the marie mueller music scholarship for valencia music majors

Marie Mueller, born in 1905,  grew up in a very musical family and graduated with her degree in music from Miami University in Ohio. Marie taught music in public schools for 47 years and in addition, had up to 20 private piano lessons and directed the choir at her church. With a passion for music education, she’s established a scholarship for students majoring and pursuing music with an emphasis in piano or voice. To honor the memory of Marie Mueller, this scholarship was created to help students who are pursuing degrees in music with a major in voice or piano. 

The Marie Mueller Music Scholarship is for music majors with an emphasis in piano or voice. Eligible candidates are required to have the following:  

  • FAFSA Established Date > Saturday, January 01, 2011
  • Unmet Need > 0.00
  • Program of Study – Primary is Music/Sound Music Performance/Sound Tech
  • Blank GPA Indicator = Yes or Z-Verified Cumulative College GPA >= 3.00
  • 2012-13 Fall/Spring Valencia College Foundation Scholarship Application is submitted.

 In order to apply for this scholarship, please visit and complete the 2012-13 Valencia Foundation scholarship application today! 

gearing up for the 18th annual valencia celebration


Future Valencia alumnus and president of the East Campus Student Government Association, Mike Acevedo (center) and colleagues Vicky Alvarez (left) and Laura Thomas (right) are pulling together the 18th Annual Valencia Celebration.  Check it out on Facebook.  The Valencia Alumni Association is a potential sponsor of the event and always supportive of Mike and team!

student success stories – rafaela uwaibi attends white coat ceremony

At the 2011 Academic Assembly, Dr. Sandy Shugart, president of Valencia College, shared the story of alumnus Rafaela (Ella) Uwaibi who came to the United States from Brazil with a clear purpose in mind – to be a doctor. Ella attributes the shaping of her dream to her time at Valencia.

When we brought you her story a year and a half ago, Ella had graduated from Valencia in 2008 and the Rollins Hamilton Holt School of Business in 2011. Since that time she enrolled in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida and in December, attended her White Coat ceremony.

Watch the video below to learn about how Ella is living her dream.

Watch Ella’s video from 2011, by clicking here.

who gets more curious with age? research scientists, says shugart

Importance-of-Research40If you’re the kind of person with “blazing curiosity,” chances are that you’ve got the right stuff to become a research scientist.

“You’ll wake up in the middle of the night, wanting to know the answer to a question. You’ll read books that cause people to say, ‘You’re crazy to read that stuff,’ ” Dr. Sandy Shugart, Valencia College’s president, told a group of honors students and members of the East Campus Student Research Community on Thursday, Jan. 24. Speaking before more than 80 students and faculty members at the East Campus Performing Arts Center, Shugart told them that if they decided to pursue a career in scientific research, they’ll discover a fascinating career — and an engaging life.

Even students who don’t become scientists, however, can learn to think like researchers. “Research isn’t just a tool; it’s a way of engaging, of asking better questions,” Shugart said.

As a freshman in college at the University of North Carolina, Shugart said he didn’t have a particular major or career in mind. Instead, he focused on figuring out the answers to the questions and issues that intrigued him. The question forefront in his mind, he said, was basic: “How do we know the ‘truth’ is true? That question grabbed me when I was 18.”

Inspired in part by Jacob Bronowski’s 13-part BBC documentary series, “Ascent of Man,” — in which Bronowski traced the history of civilization through man’s understanding of science — Shugart decided to pursue chemistry.

“I did not go to college to get a job. I went, hoping to avoid it altogether,” he told the audience. “I became a chemistry major — but I should have become a philosophy major.”

Along the way, he gravitated toward thought-provoking books such as Lewis Thomas’s “Lives of a Cell,” Bronowski’s “Science and Human Values” and anthropologist Loren Eiseley’s “The Immense Journey.” And, like many college students embarking in their own career paths, Shugart’s route was meandering: Though he started in chemistry, he ended up in higher education.

Although he never became a research scientist, Shugart learned the basic tools of a research scientist: observation, awareness of your own biases, the ability to find patterns in data, understanding outliers, generating hypotheses, how to test hypotheses.

It may sound boring, but he says it’s essential, he told the students, many of whom are students in Valencia’s Seneff Honors College, and are interested in participating in research projects as undergraduates.

“If you’re serious about research, you’ll put in the hours of drudgery,” he said. Learning to play a musical instrument may be tedious in the beginning, he noted, but allows musicians to play wonderfully complex music later on.

And for students who aren’t quite sure what majors or careers to pursue, Shugart offered words of encouragement.

“Wandering,” he noted, “is an important part of wondering.”

Source: Linda Shrieves Beaty, Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia College; Valencia News;

mentors, scholarships and hope

Orlando Magic Youth Foundation Gives
Orange County Take Stock in Children $100,000 Check Take Stock 2

There were lots of cheers at the Amway Center Thursday night as the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation presented 17 Central Florida non-profit organizations with checks totaling $1.05 million. But there may have been few people happier than Elisha Gonzalez Bonnewitz, who leads Valencia College’s Take Stock In Children program — which was one of four organizations to receive a $100,000 check.

“It is an exciting day at Valencia! The Orlando Magic has committed to being legendary on and off the court, and their commitment to our community  is unprecedented. Their financial support allows us to continue to provide mentors, scholarships and hope to so many underserved students,” said Bonnewitz, who will use the grant money to offer more scholarships to more at-risk children.

Valencia’s Take Stock In Children program pairs community leader mentors with students starting in the 8th grade. The program rewards students with a 2+2 Florida Prepaid scholarship opportunity to students who successfully graduate from high school. Students can attend a two-year community college and state university of their choice.

Over the past 22 years, the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation has distributed more than $17 million to nonprofits in Central Florida.

“To raise so much money for the children of Central Florida and for organizations, many of which are working with disadvantaged youth in our area, is amazing,’’ Magic CEO Alex Martins said. “For a third consecutive year we’ve been able to give away $1 million, which we’re incredibly proud of and we’re proud of the work these organizations are doing. For us to be able to give back to the community and help the lives of kids who need our help, it’s so gratifying.’’

Four organizations received $100,000 in grant money. They were: Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida ($100,000), The Early Learning Coalition ($100,000), Hope CommUnity Center ($100,000) and the Valencia College Foundation’s Orange County Take Stock in Children Program ($100,000).

The other 2013 grant recipients were: Adult Literacy League ($30,000), Beta Center ($76,000), Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida ($50,000), Elevate Orlando ($50,000), Florida Senior Programs ($50,000), Foundation for Foster Children ($25,000), Foundation for Orange County Public Schools ($60,000), Foundation for Seminole State College of Florida ($50,000), Hebni Nutrition Consultants ($49,000), Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando ($50,000), Orange County Library System ($60,000), The Gift of Swimming ($25,000) and the University of Central Florida Foundation ($75,000).

The recipients were chosen after a five-stage process that began in July of 2012. The beneficiaries were recommended by the OMYF  “VIP” Committee and approved by the McCormick Foundation’s Board of Directors. The McCormick Foundation, which operates the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund, matches all donations to the Orlando Magic Youth Fund at 50 cents on the dollar. With the Orlando Magic and the McCormick Foundation paying all campaign and administrative expenses, 100 percent of all donations, plus the matching funds, is given to qualified nonprofit organizations

The grant money is raised through donations by the Magic’s corporate partners, the Black Tie and Tennies Gala, the OMYF Open golf tournament, 50/50 raffles during games and online and in-game memorabilia auctions.

“There has always been a focus with the Magic on the youth and how we can assist them. There are a lot of challenges out there and we’ve always thought it is important for the youth to be well taken care of because they are the ones who are going to become productive members of our society,’’ said Dan DeVos, chairman of the Orlando Magic. “There is a lot of joy of seeing this event. The organizations here are proven successes and they will take the funds that they receive to expand or offer new or different services that will definitely have an impact on Central Florida. So it’s great to see the good that they are doing, the results they are getting and seeing the excitement in their eyes when they see the checks they are receiving.’’

Take Stock in Children of Orange County began in 2008 with 50 student participants from the three Orange County middle schools considered to be the most in need (Lockhart, Lee and Howard middle schools). Today, there are 155 children in the program. This spring, 49 of the students — the first ones in the program — will graduate from high school this year and begin their journey to college.

To be awarded college scholarships, students must stay in school, maintain good grades, exhibit good behavior, remain crime and drug free, and meet with their mentors. Students are held accountable; if they do not fulfill our program standards, they risk losing their valuable college scholarship.

valencia alumnus interns for rollins’ 2013 winter with the writers series!


Valencia Alumni Association member Melvin Thompson ’12 (R) is pictured with Dr. Jamie Washington at the Rollins College Martin Luther King Vigil. Melvin is currently a student at Rollins majoring in Psychology with a minor in Writing. He is thrilled to have been recently selected as one of the interns for Rollins’ 2013 Winter with the Writers series.

Want to get involved?  Join the Valencia Alumni Association for networking and other opportunities.  Membership is free!

valencia wins green building award for west campus university center


ORLANDO – The United States Green Building Council’s Central Florida Chapter has awarded Valencia College a “Building of the Year LEEDership Award” for 2012 for the college’s University Center, a joint-use facility that Valencia shares with University of Central Florida (UCF) on Valencia’s West Campus.

The award was made to college representatives at the annual LEEDership banquet at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel on Jan. 17.

Recognized as the chapter’s “New Construction Small Project of the Year Award,” University Center is a three-story, 100,000 square-foot building on Valencia’s West Campus, located at 1800 S. Kirkman Road, Orlando.  The $23 million facility opened in August 2010 with more than 40 classrooms, a state-of-the-art testing center, computer labs, study rooms, faculty offices and a cafe. Study rooms are filled with natural light and offer sweeping views of the campus.

The principal architect was Nathan Butler of the firm C.T. Hsu + Associates.

The building has many sustainable features, including:

  • The building’s orientation and outer shell capitalize on the use of daylight.
  • The building uses 28.5 percent less energy than a conventional building, so the college spends about $35,000 less on energy costs each year.
  •  16% of the building’s electricity comes from a photovoltaic array on the roof.
  • Potable water use is 48.4% below similar buildings.
  • More than 300 tons of construction waste was recycled.

The LEEDership award, Valencia College’s first, was accepted by Lamar Powers, Valencia’s facilities director and project manager for the University Center, and Helene Loiselle, Valencia’s assistant vice president for facilities and sustainability.

Valencia College’s commitment to “green building” extends to its renovations as well as new building, and the college’s facilities department continues renovating to improve energy efficiency and create a healthy environment for students, faculty, and staff.

Valencia College has constructed six new buildings since its 2006 commitment to build only to LEED Silver or above, or the equivalent. The first three were built on West Campus in 2009 and 2010, and each was awarded LEED Gold certification.

In 2012, Valencia opened three more buildings. Two (the Lake Nona Center and Building 10 on West Campus) were certified as Three Green Globes, which is equivalent to LEED Gold.  The third, Building 4 on Osceola Campus, is anticipated to be certified LEED Gold. Building 4, which is Valencia’s largest building at 150,000 square feet, was completed in December 2012 and opened for classes in January 2013.

All six of college’s new buildings include extensive energy-efficiency features, which lower their operating costs.


first generation in college mexican-american student scholarship opportunity!

Are you a first generation in college Mexican-American student?

The IME Becas Scholarship is dedicated to providing support to students who are first generation in college students that identify themselves as Mexican-American or Mexican immigrants. This scholarship is available for degree seeking students who demonstrate financial need, full time enrollment and maintains a 3.0 or higher GPA.

If you qualify, apply TODAY by completing the IME Becas Scholarship application found at:

Visit our Scholarship Bulletin Board for more information about this and other available scholarships at:

valencia college alumni association officially carved in brick!


The Valencia College Alumni Association and many others have taken advantage of the chance to be included as a part of the walkway in front of the new Building 4 at the Osceola Campus.  Engraved bricks purchased in the names of individuals, families, businesses, clubs, in memory of loved ones, and even as gifts have contributed over $11,000 in scholarship support for Osceola Campus students. Please consider adding your own engraved brick to this walkway while also supporting Valencia students.

 Purchase your memory brick! Check out Valencia Colleges The Grove publication to see   Building 4.

black advisory committee honors eighteen valencia students

On Friday, December 7, 2012, the Black Advisory Committee (BAC) held its 36th annual Incentive Awards to recognize the achievement of Valencia students who are succeeding in school and life, despite the adversity and personal challenges they face.

To be eligible for the BAC award, students must be nominated by faculty or staff, have completed at least 12 hours of course work at Valencia with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better, and be seeking an A.A. or A.S. degree.

This year, eight students were selected as award recipients and were presented with an etched glass picture frame and a check for $400 dollars, and 10 nominees were presented with gift cards to the Valencia Bookstore.

This year’s honorees are:

Award Recipients: Doris Beccara (A.A. General Studies); Daniel Hatcher (A.A. General Studies); Thomas Howard (A.A. General Studies); Adonis Labady (A.S. Nursing); Steven Patterson (A.A. General Studies); Lecia Paul (A.S. Business Management, Marketing & Administration); Angel Sanchez (A.S. Paralegal Studies and A.A. General Studies), Sharrina Ward (A.S. Radiology).

Nominees: Nadirah Burgess-Gutierrez, Tashawna Hannam, Stephen Hernandez, Colon Jones, Agueda S. Alfonso Martin, Grevener Mertune, Hieu T. Nguyen, Graham Oakley, Giancarrios Toro-Caraballo, Angel Troncoso .

For questions about the event, please contact Deborah Xavier at or at extension 8054.

scholarship spotlight: angel sanchez (2012-13 valencia foundation scholarship recipient)


Angel Sanchez (right).

Angel Sanchez, presently a sophomore honors student with Valencia College, is a two-time 2012-13 Valencia Foundation scholarship recipient. Currently, Angel is a sophomore honors student in the Paralegal Studies program with Valencia and earning a 4.0 GPA.

Angel was raised in the tough neighborhoods of Miami and experienced a difficult upbringing. “My parents divorced when I was young. My mom battled a lifelong addiction with drugs while my dad raised me on his own. Although my dad did his best to raise me, the negative influences that surrounded me eventually took a hold of me. I began to get in trouble and dropped out of school in 9th grade. Nobody in my family had ever finished grade school, much less attended college; however, after getting my GED and developing a passion for law, I decided I wanted to go to college. Knowing that my hometown was not a healthy environment for me, I decided to move into a homeless shelter in Orlando and attend college.”

Putting his education and future first, Angel enrolled into the paralegal studies at Valencia College. “I began as a remedial student in math simply hoping I could make it through the paralegal program without failing. I did not know if I had what it took to be a college student, and I knew that my situation was going to be even harder as a homeless student; none the less, I intended to give it my all regardless of the circumstances.”


Angel Sanchez (right) with Dr. Shugart (left).

With determination to better his life and accomplish his academic and future goals, Angel diligently continued on throughout the paralegal studies program as an honors student. Throughout his time with Valencia, he made the president’s list for consecutive semesters, became a member of Valencia’s Seneff Honors College, the International Honor’s Society, Phi Theta Kappa, the Black History Committee, Inceptia (a division of the national student loan program) and received the 2012 Incentive Awards Scholar for achieving academic success in the face of adversity. In addition to all of his outstanding accomplishments, Angel was made the Vice President of the West Campus’ chapter. Each achievement has given Angel the opportunity to continue pursuing his passion: giving back to the community. “I strongly believe in giving back and not forgetting where I came. Thanks to my achievements I am able to do just that. I have started a “Meet-n-Mentor” initiative to connect Valencia students with at-risk students in hopes of encouraging college enrollment and completion. The initiative has been primarily focused on mentoring homeless GED students at the Coalition for the Homeless. I am also leading the Honor Society West Campus chapter in starting a Book Scholarship for the highest achieving life strides (homeless) student each semester and working to organize a Karaoke fundraising event for it. Also, I have had the privilege of being a guest speaker on behalf of homeless students at the Coalition for the Homeless’ Annual Breakfast Banquet, which included the CEO of the Orlando Magic. I was presented with the opportunity to go on stage and shared my story with, our college president, Dr. Shugart in front the entire Academic Assembly; and I have even addressed the Second Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, on behalf of homeless and at-risk students.”


Angel Sanchez (right) with Jill Biden (left).


Angel (left) presented the Gratitude and Appreciation for your time plaque from the Parramore Kiz Zone (PKZ).

He adds: “Personally, I enjoy being an inspiration and an advocate for others. I am currently pursuing dual degrees in Leadership and Paralegal Studies. My A.S. Paralegal Degree compliments my passion for law and will enable me to get some much needed entry level employment upon graduation; meanwhile, my Honors A.A. Degree in Leadership will enable me to transfer and compete for acceptance into very prestigious universities or programs. My academic goals include earning acceptance and academic scholarships into a selective university and then going on to law school. My life goals include advocating for the underprivileged and giving a voice to who have been silenced or written off. Also, I want to continue defying the odds and inspiring those who need hope! I want to promote and make education accessible to at-risk students and communities, because I know the transformative power it can have. Most importantly, I want to help others find their faith and belief to help them achieve the promising things of which they are capable. Hence, any career that would help me fight for and impact the lives of others is my career of choice!”


F.L.I.R.T. The Financial Learning and Research Team


F.L.I.R.T. The Financial Learning and Research Team

The Valencia Foundation partners with many generous donors who are excited to contribute to the education of the leaders of tomorrow, like Angel. If you haven’t already, there is still time to apply by visiting: and applying for the 2012-13 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application

college prep day open to high school students and parents


Valencia College Prep Day will take place on Saturday, Feb. 9 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Special Events Center (Bldg. 8, Rm. 111) on Valencia’s West Campus, located at 1800 S. Kirkman Rd. in Orlando.

Geared toward helping high school juniors and seniors prepare for college, this free event will offer guidance on how to choose a major, applying for financial aid and navigating the enrollment process, as well as special sessions for parents and guardians.

A light breakfast and lunch will be served. Door prizes include a chance to win two $500 scholarships to Valencia. Admission is free, but space is limited: please go to to sign up.

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

rafman club supports valencia college students

Image(Pictured:  Arthur Jarvis ’85 (L) and Davidson Saint Fort ’96 (R))

“Men striving together to make a better community for all concerned” — this is the motto of the RAFMAN Club.

The Retired Air Force, Marine, Army and Navy (RAFMAN) Club established an endowed RAFMAN Club scholarship through the Valencia Foundation to support Valencia College students in 1996.

The club and its scholarship committee, chaired by Valencia alumnus Arthur Jarvis ’85, have raised funds through an annual banquet to make it possible to award the scholarship annually since that time.  Currently, the RAFMAN Club Foundation awards an all tuition paid scholarship for one year to two deserving students in need of financial assistance.

Davidson Saint Fort ‘96 was the recipient of the first RAFMAN Club scholarship.  Since earning his AS degree in computer science at Valencia College, he went on to earn a BS degree in computer engineering and computer information systems at Florida A&M University, and is currently employed as a senior engineer at the Cerner Corporation.  He also serves as a volunteer on the RAFMAN scholarship committee to “pay it forward”.  In his words:  “I want to thank God and the RAFMAN Club for investing in me.  When there appeared to be no solution to my financial situation to attend college, you believed in me.”

This year’s RAFMAN Scholarship Banquet will take place on Saturday, March 16th in Faith Hall of the First Baptist Church of Orlando, 3000 John Young Parkway.  Registration and a silent auction/raffle will begin at 6:00 pm followed by the banquet and program at 7:00 pm.  Dr. Barbara Jenkins, Orange County Superintendent of Schools, will be this year’s keynote speaker.

For information about sponsorship opportunities, silent auction donations and individual tickets, please contact Arthur Jarvis at 407-492-1266 or

faculty update on endowed chair projects

January 4, 2013: Valencia College Endowed Chair faculty share with donors and administrators an update on their 2012-2013 projects.

January 4, 2013: Valencia College Endowed Chair faculty share with donors and administrators an update on their 2012-2013 projects.

Valencia faculty, administrators, distinguished professors and scholars gathered on January 4, 2013 to provide mid-year project updates and an overview of endowed chair proposals.

The Endowed Chairs for Learning Leadership program has been established to recognize and promote academic excellence at Valencia College. The program honors outstanding members of the Valencia teaching faculty and provides resources needed for advancement of instruction at Valencia. In contrast to endowed chair programs at four-year institutions, which aim to attract preeminent researchers, this program recognizes and supports the Valencia faculty.

For more information on Valencia Foundation’s 2012-2013 Distinguished Professors and Distinguished Scholars please visit our past  blog titled “Endowed Chairs for learning leadership at Valencia.”

Valencia Foundation: Planned GivingIf you would like more information on endowed chairs for learning leadership, student scholarships, academic programs or creating a legacy planned gift please contact Donna Marino at 407.582.3128.

new buildings open on west and osceola campuses

As a new semester begins, Valencia campuses continue growing to accommodate the learning needs of thousands of students. While Osceola opens what is now Valencia’s largest building, Building 4, West Campus opens Building 10 – the new home to the office for information technology (OIT), Continuing Education, and assessment and institutional effectiveness.

With the move of Continuing Education (formerly Valencia Enterprises) to Building 10, Valencia will no longer lease Sand Lake Center, which the college had occupied since 2004.


Building 10 cost $13.3 million, and will house classrooms, technology labs, a testing center and a state-of-the-art space designed to promote creative discourse and collaboration.

The 60,000-square-foot building was created by the design-build team of SchenkelShultz Architecture and McCree General Contractors, both of Orlando.

Osceola Building 4 is 150,000 square feet, cost $35 million to construct, and will be shared with the University of Central Florida (UCF). It is home to a new campus library, as well as a cafeteria and bookstore – both of which were formerly operated out of portables.


At a time when state officials are urging more students to study STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – Osceola’s new building is designed for science education. The 10 science labs will enable more class offerings in biology, chemistry and physics.

While the third and fourth floors are devoted to science classrooms and labs, much of the first floor is dedicated to learning support.  The building also includes some unique features, such as a video room with a green-screen wall where students and faculty members can create their own videos.

Osceola Building 4 was designed by Hunton-Brady Architects. Clancy & Theys was the contractor.

sandy shugart in concert


Please join Valencia Foundation board, donors and friends
to enjoy original music by

 Sandy Shugart in concert at the Winter Garden Theatre
Saturday, Jan. 12, 8 p.m.

The Garden Theatre
160 W. Plant Street, Winter Garden, FL 34787

A limited number of complimentary tickets are available through the foundation on a
first-call basis. Please RSVP to Pamela Dorn at or

General admission tickets are $25; Valencia student tickets are $14. Proceeds benefit students and the arts.

grand wines at grande bordeaux tasting in orlando

ABC Fine Wine and Spirits Tasting

Bordeaux Grande Wine Tasting
Rosen Shingle Creek
Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 7:00 – 10:00pm

Valencia’s event sponsor for Taste for Learning is hosting another elegant wine tasting event for those who love to sample and sip.

25+ chateau owners and managers from Bordeaux, France will join ABC Fine Wine and Spirits in Orlando to host a one of a kind Bordeaux-only wine tasting.

Bordeaux Grande Wine Tasting at Rosen Shingle Creek
Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 7:00 – 10:00pm

For ticket or event information please visit online at:

osceola expansion brings new ucf bachelor’s degrees to campus

ImageOn Jan. 2, officials at Valencia College’s Osceola Campus will open the doors to the campus’s newest building — and they’ll also usher in a new era at the Kissimmee campus.

Building 4 ­– a four-story, 150,000 square-foot building and the largest building on any Valencia campus – will not only give Osceola students a much bigger library, tutoring center and cafeteria, but it will expand their educational opportunities.  Valencia College and the University of Central Florida will share use of the building, and UCF plans to eventually offer a dozen bachelor’s degrees at the Osceola Campus. 

That sends a critical message to Osceola County residents – that a college education is attainable, even without leaving home, says Dr. Kathleen Plinske. And that’s important in Osceola, where high school graduates are less likely to go on to college than students in other Central Florida counties, she added. 

UCF, which operates a regional campus at Valencia’s Osceola Campus, already offers seven degrees at the Kissimmee campus, ranging from business to political science. By fall 2013, UCF plans to add a diverse array of bachelor’s degrees to the Osceola campus, including degrees in biomedical science, criminal justice, psychology, public administration and health services administration. 

Plinske is particularly excited about the upcoming degree in biomedical science. “It’s the perfect degree for a student who wants to go on to medical school,” says Plinske. 

And at a time when state officials are urging more students to study STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – Osceola’s new building will enable campus officials to offer more classes in biology, chemistry and physics. The new labs include three anatomy and physiology labs, three biology labs, two chemistry labs, one microbiology lab and one physics lab.

Designed by architectural firm Hunton-Brady and built by contractor Clancy & Theys, Building 4 cost $35 million in construction costs. UCF, which will share the building, contributed $7.5 million. In addition to the use of classrooms, UCF will also have 18 offices for faculty and administrative staffers in Building 4.

 Designed in California “mission style,” the building is also likely to become the hub of campus life for the 12,500 students who take classes at the Osceola campus. That’s because Building 4, in addition to housing classrooms and science lab, will also be home to many student services, including the campus library, bookstore, cafeteria and a coffee bar.

Before designing the new building, the architects and builders worked with Plinske to create an environment that meets the needs of many students. 

That’s why the new library — which is nearly twice the size of the current library — features areas for silent study and glass-enclosed group study rooms.  In the main reading room, the furniture will be comfortable and conducive to reading. “It’ll feel more like coffee shop, not a traditional library,” Plinske said. 

Plinske wanted to give students at this commuter campus plenty of places to sit, study and relax — and that’s been one of the driving forces in the design of Building 4′s interior and exterior. Outside the first floor, in the shadow of the building, benches, courtyard spaces and a fountain area are strategically located so that they’ll be in shade much of the day. On the second floor, a terrace — complete with tables and chairs — overlooks the lawn. “This is a great space for students to study and to just hang out,” Plinske said.

Other innovative features include:

  • a “green screen” room where students and faculty members can create their own videos for use in presentations;
  • outdoor learning spaces that feature benches and glass boards, complete with markers;
  • large science-related murals, such as a giant mural of the periodic table of elements;
  • and a multipurpose room next to the bookstore, which allows the bookstore to expand during times of heavy use, such as book buyback periods. 

Source: Linda Shrieves Beaty, Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia College; Valencia News;


what an honor!


The Valencia College Chapter of Lambda Epsilon Chi National Honor Society in Paralegal/Legal Assistant Studies recently inducted graduating students Gino Ibanez and Kimberly Marisa Moy. The honorees were announced during the Paralegal Graduate Celebration in December.  Ms. Moy is pictured with Instructor Wendy Toscano (L) and Dean Carin Gordon (R).