a flurry of free concerts for the holidays

Valencia Community College’s East Campus performing arts students will close the year with an array of concerts between now and mid-December. The cost gives music lovers even more reason to rejoice—admission is absolutely free.

Dec. 2 – Winter Choral Concert at 7:30 p.m., Performing Arts Center

Valencia’s premier 50-member concert choir along with the Valencia String and Contemporary ensembles will perform a wealth of classic, contemporary and seasonal works. Showcased will be John Williams’ deeply moving score for “Schindler’s List,” performed by the choir with violin soloist David Bathen. Other featured works include music from “Wicked,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Peter Pan,” Handel, Brahms, Emerson and Dello Joio.

Dec. 5 – Ensembles Program at 2:30 p.m., St. Michael’s Church

Valencia’s choir will perform works by Handel, Brahms, Emerson and Dello Joio, as well as selected carols and madrigals. The Valencia String Ensemble will perform “Water Music” by Handel, Vivaldi’s “Autumn” score from “The Four Seasons” with violin soloist Sam Mugnolo, “Serenade in E Minor” by Elgar, and the theme from “Schindler’s List.” St. Michael’s Episcopal Church is located at 2499 N. Westmoreland Dr. in Orlando.

Dec. 9 – Fall Symphonic/Jazz Band Concert at 7:30 p.m., Performing Arts Center

Featuring performances by Valencia’s Wind Ensemble, Jazz Lab Band and Brass Ensemble in an eclectic concert of styles and sounds, including brass classics by Hassler, Gabrieli, Mozart and Joplin, modern pieces by Bartok and Gustafson, and traditional Christmas carols. Highlights include Eric Whitacre’s “Ghost Train,” a contemporary piece that depicts a supernatural machine that roars out of the night through forgotten towns and empty canyons, and two contrasting yet beautiful ballads by Path Metheny and Henry Mancini.  The Jazz Band will also perform two foot-tapping Buddy Rich classics “Dancing Men” and “Basically Blue,” Count Basie’s “Cute,” and the Sammy Nestico classic “Freckle Face.”

Dec. 10 – Fall Opera/Theatre Workshop at 7:30 p.m., Black Box Theater

Valencia vocal students showcase their lyrical range with a variety of selections from the worlds of musical theater and opera. A production of “Hansel and Gretel” makes up the first half of the show, followed by selections from “Young Frankenstein,” The Fantasticks,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “bare: a Pop Opera,” “The Life,” “Tick, Tick…Boom!” and “Little Women.”

Valencia’s East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando. For more information, contact us at 407-582-2340 or visit www.valenciacc.edu/arts.

2010 professor of the year

Professor May, FACC 2010 Professor of the Year

Valencia professor James May has been honored by the Florida Association of Community Colleges as their 2010 Professor of the Year. The FACC award recognizes the top community and state college professors for teaching effectiveness and style, innovative methods and ideas, and professional development.

Professor May, who teaches English as a second language at Valencia’s East Campus, was one of three state finalists who gave oral presentations at the FACC’s annual convention in Jacksonville last Thursday. May’s winning presentation titled, “Agreeing to Disagree: The Scarier Side of Subject Verb Agreement,” humorously illustrated the challenges of helping non-native speakers grasp the conflicting rules governing subject-verb agreement (he lives, but you live, for example).

“Dr. May proved to be the top choice for each judge,” said Heidi Marshall, vice chair for the FACC Faculty Commission and organizer of the competition. “His engaging presentation offered a fresh approach to teaching subject/verb agreement and demonstrated his expertise in his field.”

Rather than relying on students’ passive viewing of lectures and other materials, May has excelled at facilitating interactive information sharing and collaboration in his classrooms using everything from webcam and You Tube videos, to Google Docs, to content specifically formatted for cell phones and iPods.

Professor May even created a website (http://teachertricks.org) where he teaches other instructors how to incorporate new technologies into their classrooms.

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications
Carol Traynor, Assistant Director
407.582.1015, ctraynor@valenciacc.edu

building named for paul mears sr.

At a ceremony held last week, Valencia celebrated a $1 million gift from the Mears Transportation Group in memory of Paul Mears Sr. to support educational opportunities through the Orange County Take Stock in Children program. In honor of Mears, the college renamed its West Campus Student Services Building the Paul Mears Sr. Student Services Building.

“My father always believed that a good education and hard work were the great equalizers in our society,” said Paul Mears Jr. “In today’s world, that’s still true, but sometimes it helps if the pathway ahead is a little clearer. We are pleased to help clear that path for those students participating in this program.”

Paul Mears Jr. and his wife, Deb, Valencia Foundation board member, believe the Take Stock program reflects the values his father engendered by offering a mentoring relationship, a hand-up and a guaranteed college education based on academic and personal successes through junior high and high school.

Among the dignitaries attending today’s ceremony at the West Campus were Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Mayor-Elect Teresa Jacobs, Orlando commissioners Daisy Lynum and Samuel Ings, and Orange County Commissioner Bill Segal.

Take Stock in Children’s local effort is administered by Valencia in collaboration with Orange County Public Schools. The statewide initiative helps underserved children succeed by providing early intervention, volunteer mentors, long-term support and college scholarships. High standards, parental involvement and community support are crucial.

As part of the program, each student receives an individual timeline and success plan that span from seventh grade through high school graduation. Students and parents sign a covenant to maintain solid grades and remain drug and crime free. Mentor meetings help children to focus on their schoolwork and their educational dreams.

Take Stock seeks to transform the futures of individual students – and our greater community –by providing low-income children with a 2+2 Florida Prepaid college scholarship and a mentor in the effort to help them stay in school, earn a high school diploma, graduate from college and enter the workforce.

Since 1995, Take Stock has impacted the lives of more than 17,600 Florida youngsters, providing 9,000 high school graduates with full college scholarships. This year, 20 local seventh-graders will be inducted into the Orange County program, bringing the total number to 106. The first class of Valencia participants will graduate from high school in 2013.

In addition to the gift, Mears employees have volunteered to meet with a student at his or her school once a week. Mentors work with one student for an entire school year and may opt to stay with the student through graduation. Every new volunteer receives orientation and support before being matched with a student.

“The most important advantage an employer can have in today’s marketplace is the availability of an educated workforce,” Paul Mears Jr. explains. “That’s why I believe, and my father believed, that our business community in Central Florida has such high stake in the education of our young people.”

Valencia president, Sanford C. Shugart, said in his comments today that “there is nothing that works like a real opportunity,” referring both to the Take Stock program and to Mears Transportation, a company that has provided employment opportunities to many in the community for 71 years.

“This generous gift from Mears will provide meaningful support to financially-disadvantaged children who dream of attending college,” Shugart said.

The partnership and philanthropy offered by organizations like Mears Transportation Group has helped ensure that Valencia is able to meet urgent needs for scholarships.

“We are so fortunate to have Valencia Community College in our backyard and the talented and dedicated staff of teachers and administrators leading the way,” Paul Mears Jr. adds. “But most of all, we are proud of the students who work hard every day, many in the face of adversity, who know and are committed that the pathway to a brighter future is education.”

For information on the Take Stock program, contact Elisha Gonzalez-Bonnewitz, director of Take Stock in Children for Orange County, at ebonnewitz@valenciacc.edu or (407) 582-3336. To learn more about Mears Transportation Group, please visit www.mearstransportation.com.

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

legal issues for the community college

The Community College Conference on Legal Issues is a dynamic three-day conference that addresses the complex issues, current trends, and legal matters unique to community colleges.  

Participants will engage with experts in the field targeted to Community College concerns.  Areas include:

  • Campus safety and emergency preparedness
  • Recruitment and hiring practices
  • Discrimination and harassment
  • Considerations of race and diversity factors
  • Student privacy issues
  • Intellectual property
  • ADA compliance
  • Employee relations
  • Social networking

This conference is designed to give knowledge updates on the constantly evolving laws that impact community colleges.  Scheduled for January 30 – February 1, 2011 at at the Gaylord Palms Resort, this event will provide information on a diverse range of legal issues.

For more information please contact Valencia’s Meeting Planning Services:

a how-to book by two Valencia professors

 Valencia Professors Write a How-To-Book for Young People Interested in Entering the Healthcare Field 

“Heads Up: Successful Strategies for Planning a Career in Health Care,” by Valencia Community College professors, Dr. Linda Speranza and Dr. Diane Reed

Have you always wanted to be a nurse? Or maybe you envision yourself as a radiologist or an EMT. If so, you could start preparing for your dream career as early as middle school with the help of a new book, “Heads Up: Successful Strategies for Planning a Career in Health Care,” by Valencia Community College professors, Dr. Linda Speranza and Dr. Diane Reed.

The 77-page pocket sized book serves as a resource for middle school and high school students (and their parents) who are interested in pursuing careers in the health care field. It provides 20 chapters, each filled with valuable tips that range from investigating the many career options within health care to which classes to take while in high school.

“One big thing that we realized was that teens were taking any kind of -ology class,” said Reed. “Things like ecology and theology are rigorous, but they’re not going to help you in the health sciences.”

Reed is an allied health professor and has been an adjunct clinical instructor at Valencia for 10 years and Speranza has been a nursing professor for 34 years. Much of the advice that they incorporate into their book came from experience gained through a grant-funded program called Pathways Into Nursing (PIN).

The PIN program, which existed from 2002 to 2005, was geared toward helping Hispanic and other minority students get on the path to becoming professional nurses. Valencia worked with students from Gateway High School, Osceola High School and Cypress Creek High School, providing qualified participants with guaranteed admission into Valencia’s registered nursing program.

“After the grant ended, we thought the book was a logical next step,” said Speranza. “We realized that a lot of parents and school guidance counselors want to help their child or student [start preparing for medical careers] but don’t know how.”

Both authors stress that the most important thing is to start the process early. They recommend that students begin the career investigation process as early as middle school. With increasing educational costs and academic requirements for admission to colleges and universities, having a clear career direction can save time and money.

Dr. Diane Reed is an experienced delivery room nurse, a clinical nursing instructor, a professor of allied health, and a career and retention strategist. She has more than 10 years of professional teaching experience in the classroom and online and more than 10 years of career planning and retention experience with middle school, high school and college students. She is also a career planning consultant for the Orlando Magic. She is currently working toward a master’s degree in nursing and health care informatics.

Dr. Linda Speranza is a nationally certified family nurse practitioner. In addition to teaching full-time at Valencia, she practices part-time in emergency departments at Bartow Regional Medical Center and Central Florida Regional Hospital, as well as in a private family practice urgent care clinic. She was recently appointed to a four-year term with the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice.

Published by Tate Publishing, “Heads Up: Successful Strategies for Planning a Career in Health Care” is available in paperback for $8.99. It can be purchased online at www.tatepublishing.com or www.amazon.com.

Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing & Strategic Communications; 407-582-1778; mtchen@valenciacc.edu

professor to influence nursing policies

Dr. Linda Speranza Appointed to the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice

Orlando, Fla. – On November 17, Dr. Linda Speranza, a nursing professor at Valencia Community College’s West Campus, will attend her first meeting in Washington D.C. as a new member of the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP).

Speranza’s four-year term on NACNEP began July 1, 2010 and will end June 30, 2014. As a member of the council, she has the opportunity to influence national policy matters relating to nursing education, the nursing workforce, and improving nursing practice.

NACNEP advises and makes recommendations to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Congress on policy matters arising in the administration of Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act. Instituted in 1964 in response to a shortage of nurses, Title VIII focuses on training advanced practice nurses, increasing the number of minority and disadvantaged students enrolling in nursing programs, and improving nurse retention through career development and improved patient care systems.

NACNEP is made up of 23 members, including nursing students and professors, professional nurses, leading authorities in the various fields of nursing, and representatives of advanced education nursing groups (such as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists), and hospitals and other institutions and organizations which provide nursing services.

“It’s an honor to be able to serve Valencia, our community, and now at a national level,” said Speranza. “It’s a great opportunity to serve students from a variety of backgrounds as they start their nursing career pathways from middle to high school to college and as they proceed through their professional careers.”

Dr. Linda Speranza is a nationally certified family nurse practitioner. She has been a professor at Valencia Community College for 34 years. In addition to teaching full-time at Valencia, she practices part-time in emergency departments and in private practice. She authored as well as served as director of the Pathways Into Nursing (PIN) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Grant from 2002-2005 and is co-author of a new book aimed at teens, “Heads Up: Successful Strategies for Planning a Career in Health Care.”

Source: Marketing & Strategic Communications; 407-582-1778; mtchen@valenciacc.edu

phoenix magazine wins big!

Valencia’s West Campus Student Art and Literary Publication, Phoenix, won “General Excellence” at the 2010 Florida Community College Press Association Magazine Competition on Friday, October 22, 2010. In addition to General Excellence award, Valencia won multiple honors in Division B, which was comprised of submissions from eight of Florida’s largest community colleges (categorized as greater than 6500 Full Time Equivalent students).

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Pick up your FREE issue of the 2009/2010 Phoenix in the lobbies of most West Campus buildings. Can’t find one? Contact Professor Jackie Zuromski in West Campus Building 3, Room 143 or by email.

For more information about Phoenix Magazine, please visit: http://valenciacc.edu/phoenix

For the complete list of state-wide winners, download the Florida Community College Press Association Magazine Competition 2010 Awards Program (PDF).

Valencia winners include:

Poem: 1st place
Ryan Patton, “Ghost”

Poetry: 3rd place
Mark Alton, “Independence Day”
Chris Garcia, “Where Went my Forest?”
Ryan Patton, “Gentlemen”

Fiction: 3rd place
Rania Elbohy, “Starry Night”

Illustration with Text, Individual: 2nd place
Samantha Harvey, “Determination: A World at his Back”

Photo: 3rd place
Joanna Knowles, “Fall Rhapsody”

Design: 1st place
Michelle Cavanaugh and Katie Mascarello Simari

Editing: 3rd place
Michelle Cavanaugh

Cover: 1st place
Jody Roun, “Frame Work,” and Katie Mascarello Simari

Contents Page: 1st place
Michelle Cavanaugh and Katie Mascarello Simari

Staff Page: 1st place
Michelle Cavanaugh and Katie Mascarello Simari

Inner Circle of Excellence Award (for students placing in 3 or more categories)
Michelle Cavanaugh and Katie Mascarello Simari

For more information about the Florida Community College Press Association, please visit : http://www.flccaa.org/studentpublications.html