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.