Mayra Holzer (Speech): intercultural traditions

eva-perons-grave-1“The purpose of my sabbatical work was to allow me to cultivate my intercultural competence and to become a more competent global citizen and educator.” Mayra Holzer, professor of speech, used her Rhymer F. Maguire Jr. Endowed Chair in Communications to that end.

Through her sabbatical, she “sought personal and professional renewal and development,” in large part by immersing herself in the culture of Argentina. While in Argentina, she visited museums, cultural and historical monuments, and was able to experience their food, music and community.

In addition to full immersion in the culture, she participated in a variety of professional development activities in the area of intercultural communication. She received personalized training in intercultural communication through Iceberg Inteligencia Cultural Iceberg, an international organization that promotes multicultural understanding and global competency for effective intercultural communication in professional acasa-rosada-2nd educational settings, specializing in Latin American cultures.

“My overseas experience enriched my world view in general, and my multicultural approach to education in particular.” Through her travels to Buenos Aires, Argentina, she was also able to re-connect with her Hispanic heritage, was able to practice her Spanish language skills, and learned about a new culture in a country she had never visited.

While on sabbatical, she worked on internationalizing her curriculum for SPC1017 (Interpersonal Communication) and SPC1608 (Fundamentals of Speech), with a strong emphasis on the impact of culture on communication styles. Upon her return she created two INZ toolkits (SAGE) for SPC1017 and have submitted a request to offer an internationalized course as part of Valencia’s Global Distinction Program. She has also developed a workshop to be offered in the 2016 fall term during Global Peace Week. The workshop is titled “Cultural attributions and their impact on communicating with others.”

 

Kenneth Bourgoin–a taste of greatness

This year, the Hunton Brady Architects Endowed Chair in Hospitality Management allowed a select few of the Culinary Art StIMG_6588udent Association club to attend the National Restaurant Association meeting in Chicago.

The show hosts purveyors from all over the world. There are about 65,000 attendees to the show and it takes about 2-3 days to see all of it. “It is like a food and beverage theme park,” says Bourgoin.

Sometimes, the trip alone is the farthest a student has ever travelled, and that can be challenging in and of itself. At the show they are networking, sharing education programs, involved in chef demos and learning about how the number one private employer hospitality industry works.

The students have to earn points doing volunteer houIMG_6595rs within and outside Valencia College to get the privilege to go to the show. They are exposed to not only the show but the food of Chicago. The faculty and students meet after the show and go to places like Frontera Grill – Rick Bayless’s famous restaurant serving Mexican Cuisine, The Berghoff– a German Restaurant, and The “Girl and the Goat.”  The Chef there is a James Beard award winner.

One student’s reaction: “Getting the opportunity to meet and network with some of the biggest names in the food industry like Thomas Keller [chef at The French Laundry], Anne Burrell and Mauricio Londono, who is the Vice President of the World Association of Chefs,” was a predictably “wow” moment, one that the student is sure will benefit him in years to come

Christy Cheney, life skills = travel

Christy Cheney, professor of student life skills, and Jocelyn Morales, counselor, headed up the REACH (Reaching Every Academic Challenge Head On) student experience, traveling to Venice, Italy. The University Club of Orlando Chair in Humanities was key to funding this project.

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The REACH student experience was transforming because these students had very little experience traveling and being away from the families, which resulted in more growth and development than we expected. “For example, one student in particular spent time in my [Cheney’s] office (almost daily) preparing for the trip. Through her questions as well as my input on expectations, she felt fully prepared for her travels. Upon arrival at the airport and saying goodbye to her mother and grandmother, it was evident she was nervous and seemed a bit unsure of her decision. She sat right next to me on the plane, but was still connected to her family and friends through her cell phone. Once we departed and arrived in Venice, Italy, her connection seemed intermittent due to lack of WIFI. She seemed apprehensive and concerned that her family would be worried about her, but we reassured her that it would be okay, and to embrace this new opportunity by ‘disconnecting.’”

 

The REACH students roomed together for the first couple of nights, which helped them feel a bit more comfortable, but they were eventually mixed up as they traveled throughout the country. The students quickly realized that the adult leaders were not always available for their every need, and they were forced to break out of their comfort zone and engage with other students on the trip.

The transformation/adaptation to this new environment and cultural experience became apparent as they progressed through their trip. REACH students made new friends, took advantage of their free time in unique ways (from each other) and really explored the cities separately.IMG_15601 (1)

 

Jocelyn’s role began in the spring term when she met with them one-on-one at their meetings. In addition, Jocelyn developed a Qualtrics survey to identify student fears and apprehensions. “We knew students were excited about their travels, but we also wanted to know their concerns about leaving the country.”

 

Through Jocelyn’s time with the students over the term and, of course, throughout their travels, a few viewed Jocelyn as a role model and even as an adult family figure. One student in particular didn’t leave her side for a large portion of the trip. In many ways, Jocelyn was her “safety net” and she felt very comfortable as long as she was with her.  Jocelyn slowly “let go” so that the student gained the confidence to experience her travels with her fellow classmates and embrace being in a new place with a set of different values (daily living style). “We could see their growth and development (transformation) by the second half of the trip, and we are incredibly proud of the positive impact this journey had on them.”

In addition, Jocelyn held a session on personality traits, emailed students throughout the term and also called all students (including REACH) to ensure they were prepared for the journey (moral support, tips, etc.).

They also met with the students after the trip was over, looking for additional feedback.

 

Richard Sansone—professor of Portuguese and EAP

IMG_6836Richard Sansone, professor of Portuguese and EAP (English for Academic Purposes), is the recipient of this year’s Valencia Foundation Board Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies. He is using this grant to fund a Service Learning Project “bridging disciplines, institutions and cultures.”

“This endowed chair enables future grant development/cultural exchange while implementing an intensive English/American culture course for teachers at the Federal University in Diamantina, Brazil (UFVJM).” Strengthening relations, it led to a proposal for 100,000 Strong in the Americas, President Obama’s initiative to create greater academic synergy.

“Our work with the team to develop ideas for a grant both at the UFVJM and at Valencia was extremely fruitful even though it was determined that the 100,000 Strong grant opportunity was not an ideal fit. The process of developing the contacts, resources, and project ideas, however, enabled both Valencia’s resource development team and our partners at the UFVJM to develop targets and make a working plan to help accomplish those goals. These include these searching for the grant opportunities both within and beyond the college.” Both institutions benefit through the professional development it provides, and the grant proposal and student/faculty exchanges it facilitates.

Among his goals: “Through the cultural and linguistic immersion that this experience will provide me, I will update my skills in terms of contemporary Portuguese language and Brazilian culture. Languages are alive and constantly evolving and need to be revisited to ensure that as educators we provide students with the most current information.”

Through this endowed chair, Sansone’s intention is that Valencia students will have expanded opportunities for deepening language/cultural skills through both study abroad and interaction with Brazilian students the grant will bring to Valencia, “thus building pathways of understanding.”

“The intensive English/American culture course that we were able to offer at the UFVJM was so enthusiastically wellIMG_6824 received that the enrollment filled to overflowing in three days. Additionally the UFVJM has requested we return for July 2016 and would like to add a third professor/3rd level of English language instruction to broaden the course offerings. The impact that our course had both on future English professors and on our colleagues at the University was extremely positive, productive, and nurturing to our very good relations both personally and academically.”

Finally, Professor Sansone says, “I cannot express strongly enough deep gratitude I feel toward Valencia Foundation for the support of this extremely worthwhile project which enabled me and Professor Steve Cunningham to travel to Brazil to work with future professors of English at the UF V JM, an area which is historically and culturally rich but impoverished in terms of resources and economy.”

Professor Sansone works at the west campus.

Help Us Identify Distinguished Graduate 2016!

The Valencia Alumni Association needs your help!

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The application process for the Mary Smedley Collier  Distinguished Graduate 2016 Award is in full swing.  Along with the distinction that comes with being selected, the Distinguished Graduate 2016 will serve as the keynote speaker at both the morning and afternoon Commencement ceremonies this year and will receive $2,000. We know from experience that many of our eligible students are too humble to see themselves in this role.

This is where you come in.

Don’t let your candidate slip by.  If you know an eligible applicant, please encourage them to apply today.  The deadline for accepting applications is February 19, 2016.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: -Must have a minimum overall 3.5 GPA.

-Must be nominated by a member of the Valencia faculty or staff.  (The nomination letter is required as a part of the online application packet the student submits.)

-Must graduate during the academic year in which the scholarship is awarded. This includes Summer ’15, Fall ’15 and Spring ’16 terms.

-Must be available to attend both commencement ceremonies on May 8th and give their commencement speech at both.

APPLY HERE: https://valencia.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/ScholarX_ApplyForScholarship.aspx?applicationformid=4650&AYID=444

Please contact the Alumni Relations office for more information at alumni@valenciacollege.edu or 407-582-3217.

 

Christy Cheney—professor of student life skills and Jocelyn Morales—counselor

Christy Cheney and Jocelyn Morales are using their University Club of Orlando Chair in Humanities to defray the costs of study abroad for students (and counselors) in The Uncommon Scholar: REACH Study Abroad 2016 – Italy program.

The REACH (Reaching Each Academic Challenge Head On) program is a cohort-based learning community at the Osceola campus designed to support and guide students through their first 21 college credit hours. Students are nominated by their high school counselors because they demonstrate the work ethic and desire to succeed in academics, but require college readiness skills and support to begin their college career. Most REACH students question if college is right for them and are typically the first in their families to pursue a college degree.

“While certainly many of our students face financial challenges in earning a college degree, a study abroad experience benefits REACH students on a greater level as they have not only had to overcome financial barriers, but also academic obstacles, as well,” says Professor Cheney. Through integrated lessons, co-curricular programs, and fundraising for the Osceola community, students build strong connections with faculty, classmates, and the learning support service providers to help them succeed in college.

The REACH experience continues to be an invaluable opportunity for students who didn’t think college was an option for them. The Valencia Foundation Board will provide students with additional scholarship funds to experience globalized learning through a study abroad program to Italy in 2016 with an experienced Counselor to provide strategies to address personal challenges and support throughout the study abroad program.

We will provide REACH students with the opportunity to experience globalized learning through the study abroad program to Italy in July, 2016. Through Service Learning or Humanities, students will earn college credit while immersing themselves in the rich cultural contributions of Italy.

The vast majority of REACH students are the first in their family to attend college, and are on financial aid with minimal exposure to life outside of Osceola County. An opportunity to travel abroad is a dream that seems unattainable due to financial challenges, as well as having the experience to be away from their families. The endowed chair will fund additional scholarship dollars to support financial need as well as support a Valencia counselor to assist students in adjusting and acclimating to the global experience.

Prior to traveling, REACH students and the traveling counselor will participate in required meetings to discuss expectations and concerns, and learn about how to transition to the culture/country of Italy. Students will reflect through journal writing to share pre-departure plans on preparing for their trip as well as throughout their trip. Through journal reflections, students will be able to express their excitement, fears and new experiences with the support of the SLS and counselor. Faculty will participate in on going open-discussions before, during and after the study abroad experience to ensure full support and guidance for all REACH students.

Professor Cheney teaches the New Student Experience course. She says “I will have built strong connections and relationships with REACH students in the fall of 2015; therefore, my role in addition to Jocelyn’s role will help students to successfully adjust and study abroad.”

Professor Cheney teaches at the Osceola campus. She has worked with REACH students since 2010.

Ms. Morales teaches at the east campus, where she has worked with REACH students for approximately 20 years.

Join us for A Night of Celebration

You are invited to the Valencia Alumni Association’s
 “A Night of Celebration” event.

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Please join us as we celebrate this year’s
Distinguished Alumni Award recipients.

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1 week to the big day- let’s make some noise!

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What: #DollarsforScholars is Valencia College Foundation’s end of year campaign.

Why: #DollarsforScholars will make the difference for many students to get the education they’ve always wanted.

When: Starting with #GivingTuesday, a national day of giving, on December 1 through the end of the year.

How: Donate any amount. Take an unselfie.  Spread the word.

 

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Alumni Update from Cece Burns, ’13

Chacoryia “Cece” Burns, Valencia’s 2013 Mary Smedley Collier’s Distinguished Graduate is currently a Broadcast Journalism major at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). Those of us that have read Cece’s triumphant story and may have also had the privilege of meeting such a kind spirit know that she has manage to persevere through all odds. She has proven that if you put your mind to it you can accomplish any goal.

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Cece shares “Recently, I’ve become the weather anchor for FAMU TV News-20 which broadcast live to over 8,000 Comcast viewers in the north Florida and south Georgia area. I am a Gospel Radio Personality for WANM 90.5 FM “The Flava Station” which airs on Sunday’s from 8am-11am. As I continue with my journey as a reporter, I plan to continue to work with FAMU TV News 20 as the lead desk anchor as well as intern for a local news station and print journalism company until my graduation on April 30, 2016. After that I plan to either move to Orlando or stay in Tallahassee and pursue a Masters in Fine Arts in Production as well as become a Multi-Media Journalist (MMJ) for a local news station or become a local Gospel Radio Personality.”

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“My advice to the students is to continue to strive for your dream. Never let anyone deter you from being what you want to be in life. And also always volunteer and get internships in your profession. Be persistent and always be kind to others because you never know who you will meet and who will take you to the next level.”

Cece is a positive role model and is constantly giving back to the community, whether it be volunteering for children’s church or serving on the Transfer Student Association. Her story encourages us all.

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Cece is doing big things and is truly an amazing Valencia Alum….Way to represent!

Check out Cece’s story here

 

Know A Deserving Valencia Graduate?

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“A Night of Celebration” is Valencia College’s annual signature event hosted by the Valencia Alumni Association. It provides an opportunity to celebrate noteworthy achievements of selected Valencia alumni. Ten Distinguished Alumni awards will be conferred this year to those individuals who meet the following criteria. Submit your nomination today! Nominees will then be notified and asked to complete a more detailed application to be considered for the award.

Nomination Criteria:

Graduate of Valencia College (formerly Valencia Community College).

Demonstrated significant accomplishments in their field.

Must be able to attend the awards presentation on Friday, December 18th between 7-9 pm in Orlando, Florida at Valencia’s West Campus Special Events Center.

Only online nominations will be accepted.

Nomination deadline – 11:59 pm on November 8, 2015. No exceptions.

Check out last year’s amazing award recipients.

Photos from last year’s event!

James Inglis, program director hospitality/restaurant management: taking a trip of a lifetime

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Another post in our series on endowed chairs and what they’re up to. Meet James Inglis.

James Inglis’ endowed chair project this year, funded by the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association (CFHLA) Chair in Hospitality Management, is to take 16 students to New York City to The Hotel Experience in November (previously The International Hotel Motel Restaurant Show).

“The [Hotel Experience] in New York City is one of the premier industry events in the United States. Over 1,800 vendors are there with their individual booths showcasing the latest industry technologies, products and services. We also do restaurant and hotel tours while we are there and attend breakout sessions in conjunction with the show. These are very educational, and the students can sign up to attend any of the topics that interest them,” Inglis says.

“The students are required to attend at least one breakout session while at the show; they then write a paper on the session and include a brief overview of the topic and specific issues discussed,” he adds. The students are also required to write an additional reflection for the Student Government Association (SGA) as part of the travel requirements. Students also speak to their classes when they return, highlighting various events that took place and any observations that relate to the learning outcomes for the course.

Professor Inglis has been leading similar trips for more than 14 years now. Many of the students have very limited travel experience and most have never been to NYC before. For the most part, the students couldn’t afford the room rates or partake of the restaurant meals Inglis and his team have negotiated. “There is always a tour of a hotel and kitchen and introduction of managers and kitchen personnel,” Inglis adds. So even the food is educational.

In all, for many of these students, the trip is a once in a lifetime – or a first in a lifetime – chance to be exposed to experiences they can’t have in Orlando (as great as those may be).

This is in addition to the other work that Inglis does.

He is on two boards of directors: One is the local hotel association, CFHLA, and the other is the local restaurant association, FRLA. He has been on the boards for more than 14 years, participating in such events as the Downtown Food and Wine Fest for the seventh year in a row. Last March, he and another professor, Craig Rapp, worked the Wine and Dine on 9, a VIP event, at the Bay Hill Golf Tournament.  As Inglis puts it: “This semester alone we are volunteering for 12 events in the community. It’s a tribute to the students and the leadership that we can get this type of participation.

Professor Inglis was born in New York City, so this is a bit of a return home for him – to the Jacob K. Javits Center, which is where the show is being held. He is the program director for the hospitality and restaurant management programs at Valencia’s West campus. With degrees from Paul Smith’s College in New York, Florida International University and Webster University, from which he holds a master’s degree in business, he draws on a lifetime of experience for his courses and his volunteer work.

What’s next for the program? Well, Inglis says the school has just hired a new faculty member to take the lead for the Osceola campus program—now they’re able to offer the same degree program in Osceola that they offer at West campus. In addition, they keep expanding the West campus program—they just added a new “beverage lab.”

Cheers to the new program and the trip of a lifetime for the students in his care.

Valencia Graduates Working to Pay it Forward!

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Meet this year’s Mary Smedley Collier Distinguished GraduateRebecca Nash! Rebecca and her fellow graduates invite Valencia faculty and staff to help them meet their challenge to raise $5,000 or more before Commencement on May 9th. Their Legacy Class Gift will support future students through scholarships.

Please consider joining their legacy with your support!

Donations can be made:

By credit card: Visit http://valenciacollege.edu/alumni/classgift/ . Completely fill out the form, decide a gift amount that is right for you, and click submit.

Or by cash or check:  Drop off your cash or check donation in any amount at the Alumni Relations office (407-582-3426) in the District Office or mail to: Valencia Alumni Relations, 1768 Park Center Drive, Orlando, FL 32835, or mail intercampus to DO-41.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE. LEAVE A LEGACY. LEAVE YOUR LEGACY!

calling for alumni class notes for Vitae magazine!

Social Media PostCheck out the current edition of the Vitae magazine.

lace up for student scholarships!

Social Media Post Aug 14

Online Registration or Mail In Registration

College Night Sign-Up for Students

The 2014 Orange & Osceola County College Night programs for the state of Florida will be hosted at Valencia College. We are excited to share this opportunity with you.

Mark your calendars: College Night is Coming! Bring your students, the parents, grab some friends, and get your questions answered about college, and we’re not just talking about Valencia!

  • Start the college search process up close and personal
  • Visit with representatives from colleges and universities located across the country
  • Gather local and federal information regarding grants & scholarships

Sign-up online to attend College Night 2014:

College Night, Osceola CampusCollege Night Sign-Up
Valencia College
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
6:00-8:00pm (EST)

College Night, West CampusCollege Night Sign-Up
Valencia College
Thursday, October 9, 2014
6:00-8:00pm (EST)

Tips for attending College Night

If interested in bringing a group of 15 or more students please contact the Assistant Director of Transitions Planning, La’Tasha Graham: Lgraham18@valenciacollege.edu

Click here or view the list below for colleges that attended in 2013.

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  • Yale University
  • Florida State University
  • Columbia College, SC
  • Columbia College, FL
  • Cornell University
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Texas A&M University at Galveston
  • United States Air Force Academy
  • Universal Technical Institute
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Rice University

 

  • Ringling College of Art and Design
  • Rollins College
  • Rutgers University
  • Adventist University of Health Sciences (formerly Florida Hospital College)
  • Ana Mendez University
  • Anderson University
  • Armstrong Atlantic State University
  • Asbury Theological Seminary
  • Ashford Universtiy
  • Aveda Institute
  • Barry University School of Law
  • Belhaven University
  • Belmont Abbey College
  • Bethune-Cookman University
  • Binghamton University- State University of New York
  • Catawba College
  • Clark Atlanta College
  • DeVry University
  • Drexel University
  • Eckerd College
  • Education Foundation of Osceola County
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Everest University
  • Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
  • Florida A&M University
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy at UCF
  • Florida International University
  • Florida Memorial University
  • Florida Polytechnic University
  • Florida Southern College
  • Full Sail University
  • Georgia Southern University
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Morehouse College
  • Hawaii Pacific University
  • Herzing University
  • International Academy of Design and Technology
  • Jacksonville University
  • Johnson & Wales University
  • Johnson University Florida
  • Keiser University
  • Lenoir-Rhyne University
  • Liberty University
  • Lincoln Technical Institute
  • Lynn University
  • Mech Tech Institute
  • Monroe College
  • National Aviation Academy
  • National University
  • New College of Florida
  • North Carolina State University
  • North Carolina Weleyan College
  • Northwood University
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Oglethorpe University
  • Orlando Tech
  • Palm Beach Atlantic University
  • Penn State University
  • Piedmont College
  • Polytechnic University of P.R./Orlando Campus
  • Purdue University
  • Queens University of Charlotte
  • Radford University
  • Reinhardt University
  • Saint Leo University
  • Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Seminole State College of Florida
  • Southeastern University
  • St. Joseph’s College, NY
  • St. Petersburg College
  • Stetson University
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Stonehill College
  • Strayer University
  • State University of New York College at Cortland
  • Technical Education Center Osceola
  • The Art Institutes
  • The Baptist College of Florida
  • The Ohio State University
  • The University of Mississippi
  • The University of Tampa
  • The University of the Arts
  • Thomas University
  • Trinity College of Florida
  • Troy University
  • Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
  • UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
  • Union University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Florida
  • University of Florida/Mid-Florida Research & Education Center
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts
  • University of North Florida
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Phoenix
  • University of South Alabama
  • University of South Florida
  • University of South Florida Saint Petersburg
  • University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee
  • University of West Florida
  • United States Coast Guard Academy
  • Valdosta State University
  • Warner University
  • Warren Wilson College
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Webster University
  • West Virginia Wesleyan College
  • Winthrop University
  • Workforce Central Florida

Sign-up online to attend College Night 2014:

College Night, Osceola Campus
Valencia College
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
6:00-8:00pm (EST)

College Night, West Campus
Valencia College
Thursday, October 9, 2014
6:00-8:00pm (EST)

If interested in bringing a group of 15 or more students please contact the Assistant Director of Transitions Planning, La’Tasha Graham: Lgraham18@valenciacollege.edu


Accommodations Information:

If you have any other disability that prohibits your participation in this event, please contact the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD). OSD contact information can be accessed on their website at http://valenciacollege.edu/osd/

New York Times Applauds Valencia’s Efforts to Cut Student Loan Default

While addressing the nation’s growing student loan debt — and the troubling default rate at some colleges — The New York Times editorial board recently applauded Valencia’s efforts to reduce the number of students who default on their loans.

 

Valencia students who received both Pell Grants and loans defaulted at a rate of 19 percent — compared with 26 percent across all of the colleges in the study and at only a slightly higher rate than their more affluent classmates. The same was true for students who took remedial course work versus those who did not. The overall default rate for the colleges in the study was 22 percent.

 

See below for the full article or visit online at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/26/opinion/how-to-control-student-loan-defaults.html?_r=0

New federal rules that penalize colleges for excessive student loan defaults offer a powerful incentive for schools to educate students on the complexities of the federal student loan program, including the crucial fact that they can delay or make partial payments if they get into financial trouble. Keeping loan default rates low, a new study of nine community colleges shows, is not rocket science: Schools can do it.

Colleges with default rates of 30 percent or higher in any given year are now required to develop a plan for keeping more students on track to repay their loans. Beginning in September, institutions that reach or exceed the 30 percent for three consecutive years will lose eligibility for both the federal loan program and the Pell Grant program, subject to appeal. This places schools with runaway default rates at risk of having to shut down.

The new rules provide important protection for students for whom default can mean a shredded credit history that makes it difficult for them to buy cars or homes and even shuts them out of jobs. The rules also protect taxpayers, who are on the hook when a loan goes bad.

Some colleges argue that the regulations unfairly target and penalize schools that serve “high risk” populations like the poor and young people who need remedial help. A study of nine community colleges carried out by the Association of Community College Trustees and the Institute for College Access and Success, a nonprofit research group, rebuts that argument.

The study suggests instead that default levels for students of all descriptions depend importantly on the quality of the academic support and counseling they get from the schools. Valencia College in Florida is held up as an example of a school that does this well. Valencia students who received both Pell Grants and loans defaulted at a rate of 19 percent — compared with 26 percent across all of the colleges in the study and at only a slightly higher rate than their more affluent classmates. The same was true for students who took remedial course work versus those who did not. The overall default rate for the colleges in the study was 22 percent.

Valencia’s mandatory orientation process shows students from the beginning what it takes to succeed and what services are available to help them. The school also keeps in touch with delinquent borrowers, explaining important options like income-based repayment.

The most important predictor of default is whether a student completes the academic program. Across all campuses in this study, students who graduated defaulted at a rate of just 9 percent, as opposed to 27 percent for those who left college before receiving their degree. This means schools need to keep an eye on and intervene with struggling students before they get overwhelmed and drop out.

Identifying and reaching out to students with academic problems, counseling all students on their rights and obligations under the various loan programs — these are important tools for preventing defaults. But what is likely to persuade colleges to deploy these tools in the first place is the threat of losing federal aid if they do not.

Faculty and staff giving at Valencia

why-i-give-banner-270x60The Faculty and Staff Giving Committee is excited to announce three students were awarded the Student Opportunity Scholarship for 2014/2015. This is only scholarship to be solely funded by faculty and staff contributions in support of the students they serve.  Christina Funk received the primary scholarship with Valencia students Michaela Decker and Gerald Jones also receiving modest scholarships.

Thanks to “Why I Give Where I Work”  new pledges, renewal gifts and annual donations, our Valencia faculty and staff are part of nearly $100,000 in annual contributions to the Valencia Foundation.

Valencia Employees are asked to consider donating in support of Valencia and the students we serve through payroll deduction or to make a one-time gift, you may use the secure online “Why I Give Where I Work” donation location at https://donate.valencia.org/faculty-staff-giving.

The Valencia Foundation would like to send special recognition to co-chairs Josh Murdock and Diana Ciesko for their leadership during the campaign and to the 2014 ambassadors (pictured below): Andrew Becker, Chris Borglum, Ken Carpenter, Wendi Dew, Isabel Hagan, Jonathan Hernandez, Erich Heintzelman, Pat Lee, Donna Marino, James May, Rob McCaffrey, Mia Pierre, April Raneri, and past chair Katie Shephard.

2014 Faculty and Staff Giving Committee Members

Volunteer ambassadors of the faculty and staff giving committee encourage colleagues to consider committing support of Valencia College and the students they serve by making a contribution to the Valencia Foundation.

Scholars, music and scholarships…

On July 25, a collection of musically talented faculty, staff, and friends–-fondly called The Rogue Scholars–-have found a way to utilize what they have, talent and time, to raise funds for student scholarships at Valencia.

On July 25, a collection of musically talented faculty, staff, and friends–-fondly called The Rogue Scholars–-have found a way to utilize what they have, talent and time, to raise funds for student scholarships at Valencia.

Scholar, poet and educator Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, once said “Give what you have; to someone it may be better than you dare to think.”

On July 25, a collection of musically talented faculty, staff, and friends–-fondly called the Rogue Scholars–-have found a way to utilize what they have, talent and time, to raise funds for student scholarships at Valencia.

Please consider supporting these talented scholars and their musical efforts by attending the live rock ‘n roll sing along show.

When:  Friday July 25, 2014 at 7 pm

Where:  Valencia College Osceola Campus Building 1 Auditorium

Donation:  Give what you can. Perhaps a $5 contribution at the door of event?

What to expect:  Live rock ‘n roll sing along family friendly interactive show with the Rogue Scholars.  We will be playing your favorite songs through the decades.  There will be opportunities for you to bid and sing with the band!

Proceeds:  All proceeds benefit Valencia Foundation http://www.valencia.org through the Jane Dewey/Monty Bilyue Emergency Healthcare Services Scholarship.

This scholarship was established to honor the memories of two individuals who spent their professional lives helping others in critical healthcare situations. It will provide tuition assistance to Valencia students seeking Nursing or EMT/Paramedic degrees.

To our Rogue Scholar friends I say thank you for what you have – both your time and your talents are appreciated!

For more information, please check the Rogue Scholars on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/roguescholarsband

2014-2015 endowed chairs

Congratulations to the 35 tenured faculty members who have been awarded a 2014 – 2015 Valencia Foundation Endowed Chair for Learning Leadership.

The Endowed Chairs for Learning Leadership program recognizes and promotes academic excellence at the College through honoring outstanding members of Valencia’s teaching faculty. In contrast to endowed chair programs at four-year institutions that aim to attract preeminent researchers, our program recognizes and supports Valencia faculty by providing resources needed for the advancement of instruction.
cat1 Jean Marie Fuhrman: Freeda Foreman Chair in Collaborative and Creative Problem-Solving

Richard Gair: Abe and Tess Wise Endowed Chair in the Study of the Shoah

Yolanda Gonzalez: Howard L. Palmer Chair in Foreign Languages
 
Albert Groccia: Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Chair in Mathematics

Mayra Holzer: Patricia Havill Whalen Chair in Social Sciences

Brian Macon: Lockheed Martin Chair in Mathematics

Kevin Mulholland: University Club of Orlando Chair in Humanities

Robin Poole: Wayne Densch Chair in Geriatrics

Lana Powell: John and Florence MacLeod Chair in Business

Jeremy Russo: Bank of America Chair in Business Management

Dimas Sanchez: Bank of America Chair in Business
 
Richard Sansone: Sue Luzadder Chair in Communications

Brenda Schumpert: Lockheed Martin Chair in Science

Irina Struganova: Lester N. Mandell Chair in Natural and Physical Sciences

cat2 Category II Recipients:
Joan Alexander: University Club of Orlando Chair in Advanced Computer Technology

Irma Berner Bell: South Chair in Communications and Engineering Technology

Karen Cowden: William C. Demetree Jr. Foundation Chair in Education for Special Needs
 
Suzette Dohany: Walt Disney World Chair in Film Technology
 
Edie Gaythwaite: Harry J. and E. Mary Hobbs Teaching Chair in Nursing

Lisa Gray: Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Chair in Free Enterprise

Heith Hennel: SunGard Endowed Teaching Chair in Computer Science
 
Deymond Hoyte: Valencia Foundation Board Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies

James Inglis: Central Florida Hotel and, Lodging Association Chair in Hospitality Management

Chris Klinger: Tupperware Corporation Chair in Community Quality

Adrian Manley: Valencia Foundation Board Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies

James McDonald: Cliff and Daisy Whitehill Chair in Legal Studies
 
Sarah Melanson: Rhymer F. Maguire Jr. Endowed Chair in Communications

Bonnie Oliver: SunTrust Chair in Economic Development and, Business Education
 
Pierre Pilloud: Hunton Brady Architects Endowed Chair in Hospitality Management

Yasmeen Qadri: Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Chair in Education for the Physically Challenged
 
Craig J. Rapp: Central Florida Restaurant Association Chair in Restaurant and Food Service Management
 
Andrew Ray: Hubbard Construction Company Chair in Technical and Engineering Programs

Jolene Rhodes: Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Teaching Chair

Suzanne Salapa: Universal Orlando Chair in Arts and Entertainment

Pamela Sandy: Ira Vinson Henderson Chair in Nursing and, Allied Health

Valencia employees give back

why-i-give-logoValencia’s faculty and staff giving campaign is underway and in full swing. Last week, the Foundation sent information regarding this year’s “Why I Give Where I Work” campaign with Valencia colleagues who expressed the reasons why they choose to give.

Scholarships change lives.

Our goal is that each student who comes through our doors will be able to fulfill his or her dream of earning a college degree. As the data shows, those who complete a college degree and work full time, earn an average of $17,500 more than those with a high school diploma only, according to a recent Pew Research Study.

Additionally, Valencia’s associate in science graduates boast 95 percent job placement, even in this economy, and starting salaries average $43,385.

So it’s no wonder that Patti Riva, operations manager, energy education, says that she gives because “investing in Valencia will bring a brighter future for all.”

Reasons Valencia College employees give where they work:

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Employees can be a part of this movement simply by completing the Payroll Deduction form — it’s that easy.

Sharing the Reasons

Valencia invites other employees to share why they choose to give by leaving a comment below.

If you have questions or would like more information on the campaign or how you can support the “Why I Give Where I Work” campaign, feel free to you may contact Valencia Foundation donors stewardship manager Donna Marino at dmarino@valenciacollege.edu or any of the faculty and staff giving ambassadors located at www.VALENCIA.org/FSG.

 

alumni magazine available online

vitae-cover-news-siteValencia alumni…read all about them! The most recent issue of our alumni magazine, Vitae, is available online. Read it here.

Valencia employees share “Why I Give Where I Work”

Valencia employees make a big difference in our student’s lives!

Many Valencia College employees support students inside and outside the classroom. It was Sir Winston Churchill that said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

There are many reasons to contribute to Valencia Foundation, below are a few Valencia employees  who shared “Why I Give Where I Work.”

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Gustavo Morales, professor, geology, West Campus:

I give because I like to support all the fantastic work my colleagues do.

why-i-give-logo
 why-i-give-logo

James Thomas, professor, English, East Campus:

I give because I know exactly where my money goes: to help deserving students.

laurie-halftone-180w Laurie Youngman, manager, employee support:

I give because I believe in Valencia’s mission and want to show how strongly.

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 why-i-give-logo

Donna Sovern, administrative assistant in the math office on Osceola Campus:

I give because Valencia is a community of helpers, and I love helping our students.

Share your passion for learning and student success! Help our faculty and staff support those students who need it most. Please visit http://www.VALENCIA.org and click on Make a Donation.

You can join the team of almost 300 Valencia colleagues and give today. Simply complete the Payroll Deduction form to start your giving legacy.

If you have questions or would like more information on how you can support the “Why I Give Where I Work” campaign, contact Diana Ciesko, professor, psychology, or Josh Murdock, instructional designer — the Faculty and Staff Giving Committee Chairs, or Donna Marino, CFRE, manager, donor stewardship.

Want to share why you give to Valencia College? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

“Why I Give Where I Work” is a part of the faculty and staff giving campaign that was designed by a team of Valencia employees and honors the commitment of faculty and staff to student success while seeking to provide additional resources for faculty, staff and students who work together to realize educational goals. This campaign is focused on sharing the good work of the Valencia Foundation and encouraging faculty and staff participation based on individual interest and willingness to contribute. A faculty or staff member should not, at any time, feel pressured or compelled to give to the foundation.

Freshman Freebie: Valencia’s graduation gift to 2014 high school graduates in Orange or Osceola Counties

freshman
Start this fall and get one free class.apply now

Class of 2014, this is Valencia College’s graduation gift to you. If you are a 2014 graduate of a public high school in Orange or Osceola counties, we will pay for your first class (3-credit hours) at Valencia College. But hurry—you must enroll for fall classes by July 3.

To qualify:

  Be a 2014 graduate of a public high school in Orange or Osceola county.

  Apply to Valencia

  Complete steps to enrollment

  Complete new student orientation

  Enroll in classes by July 3, 2014

  Pay for classes by August 15, 2014

 

Assistance is available on a walk-in basis at the Answer Center, or contact Enrollment Services.
Phone 407-582-1507 or email  enroll@valenciacollege.edu.

Oenophiles, wine aficionados and spirit connoisseurs : Taste for Learning May 17th is for you!

An evening of food, wine and spirits paired with an auction to benefit scholarships and medical education.
An evening of food, wine and spirits paired with an auction to benefit scholarships and medical education.

An evening of food, wine and spirits paired with an auction to benefit scholarships and medical education.

Save the date! Taste for Learning is scheduled for May 17, 2014. All oenophiles, wine aficionados and spirit connoisseurs welcome.

For those who are new to Taste for Learning, this is an evening of food, wine and spirits paired with an auction to benefit scholarships and medical education. The event marks the continuation of joint philanthropy efforts with Orlando Health and Valencia College foundations.

Vintners from around the world will donate and pour their finest wines, thanks to ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. With hundreds of wines available why would you miss this event hosted at the luxurious Rosen Shingle Creek?

Please join us by inviting friends and colleagues, sponsoring a table and contributing auction items.

100 percent of each dollar given for tickets, auction items and sponsorships goes to its intended purpose . Every item is donated – from the gourmet food to the international wines poured by their own vintners, and from the advertising to the decor.

An evening of food, wine and spirits paired with an auction to benefit scholarships and medical education.

For sponsorship opportunities please contact Donna Marino at 407-582-3128.

6 Valencia College students have been named top scholars to the All-Florida Academic Team

Six Valencia College students have been named top scholars to the All-Florida Academic Team.

Only 109 students statewide were selected for the team, which is comprised of high-achieving college students from the 28 state and community colleges in the Florida College System.

The students representing Valencia College are: Claudia Arbona Aguirre, Luis Lavieri, Sheri Lynch, Rita Maldonado, Sherin Mathew and Arabel Severe.

6 Valencia students named to All-Florida Academic Team

6 Valencia students named to All-Florida Academic Team

The All-Florida Academic Team recognizes outstanding students for academic achievement, leadership and service to the community. These students were also nominated to the All-USA Academic Team competition, which is sponsored by USA Today, the American Association of Community Colleges and the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

The members of the All-Florida Academic Team received the top scholar honor award during a ceremony held on April 24 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.

Phi Theta Kappa is the honor society for students attending community and two-year colleges. Membership is based on high grade point averages and other criteria, with members focusing on scholastic achievement and service to community and campus.

Student art exhibition and award ceremony: April 18

Digital MediaThis week the Anita S. Wooten Gallery will be hosting their annual Student Art Exhibition. This show will include a variety of works from Valencia East Campus students who are studying Digital Media, Graphic Design, and Studio Fine Art. To celebrate the students success there will be a reception and award ceremony on Friday April 18, 2014.

This is event is open to the public. We encourage students, faculty, staff, family and friends to come see what some of the talented students here at Valencia has to offer!  The show will run from April 18 –  May 22, 2014.

The reception will begin at 6:30pm and run until 8:30pm. The award ceremony will begin at 7:30pm. Food and beverages will provided.

For more information and to see some of the work that will be at the show please visit the galleries Facebook page, www.facebook.com/AnitaS.WootenGallery

Location: Anita S. Wooten Gallery, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, Florida 32825
(407)582-2268

votes for valencia

2014CLAs-380Valencia needs your votes! The college is a part of Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Awards. Valencia made it to finals and has submitted a short video highlighting climate innovations on campus.

To vote, visit: http://www.planetforward.org/content/climate-leadership-awards-2014, scroll down to find Valencia and click the thumbs up button.

Voting is open until April 15.

Central Florida Fire Institute (CFFI) at Valencia College

Central Florida Fire Institute (CFFI) at Valencia CollegeIntroducing CFFI at Valencia College

Valencia College is pleased to announce the formation of the Central Florida Fire Institute (CFFI), in partnership with member agencies of the former Central Florida Fire Academy (CFFA).

Valencia’s Central Florida Fire Institute provides career pathways for the fire service community in Central Florida, nationally, and globally.

CFFI Programs Include:CFFI

Fire Science Degree

The Fire Science Technology A.S. degree program is approved by the Florida Division of the State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Fire Standards and Training, and provides an enhanced opportunity for current fire fighters and staff to pursue various professional opportunities in Public Safety with multiple educational pathways for promotion and career advancement.
Valencia’s Advanced Specialized Training Program for Fire Professionals offers a wide variety of training and learning opportunities for our community’s public and private sector fire service professionals. Our programs focus on the most recent updates, topics and equipment and are taught by experienced professionals from the field. In addition, Valencia can customize programs to meet the specific needs of any agency.

Oenophiles, wine aficionados and spirit connoisseurs – May 17 2014

On May 17, 2014 vintners from around the world will donate and pour their finest wines, thanks to ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and Rosen Shingle Creek.

Tickets and sponsorships are available for this evening of abundance: food, wine, craft beers and spirits paired with an auction. Every item is donated from the gourmet food from Landry’s Restaurants, Rosen Shingle Creek, Tommy Bahama, Taverna Yamas, to the international wines poured by their own vintners, all advertising and even the decor.

Please join us by inviting friends and colleagues, sponsoring a table and contributing auction items.

For more information on the event including tickets, sponsorships and Rosen Shingle Creek Resort special room rates for attendees please visit www.aTasteForLearning.com.

7th Brazilian Film Festival at Valencia College Osceola

View a selection of the best current Brazilian films moderated by renowned producer Elisa Tolomelli.
View a selection of the best current Brazilian films
moderated by renowned producer Elisa Tolomelli.

Valencia College will hold its 7th Brazilian Film Festival from Feb. 13 through Feb. 21, with free showings of six Brazilian films. The week-long film festival is one of only two Brazilian film festivals in Florida. Admission to the film series is free and open to the public. All films will be shown in Portuguese with English subtitles.

The films will be shown on Valencia’s West Campus, located at 1800 S. Kirkman Road, Orlando, and at Valencia’s Osceola Campus, located at 1800 Denn John Lane in Kissimmee.

For more details, including film trailers, visit http://valenciacollege.edu/brazilianfilmfestival 

The Brazilian Film Festival at Valencia College is presented in partnership with the Central Florida Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce and the University of Florida Center for Latin American Studies. The films were selected by Valencia Professor Sansone and renowned Brazilian filmmaker Elisa Tolomelli, who will moderate each film and hold a question-and-answer with audience members following each film.

Below is a partial listing of films for the full listing, locations and times please visit  http://valenciacollege.edu/brazilianfilmfestival 

BuddiesFeb. 13 at 7 p.m., Valencia College, West Campus, Building 3, Room 111
“Colegas” (“Buddies”)
Cinematic stars rarely portray as much charisma nor evoke as much sympathy as the Down syndrome heroes do in “Colegas,” an adventure-comedy road movie that shines a poetic light on the simple things in life. ence along for a fantastic ride. The film will be shown in Portuguese with English subtitles. Appropriate for audiences ages 10 and older.

CocoFeb. 17 at 6:30 p.m., Valencia College, Osceola Campus, Building 1, Auditorium
“Coco” (“Coconuts”)
This five-minute short feature from documentary director Luciano Mota Reis Filho captures the traditions surrounding coconut production in his adopted community of Camaratuba. The short film celebrates the

Feb. 17 at 7 p.m., Valencia College Osceola Campus, Building 1, Auditorium
“Xingu”

Feb. 18 at 7 p.m., Valencia College, West Campus, Building 3, Room 111
“Faroeste Caboclo” (“Brazilian Western”)

Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m., Valencia College, West Campus, Building 3, Room 111
“Coco”(“Coconuts”)

Feb. 20 at 7 p.m., Valencia College West Campus, Building 3, Room 111
“Disparos” (“Auto-Exposure”)

Feb. 21 at 7 p.m., Valencia College West Campus, Building 3, Room 111
“Minha Mãe é uma Peça” (“My Mom is a Character”)

For more details, including film trailers, please visit http://valenciacollege.edu/brazilianfilmfestival

For more information, please call 407-582-1383.

bloom n grow scholarship

Bloom N Grow Scholarship

The Bloom N Grow Scholarship, an affiliate of Florida Federal Garden Clubs, Inc., was organized by a group of West Orange County women sharing a common interest in gardening and horticulture. The purpose of this scholarship is to support educational opportunities for students who have an interest in gardening and horticulture. All applicants must meet these requirements:

  • Must be Enrolled Full-Time or Part-Time.
  • Preference for graduates of West Orange High School.
  • Must be enrolled in Horticulture Science, Landscape or Horticulture Technology

The scholarship will pay toward tuition, books and fees. To apply please complete the Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application found HERE.

Apply TODAY!

the mercury marine scholarship

Mercury Marine Scholarship 

The Mercury Marine Scholarship is seeking an applicant who is the son, daughter, current spouse of a Mercury Marine employee or of a former employee of Mercury Marine who had contributed to the scholarship fund.  Applicants must also meet these additional requirements:

  • Submit a complete FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • Demonstrate Financial Need.
  • Maintain a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

The scholarship will pay toward tuition and books. To apply, please complete the Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application found found HERE.

Don’t let another minute pass by, apply today!

 

Special kudos: 1st United Bank

1st United Bank recently contributed $5,000 towards student scholarships at Valencia College. These funds will provide for 50 credit hours of support and is roughly equivalent to 16 classes at Valencia.  Now, that’s an ROI worth supporting!

1st United Bank presents a check for $5,000 to Valencia Foundation for student scholarships at Valencia College.  From left to right: Michelle Matis, VP Valencia Foundation; Sam Miles, Sr. VP 1st United Bank; Jennifer Hinkle, Business Development Officer, 1st United Bank; Donna Marino, CFRE Valencia Foundation Manager

1st United Bank presents a check for $5,000 to Valencia Foundation for student scholarships at Valencia College. From left to right: Michelle Matis, VP Valencia Foundation; Sam Miles, Sr. VP 1st United Bank; Jennifer Hinkle, Business Development Officer, 1st United Bank; Donna Marino, CFRE Valencia Foundation Manager

The Johnson Foundation Scholarship for Biomedical Sciences

The Johnson Foundation Scholarship is intended to provide scholarship funding to Valencia-Osceola DirectConnect students enrolled in (or already completed) entry level Biology and Chemistry courses and intend to continue on to earn their Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida as a Johnson Scholar.

The 2+2 component of the Johnson Scholarship starts with 1-5 semesters, each semester increasing the scholarship value at Valencia College from $500 in the Spring of 2014 to $1500 in the fifth term. As a 2+2 scholarship, students qualify to receive Johnson Foundation scholarship funding at the University of Central Florida with the condition that the meet all of the original scholarship requirements.

Qualifying candidates must be first year Valencia College students with less than 15 college credit hours completed, demonstrate Financial need (verified via FAFSA), be enrolled in BSC1010C, CHM1025C or CHM1045C at Osceola Campus and intend to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida after successful completion of an Associate’s Degree from Valencia College.

Potential for renewal available to students who maintain a 2.75 GPA, follow precise educational plan for Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida, meet with an Academic Advisor/Faculty/Johnson Scholars Osceola each term, participate in Undergraduate Research and attend University of Central Florida Johnson Scholars events once a year.

In order to apply, please complete the Johnson Foundation Scholarship Application. Submission addresses are listed on the cover page of the application.

For more information this scholarship and more, visit: Valencia College – Scholarship Bulletin Board today!

SGA campus leaders send appreciation for student scholarship support

Student Government Association (SGA) presidents gathered across multiple Valencia campus locations to express appreciation for student scholarship support. The result? A heartwarming note of gratitude!

Your support is key to our success

Your support is key to our success.

On behalf of Valencia College and the students we serve, please accept our appreciation for your contributions which provide deserving individuals access to education in our community.

As Valencia College student government leaders, we represent driven and motivated students. Unlike the college generation of years ago, most of our peers are often balancing family, work and community commitments.

The combined efforts of our donors help students through funding for essential and key needs like scholarships, books, tuition and supplies. All Valencia students greatly benefit from the support they receive, no matter how large or modest the award.

We appreciate your support of students like us!

Valencia Student Government Association Presidents

bachelor’s degree in logistics management from Florida Tech at Valencia’s Lake Nona campus, fall 2014

Florida Tech, Valencia College Partner to Offer B.S. in Logistics Management at Lake Nona Campus.

MELBOURNE, FLA.—A recently signed memorandum of agreement initiates the offering of a bachelor’s degree in logistics management from Florida Institute of Technology at Valencia College’s Lake Nona campus in Orlando, beginning in the fall semester of 2014.

“Partnering with Valencia College Lake Nona Campus is a great opportunity for Florida Tech to reach potential students and returning veterans interested in logistics management,” said Ted Richardson, senior associate dean of extended studies, Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, Florida Tech. “We currently offer a bachelor’s degree in logistics management at remote campuses near Eglin Air Force Base in the Panhandle and at our Hampton Roads, Va., site.”

The degree is a 2+2 program, designed for students who earn an associate’s degree at Valencia with a pre-major in logistics management.

Valencia College has agreed to provide classroom space to students who enroll in the program. The Florida Tech Extended Studies Orlando Site will be the main point of contact for this program.

The logistics management program requires 60 additional credits to complete, which includes courses such as corporate finance, marketing principles and business ethics.

The bachelor’s degree in logistics management is popular with veterans and current military, but Florida business leaders also look to the logistics field for future job growth.

“Valencia College Lake Nona Campus is proud to partner with Florida Tech on this degree in logistics management,” said Mike Bosley, executive dean of Valencia’s Lake Nona campus. “This program will create additional 2+2 options for our students and will help meet the growing needs of our returning veteran population.”

Prospective students may contact the Florida Tech Extended Studies Orlando site at (407) 629-7132. For more information about the program, visit http://www.fit.edu/programs/7880/bs-logistics-management.

winter blessings

This holiday season is a special time of year, one when we focus on friends and family; our gifts express generosity and love to those we care about.

This winter I’m reflecting back on the blessings received in 2013.  There have been many in my life including travels, new family members, additional professional accomplishments, budding friendships and visits to and from long time friends.

One of the most profound blessings is the work I do for the Valencia  and the students that are served because of our mission.

Valencia students are more determined than ever to improve their opportunities in life, and perhaps change the future of their family for generations.  This is where your generosity makes a huge difference.

I have witnessed how our student’s lives are impacted by the kindness of our donors. Without foundation scholarships, many would not be able to attend college. Your support continues to make a tremendous difference in the lives of these students.

This holiday season is a special time of year, one when we focus on friends and family; our gifts express generosity and love to those we care about.

If you are considering extending your generosity and want to make a difference in the lives of others this year, please consider a donation in support of Valencia College and the students we serve.

If you wish to make a donation please visit us online at www.VALENCIA.org and click on >>Give Now for our secure website.  You may also send your contribution to Valencia Foundation 190 S. Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801. Checks dated on or before December 31, 2013 will be marked as a 2013 donation.

I trust that you will give as generously as you can to provide the opportunity for a life-changing learning experience for a Valencia students.

And I wish many blessings to you and your family in the New Year.

Happy holidays!

ingredients in chef’s stellar career

Chef SimonHard Work, Dedication Are Ingredients in Chef’s Stellar Career – Linda Shrieves Beaty

Today, Russ Simon is a  a globe-trotting chef, a man who dashes from London to Los Angeles, from Singapore to Las Vegas, opening new restaurants for celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck.

But 13 years ago, Simon was a business management major at the University of Central Florida student, enjoying fraternity life, when he realized that his future career path wasn’t going to make him happy.

So Simon, who’d grown up in Davie, Fla, as the eldest of four kids, signed up for culinary classes at Valencia.  He already felt at home in kitchens, having served as the chief cook when his parents weren’t at home.

At Valencia, Simon spent his first semester cooking in the small cafeteria kitchen on East Campus, and was in the first class of students to move into the new culinary facilities on West Campus that fall.  Simon, along with chefs Ken and Pierre and the students in the class, unpacked the new pots and pans and stocked the new kitchen. To this day, Simon loves a new kitchen, with shiny new equipment.

“I think that’s why I love opening new restaurants – I think it dates back to that,” says Simon, laughing.

At the same time that he began taking culinary classes, Simon also started working at Wolfgang Puck Express in Downtown Disney. The small, fast-casual restaurant, which made pizzas and roast chicken and quick meals, proved to be the perfect proving ground for a hard-worker willing to learn.

“While I was working in the Express, I was basically going through all the basic (culinary) classes, learning sauces, pastry, garde manger,” Simon says.  “Then at nighttime, I’d go to this restaurant and work in a very high-volume environment — and I could see where the skills I was learning during the day would pay off.”

It was also the start of a very happy and lengthy relationship between a budding chef and his employer.  Soon, Simon was promoted to work as a cook in the Wolfgang Puck Café at Downtown Disney – a sit-down restaurant where he would learn more about sauces and soups and a wider variety of kitchen skills.  It was time, he says with a laugh, to start doing “big-boy cooking.”

Before long, he was helping to open new Wolfgang Puck Express and Bistro locations around the country.  So in 2004, when he met Puck in person – and the famous chef asked where Simon would like to work — the recent Valencia grad had a ready answer: Spago Beverly Hills.

“If I was going to go anywhere, that’s where I wanted to go – to Los Angeles to give it a shot,” he says.  During Simon’s tenure there, the executive chef won a James Beard award and the Beverly Hills Spago earned a two-star Michelin rating.

Since then, Simon has been jet-setting around the globe, opening a Spago in Colorado, a new steakhouse, CUT, in Las Vegas, then to Singapore to open a CUT there, followed by a stint in London, where he opened a new CUT in a boutique hotel. And there have been more forays in Los Angeles, where he helped open a new Puck restaurant in the renovated Hotel Bel Air.

Over the years, he has worked with famous chefs, including Daniel Boulud, Santi Santamaria, Mario Batali and Thomas Keller.

“I was very fortunate,” says Simon, who’s 35. “A lot of times, I happened to be in the right place at the right time. My hard work had something to do with it, I worked hard, but so did a lot of other guys.” In fact, he says, he and a band of other cooks who started with him as line cooks at Spago in Beverly Hills are now executive chefs and chefs de cuisine throughout the fast-growing company.

Now he’s back in Las Vegas, now at the helm of Postrio, a 15-year-old Italian themed restaurant that the Puck group operates in the Venetian hotel. And now Simon is reaching out to Chef Ken Bourgoin and Chef Pierre Pilloud, to see if there are any young, hard-working chefs on the rise, who would like to work in Las Vegas.

“We’re looking for new talent,” says Simon, ” and I thought I’d call Chef Pierre and see what kind of talent is there.”

For for students seeking career guidance, Simon dispenses some simple advice: “At the end of the day, hard work does truly pay off. If you take the time not to just study and learn, but spend time in the kitchen to perfect our craft, it will pay off.”

violin instructor’s fermata: legacy through music

Pennsylvanian music lover Doris Paisley took a chance on young Neal Phillips when she agreed to teach the preschooler violin. Neal became her youngest student ever.

Doris Paisley’s life was dedicated to performance violin. She joined the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra at the age of 15, where she played a total of 40 years and achieved first violin. Doris was a graduate of State Teachers College at Indiana, now Indiana University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S. in education. Her passions were education and music.

When Doris Paisley passed away in 2011, Valencia faculty member Neal Phillips found a way to honor his childhood violin teacher: by providing scholarship funds for musically inclined students to attend college.

Last week, two Valencia College students each received a $1,000 Instrumental Music Scholarships in memory of Ms. Doris Paisley. Both students have a passion for music; the scholarship funds will provide students the resources to explore their love of music while at Valencia and still afford core classes.

Pictured here are students Melody Cook and Jim Reyelt. They are joined by Neal Phillips (wearing a violin tie in honor of Doris Paisley) and Troy Gifford, program director and music professor at Valencia College.

Pictured here are students Melody Cook and Jim Reyelt. They are joined by Neil Phillips (wearing a violin tie in honor of Doris Paisley) and Troy Gifford, program director and music professor at Valencia College.

Pictured here are the first students to receive the Doris Paisley scholarship: Melody Cook and Jim Reyelt. They are joined by Ms. Paisley’s former student and Valencia professor Neal Phillips (wearing a violin tie in honor of Doris Paisley). Pictured also is Troy Gifford, program director and music professor at Valencia College.

bringing the community college mission abroad

Instructors from Valencia College's Criminal Justice Institute help train instructors at Puerto Rico's Ana G. Mendez University.

Instructors from Valencia College’s Criminal Justice Institute help train instructors at Puerto Rico’s Ana G. Mendez University.

Valencia received national publicity for several international partnerships, including one that is aimed at developing a women’s community college in Saudi Arabia and another that is helping to transform Puerto Rico’s criminal justice system. See the story in Community College Times:

http://www.communitycollegetimes.com/Pages/Campus-Issues/Bringing-the-community-college-mission-abroad.aspx

consulate awards scholarships for valencia students of mexican origin

IME BECAS Scholarships Funds Awarded: The funding is part of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME) “BECAS for a Better Life,” a fundraising program that was created by the Mexican government in 2005 to support the development and well being of Mexican migrant students living in the United States. The program’s ultimate goal is to help develop a more educated and better-trained work force by supporting underserved students to continue or begin their academic development.

IME BECAS Scholarships Funds Awarded: The funding is part of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME) “BECAS for a Better Life,” a fundraising program that was created by the Mexican government in 2005 to support the development and well being of Mexican migrant students living in the United States. The program’s ultimate goal is to help develop a more educated and better-trained work force by supporting underserved students to continue or begin their academic development.

The Mexican Consulate in Orlando awarded Valencia College $4,000 in scholarships to benefit Mexican-American students. Together with matching dollars from the Valencia Foundation, the college will award four students each with a $2,000 scholarship. Recipients must be current Valencia students who are Mexican or of Mexican descent.

A total of $28,000 was awarded by the consulate to three Florida colleges and two nonprofits during a ceremony held earlier today at the consulate. Each award will be matched by the recipients’ foundations to provide $56,000 in scholarships to benefit more than 160 students.

“We are very grateful to have the opportunity to partner with the Mexican Consulate to provide scholarship support to students of Mexican descent,” said Kathleen Plinske, president of Valencia’s Osceola and Lake Nona campuses. “One of our strategies to increase the number of students who pursue a higher education in our community is to reduce the financial barriers they face, and this scholarship program will help several of our students to realize their dreams at Valencia College.”

Hispanics make up the largest minority group at Valencia at 31 percent. In the last five years, Hispanic enrollment at the college has grown by 37%, or 4,959 students.

This is the second year that Valencia has received these funds, after awarding scholarships last year to four Mexican-America students, including:

  • Ashley Vasquez, a first-generation college student, member of Phi Theta Kappa, who dreams of becoming an optometrist and plans to complete her A.A. then transfer to UCF for her bachelor’s;
  • Daisy Mondragon, who’s pursing an A.S in Radiology Technician and is hoping to graduate in December 2014;
  • Carolina Lopez, married with small children, will be the first in her family to graduate from college. She’s studying for her A.S. in nursing—a highly competitive and rigorous program—and plans to complete her bachelor’s in nursing at UCF.

The funding is part of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME) “BECAS for a Better Life,” a fundraising program that was created by the Mexican government in 2005 to support the development and well being of Mexican migrant students living in the United States. The program’s ultimate goal is to help develop a more educated and better-trained work force by supporting underserved students to continue or begin their academic development.

Information on how students can apply for the scholarships can be found here: https://valenciafoundation.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/2013-14-ime-becas-scholarship-available-now-2/

art in teaching: new exhibition showcases work by artist and professor

The exhibition, titled “Demo’d: Art in Teaching,” showcases a body of more than 150 works created by Andrew Downey, who teaches drawing, printmaking and design at Valencia.

Viewers are likely to experience visual overload when first entering the gallery, but they’ll also see a vast and energetic range of demos created over time – as well as a body of work emanating from the art of teaching.

Last night opened the exhibition of artwork by artist and Valencia professor Andrew Downey.  The gallery will display his work free and open to the public through Oct. 18 at Valencia College’s East Campus, in the Anita S. Wooten Gallery.

The exhibition, titled “Demo’d: Art in Teaching,” showcases a body of more than 150 works created by Downey, who teaches drawing, printmaking and design at Valencia. An installation of works in various stages used as class demonstrations, the pieces in this exhibition have never been seen outside of the classroom.  Some date back as far as ten years while others are only several days old.

The Anita S. Wooten Gallery is located in Building 3, room 112, on Valencia’s East Campus, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando.

The gallery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, please call 407-582-2298 or 407-582-2268.

valencia college theater kicks off season with broadway hit ‘chicago’

chicago-logoThe Valencia College Theater is proud to present the hit musical “Chicago,” from Oct.18-27, in the Performing Arts Center of Valencia College’s East Campus.

The winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy and thousands of standing ovations, “Chicago” roars onto the Valencia Performing Arts Center stage this fall.

See what makes this Bob Fosse musical deliciously dangerous and exhilarating – as the show says, it’s a story of “murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery – all those things we all hold near and dear to our hearts.”

Join Roxie Hart, Velma Kelly, Billy Flynn, the “Merry Murderesses” and all the iconic characters that have made this musical one of the biggest Broadway successes ever since its debut in 1975. The subsequent revival became the longest-running musical revival as well as the longest running American musical on Broadway. It is also the third longest running show in Broadway history.

Valencia’s production will be directed by program chair John DiDonna, with choreography by Eric Yow of Yow Dance, and musical direction by Tim Hanes.

On Oct. 25, the performance will be followed by a talk-back with the cast and crew.

General admission tickets cost $15. Senior citizens, Valencia faculty, staff and students may purchase tickets for $12. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.valenciacollege.edu/arts.

Use the code “VALENCIAWEB” for a $2 discount on each ticket. The discount is for online purchases only. Tickets and more information are also available by calling the college box office at 407-582-2900.

There will only be seven performances of this hit musical, so advance purchase is advised.

Please note: The play contains adult subject matter and is considered a PG to PG-13 rating.

Valencia’s East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail.

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

note from the “Tina’s Heart” scholarship committee

The endowed scholarship created in memory of Valencia student Christine “Tina” Collyer will begin distributing to Valencia College students in 2014.  Family and friends of Tina celebrated her memory in the following letter that thanked community members and contributors of this learning legacy.

Thank you so much for your donation to Tina's Heart Scholarship. Your generosity made this scholarship possible. Most donations came through the 2011 and 2012 Tina's Turn Out events at Lake Eola, the support of Valencia's Alumni Association, and through the 2013 graduating class at Valencia College. We are so very grateful to all of you.We are happy to announce that the Tina’s Heart Scholarship in memory of Tina Collyer is now endowed!

Starting in 2014, Valencia will award one scholarship every year to a freshman student who will attend Valencia. EVERY YEAR!!! Although the specific criteria for eligibility to receive the scholarship has not been finalized, it will be awarded to a student who has participated in the Fire Department Explorer program and wants to pursue a career as a firefighter/EMT.

The Orlando Fire Department Explorer program was at the center of Tina’s heart, and she inspired the Explorers that she guided through the program. Tina’s legacy will live on in our memories and this scholarship will extend that legacy to future Explorers!

Thank you so much for your donation to Tina’s Heart Scholarship, as your generosity made this scholarship possible. Most donations came through our 2011 and 2012 Tina’s Turn Out events at Lake Eola, through the Valencia Alumni Association, and through the 2013 graduating class at Valencia College. We are so very grateful to all of you.

Please celebrate Tina whenever you think of her – when you take a walk around Lake Eola, or when you hear a fire truck, or just whenever you think of her crazy antics.

With heartfelt thanks,

The Tina’s Heart Scholarship Committee
Janice Collyer, Bill Collyer, Shannon Omark, Suzanne Rhodes, Barbara Shell, Randy & Genie Tuten

P.S. If you would like to provide input on the eligibility and selection criteria prior to the 2014 Scholarship season, please contact Shannon Omark at sbomark@mchsi.com or Suzanne Rhodes at suz403@yahoo.com prior to March 1, 2014.

Christine ”Tina” Collyer’s lifelong dream of becoming a fire fighter was ignited by an AS degree in Fire Officer Technology, an AS in Emergency Medical Service Technology and a certificate in Paramedic Technology from Valencia Community College. In January of 1996 she joined the Orlando Fire Department and also served as Paramedic and instructor for the department and citizens of Orlando.

Tina was the Explorer Advisor for many years and proudly served on the Honor Guard. Her contributions to the Orlando community extended as a volunteer with Burn Camp, Dream Flight, and the Winnie Palmer Secret Santa.

Friends and family are honoring Tina’s commitment to learning and her giving spirit with a scholarship in her honor.  The family wanted to create hope with Tina’s Heart marking one year since Tina’s passing in October 2008.

For more information about the efforts of this committee in memory of Valencia Grad Tina Collyer please read the blogs In memory of Tina Collyer and The results are in: Tina’s Turnout for scholarships.

putting a human face on genocide

Valencia’s Peace and Justice Institute brought Carl Wilkens to Valencia campus through a $2,000 grant from the United States Institute of Peace, which was matched by a $2,000 donation from Orlando-based ShuffieldLowman Attorneys & Advisors.

One Person Can Make a Difference: Recalling Lessons from Rwanda

  • By Linda Shrieves Beaty

When the genocide in Rwanda began in 1994, Carl Wilkens found himself facing a terrible dilemma.

A Seventh-Day Adventist aid worker, Wilkens had lived in Rwanda for four years, building schools and starting his young family there. But as the violence between the majority Hutus and the minority Tutsis erupted, and the killing began to engulf the country, the U.S. embassy urged all Americans to get out of the country.

There was just one problem, Carl Wilkens told audiences at Valencia this week. The Wilkens family — Carl, his wife Teresa and their three small children –  employed two Rwandans: a housekeeper and a young man who was their night watchman. Both were members of the Tutsi tribe, whose members were being hunted down and killed by members of the majority Hutu tribe and its government.

Wilkens figured he had two choices: Leave the country and try to sneak out his two employees, which the U.S. embassy had forbidden, and which he felt might risk his family’s lives if  they were caught at the border. Or, he and his wife could leave their home in Kigali, and let their employees hide out in their home. Unfortunately, Wilkens knew that the Hutus would quickly find their employees and kill them.

In the face of such dreadful choices, Wilkens came up with a different solution.

He sent his wife and children to neighboring Burundi, and he chose to stay in Rwanda — where he could shelter his employees and other Tutsi friends.

“When Plan A is unacceptable and Plan B is equally unacceptable, I’d encourage you to stop and look for a Plan C,” Wilkens told the Valencia students and staffers at his speeches.

Wilkens, the only American who stayed during the bloody genocide that claimed more than 800,000 lives, managed to save the lives of his employees — and he’s credited with saving the lives of hundreds of others, including children in nearby orphanages.

During the 100 days of nonstop killing, Wilkens went out into the bloody streets of Kigali, faced down soldiers and civilians armed with AK-47s and machetes, and bargained with Hutu government officials to let him help the children.  Before long, he found himself dealing with men who were ordering the slaughter of thousands of people.  He was uncomfortable with the idea, but a Tutsi friend and pastor suggested it. “He said, ‘Carl, if you really want to make a difference, you have to form a relationship with the people in power,’ ” Wilkens recalled.

So Wilkens  met with Col. Tharcisse Renzaho, the governor of Kigali. Renzaho gave Wilkens a travel permit that would allow him through roadblocks to provide food and water to children in orphanages. When Wilkens asked for a truck to deliver the materials, the colonel provided one. Later, after the violence ended and the Rwandan people drove out the extremist government, that colonel was arrested and tried for his crimes.

Yet the incident taught Wilkens a lesson. “I want to focus on the power of relationships to make a difference,” said Wilkens.

Peace, he said, depends on it. “How are we going to build world peace? Through friendships.”

Wilkens stayed in Rwanda for another 18 months after the genocide, as the country began to heal. In 2011, Wilkens released his first book, “I’m Not Leaving,” which is based on tapes he made to his wife and children during the genocide. Today, he is the director of World Outside My Shoes, a nonprofit based in Spokane, Wash. Wilkens now spends much of his time traveling around the country,  telling how his experiences puts a human “face” on genocide,  showing students that  perpetrators, victims, and resistors will not soon be forgotten, and teaching participants how one person really can make a difference.

Valencia’s Peace and Justice Institute brought Carl Wilkens to campus through a $2,000 grant from the United States Institute of Peace, which was matched by a $2,000 donation from Orlando-based ShuffieldLowman Attorneys & Advisors.

new partnership connects parramore residents to nursing careers

The first ten students to benefit from this program began their Practical Nurse training at Orlando Tech last week. At the same time, they also began pre-requisite courses at Valencia for the nursing program.

The first ten students to benefit from this program began their Practical Nurse training at Orlando Tech last week. At the same time, they also began pre-requisite courses at Valencia for the nursing program.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando Commissioner Daisy Lynum and officials from area hospitals and schools launched an ambitious plan today to bring new job opportunities in health care to low-income residents of West Orlando.

Speaking at Orlando Tech, Mayor Dyer said the city’s growing biomedical and healthcare industry offers the “opportunity for nearly 30,000 jobs and $7.6 billion of economic impact in the next 10 years.”

The Orlando Medical Careers Partnership is designed primarily to help Parramore’s residents take advantage of those high-paying job opportunities by equipping them with the skills they need to become future nurses, doctors, medical assistants and lab technicians.

Led by the city’s Blueprint Employment office, other partners in the project include Valencia, Orlando Tech, the University of Central Florida, Florida State University, Orange Country Public Schools, Florida Hospital, Orlando Health and Workforce Central Florida.

Last week, the first ten students to benefit from the program began their Practical Nurse training at Orlando Tech and at the same time, also began their pre-requisite courses at Valencia for the nursing program. After a year, they will enter an accelerated nursing program at Valencia that will allow them to earn their Associate in Science degree in nursing and take the exam to become a registered nurse.

“We offered them a pathway that allows them to reach their potential,” said Falecia Williams, president of the college’s West Campus where the program will be offered.

Students will have a dedicated advisor, faculty member and tutoring, as well as clinical training opportunities with the three hospital partners. Workforce Central Florida will cover the costs for tutoring.

“Once you get ‘RN’ behind your name, the number of opportunities will just multiply,” said Ebony Thompson, one of the students involved in the program. “That’s what I’m looking forward to.”

valencia to host exhibit by renowned artist, social activist luba lukova

Luba-Lukova-JPG1-I_have_a_dreamValencia College is proud to host “Graphic Guts,” an exhibit by internationally acclaimed artist and social activist Luba Lukova, which will run Aug. 16 through Sept. 27 at Valencia’s Anita S. Wooten Gallery, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando.

Valencia will hold a gallery reception to welcome the artist on Sept. 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Lukova will speak at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the gallery is free.

The Bulgarian-born Lukova is regarded as one of the most distinctive image-makers working today. Whether by using an economy of line, color and text to pinpoint essential themes of the human condition or to succinctly depict social commentary, her work is powerful and thought-provoking. In a climate dominated by complex multi-layered imagery, Lukova’s work is a refreshing contrast. Using engaging composition and energetic contrasts, her distinctive style is powerful in its simplicity and vivid palette, often achieved with single ink on colored paper.

Lukova’s work has been widely exhibited in the United States and internationally, with solo exhibitions at the UNESCO in Paris; the DDD Gallery in Osaka, Japan; La MaMa Gallery, New York; and the Art Institute of Boston. Her work is included in the permanent collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris; the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; and the World Bank.

In 2008, she released a critically acclaimed book of posters entitled Social Justice 2008, 12 Posters by Luba Lukova. Since its publication, the posters have been exhibited widely around the world.

The Anita S. Wooten Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The gallery is located in Building 3 on Valencia’s East Campus, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando. For more information, please call 407-582-2298.

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

first one: college team leaders share their stories

The First One campaign only has a few weeks left to raise $100,000 in scholarships for first generation students. The best part is that the $100,000 raised by August 31 will be doubled by a matching grant.

So far the community has contributed over $47,000 (and that does not include the match)!

Josh, Amanda and Lisa are doing their part for the First One Campaign by sharing their ‘firsts’ and leading a team – how can you help first generation college students?

This  fundraiser is a grassroots effort spearheaded by faculty, staff, students, alumni and other friends  – please consider getting involved today!

Josh, Amanda and Lisa are doing their part for the First One Campaign by sharing their ‘firsts’ and leading a team – how can you help first generation college students?

  • Lead – Consider being a team leader! You can have fun with your friends setting up a team with a ‘fun’ name online at http://www.valencia.org/firstone, and then begin inviting others to join your team. Many templates, (for example a “join my team” email template) are available to make this an easy process.
  • Join – Not one to lead a team? Well, you can volunteer with one of the already established teams – simply click on the team name you would like to join and click “join team”.
  • Share – Get involved by spreading the word about the First One campaign, and share your “first” story to inspire others. Change your Facebook profile pictures and/or Twitter avatar in support, and invite others to do the same (#firstone). You can visit the Facebook ONE page for over 20 awesome options of profile pictures to choose from.
  • Donate – If you’d like to make a donation, visit the First One donation webpage, and click “give now”.

For more information and ways you can contribute to the First One campaign, contact Donna Marino, donor relations manager, at dmarino@valenciacollege.edu or extension 3128.

building bridges to success

The Valencia College Bridges to Success program is responsible for working with diverse populations to assist with the post-secondary transition from enrollment to graduation.

Students often balance their academic course work, family responsibilities and personal life. Bridges students are provided an educational environment that supports their success and provides academic services, programs of interest and mentoring that benefit this diverse student population.

On July 26, the Bridges to Success mentor program IMAGES (Influential Men Applying Gifts and Employing Strategies) gathered in support of Valencia students: those who are the first in their family to attend college.

These IMAGES members joined the Bridges First One online fundraising team and created their team webpage: http://firstone.kintera.org/bridges

These IMAGES members joined the Bridges online fundraising team and created their First One team webpage: http://firstone.kintera.org/bridges

Bridges to Success at Valencia works with ethnically diverse populations to:

  • assist with post-secondary transition from application to enrollment and graduation
  • assist the college in creating an educational environment that supports the success of these students

For more information on the Bridges to Success program at Valencia College, please contact:

John Stover, Bridges to Success Program Manager
Student Services Building, West Campus
jstover@valenciacollege.edu
1800 S Kirkman Rd., Orlando, FL 32811-2302

spotlight story – donald gibson

Donald Gibson
“I truly try my best to enjoy every single day no matter how tough it gets or how bad it is.” And after meeting Donald Gibson, I can certainly attest to that fact.

Donald currently works at Valencia as a VA certifying official. He helps veterans and dependents of veterans, making sure they are accessing their education benefits and assisting with obstacles that might hinder their educational journeys.

It is a job he eyed when he was a work study student, a position funded through the VA. He found out that his VA benefits would be running out the same month that his supervisor was retiring. He approached his supervisor and told her, “I want your job. How do I get it?” Stunned at first, once she realized he was serious she did everything in her power to teach Donald everything she could. He made the transition and is very proud of the work he does at Valencia and especially proud that he gets to help his fellow veterans.

Donald joined the Marine Corps in order to access the GI Bill and go to college. He was told by his parents at an early age that they were not going to be able to help him finance college. He was good in school but hit some rough spots in high school and education took a second seat to life. At 15 he was responsible for all of his expenses – food, clothing, etc. At 18 he was told that he needed to live on his own, so with 6 months until high school graduation, he found a place of his own and worked to pay for it. Despite all of this, he did manage to graduate high school. Thinking back on that time, Donald says, “I was not necessarily ever anti-school, I was just a teenager trying to juggle a full-time job and going to school full time and it was difficult for me.”

He started attending Valencia, the first in his family to attend college, but soon life happened again. He was not successful at accessing his GI Bill funds and ended up thousands of dollars in debt. He soon found himself unable to continue his education.

Time passed and the Post 9/11 GI Bill was introduced. This version paid the school directly and gave him much needed peace of mind. He applied for benefits and was part of the inaugural group of scholars to attend college using this bill.

And then life dealt another blow. His father was electrocuted by a power line and almost passed away. He moved in with Donald, who not only served as his caregiver, but found himself paying for some of his actual medical care, he estimates $9,000 over two years. During this time, being a care provider and working full time, Donald remained a full-time student and had a 3.8 GPA.

It was a foundation scholarship that helped Donald during another one of life’s troubling moments – a $1,000 scholarship just as his VA benefits were running out. He often wonders if those funds saved him from having to drop out again.

Donald admits that his story may not be typical, and that his first-generation experience has included a lot of struggles. But he recognizes that he is farther along than others, “I’m getting ready to purchase my first home. Even with minimum wage jobs I always made sure that I took care of what I needed to take care of.”

He is able to put things in perspective, and credits Valencia in his life. “One of the biggest things to learn is that if you have goals, you have to understand there is going to be those unknowns that you can’t really plan for, but you have to be able to manipulate and work with them. And that is why I love Valencia so much, as a student and as an employee, because they understand, they truly understand life does happen. And they don’t hold it against you, they actually help you try to manipulate and maneuver those obstacles that get thrown in your way.”

And in his job, he is part of Valencia’s helping hand, providing service to fellow veterans. It is a population that is growing, with more than 2,000 students using VA benefits on an annual basis. Summer enrollment was the highest that he’s ever seen with 900 veterans using their benefits.

When asked how he remains so positive, even in the face of challenges, he shares that he has a good support system. “Me and my mom have an amazing relationship,” he shares. Some may question their relationship based on his strict upbringing, but he shares the truth is actually far different than people may assume. She knew him better than he knew himself and realized that he was the type of person who needed to go out into life and experience things on his own, even hardships. And he also cites his faith with reassuring him that everything happens for a reason and this is God’s plan.

His positive energy is not contained, it spills over to those close to him. He is a mentor to his cousin, who is also a first-generation student and currently attending Valencia. He identifies with the struggle of other first-generation families, struggles they may not have needed to go through if they were able to make more money with a college education.

He also mentors a young man that his aunt and uncle took into their home. The young man’s mother struggled with substance abuse and his aunt and uncle offered a stable and loving environment. Donald will tell you that this young man is “one of those people who has so much potential but doesn’t know how to tap into it.” To make sure this young man realizes that potential, he paid the $35 registration fee for him to go to Valencia and helped him fill out the FAFSA. But the support doesn’t end there: “I will be taking time to walk him through the system, to make it easy for him, so he doesn’t get overwhelmed and lost and confused. He doesn’t have people like that in his life that can help him walk through it because nobody he knows, not one person, has ever been to college.”

After meeting with him, I can definitely say that Donald Gibson is someone you would be grateful to have in your corner. The foundation is in the midst of our First One campaign and I find myself thinking about something Donald said at the very end of our chat. First time in college stories aren’t always about college. Donald’s story certainly shows that, sometimes life happens and how you get through it makes you stronger and wiser than before.

faculty and staff giving committee award 5 student scholarships

Valencia’s Student Opportunity Circle Scholarship — the first scholarship created solely with donations from faculty and staff —  awards 5 student scholarships for academic year 2013-2014.

Special thanks to Valencia’s faculty and staff committee ambassadors for their work diligently screening and reviewing scholarship applications from deserving students.

This scholarship is the direct result of Valencia’s annual Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign, designed by a team of Valencia faculty and staff.

Valencia Faculty and Staff campaign ambassadors offer their support of First One.  Valencia established the First One campaign to help first generation college students, those that are first in their families to attend college.

Valencia Faculty and Staff campaign ambassadors offer their support of First One. Valencia Foundation established the First One campaign to help first generation students, those that are first in their families to attend college, with scholarship support.

At the quarterly meeting on July 19th, the faculty and staff committee ambassadors also committed their individual time and resources in support of Valencia’s First One campaign.

Valencia Foundation launched First One as a fund-raising effort to help first-generation, low-income students pursue a college education.

The First One campaign provides the opportunity to give another first by helping a student go to college. For more information on First One please visit: http://www.VALENCIA.org/FirstONE

For more information on Valencia’s faculty and staff committee please visit: http://www.valencia.org/fsg/committee.cfm

The First One campaign takes advantage of Florida’s First Generation Matching Grant Program that maximizes state dollars for students through a dollar-for-dollar match of private contributions. During the 2011-12 school year, more than 29,000 Valencia students were the first in their families to go to college.

online fundraising campaign for first generation scholars

In whatever way you are able to pitch in, we are grateful. The students you serve are grateful. The deserving First Ones will be ecstatic.

In whatever way you are able to pitch in, we are grateful.
The students Valencia serves are grateful.
The deserving First Ones will be ecstatic.

Were you the first person in your family to attend college? If so, we’d like to hear your story and share it as an inspiration for our students and our donors.

Valencia has launched its first online fundraising campaign called First One. This short-term grassroots effort is spearheaded by faculty, staff, students, alumni and other community supporters.

We’re looking to gather $100,000 from our friends, which, quite frankly, is an ambitious initial effort. But think about the impact your efforts will have on individual lives!

Gifts raised by August 31, 2013 are doubled by a matching grant! This means that once we reach our fundraising goal, we’ll be able to provide $200,000 in scholarships to deserving students who are among the first ones in their families to attend college.
Here’s how you can play an important part:

• Share your story! Please email a few paragraphs to jwileden@valenciacollege.edu.

• If you use social media, please temporarily change your avatar to one of our nifty First One pictures, which you will find here. (Your friends will ask questions.)

• We welcome your gift, which can be made by credit card by clicking here.

• To make a donation by check, please send it to: Valencia Foundation at DTC-1 with First One in the memo line. We’ll be sure it counts toward the online campaign and that it is matched.

• To amplify your reach and impact, consider creating a team you can manage at WWW.VALENCIA.ORG/FirstOne. If, for example, you have nine other team members and each raises $250, your impact will be $2,500 x 2 = $5,000 for scholarships!

• If you’d rather use your mad social media skills to spread the word about the First One campaign far and wide, please click here.

• Visit WWW.VALENCIA.ORG/FirstOne to start a team or make a donation today. For more information on the campaign, contact Donna Marino  at dmarino@valenciacollege.edu or Barbara Shell bshell@valenciacollege.edu or call 407-582-3150.

In whatever way you are able to pitch in, we are grateful. The students you serve are grateful. The deserving First Ones will be ecstatic.

Through this campaign – and every day on campus – you are transforming lives and families.

Thank you.

Geraldine

Geraldine Gallagher, CFRE

President and CEO

Valencia College Foundation

a first that will last a lifetime

Now, you have the opportunity to help someone else have a first that will last a lifetime — becoming the first person in their family to go to college. And, with dollar-to-dollar matching on donations, you can make twice the impact.

First One Donate

Valencia established the First One campaign to help first generation college students, those that are first in their families to attend college.

The First One campaign provides the opportunity to give another first by helping a student go to college. – See more at: http://www.VALENCIA.org/FirstONE

first one efforts support first generation college students

New Campaign Seeks to Raise Scholarships for First-Generation College Students – by Carol Traynor

Valencia Foundation has launched a fund-raising effort to help first-generation, low-income students pursue a college education. The “First One” campaign takes advantage of Florida’s First Generation Matching Grant Program that maximizes state dollars for students through a dollar-for-dollar match of private contributions.

First One Kickoff

To share your “first” or show your support through a donation, go to http://www.VALENCIA.org/FirstONE or http://facebook.com/myvalenciafoundation

“For first-generation students, a college degree not only transforms their lives, but alters the trajectory of their families for generations to come,” said Geraldine Gallagher, Foundation president and CEO.

During the 2011-12 school year, more than 29,000 Valencia students were the first in their families to go to college.

The campaign, which lasts from July 1 to August 9, seeks to raise $100,000 in private donations with a $100,000 state match. Students who qualify will be eligible for a scholarship of up to $2,000 to help offset the costs associated with college, including tuition, books and supplies, that cannot always be met with state or federal aid alone.

first-one-avatars-23

First-generation student and Valencia graduate Donald Gibson shared that he was the first person in his family to graduate from high school, not just college.

At a kick-off event held yesterday, first-generation student Donald Gibson, 31, told the crowd assembled that he was the first person in his family to graduate from high school, not just college. After graduating from Poinciana High in 2000, he spent five years in the military and later enrolled in college.

“I got my first-generation scholarship right as my GI Bill was running out. If it weren’t for that, I probably would have had to drop out my last semester,” Gibson said.

Finances are just one of the obstacles many first-generation students face. Joyce Romano, Valencia’s vice president of Student Affairs, shared the story of a student she met who drove to Valencia’s Osceola Campus six times before she could muster the courage to get out of her car, go inside the building and apply.

Romano herself was the first in her family to go to college. “I didn’t think of law school. I didn’t think of being a doctor. I didn’t think of owning a business. I didn’t think people like me did such a thing,” she said. “That’s another restraint for people who are first-

generation: they don’t know what things are possible.”

The First One campaign makes use of social media and peer-to-peer outreach and invites others to share how they were the first one to do “something.”

first-one-avatars-17

Available state funds are contingent upon matching contributions from private sources on a one to one dollar basis.

The First Generation Matching Grant Program (FGMG) is a need-based grant program available to degree-seeking, resident, undergraduate students who demonstrate substantial financial need, are enrolled at Valencia College, and whose parents have not earned baccalaureate or higher degrees.

Available state funds are contingent upon matching contributions from private sources on a one to one dollar basis.

To share your “first” or show your support of first-generation students through a donation, go to http://valencia.org/firstone/first-one.cfm or http://facebook.com/myvalenciafoundation

share your first …. help someone become a first

Your first day of college, your first road trip or your first born -- show your story with a First ONE profile picture and help spread the word on Facebook, or use one as an avatar wherever you share. http://valencia.org/firstone/first-one.cfm

One’s life is full of firsts — first steps, first day of school, first car, first kiss. They only happen once, yet they stay with you forever. Now, you have the opportunity to help someone else have a first that will last a lifetime — becoming the first person in their family to go to college. And, with dollar-to-dollar matching on donations, you can make twice the impact.

 tell-your-story

Show your support with a First ONE profile picture.

Your first day of college, your first road trip or your first born — show your story with a First ONE profile picture and help spread the word on Facebook, or use one as an avatar on Twitter, WordPress or wherever you share.

Download an avatar — right click and select “save image as” on a picture below.

first-one-avatars-1first-one-avatars-23first-one-avatars-16first-one-avatars-24

first-one-avatars-13first-one-avatars-7first-one-avatars-8first-one-avatars-20first-one-avatars-17foundation-first-one-wordmark-4c-stacked-print

student pin up highlighted in valencia vitae

PinUP

Ryan Dey assembles his project for UCF’s pin-up review.

Valencia architecture students pin up their work–and their hopes for admission to architecture school. — By Linda Shrieves Beaty

The temperature in the room is rising. So is the level of stress and excitement. Architectural models, foam board and pins are scattered all over the floor at Valencia’s Special Events Center. Nearly 80 architecture students are painstakingly pinning their favorite models, sketches and paintings to a 4-foot-by-8-foot board. For the students, the boards represent more than a three-dimensional portfolio of their work.

These are their tickets to architecture school. How well they present their work on those boards—known as pin-ups—is crucial. Their admission to architecture school hangs in the balance. The excitement in the room is palpable. So is the exhaustion.

“We haven’t slept in, like, three days,” said Valencia architecture students Angel Almanzar, 19, and Juan Diaz, 20. Working side by side, they have been fueling themselves with energy drinks like Monster and 5-Hour Energy.

Held at Valencia’s Special Events Center on April 17 and 18, the UCF “pin-up” is an annual ritual for Valencia’s graduating architecture students. Valencia students who want to be admitted to the University of Central Florida’s architecture program present their best work—and then display it for a team of judges who will decide which students get the 38 seats in next year’s junior class at UCF.ShowtimeBut the Valencia students are not alone at the pin-up. Students from 10 other colleges and universities are also competing, just as eager to get admitted to the UCF architecture program. At UCF—and at architecture schools around the country—admission to the upper division (or junior and senior classes) in the architecture program is limited. This year, more than 80 students are competing for the 38 seats in the UCF program. Last year, only 44 students applied for admission to UCF’s architecture program, so the competition is getting stiffer, says Lynn McConnell Hepner, associate dean of UCF’s College of Arts & Humanities.

And that’s just the beginning. When the Valencia students take their work to the University of Florida’s pin-up—held only a few days after UCF’s—they’ll face even more competition.

“It’s competitive, but that’s a good thing,” says Valencia architecture professor Allen Watters. “The competition is a friendly competition and it brings out the best in the students.”

At the UCF pin-up, students have seven hours to pin-up their boards. When the doors to the Special Events Center open at noon, students stream in, carrying the models and work they’ve done during their first two years in architecture design classes.

They also come bearing tools—scissors, X-Acto knives and lots of pins—for pinning their models and work to the large foam boards, which will be the canvas that holds all their work.

“It’s always been a fantastic event,” says Watters, who gets excited by the energy the students generate. “There’s always been a lot of excitement, but the event gets better each year.”

Mauricio Zamora and Sara Ramirez at pin up. They are part of nearly 80 architecture students who painstakingly pinned their favorite models, sketches and paintings to a 4-foot-by-8-foot board to create a three-dimensional portfolio of their work.

Mauricio Zamora and Sara Ramirez at pin up. They are part of nearly 80 architecture students who painstakingly
pinned their favorite models, sketches and paintings to a 4-foot-by-8-foot board to create a three-dimensional portfolio of their work.

While other students are buzzing around the room, Paola Munoz, 21, is busy in one corner, carefully pinning models and sketches up on her board. “I think I got about four hours of sleep last night,” says Munoz. “I was up until 5 a.m. figuring out how and where to pin everything.”

There are many rules, both written and unwritten. The top quarter of the board must be devoted to work done in a student’s first year, so that judges can see the students’ progression. And though they don’t have to, most of the students display their best work at eye-level to attract the judges’ attention.

But it’s tricky, says Valencia student Chris O’Beirne, who is working next to Munoz. “You can’t have too much white space, but you don’t want too much clutter,” says O’Beirne, 22.

Like many of Valencia’s architecture students, Munoz took a circuitous route to architecture school. She started her college career at UCF as an engineering major. When she discovered she didn’t like engineering, she transferred to Valencia to study architecture. “I wanted to do something more creative,” she says. “Besides, it runs in the family,” she adds, noting that her uncle is an architect in Ecuador and her cousin is currently studying architecture too. While Munoz wants to attend UCF—and hasn’t applied elsewhere—Juan Diaz is aiming for admission to the University of Florida’s architecture school. So when he takes apart his pin-up board, taking down the models and sketches and artwork, he’ll drive to Gainesville and start all over again the next day, for UF’s pin-up. “For me, this is more of a practice for UF,” Diaz said. But the process—the nights without sleep and the madness of producing a 3-D portfolio in a matter of hours—is nerve wracking.

Even the professors, most of who went through the same process as undergraduates, remember pin-up vividly. “You didn’t sleep for weeks beforehand,” says Valencia professor Jennifer Princivil. “This was Show Time. If your board didn’t sing, forget it.”

Adds Professor Christine Daelo: “This process is extremely nerve-wracking. Even if the air conditioning is cranked down to 30 degrees, you can feel the heat in the room.”

Valencia’s reputation heats up

The day after the students finish pinning their work to their boards, the judges—local architects and architecture professors at Valencia, UCF and UF—converge on the Special Events Center to score the students’ work. Judges hand out scores from 1 to 10 for each board.

“I look at the density of the board, meaning almost the entire board is covered, the work is pretty well laid out and the content is interesting,” says Daelo. “I always look for ones that are doing something different. Are they experimenting with different materials, for instance?”

The pin-up process even attracts former students, eager to see what this year’s crop of graduates has produced. This year, one of the visitors is Charles Green, who graduated from Valencia’s architecture program in 2011 and is graduating from UF’s architecture program in May. Now he’s headed to the University of California- Berkeley for graduate school. Green applied to Harvard, MIT, Columbia University, University of Florida and Washington University in St. Louis, as well as Berkeley for graduate school—and was thrilled to get into Berkeley. He—and many other Valencia graduates who’ve been accepted to top-flight graduate schools—is proof that Valencia’s architecture program is producing excellent students.

“I strongly believe in Valencia’s program,” said Green, 23, who transferred to Valencia after growing frustrated in an engineering program at the University of South Florida. “Wherever students want to go after this—whether it’s UF or UCF or Berkeley—Valencia gives you a good base of design knowledge. The work here is comparable, if not better than, UF.”

As Valencia students spread out to architecture schools around the country, they are discovering that word about the program is spreading. At the University of Michigan—one of the top architecture schools in the country—professors are offering encouragement to applicants from Valencia. “Some of our students went up there and the professors were raving about them because they already have two Valencia students there who are doing quite well,” said Valencia professor Kourtney Baldwin.

“They already know the reputation of our program.” Here in Orlando, the architecture community is supporting—and noticing—the progress at Valencia’s program. “I’ve been to three pin-ups now and I think that the quality of the work for pin-up is improving,” said Dr. Frank Bosworth, director of the University of Florida’s Citylab architecture program, an Orlando master’s level program that has partnered with Valencia and UCF. Bosworth believes the

Valencia program is maturing rapidly, thanks to contributions from Orlando’s well-established architecture community and the value of the 2+2+2 partnership between Valencia, UCF and UF. The partnership doesn’t guarantee Valencia students admission to UCF and UF, but is a transfer agreement that ensures a student is taking the right classes for a seamless transition. The growing maturity of Valencia’s architecture program, says Bosworth, is demonstrated at pin-up events and by the large number of Valencia students being admitted to the University of Florida’s architecture school. “Getting into the University of Florida is not easy. It requires a certain level of attention to detail, and to the quality of the work,” Bosworth says. Meanwhile, back on the floor of the Special Events Center, the Valencia students are relieved to finish their pin-up boards, but anxious to hear the results.

Jamie Connell, for instance, has applied to UCF and the University of South Florida architecture programs. And though she has already been accepted to USF’s program, she’s waiting to hear from UCF. “I really love Orlando and would like to stay here,” says Connell, 22. But whether she lands at UCF or USF, she’ll be content. “There’s a lot of competition every year because there are only a few seats available. Architecture is a competitive program.”

endowed chair sparked recent TEDx ValenciaCollegeLive

TEDxValenciaCollegeLiveStudents

Valencia’s East Campus recently hosted TEDxValenciaCollegeLive.
This photo of Valencia College students and faculty made an appearance on the TED global stage in Scotland during the TEDGlobal 2013 Live Stream.

Dr. James S. May, Professor of English as a Second Language, expresses his appreciation for the 2012-2013 Maguire Family Teacher Endowed Chair:

“It is with the support Valencia Foundation and the Maguire Family Teacher Endowed Chair, that Valencia College was able to take part in the recent global collaboration as part of TEDGlobal 2013 Live Stream.

Valencia students, faculty and staff  had the opportunity to experience these enriching TED talks, presented in time-delayed simulcast from the TED Global in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Last February, thanks in large part to the Valencia Foundation and the Maguire Family Teacher Endowed Chair, I had the honor of attending TEDActive2013. There, I experienced the true power and wonder of TED. An outcome of the endowed chair was this participation with TEDGlobal 2013. “

Valencia Foundation 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.

At Valencia College the endowed chair program recognizes and supports the Valencia faculty. In contrast to endowed chair programs at four-year institutions, which aim to attract preeminent researchers, Valencia Foundation endowed chairs fund a faculty proposed learning experiences.

These proposals that supports the mission, vision, and values of Valencia College and has a connection to student learning.  Endowed chairs also provide funding for projects that enhance learning-centered activities and/or foster professional development departmentally, college wide, within a discipline, or within the central Florida community.

Additional photos of Valencia’s day-long event are posted online.

welcome back – admission fee waived for former students at open house

http://valenciacollege.edu/return/

Former Valencia students, attend a Welcome Back Open House event and meet with representatives from admissions, advising and financial aid to find out everything you need to know about coming back to Valencia.

Students drop out of college for lots of reasons: Work. Family. Bills.

But if you dropped out of Valencia College at some point, it’s a great time to pick up where you left off.

That’s because Valencia is currently offering former students a financial incentive to come back to college: Attend one of Valencia’s Welcome Back Open House events and Valencia will not charge the $35 admission fee.

At the Welcome Back Open House, representatives from admissions, advising and financial aid will be on hand to answer questions.  In addition, a $500 scholarship will be awarded at each open house. Former Valencia students will be entered to win.

The open house events will be held:

■ Thursday, June 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Building 11 on Valencia’s West Campus, 1800 S. Kirkman Road, Orlando;

■ Tuesday, June 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Building 5 on East Campus, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando.

To RSVP for the open house events or learn more about re-enrolling, please visit www.valenciacollege.edu/return

If you cannot attend the open house events, but are interested in returning to Valencia, you can ask for an advisor to contact you. For more information, go to http://valenciacollege.edu/return/contact.cfm

welcome back – admission fee waived for former students at open house.

financial aid event scheduled this summer

Valencia College is hosting their biggest financial aid event on June 13. Students and parents can receive expert help to complete the free application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) form for college funding.

FAFSAFRIDAY

Osceola Campus
East Campus
West Campus

June 13, 2013
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Atlas Lab – Building 2, Room 131

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June 13, 2013
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Atlas Lab – Building 5, Room 213

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June 13, 2013
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Building 11, Room 133

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spotlight story: elizabeth fulcher

Elizabeth Fulcher

Elizabeth Fulcher

This story started easily enough, a colleague sent me a story idea about one of Valencia’s great students who was doing good work and gaining recognition through Phi Theta Kappa, Valencia’s honor society. I met with the student, Elizabeth Fulcher, and after our discussion I realized this story was about so much more. It is about starting over but never giving up, a story about leaving a wonderful legacy through scholarships and a powerful tale about bullying and what can be done to stop it.

At the center of it all is Elizabeth. So let’s start with a little bit about her and then see where the story takes us.

Elizabeth Fulcher is currently a sophomore working to get her associate in science in paralegal studies. She plans to continue on at UCF and get a bachelor’s in legal studies, taking the transactional path of litigation to be a paralegal.

Elizabeth actually started her post-secondary education at Winter Park Tech studying court reporting. The program was downsized and at the same time, she had an accident and required back surgery. The surgeon told her to pick a sedentary job. She decided to completely start over at Valencia. “I remember I was lying in bed after surgery and I said to myself, ‘I’m going to Valencia.’ So I got up the next day and I took my time and I went to the registration office. They told me what they needed and I got it all taken care of. I just started slowly and I had to do remedial courses but so what? It will pay off in the long run.”

She acknowledges it was difficult to completely start over but says that it made her stronger and made her have more self-discipline. “Things happen, but I can pick myself back up.”

Soon she was approached by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) and she was inducted as a member of the Alpha Gamma Omega chapter. She became involved with the “Honors Study Topic.” Every two years there is an “Honors Study Topic” and it is a theme for which essays for awards and projects are done to develop and create activities, experiences and service. The theme during Elizabeth’s involvement was called “The Culture of Competition.” Her and her fellow PTK contributors called it the anti-bullying project. They felt that bullying has a direct effect on competition and is particularly relevant to the college student population, who might be bullied for being smart or acting different.

Their investigation and research led to two things. First, they proposed a buddy system for children transitioning from middle school to high school. Each middle school student would be linked to a high school student who would be their resource and offer guidance. Additionally, they found an anti-bullying application for tablets and smart phones that would make reporting bullying much easier. To raise funds for their project, they held a prom for those who never got to go to their traditional prom. While a largely social event, it still supported their anti-bullying campaign by offering a prom for those who may have felt too scared or out of place to attend their high school prom.

The group worked with a few schools, but in the end the schools did not want to use the app due to increased liability issues. But Elizabeth didn’t stop, she spoke with Sheriff Demings and he gave her some insight on who to contact. She also wrote to the National School Board Association and the Florida Department of Education, as well as Representative Joe Saunders and Representative Darren Soto. Representative Soto did respond favorably to her idea, and during our chat she reminded herself to follow up with his office.

Elizabeth worked so hard for this effort because for her, this was a personal battle. She suffered at the hands of a group of “mean girls” and found that reporting it did little to stop the problem. Things escalated from verbal abuse to physical harm and she dropped out of school in 12th grade and got her GED. The project “had a big impact on me because I would recount the days that I was affected…it just brought back a lot of memories and I was so adamant, I just wanted to do something about it.”

Although Elizabeth is reluctant to admit she is a role model, which she most certainly is, one doesn’t have to look far at all to find people who will praise just how awesome she is. Professor Keith Malmos is the advisor for Elizabeth’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter. Right off the bat he shares, “She’s very appreciative and very modest but she is an amazing student and deserves what she gets.”

And as a testament to her modesty, it was Professor Malmos who filled me in on all the accolades Elizabeth has achieved through Phi Theta Kappa. She won an Elaine Turner Service Award through her Alpha Gamma Omega chapter. The anti-bullying essay was submitted to the Florida region for awards and helped her chapter receive a Distinguished Chapter of the State, recognizing the top 10 in the state. The chapter also submitted a Distinguished Member Award application on Elizabeth’s behalf and she won regionally and also won national recognition as a distinguished member.

Elizabeth credits her dad and her sister for helping to instill the drive to succeed. Her father told her, “Get a good education, you can take it anywhere you want.”

But for Elizabeth, it was her setbacks that really got her mindset focused on herself, not just because someone else says that education is important. “I truly feel in my heart if you don’t learn you are not doing anything. Success has no age limit and learning does not end at college. Learning is infinite in my opinion. Life is an education.”

In talking with Elizabeth, it is clear that the camaraderie and fellowship of PTK means a lot to her. “It’s just amazing how nice they are. I never knew people were that kind and caring and I’m so glad they graced my path.”

It was through Phi Theta Kappa that she learned about the Justin Harvey Alpha Gamma Omega Scholarship. She submitted an essay for consideration and was ecstatic when she found out she received the scholarship. She was moved by Justin’s story and incorporated how he inspired her in her winning essay.

I too was very moved when Elizabeth and I met and I decided to find out more about this wonderful young man and the legacy he left.

Justin’s mother, Sharon Skoloski, is a professor at Valencia in the social science department. She recounted stories of a young man who was successful but very humble, extremely talented and generous but quiet about his good deeds. Professor Skoloski remembers Thanksgiving, when dinner would have to wait until Justin returned home from feeding the homeless. “He would load up his car and just hit the road for different areas of Orlando and hand out dinner to the people on the railroad tracks or wherever they might be on the street so that they could have Thanksgiving dinner. That was my son.” And it wasn’t until after he passed that she found out the true extent of his gifts to others: There was the time he saved a friend during a river excursion and the many times he would take a homeless person to dinner while in downtown Orlando.

Justin graduated from Valencia in 2005 and continued on at UCF to study sports medicine. But his involvement with Valencia was not over; he served on the board of directors for Valencia’s alumni association.

Justin Harvey

Justin Harvey

He spearheaded efforts to start Valencia’s 5K event. Unfortunately, he passed away before the first event, but the event is still held each year and his memory is a part of each one. Also due to his good work and in the spirit of partnership, it is because of Justin that UCF’s sports medicine students are involved with the 5K event.

Justin was a classic violinist. He played since kindergarten and won many state awards in both Florida and West Virginia. While he had no problem performing in front of large audiences, he sometimes became shy when his mother would ask him to play for family or friends. “Truly, really humble,” Sharon remembers.

Justin was in Phi Theta Kappa and so was his best friend, Abeer Abdalla. Abeer wrote an article about Justin that shares even more of his community involvement and good deeds. He was committed to living the ideals of servant leadership and served as senator of membership for the Alpha Gamma Omega chapter of PTK, the same chapter Elizabeth is involved in now. He was recognized as a Fall 2004 Distinguished Officer, a Spring 2005 Distinguished Officer and the Fall 2004 Officer of the Semester.

While at Valencia, Justin was named a 2004 Coca-Cola Scholar and was most proud of winning the 2004 Florida Region’s Original Music Composition Award. And the support he gave to the local community was above and beyond, serving as a longtime volunteer for the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, Habitat for Humanity, Harbor House, Project Graduation and the National Kidney Foundation.

It was through the efforts of Phi Theta Kappa and the alumni association that the Justin Harvey Alpha Gamma Omega Scholarship was named and endowed. Sharon says, “It is an honor every semester to give out that scholarship.”

Sharon loves being an educator and interacting with Valencia students and as a professor she knows the importance the foundation and scholarships can make. She is grateful that the college remembers Justin’s legacy and considers it “an honor for me that Valencia carries it on as they do, so I’m always very grateful for Valencia.”

In putting this all together, I am struck by the humble nature of both Justin and Elizabeth. They both do good without needing accolades or recognition, and it is these quiet leaders that can change the world. Justin certainly did in the time he was here and Elizabeth is a wonderful representative of his spirit and legacy. I am honored to have been able to share their stories.

playwright competition call for new plays

Valencia College Theater is seeking script submissions for its 23rd annual Florida Playwrights' Competition. As it has since 1991, Valencia will produce a full-length original play in the spring of 2014 as part of its regular subscription series.

Valencia College Theater is seeking script submissions for its 23rd annual Florida Playwrights’ Competition. As it has since 1991, Valencia will produce a full-length original play in the spring of 2014 as part of its regular subscription series.

Valencia College Theater announces a call for script submissions for its 23rd annual Florida Playwrights’ Competition. As it has since 1991, Valencia will produce a full-length original play in Spring 2014 as part of its regular subscription series.

Playwrights (who must reside in Florida) are invited to submit a cover letter, resume or bio, one page synopsis, and the first 15 pages of no more than two never-before-produced manuscripts. The deadline for this first phase of submission is July 30, 2013. A committee will evaluate the excerpts and selected playwrights will be invited to submit the full manuscript as part of the second phase of the submission process.

From these manuscripts, one play will be chosen for development as a workshop production with the playwright’s participation. The writer will receive a stipend to cover travel and other expenses related to the production. The administrator of the competition plans to announce the winning play in early September 2013, and the workshop process will begin in late fall 2013 or early spring 2014.

Scripts must be original, never produced, full-length plays. Scripts that have received staged readings may be submitted. Collaborations are acceptable, but children’s plays, adaptations, and musicals are ineligible at this time.

Electronic submission of the cover letter, resume or bio, one-page synopsis and 15-page excerpt is required. Please send submissions and questions to Valencia’s Artistic Director, John DiDonna, at jdidonna@valenciacollege.edu.

Valencia educates more than 60,000 students a year at six campuses and centers in Central Florida’s Orange and Osceola counties. It was named the top community college in the nation for 2011-2012 by the Aspen Institute, a Washington educational- and policy-studies center. A panel of judges selected Valencia for the inaugural Aspen Prize based on the strength of its graduation and transfer rates, especially among minority students, as well as the high job placement rates of its workforce training programs.

Valencia educates more than 60,000 students a year at six campuses and centers in Central Florida’s Orange and Osceola counties. It was named the top community college in the nation for 2011-2012 by the Aspen Institute, a Washington educational- and policy-studies center. A panel of judges selected Valencia for the inaugural Aspen Prize based on the strength of its graduation and transfer rates, especially among minority students, as well as the high job placement rates of its workforce training programs.

 

sending appreciation to faculty and staff

You may soon see Valencia employees on campus sporting a new piece of Valencia flair: the gold Valencia Foundation lapel pin.

This lapel pin is given in appreciation to those faculty and staff members who are “Giving Opportunity” to Valencia students through payroll contributions to the Valencia Foundation

This lapel pin is given in appreciation to those faculty and staff members who are “Giving Opportunity” to Valencia students through payroll contributions to the Valencia Foundation

This lapel pin is given in appreciation to faculty and staff members who are “Giving Opportunity” to Valencia students through payroll contributions to the Valencia Foundation.

Employees who contribute by payroll deduction can select which scholarship they would like to support. These scholarships may reflect discipline, organization affiliation, or in memory of a colleague.

Others Valencia employees support Valencia’s Student Opportunity Scholarship, the first scholarship created and funded solely by faculty and staff for the students they serve.

For a full list of scholarships please visit the Valencia Foundation website.  If employees wish to contribute by semi-monthly payroll deductions please download the application here.

The Valencia Foundation would like to send special thanks to Katie Shephard and Josh Murdock who lead the 2012-2013 Faculty and Staff Committee!

If you are interested in serving as a faculty and staff campus ambassador please contact Donna Marino, manager of donor stewardship for Valencia Foundation at 407-582-3128 or email dmarino@valenciacollege.edu.

every drop counts: the courtyard fountain

Tucked away in a courtyard on Valencia’s Osceola Campus, this fountain is surrounded by embedded bricks engraved with warm wishes by community members. These bricks have been placed around this special water feature with proceeds from each sale supporting Osceola student scholarships.

Your small change makes a big difference! Donations to this fountain benefit student scholarships at Osceola Campus through the Valencia Foundation.

This fountain is located in the courtyard of Valencia’s largest building,
the state-of-the-art building 4, which opened at Osceola Campus in 2013.

Recently, Valencia’s facilities team noticed this water feature had begun to collect change, much like a wishing well. Perhaps students and employees reliving nostalgia of childhood by tossing in spare change?

No matter who made the first toss–or how the loose change appeared–Valencia’s Osceola administration wanted to make sure the contributions really did help someone’s wish come true.

Thanks to the coins of those first optimistic tossers, a purpose has been identified for those contributions: they will be included into the “etch your name in someone’s future” Osceola Campus scholarship fund.

This May, a plaque was installed on the Osceola Campus foundation that reads:

Your small change makes a big difference!
Donations to this fountain benefit student scholarships at
Osceola Campus through the Valencia Foundation.

If you are interested in helping to lay the foundation for a student’s future, please consider purchasing a brick to be embedded in the courtyard around the Osceola Campus fountain.

The cost of a personalized memory brick is $100.  The proceeds from these courtyard-bound bricks will be used to support scholarships for Osceola Campus students of Valencia College.

For more details or to place your order, please visit  valenciacollege.edu/Osceola/bricks

https://valenciafoundation.wordpress.com/2011/10/21/etch-your-name-in-someones-future-2/

Click here to purchase your engraved brick and etch your name in Valencia's legacy.

Click here for more information on the Osceola Campus engraved bricks.

a critique of societies adherence to ideals of beauty: Neil LaBute’s comedy

A modern and funny play about love between an average guy and a plus-sized woman, complicated by a world in which superficial judgments based on ones size and shape are the norm.

The Valencia College Theater is proud to present Neil LaBute’s hilariously biting comedy “Fat Pig,” on June 6, and running through June 16. The Friday, June 14th performance offers a bonus talk-back with cast and director after the production.

The play depicts the budding romance between Tom, an upwardly mobile corporate type, and Helen, a plus-sized librarian. LaBute’s comedy will critiques societies adherence to Hollywood ideals of beauty, and boldly questions the ability to change what we dislike about ourselves.

All performances will be in the Valencia College Black Box Theater, located on Valencia’s East Campus in Building 3. Curtain times will be7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. Sunday performances will begin at 2 p.m.

Valencia College Theater presents this contemporary work by Neil LaBute with a production direction by John DiDonna, set design by Greg Loftus, lighting design by Kristin Abel and costume design by Kayleigh Raymondo. The cast includes Chris Markcity, Olivia Richardson, Andrew Romano and Jessica Meguiar.

General admission tickets cost $12. Senior citizens, Valencia faculty, staff and students may purchase tickets for $10. Tickets can be purchased online at www.valenciacollege.edu/arts or by CLICKING here.

Read more about Valencia College Theater to Present FAT PIG, 6/6-16 by orlando.broadwayworld.com

congratulations graduates

gograd

On Saturday, May 4, about 1,200 Valencia students received their associate degrees as Valencia College celebrated its 44th spring commencement at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee.

But another 20 Valencia students made history at this commencement ceremony – becoming the first students to earn their bachelor’s degrees at Valencia College.

Eleven of the graduating seniors earned bachelor’s degrees in radiologic and imaging sciences, while nine students earned their bachelor’s degrees in electrical and computer engineering technology.

To recognize this year’s graduates, the college has posted the names of all 7,515 Class of 2013 graduates on a Lynx bus. After commencement ceremonies, the bus will be used on Lynx bus route 15, which travels from downtown Orlando to Valencia’s East Campus, on Econlockhatchee Trail.

The Orlando Sentinel has some great photos from the day here, including a photo of foundation staff member Susan Ambridge and her service dog Binx. Congratulations Susan and to all of our Valencia graduates!

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watch graduation live

grad

Click here on May 4 at 10 a.m. to watch Valencia College graduation live!

Valencia College’s Commencement Ceremony will be streamed live on Saturday, May 4 at 10 a.m. and will last about two hours. Limited technical support will be available at 407-582-1872.

Watch live on May 4 at 10 a.m. – click here!

2012-2013 Valencia Commencement Program

Please note: The broadcast will only be viewable until the ceremony’s conclusion. No other video recordings of the ceremony will be made available.

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a closer look – valencia students

Any day spent with our students is a great one, and April 16 and 17 were great ones indeed. For the first time, the foundation hosted a scholarship recipient photo shoot on East and West campuses. We reached out to our recent scholarship recipients via email and social media, working with a professional photographer to get shots of interested students. We booked appointments ahead of time, and also filled some time slots with candids of students on campus.

While there is no “typical” Valencia student, they all seem to share a common bond. First, they are amazingly photogenic! But more than that, each student we photographed had a wonderful spark, a brightness about them that was easy to capture on film. And each was gracious, so glad to be able to help the foundation that provides opportunity for so many.

Our day on East started with Kevin, a Universal Orlando Foundation scholar who plans to continue his education at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. We met Yashira, who hopes to teach English in Korea one day, and her friend Victoria who is studying music. We also met two single mothers, Nancy and Angela. Nancy is a single mother of three who is enrolled in two associate degree programs, accounting technology and business administration. Angela is a single parent of two. She is the first in her family to attend college and it brings her great joy to be a positive role model for her children.

The day at West kicked off with Samantha, a nursing student who brought a special thank-you letter to her donors. Then we met Juan, who is studying biomedical engineering and one day hopes to make artificial organs. There was Gerald, who we mistook for a college administrator – he had a great smile hiding under that professional look!

Sophie and Chelsey showed up, only Sophie had an appointment but we quickly talked Chelsey into taking part too. Both are a part of the diagnostic medical sonography program at Valencia. Chelsey credits her continued support from University Club of Orlando with allowing her to focus on studies and maintain an “A” average. Sophie was born and raised in Guyana and came to the United States five years ago, a first generation scholar.

Frances-Ann came and wow-ed us all with her great Wonder Woman sneakers! She sees Valencia as being only the beginning of her educational career and plans to get her doctorate and become a nurse practitioner.

We ended the day on West with Angel. For those of you who were at our recent scholarship donor breakfast, you know Angel’s story. He has fought against incarceration and homelessness to secure his education. Still living in a shelter, he is a student at Valencia’s Seneff Honors College, pursuing an AA in leadership and an AS in paralegal studies. (Here is more on Angel’s story and here is a video documenting his story.)

Angel and Dr. Shugart at the scholarship donor breakfast

Angel and Dr. Shugart at the scholarship donor breakfast

So these are our students. Each come to Valencia with their own background, their own story, their own future to write. They will go on to do wonderful things and realistically, will change the world as we know it. While they are here, we have a chance to lift their burdens by awarding scholarships. So remember these names when you make a donation and know that you make a difference in the lives of Valencia students.

PS – The pictures from these photo shoots will be unveiled in our 2012-2013 annual report, which will go out this summer.

spotlight story – lynn desjarlais

When foundation board member Rich Maladecki talks, people listen. Rich is a longtime supporter of Valencia Foundation and president and CEO of the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association (CFHLA). So when he told us about Lynn Desjarlais, a former CFHLA intern who is now a career program advisor at Valencia, we decided to see just what it was that made this industry leader speak so highly of her.

Her enthusiasm is immediate and contagious. We jump right in and learn that Lynn graduated from Valencia in 2007 with a degree in hospitality and tourism management, which is now what she advises for. She then moved on to UCF and the Rosen College of Hospitality Management and received her bachelor’s degree.

Lynn Desjarlais

Lynn Desjarlais

She met Rich when she was a student at Valencia. “He walked into one of my classes at Valencia after Professor Inglis invited him in. He said, ‘Hi, I’m Rich Maladecki and I have an internship opportunity. You need to go apply, you can get a scholarship.’ I thought, a scholarship, sure!”

She applied and received the internship, and CFHLA scholarships, and was soon spending every Friday from August to December at CFHLA, assisting the special events director and taking part in the annual hospitality gala. After her internship, she kept in touch with everyone at CFHLA and 6 months later, Rich offered her a full-time job, which she accepted, leaving Universal Orlando Resort after nine years.

She worked with Rich for a few years and then her life changed, she was pregnant with twins. She dropped down to part time and eventually decided she needed to stay home on a full-time basis. Her desire for more education soon took over and she went back to school. She also re-entered the workforce, working in hotels, which was then her passion.

She was working her way up in the industry, promoted to assistant front office manager. It was exactly where she wanted to be, but she realized that the 50-plus hour workweek was just not manageable with two young children. The career program advisor position was offered at Valencia and she felt it was a perfect fit – who better to guide students than someone who had been in the industry and been through the programs at Valencia and UCF/Rosen? She is now the advisor to about 1,000 students studying hospitality/tourism, culinary, baking/pastry or restaurant management.

Her dedication to her job and passion for students is remarkable, even more so when you learn she’s only been an employee since January. She develops individual plans for each of her students, tailored to their area of study and catalog year. It is a living document that can be updated by the student as they complete classes each semester.

When asked about merging her hospitality background with the fields of education and leadership, she shares that, “You want to grow other people and teach them. I want to teach them how to do this for themselves. In the hotel industry, everyone wants things customized and you have to listen to your client. Well, the students are my clients so I need to listen to them or else I am not going to be helping them or effective whatsoever.”

And it was something Rich taught her – network, network, network – that has also made her so valuable to Valencia. Lynn seeks out relationships with other departments that will benefit her students. All of her students must do an internship, so she made sure to reach out to Carmen Diaz in the internship and workforce services office. Recently she began seeing a lot of veterans, so she joined the VA committee to see how she can help them more. She’s reached out to UCF, connected with her program chairs, dean and other advisors. Anything she can do to provide better service to our scholars, she will do.

The path to an education can sometimes be bumpy; students can question their path, maybe even wanting to drop out. In the truest sense of the word, Lynn can empathize with these struggling students. Her first experience at Valencia did not go as planned, the program she chose was not a good fit and it took her leaving school and getting honest with herself before she came back to be a success in the hospitality field. She tells students, “this is very important, you need to own this and you need this degree because the world is too competitive.”

She is able to relate to students and share common experiences: “I can say you know what, I had that same problem with that math class and here is what helped me. I don’t think there is any shame in saying that you didn’t do well in something that you weren’t meant to do well in. You can shine in something you are good at.”

Even now, as she continues her studies to get a masters, she understands the hardships of a student. “I understand what it is like, it’s hard. There have been plenty of times, like when I was in school last night until 9 p.m. and I haven’t seen my kids all day…but you can’t quit, or else what are you here for?”

So what is Lynn here for? Well, in the long term she is getting her masters in management and leadership so that she can teach and bring her experiences full circle. She wants to continue on and eventually get her PhD. “Well,” she says, “you never stop learning.”

And now? Well, now she continues to be an amazing resource for her students. She is an integral part of the process here at Valencia, stewarding our students’ education and making each student strive to be the best.

Rich Maladecki sums it up so well. “In the workplace, Lynn is dedicated to excellence. She is a hard working professional, striving to be the best she can be. Lynn is personable and understands that customer service is imperative to success.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Thank you, Rich, for introducing us to Lynn, she is a shining example of stellar service and a devotee of lifelong learning!

best student artwork on display at east campus gallery

juried-student-art-2012-300x199What’s the best artwork that Valencia students produced this year? Come see now at the Anita S. Wooten Gallery on East Campus. An award ceremony was held last week and recognized outstanding work that includes drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics and design as well as graphic design and interactive design.

 
From over 300 submitted entries, 120 were selected for display. The jurors for the fine art selections were: Kevin Haran, a professor in the art department at the University of Central Florida, and Rick Lang, who heads the photo department at Crealde School of Art in Winter Park. Eleven graphics professionals from the Valencia Graphics Advisory Board selected the works for the graphics area.

 
The exhibition will run through May 17. The Anita S. Wooten Gallery, which is on Valencia’s East Campus in Building 3, room 112, will be open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (excluding college closed breaks), and is free to the public.
Valencia’s East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail.

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

design from valencia students fits IEEE to a T

Valencia's student chapter of IEEE won first place at IEEE Southeast Conference for their student T-shirt design.

Valencia’s student chapter of IEEE won first place at IEEE Southeast Conference for their student T-shirt design.

Valencia College students recently attended the annual IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) conference, SoutheastCon 2013.

At the conference, Valencia’s student chapter of IEEE won first place for their student T-shirt design.

IEEE’s core purpose is to foster technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. The t-shirt designed by students reflected the advancement of education in technology for students at Valencia college.

IEEE’s vision is to be essential to the global technical community and be universally recognized for the contributions of technology and of technical professionals in improving global conditions.

The SoutheastCon conferences attract approximately 500 students and 300 IEEE professionals annually.

1st Place Winners of IEEE Southeast Conference 2013 T-Shirt Design Competition

1st Place Winners of IEEE Southeast Conference 2013 T-Shirt Design Competition

Valencia College students at IEEE conference sporting the winning t-shirt design.

Valencia College students at IEEE conference sporting the winning t-shirt design.

kicking off the 6th brazilian film festival

http://valenciabrazilianfilmfest.com/

For free show times and locations, please visit: valenciabrazilianfilmfest.com

Valencia College will kick off its 6th Brazilian Film Festival on April 5. To view trailers, get directions and learn more about the films, please visit:  http://valenciabrazilianfilmfest.com/

Admission to the film series is free. All films will be shown in Portuguese with English subtitles. Each showing will be held at 7 p.m., and will be preceded by a reception at 6:30 p.m.

 “Gonzaga: From Father to Son” (De Pai pra Filho): 7 p.m., Friday, April 5, West Campus, Building 3, Room 111 Audience members 12 years and up.

“Heleno”: 7 p.m., Monday, April 8, Osceola Campus, Building 1 Auditorium. Audience members ages 17 and up.

“The Clown (O Palhaco)”: 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 9, West Campus, Building 3, Room 111. Audience members ages 14 and up.

“Two Rabbits (Dois Coelhos)”: 7 p.m., Thursday, April 11, West Campus, Building 3, Room 111. Audience members ages 16 and up.

 “Margaret Mee and the Moonflower”: 7 p.m., Friday, April 12, West Campus, Building 3, Room 111. This film is not yet rated, but is deemed appropriate for all ages.

To view trailers, get directions and learn more about the films, please visit:  http://valenciabrazilianfilmfest.com/

a closer look at valencia’s nursing program

7725816912_f1ed8c870f_bDuring the tour for City of Life, there was one word used repeatedly in describing Valencia’s nursing program: intense. However, there was one word used more often: passion.

The nursing, generic track at Valencia is a limited-access program. Upon graduation, students are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) to become registered nurses. Students can also continue on as a junior at any Florida public university to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The courses in this track are progressive in nature, with one course building on the preceding course.

Here is a look at the areas of study:

  • Nursing I – fundamentals
  • Nursing II – applying what is learned in a hospital setting
  • Nursing III – women’s health, ob/gyn and pediatrics
  • Nursing IV – advanced health, intensive care unit (ICU), preventative care unit (PCU)
  • Nursing V – a hybrid of online and face-to-face interaction, management, leadership and pharmacology

In Nursing VI, students demonstrate their abilities to independently perform Valencia’s nursing program educational outcomes in a variety of patient care settings. This is a practicum course, done in the hospital working directly with a registered nurse. In Nursing II through V, students get to choose their clinical sites each semester, working in varied specialties – cardiac, gastrointestinal, neurology, surgery, etc. Through these semesters, a student can hone in on what their interest is and by the time they reach Nursing VI, they usually are in the facility and area they hope to be hired in. This experience can be compared to the more traditional internships done in teaching, business and other fields.

Students also must take a pharmacology and clinical decision making course which addresses the use of critical thinking in making clinical decisions related to pharmacology.

There is much more learning going on beyond those fundamentals. Dr. Louise Pitts, retired Valencia dean of health sciences, explains that in addition to the science of nursing, the ‘what to do when,’ the art of nursing, communication and caring, is also being taught. She shares that students are learning how to be a nurse holistically in life, not just in a clinical setting.

Dr. Pitts admits that it is a hard program, probably one of the more difficult ones you can enter into in college. But there is a plethora of opportunity for these students once they graduate. Not just in the area they choose to work – pediatrics, cardiology, women’s health, etc. – but also in the setting – doctor’s office, hospital, etc. And nurses can continue their education and go on to administration, and even back to the field of education to teach.

Deb Spaulding, senior instructional assistant for Valencia’s nursing program, agrees. “I would have never guessed thirty years ago that there would be so many opportunities. Nursing opens this door and then there are these little trails that you can take to go on and do all kinds of things. And you will know if you really love it because it will come naturally to you.”

It is also a field that has an excellent placement rate. With a nursing degree, you will find a job. Dr. Pitts has never known of a nursing graduate who wanted a job and could not get one within three to four months after graduation.

Students learn in rooms like these, with simulators and set up just like a hospital setting.

Students learn in rooms like these, with simulators and set up just like a hospital.

Another thing that sets the nursing program apart from other areas is the real-life experience early in the program. When you choose the healthcare field, by the second semester you are getting actual experience in a hospital setting. Up to ten students per faculty member work directly on-site, seeing and laying hands on patients. Students can also work with a registered nurse who is an employee at the facility.

Simulation is an important tool in teaching nurses. This ranges from simple mannequins to simulators that can breathe and make cardiac and bowel sounds. Valencia’s nursing program is currently in the process of upgrading these, offering an experience that is identical to a human experiencing a medical condition. Valencia nursing students practice with babies who can burp, adults whose stomachs come apart and have pads exactly at the anatomical places to give injections. Everything at the bed side is just like it would be in a real hospital so there is not a culture shock when students leave the lab and are at the facilities. Feedback from students and faculty help to keep these techniques and learning methods up to date and new things are incorporated frequently to make the experiences as realistic as possible.

Valencia’s nursing program also relies on tutors. They are an invaluable tool to student success and instructors find that students are more likely to open up and work through a problem with a tutor because they are peers. Nicole Witek is currently a nursing tutor and hopes to work in women’s health. She shares that the nursing program is not easy, but feels that nursing faculty provide so many things that will lead to success. “They give us the foundation and the resources, you come with the motivation and the passion and they will teach you.”

Echoes Deb, “As long as you have the desire to learn, we can teach you.”

And Valencia’s nursing students have a consistently high pass rate for the NCLEX-RN. It was something that Deb noticed even 30 years ago, that Valencia graduates seemed better prepared to sit for the exam. And it still holds true today, Valencia’s 4th quarter NCLEX-RN pass rate was 100 percent.

According to the 2012-13 program guide, the current estimated total cost for the nursing, generic track program is $10,000. This includes tuition, special course fees and associated expenses such as background check, immunizations, uniforms and certifications. This total does not include textbooks, which can be costly for this program. For Nursing I alone, books can run between $721 and $1600, depending on the costs for brand new books.

Realizing these costs can be a hindrance, Valencia Foundation is happy to be able to offer a number of scholarship opportunities for nursing students, such as the Dr. Sara Page Scholarship. Dr. Sara Kerr Page was a career nurse who was a nursing instructor at Valencia for several years before her death in 1985 after a valiant battle with scleroderma. She inspired many to continue the tradition of compassionate nursing and the scholarship was established in 1986 through the generosity of her many friends and relatives.

Other scholarships include the Adelina O. Parker Scholarship in Nursing, Central Florida Kidney Centers Inc. Scholarship, Connie Kay Gwizdala Memorial Nursing Scholarship, Florida Hospital Kissimmee Auxiliary Scholarship, Health Education Technologies Scholarship, John S. and Carolyn T. Lord Scholarship and more. Students need only to fill out one application to be screened for these and hundreds of other scholarship opportunities. Students can submit a scholarship application online here.

The foundation also subsidizes the cost for the NCLEX-RN exam for Valencia nursing students, saving them a total cost of $404.

Nursing is truly a calling, and nurses are invaluable to our community. We are so proud of the nursing program at Valencia and are honored to be able to help fund the education of these special men and women.

young money live: financial literacy week

Financial Literacy Week Presents “Young Money Live
Monday, April 8 at 9:30am to 3:00pm
East Campus, Bldg 5, Room 112 & Great Hall
701 N Econlockhatchee Tr.Financial Learning

Along with special sessions like Young Money Live, Student Financial Learning Ambassadors promote financial literacy and responsible money management through peer-to-peer skillships and by presenting at campus events.

Many of the Ambassador presentations occur in the classroom through Valencia’s Student Success course, which is a class teaching strategies for success in life and college and is an appropriate platform for introducing the topic of financial responsibility.

It is with the support of USA Funds over the last 2 years that the Financial Learning Ambassador program has grown and expanded college-wide.

Mounting student debt to cover rising college costs is creating a challenging environment for a number of students pursuing a college degree. A college degree is an avenue to financial success and long-term stability and most college graduates experience more stable employment, higher income, security through assets, and an overall better quality of life than non-graduates.  One mechanism to work toward higher graduation rates and lower default rates is by way of financial literacy strategies and initiatives like the USA Funds supported Financial Learning Ambassadors at Valencia College.

spring break 2013

540781_10151527616326303_758722549_nThe Valencia College Foundation and Valencia College will be closed March 4-8 for Spring Break. Students are invited to check Atlas for answers to many of their questions during this time.

Atlas is Valencia’s online system that allows students to receive e–mail and check information in student records using a secure personal identification number.

If you wish to make a donation to student scholarships this spring , please visit our secure donation site online at www.VALENCIA.org and click on Give Now: Make a Donation or you may also send your contribution to Valencia Foundation 190 S. Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801.

Best wishes for a happy, safe and relaxing spring break.

–Donna

a closer look – valencia’s culinary management program

Ken Bourgoin's Culinary classMany dream of donning a white chef’s coat and for those in Central Florida, Valencia offers the only two-year degree-granting culinary program in Orlando. Valencia’s unique program is housed in the Walt Disney World Center for Hospitality and Culinary Arts. Opened in 2002, this 61,000 square-foot facility contains dual-purpose classrooms/banquet rooms, a high-tech demonstration kitchen with 20 fully equipped student workstations and a state-of-the-art production kitchen.

The program cultivates winners. Trina shared her love of competing in the story above, and she is part of a talented, award-winning team. The student culinary team won the gold medal representing Valencia and the state of Florida at the Culinary Regional Competition in 2011.

Program chair Chef Pierre Pilloud started his career at Valencia in 1996 as a curriculum writer for the then newly formed hospitality institute. In his time at Valencia, he has been acknowledged locally, recognized as a Top Chef in 2006 by the Central Florida Restaurant Forum magazine, and nationally, nominated for the American Culinary Federation National Culinary Educator of the Year in 2004.

Chef instructor Kenneth Bourgoin, 2010 Southeast Regional Chef Educator of the Year, took a few moments to share with us just what makes Valencia’s culinary management program so special. “We are not training these students how to be cooks, we are training them on how to be chefs that are great cooks. We teach what the industry demands, and believe it or not, the industry demands for you to be passionate about what you are doing and to have a positive attitude in everything you do in the kitchen. When you have that, you are apt to do better and promotions happen quicker. We will teach you how to learn for life!”

The culinary management track at Valencia will cost a student between $8,000 and $9,000. While this is a bargain, especially when compared to other local programs that can run in upwards of $40,000, cost is still a prohibitive factor for some of our current and would-be students.

The good news is that there are plenty of scholarship opportunities available through Valencia Foundation. Students need only fill out one application and they are reviewed for hundreds of potential scholarships. Scholarships like the Michael Jon Dreams and Passions Scholarship, started by Sandy Bove in honor of her brother, a graduate of Valencia’s culinary program. Other scholarships for culinary students include the Clara A. Walsh Scholarship. Ariana Costas is a recent recipient of the Clara A. Walsh Scholarship. She graduates in May 2013 and credits Valencia with helping her to master the necessary skills needed for the workforce. She chose culinary management because she loves to cook and believes cooking is one of her callings. If she could meet the person responsible for her scholarship, she would explain how important education and “my craft” are to her. “I am beyond grateful. I would even cook for them!”

Perhaps the best advertisement for a program at Valencia is its graduates. Through our wonderful alumni connections, we were thrilled to speak with Dawn Viola. Dawn received her certificate in culinary management in Spring 2011 and also has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from UMass, Dartmouth. She is currently working on her master’s in holistic nutrition.

Dawn’s work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications such as FoodNetwork.com, BlogHer.com, Babble.com, SheKnows.com, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Dessert Professional magazine, The Orlando Sentinel and Edible Orlando magazine, and been published in several cook books. She has appeared on Food Network, Cooking with Emeril, Martha Stewart Radio and is a frequent guest chef on Fox News and The Daily Buzz.

Dawn is currently the executive chef and kitchen director at Second Harvest Food Bank. In order to better meet the needs of the community, Second Harvest built a 100,000 square-foot facility and within that building is the 2,000 square-foot commercial kitchen, the Darden Foundation Community Kitchen. Dawn oversees the prepared meal services program, in-house catering program and the culinary training program. The training program serves 20 students with rolling admission every eight weeks.

Dawn chose Valencia’s culinary program for cost and convenience. The program worked well with her schedule and allowed her to be a part-time student while working part-time. It was also the most affordable program in the area accredited by the American Culinary Federation.

“Valencia’s culinary program provided me with an outstanding foundation and support system that has allowed me to excel in my career.”

Be sure to follow Dawn on social media and enjoy her recipe for lavash crackers below.

On her blog: http://dawnviola.com/
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dawnviola
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/dawnviola

Dawn Viola’s lavash crackersDawn Viola - lavash2
(This recipe is adapted from Valencia’s Baking II Class with instructor Jason Stricker.)
Lavash is a Middle Eastern-style flatbread that is rolled thin and baked in clay ovens. The softness of the bread depends on how thin it’s rolled. In stores, you’ll see a thicker, softer version often used for sandwich wraps. My favorite way is rolling paper thin and baking until nutty and crisp. And with the simple ingredients, it’s an easy and quick dough to make and bake.

Yields: approximately 24 crackers
Prep time: 10 minutes + 32 minute rest
Cook time: 7 minutes
Allergy information: soy-free; contains wheat, gluten
Fancy equipment: standing mixer with dough hook, mister

Ingredients:
1 lb. all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 ounces olive oil
7 ounces warm water
coarse salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, black pepper (optional)

Directions:
In the bowl of a standing mixer with dough hook attachment add water and oil. Add flour, salt and baking powder. Mix three minutes on medium speed until smooth; if mixture is dry, add 1/2 teaspoon of additional water at a time until a smooth ball forms. Remove dough from mixing bowl. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes or until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Remove dough from refrigerator; divide in half. Stretch each piece of dough over the back of a sheet pan; edges should be hanging off the sides. Let stand two minutes; trim edges flush with pan. Using a mister, lightly spray dough with water or oil; sprinkle desired toppings (coarse salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, black pepper).

Place pan in oven. Bake seven minutes or until lavash is light golden brown and crisp. Remove pan from oven; let stand five minutes. Break lavash into small pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store lavash in an air-tight container up to three days.

nursing faculty and students perform 26 acts of kindness

Nursing Faculty and Students Perform 26 Acts of Kindness in Memory of Newtown Shooting Victims By Linda Shrieves Beaty AreYouIn

How many Valencia College nursing students and faculty members does it take to change the world?

Apparently, not many.

That was the lesson that nursing faculty delivered this January and February as they urged students, staff and faculty members of the nursing department to participate in a unique public-service event.

Every year on Learning Day — which was held on Feb. 8 this year — Valencia College staffers perform some type of community service –  work that ranges from landscaping in local parks, to walking dogs at a no-kill shelter, or volunteering in area schools. But this year,  members of the nursing faculty had a different idea. They decided to perform 26 Acts of Kindness, part of a national movement to reach out and help fellow Americans.

The idea came from NBC news correspondent Ann Curry. In the days after the shootings of 26 children and teachers in Newtown, Conn., she tweeted this idea:  “What if? Imagine if everyone could commit to doing one act of kindness for every one of those children killed in Newtown.” Her idea quickly gathered momentum and 26 Acts of Kindness was born.

At Valencia, Kim Laughman, along with a handful of other nursing faculty members, discussed different ways they could honor the victims and families. “We thought, ‘What would happen if we let everyone in the Nursing Department know that we wanted to perform 26 Acts of Kindness to show support for our own community. Would they want to join us?’ ” said Tommi Graves, another nursing professor.

The response, says Graves,  was overwhelming. For three weeks, 26 full-time nursing faculty members and adjunct faculty, along with staff members and nursing students collected hundreds of donations.  By Learning Day, their cars were full of goods to deliver.

  • Food was collected for Pooky’s Pantry, a food pantry for Valencia College students in need of a meal.
  • Salad dressing was collected for the Orlando Union Rescue Mission.
  • VNSA (Valencia College Nursing Student Association) wrote letters and valentines to soldiers serving overseas.
  • Coupons were clipped and donated for military families to use in military PX stores.
  • Clothes and coats were collected and sorted for the Union Rescue Mission and the Orlando Coalition for the Homeless.
  • New and gently used socks & shoes, and clothes were bagged up for Park Place Adult Behavioral Center.
  • Board games, craft materials, & books were boxed for Park Place Children’s Behavioral Center.
  • Blankets, towels and pet supplies were gathered for the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Orlando.
  • Nursing students put donation jars in nursing classrooms and collected change for Shepherd’s Hope, a Central Florida medical clinic that relies on donations and volunteers to provide health services for people without health insurance.
  • Handmade blankets, cookies and valentine baskets with “sock cupcakes” were made  for Crossroads Nursing Home in Davenport.
  • A valentine-card distribution chain was coordinated to deliver Valentine’s Day cheers to nursing home residents at another center.
  • Toys, books and children’s clothing were collected and sorted for the Methodist Children’s Home in Sanford.
  • VNSA collected food for the Community Food and Outreach Center to be dispensed to low-income families in the Michigan Avenue area in Orlando.
  • Peace books were gathered to be distributed to different organizations.
  • Paper products were collected for Matthews Hope, a homeless outreach program in Winter Garden
  • A mysterious donor made and delivered many cupcakes to the nursing teams on West Campus and staffers at Florida Hospital South’s cardiac unit, where many Valencia nursing students do clinical and practicum rotations. .

“This experience,” said Graves, “reminded us that it is important to remember that it doesn’t take a ‘Learning Day’ to show acts of kindness and generosity.”

For Paula Pritchard, Valencia’s nursing dean, the outpouring of support was no surprise.

“Our faculty are very giving; they always give to the community, and our students are always the first to volunteer for any type of community service,” Pritchard says. “That’s really the heart of nursing. And I think the spirit of Valencia and the philosophy of the institution absolutely lives and breathes within the students and faculty of our division.”

 

Source: Written by: Linda Shrieves Beaty, http://news.valenciacollege.edu/

arbor day event on east campus

Valencia College has received the Tree Campus USA designation from National Arbor Day Foundation for the 2nd year. You are invited to celebrate with a planting event on Feb 19, 2013.

treecampususaCollege students, faculty, staff and community friends are invited to celebrate with other Valencia supporters at the Arbor Day event on East Campus, Building 4.

The event will take place on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 12 p.m. on Valencia’s East Campus, in front of and behind building 4 (library) and will include information tables, music and a tree planting at 1:00 p.m. behind the library.

The Tree Campus USA designation by the Arbor Day Foundation recognizes excellence in campus tree management, as well as student and community involvement across the nation.

The five standards required to obtain the Tree Campus USA designation include: campus tree advisory committee, tree care plan, a program with dedicated annual expenditures, Arbor Day observance and service learning projects.

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.

valencia sga leaders send appreciation

Valencia College student government association presidents recently sent thankful words to community members who donated in support of Valencia College students through a contribution to Valencia Foundation.

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“Please accept our appreciation for your generous support and thank you for opening access to college in our community!”

 

“Our peers are bright, motivated and often balancing work, family and community commitments. All Valencia students greatly benefit from the support they receive, no matter how large or modest the scholarship.”

The note was signed by student leaders from Valencia College area campus locations:
Jose Abastido, Osceola Campus; Mike Acevedo, East Campus; Andrew Johnson, Winter Park Campus; Evan King, West Campus; and Paula Santos, Lake Nona Campus.

Valencia SGA thanks to donors

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; http://news.valenciacollege.edu

college prep day open to high school students and parents

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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 http://valenciacollege.edu/rsvp to sign up.

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

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.

faculty artwork exhibit

There is still time to catch Valencia’s 2012 Selected Fine Arts Faculty Exhibition, running through Dec. 14 at the Anita S. Wooten Gallery.

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The exhibition features the works of members of the college’s art department faculty. The artwork represents a wide range of media, including sculpture, ceramics, drawings, photography and paintings.

Participating artists include: Courtney Canova, Michael Galletta, Rima Jabbur, Grazyna Kleinman, Allan Maxwell, Jackie Otto Miller and Camilo Velasquez.

The faculty exhibition has been held annually since 1975, when Valencia was founded.

The gallery is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The gallery is located at Valencia College’s East Campus, Building 3, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando. For more information, call 407-582-2298 or 407-582-2268.

there’s still time to vote for nicholas dijkoffz for grainger!

One of our very own Valencia students, Nicholas Dijkoffz, is a nominee for the upcoming Grainger Industry Innovator Contest. With your help, Nicholas may be a resilient finalist and earn the opportunity to attend the 2013 show.

“I have always been interested in studying engineering. In particular the word engineer describes a problem solver, which I consider myself to be. I feel a drive to search for solutions to today’s problems. That is what motivates me to work harder every day. Of course along the road there are bumps and setbacks, but as long as you have the will to move forward I believe everything will end well. With the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship I was able to fund my studies during my second year in college, helping with my tuition and book expenses. All I am thankful for having the opportunity of to educate myself, and be a part of the future of this country.” – Nicholas Dijkhoffz

All Facebook users are eligible to cast one vote per day, per person through November 30, 2012. The five Finalists receiving the most votes will win the Grand Prize, a trip to the 2013 Grainger Customer Show in Orlando.

Vote now by visiting: https://apps.facebook.com/offerpop/Contest.psp?c=242624&u=182491&a=177914495580579&p=298279166888825&rest=0&v=View and clicking Nicholas Dijkhoffz – Valencia Community College.

Your vote matters and with your help, Nicholas can potentially win the opportunity to attend the 2012-13 Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Industry Innovator Contest. Please vote today!

rock ‘n’ roll for charity on dec. 8

The Rogue Scholars are having a Rock ‘N’ Roll Sing Along for the Council on Aging to help people in need in Osceola County.

All proceeds will go to the Osceola Council on Aging’s food pantry. The food pantry had to close temporarily recently due to a food shortage, but opens when there is food available. The Rogue Scholars want your help to stock the shelves for those in need.

This family-friendly benefit concert is sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa and will be held on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at Valencia College’s Osceola Campus Building 1 Auditorium. The Osceola Campus is located at 1800 Denn John Lane, Kissimmee, FL 34744.

Tickets will be a $5 donation minimum per person at the door. Please also bring non-perishable food donations for the pantry. There will be snacks and water available for donations. There will also be opportunities to sing and perform with the band for donations. All proceeds go to the charity.

The Rogue Scholars (Facebook: Rogue Scholars Band) is a Valencia College band featuring faculty, staff and friends of the college.

All proceeds will be going to the Osceola Council on Aging’s food pantry (http://osceolagenerations.org/). The Osceola Council on Aging, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3, non-profit, private charitable organization dedicated to providing services to enable independence and self-sufficiency for seniors, disabled adults and disadvantaged families.

valencia nursing students heart femmes de coeur

Valencia College Students Thank Femmes de Coeur
Valencia College nursing students share their appreciation to Femmes de Coeur (Women of Heart) for the recent $12,500 donation to Valencia Foundation. This generous contribution is earmarked to support Valencia College nursing students through the Femmes de Coeur Endowed Nursing Scholarship.
Femmes de Coeur is an Orlando based, not-for-profit volunteer organization comprised of a unique group of community women volunteering time and sharing a common goal to serve the needs of the community. Their uniqueness is reflected through partnerships with existing organizations to accomplish their mission. The sharing of resources allows Femmes de Coeur to help to a larger community audience.

sweating it out to support valencia student scholarships

The Valencia Alumni Association continues to build its team as it gears up for its 8th Annual Valencia 5K Run, Rock & Roll scholarship fundraiser on Valencia’s West Campus on Saturday, March 30th.

This year’s 5K funds will once again support criminal justice, firefighter and EMS student scholarships at Valencia in honor of former Alumni Association board member, Justin Harvey.

Over 300 Valencia supporters came out last year where they ran, walked and rolled their way to raising more than $7,000 in student scholarship funds.  The race brought together Valencia alumni and employees; students, including those from Valencia’s Criminal Justice Institute, Paralegal, Respiratory Care and Bridges programs; as well as community participants, many of them from local law enforcement agencies. An energetic team of students and instructors from Boone High School’s criminal justice program also participated in the race for the first time.

Discover the many ways you, your organization or someone you know can invest in Valencia students’ pursuit of higher education as part of the Valencia 5K team.  For more information about 5K sponsorship and other opportunities, contact the Alumni Relations office at alumni@valenciacollege.edu or call 407-340-3426.

SAVE THE DATE! See you on Saturday, March 30th!

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valencia college alumni association scholarships are going electronic

The first of several electronic Valencia College Alumni Association scholarships for students, the Bill Castellano Civic Leadership Scholarship, was launched just last week and 13 students have already begun their online applications. The deadline to submit applications is midnight on Monday, December 3rd.

The Bill Castellano Civic Leadership Scholarship is awarded each year to a student who exhibits leadership skills and an overwhelming desire to become a future civic leader in memory of Bill Castellano. Professor Castellano’s ability to encourage students to share their true talents for the common good of their community is his legacy. He was a guiding force for students and the Valencia College family for over 40 years. In remembrance of his outstanding contributions to our community, this scholarship allows those who will never have the opportunity to meet him the ability to carry on his passion and love of government and true civic leadership.

As one of the first students to attend Valencia College, Bill always took an active interest in government and his community. From serving in the Student Government Association and as a founder of the Valencia Alumni Association after graduating, to retiring as one of the most admired and respected government professors, he always challenged the next generation he met to rise and meet the challenges of the man who inspired him to be a true civic leader.

Tax deductible donations to the Bill Castellano Scholarship can be made online at Castellano Scholarship Donation. Please select the scholarship from the drop-down box in the “Designation” field.

Veteran Gabriel Nickle (pictured below) from the West Campus was the 2010 recipient. Amy Walker from Valencia’s East Campus was the 2011 recipient.

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Left to right: Dr. Ruth Prather, former Provost of East and Winter Park campuses; Gabriel Nickle, Bill Castellano Civic Leadership Scholarshi​p 2010 recipient; Michael J. G. McLaughlin​, Valencia Alumni Association President; Barbara Shell, Community/​Alumni Relations

have you heard of directconnect to ucf?

If you’re planning to transfer to the University of Central Florida after completing an associate degree, DirectConnect to UCF is the best way to get there. Just enroll in the program when you submit your Valencia application, and you’ll be ensured a smooth transition to UCF when you graduate.

Benefits:

  • Guaranteed admission to a bachelor’s degree program at UCF.
  • Preferential admission to select bachelor’s degree programs at UCF.
  • Joint advising from UCF and Valencia help ensure a smooth transition.
  • UCF staff available on-site at Valencia’s West and Osceola campuses to help
    with advising, admissions, financial aid and academic support.
  • Take your UCF courses at the main campus or on Valencia’s West or Osceola campuses.

For more information, vist http://valenciacollege.edu/futureStudents/directConnect/ or http://regionalcampuses.ucf.edu/directconnect/

2012 valencia homecoming update

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To kick off Valencia College’s 2012 Homecoming, Team Valencia joined other members of the Central Florida community to raise funds to help make a difference in the lives of families living with Spina Bifida.  The Spina Bifida Association of Central Florida’s 2nd Annual Walk-N-Roll Fundraiser event took place on Saturday, October 27th at Blue Jacket Park in the Baldwin Park area of Orlando.

Valencia College was a supporting sponsor for the event.

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Valencia Homecoming 2012 wrapping up. Still time to get your $20 discounted UCF Homecoming game tickets for this Sunday’s game.For Tickets visit: http://valenciacollege.edu/alumni/documents/ValenciaHomecoming.pdf

finding your path in life — with the help of a bright green rv

The big green RV pulled onto the lawn just past the clock tower at the Osceola Campus on Thursday morning — right in the line of sight for hundreds of students attending Osceola’s Spirit Day festivities.

Just past the balloon artist on stilts and the photographer taking pictures of students in a giant chair, Christina Mitchell and her team of “roadies” from the PBS TV show Roadtrip Nation began talking about a serious subject: What message should college students send to politicians during an election year?

The answer from many of the students who stopped by was simple: Education opens doors, provides opportunities and is invaluable.

“Usually we talk about what ‘Roadtrip Nation’ is all about. We also get students’ stories and see if they want to be part of Roadtrip Nation,” says Mitchell. “But this year — because it’s an election year — we’re partnering with the College Board to remind political candidates not to forget education. We call it the ‘Don’t Forget ED’ tour.”

The bright green RV (nicknamed “Carl” by the Roadtrip Nation crew) arrived in Kissimmee on Thursday, fresh from a visit to Emory University in Atlanta, where students there were keenly aware of how budget cuts were impacting their education, Mitchell said. The next stop on the tour will be Miami-Dade College, followed by a conference to be held in Miami.

On the PBS series, teams of college students tour the country and interview successful people in many fields, from astrophysicists to beer makers. “We’ve interviewed everybody, from the president of Dell Computers to the Naked Cowboy in New York City,” says Mitchell. “The main question is: How did you figure out where you were going in life?”

During the off-season,when the crew isn’t filming the PBS TV series, teams of recent college graduates roam the country in the mammoth green RVs, stopping at college campuses to talk to students about finding their passion and a field they love.

At Osceola Campus, Mitchell and her team asked students to write messages to politicians on small chalkboards — and pose for pictures beside their messages. Those will later be posted on the Roadtrip Nation blog and website. The students left a variety of messages for lawmakers to ponder: “Flipping burgers just doesn’t cut it,” and “Education is power.”

The burgers comment resonated with Felipe Oyarzun, 25, who’s studying electrical engineering. After graduating from high school, Oyarzun took a break from his education — and wound up working as a manager at a sub shop in Miami, before he finally decided to get back in school.

“Nobody really likes flipping burgers,” says Oyarzun. But he admits that after he was making money, it was hard to walk away and return to being a full-time student. After some nudging from his little sister — who wants to be a pediatrician — he signed up for classes at Valencia.

“I got a little too comfortable working at a job that I didn’t like,” he says. Now he knows he needs to follow his heart — and challenge himself.

“If you want to be happy,” Oyarzun says, “you’ve got to do what you love.”

Source: Linda Shrieves Beaty, Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia College; Valencia News; http://news.valenciacollege.edu

valencia alumni association moves forward

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The Valencia Alumni Association Leadership Board guides the planning and activities of the association. Members represent the diversity of Valencia College and build enthusiasm for college and association programs, provide opportunities for involvement, and recruit new members and volunteers. Association president Michael J.G. McLaughlin ‘03 and leadership board members recently elected committee chairs to coordinate a broad array of activities/programs for the upcoming year:  Zia Ansari ’10, Membership; Julie Bennett ’00, Learning and Growing; and Marcy Porter ’05,  Fundraising.  Contact the Alumni Relations Office for more information and to get involved.

ideas that are transforming education

National Journal Spotlights Valencia for Ideas That Are Transforming Education Valencia College News.

Valencia was part of a series titled “Restoration Calls” and focuses on how Valencia is transforming education by consistently outperforming its peers. Here’s a link to the National Journal online version. 

The National Journal, published in Washington, D.C., reports on the current political environment and emerging political and policy trends. Readership includes members of Congress and other influential individuals beyond the Beltway.

revisiting Valencia’s economic impact

Wondering how much value Valencia brings to the area?

The independent economic impact study shows Valencia’s economic value amounts to more than one billion dollars a year. For every dollar students invest in tuition, they will see a $5.60 increase in their lifetime earnings.

valencia – serving our veteran students

Please enjoy the following sample of the good work being done at Valencia College for veteran students:

Valencia College has made the 2013 Military Friendly Schools list, honoring the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

Valencia is home to the second largest enrollment of veterans among Florida’s 28 state colleges, second only to Florida State College at Jacksonville, home of the Mayport Naval Station.

Valencia provides veterans services on all of its campuses, including assistance with VA benefits, student support, workshops and activities. There’s also a student veterans club, a veterans-only speech class, and professional development to help faculty recognize the unique challenges of veterans in integrating into the college environment.

global peace film festival comes to valencia

To celebrate International Peace Day, which is September 21, Valencia College will partner with the Global Peace Film Festival to present free screenings on multiple campuses. Valencia is offering three selections from this year’s festival. Please come out and join us. All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend. The three films that will be shared are as follows:

1. Khaati Suun (Pure Gold)
Thursday, September 20, 2:30 p.m.
East Campus, 3-113

2. Opening Our Eyes
Thursday, September 20
East Campus, 7:00 p.m., Room 3-113
West Campus, 7:00 p.m. Building 8

3. Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story
Friday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m.
Winter Park Campus, Room 225-226

These events are made possible by the support and partnership of the West Campus H.E.R.O. Club, Study Abroad and Global Experiences (SAGE), East Campus student development, and thePeace and Justice Initiative (PJI). For more information contactpeaceandjustice@valenciacollege.edu.

flag display to honor 9/11

Osceola Campus to Honor 9/11 Victims with Massive Flag Display

KISSIMMEE — To honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Valencia College’s Osceola Campus has teamed up with the Rotary Club of Lake Nona to stage a dramatic display of flags on its expansive lawn — one flag for each of the nearly 3,000 lives lost on that tragic day.

The installation of the flags in Kissimmee, which will be on display from Sept. 8 – 14, was the idea of Dr. Kathleen Plinske, president of Valencia’s Osceola and Lake Nona campuses.

Dr. Plinske taught weekend classes at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. last fall – and was impressed by Pepperdine’s annual memorial for Sept. 11, which is called “Waves of Flags.”

“It was that display – one flag to represent each victim of 9/11 – that helped me to get my mind around the magnitude of the tragedy,” Plinske said. “When you hear 2,977 people, it’s obviously too large of a number to fully comprehend its magnitude. But to see all of those flags, knowing that each one represents an individual who was lost and whose family and community was forever impacted, really touched me.”  She believes the memorial will be a way for current Valencia students, many of whom were only six or seven years old on Sept. 11, 2001, to learn about the events of that tragic day.  The campus will host a number of events throughout the week, including an Interfaith Panel, intended to help students learn about different religious faiths and develop a deeper appreciation for diversity, peace and acceptance.

In addition to honoring the victims of 9/11, the Osceola Campus flag display will also serve as the site for Osceola County’s Sept. 11 county-wide memorial service, which will include participants from the Osceola County’s Sheriff’s Office, Osceola County Emergency Services, Kissimmee Police and Fire Departments, St. Cloud Police and Fire Departments, and the Osceola County Veteran’s Council.  In addition, Gina Marie Incandela will perform the national anthem and the chorus from Denn John Middle School will perform “God Bless America.”

The ceremony will be held at on Sept. 11 at 1:30 p.m., near the Clock Tower at the Osceola Campus.

To install the flags, the Rotary Club of Lake Nona has assembled a community-wide team of volunteers. Between Aug. 27 and Sept. 6, volunteers – including Rotarians, cadets of the Civil Air Patrol, members of the U.S. Fire Department Reserve Corp and U.S. Navy Future Sailors program, members of the Osceola Sheriff’s Explorers, volunteers from local churches, and Valencia students, faculty, and staff – will install the 2,977 flagpoles on the campus grounds.  To install the poles, organizers anticipate that they will work seven nights in three-hour shifts.

The Rotary Club of Lake Nona secured sponsors to raise the money to buy the supplies for the flag display. The primary sponsors are Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) and Clancy & Theys Construction Company. Other sponsors include Hoagland Electric LLC, Insurance Office of America, Sonu Shukla, CPA, Sweetwater Car Wash, and Williams Company Management Group.

“We feel like this will serve as important recognition for our local emergency responders, as well as a way to honor those who were lost on September 11,” said Michael Valenzuela, president of the Rotary Club of Lake Nona.  “Rotary International’s theme this year is ‘Peace Through Service’ and we believe this project will build bridges of friendship and acceptance among our diverse community.”

The Rotary Club of Lake Nona has continued to raise money and has pledged that any additional funds raised will go toward a scholarship with the Valencia Foundation to help pay for continuing education for men and women who are currently police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

View the Orlando Sentinel video on the project.

donor spotlight: mears family and mears transportation group

Mears Transportation Group pledged $1 million in support to Valencia Foundation to establish the Paul Mears Sr. Take Stock in Children Fund. Created in memory of Paul Mears Sr., the purpose of the fund is to support educational opportunities through the Take Stock in Children program. To honor this gift, the current Student Services Building, located on the West Campus of Valencia College, was renamed the Paul Mears Sr. Student Services Building.

The Mears family has a long history of support in the local community and their philanthropic reach is wide. As a family-owned business, their giving, both individual and corporate, is personal. Paul Jr. and Deb Mears provide the personal connection between Mears Transportation Group and Valencia. Deb is currently a board member for Valencia Foundation. The family has been involved with the foundation for more than a decade and their giving includes endowed scholarship, major gift, in-kind and event support.

Mears Transportation Group also offers support to the Red Cross and is a founding contributor to the Give Kids the World Village. Deb Mears has served on the committee for the local Festival of Trees and Mears Transportation Group has sponsored the event, presented by the Council of 101 to benefit the Orlando Museum of Art. In partnership with their sister company Hello Florida!, Mears has served as a corporate sponsor for the March of Dimes “March for Babies” charity walkathon.

Even the local little league is a touch-point for their generosity, as Mears Transportation Group is a current platinum sponsor of the Delaney Park Little League. The company is also involved in Mears School Supplies Give-Aways to benefit local children.

To offer response to an international crisis, Mears donated $25,000 to Haiti earthquake relief efforts the day after the tragedy happened. Through employee pledges and a dollar-for-dollar company matching challenge, more than $39,000 was raised, in addition to 8,000 pounds of donated items and supplies.

Started through a handshake between Paul Mears Sr. and founder of Give Kids the World, Henri Landwirth, Mears has provided complimentary transportation for more than 37,000 guests of Give Kids the World Village. Additionally, Mears is a sponsor of Give Kids the World’s Black and White Gala.

The Mears family’s support to Valencia was heightened in the ’90s with the establishment of the Paul Mears Sr. Scholarship to benefit Valencia students in the hospitality management program. The family’s establishment of the Paul Mears Sr. Scholarship has led others to achieve their dreams – an education. After a meeting with the foundation’s executive director in 1994, Paul Jr.’s interest was sparked by Valencia’s hospitality program. He believed an endowed scholarship in this area would be a fitting tribute to his father.

Mears Transportation Group recently pledged $1 million in support to Valencia Foundation to establish the Paul Mears Sr. Take Stock in Children Fund. Created in memory of Paul Mears Sr., the purpose of the fund is to support educational opportunities through the Take Stock in Children program. To honor this gift, the current Student Services Building, located on the West Campus of Valencia College, was renamed the Paul Mears Sr. Student Services Building.

Since 1995, Take Stock has impacted the lives of more than 17,600 deserving Florida students, providing more than 9,000 high school graduates with full college scholarships. The first class of Valencia participants is now in the tenth-grade and will graduate from high school in 2013.

This year’s gift to establish the Paul Mears Sr. Take Stock in Children Fund will continue to transform the lives of future Valencia learners and community leaders – creating lasting, positive changes in our community. One shining example of a life transformed is India, one of ten children in an abusive and substance-exposed home. At age 16, on Christmas Eve, she suddenly found herself homeless. It was a simple question that changed India’s life: Do you want to go to college? India took part in the Take Stock program, graduated from the University of Florida and today is a teacher. Through tears, India shares that if it wasn’t for finding the right path through college and Take Stock, “you probably wouldn’t see my face today. I’d be a statistic. I can’t say thank you enough.” As of March 31, 2011, the foundation has purchased 100 prepaid tuition scholarships for Take Stock in Children. The generous funding from Mears will ensure that for those who think that the dream of college is out of reach, it is actually closer than they realize.

Paul Mears Jr. and his wife, Deb, believe that Take Stock in Children reflects the values Paul Sr. engendered: offering students a mentoring relationship, a hand up and a guaranteed college education based on their academic and personal successes through junior high and high school. With what is often called a “golden touch in transportation,” Paul Sr. founded Mears Transportation Group in 1939 with three taxicabs. Today it is one of Central Florida’s most recognized premier guest services and destination management companies. A family business at heart, his three sons always recall that Paul was an aggressive but fair businessman with the utmost integrity. He believed in doing things the right way and doing them well. High achievement and success were not options; they were expectations. Those same high standards were infused into both the Paul Mears Sr. Scholarship and the recent Paul Mears Sr. Take Stock in Children Fund. In fact, high standards, parental involvement and community support are crucial to Take Stock’s success. Students and their parents sign a covenant to maintain solid grades and refrain from illegal activities, such as drug or alcohol use. Weekly mentor meetings help children to focus on their schoolwork and stay out of trouble.

The Mears family provides encouragement and motivation through their gifts and continues to groom future leaders and career-driven members of our community. This is evidenced in the voices of our students who have received the Paul Mears Sr. Scholarship. One such student, Juan, shares his passion and realized potential made possible through this scholarship: “Without scholarship patrons like you, there would be many students such as myself unable to pursue the career they’ve dreamed of.” After Valencia, Juan plans to transfer to the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management. His dream is to establish a career that allows him to “learn on an everyday basis.” This is a perfect fit with Paul Mears Sr.’s expectation of high achievement and continues the pay-it-forward spirit of philanthropy and involvement demonstrated by the Mears family. Transport: to carry from one place to another. Paul Mears Sr. began a small enterprise which has expanded into a large-scale transportation brand. His gifts and philanthropic touch, which he passed on to Paul Jr. and Deb Mears, provide transport of a different sort – carrying those most worthy, and often those most in need, to a new life and success through education.

new valencia east & winter park president begins aug. 6

Dr. Stacey Johnson Named New President of East, Winter Park Campuses

Stacey Johnson, currently the vice president of academic affairs at Palo Alto College in San Antonio, Tex., has been named the president of Valencia College’s East and Winter Park campuses.

At Palo Alto College, Johnson served as chief instructional officer for the college of 9,300 students. Prior to that, she served as the dean of arts, humanities and social sciences. Johnson started her career in community colleges in public relations, where she served as director of marketing and assistant to the president of Palo Alto College.

Johnson earned her doctorate in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied in the university’s Community College Leadership Program.

Outside of the college community, Johnson is perhaps best known as a champion fencer, a two-time national college champion in fencing and served as a member of the United States’ 1980 Olympic fencing team.  She has continued her service to the Olympics by serving on the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Board of Directors from 1996 to 2004, and was elected to the USOC Executive Committee for 2003-2004.

In addition, Johnson served as president of the U.S. Fencing Association from 2000 to 2004, and was the first woman in the organization’s 125-year history to serve four terms as president.

While in San Antonio, Johnson also founded the “Dreams for Youth” San Antonio Sports Foundation, which received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Olympic Committee for its work in serving 100,000 children.

Johnson will start her new job at Valencia on Aug. 6. She will replace Dr. Ruth Prather, who recently retired as president of the East and Winter Park campuses.

The East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, and serves 20,000 students. The Winter Park Campus is located at 850 W. Morse Blvd. in Winter Park, and serves 3,300 students.

osceola campus president named a finalist to orlando’s 40 under 40

Congratulations to Dr. Kathleen Plinske, president of Valencia’s Osceola and Lake Nona campuses. She’s a finalist for the Orlando Business Journal’s annual 40 Under 40 awards. The awards recognize the area’s up-and-coming leaders under age 40.

Dr. Plinske earned her doctorate in educational technology from Pepperdine University in 2008. She came to Valencia from McHenry County College in Illinois, where she served as vice president for institutional effectiveness and also as interim president

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

smart phone access to college information

Valencia has created a new mobile app for Android and iOS devices that can provide access to college information.

With this new app, those with Apple’s iPhone or an Android phone (or other Apple devices, such as the iPad) can access the faculty and staff phone directory, campus maps, safety alerts, news and events, Twitter, photos and videos.

Valencia students can use this resource for secure access to course schedules, account balances, and grades using their Atlas username and password.

Download this free Valencia Mobile app from either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Shop.

For more information, please visit: http://valenciacollege.edu/mobile/.

 

endowed chairs for learning leadership at valencia

Valencia educators are encouraged to remain current and continually improve discipline knowledge. The endowed chair program at the Valencia Foundation, with support and resources from many community partners, provide Valencia faculty the opportunity to examine the effectiveness of their teaching, counseling, librarianship and assessment techniques as they influence student learning.

Valencia Foundation is honored to have the support of our dedicated individual and corporate partners. Valencia College and our students benefit from the kindness of philanthropic individuals, corporations and organizations that are deeply rooted in our community.

Endowed Chair Recipients (2012-2013)


Rachel Allen: Patricia Havill Whalen Chair in Social Sciences

Suzette Dohany: Sue Luzadder Chair in Communications

Yolanda Gonzalez: Howard Palmer Chair in Foreign Languages

Debra Hollister and Brian Macon: Freeda Louise Foreman Chair in Family Resource Development

Mabel Machin: John and Florence MacLeod Chair in Business

Julia Nudel: Lockheed Martin Chair in Math

Bonnie Oliver: Bank of America Chair in Business

Robin Poole: Chesley G. Magruder Foundation Chair in Nursing & Allied Health

Marva Pryor: Bank of America Chair in Business Management

Richard Sansone: University Club Chair in Humanities

Brenda Schumpert: Lockheed Martin Chair in Science

Irina Struganova: Lester N. Mandell Chair in Natural and Physical Sciences

Elizabeth Wanielista: Wayne M. Densch Chair in Geriatrics

Joan Alexander: University Club Chair in Computers

Kenneth Bourgoin: HuntonBrady Architects Endowed Chair in Hospitality Management

Ralph Clemente: Walt Disney World Chair in Film Technology

Steven Cunningham: Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Chair in Free Enterprise

Kitty Harkleroad: Ira Vinson Henderson Chair in Nursing and Allied Health

Deymond Hoyte: SunTrust Teaching Chair in Economic Development and Business Education

Jim Inglis: Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association Chair

Chris Klinger: Tupperware Worldwide Chair in Community Quality

Ilyse Kusnetz: Eugene & Jessie Drey Endowment of English Speaking Union

Pamela Lapinski: Harry J. and E. Mary Hobbs Teaching Chair in Nursing

Adrian Manley: Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Endowed Chair in Communications

James May: Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Teaching Chair

Pierre Pilloud: Central Florida Restaurant Association Chair in Restaurant & Food Management

Andrew Ray: Hubbard Construction Company Chair in Technical and Engineering

Suzanne Salapa: Universal Orlando Chair in Arts and Entertainment:

Pamela Sandy: Chesley G. Magruder Foundation Chair in Health & Life Science

wanted: new, original plays by Florida playwrights

The Valencia College East Campus theater program is accepting plays from Florida playwrights for its annual Florida Playwrights Competition, which has been held annually since 1991.

Scripts must be original, previously unproduced, full-length plays that are at least 90 minutes long. Scripts that have received staged readings may be submitted. Collaborations are eligible, but children’s plays, musicals and adaptations are not eligible.

The deadline for entries is Oct. 15, 2012.

The winning play will be announced in early December and will be staged in April 2013, as part of Valencia’s regular theater season. The playwright will be invited to develop and workshop the play, beginning in January. The playwright will also receive a stipend to cover travel and other expenses related to the production.

Valencia requests that playwrights submit their manuscripts by email. Playwrights residing in Florida are invited to send the first 15 pages (of no more than two scripts per person) to Valencia’s artistic director, Julia Gagne at jgagne@valenciacollege.edu. For further submission information or a mailing address, call 407-582-2296.

Wanted: New, Original Plays by Florida Playwrights

new building earns recognition

The latest addition to West Campus — Building 10 — isn’t complete yet, but it’s already making headlines.

Designed by SchenkelShultz Architecture, Building 10 was featured among eight international projects in the June 2012 issue of “Building Design + Construction” magazine.

The magazine’s three-page “On the Drawing Board” feature cited the $13.3 million, 59,511-square-foot facility’s high-tech “collaboratory,” a 12,000-square-foot space designed to promote creative discourse for groups ranging in size from three to 80 participants. The space is designed to provide a place for idea generation, strategic planning, and execution of ideas among students, faculty and even visiting members of the business community.

Currently under construction by McCree General Contractors, the three-story facility will house Valencia’s Continuing and International Education, and the college’s Office of Information Technology. (The Continuing and International Education offices are currently housed at the college’s Sand Lake facility, while OIT is now based in the Student Services Building on West Campus.)

Slated for completion in January 2013, Building 10 will also offer classrooms, a testing center, administrative offices and additional meeting rooms.

In addition, Valencia continues its commitment to green building with this project. Building 10 is slated to achieve a Level 2 Green Globes Certification. The Green Globes system is operated in the United States by the Green Building Initiative (GBI), and in 2005, GBI became the first green building organization to be accredited as a standards developer by the American National Standards Institute.

new study: valencia boosts local economy by $1 billion a year

A Press Release from Valencia’s Marketing and Strategic Communications Department

Orlando, FL – At a time when Florida’s unemployment rate is 9.4 percent and public funding for higher education is being cut, a new study finds that Valencia College boosts the economy of Orange and Osceola counties by $1.05 billion a year.

The study, conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. (EMSI) on behalf of the college, calculated the college’s total economic impact, based on the 70,000 students enrolled at Valencia, and includes alumni earnings, student spending and expenditures related to college operations.

The impact study also examined the college’s return on investment, for both students and taxpayers.

  • For students, every dollar spent on tuition today increases a student’s future income by $5.60, according to the EMSI study.
  • For Florida taxpayers, the rate of return on their investment in the college is 8.9 percent, outperforming nearly all private investments’ return on the dollar.

Valencia, the 17th largest employer in the region, has become an economic engine for Central Florida, generating close to 3,000 jobs and spending $231 million a year on buildings, salaries, services and supplies.

In addition to the impact of students currently enrolled at the college, the study found that Valencia’s graduates contribute $781.7 million in earnings, spending and savings to the region’s economy each year.

To understand Valencia’s economic impact on its two-county region, compare the college’s $1 billion impact to that of the University of Florida (UF). In 2011, an economic impact study found that UF’s impact on the statewide economy was $8.76 billion – and $2.9 billion of that was attributed to the Shands Hospital system and UF physician practices.

“Valencia is a billion dollar gem. We hope the independent study will help the community understand what an asset Valencia actually is to the region,” said Valencia Board of Trustees Chair Bertica Cabrera Morris.

Trustees, along with Valencia President Sandy Shugart, are calling on business and community leaders to join the college’s efforts to increase public and private investment in Valencia.

“We encourage business leaders to get involved with the college and become a part of its success. Seek Valencia interns. Hire the college’s graduates. Serve on industry boards. Support the foundation. It all fuels our local economy and makes a real difference,” added Cabrera Morris.

Valencia stands out as a model of efficiency compared to its peer colleges around the state. Based on data gathered by the Florida Department of Education for the 2011-2012 school year, Valencia has lower funding per FTE (full-time equivalent) than its sister two-year colleges – and yet Valencia consistently produces more graduates and more students who are earning technical certificates.

Valencia was named the best community college in America for 2011/12 when it won the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The Aspen Prize was the first national recognition of extraordinary accomplishments at a community college. Valencia won the honor for an overall graduation rate nearly three times that of similar, large urban public community colleges. In addition, Valencia had the highest job placement rates at 95 percent, and the most productive transfer program in the country, because of its partnership with the University of Central Florida (UCF).

Valencia plays a key role in educating the region. Of the graduating high school seniors in Orange and Osceola counties, almost twice as many start their college careers at Valencia as at all other state universities combined. And, today, that’s the new “normal” among college students. Only 25 percent of America’s college students are full-time students, living away from home. Seventy-five percent of current college students are part-time students, juggling families, jobs and school.

At Valencia, 39 percent of the students are focused on learning specialized skills that prepare them for the workforce through the college’s Associate in Science (A.S.) programs or Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees. To produce graduates who are ready to hit the ground running, the college works closely with 400 area businesses to tailor the curriculum to meet the needs of the workplace.

In some technical areas, such as nursing and allied health, Valencia graduates make up a large percentage of the local workforce. Valencia’s RN program supplies many of the nurses to local hospitals and is highly regarded for its quality. In 2010, for example, 94 percent of Valencia’s nursing graduates passed the national registered nursing exam – a higher passing rate than the state and national average.

That specialized training is reflected in the graduates’ earnings. Valencia’s Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science degree graduates earn on average an annual salary of about $43,385 in their first year after graduation – more than double that of a high school graduate and $7,839 more than a bachelor’s degree graduate from UCF in their first year out of college, according to the latest data from the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP).

In addition to preparing students for the workforce, Valencia offers a two-year A.A. program that prepares students to transfer to an upper-division college or university – at half the cost of tuition at the state’s four-year universities.

And, thanks to DirectConnect to UCF, an innovative partnership between the University of Central Florida and area members of the Florida College System that began in 2007, Valencia students who earn an associate degree are guaranteed admission to UCF’s upper division. Through DirectConnect, Valencia has become an “on ramp” to a four-year degree. In 2011, 22 percent of all UCF graduates started their college careers at Valencia.

Also helping the local economy is the fact that Valencia is attracting more students from outside Orange and Osceola counties. Since DirectConnect began, the number of students moving to the area grew from 14,967 to 21,134, a 34.5 percent increase. These students rent apartments, purchase goods and services, and stay in the area to attend UCF and build their lives here.

Click here to get the economic impact facts.

The full report, “Economic Contribution of Valencia College,” is available on the Valencia News website.

New Study Finds Valencia Boosts Local Economy by $1 Billion a Year

2011-12 distinguished graduate selected

Shardeh Berry, Single Mom and Honors Student, Will Address a Record Crowd at Commencement By Carol Traynor

On Saturday, May 5, an estimated 1,260 graduates will receive their associate degrees as Valencia College celebrates its 43rd spring commencement at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee.

Twenty-four-year-old Shardeh Berry, who was named the 2011-12 Distinguished Graduate by the Valencia Alumni Association, will give this year’s commencement address. In addition to being a full-time honors student and single mom to two small children, Berry has found the time to serve her fellow students. She is vice president of the West Campus Student Government Association representing almost 20,000 students, and has held leadership roles with numerous clubs and organizations.

“Valencia students are not people who have carefree lives,” says Shardeh, who will graduate with an honors certificate.  “We have jobs, children or people who are depending on us. But I want all students to know that you can be involved and being involved will change your life. I’m a better speaker and I’m better at time management than I used to be. And I have made friendships that will last forever.”

Berry plans to attend the University of Central Florida, where she wants to study international relations and ultimately work at the United Nations, focusing on human rights.

This will be the college’s first commencement as Valencia College, having changed its name from Valencia Community College last July. To honor the occasion and the graduates, the college posted the names of more than 8,000 students who graduated this school year on a Lynx bus with the message: “Congrats Class of 2012.” The bus will be parked just outside the arena for graduation photos of the students and their families. (For a photo of last year’s bus, click here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/myvalencia/5710557915/)

Valencia is 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.

Valencia’s overall graduation rate is nearly three times that of similar, large urban public community colleges as defined by the U.S. Department of Education. In the last decade, graduation rates for college ready students increased at Valencia by almost ten percent to 44.8 percent from 35.9 percent after four years.

Commencement exercises will take place at 10 a.m. at Silver Spurs Arena, Osceola Heritage Park, on U.S. Hwy. 192 in Kissimmee. The ceremony can be viewed live at http://valenciacollege.edu/graduation/live.cfm.

endowed chairs celebrate and share innovative work

Update provided by The Grove, Valencia College.

On Wednesday, April 11, the 2011-2012 Endowed Chairs for Learning Leadership recipients gathered at the Grand Bohemian hotel in downtown Orlando with members of the Valencia Foundation’s Board of Directors for dinner and a celebration of the faculty’s innovative work.

As the endowed chair projects draw to a conclusion, the winners came to share their results with the Foundation board and receive cords to be worn with their academic regalia at the upcoming commencement ceremony on May 5.

The evening’s program featured remarks from the Foundation board president, Linda Landman Gonzalez (vice president of community relations and government affairs for the  Orlando Magic), who praised the faculty for their strong focus on testing new ideas designed to engage students and aid in their success.

The faculty presentations showcased the impact of the endowed chair funding on their ability to implement new strategies in the classroom and were a small representation of the 28 chairs awarded last year totaling $119,600.

Professor Kitty Harkleroad’s project focused on helping dental hygiene students learn about techniques and tools to prevent physical injuries commonly associated with the repetitive processes and awkward postures required to thoroughly clean a patient’s teeth. Her project created opportunities for students to experience a pre-class, yoga-stretching routine, and allowed her to purchase tools with larger diameters to prevent repetitive motion injuries and saddle stools that will enhance posture, preventing back and shoulder injuries. Harkleroad and her students produced a clever video (see below) to highlight the results of the endowed chair award.

Brenda Schumpert, professor of biology, and Suzanne Salapa, professor of dance also presented results from their endowed chair awards, and other recipients were seated with Foundation board members to exchange project ideas and share results.

Endowed Chairs for Learning Leadership are funded through donations to the Foundation specifically for the purpose of supporting faculty in developing their practice. Donors frequently specify the types of projects, individuals, topics, and/or programs they wish to directly support with their donation.

Chairs range from supporting a particular discipline such as the Sue Luzadder Chair in Communications or the Raymer F. McGuire Jr. Chair in Mathematics, to supporting a specific population such as the Abe and Tess Wise Endowed Chair in the Study of the Shoah. Each year in April or May, a faculty-elected committee (supported by the office for employee development) reviews the applications using a rubric to select the Endowed Chair for Learning Leadership recipients.

The 2012-2013 Endowed Chair for Learning Leadership applications were due on April 9 and the peer review committee will meet later this month to select the recipients.

faculty and staff give-up-a-cup in support of the students they serve

Valencia College faculty and staff have launched an internal campaign to raise scholarships and college program funds. This year they are asking colleagues to “give up a cup” for Valencia students.

Valencia Foundation provides vital support to students and to the college through scholarships, endowed teaching chairs, and program support. Last year, faculty and staff donations grew by 39 percent. This year the campaign ambassadors would like to involve more faculty and staff in payroll contributions.

Primary focus of the committee is to share the good work of Valencia Foundation and encourage faculty and staff participation based

The campaign principles, taglines, and clever graphics were designed by college staff and faculty to provide support for the Valencia students they serve.

on individual interest and willingness to contribute. This is a grassroots effort lead by the hearts and volunteer time of the campaign committees. A faculty or staff member should not, at any time, feel pressured or compelled to give to the foundation.

The clever ‘give up a cup’ slogan and ‘have you left your mark’ logo were created by staff. These taglines really highlight how little drops of support, from multiple contributors, can collect into huge assistance for a Valencia student.

Feel free to visit the “Give Up a Cup” donation site online at: www.valencia.org/fsg/

Under the leadership of the campaign chairs Katie Shephard and Patti Riva the campus committee members have contributed their resources, relations and fond regard in support of the Valencia students they serve. Many thanks to the Valencia College staff and faculty campaign ambassadors: Chris Borglum, Clarence Canada, Diana Ciesko, Kimberly Finley, Brian Macon, Donna Marino, Josh Murdock, Mia Pierre, Denny Rogers, and Jorge Soto.

valencia talent showcase

Valencia and the Association of Florida Colleges (AFC) are hosting the “Valencia Talent Showcase” on Thursday, April 26, from 7 to 10 p.m. The showcase will be held at Valencia’s East campus performing arts center. The East campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, FL 32825.

Tickets are $2 for AFC members, $5 for non-members and ages 10 and under are free. All proceeds go to AFC scholarships and Valencia Foundation.

class of 2012 giving back as they move forward

Fellow Valencia soon-to-be grads and alumni members have challenged the class of 2012 to leave a legacy for future Valencia students.

This year Student Development, in partnership with the Valencia Alumni Association, has created a student-centered giving campaign – the 2012 Legacy Class Gift to support student scholarships.

The student Legacy Class Gift encourages donations of $20.12 in honor of the graduating class of 2012 to support future Valencia College students.

The Challenge: Provide $5,000 for scholarships from graduation class to future students.

The Bonus: If the graduation class meets its goal, the Alumni Association will give a gift of $1000 which bring the total to $6,000.

The Incentive: All donors to the 2012 Class Gift will receive an Alumni Association lapel pin. For those donating $20.12 in honor of their graduating year will receive a limited edition legacy t-shirt.

Want to Help? It’s as easy as 1-2-3.
1) Visit http://valenciacollege.edu/alumni/classgift/
2) Completely fill out the form, decide a gift amount that is right for you, and click submit.
3) Enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling in knowing you have helped raise money for scholarships.

generosity times ‘tree’: committing to sustainability, creating environmental stewards and reducing carbon foot print

Arbor Day Foundation, Toyota Donate 100 Trees to be Planted at Valencia

Students and faculty at Valencia College West Campus will be planting 100 trees on Valencia’s West Campus on Mar. 29, as the college celebrates being named a Tree Campus USA.

Valencia College is one of seven Tree Campus USA participants hosting a tree-planting this year. The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship.

The tree-planting event will start at 10 a.m., with student volunteers checking in to receive their T-shirts, hats and gloves. At 10:30 a.m., a ceremony will be held with representatives from the Arbor Day Foundation, Valencia College and the Florida Forest Service.

The trees, which are all native to Florida and packed in 15- and 30-gallon pots, were donated by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota to celebrate the college’s commitment to tree care and sustainability.

Following the West Campus ceremony at 10:30 a.m., students, staff and volunteers from the college and Arbor Day Foundation will plant a variety of trees in four parts of campus:

  • Winged elm and Southern red cedar trees will be planted on the southern and western sides of buildings to reduce the buildings’ energy use
  • Longleaf pine trees will be planted in the open fields near Kirkman Road for sandhill restoration
  • Southern slash pines will provide screening and habitat near the south entry road to the college
  • And a wide variety of native trees will be planted near Lake Pamela, an area that will serve as a living laboratory for educational use

“We at Valencia are deeply honored to have been named a Tree Campus USA and to have been chosen to receive such a generous donation from the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota,” said Dr. Sanford Shugart, Valencia College president. “We take seriously our goal of educating the whole student and we believe that includes teaching our students to be stewards of the environment.”

Valencia is one of 674 colleges and universities that have signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, with a goal to reduce the college’s carbon footprint 25 percent by the year 2025. Planting trees is one strategy to help Valencia achieve that goal.

Valencia College achieved the Tree Campus USA designation by meeting the required five core standards for sustainable campus forestry: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.

Valencia is the only two-year college to receive a tree-planting grant this year – and it’s just the second community college to receive the grant since the Tree Campus program began in 2008. The other colleges receiving grants this year are Purdue University, University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and University of Illinois, Chicago.

The tree-planting is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in conjunction with the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, with support from Toyota.

During 2011, the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota helped campuses throughout the country plant 30,000 trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities have invested more than $22 million in campus forest management. More information about the Tree Campus USA program is available at www.arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.

Valencia’s West Campus is located at 1800 S. Kirkman Road, Orlando.

words of appreciation from faculty member

Valencia College professor James May was recently recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as the 2011 Florida Professor of the Year and is the 2011/2012 University Club of Orlando Chair in Advanced Computer Technology recipient.

In the note below Dr. May shares his gratitude to the Endowed Chair program, provides a ‘taste of technology’ and explains the advancements this program has provided for Valencia students.

Every year I like to do a little something to thank the Valencia Foundation and an organization who sponsors Valencia’s endowed chair program. This year my gratitude is extended to the University Club of Orlando. The video below is just a small sample of what I am working on this year thanks to the University Club of Orlando Chair in Advanced Computer Technology.

Through this endowed chair I have been able to purchase supplies and learn more about how to use green screening technologies to develop authentic, open source content for students. For example, this year while in Washington for a conference, I visited the National Archive and learned about a letter written in broken English to the then president of the United States by a young Fidel Castro.

In the letter, Fidel requests a “10 dollars bill U.S.” from the president.  This letter is now a combination Grammar & Writing assignment for students, infused with history and much more, and thanks to the green screen technology I can introduce these grammar and history concepts from the steps of the National Archive.

Using technology from a previous endowed chair, I am able to make videos and close caption them (please note that during the first 5 seconds of the video below, that you can chose to switch to a captioned version by clicking on the link inside the interactive YouTube video).

Later this semester, I will also have the ability to add a picture in picture American Sign Language interpreter to the lesson so that I can better reach another population of students. In fact, a large part of this endowed chair work for the rest of the year deals with working to make content more ADA compliant.

Long story short, I want to say thank you. Endowed chairs really make a difference in the work I can do for my students.

students support from brazilian film festival

Brazilian Film Festival Student Volunteers

This past February Valencia College was taken on a brief adventure to Brazil during the 5th Annual Brazilian Film Festival. Over the course of eight days students, faculty, and members of the community enjoyed 5 films picked by Professor Richard Sansone along with renowned Brazilian filmmakers Elisa Tolomelli and Malu de Martino. In addition to these films attendees also partook in Brazilian sweets, listened to traditional Brazilian music, and even purchased commemorative t-shirts to help raise funds for a student trip to Brazil. This event was made possible through the support of Valencia’s Student Development Office and through a partnership with the Central Florida Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce.

In 2008 Sansone was inspired by his students to help spread Brazilian heritage and traditions to the Valencia community. When asked why he thinks this festival is a valuable experience for students and employees, Sansone stated, “It is my hope that the viewers will take away a broader and richer understanding of the Brazilian reality, and that it may inspire them to return to see more films, to study Portuguese, and to better understand marvelous Brazil.”

Professor Sansone believes that learning about a people’s culture goes hand-in-hand with learning their language. To help students gain a better understanding of both, he leads study abroad trips to Brazil and also organizes the annual Valencia Brazilian Film Festival. Currently, Sansone is working on creating a more immersive study abroad experience for Valencia students, where they’ll be able to attend a Brazilian university and live with local families during their stay.

Through the efforts of Sansone and student volunteers, they were able to raise $270 towards a scholarship for student travel to Brazil which will give students the opportunity to truly learn more about the Brazilian language and culture and experience all that Brazil has to offer.

5K: family of first responders encourage participants

Dear Officers, Deputies, Firefighters, Family & Friends,

Throughout the years, we have lost many Law Enforcement Officers, Deputies, and Firefighters both in the line of duty and after their service. While many of these Officers, Deputies, and Firefighters have not been acknowledged we would like to recognize these fallen heroes in the Valencia College Annual, Run Walk and Roll 5K. Not only have they protected the citizens and streets of our communities, some may have also given their lives.

This year, we would like to honor and recognize Charles “Charlie” Edwards of Orlando Police Department, ILona Edwards of Orlando Police Department, Brandon Coates of Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Michael Callin of Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Christine “Tina” Collyer Firefighter of Orlando Fire Department.

The family, friends, Brothers and Sisters of Law Enforcement would be honored to have you, as well as your family and friends, to participate in honoring these fallen heroes. The race will kick off March 31st at 6 p.m. at Valencia College West Campus! Please see Valencia 5K flyer regarding race registration, background about the fallen heroes, and race flyers. We ask of you to please print out the Valencia 5K flyer and post them around your department to help increase participation in honoring our Officers, Deputies, and Firefighters.

If you can participate, please sign up and spread the word. All of this year’s funds from Valencia’s 5K go to public safety scholarships at the college.

If you have Law Enforcement, fire and EMT contacts, please pass this on to them. We hope to have record participation this year. Also, please send throughout the department and agency for I do not have everyone’s email addresses.

Registration for the Valencia 5K is on the following web site:

http://valenciacollege.edu/alumni/

The registration for the 5K is on the right side of this site. Hope to see you there.

Sincerely,

Emily Edwards

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 valenciacollege.edu/fafsafrenzy.

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.

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.

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 alumni@valenciacollege.edu.

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 http://www.valenciacollege.edu/arts.  For further information, please call the Box Office at 407-582-2900.

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

women behind liberia’s peace movement inspire students and faculty

The scenes were heartbreaking. Little boys carrying guns, bragging about how many people they’d killed. Children on crutches, missing limbs that had been chopped off by soldiers. Women recounting how their husbands were killed and their daughters raped by soldiers.

All were victims of a civil war that raged in Liberia for 14 years. The war engulfed the nation and destroyed families — until ordinary women banded together to demand peace.

More than 150 students, faculty and members of the public gathered at Valencia’s West Campus on Jan. 26 to watch and discuss ”Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” an award-winning documentary that tells the gripping account of a brave group of women whose sit-ins and demonstrations finally led to peace for their war-torn country.

The leader of that movement, Leymah Roberts Gbowee, was one of the three women who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. Gbowee helped organize the women’s Mass Action Campaign, which started in one community and spread to over 50 communities across Liberia. They dressed in white T-shirts and white headbands and confronted warlords, demanding peace. They sat in the sun and rain in markets and on the sides of roads, demanding that leaders listen. 

When peace talks in nearby Ghana stalled, the women protesters surrounded the building, linking arms and refusing to let the different parties leave until they hammered out an agreement. Finally, after more than two years of protests, President Charles Taylor was exiled and the West African nation elected a new president,  Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first female president in Africa.

The one-hour documentary, which has won a string of awards at film festivals around the world, is an uplifting look at how ordinary people can band together to change the world.

After watching the 60-minute documentary, students and members of the public participated in a discussion led by Agnes Kamara-Umunna, a Liberian radio host and author of the book, “And Still Peace Did Not Come: A Memoir of Reconciliation.”

Umunna, whose visit was part of a three-day residency called “Conversation on Compassion,” served as a statement taker for the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission after that country’s brutal civil war. In Liberia, she works with the child soldiers who were co-opted to fight in the war — but who have been rejected by their families and much of Liberian society. They are victims too, said Umunna.

Many now live on the streets of Monrovia, homeless, doing drugs and drinking alcohol, though Umunna has built a center in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, to help them. “I talk to them, one-on-one,” she told the audience. “It’s hard…. Because these kids are ex-fighters, nobody wants to donate money to help them.”

Although Liberia has made progress, she warned the audience that the peace there is fragile. ”We are sitting on a time bomb right now. There is real tension between the presidential candidates,” Umunna said. (Because no candidate received a majority of the votes in the presidential election held in October, a run-off election was held in November — and president Sirleaf won the runoff, but the results have been contested by her opponent.)

For audience members, the film was touching and inspiring. ”These women were heroes,” said Valencia student Juanita Islam. “I don’t know if I could have done that.”

But the discussion, and the failure of the West to intervene in a war that ravaged the country, was eye-opening to many. ”We say that Hitler and Stalin and Mussolini could not happen today,” said Valencia student Kris Boodooram, “but why didn’t anyone stop these men (in Liberia)? This happened in this millennium.”

The event was sponsored by Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative, the Global Peace Film Festival and the West Campus Human Empathy & Rights Organization.

Source: Linda Shrieves Beaty

what is the aspen award?

Valencia College was recently awarded the inaugural Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.  This award is based on student performance and graduation data collected by the U.S. Department of Education.

Colleges recognized by the Aspen Prize serve as models and laboratories for identifying practices that can elevate community college education. This is extremely meaningful to the 6 million students who rely on the nearly 1,200 community colleges nationwide, particularly students who are under-represented in higher education.

Walter Isaacson serves as the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute.  The Aspen Institute board of trustees is made up of high-level individuals from the public and private sectors and include Madeleine K. Albright, Michael D. Eisner, Henry Louis Gates Jr., David Koch and Condoleezza Rice just to name a few. 

In selecting Valencia as the best community college in America, Aspen officials noted that over half of the college’s full-time students graduate or transfer within three years of entering the school, a rate significantly higher than the national average (51 percent versus 39 percent).

At a time when data show an increasing number of students nationwide are not ready for college-level work – and that the U.S. has slipped to 12th globally in the percentage of young adults who hold at least an associate degree – Valencia is experiencing rising graduation rates among all students, including minorities.

  • Valencia has experienced dramatic increases in graduation rates among college-ready African American students, nearly tripling in the last decade from 15.4 percent to 44.3 percent today.
  • Graduation rates for college-ready Hispanic students have similarly impressive gains, jumping from 38.7 to 45.5 percent in the last decade.

Because community colleges also train students for the workforce, Aspen judges focused on the college’s workforce training programs and the likelihood of graduates landing jobs. They noted that Valencia graduates “are employed at rates higher than graduates from any of the other 10 Aspen Prize finalists. This is especially impressive given the region’s unusually high unemployment rate and low job growth rate.”

This is not the first time that Valencia has made national news. In November, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching named Valencia ESL professor James May the 2011 Florida Professor of the Year. May was one of only 27 state professors selected to represent the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country.

In 2009, Valencia won the inaugural Leah Meyer Austin Institutional Student Success Leadership Award for helping minority students succeed. In 2007, the New York Times named Valencia as one of the nation’s leading community colleges, and in 2001, Valencia was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the nation’s best schools at helping first-year students excel.

fafsa frenzy february

Interested in a new laptop computer? Sure you are!

Register today for FAFSA Frenzy February – a program offered by Valencia’s financial aid department to educate students about the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA), college goal sunday in Florida, veteran’s affairs and much more.

So why should you attend? A FAFSA must be submitted every year to receive financial aid. Applying early can increase your financial aid award and you’ll have experts in this department to assist you! Drawings for laptops will occur for students who complete their FAFSA onsite.

Help is available on the following campuses, dates and times:

West Campus
Student Services Building (SSB), Room 142
February 8, 2012
1:00-7:00 p.m.

Osceola Campus
Building 3, Room 100
February 17, 2012
10:00-7:00 p.m.

East Campus
Building 4, Room 122
February 22, 2012
1:00-7:00 p.m.

What are you waiting for? Visit http://valenciacollege.edu/finaid/fafsafrenzy.cfm to register today!

bernice king, daughter of martin luther king jr., at valencia tomorrow

 

Dr. Bernice King, speaker, author, minister and daughter of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will speak at Valencia College tomorrow at 1 p.m. in the East Campus Performing Arts Center (PAC).

 

King’s presentation, titled “Raising the Standard,” is meant to be a call to action—especially for students—to become more civically engaged in their communities and lead others to achieve the dreams and ideals of her father.

 

Her visit is being sponsored by Valencia’s office of Student Development. As space in the PAC is limited and available on a first-come, first-seated basis, the college will offer live streaming in an overflow area as well as at locations on other Valencia campuses: West Campus, HSB 105; Osceola Campus, Bldg. 1 Auditorium; or Winter Park Campus, Rms. 224, 225 & 226.

 

Valencia’s East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando. The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, call 407-582-2313.

 

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

 

got compassion?

Valencia will host a series of activities next week, January 23rd – 26th  based on the work of internationally acclaimed scholar of religion, Karen Armstrong and her book, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. 

The program schedule offers a unique opportunity to join Valencia colleagues and expose yourself to subjects like Socratic dialogue, compassionate listening, ahimsa, the Buddhist notion of non-self, Islam, Ayurveda, self-leadership, peacebuilding, meditation and mindfulness.

 Valencia’s Peace and Justice program also host a Multifaith Forum with Imam Musri, Rabbi David Kay and Father William Holiday discussing the relevance of religion in the 21st Century on Wednesday afternoon from 1:00-2: 15 PM.   All events will be held on East in 3-113 and are free and open to all.

In addition, Osceola and West Campuses will host Agnes Umunna, Liberian radio host and author of And Still Peace Did Not Come.  A free and public film screening of Pray the Devil Back to Hell, hosted by the HEROS club will take place on West Campus in the Special Events Center, building 8 on Thursday evening from 6:30-9:00 PM.  The discussion following the film will be led by Ms. Umunna.

The community, Valencia Students faculty, staff, alumni and friends are invited to these events .  The schedule of events is available through the link below.  If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Peace and Justice Office at 407-582-2291 or peaceandjustice@valenciacollege.edu.

 For the full schedule of events, visit online at:
http://valenciacollege.edu/PJI/events/documents/MasterScheduleonepage.pdf

Smoke-Free Campus Coming in 2012

Following an announcement last summer, Valencia College is moving forward with plans to go smoke-free on all its campuses by August 2012. Several other Florida colleges and universities, including the University of Florida in Gainesville, have enacted smoke-free policies, meaning they don’t allow students, employees or visitors to smoke anywhere on school grounds. The University of Central Florida (UCF) is considering taking similar steps.

“I hate to interfere in people’s private lives and habits, but secondhand smoke affects everyone,” said Valencia President Sandy Shugart in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel.

The college will spend the next eight months preparing students, faculty and staff for the change in policy, and has launched a communications effort with the theme,  “Share the Air.”

The Share the Air campaign includes campus banners, ashtray decals, printed informational materials and a new website, among other things.  Valencia, in partnership with the Quit Smoking Now program, is also providing free on-campus quit-smoking programs for students, employees and members of the community who wish to kick the habit.

In November, student groups at all four campuses held events in conjunction with the America Cancer Society’s Great American Smoke-Out, an event that challenges people to stop smoking cigarettes for a day, hoping their decision not to smoke will last forever. The students used the occasion to introduce the college’s new smoke-free policy with a focus on health and nutrition (“Smoke a turkey, not your lungs” was the fun theme of Winter Park Campus’ event).

To see a video of the East Campus festivities and hear the views of smokers and non-smokers alike on the college going smoke-free, click here:

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Source: Carol Traynor, Marketing & Strategic Communications

academically motivated students apply here

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

Students are being asked to aim higher.

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 vburks@valenciacollege.edu

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:

http://apps.facebook.com/valenciacontest/contests/144806/voteable_entries/34140997

Gilberto Moleiro:

http://apps.facebook.com/valenciacontest/contests/144806/voteable_entries/34024192

Annistacia Morgan:

http://apps.facebook.com/valenciacontest/contests/144806/voteable_entries/34112989

LaWren Sanderson:

http://apps.facebook.com/valenciacontest/contests/144806/voteable_entries/33876631

Cinthia Romero Santos:

http://apps.facebook.com/valenciacontest/contests/144806/voteable_entries/33861532

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

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 vburks@valenciacollege.edu

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

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: https://donate.valencia.org/susie

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: https://donate.valencia.org/Susie

votes are pouring in for valencia’s student video contest

Voting is under way in Valencia College’s Student Video Contest and already more than 12,000 votes have been cast.

So what are you waiting for? Get on your Facebook account (or join Facebook and set up an account) and vote for your favorite student videos.

The video contest — which is open to current students and those who have attended Valencia within the past five years — will reward five winners with up to 60 credit hours of free tuition.

Over the past month, 103 students submitted videos in the contest — based on the theme “Why College? Why Valencia?”  Now the public – along with Valencia students, faculty and staff — can help decide the winners by voting for their favorite videos on Valencia’s Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/ValenciaCollege?sk=app_179591362111969)

Voting began on Oct. 24 and will continue through Nov. 4. 

Already, the video contest has created a buzz on Valencia’s campuses.  “I started looking at these videos and some are so great,” said Jade Lewis, Valencia’s computer labs manager. “A few have been my students and it actually choked me up….The college is on the right path with this idea!”

Five winners will be selected from the 10 videos that collect the most votes. A team of judges will then sort through the top 10 vote-getters to select the winners.  Judges will be focusing on originality, creativity and the best use of the theme: challenges that students have overcome to pursue an education.

The winners will be announced Nov. 15.

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

etch your name in someone’s future

You are invited to create a memory! Click here to purchase your engraved brick and etch your name in Valencia's legacy.

Help lay the foundation for a student’s future!

The sale of personalized engraved bricks are available to anyone who wishes to create a lasting memory. 

These bricks will be embedded in the entry courtyard of the newest Valencia Osceola Campus building 4 once construction is complete.

The cost of a personalized memory brick is $100.  The proceeds from these courtyard-bound bricks will used to support scholarships for Osceola Campus students of Valencia College.

For more details or to place your order, please visit  valenciacollege.edu/Osceola/bricks

valencia homecoming

With a variety of activities during the month of October on multiple campuses, as well as special off-campus outings in the community, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to connect with fellow Valencia alumni, retirees, faculty, staff, students and friends. Chances are good that you will be able to find at least one you can’t resist!

Wednesday, October 12

  • Valencia Alumni Association Networking Reception & Idea Exchange
    West Campus Special Events Center, Bldg 8
    6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. —  Networking Reception
    RSVPs Encouraged  alumni@valenciacollege.edu

Thursday, October 13

  • Valencia’s Student Development Celebrates “Spirit Day” (Matador Day)
    • West Campus: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., SSB Patio
    • Osceola Campus: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Clock Tower
    • East Campus: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Mall Area
    • Winter Park Campus: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Student Lounge & Courtyard
    • Lake Nona Campus: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Room 408 Atlas Lab/Student Lounge
  • Popcorn Flicks in Central Park featuring “The Fly” 8-10:00 p.m.  Bring your blanket or chair to enjoy the movie under the stars in Central Park in downtown Winter Park.  Free popcorn. Rain date will be Oct. 27th.  Free.  www.enzian.org

Friday, October 14

  • Valencia College Allied Health Fair
    West Campus (outside tables located near cafeteria, SSB and AHS), 10 am – 2 pm. Learn about the health care programs offered at Valencia.  Laboratory tours every hour, free popcorn and snow cones.  Free. Allied Health
  • Latin Night in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month Osceola Campus, 7-10 p.m. Entertainment, food, dancing. Free for Valencia students; $5 for non-students. Directions

October 14 through November 6

  • Little Shop of Horrors
    Book and lyrics by Howard Ashman; Music by Alan Menken; Produced by TheatreWorks Florida.
    Seymour loves two things: a beautiful, way-out-of-his-league girl named Audrey and interesting, unusual plants. As a down and out floral assistant, he never dreamed that discovering an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood would turn him into an overnight sensation! Little Shop of Horrors is an affectionate rock-n-roll spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies that will have you laughing and dancing in your seats.
    Advance purchase tickets for Oct.14-Oct.23 – performances $17 with Promo Code VALENCIAHOMECOMING  www.gardentheatre.org

Wednesday, October 19

  • Reception and presentation by Dr. George Lopez of Notre Dame Univ. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies
    East Campus, Bldg 6 Room 110, 1-2:15 p.m. Directions
  • Reception, Dinner and Conversation with Dr. George Lopez of Notre Dame Univ. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Private event

Friday, October 21 Campus Locations

  • Fine Arts Faculty Exhibit Opening Reception
    East Campus Building 3 Atrium
    6:30-8:30 pm, Free
  • Monster Ball – “No Tricks Just Treats” Halloween Event  
    Osceola Campus 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Loud music, food, drinks, scary characters, fun!   Entry donation of $3 to benefit the American Cancer Society.
  • “The Drowsy Chaperone” opening night – musical comedy
    Music and Lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, Book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar. Winner of many Tony awards in 2006, this magical musical will transport the audience to the dazzling musicals of the 1920’s as the musical literally bursts to life in the living room of a die-hard musical theater fan! 
    East Campus Performing Arts Center – Curtain time: 7:30 p.m.
    Discounted tickets available online at www.valenciacollege.edu/arts  @ $6 with Coupon Code: VALENCIAALUMNI

Saturday, October 22

  • Memory Walk – Walk to End Alzheimer’s
    8am-registration begins
    9 am-walk begins
    For more details and to join Team Valencia, visit www.valenciacollege.edu/alumni

October 22 through 23rd

  • Enzian’s Second Annual Haunted Swamp Walk of Terror
    The walk is a chilling tour through 2,000 feet of natural woods behind the Enzian Theater. Featuring original characters, spine- tingling theatrics and impressive decor, attendees will experience nail-biting fun and anxiety as they fall prey to hidden scare traps and surprises around every turn of their tour. Admission is $6 when purchased in advance, $8 day of the event and free for Enzian Film Society members. 8p.m. – 1a.m.  For tickets and more information, visit www.enzian.org.

Sunday, October 23rd

  • Bright House Networks Calle Orange Festival
    10 blocks of downtown Orlando are closed for the largest event in Central Florida! Now in its 14th year, Bright House Networks Calle Orange Festival features five stages of Latin America’s biggest and best performers! Music variety will appeal to the American Hispanic as well as those from the Caribbean, Central and South America! Enjoy authentic food delicacies from Hispanic countries and all types of entertainment including a block just for kids!

Thursday, October 27

  • “Wagner’s Music and Anti-Semitism in Film” presented by Professor Matt McAllister as part of the East Campus Humanities Speaker Series 
    Opera has remained relevant within popular culture primarily via its use in film and ironical deployments constitute one of its most sophisticated uses.  The Nazi party’s use of music during its reign and the stigma that Wagner’s music in particular suffers from as a result will be discussed as well as the circumstances that allow for music to be read ironically in film.
    Valencia’s East Campus Bldg. 6 Room 110, 1-2:15 p.m.
    Contact Nichole Jackson at njackson18@valenciacollege.edu for more information.  Free. Directions

Saturday, October 29

  • UCF Homecoming Game vs Memphis Tickets $15 ($10 savings) for seats in the north end zone. Get an optional PATCH for just $2 more. Game Time is 4 p.m.   UCF football tickets can be purchased by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at (407) 823-1000 or email tickets@athletics.ucf.edu

October 29 through 31st

  • Enzian’s Second Annual Haunted Swamp Walk of Terror
    The walk is a chilling tour through 2,000 feet of natural woods behind the Enzian Theater. Featuring original characters, spine- tingling theatrics and impressive decor, attendees will experience nail-biting fun and anxiety as they fall prey to hidden scare traps and surprises around every turn of their tour. Admission is $6 when purchased in advance, $8 day of the event and free for Enzian Film Society members. 8p.m. – 1p.m.  For tickets and more information, visit www.enzian.org.

houston, we have a valencia intern

Designing a mission to Mars may have helped Dolores Petropulos land in a place that once seemed equally far out – the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Now, the Valencia computer programming student is in Houston for a 15-week paid internship at NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

There, the 55-year-old Petropulos is working on the development and testing of software that can navigate and control the next generation moon lander.  At the end of her internship, Dolores will make a final presentation to technical staff in the Johnson Space Center engineering directorate, the team responsible for providing engineering design, development, and test support for space flight programs.

“This is the next generation moon lander,” says Dolores, of the project she’s working on. “It’s pretty cool stuff. It’ll be used on a robotic mission.”

Dolores’ journey to Houston really began last summer, when she read a college-wide email encouraging Valencia students to apply for NASA’s National Community College Aerospace Scholars program.  “It sounded interesting,” she says.  “It was an online class and you had to develop a mission to Mars in it.”

Based on her work in the online class, NASA offered Dolores a trip to the Johnson Space Center in October 2010. There, teams of community college students from across the country competed to create a robotic Mars rover that could, among other tricks, pick up a rock out of a water obstacle.  “Our little rover won the competition,” Dolores said. “Everybody else’s broke down at least once.”

That trip to Houston inspired Dolores – and ignited in her a new passion for robotics. “Once I won the trip to Johnson Space Center, and I got to see the next generation of space vehicles, the next generation rover, it got me very excited and made me realize that was the way I wanted to go,” she says.

When NASA officials encouraged the community college scholars to apply for internships with the space agency, Dolores checked it out – and sent in her application. Although she wasn’t selected for a spring internship, she learned over the summer that she would be going to Houston for the fall semester. The internship also comes with a $9,000 scholarship that she can apply to her living expenses.

Now Dolores is temporarily living in a Houston apartment furnished with mail-order furniture from Wal-Mart and an inflatable mattress – but she’s continuing to pursue her dream.

 “I was looking at the business end of computers, not something like this,” she says. ”When I first started at Valencia, I never thought I’d end up being a rocket scientist.”

This isn’t the first time Dolores has been a pioneer. After graduating from Valencia in 1974, Dolores joined the Orlando Police Department – and became one of 12 women on the force of more than 500 officers.

Even that took a leap of courage. Dolores’ parents didn’t finish high school — and her father didn’t want her to attend college. But Dolores went anyway, and graduated in 1976 with an associate of science degree in criminal justice. “My dad was adamant that I not go, but it was a choice I made and I told him that I hoped he would understand,” she says. “Later on, he ended up being very proud of me and what I accomplished.”

During her years on the force, she struggled with the timed tests required for promotions.  She practiced writing reports and memorized the law, but couldn’t pass the tests.  Jealous of other officers who’d earned their four-year degrees, Dolores began talking to a Valencia counselor about returning to college in 1991.

Dolores confided in the counselor, telling her what she hadn’t told others – that she’d had problems taking promotional tests while on the force. The counselor suggested she get tested for a learning disability, and when Valencia’s Office of Student Disabilities tested her, Dolores finally discovered the root of her problems. She has dyslexia – which means her brain doesn’t properly process symbols such as letters and numbers.

Armed with knowledge about her learning disability, Dolores began taking remedial math classes, one at a time, while continuing to work on the police force. With the help of tutors and professors, she gradually worked her way through the math curriculum, up to Calculus 3.  But she was sidelined in 1997 when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, cancer of the lymphatic glands.

Even cancer couldn’t stop her.  Although she waited until 2009, when she’d retired from the police department, Dolores returned to Valencia, eager to study computer programming.  Determined to understand her disability and make the most of it, Dolores now regularly seeks out tutors or pops into professors’ offices to ask for help.

“All you have to do is go to the math lab and say the name Dolores,” said one of her professors, Hatim Boustique. “Everybody there knows Dolores.”

Other students tell Dolores that she’s got something they haven’t. But Dolores  and her professors say that’s not true.

“She’s a normal student – as far as performance,” says Boustique, who teaches computer programming and analysis. “She is not a quitter. If she does not understand something, she will live in your office. She used to come to my office hours, every single hour.  I gave her my full attention. If she does not understand something, she will stay and stay and stay until she understands it.”

For Dolores, who plans to attend Rollins College in fall of 2012 to finish her bachelor’s degree, Valencia will always be a special place. That’s because the college recognized her abilities when others didn’t, she says.

“It’s amazing that when I graduated from high school, I barely passed,” she says. “To see me now in Phi Theta Kappa, and being part of the honors program, is unbelievable.  The educational system in the public schools had actually failed me. Coming to Valencia was the best thing I ever did – both then and now.”

Dolores will return to Orlando in December and complete her dual degrees, an associate of science in computer science and an associate of arts degree in general studies.  Then she’ll transfer to Rollins. But she won’t forget Valencia.

“Valencia gave me my accomplishments that I have today and, for that, I’m very grateful,” she says. “I’m not saying they gave it to me on a silver platter. I had hard courses and very hard professors. But I’m finding and learning a lot of new things about myself, even at this stage in life.”

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

classes for bachelor’s degree program in radiology set to begin this fall

Valencia is rolling out a new degree program this fall – one that will give students in the health profession a chance to earn their bachelor’s degree.

One of only two bachelor’s degrees offered at Valencia, the Bachelor of Science in Radiological Imaging Science will begin online classes this fall. Students who earn their bachelor’s degree in radiology science can boost their earnings, in some cases significantly, depending on the field they work in.

According to a 2007 salary survey from the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, a student who earns an associate’s degree in radiography earns an average starting salary of $46,376, while a student who holds a bachelor’s degree in the field earns between $64,000 and $85,744 a year.

Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in radiography also gives current sonographers and radiographers a chance to move into administration and management jobs, said Penny Conners, dean of Valencia’s Division of Allied Health. The bachelor’s program will allow the students to specialize in high-demand areas of the radiology field, such as computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and quality management.

The University of Central Florida offered the B.S. program in radiology science, but dropped it in July 2009 because of state budget cuts. Valencia has picked up the program – and that’s good news for students. Why? Because the estimated cost of four years of study for a bachelor’s degree in Radiologic and Imaging Sciences at Valencia would be $13,554. The estimated cost at a state university would be $19,308. The cost at a private school could be as high as $37,120.

To sign up for courses for the new bachelor’s degree in radiography, students must have completed their associate in science degree and must have passed the national certification exam.

Most of the courses will be taught online, Conners said, which makes the program ideal for those who are already working in the field, but want to earn their bachelor’s degree. “There’s only one course doing clinical work” – a practicum – “so it’s very doable, even if you’re a full-time employee,” Conners said.

Meanwhile, demand for employees with a bachelor’s degree in radiology should continue to be strong. By 2014, there will be 801 project job openings in the field of radiology in Orange, Osceola, Lake, Sumter and Seminole counties, according to Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc.

“It’s a good opportunity,” Conners said, adding that the bachelor’s degree program fits Valencia’s mission of serving both its students and the community. “A community college still brings that ability for someone in the community to advance themselves professionally.”

Source: Marketing & Strategic Communications

Valencia named top 10 finalist of community college contest

Valencia College math tutor Marisela Rey helps Valencia student Deidre Dungee

By Denise-Marie Balona, Orlando Sentinel
12:05 a.m. EDT, September 13, 2011

Valencia College today was named one of 10 national finalists for a big new award — the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which comes with prizes totaling $1 million.

The award seeks to spotlight community colleges with a track record for excellence that will ultimately become models for the rest of the country. Community colleges, which serve nearly half of all college students, are a main focus of President Obama’s plan to boost the nation’s number of college graduates.

One other Florida school — Miami Dade College — was selected as a finalist from among the 120 institutions in the competition.

The schools were chosen based on high performance and their improvements in graduation rates and other indicators of student success.

For example, Valencia students graduate or transfer to other higher-education institutions at a rate of nearly 12 percent above the national average, college officials said.

Last year, 94 percent of Valencia nursing graduates passed their national exam, surpassing the state and national averages.

Community College Week magazine recently ranked Valencia No. 1 in the country for the number of associate degrees awarded.

Valencia’s president, Sandy Shugart, said being a finalist for the Aspen Prize is an affirmation of his faculty’s hard work.

“For more than 15 years, Valencia has been deeply focused on improving student graduation and learning, and we have begun to see extraordinary results in the last five to six years, especially,” he said. “The whole country is interested in those results.”

The $1 million in prize money will be awarded in December. The winner will receive $700,000. The rest will be split among three runners-up.

dbalona@tribune.com or 407-420-5470

Copyright © 2011, Orlando Sentinel

fall musical at valencia: the drowsy chaperone

This magical performance will transport you from the living room of a die-hard musical theater fan into a dazzling 1920’s theratical musical.   

This musical-within-a-play is anything but drowsy! Get your tickets online now.

7:30 p.m. curtain – October 21, 22, 27, 28, 29
2:00 p.m. curtain – October 23 and 30

In 2006 The Drowsy Chaperone, a homage to jazz musicals, won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score with many featured actors/actresses nominated.   

Click Here To Purchase Tickets

For more information about Valencia’s 2011-2012 Arts Season please click on the image above or visit: http://valenciacollege.edu/arts/

valencia announces new initiatives at academic assembly

What’s up for the coming year at Valencia?

Administrators are urging faculty to find ways to cut textbook costs for students, the college will urge faculty and staff to adopt energy-saving habits, and the college will go smoke-free on all its campuses by 2012.

Those new initiatives — along with the addition of 31 new full-time tenure-track positions – were announced by Valencia President Dr. Sanford Shugart at Valencia’s annual Academic Assembly. In addition, Shugart said he will begin holding regular online conversations with 36 Valencia students who’ve been handpicked to provide the president with input on the college experience. 

Financially, the upcoming year will be a challenging one for Valencia College,  but one that the college can weather,  Shugart told the assembled faculty.  “So far, we’ve managed to navigate through the budget area rather well,” Shugart said, but he warned that the coming year will be tight  and it’s unlikely that the college will hire many new faculty members next year.

Because rising textbook prices are students’ highest expense after tuition, Shugart urged faculty members to work together to find solutions — whether that means collaborating to write textbooks, using textbooks that can be rented, or agreeing to use the same textbook, which would reduce the resale price of the book.   

Some faculty members are already working toward that goal. Biology Professor Robert Gessner has written his own textbook for his microbiology classes – and by using Powerpoint presentations and extensive notes that he provides to the students in lieu of a textbook, he has cut the students’ book costs for his microbiology class from $240 to about $90.

Shugart also announced the launch of a new video contest for students, with the winners receiving free tuition. The contest, which will launch on Sept. 1, invites students to submit videos about their lives and their college dreams  — why they chose Valencia, why they want to attend college, how they’ve struggled and been motivated to continue. The videos will be submitted and viewed on Valencia’s Facebook page, with students voting for their favorites via Facebook. A team of judges will select five winners from the top 10 vote-getters — and on Nov. 15, five winners will be named. Each will receive free tuition for the remainder of their Valencia careers — up to 60 credit hours.

Among the other changes that Valencia students, faculty and staff will see in the coming year:

  • The college is continuing its push to go green. By Earth Day 2011, the college had recycled 1 million pounds of paper, cardboard, plastic and metal. Changes already undertaken in the college’s air conditioning systems are saving $900,000 a year and an estimated 1 million gallons of water a year.  Next, the college is asking students, faculty and staff to start changing their behavior. ”We think there’s another million dollars to be saved, but it will be through behavioral change, the little habits that we can change,” Shugart said. 
  • Valencia is launching its new James M. & Dayle L. Seneff Honors College and expanding the honors program on all campuses.
  • Inspired by the popular TEDTalks videos available online, Valencia will create a series of 4-minute videos that tell the stories about the work that individual professors are doing.
  • Although this is the final year of a three-year, $743,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the college’s Developmental Education Initiative will continue to research the best ways to provide remedial education and support for students who aren’t ready to tackle college coursework. The goal is to increase the number of students who graduate from college — particularly those who come from low-income homes. 
  • Valencia continues to expand – adding a new campus at Lake Nona, a new building at the Osceola campus and a new building on the West Campus, which will house Valencia’s continuing education division.  Valencia is also exploring new sites in Apopka and Poinciana, as well as a potential location at Horizon West in west Orange County.
  • The college will decentralize some of its academic operations, giving campus presidents more authority to innovate.  “Our capacity to innovate is being limited by our size,” Shugart said. “The people who’ve been trying to nourish innovation are finding it immensely difficult to coordinate with 19 deans.”

Source: Marketing & Strategic Communications

 

valencia award winning faculty and staff

The video below highlights Valencia Foundation Endowed Chair and National Institute for Staff & Organizational Development (NISOD) award winners. 

Congratulations to each Valencia College Faculty and Staff for above and beyond efforts to support and enhance the student experience at Valencia! 


 

Valencia educators are encouraged to remain current and continually improve discipline knowledge. With these endowed chairs, our faculty are given the opportunity to examine the effectiveness of their teaching, counseling, librarianship and assessment techniques as they influence student learning.

 Congratulations to the following Distinguished Professors and Scholars, who have been awarded a 2011-12 Valencia Foundation Endowed Chair for Learning Leadership:

 Category I

Rachel Allen: Patricia Havill Whalen Chair in Social Sciences
Deidre Holmes DuBois:  Sue Luzadder Chair in Communications
Richard Gair: Abe and Tess Wise Endowed Chair in the Study of the Shoah
Claudia Genovese-Martinez: Lockheed Martin Chair in Mathematics Albert Groccia:  Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Chair in Mathematics
Debra Hollister and Brian Macon: Freeda Louise Foreman Chair in Family Resource Development
Deymond Hoyte:  Bank of America Chair in Business Management
Richard Sansone: University Club of Orlando Chair in Humanities
Brenda Schumpert: Lester N. Mandell Chair in Natural and Physical Sciences
Patricia Smith: Lockheed Martin Chair in Science
Betty Wanielisat:  Chesley G. Magruder Foundation Chair in Allied Health Yasmeen Qadri: Wayne Densch Chair in Geriatrics  

Category II

Colin Archibald:  SunGard Endowed Teaching Chair in Computer Science
Mary Beck:  Maguire Family Teacher Endowed Chair
Ralph Clemente: Walt Disney World Chair in Film Technology
Steven Cunningham: Tupperware Corporation Chair in Community Quality Corinne Fennessy: William C. Demetree Jr. Foundation Chair in Education for Special Needs
Debbie Hall:  Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Chair in Free Enterprise
Kitty Harkleroad: Ira Vinson Henderson Chair in Nursing and Allied Health Jim Inglis:  Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association Chair in Hospitality Management
Ilyse Kusnetz: Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Chair in Education for the Physically Challenged
James May: University Club of Orlando Chair in Advanced Computer Technology
Pierre Pilloud:  Central Florida Restaurant Association Chair in Restaurant and Food Management
Lana Powell:  SunTrust Chair in Economic Development and Business Education
Suzanne Salapa:  Universal Orlando Chair in Arts and Entertainment
Pam Sandy and Robin Poole: Chesley G. Magruder Foundation Chair in Health and Life Sciences
Michael Shugg:  Jessie and Eugene Drey Endowment of the English-Speaking Union/Central Florida Branch Chair in English and Humanities
Nicole Spottke: Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Endowed Chair in Communications

student video contest

Five winners will get free tuition (up to 60 credit hours, does not include books) for the remainder of their two-year associate degrees at Valencia.

Valencia College is offering students who recently attended Valencia a visual voice!

Through a video contest students are asked to share goals, challenges, struggles and motivations in answering two questions: Why College? Why Valencia?

Five student winners, no matter where they are in pursuit of a degree, will receive the remainder of their coursework at Valencia (up to 60 credit hours).

For more information please visit facebook.com/valenciacollege, see contest information below or go online at: valenciacollege.edu/contest/