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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
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!
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!
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!
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.”
More on the John W. Rice Award event in Sacramento
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.”
Thank you Nicky Damania for clicking so many photos.
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 Thomas, Bob Price, Jay Rosenlieb, and Lily Agbalog.
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.
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!”
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.