I’m continuing to share pictures of our vaccinated Renegades. If you’d like to share your vaccination photo, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BC supporter Nicole Parra got her vaccination at our first drive-thru clinic:
Program Manager for Counseling & Student Success Isabel Castaneda tweeted about her Johnson&Johnson vaccination:
Food Services Manager Fidel Cabuena got his second Pfizer shot:
Department Assistant Cheryl Caswell-Fairbanks got the shot with her husband and Shawn Newsom from the History Department:
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, April 3, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.
This Easter weekend, I wanted to share a few photos of spring flowers:
And the rose season is getting started:
First Lady comes to Central Valley
This week, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden visited the Central Valley to meet with farmworkers at The Forty Acres. She was joined by Gov. Gavin Newsom in touring The Forty Acres, which was created by Cesar Chavez and became the headquarters for the United Farmworkers of America, and in thanking farmworkers for their hard work during the pandemic. Connie Perez-Andreeson from the BC Foundation Board introduced Dr. Jill Biden…. so cool!
And here is an Instagram post by FLOTUS; the picture is of Connie introducing her.
Young Mothers for Peace
Mothers for Peace, the first in a series of seminars through the Bakersfield College Peace Initiative, kicked off on Tuesday this week with a Zoom webinar where panelists reflected on their experiences and concerns as they raise their children, as well as their visions for a peaceful future. Norma Rojas-Mora, served as emcee. Our panelists were Sandy Woo-Cater, Anti-Trafficking Expert; Lauren Skidmore, District Director for Assembly Member Vince Fong; Pawan Gill, Director of HR and Community Development for the City of Arvin; and Antrenette Carr, Human Resources Manager at Amazon.
Here are my opening remarks:
Then, our panelists each gave a short introduction of themselves and their families:
Norma then asked our panelists to reflect on a series of questions.
As a mother, what do you see as the threat?
Let’s fast forward to 2035, your child is now an adult. As you envision that world what do you want it look like?
What do you want to do to reach that vision for a peaceful society in 2035? What is your call to action?
Norma wrapped up the seminar with a few closing comments:
Last Thursday the Early College team hosted a virtual student & parent information night for Valley Oaks Charter School. The session was focused on incoming 9th graders and their parents, but was open for all Valley Oaks students. The student testimonials were the highlight of the event. Two graduating seniors shared their experiences with taking Early College classes through Valley Oaks. They also participated in a question and answer session for the parents and students.
Here are some quotes from our Early College students:
“It’s a really good experience… If you do start, I would start with 1-2 classes.” – Jaxon Young
“I was nervous too. It’s ok to be nervous. It puts a little bit of pressure on you but don’t be afraid to ask your professors for help.” – Elise Mayer
Inmate Scholars Update
Jennifer Craig, an assistant professor of English and the Inmate Scholars Program, sent out the latest edition of the Inmate Scholars Newsletter on March 26.
BC Cheer shared a throwback photo from the 1994-1995 squad:
The Kern Exceptional Family Center shared some pictures from their vaccination clinic in partnership with the Kern Regional Center and Bakersfield College:
History Professor Olivia Garcia spotted some Easter cheer on a trail:
One of our Culinary Arts students was preparing pastry boxes for Nixtamal Cafe:
Job Development Specialist Carlos Medina’s family took a bike ride through the bluffs:
The Story of Kitty
Before I wrap up with the Athletics Corner that Brandon sends my way, I wanted you to enjoy this story written by one of my regular contributors to the blog, Dr. Jack Hernandez, aka “Grandpa Jack” who wrote a delightful short story for his seven year old granddaughter who is a terrific gymnast…she was cartwheeling and flipping when he was visiting in Williamstown.
Kitty was a small, grey fluffy cat. Her older sister, Kiki, loved to musically meow and dance, waving her paws in the air like flags. Her big brother, Cosmic, was a superstar mouse chaser.
But one morning as Kitty watched them from her high breakfast perch she wondered what she could do to be happy like them. She remembered all the things she had tried to do, but hadn’t worked.
First she had tried swimming, but didn’t like her fur all wet, soggy, and heavy. So that didn’t work.
Next she had played catball, but didn’t like waiting for her turn, plus she missed too many. So that didn’t work.
Then she had gone outside on the grass to race snails, but that was too easy. Like even an ant can beat a snail. So that didn’t work.
Finally she had tried tooting a horn, but didn’t like her lips all tired and worn. So that didn’t work.
O me, o my, she thought, what can I do? And as she sat and wondered, she suddenly fell from her perch and without thinking landed upright on her paws! Wow, she said, I can do this, can do tricks in the air!
So when her mama cat, Lipsi, brought her a pancake, she asked her how she could learn to leap and turn, leap and circle in the air.
He mom answered, “I know a place, Kitty, that teaches kiddy cats to do catnastics, and after breakfast I’ll take you there.”
“Thank you, mom,” Kitty purred as she put some syrup on her pancake.
So that very afternoon Kitty began her catnastics lessons. And she practiced and practiced.
Then one day, not too long after, she was cartwheeling her way! Here and there! Everywhere!
O how she could flip and dip! Backward and forward! Up and down! Cat flips to the ceiling, to the floor. Tricks, tricks, and tricks galore!
She was no longer just watching other cats in their jazzy fur. She was now cool, cool Kitty. Jumping. Pumping. Swinging and zinging. Every day. Every way.
And that is how she became Kitty–The Cartwheeling Cat.
Volleyball End Spring I Season With Perfect Record
Even though they were not playing competitively for over a year, the Renegade Women’s Volleyball squad is playing like they haven’t skipped a beat. They recently wrapped up play in the abbreviated California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) Spring I sports season with a perfect 9-0 record. In the process they swept seven of the nine opponents and only gave up two sets in those nine games. While there will be no conference or state championship for them to play at the end of this season, we are proud of the what they accomplished and how they represented BC!
Coach Littlejohn on KGET Coaches Corner
Be sure to catch our very own Renegade Head Football Coach R. Todd Littlejohn as he joins KGET sports reporter Taylor Schaub to dissect the local high school football games each week. Watch last week’s segment of the first week of Kern High District games by clicking below:
“They’re not celebrating at Disneyland quite yet, but you might have thought those at Bakersfield College on Sunday had already arrived at the happiest place on earth. Cars and trucks lined up to make their way into the parking lot abutting University Avenue for a poke in the arm in the form of one of 1,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses. The event was dubbed the first mass drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Kern County, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who wasn’t smiling.”
Beautiful writing….. beautiful words…..
We kicked off the clinic with a press conference with some wonderful speakers:
Norma Rojas-Mora, BC Director of Communication and Community Relations:
Assemblyman Rudy Salas:
KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog:
Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez:
David Torres, Centric Health Foundation Chairman:
Imelda Ceja-Butkiewicz, President of the Kern Inyo Mono Central Labor Council:
Jay Tamsi, Co-founder of Kern County Latino COVID-19 Task Force:
Joseph Lopez, on behalf of State Senator Melissa Hurtado:
The entire day had an air of celebration and collaboration as so many different people and groups worked together to get 1,000 vaccine shots-in-arms for the clinic. It is amazing what we can accomplish when we all work together toward a common goal.
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, March 27, 2021, my dad’s b’day … a great day to be a Renegade.
Photos & Poetry
This week, a friend sent me this amazing photo…the heavens have opened:
I thought of this photo – these gray skies broken up by a few rays of radiant sunshine – when I read this poem that Jack Hernandez sent to me:
The little yellow flowers along the freeway exit road smile as I wait for the light to give me permission to go.
Some sunless days though, eager winds sowing dust, they stay tightly closed, I drive on unsure and cold.
Another friend of mine, who lost her partner, shared this poem from Khalil Gibran:
It is said that before entering the sea a river trembles with fear.
She looks back at the path she has traveled, from the peaks of the mountains, the long winding road crossing forests and villages.
And in front of her, she sees an ocean so vast, that to enter there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.
But there is no other way. The river can not go back.
Nobody can go back. To go back is impossible in existence.
The river needs to take the risk of entering the ocean because only then will fear disappear, because that’s where the river will know it’s not about disappearing into the ocean, but of becoming the ocean.
Magnificent sunset photos at BC taken by Janet Tarjan on March 25th
Morning walk celebration of dad’s birthday.
Jess Nieto Conference
The 3rd Annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference was held this past week. Professor Jess Nieto established the Chicano Studies program and Chicano Cultural Center at Bakersfield College. He was an entrepreneur, civil rights activist, educational leader and mentor to countless students.
The conference this year included a wonderful mix of education, entertainment and celebration. Contributions from student organizations, professors, community leaders and partners make this a truly special event. Panels include “Unraveling Latina Stereotypes: Latinas Unidas in Conversation”, “Celebrating the Legacy of Cesar Chavez, the Farmworker Movement, and the Ongoing Work of the UFW and Cesar Chavez Foundation” and many more.
Check out this video from Abel Guzman, Executive Director of Rural Initiatives, which was part of the opening day programming:
Dolores Huerta spoke via Zoom with Dr. Taína Caragol, Curator of Latino Art & History at the Smithsonian Institution. The event was co-sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the Dolores Huerta Foundation, the Wylie and May Louise Jones Art Gallery at Bakersfield College, and the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities at Bakersfield College.
Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields / Revolución en los Campos is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. See the virtual tour and get more information at the Jones Art Gallery.
Measure J – Thank You Nicole!
I love this photo of Nicole Parra and her dog, Bailey, sitting in front of our first Measure J Project – the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center.
Thank you, Nicole, for managing our Measure J campaign. We could not have done it without you, and I’m so glad you were able to enjoy the fruits of your labor 5 years later!
Gone are the days of receiving thousands of paper application submissions! We are excited to announce the launch of our new online program, dualenroll.com, that has replaced the paper form submissions for Dual Enrollment and Concurrent Enrollment. Students from all high schools can now use Dual Enroll to register for Summer 2021 and Fall 2021. This transition will streamline services for students and will make these opportunities more accessible in distance and online learning environments.
Kara McDonald, program manager for Student Success & Equity, wrote this piece about the importance of embracing peace instead of conflict – and highlighting the new Peace Initiative that Bakersfield College will be embarking on over the next 18 months.
“This initiative includes the Peace Garden that will soon begin construction on BC’s campus, as well as a series of projects done in partnership with other community groups working toward peace. Finally, the Peace Initiative includes a seminar series designed to engage small groups of women, veterans, educators and police in conversations about what peace looks like here in Kern County and how we build it.”
On Tuesday, we will kick off the Peace Initiative with the first installment of the Peace Initiative Seminar Series, “Mothers for Peace.” For more information, or to register for the Zoom event, visit the Bakersfield College website.
Community Voices: Our lives, our stories
Jack Hernandez, retired director of the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities, wrote a piece about how our lives live on in the stories, minds and memories of those who know us.
“But we all have an afterlife on this earth. An afterlife of our stories remembered by those who have known us for many years. Many live on in my mind: the stories of dad working two jobs to send me to college, of mom sending me off every morning to school, filled with breakfast and secure in her love. My Bakersfield College students, friends and colleagues during my many years here after I drove to Bakersfield from Detroit, not knowing what to expect when I came down Edison Highway in my own “Grapes of Wrath.””
Bakersfield College Ranks 3rd in State
Check out this video & article on KGET – BC ranks 3rd in degrees awarded among California Hispanic serving institutions!
“Bakersfield College said in recent years they have worked on improving student outcomes, reducing achievement gaps and increasing access for students using a Guided Pathways approach. Since BC first started its Guided Pathways program in 2014, the college has seen growth and improvement across multiple student success metrics.”
Spotted on Social Media
Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh shared this post about our vaccination clinic:
Bill Moseley shared his delicious weekend plans:
Jessica Wojtysiak also had a delicious night, courtesy of BC’s culinary arts students:
And Kristin Rabe shared the daisies outside her porch:
Alyson Dees Named CCCWVCA State Player of the Week
Women’s Volleyball are undefeated thus far in the abbreviated Spring I season and to top it off, sophomore Alyson Dees was named the California Community College Women’s Volleyball Coaches Association (CCCWVCA) State Player of the Week for her performance against Cerro Coso the week prior. Alyson embodies the spirit of the team and as her coach Carl Ferreira said “one of the most amazing things about Aly is how much selfless energy she gives to her teammates. If that’s not enough, she’s an even better person.” Congrats Alyson!
That’s all for now. Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Follow our chancellor’s lead…. he dropped off his ballot today at the BC ballot box.
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, October 24, 2020…a great day to be a Renegade.
Kern Shakespeare Festival: “The Comedy of Errors”
The 36th annual Shakespeare festival kicked off this week with the virtual premiere of “The Comedy of Errors”, directed by Bob Kempf. The performers have adapted the slapstick of the Bard’s original “Comedy of Errors” into a Chaplinesque silent film with masks. Performances of the play aired online Thursday, October 22 through Saturday, October 24.
For the first time at this year’s Kern Shakespeare Festival, alongside the Shakespeare plays, the theater department will begin premiering a production created by playwrights of color. Premiering Thursday, October 29 is a performance of “Bootycandy”, a semi-autobiographical play written by Robert O’Hara that premiered in 2015. The festival close-out production is Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” Check the Kern Shakespeare Festival Facebook page for ticket information for upcoming shows.
BC High School Chamber Singers Festival Moves Online
On Monday, the BC Chamber Singers hosted their annual BC High School Chamber Singers Festival. In past years, 14 high school chamber choirs would have come to the BC campus for the event.
This year, the format changed to a Zoom event with Grammy-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre.
Performing Arts Department Chair Jennifer Garrett shared that 15 high school choirs, plus CSUB choirs and more were scheduled to attend the virtual event – including a Q&A session with Eric.
Jennifer shared the piece that Eric discussed at the event:
Latina Leaders of Kern
Bakersfield College, BC’s Latinas Unidas student organization, and the Latina Leaders of Kern County came together to host their first webinar in a series on race and diversity relations. Norma Rojas-Mora, BC’s Director of Community Relations who serves on the Board of Directors for the Latina Leaders of Kern County, was the moderator for the panel on Wednesday, October 21: “A Dialogue on the Intricacies of Race and Relationships”. Maria Wright was a featured panelist, along with HelloBakersfield podcast host Carla Barrientos and Sandy Woo-Cater, the Co-Director of the Kern Coalition Against Human Trafficking.
I will be sharing videos from this webinar in my blog. Today, I’m sharing Carla Barrientos’ introduction. In this 2:12 video, she shares a little about her background and her experiences being in a biracial relationship.
Next week, I will continue to share short video clips from the webinar, as well as a link to the video of the full webinar.
Art, Architecture and Archetypes
The Levan Center focused its “Art, Architecture and Archetypes” discussion on Wednesday around art and lockdowns, examining the different ways that disease and isolation have impacted art over time.
Professor Rae Ann Kumelos opened her remarks with an mythological exploration of hubris, showing stories from the Greek canon where the gods have punished mankind for its failures to reckon with reason and science. Apollo, the god of reason and science, was also the god who could cast plagues with his arrows.
Art professor Ronnie Wrest showed several art pieces inspired by pandemics and disease, highlighting paintings from Edvard Munch alongside an 1890 print depicting Japanese folklore. He also showed some street art made during the 2020 pandemic to celebrate health workers.
Kimberly Chin shared about the impact of the pandemic on Broadway theater. The New York theater district, which is the biggest in the world, had only closed 14 times before the pandemic, mostly related to strikes or natural disasters. In fact, the theater stayed open during the Spanish flu. The current pandemic is the longest time that Broadway has been closed in its history, and it looks to continue closure well into next year.
Krista Moreland gave a presentation on the way art about pandemics reflected different cultural values and needs that evolved over time. Pandemics were initially perceived as “punishment” for sinners, and woodcut illustrations were used to communicate the dangers about plagues for a primarily illiterate population . Eventually, as culture evolved to perceive plague victims with more empathy, artists depicted their struggles with more humanity. Pandemics changed the urban landscape as we began to understand disease, and images from newspapers, drawings and video recordings could directly depict disease in HD.
Thank you to Levan Center director Reggie Williams and all of the panelists for their participation in this virtual forum about art and pandemics.
Latino Inspire Awards Recognize Norma Rojas-Mora
BC’s Norma Rojas-Mora was recognized by Rep. TJ Cox during this year’s Latino Inspire Award celebration. Rep. Cox first hosted the Latino Inspire Awards in 2019 in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated since 1988 from September 15th to October 15th.
Rep. Cox recognized Norma for all her years of service and her work to inspire positive change throughout the Bakersfield Community. Congratulations to Norma and the full list of deserving recipients.
Kern County: Rosalinda Chairez, Magda Menendez, Ana Vigil, Matthew Cauthron, Norma Rojas-Mora
Organizations: Centro la Familia and the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Student Success Lab offers Standardized Test Prep Course
All of us at one time or another have had to take a make-or-break sort of test, such as TEAS (Nursing), CBEST, CSET, ASVVAB (Military), GED, SAT, ACT, and WorkKeys. But did you know that you can prepare for these by signing up for practice exercises that are free, ungraded, online (PLATO software), and at your own pace?!
Our very own Student Success Lab is now offering EDUC B80 Test Prep for Careers. Signing up couldn’t be easier: register any time this semester for CRN 75692, which is EDUC B80NC. Then send an email to our Director, Kim Nickell (email@example.com) with your student ID# and birth date. Professor Nickell and her staff will then set up your account and test prep activities in PLATO and email the login information to you. You can also access the course through Canvas, which will contain further resources on test taking tips and strategies.
Early College at the #SSSC20 Virtual Conference
Early College was asked to present on the Online Collaborative Model of course delivery at the Strengthening Student Success 2020 Virtual Conference. Program Directors Kylie Campbell & Nicole Alvarez were joined by BC faculty member Teresa Mcallister and her online collaborative teaching partner, McFarland High School faculty, Angela Quinn. The four of them detailed the evolution of BC’s online collaborative module and the adapting they have had to do in light of the COVID pandemic.
Bakersfield Young Professionals Diversity Panel
Abel Guzman represented BC and the EODAC committee at the 2020 Bakersfield Young Professionals Summit, speaking as part of a panel on diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.
At the panel on October 14, Abel helped answer questions about recruiting and hiring diverse talent, diversification in the workplace, and more, along with Claudia Catota, Chief Diversity Officer at CSUB; Jane Myneni, Inclusion, Diversity and Engagement Lead at Aera; and moderator Carla Barrientos, host of the HelloBakersfield Podcast.
Please join me in celebrating the life and legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg on Thursday, October 29, live at 5:30 p.m on BC’s YouTube channel and Facebook live. This very special tribute, organized by the Pre-Law Club and the Women’s History and More committee, has been in the making for a few weeks, and I can’t wait for everyone to see it.
Talita Pruett shared this picture of her beautiful family, and found the positives in these unprecedented times:
“One of the upsides of distance learning and working remotely is that we can work from the beach. So, we’ve been working/ studying from Morro Bay as much as we can. It is a blessing to be able to go on walks early in the morning before we start work/school and late in the afternoon after we are all done with work…Being safely outdoors, when we’ve been isolated/ at home for seven months now, is divine. It is a balm for the body and the soul.”
Cindy Collier shared this photo from getting takeout at the Renegade Room:
“BC Renegade Room and Culinary students continuing their education with take out food services. Chef Suzannne and Logan were so hospitable and the food is wonderful. BC faculty and students are innovative and flexible.“
Baseball’s Caggienelli Headed to CSUB
Renegade Baseball pitcher Benji Caggienelli announced this week his commitment to play at the next level across town at Cal State Bakersfield. The right-handed pitcher played just this shortened spring season at BC after a stellar high school career at Ridgeview High School. He is the third baseball player this year to move on to the four-year level. Congrats Benji! We’ll be rooting for you!
That’s all for now. Until next time. With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The workshop introduced local apprenticeship programs and offered hands-on workshops, which were assisted by apprentices and journeyman currently working in the trades.
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
Men’s Basketball opens up season with three victories at West Hills Tournament:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
always exciting to see our campus connecting with the business and community in
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.
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.