Tag Archives: Trustee Romeo Agbalog

The Dawn of a New Era in Education

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

This is the second time in six years that I missed a blog post…. last Saturday’s (2/16).

I am dedicating this blog to all moms….the wind beneath our wings.

Pam Christian watching the sunset in San Diego

Early College Launches in McFarland

Bakersfield College and McFarland High School are making education history with the Early College program, and we decided to celebrate the first chapter of that history with a launch event in the McFarland High gym last week on Wednesday night

Early College line

I was unfortunately unable to attend the Early College launch event due to a family emergency, but the Early College teams at BC, and McFarland High ensured that it was a beautiful, informative launch for students and parents alike.

McFarland cougar

Corny Rodriguez introduced the Early College video that aired in English and Spanish, providing a preliminary explanation of how 280 incoming freshmen at McFarland High will be able to get a head start on accomplishing their dreams by being enrolled in college classes on a Guided Pathways to college degree or certificate completion.

Community Relations Director Norma Rojas-Mora served as Master of Ceremonies for the event, spreading the excitement that our team has felt putting together this program over to our students. She also introduced some of the dignitaries present on the dais on Wednesday night, which included 4th District Supervisor David Couch, trustees from the McFarland Unified School District and McFarland Recreation and Park District, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, as well as representatives from the offices of Kevin McCarthy, TJ Cox, Vince Fong, Shannon Grove and Rudy Salas, among others.

Let’s listen now to Aaron Resendez, the amazing superintendent of McFarland School District….a courageous innovator who will do what it takes to advance his students in McFarland.

Brian Bell, Principal of McFarland High, was not able to attend the event. I want to recognize his work in partnership with BC. Just wonderful.

Dr. Mary Barlow, Superintendent of Kern County schools, congratulated BC and McFarland High for launching the Early College initiative before introducing the McFarland Middle School Cadet Corps to present the colors and lead the packed auditorium in the National Anthem.

McFarland children holding flags

Retired State Senator Jean Fuller, who is leading the Early College initiative for BC, emphasized how unique this partnership between BC and McFarland High actually is. After searching across the nation, Fuller discovered that this program is the first of its kind in the history of United States education, and McFarland High will be the laboratory where the Early College model will be tested before hopefully being rolled out for all of our nation’s children.

“This program is one of the first of its kind in the nation, and it’s a miracle,” Fuller said. “This program will make the difference for your child if you reach out and take it.”

Early College crowd
Jean Fuller

Fuller shared the story of how an education at BC changed her life and propelled her to a career of public service, and how Early College will create opportunities for low-income and marginalized students to do the same.

“I wanted to be somebody, but I didn’t know what a somebody was,” Fuller said. “[Your children] can be whatever they want to be, and what we need them to be.”

Early College welcome table

McFarland Unified School District President Jim Beltran offered some perspective on how Early College will increase high school and graduation rates while closing education and employment gaps in California.

“This program will set the precedent for California and other states to change,” Beltran said.

McFarland Unified School District Clerk David Diaz said that the Early College program “embodies [McFarland’s] values as a community” and will make a higher education “more accessible than ever.”

Early College welcome table

Kern Community College District Trustee Romeo Agbalog gave an inspiring presentation about how Early College will prevent students from struggling with their higher education like he did as a young man, and affirmed his commitment to ensuring that every person in Kern County receives the support they need to receive a quality education. I received several text messages telling me that there was not a dry eye in the audience during Trustee Agbalog’s heartfelt comments.

“This program began with a conversation that started with three simple words–‘What If We?’” Agbalog said. “Now it’s not just an idea. It’s happening, and it’s happening here first.”

Early College entrance

Agbalog also connected McFarland High’s proud tradition of cross-country success, captured in the film “McFarland, U.S.A.,” with the community’s commitment to its students.

“This is a community that knows how to get things done,” Agbalog said. “Who better than the 9-time state champions to lead the race to early college in California?”

Liz Rozell spoke on my behalf to share how much hard work has been done with joy to make Early College a reality before leading the gym in chants of “We Are BC” and “We Are Cougar Renegades.”

KCCD Associate Chancellor John Means talked about how classes offered through the Early College program will be equal in rigor to courses at the BC main campus while offering students the support they need to receive acceleration completion to a two-year degree or certificate.

Mike Turnipseed, Romeo Agbalog, Patty Poire
Early College child
Steve Watkin and Kylie Swanson

At the conclusion of the presentations by the Early College leadership, Steve Watkin and Kylie Swanson raffled off 3 iPads and BC sweatshirts to people in the audience while dignitaries were taking group photos. Then, BC’s Director of Rural Initiatives Abel Guzman and McFarland High School Vice Principal Justin Derrick offered more concrete details about the Early College program.

Abel Guzman
Justin Derrick and Abel Guzman
Early College raffle winners
These lucky winners went home with iPads and BC sweatshirts, including one sweet little girl who just walked up and grabbed a bag!

Guzman and Derrick explained how every single incoming 9th grader to McFarland High will be enrolled as BC Renegades and McFarland High Cougars at the same time.

Early College child in helmet

There will be 9 pathways to choose from, offering credits toward degrees and certificates at BC. Incoming freshman will take a student development course in their first semester to learn more about all of the pathways and develop a 10-year plan to accomplish their career goals. Aside from the introductory 12-unit pathway programs, there will also be 30 credits of general education courses available, as well as another 30 credits that will go toward an Associate’s Degree. Students will have to take courses after school and during summer school to complete 60 units of college credit, but they’ll have a two-year head start on their dreams and be able to apply to four-year universities as juniors.

Early College welcome table

While Early College was designed with incoming 9th-graders in mind, we’re not leaving behind any students who are currently enrolled at McFarland High, and those students will have access to some of the Early College opportunities, as well, which included courses in welding, photography, AutoCAD, as well as retail and manufacturing via designing and selling McFarland High Cougar merchandise. After the presentation, there were breakout sessions throughout the McFarland High campus where parents and students could learn more about each of the programs offered.

Early College team

The Early College program has been an immense undertaking that has been over a year in the making, and I’d personally like to thank each and every person who made it a reality.

Thanks to 23ABC for covering this incredible opportunity which starts Cougar Renegades on an early path to a college degree! Check out their coverage!

Early College: Behind the Scenes

Thanks to Manny De Los Santos for producing this great video that shows some of what happened during the Early College launch event!

catherine rangel chris glaser
Catherine Rangel and Chris Glaser working hard before the Early College launch.
Early College team
Volunteers pose for a photo before an eventful evening!
Tarina Perry, McFarland Cougar, Chris Glaser, and Catherine Rangel

Member of Congress, TJ Cox visits BC

Professor Allen Bolar and Congressman TJ Cox

On our rainy Thursday afternoon, Congressman TJ Cox visited Bakersfield College during his first trip home to Kern County from Washington, DC in 2019. His special visit was to speak to students from Professor Bolar’s Political Science courses and share not only his background and experiences, but encourage and invite them to seek careers in public service.

The Forum East was filled with students to see Congressmember Cox
Congressman Cox

He shared tidbits of information with over 200 students, such as being able to tell the members of Congress by the pin they wear and he even shared that he, too, has to go through airport security – just like us!

Congressman Cox shared with students that many jobs and internships are available for them and they should dream big, explore their options, consider visiting Washington, DC to see it for themselves. Thank you to Professor Bolar for inviting Congressman TJ Cox to the Home of the Renegades and offering such an amazing learning experience for BC students.  We are BC!

Making their way to Forum East on BC’s campus
Congressman TJ Cox shakes hands with BC Dean of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez
Upon arrival, Congressman Cox was greeted by Prof. Allen Bolar, Vice President Liz Rozell and Dean of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez.

Chevron’s Black History Month Panel

Dr. Paula Parks at Chevron Black History Month Panel

Dr. Paula L. Parks, Umoja Coordinator and English professor, participated in a community Black History Month panel discussion. The Chevron Black Employees Association held a luncheon program that included a panel discussion on the value of Black Greek-lettered sororities and fraternities and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Dr. Parks shared the experience with four of her students in the Umoja Community African American Success Through Excellence and Persistence program.

Also on the panel were LaMeka Ross, Mark Parham, and Keith Wolaridge, who shared what they gained from their experiences in a supportive African-American environment. Parks, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc; Parham, a member of Kappa Alpha Phi Fraternity, Inc.; Wolaridge, a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Fraternity, Inc.; and Ross, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. talked about the advantages of Greek life in college and in graduate chapters. They said they learned leadership skills, civic responsibility to their communities, and sisterhood/brotherhood while being held to high academic standards.

Wolaridge added that he made valuable connections through his fraternity. He said that many of the Fresno State College leaders were in his fraternity. Both Parks and Parham shared that they continued a family legacy of membership in their sorority or fraternity. Keon Warren, an Umoja student, commented on what he gained:


“I learned that the African-American sororities and fraternities were founded to serve their surrounding community and the greater good.”

Keon Warren, BC Umoja student
Panelists at Chevron Black History Month event

All the Black sororities and fraternities have minimum grades point averages to pledge and to stay active; scholarship is a big focus in addition to community service. Black Greek life helped the panelists to remain connected to their Black community at Predominately White Institutions (PWI). Parks mentioned that she was the only Black English major at UC Irvine and that membership in her sorority reduced the feeling of isolation that she had on campus and in her classes.

Ross, the only one on the panel to attend an HBCU, talked about how much she thrived at Grambling University with the love and support of faculty, staff, and students who looked like her. Members of Black Greek-lettered fraternities and sororities, including the panelists, are known as the accomplished leaders in their professions and communities.

Warren, Umoja student, summed up his thoughts: “It was inspiring to meet really successful men and women who look like me.”

Dr. Paula Parks at Umoja Students

Distinguished Speaker and Cerro Author Temple Grandin, Ph.D. Visits BC

Temple Grandin speaking

We were honored to host author, speaker, engineer and professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, Dr. Temple Grandin, at Bakersfield College last week. Dr. Grandin spoke at four events on Tuesday, February 12, 2019. Two engagements were about living with autism, one on livestock animal behavior, and one on identifying the core emotional needs of animals

Her first lecture on “Thinking in Pictures, Expanded Edition: My Life with Autism” packed the Levan Center. Her second lecture, moved to the Indoor Theater to allow a larger audience, gave tips for students with autism and parents raising children on the spectrum to be successful in neurotypical society

Temple Grandin group

She recommends that individuals on the spectrum identify their preferred method of learning, whether it is visual, auditory or language-based, and build on their strengths while continuing to develop their areas of weakness. A person who is a visual learner, for instance, may be better suited to communicating their ideas via charts and diagrams, while an auditory learner is better at explaining themselves via public speaking. Grandin also recommends that children on the spectrum learn a trade or skill at a young age so that they’re better prepared for the workforce when they come into adulthood.

Temple Grandin at podium

Dr. Grandin’s story is an interesting one and is the basis of some of her books and the subject of an award-winning HBO movie. She was determined to be autistic as a child and did not speak until she was three. With early speech therapy and teachers teaching her to “wait and take turns when playing board games” she was able to join the normal kindergarten class at age five, according to her website. In high school she was teased and became the target for bullies. Thanks to her high school science teacher’s mentoring and her aunt on her Arizona ranch, Dr. Grandin was motivated to study hard and pursue a career as a scientist.

Temple Grandin crowd

BC’s Cerro Author biography explains that Dr. Grandin’s work in animal science includes developing animal welfare guidelines and designing livestock equipment. They proclaim, “half the cattle in the US and Canada are handled in equipment Grandin has designed for meat plants.” Our Distinguished Speaker Series biography shares that she is a past member of the board of directors of the Autism Society of America and that she lectures parents and teachers throughout the nation on autism. She has over 400 articles published, was inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Thank you, Dr. Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life, Dr. James Selgrath, Professor of Agricultural Business, and Kirk Russell, Library Department Chair, for working together to bring such a prestigious speaker and author to campus. Thank you, Mary Jo Pasek and the events staff, for coordinating the event and being flexible in changing the venue to accommodate the large crowds that Dr. Grandin attracted. This is another example of why our college excels at bringing cultural awareness and furthering the learning of our students and community. We are BC!

BC Jazz Performs with Wayne Horvitz and Sara Schoenbeck

The Bakersfield College Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combos recently performed with visiting artists Wayne Horvitz and Sara Schoenbeck in the Indoor Theater. Horvitz is an acclaimed composer and pianist known for his work with John Zorn’s Naked City, Bill Frisell, and the New York Composers Orchestra. Schoenbeck is a pioneer of contemporary music for the bassoon, and has worked with Anthony Braxton, Phillip Glass, Nels Cline, and the Dakah Hip Hop Orchestra. Horvitz worked with our student jazz musicians to perform a set of his original compositions, followed by a duo set by Horvitz and Schoenbeck

Wayne Horvitz and Sara Schoenbeck
Wayne Horvitz and Sara Schoenbeck perform in the Indoor Theater.


Wayne Horvitz, Sara Schoenbeck, and Kris Tiner
Wayne Horvitz, Sara Schoenbeck, and Kris Tiner make some musical magic!

Sara now calls Brooklyn home and performs regularly with many creative and inspiring musicians in the New York scene and beyond. She has performed at major venues and festivals throughout North America and Europe. To learn more, visit Sara’s website.

BC Takes Part in ‘State of the Downtown’ Breakfast

Room of tables

Bakersfield College was honored to be part of the Downtown Business Association’s (DBA) State of the Downtown Breakfast.  It was a great way to kick off Valentine’s Day! Here at BC, we recognize the impact the DBA has made in championing our city.  It was a great to reminisce about the successes of the last year, hear about the plans for the coming year and to see so many friends coming together to continue to support the growth and revitalization of Downtown Bakersfield.

Group at table
Left to right: Keith Wolaridge, Endee Grijalva, Ashley Harp, Tom Gelder, Nicky Damania, Mustaffa Barraj, Norma Rojas-Mora, Christina Springstead

It was especially touching to hear the tribute to Dave Urner and his lifelong commitment to our community.  The impact he has made has not gone unnoticed. Melanie Farmer, the DBA/DBDC President/CEO, presented a video that highlights downtown Bakersfield’s past and its current resurgence. Bakersfield College was joined by community guests Keith Wolaridge and Christina Springstead, students Ashley Harp, BCSGA President, and Mustafa Barraj, BCSGA Director of Legislative Affairs as well as Dr. Nicky Damania, BC Foundation Executive Director Tom Gelder, Program Manager for Adult Education, Endee Grijalva, and Director of Community Relations, Norma Rojas-Mora.

Bakersfield College is always pleased to support our partners and looks forward to continuing to play a part in promoting our downtown!

Theater Students Pour Their Hearts into Valentine’s Day Show

Kimberly Chin’s theater classes delivered a special Valentines-themed performance in the Renegade Food Court the day before Valentines Day, filled with interpretative improvisation and monologues about love.

The event started with a free association exercise where students wandered around each other in a circle and said whatever words came to mind regarding certain words that were picked. The next exercise involved pulling strips of paper out of a box at random with the names of famous love songs on them. The students then created a “machine” via interpretive movement of how that song makes them feel.

The last exercise involved students sharing famous quotations about love. The students would wander in a circle again and suspend their movements whenever one of their classmates was selected to share their quote.

At the conclusion of the improv exercises, students shared their individual pieces, which ranged from spoken word interpretations of songs about love to performances of monologues by famous playwrights such as Neil Simon.

BC Staff Attend Garden Pathways Heart of the Country

Billie Jo Rice, Maria Wright, Kylie Swanson, and Lesley Bonds attended the Garden Pathways Heart of the Country event at the Buck Owens Crystal Palace. They enjoyed music from award-winning Nashville recording artist Jimmy Wayne, Stan Ellis and Stampede Band, and Amy Adams and the Rising Stars.  

Billie Jo Rice, Maria Wright, Kylie Swanson, and Lesley Bonds
Billie Jo Rice, Maria Wright, Kylie Swanson, and Lesley Bonds enjoying some lovely music.

They shared with me the stories they heard of three Garden Pathways mentees whose lives were transformed through mentorship. We see the power of mentorship each day at Bakersfield College, which is why I’m so proud of programs like the African American Mentoring Program, Umoja ASTEP, BC athletics, the Veterans Center, and of course our Completion Coaching Communities.

Musicians on stage

We are excited to partner with Garden Pathways and Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services to host the Hope Through Mentoring Conference: The Unexpected Mentor on April 6, 2019.  Behavioral health professionals, teachers, case managers, law enforcement, students, and others who work in mentoring should mark your calendars and plan to join us here on the BC campus. See you there!

BC Brings College Opportunities to Wasco

The Rural Initiatives team has been busy! Through the Adult Education Program, Bakersfield College has been able to bring college closer to home for Wasco residents and surrounding rural areas. This opportunity was made possible in collaboration with the Wasco Union High School District by setting up a one-stop center for continuing and higher education. The North Kern Adult Education team welcomed more than 70 guests including Wasco residents, partners and KCCD Staff to celebrate the opening of the center at the ribbon cutting ceremony on February 8.

Thanks to KCCD Vice Chancellor John Means and KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog for joining the BC family at the opening of the center. Special thanks to Jaime Lopez and Abel Guzman for making this possible and continuously looking for ways to make education more accessible throughout rural Kern County.

Professor Lindsay Ono Wins CLCA Award

The California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) presented the 2018 Associate Member of the Year Award at the 40th Landscape Industry Show to Professor Lindsay Ono from Bakersfield College.

The award is presented to an associate member in recognition of leadership and service to the CLCA. Associate members are persons or companies selling or producing a product or service used in the green and outdoor service industries, such as equipment manufacturers, material suppliers and business service providers.

Lindsay Ono

Lindsay Ono is Professor of Environmental Horticulture at Bakersfield College. During the summer of 2007, he was recognized as a E. Kika de la Garza Fellow in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Hispanic-Serving Institutions National Program (HSINP). He was one of 17 individuals across the nation who were chosen for this prestigious honor.  He is a member of the California Agricultural Teachers Association and serves on the Environmental Horticulture Curriculum committee. He also works with the California Statewide Career Pathways Project – Discipline Work Group and Champions Career Pathways Consortium.

Ono has been active at the Kern County CLCA Chapter serving in many positions, including President. He also serves at the state level as the Director of Education and serves on the current CLCA Board of Directors.

If you live in the Bakersfield area, you may know him from his Saturday morning radio program, The Country Garden, where he is known as the “Plant Professor.”  Ono is one of the organizers of Garden Fest, an event in its 14th year that highlights the Bakersfield College Agriculture program and brings the community together combining educational gardening seminars and fundraisers for community garden clubs.

In his continued quest to expand educational access and provide pathways to education, he was a leader in the recent statewide work to create a stackable certificate program which aligned green industry community college classes and content across the state’s community colleges to assist students in their journey to learn and grow.

Congratulations to Lindsay Ono from Bakersfield College and the Kern County Chapter as the CLCA’s 2018 Associate Member of the Year!

BC: A Family Tradition Unlike Any Other

Bakersfield College’s legacy in the Central Valley spans across generations, and that legacy of transforming lives through education is evident in the story of three men named John Radman.

John Radman
John Radman’s family has a long and storied history at BC.
John Radman Grandfather
John Radman, Sr. (John’s grandfather)

The story of the Radman family begins in Madera County. John Radman, Sr. was unable to attend classes at nearby Fresno City College, so he moved to Bakersfield to attend BC when it was still located inside the BHS campus. He decided to stay in the community to raise a family, and his son, John S. Radman, ended up attending classes at the Panorama Campus, eventually earning an associate’s degree in Industrial Arts around 1975. John S. Radman met his wife Mary Donovan during his time at BC, and two of their children would attend the Panorama Campus in the ’90s, including Renegade wrestler Aaron Radman and soccer player Brooke Radman.

Mary Donovan
Mary Donovan in 1971 (John’s mother)

Fast forward to last year, when Aaron and Brooke’s brother John Radman was hired as a Maintenance Technician for the Engineering and Systems Department. John had quit pursuing his education to support his wife’s dreams of becoming an elementary school teacher, and after spending several years as a small business owner, he was excited to give back to the Renegade community that had given his family so many opportunities.

After having a few conversations with Dean of Instruction Michele Bresso at the beginning of the 2018-19 academic year, John has decided to continue with his education, and he’s now pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Business while simultaneously working as a BC employee.

Stories like the Radman family’s are why we all work so hard to provide the highest quality of education for our students. When you hear how BC has touched the lives of thousands of people over decades, it really puts all of the work we do into perspective. I wish the best of luck to John as he pursues his business degree, and I can’t wait to hear about what future Radmans contribute to Renegade history.

Fun Photos: Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department

LA Sheriff Department
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) hosted an information table at the Huddle on Tuesday, February 12 to inform students about job opportunities with the LASD.  Web Content Editor Aricia Leighton captured this great photo of officers talking to students.

Fun Photos: Snow on the Grapevine

Grapevine
Found this on Facebook.  What a great photo by Ron Kean of the Grapevine covered in snow!

GPIT Committee Meeting

The week before last, Bakersfield College hosted colleagues from Citrus College and Mt. San Jacinto College to discuss our guided pathways implementation. A small team observed our Guided Pathways Implementation Team (GPIT) meeting and learned about the rollout of our work over the past four years.

Steven Holmes leading discussion
Steve Holmes leads a discussion around sustainability and fiscal stability through enrollment growth facilitated by our guided pathways approach.

We joined in community to dig into the detailed work of implementation with dozens of faculty and staff across campus through a series of round-table discussions.  The group wrestled with questions like:

  1. How did BC approach program and pathway mapping?
  2. How does BC ensure support for all students in English and math?
  3. What kinds of training and support does BC provide faculty and staff to advance student success?
  4. What data does BC collect to support students in staying on their educational pathways?
  5. How do industry partners work with BC faculty and staff to design curriculum?

To give a full picture of our work, our BC team from offices and departments across campuses shared their work around the following:

Amber Hroch speaking
People talking
  • Counseling and Advising Redesign: Grace Commiso, Dean of Counseling
  • Placement and Co-Requisite Supports: Dean Andrea Thorson, Dean Stephen Waller
  • Library & Academic Supports: Maria Wright, Director of Academic Support Services, Dean Bill Moseley, and Librarian Faith Bradham
  • Program Mapper & Finish-in-4: Dean of Institutional Effectiveness Craig Hayward, Dean Grace Commiso
  • Matriculation & Outreach: Steve Watkin, Director of Outreach & Dual Enrollment, Program Managers Ashlea Ward and Kylie Swanson
  • Completion Coaching: Dean Grace Commiso, Program Manager Lisa Kent, and Dean Stephen Waller
  • Professional Development & Academic Technology: Dean Bill Moseley, Lesley Bonds, Director of Student Success & Equity
  • Summer Bridge: Kimberly Bligh, Title V Director, Teresa McAllister, Faculty – Education
  • Data Coaching: Amber Hroch, Institutional Researcher
  • Instructional Leadership: Jessica Wojtysiak, Faculty – Education

Building Diversity Summit

Armando Trujillo, Pedro Ramirez, Julian West, Lisa Robles-Kent
Armando Trujillo, Pedro Ramirez, Julian West, and Lisa Robles-Kent

The Building Diversity Summit was focused on eliminating institutional barriers that impede employment access to historically underrepresented groups. The leads of the BC Completion Coaching Communities for Affinity Group (AAI, Undocu-students/ DREAMers and Veterans) along with our prestige partner, Julian West of Career Ladders Project but always a Renegade, shared their knowledge in a presentation entitled “Representation Matters: The Power of Representation on Student Success” of how Bakersfield College intentionally hires with the intent to create conditions for student success.

Photography Fun on Campus

BC’s Manny De Los Santos has a fantastic eye and great talent for capturing moments that happen on campus. Here is a photo of him getting just the right angle for his photo.

Manny De Los Santos gets the shot just right.

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11a, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights included segments with BC Head Women’s Tennis Coach, Austin Lee and BC Women’s Tennis student athletes Paige Darstein and Kayleen Sanchez.

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.

Kayleen Sanchez, Women’s Tennis – While battling injury, she beat her #1 singles AVC opponent 6-1, 6-2 and in doubles, routed the #1 AVC doubles team, 8-0 with partner Alexis Strange.

Anieus Medrano, Men’s Basketball – Went 8-16 (50%) from behind the arc totaling 29 points (26 in the second half) in final home game against West LA.

Renegade Athletics Roundup

As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):

Be sure to follow Renegade Athletics on social media for all the latest news and updates!

Sonya Christian




That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Welcome to Spring ’19

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, January 19, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Early College Program Announced!

Bakersfield Californian's Announcement "Jean Fuller to lead BC's Early College student program"

I am so excited and proud to announce that Senator Jean Fuller will be at the helm of the Early College Program at Bakersfield College. A true blessing for BC! She will lead the necessary intersegmental collaboration, relationships with business and industry, and connections with national policy organizations to scale up Early College regionally and nationally.

Sonya and Jean Fuller

Having served in public office from 2006-2018, Jean Fuller brings over 30 years of experience in education to Bakersfield College. Her desire to continue working in education at BC is a direct result of her commitment to working with young people and encouraging them to have the confidence and support to achieve their dreams.

Jean Fuller Speaking to an audience about her experiences and Early College
Jean with hand over heart

What is the Early College Program? It is a proven model for quality and cost-effective college degree completion, particularly in rural communities with high poverty rates and low educational attainment rates.

Romeo Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Jean Fuller, Abel Guzman, Raquel Lopez at McFarland High Aug 4 2018

Like other states, California is grappling with the increased need for access, efficiency, and excellence in education. By 2030 there will be a projected shortage of 1.1 million workers holding a bachelor’s degree. Kern County continues to rank among the lowest percentages in educational attainment in the nation. The Early College Program implements complementary strategies to expand access to college, increase graduation rates, and reduce time-to-completion. This work is vital for success in Kern county, California, and the nation.

Wonderful Academy Graduates 2018

The Early College model launched in partnership with local charter schools, including Wonderful Ag Career Prep, which introduces students — many who will be first-generation college students — to higher education course material during the summer prior to 9th grade. I was so proud to confer Associate degrees in Agriculture Business for 38 Wonderful Academy students last May 2018. Dual Enrollment, a strategy of early college, has been implemented in 24 Kern County high schools.

By aligning curriculum and adding college-level coursework into the high school schedule, Early College students have the opportunity to earn a certificate or associate degree by their high school graduation. A 2013 study by the American Institutes for Research found that students enrolled in Early College Programs were significantly more likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college than students who were not. They are also more likely than their peers to graduate from college and with maximum efficiency in regard to time and resources. The Early College students are performing at or near the same level, and in some cases, at a higher level than their traditional college student peers.

Wonderful Academy Graduates 2018 around the BC circle

Read more about the Early College Program at Bakersfield College and press release.

Trustee Romeo Agbalog Imagines a Bright Future for Kern County

Kern Community College District Trustee Romeo Agbalog was also in the Bakersfield Californian this week talking about Early College from the perspective of employment in Kern County, opportunity for students, and cutting the cost of college.

Trustee Agbalog is a major supporter of Early College and has been instrumental in bringing this program to fruition. Read the full Bakersfield Californian Community Voice.

A Brighter future and Kern County Only if we dare to imagine it and act.

First Week of Spring ‘19

We welcomed faculty and students back on a blustery Monday. I’m always excited to see the campus come alive after the empty hallways of winter break. The spring semester is a vibrant time as the weather begins cold but turns sunny and warm as we begin looking forward to commencement and celebrating successes of our graduating students. Thank you Manny De Los Santos for capturing photos of our students and faculty returning to campus.

Campus Center Breaks Ground

We were blessed with a sunny break in the rainy weather on Wednesday morning to hold the groundbreaking ceremony for Bakersfield College’s new Campus Center, the second building to be built using Measure J funds.

Students in Bakersfield College’s Commercial Music program opened the festivities, the BC Drumline marched in to start of the ceremony, followed by a rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” by the BC Chamber Singers. On the dais, we were fortunate to have representatives from the offices of Congressman TJ Cox, Senator Shannon Grove, Assemblymember Rudy Salas, and Assemblymember Vince Fong.  Representing the Kern Community College District were KCCD Trustees Kay Meek, Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, as well as, retired Trustee and former Congressman Bill Thomas.

Director of Student Life Dr. Nicky Damania, BCSGA President Ashley Harp, Trustee Kay Meeks, Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Trustee Romeo Agbalog

Office of Student Life Director Dr. Nicky Damania was thrilled to lead the the groundbreaking ceremony for a building that will be at the center of student life at BC. Introducing the BCSGA presidents who were on the frontlines to help make the new Campus Center possible, Nicky said, “when we’re working, it’s for these students who are going to be the leaders of the future.”

former BCSGA president Alex Dominguez speaks at the podium

A succession of BCSGA leaders from previous years addressed the group, each in turn speaking from their personal experience what this new center will mean for students: Alex Dominguez, 2014-15 BCSGA President; Clayton Fowler, 2015-16 BCSGA president; former KCCD Student Trustee Rayven Acosta-Webb, speaking for Matthew Frazer, 2016-17 BCSGA; and Dezi Von Manos, 2017-18 BCSGA President. Then current BCSGA president, Ashley Harp, shared her vision of how the Campus Center will encourage student engagement.

Commemorative Shovel for the Campus Center Ground Breaking

After the Renegade Cheerleaders led the audience in a chant of “We Are BC”, Dr. Damania announced the opening of a time capsule left in the walls of the Administration building upon the Panorama Campus’ completion in 1955.

campus center rendering
Dignitaries on the dais

I’d like to thank Tamara Baker for all her work related to the implementation of Measure J, and I’d like to thank the taxpayers of Kern County once again for investing in community college education. Without your support, neither the Campus Center nor all of our other major construction projects funded through Measure J would be possible. Thank you for voting Yes on J in 2016.

See the entire photo gallery of the Campus Center Ground-breaking on A Better BC Facebook.

Old Campus Center Demolition

Panoramic view of the demolition of Campus Center

Food Services Moves to Huddle

Where do we eat with the cafeteria being demolished? Don’t worry, BC’s Food Services is finding ways to continue to serve our Panorama Campus community. The Panorama Grill has temporarily taken residency in the Gym Huddle. Food Services has also created a “food court”” of food trucks in front of Memorial Stadium and the Gym Huddle. Among the trucks is Pa’L Norte, Banderas Burger Grill, and The Rollin’ Bean. And coming soon, Panorama Grill will add their own food truck: Gades Grub!

As we build A Better BC there will be many department, staff and faculty moves. I would like to thank staff, faculty and students for graciously adjusting to the many changes happening around campus. Keep up on the changes happening on campus at A Better BC.

BC Time Capsule

On Tuesday afternoon, BC’s Student Government gathered students and staff together to open the BC time capsule from 1955. Jerry Ludeke was on hand with information about the cornerstone. Did you know the Masons conducted the cornerstone laying ceremony inside the Administration Building on April 30, 1955, exactly two years after the groundbreaking of the Panorama campus? This gem was filled with newspapers, a student handbook, student directory, and more.

“Only the Educated are Free”

You may view the contents of the capsule in BC Archives located on the second floor of the Grace Van Dyke Library.

Wow, notice the contrast between the past and current technology.

Dr. Nicky Damania will be coordinating the creation a new time capsule to be built into the new Campus Center. Submissions may be suggested to the BCSGA president or sent to Dr. Damania.

I wonder if they realized that Einstein would remain so influential in the future.

Thank you Manny De Los Santos for this short video to commemorate the event.

ITV Classroom Pilot for Dual and Concurrent Enrollment

An overflowing classroom with high school sophomores are participating in the pilot Interactive Television (ITV) Bakersfield College Music B2 class!

To bring dual enrollment course offerings to North High School students, ITV equipment was installed to bring Bakersfield College instruction to the campus. Funded by the College Futures grant, A Bakersfield College team led by Kristen Rabe and Dr. Anna Laven spent the last six months developing the equipment installation plan, which included two 80” TVs and one 65” plus lots of other high tech goodies to exactly mirror the ITV classrooms at BC.

Classroom with large screen tv's in the front
An overflowing classroom with high school sophomores taking the pilot ITV Bakersfield College course.

Developed in collaboration with North high school administration and counselors, the technology brings opportunities to many students for whom transportation to main campus is a significant barrier. As Mark Balch, principal of North describes, “seven miles might as well be 70 for these students”. Showing the strength of the program, over 60 students arrived at the orientation which could take only 30 students. One student indicated she was interested in participating after hearing a dual enrollment presentation during an African-American Mentor Program (AAMP) field trip to campus.

Kyle Burnham, instructor

With incredible support from Dean Manny Mourtzanos and Chair Dr. John Gerhold, the first pilot class begins next week, taught by Kyle Burnham. The department is working diligently to supply additional classes in the future due to demand.

Before picture with KHSD facilities collaborating on the install.

Dual Enrollment Featured in Bakersfield Life

Did you see the article about Dual Enrolment in Bakersfield Life Magazine? Mark Nessia wrote about the partnership with the Kern High school District and BC to “encourage a college-going culture in Kern County.” He quoted our own Anna Laven, Dual Enrollment Program Manager and highlighted the start of dual enrollment at the Wonderful College Prep Academy in Delano in partnership with BC. Read the Bakersfield Life Magazine Dual Enrollment Article.

Screen shot of Dual Enrollment feature page

17 News features Norma Rojas Mora

Tabatha Mills, 17 KGET News, featured a beautiful video of BC’s Director of Community and Public Relations, Norma Rojas-Mora, in her Women in Kern County segment. In the video, Norma speaks about her dedication to students, education and insuring students realize the opportunities that are available to them. I’m so honored to have Norma at BC. Read the article and watch the video of Norma on KGET.

BC students continue to ride free with Kern Transit

Kern Transit is continuing a program for all currently enrolled Bakersfield College students to ride free on Kern Transit routes with a valid student ID. Free rides began January 14th and continue through the end of finals week on May 10, 2019.

BC Students Ride Free

Students who choose to ride with Kern Transit will not have to struggle with traffic or find parking, and they can focus on their studies as they commute to school. Using public transit helps improve air quality. And students may ride free on all 100-numbered routes, not just on routes to and from the school, so they save money commuting all around Kern County. Thank you Kern Transit!

Chamber of Commerce Luncheon

(L to R) Gabriella Mello, VP Wells Fargo Bank, KCCD Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Norma Rojas-Mora and Tony Cordova, Bakersfield College, Michael Bowers, Centric Health, Sharlet Briggs, Adventist Health, Heather Pennella, Bakersfield College

It was a pleasure to see so many smiling faces at the 2019 Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Board Installation and Awards Luncheon.  We were honored to have friends, partners and KCCD Trustee representatives joining us for this event.  Congratulations to the honorees: Josie Martin, named Volunteer of the Year, Kern Economic Development Corporation named association partner of the year, and Young Wooldridge honored as the chamber champion.  The Chamber’s executive committee will be chaired by Darlene Mohlke of Castle & Cooke with Derek Jeffery from KGET-TV 17 serving as incoming chairman.  They will be joined by Sue Benham, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, Rob Duchow, Southern California Gas Co.,  Denise Newton of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. , Tasha Clayton of Tel-Tec Security, Andy Paulden of Brown Armstrong, Mark Bateman of Young Wooldridge LLP, and Pritesh Patel of Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center.

From the Chamber Website

I look forward to continuing to serve on the Chamber’s Board of Directors alongside Andy Anderson of Aera Energy LLC, Kristen Beall of Kern Community Foundation, Mary Barlow of Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Sharlet Briggs of Adventist Health Bakersfield, Don Bynum of Temblor Brewing and Bynum & Associates, Leslie Golich of Kaiser Permanente, Rick Jhaj of Countryside Market & Restaurants, Ken Keller of Bakersfield Memorial, Jacob Panera of Varner Brothers and G. Riar of Deprigo.

Darlene Molhke and Jeff Green at the BC Culinary Kitchen working on Em’s treats

It is going to be a great year for the Chamber under the leadership of the fabulous Darlene Mohlke who has a great heart for our community, and who volunteers countless hours serving on boards of various organizations making a significant difference.

Chamber of Commerce Leadership Cohort

Endee and Brandon at the KGET news desk

Endee Grijalva, Program Manager in Adult Education, and Brandon Urry, Manager of Communications/Community Relations, Athletics, were at the KGET news desk representing BC as members of this year’s Chamber of Commerce Leadership Bakersfield cohort. One Friday of each month the participants learn about a different industry within Kern County. Friday was Communications Day, with KGET welcominig Endee and Brandon.

SGA Power Lunch

Also on Wednesday, BCSGA hosted its first Power Lunch of the semester in the Levan Center, inviting Bakersfield College’s three Vice Presidents to talk about their job duties and how they facilitate all of the work that needs to be done to keep the campus running smoothly.

Left to right: Mike Giacomini, Liz Rozell, Zav Dadabhoy

Mike Giacomini, Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services, who started at BC about three months ago, described the areas that he oversees, which include budgeting, Maintenance and Operations, Food Services, and Public Safety. Liz Rozell described the Office of Instruction, including all academic programs, enrollment management, and scheduling for BC’s instructional facilities. Zav Dadabhoy described starting in student government at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, which led him to a career in student involvement culminating in his position as Vice President of Student Affairs, the department in charge of financial aid, counseling, tutoring, outreach, athletics and student services in general.

BCSGA student introducing the panel

The Vice Presidents answered questions about challenges that arise when managing a campus of over 33,000 students and 1,000 employees, and spoke to the the importance of working together across all of the different departments to solve problems and provide the highest quality of education possible. They also talked about how the KCCD Board of Trustees provides leadership and support for the College.

Zav speaking, Mike and Liz sitting at the table
The three Vice Presidents at Bakersfield College

Many thanks to BCSGA for organizing this educational event for students wanting to learn more about the inner workings of the college. Thanks to Mike, Liz and Zav for this time meeting with students!. And thanks to Food Services for providing lunch!

Renegade Athletics Roundup

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11:00 AM, check out features from this week’s show.

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (1/6-1/12) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

Athlete portraits
  • Dasia Wandick, Women’s Basketball – Scored a total of 33 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in helping the team to a 64-50 win over Cuesta and a close, 50-48 loss to Allan Hancock.
  • Marcus Jones, Men’s Basketball – Scored 12 total points and grabbed 10 rebounds in wins over Santa Barbara (94-68) and Cuesta (88-80). Also, was involved in a few crucial plays down the stretch to seal the win against Cuesta.

Renegades moving on to the next level

We are extremely proud of four of our Renegade student athletes who are transferring on to Division I academic and athletic competition this spring after wrapping up their BC careers. From the football team – Carson Olivas is at UCLA, Nathan De Jager is at UNLV and Cam Roberson is at UMass. From our volleyball team – Sarah Armendariz is now with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Roundup of Athletics Events this week

Around the ‘net

Renegades on Instagram

BC Alumnus, former Gades football player and current NY Jets player, Rishard Matthew’s posted a shout out to Coach Chudy, gave encouragement to students and showed some Renegade pride this week on Instagram.

Instagram post from Rishard Matthews

Facebook Fun

And I loved this post from Matt Garrett

Matt Garret's post about having Vanilla Ice hair in high school

Fun Photos: Veterans’ Bridge

Kimberly Bligh sent photos from our Veterans’ Bridge to BC. If you missed last week’s article about Veterans’ Bridge to BC, read it now.

Photos

Bridge Staff

Fun Photos: Urbane Cafe Sharing the Love for BC

On Tuesday, our near neighbor, Urbane Cafe, offered free sandwiches to BC Students and Staff.

Nicky's selfie in front of Urbane Cafe
Nicky Damania took advantage of the Shared Love.

Fun Photos: DKG 80th Anniversary

Last Saturday, January 12th, I was honored to join other women educators at the Delta Kapa Gamma (DKG) 80th Anniversary Lunch. DKG, Leading Women Educators, Impacting Education Worldwide, is an organization with a mission to promote professional and personal growth of all women educators.

We are a community of Renegades

Bailey (current Renegade), Charlie (future Renegade), Laura Wallace (alum Renegade)

Received this message from Billie Jo………#WeAreBC.

We are a community of Renegades! 😊 I snapped this picture today at Olive Drive Elementary School of my granddaughter Charlie practicing her sounds at speech therapy. During the visit, I discovered that her speech therapist, Laura Wallace, is a Renegade as well. She graduated with her degree in Child Development in 1982 and had nothing but great things to say about BC. Currently, her two sons are finishing up their coursework here at BC and are transferring to Humboldt State in the fall. From left to right my daughter Bailey (current Renegade), Charlie (future Renegade), and Laura Wallace (alum Renegade).

Fun Photos: Preparing for Spring Term

Last Sunday, a great group gathered at BC SouthWest to help students prepare for the beginning of the Spring term.
Fernando Lara on Sunday at 1:00 giving our new Renegade Taylor a tour of BC-SW.

Talk about fabulous folks at BC!!!!

Fun Photos: Cultivating a College-Going Culture

Love working with this dedicated and passionate group of people who care about the youth and Kern County and work hard to cultivate a college-going culture.

Ben Sherley- KHSD, Steve Watkins-BC, Ana Leyva- Arvin HS, Margarita Rodriguez- BC, Stephen Granucci- Arvin HS, Savannah Andrews- BC, Lesley Bonds-BC, Kylie Swanson- BC, Ed Watts- Arvin HS, Jesse Oropeza-BC, Abel Guzman-BC, Cynthia Zamora-Arvin HS

Fun Photo: Faculty

I love this photo of Deborah Rosenthal, Chemistry Faculty!

Deborah Rosenthal holding 2 Geese
Khushnur and Zav Dadhaboy with Nick Strobel at Fox Theater for the viewing of the movie Gandhi

A New Addition to the BC Family

Congratulations to Jeff (art faculty) and Janice Huston on the birth of Jonah David Huston yesterday morning at 3:26 AM!




That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

‘Tis the season to be a Renegade!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 15, 2018… A great day to be a Renegade.

BC’s Jason Frando just keeps swimming

Love this powerful video of BC swimmer Jason Frando.  Such an inspiration to see one of our student-athletes succeeding in school and life.  He’s really making a splash at BC!

Special shout-out to student Justin Frando for shooting and editing this great video!

Check out the video on YouTube!

Weekend Adventures

Dogs in sand
This past weekend, Neo was happy to be reunited with Bessie in Southern California. Can you believe how big Bessie is getting?
Dog on beach
I love this photo of Neo enjoying the sand beneath his paws and the sun rising on the beach.
Dog in sand
And, of course, Bessie… a Southern California puppy who knows how to have fun in the sun and sand.

Education Strategy Session

Bakersfield College enriches the community it serves by partnering with local organizations to meet local needs. On Tuesday, November 27, a BC team met with several North Kern K-12 district leaders to initiate conversations surrounding Teacher Preparation Pathways in Kern County.

The Central Valley, along with the rest of the state and nation, is suffering from a teacher shortage. BC currently contributes to teacher preparation through its Early Childhood Education AS-T and Elementary Teacher Education AA-T degrees. Through research and planning from a recent Education Futures grant, BC is broadening its collaborations with its K-12 and university partners to alleviate teacher shortages in its surrounding communities.

Trustee Romeo Agbalog set the stage by highlighting the transformative power of education, particularly for rural Kern. Abel Guzman, Exec. Director of Rural Initiatives, gathered leaders from Grimmway Schools, KCSOS, McFarland High School, Richland Union Elementary School District, Wasco Independence High School, Shafter Learning Center, and Delano Joint Union High School and Elementary School Districts to participate in the first North Kern strategy session. The rest of the Bakersfield College team included:

  • Liz RozellVice President of Instruction
  • Billie Jo Rice and Michele BressoDeans of Instruction
  • Kimberly Bligh, Erica Menchaca, and Jessica WojtysiakFaculty

BC is dedicated to working with CSUB and other community partners to recruit, train, and retain more teachers at all levels and in all subjects. More strategy sessions and plans to expand current offerings are in the works. We look forward to sharing more exciting updates in the coming months!

Educational Systems and Intersegmental Pathways Task Force

It is uplifting to see leaders in education across the state coming together to increase student learning and degree attainment. The Educational Systems and Intersegmental Pathways Task Force met on November 29th at the LAX Marriott to do just that –- influence student outcomes at scale.

Noting that systems development is critical for improving student success in California, I highlighted the statewide need for more efficient data flow and interactive student planning tools. Current statewide data systems challenges were discussed by a panel of experts, including Patrick Perry from CSU, Anthony Dalton from CalPASS, Tess Carmen De Roy from CCGI, and Krystinne Mica from ASCCC.  Omid Pourzanjani, CCCCO Visiting Vice Chancellor, shared statewide data of current student paths and ideas to improve the student journey.

Program Mapper projects that sequence curriculum in a virtual map for students were showcased by Bakersfield College, Cypress College, and Concentric Sky. President of Cypress College JoAnna Schilling, CTE faculty Kathleen Reiland, Workforce consultant Steve Glyer, BC Dean of Institutional Effectiveness Craig Hayward, Assistant Vice President of CSU Bakersfield Vikash Lakhani, and Wayne Skipper from Concentric Sky presented updates and future planning for their respective projects.

After the presentations and panel discussion, the task force determined two areas of focus: Mapping Student Journeys and Intersegmental Data Systems. The group plans to continue its collaborative work over the next two years, including three more face-to-face meetings.

Sue Vaughn retires a Renegade

Sue Vaughn and friends

Last Thursday, we celebrated the career of a woman who has dedicated her life to education.  Sue Vaughn, who has served at BC for more than two decades, said goodbye to fellow staff and faculty in a ceremony held at PAC 101.

Colleagues such as Manny MourtzanosZav DadabhoyNicky Damania, Steve Watkin, and Kalina Hill (in a UCLA football shirt) shared heartwarming stories about their experiences with Sue and what an inspirational woman she is to all of us.  It was emotional to witness Sue reflect on her time at BC; she has put so much of herself into the education of others and we all owe her a debt of gratitude.

Sue has invested more than 32 years in higher education. She faithfully and diligently served BC for 22 of those years (20 as the Director of Enrollment Services, and 2 as the Director of the Child Development Center).

Prior to BC, Sue served as Director of the PACE program for public assistance recipients at Tompkins Cortland Community College in upstate New York for 10 years.  She also directed a Child Council in Syracuse, trained Head Start Teachers in Mississippi, directed a Parent Cooperative Preschool in Milpitas CA, and taught 6th grade in Palos Verdes.  Needless to say, her accomplishments in education are nothing short of remarkable.

Some of Sue’s notable career highlights include:

  • Served as Vice President of the New York State Child Care Coordinating Council
  • President of the California Association of Community College Registrars and Admissions Officers CACCRAO
  • Awarded the CACCRAO Robert Brown Leadership Award in 2017

A couple of fun facts about Sue include:

  • Sue and her husband Norm have two grown sons and five grandchildren
  • Sue is a diehard UCLA fan. Go Bruins!
Sue Vaughn

Sue will be sorely missed around the BC campus, but we know she will be enjoying her retirement years with her family.  Thank you for everything, Sue!

BC talks Open Enrollment on Telemundo!

Jaime Lopez and Manuel Muralles made an appearance on Telemundo to encourage students and remind parents that BC Enrollment is now open.  They provided information on upcoming events and outreach to help students enroll for the Spring semester. Great information and great to see our team getting the word out! Todos Somos BC!  Thank you Norma Rojas-Mora for this great partnership with Telemundo. 

Watch video of their appearance on KGET.

Delano De-stress Fest

The De-stresser event at the main campus was extended to the Delano Campus on Monday, December 3, 2018 during finals week. The Miracle Mutts were such a hit with the students, and even faculty and staff were able to benefit. According to the Miracle Mutt’s website, many benefits of human-canine interaction are:

  • Lowered blood pressure and heart rate
  • Increased production of serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin in the brain–chemicals responsible for feelings of happiness, calmness, and connectivity
  • Decreased production of cortisol and norepinephrine–chemicals that produce feelings of stress, anxiety, and fear
  • Reduced depression, loneliness, and anxiety
  • Boosted motivation for physical activity and social interaction

Such great physical, emotional, and social health benefits from the interaction with these playful dogs!

Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud used his dog, Jofi, in his therapy sessions. But, why? What is it that can make the presence of dogs so soothing? Many students were able to experience this phenomonon first-hand and even asked that the Miracle Mutts come back the first week of next semester.

Thank you for the support!

Delano Suicide Awareness

The Suicide Awareness event was geared toward an open dialogue centered on eliminating the stigma in society when it comes to discussing mental health, and even more so addressing suicide.  Bringing awareness creates a safe space to openly discuss sensitive and otherwise taboo topics. By opening up this forum, we allow students to be empowered to talk openly when the need arises.  The event included a hands-on activity where students were encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings through art.

A must-read by Jack Hernandez

Newspaper article

Loved seeing BC’s Jack Hernandez in The Bakersfield Californian’s Community Voices section. His piece entitled “You can’t go back home” is a must-read. Check it out!

Another must-read by Jack Hernandez

Jack Hernandez
Jack Hernandez

I also love this poem by Jack Hernandez, which was recently published in the current issue of the Anglican Theological Review.  So powerful!

A Rule

My monkish soul

seeks a rule

in this familiar

place where windows

dazzle no longer,

the call of a full

order or stomach

receding like mother’s

admonition to clean

my dinner plate.

The days unfold

with limited promise,

my genes fulfilled

mind stuffed

with books

instructions not

to blink

before strong

ideas no matter

how strange their eyes.

A young woman

walks by

a baby in each arm

her days

ruled like mine

when flushed with time,

The rule of life

I seek now

is a grace to light

this cloistered dusk.

South Kern Sol shines light on Renegade Pantry

Reporter Jessica Manzo of South Kern Sol highlighted the Renegade pantry in an article last week, spreading the word of how food pantries at BC and CSUB provide food security and important nutrition for college students, especially during finals week.

Manzo spoke to several Renegade Pantry coordinators, including David Guinto and Nallely Sanchez, about how pantries provide an important resource for students who are already struggling with the costs of tuition, books, housing, and school supplies. She also quoted this blog about how food support is able to help students commit to their education.

If you’d like to donate food or new and gently used clothing to the Renegade Pantry, you can drop it off in Levinson Hall during the pantry’s hours of operation, which are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Popular items include drinks, cookies, and frozen snacks.

Norma Rojas-Mora appears on Telemundo

Norma Rojas-Mora was on Telemundo this week to share information on Bakersfield College, including the open enrollment period, BC’s expansion plans, as well as to provide an update to the viewers on her journey at Bakersfield College.

Telemundo interviewed Norma when she first joined the BC team, and as always she continues to look for ways to share the great work of the college. Norma talked about what she sees as one of the most innovative programs from her perspective, the Early College initiative and partnership with the Wonderful Academy, where 38 high school students graduated from Bakersfield College one week before graduating from high school!  This was a game changer! To know that it is possible for local kids to graduate from college with their AA degree while they are simultaneously completing high school will fundamentally change access to education.

She encouraged parents to become engaged and informed about programs that help their children. More than anything, she encouraged parents to always be supportive and engaged in their child’s education. Norma promised to be back to share more about Bakersfield College and its plans for expanding in the Southwest.

Watch video of Norma’s appearance on Telemundo.

Fun photos from the Faculty Tenure Party

I received this email from Krista Moreland, a great faculty leader on campus.

“This is the year my faculty cohort and I are up for tenure. You form a unique and long lasting bond with the faculty you start full-time with, one that will last until retirement. And on Thursday Dec. 6th, many of us met at the Tower bar and grill to celebrate our year four evaluations and Tenure!  Receiving a satisfactory evaluation at year four, starts the final tenure process which culminates in spring with board approval. Although we have not received official tenure yet, we couldn’t wait to celebrate the completion of mode A evaluations and symbolically mark the occasion! It’s a great feeling to have your work be recognized by faculty and deans, and I think I can safely speak for my cohort when I say we appreciate all of the support and guidance we’ve received from our BC family over the years. “

“We had a wonderful night of cheers and pics with our colleagues, and Academic Senate President Steve Holmes symbolically marked the occasion by formally presenting each of us with a BC pin.”

“I organized the event, and our cohort all contributed, including: Erica Menchaca, Andrew Bond, Chris Dison, Harlan Hunter, Jessica Wojtysiak, Sarah Villasenor, Debbie Rosenthal, Sondra Keckley, and Krista Moreland. Others were not able to make it, but were there with us in spirit. “

“I’m  very thankful that my department supports its faculty and contributed to the celebration, including Human Services director  Lynn Knaggs, Behavioral Sciences Chair Christian Zoller,  and area Dean Richard McCrow!  Thank you to everyone who helped make the night special!”

Fun holiday photos

Chris Glaser and Nicky Damania
Chris Glaser and Nicky Damania performing at the Rainbow Voices holiday concert.

Fun photos around Bakersfield

Mayor Karen Goh and Deborah Rosenthal
Professor Deborah Rosenthal took a selfie with Mayor Karen Goh at the pop-up deli and lighting of the menorah at Chabad on Ming. It was a tradition of Mayor Harvey Hall to attend each year and Mayor Goh is keeping up the tradition.

Fun photos from the CSEA Potluck

Photos from the KCCD Board of Trustees Meeting

Executive Suite Holiday Potluck

Executive Suite Holiday Potluck
The Executive Suite enjoying a wonderful holiday meal. Thank you Tarina Perry for the photo.

Tuesday, December 11 was an exciting day at BC. A main water line ruptured and campus closed while our Maintenance & Operations team coordinated the emergency repairs. Tuesday also happened to be our annual Executive Suite Holiday Potluck. This is a time when our team whips-up favorite dishes and we join together to share. The food was amazing. (Because they’re all talented chefs!) And I was so happy to be able to end that day sharing stories and great conversation with these bright faces.

You would never know that just moments before they were calmly handling a campus emergency.

Outdoor Fun

As a result of their participation in the Outdoor Classroom Specialist trainings, Child Development Center teachers are now including a wider variety of specific learning and developmental activities. And the second outdoor classroom for toddlers will be ready for the children to use when they return in January. This additional classroom will allow the Center to have the children outside for up to 3 hours each day–air quality and weather permitting.

Children playing with tires
Watching these children play sure does make me “tired.”

Below is a very short video of two-year olds and their teachers enjoying themselves in the rain.  The picture above is of them utilizing the tires that we added to their outdoor classroom. So fun to be young!

North High and BC start holiday season on a high note

On Thursday, Bakersfield College was honored to host North High School’s fourth-annual Winter Collage concert in the Indoor Theater featuring the North High choir and jazz band. The BC Chamber Singers even got the opportunity to participate in the festivities.

North High students, parents, and alumni filled every seat in the Indoor Theater, and the holiday spirit reverberated through the walls of the auditorium with each performance, which ranged from ethereal traditional music to holiday show tunes. 

North High choir director Jack Bertrand directed the BC Chamber Singers in the opening song, then Chamber Singers director Jennifer Garrett directed North High students and BC Chamber Singers for a few performances. After beautifully executing the solo and group numbers that they’d been working on all school year, the North High choir turned the stage over to the North High jazz band, which played a set of funk and Latin-tinged Christmas jams.

The event was free to attend, but throughout the night, North High alumni and staff took donations and sold raffle tickets to raise money for choir and band students to visit music programs at colleges and universities across the state next spring.

I’d like to thank Jennifer Garrett and the Events staff for arranging a space for North High to host its Winter Collage while their campus is undergoing renovations, and I’d like to thank Jack Bertrand and North High for choosing BC as the temporary home for such an important night.

BC and BPD: Partners Against Crime

Chief Lyle Martin, Sonya Christian, Fred Prince, and student
(left to right) Chief Lyle Martin, Sonya Christian, Fred Prince, and Darrin Branson, BPD Business Manager

Bakersfield College is lucky to be supported by so many local institutions and community partners. One of those incredible partners, our local BPD, does so much to inspire and work with our students in the Public Safety Training and Law Enforcement fields. Chief Lyle Martin attends many BC events, including his participation on a panel earlier this year called “Transformational Policing: Bridging the Racial Divide.” Director of Public Safety at BC, Chief Chris Counts, reminds me often of the great working relationship outside of the classroom between BPD and BC as well.

Holiday Tree lights up the Welcome Center

BC staff smiles by Christmas Tree
Faculty and staff pose near the holiday tree in the Welcome Center.

Faculty and staff gathered in the Welcome Center on Tuesday morning to celebrate the lighting of the holiday tree.  Hot cocoa, coffee, and delicious cookies were served. I love celebrating this time of year as it gives everyone such a warm sense of togetherness!

Kern Education Pledge

CSU Bakersfield held a news conference earlier this week about the Kern Education Pledge, an initiative partnering K-12 and college facilities.  The goal of this new alliance is to transform the county’s education system so that the pathway to college or a career is streamlined and seamless. All 47 school districts in Kern County, Cal State Bakersfield, the Kern Community College District and Taft College are part of the coalition. I absolutely love our Kern community and our commitment to education!  

Mary Barlow, Lorea Laverti, Tom Burke
(left to right) Mary Barlow, Renegade Lorea Laverti (who sang a beautiful version of the National Anthem), and Chancellor Tom Burke
Chancellor Tom Burke, Lorea Laverti, President Jill Board
BC Music Major Lorea Laverti. Thank you Dr. Jen Garrett for your phenomenal work with students.

Kern Community College District Chancellor Tom Burke said a few words, noting that the District supports the Kern Education Pledge not only because of partnerships between the local school districts and CSU Bakersfield, but because of the mission of the pledge.  “We know that improving student outcomes throughout Kern County requires innovative and sustained collaboration across all of our organizations and I have been impressed by the level of excitement and commitment around this work that we have seen to date,” he said.  

Mary Barlow
Mary Barlow

I want to take a moment to recognize Mary C. Barlow and Kristin Beale for all of their hard work on making the Kern Education Pledge a reality. Mary was named the Kern County Superintendent of Schools last year, and has been working non-stop since then to help better the Kern County educational system.  She has spent the majority of her career in education, serving as a teacher, Director of Children and Family Services, and a district superintendent. During her time as Superintendent of the Kernville Union School District, she focused on increasing student achievement, and has continued that same goal as the Kern County Superintendent of Schools.

Kristin Beale
Kristin Beale

Kristin Beale has been an invaluable part of creating the Kern Education Pledge.  She is President and CEO of Kern Community Foundation, a CPI grantee partner that provides scholarships to more than 300 students annually. Kern Community Foundation has granted $18 million to nonprofits and scholarship recipients in Kern County, California, since the foundation was established in 1999!

It’s because of people like Mary and Kristen that the Kern Education Pledge has become a reality, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for the students of Kern County.  Be sure to check out the Bakersfield Californian’s article “Collaboration of education leaders, industry partners, launch Kern Education Pledge” for more information!

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11 a.m., check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights include segments with BC Student Success Program Manager Darrell Ballard, Director of the Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House Scarlett Sabin, and KBYH Executive Vice President / Program Director Robert Carter.

Segment with Darrell Ballard

Segment with Scarlett Sabin

Segment with Robert Carter

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (12/2-12/8) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

Renegades of the Week

Vada Lewis, Women’s Basketball

Vada had a double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds) in a 79-66 win over Taft College on 12/7.

Anieus Medrano, Men’s Basketball

Anieus had 30 points (including seven 3-pointers) in an 81-71 win over LA Valley at the SBCC Tournament on 12/6.

Roundup of Athletics Events This Week

As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include:

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics by following us on social media.

  • Facebook – find us under ‘Bakersfield College Athletics’
  • Twitter – @GoGadesGo
  • Instagram – @gogadesgo
Sonya Christian




That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC Renegades March for Humankindness

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 20, 2018…..A great day to be a Renegade.

Last weekend I had family visiting and we all went to A Star is Born……a terrific movie.  It is indeed “old-fashioned, big-feeling drama” as Manohla Dargis of the New York Times wrote.  The original movie was released in 1937, remade in 1954 with Judy Garland, and again in 1976 with Barbara Streisand – each great in their own way. In this most recent release Lady Gaga gives an incredible performance both musically and in her intimate and powerful acting. It was a treat to see her “unmasked” without all her layers of stage production attire.  Bradley Cooper does a great job directing, and in his portrayal of the superstar in decline that for me had a Willie Nelson-esque quality with the hat but not the braids.  Perhaps what I enjoyed the most in the movie are the songs.  Here’s a taste of one of them:

Come out to see BC at Via Arte at the Marketplace!

via arte from bmoa websiteBakersfield College and the Levan Center have partnered up to sponsor a 12’ x 12’ square at the Marketplace’s Via Arte, which is happening this weekend. BC Art Professor Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio and some of his talented students will be doing a chalk rendering of Caravaggio’s painting of Medusa. Please come out and support them—they will be working for essentially two solid days on this piece!! If you do stop by, take a selfie with the piece and share it with me! I can’t wait to see.

HVAC Tech Program Unveiled in Delano

Group photo with Rudy Salas, Romeo Agbalog, Abel Guzman, Sonya Christian

HVAC Groundbreaking (11)Earlier this week we unveiled the first HVAC certificate program at the Bakersfield College Delano campus.  This program is the only one of its kind within the Kern Community College District! As a part of our Rural Initiatives, it is offered solely at the Delano campus. We also broke ground on a new HVAC lab space which will be completed in late 2019, and we are in the process of developing an Associates of Science in HVAC Technology!

HVAC Groundbreaking (13)The funding came from the monies secured by Assemblyman Rudy Salas in the 2018-2019 state budget summer sessions.  I cannot begin to thank Assemblyman Salas enough for his support and commitment to Kern’s rural areas. Over the past four years, our enrollment in the rural communities has grown 87% and we wouldn’t be able to offer students the best education possible without the support of our elected officials and community members.

HVAC Groundbreaking (5)

Trustee Romeo Agbalog

I’d also like to thank Trustee Agbalog, a voice on the Kern Community College District board for the North Kern area.  Trustee Agbalog’s dedication to the region’s education and economy is unparalleled. He has helped to spread the word of the importance of higher education in our community.  Thank you Trustee Agbalog!

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HVAC Groundbreaking (4)

 

Celebrating Diversity and Humankindness

March for Humankindness Photo by Alex Horvath TBC

Photo by The Bakersfield Californian, Alex Horvath

Renegades are on the front lines of marching for humankindness as seen in the cover photo on this Bakersfield Californian Article, “March aims to celebrate diversity, spread kindness” by Joseph Luiz. Photographer Alex Horvath captured Mayor Karen Goh with Assembly Member Vince Fong and Robin Mangarin Scott leading the way followed by the charge of BC Renegades. The walk, held on Thursday afternoon at CSUB, celebrated diversity and what unites our community as kind and caring. Robin Mangarin emceed the short program which included speakers Raji Brar, Dr. Matab Singh, and two young girls who started a local organization called Kind Girls Make Strong Women.

Raji Brar, in her remarks, spoke about moving to Bakersfield as a young girl and living in a diverse neighborhood where her neighbors, although different, were family just the same. She spoke about turning to our neighbors and the people standing beside us, realizing that we’re all different but we’re all special and together we can create a kinder world.

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It is great to see how well represented our community was at the first annual walk. Organizations in attendance included the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Jay Tamsi, the African American Network of Kern County and Dee Slade, Bakersfield City Fire Department, Bakersfield East Rotary Club, Bakersfield High Interact, Bakersfield High School, Bakersfield Marathon, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Foundation and Community Boards, Bakersfield Californian, Bakersfield Sikh Women, Boys and Girls Club, California Resources Corporation, Costco, Centennial High School, Chevron, CSUB, Ford Dreambuilders, Gamers at CSUB, Garden Pathways, Good Samaritan, Junior League, KERO, KGET, KBAK, KUZZ, Kind Girls, Leaders in Life, Mercy Hospital Foundation and Governing Boards, Mira Monte High School, NAPD, Panda Express, Real Property Management,Ronald McDonald House, and West High Ridgeview, Valley Children, and of course Bakersfield College!

Dignity Health’s Human Kindness Award

Nusring Faculty, Leah Elliott was nationally recognized as the recipient of the Steward Award at the HumanKindness Gala, hosted by Dignity Health Foundation in San Francisco. This award showcases and celebrates the power of humanity, hope, and healing – a perfect fit for a Nursing Professor!  Congratulations from all of us at BC!

Great Shakeout

f18shakeout03-x5Bakersfield College participated in The Great ShakeOut 2018 on October 18 at 10:18AM. The Incident Command Center immediately formed and began duties to clear campus. With the leadership and diligence of our campus community, all buildings were cleared and reported safe by 10:39AM. This year, our Incident Commander gave the all-clear signal 6 minutes faster than the year prior. Bakersfield College takes the ShakeOut and all emergency drills seriously to train our response skills and ensure students, staff, and faculty are as safe as possible.

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BC’s Child Development Center also ensured the little ones were safe out on the grass area in clusters.

Here are photos from the Incident Command Center:

49th Annual High School Shakespeare Festival at BC

BC Volunteers

BC in support!

The Bakersfield College Theatre Program hosted the 49th annual Peg Pauly High School Shakespeare Festival last weekend, welcoming over three hundred students from thirteen local high schools.

On Friday, each high school presented a ten-minute scene which was adjudicated by Bakersfield College theatre professors. On Saturday, students presented monologues and short scenes, competing for top prizes and receiving feedback from a cadre of experienced judges, including professors from BC and CSUB and a number of local theatre veterans.

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Nearly twenty Bakersfield College Theatre majors worked as volunteers for the event, which operated in conjunction with the 34th annual Kern Shakespeare Festival’s closing weekend, where the winning high school groups performed prior to the two Festival productions.

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11am, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. We highlighted our Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and their efforts to reach out and give back to our local community. Be sure to head to Bakersfield.com at 11am each week to watch the show live.

Segment 1 with Brooks Douglas of NOR Sports

Segment 2 with Renegades Marcus Jones and Shahadah Camp

Segment 3 with Renegades Anieus Medrano and Kobe Garner

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week!

Renegades of the Week

Brooke McDonald and Adrian Godinez

Brooke McDonald, W. Soccer – recorded two shutouts in goal to help women’s soccer to a 1-0-1 record on the week, in a 4-0 win at home against Victory Valley and a tie on the road against #4 Citrus.

Adrian Godinez, Wrestling –  Went 3-0 at the CCCAA State Dual Southern Regional on Saturday 10/13 helping the Renegades to a 5th place overall finish.

Article on Renegade Kicker

The Bakersfield Californian featured an article by Jose Gaspar titled “Lamont teen has the leg, and the will to succeed” on Renegade kicker Tony Garcia who hails from Lamont. His story embodies the Renegade way and we are proud to have him represent BC on the field.

Men’s/Women’s Basketball Schedule

Our Men’s and Women’s Basketball Schedules are now available on GoGades.com. Make plans to come support Renegade Basketball teams this season as they each compete to bring home conference championships this year.

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Homecoming Football Game

We hope you are making plans to join us for the Homecoming football game on Saturday, Oct. 27th at 6pm in Memorial Stadium. Fans are more than welcome to arrive early and tailgate, enjoy the game and then stay for a special fireworks show post-game sponsored by Kern Schools Federal Credit Union. Don’t miss out on the action!

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Roundup of Athletics Events this week

It was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include:

Stay connected with athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

Ag Career Expo

Ag Career Expo

Ag Career Expo

The Gym Huddle played host to the Agriculture Career Expo on Friday, October 19, where dozens of students gathered to explore career opportunities with various industry employers and higher education representatives.  Enthusiasm was in the air as students engaged in thought-provoking dialogue with agricultural experts, trying to learn as much as possible.

Expo visitors were in awe of the farm equipment on display.  Some climbed inside to view the inner workings of these enormous machines.  Vendors included major companies as Caterpillar, New Holland, and Berchtold, as well as universities such as Cal State-Bakersfield, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, and Fresno State. A heartfelt thanks goes out to BC Career and Technical Education and all the vendors who came out for this event.  Thank you for showing our Renegade students what a modern agricultural career can look like.  The Central Valley is a worldwide leader for the farming industry, and there’s no better place to start a career in agriculture than BC!

Ag Career Expo

MESA University Trip: Staying on the Path

MESA University trip (3)The MESA program took a university trip with students interested in attending Cal Poly SLO. The students were able to tour the campus as well as the special tour for the college engineering.  It was an especially great experience for our students because they got to meet with BC alumni Ryan Luke who showed them his current electrical engineering project at PolySat.

PolySat is a student-run, multidisciplinary, independent research lab that does CubeSat development. A CubeSat is a minimum a 10cm x 10cm x 10cm (also called a 1U) satellite which can be manufactured and deployed in space for a relatively low cost. This allows students and other research institutions to perform experiments and participate in space exploration. Most of the launches are through the NASA ELaNa program, and PolySat has worked with various teams such as NASA Goddard, NASA JPL, SRI, and Scientific Solutions.

MESA University trip (1)

MESA University trip (2)

Alejandra Zapata  (Engineering), Gemma Trujillo (Mathematics) Issac Garcia (Engineering), Ryan Luke (BC Alumni Electrical Engineering), Katie Ramirez and Alejandra Tristan (Biology)

Ryan Luke (BC Alumni) mentioned how grateful he was for professor Darke’s assistance.  Richard Darke helped him develop an independent research project during his time at BC.  This project contributed to Ryan success making him now one of the lead Electrical engineering students at the lab.

Also, the BC MESA students met with a community college transfer-student panel hosted by the Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP).  At the panel there were BC MESA student alumni Rey Fernandez and Zeph Nord who answered questions about transfer process in the STEM fields to Cal Poly and shared their personal journeys and experiences coming from BC to Cal Poly SLO. They talked about how BC was a great place to seek opportunities and experiences for STEM students through the MESA program and the STEM program.

Thank you Connie Gonzales for your passion and commitment to MESA and STEM.

COLLECTOR

Collector ArtThe directors of the Wiley and May Louise Jones Gallery are proud to present COLLECTOR. A body of work from Los Angeles based artist Matthew Craven. His work utilizes found imagery collage, sourced from texts rich with historic iconography, which he arranges into compelling contemporary images. Craven’s process driven work employs a unique balance of combined patterns, textures, and figures. The fusion of new and old allows the viewer to interpret the struggles of past cultures and can serve as a reminder of contemporary aberrations. While other pictures offer quiet, meditative retreat through repetition and precise use of color. This combination of inquiry, creates a challenging, yet rewarding experience.

The Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery is located in the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library on the Panorama campus. The exhibition will be on view until November 29th, 2018 with an opening reception on Thursday, October 25th, from 4 – 7 P.M. Fall 2018 hours of operation are: Monday-Thursday: 1:00-4 P.M.

Spotlight on Kris Tiner

Kris Tiner performs with Wadada Leo Smith (photo by Aaron Griffith)

Kris Tiner performs with Wadada Leo Smith. Photo by Aaron Griffith

BC’s Jazz Studies professor Kris Tiner recently performed in Los Angeles with renowned composer Wadada Leo Smith in the world premiere of his Rosa Parks Oratorio. The music is an extended, multicultural meditation on Parks’ legacy performed by three vocalists, trumpet quartet, string quartet, pipa, percussion, electronics, and a Japanese Butoh dancer. This event took place on the closing night of the Angel City Jazz Festival in the REDCAT Theater at Walt Disney Concert Hall. It was reviewed in the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Classical Voice.

Race, Citizenship, and the American Farm Worker

On Thursday, BC’s Social Justice Institute hosted University of Oregon professor Sarah Wald in the Levan Center for a discussion of the ways that literature written by and about farm workers seeks to reclaim the humanity of agricultural laborers while challenging traditional American virtues of property ownership.

Attendee at Dr. Wald's Presentation

Attendees at Dr. Wald’s Presentation

Valley Public Radio covered this event and the website includes an audio clip with Dr. Wald. English professor Andrew Bond had been organizing this event, titled “Race, Citizenship and the American Farmworker” in one form or another for the past two years during the writing of the Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley grant. Dr. Wald was one of the first people to write a letter of interest to the National Endowment of the Humanities as part of the grant, which provided funding for research and programming that celebrates the historical and cultural contributions of the Central Valley.

Dr. Sarah Wald

Dr. Sarah Wald

Dr. Wald, an Associate Director of Environmental Studies and Director of English Graduate Admissions at the University of Oregon, began her discussion with an examination of the ways farming is depicted in popular culture, contrasted with depictions of actual farm labor. In advertisements by Dodge and Chipotle that Wald showed during her discussion, the family farmer is portrayed as a paragon of individualist American values and a model citizen. Actual farm labor, however, is commonly depicted as being beneath the average American citizen, and throughout our nation’s history, people in the fields are denied citizenship, from African-American slaves forced to toil on Southern plantations, to the undocumented migrant laborers working on farms throughout California today.

Even in ecological social movements, Wald argues, the struggles of farm laborers, who face poor housing conditions and lack of medical care, are subsumed in their utopian pursuit of hyperlocal, community-based farming. “For many people in the alternative food movement, it’s easier to imagine a world where farm workers don’t exist than one in which they are treated fairly,” Wald said.

f18racecitizenship09-x3To counter these entrenched stereotypes about farm work, Wald talked about the novel “Under the Feet of Jesus” by Helena Maria Viramontes, which is about a young girl named Estrella and her Latino family who works in the dangerous conditions of California fields. Throughout the book, Estrella develops a feeling of interconnectedness with the soil she works in every day, which gives her a sense of belonging that transcends national identity. Wald refers to this interconnectedness with the land as “denizenship”, which challenges traditional notions of citizenship that are rooted in cultural stereotypes about who gets to be considered American.

I’d like to thank Dr. Wald for coming to Bakersfield College for this fascinating discussion, and I’d like to thank the Social Justice Institute for continuing to bring engaging speakers to campus. See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

Mayor’s HIRE Luncheon

HIRE Luncheon BC AttendeesBC was well represented at the 13th annual Mayor’s HIRE Committee Luncheon, a celebration of outstanding Bakersfield Employer and Employee Champions and National Disability Employment Awareness Month on October 16, 2018 at Hodel’s Restaurant.

Ramon Puga, BC’s Manager of Maintenance and Operations, was honored as Employer of the Year for large businesses.  Daniel Gutierrez, BC custodian, was also honored as an Employee of the Year Nominee.

HIRE Employer of the Year award, Ramon Puga

BC’s Ramon Puga accepting the award

HIRE Committee members, Denise Crawford, Program Manager and Rudy Gutierrez, Job Development Specialist of the BC Workability, helped organize the largest turnout in the event’s history.   Also in attendance from BC: Dr. Terri Goldstein, BC’s DSPS Director, Paul Beckworth, BC’s Director, Veterans Services; Jessica McGrath and Carlos Medina, CTE Job Development Specialists.

BC’s DSPS Hosts Dept. of Rehab (DOR)

DSPS hosts DOR (1)Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) hosted staff from the Bakersfield Office of the CA Department of Rehabilitation (DOR). The half-day event featured presentations by Dr. Terri Goldstein about services available through the DSPS program & What’s New at Bakersfield College. Christine Morales and Rachel Allen spoke about KCCD/BC Business Services processes that help ensure that things go smoothly when DOR is paying for students’ classes at BC. Similarly, Angela Medina, Manager of the Barnes & Noble College Bookstore at BC, discussed improvements to bookstore services for DOR clients. The program wrapped up with presentations by two Students of our Concern Master Student Interns, Natalia Hatley and Anabe Jimenez, covering the many programs and services available through the Office of Student Life to support the varied needs of our eclectic student population.

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After a brief tour of the new DSPS program space, guests were treated to a campus tour in one of our new electric limo carts. Rudy Gutierrez from DSPS’ WorkAbility III drove the cart, while a Student Tour Guide provided by Outreach & School Relations narrated the trip. Including breakfast burritos provided by BC Food Services, and sponsored by Student Equity and Success, the day was a fantastic representation of support and collaboration among departments at BC for the benefit of our community partners, and ultimately the success of our students/clients!

College Leadership

A group of college leaders including Dean of Instruction Andrea Thorson, Michelle Pena, Grace Commiso, Victor Diaz and Kalina Hill discussed the Spring 2019 implementation for AB 705.

College leadership also gathered on Monday to look at data and explore the ways to improve students success!

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Fun Photos this week!

Was happy to attend an event at the Gill family residence in Delano.  David Valadao and trustee Romeo Agbalog were there.  Here is a photo compilation.

David Valadao event at the Gill Family residence in Delano Oct 2018

Volkswagen provided free training for BC’s Auto Tech students and faculty this week!

BC's Auto Tech and Volkswagen

Happy Birthday to Steve Watkin, BC’s Director of Outreach Relations!

Steve Watkins Birthday

Veronica Hathaway and Janet Thomas shared a photo of Dean Waller with his gifts on Bosses Day.

Dean Waller - Bosses Day 2018

Chris Blakemore helping Tamara Baker cart shovels to her car for the HVAC Program Unveiling on Monday in the Delano campus.

Chris Blakemore with shovels

Fun Photos from College Council

Superheroes on Campus: Dean Billie Jo Rice

The Communication and FACE Departments celebrated Dean Billie Jo Rice this week. Professor Neeley Hatridge wrote,

In the Communication Department we have had several exceptional deans over the years, but what we didn’t know was that someone else would come along that would set the bar far higher for anyone who follows her.  Dean Rice stepped in and stepped up when assigned as Dean over FACE & Communication. Billie has approached her position with focus and humility—a desire to get things done well, and a willing spirit to explore creative thinking and new approaches.

4-2018When people describe Billie Jo and the work she does here, words like composed, efficient, approachable and resourceful are used.  Much like a superhero, she is cool-headed under pressure, so when Boss’s Day neared and it coincided with “Super Hero Day” on campus, Renee McMillon, Billie’s Executive Secretary, conspired to put together a celebration that demonstrated our gratitude for Billie and her leadership.  Faculty and staff paraded around the room wearing superhero capes and masks with Billie’s face to get into the spirit. Chef Alex, Chef Suzanne, and several others helped to prepare a baked potato bar and contributed dinner for a date night for Billie and her husband, Bud, which was presented at the celebration. Christian Flores-Castaneda created a beautiful invitation that was also presented which Dean Rice LOVED! In the end, we all took a moment to show our “superhero” our appreciation and we delighted in seeing her joyful reaction.

Bosses Day for Billie Jo

Community Voices from BC’s Professor Bell

5bbc1be450d34-imageBC’s English faculty, Justin Bell wrote a published Community Voices piece titled “Treat women the way you want to be treated” in which he says,

“The propensity of people in our society who would dismiss the way that some men treat and talk about women as “locker room talk” or “just boys being boys” is, frankly, sickening. We can argue about how our culture contributes to this subjugation of women from the moment they are born, but that is only part of the issue, and a paradigm shift may take generations.”

SoCal ICWA Fall Directors Meeting

f18iwca01-x4On Friday, BC was honored to host the Southern California chapter of the International Writing Center Association (SoCal IWCA) in the Fireside Room for its fall directors meeting.

BC’s Writing Center organized the conference, which was designed for SoCal IWCA directors to plan their Spring 2019 conference, titled “Vis/Ability”, which will focus on discussions about improving writing center services for marginalized and disabled students. There were also roundtable discussions about how writing center tutors can implement AB 705 and EO 1110.

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f18iwca03-x3Writing Center Lead Kim Arbolante gave a brief introduction to Bakersfield College at the beginning of the event, including how BC’s writing center operates and how Measure J is transforming our campus community. Vice President of Student Affairs Zav Dadabhoy also spoke to the SoCal ICWA directors, praising Arbolante’s service to our Writing Center students. I’d like to thank the BC Writing Center for graciously hosting the SoCal ICWA directors on our campus.

We are BC!

Sonya Christian Oct 15 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Proud to Announce “The Bakersfield College Vernon Valenzuela Veteran Resource Center”

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 13, 2018…..a great day to be a Renegade.

Let me start my weekend blog with the the Board of Trustees meeting where the board voted unanimously to name the first project of Measure J the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center.

Naming the Veterans Resource Center

Group Photo of BC Representatives at the KCCD Board Meeting

Group Photo of BC Representatives at the KCCD Board Meeting

Thursday, October 11th was a historic day for Bakersfield College! The Kern Community College District unanimously voted to approve the naming of the new VRC to The Bakersfield College Vernon Valenzuela Veteran Resource Center. We are proud the KCCD Board of Trustees voted to name the center after a local veteran advocate, inspirational leader, and Renegade.

1973 From Left Ed Simonsen Chancellor, Vernon Valenzuela Faculty, John Collins President, Phyllis Mallory Faculty, Loren Voth Trustee, Cecil Bailey Trustee

1973 – From Left: Ed Simonsen (Chancellor), Vernon Valenzuela (Faculty), John Collins (President), Phyllis Mallory (Faculty), Loren Voth (Trustee), Cecil Baileyaa

Vernon Valenzuela left a lasting legacy, for the Home of the Renegades, but also for his extended community, and in the hearts of all who knew him. His life’s work to benefit veterans lives on through the veterans he worked with, and the Renegades whose lives he helped transform.

Digital Rendering of the Veterans Resource Center

Special thank you to Paul Beckworth and Olivia Garcia who prepared the Board proposal, and to our guest speakers who shared with the Board their personal stories:

  • Jenny Frank, Manager of the Bakersfield Veterans Center
  • Tom Corson, Executive Director of the Kern County Network for Children
  • Randy Dickow, Attorney from the Veteran Justice Program

 

Paul Beckworth made the recommendation on my behalf, and Chancellor Burke supported the recommendation.

Paul Beckworth, Randy Dickow, Tom Corson, Jenny Frank, Olivia Garcia, Zav Dadabhoy VRC.jpg

Paul Beckworth, Randy Dickow, Tom Corson, Jenny Frank, Olivia Garcia, Zav Dadabhoy

 

Kay Meek, President of the KCCD Board of Trustees, made the motion, Bill Thomas seconded the motion.

The Board voted unanimously to name the new VRC the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center.

Kay Meek then gave the rendering of the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center to Vernon’s widow Lise Valenzuela.  As you can see both the audience and the trustees were elated and gave a standing ovation.

Our community’s support for Bakersfield College has given us a unique opportunity to give back to our veterans by establishing a supportive and welcoming environment for all student veterans. We also must remember that this dedication would not even be possible without the sacrifices of those who have served our nation through military service.

Moments like these are a reminder of our responsibility to ensure steadfast commitment for our veterans. They are a reminder of our personal and collective responsibility to build a future that positively impacts veterans, and supports their education and their dreams.

Thank you to the Board of Trustees for the decision to name the new VRC after Vernon Valenzuela.

Standing ovation after the vote Oct 11 2018.jpg

 

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We will honor Vernon and all other veterans next month when we hold the official groundbreaking ceremony on November 5.  Mark your calendars!

Groundbreaking

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Grand Opening of Student Employment Lab

Student Employment Lab Grand OpeningMonday began with the grand opening and ribbon cutting of our new Student Employment Lab on the Panorama Campus. BC’s Strong Workforce is supporting our students to meet the demand to fill highly sought after skilled jobs with livable wages throughout California. The Student Employment Lab, located in the FACE building, provides career related support including access to resume development, employment resources like Jobspeaker, and preparation for successful interviews. In addition, resources are available from donations that students can utilize, such as paper, pencils, hygiene products, and more.

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Jobs prioritize being a student first, and provide important industry and career connections to help students explore what they really want for their futures. The Bakersfield College Student Employment Team is proud to help bridge the gap between education and employment by sharing our model, tools, and resources with other community colleges throughout California.

Thank you to the Student Employment team, led by Stephanie Baltazar and all who attended Monday’s grand opening including Cindy Collier for this new space.

Student Employment Lab Grand Opening

Student Employment in Action

Arisve_Pimental,_Selena_Gasca,_and_Danyel_RitterSpeaking of student employment, each month the Student Employment Office selects an on-campus supervisor to recognize their outstanding service. The Supervisor then has the honor to highlight one of their top student employees. This month, Arisve Pimentel and Danyel Ritter, Department Assistants for the Office of Student Life are being recognized because they oversee many services and programs, including the Renegade Pantry, Pantry Shelf Program, Daily Bread, Homecoming festivities, and the Renegades mobile app! They teach their student employees organizational and time management skills, make them feel valued, and always keep them on track. Both ladies selected student assistant Selena Gasca for always coming to work prepared, with a positive attitude, and a friendly demeanor.

Visit with Justices of the Fifth District Court of Appeal

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Justices of the Fifth District speak to students

This past Thursday, BC was visited by the Justices of the Fifth District Court of Appeal.  The Justices spoke very candidly to our pre-law students, staff and faculty about their professional career paths, and explained how they came to be justices at the Court of Appeal.  They talked about how life isn’t a sprint but a marathon, and how this is extremely applicable to a life in law.

Many explained how they never thought about being a judge, but wouldn’t change a thing.  Their perspective shed light on the ethics and importance of law in supporting democracy, and explained the how Justices are appointed to the Court. They talked about how the work is demanding, and a balance of work and life is essential.

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Thank you to Justices Brad R. Hill, Herbert I. Levy, Charles S. Poochigan, M. Bruce Smith, Kathleen A. Meehan, Mark W. Snauffer and Thomas DeSantos for visiting Bakersfield College and for showing our students the many different paths there are in the legal profession. And thank you to Corny Rodriguez and all the students who attended this incredible opportunity. See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)

Tom Burke and Corny Rodriguez

Chancellor Burke and Corny Rodriguez

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) held its annual conference last weekend in the Marriot Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss the emerging trends in higher education affecting Hispanic-Serving Institutions. BC’s Corny Rodriguez attended alongside KCCD Chancellor, Tom Burke.

The HACU was established in 1986 to represent the needs of all higher education institutions with a 25 percent or higher Hispanic population, which are defined by federal law as Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). HSIs, which include Bakersfield College, face unique challenges compared to other degree-granting institutions, including a disproportionately low-income student population. In 1992, the HACU petitioned Congress for recognition and federal appropriations to HSIs, which led to increased funding to HSIs through Title V of the Higher Education Act.

Student Profile (Ethnicity) from Scorecard

Student Demographic 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Hispanic Student Count (%) 61.5% 65.1% 66.3% 66.7% 65.7%
Student Count   14,997 16,486 18,312 20,863 21,847

Group Photo at HACU

Ana Ceballos, PC Counselor Teacher Education; Prima Arvizu, VP of Student Affairs; Kimanthi Warren, PC Director Equity and Educational Services, Chancellor Tom Burke; Laura Vasquez CCCC Faculty, Lucilia Gonzalez-Cirre CCCC Faculty; and Corney Rodriguez. BC Dean

Here are two fun photos of our Chancellor at HACU 2018. Chancellor Burke getting up to date information from Georgia Tech professor at the STEM/HACU student workshop and riding on a ” Bird”, electric scooter.

Renegades of the Week

BAKERSFIELD, CA – Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (9/30-10/6) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.

10.9 RENEGADES OF THE WEEK

Rhyan Acosta, Women’s Soccer – scored the winning goal in a road victory, 2-0, over #12 rankead LA Valley, and then scored the first two goals in a 4-0 home win over #11 ranked Cuesta.

Armando Alvarez, Men’s Soccer – had a shutout against Santa Barbara, the no. 6th ranked team in California (16th in the nation). He had 3 key saves in the last 2 minutes of the game to preserve a 0-0 tie and finished with a combined total of 7 saves for the game.

Roundup of Athletics Events this week

It was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include:

Renegade Athletics Social Media

Public Safety Career Expo

On Wednesday, October 10, the Bakersfield College CTE Department brought together more than 60 local, state, and federal agencies together for the Public Safety Career Expo. Representatives were on hand to answer questions and provide information to those who were interested in pursuing a career in public safety.  Hundreds of students were seen having engaging conversations with members of the police, fire department, and military in the hopes of one day making public safety their profession.

Numerous vehicles were on display, such as an ambulance, fire engine, SWAT team vehicle, and even a Kern County Sheriff’s helicopter! Visitors were able to climb in and tour many of the vehicles, getting an up-close view of how these technologically-advanced machines operate.

Thank you to everyone who took part in making this amazing event happen, and a special thank you to all of the men and women who make such great sacrifices to keep our country safe.  BC extends our deepest gratitude to you and your families.

See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug!

Young Women Empowered for Leadership Conference

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Dr. Paula Parks (front, left) with some of the attendees

Dr. Paula Parks, English Professor and Umoja Community Lead, was a panelist at the second annual Young Women Empowered for Leadership conference sponsored by the Kern High School District. The focus of the luncheon event organized by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Brenda Lewis was on women in education.

Other distinguished panelists included Highland High School math teacher and BC adjunct instructor Kalisha Hudgins, Foothill High School Counselor Denise James, CSUB Associate Vice President Dr. Jacqueline Mimms, CSUB Assistant Athletic Director Dena Freeman-Patton, and retired educator and Project BEST founder Fushia Ward.

Young Womens Event

Panelists spoke on what inspired them to pursue a career in education, their experiences being the only African American in their graduate classes and in their places of employment, and overcoming challenges. They all encouraged the girls to maintain a sisterhood and never give up on their dreams no matter what the struggles are.

YWEL Event (4)

The high schoolers were engaged and attentive. They asked questions such as the professionalism of wearing one’s hair in natural styles and about getting people to stop using the n-word. Most of the panelists had always worked in education, and the students found it interesting that Dr. Parks moved from a career in journalism to one she found more fulfilling in directly making a difference in the lives of students. They expressed interest in the Umoja Community program and asked Dr. Parks aoout the cultural program in the high schools. Parks encouraged the girls to attend BC and become part of the Umoja program and then transfer to a four-year university.

Sonia Nazario

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Sonia Nazario and Joaquin Alvarado

Bakersfield College was honored to host two respected journalists in the country on our campus to lead a conversation about immigration and reporting as part of a state-wide initiative to keep young people informed about democracy and the functions of government.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario and Joaquin Alvarado, founder of the new media organization StudioToBe and the former CEO of The Center for Investigative Reporting, spoke to students in the Forum about the ways that the media frames immigration issues in the wake of increased public scrutiny over ICE detention centers and the separation of families at the border.

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The event was presented as part of BC Office of Student Life’s Distinguished Speaker Series, BC Social Justice Institute, and the California Humanities’ new initiative titled “CA 2020: Democracy and the Informed Citizen”, a year-long partnership with California community colleges to get young people engaged in democracy and journalism by bringing Pulitizer-winning reporters to their campuses. At the beginning of the event, California Humanities CEO Julie Fry was proud to announce that the organization had secured approximately $1 million in funding for statewide programming through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Federation of State Humanities Councils and other non-profit organizations.

South Kern Sol Executive Director Reyna Olaguez also announced the four local winners of media fellowships as part “Cal 2020” project. The four young reporters will be working with trained journalism professionals to develop stories on topics that are relevant to our community. Nazario is best known for her book “Enrique’s Journey,” in which she travelled over 12,000 miles atop freight trains from Honduras to the United States to follow the path of a 17-year-old boy who was searching for his mother. The journey was fraught with danger from police officers and immigration authorities, as well as opportunistic coyotes who take advantage of the thousands who come to America via El Tren de la Muerte—The Train of Death.

f18sonianazario15-x4Nazario’s approach to journalism is hands-on, seeking to capture an inspiring narrative thread that contextualizes some of the most polarizing and divisive issues in our society. As part of a 1997 series on the one in five children in the United States who are raised by drug-addicted parents, Nazario lived in crack houses to be able to write accurately and honestly about their experiences.

“My job is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted,” Nazario said.

After covering immigration issues for over 20 years, Nazario has seen the face of immigration shift from Mexicans seeking economic opportunities in the US to Central American families seeking asylum from the horrific violence brought about by criminal narcotics cartels. Her work reporting on asylum cases has led her to serve as a board member for Kids in Need of Defense, an organization that procures lawyers for young children seeking asylum, who often have to formulate their own cases without the education necessary to go toe-to-toe with US attorneys fighting against them in court.

While immigration has become a hot-button issue in the current presidential administration, Nazario and Alvarado, who served as the moderator for the evening’s discussion, stressed the importance of looking beyond the talking points being spouted by 24-hour cable news networks on both sides of the political divide and connecting people with stories that affect their day-to-day lives while empowering them to become more invested in their communities.

I’d like to thank all who attended including retired KCCD Chancellor, Sandra Serrano, BC faculty, Olivia Garcia, Erin Auerbach, and Heather Pennella, Jerry Ludeke, and more. Social Justice Institute, the Office of Student Life, and California Humanities for bringing this insightful and thought-provoking conversation to our campus. See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

Cristina Sommers

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Dr. Cristina Sommers

On Thursday, October 11, 2018, the Levan Center for Humanities welcomed Dr. Christina Sommers to discuss ideas presented in her book Who Stole Feminism? How Women have Betrayed Women. At least 100 students, faculty and staff attended the afternoon session where Dr. Sommers presented her ideas and engaged in an informal discussion.

Former professor of philosophy at Clark University, Dr. Sommers is now a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. She began writing articles in the mid-80’s when asked to teach a class on Feminist Theory. It was while preparing for teaching the class and researching the textbooks on the subject that she found feminist theory to be inconsistent with philosophical theory in not providing both theory and its rebuttal in the same manner, making many assumptions without argument or support. She began to question the assumptions and the research methodologies.

dsc04606-x2Sommers’ articles appeared in The Journal of Philosophy, The New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times and The Atlantic. She went on to write several books including Who Stole Feminism, The War Against Boys, Freedom Feminism: Its Surprising History and Why It Matters Today (Values and Capitalism), The Science on Women and Science, and she coauthored One Nation Under Therapy: How the Helping Culture is Eroding Self-Reliance with Sally Satel M.D. and Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life with Fred Sommers. She also hosts many YouTube videos on the Factual Feminist channel.

In her talk she articulated the need to look at research with an open mind and not ignore variables that might not prove the feminist view, and suggested that radical feminist views may hurt the cause more than help it by turning away those with more moderate or conservative. She said that the future for feminism lies not only in increasing inclusion of all races, but in creating inclusivity that is intellectually diverse as well, incorporating perspectives of conservatives and liberals, and to include males in the movement. She views herself as a liberal feminist in the classical sense of liberalism of enlightening and empowering the female.

dsc04594-x2One student brought up the New York Times article that described the “Intellectual Dark Web,” and had included her in their description of those participating. He asked how one would be included in such a list. Sommers explained that someone, perhaps a journalist, published a list of people the internet that were challenging the status quo from within the status quo. The New York Times took that list, dubbed it the “Intellectual Dark Web,” wrote the article and sent a talented photographer to take beautiful, but “scary,” photos of the people on the list. She laughed it off, saying that the only people using the expression “Intellectual Dark Web” were the critics of the people on that list.

I am so lucky to have faculty and staff that bring a wide array of views and culture to our school, to the benefit of students, faculty and community members.  See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

Strengthening Student Success

Bakersfield College rural initiative team recently presented at the Strengthening Student Success Conference. The panel of presenters notably included Destiny Ramos, a 15 year-old Arvin High School sophomore and Bakersfield College Early college student.

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BC’s Rural Initiatives Team

Early College is a partnership with local community colleges and a local public secondary school that provides students the opportunity to simultaneously earn their high school diploma as well as up to two years of transferable college credit. The panelists discussed  developmentally appropriate instructional design, and how to create a student-centered learning environment when teaching high school students collegiate content. Presenters included Maria Ramos, Arvin High School parent; Destiny Ramos, Arvin High School; Dr. Chris Cruz-Boone (Communications Faculty), Abel Guzman (Interim Director, Rural Initiatives), and Jesse Oropeza (Counselor), Bakersfield College.

UCD Pre-Health Conference

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Natali and Rebecca with Dr. Joe Saldivar

Dr. Joe Saldivar, biology faculty and chair, took a van full of pre-med students to the 16th annual UC Davis Pre-health Conference this past October 6, 2018.  This was the biggest pre-health conference on the west coast with over 4,500 attendees. During the one-day conference our BC students received information about medical school, allied health career pathways,  pre-health admissions; they engaged with exhibitors and had the opportunity to speak with UC Davis campus professors. The MESA program sponsored the trip for the students, supporting our students on the STEM Guided Pathway. Rebecca Sinor, student President of the Pre-med club said, “It was a fantastic trip, thank you so much for everything.”

Texts Worth Sharing

Corny Rodriguez shared with me “I took a coffee break yesterday. Found these BC Nursing students studying at Starbucks.”  Here is Brooke Hurt, Jennifer Jhon, Deveney Miller, and Sarah Voss studying for their classes. BC Nursing Rocks!!

BC Nursing Students

Renegade Nursing Students at Starbucks

Gadfly Cafe

Reggie Williams

Reggie Williams moderating the discussion

On Wednesday, October 10, the Levan Center played host to another edition of the Gadfly Café.  This month’s topic was all about bias.  A crowded room saw students, faculty, and community members participating in a free-flowing discussion about their personal experiences with bias, with moderator Reggie Williams maintaining a fair and non-judgmental atmosphere.

Bias regarding gender, age, sexuality, disability, and socioeconomic status was the topic of the day.  Many engaging stories were shared during the one-hour session, and received in quiet thoughtfulness, though some were met with applause. Be sure to stop by the Levan Center for next month’s Gadfly Café on Wednesday, November 14 at 12:30 p.m., where the topic will be “Suicide: In Pain, Protest, and Honor.”

Project BEST at BC

On Friday, BC hosted project BEST students for a morning of learning. Bakersfield College is always happy to host Project BEST events. Project BEST provides one-time scholarships that focus on first-year college success. The program has awarded over 1,000 scholarships over the past 2 years.  Special thank you to Julian West who represents BC and education, inspiring young people to attend college.

MESA Student Leadership Conference

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BC’s MESA Students

On Saturday, October 6, four Bakersfield College MESA students were invited to attend “The Student Leadership Conference (SLC).”  Math Faculty Dillon Giblin chaperoned the students at the event which brings together select engineering and computer science students and industry professionals in an effort to develop the next generation of diverse STEM leaders. The conference is an opportunity for STEM students to develop “soft skills” necessary to successfully transition from college to professional careers. During the conference students explored career opportunities, practiced collaboration and problem-solving skills, enhanced oral and written communication skills, and developed interviewing skills.

Industry partners provide workshops and presentations, conduct mock interviews and identify candidates for internship and full-time STEM positions. The well-attended event hosts more than 200 selected MESA undergraduate students, over 30 MESA center directors throughout the state, MESA alumni from around the country, industry and government agency representatives and various national, state, and local government representatives.

MESA Student Leadership Conference

Students are selected by their MESA directors based upon demonstrated potential to be future leaders for their college, the MESA program, and the community. Attending this year from BC were: Sabrina Lugo Computer Science, Issac Garcia Civil Engineering major, Peter Rodriguez Mechanical Engineering major, and Ian Jaurez Chemical Engineering major.

California Society of CPA’s

BC Accounting ProfessorsBC accounting professors Lynn Krausse, Rudy Menjivar, and Gayle Richardson attended the California Society of CPA’s Bakersfield Chapter ABC Mixer (Attorneys, Bankers and Certified Public Accountants) raising money for student scholarships.

It’s wonderful to see BC faculty involved in their communities for the benefit of students!

Friends, this is yet another reason that I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

Seen on FB:  Kern Sol spotlight on Dr. Rosales

FB Kern SolSouth Kern Sol, a youth-led journalism organization funded by The California Endowment, profiled BC history professor Oliver Rosales and his work documenting the farm laborer rights movement in Kern County during the 1960s and ’70s.

Check it out here!

The profile describes Rosales’ passion for writing about the farm worker movement where it began in Delano, and mentions that his father taught at Bakersfield College alongside Jess Nieto, the founder of the Chicano Studies program at BC and a former dean at the Delano Campus.

Rosales engages students with their own history as reflected in the stories of the work of Cesar Chavez, the UFW and farmworker strikes, making them aware that these stories are studied by professors at Ivy League universities across the country. “I try to get [students] to understand that the outside world talks about their history,” Rosales is quoted as saying in the article. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I could see my own world in the curriculum.”

BC Southwest Tutoring Center

We often don’t get to see the work that makes transforming students’ lives possible. Ying Vang set up laptops for the SW Tutoring Center. The cart was delivered from Delano and BC’s Academic Support Services provided funding for the laptops. Over 314 students have been served by 14 Peer Tutors in the Southwest center and now the added technology will enhance the tutoring experience.

Ying at BCSW

Emails Worth Sharing – From the UK!

f18wimbish07-x3This week, I an awesome email from Joe Simpson at VisitBakersfield.com that made its way to my inbox. Joe explained that a few weeks ago, he received an inquiry from Mr. Harvey in the UK, who would be visiting Bakersfield and wanted to know where to find some good music during his trip. The email that Joe forwarded said,

“I have just arrived back in the UK. When we stayed in Bakersfield on Sunday and Monday, 23 and 24 September we went to Ethel’s Old Corral Cafe on the Sunday to see the Sante Fe Band and to the Bakersfield College to see Doug Wimbish. Both events were absolutely brilliant! So, I simply had to get back to you to thank you for bringing these to my attention. Thank you so much.” See my blog coverage from the Doug Wimbash event here!

Fun Photos

From the High School Counselor Conference

From Accreditation Week:

Accreditation Logistics Team

Love this picture.  Monika Scott and Nicky Damania working hard in the SGA Board Room with treats in the foreground!

Monika and Nicky computer training

#MarchForHumankindness

BC is proud to partner with Dignity Health and CSUB in the March for Humankindness.

March for Humankindness

Join the Renegades and our community as we March for Humankindness! This short walk will celebrate our diversity and highlight what unites us as members of such a kind and caring community. Come out this Thursday, October 18th at 5:00PM at CSUB’s Icardo Center. Wear your favorite BC shirt and let’s represent our Renegade pride! Gather your friends, family, coworkers, and classmates as we walk together to create a kinder community. While you’re out, snap a selfie and send it to me! I’d love to feature it in my blog next weekend!

HVAC Program Unveiling

On Monday, 10:00 am on Bakersfield College Delano Campus we’ll unveil its first HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) Technology Certificate of Achievement Program. I will be attending, along with Assemblymember Rudy Salas and Trustee Romeo Agbalog, among others. This program is the only one of its kind within the Kern Community College District and is a part of Bakersfield College’s Rural Initiatives, which provides BC’s surrounding communities with the means to better equip residents with workforce skills through college education. The funding for this program comes from the monies secured by Assemblyman Rudy Salas in the 2018-2019 state budget.  If you can, come join us for this wonderful event!

Delano

Manny Fernandez, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog, Tom Burke, Freddie, Rudy Salas, Abel Guzman

 

We are BC!

Sonya Christian and Paul Beckworth

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever