Elizabeth Wanielista–change is a constant!

The John and Florence MacLeod Chair in Business this year was awarded to Elizabeth Wanielista.

On October 19, 2015, she attended the 27th Annual Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) Conference in Clearwater Beach, FL.

The benefits derived from this endowed chair were information on the skills needed by medical office employees to obtain employment in medical offices. Students need to be able to apply knowledge of computers but also have soft skills as: proper telephone techniques, compassion, helping attitude, and discretion regarding patient information. Also, noted was the fact that transcription is no longer used in medical offices. The use of Electronic Health Records is becoming mandatory in medical offices, so employees will need to have knowledge of how to input these records.

This information was shared with the other Office & Medical Office Administration faculty. Her attending the PAHCOM Conference and meeting with office managers regarding skills needed for medical office employees were obtained as a result of this endowed chair. Students will benefit from the information received from the conference by the information obtained from medical office managers. The information on the skills needed for medical office employees will be used to update the Medical Office Administration Program.

The ability to have contact with employees working in the field gave her first-hand knowledge. Office Managers are very busy and hard to reach when in their regular work environment. Having been with them for three days gave her the opportunity to ask questions of many different managers regarding the skills needed for medical office employees.

“I have attempted to make contact with local medical office managers which resulted in three face-to-face meetings. I have sent out many emails and made many calls to local office managers with not many results. My attending the Medical Office Manager Conference in October gave me more contacts.

“The medical office is changing as a result of technology and HIPAA laws, so it is important to keep in contact with local managers in order to update our program.”

Check out our earlier piece: http://bit.ly/2lUUoXu

Andrew Ray: a visit to China

Andrew Ray, traveling to make life better at home. 1m3a0100-%281024x683%29-2

Andrew Ray took his Hubbard Construction Company Chair in Technical and Engineering Programs and went on walk-about this summer. He took two students and combined them with a business program to China in July, to take a look at how China is exploring renewable energy.

Originally, they were going to Germany, but that became an impossibility, so instead of calling it quits, Ray changed his plans, and took his students to China, where just a few years previously, the Chinese—known for renewable energy in the runup to the Beijing Olympics—had blossomed with solar.

In the lead-up to the Beijing trip, they started with a trip to the UCF campus in Cocoa to look at renewable energy.

Once in China, they looked at solar, thermal, and some wind. They looked at wind energy being produced in the Gobi Desert, as well as work being done in Beijing and Shanghai. They also attended lectures at Polytechnic of Shanghai. They also discovered that the air quality is worse in Beijing (despite the cleanliness of the air at the Beijing Olympics!)

China is leading the world in manufacturing solar panels and ranks second in solar energy production, and are by far the leader in wind power. They have also been leading the movement to robotic construction technologies, and 3D printing of buildings. Despite this, they also have a leading role in pollution—a problem still to be solved!

 

James Inglis–going where no man has gone before

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James Inglis, Program Director Hospitality/Restaurant Management, used this year’s Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association Chair in Hospitality Management to fund his visit—and the visits of 12 students—to the National Hotel show in Chicago this year.

“Attending the national show is amazing: all the new technology, educational seminars and product demo’s are very informative. I gain by keeping up with the latest industry trends and products and the students also gain in the same way.”

It really opens students’ eyes to the current state of the industry and what the future holds, which is very bright, continues Inglis.

One of Inglis’s favorite cooking demos was Chef Rick Bayless, who showed the attendees how to make several basic marinades to keep on hand, and what to use them on.

It wasn’t all fun and games, of course. There were also business-oriented workshops on things like overtime laws, and how to motivate entry- and line-level employees.

They saw a demo on sustainability and how to purchase products within a 50 mile radius oimg_0106-1f your location.

Lots of new product demos were going on during the show, and the new img_0168-1technology of tablets and new ordering systems being introduced into the quick service and fast casual dining segments.

They even saw a robot cooking food. No word on the improvements to dining at the space station.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steven Cunningham, professor of English as a second language: language as art

The idea for Steven Cunningham’s endowed chair project to bring Brazilian artist Clovis Junior to work with students inimg_4494 an elementary school was inspired by Cunningham’s campus president, Dr. Kathleen Plinske. Dr. Plinske forged a partnership between the Osceola Campus and Central Avenue Elementary School about two years ago when she was asked if Valencia could send some students to volunteer as tutors. “We were told that the biggest need of the elementary school students was just to have someone who cares about them. As a professor of English as a Second Language, I was aware that Central Avenue had many students from many different cultures who did not speak English as their native language. I thought, what better way to boost self-esteem than to connect them to a successful artist from another country? At the same time, we could stimulate creativity and provide affirmation of the wonderful diversity in their classrooms.”

When he contacted the school to see if they would be interested in the project, they were very interested and informed him that this particular elementary school just had its art program reinstated that year! Cunningham sent the art teacher some information on the artist and his art.

When they aimg_4482rrived on the appointed day, one of the students couldn’t hold in his excitement and shouted, “It’s the famous artist from Brazil!” Clovis worked with five different art classes throughout the day. First, he talked about his art and taught the kids a few phrases in Portuguese. Then the students created their own paintings as he did a demonstration painting that he left with the school as a keepsake of his visit.

They had each student sign their painting. Clovis signed them too animg_4445d had a picture taken with each student who had a signed photo release. One pupil asked me where she should sign her painting. “I told her, “You are the artist. You can sign it wherever you want.” She responded, “I’m an ARTIST?!?””

It was a very successful project and a fulfilling and rewarding day. “I felt like we had really captured the true intention of the Tupperware Corporation Endowed Chair in Community Quality by investing in the students at Central Avenue Elementary School and making them feel proud of themselves”.”

Robert McCaffrey, professor of digital media

Robert McCaffr20160921_191035ey, professor of digital media, used his 2015-2016 Sue Luzadder Chair in Communications to purchase an interactive LCD screen system to use with the journalism media production class. The class it was intended to accompany didn’t make the cut in the spring semester, but the equipment will be used as part of a revised Valencia Voice (student newspaper) starting this fall (2016).

“The students will learn how to send content to the device and we will test it in different locations on East Campus to see if we can connect the stories of the student journalists with a student audience on campus.”

Although it was bought primarily for the student journalists, this device will likely have a secondary benefit as a platform for the interactive design courses in the department. It gives students a different input device for which they can imagine and design interactive products.

“You can think of the device as a giant iPad. We can program it to run certain content, but then us20160921_184746ers can touch the screen to interact with the content. That might mean stopping a currently running story and starting a different one, or thumbing through a photo gallery, or tapping on a Twitter feed from the college new group, or even rearranging all the content on the screen into a different configuration.”

The students are really excited about the potential of the screen. One of the most active ideas at the moment is to create a ‘Know Your Candidates’ interactive news project in time for the presidential election.

 

 

Deborah Howard: math, the struggle is real–and good!

D HowardDeborah Howard, math professor at the east campus, is using the Lockheed Martin chair in Mathematics this year in several ways, including bringing in Jeff Kosovich and allowing Professor Howard to attend the “Learning and the Brain” conference last winter.

Jeff Kosovich is a psychological researcher from the University of Virginia. He came to Valencia to conduct several cognitive interviews with Valencia students and front door math instructors on experimental design, growth mindset and motivation theory.

“We learned several useful procedural strategies that will assist us in collecting meaningful data,” says Howard. For example, their first attempt in recruiting students to participate in a focus group consisted of them contacting random Valencia math students. Only a few students attended even after they were called and reminded. “Jeff suggested we have the student’s math instructor make the contact with the student, since they already had a relationship with the student, and we were able to recruit a much larger sample of students.”  A protocol was created to ensure that each student’s experience in the focus group was as similar as it could be compared with other focus groups and that the interviewers did not influence the group’s responses.

The “Learning and the Brain” conferences Howard attended were “Shaping Student Mindsets” and “The Science of Imagination.”

“I learned that mastery-based goal orientation promotes a growth mindset, whereas performance-based goal orientation fosters a fixed mindset. Some effective strategies are to make the learning criteria known to students, emphasize productive struggle, and encourage students helping others which creates autonomy and resilience. In addition, passion for learning is sparked when students’ curiosity is engaged. I aspire to challenge my students to “Wonder Boldly”!”

Additionally, they were able to fund materials—including 40 jump drives for the secure data transfer of confidential and student-sensitive data, and two literature books, The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model for 21st-Century Schools” by Mariale Hardiman and “Mathematical Mindsets” by Jo Boaler and Carol Dweck.

Howard said, “Valencia wins! The teaching pedagogy of twenty-three East Campus front door mathematics faculty who participated in the growth mindset and motivation theory training were enriched. In turn, the students for these instructors for this year and future years will benefit with potential decrease in course drop-out rates, increase in math interest, and increase in overall course success rates. I have been approached by some of my own students who are so thankful that they now have the ability to believe in their own success in math. They are no longer afraid or believe that they can’t do math!”

Angel Buckland—Dreamy Cakes Bakery

Angel Buckland, a 2012 graduate of Valencia, started out in Culinary Arts planning to become a chef. Once she completed her culinary degree, she pursued baking and pastry management as a secondary degree. “I also joined the Valencia coangel-silver-medalist-1mpetition team with Chef Ken Bourgoin and discovered I had a passion for baking and pastry.”

And that was the start. “I am a cake artist and bake a lot of cakes and create custom cake designs; however, I also bake many other sweet and savory treats using a lot of my training in French techniques that I learned from the Valencia Culinary program.”

She loves playing with flavor fusions—her favorite (right now) is chocolate salted caramel. Her favorite class at Valencia was Garde Manger, which is a class that focuses on things like reception foods, a’la carte appetizers, and grand-buffet arrangements, because it was so creative; and Restaurant Production, where students were able to create desserts from their own ideas.  “I also loved competition class where we were able to compete for Florida at the ACF competitions. Best experience of my life.”

She got her start right out of Valencia, in 2012, which is not to say she got her start right out of college—angel-with-baby-cake-1she had one of those winding paths to a degree, starting out in computer science and moving on to marketing management. But once she got her degree at Valencia, she started Dreamy Cakes Bakery, and the rest, as they say, is history.

She started out by renting a commissary kitchen and began baking. It took her a while at first, building a clientele, but now, three years later, she’s opened her first bakerydreamy-cakes-staff-1 in historic downtown Sanford, at 114 W. 2nd Street (you can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DreamyCakesBakeryFL)

You can also find her website at http://dreamycakes.net/store/ with dozens of pictures to drool over.

“I just want to say that it has been a life-long dream to graduate from college.  I was determined to get my degree before I turned 50. I was 48 years old when I graduated, so I would like to inspire those who have a dream, to never give up.  Pursue your dream and passion in life. I never wanted to look back at my life and say, I wish I could have. Now I can look back and say, I did it. To chase after my dream, accomplish something in my life and achieve my goal–that is the best feeli ng in the world.

“Valencia College gave me that chance to pursue my dream, and it was the best years and experience in my life.”

 

Colin Archibald – “Big Data” is not ready for Valencia

Professor Colin Archibald, computer programming professor, used part of his University Club of Orlando Chair in Advanced Computer Technology this year to explore the world of “big data.”

“In this project colinarchibaldwe explored the emerging field of big data. Also called data analytics, and closely related to other emerging fields in computing, such as predictive analytics and business intelligence. Big data is not a well-defined field of study. In fact, most of what is called big data is really the rebranding of well-known mathematics. The new part is that we have data being collected from many different sources, including from a myriad of internet-connected devices.”

 

Dr. Archibald attended an intensive three-day course during the Christmas break. This course was offered by Learning Tree International, and called Introduction to Big Data. This was a very valuable course – although what was learned wasn’t what was expected!

One of the most valuable lessons was that the computer science department has determined that “the wme-and-earl-1eek long, intensive, boot-camp style courses are not the most effective way to learn this material”; they chose to go a different route, and purchase some online video courses that would help people in the computer science department learn this new technology. One plus is that taking the courses on an ad-hoc basis means that they can take these courses as needed and as time allows, without disrupting their usual day-to-day teaching.

A series of several video courses were purchased instead, making it a very high learning-value. Additionally, they generated some interesting discussion among the advanced students. One student did his project for the honors program on “big data” (Correlation or Causation).

Although the original objective was to create a course for Valencia programming students in big data, that proved to be a bit beyond the reach of faculty and students at this time.  Dr. Archibald says “We’ll keep an eye on it. When it is a bit more solid, and a lot less ‘hype,’ we’ll have another look at whether it should be part of the curriculum.”

 

Mayra Holzer (Speech): intercultural traditions

eva-perons-grave-1“The purpose of my sabbatical work was to allow me to cultivate my intercultural competence and to become a more competent global citizen and educator.” Mayra Holzer, professor of speech, used her Rhymer F. Maguire Jr. Endowed Chair in Communications to that end.

Through her sabbatical, she “sought personal and professional renewal and development,” in large part by immersing herself in the culture of Argentina. While in Argentina, she visited museums, cultural and historical monuments, and was able to experience their food, music and community.

In addition to full immersion in the culture, she participated in a variety of professional development activities in the area of intercultural communication. She received personalized training in intercultural communication through Iceberg Inteligencia Cultural Iceberg, an international organization that promotes multicultural understanding and global competency for effective intercultural communication in professional acasa-rosada-2nd educational settings, specializing in Latin American cultures.

“My overseas experience enriched my world view in general, and my multicultural approach to education in particular.” Through her travels to Buenos Aires, Argentina, she was also able to re-connect with her Hispanic heritage, was able to practice her Spanish language skills, and learned about a new culture in a country she had never visited.

While on sabbatical, she worked on internationalizing her curriculum for SPC1017 (Interpersonal Communication) and SPC1608 (Fundamentals of Speech), with a strong emphasis on the impact of culture on communication styles. Upon her return she created two INZ toolkits (SAGE) for SPC1017 and have submitted a request to offer an internationalized course as part of Valencia’s Global Distinction Program. She has also developed a workshop to be offered in the 2016 fall term during Global Peace Week. The workshop is titled “Cultural attributions and their impact on communicating with others.”

 

Chef Manny Washington—Orlando Fire Department’s finest chef

“Chef Manny” 11141778_377244982472413_4444921235404832610_nhas been cooking since he was eight. He started with desserts–in fact, the first thing he learned to cook was southern staple sweet potato pie. Next he graduated to sides, and finally to main dishes.

He learned from his grandmother, then his mother and his father, also a firefighter (in Miami).

He’s best known for his appearance on national cooking shows, which he’s been doing for only a year. (Since August, 2015, when he first appeared on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen.) The one thing that scared him the most about competition cooking? Plating. “Firefighters don’t require plating; they just want good tasting food.”

With all this cooking, you’d think he majored in something culinary, but Washington, it turns out, is kind of a science geek. From Valencia, he got an AS in Emergency Medical Services. From there, he went on to UCF, where he got a BS in Chemistry Education, with a minor in Emergency Management. “My favorite class was Organic Chemistry I with Dr. Eric Crumpler (west campus). By far one of the hardest classes I have ever taken, but I love how I get to take an acid naturalization and apply it to work.”

He is an engineer/paramedic with the Orlando Fire Department, stationed at Fire Station 1 (downtown). mc7_706-16-15-lobsterelim_0313_hires2He works on the Hazardous Materials team, which works with everything from gas spills to weapons of mass destruction.

How does he balance his career as a firefighter with this new “career” as a part time gourmet chef? Due to their schedule (24 hours on, 48 off) he has the time to do live food demos, private dinners, and even cook for other fire stations nationwide. His favorite thing to cook is skirt steak with chimichurri sauce, white rice, black beans and caramelized plantains. Did we mention he’s from Miami?

You can follow Chef Manny at @chefmannyfd on Facebook, Instagram, Twittter and YouTube.

 

 

Karen Cowden, professor of reading and EAP, and team, “Hands on Accessibility”

Dr. Cowden’s team has been working via the William C. Demetree Jr. Foundation Chair in Education for Special Needs. This project resulted in the “Hands-On Accessibility” workshop, offered in three sessions to full and part time faculty/staff. Additionally, they created the “Accessibility Advisory Group” in partnership with Dr. Deborah Larew, Director of Office of Students with Disabilities, which now has made in-roads with college-wide policy to have two full-time captionists on staff, and a required “Intro to Accessibility” course for all employees.

OSD Welcome Back Panorama Commons Area (1)

“Hands-on Accessibility” means that faculty and staff were able to come to a campus-based session hosted in the computer lab and work on their syllabi, tests, quizzes and videos to update and revise such with helping hands from the O.S.D. staff. Chris Cuevas is the technical support manager for the college and not only presented valuable information to the participants, but was there to engage with them one-on-one as they worked on their course material to make such more accessible. Stephanie Crosby was just as engaged with support for their needs, and Karen Cowden provided the faculty focus on the “best practices” for all learners and inclusion and diversity concepts.

Allowing faculty to participate in workshops that allow them to work in their own course materials with support while they are doing it has really empowered faculty with the skills and understanding to create materials that are accessible.

OSD Welcome Back Panorama (1)In meeting the diverse needs of students “we want to make sure that we do not assume we know our audience’s learning needs for support and that we design all course material with ‘best practices’ not as an after-the-fact response to paperwork for special accommodations.” As an example, when “our society was first introducing sidewalks, we didn’t consider cutting the curbs so wheeled items could easy flow on and off.  However, after a push from multiple facets of society inclusive of the ADA and others, having cut curbs now supports not only wheelchair access, but also that of children on bikes, moms with strollers, and others.”

So, it makes sense that all content is designed – college-wide information and course content – to be accessible for all, regardless of having paperwork for accommodations presented or not. To be accurate in the discussion of this topic it is important to realize the burden of paying for the documentation required to support eligibility for accommodations is on the student and therefore many times goes undiagnosed, which does not remove the need for support that the college can potentially provide by making all material more diversely delivered and designed.

Valencia’s student body includes students who have every type of disability, and some who have concurrent disabilities. The curriculum materials, student services, campus activities, and media must be accessible to students who have mobility impairments, are blind, are deaf, have learning disabilities, have processing disorders, have attention disorders, as well as other types of disabilities.

In order to meet this wide range of needs, Valencia’s OSD partners with CTLI and academic departments to provide training to faculty members and staff. Under the leadership of Dr. Deborah Larew, the Accessibility Advisory Group is developing processes that can be implemented institution wide to advance the use of technologies that can be used by any student, faculty, or staff member. Each term, the OSD creates alternative format textbooks t12339208_932911686744187_2709609143336267278_o (3)hat are compatible with screen readers for students. Chris Cuevas (pictured, right) works closely with faculty to insure that their Blackboard pages and online courses will be able to be accessed by students with various disabilities. On each campus, OSD advisors provide early advising to students, to allow them to plan for the use of their accommodations and to develop a schedule that will meet any unique needs. The OSD also provides services to Valencia’s deaf population. Donna Kimmeth schedules interpreters and captionists to guarantee that deaf students will have full access to courses, meetings, activities, and tutoring. Since access is provided in collaboration with each student, accommodations may vary greatly.

Valencia has been taking large steps in advancing the accessibility of all of its online materials to all students. Patti Davis has been an incredible ally in promoting accessible technologies and web design. Craig Blazejewski has also been instrumental in developing procedures to make sure that all online marketing materials can be accessed by any student interested in Valencia.

 

 

Kenneth Bourgoin–a taste of greatness

This year, the Hunton Brady Architects Endowed Chair in Hospitality Management allowed a select few of the Culinary Art StIMG_6588udent Association club to attend the National Restaurant Association meeting in Chicago.

The show hosts purveyors from all over the world. There are about 65,000 attendees to the show and it takes about 2-3 days to see all of it. “It is like a food and beverage theme park,” says Bourgoin.

Sometimes, the trip alone is the farthest a student has ever travelled, and that can be challenging in and of itself. At the show they are networking, sharing education programs, involved in chef demos and learning about how the number one private employer hospitality industry works.

The students have to earn points doing volunteer houIMG_6595rs within and outside Valencia College to get the privilege to go to the show. They are exposed to not only the show but the food of Chicago. The faculty and students meet after the show and go to places like Frontera Grill – Rick Bayless’s famous restaurant serving Mexican Cuisine, The Berghoff– a German Restaurant, and The “Girl and the Goat.”  The Chef there is a James Beard award winner.

One student’s reaction: “Getting the opportunity to meet and network with some of the biggest names in the food industry like Thomas Keller [chef at The French Laundry], Anne Burrell and Mauricio Londono, who is the Vice President of the World Association of Chefs,” was a predictably “wow” moment, one that the student is sure will benefit him in years to come

Diane Dalrymple–enhancing information literacy

ALA Photo Cropped

 

The Freeda Foreman Chair in Collaborative and Creative Problem-Solving has been beneficial to both faculty and students at Valencia College. “The process of collaboration between myself, a librarian on east campus, and east campus composition faculty and administration was rewarding and insightful. The endowed chair offered me the opportunity to work with the east campus dean of communications (Dr. Linda Neal) and the composition division chair (Randy Gordon), which I have not had the chance to do in the past,” Diane Dalrymple, east campus librarian, says about her current project.

She brought to these administrators the concept of using a standardized test to measure the level of a Valencia student’s information literacy. In addition, Dalrymple met with classroom faculty who volunteered to offer the test through their classes to describe the test and to answer any questions or concerns they had.

This project was a larger-scale attempt to measure a general education student learning outcome than the assessment tools the librarians have been recently employing. Students polled after taking the tests related that they found the questions very enlightening.

One student responded, “I just do research. I really don’t think about how I do it. Maybe I should.” Another student added, “This was hard. I usually just go to Google to find what I need. I never knew there were special places to go for special facts.”

The results from the test showed that Valencia College students scored above average on understanding economic, legal, and social issues related to information. That is, their understanding of copyright and plagiarism is a much higher level than at comparable schools.

The areas where Valencia student need to improve are in retrieving and evaluating sources. Future students will benefit from these assessment results because faculty and librarians now know where we need to focus our efforts in teaching information literacy.

“My conversations with Dean Neal and Professor Gordon were very enlightening to me. I personally had to think about aspects of program assessment that were new to me because of discerning questions about the standardized testing raised by Dean Neal and Professor Gordon. Their questions included what type of results would be received from the testing, were the results actionable, and were the results linked to particular students in particular classes.”

The questions related to application will be answered in future conversations between the librarians as a group and fellow faculty members and administrators interested in using this type of assessment tool. Currently, future conversations have been scheduled with Dr. Laura Blasi and the Valencia College
Librarians Assessment Committee. The hope is that with the support of Dr. Blasi and the
Assessment Committee to be able to offer open sessions for faculty where the results of the test can be presented and robust conversations can be continued. Some of the assessment changes have been implemented already, and the results of the test as a whole will be shared with classroom faculty this fall.

“This project took a village to accomplish and it will take a village to determine where we go from here.”

Christy Cheney, life skills = travel

Christy Cheney, professor of student life skills, and Jocelyn Morales, counselor, headed up the REACH (Reaching Every Academic Challenge Head On) student experience, traveling to Venice, Italy. The University Club of Orlando Chair in Humanities was key to funding this project.

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The REACH student experience was transforming because these students had very little experience traveling and being away from the families, which resulted in more growth and development than we expected. “For example, one student in particular spent time in my [Cheney’s] office (almost daily) preparing for the trip. Through her questions as well as my input on expectations, she felt fully prepared for her travels. Upon arrival at the airport and saying goodbye to her mother and grandmother, it was evident she was nervous and seemed a bit unsure of her decision. She sat right next to me on the plane, but was still connected to her family and friends through her cell phone. Once we departed and arrived in Venice, Italy, her connection seemed intermittent due to lack of WIFI. She seemed apprehensive and concerned that her family would be worried about her, but we reassured her that it would be okay, and to embrace this new opportunity by ‘disconnecting.’”

 

The REACH students roomed together for the first couple of nights, which helped them feel a bit more comfortable, but they were eventually mixed up as they traveled throughout the country. The students quickly realized that the adult leaders were not always available for their every need, and they were forced to break out of their comfort zone and engage with other students on the trip.

The transformation/adaptation to this new environment and cultural experience became apparent as they progressed through their trip. REACH students made new friends, took advantage of their free time in unique ways (from each other) and really explored the cities separately.IMG_15601 (1)

 

Jocelyn’s role began in the spring term when she met with them one-on-one at their meetings. In addition, Jocelyn developed a Qualtrics survey to identify student fears and apprehensions. “We knew students were excited about their travels, but we also wanted to know their concerns about leaving the country.”

 

Through Jocelyn’s time with the students over the term and, of course, throughout their travels, a few viewed Jocelyn as a role model and even as an adult family figure. One student in particular didn’t leave her side for a large portion of the trip. In many ways, Jocelyn was her “safety net” and she felt very comfortable as long as she was with her.  Jocelyn slowly “let go” so that the student gained the confidence to experience her travels with her fellow classmates and embrace being in a new place with a set of different values (daily living style). “We could see their growth and development (transformation) by the second half of the trip, and we are incredibly proud of the positive impact this journey had on them.”

In addition, Jocelyn held a session on personality traits, emailed students throughout the term and also called all students (including REACH) to ensure they were prepared for the journey (moral support, tips, etc.).

They also met with the students after the trip was over, looking for additional feedback.

 

Andrew Ray, program chair AS built environment programs

1M3A0100 %281024x683%29 (2)Professor Ray is using the Hubbard Construction Company Chair in Technical and Engineering Program for study abroad scholarships.

The Hubbard Construction Chair supports educational programs in building construction, drafting and design, land surveying, and other technology areas. These funds will provide scholarships to allow students in the above programs to participate in a study abroad trip to visit renewable energy facilities in China during summer, 2016. Professor Ray also plan to escort students to Germany/Switzerland in 2016, but the opportunity arose to join Jennifer Robertson’s business students on a 10 day trip to Beijing and Shanghai in July, 2016, to see renewable energy production and accelerated/automated construction techniques.

 “My personal interest in sustainable energy production, including solar, wind and geo-thermal power, spans almost 40 years; the thesis for my Master of Architecture involved creating software and graphics to analyze energy usage in historic buildings.”

The sabbatical Professor Ray completed during fall semester, 2015, included visits to all cities along the path of the proposed trip that Professor Deymond Hoyte and he plan to lead in summer, 2017. “This ‘dry-run’ allowed me to research each site, obtain tourist maps and be able to provide background information to students before and during the study abroad trip.”

The sabbatical itinerary through 29 countries also included visits to a solar plant east of Berlin, geothermal springs and sustainable indoor greenhouses in Iceland, as well as many stops to document various solar and wind power facilities wherever accessible.

Pre-trip meetings with students will focus on popular forms of renewable energy (photovoltaic and thermal solar, wind, geo-thermal, and biofuels), the sociopolitical support of renewables by some governments within the European Union and China, with background on the specific sites they will visit. This will also include an introduction to the culture and people of China for the 2016 trip, and Germany and Switzerland for 2017, and basic language phrases. Since the trip will include students in Built Environment programs and also students taking business courses at Valencia, the cross-discipline approach should foster unique perspectives and discussions. Assessments will include journals and reflection papers on the projects visited and insight gained from the cultural experience.

Study abroad experiences are life-changing for students, opening them to global perspectives, and providing insight into alternate solutions to systemic issues. Most students in the Built Environment program have previously undertaken research on issues related to sustainability, completing an oral presentation on a “green” topic to their classmates. Report topics include the alternate power generation methods and current construction practices featured on this trip, but also include garden roofs; this is the major amenity of an apartment building they will visit in Darmstadt with the students. In addition, students will be exposed to state-of-the-art technologies used in China and Europe, as well as traditional construction techniques predating anything built in the USA.

Professor Ray has been involved in the Central Florida design and construction community for many years. After graduating with a Master’s in Architecture from Texas A&M, he moved to Fort Myers, FL, and was involved with historic preservation and commercial projects while completing his internship. Upon becoming a registered architect, he moved his family to Orlando in 1990, founded Array Design and started teaching at Valencia in 1991. A past president of the local chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute, and former Construction Manager with Habitat for Humanity, Mr. Ray enjoys travel and learning about construction. His wife, Alison, is also an architect, and they have two sons, Alex and Tony.

 

Valencia nursing is extraordinary

First-time exam takers from Valencia College taking the recent round of the NCLEX-RN® (the National Council Licensure Examination) scored big.

4th quarter: 10/01/2015 – 12/31/2015 – 100%

That’s right – 100%.

“In each course throughout the nursing program, students are given standardized exams which are nationally normed. These standardized exams prepare students to take the NCLEX-RN® (the National Council Licensure Examination).”

The standardized exams also allow the faculty to evaluate whether the Nursing Program Outcomes have been met.  After the students graduate, they then take the NCLEX-RN, which is the national licensure exam that all nursing graduates take to become licensed as an RN,” says Anita Kovalsky RN, MNEd, CNE, Valencia’s Clinical Nursing program director.

Passing this exam reflects that the new RN is able to give safe and effective care to patients, as well as function as an entry-Level RN at the patient’s bedside.

And while not to take away from that 100%, the nursing program’s year to date numbers are remarkable as well: 01/01/2015 – 12/31/2015 – 95.2%

 To compare, statewide,

STATE OF FLORIDA – pass-rates

Year to date: 01/01/2015 – 12/31/2015 – 72.02%

 

While across the nation,

NATIONAL – pass-rates

Year to date: 01/01/2015 – 12/31/2015 – 84.51%

 

Congratulations to the students and teachers of Valencia College’s nursing program!

Pamela Sandy, professor of dental hygiene

Another in our series on the endowed chairs.

Pam 2015Pamela Sandy, RDH, BS, MA, professor of dental hygiene and dental hygiene program chair, is using this year’s Ira Vinson Henderson Chair in Nursing and Allied Health grant to revitalize the curriculum and calibrate faculty in the dental hygiene program.

Ms. Sandy participated in the Academy for Academic Leadership’s Institute for Allied Dental Educators with the goal of acquiring the skills of a master educator with the ADEA/AAL Institute for Allied Health Educators. The program is a series of five live online ninety minute sessions, and was attended by  Valencia full-time faculty Robin Poole and Rebekah Pittman;  Valencia adjunct faculty Natasha Cook and Danielle Driscoll;  and Valencia senior lab manager, Tiffany Baggs.

The series she selected was titled “Revitalizing Curriculum and Calibrating Faculty,” which included faculty calibration, creating a flipped classroom, designing hybrid courses, curriculum design, and management.

The AAL goals for this class included

  • Creating a flipped classroom: giving an overview of the flipped classroom, identifying advantages and role of faculty as facilitators and applying the concepts by combining the basic sciences with clinical care, including utilization of evidence-based learning, cases and reflective exercises.
  • Curriculum design and management, discussing curriculum mapping and how mapping relates to student assessment, and comparing curriculum mapping and course sequencing for optimal student success.
  • And, finally, faculty motivation, including team-building and applying motivational techniques to better engage peers in an effort to motivate fellow faculty.

In addition, one of her goals—and two of the goals for the class—was to explore other methods for faculty calibration FDHA 2012(calibration is faculty being on the same “page” during clinical evaluation of students; it is developing and adhering to a set of guidelines for student evaluation) in the clinical setting and to assist faculty in designing hybrid courses which will keep the dental hygiene curriculum current. To that end, two faculty completed another course in community dental health to refresh their skills in teaching the course and to enhance course content.

 Dental hygiene student learning can be positively impacted by faculty who are skilled at using the flipped classroom concept and are competent in designing learning activities in an online environment.”

Most of the faculty have been using the flipped classroom concept for several years, and the course gave them some additional ideas for technologies and learning activities they could use in their classes.

In all, the sessions drove the instructors’ learning and impact on the classroom immensely. “It was,” says Ms. Sandy, “a very successful session.”

 

 

 

Michael Robbins, professor of English

Michael Robbins, tenured professor of English composition, is using the Jessie and Eugene Drey Endowment of English-Speaking Union Chair in English and Humanities to investigate shifting Valencia’s approach to ENC1102 (Composition II) to a critical thinking and argumentation course. He says “We currently focus on using literature to teach research method in Composition II; this does not align well with other college and university programs, nor do I think it allows us to better teach higher level analytical skills to students.” His goal is to develop a model for Composition II using critical thinking and argumentation course work. He continues, “It is my hope that this will assist in better teaching students how to foster more accepting attitudes of diverse views and perspectives.”

“As a faculty member, I would like to better learn how to integrate both critical thinking skills into the learning objectives for Composition II. Specifically, I’d like to develop my ability to explain what critical thinking entails to the student, but most importantly how to efficiently practice critical thinking—that is, to move away from what Gerald Nosich [professor at Buffalo State, member of ‘the critical thinking community’] describes as black-and-white thinking, and get the student engaged in the practice of synthesizing and accepting multiple views, and analyzing what those views mean.”

He will assess the project by comparing a baseline Composition II course (literature-based) with a Composition II course that utilizes course material focused on critical thinking and argumentation (specifically, he will use Gerald Nosich’s book Learning to Think Things Through and Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein’s They Say/I Say).

The objective will be to collect qualitative data from student essays, assessing whether the material reflects critical thinking skills (such as establishing personal views, valuing alternate views, and basing views on researched material). “I will compare this to what I am able to learn by attending the Thirty-fifth International Conference on Critical Thinking and Educational Reform.

“In ENC1102, students are required to demonstrate the following skills: Information Literacy, Critical Thinking, and Written Communication. My ability to better teach critical thinking skills, as well as our use of course material focused on critical thinking and synthesizing alternate views, will be clearly focused on both Critical Thinking and Information Literacy. The students will be able to better articulate their own views, as well as synthesize the views of others.”

Professor Robbins teaches at the Osceola campus.

Richard Sansone—professor of Portuguese and EAP

IMG_6836Richard Sansone, professor of Portuguese and EAP (English for Academic Purposes), is the recipient of this year’s Valencia Foundation Board Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies. He is using this grant to fund a Service Learning Project “bridging disciplines, institutions and cultures.”

“This endowed chair enables future grant development/cultural exchange while implementing an intensive English/American culture course for teachers at the Federal University in Diamantina, Brazil (UFVJM).” Strengthening relations, it led to a proposal for 100,000 Strong in the Americas, President Obama’s initiative to create greater academic synergy.

“Our work with the team to develop ideas for a grant both at the UFVJM and at Valencia was extremely fruitful even though it was determined that the 100,000 Strong grant opportunity was not an ideal fit. The process of developing the contacts, resources, and project ideas, however, enabled both Valencia’s resource development team and our partners at the UFVJM to develop targets and make a working plan to help accomplish those goals. These include these searching for the grant opportunities both within and beyond the college.” Both institutions benefit through the professional development it provides, and the grant proposal and student/faculty exchanges it facilitates.

Among his goals: “Through the cultural and linguistic immersion that this experience will provide me, I will update my skills in terms of contemporary Portuguese language and Brazilian culture. Languages are alive and constantly evolving and need to be revisited to ensure that as educators we provide students with the most current information.”

Through this endowed chair, Sansone’s intention is that Valencia students will have expanded opportunities for deepening language/cultural skills through both study abroad and interaction with Brazilian students the grant will bring to Valencia, “thus building pathways of understanding.”

“The intensive English/American culture course that we were able to offer at the UFVJM was so enthusiastically wellIMG_6824 received that the enrollment filled to overflowing in three days. Additionally the UFVJM has requested we return for July 2016 and would like to add a third professor/3rd level of English language instruction to broaden the course offerings. The impact that our course had both on future English professors and on our colleagues at the University was extremely positive, productive, and nurturing to our very good relations both personally and academically.”

Finally, Professor Sansone says, “I cannot express strongly enough deep gratitude I feel toward Valencia Foundation for the support of this extremely worthwhile project which enabled me and Professor Steve Cunningham to travel to Brazil to work with future professors of English at the UF V JM, an area which is historically and culturally rich but impoverished in terms of resources and economy.”

Professor Sansone works at the west campus.

Help Us Identify Distinguished Graduate 2016!

The Valencia Alumni Association needs your help!

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The application process for the Mary Smedley Collier  Distinguished Graduate 2016 Award is in full swing.  Along with the distinction that comes with being selected, the Distinguished Graduate 2016 will serve as the keynote speaker at both the morning and afternoon Commencement ceremonies this year and will receive $2,000. We know from experience that many of our eligible students are too humble to see themselves in this role.

This is where you come in.

Don’t let your candidate slip by.  If you know an eligible applicant, please encourage them to apply today.  The deadline for accepting applications is February 19, 2016.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: -Must have a minimum overall 3.5 GPA.

-Must be nominated by a member of the Valencia faculty or staff.  (The nomination letter is required as a part of the online application packet the student submits.)

-Must graduate during the academic year in which the scholarship is awarded. This includes Summer ’15, Fall ’15 and Spring ’16 terms.

-Must be available to attend both commencement ceremonies on May 8th and give their commencement speech at both.

APPLY HERE: https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/ScholarX_ApplyForScholarship.aspx?applicationformid=4650&AYID=444

Please contact the Alumni Relations office for more information at alumni@valenciacollege.edu or 407-582-3217.

 

Richard Gair, professor of Holocaust studies and reading

Rich_smallRichard Gair used his Abe and Tess Wise Endowed Chair in the Study of the Shoah this year to travel to Poland, an important part of his Holocaust studies.

The title for his project is “Discovering Fragments of Jewish Life in Poland,” and it was Professor Gair’s intent to spend nearly three weeks in that country, spending his time talking with local historians, officials and museum staff.

“I also toured four Nazi death camps, studying and photographing them,” Professor Gair says. The towns on his travel agenda were Lodz, Chmielnik, Auschwitz, Rzeszow and Lublin. “In each location I made day trips to the sites and smaller villages.” Moreover, he explored the archives in places like Auschwitz.

The purpose of his stay? To visit, study and photograph key sites of Nazi persecution, ghettos and Nazi death camps, and to study and photograph fragments of Jewish life that once existed in Poland to deepen his understanding of that time. He also planned to examine the archives and exhibits at Auschwitz-Birkeneau to enhance his teaching and to help him plan future study abroad trips to the camps.RichardGair

He met with local historians to learn first-hand about the lives of Jews in the towns, and—perhaps most importantly, he deepened his scholarship to enrich all his Holocaust knowledge and teaching. The trip added a new perspective to what he understands about Jewish life in Poland then. It will also help him to add new components to future study abroad trips he leads.

As Professor Gair visits these places, he’ll be adding a wealth of new knowledge and experience to his professional background as a Holocaust educator and representative for Valencia in his role as a member of the Florida State Task Force on Holocaust Education. The photographs, videos and knowledge will all be infused into his classroom teaching of his Holocaust course, as well as his annual Holocaust study abroad trip.

Students have told me that when I can integrate my own experiences visiting, studying at the sites we study, it adds a level of authenticity to my teaching,” Gair says.  The pictures and videos from the trip will be shared in class, along with interviews he conducts with a historian or others. “By showing students the remnants of Jewish life, as small as they may be, they will further appreciate the magnitude of the Holocaust and its effect on a culture that has vanished.”

Videos from his trip can be found at https://vimeo.com/album/3516403

Julie Phelps, professor of mathematics

picture“Today, there are many free online resources that can be used to enhance students’ learning.

Unfortunately, these materials are not all created equal! The goal of this project is to provide our students with the technology tools needed to create student-led tutorials that support Valencia College algebra content. Engaging in this activity helps students see the relevance (usefulness) or importance of what they are learning.”

Julie Phelps, professor of mathematics, is using the Raymer F. Maguire, Jr., teaching chair to combine the three strategies that she is currently using to assist the front-door (first year) mathematics students while bringing down the cost of textbooks.

First, Valencia East campus math faculty created an on-demand website called math help 24/7. “A student created on-demand tutorial would be a perfect addition. This project would help to obtain the necessary technology for student-created tutorials. Also, I am currently using a Valencia faculty-written free online textbook. These resources could help faculty create interactive worksheets to support the free online textbook. Last, I would like to create an online lesson that connects to the psychological interventions (i.e. mindset and utility value) designed to increase student performance and interest in mathematics,” adds Professor Phelps.

The student-led tutorial serves a dual purpose. First, in the term the student creates the tutorial, this video will serve as an alternate assessment to a pencil/paper test on the same topic or unit. Second, if the student-created video is a high quality video, then the video will be a permanent addition the online tutorials already online for all future students taking the course.  “While I was describing this project to the current students, the idea that they could put on their resume that they contributed to Valencia College online tutorial resources and they can share the link, was tremendously exciting.”

Professor Phelps will design a lesson that requires each student to “teach” an algebraic topic. These lessons will be graded, and if they are sound in theory, the student-led tutorial will be included as a supplement to the textbook for future students to use.

She will also create tutorials to demonstrate how other faculty can use these resources to create interactive worksheets which will recruit front-door educators who can implement these interventions.

And finally, she will assess her psychological online intervention learning outcomes by collaborating with an external researcher regarding the best delivery of these interventions to students.

Valencia algebra courses have a course outcome which requires the “use of technology tools” and a course outcome calling for the “use of applications emphasizing connections with other disciplines and with the real world.”

Additionally, Think, Valencia’s core competency, is defined as “thinking critically, and creatively, analyzing, synthesizing, integrating and evaluating.” This competency explains the level necessary to design a math content tutorial. The potential of motivating students to teach content using technology is great way to assess student learning while inspiring them to contribute to our academic digital community. The opportunity to influence student outcomes (i.e. decreasing course drop rates, increasing math interest, and increasing gateway mathematics course success rates) by implementing the psychological interventions will provide students with potentially life-changing attitudes.

 Professor Phelps holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida Southern College in Lakeland, a master’s degree from UCF, and a doctorate, also from UCF.

 

See also this blog post from December 2, discussing the group project: http://bit.ly/1T1W63z

 

 

Deborah Howard, professor of mathematics

D HowardAnother in our series of endowed chairs.

Deborah Howard, professor of mathematics, is using her Lockheed Martin Chair in Mathematics to remove “barriers to success using mindset interventions.”

She says “Student success in gateway mathematics courses depends as much on attitudes and beliefs as it does on content knowledge. Many students believe that they are either inherently good or bad at math. Many claim they have had negative experiences with math by expressing two statements: ‘Math is useless in my life,’ and ‘I can’t do math.’”

She believes that implementing social-psychological interventions can empower students to overcome these barriers.

Professor Howard’s goal with the award is to build connections with external researchers with expertise in psychological interventions (i.e. mindset and utility value), so she can learn how to best train gateway math faculty to apply these interventions with Valencia’s gateway math students.

“Mindset research by Carol Dweck has found that by teaching people that the brain’s ability to grow and adapt—like a muscle—means that you can actually train it to improve intelligence and skill. This research has resulted in increased performance among students and closing of achievement gaps between race and ethnicity. Additionally, Chris Hulleman and his colleagues (Utility Value Study) have found that when students are asked to reflect on the usefulness of their class material, it actually increases their performance and interest in the course.”

She plans to bring in external researchers to work with her and other front door mathematics educators to learn together about how to make use of these strategies at Valencia. The researcher will work with Valencia’s team by collecting data, creating a continuous implement cycle on how and when they should deliver these interventions.

The opportunity to influence student outcomes (i.e. decreasing course drop rates, increasing math interest, and increasing gateway mathematics course success rates) through the researcher-practitioner collaboration will be the highlight of this project. “The mindset and utility value interventions will provide us with the opportunity to facilitate potentially life-changing psychological interventions for our Valencia front-door mathematics students. For me, the potential to help Valencia College mathematics students with the opportunity to overcome past academic / psychological barriers is the first step forward in their academic and life pursuits.”

Ms. Howard was born in Sanford, Florida, and received her MS in Mathematical Sciences from UCF. Married to Vince Howard, she has two daughters. She has been with Valencia’s math faculty since 1994. She teaches at the east campus.

 

For more information on the group grant, see also http://bit.ly/1T1W63z (Valencia college’s blog post on the grant itself.)

Christy Cheney—professor of student life skills and Jocelyn Morales—counselor

Christy Cheney and Jocelyn Morales are using their University Club of Orlando Chair in Humanities to defray the costs of study abroad for students (and counselors) in The Uncommon Scholar: REACH Study Abroad 2016 – Italy program.

The REACH (Reaching Each Academic Challenge Head On) program is a cohort-based learning community at the Osceola campus designed to support and guide students through their first 21 college credit hours. Students are nominated by their high school counselors because they demonstrate the work ethic and desire to succeed in academics, but require college readiness skills and support to begin their college career. Most REACH students question if college is right for them and are typically the first in their families to pursue a college degree.

“While certainly many of our students face financial challenges in earning a college degree, a study abroad experience benefits REACH students on a greater level as they have not only had to overcome financial barriers, but also academic obstacles, as well,” says Professor Cheney. Through integrated lessons, co-curricular programs, and fundraising for the Osceola community, students build strong connections with faculty, classmates, and the learning support service providers to help them succeed in college.

The REACH experience continues to be an invaluable opportunity for students who didn’t think college was an option for them. The Valencia Foundation Board will provide students with additional scholarship funds to experience globalized learning through a study abroad program to Italy in 2016 with an experienced Counselor to provide strategies to address personal challenges and support throughout the study abroad program.

We will provide REACH students with the opportunity to experience globalized learning through the study abroad program to Italy in July, 2016. Through Service Learning or Humanities, students will earn college credit while immersing themselves in the rich cultural contributions of Italy.

The vast majority of REACH students are the first in their family to attend college, and are on financial aid with minimal exposure to life outside of Osceola County. An opportunity to travel abroad is a dream that seems unattainable due to financial challenges, as well as having the experience to be away from their families. The endowed chair will fund additional scholarship dollars to support financial need as well as support a Valencia counselor to assist students in adjusting and acclimating to the global experience.

Prior to traveling, REACH students and the traveling counselor will participate in required meetings to discuss expectations and concerns, and learn about how to transition to the culture/country of Italy. Students will reflect through journal writing to share pre-departure plans on preparing for their trip as well as throughout their trip. Through journal reflections, students will be able to express their excitement, fears and new experiences with the support of the SLS and counselor. Faculty will participate in on going open-discussions before, during and after the study abroad experience to ensure full support and guidance for all REACH students.

Professor Cheney teaches the New Student Experience course. She says “I will have built strong connections and relationships with REACH students in the fall of 2015; therefore, my role in addition to Jocelyn’s role will help students to successfully adjust and study abroad.”

Professor Cheney teaches at the Osceola campus. She has worked with REACH students since 2010.

Ms. Morales teaches at the east campus, where she has worked with REACH students for approximately 20 years.

Robert McCaffrey—professor of digital media technology

rob_blackProfessor Rob McCaffrey is using the Sue Luzadder Chair in Communications endowment to purchase integrated media touchscreens to assist students who want to use the technology to write journalistic stories and produce video content in support…and then have a medium through which to produce it.

The Digital Media program has been working with colleagues in Communications on ways to update the classes in which our students produce periodic articles on current events (formerly ‛College Newspaper’). In spring, 2015, we began a special topics course called ‛Integrated Media Production,’ in which the students are required to write journalistic stories and produce photos, audio and videos to help support the written articles.

“I will use this endowed chair to purchase interactive touch screen monitors that could be placed on stands around campus to display this journalistic work. The ultimate goal would be to eventually have a permanent outlet for the writing and media created by students, as well as strengthen the campus community by creating a reliable source of local news,” says Professor McCaffrey.

As part of this project, Professor McCaffrey will also work to fully understand the workflow for producing content for interactive touchscreens.

The money from the chair would be used to purchase one or more large-format, interactive monitors, such as would pinapple_shootallow viewers to call up specific content, turn audio on or off, or interact with content like 3D digital maps or simple games. These monitors could be mounted for temporary display on stands, or (working first with OIT, plant operations, marketing and the campus president’s office) could be permanently mounted around campus. The screens would be used to loop current student articles and media projects. Content would originally be created by students in digital media classes, but the intent would be to eventually have content from any applicable communications or media production course added to the screens.

His goal will be to have the screens in place around campus by end of summer 2016, and at least 30 minutes of high-quality, student-produced, topical content installed on the monitors. “I’ll assess the success of the learning by the quality of the writing and media I’m able to get students to produce, and by whether the faculty, staff and students in my program area have learned how to produce effective content for touchscreens.”

He adds, “I teach in a media production area and have used social media sites for years to display student content. It’s useful to inspire students by showing off their work on a world-wide platform like

YouTube, but those platforms must be sought out, and often students don’t get to see how their work is received by the people around them. By having a local outlet for student-produced projects on campus, it’s my hope that students will be further inspired and pushed to do even higher-quality work, knowing that what they produce might be shown on-campus and that they might become personally known for what they are producing.”  One of their outlets currently is a blog.

Professor McCaffrey is the program director for Digital Media (for the past seven years or so), and last year taught a pilot class of Integrated Media Production—a mixture of College Newspaper and media production classes. Courses met synchronously on East and West Campuses and communicated with each other using Google Hangouts for real-time video conferencing and Trello boards for online organization of story pitches, research, writing and publication.

He teaches primarily at the east campus and is the faculty advisor for interns in the digital media program.

 

 

Steve Cunningham, professor of EAP

SteveCunninghamPictureThe professor of English as a Second Language for Academic Purposes (EAP) at Valencia College’s Osceola Campus is using his Tupperware Corporation Chair in Community Quality to bring in a visiting Brazilian artist: Clovis Junior.

The artist is well-known in Brazil for his outstanding use of vivid colors, painting scenes that depict Brazilian folk heroes, and for the use of the cashew fruit in his paintings. The cashew tree is native to the northeastern region of Brazil where the artist lives.  It is a large spreading tree that is rapidly losing its habitat to development.  Clovis strives to raise awareness of this issue by including a depiction of the cashew fruit in each of his works.

“I feel strongly that bringing art into a community improves the quality of life,” says Professor Cunningham.clovis

This project will accomplish this in three ways:

  1. Clovis will exhibit his paintings on both the Osceola and West Campuses during the week of February 22-26, 2016.  The exact dates and locations are yet to be determined.
  2. Clovis will give an art class at Central Avenue Elementary School. During this class, the elementary school students will work with the artist to complete their own painting. Both Clovis and the student will sign their paintings. In addition to having a healthy dose of creativity during the class, the students will also be exposed to Brazilian culture and learn a few phrases in Portuguese.
  3. Clovis will leave one of his paintings for the Valencia Foundation to be auctioned at the next Taste for Learning.  The proceeds of the sale will go to student scholarships.

clovis-junior-540x432As well, “the artist will interact with our partners in the Brazilian community, and students in Valencia’s art, humanities, and foreign language programs, who will act as local guides and volunteer translators,” adds Cunningham.

This year, Professor Cunningham completed his 15th year at Valencia College as a full-time professor of EAP.  He received tenure in 2003.

He received his bachelor’s degree in Paper Engineering at Western Michigan University and his master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language at Michigan State University.  He has also taken classes at the University of Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia.  More recently, he has studied the Portuguese language at PUC in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and at UFOP in Ouro Preto, Brazil.

Professor Cunningham teaches at the Osceola campus.

Steve Myers–professor of biology

 

Steve Myers with...a cobra.

Steve Myers with…a cobra.

The title of this piece almost ended up “Steve Myers, professor of biology and world traveler extraordinaire.” He’s been to India, Guyana…

Steve Myers is using his Valencia Foundation Board Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies to explore South Asia with an eye toward learning more about its biodiversity. “South Asia” he says, “is a biodiverse area with a large human population. The Western Ghats of India is a well-known ecological hot spot, home to eighty-four amphibian species, sixteen bird species, seven mammals,” and 1,600 flowering plant species, all of which are unique to the area, and found nowhere else on earth.

Let that sink in for a moment. All of these species are unique to this area.

“The conservation and preservation of this unique area is of global importance. Students would benefit from observing conservation efforts used by researchers at the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station (ARRS) in a field biology setting. They would have the opportunity to explore and understand the hurdles of conservation in a developing country, how those differ from regulations in the states and abroad, and what effect such governance has on the ability to sustain and preserve these endemic species.”

During his next study abroad project, Myers hopes to research policies and procedures used for preservation and

Steve Myers helps students...with a crocodile? No danger here...

Steve Myers helps students…with a crocodile.

proliferation in India, and with help from his traveling students, compare them with those of the developed world, “and explore how sharing and adapting these ideas may serve to help us all, globally.” He continues, “being that global sustainability is at the forefront of our environmental concerns, I feel it is important to explore cross cultural differences between our conservation practices and those of the western world with those of the developing world.”

His project is planned for March 3–15, 2016 in Chennai, India.

In the past, his travels have taken him to other parts of India, Guyana and Venezuela. His students have gone on to work in the field of conservation and field biology.  He has also several students go on to participate in various research programs, internships and apprenticeship programs at colleges throughout the US and abroad.

“My hope is to inspire students to think about the world around them, how our actions affect nature, and what steps we can take to preserve the environments around us,” says Myers.

Professor Myers teaches at the East campus.

 

TEDxOrlandoSalon, register now!

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Don’t miss our first TEDxOrlandoSalon at 
Valencia’s Winter Park Campus!
Thursday, December 10th

 6:30-9pm

What talks will be on the program? This months TEDxOrlandoSalon attendees will vote to view two talks from the following curated selection:

  • Jennifer Doudna: We can now edit our DNA, let’s do it wisely
  • Melissa Fleming: A boat carrying 500 refugees sunk at sea: the story of two survivors
  • Genevieve von Petzinger: Why are these 32 symbols found in caves all over Europe?
  • Josh Luber: The secret sneaker market and why it matters
  • Carl Safina: What are animals thinking and feeling?
*Please note that Salon events do not feature live speakers; the focus is on participation in conversation and discussion.

Laura Sessions–professor of chemistry

Our latest in our series about endowed chairs at Valencia this year.

 

“HoDr. Laura Sessionsw can we prepare students for the challenges of STEM (science/technology/engineering/math) careers?” This is the question Professor Laura Sessions asked while creating “meaningful internship experiences” at the Lake Nona campus with her Lockheed Martin Chair in Science this year.

She adds “I am currently interested in improving the learning experience for students in the science laboratory. The Lockheed Martin Chair in Science 2015-16 has allowed me to investigate best practices for training students in research skills and to create an internship program for a first cohort of five students in spring 2016.”

The intent of this program is to help students better understand the process of science, and the mindset and skills required to do research. Students will receive training in key laboratory skills through interaction with faculty members, through the use of tutorials, and, ultimately, by addressing a research question. Students with these skill sets are more likely to find internships in research labs.

Students will be able to attend the Florida Academy of Sciences Conference on March 19-21, 2016 at the University of South Florida, thanks to funding from the Lockheed Martin Chair in Science from the Valencia Foundation.

 

“One student, Shannon Finner, has already been working in the laboratory with me this fall. She is optimizing

Dr. Sessions and Assistantship Student Shannon Finner Discuss an Infrared Spectrum in the Lake Nona Chemistry laboratory, fall 2015.

Dr. Sessions and Assistantship Student Shannon Finner Discuss an Infrared Spectrum in the Lake Nona Chemistry laboratory, fall 2015.

the recrystallization solvent for purifying a Diels-Alder adduct that students make in the Organic Chemistry 1 class at Lake Nona’s campus.”

Dr. Sessions adds, “In the long term, I hope to create a sustainable program for scientific inquiry by students at the Lake Nona campus. I would like to create an interdisciplinary team, bringing together students and faculty from chemistry, biology, and our new biotech program, so that students can experience authentic scientific research and leave Valencia with real world skills.”

Dr. Sessions is professor of chemistry at the Lake Nona campus.  She was born and raised in Winter Park,and attended the University of Florida, obtaining a B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in French. Dr. Sessions then attended Dartmouth College, where she studied organic polymer synthesis and nanoparticles. After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Sessions was very happy to move back to warm, sunny Florida. She taught as an adjunct at Palm Beach Community College (now Palm Beach State College) for three years while performing various duties for the South Florida Science Museum including science educator, grant writer, and, eventually, education director. Dr. Sessions joined the full-time faculty at Valencia College in 2010 and successfully completed the tenure track in 2014.

Dr. Sessions is married to Dr. Hampton Sessions, also a chemist, who studies medicinal chemistry at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in Lake Nona.  They have two adorable children: Evelyn, aged 5 and Henry, aged 3.

 

 

Join us for A Night of Celebration

You are invited to the Valencia Alumni Association’s
 “A Night of Celebration” event.

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Please join us as we celebrate this year’s
Distinguished Alumni Award recipients.

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Brian Macon—professor of mathematics

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Brian Macon is a community-minded professor of mathematics. He plans to use his Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Chair in Mathematics endowment to build a student community for those students interested in STEM careers. “At a non-residential college like Valencia, there is a strong need to create a sense of belonging and help students with shared interests connect and network outside the classroom,” says Professor Macon.

What he wants to do is to build a community of students interested in STEM fields and to spark an interest in creating campus-based activities long-term after this project is complete, and to build connections to local leaders in STEM fields and gain their support for Valencia’s students.

Ideally, he says, “we’ll invite guest speakers from within our community to visit the campus. Speaker events will help like-minded students meet each other and local industry leaders. Speakers will become more interested in Valencia students, which could lead to possible internships or other opportunities.” Also under consideration, “a ‘math/science problem of the month’ program, where students can earn points for prizes from the bookstore.” The problem-of-the-month will be available for all students, disseminated to students through faculty and student development announcement boards.

His goal, then, is to create a sense of community among students interested in STEM fields through a variety of activities (guest speakers, forming of clubs, problem of the month) intended to create connections between students, faculty and local leaders in current STEM related jobs.Brian1

Professor Macon teaches mathematics at the Lake Nona campus. Many students walk in to his class with a negative attitude about mathematics at the beginning of the semester and he loves the challenge of helping students gain an appreciation of the subject.  He has been teaching full time at Valencia for 15 years, and “I can’t imagine doing anything else other than interacting with students and sharing my passion for math and its applications. This is the fifth time I have been honored with an endowed chair project, and I appreciate the opportunity the Foundation and its donors provide for faculty.”

Diane Dalrymple–librarian: testing the test

ALA Prof Photo 1Diane Dalrymple, Librarian, east campus, is using this year’s Freeda Foreman Chair in Collaborative and Creative Problem Solving to solve a problem of an unusual sort: to explore the question of whether a standardized test, Project SAILS (Standardized Assessment of Information Literacy Skills), will work to gauge the literacy skills of Valencia students.

The test is planned for spring, 2016, and at that time, she will administer the test in collaboration with the East Campus English faculty.

The goal is to find a test that will analyze critical thinking information literacy skills by testing eight skills sets based on standards created by the Association of College and Research Libraries.

 “My personal learning outcome is to evaluate the potential application of Project SAILS (a summative information literacy assessment tool designed to analyze students’ abilities to locate, evaluate, and effectively use information from diverse sources) to measure Valencia student’s information literacy skills,” says Ms. Dalrymple.

 The goal of this project is to find and implement an effective method of testing students for their oDalrymple Portrait (1)perational information literacy (IL) skills as required by general education outcomes. Project SAILS tests for eight information literacy (IL) skill sets developed from the Association of College and Research Libraries Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. SAILS will provide Valencia’s cohort group IL knowledge level results on skill set scores, score by majors and class standing. SAILS will also compare Valencia’s average cohort scores to scores of similar types of institutions to Valencia. Scores from all institutions that tested in the same time period are used to create a benchmark file. Valencia’s average cohort scores will finally be compared to the benchmark scores.

 “For the past four years, as an Assessment Planning Team Leader for the library, my primary focus has b
een on developing appropriate tools for IL program level assessment. Students must learn how to analyze information with respect to its legitimacy and applicability. They need to become adept at discovering appropriate information sources, evaluating the information, and crediting its source.” All very important skills as more information is available, and with the increasing accessibility of online sources, many of which may or may not be, of useful provenance.

“The ability to choose and use information correctly is more than just a crucial academic skill. It is part of Valencia’s vision to inspire individuals to excellence and to instill an innate expertise for problem solving.”

 

1 week to the big day- let’s make some noise!

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What: #DollarsforScholars is Valencia College Foundation’s end of year campaign.

Why: #DollarsforScholars will make the difference for many students to get the education they’ve always wanted.

When: Starting with #GivingTuesday, a national day of giving, on December 1 through the end of the year.

How: Donate any amount. Take an unselfie.  Spread the word.

 

Them

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Kenneth Bourgoin–culinary instructor

 

“OneBourdoin of the many gifts that I have been blessed with, is that I am passionate about my subject!” Kenneth Bourgoin waxes poetic on said subject: which, of course, is learning about food. “I am also keenly aware that food has created a genre of great businesses which provide jobs to many people, especially in this area,” he continues.

His vision is that students see beyond just working for somebody. To dream that they, too, can own and run a food operation no matter what it is, big or small. That they can be the ones hiring and being a bigger part of growing the community.

This year in Chicago (May, 2016), he hopes to use the Hunton Brady Architects Endowed Chair in Hospitality Management to bring the experience of food to three students by attending with them, the National Restaurant Association Food Show in Chicago. “The students who are awarded this scholarship will be able to demonstrate this process because of the articulation in the learning outcomes and assessments.” In large part the food show gives them that peripeteia—or a reversal of fortune—moment. He wants to share with them moments like this one:

“When we went to Italy this past spring, the food was amazing.  They have a product in Italy called ‘Lardo.’ It is literally herbed, cured fat back they use as a kind of thinly sliced wrap around lean meats. In a wBourdoin in classord, ‘magnificent!’ My first love (in cuisine) was a fettuccine alfredo with a garlic tomato Provençale.”

Mr. Bourgoin shares with his students a love of good food that moves beyond the laboratory. He continues, “We did a field trip out to Edgewood Children’s Ranch with a Quantity three class.  The cantaloupe straight off the vine was dripping with sweetness.  They had hydroponics, potted strawberries and field vegetables and fruits. We also did a luncheon in the summer using their produce in class. Our new local favorite farmer’s market is out in Winter Garden, the Plant Street Market downtown.” Edgewood Children’s Ranch “was amazing.” He holds them up as an example of great work in bringing the “locavore” (someone who likes
to eat local, seasonal food) movement to the children there.

He admits that his favorite dish to make is barbecue: either St. Louis style ribs or Texas style brisket: because they “come out so good, and the styles can be used in other types of cooking.” At home, “I grow sweet potatoes. I am amazed the colors of the potato depending on the ground they grow.”

Part of his expected outcomes is the opportunity to share with students advances in technology (3-D edible menus, anyone? Too exotic? How about advances in credit card technology?)

Bourgoin was born in Manchester, New Hampshire, and studied at Hooksett, New Hampshire at Southern New Hampshire University. He teaches at the west campus. After decades in the industry, he wants to enhance what he already knows with the business and horticulture sides of food, as well as improving students’ opportunities.

 

 

Karen Cowden, professor of reading/EAP

Karen CC7E88DD3-E859-4DB4-BF52-A1F5DDA7DDAFowden is a professor of reading whose William C. Demetree Jr. Foundation Chair in Education for Special Needs is directed at “How to Build a Premier Learning Culture for Special Needs Students of the Orlando Community.”

The endowed chair will provide funds for Professor Cowden to research and visit special needs institutions/college(s) and capitalize on her expertise by focusing on the educational environment which best provides access and opportunities for special needs students and provides an inclusive learning culture.

In addition, this summer, Professor Cowden attended the A.H.E.A.D. (Association on Higher Education and Disability) National Conference.

The sessions included topics such as “How Disability Rights are Actually Civil Rights,” “Ways to Engage the Entire College Community in Serving Special Needs Students,” “Helping Faculty Learn How to Make Materials Accessible,” and more.

“Over the three days in July in the beautiful city of St. Paul, Minnesota, I truly did learn the diverse perspectives of serving students with special needs, and was surprisingly one of only two faculty members engaging in the conference experience.  Being able to attend this conference not only showed me that we have a long way to go in building bridges between our faculty and special needs support teams, nation-wide, but also that I am encouraged with our work thus far at Valencia College in creating a visionary college experience for the future,” says Professor Cowden.

“I believe if we can learn from other institutions (and other sources) how building a suitable learning structure to serve special needs students at the community college level that is comparable as is afforded at a private, special needs institutions, Valencia College will have provided the Orlando community and the students’ quality learning opportunities.”

The work of Professor Cowden’s endowed chair goes well beyond her delivery of engaging faculty trainings through2D236EE6-A2C6-4689-8F72-C148DD3EF387 the “1-2-3 Captioning is Easy” or “Hands-On Accessibility” courses (in partnership with Stephanie Crosby, Assistant Director of Special Needs Services and Chris Cuevas, Technical Support Specialist with Special Needs Services).  She has partnered with Deborah Larew, Director of the O.S.D., to serve on the newly-formed “Accessibility Advisory Committee,” a college-wide gathering of stakeholders from various roles in the college that are interested in enhancing and expanding the services to special needs students/staff.

Additionally, she has partnered with Dr. Falecia Williams and the “Learning Day” planning team to use some of the endowed chair funds for an honorarium, which would be awarded to the keynote speaker focusing on disability rights and engaging the community collaboration that the college provides for all citizens at this year’s west campus “Learning Day.” As always, Karen continues to promote cross-discipline collaboration and hospitality by organizing a “Lunch and Learn with the Office of Students with Disabilities (O.S.D.)” in the fall term and a “Dinner and Learn with the Office of Students with Disabilities” in the spring term, which brings together all staff/faculty and the staff from the O.S.D. for a meal and active learning experience that covers current trends and topics in special needs services.

Professor Cowden earned her master’s degree in elementary education at UCF with a specialty in reading and her bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in journalism and public relations at Florida State. She teaches English for Speakers of Other Languages, College Preparatory Reading, “1-2-3 Captioning is Easy,” “Hands-On Accessibility,” “Facilitating Online Learning,” and “Teaching in Our Learning College” at the West Campus.

“We really value the faculty collaboration from Professor Cowden and the endowed chair grant. She has understood and furthered O.S.D. goals far beyond what we could have done without this faculty champion. In particular I’d like to mention that she has taken her outcomes further than Special Needs. She has applied what she has garnered from this experience into best teaching practices for the diverse student body. She clearly delights in sharing this ah-ha moment with other faculty members. This is not about disability for Karen; it is about accessibility for all students,” says Dr. Larew.

 

Colin Archibald, professor of computer programming

ColinArchibaldYou’ve heard about it, maybe even work with it. But what IS Big Data, and how is it useful?

Colin Archibald, professor of computer programming, is using his University Club of Orlando Chair in Advanced Computer Technology to investigate using Big Data to possibly create a course in Big Data.

“’Big Data’ is a new form of data processing that allows us to see trends and correlations in very large sets of data.  Some are calling this new research area ‘Data Science.’  The volume and lack of structure of Big Data prevents the use of traditional software development tools.  New methods of applying statistical processes on large data sets are emerging as a discipline within computing.   There is a shortage of talent in this area, and companies are limited by this,” according to Professor Archibald.

Data comes from almost everything we do now.  How frequently do you change the channel before you decide to watch a particular TV show?  There is a company trying to learn something from that data right now.  Your location, and movements as monitored by the smart phone in your pocket, are somehow valuable to some business, even if it’s only to present a more appropriate advertisement to you while you’re on Facebook.  Although there is room for nefarious uses of big data, most of it is business trying to find correlations that impact their bottom line.  Some will be very small, and might not be too meaningful.

Did you know that all the grocery stores run out of Poptarts when a hurricane is in the forecast?  Correlations and IntelAndroidcausations are very different.  It is not likely that a hurricane will come because the stores run out of Poptarts.  Although that one is easy to identify the ‘cause’ in the correlation, it’s frequently not obvious.  Many health-related studies, especially with the result “you should shouldn’t eat XYZ” are now considered to have been wrong and are referred to as “correlation” studies.  New methods in processing larger and more complex data sets may have widespread implications, not only in business, but for our well-being.

The endowed chairs are proposing to investigate the addition of Big Data Programming to the AS Computer Programming and Analysis curriculum at Valencia within the next two years (currently planned as a special topics course in the fall of 2016). If this is viewed as valuable to the curriculum, it will be added as a permanent course in the AS Computer Programming.

To facilitate that, they’re planning on Dr. Archibald and Professor Jerry Reed attending some short courses to study the techniques and programming languages used specifically for Big Data.

 

 

Mayra Holzer, professor of communications

 

ProfeHolzer_Mayra_Biossor Holzer plans to spend most of March, 2016, using her Rhymer F. Maguire Jr. Endowed Chair in Communications to obtain training in cross cultural communication as part of her sabbatical work in Argentina.

She will get training from Iceberg Inteligencia Cultural (an international organization that promotes multicultural understanding and global competency for effective intercultural communication) with the goal of internationalizing her SPC1017 course to be included in Valencia’s Global Distinction Curriculum and to better serve Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative.

Her goal is to improve her global citizen competency by further developing her knowledge, attitudes and skills of multicultural contexts and cross-cultural communication.

“By increasing my skills in cross-cultural communication, I will be better equipped to serve Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative, which aims to ‘nurture an inclusive, caring and respectful environment on campus and within our community’.”

In addition, she plans to internationalize her curriculum for SPC1017 (Interpersonal Communication), with a strong emphasis on the impact of culture on communication styles, and to offer her course as part of Valencia’s Global Distinction Curriculum and to propose a faculty development course related to inclusion and diversity.

“Training in cross cultural communication will better enable me to effectively internationalize my curriculum with great emphasis on communication styles across diverse contexts. Internationalizing my existing Interpersonal Communication Course (SPC1017) will allow me to increase students’ global competencies: appreciate the diversity of cultures, articulate self-awareness from a cultural perspective, understand impact of cultural dimensions on communication with others and develop interpersonal communication skills in a variety of cultural contexts. Also, I will engage students in Peace and Justice co-curricular opportunities on campus to help them develop communication skills to engage in civil discourse.”Holzer field pic

The two-week conference Professor Holzer will be attending takes place in March, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Professor Holzer was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Puerto Rico, a master’s degree in communication and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from UCF. She’s been married for 19 years.

Professor Holzer teaches at the West Campus.

 

 

 

 

 

Alumni Update from Cece Burns, ’13

Chacoryia “Cece” Burns, Valencia’s 2013 Mary Smedley Collier’s Distinguished Graduate is currently a Broadcast Journalism major at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). Those of us that have read Cece’s triumphant story and may have also had the privilege of meeting such a kind spirit know that she has manage to persevere through all odds. She has proven that if you put your mind to it you can accomplish any goal.

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Cece shares “Recently, I’ve become the weather anchor for FAMU TV News-20 which broadcast live to over 8,000 Comcast viewers in the north Florida and south Georgia area. I am a Gospel Radio Personality for WANM 90.5 FM “The Flava Station” which airs on Sunday’s from 8am-11am. As I continue with my journey as a reporter, I plan to continue to work with FAMU TV News 20 as the lead desk anchor as well as intern for a local news station and print journalism company until my graduation on April 30, 2016. After that I plan to either move to Orlando or stay in Tallahassee and pursue a Masters in Fine Arts in Production as well as become a Multi-Media Journalist (MMJ) for a local news station or become a local Gospel Radio Personality.”

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“My advice to the students is to continue to strive for your dream. Never let anyone deter you from being what you want to be in life. And also always volunteer and get internships in your profession. Be persistent and always be kind to others because you never know who you will meet and who will take you to the next level.”

Cece is a positive role model and is constantly giving back to the community, whether it be volunteering for children’s church or serving on the Transfer Student Association. Her story encourages us all.

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Cece is doing big things and is truly an amazing Valencia Alum….Way to represent!

Check out Cece’s story here

 

Yasmeen Qadri, professor in the teacher education program

This is another in our series of posts on this year’s endowed chairs.

 

Dr. YasQadrimeen Qadri is a tenured professor in the teacher education program at Valencia College. She specializes in multicultural education, peace education, conflict resolution, and diversity. With her partner, Anna Saintil, professor of student life skills, Qadri plans to use their Dr. P Phillips Foundation Chair in Education for the Physically Challenged Award to adopt the TeachLive Lab along with 43 other campuses, including the College of Education and Human Performance at UCF.

“Most of the future teachers may well serve in high tech, richly diverse, and creative classrooms at the future Creative Village in Downtown, Orlando, or may be in any of our nation’s digital schools,” says Qadri. “The endowed chair will enable our teacher education program to focus on advancement in technology, build pathways to exceptional and early childhood education, and strengthen our partnerships with the community.”  Digital schools (Colonial High School), special needs schools (UCP of Central Florida), richly diverse schools (Lawton Chiles Elementary), and early childhood providers (Horizons Child Care & Learning Center), have opened many doors of opportunities to the futur
e educators. “Not only are our students learning the best teaching practices in the above schools, but they are also contributing hundreds of service learning hours in these schools,” adds Qadri.

Additional goals include developing a 1-credit course in Exceptional Education (required by new certification rules) and increasing enrollment in Valencia’s new Early Childhood Education program, Special Needs program, and they hope to collaborate with the future Sign Language Bachelors and Deaf Education Program.

Professor Qadri teaches at the East Campus.

 

Join Us!

 

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Come Join Us!

Valencia Alumni, Students, Employees and Friends

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Valencia College Veterans will be meeting up near the Wall Street area

(corner of Orange Ave and Central Blvd) for the opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m.

Spectator Parking Information
Library Garage | Central Garage

Street Closure Information

Spanish

 

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Melissa Schrieber, professor of biology

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Another post in our series on endowed chairs. 

Melissa Schreiber, professor of biology, is using her Chesley G. Magruder Foundation Chair in Health & Life Science for a trip to Europe…with a group of students to study infectious disease, public health, and epidemiology.

Students will travel to Geneva, Switzerland, and Paris, France, spending time at the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum to understand their international humanitarian efforts. A visit to the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva will provide the students an opportunity to learn about international public health within the United Nations (UN) system.

Students will attend a lecture at a local university in Geneva and Paris to learn about public health and epidemiology. At the Ministry of Health in Paris, students will listen to a lecture by a health advisor on promoting and protecting the health of all individuals living in France. In Paris, students will get to interact with patients and the nursing staff at the modern Parisian hospital or the Hospital St-Louis to learn about the importance of health education.

“You can learn about health-related topics in a textbook, but to really understand the impact on public health it is better to travel to an area where the topics are studied and researched. I will combine lectures, discussions, and onsite visits in Geneva and Paris to emphasize the basic concepts of microbiology, infectious disease, public health, and epidemiology.”

In Geneva, one will find the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO), which directs international public health authority with the United Nations (UN) system. The WHO was established on April 7, 1948, and 61 countries have signed their constitution.

The WHO played a leading role in the eradication of smallpox. Its current priorities include communicable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola, malaria and tuberculosis; the effects of non-communicable diseases; sexual and reproductive health, development, and aging; nutrition, food security and healthy eating; occupational health, and substance abuse. They have developed protocols on reporting, publishing, and networking within the health sector.

“I teach allied health Microbiology courses every semester and I would like to add more information to my lectures when I discuss the topics,” says professor Schreiber. “I want to be able to provide real life application of the material besides what is printed in the textbook.” Her goal is also to share what the students learn in Geneva and Paris about public health and epidemiology with her future students by incorporating their multimedia presentations in her lectures. The dates planned for the trip are April 29, 2016 to May 7, 2016.

Professor Schreiber received tenure in March, 2011. She teaches at the east campus.

 

Craig Rapp, professor of hospitality and tourism management

Another in our series of blog posts on endowed chairs

craig-rapp11 Final CropCraig Rapp, professor of hospitality and tourism management, loves to hang out with students. So much so, that his Central Florida Restaurant Association Chair in Restaurant and Food Service Management grant this year is going to taking them to the 2016 National Restaurant Show in Chicago.

The show, held in May, will give students a taste of the “real world” of restaurant management, in preparation for their future careers. He says, “[the NRA] annual international trade show … is one of the largest and most impactful hospitality shows in the world; one that anyone entering the hospitality field can benefit from.” He continues, “for many, this will be the first time students are able to connect classroom learning to the industry.”

In addition to the students’ learning, traveling to Chicago will allow Professor Rapp to learn about the latest industry trends and technology, and meet and network with some of the world’s most influential hospitality industry leaders in the world. This, in addition to break-out sessions and workshops that will help him to plan curriculum and enhance the classroom experience once he returns to Valencia. He’ll be able to witness culinary competitions amongst some of the top chefs in the world, tour some of the finest hotels, and experience some of the best restaurants that Chicago has to offer.

In addition, he plans to have the students traveling with him report on their involvement (two, 250-word essays on Maitland 2015 3the break-out sessions they attend). The experience will also help students begin to practice their own professional development by learning about the latest industry trends and technology, and meet and network with some of the world’s most influential hospitality industry leaders in the world.

 “The trip to the Chicago restaurant Show is a great benefit to students of hospitality here at Valencia College and it opens many doors,” he says.

Professor Rapp has been with Valencia College since 2008, teaching classes such as Introduction to Hospitality Management, Supervisory Development, Hospitality Management and Food & Beverage Cost Control. Born in Edison, New Jersey, he moved to Florida in 1996 to attend Florida International University’s School of Hospitality Management. It was there that he completed his bachelor’s degree in hospitality management and a master of science in hotel and food service management.

He is married to Jessica Rapp, and they have three children: Zachary, Lillian, and Madelyn.

He teaches at the West Campus.

 

 

William/Doris Paisley Memorial Music Scholarship

The William a2015-10-22 18.22.33nd Doris Paisley Memorial Music scholarship was established in 2012 with its first two scholarships awarded in October of 2013. Since then, it has funded three other scholarships—the most recent two awarded last week.

The scholarship exists to honor the contribution of Doris Paisley, a concert mistress violinist for years with the Altoona Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania. She was also the violin teacher for Valencia professor Neal Phillips; Mrs. Paisley took Neal in as her youngest student ever at age 6, and he studied with her for 14 years.

When Mrs. Paisley passed away in 2012, Neal wanted to honor his teacher, and with the help of Donna Marino and Geraldine Gallagher via the Valencia Foundation, he was able to establish the music scholarship. Professor Phillips funds the award through the Valencia Foundation at a goal of $1,000. As the award is given annually, notice is given to music students in September; students are eligible to apply if they are declared Music or Music Education majors and plan to pursue the degree at a four-year university upon graduation from Valencia. As part of the application, students must detail their histories of musical experiences, write an essay explaining how the scholarship would benefit them, and submit a 10-minute video of a solo performance on their primary instruments. Additionally, students must have a 2.0 GPA.

After the application period ends, the scholarship committee selects a winner, and fortunately, there has been enough scholarship money available for two winners in 2013 and also 2015. The five winners have received a total of $5,000 over the past three years. In more than one case, this has allowed a prospective music major to continue with schooling he/she may have had to postpone due to lack of funds.

Professor Phillips’ goal is to continue to fund the award as long as he works at Valencia and even after, so music students will be benefiting from this for many years to come. The scholarship is awarded as part of the Instrumental Music Scholarship, with Professor Phillips’ contributions made in honor of William and Doris Paisley.

This year’s scholarship winners are first, Vedda Kangalova, an international student from Bulgaria who specializes in violin. The picture (above) is of her tutoring Stenstrom Elementary (Oviedo) students with Valencia’s 3D printed electric violin, first of its kind.

The second winner is Khalid James, originally from the Caribbean, who specializes in both trombone and steel pan drum.

Khalid James

 

 

DON’T BE CAUGHT OFF GUARD!

Daylight Savings Time ENDS Sunday, November 1st.
Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour Saturday night.

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It’s not too late!

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Elizabeth Wanielista, professor of office and medical office administration

Next in our series about the endowed chair projects.

ElizaBetty head shotbeth (Betty) Wanielista is a professor in the department of office and medical office administration at the East Campus. As we all know, medical office administration is a field that is—even more than most—changing rapidly.

Professor Wanielista is using her grant from the John and Florence MacLeod Chair in Business to upgrade the medical office administration program at Valencia. She says, “The medical office is rapidly changing. Electronic health records, ICD-10 coding and scribes are being added to the medical environment.” ICD-10 coding is used by medical professionals to receive reimbursement for services rendered. Scribes accompany doctors and input the doctor’s findings into a tablet/computer to be transcribed and placed in the patient’s medical records.

As a result, Professor Wanielista has identified the medical office administration program as an area that needs to be reviewed for potential new courses. “I plan to visit and interview individuals in medical facilities to find out what new technology and duties have been added for a medical employee.”

To that end, she also planned to attend a conference in October and visit medical facilities.

“Over the course of this evaluation, I’ll also obtain information on what software and hardware are used by medical employees. I’ll investigate duties of medical employees at the front desk and in the back office.”

Professor Wanielista will secure information on use of transcriptionists in medical offices and investigate soft skills needed by medical employees. She will also acquire knowledge of the use of electronic health record software—a huge issue as both the population ages and the use of computers becomes more widespread.

The outcome of her exploration will be the presentation of potential curriculum to the OST Advisory Board for review and comment. (The OST Advisory Board is the Office Systems Technology Advisory Board, which meets twice a year to keep Valencia faculty abreast of the needs of the outside world and informs Valencia faculty of the technology used and the skills needed in future employees.)

The development of curriculum materials for the medical office administration program to be presented to the OST faculty and the curriculum committee.

Professor Wanielista adds “students will benefit from the updated medical office administration program by entering the workforce with knowledge of current software, hardware and useful skills that are relevant to what the employer is seeking.” In other words, the result of her project will be students who are better prepared for the “real world” they’ll face.

Professor Wanielista has been with Valencia since 1994.

Alumni Spotlight

2015 Veterans of Influence: Daila “Dee” Espeut-Jones

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Valencia alum Daila “Dee” Espeut-Jones ’09, program manager, ZelTech Training Solutions LLC, is one of Orlando Business Journal’s 2015 Veterans of Influence who was recognized at a this years awards luncheon.

Here, she tells a bit about how serving in the military
made her into the woman she is today.

Check out this amazing video of Daila “Dee” Espeut-Jones!  

Dr. Suzanne R. Salapa, chair, department of dance

ssalapa-1354396170_140 (1)The latest in our series on endowed chairs.

For her endowed chair project this year, Dr. Suzanne R. Salapa is using her Universal Orlando Chair in Arts and Entertainment grant to invite the Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance residency.

She explains: “Each year for our Spring Dance Concert, we bring in a choreographer/reconstructor for a week- to 10-day residency to teach a piece that is performed at the Spring Concert.

“This is a tremendous honor for the dance program and Valencia, as we count it an honor to work with some of the biggest names in the concert dance profession: Isadora Dance Ensemble; Martha Graham Dance Company; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Jose Limon/Limon Dance Company; Shapiro and Smith Dance and others. The opportunity gives our dancers, who are pursuing an associate’s degree in dance performance, real life experience and a direct connection to the professional world while they are in school.”

This year, the reconstructor is Alberto del Saz, and the piece is the critically acclaimed “The Pond.”

The renowned artists of the Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance Residency will come to Valencia in January 2016. Classes and rehearsals will introduce both dancers and faculty to the ispring dance concertnnovative and diverse choreographic approach unique to Alwin Nikolais/Murray Louis’ versatile and well-respected repertory.

Valencia College’s arts in dance performance degree majors will locally debut “The Pond” at the 2016 Valencia Dance Spring Dance Concert, Friday and Saturday, at 8 p.m. March 25 and 26, in the East Campus Performing Arts Center, 701 North Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, Florida 32825. Tickets are available at www.valenciacollege.edu/arts (Click the icon on the top right that says, “BUY TICKETS”).

_MG_3102Dr. Salapa has had a varied career with such organizations as the Annandale (Virginia) Dance Theater, the Washington Ballet, Maryland Youth Ballet and Columbia City Ballet. She received her bachelor of science degree from Shenandoah University and completed her master of fine arts in dance degree from Florida State University. She earned her doctoral degree in education at the University of Central Florida. In the summer of 2014, Dr. Salapa participated in the internationally recognized program Dance for Parkinson’s Disease®.  A collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group has designed this dance teacher training model to encourage creativity and movement exploration for those with Parkinson’s disease. Professor Salapa also teaches the bi-monthly Movement as Medicine dance class at Florida Hospital Orlando.

Know A Deserving Valencia Graduate?

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“A Night of Celebration” is Valencia College’s annual signature event hosted by the Valencia Alumni Association. It provides an opportunity to celebrate noteworthy achievements of selected Valencia alumni. Ten Distinguished Alumni awards will be conferred this year to those individuals who meet the following criteria. Submit your nomination today! Nominees will then be notified and asked to complete a more detailed application to be considered for the award.

Nomination Criteria:

Graduate of Valencia College (formerly Valencia Community College).

Demonstrated significant accomplishments in their field.

Must be able to attend the awards presentation on Friday, December 18th between 7-9 pm in Orlando, Florida at Valencia’s West Campus Special Events Center.

Only online nominations will be accepted.

Nomination deadline – 11:59 pm on November 8, 2015. No exceptions.

Check out last year’s amazing award recipients.

Photos from last year’s event!

James Inglis, program director hospitality/restaurant management: taking a trip of a lifetime

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Another post in our series on endowed chairs and what they’re up to. Meet James Inglis.

James Inglis’ endowed chair project this year, funded by the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association (CFHLA) Chair in Hospitality Management, is to take 16 students to New York City to The Hotel Experience in November (previously The International Hotel Motel Restaurant Show).

“The [Hotel Experience] in New York City is one of the premier industry events in the United States. Over 1,800 vendors are there with their individual booths showcasing the latest industry technologies, products and services. We also do restaurant and hotel tours while we are there and attend breakout sessions in conjunction with the show. These are very educational, and the students can sign up to attend any of the topics that interest them,” Inglis says.

“The students are required to attend at least one breakout session while at the show; they then write a paper on the session and include a brief overview of the topic and specific issues discussed,” he adds. The students are also required to write an additional reflection for the Student Government Association (SGA) as part of the travel requirements. Students also speak to their classes when they return, highlighting various events that took place and any observations that relate to the learning outcomes for the course.

Professor Inglis has been leading similar trips for more than 14 years now. Many of the students have very limited travel experience and most have never been to NYC before. For the most part, the students couldn’t afford the room rates or partake of the restaurant meals Inglis and his team have negotiated. “There is always a tour of a hotel and kitchen and introduction of managers and kitchen personnel,” Inglis adds. So even the food is educational.

In all, for many of these students, the trip is a once in a lifetime – or a first in a lifetime – chance to be exposed to experiences they can’t have in Orlando (as great as those may be).

This is in addition to the other work that Inglis does.

He is on two boards of directors: One is the local hotel association, CFHLA, and the other is the local restaurant association, FRLA. He has been on the boards for more than 14 years, participating in such events as the Downtown Food and Wine Fest for the seventh year in a row. Last March, he and another professor, Craig Rapp, worked the Wine and Dine on 9, a VIP event, at the Bay Hill Golf Tournament.  As Inglis puts it: “This semester alone we are volunteering for 12 events in the community. It’s a tribute to the students and the leadership that we can get this type of participation.

Professor Inglis was born in New York City, so this is a bit of a return home for him – to the Jacob K. Javits Center, which is where the show is being held. He is the program director for the hospitality and restaurant management programs at Valencia’s West campus. With degrees from Paul Smith’s College in New York, Florida International University and Webster University, from which he holds a master’s degree in business, he draws on a lifetime of experience for his courses and his volunteer work.

What’s next for the program? Well, Inglis says the school has just hired a new faculty member to take the lead for the Osceola campus program—now they’re able to offer the same degree program in Osceola that they offer at West campus. In addition, they keep expanding the West campus program—they just added a new “beverage lab.”

Cheers to the new program and the trip of a lifetime for the students in his care.

Heith Hennel, professor of information technology: lightboards to light the way to the future

This is the second in our series introducing this year’s endowed chairs. 

This year’s winner of Valencia Foundation’s Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Chair in Free Enterprise wants to build heith-hennel09lightboards for his students: “I am really interested in seeing how technology can be leveraged to increase business efficiency and produce better products, as well as making our daily lives easier to manage.”

Great, you say. What’s a lightboard?

Professor Hennel explains, “Imagine an invisible board between you and your students. You teach facing your students. They see you and somehow everything you write hangs in the air, magically inverted so it is readable from their perspective. You can even project and interact with content on the invisible board between you.

“In information technology, there is more and more pressure to flip learning. The lightboard is the cutting edge tool teachers can use to produce flipped content. In fact, it is so new that it can’t even be bought in stores; it has to be built. Currently, only a handful of universities have it.”

Hennel’s view is that “Valencia should be a leader in bringing this technology to community colleges.” He’d like to create a lightboard challenge—similar to the “Ice Bucket challenge”—to challenge teachers in other disciplines to create cutting-edge, flipped content for their classrooms and students.

He intends to partner with Valencia’s Circles of Innovation team to spread the word about the technology and invite others to create flipped content via a lightboard challenge. “As teachers use the device and record their own flipped content, they will be able to openly challenge colleagues and friends at the college to use the tool to create their own flipped learning content. The Circles of Innovation team has indicated that they would like to feature this work on the Circle of Innovation Website and possibly even do a Circles of Innovation session around the topic.”

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Professor Hennel, in Rio de Janeiro.

The entire goal here is to ensure that our current courses in Information Technology are kept up to date.

Hennel explains, “As more and more schools and programs move to online, hybrid and flipped content, we need to stay ahead of the curve. This tool will help provide teaching in a new way that will better engage today’s learners. But this tool doesn’t only benefit students in IT; the challenge will open up the technology to teachers across the college and across disciplines.”

An enthusiastic UK basketball fan, Professor Hennel was born in Lexington, KY. He served in the US Navy from 1994 to 1999. His master’s degree is from the University of Maryland, and he also holds two graduate certificates from the University of Illinois in systems security and information assurance. His wife, Teresa, was his high school sweetheart and he has two children, Sydney, 5, and McKenzie, 8.

“I am really interested in internationalizing the curriculum across disciplines to see how we can create a great global experience for our students. I am also really interested in providing students with a chance to experience another culture while studying abroad.  I will be taking students to London this year.  In past years, I have taken students to Barcelona, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janiero and the Dominican Republic.”

Professor Hennel has been teaching at Valencia since August 2003.

 

 

Start FIT at Lake Nona

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Florida Tech is now offering a Bachelor’s degree in Logistics Management for students with an AA or AS! Classes accommodate working professionals by meeting once a week from 5:30-8:30pm at Valencia’s Lake Nona Campus. For more information, visit FIT.edu/LakeNona or contact Lauren Remenick at lremenick@fit.edu.

Endowed chairs at Valencia: Olga Vazquez, M.S., and the Health Academy

This is first in a series about the professors who recently were awarded endowed chairs at Valencia College.

Olga Vazquez

 

Olga Vazquez, professor of biology, spends a lot of her time hanging around fifth graders.

No, that’s not how she spends her free time, although with a 9-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl at home, one could be forgiven for thinking that was a possibility.

Actually, it’s a big part of her Valencia Foundation endowed chair project.

Armed with a bachelor of science, and a master’s in microbiology and molecular biology from UCF, Professor Vazquez heads up the Health Academy, an educational awareness program designed to supplement the fifth graders’ biology content. It includes learning about healthy lifestyles and gives students a chance to get excited about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers.

The project particulars include taking Valencia College student volunteers to mentor Lawton Chiles Elementary School children. Vazquez says she chose fifth graders, not only because she was following the guidelines of the Anatomy Academy at UCLA, but also because kids of that age are “mature enough to grasp the biology content behind the activities while being conscious enough to influence their families.”

Twitter screen shot of the opening of Health Academy

Twitter screen shot of the opening of Health Academy

 

The Valencia students teach the LCE students about making healthy food choices, and inspire them to consider STEM, allied health, or education careers. The elementary students will share their newfound knowledge with family and community members.

They’ll also develop anatomy and physiology hands-on activities.

Part of the hoped-for outcome is to use the experience to encourage education majors at Valencia to become STEM teachers “by training them in the fields of anatomy and physiology,” Vazquez says. In addition, they’ll learn how to work with youngsters.

The Health Academy mirrors the Anatomy Academy, which was founded by Jonathan Wisco at UCLA (now with Brigham Young University), she says. He developed the idea of teaching fifth graders nutrition and health.

Wisco’s work inspired Vazquez to reach out to her community and teach science at the same time. She expanded the original activities to call it Health Academy. This is the first such organization of its kind in Florida.

This is Vazquez’s second term with her project. She still keeps in touch with several of the mentors from last spring—three are interested in participating again. She plans to continue Health Academy for several more terms and to expand the project to additional elementary schools.

One memorable experience from last year includes a student who, after seeing the difference between smokers’ lungs and non-smoker’s lungs, was immediately encouraged his grandmother to stop smoking.

Prof. Vazquez is married to Rafael Vazquez and has two children in elementary and middle school. Her children have both attended Lawton Chiles. She has been teaching at Valencia since 2008.

The Health Academy

Valencia Alumni Volunteer Spotlight

Harry Halstead

Become a mentor and give back!

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Amazing Discounts for You!

Two Free Discount Programs for Valencia Alumni & Friends
Courtesy of the Valencia Alumni Association

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Both discount programs are available to Valencia alumni, retirees and students.
And the best part……they’re absolutely FREE!


Join the Valencia Alumni Rewards Member Perks Program!

Valencia Alumni Rewards provides members with exclusive perks and over $4,500 in savings on everything from pizza and the zoo, to movie tickets, oil changes, hotels, and car rentals!

Popular Features Include:

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Enjoy some great deals through Working Advantage!

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1) REGISTER & LOGIN
2) Click “Login” or “Register” at top of page
3) Click “Employees Click Here”(this includes alumni and friends)
4) Enter Valencia’s Member ID #278897230 to create your FREE account.

Working Advantage Customer Service:
customerservice@workingadvantage.com or call (800) 565- 3712

Support the September 11th Walk/Run for Heroes

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Online Registration or Mail In Registration

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Featured Alumnus — Melvin Scott ’11

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By Joy S. Jones

“I am a legacy at Valencia. There’s been a Melvin Scott in a custodial supervisor position for the past 40 years,” said Melvin Scott, Jr. His father and namesake, Melvin Scott, Sr., held a custodial supervisor position prior to him.

Before assuming the role in 2011, Melvin had worked a stint at Valencia years ago but left after custodial management offers in corporate settings proved to be more lucrative. All along, he wanted to complete his college degree, but the demands of work and responsibilities of life got in the way. Finally in 2003, the lack of career fulfillment he was experiencing ran its course, and he left the job, not working for three full years. It was in that space of time that he hatched a plan to return to Valencia.

“I knew I could get my education funded, plus I’m a veteran, so I returned to Valencia and completed my B.S.B.A. (Bachelor of Science in business administration) in 2011,” he said.

Melvin gives credit to John Letterman, managing director, plant operations for supporting his growth and career opportunities.

“Melvin Scott is a supervisor who cares about his people. He takes the time to ensure that all personnel are up to date on the many changes that occur within their field of expertise. Plus, he is the type of supervisor who mentors. He makes it part of his commitment to visit and check with his personnel no matter which shift they work. He’s a supervisor that helps light the path in one’s career!”- Derrick Hilton, security field supervisor

“Once I got my degree, I told John what I was hoping to do career wise, and he said, we have something for you right here.”

John’s support left an indelible mark on Melvin in terms of his management style, and he tries to pay it forward. Melvin encourages his team members, whom he refers to as “ambassadors,” to avail themselves of the numerous professional development benefits that Valencia provides.

“I am an example for my staff. We frequently have how-high-can-you-go conversations,” he said. “Plus, many of them are using the benefits to educate their children and families. I sign quite a few papers (tuition waivers) for my team’s kids who are attending school here.”

Still he shared that peoples’ perceptions of custodial work are often unenthusiastic at best.

“It’s often a thankless job; however, this has been a very fulfilling position for me. People just think of cleaning rooms and floors when they think of janitorial work,” he said before citing the numerous contributions made by his ambassadors with pride:

“We received the Energy Heroes Award for practices that saved West Campus a whopping $71,000. When it comes to the sustainability program, we do things to minimize our footprint through the use of Earth-friendly products and water minimization.” Melvin pointed out that through better technology, the department no longer uses water to strip floors, for example. With 850,000 square feet of floor space under management, it’s easy to see how those sound practices easily add up to ‘good’ all around.

“We also partner with Patti Riva and the Energy Education Program and have done demonstrations for the Association of Florida Colleges Association, showing how we are reducing our footprint. We are way ahead of the curve in terms of how we do our jobs.”

Noting that the custodial department is the largest department in plant operations, Melvin said, “We have 46 people — 92 sets of eyes — so we also see a lot before other people do. We also partner with security. Our team is a group of ambassadors, and that’s what we try to instill.”

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He also credits upgrades in technology for enabling much greater departmental efficiencies.

“We do online training for custodians now and use state-of-the-art equipment. We also do event and classroom setups. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that involves collaborating with departments collegewide,” he said.

Perhaps one of the greatest examples of that collaboration is the logistics setup of President Barack Obama’s visit.

“I was on the detail when President Obama came and worked a lot with the Secret Service and security. That was a great experience.”

Melvin is happy to now be serving on a committee that is looking to replace the maintenance computer management system and will supersede Master Link. The more robust system that they are eyeing will put work orders at each employee’s fingertips.

“I love technology. It’s all about efficiency as a plant operations department, and increasing the quality of the environment for the students to do their best is what it’s all about. We’ve been involved with a lot of positive change that all contributes to students having the best experience possible!”

A U.S. Air Force veteran, Melvin completed an Associate in Arts degree in business administration at Valencia and is still recuperating from the bad knees he got, so often on them praying to complete his Bachelor of Science in business administration from Columbia College in human resources management.

It’s Class Notes Time!

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 We are currently accepting Valencia Alumni Class Notes for the upcoming edition of Vitae magazineGet yours in no later than Friday, August 21st.
Submit your Class Note here!

valencia grad doing big things!

Carmi May 15 Post

Carmidaris Rivera-Vega ’13 graduated from Valencia College with an Associates in Arts in General Studies. She was accepted at the University of Central Florida in summer 2013 as a business major.

On May 9th, Carmidaris graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration (B.A.B.A.) a Minor in Health Services Administration and a 4.0 GPA. Carmidaris earned Cum Laude distinction and was the only B.A.B.A. student graduating with honors!

While studying at Valencia College, Carmidaris was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and while at UCF she was a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society.

In March 2013, Carmidaris joined the Valencia College family working as an Accounting Tutor and Front Desk Assistant at the Osceola Campus. Currently, she holds a full-time position as an Accounting Clerk at the Valencia College Foundation.

“What you learn becomes a part of who you are! For this reason, I thank God, my family, Valencia College and the University of Central Florida for being a part of the platform that supports who I am today. In my opinion, there is a single path to success and we build our own. Keep building yours by looking up and following the sky. And yes! That’s right! Our path is endless because there is nothing more rewarding than to keep achieving an entire life.” – Carmidaris Rivera-Vega

Valencia Graduates Working to Pay it Forward!

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Meet this year’s Mary Smedley Collier Distinguished GraduateRebecca Nash! Rebecca and her fellow graduates invite Valencia faculty and staff to help them meet their challenge to raise $5,000 or more before Commencement on May 9th. Their Legacy Class Gift will support future students through scholarships.

Please consider joining their legacy with your support!

Donations can be made:

By credit card: Visit http://valenciacollege.edu/alumni/classgift/ . Completely fill out the form, decide a gift amount that is right for you, and click submit.

Or by cash or check:  Drop off your cash or check donation in any amount at the Alumni Relations office (407-582-3426) in the District Office or mail to: Valencia Alumni Relations, 1768 Park Center Drive, Orlando, FL 32835, or mail intercampus to DO-41.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE. LEAVE A LEGACY. LEAVE YOUR LEGACY!

Free Discount Program Membership!

The Valencia Alumni Association has teamed up with Abenity to offer our alumni and friends a free membership to the Valencia Alumni Rewards and Discounts Program.

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Spring break is almost here. Find great savings through OrlandoVacation.com and save up to 35% on your vacation rentals through your Abenity Discount Program!
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Log in or create your courtesy account here: https://valenciaalumrewards.abenity.com/perks/support/login

TEDxOrlando 2015

September LIVE Ted Talk

We’re very pleased to announce that TEDxOrlando will return Saturday September 12 to the beautiful, historic Garden Theatre in Winter Garden.

At TEDxOrlando, an exceptional group of thinkers and doers from across Central Florida come together to experience an exciting, interdisciplinary program of short talks given in the celebrated TED format.

Tickets will go on sale to you beginning June 1 — because you are among our most valued supporters. Tickets will be announced to the general public on June 12.

We’re especially excited about this year’s event and hope very much that you’ll join us.

In the meantime, we welcome you to let friends and family know about TEDxOrlando, share your “idea worth spreading,” check out our volunteer opportunities, or participate in a TEDxOrlandoSalon event.

Need money for college?

 

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Don’t miss Sandy Shugart at the Garden Theatre Jan. 10

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Please join Valencia Foundation board and friends

to enjoy original music by

 Sandy Shugart in concert at the Garden Theatre

Saturday, Jan. 10, 8 p.m.

160 W. Plant Street in Winter Garden

Don’t miss our multi-faceted college president in concert, sharing his eclectic musical talents.

This is coffeehouse music at its best — intelligent, humorous and engaging. Ranging in style from Americana to alternative country to urban folk, this singer-songwriter and his bandmates offer an acoustic tour of the emotions with original songs and the occasional cover.

To purchase tickets ($25 general admission; $15 with Valencia ID), please visit the concert ticket site. Proceeds benefit Valencia students and the arts.

To learn more about the crown jewel of Plant Street, please check out the Garden Theatre online.

Thank you for expanding college access in Central Florida

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As the year winds to a close, please allow me to thank you for your generous support and advocacy. Because of our Valencia donors, the foundation has shared $32.8 million in the past decade — offering students the opportunity to learn, earn degrees and build careers that will sustain them.

     Although economic indicators have brightened, students working minimum-wage jobs without benefits remain among the working poor — cobbling together funds to cover tuition, books, supplies and transportation. Without scholarships, thousands of potential students are unable to manage these expenses and still balance their fragile family finances.
     On this final day of 2014, I invite you to invest in our deserving students.
     Your philanthropy extends beyond the individual lives that are changed through scholarships and college degrees. In fact, an independent study, based on a national model and conducted by EMSI, revealed that Valencia has a $1 billion economic impact on Central Florida.
      Billionaire philanthropist David Rubenstein has pointed out that “Philanthropy means loving other people, not rich people giving away their money.”
     Regardless of the size of your personal nest egg, your charitable giving provides opportunities for another — offering a hand up, not a handout. Valencia donors demonstrate this daily. Every dollar counts. Every gift makes a difference.
     Thanks to our contributors, thousands of individuals this year have renewed hope for their futures, understanding that education is the ticket to a compelling future. Please consider contributing to scholarships or to the specific program that touches you.
     Your check dated Dec. 31 (please see our new address on the bottom of this page) or your online gift will be credited for 2014 taxes unless you tell us otherwise.
     On behalf of our Valencia students and the foundation board, please accept our fervent hope that your New Year is filled with family, friends and great joy.
Warmly,

Geraldine Gallagher, PhD, CFRE

President and CEO

P.S. Please take a few minutes to view our YouTube channel, which includes this brief video of our college president, Dr. Sandy Shugart, discussing the economic benefits of community colleges as a better place to start, along with the amazing commencement address given by the 2014 Mary Smedley Collier Distinguished Graduate, Angel Sanchez.

Valencia Foundation

1768 Park Center Drive, #400

Orlando, Florida 32835

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oh what a night!

Thank you for joining us at the Valencia Alumni Association’s first inaugural
“A Night of Celebration” event to network and celebrate our

Distinguished Alumni Award 2014 recipients:

(pictured L to R): R. McGill, K. Adams, W. Colwell, J. Kimberly, K. Walker, F. Beltrán
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Post Eblast

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Check out the photos from this year’s amazing event!

congratulations valencia alumnus mikhail elliott ’10!

Congratulations Valencia alumnus Mikhail Elliott ’10! As the Valencia College 2010 recipient of the prestigious Jack Cook Kent Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, Mikhail went on to graduate from the University of Tampa and now …has earned a master of science degree in development economics and policy from the University of Manchester in the U.K. Mikhail currently resides in London and is seeking employment there in economic policy/consultancy or economic research. Mikhail is also a proud member of Valencia’s Association of Honors Alumni, a.k.a. AHA! You can join him by indicating your interest when you complete your new or updated online membership form: http://valenciacollege.edu/alumni/membership_form.cfm.

Mikhail

 

a night of celebration!

You are invited to the Valencia Alumni Association’s
inaugural “A Night of Celebration” event.

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Please join us as we celebrate this first year’s
Distinguished Alumni Award recipients.

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Foundation donor recognizes heroism in saving the planet

Green is the new black.

And as college sustainability efforts continue to expand — offering energy conservation, cost savings and protection of the planet — one college philanthropist has stepped forward to help share that message.

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Attorney and estate planner Helen Von Dolteren-Fournier, a long-time donor and board member emerita, contributed polo shirts for Valencia College’s Energy Heroes to reinforce Valencia’s commitment to “greening up” and sharing it in the community and on campus. Von Dolteren-Fournier co-sponsors the Energy Hero program with Valencia Foundation.

The Energy Hero Awards are given periodically to recognize those who submit energy-smart ideas and programs. Some notions are modest but powerful, while others result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings.

Helen worked with Patti Riva, who serves as operations manager, energy education, in the department of sustainability to produce the shirts. Brandon Albert, senior graphic designer, conceived the logo.

Left to Right: Brandon Golbeck, energy specialist; Patti Riva, operations manager, energy education; Resham Shirsat, director, sustainability; and Robert Hickman, operations manager, energy efficiency.

Left to Right: Brandon Golbeck, energy specialist; Patti Riva, operations manager, energy education; Resham Shirsat, director, sustainability; and Robert Hickman, operations manager, energy efficiency.

“The shirts are a visual reminder of Valencia’s energy heroism,” Helen explains. “As our sustainability folks travel throughout the community, these shirts are a reinforcement and affirmation of the opportunities available when partnering with the college and our foundation.”

Nominations for the Energy Hero Award, including self-nominations and earth-friendly plans, should be submitted to Patti, priva@valenciacollege.edu. No forms are necessary; simply email your idea or program.

Rick Rietveld: a dramatic flair and adventuring spirit

Rick Rietveld had a flair for the dramatic, a spirit of adventure, a penchant for methodical planning and the gift of impeccable timing.

Each talent served him well as theater administrator, actor, and 25-year Valencia College professor, dean and founder of innovative programs that were the first of their kinds in Central Florida.

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Rick graduated from Thornridge High School in Cook County, Ill., where he was introduced to the magical world of theater. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Hope College in Holland, Mich., in 1967, acting prolifically in school plays. In fact, he won first place in the state oratorical conference and second place in multi-state oratorical finals. Rick completed a master’s degree in arts, majoring in speech and performance theater, from Colorado State University in 1972.

He journeyed around the country in a career adventure, which included floor producer for a TV station, general manager of the Milwaukee Opera Company, theater director for the School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, Ala., and general manager and director of the Birmingham Children’s Theatre. In that role, he transformed a struggling company deeply in the red into the thriving company it remains today.

“His vision was that a traveling children’s theater could reach school-age children, expose them to theatrical experiences and plant seeds for future interest in the arts,” his wife, Kris, says.

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A life-long learner, he enrolled at Florida State University to pursue a second graduate degree in theater. “Searching for a job in the arts during the Reagan era was difficult because budgets for the arts had been cut, and every school, university and college – as well as community companies – were struggling,” his wife explains. “But Rick was confident that, if he could sell a children’s theater to small, rural towns in Alabama, he could sell himself. He just needed to get the interview.”

While at FSU, he met his bride through a series of calamities that included a fender bender and a messy wine collision. They soon realized their lives had directly crossed among different cities, programs and people, but they had never met. “Not surprisingly, Rick’s timing was perfect,” Kris says. “He always instinctively knew how to do the right thing at the right time. He would tell us, ‘Life is all about timing. Say it with me, T-I-M-I-N-G.’”

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Timing aside, they had their individual differences. When Rick was obviously moved and bemused by the subtle nuances of George Bernard Shaw’s play “Misalliance” during their courtship, Kris felt out of her element and almost gave up. “Friends said it wouldn’t last. Little did they know,” she says now with a laugh. “But the yin yang of the relationships was the glue. We were on a perpetual honeymoon, rarely separated.”

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Rick was, indeed, granted the interview and hired by Valencia in 1982. He wore many hats: professor of theater; director of the Performing Arts Center; technical director and designer; founding program director of theater and entertainment technology; and dean of humanities, foreign language, visual art and performing arts.

But students and colleagues treasure far more than a series of titles. Rick partnered with Orlando theme park companies to create innovative programs and degrees that served the community and local industry, as well as Valencia learners. He changed countless lives.

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His vision of a Central Florida associate’s degree in theater arts came to fruition in 1984, offering opportunity for thousands of local students. Rick led two grants in collaboration with Walt Disney World and Universal. And he wrote the curriculum that created, in 1985, the region’s first film technician training program. It has since produced 47 full-length feature films. As dean, he worked with faculty to expand Valencia’s offerings to include sound and music technology, and digital media. As a professor, he inspired three generations of students. As a philanthropist, he raised significant funds for the college foundation and was instrumental in expanding the faculty endowed chairs program. In 2008, the college honored Rick as one of 10 distinguished contributors for the previous decade.

“Whether you met Rick or not, his influence is permanent in our arts and entertainment programs at Valencia College today,” says Valencia arts and entertainment dean, Wendy Givoglu. “He envisioned and created the synergies between our disciplines and how they could function at the college, mirroring the cross-disciplinary collaboration of creative industries. Rick was an icon and the consummate leader – witty, creative, strategic, diplomatic, compassionate, intelligent, and perhaps a little clairvoyant. We are just now catching up to all that Rick imagined we would be able to do and be as educators in the arts.”

The college’s president agrees. “Rick was an amazing leader for Valencia. He knew how to get the best out of everyone around him – including me – without calling attention to himself,” Sandy Shugart says. “Losing him from the college was like losing a lung – we knew we’d survive, but we’d never be the same.”

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In addition, Rick continued to pursue his love of the stage, directing shows, teaching speech and impressing the importance of elocution, which he had learned as a child and understood gave students the power to influence in every field of endeavor.

He traveled and was sure to pack in as many performances as possible. “One Christmas break in London, he saw 11 plays in six days,” Kris explains. “He loved quirky little plays and was passionate about the theater of the absurd. He sought out venues and plays that never make it to big playhouses.”

But Rick’s dearest passion was his family. He was so thrilled about his daughter Harley’s arrival that he sent out a giant birth notice with a size-6 footprint. He encouraged her to discover her own path, be flexible and make a plan, saying “if you don’t know where you’re going, any path will take you there,” Kris recalls.

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Likewise, he relished his grandchildren, whether it was feeding them, celebrating each developmental stage, ensuring their Christmas wish list was under the tree, or taking them to fish and ski on the lake – a place had found solace since his own childhood. “He made time to teach, guide and show them the ways of the world,” Kris explains. “He wanted them to know unconditional love, that he was always there for them.”

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He handled life-threatening challenges with calm determination and aplomb, whether it was a serious fall from a ladder or a diagnosis of MDS (Myelodisplastic Syndrome).

A successful 2011 stem-cell transplant, donated by his sister, Sue, bought the Rietvelds three more years. In fact, coupled with his “fall from grace” off a roof, his wife maintains he “cheated death” more than once: “Rick said, ‘I have lived the lives of two or three persons in my one life.’ That he did.”

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His illness and treatment mirrored that of news anchor Robin Roberts of ABC’s “Good Morning America” and was featured in a newspaper. But that was not the first time their paths had crossed. In 2004, Rick had hand-delivered a copy of the Tuskegee Airmen documentary produced by Valencia’s film program directly to Robin, whose father proudly served in the unit.

Here is a link to Rick’s television spot.

Rick was born in South Holland, Ill., a small farming community where is grandfather was an onion farmer and his father the owner of a roofing company. He credited his work with the hot tar kettle during summer breaks with paying his way through college.

Richard Delbert Rietveld, 69, passed away on Oct. 30, 2014, leaving behind his wife, Kris, his daughter, Harley Anthony, his grandchildren Jazmin Lynch and Thomas Lynch, and his siblings, Carol Barnes, Sue Ebbens, Tim Rietveld and Bill Lee Rietveld, along with loving and supportive nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Adele Bonnema Rietveld, and younger brother Robert Rietveld.

Family and friends will celebrate Rick’s life at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, at Valencia College’s East Campus Performing Arts Center, 701 North Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando.

In lieu of flowers, Rick wished his friends to consider: becoming involved in the “Be a Match” marrow transplant campaign; donating to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at http://www.lls.org; or contributing to Valencia’s Richard Rietveld Memorial Scholarship, http://www.valencia.org or 1768 Park Center Drive, Orlando, FL 32835.

get your scholarship now!

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2014 -15 Valencia Alumni Association General Scholarship Application is NOW OPEN! We have many scholarships for students to choose from. You don’t want to miss out!

Log in or create your account to get started:
https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=466

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Dr. Homer Samuels Dental Hygiene Scholarship 2014 Scholar,
Linsey Amir (center) at this years 2014 Alumni Achievers Reception 

 

Carl Andriano: A man of character, rigor and grit

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Carl Andriano, an Orlando firefighter, was a man of character, rigor and grit.

His family, friends and fellow firefighters know that firsthand.

They have raised funds to create a scholarship to celebrate his memory.

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Carl adored his profession. The 24-year-old was committed and driven, setting a goal to become one of Orange County’s youngest lieutenants. He also was a true fighter for life. Last November, he was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive cancer, which he fought valiantly. His fellow professionals rallied on his behalf, raising thousands of dollars.

He attended Florida State Fire College, and in May 2008, joined Orange County Fire Rescue. Carl was initially stationed in Windermere. But he desired a greater challenge and worked his way up the ladder to Fire Station 30 in Orlo Vista, one of Orange County’s most prolific.

Colleagues admired Carl for his work ethic, integrity and professionalism. They raised more than $30,000 for Team Andriano, and $25,000 will go toward scholarships for students in Valencia College’s firefighter training program in honor of Carl Andriano.

Team Andriano continues to raise funds in his honor. You may donate here and use the drop-down menu, or include as the notation on your check.

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He left behind his beloved fiancee, Courtney Day, along with: his grandfather Edward Mullis; grandmother Rose Mullis; grandmother, Irene Myers; father, Dominick Andriano; mother, Linda Mullis; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

His dear friend Robert Boone and his soon-to-be father-in-law, Mike Day, created this scholarship along with his fellow firefighters.

Here is what the Orlando Sentinel reported:

“He’s a really good fireman,” said Lt. Jimmy Berry.

Andriano spent his own money for additional training, which enabled him to work in specialized positions, such as driving a ladder truck.

Fire Chief Otto Drozd said Andriano made an impact in the community during his short time in the service.

“He was well-respected and well-loved,” Drozd said.

The Fire Department became Andriano’s life.

After Andriano was diagnosed with cancer, his peers rallied to support him as much as they could, coining the phrase: “He’ll forever be 30 strong” — a reference to their station number.

More than $30,000 was raised for “Team Andriano” to help with his medical expenses. Now, money will go toward scholarships for people who want to attend the fire academy.

Andriano didn’t live long enough to become a lieutenant. But during his years at Orange County Fire Rescue, Andriano — an only child — gained many brothers.

“We would take a bullet for each other,” Berry said.

Assistant Chief Jose Gainza Jr. said he watched as firefighters from Station 30 and across the region came together rally behind Andriano, his fiancée and family.

Downtown Orlando streets were shut down briefly to accommodate Carl’s funeral procession.

A memorial tribute celebrates his life.

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Here is the Team Andriano Facebook page.

Thank you, Carl Andriano, for putting yourself in harm’s way to keep our neighbors safe. I am grateful to his family and friends for entrusting Carl’s legacy to Valencia, where another generation of firefighters will train.

kudos to desiree quinto! desiree graduated from valencia in 2011 and from ucf in 2012. and on she goes!

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By: Adam Rhodes, Central Florida Future

Imagine finally getting that job offer that has seemed so far away for so long. Now imagine getting it on national television.

For Desiree Quinto, a 2012 UCF graduate, that was her reality on Oct. 13, when, after two long years of job hunting, she was offered a job as a discovery specialist for her dream company, Birchbox, on Good Morning America during a segment about college graduates struggling to find work.

“I love the transparency there and the culture of the office,” Quinto said of the company. “CEOs are walking around, sitting side-by-side with their employees and getting to know [them]. There’s so much inspiration and room for growth. Ever since I walked in, I knew it was where I wanted to work.”

While Quinto was sure of her desire to work for Birchbox, she had no idea about the outcome of that Good Morning America segment.

“I had no idea,” Quinto said. “Even [that] morning I had no idea that was happening. I got in there at 5 a.m. and couldn’t be near TVs or have my phone.”

Even before she graduated UCF with an interdisciplinary studies degree, Quinto said she had been applying to places in New York City in hopes of moving there after graduation.

During her time at Valencia College, and then UCF, Quinto immersed herself in volunteer and non-profit work.

At Valencia, she became a member of the Model United Nations. Then at UCF, she made the dean’s list a handful of times and became a member of the Nonprofit Management Student Association and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Through those organizations, Quinto was able to become a certified nonprofit professional.

It’s that nonprofit experience that Quinto said made her competitive in the job market.

Even with that competitive edge, Quinto said, she still had trouble landing a job, despite getting relatively far with several interviews. Since graduation in December 2012, Quinto had been in South Florida working at a Mexican restaurant, Baja Cafe Dos.

But that’s all about to change as she makes her journey to her dream city.

As a Birchbox discovery specialist, Quinto will work directly with customers either over the phone or online through social media and email.

“She really showed us that she cared about the customer experience and what it really means to work with a customer and give them a great experience,” said Melissa Enbar, director of recruiting and talent development for Birchbox. “She showed us she was curious and asked a lot of questions. She was interested about the job in the company.”

Aside from Quinto’s curiosity and people skills, Enbar also said she stood out thanks to the research she did about the company.

“She was really knowledgeable about Birchbox,” Enbar said. “She did her research on what we do and how we do it.”

This coming weekend, Quinto is able to finally live her dream of living in New York City as she moves to Queens to start her position as a discovery specialist at her dream company.

Brad Pierce: relishing life and enjoying every second of the ride

BY FRANK SHALA

When it comes to the corporate world, Brad Pierce will do just about anything to differentiate his enterprises from the competition.

When it comes to his charitable and Valencia Foundation work, that passion and work ethic are just as visible; however, his ambition to “stand out” changes immensely.

“I find that when nobody cares who gets the credit, a whole heck of a lot gets done,” Brad says.

brad-pierce-orlando-floridaThat philosophy is firmly embedded in Brad’s commitment to Valencia Foundation. He credits fellow board directors Larry Walker and Patrick Buffa for convincing him that – despite his busy schedule – being a part of the Valencia Foundation would benefit him and Valencia students.

“There was something about Patrick that made me feel that he was a guy I can trust,” Brad explains. “I’m very appreciative of Patrick to this day for giving me that nudge when I figured I couldn’t fit one more morsel of activity into my days … because honestly Valencia has been one of the most fulfilling, rewarding, amazing organizations to be involved in.”

Brad recognizes he is a small piece of a larger team, but he wants to ensure his contributions allow the foundation to thrive for years to come.

“It has been an honor to be a part of the everyday business and discussion. I feel like giving my input, thoughts and ideas always is valued by the other people there,” Brad says. “I relate a little better to the student population, as a lot of my employees are from Valencia and from UCF. I’m a different generation than many, and that provides a little bit different perspective.”

That is Brad’s diplomatic way of pointing out he is a bit younger than others in the room.

Having the perspective of youth also leaves him hungry to learn from those who have been serving the foundation for multiple years. Brad plans to expand his expertise in the intricacies of the foundation’s work, including donor recruitment and investment management, which require more time to master.

“If I don’t start learning how to do those things from the people who are right now leading the board, in five to 10 years – when I’ve moved up the chain, and a lot of our board has retired – that could be problem,” Brad explains.

His eagerness to help make and build a strong unit is evident. Brad realizes it takes a group of diverse people with different sets of talents to succeed in the long run.

“What I would like to be remembered for is looking back at our whole team and saying that whole group made a difference,” Brad adds.

Reviewing Brad’s resume, one might wonder when he has any time to sleep with all the ventures he manages. From E-Commerce, restaurant equipment and supplies, computer programming and web development to his avid aviation career, Brad diagnoses himself as ADD because he always has to be moving and jumping to the next adventure.

“I don’t want to ever sit on the sidelines, I want to be in the game,” Brad explains.

haiti-relief-flight-arrival-smallThe same can be said for his work with the different charities he supports. His work with Angel Flight Southeast, whose mission is to “arrange free flights so children and adults can have access to the far-from-home doctors that can save their lives,” grants him an opportunity to put his piloting skills to work helping people in life-or-death situations.

Brad’s aviation expertise benefited the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) in a relief mission to Haiti that donated $100,000 in medical provisions, as well as school supplies, clothing, musical instruments, toys and other items for residents. He is set to make another trip to the country later this year.

“I don’t have the desire to give to things as a passive donor. I want to be part of these amazing stories,” Brad says. He acknowledges the necessity of two types of donors: the ones who write checks quietly behind the scenes and the ones who deploy funds into action and outcomes.

After graduating from Winter Park High School, Brad attended Valencia College. That decision gave him the chance to continue working to develop his family’s local business, Restaurant Equipment World (REW), which has been around for nearly 40 years. By the time he completed Valencia, he had earned two pilot’s licenses and finished his aviation training.

“It worked out really well. To some degree I wasn’t ready to go off to another school,” he adds.

haiti-relief-flight-walking-self-pic-smallBrad enrolled at Florida State University’s School of Business, where he earned a marketing degree. He commuted from Tallahassee to Orlando on weekends to work at REW, where he was transitioning a local, smaller business into what is today a digital enterprise with more than 220 web sites and 330,000 products. The company was the first in the industry to embrace the online marketplace and currently receives millions of hits per month to its network of web sites. The company serves more than 100,000 customers in all 50 states and 110 countries,.

“When I came back here from college, Day One in the business, I already had a decade of experience, not only with REW, but developing what the business was going to become,” Brad explains.

He carefully balances his family life with wife, Lori, and their twin boys.

Whether today’s venture is business, charity, family or pleasure, Brad recognizes that success requires serious effort. But that doesn’t mean overlooking the opportunity that unexpectedly emerges: “When opportunity comes to you, don’t just disregard it. You never know which one of these can be life changing.”

Frank Shala is a Valencia College journalism student.

orlando history vote!

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The Orange County Regional History Center is holding a contest, asking the public to vote on “100 Historic Icons of Orlando” for an upcoming exhibit.

Please consider voting for the founding of Valencia College in 1967 – and please cast a vote for the founding father of Valencia, Raymer F. Maguire, Jr. (West Campus students may recognize his name; the campus library is named for him.)

What you may not know is this: Maguire fought Orlando’s good-old-boy network, which wanted a segregated junior college. Instead, he led the fight to create a public college open to everyone.

Voting ends this week, so please go online at the link and cast your vote for the founding of Valencia and for Raymer Maguire Jr. To vote, you can go to either one of the following places:

History Center Website: http://www.historiciconsoforlando.com/

History Center Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Historic-Icons-of-Orlando/293074144177867?sk=app_140144849426314

Meet the class of 2018

Every year Beloit College releases a list that describes the world view of today’s freshman class. I remember the first batches of freshmen that had never known a world without Fed Ex, faxes, email or the Internet. 

Fast forward to 2014. Meet the Class of 2018.

Students heading into their first year of college this year were generally born in 1996.

Among those who have never been alive in their lifetime are Tupac Shakur, JonBenet Ramsey, Carl Sagan, and Tiny Tim.

On Parents’ Weekend, they may want to watch out in case Madonna shows up to see daughter Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon or Sylvester Stallone comes to see daughter Sophia.

For students entering college this fall…

1. During their initial weeks of kindergarten, they were upset by endlessly repeated images of planes blasting into the World Trade Center.

2. Since they binge-watch their favorite TV shows, they might like to binge-watch the video portions of their courses too.

3. Meds have always been an option.

4. When they see wire-rimmed glasses, they think Harry Potter, not John Lennon.

5. “Press pound” on the phone is now translated as “hit hashtag.”

6. Celebrity “selfies” are far cooler than autographs.

7. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has always been the only news program that really “gets it right.”

8. Hard liquor has always been advertised on television.

9. Ralph Nader has always been running for President of the U.S.

10. They never sat glued to Saturday morning cartoon shows but have been hooked on FOX’s Sunday night “Animation Domination.”

11. The water cooler is no longer the workplace social center; it’s the place to fill your water bottle.

12. In their lifetime, a dozen different actors have portrayed Nelson Mandela on the big and small screen.

13. Women have always attended the Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel.

14. FOX News and MSNBC have always been duking it out for the hearts and minds of American viewers.

15. Pepsi has always refreshed travelers in outer space.

16. Hong Kong has always been part of China.

17. Courts have always been overturning bans on same-sex marriages.

18. Joe Camel has never introduced one of them to smoking.

19. Bosnia and Herzegovina have always been one nation.

20. Citizens have always had a constitutional right to a “dignified and humane death.”

21. Nicotine has always been recognized as an addictive drug requiring FDA oversight.

22. Students have always been able to dance at Baylor.

23. Hello Dolly…cloning has always been a fact, not science fiction.

24. Women have always been dribbling, and occasionally dunking, in the WNBA.

25. Ads for prescription drugs, noting their disturbing side effects, have always flooded the airwaves.

26. Hell has always been associated less with torment and more with nothingness.

27. Whether to embrace fat or spurn it has been a front page debate all their lives.

28. Parents have always been able to rely on a ratings system to judge violence on TV.

29. They never tasted the “texturally enhanced alternative beverage” known as Orbitz.

30. There has always been “TV” designed to be watched exclusively on the web.

31. The Unabomber has always been behind bars.

32. Female referees have always officiated NBA games.

33. There has always been a national database of sex offenders.

34. Chicago, a musical about a celebrity getting away with murder, has always been popular on Broadway.

35. Yet another blessing of digital technology: They have never had to hide their dirty magazines under the bed.

36. U.S. major league baseball teams have always played in Mexico.

37. Bill Gates has always been the richest man in the U.S.

38. Attending schools outside their neighborhoods, they gather with friends on Skype, not in their local park.

39. While the number of Americans living with HIV has always been going up, American deaths from AIDS have always been going down.

40. They have no memory of George Stephanopoulos as a senior White House advisor.

41. The PGA has always offered golfers with disabilities a ride—reluctantly.

42. “African-American Vernacular English” has always been recognized as a distinct language in Oakland.

43. Two-term presidents are routine, but none of them ever won in a landslide.

44. The family has always been able to buy insurance at local banks.

45. One route to pregnancy has always been through frozen eggs.

46. They have probably never used Netscape as their web browser.

47. Everybody has always Loved Raymond.

48. “Salon” has always been an online magazine.

49. The rate of diagnosed diabetes has always been shooting up during their lifetime.

50. Affirmative Action has always been outlawed in California.

51. Boeing has never had any American competition for commercial aircraft.

52. U.S. soldiers have always been vaccinated against anthrax.

53. “Good feedback” means getting 30 likes on your last Facebook post in a single afternoon.

54. Their collection of U.S. quarters has always celebrated the individual states.

55. Since Toys R Us created a toy registry for kids, visits to Santa are just a formality.

Copyright© 2014 Beloit College

The McLoughlins: Everyone deserves a second chance

BY FRANK SHALA

Throughout 60-plus years of marriage, George and Viola “Vi” McLoughlin have led long, successful lives. What they are most proud of, though, are the opportunities to help provide college access for students, especially those that might not have had a chance otherwise.

George, 94, and Viola, 91, have been retired for nearly 30 years, but their impact is still felt throughout the Valencia community. The scholarship that is in their name is a special one.

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George and Viola with Geraldine.

The George and Viola McLoughlin Scholarship has been especially tailored to meet the needs of the non-traditional student, especially an individual who may not qualify for other, more restrictive programs. Such applicants include those with a checkered academic record, recovering substance abusers, homeless people, survivors of domestic or sexual abuse, mid-career workers looking to upgrade or retool, single parents, and those seeking re-entry to society after incarceration.

They seek to serve deserving individuals who don’t have a safety net and need just one more shot to succeed.

“It seems that for the majority of scholarships available, you have to be a part of a certain group, a certain degree path,” George says. “There aren’t many that help kids who need a second chance.”

Both George and Vi have strong roots in education. George taught at Valencia for 16 years, from 1969-1985. George started when the school was only in its third year of existence, and he jokes that the school was still in portable buildings. Viola was a Seminole County elementary school teacher, and eventually advanced to assistant principal at Red Bug Lake Elementary.

The pair began their scholarship in 1997 and together they have provided countless students that second chance to pursue something bigger than they imagined possible. Their philanthropy includes daughter, Priscilla, who helps choose their scholars. The support and willingness to help their students is something that emerges when you hear the McLoughlins share stories of lives they have touched.

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George and Vi with their daughter Priscilla, who has taken up the philanthropic mantle.

A Persian student brought them an authentic rug when he returned from vacation in his homeland after George helped him find a car to get to school. A Vietnamese couple walked to the McLoughlin home in Maitland with a full, home-cooked meal after George anonymously bought them a Christmas tree.

“I hope that anybody that goes into education goes in with a sense of mission,” George says with emphasis. “The students I taught were really a pleasure, especially the first wave of them.”

“We both started in life very serious about our religion,” Viola adds. “We can relate with students and families who never thought of going to college.”

George was the first in his family: He earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Boston University and a doctorate in education with a minor in music education from the University of Kentucky. When George was teaching at Asbury College, Viola decided to start college at age 40.

Viola had earned a secretarial degree and worked as an executive assistant. She would eventually earn her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Asbury and her master’s degree in education from Rollins College.

“One thing that’s changed in the last 30 to 40 years is that kids didn’t necessarily grow up with the idea of going to college,” George explains. “But today the opportunities are there if kids will take them. “All the students have to do is try,” his bride quickly chimes in.

Both George and Vi know that sometimes individuals just need that little push, that nudge to get them going. They preach on the opportunities that exist and the people and resources available to help those who are willing to put forth the effort.

“The best advice is to say, ‘yes.’ Things will come along, certain opportunities, and you just have to say ‘yes,’” George adds. “Basically the only thing we ask is that our students are capable of doing their work, and that they be motivated.”

The couple is so proud of the work Valencia president Sandy Shugart has done to maintain Valencia’s focus on students, something George says sometimes lacks at the bigger colleges and universities. They believe the philanthropic foundation has been set for their mission to continue for years to come.

Vi jokes that she nearly forgot to share the most important factor to longevity: “When people ask us what have we done to live a long, healthy life, all I can think of is that we did live rather simply – out of necessity at times, but we don’t have expense taste. It’s the simplicity. It has its beauty.”

To learn more about the McLoughlin family, please visit this article, which appeared in the Valencia Foundation annual report.

Frank Shala is a Valencia College journalism student. 

calling for alumni class notes for Vitae magazine!

Social Media Post

Check out the current edition of the Vitae magazine.

calling for alumni class notes for Vitae magazine!

Social Media PostCheck out the current edition of the Vitae magazine.

lace up for student scholarships!

Social Media Post Aug 14

Online Registration or Mail In Registration

american association of community colleges outstanding alumnus award 2015

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If you know of a Valencia graduate who meets ALL of these criteria, please submit their information to Barbara Shell, Director of Community and Alumni Relations by Friday, August 15th.

 ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

1. Attended Valencia for at least 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours.

2. Has notable achievements in career field.

3. Has specific philanthropic or public service activity that supports the community and/or college.

4. Has achieved recognition at a national level.

5. Provides inspirational impact.

College Night Sign-Up for Students

The 2014 Orange & Osceola County College Night programs for the state of Florida will be hosted at Valencia College. We are excited to share this opportunity with you.

Mark your calendars: College Night is Coming! Bring your students, the parents, grab some friends, and get your questions answered about college, and we’re not just talking about Valencia!

  • Start the college search process up close and personal
  • Visit with representatives from colleges and universities located across the country
  • Gather local and federal information regarding grants & scholarships

Sign-up online to attend College Night 2014:

College Night, Osceola CampusCollege Night Sign-Up
Valencia College
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
6:00-8:00pm (EST)

College Night, West CampusCollege Night Sign-Up
Valencia College
Thursday, October 9, 2014
6:00-8:00pm (EST)

Tips for attending College Night

If interested in bringing a group of 15 or more students please contact the Assistant Director of Transitions Planning, La’Tasha Graham: Lgraham18@valenciacollege.edu

Click here or view the list below for colleges that attended in 2013.

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  • Yale University
  • Florida State University
  • Columbia College, SC
  • Columbia College, FL
  • Cornell University
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Texas A&M University at Galveston
  • United States Air Force Academy
  • Universal Technical Institute
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Rice University

 

  • Ringling College of Art and Design
  • Rollins College
  • Rutgers University
  • Adventist University of Health Sciences (formerly Florida Hospital College)
  • Ana Mendez University
  • Anderson University
  • Armstrong Atlantic State University
  • Asbury Theological Seminary
  • Ashford Universtiy
  • Aveda Institute
  • Barry University School of Law
  • Belhaven University
  • Belmont Abbey College
  • Bethune-Cookman University
  • Binghamton University- State University of New York
  • Catawba College
  • Clark Atlanta College
  • DeVry University
  • Drexel University
  • Eckerd College
  • Education Foundation of Osceola County
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Everest University
  • Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
  • Florida A&M University
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy at UCF
  • Florida International University
  • Florida Memorial University
  • Florida Polytechnic University
  • Florida Southern College
  • Full Sail University
  • Georgia Southern University
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Morehouse College
  • Hawaii Pacific University
  • Herzing University
  • International Academy of Design and Technology
  • Jacksonville University
  • Johnson & Wales University
  • Johnson University Florida
  • Keiser University
  • Lenoir-Rhyne University
  • Liberty University
  • Lincoln Technical Institute
  • Lynn University
  • Mech Tech Institute
  • Monroe College
  • National Aviation Academy
  • National University
  • New College of Florida
  • North Carolina State University
  • North Carolina Weleyan College
  • Northwood University
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Oglethorpe University
  • Orlando Tech
  • Palm Beach Atlantic University
  • Penn State University
  • Piedmont College
  • Polytechnic University of P.R./Orlando Campus
  • Purdue University
  • Queens University of Charlotte
  • Radford University
  • Reinhardt University
  • Saint Leo University
  • Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Seminole State College of Florida
  • Southeastern University
  • St. Joseph’s College, NY
  • St. Petersburg College
  • Stetson University
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Stonehill College
  • Strayer University
  • State University of New York College at Cortland
  • Technical Education Center Osceola
  • The Art Institutes
  • The Baptist College of Florida
  • The Ohio State University
  • The University of Mississippi
  • The University of Tampa
  • The University of the Arts
  • Thomas University
  • Trinity College of Florida
  • Troy University
  • Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
  • UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
  • Union University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Florida
  • University of Florida/Mid-Florida Research & Education Center
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts
  • University of North Florida
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Phoenix
  • University of South Alabama
  • University of South Florida
  • University of South Florida Saint Petersburg
  • University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee
  • University of West Florida
  • United States Coast Guard Academy
  • Valdosta State University
  • Warner University
  • Warren Wilson College
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Webster University
  • West Virginia Wesleyan College
  • Winthrop University
  • Workforce Central Florida

Sign-up online to attend College Night 2014:

College Night, Osceola Campus
Valencia College
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
6:00-8:00pm (EST)

College Night, West Campus
Valencia College
Thursday, October 9, 2014
6:00-8:00pm (EST)

If interested in bringing a group of 15 or more students please contact the Assistant Director of Transitions Planning, La’Tasha Graham: Lgraham18@valenciacollege.edu


Accommodations Information:

If you have any other disability that prohibits your participation in this event, please contact the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD). OSD contact information can be accessed on their website at http://valenciacollege.edu/osd/

valencia alum louis gray ’98 making a difference

From “the Projects” to Gray’s Project: A Profile of Louis Gray
By Bonnie Beth Silvestri, JD, Director of Strategic Communications

Louis Gray is the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships “go-to” person in USF Registrar’s Office, helping OCEP fulfill its mission to support the service-learning curriculum on campus. Gray, the Registrar’s Office’s Academic Services Administrator, has been working behind the scenes, under the leadership of his supervisor Tony Embry and USF Registrar Angela Debose, coding each service-learning class offered on campus in Banner, the university’s administrative information system.

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Once the courses are coded, students are able to easily find service-learning offerings in OASIS; and OCEP can calculate the number of service-learning course sections and students enrolled. During the last academic school year, there were 188 sections of service-learning courses coded in the system, and over 4,000 students enrolled in these courses, which is a significant increase thanks to outreach efforts by OCEP and the Registrar’s Office.

And, it is no surprise that OCEP can count on Gray to help with these efforts, because he “gets it,” and he lives it. A natural connector, Gray said, “I’m the type to bring the community together.”

To that end, Gray started a Tampa-based nonprofit called G.R.A.Y.S. Project Inc. (Granting At-Risk Adolescents and Youth Sustainability), to provide the kind of support system for young people that he wished he had growing up in the Lake Mann Housing Project in Orlando.
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Through his eponymous nonprofit, Gray devotes evenings and weekends to tutoring young people of all ages with their schoolwork and to helping high school students with their college entrance exam preparation. Gray’s Project also partners with Second Chance Center for Boys & G3 Life Applications to provide tutoring, life coaching, and ACT Test prep to the local high school students.

Soon, he plans to expand the reach of Gray’s Project to Orlando to strengthen his partnership with Orlando’s Parramore Kidz Zone, one of eleven sites to receive a Promise Neighborhood Grant through the National League of Cities, in conjunction with the White House’s black male achievement initiative. Parramore Kidz Zone is a model program in an historically black neighborhood that has been making a difference. Additionally, the local Housing Authority has requested that he return to his roots in Lake Mann to tutor and mentor the youngest residents at its onsite Kids Café.

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(USF student volunteers with Gray’s Project)

He mused, “the projects…think about that word,” while remembering his childhood in Lake Mann.  His first eighteen years living in government-subsidized housing, often referred to as “the projects,” was challenging. There was a police presence there, but he called it a “mirage.” He said, it was more about “getting to know you to arrest you,” than to protect and serve the residents.

Gray’s work is completely self-funded, but he also relies on the help of others to keep his programs going. “When you give, give, give, people go above and beyond.”

Gray has enlisted a corps of volunteers, including twelve USF students and ten working professionals, to tutor and mentor young people.

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(Gray’s parents)

He credits his parents with giving him the support and structure that kept him on the forward trajectory that eventually led him to earning his MBA and working in academia. He said, “Family is key. Studies show family support and structure in the house [determine whether] you succeed or fail in life.”

He said that his father, who worked as a sharecropper as a child and drove a truck throughout his adult life, was home every night with his ten children. Gray’s dad told his son stories of working hard in the fields, only to get “scraps” from the owners of the farm. This made him wary of the predatory lending schemes often marketed to minority communities and informed his decision to raise his family in government-subsidized housing.

Gray is the youngest and his family refers to him as “baby boy.” He said, “We had to be in the house by the time the street lights came on or we would get in trouble.” He said that his father was both stern and playful with the large and loving family.

His mother, who worked as a housekeeper, and his father valued family dinners, getting eight hours of sleep, and a nutritious breakfast every morning before school. He said that wasn’t the case for many of his contemporaries who were often allowed to stay out late and/or would go to school hungry, which made it difficult for them to concentrate in school.

As part of his school district’s efforts to integrate the local school system, Gray attended middle school eight miles away and high school ten miles away from his home. He said, “I really think it was successful. It broke down a lot of barriers, [e.g.,] how you relate to different races as you get older.”

He was an enterprising young person, starting a small candy store and a cookie and juice stand marketed to other children. He believes he had an “internal drive to overcome his situation.”

Even with his family’s support, however, he realizes that in many ways the deck was stacked against him. He said that his lens was always “that’s just the way it is.”

After graduating from high school, he said he “stumbled across a job at Valencia Community College delivering mail from campus to campus.” He got free tuition, so he started taking one or two classes at a time over a fourteen-year period and obtained an Associate of Arts degree. Then, he completed his Bachelor of Arts at Columbia College, Orlando branch, and went on to earn an MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management, while working in different administrative roles at Valencia Community College. In 2012, shortly before finishing his MBA, he began working at USF.

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Gray said he has seen “so many struggles in our country and how people just gave up and settled.” Gray’s Project, he said, is designed “to uplift, give promise and hope to all individuals.”

“I look like them,” he said; and he tells them, “I’m from where you are.” He hopes to inspire young people, “not to say, look at me, I’ve got so much, but [to show] what you can be if you stay focused.”

Gray takes time away from his own family to work with local children, which can be difficult. But as soon as he reaches them, and connects with them, it makes it worthwhile. When they ask, “Mr. Louis, are you coming back next Saturday?” he knows he is making a difference in their lives.

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In addition to his work mentoring and tutoring, Gray educates young people about the “school-to-prison pipeline.” When children are expelled, the rate of those going to prison increases tremendously. He said that he wants young people to be aware that they need to be very careful; because discipline can be meted out in a biased way impacting minority communities.

Gray is also very active on campus, including serving as the Vice Chair of the Student and Presidential Advisory Committee on Black Affairs (COBA), which advises the President on matters affecting Black faculty, staff, and students of the University.

In the fall, Gray plans to begin a Post Master’s Leadership in Higher Education graduate certificate with a goal of working toward a PhD.

He will also begin teaching Academic Foundations; and he plans to add a service-learning component into the course. Students will be able to volunteer with Gray’s Project or with the Moffitt Center.

He will incorporate his strong will to persevere into the course. “That will be a story that I can share with incoming students.”

To learn more about how you can get involved, go to Gray’s Project.  For more about the Parramore Kidz Zone, click here.  For more on the school-to-prison pipeline, click here for “Demanding Zero Tolerance for Florida’s School- to-Prison Pipeline.”

 

New York Times Applauds Valencia’s Efforts to Cut Student Loan Default

While addressing the nation’s growing student loan debt — and the troubling default rate at some colleges — The New York Times editorial board recently applauded Valencia’s efforts to reduce the number of students who default on their loans.

 

Valencia students who received both Pell Grants and loans defaulted at a rate of 19 percent — compared with 26 percent across all of the colleges in the study and at only a slightly higher rate than their more affluent classmates. The same was true for students who took remedial course work versus those who did not. The overall default rate for the colleges in the study was 22 percent.

 

See below for the full article or visit online at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/26/opinion/how-to-control-student-loan-defaults.html?_r=0

New federal rules that penalize colleges for excessive student loan defaults offer a powerful incentive for schools to educate students on the complexities of the federal student loan program, including the crucial fact that they can delay or make partial payments if they get into financial trouble. Keeping loan default rates low, a new study of nine community colleges shows, is not rocket science: Schools can do it.

Colleges with default rates of 30 percent or higher in any given year are now required to develop a plan for keeping more students on track to repay their loans. Beginning in September, institutions that reach or exceed the 30 percent for three consecutive years will lose eligibility for both the federal loan program and the Pell Grant program, subject to appeal. This places schools with runaway default rates at risk of having to shut down.

The new rules provide important protection for students for whom default can mean a shredded credit history that makes it difficult for them to buy cars or homes and even shuts them out of jobs. The rules also protect taxpayers, who are on the hook when a loan goes bad.

Some colleges argue that the regulations unfairly target and penalize schools that serve “high risk” populations like the poor and young people who need remedial help. A study of nine community colleges carried out by the Association of Community College Trustees and the Institute for College Access and Success, a nonprofit research group, rebuts that argument.

The study suggests instead that default levels for students of all descriptions depend importantly on the quality of the academic support and counseling they get from the schools. Valencia College in Florida is held up as an example of a school that does this well. Valencia students who received both Pell Grants and loans defaulted at a rate of 19 percent — compared with 26 percent across all of the colleges in the study and at only a slightly higher rate than their more affluent classmates. The same was true for students who took remedial course work versus those who did not. The overall default rate for the colleges in the study was 22 percent.

Valencia’s mandatory orientation process shows students from the beginning what it takes to succeed and what services are available to help them. The school also keeps in touch with delinquent borrowers, explaining important options like income-based repayment.

The most important predictor of default is whether a student completes the academic program. Across all campuses in this study, students who graduated defaulted at a rate of just 9 percent, as opposed to 27 percent for those who left college before receiving their degree. This means schools need to keep an eye on and intervene with struggling students before they get overwhelmed and drop out.

Identifying and reaching out to students with academic problems, counseling all students on their rights and obligations under the various loan programs — these are important tools for preventing defaults. But what is likely to persuade colleges to deploy these tools in the first place is the threat of losing federal aid if they do not.

Thank you, Florida College Foundation, Helios, Florida Blue and Dream Makers

 

 

Our sincerest gratitude to the Florida College Foundation, which relayed three gifts to Valencia Foundation totaling $59,000. Donations were for the Helios Education Scholarship, the Florida Blue Scholarship and the Dream Makers Scholarship.

Two Valencia Foundation board members, Michael Lingerfelt and Pat Buffa, joined college president Sandy Shugart to accept three checks from Brian Buwalda, Florida College Foundation board leader, and Randy Hanna, system chancellor.

Thank you to Helios, Florida Blue, Dream Makers and Florida College Foundation for expanding learning opportunities for deserving students.

From left: Foundation board members Michael Lingerfelt and Pat Buffa; Valencia College president Sandy Shugart; Florida College Foundation board member Brian Buwalda; and Florida College System chancellor, Randy Hanna.

From left: Foundation board members Michael Lingerfelt and Pat Buffa; Valencia College president Sandy Shugart; Florida College Foundation board member Brian Buwalda; and Florida College System chancellor, Randy Hanna.

after-hours wine and cheese reception

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tedxorlandosalon at valencia!

tedAnnouncing TEDxOrlandoSalon’s next meeting on Wednesday, August 6, 2014.
Hope you can come!

When: Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Where: Valencia College Osceola Campus, Bldg 4, Rm 105
1800 Denn John Lane
Kissimmee, FL 34744
Register: http://www.tedxorlando.com/salon/
Email us: info@tedxorlando.com
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New! Book exchange! Bring a book, take a new one home. (Please remember to take unclaimed books home with you.)

Two TED Talk videos will be shown, each followed by a discussion break; the event program is determined by vote.

What we have planned for our next meeting:

  • Sarah Jones: What does the future hold? 11 characters offer quirky answers
  • Wendy Chung: Autism — what we know (and what we don’t know yet)
  • Mellody Hobson: Color blind or color brave?
  • Amy Webb: How I hacked online dating
  • Stanley McChrystal: The military case for sharing knowledge

TEDxOrlandoSalon
TEDxOrlandoSalon meets every other month at Valencia College locations. A typical meeting draws approximately 50 smart, interesting, engaged people. Some will be regulars and some will be newcomers. Some choose to eat during the event, others choose not to. Two TEDTalk videos are shown, each followed by a discussion break. The event program is determined by vote, and discussions are open-ended.

TEDxOrlando
TEDxOrlando is a one-day conference featuring live speakers. Please stay tuned for details.

Code of Conduct
TEDxOrlando and TEDxOrlandoSalon are about the exchange of meaningful ideas and deep discussion, not selling. Opportunities do sometimes result from contacts made at our meetings and we encourage that. However, we ask that you refrain from using TEDxOrlando or TEDxOrlandoSalon primarily as a platform for promoting yourself, your personal political or religious views, your business, or your organization.

TEDx
TEDxOrlando and TEDxOrlandoSalon operate under license from TEDx, a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share ideas worth spreading. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks videos and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. http://tedxorlando.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4065cf3354e5dbe3aa57ab169&id=771295dc95&e=dda8202fc9

TED
TED is an annual event where some of the world’s leading thinkers and doers are invited to share what they are most passionate about. “TED” stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design — three broad subject areas that are, collectively, shaping our future. And in fact, the event is broader still, showcasing ideas that matter in any discipline. Attendees have called it “the ultimate brain spa” and “a four-day journey into the future.” The diverse audience — CEOs, scientists, creatives, philanthropists — is almost as extraordinary as the speakers, who have included Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Frank Gehry, Paul Simon, Sir Richard Branson, Philippe Starck and Bono. http://tedxorlando.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4065cf3354e5dbe3aa57ab169&id=30542d058c&e=dda8202fc9

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Investment in students reaps harvests

 

For every dollar invested in their education, a student sees a $5.60 return on income increase. The same is true for donors. Every dollar you donate to make education possible shows a five-fold return. Click through the graphic to learn more.

Faculty and staff giving at Valencia

why-i-give-banner-270x60The Faculty and Staff Giving Committee is excited to announce three students were awarded the Student Opportunity Scholarship for 2014/2015. This is only scholarship to be solely funded by faculty and staff contributions in support of the students they serve.  Christina Funk received the primary scholarship with Valencia students Michaela Decker and Gerald Jones also receiving modest scholarships.

Thanks to “Why I Give Where I Work”  new pledges, renewal gifts and annual donations, our Valencia faculty and staff are part of nearly $100,000 in annual contributions to the Valencia Foundation.

Valencia Employees are asked to consider donating in support of Valencia and the students we serve through payroll deduction or to make a one-time gift, you may use the secure online “Why I Give Where I Work” donation location at https://donate.valencia.org/faculty-staff-giving.

The Valencia Foundation would like to send special recognition to co-chairs Josh Murdock and Diana Ciesko for their leadership during the campaign and to the 2014 ambassadors (pictured below): Andrew Becker, Chris Borglum, Ken Carpenter, Wendi Dew, Isabel Hagan, Jonathan Hernandez, Erich Heintzelman, Pat Lee, Donna Marino, James May, Rob McCaffrey, Mia Pierre, April Raneri, and past chair Katie Shephard.

2014 Faculty and Staff Giving Committee Members

Volunteer ambassadors of the faculty and staff giving committee encourage colleagues to consider committing support of Valencia College and the students they serve by making a contribution to the Valencia Foundation.

Shop. Donate. Smile.

Combining your routine Amazon purchases with a donation — at no additional cost to you — is as easy as a click.

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Visit the new Amazon Smile website, and you will be prompted to choose your favorite charity from an extensive list registered with the IRS. This site uses your same ID and password, and has all your favorites stored. The only difference is that Smile has a yellow avatar, and a percentage of your sale goes assist to a nonprofit.

Naturally, I hope you’ll consider Valencia College Foundation.

You can change your designee at any time or share donations with different organizations throughout the year.

Happy shopping!

 

 

making a difference

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(L to R; Melissa Pedone, Barbara Shell and Katherine Pedone at
the Valencia College 9th Annual 5K Run, Walk & Roll)

BY JOY S. JONES

Barbara Shell teams with valued community partners and a host of volunteers in her role as the director of community and alumni relations. It’s a position where the sky’s the limit. After all, her goal of providing lifelong personal educational and professional growth for alumni and students of Valencia College can take many forms when dealing with a group as far reaching and diverse.

Just this week, two Valencia alums, Dick Batchelor, business and political consultant, and State Senator Andy Gardiner were listed in “Orlando Magazine’s” 2014 “50 Most Powerful List.” And new alumnus Angel Sanchez, Valencia’s 2014 “Distinguished Graduate,” is speaking at Blackboard World’s 2014 conference today.

It’s a huge responsibility and a welcome career for anyone who relishes no two days at work being the same, which is how she describes what she does.

“A true advocate of Valencia and our wonderful alumni, I’ve worked closely with Barbara the last few years and am always impressed with how well she works with so many different types of people and personalities,” says Michelle Matis, foundation vice president and chief operating officer. “She is very patient and compassionate and truly believes in developing authentic relationships with everyone she meets.”

Any wonder that Barbara’s work in alumni and community relations keeps her extremely busy with numerous meetings and events. “Many of these happen after hours and on weekends and she tirelessly keeps up with managing all of them and always with a smile on her face,” Michelle continued.

“The challenge is to find opportunities that will appeal to everyone — all different ages and interests, but fun. And any success that I might have is thanks to the many community volunteers with whom I work,” Barbara says. Those volunteers include current students and alumni.

One such opportunity is the TEDxOrlando partnership, with TEDxOrlandoSalons.

“TEDxOrlando has been very successful for over four years and held the organization’s TEDxOrlandoSalons monthly at a restaurant in College Park that closed down in December 2013,” says Barbara. “Many of our alumni, retirees, employees and students were involved and loved the TEDxOrlandoSalon experience, including me, and I was able to develop a partnership to bring the Salons to Valencia campuses. Now instead of offering them at only one location, it expands the opportunity for others to more conveniently participate,” she says.

One important factor that drives the success of her office is the database of alumni, now 25,000 members strong, including the 600-member Retiree Connection group. All receive “Vitae” magazine, a part of the glue that keeps alumni connected to the College and each other. They’re an industrious bunch, spread throughout the country and abroad. Barbara struggles to keep up with what’s new with them and their current contact information, to keep the relationships alive, which is something she invites faculty and staff to help her do.

“Whenever anyone is in touch with alums, if you just prompt them to be sure that the alumni office has their current contact information, it will help us a great deal,” she says.

Barbara readily confesses that the work itself isn’t difficult, given Valencia’s outstanding reputation in the community, and nationwide, as a result of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. What’s more, she frequently encounters those who contribute in some way who say they simply want to “pay it forward.”

“Seems that everybody knows somebody who knows somebody who has been impacted by Valencia in a positive way. Most everyone wants to be part of a good investment, which Valencia is,” Barbara says.

In turn, they make investments in the gifts of their time, talent and treasure.

“When a person provides an internship opportunity that will help a student succeed later in life, volunteers with our office or programs, or contributes to student scholarships, they’re making important and valuable investments,” she says. “And our impact as an institution is felt, not just in Central Florida, but in the world community. It’s just very exciting to be a part of it all.”

Among the most prized aspects of her job is coordination of the annual Alumni Achievers Reception held each June where Alumni Association scholarship awards are celebrated.
14396511362_28a686a1a1_o“What’s always fascinating to me is how surprised the recipients are to see themselves as ‘special’,” Barbara says. “With their families looking on, many with children and many more, first generation college students, it is just tremendous to see their level of gratitude that someone believes in them and their abilities. Their example of working to get an education and placing an importance on the value of an education goes a long way for everyone.”

While she shares that it’s a challenge to keep up with it all, she finds it all very rewarding.

“We have the entire spectrum of people who can tell you a compelling story about how Valencia was a significant factor in helping them achieve their educational goals — and the stories just keep growing.”

Barbara has been employed at Valencia since 2004. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington and a master’s degree in community health from Plymouth State University.

Pallotta: Is the way we talk about charity dead wrong?

According to the TED website: “Activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta calls out the double standard that drives our broken relationship to charities. Too many nonprofits, he says, are rewarded for how little they spend — not for what they get done. Instead of equating frugality with morality, he asks us to start rewarding charities for their big goals and big accomplishments (even if that comes with big expenses). In this bold talk, he says: Let’s change the way we think about changing the world.”

So, the question is: As nonprofit organizations, do we focus mostly on how modestly we spend or do we imagine and envision in an enormous way — much the way a transformative, for-profit enterprise might?

Some highlights that stand out in Pallotta’s 18-minute, though-provoking challenge:

  • “The next time you’re looking at a charity, don’t ask about the rate of their overhead. Ask about the scale of their dreams.”
  • “We have a visceral reaction to the idea that anyone would make very much money helping other people. Interesting that we don’t have a visceral reaction to the notion that people would make a lot of money not helping other people.”
  • “Philanthropy is the market for love. It is the market for all those people for whom there is no other market coming.”
  • “When you prohibit failure, you kill innovation. If you kill innovation in fundraising, you can’t raise more revenue. If you can’t raise more revenue, you can’t grow. And if you can’t grow, you can’t possibly solve large social problems.”
  • “Our generation does not want its epitaph to read, ‘We kept charity overhead low.’ We want it to read that we changed the world.”

What do you believe? Are nonprofits playing too small? Are you a donor or a fundraiser or both? Please respond to the poll and reply below with more details.

 

 

Reflections from Jonni Kimberly ’79, Valencia Foundation board chair

BY JONNI KIMBERLY ’79

My relationship with Valencia started when I was still at Osceola High School. This was back in the ’70s, and dual enrollment was a relatively new thing. I took sociology and freshman comp. This was before the Osceola Campus, and my freshman comp was a night class that met in the school library. I remember that we would meet in the library, both high school and college students. Some had just graduated from high school and some were older, married with children. It was my first sense of the “community” that was at that time in our name.

Geraldine Gallagher and Jonni Kimberly

Geraldine Gallagher and Jonni Kimberly

The wonderful partnership between UCF and Valencia is apparent at Osceola, where students can attend UCF from our college campus. And through the DirectConnect to UCF program, AS or AA graduates from Valencia are guaranteed admission to UCF.

Valencia continues to expand our service area. In September 2012, the ribbon was cut at the site of our new Lake Nona campus, which trains students for careers in the life sciences. 2012 also brought about the fruition of the new James M. and Dayle L. Seneff Honors College. Funded by a $1 million donation, as part of the foundation’s major gifts campaign, the new honors college expands Valencia’s current honors program into a full-fledged honors college with four different tracks, each housed on a separate Valencia campus.

Through an independent research study, we learned that Valencia College boosts the economy of Orange and Osceola counties by $1.05 billion a year. And an economic study released by the Council of Presidents for the Florida College System (FCS) found that Florida’s public colleges pump an additional $26.6 billion per year into the state’s economy by producing graduates who are better prepared to become high-income earners.

As board chair, I have followed in the footsteps of the wonderful Linda Landman Gonzalez. I hope to continue what Linda has started, and what Dr. Shugart is so gifted at, telling the Valencia story.

Taste for Learning

Taste for Learning

In my time as a board member one thing I am so proud of is Taste for Learning. I first attended Taste in my inaugural year as a board member, when it was at Royal Pacific Resort. I remember as I was leaving, I said to fellow board member Alan Helman, “We need to have this at Shingle Creek.” I was impressed with the amount of money that Taste brought in to begin with, and the fact that it all goes for the purpose is amazing! I am so happy that Rosen joins with ABC Fine Wine and Spirits and continues to be a presenting sponsor and benefactor for the event.

The September 2012 event was a partnership with Orlando Health Foundation, and they were a joy to work with – bringing sponsors, food vendors, silent auction items and attendees to the event. I think this collaboration marks a unique trend in joint philanthropy and the power of education and its positive impact on the community. In the past two years, we’ve generated $460,000, including match. The total proceeds from Taste are about $2.6 million.

In this next year, I hope your relationship with Valencia continues to blossom. We are so pleased to count thousands in our community as friends

and donors. I hope you are as moved as I am by our students’ thank-you letters that appear in our blog, on Facebook, in the annual report – and that land in donor mailboxes. And this year, we even hosted a scholarship recipient photo shoot to bring you the faces behind the words.

Let me add my gratitude and truly thank you for your support.

 

Jonni Kimberly ’79

Valencia Foundation board chair,
Director, human resources
Rosen Hotels and Resorts

 

Scholars, music and scholarships…

On July 25, a collection of musically talented faculty, staff, and friends–-fondly called The Rogue Scholars–-have found a way to utilize what they have, talent and time, to raise funds for student scholarships at Valencia.

On July 25, a collection of musically talented faculty, staff, and friends–-fondly called The Rogue Scholars–-have found a way to utilize what they have, talent and time, to raise funds for student scholarships at Valencia.

Scholar, poet and educator Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, once said “Give what you have; to someone it may be better than you dare to think.”

On July 25, a collection of musically talented faculty, staff, and friends–-fondly called the Rogue Scholars–-have found a way to utilize what they have, talent and time, to raise funds for student scholarships at Valencia.

Please consider supporting these talented scholars and their musical efforts by attending the live rock ‘n roll sing along show.

When:  Friday July 25, 2014 at 7 pm

Where:  Valencia College Osceola Campus Building 1 Auditorium

Donation:  Give what you can. Perhaps a $5 contribution at the door of event?

What to expect:  Live rock ‘n roll sing along family friendly interactive show with the Rogue Scholars.  We will be playing your favorite songs through the decades.  There will be opportunities for you to bid and sing with the band!

Proceeds:  All proceeds benefit Valencia Foundation http://www.valencia.org through the Jane Dewey/Monty Bilyue Emergency Healthcare Services Scholarship.

This scholarship was established to honor the memories of two individuals who spent their professional lives helping others in critical healthcare situations. It will provide tuition assistance to Valencia students seeking Nursing or EMT/Paramedic degrees.

To our Rogue Scholar friends I say thank you for what you have – both your time and your talents are appreciated!

For more information, please check the Rogue Scholars on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/roguescholarsband

Volunteer to help tell Valencia’s story in the community

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An investment in knowledge

There are other ways to support Valencia, create student scholarships, and enhance education in our community. By naming Valencia College Foundation as a beneficiary through a will or amending a will with a codicil, you can make a commitment in support of education with your deferred donation.

There are other ways to support Valencia, create student scholarships, and enhance education in our community. By naming Valencia College Foundation as a beneficiary through a will or amending a will with a codicil, you can make a commitment in support of education with your deferred donation.

Valencia provides an authentic, learning-centered environment with giving, talented teaching and service-oriented professionals who care for and lead students to discover their greatest potential.

For more than 45 years, Valencia has swung open the doors of learning in Central Florida. We envision a day when no individual in our community is shut out of college because of family finances.

With your support, I believe this community can make this happen.

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

-Benjamin Franklin

Philanthropy has built remarkable college institutions, cured deadly diseases and continues to fund research and facilities dedicated to our health and education.  This generosity also funds religious, environmental and social efforts globally and locally.

There are other ways to support Valencia, create student scholarships, and enhance education in our community.  By naming Valencia  College Foundation as a beneficiary through a will or amending a will with a codicil, you can make a commitment in support of education with your deferred donations.

 The truth is that while many are limited by the realities of a day-to-day budget, a little careful planning today makes it possible for almost anyone to do more in the future through a planned gift.

If you haven’t already, please consider supporting the Valencia Foundation with your learning legacy, your gift makes a real difference for the students we teach and serve every day.

If you would like more information on planned giving, sample bequest language or just have general scholarship questions please contact the Valencia Foundation at 407.582.3150 or e-mail foundation@valenciacollege.edu.

 

The power of the plume

I appreciate technology. Communication has become quick and easy.

It can also be a bit impersonal.

And I miss handwriting. I miss personally written notes and letters – however imperfect and sans “spell check.”

Recently I discovered a box of cleverly folded (who knew I was so clever?) notes from high school – penned when I was supposed to be paying attention to the teacher.

I enjoyed unfolding and reading each one, surprised at and reminded of the tales they told. And no doubt the lessons I missed in class.

I have a very similar joy when I receive a scribed thank you note from a student, donor or partner. I know that it may have taken a little more time than a quick email. They took an extra minute to prepare the envelope and put it in the mail.  They put pen to paper in a very lovely and personal way. Sometimes they are musical (For our students who have sent those, please know I am the geek who opens your card over and over, still enjoying every moment). Every now and then they have a misspelling. (I am reminded of biblical observation and the tradition of Amish quilters that there is no perfection but for God. I know that is true of my own handwriting too.)

Always your notes me make me smile.

Among lessons I may have missed in school, I did learn one thing: The power of the pen and the pleasure of a handwritten note are without question. Below are two cards I’ve received in the last six months. Both are on my refrigerator.

What was your most memorable handwritten note?

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What has caused you to walk away from a nonprofit?

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As this info-graphic indicates, 53 percent of givers can become completely disillusioned because the nonprofit is not communicating well. The donor feels under-appreciated, unthanked, overlooked or treated poorly. So they vote with their feet. And who could blame them?

Has that ever been your experience?

As a nonprofit organization, we are keepers of the public trust and stewards of invested resources. So in the next couple of months, Valencia donors may look for opportunities to tell us just how well we are doing in serving you, and how we can exceed your expectations. It may be by phone, by email or by snail mail.

Today, we invite your thoughts about what has ever prompted you to part ways with a charity. Feel fee to participate in this poll, comment below and/or send an email to ggallagher@valenciacollege.edu. You are welcome to share this poll with friends or colleagues if you’d like.

What has been your worst experience? What has been your best experience? Reply below the poll.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What has been Valencia’s biggest advantage for you?

 

  • Among all college-going seniors, twice as many attend Valencia as any other college or university in the state.
  • About 95 percent of associate of science graduates are placed in their disciplines after graduation.
  • One-quarter of UCF graduates started at Valencia.
  • Taxpayers see an 8.9 percent return on investment.
  • Valencia’s economic return on investment, as determined by an independent research firm that studies higher-ed ROI nationally, is more than $1 billion.

What has been the most important benefit you’ve received from the college?

You can benefit students without spending an extra cent

So many Valencia donors make significant, even sacrificial gifts, which help change the lives of students.

Amazon Smile has unveiled a model that allows get-to-know-you giving — or supplemental contributions — by donating a portion of your purchases.

Good idea? Would you be more likely to start a relationship with a charity this way or through a direct gift?

AmazonSmilePost

Unsung heroes: Patti Riva

BY CHARA YOUNG, CMP, PHR

Patti Riva is the operations manager of Valencia’s Energy Education program. Serving in this newly created position since July 1, 2011, she has focused on identifying energy conservation opportunities and making adjustments, without compromising comfort.

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Patti Riva

When asked what she likes most about her new role, Patti replied, “I’m learning new details each day about energy education and potential for savings. I never imagined I would be climbing stairs to the ‘penthouse’ area to conduct an audit on our air handler units or walking across roof tops to gain entry to another area to view air handles.”

Through her work with the Energy Education program, Patti has been trained on facility and technology issues, specifically HVAC systems (heating, ventilation, and air condition), lighting and data implementation. At Academic Assembly, Dr. Shugart reported that the college’s air conditioning systems are saving $900,000 a year and an estimated 1 million gallons of water. He shared his thoughts that, “there’s another million dollars to be saved, but it will be through behavioral change, the little habits that we can change.”

Patti reinforces this and states, “the premise of the program is that it is our program. It’s not mine. It’s not yours,” she continues, “It’s our program. We can make a difference. We can capture savings that will ultimately benefit our students and us.”

Patti Riva

Patti Riva

Before serving as the operations manager of the Energy Education program, Patti was the evening/weekend manager of the Credit Department at Winter Park, and prior to that, the program manager for the Displaced Homemaker program. She holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a Bachelor of Arts in public relations and psychology from the University of Alabama.

Patti has acquired several fond memories of Valencia over the years, including performing as a Blues Brother with Professor Jean Marie Fuhrman, working with AAWCC to coordinate a Career Development Day for students, and having students return after graduation to let her know that they’ve secured a job or gotten married. For these reasons and more, Patti expressed that it is “a privilege and joy…working at Valencia.”

Here is a link to the original Grove article.

 

Chara Young, CMP, PHR, is the director of organizational communication at Valencia College.

Learning about free enterprise through a prism of peace and justice

Dr. Edie Gaythwaite

Dr. Edie Gaythwaite

Have you ever wondered what happens in an endowed chair experience? W

ell every one is unique but they share a common theme of supporting and expanding student learning. Here is a quick overview from Professor Edie Gaythwaite on her whirlwind year with the Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Endowed Chair in Free Enterprise. As you can see activities ran the gamut and offered students diverse experiences.

Dr. Gaythwaite is a professor of speech and communications, as well as facilitator of the Teaching Learning Academy at Valencia College.

Thank you to the Dr. P. Phillips Foundation, a generous donor to Valencia Foundation.

2014-2015 endowed chairs

Congratulations to the 35 tenured faculty members who have been awarded a 2014 – 2015 Valencia Foundation Endowed Chair for Learning Leadership.

The Endowed Chairs for Learning Leadership program recognizes and promotes academic excellence at the College through honoring outstanding members of Valencia’s teaching faculty. In contrast to endowed chair programs at four-year institutions that aim to attract preeminent researchers, our program recognizes and supports Valencia faculty by providing resources needed for the advancement of instruction.
cat1 Jean Marie Fuhrman: Freeda Foreman Chair in Collaborative and Creative Problem-Solving

Richard Gair: Abe and Tess Wise Endowed Chair in the Study of the Shoah

Yolanda Gonzalez: Howard L. Palmer Chair in Foreign Languages
 
Albert Groccia: Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Chair in Mathematics

Mayra Holzer: Patricia Havill Whalen Chair in Social Sciences

Brian Macon: Lockheed Martin Chair in Mathematics

Kevin Mulholland: University Club of Orlando Chair in Humanities

Robin Poole: Wayne Densch Chair in Geriatrics

Lana Powell: John and Florence MacLeod Chair in Business

Jeremy Russo: Bank of America Chair in Business Management

Dimas Sanchez: Bank of America Chair in Business
 
Richard Sansone: Sue Luzadder Chair in Communications

Brenda Schumpert: Lockheed Martin Chair in Science

Irina Struganova: Lester N. Mandell Chair in Natural and Physical Sciences

cat2 Category II Recipients:
Joan Alexander: University Club of Orlando Chair in Advanced Computer Technology

Irma Berner Bell: South Chair in Communications and Engineering Technology

Karen Cowden: William C. Demetree Jr. Foundation Chair in Education for Special Needs
 
Suzette Dohany: Walt Disney World Chair in Film Technology
 
Edie Gaythwaite: Harry J. and E. Mary Hobbs Teaching Chair in Nursing

Lisa Gray: Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Chair in Free Enterprise

Heith Hennel: SunGard Endowed Teaching Chair in Computer Science
 
Deymond Hoyte: Valencia Foundation Board Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies

James Inglis: Central Florida Hotel and, Lodging Association Chair in Hospitality Management

Chris Klinger: Tupperware Corporation Chair in Community Quality

Adrian Manley: Valencia Foundation Board Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies

James McDonald: Cliff and Daisy Whitehill Chair in Legal Studies
 
Sarah Melanson: Rhymer F. Maguire Jr. Endowed Chair in Communications

Bonnie Oliver: SunTrust Chair in Economic Development and, Business Education
 
Pierre Pilloud: Hunton Brady Architects Endowed Chair in Hospitality Management

Yasmeen Qadri: Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Chair in Education for the Physically Challenged
 
Craig J. Rapp: Central Florida Restaurant Association Chair in Restaurant and Food Service Management
 
Andrew Ray: Hubbard Construction Company Chair in Technical and Engineering Programs

Jolene Rhodes: Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Teaching Chair

Suzanne Salapa: Universal Orlando Chair in Arts and Entertainment

Pamela Sandy: Ira Vinson Henderson Chair in Nursing and, Allied Health

Central Florida Business Exchange extends its legacy through Valencia College scholarships

Central Florida Builders Exchange leaders presented $275,000 to Valencia Foundation to support scholarships for students in related disciplines. Trudi Larson, who served for many years as CEO, joined former board members of the recently dissolved organization David Shaw, Robert High, Tony Salvo and John Matthews.

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Central Florida Business Exchange CEO Trudi Larson and her board members, Tony Salvo, Robert High, David Shaw and John Matthews, present $275,000 to Valencia leaders Jonni Kimberly and Geraldine Gallagher.

CFBE began in 1944 and evolved with the needs of the industry. Recently, the board made the difficult decision to cease operations in response to economic and local conditions.

It is celebrating its 70-year legacy of service by offering opportunity and access to college. This organization made an amazing difference to the community and to local businesses for nearly three-quarters of a century.

Through the Central Florida Business Exchange Endowed Scholarship, that history and dedication will continue to live on through students and alumni.

We are grateful that CFBE leaders selected Valencia students as the beneficiaries of their extraordinary generosity and look forward to having them meet their Central Florida Business Exchange Scholars.

Meet new trustee John Crossman

One of the college’s leaders is reaching out to let faculty, staff and students know he is here to serve. An accomplished commercial real estate broker, Trustee John Crossman says in an essay to college staff:

“I believe that colleges benefit from people like me in that as philanthropists, entrepreneurs and ‘connectors,’ we are able to:

1. Donate money.
2. Assist in raising money.
3. Serve as guest lecturers.
4. Mentor students.
5. Encourage high school students to attend.
6. Hire interns.
7. Hire graduates.

I am happy to do all of these. And I want to serve Valencia to my fullest extent.”

College President Dr. Sandy Shugart, former County Mayor Rich Crotty, and Valencia Trustee John Crossman celebrate students at the 2014 scholarship luncheon.

College President Sandy Shugart, former County Mayor Rich Crotty, and Valencia Trustee John Crossman celebrate students and academic excellence at the Valencia Foundation’s 2014 scholarship luncheon.

John is the president of Crossman and Company, one of the largest retail leasing, management, development and marketing firms in the Southeastern United States, with more than 22-million-square-feet of properties in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee.

John oversees retail leasing and marketing initiatives for high-margin clients. He has been in the real estate business for more than 21 years and has personally been involved with more than $1 billion in transactions.

Learn more about Trustee Crossman through his column in The Juice, which includes links to his social media.

If you were sitting across the table from John Crossman, what question would you ask him? Please reply below. We will ask him to respond!

You can watch his “Top 5 Career Killers and Top 5 Career Builders” video, which is tailored to students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Maguire family: steadfastly paying their “civic rent”

Raymer Maguire Jr.

Raymer Maguire III

The governor recently appointed Raymer Maguire III to a second tour of duty as Valencia College trustee.

Maguire, an eminent domain attorney with Maguire Lassman P.A., serves on the boards of the Central Care Mission and the Youth Ministry Institute. He graduated from the University of Florida with honors and earned his law degree from Florida State University College of Law.

Maguire previously served on the trustee board from 2006 to 2011. He has led the Valencia Foundation board for more than 15 years as director, campaign captain and board chair.

Having worked with Raymer for the past 13 years, I have witnessed his gifts. He brings with him a candor, a clear sightedness, a questioning mind and an efficiency in accomplishing a goal, no matter how grand it is. In fact, when the foundation board was envisioning its first capital campaign a decade ago and received a feasibility study that suggested a $7 million to $12 million goal, Raymer challenged assumptions and challenged his fellow board members to think bigger. He said if we weren’t willing to shoot for $20 million, we might as well not bother.

His instincts were correct: The board and campaign raised $27.3 million, 10 percent of which came from board leaders.

Dean Maguire and her husband, Raymer III, with her First Place trophy.

Dean Maguire and her husband, Raymer III, with her First Place trophy.

Charitable giving and philanthropy are a family affair. Dean Maguire, an OCPS educator and Raymer’s bride, served as Valencia College’s VIP Star in the Femmes de Coeur “Lettuce Entertain You” fundraiser for nursing scholarships. Not surprisingly, Dean prevailed over dancers from UCF, Seminole State and Florida Hospital School of Nursing.

His father, Raymer Maguire Jr., helped found Valencia Community College and served on the board of trustees for 17 years. He also wrote the charter for Valencia Foundation in 1974, offering leadership and philanthropy for the rest of his lifetime. When I first arrived in Central Florida, Raymer Jr. escorted me about town to help me meet business and community leaders, and provided thoughtful insight and guidance.

The entire Maguire family has made substantial investments in student learning and academic excellence at Valencia through scholarships and faculty chairs.

Shortly after he passed away, the Association of Fundraising Professionals recognized Mr. Maguire as Philanthropist of the Year for Central Florida.

Raymer Maguire Jr.

Raymer Maguire Jr.

Scarcely can you venture throughout Central Florida without finding a street or building with the Maguire moniker.

Valencia’s West Campus Library is named in honor of Raymer Maguire Jr. He has long been known as the Father of Valencia Community College. Together with a band of determined community leaders, he demanded in the 1960s that higher education be available no matter your race, creed, means or family background. In that decade, the local private junior college would not admit students of color, Catholics or Jews.

Mr. Maguire, also an attorney, called his philanthropy and service “paying your civic rent,” and encouraged his colleagues, friends and neighbors to do their share. His generosity extended to many local organizations and prolifically to his alma mater, the University of Florida.

Today and for some two decades, his son Raymer III has been expanding the family legacy through his own generosity of time, talent, treasures and volunteerism on the Valencia Foundation and Valencia trustee boards.

Our genuine gratitude goes to the entire Maguire family for transforming the face of Central Florida forever.

As our mutual friend, Richard McCree Jr., once asked: “What would Central Florida look like if there had never been a Valencia?”

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Orlando architect helps etch a community

BY FRANK SHALA

If you visit most any Valencia College campuses, you will see the impact of Orlando-based architect C.T. Hsu – not only the design of the buildings, but also his impact on the administration, faculty and staff, and, most importantly, the students who fill those structures.

“I feel the only reason I am here today, for me to become who I am today, to be able to achieve the goals before even coming to Florida, to the United States, is education,” Hsu says.

photo (13)

Business opportunities brought Hsu, a native of Taiwan, to Orlando in the early 1980s, where he predicted the Sunbelt would be promising for the architectural field. Already the father of two children, he believed that Florida was the perfect choice for both family and business.

“When my wife and I came to Orlando, we didn’t know anybody,” Hsu says. He founded his firm, C.T. Hsu and Associates, in 1984.

His first design project with Valencia College was a renovation of the downtown center. The founder of a still-youthful firm, Hsu was thankful that Valencia gave him a chance to prove his talents. CT’s acumen consistently boosted his firm to the top of a state-mandated, open-bidding process that resulted in the design of buildings that include the University Center on West Campus and the Valencia College Criminal Justice Institute near East Campus. Continue reading

white house invites women leaders from valencia to summit on working families

presidentobamastraightened
By Carol Traynor, director, public relations, Valencia College

Just a few months after President Barack Obama visited Valencia College to launch a new initiative focused on women’s economic issues, five women leaders—including a student—from the college have been invited to continue that conversation at the White House Summit on Working Families on June 23.

Attendees from around the country are expected at the one-day summit, including leaders from business and academia, legislators, policy experts, advocates and ordinary citizens. Representing Valencia will be Amy Bosley, vice president of Organizational Development and Human Resources; Kathleen Plinske, president of the Osceola and Lake Nona campuses; Falecia Williams, president of the West Campus; Lisa Macon, dean of Engineering, Computer Programming and Technology; and Alexandrea Castro, a Valencia student from Poinciana.

The summit will be hosted by President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Second Lady Jill Biden, and cohosted by the Center for American Progress and the Department of Labor. It will include a mix of panel discussions aimed at identifying concrete policy solutions, showcasing employer best practices, and discussing the positive impact potential policies can have on businesses’ bottom lines, as well as for the overall economy.

On March 18, Obama gave a speech at Valencia’s West Campus to kick off a series of five regional forums on women’s issues culminating in the June 23 summit. It was no coincidence that Obama chose Valencia for his visit: In 2011, Valencia was the first winner of the Aspen Prize, a national competition that President Obama announced to recognize exceptional community colleges.

Women make up 56 percent of the 70,000 students whom Valencia serves. Graduates of Valencia’s Associate in Science degree programs have a 95 percent placement rate with average starting salaries of $38,000.

As Central Florida tries to rebound from the recession, the unemployment rate remains at 6.4 percent. According to U.S. Census data, median earnings for women who completed high school but not college are just $21,342 (Community Survey, Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metro area, 2012).

The summit will be streamed from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at http://workingfamiliessummit.org/.

Valencia employees give back

why-i-give-logoValencia’s faculty and staff giving campaign is underway and in full swing. Last week, the Foundation sent information regarding this year’s “Why I Give Where I Work” campaign with Valencia colleagues who expressed the reasons why they choose to give.

Scholarships change lives.

Our goal is that each student who comes through our doors will be able to fulfill his or her dream of earning a college degree. As the data shows, those who complete a college degree and work full time, earn an average of $17,500 more than those with a high school diploma only, according to a recent Pew Research Study.

Additionally, Valencia’s associate in science graduates boast 95 percent job placement, even in this economy, and starting salaries average $43,385.

So it’s no wonder that Patti Riva, operations manager, energy education, says that she gives because “investing in Valencia will bring a brighter future for all.”

Reasons Valencia College employees give where they work:

fsg-quotes-0617-grove

Employees can be a part of this movement simply by completing the Payroll Deduction form — it’s that easy.

Sharing the Reasons

Valencia invites other employees to share why they choose to give by leaving a comment below.

If you have questions or would like more information on the campaign or how you can support the “Why I Give Where I Work” campaign, feel free to you may contact Valencia Foundation donors stewardship manager Donna Marino at dmarino@valenciacollege.edu or any of the faculty and staff giving ambassadors located at www.VALENCIA.org/FSG.

 

alumni magazine available online

vitae-cover-news-siteValencia alumni…read all about them! The most recent issue of our alumni magazine, Vitae, is available online. Read it here.

Valencia employees share “Why I Give Where I Work”

Valencia employees make a big difference in our student’s lives!

Many Valencia College employees support students inside and outside the classroom. It was Sir Winston Churchill that said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

There are many reasons to contribute to Valencia Foundation, below are a few Valencia employees  who shared “Why I Give Where I Work.”

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Gustavo Morales, professor, geology, West Campus:

I give because I like to support all the fantastic work my colleagues do.

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 why-i-give-logo

James Thomas, professor, English, East Campus:

I give because I know exactly where my money goes: to help deserving students.

laurie-halftone-180w Laurie Youngman, manager, employee support:

I give because I believe in Valencia’s mission and want to show how strongly.

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 why-i-give-logo

Donna Sovern, administrative assistant in the math office on Osceola Campus:

I give because Valencia is a community of helpers, and I love helping our students.

Share your passion for learning and student success! Help our faculty and staff support those students who need it most. Please visit http://www.VALENCIA.org and click on Make a Donation.

You can join the team of almost 300 Valencia colleagues and give today. Simply complete the Payroll Deduction form to start your giving legacy.

If you have questions or would like more information on how you can support the “Why I Give Where I Work” campaign, contact Diana Ciesko, professor, psychology, or Josh Murdock, instructional designer — the Faculty and Staff Giving Committee Chairs, or Donna Marino, CFRE, manager, donor stewardship.

Want to share why you give to Valencia College? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

“Why I Give Where I Work” is a part of the faculty and staff giving campaign that was designed by a team of Valencia employees and honors the commitment of faculty and staff to student success while seeking to provide additional resources for faculty, staff and students who work together to realize educational goals. This campaign is focused on sharing the good work of the Valencia Foundation and encouraging faculty and staff participation based on individual interest and willingness to contribute. A faculty or staff member should not, at any time, feel pressured or compelled to give to the foundation.

taste recap

1M3A0037How do you take 100 and turn it in to 249,000? Take a look at what the 100 signifies and you will find the answer. That 100 represents the 25 sponsors that signed on as Taste for Learning benefactors and the 16 master chef and beverage donors who provided gourmet tastings and treats the night of the event. It includes the vintners and spirit producers that were on-site to pour their finest libations and the volunteers who gave tirelessly of their afternoon and evening. It was the more than 750 people who gathered in the Gatlin Ballroom on May 17 for Taste for Learning to make a difference in the lives of others. 100 percent of all funds raised at Taste will go directly to scholarships at Valencia and medical education at Orlando Health. Here’s how it looks:

Orlando Health Foundation proceeds: $83,000
Valencia Foundation proceeds: $83,000
Valencia amount eligible for match: $83,000

These numbers may still change slightly as they are finalized but we feel confident in saying that Taste 2014 will have an impact of $249,000 on education in Central Florida. Thank you once again to our sponsors below and to all who helped build that 100 percent to almost a quarter million dollars for local students.

You can find more event photos on our Facebook page – A Taste for Learning.
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Sommelier sponsors: ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, Rosen Hotels and Resorts, Rosen Shingle Creek

First Press sponsors: Freeman Co., McCree General Contractors and Architects Inc., SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintner sponsors: Jess and Betsey Bailes, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, Coca-Cola, Jack Holloway Foundation, Martinez Manglardi PA, Orlando Health, Orlando Magic, Signature Systems of Florida, Valencia College

Cabernet sponsors: BIOTRONIK Inc., Charles Perry Partners Inc., Clancy and Theys Construction Co., Emergency Physicians of Central Florida LLP, HuntonBrady Architects, Orlando Health Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, PSAV Presentation Services, SeaWorld Parks and Resorts Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort, Wolverine Anesthesia Consultants

notes from the world classroom, endowed chair series

Centropa
guest author: Richard Gair, reading professor, East Campus
I attended the CENTROPA Summer Academy for Teachers, held in Berlin, Germany. The idea for attending the academy was that they use a unique approach to Holocaust education. While many institutions focus more on the horrors of what the victims went through, CENTROPA focuses on their lives before and after the Holocaust.

Many survivors have voiced concern that their identity is often tied to the fact that they are a survivor. They say the Holocaust does not define who they are. They had beautiful, rich and fulfilling lives before the horrors occurred. Likewise, they have rebuilt their lives with offspring and often many grandchildren, which they say is their greatest revenge against the Nazis. With that in mind, CENTROPA fanned out across Europe to find survivors who were willing to tell their stories. Instead of video recording their testimony, as most institutions do, they asked these survivors to tell their stories and show pictures of their families as they spoke. Recorders wrote down or audio taped their testimony, focusing on their life in the Jewish community before and after the Holocaust.

Using this material, CENTROPA works with educators to build instructional lessons for teachers to use, and places all information on their website. The philosophy is quite simple. “Nobody teaches teachers better than other teachers.” Through this process, the beauty and fabric of Jewish culture in these countries is expressed.

Students can then make their own video projects similar to the ones CENTROPA has on their website. Instruction in basic movie making with Windows Movie Maker or Apple iMovie is on the CENTROPA website in the form of video tutorials and a sample project.

Teachers can submit student or class projects that use the CENTROPA model for placement on their own website. This approach appealed to me because it was a chance to develop instructional strategies and content that focus more on life rather than death. The Holocaust as a whole is a difficult subject to teach in any case due to the sadness and horror that is such an integral part of it. Here was an opportunity to show more of the other side in my course and encourage students to pursue that line of thought in their required projects.

Those same tutorials are now on my website. Upon my return from Berlin, I added a new option for the final project in my Holocaust course syllabus: To use the CENTROPA material and style to create an original video slideshow telling the life-family story of a survivor in the CENTROPA archives and databases. A few of my students did video projects for their final in the fall. They can be viewed on the “Student Video Showcase” page of my website which is www.professorgair.com. This spring, several students will also be making similar videos which will go online when they are completed. Students are required to meet with me as they plan so I can guide them and suggest ways to make sure it is done well.

The endowed chairs are important and we at Valencia are quite blessed to have such a resource. They offer us an opportunity to hone our skills, further knowledge of our craft, and regenerate and broaden our commitment to the profession and thus directly influence student learning through better scholarships and teaching. The benefactors, as always, are the students sitting in our classrooms. The chairs give us an opportunity to enrich the already rich environment that Valencia is known for. It adds a dimension to our “learning centered approach” that the normal budgetary funds cannot cover. It adds to our skill set and makes us the leaders we are in the world of community colleges. I am so proud every single time I am a recipient of an endowed chair. My face lights up and I truly get excited with the new opportunity it provides me. Words are not adequate to express my deepest gratitude to Valencia Foundation and administration of the college for giving me the opportunity to be reborn each time my project is accepted for a chair.

a closer look: 2+2+2 architecture program model

Student project
guest author: John P. Ehrig, FAIA, LEED AP, vice president, CASE project manager, HHCP/Architects Inc.

As a New Jersey transplant to the Sunshine State, I began my career in architecture at the University of Florida, graduating with a bachelor of architecture degree. I have been involved with American Institute of Architects for over four decades, first as a student and later serving in various positions throughout the Institute. In 1993, I became the youngest Florida architect to be elected to the AIA College of Fellows. After I moved to Orlando in 2000, I served as president of AIA Orlando in 2001 and that’s where the story about the 2+2+2 architecture program begins.

As background to AIA Orlando’s relationship with Valencia, in 2002, one of our members, CT Hsu, FAIA who was also a member of the Valencia Foundation board of directors, approached the chapter with the idea of joining forces in fundraising efforts to benefit both the chapter and Valencia Foundation’s scholarship program. As discussions unfolded, Valencia’s Geraldine Gallagher made a presentation to the AIA Orlando board of directors about joining forces and as they say, “The rest is history.” Over the past 12 years, AIA Orlando has been a part of generating over $240,000 for the foundation creating a strong connection between the chapter and the college.

Central Florida architects had been talking about having an architecture school in Orlando for decades and the last big push was way back in the 1970s. At that time, creating a new school or program required legislative approval as well as approval of the Florida Board of Regents.

In the fall of 2007, the AIA Orlando chapter, created an Educational Task Force (ETF) to spearhead this effort. During this time frame we discovered that Dr. Shugart was an “architect at heart.” I heard him say once “had he not gotten into education he would’ve wanted to be an architect.” CT Hsu and Alan Helman, FAIA, told Sandy about the work of the ETF in trying to get a professional degree program here in Orlando and he said he would try to assemble the right people to discuss the possibilities.

Around that time Valencia had worked out an “articulation agreement” with the University of Florida – School of Architecture where students would graduate with an associate of arts in architecture and would go right into upper division as juniors without skipping a beat. This was important to me because when I transferred to UF, I transferred in as a junior but I had to start over in all my design coursework. Ultimately it took me six years to get a five-year degree because of that “transfer gap,” something I did not want to see happen to students today.

The articulation agreement was working and students that were graduating from Valencia were heading off to Gainesville and elsewhere. Everything was going along fine except the openings in the upper division for transfer students were dwindling year after year. Competition was exceptionally tough because of the program’s notoriety. So, the task force believed it was time for a creative solution. We knew the university wanted to increase their focus on urban design in their undergrad and graduate programs. The ETF also knew that UCF had indicated an interest in creating an architectural program in the past.

So as things were starting to evolve the ETF developed a list of things that we wanted in a program and generated a formal White Paper. This paper included what the profession would do to help move this effort forward; like providing adjunct professors, employing students as interns in local offices and securing additional funding to support the program.

We called Dr. Shugart and said, “Here’s what we’d like to do.” And he said, “I’ll set up a meeting in a couple weeks to see where this may go.” Then one day I got a phone call inviting me to a meeting consisting of people from UCF, UF and Valencia. On meeting day, Dr. Shugart made some opening remarks and immediately looked at me and said, “Okay John, you asked for this meeting, what do you want to discuss?” This was the opportunity and audience I needed to present the white paper and openly discuss the need for an architectural program in Orlando.
Student project2

The current scenario was a student would go to Valencia and get a two-year degree then they’d apply to UF or other colleges. They were accepted at major universities across the country and once they received their degree, they would very seldom return to Orlando. So our goal was very selfish – keep the talent here in Orlando. We wanted the ability for students to get an education here, complete their internship here and stay here to design their professional life in Orlando where they started.

We knew that there was a really good working relationship between Valencia and UCF in several programs involving the DirectConnect to UCF program, so that was our roadmap. And if something could be worked out with UF to obtain a two-year graduate program that was all we needed for the professional degree. UCF became the critical link to what would be a unique architectural program with three separate institutions, hence the 2+2+2.

There are always up and downs in anything new but, the bottom line for the most part is we have the consistently strong Valencia portion with the first two years, we now have the third class of graduates from UCF, and this year we graduated our first class of UF students. Sixteen walked the stage in Gainesville on May 3 and of the 16 graduates, nine went through the 2+2+2 right here in Orlando.

Read the Valencia News article on the first 2+2+2 architecture grads

I know Sandy is a Christian leader and I appreciate his direction and passion in this entire effort. There are some things that we humans try to manage and manipulate to get what we want but, there are so many things that have occurred that I know are not “coincidences”. Too many things “fell into place” at just the right time for us mortals to take the credit for it. For instance the funding for the studio space in Building 9, the building of the UCF Joint Use Facility, UF’s support of the Orlando program, and the talented students that had the faith in signing up for a program with no previous track record, just to name a few.

The Orlando architectural program is now a proven, new educational model.

This year you have the special opportunity to support the 2+2+2 program through AIA Orlando’s 25th annual golf tournament June 20, 2014 at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Non-members can play for $175 and sponsorships start at $250. Here is a link to more information.

Freshman Freebie: Valencia’s graduation gift to 2014 high school graduates in Orange or Osceola Counties

freshman
Start this fall and get one free class.apply now

Class of 2014, this is Valencia College’s graduation gift to you. If you are a 2014 graduate of a public high school in Orange or Osceola counties, we will pay for your first class (3-credit hours) at Valencia College. But hurry—you must enroll for fall classes by July 3.

To qualify:

  Be a 2014 graduate of a public high school in Orange or Osceola county.

  Apply to Valencia

  Complete steps to enrollment

  Complete new student orientation

  Enroll in classes by July 3, 2014

  Pay for classes by August 15, 2014

 

Assistance is available on a walk-in basis at the Answer Center, or contact Enrollment Services.
Phone 407-582-1507 or email  enroll@valenciacollege.edu.

hispanic business council scholarship opportunity

The Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando (HHSFMO) is the largest non-profit organization in Central Florida dedicated to providing scholarships to Hispanic students pursuing a college or university degree.

DEADLINE:   Completed scholarship applications and supplementary documents must be received in a single envelope by 5:00 pm on May 30, 2014.

Since its inception in 2000, the HHSFMO has awarded more than $800,000 in scholarships to 209 students in Central Florida.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be of Hispanic heritage
  • Be a U.S. citizen OR legal permanent resident OR have DACA status (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)
  • Must have applied for Federal Financial Aid using the FAFSA
  • Be enrolled full or part-time in a degree-seeking program at an accredited institution
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 on a 4.00 scale
  • Must attend the scholarship award gala in October, 2014

 Application Instructions

  • Complete Hispanic Heritage scholarship application 
  • Official college transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation from college instructor/counselor or employer (max. of 2)
  • Copy of financial aid award letter and/or SAR (Student Aid Report)
     

MAILING INSTRUCTIONS:

You may mail your official college transcripts, letters of recommendation, and copy of financial aid awards information (single envelope please) to:
Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando
3201 E. Colonial Dr., Suite A-20
Orlando, FL 32803

HAND DELIVERY INSTRUCTIONS

You may also personally deliver your official college transcripts, letters of recommendation, and copy of financial aid awards information (single envelope please) at:

Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando
c/o Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando
3201 E. Colonial Dr., Suite A-20
Orlando, FL 32803
Orlando Fashion Square Mall (inside the National Entrepreneur Center)

DEADLINE:   Completed scholarship applications and supplementary documents must be received in a single envelope by 5:00 pm on May 30, 2014.


Oenophiles, wine aficionados and spirit connoisseurs : Taste for Learning May 17th is for you!

An evening of food, wine and spirits paired with an auction to benefit scholarships and medical education.
An evening of food, wine and spirits paired with an auction to benefit scholarships and medical education.

An evening of food, wine and spirits paired with an auction to benefit scholarships and medical education.

Save the date! Taste for Learning is scheduled for May 17, 2014. All oenophiles, wine aficionados and spirit connoisseurs welcome.

For those who are new to Taste for Learning, this is an evening of food, wine and spirits paired with an auction to benefit scholarships and medical education. The event marks the continuation of joint philanthropy efforts with Orlando Health and Valencia College foundations.

Vintners from around the world will donate and pour their finest wines, thanks to ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. With hundreds of wines available why would you miss this event hosted at the luxurious Rosen Shingle Creek?

Please join us by inviting friends and colleagues, sponsoring a table and contributing auction items.

100 percent of each dollar given for tickets, auction items and sponsorships goes to its intended purpose . Every item is donated – from the gourmet food to the international wines poured by their own vintners, and from the advertising to the decor.

An evening of food, wine and spirits paired with an auction to benefit scholarships and medical education.

For sponsorship opportunities please contact Donna Marino at 407-582-3128.

women’s executive council scholarship opportunity

Scholarship Awards 2014

Beginning in 1987, the Women’s Executive Council has granted scholarships to deserving women who are entering or attending colleges in the Central Florida area.  This year the Women’s Executive Council will be awarding scholarships of $1,972 each.

The $1,972 scholarship amount is to commemorate the year (1972) of founding of WEC. 
For more information on the 1972 Society click here

Eligibility Requirements

  • The student must be registered for at least 12 hours at the University of Central Florida, Rollins College (including the Hamilton Holt School evening division), Valencia College, Seminole State College or Florida Institute of Technology. Consideration will be given for fewer academic hours with full-time employment.
  • The student must have at least a 3.5 GPA and must be on an educational path to an undergraduate degree or Master’s degree. Applications will not be considered without an official transcript (with the school seal or emailed directly by the school).  An official high school transcript is required if the applicant is entering college for the first time.
  • The application and all attachments must be received by the Scholarship Committee by the deadline noted below to be considered.

Important Dates:

  • Application and all attachments must be postmarked or emailed by: June 30, 2014
  • Notification of award selection by August 10, 2014.  ONLY Winners will be listed on our website and will be notified.

Complete the following steps:

  1.       Download Scholarship Application. Complete and mail or email application.  2014_WEC_Scholarship_Application.pdf
    269.2 KB
  2.       Provide provide three (3) letters of recommendation and include with your application.
  3.       In an essay form, please provide answers to the following:
  •        Please explain why you should be awarded a Women’s Executive Council scholarship and what difference the scholarship would make to you in the pursuit of your educational and professional goals. 
  •        A summary of your educational background including awards received, extra-curricular activities, and related information should be provided. 
  •        Include what your interests are academically and professionally when you complete your course of study, and any community or other volunteer service with which you are involved.
  •        Feel free to include any personal details regarding your particular situation, financial hardship or obstacles that you have had to overcome in the pursuit of your academic endeavors.  You may also attach a resume. 

 The completed application including the essay, letters of recommendation, original official transcript, and all attachments must be emailed or postmarked by 5:00 pm on June 30, 2014. 

Mail to:

Women’s Executive Council

WEC Scholarship Committee

PO BOX 2895

Orlando FL 32802

Email toscholarships@wecOrlando.com

 Please contact scholarships@wecOrlando.com for more information. 

shop to benefit valencia foundation

AS_sprite__V385949411_Valencia Foundation receives a small percentage of sales from donors who choose to use smile.amazon.com. You only have to choose to use us once.

Visit http://smile.amazon.com/ and log in. Type Valencia College Foundation in the search field and select. Start shopping!

6 Valencia College students have been named top scholars to the All-Florida Academic Team

Six Valencia College students have been named top scholars to the All-Florida Academic Team.

Only 109 students statewide were selected for the team, which is comprised of high-achieving college students from the 28 state and community colleges in the Florida College System.

The students representing Valencia College are: Claudia Arbona Aguirre, Luis Lavieri, Sheri Lynch, Rita Maldonado, Sherin Mathew and Arabel Severe.

6 Valencia students named to All-Florida Academic Team

6 Valencia students named to All-Florida Academic Team

The All-Florida Academic Team recognizes outstanding students for academic achievement, leadership and service to the community. These students were also nominated to the All-USA Academic Team competition, which is sponsored by USA Today, the American Association of Community Colleges and the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

The members of the All-Florida Academic Team received the top scholar honor award during a ceremony held on April 24 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.

Phi Theta Kappa is the honor society for students attending community and two-year colleges. Membership is based on high grade point averages and other criteria, with members focusing on scholastic achievement and service to community and campus.

association of honors alumni transfer scholarship

Capture

Student volunteers from the Honors Program will be working hard selling roses at Valencia’s Commencement this Saturday to raise funds to support the Association of  Honors Alumni Transfer Scholarship.  Donations to support their work and the scholarship can be made online .

 

valencia graduate doing it big!

grad picHeather Marinello ’11,Valencia College Honors graduate–
“To fulfill my dreams of becoming a doctor, I started off by taking heavy science classes at Valencia and without them I would never have had the foundation necessary for me to get to where I am today.”

Heather graduated on December 16th, 2013 from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Bio-medical Science, Health Science, and a minor in Medical Sociology. She participated in two outreach trips to Haiti in 2012 and 2013, and became the treasurer for the club International Medical Outreach. Heather was then awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and also worked in the Florida Hospital Waterman emergency department in Tavares for a year. “Throughout my last year, I found a great balance of medical sciences and patient interaction in Clinical Audiology.”  Heather has now been accepted into Nova Southeastern University’s Doctor of Audiology program for fall of 2014. Once she has completed this program, Heather hopes to publish using her medical illustration skills and education.  She also hopes to own her own practice.

Go Heather! Doing BIG things and making all of Valencia proud.

valencia, orlando health foundations to host ‘taste for learning’ fundraiser

untitledWhile the economy is on the mend, recovery has been difficult for nonprofits. The landscape has changed and those that survived, and thrived, have had to find unique ways to partner and bring support to those who need it most and during an extended period of time.

It is in this spirit of partnership that Valencia College Foundation and Orlando Health Foundation join together to host Taste for Learning on Saturday, May 17, at Rosen Shingle Creek. Taste for Learning is an evening of food, wine and spirits paired with an auction to benefit scholarships and medical education.

Making this event unique, 100 percent of all sponsorships, tickets and auction receipts directly benefit student allied health scholarships and medical education. Every Valencia health scholarship is doubled, expanding the reach of each gift into our community.

Tickets for Taste for Learning are $125 per person and may be purchased online at www.ATasteForLearning.com

When Taste was first proposed in 2005 by Valencia Foundation board member Jess Bailes, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits executive vice president, the idea was to create an event that could be sustained by the support of community partners. The generosity of contributors who donate all necessary items has resulted in $2.27 million to support learning. In-kind contributions include the venue, food, wine, auction items, publicity, printing and décor.

For this year’s tasting and auction, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits has invited vintners from around the world who donate hundreds of their finest wines, as well as provide exceptional auction items. Taste will feature over 100 wines coming to Orlando from throughout this country, as well as Australia, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

This year’s event will feature a selection of worldwide spirits, craft beers and a personalized Maker’s Mark dipping station.

Guests will enjoy gourmet hors d’oeuvres and sample entrée selections donated by A Land Remembered, B.B. King’s Blues Club and Grill, Bubbalou’s Bodacious Bar-B-Que, Cabin Creek Catering, Cala Bella, Hard Rock Cafe, Mi Casa Tequila Taqueria, Rainforest Cafe, Shutters at Old Port Royale (Walt Disney World – Epcot Resort Area – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort), Taverna Yamas, Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar, T-REX, and Yak & Yeti.

This year’s generous sponsors include: ABC Fine Wine and Spirits; Rosen Shingle Creek; Rosen Hotels and Resorts; Freeman Co.; McCree General Contractors and Architects Inc.; SunTrust Robinson Humphrey; Walt Disney World Resort; CliftonLarsenAllen LLP; Coca-Cola; Martinez Manglardi PA; Orlando Health; Orlando Magic; Signature Systems of Florida; Valencia College; Charles Perry Partners Inc.; Clancy and Theys Construction Co.; HuntonBrady Architects; Orlando Health Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery – Dr. Mark Sand, Dr. Jeffrey Bott, Dr. Stephen Hoff; Universal Orlando Resort; and Wolverine Anesthesia Consultants.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, a study released by Public Agenda, a nonpartisan research group, found that most students drop out of college when faced with the hardship of juggling their dream of education with having to financially support themselves. Far too often, work must come first. We see this struggle in Valencia students, working a full-time or several part-time jobs, as well as balancing family, community, volunteer and personal commitments. Scholarships make a tremendous difference in their ability to attend college.

In the past 13 years, the foundation has disbursed $30 million, making education possible for thousands of students. But there is still crucial work to be done. Valencia Foundation board and leaders strive for a day when anyone who wants to go to Valencia can, regardless of financial circumstance.

Valencia won the inaugural Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence based on student performance and graduation data. Valencia was lauded for focus on college completion and job preparation. The Aspen Prize was a selection factor for President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Valencia to discuss the economy and leveling the playing field for women.

For more information or to make a donation, please call (407)582-3150 or visit WWW.VALENCIA.ORG

2014-15 valencia foundation scholarship application now available!

The 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application NOW AVAILABLE! APPLY TODAY!

Valencia Foundation scholarship application - click here to apply online.

 

By submitting your application by June 27, 2014, you will be entered to win a brand new iPad!

Winners will be determined one week after the drawing and we will arrange pick-up directly with the winner. We would also like to get your photo and interview you for our monthly foundation newsletter.

Some helpful hints for completing your application:

  • Students must only use their Atlas email address on the application
  • Don’t let the fact that you may not qualify for financial aid stop you. We use the FAFSA to verify financial need and not all scholarship decisions are based on the FAFSA.
  • Recommendations and a high GPA are very helpful, but not all scholarships require them. Please finalize your application so we can see if you are eligible for any of the hundreds of scholarships still available.

For questions on completing your scholarship application, please contact Susan Ambridge (407-582-1168, sambridge@valenciacollege.edu) or Jen Bhagirath (407-582-3154,jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu).

Don’t let another minute pass by! Complete your 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application for a chance to receive scholarship funding as well as a brand new iPad.

 

have you submitted your 2014-15 valencia foundation scholarship application?

Valencia Foundation

The 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application NOW AVAILABLE. 

Don’t let another minute pass by! Complete your 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application for a chance to receive scholarship funding and a brand new iPad!

Helpful hints for completing your application:

  • Students must only use their Atlas email address on the application
  • Don’t let the fact that you may not qualify for financial aid stop you. We use the FAFSA to verify financial need and not all scholarship decisions are based on the FAFSA.
  • Recommendations and a high GPA are very helpful, but not all scholarships require them.

For questions on completing your scholarship application, please contact Susan Ambridge (407-582-1168, sambridge@valenciacollege.edu) or Jen Bhagirath (407-582-3154,jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu).

how to: complete the valencia foundation scholarship application

Need help completing your Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application? We can help! 

The Valencia Foundation maintains over 650 named scholarships that are available to qualifying students currently enrolled at Valencia College

By completing just one Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application, the foundation will forward your application for review for any and/or all scholarships to which you qualify for! It’s really that simple! 

Need help completing your scholarship application? Watch the Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application Tutorial for a step by step guide of how to complete your application from beginning to end. 

Many students believe they must be “straight A students” or that if they qualified for federal aid, they won’t qualify for scholarships. Join us as we tackle common Scholarship Myths

To access the Spanish version of the Valencia Foundation Scholarship application, visit: Valencia Foundation Spanish Application – Read Only. (Please note: applications and essays must submitted online and in English upon submission.)

Don’t let another minute pass by! Complete your 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application TODAY! 

Will you start Valencia in the fall of 2014? New students can submit their 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application in May! 

For questions on completing your scholarship application, please contact Susan Ambridge (Phone: 407-582-1168, Email: sambridge@valenciacollege.edu) or Jen Bhagirath (Phone: 407-582-3154 Email: jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu).

Student art exhibition and award ceremony: April 18

Digital MediaThis week the Anita S. Wooten Gallery will be hosting their annual Student Art Exhibition. This show will include a variety of works from Valencia East Campus students who are studying Digital Media, Graphic Design, and Studio Fine Art. To celebrate the students success there will be a reception and award ceremony on Friday April 18, 2014.

This is event is open to the public. We encourage students, faculty, staff, family and friends to come see what some of the talented students here at Valencia has to offer!  The show will run from April 18 –  May 22, 2014.

The reception will begin at 6:30pm and run until 8:30pm. The award ceremony will begin at 7:30pm. Food and beverages will provided.

For more information and to see some of the work that will be at the show please visit the galleries Facebook page, www.facebook.com/AnitaS.WootenGallery

Location: Anita S. Wooten Gallery, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, Florida 32825
(407)582-2268

women’s executive council scholarship opportunity

Scholarship Awards 2014

Beginning in 1987, the Women’s Executive Council has granted scholarships to deserving women who are entering or attending colleges in the Central Florida area.  This year the Women’s Executive Council will be awarding scholarships of $1,972 each.

The $1,972 scholarship amount is to commemorate the year (1972) of founding of WEC.  For more information on the 1972 Society click here

Eligibility Requirements

  • The student must be registered for at least 12 hours at the University of Central Florida, Rollins College (including the Hamilton Holt School evening division), Valencia College, Seminole State College or Florida Institute of Technology. Consideration will be given for fewer academic hours with full-time employment.
  • The student must have at least a 3.5 GPA and must be on an educational path to an undergraduate degree or Master’s degree. Applications will not be considered without an official transcript (with the school seal or emailed directly by the school).  An official high school transcript is required if the applicant is entering college for the first time.
  • The application and all attachments must be received by the Scholarship Committee by the deadline noted below to be considered.

Important Dates:

  • Application and all attachments must be postmarked or emailed by: June 30, 2014
  • Notification of award selection by August 10, 2014.  ONLY Winners will be listed on our website and will be notified.

Complete the following steps:

  1.       Download Scholarship Application. Complete and mail or email application.  2014_WEC_Scholarship_Application.pdf
    269.2 KB
  2.       Provide provide three (3) letters of recommendation and include with your application.
  3.       In an essay form, please provide answers to the following:
  •        Please explain why you should be awarded a Women’s Executive Council scholarship and what difference the scholarship would make to you in the pursuit of your educational and professional goals. 
  •        A summary of your educational background including awards received, extra-curricular activities, and related information should be provided. 
  •        Include what your interests are academically and professionally when you complete your course of study, and any community or other volunteer service with which you are involved.
  •        Feel free to include any personal details regarding your particular situation, financial hardship or obstacles that you have had to overcome in the pursuit of your academic endeavors.  You may also attach a resume. 

 The completed application including the essay, letters of recommendation, original official transcript, and all attachments must be emailed or postmarked by 5:00 pm on June 30, 2014. 

Mail to:

Women’s Executive Council

WEC Scholarship Committee

PO BOX 2895

Orlando FL 32802

Email to: scholarships@wecOrlando.com

 

Please contact scholarships@wecOrlando.com for more information. 

votes for valencia

2014CLAs-380Valencia needs your votes! The college is a part of Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Awards. Valencia made it to finals and has submitted a short video highlighting climate innovations on campus.

To vote, visit: http://www.planetforward.org/content/climate-leadership-awards-2014, scroll down to find Valencia and click the thumbs up button.

Voting is open until April 15.

reminder: april 4, 2014 priority deadline for valencia foundation scholarship applications!

Have you submitted your 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application

By submitting your application by the April 4, 2014 priority deadline, you will be entered to win a brand new iPad!

The lucky winner will be selected on April 9, 2014. We will arrange pick-up directly with the winner. We would also like to get your photo and interview you for our monthly foundation newsletter.

Some helpful hints for completing your application:

  • Don’t let the fact that you may not qualify for financial aid stop you. We use the FAFSA to verify financial need and not all scholarship decisions are based on the FAFSA.
  • Recommendations and a high GPA are very helpful, but not all scholarships require them. Please finalize your application so we can see if you are eligible for any of the hundreds of scholarships still available.

Don’t let another minute pass by! Complete your 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application for a chance to receive scholarship funding as well as a brand new iPad.

For questions on completing your scholarship application, please contact Susan Ambridge (407-582-1168, sambridge@valenciacollege.edu) or Jen Bhagirath (407-582-3154, jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu).

2014-15 valencia foundation scholarship applications are available now!

Have you submitted your 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application? 

By submitting your application by April 4, 2014, you will be entered to win a brand new iPad!

The lucky winner will be selected on April 9, 2014. We will arrange pick-up directly with the winner. We would also like to get your photo and interview you for our monthly foundation newsletter.

Don’t let another minute pass by! Complete your 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application for a chance to receive scholarship funding as well as a brand new iPad.

Some helpful hints for completing your application:

Don’t let the fact that you may not qualify for financial aid stop you. We use the FAFSA to verify financial need and not all scholarship decisions are based on the FAFSA.

Recommendations and a high GPA are very helpful, but not all scholarships require them. Please finalize your application so we can see if you are eligible for any of the hundreds of scholarships still available.

For questions on completing your scholarship application, please contact Susan Ambridge (407-582-1168, sambridge@valenciacollege.edu) or Jen Bhagirath (407-582-3154, jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu).

a closer look: commercial real estate women

crewlogoValencia Foundation’s successes are the direct result of successful partnerships with organizations and individuals who do their part to contribute, advocate and invite others to learn about Valencia. Partnerships with organizations such as Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Orlando take the important step in setting the philanthropic curve in today’s world – finding new and unique ways to bring funds to those who need it most and over an extended period of time.

CREW Orlando was formed in 1987 to attract the most powerful and influential professionals in the commercial real estate industry. Each chapter has its own unique structure and framework but every chapter follows the purpose of “advancing women in commercial real estate.”

Former foundation board chair, Helen Von Dolteren-Fournier, Esq., and former board member, Sarah Kelly, led the charge for Valencia’s partnership with CREW. The organization endowed a scholarship through Valencia Foundation and also partnered on an interactive program designed to introduce female high school students to career opportunities in the commercial real estate industry.

Every year since 2002, CREW Orlando has used dollars raised at their golf tournament to fund The CREW Orlando Scholarship at Valencia. In all, CREW’s golf tournaments have gathered $119,500 to benefit students in need.

Bill Mullowney, Brian Macon, Geraldine Gallagher and Jim Grumberg at CREW's annual golf tournament

Bill Mullowney, Brian Macon, Geraldine Gallagher and Jim Grumberg at CREW’s annual golf tournament

This year the CREW golf tournament is Friday, May 16 at Eagle Creek Golf Club. Sponsorships start at $250 and individual golfers can play for $175 per person. For more information, here is the brochure.

The CREW Scholarship was created to support students who seek a future in commercial real estate or a related industry, students such as Arzu.

Becoming a mechanical engineer was a childhood dream for Arzu, but that is all it was, just a dream. She came from a family of six with parents who tried to make ends meet with a very low income. When she came to the United States, she feels she was given a second chance to pursue her education.

Three years ago, she started attending Valencia and although it was a start, the road was still very rough. She felt alone and faced the problem of not knowing the language. Naysayers told her graduation would be very difficult, but she did not give up. She took English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and her hard work paid off. Today she is proud to tell of her 3.7 GPA.

In addition to being a student, Arzu is a wife and mother and she says that her marriage and birth of her daughter are the most satisfying and inspiring events in her life. Though it has been a struggle to manage all of these roles, she knows that education is important and feels it will make her a wonderful role model for her daughter.

Arzu is currently enrolled as a full-time sophomore in the articulated pre-major program for engineering. This course of study is based on an agreement with UCF and is designed for students who plan to transfer to UCF as a junior to complete a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

At UCF, she plans to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering. She is passionate about her degree choice and enjoys building and construction and fabricating projects from scratch. She also plans to get a Professional Engineering license to increase her knowledge in her career and boost her position in the workforce.

When she found out she received the CREW Scholarship, she got very emotional. She was using Valencia computers and library services to learn, but now she could get her own books, a calculator and a laptop. These tools allow her to study anywhere and give her more time to help her daughter with her schoolwork.

She says she will always be appreciative to CREW because even though they didn’t know her, they helped make her dream come true.

For more information about CREW, please visit http://creworlando.org/.

endowed chair series

It started with a simple request to 2013-2014 endowed chair recipients, please provide further explanation of your endowed chair project. The response was amazing, growing to a series of articles over the next few months.

Valencia faculty is top notch and no question they always strive to provide the very best environment for our students. The role of faculty can be critical in a student’s educational journey. Inside Higher Ed featured an article in August 2013, “Majoring in a Professor,” that found a correlation between choosing majors and experience with faculty in that field. A good instructor can garner interest for a certain major and likewise, a negative faculty experience can cause a student to drop a field of study.

Valencia’s endowed chair program seeks to fund projects that enhance student learning. Understanding more about these projects offers a glimpse at what innovative things faculty are doing in and out of the classroom.

Dr. Debra Hollister, psychology professor, was awarded the Freeda Louise Foreman Chair in Collaborative and Creative Problem Solving. Dr. Hollister’s goal was to design a method to best help students choose a path to reach their personal, career and professional goals. Assessments that help students evaluate their personal goals and learning outcomes are available.

Dr. Hollister shares that often, a college student thinks that a career path or major will be immediately decided on the first visit to a classroom. She knows that is not always the case, and students may not understand what type of degree they need, the cost of that degree or even where the degree is offered.

She shares, “As an instructor, it is important to me that the students in my classes are well prepared to be successful in the next class they take. They may not understand how each discipline relates to other classes at the college or how important the information may be for them to learn. Enabling each student to explore career options may help them make better decisions regarding future plans of study and prepare them to make the transition from student to employee.”

Dr. Debra Hollister

Dr. Debra Hollister

Dr. Hollister notes that students who have a career plan tend to be more focused in their classes and understand the importance of learning, leading to less frustration and greater motivation. These students acknowledge that class selection and studying is part of the larger picture and will lead to long-term career success.

Students are offered many different assessments, the first being a career exploration inventory that enables the student to see where their interest might be. There are also assessments covering learning style and organizational abilities. These assessments are done largely on the student’s own time, completion and a positive outcome is dependent on a student’s drive and determination.

As a complement to these assessments, Dr. Hollister hosts a speaker series, featuring professionals whose careers span various fields. Speakers have included lawyers, engineering researchers, civil engineers, psychologists, higher education administrators, finance majors, business managers, doctors, professional sports athletes and entrepreneurs. She asks the following of all speakers: What did it take for you to get where you are?

On the subject of endowed chairs, Dr. Hollister says, “Endowed chairs are a great resource because they provide funding to enable an instructor to offer opportunities in a classroom that may not be offered any other way. The funds allow an individual instructor to go ‘above and beyond’ what can be provided ‘budget wise’ in the classroom.”

When you think about study abroad excursions, the mind might conjure up images of art and literature. For Melissa Schreiber, professor of biology, different ideas comes to mind, in the fields of health and biology. Professor Schreiber received the Chesley G. Magruder Foundation Chair in Nursing and Allied Health. The endowed chair gave her the chance to take students abroad to learn about infectious disease, public health and epidemiology in Panama.

The students and Professor Schreiber visited an indigenous tribe known as the Embera. They were able to meet with the tribe’s botanist and discuss treatment of chronic and infectious disease by using medicinal plants and herbs.

Jennifer Robertson, director of Valencia’s study abroad and global experiences (SAGE) program, told Professor Schreiber that the foundation offered endowed chair opportunities to help fund international trips. For more on the SAGE program, check out this November 2013 article.

Professor Schreiber explains why these offerings are so valuable. “Study abroad is important so students can experience foreign cultures, learn other language phrases and understand global issues. My students learned about the importance of surveillance, prevention and treatment of infectious disease in a tropical, developing country.”

Their studies took them to research centers, a hospice center, the Embera tribe, hospitals, the ministry of health, UNAIDS and a university in Panama. She feels that these endeavors gave students an understanding of microbiology and epidemiology that far outweighs what could be gleaned from a textbook.

Valencia students visit the Embera tribe

Valencia students visit the Embera tribe

Look for more updates next month.

taste for learning update

taste-logo-rgbTaste invitations are on their way, but you don’t have to wait. Visit http://www.ATasteForLearning.com to get your tickets today. While there, you can book a room at Rosen Shingle Creek at a reduced event price. May 17 is just about six weeks away; let’s take a look at how things are coming together.

There has been unprecedented response to our call for gourmet tastings. Every craving will be satisfied with food from Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar, Bubbalou’s Bodacious BBQ, Cabin Creek Food Services Inc., Rainforest Cafe, Yak and Yeti, T-REX, Taverna Yamas and Shutters at Old Port Royale.

Rosen Shingle Creek’s eateries, A Land Remembered, Cala Bella and Mi Casa Tequila Taqueria, will also provide delicious offerings.

Our other presenting sponsor, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, recently confirmed that a favorite will be back again this year; the Maker’s Mark personalized dipping station.

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The silent auction items are growing by the day and include hotel stays, spa packages, theater tickets and wine tastings.

The wine is the big draw and ABC has graciously agreed to give us a sneak peek at some of the vintners and spirits.

Wagner Family of Wine – Belle Glos Pinot Noir, Conundrum

Treasury Wine Estates – Chateau St. Jean, Beringer

Justin and Landmark Wines – Justin Sauvignon Blanc, Landmark Pinot Noir

Delicato Family Vineyards – Gnarly Head, Noble, Belle Ambiance

The Lergenmüller Wine Group Germany – Dornfelder, Müller Piesporter, Villa Riesling

Vine and Branches – Bogle, Hook and Ladder

Peter Mondavi Family – several selections from the Charles Krug portfolio

Campari America – Skyy Infusions, Appleton, Rusell’s Reserve, American Honey

Fish Hawk Spirits – Absinthia Rubra, Marion Black 106

These are just a few selections with many more to come. Usually there are between 50 and 70 stations offering libations.

The last six Taste events have raised $2.27 million for scholarships and medical education. Remember, 100 percent of all funds raised go directly to students. An investment in Taste is an investment in medical and allied health science education in Central Florida. Every Valencia allied health scholarship contribution is doubled.

In a word, the reason sponsors sign on year after year is “fun.” The event is a great time; it’s a jovial atmosphere with no formal program. We are grateful to all of our benefactors, both past supporters and new friends. Sponsorships are still available, call Donna Marino (407-582-3128) for more information.

Sommelier – ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, Rosen Hotels and Resorts, Rosen Shingle Creek

First Press – Freeman Co., McCree General Contractors and Architects Inc., SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintner – CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, Martinez Manglardi PA, Orlando Health, Orlando Magic, Signature Systems of Florida, Valencia College

Cabernet – Charles Perry Partners Inc., Clancy and Theys Construction Co., HuntonBrady Architects, Orlando Health Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Universal Orlando Resort, Wolverine Anesthesia Consultants

2014-15 valencia foundation scholarship applications are available now!

The 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application NOW AVAILABLE. 

By submitting your application by April 4, 2014, you will be entered to win a brand new iPad!

The lucky winner will be selected on April 9, 2014. We will arrange pick-up directly with the winner. The winner will also be asked to take photo and participate in a short interview upon pick up to be featured in our monthly foundation newsletter.

Don’t let another minute pass by! Complete your 2014-15 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application for a chance to receive scholarship funding and a brand new iPad!

Helpful hints for completing your application:

  • Students must only use their Atlas email address on the application
  • Don’t let the fact that you may not qualify for financial aid stop you. We use the FAFSA to verify financial need and not all scholarship decisions are based on the FAFSA.
  • Recommendations and a high GPA are very helpful, but not all scholarships require them.

For questions on completing your scholarship application, please contact Susan Ambridge (407-582-1168, sambridge@valenciacollege.edu) or Jen Bhagirath (407-582-3154,jbhagirath@valenciacollege.edu).

2014-15 grainger tools for tomorrow scholarship available now!

Since 2006, the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship program has helped technical education students across the country realize their educational goals. This scholarship recognizes outstanding students with a $2,000 scholarship and customized Westward toolkit upon successful completion of the student’s technical education program.

All applicants must provide ALL of the following:

  • One letter of recommendation from a professor, teacher, advisor, or military first line supervisor.
  • list of clubs, activities, accomplishments, leadership roles held and years involved, including those related to their field of study or military job experience.
  • An essay of 200-300 words on why you chose to study skilled trades/public safety, how your achievements and/or leadership roles have helped you grow individually and your future career goals.
  • Submit a Transcript showing a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • A completed Grainger application.
  • Be enrolled in 12 credit course hours per semester and in the final year of study will be in 2014-15 from a Skilled Trades or Public Safety program.
  • Honorably separated from U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard) if applicable.

All required documents must be submitted no later than March 28, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. to Susan Ambridge, please call 407-582-1168 or email sambridge@valenciacollege.edu for more information.

Grainger 2014-15 Application

**The scholarship is not transferable to another institution. The scholarship monies must also be used by the student within 24 months.**

Grainger employees and their immediate family members are not eligible to apply. Applicants must be United States citizens or legal residents at select community colleges.

crowning a new champion: valencia wins national title in quiz bowl competition

Quiz BowlPop the corks and get out the dictionaries: Valencia College’s quiz bowl team captured its sixth national title at the National Academic Quiz Tournament’s Community College Championship Tournament in Atlanta on Mar. 1.

From the outset, it was clear that teams from Florida’s state and community colleges would dominate. More than half of the 24 teams present came from Florida colleges — and three teams from Valencia qualified for the competition.

But it was Valencia’s Red Team — consisting of Julio Gonzalez-Zuluaga, Cassandra Logan, Levar Burton and Lincoln Warner — that dominated the competition. The squad lost only one match throughout the two-day contest.

In the finals, the Red Team faced off against Valencia’s longstanding rival, Chipola College from Marianna, Fla. Although Chipola has won two straight national championships, Valencia’s team emerged victorious this year, capturing the final game, 405-245.

Valencia’s Black Team — consisting of Jen Smith, Diorcy Ortiz, Barry Grogan, Will Ober and Nam Nguyen — finished fourth in the competition. The Gold Team, which consisted of Conan Wilson, Guens Delius and Audrey Thompson, lost an player due to a family emergency, but still won a game in the tournament.

With dominant performances at the Atlanta tournament, the Red and Black quiz bowl teams earned the right to go to the Intercollegiate Championship Tournament, which will be held in Chicago in late March. There, the Valencia teams will compete against teams of freshmen and sophomores from academic heavyweights such as the University of Chicago and Yale University.

Realistically, their odds are steep: Valencia’s veteran Red Team is ranked 18th going into the tournament. They hope to finish in the top 10 at the tournament.

Still, Valencia has a history of being giant killers. In 2003, a Valencia quiz bowl team finished second in the national championship — a shocker to many in the largely white, male quiz-bowl community.

That’s unlikely to happen again, says Borglum, an English professor and former quiz bowl collegian, because the competition has gotten much better, thanks in part to the Internet.

“The caliber of all the teams has gotten better,” says Borglum. “The middle is so much better than it used to be … The kids have internet resources.. all those questions, all those resources. It’s getting harder.”

In the 16-year history of the national tournament, only two community-college teams have had a top 10 finish. In 2003, Valencia finished second, while Chipola finished sixth last year. “If we finish in the top 10, it would be a tremendous victory,” says Borglum.

To prep the Valencia players for the national competition, Borglum and fellow coaches (and math professors) Boris Nguyen and Damion Hammock began drilling them with tough questions shortly after they clinched the community college championship.

“The questions get harder. Starting today, if the question is about Charles Dickens, the books will be something like ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood.’ No more ‘David Copperfield’ for you,” says Borglum.

Indeed, the students know that they’ve got to step up their game if they’re going to compete against the likes of students from Yale, Stanford and the University of Michigan.

“At the community college contest, the questions are usually about things you’ve heard of, like ‘Huck Finn.’ At this level, the questions are things you’d learn about in grad school, but only if that was your area of specialty,” says Gonzalez-Zuluaga, a math major, three-year quiz bowl veteran and one of the leading scorers at the national community college tournament.

Valencia’s players devote more than six hours a week to practice — and most spend even more time than that boning up on subject matter and studying questions from previous tournaments. Early each year, Borglum tries to ferret out what the students are interested in, so they can specialize in one of the topics that invariably show up in competition. Most of the questions come from literature, history and science, but there are also plenty of questions about religion, mythology, math, geography, philosophy, music and current affairs.

Cassandra Logan, for instance, transferred to Valencia from the Great Books program at St. John’s College of Maryland, so she handles a lot of literature questions, as do players Jen Smith and Diorcy Ortiz. Gonzalez-Zuluaga and Will Ober specialize in history and politics, while Lincoln Warner and Barry Grogan are the team’s go-to players for science questions.

Gonzalez-Zuluaga, Logan and Ober each were top-10 scorers in the competition and were named all-stars.

Pictured in front row: Julio Gonzalez-Zuluaga (Red Team: third year); Conan Wilson (Gold Team: first year)
Back row: Damion Hammock (math professor, WPC); Guens Delius (Gold Team: first year); Barry Grogan (Black Team: first year with team; second year at Valencia); Will Ober (Black Team: first year with team, second at Valencia); Diorcy Ortiz (Black Team: second year)

Not pictured: Cassandra Logan (Red Team: second year); Levar Burton (Red Team: third year); Lincoln Warner (Red Team: first year); Nam Nguyen (Black Team: first year); Jen Smith (Black Team: second year); Audrey Thompson (Gold Team: first year)

Source: Linda Shrieves Beaty, Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia College; Valencia News; http://news.valenciacollege.edu

Central Florida Fire Institute (CFFI) at Valencia College

Central Florida Fire Institute (CFFI) at Valencia CollegeIntroducing CFFI at Valencia College

Valencia College is pleased to announce the formation of the Central Florida Fire Institute (CFFI), in partnership with member agencies of the former Central Florida Fire Academy (CFFA).

Valencia’s Central Florida Fire Institute provides career pathways for the fire service community in Central Florida, nationally, and globally.

CFFI Programs Include: