Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, March 5, 2016…..A good day to be a Renegade!
This past week has been full, fast paced and exhausting – so much so that when I got home yesterday, I just wanted quiet time.
Here are just a few highlights of my week:
February 28th, there was a wonderful mariachi concert organized by Andrae Gonzales in memory of his dad, Manny Gonzales, who was a counselor at BC for 37 years. The indoor theater at BC was sold out and there was a big picture of Manny on the stage….a picture taken when he was in Italy. Nice! The music was just wonderful. It was a very enjoyable afternoon enjoying seeing the community at BC and hanging out with friends. It was also wonderful meeting a few more members of the Gonzales clan. I must say that the two people I see everywhere are Mayor Harvey Hall and Karen Goh–supporting community events.
On Thursday, March 3rd, I was at the Veterans Summit in the City of Industry. Paul Beckworth and I presented on the role administrators play in Veteran Services. The process of preparing for the talk was what I enjoyed the most. I got to research and find out at a more detailed level exactly what we are doing at BC as well as in other veterans programs in the community and across the state. We had a good group from BC–Armando Trujillo, Educational Adviser; Jamie Pacheco, BC’s Financial Aid Tech who is a liaison to Vet Services; Paul Beckworth, History Faculty; and Terri Goldstein, Director of DSPS, who is not in the picture.
Here is a photo with a few of our vet club students
Here are four blog posts that I did over the last three years on our student veterans:
Nov 11, 2015 Veterans Day, Vet Fest and Remembering America’s Best:
Nov 11, 2014 Student Veterans and BC’s 2nd annual Vet Fest: http://tinyurl.com/zfcafsb
August 24, 2014 Welcome email to our student veterans: http://tinyurl.com/zqtvmzt
July 17, 2013 GI Bill Workshop for Veterans Coming Thursday http://tinyurl.com/jmjc8uv
BC won three awards at the Kern Council of Governments (KCOG) awards night. It was quite the evening:
Regional Award of Merit for Local Government:
1+1+2 = Game Changer, a collaborative project in Arvin. Partners: BC, Supervisor Leticia Perez, KHSD Superintendent BryonSchafer, and CEO of Kern Tax Mike Turnipseed. Thank you Rich McCrow, Veronica Lucas and Gustavo Enrique for putting together the proposal working in collaboration with our partners. Check out my August 4, 2015 blog on this project http://tinyurl.com/glpeubo
Regional Award for Merit for Community Involvement: Garden Fest. Lindsay Ono and Sally Stern. I am so proud of this program at BC. Sterns and Ono tirelessly work, along with others from the Ag department, to bring this magnificent event to the community. So, mark your calendars…April 16th and come out out with friends, family and loved ones and enjoy your Saturday at your community college. For more information check out the website http://891418088421670332.weebly.com/. Talking about BC’s Ag department, check out my brief post on Nov 19, 2014 on the first ever Kern Ag Summit http://tinyurl.com/hpgkc8b
Ron E. Brummett Regional Award of Merit for Lifetime Achievement: Ron Kean. It was wonderful seeing Ron Kean receive this Lifetime Achievement award. After accepting the award he told a story about his World Music class this semester where he worked collaboratively with Matt Garrett and Matt’s history class. Matt had a student from the Navajo Nation, and Ron did a piece inspired by Navajo music and the student just loved it. Beautiful….BC has the best faculty ever.
Some of the other awards:
Regional Award of Merit for Transportaion: The Thomas Roads Improvement Project. Thank you Bill Thomas for all that you have done for Kern County and Bakersfield College. You rock!
Regional Award of Merit for Innovation: Downtown Bakersfield Development Corportaion. Congratulations Cathy Butler and team.
This morning I woke up to another great piece by Nick Strobel in the Californian–Astronomers turn the Hubble telescope toward a super-Jupiter exoplanet orbiting the brown dwarf 2M1207. This is the first directly imaged exoplanet. Nick has posted the article on his BC website at http://tinyurl.com/zqc6726.
Yesterday, I was introduced to Stella and John Rous at Starbucks and they just made me so happy with their enthusiastic support for Bakersfield College and all that is happening at the college. Wonderful people. You know my dear friends and colleagues, this kind of support for BC is not an anomaly. It is regular and consistent.
Now you can see why it is so easy to be president of Bakersfield College!
That faith in the future and what we can accomplish in the coming years is also prominent with another group I spent time with recently, the Boys Scouts of America Southern Sierra Council. Attending their 2016 Volunteer Recognition Dinner at the Kern Ag Pavilion, it was reinforced for me how clearly many of the key tenets of Bakersfield College run in sync with the interests of other organizations like the Boy Scouts.
In this case, it was the mutual desire of both groups to extend our connections, increase our interaction and reaffirm our commitment to Kern County’s vibrant rural communities, particularly areas like Arvin and Lamont.
It was a great evening of learning about Boy Scouts, enjoying the numerous volunteers who put in significant numbers of hours to advance this worthy cause, and running into community leaders like Pauline Larwood and Tom Larwood. I am so inspired by what both of them have given to this community. Pauline served as a Trustee on our KCCD Board, and Tom and I were fellow Rotarians in East Rotary Club prior to my time in Oregon. When I think about the research work on Valley Fever, I think Tom Larwood.
President of the Boy Scout Board, Jay Rosenlieb talked about the fundamental principles of scouting and the commitment of the Southern Sierra Council to help spread its message into all four corners of Kern County and beyond.
I appreciated hearing about the focus on service to community, to its neighbors, and to the betterment of each individual scout in their brotherhood. CEO Jesse Lopez is doing great work.
I asked Jay for his remarks. Here is an extended excerpt:
On August 6, 1945, almost 71 years ago, an event occurred that changed the course of history. On that day, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, bringing about the end days of World War II.
Following the end of the war, the men and women who spent years focused on the coordinated and mission driven efforts on the battle fields and the home front returned to their homes. In this massive homecoming and re-entry to life without war, the soldiers, sailors, airmen, factory workers, and builders brought with them the culture of community and singleness of purpose forged from the fight against tyranny, imperialism, and the horrors of human depravity.
As families were started and raised, the culture of community and singleness of purpose from the war effort continued and infused the very fabric of these United States. Social and civic organizations flourished, places of worship grew without bounds, and movements like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts experienced broad appeal and support. This sense of community, belonging, and involvement came to be expected in nearly every corner. While the post World War II era was not without significant social and moral challenges and failures (for example, the violence and struggles of segregation), it is just as clear that our American culture yearned for and achieved the building of strong communities, families, and lives.
We, as volunteer leaders and supporters must expect Scouting to be front and center in our culture, in our communities, and in our lives. We must expect to see Scouting in all of our areas of influence and in all of our relationships.
We must expect to see Scouting in our schools; if there is not a troop or a pack at your neighborhood school, take those steps necessary to start a pack or a troop at the school.
Expect to see Scouting at your place of worship; if it’s not there, take those steps necessary to form a pack or a troop at your church, temple, or mosque. Expect to see Scouting in the youth programming of your place of worship. Expect to see Scouting on Scout Sunday. Expect to see Scouting in the faith life of your place of worship.
Expect to see Scouting at work– in your conversations with your co-workers. Expect to introduce them to all that is good about Scouting.
Expect to talk about Scouting in your social circles, with your friends, with your colleagues, both professional and personal. Expect that nearly all with whom you have a relationship will have a story of Scouting. Expect to tell them about Scouting today and all that it offers in a world of challenges to individuality, to self-reliance, to decency, to morality.
Expect Scouting in the lives of the youth around you; if it’s not there; encourage them to join a pack, a troop, a crew, a team, or an explorer post. Encourage them to seek the challenges of leadership and examination of their lives and direction. Encourage them to seek community and the sense of belonging.
Expect to see Scouting in your own life; volunteer, be a part of Scouting. All I can ask you is that you say “yes” when you are asked to do more. This is our charge, this is our work, this is our challenge, this is our privilege.
“Scouting prepares our youth for leadership by teaching them the importance of service to others. The Scouting movement shows dramatically that public service still beckons the best among us to do battles with complacency, neglect, ignorance, and the emptiness of the spirit that are common in a maze of social justice.
“Scouting prepares our youth to live lives based on unchanging values, as an example of what a young person can be and should be. I see the legacy of Scouting, a new generation of worthy leaders for America’s 21st century – strong leaders, thanks to Scouting. Strong leaders of character, of faith, of skill. And with such leaders, America will continue to be the beacon of hope and decency and justice for the rest of the world.
“Good homes and good parents produce strong boys and girls, but Scouting tempers the steel.
“Resolute and united, this must be our commitment, this must be our oath, this must be our prayer, and this must be our parting pledge to one another. God Bless the Boys Scouts of America.”
(Note: Quoted material is from a 2010 speech by Robert Gates, National President of the Boy Scouts of America)
That’s the same type of cooperative spirit we foster at BC.
Here is a fun picture from last year.