enjoy a safe memorial day weekend

Safety Tips for the Upcoming Memorial Day Weekend

The Valencia Community College Security Department came across this article and wanted to share with the Valencia community. Remember an ounce of prevention will help alert everyone to the simple dangers we all face but never take into consideration while enjoying the sun, water and outdoor grilling. The American College of Emergency Physicians has put together the top five tips that you and your family should follow in order to stay safe and healthy over the holiday weekend.

Tip 1: Food Safety – To avoid food poisoning, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture recommends cooking fresh poultry to 165 degrees, hamburgers to 160 degrees and beef to at least 145 degrees. Refrigerate all perishable food within 2 hours, I hour if the temperature outside is above 90 degrees. To guard against cross-contamination of bacteria, keep uncooked meats away from other foods.

Tip 2: Grill Safety – Emergency physicians see firsthand the dangers associated with an outdoor grill. Consumers should thoroughly clean a grill of any grease or dust. Check the tubes leading into the burner for any blockages from insects or food grease that can cause an uncontrolled fire. Replace any connectors which can lead to a gas leak and keep lighted cigarettes, matches or open flames away from a leaking grill. Do not use a grill in a garage, breezeway, carport and porch or near any surface that can catch fire. Also, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions that accompany the grill.

Tip 3: Water Safety – To prevent drowning, avoid alcohol when swimming or boating. Wear a lifejacket whenever you are on a boat. Make sure young children are supervised at all times when near the beach, on a boat, or by a pool or hot tub. Don’t swim alone or in bad weather. Learn to swim and teach your children to swim. We also recommend that you learn CPR in case of an emergency.

Tip 4: Sun Safety – Protect against sunburn and heat stroke. Wear sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 or higher and apply it generously throughout the day. Wear a hat outdoors and a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes. Drink plenty of water, especially when in the sun or if you are sweating heavily. If you feel faint or nauseous, get into a cool place immediately.

Tip 5: Travel Safety – Do not drink and drive or travel with anyone who has been drinking. Wear your seatbelt at all times. Make sure your vehicle has been properly serviced and is in good working shape before a long road trip. Familiarize yourself with your surroundings if you are in an unfamiliar place and know where the nearest emergency room is to you at all times in case of an emergency.

“Many of the factors that will determine your safety over Memorial Day weekend or any time this summer will come down to good decision-making and common sense,” said Dr. Gardner. “As someone who sees the consequences up close, my best advice is, know your limits, be mindful of certain risks and stay smart.”

Source: The Bulletin, Valencia Community College, Vol. XXXIX, No. 20, May 24, 2010

faculty and staff honor colleague

Expressing their gratitude for Helen Clarke's magnanimous contribution to T/LA, colleagues donated funds to the Valencia Foundation in her honor. Helen will have the opportunity to designate her favorite Valencia scholarship or program as the recipient of these contributions!

Valencia Community College faculty and staff recently honored Teaching/Learning Academy director Helen Clarke for her years of commitment to the program.   

At a May 26 reception over $1050 was presented to Helen with the opportunity to designate her favorite Valencia scholarship or program as the recipient of these contributions! 

The Teaching/Learning Academy, a community of practice, supports new professors, counselors, and librarians as they develop Individualized Learning Plans, a fundamental phase of the tenure process designed to assist tenure candidates to expand and improve their professional practices and students’ learning. TLA provides support on pedagogy, course design, student development, and professional portfolio development. 

Expressing their gratitude for Helen Clarke’s magnanimous contribution to T/LA, colleagues donated funds to the Valencia Foundation in her honor. Helen will have the opportunity to designate her favorite Valencia scholarship or program as the recipient of these contributions!  

Many thanks to Helen Clarke for your years in the Teaching/Learning Academy.  We wish you the best as you return to your first professional love. . . teaching!    

Note:  contributions in Helen’s honor are still being accepted through a secure online process, if you wish to make a contribution please designate your donation is in honor of Helen Clarke.

board scholarship committee

The Valencia Foundation continues to award scholarships to deserving and hard-working students currently attending Valencia. With the continued support of our generous donors, Valencia Foundation was able to provide $3.4 million to Valencia Community College in 2008-09 through scholarships, teaching chairs and academic program assistance.

This Thursday, May 27 at 10:00 a.m. our scholarship chair, Kay Walters,  and Valencia Foundation board will meet for our annual scholarship committee meeting. The brief get-together will allow the board to become more involved in the scholarship and awarding process.

Our hope is to award $25,000 to deserving students.

remain “phishing savvy” Valencia friends~

Valencia’s Office of Information Technology Tip of the Week

How to Avoid Being Caught by Phishers

You receive an e-mail from [Your Bank Name Here] stating that there has been some suspicious activity on your account. To verify that the account activity is fraudulent, you are directed to click on the link provided and log into your account. You click on the link and it takes you to a [??Your Bank??] log-in screen. A username and password is required to log in. You enter your user credentials and the website directs you to another screen asking you to enter your bank account number, online pin and to verify your mother’s maiden name. Obligingly you enter the information and select submit. However, the form just goes blank and asks you to enter you information again. After another attempt you give up and call the tank. The representative denies that the company ever sent you an e-mail, and after a quick review of your account, it seems that there have been several withdrawals over the past few minutes totaling $1,200.

This story has been true for countless unsuspecting people who have fallen victim to Phishing scams. The term Phishing refers to the process of attempting to obtain personally sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, bank and credit card account numbers by imitating legitimate, trustworthy, sources. Asking yourself the following questions and following a few simple rules will help you identify and avoid falling victim to these scams. 

  • Does the e-mail contain misspellings or bad grammar?
  • Is this the first e-mail that you have received from the company?
  • Do you have any suspicions about the legitimacy of the message at all?
  • Does the web address of the website match the web address of the link on the e-mail?
  • When you receive the e-mail, it is always recommended that you call the company that initiated the request.
    • Note: A legitimate company will NEVER ask to go to a website and verify you account or user credentials.
  • Never open a link in a suspicious e-mail; doing so could infect your computer with Trojans, viruses and other malware .

Finally if you do receive an e-mail that you suspect is a scam, report the message to the company that the message claims to be from. Doing this can help the company report the problem to the appropriate agencies, in turn keeping others from being ripped off.

foundation f.a.q for you


FAQ's for you!

Want to know more about the Valencia Foundation and how we support Valencia Community College?  F.A.Qs for you are provided so you can be one of Those-in-the-Know.

What is the Valencia Foundation?
The foundation is a separate, not-for-profit, IRS approved 501(c)(3) corporation chartered in 1974 to provide financially for the educational needs of Valencia that cannot be met through state aid or student tuition income.

What does the Valencia Foundation do?
The office coordinates campaigns that help Valencia Community College provide a range of benefits, including scholarships, new technology, facilities, faculty improvements, and special programs. Nearly 60 community leaders volunteer generously of their time, talent, and resources by serving on the board of directors.

Can I tell the foundation how to spend my money?
Yes, you can tell our foundation how to utilize your donation by making a restricted gift.   *Please see the next question and answer for more information about restricted and unrestricted gifts.

What is the difference between a restricted gift and an unrestricted gift?
If you make a restricted gift, also known as a designated gift, you can direct your contribution to a specific scholarship, academic program, or any other special need. If you make an unrestricted gift—one with no restrictions on its use—you give Valencia the ability to apply funds where students need them most, including taking advantage of unexpected opportunities and meeting unforeseen challenges.

Will I receive tax benefits for my gift?
Yes, in most cases, the college’s supporters can deduct gifts from their taxes. Besides making direct, one-time contributions, you may also want to consider the long-term tax and estate-planning benefits of giving through annuities, trusts, and other financial tools.

Can I make a gift in honor or memory of someone?
Yes. As a tribute to a friend, colleague, mentor, family member, or anyone else, you can give in a person’s name.

How can I double or even triple my contribution?
Check with the human resources office at your company to see if it offers a matching funds program. More than 1,200 corporations have programs that match employees’ gifts to organizations like Valencia Community College.

What is a planned gift?
A planned gift is an arrangement to make a contribution to the Valencia Foundation, usually in the future. Annuities, trusts, and bequests in a will are examples of planned gifts. For more information, please visit our planned giving website at www.valenciagiving.org or contact Donna Marino at (407) 582-3128.

What is an outright gift?
An outright gift is an immediate, direct contribution, usually consisting of cash, real estate, or securities. 

Are there any advantages to making an outright gift?
Yes!  In fact, the advantages of making an outright gift are many… Valencia now offers more than 50 pre-major associate of arts, over 100 associate in science and applied science degrees and certificate programs: most programs lead to immediate entry into the workforce.

When you make an outright gift of cash, property, securities, or other assets to the Valencia Foundation,

  • You provide instant assistance to the college and gain an immediate tax deduction.
  • You usually get a charitable deduction for the full cost of the gift in the year you make it.
  • It’s an easy, efficient way to support a cause you believe in.
  • There are no complex financial documents to fill out.
  • You get the satisfaction of offering direct financial help that furthers Valencia’s mission of reaching out to potential students and providing affordable, accessible learning opportunities.
  • You receive other benefits depending on the type of gift: cash, real estate, or appreciated securities.

Because most Valencia Foundation benefactors make an outright gift of cash, the foundation has established several convenient ways for you to provide that support, including a check or credit card.

Are all gifts useful?
Yes, gifts of all amounts are deeply appreciated no matter how large or modest. Added to other gifts, any one gift combined has a large impact. Any gift demonstrates your concern for educational excellence at Valencia.

Can I make a gift online?
Yes. It’s quick, easy and secure through our online registration form at Make a Donation.

What is an Annual Fund?
An Annual Fund is a yearly campaign that raises resources for student scholarships and college programs and establishes a vehicle for Valencia to broaden its base of support. The rental income from the foundation’s real estate investments cover most of the foundation’s operating and fund-raising expenses, ensuring that 100 percent of donations are used exclusively for our donors’ intended purpose.

What is the Capital Campaign?
The Capital Campaign is a special campaign for new investments in people, programs, technology, and facilities for Valencia.

Where can I get more information?
Contact the Valencia Foundation at 190 S. Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32804; (407) 582-3150 or by emailing the foundation at foundation@valenciacc.edu

dmarino orig posting 09/09

take america to college

Two Valencia students were chosen from 200 contestants to appear in a video series called, “Take America to College.” Charnee Ball, a navy veteran, and Kathryn McCormick, a single mother who waitresses 35 hours a week, will reveal their struggles in getting through college along with five other nontraditional students.

Ball and McCormick will travel with the other finalists to Washington, D.C., to share their stories and concerns with policymakers about whether current initiatives to increase graduation rates are helping or whether more needs to be done. The finalists will also earn $500 and receive a video camera. Valencia was the only college to have two students selected for the series. East Campus faculty helped the students produce the audition videos that they submitted.

The series is produced by Purple States, a media company that produces and distributes videos that put a human face on policy challenges. The creators hope to air the segments this spring on a major news site. They can also be seen at http://www.takeamericatocollege.com/.

student thank you

I am overjoyed and appreciative of your assistance in helping me achieve my educational goals. Due to your contributions to my education, I feel bound to represent the ideals and morals that you stand for to the best of my ability. Please know that each and every day that I awake, I walk this earth knowing that I am a product and representative of all those who have helped, invested, and supported me throughout my life.

 Tyree R., engineering
2009/10 Foundation Scholarship Recipient

hitting the links for scholarships

One more week be”FORE” CREW Orlando tees off for student scholarships…

19th Annual CREW Orlando Golf Tournament 
“A ‘Network Series’ of 18-Holes”

When: Friday, May 14, 2010

Where: MetroWest Golf Club
2100 South Hiawassee Road, Orlando, FL  32835

Additional Info: 8:00 a.m. shotgun start – scramble format. Individual spots are $150 and there are a number of sponsorship opportunities available.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit and fund the CREW Orlando Valencia Foundation Scholarship Endowment Program.

For more information, please visit http://creworlando.org/golf.html.

nursing graduate fulfills lifelong dream

On May 5, when Pamm Danley-Piester walks across the stage during the pinning ceremony for Valencia’s 85 nursing graduates, she will fulfill a life-long dream.  The 43-year-old mother of three always longed to work in nursing, a profession that makes a tangible difference in people’s lives

Like so many women, Pamm’s dreams were derailed after marrying young and raising her three boys, Trevor, Brandon and Brent, now 28, 20 and 17.  A satisfying career in medical transcription didn’t extinguish her dream.  Like most who are drawn to nursing, Pamm is motivated by a deep desire to help others.

“My mom was the neighborhood nurse,“ explains Pamm. “She took care of everybody. Both of my parents instilled a sense of caring for others and giving back. My husband Jerry and I live by that value and have passed it on to our children.”

In 2006, with her youngest son nearing high school age, the St. Cloud resident summoned the courage to rekindle an old dream and enrolled at Valencia.  Its nursing program is recognized as one of the finest anywhere.  In the most recent exam required to become a registered nurse (National Council Licensure Examination), Valencia graduates had a higher pass rate than both the state and national average with a whopping 92.92 percent pass rate for first-time takers.

Pat Woodbery, director of Valencia’s nursing program, underscores the support available to students like Pamm. “Nursing is a very difficult program but the camaraderie students share helps them go through each step together.  It can be tackled in manageable chunks.”

Pamm worried that she would be the oldest student in her classes. She worried that after so many years away from school, math would prove too difficult.

“The professors at Valencia are phenomenal,” says Pamm who quickly realized that life experience gave her a unique perspective on health care.

In 2004, Pamm’s terminally ill mother moved in with her family. The skill and gentleness with which hospice nurses tended to her mother had a profound impact on her and the entire family.  She now wants to specialize in geriatric care.

“My faith grows stronger, as I get older, that what gets us through life is not what we can get but what we can give,” says Pamm. It took almost four years to complete the requirements for her degree.

Pamm isn’t done yet. She plans on enrolling in the University of South Florida online program and has her sights set on a bachelor’s degree in nursing and then a master’s degree. Ultimately teaching is where she hopes to make her mark.

Her more immediate goal is a position with Florida Hospital where she did several clinical rotations. Pamm also worked at St. Cloud Hospital, the Council on Aging, Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies and Arnold Palmer Hospital.

Her advice to anyone thinking of going back to college after a long delay in their studies is to realize they can do it. “Don’t be afraid to pursue your dream,” says this new Valencia nursing graduate whose fear of math proved unfounded.  In her last semester, Pamm earned an A in statistics.

Nursing Graduate Fulfills Lifelong Dream.

exchange agreement signed

Exchange Agreement Signed with College in the Netherlands

“This agreement is part of Valencia’s larger commitment to the globalization of our curriculum and broadening international experiences for faculty, staff and students,” explained Dr. Shugart.

Officials from Valencia Community College and Koning Willem I College in Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, signed an agreement last week that establishes a comprehensive exchange program.  The agreement outlines the exchange of degree-seeking and non-degree seeking students, academic publications, faculty and research scholars, and collaboration on joint research projects.

A 10-person delegation from the Netherlands made the trip to Orlando this week and toured Valencia, meeting with key administrators, in part to formalize the partnership.

“The goals of the partnership are to foster relationships and understanding and give participants tremendous options for study and work abroad,” said Joyce Romano, vice president for student affairs at Valencia.

Participants will be enrolled concurrently at both institutions and have access to opportunities to learn and work in a foreign country.  To facilitate the program, Valencia has applied to the U.S. State Department to be authorized to issue J exchange visitor visas to foreign participants.  Other similar agreements are being pursued with colleges in Great Britain and China.

The agreement was initiated by the two colleges’ presidents, Valencia’s Sanford “Sandy” Shugart and Coen Free of Koning Willem I. The two met through their involvement in the Chair Academy, an international leadership and training program for college and university leaders.  

“This agreement is part of Valencia’s larger commitment to the globalization of our curriculum and broadening international experiences for faculty, staff and students,” explained Dr. Shugart.  

The first exchange trips are expected to occur during the upcoming academic year.

valencia to graduate 2,800 on may 8

On Saturday, May 8, a total of 2,800 graduates will receive their associate degrees as Valencia Community College celebrates its 41st spring commencement at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee. 

Congratulations Kim Do Valencia 2009-2010 Distinguished Graduate as selected by the Alumni Association

These students join the more than 80,000 graduates who have received degrees since Valencia was established in 1967. Among two-year schools, Valencia awards the second largest number of associate degrees in the nation.

This year’s commencement speaker is 20-year-old Kim Do, who was named the 2009-2010 Distinguished Graduate by the Valencia Alumni Association. Born in Vietnam, Do moved to the United States when she was nine years old. She overcame culture shock and learned a new language in order to make friends and succeed in school. Now, as a graduating Valencia student, she holds a 3.64 GPA and has earned a reputation for her involvement around campus and within the community as the president of the Alpha Phi Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society on the Osceola Campus. Do plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and ultimately become a plastic surgeon so that she can help children with birth defects. She currently resides in Kissimmee.

Commencement exercises will take place at 10 a.m. at Silver Spurs Arena, Osceola Heritage Park, on U.S. Hwy. 192 in Kissimmee. 

Source: News and Information, April 30, 2010, Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College, 407-582-1778