Olivia Garcia

Former and current Cal State Bakersfield students gathered last week to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the student newspaper, The Runner.

CSUB journalism professor Jennifer Burger organized the event that featured former and current Runner student staffers, reflection on the Runner's history and a tour of the Performing Arts Building, which is the future home of Runner Radio and Student Media Center.

The event is part of developments highlighting a new creative arts incubator and student media center that will involve students of different areas, said Richard Collins, dean of the CSUB School of Arts and Humanities.

In his words shared on a recent School of Arts and Humanities blog:

"Sharing this space will encourage Art and Communications students to collaborate on ventures using new media and old. In addition to giving a new home to the Runner newspaper, the new center would include spaces for a brand new student-run radio station, a public relations office, a closed-circuit television station, a digital arts lab, and a library-lounge. These new, renovated spaces would give students real-world training in creative arts and media careers right on campus."

Collins envisioned that the center would allow for multiple student academic projects, including history students being able to record oral histories for the archives; theatre students recording their own productions; philosophy students hosting their own version of NPR's "Philosophy Talk"; student leaders and clubs hosting weekly radio shows or videos on campus events; art students creating online catalogs of exhibitions; and communications students interviewing visiting luminaries for radio or video.

The list goes on, and the opportunities are endless. Here's to wishing for a fruitful and successful center.

Chevron: Kudos once again to Chevron for working with area schools and contributing dollars that helped fund several local school projects last year.

According to Chevron officials, its 2014 Fuel Your School program generated $300,000 to support more than 200 local school classroom projects, benefiting nearly 20,000 students. Chevron officials added that the majority of the projects supported science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum.

"At Chevron, we realize the importance of a quality education for our children," said Heidi Hoffower, local Upstream Workflow Transformation and Technology Coordinator at Chevron, in a press release. "We are proud to work with DonorsChoose.org on the Fuel Your School program, which will help bring exciting projects designed by our public school teachers to life. These projects will widen the experiences offered to our students and challenge them to reach their full potential."

In one example, Chevron provided funds to a Centennial High School classroom where students received robotic engineering tools and learned basic computer programming, design and structure.

Centennial physics and engineering teacher Colin Smith said the project offered students a hands-on appreciation of the science while allowing them to prepare for robotics competitions.

Vin Scully: Dodger fans, if you haven't purchased your tickets already, do so soon to attend the Voices of Inspiration dinner and fundraising event 5:30 p.m. March 17, featuring none other than Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully.

The event will be held at the Rabobank Theater and Convention Center.

Scully will be the keynote speaker of the event organized by Hoffman Hospice, Kern County's only nonprofit hospice. His familiar voice has provided Dodgers fans with play-by-play announcements for decades; Scully has been with the Dodgers since 1950 when the team was in Brooklyn, and he will return this season.

Given Bakersfield's large Dodgers fan base, I expect the event to sell out pretty quickly.

The event is designed to raise funds to support Hoffman Hospice in assisting Kern County's terminally ill patients and their families.

Hoffman Hospice was there for my grandmother and our family during the final stages of her life. She died of cancer more than 20 years ago, and Hoffman Hospice helped us understand the process before we could make sense of the impending loss. They also comforted and supported my mother when she dealt with the loss of my stepfather, who also died of cancer a few years ago.

The nonprofit has a long history in the area and continues to help the patients and their families, many who may feel heartbroken, confused and helpless during these critical times.

Tickets for the event are $150 per person; tables are available for $1,200. For more information call 410-1010 or visit hoffmannhospice.org.

Olivia Garcia is a Californian columnist and editor of Bakersfield Life and BWell magazines. Send her tips at ogarcia@ bakersfield.com. Her work appears here every third Monday; the views expressed are her own.

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