a message to Valencia from NASA

Christian Pinto Rey wanted to send Valencia a little message on the space shuttle Atlantis. Christian, a former Valencia engineering student started an internship with NASA – and wanted to leave his mark regarding the two schools that have taken him to incredible heights!

Christian has moved on to Embry-Riddle and is currently studying Aeronautical Engineering. We wish you the best of luck, Christian. Keep reaching for the stars!

two valencia students selected to NASA’s aerospace scholars program

Valencia Community College sophomores Denise Rudy and Delores Petropulos, who attend the college’s East Campus, have been selected to travel to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston October 20-22, 2010, to participate in a three-day on-site event.

They were selected as two of 89 community and junior college students from across the nation to be part of the National Community College Aerospace Scholars program. Students completed four Web-based assignments during the school year, maintaining a 93 average to qualify for the experience.  They will apply what they have learned during the year to work with NASA engineers.

Thrilled to learn of her selection to the NASA program, Rudy, a 4.0 grade point average student who took a ten-year detour through the workforce, proves it’s never too late to pursue a dream. “I’m starting to really believe that the sky is nowhere near the limit and that anything is possible,” she said. Rudy now has her sights set on applying to Cal Tech and Stanford as well as UCF. She plans to pursue her academic interests in geophysics and aeronautical engineering.

Petropulos, another non-traditional student, also has dyslexia. “I have to work harder than a lot of the students, but it has made me cherish these accomplishments a lot more,” she said. A computer programming student at Valencia, Petropulos has been inspired by the NASA program to pursue a career in robotics programming, perhaps in aerospace or within the medical field.

The program is a three-day on-site event at Johnson and offers students from across the nation the opportunity to interact with each other as they learn more about careers in science and engineering. While at Johnson, students form teams and establish fictional companies interested in Mars exploration. Each company is responsible for developing a prototype rover, designing a line drawing of the rover, and forming the company infrastructure including budget, communications, and presentations. The experience at Johnson includes a tour of facilities and briefings by noted NASA employees—including astronauts.

National Community College Aerospace Scholars is a program based on Texas Aerospace Scholars, originally created by the state of Texas in partnership with NASA and the Texas educational community. Both programs are designed to encourage community and junior college students to enter careers in science and engineering and ultimately join the nation’s highly technical workforce.

With this program, NASA continues the agency’s investment in educational programs that attract and retain students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, disciplines critical to NASA’s future missions.

For additional information, please contact Deborah Hutchings, National Community College Aerospace Scholars program manager at 281-483-8623 or deborah.hutchings-1@nasa.gov. For more information, please visit their website.

Source: Lucy Boudet, Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News; http://news.valenciacc.edu

valencia to offer bachelor’s degrees

The Florida State Board of Education backed Valencia Community College’s move to offer bachelor degrees for the first time in the school’s 43-year history.

The state also granted Seminole State College’s request to add four more bachelor’s degree programs.

Valencia plans to offer bachelor’s degrees in radiologic and imaging sciences and electrical and computer engineering technology. The college still needs approval of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which is expected in December, before it can launch the program that it is targeting to launch in the fall of 2011.

“This is an important evolution in our programming mix, not a shift in our mission,” said Sandy Shugart, president of Valencia. “These programs are in high demand by our students and lead to well paying jobs in the stable industries of health care and high technology.”

Seminole State can now begin offering bachelor’s degrees in architectural engineering technology, business information management, construction and information systems technology. The college’s first four-year degree, a bachelor of applied science in interior design, began classes in January. The new programs will be offered beginning in August 2011 with applications accepted through June 15.

“These new baccalaureate degrees are designed to enable Central Floridians to have greater access to programs leading to high-demand careers,” Seminole State President Ann McGee, said in a prepared statement. “This is part of our mission as the region’s newest state college.”

Valencia is offering programs that the University of Central Florida discontinued in July 2009 because of state budget cuts. Several of Seminole State’s new programs also evolved from UCF’s cuts.

Employer demand for workers trained in the programs is expected to be strong, with 801 projected job openings by 2014 in the field of radiology and imaging and 215 for electrical and computer engineering in Orange, Osceola, Lake Sumter and Seminole counties, according to Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc..

Angela Kersenbrock, Seminole State’s dean of career and technical education, said careers in business information management and information systems technology are among the fastest growing in the region. Businesses and community leaders voiced their support for these degrees and nearly all of the executives surveyed thought it was important that these degrees be offered locally.

Of the 28 schools in the Florida College System, 19 now offer four-year degrees. Most target high-demand careers facing a shortage of qualified applicants. Colleges must show the state a need for the degrees and explain how they plan to pay for these new programs.

Read more: Valencia to offer bachelor’s degrees – Orlando Business Journal

2010-2011 arts season at Valencia

A message from Wendy L. Givoglu, Dean of Arts & Entertainment

Welcome to the 2010-2011 Arts Season! Our Valencia season of arts events officially kicked off last week with our East Campus Gallery opening of the exhibition Curator’s Choice:  Small Works by Central Florida Artists. Our new season continued Tuesday evening with our Music Faculty Recital at 7:30 p.m. in the East Campus Performing Arts Center. We are currently distributing brochures that present our Arts & Entertainment season of events in Music, Visual Arts, Film, Dance, and Theater. This information is also available on www.valenciacc.edu/arts.

We are excited to share a backstage pass to everything happening in Arts & Entertainment through our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/valenciaartsandentertainment. Please consider joining our group, and share this with students as a great resource for cultural happenings at Valencia.

Rehearsals and set construction have started for our production of Carousel, opening October 22. This fall musical is a wonderful collaboration between faculty and students in our Theatre, Dance, Music, and Entertainment Design & Technology programs. We can accommodate large groups of students, faculty, staff, families, friends, etc., so please consider a night out at the Theatre at Valencia! For information on purchasing tickets, you can contact our Box Office at 407-582-2900.

Finally, I wanted to share that Broadway Across America/Florida Theatrical Association is offering discounted individual tickets to their 2010-2011 Season for Valencia students, faculty, staff, family, and friends. For more information and to purchase tickets, log on to www.eventusher.com and enter password valenciabroadway

Thank you for your continued support of our programs! Please let me know if you have any questions or if you want any additional information. 

 We hope you’ll join us this Arts Season at Valencia!!!

valencia around town

Wherever you happen to live, Valencia is easy to get to. The college has four main campuses and two centers throughout Orange and Osceola counties, with plans underway for the fifth campus in southeast Orlando!

Feel free to take a quick virtual tour through the video below or check out the new Valencia Future Student  tab to explore all that Valencia offers our community.

student gives thanks!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the committee for accepting my application and reviewing my information. I am truly honored to be chosen for this scholarship.

I am very humbled by your generosity, and truly appreciative. I began this semester with high hopes and goals. With your generosity I will be able to focus on those goals and work towards making them a reality. Being a student again has lifted my perspective on life and is opening my views to a brighter future for myself and family.

People always say it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks and I think that is completely untrue. I base my life on a quote by Mr. George Eliot that states, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

Valencia is providing me with the tools to build a better tomorrow. I am ready, willing and able to accept the challenges. It is a great pleasure and privilege to be a part of Valencia Community College.

D. Pirmal
2010/11 Scholarship Recipient

visions and voices – patricia smith

Valencia’s Visions and Voices series kicks off this season with poet and author Patricia Smith. Patricia will be at the Winter Park Campus – Student Lounge on Thursday, September 16. There will be a reading from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m., immediately followed by a book signing until 2:30 p.m.  

Recognized as one of the world’s most formidable performers and a 2008 National Book Award Finalist, Patricia has read at venues around the world, including the Poets Stage in Stockholm, Rotterdam’s Poetry International Festival, the Aran Islands International Poetry and Prose Festival and on tour in Germany, Austria and Holland. In the U.S., she’s performed at Carnegie Hall, Bumbershoot, the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, the Folger Shakespeare Library and St. Mark’s Poetry Project.

Patricia is a four-time national individual champion of the notorious and wildly popular Poetry Slam, the most successful competitor in slam history. She was featured in the nationally-released film “Slamnation,” and appeared on the award-winning HBO series “Def Poetry Jam.”

Patricia’s fifth book of poetry, Blood Dazzler (Coffee House Press) chronicles the human, physical and emotional toll exacted by Hurricane Katrina, a catastrophic natural event with lasting spiritual and political impact. This much-anticipated volume is also the focal point of a new dance/theater collaboration between Patricia and dancer Paloma McGregor of Urban Bush Women.

Valencia’s Winter Park Campus is located at 850 W. Morse Blvd., Winter Park, FL 32789.

valencia to host college night 2010

College Night 2010 will provide an opportunity for high school and college transfer students to scope out their options for the future.

More than 100 admissions representatives from colleges and universities across the country will be present for this two-night event, which will be held at Valencia Community College.

Students can receive information on everything college related, from admissions requirements to financial aid, degrees and programs and campus housing.

College Night 2010 will be held Tuesday, Oct. 5 on Valencia’s Osceola Campus and Thursday, Oct. 7 on Valencia’s West Campus. Both events run from 6-8 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

Last year’s representatives hailed from universities including Yale, Cornell and the University of Florida, as well as local schools including Valencia, University of Central Florida, Rollins, Florida Southern and Stetson. There were also representatives from the United States Air Force and military academies.

Valencia’s Osceola Campus is located at 1800 Denn John Lane in Kissimmee. The West Campus is located at 1800 S. Kirkman Road in Orlando.

For more information please visit www.valenciacc.edu/transitions/collegenight or contact 407-582-2330 or enrollment1@valenciacc.edu.

Source: Marketing & Strategic Communications

congratulations to Valencia Foundation’s board chair, Linda Landman-Gonzalez


Linda Landman-Gonzalez, vice president of community relations and government affairs for the Orlando Magic, was named the 2010 Osceola Hispanic Business Council’s Amigo Award winner at the 12th annual Gala Osceola on Saturday August 21, 2010. Landman-Gonzalez is the only two-time winner of the Amigo Award and accepted the recognition on behalf of the Orlando Magic.

The Osceola Hispanic Business Council’s Amigo Award is presented annually in recognition of those who have excelled at celebrating the diversity of Hispanic culture through music, dance and community involvement.

“We want our entire fan base to know we value them,” said Landman-Gonzalez.  “We want to continue our education on how to effectively reach every Magic fan and it’s important to understand our consumer’s needs and make everyone feel a part of our team.”

In her role with the Magic, Landman-Gonzalez oversees community relations, government affairs, multicultural insights and the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation. Under Landman-Gonzalez’s leadership, the Orlando Magic has become champions in the community, celebrating Hispanic heritage and culture. The Magic host an annual Hispanic Business After Hours to honor the contributions of Hispanic leaders across Central Florida. Prior to coming to the Magic, Landman-Gonzalez spent nine years as director of diversity, community and government relations for Darden Restaurants, Orlando’s only Fortune 500 corporation. 

The Orlando Magic is committed to the Hispanic community and has instituted a variety of initiatives to reach our multicultural fan base throughout Central Florida.  In July 2008, under the leadership of team President Alex Martins, the Orlando Magic created a multicultural insights department whose mission is to create an inclusive environment in which our community partners, fans and employees feel welcome, valued and appreciated.

About the Hispanic Business Council:

The Hispanic Business Council is an organization under the umbrella of the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce. The mission is to provide leadership, education, networking and marketing opportunities for Hispanic businesses located in the Central Florida Area.

About The Orlando Magic

Orlando’s NBA franchise since 1989, the Magic’s mission is to be world champions on and off the court, delivering legendary moments every step of the way. On the court, Orlando has won five division championships (1995, 1996, 2008, 2009, 2010), had six 50-plus win seasons, and won the Eastern Conference title in 1995 and 2009. Off the court, on an annual basis, the Orlando Magic gives more than $2 million to the local community by way of sponsorships of events, donated tickets, autographed merchandise, scholarships and grants. Orlando Magic community relations programs impact an estimated 75,000 kids each year, while a Magic staff-wide initiative provides more than 6,000 volunteer hours annually. In addition, over the last 21 years nearly $16 million has been distributed to local non-profit community organizations via the Orlando Magic Youth Fund (OMYF-MFF), a McCormick Foundation Fund since 1994, which serves at-risk youth. Ticket highlights for next season in the new Amway Center include: 2,500 seats priced $15 or less, 7,000 seats priced $25 or less, and for the first time ever a $5 per game ticket while supplies last. For ticket information log on to www.orlandomagic.com or call 407-89-MAGIC. 

Source: Orlando Magic Communications Contact: Noah Sharfman – 407-916-2630, nsharfman@orlandomagic.com

memorial to officers is dedicated

Dozens of officers from multiple municipalities, along with Valencia staff and students, were in attendance for the unveiling of the new fallen officer memorial at Valencia’s Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) on Wednesday, Aug.18.

The memorial was donated by the Basic Law Enforcement Class 2010-11. In addition to their rigorous course work, the students raised more than $2,000 and performed all the labor needed to install the memorial.

“It was the right thing to do,” said Pedro Roman, president of  the class. “We need a reminder to everyone who enters the academy.”

The ceremony was held in honor of Officer Carl Smith and Deputy Craig Heber. Both families were in attendance and each laid flowers at the base of the memorial, surrounded by police motorcycle units, mounted police, and the students themselves.

“This has been an amazing honor,” said LuAnn Smith, wife of Officer Smith and a police officer for more than 25 years. “This just shows how much everyone has cared, and the amazing effort put forth by this recruit class.”

“It’s a very good honor to my husband, because he was a wonderful person and he definitely deserved this,” said Cheryl Heber, Deputy Heber’s wife, who watched as a police helicopter circled in the sky above.

The memorial is a black granite slab bearing a plaque inscribed “Fallen Heroes” and is dedicated to honoring “…the valor in their hearts and the fortitude they showed in the face of death.”

Jeff Goltz, Director of the Criminal Justice Institute, conducted the ceremony. “This donation is by far the biggest and most elaborate donation we’ve had,” said Goltz. “[The recruit class] demonstrated service early in their career.  “They’re going to be good police officers.”

Source: Collin Dever