (Business Law and Accounting Professor). After the initial pitches, each team presented their products at their booths during The Arena, and each finalist chosen by the judges pitched from the stage to the crowd. 

Women in Trades Workshop

The 4th annual Women in Trades workshop, which aimed to teach high school and college-aged students more about careers in the building trades, was held earlier this month to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week. The event was put on by the Kern Community College District, Bakersfield College, local union building trade apprenticeship coordinators, and the State Division of Apprenticeship Standards.

Building Trades Executive Councilman John Spaulding addressing the filled auditorium of interested women at the Kern County Electrical Training Facility

The workshop introduced local apprenticeship programs and offered hands-on workshops, which were assisted by apprentices and journeyman currently working in the trades.

Building Trades Executive Councilman John Spaulding addressing the audience

Trades represented in the workshop included electricians, plumbers, pipefitters, sheet metal workers, carpenters, operating engineers, and cement masons.

KGET had local news coverage of the workshop. A special thanks to Dave Teasdale from Economic and Workforce Development for organizing this event, and Greg Rogers from the Kern County Electrical Apprenticeship for hosting this event at their facility.

Dr. Brian Harnetty Shares His Music

Commercial music professor Joshua Ottum invited composer Dr. Brian Harnetty to the Performing Arts Center on Wednesday night to share his music with students. Harnetty’s compositions incorporated archived sound and music for a technique he called “backward karaoke.”

Harnetty was most proud to show students a project he’s been working on called “Shawnee, Ohio,” which is a collection of music composed entirely of audio from the city’s archives. Thank you to Joshua Ottum for inviting Brian Harnetty to share his creativity with our Renegades.

On Wednesday, November 20, BC hosted Deep Cuts and Conversations at the Levan Center, with Dr. Brian Harnetty, who discussed his artistic methods of recording authentic sounds to create music. Dr. Harnetty explained how improvisation and live recordings, such sounds of people, nature, and instruments, can create genuine music.

BC faculty Kris Tiner, Director of Jazz Studies, Joshua Ottum, Professor of Commercial Music, and Reggie Williams, Professor of Philosophy, discussed with Dr. Harnetty about their experiences with improvisation to create music and the authentic sounds heard during a live performance. Professor Tiner talked about the improvisation of influential jazz artist Miles Davis in his song “Nefertiti,” where the melody repeats by improvising and playing it in different ways.

Professor Ottum described his experience listening to indie rock band Granddaddy and their song “He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot,” where they improvised by using simple music equipment, such as playing into pipes to get an echo for their sounds and create genuine music.

Professor Williams talked about the rock band Alice in Chains’s song “Nutshell,” comparing the emotion between their recorded song and the live MTV Unplugged performance that conveyed a strong sense of human pain.

Thank you to Professors Kris Tiner, Joshua Ottum, Reggie Williams, and guest speaker Dr. Brian Harnetty for hosting Deep Cuts and Conversations and inspiring our future BC artists!

BC Construction Class Tours Measure J Construction

One of the BC Construction classes visited the Measure J construction site a couple of weeks ago, but this week they were able to get a one-on-one tour with S.C. Anderson Project Superintendent Bill Campe. Bill showed the students all of the work currently underway at the Campus Center. The students were able to see first-hand the phases that happen in construction, and I think will be able to take away some of that information to assist them as they progress in the construction field. 

I’d like to thank Bill and those at AECOM/Parsons for taking the time to show our students the processes needed to construct something as in depth as the new Campus Center, and what the Measure J funds are building. Together we’re building a better BC!

Men’s Soccer Claims Conference Championship for First Time in School History!

A huge congratulations goes out to Men’s Soccer Coach Vayron Martinez and his soccer team as they won the school’s first men’s soccer conference championship when they defeated College of the Canyons 2-1 last Friday. We are proud of the program and their success. They are now focused on the playoffs as they will travel to play at Fullerton College this Saturday (11/23) at 2 p.m. in the first round of the CCCAA Men’s Soccer SoCal Regional. Once again – Congrats Coach Vayron and team!

Women’s Volleyball will host Chaffey in CCCAA SoCal Playoff

Our 4-peat conference championship volleyball team will be hosting Chaffey College in the first round of the CCCCAA SoCal Regional Playoffs this coming Tuesday (11/26) at 6 p.m. We need everyone’s support in the Gil Bishop Sports Center to cheer on our Renegade Volleyball team as they look to advance further into the playoffs!

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (11/10-11/16) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week

Emma Gross, Women’s Soccer

Emma anchored the Renegade defense in games last week against Santa Monica and Antelope Valley as the team closed out the 2019 regular season. Emma was also honored this week as a member of the 2019 CCCAA All-State Team, an honor given to only four defenders in the state.

Edgar Gonzalez, Men’s Soccer

Edgar assisted on three of the four goals scored by the Renegades last week as the team clinched its first conference championship in school history. This week Edgar was also named to the CCCAA All-Region team, the WSC South 1st Team and as WSC South Offensive Player of the Year. 

Renegade Athletics Updates From This Past Week

Athletic Events ‘On the Hill’ This Coming Week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • 11/26 at 6 p.m. – Volleyball vs. Chaffey, CCCAA
  • 11/27 at 5 p.m. – Men’s Basketball vs. West Hills Coalinga
Sonya in BC shirt smiling.


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Welcome Back, Renegades!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, January 25, 2020… 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.