Tag Archives: Yvonne Armendariz

Welcoming Students – It’s Fall 2017

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is August 26, 2017… a fabulous first week of classes.  And a great day to be a Renegade!

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Welcoming Students Back on Campus

With an over 6.5% increase in students, we knew the level of activity on campus this week would be intense… and it was intense, but it was wonderful! It’s always incredible to see the hallways filled and the campus full and alive with students excited to learn.

See our enrollment growth over the last four years

Enrollments

Steve Watkin Welcome Center Fall 2017The Office of Student Life had four welcome tents around Panorama campus for staff and faculty Renegades to greet arriving students and be available to help them with campus information and student planners. The tables were at the Administration Building, AREA building, swimming pool, and outdoor theater.  Student Life also had two golf carts roaming the campus offering rides and guidance to students as they walked around campus. Delano Campus also greeted students at a welcome tent at the DST Building.

Within the Student Life office, staff doubled up with student employees to help ensure that lines were minimal. Multiple activities were hosted around campus to ensure that students had something to do between classes. Student Life also created posters and banners to help provide directions. BCSGA hosted a table on the Renegade Crossroads where they were able to help students and talk about BC.

Food services increased their grab-and-go items, and I even saw Chef Sabella running the register to help move students through quickly. There was a constant flow through the Panorama Grill and Food Court.

The Counseling and Advising Center has provided a dedicated line for quick questions staffed by Counselors to ensure that students with holds or pre-requisite issues are seen in a timely manner. Dedicated workshops were being held throughout the day and assigned advisors were providing extended support to serve students till 6:30pm through the Welcome Center.  Outreach and School Relations extended their open hours to assist students with their schedule needs, answer any questions, and equip all new students with student ID cards.

Public Safety had patrol officers conducting high visibility patrols in the parking lots. They, too, assisted students with questions regarding parking permits and where their classes were located on campus. We set up a right-turn-only traffic direction out the main driveway to assist students and staff to exit the campus easily onto Haley Street. This right-turn-only exit has helped in deterring congestion.

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On Monday, BCSGA hosted a tie-dye event where students could design their own shirts. Then on Tuesday, they hosted an ice cream social while giving the scoop on student organizations, encouraging everyone to get involved! Wednesday’s activities featured a live band at lunch and BC bowling in the Fireside Room, and on Thursday, it was movie day featuring Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2, with popcorn!

Who is ready for week 2?!

Viewing the eclipse on campus

One of BC’s three new Physics faculty, Dr. Timothy Plett, took his Physical Sciences B12 class outside to see the solar eclipse. Students got to use filtering glasses that allowed them to see the moon in front of the sun in high detail without harming their eyes. In the spirit of college faculty from 100 years ago, Dr. Plett instructed his class today in full regalia. Here is Professor LeBlanc providing views of the eclipse to students.

Check out Nick Strobel’s Facebook site to view great images.  Here is one post from August 21st.

Eclipse Nick Strobel August 21 2017

More screen captures from Facebook

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Bookstore Lines Aug 22 2017 Mary Jo Pasek Facebook

Matt Garrett the 2017 Francis Armstrong Madsen Best Book Award

Jen Garrett about Matt Garrett's award Aug 22 2017

New Hydration Stations

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Itzel Buenrostro

The Office of Student Life is excited to announce the addition of two new filtered Hydration Stations at the Panorama Campus. The Hydration Stations promote water conservation and healthy hydration. You can now fill up your large cups or water bottles at these two stations with the push of a button! The new stations are located in the Campus Center in the quad, and in the Gym next to vending machines near the Athletics Offices.

These additions were funded through the collaborative efforts of Kern Health Systems, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, and the Office of Student Life. In celebration of these new additions, Student Life and BCSGA is announcing September 5th-7th as Healthy Hydration Week. We challenge each of you to utilize the Hydration Stations to fill your water bottles and stay hydrated. As a special incentive to students, Renegade Pantry Recipients who sign up for the August 31st monthly distribution will receive a free water bottle with their distribution bag. Please encourage your students to sign up for food by visiting www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/studentassistance/food.

Thank you to Kern Health Systems and Kern Schools Federal Credit Union for their assistance in accomplishing this task! Be on the lookout for more healthy habits coming soon from the Office of Student Life.

Sustainability is one of BC’s six Core Values.  Here it is:

Sustainability Core Value

Renegade Athletics

WrestlingState_ad_hocIt’s a great time to be at BC and it’s a great time for BC Athletics. Renegade Football begins in a few days and Renegade Wrestling is preparing for its first meet during the Bakersfield Duals September 9th starting at 9AM. You can check out the Wrestling Schedule for the rest of the semester on the athletics website, but two upcoming dates to mark on your calendar are Saturday, 9/9: Bakersfield Duals, 9AM and Thursday, 10/26: Victor Valley, 7PM.

Yesterday, BC Men’s Soccer hosted their home opener against Santa Monica College and The Bakersfield Californian highlighted the team in an article titled, “Renegades men’s soccer wants to take a second-year leap.” The article says, “BC also has several quality newcomers to its roster. Martinez believes one of the team’s biggest strengths is the play of midfielders Hernandez, Melendez, Luke Tovar (Stockdale High) and Danny Guerrero (East High, Taft College). ‘Everybody is very important, but our midfield group has been pushing the pace throughout our training, just making everybody better with their touch, their passing,’ Martinez said. ‘We’re very excited about the way they are playing.’”  VayronCoverArt_copy.jpgCross Country is also preparing for a brand new year. The Californian also highlighted both the women’s and men’s teams in an article titled, “Lots of changes for BC cross country teams.” The article spotlights some upcoming hopefuls and names to keep on your radar while also mentioning there are big shoes to fill. Specifically, it was shared that the women’s team qualified for CCCAA State Championship last year, but this year “… the BC men’s team has more runners and more experience at the junior college level than its female counterpart.”

Thank you Stephen Lynch at the Bakersfield Californian for the spotlights on BC athletics.

To stay up-to-date on all things Renegade Athletics, visit gogades.com!

SGA Retreat at Cerro Coso

SGA Retreat (7)

On Monday, August 14th, the student governments from Cerro Coso Community College and Bakersfield College met for their annual KCCD SGA Retreat in Ridgecrest. The day encompassed of various workshops and exercises to engage the officers in developing their leadership skills while bonding as a collective student voice for KCCD. Vice President of Student Services at Cerro Coso, Heather Ostash, presented to them on the importance of engaging in the participatory governance at the college, district, and state levels.

SGA Retreat (3)

Dr. Nicky Damania engaged the officers in a team building exercise of a simulation of being trapped in an earthquake, while Pam Campbell, SGA at Cerro Coso, explored the officers’ personality types through MBTI. The morning also included a working lunch with the KCCD student Trustee Rayven Acosta-Webb as they all engaged in ways of communication across the district.

SGA Retreat (5)

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AmeriCorps Member Placement Site

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Bakersfield College received an announcement last week with notification that we have been selected to serve as an AmeriCorps member placement site from the Foundation for California Community Colleges for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Maria and Yvonne

Maria Wright and Yvonne Armendariz

AmeriCorps members will serve as student ambassadors in work-based learning and career exploration for students at Bakersfield College. They will help students access services, improve employability, and prepare for success in college and career.

 

Thank you to the Foundation for California Community Colleges for your support of BC! Here are the two BC administrators who will be the Principal Investigators for the grant: Maria Wright and Yvonne Armendariz.

Jones Gallery

This year’s BC Art Faculty Exhibition at the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery inside the library promises to be exciting.

Every year, our art faculty puts together an exhibition of work showcasing all of the artistic techniques and media that they can provide to our students. There will of course be traditional painting, drawing and sculpture, but there will also be photography, video and digital media projects on hand for students to see the work that their talented art professors are capable of both working in and teaching.

The Art Faculty Exhibition runs September 14th through October 13th with a special artists’ reception from 4-7 p.m. on the opening day. The Jones Gallery’s hours of operation to check out the exhibit will be Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30 to 4 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-4 p.m.

Industrial & Transportation Technology (ITT) Completion Coaching Community

The Industrial & Transportation Technology (ITT) Pathway Completion Team started the fall semester off with a great orientation for students in this meta-major. It was the team’s first step in “clarifying the path,” the first pillar of our Guided Pathways Initiative. Approximately 50 students attended the event held on the Monday evening prior to the first week of classes.

Martin Perez, California Careers Pathway Trust Grant Program Manager, welcomed the participating students and introduced Antonio Alfaro, Career & Technical Education Advisor, who also spearheaded the Orientation planning. Antonio emphasized the need and importance of developing an educational plan. He provided a list of all the programs in the ITT Pathway and encouraged them to set up appointments with him for educational planning. Lupe Aguirre provided an overview of labor market trends within the Industrial Technology and Transportation Pathway, including career opportunities currently available. She directed them to career education services, such as job search preparation, internships, resume and cover letter critique, interview preparation and upon graduation, and referrals to employment in their field. Kim Arbolante, Writing Center Lead, introduced the students to the types of Academic Support services available and Pita Montes gave an overview of financial aid programs.

Five faculty from programs in the ITT Pathway talked about the courses in their disciplines, types of certificates and degrees available, and types of jobs students would qualify for upon completion of a program. Justin Flint represented the Auto Technology program; Manny Fernandez represented Electronics Technology; Catherine Jones described the new Occupational Safety and Risk Management program; Robert Stewart represented Manufacturing Technology; and Jason Dixon, Engineering and Industrial Technology Department Chair filled in the gaps by describing the remaining programs in the ITT Pathway. It was a great opportunity to showcase programs to students in the ITT Pathway and provide clarity about the path to success in these fields.

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A great partner — President Horace Mitchell

KernPromiseEven-042817s Karen Goh Sonya Christian Horace Mitchell

Mayor Karen Goh. President Sonya Christian, President Horace Mitchell

President Horace Mitchell recently announced his retirement.  He has been a great partner of Bakersfield College and a valuable colleague during the last four years of my presidency.  He has been a great President of our CSUB and a great collaborator.

The official announcement can be found on CSUB’s website available here.

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Valley Fever Walk at Kern County Museum

Emmanual at Fever WalkEmmanuel Limaco was featured in Mayor Karen Goh’s photographs from last Saturday’s Valley Fever Walk at the Kern County Museum. The walk is the culmination of all the charity efforts taking place during Valley Fever Awareness Month, which seeks to spread the word about treatment and prevention of one of the Central Valley’s most debilitating illnesses.

All the proceeds from the Valley Fever walk go to finding a cure and raising awareness of Valley Fever, a dangerous fungal disease endemic to parts of Southwestern North America in general but the San Joaquin Valley in particular. Kern County residents have a 1-3 percent chance of contracting the disease, according to a report by KBAK/KBFX Eyewitness News. Dr. Hans Einstein, a relative of famed physicist Albert Einstein, was the foremost authority on Valley Fever and conducted most of his research at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield for almost 50 years. The Valley Fever walk, now in its sixth year, is held in his honor.

Harold Pierce of The Bakersfield Californian has been doing great coverage of Valley Fever.  Congressman Kevin McCarthy has set this issue on the national agenda.  Check it out http://tinyurl.com/yadesyxd

A nice note.

Last week, BC Professor, Gayle Richardson was kind enough to send me a message along with a LinkedIn article about the passion of great bosses. I often say that I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever and it’s because of our incredible faculty, staff, and students. It’s always a treat to see what they’re up to.

Gayle was in Encinitas last week putting together a princess birthday for her granddaughter. Rapunzel came to life and told all of the girls at the party stories and sang songs with them. She ended the email by saying, “I am looking forward to working with the students in one more week and seeing everyone on campus this week.”

Agriculture professor Chris McCraw posted this fun video on Facebook.

 

Check our STEM team on Opening Day sporting some latest tie-dye fashions. Opening Day was filled with smiles and energy ready for the new academic year.

STEM 201770

It’s fall 2017 and it’s a great time to be a Renegade!

Community Members connected to BC:

This week I met Dr. Jim Grimes and while we were talking he told me about his daughter Sarah Grimes who graduated from BC this past May and is now is a transfer student at UC Santa Barbara.  I am always excited to hear stories about BC grads.  And as it turns out Sarah’s mom Tracie is an English faculty member at BC.  Renegades everywhere!

Sara Grimes

Sarah Grimes

So what about Neo?

Poor baby…… Of course, I could hardly work with him recuperating from a recent procedure. Though I have to say he’s been remarkably tolerant and gracious through it all.

He is 54 lbs now.

August 24 2017 Neo right after surgery

Sonya-and-Neo-May-13-2017-at-Comanche-Gas-Station v2

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Saying Hello to Fall 2017

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is August 19, 2017, the birthday of my grandmother, Hilda Sparrow.  And a great day to be a Renegade

I woke up to a flurry of emails early Saturday morning from BC employees supporting students.  How cool is that!  Here are two examples:

Email from Dr. Manny Mourtzanos at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning to the student

Manny Mourtzanos ConvocationGood morning, [name of student]. I was so inspired to read your message to President Christian, as well as her response this morning. I can’t think of a better way to start the day. We’re here to help. I’d love the chance to meet. Let’s make it happen early and often. I will be at the Welcome Tent by the Fine Arts building on Monday morning from 7:30 – 10:00 am. If you’re in the area during that time, please drop in. My office is located in FA-69 (Fine Arts Building). If I’m not there, someone will be able to help you schedule an appointment with me. I’d like for us to discuss your plans for law school, as well the many professional options our program can offer you. It is a unique program developed by the State Bar of California, and reserved for only a handful of colleges in California, including Bakersfield College. You’ve picked a great college to attend!
Be well,
manny

Then at 7:03 a.m. on saturday, this email from Maria Wright to the student popped into my inbox

guidedpath_mariawright

Maria Wright

Good morning [name of student],

Welcome to BC! As President Christian mentioned in her email, I am the Director of Academic  Support Services and I look forward to supporting you on your pathway to success! Please stop by to meet me next week, my office is in the Center for Student Success (CSS) building, second floor, room 184-A.

When we meet, I will give you a tour of our support services. In the meantime, I am attaching a document that will help you to identify some of the services available to you.
I look forward you to meeting you and please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns!
With Renegade pride,
Maria Wright

 I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

August 21st, first day of classes

On Monday, August 21st, the campus will be alive with students filling each hallway and classroom.  BC has been growing in enrollments over the last four years and this fall we are seeing another 6.5% growth.  So students, parking is going to be crazy the first two weeks.  I ask that you to have a friend or family member drop you off and pick you up, or car pool, or take public transportation, or bike to school.  Plan on being early.

Enrollments

Where did this summer go?  It flew by so quickly! But, here we are and fall is about to begin. It’s my favorite time of the year, gearing up to welcome students back on campus for a new academic year.

Fall 2017 Opening Day

Sonya Christian 2 Indoor Theater

Sonya Christian — 2017 State of the College

 

On Thursday, August 17th, we celebrated our Opening Day – a time where faculty and staff come together to review all we’ve accomplished and the things we look forward to accomplishing this year.  This year, the indoor theater was packed and Jennifer Marden needed to organize an overflow room.  And plz note that there are three reds in the planning team — Jennifer Marden, Monika Scott, and Kristin Rabe!

Dezi Von Manos

President Dezi Von Manos

Our morning began with a welcome by SGA President, Dezi Von Manos – a BC Communication major and a true student leader.  I will see if I can have her talk posted on my blog next week.  I promise you, you will be inspired by her and her story.

One of the highlights of the morning was Kay Meek, President of the KCCD Board of Trustees.  I heard so many positive comments from everyone on how much they appreciate Kay and how much they appreciated hearing from Kay.  Trustee Meek was very positive about the future of KCCD and talked about how much the college will benefit from Measure J. She pointedly looked at me and said she wants the Veterans Resource Center sooner than later to which the audience responded with an applause.  Thank you President Kay Meek for attending our Opening Day.  We are so fortunate to have you at the helm of KCCD.

Kay Meek on Opening Dayl

Kay Meek, President of the KCCD Board

Kay Meek with a BC hat

Kay Meek — A Renegade Fan

 

This was my fourth State of the College address as President of the college.  Here are snippets of the content of my remarks.

Let me start with our Core Valuers which permeate everything we do.  During the State of the College I had our new employees read the Core Values.  Here is Neeley Hatridge reading the core value of Diversity.

 

Neeley Hatridge reading the Diversity Core Value

Neeley Hatridge

 

Sonya Christian BC Core Values

Sonya Christian — BC Core Values

We have also been laser focused on the safety and security of our campus.  BC has a dedicated Public Safety department led by Chief Counts.  Since we are an open campus with no walls surrounding us, our Public Safety department makes sure that we go through professional development to be able to respond to all kinds of emergencies.  Our slogan is, if you see something, say something, do something.  Here is Chief Christopher Counts addressing the BC employees on Opening Day.

Chief Counts Opening Day Aug 17 2017

Chief Christopher Counts

I have been blogging about the Guided Pathways work at BC and the strategy of creating Completion Coaching Communities around the 10 metamajors.  Well, at Opening Day, we had a team from the Arts and Humanities metamajor model that their roles will be as completion coaches for the students in that group.  Each speaker was exceptionally good and I thank Grace Commiso, Manny Mourtzanos and especially Lesley Bonds in working with the group.

Grace Commiso Lesley Bonds June 23 2017

Grace Commiso, Lesley Bonds

Here are the completion coaches who spoke at Opening Day

Arts and Humanities Completion Coaching Team

Manny Mourtzanos (Dean and Administrative Lead):

Manny Mourtzanos

Dr. Manny Mourtzanos

1972….Not only the year I was born, but also the number of students in the Arts & Humanities pathway. 1,972. How can one person possibly know each of these students on a personal level enough to make a difference?

That’s why we have “Completion Coaching Communities.” By bringing together specialists and discipline experts, we can share the duty to ‘know’ our students. As the Pathway Lead, I can ‘know’ our 1,972 by reviewing data. I might not know their stories, but by working with our Data Coaches and colleagues in Institutional Effectiveness, we can identify which students could benefit from additional support, resources, information or intervention. As Pathway Lead, my ‘breadth’ of knowing students is wide, though shallow. However, discipline experts are uniquely positioned to have a shorter ‘breadth’ of students to know, but they can be known in a much ‘deeper’ and more meaningful way. For example, of our 1,972 students, 101 of them are Spanish majors. As the discipline expert for Spanish, Qiu Jimenez is poised to coordinate efforts with the other three full-time faculty in Spanish to know their students on personal level….that’s only 25 students each…a very doable mission. As the Pathway Lead, I’m committed to bringing our experts together, along with our Data Coaches, Faculty Chairs, Counselors and Ed Advisors, to identify students in need of additional support, and using our infrastructure to reach them.

You’ll hear today from my fellow Completion Coaches.  We each have different responsibilities to ensure that we know our students so that they:

  1. Complete college-level English and math in the first year,
  2. Complete 15 pathway-applicable units by the end of their first term,
  3. Complete 30 pathway-applicable units by the end of their first year, and
  4. Complete 60 pathway-applicable units in two years

With that, I invite my fellow Completion Coaches to share with you their experiences as Coaches responsible for these 1,972 students.

Eleonora Hicks (Data Coach):

Eleanora Hicks

Eleonora Hicks

My name is Eleonora Hicks.  I am a sociology professor in the Behavioral Sciences department and since I find quantitative analysis “super” exciting, I also function as a data coach and work closely with BC’s completion coaching communities within the framework of our guided pathways.

 

There are four main pillars in the guided pathways approach.  The first pillar involves not only achieving clarity but to quote President Christian, it involves achieving relentless clarity in the curricular pathways that students follow to complete their academic and career goals.

As a member of the Arts & Humanities Completion Coaching Community, I am the Data Clarifier. It’ is my responsibility to provide clarity, help my fellow coaches understand the right questions to ask, , interpret questions they’re not sure how to ask, and make meaning of the cohort reports I provide as a liaison with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

As a data coach and part of a completion community, I have specifically worked within the framework of Pillar #1 by collaborating with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness in several ways: I have helped my Completion Community see the classes in which our students are enrolled, provided feedback about the clarity with which we communicate program requirements, goals, and outcomes and am currently assessing the most common courses across programs within meta-majors, which could become an important tool in advising and course mapping.

Yvonne Armendariz (AccuSQL Lead)
Yvonne ArmendarizGood morning, my name is Yvonne Armendariz and I am the Basic Skills Program Manager. As a Completion Coach, I lead our campus efforts to utilize a tool called AccuSQL to track attendance for all student support services. So while Eleonora distributes to her Completion Coaching Community a report based on student cohort data in Banner, I can help provide you a report that shows our students’ behavior throughout the semester.

At the beginning of each semester, I will set up automated reports for each instructor to receive every Monday morning at 7 am. These reports will have detailed information regarding the students in your course that attended an academic support service the week prior. This report will include student name, ID, center where services attended, and time spent.  For weeks, 4, 8, and 12 each instructor will receive a cumulative report for all students that have attended a support service at that point. Any Completion Coach can use this information to track, in nearly live time, how engaged your students are in academic support services.

If you have any questions regarding your AccuSQL reports, please feel free to contact me or reach out anyone within the Academic Support Services Department and they will put you into contact with me. Thank you.

Jonathan Schultz (Counselor):

Jonathan Schultz

Jonathan Schultz

I am Jonathan Schultz, a Counselor and Completion Coach.  While there are many things I love about the pathway model, the group collaboration is my favorite. Having a group of people, working together is not only fun, but it really helps our students succeed and get on their path to completion. A perfect example of this is over the summer, I received an email from Helen Acosta, Department Chair of Communication, replying to a student who she met at Summer Bridge. This student had questions about what career path would be best for her. Helen, knowing the system we have in place on campus, referred her to me since I am the “Personal and Career Exploration” counselor, and we were able to help her set up an appointment to begin researching career options and begin her on a path.

 

As a Counselor focused on undecided students entering our campus, I review cohort progress data, take direct responsibility for reaching out to undecided students in groups, and work with them to move them toward a clear, attainable educational goal using various career exploration tools, working with job placement specialists, the transfer center, and my colleagues in academic support services.  I take responsibility for recognizing and intervening when I see our students are off-path to help them get back on-path by taking the right courses at the right time.  As a Completion Coach, I commit to ensuring each student I meet leaves our interaction with a clearer sense of purpose and the tools they need to navigate their pathway successfully.

Roberta Ayala (Financial Aid Tech):

Roberta Ayala

Roberta Ayala

My name is Roberta Ayala and I am a Financial Aid Technician. With nearly 80% of students being the first in their families to attend college and over 65% relying on financial aid to pursue their goals, we know that helping students start on the right path financially is critical in their success.

 

As a Completion Coach, I work to ensure our students’ success and remove any financial barriers along their path while shaping their behavior for their long-term success. I achieve this by assisting students throughout the financial aid process including completing their FAFSA, keeping open communication regarding status and requirements, and providing support throughout their journey.

More specifically, I track and provide financial aid information to my fellow coaches within the A&H pathway.  It is my personal goal to educate my fellow coaches and our students, and to provide them with the many financial resources available. With the list of the 1971 students Eleonora provides, I am able to quickly identify those students who have incomplete FAFSAs, are missing critical documents, or are in danger of losing their financial aid.  By identifying the students early, I can contact each student with a tailored message to ensure they set off on the right path financially toward their educational goals.

Paul Beckworth (Discipline Faculty, Starfish Implementation Lead):

Paul Beckworth

Paul Beckworth

My name is Paul Beckworth, and I was not born in 1972.  I’m a history faculty member and serve as BC’s lead for veterans.  While our Dean, Manny Mourtzanos, set the stage with a focus on the 1972 students in the Arts & Humanities Learning & Career Pathway, I am focused on specific, intrusive support to history majors. As a coach, I know I have a direct responsibility for knowing the 222 of History majors at BC.

Launching into a new year brings new possibilities, not just for us but for our students.   The possibility to finish strong can become a probability through vigorous course work and “intrusive caring.”  One of our primary roles as educators is to help students finish what they started.  But you might be wondering how do we, as teachers, get students to stay on the path that the awesome counselors and advisors put them on?  If a student isn’t in my class, how can I play a role in helping them finish what they started?

We know students see us more often than anyone else on campus.  They come to talk to us, sometimes about class, but often times about life.  Struggles often show up in classroom performance.  What an opportunity to keep them on their path to getting a whole team behind them, not letting them deviate from their goals!

So, beyond creating an environment in my classroom where students can learn and grow collectively as historians, I am committing to take responsibility for ensuring their success as BC Renegades.

As a member of a Completion Community, I work with my colleagues in the History department to ensure the data Eleonora provides remain a constant focus for each of us in our department meetings.  We will work together as a department to ensure our syllabi reflect our emphasis on academic support services and student engagement.

I get to say, I am a completion coaching community team member.  Listen, guided pathways is happening with us, not to us.  Our students are coming in with pre-entry attributes that we must work with.  We meet them where there are.  Where are they?  They are here!  And they are BC!

Regina Hukill (Department Chair, Math):

Regina Hukill

Regina Hukill

My name is Regina Hukill and I am the Math Department Chair and a member of the STEM Completion Coaching Community.  But today I am here as a department chair to ensure that math completion is a clear focus for everyone as we work to help students stay on path to complete college-level English and math.

 

In the past year, we have been engaged in an intensive strategy to engage every student in academic support.  Using Basic Skills funds, we developed an Extend the Classroom for Math as well as for English.  By using, Extend the Classroom to target those students taking basic skill math courses who need extra one-on-one tutoring in math and to help them complete the math they need to stay on their academic path.

We are happy to see that the Extend the Classroom for Math location has been moved from being tucked away in a corner of the Writing Center, to a more desirable location which will be in the Math Science Building.  A convenient location can really make a huge difference in the number of students we can get to participate in this program.

Our two professional math tutors, Christopher Anderson and Alana Austin will be there to help students from 7 am to 8:30 pm Monday through Thursday, and on Fridays from 8 am to noon.  Math faculty will continue to support the Extend the Classroom by providing help as well.  We have found that instructors like Josh Lewis and Donna Starr who are available in the Extend the Classroom get a good number of their students participating.  Some of my fellow math faculty coaches and I are committing to allocate points in the course that students can earn by getting tutoring outside of the classroom to emphasize our goal of math completion for all students.

 

Keri Wolf (Discipline faculty, Extend the Classroom):

Keri Wolf

Keri Wolf

My name is Keri Wolf, and I have been involved in Extend the Classroom as an English faculty member and Completion Coach to ensure college-level English completion is a clear focus for each of you.  BC has 253 English majors, but we know every single student who steps foot on campus with an AA in mind needs to complete English 1A. With our goal for students to complete college-level Math and English courses during their first year, this places English faculty in a unique position to foster a collaborative environment through classroom interactions and extending the classroom programs.

Extending the classroom provides a distraction free, collaborative learning environment. Supplemental Instruction study groups allow students to gain the support of not only an experienced peer who knows the instructor and that specific section’s material but also the support of classmates.

As a Completion Coach, I work with my colleagues in the English Department to expand our use of SI, specifically for English 53, an accelerated course to the transfer-level English 1A.  As a result, students who take English 53 their first semester and then follow it with English 1A their second semester are able to complete English in the first year.

Since English provides these foundational courses, extend the classroom exposes students early to the network of support services. And many students have credited SI as pivotal to their success.

Transfer and CTE are all pathways to a job:  The Community College Chancellor’s Office is focused on “jobs” at the email of a college degree whether it is an Associates degree or a Baccalaureate degree.  The whole Guided Pathways approach starts with the “end in mind”.  At BC, we have organized our 72 programs into 10 Metamajors and within each metamajor there are both CTE pathways and transfer pathways.  So, during the State of the College address, I invited both Janet Fulks and Cindy Collier to speak about Transfer and CTE respectively and our work for 2017-18.

After the State of the College, we heard from Chancellor Tom Burke who reviewed the Measure J plans, his goals for the next two years and his visit to the Kern Valley Prison to see students in the Japanese course do presentations.  He was clearly moved by the testimony of the students.  Thank you Chancellor for attending BC’s 2017 Opening Day!

Tom Burke 2017 Opening Day

I always look forward to hearing from the leadership of the employee groups. Bernadette Martinez with CCSEA, Isabel Stierle with CCA, Steve Holmes with Academic Senate, and Sue Vaughn on behalf of Management.

Bernadette Martinez

 

Isabel Stierle

 

Steven Holmes

 

Sue Vaughn

BC’s Academic Senate President Steven Holmes always has fun during campus wide gatherings.  He is known to be in flip flops for most of the year and at the last campus wide gathering, Debbie Rosenthal  challenged him to get a pedicure.  And here he is at the next campus wide gathering, confidently displaying his pedicured toes with dark red nail polish 🙂

Steven Holmes Nail Polish

And here he is in a video that Zav captured when Steven was removing the license plate from my Land Rover.

 

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

After we heard from the employee groups, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg introduced us to the new employees including the 55 new faculty.  Nan concluded her remarks with the quote: Only the educated are free. Powerful!

You can find all our new faculty here
https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/employees/new-academic-faculty

Stretch Breaks:

Thank you to Coach Matt Moon and Coach Zach Peters for leading us through a stretch break.  Also thank you to BC SGA leaders Dezi Von Manos and Jose Cortez.

Matt Moon and Zach Peters

 

Dezi Von Manos and Jose Cortez Lead Stretch Break

Accreditation:

We are working on our Institutional Self Evaluation report (ISER) and will have the accreditation evaluation team on campus in October 2018.  Jason Stratton, History Faculty, and Liz Rozell, Dean of Instruction, are leading this work.  They did a real nice job jeopardy-style to engage the audience.

Jason Stratton

Wondering about the two of them leading the work on BC’s Institutional Self Evaluation after I saw this photo.

Liz Rozell and Jason Stratton Chairs ISER Fall 2017

Liz Rozell, Jason Stratton — Chairs of ISER

 

The morning concluded with the Margaret Levinson Faculty Leadership Award being presented to Dr. Kimberly Bligh for all of her dedication to BC and our students. As you know, she was instrumental in the advancing and growth of Summer Bridge.

Kimberly NickellThis is how Prof. Kimberly Nickell introduced Dr. Kimberly Bligh.

I am always amazed by the leaders I get to work with on our BC campus. And as I work with these leaders, I experience their drive, vision and pursuit of excellence.  Dr. Kimberly Bligh is the epitome of this leader.

From the implementation of the CAS workshops, Summer Bridge, creating her math textbook, and directing Title V, as well as many other projects she is involved in, I have witnessed Kimberly leading the charge, and with each endeavor her drive, vision, and pursuit of excellence is apparent. Kimberly strives to elevate the BC campus, promoting student success while mentoring and inspiring others to be leaders. That is true leadership.

So please, let’s put our hands together for our 2017 Margaret Levinson Leadership award recipient, Dr. Kimberly Bligh.

Kimberly Bligh

Kim Nickell, Kimberly Bligh, Pam Boyles

Kimberly put together a tribute to those who supported her as a thank you during her acceptance speech of the Levinson award.  Here it is

The final award presented was the Norm Levan Faculty Colloquium Announcement awarded to Rafael Espericueta.

Susan Pinza

Here is the description of Rafael’s talk.

Every day you make use of software based on deep learning. You use it every time you do a Google search, or look for a movie to watch on Netflix. It’s used to enable computers (and phones) to recognize objects, understand spoken language, diagnose illness, and countless other applications.

Recently, deep learning has made profound breakthroughs that are making possible tasks that hitherto have been impossible for computers to accomplish. And the breakthroughs keep coming! Soon autonomous vehicles will be driving our roads, and human driven vehicles may well become a thing of the past. Many jobs will disappear, as machines become more capable of tasks once reserved exclusively for humans.

Deep learning will increasingly effect all of our lives, and it behooves us all to gain at least a basic understanding of this exciting new and disruptive technology.  It now seems likely that machines may soon actually attain sentience, or at least act as though they were as sentient as you or I.

The ethical ramifications of this technology are vast and will be increasingly pertinent. Our very species’ survival may well hang in the balance. But whether you are terrified at imagined dystopias this technology may engender, or excited by utopic visions of the future this technology can make possible, artificial intelligence is evolving at an exponential rate.  The day of the sentient machine is coming, whether we like it or not.  The more one knows about what’s coming, the more power one yields to help steer it in a more desirable direction.

Whatever your own field of study, deep learning will become increasingly relevant to your future. Come to Rafael’s talk to learn more about deep learning – what recent breakthroughs have been made, and what we may expect in the near (and distant) future.  Though it may sound like science fiction, this is an engineering reality right now.  Come learn what it has accomplished, as well as what it portends for our species’ future!

Friday, Nov. 3rd
Levan Center
11:30 AM (an hour later than usual)
Mathematics Department…Rafael Espericueta

Rafael Espericueta Levan Faculty Colloquim May 12 2017

 

There were three major initiatives for the year that I highlighted: (1) Completion Coaching Communities intended to create a case management approach and in this case a cohort management approach to ensure that no student goes unnoticed. (2) Measure J as we move to implementation and (3) accreditation.  The videos were produced by the very talented Manny de Los Santos using the Superhero theme.  Enjoy them!

Let me introduce you to our superheroes Todd Coston and Liz Rozell:

Let me introduce you to our Superhero Bill Potter, Director of Facilities

Let me introduce you to numerous superheros that form a completion coaching community around each student.

I can’t thank everyone involved enough for the incredible way the day turned out. It’s a group effort from various multiple departments.

The talented Manny de los Santos!

Manny extreme selfie using drone Nov 26 2015

Manny de Los Santos

ASL Interpreters

I’d like to thank Tom Moran and Brittany King, for their work interpreting during Opening Day.

Tom does so much on campus and it’s always a joy to see him. He was also a giant supporter during the Measure J campaign, and even has taught me how to sign both “Yes on J” and “We are BC!”   Thank you Tom!

Food Services at BC

MJFoodServices081817During Opening Day, Mary Jo took the time to thank our Food Services crew for all the work they do to provide food for students and catering at important events like we have on Thursday.

 

Eric Sabella and the crew worked hard to provide breakfast burritos and lunch wraps for the faculty and staff on Opening Day, then got straight to work on a beautiful barbecue chicken dinner for everybody at the New Student Convocation that evening. I’d like to thank them for their tireless work and for keeping us fueled with delicious food.

Mary Jo Pasek posted this photo on her Facebook! I can always count on MJ to have some of the best photos.

Thank Yous

I have to give special thanks also to our team of ushers:  Lori Ortiz, Savannah Andres, Roseanne Lewis, Trudi Blanco, Cecilia Lopez, Yolanda Aguilera, and Bernadette Martinez.  Thank you Chris Glaser for leading this effort.

Ushers

Video, media services, and photographers: Kristin Rabe, Kevin Ganger, Manny De Los Santos, Earl Parsons, Eric Carrillo, and John Farrand.

Content Contributors, Lesley Bonds, Grace Commiso,  Manny Mourtzanos, Eleonora Hicks, Yvonne Armendariz, Jonathan Schultz, Roberta Ayala, Paul Beckworth, Regina Hukilll, Keri Wolf, Janet Fulks, Cindy Collier, Jason Stratton, Liz Rozell, and Chris Counts.

Our fabulous emcee, Francis Mayer, and the planning team, Jennifer Serratt, Monika Scott, and Aricia Leighton.

 

New Faculty Seminar

2017-2018 New Faculty

matt JonesOn Monday, our 55 new faculty members met in the first seminar in a year-long series that will help them connect with BC resources and make the most of their time at Bakersfield College.  We are excited to welcome this new and very dynamic group of faculty to the college – the largest incoming class of new faculty in our history!

Topics ranged from how to get involved in pathways and completion communities to learning the ropes of human resources. We look forward to offering New Faculty Seminars every month for the rest of the semester.

Flex Week

BC’s fall 2017 Flex Week was a busy one, packed with almost 60 workshops, including four Opening Day breakout sessions focused on important campus initiatives. Workshops ranged from practical skills related to accessibility using Google and Grackle, to workshops designed to help faculty integrate new creative media, like PowToons—and everything in between. In addition to Flex workshops and Opening Day breakout sessions, the Pathways Institute drew a sizable crowd of completion coaches and other dedicated faculty and staff from all over BC. As of Thursday afternoon, Flex Week drew over 385 logins/sign-ins, including over 208 individual attendees. Thanks, BC!

Dr. Chike Akua

Dr cAs part of Flex Week on Wednesday, acclaimed public intellectual Dr. Chike Akua hosted workshop about how to keep students of color engaged in their academic pursuits and education as a key to fighting structural inequality.

BC was honored to host this important professional development workshop with Akua, a member of the Teacher Transformation Institute and author of books such as “Honoring our Ancestral Obligations: 7 Steps to Black Student Success”. Akua’s presentation, titled “Education for Transformation: Keys to Releasing the Genius of Black Students”, focused on concrete ways that instructors can supplement their curricula with the contributions of African-Americans and other marginalized groups that have been omitted from textbooks or otherwise edited out of the canon of human intellectual achievement.

“Who are the models of intellectual authority you’re putting before your students?” Akua asked. “Even though the population of our students has changed, in many ways, our curriculum has not.”

 

By drawing attention to marginalized innovators in math, science, art, architecture and countless other fields, it allows students within those marginalized groups to see themselves reflected in a given field of study, and Akua showed data that reflects how students that are able to relate to their study material grow more confident in their academics and matriculate more successfully through their educational pathway.

“This has become one of the critical mediating factors in my students’ success,” Akua said.

Akua also used the events in Charlottesville last weekend as a lens to guide his discussion on the role educators have in shifting the toxic perceptions about race relations in America today. When educators begin engaging students to critically examine the world around them while spreading awareness of structural inequality and social issues like the school-to-prison pipeline, Akua posits that we’ll begin seeing the national conversation about race change, and in many ways the shift has already started to happen with the work of organizations such as Black Lives Matter and the ongoing debate about law enforcement accountability in communities of color.

“Their innate sense of justice will cause students to speak out on issues,” Akua said. “Allow your students to bring their whole personality to class.”

Akua also stressed the importance of a diverse faculty in bridging the “engagement gap” in education, while showing data indicating that higher learning institutions need to do a lot better at hiring people of color. The national leader for hiring African-American faculty among major four-year state institutions is The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, whose faculty is only 6.8 percent black despite having an 11.1 percent black undergraduate population, according to the website College Factual. The state leader among four-year colleges in California is UCLA, whose black faculty only comprises 3 percent of the faculty population despite making up 4.8 percent of the student population.

“It’s important to have faculty who look like your students,” Akua said. “How can we say we’re a nation who values diversity with these numbers?”

Akua’s conversation gave our faculty a lot to think about how they might be unintentionally alienating a lot of their marginalized students while giving some good advice about how to keep those students engaged.

Welcome International Students

In addition to welcoming new faculty and staff, we have 90 students from around the world in our ISA program for Fall 2017, majoring in everything from Business Administration to Theatre Arts. There are 18 students from India, which represents 20 percent of the group. There are 15 students from Saudia Arabia and 10 from Vietnam, as well as representatives from Nigeria, China, Bangladesh, France, Ivory Coast, Australia and more for a total of 29 countries to be welcomed into the BC family.

international students

New Student Convocation

Bakersfield College welcomed its 104th class of incoming freshman to the family Thursday night at the Outdoor Theater during the New Student Convocation.

F17Convocation14

The annual event is a gathering before the start of the fall semester for new students and their families to learn about different programs on campus and what will be expected of them for the upcoming year. Todd Coston was in the audience as a parent of a young woman starting her freshman year at BC.  I snapped this picture.  See if you can spot Todd off in the distance.

Todd Coston and his daughter at convocation

Steven Holmes led BC faculty through a pledge to provide students with the support they’ll need to make it through a short but eventful school year, while SGA President Dezi von Manos led students through their pledge to rise to the occasion and perform the hard work it requires to achieve their dreams. Dr. Janet Fulks led the families, friends and supporters of the students through a pledge as well.

I grabbed these photos from Lawrence Salcido’s Facebook page.  Thank you Lawrence!

Dezi Van Manos

Sonya Christian 2 at Convocation

 

Steven Homles at Convocation

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was amazing entertainment throughout the event, with a DJ booth in front of the Outdoor Theater providing music while students visited booths for the Agriculture and Automotive programs, the Student Health Center and countless other student organizations. When students walked into the theater, they were greeted with a performance from a few students in last semester’s Commercial Music class. Jennifer Garrett led the BC choir through the national anthem, “When You Wish Upon a Star” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”,

The BC cheerleaders closed the convocation with an exciting performance.  Thank you Heather Foss for your dedication to the BC Cheer Team.  And thank you Becki Whitson for all of the years you spent with the team.  We miss you and hope to see you at the games.

 

Here is the BC Fight Song

 

Go out and Get Them

 

There’s an awesome video BC counselor Jonathan Schultz put together on YouTube speaking to student athletes about taking advantage of opportunities. Jonathan presents a very simple but true philosophy that successful people are able to do seemingly impossible things because they are willing to go lengths others aren’t to be the best.

“You have to do what others won’t if you want to have what others don’t,” Schultz said. “I never waited for an opportunity to come to me. I went out and found an opportunity.” When you’re willing to go the extra mile in your athletic, creative or cognitive development, people will recognize the work you’re putting in and opportunities to succeed will open up that you never thought possible. The greatest athletes were the ones who had the drive put in time and effort that their coworkers didn’t, transcending what people previously thought was humanly possible. “What are you doing that other people in your exact situation are not doing?” Schultz asks. “What pushes you outside of yourself? What’s your why?”

Football Practice Begins!

I loved seeing this post on Instagram. BC Football is gearing up!

Are you following BC on Instagram?! What about Facebook and Twitter?

IMG_6265

 

FCDC Summer Chair Academy

The Faculty Chairs/Directors Council met this week as well to wrap up the summer. This group of dedicated individuals discuss, review, and resolve operational issues and to provide collaborative interaction between student services and instruction in development of seamless process to meet student needs. Welcome to the new department chairs this year: Mark Osea, Counseling; Helen Acosta, Communication, and Kirk Russell, Library.

 

 

 

Eclipse Information

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel also sent an email out to various campus groups sharing some awesome details about the upcoming eclipse. He said,

“You’ve probably heard something about the upcoming eclipse of the Sun on Monday, August 21. The eclipse for us in Bakersfield will be just a partial eclipse. See the Planetarium’s homepage at www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/planetarium for the stats for Bakersfield and how to view the Sun safely.

What’s the big deal about this total solar eclipse? Here are some reasons:

  • Total solar eclipses (New Moon totally covers the Sun’s photosphere surface) are RARE and awesome!
  • First one in the lower 48 states since 1979.
  • First one to sweep across the entire country since 1918.
  • First one to be solely visible in the United States since 1776 (yes, 1776)
  • Approximately 391 million people in the U.S. will be able to see the eclipse (total or partial).
  • Literally millions of international tourists will be coming to places in the path of totality. The totality strip is just 68 miles wide.
  • The few minutes of totality are the only times we can view the Sun’s corona (outer atmosphere). The corona is about as bright as a full moon.

See https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/planetarium/bakersfield-night-sky/bakersfield-night-sky-august-19-2017 for more about this eclipse and future eclipses in the U.S.

 

 

A great story. Thank you Joe Coughlin of Coconut Joes

Joe Coughlin and Glen Campbell in 1971 form TBCWhen Joe Coughlin of Coconut Joes heard about the passing of the celebrity Glen Campbell, he picked up his guitar and strummed the Rhinestone Cowboy.

Does that get your attention…..Well, click on the link and read his August 12th Opinion piece in The Bakersfield Californian — Gentle on My Mind: My long unique connection to Glen Campbell.  http://tinyurl.com/y8bssflx.   A pretty cool story.

I never heard Gentle on my mind by Glen Campbell.  Thank you Joe for introducing me to this piece by Glen Campbell.  I enjoyed it.

 

Rosebowl Watch

Thought you would enjoy the Facebook exchange with community members about the Rosebowl watch.  I actually wore it for Opening Day.  Here is a screen capture.

Facebook post about Rosebowl Watch

So what about Neo?

At 5 1/2 months, he is 52 lbs, and teething.  Can you guess where he is in the picture below?

August 13, 2017 Neo in Sonya's Office

Neo

Being obnoxious and then sweet like an angel when he is asleep.

 

Sonya Christian 2017 Opening DayThat’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Another Great Week to be a Renegade

Good morning Bakersfield.  What a beautiful Saturday morning in July.  Sitting outside on the patio, it is 4:30 a.m., July 8, 2017…a great day to be a Renegade.

FlagDayIn fact, it was a great week to be a Renegade with a special day off on Tuesday to relax and celebrate a holiday with friends and family. On July 4th, the United States commemorates the start of a grand experiment in self-governance.

On that day 241 years ago, Thomas Jefferson gave words to the birthright of liberty and free expression that is not granted by kings or governments, and which we fight to preserve if our leaders attempt to deny. From that simple idea, forged by the philosophical works of John Locke, Voltaire, Rene Descartes and other contributors of the Enlightenment, a new society emerged, and blueprint for governance.

Over the last 241 years, the blueprint has proved to be difficult to realize, and society has had to change – and continues to change – to remain true to its ideals as inalienable rights once denied are progressively regained, by women, by immigrants, by people of color, and many more. The experiment continues, even today, as an intrinsic privilege of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – and intrinsic denial of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness – are gradually seen as such.

This dynamic defines our work as community college educators, as we struggle to educate everyone, anyone, faced with the systemic effects of poverty, lack of health care, lack of safety, physical disability, and mental disability, that we now recognize as a self-perpetuating status quo.

As educators, it is our responsibility to keep the public informed on what their rights are, the history of how those rights were earned, and what we’re able to do on both an individual and community-wide level to protect and recognize those rights. It is a profound responsibility, but it’s also an incredible opportunity to be the scientists on the front lines of the great American experiment. As an immigrant I have a unique understanding of what a great country this is!

How did you celebrate Independence Day? Leave a comment below. I’d love to know how you spent your holiday.

I had a relatively quiet fourth at home – the kind I like – and this year with a sense of anticipation to see how Neo would react to the fireworks.  He did surprisingly well especially considering how dramatically he reacted to the gardener’s demon leaf blower.

June 30 2017 Neo with a stick

Neo, chewing on a twig. His favorite pastime.

 

I’ve been congratulating myself on having the calmest, most enlightened puppy in town as I heard stories of puppy destruction from others… and then he turned three months old at 30 lbs and I began to understand…  I sent an SOS to several friends. Lesley shook her head wisely and said “You have got to tire him out.  I take Blue for runs, and then there is the formidable battle with the water sprinkler that is intentionally planned.”  Here is the evidence.

Blue chasing water

So, I took my instructions very seriously and this has now become part of Neo’s evening routine..

Neo has his last set of shots scheduled for July 19th.  After that the vet said we had permission to take him to the dog park.  Can’t wait to get him exercised and exhausted in the dog park.  I have been there several times when Ken visited me from Oregon with the one and only Woody, his chocolate-colored Lab.

I know you have seen this 27-sec video of Woody swimming many many times, but here it is again in my July 3, 2016 blog post.
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/07/03/daily-inspiration-from-all-things-bc/

Thomas Roads Improvement Project

In an op-ed from last week’s Bakersfield Californian, Bakersfield City Manager Alan Tandy laid out his case for Trustee Bill Thomas’ Thomas Road Improvement Program, or TRIP.

When Retired Congressman and Trustee Thomas brought in a $630 million federal earmark for road repair in Bakersfield shortly before retiring from the House of Representatives, he established a partnership between Cal Trans and local and county government to outline a plan to fix the city’s aging, insufficient road infrastructure. One of TRIP’s most successful and notable projects so far is the Westside Parkway, which linked the suburban communities of Northwest Bakersfield with our burgeoning and resurgent downtown area.

TRIP May 2017

Photo by Dorothy Mills-Greg from The Bakersfield Californian. Mayor Karen Goh and Retired Congressman Bill Thomas

TRIP has grown its initial $630 million federal budget into a $1.4 billion budget through grants and contributions, adding 24 bridges and nearly 100 lane miles of roadway to Bakersfield’s transportation network since 2007. Upcoming projects, including the Hageman flyover road, the 24th Street widening and the first phase of the Centennial Corridor project, will ease congestion further as Kern County continues to have some of the fastest population growth in the nation.

TRIP is essential to making our city functional, especially as our growth continues to outpace our infrastructure. Thank you Trustee Thomas! And thank you Alan Tandy for the great article.

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Grimmway

On Thursday, July 6th, Rich and I had the pleasure of meeting with the Dream Team from Grimmway Academy — Greg West, Director of School Support Services;  Paul Escala, Executive Director of the Grimmway Schools; and Casey Yeazel, Chief Academic Officer.  The Grimmway Academy just graduated their eigth grade class and most of them will be starting their ninth grade at Arvin High School.  There was great chemistry in the room and I can’t wait to see the results of our planning.

Group Photo

Sonya Christian, Greg West, Rich McCrow, Paul Escala, Casey Yeazel

The Grimmway Academy is a great example of #EducationDoneRight.  Barbara Grimm, a true visionary, made this happen.  I visited the Grimmway Academy in in 2014.  Check out my blog post on July 1, 2014
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2014/07/01/grimmway-academy-thrives-in-arvin/

Academic Support Services Retreat Day

Let me introduce you to BC’s Academic Support Team.

Left to right:  Kimberly Arbolante, Grace Commiso, Laraine Rosema, Susan Abbassi, Eric Weis, Maria Wright, Stephanie Vega, Barry Ramirez, Monica Huyck, Eileen Pierce, Christopher Anderson, Kim Collins, Sonia Avila, Yvonne Armendariz, Bradley Cramer, Alana Austin, Jessica Flores, and Miguel Cuate.

Academic Support Team July 6 2017.jpg

 

I am always happy to see Monica Huyck since she was one of the very first people I met when I arrived on campus in 2013.  Here is my blog post from March 6, 2013 that has a picture of me with Monica and the team from the tutoring center in Delano.  Gosh I look so young in that picture and Rich McCrow was still tall then 🙂  Check it out

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2013/03/16/our-delano-campus/

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Dr. Janet Fulks

The Retreat was very good and I felt hugely energized listening to the different presenters and the comments from the group.  Janet Fulks, of course, gave an inspiring talk when she shared data about our students.  And Rich and I were whispering to each other how fortunate we were to have the amazing Janet Fulks in our midst.

 

As BC continues to aggressively make changes to get more students to and through the college in an efficient and effective manner, we have realized the importance of being more intrusive with our students, over 80% of them are first generation college going, and get them to make use of our academic support services like tutoring, supplemental instruction, the writing center etc.  The team you see above have been redesigning their systems and practices to get more students to participate in these services as well as engage with faculty regularly to track student progress so that they minimize the risk of having these students fall between the cracks.

 

DSC_3694

Maria Wright addressing the group. Rich McCrow, Sonya Christian, Criag Hayward, Michael McClinnick

Here are some of the concluding thoughts shared by team members at the end of the retreat.

What was the most important piece of information gained from this retreat?

  • The accountability of faculty and staff to students via completion teams & “permission” to hammer team members to participate in success of our students.
  • The strengths quest workshop. It was a real joy and very informative.
  • A more clearly defined path for guided pathway.
  • Hearing about the programs and services being implemented as a result of the data
  • Clarification about the goals of the campus.
  • Points of connection and defining our identity through students.
  • I think the most important piece(s) of information I gained from this experience are the utilization of our talents as well as the massive amounts of support the Academic support team receives.
  • Clarification of our roles in Academic Support Services in the context of Pathways.
  • How collaboration will happen on each team.
  • Gaining insight on the “what” and “why”
  • Understanding the role of academic support services within the meta-majors and affinity groups
  • The enforcement of the effectiveness of support services

How will your role be affected as a result of the information shared today?

  • My role is more “global” now.
  • I understand the relationship between my role as a guided pathway leader and my everyday tasks
  • I will have to take a more holistic approach when working with students.
  • I like to think that my program will have so much support.
  • I will be able to contact the correct people with a support attitude.
  • I will reach out more to my colleagues in order to coordinate our efforts in serving students.
  • I have gained confidence that I can help students reach goals.

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Maria had invited several of the senior administrators and other key leaders of campus to the retreat for the first hour.  During this time, she asked me to address her team on Guided Pathways and the new direction for Academic Support.  She wanted to make sure that we had this larger group for this segment so that we could integrate the work and the key strategies as a whole rather than in isolation.  Maria Wright rocks!

Let me introduce you to those in the photo.

Back row: Pedro Ramirez, Julian West, Abel Guzman, Eric Weis, Richard McCrow, Christopher Anderson, Monica Huyck, Kim Collins, Sonia Avila, Bradley Cramer, Alana Austin, Michael Mcclenic, Miguel Cuate, Craig Hayward,  and Stig Jantz

Front row: Imelda Valdez, Lisa Kent, Alyse Braaten, Laraine Rosema, Susan Abbassi, Maria Wright, Stephanie Vega, Barry Ramirez, Eileen Pierce, Yvonne Armendariz, Shohreh Rahman, Jessica Flores, and Grace Commiso.

Academic Support Retreat Larger Group July 6 2017.jpg

I was sorry to miss being in the photos since I had a dignitary stop by my office at exactly the time the photo was being taken 😦

Here are a few more pictures.

 

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Agriculture Career Camps

TweetTwo weeks of Agriculture Career Camps were a success! Bakersfield College’s partnership with The Wonderful Company allowed 8th grade students to explore different career options in the agriculture industry.

Food production may start with a farmer, but the employment opportunities to get food to the end-consumer are endless. Each week 50 campers were exposed to different careers options.

Marko ZaninovichThe camp started with industry guest speakers and a tour of Sunview Vineyards. Thank you Marko Zaninovich for allowing us to visit Sunview Vineyards! They are leading the agriculture industry by using beneficial insects to control unwanted pests in lieu of spraying pesticides.

Scott, Sunview Vineyard’s Entomologist, was very passionate about his career and he had an amazing insect collection that the students got to view. Cristina monitors the beneficial and invasive insects and she was an inspiration for our young campers.

Bakersfield College’s new Agribusiness professors, Jim Selgrath and Leann Riley, along with Lindsay Ono, Katie Tune and Arian Hallum put together branding and marketing curriculum where students were able to create and brand a new flavor of pistachios, almonds and papayas.

Scott2Matt RileyScott1

Bakersfield College’s new Agriculture Mechanics professor Matt Riley, along with Ernesto Marcial and Scott Trimble had students building water pumps and filtration systems. Campers also got the chance to weld (a first for most!).

Rock wallIn the evenings, campers tackled rock walls, swam and went bowling! It was a dynamic week and with support from The Wonderful Company, students were exposed to various career option in agriculture. Thank you Rebecca Farley and Tony Alteparmakian for facilitating this amazing opportunity.

Campers were also introduced to the dual-enrollment programs in Agribusiness and Agriculture Mechanics between The Wonderful College Prep Academy and Bakersfield College.

Raquel Lopez did an amazing job at orchestrating the camp activities and Heather Baltis helped to run it. A big thank you to our camp mentors: Jessie McCraw, Vanessa Mendoza, Kaitlyn McCoy, Jisel Silva Cornejo, Cristal Diaz, Jessie Oropeza, Dylan Klawitter, Zac Ojeda, Mario Solorio. They spent 24 hours a day with our campers. Many were past Renegades and were an inspiration for our campers.  Thank you Youth 2 Leaders for your help in coordinating our mentors and keeping our campers hydrated. Thank you CSUB for housing our campers in your dorms and providing us with fun evening activities.  And thank you Heather Baltis, faculty member in the Ag department, for being the lead for this year’s Ag Academy.

Manny De Los Santos put together a great video, check it out here. Our next generation of agricultural leaders are bright, talented and full of new ideas!

Lynda Resnick Sonya Christian Jan 2015

I want to also take a moment to recognize Lynda Resnick the creator of the Wonderful Academy.  She has invested a lot in promoting education in rural communities.  The work in Los Hills had David Brooks of the NYTimes writing a piece on the incredible work that Resnick has been doing in Lost Hills.  Here is a quote:

“In Lost Hills there are new health centers, new pre-K facilities, new housing projects, new gardens, new sidewalks and lights, a new community center and a new soccer field. Through the day, people have more places to meet, play and cooperate with their neighbors.”

Lynda has also been a great friend of Bakersfield College.  Thank you Lynda Resnick for your commitment to the Central Valley

Check out my May 21, 2016 blog post that includes the Lost Hills article.
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/05/21/so-much-diversity-and-we-are-bc/

Culinary Arts Academy

With the support of BC Delano Auxiliary Foundation, Bakersfield College was able to partner with Delano Joint Union High School District and Delano Union Elementary School District to run a Culinary Arts Academy. Eleven incoming 8th-grade students from various Delano area middle schools took part in the pilot program. The program was designed to create a pathway in culinary arts starting in middle school. This is all part of KCCD’s K-14 Pathways initiative to develop and promote career pathways.

Cesar E. Chavez High School home economics instructor, Jill Pickett, developed a four-day curriculum to teach students the basics of safety, cooking, and etiquette. Mrs. Pickett had the support of three amazing student leaders, including two Bakersfield College-Delano students (Karla Gonzalez and Dalila Rodriguez).

Culinary ARts (1)

Each day the students learned how to prepare a hearty meal from scratch, which they would ultimately eat as their own lunch. One of the highlights of the program was when our very own Chef Eric Sabella and his wife, Chef Lupe Sabella (Executive Chef at Kern Medical), stopped by to speak to the students about their experiences in the culinary arts field. The students truly enjoyed learning about their journeys in the field. I’m so very thankful that Chefs Eric and Lupe took the time out of their busy day to meet with the students.

Culinary ARts (2)

The program concluded on Friday, June 30th. The students were treated to a nice lunch at Perko’s Café in Delano where they were given a tour of the kitchen facilities from the owner himself. He also shared his experience in the restaurant industry with the students. The academy was a great success, and showed a great pathway partnership between two secondary school districts and a community college. We hope to expand this enrichment opportunity in 2018.

 

BC Golden Empire Drum Corps

Congratulations to the Drum Corps!! This past weekend, the BC Golden Empire Drum Corps had back-to-back competitions at the Rose Bowl (Pasadena) and Riverside Community College. Under Tim Heasley’s leadership and instruction, I’m pleased to announce that our students won the Open Class division at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, and placed 2nd at their competition in Riverside (Sunday). The Drum Corps heads up the coast to Oregon and Washington this week for more competitions. Our music pageantry programs have flourished significantly in the last several years as a result of Tim’s investment of time and endless energy. The future for music pageantry at BC is bright and strong. You can view some recent pictures of our Corps on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/gedrumcorps/

Instagram

Then on Thursday, I received a photo from Maribeth Heasley with the following email:

“Thought you might like to see this beautiful shot of the Bakersfield College Golden Empire Drum&Bugle Corp as they caravan to the Northwest.  The corps (100 students plus instructors, and about 15 volunteers) spent the night, ate and practiced, all in the shadow of Mt Shasta at the College of the Siskiyous. Now they will continue North, performing in Portland, Seattle and Tri Cities WA, before heading home next week.  Having done volunteer work with these students, I know they are wonderful kids, and great ambassadors of BC!”

drumcorps

What an incredible and beautiful photo!!

And I snapped this picture July 4th morning when Tim Heasley appeared on KGET with Jason Galvin.

July 4 2017 Tim Heasley on KGET.JPG

Jason Galvin, Tim Heasley

 

Into The Woods Opening Weekend

“Into the Woods” had its premier show last night and will have 3 more performances tonight, and July 14th and 15th. The Bakersfield Californian showcased an article highlighting the passion and dedication that goes into making these performances great.  The article says,

The Bakersfield College production has involved a large number of faculty: In addition to Jennifer Garrett and Sivesind, instrumental music professor Kathryn Kuby will conduct an 18-piece pit orchestra of students, community members and also music professors Robert Martinez and Marcia Maynard and staff accompanists Patrick Bender and Marla Hansen. Voice instructors Ken Burdick and Cayley Mayhall and BC English professor Andrew Bond are featured members of the cast. Theater staff Kevin Ganger and Leslie Aldridge are directing students in creating sets, lighting and costumes.

Thank you Susan Scaffidi for the great article.

Intothewoods.jpg

Turnipseed shaking things up

It really is wonderful living in a community of leaders who are on the move  Loved the Community Voices piece done by Michael Turnipseed recently in The Bakersfield Californian.  He talks about the importance of government agencies disrupting the status quo.  Here is the link to the full article.  http://tinyurl.com/y8sclc4a

Community Voices July 6 2017 County Government must disrupt status quo

 

Registration Rocks at Bakersfield College

College is an exciting and sometimes challenging time for new students – that’s why BC staff and faculty are dedicated to hosting events that support our students. Coming up this Tuesday, we’re hosting Registration Rocks from 8:00AM to 3:00PM. There will be an introduction to BC, campus tour, financial aid, assessment, counseling, help for enrollment, and assistance finding classes. Did I mention free food and prizes? Even though registration has already begun for Fall 2017, it’s possible to become a Renegade and leave this one-day express registration event as a student of Bakersfield College! You can be enrolled in classes after just one day! Want to attend? Sign up now!

Tweet of the Week

I loved this tweet from Science Faculty, Joe Saldivar and the short video he posted too. Check it out on Youtube.

Joe_Salvidar_Twitter_Screenshot

Wonder Woman

If you have not seen Wonder Woman yet, cancel all plans for this weekend and make time for the movie.  It has been out since June 2nd…..come now.  It is a must see.

Check out the trailer

I am an avid reader of reviews from the NYTimes.  Here is what A.O.Scott has to say.

Excerpt 1:

Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins from a script by Allan Heinberg, briskly shakes off blockbuster branding imperatives and allows itself to be something relatively rare in the modern superhero cosmos.  It feels like yet another installment in an endless sequence of apocalyptic merchandising opportunities than like ……what’s the word I’m looking for? A movie. A pretty good one, too.

Excerpt 2:

Wonder Woman, though, resists the reflexive power-worship that drags so many superhero movies – from the Marvel as well as the DC universe – into the mire of pseudo-Nietzschean adolescent posturing.  Unlike most of her male counterparts, its heroine is not trying to exorcise inner demons or work out messiah issues.  She wants to function freely in the world, to help out when needed and to be respected for her abilities.  No wonder she encounters so much resistance.

For the full review:

Music by the Fountain at the Market Place

I love summers and the month of July since the administrative team goes mostly dark in July.  That is, no regularly scheduled meetings.  Other than wishing temperatures would be lower than 102 degrees, life in Bakersfield in July is just perfect.  This includes relaxing at the fountain by the Market Place on Thursday evenings listening to music.

 

What I missed this week

I bought tickets to join my daughter to watch Blondie and Garbage perform in Santa Barbara.  But because of the new addition to the family, Neo, I did not go.

Here is one of my favorite Blondie songs — Call me.

And my favorite Garbage song Crush featured in the Caprio/Danes version of Romeo and Juliet.

 

From Facebook: 

Summer Bridge photo posts:

July 7 2017 photo 1 Summer Bridge.png

 

July 7 2017 photo 2 Summer Bridge.png

 

Thank you Kimberly Bligh.

Kate Pluta posted this poem on grief which I thought I would share with you

Grief

by Gwen Flowers

Calla Lily June 4 2016I had my own notion of grief.
I thought it was the sad time
That followed the death of someone you love.
And you had to push through it
To get to the other side.
But I’m learning there is no other side.
There is no pushing through.
But rather,
There is absorption.
Adjustment.
Acceptance.
And grief is not something you complete,
But rather, you endure.
Grief is not a task to finish
And move on,
But an element of yourself-
An alteration of your being.
A new way of seeing.
A new definition of self.

Sonya Christian July 6 2017 at the Market Place

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever