The 2020 Student Leadership and Involvement Awards Ceremony was hosted online

Jocelyn Perez, Reporter

Bakersfield College moved forward and arranged the annual Student Leadership and Involvement ceremony awards via Zoom and Facebook Live on April 30. 

In the past two months, the BC community has put forth their efforts to continue in striving through the COVID-19 pandemic, and following through with the ceremony is just one of many. 

The ceremony was hosted by Director of Student Life Nicky Demania as well as the Bakersfield College Student Government Association (BCSGA). 

“It is an honor to witness your level of engagement,” said Vice President, Mrs. Billie Jo Rice. She expressed her acknowledgement of the students for pacing their way through the semester while being in quarantine. 

“Adversity makes us stronger,” said outgoing Director of Athletics, Sandi Taylor as she also referred to the pandemic. She expressed her amazement in the work that the students produced during such trying times. Taylor also offered words of encouragement to the students and presented a Walt Disney quote, “if you can dream it, you can achieve it” and explained that those were the exact words that lead her to the title position she holds today as the Director of Athletics and growing up as a female leader in the field of athletics. 

With each award presented and given, there were several nominees elected. The first awards given were scholarships. BC student, Tiana Swank, received the “BCSGA Previously Incarcerated,” Award which is given to a returning student who was previously incarcerated, exhibits the highest standard of leadership by engaging in the BC community, showing citizenship, service, and overall accomplishment. 

The “President’s Leader of the Year” award was given to a candidate who has excelled as student leaders with a distinguished record of extraordinary leadership, advocacy, and involvement within the Renegade community which was awarded to BCSGA President Samantha Pulido. Another award presented, the “Outstanding Professor of the Year” award, was received by History Professor Olivia Garcia, who was nominated by the student. It was also announced that whoever received the “Outstanding Professor of the Year” award, Professor Garcia, would automatically be declared as the 2020 commencement speaker. 

There were also awards given to student organizations such as the Renegade Spirit award which was given to Latinos Unidos por educacion (LUPE). 

“Being a Dreamer or AB540, LUPE was there to support me regardless of my status in this country, their members and leaders have shown a great deal of interest in helping Dreamers, they are a caring successful student organization,” said a nominator. 

The “Event of the year” award was granted to the Student Nursing Association. “It goes without saying that these students have gone above and beyond to save the world, they have stepped up in ways only a few have done and they are showing exactly what they are made of during these trying times. Our future looks very bright with them,” said a nominator of the Student Nursing Association.