Bakersfield College President Sonya Christian hosted a panel of speakers on March 19 to discuss how employees can continue to stay positive during the school’s online transition. She also provided an update on BC’s future in regards to moving instruction online.
The panel consisted of a variety of BC employees, including Dena Rhoades, Billie Jo Rice, Tina Johnson and Manny Mourtzanos. Each speaker discussed different ways to keep the staff motivated during these times. Rhoades offered advice and suggested that employees create daily routines, remain active and try to eat well.
“We’re here for all employees, students and anyone that needs assistance with us. We are working together to create certainty at the time of change,” Rhoades said.
There are virtual services for employees to get flu vaccinations and online medical care through services such as MDLive. They can also get support from an employee assistance program (EAP).
They encouraged employees to stay connected as the transition proceeds at full speed. They can stay connected through Zoom meetings, social media and FaceTime if available. This was also recommended for student and professor interactions. There will be weekend virtual office hours available for students and staff.
“Keep in mind we don’t expect experts overnight. We’re all giving each other grace in terms of being able to feel things out and working through the glitches,” Jo Rice said. “[Remember] ask for help and get support. We are here to ensure that you do the best that you can so you can do the best for your students.”
Throughout the conference, the panel continually reassured employees that everything is running smoothly. As of March 19, all BC campuses have been closed and moved to online forums. Any services needed by students and staff are available online until further notice.