valencia announces winners of student video contest and free tuition

Five lucky students have won free tuition – after being named the winners of Valencia College’s Student Video Contest.

The contest winners are: Douglas Apolinario, Gilberto Moleiro, Annistacia Morgan, LaWren Sanderson and Cinthia Romero Santos.

Designed to inspire others to persevere and pursue their college dreams, the Valencia Student Video Contest has been wildly popular, with 103 students submitting videos in the contest and 28,000 votes received on Facebook.

The contest was the idea of Valencia’s president, Dr. Sandy Shugart, who envisioned an “American Idol” style contest, in which Valencia students could share their stories and the challenges they’ve faced to go to college. His goal was to spotlight real students and let them tell their own stories about their dreams and their challenges.

Like many Valencia students, the winners have taken an unconventional path to college or have beaten the odds to attend college.  One of the winners, Cinthia Romero Santos, moved from Brazil to Orlando as a teenager after the death of her father. Although her family struggled as immigrants, Cinthia was determined to get a college education. She is now studying at Valencia to become a pediatric nurse.

Gilberto Moleiro is an international student who for 10 years pursued his dream of becoming a rock star. When he realized that wouldn’t happen, he didn’t give up; instead he decided to pursue a career in sound and music technology.

Doug Apolinario is also interested in a musical career, but has faced different challenges. As a teenager, he dropped out of high school to help support his family. Now he is working full-time and attending Valencia part-time. He’s the first member of his family to attend college.  

Ten eligible finalists were chosen, based on the votes submitted on Facebook. From the 10 finalists, the winning videos were chosen by a panel of judges. The judges were: Lori Kifer, a member of Valencia’s board of trustees; Eric Rench, a West Campus student and member of the college’s student government association; Joyce Romano, vice president of student affairs; and Lucy Boudet, vice president of marketing and strategic communication.

“I loved all of the entries,” Boudet said. “There were videos that were funny and made me laugh; videos that were very courageous, with a student looking straight at the camera, explaining how he had made big mistakes and wanted to turn his life around…They all inspired me.

“Yet in the end, we picked the five videos out of the ten finalists that we felt best conveyed their own stories,” Boudet said.

The five students will receive up to 60 hours’ worth of tuition waivers at Valencia – so that they can complete their associate degrees.

To view the winning videos, click on these links:

Douglas Apolinario:

Gilberto Moleiro:

Annistacia Morgan:

LaWren Sanderson:

Cinthia Romero Santos:

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

introducing the seneff honors college

James M. and Dayle L. Seneff Honors College

Seneff Honors College: Launching Fall 2012

Students are being asked to aim higher!

The new Seneff Honors College at Valencia will launch Fall of 2012, offering four distinct paths to an honors degree.

This program is for students who want more from their college experience—more challenges, more opportunities and more connections with fellow students and great professors. The Seneff Honors College is for those with a deep passion for learning.

  • overseas trips
  • special scholarships
  • recognition at commencement

Valencia offers this and more, all in a setting that nurtures the whole individual.

Admission information will be available December 2011.  For more information please visit the James M. and Dayle L. Seneff Honors College website or contact Director Valerie Burks at

professor james may receives national honors for top professor in florida

A Passion for Technology and Teaching Earns National Honors for Top Professor in Florida

A Valencia College professor is being recognized today by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as the 2011 Florida Professor of the Year.

James May teaches English to speakers of other languages, but he has developed his own style – using technology to get beyond language barriers and help students learn.

“I guess I’ve always liked technology,” May said, “but I have never really believed in using technology for technology’s sake. Ask a language teacher and you will hear, ‘Truly acquiring a language requires interaction.’ As social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video-sharing sites and smart technology proliferated, so too did my ability to interact with my students. And I have found that, in addition to being more interested, my students read and write better as a result.”

The U.S. Professors of the Year program, administered by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), salutes the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country – those who excel as teachers and influence the lives of their students.

A total of 27 state winners and four national winners will be honored at a reception today at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

“We’re thrilled that Dr. May was named Florida Professor of the Year,” said Ruth Prather, president of Valencia’s East Campus, where Professor May teaches. “His students do extraordinarily well. He’s a credit to Valencia and to his fellow faculty.”

May has had an extraordinary year. He won the Excellence in Technology award by the Association of Florida Colleges, taking first place. And last November, May was honored by the Florida Association of Community Colleges as their 2010 Professor of the Year.

Valencia is one of the nation’s largest and most celebrated two-year colleges. In September, the school was named one of 10 finalists for the million-dollar Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which rewards the best and most innovative community college in the nation. Valencia is also ranked first in the nation among all community colleges in the number of associate degrees awarded, second in the number of associate degrees awarded to Hispanics and third in the number awarded to African-Americans.

MEDIA KIT with video, B-roll, supporting material

dia latino en ICE! saturday, november 19

dia latino en ICE!

Just a reminder! This year the Gaylord Palms ICE! is hosting a whole day scholarship fundraising event called Dia Latino en ICE! on Saturday, November 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

The Gaylord Plams’ is offering a 47% discount off general admission. The price for an adult is $12.00 and $8.99 for children. Half of the discounted ticketed price will be donated to the Hispanic Business Council Scholarship fund to support Valencia students!

For donations to be made to the Hispanic Business Council and to get your discounted rate, please purchase your tickets online and use the discount code SENOL

The ICE sculptures are new and the hotel has other activities to make it a fun day.  Even thought it is a Latin day promotion, all the shows are in English, same as a regular day.     

The chamber is also working on having a “meet the chamber” event from 5 p.m. to
7 p.m. where they will have free hot chocolate and coffee. All groups are welcome!

Dia Latino en ICE!

nursing professor susie boatman forehand retires

Valencia Nursing Professor Susie Boatman Forehand Retires

After 35 years of hard work and dedication, we would like to announce the retirement of Valencia nursing professor Susie Forehand (she began at Valencia November 11, 1976).  Susie has been an advocate for quality nursing education all of her life. At Valencia, Susie’s dedication to students is exemplified in her contributions to nursing. She has educated and nurtured thousands of students who have gone out into the community to serve with her same dedication, preparing numerous men and women for a career in nursing.

Many will tell you that Susie is a hard professor, but she says she just expects the best from her Valencia students. Her students have been given a gift of an education that they will never forget. Many graduates return to see Susie and say, ‘thank you for teaching me how to be a great nurse.’  Susie’s commitment to excellence and service continue and will forever remain her legacy at Valencia College.

In lieu of gifts or an elaborate retirement celebration, Professor Susie Boatman Foreman requested donations to support current and future nursing student scholarships at Valencia. Should you wish to make a contribution please visit online at:

Her nurturing character has extended over many years.  In the early 1960s Susie participated in the Civil Rights movement during the Dr. Martin Luther King era of peaceful protest.  In our own Orange County, Susie participated in passive marches, sit-ins and demonstrations that untimely resulted in “black & white” signs removed and local lunch counters open to serve all patrons.

She continued to explore new cultures by traveling the world and covering five continents in 11 years.  These visits to Hong Kong, Spain, Greece, Mexico and England expanded her passion for inclusion.  In addition, her travels have extended to six countries in Africa: Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Senegal, and the Congo.

Susie’s good work has been recognized within our community through a number of awards including Nursing Excellence, Nursing Educator Award, Instructor of the Year and nominations as Woman of the Year.  Although Susie Forehand is retiring, her commitment to nursing students at Valencia College will continue with your support.

In lieu of gifts or an elaborate celebration, Susie requested donations for current and future nursing student scholarships at Valencia.

We hope you will join us in honoring Susie’s milestone with a contribution reflecting her commitment to educating future nursing professionals at Valencia College.

Should you wish to make a donation please visit us online at:

Valencia literary magazine wins statewide awards

PHOENIX Cover 2011

Phoenix, Valencia College’s art and literature magazine, has been named the first place winner of its division in the Florida College System Publications Association’s 2011 magazine competition.

Phoenix competed with others from around the state, and once again, the magazine was awarded the “General Excellence” plaque.  In addition to the overall prize, magazine contributors won nine first-place awards and one third-place award.  The Phoenix features art, poetry, and prose from Valencia students.

In the poetry category, Valencia received first place award for the collection of poetry submitted by students Michael Martin, Helen MacMaster and Philip Pantely. Michael Martin also received a third-place prize for his poem, “Delayed Reaction.”

In addition, MacMaster won the Debra Vazquez Award in Poetry, which is given to one poet annually to honor a slain English teacher and poet who was a key presence in the FCSAA until her untimely death in 2004. This was the first time a Phoenix poet has won the award.

In the nonfiction category, Merlaine Sivels won a first-place award for her article, “Daddy Issues.”  

In the art category, Alyssa Aviles won first place for her “Self Portrait,” and she also was awarded another first place prize for her work, “Endless Adoration,” in another category. Aviles and Angel Rivera’s illustrations combined to help the magazine with first place in the collection of illustrations with text.

In the design category, Meg Lavinghousez and Patrick O’Connor won first place in overall magazine design. They also landed a first-place prize for the magazine’s cover, and another for the magazine’s content page.

In the editing category, Echo Slocum won first-place.

Source: Marketing & Strategic Communications

leaving a legacy through planned giving

Secure your future while doing the same for students.

Your deferred donation can provide support to future Valencia students.
Bequests are the simplest form of a planned gift, by naming Valencia Foundation a beneficiary through your will or amending your will with a codicil, you are affirming a commitment to education. You can pledge today to leave a lasting legacy. There are three types from which you can select when creating or amending your will. Below are definitions of each type of bequest and sample language that you and your lawyer may find helpful.

Bequest Type

Sample Language

Specific Bequest:A specific value or dollar amount named for a charitable gift by will. I give $_______ (specific amount or percentage) to Valencia Foundation, a not-for-profit, IRS approved 501(c)(3) corporation chartered in 1974, in support of (a specific area of interest). 
Residuary Bequest:A residuary bequest will provide remaining / residuary property of the estate after all the special gifts designated in the will were made. I give and bequeath the residue of my estate to Valencia Foundation, a not-for-profit, IRS approved 501(c)(3) corporation chartered in 1974, to be used to further its purposes as the board of directors in their discretion may deem appropriate (or in support of a specific area of interest). 
Contingent Bequest:This gift in your will depends upon an event which may or may not occur. Should your beneficiary pass on or disclaim the property, this contingency would ensure your estate is distributed as you requested. In the event that ___________(beneficiary) does not survive me, I give the rest, residue and remainder of my estate (or $_______ specific amount or percentage) to Valencia Foundation, a not-for-profit, IRS approved 501(c)(3) corporation chartered in 1974, to be used to further its purposes as the board of directors in their discretion may deem appropriate (or in support of a specific area of interest).

We welcome your feedback on our online resources, designed to help you chart your charitable intentions, which can be found at

If you would prefer, our foundation team would be delighted to meet with you to discuss your philanthropic objectives and to explore how you and your family can benefit.

Valencia president named one of Orlando’s most influential businessmen

Dr. Sanford "Sandy" Shugart

Dr. Sanford “Sandy” Shugart, Valencia College’s president, has been named one of the Orlando Business Journal’s Most Influential Businessmen for 2011.

The business publication selected Shugart as the most influential businessman in the education field.

Shugart, 55, has led Valencia since 2000. He came to Valencia from North Harris College near Houston.  Prior to that, the North Carolina native served as vice president of the North Carolina Community College System. He received his doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Shugart is the fourth president of Valencia, one of the nation’s largest and most celebrated two-year colleges. Earlier this year, Valencia was named one of 10 finalists for the inaugural Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which rewards the best and most innovative community college in the nation. Valencia is also ranked first in the nation among all community colleges in the number of associate degrees awarded, second in the number of associate degrees awarded to Hispanics and third in the number awarded to African-Americans. 

Shugart is well known on campus as a poet and musician. But the Orlando Business Journal article spotlighted a few things you may not know about Valencia’s president. For instance, did you know that his favorite movie is “Twelve O’Clock High,” a 1949 film about a general who takes over a bomber pilot unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape?  Or that he describes the birth of his first child as his “most life-changing experience”?  And who would have guessed that his pet peeve is aggressive drivers?

Source: Marketing & Strategic Communications