Monday, July 7, 2014

Meet the New VP of Academic Affairs

Dr. Bonnie Suderman --- Academic, Mother, Shot Putter

In first meeting AVC's new Vice President of Academic Affairs, one might make any number of assumptions about her skills and interests, just as we all do when we meet somebody new.

I must confess, putting her down as a former shot putter was not on my list of possibilities.

"Well," she told me, laughing. "That was a long time ago. My father was the coach of the track team in high school, at a small private school district in San Diego. He needed somebody for the shot put. That became me."

Dr. Suderman says that her father probably would have rather have had three sons instead of the three daughters that the family became blessed with. Still, he took them fishing and backpacking in the High Sierra, just the same.

She said, "He really didn't think much of the Antelope Valley.  If we were going up to any of the Eastern Sierra trailheads, he tried to time it so we drove through the AV in the middle of the night. We were from San Diego --- he did not like the heat."

His was an equal-opportunity dislike; to get to the Western Sierra, he tried to pass Bakersfield in the dark as well. She laughs about it now. "He told me, 'Bonnie, whatever you do, don't marry a man from Bakersfield.'"

Yet she did, and Dr. Suderman raised her family there, including spending time as a stay-at-home Mom. "Each family has to make their own choices about parenting. For us, it worked out well. My girls are just terrific."

In time, she went back to work. Here is the summary that Jim Reddish shared in the "Around AVC" campus update.

Antelope Valley College is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Bonnie Suderman as Vice-President, Academic Affairs.

Dr. Suderman has an extensive background in higher education spanning over twenty years. Beginning as a classroom instructor and full-time faculty member at both Bakersfield College and California State University-Bakersfield, in disciplines emphasizing work with adult learners and adult literacy for over twelve years, Dr. Suderman began work as a Dean of Instruction at Bakersfield College in 2006. She has had varying assignments as a Dean at Bakersfield since that time and has developed a deep understanding of the challenges and regulations required in the operation of a California Community College instructional program.

Dr. Suderman received a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities from Biola University, a Master’s degree in Literacy from California State University-Bakersfield, and a Doctoral degree from University of the Pacific.

In our conversation we talked about online teaching, returning veterans, success rates in Developmental Composition, and her season playing basketball.

"One season was definitely enough. That was not quite the right sport for me."

At Biola College she let her sports abilities stay in the closet, as she focused on her studies and graduated in an astounding three years.

One of the things that attracts her to Antelope Valley College is the quality of the staff, as well as the beauty of the grounds. "We have such a beautiful campus here ---- and so much to be proud of. I am very happy to join the AVC Family."

Dr. Suderman's office is in the front-most Administration Building, the one-story building that is nearest to the corner of 30th and K. Her email is and her phone extension is (661) 722-6304. If you see her on campus, do stop and introduce yourself --- she is open and approachable, and may be able to give you pointers on your track and field career.


Photographs not credited to an outside source were taken by the blog curator, Charles Hood, Language Arts. He can be reached at This blog does not represent the views of the Board of Trustees nor the District as a whole. To leave comments, you need to be logged into some kind of blogspot or gmail account, or so it seems. Sorry about that: it's just how the system is set up. Hood also can forward comments through email. 

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