Christian announced as new BC president


Sonya Christian speaks at the Levan Center after being announced as Bakersfield College’s new president. She will be working on a part-time basis, starting Nov. 29, until January when her full-time employment begins.

Patricia Rocha, Editor in Chief

Sonya Christian was introduced to faculty and staff Oct. 15 as Bakersfield College’s 10th president. She will be working part time as president from Nov. 29 until January when her full-time employment begins.

“Dr. Christian was selected because of the breadth and depth of her 22 years experience in community colleges,” said Kern Community College District chancellor Sandra Serrano.

Christian is no stranger to BC, as she was a math faculty member, division chair and dean of science, engineering, allied health and mathematics during her time here from 1991-2003.

“I think she really did not want to leave us, and we regretted her leaving as much as she regretted having to leave, but she was able to move into higher education at Lane Community College in Oregon,” said Serrano.

Serrano believes her experience, both at BC and away in administrative positions at other community colleges, will help her improve student success on campus.

“I am just thrilled to welcome Dr. Christian back, as she will lead BC through a historic time as Bakersfield College enters its centennial year, which it will celebrate in 2013-14,” said Serrano. Christian was excited to be back in the Norman Levan Center for the announcement.

“I am very happy to be coming back to Bakersfield College and incredibly honored to be doing so as the 10th president,” said Christian. “From its early beginnings in 1913 as a junior college, to its current broader goal of serving the community, the history contained in the archives shows that BC has adapted to the changes in the surrounding culture.”

Serrano believes BC will only benefit from Christian’s mix of knowledge and skill, as well as her effective leadership.

“This is an important time to community colleges, because our local mission is now widely understood to have national consequences,” Christian said. “We are the answer to economic health. We are the answer for healthy communities, and we are the answer to personal hard work and hope.”

Christian feels the connection between the community and college is essential.

“Bakersfield College is the community’s college,” Christian said. “We create a skilled and capable workforce across a broad range of industry and occupations.

“In short, we have a sacred mission, and we are a significant avenue for improving the quality of life in our community and for our nation.”