Tag Archives: Trustee Bill Thomas

July 28, 2018 — a special day

Neo at Marina Del Rey July 26 2018Good morning Bakersfield. 

It is Saturday, July 28, 2018, a special day for me…….usually a day of reflection and today I reflect on the amazing summer we have had so far, and looking forward to the upcoming fall semester.  Definitely a good day to be a Renegade

I’m also thinking again this morning about Summer Bridge…., the amazing faculty and staff who participate and the amazing Kimberly Bligh who leads and organizes the entire effort.

 

Summer Bridge Taking Media by Storm

Tori Cooper interviewing student

Tori Cooper interviewing student

The Summer Bridge program was on fire this week in local media coverage.   The Bakersfield Californian featured an article talking about how the program helps to minimize the intimidation that many high school students feel when moving to higher education.  ABC23 also highlighted the program, talking to students and their drive to continue their education. On Wednesday, Karen Hua at KGET also created a video package showcasing the good work of this program. #WeareBC!

You MUST SEE the video of incoming freshman, Daryl Maiden speaking to Tori Cooper of 23 ABC.

Thank you to Joseph Luiz at the Bakersfield Californian and Tori Cooper at ABC23 for helping to keep our community informed on BC’s commitment to student success.

Summer Bridge Paper

This amazing program is changing lives and helping students succeed from day one! Special thanks to two incredible women who care about students and their success – Dr. Kimberly Bligh and Isabel Castaneda!

Kimberly Bligh and Isabel Castaneda

Kimberly Bligh and Isabel Castaneda

Process Technology Degree Coming to BC

It was highlighted in the Worth Noting” section of the Bakersfield Californian that BC has a Process Technology degree and certificate coming soon! This new degree will provide the skills and knowledge needed for jobs such as chemical system operators, water and gas system operators, and petroleum pump operators.

Career Technical Education (CTE) Vision Board

Career Technical Education (CTE) Vision Board

According to recent 2018 Labor Market Analysis, there were 1,359 job postings for the four industrial-systems-technology-and-maintenance occupations in the seven counties within the South Central Valley region over the past year. “Bakersfield College is committed to providing our students with an educational foundation for a successful career, one which will provide employment that directly aligns with their course of study” said Director of Career and Technical Education, Tony Cordova.

L.U.P.E. Hosts 2nd Annual Dreamer Open House

Dreamer Open House (8)On Friday July 20th, L.U.P.E. (Latinos Unidos Por Educación) hosted the 2nd Annual Dreamer Open House on campus. This impactful event was geared towards incoming freshmen who met the classification of AB540, DACA, DREAMer, and undocumented.  This event was a great way to provide students with a supportive environment and reassurance that our campus community is a “safe space.” Students were shown our various campus resources as well as community resources, such as the United Farmworkers Foundation (UFW)  and Youth 2 Leaders (Y2L).

Dreamer Open House (7)

Dreamer Open House (6)Our fearless Student Government Officers, including BCSGA President James Tompkins, provided a warm welcome and words of encouragement to our Dreamer attendees, which was clearly taken to heart as newfound friendships were formed as the day progressed.  Thank you to the 16 L.U.P.E. students who volunteered to set up, served as group facilitators and presenters, and participated in the college panel discussion. Also, a very special thanks to the Office of Student Success and Equity, EOP&S, CalSOAP, Outreach Department, and Hodels Restaurant for their support and involvement. I love showing others what a dedicated staff we have here at BC, and how it is our campus culture to invest in our students.

Legislative Field Representatives Visit BC

Field representatives Perry Finzel (Congressman David Valadao’s office), Aaron Falk and Cole Karr (Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s office), and Clayton Fowler (Assemblyman Vince Fong’s office) visited the BC campus on Wednesday where they were shown what it truly means to be a Renegade!  Dr. Michele Bresso welcomed the representatives, and helped them to get to know BC and the innovative and impactful programs that we offer.

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dsc05957-x3On the tour they were introduced to our Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology program, met with student veterans who shared information about the services that BC offers and the new veterans center that will be starting construction soon, and they got to engage first-hand with the amazing robotics technology that our students learn with.

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This tour was an opportunity for our representatives to see the BC staff dedication to student success that we consistently strive for, as well as our commitment to workforce development in our community. #WeareBC!

Renegade Athletics Student Success Seminar

 

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Over 82 incoming freshman student athletes attended the 1st annual Student Success Seminar on Monday, July 23rd to help orient them to resources on campus. Athletics program manager Darrell Ballard coordinated speakers from all across campus including:

The Renegade Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) student leaders

David Seymore from Student Health  who spoke on the mental challenges of being an athlete today

Danyel Owens from Student Life who discussed never being hungry at BC and the importance of nutrition

Stephanie Baltazar from Career and Technical Education who discussed finding a career, working on campus, and building a resume

Eileen Pierce and her Academic Support Staff who discussed the locations and importance of tutoring, work study, math hub, writing center and supplemental instruction

Vanesa De La Madrid Hernandez and Amanda Stone from Financial Aid who discussed financial aid in detail, important dates, how to check your program status, and much more

Stig Jantz, Athletics Academic Advisor, who  talked about what it takes to be a successful student at BC, the importance of GPA, graduation plans, matriculation, and BC Math and English Initiatives.

Stay Connected1

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics throughout the year via social media to know the latest on our sports teams:

Jon Mettus highlights BC Volleyball Coach Ferreira

CarlFerreira

Carl Ferreira

The Bakersfield Californian’s Jon Mettus spotlighted the talented and dedicated coach Ferreira this week in a Q&A piece. 

The interview covers topics such as how Coach Carl Ferreira found himself in Bakersfield, how he found himself coaching Volleyball, and what he calls the ‘secret sauce’ in coaching.

Within the piece, coach says “My  primary job is just to impact people. Not to coach volleyball. To coach volleyball is easy. Impacting people is really hard.”

Read the whole article at Bakersfield.com.

And love this photo by Felix Adamo in The Bakersfield Californian

Coach Carl Ferreira Photo by Feliz Adamo TBC

Coach Ferreira and Renegade Volleyball.  Photo by Felix Adamo

Chamber Singers in Australia

For the past three years, the Chamber Singers worked hard to make the Australia Tour a reality. They fundraised, rehearsed, fundraised some more, gave performances, and devoted so much heart to this adventure. They are now safely home and this talented group is already dreaming up where they’ll bring the Renegade spirit to next!

Here are a few highlights from the 2018 Chamber Singers trip to Australia:

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Chamber Singers at the Australian Museum

Chamber Singers at the Australian Museum

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Chamber Singers Sydney University Madrigal Society

Chamber Singers Sydney University Madrigal Society

OPera House

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This group of talented men and women are forever changed and so grateful for everyone who supported them on this journey. Thank you to all who helped make this possible and to all of the Chamber Singers and guests who made this the most incredible tour!

Special Commissions by Ron Kean

Ron Kean and Sonya Christian

Ron Kean and Sonya Christian

BC is lucky to have such talented and dedicated faculty and staff. I’m thinking this morning about the “Journey of Harriet Tubman,” a specially commissioned work by Ron Kean that premiered on March 24, 2017, performed by the Bakersfield College Choirs with Dr. Jennifer Garrett as Conductor. Written in the style of African/American spirituals that she would have sung, the work chronicles Harriet Tubman’s early life,  escape from slavery, and bravery and leadership in helping others escape. These spirituals are set in a pre-Civil-War, west African style that helps evoke the life and mind of the enslaved Africans. Harriet Tubman escaped from enslavement and returned to Maryland 13 times, helping rescue over 300 fellow enslaved Africans.

Since its premiere, this work has been performed by a professional women’s choir, VOX Femina Los Angeles, at CSU Long Beach, San Jose State University, and by the San Luis Obispo Master Chorale. Performances this year include the Idyllwild School of the Arts at Walt Disney Hall on Aug. 5, College of the Canyons, Santa Barbara Choral Society, the Sacramento Master Chorale and CSU Fresno.

The BC Chamber Singers will premiere its latest commission by Ron Kean, “The Star Spangled Banner” on October 26, 2018. I’m told this new arrangement focuses musically on the “spangles” of our flag and the wonder at the survival of the United States from the Battle of Fort McHenry in 1812.

Ron says, “The purpose of composing both compositions is to honor and celebrate all Americans who have contributed to our great nation. An African Proverb says: ‘If you wish to travel fast, go alone: But if you wish to travel far, go together.’ I HOPE that we can all learn to walk together by honoring the unique cultures that formed America.”

Testing and Placement Center Move

Testing and Placement WorkstationsAs we prepare for the construction of the new Veteran’s Center, a crucial next step was to create the new Testing and Placement Center on the 1st floor of the CSS building (where the Graphics and Print Shop used to be, on the north side of the building, room 14). This critical move allows work to proceed on the old Finlinson building which will become the new Veterans Center. Regular testing and placement student support services have resumed.

Testing and Placement Computers

Thanks to Kalina Hill who worked to verify that we have everything in the correct place. Thanks to M&O for helping us get a few pieces of temporary furniture to make things work while we wait for new furniture to arrive (primarily in the office space). And thank you IT Crew!

Testing and Placement Move

BC’s IT team giving up their Saturday morning to get things in place so that the testing center can be up and running for Monday morning.

Drum Corps International Competition Resounds Through BC

final-2018-large_origDrumroll, please! The fourth annual “Resound: Drum and Bugle Corps Competition” was held at BC last Friday. To say that it was a success is to put it lightly.  This event brought together some of the best drum and bugle corps to our campus, from as far as Salt Lake City. The competition , which had over 1,100 people in attendance, is supported by an Arts in the Community Grant from the Arts Council of Kern.  We are very proud to have hosted this great event!

BC’s Performing Arts presents “Parade”

Parade Flier

Bakersfield College Performing Arts Department proudly presents the 2nd Annual Summer Musical, the Tony Award-winning Parade. Performances are scheduled for August 3, 4, 10, and 11 at 7:30PM at BC’s beautiful Indoor Theater. Tickets available at Vallitix.com and at the door!

Parade is a moving and hopeful examination of a challenging part of the American experience that includes religious intolerance, political injustice and racial tension. This stirring musical explores the endurance of love and hope against all odds, with a book by acclaimed playwright Alfred Uhry, and a rousing, colorful and haunting score by Jason Robert Brown,

In 1913, Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-raised Jew living in Georgia, is put on trial for the murder of thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan, a factory worker under his employ. Already guilty in the eyes of everyone around him, the actions of a sensationalist publisher and a janitor’s false testimony seal Leo’s fate. His only defenders are a Governor with a conscience, and, eventually, his assimilated Southern wife who finds the necessary strength and love to become his greatest champion.

Daring, innovative and bold, Parade is filled with soaring music and a heart-wrenching story, offering a moral lesson about the dangers of prejudice and ignorance — one that still rings true in our modern political landscape.

State Water Resource Control Board placement while at BC

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Zechariah Maynard is a former MESA student.  He transferred to Cal Poly Pomona as a mechanical engineering major starting only this Fall, but, as we know, MESA students are eager to “pay it forward” and help their fellow students. Zechariah came back and helped set up a  presentation to summer students in the AERA STEM Center on July 26. Zechariah spoke about how jobs like his placement with the State Water Resource Control Board are great opportunities for engineering students. He described how gained a wealth of knowledge, and encouraged more BC students to pursue experiences like this one that the MESA program made possible for him.  Thank you Connie Gonzales and the MESA faculty for your focus on dedication to our students.

Walkin’ After Sunrise

Sonya Christian and Rhondi Bradford July 24 2018

Sonya Christian, Rhondi Bradford

Rhondi Bradford is a proud alumna and former BC employee who loves BC! Even though she retired in 2007, she and her husband Bob, visit campus each morning for their morning walks.

While at BC as an employee, Rhondi was active and social with many groups and she worked with recently retired Vice President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg for a number of years back when Nan was Dean. Rhondi is a proud graduate of the class of 1964 with a degree in Business and in her spare time, she has volunteered to chronicle the unfolding of the construction work related to Measure J during her morning walks on campus. #WeAreBC!

Local Contractor Outreach Seminar

Trustee Thomas speaking at the Local Contractor Outreach Seminar

Trustee Thomas speaking at the Local Contractor Outreach Seminar

On Tuesday night, BC hosted a local contractor outreach seminar along with AECOM/Parsons and Casamar Group in an effort to inform the community about  upcoming Measure J projects, and make visible that KCCD and BC are dedicated to hiring a local workforce, and want to maximize opportunity for small and local contractors interested in participating in these projects. At the seminar, attendees were given details about Measure J projects and how to become a part of the program to build A Better BC

A special thank you to Trustee Bill Thomas for his attendance and introduction about the importance of Measure J and what it means for the community.  We are working to keep local dollars local, and want our community to be given every opportunity to be a part of this adventure.

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Also thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Trustee Kyle Carter for attending this event.

 

Latina Leaders of Kern County: Latinas Leading the Way Annual Fundraiser

The 19th Annual Latinas Leading the Way dinner was held last weekend, where BC was represented in full force!  The annual fundraiser highlights women making an impact in the community through education. Norma Rojas-Mora, Corny Rodriguez, andAbel Guzman were just a few BC employees in attendance, as was Mayor Goh, who is always enthusiastic in sharing the Renegade spirit at community events. Congratulations to honorees Beatris Espericueta Sanders, Sonia Rodriguez, and Lillian Tafoya on their well-deserved recognition and for encouraging Latina leadership and education in our community!

The Bakersfield College crew supporting Latina Leaders

The Bakersfield College crew supporting Latina Leaders

Family Time

I spent several days this past week at my daughter’s house by the beach.  My favorite vacations are full of long walks and this one was no different — walks on the beach, walks at the marina…….

Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take,
But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away

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And then there was my daughter spoiling Neo and teaching him bad habits.  You just need to check out the photo below to know what I mean.

Neo on Eisha Christian's bed Marina Del Rey July 27 2018

 

Sonya Christian and Neo Marina Del Rey July 27 2018

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A Beautiful Rainy Week at BC

Good morning Bakersfield…It is Saturday, March 24th and a great day to be a Renegade.

This past week Bakersfield was rejoicing in the rain that kept visiting us and revisiting almost every day of the week.  What a blessing!

So many highlights from this week…the brightest of them all was the recognition of Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.

The “Nan” Touch

Nan Gomez-HeitzebergMany know the incredible value that Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Executive Vice President of Instruction Emeritus, has brought over the last 35 years to Bakersfield College and across the Kern Community College District. Yet her impact has been felt beyond our campus, so much that one of our partners, FIELD (Farmworker Institute for Education and Leadership Development), honored her Friday with its Cesar Chavez Legacy Award. (Check out the video for more.)

BC supporting Nan Gomez Heitzeberg as the receipient of the Cesar Chavez Legacy Award

Horace Mitchel and Nan Gomez-HeitzebergThe Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast is one place where community champions, who quietly work behind the scenes, are illuminated for their phenomenal dedication. Our own Nan is a part of this special group.

This years other honorees included Dr. Horace Mitchell, California State University Bakersfield President, who was recognized with the Cesar E. Chavez Lifetime Achievement Award, and Esther Tarango Uranday whose key role in the United Farm Workers earned her the Cesar E. Chavez Si Se Puede Award (posthumously). The Kern Service and Conservation Corps (KSACC) and a group of EPIC High School students and ESL students were also highlighted with Si Se Puede Awards.

It was wonderful to see many community leaders there supporting the event, such as Assemblyman Rudy Salas, Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Jay Tamsi, and the office of Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez. There was also a table full of BC leadership.

Sonya Christian and Rudy Salas March 23 2018

Rudy Salas and Sonya Christian

BC table at Cesar Chavez Breakfast

BC table at Cesar Chavez Breakfast

Cindy Collier, Danielle Hillard, Khushnur Dadabhoy, Isebelle Cataneda

Many walked away with a sense of empowerment and renewed vision for their own causes after hearing from keynote speaker Paul F. Chavez, the son of the late UFW labor leader Cesar Chavez.

Paul Chavez

Paul Chavez

Paul Chavez shared personal father-son stories that tugged at the hearts of many in attendance. At one point, Paul reflected on advice his father shared with him, especially in moments of despair and struggle – in particular two that stay close to Paul’s heart: have faith in people; and persevere.

His father always saw what others could become; he saw potential, and his vision helped others find their own path of success.

I connected with Paul’s story. It made me think about the wonderful work we do at Bakersfield College; our goal is also to show hope and success to our students. We want them to see their potential, and we encourage them to never give up. In the words of Cesar Chavez, “Si se puede.”

I was moved to hear the story that Jose Gaspar (who was emceeing the event with Norma Gaspar) told about the passing of Cesar Chavez and how Corny Rodriguez addressed the KC Board of Supervisors to recognize the passing of a great leader.

Corny Rodriguez, Sonya Christian March 23 2018

Sonya Christian, Corny Rodriguez

 

 

 

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We are BC

Last year was the inaugural year for this event and the first recipient of the Cesar Chavez Legacy Award was Sandra Serrano.  Check out my blog from one year ago: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/04/01/an-absolutely-uplifting-week-at-bc/

Thank you David Villarino!

Lydia Otero at BC

Tina Mendoza

Tina Mendoza welcomes Dr. Otero

For Women’s History Month and in light of BC’s efforts to preserve and share our local history, Dr. Lydia Otero from the Mexican-American Studies program at the University of Arizona came to the Fireside Room on Thursday to share about the historical preservation projects she’s spearheaded in downtown Tuscon.

BC’s Office of Student Life and the Women’s History and More committee invited Otero as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series. Otero, who grew up in downtown Tuscon, was inspired to capture the history of the Mexican-American communities in her hometown that were displaced by urban renewal projects. To Otero’s surprise, her 2010 book “La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwest City” sold out in the Tuscon area within five hours of the first book signing, Otero said.  “Even I didn’t appreciate the desire for local audiences to read about local history, you want to read about yourself.”

Dr. Lydia Otero

Dr. Lydia Otero

While local or regional history can often be seen as less important than larger-scale historical analysis, it’s important to fill in the smaller details about an area in order to understand the larger picture. “What do we know about world history if we haven’t studied local history?” Otero asked. “It’s a history of silences.”

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After the success of “La Calle”, Otero partnered with the Borderlands Theater Company on an ambitious project called “Barrio Stories”. A camera crew recorded oral histories from Mexican-Americans in Tuscon talking about their personal lives, then those stories were re-interpreted as theatrical plays. The Borderlands Theater performed those plays during a four-day festival that utilized promenade-style staging, meaning that audiences could walk around the old town plaza and experience these stories happening at different stages in real time. You’re able to see all of the oral histories and performances on the Barrio Stories Project website, and a documentary about the project is currently in the works.

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Olivia Garcia, Dr. Lydia Otero, Tina Mendoza

Olivia Garcia, Dr. Lydia Otero, Tina Mendoza

Otero is currently working on a book tentatively titled “Quien lo Dice?” about Maria Cordova, a Tuscon woman whose house was seized by eminent domain and all evidence that she had ever lived there was taken out in a failed attempt to make the property a tourist attraction. Throughout her presentation, Otero emphasized the importance of valuing local history and bringing research out of the classroom and into the community.
“Don’t forget the power of memory,” Otero said.

I’d like to thank Tina Mendoza, who worked with Dr. Otero, for her introduction, and I’d like to thank the Office of Student life and WHAM for putting the event together. It gave an interesting perspective on local historical preservation, which we’re working on at BC with the Digital Delano project spearheaded by our Energizing Humanities group. #WeAreBC

Ribbon Cutting in Wasco

Wasco

This week, Juan Torres, Abel Guzman, Gustavo Enriquez and principal of Wasco Union High School, Kevin Tallon celebrated the Ribbon Cutting and Inaugaration of their beautiful brand new student services building. Inside, the building it’s filled with beautiful pieces of art that celebrate the rich history of Wasco High School.

Kern Disability Collaborative

As your community college, BC is always seeking opportunities to improve communication and collaboration with our community partners. To this end, the Director of our Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS), Dr. Terri Goldstein, initiated the first meeting of what she is calling the “Kern Disability Collaborative.”  The purpose of the meeting was to pull together those who work with people with disabilities in our community to learn who we are and what we each do.  “Only good things can happen if we have a better understanding of all the resources available, as well as the unmet needs in our community,” said Dr. Goldstein. What started out with 20 invitations bloomed into approximately 50 attendees representing K-12 schools, higher education, non-profit organizations, and State agencies.  “As the meeting date drew closer, individuals were calling and asking to participate in the meeting,” Dr. Goldstein said. The response just shows the need for this kind of group in Kern County.

Kern Disability Collab

Terri Goldstein

Terri Goldstein

The idea for the Collaborative is modeled after the very successful “Kern Veterans Collaborative” which meets monthly at the National Guard Armory.  After voting, the attendees decided that the Kern Disability Collaborative will continue to meet on a bi-monthly basis at Bakersfield College.  The next meeting will be in May 2018, after college graduation, then the meetings will go dark for the summer, reconvene in August prior to the start of the fall 2018 semester, and meet every other month thereafter.

In addition to discussing future meetings, establishing a listserv and web presence, everyone presented their organizational affiliation, populations served, and services provided. BC faculty member, Jaclyn Krause, announced establishing our Interpreter Training Program; which made everyone happy since there are never enough sign language interpreters to go around.  Jimmie Soto, Executive Director of the Independent Living Center of Kern County, spoke about the need to support each other in our quests for additional funding— including partnerships, and letters of support. BC was well represented with DSPS, EOPS, Office of Student Life, Wellness Center, and Veterans Services. There were also representatives from Bakersfield City School District, Kern High School District, Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Taft College, Valley Achievement Center, Bakersfield GLAD office on Deafness, New Advances for People with Disabilities, Path Point, CA Department of Rehabilitation, Kern Vet Center, Kern Regional Center, and Autism Society Inc.

Kern Disability Collaboration

For more information about the Kern Disability Collaborative, please contact Dr. Terri Goldstein at terri.goldstein@bakersfieldcollege.edu, or call 661-395-4590. Everyone is welcome at these meetings!

Bidders Open House hosted at BC

On Thursday morning, BC hosted the local Bidders Open House to educate local contractors about the logistics of bidding on public construction projects. Harold Pierce wrote a great article explaining the event and its purpose in, “As more than $1 billion in school construction projects begin, districts attempt to lure local contractors to work.

Bidders Fair

Bakersfield College is so enthusiastic about the incredible things coming to our community. Thank you Bakersfield and Kern County for supporting education and investing in BC through a Yes on Measure J!

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Eric Mittlestead, Rafaela Cisneros, Kim Crews represented KCCD on the show floor

For all the photos, visit BC’s Smugmug. And thank you to Harold Pierce at the Bakersfield Californian for attending to share the exciting news with the community of Bakersfield. It was nice to see KCCD Trustee Kyle Carter, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Mike Turnipseed and others attend this event.

Harold Pierce and Trustee Carter

Trustee Carter and Harold Pierce speak to a guest at the Bidders Fair

We received this email from Mikin Plummer about the event.

The BC staff was fantastic!!! Thank you! Thank you! The gym was put together perfect and made set up very easy!
Mikin Plummer

Thank you Bill Potter, Eric Middlested, Ramon Puga, and Jim Coggins for pulling together this amazing event.  Thank you Mary Jo Pasek.  Thank You Marlene Heise who works behind the scenes.  #WeAreBC

National Cemetery

Armando Trujillo, Student Veteran Educational Advisor and Lisa Robles Kent Program Manager, Office of Student Success & Equity were honored to represent Bakersfield College at a ceremony that provided full military honors for unaccompanied veterans interred at the National Cemetery who do not have family to recognize and remember them.

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Armando Trujillo, Bakersfield College; Randy Dickow, KC Veterans Collaborative; Maximo Perez, American Legion.

It’s a privilege for BC to honor the great men and women who paid the greatest sacrifice for our country. While there, Armando and Lisa stopped to visit the graveside of Vernon P. Velenzula. I recall that he was spoken of so fondly by KCCD Trustee, Bill Thomas at our Veterans Resource Center unveiling.

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Vernon touched the lives of so many people here at BC and in our community. I only wish I had the privilege of meeting such an inspirational man. A Purple Heart recipient, Valenzuela’s desire to help veterans began early following his return from a tour in Vietnam in 1968. In the early 1970s Valenzuela served as president of the Associated Veterans Students club at Bakersfield College and later as a counselor supporting student veterans. Valenzuela worked for years as a professional therapist who focused primarily on aiding veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and difficulties in making the transition between life in combat and life at home as a civilian.

Art with Impact

Movies for Mental HealthOn Wednesday, students gathered in the Fireside Room to  #SubvertStigma, the goal of  Movies For Mental Health. “Stigma” was the hook, the tag line used by Leslie Poston, our facilitator, to open our awareness and provide perspective on the very complex personal, cultural and societal issues surrounding mental health and mental illness. The audience of 50 students, staff, faculty and community has steadily grown over the past four semesters since Student Health and Wellness Services began hosting Movies For Mental Health. And, so has the diversity of responses and perspectives on the question of what is “stigma.” Audience contributions included: “Shaming”, “barrier”, “judgmental”, “labeling”, “prejudiced”, “isolation” to name a few but ultimately, “stigma” is an erroneous and negative stereotype.

Movies for Mental Health

This is where the movies come in. These are independent submissions, judged in competition; the films are poignant, evocative and selected by Art With Impact to stimulate discussion and reveal the unexpected, uncomfortable and inconvenient in the human condition.

Following the movie screenings and the facilitated discussion, as well as a light meal of fresh seasonal fruit and wraps provided by Chef Eric Sabella, we listened to a panel discussion. The first panelist was a student named Caitlin who shared her very personal experience with profound depression and suicidal tendencies. Following Caitlin was our own Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Rosealinda Carrillo, who shared her own path to strengthen her own personal mental health but also in becoming a professional counselor. Rosealinda exemplifies the adage “you can’t care for others if you can’t care for yourself.” Panelist and Professor of Psychology, Tim Burke lead us through the impact of suicide in his family, his reaction to a diagnosis and treatment for lymphoma and research-proven self-care modalities like meditation, yoga, mindfulness and of course exercise.

The BC Student Health and Wellness Team was joined by guests from the Health Services program of Antelope Valley College, which will be hosting Movies For Mental Health on their own campus for the first time this May. Among those from Antelope Valley College were Dr. Jill Zimmerman Dean of Student Life & Services, Health Clerk Jennifer Winn and Monteigne Long, Veterans Program Coordinator.

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What is the value and importance of #SubvertStigma to students? As individuals and friends, cultures of origin and faiths, and society in general, we must free mental illness and mental health from stigma, shadow, and shame.

 

Spring Fling and 18-19 BCSGA Elections

James Tompkins and Ashley Harp.jpg

James Tompkins and Ashley Harp

This week was “Spring Fling” week at Bakersfield College with various events hosted by BCSGA as well as the Office of Student Life. Kicking off the fun was the “BCSGA Ice Cream and StudOrgs” event. BC’s clubs and organizations were joined by Ben & Jerry’s to promote various student organizations. On Monday afternoon, students were welcomed by BCSGA’s President Dezi Von Manos for her monthly “Cafecito Time” event where students can discuss issues or questions they may have in an open and inclusive way, and on Monday evening, BCSGA hosted an “Easel Event” where participants engaged in a fun evening of painting and light refreshments.

Tuesday was the “Community Movie Day” where the movie Justice League was played for students to enjoy during lunch. On Wednesday we hosted the “Epic Proportions Tour” featuring the musical talents of Gabe Kubanda and People Who Could Fly.

Wrapping up the wonderful events, students also had the opportunity to vote in elections for next years BCSGA leadership. Congratulations to next year’s BCSGA President, James Tompkins and Vice President, Ashley Harp.

Hate Speech and Free Speech Forum

The Levan Center hosted a panel discussion on Wednesday providing legal and historical context to the ongoing debate about hate speech and freedom of speech on college campuses. Students filled out anonymous surveys before the panel asking them some basic facts about First Amendment law and their thoughts about various free speech issues. Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez then gave a brief introduction about some of the recent protests over white nationalist speakers appearing on college campuses before introducing the panel of BC faculty and administration.

Communication professor John Giertz started with a brief overview of the Supreme Court decisions that have shaped free speech law in the United States. Colleges are bound by the First Amendment interpretation established in the 1969 case Brandenburg v. Ohio, which states that no inflammatory speech can be punished unless it incites “imminent lawless action.” In the 80s and 90s, many campuses attempted to enact speech codes and free speech zones, which have all been struck down as unconstitutional on the grounds that a listener’s right to be protected from hateful speech is not as important as someone else’s right to speak hatefully or however else they choose, Giertz said.

left to right: Communication professor John Giertz, Director of Student Life Nicky Damania, History professor Erin Miller, and Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez host a panel discussion about free speech on college campuses on March 21st.

left to right: Communication professor John Giertz, Director of Student Life Nicky Damania, History professor Erin Miller, and Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez host a panel discussion about free speech on college campuses on March 21st.

Dr. Nicky Damania, BC’s Director of Student Life, gave students a practical description of the ways that he deals with free speech issues on the BC campus every day. At BC, Damania is in charge of enforcing academic freedom, which is the legal right of both students and faculty to teach or communicate controversial ideas or facts without fear of bias or punishment.

BC history professor Erin Miller closed the panel with a discussion of the motivating history behind the United States’ free speech protections. Before the Revolutionary War, England used its common law to silence colonial dissent, which is why James Madison made free speech the first priority of the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution. Hateful speech is protected, Miller argues, because once a government agency begins to arbitrate which types of speech are considered acceptable, then speech that challenges authority can be silenced.

High Schools, BC, CSUB coming together

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CCGI

On Thursday morning, BC hosted an intersegmental initiative on data exchange of student academic information.  Right now we (high school districts, BC, CSUB) all have different data systems for maintaining student academic records and as these students in our community move from one segment to another, their academic records are transferred manually.  This is unacceptable in the highly evolved tech world that we live in.  The CSU systemwide Chancellor’s Office and the Community College statewide Chancellor’s Office have come together to solve this problem.  BC is part of this pilot program that is fully funded by the Community College Chancellor’s Office and other private philanthropic groups.

Here are some photos from the work session.

Virginia, Tess De Roy, Ben Duran, Sonya Christian, Grace Commiso, Anna March 22 2018

Virginia Madrid-Salazar, Tess Deroy, Ben Duran, Sonya Christian, Grace Commiso, Anna Garcia

 

 

Steve Watkin and Ben Perlado March 22 2018

Steve Watkin, Ben Perlado

McFarland Superintendent Victor Hopper and team.jpg

McFarland Superintendent Victor Hopper and team

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Ryan Gievet, Ben Sherley

Paul Chave and Delano Team with Abel Guzman and Zav Dadabhhoy

Zav Dadabhoy, Assistant Superintendent Jason Garcia, Paul Chavez, Abel Guzman

Steve Watkin, Ben Perlado, Michelle Pena, Ryan Gievet, Ben Sherley

Steve Watkin, Ben Perlado, Michelle Pena, RyanGievet, Ben Sherley

Dave Barnett, Craig Hayward

Dave Barnett, Craig Hayward

Grace Commiso, Anna Garcia, Sonya Christian, Ben Duran.jpg

Grace Commiso, Anna Garcia, Sonya Christian, Ben Duran

Ben Duran, Virginia Madrid Salazar, David Abernathy, Kalina Hill

David Abernathy from Wasco High speaking

David Abernathy, Kalina Hill, Elysa Vargas

David Abernathy (Wasco), Kalina Hill (BC), Elysa Vargas (Wonderful Academy)

See all the photos at BC’s SmugMug.

Future Teachers

The Education Futures Grant sponsored a Future Teachers Open House March 20th on the Panorama Campus. Close to 100 attendees braved the pouring rain to enjoy an informational and engaging evening with presentations, 10 breakout sessions, raffles, social media contest, and vendor booths.

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Presentations and vendors included BC Education Pathways, CSU Bakersfield, University of Lavern, Bakersfield College Career and Technical Education (CTE) & Student Employment Department, Bakersfield College Future Teachers Club, Brandman University, Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies (CAFS) at CSUB, Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) Head Start, Community Connection for Child Care (CCCC), National University, Point Loma Nazarene University, and Western Governors University (WGU). A similar event was held at the BC Delano campus on March 3rd.

A huge thank you to the Future Teachers Open House Planning Team, Education Futures Director, Kimberly Bligh, Anthony Cordova, Isabel Castaneda, and Erica Menchaca. 

Future Teachers Open House Planning Team

Future Teachers Open House Planning Team

Public Safety Metamajor Pathway Open House

CTE and Public Safety Pathway teamed up to host the first ever Public Safety Open House with 92 Kern High School District students in attendance. The event went full circle beginning with department faculty who provided an overview of the program outcomes and trainings available; student service representatives were available including staff from Financial Aid, CTE and Student Employment; finally, industry representatives from the City Fire Department, County Fire Department, EMS Department, Kern County Sheriff Department, Bakersfield Police Department and California Highway Patrol presented on a panel to share events and experiences in their professions.

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Students were given the opportunity to ask questions, participate in simulations and were even provided a tour of the different department vehicles. It was a great event that provided insight to the pathways available in Public Safety at Bakersfield College. Thank you to Brent Burton, Dominica Dominguez, BC Public Safety Faculty, Department Staff and the industry partners who worked so hard to put this event together.

For all the photos, visit BC’s SmugMug.

KCCD and BC Leadership at CISOA/3CBG

Group Photo

Closest to the screen on the left-Todd Coston (BC), beyond him-Hernando Mondragon (DO), beyond him-David Barnett (DO), moving to the right-Micelle Pena (BC), then Grace Commiso (BC), Somaly Boles (BC), Zach Quiroz (BC) and closest to camera on the right Dena Rhoades (DO).

The Kern Community College District and Bakersfield College were out in full force both attending and presenting at the CISOA/3CBG conference earlier this week from March 18-20th in Ontario, CA.  The conference site says this about the conference, “The partnership of California Community College Chief Information Systems Officers Association (CISOA) and California Community College Banner Group (3CBG) allows us to leverage our resources to present an outstanding array of conference sessions of interest to those who are part of the information technology arena in California’s Community College system.”

BC’s Grace Comisso, Michelle Pena, and consultant, Becky Weaver, presented on Using Starfish for Guided Pathways.

BC’s Todd Coston and Dave Barnett from the District Office presented on Improving IT Communication Using Free and Low Cost Tools

And our Chief Technology Officer, Gary Moser, from the District Office presented on Are You Ready for a CCC Statewide ERP System.

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Finally, the participants had an option to rate each session via a conference app.  As proof that the KCCD/BC team rock the house, check out this rating for Dave and Todd’s session. Todd tells me he isn’t quite sure how you can get 6 out of 5 stars, but he’ll take it anyway!

Rating

An American Education Agenda with Lance Izumi

KCCD and BC were present at a luncheon put on by the Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government with guest speaker, Lance Izumi, author of The ‘American Education Agenda’  Top 15 Recommendations for Improving Education. Lance discussed his newly published report, which offers policymakers concrete reforms they can adopt today to ensure every student learns in a safe and nurturing environment, and is well-prepared to meet the changing demands of the 21st century workforce.

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Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Cindy Collier, Lance Izumi, Trustee Bill Thomas, John Means

League of Dreams

The League of Dreams, a nonprofit sports league for young athletes with physical and developmental disabilities, held its opening ceremonies for the 2018 season at CSUB’s Hardt Field on Sunday.  Snagged this picture of Mayor Karen Goh with BC Renegades representing the College in their jerseys during the event.

League of Dreams Opening Day

STEAM Academy

Odella Johnson and Sonya Christian May 19 2017Odella Johnson was featured on KGET’s News at Sunrise program on Wednesday morning to talk about the STEAM Academy, a series of courses to promote science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

Johnson spoke about the importance of the academy, which hosts a course every Saturday from September to April to help students build skills that they can use in their future careers. Open enrollment for next year’s academy, of which BC is a partner, is starting now.

Oliver Rosales

History professor Oliver Rosales wrote an article in the Community Voices section of the Bakersfield Californian on Sunday urging voters in the community to let their lawmakers know that funding for the humanities should be a top priority.

Rosales, who chairs the committee on Energizing Humanities in the Central Valley committee, wrote about how proper funding of the National Endowment of the Humanities and California Humanities will allow those organizations to meet the demand for community enrichment projects in writing, history, philosophy, social studies and other subjects.

“It’s important that we maintain a robust National Endowment for the Humanities, while at the same time mobilize voters to support state funding, as well as opportunities to increase public-private partnerships,” Rosales said.

Oliver Rosales Community Voices March 19 2018

Chris McCraw on Twitter

 mccraw2Official National Ag Day was marked on March 20th and I’ve enjoyed following BC’s wonderful Agricultural Business faculty, Chris McCraw on Twitter @CMcatBC as he shares our BC Ag Club at Kern County’s  #farmdayinthecity! It’s so exciting to see our BC Ag Club students have the opportunity to share their agricultural knowledge with over 2,000 elementary students during this multi-day event!

Kern County is the #1 Ag County in the U.S. and Ag Day is a special time to say THANK YOU to all our farmers and laborers, as well as our BC Agriculture students and faculty for educating and inspiring the next generation of agriculturists!

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So fortunate to have a real vibrant Ag faculty and staff.

Lynette Zelezny

On Thursday, Cal State Bakersfield announced that Lynette Zelezny will be the new president to succeed Horace Mitchell at the end of the academic year.

The announcement was featured in a front-page Q and A article in the Bakersfield Californian written by Harold Pierce, as well as an article by Chloe Carlson for KGET. Zelezny is CSUB’s first female president, and she’ll be transitioning from her role as the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Fresno State to come to Bakersfield. Zelezny has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Humboldt State University, a Ph.D. in applied social psychology from Claremont Graduate University, and an MBA with distinction from Fresno State.

City of Bakersfield visiting the Chamber

This week we had the Grater Bakersfield Chamber Board meeting.  I am honored to be on the Board of this wonderful organization — great board members, great CEO and great staff.

I was delighted to see leaders from the City of Bakersfield visit us to discuss some critical needs including the need for more police officers.  The team who presented included City Manger Alan Tandy, Councilman Andrae Gonzales, Concilman Bob Smith, BPD Chief Lyle Martin, Assistant City Manager Chris Huot.

Cindy and Liz

Liz Rozell and Cindy Collier are two amazing people who continue to inspire us all. I loved this photo because we all need to just lean on each other sometimes. Thank you Cindy and Liz for your dedication to BC and the Kern Community College District.

Cindy and Liz

 

We are BC

Sonya Christian at Cesar Chavez Breakfast March 23 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Inspirational Speakers, Visitors, and Guests on Campus

Good morning Bakersfield…..

41 Plumeria_previewIt is Saturday, March 10th and a great day to be a Renegade.  I started last week’s blog travelling to an accreditation visit and today, I am travelling again, with my blog to keep me company.  What a good way to pass the time.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,

but by the moments that take our breath away.

 

BC was active this week and let me start with Anita Hill’s visit to the campus.

Anita Hill at BC

On International Women’s day this Thursday, we were lucky to have Anita Hill in the Indoor Theater to talk about reimagining equality for the 21st Century and how the national conversation about sexual harassment has evolved both before and after her remarks during Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings in 1991.

Anita Hill at BC

Anita Hill at BC

Hill, who is currently a professor of law and women’s studies at Brandeis University said she was inspired by the countless women before her who had worked to find justice for workplace sexual harassment in the 70s and 80s, culminating with the Supreme Court’s decision in the 1986 case Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, ruling for the first time that sexual harassment was a violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Hill’s testimony inspired women around the country to bravely speak up about sexual harassment and abuse in their homes and workplaces. Over 25 years later, the #MeToo movement is rapidly spreading across the nation.

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The audience in the Indoor Theater gives a standing ovation for Anita Hill before she took the stage.

Hill also stressed the importance of tackling issues of racial injustice along with injustices facing women, as progress on both issues tends to happen hand-in-hand with each other. In the 21st Century, we need to envision equality not as an abstract philosophical concept, but as a practical part of our personal development that grows and evolves with us every day.  “Dare to be a catalyst for change,” Hill said. “We are living in a moment in time where we are being pushed to live out our ideals of equality.”

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left to right: Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez, social studies professor Olivia Garcia and Anita Hill talk before Hill’s speech in the Indoor Theater on March 8th.

I’d like to recognize Jack Hernandez and the Levan Center for bringing Anita Hill to BC, Olivia Garcia for her beautiful introduction speech, and all of the people in the community for coming out to engage in a conversation about equality on International Women’s Day. See at the photos at Smugmug. 

 

 

MESA STEM and Pre-Health Conference

Last weekend, our Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) Department held a conference on the BC campus to show high school and college students that anyone can develop the skills needed to earn a career in STEM or healthcare fields.

Steve Waller

Dean Steve Waller

The MESA STEM and Pre-Health conference last Saturday brought together industry leaders and educators in the community and throughout California to showcase all of the career options available to someone with an education in math, science or pre-health. The conference started with students packing the Indoor Theater for the opening festivities, and Dean Steven Waller emphasized the importance of developing one’s competence in math, as it establishes the foundation for thousands of potential job opportunities.

“As you plan your career, be sure to keep math in focus,” Waller said. “It’s possible to be successful without math, but with it you can be even more successful.”

Waller then introduced keynote speaker Dr. Jose Antonio Diaz, an Arvin High graduate who went on to study microbiology and genetics at UC Berkeley, Stanford and UC Davis, where he’s currently a post-doctorate research fellow studying the prevention of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s.

Diaz’s mother contracted Valley Fever when he was a child, which inspired him to pursue a career in biology in order to help others suffering from serious debilitating illnesses. Diaz pushed himself outside of his comfort zone throughout his career, both as a first-generation college student moving from Arvin to Berkeley for undergraduate studies, and by transitioning fields from biology to medicine once he realized that it would help expand his research.

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Diaz, who gave his keynote speech in Spanish and English, sought to motivate the audience to push themselves outside of their comfort zone like he did. “Be ambitious with setting your goals, and take chances,” Diaz said. “Embrace change, and don’t be afraid of failure.” Diaz was part of the team that discovered Nest RNA, which determines resistance to microbial infections in mice. He is now working with a CRISPR gene editing machine to test whether he can safely modify human cells with Nest RNA in order to prevent diseases such as Valley Fever and salmonella.

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After Diaz’s presentation, students broke up into groups to attend a series of workshops in the Science and Engineering and Math and Science Buildings. Representatives from UCLA, CSUB and Fresno Pacific University hosted seminars on how to apply in the STEM and nursing programs at their respective universities, and many other workshops were hosted by members of the BC family, such as counselor Mark Osea’s presentation about STEM Guided Pathways, educational advisor Pedro Ramirez’s workshop on BC’s LUPE program and resources for DREAMers, professor Dillon Giblin’s seminar about career opportunities in STEM, and BC nursing graduate Stephanie Perez talking about how her time in our program helped prepare her for a career in health care.

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CSUB’s Chevron FAB LAB also hosted a maker space in the AERA STEM Success Center where students could watch a toy prototype being made on a 3D printer, as well as a virtual reality sandbox projected using the motion sensor on an Xbox One Kinect.

While MESA volunteers handed out lunch to students in the patio area of the Science and Engineering building, several organizations hosted a resource fair with booths for students to visit and learn more information. Participating organizations included BC’s Pre-Med and Engineering clubs, Univision, Kern Medical Center, the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Center, and the American Society of Civil Engineering.

Thank you to all our MESA staff, especially Connie Gonzales as well as all of our industry and education partners for inspiring young people our community to achieve careers in healthcare and STEM. I look forward seeing some of the students from this year’s conference taking STEM and pre-health classes at BC.

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BC and BCSD Youth Summit

At the March 3 event, the Bakersfield College African American Mentor Program (A.A.M.P.) partnered with the Bakersfield City School District to put on its first-ever Youth Summit.  The Youth Summit hosted over 150 African American middle school students at Bakersfield College to emphasize the importance of education, highlighting education as a tool for developing knowledge and character.  The summit invited keynote speaker Ken Morris who delivered a memorable speech about his family history: Ken is a direct descendant of Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass. He moved the audience with his description of what his great grandfathers had to overcome in order to receive an education, and closed his presentation with a message of perseverance and hope.

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Kimbrough

Professor Kimbrough

After the keynote the middle school students joined small group workshops on education, black culture, and community service. One of the most notable workshops was led by Bakersfield College’s own professor of African American history, Ishmael Kimbrough. Professor Kimbrough talked about the most important elements of the Black community and the importance of good role models of Black culture.  The group of students hung onto Kimbrough’s every word, were enjoying themselves, and the positive energy in the room allowed for a lots of engagement. Kimbrough highlighted some of the negative portrayals of Black culture that are in the media and explained how they perpetuate negative stereotypes. Kimbrough goes on to state, “Success is not flashing cash and gold teeth, that’s a false idea of success”, “the basis of black culture is family, culture, and common goals.”  

Speaker

Kimbrough concluded his workshop with a message that we have it within our power as a community to topple steep obstacles and inaccurate depictions in the media by learning about what our culture truly is. He emphasizes that despite the negative stereotypes of black culture, African-American boys and girls are not problems that need to be solved—they’re assets.

Tejon Tribe Visits BC

It was a packed house, with students, faculty, and the community coming out to hear tribal member Sandra Hernandez talk about the Tejon Tribe’s culture and history. The Tejon tribe is the only recognized tribe in the Bakersfield area, and its members are made up of Kitanemuk, Chumash, and Yokuts people, the first people in southern San Joaquin valley.

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Sandra opened up the presentation with a warm welcome in the Kitanemuk language, (the language of the indigenous Indians of Kern County) and then began to share her story and their plans for their future. Sandra spoke powerfully of her ancestors struggle and how their land and their status of a tribe were taken from them by the settlers who came here after them. She explained that in the early 1900’s their Chief Juan Lozada began the fight to get back their status as a tribe and hopefully be able to rebuild what was lost.

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Sandra Hernandez and Matthew Solis

When Chief Juan Lozada was asked by the US government how long his tribe has been here, he replied, “We been here since the first time the sun’s come up.” This set off a spark with the Tejon Tribe and ever since then, as a group and as a family, they have been fighting the government to be reaffirmed. Most recently, at the forefront of this fight, was Tejon Tribal chairwoman Kathryn Montes Morgan (Granddaughter of Chief Juan Lozado) who helped end this case as a victory for the Tejon Tribe. Sandra was proud to tell us that as of January 2012 the United States of America reaffirms the Tejon Tribe.
Although this was an exciting moment for the Tejon Tribe Sandra says the rebuilding has just begun. Being federally recognized is a huge step in the right direction, they now have to rebuild their Tejon Tribe community. She also adds, The Tejon Tribe will do this by reaching out to our neighborhoods, to educate them on our culture, heritage and history of our family, while also encouraging our youth to experience our way of life as a Tejon Tribe.

Thank you to Krista Moreland, Sandra Hernandez, and everyone who made this event a reality. 

 

 

Mini Science Olympiad

I loved seeing these photos from BC’s involvement at the Greenfield School District. Daniel Ahn, Chris Benker and a dozen BC STEM and Education majors helped 46 fifth-graders with various learning, but fun activities! It is a four week program. Meg Stidham helped along with the fantastic Deborah Rosenthal

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Activities included a Tallest Bridge Competition and I heard Chris Benker will do a skateboard demo at the end. During Week 4, the students will come to BC for astronomy fun.  Thank you to all our BC volunteers for bringing the Renegade spirit to our local Greenfield School District.

Mini Science Olympiad Student Volunteers

Ximena’s baby Leo

Thank you Debby Rosenthal for sending me this picture.

Ximena and baby Leo.

BCSGA Power Lunch

Romeo Agbalog

Romeo Agbalog

Romeo Agbalog, the Kern Community College District Trustee representing Delano and surrounding rural areas, sat down with BC students in the Fireside Room on Tuesday to share the story of how he overcame being a first-generation college student and young father on his path to advocating for students in public office. BCSGA hosted Agbalog as part of its Legislative Affairs Power Lunch series, in which public officials from the community tell their stories and answer questions from students. The Legislative Affairs Department of SGA, which is responsible for informing BC students on any new or developing laws pertaining to their education, has previously hosted state senator Jean Fuller, as well as Vince Fong and Rudy Salas from the California Assembly.

 

Agbalog credits political science professor Stephen Holmes with recognizing his potential and inspiring him to develop an interest in public service and administration. With Holmes’ inspiration, he went on to work behind the scenes for several Kern County campaigns, but he never thought he could hold public office. Eventually, after some strong persuasion by local political leadership, he realized that he had an opportunity to be actively engaged with improving his son’s education by serving on his local school board. At the age of 24, he campaigned door to door in his community and spoke directly with voters to beat out two incumbents for a spot on the Delano Union School District board.

Rayven Acosta Webb and Romeo Agbalog

Rayven Acosta Webb and Romeo Agbalog

After serving the Foundation for BC’s Delano Campus, Agbalog now advocates for rural students on the KCCD board, helping to expand services at the Delano Campus while bringing post-secondary education to Arvin and Shafter.  Throughout his discussion, he imparted the value of taking advantages of every opportunity presented to you, in life and in education. “When times get tough and you’re ready to quit, I want you to think about the people who have seen things in you that you didn’t see in yourself and use that for motivation,” Agbalog said. “Prove to those people you were worth the investment.”

SGA Power Lunch

Blood Drive on Campus

BC students gave back to their community at Campus Center on Wednesday and Thursday, donating to the Houchin Community Blood Bank during our annual blood drive. Students signed up to donate blood in front of the Fireside Room before walking over to one of Houchin’s three buses parked in front of the Campus Center.

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Active Shooter Response Trainings at BC

Last month, another school shooting tragedy took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida which claimed the lives of 17 people. This week, the Department of Public Safety and Chief Chris Counts hosted several Active Shooter Response Training workshops to teach our students and staff what to do in the event that an active shooter situation happened on our campus.

Chief Counts 2

Public Safety Chief Chris Counts broke down the proper response into three parts: “Run, Hide, Fight”. The first thing you should do if you hear gunfire is to evacuate the area as far as you can and try to take as many people with you. If that’s not possible, choose a location to hide out of the shooter’s view where you’re protected and you’re movement isn’t limited, then use furniture or heavy equipment to barricade entrance into that area. If you can’t run or hide, then your last resort is to remain calm while acting as aggressively as possible to fight for your own life and the lives of others.

In the overwhelming majority of active shooter cases, there was some indication that the attack was going to occur before it happened. In order to prevent these attacks, Counts stressed the importance of reaching out to authorities if there’s an indication that other people’s lives may be in jeopardy. Our Public Safety Department’s motto is “If You See Something, Say Something and Do Something About It”, and recognizing the signs of a potential attack is key to preventing it.

There will be three more Active Shooter Response Trainings on March 21 st at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 6 p.m. in the Indoor Theater. If you haven’t attended one of these training before, I recommend going as soon as possible in order to stay educated on how to respond to one of these emergencies. It may save your or someone else’s life.

Manny DeLosSantos even spotted friend and supporter of BC, Adam Alvidrez at the training this week.

Adam Alvidrez

Adam Alvidrez at BC

Leading from the Middle

Craig Hayward, Mark Osea, Billie Jo Rice, and Jennifer Johnson are currently attending the Leading from the Middle Academy being held at the Kellogg West Conference and Hotel in Pomona.  The project that they are tackling is how to represent our pathways programs using 21st century visual tools.  Can’t wait to see the end result of their yearlong work together as a team.

Craig Hayward Mark Osea Billie Jo Rice Jennifer Johnson

Craig Hayward Mark Osea Billie Jo Rice Jennifer Johnson

Jen Garrett on Scott Cox Show

Jen Garrett was on the Scott Cox Show Wednesday morning advertising for our big Sydney Bound Benefit Concert this Saturday! Only a few more days to buy tickets. You don’t want to miss this!

Jen Garrett and Scott Cox

Jen Garrett and Scott Cox

Seen on Instagram

Thank you to Lydia Ranger and Monty Byrum for their continued support of the BC Chamber Singers

Lydia Ranger on Instagram

Lydia Ranger on Instagram

Capitol Weekly Spotlights Bill Thomas

An article in Capitol Weekly published on March 1st examined how Trustee Bill Thomas’ influence in the House of Representatives continues to be felt more than a decade after retiring as the Congressman for California’s 22nd District.

bill-thomas-croppedDorothy Mills-Gregg wrote about how Thomas mentored two of the most powerful people in Congress right now—House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Thomas’ direct successor, and Oversight Committee Chair Devin Nunes, who Thomas inspired to run for Congress while helping him with campaign strategy along the way. The article also looks back on Thomas’ career and accomplishments while in Congress. I especially love the photo they used with the big YES ON J poster behind him.

“The only tools I ever had was listen to what people want, build a coalition and pass legislation,” Thomas was quoted as saying in the article. Florida Congressman Mark Foley was also quoted about Thomas’ tenacity and passion for serving voters. “Thomas is also known for losing his temper when people are unprepared, earning a reputation for sharp interrogations,” Foley said.

Thank you Trustee Thomas for all you’ve done to support BC, Bakersfield, and Kern County.

International Women’s Day

Sonya Christian and Tom Burke

Sonya Christian and Tom Burke

On Thursday, KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke emailed all KCCD Employees sharing some inspirational quotes. He said, “Today is International Women’s Day, so in acknowledgment of this day I thought I would share with you some inspiring quotes from several women who have had an impact on society.”  These are the quotes he shared:

  • Golda Meir said you should, “Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” I agree that everyone in our District has the ability to succeed.
  • If Rosa Parks believes, “Knowing what must be done does away with fear”, then we ALL can succeed by pushing ourselves during those difficult moments”
  • “Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.” Oprah Winfrey  Imagine what we could become.
  • “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” Following the words of Mother Teresa, the experiences during our day-to-day interactions can create a much healthier environment for students, staff, and faculty.
  • Sonia Sotomayor said, “A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.” I need everyone to be a part of our District’s success.
  • Joan Rivers once said, “I was smart enough to go through any door that opened.” Take every opportunity that is offered to you!
  • I will end with this quote: “We need to start work with the idea that we’re going to learn every day. I learn, even at my position, every single day.” – Chanda Kochhar

Chancellor Burke ended his message by saying, “There are great things happening every day at the colleges and the district office. On this International Women’s Day, I celebrate all of your accomplishments, dedication to the Kern Community College District, and look forward to the things to come!”  Thank you Tom Burke!

24th Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium

dsc02596-x4On Friday, the Levan Center for the Humanities held the 24th annual Norm Levan Faculty Colloquium in honor of the current Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium Award recipient, Oliver Rosales, and all past award recipients.  Oliver presented his lecture on Bakersfield into U.S. Civil Rights History: Exploring Multiracial Social Activism in the American Far West. The presentation was followed by a question and answer session, presentation of his award, and refreshments in the Norman Levan Center for Humanities.

Thank you to the Norm Levan Faculty Colloquium Committee, Susan Pinza, Chair, Bob Allison, John Gerhold, Alex Gonzalez, Donna Starr, Jack Hernandez, Richard Marquez, and Erin Miller. Also, thank you to the many others who help put on this event, including the Students of the Renegade Room for the refreshments, Manny De Los Santos and Kristin Rabe for the media arrangements,  FCDC and Archives Association.

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Susan joked that for those that were able to attend the Reimagining Equality: Inclusive Communities in Post-Obama America lecture the night before, Anita Hill was the opening act for Oliver’s lecture. We are so fortunate to have these opportunities to bring such important people to BC.

dsc02636-x4Did you know that Oliver is a Renegade? He received his AA here at BC and went on to get his BA at UC Berkeley, his Master at CSUB and his PhD at UC Santa Barbara. He then returned to be a Renegade and brought with him his education, his excellence and his drive to find and publish the contentious historiography of activism that touches many of our students and our community. He is also a supporter of the National Endowment for the Humanities and recently returned from DC where he met with congress concerning the NEH budget. Oliver’s award is well deserved. Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

Celebrating Jeannie Parent

jeannie

Jeannie Parent

Jeannie Parent, a BC faculty member who teaches English for Multilingual Students, will be mentioned at the Wendy Wayne Ethics Awards on March 21st. Cal State Bakersfield’s Kegley Institute of Ethics hosts an awards ceremony every year recognizing people who make positive contributions to the community. Jeannie is being honored for her work as the founder of the non-profit organization Kern Welcoming and Extending Solidarity to Immigrants (KWESI), a group of volunteers who visit immigrants in detention at Mesa Verde Detention facility in Bakersfield, and advocate for justice on their behalf.

She tells me that the organization is connected to a larger, national network called CIVIC, which is committed to ending the isolation of immigrants in detention. and she says “Many of the people we visit are asylum seekers, and we not only visit them in order to end the isolation they feel when they are imprisoned for months on end (sometimes indefinitely), but we support them if and when they are released on bond or when they win their cases; this may include helping with temporary housing, transportation, food, clothing, and phones, as well as communicating with families and finding legal assistance for them. I started visiting people weekly three years ago when Mesa Verde opened.”

You can read a full list of the Wendy Wayne Ethics Awards recipients in an op-ed written by Michael Burroughs in the Community Voices section of the Bakersfield Californian.

Student Resources in The RIP

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Paige Atkinson

Student Reporter, Paige Atkison wrote a beautiful article for The Renegade RIP highlighting the various student services offered at BC.

She said, “Whether or not you believe you need to find extra academic or health resources, it can be useful to familiarize yourself with the programs made available to you by Bakersfield College.” Check it out at www.therip.com

Photo from http://www.therip.com

Let me conclude my blog with my trip to Guam.

Long flight — about 6 hours to Honolulu and then another 8 hours to Guam.  We were a team of 10.  Standing: Susan Kazama, Sylvia Dorsey-Robinson, Bill Hirt, Vernoica Ogata, Susan Murray, Laurie Huffman, Gene Huff, Charles Sasaki. Sitting: Sonya Christian, Lesley Bonds

 

IMG_0859

Sonya Christian MArch 6 2018 GuamMost of my time was spent on accreditation work but I did get out for regular early morning walks. After a regular 3:00 a.m. zoom video call with Jennifer and the Vice Presidents, I headed out for my walk north on San Victores all the way to the point and then back to the hotel on the beach.

At 4:00 am it is very quiet – ocean breezes and unpredictable rain showers. At 5:00 am the runners start, looking serious, maybe training for the Guam Marathon coming up on April 8th.

After the official visit I did get in a driving tour around the southern half of the island. The island coastline is very beautiful, white beaches, great diving and full of history from war in the Pacific Theater. Guam is 6000 miles from the US west coast, 3 hours from Japan, on the edge of the Philippine Sea and 210 miles from the Marianas Trench – the deepest part of the oceans of the world.36 Talofofo Bay_preview.jpeg

The island reminded me in some ways of Kerala, India, with its contrasts in wealth and three-story cinderblock shopping complexes, except Guam as part of the US has building codes that don’t allow the maze of electrical wires that you see in southern Indian villages. The island is seeing a resurgence of the indigenous Chamorro culture, and is over 80% catholic so my driving tour included many beautiful churches that in some ways reminded me of the tropical churches of Kerala as well.

30 Cocos Isl from Merizo_preview.jpeg

Spent my last evening on The Beach (on Gun Beach Road).  Guam’s largest Bar and Grill is located on this beach front property.  However, there are secluded nooks that make this part of the island the best place to witness the sunset….. a spectacular, romantic, spiritual and most perfect sunset. A piece of heaven certainly descended on this part of the world that memorable evening.  Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Sunset on last evening March 9 2018 on The Beach (Gun Beach).jpg

Sunset March 9 2018 Gun Beach.jpg

Loved the Plumeria and the Flame of the Forest Trees.

Thank you Susan Murray for some of the great pictures.

Exhausted and at the Guam airport heading back home.

Leaving Guam Airport March 10 2018

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away.

Sonya Christian early morning walk on the beach March 8 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

We are BC! Love, Peace, and Blessings

Love, Peace, and Blessings Bakersfield….I borrow this greeting from Prof. Bryan Hirayama’s student on the “inside.”

Inmate Scholars, Bryan Hirayama, Chelsea Esquibias, Rich McCrow, Letty Garza, Doug Grimsley, Gerald Cantu, Kaitlin Hulsy, Isaias Hernandez

Bryan Hirayama, Chelsea Esquibias, Rich McCrow, Letty Garza, Doug Grimsley, Gerald Cantu, Kaitlin Hulsy, Isaias Hernandez

In the infamous introductory words of one of my students inside, “Love, Peace, and Blessings”. Everyday regardless of what is going on and before he addressed the class for anything, this student said very sincerely, “Love, Peace and Blessings”. It is clear to me that he shares more than just an obligatory salutation. There is a sense of affection, care, and encouragement embedded into the word “Love” when he says it. The idea of togetherness, shared responsibility to each other, and above all brotherhood is coded into the word “Peace”. Lastly, a touch of hope that all people’s wishes and dreams, goals and aspirations, and will to be free will be met one day is also baked into this seemingly mundane yet deep and meaningful message. I would like to thank this student for sharing this greeting with me and other students on a daily basis. It has kept me grounded. As I am wrapping up grades and looking back on the semester it is moments like this, shared with love, that will keep me motivated to make a difference and keep spreading the “Love, Peace, and Blessings”.

This is a “copy and paste from the May 15th blog of Professor Bryan Hirayama

 Love, Peace and Blessings Bakersfield.  
It is Saturday, October 21st and a fabulous day to be a Renegade

Homecoming 2017

Oct 14 2017BC Football fought off a second half push by Moorpark and continued with their season-long trend of finishing strong by beating the Raiders 34-10 in front of over 5,000 fans at Memorial Stadium to complete a festive homecoming celebration Saturday and open conference play with a win.

Thank you Trustee Bill Thomas, who came to the game with his grandson William and thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog.

Bill Thomas, grandson William, Romeo Agbalog

Trustee Bill Thomas, grandson William, Trustee Romeo Agbalog

Our fabulous cheer team with cheer coach Heather Foss.

Sonya and Cheer Squad

Photo by April Massirio of the BC Cheer team 

 

So happy to see Fran Florez and her husband Ray Florez.  Fran is on our Foundation Board of Directors and put in a lot of time helping us with Measure J.

Ray and Fran Florez.jpg

Here is another foundation board member Ken Byrum and his wife.  Ken is a big supporter of BC.

Ken Byrum and his wife at the homecoming game Oct 14 2017

Pam Byrum and Ken Byrum

And here is the fabulous Ed Davis with his family. Always supporting Bakersfield College!

Ed Davis and family Oct 14 2017

Glad to see Jim Darling at the Memorial Stadium supporting Renegade Football

Karen Goh and jim Darling

Karen Goh, Jim Darling

Marlene Heise, Karen Goh, Todd Hansen, Bill Thomas, grandson William, Jim Darling, Sonya Christian

Marlene Heise, Karen Goh, Todd Hansen, Bill Thomas, grandson William, Jim Darling, Sonya Christian

BC employees were out in full force with their families.  I snapped this picture of Wendy Lawson and her husband Ken and here is Dena Rhoades with her husband, daughter, and grandchildren.

Wendy Lawson and Dena Rhoades with their families October 14 2017.jpg

So enjoyed seeing Steve’s daughter out with her mom and dad at the game.

Steve and Kim Watkin and their daughter

Kendra Watkin, Steve Watkin, Kim Watkin

Love, Peace, and Blessings all

TailGade

Staff and Faculty at HomecomingBefore the homecoming game, I attended the BC Alumni Association’s first TailGade. It was a wonderful event and a lovely afternoon to welcome home our Alumni to their campus on the hill. The large tent provided plenty of shade for eating and fellowship. The food from Fred’s BBQ was a big hit. We had delicious large, juicy grilled steaks, beans, salad and rolls. The steaks were so gigantic, I couldn’t even finish mine and the dinner was well worth the price of admission. They even offered refreshing la Rosa Frozen Fruit Bars for dessert. Perfect for the weather!

Homecoming Bar

Friends and familiar faces were all around at TailGade and throughout the day it was incredible to catch up with Renegades and Renegade fans.

Renegade TailgadeR

Bakersfield’s famous ska, reggae, mambo band, Mento Buru, played great music from the stage. Some members of the band are BC Alumni and they performed a modern version of the BC Fight Song. You can see a video of Mento Buru practicing for homecoming: https://www.facebook.com/MentoBuru/videos/10159515917410296/. With such jazzy, upbeat music, alumni couldn’t resist getting up and dancing to the wonderful music.

Karen Goh at Homecoming

Karen Goh, photo by April Massirio.

To the side of the stage, a monitor played footage of games played in 1945. Kids were playing everywhere and there were games of corn hole going the entire time. The cheerleaders gave a great performance of their cheers for the crowd. The Homecoming parade with the BC Renegade Band and Homecoming float came right around the party so we got to see everyone up close. Honored guest Mayor Karen Goh joined us and led us in a “We are BC!” cheer. Thank you to Heather Pennella and the BC Alumni Association for putting on such a fabulous event. What a way to welcome our alumni home!

And not just alumni, I spotted BC faculty and staff celebrating too!  Here is Tom Gelder, Exec Director of the BC Foundation having fun.

Tom Gelfer in action at Tailgade Oct 14 2017

Tom Gelder

Rob Parsons Isabel Stierle Michael ODoherty Tom Gelder Oct 14 2017

Thank you Michael O’Doherty, past president of the Bakersfield College Foundation Board of Directors for coming out to support BC.

Great to see Peter Reyes and the fabulous Becki Whitson

Sonya Christian, Peter Reyes, Becki Whitson Oct 14 2017

Sonya Christian, Peter Reyes, Becki Whitson

Bob Martin, a Renegade, with his daugther Theresa McAllister and grand daughter.

Sonya Christian, Bob Martin, Theresa McAllister Oct 14 2017

Sonya Christian, Bob Martin, Theresa McAllister and her daughter

Heather Pennella, you did a great job organizing the 2017 Alumni BBQ

Sonya Christian, Eric Pennella and Heather Pennella Oct 14 2017

Sonya Christian, Eric Pennella, Heather Pennella

Check out “Bakersfield College celebrates homecoming with parade, tailgating” by Joseph Luiz at The Bakersfield Californian. It has some incredible photos of Renegade fans celebrating before the big game.

John Harte took some great shots – they are available here. 

Photo by John Harte

Photo by John Harte, original from http://www.bakersfield.com

April Massirio also provided some lovely photos from TailGade and the parade. Check them out at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/2017/TailGade

Homecoming Parade

Homecoming Parade, photo by April Massirio.

Homecoming Royalty Court

Homecoming Royalty is an honored and longstanding tradition of Bakersfield College that recognizes outstanding students at Bakersfield College. The Homecoming Royalty Court this year will be comprised of two students who shall represent the College and student body at various campus and community events throughout the year. The selection process for the Homecoming Royalty Court is based upon the candidate’s leadership activities, academic achievement, and campus involvement. Royalty are screened and ultimately selected based on the applicant’s’ ability to articulate and demonstrate academic performance, curricular and co-curricular involvement, contributions to the College as well as the Bakersfield Community, and BC Renegade Spirit. This year there were nine candidates selected.

Homecoming Court (1)

Elka Desjardins is a Journalism/Agriculture Business Management/Forestry major. She is also the Historian for the BC Agriculture Student Organization and she works as a hairstylist, photographer, and wedding officiant when not in a classroom or on campus.

Evelyn Hernandez is a sophomore here studying Admissions of Justice. She is also the amazing secretary for your student government. Her long-term goal is to work in probation while helping the youth community in Bakersfield.

Ganae Romo-Watson is a fun loving, outgoing person. She enjoys the company of her peers as well as her faculty. She strives for greatness and rises up the people around her as well. She believes that leadership is the key to opening doors of strong bonds and future prospects.

Running to renew his title, Lawrence Salcido is a long time Renegade pushing through his final year. His passion for this school is shown through his involvement on campus. He is involved in multiple student organizations such as the BC Renegamers, the American Sign Language Club, and the Student Learning Alliance. Besides his student organization involvement, he is also a student leader and advocate, involved in student government and activities that involve BC students.

Gisela Campos, a kinesiology major, is from Delano California and in her fourth and final year at BC. She is pursuing her dream of becoming a Physical Therapist when she finishes up at CSU Long Beach. She is currently the president of Korean Culture Club.

While all five candidates are extremely qualified and exhibit the BC Spirit and the Renegade Pride, this year’s recipient of the 2017 Homecoming Royalty Court are: Elka Desjardins and Ganae Romo-Watson.

BCSGA and the Office of Student Life would like to thank Enchanted Bridal Boutique for their donation of the homecoming gowns and Mr. Tuxedo for their donation of today homecoming tuxedos.

The evening ended with BC’s Drumline performing outside the stadium.  So fortunate to have Tim Heasley at BC.

Drumline.jpg

Thank you Mary Jo Pasek for being you!

Mary Jo Pasek and Sonya Christian Oct 14 2017

Gov. Jerry Brown signs AB 19 and AB 705

It’s been an active week for community colleges across California with Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of new legislation to make education more affordable and efficient for students across California’s Community Colleges.

Harold Pierce describes the new bills in an article on the cover of Wednesday’s Bakersfield Californian.

The California College Promise, also known as AB 19 essentially attempts to maximize student success by encouraging full-time enrollment, and we’ve already started on a similar path at our campus with the Kern Promise.  Please note that the Kern Promise is not about “free tuition.” It is a shared responsibility of the college with the student to complete their degree in a timely manner.  For example, with the Associates Degree for Transfer to complete their 60 credits at BC and then transfer to CSUB or another 4 year university.  For more on the Kern Promise see https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/sse/kernpromise

AB 705 legislates the use of multiple measures to determine students’ entry-level math and English placement at College.  BC piloted Multiple Measures three years ago and this year it is fully instituted thanks for the intense efforts on the part of Janet Fulks, Sue Vaughn and faculty in Academic Development, English and Math.  Also, thanks to the great collaboration with KHSD.  The standards for the courses at BC are still the same, the only change is that we are more connected with the high schools in order to provide a seamless transition from high school to college.  This saves the taxpayer money when public sector institutions are working to promote efficiency and effectiveness.

We’re equipping students with the tools they need to be successful, making sure that they’re enrolled full time and completing transfer-level math and English in their first year, which our guided pathways research has demonstrated is crucial for students to successfully make their way through college.

Korean Delegation Visits Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College was honored to host delegates from our sister city, Bucheon, South Korea.  A dozen delegates, including their Vice Mayor, Oh Byoung Kwon, retired KCCD Chancellor Sandra SerranoKCCD Chancellor Tom Burke, and John Heffner met with faculty and staff to tour our campus and learn about our incredible programs.

Btw, talking about our campus, let me take this opportunity to once again thank Kern County for passing Measure J.

Korean Delegates Visit BC

Korean Delegates Visits BC. With Sandra Serrano, Tom Burke, John Heffner, Kimberly Bligh, Lesley Bonds

During their first stop, the delegates spoke with our international student services Counselor, Shohreh Rahman to learn about the support we offer to nearly 100 students from all over the world.

Shohreh Rahman and Korean Delegate Oct 15 2017

Prof. Shohreh Rahman

After hearing about our, world-traveling choir and theatre arts programs, our guests insisted on seeing the theatre.  They quietly slipped into their seats to listen in to Dr. Jen Garrett’s students for a few moments.  They were thoroughly impressed by the theatre but, more importantly, loved seeing our faculty and students in action.

Jen Garret and Choir Koren delegation

The next stop was at the best restaurant in town: the Renegade Room. Chef Suzanne Tangeman invited our BC guests to the kitchen where her students were beginning a lesson, chopping vegetables to create a salad.  Chef Suzanne welcomed our guests and describe the program benefits.

Chez Suzanne and students Korean Delegation

Chef Suzanne Tangeman and Culinary Students

Culinary students Korean Delegation Oct 15 2017

Before heading to the Planetarium for a quick show led by Dr. Nick Stobel, the group swung by the Industrial Automation Robotics Lab to learn about our work to meet the demands the technology-driven business model of the 21st century.

Planetarium with Korean Delegation

Thank you to Manny Fernandez for leading the lab tour and talking with such enthusiasm about the way this program will help our students while meeting an industry demand.

John Heffner with Manny Fernandez and Korean Delegation

It is customary in Korean culture to exchange gifts upon when visiting someone’s home.

 

Tarina Perry getting gift from Korean Delegation

To thank our guests, our BCSGA students and Student Life staff created bags filled with BC goodies.

BC SGA

In exchange, Vice Mayor Oh Byoung Kwon presented gifts to BC faculty, staff, and students. The South Korean delegation from Bucheon’s visit to BC was part of a larger trip to Bakersfield.  Read more about an event earlier this week  to honor the sacrifices of Korean War veterans.

A special thank you to Paul Beckworth, Liz Rozell, Stephen Waller, Nicky Damania, Kimberly Bligh, Tarina Perry, for coordinating this visit and sharing BC’s story with our guests.  And thank you Lesley Bonds for being the lead on this. #WeAreBC

Kimberly Bligh and Lesley Bonds leading the tour

Love, Peace, and Blessings 

Washington, D.C.

On Monday, I was in Washington DC to present at the national Grantmakers for Education conference.  This was my first time at a conference of “grant makers.”  In this picture, you see me with the College Futures Foundation, Irvine Foundation, Gates Foundation and the Teagle Foundation.  These individuals are smart and at their core believe in the transformative power of education.  This combination of  passion and intellect along with a keen sense of scalability and return on investment allows them to use the private philanthropic dollars in a very smart way.  Needless to say it was a fabulous experience for an educator like me to hang out with large private philanthropic foundations at this conference.  #WeAreBC

 

Grantmakers for Ed Conf Oct 16 2017

Sonya Christian, Shawn Whalen, April Yee, Christie Hill, Loni Bordoloi Pazich

Last time I was in D.C., it was Spring 2016 and I can still remember the cherry blossoms. You can visit my blog about that trip here. During that trip, I had attended the AACC Pathways Institute, but also had time to visit some of my favorite places.

During this trip, I rushed over  to the national mall and walked the historical pathways between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.

One of my friends asked me if I ever visited the Jefferson Memorial and the answer is sadly “no.”  So for my next trip I look forward to visiting the Jefferson Memorial.

Jefferson Memorial from britannica

Prayer Luncheon

I attended the annual luncheon event, hosted by the Thursday Prayer group, for leadership in government. The keynote speaker was Rev. Oscar Anthony who gave a powerful talk on unity and prayer.  Pastor Anthony graduated from BC and still engaged with the work of the college.  Thank you for Jan Lockhard and the Thursday prayer group for all you support for our community.

Oscar Anthony

Love, Peace, and Blessings all

The 2017 Great ShakeOut

2017Shakeout-header

At 10:19 on Thursday, the 2017 Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill was held on all BC campuses. The day is a reminder that earthquakes are a part of life in our state and a major earthquake could be on the horizon at any time. When the alarms rang, our whole campus followed the procedure to (1) Drop, (2) Cover, and (3) Hold on! After the two-minute drill, our buildings evacuated and each building was thoroughly checked.

ShakeOut organizers note that many Californians have not experienced a damaging earthquake, such as young people or people who have recently moved to the state. They also warned that while the San Andreas fault could generate a large-scale earthquakes, up to magnitude-8, “there are over a hundred other active faults in the region that can produce smaller earthquakes.”

Our campus responded wonderfully and I reported to the Incident Command Center at exactly 10:23. The ICC immediately sprang into action receiving information from Building Marshalls, Runners, and Public Safety Personnel. Todd Coston, our Planning Chief reported all building clearings on a white board on one side of the room and Chief Counts, our Safety Officer cross checked these reports with our campus map. Each individual in the ICC has a specific role to support the Incident Commander with various responsibilities and key activities. By 10:43, we had all the information we needed to cut the alarms and give the “All Clear” signals.

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We take the annual ShakeOut and all emergency drills very seriously to ensure our students, staff, and faculty are as safe as possible and also to practice responding so that we are well trained and ready in case of an emergency situation. I invite you to share Earthquake Safety for College Students, which is available at https://www.shakeout.org/downloads/2014_College_Student_Preparedness.pdf

Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia and Karen Goh

Olivia Garcia and Mayor Karen Goh

While the rest of the media was busy covering the new Assembly bills, Olivia Garcia took the time to write an article about our Digital Delano project in Tuesday’s Bakersfield Californian.

Olivia’s story highlighted this new project, headed by Dr. Oliver Rosales, to document the oral histories of farm workers in Delano and other rural areas in Kern County, preserving all of their amazing stories for generations to come, while providing an archival resource for rural students in Kern County to research their own community’s history.

BC was blessed to be chosen for this funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to even begin work on this project, and it’s great to see it finally starting to take shape.

This Week on Social Media

On Instagram this week, Sequoia Sandwich Company featured Jack Hernandez as a regular and one of their favorite customers! His usual is posted as an oatmeal cookie and a cup of coffee.  That sounds like a winning combo to me!

Instagram_Jack
And then I saw these gorgeous cookies from Arisve & Bianca Pimentel and I couldn’t help but grab a screen capture to share with you all. Check them out at Pimentel Delights. We Are BC and I’m the luckiest and happiest college president, ever!

Instagram_Cookies

Corny Rodriguez on Facebook

Corny his daughter and grand daughter Alzeimer's walk Oct 2017

Pam Boyles with grandson on Facebook

Robert Boyles Facebook of Pam Boyles with grandson Oct 20 2017

Links Celebration Photos

I shared last week that BC was in full force at The Links, Incorporated’s 40 year celebration of providing important educational resources to the community. I wanted to share a few photos from the event. If you missed my piece last week, check it out here!

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Faculty busy supporting our students and community

Thank you Dr. Oliver Rosales for moderating this panel discussing issues of poverty.

Oliver Rosales OBOBOK Oct 19 2017

Prof. Olivia Garcia with her students

Olivia Garcia October 19 2017 about History Seminar

Pam Gomez tweeted from the CCPT Conf with the BC Team

CCPT Conf Oct 19 2017 Pam Gomez

Pam Gomez at CCPT Conf

Renegade Athletics

Women’s Basketball

This week, Coach Paula Dahl sent an email to our campus community and she said,

I am so incredibly excited about this year’s team. I have 19 completely dedicated student/athletes. They are completing a mandatory 5 hours in the tutoring center per week, taking a minimum of 15 units, many also have jobs, and one is even a parent of 2. We have future doctors, nurses, lawyers, police offers, ultra sound technicians, physical therapists and teachers in our midst. This will be a fun team to follow because they embrace hard work and a commitment to being great. Some of these incredible student-athletes do not have great support at home and are struggling to raise the $400.00 we require. This money goes towards travel gear, an exposure showcase where they are seen by 4 year coaches, Synergy a game editing software that helps them improve their game and also allows them to be seen by virtually every college coach across the country. Our program is committed to transferring our athletes.

If you would like to contact me separately I would be happy to tell you about those athletes that are struggling to meet our fundraising goal and you can adopt them for $60 dollars. This will get you a t-shirt and a team photo. Thank you for all you do to make this an incredible place to work. We hope to see you at our games. The Disneyland Drawing will be Friday November 3 not the 10th.

womenbeatlapierce

Paula is right and all our students are absolutely inspiring and incredible. To keep up with our Womens Basketball team, visit Gogades.com

And if you’re interested in any of the fundraisers the team currently has going on, feel free to reach out to coach Paula at pdahl@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

BC Volleyball

Jon Mettus at the Bakersfield Californian published an article featuring BC Volleyball and included this quote from Coach Carl Ferreira.

“Sometimes we get caught up placing so much emphasis on performance and results and all this kind of stuff,” Ferreira said. “It really kind of puts you back a little bit to understand that the most important success we should have is just as grateful people and seeing the human spirit at work. That volleyball match was a therapeutic match for those ladies and for our team.”  Don’t miss this great read located here.

Women’s golf

Women's gold Oct 19 2017 from gogades website

The Renegades finished third in the WSC match No. 7 at the Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena, on Monday.

Women’s Soccer

Women's Soccer Oct 17 2017 Photo by William Velasquez

The Renegades beat Citrus, 1-0, on October 17th to improve to (5-5-2, 1-1-1).  Odalys Espinoza scored the only goal of the game, her 8th of the season.

Jennifer Garrett and BC Chamber Singers

Bakersfield City School District held the 10th Annual Junior High/Middle School Choir Festival and BC’s Dr. Jen Garrett was the guest clinician and conductor. See the article and all the photos at bcsd.com.

Jen also sent out an email worth sharing this week. She said:

Ken Burdick and Jenn Garrett April 1 2017

Ken Burdick, Jen Garrett

Conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein is often quoted as saying, “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” Never before has this quote struck me more than it did Monday night as I rehearsed with the Chamber Singers. We discussed the happenings of Las Vegas with great sadness, especially as two of our students grieved for lost friends. Then we made some of the most beautiful music of the semester and I watched as the grieving students devoted themselves to the music and in some way began to heal from their loss. One of them approached me after rehearsal and said that singing did not change what happened, but it gave them the ability to think more clearly and deal with it on a personal level. Music truly can be a powerful tool for good in this world.

With that in mind I want to invite every one of our BC family to join the choirs to celebrate the power of music at our fall concert on October 27 in the Indoor Theater. It is called, “The Music of Living” and it encourages people to share in the beauty, peace, and joy that music brings to this world. I know that many today are weighed down with the happenings of all the recent tragedies, but I believe those who attend will leave inspired, and motivated to be part of the change for good. The concert also features 7 incredible local instrumentalists and one of the pieces that Dr. Ron Kean composed for the choir this past spring. I hope that you will join us for a night of celebrating how music helps us live to the fullest. The concert begins at 7:30 and tickets can be purchased from Vallitix or at the door. Faculty, staff, students, administration, seniors, and veterans are $7 and $10 general. We do tend to sell out so you might want to purchase tickets in advance or arrive early.

And, are you saving the date for the annual Culinary Caroling Dinner? I look forward to this festive event each holiday season. The date this year is December 2nd at 5:30PM. Tickets will be available from Jen, any of the Chamber Singers, or at the Fall Concert.

Community Voices by Catherine Jones

Catherine Jones from TBCBC Professor Catherine Jones had a Community Voices piece published this week where she shared the associate degree program in Occupational Safety and Risk Management. She says, “Kern County is blessed with many types of industry and now there will be an educational pathway for safety and risk management professionals which matches the diversity in industry.”  Read more here at bakersfield.com.

So what about Neo?

October 18, 2017 — 7 months old

 

 

Love, Peace, Blessings to my friends and colleagues

Sonya Christian at airport heading back home July 27 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

Bakersfield College – a Place of Dreams

Good morning Bakersfield…It is Saturday, September 9th.  A great day to be a Renegade

The man who believed in love, music and magic passed away yesterday.  As a little girl, I remember my grandfather Arthur playing Don Williams on his little cassette player.  It is amazing how the young mind learns and is able to remember the lyrics and the music so clearly after all these decades.

From the New York Times:

“I Believe in You,” a gently cantering ballad in a similarly intimate vein written by Roger Cook and Sam Hogin, spent two weeks at the top of the country chart and crossed over to the pop Top 40 in 1980.

Here is I Believe in You…a song that I must have heard a million time growing up with the verse that is burned in my mind and heart.

But I believe in love
I believe in music
I believe in magic
And I believe in you.

How many of you line danced to Tulsa Time? Well, this is a Don Williams tune that hit top of the charts in 1978 and Eric Clapton got it on the top 40s in the 1980s.

Tulsa Time

 

Thank you Don Williams for your music and thank you grandpa Arthur for always having music float through the entire house from your room at the front of the house.

Milt Younger

 

Talking about music, many of us were at Greenlawn cemetery Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. to honor Milt Younger, the man who had a large positive impact on so many individuals and so many causes in our community.  Mayor Karen Goh’s remarks about Milt were organized on the theme of the “music of his life.” This was apropos given Milt’s love and knowledge of music.

Karen Goh:  “I heard the music of caring, the music of generosity, and the music of a mentor.” Karen gave examples of Milt’s caring, Milt’s generosity, and Milt being a mentor.  She concluded her comments with:

Milt, thank you for the music that you so beautifully played for us.
We, as your orchestra, will be honored to play the encore.

John Heffner Betty Younger Milt Younger from FB

John Heffner was the second of the three speakers to honor this great man.  John, a dear friend of Milt’s. was a great story teller, painting the picture of the brilliant lawyer, the talented lover of the arts and music, the great civic leader, mentor of bright young minds, and a fabulous friend.

Milt Younger and Horace Mitchell from FB

Milt Younger, Horace Mitchell

Speaking last, President Horace Mitchell powerfully described Milt’s long-term patronage of CSUB.  President Mitchell presented Betty Younger with a framed photo of the CSUB flag flying half mast in honor of Milt.

We had a large group from Bakersfield College attending the service.  To mention a few — Chancellor Tom Burke;  Dr. Manny Mourtzanos, Dean of Instruction;  Corny Rodriguez, Dean of Instruction; Tom Gelder, Executive Director of the Bakersfield College Foundation.

My introduction to  Milt Younger’s deep relationship with Bakersfield College was when I was in Oregon preparing to interview at Bakersfield College for the position of President.  I came across a 24-page newsletter, Kern IQ, published by the Kern Center for Political Action (KCPA) in Winter 2011.  The quality and deep treatment of issues was immediately visible.  And the KCPA was housed at Bakersfield College under the umbrella of the Bakersfield College Foundation.  How very cool!

Here are a few screen captures of the 24-page publication.  You can see why I fell in love with the team that pulled this together.

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 1:

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 1

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 2:

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 2

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 3:

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 3

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 6:

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 6

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 9:

Here is an article by Milt Younger, Answering the call for tomorrow’s leaders.  Love the picture with Milt Younger, Jack Brigham, Norm Levan, and John Collins

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 9

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 13:

My first introduction to Michael Turnipseed.

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 13.jpg

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 20:

My first introduction to the amazing We The People program at Arvin High School, Jose Gurrola who went on to become a BC Renegade, and Jim Young’s passion for Arvin and its youngsters.

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 20.jpg

Since then, most of my encounters with Milt have been early mornings on the weekends, when I would be in my office at BC and Milt would be walking his scotties.

Milt Younger was the co-chair with Mayor Harvey Hall of the inaugural Leadership and Equity faculty group at Bakersfield College.

Milt Younger planned the August 3, 2016 A Tribute to Jack, at Bakersfield College, on the passing of his dear friend Jack Brigham.

Jack2

 

Both Milt Younger and Betty Younger were recognized as among the 100 Stars during the centennial year celebrations of Bakersfield College.