Bakersfield College

President Sonya Christian Commencement

Office of the President

President Sonya Christian's Biography

President Sonya Christian pictured outside of the BC admin buildingIn 2013, Dr. Sonya Christian became the 10th President of Bakersfield College. Under her leadership, the College has focused on improving student achievement and learning by engaging faculty and the community.

By making data and information available, Christian has cultivated campus-wide ownership of advancing the college's mission. Christian was a math faculty prior to moving into the administrative ranks of dean, vice president, and now president.


Extended Biography

An advocate for continued education across social and economic boundaries, Dr. Sonya Christian has worked tirelessly to uphold and further that mission during her tenure as Bakersfield College President.

Christian began her three-decade career in education at BC in 1991, first as a math faculty member and later as division chair, then Dean of Science, Engineering, Allied Health and Mathematics. In 2003, Christian joined Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon as associate vice president for instruction, then vice president of academic and student affairs and chief academic officer. Christian returned home in 2013 after being selected as the 10th President in Bakersfield College’s prestigious history.

Under her leadership, Christian has maintained the institution’s 100-plus year history of quality instruction while shepherding BC through an exciting phase of expanded opportunities for current and future students. Accomplishments during her time in office include BC being awarded permission by the state to begin offering a Baccalaureate degree in Applied Science in Industrial Automation, one of only 15 California community colleges selected to feature a four-year degree program; and earning a 2015 Exemplary Program Award from the Board of Governors for California Community College’s for BC’s ground-breaking “Making It Happen” mentoring program.

In 2015, Bakersfield College was recognized by the non-profit Brookings Institute as the best community college in California and among the top 10 in the U.S. for value-added mid-career earnings for its alumni.

Christian earned her bachelor of science degree from University of Kerala in Kerala, India; a master of science in applied mathematics from University of Southern California; and her doctorate from University of California, Los Angeles.


Photo Gallery

Leadership Team

Dr. Christian's Leadership Team includes:

College Council

Past Presidents


Greg A. Chamberlain

Greg A. Chamberlain
2008-2012


William Andrews

William Andrews
2005-2008


Sandra Serrano

Sandra Serrano
1998-2004


Richard Wright

Richard Wright
1983-1997


John J. Collins

John J. Collins
1972-1983


Burns Finlinson

Burns Finlinson
1968-1972


Edward Simonsen

Edward Simonsen
1958-1968


Ralph Prator

Ralph Prator
1950-1958


Grace Van Dyke Bird

Grace Van Dyke Bird
1921-1950

Guiding Documents

Please see our Institutional Plan website for more.

Bakersfield College is in the process of updating its Educational Master Plan. For information on this project, please visit our Educational Master Plan page on the Committees Website.

Kern Community College District