BC’s faculty and students…Just remarkable

I woke up this morning to a wonderful email from Richard Marquez and a great article in Bakersfield Life about Chef John McFee and the Renegade Room. What a way to start my weekend.

John McFee in Bakersfield Life Oct 24 2014

Iphone picture of Page 44, Chef John McFee, in the November Bakersfield Life Magazine


Here are some of his responses to questions posed:

1. Go-to ingredients: Garlic and thyme

2. Must have kitchen tool: sharp knife

3. The single tastiest thing I have eaten this month: My classes have cooked many tasty dishes this month. Have to say they did a good job.


Make sure you take friends and family and check out Chef John McFee and our students in the Renegade Room






Richard Marquez

Prof. Richard Marquez


Email from Richard Marquez at 12:18 a.m. on Oct 24th:

Dear Colleagues,

Tonight at Bakersfield College, I heard angels sing. Yes, angels. Under the direction of Dr, Jennifer Garrett, the BC choir and chamber singers performed “A Walk Through Choral History,” inaugurating the Simonsen Performing Arts Center, and they were magnificent. The audience was enthralled and demonstrated its pleasure with several standing ovations.

Sometimes I lose sight of all of the talent and gifts our students have. Tonight was a reminder of what our students can do. So, if you ever need affirmation of the talent that exists among our students and our faculty, I encourage you to attend the next concert or play or other student performance.

Thank you Dr. Garrett for reminding me and letting me hear angels sing.


Richard Marquez
Prof, English

Marvene Simonsen Sonya Christian Oct 23 2014

Selfie with Marvene Simonsen


I agree with Richard.  The event was great, the students were spectacular and Jen Garrett was Jen Garrett–smart, beautiful, passionate, committed to our students, committed to music.  The narration of the history of choral music by John Gerhold and his wife Wendy was very well done.  Marvene Simonsen, Ed Simonsen’s wife and their three daughters came for this special event.  I sat next to them and they were just thrilled to enjoy the wonderful performance and be proud of their father, President Ed Simonsen.  Also, I totally enjoyed looking around and seeing so many colleagues and friends enjoying BC–Nick Strobel and family, Nan Gomez-Heitzeber and family, Rob Parsons, Jerry Ludeke, Jack Hernandez, Tom Gelder and family,……. just to name a few.



And btw, the remodeled indoor theater is just fabulous.  Needless to say that Nan was bragging that she selected the color :)  Finally, I was nervous to take pictures because of the elegance of the event and a sense that if my iphone flashed, folks around me would think it was totally uncool.  Hence I will wait for the official photogallery of the event and will post the link in one of my next blogs.

Have I told you recently that I love being back at BC!

Legislative Forum at BC. Sep 25, 2014.


Michele Bresso

Michele Bresso


Cindy Pollard

Thanks to

Cindy Pollard, CEO of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce and Michele Bresso, Associate Dean of Instruction, Bakersfield College hosted the second legislative forum on September 26, 2014.  We hosted the very first legislative forum last year.  I hope the Chamber will continue to bring this event to BC.


Legislative Forum at Bakersfield College Sep 26 2014

David Valadao, Jean Fuller, Andy Vidak, Rudy Salas

Congressman David Valadao, Assemblyman Rudy Salas, and Senators Jean Fuller and Andy Vidak spoke to a jam-packed Fireside Room (we planned for 75 attendees and over 100 showed up.  yes!)  about numerous issues and their personal involvement in addressing them. Water, of course, was a major subject of discussion. However, they also talked about education, immigration, energy billing, loan programs, and more.

Legislative Forum Sep 26 2014

Jam-packed room on Sep 26 2014 for the Legislative Forum at BC

The legislators offered advice and inspirational words for students, and personally answered audience member’s questions after the event.

Thanks to Salvadore Cruz, you can find a photo gallery at http://imgur.com/a/fsZMh

and a short video 5:30 at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2ZJ0KyX9Oo


Bakersfield College Professor Published



I cannot say enough about how amazed I am by the scholarly pursuits of our faculty and staff at Bakersfield College.


Take Robert Torres, history professor here at Bakersfield College, for example. Robert’s book, Call Me Juan, dives into the lives of Mexican-Americans to take a look at the 1933 agricultural strike in the San Joaquin Valley with fictional characters based on a real-life incident.

Congratulations Robert!

Sunday musings. October 12, 2014

Just returned from a beautiful 3-mile morning walk.  Sitting in my backyard reflecting on a hectic and productive week (HACU at Denver, then presenting with Janet Fulks our Renegade Scorecard to a packed room of community college colleagues from around the state at the RP Student Success Conference) and then a wonderful relaxing weekend.

Via Arte at the Market Place:

via arte from bmoa website

Via Arte Image from the Bakersfield Museum of Art website

Via Arte Serrano Tafoya Oct 12 2014

Via Arte space sponsored by Serrano and Tafoya



I checked out the Via Arte chalk art this morning and loved the color and variety, ranging from realistic scenes of nature, cartoon art, to the recreation of impressionist masterpieces and abstract art.


There were individual artists to individually sponsored artist like the 16-year-old artist sponsored by Sandra Serrano and Robert Tafoya to works sponsored by Bolthouse, Brighthouse and Chevron.

Next year, let’s get a section for our BC Art students.




Nick Strobel’s piece in the Saturday (10/11/2014) Californian:

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel. Picture from the Californian’s website

I enjoyed Saturday morning reading Nick’s piece on Religion and Science in the Bakersfield Californian.  There are several points he made that inspired me, including this paragraph:

In Christianity we say that we all fall short and are in need of grace, so humility is definitely a virtue.  Whenever I hear some supposedly religious authority shout condemnations or some self-righteous speech, I see someone who is either hiding some secret of their own or has only a “head knowledge” of their religion and not any “heart knowledge.” If the outcome of your religious practice is not a more compassionate person, then you’ve missed the point.

I connected this with the articles that the management team selected for the yearlong “reading in community” activity.  The first piece was Dr. Martin Luther King’s letter from Birmingham jail.  The second was the commencement address given by David Foster Wallace.  This short 7-page piece is remarkably powerful.  Here is an excerpt:

It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with
knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so
real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time,….

This gaining of wisdom and compassion by moving from as Strobel calls it “head knowledge” to “heart knowledge”; moving from just as Wallace states “knowledge” to “simple awareness of what is so real and essential” is something I believe we should continue to explore together at BC. What might an intentional and shared understanding of these concepts look like?

You can find Nicks’s article on the website at:


Reading Together wed group oct 2014

Wednesday Reading Group: Craig Rouse (Lead), Danell Ward, Sonya Christian, Amber Chiang, Paul Beckworth


You can find more information on the Management Reading in Community group at:


We meet approximately once a month.  I am in the Monday reading group, but because of a commitment in the community I joined the Wednesday reading group led by Craig Rouse.  Our October reading piece was the David Foster Wallace commencement speech that I referred to earlier.






 Renegade Football via bakersfield.com (10/1/2014):

watching the game on ipad oct 11 2014

Watching BC beat Citrus on the road on my ipad via bakersfield.com


It was a treat to watch BC winning (17-14) on the road against Citrus College on my ipad via bakersfield.com.  There was solid play throughout the game, but it sometimes seems to come down to a few defining moments as in Jeff Evans’ Bakersfield Californian headline “Trick plays help Renegades to win over Citrus.” Let’s hear directly from Evans:

BC used two trick plays — the second a 47-yard touchdown pass from receiver Johnson to Derrick Vickers — to come from behind and beat Citrus College 17-14.

“We do it every weekend practice,” Johnson said of his passing play, which began as an apparent end-around as he took a hand off from BC quarterback Cruise Adams…..

Johnson took a couple of steps as though he was going to run the ball, and the Citrus defensive backfield moved toward the line of scrimmage.

Vickers streaked passed the defenders and was merely 10 yards behind the defense when he hauled in the pass at about the 5-yeard line and sprinted into the end zone with 6:27 left.

And that play was set up two plays earlier when

place-kicker Parker campbell, who was in punt formation, ran a designated play and got 10 yrads on a fourthe-and-7 to give BC a first down near midfield.

Great game – go gades!

Jen Garrett and Chamber Singers:

chamber singers at USC oct 2014

Chamber Singers at USC Oct 2014

Saw this great Facebook post by Jen Garrett about our Chamber Singers at USC.

I am so extremely proud of my BC Chamber Singers! We came to the USC College Choral Festival and they were amazing. They worked so hard in rehearsal and on their own and they came together tonight. It was my great honor and privilege to conduct them on that wonderful stage tonight. We only go up from here.

Don’t forget to check out their Fall Concert on October 24th in the new indoor theater.

Renegade Roundup October 11, 2014

I decided to post my all-campus communication called the Renegade Roundup. You can find previous Roundups on my website at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/communications

Here is the Oct 14, 2014 Renegade Roundup:

Sonya Christian Original Lane Photo

Sonya Christian

We are wrapping up the seventh week of the fall term and BC is definitely buzzing with classes, services, activities, performances, shows, events, ……  We truly are our community’s college.

 Big News

Last week, Governor Brown signed the community college baccalaureate degree pilot program into law. BC will be proposing a Baccalaureate of Applied Science (BAS) in Industrial Automation and Design.  Liz Rozell, Jason Dixon, Sean Caras, and Klint Rigby are taking the lead with the content.  Anthony Culpepper is helping with the ACCJC substantive change process.  Michele Bresso and Cindy Collier are researching and reviewing the activities at the state level to position our application in the most competitive manner.  We will be doing a work session with the Board of Trustees at their November 12th Board meeting in Delano.


Enrollment Update

enrollment report oct 1 2014

Since our last update, Bakersfield College enrollments continue to grow. Looking at the October 1st enrollment report, it is clear that the efforts made by Instructional departments in adding more sections and taking more students per section as well as the Student Affairs departments hosting several events for students to complete the core matriculation services have paid off.  BC’s FTES numbers for Fall climbed another 116 since my last Renegade Roundup.  We are at 99.6% of our Fall FTES target.  “However, Fall 2014 FTES districtwide accounts for only 96.7% of the fall term target.  Comparatively, Fall 2013 FTES at this time was 99.3% of the eventual term-end FTES.  Thus it appears we may not reach the fall FTES target.  The chart below provides a snapshot of the annual target and a look at what we may need to plan for in Spring 2015.” (Source: IR Report, Oct 1, 2014)

The table below shows the recalculated targets for Spring 2015.

spring 2015 revised target oct 1 2014


Pre-Law Pathway:

On October 2nd, Bakersfield College launched our pre-law pathway for students interested in legal careers with a program orientation and information session from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Fireside Room. This program will provide a recommended program of study for students, and upon graduation from Bakersfield College, if the students maintain a certain GPA and meet certain criteria in their academic standing with a required baseline LSAT score, they can enroll in law school at a number of prestigious institutions, including University of Southern California and Loyola Marymount University. If you know of a student who might be interested, please connect them with educational advisor Jessica Garcia at 395-4473.



Learn at BC

Just a reminder that we have a series of learning opportunities for faculty and staff.

Title IX and Clery Symposium on Oct 17th, Friday, from 9:00 to 12:00 noon:

The profile of Title IX issues has been raised significantly in the last year with both legal and political activities proliferating the national dialog.  Here is a one-minute video clip, an example of a series of PSAs launched by the White House regarding this topic.  https://www.notalone.gov/

BC has had a team researching the legal issues as well as developing a plan to raise the visibility on our campus as well as across the district.  The launch of these discussions will be on October 17th, from 9:00 to 12:00 at the Levan Center.  This symposium is in alignment with our Learn@BC! initiative and therefore is open to other colleges in the region. Thanks to Manny De Los Santos, Kristin Rabe, and Todd Coston, we will be live web streaming as is becoming the norm for these conferences.  I have asked President’s Cabinet, College Council, and FCDC to make this a priority.  I ask all of you to register for the whole symposium or part of it.  Click here to register https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/conference/title-ix


Learning Outcomes Conference on November 17th from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The national and state-wide conversations in higher education has been focused on degree and certificate completion and accountability.  In the frenzy of these discussions, we in academia must keep the focus on learning—what knowledge skills and abilities do our students gain when they complete their time with us on college campuses.  Have we collectively reflected and responded to the questions: What does an Associate’s degree mean? What does a Baccalaureate degree mean? Register now for the whole day or part of the day at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/conference/ILO2014.  Faculty, consider an alternative assignment so that you can participate in this conference.  This conference will also help us with our accreditation work related to SLOs, PLOs, and ILOs.


Construction Update

Construction certainly is a part of life at Bakersfield College this semester. I am concerned when I hear reports of staff and students crossing construction barriers. Those barriers are important and essential to safety, and I ask you to be vigilant in observing the safety protocols as well as remind students to do so. Pay close attention to construction updates sent out regularly, and share them with the students, other staff and community members who are on campus.


Mark your calendars

October 16, 2014: The Great California Shake Out

October 17, 2014: Clery Act & Title IX Symposium

November 17, 2014: Conference: Learning Outcomes 2014

December 24, 2014 – January 5, 2015: Winter Closure

January 14, 2015: Spring 2015 Opening Day at Delano Campus.  You can either car pool or tune in from the Panorama campus.  Amber will send out information on carpooling to Delano.

February 5, 2015: Technology Conference. All day

April 23, 2015: Equity and Inclusion Second Annual Conference

May 6, 2015: Chicano/Latino Commencement

May 7, 2015: Honor Reception

May 8, 2015. Friday. Spring 2015 Closing Day

May 15, 2015, Friday. Commencement at 7:00 p.m.


With Renegade pride and collegiality,



See all issues of Renegade Roundup online


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