Students and the community: They love our faculty and staff

BC Colleagues:

You are the most talented, the most dedicated, the most caring group of folks that I know.  I am so happy to be back at BC.  Here is an email that I received and a video that I captured of folks just expressing their delight with BC.

Enjoy these messages as much as I did.


From the fabulous Cindy Pollard, CEO of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, sent on October 8, 2014 thanking the team that put together the Legislative Forum.  Here is the team: Amber Chiang, Bill Parker, Chris Counts, Officer Robert Fore, Alex Gomez and Penny Loos, Somaly Boles, Kristin Rabe, Manny De Los Santos, Ramon Puga.  Jennfier Marden was the team leader and Michele Bresso brought the event to BC.

Hi Sonya -

Cindy Pollard Karen Goh Sonya Christian KCBCC Sep 2014

Cindy Pollard and Karen Goh with Sonya Christian at the Kern County Black Chamber annual gala. Sep 2014

This is a very belated thank you to Bakersfield College for allowing us to hold the Kern County Legislative Forum in the Fireside Room a couple of weeks ago!

So sorry you were unable to attend! Had your schedule allowed, you would have seen the extraordinary job and tremendous efforts of Bakersfield College’s “Team Awesome,” under the leadership of Jennifer Marden. Wow—they were fantastic!

We ended up with about 150 people in attendance, though we were only expecting about 70 or so. Lots of student turnout and participation, which was great, but I’m sure you can imagine our surprise and the challenges that came along with that surprise in a room set for 70.

No problem for Team Awesome, though! We were able to reset the room—removing tables and adding lots more chairs—in the span of less than 10 minutes! Talking about rising to the occasion–they truly were AWESOME and absolutely great to work with.

I wanted to let you know how much we appreciated all that they did and hope that you will pass our appreciation on to the entire team of awesome people who helped with this event!

This event at Bakersfield College has become the model for similar BIPAC events across the country!

BIPAC was really impressed with the first event we did last year. They were blown away by this one.

Hats off to you and your team for helping create the success!

Warm regards,


Cynthia D. Pollard

Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce

The photographer for the KBCC event was a BC student, Robert Perez.  He was so enthusiastic about his classes at BC particularly in the Art department that I asked him if I could get a short video of him.  Here it is:


Delano: Spring Tutoring Conference


Oliver Rosales

Found this post in my draft folder.  So let’s look at a Delano Campus activity last spring.

Delano Campus’ 2014 Spring Tutoring Conference kicked off with breakfast from Jennie’s Café and a table-top discussion of personal tutoring experiences. After introductions, Dr. Oliver Rosales spoke to the students about what he sees as an invaluable service, peer tutoring. He also shared his personal experiences of working as a tutor, and he explained what he feels the tutors should focus on when tutoring his history students. Finally, Dr. Rosales took questions from the tutors.

Laura Kemph gave a presentation in which she shared with tutors how to change the settings in their BC email so that they could use their personal email account. Then Monica Huyck, the Tutor Coordinator, lead a teamwork activity.

After a break, and a group photo shoot, Trina Goree led the group in a diversity activity. This was followed by a presentation from Raji Rivera and Jake Galo, both BC graduates who are now attending CSUB. They spoke to the tutors about their experiences since transferring, gave advice, and answered questions.

Finally, Jesus Jimenez and Jasmine Gonzalez led the group in creating a poster made up of advice from tutors to future tutors as well as a pledge to help students in the future by lending a hand!

Delano, u rock!

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

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

“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  Also check out the 1:31-minute video honoring Betty Younger at

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  The afternoon was a wonderful affair, and I am very happy that BC had the honor of hosting it.


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