AgVentures with Bakersfield College

This blog post is authored by Salvadore Cruz, a communication students at BC and now interning with us.  Let’s hear from Salvadore:

During the first two weeks of July, the Bakersfield College Agriculture Department
held its first “Ag Ventures Summer Agriculture Education Camp” in collaboration with
Central-Valley-based Paramount Farms.

07 - Ono does the quotGangnam Style Dancequot

Lindsey Ono

The Paramount Farming Company has a notable history of supporting education
in the Central Valley. In 2009 it partly founded the “Paramount Academy”, a Grades 6
through 12 charter school in Delano, CA with a nine-hour school day. They also operate
“Paramount Education Programs” (PEP), which grants funding and assistance to
traditional high schools to operate their own “Ag Academies”, as Wasco and McFarland
High School have done.

Starting this incoming year, students at these high schools’ Ag academies will have
the option to participate in “dual-enrollment” courses in Agriculture, which will be taught by
college faculty. As a result, when a student completes one of these courses they will
get both high school and college credit— at no extra cost to the student’s family. All this
is thanks to the new partnership with Bakersfield College. “They had done academies
with high school and industry focus, but not with the college presence as well,” says BC
Ag professor and camp administrator Chris McCraw, “So we’ve really taken that concept
up a significant level.”

12 - Prof McCraw and student mentors

Chris McCraw

By introducing students to college education earlier, we hope that they will
be better prepared when the time comes to attend college full-time.  “If a student at
Paramount Academy, which offers the most time follows the coursework at the rigor it’s
been outlined throughout their four years of high school, they could leave school with
their A.S. in Ag Business done,” said Chris, “Even at one of the other schools,
AgVentures where a student may not get as much time, they could graduate and start at BC with
only one semester to go.”

In anticipation, Paramount and Bakersfield College held the Ag Ventures camp to
introduce 8th grade students to Agriculture, and perhaps spark an interest in joining the
academy program when they enter high school. “We were asked to work with the 8th
graders to teach them about Agriculture and expand their horizons— it’s not all raising
animals and growing crops,” McCraw explains, “There’s a lot of high end stuff:
technology, science, research; So we’re trying to help paint that picture for them.”

Over 100 8th-Grade students from Delano, Wasco, McFarland, and the
surrounding rural communities attended one of the two sessions, which were each a
week long. The students were picked up in their respective communities on buses and
taken to California State University Bakersfield. The program aimed to give students the
most realistic and immersive ‘College experience’ possible, so they spent their nights in
CSUB’s dorms, attended lectures in BC classrooms, and ate in both campuses’
cafeterias. In doing so, the program hopes to clear some of the “mystery” of higher
education, and help the students feel more familiar with the idea of college and more
confident when the time comes to attend.

These kids had a hectic schedule: Students woke up at 6:45 AM,
showered, had breakfast, and left to the BC campus at 8:00 AM. From 9:00 AM to 12:00
PM, the students would break up into three groups and cycle between three different
classes, demonstrations, or team building exercises. Lunch was from 12 to 12:45, after
which the students would listen to Ag Industry guest speakers from Paramount Farms
from 1 to 3. After a quick nutrition break, students would again break into three groups
AgVentures and cycle between sessions until 5:30 PM. After this, the students would usually get a
few hours of recreation after returning to CSUB. One of the nights, however, they all
went out for bowling (a few kids mentioned that it was their first time ever bowling!)
Another, they got to use the rock-climbing wall at CSUB, which was another brand new
experience for many of the students! The biggest deviation from the regular schedule
was on Thursday, however, when the students spent the whole morning and afternoon
touring one of Paramount Farms facilities in Lost Hills, where they got to observe firsthand
the many real-life jobs that are available in the world of Agriculture.

I got to personally observe one of the morning classroom sessions: “Ag
Marketing”, taught by Professor and Ag Department Chair Lindsay Ono. By its title, I
was originally expecting a lecture on the different strategies used by Ag businesses in
successfully marketing their products. However, what happened was much more handson,
engaging, and fun!

Professor Ono started the class off with a slide show, just as I had expected. He
went over what marketing was, and how important it was for Ag businesses to utilize it
correctly to sell their products. He showed the students a couple of ads for Wonderful
Pistachios, which is one of Paramount Farm’s main products. He showed the students a
commercial for the pistachios, featuring Korean pop artist PSY’s dancing to his hit single
“Gangnam Style” along with a group of human-sized pistachio suits. The kids
immediately perked up, recognizing the song. This is when things started getting
interesting: Professor Ono proceeded to mimic the famous “Gangnam Style” dance,
hopping up and down feigning holding the reigns to a horse, and then twirling is hand
above his head. The classroom erupted in excitement, with students laughing and
AgVentures clapping their hands. I remembered, then, something Professor McCraw had mentioned
to me earlier. “They are full of energy, and one of the things we recognized is that we
need to have a different approach than we’re used to with adults in order to engage
them.”

After finishing up his brief presentation, the “Mentors” (Bakersfield College
students from McCraw’s Ag Leadership class) assigned to the group passed out little
paper cups and packs of almonds to the groups of students. He explained that one of
the most important parts of marketing foods was coming up with the best combinations
of flavor and appearance. They then passed out bags with different powders in them,
and the students took turns applying and trying out the different flavors on their
almonds. The room was again abound with enthusiasm and excitement, as students
tried flavors with differing reactions. Some liked what they tasted, but others let out an
“Ew!” or a “What is that??”. Overall, the students really seemed to respond positively to
the hands-on experience, each wanting to try the good and not-so-good flavors. I could
see exactly what Professor McCraw meant about engaging young students, and it was
working swimmingly! Students may not have left the classroom knowing the definitions
of different marketing terms, but they experienced first-hand what marketing was really
about— something that, no doubt, resonated much more with them than any number of
notes could have.

After the class was over, it was lunch time, and I got to spend a little time with a
group of boys from Wasco and McFarland. All smiles, they expressed to me how much
fun the camp had been for them, and how much they enjoyed the experience. The
group told me about a specific activity they were involved in, where they used a tool to
AgVentures make a small hole into a tree and pull out a stick, which then allows them to count the
number of rings in the tree and gauge their age. They couldn’t wait to pull the stick out
of one of their backpacks and show it off to me. One student, Abraham, mentioned how
he had wanted to study Engineering, because he had been around cars and motors his
entire life. After a Water Engineer came and spoke to them and showed them all the
many different applications engineering had besides actual engines, Abraham said he
was more excited about getting to college and learning all the different aspects and
possibilities of Engineering.

It was in this conversation where the idea of the camp, and the overall Ag
academy program, really came to life for me— to spark in young students a sincere
passion for learning and discovery. To show them that school isn’t just about getting
qualified for a job to earn a paycheck, but about exploring new ideas that excite and
inspire them.

Tuesday (9/16/2014) evening musings

Latino Mixer Sep 10 2014

Steve Watkin, Lisa Kent, Jeannie Parent, Paul Beckworth, Anna Poetker, Corny Rodriguez

Really enjoying BC being visible in the community and in Social Media.  Here are some tidbits for you to enjoy as much as I did.

Latino outreach

I enjoy seeing colleagues out and about in the community.  Here is a photo that Corny texted me from the Latino Mixer this past Wednesday.

______________________

Randy Beeman on Facebook

Came across this Facebook post from Randy Beeman about one of his students, one of our students, a Renegade.  I kept going back and reading it as it weighed heavily on my mind and heart.  So I thought I would share an excerpt from the post.

randy_beeman

Randy Beeman

“Being a college professor is usually on the list of the most rewarding jobs. The pay is nice, the hours are great, and there is atmosphere of freedom. Yet with that freedom and cushy lifestyle comes responsibility, not just to educate but also to inspire. In the last two weeks I have been tasked with one of the more sad aspects of the job. As was reported in the paper, a young man, my former student, was sentenced to two years in federal prison. Of the 16,000 plus students I’ve taught this guy was someone I thought for certain had (has) the potential to be a major success. He asked me to write a letter to the judge but it obviously didn’t help lighten the sentence. (They were stealing expensive electronic equipment from the oil companies.) Also reported in the paper was the story of another young man, (also a former “A” student of mine), who plea bargained a First Degree murder charge down to an Involuntary Manslaughter charge. This young man is a decorated veteran who represented this country in a dangerous combat role in places many Americans don’t even know we have a military presence, let alone Iraq. There was a fight and he shot and killed another young man. I really don’t know what happened – it’s just a tragedy all the way around. His wife asked for letters of support in preparation for his sentencing. I gladly wrote a letter because I remember his heroism, his intellectual gifts, and his humor. I am in no way trying to apologize for these young men, but what is striking is that they both hail from good families, they both possess immense talent, and they both made life changing mistakes that were harmful to society, and, in the second case, a life. It makes one realize the challenges kids who don’t have these assets must face on the path of life. Their stories also are cautionary – there is no easy money”

________________________________

A letter that was sent to Cindy Collier

BRN Accreditation Visit Sep 11 2014

Nursing team after BRN visit on Sep 11, 2014

Hello Cindy,

I would like to take a moment of your time and respond to your very wonderful post that you left me while I was traveling. You caught me off guard and I didn’t know what to say, but with a little time I have a better response for you.

Thank you for believing in me. I have an amazing career and it all started with you taking a chance on me. I want to make sure you know that you make a difference in so many lives! Mine is only one example. I understand, now more than ever, how our day-to-day interactions can seem to be bogged down with meetings, politics, and mundane task. Please know that you still have the power to effect change!

Thank you for allowing me to show you that I could succeed. When I applied for my first job in Oceanside, CA the assistant manager who interviewed me he had you for his critical care instructor. He said, “I know the kind of nurse that BC turns out and we would be happy to have you join our team.” I was the first and only interview that I went on after graduating from BC. Really, who could have asked for a better end to a first interview?

Today, I have been a clinical instructor for California State University San Marcos, co-presented my research on The Impact of Delirium in the Intensive Care Unit on Patient Length of Stay (LOS) and Mortality: A Multi-Center Epidemiology Study and finished my first year of my doctorate program. With the risk of sounding conceited this is only the beginning for me. I promise that I will do so much more.

I can’t wait to send you the graduation announcement from my doctorate program. It is still 3 years away, but it will be here before you know it.   Thank you again. I know I keep saying that, but honestly there is no other words to convey my appreciation.

I hope that I have been able to explain the effect you have had on my life… You not only gave me a career. You gave me the tools to change my whole. It has been an amazing journey and I can’t wait for the next chapter.

Thank You

Timothy Horttor

A Circle of Friends: Milt and Betty Younger and Jim Young

Circle of Friends Spring 2014

Chancellor Sandra Serrano, Jim Young, Milt younger, Betty younger, President Sonya Christian

On Thursday May 1st, 2014, Bakersfield College had the honor of hosting a very special event– a Betty younger sculpture dedication honoring Dr. Jim Young. “Circle of Friends” is an outdoor sculpture located atop a small hill Northeast of the GET Bus terminal on Panorama Drive. The sculpture, which consists of four red upright figures standing together in a circle, was created by Betty Younger to honor her friend JimYoung, who served as Kern Community College District’s chancellor from 1978 to 1999.

The evening started at 4 P.M. with a brief dedication ceremony at the foot of the hill where the sculpture is mounted. Many members of Bakersfield College’s faculty and staff were in attendance, as well as many family members and students of James Young. Betty Younger and her husband, Milt, introduced the sculpture and each spoke on how their friend has impacted their lives and the lives of others. Mrs. Younger shared that the inspiration for “Circle of Friends” was what James Young has done with and for his students, fellow educators, and friends throughout the years. “He is truly a mentor to all he meets”, remarked Mrs. Younger.

Jim Young at the dedication

Dr. Jim Young

The Chancellor Emeritus spoke after them, thanking his friends for recognizing him and his accomplishments and for the honor of having the sculpture dedicated to him. Dr. Young fondly remembered his many years working for the Kern High School District and the Kern Community College District. He proudly spoke of his continued work with students even after retiring, volunteering for Arvin High School’s We The People team amongst other community groups. He pointed out and thanked various people in attendance, including his family, friends, and past/present students. The audience burst into applause and many guests swarmed him with congratulations and thanks.

Following this, guests were invited to a reception in the foyer of the Grace Van Dyke library; thankfully, a few of BC’s awesome cart drivers were on hand to transport guests across the lawns to the reception!

The foyer of the library was nicely decorated for the occasion, thanks to our wonderful staff. Beautiful live piano music filled the room, courtesy of our wonderful Choir Director Dr. Jennifer Garrett. As the foyer slowly filled, guests wandered about socializing with friends and colleagues. In addition to the wine and cheese  corner, the Bakersfield College Culinary Arts Department staffed a table filled with Hors d’oeuvres and desserts.

Jen Garrett at Circle of Friends Reception May 1 2014

Dr. Jen Garrett

Once all the guests had arrived and settled in, it was time to present two special recognitions. As part of Bakersfield College’s Centennial Celebration, the college chose to recognize 100 alumni, retirees, and community members as part of the “100 Stars” campaign. After a brief testament detailing their many efforts and achievements, I awarded both Milt and Betty a 100 Stars medal for their great impact on the Bakersfield Community. (You can read a detailed list of these at http://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/centennial/100-stars/milt-betty-younger.  Also check out the 1:31-minute video honoring Betty Younger at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nJHSy-19DY&feature=youtu.be)

I’d like to thank the Younger family for donating “A Circle of Friends” to the campus, as well as Dr. Jim Young for his past and continued service to the education of Kern County students. I would also like to give special thanks to our various staff and faculty members for organizing this event, and to our student workers & volunteers for assisting in making the day a success. A final thanks for Salvadore Cruz, a fabulous student in Communication who is interning with me this year.  You can find his photos at http://imgur.com/a/Rye0s.  The afternoon was a wonderful affair, and I am very happy that BC had the honor of hosting it.

College Night 2014. Thank you Steve Watkin and BC team

KCCN 1 - 2014

On Monday, Sep 8th, I headed to the Convention Center to check out the College Night event. This is the time of year when colleges and universities set up booths for high schools students and their parents to check out the different college options.

We are BC Sep 8 2014As I walked into the Rabobank Center I immediately spotted the prominent sign We are BC along with red and white balloons.  And then came the resounding We are BC from our cheer team.  The BC spirit was alive and well and as Lisa Kent noted: “BC had a vast and spirited presence and I was honored to be a part of something so inspiring!”

Over 100 colleges and universities and approximately 7,000 students/parents participated in the program.  And thanks to Steve Watkin, BC was represented in all its red and white glory.

BC Representatives – 50 Strong!

Outreach – Josie Guillen, Kyle Mann, Victoria Roel
Counseling – Alice Desilagua, Victor Diaz, Marisa Marquez, Emily Bartel, Kathy Rosellini, Paul Beckworth, Sandy Sierra, Margaret Head
Nursing – Dinorah Castro, Traci Hill, Erin Kavanagh, Gregory Bolts, Pamela Esparza, Megan Black
Admissions & Records – Michelle Pena, Jackie Lau
CTE – Pam Gomez, Antonio Alfaro, Dominica Rivera
SGA – Nicky Damania, Trina Goree, Diana Valle, Alex Dobrenen, Jimmy Moran, Colton Nichelson, Simoneel Czar, Roshelle Czar, Miles Post, Giovanna Burrell, David Vaughan
Financial Aid – Primavera Arvizu, Evette Lara, Angela Williams, Venessa Reyes, Angelica Vasquez
Foundation – Lisa Kent
DSPS – Terri Goldstein, Bill La
Cheer Leaders – Haleigh Earis, Kourtney Hall, Heather Herrera, Megan Chamberlin
Culinary – Cynthia Jackson, Elizabeth Valle
IT – Manuel De Los Santos
Manny Mourtzanos, Zav Dadabhoy

What an evening!

Selfie with BC gang sep 8 2014 KCCN 5 KCCN 4 KCCN 3 KCCN 2

 

Gearing Up for Renegade Athletics 2014-15

If you follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@sonyachristian), you’ll know that I consider our athletics programs a critical path to the academic success of our student athletes.
Last year, I ran into little Torrance at a game as she prepared to cheer on her brother Chris, decked out in Renegade red. Let’s hear from Torrance.


Let’s now switch from Torrance to Bob Hodel who was in the 1957 graduating class from BC.

selfie with Bob Hodel and Bob Covey Sep 4 2014

A selfie with Bob Hodel and Bob Covey on Sep 4, 2014

On September 6th, join me at Riverside where BC kicks off our first game of the season.  We will be back in Memorial Stadium on Sept 13th.

Athletics Department launches the Renegade Report:

BC’s Athletics Department has launched a new program called Renegade Reports on Bakersfield.com to get the word out about Renegade Athletics.  The show is produced by Francis Mayer and hosted by Greg Kerr of Channel 29.  It airs every Thursday at 11:00 a.m. for 15 weeks this fall term.  I was a guest on the premiere episode along with Coach Britnney Goehring, Coach Jeff Chudy, and Rick Van Horn, author of Haley Street Heroes.  Check out the video clips at:

 

With Kevin McCarthy Aug 29 2014

Craig Rouse, Kevin McCarthy, Sonya Christian, Brett Clark, Janet Tarjan

Friday Night Lights back at the memorial Stadium

A few of us from BC, along with over 5000 others packed the stadium to watch the relaunch of the Friday Night Lights High School games on our campus.  It was a double header with the Drillers playing Oak Christian School in the second match.  The Drillers won 34-21.  Thnx to Ed Davis for getting our field ready; it was not an easy feat.
Here is a picture of some of the BC gang with Kevin McCarthy.  Craig Rouse, Director of Facilities and M&O; Brett Clark, Wrestling Coach; Janet Tarjan, Math Faculty.

Gavilan vs BC Aug 30 2014

BC vs Gavilan

 

Volleyball on August 30th

On Saturday, I attended part of the Gavilan game.  BC won!   If you have not seen the recent article in the Californian about our Volley Ball team, check it out at http://tinyurl.com/mv8dl83

Cross Country

The Women’s Cross Country team finished 3rd at the Ventura Invitational over the weekend, with a total time of 1:57:10, and an average individual time of 23:26.

Two ladies cracked the top ten of the field of 82 for Bakersfield.

Sophomore Jessica Campbell placed seventh, with a total time of 22:24.68, and an average mile time of 7:12.

Her teammate Sophomore Leah Theroux placed eighth, with a total time of 22:40.30.

The Men’s Cross Country team finished seventh out of 12 schools.

Juan Calderon was the highest placer for BC, finishing in 19th place out of 117 runners.

Women’s Golf:

Women’s Golf, under the direction of first year Coach Brittney Goehring started their season at the Indian Canyon Country Club Saturday.

First year transfer Lindsey Maribal from Sandia High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico led the team on the first day with a seven over par 79, but Coach Goehring said improvements caught her eye more than scores.

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