Tag Archives: Vince Fong

BC celebrates our Veterans

A message from Paul Beckworth

Paul Beckworth at VRC

On behalf of all the student-veterans, Thank you.     While we veterans are honored every November 11th, I want to take this opportunity to honor you.

Lisa Kent, Paul Beckworth, Olivia Garcia, and Armando Trujillo
Lisa Kent, Paul Beckworth, Olivia Garcia, and Armando Trujillo

Faculty, I honor you.  Your emails and phone calls to me due to grave concerns about veterans in your class, fearful for their safety, show your humanity.  You have taken their PTSD, and/or TBI into account when you felt it necessary or appropriate.  Your patience with them, your listening ears, are lifesavers, figuratively and literally. 

Classified staff, I honor you.  Your willingness to jump in and help never wanes.  You are always so helpful, knowing that when we ask for something, it is to assist a veteran.  You are professional when veterans are upset and act out in Financial Aid, or A&R or you name it.  You cut through red tape like a hot knife through butter. As far as I am concerned there need not be any contract negotiation because you have earned all that you are asking for, and more, period.

Administration, I honor you.  Your concern for all students is fundamental to your leadership. Your passion for the success of our veterans is second to none.  Other veteran service departments are literally jealous over the support we get from our administration.  I can text Sonya and get a response rather quickly. Others schools cannot fathom that my president gave me her cell phone number in the first place.  It is all because our administrators care, not just through words but actions.

There could be no veteran student success, no veteran completion, without people like you all. So, on this Veterans Day, on behalf of our student-veterans, I thank you for your service to our veterans.

Happy Veterans Day!

https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/veterans/student-deployment-spotlight

https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/veterans-resource-center

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSMlIM9zLio (you’ll need tissues)

(Special thoughts and prayers to History Professor Olivia Garcia as her Marine son ships off to Okinawa today)

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 9, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

A garden of American flags in the grass.

Veterans Breakfast 

L-R: Zav Dadhaboy, Mike Giacomini, Karen Goh, Tom Burke, Kay Meek, Billie Jo Rice, Sonya Christian, Paul Beckworth, Cinthia Zimmer, Armando Trujillo

Bakersfield College kicked off Vet Month on Monday, November 4th, with an invitation-only delicious breakfast by the culinary arts students in the Renegade Room. Several local dignitaries attended the annual Veterans’ Breakfast event to learn more about BC’s comprehensive plan to meet the education needs of Kern County’s brave men and women who have served our country in the military. Assemblyman Vince Fong, Mayor Karen Goh, and District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer and others were joined by KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke and Trustees Kay Meek, Romeo Agbalog, and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.

Paul Beckworth and Tamara Baker shared the latest details about the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, a one-stop shop for our veterans and dependents as they strive to achieve their educational goals, which will be unveiled to the public at a ribbon cutting ceremony on December 10. This will be the first capital project of Measure J to be completed.  

Tamara Baker and Paul Beckworth
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Armando Trujillo, Bilie Jo Rice, Sonya Christian, Tom Burke

Keynote speaker Abel Guzman also explained how the Rural Initiatives and Adult Education teams are working to remove the barriers that can keep veterans from translating their military experience into successful civilian careers. See his presentation.

Abel Guzman
Zav Dadabhoy, Kay Meek, Vince Fong, Earl Parsons

Trustee Kay Meek, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, and Mayor Karen Goh addressed the group.

Thank you to Paul Beckworth, Armando Trujillo, Bernadette Martinez and everyone in the Veteran Services team for organizing this lunch, to BC Culinary Arts for providing a lovely meal, and to all of the dignitaries that took time out of their busy schedules to learn how BC is supporting veterans in the classroom. Thank you Mayor Karen Goh for some of the great photos.

Trustee Romeo Agbolog, Armando Trujillo and me.

Vet Fest 2019

4 uniformed men with the CA and US flags.
Kern County Sheriff Color Guard

The VetFest celebration is an annual tradition at BC to recognize the contributions of those who have bravely served our country. Wednesday’s event in the CSS lawn is part of a whole month of programming that we’ve developed to honor our local veterans, culminating with the unveiling of the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center next month.

Veteran and BC faculty member Tommy Tunson started the presentation by asking all of the veterans in the audience to come to the front and have their service celebrated. It was a great chance to see all of our faculty and student veterans in one place.

VetFest featured a resource fair, free food, vendors, and a DJ on the CSS lawn. The keynote speaker for Wednesday morning was Jenny Frank, a former marine who encouraged our student veterans to utilize all of the opportunities they’ve been given. Assemblyman Vince Fong also spoke about the history of Veterans’ Day.

And then there was Danny Morrison….one of my all time favorites…. Danny Morrison kept the celebration going all day.  I loved the videos of Danny leading the Cupid Shuffle! 

Although Danny Morrison was at the event as a DJ with 103.9 The BEAT where he focuses on elevating stories about local community programs that make Bakersfield a better place, BC’s partnership with Danny dates back long before his time with the radio station.  Danny has been a vocal advocate for our students – particularly those most vulnerable – and is always just a text away when we need him.  In my seven years as president, I have called on Danny many times and he has shown up without question.  From his tireless advocacy on Measure J to speaking out about the value of Inmate Education, Danny operates from an ethic of care for our students.

Danny understands that education transforms communities, and never misses an opportunity to highlight valuable programs on his show and on social media. Be sure to catch The Pulse with Danny Morrison Sundays from 8am-12pm, and The B-Town Mixdown on Saturdays from 6pm-midnight to catch information about Early College, student and academic supports, BC’s guided pathways work, and more.

I would like to thank all of our veterans for their bravery and sacrifice, as well as BC Veterans Services for putting together another great VetFest.

Vince holding a Veterans Club t-shirt.
Veterans club presented a club T to Assemblymember Fong

We started Vet Fest in 2013, the year I started as a new president. Here is a walk down memory lane.

2018 Vet Fest blog, BC Loves our Vets: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2018/11/10/bc-loves-our-vets/

2017 Vet Fest blog, Celebrating our Veterans all week long: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/11/11/celebrating-veterans-all-week-long/

2016 Vet Fest, Thank you Kern County: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/11/12/thank-you-kern-county/

2015 Vet Fest blog, Remembering America’s Best: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2015/11/11/veterans-day-vet-fest-and-remembering-americas-best/

2014 Vet Fest blog, 2nd annual vet fest: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2014/11/11/student-veterans-and-bcs-2nd-annual-vet-fest/

2013 Memorial Day blog, Our student veterans: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2013/06/05/out-student-veterans/

There are more photos in our Smugmug photo gallery:

When will you get a chance to hear from Lande Ajose, Senior Policy Advisor to Higher Ed for Governor Newsom; Eloy Oakley, Chancellor for CA Community Colleges; Tony Thurmond, State Superintended. Register today for the November 15th symposium here in Bakersfield.

https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/conference/intersegmental-pathways-symposium

Radiologic Technology Program 50 Years Celebration

Jaycee Hill, Carla Gard and Nancy Perkins

Jacelyn Hill, Director of Radiologic Technology here at BC, spoke eloquently at the Radiologic Technology Program Celebration of 50 years at BC on Thursday, November 7, 2019. She spoke of the National Rad Tech Week, discovery of the technology that changed health care, the history of the program at Bakersfield College, and the people who made it happen.

Holding the proclamation.
Vice Mayor Chris Parlier and Jaycee Hill

November 3-9 is National Radiologic Technology Week™ in which medical radiology technologists are celebrated for their role in health care.This week celebrates the detection or x-rays by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen on November 8 1895. Vice Mayor Chris Parlier was in attendance for Mayor Karen Goh to read the official proclamation declaring:

Proclamation from Karen Goh.

“November 3-9, 2019 as ‘Radiologic Technology Week’ in our city, and urge all citizens to recognize this event in our community, celebrating 50 years of educational excellence in Radiologic Technology at Bakersfield College.”

In addition, the BC Foundation and the BC Rad Tech program honored former Program Director Nancy Perkins with a bench for her great work of over 39 years of improving the program and the establishment of the Nancy Perkins Scholarship.

The history of the Rad Tech program at BC began in 1958 at Mercy Hospital under Ferris Boyce with a certificate program and on-the-job training. Mrs. Ferris worked with Bakersfield College administration and faculty, including John Ackland and George Lawrence, to move the program to BC so that students could earn an associate degree. In 1969 the classes were taught at Kern General. The X-Ray program moved to the Panorama campus in August 1979, when Nancy Perkins, at a mere 23 years old began at BC. She started in the very room where the ceremony was held and continued improving the program until her recent retirement. You can read all about this important history in the Fall 2018 Archives Newsletter.

Program students and faculty gathered around the bench.

Yessenia Diaz, a proud Rad Tech student told the attendees she was happy to be a part of this program as it will allow her to help people. She said “the program is worth the effort and very rewarding.” 

Speaking to room.
Yessenia Diaz

Our graduates work all over Kern County and beyond. Nancy estimates that at least 85% of Radiologic Technologists in our area are BC Graduates. Our Rad Tech Graduates have 100 percent job placement. They continually exceed Board expectations, and win awards even in competition with 4-year universities programs.

Thank you Vice Mayor Parlier for taking the time to participate, thank you Mayor Goh for the proclamation, and Jacelyn Hill, Carla Gard, and Nancy Perkins for all of your hard work on our Rad Tech program.

Distinguished Speaker Jason Beardsley

Beardsley at the podium.

On Thursday, November 7th, former Master Sergeant, Jason Beardsley, presented his “An Apotheosis of America” as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series in the Levan Center. He discussed the importance of recognizing the everyday challenges and influences that hinder our growth for success and overcoming them in order to achieve our goals. 

Beardsley used the challenges and issues in his life to demonstrate the importance of recognizing and overcoming obstacles in order to reach our goals. We decide whether we succumb to the pressures of society preventing us from achieving our goals, or whether we overcome the challenges to further our goals. He pointed out the importance of understanding yourself in order to identify your ideals and goals. What are the goals that will shape who you are and determine your achievements? 

Thank you Jason Beardsley, for your inspiring words. I would also like to thank Reggie Williams of the Levan Center, Paul Beckworth and Veterans Services, and Nicky Damania and the Office of Student Life for bringing this speaker as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series.

HBCU Caravan Comes to Bakersfield College

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Transfer Caravan stopped by BC on Monday, November 4th, during their tour of California.  There were 19 HBCUs on-hand working with our students and students from our local community to talk about the transfer opportunities outside the State and the guaranteed admission for California Community College students to the HBCUs.  Students who complete an AA-T or an AS-T with a 2.5 GPA are guaranteed admission to the HBCU partner colleges. Representatives also provided students with information about scholarships available to students showing that it is possible to afford a baccalaureate degree.  

This event was made possible by the joint collaboration between the Office of Outreach and School Relations, the Transfer Center, African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP), Umoja, and the Office of Student Success and Equity.

BC Umoja students gain motivation at the Umoja state-wide conference

 The Umoja Community state-wide conference in Oakland was motivating, eye-opening, and engaging for BC’s Umoja students. The annual event, held each fall, exposes students to ideas and people that they otherwise might never would have had the opportunity to. 

Student with Paula in front of the Umoja sign.

One of our students Zions stated: “My experience at the Umoja Conference was one of the greatest events I’ve been a part of. . . Before the conference, I felt mentally asleep, but now I feel woke and motivated to reach my full potential.”

BC’s Umoja Community African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence is in its fifth year.

Group of students and representatives at a table.

The conference was so effective in part due to powerful keynote speakers, such as activist Bree Newsome Bass and Professor/Author/Speaker Dr. Marc Lamont Hill. Workshops included topics such as Student Leadership, Learn Math Through Hip Hop, and Pursuing a Career in STEM. 

Students at a table in front of a large full room.

The speakers “really inspired me to do better and influence others to follow the same path,” said Tyler.

BC Students with Paula in front of the Umoja Conference sign.

Lauren echoed his thoughts: “I was moved to tears throughout both speeches. I feel pushed to strive for greatness.”

speaker at the conference.

The warm, loving environment was another aspect that students described as never having experienced on such a large scale.

Students holding lots of information pamphlets.

Said Tahnjanique: “I’ve never been around that much positive black energy. It made me feel comfortable, loved, and empowered.”

Students speaking to a rep from Bowie.

All of the 70 Umoja programs around the state have the same foundation – the Umoja practices.  Love is at the center of everything Umoja does at the state-wide level and on BC’s campus. Students respond to the love, high expectations, and culturally relevant curriculum — and succeed!

Students with rep holding a CSUB B.

BC Students Tour Measure J Construction

Earlier this week, Professor Kenneth Jones Intro to Construction class visited our Measure J construction site to experience it directly.  AECOM/Parsons project manager Jared Cascadden spoke to students about what goes into building a facility, as they were able to get a first-hand look at the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center. Thank you to AECOM/Parsons and S.C. Anderson for hosting our students and showing them how much work goes into these projects.

Child Development Center: A Phenomenal Evaluation

On November 5th, a team of consultants from the California Department of Education Early Learning and Care Division arrived at Bakersfield College to evaluate our Child Development Center. In KCCD, the child development centers at Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso College, and Porterville College are evaluated as a single agency. On the first day of the evaluation, the consultants were greeted by John Means, Vice Chancellor of Education Services, Jessica Krall, the Program Manager of the Cerro Coso Community College Child Development Centers, Karen Ball, the Program Manager of Porterville College Child Development Center, and Bakersfield College’s Vice President of Instruction Billie Jo Rice and Dean Jessica Wojtysiak

Panel members and BC administrators.

The state evaluates Child Development Centers every three years. During their visit, the evaluators reviewed enrollment and financial files from all three colleges and conducted classroom observations at the Bakersfield College and Porterville College Centers, scoring them in categories such as Space and Furnishings, Personal Care Routines, Language and Reasoning, Activities, Interactions, and Program Structures.

Administrators and visiting panel.

While the evaluators were originally scheduled to stay for four days, we were informed that they were ready to share their findings on Thursday, ahead of schedule. In the exit meeting, lead Child Development Consultant Roseanne Pitz, called the final report “phenomenal.” The report noted no negative findings, and the Child Development Centers received three perfect scores on the Infant-Toddler Environment Rating (ITERS) Scale in Listening and Talking, Interactions, and Program Structure and two perfect scores on the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-R) in Interactions and Program Structure.  The Bakersfield College Child Development Center provides quality childcare for the children of Bakersfield College students, and we are delighted that the hard work of our center’s employees was recognized by the state’s team.

Faculty Art Exhibition

The Bakersfield College Art Department is hosting the 2019 BC Art Faculty Exhibition from October 24 to November 27 at the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery, which showcases the artistic work of our incredibly talented BC Art Faculty. The Art Faculty Exhibition presents a variety of artistic mediums, including drawings, paintings, sculptures, photography, video, and digital media. 

BC Art Professor, Jamee Eaton, presents her works “Loss & Remembrance I, II, & III.”  These three pieces depict an overlap of layers signifying our journeys that intertwine and connect together as a whole in space and time.

Abstract painting of an artist.

BC Art Professor, Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio, presents his work “El Triste Pintor,” which translates to “The Sad Painter.”  This piece of art depicts the misunderstood realm of imagination and his dedication to the world of art as an artist.

BC Art Professor, Yvonne Cavanagh, presents her work “Perceptible,” depicting the expression of the moment one’s life changes from unforeseen circumstances to finding the hope and ability to embrace the unknown.

Perceptible by Cavanagh.

Here are a few more to entice you to the exhibit before the 27th.

If you can’t get to the Exhibit, you can view some pictures of the wonderful artwork.

Thank you to the BC Art Department for hosting the Art Faculty Exhibition. This awe-inspiring artwork will surely inspire our future BC artists and community.

Gandhi’s Legacy Speech

Large crowd behind the Bakersfield College Delano Campus sign.

The first weekend in November the BC Department of Communication coordinated with Gandhi Celebration Committee, CHAP, Rural Initiatives and Student Affairs to host a series of Speech and Debate events that discussed the legacy of Gandhi. The event organizers Chris Cruz-Boone and John Geirtz created these events to give all students an opportunity to practice and apply methods and skills studied in courses, such as public speaking, persuasion, small group, intercultural communication & argumentation. The department has aimed to embody the “We Are BC” mantra and it is notable that competitors for the two events included students from: Kern Valley State Prison, Early College Arvin, Early College Valley Oaks/Homeschool, Job Spot, BC Delano, BC Southwest and BC Panorama. 

Kern Valley Prison Lincoln Douglas Debate Tournament  
7 participants lined up in front of the crowd.

On Friday, the first day of November, men at Kern Valley State Prison took part in a Lincoln Douglas debate tournament.  The event was held in yard B, the same yard that in August of 2019 graduated 17 students with Associate of Arts in Communication.  The event was spearheaded by the student Debate Club at Kern Valley and supported by both yard staff and faculty advisor John Giertz. The tournament champion was honored with a first-place certificate to mark his achievement.

Gandhi Legacy Speech Tournament  

Walking through the applauding crowd.
Chris Cruz-Boone

The following day, the BC Gandhi Legacy Speech Tournament awarded cash prizes of $500 to top speakers in each event category. On Saturday November 2nd, more than one-hundred people including students, their families, faculty and volunteers participated in speech tournament held at the BC Delano campus. The event coordinators provided free transportation for 46 Bakersfield College students to the event. The winners for the Speech Tournament included:  

 Awards for Persuasive Research Speeches About Gandhi’s Legacy   
  • 1st Place – Karen Fuentes (BC Panorama) 
  • 2nd Place – Karolina Kuntz (BC Panorama) 
  • 3rd Place- Abi Kyles (Early College Homeschool) 
3 students accept their awards from Helen.
 Awards for Informative Research Speeches About Gandhi’s Legacy    
  • 1st Place- Cristian Ocampo (BC Panorama) 
  • 2nd Place- Mike Aldano (BC Panorama) 
  • 3rd Place- Marisabel Perez (Arvin High School Early College) 
4 participants applaud Helen.
Awards for Impromptu/ Spontaneous Speeches about Gandhi  
  • 1st Place – Julio Moreno (BC Panorama) 
  • 2nd Place- Eduarda Angeles (Arvin High School Early College) 
  • 3rd Place – Anastasia Bryand (Early College Homeschool) 

“People should take the opportunity to come to these events because it helps you get a broader view on how to speak.” – BC student

 PEN America

Courtesy of PEN America

The non-profit organization PEN America awarded BC adjunct professor Jerry Mathes with a Writing for Justice Fellowship to work on his novel In Strange Company. Mathes will be working with editor Kerri Arsenault of the National Book Critics Circle to develop In Strange Company, which tells the story of a young man who rises above incarceration, mental illness and addiction to find humanity through music.

PEN International is a worldwide organization that aims to defend and celebrate free expression through the advancement of literature and human rights. Some famous past and present members of PEN America include Maya Angelou, Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer, Phillip Roth, Salman Rushdie, John Steinbeck, and Toni Morrison. The organization also advocates for press freedom and the safety of journalists and campus free speech.

The Writing for Justice Fellowship is in its second year, and the fellows for 2019-20 were invited to New York City on November 1 to hear the 2018-19 winners read from their published works. It is a profound honor to have one of BC’s own adjunct faculty selected for this award.

In Memory of Peggy Haight

Margaret Haight as a young woman in BW photo.

Another memorial bench was placed on campus this week for Peggy Haight. Margaret “Peggy” Haight, one of Bakersfield College’s most generous donors, passed away a year ago on October 21, 2018.  On the anniversary of her passing, a bench in her memory was unveiled outside the Administration Building.  

The wording on the memorial plaque reads:

Close up of plaque.

In loving memory of

Margaret “Peggy” Haight

1924 to 2018

A nearby neighbor of modest demeanor, Peggy attended classes and campus events.  She donated more than $1.25 million to the Bakersfield College Foundation because she loved Bakersfield College and its students.

Peggy was smart, light-hearted and epitomized true generosity.

While Peggy always kept a low profile and never wanted recognition for her contributions, she is perhaps best known by a select group of faculty and staff as the elderly woman who walked across campus to the BC Foundation office from her near-by co-op, carrying over $100,000 in cash in a couple of grocery bags.  The world needs more Peggy Haights. 

Metal bench with pebbled sides and BC emblems.

Fun Photos

Construction

Corny Rodriguez snapped these of the construction on campus this week.

BC students in the workplace
Selfie.

Sheila Fuller sent this to me: I had an x-ray done at San Joaquin Hospital and had the pleasure of a BC RAD Tech Student learning how to take x-rays.  Then, on October 2, 2019 I was hanging out at Memorial hospital. My daughter had a baby girl who had some problems and had to stay in the NIC unit. My granddaughter is doing great and at home with her older brother, Mom and Dad.  While wandering around the hospital I ran into our Nursing students and they were all happy to take pictures with me. 

Students in red scrubs pose.

Athletics Updates

Renegade Volleyball Claims Fourth Consecutive Conference Championship

A huge congrats goes out to Coach Carl Ferreira and his 2019 squad for claiming their fourth consecutive outright Western State Conference championship after beating West LA at home this last Wednesday, 3-0. The team has a perfect home record of 10-0 this season with a total of 16 sweeps with one regular season game remaining on their schedule. This is a phenomenal accomplishment Coach Carl! 

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (10/27-11/2) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Bandon Dunn and Emily Clark.

Emily Clark, Volleyball – Emily totaled 18 kills, 0 errors and 37 attempts in helping the team to sweeps over Santa Monica, Glendale and Citrus last week.

Brandon Dunn, Football – Brandon grabbed two interceptions, his first as a Renegade in last week’s game at East LA.

Renegade Report: Women’s Soccer and Women’s Golf

Watch both of this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Women’s Soccer and Women’s Golf teams. Head Coaches Scott Dameron and Wes Coble sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss their seasons 

 Women’s Soccer Segment:

Women’s Golf Segment

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week:

Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Tue. 11/12 – Men’s Soccer vs. Citrus, 3pm
  • Thur. 11/14 – Wrestling vs. Fresno City, 7pm
  • Sat. 11/16 Football vs. Canyons, 6pm


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

2019 Sterling Silver

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 30, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Annual Foundation Sterling Silver Dinner

Chancellor Tom Burke, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Sonya Christian, and Stewart and Lynda Resnick

The 11th annual Sterling Silver Dinner, held last Saturday, recognized exceptional support and service to the BC Foundation and to the College. The beautiful event, at Seven Oaks Country Club, directly supports the Bakersfield College scholarship program providing educational opportunities for Renegades today and tomorrow.

The event brought together college supporters, donors, alumni, and friends for an evening of live entertainment featuring Kris Tiner and the BC Jazz Ensemble and culinary delights from Seven Oaks Executive Chef Paul Burzlaff and the BC Culinary Arts students.

Sonya Christian, Kris Tiner, and Trumpet Player in the Renegade Jazz Band
Sonya Christian, Kris Tiner, and Trombone Player in the Renegade Jazz Band
Five BC Culinary Arts students pose at Sterling Silver
BC Culinary Arts students pose at Sterling Silver
Sonya Christian, Lynda Resnick

It was great to see Renegade supporters like Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Mayor Karen Goh, Senator Shannon Grove, and Assembly Member Vince Fong.

Karen Goh, Shannon Grove, Vince Fong
Karen Goh, Shannon Grove, Vince Fong
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, and Kiyoshi Timono
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, and Kiyoshi Timono

This year, our 2019 recognition’s included:

Lynda and Stewart Resnick as Individual Philanthropists of the Year

Sonya Christian, Stewart and Lynda Resnick, and Tom Gelder
Sonya Christian, Stewart and Lynda Resnick, and Tom Gelder

Lynda and Stewart Resnick have championed education, health care and community development across the Central Valley. Together, they have transformed the lives of countless students by making college an achievable goal through generous scholarships and a robust education program. Their long-standing support for Bakersfield College has provided significant opportunities for youth throughout the region.

Aera Energy as Corporate Philanthropist of the Year

Tom Gelder, Christina Sistrunk of Aera Energy, and Sonya Christian
Tom Gelder, Christina Sistrunk of Aera Energy, and Sonya Christian

Aera Energy has supported Bakersfield College and students throughout Kern County with consistent and generous donations, creating opportunities and spaces such as the Aera STEM Success Center, inspiring young people to pursue STEM education and careers with their involvement in BC’s MESA program, ensuring Bakersfield’s success with participation in advisory boards, and offering internships as a vital part of a hands-on education.

featuring Christina Sistrunk of Aera Energy
Tom Burke, Kevin McCarthy, Christina Sistrunk, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder
Tom Burke, Kevin McCarthy, Christina Sistrunk, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder with the recognition for Aera Energy.

Jerry Ludeke as BC Foundation Service Medal Winner

Jerry Ludeke has served the Renegade community for over 60 years, starting with her position teaching English and Art and eventually teaching in the Learning Center, receiving the Margaret Levinson Faculty Leadership Award, the Shirley Trembley Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Distinguished Service Award presented by the Kern Community College Board of Trustees. More recently, Ludeke spends her time giving back and preserving history with the BC Archives department.

Tom Burke, Kevin McCarthy, Jerry Ludeke, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder
Tom Burke, Kevin McCarthy, Jerry Ludeke, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder
Kimberly Bligh, Sonya Christian, Nicky Damania, Janet Tarjan
Lynnette Zelezny, Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora
Lynnette Zelezny, Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora
Kevin McCarthy speaks at Sterling Silver
Congressman and Renegade Kevin McCarthy
The BC Team with Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Assemblymember Vince Fong
(L-R) Janet Tarjan, Norma Rojas-Mora, Sonya Christian, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Vince Fong, Tom Gelder, and Nicky Damania
Norma Rojas Mora, Lynnette Zelezny, Karen Goh, Sonya Christian, Lynda Resnick, Heather Pennella, Noemi Donoso
Norma Rojas Mora, Lynnette Zelezny, Karen Goh, Sonya Christian, Lynda Resnick, Heather Pennella, Noemi Donoso
Meagan Bynum, Sonya Christian, David Bynum
Sonya Christian, Jay Rosenlieb, Cindy Pollard
Sonya Christian, Stephen Waller, Adele Waller and the AECOM Parsons team

Thank you KGET for covering our event, see the KGET Video.

Thank you Tom Gelder, Norma Rojas-Mora and team for the 2019 Sterling Silver. Thank you Heather Penella for leading this effort. Thank you Tamara Baker and Dylan Wang for the social media support for the evening. We are BC!

Check out all the pictures by the talented April Massirio Sterling Silver Dinner on BC’s Smugmug.

Betty Younger

Sonya and Betty.
Sonya Christian, Betty Younger

Local sculptor and community arts supporter Betty Younger passed away at the age of 88 — see the article by Steven Mayer in the Bakersfield Californian on Thursday. Betty was a champion for Bakersfield College along with her husband Milt, and dedicated her sculpture “Circle of Friends” in honor of Dr. Jim Young to the Panorama campus in 2014.

Circle of Friends sculpture is 4 abstract figures symbolizing people on a circle base.

Back in 2014, I wrote about the dedication of Betty’s “Circle of Friends” sculpture. It’s a beautiful symbol of what higher education is all about – providing an environment where information and experiences are shared to make our community stronger and cultivating a better understanding of the world around us. “Circle of Friends” was created in honor of Jim Young, a KCCD Chancellor from 1978 to 1999 – you can visit the sculpture yourself on the hill between the Humanities building and the Child Development Center on Panorama Drive.

The Circle of Friends by Betty Younger - sculptor.to Honor James C. Young, Ed.D. Chancellor of Ker Community College District 1978-1999 A gift from Milt and Betty Younger March 2014 plaque in front of sculpture.

Betty’s history with the Renegades goes back as far as the 1940s and 50s, as her aunt Hattie Hoenshell was a chemistry teacher at BC when Betty was a young girl. Betty later attended classes at BC before embarking on a career as a painter and sculptor, as well as a patron and connoisseur of art in Kern County. Jerry Ludeke recalls that legendary BC administrator Grace Van Dyke Bird purchased one of her paintings.

I also wrote about Milt Younger at his passing in 2017 in the blog Bakersfield College – A Place of Dreams. The Renegade family misses Milt and Betty Younger, but their legacy lives on everywhere you look in Kern County, from BC, to CSUB, home of her sculpture “Owl of Knowledge”, to the Bakersfield Symphony and all of the wonderful programs and non-profit organizations that they supported.

Dual Enrollment: Helping all Students Gain Access to College

The first week of April is the first-ever Dual Enrollment Week across the state of California, and I want to observe the occasion by highlighting the amazing work our Dual Enrollment team is doing to make a college education more accessible for high school students.

Dual Enrollment First student to sign up in 2016

BC offers UC/CSU transferable courses and Career Technical Education to more than 30 high schools, reaching approximately 10,000 students. BC’s Dual Enrollment program is estimated to be the largest in the state and within the California Community College system. The program started as a grant partnership with the Wonderful Company providing an Associate of Science in Ag Business to high school students in the Wonderful Academy. It has now expanded to four local high school districts, saving students and their families more than $2 million in education expenses.

Dual Enrollment Week was approved by the California state legislature last year to raise awareness of programs that give high school students the opportunity to earn transferable college credit at no cost. During Dual Enrollment Week, KCCD has invited the Get Focused…Stay Focused program to give an overview workshop at the Larry E. Reider Education Center at 2000 K Street on Friday, April 5. Get Focused…Stay Focused is a course for high school freshmen to learn more about college and make a ten-year plan for their education and career. Visit the Academic Innovations website to register and learn more information about the workshop.

Summer Bridge

As the Bridge to BC sessions for Summer 2019 are rapidly approaching, I thought it would be a great time to highlight Joseph Luiz’s article in the Bakersfield Californian from last year about the phenomenal growth in our orientation program for incoming freshmen and their families.

Last year, 1,200 students participated in the Bridge to BC program, and we expect even more students this summer. Bridge to BC, which is offered as a one-day class titled Academic Development B55: First Year Student Success, has been instrumental in getting our students ready for college and, with an emphasis on reaching out to first-generation students of color, easing the anxiety many students feel about starting their college journey.

Staff gather a Summer Bridge tent holding a sign.

During Bridge to BC, students are given a tour of the campus and information about financial aid, counseling and other resources. They also form teams and create a poster representing the path they’ll take from high school graduation to BC Commencement and beyond. “We want [students] to understand how to be a successful person in college and also how to successfully navigate our resources,” says Kimberly Bligh, faculty director of the program.

Registration for Bridge to BC sessions in Summer 2019 are available now. Visit the Bridge to BC website for more information.

Early College Launch in Shafter

Abel Guzman and Trustee Romeo Agbalog at Early College Info Event in Shafter
Abel Guzman and Trustee Romeo Agbalog at Early College Info Event in Shafter

Thursday night, the incoming Shafter High Class of 2023 flooded the Shafter High auditorium in a kick-off event for 9th-grade registration. When Shafter High School Principal Russel Shipley took the stage to tell incoming students and their families about the opportunities they would have in high school, he had an amazing new opportunity to share with them — Early College. Head Counselor Juan Leyva explained to the high school students that they would have the opportunity to earn college credits during and after the traditional school day right on their own high school campus. To assist with the program debut, Kern Community College District Trustee Romeo Agbalog was invited to share some remarks.

“We are committed to improving access and opportunities for Shafter High students to reach their academic and career goals, as well as supporting the college going culture in the community of Shafter. Through the Early College program, each student will be on a guided path to earn college credit while in high school,” said Agbalog. “These efforts translate directly into time and tuition savings for the student, savings for the taxpayers, and securing a brighter future through the power of education,” he added.

BC Staff at Bakersfield College Early College tables of bags, laniards, folders and giveaways at Shafter High.

Following the presentations in the auditorium, students went into the quad to learn more about the opportunities they would have in high school. Staff from BC’s Rural Initiatives, Dual Enrollment, and Outreach teams (Jaime Lopez, Kylie Swanson, Steve Watkin, Debra Anderson, and Jessica Garcia) were present from BC to share with both incoming 8th graders and current high school students and their parents about the Early College program and the jump start that it provides students for their college education and career.

Adult students also learned about the many evening course options being offered in collaboration with Shafter High School on their campus. Working at the forefront of the partnership between BC and Shafter, Executive Director of Rural Initiatives Abel Guzman shared:

“The City of Shafter is an incredible partner of BC, committed to the success of students throughout the community. Together, as we incorporate more educational opportunities and offerings, like the Early College program, we will level the playing field. And by bringing college closer within grasp for these students, we are granting them a head start towards a college degree and successful career.”

Starting in the 2019-2020, Shafter High School’s incoming 9th-grade students will follow a plan to complete over 30 general education units prior to their high school graduation through a combination of dual and concurrent enrollment courses. Students will also have access to additional CTE dual enrollment opportunities in the areas of agriculture, welding, and woodworking. As the partnership between BC and Shafter High continues to grow, the goal is for students to be able to complete complete college-level certificates and degrees during their time at Shafter High School.

For more information on the Early College work being done at Shafter High, visit BC’s Early College at Shafter

Adios Amore Screening

Filmmaker Laurie Coyle came to BC for a screening of her documentary about one of the forgotten heroes of the 20th-Century farm worker rights movement in the Indoor Theater on Thursday night. Coyle hosted a panel with five BC DREAMer students to talk about how they related to the story of Maria Moreno, a farm worker with 12 children and a second-grade education who became a spokesperson for a nationwide agricultural union.

Woman on microphone.
Professor Jessica Martinez moderating the screening and panel.

The film, titled “Adios Amor: The Search for Maria Moreno”, documents the search for Maria’s family and details about her life through photographs, news articles reel-to-reel audio tapes and video footage recovered in attics, archives and museums across the United States and Mexico. Years before the grape boycott and before Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta led the work that would blossom into the United Farm Workers organization, Moreno was picked to be a spokesperson for the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) was funded by the AFL-CIO. Moreno would travel the nation telling stories about the extreme poverty her family faced in the fields of the Central Valley and how her oldest son once became blind from starvation when their family didn’t have enough to eat.

Moreno standing in a dirt lane between bunk houses, black & white picture.
“Adios Amor” screenshot

Moreno eventually disappeared from public records after the collapse of AWOC, and Coyle wasn’t able to find the rest of Moreno’s story until one of Moreno’s granddaughters reached out to her. After leaving the organization, Moreno became a Pentecostal preacher who travelled the desert between Mexico and the American Southwest feeding the poor and hungry in every town she stopped at. Some of the most powerful moments of the documentary are when Moreno’s family are reconnected with old photographs and footage of their mother and given the chance to visit their childhood home.

Audience in the indoor theater.

Production costs for “Adios Amor” were funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the film has been screened across the American Southwest. Coyle said she was surprised that the Endowment would fund the film since they usually only fund projects about well-known historical figures, but Moreno’s story as an immigrant Mexican woman organizing a labor union was an important one to document.

BC Dreamer student speaks with microphone, 2 panelists looking at him.
left to right: Jovana Espinoza, Jesus Arias, Pedro Coata

After the film, BC students Jovana Espinoza, Jesus Arias, Pedro Coata, Edith Mata and Maria Jaimes sat on a panel with Coyle to talk about how they related to Moreno’s story as the children of first-generation immigrants themselves. Many of the students saw glimpses of their own mothers in Moreno’s strength and resolve in the face of adversity, and the women on the panel felt empowered by the ways that Moreno challenged the norms of how women were expected to act in traditional Mexican culture and were inspired to speak up against injustice regardless of the consequences.

The Dreamer panelists and director sit at an onstage table with Bakersfield College cloth.
left to right: Maria Jaimes, Edith Mata Jovana Espinoza, Jesus Arias, Pedro Coata, Laurie Coyle

Coyle encouraged people in the audience to find stories about people in their community that aren’t being told in any medium available to them. “History is about how we get by, and the values that we take with us wherever we go,” Coyle said. “Does your family have a story that isn’t being represented?”

Woman speaking into microphone.
Director Laurie Coyle

I’d like to thank the Social Justice Institute, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Director Laurie Coyle, moderator Jessica Martinez, and the five DREAMer students who spoke for making this event a huge success.

Jovana speaks in microphone as the others smile at her.
left to right: Edith Mata, Jovana Espinoza, Jesus Arias and Pedro Coata.
Retired broadcaster Jose Gaspar asks a question during the Adios Amor panel.

Adios Amore in Community Voices

Oliver Rosales’ latest op-ed for the Community Voices section of the Bakersfield Californian helped spread the word about Thursday’s screening of “Adios Amor: The Search for Maria Moreno” in the Indoor Theater.

Dr. Oliver Rosales

Rosales wrote that the film sheds light on one of the forgotten heroines of the agricultural farm labor movement of the mid-20th Century.
Rosales describes “Adios Amor” as “a beautiful mosaic of borderlands history” that provides an important resource of representation for first-generation college students and immigrant families to connect with the story of the California farmworkers’ movement. Rosales wrote, “these stories offer a vital link to past struggles for civil rights and inclusion.”

Blue and Gold Day

It’s never been easier for BC Renegades to transition into CSUB Roadrunners, and CSUB hosted Blue and Gold Day in the CSS Lawn Area on Thursday to inform BC students about all of the transfer services and educational opportunities that are available to them.

A CSUB staff member at the Financial Aid table talks to students.

The CSUB Student Transfer Center hosted a tent in the middle of the lawn with information about Finish-in-Four and the California Promise, and representatives from CSUB’s social science, STEM and graduate studies departments lined the perimeter with booths about all of their degrees and programs. There were also representatives from CSUB Financial Aid, the Veterans Center and various student organizations to get the word out about all of the support that our students can receive when they decide to join the Roadrunner family.

7 students and staff in CSUB t-shirts hold up flags about CSUB.

I’d like to thank everyone at CSUB who made this event possible, as well as BC’s Transfer Initiatives team for facilitating the creation of Blue and Gold Day. As we continue to develop our partnership with CSUB and begin construction of the new BC SouthWest Center on the edge of the CSUB campus, informational events like these will only become more important.

BC Art Student Exhibition

Collage of colorful images as a backdrop to a skeleton framed in bright pink with a rose vine hanger.
“Go to Sleep” by Jessica Campos

BC students are showing off their talents in a variety of media during the 2019 BC Art Student Exhibition in the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery inside the library. The annual gallery event celebrating the best work created in BC art classes is running from now until May 2 during the Jones Gallery from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. An opening reception was held on March 14.

Black and white image of two black birds flying over a church-like building against a cloudy sky.
“The Apostle” by Nicolas Zuniga

Everything from paintings, illustrations, photographs and sculptures to mixed media, collage, digital art and video projects are on display in the exhibition, and everyone is encouraged to take time to celebrate our students’ creativity .

Black and white water color of woman with bloodshot eyes, whole in forehead and eyeballs in background.
“Uzamaki” by Scott Johnston
Painting of child standing under flowery sheet next to a window on canvas.
“Good Morning Clem” by Keiolani Mahinan-Brockenbrough
Aztec style clay sculpture of a dragon head hung on a wall.
“Quetzalcoatl Head” by Jovani Rodriguez
Tea pot and 2 vases.
A variety of vases from David Ekern’s Ceramics class are displayed in the Jones Gallery.

Former SGA President Encourages East-High LUPE Students

This week BC’s LUPE students were inspired by the success story of Ms. Danitzia Romo – (BC Alumni and former SGA President). Her uplifting presentation revolved around working diligently to succeed in college, and her appreciation for the educational opportunities BC has to offer.

Ms. Romo urged students to bring their parents’ hardworking mentality into their current and future studies and to persevere through any obstacles that may come their way. Students were inspired by her humble beginnings as an immigrant, her professional development, and successful career path. Ms. Romo addressed the significance of community involvement, embracing hard work, and the importance of portraying the success of immigrants, regardless of their immigration status.

18 hispanic students mostly in LUPE t-shirts.

Building upon the momentum from the STDV B2 class, LUPE students conducted a student panel at East Bakersfield High School where they addressed graduating AB540/Dreamers/DACA seniors and spoke about their personal success stories and strategies, barriers, and challenges, persevering through adversity, and the importance of not letting their immigration status negatively impact their educational goals.  The panel was made possible through the assistance and collaboration of the entire EHS Administration & Counselors, CSUB’s ETS Trio Program, CalSOAP, EOP&S, and above all, the fantastic LUPE students.

Lupe students pose in front of the East Bakersfield High School sign.
Lupe students pose in front of the "Home of the Blades" sign.
Students of the panel discussing issues.
A full classroom listening to the panel.
Staff and students take a selfie with piece signs.

World Autism Month

April is World Autism Month and April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, so I wanted to take a few moments and share a quick story about a colleague, Nicholas Hernandez.  If you haven’t met Nick, he works at the District Office as a Construction Project Manager.

Nick has a grandson named Nicholas (or Bubba) who was officially adopted almost one year ago. Bubba has autism and they are trying to raise the needed funds for an Autism Service Dog. I’m a major fan of dogs and especially these service dogs. You can read about their story, and donate to the cause if you’d like, at Paws for Bubba

Multiple photos of a boy dressed for thanksgiving, with a backpack, in a car seat, at the beach, with a toy, playing with blocks and smiling.
Bubba

Nick’s granddaughter also came up with the idea to make “Paws for Bubba” bracelets as a way to help raise funds and to promote Autism awareness in general.  We hope that Bubba gets his Autism Service Dog!

Autism Awareness on plastic bracelets.
Paws for Bubba Bracelets
3 men.
L to R: Nick Hernandez with Bill Potter and John Smith

Email Worth Sharing: BC Student Heading to Baghdad

I wanted to share this email I received from Paul Beckworth this week:

Hello all,

Just a heads up that one of our BC students, Elaine Moreno @00[…], is being deployed with the National Guard to Baghdad.  She is currently in Georgia training up to go overseas. She is a nursing major and has been at BC since fall 2017. Here is a clip of her from last semester.

She knew she was being called up so she did not enroll for spring but did call Armando yesterday to ask about taking summer online BC classes from Iraq.  Quite a resiliency, if you ask me!

I will let the veterans know tomorrow so we can get some care packages sent out to her soon.

Fun Photos: Chief Student Services Officers Conference in LA

Michelle Pena, Dan Hall, and Becky Weaver (consultant) presenting: Plan, Nudge, and Schedule: Using Ed Plans, ALERT’s, and the Course Schedule the Ultimate Integrated Approach to Student Success.

2 women at a podium.
Becky Weaver (consultant) and Michelle Pena
Man presenting Pillar IV: Ensure Learning.
Dan Hall
Group stands of people in hotel lobby.
L-R: Abel Guzman, Imelda Valdez, Zav Dadabhoy, Angelica Vasquez, Marisa Marquez, Michelle Pena, Lisa Robles, Dan Hall

Fun Photos: Circle of Friends

Just to show how much the Circle of Friends is a part of the Bakersfield College Campus, here are some fun photos taken during the IT/Marketing retreat last summer.

4 men and a woman with arms held out like the sculpture.
Clockwise from top: DO’s Justin Wallace, MPR’s Dylan Wang and Aricia Leighton, IT’s Zach Wharton and Ian Mason
5 people with arms held out like the sculpture.
Clockwise from top: IT’s Chris Leithiser, Judy Ahl, Yin Vang, MPR’s Earl Parsons and IT’s TJ Mason

Fun Photos: Abel Guzman at the Beat

3 men in a radio studio.
L-R: Danny Morrison, Sal Avalos, Abel Guzman

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (3/17-3/23) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.

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Sarah Lopez and Isaiah Muhammad Renegades of the week sponsored by Wells Fargo.

Sarah Lopez, Beach Volleyball – Went 2-0 last week with partner Lanie Camarillo, with wins over Glendale and Victor Valley.

Isaiah Muhammad, Men’s Track & Field – Finished 1st in his first time out in the 110 hurdles with a 15.79, which ranks 5th in the conference. He also finishes 2nd in the 400m hurdles, which moved him into the 7th place ranking in the conference.

Jeremy Staat Selected for the 2019 CCCAA Hall of Fame Class

Jeremy speaking at podium.

Former Renegade Football and Track and Field student athlete and current BC Welding Instructor, Jeremy Staat has been selected as a member of the 2019 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Hall of Fame Induction Class.

Staat, a native of Bakersfield who has returned to his hometown where he’s a welding instructor at Bakersfield College, was a three-time state champion discus and shot put thrower for the Renegades while also earning Western State Conference MVP accolades and setting school records in both.

Jeremy stands with other inductees in front of a CCCAA screen.

He lent his prowess to the football team as well, helping Bakersfield to a 20-2 record and two Potato Bowl championships over his two-year career, while adding all-conference recognition both seasons. Staat was selected as Bakersfield College’s Freshman Athlete of the Year in 1995 and, subsequently, was the Most Outstanding Sophomore Athlete a year later.

Jeremy with parents and 2 children.

After a standout football career at Arizona State, Staat was second-round NFL Draft Pick in 1998 by the Pittsburgh Steelers, beginning a professional tenure that lasted until his retirement in 2003. He then followed the inspirational lead of former ASU teammate Pat Tillman and joined the Armed Forces. Staat served a tour in Iraq before returning to finish his education and begin the Jeremy Staat Foundation. He is also currently a sought after motivational speaker.

Jeremy poses with Keith Ford, Assistant director of athletics, Sandi Taylor, director of athletics, his son and another man.

“The CCCAA Hall of Fame induction to me is the pinnacle of achievement for my junior college career.” Staat said, “I am so grateful to my family and to Bakersfield College, my coaches, and teammates that supported me during my time here at Bakersfield College. Bakersfield College was the catalyst that propelled me to achieve everything in my life up to this point. Bakersfield College helped make it happen and I am very thankful, honored, and blessed to have been selected for such a prestigious honor.”

Staat, along with four other inductee’s, was honored at a ceremony on Wednesday, March 27 at the Hilton Concord during the CCCAA’s annual convention. Read the CCCAA press release.

Cynthia Maner selected to the CCCAA Scholar Athlete Honor Roll

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce that former swimming student athlete, Cynthia Maner has been selected as a member of the 2018 California Community College (CCCAA) Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll.

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Cynthia with parents, Keith Ford and Sandi Tayor, Assistant director and director of BC athletics.

Being selected as a member of the Student Athlete Honor Roll is an accomplishment only a handful of the over 24,000 student athletes in the CCCAA system receive annually. Manor was honored at a luncheon on Wednesday, March 27 at the CCCAA Celebration of Scholar-Athletes Luncheon in Concord, CA as part of the CCCAA’s annual convention.

Man presents plaque to a woman.

Athletics Roundup


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC Celebrating Black History Month. We Are BC!

Good morning Bakersfield!

Could not wake up this morning when my alarm went off after a looong, hectic and fun filled week at Bakersfield College.  But then, as Jennifer Marden would say,  this is how we roll at BC.

Thank you Steve Watkin for putting together a robust series of events for Black History Month. #WeAreBC

Sonya Christian and Steve Watkin Feb 9 2018

Warning, this is going to be a long blog…but remember it is only the tip of the iceberg of what goes on at this college that serves over 31,000 students at campus on Panorama, and at locations in Delano, Wasco, McFarland, Shafter, Arvin, Lamont and now, in southwest Bakersfield at the corner of Stockdale and Buena Vista.

Yes, We Are BC!
And we are your college!

Before I get into the Bakersfield College activities, I want to recognize the passing of the husband of a dear friend Cathy Abernathy.  Mark Abernathy has been a public figure in this community for a long time and this piece by James Burger in the Jan 29th Californian gives us a glimpse of his life.  https://tinyurl.com/ycpxjy3r

Cathy Abernathy and Mark Abernathy TBC Photo.jpg

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson at Bakersfield College

A major highlight for the week was having author, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson on campus for a jam packed Thursday at BC.  hosting four events on the campus to talk about racial inequality and the ongoing journey for restorative justice in African-American communities.

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Dr. Dyson at BC’s Indoor Theater

Dyson, a sociology professor at Georgetown University, an author of 19 books, a radio show host, and a frequent guest on several nationally-broadcast political roundtable shows, addressed a packed Indoor Theater on Thursday night to talk about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and his influence on African-American leadership in the 21st Century.

i-jnmw4xp-x4Although Dr. King never ran for elected office, Dyson argues, his gift for motivating others through rhetoric and his great vision for what America could be, he enabled that vision to come slightly closer to reality.

“All [Dr. King] asked for was for America to be what is said it was on paper,” Dyson said. While talking about the riots and police brutality of the ’60s that created the civil rights movement, Dyson emphasized that King sought to take on the structural biases that held all marginalized people back, and that for Dr. King’s work to continue, we must also fight against sexism and homophobia in order to fight back against racism.

Dyson packed the Fireside Room to capacity for the two open-discussion forums on latest book “Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America”, as well as a question and answer session with Paula Parks and the students in BC’s Umoja community.

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Dr. Paula Parks and Dr. Dyson

During the book discussions, Dyson kept the conversation focused on the contemporary debate about police brutality, cultural appropriation of black artists, kneeling for the National Anthem and how to engage in dialogue about racial issues with people who aren’t able to relate to the struggles facing African-Americans and might be resistant to the message.

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Inspired by his 2016 New York Times op-ed titled “Death in Black and White,” “Tears We Cannot Stop” is about the need for an honest, unrestrained dialogue about race that doesn’t pull punches about the hardships marginalized groups have had to endure in order to carve out their place within the American Dream.

Between the open forum discussions on “Tears We Cannot Stop”, Dyson sat down for an interview with Paula Parks and the students in our Umoja Community to talk about how predominately-white educational institutions have evolved to incorporate and empathize with students from marginalized groups, as well as Dyson’s inspiration to continue writing and giving his perspective over the past 30 years.

Nan and Zav

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Zav Dadabhoy at Dr. Dyson. Love this picture.

“I write to save my life and the lives of others, and sometimes for the dynamic privilege of saying something well,” Dyson said. “I believe in explaining stuff to white people.” Dyson’s tone was very humorous despite talking about the serious issues plaguing the African-American community today. Dyson was one of the first academics to examine the literary themes of hip-hop music, and he often spoke of the intergenerational struggles expressed through African-American music.

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BC’s Choir performed before Dr. Dysons evening performance

Through the candid, authentic persona and fiery oration, Dyson has redefined what a public intellectual can be. Thank you to the partnership of the Office of Student Life’s Distinguished Speaker Series and the Cerro Author program for bringing Dr. Dyson to BC.

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Dr. Dyson with OSL and Student Life

Manny DeLosSantos found Ralph Bailey in attendance for the evening presentation.

Manny DeLosSantos and Ralph Bailey

Manny DeLosSantos and Ralph Bailey

And Earl Parsons spotted Dr. Jackie Fisher, alumnus, former faculty, former Dean and retired president of Antelope Valley College.

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Dr. Jackie Fisher visiting Bakersfield College

Danyel Owens snapped this photo of the the overflow in the Fireside Room. It’s great to see the community coming out to events such as this.

Fireside Room during presentation by Dr. Dyson

Fireside Room during presentation by Dr. Dyson

#WeAreBC

Revitalizing the Campus thought Measure J.  Thank you Kern County!

Since the passing of Measure J in November of 2016 by a 65% vote by the Bakersfield community, BC has partnered with  AECOM-Parsons to plan for the major renovation and expansion of Bakersfield College’s campuses, including the Delano-Timmons campus and the much anticipated Arvin campus. AECOM, a company that has worked with many educational institutions, together with Parsons, who has been working on the Thomas Roads Improvement Project for the last decade, are working together with BC faculty and leadership to update our Facilities Master Plan based on our needs.

FMPU

 

The presentation, led by Todd Coston pointed out that we are still in the planning stages and since “a plan is a plan,” we can expect changes to come as we get further into the details of architecture and construction. AECOM-Parsons has worked diligently to maximize the square footage of renovations and construction of buildings in the shortest amount of time to maximize our dollars. They are considering our needs, what exists, and where savings can be made. AECOM has also partnered with the Department of State Architecture (DSA) for a more efficient and faster way for construction approval and they are using BC Measure J Facilities Master Plan renovations and construction as part of a pilot program to implement construction in a fast pace.

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Nick Strobel in the audience alongside Aricia Leighton

Leveraging funds from Measure G and the state with Measure J funding, the plan is to renovate approximately 224,000 square feet and construct 266,000 square feet of new buildings over the next 6 years. The Veterans Resource Center is in the design phase and we look forward to breaking ground soon. AECOM-Parsons and BC are working on strategies for effectively accomplishing the master plan, such as planning the construction sequence being mindful of swing space, when construction goes to market locally, construction staging areas and rerouting of traffic while minimally impacting our students.

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Sonya Christian and Romeo Agbalog

Sonya Christian and Trustee Romeo Agbalog

Todd Coston was our entertaining and eloquent emcee and did a wonderful visualization of taking a “stroll into 2024” as a new student on the new Panorama campus without having the actual details of what the architecture will look like in the future. Thank you Trustee Bill Thomas for supporting Measure J, helping bring it to fruition, continuing your support, and attending our update. Thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog for attending the update and supporting the needs of our rural campuses. I want to thank Trustee Kay Meek and Chancellor Tom Burke for being a part of this work, although they were unable to attend. I would also like to thank the AECOM-Parsons team, Scott Preston, Jill Kurth, and Yvonne Hidle.

During the afternoon, Trustee Thomas brought up an interesting fact regarding the proposed “New Entry for Campus off Panorama” was actually the original entry when the campus was first built in the 1950’s. Knowing our history is very important in planning our future. Looking ahead, as we improve the facilities, we are striving to not only accommodate our needs now, but anticipate our needs in the future.

Bringing BC to Arvin #BCArvin

Arvin and BC Leadership

We know how much education can affect a family,” said Abel Guzman, BC Director of Rural Initiatives. “Imagine how much a college can affect a city.”  After the presentation on the Panorama campus, a team from BC, together with Arvin Mayor Jose Gurrola shared details and plans for the BC center in Arvin at the Veteran’s Hall.

Bill Potter in Arvin

Bill Potter presenting in Arvin, CA

 

Jose Gurrola, Sonya Christian, Future Rengades

Jose Gurrola, Sonya Christian, and future Arvin Renegades

It was exciting to provide the community an opportunity to hear the plans for the new BC Arvin Facility and give them a platform to voice their expectations for the campus. Facilitated by Director of Rural Initiatives, Abel Guzman, community Leaders from every level including Mayor Jose Gurrola, City Manager Al Noyola, and Arvin Chief of Police Jerry Breckinridge, came out in support.

Abel Guzman, Director of Rural Initiaives talked about the programming BC has brought to Arvin the last four years.  Thank you Supervisor Leticia Perez for $400K to increase educational attainment rates in this community thought the Game Changer program.  Thank you Mike Turnipseed and Superintendent Bryon Schaefer.

Enrollments last year topped 1000.  Can’t wait to see the numbers for 2017-2018.

Enrollment Growth in Arvin Bar Graph.png

 

Trustee Bill Thomas told the audience that BC in Arvin is a “promise kept,” while Bill Potter, was able to paint a visual of the campus for the audience. 40-50 attendees were present including former chancellor and Arvin resident Jim Young, BC Adjunct faculty Amalia Ojeda, Dean Richard McCrow and BC Rural Initiatives Program Management team Raquel Lopez, Gustavo Enriquez, Endee Grijalva, and Jaime Lopez. Director Abel Guzman ended the forum with a reminder that BC in Arvin is like adding to the Arvin sense of “familia” in the community and has been and will continue to be a constant presence.

harold-pierce Feb 5 2018 Measure J draft plan roll outThank you Harold Pierce

Thank you also to Harold Pierce from the Californian for your articles.

The Bakersfield Californian is a local treasure and has a remarkable history. This newspaper has withstood a revolutionized industry, new technologies, and serves an expanding community that continues to grow, yet at the same time, it has kept that traditional “hometown content” that we’ve come to love.  A salute to the Californian and all its reporters.

Talking about Harold Pierce, I have been impressed with his coverage of Valley Fever and the efforts by our political leaders in Sacramento — Rudy Salas, Jean Fuller, Vince Fong.  See his piece in today’s Californian https://tinyurl.com/ya5wal63

 

A Wonderful Visit to Lost Hills

The Wonderful Company recently extended an invitation to BC leadership to engage in discussion to investigate possibilities to make local higher education a reality for the residents of Lost Hills. As you may know, Bakersfield College continues our commitment to serve neighboring rural communities by providing access to higher education.

Wonderful Tour Group Photo

Our morning began by visiting the various school sites in Lost Hills and seeing the college students of tomorrow beginning their educational journey on the right step.

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The Learning Garden was one of our favorite stops and the children there are growing both delicate herbs and hearty veggies such as cauliflower and broccoli.

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After visiting the school sites of Wonderful College Prep Academy, Wonderful Preschool, and the future permanent site of Wonderful College Prep Academy, the group visited Wonderful Park and Community Center in Lost Hills for a brainstorming lunch and discussion.  The Wonderful Company takes wellness seriously, just like BC and the lunch they provided was fresh and delicious.

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Beautiful lunch of salads, cauliflower rice, and salmon

Thank you to Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Lynda Resnick for joining the leadership from BC, and leadership from Wonderful Education and The Wonderful Company.

 

 

 

I look forward to more discussion and planning to bring college closer to home for the residents of Lost Hills.

 

You should check out David Brook’s piece in the NYTimes in 2016 on lost Hills and Lynda Resnick

Julian West Community Voices

BC Mentoring ArticleI recently shared that Julian West presented at BC’s Spring Opening Day where he addressed the audience about how he’s able to keep 600 students in our African-American affinity group engaged and striving for their highest level of excellence, using a combination of data analysis and “real talk” face-to-face mentorship to ensure that none of our African American students are falling through the cracks. See Julians full remarks here.

It brought a smile to my face on Friday morning when I saw Julians piece published in the paper. This inspiring and informative piece is an incredible piece of writing that shares a glimpse of the work taking place at BC. Julian writes, “To be effective in accomplishing equitable transformation, we address issues beyond what we see in the classroom. Scholastic results, or lack thereof, are rooted in issues students face outside the classroom. At BC, we address these issues in our African American Mentoring Program (AAMP) meetings during a component we call “Real Talk.” Real Talk is the facilitation of honest conversations, “Truth-telling conversations.” Sometimes that involves unpacking very complex issues such as masculinity. What does it really mean to be a man? What does it really mean to be a black man?”  See the whole article here.

And in case you missed Julians presentation on Opening Day:

Student Challenge

Speaking of student success… Jamie Garza, a sophomore in our Radiologic Technology program, won second place in the Student Challenge at a Radiologic Technology Educators’ Conference in Las Vegas. He was the only California community college student to place in the top three awards for the challenge, held at the 43rd annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Educators in Radiologic Technology (ACERT). Over 500 students were in attendance for the conference, which holds a sample mock registry exam called the Student Challenge to prepare students for the licensure certification exam in radiologic technology.

Radiologic Technology Students that participated in the challenge

Jamie Garza (holding certificate), myself (directly behind her to the right and the other 8 Radiologic Technology Students that participated in the challenge

Garza was one of the nine BC students who attended the conference with four other faculty members from BC, and she was awarded a certificate of recognition and a monetary award for her efforts. Jamie is scheduled to graduate this May with her Associate of Science degree, and plans on taking the licensure exam and seeking employment in Radiologic Technology immediately after Commencement, according to our Radiologic Technology Director Nancy Perkins.

Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrom, BC Chamber Singers …Buy your ticket now

As I mentioned each week the last two weeks, I am personally involved in helping sell tickets to the benefit concert on March 10th at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $100 each to help our students go to Australia.  Email me now or call the BC Foundation for your tickets.  We have to sell 231 more tickets.

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Financial Aid Awareness Month Kicks Off

Did you know February is Financial Aid Awareness month? The Office of Financial Aid held a special kick-off event in the Renegade Crossroads on Monday with financial aid technicians teaching our students how to get a head start on their FAFSA paperwork for next semester. This year’s kick-off event had a NASCAR theme, with technicians passing out pizza and distributing information behind a checkerboard flag. There were also booths with specialized information for veterans and DREAMers to apply, and the BC drumline performed to kick off the morning’s festivities.

While the deadline for students to apply for a Federal Student Aid identification number (FSA ID) and complete the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) is June 30th for the 2018-19 academic year, according to Financial Aid Assistant Adriana Vega, it’s important for students to get their information processed as soon as possible so that our pit crew at the Financial Aid office can deal with any complications that may arise. We want all of our students to be able to sprint ahead with their application as soon as the green flag of the Fall 2018 semester is waved. We are encouraging students to apply for aid before March 2nd, the priority filing deadline and the deadline for Cal Grant consideration for the 2018-19 academic year.

The Office of Financial Aid is working on streamlining the processing of awards for next year and digitizing financial aid forms for easier access to students while reducing the carbon footprint and storage space necessary for paper applications, Vega said.

Thank you to Kevin Ott, Vanesa De La Madrid, Gina Hunter, Heather Skibinski, Mark Llanes, Adriana Vega, Lucy Perez-Dykes, Evette Lara, Victoria Koiyan, Walter Rivas, Rebecca Bumpous, Connie Garza-Singh, Valerie Mackey, Pedro Ramirez, and the various departments who contributed to the resource fair:
From EOP&S: Bobby Baylon, Bradley Parrot and Jessica Cortez.
From DSPS: Rudy Gutierrez, Denise Crawford, and Diane Allen.

Student Employment: Vicki Coffee and Beth Harrison.

African American Community Leadership Breakfast

The campus activities for Black History Month also continue and on Wednesday morning, African American leaders in our community gathered in the Fireside Room. The morning was an opportunity to connect, discuss student success and initiatives that are making a difference.

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It was great to hear from Tommy Tunson as he shared a story of visiting Palm Springs and meeting Rosa Parks. Chelsea Esquibias, Danny Morrison, Julian West, and Rayven Acosta-Webb also presented about the Inmate Scholars Program and all the incredible transformation brought about because of the opportunity to obtain an education.

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June Charles and Michael Bowers

 

And thank you Michael Bowers for your continued support of Bakersfield College.  You introduced me to some stellar members of our community during the campaign for Measure J.

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Michelle Hart at our Delano Campus shared with me this photo and said,

We had 26 students attend! They laughed, were engaged throughout, and were super appreciative of being given the opportunity to “attend” the event! In fact, afterward, Anhelica Perez, SGA Delano Campus Programmer, Elisabeth Sundby, Delano Campus Librarian, and I were able to have brief conversations with them about the issues discussed and about offering more events like these in the future.

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Welcoming Mr. Finzel in Delano

U.S. Congressman David Valadao’s field representative, Perry Finzel, reached out to Gustavo Enriquez hoping to learn more about the Delano campus. On Wednesday, February 7th, Delano staff had the pleasure of providing a tour and updating Perry Finzel on all of our rural initiatives. He was truly impressed with all of the work happening in the rural areas.

U.S. Congressman David Valadao is the Representative for California’s 21st District which includes Kings County, western Fresno County, southwestern Tulare county, and northwestern Kern county, including Delano. The Congressman is a proponent of education and supporter of Career Technical Education legislation. Thank you Gustavo for welcoming the Congressman’s field representative.

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Perry Finzel and Gustavo Enriquez

Agriculture Career Exploration Day

The BC cafeteria was brimming with Future Farmers of America Friday morning for the Agriculture Career Exploration Day. Around 200 excited students from local high schools with an interest in a future in agriculture attended this first Career Day focused on Agriculture at Bakersfield College.

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Jeff Rasmussen and Corny Rodriguez

Jeff Rasmussen and Corny Rodriguez

This event was made possible by the Kern County Farm Bureau, Kern High School District and the many industry partners including JG Boswell, Sunview Vineyards, Syngenta, Grimmway Farms, Cargill-Nutrena and Wonderful Farms. It was Jeff Rasmussen, past president of the Kern County Farm Bureau, BC alumnus and great friend and supporter of agriculture education, who first approached me about having this event. I’m happy to say that we were able to come together and have this first of many career days for Ag.

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Ag faculty Feb 9 2018 Photo by Mary Jo Pasek

Thank you Jeff for coming to me with this wonderful idea. I want to give a special thank you to BC faculty Heather Baltis for taking the lead in putting this event together.  Thank you to all of the Ag department that were involved with this event: Corny Rodriguez, Matt Riley, Lindsay Ono, Dr. Greg Cluff, Department Chair, Dr. Jim Selgrath, Catherine Jones, Leann Riley, Bill Kelly, Billy Barnes, Dr. James McEnroe, Chris McCraw, and Sally Sterns. Thank you Eric Sabella and food services staff for providing the delicious food and Mary Jo Pasek for arranging and coordinating the event locations. And last, but not least, thank you Ralph Mendes, Kern High School District Ag Coordinator, for all of your work in making the event happen from the high school side.

Rudy Salas

Assemblymember Rudy Salas speaking at BC

We were delighted to have special guest Assemblymember Rudy Salas, District 32, join us and encourage the students to let him know if BC didn’t show “how Ag is cool.” Assemblymember Salas led the charge in saving agriculture education and was instrumental in bringing back programs in schools when the government removed FFA. The state is now investing millions in Ag education.

Jeff Rasmussen told an engaging parable about a water bearer trying to cheer up his cracked pot by showing the pot the wonderful flowers that grew along the pathway he walked every day to bring water back to his masters house. He told the students that we all have cracks, that we may not see the benefits of our cracks, and we may need a water bearer to show us the benefits. For him, Bill Kelley was a water bearer. Bill encouraged him when he was having problems with math and English and convinced him that he could transfer to Cal-Poly, where he earned a degree in Ornamental Horticulture. Bill helped him see his pathway.

 

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Mike Riel, Grimmway Farms

Did you know that careers in Ag are growing? Because of feedback from the Ag industry and the high schools, we realized that the demand for education that leads to jobs in these industries is important. This resulted in BC’s Ag department doubling over the last few years.

This Agriculture Career Exploration Day is so impactful on our future students. It gives them the opportunity to meet the water bearers of Ag Mechanics, Plant Science, Agribusiness, Forestry and Animal Science to help them down the Ag pathway. After all, we are an agricultural community and education is the key to sustaining the future of agriculture and a strong economy in our community.

Manny at the Ag Expo

Manny DeLosSantos hanging out

Industrial Automation

Clovis Community College has launched a new short-term course in Mechatronics to prepare its students for a career in industrial automation, according to a report by YourCentralValley.com.

Clovis professor Matthew Graff has been working closely with the Central Valley’s Strong Workforce Consortium on Industrial Automation, of which BC is a part, to develop the course, which teaches students about manufacturing and agricultural automation technologies.

For the last few years, BC has been leading the way on industrial automation programs at community colleges, with our first baccalaureate class in Industrial Automation getting the chance to walk across the stage and graduate this May, and it’s exciting to see other community colleges in our area developing curricula that will meet the growing demand for industrial automation professionals in San Joaquin.

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KC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Gala

KCHCC Group PhotoIt was a wonderful evening of familiar community faces and much deserved recognition as the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a longtime Bakersfield College supporter, recently honored 7 local leaders and businesses that are making a difference in our town. California State University Bakersfield President Dr. Horace Mitchell who retires in June was among the honorees. He received the businessman of the year award, and in giving his speech, he credited educational success to various institutions — corporations, schools, and business chambers — working together as partners in community excellence.  “It’s all about all of us working together in improving our community,” he shared with the audience. Thank you, Horace, for highlighting the power of education and its lasting, positive impact on our community.

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Other honorees from the evening were: Pam Alvarez of Beautiful You Medical Aesthetics as business woman of the year; Beverly Camp of Catholic Diocese of Fresno Charities as community service of the year; Trans-West Security, Inc., as corporation of the year; Luis Aguilar who recently retired from his longtime business, El Pueblo restaurant in Lamont, as large business of the year; Godinez Law as small business of the year; and Patriots of Kern, led by Dick Taylor, as nonprofit of the year. Even more special for Bakersfield College was that three of our very own were installed as officers to this year’s Hispanic chamber board and its foundation.

History Professor Olivia Garcia was appointed to the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce executive board of directors. Dean of Instruction Cornelio “Corny” Rodriguez and Lisa Kent, Equity Program Manager, were both named to serve on the Hispanic Chamber’s Business Education Foundation. Kudos also goes to Chevron’s Adam Alvidrez who was honored as the returning chair of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce board. Thank you, Adam, Chevron, Jay Tamsi and the Hispanic chamber for your continued support of BC and the Energy Academy.

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Jesse Oropeza, Olivia Garcia, Endee Grijalva, Octavio Barajas, Heather Pennella, and Lisa Kent

The event was indeed a sellout, and familiar faces were many, including Mayor Karen Goh, Assembly members Vince Fong and Rudy Salas, Senator Andy Vidak, Chair of the Board Supervisor Mike Maggard, Bakersfield Council members Andrae Gonzales and Chris Parlier, and Delano City Councilwoman Liz Morris, along with newcomers, such as Clinica Sierra Vista’s Brian Harris and his wife, Gisela, among many others. Brian began as the new CEO of Clinica on Jan. 29, replacing its founder and longtime CEO, the much-respected Stephen Schilling.

Second Annual Pathway to Success Conference.

The second annual Pathway to Success Conference took place yesterday for students with less than a “Good” Academic Standing. The conference was full of facts on how your Academic Standing can affect your financial aid, steps to take to get back to Good Standing, and tools to help you be successful here at BC.

Grace Commiso and Tanner Dyrness

Grace Commiso and Tanner Dyrness

Grace Commiso kicked off the event with an enlightening  presentation that was well received. She said, “Get Connected! The more you communicate with your professor, classmates, and advisers, the more successful you will be in class.”

She also relayed to us, that we all need to find our Why?! Finding out the ‘why you are here’ will help inspire you to get good grades and stay involved. She shared with students that it took her a few years to find her why, but when she did, she was able to thrive in academia and was able to become who she is today.

Tanner Dyrness, Mary Jo Pasek, Michael McClenic

Tanner Dyrness, Mary Jo Pasek, Michael McClenic, and Fabiola Johnson

Presenting for Assemblyman Vince Fong was field Representative Tanner Dyrness. He also shared with us that he too, had trouble finding his “why,” but when he finally figured it out, he knew his destiny was being in politics. Mr. Dyrness also presented a Certificate of Recognition to Bakersfield Collage on behalf of the State of California.

AwardBC

I would to give a special thank you to Fabiola Johnson for her amazing presentation and all her hard work. Thank you to Dr. Michael McClenic and Grace Commiso for hosting the Second annual Pathway to Success Conference.

Clarifying Paths from BC to CSUB

This week, approximately 70 CSUB and BC faculty and leaders gathered in BC’s Huddle to create 4-year default pathways for each degree. During the morning, the group compared coursework and aligned the classes. Our goal is to have a validated 4-year pathway for each of our ADTs in the next college catalog and a big event to come at CSUB announcing the created pathways.

We know that by working together, we can increase completion rates for all of our students and get them guarantees for transferring their course work. Thank you to Shawn Whalen from College Futures Foundation for announcing a grant to continue our work on transfer alignment. And thank you to the admin team from CSUB including Jacqueline Mimms and Vernon Harper.

4 Renegade Football Players Sign to Play at the Next Level

Wednesday was National Signing Day and four Bakerfield College football players signed to play at the next level.  Tyrrel Eddington, Jeffrey Jones and Ernest Harris signed to play at the Division I level while Cristion Brown signed to play at the Division II level.  

Tyrrell Eddington will be playing at Eastern Michigan University (Mid-American Conference), Jeffrey Jones will be playing at The University New Mexico (Mountain West Conference), Ernest Harris will be playing at Sam Houton State (Southland Conference) and Cristion Brown will be playing at Fort Lewis College (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference).
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Renegade Basketball

The BC women’s basketball team (10-13, 4-2) used a balanced attack to defeat Santa Monica last night.  Four Renegades scored in double-figures, led by Jasmyn Rodriguez with 20 points.  Brianna Mendez added 14 points and 8 rebounds, while Bianca Zamora chipped in 12 points.  Angie Kroeger recorded here 5th double-double of the season.

The Renegades will be on the road Saturday when they travel to West LA for a 1:00 PM tip-off.

The Bakersfield College men’s basketball team (13-11, 4-2) defeated Santa Monica 81-53 on Wednesday night.  Jaylunn English led the Renegades with 29 points.  Henry Galinato added 17 pooint and Johnathan Murray scored 15 points and had 10 assists.  

BC at Garden Pathways

Garden Pathways Billie Jo Rice, Karen Goh, Liz Rozell, Grace Commisso, Endee Grijalva

Billie Jo Rice, Mayor Karen Goh, Liz Rozell, Grace Commiso, Endee Grijalva

Heart of the Country_Social_TextThe Garden Pathways “Heart of the Country” event held Thursday and we saw people from every part of the community in support of the amazing organization and the people it serves.

Bakersfield College was proud “Arbuckle Sponsors” with Liz Rozell, Bill Jo Rice, Grace Commiso and Endee Grijalva in attendance representing BC.

Highlights included Invocation by the honorable Mayor and Garden Pathways President Karen Goh, Program Graduate Awards/ Recognition, live entertainment and of course, KGET-TV 17’s Maddie Janssen as the MC for the evening.

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On Thursday, Lesley Bonds and I headed out to LA for the Accreditation Evaluation Team Training.  There were six teams heading out in March to six different colleges that are up for their accreditation comprehensive site visit.  And guess what….. all six teams had a BC person on it.  How cool is that.  BC is everywhere in our community, in our state, in our region.  In the photo below – Bill Moseley, Jessica Wojtysiak, Janet Fulks, Lesley Bonds and me.  We did not see Don Chrusciel at that time and therefore we were not able to get him into the photo.

BC at ACCJC Team Training

And thank you Mary Jo Pasek for all that you do to support and bring these great events to Bakersfield College.

Mary Jo and Tom Pasek Aug 2 2016

 

#WeAreBC

 

Feb 10 2018 Neo Live Laugh Love

Sonya Christian Feb 7 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Joy and Enchantment

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 22, 2017, Gardenfest at Bakersfield College and a great day to be a Renegade.  Come on out!

I promise you, BC’s GardenFest will bring you joy and enchantment!

Roses 2 April 22 2017

Renegade Red and White Roses that I planted in 2013 

 

This has been a semester of work-related travel and I am getting road weary.  Can’t wait for the last bit to be over and then on to summer.

The Easter weekend was great. Besides going to St. Phillips for the 7:00 a.m. mass, spending some time reading at the Riverwalk park, over indulging with Krispy Kreme, there was Beauty and the Beast.  A phenomenal movie remake of the 1991 animated film. Two words to describe the movie — Joy and Enchanted!  And you can imagine my delight when I saw A.O.Scotts review in the New York Times use the very same words.

Here is an excerpt:

This live-action/digital hybrid, directed by Bill Condon and starring Emma Watson and San Stevens in the title roles, is more than a flesh-and-blood (and prosthetic fur-and-horns) revival of the 26-year-old cartoon, and more than a dutiful trip back to the pop-culture fairy-tale well.  Its classicism feels unforced and fresh.  Its romance neither winks nor panders.  It looks good, moves gracefully and leaves a clean and invigorating aftertaste.  I almost didn’t recognize the flavor: I think the name for it is joy.

For the entire review see

I love the dance scene from the movie and found this clip on Youtube.  Its just a 1:53-minute length video.  watch it.

 

 

Tuesday, April 18th at the Capitol

I was in Sacramento on April 18th to testify to the Assembly Budget Committee with individuals from the State Chancellor’s Office on Guided Pathways.  I hope it makes it through the legislative cycle.

Assembly Budget Committee April 18 2017

Here is a picture of Vice Chancellor of Finance Mario Rodriguez and me prior to the meeting at 9:00.  Mario Rodriguez has done a tremendous job shepherding this effort on behalf of Chancellor Eloy Oakley.  Mario, you rock!

Mario Rodriguez and Sonya Christian April 18 2017

Mario Rodriguez, Sonya Christian

I must pause here for a moment to recognize our legislators in Sacramento — Jean Fuller, Andy Vidak, Rudy Salas, and Vince Fong.  They are just phenomenal and all four of them support education and Bakersfield College 100%.  During this visit, I texted Rudy Salas and he was immediately helpful in talking to the chair of the Assembly Budget Committee on Education.  Rudy Salas we are so proud of the work you do!

Sonya Christian and Rudy Salas Cesar Chave Bfast March 31 2017

Sonya Christian, Rudy Salas

Here is a photo from the train as I was riding back from Sacramento.

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Looking at this picture again, I am reminded of two pieces that I read describing agriculture in California’s Central valley:

And from Verlyn Klinkenborg on May 13, 2013 from the New York Times:

It is easy to let yourself be overwhelmed by the agricultural geometry of the valley, all those rows seeming to rush past as you drive.  But to understand its true immensity and capacity for transformation, you have to drop down off the interstate and onto the valley floor.  There is something stunning in the way the soil has been engineered into precision.  Every human imperfection linked with the word “farming” has been erased.

From NPR: http://www.npr.org/programs/atc/features/2002/nov/central_valley/

Most Americans, and the rest of the world, would describe California by its popular tourist destinations and economic touchstones: Hollywood, Disneyland, the Golden Gate Bridge, Big Sur, Venice Beach, Silicon Valley.

But there is another California, and it’s home to the greatest garden in the world. The 400-mile-long Central Valley supplies fully one-quarter of the food America eats. It’s a long, mostly flat and incredibly fertile pocket of land nestled between the coastal mountains and the Sierra Nevada range.

California’s Central Valley is growing fast and its biggest industry, agriculture, racked up $27 billion in revenues last year.

 

Trustee Agbalog at the Honor a Hero event:

It was wonderful to see Trustee Romeo Agbalog visit the BC booth at the Honor a Hero event by the Employment Development Department at the Marriott.  Here he is with Domenica, Beth, and Armando.  Thank you Trustee Agbalog for your consistent support of education, our rural communities and our veterans.

 

The Billion $$$ Man

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Bill Thomas

What a great featured piece by Dorothy Mills-Gregg  in the Bakersfield Californian today on the Thomas Roads Improvement Project.

http://www.bakersfield.com/news/bakersfield-freeway-building-what-s-done-what-s-to-come/article_70b2361f-afdd-5acb-93b2-e6ee76e657bf.html

Thank you retired congressman Bill Thomas for all that you have accomplished for this community.

The fabulous Becki Whitson

Hard to imagine that Becki Whitson is retiring.  Becki is all things Renegade…At the Board meeting on April 13th after Kay Meek, President of the KCCD Board recognized Becki, Trustee Kyle Carter talked about Becki and said that Becki Whitson is Bakersfield College.  I can’t agree more Trustee Carter.

Becki Whitson, besides her passion for student success, has stepped up to serve BC in many ways. She has been Department Chair of the Behavioral Science Department, Co-Chair of the BC Alumni Association, has organized the biannual Alumni Hall of Fame, served as BC Cheer Team Coach, coordinated the Great Teacher Seminar, BC Commencement Committee, Archives Committee and was the recipient of the Margaret Levinson Faculty Leadership Award in 2010.  Prof. Becki Whitson, thank you for over 20 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College.

Paul Beckworth

Paul Beckworth

Paul Beckworth forwarded to me an email be sent Becki.  Here it is”

Becki,

I am sorry that I could not make it your retirement party.  I wish you all the best!  It is well deserved and well earned.

I would be remiss if I did not share my “Becki moment” with you.

Four years ago we held our first ever Vetfest at the Huddle.  I had only been at BC for three years and really did not have a clue what I was doing outside the classroom.  I didn’t know the planning for a BC event should take several months.  Sonya cut threw some red tape for me and we had our first one.  I can say it now; it was pretty sad.  We only had four vendors, and a handful of water and potato chips.  HOWEVER, it all got better when you brought you whole class to the event.  The students came out, they were engaged, and happy to be there.  Before you came out with your class, I had a sinking feeling of failure in the put of my stomach.  I knew I did not plan well but I did not know about the support for our veterans at BC.  Before this, I only knew you via email when you would sell the discount cards for BC Cheer.  You came out, we talked about how important this event was and I immediately knew we were on the right track.  I knew this college cared about our veterans because of you taking the time to show it!  So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for what you probably thought was a small gesture of support.  It was so much more than that.

All the best on your retirement.

So, from an old Navy hand; Dear Becki,

Bravo Zulu!

Fair winds and following seas.

Paul Beckworth
History Professor
Veterans Faculty Lead
Bakersfield College

Here are some pictures from her retirement party last night.

Reitrement Party April 21 2017

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Tom Moran emcee April 21 2017

From Mary Jo Pasek’s Facebook

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Library Case

Have you seen the display case in the library’s lobby? Anna Agenjo, our beloved Library Chair who will be retiring at the end of Spring 2017, sent me a photo so I could share it with all of you. She said this display case has been coming together since I shared my support of our DREAMers, back in January. There’s a little glare, but I think you can see most of it and Anna says the reactions in person have been very positive. #WeAreBC!

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Alpha Phi Alpha 2017 Scholarship Banquet

The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Chapter #530 presented the 9th Annual Black and Gold Scholarship Banquet at the Sheraton on April 15th at the Four Points Sheraton. Five local high school students were applauded as they received well deserved scholarships for their high academic achievements.  Encouraging words from the keynote speaker, Dr. (and Pastor) Oscar J. Anthony, reminded everyone that when we help our students succeed academically, our communities thrive.

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Scholarship winners from left: Darion Gutierrez, Hope Maiden, Jordan Amey, and Iesha Hamm

Guests included Bakersfield College staff, Mandelyn Hobbs, Tonysha Miles (student), Jennifer Achan, June Charles, Eryn Justice and Paula Parks.

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Relay for Life in Delano

Loy Salarda is back….so of course BC’s presence at the Delano Relay for Life was grand.

Check out the photos:

Emails Worth Sharing: KCMEA Jazz Day at BC

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Peggy Biller

Dean Mourtzanos forwarded a lovely email from Peggy Biller, the KCMEA Treasurer AND Rosedale Middle School Jazz Band Director, about the Jazz Day event recently held at BC. You can read about it in last week’s blog titled, Love Endures… Happy Easter.

The email said, “The 2nd Annual KCMEA Jazz Day at BC that Kris Tiner planned, advertised and got Kern County Middle School and High School jazz programs involved in was fantastic. His commitment to bringing a Jazz Performance Event to the Kern County Community as well as the top notch jazz artist that he brings in to demonstrate and clinic our students is fabulous!

I am both the Treasurer of KCMEA and the Rosedale Middle School Jazz Band Director (one of the groups that participated in the Festival).  Kris’s fiscal responsibility of running the festival was great from KCMEA’s treasury point of view.  My Jazz Band’s performance that morning after the clinic provided by one of his guest artists was much better than I thought was even possible.  The idea of getting a clinic before the performance was brilliant.  My students came home with information and techniques (especially my drummers) that they will use for the rest of their lives.

KCMEA has Awarded  Kris Tiner the Jazz Educator of the Year.  He was awarded Primarily due to his influence he has had on Jazz Education in Kern County. Thank you for Bakersfield College’s involvement in allowing this event to happen. I’m looking forward to participating in the KCMEA Jazz Festival next year.”

Such a great message! Thank you Peggy and Congratulations Kris Tiner! It’s a fantastic day when students visit BC to be inspired and leave campus with information they can use for the rest of their lives.

BC Faculty Jazz

Here is Kris Tiner on stage during Jazz Day with the BC Faculty Jazz Group!

Inspired jam session at Spring Fling!

Blind drummer Anthony Rodriguez plays on stage during Spring Fling week.

Anthony Rodriguez jams with a musician during “Spring Fling” week in April.

A big congratulations to Nicky Damania for organizing yet another fun series of events on campus. The week before spring break, Student Life hosted a full week of activities and bands. What an electric week to be on campus to see the fun laser tag setup, see food trucks on campus and hear the live bands from the student center.

On Wednesday (April 5) you may have walked by and heard something special. One of the musical artists was playing his guitar when one of our own students Anthony Rodriguez joined him on stage to jam for a couple of songs.  What a treat!  If you had walked by, you may have noticed that Anthony was holding his drumsticks in a very thoughtful way, later to find out he is blind.  What a talent!  Anthony is a Kinesiology Major and plays in a local band called the “Stanley J. Tucker Band” which is nearly completely made up of former BC students.

Here is a video of the “Stanley J. Tucker Band” with Anthony drumming!:

From twitter:

Great tweet from Chris McCraw, Ag faculty on the internships with Grimmway Farms

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and from Lesley Bonds

Leadership Matters April 2017

From Jen Garret on Facebook

I am so proud of all of the BC musicians in the Stars production of “Ragtime” tonight. They gave a great opening night. The music director,Brock Christian told me that all of the BC people he gets are wonderful and great to work with. That made me very happy. I am so blessed to be at BC! Go see the show!

BC Chamber Singers in Ragtime April 21 2017

Renegade Athletics Roundup by Francis Mayer

The Bakersfield College Men’s and Women’s Swim teams are competing at the Western State Conference Championships at Allan Hancock College this weekend, and they’ve shown plenty of promise so far. After two days of competition, the men are ranked fifth and the women sixth, with room to rise.

The relay team of Kenneth Rodriguez, Brian Bender, Steve Santana, and Cameron Reeves placed third in the 200 Yard Medley Relay, and fourth in the 400 Yard Medley Relay.

Santana also placed third in the 200 Yard Freestyle, while Bender has set the high-water mark with a second place finish in the 100 Yard Breaststroke. Andrew Martinez also nabbed a third place finish in the 400 Yard IM.

On the women’s side, Jennifer Quan has a pair of top five finishes in the 500 Yard Freestyle and the 400 Yard IM.

Quan also anchored a fifth place finish in the 800 Yard Freestyle Relay with teammates Kathryn Hunter, Victoria Hernandez, and Cynthia Maner.

BC Track and Field hosted the Western State Conference Prelims in historic AND beautiful Memorial Stadium Friday, and while high-jumper Jacob Bookout didn’t break the school record of 7 feet, he is still ranked #1 in the state, and he and several teammates are advancing to Finals at Moorpark next weekend. Bookout is having a special season, and he’s just one inch away from setting a new record in the high jump.

Teammate Cesar Patino is ranked #3 in the state in the 5,000 and Coach Pam Kelley believes he could also break a school record! Exciting times in Track and Field!

Baseball will wrap up it’s home season on Tuesday against West LA College, and if you haven’t been to a game this season…or even if you have, this could be the last chance to enjoy the game while you savor Ray Miranda’s tri-tip sandwiches until next year…and the last chance to see D-1 bound Brock Hallum and Austin Toerner!

 

Treasuring the Joy and Enchantment of Life!

Sonya Christian Easter Sunday at Riverwalk April 16 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

(photo on Easter Sunday at the Riverwalk

Engaging in Our Community: MLK Breakfast

BC_Group_Photo

Photo by Karen Goh

Good Morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, January 30, 2016…..a good day to be a Renegade.

Martin_Luther_King_-_March_on_Washington

Picture from Wikipedia

We all have our traditions.  One of mine is listening to Martin Luther King‘s I have a Dream speech (about 14 minutes long) on Martin Luther King day–this year on Jan 18th.  Take a moment to listen to the speech and read his words here:

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”2

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

 

Early in his 1963 speech, Dr. King harkens back to Five score years ago, 1863, and Abraham Lincoln‘s short and powerful Gettysburg address.

Here it is:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

 

 

In Bakersfield there are several events that occur during Martin Luther King Day. More than 350 people poured into Bakersfield’s MLK Community Center Jan. 18th to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King, and further his message.  Among those assembled, proud BC Renegades gathered to celebrate with local community leaders, and to offer support in striving for equity and justice.

The focus of the 10th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Award Breakfast was “enriching our millennium with future foot soldiers.”  And that desire to stand shoulder to shoulder and further a noble cause was in full display during this wonderful event.

Fitzgerald Graves

Marcus Duarte Smith and Fitzgerald Graves. Photo by Karen Goh

Following Mayor Harvey Hall’s opening proclamation, a unified rendition of the National Black Anthem and an incredible solo performance, Senior Pastor Reverend Dr. Vincent Karl Jones of the historic  People’s Missionary Baptist Church of Bakersfield addressed the audience in a thought-provoking and inspiring speech.

Rev. Jones led the group to first grapple with the challenging political landscape that exists for many today, and then to reconcile those challenges with a call to action.  The solution to the problems of today, he said, is oneness.  With unity, communication, and love, Rev. Jones believes that even the most divisive of issues can resolve to a place of peace and understanding.

In closing, Rev. Jones refocused on Dr. King’s legacy of action and service.  “It is our challenge,” Rev. Jones reminded the crowd, “to lead this nation beyond picking up trash in the community, but to a place where we stop trashing our community.”  He exited the stage to a standing ovation and roaring applause.

Clarence Stephens

Clarence Stephens, Photo by Karen Goh

The planning committee recognized several local community leaders for the work they do in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Multiple awardees are BC alumni, and we are fortunate to call awardee Clarence Stephens, a volunteer Assistant Coach for the BC women’s basketball team, one of our own!  Clarence was recognized for his support of young athletes in the community.

 

Martin Luther King concluded his speech in the following way:

And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

 

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

 

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

 

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

                Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

I am proud of our work at Bakersfield College, working with the community of Bakersfield, in our own way, letting freedom ring from Panorama Bluffs, through education and our work together, for we are speeding that day called for in Dr. King’s stirring words.

Let me wrap up with a Youtube video of My County Tis of Thee