Beautiful Bakersfield…Beautiful Bakersfield College

Mary Jo Pasek

Mary Jo Pasek and the Beautiful Bakersfield Award

Each year, our friends at the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce celebrate excellence in the community through the Beautiful Bakersfield awards. Nominees from across the community are accepted in various categories — all from their efforts to enhance and promote the quality of life in our community.

Two of Bakersfield College’s own were honored with Beautiful Bakersfield awards!

Humanitarian – Group Award

Mary Jo Pasek, Community Relations and Events Manager at Bakersfield College was among the happy recipients of the Humanitarian – Group award, which was presented to the Rotary Club of Bakersfield Breakfast. The group was recognized for work in three areas: Habitat roofing (35 roofs), SEAL Project to provide important positive influence to a group of forgotten kids and above all for the five years Breakfast Rotary has raised all of the money in the community to place wreaths on the Bakersfield National Cemetery as part of Wreaths Across America. Mary Jo founded this project five years ago, and with the help of Congressman McCarthy’s office in Bakersfield, was able to have our National Cemetery put on the register so her Rotary could handle this important event.

Jack BrighamHumanitarian – Individual Award

Bakersfield College’s retired history professor Jack Brigham was honored with the Humanitarian – Individual award. Jack has dedicated himself to developing students in governance and constitutional principles through the “We the People” program and has given $20,000 in scholarships to needy and deserving students. Jack also founded the Center for Kern Political Education (CKPE) which is housed within the Bakersfield College Foundation.  Ed Borgens, faculty member in the Political Science department is a member of the Board of Directors of the CKPE.

Congratulations to our amazing winners from Bakersfield College!

Chemistry Research – at Bakersfield College

OChem Letters April 2014Sometimes, community colleges get a bad rap. Naysayers don’t respect these hallowed halls for their educational offerings, and students aren’t lauded for their scholarly work.

Our students prove those naysayers wrong. Here’s one example.

Chemistry professor Dr. Kenward Vaughn challenges his students to write about their alcohol chemistry findings, and publishes the best of the bunch in the OChem Letters journal.

This year’s journal features the scholarly work of six Bakersfield College students, who each conducted experiments and studied their findings, before writing research journal-quality manuscripts.

If you have a moment, I encourage you to take a look. The things Bakersfield College students can do are simply amazing!


EMT Students Help Children at Jamison Center

Want to hear about the great things Allied Health students do in our community, and have your heart touched at the same time? See the note from Brent Burton, the training coordinator for Hall Ambulance and adjunct instructor in Bakersfield College’s Emergency Medical Technician program. Nine EMT students volunteered their time and money to help 24 children at the Jamison Center celebrate Easter. The Jamison Children’s Center is a 24-hour emergency shelter and protective custody facility, operated by the Human Services Department of Kern County. As the only emergency shelter in Kern County for abused, neglected, and exploited children, Jamison provides temporary housing for children taken into protective custody by law enforcement or social workers. The children at Jamison Center are from all backgrounds and walks of life.

Thank you to our students Chris Collier, Victor Jaquez, Mitch Royal, Natalie Roberts, Larra Collins, Victoria Saldana, Veronica Sanchez, and Ruth Alvarez, and especially to Brent Burton, for making this possible.

“We had two bounce houses for the kids to enjoy as well as coloring books, crayons, Easter Baskets for every kid, and a wonderful BBQ of hotdogs and hamburgers and all of the fixings that goes along with a BBQ and even music with our very own DJ for the festivities. This was all donated by our students in the EMT Program at Bakersfield College. We all had a great time and especially the kids. We had 24 kids age from 4 to 17 who were there enjoying the festivities all afternoon. All of the kids expressed their gratitude and excitement throughout the event. Some of the kids had said this was their best day ever. One of the staff members from the Jamison Center said that one of the kids who was there had never showed a happy expression or even smiled since she had arrived at the center and Saturday she was all smiles and enjoyment. Our students and I truly enjoyed the experience!!!

I look forward to many more events with the kids from the Jamison Center. Next one will be this summer during our next class of EMT students. I have a 4-hour block already set-aside from the City of Bakersfield McMurtrey Aquatic Center.”

Congratulations to BC’s 2014 Leadership Academy Participants

Proud leadership moment! Pictured with me and Anthony Culpepper, BC’s Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services (2nd from left) and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, BC’s Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs (far right) are the six Bakersfield College employees in the graduating class of the 2013-14 Kern Community College District Leadership Academy.  The Academy is our district’s grow-your-own leadership development program for employees. The BC graduates of this year’s Academy are (l-r) Greg Cluff, Jason Mattheus, Craig Rouse, Lisa Kent, Richard Marquez and Laura Lorigo.


Bakersfield College’s 2014 Leadership Academy participants!


I received a letter commending our BC Leadership Academy graduates from Michele Bresso, KCCD Associate Vice Chancellor and former BC administrator and faculty member, who directs the leadership program.



Michele writes:

Six Bakersfield College employees are ready for the next step in their leadership journey after celebrating their completion of the annual Kern Community College District Leadership Academy last month. Richard, Lisa, Greg, Laura, Craig and Jason shined on behalf of BC with their commitment to learning about improved ways to serve our students. In the process, the BC team members grew their understanding of the California community college system and our district.

The BC Six joined colleagues from our sister colleges, Porterville College and Cerro Coso Community College, to participate in team projects addressing KCCD’s strategic plan goals. Talk about stepping up to the leadership plate! We are very proud of the BC contingent that worked on three different projects to support meeting student needs. One team gathered best practices from faculty and staff so that they could share great ideas with colleagues district wide. Another team addressed student needs by collecting gently worn professional clothing and then giving away the clothes to students to help them look their best in job interviews. A third team organized campus beautification days at each of our three colleges and involved employees and students in the work crews.

Strong leadership is essential to Kern Community College District. Bakersfield College can certainly be proud of the leaders in its faculty, classified and management ranks!

Meet Gathered Colleges at Memorial Stadium for Track & Field Competition

On Friday, March 28 the Western State Conference’s Inland Meet for Track & Field was held in the Memorial Stadium. Four other community colleges traveled to Bakersfield College for this meet: College of the Canyons, West Los Angeles, Glendale, and Antelope Valley.

Even if you have not attended any Track & Field meets, the events may be familiar to those who have watched any Summer Olympics-skilled and dedicated athletes competing in running, jumping, or throwing. It takes its name from the fact that these events are held on a track and field.

The WSC Inland Meet was an exciting event–athletes, coaches and spectators alike were abuzz with evident enthusiasm. There was a never a dull moment; As soon as an event ended, another started merely minutes afterwards. Scores of student athletes lined up not only to score points for their schools, but to prove to themselves that they are making progress. “I got a season best, so I’m happy about that. [The team] is getting a lot of PRs (Personal Records), especially the girls. We’re all improving,” said Renegade runner Jonathan Salinas, in between deep breaths.

It was amazing to see so many athletes wearing red and white doing their absolute best out on the track and in the field. Apparently, they faced some stiff competition! “It was hard, there’s a lot of fast kids here,” Jonathan explained. One of his teammates concurred. “On the first heat, [the girls] were really competitive,” Bakersfield College long-distance runner Cristina Herrera said, “We will need to practice harder.”

All in all, it was an exceptionally fun place to be. Family members and faculty cheered for their students during the events, rivaling athletes high-fived and congratulated each other at the finish line, and teammates spent some quality time together sprawled out on the cool grass after their events. Bakersfield College was proud to host this years Western State Conference’s Inland Meet! In the end, the Men placed 5th and Women 3rd overall. Go ‘Gades!


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