Tag Archives: Trustee Romeo Agbalog

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

Thank you Firefighters & First Responders!

Good morning Bakersfield….It is Saturday, August 11, 2018. 
A great day to be a Renegade.

Hello Bessie.

Do you have children…nieces….. Well, Bessie’s story started with my daughter letting me know that she wanted a dog.  You see she has a very busy life and lives in LA.  I kept talking her out of it….and then when it appeared that she she was getting serious, I shifted to counseling her to get an older dog from the shelter making arguments like “you wont be able to take care of her as a puppy…the attention …the chewing … etc etc…” So then she tells me that she has a brilliant solution.  Have the puppy be raised for three months here in Bakersfield and then she will take her! So now there is Bessie and Neo at home, and life as I know it has changed.

 

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

 

This last week was another fabulous week at Bakersfield College.  Great people doing great things.

Thankful for our Firefighters and First Responders

38810755_10155777592758494_1806266492245770240_oOn Thursday afternoon, a grass fire started on our beloved Panorama Bluffs. This iconic and scenic area overlooks the Kern River oil fields and is historic to our community. While the flames remained  in the vegetation across the street, smoke and ash was billowing over onto campus. The administration team sprang into action, checking buildings and evacuating the north side of campus for safety. Within minutes, we needed to shut down the HVAC system campus-wide because the smoke was beginning to infiltrate the air duct systems of the buildings and we made the decision to evacuate the campus. The Child Development Center quickly reached out to parents and had children picked up. The college identified a pick-up location for all other youth and students on campus, and employees cleared the buildings and evacuated the area, avoiding the north side of campus.

Bakersfield Fire Department has shared that they “established a control line on the west flank while additional light engines and brush patrols were deployed to contain the fire’s eastward movement. The fire, which was wind-driven in light, flashy fuels, burned approximately 100 acres before being fully contained by BFD and KCFD Firefighters.”

Tyler Hartley and Ross KellyI am so thankful for the quick work of our city and county firefighters, the administration and leadership at the college, and our firefighters across the state of California and our country who brave flames locally and across the nation year round to keep us safe.

Firefighters, thank you for your hard work and for being an important part of our community. Your bravery is heroic and your service is commendable. Thank you for being selfless when you do not think twice about heading towards those flames to save lives. Thank you for being an inspiration to that young child who is fascinated and in awe of the fire trucks passing by. Thank you for staying strong, acting quickly, and protecting the city, county, and country we love.  #WeareBakersfield #WeareKernCounty and together, we support our firefighters.

Watching this video clip, I can’t help but think about our most recent class of firefighter graduates from Bakersfield College. On May 15, we celebrated the most recent class of Bakersfield College Firefighter I graduates and each year, students  learn from the special curriculum designed for Bakersfield city firefighters, curriculum that includes academic courses required for an associates of arts degree, plus on-the-job training, including the use of motorized fire equipment under emergency conditions.

Four men in an office in black and white newsprint

Beaty, football coach; Chief Phil Pifer (seated); Robert Padock assistant chief, and Norman Harris, coordinator of technical vocational education at Bakersfield College (right), meet to plan college and on-the-job training for city fire department trainees.

The Bakersfield College Fire Science program was first set up in 1956 through the joint efforts of Chief Phil Pifer of the Bakersfield Fire Department and Norman Harris, coordinator of technical vocational education at Bakersfield college. Earlier this year, Anthony Galazaga, a BC Fire Technology graduate and 26-year veteran of BFD became the newest Fire Chief at the Bakersfield Fire Department. BC continues to strive in every way to make a difference in this community through preparation and quality education for our graduates.

Exploring Early College and Touring Rural Initiatives Partnerships

Early College DataJust as the California State Legislature was inspired to adopt the California Master Plan for Higher Education in 1960, Bakersfield College is prepared to lead the way and advocate for our rural education and early college program as a model to revolutionize access to higher education. We know that the future success of our state and country demands an agile educational system with the flexibility to serve the needs of our evolving 21st Century economy and diverse student populations, and to reduce the strain on time and financial resources.

We know that at the top of our priority must be creating a system that increases access and equity, affordability, preparedness, and accountability for academic quality. The groundbreaking work being done thus far at Bakersfield College, along with the recent data documenting its success, has inspired a partnership to bring Early College to be within the grasp of every child, every student, and every family throughout our community, region, and state. Across seven high school districts in Kern County, BC expects to have a 40% increase in sections offered and will serve approximately 4,000 students during the Fall of 2018. BC has exponentially expanded the Early College Program as the groundwork for systemic change.

Educational Path

On Friday, August 3rd, I had the pleasure of touring various community sites to share  how BC is partnering with education and city leaders to expand opportunities for students. I was joined on this tour by KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Senator Jean Fuller, and Abel Guzman, BC’s Director of Rural Initiatives. Senator Jean Fuller truly values access to higher education for our youth, so I was glad she was able to see all of the amazing work happening in our rural communities.

Rural Tour - Shafter

The tour kicked off in Senator Fuller’s hometown of Shafter. David Franz, Director of the Shafter Education Partnership, met with us at the Shafter Learning Center where he shared all of the early education initiatives he oversees at the center, as well as the recent collaboration with BC. Through this partnership, BC has expanded course offerings to include morning sections, as well as consistent student services for Renegades in Shafter. The City of Shafter leadership is dedicated to providing higher education opportunities to their youth. We are very thankful to David and his team, who have made it possible for BC to establish a presence for Shafter Renegades.

Rural Tour - Group Photo 2

Sonya Christian, Shondra Walker, Raquel Lopez, Senator Jean Fuller, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Abel Guzman, with the Wonderful Academy students

The second stop of the tour was Wonderful College Prep Academy in Delano. With nearly 40 Ag-Pathway graduates a couple of months ago, WCPA is now a proven Early College model. Shondra Walker, WCPA Principal, was gracious enough to set up a tour led by three of those graduates.

Rural Tour - Students speaking to Senator Jean FullerAt this stop, we were joined by Raquel Lopez, the program manager in charge of the Ag Pathway work for BC. At this special stop, we were able to hear about the program’s impact directly from the students. I had a great time engaging with the students, as well as seeing Senator Fuller do the same. It was evident that the Early College experience for these three young people has helped them feel more confident heading to their respective universities this fall.

Our tour ended with a very exciting meeting at McFarland High School. The principal, Brian Bell, spoke passionately about his vision to provide early college opportunities to their students.

Rural Tour - Senator Jean Fuller speaking to studentsHis administration team has been actively engaging with our BC Rural Initiatives team, and are ready to make big moves in the fall. The plan for this coming term is to double the amount of dual enrollment sections they offered last semester. Recognized as a top athletic school (particularly for Cross Country), Brian and his team are looking to add another focus for McFarland High School, and that is to become a College Pathways school. We are ready to take on that challenge and support Brian and his team!

Rural Tour - Group Photo

At McFarland

Special thanks to everyone who joined us that day, especially Senator Jean Fuller, Trustee Romeo Agbalog and our rural partners for joining us on this tour.

Final Summer Bridge of 2018

2018 Final Summer Bridge (3)

Chancellor Burke at BC

This was our last week of BC Summer Bridge 2018 freshmen academy! We served over 1300 students! There were so many highlights, too many to count. KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke spent a full ten-hour day with us this week mentoring his table of new freshmen. He said that programs like BC Summer Bridge are going to become even more important and critical to student success especially with the new community college funding model, which is based heavily on completion versus enrollment. Students who complete the BC Summer Bridge intensive Freshmen academy are twice as likely to complete more units and persist to their second year than those who do not attend the program.

Summer Bridge Outside Activity

The lead faculty who participated this year were so wonderful to work with all summer. We started the 2018 Bridge season in February with training new leads, rewriting curriculum, designing technology support, and so much more. The Curriculum and Technology leads who worked closley with me were Teresa McAllsister and Erica Menchaca. Other leads included Matt Garrett, Stephen Tavoni, Kaureen Brady, Don Brady, Marcelyn Allen, Olivia Garcia, Eddie Rangle, Jessica Wojtysiak, Mindy Wilmot, Faith Bradham, and Lisa Harding!!!

2018 Final Summer Bridge (1)

Rozell, Burke, Russell

These are some of the most amazing faculty you can ever imaging working with, and they come from across so many disciplines. The support staff, counselors, advisors, and other discipline faculty really stepped up this year. If you did not sign up as a table mentor or advisor this year, you really missed out, and the staff and faculty participants will attest to that statement. Many of these people answered text messages from us begging for coverage at 7 am. They will never fully understand our appreciation for this real time support. You know who you are, and yes, this is a thank you to YOU! Kimberly Bligh tells me, “I made many new friends, and I witnessed many blooming friendships between students, staff, and faculty who would never have crossed paths if not for the intense, powerful Summer Bridge days.”

 

2018 Final Summer Bridge (2)

Our last Bridge session was especially memorable. Kimberly Bligh said in a recent email, “I spent lunch with my support staff and the amazing Summer Bridge student peer mentors discussing our experiences and numerous special memories we have from the past 6 months. Tears of appreciation were abundant from all of us, and the testimonies shared by the student workers reinforced why I spend April through August in the scorching summer heat working 12-hour days at BC; I am fueled by passion for our students’ successes.”

Our BC Summer Bridge student workers are beyond amazing, and their growth as students, as parents, as professionals, as mentors, and as future leaders urges me to share the importance of not just hiring student workers, but more importantly mentoring them intrusively. For many, this is their first paying job, and what we impress upon them, what we teach them, and how we support them, all of these actions are critical to their life-long successes. Christina Maldonado and Isabel Castaneda, thank you for the stellar job you did this past year supporting these amazing student workers.

2018 Final Summer Bridge (1)

We have one more event on August 14th 5-8 pm that extends the Summer Bridge to families- The Family Bridge to BC Open House and New Student Convocation. There are still reservations available! Students can sign up here to bring their families! Free parking and dinner, information booths about programs and services, free t-shirt for freshmen enrolled at BC, scavenger hunt and raffle, entertainment, and welcoming ceremonies are included in the event!

Dr. Nicky Damania and Dr. Kimberly Bligh showcased the event on KGET on Friday morning. #WeareBC!

KGET Nicky Damania and Kimberly Bligh

Sign up here! and Follow Summer Bridge on Facebook!

Sending the 2018 ISER to the Accreditation Visiting Team

Over the past many, many months, the college has been preparing for the 2018 Accreditation visit where BC will be re-accredited for the next 6 years. As part of this process, we had a team of writers and editors develop the 2018 Institutional Self Evaluation Report (ISER), and this past week, we prepared the digital version and sent it to the visiting team.

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After officially emailing the document with Vice Presidents Liz Rozell and Zav Dadabhoy, we also prepared official flash drives in a special gift box that I previewed last week.

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Industrial Drawing professor, Darren Willis, took inspiration from a jewelry box designed by a BC student and made some modifications to the design. Dean of Instruction, Michele Bresso said, “Our Industrial Technology faculty and students are the best!” And friends, its true. Have I shared recently that I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever? It’s because of faculty, staff, and students who make ideas come true and represent BC!

The packages were prepped and shipped with the help of Hannah, our student employee in the Mail Room. Thank you Hannah and Leo in BC’s Mail Room!

ISER - Mail Room Hannah

2018 Football Media Day

Our Renegade football season is right around the corner. We had the opportunity to hear from Mayor Goh and Sandi Taylor about their excitement for this coming season and also from Coach Chudy on what the team expects to do this season.

Ken Calvin and Coach Chudy

We also were treated to an “unveiling” of the new football uniforms for this coming season. The Bakersfield Fire Department drove football players Cam Roberson (#22), Carson Olivas (#10), Elisha Ortiz (#5) and James Thomas (#35) to the event on a fire engine to introduce the jerseys.

New UnisCam Roberson

Carl Bryan, the voice of BC football and Sonya Christian

Carl Bryan, the voice of BC football and Sonya Christian

Brandon Urry and Sandi Taylor

Brandon Urry and Sandi Taylor

It was a joy to see Carl Bryan at the event, who is going into his 33rd year as PA announcer for Renegade Football. I plan on being there for every game. How about you? Let’s cheer on the ‘Gades together!

And Brandon Urry, photographed above with Sandi Taylor  is BC’s star addition to the Renegade Athletics team. In his role as Community Relations Manager for Renegade Athletics, Brandon’s commitment to our student athletes, their education, the college, and our community is clear.

Media Day

Jon Mettus of the Californian highlighted the event in an amazing piece titled, “Bakersfield College football kicks off 2018 season with first full gear practice.” Media day was a great way to kick of the 2018 season. And by the way, are you following BC Athletics on social media? Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics throughout the year to know the latest on our sports teams:

Stay Connected1

Wrestlers Signing to go to University of Jamestown

Every week it seems like we have more and more Renegade student athletes who are moving on to the next level.

Wrestling Signing

This week wrestler Romiro Macias and Zavion Roberson announced their commitment to attend school and wrestle at the University of Jamestown in Jamestown, ND. Congratulations to these two and all 38 of our Renegade student athletes from this last season who are moving on. Go Gades!

Wrestling Signing1

Law Enforcement Training Academy

On Thursday morning, we were honored to host the Bakersfield Law Enforcement Training Academy for the 23rd Peace Officer’s Basic Academy for the Class of 17-01. Eighteen individuals went through 24 weeks of intense training and education. The celebration opened with a class video of the class members and then four awards were presented with the highest academic award, marksmanship award, physical fitness award, and top overall achievement award. The class was introduced to the indoor theater full of family, friends, and BC Supporters as the class with the motto “Every Day Counts”.

Law Enforcement Academy Grad 2018 (2)

The class speaker, Officer Jason Perez, shed light on their experiences as a cadet in the program and the challenges they all went through. He shared that there’s a “culture of accountability” in the Bakersfield Police Department. On his birthday, Chief Lyle D. Martin told the incoming class that when he met them at the beginning, he told them they would be few at the end. He’s very proud and engaged with the students that he is crossing over today.

This is an incredible collaboration and partnership of Bakersfield Police Department and Bakersfield College. It was great to have Mayor Karen Goh and Police Chief, Lyle Martin celebrate along side Vice President Zav Dadabhoy, Rich McCrow, and Tommy Tunson. Congratulations, graduates and a special happy birthday to Lyle Martin.

Law Enforcement Academy Grad 2018 (1)

BC at the Capitol

Jennifer Johnson at the CapitolCollaboration is critical to implementing guided pathways. Faculty and student support services need to work in unison to map out program pathways across departments to define sequences of courses that students can take to fulfill program requirements. Once the maps are implemented, they must work together to guide, monitor, and support students as they enter and make progress along program pathways. Jennifer Johnson represented Bakersfield College at the Capitol on Wednesday to share stories about guided pathways implementation at BC.

It’s an exciting time to be a part of the California Community College system and as more colleges engage faculty and staff in the redesign process, we will be able to build on the lessons learned from early adopters about how to implement such reforms in ways that are cost-effective and that lead to improved learning and success for students.

Guided Pathways at the Capitol

STEM Guided Pathways Premier

This week, BC’s MESA presented: STEM Guided Pathways Premiere, a three-day event where we invited STEM majors to get insider perspective on the STEM learning culture. As well we provided an application for the MESA program, internship opportunities at NASA-AMES in Silicon Valley and fellowships with the David Dwight Eisenhower grant that will allow 8 students to do research and attend an international conference this academic year.

STEM Guided Pathways Premier

STEM professors Nick Strobel, James Mcgarrah, and Timothy Plett volunteered their time to give insight to STEM students about STEM careers and how to stay on the STEM pathway, and to be successful in STEM courses. The MESA program provided the foundation of learning for STEM major and a 10-point student plan to be successful in the STEM majors for all the students that attended.

BC Open House for Homeschoolers

We had a BC SouthWest open house for homeschoolers on Thursday evening and were excited to host eager students and their families to share the opportunities for education through BC.  If you or someone you know may be interested in options for homescholers through Bakersfield College, please reach out to homeschool@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

Open House Homeschool at BCSW

Fernando Lara addressing the families at BC-SW

Special thanks to Manny Mourtzanos, Bill Moseley, Fernando Lara, and Jo Acosta.

Ralph Bailey Show

Sonya Christian and Ralph Bailey Cropped May 18 2017

Sonya and Ralph Bailey

On Tuesday, August 7, 2018, guest host Michael Turnipseed facilitated a conversation on education, jobs and workforce development on the Ralph Bailey Show (Kern Radio 1180) with guests Supervisor Leticia Perez, Dr. Anna Laven, and Consuelo (Connie) Gonzalez. Ralph Bailey is a great supporter of Bakersfield College and our students!

Supervisor Perez discussed the beginnings of a partnership between Turnipseed, Perez, and Bakersfield College. Supervisor Perez has sought creative and effective options for spending grant funding in her district and from that initial conversation, dual enrollment began at Arvin High School to support the education needs of young people and to support local industry seeking a trained workforce.

 

Anna Laven with Michael Turnipseed Aug 7 2018

Dr. Laven explained the tremendous growth in dual enrollment resulting from the support of BC and KHSD Superintendent Bryon Schaefer.  Dr. Laven also highlighted the vision for the future, as evidenced by successes like the Wonderful Academy graduates this last May, and the potential to transform communities by bringing college to high school students.  Connie Gonzalez then came on to explain the strong support within STEM in the MESA program at BC.  Among the many program offerings, MESA provides students with both academic support and career development opportunities.

Summer at BC’s CDC

Summer at CDCBC’s Child Development Center is a special place on campus and in our community.

During the summer session, our staff at center hold a special, preschool-wide event for two weeks when all of the classrooms come together for some outside fun.

The center is an exciting and magical place of learning and it’s amazing to see the students all interact with each other, play, and enjoy the outdoor classroom.

Each class prepares a special activity or two such as chipping ice blocks to free frozen toys, running through sprinklers, or making leis to celebrate luau day.

Child Development Summer 2018

The center still has a few opening for three and four years for fall.  Information and application forms are available on the BC  website.

Celebrating Wendy

Wendy LawsonWendy Lawson has been an incredible part of the Executive Office team and this past week, we celebrated her going-away party as she moves on to the next stage in her career.

Wendy has been the Administrative Assistant for both recent Vice Presidents of Instruction, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and currently Liz Rozell, She’s been a fantastic member of our executive team, always willing to give a helping hand or do what she can to assist.

We will miss her bright smile and southern charm in the executive office. I’m glad we were able to celebrate Wendy’s time at the Home of the Renegades this past week. Plus, guess who made this delicious cake for the celebration?

Wendys Cake, Chris Glaser and Jennifer Marden

Happy Birthday to Jim Young

Jim Young, Chancellor Emeritus of Kern Community College District celebrated his 80th birthday recently. It reminded me of an article that Jose Gaspar wrote on Bakersfield.com titled “Forever (Jim) Young and his passion for educating Arvin’s disadvantaged.” Jim’s mission to increase access to education is one that inspires me daily. Happy Birthday Jim!

Remembering Molly

I’ve mentioned before in my blog the special bond we have with our pets and I was struck by a post on Facebook by Ag professor, Jim Selgrath who shared a bit about his dog Molly. He said, “She was an incredible friend to me when I needed a friend. Always happy to run right by my horse when I was working cattle. Loyal. Loving. An incredible dog. I miss her…”

Let’s take a moment for Molly….

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More Photos to Share

Cabinet Retreat from Monday afternoon.

Faculty chairs gathered from all disciplines in preparation for the upcoming fall semester and year ahead!

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BC’s Corny Rodriguez almost had an encounter with a bear on vacation in Mammoth Lakes!

Corny Rodriguez encounter with a bear in Mammoth Lakes

William Velasquez is at it again with his amazing photography. He took this photo on Tuesday evening as he left the BC campus.

William Velasquez Sunset photo

Liz Rozell and Monika Scott

LAUNCH LA

Art professor, David Koeth will be showing  three paintings with LAUNCH LA at the Korean Cultural Center in an exhibit called “Intersection.”

David Koeth Selfie Sep 2016

Exhibit dates are August 17 – 30, and the opening reception is August 17, 6 to 9 pm. Learn more at  http://www.launchla.org/

BC at Drum Corps International (DCI) World Championships

Drum Corps International 2I am so proud of the BC Golden Empire Drum Corps competing at the World Championships in Indianapolis! Tim Heasley, Director of Marching Arts shared with me via email that our students had a great final run and they have represented the college well.

Drum Corps International

 

 

Sonya Christian Football Media Day August 9 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Make Learning a Lifelong Activity

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, August 4th and a great day to be a Renegade. 

I had a wonderful week which concluded with a tour of BC in North Kern with Senator Jean Fuller and Trustee Romeo Agbalog.  More on that next week.  But here is a photo, with the McFarland High School leadership team, just to peak your interest.

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

Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Abel Guzman, Senator Jean Fuller, Raquel Lopez, with the McFarland High Principal Brian Bell and his team

 

Bob Allison

Bob Allison

I was inspired yesterday by Bob Allison‘s Community Voices “Make Learning a Lifelong Activity.” He shared how BC’s Levan Institute is beginning its 11th year in operation and thanks to an incredibly generous gift by the late Dr. Norman Levan, BC is able to provide learning and enrichment opportunities to the local 55 and over community.

The piece mentions, “…we have had classes as varied as wine tasting, the afterlife, Photoshop Elements, ukulele, weight training, golf and creative writing. We even had a class on the history, tasting and brewing of beer (with lab!). Field trips are popular, particularly our annual wine trip. The fall 2018 term includes new classes in ceramics, watercolor painting, religion, history, fitness, website construction, making your own videos, kitchen remodeling, a trip to the Peterson Automotive Museum, and others.”

So if you’re interested in returning back to BC or even coming to BC for the first time as an adult learner, there’s never a better time to make learning a lifelong activity.

Bob Allison Community Voices Aug 3 2018.png

Remembering Gloria McLean

The Californian’s Robert Price wrote a piece celebrating the life of Gloria McLean. “Ceiling-shattering legislative aide was ground floor for CSUB’s creation” describes how McLean, who worked with Dorothy Donahoe “became the first woman to serve as an administrative assistant to a state senator and, later, the first woman to serve as a state senate district coordinator.”

Bob Price on Gloria McLean August 2 2018.png

The article goes on to share that Gloria McLean was a Renegade. “McLean was born in Bakersfield to a Scottish-born oilman and his New Zealander wife. She attended Standard School, KCUHS and Bakersfield Junior College, which was then part of the high school campus.”

Gloria McLean cover Californian

Here is Gloria McLean on the cover of The Bakersfield Californian on Saturday, January 22, 1955. She is pictured at the California State Employees Association pre-convention rally. The paper identifies left to right as Earl Chesmore, regional director; Mrs. Patricia Smith, regional secretary; Howard Lake of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Bureau, Gloria McLean, president of the Bakersfield Chapter, and Dale Halverson. “Miss McLean is showing Lake the ‘rebel hat’ that is the official mascot for the Bakersfield chapter.”

You know, the “rebel hat” reminds me that Bakersfield truly is a Renegade community. #WeareBC!

Enjoyed Nick Strobel’s Stargazing piece in today’s paper.

He just wanted to be a Renegade

Romeo the Pup

Romeo the Pup

On Thursday in the late afternoon, this beautiful and happy dog was found on campus sporting his Renegade Red bandana.

With no family in sight, BC sprang into action by sharing on social media, giving him water and some food to keep him hydrated, healthy, and happy.

First thing Friday morning, we took this happy dog to the vet to have him scanned for a microchip and his family was found!

We’ve concluded that Romeo just wanted to be a Renegade for a day. Maybe he was late to Summer Bridge? Whatever the case, we’re happy to report that he’s back with his family because of his micro-chip!

Situations like this remind me just how important it is to be a responsible pet owner and microchip our animals. The American Humane Association estimates over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year and one in every 3 pets will get lost at some point during their life.  When you have your animal micro-chipped, it is also important to regularly keep your contact information updated.

BC’s Voices

In addition to Bob Allison’s inspiring piece, BC’s Jack Hernandez and Nicky Damania also shared their voices this week.

Jack Hernandez penned a piece titled “Nest of truth” which can be read online here.

Jack Hernandez Community Voices Aug 1 2018.png

 

Nicky Damania in Sydney

Nicky Damania in Sydney

And Nicky Damania shared his experiences in Australia with the BC Chamber Singers with “Sounds of Sydney.” 

He said, I love to sing and hear people sing. It is one of my passions, and it’s got mood and soul, power and magic. Music is both transformative and unifying.”

Make sure to check it out to read how this trip to Australia changed his life and the lives of these talented Renegades. See the piece at Bakersfield.com.

Nicky Damania Community Voices July 31 2018

Biennial Conference on Chemical Education

BCCE Trio

A team from BC attended this years Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE) hosted by University of Notre Dame on July 29th through August 2nd. The conference is designed to provide attendees with opportunities to interact with chemistry instructors of all levels in formal and informal settings. There is a mixture of plenary lectures, symposia, workshops, chemical demonstrations, poster sessions, exhibits and tours of chemistry research areas.

BCCE Group Photo

BC Students Internships in Action

Lora PorterAs a culinary student, Lora Porter participated in an summer job fair that resulted in an internship with Disneyland. She had been selected for placement at the Blue Bayou inside the theme park, working alongside some of the premier chefs at the private Club 33 restaurant.
Flash forward and Lora is now at Wasco High School as a culinary instructor doing what she loves with her skills and education, including her Disneyland internship opportunity, and right away met with our CTE office to start an articulation agreement that will help her students find their path.

Darren Willis Creates Special BC Gift Boxes

A few special gifts have been created this week by Industrial Drawing faculty, Darren Willis. “The project concept and layout was actually designed by a student as a small jewelry box,” he said.

These special boxes will be given to the Accreditation Team evaluating Bakersfield College later this year. Thank you Darren, Michele Bresso, and the ISER team.

 

Renegade Athletics Volleyball Camps

Our incredible women’s volleyball Head Coach Carl Ferreira hosted another great round of summer volleyball camps this year. Over 150 participants from the three camps received instruction from Coach Ferreira and his current BC volleyball players in teaching them  volleyball fundamental of serving, passing, defense and attacking. To read more about the volleyball camps and see more photos click here.

2018 Summer Volleyball Camp

2018 Summer Volleyball Camp

BC Summer Basketball Academies

Once again our amazing women’s head basketball coach put on a fantastic few weeks of her annual summer basketball academies. One session was focused on youth and teaching them fundamentals and the other focused on 7-12th grade students in emphasizing those fundamentals and giving them the opportunity to compete and challenge themselves to make themselves better. The event brought almost 100 youth and their families on-campus.

2018 Basketball Academy

2018 Basketball Academy

Read more about it and see the full photos here.

Another Athlete Signing

Octavia Croney and Paula Dahl

Octavia Croney and Paula Dahl

Renegade women’s basketball player Octavia Croney has signed to continue her academic and playing career for the Cal State LA Golden Eagles.

Croney, a sophomore guard this last season and local Highland HS product, appeared in 24 games for head coach Paula Dahl. She ended the season averaging 16.4 points/game and 6.0 rebounds/game. She notched more than 20 points in ten different contests with her highest scoring effort coming against Taft College when she scored 27.

“Octavia was a major impact player for us over the past two years”, said Coach Dahl. “Her fearless nature on the court her sophomore year was so fun to watch. At the sophomore showcase I remember Cheryl Miller looking at me and saying very excitedly – ‘You think I can get her?’ Cheryl is a basketball icon and an incredible person and Octavia is a BC icon and one of the finest human beings I’ve ever coached. I am so excited for them to work together and for Octavia to continue her education with one of, if not the most respected woman in the game.”

Cal State LA is an NCAA D-II program that competes in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). There have now been a total of 36 Renegade student-athletes from the 2017-18 year that will be playing at various four-year schools throughout the country this coming season.

Media Day is Next Week!

Please come out to join us this coming Thursday (8/9) at 11am on the south concourse level of Memorial Stadium for Renegade Football Media Day. Mayor Goh, Sandi Taylor and Coach Chudy will be speaking to the media about our upcoming 2018 football season. Go ‘Gades!

2018 Football Media Day

Here are some photos from last year’s Media Day.

 

Athletic Director Sandi Taylor 2017 Renegade Football

Jeff Chudy 2017 Renegade Football.jpg

Karen Goh Media Day August 8 2017.jpg

Football Practice

On Thursday morning before the heat of the day, I visited the practice field to watch the 2018 Renegade Football team prepare for the best season yet with Athletic Director, Sandi Taylor and Athletics Community Relations Manager, Brandon Urry.

It brings great joy to see a preview of the strength, talent, and teamwork of our Renegade Football team. I can’t wait to get the season started. Go ‘Gades Go!

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Visiting the BC Archives

BC’s web guru, Aricia Leighton and her student workers did a deep dive this week to dig for gems related to our mascot for use on the web. While there, they discovered that you can research the archives from the comfort of your computer. No gear required.

Jersey, Brian, and Aricia

Jersey, Brian, and Aricia

Fun Photos from EOP&S Freshman Day

EOP&S, BC’s Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, is a state funded program that serves educationally and financially disadvantaged students. EOP&S provides services that assist students who have the potential to succeed in college.

This week, special days were held for incoming Freshman to share all about the services and support they could find at Bakersfield College!

Fun Photos & Video from Summer Bridge

Students and faculty are enjoying the final days of Summer Bridge.  I dropped in and out of the August 2nd Summer Bridge and was blown away by the students and the faculty engagement with the students.  Here is the list who were working the August 2nd bridge.

Erica Menchaca, Stephen Tavoni, Teresa McAllister, Brent Wilson, John Harte,  Sara  Wallace, Jamal Wright, Marcelyn Allen, Denise Richards, Amanda Gonzales, Bonnie Hammond, Manuel Muralles, Jeff La Force, Josh Shackelford, Julian West, Dominica Rivera  … and the HQ team Kimberly Bligh, Isabel Castaneda and Christina Maldonado! Thank you!

Steve Tavoni and Erica Menchaca were the two lead faculty.  I dropped in for the segment that Steve was presenting on setting goals and he was so effective openly sharing his own story.  I am truly the luckiest and happiest college president to work with such great faculty and staff — smart, talented and with big hearts for students and their learning.

Sonya Christian at Summer Bridge August 2 2018

Summer Bridge Team

BC SGA President’s Breakfast

2018 SGA Presidents Breakfast

Matthew Frazer, Clayton Fowler, Nicky Damania, Dezi Van Manos

On Monday, July 30, 2018, Dr. Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life, hosted the annual BCSGA Presidents’ Breakfast at his house. The breakfast included homemade French-Mexican inspired Green Chili roasted pork, mango infused vinaigrette seasonal vegetables, and a cook to order waffle bar. Here is a bit of an update on our beloved student leaders.

Alex Dominguez (2014-2015) returned to Bakersfield over the summer as the Policy Intern for The Wonderful Company and will be returning back to Ole Miss for law school. Two more years left for him.

Clayton Fowler (2015-2016) graduated UC Davis this past June in political science and is putting his degrees to work as a Field Representative for Assemblyman Vince Fong right here in Bakersfield. And his BCSGA sweetheart Raquel Vega is now an associate producer for KGET’s Sunrise newscast.

MFrazier with TwinsMatthew Frazer (2016-2017) is finishing up his last year at California State University, Bakersfield with his bachelors in Political science. Congrats to him and his wife Stefanie Frazer on two adorable twin boys named Oliver and Jameson who will soon be attending Bakersfield College.

Joined by her two kids, Dezi Von Manos ((2017-2018) is finishing up her requirements at Bakersfield College while working in the Office of Student Life before heading on to theology school. What an amazing motherly role model as her kids will no doubt also be following in her footsteps to college just around the corner.

Dezi Von Manos and children

James Tompkins (2018-2019) is the current BCSGA President majoring in psychology. He plans on using his time left at BC strengthening the Prison-to-School pipeline and plans to graduate in May 2019. We’re looking forward to his commencement speech.

Student Employment Scoop

Trish and Savannah

BC’s Student Employment team has recognized Savannah Andrews for her outstanding services at an On-Campus Supervisor. Her student employees feel that they are able to talk to her about anything and that she is very understanding. Savannah has selected to recognize Student Ambassador Trishainah Vernado for her initiative and positive attitude. Savannah says that Trish is the ideal student employee because she is passionate about her education as well as helping others.

Thank you to FPU

Departing Fresno Pacific employees Samuel Frankhouser and Amanda Rodriguez were both recognized for the support they provided to Bakersfield College Faculty and Students during their time at BC SouthWest. Thank you to Fernando Lara, BC’s Southwest Manager for making sure they are recognized and to BC Foundation’s Heather Pennella for the beautiful house plants.

Thank you to FPU Employees

Norma Rojas Mora does another fabulous segment with Telemundo

This week’s Telemundo segment highlighted the Job Spot and the RIDE program expansion.  Lupe Aguirre, Educational Advisor at the Job Spot shared how the one-stop center is a partnership between the Bakersfield Adult School, America’s Job Center, and Bakersfield College.  The RIDE program expansion will benefit many of our rural communities opening the doors to dual enrollment for many of our high school students.  Not wanting to let an opportunity to provide information go by, Norma Rojas-Mora also helped promote the HVAC program in Delano encouraging interested students to enroll now and invited the community to the Express Enrollment scheduled for August 7 at Bakersfield College.

I love the way the segment ends with Todos Somos BC!

Telemundo Norma Rojas Mora, Lupe Aguirre August 3 2018.png

Todos Somos BC!

 

Sonya Christian cropped Aug 8 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

July 28, 2018 — a special day

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

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

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

 

Summer Bridge Taking Media by Storm

Tori Cooper interviewing student

Tori Cooper interviewing student

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

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

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

Summer Bridge Paper

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

Kimberly Bligh and Isabel Castaneda

Kimberly Bligh and Isabel Castaneda

Process Technology Degree Coming to BC

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

Career Technical Education (CTE) Vision Board

Career Technical Education (CTE) Vision Board

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

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

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

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

Legislative Field Representatives Visit BC

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

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

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

Renegade Athletics Student Success Seminar

 

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

The Renegade Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) student leaders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jon Mettus highlights BC Volleyball Coach Ferreira

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Carl Ferreira

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

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

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

Read the whole article at Bakersfield.com.

And love this photo by Felix Adamo in The Bakersfield Californian

Coach Carl Ferreira Photo by Feliz Adamo TBC

Coach Ferreira and Renegade Volleyball.  Photo by Felix Adamo

Chamber Singers in Australia

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

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

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Chamber Singers at the Australian Museum

Chamber Singers at the Australian Museum

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Chamber Singers Sydney University Madrigal Society

Chamber Singers Sydney University Madrigal Society

OPera House

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

Special Commissions by Ron Kean

Ron Kean and Sonya Christian

Ron Kean and Sonya Christian

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

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

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

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

Testing and Placement Center Move

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

Testing and Placement Computers

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

Testing and Placement Move

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

Drum Corps International Competition Resounds Through BC

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

BC’s Performing Arts presents “Parade”

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

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

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

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

State Water Resource Control Board placement while at BC

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

Walkin’ After Sunrise

Sonya Christian and Rhondi Bradford July 24 2018

Sonya Christian, Rhondi Bradford

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

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

Local Contractor Outreach Seminar

Trustee Thomas speaking at the Local Contractor Outreach Seminar

Trustee Thomas speaking at the Local Contractor Outreach Seminar

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

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

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

 

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

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

The Bakersfield College crew supporting Latina Leaders

The Bakersfield College crew supporting Latina Leaders

Family Time

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

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

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

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

 

Sonya Christian and Neo Marina Del Rey July 27 2018

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Celebrating people — talent and dedication

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 14, 2018 …a quiet cool morning …a great week to be a Renegade!

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Renegade Talks

Renegade Talks Lineup

Renegade Talks 2018 Lineup

Based on the popular TED Talks of “Ideas Worth Sharing”, Renegade Talks bring together BC faculty and students to deliver short, innovative, subject-based presentations. This year, the lineup was fabulous including:

  • “Rolling the Dice” by Chris Cruz-Boone, Professor of Communication
  • “Black Masculine Identity” by Julian James West
  • “Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum: A Fork in the Academic Road” by Joe Saldivar, Professor of Biology
  • “Twelve Seconds” by Amber Smithson, BC Student
  • “Manners and Today’s Society” by Teena Bensusen, BC Student
  • “The Burden of Freedom” by Daniel Mechem, Veteran and BC Student
Indoor Theater

Indoor Theater filling up before the show

If you were not able to attend, videos are being edited. Keep your eye out for them in my blog next week and on BC’s YouTube! For now, here are two teasers from Joe Saldivar and Julian West.

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Todd Coston and Andrea Thorson

Special thank you to two leaders at BC who chair and coordinate this event, Andrea Thorson and Todd Coston. See the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

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Welcoming the KCCD Trustees to Campus

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On Thursday, BC leadership welcomed the KCCD Board of Trustees to campus for their monthly Board Meeting and we started the afternoon with a luncheon provided by BC Food Services and Chef Eric Sabella.

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Liz Rozell gave an informative presentation regarding the Industrial Automation Program and introduced one of our upcoming graduates of the first Baccalaureate Class in 2018 – Richard Van Horne. He spoke highly of the program and how he earned a Political Science degree from BC and was inspired to return upon the news of the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation. Richard shared that he receives offers for internships, being approached by local industries and said he’s getting his degree at a fraction of the cost of friends who attend other 4-year institutions.

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Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation Student, Richard Van Horne

The Board Meeting then took place in The Norman Levan Center with one highlight being our Emeritus and Retiree Recognition. I had the honor of introducing them, so I’d like to share each of them one more time, highlighting their service.

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg , Vice-President, Instruction – 35 years, 6 months
Nan is the best coach that I know, the best arbitrator of disputes, the best diplomat, the best cheerleader for students, the most articulate person for issues of equity…… and always kind and generous with her time. Today, we have the opportunity to give our voice of thanks to her years of humble service; we have the opportunity to make visible her focused work behind the scenes that has greatly shaped our community, and so many lives; and we have the opportunity to recognize this tireless and true champion of education.

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Katherine Pluta, Dean of Instruction – 32 years, 5 months
Kate provided 32 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College.  She has served many leadership roles including, Division Chair, President of the Senate, President of CCA and recently, Dean of Instruction. And if you look at major initiatives over the years, Assessment and Student Learning Outcomes, Strategic Planning, the Integration of Accreditation into the work of the college, you will see that Kate has been in the forefront. She has been a loyal friend to BC and a friend to me. Kate, you will be missed.

img_5285-x4Gilbert Merjil, Groundsworker II – 31 years, 2 months
Gilbert Merjil was a groundskeeper and irrigation specialist for the campus.  Although a quiet worker, behind the scenes he took care to ensure we could be proud of our campus grounds.  In particular, Gilbert kept the campus green and looking good thorough one of our states worst droughts all while reducing campus water usage. Gilbert resolutely guarded BC’s lawns and sprinklers and was known to chase down vendors who may have driven over the lawn.

img_5291-x4Andrea Garrison Professor, Biology 28 years, 8 months May 11, 2018

Professor Garrison has been a cornerstone to motivating the faculty of the College to being excellent teachers. She is respected for her leading the faculty through challenging times. As a true Biologist, she created awareness of important issues in respecting our environment as we function as a College, and she created and organized the club for students to incorporate their faith into their education. When the College started Guided Pathways, she was one of the first faculty to embrace this effort and used that to encourage her students in class to know their pathways and be prepared in all ways for the expectations of learning after transfer. Andrea has been the President of CCA and a winner of the Levinson Leadership Award.

dsc08078-x4Odella Johnson Professor, Academic Development 24 years, 10 months
Odella Johnson will be remembered for her passion for students, her passion for equity and her leadership both on campus and in the community.  Odella participated as a member of the Black faculty, served as faculty advisor to the BSU, served as Director of the Educational Advancement Program (EAP), Director of the Assessment Center, served as ACDV Department Chair, Director Equity and Inclusion and on many college wide and district committees. Prof Odella Johnson thank you for 24 years of service to Bakersfield College.

dsc08084-x4Susan McQuerrey Professor, ELS 25 years, 10 months
Susan McQuerrey has been a valued member of the EMLS Department and the Bakersfield College community since 1988, when she started as an adjunct.  She was hire full-time in 1992.  She has served on many committees including as co-chair of the Curriculum Committee and president of the Academic Senate. She also served as the department chair for the English/ESL Department before the two departments split. Her students love and respect her with comments like, “Very respectful; highly recommended,” and “She is a good professor. Very strict, but for our own good. Love her.” Certainly, Susan’s professionalism, experience, and love for teaching will be sorely missed at Bakersfield College.

dsc08091-x4Jimmy (Smitty) Smith, Skilled Craftsworker, M&O Technician 17 years, 3 months
Smitty as we called him served BC for nearly 20 years as the skilled craftsman and locksmith.  He was always eager to assist and made sure it was done the “right way”.  His myriad skill sets and care will be hard to replace!. In his role as locksmith, Smitty had a big job to ensure faculty and staff had access to all of the buildings as needed.   Smitty was instrumental in helping transition our campus to the new key card system.

dsc08096-x4Dennis Spencer, Electronics Technician – 10 years, 2 months
Dennis was originally hired as the phone technician.  As technology changed and phone systems moved towards voice-over IP technology, Dennis was able to transition and oversee maintenance of campus elevators, fire alarms, and small electronic equipment.  He personally oversaw the audio equipment set-up for all administrative events.   Dennis always has a great story to share and was the eyes and ears of the campus.  Dennis provided personal attention to ensure we had what was needed and ensured every detail was covered when helping out regardless of the projects – from the phones, to computers to the fire alarm system, to large events.

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BC’s esteemed retirees

Student Employee Appreciation Week

National Student Employee Appreciation week 2018

Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Workforce. This week is National Student Employee Appreciation week, and with close to 500 students employed each year at Bakersfield College there is much to celebrate. The Office of Student Employment in FACE 16 coordinated this fabulous event, that recognized our Student Employees hard work throughout the year. Students were provided a token of appreciation in addition to resources that will help tie their experience on campus to their future careers. For students seeking on-campus opportunities please send them to the Student Employment Lab (FACE 9) where they can schedule an appointment with a job development specialist, apply for on-campus employment through Jobspeaker, search off-campus jobs, create a resume or print career related materials for free. Special thanks to Stephanie Baltazar for spearheading this incredible program for our students.

Inaugural English Student Colloquium

Rae Ann KumelosThe English Department hosted its first English Department Student Colloquium in the Levan Center on Friday, April 13, 2018. The Colloquium held an essay contest from which three finalists were selected to present at the Colloquium and compete for awards generously donated by the Levan Center. The English Colloquium Committee was pleased with the many well-written submissions they received from Bakersfield College students.

The three finalists, Steven Ledesma, Sarai James, and Brian Melgar, presented their essays vying for the first prize of $1500, with second and third place receiving $500. All three finalists also received an invitation to the BC Donor Dinner.

The English Colloquium, an educational seminar where participants come together to discuss their work, was given an “American Idol” twist. The three finalists each had a chance to perform on stage by presenting their essay, and the judges (a.k.a. committee members) sat on the edges of their seats critiquing the would-be stars. After the presentations, the judges adjourned for discussion and subsequently announced first place winner of the $1500 prize – Brian Melgar. Second place – $500 – Steven Ledesma and third place – Sarai Jaime.

Brian Melgar, Sarai Jaime, Steven Ledesma.

Brian Melgar, Sarai Jaime, Steven Ledesma.

Special thank you Rae Ann Kumelos for leading this Inaugural English Colloquium and to the committee members: Keri Wolf, Richard Marquez, Cynthia Powell, Jennifer Jett, Denise Mitchell, Alicia Skipper, Jason Spitzer, Justin Bell, Jeremy Casabella, Tiffany Wong, and Kaitlin Hulsey. I would also like to thank Anna Poetker and Reggie Williams for lending their colloquium organization knowledge, experience and advice to the English Colloquium Committee. Thank you Eric Sabella for the delicious refreshments and Kristen Rabe for technical support. Thank you Eric Carillo for creating such a beautiful green event poster that Rae Ann believes brought the rain to turn the hills of Bakersfield green. A large thank you Jack Hernandez and the Levan Center for the support and making the English Colloquium possible.

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Eric Carrillo’s Poster

A very special guest showed up to the Colloquium — Rae Ann’s father, Laddie Kumelos. She was very proud to tell us that he began teaching English 70 years ago. She certainly did not fall far from the tree as she continues to teach English at BC. She joked that when she wrote him letters while away at school, he would return them, marked up with red ink.

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Rae Ann’s dad (tan shirt on the right) in the audience awaiting the start of presentations. And looks like he is texting!

We joke about the red ink of an English teacher, but writing is extremely important for a better workforce and for a better community. Communicating through the written word, understanding it, interpreting what those before us have written enriches our lives, educates us on the past, helps us educate others, and allows us to share our ideas. Events like the English Student Colloquium encourage students to further engage in communicating ideas and strengthening their writing skills. It also gives us an opportunity to see what our students have learned and how they have grown from their education at BC. The three finalists certainly shine as examples of this. I look forward to next year’s English Colloquium. See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

The finalists drawing the presentation order from the “golden chalice”

The finalists drawing the presentation order from the “golden chalice”

 

Korean Culture Day

The students in BC’s Korean Culture Club organized an all-day event on Monday in the Fireside Room and cafeteria celebrating the richness of Korean culture. English professor Andrew Bond helped organize the 2nd Annual Korean Culture Festival, which featured Korean music, food, and a performance by the Long Beach-based K-pop dance troupe, The Last Bite.

 

Sonia Silva, a representative from CSUB’s International Students and Programs office, was on hand to provide future Cal State transfers with information about study abroad opportunities at the university. See more photos on BC’s Smugmug!

Korean Dancers at BC

Korean Dancers at BC

Faculty working on assessment of Student Learning

On Monday, I stopped by L160 to talk to Nick Strobel and found faculty hanging out and working on assessment of student learning long after the workshop had ended.  Just wonderful!  In the picture you see Di Hoffman, the outgoing faculty chair, and Brent Wilson, the incoming chair.  David Neville on the far right was Assessment Chair before Di, so in one photo we have three generations of Assessment Committee chairs.  Here the beautiful woman in the Renegade Red shirt if Sandy Davis, faculty in nursing.

Assessment Committee 2018

Di Hoffman, Sandy Davis, Brent Wilson, David Neville

BC team at Banner Ellucian Conference

The BC team was at the Ellucian annual conference in San Diego, examining configuration options and models for the upcoming Banner 9 upgrade. I am told that one of the more significant Banner upgrades will go into effect this summer.

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Dena Rhoades, Jennifer Achan, Morgan Bohnsack, Michelle Pena, Zav Dadabhoy, Mark Osea, DJ Vanderwerff, Somaly Boles, Ashlea Ward

Watch for workshops and information from the BC Banner team leads: Jennifer Achan and Michelle Pena.

Also caught this photo posted by Tonya Davis, Vice Chancellor of HR on twitter,

KCCD HR Team at Ellucian Conf in San Diego April 9 2018

AAMP Open House

On April 6, 2018, the Bakersfield College African American Mentor Program (A.A.M.P.) had a packed house for its second annual AAMP Open House.  With nearly 200 African American high school students, BC was able to make a significant contribution to preparing African-American students for college before they even arrive on a college campus.

AAMP Open House 2018 attendees

AAMP Open House 2018 attendees

We kicked off the event with an address from our most distinguished keynote, LaMeka Ross.  LaMeka faced trials and tribulations early on in her life, with the loss of her father at a young age. Despite the adversity she overcame her obstacles and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master’s in Business Administration.  LaMeka is now working in Human Resources Business Partner Role for Aera Energy.  She serves as a living testament to the possibility of enduring and overcoming adversity and to reach success.

The overall theme of the event was to encourage students to exceed academic expectations.  Students were split into 2 groups; one group consisted of all seniors while the other was all non-seniors.  The senior high school students went to learn about the Umoja ASTEP Program here at Bakersfield College; they got to hear the experiences of prior Umoja students and meet the esteemed faculty that make it all possible.  Afterwards, students were able to apply to the program, be accepted, and actually register for the program at the event.

The non-seniors were learning from three amazing workshops that exposed them to their options of dual enrollment, the importance of math, and STEM careers.  The entire event was inspirational as students prepared for the transition to college, we planted seeds of encouragement and hope, and we educated students on the opportunities that college can offer.

Thank you to Julian West, Paula Parks, and the whole AAMP team.

Open House 2018 Julian West

Open House 2018 Julian West

AAMP Paula Parks Presenting

AAMP Paula Parks Presenting

 

Congratulations 2018 KCCD Leadership Academy

The Kern Community College District is committed to supporting professional development that informs employees’ leadership abilities. Each year, the Leadership Academy works to develop classified, faculty and management employees to prepare for leadership roles at every level of the organization.

Through experiential learning opportunities from September through April, the KCCD Leadership Academy offers employees the opportunity to interact with district executives, KCCD trustees, state-level education leaders and others. Participants generate a greater understanding of our geographically expansive district and build cross-district relationships with coworkers.

LA Group

On behalf of the entire BC community, congratulations to this year’s Leadership Academy participants!  And for those of you who have not participated, applications are out for the 2018-2019 cohort.  Apply now.

Heather Barajas

Heather Barajas is currently a Department Assistant III in Human Resources at the Bakersfield College Campus. She has worked at BC for four years and loves being able to see her work/committee participation in action by just simply taking a walk around the campus. As a participant of the KCCD Leadership Academy she enjoyed it because it pushed her out of her comfort zone and gave her more insight of how the district and colleges operate together, in addition to getting to know other people from her campus and the other colleges.

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Keith Ford is the Associate Athletic Director at Bakersfield College who has been with BC for almost 3 years. He is involved with campus-wide initiatives and serves on committees including facilities and safety committees. His goal is to one day serve as the Bakersfield College Athletic Director to be able to provide the best opportunities to the student-athletes to achieve their goals, whether it is in athletics, academics or life in general.

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Michael McClenic is a program manager at Bakersfield College where he serves students on probation. He started his career at BC in 2015 as an adjunct instructor and seven months later took on the role of Program Manager, Probation and Early Alert. As a participant of the KCCD Leadership Academy he enjoyed the opportunity to meet, interact with and learn from people from other colleges in the district. His takeaway are the words of our esteemed Chancellor – -”What happened in Sacramento, stays in Sacramento”.

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Mindy Wilmot is faculty/reference librarian for Bakersfield College. She is finishing up her fourth year (and just received tenure). As a Leadership Academy participant she enjoyed her time learning more about her school and district, as well as getting to work with colleagues from the three campuses. She considered the Legislative Conference to Sacramento the highlight of the academy.

Mike Barrett

Mike Barrett is a System Support Specialist working at the Bishop and Mammoth Lakes campuses of Cerro Coso Community College. He lives in Bishop California and work at the Bishop and Mammoth Lakes campuses – that’s like a win-win-win-win! He really enjoyed the opportunity to take part in the KCCD Leadership Academy. Having had a chance to tour all of our campuses and see first-hand some of the different challenges each college has in providing educational opportunities for their service areas. He believes our colleges and the district office work well together and is really happy to be a part of such a great team.

Nikki Gardepe

Nikki Gardepe is an Assessment Assistant at Cerro Coso Community College. She has been at Cerre Coso for four years. She coordinates student assessment testing activities critical to student academic performance and placement. She knows what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes trying to deal with the sometime complex education system and finds it rewarding when she can truly help others.

Stephanie Olmedo-Hinde

Stephanie Olmedo-Hinde is the current Counselor and Coordinator for Porterville College’s Disability Resource Center. She has worked for the KCCD for 16 years. She comes from a family of KCCD employees, her father Robert Olmedo worked for Porterville College for 12 years and her mother, Perla Olmedo, worked for Porterville College for 35 years. “What I loved most about the leadership academy was the lifelong connections I made with my colleagues from BC, CC, and District Office. My team was full of the best people I’ve ever met and we worked together so well, I love knowing they have my back and I absolutely have theirs”

Steven Alexander

Steven Alexander is the Director of IT Security and has been with KCCD for almost two years. He lives in Bakersfield with his wife and three children. His favorite experience in the leadership academy was traveling to Sacramento to meet with our state legislators and advocate for our district.

Cammie Ehret-Stevens

Cammie Ehret-Stevens is a native of Bakersfield and joined the Kern Community College District in July 2011 as the Purchasing Coordinator/Analyst. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from California Coast University and a Public Procurement Certification from NLPA. In her free time she enjoys camping and traveling abroad. Cammie recently completed the KCCD Leadership Academy in April 2018, where she gained insight to the district and established multiple networking connections.

KCCD in Oregon

A team from Porterville College, Cerro Coso Communty College, Bakersfield College and the District Officer were in Oregon along with staff from Kern High School District and Delano.  We have been scaling up rapidly in KCCD with Dual Enrollment and this trip will help systematize some of our processes.  Don’t you see Cindy Collier leading this systems development?  This is what Cindy does!

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Gearing up for Summer Bridge

I’ve been told that 30 out of the 34 scheduled summer bridge sessions are FULL! That is  over 1,350 enrollments! I was overjoyed to see the number of faculty and staff who signed up for some dates to mentor at this year’s Summer Bridge, but we have lots of room left!

Summer Bridge Main Image

Thank you to the advisors and counselors that will be helping us throughout the summer! And Allison Burch, Angela Bono, Bill Chapman, Bonnie Hammond, Brent Wilson, Brian Sivesind, Bryan Hirayama, Bryan Russell, Catherine Starling, Cherilyn Haworth, Chris Cruz-Boone, Christian Zoller, Christina Touchstone, Daniel Gomes, Debra B. Strong, Diana Cason, Dinorah Castro, Don Brady, Eddie Rangle, Eleonora Hicks, Elvira Martinez, Emily Poole, Erica Menchaca, Erineo Garcia, Faith Bradham, Gilbert Ayuk, Glenn Samples, Gurpreet Grewal, Heather Pennella, Helen Medrano, Isaac K. Vannasone, James McGarrah, Jeannie Parent, Jessica Wojtysiak, Kaureen Brady, Keri Wolf, Kim Arbolante, Lisa Harding, Lisa Rogers, Marcelyn Allen, Mathew Garrett, Michael Fragoso, Michelle Hart, Mindy Wilmot, Neeley Hatridge, Olivia Garcia, Sara Wallace, Silvet Holcomb, Stephanie Vega, Stephen Tavoni, Sue Vaughn, Talita Pruett, Teresa McAllister, Tina Posey, Tina Zito, Tracie Grimes, Travis Steele, Vayron Martinez, Veronica Lucas, Wade Ellis, and Yvonne Armendariz. #WeareBC!

Transfer Pathway Advising

Khushnur Dadabhoy, Director of Transfer Pathways, and Grace Commiso, Dean of Counseling, leading the ed advisors and other key team members in a strategy session on transfer pathway advising.

Khushbur Dadabhoy and Grace Commiso

Khushbur Dadabhoy and Grace Commiso lead the presentation

We are BC Treats

Dean Manny Mourtzanos sent 3 boxes of We Are BC donuts to counseling to lift spirits in our big sprint for registration.

 

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Bernadette Martinez with a box of treats

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Sarah and John from Dunkin Donuts

John Lyon is the Manager/Owner of the Dunkin Donuts location who made these. Sarah is the young woman who created them.  Thank you John and Sarah!

Loved these photos of Manny De Los Santos indulging in the treat. We are BC!

Levan Humanities Review

i-br56v4x-x4The 2018 issue of the Levan Humanities Review is published! This years issue has thoughtful, engaging pieces, including the Sufi concept of divine love, the meaning of public, including Confederate, statues, Father Garces, and Gerald Haslam’s essay on the valley and his life as a writer. The editors invite you to enjoy this issue, which will contribute to our daily search for wisdom and our understanding of how the humanities help us in that search.

I loved browsing the copy which was delivered to me this week and seeing contributions from Faith Bradham, Olivia Garcia, Matthew Garrett, and Catherine Abbey Hodges, a professor from Porterville College.

Thank you to the Editorial Board including Dr. Portia Choi, Lily Hirsch, Dr. Rae Ann Kumelos, Erin Miller, Nick Strobel, and Reggie Williams.

If you’d like to purchase your own copy, it’s available on Amazon or online at the Levan Humanities Review website.

RP Conference

On April 11-12th, our Office of Institutional Effectiveness team including Craig Hayward, Karen Snow, David Buitron, Alma Livingston, and Nicole Griffin attended the 2018 RP Conference, the largest gathering of institutional researchers and planners in the California Community College System.

Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Craig Hayward at the RP Conference

Craig Hayward at the RP Conference

Craig Hayward, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, presented during multiple sessions on a range of topics such as student outcomes and policy changes with AB 705, tips and tools for identifying disproportionate impact, and shared how BC’s new program mapper can help clarify the path. Alma Livingston, Research Analyst, also presented with Craig Hayward on how academic advising and CCSSE data benchmarks can guide student engagement and success outcomes, while Karen Snow, Research Analyst, gave a poster presentation on how CATEMA is an integrative tool that will advance student equity.  So proud of the OIE team.  #WeAreBC

Karen Snow at the RP Conference

Karen Snow at the RP Conference

It’s a great day any time we get to share and learn ideas for best practices among a group of amazing CA Community Colleges! The tools and information learned at the event will positively impact how institutional research, planning, and effectiveness can positively transform our institution for student success.

Alma, Nicole, and David from BC's OIE

Alma, Nicole, and David from BC’s OIE

UC and CCC sign agreement to boost transfers

Eloy Oakley keynoting at the Leadership Summit

Chancellor Eloy Oakley at BC, May 2017

Exciting news from the University of California and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office this week. The UC President Janet Napolitano and CA Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley signed a memorandum of understanding that outlines goals and details of how the community colleges and the UC’s will work together in “Enhancing Student Transfer.” The goals are to guarantee admission for all California Community College Transfer students to the University of California campuses. For details on how our ADT’s could work to our students’ advantage in guarantying acceptance at a UC and how TAGs will be effected, I encourage you to read the University of California’s Article.

KCMEA Jazz Day

Speaking of why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever! BC had the privilege of hosting the third annual KCMEA Jazz Day on Thursday. Our very own Kris Tiner, Director of the Jazz Studies Program, and member of Kern County Music Educators’ Association has been working hard over the last four months to organize and produce this annual event in between his regular faculty duties.

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The Highland High Jazz Band performs in the Indoor Theater on April 12th.

With 10 high school ensembles, 3 junior high groups, and a showcase performance by the BC Jazz Ensemble, it was a festival of music and peer sharing in the Simonsen Performing Arts Center, but as Kris said “the focus of Jazz Day is education.”

Taft High School Jazz Ensemble performs in the Indoor Theater

Taft High School Jazz Ensemble performs in the Indoor Theater

Unlike many competitive festivals, students who participate in Jazz Day have the opportunity to interact directly with expert clinicians and Bakersfield College music faculty. Each group receives a private half-hour clinic in the band room where they polish and refine their performance, and then they play their set on the Indoor Theater stage. Their performances are professionally recorded and additional clinicians give written feedback. Students are immersed in great music throughout the day – sharing, listening, and learning together!

Head clinician Adam Benjamin works with students from Mira Monte High School

Head clinician Adam Benjamin works with students from Mira Monte High School

You can see why I am so lucky and happy to be the president of a college with such great faculty so involved in the community and furthering education throughout the county.

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This year’s head clinician was Adam Benjamin, a Grammy-nominated pianist with the band Kneebody, and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. Benjamin performed with the BC Faculty Jazz Ensemble and gave a masterclass where he treated the audience to an incredible solo piano performance.

BC Faculty Jazz Ensemble with pianist Adam Benjamin (photo by Pete LeGrant)

BC Faculty Jazz Ensemble with pianist Adam Benjamin (photo by Pete LeGrant)

Afterward, the BC Jazz Ensemble took the stage to perform a selection of tunes from their “BC Jazz plays The Beatles” concert coming up on April 23. Read this great article about the KMCEA Jazz Day, Kris’ observations on the state music education, and all of the support from Bakersfield College faculty and administration in Matt Munoz’ Bakersfield Californian Article MATT MUNOZ: KCMEA helps touts music education and all that jazz.

Basketball Academy at BC!

I was extremely excited to hear our first session of the BC Basketball Academy had 46 participants. We had past and present Renegades coaching, high school coaches who played or had children play for me and Several BC alumni who brought their children, which is what the RENEGADE SPIRIT is all about.

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Coach Dahl’s opening message was that we celebrate mistakes because that means you are learning and you have to be uncomfortable to truly become great. The camp ended with a great message from Stig Jantz about the importance of hard work, doing your job and serving others.

Joint EOPS and MESA Student Educational Excursion

EOPS and MESA students kicked off their spring break by visiting UC Davis, UC Berkeley and San Jose State. EOPS and MESA collaborated to identify students interested in STEM majors who are participating in both programs to provide them with a 3-day Educational Excursion. The purpose of this collaboration is to encourage students from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue STEM majors. BC alumni currently attending each of the respective campuses greeted the EOPS and MESA students. They provided personal tours and highlighted STEM facilities, majors, support services such as EOP and MESA, and shared their respective experience as transfer students.

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At UC Davis, BC alumni, Emily Schoenborn shared her experience as a transfer student and provided helpful tips to help prepare students for the UC application process as well as the transition. During the visit to UC Berkeley, BC Alumni, Colton Nichelson and Janell Orazco welcomed our EOPS/MESA students and provided a personalized campus tour, shared the benefits of being a student at UC Berkeley, and challenged their peers to go beyond their comfort zone. The final excursion stop was at San Jose State University where BC Alumni, Jose Sanchez, dedicated his Sunday morning to highlight his campus and provided insight on the transfer process as well as the importance of internships. As the students made their way back to the parking lot, BC Alumni, Vu Nguyen and Andrea Hernandez, spotted our BC students. They also briefly, shared their experience in relocating and preparing for transfer. Students who attended the trip were appreciative of the experience and returned highly motivated and encouraged. Special thanks to EOPS and MESA staff for coordinating this successful educational trip.

EOPS Priority Registration Festival

 

The EOPS department conducted their Registration Festival during first day priority registration on April 4th from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Prior to this day, pre-registration workshops were conducted to provide additional assistance on course registration planning to students. The majority of the students served under the EOPS, CARE, and CalWORKs programs were prepared to register since they already had their courses mapped out on their Comprehensive Student Educational Plan, which is closely monitored and updated by the EOPS Faculty Counselors during each of their three counseling contacts requirement.

There was a constant flow of students from the beginning through the end of the Registration Festival. Although many of their students were prepared to register on their own, the Registration Festival was offered to EOPS students wanting help with registration from counselors and peer mentors.

Seen on Media both social and traditional

Our Chamber Singers received an extra special surprise when the 1965 BC Choir came out to surprise them with a donation to their Australia Tour.

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Our faculty are the best — check out the video snippet of Olivia Garcia being interviewd

I saw Olivia Garcia, History Faculty quoted in a news coverage on KERO. Always great to see our faculty contributing to the community.

Gadfly Cafe

Professor of Philosophy, Reggie Williams hosted the Gadfly Café with the topic, “What is beauty?”

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The hour long, round table discussion was packed with students, faculty and staff from all ages and backgrounds with most not afraid to voice their opinions when called on.

Reggie opened of the conversation with a question: “What is beauty and what does it mean to you?”  Thank you Reggie for providing these enriching opportunities for discussion and exploration.

Spring Fling

The postponed Spring fling Carnival was well worth the wait. You may remember it was postponed because of the beautiful rain we had a few weeks ago. It was great to see Renegades and their families come out for the carnival fun.

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Central California World Language Project

Last Saturday, April 11 was the last CCWLP workshop for this academic year.  Central California World Language Project offers this program to the foreign language teachers of Kern County to assist them in keeping current in their field.  This academic year, we had 58 participants. Bakersfield College is proud to be the host institution for this project.

CCWLP Group Photo

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Celebrating Pam Boyles

Professor Pam Boyles was inducted into the North High Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 7, 2018.  It was a great event and I wish I got the video of Pam’s speech from Andrea to publish it on my blog.  Pam’s remarks were from the heart and recognized various coaches who had shaped her life include Coach Pam Kelley.

There was a “Pam Fan Club” group from BC that sat together at the event to celebrate this amazing woman…a great athlete, a great teacher, a great leader,….and an amazing grandma 🙂

Let’s read about Pam (Ash) Boyles, North High class of 1983.  Love the pitcture!

Pam Ash Boyles Class of 1983

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Sandi, Andrea, Keith

Sandi Taylor, Andrea Thorson, Keith Ford

Ann Tatum, Sonya Christian, Pam Boyles, Kate Pluta April 7 2018

Ann Tatum, Sonya Christian, Pam Boyles, Kate Pluta

Coach Casey Goodman putting BC Softball on the map

BC Softball April 12 2018

It was a treat heading to our softball game against Alan Hancock. BC won 5-1 and it was a delight waking up in the morning and seeing Jon Mettus’ article header BC Softball cements dominance at top of Conference. Yes!  Check out the article here https://tinyurl.com/y7f572yu

The BC College community came out in full force to support the team including Trustee Romeo Agbalog whom you see in the picture below.  We had the KCCD Board of Trustees meeting on campus earlier in the day and President of the Board, Trustee Kay Meek, congratulated the Softball Team.

I stayed for two innings and then headed out and ran into Pam Boyles and Robert Boyles heading in to support our students.  And then ran into Coach Scott Damron (Womens Soccer) and Coach Vayron Martinez (Mens Soccer) heading in.  I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

Trustee Romeo Agbalog watching BC softball

Saidee Banuelos slides into home safety Photo by Rod Thornburg TBC

Coach Paula Dahl, Sandi Taylor, Keith Ford, Sonya Christian April 28 2018

Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference is this Thursday, April 19th at the Rabobank Arena.  Buy your tickets today http://bakersfieldwomen.org/

The Bakersfield Women's Business Conference April 19 2018

Norma Rojas Mora and I were on Univision promoting the conference.  Here is a photo of us with Ofelia Aguirre.

Ofelia Aguirre, Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas Mora April 14 2018

The Powers of our Pets

Neo Jan 12 2018My life changed forever in an amazing way the day I adopted Neo. You can check out my first photo posted with him in my blog from November, 2016.

While I was browsing my news feed this week, an article caught my eye titled “Three stories that exemplify the healing power of a pet” on USA Today. I was surprised to see it features BC student, Alex Knaak and his adopted Chihuahua, Loki.

Please comment and share with me any stories you have of your loved pets. I/We would love to read them!

Btw, what did you get your pet on Pets Day, April 11 2018?

 

Sonya Christian April 12 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever