BC Hosts Campus Stories: Voices of AANHPI Scholars at Bakersfield College

stage with MC and panelists with a large screen in the background promoting the event

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

In honor of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, BC’s Student Government Association recently hosted Campus Stories: Voices of AANHPI Scholars at Bakersfield College.

The event featured a panel of three BC faculty and staff members and two BC students and was moderated by Bryan Hirayama, Professor of Communications at BC, all of whom are of AANHPI heritage. Each panel member shared stories from their individual experiences and answered questions about their families, cultural backgrounds, and educational and career journeys. Their stories of perseverance, overcoming obstacles, and personal achievements were truly inspirational and resonated strongly with those who gathered in the Renegade Events Center for the afternoon.

More than one hundred staff, students, and community members were in attendance, and the event concluded with a time of networking, food, and refreshments. It was truly a memorable event, and the hope is to have similar panel discussions in the future to help promote inclusivity and community on the BC campus and beyond. Please visit the BC Online Events Calendar for future event listings and details.

The group of panelists included:

  • Imelda Simos-Valdez - Vice President, Student Affairs
  • Jackie Lau - Assistant Director, Admissions and Records
  • Janaki Parikh - Associate Professor, Anthropology
  • Raya Arafah - Vice President, BCSGA
  • Ritik Kumar - President, Pre-Med Club
panelists sitting on the stage ready to speak to attendees
student panelist talking into microphone