good artwork comes in small packages at valencia’s anita s. wooten gallery

The Anita S. Wooten Gallery on Valencia Community College’s East Campus will hold an opening reception for its newest exhibition, ‘Curator’s Choice: Small Works by Central Florida Artists,’ on Friday, Sept. 10 from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m.

The exhibition began on Aug. 13 and will continue through Oct. 1. It features small-scale paintings, sculpture and mixed media pieces by 24 local artists. The Gallery Director, Jackie Otto Miller, selected the works.

The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public. The Anita S. Wooten Gallery is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail on Valencia’s East Campus. Call 407-582-2298 or 407-582-2268 for more information. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

 Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News;

can you sing?

Valencia Chorus Groups Seek New Members

Valencia Community College’s chorus groups are looking for new members for the fall term. Membership is open to all students, staff, faculty and community members.

There are two opportunities available:

Valencia A Cappella
The Valencia A Cappella group sings the music of the Voices of Liberty from Epcot and performs at local events, resorts and other venues. Those interested in joining must be able to read music. Basic musical talent is a plus. Auditions are required.

To join the Valencia A Cappella, participants must register for the Valencia course MUS 2930, CRN # 11961. Members will receive one hour of college credit. The course costs $91.73. Seniors over age 59 and dual-enrollment students can join for free. The group will meet every Monday night, beginning Aug. 30, at 7 p.m. on Valencia’s East Campus, located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando.

Voices of Valencia
Voices of Valencia is a musical group for singers of all levels. They sing a wide variety of music at local community events. For the fall, the group will focus on preparing for the Epcot Candlelight Processional, which it has participated in for the past nine years as part of the Fall Holiday Music Concerts. Anyone can join Voices of Valencia and no auditions are required.

To join the Voices of Valencia, participants must register for the Valencia course MUN 1311, CRN # 11213. Members will receive one hour of college credit. The course costs $91.73. Seniors over age 59 and dual-enrollment students can join for free. The group will meet every Tuesday night, beginning Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. on Valencia’s East Campus, located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando.

For more information about either group, please contact the director, Mr. James Jones at

Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing & Strategic Communications; 407-582-1778;

quick look back with our appreciation

Monday, Aug. 30 is the start of a new academic year at Valencia. We welcome our new freshman class as we take a look at images from last year. We wish all students great success, wonderful connections, and a lifetime of learning.


foundation scholarships are still being accepted


We are currently looking for students in all majors, including but not limited to architecture, engineering, building construction, hospitality, culinary, dental hygiene and single parents (male or female) to apply for Valencia Foundation scholarships.

If you are interested in receiving a foundation scholarship for 2010/11 please visit to print your application. Please remember that all applications require an essay of at least two pages (double spaced) to be considered.

We look forward to hearing from you! If you have additional questions or need more information, please contact Valencia Foundation at (407) 582-3150 or

valencia welcomes disney institute professional development program

Disney Institute is bringing its renowned professional development program, “Disney’s Approach to Quality Service,” to Valencia Community College, West Campus Special Events Center (Building 8), on Thursday, September 16, 2010. The full-day event will give area professionals an opportunity to “experience the business behind the magic.” The program will give participants new ideas for creating a service-driven organization that delivers excellence.

“Delivering great service is critical for companies looking to survive and prosper in these turbulent economic times,” said Jeff James, vice president for Disney Institute.  “This program is a rare opportunity for business professionals to go inside the Disney organization and learn innovative, easy-to-implement best practices that can give them the competitive edge.”

The full-day “Disney’s Approach to Quality Service” program will give participants an ‘insider’s look’ at business practices that have helped Disney consistently rank as one of the world’s most admired companies and brands.  Participants will learn how to exceed customer expectations using a well-defined service infrastructure, ongoing research, and service standards.

“In an era where everyone is competing for business and market share, excellent customer service isn’t a luxury, it is mission critical,” James said.  “This program is made for organizations – large and small – that are looking to create a service experience that exceeds customer expectations and drives repeat business.”

Program registration is $399 per person and includes all course materials, continental breakfast, lunch, and parking. Early-bird registration is $359 per person, before September 1. For more information or to register, call 407-582-6688 or

Source: Carolyn McMorran – Valencia Community College, Valencia News, Wednesday, August 18, 2010,


way to go, Julie Phelps

Dr. Julie M. Phelps

Julie M. Phelps, Valencia mathematics professor and project director of Achieving the Dream, was named the 2010 winner of the Virginia B. Smith Innovative Leadership Award.

The award, presented annually by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), recognizes leaders who have made exceptional contributions to advance innovation in American higher education. A committee of national experts selects the award winner, who receives a $4,000 stipend.

From 2005-2009, when Valencia participated in Achieving the Dream, Phelps served as project director. Achieving the Dream was a national, grant-funded initiative aimed at helping more community college students succeed – particularly those who have traditionally faced barriers to success, including low-income students and students of color.

Valencia’s Achieving the Dream work focused on identifying and closing achievement gaps across racial and ethnic groups, between college-ready and under-prepared students, and between student success in mathematics and other discipline courses.

As project director and professor of mathematics, Phelps’ work focused on three learning community strategies: supplemental instruction or cooperative learning inside and outside of class; the expansion of the Learning in Community (LinC) approach that brings faculty members and student support experts to work with students in double-class periods; and expanded course offerings focused on academic success and life lessons designed for community college students.

“We were very impressed with Julie Phelps’ ongoing work to give students at Valencia Community College a good start and help them meet the academic and social challenges of college,” said Patrick M. Callan, president of the National Center. “When we provide early support, particularly to at-risk students who are not college-ready, we can help ensure that they continue their education and make it to graduation.”

For the past 10 years, Phelps has studied ways to increase student engagement, learning, retention, and graduation among developmental education students. This research has provided her with strategies to strengthen student engagement and performance through peer mentoring in which a “role model” student demonstrates how to be a successful student both in and out of the classroom.

Valencia’s supplemental instruction focuses on high-risk courses, those with less than a 70 percent success rate, instead of high-risk students so that the students are not stigmatized. Since beginning in 2004, the supplemental instruction courses have grown from 10 sections to over 40 sections each term.

In her work with Achieving the Dream, Phelps has used data to understand how Valencia students experience college during their first year. She also has taught developmental mathematics as part of an intentional learning community by linking mathematics to a student success course. In this LinC program, two courses are taught back-to-back in the same classroom with two different faculty members and a success coach.

Phelps holds a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction, specializing in Community College from the University of Central Florida. Her dissertation, “Supplemental Instruction in a Community College Developmental Mathematics Curriculum: A Phenomenological Study of Learning Experiences,” focused supplemental instruction in developmental math by looking at the experiences of students in supplemental instruction courses at other Valencia campuses.

Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing & Strategic Communications; 407-582-1778;

valencia to unveil monument to fallen law enforcement officers

Valencia staff, students, and invited guests will dedicate a Law Enforcement Memorial at the Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) on Wednesday, August 18. The memorial was built and donated by Basic Law Enforcement Class 2010 after an exhaustive fund raiser.

Many public safety buildings and complexes around this country have installed law enforcement memorials. This memorial will honor the men and women in criminal justice that have made the ultimate sacrifice and serve as a daily reminder that many officers may have lost their lives in the line of duty, but they will never be forgotten.

Valencia’s memorial will be dedicated in honor of two officers who died recently on July 21. Although Officer Carl Smith from the Orlando Police Department and Deputy Craig Heber from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office died of natural causes, this ceremony serves as a reminder of their loyal and faithful service in law enforcement. Members from both families will attend this event to officially dedicate the memorial.

The ceremony will start in the CJI auditorium at 6 p.m. and will end at the unveiling of the stone monument just outside the auditorium entrance at 6:30 p.m.   Numerous representatives from the local criminal justice community are expected to attend.

The mission of the Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) at Valencia Community College is to prepare criminal justice officers to protect and serve.  The institute offers a world-class learning environment in its 77,000 square foot, state-of-the-art training facility.

The institute is certified by the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission to deliver all Commission-approved curricula to law enforcement, correctional, and correctional probation officers in Florida.  With primary responsibility for the criminal justice agencies in Orange County, the CJI is a regional training center that serves over 45 organizations; including state law enforcement agencies, Department of Corrections, Department of Juvenile Justice, numerous county, municipal, regional and international agencies.

Source: Lucy Boudet, Marketing and Strategic Communications

east campus greenhouse a living science lab

Valencia's East Campus Greenhouse

East Campus Greenhouse Serves as a Living Science Lab

Thanks to a new greenhouse on the East Campus, students enrolled in science courses including Biology I & II, Neotropical Biology, Ethnobotany, Environmental Science and Biological Science are now able to view physical examples of the plants they learn about in the classroom. Not only has this allowed for students to learn visually but in some cases by touch, smell and even taste.

The 30′ x 48′ x 15′ greenhouse is home to a worldwide collection of plants, representing more than 300 species from 83 families. By showcasing as many plant families as possible, the greenhouse helps students to see first-hand the great diversity that exists among plants.

There are many rare and unusual plants in the greenhouse, including carnivorous plants, orchids, tropical fruit trees, native plants and a large collection of ethno-botanicals. Ethnobotany is the study of how indigenous people use plants for food, shelter, medicine and material things like textiles, poisons and fuel.

“Students learn that there are many secrets to discover from shamanic wisdom and the powerful plants used,” said biology professor Steve Myers. “Perhaps the cure for cancer, AIDS, and other diseases lies within plants from rainforests and other wild places. Perhaps there will be plants out there we will use as a new fuel source or perhaps a new food source.”

The greenhouse also teaches lessons in environmentalism. To keep from expending unnecessary energy, the greenhouse uses an environmental control program that can automatically adjust heating and watering settings to keep them at the desired levels. Plans are also in the works to start composting the waste material from the greenhouse.

Some of the interesting plants within the greenhouse include:

Welwitschia mirabilis of the Namib Desert in southwest Africa
This gymnosperm starts with only two strap-like leaves and never acquires any more. Carbon-14 tests show that Welwitschia can attain an age of 2,000 years old.

Titan Arum, Amorphophallus titanium
Has the largest un-branched inflorescence (cluster of flowers arranged on a stem) in the world.

Jackfruit, Artocarpus heterophyllus
Originating in the Western Ghats of India, this is the largest tree borne fruit in the world, attaining a maximum weight of 110 pounds.

Stylidium or the “Trigger Plant”
Has a ‘trigger” that is composed of male and female reproductive organs that snaps forward when touched by an insect, covering the insect in pollen.

Hoodia gordonii
Used by the San Bushmen in Kalahari Desert of southern Africa to suppress appetite when they are making long hunting trips.

Nepenthes, or tropical pitcher plants of Asia
Carnivorous plants that trap insects and sometimes even small mammals in their pitcher, a deep cavity filled with liquid that dissolves the prey.

Miracle Fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum
This African plant produces berries that when eaten will cause sour foods to taste sweet.

The Thunderstorm Orchid, Dendrobium crumenatum
A unique orchid found in Malaysia that blooms shortly after a thunderstorm. The sudden drop in temperature and sudden inundation of water triggers dormant flower buds to bloom.

Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing & Strategic Communications; 407-582-1778;

to register for fall classes at valencia, apply by august 13

With classes beginning on Aug. 30, Valencia Community College’s fall term is quickly approaching – and so is the Application Priority Deadline, which is this Friday, Aug. 13.

New students are encouraged to submit their applications by this date in order to ensure that they complete the enrollment process in time to register for fall classes. Admissions information and the online application are available at

Aug. 13 is also the initial fee payment deadline for anyone who has already registered for classes. Those who do not pay their fees by this date will be dropped from their courses. Tuition for Florida residents is $91.73 per credit hour.

Valencia is expecting fall enrollment to be at an all-time high with courses filling up on a first-come, first-serve basis. For the best selection of courses, students are encouraged to register as soon as possible.

Courses are available at any of Valencia’s four campuses throughout Orange and Osceola counties, as well as at the newest location at Lake Nona High School. Many courses are also available online. A full listing of available courses can be found at

Valencia offers three types of college degrees. The Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree prepares graduates to transfer to a four-year university as a junior. The Associate in Science (A.S.) and the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees prepare graduates for immediate entry into the workforce.

New offerings beginning this fall include an A.A. pre-major in Music Performance and a specialization in Digital Forensics and Cyber Security, available through the Computer Engineering Technology A.S. degree.

Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing and Strategic Communications

summer music camps end on a high note

There are plenty of middle and high school students who would have been perfectly content to spend their summers lounging by the pool or in front of the TV – then there were those who wanted to jam.

Those students found themselves right at home at the Rock and Roll Camp and Jazz Camp offered at Valencia Community College’s East Campus this summer.

Led by professional musicians and educators, both camps gave students a musical outlet where they could jam with each other, hone their talent and gain performance practice.

Jazz Camp Director, Jarritt Sheel, started the camp in 2008 as a way to reach out to students who were interested in jazz but needed more exposure to it.

“It’s an area that a lot of kids are interested in but they don’t hear that, they don’t see that at home because it’s not on TV – it’s not on MTV, it’s not on VH1,” said Sheel.

At the camp, students learn about jazz improvisation, history, theory and performance techniques through jazz clinics, jam sessions and faculty and student performances. The five-day camp costs $250.

The Rock and Roll Camp began in 1997 as an outreach to students who were taking guitar, bass, drum, keyboard or voice lessons already but wanted to collaborate with others to form bands and perform together.

The camp gives students a taste of the entire music process, from creating and rehearsing to performing. Activities include instrumental classes, band rehearsals, clinics and guest performers. At the end of camp, all students perform together in a final concert. The camp is offered in two sessions through the summer and costs $320 per week.

“You get to form bands and get to do what you really want to do, you know, what you’ve always dreamed of doing – you get to play up on stage, gigging and everything – it’s just totally awesome,” said Zack, a student at the Rock and Roll Camp.

Both Rock and Roll Camp and Jazz Camp have concluded this summer, but will be offered again next year. For more information, please visit

SOURCE: Valencia News,

obj chats about a dear friend

Orlando Business Journal took to blogging at The Buzz about the Foundation’s dear friend, C.T. Hsu of C.T. Hsu + Associates, P.A.

Read the entry below:

If the Hsu fits…

The old adage that it’s not what you know, but who you know certainly is taking Orlando architect C.T. Hsu to some pretty interesting places.

The C.T. Hsu + Associates president traveled to Taiwan July 22-23 as part of a Florida delegation attending the second annual Florida-Taiwan Higher Education Conference.

Hsu was in good company, being part of a 14-member Florida delegation that included representatives from eight of the state’s universities and colleges. 

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou (center) meets with C.T. Hsu (seventh from the right) and the Florida delegation attending the second annual Florida-Taiwan Higher Education Conference.

A highlight of the trip, according to Hsu, was the delegation’s private meeting with Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou and Education Minister Wu Ching-ji at the presidential office in Taipei.

For Hsu, it was an opportunity to revisit an old friend he’s known for many years.

“I am very proud to have known President Ma since our junior high school days,” said Hsu. “He has shown remarkable leadership in his support of international education, and I believe he will continue to successfully lead Taiwan into a bright future.”

Ma has, in fact, done just that.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Education established the Taiwan-Florida Scholarship in 2010, providing $10 million for students from cooperating universities to apply for admission to universities in Florida.

Ma shared with the Florida delegation his personal experience of traveling to the United States for three months as a university exchange student and returning to the U.S. after graduation to continue his studies. International education and academic interaction can have a long-lasting impact on students, Ma said — something he hopes to foster through academic exchanges between Taiwan and Florida.

Nowadays, it really is a small world after all.

Source: If the Hsu fits…Orlando Business Journal’s The Buzz