Tag Archives: Trustee Kyle Carter

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

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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

BC is Booming with Activities!

Good morning Bakersfield….. It is March 17th, St Patrick’s Day and Neo’s first birthday. 

 

Another week of booming activity at Bakersfield College and each activity so rich and profound in its impact on our students and our community.  Let me start this week’s blog with the Sydney Bound Concert to send our choir to Australia and as Bill Thomas said, get them back.

Sydney Bound Concert

Trustee Kyle Carter and Sonya ChristianI want to recognize Trustee Kyle Carter first and foremost for his support of BC’s choir.  When I approached him a few weeks ago and asked for his help to strategize how we could bridge the gap in funding to get our students to Australia to perform at the Sydney Opera House, he immediately went into action and the result was the March 10th concerts (one at 5:00 p.m. and the other at 7:30) with two amazing musicians Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger, who performed pro bono alongside the BC Chamber Singers to raise the funds.  Kyle opened up the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame venue for this event and along with his wife Kim McAbee-Carter pulled off an incredible concert.

Next I want to thank Monty Byrom who brought out his band to support our students. He also traveled from Fresno to attend the Sterling Silver dinner to promote the March 10th event and then turned around the next day and traveled back.   Just extraordinary.  And then there is the woman with the best voice ever…Lydia Ranger.  When Kyle Carter reached out to her, she unhesitatingly said yes.  And you have got to check out the video at the end of this section of Lydia belting out Bridge Over troubled Water…..  just amazing.

Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrum, Sonya Christian, Jen Garrett

I also want to thank our major sponsors for the evening.

  • Kern Schools Federal Credit Union
  • Deborah & Philip Rosenthal, MD
  • Klein, DeNatale, Goldner Attorneys At Law
  • Rick & Lorie Kreiser & Guitar Masters
  • Ken & Pam Byrum
  • An anonymous donor

These two pictures were taken at the Sterling Silver.  Steve Renock of Kern Schools and Ken and Pam Byrum.

Here are photos of Debby Rosenthal,  Jay Rosenlieb of Klein Denatale Goldner, and Rick Kreiser.

And to the anonymous donor…..

 

Bakersfield College itself was in full force at the concert. This incredible evening was full of great music, friends, BC family, and fun. Thank you to all who came out to support our talented BC Chamber Singers in their dream to perform at the Sydney Opera House. Bakersfield is a community that makes dreams a reality! What an incredible and fun way to make this happen for our students.

Debby Rosenthal, Steven Holmes and Meg Stidham; Grace Comisso, Maria Wright and Jamal Wright.

Thank you to the BC team who worked to make this happen: Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Manny Mourtzanos, Jennifer Garrett, Jerry Ludeke, Michelle Pena, and Tom Gelder.

Thank you Tonya Davis and her husband, Chris and Nancy Hine, John and Julie Means from the District Office for coming out to this BC event.

Thank you to the deans who should up in full force.

Steve Waller and Andrea Thorson; Sonya Christian and Steve Waller

Was happy to see my friends Arlene and Lauro Braganza who love music and support our BC Chamber Singers; Karen Thompson and Pat Thompson who are strong supporters of BC.

Steven and Lori Holmes, Khushnur and Zav Dadabhoy, Bob Allison and Manny Mourtzanos

Steve and Lori Holmes, Khushnur and Zav Dadabhoy, Bob Allison, Manny Mourtzanos

Michelle Pena helped with selling the tickets and here she is with her whole family

 

Some more pictures….

 

Love this picture of Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrom and Jennifer Garrett rehearsing.

Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrom, Jennifer Garrett

Endee Grijalva snapped this great pic of our Early College Program Students from Arvin High School. Equity paid for their attendance and transportation to the event. We also had a group of Adult Ed Students able to attend via equity as well. Abel Guzman, Director, Delano Campus and Rural Initiatives said “This was a huge team effort, including Arvin HS. Ed Watts, the Principal, has been extremely supportive of the early college program.”

Sydney Bound - Early College Program

Steven Daniels, professor at CSUB uploaded beautiful photos from the evening on his facebook. Check them out here!

Jill Burdick performing Ron Kean’s Carry me Home

Monty Byrom, Lydia Ranger and the BC Chamber Singers did a phenomenal job with Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah is one of my favorite songs.  Composed in the late 1980s when I first got to the United States as a foreign student the song was not an immediate hit but then gained popularity later.  Beautiful blend of rock, pop and gospel music….. I love it.  Let’s listen to Monty Byrom and Ken Burdick perform it.

 

Dolores: Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother.

s18huerta01-x2To celebrate the upcoming television premiere of the documentary “Dolores: Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother”, Dolores Huerta and her family came to the Levan Center on Monday night to answer questions about the work she’s done as a community organizer for over 50 years. BC’s Olivia Garcia and Tina Mendoza gave a brief introduction about the Huerta family before hosting a screening of “Dolores”, which premieres on PBS’ Independent Lens March 27th.  (Btw, doesn’t Olivia look absolutely gorgeous and happy in this picture?)

The Levan Center was so full that many audience members had to sit on the floor to enjoy the documentary, which is executive produced by Carlos Santana.

Dolores

“Dolores” tells the story of how Huerta co-founded the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez to advocate for the rights of immigrant laborers, rekindling a nationwide sense of pride and identity in the American Latino community in the process. The film goes on to discuss Huerta’s history with the feminist movement, being beaten and hospitalized by a police officer in 1988, repairing the fractured relationship with her 11 children, and eventually leaving the UFW to help found a non-profit foundation in her name.
After the film, Dolores and four of her children walked into the Levan Center to a standing ovation, answering audience questions about the film and the Foundation’s current work advocating for Latinos in rural Kern County. Some of the Foundation’s recent successes include winning a lawsuit to redraw Kern County’s voting districts to secure a second Latino-majority district on the Board of Supervisors, as well as using the Foundation’s youth programs to develop political leaders from the local Latino community, including Jose Gurrola, the 23-year-old mayor of Arvin.

left to right: Emilio Huerta, Juanita Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Camila Chavez and Lori de Leon

left to right: Emilio Huerta, Juanita Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Camila Chavez and Lori de Leon

Other participants on the panel included Emilio Huerta, a lawyer who ran for Congress against David Valadao in 2016; Camila Chavez, Executive Director of the Dolores Huerta Foundation; Lori De Leon, Business Manager for the Dolores Huerta Foundation; and Juanita Chavez, Communications and Media Coordinator for the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

Dolores Screening
Dolores’ children didn’t get to spend much time with their mother growing up since she was so busy traveling around the country as a political activist, but they all said that they now understand the value of the sacrifices they had to endure in order to provide opportunities on behalf of all Latinos, and they’re inspired by their mother’s determination every single day.

Dolores and Olivia Garcia
Several BC faculty and staff were in attendance at the documentary screening, including Dean Cornelio Rodriguez, who shook Dolores’ hand at the end of the event, as well as nursing professor Noelia Citialin, who is Dolores’ granddaughter. I loved seeing Jay Tamsi in the room as well.

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I’d like to thank PBS, the Levan Center, Olivia Garcia, Tina Mendoza and everyone who helped organize this event.  Happy to see Jay Tamsi in this picture.  Dolores Huerta needs to be well known even outside of the San Joaquin Valley, and hopefully this documentary spreads the word about one of the greatest labor organizers of the 20th and 21st centuries.

See all the photos at BC’s SmugMug.

 

Spring Serenade Concert Band/Orchestra

Dr. Kathryn Kuby and the BC Concert Band/Orchestra held their Spring Serenade concert last night. This amazing concert featured ensembles performing music of varying styles and five very talented student soloists performing solo works with orchestral accompaniment. The following student soloists performed:

Sebastian Lee & Cheyenne Toussaint, Double Cello Concerto in G minor, RV 531, I (Vivaldi) Jaison Miles, Clarinet Concerto No. 3 in B-flat, I (Stamitz) Aflredo Ramirez, Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E♭ Major, Op. 74, J. 118, I (Weber) Matthew Rose, Concerto in One Movement for Tuba and Orchestra (Alexey Konstantinovich Lebedev, Arranged by Allen Ostrander)

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Admin Council

The work of the college is continuous and inspirational. On Monday, Admin Council gathered to recap and update each other on important campus happenings such as Testing and Placement Program Review, led by Kalina Hill and upcoming Registration Days, led by Steve Watkin.  A wonderful presentation was given by  Dr. Maria Wright on BC’s Academic Support Services highlighting all that we’ve done in previous years and where these services are headed.

National Walkout Day

While high school students around the country took a stand on Wednesday to raise awareness of gun violence, several BC students also held a short march on campus in solidarity with them. The march was held for 17 minutes, each minute representing a life that was lost during the Parkland, Florida school shooting in February.

Emmanuel Limaco of BC’s M.E.Ch.A. organization gave some brief remarks before leading the group through a triangular march between the Campus Center, Center for Student Success and Science and Engineering building. Each point represented Bakersfield, Sacramento, and Washington, DC, respectively.

“Our parents did not raise us to be afraid of going to school,” Limaco said. “We should never have to live in a world where school shooting is a reality.”

Pi Day

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Computer Science professor Eddie Rangel hosts a booth about BC’s Computer Studies program during the Pi Day celebration in the Science and Engineering Courtyard.

The Bakersfield College STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) Completion Coaching Team and the BC Math Club partnered in the first STEM Celebrates Pi Day event on March 14, 2018 (National Pi Day). The event celebrated the number Pi, 3.14159…. with free pizza Pi and fruit Pi for more than 200 students who attended. Students visited tables with various STEM-related activities to earn tickets towards prize drawings for BC swag, graphing calculators, and (of course) pies!

Pi in the Face Group 2

At exactly Pi 3/14 1:59 pm, faculty devoted to Pi got a pie in the face: (from left to right) Dr. Scott Peat (Biology), Dr. Joe Saldivar (Biology), Mr. Arnie Andrasian (Math). Dr. Kenward Vaughan (Physical Sciences), and Dr. Jon Brown (Math Club Advisor). It was a fun event with lots of useful information for students about tutoring services, supplemental instruction, counseling, and financial aid. The team is now back to planning more STEM events for this year and next year!

Dr. Joe Saldivar even has a fantasatic video on his twitter @DrJoeBio! Check it out here.

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Global Connections

The International Student Organization (ISO) hosted several booths at the lawn in front of Counseling on Tuesday, educating students about all of the different cultures represented at BC.

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Booths at the ISO’s Global Connection event were hosted by students and featured information about each of their home countries. Students played acoustic guitar and electric drums in the lawn, and several women wore traditional Mexican dresses while handing out chips and salsa.

The ISO also held a special dinner on Tuesday evening in the Fireside Room honoring the faculty and staff who work every day to make BC an inclusive space for international students. And the fabulous Manuel DeLosSantos took a beautiful photo of the food provided by BC Food Services.

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Shafter Learning Center

David Franz, Shafter Education Partnership Director, gave a presentation to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday morning talking about the Shafter Learning Center’s classes at BC.

During a discussion about the success of the Shafter Learning Center as part of the Supervisors’ series of informational sessions about education and workforce development, Franz mentioned the addition of psychology and sociology courses at the Shafter Learning Center, which is located inside the Shafter library. KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog, representing the organization Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government, also gave a public comment at the meeting praising the intergovernmental approach Franz has adopted with the Shafter Learning Center, bridging partnerships between local government, school boards and BC to provide tutoring and education to Shafter residents. Agbalog was also excited about the reduced commute that classes in Shafter offer for people in Wasco, who otherwise might have to drive to the Delano Center for classes, as well as Northwest Bakersfield residents who live closer to Shafter than the Panorama campus or BC Southwest.

Dr. Fontes Presents

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Dr. Patrick Fontes presents in Delano

On Wednesday, March 14 the Bakersfield College Delano Campus hosted Dr. Patrick Fontes of CSU Fresno.  Dr. Fontes earned his PhD in History from Stanford University and visited the Delano Campus to offer a presentation on his oral history project, “Chicano Legacy of Fresno County,” funded by California Humanities. A fourth-generation Fresnan, Patrick’s presentation offered students and faculty an overview of Mexican American history in Fresno county, as well as highlighted oral history interviews with local Mexican Americans involved in the Chicano civil rights movement in Fresno since the 1960s—including Dr. Lea Ybarra of John Hopkins University and the Smithsonian Center for Latino Studies.  Other highlights from the presentation included the history of the Ku Klux Klan in Fresno County, as well as the process of doing archival research and oral history.  Delano Faculty member Dr. Chris Cruz-Boone attended with her Communication students and will be designing place-based pedagogy and assignments dealing with local history in Delano and the surrounding rural communities.  “The overall goal of Digital Delano,” remarked History Professor and NEH Project Director Oliver Rosales, “is for students and faculty to examine more closely the rich histories of the San Joaquin Valley.

Fontes Presentation 2

More information about Dr. Fontes’s project can be found at www.chicanolegacy.com.

This event was sponsored by Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (C.H.A.P.), and Social Justice Institute of Bakersfield College.

Fontes Presentation 1

Pictured above is Dr. Oliver Rosales, Professor of History, Coordinator, Social Justice Institute at Bakersfield College, and Project Director, Digital Delano, Dr. Patrick Fontes, Lecturer of History at Fresno City College and Fresno State, Elisabeth Sundby, MLIS, MBA Adjunct Librarian at BC Delano and Project Co-Director, Digital Delano, and Dr. Christine Cruz-Boone, Professor of Communications at Bakersfield College.

KCHCC Spotlighted in Renegade RIP

The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHCC) is looking for high school and BC students to apply for their annual Energy and Agriculture Academy. Student reporter Miranda Defoor of the Renegade Rip wrote about the Energy and Agriculture Academy in an article published last Sunday. BC is hosting all five sessions for the academy, which is a partnership between KCHCC, Aera and Chevron to prepare students for careers in STEM and Agriculture. Such great news about incredible partnerships in the community!

Renegade Softball

REnegade SoftballThe Renegade softball team is one of the ten best in the state, according to an article published Thursday by Jon Mettus in the Bakersfield Californian.
The team is 17-4 going into today’s double-header against LA Valley College, on the heels of a six-game winning streak. Three of their losses are against the top-ranked College of San Mateo and Cypress College, as well as seventh-ranked Santiago Canyon College.
The Renegades’ success is propelled by the arm of freshman pitcher Kylee Fahey, who leads all California community colleges in strikeouts, and McKenna Valencia, who leads the team with a .448 batting average and 21 RBI.

Check out “Bakersfield College softball ranked Top-10 in state” at the Bakersfield Californian.

Also check out “BC jumps out early, hangs on late in win over LA Mission” at the Bakersfield Californian. 

Save the Date – Air Force Band

We’re excited to announce that the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West will be performing at BC once again on June 26th. Stationed in Travis Air Force Base in the Bay Area, the USAF Band of the Golden West has performed for an estimated 1.5 million people, according to their website, playing an exciting brand of marching band music for air force bases, recruiting squadrons, Bay Area sporting events and NASCAR races.
We’ll be serving dinner in the Fireside Room that evening before the USAF Band of the Golden West performs in the Indoor Theater. Seeing this extremely talented band is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we’d love everyone in the community to be a part of it. Stay tuned for more information about this event as we get it finalized.

Last years event was a true hit!

Achieving the Dream Team

This week, we hosted Achieving the Dream in the BCSGA Boardroom on Wednesday to have a conversation with BC leadership about how we can improve educational access for our students and close the achievement gap. Achieving the Dream is dedicated to finding data-driven solutions to serving low-income students, students of color and other historically underrepresented student populations. BC has been a member of the program since 2013, and we’ve used their guidance and framework to initiate programs such as Summer Bridge, Multiple Measures and the Student Financial Empowerment Project.

Truth: Objective, Invented, Esteemed? – Gadfly Cafe

It was nice to see around 100 students, staff and faculty attend this month’s Gadfly Cafe. Everyone was invited to bring their lunch to Levan Center on Wednesday, March 14, for a lively round table discussion on timely issues.

Thank you Reggie Williams, Philosophy Faculty, for leading this lively discussion and raising the question of what is truth, and how we verify it. Seeing the students engage about their “true” beliefs and discovering that they may not be true, struggling to define the tangibility and verifiability of truth, and critically thinking about the impacts on religion, society and their own beliefs and morality is a testament to Reggie being the well deserved recipient of the 2017 Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award.

Gadfly1It was also nice to see Jerry Ludeke, Archives, Andrew Bond, English Faculty, Pete LeGrant and Anna Poetker, Philosophy Faculty, in attendance. We are truly fortunate to have such valuable learning experiences on our campus. The next Gadfly Cafe, Beauty: The Pursuit, Privileges, and Pressures will be held on Wednesday, April 11 at 12:30 in the Levan Center.

Greenfield School District

I shared photos in last weeks blog about the work some BC faculty and students have been involved in with Greenfield School District. You can read more about it in my post “Inspirational Speakers, Visitors, and Guests on Campus.”  Chris Benker gave a skateboard demo this week and next week, they’ll visit the Planetarium. Thank you to Chris Benker, Daniel Ahn, Steven Tavoni, Deborah Rosenthal, and Kenward Vaughan.

Economic Summit

The Kern County Economic Summit is an annual program featuring economists and business leaders who provide valuable information designed to educate and broaden perspectives on international, national, and regional economies. This week, BC was well represented. Photographed below is Mayor Karen Goh with BC’s Billie Jo Rice, Anthony Cordova, and Jason Dixon. 

Kern County Economic Summit

Patricia Flores

One of our BC graduates with an AA in Human Services sent a small write up detailing her experience interning with Human Services. Patricia Flores received the National award of “2017 Dementia Care Professional of the Year”  with ADAKC .  Her recognition is quite impressive and such an honor for our past student-intern and graduate.  In her note, she said

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Patricia Flores with DCPA Award

My name is Patricia Flores. I have been working in the human services field for 13 years. I currently work for Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County (ADAKC). I was honored to receive a national recognition of 2017 Dementia Care Professional of the year from Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

My journey started at Bakersfield College Human Services Internship Program. It was during the internship experience that I realized my strengths, weaknesses, and desire to find a passion in my career.

The Human Services internship helped me to narrow my career selection in Human Services field. At first I thought that I wanted to work with children. During one of the human services classes, a professor showed the class pictures of neglected children that gave me sad feelings and realized my weakness of being incapable to with neglected and abused children. I returned to class feeling that I needed to research other careers in the human services field. My first internship was in 2004 at ADAKC assisting with the daycare program with clients affected with Alzheimer’s Disease and related Dementias. First time working with Seniors and enjoyed it very much. My second internship was assisting in the payee program from Around The Clock. Being close to graduating and finishing up the internship, I was offered a job at the Payee program. After 4 years, applied in a case manager position at Around The Clock to get experience in Social Work while attending CSUB.

IMG_3405It was during my job as a Social Worker that I realized I had a passion to work with seniors. While working as a full time Social Worker, I completed my Bachelor’s in Science at University of Phoenix with a more flexible schedule. In 2011, I was hired at ADAKC as Director of Family Services Program assisting seniors, early on set clients, caregivers and family members in the journey of Alzheimer’s Disease and related Dementias. It was then that I also realized that I returned to my first internship and it has been 7 years working a ADAKC.  ADAKC continues to be a site for students from Bakersfield Human Services Internship Program to complete internship opportunities. Having the experience in completing the Human Services Program, I am able to give back to the program in assisting and training students in the skills they need for their Human Services Career.

I am very grateful to my professors from the Human Services Internship Department. I hope that my journey and experience may assist and encourage students in the field of human services career to find their passion in their jobs. Because working in the career of your desire with passion you will all find success and happiness.”

Loved reading her story and I’m so proud to share it with you. Thank you Patricia for your service to others. #WeareBC!

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Renee Hernandez. Past BC intern and now employed with ADAKC, Lynn Knaggs, BC Human Services Program Coordinator, Jacqueline Hernandez, Current BC Human Services Intern, Patty Flores, Director of Family Services at the Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County, Maria Silva, Current BC Human Services Intern

Jack Hernandez

It’s always a joy to see Jack Hernandez in the Community Voices section. You can also read it online here.

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ACCJC Commission Development Workshop (CDW)

I spent much of the week in San Diego at an ACCJC meeting.  The commission meets once a year in development and we bring in individuals from the field to work with us during some of the sessions.  This year we had President Kindred Murillo and Chancellor Constance Carroll join us for the opening session of the CDW.  You see them here is the picture along with Raul Rodriguez, Chair of ACCJC, Richard Winn, President of ACCJC, and Gohar Momjian, Vice President.

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Sonya Christian, Kindred Murillo, Raul Rodriguez, Richard Winn, Constance Carroll, Gohar Momjian

 

Then we had a “student achievement” data presentation and discussion with Darla Cooper and Craig Hayward.  It was very informative.

Loved this picture of Jared Spring, Jessica Dreier, and Cheri Sixbey.

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And this picture of Gohar Momjian and Stephanie Droker.

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I am so glad that I managed to squeeze in time to walk the waterfront that is oh so beautiful.

San Diego

Sonya Christian Dec 11 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

 

Celebrating Special Days, Friends, and BC Family!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, March 3rd…. on a long flight this morning to chair an accreditation site visit ….

Where do I begin? With Nan of course!

Celebrating her retirement with Nan …. not really retiring, or at least not completely – I see her continuing her service to BC and KCCD… just wondering what that next role will be?

Nan with wand

Nan says “Make it so!”

“Be the first one to arrive and the last one to leave. I never did figure out that first one, but I’ve got that last one down pat.” Anyone that’s been at BC for any length of time will tell you that, evening after evening, a few vehicles would remain in those expansive (and soon to be resurfaced) parking lots. Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg’s was always one.

The Bakersfield College that you see, read about, and experience today, would not be the same Bakersfield College without her graceful touch and bold leadership. Many of the changes and things you see around you, from the colors of countless BC publications to securing Measure J funds, were expertly transformed by what must have been her magic wand or sparkling fairy dust. Or maybe it was just years of wisdom, a knack for instinctual transcendence, and many, many evenings of a lone vehicle in that parking lot while work was being perfected here on campus.

So this past Wednesday, our Executive Offices prepared a celebration day for Nan, and what an adventure! Picture it: Zav, Don, Jennifer, Wendy, June, Somaly, Tarina, Chris, Zach, and myself huddled in Nan’s office minutes before she arrived. The floor, lush with multicolored roses, we covered our faces with the photos of various Nans (yes, even the “bob cut years”), lined the decorative “The Legend has Retired” balloons, and waited. Until…

Nans CelebrationNan said, “You guys!” And I think her face says it all!

From there we, we prepared a (nearly) all vegetarian lunch in A5, just how Nan likes it. There was falafel, Liz Rozell’s fruit salad, Flame-N-Skewers’ hummus, and this delicious treat Chef Sabella calls a Vegetarian Napoleon.

Tom Burke, Nan, and Danielle Hillard-Adams, Executive Assistant to Tom.

Tom Burke, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and Danielle Hillard-Adams

Trustee Bill Thomas stopped by to say hello

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Bill Thomas Feb 28 2018

Being surrounded by friends and her work family really brought a unique radiance, even for Nan.

But with that the afternoon was far from over. Nan requested a flash mob… so you remember her wand?

See more photos from the afternoon at BC’s Smugmug.

Passing the Torch

Liz passing the torch to Jason

Liz passing the torch to Jason

We also celebrated the promotions of Liz Rozell, new Interim Vice President of Instruction, and Jason Dixon, who will be taking Liz’s place as the dean in charge of the Engineering and Industrial Technology and Business Management and Information Technology departments.

Liz has been an ambitious leader for her department, which oversaw the implementation of our Baccalaureate Degree in Industrial Automation during her tenure. Her effervescent personality and inspirational words of guidance brought the best out of everyone on her team, and BC has been lucky to have her, but I’m confident that Jason will be able to fill her shoes and continue the tradition of excellence that Liz has created over at Engineering and Industrial Technology.

Mary Webb and the Industrial Tech department  hosted a dinner for Liz and Jason’s respective promotions, and Liz passed a literal torch to Jason after Mary said a few words congratulating them both. Moments like this reminds me why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

Liz and Nan

Liz and Nan

Sterling Silver

The 10th Annual Sterling Silver Dinner was held on campus on February 24th. The library was a beautiful setting for the 200 guests that attended to mix and mingle during the reception, while enjoying hors d’oeuvres. The Jones Art Gallery was open for the evening with a collection of student art on display for guests to view. The Archives Department expertly curated a variety of artifacts from BC’s past for attendees to enjoy.

It was great to see friends, supporters of BC, and our Trustees Romeo Agbalog and Bill Thomas at the event.

Romeo Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Bill Thomas

The Bakersfield College Drumline did a fabulous job of calling guests to make their way to the gorgeous tented dining area. The focus of the evening was to celebrate three benefactors of Bakersfield College and Nick James – KGET Sports Reporter, served as emcee for the evening.

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Marko B. and Theo Zaninovich were honored as the Outstanding Individual Philanthropists of the year and they shared the importance of education and the reasons they support BC.

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Kern Schools Federal Credit Union received recognition as the Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist, and Steve Renock – President/CEO of KSFCU, spoke to the long history of partnership between Kern Schools and BC.

Tom Gelder, Sonya Christian, Steve Renock

Tom Gelder, Sonya Christian, Steve Renock

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Tom Gelder, Sonya Christian, Kenneth Byrom

The BC Foundation honored Kenneth M. Byrum with the inaugural Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal. Ken has been on the Foundation board since its inception in 1975 and continues to serve and support Bakersfield College. The Byrum family came in full support for the evening with members coming to town from coast to coast.

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Thank you all who were generous in sponsoring the 2018 Sterling Silver which was a sold out event.

Thank you Senator Jean Fuller for squeezing the Sterling Silver event into your busy calendar

BCSterlingSilver Sonya Christian and Jean Fuller

Thank you Mayor Karen Goh, Cathy Abernathy, Jay Rosenlieb, Mary Jo Pasek and Tom Pasek.

Jay Rosenlieb, Karen Goh, Sonya Christian, Cathy Abernathy, Mary Jo Pasek, Tom Pasek

Jen Garrett and Matt Garrett.  Lily Agbalog and Trustee Romeo Agbalog

The fabulous John Gerhold with the beautiful Wendy Gerhold

Two academic senate presidents — Corny Rodriguez (now dean) and Steven Holmes (current academic senate president)

Jerry Cook and Lauraine Cook.  Olivia Garcia and Heather Penella

With the fabulous Monty Byrom who traveled back from Fresno just to support Dr. Jen Garrett and our BC choir for their trip to Australia.  So happy to be standing by this talented man.

BCSterlingSilver Sonya Christian and Monty Byrom

Love having Mayor Goh at these events.  Here we are with three of the awardees for the evening – Ken Byrum and Marco and Theo Zaninovich.

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And thank you for our students who were helping out driving carts during this very cold evening.  #WeAreBC

BCSterlingSilver Sonya Christian and Student Workers

 

 

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Sterling Silver DesertThe expertly prepared four=course meal and wine pairings were a highlight of the evening. I must say that I tend to avoid desert most evenings, but the desert at Sterling Silver was to die for. Stars of local cuisine such as Chef Thomas Chairez of Bakersfield Country Club, Chef Eric Sabella of Bakersfield College, Chef John Pilling of Trilogy Resort, and Chef Stephanie Caughell-Fisher of Gimmee Some Sugar worked together to plan the evening’s menu, and guests were treated to a delicious feast.

See all the photos by April Massirio at BC’s Smugmug.

BC Choir in Sydney Opera House

If you have not bought your tickets yet for this event, do so now.  Monty Byrom, Lydia Ranger, BC Chamber singers all in one evening — March 10th at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $100 each.  Email me now please or call the BC Foundation or purchase tickets directly from the Music Hall of Fame.

 

Tarina Perry was out this Sunday helping Kyle Carter and Lydia Ranger sell tickets to the March 10th concert at churches.

Thank you Trustee Kyle Carter for all your support of this event!

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Black History Month Parade

“Staying Connected to Preserve Our Heritage” was the theme of this year’s Black History Parade in downtown Bakersfield. Bakersfield College was proud to participate and march in the parade last weekend.

Black History Month Parade

Great to see BC’s Cheer Team with Heather Foss and the Drumline with Tim Heasley.

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Staff brought out their children and students.  Here is Endee Grijalva with her daughter Ava and Prof. Ish Kimbrough with his daughter.  Love this selfie with Kimbrough’s two students Destiny and Michael.

 

BC’s Drumline performed at the parade and even took home first place trophy! Congratulations!!!!

See all the pictures at BC’s Smugmug.

Special Day of United Worship

Last Sunday, familiar faces gathered at St. Peter Restoration Community Christian Ministries for a morning of prayer, worship, connecting, and honoring one another. Part of the day was to Honor Dr. Horace Mitchell for all that he’s done for our community. The Master and Mistress of Ceremony were Steve and Kimberly Watkin. 

Steve and Kimberly Watkin

It was a beautiful celebration, with so many friends and supporters of education and BC in our community. Among the friendly faces, I saw Chief Lyle Martin, Brenda Lewis, Ramon Hendrix, Ronda Williams, Dee Slade, and more. Dee shared with me information about icanaffordcollege.com which is a campaign by California Community Colleges to make sure Californians know how affordable community colleges can be.  Dee was a true supporter of Measure J and she is a true supporter of local community colleges.  What a gem for our community.

Sonya Christian and Dee Slade

Sonya Christian and Dee Slade

Sonya Christian at St Peters with Chief Lyle Martin

Dr. Horace Mitchell Shares his Story

BC students and faculty got the opportunity to hear CSUB President Dr. Horace Mitchell reflect on his 50-year career in higher education in the Fireside Room on Tuesday, and to ask him a few questions before he retires in June.

The African-American Initiatives group invited Dr. Mitchell as the last speaker for our Black History Month programming in February, and he talked extensively about how he worked to create safe spaces and a welcoming atmosphere for minority students throughout his career as a university administrator, which included stints at UC Irvine and UC Berkeley before he became the first black president of CSUB, a position which he’s held for the last 14 years.

Dr. Horace Mitchell and BC's Team

Dr. Horace Mitchell and BC’s Leadership

Dr. Mitchell has had the opportunity to shatter many barriers in academia. While studying his Ph.D. In Counseling Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, Mitchell got his first job in college administration when he was selected to be the associate dean of arts and sciences. During that time, Dr. Mitchell recognized the advantage he had over his peers in understanding the needs that are specific to students of color, and in academia, he saw the ways that traditional psychological studies of the time were blind to structural biases facing people of color. He was persistent in his advocacy for university policies that reduce the difficulties students of color face while promoting more diverse hiring of faculty to reflect the diversity of the student body.

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Attendees listened to Dr. Mitchell

“Throughout my career, it has been about increasing student potential,” Dr. Mitchell said. “We push our students to define what is important to them, then work to see how we can make it a reality.”

Dr. Mitchell went on to become the first African-American vice chancellor and the first non-physician to become a dean of medicine at UC Irvine on his path to becoming the Vice Chancellor of Business and Administrative Services at UC Berkeley. Despite working in the administration at one of the most prestigious universities in the country, Dr. Mitchell was excited to take the president’s job at CSUB because he recognized the opportunity he had to transform the community here and expand CSUB’s diversity outreach.

During Dr. Mitchell’s tenure, CSUB has reformed general education requirements, expanded to Division I athletics, added programs in engineering and agriculture business and a doctoral degree in educational leadership in response to the community’s needs. He’s also expanded partnerships with industry leaders, the Kern High School District, and with BC, helping us add CSUB counselors at the Panorama campus to assist our Renegades in smoothly transferring to become Roadrunners.

Dr. Horace Mitchell and BC Students

Dr. Horace Mitchell and BC Students

During the Q&A session with students, Dr. Mitchell stressed the importance of following the Associate Degree for Transfer programs closely in order to successfully transfer and graduate with a baccalaureate degree in four years.

“Look at what you need, be clear about what you need to do, and stay focused,” Dr. Mitchell said.

KernPromiseEven-042817s Karen Goh Sonya Christian Horace Mitchell

Thank you, Dr. Mitchell for sharing your time with BC’s students. More photos are available at BC’s Smugmug.

Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month and Bakersfield College Women’s History and More (WHAM) committee is hosting numerous events. Anita Hill will be lecturing on Reimagining Equality: Inclusive Communities in Post-Obama America on Thursday next week. We will also be showing the film Dolores: Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother. followed by discussion with Delores Huerta and some of her adult children on Monday, 3/12. Later in March, there will be a Frida Kahlo painting event and Dr. Lydia Otero will discuss her work as part of our Distinguished Speakers Series. During all of March, Grace Van Dyke Bird Library will feature the display Local & Widespread Female Activism on the main floor with various titles from the library that focus on female actives in California and specifically in Kern County, prepared by Faith Bradham, Reference Librarian. You can see all of the details for the events on BC’s Women’s History Month.

I would like to thank all of the faculty and staff involved in organizing and holding these events on campus including: Erin Miller, Olivia Garcia, Tina Mendoza, Jessica Flores, Faith Gradham, all of the members of WHAM, Nicky Damania, and Jack Hernandez.

Our own Olivia Garcia, History and Journalism faculty, wrote an article published in Wednesday’s Bakersfield Californian. She details what to expect from a few of the events including why we are so fortunate to have activists Anita Hill, Dolores Huerta and Dr. Lydia Otero at BC.  Read “BC celebrates Women’s History Month with series of events.”

Womens History Month - Californian

Cindy’s New Digs

I was at the District for the accreditation subcommittee meeting and popped in to check out Cindy’s new digs. Though we miss her, she’s not far away.

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Cindy Collier in her new space at the District Office.

Bakersfield Lifestyle Magazine

What a treat to see artwork by Duane Anderson, Architecture faculty on the front cover of Bakersfield Lifestyle Magazine. On his website, www.duaneandersonart.com, he says:

Twenty-five years ago my love of painting led me to leave architecture, my chosen profession, to focus on architectural illustration. That proved to be a rewarding decision as I was able to blend my love of painting with my interest in architecture.

Thirteen years ago I had the opportunity to pursue another dream – to teach at my Alma Mater, Bakersfield College. I am presently a tenured Professor of architecture. I teach perspective drawing and presentation graphics. When not in class, I enjoy teaching drawing and watercolor workshops whenever the opportunity presents itself.​

Seen on Twitter

Thank you to Reyna Harvey @ReynaHarveyB, weekend anchor at KBAK for this tweet!

Reyna Harvey

An Evening with Laura Bush

Laura Bush was at the Kern County Fairgrounds last Tuesday in support of the Boys and Girls Club of Kern County. She discussed the importance of literacy and education in advancing opportunities for America’s youth, and in fostering healthy families and communities. I was fortunate to be Jean Fuller‘s guest for this lovely dinner event. See the article “Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County welcome Laura Bush to Bakersfield” on 23ABC.

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Get Focused, Stay Focused

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Dr. Lauren Wintermeyer

On Monday morning, some of our counselors got the opportunity to learn about a program that teaches students how to prepare for the career of their dreams.

Dr. Lauren A. Wintermeyer Ramirez, a counselor at Ventura College, broke down the components of “Get Focused…Stay Focused!”, an initiative she co-founded to teach high school students and college freshman about how to choose the right career based on their interests, and how to develop the financial literacy, education and job skills necessary to reach that career.

After working closely with English language learners as a high school teacher, Wintermeyer Ramirez was inspired to create “Get Focused…Stay Focused!” when she realized that many of her students were picking their college of choice without thinking about the career opportunities that college could provide. Using guided pathways as a framework, Wintermeyer Ramirez helped develop a course dedicated to career and financial literacy that could be offered during each year of high school for college credit, or as a 3-unit course for college freshmen that would be transferrable to a CSU or UC.

The first part of “Get Focused…Stay Focused!” involves pinpointing three potential careers that each student would be interested in, which involves a series of budget and financial planning exercises to help students identify a career that could support their lifestyle, as well as psychoanalytic frameworks such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs or Myers-Briggs Personality Types to clarify students’ strengths.

The financial planning portion of “Get Focused…Stay Focused!” is the largest and most eye-opening part of the curriculum, Wintermeyer Ramirez explained, since many young people have never lived on their own and often aren’t familiar with the basic costs of living.

Once students have the three careers that they’re interested in, Wintermeyer Ramirez has each student visit the Career Center at her college. She then assigns students with contacting someone in the community with one of those careers for job shadowing, in which the student follows that person around for a day to learn the ins and outs of their career. These job shadow assignments have led to internships and job opportunities for several of Wintermeyer Ramirez’s students, she said.

Letty Garza and Marisa Marquez

Letty Garza (left), the Curriculum and Technical Support Advisor for Academic Innovations, LLC, goes over the workbook for the course created by the “Get Focused…Stay Focused!” initiative with BC counselor Marisa Marquez.

By the end of the course, each student in “Get Focused…Stay Focused!” picks one career and creates a ten-year plan outlining how they’ll reach and sustain their goals. They’re able to plan out what classes they’ll need to take in each semester of college, and other skills they’ll need to develop to impr