Chicano movement leaves lasting effects on Kern County

Story and photos by Anthony Hazelwood Public Affairs Intern

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It has been over 40 years since the Chicano movement led by students, professors, and the community, helped reshape the academic landscape we see in Kern county today. Some of its participants shared their experiences with students at September’s Brown Bag Luncheon, “The Chicano Movement Era: the Case of Artemio Cruz at Bakersfield College.”

Dr. Oliver Rosales, a current BC history professor, opened the discussion by briefly explaining the importance of the Chicano Movement and his research into its impact on Kern County. He then handed the floor to the Gilbert Gia, a local historian and participant of the Chicano movement. Gia discussed a controversy that started in the early 1970’s surrounding the book titled The Death of Artemio Cruz by Carlos Fuentes. Because of its use of profanity, the book stirred debate when it was made required reading in a Hispanic Culture class at BC. Gia, present at the controversial BC board of trustees meetings about the fate of this book, outlined the public outcry towards the book and the subsequent proceedings trying to ban it. After several weeks of deliberation and a huge push from the Chicano population to allow students to have access to the book, the BC board of trustees agreed unanimously to not impose a ban. Gia noted that the board did this in an effort to preserve academic freedom and maintain the right of Hispanic students to learn about their heritage.

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Gilbert Gia

Dr. Raymond Gonzales, who taught at BC prior to the events of the book controversy and also a prolific Hispanic activist in Bakersfield, was the main speaker of the discussion. He contributed several inspiring experiences of the Chicano movement he was involved with. He shared how he fought for the rights of any minority that was treated unfairly, saying it best himself “I never wanted to be the leader of the Mexican community, I was just trying to bring people together.”

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Dr. Raymond Gonzales

Gonzales ended the discussion by recalling an experience in his youth. He was getting off a train to go to the bathroom and rushed to the nearest one only to find signs that read “white or colored.” Raymond in tears said, “But which bathroom is for me?” alluding to his confusion as to where Hispanics who were neither white or colored belonged. The impact of his story was evident as many in attendance rushed over to thank him for all he had done for the community.

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Like father, like son

Personality Profile - FatherSon

Daniel (far right) and his son David (just to his right) Musick, with Daniel’s two other sons on the balcony overlooking the Washington DC Mall, during a road trip across the country last summer.

By Mary Landucci, CSUB Public Affairs Intern

Fellow CSUB students and father and son, Daniel and David Musick are achieving a life goal alongside one another. In 2014 Daniel and David will graduate from CSUB with double majors, Daniel with his double Bachelor of Arts in English, emphasis in Literature and Language, and David with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, emphasis in management. Their educational journey has been a challenging but satisfying experience, topped off with the unique opportunity to receive their diplomas side by side.

Daniel returned to education after nearly 20 years to fulfill a promise to his grandfather. For 15 plus years, Daniel worked as a master plumber and in 2005 retired from the business. It was then that he remembered the promise he had made to his grandfather that he would finish his education. In 2008, Daniel came to CSUB to begin the process of obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree. Here, his love of the English language and teaching blossomed and has now led him to pursue his teaching credential in the fall and eventually his Master’s and Doctorate Degrees. When asked about the importance of an education, Daniel said, “I would tell someone how important getting an education is to his or her success in life. The value of a college degree cannot only be measured in the financial benefits you will receive, but more importantly in the value of the interpersonal relationships and the life experience you obtain in the process. Most importantly, it is never too late, and never give up.”

About the same time that Daniel started at CSUB, his son David began his education as well. David spent two years at Taft College and then transferred to CSUB to finish his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Science with a minor in Business. Once he started his business classes, David decided to pursue a double major in Business Administration. Currently, David is in training for a managerial career with a supermarket chain store in Cheyenne, WY. In a few years, he would like to return to CSUB to pursue his Master’s Degree. “My educational experience was well worth the time it took. My best advice to incoming students would be; never quit; never give up; it’s all worth it in the end,” said David.

Though it was never the plan, both father and son see graduating with one another as a unique privilege. David says, “It’s funny. We never planned to graduate at the same time. It just happened. I am very proud of my dad and eternally grateful we can share this experience together.” With similar sentiments, Daniel said, “I cannot express with words the joy and honor it will be to walk with my son through the graduation ceremonies. I am beaming with pride knowing he and I will receive our diplomas together. It will be one of the greatest events in my life.” Daniel and David are following in the footsteps of David’s sister Kandi, a graduate of the CSUB Nursing Program. Both father and son hope to see the rest of David’s siblings continue the family trend in becoming Roadrunner alums.

 

Stephanie Webster – two degrees earned, and the learning continues

Personality Profile - StephanieBy Mary Landucci, CSUB Public Affairs Intern

Stephanie Webster, a 2014 graduate of the CSUB Nursing Program, is a veteran student. Already possessing a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Science in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Webster returned to school to take her education further. Webster came to CSUB in to complete her degree in nursing, fulfilling her passion to work with patients.

While in school for her Bachelor’s Degree, Webster volunteered in hospitals assisting registered nurses and participated in research with her professors. At this point, Webster solidified her love of science and the process of interacting with patients. Webster went on to earn her Master’s but still had a desire to work closely with patients. “I quickly realized that while research is fascinating and crucial to the advancement of science, I missed the personal aspect of interacting with patients. I recognized that my true passion was for direct patient care, and I soon returned to school to enter the field of nursing,” said Webster

Through a desire to positively impact her community, Webster chose the CSUB Nursing Program to earn her Registered Nursing Degree. During her time at CSUB, Webster has achieved many notable accomplishments. In summer of 2013, Webster assisted CSUB Professor Amy Hedden in the completion of the research and writing of an article, “Recurrent Guttate Psoriasis: A Complicated Course in an 18 Year Old Girl,” which has been accepted for publication in May 2014 in a peer-reviewed journal, Advance for NPs and PAs. For the past two academic years, Webster has served as Treasurer for California Student Nursing Association (CNSA), participating in community service activities such as Relay For Life, March of Dimes, Fight for Air Walk, and many others.

Webster has always striven for academic excellence. Lauded by her professors for her exemplary academic presence and contribution to the CSUB Nursing Program, Webster was inducted into Xi Epsilon chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the National Honor Society of Nursing, a chapter that only accepts the top 1/3 of nursing classes, in April 2013. She received the award for Outstanding Graduation Nursing Student, 2014 and in March was named the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges for 2014. Webster said, “I have worked very hard throughout my academic career and have received several recognitions and scholarships. I truly never expected to receive any of them, and I feel extremely fortunate, proud, and grateful for each and every one of the honors that I have received.”

After graduation Webster hopes to begin her nursing career as a critical care nurse at one of Bakersfield’s local hospitals. In a few years, Webster plans to return to school to pursue her graduate degree in nursing. When asking Webster for advice for incoming CSUB students, she said, “Be ready to work hard, but find your balance. Don’t get so caught up in a busy class schedule that let you make time to do things that you enjoy. Get involved; find a club or a group on campus with a purpose or a message that you believe in. You’ll meet some great people and make some lasting memories. The relationships that I have built with my classmates and the nursing faculty are what I will treasure most about my time at CSUB.”

 

CSUB’s Runner Dance Marathon, For the Kids

Story by Mary Landucci, CSUB Public Affairs Intern

Photos by Adrienne Villanueva, CSUB Public Affairs Intern

The roar of 100 plus CSUB students chanting “for the kids,” and the glow of neon orange shirts sporting the ‘Runner DM’ logo were the introduction to the third Annual dance marathon in benefit of The Lauren Small Children’s Medical Center at Bakersfield’s Memorial Hospital. The event was held on Friday, April 18th from 7PM to 7AM in the CSUB Student Union. The challenge; to stay on their feet 12- hours, the mission; to help save the lives of children in Kern County.

IMG_3818From the start it was clear that the Runner Dance Marathon was one of passion and not obligation. “I don’t think of it as being a hassle, we have live music, an awesome DJ and you’re surrounded by great company, and super heroes, the kids!” said CSUB student Shannon Smith. Smith became involved with the event through her Sorority Phi Sigma Sigma when they decided to make the Dance Marathon their annual campus community service event.

IMG_3828The dance marathon is a nation wide movement that was brought to CSUB by ASI President and founding member of Runner DM, Hilda Nieblas. “We plan for 8, 12 months at a time and it’s hard, it’s tiring. If we can help the children that are around us, that is what really encourages me to continue to keep doing this. Students look forward to the dance marathon, they look forward to wearing the Runner DM shirts, they understand the meaning behind this 12-hour event. I think that’s when I realized that when you see people come back you’ve touched them in some way. The dance marathon is something that they go to because they truly feel that they’re making a difference in their community.”

IMG_3909The emotion in the room was palpable, as tears formed in the eyes of students and faculty alike as families told the harrowing stories of their children who have been helped by the money raised at the dance marathon. Another round of chanting of “for the kids” started as mother of two Amy Whittington, her family, and many others were honored on stage as a Miracle Family treated at the Lauren Small Children’s Medical Center.

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Both of Whittington’s sons have been patients of the NICU at the Lauren Small Children’s Medical Center due to complications during her pregnancies resulting from Whittington’s Type One Diabetes. “This event and others like it, is what saved my kids lives. They were able to provide the medication and the equipment and all of the stuff that the NICU had that were able to keep them alive. This event is very personal for me, “ stated Whittington.

IMG_4731Runner DM is an important event and it matters not only for the families that it touches but also for CSUB and the students that put heart and hard work into making this event a success. CSUB President, Dr. Horace Mitchell stated, “The dance marathon is just an outstanding collaboration among many of our student organizations. These students, they’re engaging the community by supporting these young children who are at the Lauren Small Children’s Medical Center and who have a variety of very serious conditions and I think it was great that ‘the kids’ were recognized as the real heroes for enduring and managing and handling what’s been presented to them which would be challenges for any of us. I just congratulate these students, they’re outstanding, they are very clearly doing this for the kids, and I’m very proud to be their president.”

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This year the dance marathon raised $8,000 in support of The Lauren Small Children’s Medical Center and Children’s Miracle Network exceeding last year’s $7,300. To get involved with the Runner Dance Marathon, send a message to the Runner DM board on their Facebook page at Dance Marathon at California State University, Bakersfield.

CSUB Gamer Education Day a 1UP for Gamers and Charity

Story and Photos by Adrienne Villanueva, CSUB Public Affairs Intern05The third annual CSUB Gamer Education Day was held on Friday, April 4th. Open to CSUB students and the community, the event serves as a way for Campus Gamers to share insight into the world of video games by having industry insiders as guest speakers. This year they welcomed actor Charles Martinet, voice of some of the most beloved video game characters of all time, including Super Mario, Luigi, and Wario. Also speaking at the event was award-winning composer Jason Hayes, who has contributed to such titles as World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo for video game developing giant Blizzard Entertainment.

03With a filmography that includes films starring Michael Douglas and Hugh Grant, television shows, and video game voice-overs, finally getting to host Martinet as one of this year’s guest speakers was huge accomplishment for Campus Gamers and CSUB. Club founder Ed Webb met him at a convention some years ago, and was someone he’d been eager to have as a guest speaker since the first CSUB Gamer Education Day. Super Mario has millions of fans, and Martinet, who’s been the voice of the character since 1991, is one of them. In fact, when asked which of the many characters he’s voiced is his favorite, he immediately responded, “Of course, it’s Mario.” Like many of Super Mario’s fans, Martinet sees the character as someone one should aspire to be. “I want to be that person who’s optimistic and loyal and fun-loving and faces challenges like, ‘Here we go!’ as opposed to, ‘Oh no. Ah!’”

02 When he took the Doré Theatre stage, Martinet was just as animated as the famous characters he lends his voice to. Having achieved such notoriety as an actor, it’s hard to believe that he didn’t always aspire to be one. Martinet told the audience, “I was going to be a lawyer and a diplomat.” After following a fellow UC Berkley student’s advice that he should take an acting class, he was hooked. In 1990, Martinet received a call from a friend urging him to crash an audition for the role of an Italian plumber from Brooklyn. Drawing inspiration from a role he previously played, Gremio in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, Martinet improvised the now famous voice of Super Mario. He was given the part, and twenty-three years later is still playing that Italian plumber from Brooklyn. Martinet hoped his audience would take away from the evening what he considered to be his greatest piece of his advice: “Find out what you love to do in life, and pursue it.”

04 Hayes’ original experience with composing was way outside the video game industry. He got involved writing jingles for radio ads for local companies. But as an avid fan of action video games himself, he aimed to get a job creating music in the industry. Addressing the audience, Hayes shared a story of true inspiration to any aspiring composer about how he came to work with Blizzard Entertainment. In the 90’s, he attended a Computer Game Developers Conference equipped with a Walkman, a CD of his music, and headphones. He went up to the Blizzard booth, met producer Matt Householder, and played him his music. Not long after, Hayes was hired on as a composer in the Blizzard sound department. He described scoring the gig as “the Super Lotto.” A highlight of his presentation was when Hayes played a video of his cover band, Critical Hit, performing the theme song from game Angry Birds. The video can be seen here: http://youtu.be/NIqYigedtfc In addition to Hayes’ musical presentation, the audience was treated to the Bakersfield Video Game Choir and Orchestra’s performance of the Halo and Tetris themes.06 Attendees were invited to dress up as their favorite video game characters and compete in the event’s “Cosplay” (costume playing) contest. A whole cast of film and video game characters showed up to compete, including a little Captain America and an Elsa from Disney’s Frozen. Student AJ Medina dressed up as Dead Bill, a character from the Xbox video game Left 4 Dead. When asked why he chose Dead Bill, Medina said, “He’s a cool character who ends up sacrificing himself for his friends, despite being an old man.” Also in attendance, teens Bobby Guyton, fourteen, and Benjamin Rodgers, thirteen, dressed as Link from the Nintendo video game The Legend of Zelda. Both were asked why they chose to dress as Link. Guyton said, “Link is my favorite Nintendo character and I have nostalgic memories of him.” Rodgers said, “Link was like a brother to me. He’s my all-time favorite.”01 Founded in 2011, CSUB’s Campus Gamers organization is one that brings gamers together for community service and charitable efforts. Those charitable efforts include their annual Extra Life Marathon. The event consists of gamers being sponsored by monetary donations to play everything from board games to video games for twelve hours straight. Last November, marathon gamers were able to raise over $10,000 dollars. At this year’s CSUB Gamer Education Day, they presented the Extra Life Marathon money and more the Children’s Miracle Network.

The event was a true success. For more information about future Gamer Education Days, Campus Gamer’s Extra Life Marathon, and other functions hosted by the organization, visit Campus Gamers’ Facebook page at http://tinyurl.com/qev66gp  

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Preparing today’s youth for tomorrow’s future at CSUB

Story and Pictures by Irma Cervantes, CSUB Public Affairs Coordinator

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Many middle and high school students spend that time of their life living day by day, with no worries about what tomorrow will bring. But for almost 3,000 Kern County youth, the future was all that was on their mind during the annual “College: Making it Happen” event held in March at CSUB.

“I’m already thinking about my career and what I want to do with my life, and this is a great event so I can get informed and prepared,” said Vicente Reyes, who is an 8th grader at Washington Middle School.

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 “College: Making It Happen Educational Forum!” is a program designed to communicate to families, community leaders, and school educators the importance of early academic and financial planning.  The program aspires to educate middle/high school students and their parents about the choices available after high school graduation. The 2014 kicked off with an inspirational speaker who encouraged the students to “take.”

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“Take time to invest in yourself, take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, and take charge of your future,” said keynote speaker, Alana Dionne Mathews from the California Energy Commission. “I didn’t come here today to inspire you to have a good life; I want you to have a great life.”

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Throughout the day, students and their parents attended educational workshops with information on high school graduation requirements, financial aid and scholarship opportunities, and college preparation. Many classes were available in both English and Spanish, in an effort to reach the increasing Hispanic population, which was at 50% in Fall 2013 at CSUB.

“I want my daughter to go to a university. I want her to know there’s more than just high school,” said Graciela Cortez, who attended the event with her 7th grade daughter. “I want to learn what I can do as a parent so help open more doors for her so she be one of our future’s successful Latinos.”

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The event also offered a resource fair, which included information on political representatives, CSUB organizations, and careers.

“Univision thinks it’s so important for students to prepare for college, and their future,” said Faith Flores, Administrative Manager for Univision Bakersfield, the event media sponsor. “We have specific platforms we focus on, and one of them is education. Through this event, we are able to share with the public that we’re a partner for them to help them advance in their education.”

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“College: Making it Happen” was sponsored by the following organizations: Southern San Joaquin Valley Cal-SOAP Consortium, California Student Aid Commission, CSU Chancellor’s Office, and CSUB.

The Consent Project Kicks Off Sexual Assault Awareness Month at CSUB

Story and Photos by Adrienne Villanueva, CSUB Public Affairs Intern

02On April 2, 2014, The Consent Project, an organization dedicated to raising sexual assault and violence awareness, held an event kicking off Sexual Assault Awareness Month at CSUB. One of the event’s activities included decorating different colored construction paper t-shirts on which attendees were asked to write words of encouragement for victims or share their own experience related to sexual assault or violence. “R.I.P. Steven ‘Eriq’ Escalon: You are missed,” CSUB student and Psychology Club President Oscar Sandoval wrote on a small, white construction paper t-shirt. The white colored shirts symbolized the loss of a life as a result of violence. When asked whom the shirt was for, Sandoval said, “A friend of mine who used to cut my hair. We became close.” He revealed that what was supposed to be a fun night out for Escalon ended in tragedy when a person he’d taken home from a club violently murdered him. Sandoval added, “Through my life experiences, I feel really passionate about issues like this.”

05At the event, President of CSUB Dr. Horace Mitchell read a proclamation declaring April to be Sexual Assault Awareness Month at CSUB. When asked why the cause was important to him, President Mitchell said, “Sexual assault and family violence are issues throughout our society and I think it’s important that we have Sexual Assault Awareness Month and we want to extend that to have a focus on the campus.” His proclamation echoed that sentiment, which included a statement urging everyone to work together on the prevention of sexual assault and supporting of victims. With this proclamation, Dr. Mitchell joins a budding national initiative to combat sexual assault on college campuses. Just last week, ten U.S. senators, including Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO), began seeking federal funding to combat campus sexual assaults. In comments regarding these efforts, Gillibrand sited a survey that revealed there were 5,000 forcible sex offenses on college campuses in 2012.

01Savannah Andrews, A.S.I. Vice President of Programming, a survivor of sexual abuse herself, heard about The Consent Project at Humboldt State University from a former CSUB professor who told her she should get one started at CSUB. Andrews then took the idea to President Mitchell. He gave his support, and April 2013 became The Consent Project’s first Sexual Assault Awareness Month at CSUB. Andrews’ dedication to the organization stems from the desire to end the silence of sexual assault victims. She hopes to branch out the organizations cause to commemorating Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is observed in October.

04The Consent Project’s kick off event was the first in a long line of events the organization will host to commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month at CSUB. There are five other events slated for April, including a showing of the documentary Trade of Innocents and a “From Victim to Survivor” Brown Bag event. For more information, including dates and locations, visit http://www.csub.edu/calendar/.

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