trustees move forward on campus, scholarships, and innovation funding

The work we do is truly rewarding.

Know what to do with a $600,000 prize?  Valencia College invested the recent award right back into the students they serve!

At the Feb. 21 Valencia College Board of Trustees meeting the funds were approved for student scholarships and project innovations for improving student learning.

Last December Valencia College was awarded the $600,000 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.  From the total prize, $250,000 will be used as matching funds for the Johnson Family Foundation to partially underwrite 2+2 scholarships for students in the Direct Connect to UCF program.

Every dollar given by Valencia to this fund will be matched by both UCF and the Johnson Scholarship Foundation. Recipients of the scholarship will be deemed “Johnson Scholars.” Throughout their college careers they will have special program requirements that emphasize leadership development.

The remaining $350,000 from the Aspen Prize will be matched with $750,000 from other sources to create a $1.1 million fund to support team-led projects to improve student learning, completion, placement in jobs and success in transfer.

For more information please visit the recent press release online.


Trustees Vote to Move Forward with Apopka Campus, Create New Scholarship, Innovation Funds

By Linda Shrieves Beaty, Valencia College

At its Feb. 21 meeting, Valencia College’s District Board of Trustees took preliminary steps toward creating a new campus in Apopka, and voted on how to spend the $600,000 award the college received for winning the 2011 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which is given to the top community college in the nation.

The college was named the winner of the inaugural Aspen Prize in December, and the trustees voted to divide the prize money into two efforts – one that will provide scholarships and another fund that will encourage faculty members to come up with innovative programs that help students complete college, get placed in jobs or transfer to other institutions to complete their four-year degrees.

Of the $600,000 prize, $250,000 will be used as matching funds for the Johnson Family Foundation to partially underwrite 2+2 scholarships for students in the Direct Connect to UCF program.

Every dollar given by Valencia to this fund will be matched by both UCF and the Johnson Scholarship Foundation. Recipients of the scholarship will be deemed “Johnson Scholars.” Throughout their college careers they will have special program requirements that emphasize leadership development.

The remaining $350,000 from the Aspen Prize will be matched with $750,000 from other sources to create a $1.1 million fund to support team-led projects to improve student learning, completion, placement in jobs and success in transfer.

In other action, Valencia’s board of trustees approved a nonbinding letter-of-intent to accept a donation of land for its proposed Apopka campus. The letter of intent is the first step in the process of accepting a land donation. The proposed donor, Rochelle Holdings, is developing Kelly Park Crossings, a 624-acre development that is set to include shops, offices and homes.

Also at the board meeting, Valencia College President Sandy Shugart announced to the trustees that that Florida Institute of Technology, a private technological university in Melbourne, Fla., will provide $150,000 annually in scholarships to be awarded to 10 Valencia students who plan to attend FIT.

The college’s board of trustees also made history at this meeting when they elected Bertica Cabrera Morris as their chairwoman, making her the first Hispanic woman to lead the board of trustees in the college’s 44-year history.

Cabrera Morris owns and operates a public relations and governmental affairs consulting firm based in Orlando that represents Fortune 500 companies.

At the same meeting, the board elected Maria Grulich Toumazos as its vice chair. Grulich Toumazos serves as administrator of the Osceola County Economic Development Department.

The eight-member governing board welcomed two new members at its February meeting: Guillermo Hansen and Fernando Perez. They, along with members Lewis Oliver, III, Jerry Buchanan, Lori Kifer Johnson and Jo Quittschreiber, are appointed by the governor to direct the college’s policies

fafsa frenzy february (cont…)

More and more students need financial aid to pay for college. Simplifying the process is the purpose of a month-long event dubbed FAFSA Frenzy February. Valencia’s financial aid experts will assist students one-on-one with filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA, whether they are first-time applicants or are reapplying for next year.

Those students who complete their FAFSA on site are also eligible to enter a drawing to win one of three laptop computers. Attendance at Valencia is not required to participate in the event or the drawing.

FAFSA Frenzy events have been scheduled for the following locations and dates:

Feb. 22, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., East Campus, Bldg. 4, Rm. 122

There are a number of documents students will need to bring with them, including a social security card, driver’s license and proof of 2011 income. If they are dependents, they will need to bring the same information for their parent or guardian.

For details and to register visit

This event was made possible with support from Valencia’s Student Development office, Bank of America and USA Funds®, a nonprofit organization that helps American families benefit from postsecondary education.

Valencia participates in most federal, state, and local financial aid programs, awarding over $192 million each year to students. Approximately 54 percent of Valencia students receive financial aid. Among those students is the largest enrollment of Bright Futures recipients among Florida State Colleges.

alumni association 5k run, walk and roll

The Mayo Clinic cites many benefits of walking, including:

  • Lower LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol)
  • Raise HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol)
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce risk of or manage type 2 diabetes
  • Manage weight
  • Improve mood
  • Stay strong and fit

Additionally, research shows that regular walking can be as beneficial to your heart as more strenuous exercise.

On March 31, Valencia’s alumni association offers a great way to get some exercise and support scholarships, with their Alumni Association 5K Run, Walk and Roll. This year’s event is in memory of Justin Harvey and will support criminal justice, firefighter and EMS scholarships at Valencia.

The 5K (3.1 mile) course will take participants through Valencia’s West campus, located at 1800 South Kirman Road, Orlando. Participants and guests can also enjoy refreshments, children’s arts and crafts and much more.

More information can be found at And whatever your reason for participating, there’s a great benefit – helping someone go to college!

lecturer to speak on tribal wars and independence

Valencia will soon welcome Kwabena B. Tandoh, a visiting lecturer and educator from Ghana.  Tandoh will speak at Valencia College on February 22 and 23, as part of the college’s Black History Month events. 

You are invited to attend; admission is free and open to all. For more information please read below or visit online at: Valencia Marks Black History Month with Perspectives on Africa.

On Feb. 22 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., on Valencia’s West Campus (room 6-202), Tandoh will present “The Rise and Fall of the ‘Big Men’ in Africa,” which examines Africa’s struggle in gaining independence from colonial rule through a study of its leaders. Then from 2 to 3:30 p.m. (room 3-111), Tandoh will discuss the “Slave Trade and Its Impact on Africa,” and how tribal wars played an important role in the slave trade, as well as the town of Liverpool, England.

On the evening of Feb. 23 at the Osceola Campus, Tandoh will reprise his presentation on the impact of the slave trade on Africa. He will also be part of a reception that starts at 5:30 p.m. in the auditorium in building 1, followed by the presentation at 6 p.m.

Kwabena B. “KB” Tandoh is the president and CEO of an educational consultancy with offices in Saint Louis and Accra, Ghana. A UNESCO Human Rights Young Fellow, Tandoh has presented at the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization forum in Rwanda and Italy. He has a bachelor’s degree in urban and community planning, a master’s in social work from the University of Connecticut, and is currently a Ph.D candidate at Saint Louis University in higher education leadership and administration.

 The West Campus is located at 1800 S. Kirkman Road in Orlando and the Osceola Campus is located at 1800 Denn John Lane in Kissimmee.

student shares her gratitude

I would like to say THANK YOU so much for sponsoring this trip as a scholarship donor. I can’t express enough how much I am truly grateful for this wonderful opportunity to be a part of something so amazing here at Valencia such as the study abroad program. This will be an experience that I will be happy to share with not only my family but to my friends, current and future classmates.

Coming from a single parent household and being the oldest of 5 kids I have never had the opportunity that I have now to travel, I’ve always had to work to help my mother provide for my other siblings so there was never any time or room for me to explore or to enjoy going on vacations.

Again, I am truly thankful for this opportunity, this is the confidence that I needed to push me to continue to work hard. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

A. Austin
2011/12 Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient

valencia’s learning day – personal perspective

Each year, all of Valencia’s campuses close for faculty and staff Learning Day. This year’s event was on Friday and we had the opportunity to do something really special.

We were given the opportunity to give back to the community. Every member of Valencia’s faculty/staff chose from a variety of options from organizations around Central Florida. One could read to children, help plant a garden, work to fight hunger, interact with seniors – and many more options.

I volunteered at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. About 20 of us from Valencia showed up Friday morning at their warehouse location on Mercy Drive. I helped out in the office for a bit, assisting with an event mailing, and then headed out to the warehouse to help sort food. Donated goods come to the warehouse on pallets. Everything is examined and then sorted into categories. Even though there was no direct client contact, it was easy to visualize these goods making it to the tables and pantries of those who need assistance.

After our morning of service, we all convened at Valencia’s West campus for lunch, music and a celebration for winning the Aspen Prize and our continued good work!

About Second Harvest:
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is a private, nonprofit organization that collects and distributes donated food to more than 500 nonprofit partner agencies in six Central Florida counties: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia.

Their vision is a hunger-free Central Florida and their mission is to fight hunger in Central Florida. On their Web site, they list four guiding principles:

  • Providing access to food and other grocery products to meet the need;
  • Promoting and supporting the development of our partner agencies’ ability to fulfill their missions;
  • Mobilizing leaders and communities by bringing visibility to the invisible problem of hunger and poverty;
  • Developing more holistic and county-specific solutions to hunger in Central Florida.

For more information about Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, please visit

They also have a blog at

alumni 5k | march 31, 2012

Please join us for the 2012 Alumni Association Run, Walk & Roll 5K!  Whatever your reason for participating, there’s one great benefit—helping someone go to college.  Please visit here for 5K Registration and Details.

Join in as those of all ages and physical abilities come together for the Alumni Association’s annual Run,Walk and Roll to raise scholarship funds and other assistance for Valencia students. Participants and guests can also enjoy refreshments, children’s arts & crafts and much more (please see agenda below).

This is a 5K (3.1 mile) course through Valencia’s West Campus, located at 1800 South Kirkman Rd., Orlando, FL 32811.  Note:  Entrances to West Campus will be closed at 5:50 p.m.  please arrive before that time.

5K Registration and Details

 Links:Agenda: 5K Course Map USATF Certified
Driving Directions
5:00 p.m. Registration opens
West Campus, University Center
Bldg 11, Room 106
6:00 p.m. 5K Run, Walk & Roll Starts
Parking in lot G
Entrances to West Campus will be closed at 5:50 p.m.
Please arrive before then.
AFTER RACE Kids Fun Run & Crafts FREE
(Under 10 only)
For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Valencia’s Alumni Relations office at 407-582-3219 or email

The 2012 Alumni Association’s Run, Walk & Roll 5K  in memory of Justin Harvey will support Criminal Justice, Firefighter and EMS Scholarships at Valencia College.

valencia veteran students benefit from wells fargo grant

Valencia College Foundation recently received a $10,000 grant from Wells Fargo to support veteran students8431246514_4d0dc878e6_k. This contribution will provide Valencia veteran students the chance to acclimate their academic and leadership skills by providing scholarships for veteran-only speech classes, online preparatory classes and veteran-specific leadership opportunities.

Valencia students who have served will benefit from this partnership with Wells Fargo, enhancing our veteran student’s access to education and easing transition from military to college life.

The latest donation of $10,000 will add to Wells Fargo’s total contributions of $60,000 within the last year.

The May contribution of $50,000 encompassed a two-fold Wells Fargo partnership: providing access to education for students in need while creating a vital source of permanent scholarship funding. Wells Fargo support provided scholarships for first-generation students now, and created a Wells Fargo Endowed Scholarship for future students.

upcoming theater performance in the black box

Valencia College Theater will present the Lorraine Hansberry modern classic, “A Raisin in the Sun,” on February 15-19 and 22-26. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, with an additional matinée on Saturday, February 25 at 2 p.m.

The Valencia College Foundation has coordinated a special ‘come back stage’ event that will provide a tour of the Performing Arts Center followed by a performance in the Black Box Theater.  Valencia friends, community supporters, and donors will receive invitations, with additional information, the first week in February.  For more information please call 407-528-3180.

The New York Times called “A Raisin in the Sun” “a play that changed American theater forever.” The drama is the story of an African American family in the 1950’s waiting desperately for a change in their circumstances. Multiple generations of the family struggle, feeling trapped in a dingy, tiny apartment that was supposed to be temporary housing 40 years earlier. The catalyst for change is an anticipated life insurance check, but various family members have different and conflicting designs on the money. In the end, there is hope, but the family knows that the road to their dreams will not be an easy one.

Hansberry’s work will be directed by John DiDonna, with guest artist Avis Marie Barnes playing Mama, the formidable matriarch of the family.

The play will be presented in the Black Box Theater on the college’s East Campus, located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando. Seating is limited in the Black Box, so advance purchase is recommended; also, latecomers will not be seated until intermission.

Ticket prices are $10 general admission, and $8 for students, seniors, Valencia staff and alumni. Tickets may be purchased by phone, in person at the Box Office, or online at  For further information, please call the Box Office at 407-582-2900.

fafsa fenzy february – west campus

Where: Valencia College West Campus, Student Services Building (SSB), Room 142
1800 S. Kirkman Road, Orlando Florida

Time: 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Get the experts to help you fill out the FAFSA so that you can get money for college.

In order to receive financial aid, you must submit a FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) each year. Let Valencia’s financial aid experts assist you with the process. Help is available for first-time applicants and those who are updating their information/renewing their application.

Participants will have the chance to WIN A LAPTOP. There will be three giveaways per campus event. You must complete the FAFSA onsite to be entered to win.

What to bring with you to the event:

1. 2011 Income information (taxable and untaxed income)
2. Social Security Card
3. Driver’s License
4. Alien Registration Card (eligible non-citizens)
5. Your parent and your parent’s information for question 1, 2 and 3 (if you are a dependent student)
6. Your FAFSA application PIN #. Get yours online at (before or during the event)

For more information, visit: or call 407-299-5000, ext. 3.

student showcase recital tomorrow

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, there is a student showcase recital at the Performing Arts Center on Valencia’s East Campus. The recital starts at 7:30 pm and is free of charge and open to the public. This recital will feature some of Valencia’s most outstanding student performers on piano, sax, trumpet and voice.

About Valencia’s music program
Since 1975, Valencia’s music program has been dedicated to the idea of inspiring future performers by providing students with musically trained faculty and an expanding array of resources and experiences to enrich, stimulate and develop gifts in and outside the classroom.

Valencia’s music program leads to an associate in arts degree.

Students in the program master the fundamentals of performance and build on career opportunities by weekly participation in one of a dozen ensembles.

Students at Valencia get more opportunities for solo work and conducting than at many four-year schools where upperclassmen often get primary roles.

Valencia Foundation offers music-specific scholarships including the Instrumental Music Scholarship, Valerius-Vance Scholarship and Ferrigno Family Scholarship.

Music program students enjoy the resources of Valencia’s East Campus fine arts center, including instrumental and choir rehearsal halls, a library/listening, a MIDI/electronic piano lab and a 550-seat performance hall.

Valencia graduates can be found in many outstanding American music schools including Berkeley, New World School of the Arts, Stetson, FSU, UF and USF. Others now perform with leading symphony orchestras. 

Still others went on to have major recording careers. 

Three famous pop groups have members who received their training in Valencia’s music department:

  • Howie Dorough of the Backstreet Boys
  • Chris Kirkpatrick of ‘N Sync
  • David Perez, Brody Martinez and Raul Molina of C Note

22 reasons to celebrate

Take Stock in Children of Orange County, one of Valencia’s signature programs, in partnership with Orange County Public Schools, pairs community leader mentors with students.

This year, 22 seventh-grade students from local middle schools will be inducted into the program, bringing the total number of participating students to 130.

On Thursday, Feb. 9, Take Stock in Children of Orange County will hold a ceremony to recognize and celebrate its new and returning student participants, as well as their parents, mentors, community leaders and corporate sponsors.

The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. in the Special Events Center (Bldg. 8 ) on Valencia College’s West Campus, located at 1800 S. Kirkman Road in Orlando.

Take Stock in Children is a statewide initiative that helps underserved children succeed, starting at age 12, by providing college scholarships, volunteer mentors, early intervention and long-term support. High standards, parental involvement and community support are crucial to the program’s success.

“The generous support of Take Stock in Children by founding partner Florida Citrus Sports Foundation and Mears Transportation has enabled us to scale the program up at a time when others are cutting back,” said Valencia President Sandy Shugart. “This is making a substantial impact on our community.”

Last year, the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund, awarded a grant of $100,000 to the Valencia Foundation in support of Orange County’s Take Stock in Children.

Attending Thursday’s ceremony will be:  Commissioner Daisy Lynum, City of Orlando; Bill Sublette and Nancy Robbinson, Orange County School Board; Ron Blocker, superintendent, Orange County Public Schools; Steve Hogan, CEO, Florida Citrus Sports; Linda Landman Gonzalez, vice president, Orlando Magic, and president of the Valencia Foundation Board of Directors; Betsey Bell, executive director, Orlando Magic Youth Foundation; and T. Picton Warlow IV, Martin Andersen-Gracia Andersen Foundation.

Guest speakers at the ceremony will be: Yvonne Chang of Disney Vacation Development, Inc.; Nick Anderson, former Magic player and community ambassador for the Orlando Magic; Ramon Ojeda, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando;  Lucas Boyce, director, Orlando Magic;  Maritza Martinez, assistant vice president, University of Central Florida; Ed Bustos, director, Rollins College; Shanna Bender, mentor, Design Studio 15; and Russ Fritz, mentor, Highwinds.

This year’s inductees include students from Howard Middle School (Natalie Menendez, Tonya Harris-Torres, Joann Mauricette, Dashicka Streeter, Briana Lawrence, Keith Blanding, Sarashly Fonseca-Gonzalez and Cassidy Harding); Lee Middle School (Samantha Perez, Destiny Campbell and Isaiah Hill); and Lockhart Middle School (Alice Brown, Ashley Demosthene, Lorenzo King, Benjamin Roldan, Tony Livert, Dionna Blackman, Coby Cook, Shelby Putnal, Eileen Urbieta, James Churchill and Raphael Powell).

Valencia College introduced Take Stock in Children to Orange County in 2008. The first class of student participants is now in the eleventh grade and will graduate from high school in 2013.

Since 1995, Take Stock in Children has impacted the lives of more than 17,600 deserving students in the state of Florida, providing more than 9,000 high school graduates with full college scholarships.

To volunteer as a mentor, provide a tax-deductible contribution or to obtain more information about Take Stock in Children of Orange County, please contact 407-582-3336, or visit our website at

nonprofit partners conference

The 11th Annual Central Florida Community Partners Nonprofit Management Conference is being held on February 2, 2012, and the title is “The Groundhog Day Effect… breaking the cycle.”  It has been said that if you do what you  always did, you get what you always got. Join us for strategies on creative change as we explore ways to avoid the Groundhog Day effect.  

For details, additional information and registration visit: Student scholarships are available to Valencia College students.