Providing pathways to the future and building a better BC

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, July 23rd and I woke up to a wonderful piece by Jeff Evans in The Bakersfield Californian above the fold.  Indeed, a wonderful day to be a Renegade.

Here is an fuzzy image of the article taken on my iphone.  For the entire web version check out http://tinyurl.com/h2f79wy.  There is also a 15-minute video segment of Louis Amestoy interviewing Jeff Evans on the gymnasium and other athletics facilities that are on the BC facilities needs list.  Note this is a “needs list” not a “wish list”.  I particularly appreciated the comment that these facilities serve all of our students and not just our student athletes.

Jeff Evans Californian July 23 2016

 

The “Athletics facilities” is only one project of the numerous facilities needs on this 60 year old campus on 153 acres with over 30 buildings.  80% of the projects are capital improvements focusing on buildings where we have instruction in Math, Science, Agriculture, Humanities, etc. For the entire project list check out www.abetterbc.com.

The college faculty and staff have been focused on student success for over a century, and in the last three years have particularly focused on connecting with students when they are still in high school and gearing them up for college and the workforce.  Approximately 80% of BC’s students are first in their families to go to college, so the faculty and staff take the time to be their guides and their coaches as these first-time students learn to navigate college and learn how to be learners and gain the skills to enter the workforce.  Nick Strobel describes it well in about 500 words in his Community Voices piece on Wednesday, July 20th in The Bakersfield Californian.

Nick compared our new pathways initiative to the GPS in a car. Just as a GPS will help you get back on track if you make a wrong turn, the pathways we are creating can help guide students through life events that may “knock them off the college path.”

Nick Strobel July 20 2016

This is such an exciting initiative, and I am so happy that BC was one of just 30 colleges chosen to be part of the AACC Pathways Project.

Nick’s piece is online at http://www.bakersfield.com/news/opinion/2016/07/20/a-road-for-community-college-students-bc-s-gps.html.

So you see dear community members, BC meets students where they are and provides incredible opportunities for them to find their calling, whether in athletics, the arts and humanities, social sciences or in math and science.  What our faculty do for our students is nothing short of incredible.

Eisenhower Fellowship

Here’s a note I received from a talented Bakersfield College student:

My name is Rey Fernandez, a mechanical engineering major. From Fall 2015 to early Spring 2016, I had the opportunity to be one of the Dwight Eisenhower recipients because of the MESA program. This research opportunity exposed me to the transportation field, and taught me the role of engineers in the Transportation Research Board. Attending this TRB Conference in Washington D.C. gave me a lot of professional experiences.

I just want to thank you for bringing this research opportunity to MESA students last year, and again, for this upcoming year.

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Former BC student featured on SiriusXM

Brandon McNaughton—who is from Bakersfield, attended BC, and received his BS in Physics from CSUB—was featured on SiriusXM in February.

He was interviewed for 30 minutes by Steve Blank on “Entrepreneurs Are Everywhere” about his biotech company, and the importance of understanding customer needs when developing a product or solution. The episode can be heard via SiriusXM on Demand.  Here is a link http://tinyurl.com/jyvzg9l

His company, Akadeum Life Sciences, is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has developed a new method to separate individual cells from biological samples, such as blood. He is also one of the 100 stars of Bakersfield College. A proud Renegade!

Here are some previous blog posts highlighting our faculty and staff and what they do to create a wonderful learning environment for our students.

April 3, 2015: Levan Center: St. John’s Lecture. Greg Schneider and The Brothers Karamazov

https://bcpresidentblog.com/2015/04/03/levan-center-st-johns-lecture-greg-schneider-and-the-brothers-karamazov/

September 1, 2014: Arts and Humanities:

https://bcpresidentblog.com/2014/09/01/arts-and-humanities/

June 22, 2015: BC faculty and staff are rock stars

https://bcpresidentblog.com/2015/06/22/middle-schoolers-lead-the-way/

Speaking of our amazing faculty and staff,  let me tell you about a project that has surfaced this summer among a small group.  The idea is to get students to do their homework at the college in a structured environment so that they develop the habits of learning.  Being disciplined, persevering with their school work etc.  Just amazing dedication and commitment from the faculty!  I got to hang out with some of them.  Here are photos to prove it:)

 

Thank you all for your work.  A special shout out to Eileen Pierce, Kim Arbolante, Maria Wright, Kate Pluta, Stephen Waller, and Isabel Castaneda as well as Kimberly Bligh and Erica Menchacha who piloted Ac Dev 72 in the spring.

Political Leaders and their connections to BC.

kevin-mccarthy-sonya-christian-art-gentry-may-6-2016Regardless of your political views and affiliation, it is truly inspirational to consider what leadership and strength blossoms from our own backyard – Bakersfield, Kern County, and of course, at Bakersfield College. House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, took the stand on Tuesday evening to address the convention attendees and the nation, but Mr. McCarthy’s road to becoming the successful and influential political figure he is today, is one that began in our hometown.

He enrolled at BC after high school, opened a little local sandwich shop named Kevin O’s Deli, and earned a degree from CSUB. As his interest in politics peaked, he volunteered to clip newspapers in the office of Rep. Bill Thomas, to gain insight and learn from a fantastic role model.

Congressman Bill Thomas also has roots at BC – from beginnings as a political science faculty at BC to chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, there is so much to say about Bill that’s inspirational. We are so fortunate to have him as the senior advisor to our Blue Ribbon Committee and as a friend and supporter of Bakersfield College.

Mayor Harvey Hall is not shy to share his love of BC and he details his relationship in an article published on Bakersfield.com regarding the recent bond measure announcement.

Senator Jean Fuller, another political leader, earned her AA degree at Bakersfield College in 1970. After more than 30 years as an educator and Superintendent of Bakersfield City School District, sh e was elected in 2006 and “immediately recognized as a leader by her colleagues and has used her administrative experience to make impactful decisions that focus on increased efficiency and accountability.” (Source)

Our first female mayor, Mary K. Shell, also attended BC and continues to support Bakersfield College today. During the time of her retirement, the Bakersfield Californian even referred to her as “the most popular politician in Kern County history.” We are so lucky to have insightful and influential political leaders likes these and many others, including Rudy Salas, Andy Vidak, and Shannon Grove.

The people of Bakersfield and BC students, past and present, continue to make a difference in our community, state, and nation. I can’t wait to see what our current students have in store for the future of our country.

Latina Leaders

Last Saturday, July 16th, BC was present in full force at the Latina Leaders banquet.

This is my second year attending the event and I am even more impressed by the work they do. For more information check out their website at http://kernlatinas.com/.  Congratulations to ISABEL BRAVO, LOURDES VARGAS NILON, and GABRIELA MELLO on their recognition.

 

Norma Rojas Mora the president of Latina Leaders is a remarkable woman who in on our Bakersfield College Foundation Board of Directors and she is also the co-chair of the Community Connections group and the Blue Ribbon Committee on the Bakersfield College bond measure.

Here are the Bakersfield College folks who attended: Isabel Casteneda, Evette Lara, Janet Tarjan, Maria Wright, Paul Beckworth.  Thank you Karen Goh for the photos.  You are a good friend of Bakersfield College.

Check out my post from last year’s Latina Leaders banquet when Lisa Kent and Camilla Chavez were among the recipients of the leadership award.
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2015/07/12/somos-el-colegio-de-bakersfield/ 

 

Staff Retreats

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Summers at Bakersfield College involve less instructional time, which gives the staff and administrators an opportunity to meet for one-day on-campus retreats. These provide a foundation for fostering positive connections, critical planning, and preparing our teams to better support the needs of the faculty and students.

Entertaining themes for these retreats keep everyone refreshed as group activities, informational talks, and fun competitions re-energize and re-focus everyone for a new academic year.

Check out more photos from our summer retreats at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/2016-Retreats/.

It’s hard to believe – we are beginning to count down the days until opening day of Fall 2016!

Here is a picture of my Cabinet during our retreat in June.

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Sonya and Maggie July 23 2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya ….. with Maggie who is visiting for two days.

Building A Better BC

At approximately 1:45 p.m. on July 14, 2016 the KCCD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to have a $503 M bond measure on the November ballot. A historic moment!

Board Meeting July 14 2016

The next day, Friday, July 15th, Bakersfield woke up to an amazing coverage of this decision on TV and in The Bakersfield Californian.

Enjoy the two pieces in the Californian — An article by Harold Pierce on page 2 and an endorsement opinion piece by Mayor Harvey Hall.

You can read Harold Pierce‘s article  here: http://tinyurl.com/zu6r7l6

 

I also want to  thank Mayor Harvey Hall, for his endorsement of the bond measure published here http://tinyurl.com/hdvx7b4

TBC_HarveyHall_7.15.2016

Mayor Hall also spoke in support of the bond at Thursday’s meeting. In his speech, he strongly encouraged the KCCD Board of Trustees to “Dream big for future students” and “be bold in our decisions.”  

One moment in his speech that stood out to me was when he requested that Board members pause to think about the number of lives that have been changed because of attending Bakersfield College… And again to think about the number of families who have been impacted because someone in that family earned a degree or certificate at BC. He said, “Bakersfield College IS a return on investment!”

Following Mayor Harvey Hall, BC Student Government Association President Matthew Frazer took the stand.

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Matthew Frazer addresses the Board of Trustees – and a packed crowd of BC supporters!

He opened by sharing memories and experiences he’s had “…growing up in a city where everyone can call Bakersfield College home.”

He made almost everyone in the room smile or chuckle when he spoke of our campus by saying…  “The 1950s look is simply not cutting it for me anymore.”

Wesley Lyons, one of our student veterans, also shared his thoughts.

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Wesley Lyons returns to his seat after his speech.

A statistic some of you may have heard, is that 22 veterans commit suicide per day. Their suicides are damaging to our community and opened my eyes that we need more direct services dedicated to these brothers and sisters. And while the campus community can help to Band-Aid it together, there are still lingering effects. The new Veteran Recourse Center will have a larger dedicated space for Veterans to come together to share, support, and most importantly to decompress. The space will also have dedicated tutors for soldiers who have not been dedicated learners in four plus years, and increased administrative support such as additional advisors to cope with an increasing demand for veteran specific knowledge. As a veteran I can tell you, that sometimes I need to know there is a space I can rely on that will help me calm my nerves and where like-minded support will be there for me to relate to.”

The room was packed and the message was clear: Dream Big – our future and the future of the students who attend BC depend on it. The support thus far has been overwhelming and the excitement bursts around us.

BC’s Bond Blue Ribbon Committee came out in full force to support the Board in taking this action.  I was sitting up front, so could not see everyone who was in the packed room.  So let me mention a few: Mayor Harvey Hall, Congressman Bill Thomas, Norma Rojas-Mora, Jay Rosenlieb, Karen Thompson, Michael Bowers, Jay Tamsi, Keith Wolaridge, Michael O’Doherty, Michael Turnipseed and others.

Arvin was present and attendees distributed shirts that said #BCinArvin and many supporters put them on instantly. City Manager Al Noyola addressed the Board along with Jennifer Wood the Director of Building Healthy Communities.  City Council Member Jose Gurrola, an alum of BC, was also present.

You can see more photos online at http://tinyurl.com/z2n6cj3

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Arvin

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Last weekend, I shared a bit about a recent visit to Shafter, but today I’d like to explore our neighbor to the southeast, Arvin – and the good things happening there with BC.

Arvin is a beautiful city with a long history of crops, cattle, and oil. Located about 15 miles to the southeast, this Garden in the Sun was named after a land owner’s son from Ohio named Arvin Richardson. The city is frammed by mountains along three sides and surrounded by fertile farmlands so it’s not surprising this small town boomed throughout the decades into a major center of agriculture.

Many families relocated to Arvin during the dust bowl period or “the dirty thirties,” including Dr. Jim Young’s family. Arvin has been his home ever since, even commuting daily to Bakersfield during his time at the KHSD AND KCCD. It was mentioned in an article on Bakersfield.com that he “loved making the drive each morning and afternoon” until his retirement in 1999.  (http://tinyurl.com/zb3coc3)

bc_pres_arvinLike cities across Kern County, Arvin is growing and so are the educational needs of the city. BC first offered 6-8 courses at Arvin High School in 2010-11 increasing the number of courses to 23 by 2014-15. We began implementing 1+1+2 Game Changer this year resulting in an even further increasing number of courses for fall 2016. (Take a moment to check out my August 5, 2015 blog about the Game Changer program http://tinyurl.com/hkm2p6y. A big thank you to Michael Turnipseed and Supervisor Leticia Perez for making this happen.)  With limited space at the current Arvin High School location, BC is investigating alternative facilities to offer classes and services for the rising Arvin student body.

This plan has great urgency as we discovered Arvin High School is preparing for a 16% increase in freshman this fall. This makes AHS the second largest school in the KCCD service area. Arvin and Lamont are among the most densely populated townships in Kern County ranging from 3,500 to 4000 citizens per square mile and have a thirty-percent poverty rate that challenges any in our nation. The education needs of this underprivileged community are an equity issue that has our immediate focus.

BC’s Drumline and Bugle Corps

Saturday, July 16th, night at the Memorial Stadium was magical.  The crescent moon was brilliant on this clear night as the seven Drum Corps teams from across California competed at Bakersfield College with over 2000 spectators in the stands.

Impulse – Buena Park, CA; Incognito – Garden Grove, CA; Watchmen – Riverside, CA; Blue Devils C – Concord, CA; Blue Devils B – Concord, CA; Vanguard Cadets – Santa Clara, CA; Golden Empire – Bakersfield, CA

Check out 16 seconds of the BC Drumline sound:

A group of us attended the event and it was so much fun.  With the hectic pace of work for everyone, I cannot remember the last time I did something social with a group.  Was wonderful seeing my good friend Karen Goh and catching up with her after such a long time.  It was an evening of great music, lots of laughter and tons of selfies. Thank you for coming out and celebrating BC — Kimberly Bligh, Bobby Bligh, Janet Tarjan, Nick Strobel, Lisa Strobel, Jay Rosenlieb, and Karen Goh.

 

For more pictures check out Karen Goh’s Facebook photos at http://tinyurl.com/zt33hqj

Tim Heasley has done an amazing job starting up Bakersfield College’s Gold Empire Drum and Bugle Corps. His passion and expertise has taken grown the group to 323 member, brass, percussion  and visual performers. Last night BC’s Corps competed in the DCI ‘Resound” and placed third. That is quite an accomplishment for a group in their third year.  Check out a video tribute to Tim Heasley from a high school classmate from West High who was sitting right behind us.

Mary Jo July 16 2016And what can I say about Mary Jo Pasek.  She works hard, she is everywhere, she is dedicated to BC and she is dedicated to this community.  Mary Jo tirelessly promotes the community and BC on social media.  She tirelessly works events even if it means giving our community members rides from their cars to the event in 102 degree temperatures.  She tirelessly volunteers her services for numerous good causes across the community.  Mary Jo, thank you for all that you do.  I am so glad you are at BC. #WeAreBC.

Also a special thanks to our stellar maintenance and public safety staff for making this event happen last night in our Memorial Stadium.  Chief Counts and Bill Potter please say a big thank you from me to your staff.

Chevron Retirees

On Friday, I really enjoyed presenting to the Chevron Retirees Association along with Karen Thompson.  It was a great great group with a lot of stories about Bakersfield College. I enjoyed visiting with both Betty Bean and Janice Meek.  Janice grew up in Lamont, attended Arvin High School and then came to BC where she was a Chamber singer. Janice retired this December as an Area Manager at Chevron and worked at Chevron for a total of 25 years.  

[Talking about Chamber Singers, did you see the July 6, 2016  article by Stefani Dias in the Californian about the play Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Stars Theater? http://www.bakersfield.com/entertainment/2016/07/06/technicolor-dreams-at-stars.html.  There was a shout out the BC’s Chamber Singers.  Here is the line:  “The show is a mix of seasoned performers and new faces, Forzetting said, including members of Bakersfield College’s chamber choir.”]

Chevron was the recipient of the Bakersfield College Foundation award for philanthropy.

Here are some previous blog posts about Chevron:

Feb 4, 2013: Thank you Chevron:
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2013/02/04/thank-you-chevron/

April 9, 2016: BC and the Community –Relationship Runs Deep:
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/04/09/bc-and-the-community-relationship-runs-deep/

May 28, 2016: It Is The Best of Times
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/05/28/it-is-the-best-of-times/

June 25, 2016: Celebrating Our People:
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/06/25/celebrating-our-people/

Rocky, the Raccoon

An unexpected guest made his way to the north side of the Admin building on Thursday morning. Officer Marco Sifuentes and Ramon Puga worked simultaneously to get our little Raccoon the help he needed and by that afternoon, a team from the Animal Capture Wildlife Control came to help our little friend.

Rocky.jpg

And good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday July 16, 2016 and a good day to be a Renegade.

sonya at Rotary April 30 2015

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya ….. the luckiest and happiest college president in the whole world

July 9 Blog

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Jack Brigham. Photo from The Bakersfield Californian website

Professor Jack Brigham passed away on Thursday at 10:11 p.m.  A man who has left a deep legacy at Bakersfield College and in our community.  James Burger in his article says: “Brigham’s generosity extended to his wit, spirit and time.” For more read his piece Beloved Professor Philanthropist Jack Brigham Dies http://tinyurl.com/zr643qv

 

Yesterday I felt the whole city was mourning.  Social media was buzzing with tributes to Jack.  Here are some:

Daniela Miramontes:

Your endless wisdom brought light to us all. Thank you for being our mentor at PEAK and for your endless support, we will always love and remember you, Jack Brigham.

 

Saw Kapi

My heart hurts as I heard early this morning that my foremost professor of history and political science passed away in California. Professor Jack Brigham is an exemplary humanist, educator and mentor. Through his actions and encouragement, he showed us how to be a good citizen of the world. He embraced me and my sisters at Bakersfield College and helped us navigate complicated US education system. He encouraged us to read and be a life-long learner. He was the one who introduced us to the works of Ernesto Che Guevara, Noam Chomsky, Edward Said and Howard Zinn. He lived his best and we will miss him dearly. Professor Jack Brigham, may your soul rest in peace.

Sandy Woo:

My heart hurts and I still don’t want to believe that last night happened, but I’m comforted in knowing that Jack is now resting in peace. I’m so grateful that God led me back here. I got to spend the last year of Jack’s life with him, and got to share that time with so many others who also held him close to their hearts. I will always think of him, especially on Sunday afternoons… I’ll miss admiring those bright roses in the garden and barging through that front door like that house was my own home.

Jack, you were more than a teacher. You were my family. You were the reason I believed I could reach for the stars. You have touched so many lives with your love for humanity. Thank you for all that you have taught me these last 13 years. I hope to make you proud. Until we meet again, dear friend…

Shawn Taro Newsom:

RIP Jack Brigham. You made me believe in myself and to reach for the stars. You were a force of nature in my life with your quiet demeanor. You will be missed my friend.

Misa Ingles:

Last night, we all lost one of the foremost philanthropists that has ever set foot on kern county soil. A man of immeasurable wisdom and a heart of gold. He was an inspiration to many, including myself.

He had a knack for finding undeveloped talent and bringing out the true potential in everyone.
He believed wholeheartedly in the importance of encouraging the youth to take control of their future. He knew how to build a better world.

He was truthful and his values unwavering.

 

Professor Jack Brigham
1946-2016

Tassos Frangou:

Wisdom, humility, love, integrity, catalyst for greatness, a silent leader that guided everyone to audacious self exporation in exceeding their potential…… as far as my concern Jack is alive in my heart, in my thoughts, in my contribution to humanity, in my every actions, in what I am and what I will pass to my children. I am celebrating the opportunity to know him, to guide me, and his contribution in shaping me for who I am. Thank you Jack, thank you for being there, thank you ! Till we meet again!

Oliver Rosales:

A great tribute to a wonderful man, educator, and model of social justice activism over decades…he will be missed but his work and legacy continue…!!!

 

Randy Beeman and I were writing back and forth about Jack and here is an excerpt from Randy:

I would cone in the office and if he is clicking the keyboard at rocket speed I knew an injustice was being righted! He’s in heaven now forming a committee on something!

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Jack Brigham (2nd from left) with the BC Leadership and Equity Academy

Chains of Suffering

This week was hard for many reasons. After reading my comments about Elie Wiesel last week, Jack Hernandez txted me a quote by Wiesel that said

Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere

This week saw the devastating news from Dallas that followed public anger and sorrow over shootings, which were preceded by bombings and more in what felt like chains of suffering. There is so much suffering that concerns us all – I take solace in what we do, our community, our learning, our values of tolerance and diversity.

BC Hosts Black Caucus Annual Leadership Conference

I discovered this draft blog post from earlier in the spring term and felt it was the right time to include it in today’s blog.

Dating back to 1976, every U.S president has designated February as Black History Month to celebrate the achievements of black Americans and recognize the central role of African Americans in U.S history.

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Sonya Christian, Clayton Fowler

Prior to that, dating back to 1926, this recognition was celebrated only during the second week of February, during the birthday week of both Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass. This “Negro History Week” event gave schools and communities an inspiration to organize local celebrations.  But in 1976, President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized and lengthened the commemoration to Black History Month, calling on all Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout history.”

On February 19th, Bakersfield College was honored to become the first community college to host the Black Caucus Annual Leadership Conference with a massive event that sprawled across the entire campus.  From the Simonsen Performing Arts Center to the cafeteria to the Fireside Room to spaces in the Math/Science and Language Arts buildings, attendees to the three-day conference converged on BC to take in scores of speeches, seminars and training sessions.

Students from throughout the state convened at the 15th annual convention to discuss local issues, share best practices, and take action locally, regionally and nationally.

The Black Caucus of the California Community Colleges began in 1998 as an affiliated Caucus of the then California Student Association of Community Colleges (CalSACC).  Since then, the Black Caucus has worked to build coalitions and alliances for the purpose of leadership, advocacy and equity with other student leaders and organizations.

This conference and the Black Caucus organization were great additions to Bakersfield College and thanks to BC’s own Fitzgerald Graves for helping to pave the way to bring such an amazing event to our campus.

Meeting with the VFW

On Wednesday, I gave a presentation with Paul Beckworth and Jenny Frank to the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post #97 about “A Better BC,” which highlights our plans to improve our facilities for the future with a potential November 8th ballot measure.

I read up about the VFW, a very prestigious organization and here is an excerpt from their website http://www.vfw.org/:

The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service: Many arrived home wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans’ pension for them, and they were left to care for themselves.

In their misery, some of these veterans banded together and formed organizations with what would become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. After chapters were formed in Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania, the movement quickly gained momentum. By 1915, membership grew to 5,000; by 1936, membership was almost 200,000.

Since then, the VFW’s voice had been instrumental in establishing the Veterans Administration, creating a GI Bill for the 20th century, the development of the national cemetery system and the fight for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange and for veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. In 2008, VFW won a long-fought victory with the passing of a GI Bill for the 21st Century, giving expanded educational benefits to America’s active-duty service members, and members of the Guard and Reserves, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The VFW also has fought for improving VA medical centers services for women veterans.

Besides helping fund the creation of the Vietnam, Korean War, World War II and Women in Military Service memorials, the VFW in 2005 became the first veterans’ organization to contribute to building the new Disabled Veterans for Life Memorial, which opened in November 2010.

Annually, the nearly 1.7 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliaries contribute more than 8.6 million hours of volunteerism in the community, including participation in Make A Difference Day and National Volunteer Week.

From providing over $3 million in college scholarships and savings bonds to students every year, to encouraging elevation of the Department of Veterans Affairs to the president’s cabinet, the VFW is there.

We were honored to meet the California VFW State Commander, Dale Smith, who happened to be on the grounds at the time.

District Commander, Deb Johnson, who is also the President/CEO of the California Veterans Assistance Foundation, invited us to repeat our presentation on August 27 at their district wide meeting, which consists of thirteen different VFWs in the area.   Jenny did a great job as our community lead and took the reins when the time came.

Good job team!

AG Ventures Camp

For the past 3 years, Bakersfield College has partnered with Wonderful Education and put on our “Ag Ventures Camps.”

Talking about Wonderful, here is a shout out to Noemi Donoso a great leader who believes in the transformational power of education and is in charge of the Wonderful Academy.

Also a shout out to the fabulous Lynda Resnick who has the heart for communities like Delano and Lost Hills.  Check out a piece I did on the work of Lynda in my May 21, 2016 blog at https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/05/21/so-much-diversity-and-we-are-bc/

 

The purpose of the Ag Ventures Camps is to paint a vivid and complete picture of agriculture for young students (8th graders) in the Wasco and Delano areas. Although many of the students’ parents may be involved in agriculture, ofttimes they are active in the crucial and challenging areas of the industry that bring the product to market (field work, product sorting…), and exposure to just this experience can paint a limited picture of the opportunities available in agriculture.

Ag Ventures provides a hands-on, active curriculum that focuses on careers in our industry that require the additional education of a certificate, 2-year or 4-year degree (water engineering, product fabrication, new product development, marketing…).

This is accomplished in a 6 days and 5 nights fast-paced, energetic “camp like” environment that the students love. The camp culminates with a Friday evening, family dinner presentation where they demonstrate what they have engaged in during their week in camp experience. Thank you Rich McCrow and entire Rural Kern Team as well as Chris McCraw and the Ag faculty for putting in countless hours to make this happen.

Check out this 7-minute video by Manny De Los Santos

Celebrating our neighbor Shafter

There was a recent article in The Californian by Pete Tittl about a little downtown restaurant in our neighboring city of Shafter which caught my attention. A triple-decker enchilada Shafter has been keeping to itself, until now.

Wait a second… A triple-decker enchilada? I knew I had to read the whole article.

El Michoacano, located in downtown Shafter is described by Tittl as what you’d expect when you see the description of a “little hole in the wall restaurant,” but raves that the food is absolutely delicious.

Scot Hurlbert Sonya Christian July 5 2016

Sonya Christian, Scot Hurlbert

Well, I got to try the street tacos at El Michoacano this Tuesday along with Scot Hurlbert, Shafter City Manager, David Franz, Director of the Learning Center, and Rich McCrow, Director of the BC Delano Campus.  The food was awesome and the conversation was so engaging that I was terribly late for my next meeting.

 

The folks in Shafter have a big vision and they pursue that vision in a collaborative manner and put in the resources necessary to make that vision happen.  What’s not to like about that? It got me thinking about our neighboring city and all that has happened there over the past few years.

In 2013, the city of Shafter celebrated 100 years with their centennial anniversary. This exciting milestone brought renovations and projects to beautify the city, which is described on the city website as “plans to honor the city’s heritage while embracing its future.”

The city continues to grow in population and size.

Ask almost anyone who lives in Shafter, and I bet they will tell you they love it because there’s little to no traffic, but Shafter is home to many amazing things – Paramount Logistics Park (PLP) (formerly known as the International Trade and Transportation Center (ITTC)) was built to facilitate Central Valley access to ports in Long Beach and Los Angeles via the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway.

And then there’s Minter Field, which began operations in 1941 and saw heavy use during World War II. It’s incredible how much history is in the area.

In the last two years, Bakersfield College has been working closely with David Franz and the High School to expand college courses in Shafter.  I suspect that we are going to be doing way more in the future.

Bakersfield Chamber Government Review Committee:

Friday, July 8th, at 7:30 a.m., Tom Burke, CFO of KCCD, and I presented to the Chamber Government Relations Committee (GRC) about the potential bond measure being considered by the KCCD Board of Trustees for the November 8th ballot.

The presentation was well received and GRC members unanimously voted to recommend endorsement of the bond to the Greater Bakersfield Chamber Board.  This was great news and Tom and I were absolutely elated.  What was particularly enjoyable was the conversation.  Let me start by saying that Mayor Harvey Hall, Chair of the BC Bond Blue Ribbon Committee, took the time out of his crazy busy schedule to be there.  Just his presence in the audience set the tone for the conversation.  Then, Congressman Bill Thomas, Senior Advisor to the BC Bond Blue Ribbon Committee spontaneously addressed the GRC as well as responding during Q&A.

GRC Group 1 July 8 2016

It was wonderful seeing our community so engaged and the stories they brought up from the past.  I was just sitting back and enjoying the leadership of Bakersfield at its very best.  Leadership that has been with us with the likes of Gene Tackett, Peter Pankey, Michael Turnipseed, John Mcquiston etc.  Jennifer Pitcher, Chair of GRC did a masterful job managing this group of, at times rowdy individuals:)  I guess, when you get Tackett, Pankey, and Thomas in a room, the discussions are quite vibrant:) I was happy to see Trustee Kyle Carter at the meeting.  Also, thank you Nick Ortiz for your leadership as the CEO of the Chamber.

 

Coming Soon: New Student IDs

It’s such a delight to see college employees engaged and excited about the work we do at BC. Thursday afternoon was no different as 20 or more employees from Bakersfield College and the other district colleges, Porterville and Cerro Coso, gathered to learn about the new Student ID printing process.

It has been almost 2 years since our student ID’s have had actual student photos on them, so I know these new cards will be anticipated by all.

Jimmy, the technician we had on campus, demonstrated all kinds of useful things, such as how to use the printer, loading the ID cards, and even a trick for when you have to print a large volume of cards.

We’re not ready to start printing just yet, but I look forward to seeing all our eager students picking up their IDs in the Welcome Center within a few short weeks.

Collage.jpg

Wrapping up…..

I did not actually feel too well this week but have finally turned the corner.  This week was intense with work. However, I was able to check out the music performance Thursday evening by the Fountain at the Market Place.  This is my first time at this event this season.  Usually the Summer Music at the Fountain has been a regular activity for me.

Also, I through I would sign off by mentioning two movies — The Jungle Book and The Legend of Tarzan.  Although both movies did not get rave reviews, I enjoyed them very much.  But for that matter, I am told it is just part of my personality — enjoying everything that is.  Never sure if it is a compliment or not…….

Growing up I read a lot of comics and the four of us children had a library that was filled with comic books with about 10 bound together so that it would not get tattered.  Tarzan, the King of the Jungle, along with Phantom, the ghost who walks, were some of my all time favorites.  Of course when the animated Tarzan came out in 1999, I think I watched it on opening night.  I loved the soundtrack of that movie with Phil Collins doing two beautiful pieces. Check out this love song You’ll Be In My Heart by Phil Collins.

 

 

The other movie Jungle Book came out in 1967 capturing Rudyard Kipling’s characters in all their glory.  I have lost track of how many times I have watched the movie.  And although this year’s release did not stack up against the original, I still enjoyed it very much.  I wish they had included the songs in it.  In any event, here is my favorite Jungle Book song on youtube which I watch when I am feeling low and Balu, the bear, always cheers me up.  Not only is the video so much fun (it is a must see), but there is definitely some wisdom in the lyrics.  How about this:

 

‘Cause let me tell you something little britches

If you act like that bee acts, uh uh

You’re working too hard

And don’t spend your time lookin’ around

For something you want that can’t be found

When you find out you can live without it

And go along not thinkin’ about it

I’ll tell you something true

The bare necessities of life will come to you

 

 

And, btw, good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, July 9th.  A wonderful day to be a Renegade.

sonya July 8 2016

That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya ….. from the Firestone at 7:00 a.m. Friday morning, assuring a friend that I would do a good job at the GRC presentation and there was nothing to worry.

and of course, the luckiest and happiest college president in the whole world

 

 

Daily Inspiration from all things BC!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Sunday, July 3rd and here I am blogging from Eugene, Oregon and thinking that it is truly a wonderful day to be a  Renegade.  

cropped sonya ken woody july 2 2016Apologies for the late blog post… I was travelling and taking care of work related activities and could not get to my Saturday morning ritual.  I did feel sorry missing my exercise class this weekend and instead made up with long walks by the Willamette with two of my favorites — Woody and Ken Murdoff.  Eugene at this time of the year is like a botanical garden with the trees a vibrant green and bursts of colors everywhere.  The daisies, in particular, were crowding the bike paths competing for space with lavenders.  A good friend told me about how spectacular the Willamette Valley is when the lavenders are in full bloom. The high temperature here is around 82 and the low 58.  Hence the sweatshirt for the morning walk.  Check out this 27-sec video of Woody fetching his tennis ball from the water.

Yesterday, July 2 2016, Elie Wiesel, A-7713 his number in Auschwitz, passed away at 87.  A survivor of the holocaust Wiesel was a prolific writer and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.  I was first introduced to him through his book Night.  A powerful story from a young boy who had it all and then lost it all.  Here is an excerpt.

Elie Wiesel with his mother and sisters

Elie Wiesel with his mother and sisters. Source: http://www.achievement.org

Men to the left! Women to the right!

Eight words spoken quietly, indifferently, without emotion. Eight short, simple words. … For a part of a second I glimpsed my mother and my sisters moving away to the right. Tzipora held Mother’s hand. I saw them disappear into the distance; my mother was stroking my sister’s fair hair …and I did not know that in that place, at that moment, I was parting from my mother and Tzipora forever.

So yesterday, carrying the words of Wiesel and the horrors we inflict on each other I was especially sensitive to all of the slightest movements and colors, subtle or bright, as I experienced the sheer beauty of nature in the Northwest part of this great country.  Talking about this great country, tomorrow is July 4th — Happy Independence Day all!

The NY Times has an in-depth article on Wiesel at http://tinyurl.com/jblvgf2

Now, back to BC…… I must say inspiration is all around us each and every day at the college. Often caught up in the business of life, the little things, can be missed and with that, sometimes we miss an opportunity for enormous inspiration, but this week was especially motivating. From the fantastic people who work with their minds and hearts at Bakersfield College, to the current and former students who are accomplishing things beyond their dreams, all the way to the nitty gritty of the hard work we’re doing at BC – It never ceases to motivate and inspire me to continue to do what I do.

PaulBeckworth

A Beckworth selfie

The first example of inspiration came to me on Monday afternoon. I received a fantastic text from Paul Beckworth.

I am in a Hawaiian shirt and jeans, in an air conditioned office, writing up veteran stuff, and getting ready to teach about the gold rush. And you pay me to do it! What a life! It’s a good time to be at BC!

This just reminds me that when you’re doing a job you love, it’s hardly feels like work at all. Our dedicated staff and faculty, bring so much passion to BC which inspires us all.

And then there was the email titled Out with the Old, In with the New that Tom Moran, long standing chair of the Foreign Language Department sent his staff as his farewell email.  Tom Moran, who has given his all to BC and our students and given his all to his family and loved ones.  Let’s toast Tom.

Here are excerpts from his July 1st email:

Dear Colleagues,

As has recently so often been the case, this email is a day late. Yesterday was my final day as chair of the Foreign Language Department. It has been my pleasure to serve in this capacity for the past seven years. It has been challenging, gratifying, fun, rewarding, often intense and always interesting. Each of you has been supportive of my efforts for which I will always be grateful, particularly this last year, which has been enormously challenging for my family. Together we have accomplished much: the Spanish ADT, uniform ASL curriculum, hiring more adjunct instructors, including five full- and part-time Deaf ASL instructors, several successful and on-time program reviews, numerous successful and on-time assessments, more, remodeled, and technology-enhanced classrooms, priority room scheduling, and a host of other projects and initiatives too numerous to list. The programs in our department have grown, improved, and expanded, and that is thanks to you.

I’m grateful to David Neville who threw his hat into the ring to serve as chair. I’m grateful to each of you for offering him your vote of confidence. I know that he will do a good job and I anticipate that you will support him in his new role. I intend to offer him the same support that he offered me, which was considerable.

I’m also immensely grateful to our dean, Manny, whose support of our department has been nothing short of steadfast. We’re so lucky to have him. I’m also grateful beyond words to Patt Davis for all her work—particularly with evaluations—and to my dear Camilla, who has always kept me on task and anticipated our needs, even when I was so frequently rolling off the rails. We’re tremendously fortunate to have our administrative support in FA-69: They’re the finest on campus. I want to thank Sonya for entrusting us with two new positions and to Nan and Manny for helping us to structure our new interpreter education program.

Had I sent this email yesterday, it would have been my final act as chair to offer you wonderful news: With the support of our president, we have been successful in hiring two, new full-time faculty members, bring our total FT pool to eight. What a great time to be in Foreign Language and what a great time to be at BC!

Both of our new hires will be familiar to you, as they have both served as adjunct instructors. Please allow me to formally introduce Jaclyn Krause, ASL, and Sara Palasch, Spanish. Jaclyn has been hired to spearhead our new sign language interpreting program. Sara has been hired to develop the infrastructure that will allow us to begin offering online courses in Spanish and our other disciplines.

This summer, I begin my fourteenth year at BC. It has been a busy one for me, teaching a summer course, participating in our writer’s bureau, serving on a hiring committee, revising curriculum, developing tests, and meeting with students. Although summer is a time for rest and rejuvenation, now is such an exciting time at BC that it’s a bit hard to stay away. Enjoy the remainder of your summers, and I look forward to seeing you all in the fall.

In Gratitude,

Tom Moran

And then on June 15th there was this wonderful piece written by Paula Parks published on the front page of the Bakersfield News Observer.  Here it is

Paula Parks in the News Observer.jpg

Then on Saturday, July 2nd, I get this excited message from Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg with a series of text messages that our year-long planning way-finding project is being implemented. See Photos below.

Nan’s txt:

Our new ‘way finding’ project. Finally ! Over a year in planning they are being installed. New maps also. Love the vintage Renegade Red. Let’s push this color this year. I am a happy Renegade 👍

There are several layers of excitement here. The first, gosh darn it, this project should have happened months ago.  Then there is the color.  Note that Nan does not say just Red, nor does she say just “Renegade Red” but rather “vintage Renegade Red.”  You have got to be in the room when Nan and David Koeth are together.  I swear they speak a different language altogether — the language of colors….the language of design.  And they can keep it up for a looooong time.  I must say that Kris Stallworth, Chair of the Art department, totally speaks this language as well.  He recently sent me this link to the Harvard Library of Color. Check it out.

http://www.fastcodesign.com/3058058/the-harvard-vault-that-protects-the-worlds-rarest-colors/8

You would think that things slow down at an academic institution in the summer.  This past week certainly did not reflect that.  Let me highlight just a few items.

Fire Technology Program

Last Saturday, June 25th, right after publishing my weekend blog and rushing to my exercise class I drove over to meet Tim Capehart, Director of BC’s Fire Tech Program, at the Kern County Fire Facility on Olive drive.  The whole field trip was a real treat and I so enjoyed getting to know Tim.

In light of the recent and tragic nearby fires, I couldn’t help by think about how many of these courageous men and women graduated from our Fire Technology Program. The program began in 1956 as a partnership between BC and the Bakersfield Fire Department. Students in the fire science program were hired as paid on-call firefighters by the city and earned $30 a month. They could sleep and study at the fire station south of the college on University, and performed routine station duties such as meal prep, mopping floors, making beds, fire prevention and suppression training.

Bakersfield FD and Kern County FD built a joint fire training center called “The Olive Drive Fire Training Facility” in 1984. Shortly after its completion, BC entered into an in-service agreement with both agencies. [Check out the logo in the picture above Tim Capehart and Mike Lencioni.  It embodies the collaboration between Bakersfield FD, Kern County FD and Bakersfield College].  In the years that followed, the program was run by some awesome coordinators including, Jacki Fisher, Ray Soto, Frank Ramos, and our current Director of Fire/EMS, Tim Capehart.

In 1993, the program produced 51,304 student contract hours and since our programs continue to expand and grow, over the past three years, our students have generated over 200,000 hours of training.

Training schedule June 25 2016 rotated

The students have a training schedule which is pretty intense. Here is a picture I quickly snapped as Mike Lencioni was reviewing the curriculum and training schedule with me.  We offer an AA Degree in Fire Technology, an AS Degree in Wildland Firefighting and an AS Degree in Paramedic studies. We also provide the accredited State Fire Marshal Firefighter 1 & 2 Academies. Both these academies run nine hours a day, forty hours a week, and include night and weekend academies. Both academies run for six months, and cover over 400 hours of training. The training is provided by city and county firefighters.

The academy is run in a para-military style very structured and requiring the students to be extremely disciplined. If students are not performing up to par, they may receive “gigs” and have to run up to the top of the six story tower and ring a bell.  Whew, I got exhausted just looking at the stairs in this tall tower [see picture with Tim and Mike] so can only imagine that this “gig” quickly disciplines these students.  My hats off to them!  The entire academy is intended to instill self-discipline and teamwork, which is essential when they are out working on real fire situations. The cadets are divided up into squads the first night of the academy. If one cadet messes up the whole squad gets the gig, so they learn quickly to help build up, or assist teach other in their squad. They always give 100%.

A program this large and successful could not happen without the support of our industry partners (Bakersfield Fire Chief, Doug Greener, and Kern County Fire Chief, Brian Marshal). Our fire technology advisory board is made up of two Chiefs from each department, they are Deputy Chief Tyler Hartley, Training Battalion Chief Trever Martinusen ‎ from the City, and Deputy Chief Benny Wofford, and Training Battalion Chief Derik Davis, from the Kern County Fire Department.  Vice President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Dean Cindy Collier, and Director of Fire/EMS Tim Capehart provide staffing support for the advisory committee.

PSmeeting

The picture above was taken when Tim, Nan and I presented to a group of stellar Public Safety individuals — Bakersfield Fire, Kern County Fire, Bakersfield Police Department, and Kern County Sheriff’s Office.  The conversation was about meeting future workforce needs and to see if we could collaborate to extend the dollar in meeting needs.  Specifically we were talking about facilities and how to leverage the resources to fund this vision for future generations.

With a heart full of gratitude, thanks to our local firefighters, especially with current fires so close to home, up near the mountains of Kernville. With more than 200 structures destroyed and 43,360 acres burned, our more than 1,700 firefighters work non-stop to keep us safe. Your courage, strength, and dedication is inspiring to everyone.

Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHHC)

The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHHC) Business Education Foundation is giving a “thumbs up” after one of our faculty, Sarah Baron presented “A Better BC,” which highlights our plans to improve our facilities for the future to address the growth in enrollment, the new expansion into baccalaureate programs as well as antiquated spaces. With several hundreds of members, the Chamber represents over 410,000 Hispanics, and is composed of a cross-section of professionals and business people, who in turn represent corporations as well as large and small businesses. The KCHHC is on a roll doing awesome things! BC can’t be more excited about the ongoing partnership and future opportunities that lie ahead.  Don’t forget to keep in touch with our plans to take care of our facilities by checking out the website at www.abetterbc.com

Business Ed Foundation June 2016

BC’s Blue Ribbon Committee:

BC’s Blue Ribbon Committee met this week on Tuesday, June 28th and members of the Blue Ribbon Committee attended and spoke at the Board of Trustees meeting on June 30th to discuss a potential 2016 bond measure.  The Board took the first of two steps to set the stage for the 2016 ballot.  July 14th will be the Board meeting when they will consider whether KCCD should go out for a measure. Mayor Harvey Hall is the Chair of the Blue Ribbon Committee and Congressman Bill Thomas the Senior Advisor.  Norma Rojas-Mora and Jay Rosenlieb co-chair the community connections group and Michael O’Doherty the Oversight and Accountability group.

California Guided Pathways Project

“As long as we keep asking, ‘Is it good for students?’ we will stay on the right track”
John Nixon, former Mt. SAC President

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, or keep up with Bakersfield College, you know we are among 3 community colleges in California participating in a national project designed to implement guided academic and career pathways at scale. The 3-year project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is led by the American Association of Community Colleges.

On June 29th, Bakersfield College hosted the first California Guided Pathways Project Planning Meeting funded by the College Futures Foundation at the LAX Marriott in Los Angeles. The convening connected national scholars, including Kay McClenney, Rob Johnstone, and Davis Jenkins, with California leaders including Brad Phillips in higher education in order to begin the crafting of a guided pathways initiative suited for California’s unique regulatory and social environment.

Representatives from Bakersfield College were joined by administrators and faculty from the two other participating California community colleges, Mt. San Antonio College and Irvine Valley College, as well as representatives from the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, Achieving the Dream, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), California Acceleration Project, California Community College Chancellor’s Office, Campaign for College Opportunity, Career Ladders Project, Community College Research Center, Educational Results Partnership, Foundation for California Community Colleges, Institute for Evidence Based Change, Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative, and the National Center for Inquiry & Improvement, Research & Planning (RP) Group.

The event was made possible through the generous support of the College Futures Foundation.  Thank you Shawn Whalen and College Futures.

IMG_3050

CSU Chancellor’s Office partners

We were so fortunate to have two CSU Chancellor’s Office representatives, Dawn Digrius and Ken O’Donnell, collaborate with us on this work.  It is partnerships like this that will be critical in ensuring success for our students across educational sectors and in alignment with industry needs.

Our website has more information on the dozens of partners committed to making this happen. In the days to follow, we will also add photos from the event, so be sure to check out:
https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/projects/ca-guided-pathways-planning

 Check out some of the quotes noted by Lesley Bonds:

  • In California, the barriers are common and known.  As we set the table for a project like this one, let’s go after them as a collective. –Irene Malmgren, VP of Instruction at Mt. San Antonio College
  • How do we ensure success for students through California’s current river delta of transfer pathways? –Craig Hayward, IVC
  • It is becoming more clear to me that we must create conditions so that students don’t have to be heroes in order to be successful –Rob Johnstone, Founder & Director of National Center for Inquiry & Improvement
  • As long as we keep asking, ‘Is it good for students?’ we will stay on the right track –John Nixon, former Mt. SAC president says he left behind a plaque with this question engraved for current president Bill Scroggins
  • It should be written on June 29, 2016 –in three years, California will be the model for transformation nationally – Sonya Christian
  • The manifestation of leadership is institutional organization.  In this work, we need organizational elegance –John Nixon, AACC and ATD Leadership Coach
  • This isn’t another project someone in an office on the south side of campus leads, this is an institutional transformation and will require broad and deep engagement from all –Bill Scroggins, Mt. SAC President

Thank you Lesley Bonds and Jessica Wojtysiak for working side-by-side with me to make this happen.

Lesley and Jessica June 29 2016

 

Jorge Santos

Kris4

This week, recent Bakersfield College graduate, Jorge Santos, led an 8-piece Latin Jazz ensemble at The Mark in downtown Bakersfield, paying tribute to the music of legendary Cuban saxophonist and composer, Paquito D’Rivera.

The band was composed of fellow BC alumni along with several local pros, and they played for a packed, enthusiastic crowd. Jorge, who is part of the first graduating class from our new Applied Music program, studied trumpet at BC with Kris Tiner and has played lead trumpet in the BC Jazz Ensemble for the past several years. He has quickly become one of the busiest musicians in town, working regularly with groups including La Marcha, the Mentorship Big Band, and his own combos. His concert was part of the ongoing Bakersfield Jazz Workshop series, which presents a different featured artist every Tuesday night at The Mark. Talk about inspiring!

sonya july 2 2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya ….. the luckiest and happiest college president in the whole world

 

Celebrating our people

Pam and Sonya June 24 2016Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, June 25th and just a wonderful day to be a Renegade.

The last two weeks have been all about family.  Daughter’s graduation and then helping her pack to head off to her one-year fellowship.  And with my mom visiting, there were daily walks and talks.  Looking at albums when Eisha was a baby, at Highland High at UC San Diego and at medical school.  And then there was the cooking…..wonderful meals every evening followed by freezing the leftovers for more wonderful meals in her absence.  What a treat!  Three generations of Christian women.  Life…..

Let me start my blog with the event of the week — A very special retirement.

Bill Parker and Erin MillerCan one person have an impact on a campus community?  The answer is yes. Just say the name, Bill Parker and people will gladly share their stories about how they came to know him and why they will remember him long after he retires. Bill has run our print shop for three decades and delivers paper to offices. He has been a permanent fixture at graduation, guiding and greeting the graduates and the employees as they take their seats. But what people remember about Bill is more that his job or how he volunteered, or how much he loved to play basketball. We will remember his perpetual smile, happy greeting and big heart. Bill, we will miss you but you will always have a place in our hearts.

And how do you celebrate a true Renegade like Bill Parker?  You have a retirement party and invite the campus community. Who comes? The friends he has made over the decades he has run the print shop at BC. Thursday night’s retirement party reflected how he has impacted the lives of so many people. Current and retired employees from across the BC community attended. It was a night for reminiscing, laughter and celebration.

The party started started in the Huddle, with food and memories of our friend and colleague. It became immediately evident that Bill had fostered a special relationship with each one. Joined by his daughter, Marta, and his son,  Malachi, we presented him with an engraved sculpture, recognizing his excellence and inspiration. More than 130 Renegades gathered to play a last game with Bill!

Bill Parker…always with a big smile, big hugs and a big heart!  And always a Renegade! We love you Bill!

Thank you Erin Miller and Marta Parker for planning this amazing event.  Also thank you Jennifer Marden and Eric Sabella for your support. Thank you Valerie Robinson for sending me the pictures and the video.

You may also enjoy my April 30th blog post that has a picture of Bill Parker with Trustee Romeo Agbalog.  Here is the link
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/04/30/sprinting-toward-semesters-end/

Tina Johnson

 

It brought me great satisfaction to see Tina Johnson’s email a few weeks ago  at 8:51 am, telling me that reading my blog was her Saturday ritual.  Tina, thank you!

“I wanted to let you know that I absolutely love your blog. It’s the first thing I do on Saturday mornings when I hear the little ding of my email go off alerting me that I have an email. It’s refreshing to see all the wonderful things that are going on at Bc. I’m so often stuck in my office working that I’m not able to get out and see all the great things that are happening around  our campus, you allow me to take those travels every Saturday morning. I just wanted to send a little thank you! You go girl!!!!!”

 

Bakersfield College Student Health and Wellness is embracing its mandate under BC’s Strategic Directions to “Ensure the health and wellness college value is integrated into campus activities and meetings.” That value is explained in Bakersfield College’s Core Values, specifically Wellness is envisioned as follows:

We believe health and wellness to be integral and foundational elements, and we understand that holistic education improves all aspects of the individual and the society including the mind, body, and spirit: through education, we will positively impact the health of the natural environment and the global community.

HealthFair_4College health can no longer be confined to Student Health Centers, as services are required across the full breadth of the Delano and Panorama Campuses. In 2013 Forbes Magazine explored this paradigm shift. The article, How College Health Centers Help Students Succeed, opens as follows:

“Of all the dramatic changes in higher education in recent years, one that goes largely unnoticed is the tremendous growth in the mission, services, and facilities of health centers. Decades ago most colleges and universities believed their only responsibility for student health was to set up a clinic to treat the sick and injured. Today, driven by a broader and, in our judgment, better understanding of health and its impact on learning, many institutions of higher education provide much more.”

Information Sharing.4To effectively address our mandate, Student Health and Wellness Services tells me that they are beginning a strategic planning process. One of the most important of the needs assessment tools we will be utilizing is the National College Health Assessment (NCHA).

Early adopters at BC are realizing not just the benefit to student health but new opportunities to integrate health into their curricula. These departments and faculty include Sarah Futrell-Baron, Public Health Sciences; Reggie Bolton, with Health and Athletics; Assistant Dean Carla Gard, Allied Health and Nursing; and Brent Burton, Emergency Medical Technician program.

Talking about Health and Wellness, I had drafted a write-up on BC’s Health and Wellness Fair in April that somehow didn’t make it in, so here it is for your easy read this Saturday morning.

Renegade Pulse Health & Wellness Fair

HealthFair_3The 16th annual Health & Wellness Fair, held on April 13, was another great success.

The fair was opened by keynote speakers Vice President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Director Matthew Constantine of Kern County Public Health and Ellen Eggert, Project Supervisor of Kern County Mental Health. Also present was the Medical Director of Student Health and Wellness, Dr. Ron Ostrum. [check out my March 25th blog that mentions Ellen Eggert https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/03/25/the-state-of-kern-county-is-strong/]

With approximately 40 community organizations represented, Bakersfield College’s Health and Wellness Fair was held from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm on the Student Services Lawn.

This outreach opportunity was provided to both campus and community members and offered free blood pressure checks, health screenings, and other related services and topics designed to increase awareness of health issues impacting Kern County. In addition to the keynote presenters, the featured speakers included Ray Purcell (Director of BC Student Health & Wellness Center), Robert Rodriguez (Officer, California Highway Patrol), Matt Constantine (Director, Kern County Public Health).

The fair was well represented by both campus and community. The BC Student Nursing Association had the popular blood glucose, blood pressure and Body Mass Index screenings. Fred Smith from Athletics and Kinesiology demonstrated conditioning. There was also a confidential HIV testing by Clinica Sierra Vista.  Thank you Steve Schilling.

Community representation was extensive, generous and far too many to list here. Officer Robert Rodriguez of the CHP helped call the fair to order. Kern County Fire and Hall Ambulance also turned out. A number of Health Care agencies enrolled for Cover California. Marley’s Mutts brought Therapy Dogs in training for lovable, tail wagging petting.

And did you catch Student Health and Wellness’ own Yolanda “Yolli” Puente, BCSGA Senator and Student Health Campus Correspondent Fitzgerald “Fitz” Graves, BC Director of Student Health & Wellness Center Raymond Purcell and BC nurse Debra Strong on morning television?

Firefighter Graduation

IMG_3749.jpg

Photo by Cara Jackson

On June 7, 2016, all 5 Squads of Bakersfield College Firefighter 1 Academy celebrated their achievements and were presented with their certificates. The audience watched as 31 cadets marched single file on the stage with serious faces and straight backs in respect to their profession.

As the night progressed, it  brought laughter when guest speakers voiced memories of funny moments each of the cadets had during their training. Deputy Chief Tyler Hartley spoke about how he hoped the cadets would apply the “training, lectures and lessons learned” and that they would “effectively convert those into everyday actions in order to give back to their community.”

Deputy Chief Benny Wofford also gave soulful advice when he said, “You don’t settle for less on the job, because that’s the difference between life and death. These guys show commitment.” This morning’s sad reminder with the Californian’s front-page story, by Harold Pierce, John Cox, and Steven Mayer, of the Erskine fire near Lake Isabella, the homes lost and death of two residents really drove that point home for me.

At the end of the night academy instructors, staff, guest speakers, and Fire Captains greatly contributed to the evening in a very positive and encouraging way. The group of cadet graduates included thirty men and one woman.

Thank you Tim Capehart for all that you do!

And thank you Chief Doug Greener and Chief Brian Marshall.  Here are two pictures I found on the web.  Chief Greener in the Bakersfield Life Magazine and Chief Marshall on Scott Cox

Doug Greener Page 154

First-Look-Brian-Marshall-and-Tyler-Townsend

Chief Brian Marshall, Officer Tyler Townsend on Scott Cox. Photo from the Californian 

 

Science Camp at BC and Chevron:

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This summer BC is hosting on campus the Project Lead the Way Academy thanks in large part to the work and support of Chevron’s Adam Alvidrez. The PLTW Academy is a series of workshops offered to Junior High, Middle School, and High School Students interested in experiencing science, math, technology and engineering fields through STEM. These workshops will be ongoing through July and will be teaching kids everything from robotics to building an electric guitar.

This week 44 Jr High School kids had the opportunity to build and design a tiny house and work with 3D models. They commented that they were preparing themselves for future opportunities and this sounded like fun during the summer.

 

Chevron has greatly contributed to STEM by funding scholarships that provide teachers the opportunity to learn more about the STEM projects themselves and to then teach students at school. The main idea is to integrate disciplines together in class rather than isolated areas of study.

Check out the story by KGET http://tinyurl.com/jmp9mzx

And look what I found when I scanned the Bakersfield Life Magazine, on page 74:

Adam Alvidrez in Bakersfield Life June 25 2016

A note on our veterans

Sonya Christian - BCF-SterlingSilverDinner_09 cropped

Jerry Ludeke, Sonya Christian

Here is an email I received from Jerry Ludeke about the history of Student Veterans at BC.  As usual Jerry’s writing is just beautiful. Enjoy a little bit of Ludeke.

Sonya,

…..BC has a long history of hiring veterans to counsel veterans.  In 1942 Paul Freed, of our faculty, was put in charge of Minter Field. As that closed down near the end of the war, he returned to BC and was assigned to be Coordinator of Veteran Affairs, a post he held until 1953.  Grace Bird hired ex-marine Ed Simonsen as Dean of Men with specific oversight of the veterans programs.  Veteran John Collins’ initial assignment at BC included counseling the veterans.  The 1947 catalog list of administrators has listed right near the top:  Coordinator of Veterans’ Affairs (J. Paul Freed), Assistant Coordinator of Veterans’ Affairs (Fred Robinson), and Co-ordinator  of Veterans’ Advisement Center (Burns Finlinson).  Right below that are listed nine members of the Veterans’ Advisement and Co-ordination, including one woman and one member of the Veterans’ Administration.  After 1959, the veterans’ services seem to fall under the Director of Student Activities, a position held by veterans John Collins and Ron McMasters.

Meanwhile, the Veterans’ Club has kept going through the years.  (I am not aware of any breaks in it, only a name change…..but I haven’t researched that.)

I just wanted you to know that Paul’s marvelous efforts to expand these important services hold true to BC’s tradition of honoring our veterans.

Jerry Ludeke

Sonya cropped June 24 2016

Sonya Christian

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya ….. the luckiest and happiest college president in the whole world

 

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