a tribute to a dear friend

Over the holidays, Central Florida lost a dear friend, Frances Millican — the first First Lady of UCF. She was a devoted advocate of education and a tireless emblem for the university. When I arrived in Central Florida nine years ago, she took me under her wing, thanks to our mutual friendship with Helen Von Dolteren-Fournier.

Frances was the consummate fundraiser and offered me great insight. I was new to the community and also to fundraising, and I will always treasure her wise counsel. She never saw Valencia as a competitor but rather a collaborator, which also explains the amazing relationship between our institutions.

What I have heard over and over in the past few weeks about Frances is a true sentiment for me too: She made me feel like her most special buddy.

I believe she made everyone in her path feel uniquely close to her because she truly cared. She found the common ground and never forgot a name or a moment. She would never cease to amaze me with her personal gifts for hospitality and philanthropy. She embraced the causes she believed in and that belief and dedication was felt at every meeting with her.

The last time I saw her in November, she reminded me, with her very Southern gentility, that we had not been out for a private get-together recently — and that, clearly, we must remedy that! I looked forward to that future date, as I did to all the private chats and occasions we shared over the years.

It is said that behind every great man is a great woman. Certainly this was true of Frances and her devoted husband, Charlie. As his health began to fail, she stepped in to represent him even more so than before. She passed away because of a fall – she was helping Charlie, who had fallen as well. Loyal and loving, her immediate call was to a friend to request assistance for her husband.

 Charlie is the first one to tell you how instrumental Frances was during the founding of UCF, his tenure and their support ever since. If ever there were help mates, true partners together, Frances and Charlie fit the bill.

Valencia recognized her contributions to the advancement of learning in our community in April 2007. It was a meaningful, touching event that celebrated a two-plus-two scholarship named for Frances that connects students who graduate from Valencia and move on to attend UCF. About 80 percent of our AA grads do wind up at UCF, making our partnership the strongest two-plus-two relationship in the nation.

What cracked me up is that Frances always referred to us as neighbors and friends when she introduced me to other people. I was honored to be included in her circle of friends and yes, we did share a ZIP Code…but my corner of College Park and the neighborhood in which she and Charlie lived are a far cry from each other! But that was how she was. Frances saw commonalities in those she met, and I believe she did think of me as a neighbor and a friend. I suspect that was also a treasure she shared with every person she met: She appreciated you for who you were, and when Frances was talking to you (or about you) you felt like the most special person in the room and her closest pal.

Frances was exquisitely beautiful on the outside. The photos at her memorial showed this to be true. More importantly, though, she was even more gorgeous on the inside. Frances was one of those rare individuals who would remind you of shared memories — and remember names and details. When she was talking to you, you were the only person in the room – she never looked over your shoulder to see if someone more important was coming along.

What may not be widely known is that Frances was also a hoot! She enjoyed her friends, she was comfortable in her own skin and she appreciated the company of those both dear to her and new people, like me. She could be poised and perfect in a ceremonial role and just the best fun when she let her hair down. Although I knew her best through her public duties, I cherish those personal moments that brought amusement and laughter.

There just isn’t enough any of us, certainly not me, can say that would do Frances justice. Her husband and her friends did an amazing job at the memorial service and her sense of spirit and life was felt by all. But to truly know how lovely she was, you had to spend time with her. I treasure the time I had with her, although it was cut much too short. For those that knew Frances, I join with you in mourning the passing of our friend and colleague. And I am heartened by the fact that even those that didn’t know her will still feel her legacy. Her work on behalf of UCF, the important inroads she made in our partnership and the scholarship in her honor will continue to touch lives for years to come.

poet steven dunn open reading

Acclaimed poet Stephen Dunn will visit Valencia Community College Winter Park Campus

This Thursday, January 28, acclaimed poet Stephen Dunn will visit Valencia Community College Winter Park Campus to give a reading from his latest book “What Goes On: Selected and New Poems.”  

The free and open reading will take place at Valencia’s Winter Park Campus, located at 850 W. Morse Boulevard, in room 225 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m., followed by a book signing and sale until 2:45 p.m.

The Poetry Foundation describes Dunn’s work as being “concerned with the anxieties, fears, joys, and problems of how to co-exist in the world with all those who are part of our daily lives.”

He has authored 16 different books including “Different Hours,” which won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for poetry. In addition to his own books, Dunn’s work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Georgia Review, and the American Poetry Review.

Dunn has worked as an advertising copywriter, an editor and a professor of creative writing. Since 1974, he has taught at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, where he is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing. 

Visions & Voices was launched in 2002. This Distinguished Artist Series is the brainchild of Dr. Sanford C. Shugart who wanted to find a way to invite world-class poets, songwriters and artists from across the country and around the world to Valencia to share their work with students, faculty, staff, and the community. 

Artists not only give a public performance, but also interact with students in an intimate master class. Visions & Voices has established a reputation as one of the best ways to see nationally known artists in Central Florida.

Source: Valencia Marketing & Media Relations

recyclemania is here!!!

The college shared the following information with faculty and staff this morning and so I thought I’d pass the information along to you!!!

We are pleased to announce that the college has entered the national recycling challenge, RecycleMania.  The goal is to increase recycling awareness in higher education institutions throughout the United States. Over 550 colleges and universities will participate in the event to be held January 17, 2010 thru March 27, 2010. 

 Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate by placing the following recyclables in the designated bins on each campus:

  • #1 and #2 Plastic Containers
  • Aluminum Cans
  • Paper Products
  • Newspapers
  • Computer Paper
  • Books (paperback only)
  • Magazines
  • Cardboard (flattened and placed beside recycle container)

Recyclables can also be brought from home. Simply separate the materials in plastic bags and place the recyclables by any recycling container on your campus or by putting them in the large recycle dumpsters located in the following areas:

East Campus  – Behind Building 5, by loading dock.
West Campus – Behind Mod. 2, by the loading dock.
Osceola Campus – Behind the Security portable next to the Waste Management dumpsters

For more information concerning the RecycleMania campaign, go to http://www.recyclemaniacs.org.

While the college continues to do all they can in the “green” movement, we hope you’ll start your very own version of recyclemania. Even just one person can make a dramatic impact.

graduation application deadline

Yes, the graduation application deadline is approaching! Please help us spread the word to students so they don’t miss this important date.

The graduation application deadline is this Friday, January 29,2010, 11:59:59, for students interested in graduating in May 2010. All students apply on line through their ATLAS account.  

Your donations tell a student someone believes in their dream. It represents a life transformed and can change the course of a family for generations. Click on the cap above or visit http://www.VALENCIA.org for more information or to make a donation.

haiti earthquake relief

The Harris Rosen Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, has joined forces with Senator Bill Nelson’s office and various local Haitian community leaders to provide direct assistance to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. In the past, the Harris Rosen Foundation has collected and personally delivered food, water filters, school supplies and medical supplies to the citizens of Haiti. Now it’s time to send emergency relief to the people in need.

Here is the Web site for more information and details on how you can help:


Our hearts go out to those in Haiti and to those with friends and loved ones there. Please see our Jan. 15 post for many other ways to get involved and offer assistance during this time of great need.


Visit the Anita S. Wooten Gallery at Valencia East Campus

The Anita S. Wooten Gallery at Valencia Community College East Campus is exhibiting the work of UCF professor Laine Wyatt from January 22, 2010 to March 12, 2010. 

The  opening reception is tonight, Friday January 22, 2010 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.  It is a free event with refreshments and an artist lecture at 7:30 p.m. 

The exhibition Obsession/Compulsion consists of photographs and installations referencing women’s relationship with clothing. Hope to see you all here.

valencia night with the magic

Valencia friends, alumni, staff, family and students are invited to take part in Valencia Night with the Orlando Magic!
Don’t miss your chance to see the 2009 Eastern Conference Champion Orlando Magic on Sunday, March 28th @ 6:00 pm.  Watch All-Stars like Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis take on the Denver Nuggets!
Join us as Orlando Magic battle the Toronto Raptors on Wed, Dec. 16 @t 7:00 pm

Valencia Night with the Orlando Magic!

  • Orlando Magic vs. Denver Nuggets 
  • Weekend game ticket $25
  • + $2 for pre-game reception
  • Call to reserve your Valencia seat @ (407) 916-2531 or download a registration form here

We’d love for you to join the Valencia Alumni Association and Valencia Chapter of FACC for the optional pre-game reception to meet and mingle with friends.  A cash beverage bar will be provided.  Hurry, reception space is limited to the first 60 people!

See you at Valencia Night with the Orlando Magic! 

This special offer is brought to you by the
Valencia Alumni Association
and Valencia FACC Chapter.

sculpture garden

Valencia’s East Campus is home to a little corner of tranquility—The Sculpture Garden, developed in conjunction with the Valencia Fine Arts Department. 

Sculptural ceramic forms rest on a flagstone bed.

Located adjacent to Building 3 and near the Library, this calming nook has a wonderful water feature consisting of three sculptural forms created by artist Michael Galletta. Installation of this piece began in 2004 with sketches provided by the artist. Each form has several levels of cascading water that flows into a flagstone bed where the water is recycled back into the forms. 

"Mare and Foal" inaugural sculpture by Michael Galletta

Another lovely sculpture in this location is the bronze piece titled Mare and Foul. This sculpture was designed to honor mothers everywhere and dedicated in honor of Helen Calafut-Von Dolteren, Doris Cox and Doreen Fournier. 

Foundation board member Helen Von Dolteren-Fournier led efforts to create the sculpture garden, along with donors Brenda Cox-Cook and corporate sponsor BENCOR, Inc.

If you’re on East Campus and want a respite from a hectic schedule, please stop by and enjoy this zen oasis on campus! 



Initial Designs 



The Sculpture Garden Academic Advancement provides funds for the East Campus art faculty to improve student learning and faculty teaching through this endowment. The creation, continual perpetuation and preservation of the Sculpture Garden is through the generosity of our donors. If you wish to make a donation to the Valencia Foundation for this program, please visit www.VALENCIA.org and click on Give Now: Make a Donation.

helping haiti

The Harris Rosen Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, has joined forces with Senator Bill Nelson’s Office and various local Haitian Community Leaders to provide direct assistance to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. In the past the Harris Rosen Foundation has collected and personally delivered food, water filters, school supplies and medical supplies to the citizens of Haiti. Now it’s time to send emergency relief to the people in need.

How you can help:

Make a financial contribution to the Harris Rosen Foundation:
100% of your contribution will go toward purchasing much needed supplies. All items will be delivered by the Foundation’s own Task Force with the help of Senator Bill Nelson’s Office. All donations are tax-deductible.

you can help…

Media reports continue to remind us about the devastation in Haiti and so many wonder just how they can help.

Below is a list of reputable agencies and ways to help (featured on Poder 360 http://bit.ly/4XzKJA).


Catholic Relief Services – www.crs.org/ or 1-888-277-7575.

UNICEF requests donations for relief for children in Haiti via their Haiti Earthquake Fund. You can also call 1-800-4UNICEF.

Doctors Without Borders is in the disaster zone and set up clinics to treat injured. Donate any amount to help their efforts. www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

Go to www.redcross.org/ and click Donate or call (800) REDCROSS. Twitter has become an invaluable source of information on this tragedy. Search via #Haiti and #RedCross.

The U.S. Special Envoy to Haiti, President Bill Clinton, hopes to bring a major humanitarian mission to the island. Donate through the Clinton Foundation www.clintonfoundation.org/

Lowes is accepting food, water, clothing or cash to the Red Cross.

Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti foundation is accepting money on its website www.yele.org/

All arms of the Red Cross are accepting donations. The International Red Cross website is: www.ifrc.org/

ActionAid donations can be made at: www.actionaid.org/

Donations to the Oxfam appeal can be made at: www.oxfam.org.uk/

The International Rescue Committee is raising money at: www.ircuk.org/

The DEC is accepting donations through its website www.dec.org.uk/


And for those who wish they could simply send a text and make a donation, they can!

Text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 (American Red Cross).

Text “YELE” to 501501 to donate $5 for Haitian Relief (Wyclef Jean’s Yele Foundation).

Text “HAITI” to 20222 to donate $10 (Clinton Foundation).


For additional information on local organizations, follow this link to the Orlando Sentinel: http://bit.ly/7nnQMn


Individually we may not be able to do much, but together…
imagine the possibilities!!!






me in the making

On January 11, Valencia launched a new website – www.MeInTheMaking.com – to promote LifeMap to students. The website is part of a new campaign aimed at increasing students’ understanding and use of LifeMap and the many resources available to help them set and achieve goals at Valencia. 

As part of the campaign, students will see environmental graphics/murals on all the campuses that reinforce LifeMap messages and drive interest in the MeInTheMaking website.     

MeInTheMaking guides students through the use of Valencia and other resources as they create their own unique LifeMap. This includes web resources, My LifeMap online planning tools, and connections to people and college services.  The site, while it has a unique “microsite” web address, resides in the Atlas portal, along with LifeMap tools.

Faculty and staff who use LifeMap tools—My Job Prospects, My Career Planner, My Education Plan, My Portfolio and My Financial Planner—to assist students will still find them under the My LifeMap tab in Atlas. It’s important to note that the tools themselves haven’t changed, just the way they look.

Much appreciation to the teams in Students Affairs, OIT, Facilities, and Marketing and Media Relations who have worked to launch this new campaign and website to better serve our Valencia community!


I came across this great article featuring DirectConnect and how it’s impacted our students.

Check out the link, I hope you enjoy it. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/01/08/directconnect

new chiller plant brings valencia one step closer to sustainability

In charge of maintaining and operating the new chiller plant are (left to right): Clifton Taylor, John Letterman, Winsome Bennett (Valencia’s energy conservation manager), Robert Hickman, Lawrence Wainwright and Jim Nelson.

Valencia and Siemens officials gathered last week for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the new environmentally friendly central chiller plant on Valencia’s campus in west Orlando.

 Siemens Building Technologies, Inc. installed the high-efficiency chillers, which are designed to supply all the cooling needs for the campus’s 14 buildings using chilled water. The new system will result in over $400,000 in energy savings a year or a 30% reduction in utility costs for the college. A similar chiller plant will soon be up and running on the college’s East Campus, further reducing costs by a combined $1 million per year.

 “Since 1998 we have been working on energy conservation projects touching lighting, water and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems within the buildings,” said Robert Hickman, who serves as the HVAC energy manager for the campus. “With this new plant, not only did we exceed our energy conservation goals, we were able to overcome insufficient cooling capacity and drastically reduce repair costs.”

 Besides the addition of the new chiller plants, the college has sought to reduce its overall impact on the environment by committing to building only LEED-certified facilities as designated by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design through the U.S. Green Building Council. So far, three Valencia buildings either have qualified for LEED gold certification or are awaiting certification.

 Valencia President Sanford Shugart has also signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. To date, 657 colleges and universities have pledged to reduce their campus greenhouse gas emissions over time.

Source: Marketing and Media Relations, Valencia Community College, 407-582-1015

FAFSA assistance open to all

Expert help is available for anyone completing the FAFSA (free application for federal student aid). This FAFSA Frenzy Friday is offered for students who have questions or require assistance with the application.  

Why Attend?

  • You must submit a FAFSA every year to receive financial aid.
  • Applying early every year can increase your financial aid award.
  • Valencia’s financial aid experts will assist you with the process
  • Help is available for first-time applicants and those updating their information (renewal).
  • High school is out that day anyway (Jan. 21, Orange County and Feb. 18, Osceola County)

               Click here to register!

East Campus
West Campus
Osceola Campus
January 21, 2011
January 21, 2011
February 18, 2011
10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Bldg. 4, Room 122
SSB, Room 142
Bldg. 2, Room 115

dog’s best friend???

Valencia student Roxy Jean Smith turns to blogging to pay tribute to Valencia’s finest!

Reprinted from Roxy Jean Smith’s professional blog (http://bit.ly/6cJnpJ):

Professor Patricia Boyle has been teaching 20th Century Humanities at Valencia for 12 years and enjoys every minute of it. “I genuinely like the subject matter,” said Boyle, “if I wasn’t teaching it, I would be reading about it and studying it.”

Boyle received her degree from Montclair State College in New Jersey and has taught at other institutions like the University of Central Florida, Seminole Community College and on United States Navy ships during the Gulf War in the early nineties.

Humanities isn’t just about art and history, it is about people. “I have a natural curiosity about what makes people tick and why things happen,” said Boyle.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower believed that you can “promote peace through understanding.” Humanities is sought to do the same thing, by understanding people and the history of a different culture we can learn to respect and appreciate the people and land.

Boyle’s real love is in helping animals and being kind to the Earth, which is the main focus of the Humane Education class she teaches.

Humane Education has only been offered at Valencia for the last three years and has just recently become an official class that is now recognized statewide.

“This class isn’t just about helping animals,” said Boyle, “it is about how humans relate to each other.”

The class frequently has guest speakers and goes on different field trips throughout the semester. Some of the field trips include going to the Orlando Science Center, The Holocaust Center, the pound, animal shelters and the humane society.

Boyle has given humane education presentations at elementary and high schools. The presentations focus on how to treat animals properly and the importance of preserving the environment.

In 2003, Professor Boyle and a few of her friends got together to form their own organization to help and rescue animals. Buddies for Life, Inc. is about humane education and the importance of pet adoption.

Buddies for Life’s motto is, “A vision of a loving, permanent home for every pet.” They have rescued and successfully adopted 1,012 animals.

The organization mostly rescues dogs, but they occasionally get a few cats. When they receive an animal they get them updated on their shots and have groomed before they are put up for adoption.

“I love animals and I want to do what I can to help,” said Boyle.

Professor Boyle strives to make a difference in the life of her students and animals through teaching humanities and humane education classes. The most valuable asset Valencia Community College has to offer to the students is its professors; without them Valencia would have no purpose.

Thank you, Roxy for calling attention to the Valencia professors who strive to change the lives of their students (and animals) everyday!!!

look to this day

orlando magic youth fund

Many thanks to the Orlando Magic Youth Fund for support of Valencia, Take Stock in Children and our community as a whole!

Orlando, Fla. –The Orlando Magic Youth Fund (OMYF), a fund of the McCormick Foundation, in a surprise ceremony, will present checks totaling nearly $700,000 to 23 grantee organizations from three counties in Central Florida (Orange, Seminole and Osceola).

The presentation will be held at the OMYF Grant Recipient Awards night on Tuesday, January 5 at the Orlando Museum of Art from 4:30-6:30 p.m. As part of the surprise check presentation, the organizations will be greeted by Magic Community Ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw.

With funds raised through OMYF, and the match provided by the McCormick Foundation, a total of $689,000 in grants will be distributed to these charities. In addition to the Grant Recipient Awards night, the organizations will be recognized at halftime of the Wednesday, January 6 game vs. the Toronto Raptors (tip-off at 7:00 p.m.).

The beneficiaries were recommended by the OMYF “VIP” Committee and then approved by the McCormick Foundation’s Board of Directors after an extensive five-phase process which began in July of 2009. “Through the OMYF we are committed to ensuring the team provides a positive, encouraging example,” said Vice President of Community Relations/OMYF and Government Affairs Linda Landman-Gonzalez. “We hope to leave an indelible mark in our community through our charitable endeavors and are committed to that task. It is our privilege to be able to honor those who help to make Central Florida a better place.”

OMYF focuses on helping children in Central Florida realize their full potential, especially those most at risk, by supporting programs and partnerships that empower families and change lives. OMYF, founded in 1988, became a fund of the McCormick Foundation in 1994. OMYF is supported through a team effort by Magic players, coaches, staff and the DeVos Family, in partnership with season ticket holders, corporate partners, fans and the community and matching funds provided by the McCormick Foundation.

Since inception, nearly $15 million has been granted through OMYF to local nonprofit organizations. The 2009 grant recipients: A Gift of Music, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central Florida, Boys Town of Central Florida, Bridges of Light Foundation, Children’s Home Society of Florida, Community Coordinated Care for Children, Crealde School of Arts, Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools, Gift for Swimming, GROWS Literacy Council, Harbor House of Central Florida, Health Care Center for the Homeless, HEBNI Nutrition Consultants, Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando, Justice and Peace Office, Orange County Regional History Center, Orlando Marine Institute, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, Shepherd’s Hope, Steinway Society of Central Florida, The Salvation Army, Valencia Community College Foundation

Reprinted from post by Andrew Melnick, HowardtheDunk.com blogger.

a unique partnership

A unique partnership has been finalized between Valencia, Northrop Grumman and Orange County Public schools to create the Photonics Academy at Wekiva High School in Apopka. Launched in fall 2009, the program provides students with the knowledge and opportunity to become laser and photonics technicians upon graduating high school.

The academy is the first of its kind in the area, with a private company bringing resources to a public program. Northrop Grumman has provided $20,000 toward equipment and for program instructors’ salaries. OCPS has put $100,000 worth of grant funds toward the program for the purchase of laser and optics equipment. Valencia is providing the instructors for the program as well as the electronics equipment. Plans are underway to expand the electronics engineering technology curriculum on Valencia’s own campus as well. A pending National Science Foundation grant would help to fund the development of three new advanced-level photonics courses covering content identified by the industry as being most critical for photonics technicians.

By working together, Valencia, the University of Central Florida, Orange County Public Schools and Northrop Grumman have been able to create opportunities for Central Floridians to pursue jobs and advanced degrees in engineering and engineering technology.

Article provided by The Bulletin – a weekly publication for the faculty and staff of Valencia Community College.

happy new year

Happy New Year! Hope you spend some time with us this year and share your thoughts. And if you are interested in being a guest author this year, just click the tab above for more information.

 As we look to 2010, here are some quotes to inspire and enjoy as we make…and sometimes break…those resolutions!

 Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.
Benjamin Franklin

 Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.
Hal Borland

 We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.
Edith Lovejoy Pierce

 One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.
John Burroughs

 We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.
Ellen Goodman